BusinessProductivity

Returning to the Workplace after Covid-19

As businesses reopen their workplaces, one of the challenges is streamlining their IT processes and managing costs. This is on top of re-thinking office layouts for physical distancing and other employee safety guidelines.

Not only that, businesses need the agility to pivot back to a secure remote work environment if needed.

Then there’s the need to manage and balance operational expenses and capital expenses. Especially on the IT side. There’s a lot to consider. But when it comes to IT processes, the right productivity software or apps and tools can support businesses’ in their reopening efforts. 

Let’s take a look at how Microsoft 365, Google G Suite apps and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) can help a business stay agile.

Maximizing Microsoft 365 and Google G Suite

Since the apps offered under Microsoft 365 and Google G Suite are used to produce information, they’re often referred to as productivity software or productivity apps. While a business may use office productivity software, it may not be cloud based or on the same productivity platform.

For example, a business may operate a traditional on-premise server model. With an Exchange server for their email and calendaring, but use Slack for their chat or Instant Messaging. Yet, for their video conferencing they use Zoom and File Server or SharePoint for their file storage. The business in this example not only requires more IT knowledge,  but also more support, time and resources. Not to mention, the integration of these different platforms can be tricky.

By consolidating all productivity apps under one platform like Microsoft 365 or Google G Suite, it reduces app management. Plus it makes updates and security on Email systems, such as MS Office 365, easier. Reducing a business’s overall IT costs.

Also, Microsoft 365 and Google G Suite are both cloud based technology solutions for emails, calendars, meeting scheduling, cloud storage, video conferencing and Instant Messaging. 

The added bonus of maximizing Microsoft 365 or Google G Suite means businesses can manage their costs by moving to a CapOp model versus a CapEx model on ageing hardware and licensing.

Why consider Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Businesses should explore working with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) if their goal is reducing IT costs and increasing responsiveness. 

Using VDI means running employee (end-users) desktops on a Virtual Machine (VMs), which is hosted in the cloud or an on-premise server. Essentially, VDI helps an employer reduce their hardware costs. 

With VDI, a business’s employees can use their own devices. Eliminating the need to provide employees with company issued devices. Plus, the employer does not need to manage the devices their employees are logging in from. This reduces the costs associated with securing, managing and supporting the end user’s hardware.

By considering ways to consolidate productivity apps as well as unify and secure environments; plus, lowering hardware costs using VDI, businesses can ensure they’re nimble enough to meet their business goals moving forward.

If your business is interested in maximizing Microsoft 365 and Google G Suite, or learning more about VDIs, connect with Clarity. Helping businesses identify and deliver clear technology solutions is what we do.

Author Snippet: 

Dennis Wong is a Partner and Head of Marketing and Sales at Clarity, a Canadian based data center and technology solutions company. With over 21 years in the tech industry, Dennis understands both the technology side and the business side. As Clarity’s Head of Marketing and Sales, Dennis oversees Clarity’s marketing and sales teams and customer service. 

Re-Thinking the Traditional Data Center for the 21st Century

Anyone involved in the tech industry, knows evolution is the norm. When contemplating technological changes, the focus is on innovations in tech. What are the technological advances in the hardware, software or devices? Data centers are an afterthought. Sure, data center knowledge, technology  and infrastructure changes along with the evolution of the technology but the concept of the data center hasn’t changed. While the ideas behind technological innovation has.  

Globally, there is a rise in data tonnage and integrated connectivity. A growing need for dynamic scalable infrastructures that can change rapidly at a moment’s notice. Greater use of Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine-Learning applications. The need to anticipate Edge and IoT deployments. Increased demand for cybersecurity services. Climate change pressures on data center infrastructure and power consumption. And of course, ensure reliable workload balances and continual uptime. That’s just some of the shifts facing the data center industry.

With these shifts, the concept of a traditional data center providing hardware running 24/7 that simply stores accessible data must change. The traditional approach of merely hosting, storing and assisting in data management needs to be re-thought. Our industry needs to move beyond the traditional. To truly serve data center clients, we need to reconfigure what it means to be a data center.  That’s what Clarity has done.

Time for Full Spectrum Technology Solutions 

Working with our clients, across industries, Clarity began re-thinking what being in the data center industry means. We identified a few shifts.

  • Need for agile faster scalability with more infrastructure architecture options.
  • Creating innovative ecosystems that anticipate and combat disruptions of all sorts.
  • Need to accommodate different ways of working and the needs of the future workforce such as remote working options that include remote support.
  • Cybersecurity first approaches to all hosting, cloud storage and infrastructure architecture development that goes beyond the physical data center building security. 
  • Cost controls over cloud computing, hosting, security and IT services.
  • Focusing on a client’s total environment to enable rapid deployment of business services and ensuring targeted workload deployment to the right locations at the right time. 

These are just a few highlights. But what is clear, today’s data centers need to move beyond their traditional role. We need to re-think the range of data center services. Especially, data center services for small and medium sized businesses.

Over the years, Clarity has evolved with the data center industry. Offering a variety of services. But today, businesses need more than a few services. They need a full spectrum of services. 

How Clarity’s Full Spectrum Technology Solutions is Changing the Data Center Industry.

Clarity offers a full spectrum of technology solutions from hosting, cloud computing, cybersecurity, disaster recovery to IT consulting and professional services. 

Here’s six ways Clarity’s changing the data center industry in Canada. 

1. Providing Full Spectrum of Customized Hosting Solutions.

Clarity offers businesses the full spectrum of hosting solutions at our high security Toronto colocation and hosting sites. But what does that mean? Not all hosting providers provide clients with all their possible hosting options. Some offer only Mac hosting services and others provide Windows and non-Mac hosting.  That doesn’t give a business their full range of hosting options. 

However, Clarity’s hosting and colocation sites in Toronto cover the full spectrum of hosting solutions. We work with Windows, Supermicro, DELL, Linux, VMWare, Citrix, Cisco, Juniper, Fortinet, plus macOS along with other Mac hosting and Apple platforms. 

By offering flexible customized pricing and personalized dedicated server solutions for every business, no matter the size of the business, a Clarity client truly gets a full spectrum of the best Canadian based hosting options.

2. Delivering the Full Spectrum of Cloud Possibilities.

The reality is no two clouds are the same. A business’s existing need, IT infrastructure, plans for future growth and budget should drive their cloud computing choices. While some businesses only want help with cloud migration to public cloud platforms such as : Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Mac cloud options. As well, they may want a data center to manage their cloud.

While other businesses require a dedicated private cloud for compliance and data protection reasons. And others want hybrid cloud or multicloud configurations. In essence, no two clouds are alike. Yet, traditional data centers with conventional approaches offer limited cloud hosting options or platforms. That limits a business’s cloud possibilities and solutions. 

Clarity delivers the full spectrum of cloud possibilities by performing a cloud readiness assessment. This is a crucial step in opening up the cloud for businesses. Throughout Clarity’s assessment, we consult with the business to develop a targeted cloud strategy based on the business’s needs now and in the future. Afterwards, Clarity can open up a full spectrum of cloud options through an affordable, secure and scalable custom cloud solution. Because the 21st century data center needs to be agile and able to create affordable customized tech solutions across cloud computing platforms and for all cloud configurations. 

3. Applying a Full Spectrum Cybersecurity Assessment and Security Solutions Based Approach.

In today’s environment, businesses need to apply a holistic cybersecurity approach and comprehensive security solutions first approach. While all traditional data centers are highly secure, many have limited cybersecurity expertise or technology solutions. Given that a majority of all cyber attacks target web applications or connected databases and systems. Every business, whether a one person start up, small or medium sized business or a larger growing business needs proactive cloud security and cybersecurity strategies.

Since Clarity is a leader in cybersecurity and cloud cybersecurity, Clarity developed a full spectrum approach to assessing a business’s IT security needs. Clarity’s cybersecurity experts provide comprehensive security assessments for a business’s entire existing and future security needs. Then we develop customized cybersecurity strategies. This ensures Clarity clients have access to a full spectrum of security solutions ranging from mitigating cyber attacks, threat detection, DDoS Mitigation, Firewalls, VPNs, Monitoring and much more.

4. Forging Partnerships with a Spectrum of Leading Vendors and Tech Partners.

Meeting the demands of the 21st century means data centers must forge quality technology partnerships. Specifically, technology partnerships focused on helping businesses and organizations optimize their IT systems. Also, a data center with a full spectrum approach needs partnerships across product and services areas. These must include partnerships with leading cybersecurity, cloud computing, hosting, infrastructure architecture as well as hardware and software tech companies. Working collaboratively to find the best technology solutions across the spectrum of tech products and services.

5. Anticipating Future Issues and Ways of Working by Assessing a Business’s Full Spectrum of needs.

An innovative data center provides not only a full spectrum of services, but also looks at how they can fulfill future business issues.  

For example,…

  • Increased environmental sustainability needs – When it comes to data centers, power consumption is an issue. For businesses or organizations looking to lower their environmental footprint or reach their sustainability targets, this can be an issue. That’s why Clarity has developed Clarity GreenCloud™. We develop green hosting and green technology options. With our Clarity GreenCloud™ program, Clarity helps businesses and organizations meet their environmental sustainability targets. By taking a green technology solutions perspective. This means looking at setting up your custom environment to reduce power consumption and take up less space. 
  • Accommodating Remote Workers – Most businesses are not setup to work remotely. Yet, there is an increasing demand for remote work solutions. That’s where Clarity’s Ready-Secure-Go™ VPN comes in. Our Ready-Secure-Go™ VPN is an innovative tech solution for businesses lacking the existing hardware or security expertise required. With Clarity’s Ready-Secure-Go™ VPN your employees can start working remotely immediately. These VPNs can be quickly placed on your network and provide secure encrypted communications for your employees with little onsite involvement. Plus, it’s also cost effective. 
  • Comprehensive IT Consulting Services – Keeping up with the latest tech solutions is challenging, especially for small and medium sized businesses. In some cases, businesses cannot afford a full IT department. A full spectrum data center must have a team that works as an extension of the business. Such as Clarity’s IT & Consulting Services, which works collaboratively and provides IT support, guidance and advice on the best technology solutions for a business. 

6. Transforming Data Center Support with Full Spectrum Customer Service

As data centers are transforming, the type of customer service support provided needs to change too. Data center clients need a broader range of customer service and IT support services. Or, a full spectrum of customer support. 

Clarity’ approach to transforming the data center industry by offering a full spectrum of tech solutions, meant also providing comprehensive customer service and tech support for all clients. Regardless of the size of their business or size of their problem. Our full spectrum customer support covers everything from personalized support service to hardware replacement focused on maintaining uptime. 

To adapt to the changing technological landscape at the very minimum the new data center should offer, what Clarity does: 

  • 24/7 365  Personalized Customer Support accessed through a variety of options. 
  • Real expertise covering: all types of hosting platforms and cloud services, deep cybersecurity knowledge, disaster recovery, full IT consulting services and more. 
  • 1 hour dedicated server hardware replacement guaranteed.
  • Guaranteeing of Power and HVAC Availability.
  • 99.99% Network Uptime Guarantee.
  • Focus on optimizing network performance through a variety of ways. For instance, in addition to a number of infrastructure advantages, Clarity clients get access to the Toronto Internet Exchange (TorIX) network. TorIX uses peering to maximize performance. This is just one of the many ways Clarity optimizes network performance.

The data center industry has been and continues to transform. The pace at which the industry changes requires re-thinking. A data center just providing only hosting services is under-serving its clients. Today’s data centers need to offer a broad range of services, platforms and infrastructure options.  Whether its hosting, cloud computing, cybersecurity, managed services and the list goes on and on. That’s why, Clarity has not only re-thought but redesigned data centers through its full spectrum of products and services. We’re bringing clarity to businesses through our full spectrum technology solutions.

Author Snippet: 

Dennis Wong is a Partner and Head of Marketing and Sales at Clarity, a Canadian based data center and technology solutions company. With over 21 years in the tech industry, Dennis understands both the technology side and the business side. As Clarity’s Head of Marketing and Sales, Dennis oversees Clarity’s marketing and sales teams and customer service.