Posts

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.

5 FREE TOOLS FOR G SUITE

5 Free Tools For G Suite

5 free tools for g suiteMany businesses are choosing G Suite to handle their immediate software needs. Docs, sheets, and slides act in place of Microsoft’s Office products while their email system is accessible from anywhere. There are several applications and add-on that work seamlessly with G Suite products.  So view below our selection of: 5 free tools for G Suite.

5 Free Tools For G Suite, which can help you enhance your productivity:

Weekdone Weekly Reporting

All managers plan on meeting with their workers. Sometimes, the best-laid plans do not come to fruition. When the team misses regular meetings, managers are lost as to what projects their employees are working on, and employees do not have the opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns.

Weekdone Weekly Reporting application allows employees to fill in progress reports, plans, and problems. Managers receive an email report. The app helps managers and employees communicate and keep the managers apprised of project status.

Save Email

Gmail already allows users to save attachments to their Google Drive accounts. Save Email is a Google Sheets add-on tool that stores email content directly to Google Drive. The attachments download as a searchable PDF file.

In addition to storing information as a PDF file, Save Email works as a makeshift backup for

  • Important Emails
  • Microsoft documents
  • Travel receipts
  • Video files
  • Large image files

To use, from Google Sheets select the Add-ons Tab. Select Save emails and attachments, then create a new rule. Users can set the parameters to ensure all messages or attachments move safely to their Google Drive.

Zipbooks

Not all small businesses can afford state of the art accounting software to help them ensure that they are on the right page financially. The Zipbooks application allows users to increase their project management efficiency. It helps with budget allocation for clients, freelancers, and agencies and sends this information to finance departments.

Zipbooks also allows users to track time for project management. Additionally, business owners can use the auto-billing and online invoicing features to ensure receipt of payments.

Hubspot CRM

Customer Relationship Manager is a tool many businesses use to store information about current, past, and potential clients. CRM platforms can be costly to use, especially for small business owners who are just starting out.

Hubspot CRM is a free app version that connects to G Suite accounts and allows owners to keep track of contacts in a single location. This tool also allows users to add, nurture and track customers. Hubspot CRM has the additional features

  • Email Templates
  • Deal dashboard
  • Call recording

Users with a Hubspot Marketing account can integrate the CRM tool into their existing marketing platform.

Lucid Press

One program G Suite does not offer a Publisher type program for those who want to create brochures or newsletters. Docs can only handle so much. Those using Docs to create their mailable pieces need to be both design and Docs experts to make it work.

Lucid press is a design tool like Microsoft Publisher and Adobe InDesign. It allows users to create stunning brochures, newsletters, and even magazines. Its intuitive layout gives creators the ability to build their file without having to be a design expert.

Choosing G Suite to handle the necessary software and email needs gives employees the freedom to work from anywhere and still connect to the office. Adding these handy free applications offers small businesses the edge needed to compete with larger companies.

Bonus Tool – CloudAlly G Suite Backup 14 Day Free Trial

 

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.

Data Backup Solutions – Preventing Data Loss Effectively

Data Backup Solutions – Preventing Data Loss Effectively

IT security has always remained a key concern for every business and with the recent spike in the rise of advanced security breaches like OPM and Target; it has not only become a priority but a crucial component of our IT strategy, and data backup solutions in particular.

External threat can come in many forms such as viruses, worms, phishing attacks, hacking, spam, and can be a well-planned, targeted attack on your organization as well, such as the famous Sony hack.

According to a survey conducted by B2B International and Kaspersky, 91% of the respondents experienced a cyber-attack at least once every year.

However, it isn’t just external threats that can damage your business. Insider threats are an even bigger risk.

According to a recent report by Vormetric, which is based on a survey conducted by Harris Poll, around 93% of respondent U.S IT leaders admitted that their organizations are vulnerable to insider threats.

Another survey by Market Connection, in partnership with SolarWinds found that 57% of respondents believe careless or accidental insiders are more damaging than malicious insiders, while 64% said malicious insider threats are more damaging than malicious external threats.

Source: Kaspersky

The figures are alarming and if you are not serious about your data security and don’t plan, then you should be ready to lose your crucial data anytime.

Nevertheless, the crucial question you should ask is how can you avoid data loss and an inevitable solution to this is a backup solution. If you backup your data in advance, to a safe and secure place, then even during the event of either external or internal attacks, your data will remain safe.

So, let’s see the different ways you can backup your data.

Data Backup Solutions

Tape-Based Backup

Tape-based backup has been in use since 1960 and is an age-old backup method. A large number of well-established and older businesses find it easier and prefer to carry on with this backup solution as it is time-tested, and most importantly, because it doesn’t require any infrastructure upgrade which could prove to be a headache for any business.

Most enterprises use it as a secondary backup though. They use another system as their primary backup solution and use physical tape to create a redundant, additional backup of their data off-site to keep their data safe even during natural disasters.

However, the biggest disadvantage of tape-based backup is that it has become quite anachronistic and it takes significantly longer to backup data as compared to other systems. Moreover, the tapes are prone to failure and are fragile, leading to unreadable and corrupt data.

Disk-Based Backup

Disk-based backups are nothing but storing your data on disk storage as a backup, and the most common storage media used are hard drives or optical disks. The backup and recovery process is quick, easy, and reliable, only if you take care of the disk and systems the backups are stored on.

Another benefit with this backup is that hard disk prices are a lot lower as compared to before and are constantly falling further with increasing storage space, which makes it even more affordable and better value for money as it allows you to fit more data on fewer devices in cost-effective pricing.

However, because it is highly reliant on hard drives or optical disks, any damage to your disk storage can lead to data loss. Moreover, as most businesses keep these physical disks on-site, any disaster could result in a loss of these backups.

Cloud Backup

With this option, cloud providers host your backups on their servers. You can simply connect to the server via an internet connection to backup your data.

One of the most significant advantages with cloud backup is that you don’t need to invest in infrastructure, maintenance, and IT resources to manage your data as everything is taken care of by the cloud providers. The best part about a cloud backup solution is that it is very scalable..

It is easily accessible from anywhere and is very affordable. Aside from easy management, backup, and recovery, it is also faster to set up. All you need is internet connectivity and you’ll be able to restore your data in a matter of hours.

While everything appears to be good with the cloud, one disadvantage is that you need faster internet connectivity if you want to backup and work on your data simultaneously. Setting up a better network infrastructure is a significant investment, as is a dedicated, fast, internet connection.

Another issue with cloud backup is that since this is a relatively a newer concept, quite a few businesses are having a hard time adopting it and trusting it at the moment.

Cloud-to-Cloud Backup

Cloud-to-Cloud backup is nothing but backing up your cloud data to another safe and secure cloud environment. It is different from cloud backup, as it deals with the data stored in the cloud.

An example is backing up your data stored on Google Drive, which is a cloud-based, data storage and productivity solution. You might store sensitive information on Google Drive, but any security breach caused by internal or external forces can lead to data loss and damage your business significantly.

The Elastica Cloud Threat Labs recently identified a Google Drive phishing campaign where an attacker set up phishing web pages on the platform itself, to steal data. However, if you have a cloud-to-cloud backup solution in place, you won’t need to worry about data loss.

Such a solution can save your data from theft by backing it up to another cloud storage platform. With CloudAlly cloud-to-cloud backup solution we automatically back up our clients’ cloud data, whether it is on Google Apps, Office 365, or Salesforce, to a safe and secure, unlimited Amazon storage account, to ensure integrity even if the primary backup is affected by some security breach or application glitch. Your data remains safe and accessible as it is backed up on another cloud platform.

The best part about this solution is that it is highly scalable and causes zero downtime, while improving productivity.

So, which backup solution do you plan to go for? Are you using one of the aforementioned backup solutions currently? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

If you want to learn more about cloud-to-cloud backup, read  office 365 backup or  Google Apps backup.

 

 

Cloud Backup Infographics Roundup

According to a forecast by Computerworld, 42 percent IT leaders plan to invest more on cloud computing this year. There will be an 11 percent shift of IT budget toward various cloud computing versions as a new delivery model by 2016, as per IDC predictions. That’s an impressive statistic and proof of how shiny the future of cloud is.

While the majority of enterprises plan to embrace or use cloud more, they often underrate the security part. What if the data stored in the cloud gets lost due to some virus attack, phishing, or accidental deletion. How can it be recovered? An inevitable solution to prevent data loss is back up.

In this article we are going to list the top 10 infographics that will help visualize why backups are important – be it a cloud or a cloud-to-cloud network, how it evolved, and where it stands now. Let’s get rolling then.

1. What Can Cause Data Loss?

Before, we talk about backup; we should talk about what causes data loss; viruses, phishing scams, hacking, or something else? Here is a detailed infographic about that.

2. How Data Loss Could Be Deadly for a Business

Here is an informative infographic from DSS Datacenter that depicts what data loss could cost a business. It has some shocking data loss statistics that will convince any business to implement cloud backup today.

3. Evolution of Backups

To protect a business from data loss, backups are crucial, but what brought around the concept in the first place, and how did it evolve? This infographic from Axcient explains.

Evolution of backup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Women Are More Unlikely to Backup Their Data Than Men – Seagate Study

According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive and Seagate, 30 percent of the women that participated in the survey acknowledged that they do not back up their data at all! Curious about what men do? Here is an interesting infographic with more information.

5. What Can Cloud Backup Do for You?

An excellent infographic  and a revelation for companies that are unsure about whether they need a cloud backup solution, and how it can influence their business, by Acronis.

6. Why Companies Are Moving to Cloud Backup Solutions

Cloud backup solutions play a significant role in a company’s data recovery strategy and an increasing number of businesses have started realizing this as of late. So, why is cloud backup the toast of the town? This infographic from CloudBacko explains.

7. How to Ensure Business Continuity With Cloud Backup

Business continuity is crucial for every enterprise. Wondering how cloud backup solutions can help ensure zero downtime?

8. Is Backup Reliable?

By now, it is clear that data recovery and backup solutions are important and can’t be ignored. However, are they reliable enough so that businesses can focus on their core needs without worrying about data loss anymore? Here is an interesting infographic from Kroll On track on what you need to know.

9. The CIO’s Essential Checklist for Cloud Backup

Cloud storage and backup can bring elasticity and agility but it is critically important for CIOs to address the basics of cloud backup first, including access control, availability, data encryption, and uptime. Druva made this job easier with an excellent security checklist for CIOs.

10. Look for a Cloud pro, Not a Poser

Many cloud solution providers claim to have a stolid security system that is ideal for securing enterprise data, but the fact is, they don’t have adequate knowledge and experience required and like other industries, they are self-claimed gurus. How can a business identify the posers? Here is an interesting infographic from Autotask that can help distinguish the good from the bad.

There are many other infographics on Cloud Backup, these were our top 10 favorite ones. The awareness to Cloud Backup is enormous by now, every business has a backup, and if they didn’t migrate it to the cloud yet –  they are probably considering  it. What about Cloud To Cloud Backup? Do you know you must also backup your SaaS applications? If you are not familiar with it, you should read our overview  “Why Backup Online Data” and learn why we all need to backup online data (YES! although it’s already in the cloud)  before it’s too late.