Posts tagged ‘Office 365’

Top 5 Sources of Cloud Data Loss #CloudWF

Guest Blog with eFolder

“But it’s in the cloud, isn’t it backed up already?”

Author: Trace Ronning, Content Marketing Manager, eFolder

In 2015, businesses have continued their rapid adoption of cloud/SaaS applications with no signs of slowing down. A study completed by the Aberdeen Group concluded that 80% of businesses use at least one cloud application. Usage has also increased. In 2014, 51% of IT workloads took place in the cloud, marking it the first year that the cloud owned a majority of IT workloads according to Silicon Angle.

The advantages of the cloud are clear, with most companies experiencing greater employee productivity, mobility, and improved collaboration as a result of adopting cloud applications.

There is, however, one major issue that the cloud has not eliminated for organizations: data loss. While the inherent securities of SaaS services, such as Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce, and Box are minimizing outages and random data loss, human error is still the primary source of lost data. In 2013, 32% of companies using cloud services reported losing cloud data, an overwhelming majority of which came as a direct result of human intervention.

How exactly are businesses losing this cloud data, and how can they prevent it from happening again? Let’s take a dive into the top five sources of cloud data loss and find out.

1. User Error

We know that humans are not perfect. Checking in as the top reason for cloud data loss is user error, which accounts for 64% of all cloud data loss. The two primary examples of user error include accidental deletion or accidentally overwriting a file. We all make mistakes now and again, so it is ill-advised to operate under the assumption that by adopting cloud applications, people will become immune to the human condition and never lose a file again.

2. Hackers

Hackers, defined as outsiders who get into the system with nefarious intent, are responsible for 13% of all cloud data loss. As cloud adoption and usage has grown, so has a hacker’s willingness to attack companies of all sizes, not just giant enterprise businesses, such as Sony or Home Depot. As of now, 50% of data breaches occur at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, with the most common type of attacks consisting of a hacker breaking into an organization’s instance or acquiring administrator credentials. Malicious activity such as this often results in sensitive data being compromised, jeopardizing the customers of the company, as well as its ability to keep its doors open and continue doing business.

3. Closing an account

At 10%, the third most common kind of cloud data loss occurs when a business closes an account. We define this action as a user de-provisioning a user within a cloud application or discontinuing the service. Without deploying a backup service to save former users’ data or a solution that helps migrate data from one application to another, respectively, organizations run the risk of losing data in transition phases.

4. Malicious Delete

Think your business is immune to frustrated employees going rogue? Think again. 7% of all cloud data loss occurs when an employee intentionally deletes files or folders. This type of deletion is often initiated by an unhappy employee or a recently terminated employee who has retained access to organizational cloud applications and data. At all levels of a business there are examples of employees who don’t value company data as much as IT managers or executives do, especially in roles with high-turnover.

5. Third-Party Software

The fifth most common reason for cloud data loss is the unexpected result of using a third-party software on one of your SaaS applications. Occasionally, a data overwrite or deletion will occur when running third-party software. A classic example is a Salesforce administrator running Demand Tools and inaccurately identifying a prospect as a duplicate account and permanently deleting that prospect’s record. Third-party software is generally used to make daily use of the most common business applications easier, but sometimes the side-effects include the loss of important data.

How

You may be reading this blog post and thinking, “But if my data is in the cloud, can’t I just easily recover it if a file is deleted or overwritten? Why should I be concerned with cloud data backup?”

There is a common misconception that data is retained in the cloud forever, but that is simply not the case. Most cloud applications do keep some type of “recycling bin,” but this bin often has a storage limit, automatic purge function, or can be manually cleared.

Automated, off-site backup to a second cloud location is the most reliable way to ensure that the sensitive data you store in the cloud is recovered, regardless of which cloud data disaster hits your organization. By employing a solution that allows for full-text search across multiple cloud applications, direct, point-in-time data restores into the cloud application of choice, and a military-grade off-site backup location, your organization can both protect data, and empower IT admins to better use that data on a daily basis.

Don’t let cloud data loss become the problem you didn’t know you had. Make it the problem you know you that you’ll never have with cloud-to-cloud backup.

eFolder

Bryan Forrimageedit_2_7919550340ester, Senior VP of Sales at eFolder will be speaking on the 25th June at 12.35pm in Theatre D at the Cloud World Forum about the Top 5 Sources of Cloud Data Loss & How to Protect Your Organisation.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

 

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE!

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Boosting Conversions in the Cloud @AppDirect #telcocloud

By Richard Dufty, VP of Worldwide Sales and Strategic Partnerships

AppDirect

Today’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are driving a software revolution. Just a few years ago, these companies went to retail locations to buy software, install it, and configure their systems to run it—or hire someone to do all of this for them. Now SMBs can simply go online to purchase and use powerful cloud-based software solutions.

In fact, more SMBs than ever before are turning to these cloud solutions; recent research indicates that 60 percent of SMBs currently use cloud services, a number that is set to grow rapidly within the next few years. Sparked by this growth, the worldwide market for SMB cloud computing is predicted to reach $40 billion by the end of this year.

Software providers are already starting to see real evidence of these trends. In late May 2013, Microsoft announced that the cloud-based version of its flagship productivity suite, called Office 365, reached one million subscribers in 100 days, faster than Dropbox and Facebook. Microsoft’s numbers translate to an average of more than one Office 365 subscription sold every second in the last three and a half months.

Demand for Cloud Services Rises, but Success Isn’t Guaranteed

As SMBs increase demand for cloud-based apps, cloud service marketplaces are increasingly common. According to Gartner, 50 percent of the top 100 service providers will offer cloud services to their customers by 2015.

“Service providers really do not have a choice,” the analyst firm adds, “but must offer cloud services to protect their current market and to stay connected to their customers.”

Despite the surge of marketplaces, SMBs still face challenges purchasing and managing cloud-based applications. Almost 60 percent of SMBs say they lack the resources to implement new technologies, while 57 percent say they simply don’t have the time to do so.

For these reasons, service providers are ideally positioned to become SMBs’ cloud partner of choice. These providers already serve an important role for SMBs, offering essential business services—including Internet, voice, and mobile—that companies rely on. For busy SMBs, the option of turning to a trusted provider for cloud solutions can not only save time, but also make cloud adoption less intimidating.

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Telefónica Group CIO: Using cloud to regain ground lost to OTT players #telcocloud

Source: Buisness Cloud News

With operations in 24 countries, over 120,000 employees globally, Telefónica Group, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, is looking to put at IT at the core of everything that it does in order to compete globally in an industry currently in the throes of a digital revolution. Phil Jordan, group chief information officer at Telefónica tells BCN that cloud is at the centre of how the company plans to regain terrain lost to over-the-top (OTT) players, make its core mobile and fixed line operations more flexible and scalable, and enable it to provide next generation digital services.

“IT is a strategic differentiator for the company, but it hasn’t always been perceived that way, even when I became CIO,” says Jordan, who took up his current role at Telefónica in 2011. Context, he says, is essential to understanding why this perception proliferated within the company and throughout the telecoms sector more broadly, and why the operator is currently spearheading so many new digital initiatives.

“We’re a business operating in an industry that failed to innovate fast enough, which has probably created the opportunity for the Vibers and the WhatsApps of the world, and I think we’ve failed to innovate in our own product because, like a lot of businesses, we felt we didn’t need to because we were making lots of money,” he explains. “You get complacent.”

The situation is cause for concern, not just at Telefónica but for most telcos, which could be losing up to $386bn cumulatively by 2018 to OTT players like Skype and WhatsApp according to research and consulting firm Ovum.

It is within this context that Telefónica has sought to become more digital, an effort complicated by its continued growth and a series of acquisitions. As one of the biggest and oldest telcos with lots of fixed line heritage, it has accumulated a very complex IT systems landscape over the years, which Jordan says the company is constantly trying to simplify.

“One of our big challenges as a federation of separate businesses is that we have to remove complexity. We’ve managed to overcomplicate the industry, our business, and our internal systems over the last 20 years,” he says.

But the biggest challenge, he explains, is inextricably linked to what Jordan believes is the biggest opportunity for the operator: data.

“We’ve always had a tremendous amount of data, we’ve always been a big data company, but how do you derive insights from the data? Because of systems fragmentation, we’ve struggled to derive real insight and particularly global insight through the use of data. Getting a 360 degree view of our customers is actually a much bigger challenge for us than working out how to leverage analytics and big data systems.”

Driving core platforms and systems change at Telefónica

Because of the way the industry grew, Jordan explains, the lack of recognition in how important IT was moving forward, “we’ve ended up with such fragmented systems that they don’t really lend themselves well to forming that 360 degree customer view. But that’s a problem because data is the new battleground and the future differentiator for our industry.”

“We’ve gone from having almost 7,000 systems three years ago, down to 4,200 now, so we’re slowly simplifying our estate.”

The company’s SaaS and virtualisation strategies are central to this process. Telefónica is a large user of Office 365, SAP SuccessFactors and Salesforce among other big name cloud services. It deploys these services from a private cloud platform hosted in its massive datacentre in Spain, which at a whopping 65,700 m2 is one of the largest in Europe, dwarfed only by Portugal Telecom’s recently announced Covilha datacentre.

By centralising these services the company is able to leverage its cloud platform and generate operational efficiencies through a shared services approach, while ensuring local standards and businesses processes can be maintained where necessary, and by purchasing commoditised solutions off-the-shelf the company has enjoyed significant cost benefits.

The operator has also virtualised a number of its internal platforms, which allows the company to sweat its existing assets and make its datacentre resources more scalable and flexible.

By the end of this year Jordan’s team will have virtualised about 40 per cent of the group’s IT servers, and the company is now taking this approach to the most mission-critical system of all – the core network, through network function virtualisation (NFV). Along with global CTO Enrique Blanco and his team the company is working on a proof of concept for a virtual radio access network (vRAN). Work on a virtual Evolved Packet Core, vIMS, vDNS and vDHCP is also set to conclude this year as the operator looks to virtualise 30 per cent of all new infrastructure by 2016.

Virtualising these system will allow Telefónica to deploy network assets in a way that allows them to be managed centrally and deployed globally, while making them more flexible, scalable and less expensive to acquire and maintain than legacy networking hardware.

The operator has taken a slightly different approach with its business support and operational support systems. Telefónica recognises the need to transform BSS and OSS in order to have these digital capabilities and a foundation for the future. But it’s not consolidating these systems or putting one BSS or OSS across the group because it’s just not practical or doable across many group companies, Jordan explains.

“We are doing greenfield BSS implementations in 14 separate countries at the moment, so we’ve accelerated beyond belief in pace and the urgency, and these are with the same standard processes and architecture, using three different vendors, heavily based on standards and reused on processes. So core BSS and OSS processes reused country to country, in clusters of the same technology.”

The company’s multimillion dollar investment into its global BSS overhaul has as much to do with eliminating data systems fragmentation and simplifying the back-end of the services it offers as much as driving digital engagement with customers and readying itself for the company’s future, which Jordan says increasingly sees digital services at its core.

“We must become more digital in our interactions with our customers. The new generation of Telefónica customers don’t engage with us in the way they used to. Online is an important channel for us but a ‘digital only’ channel experience needs to be created in all the countries we operate in.”

But Jordan says this is part of a broader strategy to drive digital services – particularly platform-based services – within Telefónica, and as a key component of its market offerings.

“I don’t think we’ll ever be able to innovate as fast as the model that now exists around the internet and around the digital world, so adopting an open platform that innovators and entrepreneurs want to base their applications and their services on, and provide capabilities to innovate with, is central to where we want to go, and becoming a platform business, offering platform as a service, is a key element to our future.”

View the full article here!

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