Start Building a Better Small Business Now – Here’s How

Build a Better BusinessIn the past, big business owned innovation. If your name was Ford or General Electric you had the money to create influence that reached a global audience. You weren’t just the early adopters – you dictated what technology other organizations adopted. You showed everyone how it was done.

Thankfully, for small and mid-sized businesses, possibly like yours, that was yesterday.

Today, rapid advances in technologies like SaaS and mobility have literally changed everything.

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The network as necessity – not commodity. [Cisco]

Why your business needs a next-generation enterprise network now.

Once upon a time, the enterprise network’s sole role was connecting users to IT. So there was a strong argument for viewing it as a commodity – as a low-cost capital expense that just had to be good enough, nothing more.

But the enterprise-computing environment is in the midst of profound changes – from the consumerization of IT and mobility to virtualization and cloud computing. All these and other advances are increasing demand and risk, and organizations are discovering (sometimes the hard way) that a cheap “good enough” network can’t keep up.

The alternative is to invest in a next-generation network built to stay a few steps ahead of requirements that are quickly becoming the price staying competitive. These include:

  1.  Video. With the massive increase in video traffic for surveillance, conferencing and digital signage, IT needs to ensure its networking investment provides the needed intelligence to preplan, auto-configure and troubleshoot video endpoints and video flows.
  2. Mobility and device consumerization. Smartphones, tablet PCs and other mobile devices – often selected by employees themselves – increase productivity and keep businesses operating around the clock. IT must find ways to architect a network that accommodates multiple device types and OS securely, wherever their mobile workforce happens to be.
  3. Energy management. With office buildings accounting for 70% of business energy consumption and significant fines for carbon emissions become an increasingly expensive proposition (especially in Europe), there’s pressure on networks to ably monitor and manage energy usage.
  4. Security. There was a 46% increase in the spread of malware on mobile devices in 2010. That and other risks can’t be mitigated with point solutions in isolation but rather by providing pervasive visibility and control using the network to enforce consistent security policies.

 What’s needed, in other words, is a next-generation network that’s not only optimized to address these capabilities and challenges but also one that’s architected to [Read more…]

The secret sauce in managing iPads and iPhones [Apple]

Mobile devices are making their way into the enterprise at an alarming rate which is not slowing down any time soon. The adoption is happening one of two ways:

Enterprise-lead adoption: A controlled roll out by the IT staff

User-lead adoption: Tech-savvy employees bringing in their own devices and connecting to the company network for email and access to other sensitive data.

The challenge for the IT department in either scenario is the same [Read more…]