Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Are the applications you use endangering your business? A look at the problem

application security

With all the security your IT operations (should) have, you’d think this question would be moot — but it isn’t. The applications your business and your employees rely on could be time-bombs poised to destroy your ability to function.

That’s because the vast majority of applications used in business today are connected to the Internet, often in a variety of ways.

Continue reading

A closer look at application support services — part 2 of 2

Time to evaluate your App Development services provider

Besides application security testing — which I’ll be taking a closer look at next time — I want to focus now on three capabilities that can make all the difference when it comes to getting the most from an application support services provider:

  1. Database performance and stability monitoring
  2. Beta and test environment architecture, and
  3. Documentation solutions

Continue reading

A closer look at application support services — part 1 of 2

Application Development Support Services keeps customers satisfied

Given all the costs associated with custom application development, it’s too easy to overlook application support and maintenance expenses — but if you do, you’ll blow your ROI.

That’s why it makes sense to engage an application development services provider with app support capabilities that are both comprehensive and flexible. These capabilities — from database and application maintenance through the entire life-cycle of updates and enhancements — need to be customizable.

Continue reading

Better ways to meet application development challenges

Application Development Chart illustrating Production, Development, Testing.
 Application development projects can be difficult to manage while ensuring milestones and retaining hard-won ROI.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. An experienced, competent application development service provider can handle the details with a flexible development strategy that begins with discovery, carries you through concept/design, development and testing/quality assurance, and completes the effort with production/launch and maintenance/support.

Continue reading

Cloud Computing best practice #1: Before all else, strategy, strategy, strategy

Importance of Developing a Cloud Strategy

The odds are overwhelming that your business will end up engaged in Cloud Computing (if it hasn’t already). Whether you’re stepping toward Cloud services for the first time, expanding your use, or revisiting what you want to achieve with Cloud services, the very first thing you should do is to develop a Cloud strategy.

Continue reading

Cloud Computing best practice #2: Negotiate your Cloud SLA

Cloud Computing Best Practice - Negotiating your Cloud SLA

The right Cloud service-level agreement (SLA) will enable you to bundle all your Cloud services into a single monthly OpEx payment that will …

  • Shift significant amounts of your IT costs from your capital budget into your operating budget,
  • Relieve you of constant IT asset upgrade and maintenance costs, and
  • Make it easier to manage your services and ensure that you’ve established — and continue to achieve — appropriate service levels

Continue reading

Cloud Computing best practice #3: Pay attention to security

Importance of Security in Cloud Computing

This best practice might seem obvious, but it can never be over-emphasized. Here are the five must-dos of Cloud Computing security…

  1. Evaluate Cloud service providers’ security with these questions:
    • What access control model do you use? Who chooses the authoritative sources of access control policy and user profile information — you, or us, or a third party?
    • Do you support retrieval of access control policies and user profile information from external sources? If so, via what formats and transmission mechanisms?
    • Where do our accounts reside? How are they provisioned and deprovisioned? How do you protect the integrity of my data?
    • What authentication mechanisms do you support? (These should be appropriate for the sensitivity of the data use.) Do you support federated authentication or single sign-on model(s)?
    • What support do you provide for delegated administration by policy administration services?
    • What log information do you provide? Can it be imported into our operational analysis and reporting tools?
    • Can we specify external entities with whom to share information? If so, how is that accomplished? Continue reading

Cloud Computing best practices #5 and #4: Monitoring and covering your backup

Importance of Cloud Data Monitoring

Cloud Computing doesn’t mean you walk away from your IT.

That’s why #5 in our Cloud Computing best practices countdown is: Always monitor your Cloud services.

Moving to the Cloud doesn’t require a new network (unless your existing network already has serious issues). But bandwidth is a core component of systems using Cloud platforms, so you need to plan for your bandwidth requirements and monitor bandwidth use. Doing this generally obviates Cloud bandwidth issues. And monitoring is the best way to ensure that your provider is living up to your service-level agreement.

Continue reading

Cloud Computing best practice #6: Check out available Cloud capabilities

Key Capabilities to Look Out For in a Cloud Computing Solution

Every day, there are new kinds of cloud computing services and solutions. And for good reason: Cloud innovation is gaining momentum and shows no signs of slowing. This is exciting news for business leaders who understand the competitive advantages that Cloud can bring them.

Continue reading