Author Archives: CloudTweaks

Cloud Infographic: Global SaaS Revenue 2010 To 2015

Cloud Infographic: Global SaaS Revenue 2010 To 2015

Cloud Infographic: Global SaaS Revenue 2010 To 2015

The year 2012 proved to be one of the most effective years that helped the establishing of the SaaS (software-as-a-service). After having got the proper assertion and the definition of the SaaS service in the year 2012, the year 2013 is associated with the refinement of SaaS services of cloud computing – the following given are the key factors that can help SaaS services to be the most effective and efficient in the domain of cloud industry.

Staff-Infograph_SaaS-b

Infographic Source: Staff.com

Cloud-Computing Tools For Doctors And Physicians

Cloud-Computing Tools For Doctors And Physicians

As we discussed in an older article, cloud computing technologies are on the rise in the healthcare industry. From large hospitals to physicians and administrators to small medical services providers, all have seen cost savings from implementing and utilizing cloud-based solutions.

Today we will focus more on small medical services providers and on how they can use cloud computing technologies. Here are the cloud-based solutions most used by doctors and physicians:

Cloud storage. Information storage is of major importance for doctors as they need to keep medical records, notes, test results, cardiology and radiology images, available and secure. There are two alternatives when it comes to cloud storage solutions for medical services: the electronic medical record solution (EMR) and the electronic health record solution (EHR). According to the National Alliance for Health Information Technology (NAHIT), EMR is “the electronic record of health-related information on an individual that is created, gathered, managed, and consulted by licensed clinicians and staff from a single organization who are involved in the individual’s health and care.” EHR is the aggregate electronic record of health-related information on an individual that is created and gathered cumulatively across more than one health care organization and is managed and consulted by licensed clinicians and staff involved in the individual’s health and care”.

Cloud collaboration. Doctors and physicians are using cloud-based collaborative tools and mobilized solutions such as email and calendars to improve communication, reduce data breaches and increase productivity.

Cloud-based management systems. These solutions provide billing and scheduling functionalities for doctors, physicians and administrative staff. These tools make scheduling appointments, making cancelations or moving them around as needed much easier than legacy non cloud based solutions.

Some physicians and doctors working in small medical clinics already use cloud-based tools without their employer’s approval, a situation that increases the risk for sensitive data to be disclosed. As a medical services provider, you can’t just throw the IT resources and patient information into the cloud without some considerable prior investigations and assurances that the new cloud environment is compliant. Although cloud computing technologies are on the rise in the healthcare industry, choosing the right solutions that increase the ROI, streamline processes and ensure patient privacy remains an issue as only a few solutions available in the market today meet all of these requirements.

By Rick Blaisdell

Tips For Implementing Cloud ERP Software

Tips For Implementing Cloud ERP Software

Tips For Implementing Cloud ERP Software

c more and more vendors are offering cloud solutions, which can be customized, for a variety of industries, and needs. However, many companies have made mistakes in implementing cloud ERP systems, and these mistakes can be costly in terms of budget and staff time. Here are some things to think about before deciding to implement a cloud ERP system:

Know Your Requirements: You need to understand what your company needs from an ERP solution before you begin your project. This is an essential first step in the process. You need to find the vendor and the product that is best suited to your business. If you know what you need from an ERP solution, you can find the vendor whose products match your needs. Choosing the wrong software can be a costly mistake.

Understanding the Costs: With cloud ERP, you need to spend less time looking at the upfront costs and focus on the cost over the life of the contract. Do the math to figure out what your total cost will be. When comparing different ERP vendors, be sure you are using the same criteria for each option; in other words, compare apples to apples.

Public vs. Private: Many businesses jump into the private cloud because it feels more comfortable and appears to offer greater security. However, there are good reasons to consider the public cloud for at least some of your needs. With a public cloud, you can grow or shrink capacity to meet your needs and only pay for the amount you use. Public cloud space is cheaper, and you can use it to meet seasonal demands or unexpected situations. The best of both worlds is a vendor who offers both public and private, so you can switch or combine options if needed.

Getting the Right Personnel: Whether you have in-house IT staff or contract it out, your IT people need to understand multi-tenant cloud computing, which requires a different skill set than more traditional approaches. The cloud also asks the developer to play a different role. Developers will primarily be doing coding and testing rather than in managing and monitoring the solution. So you should plan your staffing needs ahead of time.

Plan your Implementation: Although cloud ERP offers a variety of advantages, some aspects of the process are difficult to implement after the fact. While you’re setting up your cloud ERP software, you should be thinking about how you want to organize security and set policies that will become part of your architecture. It’s much more difficult to enforce security rules and ensure the safety of your data if you try to formulate the policies after the fact.

Business Continuity: You should make plans for business continuity that take into account a range of scenarios, including a lengthy power failure at your main facility. You can work with your vendor to set up business continuity strategies, but don’t rely on them to come up with the plan. You should prepare for a variety of scenarios, including the possibility that your vendor will go out of business.

You may notice a common theme in every one of the above subheadings: planning. No matter the size of your company or the depth of your budget, you need to start the process by evaluating your needs, analyzing available options, and planning your architecture – all before you start the installation. By making planning the firs step, you can avoid some costly mistakes that you would need to fix in the future.

By Douglas Johnson

Douglas has over 20 years of experience in the software industry and currently works as the VP of Marketing and Business Development at cloud ERP software provider Acumatica.

Cloud Infographic: Managed Services & The Cloud

Cloud Infographic: Managed Services & The Cloud

Cloud Infographic: Managed Services & The Cloud

Everyone seems to want to take advantage of cloud computing these days, but few people actually take the time to think about the risks that come along with this kind of service. To manage cloud security risks, you have to know which risks in the cloud actually pose a threat to your business. Different types of clouds environments will come with different problems, so you need to learn about your cloud service to be able to realize what could go wrong if you are not careful at all times.

 

syntax-infographic

Infographic Source: Syntax

Five Big Business Principles For SMEs Using The Cloud

Five Big Business Principles For SMEs Using The Cloud

With cloud computing, small businesses can implement principles that used to apply to enterprises.

One of the most impressive things about cloud computing is the way it flips our assumptions about company size. Traditional enterprises have an enormous resource advantage over SMEs, but cloud computing is so efficient that entrepreneurs are able to bring products to market alongside their global competitors.

If you are a small or medium-sized business looking to get the most out of your cloud platform, follow these five principles championed by large enterprises. You might be surprised at how well positioned you actually are.

  • Outsource to Cut Costs

Outsourcing brings to mind images of factories in China and call centers in India, but it also plays an important role in small business. You are no longer constrained to hiring employees near you, or even to hiring full-time employees at all. Communication and collaboration over the cloud allow SMEs to engage in small scale outsourcing.  Rather than restricting an employee or contractor search to your local area, find the best individual online and collaborate via the cloud.

  • Focus on your Core business

The cloud is already comprised of software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and now even niche categories like payment as a service (PaaS, again), and the list of acronyms will only grow. Once your company embraces the cloud, it can be tempting to delve into each of these services, but not all of them will actually fit your business model. Make sure the cloud services you choose augment your business model, and not the other way around.

  • Intelligence is More Important than Data

Enterprises have been collecting data for years, generating a couple quintillion bytes per day according to IBM. The problem is that most of this data goes unanalyzed and underutilized. Small businesses should focusing on getting the most value out of the information they already have instead of worrying about the amount of data their larger competitors have in deep storage. In the end all of that data is like binders in a back room gathering dust, not exactly a competitive advantage.

  • Relationships Matter

It’s no secret that enterprises invest regularly in customer relationship management (CRM) tools. They understand that relationships are important and no one wants to do business with a nameless entity. In essence they are trying to recreate that small business feel to go along with their big business resources. Developing solid business relationships is easier for small businesses, but you still shouldn’t just try to wing it. Start using professional grade CRM tools to find weaknesses in your client retention policies.

  • Plan for Growth

The cloud is naturally flexible, but you can still be held back by institutional bottlenecks. Enterprises bring in consultants to examine their workflow processes and root out inefficiencies. Even if hiring a consultancy is outside your budget, you should go through this evaluative process yourself. If your clientele were to suddenly double or triple, how would your business cope? Where would you struggle to keep up? Develop contingency plans for success so that you can jump on any opportunity that might present itself.

By Jan Brass

Jan is a tech industry veteran and self-described geek.  An avid blogger, Jan covers cloud technology news and publishes opinion pieces on cloud computing on her blog, http://janbrass.org.

Cloud-Based Business Intelligence Solutions – Which Are The Benefits?

Cloud-Based Business Intelligence Solutions – Which Are the Benefits

Business intelligence solutions support better decision-making by providing historical, current and predictive views of all business operations. Business Intelligence (BI) technologies can process large amounts of information to provide useful functionalities such as reporting, analytics, data and process mining, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, predictive and prescriptive analytics. BI solutions help companies gain competitive advantages by identifying and developing new business opportunities.


Although enterprises are still in the early stages of adopting cloud-based BI solutions, a 2012 survey showed that these technologies are among the fastest- growing cloud-based business management tools. According to the survey, in late 2011, only about 13% of enterprises worldwide had cloud-based BI solutions in place and in use. In 2012, cloud-based BI saw an 84% compound annual growth rate. The surveys author declared “inevitably, cloud is opening up business intelligence to more users within organizations. There already is a drive to make BI more ubiquitous, and the cloud will accelerate this move toward simplified access.” Let’s see more advantages of cloud-based Business Intelligence solutions:

• Cloud makes business intelligence affordable. Enterprises benefit from the fact that there is no hardware and ongoing maintenance costs. The implementation of the solution is more rapid, it needs a smaller budget, and upgrades are the provider’s responsibility.

• Cloud enables specific business needs integration. Enterprises benefit by having a more scalable solution that can faster integrate new functionalities to fit business needs or faster adapt to business development. • Cloud increases employee productivity and reduces redundancy. Enterprises using cloud-based Business Intelligence solutions benefit by having more efficient processes as different business departments or external partners can access the same data, eliminating duplication.

• Cloud increases BI tools results. By storing data in a single location that can be accessed by the entire enterprise, the chances of having duplicate data or different versions of almost the same information are eliminated. This helps companies reduce data volume and complexity and leads to valuable data insights for departments across the entire organization. As data continues to increase in all industries and businesses begin to rely more and more on high quality data insights, information accessibility whenever, wherever can provide a critical competitive advantage. If you consider choosing and implementing Business Intelligence technologies in your enterprise, you should research on the advantages a cloud-based solution could bring to your day-by-day activity.

By Rick Blaisdell

Cloud Infographic: Insights Into Cloud Behavior

Cloud Infographic: Insights Into Cloud Behavior

Cloud Infographic: Insights Into Cloud Behavior

Cloud adoption decisions will be taken in the near future by employees who do not have an IT background. That is an interesting shift in the IT world!

The main reason for this change might be that cloud adoption and implementation into the overall strategy of an organization and in different departments influences the activity of all employees, not only of those from the IT department. Therefore, the decisions will be made by people with – different positions within a company and not necessarily by those having an IT background. SaaS based solutions for CRM, accounting and marketing solutions do not require hardware and software maintained by an IT department, so they are able to be managed from within the individual departments. Continue Reading…

An infographic (below) courtesy of SilverSky weighs in with 200 U.S CIO’s and senior level security decision-makers on some of the merits, drivers and barriers of cloud computing adoption.

SilverSky- Infographic

Infographic Source: Silver Sky

Keep Your Email Archived And Secure In The Cloud

Keep Your Email Archived And Secure In The Cloud

Since social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have become a popular mode for businesses to communicate with consumers and their fanbase, some have wondered, where does this leave the future of email communication? While the number of Tweeters and Facebook users are rising (62 percent), 85 percent of the world is still connected by email, says Reuters.com’s Patricia Reaney. So, why is email still so popular in a world that is taking to social media?

Security

Probably one of the reasons why email is still a popular way to communicate, especially within businesses, is because email is still a more secure and private mode of communication. Recently Google reported that they would not allow the U.S. Government to have possession of information from Gmail and cloud data account users or their emails without a proper warrant for access from U.S. police. Google says this has always been their policy and that they have no plans to change it, reported Wired.com.

Cloud-Based Email

Another reason why email is still a popular way to conduct business between vendors, marketers and IT professionals, is because of the creation of cloud-based email. According to Josh Simon of Atlantic.net, cloud-based email users can easily archive their emails and manage a backup of their correspondence in a secured remote server that exists off-site. Your email client would still use the same SMTP relay (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), but with a cloud-based email client you can access your company email from outside your company’s building and it’s not reliant on one server. Users can connect to multiple servers.

Long-Term Storage

Whether you opt to use a free cloud-based email provider, like Gmail, or a paid one for your company, the amount of space and the amount of time you wish to archive your correspondence is limitless. Also, cloud-based email clients are far more affordable to use and usually do not charge more for space that is used, said Simon. The cost to manage and organize correspondence on an in-house server is far more costly as well, keeping records at an off-site location assures a company there is always a record of important correspondence. It is kept secure at another location that no one can have access to without company clearance.

Tamper-Free Storage

Simon also notes that keeping your email archived at a third-party location ensures emails are never tampered with. For example, if a legal team wants to archive correspondence and make sure that it can be submitted as evidence in a court of law for any legal issues or even in the event of an audit.

Having a secured, reliable, easy-to-access way to archive your correspondence is essential if you are managing a company, small or large. Keeping a back up of your correspondence with vendors, clients or employees is a great way to assure that you and the people you do business with will always have your communication in a safe and accessible place, in the cloud.

By Kevin Villanueva

Kevin is a financial consultant and advocate for cloud computing solutions, Kevin is always looking for intelligent ways to simplify his clients’ daily business operations.

CloudTweaks Comics
Containerization: The Bold Face Of The Cloud In 2016

Containerization: The Bold Face Of The Cloud In 2016

Containerization And The Cloud “Right now, the biggest technology shift in the cloud is a rapid evolution from simple virtual machine (VM) hosting toward containerization’’ says the CTO of Microsoft Azure, Mark Russinovitch, a man who deals with the evolving cloud infrastructure every day. In his words, containerization is “an incredibly efficient, portable, and lightweight…

Protecting Your Web Applications In A Hybrid Cloud Environment

Protecting Your Web Applications In A Hybrid Cloud Environment

Protecting Your Web Applications It’s no secret that organizations are embracing the cloud and all the benefits that it entails. Whether its cost savings, increased flexibility or enhanced productivity – businesses around the world are leveraging the cloud to scale their business and better serve their customers. They are using a variety of cloud solutions…

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

Selecting The Right Cloud Services Provider How to find the right partner for cloud adoption on an enterprise scale The cloud is capable of delivering many benefits, enabling greater collaboration, business agility, and speed to market. Cloud adoption in the enterprise has been growing fast. Worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a…

Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid: Which Cloud Is Right for Your Business?

Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid: Which Cloud Is Right for Your Business?

Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid The debate surrounding the deliverability of cloud computing is coming to a close. Businesses have begun to rapidly adopt the use of cloud services, courtesy the ROI this disruptive technology brings to the table. They have finally realized they cannot afford to ignore the cloud. A Forrester study found that…

Are Women Discriminated Against In The Tech Sector?

Are Women Discriminated Against In The Tech Sector?

Women Discriminated Against In Tech Sector It is no secret that the tech industry is considered sexist since most women are paid less than men; there are considerably fewer women in tech jobs; and generally men get promoted above women. Yet the irony is twofold. Firstly, there is an enormous demand for employees with skills…

6 Tech Predictions To Have A Major Impact In 2016

6 Tech Predictions To Have A Major Impact In 2016

6 Tech Predictions To Have A Major Impact The technology industry moves at a relentless pace, making it both exhilarating and unforgiving. For those at the forefront of innovation it is an incredibly exciting place to be, but what trends are we likely to see coming to the fore in 2016? Below are six predictions…

Smart Connected Cities Must Learn To Efficiently Collaborate

Smart Connected Cities Must Learn To Efficiently Collaborate

Smart City Collaboration A study from research firm Gartner demonstrates how smart and connected cities require a large number of players to collaborate efficiently, in order to unlock the huge potential associated with cities of the future. The study focused on Europe and showed clearly how a number of Northern European and Scandinavian mid-size cities…

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry If you start talking about big data to someone who is not in the industry, they immediately conjure up images of giant warehouses full of servers, staff poring over page after page of numbers and statistics, and some big brother-esque official sat in a huge government building…

New Report Finds 1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware

New Report Finds 1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware

1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware A new report published this morning by Menlo Security has alarmingly suggested that at least a third of the top 1,000,000 websites in the world are at risk of being infected by malware. While it’s worth prefacing the findings with the fact Menlo used Alexa to…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Once upon a time, only a select few companies like Google and Salesforce possessed the knowledge and expertise to operate efficient cloud infrastructure and applications. Organizations patronizing those companies benefitted with apps that offered new benefits in flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness. These days, the sharp division between cloud and on-premises infrastructure…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

Online Data Data storage is often a real headache for businesses. Additionally, the shift to the cloud in response to storage challenges has caused security teams to struggle to reorient, leaving 49 percent of organizations doubting their experts’ ability to adapt. Even so, decision makers should not put off moving from old legacy systems to…

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Machine Learning and Data Scientists In a recent study, almost all the businesses surveyed stated that big data analytics were fundamental to their business strategies. Although the field of computer and information research scientists is growing faster than any other occupation, the increasing applicability of data science across business sectors is leading to an exponential…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Cloud Architecture These days, Multi-Tier Applications are the norm. From SharePoint’s front-end/back-end configuration, to LAMP-based websites using multiple servers to handle different functions, a multitude of apps require public and private-facing components to work in tandem. Placing these apps in entirely public-facing platforms and networks simplifies the process, but at the cost of security vulnerabilities. Locating everything…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security It’s no secret many organizations rely on popular cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft for access to computing infrastructure. The many perks of cloud services, such as the ability to quickly scale resources without the upfront cost of buying physical servers, have helped build a multibillion-dollar cloud industry that continues to grow each…