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Office 365 vs. G Suite – pros and cons

As internet speeds increase and networks become more reliable, cloud-based software packages continue to grow in popularity and business value. Moving beyond the limitations of on-site storage and isolated applications, cloud-based productivity tools deliver additional benefits with unlimited storage and integrated collaboration tools.

According to the 2017 BDO Technology Outlook Survey, 74 percent of technology CFOs said cloud computing had the most measurable impact on their business in 2017. A few names have emerged as productivity front-runners, with Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite offering advantages and disadvantages for your team.

Pros of Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is the most robust and best-known office software suite in the world. Produced by the biggest name in business technology, this productivity software package includes a wide selection of the most familiar document applications Word, Excel and PowerPoint and newer collaboration tools like SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

Office 365 subscriptions are customizable to some degree with available Business, Enterprise and Education versions. Besides the depth of applications and configurations available, Office 365 keeps your work current and consistent with regular automatic updates, OneDrive cloud access, and clever integration with all of your mobile, home and office devices.

Cons of Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is not the right package for everyone, especially with confusing product variations and a complicated pricing structure putting some people off.

Unexpected service limitations of Office 365 include a 24-hour cap on the number of email recipients, which restricts list-based communication. In addition, end-user support is lacking with no direct phone support and online help limited to articles and community forums. Some Office 365 subscribers have also been affected by downtime on the Microsoft servers.

Office 365 offers limited control over your data for individuals and smaller organizations. To receive the full set of highly advanced security features, you need the more expensive Enterprise for maximum control of your data.

Pros of G Suite

G Suite is powered by the Google cloud. This comprehensive SaaS package includes a range of productivity and collaboration tools. While Google’s applications are not as pervasive as those created by Microsoft, G Suite includes cloud-based word processing, accounting, presentation and much more. Security features are also tight since G Suite uses the same cloud infrastructure as Google itself.

Unlike the 1 TB storage limitation of Office 365, G Suite offers unlimited cloud storage for Business and Enterprise plans that include five or more users. This may be a significant advantage to large companies, creative service agencies or media organizations with extensive data storage needs. G Suite also offers seamless integration with its conferencing applications, including free local calls using Google Hangouts and Google Voice.

Cons of G Suite

Google G Suite offers a comprehensive and increasingly popular range of tools, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Hangouts. However, Microsoft applications are still much more popular in business environments where PCs are still the dominant user device. When migrating to the cloud, some businesses may be unwilling to invest in training and support for Google apps while their staff learns a new platform.  

G Suite doesn’t have comparable desktop apps that you can use on your computer, which makes it more challenging to maintain productivity when you’re offline. This can be a significant disadvantage to some businesses with frequent travel or meetings in areas with limited internet access. While G Suite storage is better when there are more than five users under the Enterprise plan, individual users are limited to 30 GB rather than the standard 1 TB available from Office 365.

The winner is … your business

According to Deloitte Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions, 2017, IT as a service will represent more than half of all IT spending by 2021. When investing in your business, it’s important to do your homework and find the best solution for your needs.

Regardless of what productivity platform you choose, Office 365 and G Suite both highlight the many advantages of working in the cloud. The power, scope, and collaborative potential of these packages can help your business to become more efficient and productive. Who knows, once you’ve experienced the wonders of the cloud, you may want to transform your entire operation into a turnkey virtualized office.

As a managed IT service provider experienced in cloud technologies, Ease Tech is ready to help you evaluate all your options to deliver maximum value to meet your business goals.

Choose your cloud provider carefully: A discussion about uptime

Uptime is a crucial part of running a successful business, especially as companies focus more and more on cloud applications. Losing access to their cloud functionality effectively shuts down the business and can cost thousands of dollars if it happens regularly. Businesses must ensure that they’re partnering with high-quality cloud service providers to ensure long-term success.

When searching for cloud service providers, follow these tips to find the highest uptime rates.

Understand the cost of downtime

All too often, companies think about their business connections in terms of downtime: we all notice when systems aren’t available and how inconvenient that is. But instead of focusing on how often a network might go down, it’s important for companies to shift the focus and start asking cloud providers about uptime – the amount of time cloud services are fully functional and available.  

The first step in discussing the necessity of uptime is to understand the cost of downtime. According to a survey reported by TechRepublic, 80% of businesses insist on 99.99% uptime from their service providers, and 15% of businesses are pushing further to demand 99.999% uptime. This high availability uptime (sometimes called “five nines”) means that systems will be available for all but 5 minutes a year, saving a company several hundred thousand dollars annually. Small and medium-sized companies are often working with a fairly limited budget so few can afford to lose that kind of money.

Look for transparency

Potential cloud service providers should be willing to share information with you. For example, the way the company computes downtime may not be as simple as you think. For example, a company might calculate downtime by minutes available per user. In a system with 100 users, for example, 99.99% uptime could mean that a system is down for several hours before a company receives service credit.  

Cloud service providers should be using monitoring software to track issues and problems with their service. They should be willing to share that information with their partner companies, giving – at the bare minimum – the ability to run reports.  

Consider the contract terms

In general, it’s a good idea to partner with any vendor long enough to establish a solid knowledge base and get a feel for their service. Standard service contract periods are designed to ensure that provider companies can properly budget resources and that client businesses can budget for recurring costs.

That said, knowing the conditions for exiting your contract is important. Being trapped for too long with a service provider who cannot satisfy your needs, delivers inconsistently or costs the company time and money can be a disaster for any business.

Ask the provider what terms allow either party to cancel the agreement. Also, always read the Ts and Cs (terms and conditions) of any contract signed. If the provider promises something different, get that in writing as an addendum or change order. Contact your managed IT services provider for help finding and implementing the right cloud solution for your business.

How to minimize downtime in the cloud

Sometimes downtime happens and there’s nothing you can do to control it. However, with some forethought, you can set yourself up for success and minimize whatever downtime does occur.

Here are a few points to consider when configuring your cloud infrastructure.

Stay on top of security

One case of downtime that can be catastrophic is a security breach. Not only are you losing productivity time but you could also be losing data.

This includes aspects like making sure your firewall settings are current, changing passwords periodically, updating software regularly, and training employees to follow good security practices.

Make sure your network security is up to snuff and you will be eliminating several vectors for sudden downtime.

Backup and disaster recovery

If you don’t have a backup and disaster recovery plan (BDR plan) in place already, then it should become your top priority. In the event of catastrophic failure, irreparable hardware damage, or even natural disasters, an effective BDR plan can save your organization a lot of pain and loss.

It should include how you back up your data, where the data is stored, and how to bring it back to a point where it can be utilized again as quickly as possible. If you prepare it ahead of time, you’ll be glad that you have it when you need it.

This ties into our next point but should operate independently.

Related reading on data integrity: How to avoid downtime and disruption when moving data

Multiple copies

Most effective cloud storage solutions should be organized so that your data exists in multiple copies stored in multiple locations. This policy should be in addition to your backups maintained for your BDR plan. This extra measure is to cover your bases in the event of things like a power outage temporarily preventing full network access or someone accidentally deleting something that they shouldn’t have.

In either case, you still have a significant dataset to work with and can use it to restore any other copies that are necessary. Your data is intact and available because you planned ahead. It’s a quick and easy solution that doesn’t require you to go into emergency recovery mode.

Some solutions even go so far as to split files up into smaller chunks and store them in different locations. This is to improve both security and redundancy. If a subset of data is lost, you only have to replace that subset. Similarly, if only a subset of data is stolen, the attacker can’t make much out of it.

Redundant hardware

Another critical component of effective cloud infrastructure is hardware redundancy. Generally, cloud solutions involve some degree of systems running in parallel and sharing capabilities already. Ideally, you should have redundant systems warmed up and ready to relieve the strain that a failed machine will place on the network.

This way if one component goes down or needs repair, it won’t bring down the entire ecosystem. In fact, the impact will be relatively minor and the malfunctioning part can be replaced without issue.

Related reading about redundancy practices: 4 ways to avoid cloud outages and improve system performance

Keep thinking ahead

It’s always best to plan ahead when you have the opportunity. Think about things like what would happen in specific situations and how you would respond to those challenges.

And don’t hesitate to call the experts if you have any questions. We can help set up your network reliably or, at the very least, provide you with guidance.

How do the largest cloud providers stack up?

Adoption of cloud computing is one of the fastest-growing trends in business today. To stay competitive, control costs, and enhance productivity, the cloud is offering a variety of solutions for all stages of business.

That said, there are a lot of cloud companies offering their services. So it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to start, what you need, and who can serve your best interests. As with any important business decision, research is essential.

Here we highlight four of the largest names in cloud computing – all instantly-recognizable with established histories and reputations. But how do they stack up when it comes to what they can actually offer you?

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At your service

When researching cloud service providers, you’ll see three terms fairly often: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Before you go too deep into your research, it’s helpful to understand these terms.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service

Clients subscribe to a pay-as-you-go service in which they can access storage, network, server, and other cloud-related resources. Users save money on hardware and the service is scalable to their current needs.

Software-as-a-Service

Subscribers use cloud-based applications and work within the cloud versus having to locally install or update applications on end-user devices. As with IaaS cloud computing, it’s a scalable service. Because data is stored in the secure, access-controlled cloud, it is better protected and applications are always current. Mobile users have decided advantages, as applications can be accessed from any internet-connected device.

Platform-as-a-Service

The perfect service for software developers, PaaS provides a platform of tools to develop and test applications in a single environment. Infrastructure requirements are handled for everything needed, including operating systems, server software, security, and backups. The nature of cloud-based development software encourages collaboration, as well as separate testing and production environments. And the high-availability environment can lead to increased productivity.

Azure

Microsoft Azure

Of all of the public cloud service options available, Microsoft Azure is the best known and most widely used. Nearly every computer interacts with Microsoft in some way, so Azure has a large client base. It offers all three popular platform options – IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS and supports various programming languages. It’s ideal for software development, supporting the full range of Microsoft-specific software as well as a number of third-party applications.

While Microsoft Azure is versatile and scalable to specific user needs, the subscription model may seem expensive for some budgets. And despite a fairly easy setup, the number of services available may seem overwhelming at first. There will likely be a training curve for your IT staff. It also doesn’t migrate well to other cloud systems.

While Azure will cover all of your needs, you’ll want to consider your long-range planning and do some additional research before committing.

AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

It’s no surprise that online giant Amazon has invested – and found success – in the fast-growing technology of cloud computing. Amazon Web Services supports IaaS and PaaS platforms and a number of featured services like high-level backups, data transfer, messaging and notification, security management, and encryption.

AWS is a scalable service, so you can use as little or as much as you need. Compared to other services, AWS data storage costs are low. Its application programming interface (API) support means it works well with other software, and the native AWS environment seamlessly integrates various available services.

While simple to manage once running, AWS has a bit of a learning curve when it comes to initial setup and integration. Billing can be confusing because how charges are applied is not always clear. Costs can also sometimes run higher than others depending on what you need.

AWS has a lot to offer and is popular as a result. Still, it makes good business sense to examine its specific offerings and costs to ensure it’s the best cloud solution for your organization.

Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Google Cloud employs a robust network to support an IaaS platform with decent pricing, ease of use, and security on a reliable network. While it may fall behind mainstream services Azure and AWS, GCP is a good choice for hosting databases and application data and for managing backups. It employs a global network with a variety of storage types depending on need. With no storage minimums or ceilings, GCP can host as few or as many files needed.

Its web-based console makes management simple. The robust console options might be overload for users simply needing to manage storage. But it’s easy enough to limit your activity exclusively to handling storage tasks.

Google Cloud (not to be confused with Google Drive) receives high marks for security with its API to connect Google Cloud endpoints, plus 128-bit or 256-bit encryption using the Google Key Management Service. It enables two-factor authentication for further protection of data and accounts.

While not the most expensive service, Google Cloud does charge more per gigabyte than AWS or Azure. Support costs for GCP can run a bit high, as well. Service levels range from standard business hours/e-mail contact ($150/month) to extended 24/7 phone support ($400/month).

IBM cloud

IBM Cloud

Once known as IBM SoftLayer and IBM Bluemix, IBM Cloud offers IaaS, PaaS and a wide variety of cloud computing services. Besides the usual storage, networking, data management and security, IBM cloud offers value-added services including analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) management, and VMWare.

IBM Cloud service has a reputation for solid performance and has access to numerous data centers. Its package includes specialty offerings – IBM Watson is one of the more well-known options – and boasts reliable tech support.

Setup is not as straightforward compared to other services, but with good tech support, it’s not an insurmountable hurdle. Pricing runs in the middle of the pack but provides excellent value for those interested in the unique services IBM Cloud supports.

Cloud computing is still growing

These four cloud service providers are counted among the best in the market. Numerous other respected players to explore include Rackspace, Kamatera, Adobe Creative Cloud, VMWare, Red Hat, and Oracle. While offering similar services and pricing, each is unique and may offer specific services well suited to your business needs.

With this in mind, it’s important to research your options thoroughly. It may help to consult with cloud computing experts to determine the best services to support your operation and growth plans.

The top 4 things that take you out of compliance

As the leader of an evolving organization, you’re expected to keep employee and customer data as secure as possible. However, aging technology and processes sometimes result in disconnects and even mistakes that interfere with regulatory compliance requirements. For example, the financial industry is rife with examples of tax and recordkeeping violations, and the penalties can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

So, what are common mistakes that cause otherwise responsible organizations in various fields to fall out of compliance when they make the move to new solutions? The following are some examples that you should avoid to minimize your risk of missing compliance requirements.

1. Forgetting about GDPR

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) went into effect in May 2018, and while they primarily affect European companies, they also affect American companies that collect, maintain or process personal data for people living in the European Union. If your business has no dealings whatsoever with folks in the EU, that’s one thing, but in today’s global economy, it’s best to be ready if you decide to expand at some point in the future.

Regardless, these regulations are a good standard to strive for. They require that businesses be aware of the types of data they collect, keep on top of security breaches and follow a clear, transparent consent process, among other things. For example, as an article in CSO explains, “Opting for a mailing list does not give the small-business owner the ability to use a customer’s data for something else unless this is outlined. Individuals should also know how to withdraw from your database at any time.”

Regardless, these regulations are a good standard to strive for. They require that businesses be aware of the types of data they collect, stay ahead of security breaches and follow a clear, transparent consent process, among other things. For example, as an article in CSO explains, “Opting in for a mailing list does not give the small-business owner the ability to use a customer’s data for something else unless this is outlined. Individuals should also know how to withdraw from your database at any time.”

It’s a good idea to keep GDPR in mind as you move to the cloud.

2. Not checking out third parties thoroughly

It’s likely that your business is partnering with at least one vendor to implement and improve cloud solutions. Perhaps a managed services provider is handling this for you, or maybe your business uses an offsite data center. In both cases, it’s still your responsibility to ensure that vendors and other subcontractors follow these guidelines to protect data and maintain the same level of security.

3. Allowing BYOD without a tight policy

Bring your own device (BYOD) policies are popular in many businesses, but they can backfire if the policies don’t follow a strict set of security protocols. For example, it’s necessary to have data encryption and strong password requirements to address any security issues with apps or software. Make sure you have an adequate BYOD policy in place when moving to the cloud or allowing employees to use their own cell phones, tablets and computers.

4. Collecting unnecessary information

Many customers don’t think twice about turning over personal data such as Social Security numbers, even for something as simple as a fishing license. However, as a general rule, if certain pieces of customer data aren’t needed, don’t collect them. If you do have a good reason for collecting the data that you do, explain your rationale to customers and share how you’ll use their data.

Aside from not having a disaster recovery plan or not providing adequate training for your employees, you should be able to meet compliance requirements if you avoid the four mistakes discussed here.

If you need help navigating the ever-changing landscape, you can always contact us. After all, shoring up your environment to meet compliance is vital to your success. Being aware of the security benefits that cloud computing offers will inform the steps you take to keep your company’s data as secure as possible.

What is file sync and how could your business use it?

File sync is a way for your business to easily access files and to see any changes immediately. It is one advantage of cloud computing and enables your personnel, no matter where they are, to work from the most recent versions of images, text, video, graphics and even music.

With this technology, you can recruit a remote workforce in different time zones, boost productivity, offer employees more flexibility and convenience, and turn around work quicker and with fewer errors.

Here’s a look at why all of the above items are achievable with file sync.

Time savings

With file sync, you no longer have to stress over whether you’re working from the most recent version of a file. Nor do you have to call five colleagues working on a project to ask if they made any changes.

Whatever you’re working on will be the most recent version of the file.

In addition, you should be able to see who made what changes and when, and access older versions of the file without affecting its current state.

More efficient collaboration

Many programs allow you to work on a file in real time with other colleagues and even see who is doing what. This comes in especially helpful when each of you is responsible for your own portion of a project saved on one file.

Work on multiple devices

There’s no need to be tied to a computer any longer.

For example, you’ve probably started a paper or presentation on your desktop, and at some point, worked on it using your laptop, tablet or cellphone—maybe all three. Without file sync, this process can be tedious. It involves a lot of emailing, downloading and transferring. And there’s always a chance you’ll mistakenly work from an outdated version.

With file sync, all you have to do is open the file no matter which device you are on and start working. The only requirement is to have internet access.

Financial savings

File sync saves your business money in several ways, including the following:

  • Less office space needed (because you may have more employees working out of the office or remotely)
  • Fewer overhead costs and fewer costs of doing business (due to less office space needed)
  • Less local file storage space is required (because file sync is done via cloud computing)

There are also indirect savings through improved employee efficiency. 62 percent of your employees may be more productive working outside of the office, according to Softchoice.

Fewer errors and quicker turnaround

Employees access the same version of a file no matter how many devices have been included and how many revisions have been made. You’re able to see who made changes and when. In the big picture, this leads to fewer errors and happier clients.

The data in the file is simply more trustworthy. For example, file tampering or employee manipulation of information is much harder to do with file sync because there’s history of the changes.

Along the same lines, employees can turn work around more quickly when they’re able to work across multiple devices and from multiple locations. This can be especially nice, even necessary, in industries where clients expect immediate responses.

The importance of secure file sharing

There is, however, one critical thing to keep in mind—file sync should be secure.

Some ways to ensure proper security include smart password management, encryption and two-factor authentication. Your workplace also needs a good BYOD policy and guidelines on using public Wi-Fi networks.

Additionally, only grant employees access to the files they need to do their work. It’s not necessary (and could be risky) for someone in project development to have access to the same files the accountants have access to and vice versa.

The cloud and your business: what you need to know

When it comes to your business, you know the value of relying on proven practices to get the job done. You also know that there comes a time when a bold, new approach is really needed to improve efficiency and meet demand. Businesses all across the country are moving to the cloud because they know that the cloud will give them a competitive edge of others in their industry.

When it comes to technology, things move at a rapid pace. We put together this guide to help you understand the many benefits of migrating over to the cloud. Learn how the cloud can transform the way you work and give you an advantage over your competitors.

Simplicity

Most businesses rely on technology to manage their daily operations. Managing on-site IT involves software installation and upgrades, security patches, and troubleshooting issues. It is a full-time job that many small businesses cannot afford to employ. Most businesses outsource to busy IT consultants, or they rely on a member of their staff to provide IT support. Either option can cost you time and money and put your business at risk. If you don’t have an IT specialist on staff, cloud-based software can simplify your life.  Choose your provider carefully to ensure you feel comfortable and confident in their ability to handle your needs. Your cloud provider will handle all updates for you off-site. This means you will have a full staff of experts working to make sure you are always up to date and secure.

Minimize downtime

When you rely on technology to keep things going, downtime can be a critical problem. Natural disasters, accidents, or theft can destroy data that is stored only on hard-drives or local servers. According to FEMA, almost 40% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster. Cloud storage keeps your files updated and your applications online in the event of a disruption, big or small. The cloud automates backups which remove the risk of human error. If your on-site server goes down, cloud services ensure that your business doesn’t miss a beat. Regardless of the cause, when interruptions hit the cloud helps to minimize downtime and keep your business going.

Mobility

One of the many benefits of the cloud is the ability for employees to work remote. As of 2017, up to 25% of Americans worked from home at least some of the time. Cloud services are a game-changer for mobility. You will no longer have to save files to a USB drive or email them to yourself for later. The cloud allows you to access your files anywhere there is an internet connection. For people who travel often, such as those in sales, the cloud minimizes the stress of working on the go. Never again will you have to worry about leaving behind the latest version of a contract or proposal. As many benefits as there are to mobility with the cloud, there are certain security risks. This is why it is vital to establish written policies about the use of personal devices by employees.

Security

It is a myth to assume that your small business is safe from online threats because of its size. In reality, small businesses are a popular target of online hackers. Businesses of all sizes must work hard to stay abreast of the latest security threats. Your business is not immune to threats like hacking, malware, and ransomware. By housing your data in the cloud you can reduce the effect of any breach. When you use cloud services you can rest assured that your data is in good hands. It is automatically backed up and protected by experts in the field of cloud security.

It is also important to understand how to prevent and respond to cloud-specific security threats. Methods of prevention include employee education, data encryption, access controls, and governance policies.

Affordability

One of the biggest benefits of moving over to the cloud is the opportunity to cut costs. This is achieved by eliminating onsite servers, software, and associated maintenance fees. You can also remove server costs and extend the life of your existing workstations. By moving over to a subscription-based cloud service, you pay only for what you need. This means significantly reduced operational and capital costs, which makes for better IT budgeting.

Flexibility and Scalability

Cloud services come in a variety of options, depending on the needs of your business.

  • In the public cloud data is easily accessible from anywhere.
  • A private cloud is a safe way for businesses to host security compliant applications. For enterprise businesses that are looking for both security and mobility, a private cloud may be the ideal solution.
  • The hybrid cloud combines the accessibility of the public cloud with the security of the private cloud. Applications and data can move across clouds or your data center with minimal downtime. Many businesses prefer the hybrid model because of its efficient use of both private and public clouds.

The cloud also offers the opportunity to scale up or down according to required storage. Unlike on-site servers, which have a finite capacity, you can easily adjust your storage space with the cloud. As your business changes and grows, you can scale the cloud to meet your needs– no more equipment purchases required.

Evolving technology

The cloud came on the scene in 2010, and in recent years it has become clear that the cloud is the future. This is an exciting time to get on board with cloud services. Latest industry trends promise great things for the future of cloud computing. We continue to see rapid advancement in cloud technology. As cloud technology matures, it is on the brink of becoming mainstream in business, the same way that the internet did around the turn of the Millennium.

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Related: IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS: Which should you choose?

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3 Ways to Save Your SMB Money with Technology

For many businesses, technology is an enigma. Does it help things run smoother, or does it cause massive hiccups that disrupt the flow of business?

If you aren’t careful, it’s the latter.

The key to taming the wild beast that is technology is to generally understand how each part of it works for you. Once you fit the pieces of the IT puzzle together, you can use your technology to propel you forward rather than hold you back.

Here are three ways to save your SMB money and improve the way you work.

1. Consolidate Your Tech Tools

Many organizations overlook a simple fact – they have too many tools. That can be true for both hardware and software. For example, you may have multiple servers taking up space and running up costs.

Moving some of your applications to the cloud can consolidate the amount of hardware you need while lowering your costs in the process.

The same is true for software – you don’t need to pay for multiple software licenses if you can find a platform that can do it all for you.

Related: Transform Your Work Environment with the Cloud

Consolidating your technology also inherently decreases labor costs due to simplified management. In other words, you don’t have to spend a long time managing multiple things if they’re all in one centralized location.

2. Look for Potential Efficiencies

Paper costs add up. Printing costs vary, but remain expensive in large quantities. Even when getting rid of sensitive physical information, secure shredding and disposal costs can quickly rack up.

Utilize digital copies and methods whenever possible. Going digital instantly frees your organization of many unnecessary costs.

Technological efficiencies don’t just exist at the file/folder level, either. Turning your office space into a “smart” office connected by an internal network gives you better control over all your devices.

This concept of interconnecting devices is known as the internet-of-things (IoT). Organizations are using it as a way to efficiently manage costs related to lighting, heating, cooling, and much more.

Did you know? IoT endpoints will grow to 30 billion by 2020.

3. Get a Proper IT Partnership Going

IT support is a very broad term to say “we do IT stuff”. So what exactly does that stuff entail? Anything, really – from day-to-day helpdesk tickets helping Cheryl with her emails to migrating the server to the cloud.

Related: The Top 5 Apps to Boost Your Productivity

The question you must ask yourself is this: do I need an in-house IT team? Or, if you have one, ask yourself this: Can they really do it all by themselves?

For smaller organizations, outsourcing the IT makes sense. You get a team of experienced professionals at a flat rate without having to hire, train, and variably compensate additional employees.

For larger organizations that have mission-critical in-house IT departments, outsourced IT specialists are key. They can save you money by following through on projects for a set rate. You don’t have to hire a network specialist to configure a few servers here and there.

Proper IT partnerships can cut costs and put capital back in your company where you need it most.

 

5 cloud benefits to give your business an advantage

Everyone uses the cloud to some extent. Yet, the more that companies take advantage of this technology, the more of a competitive edge they can gain over their competitors. Some of the benefits of the cloud include ease of scalability, reduced need for IT resources, higher flexibility and increased innovation — which all leads to reduced costs and an advantage over competitors.

Ease of Scalability

One of the greatest benefits of cloud services is their ease of scalability. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine the IT needs of a business. The cloud allows companies to scale their needs up or down as necessary.

This can help to reduce waste and drive down the cost of services. Companies won’t end up paying for services they don’t use while using cloud services — as long as they adapt to their businesses’ changing needs and scale down when necessary.

In other words, there’s no need to change a business to fit its IT needs any longer. Instead, IT needs can change to fit any business.

Related: The Evolution of Cloud Computing

Higher Cost Savings

There’s no doubt about it: servers are extremely expensive. When companies no longer need to pay for expensive servers, they can use that money in their budgets for more important costs. The cloud removes the need for expensive onsite servers. It also cuts down on software and maintenance costs.

This technology can also help to extend the life of workstation investments.

Did you know: 85%of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy.

Higher Workstation Flexibility

Since the cloud is akin to an online server, employees can work from virtually anywhere. There’s no longer a need to travel to an office and access an on-site server — or even to log on to a server remotely.

This can help to cut down on office and workstation costs. Instead of investing money in an office building, businesses can invest that money in technology, innovation, and customer service.

Related: Weather the Storm with Cloud Mobility

Reduce IT Costs

The cloud can help to reduce IT costs across the board, from CAPEX to OPEX costs.

CAPEX costs (or capital expenditures) add very little value to the company but increase the operating costs. OPEX costs (or operating expenditures) can add value to a company only if they are necessary to the day-to-day operations and increase overall productivity.

Yet when a company can cut some of these costs altogether, the company will run more efficiently. Companies can save both time and money can by cutting these expenses from the budget.

Increased Innovation

Cloud innovations are increasing by a significant margin every year. Not only are startups taking advantage of cloud-based services, but large corporations are also swapping in their expensive servers for the cloud.

This technology has evolved from simply storing information and applications on an online server to offering important data analysis services.

When it comes to the cloud, companies that take advantage of these online services have an advantage over companies that still use exclusively on-site private servers.

Did you know: 78% of executives said their teams lack the cloud skills required to achieve their five-year plans.

Embracing Cloud Computing

The companies that embrace this new technology will have a competitive edge over the companies that resist these changes. One way that companies can maintain this type of edge is by recruiting young professionals with cloud-based work solutions.

Young professionals want the ability to work anywhere at anytime. They also understand the importance of integrating social media services into the corporate culture. Cloud computing can help companies embrace new technology as it develops, and it can help to attract the types of employees who are willing to embrace that technology.

Learn more about cloud computing with EaseTech.