February 2011
In this issue

Cloud Computing for Small and Midsize Businesses

Preserve and Protect Your Data

Thinking About Hiring Your Own Internal IT Staff - Think Again!

Master Your Thinking

Business Continuity Tip
Master Your Thinking and Beat Bad Moods
by Marlene Chism
used with permission - www.stopworkplacedrama.org


Let's face it; a bad mood impacts your personal effectiveness. If your mood is not kept in check you can damage important relationships in the workplace and beyond. Moods are simply a manifestation of energy.

I like Eckhart Tolle's definition of emotion: "Emotions are the body's reaction to the mind." If you agree, then it makes sense that in order to beat a bad mood you must master your mindset, or your thinking.

What if you could reprogram your brain so that you don't experience bad moods as often?

One way to master your thinking is by learning how to ask a better question.

Read On

Continuity Tip

Final destination(s).

Building a robust recovery plan is all about establishing redundancies (for your staff, technology, communications, etc). These redundancies need to extend to recovery sites as well. When considering a temporary office recovery site you must think of the worst case scenario. Fact is, your obvious first choice may not be available during a large-scale event (think New Orleans post-Katrina, and Manhattan following 9/11).

Take some time to brainstorm multiple location options. Think creatively about how isolated vs. local vs. regional disasters may impact where and how you recover. For example, do you have a good relationship with a vendor in your supply chain? Maybe they can help you out in a pinch. Do you have access to flexible office space like the offerings that Agility provides? Can your employees work remotely? If so, how long before inefficiency creeps in?

The bottom-line is - don't hinge your entire plan on a single recovery site. Flexibility is key.

Quote for Today

If we had no winter, the spring
would not be so pleasant.

Anne Bradstreet

Just for Laughs

Cloud Computing for Small and Midsize Businesses
reprinted with permission from the HP Small Business Center

You've no doubt heard a lot about cloud computing (or the cloud). What you may not have learned is how this misty concept can help with the real problems of operating your business, especially in hard times.

In short, cloud computing offers attractive options for small and midsize businesses that need critical IT upgrades, but may lack the cash for a large capital investment.

Through the cloud, you can add new, vital applications or you can supplement the capacity of an existing infrastructure. Because cloud services are delivered via the Internet (often the Web) you only pay for the features and functionality you use and don't pay for extra hardware, software, staff and maintenance. As a result, your business can grow its IT capabilities, often at a lower cost than doing everything itself. And you can pull the cost from your operating budget rather than your capital budget.

So what is cloud computing exactly, and why is it significant to small and midsize businesses?

Understanding the Cloud
The cloud can deliver software-as-a-service (SaaS) or supplemental infrastructure capacity, such as data storage space or processing power, all on-demand via the Internet, usually the Web. Cloud services don't require that you purchase dedicated hardware and software or manage those particular applications. You simply pay for the functionality, sometimes as a flat monthly fee and sometimes by metered use.

Read On

Preserve and Protect Your Data

As the amount of data being created continues to increase, and that info is accessed and shared by more people, SMBs can't afford to ignore the need for data protection.

Small and medium businesses are powered by information.
Should your business lose that information or even suffer an interruption in access, it can have serious consequences. When it comes to protecting their electronic data, some SMBs feel they are at a disadvantage because they lack the large budgets and dedicated IT staff that many large enterprises enjoy. While this may be true, that doesn't detract from the fact that SMBs face the same fundamental data protection concerns as large businesses, as no business is too small to be immune to data loss. As the amount of data being created continues to increase, and that info is accessed and shared by more people, you can't afford to ignore the need for data protection.

According to a report released in March by the IT Policy Compliance Group, 20% of organizations are suffering from 22 or more sensitive data losses per year. There are a number of ways in which a business' data can be lost, destroyed, corrupted, or rendered inaccessible. It can happen when a natural disaster—such as a hurricane or flood—occurs. Hardware failure or theft can also be to blame, as can external threats like viruses, worms, or hackers. File or software corruption can also affect data stability. However, the IT Policy Compliance group cites human error as the most common reason for data loss; unintentional user error and policy violations were the most common reasons.

Regulatory reasons
Aside from good business practice, there may be more reasons to protect your data: regulatory obligation. Depending on the size and industry of your business, it may be subject to government regulations like HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), which require businesses to employ strong data management and security measures. HIPAA regulations outline security procedures and solutions that healthcare-related businesses should use to protect private patient data. If you are a publicly traded company, or if you do business with a public company, then SOX requires you to keep stringent IT controls over financial records, and have the ability to provide records that demonstrate that IT control if requested.

Read On

Thinking About Hiring Your Own Internal IT Staff –
Think Again!

Outsourcing your IT brings additional business value
by Stuart R. Crawford, V.P., IT Matters, Inc.

Businesses today wrestle and grapple with the thought of hiring their own technology support staff to support their daily need for IT support without fully understanding the risks and the costs associated with having their own team of technology professionals.

Business owners, C level execs and Managers are attracted to the idea of having a team or a consultant readily available within shouting distance down the hall, basically having an IT resource committed to them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, many of today's business owners across the country are not aware of the total risks their business is exposed to by electing to bring their technology support in-house.

More often than not it is purely a cost based decision, on the surface it may appear to be more cost effective to hire a consultant or employee who is committed as a full time employee. CFOs and Accounting Managers often look only at the cost of having their IT outsourced and or attracted to hiring someone for a few thousand dollars a month as part of their staff will save their company in the long run.

So what are the advantages of having an IT Partner who focuses on delivering a complete managed technology solution? There are a number of immediate benefits over having a full time employee. These benefits include:

  • The average technology professional with five years experience may be worth $60,000 a year. This is great when you looking at the bills from your IT provider and see that you have probably spent paid the same in their consulting bills for only a fraction of the time. When a business elects to go internal, a $60,000 salary now buys the business one person and not a team of professionals offering depth in expertise and knowledge.

Read On


Idealogical Systems Inc.
2900 John St.- Suite 400 |  Markham, ON  |  L3R 5G3  |  416-410-5030  |  www.idealogical.com