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Posts in July 2012

What is a Virtual Machine and is it Right for My Business?

7/31/2012
Do you remember just a couple months ago when we first discussed virtual computing?   In that post we went over what virtual machines are and a few of the myths surrounding them. There is room to expand on the topic. Recently there has been an uptick in the interest for virtual machines in corporate settings.   To recap, virtual computing takes the typical desktop computer away from the employee’s desk. Instead of a tower computer or similar setup the employee will bet setup with a thin client, which is a smaller computer-like tower or box that houses the connection...Read more...

The Difference Between Public and Private Cloud Solutions

7/30/2012
Company executives and IT professionals are getting serious about moving business data to the cloud. It can be a difficult decision especially when it comes to choosing a private cloud versus a public cloud solution. We know you want to make the right decision so we thought we’d give a brief overview of the two options so you can determine the best for your company.   The Common Public Cloud   Obviously every business wants a secure storage location for their data. Public clouds are the cheapest option available. Most businesses would benefit from moving to a publicly hosted cloud...Read more...

Make Your Website and Business PCI Compliant

7/27/2012
Yesterday we mentioned the PCI DSS in our post about order processing and information security. Today we’re going to go into more depth on the PCI compliance topic because it’s important for any business that process payments electronically.   It’s likely that if you’re reading this article you have a need to be PCI compliant. You’ve probably already been involved in making sure your business is compliant on a variety of issues that deal with the information you process as part of doing business.   For this article we’re going to go over the basics of being PCI compliant. These...Read more...

How to Handle Order Processing and Information Security

7/26/2012
Are you an e-commerce business?   Most businesses that sell products or services are in the e-commerce business today. Many consumers are using the Internet to make purchases. E-commerce is not necessary for all businesses, but if your target customer is using the Internet it can make sense to have an e-commerce option.   The issue all e-commerce companies have is dealing with order processing and information security. There are always stories in the news about companies having important transactional information compromised. These stories are scary for consumers and make them shy away from doing business with a company that...Read more...

What Is a Content Management System?

7/25/2012
Does your company have a website?   A content management system (CMS) is the dashboard you or your site manager uses to manage your website. You can refer to this area of your site as the dashboard or the backend. It’s the same thing. It’s where you can make adjustments to the content on the site and even make adjustments to the appearance of the site in certain instances.   As the Internet becomes more important for businesses to get new customers and grow it will be important for all executives to know a little bit about their websites. And...Read more...

Recommended Ways to Manage Outbound Business Email

7/24/2012
Businesses use outbound email in a variety of different ways.   The employees within the company use their own company email addresses to send work correspondence. This is a daily function of the business that is necessary to communicate internally and externally with clients and partners.   There is also the need for outbound marketing emails. These are the emails you send to subscribers promoting new products, promotions, etc. Outbound marketing emails could also include your email newsletter program and other similar messaging.   Outbound emails are crucial to the success of any company. Here are a couple tips and...Read more...

How to Deal with Email Security Issues

7/23/2012
Email is used by nearly everyone that uses the Internet.   For businesses, email remains an important communication channel. There is no sign of email usage slowing either. People are using email more than ever and that includes for business purposes.   The issue for business owners is email security. There are a few issues that are priority concerning email security. Here are some thoughts on each of them so you know how to mitigate the risk at your company.   Incoming Spam   The first thing people think about when it comes to email security is inbound spam. Every...Read more...

Five Current Issues with In-House IT Management

7/20/2012
Small businesses have a choice to make as they grow.   Should you manage your IT in-house or outsource?   It’s a difficult question. The goal is to optimize your business for the most profit. It can be cost effective in many situations to bring staff in-house. You can pay them less than a consultant or an outside firm.   There are trade offs, though.   Let’s examine five current issues with in-house IT management.   Lack of Expertise   The first issue for a growing business looking to add IT in-house is a lack of expertise. It can be...Read more...

How to Automate Backups for Every Business Device

7/19/2012
The cloud has been the topic of many recent posts:   How Secure is Data in the Cloud? How to Secure File Sharing in the Cloud How to Avoid Issues with Cloud Outages Addressing the Amazon Cloud Outage Issue How to Move Your Small Business to the Cloud   Today we’re going into more detail about the cloud with emphasis on backing up.   Now, there is probably a backup solution already in place at your company. You probably even have a backup plan for your personal computer. It’s important to backup all the files, photos, and contacts for each...Read more...

A Wide Variety of Industries are Using the Cloud

7/18/2012
Have you been thinking about using the cloud for your business?   If there is anything holding you back you should know that a wide variety of companies are using the cloud.   Businesses in many industries are turning to the cloud as a way to improve their IT setup. The cloud can take away some of the responsibilities, costs, and headaches that go along with storing data internally and managing it too.   If you're just getting interested in the cloud it can help to look at some examples of companies and industries currently using cloud resources.   Entertainment...Read more...

Managing Multiple Devices with Cloud Computing

7/17/2012
Do you have a smartphone?   It's a safe bet to say that most business owners and managers use their smartphones quite often.   The future is shaping up to be a mobile world. People are able to work from a variety of different locations. What's really intriguing is that we can work on the move, but the fact that we can do so many different things from mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and even mini versions of laptops.   If you see yourself and your business taking on a more mobile life in the future then cloud computing is...Read more...

How to Secure File Sharing in the Cloud

7/16/2012
One benefit of using the cloud for business is the ease of collaboration.   Storing your files in the cloud allows multiple people to access them no matter where each person is located. This advantage is great because you can create a document or a spreadsheet and share it easily with someone in the same office or someone on the other side of the world. There is no need to email documents as attachments or upload files to servers via FTP. All of the inconvenience is removed when you work in a cloud setting.   Collaboration is important in today's...Read more...

How to Avoid Issues with Cloud Outages

7/13/2012
The big news over the last few weeks has been cloud outages.   Recent issues with the Amazon Web Services solution have brought questions to the cloud industry. As more companies move to the cloud for their hosting and data solutions others will continue to ask questions as they look to move their own companies to the cloud.   It’s good to ask questions and when issues happen it’s good to analyze your company’s strategy and learn from the issues of others. It’s good to learn from your own issues, but if you can learn from others it can be...Read more...

Addressing the Amazon Cloud Outage Issue

7/12/2012
The recent news in the cloud-computing world was an outage with the Amazon Web Services solution. Numerous websites including some big names like Instagram and Pinterest reported downtimes as a result of the Amazon cloud outage.   We’ve discussed IT disasters before here on the Realware blog. There is little you can do when you’re fighting Mother Nature. Storms ripped through the East coast and brought down trees, buildings, and in the case of this story the cloud for many online companies.   The issue is that these businesses lost money for all the minutes and hours their services were...Read more...

How to Move Your Small Business to The Cloud

7/11/2012
We’ve written about the cloud before here on Realware:   - The Beginner’s Guide to the Cloud - 5 Cost Saving Advantages of Cloud Computing - Small Businesses Using The Cloud - How to Choose the Right Cloud Provider - How Secure Is Your Cloud?   The one thing we haven’t covered is how to move your business to the cloud. Once you’ve made the decision to forego responsibility of hosting and storing your data (the burden is gone!) it’s time to figure out how to actually make the move.   Here are the steps.   1. Find the Right...Read more...

The Most Overlooked Item in Disaster Recovery

7/10/2012
Prevention?   No. That’s not what we’re going to cover here. We don’t want to give you the same old lecture about being prepared for disaster recovery. If you care about your business it’s important to prepare, but as your business grows and goes about its day to date operations things get left on the sideline.   If something hasn’t happened there is really no need to worry. Even if you’ve seen your fellow business folks suffer with disasters in the past there is really nothing you can do to fully prepare for a disaster. Once your data is gone...Read more...

How Web Based Software Can Grow Your Business

7/9/2012
Web based software or Web based application offer real opportunity for business owners. Whether you own a small business with just a handful of employees or own a medium sized business with 50 employees you can likely find a way to grow with a Web based software solution.   These Three Web Based Software Solutions Save Time   Let’s backup and point out what Web based software is. If you have access to the Internet there is a chance you’ve used Web based software. Think of it as something you use while in a browser or using the application system...Read more...

Dealing With Hacked and Compromised Passwords

7/6/2012
Last month LinkedIn’s passwords were hacked. The news broke and had LinkedIn scrambling to see how extensive the damage was. Even more importantly the users of LinkedIn were scrambling to figure out if they should change their passwords to everything.   Things still have not settled completely over the security issue. LinkedIn is looking at a court battle with the hackers over the stolen data as the passwords continue to be sold and leaked across the world for use by other hackers and spammers.   For website owners, including small business website owners, it can be terrifying to consider the...Read more...

How Secure is Data in the Cloud?

7/5/2012
Security seems to be the biggest issues business owners have with cloud storage.   Would you agree?   The loss of internal data is not something anybody wants to happen, but for small businesses a loss of data could mean ruin. It’s not a pretty vision to see your future gone in the blink of an eye because of a security lapse at your host or storage provider.   There are three important considerations to discuss with your team and trusted partners regarding cloud storage. These are the areas that will allow you to determine if cloud storage is right...Read more...

How to Encourage New Technology in the Workplace

7/4/2012
Technology has traditionally been an issue for businesses.   Companies of all sizes seem to struggle with employee technology. It’s not the case at all businesses, but you can probably think of a time when you worked for a company that was frustrating from the tech standpoint.   From the company’s perspective it makes sense to give employees the same hardware and software for 3 to 5 years. It’s cost effective and gives the employee plenty of opportunity to perform their job. The issue with this is the employee might become frustrated and not even realize there is something better...Read more...

Are You an IT Company? Why Focus on IT Solutions?

7/3/2012
What is the core focus of your company?   Chances are it’s not related to the IT world. You might be based on the technology field, but even then it still wouldn’t mean that it’s beneficial to focus on the IT side of your business.   There are advantages and disadvantages to managing IT solutions in-house, but for most small and medium sized businesses it makes sense to have a dedicated IT provider.   Let’s discuss three common areas where businesses can benefit from focusing on their business while an IT expert focuses on the IT part of the company....Read more...

5 Cloud Computing Applications That Save Time and Money

7/2/2012
You’ve probably heard all about the cloud.   Well, you’ve probably heard of the cloud, but do you really know what it is and what it means for your small business?   Chances are there are some of your colleagues that have mentioned that you should use the cloud for various business solutions. Traditionally, businesses have tried to do much of the IT heavy lifting in-house at their company even if IT really isn’t a core focus of what they offer.   Today, the cloud gives business of all sizes the opportunity to outsource IT to professionals that deal with...Read more...


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