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Gartner predicts cloud computing is one of the top technology trends in 2015. In reality though, cloud computing has been a staple of business for at least four years or so as companies like DropBox are streamlining our work by allowing us to send and receive data-intensive files that heretofore would have been challenging, if not been impossible. Though DropBox comes to immediate mind as a must-have app (how else could I share my graphics-rich presentations with colleagues, vendors and potential customers?), there are a plethora of other amazing cloud-based apps to help your business operate more smoothly.

Outside of backing up and archiving last year’s presentation at fill-in-the-blank industry event on a server far, far away, businesses may benefit by setting up and utilizing third-party servers as an extension of their IT network. While CFOs and other financial executives will intuitively understand the inherent cost savings associated with cloud computing as the need for capital expenditures are markedly reduced, one’s customer service department should also benefit dramatically.

Savvy companies are leveraging the cloud to significantly improve the user experience while enhancing the quality of life of service and perhaps more important, sales staffs. Through the release of our aptly-named CoudConnect service platform, Toshiba now provides continuous remote monitoring, diagnostics and firmware updates to our e-STUDIO multifunction products to proactively and more effectively serve end users.

Aside from allowing for faster response times to streamline the everyday operation of customer print fleets, our cloud service platform reduces the administrative time and service calls of our dealers. By providing real-time technical alerts, proactive troubleshooting and more secure performance, we have already detected that our customer downtime has become significantly minimized via cloud computing.

Though we may disagree with our friends at Gartner a bit surrounding the fact that cloud computing is an upcoming trend rather than an established technology, we do concur that cloud computing is a significant advancement to make our lives at the office easier.