Industry Wrap  № 9.

And that’s a wrap! Next Dimension curates the most practical and useful tools and strategic IT insights from the web.

This week we shared articles across our social media covering the following topics: IT Strategy to Enable Business Strategy, IT road map as a plain language collaboration platform, Filling the Gap, IT ROI: Security, Enable Efficiency through Innovation

Looking for details? Continue reading to see more.

IT Strategy to enable Business Strategy

Organizations require speed and innovation to thrive.  Simplifying your Operational Network can drastically improve agility.

Cisco has partnered with Equinix to help you manage your hundreds and maybe thousands of high-performing enterprise, web, and mobile applications, securely and with minimal latency, while also optimizing cost. Core to this partnership is the realization that the enterprise-wide area network (WAN) provides the foundation for cloud deployments and digitally transformative initiatives.

Most applications bridge both private infrastructure and public clouds. Cisco, in partnership with Equinix, gives customers a broad choice of solutions and deployment options to optimize their WAN architectures for applications that connect users, remote headquarters, branches, and the data center to cloud providers to:

Deliver the best quality user experience

Protect against cyber threats and meet compliance requirements

Reduce overall costs and operational complexity

Cisco is helping companies create agile, distributed, and secure connectivity for the needs of businesses, organizations, and their customers. By integrating Cisco’s cloud and SD-WAN solutions on the Equinix platform, customers have the speed and flexibility to connect to clouds, SaaS, PaaS, networks, and service providers, which helps us support business continuity needs and enables better end-user experiences.


IT road map as plain language collaboration platform

Take an organizational approach to IT to combat increased risk and complexities.

A review of hundreds of cloud deployments from customers and community showed 93% of reviewed infrastructure had misconfigured cloud storage services.  The impact of misconfigurations in enterprise cloud deployments can potentially spread beyond organizations and reach their clients and stakeholders. These types of cybersecurity flaws led to one of the largest data breaches the financial sector saw last year: the Capital One breach.

Widespread misconfiguration in cloud deployments can be traced back to the beginning of the cloud. When many companies began their cloud journey, deployment automation technology wasn’t widely available. What companies can look to in the near future in order to combat misconfigurations is the connection between DevOps practices and security.


Filling the gap between the Boardroom and Server room

The sudden departure of IT leaders can put a company’s tech goals in jeopardy. C-Suite involvement from the beginning can help avoid this.

Whether its fires, pandemics or a recession, leaders must keep the business running seamlessly. Advanced preparation extends to leadership decisions too. In the event of sudden tech leadership departures, organizations need to have a plan in place to continue to execute on short- and long-term tech goals. To prepare for the transition in the tech side of the house, organizations should:

Groom a tech leader in waiting

Keep the C-suite aware of what tech investments are underway

Re-evaluate tech goals in the context of the departure

How well a company overcomes a sudden tech leader departure depends on how informed leaders were kept of ongoing initiatives prior to the departure. Organizations need to have transparent conversations about business priorities, keeping all leadership informed of how IT infrastructure operates. Once a leader departs, it’s up to the organization to evaluate what triggered that departure, and what impact it may have on previously set goals.


IT ROI: Avoid Stops: Reliability and Security

7 recommendations you can implement to protect your organization’s data and privacy

The growth in size, number and sophistication of cyber breaches over the last 10 years has catapulted cyber threats to be one of the greatest threats of the 21st century. If you agree to follow security standards or privacy regulations in your contracts and don’t actually follow through on implementation, then you are leaving your business exposed to the risk of fines and lawsuits. Most boards have come to this realization by now, but the next question is: What should boards be doing to ensure their companies are doing the right things?

Ensure your organization has:

1. Appropriately assessed which privacy regulations it is required to adhere to.

2. Focused its efforts on risk.

3. The appropriate skills to assess and mitigate risk.

4. Determined which senior member of the team owns security and privacy.

5. Documented its information security and privacy program.

6. Conducted testing and auditing regularly (and is continuing to do so).

7. Documented an incident response and disaster recovery plan.

If the company is not delivering on its requirements, it is susceptible to loss of revenue, data breaches and potential lawsuits.


Enable Efficiency through Innovation

Driving key change initiatives are placing unprecedented demand on IT

In the race to digital transformation, businesses are embracing the benefits of automating IT.  From the network to the data center and beyond, automation is more important to organizations than ever.  Automated policy algorithms and analysis can reveal security blind spots that might otherwise lead to cyber-attacks. Predicting vulnerabilities and uncovering weak links in your infrastructure will enable speedy remediation back to a secure state, thwarting hackers and data breaches.

Automated Fault Management provides the key to identifying and resolving these issues, by combining automation and machine learning with Cisco’s anonymized data from over 30 million devices worldwide. If the data reveals a warning pattern in your network, we complete the following steps without human interaction:

Generate an email identifying an issue and directing it to the appropriate source

Open a case with the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC)

Launch an automatic list of remediation steps to solve the problem

In the space of a few years, IT automation has grown into a crucial time-saving strategy, that enables your IT teams to confidently rebalance resources, reduce risks, and accelerate innovation.

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