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.

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Planning for 4 Key 2015 Technology Challenges

Colleagues making a plan

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

3 Steps to Closing the BYOD Gap

BYOD Policy – BYOD Gap

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

The BYOD Gap

Navigation concept

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

5 Capabilities That Your Wireless Network Needs Now

wireless network management

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

What to Look For in IT Operations Analytics Capabilities

iPhone sitting on background with map of the world and charts and graphs coming out of the phone.

In my last post, I discussed how IT operations analytics can transform the masses of IT performance data into insight that provides broad, cross-tier network and infrastructure visibility so that …

  1. Issues may be proactively recognized and resolved before they affect your business
  2. Future capacity and provisioning requirements may be anticipated
  3. A performance baseline built from multiple metrics can be established, reducing the time, money, and headaches associated with planning and deploying new projects, such as cloud deployments or virtualization.

But how should you go about choosing an IT operations analytics solutions? This is worth paying attention to, since such solutions are new, called by a number of different names (though likely not for long) and are available both as appliances and cloud-based services. Continue reading

When IT Performance Monitoring Gets a “Big Data” Boost

Businessman standing on Cloud looking at world map covered with image representing Cloud data. And a giant Q from the Quest logo

No doubt you’ve heard about “big data.” It sounds intimidating, invasive, and, well, way too big. But don’t be fooled — “big data” is going to save your IT infrastructure.

The first thing you need to understand about how this is happening (oh yes, it’s already well underway) is that “big data” is something of a misnomer. What we’re really talking about is analytics — automated mathematical tools that work in real time to sift through untold amounts of regular old data, in this case IT performance data, and produce actionable results that go far beyond legacy monitoring capabilities. Continue reading

Virtualization, cloud services make a new network/app management world

laptops surrounding a world globe

In my last post, I pointed out that today’s speedy, low-cost connectivity is impacting network and application management. This time I’ll concentrate on the other significant trend changing network and application management: Virtualization and cloud services.

Today’s datacenter environments are not only quickly becoming hyper-connected, most have also undergone at least some degree of virtualization and use of cloud services. The combination results in new kinds of business applications and, ultimately, a new kind of network infrastructure that exhibits…

  • Greater traffic volume, notably storage traffic
  • A shift in traffic flows from top-down/bottom-up to peer-to-peer, server-to-server, and virtual machine-to-virtual machine (now as much as 80% by some estimates)
  • Increasing amounts of synchronization and replication data across the network
  • A flatter network hierarchy

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Cloud Computing best practice: Always monitor your Cloud services

Shield on a cloud to illustrate Cloud Security

In order to know whether your Cloud provider is meeting the performance and availability parameters set out in your service-level agreement (SLA), you have to be able to monitor your Cloud services.

While you might not need or care to see detailed reports about the performance of your provider’s various infrastructure elements (VMs, storage, etc.), since this information doesn’t really provide a sufficient view into overall Cloud performance, you can and should seek information from your provider regarding application and/or workload performance.

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Cloud Computing best practice: Use your Cloud SLA to get what you really need

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Do not — I say again, do not give your Cloud service-level agreement (SLA) short shrift. Your Cloud SLA is how you make sure you get what you want and pay only for what you get.

It’s not uncommon, however, to find yourself with an assortment of Cloud SLAs — one for each service your business subscribes to. Happily, the right Cloud SLA will enable you to bundle all your Cloud services into a single monthly OpEx payment.

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