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Fordway Blog

Fordway Latest News & Events

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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Moving a datacentre using Cloud Intermediation Services CIMS

Moving a server into the cloud is an easy process both technically and commercially, but a great deal of understanding is required when you look to move your whole datacentre to the cloud. The first thing that you must address is your organisation’s business drivers for moving to the cloud and their associated timelines. There are two main drivers: Compelling event: Your existing datacentre facilities need to be physically restructured (i.e. merger or acquisition) or will not support the levels of availability that the business demands (i.e. constant underperformance and business continuity requirements). Strategic plan: Your organisation needs to restructure its costs to a new model for greater efficiency in its consumption of services and/or the flexing of capacity to allow more agility to bring services...
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Is the plan for a paperless NHS in danger of missing the point?

The ambition for the NHS to be ‘paperless at the point of delivery’ has already been revised from 2018 to 2020, but a recent survey found that almost half (46%) of healthcare directors and CIOs polled said they were unsure over whether they would meet this deadline. We’ve already seen one failed project to create a single, secure system of electronic patient records for every GP and hospital in the country – the ill-fated National Programme for IT (NPfIT). Will NHS trusts facing the challenge of digitising vast quantities of historical records fare any better? The problem is that the project seems to be primarily about digitising existing processes. But as Dave Coplin from Microsoft said at our recent Customer Forum, using technology to make old...
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Planning your cloud portfolio using Fordway's Cloud Intermediation Services

You can only map where you are going if you know where you are. This is a basis steering requirement in most walks of life - not just for planning your organisational development into the cloud. But understanding and baselining your organisation is fundamental in moving it forward in the direction you want to go. So what do you need to know about where you are? All you need is a fully defined CMDB (Configuration Management Database) with all the relevant attributes that fully describe all of the components of Service Delivery within your IT environment and their relationships to each other. Sounds simple enough..... However, most organisations are not mature enough in their service management to have this tool, and even the most accurate CMDB will...
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The Brexit debate: a good reason to ensure your cloud data resides in the UK

Many British companies are thinking about the trading and financial implications of the upcoming EU referendum on June 23rd. Few, however, are considering the impact that the vote may have on their major asset, their business data. Fordway operates out of Tier 3+ UK Data Centres, meaning our customers’ data is held securely in the UK – so it’s in the right place whatever the outcome of the referendum. All our Managed Cloud Services offer this level of assurance. In December 2015 the EU ratified two new data privacy laws: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which governs the use and privacy of EU citizens’ data the Data Protection Directive, which governs the use of EU citizens’ data by law enforcement agencies. All organisations need to...
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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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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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G-Cloud simplifies procurement and lets you try before you buy – what’s not to like?

The Government’s G-Cloud programme seems to be gaining momentum, with sales passing £400 million in 2014 and the sixth iteration of the framework launched this week. We’ve added two new services to our offering in the new framework – Cloud Monitoring as a Service (CMaaS) and Cloud Service Management.  We have upgraded all our other services, including introduction of our SecurePlus offerings, which offer additional security controls and reporting for PSN and other regulated environments to allow us to properly handle OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE information. However, whilst in our experience central Government has readily embraced G-Cloud, there’s been limited take-up of G-Cloud among local authorities and NHS thus far. This may be because potential users in the IT department first have to convince their procurement colleagues to...
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Why cloud security is no longer an issue

One of the reasons organisations frequently cite for not using cloud computing is security.   They’re worried that they don’t know where their data will be held, or that it will be accessed by third parties. Although they’re right to be wary of unsecured public cloud services, which are not designed for business information, at Fordway we'd argue that in most cases their fears are overstated, and the issues that concern them are more about general risk management than security. We believe that most cloud service providers will implement and manage considerably better IT security controls than internal IT departments.  A bold claim?  Perhaps – but we think it’s justified.   Here’s why. Firstly, ensuring good security is vital to the success and well-being of the cloud provider’s business.  If...Security
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Moving a service to cloud doesn’t make it ‘someone else’s problem’

One of the biggest misconceptions about cloud is that it lets an organisation hand all the responsibility for a service to its chosen cloud provider.   They breathe a sigh of relief and turn their attention to all the other issues on their desk, confident that their cloud provider will handle everything for them.  Sorry to disillusion you, but that’s not quite how it works! With a ‘vanilla’ cloud service, a third party provides capacity in their data centre and may also provide self-service tools to assist you, but your organisation still has to manage and monitor the service yourselves.   So you still need make sure you still have the skills in-house to manage the service as well as to monitor it against the agreed SLA. You...On_the_spot200
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