Sigma Solutions Blog

3 Approaches to Managing Mobile Workforce Technology

Posted by CReed on Dec 16, 2014 2:57:00 PM

One of the most dramatic shifts in enterprise computing has been the phenomenon known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). On one hand, the fact that employees are willing to use their own mobile devices to do company business is a win-win for everybody. On the other hand, now you’ve got employees accessing the company network from, well…anywhere.

As an article in NetworkWorld puts it, “The future of end user computing is here today… and it’s in your pocket. And your house, your office, and your favorite seat on the 8 a.m. train. It’s wherever you are.”

In other words, if there’s one key trend that is affecting the workplace, it’s that the workplace itself is fast becoming history. Not only do workers want to be able to work from wherever, they want to use the devices and the applications of their choosing. Here is a look at three ways the industry is addressing the IT challenges of the mobile enterprise.

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Topics: Workforce Connectivity

The Global Workforce is Getting Closer by the Day

Posted by HReal on Dec 9, 2014 3:07:00 PM

Today’s business landscape isn’t the orderly rows of employees in a single location that it once was. Instead, employees may be scattered across the state, nation, or even the globe. While one employee sits in a cubicle, another is working out of a home office, and yet another is working in the company’s international location.

The wide expansion of workspaces has changed the way communication and collaboration needs to take place in business environments. Work environments are heterogeneous by nature, and that trend is here to stay for a number of reasons including cost, convenience, and greater overall agility.

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Topics: Workforce Connectivity

Have IT Personnel Lost Control Over their Own Departments?

Posted by HReal on Dec 2, 2014 10:43:00 AM

Information technology consumption within business environments has changed drastically from what it once represented. Consumers have more command over their devices and they are calling many of the shots on specific IT usage. If they want to access certain applications, or if they want to utilize certain devices, they are starting to gain more unrestricted access without the constant checkpoints IT employs.

Traditionally, IT professionals have been the middlemen between the technology and the user. They would select and approve the technologies that were used by the entire organization. These individuals have acted as gatekeepers to ensure that the right technology is chosen to support the business.

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Topics: Workforce Connectivity

Why Fibre Channel Remains the Backbone of Storage Networks

Posted by MMoates on Nov 17, 2014 3:00:00 PM

The typical data center supports multiple networks — one for data and applications, one for storage, and perhaps another for server clustering. As such, servers must feature multiple network adapters that fulfill the I/O requirements of each function. What’s more, servers commonly have dedicated interfaces for management, backup or virtual machine live migration.

Supporting all of these interfaces contributes significantly to data center complexity and imposes significant costs related to cabling, rack space and upstream switches. In addition, the rat’s nest of cables and connections required for each different function makes it harder to cool the data center and contributes to rising power costs.

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Topics: Storage

Managing Unstructured Data through Data Governance and DLP

Posted by MMoates on Nov 10, 2014 12:18:00 PM

Gartner estimates that data volume will grow 800 percent during the next five years. 80 percent will be stored as unstructured data, which includes files such as emails and images that don’t reside in a traditional database format. The explosive growth of unstructured data, which doubles in volume every three months, is creating a major headache for IT managers.

Distributed IT environments with multiple remote sites place heavy demands on IT resources, especially storage. If you follow the traditional approach and constantly add storage capacity, you’ll blow up your budget. At the same time, managing, securing and storing a never-ending flow of unstructured data across a number of branches often leads to fragmented resources and poor utilization. From a user perspective, it can be difficult to simply remember a file name and where that file was stored.

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Topics: Data

The Business Case for Deep Data Archival

Posted by MMoates on Nov 6, 2014 2:30:00 PM

Deep data archival, the process of storing data in a separate system for long-term preservation, is typically viewed as one of the more mundane IT tasks. However, with the explosion of data volume and the resulting need for additional storage capacity, efficient data archival has never been more important. While storage demands are quickly increasing, budgets are not.

A deep archive stores data that never changes and is rarely if ever accessed. This data is traditionally stored for historical, regulatory or legal purposes. Although files in a deep archive may never be accessed, they must be accessible and able to interface with current IT infrastructure.

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Topics: Data Protection

What You Should Expect from Cloud SLAs

Posted by JFlores on Nov 3, 2014 2:03:00 PM

The cost of data center downtime is on the rise. A recent Ponemon Institute study of data centers based in the United States found that unplanned downtime costs approximately $7,900 per minute, a 41 percent increase from the 2010 survey.

But what if your organization relies heavily on the cloud? It’s your cloud service provider’s job to worry about your IT infrastructure, and the service level agreement (SLA) guarantees 5 9s uptime. That means you only have to worry about a small fraction of a percent of downtime, right?

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Topics: Cloud

Bring-Your-Own-Application: The Benefits and Risks

Posted by CReed on Oct 27, 2014 4:53:00 PM

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down, even as IT managers struggle to manage and secure employee-owned smartphones and tablets in the workplace. Most organizations have realized that banning the use of personal devices doesn’t work. Employees are using them anyway. In fact, Gartner predicts that nearly four in 10 organizations will stop providing employees with devices by 2016, relying exclusively on BYOD.

This trend has extended to applications. BYOD has led to BYOA (bring-your-own-applications) as more employees use third-party cloud applications to do their jobs. The presence of consumer-grade applications such as Dropbox and Google Docs is growing because employees prefer to use devices and applications that they know and like. In many cases, employees feel tools provided by employers are inadequate or outdated.

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Topics: Workforce Connectivity

OpenStack Taking the Cloud by Storm

Posted by JFlores on Oct 17, 2014 11:50:00 AM

OpenStack may be unfamiliar to many IT professionals, but it is rapidly becoming a significant force in cloud computing. Launched four years ago by NASA and Rackspace, OpenStack is an open-source cloud operating system that enables the centralized management and user provisioning of large, scalable pools of compute, storage and networking resources. The OpenStack market is growing rapidly — 451 Research recently projected that OpenStack will generate $3.3 billion in revenue by 2018, up from just $600 million in 2013.

According to Michael Cote, research director, 451 Research: “This growth is driven by both public and private cloud usage with private cloud getting much of the enterprise’s attention. These companies are interested in the agility benefits of cloud but also want single-tenant, private cloud deployment models.”

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Topics: Cloud

Relieving Complexity in Data Protection

Posted by MMoates on Sep 15, 2014 3:07:00 PM

Data backup may not be very glamorous, but it is arguably the most critical technology within the data center. Organizations need foolproof solutions to protect mission-critical data and enable rapid recovery in the event of disaster or system failure.

Yet backup continues to be a pain point for many organizations. In many organizations, backup technologies and processes have not kept pace with growing data volumes and increasing virtualization, making it difficult to complete backups within the available window. And should disaster strike, organizations may find that recovery is challenging and excruciatingly slow.

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Topics: Data Protection

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