Cloud-based tech solutions are overtaking offline desktop software as bosses increasingly recognise the advantages of being able to access work remotely. With a few clicks, employees can make changes to files at the same time and work safely in the knowledge their documents will be saved automatically. Here are some of the best software packages.
Technology is always evolving, but the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to accelerate their take-up of cloud-based tech solutions. According to research by Centrify, 51 percent of UK business leaders say moving to cloud computing systems has saved their company from failure this year.
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As a result, 60 percent of bosses aim to significantly increase their reliance on ‘the cloud’ in the coming months. And this figure is even higher among those in the IT industry; 91 percent say they’re making changes to the way they use cloud-based products.
The Covid-19 pandemic has turned cloud into an essential service for many organisations, as well as highlighting the complexities of managing cloud cost and usage... While many CIOs are being asked to trim costs, there will be continued investment in technology that presents the opportunity for long-term growth and stability. – Jay Litkey, Executive Vice-President of Cloud Management, Snow Software
Cloud-based tech solutions for franchises
Before we explore some of the best technologies for franchises, you might like to find out a bit more about the benefits of upgrading your tech systems. Take a look at our article, Franchisor Tips: Is Your Franchise Model In Need Of A Digital Transformation?
If you know you’d like to streamline your franchise’s operations with a digital transformation strategy, read on to learn more about some of the best cloud-based tech solutions out there.
Cloud-based software for…
- G Suite - Google has a diverse range of cloud-based tech solutions covering all aspects of business management. You’ve probably heard of most of them; they include Gmail, Google Drive and Google Hangouts. More than five million businesses use G Suite.
- Asana - Organise and monitor your workflow in real-time. Employees can see how projects are progressing and collaborate to reach the end goal. Spotify, Sky and Deloitte all use Asana.
- Trello - This software creates a visually appealing ‘to do’ list, complete with the staff members tasked with finishing the jobs. It’s used by Costco, Lush and Pinterest.
- Dropbox - You can store and save files and information using this software. It offers a selection of different packages to cater to companies with varying storage and security requirements. Plus, you can use it alongside other software, including Asana and Slack. Expedia, National Geographic and Ben & Jerry’s all use Dropbox’s services.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Salesforce - Keep your customer information in one secure place with this cloud-based tech solution. Your sales, marketing and support teams can use it to see each person’s history with your business. Unilever, Virgin Media and Aston Martin take advantage of Salesforce’s selection of apps.
- Hubspot - This software helps you manage your CRM and marketing strategies, with customer information stored in three main groups: contacts, companies and deals. You can monitor individual sales leads and add extra tools to your package for free. You’ll be following in the footsteps of WWF, Subaru and Survey Monkey.
Human resource management (HRM)
- BambooHR - Use this application to keep track of your hiring, onboarding and compensation processes. It’s also a great place to store and analyse data, and Change.org and Grammarly have already taken advantage of its services.
- Slack - This instant messaging platform will help your team stay in touch easily. You can organise the discussion by creating specific channels for different projects or departments. The BBC, Deliveroo and Trivago all use Slack.
- Microsoft Teams - This option adds a few special features into the mix, such as video conferencing and in-app meme design tools. You can also link it up to Microsoft’s other software packages, such as Word and Excel. The NHS and Century Link have used this application.
- Google Hangouts - Use the Hangouts package from G Suite to talk to colleagues. You can either use Hangouts Chat for messaging, or Hangouts Meet for video and audio calls.
- FreshBooks - If you run a small business, FreshBooks could be for you. It has a huge number of handy features, including multi-currency invoicing, report creation and payment software.
- QuickBooks - One of the biggest accounting software options, QuickBooks has a wide range of packages, including QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Self-Employed and QuickBooks Desktop Pro. But if you’d prefer to customise your product by combining the options, you can.
- Adobe Creative Cloud - If your business works in design, photography or any visual media, Adobe offers fantastic tools. Originally a software product with a one-off purchase fee, it has recently developed to become a cloud-based tech solution with a monthly subscription. Choose from platforms including Photoshop and Premiere Pro, and access them at any time from computers or mobile devices.
- MailChimp - This email marketing service is widely recognised in the business world and helps you develop high-quality promotional material with a few clicks. It has a selection of templates and can even provide analytics. Plus, it’ll connect with more than 250 other applications.
- Cision - Cision’s variety of built-in tools help you target and engage potential customers through multiple marketing channels, including email and social media. You can also analyse the data afterwards. LinkedIn and PBS are just two of the companies taking advantage of Cision.
- Pardot - If you run a B2B business, Pardot can help you with your marketing initiatives. This Salesforce product supports you as you develop and manage promotional strategies, sales leads and in-house marketing departments. Ticketmaster and Deloitte are Pardot customers.
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- Shopify - This well-known e-commerce platform provides a good selection of free templates and tools to upgrade your online shopping cart. It’s easy to use and you can take advantage of the 30-day free trial to make sure it’s right for you.
Cloud-based tech solutions are always evolving…
There are hundreds of fantastic tech solutions out there for companies looking to upgrade their systems - and new ones emerge all the time. So, it’s worth doing regular research into the latest business operations software to make sure you’re always taking advantage of the best technologies for franchises.
You’ll find more information on digital transformation strategies here at Point Franchise; browse our daily articles or use the search box to find guides on a specific topic.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©