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Cloud

  • ‘Because the CEO said so’ and 9 other cloud myths to avoid

    Cloud, schmoud, right? If you’ve been nodding your head sagely anytime the cloud comes up, while quietly thinking to yourself “what does cloud even mean?”, rest assured you’re not alone. No clear definition of cloud computing is still very much a challenge, and is partially down to "cloudwashing" -- calling anything and everything “cloud computing”. This is according to David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow at Gartner Research, speaking at the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015 in Cape Town. Some more reassurance: according to Smith, the number one inquiry at Gartner is "what’s a cloud strategy and how do...

  • 7 ways the cloud will help African manufacturers enhance their competitiveness

    Whatever the size or specialty, manufacturing companies across Africa are under pressure to grow revenues, reduce costs and increase profitability. Yet many of them are constrained from achieving these goals by years of under-investment in technology. Struggling with legacy systems and manual processes, they lack the business insights, streamlined business processes, and supply chain integration that will allow them to accelerate growth while reducing their cost basis. With margins under pressure, many African manufacturers have not had the appetite for large-scale enterprise resource planning (ERP) initiatives. They have feared that the consulting and infrastructure costs would be prohibitive, that the implementation...

  • Why the cloud is the next big leap in the evolution of accounting software

    Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen the business software market evolve at a rapid speed, moving from basic DOS-based solutions with text-based interfaces to rich and attractive graphical user interfaces. Now we’re seeing the next shift in the market as businesses start to transition away from running software on their own standalone PCs or servers towards accessing it online as a cloud service. Cloud computing is essentially all about the move away from buying a software suite that you install on your computer towards accessing the software you need over the Internet and on a web browser, wherever...

  • 3 tips for keeping Microsoft SharePoint relevant in the era of the cloud

    Clunky spreadsheets. Cluttered network drives. Unmanageable mailboxes. Issues that many businesses have in common. It’s also important to point out that email, once seen as the saviour, is not a business process contrary to the way many might try to use it. In the era of cloud-computing solutions like Asana and Podio have been quick to jump on the collaboration bandwagon – aiming to help businesses get organised and work better together. It’s also something that SharePoint has been doing within bigger businesses for more than a decade. Now that it’s available as part of Office 365, it’s certainly worth exploring this versatile...

  • Don’t be blinded by the buzzwords… why choosing the right cloud provider requires a critical approach

    Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs released a study which projected that spending on cloud computing infrastructure and platforms will grow at a 30% compound annual growth rate from 2013 through 2018, compared with five percent growth for the overall enterprise IT market. This is a staggering number, and reflects the growing importance of cloud computing in the enterprise IT equation. Along with such growth, however, come a host of service providers with varying quality and credibility. As a result, in a landscape that is becoming increasingly crowded and competitive, choosing the right supplier is critical. For business leaders taking...

  • 5 reasons to ditch tape backup in favour of the cloud

    Today’s businesses generate more data than ever before, forcing them to back up their information more often. While the weekly tape backup might have worked a decade ago for files and servers, it doesn’t anymore. This is because tape backup does not accommodate the software and service component of online applications like Office 365, Salesforce and Google Docs. As more vendors move their services into the cloud, it makes sense for modern businesses to ditch tape backup in favour of the cloud. Here are some of the ways cloud solutions overcome tape restrictions. Cloud covers all the bases Tapes can only back up...

  • 8 ways cloud services have changed the world

    In the past 18 months we have seen cloud computing enabling great innovations both in consumer and enterprise products as it has become the new normal for organisations of all sizes. Cloud is now the engine room for inventions by young businesses as well as transforming established companies into lean, fast moving innovators. It is safe to say cloud computing is already having a broad impact. Despite all of the amazing innovation we have already seen, we are still on Day One. In the second half of 2015 and beyond cloud will power exciting innovations...

  • Cloud data services: new ways to create value

    Cloud data services are growing extremely rapidly as users around the web utilize the cloud to improve internal sharing, data analysis and grow the overall businesses. Optimizing cloud services is becoming more critical which has in turn made choosing rules regimes or self-service analytics very important. At the same time, data is growing exponentially which means that administrators must get a handle on their analysis methodology before the volume of data gets out of control. Industry giants such as Salesforce and Zendesk are using cloud data services as well. Salesforce and Zendesk integration for third party standards...

  • Don’t assume you know it all: lifting the lid on the hybrid enterprise

    Compared with IT even 18 months ago, we’ve come a long way. The hybrid enterprise is the new kid on the block – largely due to advances in ‘as-a-service’ solutions changing the way organisations approach their storage, application management and networks. It’s important to first clarify what we mean by the hybrid enterprise. In short, it is a mix of on-premise and cloud/SaaS apps that use MPLS and public Internet connections. The data and applications are located in a combination of data centres, branch offices or the cloud, depending on which location is most efficient for them to run...

  • Cloud or bust: how ERP is changing

    The world is going cloud crazy and it’s not difficult to see why. Where enterprise resource planning software is concerned, the old paradigms of immense cost, lengthy deployments and fiendish complexity are giving way to no capital expenditure, greater flexibility and reduced maintenance – and from that, a new competitive landscape is emerging in which there will be winners and losers. The winners will be those vendors which have designed their systems from the ground up for the cloud; the losers, those who are stuck with solutions which were always intended for on-premise deployment. And while most ERP vendors...

  • 10 tips for keeping your data safe in the cloud

    If you choose a credible cloud software provider, it will host your accounting or payroll applications and data in a secure data centre underpinned by world-class technology. This will free you from doing backups, buying and installing new versions of the software, and fencing your data behind high security software. Yet that doesn’t mean you can neglect information security in your business. You’ll still be using your own devices to access the cloud, so there are some security vulnerabilities you need to take care of on your side. Here are a few ways to protect your business from data security...

  • When choosing a cloud backup provider, it’s vital to ask the right questions

    Data backup is a little like buying car insurance. You may never need to claim but it is statistically likely that you may have to. When that happens, you want a quick settlement so that you can get back on the road or, in the case of data backup and recovery, get back to business. Most businesses will lose valuable data at some point. This could be through hardware failure, accidental deletion, file corruption, viruses, hackers, stolen equipment or natural disasters. But many businesses are not prepared for disaster – and the consequences could be devastating. Recent Symantec research found that...

  • Apple iWork, iCloud now available to everyone

    Anyone with an Apple ID can now access productivity tools like Pages, Keynote and Numbers for iCloud, regardless of their device. This cross-pollination of productivity apps is becoming ever so prevalent ever since cloud services such like Google Drive and Office Online, which are accessible regardless of the user's operating system, became more and more widespread. Last year Microsoft's Office suite -- specifically Word, Powerpoint and Excel -- became the most downloaded apps after they were introduced to iTunes with very cheap price tags. This move essentially enabled Microsoft to "hijack" Apple's users. Last time checked, Google Drive is saw over 190...

  • Cloud or bust: How ERP is changing

    The world is going cloud crazy and it’s not difficult to see why. Where enterprise resource planning software is concerned, the old paradigms of immense cost, lengthy deployments and fiendish complexity are giving way to no capital expenditure, greater flexibility and reduced maintenance – and from that, a new competitive landscape is emerging in which there will be winners and losers. The winners will be those vendors which have designed their systems from the ground up for the cloud; the losers, those who are stuck with solutions which were always intended for on-premise deployment. And while most ERP vendors...

  • Local cloud solutions are definitely the best option for global call centres

    The call centre has evolved from a ‘transactional’ department into a multi-faceted, social hub of customer service excellence and become a true differentiator for the wise business. As customer service requirements have shifted and evolved over the years, so has the technology behind the call centre. But in some cases, it’s the evolution of technology that has driven the evolution of customer service. Take cloud technology for example, it has made setting up and managing the contact centre much simpler, cheaper and less risky. It has allowed businesses to focus on customer service rather than the technology behind it, and has...