Disaster Recovery and Data Protection –Now More Than Ever

Recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, along with major earthquakes in Mexico, remind us how vulnerable we can be to disasters, and underscore the importance of data protection. As businesses depend on access to a range of systems–including call center, communications and collaboration application, customer management, and more–having a solid data protection plan can help you in a disaster recovery scenario. Now more than ever, a range of options exist to help maintain business continuity. Here are a few options to consider.   Review Your Data Protection Plan Key to your data protection plan is identification of mission-critical systems. The most important systems should be redundant, with the ability for failover in the event of a disaster. Your data centers and failover options should be geographically dispersed and on different network backbones. This can minimize downtime and get you back up and running sooner. Having your data backup available in Cloud Storage can help you recover other important files and application data if you lose access to your on-premise systems. SD-WAN for Business Continuity Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) can also provide you a highly reliable and redundant network. Having the ability to switch Wide Area Networks using SD-WAN as an alternative to more costly MPLS solutions can ensure connectivity during a natural disaster. What’s more, Software-Defined Wide Area Networking can save you money in the long run by giving you the flexibility of a multi-carrier solution. Software as a Service for Disaster Recovery More businesses are turning to the Cloud for a range of applications–hosted email, Voice over IP (VoIP), Call Center, and others–to keep communications flowing during a...

Technology Trends for 2017

It’s that time of year when many businesses are setting goals and budgets for next year. This is a good time to reflect on the impact technology can have on your business. While Cloud Computing adoption remains strong, companies will increase migration from Public to Private Cloud and even migrate back “on premise.” Cloud adoption, digital transformation and streaming media will increase the demand for bulletproof networking. New technologies including SD-WAN will hit mainstream in 2017 to improve network performance in support of business requirements. Cyber threats will continue to keep business owners up at night with increased intrusions from ransomware and unplanned downtime from DDoS attacks. Here are a few takeaways to consider for your 2017 plan. More Choices for Cloud Computing In a recent study by the Computing Technology Industry Association’s (CompTIA), 43% of those using Public Cloud are expected to migrate to another Public Cloud Provider. For example, companies using Hosted Exchange may find themselves adopting Office 365 or Google for Work to keep current on the latest version of these communications and collaborations applications. The CompTIA “Trends in Cloud Computing” research also revealed 21% of Cloud usage will move from Public Cloud to Private Clouds. This scenario is driven by the need for compliance with industry regulations, including HIPAA regulations for health care and SOX compliance for Financial Services, among other business requirements. Digital Transformation Will Emerge as Competitive Advantage for Business of All Sizes Businesses will adopt new strategies for reaching new customers and servicing existing customers in 2017. These new strategies will fuel the need for digital transformation. Reaching new buyers through digital...

Is Your Head in the Cloud?

Are you ready to embrace the benefits of the Cloud? Whether your company is ready to acquire new software-as-a-service (SaaS) capabilities or in need of infrastructure upgrades via infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Cloud has now reached new heights in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) world. According to current research by International Data Corporation (IDC), fifty percent of all companies are using at least one public SaaS offering, with a further 20% planning to implement such a service within the year. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and (IaaS) are less used today, but there is interest and growth in that direction. Top Reasons for Moving to the Cloud According to the same report by IDC, here are the top five reasons that your business should be moving to the Cloud: Get access to the newest functionality faster. Improve utilization. Reduce the cost of overall IT spending. Improve staff productivity. Give business units more direct control over sourcing IT solutions. Bottom Line On Cloud There is no denying that the Cloud is here to stay and all indications are that the sooner you start to incorporate it into your technology portfolio the better. The fact is your competitors are getting the message and there is competitive risk at stake. Because the hallmark of Cloud is flexibility and agility, it can be relatively low risk to try it out.  The ‘pay as you play’ Cloud subscription model means there is little financial investment to get started. This all adds up to low barrier to entry. There are many economic reasons for moving to the Cloud and there are also compelling practical considerations and strategic opportunities. So...

3 Things You Need to Know about Broadband Internet

Broadband Internet is all about speed and reliability. In a nutshell, “broadband” refers to a very fast  and persistent connection to the Internet. For business – Cloud computing, web conferencing and hosted voice solutions – having a broadband connection is essential. Here are 3 things you need to know about how broadband Internet that can improve your business: Broadband Internet is Fast  In business, time is money. Broadband indicates a high-speed Internet transmission, using 256 Kbps and above. Compared to dial-up, broadband is permanently connected to the Internet and boasts speeds up to 160 times faster.  Faster connection time means your cloud backups go quicker, VoIP connections are clearer, Software as a Service (SaaS) applications are snappier.  If you are considering running Cloud applications in your business Broadband Internet is a must have. Broadband Internet is More Affordable Than You Think There is a variety of Broadband Internet solutions to meet most budgets.  Broadband includes several high-speed transmission technologies such as: DSL, Cable Modem, Fiber, Ethernet over Copper, MPLS for wide area networking and more.  The bottom line is these solutions offer high speed data and voice transmission for the same or less than older Internet connectivity options.  Your company may  get better service levels with cost savings by selecting the solution that best meets your needs. With Broadband, Network Security is Important With Broadband Internet, your company is  permanently connected to the Internet, exposing your systems to potential risk of hacking and data breach. So, installing a firewall and keeping it up to date is essential for Broadband Internet deployments.  If you recently upgraded to a Broadband solution...

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...
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