Creating IT Heroes

By Nathan Pearce, F5’s Senior Technical Marketing Manager

As an IT professional, technology evolution can be a blessing and a curse.

The constant conveyor belt of new products mean you have potentially a huge arsenal of tools at your disposal. But the demands of the business and the difficulties of where to place your technology bets means you’re constantly facing difficult decisions.

At the moment, we’re experiencing the most accelerated pace of IT change we’ve ever known. Cloud computing, big data / analytics, mobile and social are transforming the way we work and the way our businesses operate.

Yet, there remains a sentiment in some quarters that the IT department has lost influence in the business in recent years, is unreliable or is a barrier to progress, lacking the necessary knowledge to tackle and implement new solutions and infrastructures efficiently. Continue reading

What Is Cloud Faxing?

By Trish Gilson, Senior Sales Consultant, SecureCare Technologies, Inc

Many people are familiar with the decades-old system of faxing. It is a tried and tested system of sending and receiving information in real-time from contacts on the other end of the phone line. For security, audit and compliance reasons, many fax machines survived the evolution of email. But more and more people are now ditching their fax machines in favour of internet-based solutions like fax-to-email and secure cloud-based fax. Continue reading

10 Benefits of Cloud Computing for SMEs

By Jonathan Richards, CEO, BreatheHR

 

It seems hard to remember a time when businesses didn’t rely on computers, email, software and databases to run and facilitate the majority of their core business processes.

The emergence of cloud computing offers businesses a new set of tools and services through which their can streamline and improve the way in which they work. However, many businesses are still a little wary of the idea of storing and retrieving business critical data and documentation in the cloud. Continue reading

The future of the cloud: Unknown, not disillusioned

By Sean Bowen, CEO of Push Technology

Last year a Gartner paper branded cloud computing on a potential path to ‘disillusionment’. Certainly, uptake of the cloud has been a slow process, but is this because the value proposition of the cloud hasn’t been clearly communicated enough in simple terms to the layman?

Essentially the Cloud is a utility, packaged in convenient API’s (Application Programming Interfaces), exposed over relevant APPs (Applications), so that services, infrastructure and resource costs can be exploited tactically in addition to traditional managed hosting, leased infrastructure and private facilities.

Similarly for big data – it’s heralded as a solution for a whole host of business problems – but many would be unable to outline what it is, or how it can be utilised effectively. Big data, fundamentally, is about the relevant, timely and responsive analysis and distribution of data to streamline actionable business intelligence. It seems to me that there is a deep lack of understanding for such a commonly discussed trend, and it is important that this is addressed. Continue reading

Keep both feet on the ground when planning a move into the cloud

By Len Padilla, Senior Director of Technology at global ICT service provider NTT Europe

 

The cloud is providing businesses with a way of outsourcing their ICT estate and acquiring new tools and technologies quickly and easily. Most cloud environments make it possible to fund ICT on a monthly basis. However, while the benefits may be clear, deciding when to adopt the cloud computing model is an issue facing many businesses. Continue reading

SMEs and Cloud: the security battle – who does it better?

By joint writers Frank Bennett and Dr. Peter Chadha, the authors of Thinking of…Going Google Apps – To Save Money and Get Ahead – A guide for SMEs! 
Be aware that security is the vexed question that many SMEs get stuck on when considering the cloud. Why is that? We live in a security conscious world and are programmed to think ‘worse case’: But, security is hard to implement when:

  • 1 in 10 portable computers are stolen within the first year of purchase
  • 60% of corporate data resides on unprotected desktop portable computers
  • 6 in 10 USB thumb drive owners report losing them and 60% of them store corporate data.

Your security policy informs your staff what they should do to protect your digital assets but as the data above reveals, we are only human! Security is a big complex issue and due to the actions of cyber-baddies, it has to be kept under constant review and that is beyond the means of most SMEs.  Continue reading

Simple and practical ways cloud computing can help your business

By Peter Gradwell, founder of award winning VoIP and Internet provider Gradwell

 

Search google for cloud and you’ll turn up a lot of tech industry buzz phrases that end in “as a service”, or worse, their acronyms; SaaS; HaaS; Paas; and so on. Soon, what should be a fairly simple concept feels a lot more complex for business owners.

For those who don’t have the word “Technology” in their job title, we can simply think of cloud as being able to access files and applications over the internet. If we cut through the jargon and think in those terms, then it starts to become easier to see some of the business and lifestyle benefits of could computing. Continue reading

Seeing is believing – Cloud versus the physical data centre

By Jane Brett, Sales Director, Allied Telesis UKISA 

Despite the best efforts of cloud vendors to commend the virtues of migrating to the cloud, CTOs are still reluctant to put their trust in large cloud providers, preferring instead to store sensitive data and mission critical applications in their own data centres. It’s a human control characteristic – if you can see and touch you are safe.

Visualising that their data is ‘out there somewhere’ is frightening requiring the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy when it all goes pear shaped. Bring a CFO into the conversation and the pitfalls could bring on a whole new dimension of cost consideration again – if I can see it, I know what I am paying for. If I can’t see it how do I know I am getting a fair deal? Continue reading

2013: The Year the Cloud Becomes Invisible

By Scott Crenshaw, SVP of Strategy and CMO, Acronis

 

The “Information Superhighway” sounds pretty silly to us these days. It harkens back to when the Web was more of a promise than a reality. Lately, we hardly even hear people talking about the Internet. That’s because the Internet is part of our everyday life and is basically invisible to its users. Maybe now it should be, “You’ve Always Got Mail.”

We forget that smart phones, streaming services like Netflix, and, to a great degree, the way we pay our bills and manage our finances all rely on the Internet. We take it for granted, but that’s because we can afford to. Continue reading

Office365: Taking Your On-premise Problems into the Cloud

By David Gildeh, Director of Cloud Services for Alfresco

Users trying Office365 will immediately be struck by how familiar Office365 is to their on-premise counterparts, Exchange and SharePoint. While Microsoft took a tactical move to repurpose their existing products, they failed to understand the three key rules of cloud software, which is why users will find Office365 lacking compared to other offerings and your investment will struggle to get the adoption required. Continue reading