Category Archives: Information technology management

Updating Your Network Infrastructure for Modern Devices

Today the world of IT infrastructures is changing. This is due to the way companies communicate and the way they send and receive data within their networks, and the development of cloud computing and virtualised servers has re-shaped the way we share information with one another.

Cloud computing is a scalable and reliable cloud based environment which utilises remote servers to host and store all of our information. Just some of the benefits of cloud computing include improved accessibility, reduced spending on maintaining localised servers, a streamlining of processes and much more flexibility for businesses and organisations. (To find out more about how cloud computing works and how it can benefit your business, visit PC Mag online.)

Networking and Secure Infrastructures

With the increased accessibility of using servers in the cloud, it’s never been more important for network security. A greater number of people and an increasing number of new devices, including mobile devices will request access to modern day business networks. From laptops and contemporary tablet devices, Blackberries and smart phones, to desktop computers and other digital devices, one single business will have a lot of different data handlers to consider.

With new devices, are increased levels of complexity when it comes to traffic patterns, and as expected there are more security threats when more devices request to access your network. With this in mind, today’s IT infrastructure needs to be updated in order to cope with the increasing amount of data flowing over the IT network. (For more information on networking, visit Logicalis, an international IT solutions provider.)

The Importance of Accessibility

What’s most important to understand is the importance of welcoming such changes to your IT network. Virtualisation can improve the way businesses send and receive information, both internally and externally, and can also help organisations of all sizes cut down on costs in the long-run. Cloud servers can also provided added security with data backup and the development of virtualised computing can reduce planned downtime by up to 90%.

With the growth and development of modern devices it’s now more important than ever to ensure that you have increased accessibility for all business devices. Finding the right IT solutions provider for your business can help you support next-generation technology whilst encouraging better communication between key people in your company. 

Read more on how virtualisation and cloud servers could be redefining the roles of IT within a business on the Logicalis blog

4 Reasons to Improve Your Infrastructure Management On-The-Cloud

Infrastructure-as-a-service or IaaS is slowly yet steadily improving as the longest solutions towards successful integration of services and its management. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management systems are perhaps the quickest systems to adapt to legacy systems particularly on the cloud. Companies have not left any stone unturned when it came to adopting to the cloud, particularly towards adopting legacy systems. Not only have companies upgraded their spending potential for adapting to the cloud but it has also seen the adoption of cloud-based platforms as the leading trend with towards profit maximization and corporate sustainability.

Are companies inclined to spend more in IaaS?

According to a recent Gartner study, public cloud services are likely improve over the years which indirectly means that the global spending in infrastructure management is likely to grow. The growth rate or the CAGR will sustain at 17.7% over the years till the year 2016. Here’s what they predict about the investments in IaaS or infrastructure-as-a-service.


At a sustained CAGR of 41.3% till 2016, the investments in IaaS is likely to be the fastest growing segments in the world. As companies want to reach to a wider audience, there is no doubt that companies want to achieve a competitive advantage before their competitors. 

Geographically too, companies across the world are increasing their IT spending towards cloud computing to enhance their company’s performance.


Essentially, companies in Northern America, and Western Europe are the most eager or have already captured the benefits of cloud computing with an integrated infrastructure management. 

So, what is the direct advantage of having a cloud computing for integrated infrastructure management? Let’s take a look at the 4 critical advantages of having an integrated infrastructure management on the cloud:

  1. The lower your TCO, the better: When it comes to facilitating lower total cost of operations or achieving the best of cost savings, one of the critical ways of achieving either of these objectives is by going on the cloud. Not only have companies reduced their costs towards IT management services but they have avoided costs involved in severe challenges for managing various IT environments, while adapting to the cloud.
  2. Ability to concentrate on core businesses: Freeing up your time for core businesses is another critical way to facilitate enhanced business strategies. By implementing infrastructure management on the cloud, your strategic IT resources can concentrate on core IT strategies that facilitate business growth.
  3. Respond better to business needs: Enhance your flexibility and further your responsiveness to indulge into what your customers and niche clients want. Enhance your IT infrastructure with the availability of reliable and easily available services on the cloud.
  4. Improve the standards of service levels: Increase the level of security, stability, and IT infrastructure availability. With greater synergy between existing and newer technologies for infrastructure management, there are chances that one can make the entire IT infrastructure more accountable.

In other words, by implementing the best of IT integrated infrastructure strategies, one is virtually capable of indulging in cost savings, heightened competitive advantage, and greater accountability.

To know more about infrastructure management please visit HCL Technologies

The Rise in Popularity of Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Guest Post by Paul Vian of  Internap

Organizations are increasingly choosing to outsource business-critical applications and content to third-party providers. But, with it comes a long list of questions in order to determine the right mix of IT infrastructure services to meet specific scalability, control, performance and cost requirements. Although a shared public cloud can offer the convenience of easily scaling infrastructure up and down on-demand, many organizations are still hesitant due to concerns around privacy and security within a shared tenancy arrangement. Another complication is that the virtualization layer typically takes around 10 per cent of the resources. Accordingly, dedicated, physical infrastructure is often ideal just for performance purposes.

Which cloud environments are businesses considering?

If a business has a fluctuating workload that has ever-changing demands and requires more resources in the short term, a cloud environment is often still the preferred choice, but this does tend to become more expensive for applications that are always on, such as databases or other highly resource-intensive applications. The reality is that organizations often require something in between, which is driving demand for flexible, hybrid cloud infrastructure solutions that can easily adapt and scale to meet a wide range of use cases and application needs.

What are the benefits of a hybrid cloud infrastructure?

Taking a tailored approach can enable businesses to scale their infrastructures ‘on demand’. It is also now possible for companies utilising physical servers to gain the flexibility and benefits they have been enjoying within a highly virtualized cloud environment in recent years. We are in an age where physical servers can be instantly spun up or down as global demand dictates, so there is no reason why organizations can’t gain the convenience and agility of the cloud with the reliability and performance of physical servers.

How can companies achieve a hybrid cloud infrastructure tailored to their specific needs?

Ideally, companies should look to work with a third-party provider that can provide access to a broader mix of services to meet these emerging demands around scalability in particular. Through working with a provider that takes a consultative sales approach, businesses can benefit from a tailored service that allows them to seamlessly mix, provision and manage both their virtual cloud and physical IT infrastructure – whether this is legacy hardware or back-up equipment. With this approach, businesses can not only meet their diverse application requirements, but also easily address changing global business needs.
We are now seeing things coming full circle; from physical networks, through to virtualization and the cloud, to today’s move towards a hybrid approach. This is in response to the ever-growing sophistication of automation and self-service capabilities, and is the way forward for any forward-thinking organization with a complex list of requirements.


Paul Vian is Internap’s director of business development for Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Weidlinger Launches PZFlexCloud 3D Virtual-Prototyping SaaS Using CliQr Technologies CloudCenter, HP Cloud

Weidlinger Associates, Inc., the developer of PZFlex, a 3D virtual-prototyping and wave-propagation analysis software, and CliQr Technologies announced the launch of PZFlexCloud on CliQr’s CloudCenter platform. PZFlexCloud extends the market reach and performance of PZFlex’s engineering software by exploiting the power, elasticity, and ubiquity of the cloud. Running on HP Cloud Services, HP’s public cloud, PZFlexCloud is offered as a professional service as well as an additional feature of the full PZFlex solution suite.

“Cloud computing’s almost infinite on-demand resources, with its utility billing model, combined with our PZFlex finite element analysis [FEA] software as a service, is a game changer for the scientific and engineering communities,” said Dr. Robert Banks, PZFlex director and senior associate at the Mountain View, California, office of global engineering firm Weidlinger Associates. “PZFlexCloud represents a step change in the way high-fidelity FEA solutions can be accessed by a broad set of users, from large enterprises to innovative departments and individuals.”

By taking advantage of the power and elasticity of cloud computing, PZFlexCloud will permit experienced users to realize unprecedented performance and flexibility of use. An accurate multi-run 3D simulation for piezoelectric and wave propagation analysis that traditionally took 32 days was recently completed with the CliQr platform and PZFlexCloud in just 14 hours, allowing for more test iterations and shorter analysis times. PZFlexCloud also makes advanced FEA available to a broader market. With CliQr and PZFlexCloud, new users who have had to compromise on functionality can now use the PZFlex suite on a pay-as-you-go basis without the costs and complexities of building and maintaining capital-intensive physical computing resources.

Dr. Banks added, “PZFlexCloud eliminates the longstanding trade-offs between advanced speed, functionality, and approachable economics. Customers can get simplified access and high-performance use of the PZFlex solution without having to design, build, or maintain their own information-technology infrastructure.”

Contributing to PZFlexCloud’s success, the CliQr Technologies CloudCenter platform simplifies the migration and runtime management of the PZFlex software suite without requiring any modification of the leading FEA software. With CliQr’s CloudCenter, PZFlex was able to benchmark the price and performance of their application across all possible cloud environments and determine where their offering could deliver the best value for their customers. Running on HP Cloud Services, PZFlexCloud makes it easy, powerful, and secure to perform complex FEA on the cloud.

“CliQr shares Weidlinger’s value and vision to make the most sophisticated cloud solutions approachable and manageable by the broadest user base,” said Gaurav Manglik, CEO and co-founder of CliQr Technologies. “CliQr understands that software vendors want to take advantage of the cloud while protecting the time and investments they have already made in their core offerings. CliQr provides a complete platform for businesses like Weidlinger and their PZFlex offering, looking for an integrated approach to commercially use the cloud and maintain the ability to flexibly adapt to future changes in the cloud-computing landscape.”

“Scientific and engineering communities are looking for ways to access 3D virtual-prototyping solutions without having to build and maintain their own physical infrastructure,” said Dan Baigent, senior director, Business Development, Cloud Services, HP. “Running on HP Cloud Services, PZFlexCloud provides users with the ability to access PZFlex in the cloud in one click, which leads to much shorter analysis time at much lower cost.”

Locking Down the Cloud

Guest Post by Pontus Noren, director and co-founder, Cloudreach.

The good news for cloud providers is that forward-thinking CIOs are rushing to embrace all things ‘cloud’, realising that it provides a flexible and cost-effective option for IT infrastructure, data storage and software applications. The bad news is that the most significant obstacle to implementation could be internal: coming from other parts of the organisation where enduring myths about legal implications, security and privacy issues remain. The reality is that today such fears are largely unfounded. CIOs need help in communicating this to their more reluctant colleagues if they want to make the move to the cloud a success.

Myth No 1: The Security Scare

In many cases, moving to the cloud can in fact represent a security upgrade for the organisation. Since the introduction of cloud-based computing and data storage around ten years ago, the issue of security has been so high profile that reputable cloud providers have made vast investments in their security set-ups – one that an individual organisation would be unable to cost-effectively match due to the far different scale on which it operates.

For example, data stored in the cloud is backed-up, encrypted and replicated across multiple geographically distributed data centres in order to protect it from the impact of natural disasters or physical breaches.  All this takes place under the watchful eyes of dedicated data centre security experts. If you compare this to the traditional in-house approach – which all too frequently sees data stored on a single server located somewhere in the basement of an office – it is not difficult to see which is the most secure option. By working with an established and respected cloud provider, such as Google or Amazon Web Services businesses can benefit from such comprehensive security measures without having to make the investment themselves.

Myth No 2: Data in Danger

Security and data privacy are closely related, but different issues. Security is mainly about physical measures taken to mitigate risks, while ‘privacy’ is more of a legal issue about who can access sensitive data, how it is processed, whether or not it is being moved and where it is at any moment in time.

Concerns around compliance with in-country data protection regulations are rife, especially when dealing with other countries.  Across Europe, for example, data protection laws vary from country to country with very strict guidelines about where data can be stored.  A substantial amount of data cannot be moved across geographical boundaries, so the security practice of replicating data across the globe has far-reaching compliance applications for data protection. However, data protection legislation states that there is always a data processor and data controller and a customer never actually ‘hands over’ its data. This doesn’t change when the cloud is involved – all large and reputable cloud services providers are only ever the data processor. For example, the provider will only ever process data on behalf of its customer, and the customer always maintains its ownership of its data, and role of data controller.

However, much of data protection law predates the cloud and is taking a while to catch up. Change is most definitely on its way. Proposed European legislation aims to make data protection laws consistent across Europe, and with highly data-restricted industries such as financial services now starting to move beyond private clouds into public cloud adoption, further change is likely to follow as organisations start to feel reassured.

So what can CIOs do to change perceptions? It comes down to three simple steps:

  • Be Specific – Identify your organization’s top ten queries and concerns and address these clearly.
  • Be Bold – Cloud computing is a well-trodden path and should not be seen as the future, rather as the now. Having tackled company concerns head on, it is important to make the jump and not just dip a toe in the water.
  • Be Early – Engage reluctant individuals early on in the implementation process, making them part of the change. This way CIOs can fend off ill-informed efforts to derail cloud plans and ensure buy-in from the people who will be using the new systems and services.

The cloud has been around for a while now and is a trusted and secure option for businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. In fact, there are more than 50 million business users alone of Google Apps worldwide. It can hold its own in the face of security and privacy concerns.  CIOs have an important role to play in reassuring and informing colleagues so that the firm can harness the many benefits of the cloud; future-proof the business and release IT expertise to add value across the business.  Don’t let fear leave your organisation on the side lines.

Pontus Noren, director and co-founder, Cloudreach Pontus Noren is director and co-founder, Cloudreach.


KPMG: Cloud Computing Is Harder, More Expensive Than We Thought

KPMG International’s Cloud Survey reports businesses saying cloud computing challenges are harder and more costly than they originally thought.

Why? Failure to address changes that were needed in:

  • Business-process redesign
  • IT management capabilities
  • Systems integration
  • Infrastructure management
  • IT “configurations”

GigaOM does a good overview.

ServiceNow Takes Software Asset Management to the Cloud

ServiceNow today announced a new release of its IT service automation software. By embedding new IT Asset Management application, ServiceNow enables companies to more efficiently utilize software and help achieve compliance with license terms and requirements. At the same time, companies can avoid over-purchasing of software licenses and maintenance or support contracts. The release also includes new capabilities for agile software development that ultimately lead to an improved user experience.

Enterprises today waste a great deal of money and time through improperly managed software resources. ServiceNow software can help businesses rightsize and monitor a software portfolio through a fully integrated cloud-based service for all types of IT assets, while helping achieve audit-ready license compliance automation and reporting.

“Managing software assets is increasingly complex in the age of virtualization and cloud, and enterprises are wasting millions of dollars annually due to a fundamental lack of visibility and poor management,” said Matt Schvimmer, vice president of product management, ServiceNow. “In this new software release, ServiceNow provides a comprehensive view of all assets – physical, virtual, and cloud-based – and the processes to control the full lifecycle management of those assets.”

The ServiceNow IT Asset Management application helps IT organizations significantly reduce operational costs, identify software portfolio requirements, facilitate planning and simplify compliance efforts. It works across all types of assets, including SaaS applications and subscription services, licensing of virtual resources and the use of consumable assets.

The ServiceNow IT Asset Management application is fully integrated with all of the other ServiceNow applications for automating enterprise IT operations, including asset discovery, service catalog and configuration management database (CMDB), providing a single system of record for IT management.

The new release also adds a new Scrum process pack to the ServiceNow Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) application. Scrum is a popular development methodology for managing agile software development projects in multi-team, multi-product environments. The new capabilities include planning boards, progress boards, burn-down charts, preferential ranking and the assignment of standard roles associated with this methodology, like product owner and scrum master.

Click here for a detailed webinar on software asset management.

Report on Global Secure Content and Threat Management Market Points to Growing Complexity of IT Infrastructure

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Global Secure Content and Threat Management Market 2011-2015″ report to their offering.

TechNavio’s analysts forecast the Global Secure Content and Threat Management market to grow at a CAGR of 8.6 percent over the period 2011-2015. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the rising number of compliance requirements. The Global Secure Content and Threat Management market has also been witnessing the increasing popularity of cloud-based security solutions. However, growing complexity of IT infrastructure could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

TechNavio’s report, the Global Secure Content and Threat Management Market 2011-2015, has been prepared based on an in-depth analysis of the market with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the Americas, and the EMEA and APAC regions; it also covers the Global Secure Content and Threat Management market industry landscape and its growth prospects in the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

According to the report, vendors in the Global Secure Content and Threat Management (SCTM) market are nowadays providing various deployment options such as software, hardware, software as a service (SaaS), and virtual appliances. However, with the increasing severity of security threats, vendors have started offering SaaS-based and virtualized appliance offerings to enable companies to dynamically identify and respond to threats. The advancement of technologies which has led to deployment options such as SaaS and virtualized appliance-based security solutions provides advantages such as low initial investment and maintenance costs. Therefore, SaaS and virtual solutions are driving market growth.

Further, the report also discusses that the growing complexity of IT infrastructure is becoming a key challenge for the vendors in this market.


The ‘Curse of Knowledge’: An IT Consultant’s Tips to Avoid Stifling Innovation

Guest Post by Bob Deasy, CIO, Lead I.T. Consulting

Bob Deasy

Bob Deasy is CIO of Lead I.T. Consulting, which provides focused IT solutions and business strategy consulting in the Portland area.

The phrase “curse of knowledge” first appeared a 1989 paper titled “The Curse of Knowledge in Economic Settings: An Experimental Analysis,” which introduced the concept that “better informed agents are unable to ignore private information even when it is in their best interests to do so; more information is not always better.” While most of us assume that experts are the best people to turn to for new ideas, the truth is that experts are often less able to innovate than greenhorns. For instance, if your IT consultant thinks along the exact same lines as you, it’s difficult to find new ways of doing things.

Although this concept is counterintuitive at first, it makes sense upon consideration of the knowledge-building process. Every field has its own lingo and agreed-upon principles. These guidelines help organize and canonize information that would otherwise be difficult to remember. To gain entry into upper academic echelons and posh corner offices, a person must learn how to follow the appropriate industry rules. IT consultants, for instance, often have a set of IT management rules, such as the ITIL guidelines, practically engrained on their brains, so they may not see areas that are best served by alternative approaches.

The more you know, the harder it is to get out of the box of agreed-upon industry rules that you’ve built around yourself. The mind of an expert can easily settle into a certain pattern or rut, simply because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” When entire technology consulting firms are operating from the same handbook, it’s difficult to achieve true innovation. Intel co-founder Andrew S. Grove put it this way: “When everybody knows that something is so, it means that nobody knows nothin’.” As we get to know a topic better, it is harder for us to see it in creative, new ways. Understanding the “rules” of knowledge limits our ability to bend or break them.

Sophisticated but ultimately useless software is one example of how the curse of knowledge thwarts IT innovation. Engineers, in their insulated community, can’t help but design software for other engineers. Too often, the product of their efforts is packaged well and marketed widely but ultimately impractical or downright useless for the average company.

Brothers Chip and Dan Heath explore how to evade the curse of knowledge in their book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Stick and Others Come Unstuck. Below, we explore a few of these suggestions through an IT management perspective. IT consultants and mangers can cultivate innovation by following these tips:

1. Build a team with a variety of skills.

Steve Jobs took this approach to heart when he created the Pixar building, which was designed to force accountants, animators and all other niche experts to interact in the building’s sole set of bathrooms. As Jobs said, “Technology alone is not enough – it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our hearts sing.” When an IT consultant, CFIO or other IT management guru is forced to work with complete novices, new ways of thinking naturally open up. Total beginners will likely have unique knowledge in other areas that can be applied to IT management in unique, groundbreaking ways.

2. Avoid jargon; seek teaching opportunities.

Explaining the basics can help experts think about their understanding in a new light, fostering innovation. In her book Innovation Killer, Cynthia Barton Rabe tells of a colleague at Eveready who came to the flashlight business with no preconceived notions of what did and did not work. At that time, all Eveready flashlights were red and utilitarian. Drawing from her years of experience in marketing and packaging at Ralston Purina, this flashlight newbie overhauled the Eveready line to include pink, green and baby blue torches – colors that would be more likely to attract female shoppers. Thus, the floundering flashlight business was revived.

Rabe concludes that such “zero gravity thinkers,” as she calls them, fuel innovation by asking very basic questions that force experts to step back into a beginner’s mindset. Because going back to the basics can seem like backtracking to those who are very familiar with specialized knowledge, it’s not unusual for frustration to run high when zero gravity thinkers are on the scene. However, if a team can work through this irritation, innovation soon follows.

3. Hire “Renaissance thinker” consultants.

Ms. Rabe concedes that outside parties, such as IT consultants, can serve as zero gravity thinkers, assuming they have a broad range of knowledge. If your IT consultant’s only employment has been through technology consulting firms, he or she will not be as likely to innovate. In contrast, an IT consultant who came to the field as a second career will be able to see wholly new approaches.

Orange Launches Cloud-based Telepresence Service

Orange Business Services is enhancing its video services portfolio with Telepresence Pass, a new cloud-based offer that delivers a financially attractive, flexible and scalable solution for its enterprise customers.

Telepresence Pass is an easy-to-adopt and future-proof solution that allows companies to benefit from:

  • a Telepresence infrastructure in the cloud
  • a fully managed service with end-to-end quality guarantees
  • a monthly subscription fee

Telepresence Pass is a simple way for enterprises to harness the benefits of immersive videoconferencing across their companies and with their business ecosystems. Because Telepresence Pass is available as a service, customers do not need significant investments in equipment or in the management of their solution.

“Our ambition is to make video available to enterprises wherever they are, with no limitations,” said Vivek Badrinath, CEO, Orange Business Services. “The key is to offer customers many video collaboration options so that they can choose the solution that best suits their business needs.”

Telepresence Pass joins a wide-ranging portfolio of video services offered by Orange Business Services and is backed by a supportive network environment, extensive conferencing experience, and an overall strategy that enables enterprises to get the most out of their video investments.

“Of all applications, video is probably the most unforgiving,” said Nicolas Roy, head of Network Solutions Business Unit, Orange Business Services. “The Group continues to invest approximately €750 million per year for international network backbone and related IT infrastructure to ensure the coverage, bandwidth and quality required for an excellent video experience.”