Selasa, 28 Mei 2013

The Case for Moving to the Cloud

Recent developments in technology, including the proliferation of the internet and of web-based applications, have made a compelling business case for many organizations to seriously consider moving their IT operations from in-house servers to the cloud, and to use web-based applications. Benefits include both lower capital costs and on-going operating costs, and no hardware and software installation and maintenance to worry about. In this article we will use the terms "cloud" and "web" interchangeably.

Until about 2008, there were relatively few cloud storage providers and a limited number of web applications. However in recent years the cloud computing industry has exploded, with almost every conceivable application now being offered as a cloud service. Most business technology needs can now be met from today's cloud-based offerings.

Where do I start?

In evaluating your organization's opportunity to move to the cloud, there are three distinct service areas to consider: email (including calendar & contacts), file storage and software applications.


Web-based email has the same functionality as PC-based email, but without the high cost and headaches of maintaining an in-house email system. The two leading web-based email providers are Google and Microsoft. Both these providers support mobile devices such as Blackberry, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Google's mail, calendar and contacts also interface with Outlook running on PC's. Google Apps for Business is priced at $50 per user per year. Microsoft Office 365 is priced at $150 per user per year, however it also includes web-based access to the latest versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

File Storage

When choosing a cloud file storage service, there are a number of factors to consider such as level of file encryption, the ease of viewing, editing and saving files, ability to assign read/write permissions to folders or files, desktop and application access, and password protection. You may want to choose a service that automatically syncs your data to a local NAS (Network Access Storage) device, so that if you lose access to the cloud service, you still have the ability to access your data locally. Some of the leading cloud storage providers are Egnyte, iCloud and OpenDrive.


There are now cloud applications available to meet almost every business need. For example, standard office applications to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms are now available online from both Google and Microsoft. If you are running a local server-based CRM, there are now many web-based CRM's to consider, including Solve360, Salesforce, Sugar and NetSuite. For an excellent, very easy to use web-based time and billing application, try Freshbooks.

What are the risks of moving to the cloud?

Moving to the cloud is not risk-free. However it is important to realize that maintaining all IT operations in-house certainly has its own set of risks, along with significant costs. The following are some of the risks to be aware of, and suggestions to help mitigate these risks:

Data availability. What if you lose internet connectivity, or your cloud service provider goes off line? We suggest maintaining a local copy of your files on a NAS device which is automatically sync'd to the cloud, providing you with access to your data until connectivity is restored.

Data privacy and security. The cloud provider must be in compliance with data privacy and security rules and regulations that apply to your organization, such as PCI-DSS and PIPEDA. Access permissions should ensure that only the right users have access to the right files. Transmission security that employs 256-bit AES encryption ensures that even if company data were intercepted, it would be impossible to decipher.

Data retention. Files must be stored in compliance with your data retention policies, for example to ensure availability of historical financial information for tax authorities.

Disaster recovery. Your cloud provider must have documented and tested disaster recovery capabilities.

An accelerating trend

The shift to the cloud is happening at an accelerating rate, as organizations recognize the potential opportunity to reap cost savings by dramatically reducing their IT expenditures. Competition amongst cloud service providers is intense as they compete for a share of this rapidly expanding market, resulting in greater choice and more competitive pricing for businesses seeking cloud services.

The case for moving to the cloud is often a compelling one, and should not be ignored. If your organization maintains an in-house IT infrastructure and support, then it may be worthwhile evaluating the feasibility of cloud computing.

Downscaling Your IT (Information Technology) - How to Prevent IT Overspending

Assess the needs of your business. When you suspect that you need to downscale your IT, the first step is to do an in depth investigation of your current setup. As businesses grow or shrink their requirements change. Technology is also constantly improving which means the way to deal with those requirements is also changing. Left unchecked a business could be left with technology solutions which don't suit them and, worst case, costing more than they should.

Optimise the equipment that you have. Once you know what you have, and what everyone needs, you can assign your resources more efficiently. You can make small changes, like taking away the many small printers scattered around the office and replace them with a single, more cost-effective printer that everyone shares. Sometimes these decisions can be hard to implement, like taking away the brand new laptop the director bought just for email, and giving it to the sales consultant who needs it on the road for professional presentations.

Replace costly hardware with cheaper alternatives. Depending on who does your IT, you can often end up with expensive hardware that you don't need. As an example, small businesses often overspend on a server solution when they start out. There are many good reasons for a server but if the costs outweigh the benefits then there are numerous alternatives like the Cloud or Linux based systems.

Replace high maintenance technology with simpler solutions. When it comes to networking and internet connectivity, there are so many options available at reasonable prices that a small change can save you a lot of money. If you have a high maintenance technology that requires a lot of attention when problems arise, consider replacing it with an alternative technology that is more reliable. Do you really need a dedicated leased line, or will a cheaper uncapped ADSL line serve just as well?

Do the Research. The best way to know what can save you money in IT is to know more about current IT. For instance processor (CPU) speed is not as important as it once was. Even an entry level computer nowadays will usually be more than fast enough for most people. Rather investigate the extra components like RAM (minimum of 4GB's!), screen size or battery life. If you are baffled by IT, or don't have the time to do the research, make sure the people responsible for your business's technology are knowledgeable and trustworthy.

Outsource your IT Needs. The cost and management time in having an internal IT department can be prohibitive and in most cases unnecessary. A good outsourced IT company should be able to do all of the work a permanent technician could do in much less time and with less impact on the company. In addition the backup knowledge and staff an outsourced provider can provide means that there is less reliance on a single person.

Rent your Computers. An option that may favour your business model is to rent or lease your IT solution instead of buying it upfront. By renting or leasing your computers, you help cashflow and are in a better position when your hardware becomes outdated.

Make Use of Cloud Computing. A Cloud based email system, for instance, can be extremely beneficial as it reduces support costs and the need to purchase an expensive server which sits at your premises. Remote email access is also possible at any time and from any location even if your office is offline. Flexibility is increased, allowing you to streamline your workforce where needed. Downtime and disruption is greatly reduced and by being in the Cloud, your important data will be always be saved in a secure location online, providing you with peace of mind.

Understanding your requirements, researching the right solutions and finding the right people to implement them can save you a lot of money. Bells and whistles might be costing you more than you think.

Rabu, 15 Mei 2013

Why It Is Good To Have An AV Installation In A School Or Business

Technology is what drives a lot of the things in our world today. From the mobile phones that we carry with us all day to the simple light switch that we turn off when we go to sleep, technology has become a major part of our lives that a lot of us simply can't do without. Among of the better kinds of technologies that we use are those that help us all in productivity such as an AV installation and other learning systems. AV stands for Audio Visual, and this is a technology that you can find in many schools and businesses.

Now why do schools and businesses use this audio visual technology? The answer to this is quite simple. Human beings absorb information through their senses, and what better way to make a presentation for the distribution of information than by presenting it through sight and sound. By having videos or images to show an audience, the audience will be able to easily absorb what you are trying to say. People can relate better to images than by simply having them read a document, paper, report, or by just delivering the information through plain speech.

With that being the case, a lot of schools have audio visual rooms for big class presentations. Students are able to learn quickly about a particular subject matter when presented to them through this technology. This technology has the power to capture the full attention of the attending students, and that is why a lot of schools have specific rooms with this technology installed.

These are the common factors that both schools and businesses share with the use of this technology. Other institutions also make use of this technology for the very same reasons. Visually presented materials can easily get imprinted into the minds of those who see it, and combine that with a properly delivered oral presentation, the information that a presenter gives can be fully absorbed by their audience.

These are the reasons why it is important for schools and businesses to have an AV installation in their facilities or office. Information delivered in the right way makes for better result and productivity, and information delivered in an engaging way makes it easier for the intended recipients to fully grasp the concept or information that is to be delivered. An audio visual experience helps bring about better learning for students and better information propagation to the employees of a business.

It is a good advantage for all schools and businesses to have an audio visual facility or equipment to have a powerful means of propagating information. If a school or business that does not yet have this technology in place and would like to get one installed, search around the web for a provider that can install this technology in your institution.

Rabu, 01 Mei 2013

Ways To Enhance Application Performance Through Efficient Monitoring

Application performance can be greatly enhanced with comprehensive monitoring. Various elements can affect its performance in different ways, for example the speed of the application. If the speed of an application gets reduced, it can start affecting end-user experience. Also, without adequate monitoring, it is difficult to determine whether it has already come to a point where it can no longer function at all, and simply crashes.

Application performance monitoring attains utmost significance in the face of cloud computing. Unless monitored and actively maintained, these applications may be forced to perform under their optimal best, leading to loss of time and money. Further, for small businesses, poor application performance may lead to additional cost being incurred in repairs and re-routing some of the work at higher cost.

There are other results of this continuously being below expectations. These include:

> Lack of clarity regarding the application's role

> Disconnect between information on technical aspects and end-user experience.

> Unclear understanding of the way the application works

> Inter-office dynamics or conflicting ideas leading to blame assigning, instead of getting down to resolving issues.

> Complex application environments that can make it difficult to spot issues.

This monitoring needs to be holistic. It also needs to take into account diverse environments, technical platforms, and devices.

Improving application performance through better monitoring

Increased understanding of how the application works can help more comprehensive monitoring. This can include a monitoring solution that allows for greater and deeper visibility across the application and its different environments.

Define the relationship between performance and user-expectation

For monitoring to prove effective, you will need to clearly define the ways in which application performance will affect the end-user experience. It is easier to troubleshoot and take care of smaller issues when the application behavior is understood.

Ensure thorough reports

Reporting is a key factor in successful application performance monitoring. Reports and the data they include can help create an effective monitoring plan, including identifying areas that may need additional attention. Reports can also help you resolve trouble areas without ambiguity, because you have a written account on hand. Application performance monitoring will often take into account history as well, and a thorough report leaves no room for ambiguity.

Communication is essential

In case of issues and problems in your application's performance, ensuring that the team working on resolving it is on the same page is critical to monitoring and repairing any trouble areas in the performance. A thorough report is actually the first step to ensuring smooth communication within the team. A report can set the ground for firm communication by putting into place all the work that has already gone into getting the application running. Further, a report can act as a unifying factor for different team members.

Communication information like numbers, statistics, and data is also very important, more to ensure that the problem within the application is understood by all, thus saving valuable time and efforts.

Kamis, 25 April 2013

Six Questions To Ask Potential Mobile App Developers

Your decision to hire one of the mobile app developers in the industry can make or break the success of your business. As we all know, they are the go-to guys of many entrepreneurs who need their products and services visible in the mobile platform. Some entrepreneurs have had a bad experience on this. Instead of having an investment that can make their profits surge, they acquired a quick means to releasing their hard-earned cash down the drain. This painful scenario can be avoided though if you know the right questions to ask your prospect designers. Seven of them are provided below for your guidance. Keep them in mind as you engage designers in an interview.

May I have examples of your past work? - This is key in identifying their previous clients whom you can ask for feedback. If they are in any way related to the mobile app design of famed brands like Apple, Blackberry and Google, gauging their skills would be a lot easier. Communicating with their past and current clients can help you learn the way they do business - responsiveness, meeting of deadlines and customer service to name a few.

How can you make my app one-of-a-kind? - This question highlights the fact that consumers today are bombarded with all kinds of software that they blindly choose among the newly-developed ones. New and cool features can make your software stick out even though it has similar function to others in the market. These features can only be done, of course, by a skilled designer.

How can I earn money? - Do not be shy to ask about this. Increased flow of revenues is the primary purpose of your search for the mobile app developers, right? Thus, be clear with the discussions on the pricing and payment terms. You can opt to ask for an upfront payment or pay-per-download scheme if your software has many features.

How can I be assured that my software works? - This is all about testing once your app is created. A faulty one can never make money on your behalf. Before it is made available in the market, it has to be tested using your targeted smartphones. Technological glitches are inevitable but they can be eradicated by capable hands. Time and budget are the top considerations here.

What are the means by which your app can reach your target audience? - The main procedure by which software gets known by many is through the app store. Requests for permission to be sold in such stores are first made. Its purchase by the consumers can only happen when the request gets approved.

Can you work with in my budget? - Most mobile app developers offer packages and payment terms from which the clients can choose. More often than not, clients are the ones who will adjust to the standards set by the designers. But there are still a number of designers who are willing to create excellent apps that are budget friendly.

Rabu, 17 April 2013

Keeping Your Computer in Perfect Shape

Whether you are using a desktop or a laptop, taking certain precautions and observing a few practices will make it possible for your machine to last a little longer.

As the popular adage goes, "prevention is better than cure" and that's exactly what you have to keep in mind if you want to have your unit working smoothly. There are some common errors committed by users which can potentially damage a computer. Aside from preventing risks, observing the tips shared below will help maintain your system's performance and speed!

You bet you wouldn't have to look for laptops or desktops for sale if you use your unit with care and caution.

Keep Liquid at a Good Distance

Firstly, keep all types of liquid away from your computer. If you are like most users, then you know how common it is for most to take a sip of coffee or soda while doing some work or simply browsing the web. Avoid this temptation and keep your beverage in a distance! Accidentally spilling your coffee, for instance, can damage the components or even worse, can cause electrical injury. The same rule also applies when it comes to food.

Use Updated Antivirus Software

Aside from merely installing antivirus on your computer, you have to check if your software is actually updated. Besides, it's always helpful to have a tool that scans your downloads even if you think you are downloading from trusted sources. Keep malicious software at bay by using an updated antivirus system.

Turn It Off When Not In Use

Another advice to remember is to shut the computer down in case you won't be using it for a while. If you are moving away from the unit for about two hours or more, it's actually practical to turn the unit off for the mean time. This is especially advisable if you are using a laptop since starting the unit requires lesser energy than allowing it to run continually. This tip is nice for both your machine and your electric bill.

Delete Cookies, Defragment and Do Regular Clean Up

These are among the most neglected practices that should be regularly done by most users. Deleting cookies can help free up your memory. Defragmenting can help keep your data organized. Instead of consuming so much of your memory, you can free up more in here by deleting unnecessary files and folders - especially the huge files.

Rabu, 03 April 2013

A Brief Overview on Data Recovery

Computers are largely used by people of all ages. They are largely used in business organizations to carry out the work smoothly. Many times, organizations have encountered issues such as losing important data or software from the computer permanently. Losing data on a computer has become a common issue. People accidentally delete some files which are later realized that they are the most important ones. Hard drives of the computer and other mechanical components do not last for long. It is pretty obvious that every computer faces losing data at some point of time. This is where the importance of information recovery comes into picture. This process is important to recover the lost data immediately. At times, it becomes difficult, but with the help of professional services, it is easy.

Still wondering what exactly is data recovery? Well, it is a process that is used to recover the lost information and records from the computer and other sources comprising of hard disk drives, external hard drives and flash memory and SD cards. There are numerous factors that cause files and folders to be lost, one being malfunction of the software, computer virus and also natural disasters such as fire and water damage. At times, when the power goes out without any warning, there is every chance of the important files being lost. A document's information can be recovered when the power comes, however, there are certain extreme situations where it becomes to impossible to recover. The process of information retrieval depends on the type of data lost. Every project is unique and requires various processes to obtain it. One of the best ways to save the data from being lost is by shutting down the computer, removing power and consulting a professional at the same. At times, when a person deletes a file accidentally, there is every possibility of recovering it from the recycle bin. However, if the person has pressed SHIFT+DELETE, then there are is absolutely no chance of recovering it. All the deleted files are stored somewhere in the computer; however, it is extremely tedious to locate it.

To make the recovery process easy, there is amazing information retrieval software available. They greatly help to recover the lost information and retrieve deleted files with ease. When this software does not show any results, it is time to hire the professionals to do the job. Every computer has different operating systems such as MAC and Apple. Hence, if the information is lost from these computers, it is important that a person opts for Apple or Mac data recovery. The recovery process comprises of formatted hard drive, deleted file, raid, SD card, photo, files, Tape and more. This is the best source to get hold of all the lost or deleted files easily and effectively. There are numerous advanced data recovery tools and software for each operating system that helps to get back the lost information without much effort. This will also help in keeping the operating system up to date and in great working condition.