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Why & 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 cloud-based services such as cloud backup software into your 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 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 cloud backup for business, 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.

Office 365: Threat Intelligence and Data Governance Tools

Microsoft Office 365: Threat Intelligence and Data Governance Tools

Threat Intelligence and Data Governance ToolsThere is a lot that’s new about Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud version of its traditional desktop software. Some of the biggest new benefits have to do with two major pillars of an enterprise strategy: first, identifying and mitigating threats in a network, and second, establishing policies and procedures for data governance. Threat Intelligence and Data Governance Tools, are significant to our work process in Microsoft Office 365.

 

Why do companies need good data governance and threat intelligence systems in place?

Lots of experts are looking at studies by Ponemon, one of which estimates the average cost of a data breach at around $4 million — there is also this article from writer Michael Panciroli in April that sites some troubling statistics, for example, an assertion that 45% of surveyed companies don’t have good enough data governance to protect them from serious legal and security risks.

That kind of gap is what these new cloud features of Office 365 are meant to address — to help client companies to get more effective cybersecurity in place, perform better advanced data governance, and know more about their business data assets.

Major Benefits of Microsoft Office 365 Threat Intelligence

There is a ton of functionality built into Microsoft Office 365 Threat Intelligence that’s related to foiling hackers, conquering malware, and generally keeping a network safe and clean.

One essential element is the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph — this new feature of Microsoft’s cloud security platform does two major things. One is that it’s a comprehensive data aggregation center that takes in diverse input from hundreds of different sources, along with many of the 350 billion authentications that Microsoft manages each month. The other is that it utilizes machine learning components to increase its threat mitigation power even more. (See more detail on the strengths of Microsoft’s Intelligent Security Graph from Microsoft Vice President of Enterprise Client & Mobility Brad Anderson in this testimonial video.)

In other words, part of the strength of Microsoft Office 365 Threat Intelligence tools is the amount of raw data available to a machine learning system that can work with it and make it into actionable results — for instance, offering real-time tools and alerts, isolating and dealing with content that looks suspicious, and integrating with other security information and event management tools.

Aside from the Intelligent Security Graph, the Office 365 platform also now offers a new Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) reporting interface with all sorts of dashboard views related to network activity. The ability to extend this to desktop clients, and to infiltrate areas of an enterprise network, is very useful to business leaders who need to keep an eagle eye out for disturbing warning signs of inappropriate activity. Maybe it’s a logon from a suspicious location, or activity by an employee that hasn’t been on staff for years. Another major red flag is a significant volume of file deletions, which is another real-time indicator that Microsoft Office 365 Threat Intelligence can analyze.

Relating Microsoft Office 365 Threat Intelligence to Advanced Data Governance

Businesses know that data governance is critically important. Many of them also understand how having access to raw data and tools to filter and refine that data adds to the threat intelligence that they benefit from in-house. But not every business understands how new Microsoft Office 365 tools can enhance data governance in concrete ways. For instance, cloud policy recommendations will help to define data that should be kept and stored in an archive, or data that can safely be discarded. That’s just one aspect of having a security and compliance portal that helps businesses to build and classify their data.

Along with having good data governance and threat intelligence software capabilities, CloudAlly’s Office 365 backup and recovery service is another important part of a fundamental cyber security system. By providing automated daily backups and the ability to restore or export data from any point in time, CloudAlly ensures ongoing business continuity in the event of data loss.

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.

Backup strategy for business continuity

The importance of backing up your data dates back to the earliest days of technology. Yet you might be surprised to learn that, according to the World Backup Day Website, even in our technology and gadget-driven world, about 30% of people have NEVER backed up their data. Sure, that number probably includes some of us who want to backup our data and simply don’t know how, but it also most definitely includes a large percentage of individuals and small-to-medium size businesses who simply don’t understand why backing up their data is necessary! Perhaps they see backups as something more suitable for the accident-prone, the forgetful and the technically challenged.  What is your IT backup strategy for your business continuity?

But data loss is much more common than you think.

According to the World Backup Day Website:

  • 29% of backup-related disasters are caused by accident
  • Over 100 phones are lost or stolen every day
  • 1 in 10 computers are infected with viruses every month

Here at CloudAlly, we also know that over 45% of data loss is caused due to user deletion. Let’s face it – those are some scary statistics! Even the most responsible, organized and tech-savvy among us could, in an instant, find ourselves without access to some of our most valuable digital media and critical online data. Even if we are able to piece together some of our information from the USB stick attached to our keys or an old email account, the restoration process of our data is often incredibly time-consuming and expensive. At the end of the day most are left with extensive amounts of data that is lost forever.

And yes, we really do mean FOREVER. In today’s world, service providers promise comprehensive data backup that the majority of users consider more than enough. What these individuals don’t take into consideration is all the scenarios in which they accidentally delete data, inadvertently download a computer virus, or have their phone stolen – resulting in the loss of data that no service providers or app developers can account for in their data backup policies.

The bottom-line: Backing up your data not just a recommendation, it’s a requirement. And it needs to be done in an active, comprehensive manner that enables you to quickly and easily restore all of your data, no matter what.

Now that we’ve established that data backup is a must, it’s time we provide an overview of how to backup your data: All the options you have for backing up your data and the pros and cons of each of these options.

While there are a vast number of companies and services operating in this field, data backup services generally fall into one of three categories: (1) On-Premises Backup, (2) Cloud-based Backup and (3) Cloud-to-Cloud Backup.

On – Premises Backup

An On-Premises Backup keeps a updated version of your data on a local server or external drive. The mains benefits of these types of data backup solutions include:

  • Maintaining complete control over all the data and related systems,
  • Ensuring that all corporate data is stored and handled internally
  • Dedicated IT staff can remain in charge of maintenance and support
  • The initial investment may be somewhat high (relative to cloud-based and cloud-to-cloud services) but it can be a more cost-efficient option in the long-term.

While those are some pretty convincing advantages, there are significant disadvantages that accompany on-premises backup solutions. For example, the main reasons small and medium size companies (SMBs) tend to shy away from on-premises backup plans is that they require significant in-house technical know-how, as well ongoing resources to build and maintain both the backup server infrastructure and the personnel needed to manage it. That’s why today many SMB’s tend to lean towards Cloud-based and Cloud-to-Cloud services.

Cloud – Backup

Over the past decade, Cloud-backup services have been extremely popular and accessible for both individuals and enterprises. From our experience, in the case of cloud-backup solutions there are multiple silver linings:

  • Easy access – Cloud backup technology approaches are convenient because the information can be easily accessed, shared, managed and retrieved. It doesn’t hurt that the service provider also takes on around-the-clock monitoring and reporting responsibilities that a small business would not find affordable within on-premises backup solutions.
  • Reliability – The built-in security features that accompany such services are of great value, particularly to SMBs. Such services generally include the relinquishing of responsibility for infrastructure and technology upgrades, which are often a significant burden for small businesses.
  • Cost-Effective and Scalable – Organizations can leverage the unlimited scalability of a third-party cloud backup solutions without investing upfront in infrastructure. With the popularity of pay-as-you-go models in this field, SMBs can significantly reduce the resources allocated for backup infrastructure and IT staff, and simultaneously plan for the costs that would accompany organizational capacity growth.
  • Quick Recovery Times – File recovery from cloud storage is generally faster than on-premises backups, and obviously doesn’t require being in a specific location in order to successfully recover and access your data.

 

While Cloud backup certainly has it’s perks, like any technology it also has its disadvantages. For example:

  • Original Backups and Full-Restorations can be Time-Consuming – Depending on the amount of data you and/or your company needs to backup, the first full backup and/or full recovery could prove to be quite time-consuming and negatively impact organizational activities while these backups/restorations are taking place.
  • Size matters – Organizations will have to take into account both the amount of data that needs to be transferred to the cloud on a daily basis and the amount of bandwidth available to complete this transfer. With companies that have extensive data, these limitations may be significant in the framework of their data backup strategy.
  • No Guarantees – While cloud-based backup services are generally extremely reliable, there are certain elements like the availability of bandwidth that is simply not in the provider’s control. As such they cannot provide service-level agreements (SLAs) and their services are accompanied by a certain level of risk.

Cloud – to -Cloud Backup

Last but certainly not least are Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Services like CloudAlly. As more and more of our business activities and interactions occur online, we continually increase the value of all of our online data. With an ever-growing global economy, it’s no surprise that cloud-based applications such as Office 365, Google Apps and Salesforce have become the optimal answer to the needs of SMBs and Enterprise worldwide. While these services do come with certain security features, they are simply NOT built for providing the comprehensive protection against the most likely culprit: ourselves. Time and time again, we’ve seen that simple, accidental human errors can result in the loss of essential business data. We mess up, it happens. Cloud-to-Cloud Backups are specifically designed to protect us from turning those “oops” moments into more serious data-loss disasters. Clear benefits include:

  • Take Control – Whether you want to secure online data for your whole team or only selected users within your organization, Cloud-to-Cloud services offer quick, easy and customizable automated backup service. With only a few clicks, you can choose the archive location, backup times and frequencies that work best for you and your team.
  • Put Safety First – Cloud-to-Cloud backup services can implement internal controls and audits such that you can remain compliant with any and all data privacy requirements.
  • Quickly Backed Up, Quickly Restored – Cloud-to-Cloud backups excel in keeping files that have been accidentally deleted easily accessible. Within minutes you can find, restore and export archived data from any point in time.
  • Data with Unlimited Lives – No need to worry about lost or corrupted data. Whether someone inadvertently deleted a file or a virus took over your email account, cloud-to-cloud daily backup services ensure your data is not only retained, but that it remains intact and ready for use, whenever you need it.
  • It’s All Yours – In our dynamic global environment, your past, current and future employees are located all across the world, weaving in and out of a variety of employment opportunities. Their constant creation of new data needs to be managed and monitored to ensure that these essential company assets stay accessible to your and your team. Cloud-to-Cloud backups provide you with the control you need to retain this data stays and easily move it from one user to another.
  • Cost-effective Solutions – IT managers are often working with limited budgets, and are all about being as efficient as possible. The in-depth monitoring features you can access through Cloud-to-Cloud backup services make it easy to delete inactive accounts without deleting the accompanying data they generated, and simultaneously cut licensing costs and storage fees associated with these inactive accounts.

So that’s the low-down on how to backup your data. Perhaps we’re partial, but from where we stand, Cloud-to-Cloud backup services have proven time and again that they are able to provide the most comprehensive solutions without compromising on standards for safety, security or simplicity. If you want to learn more about what causes to data loss in the cloud, and how to prevent it , download our free overview.

 

Top Cloud Computing Blogs to Read

According to a Gartner forecast, cloud adoption is expected to reach $250 billion by 2017.  According to another insight discussed in “Digital Business – Rethinking Fundamentals”, a keynote Cloud Business Summit held in NYC last year, over 60 percent of enterprises are expected to have at least half of their infrastructure on cloud-based platforms by 2018. The future of the cloud is bright and it is evident that to implement the cloud successfully, enterprises first need to understand the basics right and need to stay on top of its latest developments.

While there are many news sources, very few blogs offer in-depth analysis and insights to help you understand the benefits of the cloud. Are you curious to know which ones do? Here is our top choices.

URL: http://www.infoworld.com/

InfoWorld is a popular choice among technology and business leaders who need in-depth analysis of enterprise technology. David Linthicum, a widely recognized thought leader in the cloud computing industry, covers their cloud computing section mostly. He covers current trends in cloud computing and offers rich insights on the industry’s breaking news as well.

URL: http://cloudtweaks.com/

CloudTweaks was established back in 2009 and considered one of the leading cloud computing blogs today. It has contributors from across the world and publishes cloud trends, industry interviews, predictions, and information-rich articles. Its cloud technology comics covered under the humor section play a major role behind its immense popularity.

URL: http://www.cloudave.com/

CloudAve has a broad range of contributors with a wide variety of subject matter expertise. It claims to encourage debate and do not offer any official viewpoint. They also publish informative articles on other technology and business topics such as mobile, entrepreneurship, marketing, and more

URL: http://cloudpundit.com/

CloudPundit is the brainchild of Lydia Leong, a technology analyst at Gartner. She covers cloud technologies and a wide variety of related topics such as content delivery networks, managed hosting, data centers, emerging cloud and cloud-enabled services, and other Internet infrastructure services. Posts related to her analyst coverage area are also mirrored at the Gartner Blog Network.

URL: http://cloudcomputing.blogspot.in/

Cloud Computing by Chirag Mehta offers in-depth analysis and interesting predictions about cloud. Chirag has 15 years of experience in product management, strategy, architecture, and development and as a panelist and keynote speaker at several enterprise software conferences. His blogs are also published at CloudAve.

URL: http://www.allthingsdistributed.com/

All Things Distributed is a popular blog run by Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon. It isn’t just about cloud computing though, but provides an insight into AWS’ vision and strategy, which is obviously a matter of interest for any cloud pro. It is an excellent knowledge hub for businesses planning to build robust and scalable, distributed systems.

URL: http://www.diversity.net.nz/

Renowned Forbes columnist Ben Kepes covers the convergence of mobile, technology, agility, and ubiquity, enabled by the cloud here. He is a recognized, subject matter expert and considered one of the most influential technology thinkers globally. Ben’s commentary has been published in several popular online publications such as GigaOm, The Guardian, and ReadWriteWeb, to name a few.

URL: https://www.rickscloud.com/

Rickscloud is run by Rick Blaisdell, a cloud computing expert and technical strategist with twenty years of extensive experience in product and business development. The blog has over 530 cloud and technology articles covering virtualization, cloud security, IaaS, SaaS, and latest news on cloud industry and services.

URL: http://avoa.com/

The Avoa blog is a go-to source for many technology and business leaders to get updates on technology innovation, and rich insights on cloud computing from the blogger Tim Crawford, a thought leader in the areas of IT innovation, transformation, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing.

URL: http://cloudcomputing.sys-con.com/

This is a popular blog covering all the latest news, white papers, informative articles about the cloud, and several event and conference announcements. It has several accredited top software executives as columnists sharing their insights regarding cloud on its blog.

Feel free to also checkout the CloudAlly blog as well – Cloud trends, CRM trends, Productivity apps developments, Google Apps, Office 365, Salesforce, Cloud backup and more.

Which is your favorite blog? Did we miss an important one? Do you have a different top list? Please comment below and let us know which blogs you think should have been included, and why.

 

 

It’s World Backup Day

Have You Backed up Your Data Yet?

Have you ever been the scapegoat of an April fool joke? Must be, right? Or maybe you are so smart that you evaded being the target?

from www.worldbackupday.com

Unfortunately, this is the case with a lot of people playing with data every day and to address this exact issue, a  couple of reddit users took a wonderful independent initiative by making 31st March the World Back Up Day – a day to increase the awareness among people like you and me about the importance of regular backups, with an interesting tagline “Don’t be an April Fool.”

Of course, we shouldn’t think about backing up our data only once in a year but it works as a reminder that all of us should focus and make or review our back up strategy.

Let’s look at some stats to get a feel of how important backups can be. Read more