Preparing for Disaster

Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 14:22
Work anywhere capabilities of Office 365

Despite moving away from being an agrarian economy over the past two centuries, Britain is still a country that can be affected dramatically by the weather. Then there are other factors to consider, like fire, theft or negligence that threaten your organisation. For business both large and small, the impact of a system outage or data loss event can be severe.

Take weather for example. From heavy snow, to April showers that become May flooding, weather extremes can knock a business off-line – sometimes for several days.

The snowfall that blanketed the UK in 2013 was hugely damaging to Britain’s small and medium-sized firms. Affected... Read more

Even outside big data, data is getting bigger

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 12:00

As the name would imply, Big Data is indeed getting bigger. Not only are businesses analysing more and more metrics, but the actual size of the information store is growing exponentially. For the IT manager, this is a technical challenge – but the rest of the business is most interested in the insights being generated. However, there are two problems with many Big Data projects: Firstly, many organisations focus on line-of-business data, the information held in ERP, CRM, sales and service systems. Obviously this is where the majority of actionable insights will be found, but focusing solely on these systems means that you can miss other information that supplies context for instance.... Read more

A wolf in sheep’s clothing? The cost of overlooking basic email security

Monday, October 31, 2016 - 16:59

The security industry has a bit of a boy-who-cried-wolf problem. Every potential threat is maximally hyped, to the point where no one knows what they should take seriously or dismiss as marketing spin or simple overreaction.

And if you’re a shepherd, everything that moves starts looking like a wolf. Particularly if you’re a shepherd that specialises in anti-wolf security suites, right?

But in the same way that locking your front door is always worth it – even if a full-blown, code-secured gate is overkill – basic email security is a no-brainer.

You wouldn’t send a personal letter to someone without putting it in an envelope, so why let your emails fly without... Read more

Securing your business in the Cloud

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 11:31

In the space of just a few years, remote working has gone from being a perk for senior executives, to a mission-critical function. A distributed, mobile workforce is just as reliant on data as their deskbound colleagues – and it’s down to the CTO to deliver that connectivity.

Traditionally, RAS, VPNs, firewall ports and account permissions were the main security measures. They were the best technologies available at the time and provided a good degree of control over who could (and couldn’t) access corporate resources. Nevertheless, they added significantly to the administrative burden of the IT team.

The Cloud – simplifying resource access More recently, Cloud services... Read more

Do you have the right tools for digital transformation?

Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 17:46

Digital transformation programmes are all the rage, as businesses look for new ways to serve their customers. Although many of these changes take place internally, the goal is always the same – to improve the customer’s experience.

Data, and the tools to work on it are crucial to reaching these goals – and if you don’t have the right applications, it is almost impossible to make the improvements your customers demand. Microsoft Office 365 has a range of features that can help you break silos and build multi-discipline teams – the perfect launch pad for your wider digital transformation programme.

Making data available everywhere Traditional applications maintain their own... Read more

Is the sysadmin dead?

Monday, September 12, 2016 - 14:46

With cloud-based systems and modern Linux system administration tools, developers can launch a new server (or many) with a click and call themselves DevOps.

Some systems management tools such as Red Hat Satellite Server, Nagios and Puppet simplify server configuration. For most organisations, the days of hand configuration for each server for a specific role are past.

A Standard Operating Environment (SOE) and a suitable Management Platform (SOEMP) is essential to prevent costly server proliferation and maintain version control. In a complex environment, several different SOEs will be needed for different tasks.

Is the Sysadmin function dead? No, however, it’s... Read more

5 ways to architect your application to maximise the value of the cloud

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 12:05

“All value of the field of IT is associated with applications” – Bernard Golden.

So you need to make the most of them. And there’s a lot of hype around the public cloud as a home for your applications. And its justified: whichever angle you take – cost, ease of access, maintenance, scalability, elasticity, versatility – the cloud is better than on-premises. The effect of which is that you can accelerate your application lifecycle, build better apps, faster, and beat your competition.

On paper at least.

But moving an application to the public cloud – when it’s not ready for the cloud – is the technological equivalent of buying an ice cream and just watching it... Read more

The unsung hero of ecommerce: how to use a single, centralised database to supercharge your online sales!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 09:03
Register for our webinar

Using databases to drive application performance

Our database experts will be going through the finer points of database management with the goal of:

Optimising application performance Avoiding inefficiencies Tuning monitoring and alerts

The webinar will be held on 29th September at 4 pm!

First name * Last name * Email * Company Phone Number

On October 1st, 1962, Vassili Arkhipov – a Russian submarine commander – saved the world.

Two of his fellow commanding officers, having been out of contact with Moscow for a number of days, thought that... Read more

Fear and loathing in IT: how to transform your teams’ communications

Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 15:05

Ever known someone who just sucks at communicating? Who can’t be honest about how they feel?

“I love you.”

“Er, cool.”


That person is fooling no one. Except perhaps their partner. Unnecessary pain ensues.

Take-away: communicating openly with other human beings reduces suffering. But it’s very hard to do – which is precisely why it’s so valuable.

In the IT world, things are no different. If resentments build between individuals or teams, information is withheld, a sense of competition prevails, an unwillingness to take responsibility develops or any other kind of organisationally-maladaptive behaviour emerges, unnecessary pain will... Read more

The straight-up, no-nonsense business value of AWS

Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 17:08

How much of a threat are your competition?

Perhaps you work in an industry that has enormous barriers to entry and is full of old-school techies who are quite happy to bob along with the status quo. If so you can stop reading here, kick back, light up an enormous Cuban cigar, and chuckle quietly to yourself.

The likelihood is, however, that your competition is pretty tech-savvy and reasonably on-the-ball when it comes to getting innovative new products and services to market sooner rather than later.

And that keeping up with these folks – to say nothing of getting one up on them – requires quite a lot of hard work on your part.

At the same time, your... Read more


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