As mentioned in an earlier post here at the Verizon Small Biz Blog, I am seeing more and more small businesses and entrepreneurs jumping on the “cloud bandwagon.” They are moving to online software, instead of software installed on local servers or desktop computers, because of certain advantages. Those advantages include: speed of implementation; ability to scale the business despite lacking internal tech expertise; lower costs; relief from tech headaches enabling you to concentrate on strategy and core competencies; and, arguably, fewer security issues you have to worry about.
We explored those advantages in my last webinar on March 9th, In the Cloud: 5 Reasons to Move to Online Software (watch the webinar here). In that webinar I polled those participating and learned that roughly 80% are already using cloud apps in the form of online banking.
One person asked me about popular online software services that I recommend – here are some online services that I know other small businesses are getting good value from today:
This list is just a small smattering. Edith Yeung, Founder of BizTech Day, where they profile new software, was kind enough to choose some of the best in class for us, in: 101 Small Business Web Applications You Must Check Out. I also recommend you check out The Small Business Web for a directory of several hundred small business online software apps.
Now, despite being a proponent of online software services, I don’t want to give the impression that there are no risks or issues to consider. The advantages of online software applications only apply if you make wise choices. If you make the wrong choices, those advantages may go out the window. Remember, you will have to place your trust in vendors to make sure the software is operational and does what it claims to do. Your data will be online in a third party’s hands. And, if something goes wrong with the software, you need confidence that the vendor will jump on the problem quickly and get it fixed to your satisfaction.
So it becomes crucial to do a thorough due diligence when choosing online software. This due diligence process for choosing online software is what we will cover in my next upcoming webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center.
In How to Choose the RIGHT online software webinar, I’ll offer a checklist of points to consider when evaluating online software, including how to assess vendors for reliability, and how to determine which software will actually make your organization more efficient and effective. I’ll also answer your questions about the practical aspects of integrating online software with existing internal systems and software.
Online software services aren’t a cure-all for everything that may ail your business. But they are a valuable technology strategy for growing your business while running “lean.”
Choose the wrong technology and you’ll find your business working on your technology. Choose the right technology, and it will work FOR your business.
Join me this Wednesday March 23 at 2pm Eastern for: How to Choose the RIGHT Online Software.
PS, if you can’t make the live webinar, watch the replay it will be taped and archived – just view it later.
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