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Clearing Up Your Questions About the Cloud

Cloud continues to be a common buzzword. But, for many cloud is still a mystery. So, we’d like to help clear things up and answer your biggest cloud questions.

What is cloud?

Computing based on the Internet instead of running apps from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in your building.

How easy is it to use?

It’s simple—with a cloud app, simply open a browser, log in and start working.

How can I benefit from cloud computing?

  • Be productive anywhere
  • Improve security
  • Free up staff
  • Simplify disaster recovery
  • Lower total cost of ownership

Who is using cloud?

Almost everyone—According to RightScale, 93 percent of businesses are using cloud technology in some form or another. Another source, NSK Inc., states that 82 percent of companies say moving to cloud has saved them money.

Should I leverage cloud, too?

3 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing an MSP Partner

Small to medium-sized businesses in every market are turning to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for reliable technology services. From professional service organizations like accounting and law firms to hospitality and construction organizations, MSPs provide a broad range of business IT services. They help smaller enterprises regain control of their technology and finances by rolling services like security, data management and system monitoring into a flat-rate, monthly service plan.

The right MSP partner can improve your productivity and profitability—but selecting the best one for your organization can be a challenge, especially with the growing number of IT managed service providers. Here are three tips to keep in mind during your search for the perfect technology experts.

The Advantages of Managed Services vs. Break-Fix

Technology is the leading force that helps companies streamline their process, improve productivity and keep a competitive edge. But, what happens when you have hiccups or, even worse, a major outage? Your two main options are the break-fix approach and managed services. Understanding what happens when an issue occurs under each scenario will help you determine what is best for you, your team and your customers.

Break-Fix: A Reactive Approach

The Why Behind Managed Services

Organizations of all sizes rely on technology to operate efficiently and effectively, and as the reliance on IT grows, so does the need for extra support. But, your time and energy should be focused on growth and innovation, not worrying about whether your IT systems are working like they should. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the day-to-day responsibilities of managing your IT infrastructure, that’s why many businesses are choosing to work with a managed service provider.

What are managed services?

Managed services let you offload specific IT operations to a managed service provider (MSP), who assumes responsibility for making sure your technology runs like clockwork by delivering 24/7 monitoring, ongoing management and fast problem resolution . MSPs offer services such as alerts, security, data backup and recovery, storage systems, network solutions and more.

What drives SMBs towards managed services?

Top 3 Benefits of a Mobile Workforce

Today’s workforce is changing the concept of where and when work is done. The global mobile workforce is expected to grow to 1.87 billion in 2020. Maybe you’ve already mobilized some of your workforce or are just about to get your feet wet. Either way, you need to make sure you have the right tools to empower your team and ensure their success.

Here are three ways you can improve life—and results—for your on-the-go team:

Increase Productivity

Cisco found 3 out of 5 workers say they don’t need to be in the office to be productive.

By implementing Office 365, your team will have access to all the programs they already love including, Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Skype for Business, from anywhere, on any device, at any time.

Enhance Communication

3 Reasons the Co-Managed IT Model Might Be the Perfect Fit

Money—saving it and making it—drives almost every business decision regardless of your organization size. Cutting back on IT makes room in your budget, but ultimately results in more IT issues and subpar performance.

The challenge is finding the right balance of internal and external support. Full-scale in-house IT support is expensive but fully outsourced support isn’t always a viable solution either. If you already have a dedicated IT professional or team, you may be better suited to a co-managed model that closes your technology gaps without busting your budget or breaching your security needs.

Read on for three main advantages to co-managed IT:

2017 New Year’s IT Resolutions

The turn of a new year gives us an opportunity to reflect on the past and find opportunities for improvement. While many New Year’s resolutions are about bettering ourselves, we often forget that there’s also room for improvement at the office.

Here are a few IT resolutions that top our list:

Stop Accepting Poor Performance – At some point, your technology will fail—you may see it coming with unreliable computers, slow load times, and even downtime. The standard recommendation is to replace hardware after 3 to 4 years. Beyond the annoying dreaded blue screen and frustrations every time your computer restarts, you're losing thousands of dollars in productivity. The simple resolution—update your tech.

 

Cloud Computing Myths Debunked!

While the benefits of cloud seem pretty obvious, many organizations still have their doubts about transitioning to cloud. We’re debunking common cloud myths so you can have a clear idea of the benefits without clouding your judgement.

Security is Compromised in the Cloud

Some argue that local computers, networks and servers are better protected than cloud-based assets. But in reality, this isn’t true. Cloud data centers and networks are targeted because of the large number of records they hold. But cloud service providers can invest far more heavily in security than the average business can.

Cloud Isn’t Environmentally Friendly

Weighing the Costs—Break-Fix vs. MSP

The primary goal for many organizations is to keep costs down, and one of the first places they look to cut costs is the technology department. But choosing between a managed services model and break-fix IT model isn’t as straightforward as you may think. There are a few key questions you should ask yourself:

  • How much downtime can you experience before you’re out of business?
  • Can you afford to put off maintenance?
  • Are you willing to pay a monthly fee to prevent fiascos from happening?

Only you know what your budget can handle. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of both options so you can be well informed and find the right fit for your organization.

The Break -Fix Approach

Disaster Recovery Doesn’t Have to be Scary

According to a Nationwide Insurance survey, more than 75 percent of small businesses don’t have a disaster plan simply because it’s not a top priority. However, since January 2013, Nationwide has processed more than $417 million in catastrophe claims related to small businesses. Obviously, something needs to change so businesses don’t go unprotected.

It’s not so scary if you know what steps to take. If you want to backup your data and services and be able to recover them quickly, here are a few key things you need to know:

 

  • Where is your data stored and what services are involved?
  • Which data and services absolutely must be online first?
  • How long can you go without critical and noncritical data and services?
  • How much does downtime really cost you?

 

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