All posts by Esther Kezia Thorpe

Five digital transformation tips for HR


Esther Kezia Thorpe

6 Sep, 2019

IT departments have long been the focus of digital transformation efforts, with business leaders expecting them both to innovate themselves, as well as drive transformation across other business departments.

But sometimes, other departments like Finance, HR and Marketing can be left behind in these initiatives, and can risk missing out on time-saving tools and software.

There are ways HR can drive digital transformation themselves without waiting for company-wide initiatives. Here are some tips to help take your HR operations digital, whilst ensuring compliance with company procedures.


What does it take to ‘go digital’ in HR? This whitepaper on ‘7 digital best practices for HR professionals’ takes you through what you need to know to make the transformation.

Download now


Get on board with the cloud

Moving systems and processes to the cloud can be an important first step in an organisation’s digital transformation strategy, and this is certainly true when it comes to HR. It opens the door to enable flexible working, which is increasingly one of the most valued factors when employees are looking for jobs.

The cloud can also help HR and people teams analyse global workforce data to spot trends and issues in advance, as well as understand what employees need.

In fact, there are many complete HR cloud software technologies available, which manage the complete core workflow of the department. Not all businesses require this level of system; sometimes, strategic systems for specific issues are more cost-efficient.

Automate routine processes

Conversations about automation tend to revolve around stealing jobs and making the need for humans redundant. But automation can actually be used to enhance the work we do if implemented in the right way, and may, in fact, end up creating more jobs than it eliminates.

Workload automation and job scheduling of routine tasks and processes frees up HR staff to focus on higher-value tasks. It can improve productivity, efficiency and reliability of staff by removing human errors, and ensuring jobs aren’t forgotten, or run out of sequence.

Using automation in the hiring process can also help with reducing discrimination in HR. Talent insight software can analyse the workforce composition of a company, identifying areas where diversity may be an issue. There are also tools available to sift through applications automatically, identifying the best people to take to interview stage. 

Harness data and analytics

Artificial intelligence and automation are making analytics even more powerful, which in turn has benefits for HR departments. There’s a current trend for IT and HR to work together on data projects, as companies are beginning to realise that growth is reliant on connecting people to the data they need to make decisions.

Cloud human capital management (HCM) software can introduce effective tools, allowing for real-time feedback and deeper understanding with predictive analytics

Some of these data and analytics tools are giving rise to ‘people analytics’, which HR teams can use to do things like predict which of a company’s top performers is most likely to leave, so preventative action can be taken.

Smart analytics are even starting to make waves in areas like workplace health. By harnessing the power of big data and smart analytics, some employers are identifying and anticipating the health needs of their employees, and putting the right infrastructure in place to support their continuing productivity.

These examples may seem a little extreme at present, but being able to gather and use good data can improve HR’s understanding of the workforce, and help improve employee engagement by creating better experiences.

Go paperless

A key part of digital transformation is reducing the need for paper documents and workflows. Going paperless has a number of benefits for HR professionals, from reducing the time it takes to get offer and agreement letters signed, to speeding up the onboarding process. 

Demonstrating that you have a technically sophisticated digital workflow from the very start will help with attracting the best candidates who want to work for agile and forward-thinking companies.

However, transformations like this should be done alongside the IT department, as the company will need to evaluate how secure and compliant a new digital workflow is, especially when dealing with personal data.


‘7 digital best practices for HR professionals’ outlines the important ways that HR teams can make progress in their digital transformations. Download it here.

Download now


Collaborate across departments

When it comes to digital transformation, new processes, software and tools can benefit every department in a company. Collaborating with different parts of the business to find out what processes can be made better, and which ones are working well, can be a good way of finding ways of doing things that can work across multiple departments.

Even collaboration and communication within your own HR team can quickly bring to light frustrating tasks that can be improved by introducing digital processes. 

Creating a friendly and collaborative working environment is also important when undergoing digital transformation to ensure that less tech-savvy employees don’t get left behind. If they feel able to ask for help and are encouraged to learn how to work with digital tools, this will be hugely beneficial for staff engagement and retention.

85% of companies now operating in a multi-cloud environment


Esther Kezia Thorpe

7 Aug, 2019

The rapid expansion of cloud-based services and a wealth of choice around the cloud has resulted in more competition than ever before. Increasingly, organisations are now choosing to mix and match cloud solutions, rather than choose between multiple technologies and vendors.

Using more than one cloud service this way is known as multi-cloud; not to be confused with hybrid cloud, which is using both public and private clouds in a business. 

The use of multiple clouds for businesses is growing in popularity and according to a survey from IBM, 85% of organisations are now using multiple clouds in their business.

To complicate things, the majority of these environments are made up of multiple hybrid clouds. 76% of the organisations surveyed reported that they were already using from two to 15 hybrid clouds.

It is also important to note that this only includes the clouds that IT executives are aware of. Shadow IT and cloud services used without official authorisation are a growing issue and mean the actual number of clouds used in businesses may be higher than the IT department reports.

Over the next three years, IBM forecasts that the number of companies using multiple clouds will grow to 98%. At present, however just 41% of these businesses have an active multi-cloud strategy, meaning many are managing multiple clouds on the fly as services are added on. This can put departments at risk of cloud sprawl, where fast and unchecked cloud adoption can cause issues with security and compliance.


Explore the challenges and benefits of a multi-cloud environment, and how to forge a clear path to successful multi-cloud management in ‘A field guide to multi-cloud management’.

Download now


Of the organisations operating in a multi-cloud environment, IBM’s survey found that just under half were establishing a formal multi-cloud architecture in order to enable a more unified management of cloud services. 

Use of formal procedures and tools to operate a multi-cloud environment is also low, but growing. Configuration management tools and multi-cloud management platforms are growing in popularity among enterprises in particular as a way to choreograph workloads and fully embrace the benefits of multiple clouds.

But multi-cloud isn’t just something enterprises can make use of. Many consumers use multiple cloud services in everyday life, and many businesses do so without necessarily realising it. 

Although formal multi-cloud management may be lagging behind adoption, the unlimited choice and flexibility that organisations get with their cloud deployments are proving particularly beneficial to digital transformation efforts.

What is cloud-to-cloud backup?


Esther Kezia Thorpe

3 Jun, 2019

Most businesses understand the importance of having a robust backup strategy in place for their on-premises data, but as more companies migrate to the cloud, myths and misunderstandings are beginning to creep in about how to backup data in a cloud environment.

One type of backup that is growing in popularity is cloud-to-cloud backup (or C2C backup). At a basic level, this is where data stored on one cloud service is copied to another cloud.

But if company data is stored in a cloud, why does that data need to be backed up to another cloud?

Many people think that they’re protected from data loss if they use a software as a service (SaaS) platform such as Microsoft Office 365 or G Drive. But although these platforms have robust solutions in place for protecting data in the cloud, they are only designed to protect against losses on their side.


Discover how to keep your cloud data safe from loss with this comprehensive guide to cloud-to-cloud backup for Office 365. Download it here.

Download now


In fact, 77% of IT decision makers reported some form of data loss through SaaS over a 12 month period,  according to an extensive survey from Spanning. That figure is higher than previously reported figures of 58%, suggesting that data loss in the cloud is a growing issue as more organisations experiment with the technologies.

So how is cloud-to-cloud backup solving this issue? Here, we break down what C2C backup is, and how it can help your business.

What is cloud-to-cloud backup?

As the name suggests, cloud-to-cloud backup is where data in the cloud is backed up to another cloud, rather than to an on-site method such as tape or disk backup. It is also sometimes known as SaaS (software as a service) backup.

It adds an extra layer of protection for businesses using cloud services by quite simply keeping a duplicate copy in a separate cloud.

An important distinction here is between backup and archive. When looking for a C2C backup solution, it should specifically be a solution for backing up data, not archiving it. A backup copy exists for the express purpose of making data available and recoverable in the event of the original being inaccessible.

But an archive exists to meet compliance needs or internal policies, and isn’t designed for data recovery. Most archiving systems aren’t able to rapidly restore lost data back into production, and don’t have the functionality needed to automate accurate restores.

How does C2C backup help businesses?

Like on-site backup methods, C2C backup benefits businesses by storing data in multiple locations, enabling easy restoration of data in case of a cyber attack, accidental deletion, data corruption or other incidents.

Many applications that run in the cloud are already protected by the provider from data loss on their side. But there is a common assumption that SaaS providers like Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365 have backup completely covered.

Although many providers are geared up to protect data in the cloud from problems on their side, such as disk failures or natural disasters, they can’t do much if the issue occurs on your side.

If a ransomware attack erases your files, or if they’re deleted accidentally or maliciously by an employee, it can be difficult to restore the data. This is one-way cloud-to-cloud backup can be used to help businesses with an extra layer of protection, should the worst happen.

Pros and cons of cloud-to-cloud backup?

The main benefit of cloud-to-cloud backup is cost. Because there’s no investment required in on-site backup infrastructure, C2C backup can be set up quickly and inexpensively. This also applies in the long term; cloud storage can be added or taken away quickly as business needs evolve, and costs are kept predictable on a monthly basis.

However, as with many cloud services, this can also lead to wastage, with dark data or unnecessary data taking up large amounts of storage space and driving up monthly costs.

Due to the nature of C2C backups, availability is a major advantage. Backup copies of data in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere, so IT teams don’t have to come to a physical location to restore business data if anything goes wrong.

C2C is still a relatively new market, and most vendors currently offering cloud-to-cloud backup services also manage the backup and day-to-day management themselves. This makes it a good option for organisations that don’t have their own in-house specialists to do this for them. But larger enterprises may feel more comfortable managing C2C backup themselves, or even keeping backup on-site.


‘The definitive guide to backup for G Suite’ covers why you need a solution for G Suite, what you need to understand about cloud-to-cloud backup, and more. Download it here.

Download now


Another benefit is resilience to cyber attacks. Should an employee accidentally click on a malicious email attachment and open the business up to a ransomware attack, backup data on a cloud generally won’t be affected as it isn’t on the office network.

However, as with all cloud services, data security is an issue. Backup data stored on a cloud opens it up to being hacked or otherwise compromised, and offline hard backups are still considered to be the more secure option.

Any businesses looking at cloud-to-cloud backup services should carefully consider their needs, from how frequently a backup should be run to how the day-to-day management should work, and how much storage is required.

Cloud and hybrid technology tops the priority list for businesses


Esther Kezia Thorpe

9 Nov, 2018

Cloud and hybrid IT are one of the top five most important tools in their organisation’s technology strategy, according to 95% of IT professionals participating in a survey of more than 800 IT workers conducted by SolarWinds.

Of these, 77% of respondents said that cloud technology topped their list of most important technologies, and was the most useful for digital transformation efforts.

The primary reason for this is that cloud and hybrid IT meet the current needs of businesses, but also serve as the backbone to future trends like machine learning and artificial intelligence. Many of the principles of cloud implementation support scalability for future growth, as well as flexibility to add and take away services as needed.

However, 63% of respondents also said that cloud and hybrid IT were the biggest challenges when it came to implementation and rollout, suggesting that although they understand its value, the day-to-day practicalities are still proving difficult for businesses looking to make the most of cloud technologies.

In second place, seen as one of the most important technologies in use today by 86% of IT professionals, is automation. This also scored highly as a technology with the greatest potential to provide productivity and efficiency benefits, as well as return on investment in the future.


Dive deeper into the report’s findings on technology investments and priorities by downloading it here.

Download now


Big data analytics were also rated highly as an important tool for organisations at present, with 79% of IT professionals including it in their top five choices. It was also seen as the number two priority in terms of digital transformation over the next few years.

One challenge regarding the implementation of cloud and data analytics technologies is inadequate infrastructure and a lack of organisational strategy, which the survey highlights as being a common reason why the IT professionals’ current systems aren’t optimised.

But as cloud providers are making it increasingly easier to move to the cloud and removing barriers to adoption, it is the business itself which will need to adapt in order to use these technologies with full effect.

What are cloud desktops and how can they benefit my business?


Esther Kezia Thorpe

30 Oct, 2018

Cloud desktops – also known as virtual desktops, hosted desktops, or Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) – virtualise everything that loads when the user powers up a PC. It presents their whole computer, set up how they need it, on their preferred device.

Organisations usually purchase licenses for virtual desktops hosted by a vendor, and employees can log into their virtual desktop from a device of their choosing, making remote working a more viable option.

Although the principles of providing a desktop experience remotely are similar, there are differences between cloud desktops and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). VDI is served through on-premise servers, with the infrastructure and deployment managed by internal IT teams. VDI has much higher upfront costs as it requires an investment in the servers and storage needed, as well as ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs.


Once you’re getting the benefits of moving your files and applications in the cloud, you’re ready for cloud desktops. Learn more in this whitepaper.

Download now


By contrast, cloud desktops use a third-party provider to host in the cloud, meaning that no on-premise servers or costly infrastructure is needed.

Many cloud desktop providers have add-ons such as Microsoft Office licenses, antivirus and data storage which businesses can add or take away when necessary, and customise to their own needs.

Business benefits of cloud desktops

Like most cloud services, there is little or no on-premises infrastructure that a business has to invest in to get started with cloud desktops, and there’s no costly hardware to maintain. The as-a-service model also means that costs are usually on a subscription model, making them predictable and easier to manage.

Employees can be given secure access from anywhere on any device, but because the data and desktop are stored elsewhere, even if they lose their laptop, there’s nothing to steal from it, so there’s no security breach.

Cloud desktops make remote working much simpler, as setup just involves verification and login, without the need for additional hardware. A setup like this is particularly useful when there are interruptions to travel such as snow days or transport strikes, as workers can carry on as normal from home.

Collaboration and file sharing are another benefit to businesses. Cloud desktops are a step further than cloud file sharing applications, in that the entire interface is stored and delivered through the cloud rather than just files, but it brings the same collaboration benefits that many file-sharing services also deliver.

Having a centralised backup of files and data is another benefit of cloud desktops, making disaster recovery much faster through remote back-up. For business use, it’s important to choose a service that is strong on security and collaboration, and is designed for intensive business use.


Learn how to plan your journey to the cloud and get the business benefits, but at your own pace and with minimal risk, disruption and cost with this whitepaper.

Download now


Cloud desktops can be a challenge if applications are resource-intensive and internet connection is patchy. Many cloud desktops also have an option to run offline and work even if there’s no internet connection, but this may not meet the needs of every business.

Flexibility and scalability are two major benefits of cloud desktops, as they allow businesses, whether large or small, to grow at their own pace, adding and taking away licenses as they’re required. It’s also much more straightforward to roll out updates for software or add new applications, without having to worry about updates and security fixes on individual machines.

However, there are sometimes additional costs involved in cloud desktops, so finding a provider which offers a transparent pricing model is vital to avoid unwanted hidden charges.

What are cloud desktops and how can they benefit my business?


Esther Kezia Thorpe

30 Oct, 2018

Cloud desktops – also known as virtual desktops, hosted desktops, or Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) – virtualise everything that loads when the user powers up a PC. It presents their whole computer, set up how they need it, on their preferred device.

Organisations usually purchase licenses for virtual desktops hosted by a vendor, and employees can log into their virtual desktop from a device of their choosing, making remote working a more viable option.

Although the principles of providing a desktop experience remotely are similar, there are differences between cloud desktops and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). VDI is served through on-premise servers, with the infrastructure and deployment managed by internal IT teams. VDI has much higher upfront costs as it requires an investment in the servers and storage needed, as well as ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs.


Once you’re getting the benefits of moving your files and applications in the cloud, you’re ready for cloud desktops. Learn more in this whitepaper.

Download now


By contrast, cloud desktops use a third-party provider to host in the cloud, meaning that no on-premise servers or costly infrastructure is needed.

Many cloud desktop providers have add-ons such as Microsoft Office licenses, antivirus and data storage which businesses can add or take away when necessary, and customise to their own needs.

Business benefits of cloud desktops

Like most cloud services, there is little or no on-premises infrastructure that a business has to invest in to get started with cloud desktops, and there’s no costly hardware to maintain. The as-a-service model also means that costs are usually on a subscription model, making them predictable and easier to manage.

Employees can be given secure access from anywhere on any device, but because the data and desktop are stored elsewhere, even if they lose their laptop, there’s nothing to steal from it, so there’s no security breach.

Cloud desktops make remote working much simpler, as setup just involves verification and login, without the need for additional hardware. A setup like this is particularly useful when there are interruptions to travel such as snow days or transport strikes, as workers can carry on as normal from home.

Collaboration and file sharing are another benefit to businesses. Cloud desktops are a step further than cloud file sharing applications, in that the entire interface is stored and delivered through the cloud rather than just files, but it brings the same collaboration benefits that many file-sharing services also deliver.

Having a centralised backup of files and data is another benefit of cloud desktops, making disaster recovery much faster through remote back-up. For business use, it’s important to choose a service that is strong on security and collaboration, and is designed for intensive business use.


Learn how to plan your journey to the cloud and get the business benefits, but at your own pace and with minimal risk, disruption and cost with this whitepaper.

Download now


Cloud desktops can be a challenge if applications are resource-intensive and internet connection is patchy. Many cloud desktops also have an option to run offline and work even if there’s no internet connection, but this may not meet the needs of every business.

Flexibility and scalability are two major benefits of cloud desktops, as they allow businesses, whether large or small, to grow at their own pace, adding and taking away licenses as they’re required. It’s also much more straightforward to roll out updates for software or add new applications, without having to worry about updates and security fixes on individual machines.

However, there are sometimes additional costs involved in cloud desktops, so finding a provider which offers a transparent pricing model is vital to avoid unwanted hidden charges.

Our 5-minute guide to enterprise cloud computing


Esther Kezia Thorpe

22 Oct, 2018

An estimated $3.5 million will be spent by enterprises on cloud apps, platforms and services this year, making up an average of 30% of enterprise IT budgets, according to recent figures. It is therefore crucial that business leaders are aware of how cloud computing can be fully used to help companies achieve their business goals.

What is enterprise cloud computing?

Enterprise cloud computing is a collection of characteristics of the public and private cloud, tailored to the needs of the business. Companies get a choice of where to run workloads, as well as infrastructure that is flexible and agile.


Take a deep dive into what the enterprise cloud is and why it’s the future of IT in this comprehensive whitepaper.

Download now


Enterprise clouds are built with similar web-scale technologies that enable the same durability, reliability and availability as the public cloud. This is different from public clouds offered by the likes of AWS and Microsoft Azure, as for the most part with these clouds, the data sits outside your data centre and the applications have to conform to their providers’ processes and architectures.

By contrast, enterprise cloud computing allows a business to get the best of both worlds: a public cloud experience in your own data centre that lets you choose the most appropriate technology for the business, but where data and workloads can be managed in the public cloud where necessary.

There are five key components to enterprise cloud computing:

  • Full-stack infrastructure and platform services that deliver turnkey infrastructure for any app at any scale, anywhere, delivered through a combination of on-premises data centres and public cloud services
  • Zero-click operations and machine intelligence that deliver operational simplicity through automation
  • Instant elastic consumption that allows businesses to buy and use only the IT resources they need, when they need them, eliminating overprovisioning and prediction risk
  • Integrated security and control that covers the entire infrastructure stack, makes use of automation, and simplifies security maintenance using automation
  • Application-centric mobility that lets businesses run applications anywhere with no infrastructure lock-in

Despite its name, enterprise cloud computing is not just for enterprises. Any company that wants to get the best of private and public cloud can tailor an enterprise cloud to meet the requirements of both existing applications and next-generation applications, meaning that they get the same cloud benefits, irrespective of their organisation’s size.

Common enterprise cloud computing use-cases

Companies of all types in a wide variety of industries are adopting enterprise cloud computing, including those in healthcare, retail, financial services and manufacturing.

Within enterprises, adoption is being driven largely by IT departments looking to modernise data centres while also harnessing the benefits of the cloud. Enterprise cloud computing brings together the ‘best of both worlds’ with the flexibility and agility of the cloud, along with the security and control provided within a data centre.

Some business owners and app owners are adopting the enterprise cloud to enable them to take their products to market quickly, without being delayed by IT.

Pros and cons of enterprise cloud computing

The primary advantage of enterprise cloud computing is being able to have the best of both clouds. Businesses are able to use IT infrastructure and platform services that deliver the advantage of public cloud services for enterprise applications, but without compromising on the value provided by private data centres. It offers superior speed and performance, as well as lower infrastructure costs and more efficient use of IT resources.

This also presents cost savings; by adopting the pay-as-you-go characteristics of the public cloud while providing a common foundation on which to run legacy and new applications, businesses are able to provide the infrastructure and services they need, without wastage or shortages.

However, there are also some downsides. Pricing models can be seen as complicated, and as with many cloud services, there is often confusion over ownership within an organisation. Although enterprise cloud computing gives much greater control over security and access, there are still valid concerns around data security, and whenever data is sent into the cloud, there is always a risk.


‘Enterprise Cloud for Dummies’ looks at the key trends that affect the way IT does business and how the enterprise cloud can futureproof your data centre. Download it here.

Download now


How to get started with enterprise cloud computing

For a long time, businesses have had to hire specialists for each new area of IT infrastructure, but enterprise cloud systems driven by hyperconverged infrastructure doesn’t require specialists to operate. To get started with enterprise cloud computing, a business needs IT professionals who have a breadth of knowledge, but who don’t necessarily have specialisms. These IT generalists are the future of data centre support, as they can simplify a complex mass of technology in the data centre, and can also help shift IT’s focus from infrastructure to aiding the bottom line.

Regarding IT processes and infrastructure, the best place to start is by looking at the current IT replacement cycle. Rather than worrying about running out of capacity during the replacement cycle and having to make out-of-cycle infrastructure purchases, enterprise cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure instead has a just-in-time approach, ensuring that capacity isn’t wasted.

Our 5-minute guide to enterprise cloud computing


Esther Kezia Thorpe

22 Oct, 2018

An estimated $3.5 million will be spent by enterprises on cloud apps, platforms and services this year, making up an average of 30% of enterprise IT budgets, according to recent figures. It is therefore crucial that business leaders are aware of how cloud computing can be fully used to help companies achieve their business goals.

What is enterprise cloud computing?

Enterprise cloud computing is a collection of characteristics of the public and private cloud, tailored to the needs of the business. Companies get a choice of where to run workloads, as well as infrastructure that is flexible and agile.


Take a deep dive into what the enterprise cloud is and why it’s the future of IT in this comprehensive whitepaper.

Download now


Enterprise clouds are built with similar web-scale technologies that enable the same durability, reliability and availability as the public cloud. This is different from public clouds offered by the likes of AWS and Microsoft Azure, as for the most part with these clouds, the data sits outside your data centre and the applications have to conform to their providers’ processes and architectures.

By contrast, enterprise cloud computing allows a business to get the best of both worlds: a public cloud experience in your own data centre that lets you choose the most appropriate technology for the business, but where data and workloads can be managed in the public cloud where necessary.

There are five key components to enterprise cloud computing:

  • Full-stack infrastructure and platform services that deliver turnkey infrastructure for any app at any scale, anywhere, delivered through a combination of on-premises data centres and public cloud services
  • Zero-click operations and machine intelligence that deliver operational simplicity through automation
  • Instant elastic consumption that allows businesses to buy and use only the IT resources they need, when they need them, eliminating overprovisioning and prediction risk
  • Integrated security and control that covers the entire infrastructure stack, makes use of automation, and simplifies security maintenance using automation
  • Application-centric mobility that lets businesses run applications anywhere with no infrastructure lock-in

Despite its name, enterprise cloud computing is not just for enterprises. Any company that wants to get the best of private and public cloud can tailor an enterprise cloud to meet the requirements of both existing applications and next-generation applications, meaning that they get the same cloud benefits, irrespective of their organisation’s size.

Common enterprise cloud computing use-cases

Companies of all types in a wide variety of industries are adopting enterprise cloud computing, including those in healthcare, retail, financial services and manufacturing.

Within enterprises, adoption is being driven largely by IT departments looking to modernise data centres while also harnessing the benefits of the cloud. Enterprise cloud computing brings together the ‘best of both worlds’ with the flexibility and agility of the cloud, along with the security and control provided within a data centre.

Some business owners and app owners are adopting the enterprise cloud to enable them to take their products to market quickly, without being delayed by IT.

Pros and cons of enterprise cloud computing

The primary advantage of enterprise cloud computing is being able to have the best of both clouds. Businesses are able to use IT infrastructure and platform services that deliver the advantage of public cloud services for enterprise applications, but without compromising on the value provided by private data centres. It offers superior speed and performance, as well as lower infrastructure costs and more efficient use of IT resources.

This also presents cost savings; by adopting the pay-as-you-go characteristics of the public cloud while providing a common foundation on which to run legacy and new applications, businesses are able to provide the infrastructure and services they need, without wastage or shortages.

However, there are also some downsides. Pricing models can be seen as complicated, and as with many cloud services, there is often confusion over ownership within an organisation. Although enterprise cloud computing gives much greater control over security and access, there are still valid concerns around data security, and whenever data is sent into the cloud, there is always a risk.


‘Enterprise Cloud for Dummies’ looks at the key trends that affect the way IT does business and how the enterprise cloud can futureproof your data centre. Download it here.

Download now


How to get started with enterprise cloud computing

For a long time, businesses have had to hire specialists for each new area of IT infrastructure, but enterprise cloud systems driven by hyperconverged infrastructure doesn’t require specialists to operate. To get started with enterprise cloud computing, a business needs IT professionals who have a breadth of knowledge, but who don’t necessarily have specialisms. These IT generalists are the future of data centre support, as they can simplify a complex mass of technology in the data centre, and can also help shift IT’s focus from infrastructure to aiding the bottom line.

Regarding IT processes and infrastructure, the best place to start is by looking at the current IT replacement cycle. Rather than worrying about running out of capacity during the replacement cycle and having to make out-of-cycle infrastructure purchases, enterprise cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure instead has a just-in-time approach, ensuring that capacity isn’t wasted.

Our 5-minute guide to cloud managed networking


Esther Kezia Thorpe

5 Jun, 2018

More than 60% of enterprises expect that at least half their infrastructure will be cloud-based by the end of this year according to research from IDC.

So it’s no surprise that cloud managed networking, often provided ‘as-as-service’, is rapidly growing in popularity with businesses.


Learn about an affordable, secure way to approach cloud managed network deployments in this whitepaper on unlocking networking possibilities with cloud.

Download now


But what is cloud managed networking, and why should businesses be considering it as a way to manage their networking infrastructure? Here, we run through what it is as well as the pros and cons.

What is cloud managed networking?

Cloud managed networking is a way of managing and controlling a business network remotely through resources in the cloud, rather than from onsite network controllers or management software. It uses an SaaS model to make it easy to control and analyse on-premise network devices, such as wireless access points and switches.

This method allows you to manage all network users and devices in a single place, meaning that employees can work flexibly without geographical concerns, making cloud managed networking especially valuable for businesses where employees connect from multiple locations.

Cloud ‘networking-as-a-service’ includes switches, wireless access points and security gateways accompanied by a hardware license, as opposed to other cloud services that a business usually licences. The technology gives you total visibility over deployment, management, monitoring and diagnosis of issues on a network.

Once a device is connected to the network, it can easily load the running configuration from the cloud. This also means that businesses can scale up, from a few key devices to a large deployment under a single platform.

Pros and cons of cloud managed networks

Deployment is just one of the challenges resellers and customers face when implementing both wired and wireless networking equipment. Some form of set-up and configuration is normally required, and this takes time and adds to the cost every time a new device is needed.

Cloud networking makes deployments easier, with devices being provisioned with settings by the cloud provider prior to installation, making it quicker to install and set up. When the device is connected to a network, it securely connects back to a control centre and the configuration is downloaded and initiated automatically, making the device ready to use almost straight away.

It also removes the need for trained IT staff at remote locations, as deployments can be managed from one centralised location.

As well as this, it’s also usually much easier and quicker to identify issues on a cloud managed network. Unplanned downtime, limited resources and network performance issues can be a significant problem in day-to-day business operations, so being able to deal with disruptions efficiently from a centralised management platform is increasingly important.


Cloud managed networking can help with making your business and network security easy. Learn more in this whitepaper.

Download now


As most cloud managed networking solutions are offered on an ‘as-a-service’ basis, with regular, predictable payments spread out over time rather than a large upfront cost, maintenance and support is usually included as part of those costs and can offer long-term savings when compared to traditional networking deployments.

Security and access is a concern with any cloud tool as a key benefit is that users can log in from anywhere. Any business looking to use a cloud managed network provider must ensure that the solution supports different levels of IT admin privileges and multi-factor authentication to ensure that only authorised users are able to log in.

There are also potential connectivity issues that can occur with having a system managed by an external provider. If this provider has an outage that affects your business, it can be much more difficult to resolve it swiftly and without disruption to core day-to-day business operations.

Picture: Bigstock

SaaS adoption is outpacing business’s ability to secure it


Esther Kezia Thorpe

30 Apr, 2018

As the rate of cloud and SaaS adoption increases in businesses, IT teams are primarily concerned with data privacy, new research contends, with 64% of ITDMs believing that their organisation’s SaaS adoption is outpacing their ability to secure it.

But nearly half agree that their organisation is hesitant to adopt SaaS-based security solutions, according to a survey of 200 ITDMs by cyber security firm iboss for its 2018 Enterprise Cloud Trends Survey Report.

In the early days of SaaS, security was one of the primary concerns limiting adoption because the SaaS delivery model was relatively new, and companies felt uncomfortable storing sensitive data outside their own security measures.

Although the SaaS model has matured and has so far proved to be highly stable and secure when compared to on-premises solutions, it is easy to understand why there are still outstanding concerns around it.

Three-quarters of ITDMs told iboss that their organisation’s data was more secure using on-premises, purpose-built appliances rather than a SaaS solution. The most likely reason for this is because they feel that their data is less secure when using a SaaS solution, because such solutions store their data on shared servers – a reason 66% of respondents agreed with. A quarter also thought that security wasn’t a priority for SaaS solution providers.


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“While these concerns aren’t unfounded, they also aren’t completely legitimate,” argued iboss CEO Paul Martini, analysing the findings of the report. “There are an array of cloud types and delivery models that both laymen and tech pros aren’t aware of that address many of the top concerns found in the survey head-on.”

Of course, there are many vendors who are committed to security, and to keeping their clients’ data safe, with incoming GDPR data protection rules meaning that they could be held partially responsible for any breaches.  Part of the solution is being diligent when choosing an SaaS provider, especially if they will be processing personally identifiable information or financial data.

A good vendor will be transparent in their security practices and be able to demonstrate multiple layers of security to protect customer data. This can include physical site security of the data centre facility, as well as application and database security, where defences are core to the software development process.