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Connected in Every Direction

November 21, 2016

Whether your business is an early adopter of leading-edge technology or not, these essential tech trends aren’t going away. Consider how you can better connect with customers, run operations more smoothly, and protect your information with these emerging innovations.

Connected in the cloud. 

Cloud technology enables businesses to move all or a portion of their processes to the digital space. Utilizing online storage for warehousing and accessing data keeps information on demand but out of the business’ physical location. Some estimates show that as many as 93% of businesses are using cloud-hosted services, probably because of its enticing benefits: connectivity with other systems, mobility, and low-hassle maintenance. 

Business intelligence. 

Connected customers equates to trackability—with analytics and business data even more accessible thanks to cloud-based apps and services. Evaluate your customer and sales analytics with the latest wave of cloud-based tools that can track real-time user data. Thanks to connected devices, you can both improve workflow and embed greater efficiencies.

Customer interactions. 

Customers and clients increasingly use mobile devices to access the web—which is where they’re connecting with businesses. Embedded communications and connected devices put people directly in touch with each other—through programs like Skype and WhatsApp—but also with businesses. Customer service is going to the next level because of this connectivity, with users able to immediately connect with a company through a mobile device or app. Ensure your company’s storefront is easily navigable for customers and communications.

Safety and Security 101

More and more, the cloud is the go-to platform for storing enterprise data. But how can you ensure your information is safe? In essence, cloud storage—or online data storage—is no more risky than storing information locally, unless your business doesn’t have an internet connection. Manage risks by practicing due diligence in selecting a cloud provider. 

 >Confirm safety practices, including application-level security, firewalls, antivirus detection, multifactor user authentication and data encryption, and routine security audits. Your provider should make security a priority. Also ask about their practices in the event a data breach occurs.

 >Be specific about your industry’s regulations. Any cloud provider should give in-depth consideration to compliance issues your industry faces—such as data and patient privacy in healthcare. 

 >Learn about the physical space where the cloud is hosted. Ask if the vendor has SSAE 16 certification, which ensures compliance with industry security standards in regards to customer privacy, as well as data center security.