3 Ways To Improve Your BC/DR Exercises

BC/DR exercises

Disaster recovery testing has been around for more than 30 years but, unfortunately, most companies are exercising their disaster recovery and business continuity plans and capabilities like it was still the 1970s. No evolution. No improvement. No relevance to actual disaster scenarios. For the sake of continuity, resiliency, recoverability, agility, and all the rest of those good words, we’d better change the way we exercise our business continuity plans so that we can be ready when a REAL disaster comes along. Here are three ways to do exactly that. Exercise strategically. Traditional exercises tend to have three major problems: 1. They exercise repetitively. “Let’s exercise what we exe … Read more

The Best IT Blogs: 7-30-14 Weekly Roundup

IT blogs

This week we’re talking all about serious business matters. From procurement to B2B marketing, what do you need to know to get ahead in a new era of emerging workforce and up-and-coming digital technology? Failing to keep up with the times will quickly send your business into a downward spiral. As The Godfather films famously coined “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” So, it’s time to leave your doubts, fears, and cannoli…and take hold of the future in stride. What You Need To Know About… Managed Services Your business is paying another company to handle all the management and administrative tasks of your applications. So you’re covered, right? Unfortunately, no, not when it comes to … Read more

7 Dirty Little Secrets Of Cloud Backup And Recovery

cloud backup and recovery

Cloud backup and recovery is, without question, one of the “latest and greatest” and “biggest and best” items in the IT arena. It’s hot – and getting hotter as emergent backup as a service (BaaS) and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) vendors pop up like mushrooms after a heavy rain. However, before you throw all your data into the cloud, I want to tell you something. There are a whole pile of dirty little secrets surrounding cloud backup and recovery. Secrets that many BaaS and RaaS providers aren’t going to admit to, even when asked. Certainly, they’re never going to tell you upfront. But what you don’t know CAN hurt you. So, in the free executive brief 7 Dirty Little Secrets of Clou … Read more

The Best Cloud Computing Articles Of The Month

cloud computing

Think you know everything there is to know about cloud? Think again. Actually, a lot of people find the cloud to be a complex concept, but it doesn’t have to be! For that reason, we’ve created a special roundup this week getting down to the nitty-gritty. We’ll take a look at the fundamentals: cloud’s capabilities, where it’s going, and ultimately, what the cloud really is and what it isn’t. The Cloud Is… Getting Big Self-built and third party provided cloud is at 70% in 2014, but that’s expected to skyrocket in the coming years. So much so, that the now $41 billion private cloud market will expand to a $69 billion dollar market by 2018. But something still remains the same: security is a t … Read more

Failing Your Compliance Audits? Learn Why

compliance audit

Audit. The very word brings on a state of nervous tension. Financial audits. Tax audits. Records audits. And in the business IT space, compliance audits. There’s good reason for that shiver of cold fear. In my conversations with clients, I have discovered that too many companies are failing their compliance audits, and they don’t know why. They’ll say, “But we prepared! We tested! Everything worked fine!” Most of the time, it takes me just a few targeted questions before I can tell them, “This is why you are failing your compliance audits!” For instance, “Have you only performed tests on single aspects of your disaster recovery plan … without ever ‘putting it all together’?” “Have you c … Read more

The Best IT Blogs: 7-23-14 Weekly Roundup

IT blogs

Today’s business is increasingly complicated. Challenges seem to come from every direction, from beating competitors to fending off cybercriminals. Don’t forget outside factors too – like economic recessions and natural disasters. These environmental conditions can also take a toll on business. It’s analogous to the Hunger Games, where contestants had to battle each other AND stay alive in the unrelenting wild, filled with poisonous berries, toxic fog, and hornets equipped with fatal stingers. As I looked through this past week’s IT articles, I noticed some big moves on the part of some businesses, while other businesses still stick their heads in the sand about issues related to informati … Read more

Why Looking For A Cloud Backup And Recovery Solution Is Like Looking For A Spouse

cloud backup

Take a walk with me … down the aisle. The bells are ringing joyously, all your friends and family are present, flowers are filling the air with their stunning fragrance. You raise your eyes to your spouse-to-be and suddenly realize: • You picked the person based on their virtual online profile and the beauty of their physical profile. You never actually got to know them. • You had a lot of fun while dating – lots of laughter and romance – but you have no clue if they can handle the challenges of the long-haul, the nitty-gritty of daily life, and the inevitable changes the future brings. • You have zero idea about the other person’s financial expectations, spending vs. saving habits, budge … Read more

The Power Of Partnership: Building A Resilient Cloud For The Future

Sungard AS leverages Cisco technology to bring you a resilient cloud that will carry your business to the future.

This year’s Cisco Live! was incredible. There were more than 25,000 attendees on-site and another 200,000+ attending virtually. There was also a lot of excitement around all things cloud -- from how the Internet of Everything will change the way we live, to the role Intercloud plays in forming a seamless fabric between the world of many clouds. During the show, I spoke with Xander Uyleman, Marketing Manager for Cisco Powered. I shared with Xander our vision of the cloud and how the power of our partnership with Cisco and its reseller ecosystem helps us bring value to the market. We have Cisco Powered cloud services for both disaster recovery as well as a customer’s production environment. … Read more

When Backup Screws Up Recovery: Why And What To Do About It

Backup and recovery

Ever spend gobs of time and money and effort to achieve a business goal, only to find out that you screwed up something else in the process? Man, I hate that. The problem is, I see companies do it all the time in my job in one specific area: they are focusing on their backup goals and simultaneously trashing their recovery objectives. I’d like to tell you about it so that it doesn’t happen to you. Companies know the importance of backup. That’s a fact. I don’t think there are many, if any, companies out there who would say, “Backup? Nah – waste of time!” In fact, companies are really attuned to the importance of backup and to the problems involved in it. Namely: • Data is growing at a rat … Read more

The Best IT Blogs: 7-16-14 Weekly Roundup

IT blogs

We can now wipe the paint from our faces and turn off the TV; it’s the end of the FIFA World Cup. The tournament where we witnessed shocking plays, like Tim Howard’s superhuman saves and that infamous bite from Luis Suarez, is officially over. The tournament finally came to a close Sunday, where a tense game left the Argentines hanging their heads. It turns out that Messi and company was no match for the black, red and yellow. Germany’s men were so talented that the winning goal was executed by a substitute, 22-year old Mario Gotze. The Huffington Post gives us an excellent play by play of the heated match. With the tournament’s conclusion, Brazil can breathe a sigh of relief. While Brazil’ … Read more

5 Questions Every Procurement Officer Should Ask When Evaluating Cloud Computing Companies

buying cloud

Procurement has a tough job when it comes to buying cloud. Particularly since, if you’re in procurement, you may not be an IT expert yourself … but you’re still responsible to find cloud suppliers, compare services, and negotiate pricing to get the best value for your company. The challenge comes because “the cloud” isn’t standardized. It’s not like bolt or screw or nail – all of which have very well-defined specifications used across the industry. In that case, you get quotes from suppliers, develop a data matrix, and deliver the information up the chain for a decision. Done. The cloud? Well, there are no globally, nationally, or even regionally-accepted standard terms for a particular cl … Read more

Somewhere Over The Rainbow: Creating Business Agility With SAP® And The Sungard AS Cloud

Sungard AS Cloud

It isn’t often that a product transforms not only the world of technology, but the very way we do business. Yet that’s exactly what SAP® did back in 1972, when the German company was founded to develop software that helps companies to do work faster and more effectively. Today, SAP® applications and services enable more than a quarter of a million customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously and grow sustainably. Over the past 40 years – from the back office to the boardroom – businesses of all types have used SAP® to empower people and organizations to work more efficiently and use business insights more successfully. In recent years, compelling improvements in both cost and operatin … Read more

4 Real-World Cloud Computing Examples In Business Today

cloud computing examples

What do you do if you are… • Running between 1 and 2 million auctions per day on thousands of servers and spending millions of dollars on technology and hardware refreshes? • Expanding rapidly in the travel industry but don’t have the budget for a capital expenditure outlay for new hardware? In fact, you need to cut IT expenses? • Selling a home heart monitor that transmits highly sensitive personal medical data in real time for immediate evaluation – requiring absolute stability and security? • Serving as a country’s largest producer and distributor of cement and construction materials, but are at constant risk of a natural disaster? In today’s fast paced business environment, you tu … Read more

The Best IT Blogs: 7-9-14 Weekly Roundup

IT blogs

We love the beginning of July for one obvious reason: Independence Day! Filled with fireworks, American flags, and some much needed R&R, the Fourth of July is a holiday worth celebrating. Businesses, however, had one more hurdle to jump before they could celebrate: Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL). CASL went into effect on July 1st in an effort to protect Canadians from spammers, hackers, and other cyber criminals. This law forbids all businesses from sending electronic commercial messages to any resident of Canada without their consent. Business2community.com covers the basics of CASL and what businesses need to do to adapt quickly. But is CASL punishing the wrong people? Sungard A … Read more

Why Hybrid IT Makes A Hot Mess Out of IT Disaster Recovery

If recovering your hybrid IT environment gets messy, try turning to an IT expert. They can be the key to your success!

The world doesn’t run on Intel alone. At first glance, it may seem like that, but experience has shown us that things are never as simple as they seem. As an IT availability company managing and hosting services for more than 7,000 customers, we have unique insight into the realities of an IT environment. To prove our point, we recently looked at the requirements of more than 1,800 of our recovery-as-a-service customers to discover just how complex the business IT world is. The results were a “hot mess,” to say the least. While it’s true that nearly 9 out of 10 customers (87 percent) depend on the Intel x86 platform for critical business functions, only about a third of them (35 percent) run … Read more

The Best IT Blogs: 7-2-14 Weekly Roundup

IT blogs

From cloud and security practices to new waves of digital innovation, this week we’re taking a look at making mistakes, learning lessons, and, above all, embracing change for positive outcomes. At times, the cloud can be a bit confusing. But one thing CIOs shouldn’t be confused about is the cloud’s efficient disaster recovery. In an article from Information Week, IT teams are encouraged to look past their ominous beliefs and trust cloud disaster recovery. Why? Because haphazard disaster recovery testing and the threat of damage to regional datacenters is a reality. “The savings and agility gains from public cloud disaster recovery are quite real, and we can't pass them up based on fear and r … Read more

Can The Cloud Save A Child?

By moving the Children's Bureau family assessment tool to the cloud, the Bureau has improved access to information that directly helps to better serve families and children.

In one of the most highly populated regions of the U.S., the Children’s Bureau of Southern California is hard at working preventing child abuse and neglect. Its staff serves more than 28,000 children and parents annually as it strives to create a world where every child grows up with endless possibilities and potential. It has been doing so for more than 100 years, and while a lot has changed since 1904 – the need to protect, nurture and treat vulnerable children has never been greater. Fortunately, the bureau’s efforts are paying off, so much so that this non-profit agency is passing on its knowledge to the next generation. In a unique development, the Children’s Bureau of Southern Calif … Read more

7 Use Cases You Didn’t Think Of For Cloud Disaster Recovery

Sure, cloud disaster recovery's main purpose is to recover data; but, read these 7 other use cases to learn how to get the most out of your investment!

So you’ve got cloud disaster recovery in place. Your business is protected, and that is your number one priority for business continuity and resiliency. But – let’s face it – that was a big investment you just made. Is it really only good in a crisis? Or can you leverage your investment in cloud disaster recovery to benefit your daily operations as well? Think about it. At its core, cloud disaster recovery means that you have a pristine copy of your current production environment sitting there, ready and waiting. With that in mind, here are 7 use cases for your cloud disaster recovery capabilities that you can leverage to get a fantastic ROI for your business! 1. “I want to test some pat … Read more

Fill In The Blank: Cloud Computing Is Not Possible Without _____

According to these experts, cloud computing cannot exist without factors like a migration plan and application compatibility with the cloud.

We polled cloud experts around our company to see how they would fill in the blank of this sentence: “Cloud computing is not possible without _________.” It’s certainly interesting to see how varied (and yet valid!) all the responses were: Dominick Paul, National Vice President, Strategic Solutions “Cloud computing is not possible without abstraction from infrastructure. In order to gain the benefits of a scalable, portable, and flexible architecture, applications have to be developed and deployed with the cloud in mind. Eliminating the dependencies on hardware or even operating systems allows enterprises to focus on the end interaction, (it’s all about the app, isn't it?) rather than how t … Read more

Using Test/Dev For Disaster Recovery: Like Robbing Peter To Pay Paul

Using Test/Dev for DR? With the plethora of viable alternatives today, there is no reason to continue robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The debate about whether to use Testing and Development infrastructure (Test/Dev) for disaster recovery (DR) is like global warming: for every opinion on one side, there is an opposing opinion on the other. Where companies stand on the matter often depends on what their agenda is. For example, hardware and software vendors write most of the publicly-available white papers, so by default they can't be considered unbiased in most cases. Gartner and other analysts have written fairly good white papers on this subject, but they too, are often influenced by professional relationships and sometimes don’t consider or understand the capabilities of less known (but very reputable) service providers … Read more

The Best IT Blogs: 6-25-14 Weekly Roundup

IT blogs

Today, for almost every decision we make, from choosing a car to choosing a home, safety and security is always one of the most important considerations. The same goes for businesses navigating the cyber world. This week’s roundup proves that keeping data protected from intruders should be your company’s first priority. Here’s why: The New York Times recently published an article on how hackers are getting smarter by the minute. A new strategy, ransomware, essentially steals your data and holds it hostage until a fee is paid. But ways to fight back (without illegally entering another network) can save your business time and money. Options like using tags to monitor valuable information or im … Read more

How CIOs Can Talk To CEOs About The Cloud

Before talking to your CEO about moving to the cloud, learn how to make the conversation a productive one!

A lot of CIOs are being told by their CEOs, “We need to be in the cloud. Go research it and get us there.” From the CEO’s standpoint, they know that the cloud is “big.” They may have heard a peer say, “We’re leveraging the cloud in our business,” where “the cloud” is being used as bragging rights. They’ve probably heard about phenomenal cost savings associated with the cloud. What the CEO often doesn’t understand – and that the CIO does – is that “the cloud” is a term that is used ubiquitously to describe a lot of different things. This leaves the CIO wondering what, exactly, the CEO is looking for “in the cloud.” If you are a CIO and you find yourself in this position, STOP. It’s time t … Read more

BC Champions Blog Series: How To Move From Risk Ignorance To Risk Intelligence

How do businesses move from risk ignorance to risk intelligence in an increasingly fast-paced world?

By Larry Chase, Senior Director, Symantec Corporation's Enterprise Resiliency Organization Businesses routinely struggle in the risk management space to highlight and proactively address operational and hazardous risks in the same real-time manner as their counterparts in the financial and strategic forums. Yet the real-time risk intelligence is out there – readily available and free on the Internet, including social media, Google Earth, countless 24-hour news sites, and weather and sports feeds. The upside is that you can easily set yourself up to receive a veritable tsunami of alerts and emails to every single device you have which is connected to a cable or wireless network. The d … Read more

As Good As IT Gets 6.4.14: The Best IT- Cloud Computing – Security Blogs This Week

IT blogs

Not long after we celebrated the start of summer with barbecues and pool parties, we are already preparing for hurricane season. Last week, May 25-31, was National Hurricane Preparedness Week. According to the National Weather Service, “History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.” Please check out these two links for more on hurricane preparedness to help you protect yourself, your loved ones, and the things you cherish. • National Hurricane Preparedness Week: Ready For The Storm • NOAA Hurric … Read more