Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

A Forward Look: Riding the Digital Waves of 2015

Concept of divergence with branching arrows

At year’s end, I always find myself looking back over the previous 12 months and then, inevitably, I can’t help but look forward to the coming year. Since I’m in the information technology business, this exercise can be pretty interesting.

Technology trends translate into products and services that matter, but when you hear about technologies like web-scale IT, cloud bursting, advanced analytics, self-aware apps, context-rich systems, software-defined networks, etc. – well, it’s hard to keep your eyes from glazing over. So I’ll narrow it down to two waves coming at all of us: Continue reading

Keep Your Guard Up During the Holidays

Yellow sign with exclamation point

The holiday season is upon us – which means it’s also cyberattack season. Though, arguably, 2014 has turned into an entire year of the cyberattack: one study estimates 2014 will rack up an incredible 42.8 million cyberattacks worldwide. That’s more than 117,000 attacks every day!

Which leads me to the topic of firewalls. It’s been 20 years since the first firewalls were deployed to make a perimeter gateway barrier blocking unwanted IP traffic.

Since then, firewalls have evolved to keep pace with new technologies, the ever-increasing complexities of network infrastructures and applications, and new business models that have spawned things like cloud computing and mobile apps. These days, companies deploying firewalls and advanced perimeter controls see a 15% return-on-investment. Continue reading

Giving Thanks During the Season of Patching

Abstract concept of patching

As the nights grow longer and colder, giving thanks for all that’s warm and light-filled makes wonderful sense. We are, in effect, expressing appreciation for feeling secure and safe.

In fact, this is a time of year when it’s a good idea to pay particular attention to security — especially data security. With the season of holiday gift-buying underway, opportunities for data thieves, hackers, and malware abound.

This isn’t only a concern for retailers and credit card firms. We’re all vulnerable and we all have to continually tend to the security of our businesses.  Continue reading

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

Your Wireless Network: Signs That the Tail has Begun to Wag the Dog

network management - wireless networks have become the primary network

In many companies, the wireless capability added on to their enterprise network a few years ago has become some employees’ primary network.

It’s a development that signals just how quickly mobile devices are proliferating the workplace. The so-called “consumerization of business” changes the way we work — and our data networks have to keep up.

This transformation has been in the works for a while. In 2011, market analyst firm Gartner predicted 80% of corporate wireless network technologies would be obsolete by 2015. Gartner may well be right, given the findings of more recent research. Continue reading

4 Capabilities to Look For in an IT Staffing Company

Two hands joining together two oversized jigsaw pieces

When it comes to choosing a firm to help with your IT staffing efforts, it’s important to remember that some IT staffing firms do a better job than others. Here’s what you have a right to expect:

1. An IT staffing company should be able to help you strategically plan your IT hiring
This involves a thorough examination of budget priorities, workloads, the skillsets of current team members, and future projects — all with an eye on flexibly meeting both your short- and long-term goals. Look for an IT staffing company that helps you determine what types of special skills you need for your IT projects, the best mix of permanent IT staff and contractors, when you’ll see workload spikes, etc.

Continue reading

Getting the IT Staff You Need May Not be as Easy as You Think

Man contemplating a decision

According to Computer Economics’ 2014/2015 IT Spending & Staffing Benchmarks report, hiring of IT professionals is finally on the upswing — yet another indication that our long-declining economy continues to improve.

Even so, you may not have an easy time finding the right IT expertise when you need it. That’s because there’s something of a squeeze going on (you know, the one that puts you between a rock and a hard place):

Continue reading