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Why & How to Integrate the Cloud into Your Company in 2018

Why and How to: Integrate the Cloud into Your Company, in 2018.

Integrate the Cloud into Your CompanyBusiness and technology are two fields where one can’t work without the other. These days, businesses need technology to grow, and technology needs business to spread. Times are changing, and it’s harder to keep up and stay relevant when new companies are popping up left and right. It is crucial for business owners to find the best ways to continue to innovate and improve. So, how to: Integrate the Cloud into Your Company

Integrate the Cloud into Your Company

Integrating the cloud into a business could be just the right move to get one step ahead of the competition. The cloud works by keeping and using data that is kept within the internet rather than on local storage. Cloud services include:

• Platform as a service (PaaS)
• Software as a service (SaaS)
• Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

Within these three sections businesses can determine what they need, such as network equipment (IaaS), resource tracking software (SaaS), and databases (PaaS). Businesses can pick and choose what they need, or utilize all three “departments”. By working with one vendor that can provide all three services, it leaves businesses with beneficial interconnective opportunities.

Why Collaborate

The cloud can bring collaboration to a team. More often than not, team members work together via email and share documents virtually. The cloud can provide this as well, serving as a central location to share executed work, completed research and gathered data. According to Trackvia, it has been discovered that working within the cloud can increase productivity and quality of work overall. It can also support remote employees and help them feel included with the “work from anywhere” feature the cloud can provide. According to INC.com, employees that have the ability to work from home are happier and healthier. A positive outlook on the day-to-day responsibilities from employees can result in better productivity and increased quality of work.

What about Security?

Security is becoming a larger scale issue as the internet becomes the primary channel for individual needs like online banking and photo storage along with enterprise use cases for data storage and project management. According to Salesforce’s former executive vice president, Vivek Kundra, “Cloud computing is often far more secure than traditional computing, because companies like Google and Amazon can attract and retain cyber-security personnel of a higher quality than many governmental agencies.” When working with a cloud vendor, they become responsible for the client’s data security, providing benefits such as faster patching. Cloud data centers offer larger enterprise teams, increasing security and threat detection capabilities.

How about Disaster Recovery – Cloud Computing!

There was once a time when businesses both big and small didn’t prioritize disaster recovery. Up to 50% of organizations have insufficient disaster recovery plans, according to the International Data Corporation. With the cloud, companies now have a built-in backup where data and files are stored without having to invest in their own data centers. Incorporating the cloud into a business, in turn, is less expensive than creating an in-house disaster recovery center. No matter the size of a business, there is the opportunity to invest in an “insurance policy” that will actually save them money. It also opens up a new market for cloud companies that can now target organizations with lower budgets but similar needs.

Environmentally Friendly

A short and sweet benefit, but a benefit nonetheless. Moving to the cloud can benefit both an organization and the environment. Saving money on supplies such as paper, ink, hardware, and big investment pieces like printers can make a heavy impact in the long run. In turn, there will be less waste and paper usage, supporting the environment and a good cause.

How

Once a company has decided to integrate cloud capabilities into its plan, the next step is finding the best way to do so. A balance must be found between the company moving forward for modernization purposes, while keeping up with already successful legacy system strategies. It isn’t required to move everything to the cloud, but finding where it fits best and where it’s needed is an important step in the process.

For example, utilizing systems such as G Suite or Office 365 is a smooth and relatively simple transition for a company to take when integrating cloud systems into their repertoire. G Suite is a collection of different business applications, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar. All these separate apps work together and become an effective tool used by companies worldwide. This type of system creates consistency within all departments leading to seamless processes throughout the company. It can also aid in-house communication in aspects such as improved workflow, organization, and team collaboration.

For the transition to be effective, employees need to have an understanding of the technology. The creation of a company-wide strategy will ensure everyone has a clear understanding of what cloud services are being used, and what applications are suitable for this. Establishing training for employees should be a requirement to confirm that their skills are up to date, and that realistic expectations are set. On an administrative side, it is essential to remember that this will take time, and some employees may be hesitant to the initial change.

Ensuring they understand the benefits to this transition will be vital while making such an impactful change within an organization. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd recently spoke at NetSuite’s SuiteWorld Conference where he commented on a similar topic, stating “part of the reason this whole movement to the cloud is so attractive is the opportunity to get to standardization and simplification while you get to modernization.” Technology is evolving every day and to be successful it’s important to stay relevant and current in the field. Whether trying to avoid a security breach or simplifying and updating current business tech, the modernization of systems will be rewarding. Business leaders, big and small, agree movement to the cloud is something that should be done for a company to succeed.

CloudAlly provides cloud to cloud backup for GSuite, Office 365 and other leading business solutions.  If your business already has one of these business solutions why not give our 14 day free backup trial a go, backup your critical business data, so that you can restore it from any point in time in case of Malware, malicious activity, or even accidental employee error.

Five Tips to Prevent SharePoint Sprawl

Five Tips to Prevent SharePoint Sprawl

Many companies use Microsoft SharePoint to manage documents and workflow processes, and to help organize all of the communications flying around between various offices. Enterprise clients can even use Office 365 and SharePoint to create websites and chart a course for other kinds of digital and off-line projects. But good SharePoint management goes a long way — and it’s important to understand how to use this type of software is best used in business.

One particular problem with share point is called “SharePoint sprawl.” This is the idea that over time, the SharePoint architecture, the collections of files, folders and documents organized in the SharePoint system, becomes large, unwieldy and eventually, disorganized.

Here are five ways to control your SharePoint libraries and collections.

Managing Permissions and Privileges

One of the most fundamental ways to cut down on SharePoint sprawl is to restrict the technical permissions to create new files and folders, or add to the architecture that’s already there. This starts with having a policy for SharePoint creation, and enforcing that policy as rigidly as possible. You might end up having a few point people with advanced permissions and a responsibility to look over the structure from time to time. These auditors can help make sure that the company isn’t generating too much activity that can have a negative impact on how well you organize SharePoint materials.

No Duplicates

It’s also a good idea to be vigilant about duplication. Suppose a document gets created at the team level, and put into a team folder. Maybe at the same time, someone at a management level is opening a folder for a group. Where does that document go? What if it goes both places?

Keeping an eagle eye out for duplicates is part of “pruning” the SharePoint structure to prevent sprawl.

Good Governance

In general, data governance is a concern at most businesses of any significant size.

Data governance, again, revolves around planning and policy. When you start to look at how the business typically generates data, and how it’s stored, and how it moves in transit, there is the capability to fine-tune the data flow for individual business processes. This sets your business up for success, and also prevents the kinds of disorganization that people like to call “sprawl” or “bloating” in a system.

Effective Use of Metadata

Companies can also go over how to use features like tagging and managed keywords in share point. These types of metadata allow for more agile file retrieval and better classification of data objects within the system. When you get acquainted with terms like “folksonomy” and understand collaborative processes better, your share point policies will benefit from that.

Utilize External Software

You can also improve enterprise use of SharePoint in Office 365 with the addition of some third-party tools that help safeguard data in your company systems. Cloudally’s comprehensive backup platform assures that the data you need will be there when you need it — even if it’s months or years in the future. In many ways, managing data in share point or anywhere else is managing a timeline, as well as a volume of data. Any limitations or restrictions in the native applications can be extremely harmful when it comes to processes like e-discovery. Talk to Cloudally about getting real, comprehensive protection for your valuable data. Ask our Support Team for more information.

Office 365 add-Ons

Office 365 add-Ons

Best Microsoft Office 365 Productivity Add-Ons

In a recent article featured in KitGuru online magazine, the latest Office 365 add-Ons were illustrated with CloudAlly Office 365 Backup Solution topping the chart.

The article titled: Extending 365: 7 Tools to Improve Your Microsoft Office Experience, explicitly pointed out CloudAlly backup as one of the best Office 365 tools.  CloudAlly is again recognized as a leading productivity tool by ‘techies’ who value the simple but yet safe cloud-to-cloud backup solution.

Microsoft’s Office 365 is an incredibly powerful and comprehensive suite on its own, but with add-ons you can supercharge your Office 365 productivity, being able to restore your data from any point in time.

Try out CloudAlly backup solutions for: G Suite, Office 365, Box.com and others.

Free 14 day trial

Office 365 add-Ons

 

 

Moving from Cloud-First to Cloud-Only

Planning on moving from Cloud-First to Cloud-Only ?

Recent article in IT Pro Portal describes how SMBs can Benefit from shifting to the Cloud.

The cloud is no longer an emerging technology market. In fact, 80% of the Fortune 500 is on the Microsoft Cloud, and Gartner expects that by 2019, more than 30% of the 100 largest vendors’ new software investments will have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only. Unfortunately, adoption of the cloud hasn’t been as fast for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Only 64% of SMBs currently use a cloud-based software, according to a survey by BCSG. The good news is that 88% indicate they are considering using at least one cloud app in the next 2-3 years. Early adopters characterize the current market. So, what’s holding the rest back?  Read More

 

CloudAlly own CEO interview in IT Pro Portal quoted as saying: “Worry about data loss is one of the biggest barriers I run across when it comes to cloud adoption,” says Avi Katz, CEO of CloudAlly, an all-in-one cloud-to-cloud data backup and recovery solution for Microsoft Office 365, Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, G Suite, Salesforce, and Box.com. “

Its time to backup your cloud based solutions, starting with Office 365 and G Suite.

Q&A Series: How and Why a Backup of Google Contacts is necessary?

How & Why a Backup of Google Contacts is necessary?

Using Google for your company’s email service is smart. It is simple, easy to use, and employees can log in to collect their messages from just about anywhere. You feel safe with Google and you should.

Google has a reputation for having reliable security. However, even the big names have their problems. While they do provide excellent security, they cannot protect you from yourself or other issues that can cause you to lose your Google Contacts.  So how and why you should backup Google contacts ?

What are some of the ways you can lose contact information? Merging problems are simple and often overlooked way contact details becomes deleted. If you select the wrong files or too many files at once, can result in data loss. It may not be obvious that the loss occurred at first.

Like merging address books, syncing your Gmail contact list with your phone contact list can also result in missing information. If the device has a misconfiguration, you can lose information from both the device itself and your Gmail account.

Syncing and merging problems are not the only way you can lose valuable data. Even though the Gmail account may be through G Suite, that does not make it impenetrable to hackers. Google does offer additional security features to make it more difficult for a hacker to access your account without your knowledge. However, unauthorized access does still happen, and their primary goal is to send out as many spam and scams as possible.

Hackers often delete your email history, sent files, and contact list. This way your contacts cannot alert you to their presence. The best defense against hackers is a complex password, changed regularly, and two step security sign-in measures. You can also set Google to alert you when a new sign in has occurred. With the email alert system, you always know when someone has logged in from a new location.

Of course, the most common reason for contact deletion is simple human error. Removing data from your Google account is straightforward. While you may be prompted from time to time to confirm the deletion, that is not always the case. Sometimes, you mean to delete one thing and then accidentally select a different name. When you confirm the deletion, you believe you are correct but turn out to be mistaken. Sometimes you realize your error immediately, other times it could be days or weeks before you realize that the name you need is no longer in your address book.

Backing Up Yourself

There are ways for you to back up contacts yourself. You can just export the data to a CSV document on your computer. If you update your contact page frequently, you might want to export about once a week. Saving a current CSV file once a month is enough to keep this information safe otherwise. If you are using the newest version of Contacts, you may be prompted to change back to the older version for export.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using Google’s Built-In Backups

Google offers a basic backup option. Their service retains deleted contacts. However, they only retain the information for up to 30 days. You do not have to turn on any settings; this is an automatic feature.

While restoring contact information using Google is simple, it is also destructive. Instead of just restoring the items, it turns back the clock on your contact list, which means that any new names added go away.

>> To restore contacts through Google, start by logging into your Gmail account.

Once logged in, click on the Google Applications icon on the top right of the screen.

 

backup google contacts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> Open the Contacts page by selecting Contacts from the drop-down menu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> On the Contacts page, choose More. In the newest version of Google contacts, the More option is on the left-hand side of the screen. Older versions of contacts, the More option is located above the contact list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> From here you can choose Undo Changes and select the time frame from the pop-up box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> Completing an Undo option restores any contacts lost from within the period selected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Older versions of Google Contacts you choose restore instead of undoing. The same time frame options appear.

Backup with CloudAlly – Backup Google Contacts

The best way to ensure you lose none of your Gmail contacts is to use a third-party backup like Cloud Ally. Exporting them and keeping them locally works well if your computer does not crash. CloudAlly backups all your contacts and restore them without deleting any new details.

­CloudAlly backs up all your contacts from any connected Google or Gmail account. To backup, log into your CloudAlly account and select the Add New Backup Task option. Then choose Google Account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> Select the Next button to give CloudAlly permission to access and save information from the selected account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> After giving Google permission, select the account you want to connect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The backup begins automatically and runs at the same time each day. Updates made to your contact list are added, while any deleted names remain accessible for later restore.

When restoring contacts, you can choose to restore all names from a particular date with the Snapshot restore, or a specific contact by using the Search option.

When restoring, CloudAlly reinserts the information into your address book. Unlike with Google’s contact recovery feature, all existing entries remain even if they were added after losing the restored information.

Protect your connections from hackers, system errors, and your mistakes. Backup address book so that you never have to worry about losing an important email or phone number again. You can try CloudAlly free for 15 days, no credit card required to sign up.

The True Cost of SaaS Data Loss

Is every business manager familiar with the problem of SaaS data loss ?

Most of the time, the incidents are relatively inconsequential—an accidently deleted email that should have been saved or thirty minutes spent re-writing a client strategy document when Microsoft Word crashed. However, sometimes SaaS data loss is critical and the cost of that lost data is substantial.

In 2015, a study by the Ponemon Institute revealed that the average total cost of a data breach is $3.79 million. But that’s only part of the equation; there’s also cost that goes into recovery. For example, if you lose your Salesforce data with no backup, there is a steep cost to recover it. According to the Salesforce website, the price of recovery is a flat $10,000 USD, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get everything back

The problem is that most businesses don’t understand the full consequences and total cost of SaaS data loss. They think that data backup and recovery is too big of an initial investment with little reward, but that’s not the case. A little investment now in a backup and recovery solution can save your business thousands if not millions of dollars in the future.

In fact, it’s cheaper to back up your SaaS data cloud-to-cloud than using any other method, and it’s soon to become standard.

Why Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Is the Go-To Solution?

According to storage expert Brien Posey, who spoke with TechTarget, cloud-to-cloud backup will likely become the norm by 2018. Posey said its popularity is twofold. “”First, backup technology is finally starting to catch up to the public cloud, making it more practical to do cloud-to-cloud backups,” Posey said. “Second, and this is the big one, is the economic factor.” The economic factor is huge. For organizations that want to move their data to the cloud, they realize that it’s cheaper than backing up on site and that it makes more economic sense.

And Chris Evans, another storage expert and consultant, agrees. “We may see cloud backup moving to be the de facto standard, with snapshots retained on-prem for user error type restores,” he told TechTarget. “Backup software vendors need [to] and have started to adapt. The biggest losers could be backup appliances in this instance.”

The reality is that using cloud-to-cloud backup to protect your SaaS data saves you time and money, but if that’s still not enough to convince you let’s talk about the real cost of SaaS data loss. It’s not just an annoyance. It heavily affects your company’s bottom line in a multitude of ways. That’s why adding a cloud-to-cloud backup solution isn’t just a good idea; it’s a necessary piece of every risk management plan.

So, how do you determine if a cloud-to-cloud back and recovery solution like CloudAlly is worth it?

To “Real” Cost of SaaS Data Loss!

The first key to understanding the benefit of a data backup and recovery solution is to understand the cost of not having it. The real cost of SaaS data loss isn’t an easy number to pin down. A recent Verizon report suggests that “small” data breaches (less than 100 records lost) cost $18,120 to $35,730, but in a worst-case scenario could reach $555,660. Large data breaches (100 million records or more) cost an average of $5 million to $15.6 million and top out at $200 million.

It’s not just about the data; it’s about the loss of revenue because of the breach, the total labor hours and time for full recovery, the inability to release new products, the lack of support for email and sales, and more. By making an initial investment in your IT department now for a backup and recovery solution, such as CloudAlly, you can avoid all these problems in the future.

Let’s take a look at everything that goes into SaaS data loss so you can better understand the cost of not being protected.

1. Cost of Data

Many times, when businesses attempt to calculate the cost of their SaaS data loss, they forget to calculate the actual financial cost of the lost or compromised data. In many situations, the lost data is vital to performing daily operating functions meaning its loss can create costly work stoppage until the data is restored. In another scenario, the data could be of vital importance to a client/customer and once the loss is discovered a monetary compensation may need to be paid until the problem is fixed.

2. Decreased Productivity

SaaS data loss doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Many times it results in major productivity loss, meaning that any task that needs to be accomplished either takes more time or more resources. These productivity costs can be related to shifting priorities—focused on recovery—which means that less time is spent on daily functions such as building the business, releasing new products, or customer service. In the case of Office 365 data loss, it can even affect your ability to release a new product due to the loss of access to your mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks—all necessary to daily function.

3. Client Loss

When calculating the financial cost of a data breach, one thing you can’t overlook is client loss. It is virtually inevitable that some of your clients will leave when they find out you’ve lost SaaS data, no matter the circumstances. And a lost client is more significant than a smaller monthly revenue stream; client loss can make your business goals, operating expenses, and overall business success more difficult to achieve.

4. Damaged Reputation

Just as clients are wary to continue working with a company that has suffered SaaS data loss, new companies, suppliers, vendors, and even investors may be hesitant as well. Most organizations are risk adverse, and if you show yourself to be a company that is at high risk of downtime or broken confidentiality due to data breach or data loss, then you’ll notice fewer opportunities to build relationships, and a poor reputation that will take time to rebuild.

5. Stunted Business Growth

SaaS data loss or breach can stop growth dead in its tracks. Let’s say you don’t have a cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery solution and you lose access to Salesforce and all the data contained within. How are you going to make new sales or reach out to new leads if your Salesforce data has been lost or corrupted? In addition, during a data loss period, your sales professionals will be hard pressed to bring on new clients when most of their focus will be on retaining their current list.

6. SLA Penalties

Most service level agreements (SLAs) include a promise of a consistent level of service. In many cases, SaaS data loss or a data breach can result in slow or diminished customer service, which means that your business could owe regulatory penalties. Whether it’s fair or not, if a business has downtime as a result of data loss and it cannot fulfill its SLAs, you may take an unforeseen hit to your profit due to penalties.

7. Recovery

A 2014 study from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council (PDF) revealed that 25% of respondents believe recovery efforts consumed staff time and this has impacted the business. If you lose data without a cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery solution in place, getting your data back isn’t as simple as snapping your fingers. Hours will be required to recover the data—if it’s recoverable at all—and the cost of employing a full-time data recovery specialist must be taken into account as well. Recovery may also include the need for a new service or piece of equipment to ensure that the problem does not recur.

Downtime Cost Calculator

To help your organization determine how much a cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery solution, such as CloudAlly, is worth we’ve created a quick and easy-to-use Downtime Cost Calculator.

This calculator let’s you quickly and simply input a few key figures such as annual gross revenue, number of employees, system downtime, labor hours, equipment cost, and more to discover exactly how much SaaS data loss could cost you.

CALCULATOR – ROI

The reality is that a small investment in a cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery solution now could save you thousands of dollars in the future.

Use our ROI downtime calculator and send the result to your CFO, CIO, clearly demonstrate why backing up your cloud services will save your company money, and keep your business continuity in check.