An IT manager needs to be a master of all trades

Working with the cloud experts, I’ve seen from experience that IT managers are not just technology facilitators and the IT department doesn’t just deliver a solution.

In many cases, IT departments now have to act as a business themselves. They have to utilise technology to keep up with competition, continually assess the market and deliver excellent customer service, all while researching, testing and implementing new technologies. The department head also has to maintain happy employees and make sure shareholders are content.

This list is in no way all-encompassing, just ask any stressed out department head around and I’m sure they’ll give you some more examples, but the list alone included elements of marketing, sales, research, development and human resources.

In many organisations, the IT department is actually acting as the centre of the business, impacting every aspect of it and implementing changes. Of course, this doesn’t just apply to service providers.

So with all this responsibility in mind, when given the opportunity, it’s no wonder that managers are migrating towards cloud computing technology and outsourcing services. With this one change, the business then alleviates the requirement to consistently purchase and maintain its equipment in-house, but they also outsource some of the IT manager’s responsibility.

The cloud frees up time for the department to improve its productivity and to focus on its core activities.

Running a successful IT department, especially for service providers, is all about being at the forefront of technology – testing, bending, breaking and shaping the way technology is used. However, the old saying ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ still applies and I’ve seen first-hand how cloud technology gives IT managers the opportunity to outsource some of their responsibility and become a master in their chosen field.

To speak to a member of the virtualDCS team about how the cloud can help change your department and business for the better, just give us a call on 03453 888 327 or email sales@virtualDCS.co.uk

Why offsite backup?

To put it plainly, if you’re not backing up offsite, you may as well not be backing up at all.

In today’s cloud forward environment, it still surprises me how many organisations rely on ‘traditional’ methods such as tape backups and USB devices to duplicate and protect their data. I’m not denying that there are business cases for using this type of solution, but for the majority of businesses the cloud is the way forward.

If you’re just backing up hours of data to a USB or external hard drive and leaving it in your office next to your PC, then I’m sure you’re aware your files aren’t completely safe. Traditional methods, such as this can be subject to theft, hardware failures natural disasters and human error. Any one of these could cause you to lose all your information.

offsite backup

To get around this issue, you should follow the 3-2-1 rule and protect your data offsite. If you’re unsure the three, two, one rule states that you should:

  • Have at least three copies of your data.
  • Store the copies on two different media.
  • Keep one backup copy offsite.

Click to read more about the 3-2-1 rule.

What is an offsite backup?

This type of solution is just what it says on the tin – you just keep your data ‘off-site’ in another physical location to where your main files are stored. Rather than just having two copies sat next to each other, you have one copy in the office and one in a totally different location.

This alone minimises risk dramatically and thanks to the cloud businesses can access real-time replication to secure data centres at the click of a button with solutions such as Nimbox.

However, should your business still wish to use traditional methods you can perform your normal backups to external hard drives and transport them to another location. However, this in itself has a few vulnerabilities.

At the end of the day, your IT manager should evaluate the best option for your business. Whether you decide on a traditional tape or cloud solution, you should at least make sure your data is protected offsite. If you’d like any more information just contact the team.

virtualDCS hosts a competition to celebrate 10 years of collaboration with Veeam

For virtualDCS, 2018 marks 10 years of utilising Veeam software to provide innovative backup and replication services to businesses worldwide.

A decade on from when the relationship first began, virtualDCS is now one of the most established Veeam Cloud Recovery providers in Europe and one of the very first businesses to offer Cloud Connect to the masses.

Veeam Cloud Recovery

Using Veeam software businesses can store their information off-site in virtualDCS’ secure data centres. Now when an issue occurs instead of losing data, the business can access and restore their information at any time.

To celebrate the anniversary, the team is offering the chance for someone to win a Nespresso Coffee machine. 

All you have to do is;

Richard May, Managing Director at virtualDCS said:

“We selected Veeam 10 years ago as an innovative alternative to the then legacy backup offerings available. Since then, we’ve grown massively and the Veeam product portfolio has helped us to continue being a leading disaster recovery provider. We look forward to further improving our offering with the new version and our continued collaboration with Veeam.”

Greg Baily, Director of Channels, Veeam Software UK and Ireland, said:

“As a Gold VCSP partner, virtualDCS has demonstrated knowledge of Veeam products, and we are confident in their ability to deliver Veeam–powered Availability solutions.

They continually demonstrate an ability to enable to their customers to meet the demands of an Always–On Enterprise, with any data, in any app, on any cloud.”

 

Veeam Cloud Recovery

Recent CPU security flaws could uplift cloud costs by 30%

Recent CPU security flaws Spectre and Meltdown could cost businesses millions through unexpected contract uplifts.

The issues affect nearly all devices using Intel, AMD and ARM processors created within the last 20 years. This includes all machines, from smartphones to servers.

meltdown - cpu security flaws

Both vulnerabilities allow applications to steal information that’s currently being processed on a device in different ways. Combined with a malicious program, these flaws can be exploited to access confidential information on the devices, such as stored passwords and business critical documents.

How can I protect themselves?

A patch was initially seeded to Beta testers in November but is now available worldwide. Although it resolves the issue, this patch causes the operating system to change the way that it is programmed to manage its core memory.

This alteration has been reported to increase the workload of Intel chips by up to 30%, although this figure has yet to be confirmed, the patch would consequently reduce device performance overall.

Increased costs for cloud users

After applying the patch, end users may notice machines running slower than usual, with very little consequence, however, this is not the case for the majority of businesses that host their systems in the cloud.

spectre - cpu security flaws

Depending on the contract terms, the business will pay for the resources that they use on a monthly or quarterly basis. With media reports estimating an additional 30% workload, CPU will need to be increased by 30% to account for the discrepancy. Consequently, this vulnerability will leave many businesses receiving an unexpected bill at the end of the month.

For some organisations, this can be a crippling increase and many are now having to decide what is more important – security or cost.

You can protect your bottom line

Have you signed up for a consumption-based model? To make things simple, virtualDCS uses a fixed, non-consumption price model where you know exactly what is coming out of the bank at the end of the month.

Although the overall resources that you use could still increase due to the updates, we won’t pass on the bill to you. Our customers don’t have to pay any additional costs so they still ensure that their systems are still running as securely and efficiently as ever before.

We can help improve your business systems through the cloud, reducing costs and ensuring that your systems run more efficiently than ever before.

To find out more, you can call the team on 03453 888 324 or by using the contact form, below.


How to help your customers grow with SaaS

Customer growth in any industry is important, but for a software developer, customer success could now be the difference between their own triumph and failure.

There are a number of factors that make a software house successful, but customer happiness has to be the number one priority. With SaaS, customer issues and growth can impact a developer directly in a number of different ways.

This blog explores some of these topics and how developers can help their customers to grow within the cloud.

Customer commitment 

It has always been important for software developers to look after their customers and pay attention to their needs, but due to SaaS and the cloud service trend, it has never been more important.

As you’re probably aware, with SaaS, customers rent the software as opposed to purchasing it outright.  By trading Capital expenditure for Operational expenditure, the user is consequently less invested in the software they’re renting so they may be tempted to move to the competition, exploring other avenues and software solutions.

 

Helping SaaS customers grow

A fulfilled customer means growth for the software house. The happier the customer is the more likely they are to sign up for longer term subscriptions, add additional users, increase storage facilities and even provide referrals! This all results in direct revenue for the developer.

So how do you actually make a customer happy and encourage growth?

Customer service

Creating a quality piece of software is only half the battle, customer service has a massive impact on experience. Optimising websites, sales processes and technical articles can also help.

The importance of customer service is also mentioned in one of our previous articles called ‘Being a SaaS hero is all about the customer service’, but as customer service in SaaS is so important, we thought we’d mention it here and talk about it twice!

Feedback

It’s time to avoid death by data and speak to customers. Not only does speaking to them directly help to enhance the connection between the provider and the customer, but it also opens up opportunities for market research. Direct feedback is the best way to ensure your software remains relevant, with features and updates in line with their requirements.

Consequently, any feedback taken on board will help the customer to increase their productivity and free up time to generate further growth.

We can help

We’re one of the only businesses in the world to provide a completely free 30-day package, designed to help developers host and improve the delivery of their software in the cloud…. Whether you have new software or an established application, we can help.

If you’d like to speak to our team about our trial or how we can help your business grow, simply fill in the form below.

 


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