Monthly Archives: November 2015


Is Cloud Computing as Safe as You’re Led to Believe?

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

You’ve likely heard the buzz about Cloud Computing. It seems everyone is talking about “computing in the Cloud.” There’s a lot of talk and a lot of misconceptions about the cloud out there. The biggest concern among critics is safety – particularly, your data safety.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is simple. Rather than buying a bunch or hardware and software and having it sit in your office, waiting for something to go wrong, be outdated, or break down, you work and store your files with an online service that handles all of the technical details.

In 2011, Cloud Computing was a $40.7 billion business. It’s expected to rise to a $241 billion market by 2020, according to analysts at Forrester Research, a Cambridge, Mass., based technology market research company. Tech firms such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have already entered the Cloud Computing market with products that include storage and software and varying capabilities with smartphones.

What’s the Concern?

Recently, concern about cloud-based services has been getting a bad rap in the media. There have been news reports of Sony’s PlayStation network getting hacked and offline for six weeks. Amazon’s EC2 cloud-based platform failed, which brought services such as Reddit, FourSquare, and Quora offline.

Most of what we’ve seen are security breaches that have resulted in downtime. Personal information, such as customer and employee Social Security numbers and birthdates were not lost. Protecting this type of information is a concern, of course, since a cloud provider may have sensitive information for thousands of individuals. Of the breaches reported thus far, we haven’t seen this kind of personal information lost.

These cloud breaches have provided the press with lots of information to cast a doubt over the usefulness and effectiveness of cloud computing. Most media reports talk about how unsafe and unreliable cloud computing is, especially when it comes to protecting our precious data. Yes, cloud computing systems are fallible, but no more so than any computing system regardless of where it’s based.

What’s the Reality?

The reality is that cloud computing is just as safe as housing your own data on a dedicated server, only much less expensive. The truth is that a complete cloud computing solution can position your company to compete better for many years to come. Cloud computing can stabilize your technology, reduce IT expenses, and improve performance. Your employees will be more productive and your business will be on the cutting edge of technology.

The way to make the cloud more secure depends on a company’s ability to build trust. Cloud essentially means your data is on someone else’s hard drive. Do you trust that other entity with your data? This trust is no different than the levels of trust companies have built over the years with vendors and IT professionals. We tend to build trust blindly. We trust vendors, we trust licensing, we trust litigation. All of these critical applications are a part of a human system, a human system that has the potential to betray us. Cloud computing can help us move back toward trust.

How Can I Build Trust?

The question isn’t asking how you can build trust with your cloud computing provider. The more important question is can you trust yourself? Building trust for yourself means:

  • Using secure, unique passwords on all accounts and devices.
  • Enabling locks and passwords on computers and phones.
  • Using two-factor authentication, when available.
  • Running the latest version of an operating system.

Before signing up for new cloud services, be sure to research the company. You’ll want to read privacy policies for any company you agree to give your data to. Important questions you can ask a cloud service include:

  • Is encryption built in?
  • Does the company give your data to governments when requested?
  • Who control the servers?
  • Does the company own their own servers? Or do they rent out servers from other companies.

These steps aren’t a 100% guarantee that your data will be safe, but they go a long way in minimizing how attackers can access your accounts.

If you’ve been thinking about moving your organization to cloud computing, the time may be right for the move. The cloud isn’t a myth, it isn’t going anywhere, and it’s much safer than you probably think. If you have an outdated IT infrastructure with old software and a large capital expenditure looming, it’s definitely time to take a closer look at cloud computing.

Cloud computing

Virtual Office Services for Your Company: How Will They Work for Your Business?

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

Today’s business climate is ever changing. In a world where technology is growing, it’s critical that business owners get what they need, when they need it. Whether it’s on the computer, a tablet, or a smartphone, the time is now for business owners to have information right at their fingertips. This is the convenience that virtual services provides.

What are Virtual Services?

Before we get into the benefits of virtual services for both the company and the employee, let’s first define what virtual services are. Virtual services are computer-based services on the Internet. The services are meant to take the place of a physical person or location, offering convenience and money saving to the business. Smaller companies especially are starting to go online for access to the type of sophisticated recourses bigger companies use.

Virtual services may include:

  • Cloud computing
  • Mail services
  • Order taking
  • Client greeting
  • Taking reservations
  • Technical support help
  • Appointment confirmation
  • Answering client questions
  • Social media management
  • Online chat
  • Video conferencing

Simply put, virtual services can provide administrative support and/or specialized services to businesses, IT departments, sales groups, entrepreneurs, and more.

Value of Virtual Services

Before the Internet, email, and cloud computing came along, most businesses were limited to phone calls, buying expensive servers, hiring big IT teams to maintain servers, snail mail, and faxing to run a successful business. Relying on these kinds of expenditures made it extremely difficult, not to mention inefficient, to work offsite or remotely.

Now, thanks to virtual services, it’s easy to collaborate with anyone around the world in real time. For example, a virtual assistant in Brazil can commute to work virtually in San Francisco or New York City. All that’s needed is an Internet connection. Let’s take a look at more benefits to using virtual services.

Benefits for the Company

Using virtual services can have many benefits for the company.

Save Money

Saving financial resources are one of the main reasons many business switch to virtual services. For example, if you choose to use cloud computing, you won’t need to upgrade server software or hardware. You’ll also be able to reduce your IT department. If you decide to outsource IT support to a virtual services company, you can reduce your monthly support contract as well.

No More Equipment

Virtual services eliminates the need for expensive equipment taking up space in your office. You can use your business space for more productive things that will benefit your company.


Every day thousands of devices are stolen or lost. Cell phones, laptops, even physical notebooks can all go missing – and all contain critical company data. Virtual services can store your data and documents “in the cloud” so you can still access important documents, even if the physical machine is lost or stolen. Furthermore, rather than employees taking laptops or data with them to work outside the office, they can use any device for remote access to the same applications and documents stored on the computer.

Benefits for the Employee

Virtual services will also benefit your employees in many ways.


Virtual services gives your employees flexibility, allowing them to work from anywhere. Employees can access files in and out of the office, on any web-enabled device. The advantage of being able to work anywhere and everywhere is a great perk for employees. If you have a long commute time or can’t get to the office because of a sick child at home, you can still stay caught up on work.

Document Control

Sharing files is easy when you employ virtual services. It’s easy for employees to collaborate with each other. All files are in one central location and everyone works off one central copy. This eliminates the needs to constantly send files back and forth via email and wonder if you’re working off the latest copy.

Happier Employees

Happy employees are the best employees. It’s no secret that a happy staff is one of the keys to a successful business. With the flexibility of working anywhere and having more control over documents, employees can boost their productivity levels and get more done in a day.

Some people may believe that the term “virtual services” is just the latest buzzword. Here today, gone tomorrow. This may or may not be true, but what is true is that corporations have been reaping the benefits of outsourcing for years. With the cost of connectivity getting smaller and more affordable, new technology being developed, and more entrepreneurs looking for an easier way to do business, virtual service may be the solution and to tap into a global workforce.