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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

DENVER, Colo. — Peak® (formerly PeakColo), an enterprise-class IaaS Cloud provider for channel partners, announces that it has been presented with the prestigious Provider of Infrastructure as a Service of the Year by The Business Intelligence Group’s Stratus Award, an inaugural industry award competition based out of Philadelphia, PA. The award comes on the heels of a successful, cloud platform success story with DirectBuy, a customer of Peak’s cloud through Peak partner, Komodo Cloud, LLC .  With a 100% channel-focused distribution model, Peak enables service providers such as Komodo to white label and/or resell Peak’s cloud and offer their own robust cloud practice to end-users.

With cloud services Powered by Peak, channel partners and resellers can rapidly enter the cloud marketplace under their own brand without capital expenditure, enjoying a faster route to profitability. Peak’s cloud nodes are located in Type II SSAE 16 and SOC 2 compliant data centers in eight geographies across the United States and in Europe.This service is not only recognized, but celebrated by the 2014 Stratus Awards, who identify companies innovating in the cloud and providing services that are truly differentiated in today’s market. Past awards for Peak include Talkin’ Cloud Top 100 Service Providers of 2013; Compuware’s Top 25 Service Providers of 2013; #13 on CRN’s Top 20 Service Providers within 2014’s Data Center 100; as well as Service Provider of the Year by NetApp 2012 and VMWare 2012.

“The Cloud is clearly revolutionizing how we use technology and communicate,” comments Dawn Fordyce, managing director of the Business Intelligence Group. “With more than 60% of businesses now utilizing the Cloud for performing IT-related operations, the organizations our volunteer expert judges select are helping to accelerate the development and adoption of cloud-based services.”

“We are proud to be one of the successful companies honored with a 2014 Stratus Award,” says Luke Norris, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Peak. “Here at Peak we pride ourselves on our exceptional service and our unique channel-centric partnerships. This string of successes will only enable us to reach even higher as cloud platform leaders.”

Peak delivers reliable, on-demand cloud computing backed by N+1 cloud architecture and 100% service level agreements. With cloud nodes available in 8 unique geographies, Peak helps channel partners onboard their clients directly to the cloud quickly and seamlessly.

To read the full press release issued by The Business Intelligence Group click here.

To read the full press release about DirectBuy choosing Peak’s cloud click here.

For more information on how to leverage the cloud for your company, please visit www.poweredbypeak.com

Provides flexible, secure, cost effective IT support services direct to end-users

SLOUGH, UK - Logicalis, the international IT solution, managed services and cloud provider, today announced the launch of its End-User Workspace Services, which sees a team of highly-skilled support specialists deliver IT services direct to business end-users.

The brand new offering is designed for the mid-marketand based out of Logicalis' UK Managed Services Centres (MSC).  Putting Logicalis' expertise directly in touch with the business user, the service removes the cost and management headaches of supporting the increasingly complex needs of end-user IT, enabling internal resource to focus on adding real business-value, safe in the knowledge employees have everything they need to remain productive.

Colin Deamer, services sales director at Logicalis UK, commented, "With an increasingly mobile workforce, users now need to be connected anytime, anywhere, from any device. This changing environment has put increasing pressure on the delivery of internal end-user support services, which often fail to meet expectations and satisfaction levels."

The service is already in use at a number of Logicalis' customers, where users are benefiting from a single-point of contact for all IT support needs including enterprise mobility, Unified Communications and its core business applications.

"As organisations grow, End User Workspace Services can scale and be tailored to business need, ensuring the IT department is able to embrace the new disruptive technologies that are aligned to organisational goals," Deamer continued. "At the same time, the service is freeing IT resource from the burden of the support-desk environment, to focus on strategic initiatives and act as an internal service provider, as part of what Logicalis calls the Service Defined Enterprise."

The End-User Workspace Service is delivered via Logicalis' UK Managed Services Centres in Slough and Nantgarw. Logicalis' new MSC at Nantgarw in Wales, was opened 12 months ago and provides specialist technical support to UK businesses 24/7. This new services launch has also seen the appointment of a new team of highly skilled personnel acting as a single point of contact for end users; to provide holistic support for all end-user IT related needs.

Mark Starkey, managing director at Logicalis UK, added, "Our strategy remains centred around our customers, as we continue to enable a balanced approach to owning, operating and funding infrastructure and IT services, through Logicalis' Optimal™ Services portfolio. Our company vision is to be considered the best ICT service provider in the UK, and our MSC staff driving the End-User Workspace Services are immersed in the operational tempo and life cycles of UK organisations."

The service has three core components; Workspace Service Desk, Workspace Management Services and Workspace Lifecycle Services.  Combining an extensive portfolio of solutions, technical and specialist skills and best practice processes, End User Workspace Services is built on a catalogue of solutions, offering a bespoke, scalable and cost effective approach to desktop management. For more information, please visit www.uk.logicalis.com/solutions-and-services/end-user-workspace-services

Ascribe Ltd, part of EMIS Group PLC (AIM: EMIS.L) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Indigo 4 Systems Ltd (“Indigo 4”), a leading supplier of specialised data display, integration and messaging solutions to healthcare organisations across the United Kingdom. The acquisition is in line with EMIS's stated strategy of providing cross-organisational healthcare systems.

The acquisition provides Ascribe with a set of communication and data translation tools that will help to improve patient care by enhancing the translation and messaging of electronic clinical and administrative data across primary and secondary care settings. The purchase consideration, net of cash acquired, is an amount up to £ 3.7 million payable in cash. The acquisition is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing.

Indigo 4 is based in Sheffield and has over 30 employees. For the year ended 31 August 2013, Indigo 4’s filed financial statements shows an adjusted profit before tax of £0.7 million on revenues of £2.5 million.          

Indigo 4’s principal area of business is supplying messaging, order communications, clinical data repository and bureau service solutions to the NHS and private sector healthcare organisations. Over 150 NHS Trusts, CCGs (formerly PCTs), and private organisations use Indigo 4’s solutions to meet current and upcoming national standards. The company has three core products: Keystone (clinical messaging), tQuest (result requesting) and Review (patient centric data repository). Indigo 4 has been involved in the submission of Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) for over a decade.

Indigo 4 has successfully designed and implemented over 100 middleware systems which concurrently handle tens of thousands of secure clinical and administrative data interchanges each day. Indigo 4 solutions send a significant proportion of the pathology and radiology results messages transmitted from secondary care diagnostic services to GP practice systems on a daily basis.

Stephen Critchlow, Executive Chairman of Ascribe and Head of Integration for EMIS Group said:

“This acquisition provides an excellent opportunity to integrate primary and secondary care using a platform that is tried and tested. Working with the capabilities of Indigo 4 and their user base, we will be better able to deliver patient-centric multi-organisational care through integration, where every clinician is made aware of all the information they need to give the best health care possible.”

 

About Ascribe

Ascribe is part of the EMIS Group – the UK leader in connected healthcare software and services. Ascribe delivers high quality clinical IT solutions and services to over 70% of the UK’s secondary healthcare providers, and serves customers in Australasia, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Core strengths include Pharmacy and ePrescribing, Electronic Patient Records (including Patient Administration Systems), Unscheduled Care solutions and Mental Health Client Management systems. In addition, Ascribe provides Consultancy expertise in Business Intelligence, Transformation and Integration.

Through integration and interoperability, Ascribe, as a member of EMIS Group, helps clinicians across multiple care settings, share vital information, facilitating better, more efficient healthcare and supporting longer and healthier lives.

Ascribe is a Microsoft Gold Partner and Health Partner of the Year (2012). Ascribe is an Award Finalist in Microsoft’s 2014 Partner of the Year for Business Intelligence.

Website: www.ascribe.com

As Business Continuity continues its growth as a profession, the idea of certification and the membership of professional bodies are more frequently discussed at all levels of the organization – from those starting out their career in the industry, right up to the Board Room.

As an individual you will be looking at the long term development of your career while those at Board level need to consider the long term growth of the organization. Of course the two of these are not mutually exclusive and many managers will tell you that the best way to grow an organization is to invest in its people.

The first step on the professional ladder is certification. Certification gives you an outward facing verification of your knowledge in that discipline. Attaining this level of qualification will set you apart from those who are not certified, who would only have knowledge of BC in their current environment.

...

http://thebceye.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-professional-footpath-for-business.html

A new report from New York State’s Attorney General details the damage to the state’s citizens and organizations from reported data breaches over the last eight years. “Information Exposed: Historical Examination of Data Breaches in New York State” attempts to illustrate the exponential growth in breaches, reports of breaches and some of the related costs, and then gives recommendations on how individuals and companies can better protect themselves.

In brief:

  • Almost 5,000 separate data breaches were reported to the AG’s office between 2006 and 2013.
  • These breaches exposed 22.8 million personal records of New Yorkers.
  • The number of breaches reported annually more than tripled during the time period.
  • 2013 was a record-setting year, with 7.3 million records of New Yorkers exposed.
  • Five of the 10 largest breaches reported to the AG have occurred since 2011. These are considered “mega breaches.”

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/governance-and-risk/data-breach-damage-from-nys-pov-over-1-billion-in-2013-alone.html

An interesting article in Fortune this morning covered a round table of security and technology experts who discussed the biggest threats to businesses. Stephen Gillett, Symantec’s chief operating officer, said there were three types of threats: script kiddies, organized crime and state-sponsored. In my opinion, he forgot a few, like hacktivism, which I think he includes with script kiddies, though hacktivism needs to stand on its own as one of the most serious threats to business operations.

The panel also raised what I think is a very important question: Do you know your company’s weakest security link? Yes, they talked about insider threats and how they are underestimated in relation to outsider threats:

It’s more likely that an employee doesn’t realize the value of the data access they have, even if they’re a low-profile employee.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/data-security/do-you-know-your-companys-weakest-security-link.html

Explaining just why cyber attacks and data breaches are a very real concern for business continuity professionals, a report published by ForeScout Technologies revealed that 96% of respondents who took part in their survey had experienced a major IT security incident in the last year. 39% experienced at least two incidents while 16% experienced at least five.

The IDG Connect Cyber Defense Maturity Report 2014 was the result of a study of 1600 decision makers in IT security who work for companies with more than 500 employees located in three distinct regions - the US, UK and DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). The sectors that respondents worked in were finance, manufacturing, healthcare, retail and education are active.

The majority of those surveyed were aware that part of their security measures were immature or ineffective, but only 33% were very confident that they can improve the less sophisticated security checks. It was suggested in the report that growing operational complexities and threats have affected the security capacity with over 43% claiming that prevention, identification, diagnosis and resolution of problems today is more difficult than it was two years ago.

With the threat so high, as also demonstrated in the latest BCI Horizon Scan Report, organizations must ensure they have plans in place to deal with the consequence of IT security incidents should they occur. Organizations are becoming more and more reliant on technology and IT, but even if those systems malfunction, with an effective business continuity plan in place, the organization should still be able to function.

38% of executives claim that supply chain management is their main challenge over the coming year with 42% placing it at the top of their list for increased investment. Those were some of the findings of a study carried out by the Consumer Goods Forum and KPMG International. The figures were even higher for those in the retail sector with over half (51%) of non-food retailers citing supply chain management as their main challenge.

The annual Global Top of Mind survey, a poll of nearly 500 C-suite and senior executives across 32 countries, also revealed how important the digital revolution will be over the next 12 months to consumer goods and retail companies – impacting everything from business growth and supply chain management to food safety, sustainability, and data security and privacy.

Supply chains are becoming longer and more complex with many factors coming into play such as infrastructure and weather - a lot of data needs to be processed in order to make sure they are fully optimised. As the complexity increases however, so does the possibility of disruption.

It is easy to see why supply chain management is an issue when you look at the most recent BCI Supply Chain Resilience Report. This report highlighted that 75% of respondents did not have full visibility over their supply chain and that 75% experienced at least one supply chain disruption over the last year with 42% of these disruptions occurring below the tier one supplier. 15% of respondents experienced disruptions that cost in excess of €1 million and 9% experienced a single disruption that cost in excess of €1 million.

The study concludes that as supply chains become increasingly complex, greater collaboration among suppliers and retailers is needed. Companies need to achieve greater visibility beyond their tier one and two suppliers and that downstream supply chains also need to be more transparent and agile.

The 2014 BCI Supply Chain Resilience Survey is currently live and can be completed by clicking here.

Readers of this blog know I am huge Civil War buff. Growing up in Texas, I only focused on the Southern side as a youngster and while this led to a sometime myopic view of events, in my mid-20s when I did begin to study the Northern side of the war, because I had never seriously studied from that perspective an entire panorama opened up for me.

One thing that never changed however, was the disaster that befell the South from the appointment of John Bell Hood to commander of the Army of Tennessee, which opposed General Sherman’s advance into Georgia since his stunning defeat of the Confederate forces at Chattanooga and later Lookout Mountain in Tennessee in late 1863. On this day 150 years, Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaced General Joseph Johnston with John Bell Hood as commander of the Army of Tennessee. Davis, impatient with Johnston’s defensive strategy in the Atlanta campaign, felt that Hood stood a better chance of saving Atlanta from the forces of Union General William T. Sherman. President Davis selected Hood for his reputation as a fighting general, in contrast to Johnston’s cautious nature. Hood did what Davis wanted and quickly attacked Sherman at Peachtree Creek on July 20 but with disastrous results. Hood attacked two more times, losing both and destroying his army’s offensive capabilities. Over the next two weeks in 1864, Hood’s actions not only led to President Abraham Lincoln’s reelection but spelled, once and for all, the doom of the Confederacy.

I thought about the risks of appointing Hood to command when I read a recent article in the Compliance Week Magazine by Carol Switzer, co-founder and President of the Open Compliance and Ethics Group (OCEG), entitled “A Strategic Approach to Conduct Risk”. Her article was accompanied by an entry in the OCEG Illustrated Series, entitled “Managing Conduct Risk in the GRC Context”, and she also presented thoughts from a Roundtable which included John Brown, Managing Principal, Risk Segment, Financial and Risk Division at Thompson Reuters; Tom Harper, Executive Vice President-General Auditor Federal Home Loan of Chicago and Dr. Roger Miles, Behavioral Risk Lead, Thompson Reuters.

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http://tfoxlaw.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/john-bell-hood-and-the-measurement-of-conduct-risk/

Historically, corporate Boards of Directors have held the responsibility of risk management oversight, ensuring that risk management processes are clearly defined and appropriately enacted. Their role in managing risk has been to provide guidance and leadership on matters that impact the strategic direction of a company or its public image.  In this traditional view, C-level management is left with the responsibility of actual risk assessment and mitigation, including issue resolution. But in today’s fast-paced and social-media driven world, the speed at which a risk can turn into a widely publicized issue means Board members must now provide both tactical and strategic supervision over risk management as part of their membership.

In the wake of recent financial crises, increased awareness and interest from a broader array of company stakeholders now exists. High-profile and highly reported product quality problems continue to impact multiple industries and both regulators and Boards have been forced to re-evaluate the structure and the role of their risk governance efforts. Whether required by law or not, many corporate Boards, especially (but not solely) those in the financial industry, have taken a more active role in managingcorporate risks. Regardless of regulation or stakeholder demands, an active risk management initiative at the Board level makes good business sense because each risk, whether strategic, operational, political, reputational or other, presents companies with an opportunity to build competitive advantage. The proliferation of risks in the current environment has intensified and forced companies to focus on impacts that must be avoided and opportunities that should be seized. From our point of view, the Board of today should play a direct role in the new risk environment paradigm by creating an active Board-level risk management program. Such an approach will allow organizations to transition from a position defending against risk to a more proactive approach that leverages risks as new opportunities and perhaps even advances organizations to more “blue ocean” possibilities.

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http://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/why-active-risk-management-is-essential-for-boards-of-directors