Join our webinar on Friday, April 28th: Make Routine Tasks Quick and Easy for HR and Employees  REGISTER NOW
partner2
greenbg2.jpg

Ideas worth spreading

Accelerate today for a better tomorrow with the power of cloud

The Microsoft Cloud: A "zure" thing for your business | Credexo

Why would businesses want to trust their data, their livelihoods actually, to the cloud? It's not on site, it's not under your own management and there have been several massive data breaches over the years. Isn't it safer to just build and maintain your own in-house infrastructure and retain custody of your critical data? While this might seem like a simple and logical solution, there are other factors that should be considered when evaluating an on-premise strategy, not the least of which are the following data security issues :

 Encryption.. While firewalls and other protections are great, your real data security resides in your data encryption. No problem, right? You just implement some off the shelf encryption software and you're good to go, right? Wrong! The bad guys are continually working to improve their skills, and you can be sure that whatever encryption software is the latest and greatest will get the most attention. For example, the giant Experian data breach of 2016 was made possible because hackers had discovered a vulnerability in Experian's database software. However, the software's author, Microsoft, was on top of it. End of story, right? Unfortunately, no. Experian's internal IT resources had failed to download the security upgrade that would have closed the window that he hackers exploited. The take-home lesson is this: no matter what software you employ, if you're IT staff dozes off, you can become vulnerable.

  1. Outsourcing. So you want to compromise. You'll keep your data on-premise but you'll hire a managed services firm to take care of it. This should work fine, but think about it. Your business' critical data is now being handled by an outside custodian who you really know nothing about. Sure, someone you know uses them, but you don't have any say in what goes on there. Suppose there's and incident with a disgruntled employee? Their problem becomes your problem.
  2. Targeting. Hackers are targeting small and medium sized businesses more and more. Why is that? Because they've found a sweet spot: complacent small business owners. EmplThe "Oh my business is too small and too insignificant for hackers to care about" school of thought is rapidly being replaced by the "Oh *&%$! We've been hacked" realization.
  3. Employees. You've fired your I.T. person, and he or she is livid. Or, you've fired an employee who is a close friend of your I.T. person. Regardless, you have to be aware of internal subterfuge. It can destroy you, as it has others. Especially for a SMB, the threat is ominous. Let's face it. Is there anyone you should really trust with your critical data? Anyone you should entrust with the ability to destroy your business?

Aside from the above security concerns, there are other disadvantages to the "do-it-yourself" approach. For instance:

  1. Infrastructure cost. This also has implications for you security environment. If your hardware is old, it's liable to be more vulnerable to hackers. If it's slow or unreliable, it's going to make your business run less smoothly. "Oh, our systems are down" is a common refrain from employees at companies who do everything in house. Hey, did your IT person check that original-equipment-out-of-date-modem lately? Or, more commonly, do you balk at the expense of upgrading your equipment when it becomes obsolete? No one can blame you. You're running your business on a tight margin, and capital expenses can be killers to your bottom line.
  2. Add-on software cost. You want to have the best reporting software possible, including analytical and predictive capabilities. It's expensive, hard to learn and impossible to keep up with new features that are introduced. So, you end up with an impressive array of "shelf ware" that no one knows how to use or cares to spend the time learning.
  3. Administrative costs. It's not just paying for IT staff, it's finding competent and trustworthy IT staff. Lot's of small businesses try to get this on the cheap, often with disastrous results. Incompetent systems administrators can destroy employee morale, greatly reduce productivity, and frankly, get employees to start wondering if you're serious about the business.
  4. Everything else. It doesn't matter what problem you might have or are trying to avoid, just the time and effort you spend on IT is a drain on your own productivity. You are there to run your business, not stand around and supervise software security upgrade downloads.
A better way does exist

Today, small and medium-sized businesses have an advantage that never existed before: the cloud. Moving to the cloud addresses all of the above negatives and gives small businesses advantages they never had before. For example, the Microsoft Azure Cloud will allow small and medium-sized businesses to do so much more than they could do affordably on their own. For example:

  1. Azure is fast, fast, fast. It will increase your business process velocity.
  2. Software deployments are faster and easier than in-house deployments, and they're also less risky.
  3. Infrastructure expenditures are reduced, and if you go all-in, can be all but eliminated. But even a hybrid strategy will reap infrastructure savings.
  4. Great Azure consultants are out there, anxious and willing to serve you at an affordable price. They make their bones by making your business operate better
  5. Security concerns are greatly reduced. Even in the very unlikely event that there is a breach (Microsoft Azure has a great security record - its existence depends on it,) with so many hosting instances, it's unlikely that your specific data would be the victim of an intrusion.
  6. You're immunized against employee incompetence and malfeasance. When you're in the cloud, management responsibilities are delegated to your service provider, and access to your data is strictly controlled - permissions are granted by you yourself, not one of you employees. In addition, with Azure's single sign-on, multiple passwords (which often aid hackers) are eliminated. This makes your operation more secure and less complex.
  7. Compliance. With the Microsoft Trust Center, regulatory issues are handled with industry standard global compliance policies. This is especially valuable if your enterprise does business globally.
  8. You don't have to take a "cloud or nothing" approach. Azure allows you to pursue a hybrid model and lets you migrate, should you choose to do so, at your own pace. And, as previously pointed out, your Azure consulting partner can guide you through this process with their expertise and knowledge of best practices.
And speaking of great Azure consultants...

It would be disingenuous to claim that all this can happen at the snap of your fingers. Migration to the cloud is serious business. It represents a sea change in your business strategy and should not be taken upon without a team of experts to help you. At Credexo, the cloud isn't just about cost reduction and security. It's about optimization, making all your business processes run smoothly and maximizing your opportunity to increase your revenue. Credexo looks at the cloud as a vehicle to achieve the following:

  1. Create new revenue streams - greater analytic capabilities mean more targeted marketing and product development road maps
  2. Improve customer experience - customers and trading partners are impatient. When they are frustrated by poor website performance, they go elsewhere.
  3. Get products to market faster - the faster a product hits the market, the more quickly you'll realize results
  4. Empower and enfranchise trusted employees - line of business employees will enjoy a better user experience, which means they will be able to take advantage of the technologies important to your success
  5. Quickly adapt to change - rules and regulations change, product features change, procedures change, sales and marketing needs change. Adaptability is a key to your success.
  6. Automate processes that were done manually, thereby reducing mistakes and increasing efficiency
  7. Protect your digital assets - security issues have already been addressed in this article, but it can't be over-emphasized that the security you will get from a cloud implementation will give you reason to sleep well every night. There are no gremlins or miscreants trying to intrude upon or damage your in-house infrastructure.
  8. Disaster recovery - in addition to security, the cloud can provide you with fast and effective disaster recovery, even in the event that your physical environment is totally destroyed (hurricane, tornado, fire etc.)

These eight points underscore the value of Credexo as your trusted partner. When you work with Credexo, you are not just embarking on a digital transformation, you're developing a digital vision for your business. This is critical, because a one-size-fits-all cloud strategy is inadequate. Depending on your size, your target market, your business processes and your data, you may be better served with a hybrid cloud/on-premise strategy than a sudden and complete changeover. Or, it could be the other way around. The experts at Credexo will help you develop your digital vision, and help you bring it to fruition. And they'll be there to support you if changes are needed down the road.

Making your digital vision is not just a product, and not just a project. It's a journey, one that's designed for your business and your business alone; a journey with one destination; your increased success.

Get A Free Assessment / Need a Help?