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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......

10 Tips To Create A Flexible, Mobile Workforce

Last week, major strikes on the London Underground left tens of thousands of workers stranded. Many employees were late or couldn’t even make it to work which severely cost London based businesses both financially, and in terms of lost productivity. Although many towns and cities don’t rely on underground trains, they do depend on the accuracy and reliability of a transport system in some form, making the workforce vulnerable to disruption of normal service. If you’re responsible for IT it’s critical that you are prepared for the worst-case scenario. While on-premise systems might be all you’re familiar with they rarely match cloud offerings for worker mobility. One of the key benefits of the cloud is that it offers an office without boundaries. Employees just need an internet connection a......

10 Key Questions To Ask A Cloud Provider

UK organisations now face a vast number of cloud options – private, public and hybrid, which is great if you know what to look for, but can spell disaster if you don’t. Here is some expert advice on questions to ask a cloud provider to make the best choice – and avoid the pitfalls. 1. Data Location Where is my data stored, do I have access to it when a system is down and what application will be affected? It’s essential that your provider can prove it offers full UK data protection. 2. Backups Will I have a local copy of all data and insight into where it’s stored? This knowledge will help avoid issues such as the Western Digital outage in April where users had no access to its personal cloud services for nearly a week. 3. Cloud Anti-Spam Will I have full transparency, with alerts, o......

When Is It Worth Moving To The Cloud?

Cloud computing is one of the most significant changes to take place in the computing, data communications and data centre worlds over the last few years. In essence, cloud computing is remote hosting, with a user application running on someone else’s virtualised servers in a remote location within a data centre rather than the user’s own machine on his own premises. While the concept of cloud computing is not new, it is still in its infancy, with many providers offering different and incompatible services in different ways. Moving To The Cloud In general, applications which work well in cloud today are ones where data communications traffic is light and not particularly time critical, where security is important (and it always is) but not critical, where a new application can be written e......

MOOCs Are Changing Corporate Learning And Development

The student population is in the middle of a massive mindset shift. Take your typical Gen Y student today. He/she is non-traditional and needs the most flexibility due to family and work demands. As one can imagine, they form a complete contrast with what education has stood for over the years. So while there have been innovations and offerings of a million different choices in almost every industry, why can’t the same happen with learning? Why should you be limited to learn what someone offers as a curriculum inside the boundaries of a classroom? To beat this impediment, all you have to do is get to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). MOOCs are online courses aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings......

Connecting The Cloud: Zero Assessment

In my previous blog I outlined the four fundamentals every business needs to consider when addressing cloud connectivity – bandwidth, latency, availability and cost control – as well as the three maturity phases for data centres. To recap, these are: Phase 1 – construction and management of internally owned facilities Phase 2 – connection to co-located / outsourced data centres Phase 3 – connection to cloud providers with their own data centres Regardless of where the business is at on the spectrum, every organisation needs a specific level of connectivity, especially at the application level. Every application has its own requirements and while this can overwhelm some due to the complexity involved, it is always a more effective strategy than considering connectivity from a br......

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