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As a consumer, you have choices for everything right at your fingertips. You decide it’s a “healthy” day so you substitute a salad for the fries. Or at Starbucks, when a plain latte just won’t cut it, you order a grande, double pump caramel, soy latte. In the consumer world, you don’t have to sacrifice what you want or need when it comes to your purchasing decisions. So why should you have to sacrifice your business’ needs when buying business solutions?work from home, telecommute, mobile

The short answer is – you don’t have to.

In today’s work environment, employees aren’t always working away in their cubicles. They are flying around the world, working at customer sites, taking calls from the road and sometimes (ok, all the time) working from home in their pajamas. To keep up with the demands of a flexible workplace, technology needs to be moldable to accommodate these different work styles. But the reality is a lot of vendors make products that force companies to change how their businesses operate.

Here’s an example:  What makes the flexible workplace actually work? Mobile devices, internet connections and that buzz word – the cloud. The cloud is key to enabling a quick and easy way to collaborate with colleagues, partners, and customers. Your colleague needs a large file that won’t send through email – no worries. Just throw it into the cloud, and your colleague will “catch” it on the other end. Simple…right?

Well, for enterprises, it’s not that simple…

Enterprises need a file-sharing option that’s secure for confidential files – the ones that contain the company’s IP or “secret sauce.” These types of files shouldn’t go into the cloud – there’s too much risk involved when sharing documents through the public cloud. Enterprise IT requires control over this business-critical data, which means they cannot adopt a consumer-grade cloud-only solution that sacrifices security for simplicity.

Enterprises also need a service that works wherever employees are conducting business, even when they don’t have an internet connection. Let’s face it – the cloud is useless without the internet. And business can’t afford to screech to a productivity halt just because their workers lose connectivity.  On these same lines, don’t forget about slow bandwidth issues when sharing large files through the cloud. Business slows down to the speed of snail mail, which won’t work for today’s fast-paced business practices.  Enterprises need to find a solution that allows everyone to keep working, whether they’re on a desktop or mobile device and whether their files are saved in on-premise storage or the cloud. The cloud-based solution should adapt to your business and employees’ needs.  Give employees options so they can easily work whenever and wherever business takes them.

File-sharing is just one example. When you have a business need, you have choices.  Your tools should adapt and map back to your unique needs – not the other way around. Take this same approach when selecting the best technology solutions for your business – It’s your money and purchasing power – be picky!  Remember, that “venti half chocolate/half caramel frap, to-go” order isn’t really picky; it’s just making the best choice for you.

*This article originally appeared in CloudAve. 
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