Tag Archives: Gartner

Why Do Businesses Move to the Cloud? – Part I

Small and medium businesses are transitioning to the Cloud in ever increasing numbers. In fact, according to Gartner Research, there has been an annual increase of over 18% in the number of subscribers to the Cloud. A variety of factors have led to this increase.

First of all, it appears that it is the soft savings that small and medium businesses receive that is the primary reason for this increase. When using the Cloud, companies do not have to invest in expensive infrastructure or software and this saves them money initially. They can access existing resources that are delivered ready-to-use by Cloud service providers.

For example, ease of use and functionality have a large role to play in the decision making process. All the pains of developing and maintaining the application is left to third parties while customers can enjoy the outcome of the efforts. The Cloud also brings other benefits, such as agility, high availability, efficiency, and mobility all of which you can not put a monetary value to. While you might incur additional expenses at the initial stages, CIOs are beginning to see that there is more to the Cloud than the eye can see in terms of infrastructure savings.

Thus far, many companies have decided to switch to the Cloud because of the savings in cost to them. It should be noted that Cloud related expensive could be claimed as operational costs, rather than capital expenses. Shifting from CAPEX to OPEX not only brings additional benefits to the balance sheet of the organisation, but also removes all of the complex accounting calculations, and gets you the approval of your CFO for making their job much easier.

If your sole reason to switch is to save money, then a thorough financial analysis should be performed. The analysis should clearly show the current and projected costs and savings. Estimating future expenses and savings might be difficult, but if it is done properly, it could get closer to actual figures. It is suggested that companies forecast for only a period of three years as technologies evolve much faster in the IT industry.

Backup Technology recommends that you test the waters by taking our trial before making a decision for yourself. Keep in mind that there is more to the Cloud than dollar savings alone. Count the intangibles and set a value to them, before you decide for or against the Cloud.

In Part II, we will further discuss the additional reasons why businesses move to the Cloud.

The New Business Paradigm—Cloud Networking

The concept of cloud networking is not new. It is even now several decades old. However, cloud networking assumes new avatars as users innovate and exploit the power of cloud networking in new ways. Today businesses are using cloud networking to drive down costs and improve productivity in ways that was never imagined before. Cloud service providers are eager to woo customers by adding new and differentiated features to their cloud offerings. Cloud networking is fast becoming the new business paradigm.

From the perspective of the organisation, cloud computing is the roadmap of the future. As organisations become more and more mobile and BYOD policies are being adopted, platform independence and multiple device connectivity are gaining prominence in organisational decision making. IT decisions today are being made factoring in the power of the cloud and taking into consideration the possibility that employees and branches of the organisation may want to login to a centralised enterprise database. Applications that were custom made for on-premise use are being retired in large numbers to give way to applications that can be deployed over the cloud and accessed by individuals working from the other side of the globe.

“As an interesting side note, IDC forecast that worldwide spending on public IT cloud services will be around $40 million by 2012. This figure has been exceeded and is fast approaching the predicted figure of $100 billion for 2016. The growth rate for cloud applications today stands at 24.6%. Gartner’s IT spending survey report for SaaS usage matches IDCs.”

Cloud service providers eager to market their services are anxious to still any security and privacy fears that may be voiced. Service providers want to reach out to customers and assure them that cloud networking is entirely safe and secure and is the right way to go. They are assuring their customers through websites, blogs; discussion forums; social media sites and even offering trial runs of their software to bolster this assurance and attract customers to their unique products. They guarantee high availability, scalability, flexibility and security. Elaborate SLAs testify to their commitments and attention is drawn to their reputation as cloud service providers par excellence.

In short, cloud networking is changing our world. It is transforming business and globalising even small and medium businesses.

JPMorgan Chase Hit by Data Breach

JPMorgan Chase which is an American multinational banking and financial services company has officially announced that they have suffered a data breach which has compromised data belonging to 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.

It is believed that the attorneys general of Connecticut and Illinois have started an investigation into the data breach.

JPMorgan Chase notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday which declared that customer information such as names, addresses, phone numbers and emails addresses have been compromised.

On a slightly more positive note for the affected customers, JPMorgan Chase haven’t found any evidence that information such as customer account numbers, passwords, date of births or social security numbers have been compromised.

JPMorgan first became aware of a possible data breach in August and stated that they were working with US law enforcement authorities. It has also been revealed that the cyber-thieves had spent a month accessing the confidential data before the security breach was found.

Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan believes that this is one of the most troubling data breaches to have ever occurred and that this breach proves that no data is ever safe from cybercriminals.

Madigan stated, “This is among the most troubling breaches ever — and not just because of its magnitude, but because it proves that there is probably no database that cyber criminals cannot compromise.”

Madigan added, “Chase is trying to diminish the extent of the breach, but what’s clear is that people can no longer assume their information is safe. Americans must assume that cyber criminals are working 24/7 to steal their personal information.”

Avivah Litan who is a security analyst for Gartner also believes that no data is now safe from cyber-thieves and that you cannot afford to take your foot of the pedal when it comes to data security.

Litan stated, “This is really a slap in the face of the American financial services system. Honestly, this is a crisis point.”

Litan added, “You have to be paranoid now. You can’t slack off. There is no such thing as data confidentiality anymore. Everything is out there.”

No One Wants Their Data Locked Up

Guest post by Mamush Heayie

No one wants their data locked up. Portable data represents a freedom of choice and operational efficiency.It compels attention and is one of the major drivers of the cloud.

Cloud computing has revolutionized data management. The technology provides scalable cloud storage repositories and instant data recovery anywhere, anytime and on to any kind of device. The emergence of technologies that facilitate data portability has enhanced the value of the cloud and made it one of the most powerful means of integrating the scattered parts of the enterprise and linking up mobile workers operating in remote parts of the market.

When data cannot be ported across vendor servers, the customer faces a situation known as Vendor lock-in. The situation is automatic when proprietary technologies dominate the product or service delivery or inefficient processes/constraints prevent data portability. It is therefore, not surprising that one of the reasons (albeit unfounded) for not migrating to the cloud is possibility of vendor lock-in.

It is now more than three years since data portability hit the news with a presentation of the technology at Gartner summit in 2009. The technology has gained momentum and definition and has emerged as an inevitable dimension of cloud backup and recovery. Cloud backup software developers ensure that data portability can be leveraged in public, private or hybrid clouds and cloud backed-up data is never orphaned by provisioning for data application mobility and abstraction of data from the hardware layer. This gives organizations tremendous flexibility and allows the free flow of data between cloud backup service providers. Users can now plan investments with an assurance that they have the freedom of choice and the facility to switch data between cloud backup vendors.

However, it should be remembered that not all cloud backup vendors offer the facility.It is best to read the fine print and confirm that you are not getting your enterprise into a vendor lock-in situation. It may also be a good idea to interact with the potential vendors directly and satisfy yourself about the portability of the information you store in the chosen cloud backup repository. Check out the migration tools that are being offered and choose cloud backup providers who are committed to following and implementing standards such as the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) that has been published by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).

About the Author:Mamush Heayie is Managing Editor atwww.BackupReview.info a leading informational website for the cloud backup and data storage industry.

Business Continuity Myths

For many businesses of all sizes, IT has been an essential part of everyday trading since the 1990s. More recently, a company’s data has become one of the most valuable assets a company can hold and loss of it can prove extremely costly. There are many figuresthrown around that are aimed at making IT managers and business owners implement a business continuity plan. However, many of these figures are so extraordinary that they have the opposite effect and actually put businesses off the idea altogether.

The statistics are often taken from reputable sources, e.g. a market research paper published by Gartner, but studies will be misquoted or will not be relevant due to their age. Continuity Central, a website designed to help businesses implement a suitable Business Continuity plan, featured an article aimed at quashing the myths of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. In total, 29 different quotes are investigated. Just a few examples are shown below.

“90% of companies that experience data loss go out of business within two years”

This figure, quoted by Nation’s Building Newsin an article by an IT provider for SMEs, was supposedly published by Gartner in 2005. However, once investigated, the article from which the quote was taken was no where to be found.

“80% of organisations without relevant contingency plans who suffered a computer disaster went bankrupt”

Apparently taken from a 1993 study by Barry J. Varcoe for IBM, this figure has proved as elusive as the research paper it is featured in. Neither the 1993 paper or the quote can be found and the only study that comes close is another by Barry J. Varcoe in 1994,which doesn’t feature this claim either.

“A company that experiences a computer outage lasting more than 10 days will never fully recover financially”

Jon Toigo, a prolific writer of disaster recovery preparation gave this example in one of his books in 1989, however, a much more recent article(2009), has quoted this figure. What’s more is the 2009 article takes the quote from PricewaterhouseCoopers, suggesting that this particular quote has been recycled.

None of the examples above, or the other 26 listed in the Continuity Central article, would be of any help to someone trying to plan a business continuity strategy. The examples used are so unreasonable that they actually serve to paint a bad picture of business continuity providers.

A glancing look at the listshows that the many examples are basically saying the same thing: that a disaster leading to data loss will cause a large proportion of businesses, e.g. 75%, to go bankrupt. This suggestion is sure to raise a few eye-brows, especially when it is repeated in many forms from many different sources. If this figure (or anything like it) really was true, it would be a famous study that many could draw reference to. Instead, it has become a contrived marketing ploy used by many and believed by few.

There is no doubt that businesses who experience disaster will be worse off in some way because of it, but thosescepticalof investing in measures to protect themselves will only be put off by statistics that are questionable at best and simply untrue at worst.

Big Data: Big Decisions

Over recent years the digital world has exploded and the use of IT in day-to-day life has increased exponentially. According to a study carried out by IBM, we produce 2.5 quintillion(2,500,000,000,000,000,000) bytes of data everyday, leading to volumes of data that we have never experienced before. This comes as a result of information being constantly monitored and measured, which then creates a surge of more unstructured data.According to theIDC, the amount of information created, captured or replicated in 2007 exceeded the available storage for the first time.

In relation to enterprises, overseeing the expansion of storage space and ensuring that data is adequately backed up and securely protected has become a huge task. Some environments now consist of hundreds or even billions of small files. How can we overcome this problem? Is it possible to create an IT infrastructure that is able to support and protect these big data realities?

Unfortunately, the traditional approach of buying more storage, i.e. tapes or disk, simply does not work. This method of data management results in exorbitant costs and increased manual intervention by IT teams. This not only causes various inefficiencies across the entire enterprise but also limits the potential of controlling large amounts of data.

Meanwhile, the data growth explosion is not slowing down. Researchers say that the volume of digital data is growing at a rate of 40-60% per year. Moreover, a survey carried out by Gartner in November 2010, found that almost half of the respondents ranked growth as one of their three biggest daily challenges. Subsequently, the drive for backup needs is increasing, exerting a greater need for a next generation IT infrastructure. In order to do this, enterprises need to pick a vendor that knows big data and a backup solution based on big data needs.

A longstanding option for organisations that is now becoming more common is to virtualise their assets in order to protect them by migrating them to a virtual environment. In doing so, organisations can take advantage of the benefits ofcentralised data management such as centralised backup and replication.Users, and partners, can access the same data set from different locations. Smart data management gives enterprises many additional benefits when it comes to big data. Even though access to the data is distributed, the data is better protected since its management is centralised. Furthermore, it is easily recoverable and all accessible locally to data analysis tools, which allows IT teams to enjoy more flexibility and frees up time for them to focus on other initiatives. This method also has enormous cost savings.

In the face of the data growth explosion, is your business struggling to protect its data?

Our Customers

  • ATOS
  • Age UK
  • Alliance Pharma
  • Liverpool Football Club
  • CSC
  • Centrica
  • Citizens Advice
  • City of London
  • Fujitsu
  • Government Offices
  • HCL
  • LK Bennett
  • Lambretta Clothing
  • Leicester City
  • Lloyds Register
  • Logica
  • Meadowvale
  • National Farmers Union
  • Network Rail
  • PKR

Sales question? Need support? Start a chat session with one of our experts!

For support, call the 24-hour hotline:

UK: 0800 999 3600
US: 800-220-7013

Or, if you've been given a screen sharing code:

Existing customer?

Click below to login to our secure enterprise Portal and view the real-time status of your data protection.

Login to Portal