File Sharing: 4 Reasons You Don?t Use Consumer Grade

As the digital transformation begins to?gain traction in the market for business technology. File sharing continues to lead many to a more efficient work path. Starting with file?sharing through iCloud, and Google cloud.?Followed by the Dropbox adoption, and now into Slack’s interface, using drag and drop mechanics, with?little permissions around sharing or asset management.

File sharing services are very common these days, and it?s easy to see why. These online services provide an easy way to store files in the cloud, where you can readily access, and share them, from a variety of devices. Many of these services are free of charge, too ? up to a point.

For personal files, these solutions do a great job, since they are free! If you?re only sharing personal files ? vacation pictures or non-sensitive personal communications ? security is?NOT a paramount concern. But beware of using consumer-grade solutions for your business.

These personal file sharing services are a prime target for hackers, and you owe it to your business, and all your business contacts to protect data you?re storing and sharing.

For businesses that want to use the convenience of file sharing apps, it is wise to make sure the solution you choose has business-level capabilities such as:

  1. Encrypted data ? keeping data safe, during editing, in-transit, and at rest.
  2. Controls ? not every user?s needs are the same, and not every user?s privileges should be the same.
  3. Customization ? it should appear to the people with whom you?re sharing information that the program you?re using is a part of your company ? not a ?freebie.?
  4. No Such Thing as Free ? at some point, your organization will reach a scale where these solutions can no longer be viable.
    1. (Dropbox & G-Suite are capped capacity, unlike?similar O365 variants)

Clare Computer Solutions?can help your company get set up for a business-grade file sharing solution, tailored to fit your business needs -?Contact us?today to get started.

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Hybrid Infrastructure Makes Cloud Migrations More Strategic

Cloud computing holds great promise for the future of information technology (IT). As the technology matures, and the install base grows, more businesses are choosing to mix on-premise and cloud environments, to create a “hybrid infrastructure.”

Demystifying Hybrid Infrastructure

Most businesses are finding their existing IT infrastructure is not suitable to move to the cloud entirely. Issues with bandwidth, latency, and compatibility have?made?many companies realize that often, moving everything into the cloud it isn?t the best solution. This requires businesses to do some advanced planning, to maximize the benefits of the cloud. Here are some things to consider:

Analyze Current Infrastructure

What applications does your business rely on to function day-by-day? How does it handle sales, marketing, ordering, shipping and receiving, research and design workloads? How do your employees interact with clients, colleagues, and suppliers? How is data stored, where is it stored and how is it backed up? Of all these applications, which will provide benefits if moved to the cloud? These answers to these questions will?help?your businesses plan to make the move from on-premise to hybrid infrastructure or, possibly, in the long-term, from hybrid to a fully managed cloud.

Consider Bandwidth and Latency

Different programs handle data in different ways. Sometimes the data that flows to the end user device is in small increments. Other times, a large amount of data must be sent to the user’s device(s) often and quickly. Bandwidth matters, of course ? a large data pipe can move more than a smaller one. If large amounts of data need to traverse long distances, latency will degrade the user experience, and impact productivity, and responsiveness.

Consider Reliability and Redundancy

The more your business relies on singular data connections, the greater effect an ?internet down? event will have. Connection schemes should be designed with reliability in mind. It should be set up for a quick fail-over if the primary circuit ever has problems. Of course, this is a good argument to have assets already in the cloud. If the office connection goes down for any reason, many businesses can have people work remotely.

The advantages of cloud computing are real, but it takes careful?planning to fully realize the benefits. Choose the cloud strategy that provides the most benefit for your business, with a trusted partner. Clare Computer Solutions can help you migrate appropriate workloads to the cloud ? contact us today to get started.

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

The offices of The Department of Homeland Security released a statement, designating October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Known to many in the IT industry, the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) partners engagement and education through events and initiatives to raise awareness of the importances of cyber security. With tools and resources used by many to stay protected online and increase your defense.

Clare Computer Solutions is very involved in helping clients ensure they have the tools and education to mitigate the risks from a variety of cyber threats. The NCSAM website has some tools, too ? and they break them into separate toolkits for a variety of users. They call this the ?StopThinkConnect Toolkit? ? they have some very sensible advice.

Here?s the URL to access these tools:?

Busy executives may find it difficult to take the time to go over these materials in detail, but Clare Computer Solutions can definitely help. We can have a conversation with you, learn about your business, help you pinpoint your major concerns around cybersecurity or any technology, and help you devise a road map to prepare your company to avoid problems with cyberattacks.

Threats include malware (viruses, worms, ransomware), and hacking. The consequences can be business disruption, destruction of data, and theft of data. These threats come in from a variety of places ? from sophisticated hackers getting through a firewall, to unwitting employees clicking on an email attachment.

Your employees, your colleagues, and especially your customers, are counting on you to take the proper steps to protect your business. It all starts with a conversation ? contact us to get started.

Cyber Security Awareness month

When Is it Time to Call an IT Consultant

When is it the right time to call an IT?consultant? As information?technology?continues to change, the lines can be blurred as to when your business should bring in an IT Consultant. Any modern business with more than a handful of people has an IT infrastructure, and this has been the case for at least a decade. What has changed, is people are generally more familiar with technology, and the technology itself has become more user-friendly. Many aspects of maintaining that infrastructure?have grown easier.

Another change is the depth to which technology has permeated?business operations. It?s not just crunching numbers anymore, or word processing. Technology affects every aspect of a business, from marketing to operations, accounting, and communications. This should?be seen as good thing, but managing the IT infrastructure has not become easier. With clouds, and SaaS, VDO, DNS, VMWare, it?s no wonder companies drift off course.

This is where an IT consultant can make a huge difference for your company. Even if you have an in-house IT staff to deal with parts of your network, there are some areas where a consultant can add tremendous value. Here are a few of them.

Strategic Planning

Despite IT being an integral part of most businesses, we don?t see many hiring IT staff with business skills.? An IT consultant can help you align your IT initiatives with your business goals ? going beyond technical details and guiding IT decisions and plans with a business context.

Multi-Vendor Management

Most infrastructures contain equipment and services from a variety of vendors. This is fine ? you should choose the products and services your business needs. But all these things have to work together, reliably, for your business to really realize the power of this technology. When things go awry in a complex environment, vendors often default to an ?not our fault? mode, making sorting out of responsibilities and next steps, a real struggle. A consultant can aid in unraveling issues that span, several vendors? products and services.

Hybrid Environments

The cloud is here to stay, but most businesses aren?t moving everything to the cloud, for a variety of reasons. For businesses that are considering moving workloads to the cloud, an IT consultant can help by evaluating a company?s existing IT environment and devising a cloud strategy to determine which workloads should be moved to the cloud, when to do it, and how to manage the resulting hybrid environment.

Clare Computer Solutions has helped hundreds of companies in the San Francisco Bay Area grapple with the complexities business encounter with regards to technology, and helped companies integrate IT into their business operations to provide the best advantages. We can help you, too ? and it all starts with a business discussion. Contact us today to begin the process!

Hybrid Infrastructure Trends Towards “Everything-as-a-Service”

For years, Information Technology (IT) focused on physical platforms ? the computers and the software that ran on them.

IT costs were capital expenditures that purchased these products initially, and as they reached the end of their lifespans, more capital expenditures were incurred to replace them.

This was the normal way to do business and this model was the standard?for decades.

The rapid changes in physical platforms led to an undesirable result: companies found they had equipment that was considered obsolete more quickly, than ever before, and that drove costs up, to try and keep the infrastructure modernized.

Sometimes companies try and beat this trend, by over-buying computing capacity, in the hopes that a company could grow into it before the hardware became obsolete. As server virtualization became more common, and internet bandwidth came down in price, this opened up a new paradigm ? buying IT capabilities as an ongoing service.

This?had several appealing characteristics:

  • Increased agility ? it?s fast and easy to build out computing capacity in the cloud, and it?s easy to adjust that computing capacity, so companies can buy only what they need when they need it. Some services can be allocated dynamically, too.
  • The shift of IT expenditures from capital expenditure to operational expenditure ? this makes managing cash flow easier.
  • Decreased consumption of space and power for physical servers in the office.
  • Protection from hardware and software obsolescence ? the cloud provider handles ensuring up-to-date versions of hardware and software are being used.


Does this mean companies should immediately put all their IT workloads in the cloud?

Of course not, for several reasons. First, your existing infrastructure could be a year or more away from obsolescence. Or your business may have specific applications that do not lend themselves well to cloud computing.

Many businesses opt for a hybrid infrastructure, with some services delivered by the ?as-a-service? cloud subscription model, and others through on-premises infrastructure. Regardless, cloud services present a win-win scenario for businesses to utilize the best technologies to make their?business run better and compete more effectively in their market. Clare Computer Solutions has been helping companies realize the power of technology for over 25 years ? we can help your company, too. It all starts with a conversation ? contact us to begin your transformation.