Now Coming To Government Agencies: Apple Products!

Compulink Technologies has been authorized as a government reseller for Apple products.  That’s right! You read it correctly!  Now we can work with the City, State, and Federal Government on procuring the top-notch Apple Products.  In addition to the tremendous plethora of products and services we have to offer from top vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, HPE, HPI etc. we now offer Apple products!

Contact us ASAP so your agency can procure Apple products today!

And let’s not forget some more exciting updates:

Cyber Threat Prevention: Cost-Effective and Highly Urgent!

As entire industries are increasingly moving into the clouds, IoT security has become an increasingly urgent matter for businesses and organizations.  Every year there are new trends in malicious cyber-attacks that put organizations in danger of stolen data, financial vulnerabilities etc.  In various anti-virus trends reports there have been some alarming statistics.

 According to the Symantec 2018 Internet Security Threat Report:

  • More than 1 Billion web requests analyzed each day, which was up 5% from 2016
  • 1 in 13 web requests lead to malware, up 3% from 2016
  • Malware has seen a 92% increase in new downloader variants and 80% increase in new malware on Macs
  • There has been an 8500% increase in coinminer detections
  • There was 600% Increase in attacks against IoT Devices between 2016 and 2017
  • The number of new variants in mobile use has gone up from 17k in 2016 to 27k in 2017
  • There is an average of 24,000 malicious mobile apps blocked each day
  • The overall increase in reported vulnerabilities between 2016 and 2017 was 13 %
  • Between 2016 and 2017 there was a 29% increase in industrial control system (ICS) related vulnerabilities.

After seeing these alarming statistics, it is urgent that organizations incorporate cyber security and anti-virus into their cloud solutions!  While data storage and workspace collaboration are key factors in an organization’s cloud strategy, threat prevention solutions can help secure this data and workflow from cyber-attacks/theft.

Including threat prevention into a cloud solutions package can affect the costs of the solutions and the overall budget.  However, recovering from an attack will cause tremendous costs to recover from the damages.  According to an article by The National, a hypothetical global cyber-attack spread through malicious email could cause economic damages anywhere between $85 billion and $193 Billion.  The largest losses would likely be in retail, health care, manufacturing, and banking.  Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.  According to research from the Kaspersky Lab 2018 B2b Survey, costs of breaches are $1.23 Million on average for enterprises (up 24% from $992K in 2017) and $120K on average for SMBs (up 36% from $88K in 2017).

Threat Prevention tools may add on to costs of cloud solutions, but they are highly important to avoid losses in cyber-attacks and to ensure the security of an organization’s operations, data, processes etc.!  Additionally, it is also important to procure multi-vendor cloud solutions to ensure additional backup for data and to reduce dependency on one solution (read this article for more).  This includes having a separate vendor that is dedicated to threat prevention processes alone.  If your organization has not procured threat prevention tools or cloud solutions yet, it is highly urgent you visit this conversation ASAP!

#CloudAdvocacy: The Urgent Need To Adopt Cloud-Based Workflow Automation

Workflow automation Has become an integral component of business technology today.  From CRMs to HR processes, businesses and organizations are increasingly adopting automation tools.  Integrated automation has become a regular component in everyday use such as social media and email notifications one may see.  This growing trend in the business and government sector has reduced resources allocated to manual effort and allows professionals to channel their attention towards the actual business and creativity behind their work.

According to McKinsey’s analysis:

  • Out of 2000 work activities (across 800 professions), 45% could be automated, including processing sales transactions, demonstrating product features, and answering product questions
  • Among business processes, 60% of occupations could save up to 30% of their time with automation, including the review and approval of paperwork, generating sales leads, and processing large documents. Automation can surface content that is particularly relevant, meaningful, or exceptional, so that professionals are free to focus only on situations that require their expertise and intelligence
  • Nearly 20% of CEOs’ time is spent on work that could be automated. Automatable tasks include reviewing status reports, preparing staff assignments, and analyzing operational data
  • Finally, just 4% of common workplace activities involve human creativity, and only 29% require a human ability to sense and respond to emotion

The common misconception is that the high amount of work activities (45%) that could be automated can reduce employment altogether.  However, what this does is redefine the role itself rather than eliminate the role altogether.  For example, a role to handle email marketing will still be needed despite email automations configured.  The person in charge of this task will have to configure the emails, automation schedule, and the conditions required for specific automated emails to be sent.  This automation reduces the time spent on manually responding to every new lead and more time can be redirected to analyzing email marketing analytics and adapting to the shortcomings and strengths of different marketing tactics.  The same can be said about other roles that can benefit from automation as well.

In addition to digital marketing, workflow automation can be applied to many departments in a given company: Accounting, Software Development, Sales, HR Automation, Administrative Work/Data Entry, and more!

Workflow automation can help reduce human error, empowers employees’ ability to manage their own work with minimal supervision, and boost employee efficiency with their tasks.

Recommendations

Organizations should not only adopt workflow automation into their productivity culture, but find cloud tools that supplement workflow automation.  By cloud we don’t necessarily only mean file-sharing and data storage, but centralizing the workflow automation among the employees.  By boosting Cloud-backed automation tools, an organization helps their employees communicate internally and it will become easier for both management and employees to track progress of given projects/tasks as well as become synchronized/uniform in approaching their tasks.

If your organization has not embraced automating tasks yet, it is imperative you consider this direction.  It will help reduce costs and time spent on tasks that can be otherwise automated and the staff at large can focus on growing the organization/business and strategy.

The Compulink Cloud Reserve, (coming soon) will have many important features for organizational growth: including workflow management and automation.

What ‘Alien Invasions’ And the #Conedexplosion Teaches Us About IT Security

On December 27, 2018 there was a Transformer Explosion in the Con Edison Power Plant in Queens, NY.  This explosion caused the night sky to turn into a bright blue shade causing much alarm throughout the population in nearby areas.  While no injuries have been reported (thankfully), the Metropolitan Transit Authority announced via Twitter that the No. 7 Train Service had been disrupted by the power failures.  There have also been multiple reports of power failures throughout residential homes in Queens.  The Rikers Island Prison Complex lost power for about 25 minutes.

One takeaway from this incident that we can gather is that it certainly is necessary for organizations to move into Cloud Platforms and establish proper disaster recovery to protect their data.  While there were no reports of any organization’s data being affected by this incident, it is important to recognize that these types of disruptions and obstacles do happen, and optimally having your data protected during these vulnerable times and having disaster recovery plans in place can be beneficial.  If your data is at risk, it transfers to a virtual server in an off-site data center in a matter of minutes, and is retrievable to continue your work!

If you haven’t already, you should get into the Cloud platforms immediately!  While it is hard to predict when these types of disasters can happen, at least you will have already had IT Solutions in place to prevent it!

Click Here to Procure IT Solutions and the necessary hardware to protect your organization today!

Expert guide to running Hybrid IT

A successful deployment and utilization of a Hybrid IT environment depends on an effective operations model. Get advice on how to deliver a secure environment, optimize resources and workloads, manage costs, and achieve an optimal ROI.

Download: An expert guide to Hybrid IT: This report covers the tools, techniques, and strategies required for an effective operations model.

Legacy and physical data centers aren’t going away. If anything, they are consolidating and becoming more capable and powerful. And while cloud computing options continue to increase, more than 60 percent of businesses indicate that Hybrid IT solutions are now, and will be in the future, a significant part of their enterprise computing solutions.

Successful deployment and utilization of hybrid computing depends on an effective operations model. When properly implemented, Hybrid IT operations allow an unprecedented level of flexibility in the deployment of business solutions and the development of new processes and business opportunities.

Hybrid IT is optimized for knowledge worker-focused applications, but complex operations and applications from big data analytics to huge databases are also well suited in a properly managed Hybrid IT environment.

Hybrid IT operations focus on:

  • Simplifying server and application deployments
  • Making resource management invisible to the end user
  • Providing security for infrastructure and data

What you’ll find inside:

Securing your Hybrid IT infrastructure

A discussion of the tools, techniques, and applications that allow you to secure your Hybrid IT infrastructure.

Placing your workloads where you need them

One of the key advantages of Hybrid IT is the ability to deploy applications and services when and where you need them, using physical and virtual platforms, while managing them as part of the cohesive whole.

Management across multiple clouds, services, and data centers

Enterprise-scale Hybrid IT solutions will include physical and virtual servers and services, often geolocated around the world. Learning to manage them as a single entity drives the greatest benefit from a Hybrid IT deployment.

Defining your core apps and services mix

It is critical to understand the core apps and services. While line-of-business applications are usually simple to identify, core applications are not always obvious, especially with shadow IT and credit card deployments.

Securing your data across the universe

In a world of cloud data and Hybrid IT deployments, having a comprehensive plan that allows IT to maintain the security of its data regardless of its location is a cornerstone of present and future IT activity.

Pricing Hybrid IT

It’s not just an issue of CapEx vs. OpEx. Determining the costs of an ongoing Hybrid IT deployment also means careful evaluation of how and where applications and services are deployed and where money is invested in order to realize the greatest ROI.

Delivering the edge

With edge computing and business IoT becoming major factors in enterprise deployments, how and where edge-based technologies should be deployed has become a significant concern to enterprise IT.

Overcoming the Top 5 Customer Cloud Fears

Some products sell themselves. Others require a bit of hand-holding. Cloud sits somewhere in the middle.

On the one hand, every customer has heard the growing cloud chorus and knows that many in their industry are already onboard. At the same time, cloud raises difficult, sometimes scary questions for organizations and IT teams. It’s up to cloud partners and technology advisors to find answers and help their clients separate myth from reality.

We spoke with several of the most successful Citrix partners about the biggest concerns their customers raise about cloud, and the most effective strategies for responding.

1. Fear of Huge Changes to IT

A common concern our partners encounter in the field is an overarching sense of culture shock when customers contemplate cloud. Part of the blame can be laid at the feet of cloud marketing. When people are bombarded with nonstop messages about how revolutionary cloud is, you can’t blame them for imagining it will turn their entire IT organization upside down.

The best response our partners have discovered: Dispel this myth by showing customers how much cloud they’re already consuming — often more than they realize.

“Dispel this myth by showing customers how much cloud they’re already consuming”

“When customers are interested in cloud but express these kind of concerns, we say, ‘Well, you probably are already in the cloud and just don’t know it,’” says Beau Smithback (@BeauSmithback,) CEO, Envision IT (@envisionitllc.) “You’ve probably got Salesforce, or AppDynamics, or some other service you’re already using out there. So it’s not as scary as you might think.”

2. Fear of the Unknown

Along these same lines, sometimes the IT people you’re working with have very human (and understandable) fears about changes to their own roles, or of losing the control over the environment they have today. What will their job look like as the company adopts more cloud? How valuable will they be to their employer?

The best response to these concerns: In-depth conversations about what cloud will look like (and won’t look like), and the different kinds of value that IT leaders will bring to their organizations as they use more cloud.

“It’s really about helping customer organizations shift the way they think,” says Ronnie Altit (@raltit,) CEO, Insentra (@Insentra.) “We help them focus less on what they have control over and more about the business outcomes they’re looking to achieve. We try to get them comfortable with the idea that, as they move things to the cloud, their roles won’t disappear, they’re just going to morph into something different. We have a lot of conversations with clients about what that morph looks like, because it’s not a change that happens overnight. It’s a journey.”

“We help them focus less on what they have control over and more about the business outcomes they’re looking to achieve.”

3. Concerns about Cloud Return on Investment

Some of the bigger concerns around cloud involve costs and benefits. Here again, sometimes the cloud marketing machine does as much harm as good. Customers looking seriously at cloud for the first time may assume that cloud automatically costs less than on-premises. Then, when they start looking at possible costs of ramp-up, re-factoring applications, or complexities of migration, they can get a bit of sticker shock.

But for most customers, cloud does deliver a concrete ROI over time. Our successful partners get ahead of the ball by listening, assessing and advising on the right solution with total transparency. They walk their customers through all the business advantages of cloud, instead of focusing exclusively on the short-term bottom line.

“One of the biggest fears we hear is, ‘Am I going to see an ROI? What’s the total cost of ownership when I go to the cloud?’” says Altit. “When you start looking at it from that perspective, you tend to miss what cloud really is about. It’s more about the agility, the flexibility. And it’s very hard to put a dollar figure on what that means for a client’s business.”

Some partners focus on hidden costs in customers’ current environments, which they may not be factoring into their evaluation.

“I’m surprised at the number of customers who don’t realize what the hard and soft costs are for their on-premises environments versus cloud,” says Pete Downing(@techdudeinc,) chief marketing technology officer, XenTegra, LLC (@xentegra.) “We educate customers on the savings from not having to update the application environment anymore, the evergreen setup for different components on-premises. We explain how it’s truly secure, because you get to choose what you do with your OS and your data, while the cloud provider manages the control plane. Once they get it, it becomes a much easier conversation.”

“It’s more about the agility, the flexibility. And it’s very hard to put a dollar figure on what that means for a client’s business.”

4. Concerns about Skills Gaps

Many clients fear that cloud will require a different set of skills, and they worry they’re not currently equipped to navigate the change. This can actually be a great conversation, as it allows partners to emphasize the value they bring to the table: boosting the customer’s existing in-house skill set so that their business can succeed.

“Legacy IT people can build infrastructure, build servers, install operating systems, but moving to a cloud model requires a different skill set,” says Matthew Metelsky (@telsky,) chief technology officer, Third Octet (@thirdoctet.) “We show them solutions like Citrix Cloud, where they can satisfy some of these gaps by using purpose-built software-as-a-service. And then of course, organizations like ours are here to augment skills gaps. When customers know they have our support, they’re a lot more comfortable.”

“Boosting the customer’s existing in-house skill set so that their business can succeed”

5. Security and Compliance Concerns

Cloud providers have made major strides in dispelling myths of weak cloud security, but partners still have work to do in reassuring some customers.

“A common misconception we still see is that cloud is totally open and available for everyone to access your files or data or applications,” says Adam Clark (@_adamclark,) solutions architect, Xenit AB (@XenitAB.) “Of course, it’s not really like that. It’s probably more secure than their own on-premise environment, especially for smaller companies.”

Some effective approaches that Citrix partners recommend:

  • Walk through the differences between cloud and on-premises security.
  • Explain the ways that cloud can make it easier to enforce security and compliance, such as applying more granular control over data in different geographic regions.
  • Point to the large number of organizations with stringent security requirements(government agencies, financial services, healthcare) that are increasingly moving to cloud.

“It’s probably more secure than their own on-premise environment, especially for smaller companies.”

Compulink Technologies is an MBE Certified Firm that has been bringing top-notch IT Service solutions to businesses and government agencies across the nation since 1986.

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