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Fordway Blog

Fordway Latest News & Events

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Beware cloud shock!

Have you been tempted by the falling costs of public cloud services? The big players are improving their offers all the time, and with some also setting up UK data centres to meet forthcoming GDPR requirements, server/instances of a few pounds per month can look like a very good deal. And for many organisations and many services, it is. However, as with any offer, the devil is in the detail, and you need to know exactly what you’re buying if you don’t want a nasty shock when your first bill arrives. Once you’ve made the move, you’re stuck with whatever the provider offers unless you migrate again, which is likely to be time consuming, risky, and will disrupt your business. A useful analogy is creating...Beware cloud shock
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Developing a data security strategy

Government research published earlier this month found that two-thirds of large businesses had been hit by a cyber breach or cyber attack in the last year. Security has now become a strategic risk management issue and needs Board level support. Mobile working means that the nature of security has also changed. It’s no longer about protecting the network perimeter but about protecting business data, which is regularly accessed from, stored and sent outside the organisation. We suggest a four step process to develop an effective data security strategy: Work out and define what level of security controls your organisation requires. You will almost certainly need a policy and some controls. You need to ensure that these controls and enforcement are commensurate with the value of the...
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Managing a portfolio of cloud services

One of the greatest challenges in moving to cloud is managing multiple suppliers. Cloud is definitely not ‘one size fits all’ – different providers will be better suited to different services, and so organisations will soon find themselves with a portfolio of cloud services which they need to integrate and manage against the agreed SLAs. To make this type of hybrid cloud environment work, it is important for organisations to get their service management capabilities right. First, they need to define and understand the characteristics of each cloud service that they require. Then they need to map it to the available options and choose the most appropriate service and supplier for their needs. Finally, they need to independently manage each service and monitor it against the...
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The IoT needs a strategic vision

The Internet of Things (IoT) has replaced cloud computing as the IT topic everyone is talking about. Analysts are united in proclaiming it as one of their top ten trends for 2015, with IDC predicting that spending on IoT this year will exceed $1.7 trillion. Security is one of the concerns for businesses using the IoT, or M2M (machine to machine) communication. The implications broadly fall into three areas: communicating with all these devices, managing all the data they provide and maintaining security. First, consider the extra traffic that will impact your network infrastructure. A single sensor generates very little traffic, 10,000 collectively a fair amount, while 1 million equals a business issue. The IoT requires seamless integration between many distinct and separate systems, and every...
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Why Fordway moved into cloud

Has the big IT infrastructure transformation project had its day? Perhaps there are a few companies who still have the time and budget for a major change, but for most organisations it’s all about working more efficiently and making incremental changes. We came to that conclusion back in 2010 – which is why today’s Fordway is very different from the Fordway of four years ago. We looked at how we could apply our skills to the changing IT market, and what new technologies were out there. What if we offered cloud services directly to clients, rather than simply being a reseller and integrator of other vendors’ products? We could add value by providing managed cloud services, building on the infrastructure expertise we already had. This meant...
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Software Defined Networking – still more concept than reality?

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is increasingly being hailed as the ‘next big thing’ after cloud computing. But, like cloud, is it going to take years before it is widely adopted? In my opinion, the signs are very similar, and I don’t think that it will happen as fast as the experts think it will. The premise of SDN is straightforward and very compelling – decouple the systems that decide where traffic is sent from those that subsequently send that traffic to the chosen destination, and add a level of abstraction between the two. As a result, control of the network becomes directly programmable, rather than being a part of the network hardware. In order to work effectively, SDN needs two things: a means of communication...
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THE CASE FOR CHALLENGER BRANDS

Do you prefer to buy a well-known brand when upgrading your IT infrastructure, rather than choosing the new kid on the block? By not considering up and coming vendors and new technologies organisations miss out on opportunities to innovate, improve productivity and cut costs. They also risk getting tied into their existing vendor’s upgrade cycle, which can be expensive, may not take them along their desired path or, even worse, may promise new developments which then take longer than promised to materialise. Considering new market entrants and making a considered decision whether or not to change vendor should be part of the strategy for every organisation which is serious about using IT to gain business advantage. Is there an opportunity to do things better?  Has the...
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