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What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About Cloud Computing Management

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Cloud computing is the future. In fact, it’s already here! Millions of people depend on cloud computing technologies to back up their important data. Big data is the force that is driving this need, and it looks to be a technology that will be with us for a very long time.

Everyone from beginning online business owners to multi-million dollar corporations need to utilize cloud computing technology. The reason so many people rely on this technology is that you cannot afford to rely on only one storage method such as one computer or an external drive. If these drives or computers crash, you will lose all of your essential data.

For business owners, it is even more important to have this kind of backup. When you are an online site owner or manager, you are not only responsible for your data. You are also responsible for your customers’ data. This creates more liability for you and can make you suffer a loss of credibility if the data is compromised.

From Device to the Cloud

Cloud computing involves more than just managing and maintaining the data in the cloud. It also involves the data that is on your mobile devices or desktop computers and servers. Companies need to know what is coming in and going out of these devices as they are legally responsible for the security of this data as well.

For the site manager or business owner, this becomes a bigger challenge since so many people are responsible for their devices. This makes the task of monitoring what each is doing on their devices almost impossible.

This makes it necessary to put a platform and solution in place that will allow for cloud management across the various devices and platforms to avoid lack of consistency and functionality. At the same time, you must ensure that it is safe and that your networks are secure.

Too Many Devices, So Little Time

Another important challenge that online business owners face today is that employees, business partners, collaborators, and others involved in projects with your company all want to maintain the control they have over their devices. They also tend to utilize a large number of devices due to other needs or interests they have that involve their specific job titles or responsibilities.

This means you have to allow for variation in platforms, device types, and integration of a multitude of devices to keep the flow of information going and keep projects coordinated.

This puts a pretty large burden on the IT department since they are still responsible for many of the issues across multiple devices in which they are all connected to a centralized server. The IT provider must handle the individual issues on the devices as well as the data in the cloud and the software and hardware issues.

Colocation of Services

Today, with the help of “the cloud,” and other services, workers and project collaborators can log into a central server from the device of their choice and collaborate on a wide variety of projects and activities no matter where they are. This increases accessibility as well as productivity and workflow. However, you will need to update some software manually for each device to be in compliance with software licenses and to tweak individual devices to work correctly.

Tools in the Cloud

Just as much of the work we now do as business owners is “in the cloud” these days, so are the tools that we need to increase our efficiency and productivity levels. Gone are the days of needing to download or install software based on the different computers or laptops you might have. We are now in the next phase of website and data hosting and storing important data in the cloud. With all of this in mind, it’s important to be able to access such tools due to the need to keep software updated on all devices that are connected to the cloud.

If you can set up platforms that allow you to disperse critical software and security patches and updates from the cloud to all devices on the network, you will save yourself a lot of headaches in the IT and security department by avoiding having to install them manually.

When you work on things “from the cloud,” you are working remotely. This means a lot of added convenience for collaborators and managers, but it also requires more coordination and logistics management so that all systems are working properly across the board.

Smart AI Technology

One thing about cloud computing is that is it heavily immersed in AI. Companies such as nVidia.com and others have had a sudden rise in stock lately. This is because investors realize they are offering many more AI solutions to the technology world than other companies are doing. This includes cloud computing and big data management.

The smarter the technology gets in the future, the fewer business owners will have to do manually. Self-learning AI programs can correct problems as they go and even develop new solutions, rather than having to have engineers continuously check on how they are doing and ensuring that the data is safe.

With this innovation also comes more automation and less worry for the cloud computing IT manager as well as the business owner.

Storage Solutions in the Cloud

Cloud storage is one of the most important aspects of cloud computing. You can store mind-boggling amounts of data in the cloud which allows you to expand on your potential as a business owner in ways never before imagined. If you are a digital media producer, you can create endless videos, podcasts, and other digital assets and upload them to cloud storage without the worry of running out of space.

With so much storage available on most drives such as Google Drive, DropBox, and others, one wonders if someday we will all have illimitable space open. Google Drive allows you to purchase 2 TB of space for only $9.99 per month. This gives you an idea of just how cheap the cloud is when you need more space for storage.

Cloud management platforms like Cloud Management Suite understand the importance of having a cloud computing system in place. For example, Cloud Management Suite offers a wide variety of cloud services from security to data management. It’s primary features include patch tracking, remote control, software distribution, inventory discovery and history & reporting. With businesses relying on the cloud, it’s important to not only provide a cloud based solution, but also one that can scale and grow based on the needs of the end user.

The same holds true with other solutions, as it’s always important to offer excellent business phone services with a multitude of services that you can use for your business. All of this is in place, while also taking advantage of cloud computing, and catering to the end needs of the client.

Why use cloud storage?

Any online business (or offline business who needs storage solutions) should consider utilizing cloud storage today. The benefits are too numerous to mention. But basically, you’ll be covered if something happens and you lose your data or important projects on a physical drive or computer.

You don’t have to worry about system crashes or computer malfunction eating your data. If you have ever mourned the loss of files that you thought you would never retrieve, you can understand the need for cloud storage. If you lose your data on your physical drives, all you have to do is go “to the cloud” to retrieve and replace them.

As a business owner, this also increases your credibility and integrity with clients when you tell them you have cloud storage because they know that their data will never truly be lost.

Some companies that set up an “emergency plan” for loss due to fire, floods, or other natural disasters even include a cloud-based storage system as one of the factors in securing their business and often report this to insurance companies to get their rates down.

This shows the importance of using cloud storage to keep your data safe.

Grow Your Business with Cloud Computing

Additionally, you need cloud storage to grow and maintain your business. You never know how large your online company may grow over the years. Having cloud computer storage allows you to grow and expand to whatever level you can handle as you increase your storage space and online collaboration capabilities “in the cloud.”

When you depend on cloud storage as well as your offline tools, you have more security in what you do, and you can feel free to focus on your goals within your business and less worrying time about your security issues and loss of data. To learn more about each of these concepts and how cloud computing can improve your business, download this free ebook on the top ten security tips for IT managers.

Using cloud computing solutions also allows you to cut down on the amount of money you have to dedicate to your business infrastructure and on-site or in-house maintenance. Upgrades are often done automatically, and you can “set it and forget it.”

Cloud storage and computing options also allow you to put your business on automation in many ways while using the remote tools and accessibility that is necessary to expand without the worry of logistics.

Summary

Cloud computing is still a relatively new innovation that allows you to work from anywhere, have full access to your data, and keep your clients’ important data secure. Managing your cloud computing network is not difficult, but it helps to have tools that help you organize everything.

No matter what type of business or brand you are running, there are always going to be ways to make improvements and have better control over your customer data and day to day operation. Cloud computing can help you get there.

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The Importance of Data Protection in the Workplace

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What happens at work, stays at work — well, not so much. This is especially true when it comes to not just your personal data, but also those of clients, employees, advertisers and much more. With more data leaks and hacker attacks happening daily, it’s no longer a question of ‘if’ your data will be lost and sold on the darknet. It’s simply a matter of ‘when’ and what you are going to do about it.

With all of this in mind, do you know why data protection matters at your workplace?

Data protection in the workplace can no longer be an afterthought. In today’s world, many businesses have an online presence and store information digitally. No matter what you’re selling, you store data digitally, and that’s why data breaches have hit record numbers in recent years.

Even small businesses can be targets for data breaches. In fact, small businesses are more commonly targeted sometimes, because they often don’t have as many security measures in place for their data.

Don’t get caught off guard by hackers. Instead, keep reading to learn why data protection matters, and what you can do to protect your valuable data.

1. Human Errors Happen

It’s tempting to think that as long as you have the right company guidelines, you won’t need data protection. You know your employees would never break the rules and make data available to people who shouldn’t have it. But has it occurred to you that they might accidentally create a data breach?

Everyone can make mistakes, even your most experienced employees. And the consequences of human error while handling data can be dire. What happens when a personal phone used for some business purposes gets stolen? How about when someone accidentally posts a password on their social media account?

Human error can take many different forms. You should definitely educate your employees on how to avoid security breaches. This includes guiding them on best practices, password protection, and more. But this won’t eliminate the room for mistakes.

Have a layered system of protection measures, so a single mistake can’t make your data completely available to the world. That way, human errors won’t create massive problems.

2. It Could Be Legally Required

Did you know that legally, you must protect your data in certain areas?

According to the European Data Protection Act, you have to take certain steps to keep people’s data safe. This means, among other things, that you can only use data in approved ways, that you can’t store it longer than you need it, and that you have to keep it secure.

Of course, the Data Protection Act doesn’t apply everywhere. But many governments have laws regarding the use of data, and you can also be held liable for data breaches. Even if data protection isn’t required by law, you don’t want to get sued in the event of a breach.

3. Employees Can Use Data for Revenge

The bigger and broader your team of employees, the greater the chances that one of them will break the rules in a serious way. No matter how much you trust your team, though, you should keep in mind that a dissatisfied employee with access to data is a huge liability.

No matter how great your company culture is, there can still be that one employee who has issues. Maybe their problem is with their job description, or a specific person they work with. No matter what the reason is, you don’t want to give a revenge-seeking employee the power to use data against you.

An angry employee with access to data might deliberately share it or use it in ways to harm your business. For some small businesses, a data breach can spell the end.

Make sure to keep employee account privileges tightly controlled, so no one has more access than they need. This helps reduce the chances of a deliberate breach. If an employee is no longer working for you, be sure that their account privileges get shut down right away.

4. Your Reputation Can Suffer

Even minor data breaches can have a huge impact on a brand’s reputation.

If your customers’ data has been compromised — even if it doesn’t lead to anything bad happening — they’ll feel like they can’t trust you. As the word spreads, your company will become known as the one that doesn’t handle customer information with care. It’s very hard to get your reputation back after an event like this.

5. Data Must Be Kept Accurate

Without data protection, inaccuracies in the data can start to create problems. Even if there’s never a data breach, you might find yourself working with outdated, inaccurate information because you didn’t effectively protect what you had.

You need complete data that’s reliable and accurate. One way to achieve this is to always have backups of your data, so replication won’t leave you working with data that’s different from the original. Lost data can also be a huge liability — click here to discover more about data protection.

6. Employees Might Use Their Own Devices

Does your company allow employees to “bring your own device,” or BYOD? Then you definitely need more security measures.

Today, it often makes sense to allow BYOD. You don’t have to buy computers and smartphones for business purposes when people can use their own. Employees can often work faster on the devices they’re familiar with, too.

However, the risk is that sensitive data that’s used on these devices can easily get compromised. To avoid this, you’ll want to set some BYOD standards. For example, you can require employees to put a password protection on any device they’ll use for work purposes. That way, if it’s lost or stolen, other people can’t access the information.

Implementing Data Protection in the Workplace

Now that you can see why it’s important, you need to decide what kinds of data protection in the workplace is right for your company.

The best data safety strategies will vary depending on your industry, the size of your business, and more. But a carefully planned out data protection strategy is always necessary, in all industries, and in all business sizes.

Need to build a site that will keep sensitive information safe? I can help — learn more about my web and site development services here.

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The Secret Behind Effective Human Resources Marketing

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For many entrepreneurs and business owners, ‘human resources’ can mean a lot of different things. For example, if you’re a solo-entrepreneur/blogger/affiliate marketer, you will likely never need to deal with the issues a corporation with a full HR division needs to. And for most, this is a plus! However, as businesses and organizations grow in size, so do their responsibilities and how they address the needs of different individuals within the company.

This is where human resources come into play, and for big businesses and corporations, it’s serious work! It’s not just about making sure everything is in place, it’s also about exploiting the positives of having a great HR department within your organization as well.

Marketing the work of your HR Department has many benefits. You’ll attract better candidates, make positive impressions, and improve your company’s reputation.

But developing a marketing strategy for HR can be challenging, as it’s not like marketing a product. Yet, with the right approach, human resources marketing is often pretty straightforward.

Keep reading to learn the secrets behind effective human resources marketing. When you’re done reading, you’ll know how to improve the reputation of your company, thanks to this marketing approach.

Let’s begin!

Tell Stories

When trying to market your HR Department, one of the best things you can do is create some content.

Ideally, you’ll want to create content that helps to portray the stories of some of your employees. You could feature someone who’s a recent graduate, for example. Or you might want to tell the story of someone that’s joined your company at a later age.

If you can, have a page on your website that’s dedicated to these kinds of stories. Consider writing content around these stories too. This’ll help improve the chances that people come across this content when they’re browsing Google.

In a similar light, you should also consider producing some content for YouTube. If the employees in question don’t want to be in a video, that’s fine. You can just tell their stories using an animation.

You might even want to think about posting this content onto LinkedIn. The best way to do this would be to create a “Career Page.” This’ll give you the chance to highlight the experiences of your employees.

You could also tell the stories of employees that have undergone some kind of training to make themselves more qualified. For instance, employees could take training such as the one found on this website. As a result, they’d more qualified and hence more marketable if they ever chose to find work elsewhere.

Express Your Expertise

The best people want to work in places that are going to challenge them and push them to be better. So, you need to show people you’re working on interesting problems and you’re trying to do new things.

The best way you can do this is by creating content around the work you’re doing. You don’t need to produce a technical paper to impress employees. What you should do, though, is create some blog posts that explain the kinds of things you’re currently working on.

You should try and get relevant people to write these blog posts. This means that if you want a blog post covering a specific topic, ask the person working on that project to write the post.

Ask them to write freely. If the writing is technical, this is going to work in your favor and it will help impress potential employees.

Internal Focus vs. External Focus

You also need to consider the internal reputation of the HR Department.

This is a big deal since people want to feel as if they’re taken care of. They’ll talk about their experiences on social media and among friends. This could lead to more people wanting to work for you and you may attract better talent.

If people don’t feel you aren’t taking care of them, they may decide to work elsewhere. You should create a weekly email that lets people know what the HR Department is up to.

This email should also let people know what they can do if there’s an issue. You also want to make sure you have a good process in place to deal with any disputes. You may want to ask for feedback on how you can make the workplace better.

It’s also worth mentioning that you should have a good process for dealing with potential hires too. This means you need to think about making the process smoother as they go through the hiring steps. Even if you don’t hire them, they’ll have a positive opinion of your company which they may share with others.

One way you can do this is by following up with candidates when the interview is over. If they didn’t get the job, let them know exactly what went wrong. This can then provide the individual with the knowledge needed to solve this issue so it doesn’t affect them at their next interview.

How Can You Help Former Employees?

You should also put some thought into how you can help former employees. If you do a good job here, these individuals will promote your brand for you.

One thing you can do is try to look out for someone if you have to fire them due to downsizing.

Consider how you can help this individual get another job. This might mean reaching out to some of your existing contacts. You might even want to take a look at their resume and suggest some things they can do to make it better.

Is Human Resources Marketing Important?

Initially, marketing the Human Resources Department of a business can seem like an odd idea. But the more you explore this concept, the more it begins to make sense.

In this post, we have examined how you can go about developing a human resources marketing strategy. Telling the stories of employees is a great way to let people know about the experience of working for your business. You can also create content which highlights the nature of the problems your business is trying to solve.

It also helps to focus on how you can aid past employees too. If you can do this, you’ll create a lasting positive impression on people.

Worried your HR Department is making some mistakes? Check out this post for some tips on what you can do to reduce the chances of this happening.

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7 Reasons Why Cloud Computing in 2018 is So Important

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The market for cloud services is expected to nearly triple between 2015 and 2020. By the end of next year, it could be worth almost $170 billion. It is easy to see why, since the cloud has provided a much more cost-effective solution for storing data.

The cloud is playing a more important role in our lives every day. One of the biggest ways that cloud technology is changing our lives is by improving the scalability and versatility of online commerce and content delivery. Amazon and other large online brands developed cloud hosting services a few years ago. The solutions have become mainstream, as almost all hosting providers allow their customers to store their website data on the cloud.

Here are some of the biggest reasons that organizations are using the cloud for website hosting.

Massive scalability

The biggest benefit of cloud hosting is scalability. Neal Thoms at TechRadar shares a primer on the benefits of cloud scalability.

He points out that the cloud enables a seemingly infinite number of machines to connect and act as a single, centralized data server. Data for the same application can be distributed across various discs, which makes it much easier for organizations to increase storage space.

Expediting service delivery

After scalability, most organizations believe that cost effectiveness is the main benefit of cloud computing. However, there is at least one other benefit that is even more important.

Improving turnaround times for service delivery is a much bigger benefit for many organizations then reducing operational costs. Gartner published a case study on Easyjet that emphasized this point. Easyjet initially invested in cloud technology to reduce operating costs. However, they quickly realized that their new cloud infrastructure enabled them to deliver services much more efficiently.

Why does cloud hosting help organizations deliver services more quickly? They are able to simultaneously utilize multiple servers at once. With a traditional shared hosting service, all of the data would have been kept on a single server. The server would have a much more limited RAM., so it would face a bandwidth bottle neck after a certain threshold. The server would need to reduce its operating capacity, which would cause services to be delivered more slowly online.

This is not nearly as much of a concern with cloud hosting. The application can share data across multiple servers, so there is little risk of any individual server exceeding its capacity.

Very high uptime guarantees

Uptime is another major consideration for anybody that operates a website. According to data from Pingdom, the average uptime of all websites is 99.03%, which means that it is lower for sites that don’t use cloud hosting.

Some organizations may believe that an uptime of around 98% might be acceptable. However, that figure would mean that the site was down for over seven days every single year. If you operate a website that generates around $300 a day in revenue, a 98% uptime rate will mean that your site is losing over $2,000 in revenue each year.

Downtime is not nearly as much of a concern with cloud hosting. The average uptime for even the cheapest cloud hosting services is around 99.99%. This means that a website using cloud hosting service will only be down for around 52 minutes and 32 seconds over the course of an entire year. That would reduce the $2,000 in losses from the hypothetical business listed above to less than $10 each year.

Some cloud hosting services are so confident in their uptime, that they have actually started guaranteeing 100% uptime. Vultr is among them. If your site ever goes down, Vultr will give you an SLA credit.

Flexible privacy options

Privacy is another important consideration when choosing a hosting service. The levels of privacy that you need will obviously vary based on the nature of your website applications.

Some data is intended to be freely accessible to almost anybody with an Internet connection. If the goal is to share data with the world, then you will want a public hosting solution. On the other hand, some data needs to be very carefully secured. In these circumstances, do you need a much more private hosting option.

Cloud hosting solutions cover a wide range of privacy options. You can buy public, private or hybrid hosting for your website. A private cloud option enables you to use a hosting infrastructure made of both cloud and bare metal dedicated servers.  Private hosting is vital for companies that need to keep certain data very secure, such as companies that are subject to HIPAA regulations.

You have a lot of control over the privacy options of your hosting when you purchase a hybrid hosting service. You can insure that some data is heavily restricted, while other data is freely available.

Cheaper hosting costs for small scale projects

The logistics of cloud hosting are different from shared or dedicated hosting options. This is why there is such a strong debate about the cost effectiveness of cloud computing. Many experts argue that cloud services are intrinsically more affordable, while others have argued that they are more expensive.

Which set of experts is wrong? The answer is that neither of them are wrong. They probably have different experiences with customers of different sizes, so their perceptions are going to be different.

In order to make a cost benefit analysis of a cloud hosting service, you need to recognize that the pricing structure is not linear. Using cloud hosting for larger applications places more strain on a larger number of cloud servers. Hosting providers have a more difficult time distributing your resources across different servers as your website content and bandwidth increase. They are still able to accomplish this without compromising uptime, but they need to compensate by charging you at a higher pricing tier.

On the other hand, hosting smaller websites on the cloud is much easier. Since the hosting provider has far more resources to allocate your data to, they are able to offer much cheaper pricing for smaller websites than traditional shared and dedicated hosting plans.

Ensuring better content delivery for global customers

An organization’s challenges are going to depend on the size of its global footprint. Some organizations have websites that cater to people in a specific region. This means they can easily ensure the fastest content delivery and best user experience by purchasing a hosting plan that uses a server in those parts of the world. Companies that reach customers all over the world will find it is much more difficult to satisfy them with traditional hosting solutions.

Cloud hosting platforms offer content delivery networks. They make sure that the customer is connected to a server near their location, which ensures that they can receive the fastest possible content delivery and the lowest risk of downtime.

Greater confidence among prominent customers

Prominent customers that subscribe to online services are going to have much higher expectations than your average website visitor. They are paying a premium for services, so they are going to insist that they have very reliable experiences.

While you could theoretically meet their needs with a VPS or even a dedicated hosting service, that may not be enough. The perception is also very important. They are going to feel more confident in your online service if you emphasize that your website uses cloud hosting.

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