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.

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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

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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.

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Prosperity in 2012: Best-performing organizations use cloud computing

I recently came across a cloud computing benefit/risk study conducted in the first half of 2011 by the IT Policy Compliance Group (ITPCG). It shows that best-performing organizations (which see higher profits and suffer fewer business disruptions and less data loss) use cloud computing significantly more than poor-performing organizations.

More than two-thirds of best performers use cloud computing — about half opting for private clouds, while 25% use hybrid clouds and another 25% use public clouds. By contrast, only 9% of worst performers use cloud computing.

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Quest CTO Mike Dillon to speak at Global Conference on Disaster Management

Our Chief Technology Officer, Mike Dillon, will be part of the all-day Global Conference on Disaster Management on November 10 at the Marriott Union Square Hotel in San Francisco.

Mike will discuss how cloud/managed services providers can make all the difference when it comes to protecting and preserving the information and digital applications on which your business depends.

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Essential SLA Elements #5: Protecting your data from the goblins

A service-level agreement works best when it’s the result of a collaborative effort between you and a service provider you can trust. This kind of trusted collaboration will uncover the most cost-effective ways your provider’s IT capabilities can be put to work for your business.

Part of that trust involves the fifth and last Essential SLA Element on my list: Procedures for the safe and prompt return of your data upon service termination.

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Essential SLA Elements #3 and #4: Monitoring, enforcement, and change mechanisms

A good service-level agreement looks simple — but that’s because it’s been conscientiously negotiated to meet the buyer’s needs. Of the five essential SLA elements that every managed and cloud services customer should focus on, I’ve described two — specifying service functionality and describing the infrastructure and standards to be maintained by the provider.

Essential SLA Elements #3 concerns SLA changes. Your SLA should include a mechanism by which you can regularly tune it in response to changing business conditions or new technologies. You’ll benefit from building in a formal review of your SLA (at least annually) in order to use experience and new information to revise it.

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Your SLA: Forgotten secret to getting the most from your cloud provider

To get the most out of your managed or cloud service, you need to invest the time in negotiating a good service-level agreement.

The SLA is a key part of the contract between you and your provider, since it describes the levels of service being provided and the metrics used to ensure your provider delivers full value. And the right SLA with the right service provider can mitigate cloud risks and help your business flourish.

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Maximizing cloud computing for small business — securely

This Wednesday — October 12 — I’ll be participating in the Small Business Technology Tour that’s coming to Salt Lake City, UT, where I’ll be talking about how cloud computing can boost small business productivity and help keep your operations secure.

I’ll be joined by a couple of other experts, and together we’ll talk about the benefits of cloud computing for small businesses: why and how cloud computing can reduce your capital expenditures, help you spend less on IT operations, provide you access to the deep resources and skills of a reliable cloud services provider, and improve your IT security, privacy, and availability.

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