Getting Started with Cloud User Identity (Active Directory) for Office 365

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, August 4th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Microsoft

Moving to Office 365? The user experience is bound to shift, with one of the biggest changes coming to the login process.

Each workstation might previously have had Office software installed locally, so once users signed in, they were free to launch and work on Word or answer e-mails in Outlook. With Office 365, you’ll have to configure user identity settings in a specific way to replicate this — or you can go the cloud-only route and have them sign-in again online in order to access these programs.

Here are some of the factors you’ll have to consider when setting up user identity management in Office 365.

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Moving to Cloud? Know Which of These Four Categories Your Applications Fall Under

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, July 20th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

While designing a new application may be the hot development path right now, enterprise organizations have a multitude of legacy applications that should not be ignored when undertaking a cloud initiative.

If you’re preparing to migrate some or all of your applications to a cloud environment, you’ll need to examine them and determine which of these four categories they fall under. With careful planning and perhaps some investment in development, your applications will work just as well in the cloud as they did on-premise. 

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Key Performance Indicators for Cloud Providers, Resellers, and Channel Partners

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, July 13th 2017

As the IT channel increasingly shifts towards cloud services, resellers, MSPs, agents, and channel partners must keep an eye on business metrics to ensure their operations are improving and revenue continues to grow. This can be a difficult task for even seasoned cloud providers, as there are a variety of factors involved in measuring the financial success of cloud services.

Different departments in your organization will have different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you can track and report to management. Keeping an eye on KPIs is vital to adjust your operations and maximize profitability of your channel sales.

Collecting too much data can end up being a distraction. You still need to be able to digest and glean insights from your metrics. Choose three KPIs — five max — for each employee role and zero in on making meaningful adjustments as needed. Here are a few key KPIs to watch.

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Should You Allow Windows Users to Have Administrative Rights?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, July 6th 2017 — Categories: Security

Allowing your users administrative rights under their Windows desktop certainly makes their life easier, but it can cause significant headaches for your sysadmins — and it also opens up a wide variety of vulnerabilities.

A recent study from security vendor Avecto found that 94% of critical vulnerabilities announced by Microsoft could be mitigated by simply removing administrative rights. These vulnerabilities range from phishing attacks that can hijack the system via applications like Microsoft Word to packets that are specially crafted to hit Windows Server. In most cases, they can be leveraged to remotely execute code and take control of the PC, potentially accessing sensitive data and applications deeper within the network.

Many modern workplaces allow users more leeway over the configuration of their workstations, as computer-savvy employees are often more productive when they have applications set up the way they want. But with shutting down admin rights proving to be a relatively easy and strong method of eliminating vulnerabilities, should you risk enabling them?

The answer is probably not...with some caveats.

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Is Technical Debt a Ticking Time Bomb for Your Company?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, June 20th 2017

While debt can be a useful tool for funding your organization (Green House Data is in fact currently leveraging debt as part of our expansion plans), you need to have a payment plan and carefully manage your debt in order to continue solvency. No business owner who wants to succeed would ignore debt and just hope it sorts itself out, or pay only the minimum required to avoid bankruptcy.

Technical debt shouldn’t be ignored, either. The term refers to the practice of putting off critical infrastructure or software upgrades. Out of date systems pile up — whether it’s your overall systems architecture, an aging switch that can’t handle new network speeds, or an application that only runs on 32-bit servers — and become a mess of band-aided solutions that are ready to fall apart at any moment.

Executives should take technical debt seriously. When your CTO or IT Manager tells you they need to focus budget and staff on reducing technical debt, it’s time to listen.

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