When someone says a business “runs itself”, they probably should be thankful to a small army of business apps that diligently feed their machines from behind the scenes. From creating and storing files and managing email, to keeping the books and getting teams working together, it takes a lot of code to run a business, or at least to run it well.
Which software is best for business? That will largely depend on your business and your own preferences, however, we have put together several reliable options to get you started. Have a personal favourite to recommend? Let us know in the comments.
Webroot Endpoint Protection
First and foremost, with the ever increasing threats, one of the most important pieces of software you should have on a computer is an antivirus. Webroot SecureAnywhere is more than an antivirus software; it is a next generation endpoint security solution that can be deployed throughout your global infrastructure. This software is lean and mean. Due to its unique approach, it can scan at lightning speeds and consume very little resources all while still providing powerful protection. Definitely a software to consider if you want to protect yourself from the latest threats out there.
Teamwork Projects is a rich project management platform that offers many of the tools you would expect: task lists, comments, time tracking, milestones, file uploads and more. These features make it very easy to track the progress of simultaneous projects, log time and communicate with the team. One of the most useful features is project and task-list templates, which make projects of the same type quicker to set up, and therefore a real time saver. A very strong recommendation for any business looking for a project management solution.
Slack is an excellent business communication tool, which provides a centralised, dynamic, fast-paced collaboration platform where users can send quick messages and share files. Although the platform has clients across the world, it is particularly popular among tech and media companies. Note that recently Slack has grown far beyond professional use. While Slack was aimed to ease communication between co-workers, people increasingly turn to the platform for personal conversations with their friends, relatives, and fellow Game of Thrones enthusiasts. The trick to loving this messaging platform is knowing when and how to use it, and what to expect from it.
Backups are paramount for any business. If you are not taking any, you should be, and ideally off-site. Whilst it is true that an office rarely goes up in smoke, it is a significant risk for any business to have all their backups onsite. With Cloudberry, businesses can take backups of their servers and files and securely upload them to the cloud; this way even if the office is lost, there is still a backup copy off-site. Cloudberry also enables users to encrypt its entire data prior to upload, keeping it completely secure. This software really is a lifesaver, one does not realize how important backups are until disaster happens.
With more and more users each day needing to work remotely away from the office, but still needing to access company files, FileCloud has proven to be the best thing since sliced bread. It is a software that is unique in a number of ways, it allows companies to access, share and sync their onsite files and documents across multiple devices, but through a private cloud system. This enables companies to securely access their office files remotely on any platform or device without the need to copy them to a cloud-sharing platform. Similarly, documents can be securely shared with users outside the organisation while maintaining a full audit trail and having data leak prevention features.
Password security requirements become more daunting all the time: first a minimum number of characters, then the inclusion of numerals and symbols and restrictions on letter combinations – what will be next, a hieroglyph and the feather of a phoenix? But seriously, considering how much information just a single insecure password can reveal, these rules are a necessary evil. Passwords, especially those not supported by two-factor authentication, are your last lines of defence against prying eyes.
To help store securely all these passwords and adhere to password requirements, a strong recommendation for any business (or any individual for that matter) is to use a password manager. Dashlane, one interesting pick amongst many, provides a secure vault to hold all your passwords, password generator, auto-login to websites, automatic password changes, password sharing across your organisation and automatic sync to mobile devices.
Confluence is the best tool on the market for documentation, without doubt. Not only does it provide the best means for organising and cross-referencing content, but also it is constantly improving with new releases. It is so much more than a project management solution, it enables organizations to collaborate, organize, review and share documents in a centralised repository. It can be used to write all manner of templates, protocols, checklists, procedures and catalogue documents, all while having excellent log audit capabilities and version control. Though documentation is not always an enjoyable activity, making it simple for people means that it is more likely to get done, and done well.
It has happened to all of us: that quick & easy task turns out to be neither of those things. When something we thought we could finish in an hour seeps into the rest of the day. Ever wondered where all your hours went? Toggl is a time tracking solution that lets you track time spent on any given task. You can classify your activities in real-time based on client, project and category. For any business, whether with one employee or a hundred, Toggl can certainly help the business become much more productive and time efficient. When it comes to time tracking, it certainly beats the good old-fashioned watch-and-notepad combo!
Pipedrive is a CRM solution designed specifically for sales professionals. It provides very clean and simple aesthetics throughout the web portal and mobile applications. However, the most noticeable feature of Pipedrive is the easy drag-and-drop functionality to move each deal along your sales pipeline, providing instantaneous updates for the team. Pipedrive aims to simplify the process for salespeople to focus on the right deals at the right times, and give managers a clear overview of the company’s performance.
Microsoft Office Suite
Like it or not, any business, big or small, probably needs at least one copy of Microsoft Office somewhere in the building. Even though Google Apps is slowly trying to close in, all of the Microsoft suite’s applications are simply too close to being industry standards to ignore. The features provided in the Office suite are unmatched by those offered by other office software. Special mention for OneNote, which is an excellent tool for taking notes with syncing throughout mobile devices, and Outlook, which remains the same solid, dependable, occasionally cluttered app it’s always been, for good or ill.
Creative Genius. Problem solver. Financial Advisor. Team Leader. Running a business involves wearing many hats. If you are looking to increase efficiency, productivity or just make your job a little easier — a good app might be just what you need!