Monthly Archives: November 2012

Can Cloud Computing Help your Business?

Can Cloud Computing Help your Business?

Cloud computing has rapidly become mainstream technology for large and small businesses.  From online backup to virtual servers to Software as a Service (SaaS) there are many benefits to using cloud computing.  Here are some of the many benefits your business may receive from cloud computing:

Capital Expense vs. Operating Expense

Cloud computing provides businesses access to enterprise infrastructure, without having to make the upfront investment in data center, network and server infrastructure build-out.  By using available cloud computing resources, businesses can subscribe to these services, instead of using precious working capital for an unnecessary up front investment.  As a result, business owners may avoid making high capital expenses.  Instead, the monthly subscription cost of cloud computing may be treated as an operating expense.  As always, consult your tax professional for your business’s specific issues.

Predictable IT Costs

Cloud computing subscriptions enable the business owner visibility into predictable costs for IT Services.  For example, online backup costs may be a function of the amount of data stored and bandwidth used each month.  Software as a Service (SaaS) Email or Sales Force Automation (SFA) services may be charged based on number of users each month.  Fixing these costs can be a huge advantage to small businesses.

Improved Reliability

Public cloud computing options may provide your business better IT Infrastructure than you can afford on your own.  By taking advantage of economies of scale, your company can tap into enterprise class data centers that are monitored, managed and maintained by 7/24/365 support teams.  What’s more, these facilities providing online backup, hosted exchange, SaaS CRM and other applications may have additional IT security beyond what comparable premise based solutions have to offer.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Data and applications based in the Cloud may help you recover from a disaster scenario in a timely manner.  Having your business up and running quickly, is of the utmost importance.  In the event of natural disaster, such as, fire, hurricane, earthquake or flood you may not be able to access data or applications if they are stored on-site at your company location.  In some cases, data or applications stored on site may suffer irreversible harm.  By having your data and applications in the cloud, your business may have immediate access to mission critical information, bringing your business systems back online, even when your doors are still closed.

There are many ways companies may benefit from cloud computing.  To find out more about how your business can take advantage of the Cloud, contact your IT Service professional today.

Apple to Begin Shipment of iPad Mini Tablets

Apple to Begin Shipment of iPad Mini Tablets

Apple Computer announced their newest tablet computer, the Apple iPad Mini  on November 2nd. Expect the Apple iPad Mini with WiFi with Cellular LTE support to begin shipping sometime this week. The Apple iPad Mini joins a variety of choices in tablet computing including Microsoft Windows RT Tablets, Google Android Tablets and the family of Apple iPads.

Tablet computers are one of the fastest growing segments of PCs, so it is no surprise there is a wide range of choices. Here are some things you should consider when purchasing a tablet computer for your business.

What is the intended business use of the tablet computer?

Tablets are great for taking notes during meetings, one on one sales presentations, collecting data in the field, accessing patient information in the examination room and a variety of other tasks where the user is standing or sitting without a desk. Think twice if you expect your tablet to replace a desktop or laptop computer. For example, laptops are great for working on an airplane or taking work home or on the road. Don’t make your decision for a tablet computer as an “either/or” decision. Consider the business requirements the tablet computer will fill.

Do I have a policy for handling corporate data on a tablet computer?

One consideration when purchasing tablet computers is that they are more vulnerable to theft and/or loss. You should take precautions to ensure you have the ability to wipe corporate data from the device if it is lost or stolen. How will your business back up data from tablets? Employees may put personal data on corporate devices, so your business must have a clear policy for acceptable use and how personal data may be treated in the event of loss or theft of the tablet computer.

Are my critical applications available on the tablet computer?

Some mobile applications may only be available on specific tablet computers (e.g. Android Store vs. Apple Store vs. Windows Store). Mobile app developers have a choice of optimizing an mobile application for a specific platform (e.g. iPad vs. Google Android Tablet vs. Windows 8 Tablet, etc.) In this case, the apps will take full advantage of device specific features (GPS, camera). Some applications may be available with cross platform support. This means they will work in a web browser on all tablets but may not be optimized to take full advantage of the device features. Either way, make sure your critical mobile apps are available on your tablet computer of choice.

Whether you buy an iPad, iPad mini, Windows 8 Tablet or Google Android Tablet make sure you understand your business needs, have proper security policies in place and consider compatibility with your critical applications.