Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Staying secure in a dangerous age:
Overcoming cybersecurity complexity – with cloud and managed security services

Cybersecurity Complexity by Quest

The last time I posted, I described several cybersecurity solutions which are moving beyond the reactive, siloed offerings that continue to be necessary, but are no longer sufficient to protect our enterprises.

These solutions can seem daunting. The complexity of it all often overwhelms.

This is partly due to what’s happening to our information infrastructures, which are also becoming more complex as they go hybrid. They are, essentially, boundless as they accommodate internet communication. Meanwhile, today’s in–house data centers are increasingly virtualized and typically combine a variety of cloud and managed services.
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8 best practices for going hybrid cloud

Best Practices Hybrid Cloud by Quest

Public cloud apps and services are great for shifting your non-differentiated business functions and infrastructure from expensive on-premise environments to low-cost off-site facilities managed by specialists you have no hope of keeping on staff.

Yet, if you’re facing shadow IT issues, demands to improve security and compliance, or the realization that you must prepare for a future in which success depends on your ability to differentiate your business, then you need something more than public cloud subscriptions.
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Hybrid Cloud: Playing offense with technology innovation

Hybrid Cloud Technology Innovation by Quest

As I’ve clarified in recent posts, cloud services generally provide the most resource-efficient way to satisfy your organization’s IT requirements — and usually are most effectively deployed via a hybrid cloud combining selected public cloud subscriptions with customized private cloud capabilities.

The arguments for hybrid clouds that you hear most often are, basically, defensive, powering the customizations that legacy environments depend on, protecting sensitive data, and boosting compliance.
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Introducing the automated private cloud in your hybrid future

Automated Private Cloud by Quest

Hybrid clouds are turning out to be the best way for enterprises to enable employees’ continued access to powerful on-demand public cloud resources without losing control over corporate data, corporate security, the ability to comply with legal requirements (e.g., ensuring employee and customer privacy), or the maintenance of legacy capabilities.

Public cloud + private cloud = necessity

After all, you’re not going to get line-of-business employees trying to do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible to cease their Shadow IT habits. They’ll invariably sign up for one of those quite excellent public cloud application services — whether you like it or not. Whether you even know it or not.

And odds are you can’t afford to devote your IT people’s limited time to building in-house replacements for such services. This makes a hybrid cloud architecture a necessity for most enterprises, since a hybrid cloud combines use of
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Why Shadow IT will drive you to a hybrid cloud

Hybrid Cloud by Quest

Given how much cloud apps can boost your business agility while reducing maintenance, labor, and capital costs, chances are you’re spending a sizeable chunk of your IT budget on them (probably more than you realize).

You’re not alone. Industry watcher IDC predicts that in just a couple of years, at least half of all IT spending will be cloud-based, and by 2020, 60%-70% of all IT infrastructure, software, services, and technology spending will be cloud-based.
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Leverage the power of data gravity with a network services assist

Network Services Assist by Quest

As you migrate more and more of your data to cloud environments, you’ve probably noticed a couple of things:

1 Data gravity

It’s not your imagination: as you’ve embraced cloud computing, the data still outside your cloud(s) really does get pulled toward applications running in your cloud(s).
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What to look for in a technology staffing services provider

Technology Staffing Services Provider by Quest

Finding the technology skillsets you need when you need them is getting tougher all the time, as my last post attests. If you’re like many enterprises, you’re engaging more than one staffing service in hopes of ending staff deficits.

So here’s my advice about what to look for in a technology staffing services provider:
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Are you lingering too long in your IT legacy?

Technology Ecosystem by Quest

For a long time, the most effective way for an organization to benefit from the power of IT required committing to a single vendor’s technology ecosystem.

You bought or leased the designated hardware on which you ran the designated software and, perhaps, a compatible service or two. But when you inevitably bumped into the limits of your chosen technology ecosystem, you faced a stark choice:

Either give up on that capability you were hoping to implement in the manner that would serve your business best — or alter the way your business operated in order to “sort of” get at least some of what you needed from the technology ecosystem in which you’d already invested plenty.

Typically, technology customization stayed out of reach and businesses were cornered into the second option, forced to adapt to the technology tools available rather than the other way around. Certainly, the ecosystem vendors didn’t mind, as customer lock-in proved extremely profitable.
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What Kind of Cloud Customer Are You?

When clients contemplating a move to the cloud ask for advice, we tell them to start by being realistic about what cloud computing actually offers.

Yes, the cloud frees budgets from constant investment in infrastructure, reducing CapEx expenditure.

But the cloud is a technology, not a solution that will automatically deliver benefits like faster time-to-market or streamlined methods or a fix for personnel or process issues within your enterprise.

Next, we advocate a know thyself approach. You’ll get the most out of a cloud implementation by understanding what you’re trying to accomplish. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re certain about having access to the technical talent you’ll need to get from purchase to actual delivery of services, then go it alone.

If you’re less certain about what to do once you’ve ordered up servers and terabytes of data, you’ll want some help — which brings us to the last bit of advice: know thy cloud provider.

Cloud providers, like cloud computing itself, come in a dizzying array of options.

So don’t let a cloud provider tell you there’s only one way to get something done. Those vendors are trying to sell you their product rather than a solution that fits your business.

But you can in fact get exactly what you need without giving up the economies of scale the cloud promises. Ask a trusted technology advisor how.

Appreciating the bottom-line power of developing customized apps

Developing Customized Apps by Quest

How important are apps to your business?

If your enterprise is like most, the answer is VERY. And the chief reason centers on the rising importance of mobile “presence.” Without such presence, just about every business will soon struggle to compete.

Sometimes, however, not even a good mobile app is enough, because app users — which is to say, your customers — have become demanding. And picky.