06
Oct 17

SmartIT – A Complex but Solvable Puzzle: Service Level Agreements, Key Performance Indicators, & Critical Success Factors

Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and Critical Success Factors (CSFs)

Knowing how to put the SLA, KPI, CSF puzzle together helps IT gain credibility and promote value in partnerships between IT and the business we serve. IT struggles to communicate, let alone justify costs and investments, and has a hard time communicating in terms that business understands. Something is lost in translation. IT services have been commoditized and marginalized, which further increases the challenges of getting funding, accelerating time to market, and delivering innovative products and services.

More of the SmartIT post from Jon Sturm


29
Sep 17

Continuity Central – DNS attacks an increasing problem for public and education sector around the world

Councils, schools and government offices were among global public sector and education organizations hit badly by DNS attacks last year – with nearly half reporting dealing with the issue cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds.

One in five (19 percent) of public sector sites and 11 percent of education bodies affected by DNS attacks say sensitive information was stolen. A fifth (20 percent) of public sector and 12 percent of educational victims also think intellectual property data was lost, while 10 percent of schools and colleges affected say they needed to take more than one day to recover.

This is in the context of yearly average costs of DNS security breaches to be now running at £1.7m ($2.2m) for organizations globally, with malware (35 percent), DDoS (32 percent), Cache Poisoning (23 percent), DNS Tunnelling (22 percent) and Zero-Day Exploits (19 percent) as the main threats.

More of the Continuity Central post


28
Sep 17

Harvard Business Review – How Does Blockchain Work?

Blockchain is an emerging technology that gets lots of press in the technology journals. Harvard Business Review put together this whiteboard session on the technology called “How Does Blockchain Work?”

Harvard Business Review video


27
Sep 17

CIO Insight – Why IT Architectural Plans Often Get Derailed

The majority of organizations know that they need to do a better job of planning for IT infrastructure, software development, data needs and cyber-security. But surprisingly few of them actually take part in long-term, tech-focused architectural planning, according to a recent survey from CompTIA. The accompanying report, “Planning a Modern IT Architecture,” indicates that most companies assign these efforts on a shorter-term, year-to-year or project-to-project basis. Given the increased significance of digital transformation, it remains critical to pursue broad, comprehensive strategies through close collaboration with business departments. But, to do so, CIOs and their tech teams will have to overcome obstacles in the form of budget shortfalls and a failure to gain buy-in throughout the company.

More of the CIO Insight slideshow from Dennis McCafferty


14
Sep 17

Data Center Knowledge – Multi-Cloud Is a Reality, Not a Strategy – Part 1

James Kelly is the Lead Cloud and SDN Expert at Juniper Networks.

So you’re doing cloud, and there is no sign of slowing down. Maybe your IT strategies are measured, maybe you’re following the wisdom of the crowd, maybe you’re under the gun, you’re impetuous or you’re oblivious. Maybe all of the above apply. In any case, like all businesses, you’ve realized that cloud is the vehicle for your newly dubbed software-defined enterprise: a definition carrying onerous, what I call, ‘daft pressures’ for harder, better, faster, stronger IT.

You may as well be solving the climate-change crisis because to have a fighting chance today, it feels like you have to do everything all at once.

More of the Data Center Knowledge post from James Kelly


14
Sep 17

ZDNet – Security Features Built into Cloud Services

Public cloud providers go to great lengths to secure their infrastructure, but organizations are still responsible to protect their apps and data. We look at Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

As we discussed in an earlier post [link to cloud fears entry], it’s a little late in the game to be wholly suspicious of cloud computing. However, there’s still a lot to talk about in terms of securing the cloud.

The security features offered by public cloud providers represent only a part of the shared responsibility model; the other part falls within your organization’s responsibility. For example, your public cloud provider may offer security groups for identity and access management (IAM) and firewalls that scan traffic on specific ports and to and from specific IP addresses.

More of the ZDNet article from Larry Seltzer


12
Sep 17

Customer Think – Software Developers Fear That A.I. Will Soon Replace Them

Since its inception in the 19th century, Artificial Intelligence is a growing topic of conversation in both science fiction and intellectual debate. To Cut a long story short, AI turns out to be the most disruptive and pervasive technologies of the current digital revolution. Right from automobiles to health care, home automation, aerospace engineering, material science, sports, the technology has been used very creatively, in hitherto unheard of sectors and has the potential to profoundly affect how we interact across the globe. As a result, the tech industry’s interest becomes stronger than ever.

According to the Oxford dictionary “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

More of the Customer Think article from Nishtha Singh


11
Sep 17

Continuity Central – Gartner publishes ‘Hype Cycle for Cloud Security in 2017’

The Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Security aims to help security professionals understand which emerging technologies are ready for mainstream use, and which are still years away from productive deployments for most organizations. The 2017 edition of the Hype Cycle for Cloud Security is now available and a summary is below.

“Security continues to be the most commonly cited reason for avoiding the use of public cloud,” said Jay Heiser, research vice president at Gartner. “Yet paradoxically, the organizations already using the public cloud consider security to be one of the primary benefits.”

The attack resistance of the majority of cloud service providers has not proven to be a major weakness so far, but customers of these services may not know how to use them securely.

“The Hype Cycle can help cybersecurity professionals identify the most important new mechanisms to help their organizations make controlled, compliant and economical use of the public cloud,” said Mr. Heiser.

More of the Continuity Central post


09
Aug 17

Continuity Central – To BIA or not to BIA is not the question…

Continuity Central recently conducted a survey to seek the views of business continuity professionals on whether it is feasible to omit the business impact analysis (BIA) from the BC process. Mel Gosling, FBCI, explains why he believes this is the wrong question to ask…

The Big Picture

It’s always useful to step back and see the big picture, and with the question of ‘To BIA or not to BIA?’ this bigger picture is that the BIA is an integral part the business continuity management (BCM) process specified in ISO 22301 and promoted by business continuity professional associations such as the BCI in its Good Practice Guidelines. Rather than looking closely at the detailed question, we should look at the bigger picture and ask ourselves whether or not we should use this specific BCM process at all.

More of the Continuity Central article


04
Aug 17

CIO Insight – A Practical Alternative to Two-Speed IT (Part 2)

In part one of this series, we explored a pair of competing requests many modern IT leaders receive from their stakeholders:

We investigated one “buzzwordy” solution—two-speed IT—and how implementing this solution often creates more problems than it solves. We proposed an alternate five-step framework for handling these requests. In steps one and two of this framework, we revealed how the above two competing requests are old problems, best solved with an old, proven solution—and not buzzwords.

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In part two of this series, we will walk you through the remaining steps in our practical framework and lead you down a path toward implementing this proven solution: the technology lifecycle.

Step 3: Think technology lifecycle, not “innovation” vs. “operations.”

To better understand why the good-on-paper “two-speed IT” approach often produces problems when implemented in the real world, look at Gartner’s two speeds (or modes) in which they shoehorn all technology systems and services:

Mode 1: Development projects related to core system maintenance, stability or efficiency. These require highly specialized programmers and traditional, slow-moving development cycles. There is little need for business involvement.

Mode 2: Development projects that help innovate or differentiate the business. These require a high degree of business involvement, fast turnaround and frequent updates. Mode 2 requires a rapid path (or IT fast lane) to transform business ideas into applications.

More of the CIO Insight post from Lee Reese