- Social networking ain't what it used to be
- PinQ is the new green...
- Environment Awards
- Kent Fire & Rescue Service
Moore’s Law back in 1965 predicted silicon power would double every two years. But what its creator, Gordon E. Moore, couldn’t have predicted was the dramatic economies of scale the cloud would eventually bring to all of our lives. For one, it’s helped lead to a drop in price for essentials like computing power and storage by making them more accessible. But also, it’s enabled conveniences no one ever would have imagined four or so decades ago.
Today we’re able to use a mobile device with massive power and local storage to locate and download from virtually anywhere in the world an application for as little as 59 pence. Think for example of Shazam, which identifies songs you can’t quite discern after it listens for just a few seconds. Leveraging its cloud database, Shazam also lets you buy and download the song via your smartphone. All of this – the convenience, the low cost, the power on the local device – is driven by the cloud.
The Cloud has not only driven down costs, but it’s helped increased our satisfaction with – and expectations of – our Internet experience. It’s enabled mobility and delivered immense computing power to anyone, anywhere at any time. The Cloud has also driven the success of many vendors and will continue to do so as developers deliver applications that are faster to market and reach a wider commercial audience at a lower cost of delivery.
We should expect to see more changes in the size and delivery methods of the technologies we use –where very small files, programs or devices connect to the cloud where all of the benefits are stored. Such client/cloud configurations are a boon for consumerisation as our appetites for an always-connected, “iWant” lifestyle increase.
In 10 years on iPhone 14 and iPad 11, will we see applications that are free and pay 1p per use perhaps? Or will we see others employing new models that yet again change the way we digest and pay for computing power and information?
More changes to the Cloud economics that we won’t see coming are inevitable. Perhaps an update to Moore’s Law will be formed to hypothesize that the number of applications running the in the cloud will double every two years; based on today’s adoption and consumption rates, however, we’re more likely to see this being every two months.
For many of us over a certain age it's all a bit of a mystery, this social networking malarkey. And whether or not you tweet on Twitter, have Facebook friends, bid for bargains on Ebay or watch your favourite rock combo on Youtube, it's a dead cert that at least some of your staff do. The question is, are they doing it on your time?
It is estimated that 30-40% of internet use in the workplace is unrelated to business and research has shown that the average British worker spends 90 minutes a day surfing the web at work for personal purposes - the equivalent of 43 days a year. IT Managers agree, estimating that employees on average spend 50 mins per day on social networking sites alone.
Quite apart from the loss in productivity, it is very likely that unrestricted web access will leave your network infected with undetected malware as social-networking sites do not monitor content for the hosting of malware. Experts at security firm Sophos said that in 2009, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have faced attacks which had been especially designed to compromise PCs and steal confidential information. And while it might be inconvenient if a home PC falls into the hands of the cyber-criminals, it's a very different ball-game when it's your business that's compromised.
It's not plain-sailing for employees, either. Many people display toe-curling openness about their personal feelings and experiences when it comes to social networking sites. Take the woman who was apparently fired after abusing her boss on Facebook - and forgetting he was on her friends list. Her boss responded a few hours later opening with: "Hi Lindsay, I guess you forgot about adding me on here?” and continued, “...you also seem to have forgotten that you have 2 weeks left on your 6 month trial period. Don't bother coming in tomorrow..."
Another example concerns an employee who disparaged the supermarket he worked for on Facebook. He thought his views were only visible to his online friends, but a colleague printed off the remark and showed it to his boss, who fired him on the spot.
As these incidents illustrate, with little to delineate business PCs from the average home PC, the line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour get a little blurred. In some cases bosses do not want to believe their staff are using the web for non-work related purposes and have little understanding of the compelling nature of the networking phenomenon.
But with court cases growing and malware on the rise, it's becoming increasingly important that employers take responsibility to restrict internet access. The social networking explosion is not going to go away and with up to 85% of malware now distributed via the web, proactive security is a necessity.
However, many small to medium sized businesses are highly cost conscious and have little time to deal with the problems associated with web security. So here's a few questions to ask:
- Do you know what your employees are doing on the web each day?
- How do you monitor and measure this currently?
- Do you have web filtering in place and, if so, how resilient is it?
- Do you have an acceptable internet use policy? If so, how do you enforce it?
- How do you protect mobile users?
- Do you see any risk in staff uploading documentation to web sites at work?
Not knowing the answers or not having the right protection in place could have major repercussions for your business. So, if any of this has got you pondering, then call us on 01227 750555
Computer systems are the black hole of an organisation’s accounts and with the recent release of power-hungry applications, that hole is set to become even bigger. Indeed it is predicted that within the next five years energy costs alone could eat up more than a third of IT budgets.
Whatever the cost financially and environmentally, reverting to desk diaries and the typing pool is not an option. However, there are alternative 'greener' solutions that are rapidly gaining ground.
Access IT Ltd, based in Faversham, have been providing network solutions that combine technologies. From Open Source software with unrestricted user licences, built-in office suite and built-in resilience, to the current crop of the best from Microsoft, Citrix and Apple. Systems that not only use less energy, but also integrate with existing equipment. The life cycle of hardware therefore increases, reducing the amount of PCs that end up in landfill sites. This approach won Access IT an Environmental Award.
So why isn’t every SME switching over? Fear of change is of course a factor, but an increasing number of organisations – both large and small – are finding that change can be implemented gradually while enjoying the enormous benefits immediately.
Access IT are proud to have received an award at this prestigious ceremony. The standard of all the entries was very high, but after a rigorous judging process, Access IT was declared a finalist and awarded 'Highly Commended'.
The judges were particularly impressed with our range of PinQ servers, which fit seamlessly into most offices and not only use up to 80% less energy than other systems, but also integrates the client's older, lower specification equipment.
Access IT were asked to install the Sophos Enterprise Manager across the Kent Fire and Rescue Service's 67 sites - covering 500 PCs/terminals and around 1800 users.
Helping to ensure the smooth running of offices, the suite will help protect vital management and administrative information, which is the backbone to the emergency service being provided. Access IT also provided on-site training and after sales support.
Sophos is a world leader in anti-virus and anti-spam protection for businesses. Kent Fire and Rescue Service has installed Sophos's Enterprise Manager suite to assist in protecting its IT systems against virus infections. Enterprise Manager will allow the Service to easily administer the Sophos Anti-Virus software by providing automatic updates.