Sigma Solutions Blog

Computing is Getting Cloudy

Posted by JGonzalez on Feb 25, 2015 10:06:00 AM

Before we make any type of investment, we usually analyze the options available. Whether you’re investing in a mutual fund, car, or real estate, you go through a diligent review process before opening your wallet. The same thing goes for IT investments. It is important to understand the options, match the option’s features and benefits to your needs, and then make the investment.

A great example of an IT investment, the cloud acts as a resource for data storage and an opportunity for greater collaboration. Recently, a CIO study found that 88 percent of cloud users experienced cost savings, and 56 percent claimed that cloud services have positively impacted profits. While most clients know about cloud computing, they don’t know about the options within it. Here are the major types of cloud computing.

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Topics: Cloud

CIOs, How Are You Addressing Shadow IT?

Posted by JGonzalez on Feb 12, 2015 1:32:07 PM

It’s hard to know what everyone on your network is accomplishing or what apps they are using. It’s even harder when your teams are remote or spread across multiple offices. Doesn’t that make you wonder what your teams are doing?

When the workforce started bringing their own mobile devices to check corporate emails and documents, a new variety of security issues popped up, like lost/stolen hardware, data breaches, and unsecure file sharing. Similarly, Shadow IT is when users bring their own applications into the network, which can come with additional compliance and security threats.

When IT departments choose software for the business entity, it has been tested for safety and deemed meaningful to business goals. Applications outside those parameters should not be on company hardware. If you think your team would never use unapproved applications, we hate to say it, but they probably are. According to a Frost & Sullivan report, 81% of line-of-business workers and 83% of IT staff admitted to using unapproved SaaS apps.

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Topics: Cloud

How Application Delivery Controllers Boost Application Performance..

Posted by BMcCandless on Feb 6, 2015 5:43:00 PM

Application environments are growing. According to a recent report, one in five organizations is managing between 200 and 500 applications. Because many of these applications are vital to business success, organizations are looking for ways to leverage the cloud and mobility for application delivery, and better manage and support the application lifecycle.

Growing application environments and increased reliance upon mission-critical business applications have made application performance critical to achieving business results. High application performance improves productivity, efficiency and the quality of the user experience. However, the complexity of modern applications makes it difficult to deliver and maintain high performance levels.

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Where Flash Storage Is Headed

Posted by JChappell on Feb 2, 2015 12:00:31 PM

Industry experts are calling 2014 the year that flash storage entered the mainstream. Increasingly, organizations are deploying all-flash arrays and hybrid disk/flash solutions to take advantage of the performance benefits of solid-state disks (SSDs). Unlike spinning disks, SSDs deliver virtually instantaneous data access — 250 times faster than hard disk drives (HDDs). As a result, flash enables organizations to speed up mission-critical applications and derive greater value from stored data while reducing data center space and power capacity requirements by more than 75 percent.

As demand for flash storage has increased, more and more vendors have come to market with flash-based products. It can be tough to sort through the hype and select the right flash solution for your organization.

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Why Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service Makes Good Business Sense

Posted by BGrassmuck on Jan 21, 2015 7:20:00 PM

A recent report from MarketsandMarkets estimates that the global market for Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), the cloud-based disaster recovery model in which a third party provides failover, will grow 55 percent annually through 2018. More and more organizations are recognizing the importance of seamless business continuity and the severe impact of downtime while looking to minimize IT infrastructure costs.

One major reason for the emergence of DRaaS is the cost and complexity of building your own disaster recovery site. While this approach allows you to maintain complete control of all IT infrastructure and data housed at the secondary site, there are significant capital and operational costs. Your organization will have to purchase or rent the property, build the site and implement the system. After implementation, there are ongoing costs for powering, maintaining and securing the site. Storage costs are likely to skyrocket as corporate data is constantly backed up. Because there needs to be a good distance between the disaster recovery site and the primary data center, staffing can be difficult.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery

How Client-Hosted Virtual Desktops Eliminate the Security Risks of BYOPC

Posted by CReed on Jan 15, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Recent Forrester research found that 65 percent of IT professionals in the U.S. and U.K. claim their organizations want to become more employee-centric. 63 percent believe this approach can create competitive advantages. One of the key drivers behind the increased interest in employee centricity is the fact that employees are demanding to choose their own devices.

72 percent of respondents to the Forrester study are now supporting bring-your-own-personal computer (BYOPC) programs. An extension of bring-your-own-device (BYOD), a BYOPC program allows employees to choose and own the laptop and notebook PCs that they use for work purposes. Proponents of BYOPC say it gives employees greater flexibility, especially those who primarily work remotely, and allows employees to serve customers more quickly and effectively.

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5 Mobile Myths Debunked

Posted by CReed on Jan 14, 2015 5:57:00 PM

Mobility in the workforce is an evolving issue. Smart phones, laptops, and tablets are a critical part of our day-to-day work life where collaboration, connectivity, and global workforces are more and more apparent. Unfortunately, there are many misperceptions about how to secure them within the parameters of a company’s different business goals.

Traditional mobile device policies that once said, “Access to company emails and networks is allowed only through your company-provided device” are now a thing of the past. As price points dropped and accessibility to technology grew, more people got their own devices. If everyone has a personal device, lugging around a second phone or tablet for professional purposes is a hassle that many wish to avoid.

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Topics: Workforce Connectivity

Is Your Mobile Environment Being Managed Securely?

Posted by CReed on Jan 12, 2015 8:00:00 AM

A 2014 survey of IT security professionals by Linkedin found that organizations are still trying to wrap their collective heads around mobility. The majority are unprepared for the current spike in mobile users, devices and applications that access the corporate network, and they’re operating at an increased risk as a result.

Although IT has serious security concerns ranging from data loss and unauthorized user access to the downloading of potentially dangerous applications, most organizations aren’t doing enough to prevent any of them from happening. In fact, when asked what tools are used to manage mobile devices, 22 percent said “none.”

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Topics: BYOD, Security

The State of End-User Computing in 2015

Posted by CReed on Jan 7, 2015 4:19:00 PM

The InformationWeek 2015 Consumerization of IT Survey has confirmed one fact that is widely known.
Employee-owned smartphones and tablets are now firmly entrenched in the workplace. Generally speaking, IT managers have begrudgingly accepted this new reality as organizations are recognizing the value of becoming more user-centric. Today’s more informed and empowered employees prefer to use and choose their own devices and applications, and executives are realizing that this can improve productivity, collaboration and customer service.

The benefits of the consumerization of IT sound great in theory, but the real-world implementations of such strategies don’t always work. Unlike the traditional IT model in which every employee had the same desktop PC with the same operating system and applications, the user-centric IT model is overflowing with different devices, operating systems and applications. When technology acquisition is taken out of the hands of IT, with or without IT’s knowledge, security and management becomes much more complex and fraught with risk.

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Secure Your Mobile Workforce with Expert Help

Posted by CReed on Jan 7, 2015 3:21:14 PM

Imagine yourself a jewel thief and going outside one morning to see that everybody was covered in priceless baubles, bangles, and gems. This is how the cyber thief feels walking around the airport, or down Main Street, or at the corporate campus. Tablets, smartphones, and laptops are the doorways to gold mines of data. They are everywhere, being carried in backpacks, purses, and pockets by the ever-growing mobile workforce. Or at least until they’re stolen. According to Consumer Reports, over 3.1 million smartphones were stolen in the US in 2013 alone.

Small or midsized businesses should not have to fight these cyber thieves alone. With more users connected to your network from a wider range of entry points, there are more endpoints to attack and more ways to attack them.  According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report 2014, there’s been a 91 percent increase in targeted attacks since 2012.

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Topics: Workforce Connectivity

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