Why Your Backups Should be Stored Off-Site

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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.

Small Business Technology Trends for 2018

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Small Business Technology Trends for 2018

Out with the old, in with the new! We have seen a ton of new trends in business tech in recent years, and 2018 will only be a year of more and more changes. Seemingly distant technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are finally making their way down to the small business sector, as well as more powerful tools for workplace convenience and mobility. Keep an eye on these small business technology trends for 2018.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is no longer characterized by science fiction robots and vindictive computers come to life. Today, artificial intelligence is increasingly used in business for both its computing abilities and convenience in freeing up time for its human counterparts. In 2018, artificial intelligence will finally be affordable enough for the little guys to take advantage of. From chat bots to computer learning software, AI for business is a technology you will want to keep your eyes on.

Cloud Computing

If you are not already utilizing cloud computing in one form or another, your business isn’t just stuck in 2017, it’s stuck in 1995. Most of the leading project management software, CRMs, and even file storing services are cloud based. The reason the cloud is so huge in business is its convenience and reliability. You can access a cloud based program from any device and automatically save and backup your information on an ongoing basis.

Cloud based desktops are a huge trend for 2018, as they take cloud computing to a whole new level of convenience. With a cloud based desktop, you can log into your desktop with all of your files from any device. With mobility and working from home at an all-time high, the prevalence of cloud computing will only continue to rise.

More Automation

Automation, automation, automation – this trend isn’t going anywhere any time soon. From marketing to the machine shop, small businesses need now more than ever to hop on the automation train or get left in the dust. You don’t need to worry about automation coming for anyone’s jobs just yet, but it will certainly make menial tasks more bearable and wide scale operations more possible.

More Powerful CRMs

Client relationship managers (CRMs) will be more than a notetaking and follow-up reminder system in 2018. CRMs are growing to include both automation and artificial intelligence. The new wave of CRMs can send your follow-up emails for you automatically and even analyze your leads to recommend which are the most likely to convert. Combine this with being based in the cloud and you’ve got the sales person’s new best friend.

Service Providers Over In-House

With all of these new small business technology trends for 2018, the use of service providers over in-house teams is increasing in popularity. Hiring a service provider for your technology needs allows you to keep up with the fast changing landscape, and means that you don’t have to do constant re-training and new hiring to be able to use the next big tech trend. Service providers are specialists in what they do, and only charge you to use the service you need. Using a service provider over an in-house team allows you to more nimbly shift with trends in technology.

Small Business Technology Trends for 2018

What technology do you think will finally reach the small business sector in 2018? Are we in for a year of AI’s and automation, or just another year of the same old tech everyone is already using? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Tips for Increasing Employee Productivity

Increasing Employee Productivity

As everyone who’s ever managed or worked in an office knows, staying productive throughout the work day can be tough. There are meetings, coffee breaks, and just stretches of time where you feel tired or easily distracted. There are techniques to make the most of each day though. Try these tips for increasing employee productivity next time you feel a slump coming on.

Create an Inspiring Work Space

A well designed and decorated work space will boost both morale and productivity. Employees report that working in an inspiring space helps them feel more inspired in their work. Consider hiring an interior decorator to add some art and colorful furnishings to your office. You don’t necessarily need an entire re-design (unless you want one), but can simply re-arrange or add art to elevate your work space. Inspired, happy employees, are productive employees.

Allow Working from Home

Despite some contrary opinions on the subject, in general, employees report feeling more productive when working from home. This doesn’t have to mean working from home every day, but allowing employees that flexibility is important. Being able to take home a big project to focus without the distractions of the office can be great for productivity. Working from home also helps the work/life balance when employees can take a day here or there to work from the comfort of their homes.

Technology that allows seamless working from home is very accessible these days. Cloud computing, and using a remote desktop, makes it possible for employees to log in from any device and access the exact same desktop they use in the office – all of their files, all of their shortcuts, all in the same place. With tech that makes working from home so easy, why not allow it?

Discourage Multi-Tasking

No matter how great a multi-tasker you think you are, your productivity is shot when you don’t focus your attention on one task at a time. Encourage employees to sit down and really focus on particular projects, rather than trying to do everything all at once. Distracting multi-tasking habits can be broken with the help of supervisors and project managers by not expecting multiple tasks to be done on the same deadline. Help your employees give their full attention to each project by, as a team, focusing on one thing at a time from start to finish.

Supply Employees with “Brain Food”

Offering work place snacks can help your employees get through that mid-afternoon slump and push through dips in blood sugar during the day. It’s important to put thought into what kinds of snacks you offer workers, though. Food with a lot of sugar and carbs can leave your employees with energy spikes and crashes, or just leave them tired and lethargic. Snacks high in protein like nuts and beef jerky are great “brain food” in the work place.

Increasing Employee Productivity

Every day doesn’t have to feel like a battle against lack of motivation. Practice maximizing your team’s productivity through your work environment, taking on one project at a time, and keeping healthy snacks around the office. There will always still be days where it feels like not enough is getting done, but remember, happy and healthy employees are the best workers there are!

DIY Backup vs. Cloud Provider

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diy backup vs cloud provider

Are you a business owner that has recently started to wonder if you should have your computers backed up? If you have enough client and project information that it would be a big setback to lose it all, now is the time to start looking at backup options. Data loss is expensive and stressful. It’s important to choose the best backup solution for your business’s needs, so let’s start with the basics: using DIY backup vs. a cloud provider.

Time it Takes to Recover Lost Data

If you suffered a major data loss, how long would you be willing wait to for your restored data? If your answer is anything other than a few minutes, DIY backup is not for you. With a cloud provider, a phone call or email is all it takes to have your entire network’s data restored. With DIY, depending on the system you are using, it can take days or even weeks to get your data restored! It is a tedious and time-consuming process to restore a computer when you don’t know exactly what you are doing. This lag time is why many users opt to use a professional cloud provider for their backup solutions.

The Factor of Human Error

We all like to think that we and our employees are error-free, efficient workers. The truth of the matter is though, humans are incredibly error prone. The danger with DIY backup is that you bring the factor of human error back into the equation. Humans can forget to update your backup regularly, make an error while creating the backup and damage/lose data, or could even accidentally delete the entire backup.

A cloud provider will set up an automated system to regularly update your backup; no human necessary. Cloud providers have tried and true systems in place to both protect, and maintain, backed up data to keep it free of corrupted files and away from human mistakes.

Peace of Mind

Managing a backup system yourself can be a stressful task. There is the process of figuring out which type of backup is best for you, deciding how often to run the backup, making sure the backups are done correctly, and then there’s the unknown of it actually working to restore your lost data should anything happen.

By using a cloud backup provider, all of that stress and work is the responsibility of someone else. Cloud providers manage and protect your backup files 24/7. They have the technology to back up data properly and securely and do regular checks to make sure the backups are healthy and can be easily recalled should need be. This is why many businesses leave their backup solutions to the professionals.

Cost

When it comes to DIY backup vs. cloud providers, you would be surprised to learn that a cloud provider is, in fact, often less expensive than an in-house solution. With DIY backup, you must purchase the hardware for a backup and likely hire IT personnel to set it up and manage it. On the other hand, the backup services that cloud providers offer have a monthly fee that covers all hardware costs and time spent by personnel to update your backup and maintain it. Any unpredictable costs (like hardware needing to be replaced or running updates) are taken care of by the cloud provider; you only pay a consistent monthly fee for the service.

DIY Backup vs. Cloud Provider

If you are looking for a low stress, reliable way to backup your business’s data, using a cloud provider is the way to go. By setting up a cloud backup system with a provider, a monthly fee gets you hardware, round-the-clock support, and most of all, peace of mind. Should you suffer a data loss, your cloud provider has your back. Save yourself the headache of trying to set up a DIY solution and leave it to the professionals; your future self will thank you.

What Is the Best Solution for Business Data Backup?

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Business Data Backup

Did you know that 40% of companies without a data backup solution go out of business after they suffer a major data loss? Without a backup to call upon to restore the files on their computers, many businesses find it impossible to recover. If you haven’t already thought about a data backup solution for your business, don’t delay! Don’t let your company become a cautionary tale!

Why Do Businesses Need a Backup Solution?

The hard truth of it is, data loss happens. Whether it be human error, technical failure, natural disaster, or even a hack, businesses suffer major data losses every day.

Losing data on a personal device is frustrating, but losing business data can be completely devastating. Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and had no client information, lost all your leads, and every project you’ve ever worked on had vanished too. How would you pick up and carry on? As the statistic mentioned before tells us, many businesses cannot.

Cloud Backup

The backup method of choice for many businesses is cloud backup, and here’s why: it is by far the easiest and most reliable form of data backup for business owners.

The reason cloud backup is so easy for businesses, is that you can set it up with a cloud provider and, essentially, forget about it. For a monthly fee, the cloud provider will run continuous backups without you needing to remember to do anything. As long as you pay your bill, all of your business’s data will always be there. Should a data loss happen, all your information is waiting to be restored, exactly as it was.

Cloud backup’s popularity is also due to that fact that it is incredibly reliable. You do not need to worry about keeping an external hard drive or server in your location with IT staff hired to maintain it. The cloud provider manages the security and updates of your data for you. The cloud, believe it or not, is actually more secure than a traditional network. Not only are you a lot less likely to get hacked, but should the unexpected happen, you now have an off-site copy of all your data ready to be restored.

Why Use a Cloud Backup Provider vs. DIY

The benefits of going with a cloud provider for your backup solution vs. using a DIY solution are staggering. When you rely on yourself or an employee to create backups, you bring the factor of human error back into the equation. With a service provider, the backups are set to be updated regularly by an automated system. Unfortunately, humans are far less reliable than automation, and often forget to make the updates or do so incorrectly and can end up inadvertently corrupting and leaving out important files.

With a DIY solution, you can forget about the idea of restoring your system immediately after a data loss. Most DIY recovery takes days, or even weeks, to restore. On the other hand, a cloud service provider takes mere minutes to restore all of your lost files. Can your business operate for weeks without any of your past data or client information? Don’t wait until a loss happens to find out!

How Cloud Backup Works

For users, cloud backup is a “set it up and forget about it” type of system. How it works is, the cloud provider takes “snap shots” of your desktop, your files, and all data on a regular basis. Via the internet, that information is sent to the cloud provider’s servers where it is stored. On an on-going basis, a new snap shot is taken, and sent over to update the old snap shot. There is nothing that the business owner needs to remember to do or worry about managing.

Should a data loss happen, the business owner simply needs to get in touch with their cloud provider and request that their data be restored. It’s as simple as that.

What Is the Best Solution for Business Data Backup?

There is a reason that almost every business these days is using cloud backup. It is easy to manage and is unequivocally reliable. What are you waiting for? Set up cloud backup today.