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The Rise Of The Cloud Integrator

Three quarters of UK businesses are now officially ‘in the cloud’ in one form or another. The universal, horizontal cloud benefits of agility and utility are undeniable and compelling, but businesses still need to be able to translate these into enablement and competitive advantage. Getting the most from your cloud investment can be a challenge. The fact is, not all clouds are created equal, and depending on your drivers, required outcomes and preferences, some will be a far better fit than others. The current cloud market is fragmented and rapidly evolving, featuring niche startups, traditional infrastructure providers, telcos and a technicolour array of different propositions and services, making it hard to be (and stay) well informed. It’s sometimes difficult to know where to go and how......

Cloud: The 60-Year-Old Hot Topic That Gives Data Centres A New Perspective

For something that started in the 1950s, cloud computing might seem to be late to the buzzword party. In fact, that pervasive, omnipresent trend of today is technically more than 60 years old. In those days, time sharing allowed multiple terminals to share the physical access and CPU time on mainframes. But the vision for cloud was already there: in the 1950s, scientist Herb Grosch predicted that the world would operate on dumb terminals powered by about 15 large data centres. Commercialised in the 1960s, cloud computing evolved through the early VPNs of the 1990s, virtualisation and the dotcom bubble that fuelled Amazon’s rise to success, until the point in 2008 when Gartner remarked that cloud computing could “shape the relationship among consumers of IT services, those who use IT servic......

Business Networks In The Cloud: Facebook Versus MySpace?

In this, the third in a series of articles on what businesses can learn from Facebook, I consider the impact of the network effect. The first article, a new information sharing model, considered how the principles of Facebook information sharing can be applied to business and the second turned attention on collecting and analysing data. When you sign up for Facebook today, the site already has dozens, maybe hundreds of friendship recommendations waiting for you. All you need to do is hit ‘accept.’ As odd, perhaps even a little creepy as that may feel, it is testament to the vibrancy of that community. It’s proof that the famous network effect has reached critical mass. It’s easy to forget though that it hasn’t always been that way. Just a few short years ago, Facebook and MySpace were roug......

G-Cloud: More Needs To Be Done To Make It Work

Imagine a world where the public and private sectors work harmoniously, boosting the economy with innovation and giving taxpayers more for their money. Imagine a platform for finding and contacting new businesses with new ideas, that will engage with and surprise an organisation while meeting its specific needs. The G-Cloud framework represents the fundamentals of this brave new world. Now about to enter its fifth iteration, G-Cloud is widely acknowledged for bringing ICT services to the public sector. Designed to give local authorities and councils a flexible means of accessing accredited providers to procure cloud services, G-Cloud’s CloudStore makes it easier to find small and innovative cloud providers, ultimately reshaping how public services are provided. However, G-Cloud is not livi......

5 Ways Cloud-Based Accounting Makes A Difference To SMEs

Cloud computing is being deployed on a grand scale at some of the world’s biggest companies and, in many cases, changing the way they operate and do business. But beyond the headline-grabbing investments of enterprise giants, cloud computing is steadily bringing about a revolution too in the way that small companies go about their work and plan for the future. A key part of the equation for these small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is the effective use of cloud-based accounting software. Here we’ll take a closer look at why it is making such a difference. 1. Cost Effectiveness Every innovation is required to illustrate its cost effectiveness before being pounced upon in earnest by small businesses and cloud-based accounting software has been no exception. But once installed and readie......

Cloud Computing Pros And Cons For SMBs

Appetite for the cloud has increased immensely throughout the business community over the last few years, with the widespread availability of mobile devices and Wi-Fi prompting professionals to look to cloud-based apps and computing models that enable them to work on the go. Yet while enterprises with large IT departments have dedicated time and resource to cloud working, smaller businesses have had to forge their own route – in some cases with trepidation. So what are the biggest barriers to cloud in the SMB? And what should smaller firms think about when making a move? A recent survey by the analytics firm ComScore confirmed that the reasons many UK SMBs are yet to move their business applications to the cloud are because they are afraid it may create problems around data security and ar......

The Need For Speed: The Growing Importance Of Faster Cloud Computing

There can be a tendency to think too simplistically about the benefits of moving applications to the cloud. Traditional logic centres around the cost savings that companies can make out of the shift from on-premise deployments but there is another, more important element of the cloud that should be given more credence – speed. The need for speed amongst enterprise organisations is critical, and, with growing understanding and competence, enterprise organisations are harnessing the potential of operating mission-critical applications in the cloud. More Than Meets The Eye When thinking of speed and the cloud, raw compute power tends to immediately spring to mind. The cloud can provide an environment where existing applications can run up to seven times faster than they would on-premise......

The Beautiful Game Turned Ugly: 5 Tips For Home Working During Brazil 2014

It may or may not have escaped your attention, but there’s a rather large football tournament taking place in Brazil, that starts today. And while England’s games are scheduled to take place more-or-less outside of office hours, it’s probably the obligatory revelry that coincides with international football tournaments that will mean some employees might struggle to make it into the office the next day. Some will pull a sickie, while others will try to work from home, if their company has a policy in place that supports this. Coincidentally, a recent study by the Office of National Statistics found that there are now 4.2 million Britons working from home, the highest since records began in 1998. And from June 30th, right in the midst of the football (half way through the round of 16 to be ......

3 Things You Never Knew About Your Business Phone System

In the age of multichannel communications, with IM, social media and email all exciting additions to the business communications portfolio, the phone continues to be a hugely important channel, and very often the medium for getting real business done. But all too often the phone systems we are using are from the digital dark ages, without all of these additional features and integrations. So why aren’t we investing in the latest technology that enables businesses to meet modern challenges and get more from this communications staple? The phone system has not been left behind, with IP telephony moving the phone system to the cloud alongside newer digital channels. By moving to a fully hosted cloud PBX system, businesses could be taking advantage of numerous business benefits that may otherw......

Scaling The Data Mountain

Faced with ever increasing volumes of data and demand for storage, it’s simple for an organisation to spin up yet another virtual machine, and add or expand a disk to store even more data. Ultimately, however with data growth outstripping IT budget growth, a reactive approach isn’t sustainable and at some point financial considerations will force a more sophisticated response. It’s therefore essential that IT teams take a holistic view, considering solutions that will enable them to gain greater value from their information, and in parallel, avoid risks arising from regulatory compliance and legal claims. Data Management: A Growing Problem For IT? Organisations now operate in a climate of vastly expanding, unstructured data sources often generated by individuals – rather than formalised sy......

The Cloudy Horizon For Software Defined Networking

The idea that IT departments are increasingly acting as ‘service brokers’ has been a hot topic in recent times, but a change of focus is seeing the ‘self manage’ cloud at the forefront. Having a unified platform, that is managed centrally and gives developers freedom, helps prevent people internally taking things into their own hands and is an attractive proposition for those concerned with matters of compliance and regulation. The concept being that the outsourced IT supplier provides cloud services, but the organisation ultimately retains control over its IT. As a result, we’re seeing hybrid cloud models being embraced that play very well into the networking arena, which is all about security, compliance and keeping a handle on workloads. However, organisations intent on taking too much ......

The Facebook Effect: What Social Networking Has Taught Us About Backing Up Data

Here are a few astounding social photo statistics: There have been more than 250 billion photos uploaded to Facebook, with an average 350 million photo uploads every day. The average user has 217 photos uploaded to the site. And that’s just Facebook; Zuckerberg’s $1 billion acquisition, Instagram, has a ridiculous 55 million snapshots posted to its app per day (that’s more than 600 shots per second). So what do all these uploads say about us, besides the fact that we all love a good selfie? Recent survey results revealed that when given the choice, 74 percent of respondents would save their personal photos before the device (phone, laptop, or tablet) on which they’re stored. In fact, of all the files kept on their devices, consumers overwhelmingly said that their personal photos are the mo......

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