We can see that there are a lot of IT security warnings published in the press regarding the abuse of Exchange Server Vulnerabilities. Read all about the solutions to protect your company.

The last few months we have all been working massively from home and it doesn’t look like the current situation will change immediately. What we saw was that some of the companies were easily adapting to this new way of working, but that other companies were less prepared for this, and that the changes required greater efforts.

The shift from office- to homeworking as the norm is not only bringing changes at this time but will undoubtedly determine our future. In this blog, we therefore discuss five trends that are already becoming more and more common or that will appear in the work field in the near future.

1. CLOUD COMPUTING

With the implementation of a digital workplace within your company you are ready for the future. By migrating to the Cloud, you can remotely manage different devices and ensure that employees have access to the necessary software and applications whenever and wherever they want.Due to Cloud solutions, data will be stored and secured virtually in the cloud instead of locally.

Companies often take their first steps into the Cloud by implementing a digital workplace. This often opens doors within the company to migrate other aspects to the Cloud. A choice can be made between the Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud depending on the business needs. You can read the difference between these Cloud solutions here.

Cloud Solutions

2. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the integration of human intelligence into artefacts or devices/objects. The goal is to create devices that are able to act the exact same way as a human when they encounter the same situation. This process is often a matter of ‘trial & error’ with the aim of approaching reality as closely as possible and constantly improving and updating the processes.

The AI principle is not new and is already being used for countless processes today. An example we are all familiar with is updating smartphones and laptops in order to constantly improve their performance.

In the business world AI allows us to evaluate and further optimize the used processes. This is often in combination with automation processes because AI teaches us where things can be done better and faster. Computer-controlled operations often offer a solution here. Some people fear that this shift will cost their job but there are also people in favor who say that they can use the gained time for strategic thinking, experimenting with new innovations, updates,…

Artificial Intelligence

3. AUGMENTED & VIRTUAL REALITY

With Augmented Reality (AR), an extra layer is added to reality via the (smartphone) camera. The camera displays extra computer-generated information on the screen and there are also differences here. For example, the extra layer can also add some extra textual information or can display whole animations with audio and vibrancies. 

Virtual Reality (VR) is actually the opposite of Augmented Reality. A VR headset ensures that you’re cut off from reality and that you are immersed in a fictional world.

Augmented and Virtual Reality are both on the rise in the business world, although this is mainly sector-specific. For example, architects can create entire building tours by using virtual reality glasses or can add extra elements to a building using AR. At the beginning of the lockdown, we also saw new initiatives such as fictitious meeting rooms to increase the sense of togetherness between the employees.

4. 5G

Anyone who has followed the news over the past few months has probably seen 5G pass by several times. As with other changes, there are supporters and opponents. Still, 5G is a fact and will make an appearance in the (near) future. It promises to be even faster than the mobile internet we are already used to today. For employees who regularly use their cell phone for work-related purposes, this means a wider and faster range.

5G

5. EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

Employee Eperience resembles to User Experience and puts the needs and requirements of the users, in this case the employees, first. Because the Digital Workplace should enable employees to work from anywhere at any time, it is important to start from this point of view.

The implementation is therefore more than providing some new technologies. It requires a holistic approach in which the right accents must be placed from the start. In addition to accessibility and user-friendliness, sufficient attention must also be paid to performance and security in order to secure all data. Ideally, you should just roll out a test environment to a few people in order to improve any shortcomings before implementing the digital workplace for the entire company.

Employee Experience

Are you also considering implementing a digital workplace within your company? We will be happy to advise you about the different functionalities and infrastructure that best suits your business needs.

The Cloud is now an indispensable part of business life and we see that more and more companies are taking the leap to store their applications and data in the Cloud. It shouldn’t surprise us that the Cloud industry is growing every day.

In this blog we discuss three different forms of Cloud deployment: Private Cloud, Public Cloud and Hybrid Cloud. But why is one model better than the other for your company? What are the differences and benefits you should consider? We explain all of this in the following blog!

What is a Public Cloud

The Public Cloud is a fully virtualized environment in which the services of a third party, the Cloud service provider, are used. They offer resources such as software, hardware, storage, servers, VM’s,… from a distance by using the internet. Well-known providers are Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and IBM Cloud.

The resources above are owned by the service provider and are distributed to different customers/tenants. The data stored per tenant in the Cloud is always safely protected from the other tenants. This model is suitable for growing companies with fluctuating needs.

Advantages Public Cloud

  • Cost-efficient
  • Speed
  • Performance
  • Availability
  • Scalability
  • Flexibility

What is a Private Cloud

The Private Cloud, also Internal or Corporate Cloud, is an environment tailored to the needs and goals of a single company. Unlike the Public Cloud, it is not shared among different customers/tenants. With this model, you can choose to host this in a data center within your own company or to hire a hosting service provider as with the Public Cloud. Well-known providers are VMware, Dell EMC, IBM, HPE and Oracle.

The Private Cloud is tailored to your own company so you can choose which resources are purchased and used. This model is ideal for companies that find the Public Cloud unsuitable or unsafe for the needs of their business.

Advantages Private Cloud

  • Customized
  • Self-Service
  • Security
  • Predictable Costs
  • Speed 
  • Flexibility

What is a Hybrid Cloud

The Hybrid Cloud is a combination of the Public Cloud, Private Cloud and an on-premise IT infrastructure. This allows data and applications to move between different platforms. One of the biggest advantages of the Hybrid Cloud is thus flexibility and has the added advantage that within this model you can choose which important applications and business sensitive information you keep in-house and which you place in the Cloud. In this way you keep control and are not limited in speed and accessibility. Moreover, you also control the security of your most important data and applications when you store and manage them in-house.

The Hybrid Cloud is ideal for businesses that fluctuate a lot and want to be able to react quickly. This model makes it possible to expand and reduce the Cloud capacity when needed. Moreover, the cost-per-usage model also applies here so you only pay for what you use.

Advantages Hybrid Cloud

  • Self-service
  • Security
  • Speed
  • Availability
  • Flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Cost-efficient

As you can see, there are different ways to start with Cloud Computing. Do you want to start but don’t know how? Send an email to info@epact.be. We are happy to give you more information about the different possibilities that fit your business needs and goals.

Data is the new gold and we must protect it at all costs and times. But how can you protect your data during a pandemic or (technological) crisis? Invest in a solid business continuity plan, we promise that it will help you when unexpected events cause a disruption on your computer systems.

What is a business continuity plan (BCP)?

Business continuity means having a plan to deal with difficult, unpredictable situations. In other words, it keeps your company going no matter the situation it’s dealing with. You might think that you have a smaller company and there is nothing that can or nobody that wants to harm your business, but that’s wrong. It’s wrong to think that your company or business isn’t vulnerable to any kinds of threats. We don’t say that the risk is the same across all companies or sectors, but there are potential threats everywhere.

The importance of in-depth threat analysis

That’s why a solid business continuity plan always starts with a threat analysis, as with any other plan for that matter. Define potential threats for your company to know how you can keep going under any changing circumstances! When you have a clear overview, you can start with finding ways to prevent or mitigate these threats.

Changing environmental conditions and the impact on your business

As not everything is predictable and hackers are finding new ways to intrude businesses every day, you’ll want to invest in good back up systems and disaster recovery. It might be considered a subset of business continuity and focuses on the technology systems supporting critical business functions. Disaster recovery is a form of ‘insurance’ that you as a company may need to use once every ten years.

Two common and actual disruptors of your business as usual

Coronavirus aka Global Pandemics

Luckily for most businesses a pandemic is not very common, but unfortunately many countries and companies were recently affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, also known as Coronavirus pandemic. We speak of an epidemic when a numerous amount of people has been infected with a disease that has spread across a large region.

During the COVID-10 lockdown a lot of employees were/are forced to work from home and many companies were/are still not ready for remote working. You have to know how you will be communicating with your team during a crisis and how they will get access to all the needed applications to do their job.

More info:

Cybercriminals and cybersecurity

As we mentioned in the beginning of this blog: data is the new gold and we must protect it at all costs and times. But did you know that cyber attacks happen every single day and that a company is attacked an average of 288 times a week? (Facts provided by Check Point Software Technologies)

Cyber attacks are assaults caused by cyber criminals using one or more computers against a single or multiple computers or networks. Cyber criminals or hackers use different types of attacks (Phishing mails, DDoS attacks, man-in-the middle attacks,…) and are finding new, innovative ways to strike every day.

As you’re never fully prepared or protected against cyber attacks we absolutely recommend you to have a decent backup system and regularly make backups of your data. In this way you can recover your personal or professional data when an attack takes place instead of losing it.

Our solutions: Continuity as a Service (CaaS)

We help you to protect your business against attacks, losses, theft and downtime. We create backups of all your workloads, which can be stored in any possible scenario. You have the certainty of a rapid and reliable recovery of individual files, complete virtual machines and applications.

Want to know more? Contact us for more info!

In the year 2020, the Cloud has become an indispensable part of the business world. We therefore see that many companies have already made the step to the private, public or hybrid cloud and that others have put this item at the top of their agenda, ready to be implemented. Do you belong to the last group and do you need one last push to convince yourself? Then be sure to read on, we have listed a few benefits especially for you!

  1. Flexibility

    In our personal opinion, this is one of the biggest advantages of the Cloud. As a business manager, you never know what the future will bring for you. Will there be growth or will you be forced to downsize? When all your data and applications are on premise, it will be difficult to deal with these changing circumstances. The Cloud on the other hand, is flexible so you can easily increase or decrease capacity.  

  2. Cost shift

    Because with Cloud Services you only pay for what you use, we see a cost shift when migrating from on premise to the cloud. With on premise storage you have both CAPEX and OPEX costs and with cloud storage you’ll primarily have OPEX costs.

    CAPEX-kosten

    CAPital EXpenditures or CAPEX cost refers to the cost of developing or delivering non-consumable parts of a product or service. In other words, it is something that is purchased once-only such as:

    – Physical servers
    – Routers
    – Physical storage space
    – Cooling systems
    – …

    OPEX-kosten

    OPerating EXpenses (operating expenses) or OPEX costs indicate the recurring costs that a company incurs in providing services or products such as:

    – Electricity
    – Internet
    – Hardware maintenance
    – Personnel costs
    – …

    So be sure to take the above-mentioned things into account when you make a cost calculation for your company.

  3. Automatisation

    Automation is a logical consequence when you choose for a Cloud strategy within your company. It ensures that processes can be modernized and that data will be used in an optimal way. Automation allows the IT department to take advantage of ‘gained’ time, which they can use to add extra value and gives them the opportunity to anticipate to new developments in a timely manner. As a company you should therefore not consider automation as ‘something that steals the work away from your people’, but as ‘something that supports your people and relieves them of routine work‘.

  4. Scalability

    We already mentioned it briefly: the Cloud offers you as a company the possibility to upscale or downscale whenever you want. Unlike on premise storage, you don’t have to wonder whether your storage is too big or too small because it adapts to your needs at that particular moment. The shift to the Cloud also has benefits for smaller businesses. They benefit from this new infrastructure thanks to the ‘you only pay for what you use’ principle.

  5. Security

    Security is one of the most common concerns we hear from customers when they consider migrating to the Cloud. However, we would like to emphasize that this is not necessary because every Cloud Provider has a team of experts that is dedicated to monitoring new trends and developments within cybersecurity on a daily basis. In other words: because they specialize in this matter and have different clients at their disposal, they can dedicate far more time and money to this than you as a company ever could. Of course, there is never a 100% guarantee that no cyber attack will take place, but the chances are way smaller.

  6. Disaster Recovery

    Data is the new gold and must be guaranteed with the required security. So we don’t have to tell you that it’s no superfluous luxury to bet on data continuity within your company and let the Cloud be perfect for this purpose! Why? Because its reliability and scalability is fully up to date and restoring your data and servers after an incident can be done in no time. In this way you can limit the downtime of your business and get back to work quickly!

Do you want to make the leap to the Cloud yourself? Would you like additional information? Don’t hesitate to contact us. Together with you, we will go through all the possibilities of the (hybrid) cloud and see how we can best handle the migration within your company.

Accelerating Digital Business
Event | March 10, 2020 | 11:00 AM PDT

Build, run, and manage any app in any cloud

Software continues to shape and reshape nearly every global industry. As a new generation of cloud native applications comes to market, the possibilities are limitless. Join VMware executives in this streamed event as they outline a clear path for accelerating the delivery of modern applications in a multi-cloud world.

Throughout this event you will have access to new product details across VMware’s complete modern applications portfolio. You will also hear unique insights from pioneers in Kubernetes as they help you unlock the potential of your team to rapidly deliver business innovation.

What to expect

 1. Get expert perspectives

Hear from VMware executives and Kubernetes pioneers as they outline the next generation of apps.

2. Witness New Solutions in Action

See how our complete modern apps portfolio can help you accelerate innovation and compete in the digital economy.

3. Connect with Industry Leaders

Access unique expertise to help you build, run, and manage a new generation of apps.

4. Accelerate Your App Strategies

Make developers more agile, use any cloud provider, and extend existing skills and investments, all while safeguarding your apps and data.