The business world is more competitive than ever. Cloud computing is one valuable way to stay ahead of the competition. So, what is cloud computing? Cloud computing is when your business’s data is stored on the cloud instead of on a physical storage device in your building. It offers companies a number of potential advantages including competitive costs, enhanced security, data redundancy, and workplace flexibility. This may sound complicated but, with the right Managed IT company, it can be a seamless transition. Let’s take a look at these advantages in detail: Read more
As Internet speeds get faster and data storage gets smaller and cheaper, storage in the cloud is opening new doors for small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). However, the number of doors available to your SMB depends on how you utilize this technology. It’s clearly more than a trend, so how can your SMB get the most out of cloud storage?
Understand Your Purpose — Having a clear picture of your goals will help guide your cloud strategy.
● Sync and Share — If your goal is to connect people, the cloud is the perfect setting. File sharing and collaboration is a common offering, enabling users to add comments and edit a document simultaneously. User access is provided through a web portal or mobile application, with selective syncing for designated files and devices.
● Backup — Turn to the cloud to protect, retain, and eventually restore your data. Note that in a sync-and-share environment, a user could inadvertently delete important files, so a distinct solution is needed for backup—one that preserves files separately from their everyday usage.
● Archive — Cloud storage can be a good solution when saving documents for regulatory compliance or historical reference. It can also work as a form of content distribution, for example, a library of images, logos, and other media.
Watch Your Costs — Cloud storage has tremendous scalability and low cost per unit of storage. However, be sure to keep an eye out for hidden costs, such as fees for data transfers, metadata functions, and bandwidth.
Look for Administrative Controls — Make sure you have administrative control and visibility of your cloud storage. Controls may include monitoring usage, setting user permissions, controlling file sharing, transferring files, and even remotely wiping devices. Protecting your data is particularly important during employee turnover or when sharing with external partners.
Be BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)-Friendly — For employees to use cloud storage, it has to be convenient and accessible. Usually this is achieved through apps on personal mobile devices or via the web on a laptop. Look for strong security features paired with maximum flexibility for users.
Cloud storage is an exciting and cost-effective opportunity for businesses to become more agile, improve collaboration, and manage large volumes of data. To get the most out of your cloud storage, know your goals, watch your costs, demand robust administrative controls, and be device-agnostic. For help developing your cloud storage strategy, contact Infomax Office Systems today.
There has been a lot of talk about businesses “moving to the cloud” over the past several years. With so many continual advances in cloud technology, more businesses are past “talking” about the use of the cloud; businesses are now “taking action.” In fact, 74% of Tech CFOs say cloud computing will have the most measurable impact on their business in 2017.
Implementing a cloud strategy allows businesses to move forward with new ways to successfully conduct business. It’s important to develop a cloud strategy that will achieve the goals set out for your business. It’s also helpful to get a quick overview of some “cloud basics,” and exactly what this technology is capable of doing.
Making the switch to digital
If your business is in the process of (or at least considering) digitizing its documents, cloud technology should be a part of your paperless solution. Converting your documents into a digital format and storing them on the cloud allows authorized users to access documents with speed and efficiency. Most importantly, a cloud strategy keeps your employees easily connected, especially those who are remote or constantly on the go. Check out some more ideas here on digital workflows and other document management solutions.
Secure your assets
The information you pass along inside and outside of your business on a daily basis is a valuable asset. When developing a cloud strategy, it’s important to focus on security. There are numerous security settings involved with the setup of cloud technology. For example, you can store data privately in different areas of the cloud for authorized use only. There are also backup and recovery options that you can customize to keep your information safe and secure.
When implementing a cloud solution, it’s important to consider how it will work with other applications currently operating at your business. You likely have multiple vendors for different applications. Prepackaged integrations can help create a consistent experience for the end user, allowing multiple applications to work together seamlessly across different delivery models (mobile, cloud, and on-premise).
Setting up a cloud solution that works best for your company requires collaboration between your business leaders and a team of IT professionals who can execute your vision. For more information on developing a cloud strategy for your business, contact the experts at Infomax Office Systems today.
Cloud computing continues to experience an explosion in growth, with more and more businesses looking to the cloud to house their data and applications. In fact, the Cisco Global Cloud Index (GCI) predicts that by 2020, 83 percent of all data will be based in the cloud. With such an explosion in its utilization, moving to the cloud has to be a smart decision for your organization, right? Not so fast. While the cloud is wildly popular and an asset for many companies, like anything else, it has both its pros and its cons. In this blog post we will go over some of them to help you decide whether the cloud is right for you.
Reduced Support and Hardware Needs. When you rely on the cloud to house your data and business-critical applications, you’re no longer obligated to maintain your own data center. The risks and burdens of maintaining your IT infrastructure shift to your external partner, so you’ll require a smaller IT staff, not have to invest in hardware such as servers, and not need to upgrade or replace computers as frequently.
Improved Accessibility. Cloud-based applications and data are accessible from practically anywhere via an Internet-connected device. Your software, platforms, and data are no longer tied to your physical network, meaning it can be accessed from any place, at any time.
Better Prepared for a Disaster. Cloud storage makes your data more disaster resistant. A copy of your cloned data is always kept to prevent data loss in the event of a worst-case scenario.
Potential Security Risks. While cloud security issues are exaggerated, nothing connected to the Internet is 100 percent secure. It’s essential that you weigh all risk scenarios before hosting your sensitive information with an external provider.
Increased Reliability on the Internet. When you are dependent on the Internet to access your data and applications, a good Internet connection is essential. Problems with Internet access, connection speed, or bandwidth will give you nightmares.
Greater Costs. Despite no longer requiring your own data center, cloud computing can be pricey. Especially if your cloud solution needs to be customized to meet your specific needs.
Despite its growing popularity, cloud computing is not the ideal solution for every organization. It’s important to weigh its pros and cons in respect to your unique situation to help you make an educated decision. Contact Infomax Office Systems to schedule a free IT assessment for your company to help you weigh your options.
Simplify the Cloud with Managed Services
Transitioning to cloud-based software services can be a smart move for your company, but your “go-live” date is just the beginning. Going forward there will be updates, maintenance, training, integration, troubleshooting, and more. If you prefer to keep your head in the game rather than in the cloud, consider simplifying your life with a move to managed services.
The Cloud is Thriving
Technological change today is happening at a blistering pace, which is one of the reasons the cloud and SaaS are appealing to so many businesses—when software is a service instead of an asset, it can continually evolved by being updated, upgraded, and adjusted. Moreover, using cloud-based services offers a balance of business unit independence and organization-wide compatibility.
Keeping Up Can Be Costly
Cloud software uniquely empowers small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to be proactive rather than reactive, but the costs of thorough monitoring, analytics, maintenance, and staff training can add up. That’s assuming you can find (and pay) an IT staffer who can meet your needs.
Why Managed Services?
Just like printing, payroll, and other services, outsourcing the management of your cloud-based services can be a cost-effective way to stay ahead of the competition. Here’s why:
● Performance — Working with a managed services provider means having access to specialists with expertise in the cloud. Dedicated cloud technology managers can handle all the aspects for you, from end-to-end monitoring, reports, and data analytics to training, customization, and proactive guidance. Your regular IT staff can focus their energies on your core business, developing solutions that add value to your company.
● Cost — Managed services expenditures are predictable and can be lower than when those same services are managed by an in-house staff. You’ll also get more value for your IT dollar, with increased efficiency in the support, maintenance, and growth of your IT infrastructure.
The cloud is opening up new possibilities and efficiencies for SMBs, but those capabilities are wasted if you can’t keep up with them. Contact Infomax Office Systems today to learn more about managed services that can help your company thrive.
The rise of cloud computing has been a boon for American businesses: communication and collaboration are now easier than ever, and productivity is soaring—especially outside of the office. We’ve put together a list of a few ways cloud technology can help keep your remote employees productive and engaged.
Ensure communication — With cloud-based services, there’s no reason to feel disconnected from your off-site employees because communication is easily facilitated via the cloud. Whether for one-on-one conversations or team meetings, video conferencing technology such as Skype and Google Hangouts enable everyone to see their colleagues during a call. Services like Join.me, Adobe Connect, and GoToMeeting make screen-sharing presentations possible. Meanwhile, ongoing conversations can run in a private Slack channel, which also significantly reduces email clutter.
Facilitate collaboration — Working together through the cloud can manifest itself in dozens of ways, from full-fledged project management suites (Basecamp, Asana, CentralDesktop) to document sharing (Google Docs/Drive, Dropbox) and other services (Trello and Evernote). Thanks to version control and detailed activity histories, everyone has access to the latest—and the same—information. Messy email chains and file attachments have been eliminated by centralized tools.
Outsource infrastructure headaches — Infrastructure technicalities can distract a company from its core purpose. Whether managing workspaces or maintaining servers, cloud-based services reduce your admin and housekeeping needs by providing unparalleled scalability, redundancy, and support.
Optimize your mobile workforce — Unlike the haphazard collection of software and devices that used to plague IT departments, strategic technology services can streamline your mobile device fleet, coordinate services, and improve security business-wide. Working with a mobile technology solution simplifies device management and reduces costs for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Manage security and safety risks — Cloud-based services are uniquely positioned to keep your data secure. Firewalls, filters, and access controls limit the encroachment of security threats, while backup systems mean that your files are safe—even in the event of human error, hardware failure, or ransomware.
These days, having your head in the cloud can be a good thing. Your business can take advantage of countless communication and collaboration tools, let specialized service providers handle the headaches of infrastructure management, optimize your mobile workforce, and manage technology-related risk. If you’d like to take advantage of all the cloud has to offer, Infomax iGuard can help with security and device management. Contact us today for more information!
Life does not always slow down so you can run in to the office whenever you need to get some work done. In fact, oftentimes, you find yourself out of the office for extended periods of time, or even for a few days out of each month. During these times, you need more just remote access to your email. You need complete access to your business documents, work programs, and everything in between. And that’s exactly what you’ll get with the vast power of cloud IT services, which allow your office to be anywhere there is an Internet-linked computer.
Here are some benefits to cloud managed IT.
- Whenever/Wherever: Day or night, rain or shine, cloud IT services allow you to keep your business running at all times. Because all of your information, including documents, applications, and systems, are stored in the cloud, you can access them at any time, any day, year-round.
- Security: Users can login securely from anywhere. This means that your information stays secure as they access it, and it stays secure in the cloud. Furthermore, cloud IT services are regularly managed to keep everything as secure as possible.
- Backups and Recovery: Rest easy that your information is safe from unforeseen circumstances. Cloud IT services are routinely backed up, so that your information is secure in multiple places. This way, your workflow processes are never interrupted in emergency situations.
- Efficiency: With cloud IT services, those pesky problems of the past are no longer a hassle. With automatically regulated, secured, and upgraded cloud services, you can get back to work immediately, even if that work is from your living room—maximizing efficiency and reducing down time.
- Continuity: Cloud IT services ensure business continuity. Your business will never skip a beat as you move forward, because you and your workers will have access to real-time information at all times.
If you want to move into the future with cloud IT services, let Infomax help guide the way.