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When was the last time you "spring cleaned" your IT?

 

Spring is finally here! With the season of freshness in bloom, cleaning and sorting is on top of everyone's mind. Typically a tradition for people to take part of in their own homes, this seasonal tradition also provides organizations a great opportunity to take a look at their own data and cybersecurity practices.  While good data hygiene should not be just reserved for the spring, a spring cleaning of organization's IT infrastructure is a great way to welcome the new season.

Tech industry leaders have come together to offer organizations advice on spring cleaning your IT, helping ensure daily best practices are employed for security and data management:

Alan Conboy, Office of the CTO at Scale Computing

"The IT landscape is constantly evolving and businesses are benefiting from improvements in IT infrastructure. However, distributed enterprises can often feel left behind in the conversation, with new technologies feeling a little out of reach. But this shouldn't be the case.

"One of the fastest growing developments today is edge computing, which takes compute and storage capabilities to the edge of our networks to capture and process data in real-time. With qualities like reliability, ease-of-use, high performance, self-healing, and affordability, edge computing is perfect for the distributed enterprise.

"This spring I challenge distributed enterprises across all verticals - retail, industrial, finance, and remote and branch offices - to evaluate their IT environment and see how they can deploy the latest technologies without needing a big budget or even an IT team to manage it," said Alan Conboy, office of CTO at Scale Computing.

Jason Wells, VP and GM at Cradlepoint

"No wired connection can deliver 100% uptime - it's not a question of if your business will lose connectivity, but when. It's a serious risk: lost revenue; reduced productivity; poor customer experience and reputational damage are just some of the potential issues a business can be exposed to when a wired connection fails. This is where 4G LTE failover comes into play. A wireless wide area network (WAN) failover is a cost effective and reliable solution that provides critical backup connectivity when a wired connection fails. Introducing a wireless WAN link can also go far beyond backup. In agile-focused IT environments, for example those deploying internet-of-things (IoT) technology, 4G LTE offers a simplified life cycle that requires less IT resources to manage and a lower total cost of ownership. Particularly as we move closer to 5G, this is helping many organizations lay the foundation for a wireless future," said Jason Wells, vice president and general manager at Cradlepoint.

Jason Magee, CEO at ConnectWise

"It can be hard for internal IT teams to manage the required technologies on their own. Managed data backups are one of the most vital services an MSP can provide its clients, who depend on them to protect their data, ensure disaster recovery, and maintain business continuity. You never know when a natural disaster will strike your customer, or when they will be the target of a cyberattack. MSPs need to be reminded of the importance of helping clients establish a comprehensive and well-formulated backup strategy that includes proactive monitoring, remediation and advanced troubleshooting. And with the ease and availability of cloud backup solutions, there's no reason MSPs shouldn't make it a top priority for clients," said Jason Magee, chief executive officer at ConnectWise.

Eltjo Hofstee, managing director, Leaseweb UK

"In the spirit of Marie Kondo and her de-cluttering cult following, spring this year seems to be fueled by the need to find joy in everything you own. But while people are holding belongings to understand their worth, in the cloud era, the IT world could take a page from this book. No doubt some IT teams get pure joy out of adopting a new public cloud infrastructure and seeing the flexibility it provides, but now is also a time to re-evaluate the ROI that comes with this joy. Many companies often enter into services with large public cloud vendors expecting perks that come with big-name resources, only to have costs rise steeply as they scale and processing demands become greater because of rigid cost structures. A more personalized service that combines public and private clouds can not only keep costs in check, but also be key to designing a solution to meets your exact needs. So, this spring, I encourage you to clean out your cloud strategy and find your hybrid joy in the cloud," said Eltjo Hofstee, managing director of Leaseweb UK.

Rod Harrison, CTO of StorCentric, Parent Company of Drobo

"During this time of year, we reassess our priorities and maximize efficiencies. The same applies to data storage. Businesses and individuals alike should make the effort at this time of year to give their storage a ‘spring clean' to clear out the old and make way for the new. It's also the perfect time to re-evaluate the storage solutions you are using and consider whether there is a more cost-effective alternative. For individuals using multiple external drives, for example, a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) technology will ensure that if one drive fails, all is not lost. Making these conscious decisions now will help keep your data storage safe not just for Spring, but for every season," said Rod Harrison, CTO of StorCentric, Parent Company of Drobo

Steve Blow, CTO, Zerto

"IT budgets are continually growing - and with more money naturally comes more spending. But because of this, IT teams can end up with a different product or solution for every problem it faces, which can cause complete management chaos.

So, this April, why not take time to spring clean your infrastructure, sweeping away the point solutions that are creating dust bunnies in all corners of your IT, by looking for all-encompassing, robust, converged solution? A platform that combines capabilities to solve multiple problems can be more efficient, cheaper, and easier to manage compared to scattered solutions that are hard to integrate. For example, combining your backup, data protection, workload mobility and multi-cloud ability all on one platform brings simplicity and provides peace of mind. Sometimes, less is more, and this spring why not take some time to apply this theory to your IT," said Steve Blow, CTO of Zerto.

Neil Barton, CTO,WhereScape

"With 'spring cleaning' in full effect, especially given the recent surge in pop culture popularity surrounding the KonMari method, data engineers should take stock of the changing tide in relation to data cleansing and what's truly necessary to extract timely value from data - a company's most prized asset. Over the years with 'garbage in, garbage out' mantras, we've meticulously invested our time in getting our data houses in order, but new developments and thinking have transformed our belief in the value of the perfectly ordered data set.

We're now accepting data as-is, without the initial desire to make it single-version-of-the-truth. With rapidly changing data ecosystems, it is now essential to leverage automation to establish data lineage and design, develop, deploy and operate data pipelines with data in the state we receive it, as soon as we receive it. Additionally, only automation can ensure we are able to quickly and efficiently adjust and evolve our data infrastructures forward as new data sources emerge and business needs change," said Neil Barton, WhereScape CTO.

These expert insight can help prevent the risk of data loss and reputational damage. But the most useful insight? Reassessing best practice is always a good idea, no matter what time of year it is.

Published Tuesday, April 30, 2019 7:07 AM by David Marshall
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