MSPs Are Letting Cloud Opportunity Float By

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, September 1st 2016 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

It’s time for MSPs to go all-in on cloud. A recent Techtarget survey found that over half of surveyed managed service providers were not offering any cloud services. No backup in the cloud, no managed cloud migrations, nothing. CompTIA discovered 44% only provide cloud services upon request.

Why are most MSPs holding out on cloud? One reason could be that reselling cloud isn’t always as profitable as providing consultation or hardware sales. But that reasoning won’t hold up as hardware sales continue to decline and more companies understand the value of cloud. Some surveys claim that 90% or more of companies are using or plan to use the cloud in some manner. But 32% also report that a lack of resources and expertise is stopping them from taking the plunge.

Managing cloud infrastructure and guiding customers in their cloud journey are both strong opportunities for MSPs. Those holding out on implementing cloud services risk missing out on the future paradigm.

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5 Steps to Overcome Resistance to Organizational Changes in IT

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, August 30th 2016

Whether you’re launching a cloud-first initiative or migrating to a new platform, change in the daily operations of your IT department can be difficult for everyone involved. Outside of the actual work at hand, you need to overcome the cultural challenges — and resistance can sometimes be fierce.

Your IT staff and other departments who use your infrastructure and applications on a daily basis may not see the strategy behind the changes. They might wonder why you’re removing or changing a working system. They might assume a hardware upgrade can solve aging infrastructure and the outdated business processes that go along with it. They might worry about costs, potential layoffs, or competition stemming from automation or a lack of skills to manage the new initiative.

These concerns and others must be addressed before they become a drag on morale or a hindrance to operations. Here are five steps to overcome resistance to a new IT initiative in your organization.

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Managing and Securing vSphere Integrated Containers

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 25th 2016

Containers are here to stay, but instead of being the virtual machine killer some touted them to be, they’re turning out to work in concert with legacy virtualization technologies. Seeing the writing on the wall, last fall VMware introduced Photon OS, a new spinoff of ESX that included management for container technology like Docker.

Now vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC) can be used in your existing vSphere environment, allowing the development advantages of containerization with the rapid provisioning, automation features, and management tools your administrators are already accustomed to.

Here are some key features for managing and securing your vSphere Integrated Containers.

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Shadow IT Isn’t the Enemy – It’s the New IT Buyer

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 18th 2016

The narrative around shadow IT has been all about ways to curb it — detect the services users are purchasing and provide an IT-sanctioned alternative. Shadow IT refers to the increasing trend of independent users or departments buying, using, and administrating their own IT services, usually because going through IT takes too long or is otherwise inconvenient.

But what if we’re missing the point? Shadow IT doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. It’s revealing what could be common, accepted practice in the near future; the new IT buyer isn’t necessarily someone with technical experience.

According to Gartner, up to 30% of total IT spending will happen outside the allotted IT budget within the next few years. Meanwhile, over 50% of employees expect to be involved in purchasing technology today.

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How to Prepare Now That OCR HIPAA Audits Are Here (for Business Associates, Too)

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, August 16th 2016 — Categories: HIPAA Compliance

After years of waiting, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has finally sent out its initial round of notice letters for HIPAA audits. This first batch consists of 167 covered entities, who will have to answer a list of audit questions and provide a complete list of their Business Associates (BAs). BAs are where hosting partners come into play: a HIPAA compliant data center must sign a Business Associates Agreement with each covered healthcare provider. The OCR will be using these lists of BAs to choose around 30 BAs to audit, starting in September.

Even if your organization did not receive an audit letter, know that up to 50 more covered entities and BAs will face on-site comprehensive audits by OCR in early 2017. Now that OCR audits are upon us, how can healthcare providers and their business associates prepare?

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