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Cloud

  • 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...

  • It’s time for Africa’s digital dragons to spawn in the cloud

    Earlier this year, technology research house Gartner released a report entitled “Taming the Digital Dragon” as part of its 2014 CIO Agenda. In it, it suggests that if CIOs don’t respond quickly to a tsunami of digital opportunities, they will be washed away – but if they do, untold success lies in store. The problem is, that for much of Africa, the digital dragon has not yet been born, let alone soar aloft. If we’re going to awaken the slumbering digital dragon on this continent, we’re going to have to spark a new generation of African solutions and opportunities. And...

  • Is the cloud the real victim in celebrity image leak scandals?

    Unless you’ve been ignoring the Internet for the past month, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the iCloud hack that has resulted in the leak of countless nude celebrity photos. But what actually happened? Essentially, the hackers found a loophole in the iCloud service that didn’t limit the number of incorrect password attempts. So all they had to do was use one of the vast selection of free applications available on the internet built to guess common passwords (generally from an existing library of known favourites) until one of them worked; this is also known as ‘brute force’. Once they gained access...

  • Cisco Systems: 5 cloud predictions you should really know about

    Global network giant Cisco Systems released its latest findings and forecasts on cloud computing between the years 2013 and 2018. From personal videos and photos to supporting business infrastructure, this technology is lowering costs all round, and it isn't planning on rolling on its back any time soon. Here are some interesting trends Cisco's research found for the next few years: 1. Traffic will triple Firstly, by 2018 data centre traffic will triple with cloud representing 76% of the total traffic. Moreover, by 2018 half of the world's population (a fat 7.6 billion) will have access to the web. Half of the world's...

  • Cloud giants Dropbox and Microsoft get snuggly for better Office integration

    Two of the world's most popular online storage giants -- Microsoft and Dropbox -- are forming a partnership for better integration. Considering that Microsoft has its own cloud storage product, OneDrive, one might say that this is like a parent spoiling someone else's kid because they are more popular at school, really. In the next few weeks, the integration will launch with new versions of Office for iOS and Android and will allow users of both services to save into Dropbox directly from Office and edit Office documents directly from Dropbox. Dropbox offers a brilliant service and is mostly efficient, a...

  • Alleged Dropbox leak sees 7 million user passwords compromised

    Dopbox -- the massive online storage sharing service -- has reportedly been hacked, resulting in nearly 7 million password leaks -- over 2% of the cloud giant's customers. The company is denying it got hacked, though thousands of username and password pairs have already been leaked on Pastebin, giving us a taste of what's to come. In a statement, Dropbox denied any hack, saying that the passwords are old and probably expired: Recent news articles claiming that Dropbox was hacked aren’t true. Your stuff is safe. The usernames and passwords referenced in these articles were stolen from unrelated services, not...

  • Now, more than ever, the cloud makes a ton of sense in Africa

    With flexibility, rapid deployment and low cost, cloud computing continues to take the world by storm. These are also all very good reasons why cloud computing is ideal for those companies which are expanding into Africa (and, of course, for domestic African businesses). But while the concept of cloud is as good here as it is anywhere, the make or break comes down to good governance in service specification, implementation, management and support. While there are a lot of unique factors in African business, none of them make for any excuse not to consider cloud. That may come as...

  • Cloud PoS in Africa: if it doesn’t work offline, it doesn’t work

    Cloud computing is sweeping the world as more and more companies seek to gain the advantages of reduced hardware investment, lower maintenance, ease of provisioning and reduced costs. But moving into the cloud usually comes with a pretty serious qualifier: the connectivity has to be very good, or it doesn’t work at all. In environments such as point-of-sale (PoS), this is particularly important, because when queues form and checkout operators start stressing, business is not going well. That’s why the only cloud point-of-sale solution which works in Africa, is the one which works just as well even when the...

  • Cloud: a new world is emerging for Africa

    A lot of myths pervade when it comes to cloud in Africa. In the not-so-distant past, to get their technology infrastructure up and running, companies would purchase or license all their business software and run applications from work PCs or access these programs from the company’s server, located inside the building and protected by a firewall. Today we see more and more businesses moving over to online services to access the same applications over the Internet through cloud Computing, because of the convenience and cost savings advantages that come with online services. Some of these advantages include the fact...

  • Quit questioning cloud security, it’s all down to how you use it

    Cloud computing is secure. There, I’ve said it. It may sound like an obvious thing to say for someone who works at a company specialising in ensuring a smooth, reliable and secure network, but there are still misconceptions about cloud security. The exponential growth of data and where to store it is still a concern for a lot of organisations. Putting your information in local storage or cloud-based offerings shifts, but doesn’t necessarily reduce or increase the security risk. In a highly dynamic environment, with services being able to pop up and be removed on demand, it’s going to...

  • Where to for Dropbox after the iCloud bombshell?

    It's no surprise that Dropbox has been frantically working to ship products that aren’t a commodity cloud syncing service… Carousel, its app that strings together and orders all your photos and videos in easily-searchable galleries is, perhaps, the first example. Its acquisition of Mailbox needs to be seen in this light too. Expect more. Why? Because the price (and value) of bog-standard cloud storage is going to zero. It's already a commodity. (And the irony is Dropbox helped turn it into one.) Dropbox retains a monopoly on cloud storage simply because, until now, the (mobile) platform owners have been so bad...