Why Every Business Should Have A Disaster Recovery Plan On The Cloud

Accidents Happen.
Prevent Them Before They Get To You
Cloud Disaster Recovery Plans are Essential

The loss of data and important information can ruin any business. This blog will help you learn more about how important it is to have a disaster recovery plan, and why the cloud is a great choice for you and your business.

Let’s be honest, we are all human and accidents happen. In fact, U.S. airports report approximately 637,000 laptops are lost each year. (Source)  Whether it’s accidentally left behind, or stolen- it’s gone. In fact, there was a case last year when an undercover detective got his laptop stolen. Whoever the thief is now has possession of over 2,000 social security numbers and drivers license numbers. That’s not even the worst of it. The laptop also contained extremely important criminal justice information, including confidential information about crime victims, witnesses, police officers and suspects.

See also: Public, Private, Hybrid. Which Cloud Is Best For QuickBooks Hosting?

And then there’s mother nature, who, as we all know works in mysterious ways. When Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, it cost more than $819.8 million in disaster recovery loans, according to the United States Small Business Administration. (Source)

From power outages resulting from storms, flash floods, electrical fires- your precious data could be lost in an instant. This is why it’s important to understand how crucial it is to have the Cloud with a disaster recovery plan.

Some companies have a tendency to go without a disaster recovery plan until a problem occurs and sadly it’s too late to retrieve the lost data and information. “The Institute for Business and Home Safety reports that 25 percent of companies never reopen after a major disaster.” (Source)

See also: 5 Predictions For Cloud Computing In 2015

How does it work?

The clouds disaster recovery plan is best described by having two sections: a cloud backup component and an on-premise backup. Even after a significant disaster, these two parts work together in order to get your company quickly back up and running. Here’s a simple graph showing how Cloud9 Real Time’s disaster recovery plan works:

Cloud9 Real Time Data Center Redundancies

 

Talk to Cloud9 Real Time about different Disaster Recovery Plans today!

Is it affordable? What about for SMBs?

Yes. The cloud disaster recovery plan has been widely popular even for smaller companies who may not have the IT infrastructure for a complicated on-premise system. “Among U.S. companies, the average cost of downtime for a small or medium business is over $8,500 per hour.” (Source)

What about scalability?

With the clouds disaster recovery plan, if your business grows, the cloud will grow with you. This makes things easier since companies won’t have to spend thousands of up front costs for services they don’t need. Cloud disaster recovery allows you to pay for what you need- when you need it.

See also: Premise IT vs. Cloud Computing: What You Need To Consider For Your Business

And data protection?

The disaster recovery plan automatically saves and backups your data and confidential information, so that it is secure. The data is protected in real time and is stored in multiple devices to ensure the highest quality of security.

SafeWalletLogoThere are countless disaster recovery success stories out there. Dan Stone, an IT specialist shared his story in an interview with Latisys. “One of our clients supplies to internationally known car manufacturers. All companies operate 24/7, so there is a strict zero downtime policy. Every minute of downtime can equal hundreds of thousands of dollars of losses, and extra costs for staff to catch up on hours lost in the factories.” (Source)

If your company isn’t using the Cloud to back up data, information and applications then it is definitely time to consider making a change and hopping to the Cloud.

Be smart, prevent disasters before they start.

See also: 7 Ways Construction in the Cloud Can Help Your Company

LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter: Why Your SMB Should Use All Four Social Media Platforms

Social-media-for-public-relations1 (2)It’s a competitive world out there, especially for small businesses. It’s important to take advantage of any opportunity that will help your business prosper and succeed. There are four main social networking platforms that will benefit your business: Google Plus, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

LinkedIn_logo_initialsLinkedIn

One thing to keep in mind about LinkedIn, is the content. With over 100 million members, this social media server is great for networking to a community of business professionals. The content on LinkedIn is completely business related, therefore the audience engaging with one another are all professionals whether they are in the same industry as your company or not. According to eMarketer, “nearly 80 percent of small to medium sized businesses use LinkedIn for marketing purposes.” LinkedIn allows businesses to focus on groups, profiles and connections. Take advantage of growing your network by connecting with other companies, clients, colleagues, etc. With LinkedIn, companies have the opportunity to poll audiences by using Q&A’s, getting opinions on products, ideas, what they like/dislike, how to improve, etc. This is a great way for businesses to save time and money. LinkedIn is also helpful for recruiting new employees or even seeking a new career. You have the option to search keywords in LinkedIn so you can narrow down your search for potential new employees or a position you are interested in. LinkedIn is also great to use to keep an eye on competitors. By viewing an opponent’s company page, you can learn a lot about what their current focuses are as well as stay up to date on who’s been fired and who’s been hired. Another useful function that LinkedIn provides is the skills and expertise role. This is handy for searching SEO so you are able to keep up with new trends and topics. Lastly, make sure to build reviews from your profile. Don’t be afraid to ask partners, employees, customers, etc. to recommend your business or even share an experience they shared with you previously.

See also: To Have A Managed Or Unmanaged Private Virtual Server, That Is The Question

Google+ Google_Plus_logo

Google+ is another great social media platform to consider since it is the biggest search engine in the world, so establishing your companies brand through Google+ will definitely benefit your business. Keep in mind that Google+ should be integrated with any content marketing from your company. The simplicity on Google+ makes creating a profile easy to set up and design. Since Google+ is such a successful search engine, keeping up with posts on a daily basis will help boost your company’s awareness. Staying connected to customers is key because it shows that you care. Google+ provides hangouts, emails, comments and more to make it easier to communicate with customers and engage in feedback. This social media service is also beneficial to businesses because it offers the ability to join communities and network with similar companies. So start expanding and get your company on Google+ today.

See also: Public, Private, Hybrid. Which Cloud Is Best For QuickBooks Hosting?

Facebook_logo_(square)Facebook

Then there’s the famous Facebook. Some people view Facebook as purely a casual social platform as opposed to a professional social platform. However, Facebook has been known to be very valuable for businesses as well. Facebook offers low-cost marketing tactics which is perfect for SMBs with a limited budget.  Facebook allows businesses to share your business name, contact details, address and even describe your company’s services and products. Like other social media services, Facebook allows you to write about your business history and staff. One of the ways that Facebook stands out from all the other social media platforms, is the ability to easily share photos and videos of your business. People enjoy the use of the Facebook “wall” because it allows customers, clients or potential customers to join in conversations and collaborate together. Another thing that people enjoy about Facebook is the “Like” button. The “Like” button helps raise brand awareness and promote a more positive word of mouth. By hitting the “Like” button, customers will receives updates on their wall as well as share posts to their friends. Businesses can put a link to their Facebook page on their company’s website which will increase traffic. Once you own a Facebook page, you can see your targeted audience which allows business owners to know who they should be targeting specifically. Unlike other social media platforms, Facebook has a “Check-In” option on mobile devices, which can be incredibly beneficial for others to see where friends frequent and what places are more popular. Once you “Check-In”, users can receive a list of nearby businesses who are offering loyalty rewards, freebies, discounts, etc.

See also: 5 Predictions For Cloud Computing in 2015

Twitter Twitter_icon

Last but not least, there’s Twitter. Another free social media platform. The biggest difference between Twitter versus other social media platforms is the hashtag (#).  According to Red Bird Metrics, “Twitter allows you to gather real-time conversations around live events like webinars, trade shows, or a grand opening.” Twitter has over 284 million active users, therefore it is a great prospecting tool. The layout of Twitter is different from the past 3 social media platforms because it allows businesses to have a header on their profile. The header is helpful when targeting specific audiences by using keywords or phrases that are related to your service or product.  With Twitter, you have the ability to test different headers and see what users respond to the most. Twitter also helps improve your SEO. Anything you share on Twitter will influence your prominence on Google as well. In fact, 59% of journalists use Twitter, so in the PR world, this is definitely beneficial. A unique aspect of Twitter, is that you can send a message to anyone which opens a lot of doors for business development.

See also: Premise IT vs. Cloud Computing: What You Need To Consider For Your Business

All four of these social media platforms are free and easy to set up. By putting your business on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Twitter, you will maximize profit and minimize costs that are normally spent on marketing. All business owners need to do is update posts regularly, engage in audiences and keep content fresh and interesting. Don’t stop at putting your business on just one social media platform, but consider all. With so many opportunities for business owners to reach audiences, it’s important to take advantage of it. Spend time on your social media strategy and enjoy the benefits!

See also: 7 Ways Construction In The Cloud Can Help Your Company

 

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To Have A Managed or Unmanaged Private Virtual Server, That Is The Question

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Whether your company has a managed cloud or an unmanaged cloud, you know that just being on the cloud is a good choice in general. Now what’s the difference between a managed cloud and an unmanaged cloud? A lot, really. This blog will detail the pros and cons between the two options so you will have a better insight between which private virtual server will work best for your SMB.

Lets start with the basics. What is the actual difference between managed clouds vs. unmanaged cloud. Its not as complicated as you think.

When you have an unmanaged hosting service, you are responsible for the management within the server. In order to maintain and manage your own server, you will need to be technically savvy and have the experience necessary in order to sustain a successful server for your SMB. Unmanaged hosting tends to be more time consuming and overall costs more when you think about the costs and labor due to having experienced ITs on hand.

See also: Public, Private, Hybrid. Which Cloud Is Best For QuickBooks Hosting?

Now let’s discuss the pros and cons of using an unmanaged host:

Unmanaged Clouds:

By having an unmanaged cloud, you are in complete control. However, by having complete control means that you will need IT specialists in order to handle the server. Another benefit of having an unmanaged cloud is that it’s cost efficient. You won’t need to pay for any additional services other than the server itself. While having an unmanaged cloud is less expensive than a managed cloud, you will need to be able to implement the server and get it started, so if this is unfamiliar to you- you may want to consider spending the extra money on a managed cloud.

See also: Premise IT vs. Cloud Computing: What You Need To Consider For Your Business

Managed Clouds:

While managed clouds are a slightly more expensive, the time and billable hours makes  up for it since everything is taken care of for you. One of the biggest attractions to having a managed cloud is the security. You are paying for experts to monitor your system, provide security audits, filters for viruses and spam and you will be consistently alerted about any updates happening with your server. Another positive aspect of having a managed cloud is that it comes with consistent backups, so your data and information will be safe. There’s nothing like an accident, a natural disaster or a theft that could ruin a company. It’s nice to trust that someone is monitoring your system around the clock so that you can focus on other issues so that you don’t have to.

See also: 5 Predictions For Cloud Computing in 2015

Now which one to choose. There’s no better option, it just depends on which solution is best for you. Some things to ask yourself are:

  1. Cloud Server on the SkyHow much money are you willing to spend on your hosting needs?
  2. Are you able to set up a server so all of the applications and data communicate properly?
  3. If your server went down, are you able to bring it back up on your own?
  4. Would you rather spend more money just to avoid the frustration of managing your own cloud?

By asking yourself these questions, you should have a better grasp on what your company needs. Don’t just settle, make sure you do the research before promising to something you may regret.

 

Public, Private, Hybrid. Which Cloud Is Best For QuickBooks Hosting?

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Public, Hybrid, Private.

Which One To Choose When It Comes To QuickBooks Hosting

One way to think about how the Cloud works, is to view the Cloud like the internet. Basically, the Cloud is a virtual place that will secure your data and information. There are three different types of Clouds. There is a private Cloud, a public Cloud and a hybrid Cloud. All three Clouds have different levels of management and security. This article will break up the similarities from the three Clouds and how they work with QuickBooks Hosting.

See also: A Look Inside QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Hosting & The Public Cloud

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The public Cloud is just how it sounds. It’s public. This type of Cloud has an infrastructure that is available from an off-site Internet source. Since this type of Cloud is not private, it is easier to share files and can be more susceptible when it comes to security in comparison to the private Cloud. Being as it is not as secure, it is not recommended for QuickBooks Hosting or any other financial software. If you think the public Cloud is for you, you can relate to the following:

  • Projects that consist of collaboration
  • You’re using a Platform as a Service (PaaS) software development
  • Need to test and develop application codes
  • Your Software as a Service (SaaS) application has a well-implemented security strategy
  • A large number of people use applications such as email

Remember: “Many IT department executives are concerned about public cloud security and reliability. Take extra time to ensure that you have security and governance issues well planned, or the short-term cost savings could turn into a long-term nightmare.” (Source)

See also: 5 Predictions For Cloud Computing in 2015

QuickBooks Hosting & The Private Cloud

private cloud

Again, it’s just how it sounds: it’s private. It’s important for businesses to realize how vital security and control is when running a business. Even though purchase is required for the private Cloud, it’s definitely worth it since it reduces cost savings in the end. By actually paying for the private Cloud, companies can rest assure that they will have top notch security and high quality maintenance on software and infrastructure. When it comes to QuickBooks Hosting in the Cloud, this is the way to go. If you say yes to the following then a private Cloud is for you…

  • Security and control are prime for your data and applications
  • Your company is part of an industry, therefore it must adapt to strict data privacy and security issues
  • Your company is growing and is large enough to run a next generation cloud data center efficiently on its own

Remember: “To complicate things, the lines between private and public clouds are blurring. For example, some public cloud companies are now offering private versions of their public clouds. Some companies that only offered private cloud technologies are now offering public versions of those same capabilities.” (Source)

See also: 7 Ways Construction In The Cloud Can Help Your Company

QuickBooks Hosting & The Hybrid Cloud

hybrid

Last but not least, the hybrid Cloud. The hybrid Cloud is a combination of a private and public Cloud. In order to manage the hybrid Cloud, companies need to keep track of multiple different security platforms. As far as QuickBooks Hosting goes, with a hybrid Cloud, companies can keep their data and applications on a private Cloud while less sensitive documents can be stored on a public Cloud. Reasons why the hybrid Cloud is a good fit for your company include…

  • Your company offers services that adapt to different markets and clients. You can take advantage of using the public cloud to allow others to interact with each other while at the same time keeping specific data and information secure within a private Cloud.
  • Your business can have a SaaS vendor as well as creating a private Cloud solely for your company within their own firewall.

“Remember: The management requirements of cloud computing become much more complex when you need to manage private, public, and traditional data centers all together. You’ll need to add capabilities for federating these environments.” (Source)

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