Edafio Technology Partners helps build, support and protect their clients’ businesses through implementing and optimizing IT consulting and management, cloud computing, cybersecurity solutions and healthcare consulting across multiple industries in Arkansas.
Edafio's focus of “powering IT through people” has made them the largest Arkansas-based Managed Services Provider operating one of the most extensive groups of IT engineers in the region. Edafio’s approach is to eliminate IT distractions and create harmony with their client’s business from their offices in Central and Northwest Arkansas. Edafio is driven by living their core values, which begin with their commitment to clients’ success. They opened an office at 5100 W. J.B. Hunt Dr., Ste. 1020, in Rogers in 2014 and opened their Conway, Arkansas office in 2016. They have been a mainstay in the healthcare space and have been expanding into other industries, making them the fastest-growing IT company in the state.
The Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce was recently able to interview Edafio Cloud Team Leader Will Smothers to answer questions that Chamber members have about the Cloud/IT for their business.
Q: What type of cloud package would a new small business need, and what would they use it for?
A: Every business is different. A few questions we will ask a new client are - what are their business goals? What are they trying to achieve? A lot of businesses are focusing on remote work now instead of being in brick-and-mortar buildings. Being able to leverage those cloud programs, such as software as a service, infrastructure as a service or platform as a service, allows employees to be productive no matter where they are. If they're just doing email or sharing files, we can help them with that pretty quickly. Either way, it frees them up from having to worry about having any type of server or security infrastructure in a traditional facility. Everything is done virtually and they don't have to worry about buying hardware again.
Q: What keywords or terminology should a business look for when searching for the best security?
A: The biggest thing I would tell a business to look for is multi-factor authentication. Statistically, it has proven to stop up to 97% of all breaches. Before working with a client, we always make sure they have MFA turned on, we would be doing them a disservice if we decided to work with them without doing that. You also must have a security awareness program. You need to educate your end users every day on what not to do, and to make sure that your incoming emails are actually legitimate. We call that the human firewall.
Q: Should businesses be concerned about cloud backups, and how often would you suggest is a good amount to back up information?
A: Great question. A lot of people think that information in the cloud is safe, but this is not always the case. Do you back up your servers and work stations on the premises? Then it would be best if you backed them up in the cloud too. We always recommend backing up the data and using the 3-2-1 rule - have at least three data points, on two different types of media, and have at least one of them offsite. You've got to protect that data.
Q: How much space would you suggest that a business start out with in the cloud?
A: For software as a service, it really depends on the license that you purchase. We specialize in the Microsoft part of the house, but each license has a different nuance to them and each has different space requirements. Storage is storage, but a lot of times more hardware does not fix the problem. You need to be able to efficiently utilize your hardware, something we call "rightsizing". At Edafio we can perform a diagnostic audit of your storage space and make sure that you're using your resources efficiently. You need to know exactly what your needs are, what you're paying for and make sure that you're utilizing everything that you're getting. We have had zero tickets open related to performance on the cloud after adjusting resources to get businesses the most for their money. We can also do those same things in public clouds, but it is a longer and more difficult process. Like a lot of these questions, it really depends on what you're doing and varies with each business.
Q: Do you suggest going entirely on the cloud or should a business have a physical presence as well?
A: It honestly depends on the engineer that you talk to. In my experience, companies going entirely on the cloud is much more affordable in instances when there is a power failure and there is less upkeep on battery backups, generators, heating and cooling, etc. It can become overwhelming and expensive if you're starting a business from scratch. When utilizing a cloud-based model, everything is at operating cost. You know exactly what it costs to add one user to your network. It makes it much easier as a company when you know exactly what it will cost you each month for the IT department to do their job. However, for some businesses like hospitals with a crazy amount of huge files, it makes sense to have some data on-site. The latency and lag on those large files when trying to view them in the cloud would be insurmountable.
Edafio takes a multi-cloud approach. We understand that it's not a one-size-fits-all. We really want to come in and learn how you work, what your business model is, what type of devices you want to work off of, and we try to tailor a solution for you. A lot of business owners know what they want to do but aren't quite sure how to set everything up to be able to work effectively and efficiently. Businesses don't always know that there are regulatory compliances that they have to meet and other issues that we can teach them about and help them find solutions.
For more information about Edafio Technology Partners, contact them at (479) 876-8855 or visit edafio.com.