10 Reasons Why Cloud is Good for Business

In today’s world, everyone is captivated with their laptops, tablets and mobile devices, we are so captivated on average individuals have access to 3 different devices. We have the ability to be always connected and access the information we want and need within a few clicks, which leads to the idea of Cloud Computing revolutionising the workplace.

What is Cloud Computing?

It is the delivery of computing as a service comparatively than a product. Your business information, software and information is transferred to computers and other devices as a service over a network. A Cloud services has 3 main attributes that makes it slightly different from traditional hosted services;

  • It is sold on demand
  • It is elastic and scalable
  • It is fully managed

Why would Cloud Benefit your Business?

  1. Automatic software updates– The Cloud Service Provider (CSP) carries out the maintenance for all the software, which includes security updates, helping you free time for other tasks in your business.
  2. Flexibility – Any Cloud based service can immediately meet any frequency low or high so, it can adapt to your business as it grows.
  3. Controlling Costs– Save money by having a scalable solution for a monthly fee and if you choose to use a CSP your business will require less networking hardware on site.
  4. New Business Ventures – Due to the flexibility and the speed of deployment of cloud resources businesses are able to try new ideas without extreme investments in systems quickly and efficiently.
  5. Stability– A lot of businesses suffer from downtime due to crisis management, hardware upgrades or other problems, CSP continuously monitors and maintain the systems which provides dependable uptime.
  6. Work from anywhere– With an internet connection employees in your business can work anytime, anywhere which can help increase the workers’ productivity and job satisfaction.
  7. Build, expand and use new operations– Cloud computing enables you to build quickly, deploy and manage applications which can be built in any framework, tools and languages. So, setting up remote offices will be easy as 1, 2, 3!
  8. Security– By using Cloud everything is stored in a central location, so your business data can still be accessed no matter what happens to the device.
  9. Environmentally friendly– It helps decrease the carbon footprint of your business as you’re only using the resources you require.
  10. Competitiveness– The cloud grants SME’s access to business class technology at a set monthly cost. It can allow smaller companies to act faster than substantial well-established opponents with complex networks.

Cloud for business is advantageous, although the requirement of an internet connection is a disadvantage, with our addiction to mobile devices and access to information – the internet has become a common commodity. Find out what the cloud can do for your business by contacting us today 0845 603 5552.

The Different Types of IT Network Virtualization

IT network virtualization has been around for many years and gaining in popularity amongst SMB’s,  with many currently planning or deploying virtualization projects. It has also been found that over 40% of medium sized businesses have already virtualized their servers.

Within the virtualization market there are 2 main competing brands VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V, where both have their benefits. But, prior to choosing the software vendor a business must decide on what type of virtualization to proceed with and the objectives of the IT project.

There are 3 main types of IT Network Virtualization:

Storage Virtualization

Storage devices on the network like hard drives are consolidated into one place and managed by a central portal. This will allow network administrators to monitor resource levels available on the IT network and making it easier to manage day to day.

Network Virtualization

This is where a traditional IT network is transformed to a virtual network by combining both hardware and software resources within the IT infrastructure. The network administrator would then be able to share resources amongst the users, like dividing bandwidth into different channels. They will also be able to see the complete network in a management portal, which would help streamline processes and save time.

Server Virtualization

One of the most popular forms of virtualization – this is when virtual machines are created within physical servers but, the virtual machines will still appear to be in a separate space. Different tasks can then be assigned to different servers, allowing savings on processing power, cost and space while the administrator will still be able to diagnose and resolve issues quickly.

To find out how virtualization can help your business contact us today

Business of Cybercrime: Part 2 – ‘The Business IT Landscape’

In recent years we have seen the benefits of the development of new technologies within the workplace; the developments have introduced terms such as ‘Bring Your Own Device’, ‘Cloud Computing’ and the ‘Mobile Workforce’ causing the changes in the business IT environment. With such changes with technology and the way individuals are working, cybercrime is evolving too…

Common problems with IT security today:

  • Threats are constantly changing and increasing
  • Data is everywhere and continuously growing
  • Users are becoming more mobile, using many different devices

With these changes in the business IT environment, the mobility of end users and the IT security issues involved, it is not surprising that many IT departments are not embracing the trend of BYOD or encouraging the company to move towards a more mobile workforce and considering it as a ‘foe’. But there are some companies that see the benefits of these changes as discussed in ‘Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – Friend or Foe to Businesses?’ blog post.

It can be said often the concern is not necessary due to the types of Data Security threats such as Spam, Viruses or Malware because the underlying threat remain the same but, it evolves and changes its form – It is the fact that BYOD could lead to the IT infrastructure prone to more vulnerabilities, allowing more avenues for hackers to infiltrate the network.

What are your views on today’s IT landscape?

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – Friend or Foe to Businesses?

IT consumerization has increased the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ momentum recently but, there is an on-going debate on whether it should be an organisations best friend or worst enemy.

In a recent survey, it has been found 92% of the companies interviewed, reported certain employees were already using non-company issued devices for work but, it is not the company norm which is reflected by the findings that only a small number of companies have introduced a BYOD policy.

With these results the BYOD trend definitely have room to grow, especially when it can offer a number of benefits to an organisation like; mobile workforce enablement, reducing costs, workforce empowerment and improve productivity.

On the other hand, many consider it as an enemy as an employee personal device can be seen as a foreign object on an IT infrastructure; with an unknown history, unknown level of security measures on the device and no control over the level of access = business risk!! Worrying about the level of business risk that BYOD entails is a norm, as it has been found more than ¾ of CIO interviewed had this type of concerns.

It is true, business risks can be caused when a non-structured approach is taken; it can potentially weaken a company data security barrier, cause compliance issues and increase vulnerability to cybercrimes.

However it is not a trend we can ignore as IT consumerization will continue to fuel this trend; although you cannot completely eliminate certain issues and risks by introducing a BYOD policy, with a policy in place at least employees know the organisation is flexible and open to new trends, can feel empowered so, when and if they bring their own device they will inform the IT department…in theory.

BYOD is certainly not a case for see no evil, hear no evil… Yes, BYOD offers a wide range of benefits but, policies and a structured approach is required to protect your business.

Continuous IT investment VS Break-Fix

Often we cannot tell there is something wrong with our IT systems until the screen freezes or it is not loading faster than slug – which raises the question is continuous maintenance worthwhile or an IT break-fix approach fine for businesses?

The break-fix philosophy is followed by many organisations and IT service providers: when issues occur within your network, contact with the technician is made. Depending on whether the technician called is in-house or outsourced, the amount of time it would take for the problem to be resolved can be anyone’s guess… So, sitting around… waiting.

Whereas, continuous infrastructure maintenance requires a routine assessment of hardware, software, network infrastructure and even daily practices of your users; it can highlight potential issues – that is lurking in your IT systems waiting to pounce, when you least expect it.

While the break-fix approach, can to be working one minute and left un-operational in the next but, capital is only required when something in the IT network is actually broken.

Continuous updates and assessments will require higher investment than break-fix but, it can increase efficiency and productivity; may even save money in the long run; for example, finding out you’re paying for more software licenses than you actually need.

With businesses becoming increasing reliant on their IT systems ‘Break-fix’ VS ‘continuous maintenance’ it should be a decision based on the business needs and assessing the pain points. For example, if communication is mainly by telephone rather than email, and the internet is down it may not cause many issues but, if the business is an e-commerce like Amazon… being offline will be the biggest pain of them all!!

So, pros and cons can be found with both – the most important question is which of these approaches to the business IT infrastructure is most suited to the business as a whole.