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  • Soaring across the regions - a view of the impact of the internet on business

    The internet offers any business the opportunity to present a commercial image independent of the organisation's size and location. Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) across the UK have exploited the internet as it has evolved from an interesting medium for the technology-aware to an essential commercial platform. With this increasing importance, and the internet's ability to extend the reach of a business, it is valuable to realise precisely what different internet service providers (ISPs) offer before buying. This includes evaluating service level and support capabilities and understanding how these vary throughout the UK.

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  • Addressing a growing problem

    Given today's economic climate, businesses are, more than ever, looking to create additional value through the reduction of risk and by saving costs. For many, the economic downturn is seen as the best time to optimise the infrastructure that they already have in place, to look at ways to trim unnecessary expenditure and to use existing resources more effectively. As organisations are increasingly reliant on data networks that encompass an ever-growing range and number of internet protocol (IP) enabled devices and applications, they need to more effectively administer and manage these assets-they can no longer take the management of their IP networks for granted.

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  • Predictive service excellence for printing

    Networked printers and multifunction peripherals often require a high level of support and manual intervention. Secure remote monitoring platforms reduce device downtime through automating service alerts, providing proactive toner replenishment and automatic meter reading. End users benefit through improved device uptime, and manufacturers and their service partners can build proactive service relationships which can drive greater customer loyalty.

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  • Standardised battlefield SOA

    The battlespace environment presents a distinct set of issues that have been a challenge historically for information technologies (IT) and traditional architectural approaches. The inherent demands of the battlespace include the availability and reliability of information systems, with appropriate and available bandwidth for data transference, and total security. The emergence of service oriented architectures (SOA) and web services present a means of bringing a high degree of standardisation to the fore. Such an approach can deliver long-term benefits and enable defence forces to embrace and utilise new functionality rapidly and as cost-effectively as possible.

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  • The perfect storm - time to review client computing strategies

    As different needs and issues converge on businesses and IT managers around managing costs and risk while creating an enabling environment, technology advances now mean that client-side computing can be more tightly controlled while still providing flexibility and cost effectiveness.

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  • Enterprise performance management - the EPM index

    Measuring how well an organisation is performing is a basic need, requiring full visibility of various processes and workflows including the needs and inputs of partners and other stakeholders, as well as an effective means of monitoring and measuring how these variables work to produce an end result. The research behind this report shows that most organisations still have much to do, with disconnects between key steps and a lack of inclusion of essential stakeholders across processes.

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  • Light touch, firm impression

    Switch from paper systems to IT but keep to the business process script: Mobile technologies have become cheaper to buy and have greater performance, functionality and capacity than ever before. This can encourage over-complicated products to be used for mobile applications. These will have higher direct costs in maintenance, support or training, and higher indirect costs from the unnecessary complexity of the user experience. This is especially noticeable in the automation of simple, traditionally paper-based, processes. Done well, the use of appropriate mobile technology can pay dividends, but beware the pitfalls.

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  • Beating IT recession blues

    Companies have to remain competitive, but the recent years of prosperity have made this less of a driving need in many industries. Most organisations think they can outperform their rivals, and many believe that their approach to IT can play a significant part in this. There is a link between the performance and capabilities of the IT function and overall business performance, but not everybody is aware of this, or takes advantage of it.

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  • From body shop to mind shop

    IT departments rarely have the luxury of spare capacity or sufficient knowledge of all the products and technologies that the rest of their organisation expects. However, IT is an integral part of most businesses, and supporting diverse or specialised technologies and understanding their impact on the business is a necessity. Organisations not only require help from third parties, they need it to be focussed, expert and cost effective, and based on a long term partnership to ensure that internal and external staff work effectively together.

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  • Managed hosting in Europe - June 2009

    The term "managed hosting" describes the provision of a ready to use IT stack including hardware and infrastructure software for the deployment of applications. Providers house the infrastructure in central data centres accessed by customers over the internet. In the past this has usually been on the basis of hardware servers dedicated to individual customers, however the increasing use of virtualisation has allowed managed hosting providers to reduce costs by sharing infrastructure between customers, creating the earliest versions of what the industry now refers to as compute clouds. Computing platforms provisioned and managed by specialists provide higher service levels, greater ease of secure access and more manageable costs than many organisations are able to achieve internally.

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