Understanding the Business Continuity Management Process

No longer a nice-to-have, today’s businesses require a well-tuned, always-on IT infrastructure just to survive. But any organization can fall prey to disaster – be it from natural causes like fire, flood or hurricane, man-made problems like a denial of service or malware attack, or an accident such as a mass file deletion. You might think that most businesses would be prepared – especially given the increasing number of high-profile cyber-attacks, major weather events, and other business disruptions that have made the news lately. But you’d be mistaken. In fact, though many organizations have some kind of business continuity plan, only 27 percent of companies surveyed by the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council scored a passing grade when it comes to disaster readiness. That means nearly three out of four businesses are not ready. And because the costs of system downtime can be extreme, the effectiveness of your response can determine if your organization keeps going, meets regulatory requirements, or fails completely. Consider that more than a third of businesses reported that they had already experienced at least one outage to a critical business application or a loss of vital data files in the previous year – and that nearly 20 percent of those who’d experienced such a disruption reported losing at least $50,000, with some reporting losses of more than $5 million. Ensuring ongoing operations when a disaster or outage occurs is where business continuity management comes into play. Traditional business continuity management involves three separate phases: Conducting a business impact analysis (BIA): Essentially, a BIA lays the foundation for the organization’s business continuity and disaster recovery plans. It...

Security Audits: Five Tips So You Can Sleep At Night

It’s the rare IT professional who rates a security audit as among his or her favorite tasks. But while conducting an audit is nobody’s idea of a great time, best practices dictate that they be carried out at least annually. It’s necessary to take stock of security as it pertains to assets, risks, and information, especially in context of the implementation of current security policy. In fact, a good security audit is an exhaustive inspection and analysis of how security is actually implemented compared to stated policy. That’s why establishing and maintaining a formal security policy is the first and most important tip to conducting an accurate and effective audit. Your security policy is a set of guidelines and principles for how security is to be applied in practice. It spells out everything from acceptable use policies to penalties and consequences for failures to observe or maintain security, to rules that govern roles, access controls, confidentiality, physical and technical security, and a great deal more. With your policy in hand, try these other tips for effective security audits. Take inventory of all information assets and assess the risk of each. Unless your organization knows what it needs to protect, it can’t formulate or implement good security policies. And unless your organization understands what its assets are worth, it can’t know how far to go – and how much to spend – to protect those assets. Conducting a thorough, up-to-date asset inventory, an estimate of asset value, and then understanding the risks to those assets and the business, are all essential to establishing and maintaining proper security. This is as...
How to Avoid the Technology ROI/TCO Trap

How to Avoid the Technology ROI/TCO Trap

For most of the short history of enterprise-class technology, companies have spent their IT budgets buying, provisioning, and maintaining customized solutions running on corporate-owned infrastructure and networks. The problems with this model are many and costly: over-provisioning, orphaned software licenses, inflexible architectures, under-utilization, cyber security issues, zombie servers, the dearth of qualified IT talent, siloed solutions, aging systems that do not meet the demands of the 21st Century … the list goes on and on. The common theme running throughout is a lack of IT cost transparency: most companies have had no idea just what they are getting for their IT dollars. Return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) calculations are still educated best-guesses. Very few in IT leadership can draw a direct line between a single technology and its financial benefit to an organization. As you will see, it is precisely this ROI/TCO trap that has given such rapid rise to the cloud. The Status Woe The root of the ROI/TCO trap starts with the status quo – specifically, the belief that owning and operating technology is the only way to wring the most value from dollars spent. But because the all-in cost of this approach is foggy at best, these assumptions are now being seen as just that: assumptions. This is not new thinking. When Nicolas Carr penned his now-famous article in the Harvard Business Review, “IT Doesn’t Matter,” his premise that IT is a commodity that doesn’t bring any tangible business value to an organization sparked a firestorm of criticism. “How could this be?!?” incredulous IT people demanded. “Surely we add value! We...
AiNET welcomes Michael Fox as new Regional Vice President of Business Development

AiNET welcomes Michael Fox as new Regional Vice President of Business Development

VP of Business Development Michael Fox joins the growing team at AiNET and brings with him a wealth of industry knowledge and experience. Baltimore, MD – July 25th, 2016 – AiNET, a global and award-winning leader in data center, fiber optics and managed services, announced today that Michael Fox has been hired to fulfill the role of regional Vice President of Sales and Business Development. He will head up focused expansion efforts in the Baltimore/ D.C. metropolitan region for the Maryland-based tech firm. Fox’s background in the IT services world is extensive, with over 30 years of experience supporting Enterprise and SMB markets starting with Verizon/MCI telecommunications. He moved onto become a National Director with NTT, and then to Carpathia where he headed up the Government Services division and was a managing partner. He led migration efforts for Carpathia’s acquisition by QTS. He was most recently the Regional Sales Director at ByteGrid. Fox’s decades of experience in the market bring deep knowledge and relationships to AiNET’s regional expansion efforts, and will allow the company to enter new markets, drive product development and go-to-market strategy, and focus outreach to leaders in the technology community. The company has stated that its immediate growth efforts involve leveraging past performance and client success stories, increasing scope of IT customer solutions, and increasing contacts within the market. AiNET’s long term goals are to grow strategically with a national footprint as well as a global presence, and to accelerate market penetration within enterprise-class and service provider organizations in diverse industries such as healthcare, media, financial services and higher education/ research. “The industry is rapidly transforming,”...
5 Reasons To Break Up With Your Telco: An argument for Telecom and Internet choice

5 Reasons To Break Up With Your Telco: An argument for Telecom and Internet choice

If  you’re frustrated with your business’ internet service provider, you’re not alone. In 2015, nearly 4 out of 10 Americans were dissatisfied with their ISP, mainly due to lack of choice. In fact, you may not even know that you have a choice when it comes to who handles your company’s internet and VOIP needs. Too often, businesses are presented with a single option of ISP based on the location of their office, but this begs the question: do you select any other major service vendor this way? You may have some nagging doubts about your own ISP. If you recognize your own experiences in the list below, it may be time to begin investigating other options for your business. 5. Their help desk isn’t helpful This is the most common complaint in the industry. Connectivity goes down, and a call is placed- seemingly into a black hole. The representative on the other end of the phone is in an off-shored call center, with limited access to your account details, let alone visibility into your outage. Resolution can take days, and now you’re left with employees without access to email, business applications and data, or other critical systems. The process seems designed to reduce cost for the ISP, with little thought given to your experience. You measure your other vendors and service providers by their ease-of-use metrics… why give ISPs a pass? The bottom line is this: you come to the realization that all you bought is the stuff itself; not any actual service to speak of. 4. Selling you old stuff Not only are they just selling you stuff,...

AiNET CEO Deepak Jain Featured in Enterprise Networking Magazine

AiNET’s Founder and Chief Executive Reflects on Market Changes and Credits Innovative Personnel as the Keys to the Success of the Maryland-Based Internet Technology Company in the Cover Story of the April 2016 Issue AiNET® announced today that founder and CEO Deepak Jain was featured as the cover story in the April 2016 issue of Enterprise Networking Magazine. The article, prepared and adapted from interviews with Jain, recounts moments of transition within the organization, such as when Jain landed his first large contract in 1995, providing remote hosting for Audionet (now Broadcast.com), and the conversation with prominent internet entrepreneur Mark Cuban that led to the contract award. In addition to providing the company history, Jain credited his customers’ satisfaction with the company to the culture of innovation at AiNET. In the article, Jain states that AiNET’s “biggest asset is its people… people with imagination, people with passion — with vision — they help us to be able to think ahead of [technological] major client concerns, to solve problems before the market even knows they are problems.” The April issue of Enterprise Networking Magazine also features a list of the top 10 data center networking solution providers worldwide for 2016. AiNET is listed at the number two spot. Jain has been recognized in industry publications before, winning the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2000. He has also been recognized by The Daily Record as the 2012 Innovator of the Year, and won the SmartCEO VOLTAGE Award in 2013. He is a nominee for the Baltimore Business Journal Tech10 award for 2016. The winners will be announced in June....