What are the Advantages of Migrating to the Cloud?

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In recent times, the cloud’s popularity has exploded and led to the cloud becoming a must-have infrastructure for a significant amount of businesses. Given the sudden mass-adoption of the cloud infrastructure, you may be left wondering whether or not, you too, should migrate.

In this post we will be taking a look at the biggest advantages of migrating to the cloud, so that you can have a better idea of whether or not migration is the right decision for you.

What are the Benefits of Cloud Migration?

There are many key features that make businesses choose to migrate to the cloud. Some may be very useful to you, others may not matter as much for your particular business. Here are some of the key advantages of cloud migration:

  • Lower Costs – By not having to buy traditional physical hardware, you can be saving a significant amount of money by using the cloud infrastructure. You also won’t have to worry about maintenance costs like with a traditional system. The common pay-as-you-go style system also means you’re only paying when you need to utilise resources, as opposed to constantly paying for a licence that isn’t going to be used all the time.
  • Scalability – A huge advantage of cloud migration is the scalability it provides. You can start out on a small scale and adjust according to the resources you need. This is much quicker and simpler than a physical system and it means you’ll never need to worry about running out of resources.
  • Mobile Access – One of the more obvious benefits of cloud migration is the remote access it provides. You can access your files and systems from anywhere with an internet connection. This is vastly different from traditional systems where you would need to be on the same network.
  • Automated Backups – Should you ever have an issue with lost or corrupt data, you needn’t worry nearly as much if you’re implementing a cloud system, most cloud systems will automatically backup your business data. You can choose how regularly you want your data to be backed up based on your needs.

Our Recommendations for Cloud Migration

If you’re planning on migrating over to the cloud, there are various things you can do for added efficiency and security during the migration process. Here are a few things Appoly recommend for a smooth migration:

  • Encrypt Files – For added security during the migration process, we recommend you use an encrypted file format when moving files between servers. By encrypting your files, you are ensuring that even if your files were to be lost, stolen or hacked, nobody else will be able to access them.
  • Only Migrate the Necessities – Before rushing to migrate everything within your systems, we recommend you first filter through your software and data and decide, based on usage and necessity, which items you need migrating and which items might be best kept on-site. Doing this will save time and money, making your cloud migration more efficient.
  • Utilise Professionals – If you’re not comfortable with performing the migration yourself, you should always use a professional to perform the initial migration. Your data is an important asset to your business, and saving a few pennies isn’t worth giving your data to an attacker, or losing it altogether.

Contact Appoly for Cloud Infrastructure Services

If you feel your business could benefit from cloud infrastructure services and would like to speak to a professional, get in touch with Appoly today and we’ll happily discuss your cloud migration plans and answer any questions you may have regarding the service.

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How is AI Used in Business?

Many businesses now are choosing to implement AI into their processes in order to increase efficiency and reduce the amount of man-power needed to complete tasks and operations.

Whilst so many have found it to be an incredible investment for their business, a lot of people are still confused as to what it really is and how it can benefit businesses.

In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the definition of AI in the workplace and exploring the uses of AI and how it can be beneficial for businesses.

So, How is AI Being Used in the Business World?

AI in business is all about improving efficiency within the workplace. So, imagine you own a shop.

You have your inventory in the back and your profits in the till. It may be hard for a person to keep track of all the stock and finances at the same time. But with machine learning and AI, a system can be put in place to monitor all sales, incoming stock and other factors.

This means you can automate the re-stocking process because your system will already know when new stock should be ordered in and can send the order out for you.

This is just a very simple example of AI in the workplace, but the best is yet to come.

What are Some Creative Ways That AI Could be Used in Business?

There are some AI systems out there that are capable of some very intuitive tasks.

For instance, if I was running an online clothes shop and had various returning customers on my site, my AI system could monitor what type of items they’ve been looking at and search for particular patterns in their shopping habits.

Let’s say for instance, every June this person looks for sunglasses and shorts, the AI will know that and serve them up sunglasses and shorts fitting the price range and style that this customer would be looking for.

Another creative way that AI is being used in business is with chatbots.

To save time and money, many businesses are now turning to automated chatbots when dealing with customer enquiries.

These AI chatbots are able to process data and use it to provide meaningful and helpful responses to customer queries.

This AI is rather powerful and will only send the customer to a human employee if it can’t resolve the customers issue(s) which, in most cases, it can.

Is AI a Good Investment for Businesses?

There is no doubt that in the future, AI will be a very widely adopted technology in the business world, but if you’re thinking that it might not already be a good investment, you may be wrong.

At this moment, AI is already very capable of saving businesses vast amounts of money.

The fact that machine learning can automate so many business processes means that human employees can focus on other areas of their job, and therefore save time and money in wages for the business.

Contact Appoly for AI Development Services

If you feel that your business is one that could stand to benefit from AI automation in the workplace, get in touch with Appoly and one of our expert team will be happy to discuss your project, your goals and how our AI development services can help you to reach them.

We’re always happy to discuss your project, whether it’s big or small, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

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What are the Benefits of Having a Website Developed for Businesses?

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Do you own or manage a business that has no website? If so, your business isn’t quite the business that it could and perhaps should be. There are many business benefits to having a website; namely the much larger customer base that can come from a well developed and marketed site.

In this post, we will be discussing our favourite business advantages of having a website developed. Whether you’re a small business or a well-established large business, a website is vital if you want to expand and grow your business or even just keep up with competitors.

Analytical Data

One of the great advantages of having a website for your business is the access you have to analytical data from your website. You can gain a great understanding of what your customer wants based on many factors such as what pages they spend most time on, how long they spend on each page, what they searched for in order to land on your site and more.

This data allows you to better understand your customers wants and needs, and therefore, you can market yourself in a tailored way based on how your customers behave.

Free Advertising

You’re likely to be familiar with online advertising – display ads appear in all corners of the internet, but that’s not strictly what we’re talking about when we say, “free advertising”. We’re actually referring to the many ways that you can have your website found online by potential customers. All without having to spend a penny.

By having a website to sell your business, you are enabling yourself to be found on many free directories, search engines, social websites and more. None of this needs to cost you a penny; if you have a quality website that is well optimised and active online, you’ll naturally pick up on many new potential customers that otherwise may never have heard of your business.

Information

If you want to keep all your clients/customers informed with your latest business updates, it could be a tedious task if using traditional methods such as phone calls or messaging. Having your own website enables you to inform everyone simultaneously on the latest updates.

All you need to do is head over to your blog/news area, add your post and publish it. For additional coverage you can also share the link to your new post on your social media accounts.

Always on

A huge benefit of having a website for businesses is the fact that they’re findable all day, every day. This means that anybody who may be looking for your products or services can find them at all times of day, whether they’re searching on a Tuesday afternoon, or the early hours of a Sunday morning.

This is a far more accessible system than your traditional brick and mortar only business, which may be only open during daytime and closed all weekend. The more accessible you make your business for potential customers, the more likely it is that they will become actual customers/clients.

Contact Appoly for Website Development Services

If your business needs a professionally designed and developed website, get in touch with us and let’s discuss your project, what you want and what our expert team can do to get you there.

We’re always happy to discuss your project, and with many years of experience in creating tailored websites, apps and programs for a very satisfied client base, we’re sure we can turn your ideas into a successful reality.

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3 Key Ways IoT Can Change Your Business

Recently, we’ve seen a huge surge of talk and excitement surrounding IoT (Internet of Things) technology. Despite all the anticipation, many people still don’t completely understand what it’s all about and what the uses of IoT could be.

In this post, we will explore what IoT is and we’ll give some examples of how IoT development could be applied to business for improved functionality.

 

What is IoT Technology?

IoT stands for Internet of Things. In short, it is just a network of physical devices.

IoT enables physical devices to connect and communicate with each other. An example of IoT would be your fridge, let’s say you accidentally left the door open and the temperature inside is rising. If the fridge is IoT enabled, a temperature sensor inside could detect the change and contact your phone via the internet to tell you that the door is open. This is a very simple example which just scratches the surface of IoT’s capabilities.

 

Could my Industry Benefit from IoT?

A simple answer is, yes, your industry could benefit from the implementation of the Internet of Things. IoT covers such a wide range of technology that it is almost guaranteed that in some way, your industry could, and probably will be improved by IoT.

 

So, How Can IoT be Applied to My Business?

There are a few key things that all businesses have and/or need. These things can become more efficient with the use of IoT. Of course, if we were to go industry specific, Internet of Things technology could have even more helpful use cases. For now, though, let’s just discuss a few ways that IoT will most likely be useful to your business:

 

  • Security – There are many ways in which IoT could be used to improve the security of your business. Let’s say you have an office, shop or stock room, etc. You obviously don’t want people to find their way inside once you’ve left the premises, this is where IoT can help. If you had an IoT enabled security system, sensors and/or cameras could detect when an intruder is trying to get in, then you could have the camera feed appear automatically on your phone or smart tv. This would make you instantly aware of the intruder, allowing you to call the police and have the issue dealt with before things get out of hand.

 

  • Financial Management – If you’re running a shop, restaurant, café or something along those lines. You could befit from a smart till system, especially if you’re off-site often. This system could keep track of money going in and out of your tills, as well as tracking card payments. This would be a very useful Internet of Things system to have in place, as you could be notified on the spot if any suspicious activity were to occur. Or you could just use it to remotely manage and monitor your business’ financials.

 

  • Improved Data Systems – IoT can drastically improve the efficiency and accuracy of your business’ big data systems. By having all your business devices transferring data into your systems you can have a more accurate and instant input into your systems. This improved efficiency and accuracy means that you can monitor more closely what is helping your business and what is holding it back. You can adjust based on this data and improve your overall business functionality on a constant basis to suit the current climate at that time.

 

So When Should I Implement the Internet of Things?

It is predicted that by 2020, 30 Billion objects will be connected to the Internet of Things, so we suggest that you consider implementing IoT as soon as possible, this should give you the edge over your competitors.

 

Contact Appoly for IoT (Internet of Things) Development Services

If you want IoT development for your business, or you’d like to discuss a potential IoT project and see if it’s the right option for you. Get in touch with Appoly and we’ll be happy to go through your project with you and discuss how we can help get your project off the ground.

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What is GDPR and How Will It Affect Your Business? – GDPR Simplified

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What is General Data Protection Regulation?

If you’re a business owner, you’re likely to have heard a lot of talk recently regarding GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), there has been a lot of speculation and confusion out there surrounding what GDPR is and what it will mean for business owners.

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It is a new set of rules being put in place on May 25th 2018 by the European Union (EU) and as such, all EU countries will have to follow these regulations by the enforcement date. For EU businesses this is very important as these guidelines are being put in place to regulate what businesses/companies can do with public data and how they are allowed to collect it.

In this article, we will explore exactly what regulations will be put into place with the implementation of GDPR, what they mean for you, what the repercussions of breaching regulations will be and how you can ensure that your business is compliant.

What Types of Data Does the GDPR Act Regulate?

GDPR regulates how you collect and use two types of data:

  • Personal Data – Any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person. *
  • Sensitive Personal Data – Data consisting of racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation. *

(*Legal Definition)

Which New General Data Protection Regulations Affect My Business? – A GDPR Checklist

There are a few main ways in which the General Data Protection Regulation act differs from the Data Protection Act. If you are already compliant with current data protection laws, these are the new things that you’ll need to consider:

  • Consent – You must always have clear consent from an individual in order to use their personally identifiable information (PII). This consent must be positive and unambiguous. You must not allow somebody the opportunity to accidentally opt-in by using leading tactics such as pre-ticked opt-in boxes and other similar methods.
  • Data Protection Officers – For many companies, it will become mandatory that you have a data protection officer in place. This applies to you if you have 250+ staff members, if you are a public authority, if you deal with sensitive data or your main focus is data.
  • Individual Rights – The new GDPR regulations have a strong focus on strengthening the rights of individuals, individuals must now be made aware of a breach of their data within 72 hours of the breach occurring. They must also be given the right to have their data deleted, ported or to have the usage of it restricted. You should also ensure that you’re only collecting personal data when it is necessary for the benefit of the individual or in order to fulfil a contract between you and the individual.
  • Fining – The maximum fine for a breach is now either €20 million or 4% of your annual turnover, depending on which figure is largest.
  • Documentation – It is now going to be vital that you keep evidence of all your data protection systems and activities. You must be able to provide proof via documentation that you have taken the necessary steps to assess data breach risks and prevent a breach from occurring. You will also need to have evidence showing what you’re doing with personal data, how you’re handling it and that you have clear consent to hold and use all personal information within your systems.
  • Liability – GDPR rules state that all parties involved with handling, transferring and/or using an individual’s data are responsible to take liability for that data. This means that if you are receiving an individual’s data from a third-party, you must ensure that they properly received consent for that data and handled it correctly.

Will GDPR Still Apply to the UK After Brexit?

Simply put, yes, the new data protection regulations put in place by the EU will still apply to those in the UK after leaving the European Union unless the UK government decide to opt-out of or alter any of the existing GDPR regulations.

Conclusion

As stated above, GDPR regulations are similar to the Data Protection Act that is already in place, only with several new regulations to consider if you’re a business owner. If you already abide by the current data protection laws, you’ll only need to follow these new additional rules in order to ensure that you’re compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation act.

Disclaimer

At Appoly, we do not offer licensed or professional legal advice and as such, this article should be used for research purposes only. We do not take any responsibility for the operations of other individuals or businesses. If you are unsure of anything discussed in this article, please do your research and/or seek licensed legal advice.

You may also wish to review the regulations directly on the GDPR official website.

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