Cloud Technology Leading to Smarter Business Decisions

December 12th, 2014


Unlike years ago, starting a new business does not mean the necessity to invest in expensive servers and software. Instead, many businesses are turning to cloud technology. It is now an incredibly worthwhile option for delivering IT services to a company, delivering great value for business outcomes. By the end of 2014, cloud technology will have generated over $150 billion in revenue, with only greater demand in the future.

Cloud technology is more than just a “technological paradigm” for IT services, but also playing a strong role in making businesses more customer-centric and helping them find new opportunities. There are many benefits that businesses are finding cloud brings them:

  • Ease of Use: With a business’s files stored in a centralized location, it is easier than ever before to access files, even for the least technologically savvy employee.
  • Cost Savings: It is more cost efficient than the traditional file storage method on a local server.
  • Flexible: There is no limit to space. The cloud’s space grows as the business needs change.
  • Automation: These applications will update automatically, allowing companies’ IT teams to focus on other needs.
  • Safe Backup: There isn’t a concern about systems failure destroying or losing files. When storing files on cloud technology, it creates backup copies so your business won’t lose any of its important documents.
  • Collaboration Opportunities: With all files available anywhere at any time, it allows people to easily share and work simultaneously on files to be efficient and productive while working.
  • Room for Growth: Cloud technology is scalable and flexible. As your company grows, it can easily grow along too in order to meet storage requirements.

There are four different deployment styles of cloud technology.deployment-puzzle-pieces

  • Public: available to the public through the Internet, like Google AppEngine and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
  • Private: available within a corporate firewall
  • Community: shared between organizations of mutual trust or baring contracts to store and share data
  • Hybrid: combination of the previous three models. The company provides and manages some resources, while others are external through a public cloud service

Whether your business is looking to save space, money or collaboration methods, cloud technology is ramping up to be a force to be reckoned with in the business world. No matter if you are using public or private deployments, cloud technology’s benefits will aid your business make smarter, faster business decisions.



Has the CIO Job Description Become Outdated?

December 4th, 2014

Cloud computing was named one of the 12 most disruptive technologies to change the relationship between the CIO and the boardroom. Other disruptive technologies included: mobile internet, automation of knowledge, advanced robotics, energy storage and 3D printing. Disruptive technologies aren’t necessarily negative, but instead a threat to available options. Cloud computing is a game changer, steadily replacing traditional software and services licensing models due to greater technological capabilities and changes in the demands in the market.

The disruption in the relationship between the CIO and the boardroom has also occurred due the creation of new chief officer roles that are dividing up the tasks formerly held by the CIO.

The role of the CIO has been evolving overtime in the modern business. The CIO has separated into three different personas.


All three roles must be present in the boardroom, but not every role is present in a CIO.

With the introduction of cloud technology, the CIO job description has begun to become obsolete, with the introduction of positions like Chief Digital Officer and Chief Strategic Information Officer, and the organizational structure and benchmarks for their role becoming altered. Everything now moves faster and results are desired more immediately. By 2015, it is predicted that one quarter of all companies will employ a Chief Digital Officer.

However, there are opportunities with cloud technology for the CIO to hold the key to the technological future of their company. The implementation of cloud systems in the future for companies is an example of the CIO as the manager. It is demonstrating the CIO focusing on the present, working to reduce costs, increase IT agility and automate processes. In the long term, implementation of cloud technologies could encourage the leader and entrepreneur personas. Cloud technology implementation could enable creating new cloud-based business models and ecosystems.

The CIO, with the implementation of cloud technology, has the opportunity to move from the keeper of technology to a true Chief of Information. This individual could manage data as a company asset, like a CFO manages the business’s finances. Cloud technology will push the CIO to being responsible for not only where the data is and which provider is responsible for said data, but also how each department will utilize the data. With these additional responsibilities, the role of CIO will not be lost in the ever-growing board room, but instead elevate the role and the responsibilities of the individual occupying the seat.


Cloud Technology: The Future of Business

November 17th, 2014




Cloud technology has changed the future of business and some believe that it will be the only way businesses will function. It is beneficial for a company of any size and allows flexibility for companies to save money, and free up the necessity to manage complex technologies.

Six opportunities cloud technology can enhance your business:

Data back up

  • Losing data can cost your company money and disrupt the flow of business. Cloud technology is a great solution for backing up data and protecting it from local disruptions. Businesses that utilize cloud technology are able to resolve issues nearly four times faster than those who do not utilize cloud technology. Avoid the need to buy expensive storage devices and instead invest in cloud technology so that your data is available when you need it.


  • With technologies like Microsoft® Exchange, companies can have all the features of email with the ability to work from anywhere, positively affecting workers’ work-life balance and productivity.


  • With the rising concern of how to keep your company protected from spam and viruses, companies give great attention to security. Cloud-based technology includes the benefit of having security experts who are keeping spam filtering up-to-date so you no longer need to worry about your company being at risk.


  • Programs like Microsoft® Lync and SharePoint make communication and collaboration on projects easier than ever. Companies that invest in collaboration technology have a 400 percent return on investment. It allows employees to easily share files and communicate with anyone around the world. Give your company’s employees the tools they need without increasing costs or unnecessary tasks to manage a share drive system. Cloud technology gives companies all the resources, while keeping management simple.

Document Control

  • With all files in a central location, there is no need to work off of multiple versions of a file to complete a project. Employees can work off of one document simultaneously and make changes together, creating increased efficiency and decreasing document clutter.

Environmentally Friendly

  • Sustainability is still a hot topic in today’s business world. Businesses using cloud computing only need to use the server space they need which decreases their company’s carbon footprint. Using cloud technology leads to at least 30 percent less energy consumption and carbon emissions than using on-site servers. Small companies will like see up to a 90 percent cut in energy use and carbon emissions.

Cloud technology truly has helped to level the playing field in the world of technology. In the past, it was nearly impossible for small companies to provide the top technology offerings to their employees. However, today, with the introduction of cloud services and solutions, technology is available for companies in every shape and size to push them to the next level.



Marketers: Pros of Cloud Technology

October 31st, 2014

When it comes to cloud technology what are the beneficial features that it provides to organizations?

Helps marketers focus on business values than at its data center

Identify data values for business instead of focusing on managing your data center by utilizing the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud storage system with less focus on the IT aspect of data management and storage.

It is cost efficient

Store company data minus the regular IT expenses for machineries and employees.

Need to access data quickly? No problem.

With cloud technology, you can access data anywhere you may be. You can also collaborate easily and efficiently with the management team and other employees no matter what the time zone.

Easier provisioning of applications

With the Platform as a Service (PaaS) feature in most cloud-based data servers, you are able to create new applications to provision the infrastructure of your data apps. Many also have an automatic software integration feature that allows you to easily customize apps according to preferences.

Automate operational tasks

Manipulate the API of your cloud provider in order to monitor and automate the scalable operations of your business. This makes you efficient in using data in real time when needed and to access all the functionalities available on the data console.

Pay as you go system

Have a limited cash flow? Rent and pay only for using a cloud storage data infrastructure to the extent of usage. The cost can be included as operational expenses without the need to allot a budget for upgrading hardware and software license renewal fees.

To read the original article, please click here.

Explore Enterprise Social Scenarios

October 17th, 2014

The scenarios in this poster are examples that represent many types of use cases. These examples can be helpful as you determine how Enterprise Social can contribute in your organization.

They show what’s possible, but may require additional components or solution building to bring to reality. If you want to implement one of these scenarios or one of your own and need help getting started, you can engage with TopLine Strategies to build an overall enterprise social solution. Click here or on the picture below to download the PDF.


Infographic: Yammer Cheat Sheet

October 3rd, 2014

Yammer-Cheat-Sheet (1)

Mobile-First, Cloud-First Microsoft Product Line

September 26th, 2014

Microsoft has announced that they would be both a mobile-first and cloud-first company from here on out, but what does that mean exactly? There are several announcements among this that can be used to provide clarity.

Hybrid Cloud Initiatives:

  • Extension of the ExpressRoute interconnect program: Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute enables customers to create private connections between Azure and on-premises environments.
  • Simplified cloud storage: Available in preview, Microsoft Azure Files enables a single file share from multiple virtual machines.
  • Compute-intensive virtual machines sizes available: In-region and cross-region virtual networking connections and reserved IP addresses.
  • API management: Available in preview, Azure API Management lets customers expose APIs through the cloud.

Security Initiatives:

  • Enhanced disaster recovery: Available in preview next month, Microsoft Azure Site Recovery, formerly Hyper-V Recovery Manager, enables enhanced disaster recovery in the cloud. With this new capability, customers can replicate and recover virtual machines and services to Azure in the event of an outage at their primary datacenter.
  • Advancing antimalware: Microsoft Antimalware for Azure, available in preview, offers customers the ability to install an antimalware agent for both cloud services and virtual machines.
  • New encryption technology for Office 365 business customers: Enhanced encryption technologies ensures that every file stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business is encrypted with its own key. The encryption technologies also distribute files across multiple Microsoft Azure storage containers, each with separate credentials, to ensure highly secure content storage.
  • Expanding data loss prevention: Existing Data Loss Prevention (DLP) capabilities available in Exchange will now expand to include documents stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business for Office 365 E3 enterprise customers. DLP prevents the sharing of sensitive content inside and outside an organization.

Mobile Initiatives:

  • Office mobile app management with Windows Intune: Intune and Office 365 will deliver protected mobile productivity across Office for iPad, iPhone and Android phones including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook Web App.
  • Microsoft Azure RemoteApp: Available in preview, Azure RemoteApp helps companies give mobile employees access to Windows applications across a range of devices.

Developer-Focused Initiatives:

  • .NET cloud optimized: The next version of ASP.NET vNext, a streamlined framework and runtime that enables developers to optimize cloud and server workloads with maximum agility and performance. ASP.NET will be a new Microsoft contribution to the .NET Foundation as an open source project.
  • Advancing mobile development: Visual Studio tooling for the Apache Cordova platform, allowing developers to build multi-device hybrid applications using their HTML and JavaScript skills. Visual Studio developers can now build Windows, iOS and Android native applications with either .NET and Xamarin or hybrid applications with Apache Cordova. Microsoft also released Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RTM including support for universal Windows apps.
  • Enterprise agility: Microsoft extended Visual Studio Online, the cloud-based application lifecycle management offering, by releasing a set of APIs and service hooks that integrate with third-party services. The new APIs make it easier for organizations to adopt Visual Studio Online without abandoning the tools they’re using today.

To read the original article, please click here.

Microsoft offers free help for new Office 365 rollouts

September 19th, 2014


New Office 365 customers who buy at least 150 seats of the online apps suite will get deployment help from Microsoft at no additional charge. Microsoft says that they will ensure that the Office 365 service is provisioned and ready for use in your organization. The services will be provided in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian, Portuguese and Spanish.

For customers that want assistance with additional tasks, such as email and document migration, Microsoft is offering through March 31, 2015 what it calls an “adoption offer” to help with that. New customers who buy at least the 150 seats can then choose between two alternatives. The “adoption activities” option provides an unspecified amount of money to a partner to foster adoption of the suite among employees.

To read more, please click here.

Cloud BI: Going Where the Data Lives

September 12th, 2014

More than ever, cloud adoption has become a recent trend for companies as they are generating and storing more data in the cloud.

Joao Tapadinhas, a Gartner analyst said, “As more data sources move to the cloud, it makes more sense to also adopt cloud BI solutions because that’s where the data is. It’s easier to connect to cloud data using a cloud solution.”

Historically, cloud BI products have been most appealing to smaller businesses, in part because those are less likely to have an IT department that can manage an on-premises product. However, analysts are starting to see larger companies adopting cloud BI, typically starting with individual groups or departments. Of the companies that made the move to cloud BI say that the benefits include fast time to market, no need to maintain on-premises software and simplicity of use, which outweigh any downsides.

Is your company moving to the cloud BI? What benefits have you found by switching over?

To read the original article, please click here.

SharePoint & OneDrive for Business: Protect and Search for Your Sensitive Data

September 5th, 2014

Need to keep your data safe? OneDrive for Business and SharePoint are some of Microsoft’s technologies which enable users to store, share, edit and collaborate with documents in the cloud. One benefit of having documents in the cloud is Data Loss Prevention (DLP). These are policies which backup data to prevent losing work or information due to user error or system error. Another facet of DLP is keeping data safe from people who are not authorized to view or edit the data. Microsoft has a new tool available to help accomplish this. Now users of SharePoint and OneDrive for Business can search for sensitive data across their files in the cloud.

A document containing credit card numbers or social security numbers would be an easy target for thieves or hackers, and once it’s found it be further evaluated. Knowing which documents contain sensitive data is the first step to keeping those documents safe.

How does Microsoft protect these documents? Microsoft uses pattern recognition software to sift through such documents for sensitive information. Currently, they has 51 built-in sensitive information types such as, social security numbers, passport numbers, banking account numbers, etc. Now, the compliance officer at a company can use simple queries to find any documents which may contain sensitive data and deal with them accordingly.

Senstive Info

To view the original article, click here.

Do you think this will reassure concerns about security in the cloud? Let us know in the comments below.