Why a DIY Backup Solution Just Doesn’t Cut it for Business

,
DIY Backup Solution

When it comes to backing up the data of your business, cutting out any margin of error is vital. The information stored by businesses, like client databases, lead lists, and project files, is far too valuable to ever allow to be lost. The first step in securing your business’s data is of course is acknowledging you need a backup solution, but it is equally important to pick a solution that fit for your needs. Let’s explore what needs to be considered, and why in most cases, a DIY backup solution just won’t cut it.

Human Error

The core goal of keeping a backup is to protect your data from something like accidental deletion, computer failure, a natural disaster, and whatever else could cause you to lose valuable data. So why put the element of human error back into the equation by picking a DIY backup solution?

A few of the many reasons DIY data backups fail are accidental deletions, incomplete backups, forgetting to update the backup, losing an external hard drive, etc. So how to avoid these risks? Go with a backup solution that is automated. The backup will be run periodically and be done completely digitally. Remove humans from the process all-together.

Backups Needs to be Off-Site

The idea of just keeping an external hard drive or backup server in your office might be appealing for the ease of it. But what happens when your office is robbed, sabotaged by a disgruntled employee, or flooded? Now you’ve lost of your computers, AND your backup.

One of the essential pieces of a solid backup plan is keeping the backup data off-site. With a cloud backup provider, your files will be kept far away in a safe and secure place. There is no reason for your backup data to ever be in the same location as your primary storage.

Expert & Timely Data Restoration

Imagine the worst happens, and some sort of event causes you to lose all of your primary files. Do you now want to scramble to figure out how to restore an entire network of computers, and pray not only that it works, but takes less than a few weeks to get your data back? I am sure you are seeing dollars signs flying out the window with this thought – and this is exactly what would happen with most DIY backup solutions.

Now imagine losing your data, and dialing a number, speaking with someone at your cloud backup provider, and POOF! Within minutes, your computer network is once again populated with your files, exactly how you left it. Which version of this scenario would you rather go through?

Peace of Mind

As every worry-wart knows, peace of mind is priceless. Knowing your business’s files are safe no matter what happens to your or your employee’s computers is the best peace of mind there is. Considering how many small companies go out of business after a major data loss (spoiler alert: it’s a lot), knowing you have a team of experts running automated backups, stored on their secure off-site servers, will give you the best sense of security there is.

Learn More About Cloud Backup

Why Small Businesses Turn to Managed Service Providers

,
Why Small Businesses Turn to Managed Service Providers

One of the largest costs associated with small businesses is the overhead. Even the most invested small business owners look to save money and cut costs wherever possible. With a huge portion of monthly costs being IT equipment and personnel, it’s no wonder that many small businesses turn to managed service providers. Managed service providers, or MSPs, are a great option for small businesses because they have low up-front costs and offer customizable plans. There is no need to buy all of that expensive IT equipment yourself and hire an IT staff when MSPs today make it so easy to get started.

Easy to Set Up

Sending tasks out-of-house when it saves both time and money is a no brainer. If you aren’t an IT wiz, and don’t want to invest thousands in IT equipment, an MSP will make your set up a dream. Most MSPs own the bulk of the IT equipment their clients need, and do all of the set up for them. You no longer need to do all of the research and leg work to find a cloud provider, set up an anti-virus, find a secure server, etc. Your new MSP will handle all of this for you.

Only Pay for Services You Need

Anyone who has worked with an in-house IT department knows that the work comes and goes in waves. For weeks on end your IT department will be slammed, but then a few days later there’s a lot of feet on the desks. With an MSP, you don’t have to worry about staffing IT personnel because your provider will handle your needs only as they come up. Have a new employee starting next week? There will be someone available to help with on-boarding, but they won’t be sitting around the next day waiting for more tasks. Also, should a problem arise, you now have an entire team at your disposal, and won’t have to pull an entire department of your company from their normal tasks to fix the issue. Small businesses have unpredictable needs – so it’s no wonder MSPs are so popular.

Predictable & Overall Lower Monthly Costs

With a manager service provider, you can enjoy a predictable monthly cost and lower overhead than with a traditional IT department. There will be a set bill amount that includes whatever services you’ve agreed on, which includes time spent on any tech support issues and on-boarding new employees. Your MSP is just as motivated as you are to keep everything running smoothly, so you will often even see less problems arise when using a provider. These low, predictable costs are understandably appealing to small business owners.

Small Businesses Turn to Managed Service Providers

Every year more small business pick MSPs to help them begin and grow their businesses. Choosing to send IT needs out-of-house proves to be an easy and more cost-effective option. When you succeed, they succeed.

Are you looking for a managed service provider? Check out what Cloud Colorado has to offer.

How to Set Up Employees to Work Remotely

,
Set Up Employees to Work Remotely

With the help of technology and changing workplace culture, the flexibility to work from home has almost become expected in most modern office jobs. Research shows it that is beneficial for both employers and employees alike in terms of costs and productivity. For businesses that have not considered work from home before though, figuring out how to enable employees to do this can be a daunting task. How will employees take work calls? How can they access work files from home? Should I let them work from home whenever they want or on an established schedule? Let us outline below the answers to some of these questions to get you started setting up employees to work remotely.

Establish Communication Methods

At first thought, communication with remote workers might seem like a deal breaker. But when you really think out your main veins of communication, most of them wouldn’t be changed by an employee working from home. How often do you email, call, or send a message on something like Slack versus actually speaking with someone in person? In most companies, the only real face-to-face business communications happen in meetings.

By setting up a forward on office phones to either a home phone or cell phone, the regular methods of communication will go largely unchanged by remote work. Employees can still be in the office for meetings, but for day-to-day communications, they will easily be able to keep in touch from home over the internet.

Accessing Work Files Remotely

Gone are the days of bringing home a briefcase full of files to review over dinner. With modern working from home, your office computer’s files can easily be accessed from different locations and even different devices. With services like remote desktop and cloud computing, projects started in the office can be seamlessly picked back up from home.

Remote desktop services allow for your desktop to be accessed from any device through the internet. All settings, file locations, and data are stored in your cloud provider’s servers, not on your physical computer at work, so there is no difference in the experience of logging in at home. Getting set up with a cloud provider is an affordable and easy transition, so it is a popular choice for employers wanting to allow remote work.

Decide on a Schedule

If you are new to allowing employees to work remotely, it is a good idea to set expectations of what sort of schedule you expect workers to keep. Would you prefer those at home keep their same hours as in the office, or are you okay with them keeping any schedule as long as they get their work done? Avoid misunderstandings when you try to call an employee during a work day and get their voicemail. By agreeing on their work from home schedule at the get go, everyone is on the same page.

In addition to their daily schedule while at home, decide if you want to set a limit of how many days can be worked from home or if you’d like to have set days each week that certain employees will be at home. The most popular work from home schedule is to have an established 1-2 days a week that certain employees can work from home. Then, set at least 1-2 days a week that everyone will be in the office for meetings and touching base.

Set Up Employees to Work Remotely

Giving your staff the flexibility and technology to work remotely is a win-win for both employer and employee. Get started by establishing communication methods, setting up cloud computing, and agreeing on a schedule. Soon it will not feel odd at all to work on collaborative projects with each team member in a different location!

What is Application Hosting?

,
What is Application Hosting

Application hosting is a common feature for software today. For any program that doesn’t need to be downloaded onto your computer, it is more than likely a hosted application. The apps on your smartphone are a common example of hosted applications, but there are likely programs you access from your desktop every day that are hosted as well.

Those programs and all of that data must live somewhere – that is where the “hosted” part comes in. It might be stored on a server at the application maker’s headquarters or it might be with a DaaS provider. Have you heard of DaaS, or Desktop as a Service? That’s right – it is the same idea as application hosting. Users access applications and their saved data through the internet that is stored on a server owned by a cloud provider.

You Likely Already Use It

If you use Facebook, Gmail, and even Salesforce, you already know how to use a hosted application. They don’t require installation on your computer and you can access your saved data from anywhere, on any device. The program simply runs on the cloud provider or software maker’s servers and the user accesses it through the internet.

Common Application Hosting Uses for Business

With hosted application technology, also known as cloud computing, businesses no longer need to buy expensive servers and computers with a lot of memory. They can save money on equipment, electricity, and even personnel costs to run it all.

Modern businesses can fill just about every need with application hosting. Your email can be a hosted application with Hosted Exchange. Your desktop can be logged into from a different computer with Remote Desktop services. Popular business software like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Dropbox all live in the cloud. For a business that operates in the cloud, there is little need for anything more than basic computers and an internet connection.

Benefits of Hosted Applications

The many benefits of application hosting for both businesses and individual users are probably becoming very clear. It’s incredibly easy to get set up with a hosted application, and the cost savings are unbeatable. Below is an overview of the main benefits:

  • Remote Access – easy for employees to work from home or on job sites.
  • Cost Savings – less IT equipment and personnel needed.
  • Quick Set Up – no installation process necessary.
  • Easy to Keep up with Changing Technology – your current programs are easily updated by the provider, and if you want to switch software it’s painless to do so.
  • Software is More Affordable – the ease with which business owners can switch programs has helped drive the cost of cloud-based software down.

Application Hosting

Most of the programs you already use are likely cloud based, or can be made cloud based through the use of a provider. Get rid of those lengthy on-boarding times for new employees and the painful transition every time you want to try out new software. Moving to the cloud will be the easiest choice your business ever makes.

Why Your Backups Should be Stored Off-Site

, ,
Why Your Backups Should be Stored Off-Site

Modern businesses live and function in the virtual world, so losing data can be like losing the core of your company. Most owners know they should have backups of their files. What many don’t realize though, is that to be truly secure, your backup should not be kept in the same location that your business operates. Most of the scenarios that cause data loss could easily wipe out both your primary storage and backup if they are both in the same location. To truly know your business data is safe, off-site storage is essential.

Natural Disasters

You may have flood, fire, and tornado insurance, but what would happen to all of your irreplaceable business data in the event of a natural disaster? Your server in the next room, unfortunately, would not be immune should a force of nature destroy your company’s computers. Having an off-site data back-up, ideally at least 20 miles away, would allow you to pick up and continue operations much more quickly than starting from scratch. With natural extremes like hurricanes and floods increasing each year, keeping data back-ups in another location is a no-brainer.

Man-Made Problems

Modern businesses must be prepared for disasters caused by other humans, including terrorist attacks. If an attack happens, the one and only priority should be getting personnel to a safe place. Remove the worry of losing valuable digital information by already having an off-site backup in place.

Another man-made problem that many business owners don’t like to think about is the possibility of sabotage. It might be difficult to imagine one of your valued employees becoming disgruntled, but unfortunately, intentional data destruction does happen. Having an off-site backup would keep a vindictive employee from permanently causing damage to your business.

How to Set Up Off-Site Backups

With cloud technology, off-site data back-ups are fairly easy to set up. The majority of cloud providers offer automatic back-ups that they keep on their servers, away from your office. Automatic back-ups are highly recommended, as it takes human error and simply forgetting to update out of the equation.

At the bare minimum, your back-ups should be stored in a different building. Ideally, keep them far enough away that something like a terrorist attack or tornado wouldn’t affect both you and the back-up location. Don’t neglect the security of something as invaluable as your business’s digital files.