BizTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Business en How to Ensure a Business’s VPN Can Handle the Work-from-Home Workload <p>Telework has been gaining in popularity among businesses for at least 10 years, as the technology to support it continues to improve. But this year, for many organizations, working from home became the only way employees could do their jobs for months at a time.</p> <p>Under normal circumstances, when a relatively small number of employees are working from home on a given day, a business’s <a href="">VPN</a> performance is probably fine. But when an entire team is working remotely, VPNs may struggle to handle the load and may not be capable of supporting processing and network use for so many people at once. This can cause significant slowdowns and can even prevent some users from connecting to the VPN.</p> <p>A solid connection is vital to remote workers, who are using equipment from a variety of sources — company-issued laptops or their own computers — to access organizational computing resources, such as email, calendars and other applications, as well as files, databases and more.</p> <p>VPNs, the traditional security solutions for remote access, are a critical tool. Try these best practices to ensure that your VPN can adequately support your workforce during times of peak demand. </p> Karen Scarfone Bank to the Future: Why Past Processes Matter for Financial Modernization <p>Digital transformation is the priority for many banks, but legacy IT frameworks are their reality.</p> <p>Consider code: 43 percent of U.S. banks <a href="" target="_blank">still rely on applications built in COBOL</a>, a programming language created in 1959, to handle critical financial tasks. As noted by <a href="" target="_blank">Finextra</a>, these legacy tools are costly to maintain and unable to keep pace with emerging expectations for transparency, flexibility and on-demand access.</p> <p>The result is a digital disconnect. Banks know they need to upgrade existing systems and eliminate legacy apps, but embedded IT frameworks frustrate attempts to implement and integrate cutting-edge solutions.</p> <p>While it may seem counterintuitive, moving forward starts with looking back. By identifying past processes that can’t meet current needs and developing infrastructure to support emerging expectations, banks can reduce total costs, improve overall performance and make the most of IT modernization mandates.</p> Doug Bonderud Analytics as a Service: The Big Data Solution for Small Business? <p>Small businesses collect large amounts of data. Most already generate and manage <a href=",%2C%20markets%2C%20and%20business%20processes." target="_blank">almost 48 terabytes’ worth</a>, and that number is constantly climbing.</p> <p>Effective collection and use of Big Data offers big benefits, from tracking customer purchase history and service interactions to predicting new trends and delivering prescriptive advice for current operations. As noted by <a href="" target="_blank">Forbes</a>, Big Data “represents the all-important voice of the customer,” something businesses of any size can’t afford to ignore. But many SMBs have assumed the costs and complexity of managing data at scale would outstrip existing resources, and potential benefits derived wouldn’t match the price.</p> <p>To some extent, they’re right. Enterprise IT budgets allow more room for in-house expertise and the expansion of IT architecture, while small businesses are often more concerned with keeping the lights on and the doors open. <a href="" target="_blank">Analytics as a Service</a> offers a way to bridge the gap by providing the infrastructure and operational throughput small businesses need to realize Big Data benefits without breaking the bank.</p> Doug Bonderud The VPN Is Obsolete. Here’s What to Do Instead. <p>The virtual private network has been a vital enabler of remote work for decades. But the technology, invented in 1996, is getting a bit long in the tooth. And when <a href="" target="_blank">too many people are on a VPN simultaneously</a>, as has been the case all summer with most businesses, issues with application latency are inevitable.</p> <p>The good news is, there’s a better way for modern businesses to protect their networks no matter how many remote workers they have.</p> <h2>Tunnel to the Network</h2> <p>VPNs fit into the perimeter protection model of cybersecurity. Years ago, it was common for security professionals to describe the networks as having “hard outer shells and soft chewy interiors.” This phrase meant that businesses focused primarily on building walls around networks designed to protect the trusted resources on the inside from threat actors. This approach required robust firewalls designed to keep out virtually all traffic from the internet.</p> <p>Of course, even in that world, some employees needed to work remotely. VPN technology stepped up to meet that need. Users who required access to internal systems would connect to the VPN and use encryption to build a secure tunnel across the internet into the corporate network, where they became part of the trusted interior and could go about their business.</p> Mike Chapple Extending the Value of Physical Security Systems with Enhanced Video Surveillance <p>Organizations across industries have relied on video surveillance systems as an important component of their physical security environment for decades. The advent of inexpensive, network-enabled cameras facilitated the growth of these systems to the point where virtually every organization has some video surveillance footprint. Whether limited to critical areas or deployed throughout an enterprise, these cameras collect video footage that organizations historically used for forensic purposes — something went wrong, and video footage enabled security teams to look back to determine what happened.</p> <p>Video surveillance is undergoing an important evolution. Organizations realize that the cameras they have distributed throughout their facilities have tremendous untapped potential as sensors in the Internet of Things. Surveillance system deployments enable organizations to move beyond simple forensic investigations and use their cameras proactively to protect people, property and processes.</p> <p>This white paper looks beyond traditional deployments of video surveillance and identifies ways that video systems can deliver value beyond typical security use cases. It addresses the challenges to implementing these technologies and provides advice on overcoming those challenges through examples from key industries, including retail, education, healthcare and energy and utilities.</p> <p><strong>Learn more by downloading our white paper: "Extending the Value of Physical Security Systems with Enhanced Video Surveillance"</strong></p> The Beginner’s Guide to Business Analytics for Nonprofits <p>Nonprofits had a big year in 2019, with<a href=""> almost $450 billion raised nationwide</a> by charitable organizations. And while the first few months of 2020 were on pace to match or exceed these totals, the pervasive global pandemic changed the trajectory of charitable giving.<a href=""> Recent data</a> shows that in March 2020 alone, donations fell 11 percent, and the first quarter of 2020 saw a 6 percent drop in total donations. If this trend continues for the remainder of the year, nonprofits could lose up to $25 billion.</p> <p>When donations are low, organizations must rely on targeted action for success, particularly as in-person events remain problematic and personal finances fluctuate. One way nonprofits can achieve that is through the use of<a href=""> data analytics</a>. Organizations must leverage existing donor information to understand individual giving habits, maximize market messaging and encourage consistent patron contributions even under current conditions.</p> <p>For most nonprofits, this is uncharted territory. While collecting data is now commonplace,<a href=""> less than half of charitable organizations</a> find it easy to analyze and take action on donor data sources. Understanding why analysis matters, how it benefits your bottom line and what a successful data strategy looks like could help your nonprofit survive more difficult times.</p> Doug Bonderud HPE Discover 2020: Backup Is Still Key in the Big Data Revolution <p>The arrival of the information age has led to explosive growth of data collection at the edge — anywhere people gather and work gets done, in factories and retail stores, on oil rigs at sea and countless other places. It’s hard to look anywhere these days and not see a device or sensor taking in information.</p> <p>Data is not just important to business — in many ways, data <em>is</em> the businesses. “Data is the lifeblood of your organization,” said Ashish Prakash, vice president and general manager of cloud data services at <a href="" target="_blank">HPE</a>.</p> <p>That’s why Prakash, speaking at the <a href="" target="_blank">HPE Discover</a> virtual conference, argued that when it comes to data storage, organizations must remain mindful of two things: effective recall and security.</p> <h2> </h2> Brad Sowell HPE Discover 2020: How to Get Tech Teams Aligned with Business Objectives <p>It’s no secret IT organizations are not always as aligned as they should be with high-value business initiatives, and are more focused on day-to-day activities. This was the case initially for Frank Caratozzolo, vice president of IT engineering and architecture at Dublin-based pharmaceutical company Allergan.</p> <p>Speaking at the <a href="" target="_blank">HPE Discover 2020</a> virtual conference, Caratozzolo said, “We used to do just order taking when we engaged with the business.” The common phrases he heard were, “‘Build me this server. Build me this storage. I need this backup,’” he said. But that type of conversation doesn’t allow for the richer dialogue or the high-level business activities to be performed. “We had to earn that seat at the table with the business,” he noted.</p> <p>As a global pharmaceutical company, Allergan specializes in medical aesthetics and products for the central nervous system and for eye care. One of its well-known brands is Botox. Over the past 10 years, Caratozzolo’s teams have endured more than 59 mergers and acquisitions, 10 of which were two equally sized companies coming together. “The change rate happens constantly around here,” he said. “Every Monday morning, I could be facing a new acquisition that has to be accommodated as part of the infrastructure work.”</p> Brad Sowell HPE Discover 2020: Advanced Hybrid Storage Produces Technology Heroes <p>Everyone would love a chance to be a hero. And while there are many different types of heroes for many different situations, Gokul Sathiacama, Senior Director - Primary Storage Product Management at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, was referring to an IT hero when he presented at the HPE Discover 2020 virtual conference.</p> <p>For the past decade, Sathiacama has been helping IT professionals be heroes within their businesses by guiding them to the right storage infrastructure to limit network outages. When outages do happen, customers can’t get services, employees can’t do their jobs, the business loses out on potential revenue — and IT professionals find themselves working during off hours.</p> Brad Sowell HPE Discover 2020: CEO Antonio Neri Declares ‘Age of Insight’ Has Arrived <p>These are challenging times. The global pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy and businesses were thrust into a new normal. But HPE is built for this, argued CEO Antonio Neri in his keynote address at the HPE Discover 2020 virtual conference.</p> <p>“At HPE, our purpose is to advance the way people live and work. So, in challenges like this, this is why HPE exists,” he said. “We consider it our responsibility to help the world navigate the pandemic.”</p> <p>Neri reminded the audience that HPE began predicting the enterprise of the future would be “edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data-driven” three years ago. Recent events have brought us to this world sooner than expected, Neri added. “This requires the right technology, expertise and financial flexibility to help businesses accelerate their digital transformation.”</p> <p>HPE has worked hard to help organizations manage successfully through the crisis, he said. For example, the public school system in Bentonville, Ark., had one business day to move 18,000 students and 1,200 teachers to virtual learning. Shortly after this, a photo emerged of students huddled just outside the school on a cold, rainy day in order to use the building’s Wi-Fi, as their families did not have internet access at home. A local Aruba team stepped up to create a Wi-Fi connected area for students, families and teachers in the school parking lot.</p> <p>HPE also provided free access to high-performance computing resources to the White House and to university researchers to support their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, Neri said.<strong>[</strong></p> Brad Sowell