Tag: computer upgrades

Cloud Applications VS Installed Software

Cloud Applications VS Installed Software

In the past when a person needed new software such as Microsoft Office, they would simply travel to their nearest retailer and purchase a brightly-colored box with a CD and a license key inside. The next transition from this became visiting a website, purchasing online, and downloading a file directly from the website.

And now it seems that we have hit the next phase. Applications now are going a step further by not requiring a download or installation at all, but by logging into the application via the internet. Welcome to the Cloud!

So what are “Cloud-based Applications” & How Does it Work?

We often see the term SaaS. SaaS is a term for Software as a Service; meaning that instead of buying software in disk form, you are paying for a service that is provided to you. You are no longer getting a CD and installing it on your computer, but accessing it by visiting a website and logging in.

So are Cloud-based Applications Really Better than Installed Versions?

There are certainly advantages to moving to the cloud. Small businesses should really look at their goals and potential growth and evaluate their current network situation. Contacting a local IT company to help with this evaluation would also be beneficial.

Some of the benefits of cloud-based applications include:

  • Less maintenance required
  • Reduction of start-up costs
  • Regular updates and patches, performed by the vendor
  • Reliable backups controlled by the vendor
  • Ability to access your data from multiple locations and devices
  • Flexibility; typically a per user fee.  Only pay for the users you have accessing it.

Questions to Consider:

As with any network changes, there are questions you should consider before making a switch in platforms. Again, it is always wise to involve your IT department or company to help with an evaluation beforehand.

System requirements; even cloud-based applications may have onsite needs. If so, what are they?

Network compliancy; is your environment compliant with current, up-to-date devices? This can be your PCs, the browsers that you use, and most importantly, your internet connection.

HIPAA compliancy; Do you require HIPAA compliancy and does the cloud provider you’re considering offer it?

For the most part, changing from an installed version to a cloud-based version should be a relatively smooth transition, especially if it is still with the same solutions provider or vendor. And as we are now seeing, it is becoming the current trend with most providers to move in this direction, forcing our hand so to speak.

The biggest point to make here is that if we don’t stay current with our technology, we only open ourselves to potential security threats or “old tech” that just keeps breaking. Staying current with your IT will help eliminate your downtime.

“Should I or Shouldn’t I?”…Microsoft Windows and Network Upgrading.

“Should I or Shouldn’t I?”…Microsoft Windows and Network Upgrading.

Network Upgrades: Priority or Unnecessary?

Here we are again.  We are at that point where technology leaders such as Microsoft has made updates and changes that will affect networks everywhere. It began with the arrival of the Windows 8 OS and continued with Office 2013 and Exchange Server 2013.  And of course, let’s not forget the sad departure of our dear friend, Windows XP, just around the corner.  He was both popular and reliable, but his time has come to leave us.  So that leaves us with the question that everyone is asking…”Do I really need to upgrade my equipment?”

Is Your Company Fighting the Network Blues?

There are multiple issues to look at when determining your upgrade priorities.  Let’s look at a few of them individually.

1. Operating System (OS)– What OS is running on the majority of your workstations?  If you’re using Windows XP, final support will end in April of 2014.  For end-users, this means no more updates, security patches or general support from Microsoft.

2. Applications – What applications does your business run?  Are they dependent upon a specific OS?  A lot of applications are joining the crowd and moving to the cloud.  Your key applications need to be evaluated and their requirements checked with what you are currently running and what you are considering.

3. The Network Server – Just as your workstations, you need to consider what OS is on your server versus what applications you use.  For example, did you know that if your server runs Exchange Server 2003 and you purchase Office 2013 for a new workstation, your copy of Outlook 2013 will not run your Exchange email?  It’s a compatibility issue.  It’s just one thing of many that needs to be considered when looking at network upgrades.

4. The Cloud – Everyone is talking about moving to the cloud lately.  Having access to software and files regardless of your location and less maintenance and upkeep are just two of the benefits customers are looking at.  Of course, the more you rely on the cloud, the more it will change your networking goals.

The final point is, every business wants to save money.  Spending money unnecessarily on technology can set you back.  But at the same time, not doing upgrades that are necessary can cost you time, money, production, and worst of all, maybe even your data.  All network upgrades need to be thoroughly planned. If you’re not sure, find someone that will do a free, no-obligation network analysis such as CMS IP Technologies.  An analysis will look at both your hardware and your software and give you a list of your options.  If you’re interested in reading more about the Windows XP end of support, you can find a good article at .