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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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What to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Vendor

Your business is ready to move to the cloud, which is a big decision for you and your leaders to make. Prior to nailing down a partner for this migration, you need to consider a few things. In the following paragraphs, we’ll outline some factors to contemplate when choosing your cloud vendor.

Establish Your Priorities for Moving to the Cloud

First, prioritize what you want from this migration to the cloud. Knowing what you want to achieve with this new solution can lead to easier decision when picking a cloud provider. Although you will have a reason for your employees and shareholders, you need to take time to develop a solid base of cloud needs before diving into different partner options. Once you have established a list of needs, you can then move on the following considerations.

Consider Size, Budget and Accessibility

Think about the size of the cloud you need. Is it for storing files? Or do you want to collaborate on different platforms? Do your team members need to be working on an application together in real time? It’s worth considering that at some point you may want to expand your cloud abilities. Check out what other offerings your vendor might have in terms of applications, software and servers.

It’s also worth exploring how often your vendor makes updates. Some solutions, like Lawson Software, don’t always stay current with their offerings. You want a vendor that’s making updates frequently to improve your cloud.

Also work out a budget for your vendor. Yes, there’s the upfront price, but what can your business afford beyond that? There will be a maintenance fee, and it will depend on the vendor if it is hourly, monthly, quarterly or on other basis. If you plan on expanding your cloud, think about the potential increase in fees or costs down the road too. Find out if they can expand the plan you select to meet any of your new business needs.

Visibility at all times is a must in today’s fast-paced markets. You and your teams should be able to see and access data within the cloud at any hour of the day. This is necessary for businesses to be successful. Imagine you have a team based in Tokyo trying to access a data sheet that a team in Washington, D.C., created, and they can’t open it. That’s a problem for a business. Cloud vendors need to be around at any hour to solve a problem or answer questions for your team.

Look into reviews of vendor support. See how long it takes them to respond to an issue or what additional technical support is provided. Some companies do this for free or charge an extra amount for it. Will you be dealing with an expert for your issue or a service representative with a script? Knowing this information ahead of time can save frustration down the road.

Ensure Data Security

Since the cloud is a network of computers across the Internet, it is crucial that security be one of the top priorities of a cloud vendor. Since there have been multiple large-scale data breaches in recent years, it is important to know that your vendor has the most up-to-date protocols and defenses to prevent these types of problems. When it comes to security, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, companies need to have a cloud partner that is constantly monitoring and updating security for cloud data.

Part of preventing security problems comes down to access. Controlling access to sensitive information is another question to consider with a potential partner. Working with your IT person is vital for maintaining control of access leak points for the cloud and consumer data. When selecting a cloud vendor, ask them about how much control your own IT person will have over modifying who has cloud data access. Plus, check out how your potential cloud vendor certifies their employees. You don’t want a former cybercriminal or identity thief watching over your business data.

Also consider the data security laws for your industry. If the cloud vendor you are selecting does not comply with the regulations for your industry, then you are putting your business at risk of non-compliance.

If you are looking at an on-premises cloud solution, consider where the data center will be located. You don’t want anyone to be able to walk in and access this information. Think about natural disasters, too. Floods, fires and earthquakes happen, but it shouldn’t cause too much of a disruption or a total loss of data information.

Making the move to the cloud is a big change for many businesses. By doing your homework ahead of time, you can select the perfect cloud vendor to help your company with this transition and long-term solution.

 

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How Financial Services Keep Data Safe On The Cloud

If you’d like to read more about how financial companies are using the cloud to innovate, click here.

A 2019 Global Wealth Study by Boston Consulting group reported financial services firms are hit by cyberattacks 300 times more than other companies. Financial institutions have a lot of sensitive data cybercriminals can monetize if accessed. That is why the financial services industry is so heavily regulated .

The US has experienced huge breaches of consumer data the last few years. The most famous example in recent memory is the Financial Technology, or FinTech, company Equifax. They experienced a data breach in 2017. The breach compromised the personal financial information and social security numbers of more than 146 million people.

FinTech gives consumers access to mobile banking, personal financial data and other services. However, since FinTech is so recent, it doesn’t have a regulatory framework yet. In the US, for example, in the mobile payment industry there are eight federal agencies with minor oversight over finance. Moreover, all 50 states have their own rules. It’s a very different story for Financial organizations and as we’ve seen above, for good reason.

As we’ve seen, lacking a regulatory framework impacts more than just a financial firm. It puts consumers at risk. In the financial industry, achieving regulatory compliance should be the focus for financial institutions big and small.

Cloud Security and Compliance

For a financial firm, credibility is everything. No organization wants to be fined, shamed or, worst of all, left behind by clients. Therefore, firms need to understand the challenges ahead to achieve compliance. Compliance is one of the biggest reasons financial firms are skeptical about engaging in a cloud strategy. However, once you understand how compliance is achieved in the cloud, the transition won’t seem so daunting.

Cyber Threats

As mentioned above, cyber security threats are sophisticated and aimed at getting your firm’s information. Hackers use a variety of methods to compromise your infrastructure for financial gain.  You can’t discuss cloud compliance without mentioning cloud security. As the workforce becomes increasingly mobile it gets easier to attack organizations operating on insecure networks. As a result ransomware is the most common attacks and is now a $2 billion- per-year industry.

One important thing to keep in mind

One of the main concerns that come up when considering financial cloud compliance is that customers don’t manage their own IT infrastructure.

That’s why it’s important to stress the fact that cloud compliance is a two way street. Managed IT service providers have a contractual obligation to their clients but clients must rely on best practices and regulations to look out for their interests as well.  In other words, a specific provider, be SaaS or HaaS will offer certain compliance and security features, but it’s up to the client to responsibly implement those features. With that said, we move on to the features themselves.

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What’s Covered by a Financial Cloud provider?

It depends. Since the every cloud provider differs in their services and the way they present information, CPA’s and financial companies should review each cloud option carefully. That means choosing the appropriate cloud provider. Like shoes, cloud providers are not a one-size-fits-all.

Things to look out for when choosing a cloud provider:

1) What data will be stored in the cloud and what will remain in house. Why?

2) Where the data will be stored. Some providers don’t give you this information.

3) Service Level Agreement (SLA). Due to the compliance and regulations standards in the financial services industry, your firm might have to carefully review the types of services the provider offers and which align with your needs.

4) Encrypting Data. Keeping with compliance standards means encrypting sensitive data to protect it.

5) Systems & access controls. Data security is a big compliance mandate. You should know who at your firm has access to what data and what your cloud provider has access to as well.

Regulations and Guidelines

The important thing is that a firm become aware of the regulatory policies and procedures it’s expected to comply with. The Financial Cloud provider should have documentary records of how they plan to meet compliance in the cloud.

The GLBA ( Gramm- Leach- Bliley Act) and the SOX (Sarbanes- Oxley) Act are two main pieces of legislation that deal with the storage and maintenance of information within a financial institution. Therefore, to help with compliance a cloud provider should share information and supply your firm with access to necessary documentation.

Nerds Support’s white paper on compliance details SOX compliance and regulations.

Conclusion

Whether your firm chooses a private cloud or public cloud, compliance guidelines must be met to ensure optimal security. Cloud service providers and financial organizations should continue to improve their processes. Otherwise, your organization will be penalized or even breached. The data migrated from a firm to the cloud is valuable and entrusted to you by your clients. And when you mishandle that data, you run the risk of losing everything.

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Why Co-Managed Solutions Benefit Financial Services

To read and learn more about financial cloud solutions, cybersecurity, compliance and more visit our website.

What is Co-Management?

The Financial services industry might be adopting financial cloud technology, but seldom is a firm ready to abandon their IT department when adopting a service provider. The transition between an in house infrastructure and the cloud requires careful planning. Moreover, adjusting to the cloud for any organization and its employees is also difficult and requires training and readjustments. Those are a few issues co-managed IT solves. Co-management means a cloud provider works with the firms’ existing in-house IT department.  If you’re a firm looking to build on top of your current IT department, co-managed IT augments your current team and fortifies it.

It’s preferable to adopt a flexible and adaptable solution that combines what is familiar with the benefits of a cloud-centered environment. This gives your firm a costumed solution specifically tailored to meet your needs and upgrade at a pragmatic pace. This means not only technical support for financial services, but a team that provides comprehensive solutions at scale for the firm.

How Co-Management Can Help Your Firm Grow

As a smaller firm grows, their IT departments are strained by increased demand. Co- managed solutions allow support and guidance when making strategic decisions about the firm’s network and systems. Conversely, if your firm has a skilled team of IT professionals but lack the resources, time or bandwidth for troubleshooting and smaller IT-related tasks, then co-managed solutions may be right for you.

Small financial services companies without sufficient resources will often task an overburdened member of the IT team to support users, handle contracts, maintain client relationships etc. This solution might be a quick fix but it is unsustainable in the long-term.

Because of this, internal IT departments often struggle. However, co-management provides firms with supplemental resources and outside expertise. Furthermore, there are key benefits to adopting a co-managed IT solution. For example, if you’re financial firm has reached a period of rapid growth and needs to adjust the scale of IT services to support internal growth. Or a company has a reliable, well-established IT staff in-house but need solutions for remote branches in other locations.

Benefits of Co-Managed IT Solutions

Increased productivity: A co-managed approach supplies IT support around the clock. Even when your in-house staff is unavailable. This can lead to reduced downtime and as a result, increase productivity.
On- Demand expertise: When your in-house IT team runs into issues that they’re not prepared for, a co-managed service provider is there to provide assistance and back-up.
Increased Security: With a co-managed model, the service provider accesses and gives access to the latest technology. The partnering IT staff comes in with certifications and experience that are important in creating a security strategy.

In a co-managed IT model, your IT partner identifies and fills gaps in your team availability and skill set while increasing bandwidth. IT solutions for finance are

A co-managed service model is created to support financial services organizations that have IT departments but are looking to increase their efficiency and upscale their work capabilities. And for a financial services company, co-management entails your partner knows IT compliance. Finra compliance among other, is essential to a successful co-managed IT model for a financial firm.

Hopefully, you understand what Co-management entails and what kind of problems it solves. If you’re still confused, we can review.

Co-Management Means Protection & Security

The goal of any co-managed IT team is to increase the abilities of the staff. At the same time, assisting with:
Hardware
• Data Protection
• Software
• Cloud computing
• Cloud Security
• Multi-factor functionality

With cybercriminals increasing their efforts to infiltrate financial institutions of all types, firms that adopt a proactive protection with a co-management service will be better off. Co-management for financial firms means security and compliance are at the forefront of cyber security.

Companies are can freely choose the types of solutions they prefer to keep in house and which ones to outsource to an outside IT team with co-management services.

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Cloud Based Logistics & Tech are Changing the Industry

The Present and Future of Logistics

The Logistics industry, like all others is going through a huge technological transformation. Cloud based logistics, social media, Internet of things and other innovations are moving logistics in a new direction. Logistics is the industry that all others rely on to maintain a thriving business. Moreover, things like transportation plays a huge roll in the supply-chain and logistics as a whole.

New digital technology is changing the way industries operate on a fundamental level. Increased connectivity with one another has also increased customer demand, created new buying habits, and created an entirely new industry, ecommerce.

As more and more companies begin to rethink the way they use technology, cloud technology is becoming a serious and viable option. From entertainment companies like Netflix to banks like Capital One and others are adopting cloud technologies to gain an advantage over their competitors who are still skeptical or who decide to move to the cloud later on.

Analytics

In the 21st century, data is the new gold. The amount of data generated around the world every day is vast and growing exponentially. In the US, the logistics of physical items involves integrating information, material handling, production, packaging, inventory, transportation, warehousing and even security. The data involved in the tracking of every process individually is staggering. Big data helps evaluate these large quantities of data to discover patterns, trends, competitor behavior, costumer preference and more in a way that is optimized for use.

The firms that can effectively use this data, analyze it and capitalize on the insights it gives will have a huge advantage over competitors. Currently, logistics companies are only using technology to get data from their database. But using that data to learn customer buying habits and competitive strategies is what will drive business.
That’s why logistics companies are working on projects that allow them to use this data. A shift to data-driven reports and operation makes fuel management, warehouse management and other processes easier.

Cloud Based Logistics

Cloud-based logistics tech incorporates resources from the various stages in the logistics process in real time. The executives can then share this information throughout their teams and coordinate actions accordingly. The cloud simplifies the process by creating a checkpoint system that allows you to check, evaluate, confirm and approve each part of the operation. If any issues arise at any point, you can respond to them as they occur. It also works to schedule and organize deadlines.

The evolution of cloud computing software has changed the way industries work. Software-as-a-service features of cloud computing, specifically when it comes to cloud-based logistics, means smaller scale companies can use technology on a pay-per-use basis, cutting costs. This is a benefit featured in a public cloud however, rising security concerns are making private or hybrid clouds more practical for logistics companies as a whole.

Public cloud servers are, by their nature, public and visible to the internet. This opens public cloud providers to a remote scanning by hackers looking for a vulnerability. That is why private and hybrid clouds are becoming more popular since they lack the vulnerabilities associated with public clouds.

Nerds Support, for example, is a hybrid cloud provider. That means we store partners’ data on secure private servers like a private cloud would, but we still use internet features to provide updates and applications, using the best aspects of both private and public. That being said, cloud technology is continuing to improve warehouse management, labor management, route optimization and more.  The supply chain quality of the cloud helps create a collaborative system of users. Data and information is shared in real time increasing response times and avoiding serious errors in the process.

Because cloud-based logistics uses applications and internal features to make in-real-time collaboration possible, resources are managed and distributed more easily. Separate hardware with different built-in apps are not necessary. All it takes is access to a single computer and an internet connection.

Cloud solutions changes and improves through time. On the cloud, a company can add new features and update applications for improved functionality. Cloud based logistics has a lot of practical tools to keep track of progress and organize future projects.

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The Internet of Things (IoT)

This is an area where logistics stands out. Logistics companies were among the first to adopt and embrace an IoT strategy. Logistics companies that employ smart technology have reduced management complexities and faster ROI. Productivity is accelerating and IoT is opening up opportunities. Sensors are built into cargo ships, trains, trucks etc. , and connected to alarm systems that monitor and track the cargo. These sensors then transmit information to the crew, which allows them to assess risks and learn more about routes and hidden liabilities throughout the logistical process.

Radio Frequency Technology (RFID)

Like smart technology, RFID is not new but it’s still a popular and economical way companies are tracking their inventory. Tag sensors are placed on the product and radio waves are transmitted to and processed by the company. Now, logistics companies are using RIFD tags in their warehouses to monitor inventory. Like the cloud, its popularity has spread through other industries like theme parks and apparel companies.

Social Media

Everyone checks some form of social media on a daily basis. Social media is becoming the easiest way for companies to connect with customers and clients. Sending urgent messages, sharing industry news, and receiving customer responses is what has made social media beneficial for logistics.

In Conclusion

With increasingly useful and practical tools in development, new opportunities become available. All of this leads to shipment optimization, fleet specific planning, thorough, effective organization and financing, and more. What’s more, these technologies keep improving. It might be good to consider how these technologies could help your logistics company if you aren’t already using them.