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Eight compelling benefits of a CBTS managed cloud environment

According to a report by O’Reilley, over 90% of companies utilize cloud technology in some form, with adoption increasing—and it’s clear why. Cloud tools help businesses save money and maximize resources, especially in the distributed, hybrid workforce model that has taken root in the last few years. However, unless your enterprise is a technology company, your IT department may not have the expertise, time, and resources to unlock the value of cloud-based tools fully. By partnering with CBTS for managed cloud services, organizations can maximize efficiencies, drive outcomes, and minimize risk.

A managed cloud offering creates transformative results in every business department and adds value across sectors. Seeking a third-party provider does not replace your IT department but frees them to innovate and focus on mission-critical tasks. This post will consider some of the top benefits of managed cloud environments.

1. Cost savings

One of the key benefits of a managed cloud is saving money and optimizing spending. A managed cloud provider shifts expenses from capital expense investments (such as building and staffing an on-premises data center) to a predictable, monthly operating fee. The pricing structure is a la carte, meaning you only pay for the services you need. Experienced providers like CBTS help your team design and implement the most cost-efficient cloud solutions possible.

2. Innovation

Another seismic shift that comes from switching to a managed cloud environment is access to cutting-edge technology. Your company is no longer responsible for maintaining and updating hardware and other on-prem infrastructure. The virtualized IT ecosystem means the CBTS team handles all updates and patching.

Additionally, CBTS has partnerships with leading cloud technology distributors like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google, which means that our team has access to the latest and greatest AI and machine-learning tools.

Our experts can deploy these emerging tools on a rolling basis. Access to the ever-evolving landscape of as-a-service solutions will ensure your business operations are future-proof.

3. Efficiency

Managed clouds ensure your environment operates at peak efficiency. Experts have complete visibility across your digital estate and can pinpoint problems as they arise. CBTS provides rapid-response support 24x7x365 to minimize any disruptions to business continuity. Additionally, your team can enjoy all the cloud-based collaboration benefits of file-sharing, security, automatic back-ups, etc.

CBTS has developed a thorough cloud adoption process, vetted over time by hundreds of clients.

  • Assess: Fully understand your current cloud environment.
  • Design: Our experts plan well-architected solutions.
  • Migrate/build: CBTS engineers execute and deploy the chosen cloud solutions, migrating any necessary applications or infrastructure to the Cloud.
  • Manage: CBTS takes on management responsibility of your cloud operations, freeing up your IT to devote their time and resources toward innovating.

4. Backup and disaster recovery

Among the many disadvantages of on-prem data storage is physical damage. If your servers are destroyed in a natural disaster, it can take weeks or even months to restore business operations fully. Other risks include theft, data leaks, and malware attacks, which have evolved to target sensitive, onsite data.

Backups within a managed cloud environment are automatic to an offsite cloud data center. In addition, cloud providers utilize multiple geo-redundant locations to ensure that your data isn’t lost. After disaster strikes, however, it isn’t always clear if a company has the systems to fully re-integrate its backups. That’s why Disaster Recovery as a service (DRaaS) is an essential offering. Your managed DRaaS partner should test recovery systems thoroughly every quarter and ensure your team is trained in data protection protocols.

Learn more: Seven tips and tricks to manage disaster recovery solutions for the Cloud

5. Security

Having robust backup and disaster systems in place is one piece of the defense strategy against malware. However, the best defense in offense and cybersecurity is no exception. It can be challenging for onsite IT teams to stay updated with constantly evolving malware threats. In addition, accurately deploying next-gen security tools requires expertise. While cloud backups are more secure than on-prem storage, they still have vulnerabilities that knowledgeable cybercriminals can manipulate.

The certified security specialists at CBTS bolster the data defense of your enterprise. Our experts provide ongoing support, knowledge, and training to defend against the number one cause of malware infection: human error.

Learn more: CIO Security Insight: Why your backup solution is crucial to defending your organization from ransomware

6. Reliable infrastructure and access

Migrating to a managed cloud environment means your infrastructure rests on a robust, continually upgraded system. CBTS engineers monitor the speed and availability of your systems. Along with geo-local redundancies, these experts ensure you always have access to your vital data when you need it.

7. Compliance support

Many industries, such as finance and healthcare, are subject to data compliance regulations designed to protect consumer privacy and security regarding sensitive data. However, managing the increasingly complex and specialized world of compliance takes time and effort.

Managed cloud providers employ compliance experts whose job is to maintain full adherence to relevant rules.

8. Centralized control

A managed cloud provider implements greater visibility across your entire digital real estate. The provider can build out a single-pane-of-glass dashboard that lets you monitor and assess system performance in one place.

Unlike other providers that cut off control to their clients, CBTS always shares management of cloud environments with our clients to create a genuinely co-managed experience. This ensures you always have full control and access to the necessary tools.

9. Full-spectrum support from CBTS for your cloud environment

Every business has a unique cloud footprint and environment—so naturally, the tools and technology needed to maximize efficiencies, drive outcomes, and minimize risk will be custom to each organization. Experienced IT solutions providers like CBTS can ensure your solution is tailored to your specific needs and challenges.

No matter what stage of digital transformation your business is currently in, CBTS helps you realize positive outcomes by leveraging our certified, tested, and proven frameworks and well-architected design principles.

Get in touch to learn how CBTS can guide your business on the journey to digital maturity.

Data protection and managed backup for secure cloud organizations

A well-defined data protection plan is necessary for businesses to maintain continuity and ensure the safety of sensitive data.

Modern organizations create and store unprecedented amounts of data in day-to-day operations—much of which is sensitive and must be secured. In many cases, data loss is paramount to revenue loss. By working with an IT partner that provides managed database solutions, companies can identify and implement the best storage solution to keep data secure and accessible.

Data protection is securing sensitive data from various threats, including physical damage to hardware, security breaches, theft, malware attacks, and natural disasters. Data protection can be divided into four categories:

  • Security.
  • Availability and recovery.
  • Faster onboarding and deployment.
  • Access.

Many organizations do well in one or two of these areas, but companies risk data loss without thoughtful strategies.

Database models

For many years, databases were locked into a silo model, meaning access was only available to certain members of a department or organization. However, the widespread adoption of cloud computing means that organizations are much more likely to deploy a pool model—in which users share data—or a bridge model, a hybrid of the two.

While shared data has dramatically increased the efficiency of modern enterprises, it has also increased the complexity of security measures that must be in place to keep data safe and secure.

Creating a data protection plan

There are a few critical steps to protecting your organization’s cloud data.

Assess risks and sensitive data

Before enacting new data protection protocols, review your current data management. What types of data does your company interact with? How is it currently stored? How do users gain access? After achieving a clearer picture of organizational data flow, categorize your data’s sensitivity levels from the highest risk to the lowest.

Next, you will want to identify the most urgent threats to your company’s data. Each company will have risks specific to its business model. However, ransomware is a prevalent risk for businesses of all sizes. But natural disasters, accidental data leaks, theft, and vandalism are all threats to data and business continuity that a company must plan for.

Create a security strategy

Once your team has identified the most pressing data risks, you can create measures to secure data. End-to-end encryption, advanced threat detection, AI-enhanced malware protection, automated backups, and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) are all pieces of the cloud data protection puzzle. However, for a security plan to be successful, it must unite these elements and more into a cohesive solution.

Setup compliance management

Data compliance from the government and other regulatory bodies is becoming increasingly common across industries. Many businesses must follow mandated data protection or risk fines or loss of licensure. However, companies not required to follow industry-specific security guidelines can use compliance regulations to secure their digital estates.

Learn more: Boost efficiency, cut costs, and improve security with managed databases

Cloud data protection solutions from CBTS

Managed databases

According to Gartner, 75% of all databases will be cloud-based by the end of 2023. The case for choosing a managed database solution is strong, with benefits including:

  • Reduced IT burden.
  • Boost efficiency through shared data.
  • Improved security.
  • Cost efficiency.
  • High database availability.

Selecting a managed database provider addresses all the previously discussed data protection and security concerns. In addition, you shift the data management, oversight, and security responsibility from your IT team to the database provider.

CBTS assists with migrating databases to the Cloud, as well as subsequent management, security, data protection, and support. Managed database customers also enjoy the following:

  • Updates and patch management.
  • Access to the expertise of certified database managers.
  • End-to-end data encryption.
  • Multiple locational redundancies.


If databases are the medium of creating a backup, Disaster Recovery as a Service systems are how those backups are used to restore lost data and renew normal operations. Some managed database solutions, such as Microsoft Azure, have built-in DR systems. However, no matter your chosen database system, CBTS can help seamlessly implement disaster recovery protocols and procedures based on your specified recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO).

Learn more: Seven tips and tricks to manage disaster recovery solutions for the Cloud

Testing and training

Untested cloud data protection systems are essentially worthless. The only way to ensure that a managed database and DRaaS tools function correctly is to test them at least once a year—ideally, every quarter. Seasoned backup professionals can confirm the safety of your data through replicable, highly secured testing with no interruption to normal operations.

Choosing a managed database and recovery partner

Once, magnetic tape backups were an accurate, if not painstakingly slow, method of data assurance. However, modern enterprises need maximum data accessibility and protection to ensure business continuity and avoid disruptions to cash flow.

Managed database solutions from CBTS are viable in many use cases, especially for clients dependent on aging legacy data centers or customers with complex compliance requirements. CBTS provides database and data recovery expertise, with many decades of experience managing on-premises and cloud databases. CBTS can aid your team with the assessment, migration security, compliance, and testing of your data. In addition, a CBTS-managed database provides cutting-edge architecture, advanced threat protection, and flexible DRaaS implementation.

To get started with protecting your sensitive cloud data, get in touch.

Seven tips and tricks to manage disaster recovery solutions for the Cloud

The need for cloud disaster recovery solutions is more prevalent than ever before, with modern enterprises facing a host of internal and external threats, including:

  • Ransomware attacks.
  • Malfunctioning hardware or software.
  • Stolen or lost data.
  • Natural disasters.

While the terms “backup” and “disaster recovery” (DR) are often conflated, it is essential to know the difference. Backup is a method of creating redundant copies of critical data. Disaster recovery is the process by which backups are reinstituted after data is lost, destroyed, or corrupted.

Creating and maintaining a cohesive disaster recovery plan is a powerful way to maintain business continuity for customers and employees during a crisis. But managing disaster recovery can be a challenging endeavor for many companies. How do you ensure that your organization is devoting the appropriate resources to DR? And how do you maintain data protection over time and across new iterations of applications and hardware upgrades? How can you design and implement disaster recovery policies to best suit the unique needs of your organization?

This post will review the best practices for implementing and reviewing DR policies at your company.

Learn more: Revolutionize your cloud disaster recovery capabilities with Disaster Recovery as a Service

Managing cloud disaster recovery solutions

  1. Proactive planning
    A critical mindset of disaster recovery is to assume failure. In other words, assume that data loss will occur at some point. To ensure the longevity of essential systems, plan to regularly assess data management policies, internal operations, equipment, and cloud providers. Thinking through worst-case scenarios secures business continuity after experiencing catastrophic data loss.
  2. Identify threats
    Creating a list of potential threats to your company’s data is a proven method of organizing and prioritizing DR efforts. Try to map out all possible threats and the likelihood of data loss from each event. For example, ransomware attacks are increasingly common for businesses of all sizes and types; a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provider should have versioning options readily available to help recover from this type of crisis.

    Additionally, companies located where natural disasters are common (e.g., tornado alley, the San Andreas fault line, hurricane zones) should confirm that their disaster recovery cloud solutions include redundant locations where they can easily transfer data.
  3. Prioritize systems and operations
    Once likely threats are identified, determine which systems and data sets are most vital to maintain operations. If implementing DRaaS for the first time, these are the areas you will want to back up first. Because of mission-critical data’s importance, multiple redundancies may be necessary to protect it. Additionally, this prioritization will guide the recovery team in restoration efforts after an event.
  4. Define RTO and RPO
    Two vital concepts factor into every recovery plan: recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO).
    • RTO is the system downtime a business can tolerate before incurring severe losses and continuity disruptions.
    • RPO is the age of data that must be recovered to reinstate operations.

    Each business will have a slightly different RTO and RPO. An online retailer, for example, will have a relatively short RTO because it will lose money for as long as the website is down. Another organization could have any RTO of days or weeks. Similarly, some businesses need a near up-to-the-minute RPO to recover fully, while others can fall back on data from previous weeks or months.

    Understanding your company’s RTO and RPO will help you select the appropriate DRaaS features to meet each crucial metric.

    Learn more: Disaster recovery solutions that work
  5. Create a data protection team and implement disaster policies
    Each team member should know their role in the recovery effort in a disaster. Further, defining a dedicated disaster recovery team can speed up and guide the process. Assign a point person to interact with your cloud solutions provider to ensure efficient communication and exceptional disaster recovery efforts between your team and the DRaaS company.
  6. Establish emergency protocols to maintain business continuity
    How will you maintain service during a crisis such as a data breach or ransomware lockout? How will you continue critical internal functions during a natural disaster or similar emergency? Emergency protocols steer these processes and establish accountability in a crisis. Additionally, they guide the restoration of mission-critical data to execute these vital functions for both customers and employees.
  7. Implement testing and training
    After working through the many steps of building an effective disaster recovery plan, establishing a DR team, and implementing emergency protocols, the last thing your organization needs is for the DRaaS system to fail because of a glitch. Be proactive. Routinely test DR systems, especially after upgrades. Schedule quarterly testing to confirm that your mission-critical data can be easily recovered.

Additionally, disaster recovery training must be part of onboarding, and any updates must be reflected in employee training to keep business continuity steady.

Choosing a provider for your cloud disaster recovery solutions

Most business models hinge on rapid access to data, so backing up mission-critical data is no longer optional for enterprises. Planning and implementing a well-thought-out disaster recovery plan can reduce downtime and safeguard business continuity through various crisis-level events.

Choosing an appropriate DRaaS provider is critical to an effective recovery plan. The right provider not only serves as insurance for your most important data but also offloads the burden of DR from your IT team. DRaaS requires specific expertise that only some IT teams can readily supply in-house. The experts at CBTS have developed an efficient DRaaS onboarding process that includes the following:

  • Assessment. Our DR team determines the data protection needs of your company, defines RTO and RPO, and identifies system dependencies. Then, we play out common DR scenarios and identify gaps in recovery systems.
  • Design. Next, our team builds a custom solution that meets the unique data needs of your organization and reviews the plan with key stakeholders.
  • Implementation. We test and launch the DRaaS system.
  • Validation and documentation. Finally, we document the system and guarantee that primary and secondary backup systems sync correctly.

Contact us to protect your mission-critical data through managed DRaaS.

To learn more about DRaaS, download our info sheet: Managed Disaster Recovery

Get ahead by moving mission-critical applications to the Cloud

By moving mission-critical applications to a cloud environment, companies can unlock tremendous earning potential, but only if they can avoid the pitfalls of migration. Companies from all industries are beginning to understand the value of cloud-based operations. According to a recent McKinsey study, by 2024, most businesses will spend 80% of their IT budgets on the Cloud. McKinsey estimates that enterprises are waiting to unlock over $1 trillion in business value.

While the value of transitioning to the Cloud is clear, many companies underestimate the risk. McKinsey reports that, on average, companies overspend on cloud migration by 14% more than initially budgeted and that 38% of businesses experience delays in migration projects by one quarter or more.

This article will discuss the benefits of migrating mission-critical applications to the Cloud, planning and implementing migration, and the potential pitfalls.

Why migrate mission-critical applications to cloud environments?

In addition to the attractive savings promised by cloud migration, other compelling benefits include:

  • Business agility
  • Scalability
  • Convenience
  • Efficiency
  • Improved customer experience
  • Lessened IT burden
  • Improved service quality

On the strategic level, by shifting to a cloud-based model for mission-critical applications, IT can swap out CapEx for OpEx. No longer will a cloud-first organization need to make costly investments in on-premises data centers and other hardware.

Also read: Meeting marketplace needs through application modernization

Prioritizing migration

If your enterprise has never migrated an application to the Cloud, the process can seem overwhelming at first. Organizations must determine the best place to start, what to prioritize, how to budget appropriately, and how to develop a realistic timeline. Creating a plan to guide decision-making will keep your organization on track and improve the success of your migration journey.

Creating a migration plan

Alignment. A company’s core objectives should be the north star of any migration project. Ask which applications will create the most impact from cloud optimization and have the most critical influence on long-term goals.

Prioritization. How do you determine which application to move to the Cloud first? Some considerations to keep in mind include the following:

  • Effort – How much code will be necessary to migrate the application? How much IT time and resources?
  • Budget – How much can your company afford to invest in cloud migration? How will you stay on budget?
  • Strategy – Should you start with mission-critical applications? Or does it make sense to migrate a low-priority application first to refine the process?

Define scope. After aligning your objectives and determining your priorities, set the project’s parameters.

  • What is a reasonable timeline? Consult with the IT department and potentially third-party consultants to determine a realistic completion date.
  • What are the milestones of the project? Defining milestones in advance is a way to ensure that the project stays on track.
  • How will you define success? In other words, what deliverables will demonstrate that the migration project has succeeded?
  • What is the minimum viable product? Cloud application development allows continuous development and deployment through rolling updates. The first iteration of cloud migration does not need the complete “wishlist” of features and functionality. Instead, it can help determine the central features the app needs to add value.
  • Note any compliance requirements your migration must follow for data management and security.

Also read: CBTS Application Modernization services bring your company into the digital age


After finalizing the plan, a phased approach is the best practice. Your strategy may resemble the following:

Design. Creating a specifications document will guide the rest of the development process. At this point, your team will need to determine the method of migration, which will consist of one of these methods:

  • Containerization
  • Lift and shift
  • Re-factoring

Planning. When the specifics are outlined, a comprehensive project plan will further detail the ins and outs of the migration. This technical document builds on the existing project plan by detailing timelines, team assignments, weekly tasks, etc. It also specifies what development environment will be deployed. Additionally, this plan fleshes out potential risks and worst-case scenario operating procedures.

Development and testing. Finally, migrating your mission-critical applications takes place after all the previous work to get ready. Code or automation tools speed up recurring tasks. A test case or proof of concept on a small scale may be necessary. The soft launch is an ideal time to perform rigorous stress testing on the newly cloud-based application and watch for potential vulnerabilities.

Training and support. Now comes the adoption of the application back into everyday operations. Staff must be trained and supported when something inevitably goes wrong.

Potential pitfalls of migration

Many companies bite off more than they can chew by tackling application migration internally. Common pitfalls include:

  • Running over budget and deadlines
  • Bugs or design flaws
  • Unsecured data and vulnerabilities
  • Limited or overtaxed IT staff

Expert guidance in cloud migration

Application migration is an in-depth process that can span months or even years. Many pitfalls and risks await inexperienced organizations seeking to claim a piece of the trillion-dollar value of cloud computing. That is why seeking a trusted advisor is crucial to migrating mission-critical applications successfully.

The CBTS team has over 30 years of experience developing and managing data centers and cloud environments. CBTS engineers and project managers are deeply experienced with a wide range of migration projects, elevating each step of the way—from discovery to implementation—to support with expertise and experience.

Contact a CBTS expert today to start your cloud migration journey.

Public cloud consumption to reach $600 billion in 2023

Gartner reports impressive growth despite inflation

According to a recent report by Gartner, global user spending on public cloud offerings will grow to nearly $600 billion, an increase of 20.7% from 2022. Among the predictions in the report is the forecast that Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will have the highest growth in 2023, with an anticipated spike of 29.8%. Across the board, consumption of public cloud services will grow in 2023.

The increased adoption of public clouds, such as AWS or Microsoft Azure, represents a second digital revolution in which businesses in all sectors have the means to virtualize and increase the efficiency of business processes, modernize applications, and bolster security. A public cloud is similar to a public utility, such as gas or water, because computing services are offered on demand through a third-party provider to multiple tenants. Unlike the on-premises alternative of a private cloud, public clouds are accessible from almost anywhere in the world. As a result, many businesses opt to create a hybrid cloud—a combination of private and public solutions.

This post will delve deeper into Gartner’s predictions for public cloud consumption in 2023 and review the benefits of deploying business operations across a public model.

Learn more: Securing your data backup in Microsoft Azure Cloud

Key benefits of public cloud computing

As the steady, year-over-year growth of public cloud consumption across all categories of service demonstrates, companies in all sectors are realizing that cloud computing is vital to staying competitive, efficient, and maximizing profits. Even though the Cloud combines many different technologies and services, a public cloud offers holistic benefits. They include:

  • Reduced IT burden. One of the highest IT budget line items for many companies is the maintenance of aging legacy applications and systems. A public cloud reduces that burden by outsourcing the upkeep of technology.
  • Scalability. The services of a public cloud are on-demand. Like turning on a spigot, your company can quickly ramp up a set of processes to accomplish specific goals.
  • Pay-as-you-go pricing. Thanks to microservices and similar offerings, you only pay for the computing services you need when you need them.
  • Network resiliency. Third-party providers such as Amazon and Microsoft build in network redundancies to reduce the risk of system downtime.
  • Access to new technology and system updates. Cloud providers stay competitive by continuously upgrading their hardware and systems. In addition, software updates are deployed automatically across the Cloud without the need to update individual devices.

Learn more: Delivering Transformational Business Results with CBTS and Amazon Web Services

Maintaining the security of public cloud data consumption

Security is a challenge in a public cloud environment. The user/tenant and the cloud provider are responsible for maintaining different aspects of security best practices, but each provider is slightly different. In the case of AWS, Amazon is responsible for securing the infrastructure, and clients are required to secure applications or customer data that they run through AWS.

The sentiment of many businesses is that a public cloud is less secure than a private cloud or legacy data center. However, according to McAfee, 52% of companies experience more enhanced security through cloud computing than on-premises storage. In addition, cloud providers have responded to this notion by implementing cutting-edge security measures such as encryption, zero-trust policies, permissions management, and AI-powered threat detection.

But this does not absolve users of responsibility for securing data. The best practice for public cloud tenants is to train IT staff in cloud-native security methodologies such as Zero Trust Networking.

Also read: Enhanced supply chain security and optimization through cloud computing

Selecting and implementing public cloud service

The future of public cloud growth will be exponential. Experts anticipate that the next generation of cloud technology will further the use of automation and increasingly specialized services. Additionally, quantum computing is poised to revolutionize the Cloud and how we use it in everyday life.

However, determining the best cloud strategies for your business can be overwhelming. Weighing the costs versus the benefits—as well as migrating applications, infrastructure, and business processes to the Cloud—is time-consuming and must be approached carefully.

CBTS routinely helps our clients migrate, manage, and update their technologies to get the most out of your transition. Our certified engineers and project managers guide clients through the vetted CBTS modernization process, and our consultants can advise you on the right cloud model for your business.

Get in touch to start your cloud journey today.

Retailers turn to the Cloud to meet demands of modern digital customers

Retail trends are changing. In the first year of the pandemic, eCommerce sales grew by an astounding 43%. Existing IT infrastructures may not be equipped to provide the efficient and personalized experiences that shoppers now demand. Cloud migration with CBTS is a future-proof solution for retailers to keep pace with competitors, improve customer experience, and streamline operations.

The challenges of the modern retail landscape

Modern retail customers expect more from retail experiences and have little tolerance for delays. They expect seamless, personalized interactions between apps, websites, and storefronts.

Customer demand reveals the limitations of aging technology systems that many retailers have at their disposal. Even tech-forward retailers may have difficulty meeting customer needs and shifting behavior patterns.

By 2026, the global retail market via the Cloud will reach almost $40 billion worldwide. Further, multi-cloud (two or more) platform environments for businesses are increasingly common. Cloud technology is no longer optional for the retail industry. Retailers must manage the unprecedented amount of data required to successfully manage their business and create seamless blended experiences for their customers.

The benefits of the Cloud for retail companies

Cloud technology is beneficial to almost every aspect of the retail sphere. Cloud technology is forcing retail companies to move nimbly into the 21st century, from core systems to cutting-edge tools. There are many benefits to making a transition to the Cloud.


The Cloud allows retailers to develop and deploy applications more quickly than ever. Apps can get to the market faster, and bugs can be addressed as they arise. In addition, modernizing applications to “live” on the Cloud eliminates the need for manual updates.

Data management and flow

Today, the sheer amount of data that retailers must contend with is unprecedented. Marketing data, customer behaviors, inventory updates, supply chain information, AI/AR experiences, and more must not only be stored and cataloged but analyzed for insights. 

Backups and disaster recovery

How do you ensure that all that data is safe for future analysis? Tape-based disaster recovery systems, while reliable, are cumbersome at best, often taking weeks for a complete restoration. Most cloud platforms offer automatic backups of all data stored on them. Disaster Recovery as Service (DRaaS) is rapidly emerging as a viable and cost-effective replacement for tape-based and on-premises data center backup options.

UX and CX

Quality User Experience (UX) design is an essential feature in cloud platforms and interfaces. This ease of use translates into better customer experiences (CX) that are increasingly customizable based on real-time feedback and customer interaction.

Savings and predictable CapEx

While the cost of migrating to the Cloud may be high initially, it is an investment that reaps savings over time. Cloud services are often priced on an as-needed basis, meaning that customers only pay for what they use. This feature makes it incredibly easy to scale and ensures that capital expenditures become highly predictable on the tech side.

Also read: Enhanced supply chain security and optimization through cloud computing

AI-powered solutions the Cloud offers for retail

One powerful benefit of utilizing cloud technology for retail is the suite of solutions provided by innovative AI-powered tools. These tools include:

  • Omnichannel insights and analysis.
  • Adaptive fraud prevention.
  • Real-time personalization.
  • Unified customer profiles.
  • Seamless CX across channels via chatbots, IVR, and other UC solutions.
  • Supply chain and shipping forecasting.
  • Customer visualization and experiences with AR.

The enterprise-wide impact of cloud migration

Cloud for retail is genuinely beneficial for each department of an enterprise, from core systems like pricing and inventory to marketing and customer interaction.

Pricing and margins

Retailers must keep their finger on the pulse of a host of pricing data, including competitors’ prices, margins, and supply chain details. And much of the analysis of this data is still manual. Retail cloud solutions can handle multiple data streams and provide analysis through AI-powered tools.

Real-time inventory management

Inventory and, subsequently, fulfillment have been two areas that have been stubbornly hard to modernize for retail, especially across channels. For example, an app for a grocery retailer may list bananas in stock, but when the shopper arrives to pick them up, the bananas have already sold out. Cloud solutions can not only keep inventory up-to-the-minute precise, but they can also optimize between omnichannel sources to keep fulfillment flexible.

Supply chain management

Well-established supply chains have been shattered by recent world events, leading to shortages of essential goods worldwide. Predictive analysis tools can help retailers analyze trends and stay ahead of shortages.

Omnichannel customer service

Regardless of where a customer bought a product—an app, website, or store—they want to be able to receive support wherever is most convenient for them. Whether a customer interacts with a chatbot, customer service rep, or IVR system, their issue needs to be resolved in a way that is communicated to other departments. Cloud for retail offers Unified Communication solutions that can meet customer demand in real-time across platforms, websites, phone calls, and branches.

Communications and marketing

Cloud technology has improved both internal and external communications. Store associates can now communicate through cloud-connected devices that automatically update inventory. Marketers can engage customers like never before with machine learning algorithms that tailor selections based on past behavior and preferences.

Also read: How CXsync is transforming small and midsize business though cloud-based contact centers

Slow is the new down

Several years ago, consumers were willing to wait up to eight seconds for a website to load. Now, that wait time is less than three seconds. The mantra in retail has become “Slow is the new down.” Customers are simply unwilling to wait. If they have one or two bad experiences, they are much more willing to consider a competitor.

To stay competitive, retailers must invest in cloud technology. Cloud solutions for retail address not only mission-critical systems for pricing, inventory, and fulfillment but also conversion-boosting technologies like AR and AI that help create seamless, omnichannel experiences for customers.

CBTS has developed a vetted process to help our clients migrate to the Cloud or integrate multi-cloud solutions. This process includes assessment, design, migration, and management. Our managed services for retailers include almost every aspect of cloud technology—Network as a Service (NaaS) to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).

Contact our team to start your retail modernization journey.

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The transformational benefits of Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365

In the age of mass migration to cloud infrastructure, enterprises may struggle to leverage traditionally licensed software designed for use within a single data center or business location. This is particularly true for broad productivity suites that aim to unify wide-ranging processes into cohesive, manageable workflows. As a result, many developers are converting their legacy products into cloud-ready services like Microsoft 365 and Office 365.

Microsoft offers licensed programs like Microsoft 365 and Office 365 as full-fledged cloud solutions designed to go where enterprise IT goes while delivering the cost benefits of other service-based platforms.

What is the difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365?

You are probably already familiar with Office 365, the cloud-based version of the Microsoft Office suite of well-known productivity and work applications—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and many more. Earlier this year, Microsoft rolled out Microsoft 365.

What is the difference between the two? In a nutshell, Microsoft 365 offers the same functionalities as Office 365 but with additional cloud security features. Microsoft 365 also features new advanced AI-powered analytics and streamlined, enterprise-wide deployment of applications.

To be clear, Microsoft is not ending Office 365—at least not yet. However, they have recently phased out Office 365 subscriptions in favor of a one-time purchase. Microsoft 365 is the only subscription-based service currently available. Organizations have various options when subscribing to ensure the product they get is the best fit for them.

Learn more: Office 365 vs. Microsoft 365. Which is Right for Your Business?

The benefits of a cloud-based Microsoft suite

From an operational standpoint, organizations find that migrating productivity software to the Cloud delivers a far more powerful, feature-rich user experience than anything hosted on a local, static infrastructure.

Deploy tools quickly to increase productivity

The Cloud enables rapid deployment of new and powerful tools to keep productivity gains on a steady upward trajectory. Advances like artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics—which could take years to reach an enterprise otherwise—are available instantly in the Cloud.

Drive large-scale collaborative and sharing capabilities

The Cloud can also better support the large-scale collaborative and sharing capabilities that many knowledge workers—particularly younger staff—find commonplace in their personal lives. This produces a more comfortable, familiar workspace to easily manage meetings, assignments, deadlines, and casual conversations.

Store critical data in a secure environment

The Cloud is a more secure environment to house critical data than a local data center, easing fears about hosting storage and applications on third-party resources.

Cloud providers do not want to find themselves at a competitive disadvantage, which leads them to constantly upgrade to the latest software and infrastructures to keep data safe and secure. It is also simpler and cheaper to build offsite backup and recovery in the Cloud. You can then augment this structure with the newest automated replication and fail-over techniques.

Build and scale state-of-the-art environments with minimal costs

But perhaps the most impressive aspect of cloud-based communication and collaboration is that it converts both your software licensing and infrastructure consumption from a capital expense to an operational expenditure model.

Premium Microsoft 365 packages are now available for as little as $9 per month per user. Organizations find they can build state-of-the-art business environments with minimal upfront costs and then scale the environment to accommodate existing workloads.

Let IT staff focus on high-level strategic goals

Cloud solutions allow enterprises to utilize internal IT staff for higher-level strategic goals. Third-party providers like CBTS provide essential management and support. Managing legacy Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint infrastructure, along with other conventional communication platforms, is not only time-consuming but a distraction for your highly skilled IT staff.

By implementing Microsoft365 or Office 365, IT departments:

  • Offload compute, storage, and maintenance of their communications infrastructure.
  • Reduce their on-site technology footprint.

Next-level security tools

To combat the ever-worsening onslaught of cybercrime faced by companies, Microsoft 365 offers security benefits that Office 365 does not. Depending on the type of license you opt for, Microsoft 365 includes:

  • Advanced device and app management.
  • Permissions, Identities, and Access control in one simple dashboard.
  • AI-powered threat protection and elevated security protocols.
  • Advanced compliance management.
  • Business intelligence, analytics, and insights.

Learn more: Microsoft Licensing Optimization

CBTS will help you maximize your Microsoft experience

After adopting Office 365 or Microsoft 365, companies should consider the long-term retention and protection of their critical data. One option is to store secondary copies in a geographically dispersed location.

By creating an offsite copy of your backup in a cloud environment like Microsoft Azure, organizations can:

  • Access your specific files for restoration.
  • Address compliance and regulatory requirements.

Our experts will perform a backup assessment before implementation to map your current topology. We will also create a technology roadmap that mirrors your business objectives. Upon completion of the backups, our experts test for proven restoration capabilities of your data.

Learn more: Revolutionize Your Cloud Disaster Recovery Capabilities with DRaaS

CBTS provides a comprehensive Microsoft roadmap

In today’s digital economy, efficiency and productivity are the keys to success. Companies that shed clunky, uncoordinated processes in favor of lean, agile operations can better maintain high profitability. Once in the Cloud, you can gain access to a global marketplace of goods, services, and potential customers.

To get the most benefit from your migration to Microsoft 365, turn to an experienced IT provider like CBTS. With the right partnership, your technology can be quick and non-disruptive—even with complex platforms like Microsoft 365.

For more than 15 years, CBTS has been a certified Microsoft Cloud Solutions Partner. Our Microsoft-certified professionals have deep expertise integrating different Microsoft platforms. Our project managers and engineers can advise you on maximizing your benefits the most from your Microsoft cloud investments.

Contact us today for information on how CBTS can convert your legacy tools to a modern cloud footing!

Digital transformation in healthcare begins in the Cloud

The healthcare industry’s technological obstacles are numerous and sometimes difficult to overcome. Many practitioners rely on outdated IT infrastructures that cannot support changing industry practices and insufficient security measures that do not adequately protect against increasing cyberattack risk. Migrating to the Cloud is a cost-effective and reliable first step to jumpstart digital transformation in the healthcare industry.

This blog will examine the benefits of cloud technology in healthcare and review the emerging technology fueling modernization and transformation across the industry.

The need for digital transformation in healthcare

Many providers—especially hospitals—have relied on multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) infrastructures. While affording great privacy, these networks are rapidly aging and ill-equipped to meet modern challenges.

Cybersecurity is another core concern for the healthcare industry. Due to the sensitive nature of patient data and information, providers are often the target of ransomware attacks that can shut down vital systems for weeks. And with the influx of Internet of medical things (IoMT or IoT) devices, the number of avenues to breach security has multiplied exponentially.

Cost and lack of IT resources hinder healthcare providers from starting their digital transformation journey. Moreover, even when companies can take the plunge, maintenance often falls by the wayside because IT staff are overburdened and unable to update applications. As a result, providers’ systems risk security breaches and falling out of HIPAA compliance.

Also read: Cloud security controls that help mitigate risk

What is cloud technology, and how does it relate to healthcare?

For the healthcare industry, digital transformation enables companies to keep up with tech advances, making it critical to future success. Moving to the Cloud means data is stored and shared from remote servers, an alternative to onsite data centers. Any given organization may have one or many different cloud solutions (think Google Drive, OneDrive, Azure, and so forth).

But perhaps the most powerful functionality of cloud technology in healthcare is networking. Cloud technologies, such as software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), Network as a Service (NaaS), and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), are all methods of boosting the speed of network connections while utilizing existing data lines.

In addition, cutting-edge security protocols like secure access service edge (SASE) and AI-powered tools proactively seek out and block emerging cybersecurity threats.

Learn more: How Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare empowers your organization

Benefits of cloud technology in healthcare

As healthcare providers begin the process of digital transformation, cloud tech offers many benefits. They include:
  • Scalability.
  • Data storage and sharing.
  • Data loss prevention and disaster recovery.
  • Enhanced collaboration and communications.
  • Improved cybersecurity.
  • AI and machine learning deployments.
  • Increased networking speed and efficiency.
  • Greater data merging and access through various sets of applicatioins and automation.
  • Increased patient engagement through various sets of applications and automation.
  • Management of IoMT devices and data.

Also read: Revolutionize your Cloud disaster recovery capabilities with DRaaS

The technologies that are driving healthcare into the future

Emerging cloud technology offers solutions to many of healthcare’s most significant concerns. 


Doctors and providers can now access more significant insights into patient health through IoMT devices. Wearable monitors and apps afford providers real-time connectivity to patient data, a streamlined workflow through connected devices, and cost-effective scalability.

However, legacy IT systems can’t keep up with the sheer amount of data generated by IoMT devices. As a result, compliance and security are both top concerns with IoMT.   

Data analytics and management

Creating more intuitive, accurate, accessible, and compliant EHRs is a considerable undertaking that cloud technology in healthcare is perfectly aligned to address. Cloud systems help merge massive amounts of data while keeping it secure.


AI and machine learning technology offer many benefits for medical providers and businesses. Automation can eliminate record keeping or billing redundancies and send messages or reminders to patients. AI enables researchers to track, examine, and extrapolate data from subjects as diverse as cancer to protein folding. Machine learning security protocols help to track and block threats before they become breaches.


SD-WAN is a virtual wide area network that allows faster networking speed through a cloud-based architecture. With other solutions from CBTS, such as NaaS and UCaaS, SD-WAN generates the potential for explosive growth and productivity for providers, clinics, and hospitals.


SASE is a security methodology that works with SD-WAN to keep the Cloud secure.

Learn more about the CBTS cloud implementation process by downloading this e-book: CIO Field Guide: Cloud Assessment Services


Medical providers don’t often have the resources to oversee the overhaul of their IT systems. Moreover, training staff to use and maintain new systems is an ongoing challenge. It’s not enough that the new systems are adopted—they must be used correctly or risk falling out of compliance or a security breach.

As a seasoned provider for digital transformation, CBTS brings numerous critical capabilities to the development of hybrid cloud environments and managed services for all relevant cloud technology in healthcare. CBTS has broad experience helping our clients choose, implement, and maintain the right technology solutions.

Learn more about how CBTS can help you on your modernization journey.

Serverless vs containers: complementary or competing technologies?

Enterprise computing partners continuously seek the best way to develop, deploy, and manage applications in this era of new ideas, devices, and virtual experiences. A question at the forefront of this digital transformation is whether to implement a serverless solution or utilize containers. Each has pros and cons. Calling on its extensive knowledge of cloud technologies, CBTS guides enterprise clients through the process of determining which path is right for their unique needs.

This blog will explore the role of serverless vs containers in an IT environment.

What is serverless computing?

Using serverless computing, a developer can create and run applications free from concerns about server limitations such as provisioning, scaling, and managing.

Functions are executed in the cloud and are billed based on the time the process is running rather than by how long the server is up. An event triggers a function that runs for a set length of time. Then, the function remains inactive until an event triggers it again. For the most part, functions only run for a short time—usually five minutes or less. The brief runtime of functions is one of the advantages of using serverless computing, as it helps to keep costs low. However, it also can be a downside when you need a lot of computing power over a prolonged period, especially compared to the “always-on” model of containers.

Serverless computing does not actually eliminate the need for a server. Instead, the code is outsourced to the cloud provider’s infrastructure, where the application is run and ultimately returns the result. Serverless computing allows a developer to create applications without concern for the limitations of the server. Instead, the developer can focus exclusively on the code.

Benefits of serverless computing
  • The project is code intensive.
  • When traffic patterns change independently, a serverless system allows functions to ramp up or down depending on the needs of traffic flow.
  • Speedy launches are possible with serverless because the focus is on code over infrastructure. Apps, websites, and other products can be launched in days or weeks instead of months.
  • You need to keep costs down. Serverless only requires that you pay for the time that a function runs.
  • When you need to scale, serverless computing makes it easy and automatic.

What are containers?

A container is an isolated package for a service or application that is ready for deployment, execution, and scaling.

A container allows a user to run an application in isolation. This model improves efficiency by eliminating the need to run a virtual machine (VM) for each application.

By using containers, a developer can package code, configurations, and dependencies into easy-to-use building blocks that promote:

  • Institutional consistency.
  • Operational efficiency.
  • Developer productivity.
  • Version control.

Containers use less space than VMs, can handle more applications, and require fewer VMs and Operating Systems.

Key benefits of containers
  • For large or complicated applications, memory and size are not an issue with containers.
  • You need complete control over an app’s admin, security, and resources.
  • When migrating an old or large application, containers can be easier to implement than serverless functions.
  • You are working with a container across multiple OS systems or environments.

Similarities and differences in serverless vs containers

Serverless computing and containers can both be used to strategically position enterprise users to leverage the next phase of digital transformation to achieve optimal results. However, managing these two different technologies requires different strategies.

Similarities between serverless and containers

Serverless computing and containers both allow code to operate inside isolated, discrete environments. While they are not identical technologies, they achieve similar results, but in different ways.

Both serverless environments and containers are designed to meet future changes and leverage the latest innovations in cloud computing. Serverless computing and containers both:

  • Use finite pieces of code that function in microservice architectures. However, serverless generally works better with microservices.
  • Easily deployed across distributed architectures, they are commonly used in the Cloud.
  • Start quickly, often within a few seconds.
  • Rely heavily on APIs to coordinate integration with external resources.
  • Employ external resources to manage persistent storage needs.

Differences between serverless environments and containers

In a serverless environment, end users typically do not control the host server and the operating system on which applications run. Workloads may consume large amounts of data in a short amount of time. Because of this, avoiding unnecessary resource consumption becomes critically important in managing the computing bill. Most workloads are run on a public cloud using AWS Lambda or Azure Functions, which limits the number of tools available to manage and secure those functions.

Containers rely heavily on the host operating system. Efficiency is less important than in a serverless environment because container applications are designed to run for longer periods of time and may not constantly consume resources. Because containers are often deployed on-premises or on generic cloud infrastructure, the toolset is less restrictive than in a serverless environment.

Watch this video to learn how serverless computing and containers can be applied in a business environment.

Serverless vs containers – choosing the best path for your business?

Serverless solutions are best suited to short, small, single-function operations. Developers can quickly and efficiently access cloud-specific services for speedy development and deployment.

While a serverless environment eliminates concerns about over-provisioning, deployment, and maintenance, developers lose direct access to the containers. Losing direct access to the containers can make it difficult to debug issues. By choosing a serverless environment, developers sacrifice autonomy for increased speed and lower costs.

Containers are more portable and offer developers more control over how the application runs and performs. However, containers are more difficult to build and are more complex to orchestrate and deploy.

One approach is to use serverless computing strategies and containers in the same project but for different purposes. Serverless functions can be used for data processing and other triggered events. Containers can be used when you need control, scalability, and management through orchestration tools.

If your organization is struggling to answer the serverless vs containers question, work with a technology partner who can identify and implement the right tools and ensure they are being used to provide optimal results.

Contact the experts at CBTS today to begin strategizing your application modernization journey.

Benefits of a managed data lake solution

One of the most significant challenges facing modern businesses, especially large corporations, is how to store and manage their data. Even a small business could have dozens of different data streams from various platforms, apps, IoT devices, and more. Compounding the issue, many platforms save data in a proprietary file type that is unreadable outside the software. As a result, the contemporary data flow has been a stress test for on-prem data storage systems. Data lakes have emerged as a solution to these common data storage and management challenges.

This post will examine the benefits of a data lake and how CBTS leverages them to maximize results for its clients.

What is a data lake?

A data lake is a reservoir into which data streams can flow. The benefits of a data lake are numerous. They pull data from disparate sources and deposit them in one place. That data can be structured or unstructured, of multiple file types, and imported as-is without converting files. A data lake is easily searchable, fast, and more cost-effective than on-prem systems.

Users can then manage their data in multiple ways to create powerful business intelligence reports, track analytics, and generate custom dashboards. Data lakes are cloud-based and can be accessed remotely from anywhere worldwide if the user has proper permissions. Additionally, the consolidated data can be analyzed and manipulated with AI and machine learning.

Read the case study: CBTS solution modernizes, simplifies critical security environment

Why switch to a data lake?

An important benefit to the data lake architecture is that it avoids the pitfalls of on-prem data storage. Using a cloud-based system removes the cost of continually expanding or upgrading data resources and management. A data lake storage system lets you scale elastically, only paying for the storage and services you need in a pay-as-you-go model.

Other common on-prem challenges include:

  • Data constraints, both computationally and in terms of accessibility.
  • Maintaining or renovating legacy systems.
  • Time and resources sunk into correctly structuring data, double-checking for accuracy, and otherwise managing the database(s).

Read more: Howdy Partner panel discusses business benefits of Data Lake Kickstarter tools

Switching to a data lake from on-prem storage has many benefits, including:
  • Highly targeting, fast delivery, increased speed-to-value of customer data.
  • Leverage data in new ways and generate increased business intelligence.
  • Flexible scaling as needed.
  • Clean, pure data that is optimized and structured during import with a complete history of metadata available.
  • Improve customer experience and reduce operational inefficiencies.
  • Data stays up to date—pulled in regularly at 15-minute intervals.
  • Annual data durability of 11 nines, i.e., 99.99999999999%; lost data is a thing of the past.
  • Speedy deployment—customers can begin in as little as five minutes.

CBTS implementation of data lakes

CBTS implements a data lake solution by migrating high-value data to a cloud-native format for the client. Then, CBTS can effectively build out custom scripts and solutions using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and ServiceNow to create meaningful insights into the client’s rich data, including new provisioning and support systems. CBTS has worked with clients to pool data in data lakes from dozens of other services, apps, platforms, and websites. Deployment is speedy and highly targeted, helping achieve increased speed-to-value.

CBTS deploys data lakes for its clients using open structure as a guiding principle. Customers own their data and can use it however they see fit. Users aren’t locked into a single platform or aging technology. Instead, data is clean and stored in a serverless system operated by AWS Athena. Using this model, customers don’t need access to the AWS suite of tools to interact with their data. Instead, users log into a customized dashboard.

Security is a top concern for any data management system or tool. A benefit of the CBTS implementation model of data lakes is that no user may access the data without specific permissions. Additionally, all data is automatically encrypted, ensuring that the data remains safe from cyber attacks. The data is exceptionally durable as well. AWS cloud storage maintains annual durability of 11 nines (99.99999999999%). In other words, even with one billion pieces of data stored in the data lake, it’s improbable that even a single file could be lost.

Learn more: Streamlining the Data Lake to take on emerging security threats


In many ways, data lakes are a future-proof solution. Because AWS leverages the Cloud, your data lake can scale almost infinitely while keeping costs low. Additionally, as cloud tools and machine learning continue to emerge, the ability to manipulate your data will grow in new and meaningful ways. The experts at CBTS are experienced with deploying data lakes and can launch your lake in as little as five minutes. CBTS engineers leverage storage best practices to optimize your data, keep data encrypted, and maximize the speed of search and retrieval.

Contact CBTS to learn more about the ways a data lake could benefit your organization.