As IT teams look to assume the innovative role now expected of them, major challenges are being thrown up by changes in the business landscape. Following last week’s lessons from Darwin and Xerox on limitless innovation, it’s time for an education on enabling such innovation in all areas of business.
Saving money with SD-WAN (part three)
Having debunked some of the myths surrounding SD-WAN’s money-saving properties in part one, and having provided some hypothetical examples of how it can actually save you money in part two, in the final part of this series I want to really ‘get real’ about SD-WAN.
When it comes to business strategy, nothing is certain except change. Darwinism – otherwise known as “survival of the fittest”, rather than merely the biggest – is as prevalent in the business world as in nature. Rather than the biggest businesses, only the most adaptable survive; as ever, history tells us as much.
Today, innovation in technology is changing the way digital media is consumed more quickly than ever before. Tech-savvy consumers are creating an ever-growing market for data-intensive HD and UHD content, consuming content online, on the move and on-demand.
At this point, to say that technology has transformed every aspect of our personal and working lives is a bit redundant. What’s more interesting is to take a deep dive into the infrastructure that’s underpinned modern innovation as we know it. And that infrastructure, more often than not, has been cloud.
Consider the key technological achievements that have made the past decade so memorable: self-driving cars, streaming services, digital healthcare that helps people live longer, crowdfunding and cryptocurrencies. All have been powered by cloud computing.
With the importance of cloud in mind, we are delighted to announce that Exponential-e’s reputation for cloud excellence was recognised last weekend by not one but two key awards ceremonies: the CRN Channel Awards and the IAB BaM™ Awards 2018.
New health secretary Matt Hancock has been beating the technology drum. As well as announcing that almost £500 million would be made available for technology, he’s also asserted that the service needs more apps. However, it’s fair to wonder: is this the right avenue to funnel resources?
Saving money with SD-WAN (part two)
“SD-WAN is an exciting, transformative technology that can do a lot of amazing things for your business – but it needs to be used correctly.”
In my last blog, I attempted to cut through some of the hype surrounding SD-WAN. I did this by looking at the too-often-believed myth that SD-WAN can save companies money by effectively replacing private networks with commodity internet and ‘magic’ boxes. I thought it was important to sound a cautious note in the midst of a lot of hyperbolic claims about SD-WAN’s magical properties.
In many ways, thanks to technology, it has never been easier to connect people. For the recruitment industry, this is particularly pertinent, as meaningful connections are precisely the foundations on which the industry is built. After all, people don’t trust companies – they trust other people. In our digital age, however, the industry faces a host of technology-based challenges.
In our last blog, Jonathan Bridges talked about how Exponential-e’s Cloud Management Platform (CMP) could simplify your Cloud estate by providing a single-pane-of-glass view of different Cloud environments.
As Chief Financial Officer at Exponential-e, I’ve been asked to provide a view on what the CMP can do for businesses from the perspective of managing finances. In other words, if you’re a CFO like me, why should you be using Exponential-e’s CMP to manage your IT estate?
Saving money with SD-WAN (part one)
Software Defined WAN, or SD-WAN for short, is the new big thing in business networking. Everybody’s talking about SD-WAN, and about what it can do for businesses.
Well, there’s no doubt that SD-WAN can do a lot for your business; in fact, we’ll be talking about exactly that in part 2 of this 3 part blog series. But before we do that, we need to talk about what SD-WAN can’t do.
The key ingredient for any organisation looking to drive digital transformation is Cloud. Actually, scratch that: it is Clouds. But how do you manage multiple Clouds without getting bogged down by digital paperwork?
With the Champion’s League final still reverberating around the North East and world cup fever growing, we hosted our annual Channel Cup event, which saw 10 teams competing in a 5‐a‐side football tournament at the prestigious Stamford Bridge, competing to be crowned the winner.
The GDPR deadline day of 25th May has been and gone, but sticking to the legislation remains as important as ever. This is because GDPR is, in fact, not something that can just be ‘done’; instead, it is ongoing and needs to be constantly changed and updated. The onus is on housing associations to comply with GDPR not just today, but in six months, a year, two years, and beyond.
As such, the question housing associations need to be asking themselves now is: ‘how do we maintain our compliance?’ GDPR is often seen by housing associations as lurking like a monster, demanding to be defeated. But if they examined it more closely, they’d see that GDPR isn’t a creature to face down – and there certainly isn’t a silver bullet to get rid of it.
By 2019, 1 to 2 million roles within cyber security will be unfulfilled. That’s a figure that should strike fear into the heart of even the most stoic of business people. The threat of cyberattacks is growing quickly, and there aren’t enough skilled people in place to control the wildfire.
This global cyber security skills crisis isn’t exactly a new problem, though. Over the last 2 years, 40% of cyber security roles remained unfulfilled, despite an increase in job postings of over 74%. This is a problem, then, that’s been smouldering in the background for a long time, and consequently now has the potential to create some serious destruction.
76% of organisations are implementing the cloud or already operating in it. And no wonder: Cloud can do great things for your organisation. It can provide increased data storage capacity, improved business continuity, and potential cost reduction. However, using the cloud brings significant security risks with it, including data loss and threats to data privacy. Continue reading “Multi-cloud and security challenges”
Cyber security is more complex now than ever before, and the implications of a cyber-attack can be much more disastrous. Organisations must consider not only the financial implications but the reputational damage that can arise following an attack. The proliferation of social platforms and the increasing needs of regulation, mean that security breaches can be publicised across the globe within minutes. Whilst the cost of launching a cyber-attack has reduced over the last few years, the cost of defence has risen. This is because there’s a greater variety of attack vectors – means by which an attacker can gain access to your network. The methods deployed are so vast, compared to previously, that it makes it increasingly difficult to build an effective defence against. Highly sophisticated cyber-attacks are also using automation techniques to maximise their damage, to the extent where one piece of code can be used many thousands of times.
When N3 contracts expired in March 2017, NHS Digital was faced with the challenge of replacing it. The idea was to replace a long-term single supplier contract with a marketplace of network options.
The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) is the new data network for health and care organisations. HSCN provides the underlying network arrangements to help integrate and transform health and social care services by enabling them to access and share information more reliably, flexibly and efficiently. It is designed to meet the requirements of an integrated and evolving health and social care sector, helping to deliver integrated ICT services. Continue reading “HSCN – A digital aid to vital health and care organisations”
Hotels as we know them are changing. A new, younger generation of guest are now used to greater agency over their guest experiences, more home comforts, and a more tech-savvy service. With increasing competition from the fast growing renting and sharing economy, hotels must adapt in order to provide visitors with a greater – and more tailored – guest experience. But how can hotels provide tailored guest experiences to hundreds of guests at a time? Continue reading “5 Trends Innovating the Hotel Industry in 2018″
The portmanteau “Fintech” has been an increasingly large part of everyday language in recent years. Fintech hasn’t just changed our language, it’s changed our financial culture. New technologies, like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive behavioural analytics, have the potential to take the guesswork and habit out of financial decisions.
Scott Goodwin, Director, Cloud Voice Services, Exponential-e
It’s that time of year when we start to reflect on 2017 and start to look forward to what the New Year will bring. Technology is changing the world we live in at such a rapid pace. This might seem like a pretty obvious statement, but for businesses the challenge is keeping pace with these advancements. Responding to disruptive forces and integrating them into your operational processes is not always straightforward.
The Legal sector has faced considerable disruption over recent years, with an increasingly digital client base and client demands for better value for money and greater price certainty. Greater competition from new entrants moving into the market has also led to many looking to digital solutions to help them innovate and remain competitive.
Digital transformation in the business world has accelerated at an increasingly rapid pace in recent years. Recent reports suggest that by 2018, CIOs will devote 28 percent of their budgets in support of digital transformation (source: Gartner.com).
The Internet. For decades it’s been the connectivity medium of choice. It gives the world a chance to communicate, from businesses communicating with their customers to developing countries participating in a global community. It has a huge impact on the business world.
In business, time and luck is everything. My appointment as CFO at Exponential-e ultimately came down to timing. In 2011, I met Lee Wade at an Arsenal game. I’d just been promoted to Financial Director at Kelway, and I think he tracked the subsequent financial success of the company. When he was building a new team, he approached me and asked if I was interested. I suppose it was just fortuitous timing.
“Hello, my name is Kiko”. Who said that? “I’m at intelligent desktop robotic assistant!” There’s a 48cm high, egg-shaped device sitting on a table, and it’s looking right at me. OK, it’s pointing an eight megapixel CMOS camera at me. From inside an egg on wheels.
How many apps do you have on your smartphone? In the US, the average figure has been hovering around 27 for the last few years. We spend 85% of our phone-time using apps, but research suggests that we only use a handful of them regularly. Many are downloaded once and forgotten.
When you’re running a small business, quality control is the most critical aspect of management. Often, it’s also the fastest skill you’ll learn. The risk of alienating a profitable customer is compounded by the risk of a bad review. But happy customers essentially do your marketing for you.
For utility companies, like many other businesses that have long had legacy systems in place, their infrastructure is no longer suitable for requirements and it ever faster reaching end of life. Gone are the days when connecting machines to each other by using analogue circuits was a suitable solution, and instead utility companies, water in particular, need to find a new method of connectivity – whilst attempting to avoid the requirement to ‘rip and replace’ Scada and sensor systems.
The Unified communications market saw a lot of progress in 2016 and showed positive signs for the year ahead. However, since Christmas we have experienced engineering works, snow, fog, frost, train network and tube strikes causing delayed trains, commuter traffic, and grounded planes. All the more reason that there is no better time for Unified Communications and Collaboration.
The 2017 Thales data threat report presents the corporate view of security very well. And as any enterprise security team will tell you the report is entirely reflective of what they are having to live through.
Has the smartphone finally found its voice? After decades of dreaming of a time when home appliances and gadgets could talk to one another, the electronics industry has come up with two solutions that, when used together, could be the missing pieces of the smart home jigsaw; voice control, and the cloud.
Like most businesses, you may be worried about call quality when moving your phones lines from traditional lines such as ISDN and it is absolutely something that you should think about when planning your migration. However, this should only be one of the service criteria you need to consider when it comes to the internet connection your calls will be routing over.
We want plentiful, clean, carbon-free electricity, and we want it now. We need it now more than ever; the planet is at its hottest in 115,000 years, and a climate change-denier is about to become president of the world’s second biggest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. It’s had the potential to became the human race’s saviour for decades, so exactly why are we still waiting for limitless and reliable energy from nuclear fusion?
The adoption and proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) is unstoppable. Even though we have had massive DDoS attacks orchestrated using IoT, IP enabled CCTV Devices have been compromised and marshalled into a bot army of significant breadth and size; even though the implication of poor or shared cryptography of these IoT devices is well documented and a fantastic risk to any user/owner of these devices they are still being adopted.
Traceable back to the taverns of the Roman era, pubs have a long history in the UK and are somewhat of a British tradition – particularly at Christmas and on a cold, Sunday afternoon. But just how do they need to change in order to adapt to the age of technology?
With an endless supply of new technologies seemingly sprouting up year on year, the ability to record and store data that are crucial to, not only developers, but also businesses to target the right markets has never been more attainable. As consumers become more dependent on portable technologies (i.e. mobile devices), more data is collected that makes retailers’ marketing approaches efficient and effective. In fact, we previously discussed how businesses should make digital their primary sales channel.
Brexit has led to major uncertainty amongst business leaders. While the precise terms still need to be negotiated, businesses are strategizing on possible solutions on movement of labour, data protection, data sovereignty and access to markets outside the UK border.
4G has been around for some time now. We’re beginning to see mobile providers offering packages specifically targeted at replacing traditional fixed line connections, but is it really a viable option for business connectivity and what are the drawbacks of it?
Every successful technology needs a killer app. The internet has email to thank for getting it going, and there’s no way businesses would have embraced desktop computers in the 1990s if it wasn’t for spreadsheet software.
It’s true, we’ve all been hearing about innovation, digital transformation, mobile, and paperless offices for almost our entire careers at this point (unless you’re nearing the end of yours). The reality is that it’s not stuck, it’s not worked, and it certainly hasn’t transformed anything; so, what’s changed?
For all the hype that’s surrounded “software defined” there’s precious little tangible proof of a clear concise definition that everyone can agree on. To some it seems to mean a regression to the days of router-style technology where all networking decisions are made in general purpose CPU and RAM; to others it means little more than a fancy way of branding yesterday’s automation and orchestration software.
Digital is second nature to this generation, yet despite this there is a vast gap that is impacting businesses across the country. In fact, £63bn a year is being lost because of a lack of digital skills. But just how can this gap be filled?
Digital transformation is one of the key buzz phrases of 2016. Over the last two years, searches for the phrase have surged. Businesses are starting to embrace a shift to digital working, and the most forward-thinking are reaping rewards. Customers are more engaged, and new technologies make staff more productive than ever.
With the anticipation of Black Friday comes the behind the scenes panic for companies to ensure their infrastructure can withstand the typical flood of visits to their websites. But whilst this time of year has eCommerce websites pushed to their limits, are network spikes limited to the retail sector?
Small businesses could be forgiven for being blasé about information security. Many simply assume that the data they hold isn’t the sort of thing hackers are looking for. But many small businesses work with much larger businesses, and this attitude makes SMEs prime targets for attack.
A Cloud Service Provider (CSP) offers instantaneous, scalable virtual infrastructure with utility billing. While the Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) industry streamlines IT through these advantages, a lack of standardisation in performance can lead to businesses overspending in order to obtain the necessary performance requirements for their applications.
Since its introduction, remote working has enabled employees across the world to work from home instead of going in to the office. Enabling employees to save on travelling expenditure, and avoid the pressures of the office environment it is seen by many as a great perk and a preferential alternative. But is working from home really the best solution, or could it be causing difficulty in creating the necessary work/life balance?
Is this the digital world’s missing link? Nothing more complicated than a shared ledger, blockchain technology creates high-integrity databases whose contents are always up-to-date and cannot be tampered with without leaving evidence. The end result? They can be trusted by all that share it. It’s the technology behind crypto-currency BitCoin, but the blockchain is being positioned to revolutionise the banking sector, healthcare, social security payments, and even online identities.
I joined Exponential-e at a recent roundtable event for the retail sector, enjoying an evening of insightful and enlightening conversation. It was interesting to see how one group of IT professionals within the retail sector believed one thing, whilst another thought exactly the opposite. Clearly proving there is no single magic formula for retail success.
Many businesses now use e-signatures to authenticate documents and sign contracts. Some of these e-signatures are relatively primitive, and involve a scrawled line on a tablet or phone screen. At the other end of the scale, digital cryptography allows sensitive data to be stored, transmitted and shared. Yet this bypasses the most human form of security: the written signature.
The concept of a smart city is one that I personally find incredibly interesting. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to introducing technology and connectivity across our cities, and introducing better ways to manage waste, traffic and other every day requirements. But could the introduction of this leave cities at risk of security breaches and cyber-attacks?
We live in a digital world. Or do we? Although it may seem like the digital era is humanity’s biggest achievement, conventional computer language doesn’t reflect the real world. It’s all 0s and 1s, which isn’t how the world really works. Cue quantum computing and, one day, a quantum cloud networked as a quantum internet.
In 1971, Albert Mehrabian published the findings of two of his research studies into the importance of verbal and non-verbal communication. From observing participants in a number of tasks Mehrabian concluded that 93% of what people communicate is non-verbal. This now famous statistic was calculated by Mehrabian documenting that participants in his studies absorbed 38% of information through tone of voice, 55% through body language and only 7% through words.
The truth is that artificial intelligence (AI) is already well cemented in our current world, and it is no longer a concept of the future. From driverless cars, to robots and voice recognition – the notion is evolving before our very eyes and is showing no signs of slowing down.
A digital battle of wits began last week reigniting a much debated topic: are ad blockers ethical? On the 9th of August news broke that Facebook had begun circumventing Adblock Plus on its desktop website. For those paying attention this would come as no surprise given that advertising makes up 80% of the platform’s revenue. In fact, Facebook generated over $6bn from advertising in the last quarter alone.
With 16% of the world’s gold and 22% of the planet’s silver currently sitting inside discarded technology across Japan, and the Tokyo Olympic Games in just 4 years, just how can the country recycle this for future use? Well, within Olympic medals of course.
From aluminium, copper and titanium to diamonds, gold and platinum, many of our planet’s natural resources are used by the technology industry to power the digital world and create the latest must-have smartphones and wearable devices. But the real jewel in the crown for the mining industry is the way it’s quickly embracing smart technology.
The evolution of technology has been exceptionally fast paced in recent years, with the development of artificial intelligence and virtual reality being two such innovations that are bound to revolutionise the way the world works and operates in years to come. These innovations have not avoided the medical industry either, and in fact have enabled the sector to improve upon both patient care and the services that they are able to offer.
A huge growth in recent years of freelance workers proves the want and need for people to become their own boss, forgo the corporate power struggle and embrace their own ideas. So, could this transition be mirrored in businesses across the country – could removing the boss mean that employees work harder, are more inspired and more innovative?
It could signal the end of encryption. The Investigatory Powers Bill (IP Bill) currently going through the UK Parliament could change the Cloud forever. Called the ‘spy law’ and the ‘snoopers charter’ by some, the IP Bill finds itself going through Parliament during the honeymoon period of new Prime Minister Theresa May.
It used to be that people worried about their personal information on the internet because they didn’t quite understand how it worked. Grandparents wouldn’t purchase plane tickets online because they didn’t want somebody stealing their credit card details, and conspiracy theorists refused to use email because they didn’t want the government stealing their ideas, that sort of thing. And the rest of us rolled our eyes
With Ericsson forecasting that by 2021 there will be 16 billion IoT connected devices it is clear that the world is more connected than ever. But do we forgo our privacy for the convenience of geo-location, diary management and social media engagement?
Manufacturers of wearable tech are harvesting data continuously. And for many, the data is more valuable than the revenue from the hardware. Nike is a great example of a company that has learned about the way its shoes are used because of the real-time data generated from its wearables. For these brands, it’s not about selling watches any more.
I don’t remember much about life before the internet revolution. I was definitely there; it’s the everyday details that are hazy. How did I book train tickets? How did I learn new things? Socialise? Find answers? It’s hard to imagine life without the internet now.
Advertising has been something that we have been surrounded by for so long that we often forget it is there – until it is done badly. With the changes in technology and the way in which we expect things to be delivered to us, when we choose to view them rather than when they are forced upon us, advertising has missed the mark when it comes to staying effective and relevant in our new digital lives.
You may well have noticed a change in recent years, particularly in the digital world. When you attempt to use a customer service platform, whether it be for your bank or an online store, you are met with an efficient, and quick to reply person on their chat program… that can’t comprehend anything outside of its programmed remit. Bots. Could they be the future of customer service and online communication?
Bluetooth is everywhere. The first question many of us ask friends who’ve just bought a new car is: does it have Bluetooth? Who knows or cares what make or model of car it is when it can pair with your phone, create hands-free calls and even put turn-by-turn navigation instructions from Google Maps through in-car speakers? Everyone loves Bluetooth, and for a generation increasingly brought-up on wireless, there’s more good news this year: the arrival of Bluetooth 5.
A recent comment on twitter encapsulated 21st century working: ‘work is something you do, not somewhere you go’. Of course this does not mean that work is no longer location-dependent: many business-critical activities require individuals and teams to work in specific facilities and locations. But cloud computing has transformed how we interact with data – and each other.
G-Cloud is a crowded market place, particularly for terms such as IaaS, and because of this it is really key that your services stand out against those of your competitors.
With just a few simple tips and changes to your service names and descriptions you could ensure that your services are gaining increased visibility on the framework, and that you are receiving an increased level of business because of it.
How important is the cloud for SMEs? Well, the short answer would be “very” – but that would be oversimplifying things. Cloud services, cloud computing, the cloud – however we may refer to the technologies that fall under whichever umbrella term you’re most familiar with, the business models of nearly all cloud-based solutions have been constructed to serve the SME.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo – more commonly known as E3 – has closed its doors for another year. The annual show based in Los Angeles runs from the 14th to the 16th of June and plays host to press conferences from industry leaders such as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo – but this year it was augmented and virtual reality that stole the show…
Artificial intelligence (AI) has arrived on the cloud. Raw compute power has been moving to virtual environments for some time, but the opening of their AI APIs by the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM means that cutting-edge technology will soon be available at low or even zero cost to developers and programmers. Welcome to a new era of self-service AI.
Machines are becoming cheaper and more efficient every day, and as they do the pressure of a machine takeover is ever looming. But does the increasing use of technology in our daily life mean that intelligence is now becoming a utility, and isn’t something that humans can claim for their own any longer?
Your password must contain 8 characters: including 2 numbers, 1 uppercase and a symbol.
We’ve all been there, having to create a password on various different websites, all with varying stipulations of length and characters, and invariably create a password that we forget almost as soon as we type it in. So, with all the improvements in technology and security there has to be a way around it – right?
Ten years ago, I thought voice activation would only ever exist in sci-fi films. Today, we have Siri and Cortana on devices that we use daily. This is software built into our smartphones and laptops to improve ease of use and accessibility – your own virtual, personal assistant.
Like the all the technical terminology that proceeds it, Cloud Storage is one of the latest trends to hit the market – and it’s clear to see why. But without understand what it actually is, and the benefits it could bring it is hard to know whether it would enable your business to do more. So, let’s take a look at what Cloud Storage actually is – and why it could be an ideal solution for you.
Buying a house is said to be about three things – location, location, location – and with the arrival of smart homes, that mantra will become indisputable. Forget the smart kettle, the connected toothbrush, and the fridge that texts you when you’re low on milk. No, the most impressive technology destined for the smart homes, and workplaces, of the future is geofencing.
The changes that are currently underway concerning the data privacy of European Union (EU) residents are nothing short of monumental, and they concern you.
If you’re in business, then you will be in some sort of control of your customers’ personal data to a certain extent. Whether this is email addresses, home addresses, business addresses or more ‘personal’ information such as medical information, it really doesn’t matter.
Despite businesses increasingly embracing new and emerging technology and innovations, many are only just starting to realise the extent of the changes to IT which the coming years will bring. One of the key drivers for this change will be increased data harvesting: machine learning programmes like Siri and Google Now and connected devices like FitBit and the Apple Watch are now collecting more contextual information than ever before, driving up data storage needs and creating a demand for ever-more innovative network designs.
The Internet of Things has become one of the most exciting things in tech. Once a vaguely defined futuristic concept, it now exists all around us in ways that are already transforming our day-to-day lives. And as the IoT has expanded and improved, people have become familiar with some of its most mainstream applications: smart homes, exercise and health tools, smart offices and medical centres, etc. But the coolest truth about the IoT is that it actually has far more applications than most of us could possibly realise.
People have avoided doing things since the beginning of time, and thanks to the increase of gadgets and technology in recent decades there are now more ways to procrastinate than there are reasons for doing so. It’s easy to blame social media and gaming for our habit, but maybe there is something deeper going on.
Do you remember when you had things? An alarm clock, a torch. DVDs, a radio, maps, photo albums, USB sticks, laptops full of files. Those first two are now apps on your smartphone; who doesn’t wake themselves up in the morning using their phone? The rest have been replaced by the likes of Netflix, Spotify, Google Maps and Dropbox, all of them cloud-powered. All of them virtual services.
Cloud computing is a genuinely disruptive technology because it enables mobile centricity and changes how individuals and organisations engage with technology and data. On 19th April, Exponential-e hosted a seminar on Cloud computing, innovation and change. The seminar was about how organisations can deploy Cloud as a catalyst for innovation and change.
What challenges are faced by the financial sector when it comes to technology and regulations? Could the restrictions imposed mean that such organisations aren’t able to operate at their best – and instead mean that they are spending more time meeting stringent regulations than implementing technology that could enable them to work more effectively?
Employees require the correct tools in order to do their job; a builder requires a hammer and a hairstylist requires scissors. So, why do we not ensure that our office based staff have the correct technology in order to complete their work efficiently? A recent survey discovered that 85% of the UK’s office workers believe they would be able to perform their duties more efficiently if their workplace was equipped with better technology.
There’s no denying it: video content is a powerful tool for marketing departments around the globe. This is great news for brands and content marketers wanting to make more sales and drive traffic to a website or social media platform.
With B2C marketing, you can be as creative as you like, and the opportunities for triggering viral engagement are potentially massive. B2B is an altogether different beast. Some people dismiss it as boring, and something of an uphill struggle.
You may have noticed a slight change. Whether it’s to our website, social media accounts or email signatures. Exponential-e is transitioning to a new, brighter future and we are doing that through the power of our brand. A rainbow of colour now brightens our logo and we’re refreshing our digital estate and content with a cleaner, sleeker look. But why?
What if a shop never went out of stock of a popular product, a delivery company brought spare parts to a factory the same day its machinery was due for an upgrade, and vehicles never broke down? And what if all the decisions involved in those scenarios were automated? Designed to reduce costs and make better decisions for business, this is what predictive analytics promises; a world where everything is sold, re-ordered and worn-out exactly when big data says it will be.
Cloud and Big Data are making great advancement within the technology world, with headlines heavy across press and industry publications, and businesses across the UK are taking note –no more than the housing association sector.
Virtual reality has finally moved out of the sci-fi movies and into our homes, thanks to advances in screen technology and a more sophisticated approach to gaming. Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, Sulon, LG and HTC have all been working on virtual reality hardware – albeit some with a hefty price tag.
What is 5G? Despite TeleComs operators at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona committing to it by 2020 – and some as early as 2018 – it’s not clear exactly how fast 5G is. The average mobile phone user ought to get about a gigabyte per second bandwidth, but others say it could be as much as 10Gbps. So who, exactly, has been complaining about 4G speeds?
In our first post of this series we looked at a short history of PSN. If we step away from the implementation of PSN and get back to the root reasons the UK government created the PSN, we recall that it was originally about ensuring the safety and appropriate handling of sensitive data shared between multiple parties.
In order to understand the UK’s PSN we need to first delve through a bit of alphabet soup. PSN for example – what does it mean? According to the government’s website, the PSN is “the government’s high-performance network, which helps public sector organisations work together, reduce duplication and share resources.” A broad and interesting definition to be sure, but we need to go back, further to the original plan to start to really understand it.
SD-WAN is really based on the same overall principles as SDN: Centralised Control, Open Networking Standards, Resource Virtualisation and (Network) Function Virtualisation. However, where SDN aims to replace the network, SD-WAN is a much simpler, more approachable and specific application to improve how we use and manage Wide Area Networks. It’s not here to replace anything wholesale, just to layer on-top of what we’re already doing in the WAN, and hopefully to do it a bit better!
Right now there’s a network of devices that are building a profile of you; the foods you eat, your weight and fitness levels, your location and where you shop. This is the Internet of Things, or IoT for short. It’s an aptly broad term for a Network that uses a broad range of devices, or ‘things’: smartphones, cameras, medical devices, smart home hubs, vehicles… the list of things gathering our data is seemingly endless.
The latest research from IDC tells a frightening story. The average cost of IT downtime for the Fortune 1000 in 2015 was between $1.25 and $2.5 billion! That equates to an average hourly cost for critical infrastructure failure of $100,000 per hour.
Isn’t it strange to think that all around us communication is happening and we can’t see it; from a laptop wirelessly sending emails to people around the globe, to a smartphone holding a video conference by mobile data. Communication is now, more often than not, invisible and silent – but are we losing touch with each other because of it?
Science as we know it did not exist in the early 17th century. In fact, the term ‘Scientist’ wasn’t coined until much later down the line in 1833. Society was made up of Philosophers and Mathematicians, none of whom referred to themselves as ‘Scientists’. Regardless of titles and names, scientific methods of research were being applied and the creation, and subsequent testing of their hypothesise were creating some interesting results.
You will no doubt have heard the news of Google’s change to the layout of their SERPs – which primarily involves the removal of the right-hand side ad bar. As with all changes that Google makes to their algorithm and website structure, we want to know exactly how it might impact upon us – and most importantly if it will cost us any additional budget.
‘Big Data’ is a term that is used more and more frequently. It is difficult to read an article about business development without it being mentioned. It is a simple term that some people feel awkward using as they feel the explanation should be as simple as the title is, but feel that behind the name are many complications.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been slowly but steadily creeping in to our lives for the last half century and there are no plans to slow down its progress: the AI revolution is coming and it’s going to change everything.
Last week, an article on the BBC website claimed that women are better coders than men. In fact, digging into the detail of this study, the ‘evidence’ was not that strong; there’s just a 4.2% difference between men and women. Perhaps we can conclude that men and women are pretty similar when it comes to their technical ability.
Much like the early days of transatlantic cables, when a phone call could be placed between London, Paris and New York, and pretty much nowhere else, the concept of cloud computing is just that – a concept. It may have slipped into everyday business parlance by now, but the cloud so far lacks a ‘killer app’. But it’s just around the corner.
When we think about what makes a successful building our thoughts have changed somewhat. Where originally four strong walls and a roof that kept out the rain would have gotten a building a passing mark; today we think about a whole range of things like who will be using the building, what they will use it for, and how will we deal with things like water, wastewater, gas, electricity, refuse, communications, road connections, parking, transit, fire safety, the environmental impact, and ongoing building maintenance.
Smart technology for your home and business is coming into its own, thanks to consumer-friendly price points and widespread WiFi connectivity to the Cloud. If you’re thinking of implementing some home automation technology, you’ll find the price point is now relatively accessible.
A recently undertaken survey by Exponential-e, polling its wider audience of UK IT and business leaders revealed that 86% of those surveyed felt they did not really know what SDN was. Is it any wonder when there are so many conflicting opinions from the various tech companies all vying for our IT dollars?
Do you see your internal communications as something self-contained within your organisation – or is it part of a bigger picture? Good internal communications are targeted at your employees but should be of the same calibre as the communications you send out to consumers, customers and stakeholders. After all, chances are your employees buy or consume your products and services once their work for the day (or night) is done – and talk to other people about their experience as well.
Fitbit’s share price fell through the floor when revealed its new smartwatch at CES. The Fitbit Blaze is its first colour watch, and is intended to broaden its horizons beyond fitness, to compete directly with the big players in the market. But despite the buzz around wearables, and regardless of Fitbit’s track record, investors saw a problem.
As voice communications continue to evolve we have entered a new era, that of WiFi calling. No longer do you need to balance precariously out of the window whilst attempting to get that one bar of signal, you can now instead use the WiFi that you inevitably have installed within your home and call from the comfort of your sofa. However, when that solution is brought in to the workplace – should your business shoulder the responsibility?
Now that the party decorations have been stuffed in the attic until next year it’s time to get stuck in to those New Year’s resolutions you promised yourself. I’m sure you’ve made set all kinds of positive challenges for yourself, but did you set any goals for your digital life?
Technology is developing as such fast pace, particularly in recent years, and our lives are transforming with it; changing the way in which we interact in our everyday lives. From accessing a wealth of information with just your phone to tapping our debit card on the contactless reader instead of handing over physical money, technology features more heavily in our lives than we often realise.
In the 1980’s or even the early ‘90s you’d expect a desk to feature some Post-Its, a rolodex, calculator, fax, desk references, pads, paper and all sorts of bits and bobs cluttered around your computer. Oh how things have changed! Over the last 35 years we have seen notepads replaced by Evernote and OneNote; pin boards replaced by Pinterest and all manner of reference material replaced by Google.
There’s a perception that the IT department just says ‘no’. But is that because we are requesting things that 10 years ago never would have crossed our minds? Does it just mean that the IT department of today and the future needs to develop and evolve alongside the demands of its internal customers?
It’s no wonder that most SME’s don’t think cyber-attacks apply to them when the headlines seem to only feature the big guys, and with the average cost of cyber-attacks doubling to £1.46m last year – these figures are often not something a SME could even envisage earning!
Unfortunately, the desensitising effect these million pound figures have on our collective psyche hides the truth. Every business is at risk of cyber-attack.
As the year comes to a close we’re reflecting on the biggest developments across the tech world during 2015 and anticipating future tech developments in 2016 and beyond. So much has happened this year. Wearable tech continued to grow, thanks in part to the release of the Apple Watch, Tesla Motor’s autopilot feature was rolled out and smart technology in the home has started to become the norm. But what now?
Imagine a world where your office based employees could see where external staff, such as Field Salesmen and Engineers, are at any given time. They would appear as online and could then easily be sent an instant message (IM) or be added to a quick conference call.
Think the Cloud is out of this world? NASA does. A pioneer of Cloud Computing for the last eight years, NASA’s plans to stretch the Public Cloud to the outer reaches of the Solar System and beyond are now coming to fruition. It centres on the space agency’s Deep Space Network (DSN), which links its missions on Mars and beyond to an elastic Cloud infrastructure.
2015 marked the launch of our corporate blog, and it has been a busy one! With blog posts from internal contributers, as well as a select few external ones, have covered everything from Cloud Computing to Google updates and event management. Ensuring we keep our customers and readers informed on the latest topics and hottest trends.
Interviews are a nerve wracking experience for most candidates, but ensuring that you are properly prepared and suitably presented is half the battle. Whatever job you may be applying for the rules are the same: make the best impression that you can and ensure that the interviewer knows you are the right candidate for the job.
‘An algorithmic and smart machine-driven world where people and machines must define harmonious relationships.’ How about that for a slice of dystopia? It might sound like the backdrop to a bad sci-fi movie, but it’s how analysts at IT research company Gartner recently described the digital future for 2016 and beyond.
UK businesses are adopting cloud computing at an increasing pace, and larger businesses are starting to recognise the need for change. In a study by the Open University, 21 per cent of small businesses said they were using cloud services for administrative purposes, like invoicing or running a CRM. That figure is growing year on year.
Recent research has shown that 44% of people in the UK would strike up a conversation over a pun in a business name, so when it comes to naming your business – could adding a little bit of humour work in your favour?
2015 was an interesting year in so many ways. We’ve seen one of the largest IT players in history split themselves down the middle into a separate consumer business and enterprise business. We’ve seen the unashamed king of consumer tech try to make inroads into enterprise. We’ve seen some of the biggest spin-outs and biggest mergers of all time across different areas of the tech industry. We also celebrated the date when Marty McFly arrived in the future and imagine – the future is now!
The way data is processed and maybe more importantly the amount of data produced today seemed incomprehensible when computers found their way into offices for business use. As such, data centres reached breaking point as they became inadequately stocked to deal with the significant increase of data. This was, and still is, an issue that is getting harder to deal with as each day passes because more data that needs to be securely stored is churned out on a huge scale.
This statement is most easily countered with the following question: would you fly away on holiday without travel insurance? Sure, your office in London and that island in the Caribbean are quite different in concept; but the idea of insuring against loss is one of the same whether for your business, luggage or pet. Ensuring that you have a plan in place should the worst happen is essential for a vast number of the things we do in life, but no more than for your business.
New technology always brings about linguistic change. New styles of punctuation were developed after the invention of the printing press in 1440. The telephone brought about new ways to greet family and friends. Before mobile phones had QWERTY keyboards, ‘text speak’ became popular in order to save time, effort and blistered thumbs (c u 2nite m8!). But none have changed language more drastically than the internet.
In previous posts we have detailed the ways in which you can implement a flexible working policy in to your business successfully. With so many communicative tools available to businesses and solutions such as Desktop-as-a-Service allowing employees to work from anywhere, at any time, providing employees with the ability to work flexible is more and more becoming the norm. But that doesn’t mean every business is keen to see it implemented…
Imagine having to continually input your password. If that sounds like a painful and frustrating way to live your life, it’s almost inevitable. Not only is online security now the hottest topic in tech, but with the spread of more and smarter devices, and the coming Internet of Things, the future is going to be one where constant identification is imperative.
With limited background knowledge and not much experience in the world of work, I embarked on an exciting journey to improve and gain skills that I can use for the rest of my life. This week, working with Exponential-e, has allowed me to learn skills I never would have otherwise and improve on skills I already have. I spent my time in the company working with the marketing team to assist with their website and develop my knowledge on blog writing.
There’s something very strange happening in telecommunications, apparently there are more phones than ever in the UK, some 33.2M fixed lines and 89.9M active mobile connections at Ofcom’s last count; and yet the total number of voice minutes has fallen from the peak in 2008 of around 260 billion to under 220 billion! That’s 40 billion fewer voice minutes being logged in the UK in just the past few years.
There’s been a lot of press lately about the EU court’s ruling in the case Schrems vs Facebook as it pertains to something called Safe Harbor. What really are we talking about? Turns out that really, there’s no such thing as Safe Harbor when it comes to data. Originally, the EU Data Protection Directive which became effective in 1998 had a section in it called the “Safe Harbor Principles” which meant that while European firms were generally prohibited from transferring or otherwise copying personal data overseas, there’s the except to anywhere that “voluntarily agreed to meet EU standards”. So what did that mean in practice?
Many service providers of cloud and network alike are eagerly crunching away at SDN implementations that they are certain will revolutionise their service and add unimaginable gains in their operational efficiency. To be certain, SDN is exciting! It represents no less than the elimination of the typical days or weeks wait each time a network change is required; that’s big news for customers and operators alike! The question being posed (not nearly often enough if you ask me) is what will this mean for security?
Communication is a positive thing. Tools that allow communication mean that we can quickly and easily connect with friends, family and colleagues. But with such a variety of different methods available to enable us to get in touch with others – are we saturated by communication?
There’s a tremendous amount of noise in the market around “big data” but what’s the value in collecting data about everything all the time? Having the data, is after-all, not really of any business benefit unless you know what to do with it in a timely enough fashion to actually impact your business.
There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about the impending cashless society – that is, a society that no longer uses traditional currency such as notes or coins, but instead opts for electronic methods to pay for 100% of its payments – and how it’s going to revolutionise the way we buy and sell around the globe.
The Internet is an empowering tool, giving everyone more of a voice and choice, and putting you in control. It’s not age dependent; everyone wants to engage more socially now and improve interactions with family, friends and neighbours – where boundaries are not restricted.
But despite this Care Homes still lag behind in the technology field, and we wanted to find out what users of Care Homes thought about the technology (or lack of) available to them…
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Big Data needn’t keep you up at night worrying about whether your infrastructure can cope. As organisations move from testing to implementation of Big Data, the infrastructure that supports it becomes more critical, and more burdened, than ever. One question that IT professionals need to ask themselves is: is my infrastructure ready for Big Data?
With the hype surrounding BYOD (Bring your own Device) over recent years, you would be forgiven for thinking that this is the way of the future. But in a recent survey a surprising 53% of companies said that they weren’t using BYOD as a policy – could this leave a gap in the market for CYOD instead?
Typically when we think about water wastage we apply it to scenarios within the home. We could all save water by not using the hose to water the garden so often, or turning off the tap whilst we brush our teeth. However, there are places and companies creating far more water waste than we ever could in our homes – and one such culprit is data centres.
Over the years it is safe to say that many people would describe the developments in technology as astounding. Arguably, to many, one of the most impressive evolutions in the field surrounds Wide Area Networks (WAN). However, what is WAN, why is it important and how does it work?
Whilst working from anywhere is an idyllic lifestyle for many, most would picture themselves at home or in a coffee shop whilst doing so. But with the increase in inflight WiFi and powerful DaaS solutions, even the skies aren’t a limit any longer.
In an ongoing battle between the two primary choices of Cloud computing, it is often difficult to know which the true winner is. Whilst both have their own purpose and individual benefits – there has to be an overall winner of the two, right?
It’s been 26 years since Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s innovation was launched in to the world. The World Wide Web has come a long way in that short amount of time; allowing businesses to grow, our knowledge to expand and enabling the world to be better connected. But research has found that 21% of the British population don’t have the skills required to make full use of the internet – which is why by 2020 the Government are aiming for digital inclusion across the country.
Technology is arguably the quickest evolving industry in the world. Pioneering breakthroughs can become obsolete in such a small amount of time that it’s imperative every business ensures they remain on top of new developments in technology.
In 30 years, Microsoft Windows has evolved from the 16 bit 1.01 system to arguably the most well received version, Microsoft Windows 10. Even if you do not take into account major updates, that’s 12 different versions of the operating system. As you’ll know if you use Microsoft, new Windows updates come almost daily and this gives you some indication of how quickly technology is evolving.
Case Management was historically a business discipline, with roots in the legal, medical and social care professions. The case was a person or an incident around which services were co-ordinated in pursuit of a goal, for example to successfully defend a legal case, or to cure an illness. The activities around a case were driven by practitioners, applying their skills and experience to decide which activities, in what order, and by whom, were needed to conclude the case. This is casework, and the practitioners are caseworkers or knowledge workers: non-routine problems solvers who process and transform information.
With the expansion of technology and its ability to improve the operational structure of a company, it is obvious that businesses will look towards upgrading their existing infrastructure and hardware. However it is isn’t always as easy as that; with pressures regarding budgets and internal restraints, sectors such as Housing face many challenges in upgrading their technology. But how can the Housing sector overcome these challenges?
The markets never sleep – but as humans, we do. However, with the rise in flexible working and the decrease in the typical 9-5 working schedule, could we be heading towards becoming a workforce that replicates the schedule of the markets?
Cloud and Unified Communications (UC) are both terminologies that have come to market over recent years, but they have quickly picked up speed and developed in to “must have” tools for businesses everywhere. But could one be driving the other? With an increase in spend on Cloud amongst enterprises; this could in turn be driving the desire for UC too.
If you asked a graduate in the 60s what they should do with their lives they would never have imagined that in the near future jobs might require social media or app development skills. Yet, this is where we are today. Job descriptions are destined to get more complicated with the birth of new technologies. While there will (probably) always be teachers, doctors and car mechanics, many children in UK schools are preparing for jobs that have not yet been invented.
It seems as though every other month a new “hot” communication application emerges, begging to have itself heard among the others in what is now a mature and increasingly crowded space. Often the new application is a slight variation or reconfiguration of an existing one. For examples, is there a fundamental difference between the act of texting someone and using WhatsApp?
Innovation is what keeps business moving and evolving, and particularly in the digital age this shows no sign of stopping. Generation Y, who have grown up immersed in technology, now make up a sizeable portion of those employed within the UK – and their knowledge and ability to use technology in new ways means that they can make use of it in ways never previously imagined.
The more I talk to clients, the more I believe that having a tailored solution for their end users is the only way forward. This enables the IT team to deliver a bespoke system or solution that fits end users requirements. This method also has the additional benefit of reducing the number of support desk calls.
If you think about what is being achieved it is based on a basic principle of cause and effect – give the user a solution that performs to their expectations and they will not call to complain.
Leased lines have been around for years. That’s because they’ve long been the most reliable way for businesses to get and stay connected. A leased line is a dedicated, high-speed connection between your business premises and another location. Leased lines are most often used to provide internet access. However, you can also use them to create secure links between offices, or to provide other services, such as a unified communications system.
Think about the last time you went to the doctors… they’ll have taken a look at your medical history, your current symptoms and made a prediction about what will happen next. Doctors describe the past, predict the future and prescribe treatment to best deal with what the future holds. Albeit a far removed, humanised example – this is the current situation across industries.
Our world in 2015 is defined by software. Have you ever thought about how your smart phone or tablet can automatically recompose everything on the screen when you rotate from portrait to landscape whereas your TV would just be sideways? We’ve all seen TV’s used in portrait mode at the shop or the airport for advertising, but why don’t they adjust automatically? The answer is software.
When you put it in to perspective that 20 years ago we would sit through the noisy, time-consuming dial-up connection sequence with very little complaint; it really puts it in to perspective how today’s internet users expect and demand speed – after all, many of us throw a “first world problem” tantrum if Google doesn’t answer our question within milliseconds.
Your business has more communication channels than ever to choose from. Stalwarts like email and desk phones are joined by a range of options including video conferencing, instant messaging, collaboration tools and more. You’d think this would make it easier to keep in touch with customers and colleagues. But, paradoxically, having so many channels can complicate things.
The internet is something that you can connect to from your office, home or mobile. In fact it is estimated that within the UK the average household owns 7.4 internet devices – quite some feat when the joys of dial-up internet were only integrated in to the public domain around 20 years ago. But what is it actually – what does it mean to you?
It has now been one year since the UK introduced flexible working rights for employees lifting a cultural taboo that kept workers chained to the office.
The capability to work via cloud based servers, applications and desktops, along with the ease-of-use of unified communications (UC) technologies that allow us to speak, text, video and chat from a variety of devices means there is simply no longer a need for workers to be tied to a desk.
Sometimes to ensure that large events are organised and run to their very best you need to look for help outside of your organisation, alternatively you may not have anybody in-house that can arrange an event for you. Putting trust in one person or an external company to competently run your event is a big step, so I put together some top tips to ensure that you only select the very best event management company.
When we’re in the clouds why can’t we be on the cloud? Its cities may be among some of the best connected on the planet, but in the skies above Europe even sending an email comes with prohibitively high costs, if it’s possible at all. Meanwhile, most US domestic carriers offer in-flight WiFi for free. Why are European airlines so slow on the uptake?
Are your employees impacting upon your IT infrastructure through the use of Shadow IT and, whilst this is an issue that needs to be restricted within an organisation, can we learn from it?
Many IT teams still remember the days when they had full control over their internal infrastructure, before employees – particularly from the Y generation – got wise to how they could adapt the system for their own use and gain. Shadow IT is an increasingly frequent problem within businesses and it is something that, for obvious reasons, should be avoided at all costs.
In today’s world people are looking for the new “App Store” approach to delivering resources to the end users. The end users want a more self-service model to deliver applications, collaboration and social media services, which when coupled with business policy can deliver a more flexible solution for both the business and the end user – with the added benefit of creating time for the IT department.
It was reported last month that the internet could face an imminent ‘capacity crunch’ as quickly as within eight years. Some of the UK’s leading scientists have reported that the cables and fibre optics that deliver the data to users will have reached their limit by 2023.
Technology is absolutely everywhere and it is almost impossible to avoid. Whilst it has created incredible opportunities, it also acts as a barrier in many instances between human interaction and real-life contact.
I am lucky enough to meet customers from a wide variety of sectors on a weekly basis. This gives me an insight in to what they are trying to achieve and the challenges IT face in the enablement of them.
In a recent blog entitled “Leveraging data to continue to drive customer centricity” we looked at the importance of data leverage. When addressing need across the sectors, it is very interesting to see how tightly linked the majority of challenges are and how the cross pollination of ideas and initiatives can be used to create wider change and increased cross sector collaboration and insight.
In a challenging rally competition fundraisers from across the globe have just a £350 budget to acquire and design a rally car before racing it 3000 miles across France, Switzerland, Italy and Monaco finally finishing at iceSheffield ready to participate for team prostate in the allstars charity ice hockey tournament.
As organisations we all focus on our digital transformational journey; the multitudes of data points accessible to us from existing data sources but also a rich set of published, open, public and social sources drives increased opportunity to turn more data in to deeper insights not only for the leadership of the company, but for all.
I have a box of old photos in the corner of my office that needs sorting. It contain about 500 photos, all of which need scanning and backing-up, or discarding. Will I ever complete that task? Probably not. The same goes for the three SD cards on the shelf and the ‘photos to sort’ folder on my desktop that’s nothing more than a dumping ground after each holiday or trip.
The internet has a more pressing problem that will only get worse if I do ever get around to ‘clouding’ my photos. A staggering 880 billion photos were uploaded in 2014. Instagram alone gets 40 million every day, while Flickr’s collection now sits at around six billion. I’m guilty of polluting both.
So many of us are reliant on technology, from our smartphones to tablets, and this obsession has grown almost invisibly as technology has edged its way further and further in to our lives. Gone are the days of typewriters and landlines, now it is all about having a smartphone within reach at all times – but where does this obsession end?
Due to compliance issues and concerns surrounding the security of client data, the legal sector is often one of the slowest industries to adopt the latest technology. However, they needn’t be missing out on the benefits that the latest solutions can bring them, such as Cloud computing, because in fact there are products available that can cater exactly to their needs. I have researched the 5 biggest chellenges faced within the legal sector, so let’s take a look at the results…
The rise of cloud computing is driving a seismic change in where organisations store information. Traditionally, all but the smallest companies held their data on computers and servers that they owned – usually located on their premises.
It’s now just over one month since our inaugural market focus roundtable event at the Ritz. This event was all about the Third Sector and discussing how technology and our changing lives have created both challenges and opportunities for charitable organisations.
Every business likes to think that their staff are living in eternal bliss whilst employed within their company; but just how often are they actually asked? Well, we decided to find out more from our staff and asked them just what they were proud of having achieved whilst working for us.
Every part of our personal and professional lives is being impacted by the transition to the Cloud. We once outsourced each of our utility services to large private enterprise and created professions dedicated to specialist areas of knowledge. Now, the same is happening to the data and computing systems that we work with and in no industry are the implications of this so profound, as in the legal profession.
The UK is leading the way in the world of virtualisation within education. Many tools to make this type of educational environment possible are coming in to the mainstream, and inventions such as Raspberry PI have put good, low-level computing development tools in the hands of more people than ever before.
Amid a wave of WiFi and cloud-based services, it’s wise to remember that the internet is actually an extensive network of almost six million miles of undersea cables.
When was the last time you used a LAN cable? There was a time when business travellers were never without one for logging-on in hotel rooms and hot-desking in global offices. WiFI has taken over, with mobile devices and cloud-based services threatening to kill off the hard disk, the USB stick and laptops.
Whilst generation Y has grown up immersed in technology, and therefore doesn’t really remember a time when the internet didn’t exist in some shape or form, there are many that knew what life was like without it. Just how much has it changed our world and assisted in making us all increasingly productive?
With its popularity and fast paced growth, social media isn’t going anywhere. Almost all of us use it on one platform or another and it influences us in many ways; could this be transferred to influencing us in our business decisions too? With an increasing number of B2B businesses using social media platforms, it is a possibility that we could soon turn to these to make those all important decisions instead.
Many of us spend a lot of our time proclaiming that technology is wonderful and that it allows us to do a variety of things we never could previously; from apps allowing us to order takeaway before we are home to ones that control your heating remotely. Whilst these are obviously wonderfully useful tools, there are still a variety of things that technology still does not assist with and perhaps never will.
Maintaining the balance between security and user experience (UX) is of key importance to any company. So, will the new way delivering applications and user data through Cloud assist your business in achieving this?
Since its launch in 2013 the Superconnected Cities voucher scheme has been allowing businesses to ramp up their operations with a superfast broadband connection. This has been a lifeline to many businesses that could not previously afford the installation of such services, and has assisted in boosting productivity for a variety of companies.
Email is like oil; we’re all addicted to it, but it can’t last. Can cloud-powered unified communications platforms step in?
If your inbox is crammed with unread emails, flagged emails and others in folders you’ve never opened, this is for you. If you’ve ever sat at your desk and hit the refresh button on your email inbox, this is also for you. The likelihood is that you suffer from two common problems; the first is threatening your productivity at work, and the second is a habit that indicates a dangerous addiction to email. If you constantly check work email on a phone during the evening, you already know how dominating email can be.
The blogosphere is alive with the news that Google has tweaked its page ranking algorithm to favour mobile-friendly websites in mobile search rankings. The change has profound implications for online marketers, for whom online visibility is hugely important. Should you be concerned about this change and how will it impact your business?
Google’s recent announcement that it will give priority in its mobile search page rankings to those websites that display well on smartphones has important consequences. Effective April 21st, 2015, this change, dubbed Mobilegeddon by the more alarmist commentators, represents a radical change to the way Google and, by extension, users view the internet, favouring “mobile-friendly” sites over those that are not in searches conducted on mobile phones. While the move does not directly impact Exponential-E, it is important that our customers at least know what all the hullabaloo is about.
While politicians argue about the best way to boost the UK’s economic prospects in the run up to the election, one sector appears to be in rude health.
When the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, the idea of running a successful digital business was a bit of a joke. But after this crash at the start of the millennium, the digital economy was resurrected. It has grown steadily ever since and managed to weather 2008’s enormous financial slump better than many other sectors.
Today, digital business is big business. Few companies remain unaffected by the internet, and entrepreneurs can make real money by delivering products and services digitally.
Telephone, and subsequently email, have for a long time been the primary methods of communications within business; whether internally or externally. But with the rise in other methods of communication, and the availability of Unified Communications solutions – are these methods future proof?
‘This is for everyone,’ tweeted Sir Tim Berners-Lee during the Opening Ceremony at the London Olympics.
He chose those words for a good reason. When Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, he made it free for anyone to use, creating a tool that went on to change the planet.
The internet is still as open as it’s ever been, more or less. And as fibre optic cables have spread across the UK (and, indeed, the world), your company has an increasing amount of choice when it comes to getting online.
Technology opens up a realm of possibilities for employees to work faster and smarter. But how happy would your staff be to share personal data garnered from a smartwatch or activity tracker with your company and could improved technology, like the Swedish company that recently embedded microchips under employee’s skin, enable businesses to take it too far?
Whilst there is great excitement about how the Internet of Things (IoT) will allow everyday items to communicate with each other and to vendors through the internet, as with Amazon’s new Dash button, there are still concerns about the vulnerability of having such a vast array of items transmitting and receiving data across a public network.
Naturally the focus for the public sector is on costs and budgeting. This can often mean that they are unable to make the investment in technology that they may want or need to; however by adopting cloud they could in fact save money through making use of the Capex/Opex model and by using hardware that they have already invested in.
Last week, the Government released its annual Women on Boards report, which outlines the progress that has been made to increase the presence of women on FTSE 350 boards.
This year marks the report’s fourth year of existence, since Lord Davies recommended in 2011 that UK-listed companies should be aiming for a minimum of 25% female board member representation in FTSE 350 companies by 2015.
New to market, but really a combination of existing tools, Unified Communication is the latest solution being offered to companies. The collaborative element of the solution aims to allow employees to perform better within the workplace and allow for increased productivity.
We are more than aware the world of technology is packed with jargon, acronyms and confusing idioms that no-one really understands. But how well do you know the industry itself?
As technology continues to interlink with popular culture, it has become increasingly “cool” to be excited and/or opinionated about technology.
Sorry ‘tech geeks’ but keeping up-to-date with tech news has become mainstream; and technology companies are fuelling this by aligning themselves with music, celebrities and fashion brands. As a result, having an opinion on technology is no longer exclusive to the specialists; and IT departments can expect to hear our opinions slowly creep in to the office.
A discussion at the recent Fulham FC Business Club event encompassed whether people were naturally born with talent or if it was created through nurturing. Can you be taught to be talented?
Success can only be gained through the hard work of an individual; those that are talented have this at the centre of their very core. Hard work is what determines the talented and successful amongst others. The most talented people will be selfless in their commitment and will go to show that there is no substitute for desire.
Many people talk about cloud as if there is only one variation, when in fact it can be broken up in to multiple disciplines. You will hear a variety of different analogies depending who you talk to about the purpose of each, but ultimately the decision to choose on or the other depends upon what you plan to use your cloud for.
The Ritz hotel is renowned worldwide for its sophistication, quintessential English-ness and is without question a London landmark. However did you know that it’s also garnered a reputation for technical innovation? Here’s where we’d like to say we are similar.
Just like Exponential-e, The Ritz hotel is innovative to its very core. From its beginnings in Piccadilly The Ritz has always been ahead of the game in terms of its offerings – from implementing a sophisticated ventilation system, and including beds made of brass rather than the conventional choice of wood.