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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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  • Fuelling the engine

    Across the mid-market, inefficiencies are compounded by the lack of visibility into pertinent data, of processes being adequately and flexibly automated, and for the performance of the business to be monitored on a constant basis. Without such capabilities, businesses will find it difficult to survive the current financial conditions - yet creating an environment where information can be easily aggregated and viewed has never been easier. Also, business performance can be easily monitored with small proactive, and even reactive, actions ensuring effective responses to market forces and enabling organisations to compete with local and more global business threats.

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  • Removing the complexity from information protection

    With data breaches widespread, no organisation can afford to be complacent, but most data losses are avoidable. Many of the breaches making headline news are caused by the loss or theft of laptops and other portable devices. To protect themselves from financial and reputational damage, encryption technologies can reduce risks by ensuring the information on such devices is secure when users are on the move. They can also add value by allowing the secure sharing of information among authorised users and by enabling more secure remote working.

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