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The latest cloud trends you should know

Cloud computing has caused business leaders and organizations to completely re-imagine how they approach their IT resources. The cloud isn’t simply a cost to manage anymore. It’s a vital, strategic part of any business operation aiming to meet consumer and employee expectations.

What can we expect from the cloud in 2019 and beyond? Here are six trends you should know about.

Accelerating cloud adoption

Cloud services are growing exponentially. For example, KPMG estimates that platform-as-a-service (PaaS) adoption will take a substantial upturn in market share from around 32% in 2017 to 56% in 2020. PaaS lets customers launch, manage, and develop apps simply and effectively, and it’s estimated that PaaS will become the fastest-growing cloud service platform.

Naturally, as businesses turn to the cloud for their computing needs, solutions and services emerge to meet new challenges and consumer demands.

Quantum computing progress

Cloud technology is edging us ever closer to the ultimate quantum computer, according to experts. Quantum computing lets us store, manipulate, and process data in a whole new way. With quantum computing, we can solve complex medical problems, properly direct resources like emergency services, and answer previously unanswerable questions.

Experts see the cloud as a path into quantum processing. The growth in cloud computing, therefore, increases our chances of unlocking this incredible new technology. The race toward developing the ultimate quantum computer will continue.

Security compliance

Cloud computing is now so popular that many businesses adopt the model without fully appreciating the associated security challenges. Companies are moving their data to the cloud, and it’s estimated that around 83% of businesses will run their services from either public or hybrid cloud platforms by 2020.

Business leaders must understand how cloud computing makes their networks vulnerable to cyberattacks if they don’t establish, maintain and update effective security measures.

Furthermore, with the development of rigorous data protection laws, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses must ensure that they remain fully compliant with evolving standards and rules to avoid hefty fines and reputation damage.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT principle relies on cloud computing more than ever before. IoT hardware, such as cars and household appliances, are increasingly using the cloud to store information, remember users, and communicate activity.

We estimate that, as these devices become more mainstream for multitasking and automation at home and work, cloud technology will evolve to respond to increased demand and integration requirements, as well as privacy concerns.

Inter-connectivity

Connecting clouds and cloud services makes it easier to manage security issues and find remote computing solutions that support your unique business goals. What’s more, interconnecting services encourages providers to work together and collaborate. This is how a landmark technology, like quantum computing, may be possible.

As cloud computing grows in popularity and complexity, we expect the technology and techniques for managing inter-connectivity to become more sophisticated and powerful.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

There’s already a huge market now for AI development platforms. We can expect to see all cloud services becoming more sophisticated as a result, which is great news for developers, programmers, consumers, and businesses alike. Expect to see more productivity and service innovations such as chat-bots, voice-enabled technology, and automated delivery.

At the same time, demand for high-performance hardware capable of facilitating an AI environment will grow to support increased consumer and commercial applications.

Cloud computing in the future

The cloud has evolved from a simple storage solution into a strategic approach to technology delivery that organizations rely on for growth and competitive advantage. As cloud computing increasingly shapes the way we do business, company leaders need guidance to harness the seemingly endless potential of the cloud to meet operational goals and satisfy customers.

For more insight on how cloud computing trends may affect your business, contact us today.

How Businesses Can Save Time with IT

Every business can benefit from effectively utilizing their IT in the office. While not every technological advancement is necessarily practical or affordable, the right devices and programming can help you save time and money.

Small businesses need big ideas, and technology can bring increased productivity. Big businesses need scalability, and technology delivers that for them, too.

The barrier between plain ol’ technology and these benefits is understanding how to actually apply them to your needs.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone – hiring a managed IT service provider can help you get the most from these technological improvements automatically.

However, if you’re keen on saving time for yourself, follow these suggestions.

Software as a Service

SaaS applications allow your small business to easily acquire cloud-leased tools for a monthly subscription fee. Instead of purchasing and installing onsite software, your SaaS provider gives you access to the vast majority of the programs you need.

Plus, paying by monthly installments helps you better budget your expenses. You have constant access to the latest, most effective applications AND experts who can recommend the best programs for your business.

Related: 5 Common IT Support Questions, Answered

These applications can streamline your workflows and lower the time it takes to perform tasks.

Look at that – you’re already saving time with SaaS.

Artificial Intelligence

AI applications are not just for huge corporations. Businesses of all sizes can use them and their usage will only increase in the future. Your staff can benefit from AI assistants who can organize tasks (and even perform some of their own, such as calendar setting).

Currently, the medical industry benefits from apps that help doctors diagnose various conditions automatically. AI software can also perform human resource duties and monitor your office energy usage.

Related: 5 Reasons to Outsource Your IT

A majority of small businesses report plans to incorporate more AI in the near future to make their companies more efficient. After all, automating tasks gives you plenty of time for other more important tasks.

Mobile Computing

Small businesses especially benefit from mobile devices and collaborative software that allows for staff members to coordinate with clients, vendors, and other employees from anywhere in the world.

With the proper software, you can safely access business accounts no matter where you are. Additionally, you can efficiently complete tasks any time of the day or night. Laptops, tablets and even mobile phones can allow you to quickly deal with any business matter while you relax by the pool or spend time with your family.

In short, they allow you to work from anywhere – saving you the time and trouble of having to wait to get to the office to do work.

Cybersecurity

One of the biggest challenges to small businesses is cybersecurity. You are vulnerable to hackers who can steal sensitive information, including customer credit card information or critical company data.

Malware attacks can shut your entire system down, costing you time and eliminating productivity. The average small business loses over $8,000 for each hour of downtime.

You need advanced protection against hackers as well as training for your staff to remain competitive.

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Promote Cloud Security

Managed IT Services

Needless to say, time is everything in business. With it, you can get things done and complete more work. Without it, you’re stuck in disarray.

There’s a simpler way to save a lot of time automatically.

A managed IT service provider can provide tech services and manage them for you, freeing you from many time-consuming tasks. They can offer you cloud solutions to keep you connected, as well as security services to keep you protected.

They provide help in employee training and also create implement backup and recovery plans to ensure your business keeps running in case of a natural or man-made disaster.

In short, a managed IT team ensures that any difficulties are addressed immediately. You won’t suffer the delays you have when you hire contractors to fix specific issues. With the help of managed IT services, all of the tools you need to save time will work together to give you the power to grow your company.

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.

Want Young Professionals? Migrate to the Cloud First

Millennials have been flooding into the workforce. Around the globe, business owners must learn how to engage this new generation by adapting to a new system of working. (Hint: This mostly has to do with cloud computing.)

A recent survey showed a few interesting things about the millennial workforce. Check out some of the highlights:

  • 44% of millennials, if given the choice, would leave their current employers in the next two years.
  • 66% of millennials expect to leave their current positions by 2020.
  • Just 16% of millennials see themselves with their current employers a decade from now.

It’s interesting to consider how willing to change a new wave of employees are.

So, the question remains, how do you attract young professionals who produce quality work but who also won’t bounce the moment the opportunity arises? The answer is in cloud computing.

Related: The Evolution of Cloud Computing

Work Anywhere, Anytime

Many new employees want to work from home, even if it’s a few days a week. This option used to be off the table because cybersecurity and data loss prevention created difficult, if not impossible, obstacles.

In addition, virtualization capabilities enable cloud providers to deliver highly scalable solutions that allow you to convert would be CAPEX purchases, like computers and servers, into OPEX line items.

BYOD

Cloud-driven mobility makes way for businesses to finally employ true BYOD (bring your own device) programs. Gone are the days where employees have to be tethered to a desk and working from outdated devices that don’t enable greater productivity. With ever increasing internet speeds, VoIP, and cloud-based business solutions, you can now appeal to a larger cross-section of millennials who seek a choice in the devices they use for work. The cloud’s inherent nature of enabling users to work securely and efficiently from anywhere, at any time is now both a strength and benefit for the modern office that’s ready launch new BYOD policies.

Social Media Tools

Millennials love their social media. And it doesn’t end with work. Staying engaged with coworkers and employees is a high priority. By deploying tools to keep your workforce “together,” you can appeal to the generations desire to remain a part of the team, no matter where they are.

Collaboration, likewise, can be greatly enhanced when using the cloud-based web and video conferencing. Instant messaging tools, like Slack, can keep your team fully engaged even when working out of the office.

“By 2020, Millennials will comprise more than one of three adult Americans. It is estimated that by 2025 they will make up as much as 75 percent of the workforce.  Millennials’ desire for pragmatic action that drives results will overtake today’s emphasis on ideology and polarization as Boomers finally fade from the scene. Thus, understanding the generation’s values offers a window into the future of corporate America.” – Brookings Institute

The EaseTech Cloud Computing Solution

In the grand scheme of things, cloud computing is the way of the future, both for your business and for your workforce. But migration to the cloud can be tricky, and costly if not done correctly.

At EaseTech, we’ve created a cloud computing solution to help businesses attract the best talent from the incoming job pool. Contact us today to talk about your business and the cloud.

EaseTech Cloud: Your Perfect Cloud Computing Solution

The Evolution of Cloud Computing

It’s hard to imagine life before the internet. A world filled with papercuts and ink stains where we all looked up to the clouds, hoping for something better. Coincidentally, we were looking in the right direction.

Cloud computing caught on after the turn of the 21st Century – after the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s. Understanding how cloud computing has evolved over the years offers a unique perspective on the speed by which technology travels.

Early Days of Cloud Computing

The cloud, and its related services, wasn’t some technology that CIOs and business leaders inherently knew what to do with when it first became truly useful. Because there wasn’t much information available about cloud computing and the benefits associated with it, maximizing cloud ROI was difficult.

Not only were computers, servers and other required IT infrastructure especially cost prohibitive for businesses, but there was no clear-cut and widely accepted definition of what cloud computing actually was, what it meant, or even what benefit it held for companies.

Once the dot-com bubble burst, the remaining technology companies that survived realized they had to figure out a better way of doing things.

Amazon was the first to invest heavily in cloud computing, and they officially entered the cloud market in 2006. As a matter of fact, other than MySpace, it was Amazon that actually pioneered cloud computing and proved it a worthwhile investment for other companies. By 2008, Google became more than just a search engine as they too expanded into the cloud space.

However, the public cloud still wasn’t born and wasn’t perceived in such a positive way as it is today. IT attention shifted focus to “private clouds,” and companies such as Microsoft, Rackspace and others who had the technological capabilities and understanding to implement cloud computing solutions for the marketplace were happy to play on the fears of data security to cause a dramatic market shift into private clouds for several years.

Cloud Computing Today

Cloud computing as we know it today, with a great deal of trust placed in the public cloud, as well as hybrid cloud solutions, began in 2010. Rackspace and NASA actually teamed up to launch the open source platform OpenStack. This joint venture paved the way for companies and individuals to test applications in a private lab of sorts before rolling out those applications for the public on the public cloud. Without this partnership, it’s impossible to predict exactly when we would have been comfortable accepting the public cloud and all the benefits it has to offer.

It wasn’t long before the hybrid cloud was born, which combines public and private cloud environments for the best of both worlds – maximum access to productivity tools and applications, but maximum security as well. This occurred in 2011 and the market hasn’t looked back since. We now see that over 70% of enterprise companies have adopted some form of cloud applications within their business model, more and more organizations adopting mobile workforce strategies, and business owners and individuals alike having a much better understanding of the benefits cloud computing provides.

The Future of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is here to stay. It’s become so widely adopted and integrated so deeply into the daily lives of people, and the day-to-day operations of practically every business on the planet that it truly isn’t going anywhere. However, the major issues facing cloud computing today have much to do with security.

New online security threats are being developed, deployed and discovered every single day. These threats are a great risk to cloud computing providers, services and those relying on them because a devastating cyber attack has the potential to bring a company down for weeks, if not months. The costs associated with recovering from such events are so staggering that many SMBs end up shutting their doors within six months of data loss or critical downtime events.

That’s why reputable IT companies such as EaseTech, and many other major corporations in the industry, are doing all they can to develop new security tools and applications to proactively monitor and prevent such attacks from ever being an issue.

Learn more about cloud computing with EaseTech.

Business Having Growing Pains? Let Cloud Solutions Be Your Tonic

Business growth is a good thing, though not without its challenges. Just as successful ideas start off small and grow over time, so do businesses. Today’s SMB might become tomorrow’s industry titan. Proper growth requires new and expanding solutions if a company expects their IT to keep up.

As companies grow, so do their teams and their IT needs. An increased staff means more technology resources. Not to mention additional networking needs and greater bandwidth to support increased data traffic.

For many SMBs there will come a point where replacing, upgrading and housing expensive on-site equipment to support continued growth will cease to make sense.

That’s where cloud solutions can transform and supercharge a company’s growth trajectory. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and virtual desktops are just the start of what cloud computing can deliver a growing company.

It can also expand their staffing options (more in a minute about that).

Here are a few quick ways that cloud solutions can help your company grow with minimal pain.

Scalability That Keeps Up With Expansion

Perhaps the biggest benefit cloud solutions can offer your growing company is the ability to scale your infrastructure up or down with a few clicks of your mouse. One of the biggest side effects growth brings is bandwidth limitations and network overload.

When you switch over to cloud computing, your network instantly becomes scalable thanks to pay-as-you-grow solutions.

Rather than you having to make costly investments in hardware (think new servers and computers), cloud computing can provide unlimited vertical and horizontal scalability to meet your needs. This keeps your company from ever running into a situation where a lack of available resources hinders performance.

Or worse, causes downtime and lost productivity.

The specific solution for your company depends on your business’s unique combination of systems and software. But exchanging the upfront costs of adding more infrastructure for a flat monthly service fee means your company can focus on serving your customers while improving IT budget management.

Remote Access Through Mobility

Cloud solutions can also provide excellent mobility for your team, increasing productivity and expanding your work outside the confines of the physical office. The secure remote access that cloud technologies provide means your team can access sensitive data and systems from anywhere, anytime.

This means less downtime, more productivity, and more chances for growth.

By the way, that mobility carries over to personal devices, specifically smartphones. Cloud mobility allows your team to access data and systems in real time from devices on hand, increasing workplace connectivity.

Expanded Staffing Options

Though perhaps not the right fit for every company, there are plenty of SMBs that exist in smaller regions and markets which might not have as wide of a talent pool for new hires as they would like.

The remote access and mobility provided by the cloud equips your company to take on remote employees, or expand out into new markets and offices without suffering from connectivity or communication issues.

In the cloud, all files and systems update in real time, so all employees or potential hires get access to the latest versions of documents or other projects from almost anywhere in the world. Imagine what that kind of hiring pool could do to drive your growth!

Cloud Solutions Are the Future, Right Now

The cloud’s advantages go way beyond what they can do for your staff expansion needs. And it would be insincere of us to tell you that cloud computing is the future because, in truth, cloud computing has already nearly become the standard for SMBs and industry titans alike.

If your company is on an upward trajectory and you haven’t already considered a switch to cloud solutions, there’s no time like the present to get on board. Imagine all the future growing pains you’ll avoid!

Weather the Storm with Cloud Mobility

They call it a bomb cyclone. A low-pressure system that brings with it heavy precipitation. In winter, that means snow. And wind. And, well, a lot of potential for havoc, disruption and destruction in your business operations.

It may be a low-pressure system, but that doesn’t mean it can’t create a high-pressure situation by knocking out business systems and erasing precious data. Or forcing your team to brave sub-apocalyptic conditions to get to work, only to arrive at an office with no power or blocked access.

The antidote to this swirling cloud of chaos is, ironically enough, in the cloud. The computing cloud, that is.

Cloud technology takes technical problems off your plate so you can focus on preparing your physical location and staff for potential disaster. Here are a few ways cloud computing provides ideal protection from the chaos caused by stormy weather.

Related: Prepare Your Organization for a Winter Storm

The Cloud Makes Data Protection a Breeze (No Pun Intended)

One of the greatest benefits of cloud storage is never having to worry about losing your data to disaster, natural or manmade, again. Whether mother nature buries you in two feet of snow or twenty, the cloud ensures your data and systems are safe.

Even if a natural disaster levels your building it won’t interrupt your business systems. Not having to worry about lost data and resources means you can maintain focus on your people and your business while clean up efforts get underway.

Related: How to Build a Disaster Recovery Plan

Cloud Mobility Means Minimal Downtime

Storm got your team stranded? No problem. Cloud-based systems and storage means your employees can easily work from home until the storm breaks. Icy roads or buried buildings don’t have to mean business comes to a screeching halt.

With the cloud, employees can log into your systems remotely with full access to the programs and data they need to do their work. Gone are the days of braving sketchy travel conditions to and from the office in the name of productivity. With cloud mobility you can keep working while your competition waits out the storm.

Related: Business Mobility Tips for Bad Weather

Cloud Computing Means Less Costly Equipment On Site

Among cloud computing’s greatest benefits is that you no longer need costly equipment such as servers on site. This means when the roof comes caving in your losses are minimized because your server closet is already empty.

You get all the benefits mentioned above plus unlimited storage. They get to worry about physical storage and protection, which is something they’re far more prepared to take on. The end result is less up-front investment on your part, with those costs consolidated into one low monthly fee.

Related: How to Fix Your IT Budget

The Ultimate Silver Lining

No single business decision could protect your company from mother nature’s havoc more than switching over to cloud services. They’re more secure, scalable, and mobile than storing your data, and the equipment needed to house it, on site.

The business continuity and protection from downtime that cloud services provide can serve as the perfect buffer to keep losses to a minimum when even the worst natural disasters happen.

Like all storms, even bomb cyclones will eventually pass. Will your company’s IT pass the continuity test these and other powerful storms provide? If not, hit us up so we can help!

Making the Business Case for Virtualization

Challenging economic times push businesses to look for more efficient ways of doing things, even if these new ways include risks and learning curves. Adopting virtualization is one way companies are evolving to become more efficient, and thus, stay ahead of the competition.

However, as with any new IT initiative, often managers find they need to sell the new technology before their company will even think about adoption. After all, new technologies typically carry expenses, in the form of new hardware and software, and that learning curve mentioned above, which can be expensive, too.

When attempting to bring everyone on board with virtualization at your company, you’ll need to develop a carefully crafted business case. The following are ideas you can include that will help you sell the benefits of virtualization while easing concerns about risks and costs.

In short, virtualization removes the inefficiency of the old “one server, one application” model, in which many business servers are underutilized. With virtualization, one single server can function as multiple virtual machines, with each one having the ability to operate in different environments such as Windows, Linux, or Apache. When companies adopt virtualization, they are able to consolidate multiple servers onto fewer physical devices, helping to reduce space, power, and administrative requirements.

Virtualization offers quite a few other business benefits as well. For example, it helps with business continuity and offers complete data protection so your company is able to achieve continuous application availability and automated disaster recovery across physical sites. Virtualization allows you to simplify backup and recovery of your data and systems and to improve responsiveness through increased efficiency and flexibility. With all of these benefits on your side, your company’s IT will help drive innovation.

Let’s break down in detail the reasons that consolidating operations onto fewer servers can help your company. This consolidation allows you to:

  • Dramatically lower hardware costs and the associated cooling and space costs
  • Improve productivity across your organization and free up valuable IT time by simplifying your IT infrastructure, leaving more time to focus on strategic initiatives
  • Reduce costly downtime and streamline business contingency planning so you know your data is secure in the event of a natural disaster or another unforeseen event
  • Now, let’s examine the ways your business can use virtualization to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.

One of the best benefits of virtualization is lower server infrastructure costs. Consolidating excess server and desktop hardware increases utilization rates, and reduced hardware means lower energy bills, too. You’ll save floor space, as well, because virtualization eliminates server sprawl by allowing you to run multiple applications on a single server. Your company could even reduce hardware and maintenance costs by as much as half.

Virtualization makes your company more efficient because it improves staff productivity, allowing your IT team to focus on more strategic projects that can help speed time to market for new products or services you are developing. Since IT employees won’t have to order and set up a new server for every new application, you can get applications up and running smoother and more efficiently. And, with fewer technical issues to manage, your IT team can focus on improving customer service or developing new projects. Virtualization can be combined with cloud services to move your servers to a hosted environment adds even more benefits that could include extensive backups, improved failover and greater security.

Finally, backup and recovery get a huge boost from virtualization because your company is protected from downtime and disaster. Business continuity solutions can be expensive and complex, but even the smallest organizations can achieve a solid continuity plan with virtualization.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to consider adopting virtualization for business. Now, it is your turn to sell these points to your team so you can begin reaping the benefits of virtualization.