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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

How odd that even though we are this deep into the cloud transition, people are still debating the merits of public vs. private vs. hybrid.

If the latest research is to be believed, however, most enterprises have already moved beyond this debate and are actively seeking a variety of cloud-based solutions that will combine the best of the cloud as well as legacy virtual and even physical infrastructure.

Take, for example, CTERA Networks’ recent Cloud Storage Report, which holds that 63 percent of enterprises prefer internal or hosted virtual private cloud solutions over SaaS offerings like Dropbox for their storage and collaboration needs. This is actually a no-brainer – in fact, I’m surprised the number is that low – considering the advantage of keeping critical data safely tucked behind the firewall rather than on a public service. Public services will have their role to play going forward, but they are not likely to house mission-critical data and applications, at least not for long.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/time-enough-to-choose-the-right-cloud.html

Asia Pacific firms are gradually beginning to understand how important big data is for responding to rising customer expectations and becoming customer-obsessed to gain a competitive edge in the age of the customer. Data from our Forrsights Budgets And Priorities Survey, Q4 2013 shows that 40% of organizations across Asia Pacific expect to increase their spending on big data solutions in 2014.

In addition to traditional structured data (from ERP and other core transactional systems), organizations are increasing seeking insight from unstructured data originating in both internal (IM, email) and external (social networks, sensors) sources to enhance the business value of data. But these initiatives pose a significant challenge to security and risk professionals:

 ...

http://blogs.forrester.com/manatosh_das/14-03-27-big_data_initiatives_can_lead_to_big_security_problems_for_asia_pacific_firms

By Samuel Greengard

In recent years, as organizations have embraced cloud computing, CIOs and other executives have witnessed significant gains. In many cases, their enterprises have boosted IT availability, reduced demands on internal infrastructure and notched productivity improvements along with cost savings. Last October, Gartner reported that cloud computing will emerge as the bulk of IT spend by 2016 and half of all cloud services will take a hybrid cloud approach by 2017.

But as more and more organizations drift into the cloud, one fact is perfectly clear: the risk of an outage or outright failure is real, and such an event could have significant repercussions during and after an event. Already, a number of high-profile cloud providers have endured episodic outages and failures, including Amazon Web Services, Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft Azure. In some instances, companies using these products and services haven't just endured downtime, they've also lost data.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/articles/coping-with-a-cloud-outage.html

By Nathaniel Forbes, MBCI, CBCP

Late in 2013 the head of BCM for one of Asia’s largest banks voluntarily transferred within his bank to a job entirely unrelated to BCM. He is the most-experienced, knowledgeable and highest-paid non-expatriate BCM professional I know in Asia.

I wondered why anyone with eleven years of full-time BCM experience and a compensation package the envy of his peers would make such a move. He agreed to answer my questions on-the-record if I didn’t use his name or identify his employer.

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature1161.html

By Paul Kirvan, FBCI

In March 2014 the business continuity profession lost one of its founding fathers, Ron Ginn, (Hon) FBCI. Although Ron was in his 80s he lived a vigorous life and never lost his passion for the profession he helped create. For a fitting tribute to Ron’s memory, I have compiled thoughts and remembrances from several of Ron’s friends and colleagues, including myself.

As one of the few ‘foreigners’ in the early days of the business continuity profession in the UK and Europe, I became involved in an organization many of you will remember, called Survive! This was instrumental in the growth of the profession in Europe and North America and also in the founding of the Business Continuity Institute. During my many trips to the UK I had the pleasure of meeting Ron Ginn on several occasions. Ron was one of my early mentors and inspirations for my continued involvement in the profession. His enthusiasm was infectious; he really understood the direction that the profession needed to go and was a constant source of encouragement and challenge for all of us who were there in the ‘early days’. I last spoke to Ron during the 2012 BCI World Conference in London, and even in his 80s, Ron was still challenging me to do more in the profession. He was a true inspiration to me, and will be greatly missed.

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http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature1163.html

Teon Rosandic, VP EMEA, xMatters, gives a vendor’s view of the developments which are improving the capabilities of emergency notification systems and why traditional one-way mass notification is on the way out.

Many of the mass notification systems that businesses utilise today haven’t changed or evolved since they were originally designed many years ago. It’s the same old thing – put your message in the message box and broadcast it out to everyone in your database. This type of archaic communication system just doesn’t cut it today with more and more incidents and crises that require immediate attention and the need for two way communication at every step of the way.

However, there is new technology available, and there are things that the business continuity and risk manager should consider when looking for a mass notification approach.

This article delves into the ins and outs of what effective mass communication technology can deliver and what the old systems lack.

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/feature1160.html

US statesman Benjamin Franklin was famous for many things and for one in particular: his proclamation that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Well, Benjamin, it seems like modern technology and inflation have conspired to add a couple more items: server crashes and data security breaches. In other words, it’s not a matter of if these events will occur. It’s a matter of when. It’s true that robust quality IT products can push out the when so far that it seems to disappear in the distant future. However, smart organisations make the assumption that both things will happen and take appropriate precautions.

...

http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/server-crashes-and-data-security-breaches-just-like-death-and-taxes/

When Spiceworks surveyed IT professionals recently about their attitudes toward certifications, one of the most interesting data points was that about half of the respondents will be paying for their continuing IT education themselves this year. Only 56 percent said that their employers would pay for training in 2014. But half of the IT pros said they think that certifications are very valuable or extremely valuable to their careers. And 80 percent of them said they plan to complete some training or certification this year. Since having to pay for continuing education yourself often really means you’ll need to find some free or lower-cost training, let’s take a look at a range of vendor-specific, higher education, online and free online training resources. We’ll begin with one of the hottest IT skill sets for 2014:Big Data, aka analytics and/or business intelligence.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/charting-your-it-career/list-of-big-data-certifications-growing-quickly.html

Even as rescue teams search for more bodies in the aftermath of the March 22 mud slide in Washington, records show that while the area is prone to these disasters, homes were allowed to be built there anyway.

The slide, triggered by excessive rain, has claimed 24 lives so far and 176 are still unaccounted for, the Associated Press reports.

Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said during a news conference on March 24 that the slide was “completely unforeseen” and that it “came out of nowhere.”

In a 1999 report filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, however, geomorph­ologist Daniel J. Miller and his wife, Lynne Rodgers Miller, warned of “the potential for a large catastrophic failure” in the area, according to the Seattle Times.

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/mudslide-was-forewarned-experts-assert/

Catalyst, Avalution’s award winning business continuity software, now offers an innovative business continuity and IT disaster recovery program dashboard and reporting capability – Catalyst Insights. A 30-day free trial is available via bccatalyst.com to further explore this feature.


Cleveland, OH –
 Avalution Consulting – a leading provider of business continuity consulting and software solutions – announced today the release of a new feature for the Catalyst business continuity software suite, Catalyst Insights.

 

Catalyst Insights provides automatic business continuity metrics that enable business continuity and IT disaster recovery program managers to quickly identify and address preparedness gaps and report on their organization's true level of preparedness like never before. 

 

Forget simply reporting on the number of BIAs completed or how many plans were updated! With Catalyst Insights, business continuity and disaster recovery program managers can:

  • View granular business continuity dashboards, ratings, relationships, and dependencies for each element of the planning lifecycle by department, location, application, IT infrastructure, products and services, or the program as a whole;
  • Examine individual elements of the organization to understand upstream and downstream dependencies, identify and address gaps, and report on their current level of preparedness;
  • Visually map directional relationship dependencies for individual departments, locations, applications, IT infrastructure, products and services, or across the entire organization;
  • And, so much more!

“We’re excited to launch Catalyst Insights because it provides automatic business continuity metrics that will revolutionize the way a business continuity program manager views and reports on the resiliency of their organization,” explains Robert Giffin, Director, Avalution Consulting. “No additional work is required from the program manager to gain value from this feature. Insights utilizes the information entered into Catalyst during the business impact analysis, plan development process, and so on, to develop and display granular dashboards and preparedness rankings for individual elements of the program and the program as a whole.”

 

Catalyst – available in Basic, Pro, and Enterprise versions – makes business continuity and IT disaster recovery planning easy and repeatable for every organization, regardless of size, industry, or geography. In addition to the new feature discussed above, Catalyst addresses policy and procedure development, business impact analysis, risk assessment, plan development (business and IT), exercising, live incident management, emergency notification (Bullhorn), and general program management.

Catalyst is an all-in-one business continuity software suite that is powerful, affordable, and, most importantly, will produce results.

 

Explore Catalyst Insights
Explore Catalyst Insights by registering for a 30-day free trial of Catalyst, requesting a demonstration, or scheduling a discussion with our team. 

 

About Avalution Consulting
Avalution is the premier provider of business continuity and IT disaster recovery consulting and software solutions in the U.S. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Avalution is an ISO 22301-certified firm and maintains a contract on GSA Schedule 70. 

Avalution also offers two unique, web-based business continuity software solutions. Catalyst – available in Basic, Pro, or Enterprise versions – combines a simple user interface and on-screen guides with Avalution’s consulting methodology to make continuity planning easy and repeatable for every organization. No long-term contracts are required, and a 30-day free trial is available via bccatalyst.com. The Planning Portal, built on Microsoft SharePoint, delivers highly customizable tools and processes to assist organizations in managing and executing their business continuity and IT disaster recovery programs. Demonstrations are available upon request.