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5 Mistakes Managers Make with Remote Employees

Despite the many benefits remote employees bring to a business, they can also bring about many challenges to traditional managerial methods. No longer is it possible to greet employees in person or see to it that they’re doing their work.

Supervising remote employees requires a new approach—one that is only possible through technology. But in order to understand how technology can best serve you in managing your employees, it’s important to know where you’re falling short. Here are five of the most common mistakes managers are making right now.

Forgetting About an Employee’s Role

Without the ability to see every employee in front of you, it’s hard to account for how each individual impacts your team. In addition, in a remote setting, communication outside of mandatory meetings is often left to a standstill.

This makes it easy for employees to become disengaged, both in the work that they do and in their relationships with others. To prevent this, try to hold regular meetings with your remote workers using whatever communication system your company typically employs for client meetings or consider overhauling your communication strategy by integrating affordable, internet-based tools like VoIP (voice over internet protocol).

Whether calls consist of conversations relating to their involvement on a project or if they serve as a brief call to shoot the breeze and establish greater comradery between teams, these types of check-ins can help your workers feel like they’re a part of something larger.

Giving an Employee Too Much or Too Little Work

When workers are remote, it’s difficult to know if they are able to handle the work they’re being assigned, or if they have room in their schedules for more. Maximizing the productivity of your remote workforce while distributing an achievable workload starts with consistent communication.

This accentuates the need to set up some form of regular meetings with teams or individuals, during which time teams can report on the status of projects and more or less work can be assigned accordingly. Managers should also note when parts of projects can be automated.

Although it’s no one-size-fits-all solution, tools like robotic process automation (RPA) can be programmed to work with just about any existing software your company is already using and automate tasks that don’t require a lot of variation. While it may require a few additional steps, taking measures to align your team will help make sure they’re able to function at full capacity, no matter where they are.

Not Using Webcams

Employees like to be recognized, not just for their accomplishments, but also as individuals. When meetings are limited to conference calls, it’s difficult to read expressions and emotions that we would normally pick up on if the meeting had been in person.

Although remote workers might think their working arrangement sounds like a great opportunity to work from the comfort of their beds, this lack of face-time among colleagues results in a loss of teamwide engagement and familiarity—potentially impacting the quality of their work and extent of communication.

For example, Nerds Support uses secure web conferencing to communicate with all of its team members. By insisting teams use webcams, you are not only helping to reduce the chances of this, but also making sure they are just as presentable and work-ready as they would be in the office.

Not Nurturing Their Professional Development

Just because workers are working comfortably remotely, doesn’t mean they don’t share the same aspirations as your other workers. In fact, 75 percent of remote workers say they need more work-related training to further their professional growth.

The good news? Most of the training remote workers need can be done online. Many video conferencing applications grant mentors and remote workers valuable face-to-face time as well as the ability to share screens that can make instructional meetings easier to follow along.

When “off of the air,” remote employees can continue working via any cloud-based applications. Their work can later be reviewed, shared, or presented from any location. When technologies like these are used conjointly, the result is a happy remote workforce that has a greater potential to remain at your company while climbing the corporate ladder.

Not Seeing Them as Human

Remote employees are living, breathing, and hardworking individuals who happen to be located somewhere else. What this means is that attention to their thoughts and feelings should not be ignored.

Forgetting to invite them to important meetings or let their voices be heard is no different than it would be in any other setting. However, since emotions aren’t as easily felt over the phone or during video conferences, managers need to make more of a conscious effort to ensure every individual is given a chance to speak or provide input.

Even a brief pause every now and then to ask a group if they have any questions or matters they’d like to discuss can be the difference remote workers need to be and feel impactful.

 

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Why the Cloud is the Future of Business Continuity

Business Continuity And The Cloud

The world is unpredictable. At any given moment, something can happen that disrupts ordinary life. It could be a natural disaster, a power outage, or a virus pandemic like the current coronavirus.

The disruptions that affect our livelihoods are the most severe. In earlier years, businesses forced to shut down would have to just take the profit loss and move on.

However, cloud computing, along with mobile devices, allow businesses and their employees to work from any location that has internet access. Although some employers might hesitate to move towards remote work, many modern companies are adopting it as a means to offer employees flexible working hours and to maximize productivity.

Major companies like Apple, Microsoft, Salesforce and Twitter have encouraged remote work during crisis periods. Businesses have to adapt to changes and shifts in the real world, accounting for factors that are outside of their control to thrive.

The flexibility of the cloud helps do just that, while adding value and benefits like shared access to information and stronger security.

Flexibility on the Cloud

Cloud technology enables remote work from any location, providing access through virtual machines with access to the same information they’d have access to working in the office. Various tools on the cloud ensures businesses continue their work as if they were in full operation.

Accessing data and documents when needed can be useful not only during power outages and natural disasters. If your business has multiple offices and additional locations, the cloud can help you adapt as you grow. On the cloud, employees can access all relevant information via a centralized sever.

Managed IT services providers now offer cloud services along with IT support that creates a collaborative, secure environment.

Scale Your Business on the Cloud

Let’s say you’re a smaller business with limited physical space. Accommodating employees can be difficult and time-consuming as it is. Now imagine you’re a growing business, adjusting to a larger work is even harder.

A cloud infrastructure eliminates the difficulties of managing a growing number of employees because remote workers aren’t limited by office space. They can access information through the cloud on the device they choose in a comfortable location.

Access to data is configured through the cloud as long as new employees provide accurate login details. So whether you need to scale up or down, the cloud is an invaluable tool that works to your business needs.

Cyber Security on The Cloud

There’s a common misconception about the cloud being unsafe or less secure than the standard model of in house IT. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not only is cloud computing safe, additional security tools like multi-factor authentication and file encryption could mean your data is safer on the cloud.

These security tools should not be overlooked. Implementing additional security via the cloud helps prevent data loss or theft if a mobile device, portable laptop or tablets are lost or stolen themselves. Cybersecurity on the cloud ensures unauthorized users are barred from getting hold of valuable information.

Multi-factor authentication is set up so that if someone wishes to access the cloud, they must provide valid account details on multiple devices such as their phone. For example, I as an employee, can’t get on the cloud unless I verify the login attempt on my mobile device. If I do not respond within a definite amount of time, the login attempt is nullified and ignored.

The Future of Business relies on the cloud

Remote work is changing the workplace entirely. Companies already embracing remote work as a way of attracting new employees. In a study conducted by Buffer.com, 99 percent of those interviewed admitted they would like to work off-site at least once in their career.

But more importantly, remote work is a safety net for businesses should something unforeseen occur. We’ve seen how an events like viruses, hurricanes and power outages can devastate businesses. What if  the office is inaccessible or travel is limited? Businesses shouldn’t have to suffer as a result.

Continuity Means Security

Having a plan in place in case of such events is extremely important. Moreover, having the tools necessary to carry out that plan is just as important. A business continuity plan can ensure a business survives the spontaneous hazards of the real world. The cloud is vital in achieving this.

If working in the office becomes a risk for whatever reason, can that business continue normal operations?

If not, how long can that business go without endangering itself or taking a financial hit?

How much money is a business willing to lose until normal operations can continue?

How long will clients be able to cope without that business delivering products or services?

How long will employees hold out before getting frustrated and leaving?

These are all questions that should factor into any business related decision before, during and after a crisis of any kind.

Make sure to visit our website for more on cybersecurity, cloud, and tech related news!

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Top 6 Companies That Found Success On The Cloud

Cloud computing is information technology that provides database storage, applications, computing power and other IT tools through a cloud platform delivered over the internet.

In other words, it stores data and processes applications over the internet.

The cloud makes resources like storage, applications and virtual machines accessible as a utility.

There are also different types of cloud service providers (CSP). There are public clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS), private clouds like Nerds Support, and hybrid clouds which combine elements of the two.

Here are a few companies that have found success using the cloud.

1) Capital One

Capital One is first on the list because it is one of the more recent examples. It is a special case because it’s chose a public cloud over a private cloud.

The company initially had a private cloud strategy in the first few years of its migration but it failed to hit its target. If a business chooses to move to the cloud, they decide to keep some infrastructure in their own data centers. However, Capital One made the choice to move entirely to AWS.

Although Capital One uses other CSP’s, it’s main providers is AWS. They moved to the cloud for its services and applications but it expects to see a reduction in operation costs as it finalizes shutting down last remaining data centers.

2) Pinterest

Second on the list, Pinterest is a popular social media platform that’s gained popularity over the last couple of years. Unlike Capital One, Pinterest has been using the cloud from the very beginning.

As Pinterest grows in popularity, the cloud can adjust to traffic levels and keep up with site traffic. Pinterest was one of the first cloud computing successes, valued now at over $12 billion.
Although it’s not as prominent in the news as Facebook or Google, it’s quietly grown since its founding in 2010.

3) Xerox

In 2012 Xerox decided to develop a cloud printing solution, allowing users to access printers from any location. Furthermore, it offers cloud services specifically to small and medium sized businesses. The company saw where technology was headed and took actions to continue its growth despite its synonymy, with printing and photocopying.

4) eBay

Imagine using eBay in the middle of a crucial bid. You’re overtaking the other bidders and are zoning in on your purchase. Just as you feel your item’s within reach, the site crashes. That was the biggest concern for eBay when they chose to move their infrastructure of more than a billion listings onto the cloud.

They transitioned to the cloud in less than half a year and was implemented so quickly, they were ahead of schedule by six months. Now, eBay uses the cloud to experiment and work with machine learning to improve the functionality of their website.

5) Apple

Apple revolutionized cell phone technology when it introduced Siri, a program that imitates a human being, assisting users by answering questions. Although the voice is impressive, the way Siri works is even more amazing. The cloud receives user questions and processes them before they are answered.

The cloud also allows users to share data, applications and make updates seamlessly without having to physically make any changes to their hardware or software. In fact, Apple’s cloud software, ICloud is the cloud most people are familiar with.

6) Netflix

We saved the best for last: Netflix. The streaming service has come a long way since it’s days as a DVD rental service. It dominates the screens of millions of people ready to watch any of their dozens of critically acclaimed series, films and documentaries.

Because of its huge customer base, Netflix had to figure out a way to store all that data and, unfortunately, a traditional in-house data center was quickly becoming too inefficient. They needed an infrastructure that grew at scale.

Netflix reports that its 117.58 million subscribers around the world watch 140 million hours of content daily. Put simply, the average Netflix user spends 1 hour and 11 minutes, or 71 minutes, each day on the service.

What makes Netflix so impressive is how they managed to migrate all of that data in a time when cloud was relatively unknown technology.

As you can see, the cloud can create some astounding feats when used effectively. Organizations large and small will continue to migrate to the cloud to grow and scale their businesses as the cloud becomes more mainstream.

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What’s Better: Google Cloud or Nerds Support Cloud ?

These days, cloud services have become more than a corporate luxury, it has become a necessity for every business. Commercial clouds, like Google Cloud, seem like a great way to run your business. But once you do the research, you might find that having cloud computing, mixed with a great IT consulting team can increase your business productivity and help you grow in the long run. Our Miami IT Service Providers have listed key differences between running your business on Google Cloud and running your business with a reliable IT consulting team.

 

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Hosted Solutions

To have hosted exchange services in Miami means to have support with software systems and application support. Nerds Support offers Hosted Solutions for just about any business application you need to have a full-functioning business. As a proud partner of Microsoft, our cloud services include Office 365 for your business’ fundamental needs. We also include other great services, like Quickbooks hosting and even Adobe, to help your business become more efficient.  Hosting solutions are not included with Google Cloud. This means you will have to pay an additional charge for Google’s email option, G-Suite. Eventually, you will have to pay more money to have space saved in Google Drive. Contrary to popular belief, Google Drive and Google Cloud are two separate things. Google Drive carries all the tools needed to keep a business organized. However, after filling up the free space, you must begin paying for Google Drive for space. Google does not keep all its business applications in one place, so organization can be difficult, especially for a business.

Client Support

Did you know that when you purchase cloud services from Google, some plans will have you wait up to four business hours to receive support for a critical issue? That means that if your business network is down at 3pm, your business might as well just close for the entire day, because according to Google’s 9-5 business hour wait, the earliest time you might receive help will be at 11am, the next business day. If you choose not to wait, then you may attempt to figure out the solution to your issue by yourself. As a business owner, you know that finding a solution can cause downtime, which is bad for business. But waiting for support to help you can cause a complete business shut down, which is worse for business. When faced with a critical issue that can slow down your business, Nerds Support’s IT help desk is a 24/7 immediate IT support service that will always answer your call and have your business issues handled within the hour. When you hire an IT services team, you get professionals that are committed to keeping your business running. Having Managed IT services in Miami means that your business will always have the help and support that builds successful, long-lasting businesses.

Data Recovery

Data Recovery is undisputedly one of the most important factors to look for when looking for an IT consulting team. As the term implies, data recovery is a service that saves a backup copy of your data. So if some type of disaster happens, you will have another copy of your information so you can keep working. Our IT support experts backup your company’s data at a recommended rate of once a day. Should your business be caught in a horrible situation where your company information becomes lost, you can count on Nerds Support to have backups your systems and data in multiple locations so that your business can get up and running again as soon as possible. When you run your business through Google Cloud, you don’t get the constant monitoring that an IT services team provides. Rather, you would have to do the data backup yourself. Your only guidance would be a webpage with directions that you could only hope you would do right. If you do not follow those instructions carefully, you could end up losing all of your business information. Losing all your data would known as a business owner’s worst nightmare. At Nerds Support, we understand that these things can be nerve wracking and our Miami-based IT experts are well-versed in small things like backing up data and files, so you would not have to worry about completing that task.

Finding Cloud Services in Miami

When you start out on business, you are most likely one person, or a team of people, with one idea. You may still be looking for a solid marketing plan and you might not have a clear execution in place. For that moment of time, keeping your business in Google Cloud seems like a great idea. However, as your business grows, so will your ambitions and your business model will mature with your business. When that time comes, your business is ready to seek out an IT service provider. With IT consulting by your side, your business will have everything it needs in order to become efficient and successful. From Data protection to Hosting Solutions, if you are looking to build a better business by gaining an experienced, reliable IT support team in Miami, FL, then call Nerds Support today at 305-551-2009 or simply fill out a contact form here.

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9 Most Common Misconceptions About The Cloud

Cloud computing has grown more popular as businesses, end users and customers decide to store their data or share their files. In fact, the worldwide public cloud will have grown from $182.4B in 2018 to $331.2B in 2022 according to Gartner.

Even with this rapid growth, organizations are still learning about the cloud or don’t properly understand its function. As a result, business leaders have developed misconceptions about how to leverage the cloud in their industry.

However, the cloud can be an extremely effective tool and knowledge on its uses, services and functions can save you time, energy and money. With that, here is a list of a few common misconceptions about the cloud.

The Cloud is Unsafe/Risky

A cloud infrastructure not only protects business from cyberattacks and theft, it secures your data against outages, natural disasters and any other unforeseen damage to your physical business. The cloud serves as a massive back-up system using the internet to store critical data. A private cloud, however, offers computing services on a private internal network.

Cloud service providers invest greatly on cybersecurity as a means of guaranteeing the best possible service. In reality, the majority of cyber security breaches on the cloud were caused by user error.

On the cloud, all data is encrypted and backed up as well so users are protected from data theft.

All Cloud Providers Are The Same

There are many different types of cloud providers. It’s important to research which company fits your business needs best. Furthermore, there are different types of cloud services. There is a public cloud, a private cloud and a hybrid cloud which combines elements of the other two. Determining which cloud service suits your goals best is just as important as the service provided.

When you choose a cloud provider You have to commit to it indefinitely

As mentioned above, there are many different types of providers, offering a range of services. And some cloud services are better with some providers than with others. There might be certain features of your existing business you don’t wish to migrate with one provider. Cloud services are not an all or nothing affair.

As a result, many organizations are opting to adopt a multi-cloud solution. Multi-cloud solutions offer flexibility in pricing, services and compatibility. Additionally, a multi-cloud strategy reduces the risk of certain cyber attacks and can further prevent data loss.

Cloud Migration means transferring everything to the cloud

When moving to the cloud you can keep certain things in-house as well. What you keep internally and what you transfer over to the cloud all depends on your goals, costs, budgetary constraints and performance. Optimization doesn’t necessarily mean complete cloud migration. For some businesses optimization could be moving certain features and data to the cloud and keeping others on premises.

It Costs Less Than What I Pay Now

Cutting costs is often touted as one of the biggest benefits of adopting a cloud infrastructure. It’s more complicated than that. The fact of the matter is, businesses focus too much on savings without researching how to implement new cloud technologies once they’ve migrated.

Moreover, businesses fail to calculate costs during busier periods of the year. Reality is more complicated than a selling point and costs could vary.

Cloud Computing Means Giving Up My IT Team

Many business leaders believe that upon adopting cloud services, their existing IT team will become redundant. However, this is not necessarily the case. Nerds Support, for instance, is a Managed Service provider that offers Co-management services. Co-management means our partners keep their existing IT department and we provide additional support when they need it.

This option works best for smaller companies experiencing growth and increased workload. Or alternatively, companies that wish to focus on larger IT projects and need assistance taking care of less essential tasks.

You Can’t Rely On The Cloud

What happens if you experience downtime and lose connection to the cloud? If your office loses power in an electrical storm or through a power outage, the cloud backups allows you to access mission critical data from any device.

Think about it. If a server goes down in your office using an in house network, the entire business stops. Data saved on the cloud takes a matter of minutes to access so you can pick up where you left off.
Automated back-up systems are an inherent part of any good cloud provider.

Migrating Is Too Complicated

How long it takes to move to the cloud depends on the complexity of the network and environment. Assuming it’s a company that requires few services, it takes about ten to 14 days. Cloud providers often migrate businesses that work with third party vendors or have massive networks because of the nature of their business. These can take about six months to complete.

On the other hand,  before moving to the cloud, there are ways you can prepare that could ease the transition towards a cloud infrastructure.

Maintaining compliance will be too difficult

Meeting compliance standards is a big issue for many businesses. Nevertheless, the right cloud provider will guarantee you achieve compliance on the cloud. Cloud compliance helps keep both the cloud provider and the client accountable and there is nothing built into the cloud itself that prevents it.

In fact, cloud vendors have made compliance a main focus since banks, CPA’s and financial advisers began migrating to the cloud. If you’re in a highly regulated industry, there are cloud providers that specialize in specific regulations like SOX, FINRA and SEC compliance to name a few.

The take away here is to do your research. The cloud is an important tool. And like most tools, they are useful only to those who are willing to understand how to use them.

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