At year’s end, I always find myself looking back over the previous 12 months and then, inevitably, I can’t help but look forward to the coming year. Since I’m in the information technology business, this exercise can be pretty interesting.
Technology trends translate into products and services that matter, but when you hear about technologies like web-scale IT, cloud bursting, advanced analytics, self-aware apps, context-rich systems, software-defined networks, etc. – well, it’s hard to keep your eyes from glazing over. So I’ll narrow it down to two waves coming at all of us: Continue reading
The holiday season is upon us – which means it’s also cyberattack season. Though, arguably, 2014 has turned into an entire year of the cyberattack: one study estimates 2014 will rack up an incredible 42.8 million cyberattacks worldwide. That’s more than 117,000 attacks every day!
Which leads me to the topic of firewalls. It’s been 20 years since the first firewalls were deployed to make a perimeter gateway barrier blocking unwanted IP traffic.
Since then, firewalls have evolved to keep pace with new technologies, the ever-increasing complexities of network infrastructures and applications, and new business models that have spawned things like cloud computing and mobile apps. These days, companies deploying firewalls and advanced perimeter controls see a 15% return-on-investment. Continue reading
Manufacturers love buzz words. And, it’s true, most of us are susceptible to catchy phrases.
One that’s caught my attention is ‘bleeding edge’ — used to describe the very, very latest technology product or service. It’s a heady feeling, being at the forefront of technology, and the urge to acquire the newest and best can be downright irresistible, as evidenced by sales of the iPhone 6.
Yet there are times when you should resist. Being on the bleeding edge can be fun and impressively rewarding. But rushing headlong into something your organization is not prepared for can hurt.
So even though this issue of our newsletter highlights achievements in keeping pace with the near-constant change in technology offerings and capabilities, we urge caution.
Before you allocate budget to ‘leading or bleeding edge’ products or services, be sure you’ve answered these three questions:
- Is our infrastructure ready?
- Do we have the necessary skillset?
- Does it provide the capabilities we need?
If you’re unsure about the answers to any of these questions, get help from a trusted technology advisor before making a commitment that will bleed more than just your budget.
As the nights grow longer and colder, giving thanks for all that’s warm and light-filled makes wonderful sense. We are, in effect, expressing appreciation for feeling secure and safe.
In fact, this is a time of year when it’s a good idea to pay particular attention to security — especially data security. With the season of holiday gift-buying underway, opportunities for data thieves, hackers, and malware abound.
This isn’t only a concern for retailers and credit card firms. We’re all vulnerable and we all have to continually tend to the security of our businesses. Continue reading
Four technologies will very likely impact your business in 2015 — whether or not you explicitly consider them in your planning. Which is to say, ignore them at your peril: Continue reading
In my last post, I discussed the gap between business units that enthusiastically embrace BYOD and IT departments, where BYOD is regarded with more hesitation.
Yet it’s clear: BYOD is not only here to stay, it is quickly becoming a dominant force that IT departments must deal with. And in most circumstances “just say no” isn’t an option; BYOD offers employees too many rich opportunities to boost productivity, innovation, and collaboration.
So what’s an IT department — your IT department — to do? Continue reading
What’s the state of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in your organization?
When I ask this of our customers I get replies aligning with industry research and other anecdotal evidence pointing to what I call the BYOD gap.
Business units are adopting BYOD – along with mobile apps and consumer-grade cloud services – pretty much as fast as they can, but too often such adoption is unsanctioned by their IT departments; there is no BYOD policy.
In the shadows
It’s a sizable gap, too: by some reports, almost 90% of employees use their own devices at work – but only about 40% of enterprises have committed to implementing BYOD policies, procedures, and infrastructure.
This is classic Shadow IT, and it’s on a scale unlike anything since the 1980s when corporate business units defied their IT departments to acquire PCs. It took mainframe-obsessed IT staff a good long time to grasp that forbidding PCs was a supreme waste of time, because whenever business unit managers find tools enabling them to boost productivity and achieve better results, they are enthusiastically embraced whether IT likes it or not. Continue reading
In my last post, I shared some sobering numbers from a recent study by the DRP Council on how well – and not well – organizations recover from disruptions. Many of the problems revealed in the study can, I believe, be attributed to four causes:
- Inadequate recovery plans that don’t anticipate the types of events that actually occur
- Insufficient plan documentation and lack of compliance reporting
- Not nearly enough recovery plan testing
- Failing the recovery tests that do occur
All of this is eminently understandable – it’s hard to focus budget and time on what we prefer to regard as unlikely possibilities.
So here’s my first recovery best practice: think of your recovery plan as the best way to keep those possibilities unlikely, because when they do happen, they cost plenty. Continue reading
Online presence has never been more important to your business – but behind it lurks immense technical complexity. The sort of complexity that produces things like software, network and power failures, and human error.
So, of course, it’s prudent to prepare ways to recover from such failures, mistakes and vagaries of nature, which is why so many organizations – a majority, according to a recent study by the DRP Council – deploy some sort of secondary recovery site. Though, less than 10% use cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Continue reading
We can’t afford to ignore the myriad of mobile devices and apps currently saturating our attention and wireless connections.
In my last post, I laid out some of the industry’s eye-popping numbers. This time, I’m offering up just one graphic (from Cisco’s recent Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update) showing why you must upgrade your network infrastructure. Pronto. Continue reading