By Stephanie Watson, 7 August 2012
When people find out that I work from home using Internet technology to do everything from meeting with clients (Skype), to final delivery of end projects (Dropbox) and that I leverage the cloud from start to finish because it saves me time, money, energy and effort, they are usually shocked. They'll say things like, "What do you mean you don't meet clients in person?" and, "What do you mean you don't have that software on your computer?" I've been doing this since the mid 1990's, with wonderful results, but it has only been lately that others have jumped on the cloud business apps bandwagon. This makes my job a bit easier in convincing a client to use cloud-based systems. I don't have to explain near as much about how it all works. Unfortunately, there are still holdouts. If you're still waiting in the wings and are worried about the expense, safety and security of the cloud, read the following to learn more. Let me know what you think!
By Elke Schmitt, 20 June 2012
Oh yes, Big Data is the IT Buzzword of 2012! But what is actually Big Data? What does it have to do with cloud computing and is it something small businesses should be aware of? This article attempts to clarify all these questions and gives insights into expert opinions on Big Data.
By Paola, 25 May 2012
Cloud computing has "unique attributes that require risk assessment in areas such as data integrity, recovery, privacy and an evaluation of legal issues," Gartner says. Now that businesses are increasingly tapping into the cloud, they need to pay close attention to these risks more than ever. In line with such concern we had an interview with Nicole Black, a lawyer and legal technology author. In this post, Nicole introduces us to the world of legal technology and addresses the topic of data safety in the cloud.
By Paola, 8 November 2011
When you are choosing an application for your business, it is important to get transparent and easy-to-understand information about the privacy practices of the provider and to know how your corporate data will be handled. Small businesses should have privacy concerns when moving to the cloud and it is our role in GetApp.com, as well as our partners to remove these concerns. Client privacy, confidentiality and security are central to us.
By Lior Levin, 14 July 2011
In the online environment most people spend a large amount of their time emailing. In essence, it should make our lives easier but with all the emails, websites, business, shopping etc. some individuals may feel that it has complicated life to the extend we lose track of what we do. Some people use task management tools, such as AtTask or ProWorkflow or Zoho Projects, but an additional way to utilize time effectively and to make your life more organized and manageable is to have more than one email address. For those of you still using one email address for all aspects of their online communication, here are 9 reasons why you need to have multiple email addresses, and why it will simplify your life not complicate it.
By Michele Nachum, 7 June 2011
SMBs are turning to cloud applications in greater numbers than ever before. After all, cloud computing applications can lower IT costs, increase productivity and even offer a more secure solution for storing mission-critical work product. Cloud computing has truly been a blessing for the SMB market as it has opened up doors to applications that were once only used by the enterprise market with deeper pockets and larger IT departments.
By Christophe Primault, 29 March 2011
Systems management is an umbrella term that refers to the centralized management of a company’s information technology assets, and it's one that encompasses many different tasks required to monitor and manage IT systems and resolve IT problems. Systems management solutions can help small business owners address many requirements including (but not limited to) the following: Monitoring and management of network, server, storage, printers and client devices (desktop, laptop and mobile devices), including notification of impending or actual failures, capacity issues and other systems and network events Hardware asset inventory and configuration management, including firmware, operating systems and related license management Application software usage and management Software asset inventory, versioning and patching, and license management Security management, including anti-virus and malware management tools, including virus definition updates. Automated backup and restore, to backup up systems data in a central data repository Service desk problem management, which provides an automated process to generate and track trouble tickets and resolve problems Systems Management: Why Should You Care? As businesses grow, so do IT requirements. In many companies, it’s tough to find a facet of the business that doesn’t depend on IT. As dependence on IT to run the business grows, it becomes vitally important to efficiently manage and safeguard IT and data assets. System management solutions -- such as service desk management, single sign-on authentication and patch management -- can help keep systems up and running, and maximize IT and employee productivity. They can also help your IT team efficiently roll out new software solutions, or upgrade existing ones. In a nutshell, effective systems management solutions help IT organizations move beyond fire-drill mode to provide the business with proactive guidance and support. System management solutions also help companies protect against the fallout from downtime and threats, whether caused by system malfunctions, lost or stolen mobile devices, network sabotage, power outages, security breaches, identity theft, human error and natural and man-made disasters. Should any of these events occur, they can result in lasting financial loss, brand damage, legal liabilities and other extremely unpleasant consequences. Consider these sobering facts: • In a survey by Kroll Ontrack Inc., 74 percent of respondents experienced a data loss incident in the last two years. And 32 percent of organizations take "several days" to recover from a data loss -- another 16 percent never recovered. • Symantec’s 2009 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey indicates that the average SMB has experienced three disruptions to computer or technology resources within the past 12 months; 26 percent reported losing important data. These firms estimate that these outages cost them about $15,000 per day. Many small businesses fail to perform regular data back-ups, and even if they do, tools and procedures can fail due to malfunctioning hardware and storage media, corrupted data, or because backup software isn’t reset to include new files or applications. Whatever the reason, costs to replace the data and restore employee productivity can be enormous. Businesses also face stiff penalties if they can’t store, retrieve, monitor and transmit data in accordance with regulatory requirements. Systems Management: What to Consider Criteria such as company size, number of devices, complexity of IT infrastructure, IT resources and expertise all come into play when considering centralized systems management. For instance, in a small business with just a handful of PCs, centralized systems management may require more of an investment in time and dollars than it would take to just manage each device individually. But as companies grow, a lack of centralized system management can become a pain point and true vulnerability. However, the sheer number and assortment of products and approaches available can be confusing, and the cost of traditional enterprise system management solutions can send small businesses into sticker shock. Driven by the need for a quick fix, businesses can end up with several disparate point products that don’t work together. This can create both short-term gaps and integration and scalability problems over time. Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all solution or short-cut to a short-list. But small businesses can avoid these potential pitfalls by taking action on these tips: • Assess gaps, bottlenecks and vulnerabilities in your IT environment • Look for vendors and solutions that can address immediate pain points, but also provide incremental capabilities that your company may need over time • Seek out vendors with solutions designed to meet the needs of SMBs, such as Dell KACE, HP Insight Manager, IBM Service Manager for Smart Business, Kaseya and Spiceworks • Evaluate managed service provider (MSP) offerings. Major vendors, such as Dell and IBM, as well as many regional and local service providers offer managed infrastructure services that can be a great fit for companies with limited or non-existent IT staff. MSPs can often provide a level technical expertise, trouble-shooting and proactive 24/7 support that surpass the capabilities of most internal SMB IT shops By investing time upfront to consider business priorities, IT requirements and constraints, and evaluating the pros and cons of different approaches and offerings, small business owners can find a systems management solution or an MSP that will support the business now, and in the future. Original post by Laurie McCabe from the SMB-Group