Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Time To Learn More About Learning

Time To Learn More About Learning

Time To Learn More About Learning

Every year, companies collectively spend billions of dollars delivering skills to employees of all ages through training methods that are out of date or simply out of touch. At least four generations of workers co-exist, from the post-World War two veterans through to the youngest new professionals – the Generation Y/Millennials who were born in the Internet era and who now comprise 46.5% of the workforce.GMG Forgetting Curve

The companies that comprise the Financial Service industry strictly confined by regulations such as Dodd Frank, and this, in conjunction with security threats, global events, downsizing and outsourcing are creating an almost impossible situation in which to train and retain a strong workforce.

Gartland & Mellina Group (GMG), a strategic management consulting firm based in New York and with clients worldwide, is now seeking to assist in resolving this conundrum with the release of its white paper, entitled Passive vs. Active Learning: Virtual Collaboration and Training in Today’s Financial Services Workspace, one of four papers that comprise its new Thought Leadership Series on Technology Adoption in Financial Services, located at http://gartlandandmellina.com/gmg/who-we-are/white-papers .

The paper focuses on the need for financial services companies to take full advantage of collaborative learning environments to engage learners while reducing costs. Quoting former General Electric CEO and management icon Jack Welch, the paper states, “An organization’s ability to learn and translate that learning into action is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

The paper starts out by highlighting some of the classic problems found in traditional corporate teaching methods that primarily use passive learning – in other words, “sit at a desk and pay attention to the teacher.” This includes the fascinating “forgetting curve” which reveals just how little knowledge is retained when students are unable to interact.

Active learning, by contrast, focuses the responsibility of learning on the learners, once they have been given sufficiently engaging material to work with. This is usually built out of a combination of instructor-led and interactive elements known as blended learning.

The significance of effective learning to the financial services sector is huge. For example, the GMG paper states, “In 2010, it was estimated that 61% of all compliance training and 23% of all executive training was done online.” It is essential that in such a crucial area of business that learning objectives are met properly and cost-efficiently.

The GMG paper highlights the effectiveness of the Jigsaw meeting approach, which is a multi-screen approach to teaching that allows teachers and students access to each other and a more personalized curriculum than is generally offered in a classroom situation.

The essence of teaching students of any age is to get them engaged. And although teachers may have tried to do this over previous generations, it is only now that the technology exists to make it possible. As the GMG paper states, “Companies who incorporate virtual collaborative platforms as part of their competitive strategy and can fully adopt and leverage the benefits of virtual teaming will be the ones that survive and flourish in the future.”

The GMG White Paper series contains four titles:

  • The Art of the Talent War: Why Financial Services Human Resources Should Learn to Love Big Data
  • Navigating Through the Cloud in Financial Services: How to Best Confront Cloud Computing Security and Compliance
  • Centralizing Data and Consolidating Applications to Support Your Enterprise Data Strategy: Driving your Financial Services Business
  • Passive vs. Active Learning: Virtual Collaboration and Training in Today’s Financial Services Workspace

For more information, please visit http://gartlandandmellina.com/gmg/who-we-are/white-papers/

By Steve Prentice

3 Recommended Whitepapers: “Mastering Google Apps In The Classroom”

3 Recommended Whitepapers: “Mastering Google Apps In The Classroom”

3 Recommended Whitepapers: “Mastering Google Apps in the Classroom”

Google Apps are a big part of the current cloud infrastructure providing a number of services to businesses of all sizes. Here are 3 recommended research papers to read over this week.

Google Apps

 

Mastering Google Apps in the Classroom

Has your school joined the Google revolution? This guide contains everything you need to know to get the most out of your investment in Google Apps.

– Tips for getting started with Google Apps for Education
– Teaching with the most popular Google Apps: Gmail, Calendar, Docs & More
– Learn how to use the advanced features of Google Apps, including: forms, sites & video

Read Free Whitepaper

 

 

 

google-apps-5-ways
5 Simple Ways to Get More Out of Google Apps

Learn how CIO Jeremy Lawrence saved money for his organization, The Mind Research Network, by switching from hosted Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps.

He also spared his IT team from the grind of maintenance, upgrades and patches. Beyond mail, Jeremy deployed Google’s online documents, video, archiving and encryption apps to help his 200+ research scientists and staff improve collaboration, boost productivity and enhance security.

 

 

 

 

google-security

Request Your Free White Paper: “Comprehensive Review of Security and Vulnerability Protections for Google Apps

Find out how Google protects and secures your company’s critical business information.

Earning your trust is important to Google. This white paper discusses Google’s security strategy, focusing on the following key aspects for businesses:organizational and operational
– security
– data security
– threat evasion
– data privacy

 

By Walter Bailey

How Financial Services Find Traction In The Cloud

How Financial Services Find Traction In The Cloud

How Financial Services Find Traction In The Cloud

Much of the enthusiasm and discussion about cloud technology focuses on its dynamic and innovative structure, and with each passing day a new technique or resource bursts onto the scene with promises of greater functionality and speed for all. But this causes great trepidation and reluctance among those charged with ensuring safe and secure environments, especially in highly regulated industries such as financial services. Banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions are teased by the promise of lower operating costs and dynamic scalability, and of course are painfully aware that their clients, suppliers and competitors are quickly adopting this new approach, leaving them to look like dinosaurs in the process.

Risk Wheel

The problem lays not so much in the resistance to change but instead in a lack of complete and cohesive guidelines from regional or local authorities to counteract the ever-present compliance and security issues.

Gartland & Mellina Group (GMG), a strategic management consulting firm based in New York and with clients worldwide, is now seeking to assist in resolving this conundrum with the release of its white paper, entitled Navigating Through the Cloud in Financial Services, one of four papers that comprise its new Thought Leadership Series on Technology Adoption in Financial Services.

Starting with a statement (supported by data) that shows just how much financial services are lagging behind in cloud adoption, it then highlights the clear fact that “financial services firms must navigate a range of deployment & service models that vary in the level of cloud ownership responsibilities and security control.

One specific area that the GMG white paper focuses on is that of compliance, which they identify as a “double-edged sword in the financial services industry.” This is due to regulatory requirements under Dodd Frank regulation that require securities firms “to hold significantly more data for reporting mandates, which compounds the compliance risk derived from the data privacy and control demands imposed under the Gramm–Leach–Bliley and the Sarbanes–Oxley Acts.” This means that cloud migration will increase reporting demands.

Added to this is the fact that authorities such as the Federal Reserve and SEC have not yet firmed up their position on cloud data migration, leaving little in the way of standards and guidance.

The paper points out that the industry is not without is sources for policies and procedures, in fact there are quite a number of authorities that financial institutions must deal with. The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), for example, released a joint statement by the FDIC and the Federal Reserve and others, which provides guidelines for cloud migration strategy, while payment card information will be guided by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCIDSS), which identifies additional requirements for joint responsibility between CSPs and their clients.

Issues dealing with geography and international commerce are highlighted in the paper, as well as the numerous types of threats and attacks that a cloud-based system must withstand.

Far from being a gloom and doom scenario, the GMG white paper presents a number of viable options and opportunities for financial institutions and their IT specialists to consider when contemplating a move to the cloud.

Robert Rowland, Director in GMG’s Financial Services Strategy and Solutions Practice states, “Due to regulations, security concerns and consolidation, the financial industry is faced with challenges in advancing their technology solutions. We understand that taking that step forward isn’t easy. But we wanted to provide firms with practical insights that would not only compel them to modernize their business practices, but that would also help them approach it in an effective way from a business perspective. Considering these insights will not only benefit their bottom line, but also increase the value they add for their clients.”

For more information, please visit http://gartlandandmellina.com/gmg/who-we-are/white-papers/

By Steve Prentice

Cloud Computing 2014: Five Cloud Trends To Look For

Cloud Computing 2014: Five Cloud Trends To Look For

Cloud Computing 2014: Five Cloud Trends To Look For

All tech giants are aiming at cloud computing as the cloud landscape is all set to dominate the technological world. As mentioned on NY Times, the biggest tech giants including IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are expected to invest $1 billion annually in cloud computing in the upcoming years. cloud-looking-ahead

all the companies are developing knowledge through their cloud services of how to run truly huge Internet-based computing systems — systems that may soon be nearly impossible for other companies to match

It is evident that 2014 will see some of the biggest players in the IT industry trying to develop high-end cloud computing applications. The consumers can expect an increase in platform independent services in the near future. Some of the expected trends in 2014 are discussed in brief.

1. Development in web-powered apps sector: Some of the most noticeable features of cloud computing involves the scalability and efficiency it offers. In 2014, we can expect development of new web-powered apps with platform independence as their key feature. According to the chief executive of SoftLayer, cloud-computing company, IBM will put more than 40 infrastructure services including mobile applications development and big data analysis as their cloud computing offerings.

2. Hybrid cloud will be the key: The future belongs to hybrid clouds with the security of private cloud and scalability of public cloud services. Hybrid cloud will offer affordable infrastructure to small-scale enterprises and custom solutions for big data analytics.

3. Development in security policies: There is no doubt about the seamless accessibility, convenience, and flexibility offered by cloud. However, it poses a serious threat to the security of information and its use by the service providers. In 2014, there will be a development in security measures and policies.

4. Platform will be a driving force: As mentioned on Forbes, “companies will not only look for broader cloud business process suites as described above, but they will also expect these applications to look and perform similarly, and interact with one another seamlessly.” Companies will look out for cloud-based applications that can unify their information and apps through a single data model.

5. Industrial Internet might take off: Industrial Internet will reach the real-time industrial processes and reduce the inefficiencies with smart data. Industries will be able to use real-time data for improving their processes and use the information to take action. Cloud computing will play a key role in creating intelligent machines with a central controllability.

By Walter Bailey

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Top 10

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Top 10

We have compiled our Top 10 comics of 2013 from our weekly comic series called.”The Lighter Side Of The Cloud”. The comics have been selected by both readers as well as members of the CloudTweaks team.

#1

PRISM

# 2

TheCloudConclusion

#3

IT-Dept

#4

cloud_150 (1)

#5

Disaster-recovery-cartoon

#6

Holiday

#7

cloud humor

#8

Friday-Comic

#9

cloud_166

#10

Big-Data-Santa

By David Fletcher

 *Please Note: All David Fletcher comic images on this site are owned by CloudTweaks.com. If you would like to reuse them on your social media network, please feel free to do so as long as there is a clearly defined link to the original comic source. If you would like to use them in a Newsletter, Print, Powerpoint or Website. Please contact us regarding the licensing details and policies.

5 Best Practices For Implementing Cloud Collaboration In 2014

5 Best Practices For Implementing Cloud Collaboration In 2014

5 Best Practices for Implementing Cloud Collaboration in 2014

Over the past decade, the momentum for enterprise collaboration has shifted from the building of massive intranet solutions, usually developed and maintained by internal IT organizations, toward more flexible and cost-effective cloud-based collaboration platforms. In a survey of 2,438 IT executives and technology decision makers in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Forrester found that 56% have moved or plan to move some of their enterprise collaboration systems to the cloud. With the cost efficiencies of the cloud, combined with the speed and capability of these web-based collaboration platforms, the amount of data moving to the cloud — and the number of online solutions offering enterprise-class capabilities — has grown exponentially.

Of course, the movement of data and key business workloads into the cloud does not reduce, necessarily, the requirements a business has for the handling of key intellectual property, or of particular industry and regulatory compliance and governance guidelines. A platform developed for the consumer marketplace does not equal enterprise collaboration, and therefore you need to select your platform carefully and ask the right questions to ensure that your requirements are being met.

With more than 12 years spent in the enterprise collaboration space, I’ve worked with customers of all sizes — from startups to multi-nationals, and across many different industries. In that time, I’ve found some common threads between deployments, and recommend the following best practices for any organization looking to implement a cloud collaboration strategy:

1. Get your stakeholders onboard.

No matter what the size of your organization, collaboration will eventually fail within the organization that does not have strong support from the executive management team. Various teams may find it helpful, but to achieve broad support and truly reap the benefits of any collaboration platform, it must be seen as important to the leadership — otherwise it will remain a departmental activity, with limited enterprise benefit. Nationwide Insurance is a great example of this, with the executive team, including the CEO, regularly participating in conversations with the technical representatives through their online platform, providing insights from the leadership team while also showing that they value the platform.

2. Solve one problem at a time.

One of the quickest paths to collaboration failure is attempting to do too much, too quickly. Collaboration works best when it is clearly aligned with business function in a phased, pilot program approach. This allows the new technology to be integrated with end user behaviors and practices, and then refined and improved before rolling it out to new teams, or to new business functions. For example, an organization might pilot the platform between sales representatives and operations as a way to improve dialog around customer relationship management (CRM) activities. In short, collaboration works best when teams have a shared understanding of what they are trying to achieve. Once a team has mastered that business function, the platform can then be expanded to other uses.

3. Understand the issues with moving from freemium to paid.

The freemium model has become an essential method for new companies and products to gain quick adoption. Many of the leading collaboration platforms on the market were able to achieve their leading positions because of free, easy-to-get-started options. Many organizations find themselves building out cloud collaboration solutions because so many of their end users have already adopted the freemium version of their platform. However, the shift from freemium to paid may not be as smooth as you would hope. There may be changes to the UI, new features that require additional training, more administrative controls that could restrict previously unrestricted activities, or migration issues that may not be able to move all content from the free system to the new enterprise version. Be clear on what features and restrictions come with the change, and prepare your end users for this transition as best you can.

4. Develop a training and onboarding strategy.

No matter how simple the user interface, your end users will need some kind of training as part of the onboarding process to your new cloud collaboration platform. Be clear on the goals of the platform (solving one problem at a time) and the gaps (differences with prior on premises platforms, as well as differences with freemium versions) and how end users can gain the most out of using the new platform. It’s also important to outline governance policies and procedures for the handling of sensitive data and key intellectual property. One strategy that has proven itself successful again and again is the creation of internal user groups with platform advocates or evangelists, who are “power users” who can provide the first line of support for questions on platform capability and governance best practices. Use the collaboration platform to encourage employees to help each other, and you’ll more quickly realize the benefits of the platform.

5. Have a backup plan.

As with any other production system, it is important to have a backup plan for your offline and online systems so that, in the case of an emergency or system failure, you can recover your data. For cloud services, understand the disaster recovery (access to your content) and business continuity (how long the system is down) aspects of your service, and make sure they adhere to your corporate governance policies. As part of your end user training, include offline access and backup instructions, as appropriate.

The advent of cloud collaboration platforms has dramatically reduced the technical and financial barriers to enterprise collaboration, but these solutions are rarely as simple as click-and-go. Unlike consumer-based technologies, enterprise-class platforms must still provide the security and administrative capabilities necessary for organizations to meet their unique compliance and governance requirements. The key to success, as these best practices describe, is to be thoughtful and thorough in your approach. That’s the primary difference between consumer and business collaboration — business alignment.

christian_buckley

By Christian Buckley

Christian is a SharePoint MVP, internationally recognized author and speaker, and a Forbes Top 25 SharePoint Influencer. As the chief evangelist at Metalogix, he drives product awareness and community development. To learn more about Metalogix products visit: http://www.metalogix.com/Products.aspx

Cloud Infographic: Top 10 Outages In 2013

Cloud Infographic: Top 10 Outages In 2013

Cloud Infographic: Top 10 Outages In 2013

Network downtime is problematic in any company’s existence, costing, in some cases, millions of dollars per day. For this reason, network components and infrastructure equipment are all designed to work seamlessly through upgrades, swap-outs, and even failures, to reduce some of the major causes of downtime.

One serious factor, though, remains an unaddressed challenge: human error. As enterprise networks grow in complexity and size, the likelihood of an honest mistake or oversight causing unforeseen problems grows along with them. Download this complimentary white paper and you’ll discover the benefits of:

  • Proactive vs. reactive troubleshooting
  • Script automation for network commands
  • Continuous systems for greater stability
  • Modular architectures for safe and scalable operations

Download this free white paper here

While the past 12 months saw several noteworthy outages, those at the top tipped the scale with the overall impact their downtime caused – in lost revenue, expansive reach and damaged reputations. This new infographic from Neverfail highlights the top 10 outages of 2013 and analyzes their effects on the reputation and bottom line of each company.

neverfail_outages_CloudTweaks

By Water Bailey

CloudTweaks Comics
Utilizing Digital Marketing Techniques Via The Cloud

Utilizing Digital Marketing Techniques Via The Cloud

Digital Marketing Trends In the past, trends in the exceptionally fast-paced digital marketing arena have been quickly adopted or abandoned, keeping marketers and consumers on their toes. 2016 promises a similarly expeditious temperament, with a few new digital marketing offerings taking center stage. According to Gartner’s recent research into Digital Marketing Hubs, brands plan to…

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth The Internet of Things is the latest term to describe the interconnectivity of all our devices and home appliances. The goal of the internet of things is to create universal applications that are connected to all of the lights, TVs, door locks, air conditioning, and…

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

The Future (IoT) By the year 2020, it is being predicted that 40 to 80 billion connected devices will be in use. The Internet of Things or IoT will transform your business and home in many truly unbelievable ways. The types of products and services that we can expect to see in the next decade…

Cloud Infographic – Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery Business downtime can be detrimental without a proper disaster recovery plan in place. Only 6% of businesses that experience downtime without a plan will survive long term. Less than half of all businesses that experience a disaster are likely to reopen their doors. There are many causes of data loss and downtime —…

Teach Yourself The Cloud: Cloud Computing Knowledge In 5 Easy Steps

Teach Yourself The Cloud: Cloud Computing Knowledge In 5 Easy Steps

Teach Yourself The Cloud Learn how to get to grips with cloud computing in business  Struggling to get your head around the Cloud? Here are five easy ways you can improve your cloud knowledge and perhaps even introduce cloud systems into your business.  Any new technology can appear daunting, and cloud computing is no exception.…

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

How Data Science And Machine Learning Is Enabling Cloud Threat Protection

How Data Science And Machine Learning Is Enabling Cloud Threat Protection

Data Science and Machine Learning Security breaches have been consistently rising in the past few years. Just In 2015, companies detected 38 percent more security breaches than in the previous year, according to PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2016. Those breaches are a major expense — an average of $3.79 million per company,…

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Big Data To Analyze Using Big Data to Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential For those who are regularly involved with SMEs, venture capital, and company valuations, it is common knowledge that start-ups that exit for more than $1 billion dollars are extremely rare – often termed ‘unicorn’ companies. Despite their rarity, it should…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does cloud security risks ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that, and…

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud Cloud computing is more than just another storage tier. Imagine if you’re able to scale up 10x just to handle seasonal volumes or rely on a true disaster-recovery solution without upfront capital. Although the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud computing makes it a noticeable expense, it’s the only solution for many…

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

Embracing The Cloud We love the stories of big complacent industry leaders having their positions sledge hammered by nimble cloud-based competitors. Saleforce.com chews up Oracle’s CRM business. Airbnb has a bigger market cap than Marriott. Amazon crushes Walmart (and pretty much every other retailer). We say: “How could they have not seen this coming?” But, more…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Once upon a time, only a select few companies like Google and Salesforce possessed the knowledge and expertise to operate efficient cloud infrastructure and applications. Organizations patronizing those companies benefitted with apps that offered new benefits in flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness. These days, the sharp division between cloud and on-premises infrastructure…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…