By now, you have surely heard about “cloud computing.” You may have heard about its magical powers and how it will solve all the problems in the world. What is it, really? What does it do? Is it right for your business? Can it really deliver the hype?
More than likely, your company now has an internet site. If you don’t, you should.
In many cases, however, small business owners do get an internet domain and even have a website, but then use email addresses provided by their office or home internet connection provider. For example, they may put firstname.lastname@example.org, or may use a free online webmail address such as Hotmail or gMail. This is a mistake. It does not look professional. If you already have an internet domain, then use it! Email hosting is frequently included with website hosting, and is a minimal cost.
Another important aspect of the corporate internet domain is that of having control of your domain. Often business owners rely on external consultants to help them with the task of registering their domain and set up their website and other IT services, but then do not ensure that the domain is properly registered and that they get the required credentials to these important services. If handled internally, then it should be all properly documented. This can put the entire corporate identity in jeopardy. The following is a good article about how internet domain names work and what you should do to ensure you have control of your domain and website.
Business communication has evolved to rely heavily on eMail. It is a “killer application” of the internet. As a tool, it is as effective as the person using it. As a business owner or manager, you should establish guidelines that your company abides by to ensure proper use of this tool and that it does not potentially harm the corporate image.
If you have not done so yet, please see this article about establishing an appropriate use policy for your company in regards to technology use in the workplace. Additionally, there are certain percautions and best practices for using eMail effectively. The article in this link provides an excellent list of email tips for business communication. Finally, be sure to read this article with a list of 10 golden rules of email etiquette.
If your business has more people than just you, then you need an appropriate use policy document that covers your technology assets. This is a document designed to set out expectations and rules/guidelines for what is acceptable of your employees in as far as technology use in the workplace. It should address both private and corporate assets, and will set out the groundwork that could save your company much grief, tarnished corporate image and goodwill, lost time, lost revenue and expensive repairs.