Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

5 Reasons Why Disaster Recovery as a Service Is a Smart Idea

100 dollar bill in a light bulb

If you check out the numbers, it’s clear that businesses with solid Disaster Recovery plans will be back on their feet within hours or days following an event, while the majority of those without DR plans — too often smaller businesses — won’t recover at all.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Continue reading

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

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

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

Planning Your Hybrid Cloud: 6 Key Steps (part 2)

Architecture blueprint as a model for cloud planning

In my last post I focused on the first two steps in planning for a hybrid cloud: Making sure your IT infrastructure is “cloudified” and assessing your current environment and workloads. In this post, I’ll lay out the final four steps:  Continue reading

Planning Your Hybrid Cloud: 6 Key Steps (in 2 parts)

Information Cloud

By some accounts, better than 50% of organizations are now deploying hybrid clouds — and for some very good reasons:

  • Improved security, because sensitive data can remain behind your private cloud firewall while less sensitive data can be permitted onto a public cloud.
  • Ability to specify where and under what terms and conditions your data is stored.
  • Effective workload balancing without breaking the bank, since using a public cloud to, say, handle peak loads can be far cheaper than keeping everything in-house or moving everything to a public cloud.

To get a hybrid cloud up and running, you need to begin with planning — specifically, a six-step planning process that, fortunately, you do not have to undertake alone. In this post, I’ll focus on the first two steps: Continue reading