Cloud-Hosted Tools Your Business Should Consider

hands on laptop keyboard with cloud concept graphic overlaid

The cloud has provided organizations with countless ways to innovate and improve operations. Still, for those who are just now jumping on this great opportunity, you might have some questions about how to get the most out of the cloud or how even to get started. Let’s discuss some of the major benefits of cloud-hosted tools, as well as why it’s critical to consider them in the years to come.

This is especially important right now, while the world is reeling from a global pandemic. So how can cloud-hosted tools help your organization navigate this territory and optimize operations, despite the circumstances? Let’s find out.

Data Storage

Business professionals often run into a situation where important files are located on one of their devices but not on the others. Even if files are stored on an in-house network, that doesn’t necessarily help you out of the office. The answer to this dilemma is surprisingly simple: implement a cloud-based data storage system.

Cloud-based data storage allows your organization to access data on any connected device, provided the accounts have been outfitted with appropriate permissions. You can work on any file, anytime, from anywhere. When it comes time to travel or work remotely, a cloud-based data storage system means that you will never have access issues again. Since hosting on-premise can be expensive and time-consuming, we recommend hosting your data in the cloud.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

If your business is not prepared to handle data loss scenarios, your future is most certainly in jeopardy. Data stored across different devices can be difficult to keep track of, but if it’s all housed in the same location, i.e., the cloud, it becomes easier to back up and recover in the event of a disaster. While tape may have been the gold standard for a long time, it was prone to several inconsistencies that make it pale compared to the cloud, such as the possibility of user error, risk of natural disasters, and the sheer amount of physical space the tapes can take up.

An automated data backup system that does not rely on anyone setting tapes is the ideal solution, and it’s thanks to the cloud that it is possible. Backups stored in the cloud provide more redundancy than tape, so you will never have to worry about whether or not the data is available. In addition, you can know with confidence that a copy of your data exists for you to recover in the event of an emergency.

Cloud-Hosted Tools

Why limit what the cloud can do for your business to just your data and backup? Instead, imagine what you can accomplish by using the cloud in more creative ways, such as hosting your business’ email or productivity suite on it. Hosting these solutions in the cloud allows for easy access on any approved device, meaning that you are truly freed from the constraints of the office.

You can also apply this principle to hardware solutions to an extent. For example, if you have certain legacy software that only runs on a specific instance of a server operating system, you might normally require an individual server unit for that software alone. Instead of running more hardware, you can instead use a virtual machine with partitioning through the cloud, allowing you to host-specific instances of an operating system in a virtual environment, saving you the headache and frustration of maintaining yet another server unit.

Get Started with the Cloud!

Don’t wait any longer to get started with cloud-based technology. AE Technology Group can help you with the entire process, from conceptualization to implementation. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Moving to the Cloud? Nail Down The Contract First

moving to the cloud nail down the contract first
Move to the Cloud Nail Down the Contract

Cloud computing has several advantages for small and medium-sized businesses. It allows easier access to company applications and software while on-the-go. It also frees up small companies to focus on growing their business, rather than getting bogged down maintaining their own technology resources. However, just because a business decides to hire an outside provider to manage their cloud resources, it doesn’t mean they are off the hook when it comes to protecting their most valuable asset — their corporate data.

When interviewing various cloud providers, there are several key points to consider before signing on the dotted line.

Physical Attacks

Just as any in-house servers would be vulnerable to fire, flood, power outages, or a natural disaster, so would the servers of any cloud provider managing a company’s cloud data. Since an organization’s data is the lifeblood of their company, it is critically important to feel comfortable with a potential cloud provider’s plan for protecting data in the case of these types of occurrences.

Security

Of course, it’s no secret that threats to external hackers and data breaches must be addressed, but there are internal threats as well. Just as it is important for companies to limit who is able to access what data within their own group of employees, so it is with any cloud provider they might hire as well. When interviewing potential providers, it’s important for both parties to clearly understand which provider employees will be given access to the client’s data.

A small business should feel comfortable that their cloud provider has strong measures in place to prevent unauthorized access, whether the access is attempted either internally or externally. If a breach or data loss does occur, there must be a clear understanding of what steps the provider will take to recover and correct the situation.

Costs and Flexibility

Of course, it’s very important to have a clear understanding of all the set-up costs associated with transitioning to a cloud provider, as well as long-term billing expectations. Another important factor to consider is whether a cloud provider uses any proprietary technology to service their clients. If they do, it could be difficult to transition to another provider if a small business decides their current provider is not a good fit.

For additional tips about signing a contract with a cloud provider, please contact us.

Cloud Computing – The Future of Disaster Recovery

cloud computing the future of disaster recovery
Cloud Computing

Disasters happen. Whether they be natural or man-made – hurricanes that flood your company’s headquarters or viruses that contaminate your IT department’s servers – the consequences can be devastating.

Studies have shown that 43% of companies that cannot retrieve their data due to a disaster strike never reopen and that 29% of these companies close within two years.

How can your business protect itself in the face of these inevitable calamities? Look to the clouds! Cloud computing offers cost-effective solutions to help your business recover lost data and resume normal operations effectively and efficiently.

Despite its lofty nomenclature, cloud computing is really a down-to-earth concept. In simple terms, cloud computing means relying on the Internet – rather than on hardware – to store the information and programs that are vital to your business. This system allows you to access integral data remotely – an especially handy benefit if, say, your hard drives are corrupted.

Cloud computing, therefore, is essential to disaster recovery. A cloud-based system allows you to make a virtual copy of your company’s server – including the operating system, data, software, and other information contained therein. Because it stores this virtual copy on the Internet, no hardware is required. And if no hardware is required, none can be compromised.

When it comes to disaster recovery, cloud computing can save your business more than just time and money – it can flat out save your business. Even if your headquarters had been located in Pompeii on the day that Vesuvius erupted, cloud computing would have made it possible for you to restart your business (hopefully in a volcano-free zone) with a minimal outlay of money, time, and effort.

Disasters happen. But when they do, cloud computing allows your business to look to the sky and keep its feet on the ground.

How to Use Cloud Printing

how to use cloud printing
The Cloud is a popular buzzword nowadays, that refers to services that can be hosted entirely on the internet. There is cloud hosting, cloud backups, cloud email…and now cloud printing. In this article, we will explain not only what cloud printing is, but how to cloud print.

What is Cloud Printing?

Cloud printing is a service that allows you to print to your home or office printers from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. All you need is a cloud printing application, and an internet-accessible printer, and you can take your business on the road!

How Do I Use Cloud Printing?

Cloud printing is both easy and convenient. Here is a simple guide to using this new technology.

First, you need to choose a cloud printing provider. Be sure to choose one that offers you the products and support that you need – the best value is in cloud computing services that package cloud printing with other cloud solutions. AE Technology Group offers extensive cloud computing solutions, including cloud printing.

You will then need to download your provider’s cloud printing app. This is the software you will use to connect your PC, laptop or tablet to your printer online.

Once your cloud printing application is installed, you need to configure it to work with your printer. Any printer that connects to the internet will be able to cloud print, but there are also specialty printers that come enabled with cloud printing capabilities. These printers don’t require any additional setup in order to connect them to your cloud printing service. Many of the top printer manufacturers, such as HP, Epson and Brother, now make cloud-ready printers.

Once your printer is configured for cloud printing, you can use that printer from anywhere in the world. As long as you have internet access, you have access to your cloud printer. You can also share your printer with any other device that has the cloud printing app installed. Simply print your file as usual, selecting your cloud printing device as default.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Nothing! The purpose of cloud printing is to make your life more convenient, and your business more efficient.

Contact us today to start taking advantage of our extensive cloud computing services.

How Cloud Computing Can Save Small Business Owners Time and Money

how cloud computing can save small business owners time and money

Small business owners don’t have a lot of time to waste. When they’re not improving their product or service, they’re generally working on other areas of their business. Things like communications and technology shouldn’t hold business owners up too much. They should work as they’re supposed to and assist business operations.

A recent CNBC article covers the transition that many small businesses are making to cloud computing. The article tells the story of Leo Sanders, the owner of a pet day care called Tough Pups in New York. In the article, Sanders explains how cloud computing saves him time on an average business day:

“I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and dedicate specific blocks of time to do certain tasks—it can be very disruptive to my day. When it comes to companies that almost automate tasks like this, it levels the playing field.”

There are many different cloud tools and resources that small businesses can use to improve their operations. Businesses can back up their data online so they don’t have to worry about purchasing new hardware and backing it up. In addition, cloud computing can be used in a disaster recovery plan so businesses can restore their operations quickly in the case of a disaster.

And the best part is that all of these tools and resources are available to small businesses at a reasonable cost. That lets them compete against corporations and larger businesses that can afford better technology and data centers. With cloud computing, small businesses don’t have to worry about the upfront cost that comes with purchasing hardware. They can just sign up for a plan and use the service supported by a cloud provider. This keeps the playing feel level for small businesses that can’t afford to purchase new hardware every month.

If you would like more information about cloud computing, contact us.