Tag Archives for " digital security and privacy "

Apr 01

5 Things to Outsource to Your vCIO

By Twin Networks Staff | News

As your business grows, you’ll eventually need someone to help you choose and deploy technology to protect your business, improve processes and support your organization’s goals. If you’ve never heard of a virtual CIO, you might assume you don’t need one – but virtual CIOs, or vCIOs, give companies the benefits of a high-level technology executive without the cost of hiring an in-house CIO.

Virtual CIOs examine your current infrastructure, locate gaps in security and productivity, and implement solutions to improve your business operations. They bring their personal experiences and a network of technical resources to work with you and determine the best IT solutions for your business. Here are five aspects of your business that you can outsource to a vCIO:

  1. Strategic Initiatives
    Have you been putting off large projects because you’re worried about not having enough bandwidth to successfully manage them? Virtual CIOs can be brought in on an as-needed basis to oversee strategy IT initiatives that promote long-term growth and competitiveness within your organization.
  2. Business Continuity Planning
    Natural disasters, employee errors, even potential data loss during a planned system update or migration – there are numerous threats facing your business’s mission-critical information. A vCIO designs a comprehensive strategy to keep your business in operation during and after a disaster.
  3. Emerging Opportunities
    Technology trends come and go, but the right solutions can make a measurable impact on your efficiency, growth and profit. Your vCIO keeps on top of emerging technologies and identifies opportunities for innovation in your business to help you make higher-ROI technology investments.
  4. Cybersecurity Services
    Small and medium-sized businesses aren’t immune to cyberattacks – in fact, hackers often view them as easy targets. With help from an experienced vCIO, you can protect your business by implementing strong security measures to deflect malicious software and unauthorized access.
  5. IT Budgeting
    Technology costs can vary wildly from month to month – or, you can partner with a vCIO who helps you stick to a predictable IT budget. Plus, virtual CIOs implement technology strategically to reduce operating costs and drive revenue, allowing a larger budget for your business to expand and thrive.

Virtual CIOs are ideal for businesses that don’t have the budget for a full-time, in-house CIO. With our vCIO services, you get access to a team of knowledgeable IT experts at a price that makes sense for your business. To discuss how a vCIO fits into your company, contact us today and start your business transformation.

Mar 11

5 Tools to Improve Your Collaboration

By Twin Networks Staff | News

The McKinsey Institute found that teams improved productivity up to 25 percent through increased collaboration. But, finding out which collaboration tools will round up your most isolated employees can be tougher than it sounds.

From tools that focus on bringing your team together to apps that strengthen your communication skills, identifying where exactly your team is struggling should be your first step to determining the right solution for your business. Once you’ve pinpointed the problem, you can scour hundreds of cloud-based applications and tools designed to resolve your issues.

To get you started, we’re sharing five top productivity tools.

  1. Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 lets your team collaborate on documents and projects with applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Work on the same file in almost real-time, exchange feedback seamlessly and access past versions of a document. Because your files are hosted in the cloud, your team can collaborate on projects from any device and any location with an Internet connection.

  1. Yammer

Yammer is described as the Facebook of the corporate world. That’s because the platform provides a news feed, different group channels and file-sharing features just like Facebook. Post updates in a client’s group and tag the people who need to see the feedback, or create a channel for your internal team, department or entire company to share information, communicate and collaborate on projects.

  1. Slack

Slack provides a nearly instantaneous response platform for peers and clients. You can set up an unlimited number of channels and use them to share task information, get feedback from clients and adjust expectations for project deliveries. Because Slack integrates with other solutions like Office 365 and Jira, you can submit tickets and collaborate on documents with a single click.

  1. Cisco Webex

Webex keeps you connected with clients, peers and prospects from anywhere with an Internet connection. Eliminate miscommunications with crystal-clear video quality that lets you see every nonverbal cue from meeting attendees. Plus, Webex keeps your video communication channel safe and encrypted with a multi-layered security solution that protects everyone – regardless of where they’re calling from.

  1. Evernote

Evernote provides a scalable note-taking platform where you can sync and share documents to multiple users. This easy-to-use application lets teams collaborate quickly and seamlessly in nearly real-time. Whether you’re working on different parts of a project or need to quickly make changes during the quality-check process, you can do so from any laptop, desktop or mobile device.

To learn more about cloud-based collaboration tools, which solutions are right for your business and how we can help you improve your productivity, contact us today.

Feb 12

3 Technologies that Flourish with the Cloud

By Twin Networks Staff | News

According to research from Ovum, 20 percent of business processes have already moved to the cloud. The cloud isn’t only an asset to your business; it’s become a requirement for driving efficiency and reducing costs. So, what are the next steps for cloud usage?

By combining innovative cloud technology with the latest trends, you can empower your business with the tools it needs to enhance operations and outperform the competition. When integrated with the cloud, these three technologies lower operating costs and make your life easier.

  1. IoE (Internet of Everything)

Like its well-known cousin, the Internet of Things (IoT), IoE uses cloud computing and real-time data analytics to communicate with different machines and devices. With a focus on machine-to-machine communications, IoE has a general “understanding” of how humans interact with everything in their environment – from people to devices.

As IoE develops, your customers can intelligently interact with every device within your network. You’ll gain greater insights into the relationships of consumers and how they view and purchase your products and services. You’ll gain visibility on which pages your customer views, which links they click and how many times they visit your site – adding this information to a customer profile and giving you valuable insight into how they interact with your products. Innovative cloud technology makes IoE possible and leverages crucial information for your business.

  1. AI

Automating processes is an easy way to reduce operating costs. By leveraging AI and big data, you’ll gain a holistic view of all your business functions. As the cloud continues to grow, system administrators are getting more time-consuming, repetitive tasks. Innovative cloud technology supports AI and automation to take over labor-intensive tasks – including copying and extracting data.

By automating simple tasks and preventing duplicate effort, you can eliminate unnecessary costs and improve efficiency. Plus, AI platforms ensure work is distributed evenly and support data governance to keep your business meeting compliance regulations.

  1. Containers

Containers are influential development tools that scale and optimize ROI across multiple cloud environments. Developers can use these containers to extract information like code, configurations and dependences, and push it to production seamlessly and easily – making deployment a breeze.

Containers enable cloud resources to run in multiple settings, enhance data fabrics and improve mobility. When working with different cloud environments, containers make it easier to move data from one environment to another – eliminating the restrictions of on-premises applications. For businesses using multi-cloud environments – private, public or hybrid – containers are critical for transferring information.

As the cloud becomes a necessity for business operations, the next steps are learning how to integrate other IT services to enhance your cloud solution. By combining the latest technologies with a solution designed to enhance workflow, you can improve your customers’ experience and stand out from your competition. As your partner, we’ll integrate the latest trends into your strategic IT roadmap.

To learn how we can help implement the latest innovative cloud technologies to improve your business operations, contact us today.

Jan 01

5 Things You Should Know About Ethics & Privacy

By Twin Networks Staff | News

Understanding ethics and privacy may seem simple at first, but when you start to dive in, you discover that finding the balance between being supportive and intrusive is difficult. Data helps you understand your audience and customers better, but how far is too far when it comes to monitoring their physical and digital footprint?

Deciding what is and isn’t ethical doesn’t have to be determined on your own. Here are five things you should understand about ethics and privacy:

  1. Digital ethics makes up your online moral code.

Digital ethics includes the principles of conduct practiced online or in a virtual environment. How you handle your customers’ confidential data and what security you put in place to protect it contributes to your digital ethics. Do you record digital footprints? Do you sell that information to advertisers so that they know which of your users like certain products? All of these things and more contribute to your digital moral compass. So, what path is your business on?

  1. The GDPR affects your business – even if you’re based in the US.

The EU created the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ensure websites are doing everything they can to protect the information they gain from users. This act requires companies that have EU users – essentially any company around the globe – to update their policies and promote more rigorous privacy strategies. Security concerns include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Asking users for permission to collect and retain key pieces of their data
  • Asking users for permission to sell the data you’ve collected
  • Giving users the right to request their data to be deleted
  • Giving users the option to download the data you’ve collected
  1. Digital ethics involves three practices – monitoring, transparency and the fine line.

Distinguished VP and Gartner Fellow, Frank Buytendijk, suggests that digital ethics has three key guidelines – monitoring, transparency and what he calls the win/win. When it comes to practicing digital ethics, these can be considered the golden rules.

Not only should you monitor how prospects and customers are visiting your site, but you also need to monitor your own systems for vulnerabilities. A large part of meeting compliance involves transparency. You need to ensure that the data you’re tracking doesn’t violate the privacy of the customer. Finding that middle ground or fine line is what Buytendijk’s refers to as the win/win. There’s a fine line between being helpful with personalization and algorithms and being creepy. Always make sure your processes are on the cautious side of that line.

  1. Security should be your number one priority.

Even if your customers and visitors give you permission to collect their data, you still have a responsibility to keep their confidential information safe. With cyberthreats escalating, you need absolute diligence when it comes to protecting the data you collect. From natural disasters – like fire, hurricanes and power outages – to malicious intent from ransomware and cyber criminals, you need a security solution that protects your business and customers’ data from all angles. But, how do you ensure that your solutions are enough to keep customers’ information safe?

  1. How can a managed services partner help?

Understanding and implementing best practices for ethics and privacy can feel overwhelming. You don’t have to do it alone. As a managed services provider, we’ll evaluate your security processes and make suggestions to eliminate risks and keep your collected data safe.

For more information on how we can help keep your business and customers’ data safe while helping you balance the fine line of digital ethics, contact us today.