Category Archives: Technology

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

ERP Deployment

You know how ERP deployment can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry?

While cloud computing is becoming more and more popular, it is worth taking a moment to assess both options to determine what is best for you.

There are a lot of considerations when it comes to ERP deployment. Need for flexibility, security requirements, cost, and even accounting practices can influence which avenue you choose.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when deciding how to deploy your ERP system.

Cloud Implementation Strategies

The Cost of the Cloud

It is true that ERP in the cloud is more cost-effective to implement in the short-term. It eliminates the need to procure and maintain servers. Additionally, your cloud ERP provider will have its own team of IT technicians to ensure your system is running smoothly and your data is safe, which can save you time and money in labor costs.

ERP Deployment

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

But it also requires ongoing subscription costs, which can entail high annual costs and hidden fees. Be sure to calculate the true cost of the cloud solution you’re interested in before you sign off on it.

Accounting for the Cloud

Similarly, your company’s attitude towards capital investments versus expenses can have a big impact on whether cloud implementation is right for your company. CFOs who want to minimize capital expenditures will be more amenable to cloud deployment than will CFOs who prefer to make a capital investment in servers, which can be depreciated over time.

It is a good idea to ask your CFO for their perspective before committing too strongly to one method or the other, as the balance sheet may have more of an impact on your decision than you realize.

How Much Control Do You Need?

In one way, cloud ERP software is very flexible and easy to deploy, because it only requires the click of a button rather than physically installing software on physical servers.

Components of Enterprise Resource Planning

But this flexibility comes at the cost of customizability. Because cloud solutions are shared with other companies, there is less ability to customize the software to your specific needs. Consider how much control you need over the specifics of your ERP system, and see if cloud solutions are able to accommodate those needs. Or, find a cloud-based ERP provider that does allow you the freedom to customize your solution.

Accessibility and Security

One of the great things about cloud storage is that there is no limit to the amount of data you can store. Another great feature is that your staff can access it anywhere. As long as they have a phone or computer, they have access to real-time data.

cloud-office-comic

While people can at times be concerned about the security of their data when it’s in the cloud, companies providing cloud-based ERP have highly-secure networks and procedures to guarantee the security of your data. And remember, no way of storing data is foolproof; there are risks to keeping your data on your own servers, as well.

For even more on cloud-based ERP systems, check out this blog post.

On-Premises Implementation

Negotiate a Contract That Will Work in the Long-Term

If you decide to go with on-premise implementation, be sure your hardware contract reflects the current environment, where technology and data needs rapidly escalate. It doesn’t make sense to buy a huge machine or server on a long lease, because by the end of the lease, it’s almost certain to be outdated and too slow for your company’s needs. Negotiate a contract that will be nimble and reflect the current IT state.

Think About Your Size

Large companies often err on the side of over-investing in hardware to meet their IT needs, while small and midsize companies often underestimate their IT needs and accordingly under-invest in the hardware they need.

Take a long hard look at your needs. Is it reasonable to run business reporting on the same server that handles ERP transactions, or will that set you up for performance issues?

Think about not only your ERP demands now, but also what they may be in the future. When investing in your own hardware, you need to leave room to be able to scale up in the future.

By Aaron Continelli

Facebook Hopes To Extend Internet Connectivity With Solar-Powered Drones

Facebook Hopes To Extend Internet Connectivity With Solar-Powered Drones

Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Thursday it had completed a successful test flight of a solar-powered drone that it hopes will help it extend internet connectivity to every corner of the planet.

Aquila, Facebook’s lightweight, high-altitude aircraft, flew at a few thousand feet for 96 minutes in Yuma, Arizona, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post on his Facebook page. The company ultimately hopes to have a fleet of Aquilas that can fly for at least three months at a time at 60,000 feet (18,290 meters) and communicate with each other to deliver internet access.

Google parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) has also poured money into delivering internet access to under served areas through Project Loon, which aims to use a network of high-altitude balloons to made the internet available to remote parts of the world.

Yael Maguire, Facebook’s engineering director and head of its Connectivity Lab, said in an interview that the company initially hoped Aquila would fly for 30 minutes.

We’re thrilled about what happened with our first flight,” Maguire said. “There are still a lot of technical challenges that need to be addressed for us to achieve the whole mission.” He said he hoped the system might be brought into service “in the near future…

Read Full Article Source: Reuters

When Will Women In Tech Become The Norm?

When Will Women In Tech Become The Norm?

Tech Diversity

It is well known that the technology industry has been dominated by men, but it is also clear that the industry is working to change that.

Diversity in the tech industry, especially where it applies to women in tech, has been a topic of discussion for years. Recently the Washington Technology Industry Association even released an infographic Tech Diversity Champions, designed to push the diversity issue into the spotlight.

Michael Schutzler, CEO at WTIA stated “The diversity gap is real in our tech community. We have a significant opportunity to bring untapped talent into the fold by joining a collective movement toward improving workplace diversity.” And while many organizations are implementing strategies to make the tech industry more inclusive, you have to wonder why it has taken us so long to get here.

With statistics that suggest that less than 25 percent of the tech jobs will be held by women by the end of 2016, and with 42% of women in tech more likely to leave the industry in their first year, it is critical that we are able to understand and make needed improvements to make the industry more inclusive and supportive of women in technology fields.

Women in tech often have to deal with an unwelcoming work environment, and sometimes even harassment. Their ideas are often ignored and their work diminished. Many women who leave the tech industry do so because of these issues. This is not to say that men are awful, or that all men are unfair to women, it is just the reality some women in tech face when trying to forge a career in this industry.

What can be done? First, women need to be confident in their skills and not be afraid to challenge the status quo. The more women demonstrate that they are as talented as their male counterparts, the better the odds that women in tech can find successful long lasting careers in the technology world.

Additionally, providing more training and educational opportunities for women in tech fields have proven beneficial in helping woman build confidence and skill. We also need to address the pay gap, and build a pay scale that is based on skill and not gender.

We also need to stop looking at women in tech as outsiders, and just see them as hard working dedicated professionals they are. When women in technology is the norm, then we have achieved success.

By  Jenny Kelley

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Competing in a Digital World

Telecoms, otherwise largely known as Communications Service Providers (CSPs), have traditionally made the lion’s share of their revenue from providing pipes and infrastructure. Now CSPs face increased competition, not so much from each other, but with digital service providers (DSPs) like Netflix, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, all of whom leverage their networks to provide both new means of cheap, or free, communication, as well as content and applications.

As a result, CSPs are changing their business models so they look more like these DSPs, which focus on these types of services first, and the pipes second. In order to seize new opportunities in digital services, Over-the-Top (OTT), and IoT data monetization, a move to the cloud is essential.

Digital service providers have proverbially spoiled customers with instant-on provisioning for digital services, real-time account status, personalized recommendations, and hassle-free self-service options. Although CSPs are slowly acquiring these traits and starting to look a little more like their agile competitors, most still have a long way to go.

Here are a few things the smartest CSPs are doing to transform into DSPs:

1. Acquire Digital Dexterity

CSPs have to move a lot faster. Moving from hardware to cloud solutions helps them accelerate infrastructure upgrades by taking away the need for technician home visits. Unlike modern digital services that are tethered directly to the consumer, hardware like set top boxes (STBs) perpetuate the outdated notion of tethering instead to a physical address.

One example of a company moving with digital dexterity is Charter Communications with its Worldbox cloud-based TV service. Worldbox does most of its computing in the cloud, so new features can be rolled out in real time. This eliminates physical installations and allows rapid deployment, faster time-to-revenue, and happier customers.

2. Harness Consumption Data

Companies like Amazon and Netflix have mastered the art of using mountains of consumption data to gain unique insights into customer usage trends, behavior patterns, and preferences. They then use it to elevate customer service, provide highly personalized incentives, and adjust product catalogs. CSPs have to start following this model in order to stay competitive.

money-big-data

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

The challenge? CSPs typically keep usage data in separate systems. Finance data goes to finance, billing data to billing, and so forth. In aggregate, this data is extremely valuable, but historically, CSPs have not analyzed it across all the silos. In a digital economy, they need to consider all data that is collected in order to better serve their customers and look for cross-sell and upsell opportunities, which ultimately build customer loyalty and grow incremental revenues.

3. Overhaul Legacy Operations and Business Systems

Perhaps the biggest challenge for CSPs is their reliance on outdated business systems. The operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS) used by many CSPs were designed for high-volume efficiency to support a limited set of services, such as voice calling and cable TV delivery, which are all bound primarily to a geographic location rather than a specific consumer. These systems were designed and implemented to handle heavy transaction volumes, but the downstream impact of the end-customer experience was an afterthought. In the age of machine-to-machine connectivity, IoT, and data-driven services, CSPs are not nimble or adaptable enough to stay competitive in today’s markets if they are relying on these systems alone.

With legacy OSS/BSS systems, bringing new products, packages, or even promotions to market requires coding and time-consuming IT intervention. In a world where the business and its consumers have come to expect change in days or even hours, even the most trivial changes can take months. These systems often lack real-time capabilities for fulfillment, provisioning, and customer self-service, and can’t easily support complex pricing schemes that merge subscriptions, usage, and one-time payments, or that involve third parties. These are big problems, but there is a workaround.

4. Rebuild Incrementally for New Business Innovation

OSS/BSS are intricate, multi-million dollar systems that touch virtually every aspect of a CSP’s business. But their most fundamental flaw is that changes to pricing, packaging, and behavior are implemented via changes to underlying code. Not only is this a purely engineering-focused approach to change costly and time consuming, it also guarantees the creation of a labyrinthine system disconnected from its original code base. This means that upgrading these behemoths can take years and cost millions more, all while the digital economy is shifting into high gear and passing them by. Building responsive systems is vital, as Gartner emphasized in a recent report : “Re-engineer the core IT, and create a new digital platform, adopting and instilling new methodologies to enable BUs to respond rapidly to capture market opportunities and deal with the high levels of uncertainty that are inherent in emerging digital ecosystems.”

There is an achievable path forward that’s much less painful than a wholesale “rip-and-replace” of current infrastructure. A viable alternative approach to replacing existing systems is adding on cloud-based solutions as an agility layer on top of the old behemoths. This layer becomes the starting point for quickly creating and managing critical OSS/BSS functions demanded by newer DSP products and services (recurring billing, packaging, bundling, subscription management, customer care, etc.), all while peacefully coexisting with the legacy system and providing the minimum amount of attention it requires to stay operational.

The power to create and change offerings is placed in the hands of business users rather than engineers, so they quickly iterate service pricing and packaging without completely disrupting or overhauling their existing infrastructure. More importantly, they can help CSPs shorten response times, improve customer service, and speed their time to market.

Most CSPs still have a lot to change before their DSP metamorphosis is complete. The good news is that as key enablers of our connected world, they’re in a prime position to cash in on the burgeoning monetization opportunities of the digital economy. While the paralysis many CSPs suffer from is understandable—given the shackles imposed on them by modes and systems that are now outdated— doing nothing is not a viable option.

By Tom Dibble

How IoT and Travel Go Hand-in-Hand

How IoT and Travel Go Hand-in-Hand

IoT and Travel 

There is no question that the Internet of Things, or IoT, is here to stay. Just this year alone, Gartner predicts there will be around 6.4 billion connected things in use worldwide, with 5.5 million new things connected each day. By 2020, this figure will go up to approximately 20.8 billion.

IoT is transforming industries and sectors as we know it, from automotive to manufacturing to healthcare. But what about travel? How does it a play a role in one of the fastest growing global industries? It turns out that IoT is creating ample and exciting opportunities in the travel and hospitality industry.

Opportunities in the Aviation Sector

A number of airlines are experimenting with IoT, with over half investing in a number of IoT programs as they believe it will lead to improved passenger experience. So what does a connected world in aviation possibly look like? The opportunities are endless – it could give way to intelligent air cabins that can monitor a passenger’s temperature, and in turn alert a crew member to take a specific action. With increased sensors both on the ground level and in airplanes, passengers will have an increased sense of their surroundings, with the ability to track items like luggage or cargo.

tech-flight

One example of an airline already experimenting with IoT is UK-based budget airline, EasyJet. Last year in a press release, EasyJet announced that it was collaborating with a clothing company to create uniforms for its cabin crew embedded with sensors and LED lights. For crew members, the LED lights will help transmit information, such as flight information and destination. Jackets for its engineers will have microphones and built-in cameras, allowing engineers to receive assistance when diagnosing technical issues. The engineer uniforms will also be equipped with barometers and air quality sensors that can help engineers monitor their work environment.

The London City Airport is an example of an airport testing how IoT can transform its operations. In 2003, the airport was awarded a grant from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board to examine cross-technology networking. The project ran for a year and focused on three areas:

  1. Measuring passenger journeys – Using sensors, the flow pattern and volume of passengers were measured within an airport terminal.

  2. Asset tracking – With custom tracking devices, the movement and positions of airport equipment used to service flights were tracked.

  3. Offering location-based services to passengers – Using an app, specific notifications were sent to passengers specific to their flights and their known position in the airport.

Using these findings, the airport developed a real-time operational dashboard and an IoT solution to measure passenger journeys. The ultimate goal is to help plan for future resources and the necessary infrastructure to help deliver the quickest passenger journey times through the airport.

The Rise of Smart Hotels

Beyond the aviation industry, hotels are looking into IoT to help enhance the customer experience. Investment in IoT programs are apparent with some hotels experimenting with app-based keyless entries for hotel rooms, as well as connected minibars that can immediately detect a traveler’s section. Other notable upgrades include room control systems where guests can adjust in-room temperature and lighting using a smartphone or in-room tablet.

The Aloft Hotel in South Beach introduced Botler, the Robot Butler last year. If a guest needs any sort of amenity, Botler will come to the guest’s door with the particular item requested. After it is delivered, the guest can use Botler’s touch screen to rate their experience.

Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology is making its presence felt in a number of prominent hotel chains and luxury brands. The Hilton chain is another example that have rolled out some great futures via their mobile app. Using their app, guests are able to check in, request items to be delivered to their room, and get access to other areas of the property (such as the pool or gym).

The Internet of Things is offering the travel industry a wealth of opportunity. With connected devices, back-end operations for airlines, cruises, rental cars, hotels are being streamlined. At the same time, data being collected from these devices are allowing companies to deliver a more personalized experience to travelers and guests alike.

By Joya Scarlata

Augmented Reality – $30 Billion Dollar Industry By 2020

Augmented Reality – $30 Billion Dollar Industry By 2020

Augmented and Virtual Realities

Virtual Reality (VR) is real, and it is poised to make VR companies a lot of money. Something that once seemed far off in the future is now here, now you can be completely immersed in a digital world. With wearable virtual reality technology constantly evolving soon we will be putting on our computer like we put on our shoes.

Augmented reality (AR), which places interactive overlays of 3D imagery into your physical surroundings will be a $30-billion-dollar industry by the end of this decade. From Microsoft to Sony everything from visors and glasses to VR contact lenses (Yes, that is a thing) will change how we interact with technology.

With the integration of augmented reality into the smartphone, AR has more potential for growth than virtual reality. Now everything from social media to ads will be displayed through your contact lenses, or glasses.

So what makes augmented reality more marketable than virtual reality? Virtual reality is just that, completely virtual, there is no integration of your real life surroundings, and while it’s awesome to be in a virtual world, missing a text message can be brutal.

Augmented reality solves the issues with the integration of the virtual into your current surroundings, AR allows you to access your social media, text messages and emails and it can integrate a virtual reality into the real world.

To get a better visual on what this future looks like, check out the infographic designed by Nowsourcing and commissioned by Framesdirect on the growth of both virtual and augmented reality.

frames-direct-lp-virtual-reality-glasses

One other thing that may or may not be in the work’s is Google’s virtual reality headset.

The word is that Google has their own virtual reality headset in the works that is designed to compete with the current options like Gear VR from Samsung and Oculus Rift. With Google making an investment into Magic Leap, a company working on beaming lasers into a user’s iris to activate devices, and AR, it is a logical conclusion that Google is working on a new VR or AR device of their own.

Google has an obvious interest in this, and it is known that they have kept the option on the table and continued to invest in companies that could support this hypothesis. Fortune estimates in their article Google Might Still be Working on a Virtual Reality Headset that Google is extremely interested in the market, both for VR and AR.

Whether virtual or augmented, a new reality is coming to a contact lens near you.

Glenn Blake

5 Ways To Ensure Your Cloud Solution Is Always Operational

5 Ways To Ensure Your Cloud Solution Is Always Operational

Ensure Your Cloud Is Always Operational

We have become so accustomed to being online that we take for granted the technological advances that enable us to have instant access to everything and anything on the internet, wherever we are. In fact, it would likely be a little disconcerting if we really mapped out all that goes on behind the scenes when we clicked a button to start binge watching all five seasons of our favorite show.

The reality is these modern conveniences that have become part of our way of life are the result of years of technology innovations and the development of a massive infrastructure that ensure we are always connected. For the consumer this is a wonderful world, for the enterprises that are part of this great machine there’s a high expectation of near perfect performance and execution, which does not come easily.

internet-performance-monitoring

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

There is no room for downtime; everything must be operational at all times. No vacations, no extended upgrade or maintenance windows, no single points of failure. Because the enterprise cloud hosts the services that drive fundamental business tools and operational systems there are serious consequences to any disruption in service — including the potential ire of consumers because of a 5-minute disruption in their Facebook browsing. Enterprises delivering cloud-based services need to constantly consider their strategy for maintaining a high level of uptime.

When looking for a fully operational cloud infrastructure, companies should consider the following factors:

  • Multiple Data Centers and Staffing – An enterprise cloud solution should consist of at least two fully active data-center regions in each of your geographies that feature the highest standards for reliable power, fire suppression and physical security. Each of these data center regions must be able to handle the full production load of your environment by itself. Redundancy combined with continual testing of the redundant configuration ensures continuity in the geography. Each data center must be staffed full-time, 24 X 7. Employees of the cloud provider should be the only people that have physical access to the cloud infrastructure, including the servers that hold the data and the network gear that connects you to the Internet.
  • The Network – Look for a solution that uses diverse carriers and redundant private connections when building the network between the paired data centers in each region. Every network path should be built with a redundancy in mind with no single point of failure in equipment, physical fiber paths, data center entry-points and distribution rooms, and so forth. You should work with your carriers to understand the exact physical path of each network circuit to further qualify the redundancy. You should also connect to multiple Tier 1 Internet Service Providers and provide multiple public peering points across the globe for additional Internet connectivity and redundancy.
  • Multi-layered Security – To provide customer-facing networking and security services, a cloud enterprise provider must have highly-available firewalls, denial-of-service attack protection, intrusion-detection systems and server load-balancers that work in orchestration to ensure the necessary levels of protection and preventative measures. Beyond a secure operating environment, the cloud provider should add layers of security by executing daily infrastructure vulnerability scans, having regular 3rd-party penetration testing and using static code analysis tools. It is also critical that the cloud provider have a comprehensive industry compliance strategy.
  • Automation – It is critical that you automate all provisioning and maintenance activities for the cloud infrastructure. When operating at scale even the most experienced and qualified experts can make mistakes that affect availability. Automating the initiation of new instances, moving instances out of harm’s way when server, network or data center issues occur, patching the infrastructure to ensure a proper security posture are all activities that need automation.
  • Multi-instance Architecture – To ensure the data is never commingled with another customer’s data, a cloud enterprise solution should feature this multi-instance architecture, which will also guarantee the data is backed up in both data centers within each region.

With the right amount of preparation and by using modern techniques to achieve a highly available cloud infrastructure, cloud-based service providers can ensure they are meeting the rigorous standards that are expected. While nothing is perfect, continuing to seek higher standards and providing greater assurance to your customers should be the absolute top priority for your teams.

By Allan Leinwand

Shaking Up The Cloud Technology Marketplace

Shaking Up The Cloud Technology Marketplace

Cloud Technology Marketplace

Cloud continues its devastating rearrangement of the technology marketplace. As legacy vendors struggle to compete many deck chairs are getting moved about – some pretty spectacularly. In the meantime, the boat is still sinking.

We have seen how SaaS (Software as a Service) is tearing up traditional software firms who must adapt or perish. Computer hardware companies are also in true peril. When customers move to public cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) they no longer buy hardware. Worse yet, the cloud service providers don’t buy it from them either. They have equipment built for them, to their specifications, right down to the chip sets.

Likewise, one by one, the big IT Outsourcing houses that used legacy hardware and software are winking out, too. They used to be giants straddling across the global landscape. Now, they only get mentioned in news releases with so much spin on them it’s embarrassing: EDS, ACS, Perot Systems, and of course – IBM.

growth-hacking-cloud

Everywhere you look you see the old ITO (Information Technology Outsourcing) model that sold the concept of “your mess for less” disappearing. They offered beleaguered CXO’s relief from the worry and hassle of running IT with the promise of reduced IT expenses. The outsourcers’ could do this through scale in operations and purchasing, plus squeezing labor costs through juniorization and off shore labor arbitrage.

And they were valuable, or at least seemed to be at the time. HP bought EDS in 2008 for almost $13.9 Billion. Xerox Acquired ACS in 2009 for $6.4 Billion. Also in 2009, Dell acquired Perot for $3.9 Billion. In 2008 IBM had a record year and it’s Strategic Outsourcing signings were up 20% worldwide and 44% in North America. There didn’t seem to be any clouds on the horizon (pun intended). After all, Amazon Web Services was just two years old in 2008 and just a blip.

Fast forward to today. Oh, and you might need a scorecard to keep track of the dizzying rearrangement of deck chairs. Just the other day – HP Enterprises, the technology half of the old, venerable HP – announced that it was spinning off its troubled services business, which includes what is left of EDS to CSC. Ironically, HP and CSC are calling the resulting entity “Spinco” for now. (I swear I did not make that up!) Of course, it is wonderful win-win for both sides and reflects great management insight. Well, at least they got a bump in their stock prices.

HP itself split up into two companies just the year before. (Pre-split HP had written down the value of EDS by $8 Billion just four years after purchasing it.)  And, CSC also split itself up into two companies during the same time. Seems pretty straightforward, right? But as they say wait there is more! Xerox sold ACS to Atos, a French company, for a little over $1 Billion. Recall, Xerox paid $6.4 Billion for ACS. And, after a few months after the sale was revealed, Xerox announced that it too was splitting into two companies. Let’s summarize: HP, Xerox and CSC each split themselves into two parts and then shuffled some of the pieces among themselves or sold them.

Dell, who went private in 2013, and agreed in 2015 to merge with the legacy storage provider EMC (more deck chairs), recently said it would sell Perot Systems to NTT. At least it appears Dell only lost $800 million on that one – still, that is 20%. And IBM, what can we say about IBM? Big Blue isn’t so big anymore. It recently posted a 14-year low in quarterly sales. Besides nobody wanting their hardware or software anymore, a key contributor to this decline is Global Services (which includes outsourcing) where the backlog is shrinking (Translation: No New Sales).

How did this meltdown take place in such a short time? Cloud is a dagger to the heart of the ITO value proposition. Remember this was: reduce management hassle and save money through scale and cost cutting. But you still got your mess, just for less.  Cloud brings a scale and efficiency to operations that not even the largest outsourcers could meet because its operating model is so different.

cloud_32

Cloud assumes machines will fail and therefore they should be cheap, run very efficiently and use very little labor. Management hassle is non-existent. Software manages the machines and applications automatically move to another healthy machine if one fails. There are no repairs. They just throw them out. All of this means there are very few people. All the labor arbitrage in the world does not help you when the competition is at, or near zero.

But where the clouds value really kills the legacy outsourcing model is its flexibility and agility. Remember in the legacy model? It’s still your mess. All the laments about IT departments being too slow are still true with ITO. With cloud there is no wait to order and install machines. They are already there waiting for someone to use them. The beauty of it is you don’t pay for them until you actually use them and you stop paying when you shut them off. That kind of flexibility means you can be faster to market with new products, functions and features. Cloud does everything ITO tried to do but then goes one better.

Software, hardware, outsourcing are all being beaten up pretty bad – what do you think will be next? It’s seems obvious that cloud would be doing this in the high tech arena but the impact of cloud is much more far reaching than there. Look for restructuring and M&A activity. Often times there are cloud powered invaders shaking things up. Your industry isn’t rearranging deck chairs is it?

Originally published on July 14th, 2016.  You can periodically see John’s insights show up here on CloudTweaks through our syndication program.

By John Pientka

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Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions Running a cloud server is no longer the novel trend it once was. Now, the cloud is a necessary data tier that allows employees to access vital company data and maintain productivity from anywhere in the world. But it isn’t a perfect system — security and performance issues can quickly…

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…

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

Individuals and Password-Sharing With the 1980s came the explosion of computing. In 1980, the Commodore ushered in the advent of home computing. Time magazine declared 1982 was “The Year of the Computer.” By 1983, there were an estimated 10 million personal computers in the United States alone. As soon as computers became popular, the federal government…

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Education Tech and the Cloud Arguably one of society’s most important functions, teaching can still seem antiquated at times. Many schools still function similarly to how they did five or 10 years ago, which is surprising considering the amount of technical innovation we’ve seen in the past decade. Education is an industry ripe for innovation…

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Success for Today’s CMOs Being a CMO is an exhilarating experience – it’s a lot like running a triathlon and then following it with a base jump. Not only do you play an active role in building a company and brand, but the decisions you make have direct impact on the company’s business outcomes for…