Top 4 Cloud Services Tips for Staying Competitive in 2019

When you’re trying to remain competitive in a modern business world, you need to use technology to your advantage. One service that’s become exceedingly popular among businesses is the cloud. As a virtual storage space that allows you to work from anywhere, the cloud will accommodate around 67% of enterprise processes by 2020. If you want to learn more about how it could work for you, it’s time to explore some of the ways it can help you stay competitive.

Leverage flexible working

In not-so-distant memory, flexible working was a dream for most people. Thanks to technologies such as the cloud, it’s now a reality.

Flexible working allows your employees to occasionally work from home. It also gives them the chance to work while they’re on the road, such as at conferences and during business trips. Using the cloud, your employees in the office can liaise with their colleagues on the road.

If you’re wondering why flexible working is advantageous, it’s worth considering how it could make your employees more productive. When you allow employees to occasionally work from home, they cut out their commute. In many cases, employees are more refreshed and can become more productive as a result. By introducing a flexible working policy, you may attract a higher caliber of employees who make your business more competitive.

Save money and increase efficiencies

As your business fluctuates or grows, so will your IT requirements. In the past, periods of growth would command higher spending on hard disk drives. Thanks to the cloud, that’s no longer an issue.

Using the cloud, you can increase and decrease your storage in line with changes to your business. As a result, you won’t waste money on a larger hard disk drive that then becomes redundant. You’ll also spend less on maintaining said drives as the cloud is virtual.

Reduce business downtime

Most businesses will face periods of downtime at some stage. Unfortunately, each day your business is down is a day where you’re losing profit. If you store your data primarily on hard drives, you’re at risk of damaging your reputation too.

When most of your business processes are stored in the cloud, you can maintain some of your usual business processes and reduce financial losses. On average, business downtime costs $5,600 per minute. Being able to reduce those losses gives you the chance to invest that money elsewhere. At the same time, you’ll minimize the risk of damaging your reputation.

Increase data security

Like many business owners, you probably understand how much trust your customers place in you. They presume that you’re keeping their data safe, but can you be sure it’s as safe as they’re expecting?

Depending on the type of cloud service you use, you could strengthen your business’s data safety. Many cloud services offer ultra-strong encryption, which is incredibly difficult for hackers to penetrate. When you can promote this safety to your customers and clients, they may feel more comfortable using you over your competitors.

From safer data storage to saving money, there are lots of ways to become more competitive while using cloud services. If you’re ready to make the leap, it’s time for you to find a dependable service provider who can meet your business’s needs.

Diving Into The Cloud For Your Business

Is your business considering a move to cloud computing? It’s a smart move that many companies have made. In fact, 88% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. However, you may be hesitant to dive into the cloud. You may have concerns about costs, implementation, security, and employee training.

Those are all normal concerns, but the reality is, cloud services can offer an abundance of benefits for your organization. With the cloud, it’s much easier to scale and be flexible. If you are on the fence about cloud computing, you’ll appreciate this practical guide.

What is cloud computing?

Let’s start with the basics. The cloud is basically a virtual workspace that connects users from anywhere and allows them to store and exchange information. It’s a model of sharing resources, software, and information through a network.

What are the different types of cloud computing?

There are three primary cloud types:

  • Public cloud: services delivered through the internet
  • Private cloud: internal usage by a single organization
  • Hybrid cloud: a mixture of public and private

Beyond these three cloud types, there are different types of cloud computing services, including:

  • SaaS (software as a service): applications accessible by users via a web browser
  • PaaS (platform as a service): a space for application development and testing
  • IaaS (infrastructure as a service): computing resources in a virtual environment used for data storage, virtualization, networking, and servers

According to a recent survey, 89% of companies use SaaS. So, you may be already using the cloud in some way, depending on what type of software you use. But could you be leveraging the cloud further?

Advantages of cloud computing

Securely access your data

The security of your data is always top of mind. And you may feel uneasy about it living in the cloud instead of on a server on-site. With the cloud, you’ll have all the security protocols you need as well as direct control over access to the data. With a private cloud, you have the security you need to remain compliant and ensure the protection of your data as the network is only accessible by your employees. Feel confident in accessing, sharing, and storing data with cloud services.

Improve efficiency

Cloud computing can have a positive effect on your company’s efficiency. With the cloud, you’ll eliminate the need to upgrade your IT infrastructure constantly. Plus, you won’t have storage concerns or challenges with sharing information amongst your team. Instead of constantly emailing documents back and forth, they can remain in the cloud for collaborative workflows.

Ensure flexibility and reliability

A cloud infrastructure allows you to run all your critical applications. Even if there is infrastructure damage, your applications won’t face any downtime. Plus, with a cloud, you can easily scale as your business grows. This agility can also enable you to adapt quickly to changing environments. This type of flexibility can provide you with a competitive advantage.

Diving into the cloud doesn’t have to be swimming with sharks! 

At GroupOne, we build strategic cloud computing services for companies that fit their needs and their budget. Our process includes getting to know your business and what matters most to you. Then we can design a cloud service ecosystem that meets your needs today and tomorrow.

Contact us today to discuss cloud service and how we can help.

Work from anywhere with cloud technology solutions

You’ve probably heard of cloud computing and how it’s changing the way businesses operate. The main question, however, is whether cloud computing is right for you. Here’s what you need to know to help you decide. 

What is cloud computing?

Basically, cloud computing is the term given to how businesses secure whatever computer-based services they need, whether it’s storage, server access, or other specific programs, from a remote service provider

Businesses typically pay the service provider for whatever services they use, when they use them, which makes cloud computing a cost-effective option for SMBs with evolving needs but limited IT spending power.

Another bonus? There’s no need to invest in complex new infrastructure or hardware, either, since that’s what the services provider is for. 

The growth of cloud computing in the workplace 

Cloud computing is increasingly popular with SMBs across every sector. In fact, a recent study showed that more than 80% of companies who use cloud technology reduced their IT costs, and a whopping 90% of companies with between 100-499 employees are using cloud services now. 

It’s clear that cloud computing is here to stay. 

4 reasons to introduce cloud technology into your organization 

Although cloud computing is popular with many businesses, is it right for yours? Here’s why we think you should give it a chance. 

1. Remote working 

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of cloud computing is its flexible infrastructure, which makes it possible for your employees to access any files and emails they need whether they’re in the office or the other side of the state. 

Cloud computing helps you design your workplace around your users, which naturally improves their satisfaction levels and, in turn, their performance and output.   

2. Collaboration

With cloud services, your employees can work alongside colleagues wherever they’re located. Since employees can communicate and exchange documents in real-time, there’s less chance of miscommunications and unnecessary delays. 

What’s more, employees can brainstorm with their colleagues and come up with creative, innovative solutions to problems at any time of day or night, whether they’re at home, the office, or on assignment somewhere else in the world.  

3. Productivity

Cloud computing doesn’t just let your employees work from anywhere. It lets them work in environments that they feel comfortable in and in which they’re most productive. 

Whether your employees are night owls or they enjoy working from coffee shops, cloud computing lets them access the documents they need when they’re ready to do their best work. 

In fact, studies show that around 65% of workers are more productive at home than in the office. 

4. Scalability & Backup 

Cloud computing greatly enhances your storage capacities and makes it easier to scale your business in a secure way. 

Businesses can purchase whatever storage they require, whether it’s extra bandwidth or remote storage space, without the added cost of complicated infrastructure, which they may not use during slower business periods. This makes it easier for businesses, particularly SMBs, to scale their IT budget to their business needs

Conclusion 

The bottom line is that cloud computing is essential for today’s increasingly mobile work environment. Every SMB serious about improving their bottom line and growing their company in a sustainable, cost-effective way should consider making the switch to cloud services.

Why businesses need the right IT support

Why finding the right IT support for your business is critical

MSPs, or managed IT service providers, are not all created equal. It’s important that you find the right provider for your unique business goals. Here’s why. 

1. The services you require

Every business has different IT needs. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all IT model. Make sure that your IT support company has the resources to deliver the unique services that your business requires. 

2. The right level of support for you

Just like companies require different IT services, so too do they need varying levels of IT support. Perhaps you only need one service, such as cloud computing, or on the other hand, maybe you’re looking for comprehensive, full-time IT support, from a provider that lives locally. The right MSP provides as little or as much support as you need

3. Relationship management and expectations

You should expect proactive support from your IT support provider, whether this means securing your system, monitoring your network 24/7, or educating your employees. But the right provider will also foster a trustworthy and reliable working relationship too. Why? Because your IT support company should feel like an extension of your own team. You should be able to trust your IT provider to not only deliver the best support but also act in the best interest of your vision and long-term goals. If you can’t trust your MSP, they’re not the right provider for you. 

4. Their level of knowledge

If your IT provider doesn’t understand your industry, or if they’re not up to speed on the latest tech developments that could benefit your business, you’re probably not getting the right service for your needs. The right MSP isn’t just proactive about minimizing your system downtime – they stay alert to any tech advances and hardware modifications that may maximize your productivity.

5. Cybersecurity

A single cyber-attack costs the average SMB nearly $54,000, according to recent surveys. This is why MSPs are so important. They provide your business with comprehensive cybersecurity measures to protect you from malware, phishing, and other cyber hacks. With the right IT support company on your side, you can minimize your likelihood of suffering a data breach, and you can reduce your downtime should a breach occur. 

6. Regulatory compliance 

Your IT support provider should understand the regulations and data protection protocols that apply to you. For example, if you’re operating in the healthcare sector, you’re subject to strict regulatory oversight through HIPAA. Choosing the right IT support company means choosing one that understands your compliance needs and helps you manage them as the right MSP can do for you.

7. Cost-effective support 

Your IT support provider should be transparent about how much their services will cost you. The right MSP can provide you with flexible, scalable support with predictable budgeting, so you know exactly what you’re paying and what you’re paying for. Otherwise, you may end up spending more than you need to on IT services support

How to find the right IT support

The key to finding the right IT support for your company comes down to doing your research. Don’t be afraid to shop around, and ask as many questions as you need to before committing to a service provider. It’s a big decision. Take your time getting it right.   
For more information on the customized IT services, we can provide for your business, contact us today. 

4 ways a managed IT Provider can transform your business

Growing small and mid-sized businesses face many challenges that stand in between them and success. IT is the largest obstacle of all. SMBs without strong IT support and services are at a competitive disadvantage. Additionally, these firms are also far more vulnerable to everything from cyber attacks to natural disasters.

Working with a trusted managed IT services provider ensures SMBs can stay ahead of the game. If you’re a company with no on-site IT, enlisting a partner provides peace of mind when it comes to your technology and frees you to focus on more pressing issues.  

Even if you already have an IT department in place, a managed IT services provider can still help. For example, current staff can be allowed to pursue larger projects designed to spur business growth while the managed IT services provider focuses on day-to-day operations. Whatever the case may be, SMBs can take advantage of several strategic benefits when working with a managed IT services provider.

Stay productive 

As an SMB grows, issues such as downtime become more noticeable. Inefficiency is something that can stunt the progress of many SMBs, and there is nothing more inefficient than paying staff not to work.  

ITIC’s 2017 Reliability and Hourly Cost of Downtime Trends Survey found 47 percent of SMBs, companies with up to 150 employees, estimated that a single hour of downtime would cost their business $100,000 in lost revenue and end-user productivity. And according to research from the Aberdeen Group, businesses experience 14.1 hours of IT downtime annually.  

The cost of this downtime is significant for most SMBs even if it falls under these averages. This cost is why partnering with a managed IT services provider can make a huge difference. With proactive IT support along with constant monitoring, potential issues can be identified and eliminated. The money that would have been lost due to downtime can instead be reinvested into the company.

Your technology umbrella

Unpredictable weather can bring with it dire consequences for SMBs that are unprepared. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors after a disaster such as a hurricane or tropical storm. While these events used to be rare in New York City, strong storms with flooding are becoming a more common occurrence.   

And while the physical damage can be costly, it is the downtime and loss of data that dooms most SMBs. Without a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery plan in place, it can be difficult to get everything back up and running. This is where a managed IT services provider can be of use. By creating off-site or cloud backups, your data will always be available regardless of what your company faces. With these backups, you can minimize downtime and keep your business going in the face of adversity.   

Gain access to cutting-edge tools

Have you ever seen big businesses using IT devices and programs that you think would be great for your company? Well, partnering with a managed IT services provider can give you access to the same tools the big firms use without needing to make a significant investment. They can help create a proactive plan to ensure your business can utilize IT devices and programs that provide a competitive edge.

Protect yourself from cyber attacks

As an SMB acquires more data, cybersecurity is something that must be taken into consideration. The 2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMB) report from the Ponemon Institute contained some staggering findings. More than 60 percent of SMBs surveyed said they had encountered a cyber attack. Of this group, 54 percent were victims of data breaches involving customer and employee information and the average cost of these attacks was more than $1 million when all factors were taken into consideration. 

Strong security is another valuable strategic benefit of working with a managed IT services provider. They utilize virus and spam protection systems that work around the clock searching for threats such as ransomware that can derail your business at a moment’s notice.  

More importantly, you don’t have to worry about constantly upgrading your IT security as the managed IT services provider will be doing that automatically. Instead of cutting corners and possibly endangering your business with strained security measures, you get a robust security partner, allowing you to focus on important business decisions.