The company had a problem: Its IT environment was so disjointed and outdated, it was a proverbial house of cards, teetering on collapse. The outdated infrastructure was unreliable and slow, which caused delays in sales and inventory reporting. If one system failed, it could shut down the entire IT infrastructure and paralyze sales management and order fulfillment.
For small and medium-sized businesses with more pressing budgetary priorities, it’s easy to see how such a situation could arise. When an external audit found that the company had severely underfunded its IT department for years, management took notice. (more…)
Big data seduces us with potential. Industries from retail to health care collect untold terabytes of data in hopes of finding correlations and connections that drive sales and improve patient health.
But beneath the depths lies dark data, or data whose value hasn’t yet been identified. We’re talking about documents, images, PDFs, videos, and other data that often aren’t work related, include sensitive information, or duplicate files many times over.
Many organizations do the right thing by regularly backing up their data (everything from email servers to file shares to individual user folders), but this process amasses tons of unnecessary unstructured data. It clogs up storage arrays and hard drives, creating big bills and unknown risks.
Is your organization hoarding this kind of unstructured data without realizing it? Let’s shine a light on dark data to uncover how you can move your organization toward better storage and improved efficiency. (more…)
Few of us would buy a car without first taking it for a test drive. But this is exactly what organizations do when they purchase new technology without completing a Proof of Concept (POC).
In the IT realm, a POC tests how potentially disruptive technology interacts or integrates with an existing environment. These experiments can give an organization the confidence to adopt new and emerging technologies, or fair warning for what challenges must be solved first.
While you don’t need a POC to buy some new laptops, you should test any significant implementation you’re planning. Here’s why. (more…)
Which causes business leaders to buy into an IT security assessment quicker: ransomware or a data breach?
Unfortunately, that’s just the situation a regional health care provider network faced a few years ago. Although the IT staff knew a review of the security of the network and file server was overdue, the C-suite remained focused on existing HIPAA compliance guidelines.
That’s when a ransomware attack hit, resulting in a data breach. A user simply clicked on a popup, ransomware was then installed on the machine, and health care records stored on the user’s hard drive were compromised.
After the breach was fixed and the damage assessed, management realized many questions needed answering: Why did this attack happen? What should be IT’s first step in protecting data? What data should be secured? How could the organization balance compliance and security to stop attacks in the future? (more…)
If you read our blog post highlighting the 5 hallmarks of successful asset recovery, you might remember why asset recovery – the proper disposal or recycling of hardware devices – is so important: It’s a versatile, economical solution that protects your organization and simplifies IT asset management.
One of the biggest advantages to asset recovery is the environmental benefits. Adopting an asset recovery program guarantees devices are responsibly disassembled and recycled, and the precious metals, toxic materials, and extra components aren’t dumped in a landfill. If you throw those same devices in a standard garbage can, they end up feeding the growing global environmental issue of e-waste.
E-waste contains various hazardous metals that can harm the human immune, nervous, and reproductive systems, as well as pollute the air, water, and soil. By handing off end-of-life devices to an asset recovery provider, you are not only protecting the environment but the rest of humanity as well. (more…)
Organizations considering colocation should be wary of big promises not documented in a contract, and costs much lower than other providers. As in most situations, a colocation data center offering that sounds too good to be true probably is.
Colocation has become a competitive landscape, and data center providers are offering superb benefits for seemingly great prices: metered power, attractive space costs, and endless connectivity. But there are specific aspects of these three components that need to be studied and questioned.
Before signing the dotted line, take a closer look at power, space, and connectivity. You should also investigate the best way to make the physical migration to a colocation data center and how to optimize your colocation benefits, especially if you’re expanding to new markets. (more…)
Data centers are a lot like cafeterias for most organizations — a necessity, but not something they want to manage. Frankly, most organizations are not in the business of making sandwiches or building and managing data centers. Owning and operating an in-house data center is just not aligned with their core business.
Compared with operating an in-house data center, leveraging colocation services from a data center provider offers numerous benefits that have driven steady adoption of these services over the years. Here are seven reasons why you should consider colocation data center services for your organization. (more…)
It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your laptops are?
A misplaced laptop is no surprise to IT – many a laptop has been left in a public place or lost in plain sight on shelves or in drawers. And unfortunately, employees moving into a new job with a different company have been known to take their laptop with them. On average, 10 percent of IT hardware assets are in a state of purgatory, leaving no trace but a record in the books.
But is this a cause for panic? What’s the true cost of a few missing laptops to a business, especially one with increasing revenue and growing profit?
The real – and hidden – cost of lost laptops
Fact: Laptops are relatively cheap. Another reality: The content on those laptops is an organization’s lifeblood. If an employee loses a laptop, organizations can be faced with the loss of financial documents and information, HR records, regulatory filings, and valuable intellectual property. In addition, lost content could put an organization at risk of falling out of compliance with HIPAA or the SEC. (more…)
2014 was a banner year for cyberattackers, but not security. The high-profile data breaches of last year prove that antivirus is not enough, and the numbers of spear-phishing and web-based attacks, malware targeted at virtual machines, and ransomware continues its climb to historic levels.
Symantec highlighted the various methods hackers are using to attempt to steal company data in the 20th edition of its Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR). After a thorough reading of this April report, it’s clear that businesses of all sizes are at risk: (more…)
IT managers, take a second and think about your organization’s management of your Cisco SMARTnet agreements. If a hardware unit fails and needs replacing, how soon must that occur? When are your contracts up for renewal? If an emergency arises and you pick up the phone to call Cisco, do you know what service level your contract entitles you to?
While you think, ponder this astonishing fact: Cisco reports that 82 percent of all organizations that call into Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC) have incorrect information about their SMARTnet contracts and coverage.
Many customers have relayed uncertainty and confusion regarding management of their SMARTnet contracts to SHI. The disconnect between their contracted benefits and their understanding of those entitlements stems from four main issues: multiple SMARTnet contracts supporting a single organization, varied end dates, unaligned service levels, and SMARTnet purchases made through several different vendors.
Here’s another stat all IT professionals should know: 30 percent of all Cisco products are going end of life in the next three years, according to a recent SMARTnet webinar. Now is the time for organizations to start planning ahead and budgeting for the future. (more…)