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Student-focused IT solutions for the education sector

Technology is omnipresent in young people's lives and is opening up new channels of learning across the education sector, with pupils, students and staff utilising Cloud and video calling platforms both in and out of the classroom. At the same time, ...
Exponential-e

The truth about Vulnerability Management and Pen Testing

No matter how sure you are that your network is secure, you may still be at risk of cyberattacks. It's no exaggeration Cybercriminals are constantly working to stay one step ahead of organisations and security professionals, exploiting any vulnerability they can in even the most sophisticated systems.
Exponential-e

Hackers work 24 / 7 to penetrate your network, so ensure it's genuinely protected 24 / 7

It's well-established that security is an essential part of all infrastructure. With data protection more of a concern for customers and end users than ever - particularly in light of regulations like the Cloud Act and GDPR - it's vital that organisations demonstrate a clear commitment to the security of their networks, Cloud applications and physical devices. This isn't just a question of fulfilling compliance obligations - it's also about avoiding costly and embarrassing data breaches that will lead to reputational damage and fines (particularly if an organisation cannot produce evidence that they actively identified, evaluated and corrected the nonconformity, in line with ISO 27001 guidelines1.)
The move towards Hybrid Cloud infrastructures - with on-premise solutions systems connected to Public and Private Clouds to maximise the benefits of each solution - has been in progress for a number of years now. Indeed, in 2019 it was reported that 69% of organisations were already utilising some form of Hybrid Cloud solution1. Since then, the move towards a distributed workforce in response to COVID-19 has accelerated this process, with 82% of organisations reporting that they have accelerated their Cloud adoption strategies as a result of the pandemic2.
Virtually every sector has been impacted by COVID-19, but the higher and further education sector has been hit especially hard, with staff, students and administrative staff feeling its effects. Institutes of learning are still exploring the ways technology can open up new channels of learning and engagement for students. This will not only futureproof their establishments, but do so in a cost-effective way that provides them with the agility to swiftly adapt to any future economic changes, including the likes of a COVID-scale crisis.
With research from the IDC estimating that 80% of the data created by 2025 will be unstructured [1], businesses need to ensure they have an affordable storage solution for such high volumes of data. A simple, cost-effective solution that businesses can utilise to this effect is Cloud Object Storage, which stores petabytes of data in the Cloud as 'objects'.
We see over and over again how COVID-19 is transforming the way we work and connect with each other. Employees across virtually every industry are now working effectively from home, even if such an arrangement would have been unthinkable at the start of this year. It's been extremely heartening to see the range of innovations that have been embraced in response to the crisis, but it's important not to forget the foundations of your IT infrastructure as you explore these solutions. For example, consider how you are backing up and storing the lifeblood of your organisation: your data.
The level of performance and resilience organisations demand from their networks has increased several-fold in the wake of COVID-19. The rapid transition to a fully distributed workforce has not only placed considerable demands on networks in terms of raw performance, but also the resilience needed to adapt to the unexpected with minimal disruption to data security, internal processes or the customer and user experience.While we have certainly seen some considerable successes in this area, there is still work to be done if this new way of working is able to provide companies with the agility, security and scalability they need to adapt and thrive going forward.
Over the past few months, video calling has exploded in both our personal and professional lives. We not only rely on regular calls to stay connected with our loved ones during this time of lockdown, but have come to depend on it as a primary mode of communication at work, in order to maintain the same standards of collaboration and interaction that we experienced in the office. Indeed, the number of people using video calling on a regular basis has increased by 87% over the past two years[1], and shows no sign of slowing down.
Our lives are more interconnected than ever, with everything from televisions to fridges, kettles, cars and even doors and windows now able to be linked together over the internet. Having long since moved on from being just an intriguing concept, the Internet of Things (IoT) is very much here to stay, with devices like Bluetooth headphones and the Amazon Alexa now omnipresent in many people's lives. But while these 'smart' devices are often convenient and fun, they do present a number of concerns regarding security.
There's no doubt that home working is here to stay. While it may have initially been deployed at large scale out of necessity, in response to COVID-19, it is clear that we are witnessing the dawn of a fully distributed workforce. However, as organisations continue to invest in new solutions to drive this change, it's important to remember that these are still the early days. We've never seen home working at this sort of scale, which means we need to establish a new standard of best practice and - equally importantly - the technology to support this.
Throughout the past few months, we have seen organisations' internal teams forced to adapt their processes, infrastructure and strategies in ways that would previously have been inconceivable. Key to the success of this process has been the support of external service providers, who have complemented companies' internal expertise and freed IT teams to focus their attention where it is most needed. As it becomes clear that the distributed workforce is here to stay, such partnerships are going to be more important than ever moving forward.
Cloud adoption has been rising year by year for some time now, with Gartner predicting this trend to accelerate beyond 2020. It has long moved on from its earliest days, where it was largely regarded as an intriguing concept but unsuitable for enterprise-level applications. Now, with a wide range of options available - including Public, Private and Hybrid solutions - it has become a highly attractive prospect for organisations at all levels, especially against the backdrop of COVID-19 and the resulting advancement of remote working. While these trends are very much the latest stage in a long process of transformation, the pandemic has undoubtedly been the catalyst behind much recent Cloud adoption, as organisations accelerate their journeys towards a distributed workforce. So, where does that leave us in terms of the biggest question: "Is Cloud right for my organisation?"
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