Posts Tagged ‘Web’

IBM takes on enterprise cloud security

November 6th, 2014

As organizations increasingly move their operations to the cloud, they need to remain vigilant against security breaches. IBM had this in mind as it prepared a new portfolio of services designed to help secure an enterprise’s cloud operations with the same rigor that has come to be expected with in-house operations.Outsourcing6

“The move to the cloud is nothing new, but what we’re seeing now is that people are now considering moving critical workloads to the cloud,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, IBM vice president of strategy for security systems.

The Dynamic Cloud Security portfolio, available now, “allows customers to take security to the cloud with them,” Zadelhoff said.

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The portfolio concentrates on aiding enterprises in three of areas of security: authenticating access in the cloud, protecting applications and data in the cloud, and improving visibility into the effectiveness of security controls watching over cloud resources.

Over 200 engineers helped build the portfolio over the past year. The services extend IBM’s collection of security software programs, such as QRadar security event management software and the Guardian data protection software, so they can be used to guard cloud resources as well.

Initially, the services will focus on securing resources on Amazon Web Services and IBM’s own SoftLayer cloud, though they can also be used with other cloud services as well, Zadelhoff said.

The portfolio includes a central portal that offers a summary of the state of security across all of an organization’s assets. Most security breaches can take weeks or even months to discover, IBM has estimated. The longer a breach goes undiscovered, the more damage an attacker can do. So a security portal can help identify problems as soon as they arise.

The IBM services can scan the applications being used in the cloud for potential vulnerabilities, and can alert developers or system administrators of any potential security weaknesses. They can identify sensitive data in the cloud, and then monitor that data for any unauthorized usage. Pricing is based on different services used, overall usage and other factors.

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IBM itself already collects more than 20 billion daily security events in the course of its duties managing security for clients. This intelligence allows IBM to identify threats early on.

IBM has identified security as a growth market for the company. It has acquired 12 security companies in the past decade, and has invested over $2 billion into security research, securing over 3,000 patents in this area.

In the field of cloud security, IBM will be competing against a wide variety of companies such as Symantec, Barracuda, Qualys, SafeNet, TrendMicro and WatchGuard — many of which have built up expertise in on-premise security products and services.


How can managed IT services satisfy Web development needs?

July 29th, 2014

Both companies new to and familiar with the business arena recognize that having an updated website is imperative to acquiring market share.Outsourcing5

There are a number of Web developers out in the market, but what perspectives should a managed IT services company bring to the table? Programming skills are one thing, but a solid grasp of concept design and usability must be prevalent.

What to hire

Weighing the pros and cons of outsourcing to a Web designer itself isn’t too difficult. After all, there are few people within an enterprise who have the expertise necessary to make the project run smoothly, let alone know how to work with HTML or CSS. But what should enterprises be mindful of?

Forbes contributor David Teten recently spoke with Kyle Stalzer, president of development firm Tackk, who maintained that organizations should look for Web development professionals who understand that a creating a good-looking homepage isn’t the be-all and end-all. A quality webpage fabrication firm possesses:

A team of graphic and website designers that can correlate layout, text and navigation with colors, visuals and fonts
Marketing specialists who understand what aspects of a website influence conversion rates and bolster traffic
Coders who are aware of cybersecurity needs and can spot faults that are easy to overlook or difficult to identify

Creative Bloq contributor Kyle Fiedler maintained that one of the most important aspects of creating sound website designs is usability. If potential customers find it difficult to find specific information and need a service representative to answer their questions, then the layout needs to be reassessed.

How to hire

Vendor resource management providers often conduct thorough research on prospective designers before giving their clients the go-ahead to finalize a contract. There are a number of steps these professionals take to assess a Web developer’s capabilities and limitations:

Visit previously constructed websites to see how sophisticated and navigable the implementations are
Check for online search engine patterns to figure out how difficult or easy it is to find Web pages
Speak with previous clients to get a solid idea of past experiences, looking for inconsistencies in satisfaction
Discover how transparent developers are, favoring those that create an open line of communication and maintain constant connection with clients
Challenge prospects with questions pertaining to situations, deducing how well they’ll respond to major and minor disruptions

Above all, it’s imperative that enterprises contract a developer capable of conducting website maintenance over a long period of time. If a designer is willing to create a long-term relationship, it’s one that will be there when clients need it most.


IBM signs 5-year IT services deal with Societe Generale firm

July 1st, 2014

IBM and Boursorama, a subsidiary of Societe Generale, announced their five-year services contract to move its web-based IT to SoftLayer Cloud infrastructure.Outsourcing42

Boursorama, a provider of online banking, online brokerage and financial information, approached IBM to increase its operational efficiency by developing an outsourcing strategy to support its rapid growth and always-on operations.

IBM SoftLayer will support Boursorama to improve management of IT resources by activating servers based on specific client needs and usage.

Marie Cheval, CEO at Boursorama, said: “The agreement with IBM will help us implement a proven technology infrastructure that will let us continue to grow while also giving us the opportunity to improve our website’s resilience, our website being our main means of communication with our clients.”

IBM solutions will enable Boursorama to mitigate risks and reduce costs by also utilizing a global 24×7 managed backup solution for their back office that leverages one of IBM’s 150 business resiliency centers. These centers speed up recovery times by providing faster access to crucial applications and data.

“The introduction of new and innovative offerings, like SoftLayer Cloud and business continuity, coupled with our integrated approach and industry-specific expertise allows our clients to differentiate themselves in the market and do so in an accelerated way,” said Remi Lassiaille, general manager, Global Technology Services for IBM France.


Even Early Adopters See Major Flaws in the Cloud

June 12th, 2014

Amazon, a relative baby in the field of technology services, triumphed over stalwart IBM to gain a $600 million C.I.A. contract, but the most remarkable part of the deal was that the agency was a cloud convert in the first place. The fact that a tech company could warehouse data involving the government’s spies is the clearest signal yet that cloud computing is having its moment.
Somewhat like outsourcing a decade ago, cloud computing is the coming technology destined to sweep away all before it. Amazon Web Services is the fastest-growing part of fast-growing Amazon, and analysts expect it someday to be the dominant part of the company. Google, IBM, Verizon, Microsoft and a host of smaller players are competing for a part of the action. Global spending on public cloud services alone is forecast to hit $210 billion in 2016, up 172 percent from 2010.

And yet outsourcing provides a cautionary tale of how enthusiasm can be derailed by reality. Outsourcing advocates said every customer service call, every information technology fix, even the creation of routine legal documents was destined to be done in India or the Philippines. They said this would be cheaper and more efficient. American companies would be hollowed out, with only executives and their aides left on the payroll.

It didn’t happen quite that way. While many companies outsourced routine tasks, some moved them back after complaints of poor service. Others never outsourced. Outsourcing was ultimately a segment of the market rather than becoming the market.

Cloud computing is already confronting similar issues.

Members of the Open Data Center Alliance, a consortium of global information technology companies like Infosys, Disney, Deutsche Telekom and SAP, are cloud enthusiasts. But in a recent alliance survey, two-thirds of the members said concerns about data security were delaying their move to the cloud. That was down from the 80 percent of respondents who expressed a concern about security the previous year.

Other results, however, are headed away from cloud computing. Fifty-six percent of members now say regulatory issues will limit their adoption, up from 47 percent. And 47 percent worry about being tied to one vendor, up from 39 percent.

Cloud computing “is kind of in the first wave,” said Michael Masterson, director of cloud solutions for Compuware, which helps clients improve the performance of their applications. “I don’t know if I’d call it immature, but it’s definitely Version 1.”

“Immature” is exactly what Roman Stanek would call it. Mr. Stanek founded GoodData in 2007 with the mission of disrupting business intelligence. Amazon had just started Amazon Web Services, and GoodData became a client. It was not an entirely happy experience, Mr. Stanek said.

“Imagine if your electric company didn’t know whether it would be up or down — if they told you, ‘No guarantees, but we believe it will be mostly up,’ ” he said. “Maybe that works for some clients.”

Amazon Web Services had well-publicized failures in October 2012 and two months later. But reliability is not a problem specific to Amazon. Mr. Masterson pointed out that Hewlett-Packard, which publishes its service agreements on the web, says it has 99.95 percent availability, which works out to about four hours of trouble a year. The service agreement also says a failure only counts if it lasts for more than six minutes.

“Imagine a company selling a premium new car whose warranty includes 2M piston revolutions, 10k door latch cycles, and 20k window open and closes,” Mr. Masterson wrote in a recent blog post. “And even then, with 99.5 percent availability, you might still be unable to start the car two days a year, or during winter there might be two weeks where the doors won’t unlock until the sun melts the ice in the door locks. Ready to buy?”

GoodData grew with Amazon. It has raised more than $75 million and has nearly 300 employees. But in the first quarter, the company left Amazon. It moved to a private cloud hosted by Rackspace, which is based near San Antonio. With Rackspace, it had more control. The only thing worse than a company offering unreliable service appears to be a company whose very existence is in doubt. Nirvanix was a cloud company based in San Diego with impressive backers, including Intel Capital and Khosla Ventures, and impressive hype. It was going to take on the big boys, Amazon Web Services and Google.

Last Sept. 16, Nirvanix warned customers they had two weeks to retrieve their data. On Oct. 1, it filed for bankruptcy. Apparently all customers got their data out, but it was a near miss. Then last month Rackspace, whose stock dropped by half since the beginning of 2013, said it was hiring Morgan Stanley to advise it on a possible sale or merger. While profitable, Rackspace faces increasing competition.

Companies that fail or are sold would matter less if data was more portable.

“It’s still difficult to tap into Rackspace and change your mind, or tap into AWS and change to something else,” said James Staten, an analyst with Forrester Research. “We’re a long way from sufficient standards where that’s a possibility.”

Mr. Staten said the last companies to go to the cloud would be those that had no experience with it — hospitals, medical device makers, and architecture and construction companies. “The reason they should go last is they don’t yet know what they don’t know,” he said. “They’ll start with applications that do not involve compliant data or customer data.”

In general, he said, “it’s hard to make a case for organizations that should not go to cloud at all.” It is not like outsourcing, which faltered over communications issues and rising prices in the host countries, he said.

GoodData expects to ultimately go full circle as competition increases. “This used to be very much Amazon’s monopoly, and a one-horse race was not good,” Mr. Stanek said. “That’s why I’m happy to see Google get in. In a couple of years, you will be able to go to Google or Amazon and say, ‘Give me the features I need, the service agreements and a good price, and I will have no reason to build my own cloud.’ ”


Australian Web Industry Association (AWIA) puts Outsourcing on the Slab

January 4th, 2013

The Australian Web Industry Association (AWIA) is inviting the web industry to openly discuss outsourcing at its national conference, Edge of the Web.images

Matt Barrie, founder of, one of the world’s biggest outsourcing companies, will keynote and several web developers will share their business models and outsourcing experiences. An interactive session will then solicit input from all attendees.

AWIA Chair Bret Treasure says outsourcing is a threat to Australian companies that needs to be addressed, but it also offers many significant opportunities. “We know that outsourcing a whole project creates major issues but we also know that companies who selectively recruit talent overseas are securing large cost advantages. We’ll be talking about how to manage the process.

For many companies, the combination of outsourcing and strategy will make them internationally competitive. And of course, outsourcing is not just about cost-cutting; it brings together talent from all over the planet.“

The conference will also table strategies for those who don’t plan to outsource. If they’re not competing on price, how can people create a strong market offering? Speakers will explain how to measure social media ROI, how to leverage APIs, how to gain advantage with security, SEO and design and how to price their services.

Will Donovan will lead delegates in a design-thinking session to chart a roadmap for the Australian web industry.

“It’s time we got together as a group and worked out where we’re heading. We want Australian web industry thought leaders to step up. We’ll provide some provocative keynotes then let people brainstorm a future that didn’t exist in 2012. I think those who attend Edge of the Web will profoundly affect the future of our industry.“ – Treasure

The conference aims for a balance between business, technical and design. It will also have a strong ethics dimension, as the Association will by then have launched its Widelines initiative, constructed to help businesses find ethical and professional web developers and designers.


Cloud is reliant on the data centre

August 29th, 2012

It is often said that central to cloud computing is the notion of location independence. You don’t need to know where the infrastructure supporting the cloud sits and you don’t care. As long as the cloud delivers computing and storage capacity to the end-user, as well as access to application software and databases, all within an expectation of a high degree of reliability and redundancy, the end-user no longer has to think about the data centre.
Following the ITWEB Cloud & Virtualisation Conference held in Joburg in July, it was obvious to me that too little time is spent thinking about the back-end infrastructure when it comes to cloud. Cloud offers the virtual delivery of data centre components: virtual servers and storage and virtual networking. The decision to house your cloud services operation, or actual cloud within a data centre, should involve consideration of connectivity and down time, and the ability to match capacity with the requirement of the cloud.

In many respects, the concept of cloud and that of data centre colocation are alike in their cost-saving benefits to the organisation. Accessing business applications through the Internet reduces IT expenditure and resource costs in the same manner as outsourcing your data centre requirements. The cost of designing and building a data centre is one saving, but the benefits of vendor neutrality in a data centre and having access to numerous connections out of the environment is, in most cases, not possible for most in-house data centres.

Connectivity is the key

The key to cloud offerings is connectivity. Connectivity to international providers like Seacom and WACS, mobile operators; Cell C, Vodacom and MTN, terrestrial networks including Telkom and Broadband Infraco and fibre infrastructure provider, Dark Fibre Africa will ensure cloud providers can reach their clients and that the client, in turn, has choice. In a June 2012 article, the International Working Group on Cloud Computing Resiliency (IWGCR) was quoted saying that a total of 568 hours of downtime at 13 well-known cloud services since 2007 had an economic impact of more than USD71.7 million. Cloud reliability is not covered enough – and specifically not in reference to moving core applications into the cloud.

Outcomes from the ITWEB Cloud & Virtualisation Conference included the fact that cloud is now a mature technology. Reports stated that it is no longer about whether companies need cloud services or not, but rather about what to deploy into the cloud first. I would say that companies need first to ask who will provide the support and infrastructure behind your cloud or cloud services, and what is the connectivity available to such infrastructure to ensure limited down time?


Advantages of outsourcing web development services

October 11th, 2010

It is a fact that you can’t do all the work alone and a team enhances the productivity of the work. It happens because you might not be good at certain work but others may have specialized skills to perform the task successfully. Same is the case with the web development. There must be some solid reasons behind organizations outsourcing web development services. The overall concept and process of custom web development is meticulous and HTML coders ought to pay great attention when creating search engine friendly and lightweight codes for a website. In such a situation, outsourcing the web development services come as a good option. This ensures that you can avail qualitative services at affordable costs. If not satisfied with this arguments, below you will see important benefits that you avail, if hiring web development service provider:

1) Costs are a big issue. Companies want to save money so that the capital can be used on other tasks in hand. The money they pay to the vendor is much less that what they would have incurred otherwise. So, you can save a lot of money because you will be getting affordable labor off-shore, but at the same time, getting the quality work done by them.

2) Many off-shore web development firms are adhering to a rigorous as well as strictly procedure oriented commitment model. You can be assured of the standard turnaround time which they commit for! Get your design assignments finished an delivered on time without any hassles.

3) Risks are reduced as the Web development partner will have prior knowledge and experience on projects and only offer proven working solutions.

4) You can personally monitor and track the progress of your project work. The advantage of outsourcing committed outsourced services has led to manifold benefits, and this is inclusive of a nearly instantaneous awareness of ROI.

5) It is always good to share knowledge and grow. If you are working with an outside web development company, you will get fresh perspectives and new ideas which can ultimately enhance your marketing message and functionality.

6) You get the access to the latest technology and expertise. Top professional Web development firms have a variety of specialists in important niches such as usability, information architecture, accessibility, etc. Since no company want to lose the clients on the basis of lacking in its offerings. It handles multiple tasks such as offshore software development, open source web development, custom application development, and mobile application development. So the project is made versatile through the service.

These are various other hidden advantages that one gets by outsourcing the services. These are huge and cannot be overlooked or bypassed. They make a huge difference to the service and ensure quality website production. It is always recommended to outsource the web development services for getting quality output within your budget constraints.


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