Posts By: admin

Is Your Business Ready for a Power Outage?

business preparation for power loss

In the world of business, there are very few guarantees. One thing that can be absolutely assured, though, is that at some point the lights will go out. No matter how diligently you plan, at some point your business is going to lose power. Companies that are unprepared for this inevitability can be seriously hurt by a power outage in myriad ways that range from merely troublesome to potentially disastrous. The stakes are dire, but they’re also easily overcome if you’re willing to understand the risks and plan ahead. If you’ve yet to consider the costs of a power outage, here are some tips to keep you ahead of the curve and out of danger. The Potential Cost of a Company-Wide Outage Every year, hundreds of companies lose power for at least an hour or more. A study done for the Department of Energy indicated that power outages and blackouts… Read more »

What are Ransomeware Attacks and How Can You Avoid Them?

Any cyber security expert worth their title can tell you that malicious ransomware attacks are on the rise. To date, several government entities have been hit with ransomware, a particularly nasty attack that hackers can use to extort huge sums of money from their targets. In January of this year, for example, the St. Louis Public Library system was brought to a virtual standstill when more than 700 computers at 16 branches were rendered inoperable thanks to a ransomware attack that effectively halted checkout and computer services. Threats from ransomware are present at every level of society. From your personal information to your business’s trade secrets, the possibility that someone might be preying on your most sensitive data is solid. That’s why it’s important to understand how you can protect yourself from these hostile intrusions, so you don’t find yourself on the receiving end of a ransomware attack. What Is… Read more »

Costs and Benefits of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Workplaces

One of the newest trends in company management is BYOD, or bring your own device. This policy is becoming so popular among corporations that 74 percent of polled companies are either using BYOD or planning to make the switch in the near future. Some estimates put the BYOD industry at around $181 billion by the end of this year. If you’re running a company and you’re in need of a cost-effective, morale-improving technology strategy, then BYOD just might be the perfect solution. What Is BYOD? Essentially, BYOD means that a company allows its employees to either use their own computer or cell phone or buy something for the job. You’re going to be buying technology for your employees, anyway, right? Why not invest that money in a program that allows employees the freedom to work using the electronics they love? Of course, BYOD isn’t quite that simple. While there are… Read more »

Moving QuickBooks from Your Desktop to the Cloud

If you are using a desktop version of QuickBooks, then your accounting application is hosted and maintained on your computer or your local server. Desktop versions of QuickBooks are only accessible by you and your designated staff from a specific location, which is most likely your office. Moving QuickBooks to the cloud will allow you, your employees, and your accountant to remotely access your accounting application and its data from anywhere an internet connection is available. The Advantages of Moving Your Business’s QuickBooks to the Cloud How do you know if moving your QuickBooks data to the cloud is the right move for your business? Here are some of the advantages that cloud hosting has to offer: Your data will be more secure. The company that provides your cloud hosting service will be responsible for storing your data securely and redundantly. If your business experiences a power outage, natural disaster,… Read more »

How to Move Your Microsoft Office Documents to the Cloud

Moving data to the cloud is more common and easier than ever. Advances in cloud delivery tools and services are simplifying cloud conversion and hosting processes, and businesses of all sizes are choosing cloud computing to increase their productivity and reduce their IT expenses. For businesses that rely heavily on the use of the Microsoft Office Suite, moving their Microsoft Office documents to the cloud is a logical starting point in the cloud conversion process. Should You Move Your Microsoft Office Documents to the Cloud? Collaborating on Microsoft Office documents is a cumbersome process without cloud hosting. Sharing Office documents is often accomplished by emailing them back and forth, and when users are accessing the documents with different versions of the Microsoft Office applications, formatting inconsistencies can arise. Version variations aren’t the only complicating factors when sharing Office documents via email. Another challenge is keeping track of which Office document… Read more »

Innovating for Success: The Cloud Conversion of Fidelity Investments

With cyber attacks on the rise and data security regulations placing a greater burden on investment advisors, how can a wealth management firm affordably maintain the IT infrastructure and specialized staff necessary for survival? When the leaders of Fidelity Investments asked themselves that question, the answer was clear. They decided to outsource their IT function and convert to a cloud-based platform. A Cloud-Based Solution for Fidelity Investments Fidelity’s cloud-based virtual desktop solution offers its advisors remote access to the entire suite of Fidelity business tools and applications via desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone. The innovative platform also features centralized document storage in the cloud, which gives advisors the capability to access all of their documents and email anywhere, anytime. In order to implement its cloud conversion and maintain the virtual desktop solution, Fidelity contracted with a cloud outsourcing company. Fidelity’s arrangement with its IT vendor gives Fidelity’s RIAs the opportunity… Read more »

Are Your Prepared for an IT Disaster at Your Company?

Since September is National Preparedness Month, there are a few items to consider that will help you be prepared if an IT Disaster strikes your business. The best way to think about this, is to imagine a day when you walk in the office and find the door ajar. Someone has broken into your office while you were asleep. The next thing you check is your computer room, you peak your head in and you are looking at an empty room. OK, what is your plan? How long will you be down? What will that mean to you and your business? Who will call? Here are the 5 things that will help you to be prepared for such a disaster and to answer these questions: 1. Have Documentation for All Your Systems Having good documentation is one of the keys to quickly recovering from any type of disaster. You should… Read more »

What Is the Difference between a Cloud (DaaS) Desktop and a Hosted (VDI) Desktop?

If you are considering a virtual desktop solution, you will have to decide between a hosted desktop and a cloud desktop. A hosted desktop utilizes virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which is the practice of hosting a desktop within a virtual machine that runs on a centralized server. Alternatively, a cloud desktop is a virtual desktop that is hosted on the cloud. DaaS, or desktop as a service, is another term used to describe a cloud desktop solution. The primary distinction between the two concepts is the hosting of the virtual desktop. Careful consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of each virtual desktop option will allow you to make the best choice for your business. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure: Pros and Cons With VDI, servers are typically located on-site, and business owners who are focused on security concerns may feel more comfortable knowing they have full control over their hardware, software, and… Read more »

Total Cloud: Microsoft Office 365 or Hosted Cloud Desktop?

You’ve made the decision to take your business full cloud. What’s the next step? You have to choose the cloud delivery tool that’s most appropriate for your business. You know your business better than anyone, and choosing the best cloud software and services depends largely on which applications your business uses to operate. Remote access to your data is great, but what programs are vital for your business operations? Answering that question is the key to choosing the right product for your business, and it’s your next step toward full cloud computing. The question is not so different from the decision you make when you dine out. Do you choose the buffet, or do you order an entree? Microsoft Office 365 is the entree. You know exactly what you want, and it’s all Microsoft. The hosted cloud desktop is the buffet. You need a variety of programs to run your… Read more »

Is Cloud Computing Here to Stay?

Okay, this is a big question and at the risk of being completely wrong, I will weigh in on it. The answer is yes, it is going this way. I do think, however, that it is moving very slowly toward full cloud computing. What I will call partial cloud computing, as discussed in chapter 2, is actually being adopted very quickly and I am already seeing many implementations of these services in small and medium sized business in our practice. In fact, we offer all of these services and feel that they are a good fit for many of our customers. On the other hand I have not seen even one implementation of full cloud computing in our area. That does not mean that companies are not doing it, they probably are, I have just not run into any yet. I have proposed it to a couple of prospects but… Read more »