Storage: Cloud versus on Premise

The battle continues when it comes to data storage cloud versus on premise. It can be as difficult as comparing apples and oranges at times because of the root differences between the two. On-premise storage has been used for much longer than cloud storage, but many think cloud storage is the storage of the future. Each option has their own set of unique advantages and disadvantages. How do you know what is right for you? First of all, you need to know the differences.

How they are AccessedOne of the most obvious differences between cloud storage and on-premise storage is how you can access the data. In traditional on-premise storage, the data is installed on a user’s computer. They are able to access it from their machine from that point forward. With cloud storage, you access the data via the internet. You login to a portal and your data is there. This means you can access your data from multiple devices and there are many easy ways to collaborate and share the data you are working with on the cloud.

Payment Options Another big difference with cloud versus on-premise storage is the way and amount you pay.  When you choose on-premise storage you pay upfront for a certain amount of hardware for storage and once you purchase it, it’s yours to use how you will. With cloud options, you oftentimes pay as you go, or pay monthly. If you need more storage, you can usually up the amount no problem and see a small difference in your payments. The benefits of this are there is a lower cost of entry as compared to on-premise storage and the ongoing costs, such as maintenance, are much lower, even though you are paying annually.

Security When looking at cloud versus on-premise, security concerns need to be discussed. On-premise storage can be infiltrated by a virus, but the concerns with data loss with cloud storage are much more prevalent. The best way to alleviate the concerns with cloud storage is to make sure it is encrypted. This will ensure no one without permission will access your data.

Impact on Employees The cloud storage has the ability to alleviate internal IT needs. Your internal or outsourced IT team will then have more time and resources to focus on higher impact projects. Your non-technical end users will benefit from greater flexibility – they will have the ability to access their data from anywhere anytime. Automatic updates are an advantage that on-premise cannot provide that benefit your technical and nontechnical team. The collaboration and cross-departmental communication is made easier when you use cloud storage, as well.

Integration When using a cloud or even hybrid storage solutions, you are opened up to scalability and easy integration. Platforms, such as iPaaS (integration platform as a service) need only APIs to connect you to business critical applications. Your data, in turn, can be put to use with powerful business intelligence capabilities. Ultimately it all comes down to what works best for your particular organization. Make sure to do your research so you can understand all of the ins and outs of each solution.  Consider your long term strategy as it pertains to technology, data and operations. The decision you come to might not be the same as the other guy, but your business strategy and plans likely aren’t identical, either.

Predictive Analytics: What you Need to Know

Predictive analytics are an incredible tool to implement in your business. By taking existing data and statistical algorithms you can learn the likelihood of future outcomes. Predictive analytics can be put to a number of uses in your business including identifying trends, understanding customers, improving business performance, driving strategic decision making, and can even help predict behavior. These results aid in operations, risk management, marketing, and even fraud detection and security. With the growing amount of data available to companies now, it is becoming more popular to take this data,

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turn it into predictive analytics, and produce valuable information. Big data has had a big impact on many areas of business and customer analytics is no exception. When you set out to understand your customer, you set out to strengthen your company. Understanding what your customers are going to do is becoming a vital part of being successful and predictive analytics are the best way to gain reliable forecasts of the future. There are three main steps to gaining predictive analytic:

  1. To get started with predictive analytics, it is important to identify the problem you want to solve. Ask yourself this question: What do I want to know about the future based on the past?
  2. Once you have finalized the problem you want to shed more light on, it is time to get the data. The data you use to predict future outcomes can be gained from a number of places including third party information, transactional systems, sensors, mobile apps, social media, call center notes, weblogs, and even integrated software. This step of the process can be tedious and time-consuming, but without good data, you will not gain accurate outcomes. Because there is so much data out there ready to be put to use, have someone who is experienced in data management help you with this process.
  3. Now that you have your data it is time to create a model that can put it to use. Some easy-to-use software applications exist to aid you in this process but you will still need to have a data analyst to finalize the model and make sure it is the most effective one for the results you want to yield.

Getting your predictive model to the point where it can be used takes the expertise of a couple of specialized individuals. Although this entire process is driven by technology, you need to take a team approach to getting it off the ground. You will need to have someone who understands the issues your business is facing and how a solution could impact your company, someone who can understand the right data to create the model, and an IT specialist to deploy the model. All of these individuals need to be able to clearly communicate their expertise to the others. By utilizing predictive analytics, you stand to gain insights that can strengthen your bottom line. You can better design programs or products and align content to help you customers the way they need and want to be helped.

SaaS Decoded

  Before SaaS, companies were required to buy, build, and maintain all of their IT infrastructures. Each and every software solution they needed, they had to buy and maintain- no matter what the cost. Keeping up on all of the newest industry trends became not only taxing but incredibly costly as well. It was hard for companies to stay competitive because their IT budgets had to account for all of these software expenses. This all changed when SaaS became popular. But what is SaaS, exactly? And what are the real benefits?<!--read_more--> SaaS stands for software as a service and it has really caught on in recent years. SaaS was a big turning point when it came to IT for companies because no longer do companies have to buy and maintain their entire infrastructure. Companies can now plug into shared infrastructures via the internet and get all the software applications they need with less cost and less maintenance. The two biggest negatives of buying and maintaining all IT infrastructures were solved with one solution. SaaS is cloud based, versus on premise. This is why the connectivity is so straightforward. SaaS is made available to customers over a network- usually the internet. A perk of this model is global accessibility. You can access your software anywhere, anytime. A common fear when turning to a SaaS provider is about owning data. When you put your data on the cloud through a SaaS provider, you still own your data 100%, just as you did before. Automatic updates and patch management comes standard with SaaS. Because of this, all users who connect to an application through SaaS will have the same version of the software. Compatibility issues are erased. You no longer have to maintain your own software, taking time from other business critical tasks. Why do we love SaaS? To put it simply- it’s simple. SaaS deployment is a carefree and cost effective way to stay on trend. To take it to the next step, iPaaS, or integrated platform as a service, takes those SaaS solutions and integrates them. The subscription model that SaaS has still stands, but now all of those solutions can be accessed and integrated from one hub. The benefits of integrating your solutions are numerous and they start with business intelligence. The business intelligence, reporting, and analytics made possible through iPaaS providers is an absolute game changer. Making more informed, and therefore, better business decisions, has the ability to carry your business to the next level of success and earning. The big data collected through the many channels possible does you no good if you cannot apply it. Business Intelligence through integration on an integration platform does just that- it helps you apply your big data by making sense of it all. SaaS has opened the door to a whole new way of acquiring the business essential applications of your industry. SaaS has the ability to be the foundation for better ways to do business in the coming years.