Sick and tired of hearing me bleat on about my favourite apps and services? Sit back and read this guest post by James Adams who outlines his personal choices.

Cloud computing is the latest in the trend to minimize IT costs and increase productivity. Software from the cloud takes the burden of administration off of the local organization, relieving much of the demand for in-house expertise. Cloud based represents higher productivity for in-house and mobile workforces in the form of accessible and secure computing with more up time. Here are 12 cloud apps that will make your business more productive.

Basecamp

An online project management tool that runs through the cloud and provides team collaboration features. Everything you need to manage your projects is found in Basecamp, including file sharing, scheduling, task management and assignment, and feedback. Basecamp interacts with several iPhone apps, and third party computer-based tools to give you maximum accessibility and flexibility wherever you are. Packages available range from 15 projects to unlimited. A 30 day trial lets you see if Basecamp will fit the needs of your business before you buy.

Dropbox

A Web-based file sharing service that also provides secure file storage, synchronisation, and backup. Files can be accessed from anywhere and changes made to files by the team are automatically synced to user’s local computers. Supports Linux, Mac, and Windows. Dropbox offers 2GB of storage free so you can see how it works prior to purchasing.

Zoho

Zoho is a cloud-based office software suite, offering powerful document creation management tools for spreadsheets, word processing, invoicing, CRM, and more. You pay for only the apps you use.

Dimdim

Dimdim is Web conferencing software that resides in the cloud and offers a great medium in which you can interface with your mobile workers, customers, and vendors. Rather than having people travel to meetings, why not let everyone stay home, save the earth and attend the meeting online?

Pixlr

Pixlr is cloud-based image editing services. Three applications, Editor, Express, and Grabber combine to give users amazing power to create and edit images.

Github

Github is a social coding application that runs through the cloud to provide version control and collaborative software development. Several packages are available from the free open source plan to the Giga plan that includes 300 private repositories, private collaborators, and 60GB of storage. There is also an enterprise version of Github that companies can deploy on their own cloud platform.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is a financial management application that’s hosted in the cloud. This program offers “painless billing” that makes it easy to bill clients, track payments, and perform other bookkeeping. This app is specially designed for teams, freelance workers, and service providers.

Google Docs

A personal repository of documents that can be shared and updated as needed. Google Docs features revision tracking and allows users to save documents locally if necessary. This application is free.

Mojo Helpdesk

Mojo Helpdesk provides online customer relationship management (CRM), including request tracking, ticket assignment, email integration, and on demand help. Eleven users are supported for the $24 monthly fee, with an unlimited option available for $49.

Cloudmark Desktop

Cloudmark Desktop provides business with real time protection from email spam, phishing, and viruses without loading down the computers on your network.

Appointy

An online scheduling software that provides businesses with appointment and schedule management. The software can be configured to allow customers to make their own appointments and send out text and voice alerts for appointments. Appointy even has tools available to promote your business. Practically any business that schedules appointments over the telephone will appreciate the power Appointy offers to make businesses more efficient and productive.

Gliffy

Gliffy provides cloud-based charting and diagramming. This powerful app gives business access to the tools needed to create professional flow charts, floor plans, and technical drawings.

Cloud-based applications are perfect for managing business functions from any web browser so employees and managers can be productive wherever they are. With software management and administration performed by the host, businesses can focus on their mission rather than on IT related tasks. Try these applications out and see how powerful Web-based applications can transform your business.

This guest post was written by James Adams who is a blogger working for an online store offering toner next day for the UK. He is a contributor to their design blog where he posts about technology and design.