Tag Archive: Cloud

  1. Are You Going Digital?

    Leave a Comment

    If you’re running a small to medium-sized business and you’re not taking advantage of all that today’s technology has to offer, you’re at risk of losing out to your competition. Modern business is technology-driven, not because that’s a trendy way to operate, but because without it, you’re unable to function at the level needed to compete. Today’s tools of the trade aren’t papers, pencils, and folders—they’re cloud databases, document management, and smartphones.

    Here’s why you should be implementing better technology in your business today.

    The Technological Reality of Modern Business

    Every dollar, minute, and employee counts when you’re running an SMB. There’s no time or resource you can throw around and waste because unlike larger corporations you’re running on razor-thin margins and a whole lot of hard work. Here’s why you should be taking a good look at your technology.

    • Your employees expect it: If you’re hiring millennials—which, because they’re becoming a majority of the workforce you likely are—you already know that they come in a package with their mobile devices. Statistics show that over 85 percent of millennials own and use a smartphone or tablet, and they’re most productive when they can use these tools to get work done. Make sure you’ve implemented mobile printing and mobile-friendly technology policies.
    • You need better security: It may seem more secure to stay “off the grid” and eschew today’s technologies, but the opposite is true. Your outdated devices and document storage are probably making your business much more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
    • You need accuracy: When processes are manual and outdated, they’re prone to error. Automated and digitally augmented processes are much more accurate, and that’s what you need to run a successful company.

    For more information about our digital solutions, contact us today.

  2. Are You Keeping Your Documents Secure on the Cloud?

    Leave a Comment

    Many businesses are turning to the cloud to maximize productivity and take advantage of today’s technologies. But if you’re using the cloud today, you could be jeopardizing your company’s data security without realizing it if you’re falling prey to some of these common mistakes. Read on to learn if you’re using the cloud in a way that could make your business more vulnerable.

    Are You Compromising Your Security?

    The cloud is just like a storage company—you can rent a unit from a provider, and they’ll hand over the keys and say, “Good luck.” In this analogy, it becomes apparent that there are security needs that your provider will handle and some that you will be responsible for. Sure, your provider will make sure there are surveillance cameras and a locking gate to the compound, but if you leave your unit unlocked, you’re responsible for a loss.

    A cloud-based document management system works in a similar way. Although your services provider will give you some level of security, you and your employees need to stay vigilant. Here are some of the common security mistakes that companies make—and how to avoid them.

    1. Complacency: IT experts are well aware that the number one reason employees end up causing security problems is complacency. It may seem like your company would be the last to be hacked, but it can (and does) happen to anyone, particularly because personal data is so valuable. Don’t ignore update reminders or use weak passwords. Don’t let your technology get too outdated to be secure. Don’t become complacent.
    2. Lack of information: Many companies simply don’t have the knowledge they need to keep their cloud data safe. Make sure you understand how to use your service and that you’re asking the experts when you’re unsure.
    3. Document transfer carelessness: Sure, your document is safe in their electronic “home,” but what about when they’re in transit? Be aware of your network security, email security, and other factors when you’re sharing documents from your document management system.

    For more information about the cloud and document management, contact us today.

  3. Cloud Security: What to Ask Your Service Provider

    Leave a Comment

    There are a whole host of questions you should ask before you sign a managed services contract, especially if you’re concerned about security. When it comes to cloud security, you have every reason to be nosy: it’s vital that you protect your business data and ensure that your information will be adequately handled. When it comes to cloud compliance, it’s crucial that firms in financial services, healthcare, retail, and government choose a service that provides the utmost attention to security.

    In today’s business world, security threats are a constant concern. With data breaches in the news every week, it would be foolish to assume that your business is immune no matter its size. Take precautions on every level, especially your cloud services.

    What to Ask Before Signing a Contract

    If you’re considering a managed services contract for cloud hosting, make sure that you know what questions to ask. Work with your IT staff to come up with a list of questions that will help you decide whether a potential service provider meets your unique business needs.

    1. What information do you store?
    2. Where is your onsite physical storage?
    3. Who has access to your storage?
    4. How do you prevent unauthorized access?
    5. What levels of access are there?
    6. Have you helped customers through compliance audits? How many?
    7. What kind of compliance support do you offer in your service level agreement?

    These questions will get the conversation going for you to determine what level of security a provider is offering. Of course, every company and every industry has different security and compliance needs, so it’s important that you decide ahead of time on your non-negotiable requirements. To learn more about keeping your business secure, contact us today.

  4. What Can Cloud Service Do For You?

    Leave a Comment

    Everyone’s talking about how cloud services can benefit businesses these days, but there are still plenty of company executives who are fuzzy on how this ubiquitous trend can help the bottom line. You may still have some questions about the cloud and how it would change your day-to-day operations: questions like, “How does cloud management work?” “Why is cloud management necessary?” “How will my company benefit?”

    We’ll try to tackle those questions in this blog post.

    What to Expect: Cloud Services

    The simple way to define cloud management is the off-site storage of your computer programs, software, management tools, and sometimes documents or files electronically. Cloud services provide you with easy access to tools you use every day, no matter where you are in the world. Many companies use cloud management as a way to back up their business-critical programs such as email hosting, monitoring, and system back-ups in case of an emergency.

    Cloud services are popular for companies looking to:

    • Enhance security: With better back-ups and networking monitoring, cloud services and IT services can make your company more secure.
    • Support remote workers: These days, all you need is an internet connection to get some work done. With cloud management, employees can have access to the right documents, programs, and tools, no matter where they’re working from. This kind of productivity increase goes a long way in today’s global business world.
    • Promote growth: If your company is in a period of growth, cloud management is perfect for you. Cloud services are highly adaptable and scalable, ready to meet the demands of your business even as they change and expand.

    If you’re interested in learning more about cloud services and managed IT services, contact us today for a free assessment and more information.

  5. Two Steps to Secure Documents

    Leave a Comment

    In today’s business world, it’s nearly impossible to operate a company without relying on information networks. The internet has become an integral part of how companies communicate internally and with customers, and without your network, your production comes to a screeching halt.

    And yet, too many companies leave their systems vulnerable to ever-increasing attacks from sophisticated hackers. In 2015, Statistics reported that the financial burden of cyber attacks on businesses was related to the disruption of day-to-day operations and information loss. Data breaches and hacks are in the news regularly, and with large firms such as Target and Sony in the crosshairs, how can you be sure you’re not next?

    Are Your Documents Vulnerable?

    Whether you use the cloud or a shared drive to share and access files, your documents could be at risk. Unsurprisingly, unsuspecting employees often facilitate data loss and hacking through insecure habits that create “doors” into your company. Here are the two crucial steps you need to take to keep your documents secure.

    1. Implement smart policies: Your employees won’t do what they don’t know they should do. Train employees on the basics of keeping information safe in the internet age, including how to identify phishing and scams, password safety, secure sharing, and email smarts. These simple tools could be the difference between a data hack and security for your company.
    2. Use managed IT services: Managed IT services can keep your entire network secure with routine monitoring and up-to-date firewall configurations and OS patches. More companies than ever are turning to managed IT services to meet the challenges of modern data security. Managed IT can ensure your business’s data security, and ultimately, your success.

    If you’re interested in learning more about how document management can help your company keep information secure, contact us today.

  6. Is Your Cloud Migration Secure?

    Leave a Comment

    Businesses are migrating en masse to the cloud these days, and the transition comes with some significant benefits. Some companies are achieving that mystical goal of one “single source of truth”—in other words, a single warehouse for every piece of data that was previously scattered across your company’s discreet devices, laptops, and hard drives. Who doesn’t want reliable access to information from one easy-to-use platform? Enterprises are even using the big data technology capabilities of the cloud to their advantage, using Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services to manage big data. It’s a win-win-win.

    But some companies are missing a critical component of this migration to the cloud. When you move your information to the cloud, it’s vital that you upgrade and standardize your security practices. Here’s why.

    Take the Data, Leave the Bad Security

    Too often, data security is an afterthought in the cloud integration process. Your move to the cloud should be safe from start to finish, and you should leave any bad security practices behind you. Here are some areas of security you should be considering.

    • Encryption: Is your data encrypted? Perhaps more pertinently, is it encrypted at rest and in-flight? In other words, it’s not enough to have data encryption for your stored files; they also have to be encrypted during movement from place to place.
    • Appropriate permissions: Be sure that your new cloud storage has appropriate internal security. For instance, you should be able to ensure that your sales team doesn’t have access to your HR department’s records. Remember: security breaches aren’t only from the outside.
    • Use secure login procedures: Make sure that you’re using identities and strong passwords to access your cloud database.

    If your data isn’t up to par, your cloud migration is the perfect time to standardize and upgrade your security. For more information about network security, contact us today.

  7. How the Cloud Benefits Students

    Leave a Comment

    Education is expensive, amen? There is not a student out there (who paid for college themselves) who would not agree. It is easy to get stuck in a loop of discouragement thinking about the expense of education. You will go to school for years, being unable to make much money or save much during that time, to get out of school and start paying off debt, hopefully, in the field you just studied for over several years. It can be daunting. But encouragement can come in the little things that add up to help your education cost less. Heard of the Cloud? We often use it, but may not understand it. Quite simply, the Cloud is a group of computers that are storing your information in another location. (Not as magical as you imagined, huh?) Even though the Cloud is not as mystical as it sounds, it is quite magical in its own way. We’ll explain.

    The Cloud Benefits Students

    As a student, it is often difficult to find ways to save. You pay for tuition, living expenses, books, equipment, and much more just to stay afloat. This is where the Cloud is starting to change education and benefits students. Many teachers (bless them) have started to use online class aids, sometimes even textbooks. Ebooks tend to be cheaper and sometimes even free! Another benefit to using an online book is the use of the Cloud. Because your information is being stored in the Cloud, you can access it from your phone, tablet, home computer, work computer; you name it. The Cloud is taking the education field by storm (get it?), and students are enjoying the benefits.

    Being in The Know

    On the university side of things, the Cloud is providing new, updated information in a flash. Teachers have access to better information without waiting for the edition addition of the new textbook to know about a new theory about developmental psychology; that information is easy to access.

    The Cloud is doing wonderful things for the education system, as well as the business world. If you’d like to learn how you can benefit from the Cloud, just contact us!

  8. Considerations Before Moving to The Cloud

    Leave a Comment

    The Cloud. It is a major buzzword in the Internet technology world, and many businesses are taking advantage of this technology. First off, let us help you understand the simplicity of what seems so very ambiguous.

    The Cloud, even when Googled, a description such as “a visible mass of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere, typically high above the ground.” However, it simply comes down to this: the Cloud is a group of computers used to house information in a different, often unseen location. Some people are blown away when they realize just how simple and tangible the Cloud is, it is portrayed as something almost magical. Now, if you’re considering moving the bulk of your business information onto the Cloud, you will want to make some considerations first. Here are a few main things you’ll want to consider before making that switch over to the Cloud.

    • Your Needed Bandwidth – this is an easy first step to need. Bandwidth is the capacity of your Internet frequency to handle different tasks. If you know that you’ll be using large applications on multiple computers every day, you might need higher bandwidth to add in the Cloud.

    • Functionality – Will the specific applications that your businesses run off of work in the Cloud? You wouldn’t want to start getting set up only to realize that your project management systems crash when paired with your choice of Cloud.

    • Integration – it’s also important to make sure that all of your applications can either work in the Cloud or bridge the gap to communicate in and out of it.

    Now the question is, is the Cloud right for your business? It may be helpful to talk with a professional to find out. Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

  9. The Cloud: What is it?

    Leave a Comment

    The Cloud is talked about flippantly in conversation. It’s an incredibly common term to throw around, and something commonly used in your everyday life, but so few people actually understand what the Cloud is and what it means. Everyone loves the Cloud, the functionality and connection it gives to all of our devices. It’s awesome! But again, what is it?

    The Cloud

    What is this cloud, where is it, and what does it do? As ambiguous as the term “cloud” can be, it turns out to be pretty straightforward. The Cloud refers to a group of computers that reside “somewhere else.” They could be in another building nearby or across the globe, but their main function is to store data, run applications, provide computing power, etc. So in the end, the Cloud is a pretty simple, physical thing as opposed to the often thought of invisible network above our heads that hold information and stores our applications. Not quite.

    With that knowledge of the Cloud, it perhaps makes more sense why a company might need managed cloud services to help optimize space and keep their information safe. Once you understand something a bit better, it’s easier to take care of it well.

    The Internet

    Another form of cloud that you use daily is the Internet. You aren’t storing all of that information or capabilities on your phone; it’s all being kept in networks all over the world. Pretty fascinating to think about information flying across the globe from network to device.

    If your company is in need of cloud management services, or you’d simply like to understand the cloud a bit better, please feel free to contact us!