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Businesses with successful cloud services

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.

Cloud made of paperclips with computers, tablets, and phones surrounding it

Using the Cloud to Improve your Workforce

The new way of working allows employees to work from home

Team is what makes a business successful

The ability to collaborate in the cloud is becoming a key driver of competitive advantage - Forbes Media

Products may come and go. Services are another buzzword. Brands have a lifespan.

Culture and leadership are the most important things a company has.

But also technology can serve as a tool to help guide culture and leadership.  

So as your business grows and gets more complicated – with work from home workers , you need an IT infrastructure to help.  

One thing is clear: old with the old and in with the new

→Email threads become a labyrinth .

→Document versions get lost in sync.

Using the cloud means always being able to access your most important assets, whether they're Word docs, spreadsheets, or photos - PC Mag

→WFM workers get lonely.

Old-school IT systems – the kind you manage from your own servers – are no longer the norm and are not letting you progress

These days, the advent of cloud computing and all the benefits that come with it have paved the way for collaborative cloud-based services that are reshaping how employees work together over the internet, whether it's a trio of founders at a startup or a mid-sized company with 500 staff - TechRadar

The new way of working

The cloud is here to help you grow your business.

This guide shows some of the ways cloud-based applications and services can help your business

→Speed up decisions

→Getting files faster and to the right team member

 →Making the most of company resources

→Increasing your security

→Minimizing your IT costs and overhead

Now it’s time to use them to modernize the way you work, and turbo-charge your teams.

We’re here for you.

The best part of using an outsourced service is that upgrades and feature add-ons are automatic. Your company benefits from the latest and greatest and it's installed for you without any worry or work

We’re your local Miami based IT Services provider.

We specialize in helping companies simplify their IT systems, support work from home and improve collaboration by moving to the cloud – in easy, steps. We can help you transition to a simpler, more productive world while supporting you and your users with the best customer service.

Contact Nerds Support the premier IT Solutions Provider for a FREE IT Test.

A financial services man worried about compliance he has to meet

6 Tips on Partnering with the Right Cloud Computing Solution Provider for Financial Institutions

Cloud Computing is becoming the preferred method for businesses to manage and store their data. If you’re a firm with substantial amounts of internal data, it may be challenging to evaluate the costs and maintenance of IT for financial firms.

When it comes to selecting an appropriate cloud provider, the requirements you have should be specific to your organization. However, there are general guidelines to focus on when assessing a provider.

1.            Cost

The first thing you have to take into consideration is cost. It’s important to understand your business and its specific needs beforehand. Before you can select a provider you need to clarify your specific requirements and objectives. See if what can be covered by a service while staying within your budget.

2.            Canned vs. Custom software

You need to determine whether custom or canned software is most suitable for your company. Custom software is computer software that is designed specifically for a company or person in order to meet their needs.

Canned software, also known as prewritten software, is software that’s designed for and distributed as is for a multitude of people or organizations to be used without modifying the code. Canned software is cheaper but doesn’t allow for much flexibility in use. Custom software caters to the user’s unique requirements and is more flexible but is more costly.

3.            Certifications and Standards

Just as registered broker-dealer firms must comply with FINRA and SOX regulations and standards, providers that comply with recognized standards display an adherence to industry best practices and standards. While standards may not determine which service provider you choose, they can help narrow down potential suppliers.

Nerds Support’s SaaS cloud based solution complies with many regulations that financial institutions must meet such as FINRA and SOX

4.            Data Governance and Security

With any cloud-based provider, you should research the level of security provided by the company and look into its history and data breaches. A reliable cloud provider can go a long way towards establishing an effective business continuity plan. With that in mind, you must look to ensure the cloud provider’s information security controls are risk- based and support your own security policies.

5.            Customer Support and Performance

Does the company have 24/7 customer support? Is someone available to talk? Do they have knowledge of the cloud? Service providers may have multiple vendor relationships that are important to understand. Quality care by a service provider is key to evaluating their reliability.

Don’t expect perfection either, downtime is inevitable and every cloud provider will experience it at some point. It’s more about how a provider deals with the downtime. Ensure your chosen provider has established processes for dealing with planned and unplanned downtime. They should have business continuity plans in place for communicating with their clients during disruption times.

6.            Scalability 

As your company grows in size and success, you want a cloud provider that can adjust and grow as well. Don’t get a service that provides for your current wants and is capped there. If you grow as a result of more efficient IT and cloud services then you’re going to have to switch providers and begin the process all over again. Take into account your company’s potential for growth and development when deciding on a provider.

Nerds Support has over 17 years of experience helping financial institutions. We offer a Saas Cloud solution that is used by one of the top financial firms in the world, Fidelity Investments. Start transforming your organization by moving to the cloud with a solution built for financial firms that addresses all the needs and security compliance

Contact us at 305-551-2009 for  a FREE Cloud Computing readiness test where we discuss your IT business needs

Working Remotely During the Holidays

Cyber Security Tips: Working Remotely During the Holidays

Working Remotely

Whether we’re new to working remotely or veterans, whether we’re addicted to our jobs or unwilling slaves to our work, most of us don’t know the risks involved with this practice when we’re traveling and connecting to work computers and accounts via unsecured networks and personal devices.

Because most companies deal with sensitive information, they limit the access to their own computer networks and platforms to minimize threats like phishing, malware (viruses, worms, spyware, ransomware, etc.), Man in the Middle and DDoS attacks, and even computer theft!

You might think your organization’s CIO or CTO is a bit paranoid for treating you and other employees like security threats, but you’d be surprised to know that this is not far-fetched. In fact, it is likely that if a data breach or cyberattack happen during the holidays, you or a low-tier coworker might be partly responsible even if you’re unaware as to how this could happen.

According to the CEO of Nerds Support, Scott Richman, all businesses should have a relationship with a professional, established IT firm. “What we’re finding is that most of them do have relationships with IT personnel but are not educating them about the risk that remote users pose”, confessed Scott.

Implementing just a few of these practices will make the IT team at your company respect you a little bit more. So, here are some tips on how to work remotely the right way, in complete compliance with cyber security preventative practices.

Secure All Your Devices

This might be a tedious and time-consuming task, but it’s something that is absolutely necessary to prevent hackers from gaining the upper-hand! Below, you’ll find advice on what you could do to limit access to personal data in your device.

  • Enable 2FA: To enable two-factor authentication, we might need to access both or personal and work accounts and follow the instructions that each platform provides. You could also use an authenticator app (like Authy, Duo Mobile, or Google Authenticator).
  • Enable Remote Wipe: To set up remote wipe on your Android, Apple or Windows mobile device, first you’ve got to go to Settings, turn on the Find My Phone feature, and then active the erase device command in your phone.
  • Encrypt your Hard Drive: In Mac, you just need to turn on the FileVault, and in PC, turn on BitLocker.

Scott says the biggest problem the NS team finds is that there is no process in place. Sometimes, when users remote-wipe their work device, it’s already too late because too much time has passed. That’s the benefit of working with an IT team: they have emergency security protocols in case these things happen and will act fast to minimize the threat.

Connect to the Internet Safely

When working remotely, avoid public Wi-Fi/hotspots and use a VPN service if you absolutely need to connect from an unsecured network and get some work done ASAP. If you have the budget, you could also purchase your own mobile router and configure the network’s settings, or you could enable your personal mobile hotspot with your cellphone wireless provider (most big telecommunications companies can enable this feature on smartphones).

Communicate Securely

One thing that will help avoid data leaks is using secure videoconferencing and messaging apps, like Signal and WhatsApp. Here’s another practical tip: if you deal with company trade secrets or sensitive data, avoid talking about work in public spaces (remember: IRL there’s no such thing as a “cone of silence”, and people WILL be listening regardless they want to or not).

According to Scott, company communication should not be discussed in a public marketplace where anyone could misappropriate the intellectual property of your business. This happens to entrepreneurs often. They let their guard down while discussing their start-up ideas with their prospective clients over delicious coffee, and just like that, their new business concept has been stolen.

Use Productivity/Team Collaboration Apps Setting Up User Permissions

Your boss might ask you to use time tracking or task management apps, or to be “online” at all times so he/she can know if you’re actually working. However, you must know something: even though these tools maximize productivity, they could be detrimental for your company’s security.

Don’t assume these platforms are completely safe, as that would be a big mistake! It’s important that you keep high-security standards when using collaboration apps. That way, you will avoid revealing sensitive company and client data to malicious hackers.

Take a look at the security settings of the apps you’re using for team collaboration and project management and take the time to make your account harder to get into. Also, Scott recommends to validate any product that you use online. Check if they’re compliant with the latest security practices, and that they maintain their software and patch the bugs regularly.

Safely Access Your Work Email

Only send emails to co-workers who have company email addresses. For example, if your company is using G-Suite, don’t send personal or work emails from that G-Suite account to people outside the company network.

One of the biggest cyber security threats right now is phishing, as the techniques and methods have gotten more and more sophisticated with the years. Malicious emails are now more realistic than ever.

Scott especially warms about the dangers of phishing and spearfishing. “You’ve got to make sure that the person who’s emailing you is who they say they are. Any invoices you receive, claims of donations, or any prompts to reset the password to your bank account are all red flags, and you could be sending your personal and banking information to a hacker who could end up being able to access your governmental and financial records.”

Promote Remote Work Best Practices, Ensure Compliance!

Remember, promoting cyber security practices and cyber threat awareness is the best strategy to prevent embarrassing situations like data leaks. Train your employees, vendors and contractors on cyber security best practices, which include using strong passwords and password managers, turning off social logins (via Facebook and Twitter), set up or strengthen the spam filter on both your personal and work email, installing anti-malware software, and setting up a secure browser like Chrome with extensions like HTTPS Everywhere, Password Alert and uBlock Origin.

Also, remind your fellow employees with access to sensitive/valuable data to enforce these security measures, so everyone in your team can be safe from cybernetic threats.

Additional Remote Working Tips for the Holidays

Santa is making a list and checking it twice, and so are hackers. Don’t forget that. Just remember these tips, and never, EVER use personal, unmonitored devices to connect to company websites or access company data!

Scott’s final recommendation, said in a joking manner, is that if you don’t feel like you have any security measures in place as a remote worker, then just quit the Internet altogether. “It’s truly the only way you’ll be 100% safe from online threats”, said Scott while laughing.

If you must or need to work remotely and want to do it the right way, talk to us. We’ll help you set up a secure remote work environment (a “Workplace”, if you will) so you can safely access your work apps, files and website accounts, no matter where you are!

Contact us for more information on the cloud, cloud security and remote work.