What’s in it for Me? Varying Perspectives on Cloud Computing

During our cloud computing roundtable series we’ve covered a variety of topics from the technical benefits of cloud to the business risks. This range of topics brings us to an important point: the cloud discussion is very different for the business professional than it is for the IT professional.

In our final expert roundtable, we explore this dynamic. For the business person, cloud represents an opportunity to drive profitability, growth and product development. For the IT professional, the cloud represents a way to drive greater efficiencies, offload resources and ultimately provide another tool in the IT toolkit to support the business.

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New Age for the Sales Process

The enterprise buying process is broken. And I suggest both customers and providers need to work at fixing it.

Let me back up and explain. The all-too-common traditional process that is no longer working typically looks like this: Customer has a need, finds providers that sell a product to fulfill that need, and then selects a solution based on price or a mixture of price and feature/functionality.

What I am proposing is that we take a more transparent and collaborative approach to the buying process. Something that would look like this: Customer talks to provider about what they are looking to do with their business (change in technology, new apps, outsourcing, etc.) and also shares critical things like business challenges, their forecasted growth and their current infrastructure environment. The provider then proposes possible solutions based on a holistic view and customer selects the one that works best for them.

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Survey Says: Hybrid Approach to Cloud Offers Best-of-Both-Worlds

With so much hype surrounding cloud, we love to see some real data. According to a recent online poll of business and IT leaders conducted by IDG Research Services, almost all enterprises have adopted or are planning to adopt a hybrid cloud model for at least a portion of their computer applications. Makes sense, right? It certainly seems like a good deal to get the best-of-both-worlds, but it brings us to a critical question: how do you deal with separate internal and public infrastructures?

Security is obviously a top concern when it comes to cloud adoption plans. After all, what CIO wouldn’t worry about a threat in a public environment spilling over into his enterprise network? Plus, couldn’t this bring about additional complexities?

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How to Create a Business Continuity Strategy

One of the things our customers ask us about most often is how to build a business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) plan. While most customers think of hurricanes and tornadoes, it’s important to note that natural disasters aren’t the only thing you need to plan for. There are far more common events like bad software, misconfigured networks and hardware failures that can cause real problems.

To discuss BC/DR, we turned to our resident expert, Mike Cybyske. Mike is a crisis manager at Qwest and is responsible for overseeing our corporate Crisis Management Team. This is the first installment in a series where we’ll discuss BC/DR. Today, we cover the strategic elements of a BC/DR strategy. In future pieces, we’ll discuss the technology considerations and how to evaluate a solution.

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BC/DR in Action

In our last post, we covered how to create a business continuity strategy. For the next installment in our series, we asked our resident business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) expert, Mike Cybyske, about some specific examples of when BC/DR plans were put into action and what key learnings came out of those experiences. Mike is a crisis manager at Qwest and is responsible for overseeing our corporate Crisis Management Team.

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Risky Business: How Technology Can Help You Manage Risk

We’ve been talking a lot here at ThinkGig about business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR). We’ve covered how to create a BC/DR strategy and real-life examples of BC/DR in action. Today, we will cover the technology considerations that come into play when managing risk. Again, we turned to our own BC/DR expert, Mike Cybyske. Mike is a crisis manager at Qwest and is responsible for overseeing our corporate Crisis Management Team.

If you missed our previous BC/DR posts, be sure to check these out:

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iPad 2: Should Businesses Really Care?

Should you care about the iPad 2? This time around, I’d wager the answer is probably yes. Why? Because this one is more business-friendly. It’s only a matter of time before business users are clamoring to get their IT departments to support the device.

A few reasons businesses should take notice:

  • Joint Venture program – It’s like Apple Genius for businesses. They can help get your business set up and train your employees.
  • Business-friendly applications – iPad-friendly apps include salesforce.com, Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Maps, Notes and Safari.
  • Integration with standard business apps – It integrates with Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino and standards-based messaging environment
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Key Takeaways for Successful BC/DR

If you missed our previous BC/DR posts, we’ve covered:

Wrapping up our series, we’re highlighting four key takeaways for ensuring a successful BC/DR deployment. We asked our BC/DR expert, Mike Cybyske to come up with his most critical advice for anyone developing or deploying a BC/DR strategy. Mike is a crisis manager at Qwest and is responsible for overseeing our corporate Crisis Management Team.

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