Managing IT projects is always challenging – particularly in the public sector. Budgets are often reduced during the project, carefully calculated timelines compressed and contingency removed. But the biggest problems occur when managers become so focused on their spreadsheets that they don’t take account of human factors. After all, a successful project is 50 percent technology and 50 percent culture.
In my previous post, I talked about the benefits of using Azure Instance Reservations to save money on the cost of IaaS virtual machines (VMs). There’s also an opportunity to save money by reducing duplication on your Windows Server licences.
One of the reasons more and more organisations are adopting cloud services of one flavour or another is that the costs can come out of operational expenditure in nice little monthly packages instead of giant wedges of capital expenditure. Cloud also has the benefit of scale, enabling us to obtain better protected and more reliable services faster than we can often build them on-premise for the equivalent cost. However, that doesn’t mean we need to pay the recommended retail price.
As usually happens at this time of year, my team persuaded me to look into my crystal ball and predict the technology trends I think will make the most impact in IT this year. Here are my top six tips.
In the last few days, there’s been a lot of discussion of a security flaw (Meltdown and Spectre) affecting the X86 CPU architecture and more specifically Intel CPUs. It was discovered by Google some time ago and was not scheduled to be made public just yet. However, growing information and leaks online led to Google releasing it early. This forced Microsoft to release the hotfix for Windows and the Microsoft Azure planned VM maintenance scheduled for 10th January has been brought forward to happen almost immediately.
One of biggest challenges for IT departments is that users are individuals and so they all want different things. This has been a particular problem with VDI which, while it’s very good at making all applications available anywhere via a browser, gives everyone exactly the same thing. It really struggles with power users and laptop users who need their ‘own’ stuff, locally, and so even at best it will only meet the needs of three quarters of your workforce.
We’re all now familiar with the benefits of cloud computing: limitless capacity, almost total flexibility and increased efficiency, as well as transferring costs from Capex to Opex.
With GDPR only seven months away now, one aspect of compliance we all need to consider is how to secure personally identifiable information (PII) on laptops and other mobile devices. This data is harder to control and at a greater risk of being compromised because it’s not behind the company firewall.
With GDPR on the horizon, now is a good time to review your data security policy. The first step is to take a holistic look at your entire infrastructure, from how data is created or acquired to how it is valued, stored, accessed and disposed of. This includes data coming in from customers, partners and suppliers; data created within the organisation, such as presentations and reports; and data that goes out, such as invoices and proposals.
As you may have seen from our news page, last month we became one of more than 100 SMEs included on the Crown Commercial Service’s new Technology Services 2 (TS2) framework. This makes it easier for all public sector organisations – government departments, local authorities, NHS, ‘blue light’ etc. – to buy specialist IT services, from desktop solutions to replacing entire systems.