Here’s everything you should know before moving your business to the cloud.
Ah, the cloud. You’ve heard it touted as the biggest IT innovation since the app, streaming and virtual reality goggles combined. Yes, it’s full of potential. Yes, it has plenty of pitfalls. No, you are not late to the party.
Cloud technology is, in many respects, in its infancy. Small-to-medium-sized businesses like yours are just discovering how the cloud can boost efficiency and security. They’re also learning that local hardware still has value.
The cloud is an internet-based way of computing, sharing, storing and protecting data. Everything is done online, so the work hub no longer revolves around hard drives and in-house servers. Even if your IT infrastructure is 99% local, using Microsoft 365, One Drive, Google Docs or Dropbox means you’ve already partially moved your business to the cloud.
Everyone likes a good story, so let’s start with a dream scenario: Every morning your company’s sales team hits the road armed with a mobile arsenal of phones, tablets, and laptops. No longer tethered to the office, they’re free to focus on cultivating leads and delivering exceptional service to existing clients. They quickly become your company’s most effective CRM tool. Instead of logging hundreds of time-sucking miles a day between the office and appointments, they efficiently use public hotspots and Wi-Fi to upload orders, send RFPs and share sales reports. Your CFO is beaming. “More face time and remote work are sending productivity and orders through the roof!” he tells you. “The supply chain is humming. Revenues are way up. Clients are 100% satisfied. We are unstoppable.”
Sweet dream, right? Now let’s wake up to the ugly downside of unplugging. Sharing data over public networks leaves your company more vulnerable than ever to hacks, thefts, and breaches. Just one compromised email can leak proprietary information or reveal clients to competitors. One device enrolled in MS Exchange can experience a total wipe of all personal and business data.
In our digitally dependent world, a blackout of any duration can damage profits and client confidence. Yet 70% of companies, both with internal IT departments and those using hosted IT vendors, take a patchwork approach to managing their infrastructure. These businesses receive lackluster IT support at best, waiting for problems to occur and then scrambling to deal with the fallout.
Without constant monitoring, your servers – and your company – are vulnerable to everything from business interruptions to data breaches. It’s ineffective and costly. Your faulty IT support system distracts you from your goals for growth.
In our younger days, we loved pretending to be firefighters.
Running a tech-dependent business can feel like the game never ended. We’re always rushing to put out the latest fire, only to see another one spring up somewhere else in the system. It’s exhausting, expensive, and inefficient.
A fully managed IT provider, like Advance, can take you out of firefighting mode so you can focus on growing your business.
Transitioning to our fully Managed IT Services frees you and your team from the time and responsibility required to run your company’s IT. We handle everything – from daily back-ups, to trouble-shooting and repairs, to strategic planning and upgrades. We continually monitor and capture utilization data, so you can make better-informed decisions earlier. We anticipate problems before they arise and address them before they threaten your business. And we can make sure that your infrastructure is right-sized now and poised to grow with you. Read more »
Cyber Monday is a wonderful thing – instead of fighting through the masses on Black Friday, those of us who value our sanity choose to purchase our holiday gifts at discounted prices from the privacy (and safety) of the Internet.
So, what is the issue, one may ask, with this apocryphal holiday? If you’re a business leader, the answer is right in the name: Cyber Monday. This is the one day a year that your employees choose to throw caution to the wind and purchase their kid some roller blades at half price- on your time and devices.
You know that this use of your company network is risky. But what exactly is it that you should be looking out for, and how can you protect yourself, your employees, and your business on this dangerous day?
Over the past decade, we have seen mobile device usage continue to grow, both for personal and business use. In 2014 we rounded out the year with a massive 1.2 billion devices sold, up over 28% from 2013. With statistics like that, it has become clear that mobile is here to stay and the way of the future. Because of this, it’s time to start thinking about scalability and “mobile first” or “cloud first” before adopting new technology.
You may be wondering if the recent OpenSSL “Heartbleed” security vulnerability affects you. The answer is yes, it affects everyone regardless if you are an Advance customer or not. Many of the websites you visit on a daily basis use OpenSSL to secure communications. This includes sites that require usernames and passwords to access those resources, such as email, IM and VPNs. Read more »
Earlier this month, Ricoh released an amped up version of Neusoft’s Smart Device Print app in the App Store and Google Play—Smart Device Print & Scan. The app comes with all the bells and whistles of its predecessor (the ability to print wirelessly from a mobile device) with the added feature of scanning from Ricoh’s latest multifunctional series direct to your smartphone or tablet. The best part—it’s still FREE! Read more »
Mobile printing is changing and evolving daily – it just keeps getting better and easier to print from your iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and many other mobile devices. Check out the latest in the mobile printing software world from Savin/Ricoh, Canon and KIP.
Mobile printing has really taken off within the past year or so and now the market is flooded with various options. As a consumer it can be challenging to make the software comparison and choose the right option for your company. Advance has taken away most of the guesswork and offer many solutions to help with your mobile integration. Read more »
Meet the Experts
Jeff has been with Advance for over 25 years and currently serves as the President with focus on the technological advancements being made in the industry. Read Jeff's posts »
Kevin is our Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) and has been with Advance since 2006. Read Kevin's posts »
Scott is the resident expert for all of the hardware and technology we offer at Advance. Read Scott's posts »