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Here are 6 great ways to save money and increase efficiencies by using the cloud.

Virtual Servers
A virtual server is a subset of a real server. You can lease them from hosting companies for anything from around $10 per month and they basically give you all of the benefits of your own server without all of the capital costs. The hosting company will give you remote access to your virtual server so you never need to see the physical machine. A virtual server can be used for a whole range of purposes whether it be hosting your websites, running remote applications for your business or sharing files and information between your staff.

Cloud Backup Services
A cloud backup service allows you to backup files from any computer or device to a storage centre in the cloud. These services run through the internet and automate the tedious task of making copies of your files. No more need for individually labelled storage devices or USB's you can simply set your cloud backup service up and leave it running on autopilot. Business packages are generally quite cheap starting at around $20 per month. Setup is generally very simple however it is usually an idea to keep an eye on your bandwidth usage if you are backing up every day.

Cloud Data Storage
Cloud data storage allows you to have virtual disk space that can be accessed from almost any machine. Having a cloud disk drive can be a great way of sharing large files and data between team members or of transferring large files to suppliers or customers. Dropbox.com is a great example of a company that is offering these types of virtual storage drives.

Virtual Receptionists
Having a virtual receptionist is just like having your own in-house reception team but at a fraction of the cost. Your virtual receptionist will answer your calls, give out information to your callers (like your business address or opening hours) and can either forward calls to another phone or send you an email or sms with the message. Another great cloud application.

Virtual Assistants
A virtual assistant can carry out all of those time consuming and boring admin and sales admin tasks that clog up your day. They can work by the hour or the minute and simply take the pressure off you so that you can focus on the more strategic aspects of your business. They are a really affordable alternative to employing local staff and the cloud has made them really accessible.

Virtual Accounting Services
Back in the old days you would need to buy your accounting software have it installed on a server or dedicated desk top computer and then have an IT specialist on call in case anything went wrong. Nowadays with the cloud you can simply do the whole thing via the internet. All of your software is kept up to date and backed up and all you have to do is pay a monthly fee.


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