Wild Cowboy Stories From The IT Frontier

cowboy silhouette

For many years, I wore cowboy boots to work. It seemed appropriate … after all, as a senior architect, I often have to “herd” clients to help them develop solutions around availability of their most critical business systems and processes. In the process, I often tell a few tales around the IT campfire from the frontier of days past. The stories demonstrate to my clients that this is, in fact, not my first rodeo. Note: places, names, and timelines have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty). “As a cowboy, you are only as good as your last round up.” Early in my career, I had a client with the on-site system administrator who was responsible for fileserver backups for the cor … Read more

Information Security Exposure: Is Your Company’s Information Running Around Naked?

zipper opening skies

By Matthew Goche and John Beattie You’ve probably had this dream: you’re in a public setting and as you look down, you realize that you are (gasp!) stark naked! Not good. Fortunately, it is just a dream. But here’s a real-life question for you: is your company’s information running around naked? In other (more technical) words, what is your information security exposure? Are you “covered”? Or can people see things you would rather that they not see? One of the key problem zones for information security exposure is where companies intersect with their vendors. Do we need to remind you of Target? Probably not! So what do you do to make sure your data is decently clothed? How to make sure … Read more

The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 9-17-14

IT blogs

As we all know, the workplace is transforming right in front of our eyes. Changing work environments and technology are giving us more freedom in ways unimaginable twenty years ago. But that’s not all: as older employees remain in the workforce while younger prospects enter the professional world, there’s a whole combination of generations and skills at the table. Need an example? Let’s get to it. New Trends In a piece by Natalie Burg, she observes that senior employees are a powerful bunch in business, and they’re here to stay. Senior employees tend to have more experience in leadership, dedication, and have better communication skills than today’s cyber youth. But what’s important lies in … Read more

What Do Information Security Consultants REALLY Do?

Man working at laptop

With all of the data breaches in the news lately, you might be thinking of calling in an information security consultant to help improve your network’s protection. That’s a good idea, and a good step to protect your company data. But consultants are not created equal. They have different areas of expertise and levels of expertise as well as different levels of commitment to your business. Before you spend a lot of money on an information security consultant, you want to make sure you know your security goals and priorities. The following questions can help you determine your needs and ultimately choose the right consultant: • Do you have the staff and the skills to successfully manage … Read more

Think It’s Just A Line Item In An IT Budget? Think Again.

IT Budget Line Item Check

You’ve been there: you and others are sitting at a table with a budget spreadsheet, reviewing line items in an attempt to reduce costs. The problem is, when it comes to IT, attempts to reduce costs can have an unanticipated negative impact on business availability if people are looking at a line item’s cost but are not taking into account the item’s value. Let’s take a fundamental component of availability as an example: Internet access. It’s an essential artery to your business survival. However, not all Internet services provide the same functionality. Some people at the budgeting table might think, “This service costs $X. With another service, we could save $Y. Let’s change. They both gi … Read more

Think Your Business Continuity Plan Is Complete?

Magnifying glass against stack of documents.

Your business continuity team has brought you the company’s new, improved, revised, or updated business continuity (BC) plans. Nice plans – comprehensive, lots of information about assignments, call trees, contact lists, etc. and they’re all up-to-date. Your staff assures you that they have addressed all of the priorities and requirements defined from your business impact analysis (BIA) and involved every key stakeholder, so that the company is ready for the worst case scenario. You can hand out the kudos and get on with the next task. Not so fast. Before you give those kudos, you have some questions to ask! There are three important elements that too many business continuity plans are missi … Read more

The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 9-10-14

IT blogs

Like, post, share, retweet, regram, go! Social media is an amazing innovation. I can connect and interact with friends all the way from Germany to California in a click. I could go on and on about the benefits of social media, but I’ll stop myself! The truth is, among all the wonders social media brings; there are some risks when you create an account, making it imperative that users stay informed and stay secure. Here’s the social media news YOU should know about: Cyber criminals are clever these days, and they’re licking their lips over your Instagram and Facebook. Even if you’ve got your social media accounts safeguarded, they’ll find another way, like using the “friend fraud” strategy. I … Read more

Cloud’s Alphabet Soup: The Difference Between Cloud IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS?

ITaaS? SaaS? IaaS? PaaS? Wonder what it all means for you and your business? Read here to find out how to spell out 'solutions' from the alphabet soup!

If you’ve been pondering a move to the cloud, I have no doubt you’ve been seeing a lot of acronyms lately. ITaaS, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS…what does it all mean, and how can you make sense of this “alphabet soup” for your business? Fear not: While the acronyms associated with the cloud might seem intimidating at first, the concepts they stand for are really simple. Here’s a primer on cloud service offerings to help you get started. ITaaS (Information Technology as a Service): First, know that “cloud” could be replaced with the first of our acronyms, ITaaS. What ITaaS means is that instead of your company running its own data center, someone is running it for you and providing services and support th … Read more

Why Hybrid IT Environments Make A Hot Mess For Disaster Recovery [INFOGRAPHIC]

hybrid IT, infographic

Data from Sungard Availability Services shows that 65% of all IT environments are multi-platform (or hybrid). Believe it or not, this makes IT's task of recovering these environments a "hot mess." This infographic gives you 5 actionable steps to take to resolve your own "hot mess." To Share this Infographic On Your Site:Please include attribution to sungardas.com with this graphic. This infographic was first shared on Forbes.com. … Read more

Sungard Availability Services Named A “Leader” In Gartner BCM Magic Quadrant for its Assurance Continuity Manager!

Gartner Report thumbs up

Customer responsiveness: those two words capture the Assurance Continuity Manager’s journey since its inception last year. The team I get to work and play with – product management, sales support, professional services, sales, and consulting – all embodies the spirit of customer engagement. You spoke. We listened. We at Sungard Availability Services are pleased to be acknowledged by Gartner as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for Business Continuity Management Planning Software. Are you evaluating new or replacement Business Continuity Management Planning (BCMP) software tools and finding your search stalled? Here’s my advice: Look beyond “what” functionality a product offers and conside … Read more

The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 9-3-14

IT blogs

This past week was HUGE for IT. Why? The much-anticipated VMworld 2014 came in with a bang, breaking down barriers and revealing new strategies and innovations that we’ve never seen before. In fact, the theme of the conference was ‘No Limits,’ and VMware seemed to reiterate that theme with its drastic changes announced in the recent month. Were you there? If not, let’s review what exactly went down in San Fran: • Software-defined EVERYTHING: that’s right. Jude Chao of Enterprise Networking Planet sat down with VMware User Group director Piergiorgio Spagnolatti to talk about the new trend. “Users and customers exposed a need for more holistic storage management,” Spagnolatti said. Thus emerge … Read more

5 Information Security Breaches You’ve Never Heard About…But Should Have

security breach

In late August, there was a report that Dairy Queen was the latest victim of a security breach affecting credit and debit cards. Except nobody from Dairy Queen has actually confirmed the breach, saying because the stores are franchised and the franchises aren’t required to report security problems, there is no way of knowing for sure. The speculation comes, according to Krebs on Security, from financial institutions that are reporting signs of credit card fraud. This particular story goes to show that even when we think we know about a data breach, we don’t know the whole story. And there is a good chance that before it is ever confirmed, it will join a very long list of breaches that don … Read more