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Office 365 and The Cloud

The recent Office 365 outage highlighted reasons why using the cloud exclusively is not always the ideal solution for everyone. It’s great to be able to pull data from anywhere in the world, but if you can’t place an order or send out an invoice, the cloud has rained on your parade.

Most of you likely didn’t notice effects from a recent Office 365 outage that affected getting email on your computer or mobile device. You have had trouble getting and sending email, but hey, we always seem to have problems. Still, it’s no reason to give up on Office 365, which we like a lot, or give up on the cloud. The cloud enables a business of any size to access records and all sorts of data files, use applications, and collaborate to conduct business from anywhere. It’s the engine that drives virtual offices and connects a company’s workers and clients or customers in the same way, regardless of whether you’re in 2 or 200 locations and cover 2 or 2 million people.

When you’re at the smaller end of the spectrum, Office 365, for example, gives Microsoft a large enough customer base to provide the same resources that you’d find in an international conglomerate. By leveling the technology field, it gives more people access to the world of commerce.

To break it down and probably oversimplify the technology, Microsoft Azure makes it all happen. In a company of any size – or even a family of home users – it syncs everyone’s passwords to access email, applications and data. It provides multiple layers of security, and through a process known as SSO (single sign on), Azure makes all of those levels of security talk to each other. That communication, which is transparent to non-technical users, is what makes it so easy and convenient to use the internet.

As the tech industry develops better artificial intelligence, Azure and similar services will also drive innovations that will lead to the elimination of passwords while increasing security. AI looks at patterns and can analyze whether an abnormality is a one-time event or if there are multiple occurrences that demand a quicker, harder examination.

For all those reasons, we believe a hybrid computing environment may make sense for small offices and home users. Office 365 with a backup of data files to Azure puts a vast amount of resources to work for you to maximize your efficiency for work or play – and to keep your identity and data secure.

But if you are a business that requires a lot of employees to access sensitive data, you may want to keep the data and applications local – on a server – to keep access away from the internet. Keeping it all inside minimizes the risk that one person’s carelessness or mistake will open a breach in your security. You can still have your server send data to the cloud as an effective backup process, and you can still allow certain employees to access files on your server or in the cloud from remote locations, but strict controls will minimize opportunities to breach your security.

We can advise you on whether to implement a cloud-based technology system, a hybrid system or a strictly on-site system and help you implement it. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to talk about it.