Recently we celebrated four years of awesome file management at The Full Suite. Happy Birthday to us! We're eternally grateful to our customers, our partners, and our wider network who support the Suite dream. We're also thankful for the cloud and the amazing work it allows us to do. We've often talked about how cloud technology can impact a business for the better, and we're no exception. SuiteFiles was itself created to 'scratch our own itch,' but that's a story for another time.
The cloud is our bread and butter, but it's also the fuel in the tank – with it we're able work smarter and faster, all while saving time, money, and tears (more on that later).
So we decided to dedicate our birthday post to a countdown of the top four efficiency gains we're grateful for thanks to the cloud and SuiteFiles.
#1 - Saying goodbye to paper files forever
A huge benefit of doing business in the cloud is our ability to almost completely eliminate paper usage in the office. Through a combination of online and digital tools (including SuiteFiles), we're able to conduct day-to-day business in a way that's seamless and easy for us. From file management and meeting notes, to client records and to-do lists, many of our operations no longer require paper files or physical storage. This is beneficial for two key reasons:
We're more flexible
While the days of the file room are quickly ending, businesses can still retain a significant amount of paper files, even if it's only archived material. Suite was born in the cloud – not only are we more flexible around how we work and where because we're not chained to physical files, but we're equally not tied down by a server. @@An internet connection is all we need to access our business, no matter where we are.@@
We have better oversight across our files
Moving all of our documents to the cloud means that we're less likely to forget a file hidden in a drawer or on someone's desk. With SuiteFiles or another cloud-based tool, everyone has access to the same material at all times. The same applies to any incoming documentation or communication. We can easily file it away into SuiteFiles – the attachment or the email itself – and save it with client records or other folders.
The reality is that paper still makes an appearance sometimes (post-its remain a popular brainstorming tool at Suite HQ), but by and large we've adopted a paper-lite approach to business. Digital and cloud tools have an incredible amount of functionality, meaning that the biggest challenge has been adjusting our processes and how we think about our work. Once that's ironed out, any business can easily adopt cloud tech 100%.
#2 - We can work from anywhere
If you've ever googled the benefits of the cloud for business, the fact that you can work from anywhere is most likely #1 (or #2 in this case). Using cloud-based tools like SuiteFiles and Microsoft Office 365 means that we're able to be more flexible and responsive to changing conditions. Not only is it an efficient way to work, but there's also incredible peace of mind that if an emergency or something urgent arises, you can respond in a timely manner.
Cloud technology also makes working remotely not only possible, but easy. In a few months time a member of our Suite team is heading overseas with his family for several weeks. If we weren't using the cloud at Suite for file management and communication, we'd be writing our co-worker off as Out of Action for the time that he'll be away. An extended trip in that scenario wouldn't be possible. However through SuiteFiles and our other cloud-based apps, he'll be able to work abroad with ease – despite the distance, the different time zones, and probably the vastly more interesting things that are happening around him.
#3 - We know where to find everything (and avoid tears!)
The backbone of any business is its files, and here the cloud makes a huge difference for us. SuiteFiles helps us to centralise all of our documents, allowing us to control who has access to it and how. It's helped us to improve our processes so that now information silos in inboxes or desktops are minimised and we all have access to the most up-to-date content available.
This extends to those times when things go wrong and a folder or file is deleted, corrupted, or simply changed. Online backups that automatically take a daily snapshot of our file system mean that we're always covered if we need to restore a file, get audited, or simply want to see a previous version of a document. Many a tear has been left unshed because we've been able to quickly restore a system from a backup onto a new computer.
#4 - We save time and money
Being able to work more efficiently results in two things – a sense of 'Flow' (or the sense that you're kicking butt at the current activity) and great time and money savings. At Suite, not only are our infrastructure and IT costs kept moderately low thanks to cloud technology, but we're able to work more productively, in large part because our tools talk to each other. Not all cloud tools are built the same, and integrations differ, but its this ability to tie into other products that allows us to make huge efficiency gains in a simple way. SuiteFiles itself integrates with Microsoft Office, Outlook, Xero, WorkflowMax and Get the GIST content. These connections help us to complete tasks quicker and to access our work from different platforms. As these integrations improve and new ones are made with other apps, time and money savings are only set to improve. We can't wait!
Here at Suite HQ, 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year of growth and opportunity (arguably two of any business' favourite words). We can't wait to see where the year takes us and how the cloud can continue to push us as a business.