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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......

Service Catalogues Vs App Store: An Easy Choice For Business Cloud Computing

There is a general confusion and lack of understanding by businesses when it comes to cloud technologies. Often blinded by the projected cost savings, businesses are failing to take advantage of the full scale of cloud services available, implementing those that are basic in management and low in cost. As employees, we are now a generation learning IT through our smartphones and expecting the same level of efficiency from the workplace. Mobile devices have become so firmly embedded in our lives that our behavioural patterns have dramatically altered with the number of mobile phones expected to exceed the world population this year. The core of our consumption is the app store, arguably one of the most effective and innovative retail business models since the introduction of the traditional......

Business Intelligence In The Cloud

The mid-tier and SME Business Intelligence (BI) industry is responding to a shift towards Cloud-based applications which are migrating from the centralised platform to individual vendor applications. However, this has created a divide between enterprise-scale and midmarket customers. Most enterprises have legacy on-premise BI platforms and look to extend rather than invest in new off-premise solutions, so the move towards Cloud-based solutions will be slower. As early adopters of Software as a Service (SaaS) and the Cloud, smaller organisations have turned to web-based applications due to their cost effectiveness. However, how will this diversification affect the market and the long-term foundations of the BI space? The Impact Of BI In The Cloud Enterprise migration to the Cloud appears to......

IT Professionals Look Online For Career Development

The importance of IT in today’s economy is universally taken for granted. The IT revolution began several decades ago, and since then there have been significant technological advances. The fight for competitive advantage, across all industry sectors, is fierce and the IT department is on the front line. It is vital for IT managers to keep pace with these developments if their businesses are to remain competitive. There are many examples of IT departments failing to provide businesses with what they need when they need it, often due to a lack of relevant skills. High-profile cases in the UK, going back more than 20 years, demonstrate that IT failures are nothing new. Classic ‘golden oldies’ include the attempt to transfer the London Stock Exchange from paper-based trading to a computerised......

Taking Control Of Your Cloud

Cloud computing services are increasingly being adopted mainstream and are fast becoming an integral part of every organisation’s IT strategy. Many industry analysts are saying that cloud will become a major platform for growth for organisations and especially for mid-market businesses. This is because, previously, if an organisation wanted to get a new idea off the ground, they would often have had to make a significant upfront investment in IT before they even knew if their business idea was going to work. The cloud, however, levels the playing field. When done right, cloud takes away barriers to entry and makes technology available to all organisations. From day one, a business can ramp up very quickly and easily without having to make serious upfront capital investment. The move to the......

The Eternal Life Of Your Data

Perhaps the single most significant technological development of the past 25 years is the creation of the web. As we celebrate the web’s 25th anniversary, we can look back and laugh about how little we once understood about its possibilities. But, even now that the web is ubiquitous in many of our lives, we’re still left with a massive set of questions surrounding what happens to our information online. Who owns our data? How can we get a grip on our own personal digital lives? With many of us conducting a vast majority of life and business online, digital has come to define our society. Many people under the age of 30 are more likely to send a text message versus have a phone conversation. We’re more likely to send an email or IM than have a face-to-face conversation with a coworker. The ......

IoT Will Be Big, But It’s What You Do With It That Matters

IT people love to create and use buzzwords – it helps us to immediately define and understand what we are talking about. In fact, you don’t need to be a genius to work out that the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is all about connecting “things” together via the Internet. But, what do we mean by things, why bother and is there anything more to this particular bandwagon beyond machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity? The first of these questions is easy enough to answer. By “things” we mean just about everything and anything you might want to connect to the Internet; in fact we really ought to call it the “Internet of Everything.” These things aren’t just laptops, smartphones, and tablets, but central heating controls, intruder alarms, surveillance cameras, cars, domestic fridges, washing machines......

Is Slow Internet Stifling Your Business Growth?

Most of us rely on technology to run our businesses, and top of the list of critical technologies is the Internet. It is the electronic highway that enables us to interact, communicate, trade, do business and ultimately grow. The Internet is to us, what the railways were to the industrial revolution. But are UK Internet speeds fast enough? Superfast broadband schemes are popping up all over the country to help businesses benefit from better connectivity, but a survey carried out by North West Business Insider magazine recently found that 66% of regional businesses would like faster broadband. And with the UK’s slowest download speeds revealed in the media recently with connections of just 0.60-Mbps recorded in Wales and Essex, it’s become apparent that the UK really does need to play catch......