Modern businesses rely on technology to support their operations. Recent studies concluded that over 80% of business-related information and other resources are now stored in the cloud. The availability of cloud infrastructure through services like AWS and GCP means even home businesses can leverage the power of cloud computing to streamline business processes.
As businesses rely on technology more, the demand for tech proficiency and the effective implementation of solutions grows as well. Today, you can measure if a company is well-managed from how it implements and uses technology. There are several technical signs of a well-run business and we are going to review them in this article.
Security as a Process.
As mentioned before, over 80% of business-related information is now stored in the cloud. This means working with a managed IT services provider to implement information security is even more important than before. Everything from having a suitable backup routine to adding sufficient security measures to your cloud environment is crucial for your data safety.
Backups are the foundation of good information security. Even when the cloud services you use are reliable, you still need to maintain multiple backups to allow for easier disaster recovery. After all, it is much easier to restore business operations to their ideal state when you have complete backups of business files.
Devices must also be sufficiently protected. Keeping operating systems up to date, adding anti-virus and anti-malware software, and installing additional security measures are equally important. Security requires the involvement of everyone in the company, especially when you have a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy in place.
Security as a process also requires a good understanding of how to maintain maximum security. All team members must know how to handle sensitive files, how to share information in a secure way, and how to protect themselves – and the business – from cyberattacks and other threats. You must have a secure business cloud environment.
There are countless business solutions available on the market. Popular ones like Salesforce and Trello are commonly used by companies as part of their everyday workflow. You too can benefit from using business solutions. Switching to a CRM like Salesforce, for example, lets you more effectively track leads as they go through your sales funnel.
Still, choosing the right solutions to use is the easy part. While there are specific tools designed to tackle specific business challenges, the best way to really benefit from cloud-based solutions is through integration. Fortunately, many of the services available on the market are designed to be easily integrated, either through an API or other means.
When different solutions are integrated, you can fully control the flow of information from one platform to the other. Your CRM system can send data to your marketing automation tool for broader automation of marketing campaigns. Even repetitive tasks such as writing sales reports can be fully automated with the right set of tools.
With the broad availability of cloud services nowadays, setting up a company server no longer means investing heavily in hardware and setting up on-premise clusters. The low entry barrier, however, doesn’t mean you can neglect cloud security; it’s the exact opposite. You have to configure your cloud cluster with security as a priority from the beginning.
There are many things you can do to have a secure cloud environment. Many cloud service providers offer best practices and security checklists you can follow. Simple tasks such as keeping your cloud operating system up to date, securing the scripts you run in containers, and ensuring security compliance are parts of the process.
Cloud service providers like AWS also offer a wealth of tools to help you secure your cloud environment. Amazon CloudWatch is a good example. CloudWatch is a logging and monitoring tool designed to help make monitoring even the most complex cloud architecture easy. The platform also has a security console to help you make necessary security changes.
One IP for All.
Speaking of complex cloud architecture, businesses are no longer limited to only one cloud service either. Multi-cloud is now a popular concept and there are tools to help you configure different cloud environments for specific purposes. You can run your databases on top of Oracle’s cloud service while keeping the computing parts of your application in AWS EC2.
Still, multi-cloud – and hybrid cloud, another popular concept – doesn’t mean allowing all of your IP addresses to be exposed. The use of a proxy server is another sign of a well-managed business. Under any circumstance, only one (or a handful pre-defined) IP address gets shared with the public. The proxy server acts as a middleware, bridging your internal system with external servers.
A proxy server offers additional features too. You can use it to balance the traffic coming to your cloud environment. Load balancing is an essential feature for maintaining network performance. When your e-commerce site receives a sudden flood of new users, you don’t have to worry about the site not performing optimally due to network bottlenecks.
Note: Don’t confuse a proxy server for the cloud with a web browser with proxy – the latter is for surfing the web only.
There is no doubt that technology is an inseparable part of business operations. If you want to keep your business well-managed with the help of technology, these are the common characteristics you need to introduce to your business processes.