We had a picturesque display of snow last week, and in some places, the country fell into chaos again: snow and ice caused massive disruption to planes, trains and automobiles in England and Wales. That left a lot of people unable to get to work on time, their email unattended, their phones unanswered.
That’s also a lot of unhappy customers trying to get in touch with you.
This is certainly not a one-off. A few weeks ago we were battling tube strikes and track failures at Waterloo. A few weeks before that a chemical alert closed the M3 and there was what The Telegraph called “world-wide airport... Read more
Last week was the annual Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, where over 40,000 geeks from all over the world gathered to hear the latest news and major product releases (and a few jokes targeted at Oracle's Larry Ellison). With so many feature enhancements and product releases in an average week at AWS, there’s always plenty to talk about. This year’s conference didn’t disappoint either, with an avalanche of great new technology announced.
I'll pick just four announcements that I think really show where AWS are heading. In my opinion, although Google and Azure are fighting hard to catch up, it's hard to see how... Read more
Depending on who you believe, hype around the Cloud is either reaching the "Peak of Inflated Expectations" (where early success stories capture lots of media and industry attention), or is already slipping quickly towards the "Trough of Disillusionment" (where early deployments fail to live up to expectations and the industry begins to re-evaluate their approach). To further complicate matters, Gartner currently place advanced Cloud services like serverless PaaS on the upward slope of the hype cycle. Whichever is correct, businesses are falling over themselves to declare they have "Cloud first" IT strategies in place.
Gartner predicts that through the course of the next year, "90... Read more
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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