StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Colocation Center |Why Outsourcing to a Colocation Center is Beneficial For a Growing Business

Why Outsourcing to a Colocation Center is Beneficial For a Growing Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Colocation Center |Why Outsourcing to a Colocation Center is Beneficial For a Growing BusinessBy the end of 2020, industry watchers expect businesses to spend $51.8 billion on colocation services.

Data is the new oil, and as such, you will not achieve much if you do not develop a robust plan for your information technology (IT). If you invest in a weak IT infrastructure, it will invariably come back to bite you.

For many firms, though, the issue is whether they should bring their IT infrastructure in-house or outsource the task to a colocation center.

Here is an analysis of some crucial benefits the latter can deliver, to aid your decision making.

What Is Colocation?

Colocation is when an organization houses it’s privately owned servers in a third party storage space. Essentially, you rent the area where your servers will stand outside of your premises.

When you’re setting up a colocation arrangement, you physically transport your servers to the center. The service provider’s team then sets them up for you and will remain in constant contact in case you need to upgrade or down and for any other needs you may have.

You still retain ownership of the servers even as they sit in the rented space.

In return, you pay a monthly fee for the maintenance service and storage space the colocation facility provides you.

Advantages of Relying on a Colocation Center

If maintaining your IT infrastructure in-house is not suitable, then colocation might offer you a compelling alternative. Here’s a look at some of the reasons to consider it:

1. Cost Efficiency

Affordability is one of the primary benefits of colocation that makes many businesses go down this route.
When you take server hosting in-house, you invest in more than just the server. You have to account for a resilient cooling system, power supply, robust network connectivity, just to name a few.

These costs can quickly run up a significant bill, especially if you are not running a large number of servers that can bring the unit cost down.

Furthermore, to make the necessary equipment upgrades to keep up with technology means that you should forecast for significant capital expenses regularly.

In stark contrast to such a scenario, colocation gives you access to all aspects of the infrastructure necessary to keep your servers running. However, since a colocation service hosts several customers, the costs of supporting the infrastructure are spread across all the customers.

That makes the overall cost to you notably cheaper than bringing it in-house.

2. Access to Top-Tier Expertise

Running a data center calls for you to stay on the bleeding edge of new technology regularly. Unless you have a full scale IT unit in-house, keeping up with the latest developments can take away significant time from your core operations.

Additionally, you would need to frequently train an in-house IT team for their skills to match emerging tech breakthroughs.

A colocation service provider, on the other hand, deals with technology as their core competency. Meaning that every day such a firm digs into new technologies and trains its staff to acquire top-tier talent.

Simply put, a colocation service provider makes it their primary business to learn all there is to know about data center technology and perfect that service.

When you partner with such a provider, you get to tap into their exceptional talent pool. For a fixed fee per month, the headache of continually training your team on new technology goes out the window.

All the expertise you need now becomes a call away, which lets you focus on your core business.

3. More Robust Redundancy

Every time your IT infrastructure is down means your business can’t operate optimally. In turn, that means that you lose money. Thus, ensuring that your server hits maximum uptime is critical to your top line.

Outsourcing your server hosting to a colocation service company ensures that you keep downtime incidents to a minimum.

Colocation firms run a more efficient power and cooling infrastructure that enables your server to avoid unnecessary breakdowns.

A reputable colocation facility will also leverage sophisticated analytics that helps it achieve energy efficiency. The better these facilities utilize their energy, the more optimally the equipment will operate.

Therefore, when you are shopping around for a colocation partner to outsource to, inspect their downtime record.
An ideal mark is a proven record of 99.99999% uptime at the least. That’s essential to you as it means you can expect to experience downtimes that don’t last beyond 3.15 seconds any time one occurs during the year.

4. Scalability

When technology becomes a critical component of your operations, you need it to be flexible when it comes to scaling.

At a lower level, you can manage to run a server in a dedicated area on your premises. But when your business grows, you quickly run into the challenge that is needing to scale your server and hosting.

But isn’t building out a data center an option? If your organization has a significant budget that can accommodate substantial capital expenses, then such a choice might work.

However, just because you can does not mean that constructing a data center is wise.

In case of a decline in your business, you will have to scale back your IT. When you own the data center, it means you let the facility run idle.

Renting the space out to other firms might be an option, but then it means you will need to manage it as the landlord. Investing the time to do so inevitably takes precious time away from your core competency.

Working with a colocation provider takes such burdens off your shoulders. If your strategy bears fruit and your operations grow, your data center capacity can expand with you. In the event you need to scale down, all you need to do is place the call, and it’s done.

Reinforce Your IT Operations by Outsourcing It

Technology now sits atop every industry, and leveraging it to gain a competitive edge is critical. Your IT infrastructure plays a significant part in how well you deliver on your objectives. Thus, relying on a colocation center affords you the benefits of an optimal data center operation with a minimal downside to keep your activities running optimally.

Is your organization in need of more efficient operations? Checkout more of our content for tools, advice, and practices that can help your firm deliver superior results.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Best Online Trading Platform for Option Trading

Best Online Trading Platforms for Option Trading

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Best Online Trading Platforms for Option Trading

Options trading isn’t just for anyone; it’s got high-risk involved because everything is dependent on fluctuations in the market prices, how much you can afford to pay for the option and whether you should make the call to either sell or buy certain securities at its set price based on future dates — you’ve got to be experienced and knowledgeable about how brokerage systems work or you’ll end up with losses. If you’re looking for a particular online options broker to start or continue your investment journey, we highly recommend you to check out this article about the best options brokers on business24-7. We’ve compiled some of the best online platforms for Options trading, just read on to find out which is the perfect one for you!

1. TD Ameritrade

Across all the trading platforms, this is the best one overall; it has got a fair pricing system, a very resourceful database for beginners and an efficient trading platform for all veterans and experts alike. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are because you’ll be sure to benefit trading on this platform that provides for all users.

Each contract costs $0.75 cents while the trade is priced at $6.95 each; the good thing is that there is no minimum for your account and the site even offers a promotion of commission-free equity, option trades, and ETF for 60 days with just a deposit of at least $3,000. You’ll also get additional bonuses if you’ve got opening deposits of a larger amount.

2. Robinhood

Even though some expert traders aren’t too pleased with the way Robinhood processes and handle their trades, Robinhood nevertheless stands at the top of the list for having no commission price. Investors get to sell and buy options without having to risk anything above their initial investments — they really mean it when they say that there’s no trading fee.

If you’re looking at Robinhood solely as a platform, it would be a great trading avenue. It’s especially for traders who’ve already read up enough on trading, so beginners won’t find many educational materials here. Aside from that, traders trade with ETFs, stock trades, some cryptocurrencies and American Depository Receipts on both the website and the mobile application — all at zero commission fee.

3. TradeStation

Initially starting up as a software trading company, it grew to become an advanced options trading platform. They’ve got rapid-speed trading and exclusive data suited for professionals, making it the ideal platform for the more experienced group of traders.

You’ll be charged $5 each trade and $0.50 cents each contract, but they’ve also got some unbundled and per-contract prices up for offer; for the more veteran and active traders, a common choice is to opt for the flat-rate pricing of $1 each contact rather than the usual base price and individual contract fee. The tools here are so superb that you can find them being sold at other brokers, so if you’re keen on joining TradeStation as a member, you’re in for a good time.

4. Gatsby

Gatsby is most suited for the retail investors, the traders who are new to options trading, social traders and the millennial bunch — if either of these sounds like you, this might be the platform that best suits your needs. Gatsby is an all-inclusive trading platform that ensures you, as a beginner, would be informed of the most common trade lingo and the most up-to-date trade news — they’re all for making sure you get the resources and expertise you’ll need to optimize your trading strategies. Once you’ve signed up, you can begin trading instantly and earn your passive income when you trade for ETFs and companies — or, you can even trade against companies if that’s what interests you.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Best Online Trading Platforms for Option Trading

5. IQ Option

IQ Option is reputable for being a low-costing brokerage, offering low trade prices at $0.95 each, $0.65 for each contract and no minimum account amount. As of now, depending on the amount you’re willing to deposit, they’ve got a promotion that allows you to earn up to $3,500 bonus cash. This would be quintessential for traders who like to start with low investment amounts; with IQ Option, you can start small while reaping the other benefits of using its powerful online trading platform, informative charts and analytics to help you build your trading strategy — at no minimums and low costs, here’s a great place to begin your investment journey. You can find a more detailed review of IQ Option here.

6. Interactive Brokers

Should you be a more active trader that prefers small and quick trades, this may be the platform that fits the bill. When you trade at Interactive Brokers, you won’t need to worry about pre-trade fees and every option commission is priced at $0.70 each. The high-volume traders can enjoy the lower pricing of just $0.15 each contract with the qualification criteria of at least 100,000 contracts every month. There’s also the requirement of having a minimum account balance of $100,00 per month or risk incurring a $10 commission fee, if not you’ll need to deal with an activity fee — this definitely isn’t for those with a smaller trade appetite, but if you’re up for a thriving and excitable trading experience, don’t hesitate to give Interactive Brokers a try.

7. Lightspeed

Like Interactive brokers, Lightspeed also caters to the experienced and active trading community. They charge $0 each trade and $0.60 cents per contract with a minimum of $1 per trade. Their tiered pricing system starts at 500 contracts every month; it depends on your trading volume, but the discounted rates can range from $0.50 cents from 500 to 2,000 contracts each month or even go as low as $0.20 cents with 100,000 contracts a month. Not to mention that they’ve also got the most professional trading tools you need, such as analysis tools, an integrated order executor, personalized layouts and older data analytics that you might find useful for predictions — whatever you want, they’ve got it all.

8. ETrade

Last but not least, ETrade is one of the oldest online trading platforms that boasts of a rich trader history. They’ve got a multitude of research tools and data available, even including the ones you’ll need to build your very own advanced trading options chain and ladders. The only downside is that the commissions aren’t the cheapest you’ll find around; the trades and contracts cost $6.95 and $0.75 respectively. However, you will find some discounts available if you would like to trade in high volumes. The Index and Equity options will be as affordable as $4.95 and the contracts will be priced at just $0.50 each. For new accounts that manage to have a balance of $10,000 and more, these users can get an outstanding $600 in free trades plus 60 days of trades that are commission-free — ETrade gives you the epic premium trading experience you never knew you needed.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Best Online Trading Platforms for Option Trading

That’s all we have for the best options trading platforms for 2019, but we promise you won’t be disappointed with any of these. Before you start investing in any of these platforms, ensure to do sufficient additional research just to be sure that you’ve found just the right online trading platform that best suits your needs; options trading may be a high-risk investment but it definitely is worth the effort, all you need is to understand how it all works and you’ll have the relevant expertise to make the right call.

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals | What Is Bad Credit and How Can It Affect You?

What Is Bad Credit and How Can It Affect You?

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals | What Is Bad Credit and How Can It Affect You?

Dealing with money issues is something most American adults are quite familiar with. While most people are adamant about living on a budget and spending within their means, there are financial situations that can derail these good financial habits. Having a bad credit score is something nearly 68 million Americans have to deal with.

Your credit score is a way for lenders to see how much risk is associated with lending you money or approving you for a line of credit. The lower your credit score is, the harder it will be to get the financial tools needed to prosper. Read below to find out more about how bad credit can affect your life.

Getting Car or Home Loans Can Be Difficult With Bad Credit

For most adults, buying a home or car is something they view as a priority. Getting approved for the loans needed to make these purchases can be difficult if you have less than stellar credit. While you may be able to get approved for a loan to purchase a home or car with bad credit, these loans will have a higher interest rate. This means you will be paying back a lot more to the lender due to your high credit risk.

Taking the time to look at your credit report before applying for a loan is a great idea. By doing this, you can see if there are inaccuracies that need to be addressed. If you see errors on your credit report, using a tool such as DisputeBee is vital. With the help of this program, you can automate the credit report dispute process. Having errors removed from your credit report allows you to improve your score. The better your credit score is, the easier it will be to get a great loan to use for the purchase of a home or vehicle.

People With Bad Credit May Pay Higher Car Insurance Premiums

Some people think that bad credit only affects their ability to get approved for loans or credit cards, but this is far from the truth. When you go out in search of insurance for your home or car, companies that provide these policies will consider a number of factors before providing you with a quote. Often times, an insurance company will check your credit score.

If your credit score is on the low-end of the spectrum, you may have to pay a higher premium as a result. Instead of having to pay more for credit and insurance, you need to find a way to fix the problems on your credit report. Doing things like paying down your credit card/loan balances and remove inaccuracies can help to improve your credit score in a relatively short amount of time. Seeking out the help of a credit repair professional can help you develop a plan of attack. These professionals will be able to give you sound advice on what needs to be done to get your credit score back on track.

Problems Renting a Home or Apartment

Another problem that you may face if you have a low credit score is renting a nice home or apartment. Most landlords will put a potential tenant through the paces before approving their application. This process generally involves checking your credit score. If your credit score is low, it may give a landlord the impression that you will not pay your rent on time. This is why fixing the issues on your credit report is so important.

Now is the Time to Take Action

As you can see, having a low credit score can affect various parts of your life. Instead of waiting to take action, you need to find and fix the issues on your credit report immediately. The time and effort invested in improving your credit score will be worth it in the long run.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Client Visit|How to Ensure That Client Visits Run Smoothly

How to Ensure That Client Visits Run Smoothly

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Client Visit|How to Ensure That Client Visits Run SmoothlyThe ideal client visit consists of a charming account manager, an easy journey and a productive meeting. However, as any fellow account manager will know, these visits don’t always run smoothly. Clients can be uncooperative, traffic can slow down proceedings and sometimes resolutions just aren’t made. The best way to get the most out of your client visit is of course to have an agenda, but to also sometimes anticipate the worst and prepare for resolutions.

Use Reliable Transport

Not being able to find somewhere to park, getting stuck in traffic and having no available corporate cars to use can all hinder a client visit day. The best way to dodge any transport incidents is to use reliable transport that is very unlikely to cause any hold ups in your day. A corporate taxi service might be your best bet in this instance, as they will have extensive experience in working with companies. You won’t get any resentment about making multiple trips or putting the money on business expenses.

Write Down Your Biggest Anxieties First

Of course, you want to keep your client on-side, but this can be achieved through basic niceties and cordiality. When you are drafting your itinerary, write down your biggest anxieties first. You do not want to leave any unresolved issues to a catch-up email. Write them down, find a way of raising them in a way that isn’t too confrontational, and make them a priority. You don’t want to get to the end of your meeting and still have major stress points still unaddressed because you ran out of time.

To avoid sounding too negative, start your meeting with a status run-down. If you have had previous client meetings, discuss your progress since then. Give a practical but optimistic evaluation of where you are and what needs to be finished in time.

In fact, one of the best ways to ensure those hot topics are discussed is to send the agenda over to the client first. While you can’t always guarantee that they will take the time to read it first, you have at least tried to secure some sense of organization. Getting the agenda to them beforehand gives you the best possible chance of having a truly productive meeting.

Don’t Pander to the Manager

If you have a senior member of staff visiting, it can be quite tempting to want to make a really good impression by giving them plenty of eye contact and conversation time. However, remember that this could backfire on you if they have invited other employees. Giving all members of the visiting company equal air time in terms of discussion will show you are polite and considerate. Ignoring less senior visitors could impact your company negatively.

When it comes to client visits, it is important that you don’t set your expectations too high. As we all know, clients can be tricky and unreliable. It’s therefore in your interest to plan as much as possible and anticipate difficulties before they arise. Planning your agenda and sending it to the client beforehand will put you in the best possible place to achieve your ambitions for the visit.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | Entrepreneurship | Talent Management | Do Team-Building Activities At Work Have To Be Boring?

Do Team-Building Activities At Work Have To Be Boring?

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | Entrepreneurship | Talent Management | Do Team-Building Activities At Work Have To Be Boring?It’s a new year and it’s time for another long hard look at your employees. What did they do that you liked or hated last year? Were there arguments among managers? Were junior employees left without leadership? Were there petty squabbles among employees that set deadlines back? Now is the perfect time of year to bring more cohesion to your workforce. From top to bottom, your employees need to forget about last year’s fights and look forward to the future together. It’s vital that your workforce remains a solid team so you can grow even larger and more successful than the previous decade. Yet, you may not have the time or the budget to take employees out on a day of team-building activities. It’s still possible to have them indoors at your office?

A personal piece

Inform your employees that you’re going to be holding a show and tell activity tomorrow. Instruct them to bring something along that matters to them a great deal, or has had a huge impact on them. Employees will sit in a circle and you’ll go around the room asking each person to show that special item. This is to evoke an image of who an employee is outside of work. Sharing something personal about yourself with colleagues will help you to understand why they are the type of person they are. It allows colleagues to feel more connected with the people they work with for 8 hours a day. The aim is to increase the bond between employees and therefore increase cooperation and productivity.

Futuristic racing

Move all the desks and chairs out of the way and call in TLC to set up their team drone racing challenge. They set up neon glowing bars that have been intricately shaped differently to present a gateway challenge. Entering the gates with a drone will be like reaching a checkpoint. You need to complete a set amount of laps in the first place to be declared the winning team. It’s fun, building friendships and isn’t dangerous at all. The courses can be set up within the size of a medium-sized room, so clearing a whole floor will be more than enough room. Employees have to work together as it’s two versus two affairs. You have to avoid bumping into each other while trying to block the other team’s drones on the circuit.

Scavenger hunt

Group your workers into pairs of four. One team will need to hide one item of each member’s workstation around the entire office. The other team will need to find these items. From a humble pencil holder to a keyboard, anything can be used as a prop. The team on the scavenger hunt is given a couple of minutes to find everything before returning to the starting point before the clock runs out. It takes cooperation and effective communication between colleagues, otherwise, they won’t be able to cover the most amount of ground in the shortest amount of time.

Team-building activities don’t have to be extravagant, they can be done right in the office. Futuristic drone racing is incredibly good fun and something employees won’t forget easily.