Fall World 2016

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Summer Journal

Volume 29, Issue 3

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

Emily Wilson, CEO of decade old Computer Troubleshooters of Greensboro, NC, shares three suggestions she'd apply if she were launching an MSP from scratch right now.

1. Carefully choose products and vendors - It’s really important to figure out what products and solutions you want to offer by evaluating what is most important to your target market. Backup and security are probably the most important things that your client will be looking for. They must have a way to protect and recover their information. Once you decide what solutions you want to offer your clients, selecting appropriate vendors to partner with is critical. You want to find a reliable vendor that offers a quality product and is "channel-friendly." They should not sell directly to your client, but should understand the importance of your role.



It’s no secret that many businesses have high hopes for using big data. With few exceptions, big data analytics has been subject to some massive hype. The promises have been many, from greater capabilities, more efficient operations, better understanding of customers, new product ideas, and so much more. Big data can certainly deliver on all that, but recent surveys and studies have found that living up to that hype has proved challenging. It’s mainly a case of organizations not seeing the type of returns they hoped for. In other words, the payoffs aren’t showing up as expected. For obvious reasons, this has been the cause for concern among businesses as the amount of investment being spent on big data analytics continues to grow. Getting to the root of why they’re not seeing those payoffs then becomes a priority.

In one report from Mu Sigma, it was shown that many executives have become dissatisfied with the results they’re having in the analytics realm. They’ve put a lot of resources and effort into making big data analytics lead to a substantial return on investment, only to see the payoffs come up lacking. There’s no single reason for this failure, but a number of factors have appeared to offer good explanations for payoff woes. Part of the problem stems from placing so much emphasis on the technology being used for analytics rather than the role that decision-making plays in the process. The technology plays a pivotal role, no doubt, but a failure to understand how to properly use it to achieve business goals means much of that technology is going to waste.

Some businesses were quick to embrace big data in the early days when many organizations were still skeptical. Investors at the time had high expectations, but it’s possible that those expectations missed the mark. It wasn’t that they were wrong to have certain milestones and goals in mind, it was more a problem of underestimating the challenges businesses would face. They may have even completely overlooked some possible issues altogether. It all comes down to analytics performance. They may have all the right technology on hand, but it analytics is performed in the wrong way, the results will reflect that.



Developing a high-performance business continuity program is hard work and requires significant resource commitments and upper-management support. Respondents to the MissionMode Readiness Survey report varying levels of readiness with under 40% claiming to have business continuity management (BCM) plans in place across a wide number of potentially disruptive event types:

  • 38% – Comprehensive BCM plans developed and trained across a wide variety of event types
  • 37% – Plans developed and trained across a limited number of event types
  • 25% – No plans or preliminary plans drafted but not trained

These respondents were most likely to be prepared for weather, power and IT-related incidents and least prepared to manage physical security threats, theft and product safety-related events. Developing and training a wide variety of BCM plans can seem like an insurmountable challenge, but MissionMode can help you both prioritize and prepare your plans.



The ongoing flooding in Louisiana is being described as the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy of 2012.

Latest reports indicate that at least 11 are confirmed dead and more than 30,000 have been rescued. An estimated 40,000 homes have sustained flood damage statewide, but local reports put that figure higher.

Some 20 Louisiana parishes have now received a federal disaster declaration.

Flood damage is excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies, but available as a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and some private insurers.



Depending on your organization’s resources and size, using risk transference to mitigate your risk may be a good option.  

In a recent blog we discussed the acceptance of risk. When accepting risk is not appropriate, the strategies for risk mitigation include: developing and implementing strategies in house; using third parties to develop and implement the solutions, with in-house maintenance; or turning the entire solution over to a third party. For most organizations, some use of risk transference is appropriate.

Risk Transference: Risk transference is handing risk off to a willing third party.

The most frequently used and easiest method of risk transference is insurance. Insurance is the financial transfer of risk. When using insurance for risk mitigation, it is important to remember:



Thursday, 18 August 2016 00:00

FEMA Offers Tips for Hiring Contractors

(TNS) — As survivors begin the repair phase of flood recovery, FEMA and the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office are warning about unscrupulous contractors who often prey on those down and out.

FEMA said incompetent and even criminal contractors will cause more challenges to victims, so officials offered a number of tips to help avoid such a situation.

“Disasters bring out the best in many people who unselfishly help others. Unfortunately, they also attract scam artists who seek to take advantage of disaster survivors,” FEMA officials said recently.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said unlicensed contractors often will canvass neighborhoods offering to repair damaged property with deals that seem too good to be true. All too often, he said, they are. Work is never completed despite payment made.



Just how important is cyber security awareness in today’s digital age? An entire, month-long observation has been dedicated to shining the spotlight on this hot button issue. But raising awareness about cyber security can be easier said than done—especially when many people mistakenly assume the onus lies entirely with IT. As we approach October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), the following three tips can help you overcome the obstacles, increase awareness, and ultimately fortify both your cyber security strategies and your organization at large.



The quickest way to stick a dagger in the heart of a succession planning strategy is for the CEO to delegate it to human resources. Doing so delivers a flashing message to the organization that leadership development is a low priority that doesn’t warrant serious attention.

That was my key takeaway from an interview last week with Michael Timms, a leadership development consultant and author of “Succession Planning That Works: The Critical Path of Leadership Development.” Timms shared some great information during the interview, which began with my asking him what letter grade he would give corporate America on succession planning. Without hesitation, he said it would have to be an F:

There’s actually a percentage on that. About a year ago, Deloitte did a global survey that asked executives in organizations big and small if they feel succession planning, or leadership development, is a top strategic priority. Eighty-six percent said succession planning is a top priority, so clearly, everybody knows it’s a big deal. And then the next question asked how many them feel they actually have a succession plan that works, and only 10 percent said they felt they did. So they’ve graded themselves, and given themselves a letter grade of F.



Storage technology is evolving extremely rapidly but our file systems are not. Is it time to re-think files systems so we can take advantage of this new technology?

Enterprise SSD - And Much More

Perhaps it's because I'm getting older but it seems like things are changing faster every year (my wife tells me it's because I'm getting older).

Regardless of the cause, things are changing quickly, particularly in storage world. SSD's are becoming very popular, pushing out spinning drives. We even have SSD's coming with 60TB's of capacity (link). Enterprise SSD's are quickly impacting enterprise storage designs. Spinning drives are now coming in massive capacities courtesy of Shingled Memory Recording (SMR) technology that come in 10TB and 12TB capacities. Non-Volatile memory is on the horizon. Yet, some aspects of storage are not changing or not changing much at all to adapt to these new technologies.



Thursday, 18 August 2016 00:00

RequirementONE is Now Available on G-Cloud 8

UK Public Sector organisations can ensure project success by managing compliance, business software implementation or product development with best practices


LONDON, UK – RequirementONE announced today that its platform for implementing best practice standards and methodologies is now available from the UK government’s procurement site-the G-Cloud 8 Digital Marketplace. More and more public sector organisations are moving away from a documents-based approach for managing complex projects to a secure, easy-to-use and configurable records-based approach, in order to simplify requirements management and reduce administrative burdens.


RequirementONE’s innovative platform is optimized for solutions related to best practices in compliance, business software implementation and product development, featuring a Solution Store that offers quick-start templates from industry thought leaders, such as IEEE, ISO and IEC. In addition, methodologies for DevOps, Agile, Waterfall, Prince2, Cobit, and NIST Cybersecurity can be easily configured.


“We’re very encouraged by the depth of interest from government agencies around the globe, built on our success upgrading requirements management for a large Cabinet-level agency in the U.S.” said Founder and CEO Martin Gorm Pedersen. “We look forward to helping UK government agencies, large and small, streamline their collaboration processes with RequirementONE.”


Available with public cloud, private cloud or on premise deployments, RequirementONE features:

  • A central online repository storing each requirement as a record
  • Updates, comments and meta-data that are controlled and tracked individually
  • Traceability links showing critical relationships between requirements
  • Collection of feedback from all stakeholders with questionnaires
  • Tracks defects and issues aligned to requirements

After going through a strict certification process, only companies who can provide secure services for enterprise environments are accepted. UK government buyers can search for RequirementONE in the Software as a Service (SaaS) category or simply click on: RequirementONE on G-Cloud 8


About RequirementONE

RequirementONE is a pioneer in freeing up content that is locked in documents, spreadsheets or binders on the shelf, and transforming them into structured actionable information. Our cloud-based platform is highly configurable, allowing for the accelerated delivery of solutions for compliance, business software implementation and product development. The unique Solution Store centralizes your internal best practices, and provides templates from industry experts. RequirementONE leads the way to more effective collaboration and reduced risk with consistent and rapid deployment of your projects.

Visit www.requirementone.com to learn more or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter