Combat Common Compliance Obstacles

For many business owners, everything about compliance can seem intimidating at first. To further complicate things, federal and international regulations are always being altered or added, leaving many organizations left with the task of keeping up. The alternative, however, could leave you facing steep fees and other consequences you shouldn’t have to worry about on top of everything else.

With a little foresight and planning, your business can anticipate potential compliance roadblocks and figure out a way to steer clear of them. By learning about common problems that organizations face regarding HIPPA, PCI, SOX and other regulations, your business will be in a better position to identify and avert them going forward.

Conquer Compliance Concerns for Good.

Consider the Top Five Compliance Challenges:

  1. Protecting Sensitive Data: Patients and customers are counting on you to keep their private information safe from prying eyes and hackers. Federal regulations are designed to keep records where they belong and prevent cybercrimes and data breaches from wreaking havoc on businesses and individuals. The key to staying compliant is thinking about everything that could go wrong beforehand, which is easier to do with a solid IT infrastructure.
  2. Keeping Software Up to Date: It may seem like most software is being automatically updated these days. The truth is that you don’t have to go too many days without restarting your machines to experience gaps in protection. In many cases, once an alert has been issued, it’s up to users to take action and install the patch or update themselves. Educating your workforce about the importance of alerts is another way to ensure your business is adhering to regulations.
  3. Handling Mobile Devices: Since the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) lifestyle is here to stay, it’s clear that maintaining compliance is going to involve more than just securing the technology in your brick-and-mortar buildings and the communication that comes in and out of it. In addition to protecting your work-issued phones, laptops, tablets and other work devices, it is critical that you manage every mobile device that accesses your network remotely. Failing to do so could lead to costly consequences for businesses that are already struggling to maintain compliance.
  4. Managing Electronic Data Interchanges (EDI): As more business is conducted online and more organizations migrate to the cloud, it is becoming necessary for organizations to take action to protect customer information transferred between computers. Whether you’re transmitting healthcare records or sensitive financial data, protecting electronic data is the only way to stay compliant. EDI compliance is best managed by professionals and software that can help you avoid receiving hefty fines, losing valuable customers and even suffering from potential legal action.
  5. New Technology: Because everything is connected through the Internet of things (IoT), your business has to find ways to accommodate — and then secure — new, interconnected technology and the data that is generated along with it. Each technical innovation has the potential to introduce new roadblocks to compliance, so don’t forget about IoT security standards when planning for the future.

While it is nearly impossible to anticipate every compliance obstacle that may come your way, you should be prepared to handle as many of them as possible. Being proactive now means that you’ll enjoy peace of mind later.

Connect with Experts

When you are running a company, staying compliant is always on your mind. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Compliance is easier when you are partnered with a reliable MSP who can shoulder some of your most daunting tasks while you focus on growing your business. Avoid noncompliance by bringing in professionals who know the ins-and-outs of your industry and can deliver the compliance IT services you need. Contact us today to position yourself for stability and success.

The Top Three Reasons You Need Compliance as a Service

Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is an easy way to ensure you’re adhering to the government’s constantly changing regulations without all the fuss of handling things in-house. Staying HIPAA and PCI compliant is one of the most important things you can do to protect your business from violating these non-negotiable rules and suffering the related consequences—but it isn’t easy. It’s going to require more than just an encrypted password and a 2-step authentication to get the job done.

Getting CaaS will relieve you of this burden by providing a managed service that monitors everything to keep things stored safely so you can stay focused on your primary business goals. With a team of IT experts on your side, you won’t have to worry as much about whether your business is maintaining compliance. You’ll know it is.

Contact us to discover how CaaS helps organizations like yours stay compliant without all of the headaches.

“Without the support of a CaaS provider, many businesses spend excessive time researching regulation changes, managing data security and preparing documentation for regulatory bodies. CaaS can help keep this work to a minimum.” -Consolidated Technologies, Inc.

What Are the Top Three Reasons to Get Compliance as a Service?

1. Save Valuable Time: Keeping up with the latest regulations can really eat into your day. With CaaS, you are outsourcing not only a lot of time-consuming work, but also all of the in-house headaches that come with staying compliant. Spend less time learning about how regulations are shifting and devote more of your energy to delivering the excellent customer service that your clients and patients have come to expect from your brand.

2. Protect Sensitive Information: Improve cybersecurity and minimize digital risk with CaaS. IT will reduce your legitimate concerns about staying compliant and maintaining data privacy. CaaS allows industry experts to help you avoid data breaches through regular IT audits that identify vulnerabilities and make the appropriate corrections before it’s too late. Plus, careful monitoring means that providers can quickly address any issues that may arise.

3. Enjoy Automatic Updates: Everyone knows that staying current with such a dynamic federal program is one of the trickiest parts of maintaining compliance, which is another reason why CaaS is such a valuable service. With automatic updates, you’ll be able to rest assured that everything is up to date regarding the latest changes to industry-specific regulations.

Now that you understand the importance of Compliance as a Service, it’s time to get down to business and start taking advantage of its benefits. Securing CaaS is one of the best ways to simplify everything related to compliance, and we’re here to help you get started today. Our team of experts is on standby to alleviate compliance-related stress and address any of your concerns about ever-changing regulations. Contact us today to learn more.

3 Bonus Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan

What would you do if you encountered a fire, flood, ransomware, data breach, accidental file deletion or really, any disaster? Your entire systems could crash, your data could be compromised, and your employees and customers would be looking to you for answers. Creating a comprehensive disaster recovery plan (DRP) ensures you can answer those questions and give your people confidence. Smart businesses understand the importance of a disaster recovery plan and how it can keep your organization running in the event of any disaster, but strategic businesses realize the additional value that a disaster recovery plan offers. Learn three strategic benefits of disaster recovery that will set your company apart from your competition.

Discover more benefits of disaster recovery. Contact us today.

Benefits of a Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan

1. Cost-Efficiencies and Savings – One of the most significant benefits of a DRP is the long-term cost savings. A successful DRP includes preventative measures to reduce the risk of man-made disasters, detective processes to spot unwanted activity and corrective actions to quickly restore lost data and resume business as usual even after a disaster occurs.

2. Maximized Employee Productivity – Executing a successful DRP is often dependent on having the right people in a position to lead during a disaster. With specific roles and responsibilities assigned in advance, you’ll be able to act quickly to increase effectiveness and productivity. Your employees will also feel a sense of security knowing leadership has everything under control.

3. Greater Customer Retention – Your clients expect a lot from you, and in today’s world of competition, they’re not quick to forgive in the case of failure or downtime. If you’re unable to meet customer expectations, they can simply take their business to your competitor. A disaster recovery plan allows you to maintain your customer service quality, regardless if you’re faced with an unpredictable event.

The first step to gaining these additional benefits is making sure you have a proper disaster recovery plan in place. Our experts can get you started with a comprehensive DRP. We’ll work with you to fully understand your needs and develop a unique plan that can keep your business running no matter what the future has planned for you. Contact us today to learn more.

Data Backup Essentials: A COVID-19 Checklist

Businesses around the world are reexamining their business continuity plans in the wake of COVID-19, and that includes checking in on your organization’s policies surrounding data backup essentials. While you probably have methods for preventing data loss due to human error, system malfunctions or cybercrimes, you may not have been as prepared to protect your information during a pandemic. The need for sound data backup strategies has never been more apparent. Take a minute to go through our checklist of three ways to keep your data safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

Take advantage of the latest in data backup solutions. Contact us today.

Prevent Data Loss with the COVID-19 Backup Checklist:

Become Proactive About Data Backup Essentials

By now, your business has likely experienced some unfortunate disruptions due to the current pandemic. Between paying the bills, making payroll and keeping your clients satisfied, it’s easy to overlook the current state of your IT infrastructure. But neglecting to do so could be costly. There has never been a worse time to lose valuable data due to something as simple as human error. Think about the data your company couldn’t survive without, and make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect it by performing both automatic and manual data backups.

Educate Your Employees

When your workforce went remote, part of your company went home with them. During the COVID-19 crisis, many people are using technology in their homes in new and innovative ways. As they explore new programs and experiment with different set-ups, some of your employees may prove less experienced at handling data than others. Begin by identifying what your team members already know about backup solutions—and then ask them what they’re doing at home to ensure that data is not lost or stolen on their watch. Now is an excellent opportunity to go over best practices for data backup and recovery both inside the office and at home.

Identify and Rectify System Vulnerabilities

As more businesses undergo digital transformations, brick-and-mortar establishments are putting more data online than ever before. If your brand is facing virtual threats that you never anticipated, it can be easy to focus entirely on improving cybersecurity—and to forget about something as simple as performing routine backups as a result. Don’t let that happen to you during the pandemic. Do some investigating and see what you uncover and remember to repeat the process frequently. Backing up your data in more than one place is easier than it sounds—just make sure you’re doing it.

Protect Your Good Reputation

Yes, losing your data is a nightmare from a logistical standpoint. But losing your hard-earned reputation? That’s hard to recover from, especially during a tough economic crisis like the one presented to us by COVID-19. With clients threatening to cancel contracts and budgets shrinking by the minute, it’s more important than ever to back up your organization’s data and make sure you don’t suffer the consequence of its loss. Your customers entrusted you with private information, and its value to your bottom line cannot be underestimated. Don’t sacrifice that by forgetting to do something as easy as strengthening your current data backup solutions.

Preventing data loss should always be a top priority, but when so many team members are working from home during the COVID-19 crisis, backing up critical information has never been more important. Instituting best practices for data backup and recovery now will prevent you and your employees from dealing with additional IT headaches during these uncertain times. If you’re ready to learn more about data backup essentials or discuss how our other services might help your business weather the storm, please reach out today.

Don’t Wait Until After an Attack to Protect Yourself

From uniformed employees to cybercriminals, your digital business is constantly being threatened. Are you prepared for when that threat becomes an attack? Having a watchful eye on your information and having a plan in place if you are comprised is at the heart of digital risk management.

Prepare today so you can grow tomorrow.

Is Digital Risk Management Right for Me?

Digital risk management is a protection plan made to fit your business. From early risk detection and training employees to an action plan if an attack occurs, your MSP will work with you to make sure you are ready for whatever happens. Hackers are not picky; according to Accenture, 68 percent of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing. No matter how unique your business is, you are still at risk. Working with an MSP who can deliver digital risk management solutions is the best defense against evolving threats.

What Threats Should I Be Worried About?

Picture this; you’ve just fired an employee who feels you’ve wronged them in some way. They have the password and username to your most valuable client. Are you prepared for an attack if they were to give that information away? From disgruntled employees to ransomware attacks to skilled hackers, your evolving technology comes with evolving threats. We know how overwhelming this can feel, but there’s no need to panic. By having a digital risk management plan in place to detect threats early or to revive your business after an attack, you can worry less and grow more.

I’m A Small Company. Can I Afford This?

According to Verizon, 43 percent of breaches victims were small businesses. A digital risk management plan may seem like an unnecessary expense, but will you be able to afford to pay a million-dollar ransom for your information? And even if you get your information back, will you have enough money to rebuild? Although your MSP will work with you to build a plan within your budget that offers the best protection they can, know that investing in an excellent digital risk management plan can help you avoid losing money in the long run.

Let Us Help

Running a business means constantly juggling responsibilities. Let us take one off your plate. As your MSP partner, we’ll make sure your efforts stay focused on the continued growth of your business, not rebuilding it. Contact us today to create a plan for a worry-free tomorrow.

how to prevent ransomware attacks

How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a form of malware – or malicious software – that encrypts data and blocks access to your computer until you pay a ransom fee to the attacker. In most cases, the victim is told to pay the ransom within a certain amount of time or risk losing access forever. Cybercriminals are just that – criminals; which means paying the ransom doesn’t ensure you’ll gain access to your data or that it won’t happen again.

While the hype used to outweigh the actual risk, ransomware has grown to become a major concern for businesses of all sizes. According to a study by Cybersecurity Ventures, a new organization will fall victim to ransomware every 14 seconds in 2019.

Unsure if you’re at risk? Take this quick self-assessment:

  • I never open email attachments from unknown senders.
  • I double-check sources before clicking on social media links.
  • I don’t connect personal devices to the company network.
  • I keep my system set to automatically complete updates and patches.
  • I back up all files and important data at least three times a week.

If you answered false to any of these statements, then you’re at risk for a ransomware attack. But don’t worry, there are some precautions you can take for ransomware prevention.

Train Your Employees to Spot Malicious Links

According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 93 percent of all malware deposited on networks is due to an employee clicking on a malicious link or attachment in an email. Your employees are typically the weakest link in your cybersecurity defenses, but they don’t have to be. Security awareness training is vital to teach your employees to spot and ignore malicious links, phishing emails and common email scams.

Enforce Automated Updates & Patches

A scary reality of cybersecurity is that whatever you think is least important is what hackers will exploit. Outdated software or applications are a prime example. It’s easy to put off installing patches, but this leaves the door open for hackers to enter your system. Make sure all devices and systems are regularly updated with the latest security patches, don’t settle for default configurations and take the time to disable any features you don’t need.

Uncover Your Weak Spots with Penetration Testing

The only way to be sure your systems are secure is to test them against a real-world threat. Smart organizations conduct penetration tests where an authorized attack is made against its networks and computer systems with the purpose of finding and fixing security vulnerabilities.

Create a Reliable Backup & Recovery Plan

The best defense is a good offense and the most reliable way to safeguard your business against ransomware is to decrease the potential impact of one by maintaining a consistent and secure backup and recovery plan. Ideally, backups should occur daily and stored in three locations – on-site, off-site and in the cloud. You also need a clear recovery plan that allows you to restore your most recent backup immediately and help you get back to business as usual.

As ransomware continues to become more sophisticated and common, it’s essential for businesses to take smart steps toward ransomware prevention and detection. Contact StoredTech to learn how we can help you dramatically reduce a ransomware attack on your business.

Sabre Networks joins the StoredTech Team to Provide Enterprise IT Solutions

Stored Technology Solutions, LLC is pleased to announce the addition of Sabre Networks. Sabre is a North Carolina based IT Managed Solutions company. They have a customer centric focus, and share ethics and values with StoredTech. Sabre is joining forces with StoredTech to provide better buying power; the ability to provide deeper large enterprise solutions that can impact their clients; and to increase the level of security and stability. These additional services include telecommunications (both on premise and hosted), cloud based solutions using Microsoft Azure, security and access control, virtualization (disaster recovery), and more.

Sabre Networks was founded in 1996 by Tony Hayden. Sabre has provided managed IT support services to organizations across the research triangle region of North Carolina for over 20 years.

“At Sabre we are excited about the additional resources and expertise that we can now bring to bear,” stated Tony Hayden of Sabre Networks. “Stored Tech has a very deep bench of technical talent that will only enhance our service offerings in the Triangle.”

“We are thrilled to have Tony and his firm Sabre Networks joining the StoredTech family, stated Mark Shaw, President of StoredTech. “Their commitment to customer delight makes them a natural fit. We already work with companies throughout the United States. We are excited to have on-the ground resources in the Research Triangle.”

The business-friendly opportunities provided by North Carolina and Research Triangle Park plays a major role in this decision. StoredTech feels that North Carolina outpaces most of the country in this regard. Shaw said, “Our long-term vision is to continue to strategically grow with customer centric organizations that share strong ethical values such as Sabre Networks.”

About StoredTech

StoredTech is IT solutions firm that is driven by the belief that we are successful when your systems are up and running without interruption. StoredTech has hundreds of clients in the Healthcare, Municipal Government, Manufacturing, Services and non-profit sectors. Community outreach is extremely important as a collaboration center was opened in 2016 to inspire and educate; play and create.

Dear Business Owner, it’s Time to Learn About Unified Communications

No matter the size of your business, we bet you’re walking a tightrope to keep budgets in check and still meet the demands for increasing efficiencies and responding to customer needs. You may have even seen your IT budget rise as you try to keep up with all of the new programs and software for phones, project management, communication and collaboration.

If you’ve been in business for a while, you’re probably feeling a little frustrated. But, believe it or not, it’s possible to simplify your systems and save your money. We have a solution for you: unified communications.

What are Unified Communications?
Unified communications (UC) involves a set of products that provide a consistent, ‘unified’ user interface and experience across multiple devices and media types. Many organizations are already using various independent elements of a UC solution, such as VoIP (Voice over IP) or specific features like presence of find me/follow me. However, UC is about integrating these elements with the right product suites to create a more complete solution that brings efficiency and cost savings to business processes.

Unified communications (UC) refers to the integration of communication tools that help people exchange ideas and do their jobs more effectively.

This definition from PC Mag can help you visualize how it works:
“[UC is] the real-time redirection of a voice, text or e-mail message to the device closest to the intended recipient at any given time. For example, voice calls to desk phones could be routed to the user's cellphone when required. E-mail intended for a desktop mailbox could be sent to the user's PDA or turned into speech for a phone message."

Benefits of UC Solutions for Businesses

  • Connect a remote and mobile workforce: See if another colleague is in a meeting, on the phone, or where they are geographically on a map. Then, check their calendar, link them with a customer or vendor, and track the entire interaction without ever hearing a dial. Whether you’re in a cubicle, a home office, or on the road, UC makes it easy to stay connected from anywhere on any device.
  • Communicate more effectively: Use any computing device from anywhere in the world and connect to your company phone system without long distance charges. Instant message coworkers, listen to voice mail, or send and receive video calls in a seamless unified interface. Make your mobile device an extension of your corporate network to keep everyone productive, no matter where they are.
  • Reduce your OpEx costs: UC can save you money! Think about all of the one-off fees you’re paying for separate project management, collaboration, video conferencing, or cloud storage platforms. What if they could all be bundled in just a handful of powerful product suites designed to work together? In assessing the right system for each unique client, we often identify ways to reduce OpEx costs and ensure software licensing, upgrades or other ‘extras’ are all cost-effective and appropriate for your needs. Or, we may find you have hidden features in programs you’re already paying for that you’re not capitalizing on.
  • Improve your customer service: Are email and a traditional one-to-one dial tone phone call your only customer service platforms? It’s time to step up your game. The right UC solution can improve your customers’ telecommunications experience with your business. Some potential features available include call queues, incoming call data, easy routing to the right employee, and seamless integration with soft station features such as VoIP and screen or file sharing.

How to Assess a UC Solution for your Business
At StoredTech, we help our clients assess several things when looking for a UC solution that’s right for them.

First, we’ll work to understand the features your team needs for success, such as routing voicemail to email, call forwarding, or single-number reach (Avaya phones, etc.).

Then, we’ll utilize our long-standing vendor relationships to select a companion system that allows you to integrate calendars, scheduling, online file collaboration, or video conferencing (Microsoft Office 365, Skype for Business, etc.).

In the review of what’s right for you, the element we’re most concerned about is the ability for your system to scale. We want your investment to last, thus it’s critical that you have the capability to add or remove components such as software, accessories, applications and more as you evolve and change. While you may not need all that a UC system can bring to you today when your company hits that growth spurt, you’ll be grateful you had the foresight to work with a trusted IT advisor to design a scalable solution.

The Nuts and Bolts You Need to Start a Conversation
Change isn’t easy, and UC can feel like a hurdle for some companies. To help you kickstart the conversation in your organization, we’ve boiled it down into a few ‘must know’ messages.

  • UC can connect a remote workforce, improve communication and collaboration, reduce OpEx costs, and enhance customer service opportunities.
  • With UC, you can seamlessly integrate everything from instant messaging, calendars, and secure email to SMS messaging, audio/video conferencing, and screen sharing.
  • UC isn’t a new topic – if you’re using VoIP, Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, or any cloud-based application you’re already part of the way there. But, if you’re paying for these tools for some employees but not all, upgrading one-by-one, or signing up for monthly subscriptions you’re not really sure about…you’re probably wasting money. UC means finding a suite of products and integrations that reduce your bills and enhance your capabilities.

Businesses of all sizes are discovering the benefits of unified communications solutions that extend the capabilities of the tools and programs they’re already using. Think beyond the office desktop and conventional dial tone, and consider the taking a step that could make your IT system a competitive advantage for your business.

Talk to an IT Advisor today and we can assess the untapped potential your company has in unified communications.

StoredTech Hosts Live Unified Communications Demonstration

On April 27, 2017, StoredTech invited local IT leaders and business owners into its Collaboration Center for Beers and Gears, an event designed to bring people together and show off the latest IT solutions for communications and collaboration. With a focus on integrating Microsoft Office 365 and Avaya phone systems, it was a ‘dramatic’ evening as the company’s engineers pulled out their acting skills in a live skit.

The ‘actors’ showed how cloud-based collaboration tools can help multiple remote individuals work seamlessly together to solve real-life problems for their customers. While based on a fictional scenario at an airport, the functions are shown in the skit – video conferencing, file sharing, multi-way calls, and find me/follow me chat – are usable in common business settings.

Many of the features used in the skit are already available to Microsoft Office 365 customers, such as Skype for Business. Adding an Extreme Network and Avaya phone system expanded the capabilities and exponentially increased the communication and collaboration potential. Or, as Alan VanTassel said, “helps customers get more out of their IT investment.”

VanTassel talked about the company’s rationale for hosting Beers and Gears. “At StoredTech, we like to call ourselves your IT Advisor. Because, with new technology coming to market all the time, it can be challenging for business owners or IT leaders to stay competitive and ahead of the curve. With events like this, we can deliver the information you need to make educated decisions for your business.”

During the demonstration, Doug Gillson, vice president of infrastructure, talked about what the latest updates to Office 365 and Avaya phones can do for customers. “This is an exciting time for businesses as new, enterprise-quality tools are becoming available in realistic, small business pricing packages. These cloud-based platforms offer impressive flexibility as more and more of you work from home, on the road, or are growing through remote offices. What’s important tonight is to see that increased productivity and team collaboration is already at your fingertips.”

After the live demonstration, guests enjoyed food and drink from Coopers Cave Ale Company as they tried out the programs themselves at various hands-on stations. Interested guests learned about how to apply the tools to their unique business as they engaged with StoredTech’s engineers and vendor partners from Avaya, Extreme Networks, and Plantronics, an audio communications equipment company.

Reflections on 2016

Normally, I prefer to look forward and share my thoughts about the technology advancements and new opportunities the new year might bring as well as the potential pitfalls that I can help our clients avoid. However, a long drive back from Virginia to upstate New York got me reflecting on the significant changes we saw in 2016.

First, people who haven’t spent much time in this part of the country (or those who haven’t managed to escape the city much) may think of this area as one big metro after another. Actually, there are a lot of rural areas from mountains to rolling farmland. It’s a feast for the eyes, but I also enjoy listening to the radio while I drive, and reception can be a bit of a challenge in spots.

While “scanning the dial,” I stumbled across something called Federal Radio. This station carries programs dedicated to offering advice to businesses, mainly small, looking to win contracts with the federal government. The segment I caught was all about cloud computing. The content wasn’t deep, nor could it in any way have been considered “thought leadership,” but it left a lasting impression on me nonetheless.

At StoredTech, we do a significant amount of business with government agencies as well as the businesses that serve them. Just a couple of years ago, we were assuring these organizations that the cloud was a safe, secure place for applications and data.

Now, the message from this station was “if your application can’t be deployed in the cloud, don’t bother selling to us.” If the federal government has taken a cloud-first attitude, that tells me the cloud is here to stay.

The Cloud Hits Mainstream
We’re seeing a huge uptick in interest in the cloud both from first-time cloud customers as well as from those looking to expand their presence in the cloud. In Right Scale’s 2016 State of the Cloud Survey, 95% of respondents were using a cloud of some form or another. If that sounds high, rest assured it’s not an outlier. Other studies tend to show rates of between 80 and 90%, often depending on what types and sizes of businesses make up their sample.

We work with businesses from large, multi-national organizations to smaller mom and pops. While some of them are early adopters of new technologies, many of them are cautious and reasonably risk adverse. Almost all of them have dabbled in cloud computing with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. This was a no-brainer for applications like expense reporting that weren’t dealing with mission-critical data. These days, however, we’re seeing a lot more interest in moving core applications like Microsoft Office (Office 365) and even CRM and ERP to the web. It helps that Microsoft has a very convincing and thorough cloud security message that spans its applications and infrastructure resources. Microsoft Azure has been around for a while, but 2016 was the year Microsoft hit its stride with their public cloud platform.

With security less of an obstacle to cloud adoption, the path has been paved for small and midsized businesses to confidently adopt the cloud in increasing numbers and for a greater percentage of their workload. In 2015, Forbes claimed that 78% of small businesses will have fully adopted cloud computing by 2020. I think cost concerns may drive the percentages may be even higher.

One reason so many of our clients have adopted cloud computing is that it allows them to reclassify a capital expense as an operating expense and is easier on their budget. Instead of shelling out hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in hardware that will be outdated within a couple of years—if not sooner—cloud computing allows you to pay a monthly fee for infrastructure and applications that are continually refreshed. (By the way, ensuring your hardware and applications are up-to-date not only improves performance, but it also helps thwart the latest security threats.)

We’ve had more than one client come to us, asking for a proposal to replace their existing hardware. We’re happy to give them one, but often with the caveat that we believe they would be better off in the cloud. It’s not always the case with every situation and every application, but when we feel it is best for them, we don’t hesitate to say so. Thankfully, most of them take us at our word. Our bottom line suffers a bit, but it’s the right thing to do.