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If You Aren’t Using Cloud Computing For Your Business Yet, You Should Be

If You Aren’t Using Cloud Computing For Your Business Yet, You Should Be

Cloud computing is the way of the future, and it’s making it easier for smaller companies to join the revolution of incorporating big data into how they function. Cloud computing has become financially accessible while retaining a maximum return on investment in the data realm.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing uses “the Cloud” to store and manage your data—so it isn’t on a local server or individual computer. “The Cloud” is a network of servers all over the world that provides external secure data collection and allows you to access your files from anywhere. Using cloud computing gives you superior storage capacity so you can expand the data you collect. It also provides a much safer backup solution and recovery system in the event of a disaster and loss of data. This alone explains its excellent ROI.

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Why Should My Company Be Using Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing options have never been less expensive than they are now, so even small companies have an opportunity to buy into this revolution in data storage. Business Intelligence (BI) refers to how you turn your raw data into something useful. One of the best examples right now is BI on Hadoop, as Hadoop has come to be synonymous with BI in many people’s minds. Smaller companies have long wrestled with this issue, collecting data and not being able to make sense out of all of it or having to purge data because of storage capacity. This leads to loss of data that might have been useful with the right BI tools. Cloud computing removes the need to purge data for space. The newest BI helps you to manage the increasing amounts of data you can now collect and turn it into data you can get the most out of. This means you can save everything from your data collection, even if you aren’t sure exactly how it is useful right now.

Best Options

Hadoop uses batch-oriented processing, storing transactional data and taking BI to the next level. Though Hadoop is still evolving to meet increasing demands for “big data,” it is at present one of the best options out there. As it rapidly evolves to develop better services, you can expect it to remain relevant and prepared to meet the evolving growth of data in your company. Hadoop scales up from one server to thousands easily while retaining data integrity. One of its greatest strengths is its programming, by which it catches data failures and fixes them early. The storage aspect is the lowest level of Hadoop use, and its strength is in how it makes your BI accessible, clean, and secure. It is also becoming the most scalable yet economically feasible options. If you want to watch your company grow and harness big data in the most efficient way, Hadoop is an investment in the future.

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NoSQL servers are another popular option because the queries are simpler. But it is also evolving, and developers are working to address some of its weaknesses. It is becoming more common to actually use NoSQL and Hadoop simultaneously for their individual strengths. One of the issues is that the coding for both is unique and requires sophistication. One of the investments necessary to properly harness the use of BI on any platform will be a quality IT staff that is familiar with existing frameworks and excited about ongoing changes and improvements.

There are numerous other tools for big data management and making the most of your BI, but none have continued to improve as fast as Hadoop and NoSQL or shown the same level of ROI.

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The Future

It is always scary for companies to make a big investment knowing that software and the BI landscape are constantly changing. For smaller companies, it can be especially difficult to make a decision, but indecision isn’t moving forward and leads to being left behind. Software is now being developed based on the assumption of cloud use, so keeping up with the best software may require cloud adoption. Early adoption of BI has proven to be a useful strategy, and today’s options are better situated to help you grow your business as the tools improve. Data is only going to increase, and harnessing it to your advantage means being prepared.

The security issue is also significant and should not be underestimated. Disaster preparedness plans in companies must include how data will be secured. Cloud computing ensures that your data is safe in the event of any office disaster. Not only is it safe, but it is accessible if you have to set up a makeshift business site or for staff that needs to work from home.

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Cloud computing options continue to improve, but getting on the cloud is the first step toward growing your business.

Featured photo credit: George Thomas via flickr.com

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Paisley Hansen

Freelance Writer

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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