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4 Signs Your Business Needs to Invest in the Cloud

4 Signs Your Business Needs to Invest in the Cloud

“Should I move to the cloud”?

This is a general question faced by owners of small and medium businesses nowadays. So what is the answer and when is it the right time to go the cloud? Before moving to the cloud, you should be prepared to notice a number of signs.

1.     Tired of the Costs

Are you troubled by the costs of your IT operations? The first objective of a business is to increase its revenues and minimise its losses. However, often businesses have to endure expenses due to servers required to support their IT systems. Moreover, the electricity costs are another associated headache as computing hardware requires a considerable amount of cooling.

If you feel that these expenses are making it difficult for you to earn profits, then it would be recommended to use the services of a reputable cloud provider. Cloud providers have to spend less money on their hardware and power, thereby resulting in cheaper services for their clients.

2.     Growing Threat of Cyber Attacks

Was your business attacked recently by cyber attackers? This year a business in Winnipeg that deals with the sale of mattresses was compromised as cybercriminals attacked it with ransomware and got a ransom of $2,000. Businesses, especially non-IT ones, are a favourite target of hackers as they exploit the vulnerabilities in their computer systems.

Thus, many businesses have started outsourcing their IT systems to dependable cloud providers who are experts in the field of computer security and mount an unbreakable cyber defence of their systems, saving a lot of money that could have been lost to a cyber attack.

3.     Downtime

Downtime means the unavailability of computing resources for use. Businesses are often faced with downtime issues as their systems encounter problems and thus they fail to operate their businesses as crucial time is lost during this downtime, resulting in the loss of considerable income.

If you are having a downtime once or twice per year, then it is normal. However, dealing with downtimes on a daily or weekly basis is not a good sign and may mean the presence of a continuous issue in your IT servers. Thus, it would be recommended to move to the cloud if your business is hampered by downtime dilemmas.

4.     Lack of Room

Does the space taken by your hardware annoy you? Often small businesses struggle to place their IT equipment in their premises as they take up a lot of space. In such a scenario, it would be highly advised to invest in remote servers and hardware through a cloud provider.

Final Thoughts

Have you experienced any of the above signs in your organisational setup? If yes, then perhaps the best idea for you will be to move your IT operations to the cloud.

Fortunately, you have an excellent ally in the form of Cloud 4 Sure, a reputable organisation that has managed to develop its brand image by consistently delivering highly effective solutions for the local businesses. We will ensure to entertain all your questions as well as provide you recommendations that can work best for your business.

Why Should Small Businesses Opt for PaaS?

Why Should Small Businesses Opt for PaaS?

We have talked about the benefits brought about by both Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Now we will focus on Platform as a Service (PaaS) and how it adds value to small and medium-sized businesses.

Costs

When a software development company initiates its operations, it is hit upon by a myriad of problems. For application developers, the financial cost and resources needed in system administration and hardware level support are difficult to tackle. Most importantly, your valuable time is wasted which should be utilized in the development of the application.

The hardware and the platform behind applications maybe a mandatory component but no one tells you to do it yourself. Thus, having a PaaS can decrease financial, timely and staff related costs. PaaS decreases the expenses of an organisation significantly. Businesses only need to spend money on services that they are actually using. Thus, it saves wastage of expensive resources.

Protection of Data

Cyber attacks are one of the biggest issues faced by companies. On-premises IT infrastructure is often incapable to fight these attacks. With PaaS, businesses can easily secure their data. Various PaaS platforms can provide encryption to the software applications that make it impossible for cybercriminals to extract any data from them even after infiltrating your computer systems.

Speeding up Deployment

Businesses usually require a lot of time to integrate development, testing, configuration and other IT operations. However, with PaaS, these processes can be done rapidly, and hence deployment can be sped up. PaaS helps the software applications to be tested immediately after their development.

Versatility of Environments

When a company has its own operating system and software environment, then it can only experiment to a certain level with software development. However, with PaaS, companies can work and test their software applications on various platforms provided by the PaaS providers which can help them to analyse and select the best configurations.

There are PaaS providers that offer services that mainly help with web development environments. Some provide mobile app development while others provide data science and machine learning related environments. Thus, there is no need to spend time and resources to create your own environment when there are so experienced and reliable options in the industry to rely upon.

Disaster Recovery

When a company’s IT infrastructure is hampered by an unforeseen problem, then it is often hard to recover the lost data and reverse the systems to their original state. With PaaS, companies can initiate recovery procedures from a remote location that can help them to get their data back from different applications. Moreover, businesses can analyse what exactly went wrong with their systems.

Since PaaS adds to much value to businesses, thus it is highly recommended to adopt it for your business especially if you engage in software development. It can help developers to easily focus on application layer while the PaaS provider will easily manage any operating system or architectural issue.

Want to know how the cloud will work for you?

Please give us a call if you have a IT project and would like to know if there is a cloud solution for you.

How Small Businesses Can Profit from Infrastructure as a Service

 

We’ve talked about how Software as a Service can help improve the business operations of an organisation in the past. In this post, we will focus on the how Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can be the answer to a company’s problems.

Attention to Higher Level IT Needs

If you manage your own hardware and other equipment, then you lose a considerable amount time in configuration and management of such setups. These issues should not be your first priority. You need time to work on your business’ essential operations.

Many small businesses especially those that are not IT-centered, incur heavy losses due to lack of resources to deal with infrastructural issues.  These issues can be tackled by outsourcing them to IaaS providers who have enough technical expertise and experience to deal with such problems quickly.

Pay per Go Service

Traditional IT infrastructure wastes a lot of resources which translate to financial losses. However, Similar to SaaS, PaaS also utilises pay per go service. This means that you only have to pay for the resources that you have consumed from the IaaS provider.

Flexibility

All the important cogs in IT infrastructure are provided through IaaS including server, hardware, storage solutions and others. Thus, if you have certain requirements for your business, then IaaS can be extremely flexible. This is beneficial as you do not need to worry about the compatibility and resource issues of your software with IT infrastructure. 

Low Investment

Many small to medium businesses are not able to invest in infrastructure in the beginning as not only it is extremely costly but it also requires them to allocate their valuable time into the planning and installation of IT infrastructure. With the low finances of such businesses, it is hard to work on their actual business operations and thus losses are incurred. Therefore, if you have such a company, then you need to be smart and invest in IaaS as IaaS does not require the need for huge upfront investments.

Environment-Friendly

If your business aims to practice with environmentally friendly solutions, then having your own IT infrastructure is probably not the best idea. IaaS helps to decrease the amount of harmful impact on the environment through the use of maximum computing resources.

Useful in the Event of Natural Disaster

When an organisation manages its data through on-premises infrastructure, then it often risks the storage of data. In the unfortunate predicament of natural disasters and other events, all your business data is lost forever. On the other hand, IaaS providers provide better security to data as they engage in various modern security solutions that guarantee the safety of your data.

Are you a small business? Do you want to revamp your IT setup? Do you hate to manage the infrastructure in your organisation? In such a scenario, adopting Infrastructure as a Service might be the key to the solution of your problems. The benefits of IaaS to businesses are staggering, and you will realise it soon after adopting it yourself.

Want to know how the cloud will work for you?

Please give us a call if you have a IT project and would like to know if there is a cloud solution for you.

Benefits of SaaS

Benefits of SaaS

Previously, we’ve talked about different cloud computing services and have explained their basic concepts. In this post, we will discuss how Software as a Service (SaaS) can help businesses move forward and progress with the times.

Expense

If your business is relatively small, then you must be worried about the costs related to software. In such a predicament, SaaS can be your ally.  SaaS is easy on the wallet. It eliminates the expense of purchasing software as well as its installation from the budget of the organisation.

Similarly monthly and yearly expenses on updates and maintenance are also saved. Most importantly, since SaaS providers only ask for the amount of resources used, additional money is not wasted, unlike traditional setups.

Secure

Often an organisation’s critical data is stolen through cyber attacks. This unfortunate scenario can be escaped through Software as a Service. SaaS providers can offer greater security than traditional setups.

Accessible Globally

Many times organisations have to deal with various issues related to their IT infrastructure which forces them to shut down their systems. Consequently, their clientele is unable to use their services and the organisation faces reputational losses and financial reparations.

However, SaaS solutions mainly work on an internet browser and can be accessed through any location in the world. Therefore, SaaS ensures the continuity of an organisation’s services.

Time Factor

With Software as a Service, users can save considerable time as well. Since the software is available to use after all the low level and high-level architectural requirements are configured, thus businesses can save their valuable time and invest it in other departments.

Scalability

Is your business performing so well that you are planning to upgrade the IT infrastructure? You may have realised that there are lots of headaches associated with the scalability of your business. You do not need to worry; SaaS can help you out.

With SaaS, you do not need to pay any heed to the need for upgrades to your software to be able to handle more data. Your SaaS provider will manage and do the required upgrades.

Convenience

SaaS providers realise that businesses that require their software solutions do not usually have in-house technical teams. Thus, they develop applications with smooth and user-friendly interfaces for the convenience of the users. So, SaaS solutions also make it easier for businesses to train their employees.

Deployment

Traditional IT solutions require a great deal of time to be deployed as deployment engineers have to face a lot of issues during the process. However, with SaaS, this problem can be tackled. According to leading IT professionals, application development is reduced by almost 20 percent through the use of cloud services. SaaS solutions can easily be deployed in few weeks in comparison to traditional setups which can take months.

With so many benefits and advantages associated Software as a Service (SaaS), it will be wise for you to adopt this approach. You will be surprised how much SaaS can help your company grow.

Want to know how the cloud will work for you?

Please give us a call if you have a IT project and would like to know if there is a cloud solution for you.

What is Cloud Computing and Why Was It Needed?

What is Cloud Computing and Why Was It Needed?

As a business owner, you might have started watching many business entities, especially your competitors have a paradigm shift in their IT (Information Technology) infrastructure and adopt the “cloud”. The word cloud has gained tremendous significance over the last few years. Do you know why all these small, medium and large companies abandoned their previous technologies and switched to cloud-based systems?

Why Was It Needed?

As computer technologies have updated over time, and the requirements began increasing for organisations, they had to spend a great deal of time and money on their scaling needs. With the IT infrastructure based on premises, scaling was difficult and slow, and companies were unable to meet their computing needs.

Cloud computing offered these companies an opportunity to meet their computing needs from optimised remote and virtual data centres. These servers provide services related to software, hardware and other IT resources. Companies can pay cloud computing service providers and use their remote servers for their purposes. Thus, companies save from the slow and costly on-premises IT infrastructures.

What Exactly Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing refers to the usage of computing resources available on the internet to store or process your data instead of using on-site resources. The term “cloud” originated actually from the early computing days when the internet was newly invented and represented as a cloud in diagrams. These resources can be databases, storage, servers, networking, software, analytics and many more.

Real World Examples

Many tech giants have incorporated cloud into their products and services. One of the most common examples is Google Drive on which you can store your files and data online. Another example is Apple iCloud which uses cloud computing to store a customer’s information like contacts and calendars. Moreover, Amazon also uses the technology to store music in MP3 format through Amazon Cloud Drive.

Cloud Models

There are four distinct models in cloud computing.

Private Cloud

A private cloud is reserved for a single business entity and is a private network. It is highly secure and not shared with anyone.

Public Cloud

Public cloud is considered the most efficient. The cloud provider owns and manages the infrastructure then shares resources with an organisation. 

Hybrid Cloud

As the name suggests, hybrid cloud uses the features of both public and private clouds. It runs some resources from a public cloud others are provided from a private cloud depending upon a company’s needs.

Community Cloud

Community cloud refers to a cloud where different companies can share resources. It is a common cloud in conglomerates where different sectors of a conglomerate require sharing of data or government institutions where public data needs to be utilised by different departments.

If like most businesses your IT budget is limited then you need to be open to change. It is 2018, and all the successful businesses have incorporated the cloud into their systems. Because the cloud is not just a service, it is a need of the hour!

 

Next in this series : Benefits of Saas

Want to know how the cloud will work for you?

Please give us a call if you have a IT project and would like to know if there is a cloud solution for you.

How to Avoid an Identity Crisis

How to Avoid an Identity Crisis

How to Avoid an Identity Crisis

Perception is everything—especially when it comes to building trust online. The good news is you have a lot more control over your image than you think. SSL Certificates are one of the easiest and surest ways to prevent your visitors from jumping to the wrong conclusions by showing visible proof that you can be trusted. But, you have options that drive varying degrees of confidence. So, how do you know which makes the most sense for you?

Keeping It Real

Let’s start with the basics. If you’re like most business, it’s easy to get blindsided about all the recent press about encryption leading up to Google’s July 1 deadline. Sure, this is an important, and essential, part of your online presence. That’s why all SSL Certificates provide encryption. But, it’s not enough.

Ultimately, your visitors want complete confidence that the party on the other end of their connections is legitimate. While all SSL Certificates provide some level of validation, there are important differences that impact whether your visitors continue to engage with you or click over to a competitor.

The Proof is in the Validation

Did you know that, according to a Tec-ED survey, 77% of online buyers were hesitant to shop on a website without Extended Validation (EV) SSL—the highest level of authentication? So, what exactly is EV, what are your other validation options and what does each mean to your visitors and your business? Let’s take a closer look.

Domain Validation (DV)

With a DV SSL Certificate, all you need to do is validate you own the domain. While this is the simplest and fastest option, it doesn’t give your visitors clear confirmation of who’s really on the receiving end of their data. In terms of credentials, think of it as getting a library card. You don’t have to prove your identity, you simply tell them your name and they take you at your word. DV may be sufficient if you host a blog, you’re a one-person shop, a company that’s already well-known and trusted, or just need encryption.

Organization Validation (OV)

OV SSL Certificates require a little more screening. You’ll be required to provide up-to-date documentation that shows your company or organization is legitimate. Visitors can click the site seal that comes with the certificate to see your organization details, giving them a comfort level that you’re who you say you are. We equate this to getting a driver’s license which requires you to supply documentation to confirm your identity by multiple sources in your country of origin. OV should be the minimum protection if you operate an e-commerce site and want to ensure visitors you’re legitimate and trustworthy.

Extended Validation (EV)

EV provides the absolute highest level of validation. The vetting process is more thorough and includes in-depth documentation, as well as phone calls, to validate your organizational, physical and operational existence. More and more visitors are looking for visual trust symbols and the Green Address Bar—the most universally recognized symbol of trust reputability on the web—is only available with EV. Plus, visitors can click and view more certificate details, including the issuing Certificate Authority, to maximize credibility. EV is comparable to a passport. While issuance is a bit more involved and takes a little longer, it provides proof of your identity across the globe. If you’re a national or global brand, looking to maximize conversions and want to make it clear your visitors’ security is a top priority, EV is the way to go.

Confidence Leads to Conversions

When’s the last time you did business with someone you didn’t trust? Your visitors feel the same way. It’s up to you to clearly show them their information is protected and that a third-party trusted authority has confirmed that you’re, in fact, you. Choose the right SSL Certificate  and let it do the confidence-building for you. Still not sure which one is best for you? Contact us  and we’re happy to help you find the perfect fit.

 

What is the cloud?

What is the cloud?

In this tech-savvy era a lot of big buzzwords are thrown around on a daily basis, it can be a very daunting task to keep track of what it all means. Here at Cloud 4 Sure we try hard to make this all less confusing.

So, what is cloud computing?

What does it mean when someone says that your data is stored on the cloud? Well, the cloud actually isn’t up in the sky. Put simply, the cloud is a myriad of hardware, software and networking that keep the internet up and running. When data is stored on the cloud, it means that instead of that data being stored locally on your PC, it is stored by a hosting service on servers.

Why is the cloud such a big thing?

If you had to store everything locally on your PC, you would have to carry your PC everywhere and that can be cumbersome for most people. Furthermore, some computers such as desktops and workstations cannot be moved. Cloud computing solves this problem by storing your data in one central place which you can then accessed from any device anywhere in the world. Pretty cool, right?

It is due to cloud computing that the online freelancing sector has been growing exponentially over the past decade.

Is data stored on the cloud safe?

The short answer would be that it is way safer than it would have been when stored locally on your personal computer. Cloud computing service providers such as Google, Amazon and Cloud 4 Sure have world-class security protocols set in place to keep your data safe. 

What other services does cloud computing offer?

Apart from storage, the cloud offers a wide range of computing services such as virtual machines, web hosting, data simulation and many more. All these services have aided in the growth of the technological sector as physical properties are no longer constraints. What do I mean by physical properties? Say you want to start a company but all your employees are in different parts of the world. By setting up virtual server and sharing data, you can all work online in sync. Therefore, distance is no longer an issue. Another great example is when you want to analyse big chunks of data or test complex software but lack the necessary equipment to do so. With cloud computing, you can set up a virtual machine on a hosting company’s servers and have millions of processors work for you at a cheaper price than having to buy a mainframe.

Are there any disadvantages to cloud computing?

The short answer is no but with everything there is always the small risk of cyber-attacks making your hosted service unavailable, but these are very rare indeed and most service providers have redundancy strategies in place.

And there you have it- a basic description of what the cloud is and what it does.

PS, this article is stored on the cloud

5 Reasons Your Business Needs HTTPS

5 Reasons Your Business Needs HTTPS

The rules have changed about what good website security means—starting with a new minimum requirement for all website pages to support encrypted connections. The good news is you’ll gain other valuable benefits by adhering to this new standard. First, let’s get on the same page by reviewing a few basics.

 

What’s HTTPS?

When your customers land on a web page that’s not protected by any type of SSL Certificate they’ll see http:// at the beginning of the website address in the browser bar. This used to be perfectly fine unless your webpage involved a login ID, password, form or payments. Enter the era of mega cybercrime.

 

HTTP has one glaring flaw—it’s not secure. Any information transmitted via an HTTP connection is vulnerable to being tampered with, misused or stolen. Your visitors deserve to know any data they share with you is safe from prying eyes.

 

Installing an SSL Certificate changes the browser bar address to https:// to clearly show visitors the connection is encrypted, meaning the server is authenticated and data is protected in transit. No wonder web browsers have made HTTPS the new standard for website security.

 

HTTPS Is Good for Your Bottom Line

Enabling encrypted connections is one great reason to protect your website with an SSL Certificate. But, it’s not the only reason. Here are some other ways HTTPS brings value to your business.

 

Speeds Up Performance—Being the slow kid on the block and the last one picked for dodgeball is a bummer. Being slow online could cost you everything. HTTP is being replaced by a newer faster version—HTTP/2. Encrypted connections are required to unlock the latest speed and security features.

 

Increases Search Engine Traffic—Google includes SSL as a ranking factor. How’d you like to boost your search visibility up to 5%? Be found above the competition by encrypting every page of your website.

 

Enables Mobile Options—Salesforce reports 71% of marketers believe mobile is core to their business. Mobile’s most popular features—geolocation, motion orientation, microphone, full screen and camera access—require HTTPS to be enabled by most browsers

 

Protects Your Brand Reputation—A recent CA Security Council Report shows a mere 2% of customers would proceed past the “Not Secure” warnings that are due to kick in July 1 for all webpages without HTTPS connections. Show visitors your brand values their security by protecting your website with an SSL Certificate.

 

Delivers a Seamless Experience—Don’t let visitors engage with several pages on your site only to be get broadsided with a “Not Secure” warning on pages you haven’t protected. They’ll reward you for taking the extra steps to give them an end-to-end encrypted experience.

 

Identity Validation Matters, Too

HTTPS is no longer optional if you want to build relationships and a business online. The good news it adds a lot of value to your business. But, SSL Certificates  do more than enable HTTPS. They also authenticate, or validate your identity so visitors know it’s really you on the other end of their connection. We’re here to help  you find the right level of validation based on your goals.

 

Google Has Issued the Official Warning—Encrypt by July 1 or Else

Google Has Issued the Official Warning—Encrypt by July 1 or Else

If you’ve been following website security industry changes, you may know that the move by browsers to warn visitors of webpages served via HTTP as “Not Secure” has been in the works for a while. And, if you’re like most organizations, preparing for the inevitable has been dead last on your to-do list. Unfortunately, pretending there’s no fire doesn’t mean you won’t eventually get burned.

 

Implementation has been gradual and the end date has been moved out a few times but, according to the Feb. 8 announcement by Google, you’ll need to get an SSL certificate for all your webpages—not just the ones with login requirements or forms—by the time Chrome 68 launches. Starting July 2018, Chrome will universally alert visitors that land on any HTTP webpage. What began as a nudge from Google and Mozilla that only impacted pages with unencrypted password or text fields has become a no-exceptions requirement. We’re guessing this isn’t what you want your visitors to see.

 

Why HTTPS?

HTTP served Internet users well for many years. Unfortunately, given today’s cybercrime-ridden web, it has one crucial flaw—it’s not secure. That means data in transit can be stolen or manipulated.

 

HTTPS is secure and shows visitors https:// in the browser bar indicating encryption is authenticating the server and protecting transmitted information. So, it’s easy to understand why web browsers are now requiring it as a basic standard.

 

Beyond encryption, HTTPS also helps you leverage the faster performance enabled by HTTP/2, gives you up to a 5% boost in search engine visibility, providers a more seamless user experience and unlocks popular mobile options.

 

How do I get HTTPS?

SSL Certificates  enable HTTPS—so the sooner you install one on all your webpages, the better. But, remember, website security is about more than encrypting data. Ensuring who’s on the other end of the data transfer is equally, if not more, important so making sure you have the right level of identity validation matters. Choosing the right SSL certificate can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help  you sort through your options and find the most cost-effective way to meet the July 1, 2018, deadline and boost your bottom line.

Get Secure Now with a SSL Certificate

Contact Us for more information or assistance