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Monthly Archives: June 2022

Business Roadmap

How to Develop a Strategic Business Roadmap

A plan must be put into place for any viable business to move forward. While the most successful company CEOs and visionaries got far by following their instinct, rest assured they had a roadmap made beforehand. They went over their goals, initiatives, and resources to develop a strategic roadmap that served as a guiding light for everyone involved.

So, if you are wondering why you need an IT strategic roadmap to move forward in the market, as well as some tips on crafting a successful roadmap, read on below!

What is an IT Strategic Roadmap, and What Does It Contain?

An IT business roadmap is a high-level visual overview of a complex IT undertaking. It details all the goals and plans for a predetermined time. IT roadmaps are used by businesses to plan and manage internal IT projects.

So, one could say that an IT strategic roadmap is a subcategory of a broader business roadmap that assists in underlining priorities.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to IT strategic roadmaps, here is a rundown of what most businesses should put into their business roadmaps:

Strategic Business Roadmap
  • A strategy statement outlining the company’s strategic aims (not IT-specific).
  • A chronology of the activities and projects that will take place over the next several years, with estimated start and finish dates, lengths, and scopes.
  • A prioritized list of corrective actions. This is created collaboratively by the business and IT and should be renewed regularly.
  • Explanations of planned projects. These should be comprehensive assertions for projects within the next 12 months and shorter statements for projects beyond that time frame.
  • The projected time and expenses of each project. Again, get more detailed when writing about projects happening soon, and describe distant projects more vaguely.

To support the roadmap, IT departments should maintain updated versions of:

  • Systems architectural diagrams for the entire business, including interfaces, manual data moves, and platforms.
  • A system inventory that is updated regularly and includes end-of-life dates, a basic usage statement, the number of users, and the system owner.
  • An ongoing list of new issues that the IT support crew is encountering. That should be tracked by good help desk software.

The Importance of a Strategic Roadmap

Significant technical initiatives, such as implementing new corporate systems like CRM or ERP, can be daunting. They are frequently costly, take a long time to finish, have a high failure rate, and can be inconvenient to the company’s day-to-day activities.

While less expensive, apps that specialize in specific business processes, like scheduling software, can have their own set of issues, such as limited capability and the need to integrate numerous systems.

Despite these obstacles, businesses that have engaged in digital tech report better productivity, reduced expenses, and higher product quality. Such businesses also have higher growth possibilities and are better equipped to respond to market changes more quickly.

The Perks of a Good IT Roadmap

An IT roadmap can assist a business in determining the best strategy for implementing an IT change in the business.

Here are some key benefits of a useful IT business roadmap.

Understanding the Possibilities and Limitations Better

By precisely identifying your company’s technological initiatives and goals, you will be able to more quickly identify technical goals that correspond with the overall structure of your enterprise or startup. Then you can prioritize those objectives. When you don’t look at the big picture, it’s far more difficult to establish achievable objectives. By placing everything on paper, you can easily see where your business will gain the most, what short-term goals are preferable, and what goals may take longer to achieve.

IT Strategic Business Roadmap

Reasonable Budgeting

Being unreasonable about your budgeting possibilities can lead to absolute failure and bankruptcy. Shaping a good IT strategy means that your IT infrastructure is carefully laid out in one place, and you can easily see what’s reasonable to achieve and what not.

From the very start of crafting a strategic roadmap, you can spot some pain spots that have been causing you to lose money. For instance, you will see systems that aren’t operating and should be put to an end.

Then, you can use those resources to fund another project or department.

Keep Your Systems Running Smoothly.

Finally, having a simple document that keeps the IT department or your future outsourced managing service provider up to date on all the systems they manage is really beneficial. Because there are so many diverse, crossing systems in so many businesses, sustaining the entire system necessitates understanding all parts of it. An IT business roadmap gives the ideal overview, keeping both new and experienced team members on track.

Finishing Word

Every proper fantasy hero uses a map to get to their treasure, castle or loved one. Your goal of sustaining and growing your business is no different – you need a map that can help you navigate the changing and murky waters of today’s disruptive, albeit sometimes interestingly challenging, world.

Good luck!

Security Challenges cloud

The Biggest Cloud Security Challenges in 2022 and How to Avoid Them

People seem to be divided on the faith they put into cloud security. While some swear by its safety, others will go out of their way to convince you that using a cloud is akin to a one-way ticket to a security breach. The truth is, it’s not a matter of faith.

The robustness of your cloud security comes down to understanding the biggest cloud security challenges and doing your most to shield your business and its data.

The world is moving at an unprecedented pace, tech-wise. So the next cyberattack could well be around the corner. In 2022, it’s not enough to put your faith in the baseline protection of your cloud provider. You need to get the basic scoop on the risks cloud users are facing in 2022.

Read on to find out what are the biggest cloud security challenges of the year and what you can do to keep your business safe.

#1 Misconfigured Cloud Services

Often a threat occurs because a human negligence factor is in question. That’s exactly what can cause a ruckus in your cloud configuration. Misconfigured storage on a cloud happens due to an admin or other user not taking proper measures when setting up a cloud’s security settings.

While it sounds like a silly mistake to make, admins are known to make the occasional misstep and, for instance, accidentally allow unlimited outbound access. And when servers and apps start communicating with each other without restrictions, numerous data leaks can happen. If you’re wondering just how often such issues arise, this DivvyCloud study will clear it up for you. From 2018 to 2019, the number of records leaked due to cloud misconfigurations rose by a whopping 80%!

Avoid this, dare we say, a rookie mistake by:

  • Using MFA (multi-factor authentication) – The chances of credential compromise are lower in companies that deploy MFA. Phishing and stolen passwords are events that occur far less, and your data stays safe.
  • Don’t forget about RDP (remote desktop protocol) – Remote access is done right when you implement least-privilege access rules, allow for network-level authentication, and when you secure RDP-enabled services with a VPN.
  • Leverage a cloud-based SIEM (security information and event management) – That move will secure you on multiple fronts, such as detection of risk-laden internet connections, compliance, and security incident management.

#2 Losing Critical Data

Data is currency these days. So to avoid losing your most precious asset, you need to understand that data loss can happen in a variety of forms. Not only can that cause you to lose money – it can harm a myriad of your everyday business operations.

If you don’t perform diligent and frequent data backups, you may face needless and sky-high costs and lose a great deal of time backing up big volumes of data at once.

Security Challenges cloud storage

To reduce data loss, your company can:

  • Develop a data classification matrix. Use tags and other labels to ensure that your staff is always aware of the level of importance of your data, as well as its location.
  • Again, make regular backups of your data.
  • Once you come up with a disaster recovery plan, go back to it regularly to keep it up to date. A timely updated disaster recovery strategy is critical for leading a business in recovering after a cyber assault.

#3 Not Being On Par With Compliance

Businesses must comply with numerous data protection regulation laws and industry requirements. But, establishing and enforcing compliance requirements for cloud settings differs significantly from those for on-premises systems. Among the most significant cloud compliance difficulties that enterprises confront are:

  • Staff Experience and Skills: Cloud compliance necessitates specialist understanding because it necessitates not just knowledge of required controls, but also knowledge of how to apply them in cloud environments.
  • Changing Environments: Cloud compliance is a never-ending effort because regulatory standards and cloud environments change constantly.
  • Complex Audits: Compliance audits and risk assessments on-premises, where the firm owns and manages all of its infrastructures, can be challenging.
  • Compliance Monitoring: Maintaining compliance necessitates a thorough understanding of a firm’s systems and security procedures.
  • Cloud Vulnerability Management: It is critical to monitor cloud applications and services for weaknesses to avoid data leaks and legal noncompliance.
  • Compliance Automation: Manually managing and reporting compliance is time-consuming and inefficient. One of the biggest challenges for organizations is growing and automating compliance.

Final Word

To function, businesses rely on cloud services more and more by the day. To better protect your cloud environment, you must first identify your cloud security model, the sort of cloud service you are utilizing (IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS), and the cloud security threats posing the biggest challenge to your model of operation.

cloud support business

How Does the Cloud Support Business Continuity?

For better information flows in their business environments, people are turning to the cloud more and more by the day. That means they are choosing to store their software infrastructure and sensitive data in a virtual space. Naturally, that brings both opportunities and potential dangers.

That is why you must properly evaluate what sort of business continuity can the cloud bring you.

IT leaders, in particular, must continually reevaluate which solutions to employ to maintain the smooth running of their operations.

Did you know that business continuity is sometimes overlooked when IT staff handles systems daily? However, because IT environments are divergent and highly sensitive to downtime and data loss, it is now difficult to sustain routine operations during unforeseen events.

Learn how to scale your cloud and adapt your business continuity procedures to include the cloud to avoid this, as well as budget losses.

It Gives You Better Operational Agility and Scalability

cloud-based system

If you want your business to have continuity, then you must be agile and prone to change. In today’s world, large scope changes are a common occurrence. So if you don’t want to lose your standing and authority in the market in this cyberattack-heavy day and age, using the cloud can help.

Don’t be like your counterparts that in the majority use in-house networks that are prone to attacks and crashes. Subpar data centers and faulty legacy tech are not exactly agile. Forget about cybercriminals – a small-scale local power outage can cost your business millions if it hits on the wrong day.

And when it comes to practicality, consider how much cloud-based software saves up space. In any company environment, there are limitations to how many hardware backup servers and IT infrastructure you can store. And as your business grows, so will your storage needs. To jump over these needless obstacles, ensure streamlined operations with the cloud. That gives you the backup you need, disaster recovery systems, and boundless scalability.

Cloud-based storage is much better at continuously processing power and functionality through modern apps and virtual devices. Cloud computing brings the software to the web so that your end-users can access it from any internet-connected device. And in a world where we are more prone to staying in due to the consequences of the pandemic – that is a welcome thing.

Forgoing reliance on physical infrastructure gives you the agility and scalability you need to operate under virtually any event. Your staff can work from home if they are unable to go to your office. They can access the apps and data they need to do their day-to-day tasks, even if your internal network is down!

What to Keep in Mind When Moving to a Cloud-Based System

Moving to the cloud doesn’t have to be the boogeyman every IT department fears. To get the best from your business continuity and the cloud, here are a few things to remember in order to achieve that cloud support and business continuity.

Your budget – Forget about age-old business tales of high-tech being expensive. While the cloud and other virtual storage systems are not easy on your capital, they are still great investments. Just work with other departments to ensure you know how much your business continuity plan will turn out to be.

Hardware and software compatibility – There is no one-size-fits-all approach to moving to the cloud for better business continuity. While you will find that you can save money by getting certain apps, you will be disappointed to find out they don’t work on the cloud. On the other hand, some apps will work seamlessly in such a virtual environment, but they will be too costly to maintain.

Your cloud provider – To have your cloud support business continuity, perform thorough research. Don’t end up with a provider with a track record of periodic outages. A good provider should give you a service-level agreement with minimum downtime.

Data ownership – It’s not that easy handling your data with someone else. Data is currency these days, so your provider should be upfront about how they plan to keep your data safe. Here is where terms of service come in – they help make sure you keep ownership of your information.

Accessibility – Who can access the info on the cloud? Which department has the responsibility of backing up data, and in which way? All of these things are important to consider, even if you get a managed service provider because you will still hold an IT in-house team to some capacity.

Final Word

More companies are moving to the cloud to protect business-important services from unplanned downtime and other risks.

Implementing a cloud-enabled integrated business management system with built-in business continuity is a vital first step toward minimizing risk and increasing profitability and brand value. Get your cloud support business continuity journey started today. 

Network and Server Protection

The Importance of Network and Server Protection for Today’s Cybersecurity Environment

These days almost every business has some scope of digital presence. And cybercriminals aren’t sitting by idly as capital and data get increasingly more stored in a digital environment. That is why you should make sure that your network and servers operate just fine.
By “just fine” we mean “continuously and efficiently, thanks to a team of IT professionals who perform regular checkups to ensure everything is protected and up to date.”
If you’re wondering what are the best practices for an efficient network and servers that can withstand cybersecurity attacks, look no further. We got the scoop below, along with a thorough examination of why network and server protection is a must-have for any business.

What is the Difference Between Network and Server Protection?

If you’re leaving the bulk of IT-related work to your IT staff, then you may not be that well-versed in informational technology (IT) vocabulary. For those who just grazed the surface of the industry, terms like “network”, “security”, “cloud” and software might just be synonyms. Of course, that’s not the case.

So before we delve into the best practices for protecting your business from cybercriminals, let’s get the basics clear.

Network security serves the purpose of protecting your network and data from breaches and other threats. It’s a bit of a broad term, but mostly it refers to:

  • Hardware and software solutions
  • Rules, regulations, and processes related to network use
  • Network accessibility
  • … and other factors that deal with threat protection on the network level.
Lock, Data security and computer server network safety with a protection symbol of a lock with a keyhole

Network security is instilled through antivirus software and VPN encryption, establishing access control, performing network analytics, installing firewalls, and more.

On the other hand, servers refer to something physical and much less abstract. They are powerful computers that provide services to users on a particular network and other computers.

Server security is a hot topic these days since servers often hold sensitive data, so they make for an alluring target. Server security tackles the task of preventing intrusions, hacking, and similar criminal activities. Tools and techniques are used to protect data and resources.

Security measures on servers vary and are often incorporated in layers. They cover the following topics:

  • The base operating system (OS) – Refers to the protection of crucial components and services
  • The hosted applications – Managing the information and services hosted on the server
  • Network security – Entails safeguarding against internet exploits, viruses, and attacks.

It’s imperative you take cybersecurity seriously, as cyber-criminals can penetrate 93% of company networks.

Always Update Your Software and Systems

Staying in the loop regarding all tickets and updates regarding software and operating system security is critical in network and server protection. Because server systems and software tech are so complex, some security flaws can go undetected.

Luckily for you, vendors and cybersafety specialists are continually trying to improve the security of their software and operating systems (OSs). When they uncover a security flaw, they usually act immediately to have the flaw addressed.

They will then release a much safer and updated version of the OS or software. To ensure your server’s safety, you should apply the update as soon as the vendor has tested and published it to the market.

Even while most suppliers respond quickly to security weak spots, there is always a lag between when the weak spot is found, when it is fixed, and when you install the new version.

This gap can provide hackers an advantage because they can simply infiltrate your servers before the upgrade is applied. To maintain this slit as narrow as possible, you should always be on your toes regarding any new developments unfolding on your servers.

Use Private Networks

The text inscription VPN is written on a semitransparent field surrounded by a set of abstract figures

The Internet Protocol address space is the foundation of private networks. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is private since no Internet Protocol packets are sent through a public network.

A VPN allows you to connect different computer devices located in different places. It enables you to perform safe activities on your servers.

You can exchange data with other servers on the same account without external compromises. And we all know that data is the new currency, and an enticing target for criminals.

All in all, we warmly recommend you set up a Virtual Private Network to protect your network and server.

Final Word

By this point in the article, you should feel more confident about the security of your server and adopt the server security methods described above. In 2022, with cybersecurity growing as a threat, there is no excuse for leaving your IT infrastructure unprotected.
As a recommended practice, you should put these security measures in place when you first set up your network server. It also helps if you use more than one of these strategies. Generally, the more security measures you have in place, the better your network and server protection will be.

Increasing Company Revenue Through Website Design

Increasing Company Revenue Through Website Design

As the pandemic rampaged through the economy in the last two years, many businesses were forced to conquer new plains that were unbeknownst to them so far. For instance, lots of brick-and-mortar businesses had to build a strong online presence to survive. And thus, more and more companies and organizations face the reality that many factors go into successful conversions that lead to sales.

One of those factors is a user-friendly website design. A successful website presence plays a huge role in retaining visitors to your website and leading them down the funnel.

So here are the best rules for increasing your revenue with a sleek website design.

Rule #1: The Simpler the Navigation – the Better

Here is something to go by: if the user can land on any page on your website and find what they need within three clicks – you’re good.

Clear and concise navigation along with a search bar are staples of good website design. Because bear in mind that navigation is a huge part of your bounce rate. To remind you, bounce rates are the percentage of single interaction visits to a website. The average bounce rates for websites fall between 26% and 70%, with a percentage between 26 and 40 being considered a great bounce rate.

Increasing Company Revenue Through Web Design

Rule #2: Uniformed Colors and Fonts

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with picking the right color palette for your business and brand and sticking to it.

But creating a recognizable brand identity is crucial. It makes you look more professional since picking 2-3 colors and fonts gives a website a well-designed and clean look. Moreover, it indirectly helps users navigate the website intuitively. All of this accumulates to better UX (user experience) and makes the user spend more time on the website.

Rule #3: Evoke Emotion

Just like marketing relies on waking up emotions in people to make the sale, evoking emotions through smart website design is also a valid tool.

Good storytelling helps funnel users and connect them with products and services. Your strategy then leads to the action of making a purchase.

Website designers must consider the emotions that their site evokes. It’s not enough to ensure that a website conveys the message you want to impart. Sites that do not elicit an emotional response are forgotten quickly. Emotions must be taken into consideration when designing your website.

Rule #4: Add Lots of Infographics

Sure, evoking emotions is a huge part of the deal when designing websites. But another thing you have to work on continuously is authority. Building brand authority is done by not just diligent customer service but by fact-checked infographics, as well.

Increasing Profit Through Website Design

People love seeing clean infographics and other statistical content. It immediately makes you feel more trustworthy. Here are a few simple tips for constructing reliable infographics:

  1. Stick to a simple design and a few colors.
  2. Keep the content easy to understand.
  3. Highlight the most vital content of the statistics.
  4. Add the source of the information below the infographic if it was taken from a reliable source. Don’t forget to link to the original content, too.
  5. Avoid infographics that rely on unchecked data or data you haven’t collected yourself.

Rule #5: Highlight the Value You Offer

Through design, you can further emphasize the value of your product or service. After all, sales are all about convincing potential clients and customers that you offer the solution to their problem through the value of your service or product.

So, a good rule of thumb is to allow users to “test drive” or “preview” products before buying them. Letting visitors apply for a demo or download a report to get a closer look at the product is an ideal solution.

In short – allow users to make their own choices by gently nudging them towards your freebies and discounts and demos.

Rule #6: Add Testimonials to Your Website

Customers are more likely to purchase goods or services from businesses that have been recommended by others. If you’re a real estate agent, for instance, you’ll want a 5-star profile on Opendoor.

The issue with review-based platforms is that you generally do not influence them. You want to control the majority of the content that surrounds your company as a business owner. Having a testimonials page on your website can help you better showcase your products and services if they are honest and legitimate.

testimonials for website design

In other words – for the love of God, don’t add fake testimonials under fake names and stock photos. That crumbles your trustworthiness. No testimonial is still better than a fake one.

Final Word

We could go on and on about rules for making your website more likely to convert visitors. But that would probably make you bounce off our blog a lot faster. So if you made it until here, then we thank you, and we hope that this rundown of basic website design rules will set you on the right path to more conversions in the future.