Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

8 Best Practices to Develop a Business Resilience Strategy

Resilience concept illustrated by a blue arrow made of balls

According to Gartner, by 2020 60% of businesses will suffer major service failures due to mismanagement of risk in new technology and use cases. This is why, in my last post, I suggested that the best way to deal with these risks is to commit to a strategy of resilience — “the capacity of an organization to plan for and adapt to change or disruption through anticipation, protection, responsive capacity, and recoverability.”

To get a sense of a resilient business in 2015, let’s start with where you want to end up.

Continue reading

When was the last time you reviewed your DR plan?

chart of data availability solutions

Last year, disasters in the United States caused more than $60 billion in damage. And the future promises plenty more of the same, says a recent report from Swiss reinsurer Munich Re — especially in North America, where weather-related loss events have quintupled in the last 30 years.

Now add in concerns about inadequate backup of the data on employees’ smartphones and tablets, wayward virtual machines, cyberattacks and other security incidents …

Continue reading

How Hosted IP PBX Solutions Can Keep Your Communications Competitive

Hosted IP PBX chart

The way you do business is changing fast.

It’s not just that you’re replacing your face-to-face interactions with a range of digital modes like email, instant messaging, and videoconferencing—now you need to insist that those modes be available anytime, anywhere on devices that are familiar, mobile and allow us to access and communicate any and all of your data at will.

Problem: How to keep up — affordably

You need communications capabilities that can stay apace of all this, which the plain old telephone system (POTS) cannot. The alternative has been IP PBXs that replace bundles of physical wires with a session initiation protocol (SIP) service called trunking.

Continue reading

Application vulnerabilities: Closer than you think

graph showing application vulnerabilities. small version has no labels.

Consider: Last year, according to Verizon, 54% of data breaches began as attacks on web applications, and for years one type of attack — SQL injection — has been the means by which 83% of stolen records were extracted. Meanwhile, says Gartner, 25% of all DDOS attacks this year will be application-based, and an increasing portion of these attacks may actually be diversions in which the bad guys use remotely accessible malware to target user accounts (for personal data or, in the case of financial institutions, for money).
Continue reading

Fast, cheap connectivity opens up network/application management options

3 smart phones

As 2013 begins, I notice plenty of commentary about mobile devices but less talk about the implications of mobility and other current events on business network and application monitoring and management requirements.

I see two key trends impacting network and application monitoring and management in the coming year: Fast, cheap connectivity and virtualization/cloud services. In this post, I’ll focus on the first of those — connectivity, which is most apparent in the current push toward (you guessed it) mobility.

Chicken or egg: Mobility ↔ connectivity
These days, your employees’ desktop functions are shifting to increasingly powerful mobile devices. At the same time, cloud services make the connectivity of those devices pretty much ubiquitous. So the value of much of your traditional infrastructure diminishes because it costs too much, is too complex, takes up too much space — and, too often, it doesn’t get the job done anymore.

Continue reading

The Disruption Dirty Dozen: Asking the hard DR questions

Register button for Master Your Disaster

Regardless of their cause(s), your ability to minimize business disruptions depends on planning that’s based on a granular understanding of the risks posed to your business processes.

This planning begins with understanding who your key stakeholders are, how your organization conducts business, and what sorts of disruptions are likeliest at your locations (note that recent studies indicate power failures, hardware failures, and network failures account for more than 80% of IT-related disruptions).

Continue reading

When was the last time you reviewed your DR plan?

Data Availability Graph small

Last year, disasters in the United States caused more than $60 billion in damage. And the future promises plenty more of the same, says a recent report from Swiss reinsurer Munich Re — especially in North America, where weather-related loss events have quintupled in the last 30 years.

Now add in concerns about inadequate backup of the data on employees’ smartphones and tablets, wayward virtual machines, cyberattacks and other security incidents …

The challenge: Protect your essential business resources
It all makes now a good time to take another look at your company’s business continuity/disaster recovery plan, which ought to be reviewed and updated at least annually to keep your risk assessment current.

Continue reading

Chalk up one for mobility

lady using smartphone

A mobile workforce may sound great in principle, but I’ve heard plenty of concern from managers about how well an untethered workforce will really perform.

I haven’t seen anything in the way of a rigorous, real-world, before-and-after study that shows, one way or the other, whether mobility aids or detracts from workers’ productivity and effectiveness. Which means that for now anecdotal evidence will have to do.

Continue reading

Mobility and the Cloud: Untethered at Last

Laptops flying through the Cloud

Sleek new devices like the mini iPad and Windows Surface promise to add even more momentum to the already headlong rush into business mobility and BYOD that will, according to market researcher IDC, have more U.S. Internet users accessing the Internet through mobile devices by 2015 than through PCs or other wireline devices.

And it’s all made possible by Cloud computing infrastructure, without which business mobility would remain a hassled tangle of siloed applications, data, and communications services.

Continue reading