Cloud this! Cloud that! There’s plenty of chatter about rolling over to cloud services in business – however it’s not always necessary, depending on your requirements and business environment. And with so many different services available it can be very tricky to nail down what’s actually going to be useful, and what may be useful to you in say, five years’ time.
That being said, there are definitely some cloud computing services that all businesses should investigate right now, to see whether they are the right fit. Here are the top 5 that are the most useful to businesses everywhere.
1. Cloud backup and restore
All businesses have crucial data that is essential to ensuring operations run smoothly, for example, customer databases, financial records, and software to run the business. If these suddenly disappear or are corrupted and you don’t have backups – then you are going to be left crying into your coffee and cursing technology.
Whether it’s weekly, daily, or hourly backups of your most important systems and data, having these to fall back on in the event of internal system failure (or issues like crippling viruses – yes, they can happen) is essential.
The type of cloud backup and restore solution you need depends on your business requirements. Even small businesses should use a combination of backups and snapshots to ensure they are protected against data loss events.
2. Cloud archival
For some businesses, there may also be a need for extra offsite storage, whether it’s readily available for fast access, or in cold storage for archival needs.
Cloud archival is a way to store data that means you don’t have to worry about having extra machines on-site and managing them and backing them up. Configured correctly, you can have secure cloud archival storage that’s automatically backed up for use as needed.
For an example of one of the more popular non-time sensitive data archival services for businesses, check out Amazon Glacier.
3. SaaS products
With many software companies now turning off support for on-site software installations and instead offering their software-as-a-service online, the time is now to do an inventory of your currently installed software and licenses.
For example, if you haven’t renewed your license for your on-site installation of Quickbooks in a while, you might want to take a look at Quickbooks online, which gives you go-anywhere access to the accountancy software, along with a range of other benefits.
You might also like to check out a cost-benefit analysis of Office 365 (online) vs hosted Microsoft Exchange Server (instead of hosting the Microsoft suite on-site).
By taking stock of your current software, reviewing licenses, and seeing the comparable SaaS options available, you can often find a better deal, or a more flexible solution for working outside of the office.
4. Cloud identity management
With a shift towards more mobile-friendly working solutions, this means that identity management, especially while not connected to internal networks, needs to be expertly managed for the best security practices.
Cloud identity management services can take care of this for you. A single sign on, no matter where you go and no matter what device you are on, makes things easy on the user side. Granular app and data control on the administrator side gives the business confidence in mobile work. With a cloud identity management service that hooks into your onsite identity management, such as Microsoft Active Directory, you can be assured that off-site connections are seamless.
5. Cloud SIEM (Security Information and Event Management)
As technology gets more mature and complex, so too do cybersecurity threats. And with your network and data assets diversifying (think in terms of cloud storage, on-site assets, and information stored with SaaS providers), it makes sense to also have your SIEM clouded, rather than on-site.
A SIEM helps protect your business against attacks and learns from the network traffic and patterns flowing to and from your systems to better itself over time. A SIEM is a necessary software choice for any business, whether you configure access and monitoring in-house, or let a managed service provider – like us – take care of it for you.
Need help with choosing a particular cloud service?
At A1 Technologies, we are partners with some of the biggest cloud service providers in the game, including Microsoft (Azure), AWS, and Cisco. If you need help choosing which service provider to choose for one of the above services, then we would be more than happy to take a look over your requirements to find the perfect match. Reach out to us today.
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