From Strength to Strength - Securing IT Success in 2018


If ever there was a landmark year for our business, it was 2017. It was a year of joining forces, fighting cyber-crime, and making connections. There were crypto-locker rescues and cloud migrations a-plenty, security testing and DR planning, enough action to fill a blockbuster. Oh, and Team just got a bit bigger, too.

Combining Team with Availability Solutions was a move that expanded our horizons. It has provided a welcome boost in our already in-demand disaster recovery (DR) and high-availability solutions. The integration also came with a very strong cloud migration practice, meaning our customers have access to a wealth of capability.

As we’ve seen in 2017, transitioning to cloud, or switching between providers, can be a complex manoeuvre. It takes time to commission servers for your new environment – and time is in short supply in busy IT departments. It is complex, but our cloud migration experts make it look easy. This is definitely a process best handled by dedicated specialists who don’t have to juggle other tasks.

In 2018, we are already seeing movement in the cloud space. For many organisations, it is a matter of right decision, wrong cloud provider. As more offerings become available, reviewing your cloud choices is a worthwhile venture, to be sure your business is getting the best outcomes.

Our partners at SAS IT are going from strength to strength, with a new infrastructure that gives a very fast connection to cloud providers. For anyone with IBM Power Systems embarking on public cloud, this speed is a game-changer.

For any smaller organisation winning their first big orders, the challenge of integrating systems to meet purchasing requirements can be daunting. Team developed a product called QuickTrans that is ideal – it allows for automation of much of the process, so that you can concentrate on fulfilling your part of the deal. QuickTrans has been well accepted, and several businesses are already using it to integrate with their major retail customers’ systems.

Perhaps the biggest discussion topic this year is compliance. The Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) Act 2017 coming into effect has got people thinking about data protection – and about time. It is a challenging area for most organisations, which is why we are excited to introduce David Green, our new Consulting Services Manager.

David is a former CIO who has exceptional knowledge about establishing the standardised processes and plans needed to ensure security and data protection governance are not left to chance. Given the potential for liability, this governance is very much a business problem, not just an IT issue, so setting up a structure that aligns with business needs is vital. David is already working alongside several government and business organisations to help them respond to legal and industry requirements.

The extra load that compliance places on IT departments may be one of the drivers for organisations to move more ‘lights on’ IT to the cloud. Our colleagues at SAS IT are telling us that time saving, predictable costs and top-tier security are joining performance and a mobile workforce as key prompts.

Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) has come of age, and that trend is already gathering pace in 2018. It makes a lot of sense. That new infrastructure we mentioned at SAS IT is beyond most on-premise budgets, but accessible for even smaller budgets as a cloud option. If the number one rule of business is to be open for business, then very rapid recovery from a secure location makes sense.

What review of 2017 would be complete without a mention of the Crypto-Locker security dramas faced by organisations around the world? We’ll emphasise here that we have a focus, as always, on making customers as resilient as possible, so they can continue operation. One organisation came to just after 10 a.m. because they were infected by Crypto-Locker. They were smart enough to be using Team backup for their very large data volumes, which meant that we were able to recover their systems and data, with the entire business up and running by 1 p.m.

The boy-scout motto of ‘be prepared’ could equally apply to those in IT roles this year. Prepare for more major cyber-attacks, for data protection pressures, and for the many small and large incidents that can interrupt IT services. But also, be prepared for exciting opportunities, for new services and collaboration methods that enhance customer experiences. And in the true scout spirit, reach your desired outcome with the help of the right Team.

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