Cloud Migration and Management

What is the Cloud?

It is highly likely that if you use the internet you use one or more cloud services.  Here are some of the more common cloud services commonly used by small business:

Office 365, Google G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work), DropBox, QuickBooks Online, Xero, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services.

What are the benefits?

  1. Flexibility – Change on a monthly basis, trial new systems with a few clicks
  2. Disaster recovery – All you need is an internet connection to start working again
  3. Automatic and incremental software updates – Always up to date and no “Big Bang” disruptive upgrades every few years.
  4. Minimal capital expenditure – Ongoing monthly fees chose the plan to suit each individual user
  5. Increased collaboration – Communicate and share easily
  6. Mobility – Work from anywhere you have an internet connection
  7. Document control – Maintain control over your documents, even after they leave your system.  Automatically keep a history of revisions.
  8. SecuritySecurity through obscurity is a fallacy.  Concentrate on your business and let the security experts at the Cloud provider worry about the next malware outbreak or network hack attempt.
  9. Competitiveness – Mobility, efficiency and flexibility all add up to productivity and better customer service for you.
  10. Environmentally friendly – Cloud providers can run hardware at much higher utilisation rates because the workload from thousands of diverse customers is more constant with less peaks.

How to stay safe in the Cloud

  1. Multifactor authentication – Use it.  It is a lot easier than using complex passwords alone and more secure
  2. Strong, single-use passwords – Use a password manager and password generator or passphrases
  3. Secure email – Stop Phishing and Malware before it even reaches your mailbox
  4. Patching – Maintain the software on your devices, security patches AND updates

Recommendations

Start with your email – If you don’t already use Office 365 or G Suite based Gmail then this is one of the best moves you can make to improve security and productivity.

Avoid mixing and matching – Select a solution and avoid the temptation to start using other cloud solutions for a single neat feature until you have exhausted the capabilities of your primary solution (usually the solution you chose for email).  Apart from the additional monthly expense and regardless of what the marketing says, cloud-based productivity applications are rarely as deeply integrated with other cloud solutions as applications from the same provider.

Good internet connections – NBN and a good mobile data plan (i.e. at least 5GB per device per month no excess data usage charges).

Don’t stop at email – Both Office 365 and G Suite have capabilities well beyond business class email.

What we do

After an initial quick chat with you and your employees, we are usually able to recommend one or two cloud-based services that match your current and future needs.  We can then create trial accounts and help you to evaluate the solution or potential solutions in your own business.  Once you have chosen your preferred solution we then migrate your business over to the new solution with careful planning and user training to minimise disruption.  Once you are up and running we then help you get the most out of your new subscription by monitoring usage and suggesting features that will benefit your business and the way you work.  We also help reduce your security and data risk through disaster recovery planning, user security training and suggesting and implementing security best practices.