Steps to Follow When Migrating to the Cloud

Many small to medium sized businesses are migrating to the Cloud – backups, better security, regulations, security, and the Cloud ensures that your company is always up to date without having to continually invest more time and money. So, how can your business make the leap? Here are 3 steps to get you started with your migration to the Cloud: Start With Hosted Email An easy first step is to move your company email to a hosted email solution. Cloud email solutions may include a number of additional services for spam protection, antivirus protection, email archive and more.  When you move your email, first consider how many mailboxes are in use? Can you consolidate or eliminate email inboxes? This is a good time to consider how you can reduce costs and improve security and performance. When moving email to the Cloud, consider starting with just the last six months worth of emails, then move older data over time. Move Data and Files to Cloud Storage Moving your files is a logical next step to getting your business to the Cloud. Consider what data you need to migrate to the Cloud. Now is the perfect time to clean up customer data and archive historical information, such as office documents, financial history and email archives. Planning out your migration carefully will save you time and cloud storage costs in the long run. Move Servers that Support Legacy Applications Consider how you will move servers that support line of business and other legacy applications. Unfortunately, not all legacy applications can live in the Cloud. But, many legacy applications can leverage at least...

It’s Time to Take Cloud Security Seriously

While cloud security concerns are top of mind with many business owners, the benefits of the cloud far outweigh the risks. Nevertheless, as companies deploy cloud computing, taking cloud security seriously will ensure a smooth transition to the cloud. Top Cloud Security Concerns If you are moving your business to the cloud it is important to understand and address your security needs. For many companies, the top concerns of cloud security are cloud service provider’s encryption policies, business continuity and disaster recovery capability, data protection and data integrity. There are a number of other critical concerns, such as the physical security, identity and access management, and regulatory compliance. How to Protect your Data in the Cloud Create Strong Passwords An important step you can take to protect your data in the cloud is to create a policy for passwords within your organization. By requiring a string of text combining numbers, letters (both uppercase and lowercase), and special characters your employees will avoid common passwords that are easily hacked. Also, ensure that your company policy requires changes to passwords regularly and asks employees to use unique passwords when accessing the cloud from their desktops. Network Compliance In addition to creating strong passwords, it’s important for your company to keep your network in compliance. Your network is secure as its/ weakest point of access.  Ensure desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones are maintained with the latest operating system patches and are protected by up to date antivirus and antimalware definition updates. End User Training on Security Employees with a clear understanding of security policy and related risks will help keep your data...

Bright Outlook for Cloud Computing

According to CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2014, cloud computing is even more on the rise since last year. As Generation Y (20-34 years old) infiltrates the work force and members of the Baby Boomer generation reach retirement age, there have been noticeable changes to how technology is used in the workplace. With this shift comes an inevitable increase in cloud computing: “Companies are relying on cloud computing for business processes such as storage (59%), business continuity/disaster recovery (48%), and security (44%)” (CompTIA: IT Industry Outlook 2014). The three models for cloud systems – Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – have all steadily increased year after year, especially among medium-sized businesses. All data points suggest cloud computing is a popular option for business of any size. Are you up to speed on adopting the cloud into your business? How to Leverage Cloud Computing These three main cloud solutions – Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – can leverage your IT business substantially. SaaS provides a way to deliver software and technical services that would otherwise be very costly. Most small businesses can adopt cloud computing into their company only using SaaS services. PaaS allows businesses to create custom apps, databases, and other business services all integrated into one platform. IaaS allows businesses to purchase infrastructure from providers as virtual resources. Which model best fits your business? Advantage of Cloud Computing There are multiple advantages to adopting cloud computing into your IT business, the biggest benefit being the ability to...

Tablet Computers to Outsell PCs in 2015 – What You Need to Know

Tablet Computers are set to outsell PCs in 2015, according to a recent report. According to industry analysts Gartner Group, world wide tablet computer shipments will climb to nearly 321 million units next year.  Meanwhile, Gartner predicts PC shipments will fall to 262 million units in 2015, putting Tablet Computers on track to lead the transition from traditional computing to mobile and cloud technologies. Here are some key points you should consider about this trend. Tablets Computers Provide Cross Platform Support for Cloud Applications Many cloud applications support not only traditional PCs, desktops, and laptops, but also tablet computers, smart phones, and other mobile devices. Tablets allow your employees to work anywhere and in a variety of environments. Because tablet computers take up less space and are WiFi enabled, employees at counters, in the field, on factory and retail floors, in the healthcare sector, or on constructions sites. Other Benefits of Tablet Computers The latest tablet computers are outfitted with a variety of features that are native to the device. They have the ability to take pictures and track location information. They also have touch screen and pen based interface.  Case workers in the field can easily capture images, take notes, and tag locations to case files. Retail workers can look up inventory, architects can have access to drawings, and lawyers can access case files.  The possibilities are limitless with a well designed application. Using Tablet Computers in the Workplace It is important to consider wireless access, network security, and mobile device policy and management when you deploy tablet computers in your business. Limited wireless network access may leave...

Is Your Network Ready for Cloud Computing?

Cloud-based based computing adoption is increasing among many businesses.  According to the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Annual trends in Cloud Computing study, 60% of business owners reported having 30% or more of their IT Systems in the cloud.  Additionally, research firm IDC predicts cloud-computing solutions to total $24 billion by 2016. Why Cloud Computing? CompTIA research reports that of those businesses adopting cloud technology, 49% have experienced the ability to cut costs. Popular uses of cloud-based applications include business productivity, cloud-based email, virtual desktop, HR management, and financial management. Taking Advantage of Cloud Computing Cloud Computing Why Now? Cloud Computing Growth and adoption is driven by a number of trends in IT, including affordable broadband, Internet, virtualization, and mobile computing.  Businesses find it easier than ever to reliably and securely connect to cloud-based infrastructure.  Cloud providers use virtualization to share computing resources, which helps keep costs down and aids in migration and upgrade of hardware platforms.  Mobile users expect cross-platform connection of smart phones and tablet computers to corporate applications and their data.  These factors combined add to the appeal of cloud computing Cloud computing Deployment Scenarios Most cloud-computing deployments use public-cloud, private-cloud and/or hybrid-cloud platforms.  Selecting the right cloud architecture depends on a number of factors, including industry and regulatory compliance requirements, integration with legacy applications, security, and other considerations.  It is equally important to consider your network reliability and availability to ensure a smooth of cloud computing. Most industry analysts agree that cloud computing is here to stay.  Cloud computing is becoming an increasingly important component of IT infrastructure, and companies adopting cloud computing are deriving...
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