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IT Simplified: Virtualisation

Computing virtualization or virtualisation is the act of creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something at the same abstraction level, including virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices, and computer network resources. In more practical terms, imagine you have 3 physical servers with individual dedicated purposes. One is a mail server, another is a web server, and the last one runs internal legacy applications. Each server is being used at about 30% capacity—just a fraction of their running potential. But since the legacy apps remain important to your internal operations, you have to keep them and the third server that hosts them, right?


IT Simplified: IT Compliance

IT compliance refers to businesses meeting all legal requirements, standards and regulations for the all the technology their company uses. Achieving these standards means following all industry regulations, government policies, security frameworks and customer terms of agreement to ensure the security and appropriate usage of software in business. In addition to protecting the security of businesses and customers, compliance standards promote the availability and reliability of services, and it ensures businesses use technology as per the industry standard  


IT Simplified: Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a security framework requiring all users, whether in or outside the organization’s network, to be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated for security configuration and posture before being granted or keeping access to applications and data. 

Execution of this framework combines advanced technologies such as risk based multi-factor authentication, identity protection, next-generation endpoint security, and robust cloud workload technology to verify a user or systems identity, consideration of access at that moment in time,  and the maintenance of system security. Zero Trust also requires consideration of encryption of data, securing email, and verifying the hygiene of assets and endpoints before they connect to applications.


IT Simplified: ISO 27001

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is the international standard that describes best practices for an Information Security Management Systems(ISMS). It’s based on a set of controls and measures, which organizations can use to achieve information security. 

The ISO 27001 standard requires that you have procedures in place to cover aspects of the ISMS, including:

Information security risk management (What are the risks you face and how do you treat those risks?)

Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation (How is the effectiveness of the information security management system evaluated?)

Improvement (How are nonconformities evaluated and corrected?)

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IT Lifecycle Management

IT lifecycle management is a holistic approach to managing the entire useful life of IT assets from acquisition, installation, maintenance, and eventual decommissioning and replacement. It allows for planning, examining your business needs, budget, and timing to acquire, use and phase out various technologies strategically. 

Some assets to consider in your IT lifecycle management plan:

  • Desktop PCs
  • Mobile devices
  • Servers
  • Routers, switches, and other network hardware
  • Operating systems
  • Business-critical applications

Effective IT lifecycle management can help your business plan for the future. Some of the benefits of employing IT lifecycle management services include:

Forecast Your IT Needs for Better Budgeting

Planning for future expenditures is a crucial part of running a successful business. Understanding the cost of IT resources throughout their lifecycle is part of making informed purchasing decisions for your business

Reduce Unexpected Downtime

When IT infrastructure fails, it can quickly grind your business to a halt. Slowed productivity caused by outdated systems can affect job quality and morale for your employees and cost your company time and money.

  Improved Security 

Businesses face constant threats from cyberattacks, and failing IT infrastructure leaves you vulnerable to bad actors and malware. Security breaches can mean lost data, lost revenue, damaged customer relations, and even legal consequences if the business is shown to have failed compliance regulations.

IT lifecycle management can be broken down into four phases:

  • Procurement: The initial step in any IT lifecycle is the purchase of the technology itself. Before moving forward with any purchases, it’s best to have a plan in place. It includes a complete evaluation of your existing IT infrastructure, identifying and addressing any deficiencies or opportunities to extend the infrastructure, and creating short and long-term plans to maximize the budget and leverage existing IT infrastructure. It also involves planning for asset disposal at the end of the lifecycle, negotiating with vendors to find the best possible solutions for your company within budget, procuring new IT assets, reviewing purchase logistics, and finalizing any financing options.
  • Deployment: After the assets are procured, they will need to be installed and integrated with existing systems. The deployment phase of IT lifecycle management includes scheduling, testing, set up, and inventory management. This phase is vital because a poorly optimized deployment can severely impact both performance and lifecycle.
  • Management: This is perhaps the most critical step in hardware lifecycle management. A good management strategy is vital in extending the lifespan of your IT and keeping it performing as optimally as possible. This ranges from monitoring, compliance, maintenance, backup, and financial management. Management lasts throughout the tenure of the equipment, as it requires monitoring and tech support throughout its lifecycle.
  • Decommissioning: The final stage of the management cycle involves the responsible removal of technological assets once your company replaces them. It includes sanitization, asset removal, and disposal/lease management returns.

If you don’t currently have an IT lifecycle management plan, look at when your technology was purchased and its life expectancy so you can plan around that end date, your business needs and examine replacement options. It’s crucial to have a plan for a replacement before your current asset reaches its end of life, thereby staggering and overlapping lifecycles. 


IT Simplified: Virtual Private Networks

VPNs or Virtual private networks are essential additions to organizational networks that allow companies of any size to easily and safely access their resources, whether they’re hosted locally or in the cloud. The primary purpose of an enterprise VPN is to fortify these sensitive assets and resources – which might include internal customer and sales systems, SaaS applications, and local file storage for employees who are now accessing them from many different devices and on unfamiliar (and potentially unsafe) Wi-Fi connections.


IT Simplified: Unified Endpoint Management

What is Unified Endpoint Management? 

Unified endpoint management is the method of centrally managing endpoint devices from a single location. These endpoints include mobile devices, desktops, laptops, tablets, wearables and other smart devices used for accessing networks or resources within an organization. 

With a UEM solution, organizations are able to unify the applications of data protection, device configuration, and usage policies. It provides a single view of users who use multiple devices and also helps in gathering workplace analytics regarding them. UEM also acts as the apex endpoint management solution in an organization by orchestrating related endpoint technologies such as identity services, client management tools, etc. 


IT Simplified: Data Loss prevention

Data loss prevention (DLP), as per Gartner, may be defined as technologies which perform both content inspection and contextual analysis of data sent via messaging applications such as email and instant messaging, in motion over the network, in use on a managed endpoint device, and at rest in on-premises file servers or in cloud applications and cloud storage. These solutions execute responses based on policy and rules defined to address the risk of inadvertent or accidental leaks or exposure of sensitive data outside authorized channels.


IT Simplified:SAN

A storage area network (SAN) is a high-speed block-based storage network that provides access to data storag . It connects servers with storage devices like disk arrays, RAID hardware, and tape libraries. In these configurations, the server’s operating system views the SAN devices as if they were directly connected. The data stored on those devices is then made available to all authorized users on the network, even if they’re in a different part of the data center or office building.

A SAN leverages a high-speed architecture that connects servers to their logical disk units (LUNs). A LUN is a range of blocks provisioned from a pool of shared storage and presented to the server as a logical disk. The server partitions and formats those blocks—typically with a file system—so that it can store data on the LUN just as it would on local disk storage.


IT Simplified: IT Service Management

IT service management (ITSM) is a set of policies, processes and procedures for managing the implementation, improvement and support of customer-oriented IT services. Unlike other IT management practices that focus on hardware, network or systems, ITSM aims to consistently improve IT customer service in alignment with business goals.

ITSM encompasses multiple IT management frameworks that can apply to centralized and de-centralized systems. There are multiple frameworks that fall under the ITSM discipline, and some address unique industry-specific IT needs, including those in healthcare, government or technology. Businesses using ITSM consider IT as a service, with a focus on delivering valuable services to internal and external stakeholders, rather than a department that manages technology.