How Cloud Technology Is Helping Small Businesses Work More Efficiently

Cloud technology has changed the way we work with data. It is easier to store, analyze and manage small and large bits of information from anywhere in the world. Small business owners are quick to adopt new technology because they are always looking for efficient solutions that fit their small budgets.

Stacking paper documents in files and then saving them from theft or environmental degradation is not only time taking, but also a very risky practice.

Cloud solves the problem by providing a virtual solution and making all your data available, anywhere, anytime when you need it. Let’s take a look at some areas where the cloud helps the most:

Providing security:

Regardless of the debates going on in the business world, your data is more secure on the cloud than it is on traditional storage. It was an unbelievable idea when cloud was first introduced, but small businesses jumped to the opportunity and saved all their confidential files without worrying about a private server.

There’s a reason why its so easy to trust these companies with your data. They have earned this trust by creating several layers of physical and virtual security. They hire the best people to do the job and don’t take any risks.

If you want only some managers to view confidential data, you can limit the audience. You can always encrypt your data and monitor it as you like. HIPAA approved cloud providers have their servers in different locations so natural disasters don’t wipe out the hardware. With so much security, businesses, particularly small ones, are able to flourish and expand their operations with cloud.

Being accessible:

The scare of ‘power going off’ and losing files has become unrealistic. Small business owners rely on file editing on the go without worrying about saved changes. Cloud takes care of saving documents as you keep on editing them.

The changes are updated in real-time. This means that if one employee is editing, others will be able to see the changes right away.

Accessing files is easy, any internet connection can do and an employee won’t get locked out of the file if another is working on it. Co-working has become easy and time is saved. Backups and storage is more efficient now, because cloud service providers make backups their first priority.

Easy sharing:

If you have ever dealt with Google Photos or Dropbox, you would know what this means. It is so easy to have a business meeting without worrying about printing out files and placing  them in folders to present to a client. With tablets, smart phones and laptops, your files can be brought up in a second through the cloud.

When Adobe announced its easy subscriptions via cloud to desktop applications like Adobe Acrobat Pro, Indesign and Photoshop, Media Manager of First Federal Savings Bank, Cornelius Brackett thought it was time to move to the Cloud.

“To be honest, we weren’t very taken with the idea at first because it was so different from the way we’d always done things, but when we learned that all of our print houses, sign makers and other partners were making the switch, we really had no choice but to go to the cloud,”

First Federal’s creative team enjoyed great success in their endeavors because all their subscribed apps were updated on the cloud and sharing the work was so easy. They got so used to cloud computing that Federal built an in-house creative team to manage all the bank’s creative needs.

Options of BYOD:

This is still a debatable issue, but small businesses can enjoy a lot of ease if the employees go BYOD (bring your own device). This further cuts down on the costs of hardware and equipment when the employees just bring their own device and take it back home.

Cloud plays a huge role in this because the files are just one tap away for all employees. Any emergency is easily dealt with, and sudden steps are more easily planned and taken with the cloud.

The first months after the launch of a business are the toughest, and cloud also takes the worry of security away from business owners.

Room for innovation:

Since all employees and managers have easy access to data, there is a lot of room for innovation in a small business. New ideas can be brought up and floated around without a problem.

No more email chains are needed and no more stacks of papers are waiting to be placed in their designated folders. Cloud covers these basic needs so small businesses can dream new ideas.

If someone has a new idea, everyone in the company can be brought onboard almost immediately and can comment on the idea. This document can be discarded or saved and improved for further detailing, and a new product or service is formed.

Easy maintenance:

All the cloud computing solutions are easily automated. The owner of a business doesn’t have to worry about maintaining and storing data, it is outsourced to the cloud solutions provider.

These companies hire the best people to do the job, so they never take your business lightly. Small business owners can now pay more attention to critical tasks, instead of worrying about maintenance.

There is simply no need for an in-house IT department, because all IT needs are being met. Some internet providers also offer cloud services, so both needs can be met by the same company. For example, Verizon offers both internet and cloud solutions to its customers.

Last word:

“Leveraging the cloud is just more efficient from a cost management standpoint. It’s predictable, and we can implement services without making new capital investments or putting together complex implementation and deployment plans,” Hodo at Cision

Big, medium and small businesses all enjoy the perks of subscribing to the cloud. Sharing on-the-go, using updated services, securing data and creating new ideas is easy as a breeze with this technology. Employee efficiency is increased and the workplace looks so much better without a lot of clutter.

Common Job Interview Questions for Therapists

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There are plenty of websites that focus on general interviewing skills and questions you may encounter in an interview, but here are a few questions specific to the mental health and social work field.

Despite the importance of interviewing, very few people practice their interview skills.  Most people do three things to prepare for an interview.  They start by developing a list of questions they think they will be asked.  They then prepare answers to those questions.  Finally, they research the company where they will interview. – The Importance of Interview Practice

1. What is your theoretical orientation?
With this question, you want to not only impress your potential employer with your knowledge, but also demonstrate how you will apply it to the specific position for which you are applying. You may have a background in several theoretical orientations that are excellent and evidence-based, but not evidence-based for the population for which you will work if given the position. Use your knowledge of theory and how you will apply it to this position to this specific population.

2. How do you stay organized and stay on top of documentation?
This question is very common for both bachelors and masters level positions. This question is asked because it is so easy to get disorganized and get behind on documentation requirements. You will need to give your potential employers examples of how you stay organized and stress your commitment to keeping on top of your documentation requirements.

3. What experience have you had with inappropriate boundaries and HIPAA violations and how have you corrected them?
Your potential employer wants to know that you are committed to following the regulations for PHI and that you are knowledgeable about these requirements. This might be the time to mention how you avoid dual relationships, deal overly friendly clients, or how you dealt with an ethical dilemma in the past.

4. How do you maintain the confidentiality of clients?
Your potential employer wants to know if you understand confidentiality laws and that you are committed to following these rules to protect your clients. Remember that in order to maintain confidentiality, it is never appropriate to speak with a client in public, speak with them on the phone in a public place, not keep confidential materials locked, carry confidential material on a thumb drive that does not meet HIPAA requirements, text or email clients or about clients without using encrypted email or initials, keep files in your car especially if they are not locked or if they are out in the open where they can be seen, etc. Let your potential employer know you are careful and mindful of the potential for breach of confidentiality.

5. How do you utilize your supervision time?
Supervisors want to know that you are willing to learn from your supervisor, who is your mentor while you are working toward your unrestricted license.

6. What experience have you had with crisis situations and how did you handle it?
When working in positions in which there is a high likelihood of clients with suicidality, suicidal ideation, self-injury, delusions, command hallucinations, etc, it is important for you to be able to keep a level head and be able to handle the situation calmly and in an organized manner. It is also important that you maintain the dignity and self-determination (as long as they aren’t in danger of hurting themselves or others) of the client in this situation.

7. What experience do you have with cultural competency and trauma-informed care?
Your potential employer wants to know if you are current with the research and that you will be able to treat your clients who come from a diverse background and who may have a history of trauma. Remember that bilingual does not mean bicultural. Let your employer know what populations you have worked with that have given you experience for the job for which you are interviewing.

8. What do you do for self care?
This seems like a really personal question and an odd question to ask in a job interview, but really for the mental health field it makes a lot of sense. Your potential employer wants to know what you do for yourself so that you don’t burn out in your career helping others. This would be a good opportunity to let them know about some appropriate hobbies you have or maybe throw in that you are into mindfulness or yoga, as these are things that are very supported by the mental health industry. Your potential employer wants you to work hard, but they don’t want you to work so hard that you are not taking care of yourself.

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