Should I Run my Business in the Cloud?

If you are still foggy about Cloud Technology, don’t feel too badly. According to a recent survey of one thousand adults by Wakefield Research over 50% of respondents believe that weather patterns have an impact on Cloud Computing! The reality is most of us are using the cloud whether we know it our not. Cloud Computing is a cost effect way for companies to have access to enterprise class infrastructure they may not be able to otherwise afford. The Cloud can lower capital expense for your business while helping you upgrade your IT Infrastructure. So What is Cloud Computing and How Can Cloud Computing Help my Business? Here are a Few Ways you May Benefit. Software as a Service Software as a Service (SaaS) is a popular cloud based model for getting access to enterprise applications. Instead of having dedicated software running on your company premise you can opt for a cloud based version of your software running across the Internet. In most cases the Cloud option has the same features and performance as the “on premise” counterpart. There are many applications available in the Cloud including Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Force Automation (SFA), Email and even Office Productivity Applications (e.g. Word, Excel, Powerpoint). Cloud Backup Cloud Backup or Remote Backup is another option for your business. Many companies rely on tape backup for their business. Cloud Backup provides an additional option for offsite backup and storage. Your application data, files and other important IT assets are stored across the internet using Cloud Backup. In many cases Cloud Backup Technology can back up as quickly as your local...

Getting More From Your IT in 2013

Getting More From Your IT in 2013 There are plenty of ways to get more from your IT budget in 2013. Mobility, remote support and cloud backup are a few technologies that will make your budget go farther. Let’s explore a few ways you can leverage these emerging trends to get more from your IT infrastructure. Mobility Mobility is a rapidly growing trend. Most analysts agree there will be as many shipments for mobile devices (e.g. smart phones and tablets) as there are for PC desktops, laptops and servers shipped in 2013. With more emphasis on mobility, companies need to address the security issues around lost or stolen devices. Mobile devices may have access to critical business applications or have corporate data resided on the smartphone or tablet. Companies may be subject to data leaks if these mobile assets are lost or stolen. If you have unintended disclosure of privacy information related to employees, customers or suppliers, you may be subject to fines due to breach of industry (e.g. PCI Compliance) or regulatory requirements (e.g. HIPPA). You may also lose goodwill with customers if you suffer a data loss. A data loss could also impact sales. By protecting these mobile devices with a proper mobility strategy, you can avoid the costs associated with a data leak. As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Remote Support Many companies have turned to remote support models to monitor and manage their network environment. By remotely monitoring and managing your network and related IT assets, your IT Service Provider may be able to fix your IT costs...

2013 IT Trends

2013 IT Trends There are a number of driving factors that will influence 2013 IT trends. These trends include Mobility, Cloud Computing, Disaster Recovery and IT Security. These 2013 IT trends will influence IT budgets and plans, while enabling companies to take advantage of mobile computing, enterprise infrastructure, software as a service (SaaS), social networks and more. Here are some predictions for 2013. Mobility A top  2013 IT Trend is Mobility.  Mobility and mobile device management go hand in hand. Most IT industry analysts agree market growth of smartphones and tablet computers will outpace PCs in 2013. The IT Industry research firm IDC is now projecting that 172.4 million tablets will ship in 2013. Mary Meeker, former internet analyst turned venture capitalist noted 24% of Black Friday shopping occurred on a smartphone or tablet in 2012. Microsoft also hopes to get a large share of the tablet PC market with its recent release of Microsoft Windows 8 RT Tablet. This trend in mobility will drive the greater need for Mobile Device Management and mobile security as more corporate data will reside on and be accessed by mobile devices than ever before. Cloud Computing Another 2013 IT Trend is Cloud Computing.  In 2012 many companies turned to the cloud to access enterprise class infrastructure, remote support, online backup and software as a service (SaaS) for critical applications, such as email, sales force automation (SFA) and customer relationship management (CRM). Expect additional growth in cloud adoption from managed security solutions for anti-virus and anti-malware protection, as well as other data protection services. IT research firm Gartner predicts by 2015 ten percent...

Upgrading to Windows 8?

Upgrading to Windows 8? Microsoft started shipping their newest version of their flagship product Windows 8. According to Microsoft , over 1,000 new devices have been designed to take advantage of Windows 8. But what about upgrading your existing computers from Windows 7 or even Windows XP. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you begin upgrading to Windows 8. Did I Backup my PC? Before you install Windows 8 you should verify that you have a recent and reliable backup of your application data and an image of your PC. These backups become vital if you need to reinstall your older operating system for any reason while upgrading to Windows 8. Is My PC Configuration Compatible with Windows 8? Systems requirements for Windows 8 are slightly higher than Windows 7. To upgrade to Windows 8 it is advised that you have a minimum configuration of 1 GHz or faster processor, 1GB (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit) of RAM, and a DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.  Keep in mind, these are the minimum requirements for upgrading to Windows 8. Are My Installed Applications Compatible with Windows 8 When a new operating system is released some application developers may be in catch up mode to ensure compatibility with the new O/S. While developers of your favorite software title are busy upgrading to Windows 8 you may experience performance issues and uncover some bugs. It is a good idea to test the software on a separate machine or install Windows 8 on a secondary hard drive for testing before you upgrade all of your...

IT Security Assesment

IT Security Assessment An IT Security Assessment is a great way to take an inventory of what your needs are in IT Security. Whether you must comply with regulatory requirements, including HIPAA and PCI, or are concerned about your IT Security, consider an IT Security Assessment as a starting point to see how your company is protected today. If you perform an IT Security Self Assessment, the Computer Technology Industry Association, CompTIA recommends you ask yourself some of the following questions: Data Types and Storage Do you store Private Health Information (e.g. HR records). If so, how many records? Do you store Personal Financial Information (e.g. SSN, date of birth, account Information, banking information). How many records? Do you store credit card data? How many records? What is the nature of your confidential intellectual property? Where do you do business – state, national, international? Where are backup devices (tapes, drives) stored? In a secured area? Company Information What is your tolerance for downtime (for the most critical applications)? Do you carry breach insurance? Do you carry liability insurance? Have you had a breach in the past three years? If so, what were the consequences? Security Processes Do you have written security policies and procedures? Do you perform internal audits? How often? Do you perform external audits? How often? Do you perform vulnerability checks? How often? Do you regularly review policies and procedures? Do you have an incident response plan? Do you have employees working from home? Do you have encrypted hard drives? Removable media? Do you control and log privileged access? Do you have a mobile device strategy? These...
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