The cloud saves the day and other non-myths

It’s no surprise that we frequently write about the cloud on our blog. We think the cloud is bigger than sliced bread. And during the holiday season, it’s certainly much, much bigger than sliced fruit cake. But whatever you think of the cloud, it is a lot bigger than just one thing.

Sure, the cloud can save you lots of money. It can make data protection a lot more convenient. And it can save your bacon if your company’s computers are destroyed in a fire or flood. But again, the cloud is more than just one thing. Because of that, there are lots of myths surrounding it.

One of the key findings in Gartner’s recent The Top 10 Cloud Myths report is that “Cloud computing is uniquely susceptible to the perils of myths due to the nature, confusion and hype surrounding it.”

Consider the 10 myths highlighted in the Gartner report:

  • Myth 1: Cloud Is Always About Money
  • Myth 2: You Have to Be Cloud to Be Good
  • Myth 3: Cloud Should Be Used for Everything
  • Myth 4: “The CEO Said So” Is a Cloud Strategy
  • Myth 5: We Need One Cloud Strategy or Vendor
  • Myth 6: Cloud Is Less Secure Than On-Premises Capabilities
  • Myth 7: Cloud Is Not for Mission-Critical Use
  • Myth 8: Cloud = Data Center
  • Myth 9: Migrating to the Cloud Means You Automatically Get All Cloud Characteristics
  • Myth 10: Virtualization = Private Cloud

Like anything else of value, the cloud is what you make of it. For example, you’ve no doubt heard someone say that the cloud is great for backing up data.

Yes, the cloud is great for backing up. But backup is only part of the value. When you understand the many things the cloud can do for your organization, therein lies the greater value. In many respects, the overall value—the sum of the cloud parts—is much greater. For example, it’s tough to measure the value of the peace of mind that results from knowing that your data is backed up AND recoverable. All it takes is for one employee’s laptop with critical data on it to be lost or stolen to really appreciate the value of the cloud. Lost data that’s recoverable—that’s priceless.

Based on the amount of data that people lose, recovery is an ongoing necessity—and a crucial benefit of the cloud.

Consider that 70 percent of people who carry around a laptop, smartphone, or tablet have lost a storage device. In fact, the average person now loses 1.24 data-holding items each year and less than half of those items are ever recovered. The average cost of a lost item is about $200, but it’s not the cost of the item itself that has the greatest impact. It’s the data on the item. In a 2012 independent survey of 3,500 people in the U.S. and Europe, 57 percent of those who lost a device said that they were more upset about losing the data on the device than the device itself. After all, the device is usually replaceable; however, the data is not—unless it has been backed up and is recoverable.

So when the data from that laptop that was left behind in the taxi that was never seen again is quickly recovered just in time for the CEO’s presentation, which motivates the sales force to such an extent that they increase sales by 200 percent during the next quarter, which catches the interest of a VC firm, which eventually takes the company public, which makes a lot of employees really wealthy, which calls for a celebration in which very excited employees light off fireworks in the break room, which causes the fire sprinklers to go off in the building, which causes major damage to a whole bunch of computers, which causes everyone to give a sigh of relief because they know their data is backed up to the cloud, well, it’s easy to see how the cloud can continue to be the source of yet another myth.

Do you have too much access to data?

Be aware: You probably have access to too much data!

That’s right: you can access data you’re unauthorized to see. That’s according to the Ponemon Institute’s latest research report, Corporate Data: A Protected Asset or a Ticking Time Bomb?

In its December 2014 report, the research center found that 71 percent of the 2,276 U.S. and European employees surveyed have access to sensitive information that they don’t need access to.

The report reveals that there is insufficient oversight and control over employees who have access to confidential information. Oftentimes, such information is sensitive in nature and includes:
• Customer lists and contact information
• Intellectual property
• Private information about customers, employees, and business partners

Part of the challenge with controlling data is that too much oversight could sacrifice employee productivity. On the one hand, employees cannot work efficiently if they cannot access the information they need to do their jobs. On the other hand, too little oversight means that employees can access sensitive data that they don’t have any reason to access, jeopardizing an organization’s security and the privacy of customers, co-workers, and others.

Interestingly, it is the employees themselves who believe that they have access to company data that they should not have access to. Even so, of the 71 percent who said that they have such access, 54 percent admitted that their access to the information is frequent or even very frequent. In other words, they know they shouldn’t be accessing the data but they’re doing it anyway, even frequently.

The report found that employees who participated in the survey believe that data protection oversight and controls to their company data are weak. That’s a serious concern, but no less concerning than the survey’s finding that 78 percent believe their organization is unable to tell them what happened to lost data, files, and emails.

It should come as no surprise that IT professionals who participated in the study agree with employees who believe that data protection oversight and controls to the data are weak. Part of the problem, according to the IT practitioners, is that their organizations do not enforce a need-to-know data policy.

Although more than 70 percent of IT practitioners in the survey said that their department takes data protection very seriously, clearly more needs to be done to ensure that their data is protected from unauthorized access.

What can be done to protect corporate data? First, organizations must see data protection as a priority. Second, organizations must ensure that they have a need-to-know data policy and then enforce it. Unenforced policies increase the risk of misused and unauthorized access to confidential and sensitive data.

Today’s technology allows the workforce to access large amounts of data quickly and easily, even from smartphones and tablets. Fortunately, with Mozy cloud backup, critical and confidential data on servers, desktops, and portable devices can be automatically backed up and protected. With Mozy, your data is always protected, recoverable, and secure.

Top Natural Disasters that Threaten Businesses – Infographic

We love this infographic from our friends at Eastern Kentucky University Online. It takes an in-depth look at what can happen to a business when a natural disaster hits. Don’t let your business be one of the six in ten that don’t protect their most crucial files. Be sure to protect your business files with MozyEnterprise cloud backup.

$1.7 trillion says a bundle about data losses and downtime

By anyone’s standards, US$1,700,000,000,000.00 is a lot of money.

According to the findings of a recently released study, globally, enterprises are losing as much as $1.7 trillion through data loss and unplanned downtime.

The EMC Global Data Protection Index (GDPI), which was commissioned by EMC Corp. and conducted by the global technology market research firm Vanson Bourne, is the result of interviews with 3,300 IT decision makers from 24 countries. All respondents were from enterprise-size organizations of at least 250 employees or more.
The study had three primary goals:
•    Calculate the impact of data loss to existing businesses.
•    Assess the maturity level of data protection strategies in multiple countries.
•    Measure IT leaders’ confidence in protecting new and emerging workloads—cloud, big data, and mobility.

In assessing the maturity level of their organization’s data protection, IT decision makers were asked questions relating to their backup and recovery experience, strategy, and infrastructure. Points were awarded to each organization based on the maturity of their data protection strategy, including for shorter recovery times, confidence in backup infrastructure, modern backup systems, and the ability to replicate data offsite. Here are the results:
•    Laggards (scored between 1–25 points): 36.8 percent
•    Evaluators (scored between 26–50 points): 49.5 percent
•    Adopters (scored between 51–75 points): 11.3 percent
•    Leaders (scored between 76–100 points): 2.4 percent

Only 13 percent of organizations globally can be described as adopters or leaders, or, in other words, those who are ahead of the maturity curve. Clearly, many organizations need to redefine their data protection strategy, especially when one considers that of the organizations represented in the study, during the past 12 months:
•    64 percent experienced data loss or unplanned downtime
•    49 percent experienced unplanned downtime
•    32 percent experienced data loss
•    17 percent experienced data loss and downtime

Worldwide, the estimated annual cost for disruptions equates to $754 billion for data loss and $954 billion for downtime, for a total of $1.7 trillion. Regardless of whether an organization is defined as a laggard, evaluator, adopter, or leader, organizations large and small are losing money as the result of data loss and unplanned downtime. But it doesn’t have to be that way. EMC recommends the following:
•    Make sure there’s an appropriate data protection solution in place for all of your critical data no matter where it is or how it is generated.
•    Manage an integrated data protection strategy and maintain a level of visibility and control for application owners.
•    Evaluate the gaps in your protection strategy that may emerge from disparate vendor solutions.
•    Match your data protection approach with the availability and protection requirements for your tiers of applications/data.
•    Understand who owns data protection, especially in the cloud.

All companies can do more to ensure that one of their primary assets—their data—is protected from loss, damage, or theft. After all, no one needs to be convinced that being a laggard is a lot more costly than being a leader. Fortunately, the tools are available to avoid contributing to that $1.7 trillion for disruptions. You CAN be a leader.

How we love to squeeze the cloud for all it’s worth

The holiday season is yet another opportunity to consider how much influence cloud computing has in our lives. For example, have you:

•  Sent holiday greetings and family photos using your Facebook or Gmail account?

•  Purchased any gifts from amazon.com or other online stores?

•  Downloaded and watched a favorite holiday movie or TV show from Netflix?

•  Downloaded a new or favorite holiday song from iTunes on your handheld device?

If you have, then you have benefited from the cloud.

Although all of us are taking advantage of the cloud, do we ever consider how different life would be without it? For example, what happens when the weather turns bad? Are we prepared for a bad day of cloud computing?

Will your holiday greetings and sharing of family photos be delayed? Will your online order arrive late? Will you be watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” after the holidays? Will you be tapping your fingers wondering when you’ll get to hear “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”?

Come again?

Believe it or not, lots of people (to be exact, 51 percent of 1,000 people surveyed) think that bad weather affects cloud computing. And of those 1,000 people surveyed, 95 percent don’t think that they use the cloud. These are the same people who:

•  Bank online

•  Shop online

•  Use social networking such as Facebook and Twitter

•  Store photos online

•  Store music online

•  Play online games

Granted, the Wakefield Research survey was conducted more than two years ago; however, even today many who regularly use the cloud aren’t always aware that they are in fact enjoying many everyday conveniences because of the cloud.

Surprisingly, some university students aren’t sure what the cloud is. Surprising because it is students who have embraced the benefits of the cloud perhaps more enthusiastically than any other single group. Yet when a senior executive veteran of the IT industry asked (via a Skype call!) a group of university students enrolled in a digital journalism class if they had ever used the public cloud, no hands went up. Eventually, one student tentatively offered up “Google Docs?”

Those of us who use the cloud and can also define what the cloud is and the countless benefits it provides—such as backing up our data and safeguarding it should  it ever need to be restored—need to do a better job of educating the masses that the cloud is an important part of life. All of us use the cloud and benefit from it greatly every day.

Some will continue to define the cloud as a “fluffy white thing.” Others will define it as a place to store, access, and share data using their Internet-connected device. But all will continue to enjoy life made easier and more enjoyable because of the cloud—even if Buffalo gets another five feet of snow.

So, if you haven’t already done so, now might be the perfect time to download “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole.

Happy holidays.

 

My name is Eric and I work for Mozy

Mozy scored big when they got years of expertise in technology by hiring Eric, otherwise known as Magnum PI around the office (Tom Selleck would be proud of Eric’s stash!). Eric passes many  tech companies that would love to have him as he endures a long commute from his serene sprawling ranch here in Utah.

I define my workspace as…

Wherever I am with my laptop; I don’t necessarily have to be at my desk in order to be productive. When I’m at my desk it’s lined with my kid’s sports schedules and Hot Wheels cars.

A device I can’t live without….

My mobile phone. I use it to email and text for work. Also, it connects into my second most essential device—my car, via Bluetooth.

When I arrive at work, I typically start my day off by…

Checking my calendar and email. I have usually already checked email before I get to work see if any communications have been received from our Cork, Ireland, office since part of our team resides there.

My work routine is…

Depends on the projects that are on my docket. We have regular meetings to discuss the progress of projects and what hurdles need to be removed in order to complete those projects. I also spend time generating reports, updating documents, and meeting with outside groups to get our products updated and released through the same channels as the Mozy product groups.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …

Yes, when the environment becomes noisy or I’m trying to shut out other distractions in order to focus on a specific task.

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …

Be teachable, listen to your co-workers, and choose your mentors wisely. There are many aspects to this position and it takes a long time to become adept at all of the nuances, so be patient. Be polite, you will have to work with those that you are working with now on another project in the future. It helps to treat everyone with respect and it makes everybody’s day better.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …

My family’s activities. Coaching basketball. Completing projects at home.

My eating habits are …

I say they are healthy, but my coworkers think they are bland. I try to eat reasonable portions, but I am accused of being boring in this regard.

If I could be someone for a day – I would be …

A high school teacher, perhaps in history or shop. I like working with youth and would like to make history interesting for a day or work on a classic car in a shop class.

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …

I am driven to completing tasks. I organize everything into tasks and that’s probably why I became a project manager; it’s a good fit. I also am a stickler for recognizing other’s efforts. I think it’s important to acknowledge co-workers when they have gone out of their way to assist you.

 

*Join Eric on the Mozy team!  For more details on starting your career at Mozy go to  http://mozy.com/about/careers

Droplets vs. files: Comparing what specific clouds can store

Just as various cloud formations are comprised of different densities of water, various cloud storage servers are filled with several types of files. Some are large and require lots of storage space, while others are small and can be packed in tightly. You can protect all of your company’s important data with Mozy’s enterprise cloud backup solution.  Sign up for our 30-day free trial.

MozyEnterprise Online Backup

Want to win new customers? Get engaged!

Ever hear of employee engagement? It is, in part, when management takes a genuine interest in employee development. When employees do a good job, they’re recognized and praised. When employees need improvement, they are coached and given the tools necessary to become better employees.

Although all employees have weaknesses—some that may never go away—those weaknesses can be minimized by focusing on developing employees’ strengths. In other words, managers should be focusing on what employees are good at.

In its latest State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide report, Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton writes about what business leaders can do to improve employee engagement and performance at the companies they lead.

“Trying to get employees to fix their weaknesses doesn’t work,” Clifton states. “Weaknesses can’t be developed much at all—but employees’ strengths can be developed infinitely. The problem is, too many companies focus on fixing weaknesses, and this only breeds non-engagement or, worse, active disengagement.”

A whopping 87 percent of workers are not engaged, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their work and therefore are less likely to be productive. In other words, “Work is more often a source of frustration than one of fulfillment,” Gallup reports.

What’s interesting about employee engagement may surprise you.

When leaders are doing their job to develop plans around their employees’ strengths, employees will be more productive. “When employees work from strengths, nothing motivates them to achieve more—not money, not love, not vacations, not good benefits…,” according to Clifton.

And the benefit of that productivity? Winning new customers.

Winning new customers is certainly important today, but it will be particularly important for a company’s future strength and growth. According to Gallup’s report, the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of the production of goods and services adjusted for price changes, is US$60 trillion. In the next 30 years, that amount will more than triple to US$200 trillion. That statistic should cause any company to salivate as it anticipates gaining new customers. Within the next 30 years the global economy will have US$140 trillion of new customers.

To win some of those customers, a business is going to have to be sure that its employees are engaged. According to Gallup, “Countries that double the number of engaged employees in every company will be best positioned to win the lion’s share of the $140 trillion in new customers.”

Where does employee engagement really begin? Communication! Leaders and managers who communicate honestly and frequently with employees, and employees who communicate informally with each other, will begin to breed a culture of engagement, according to the Gallup report.

Talking to improve business isn’t just some ethereal idea that’s up in the clouds. Said theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking: “Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking.”

So start talking and developing a culture of engagement. It’s good for managers, employees, and winning new customers.

Frightful and delightful: Haiku winners announced

Congratulations to our Frightful Computer Haiku Contest winners! Your submissions were delightful, with some even raising the hairs on our neck.  There were so many scary submissions that we nearly pulled our hair out trying to select three winners. Truly, the creativity was sufficiently creepy. Of the many submissions, the following were selected as being a slash above the rest. Each will receive a $50 gift certificate for their award-winning haiku.

Winner:
Lightning flashes down.
Hard drive’s dead, but Mozy screams:
Alive! It’s aliiiive!
Daniel Gibby

Winner:
he killed my hard drive
but my files, like zombies, creep
back with a vengeance.
adaenn

Winner:
Dark and “cloud”less night
Beware the hard drive killers
Better get Mozy
Glen McAfee

Again, congratulations to our three winners. We hope to continue our Frightful Computer Haiku Contest next year, so if you didn’t win a gift certificate, there’s always next year! Five…seven…five…I can do this… Until then, remember that by using Mozy to back up and protect your files, you’re already a winner.

My name is Mark and I work for Mozy

Editor’s note:  Mark was one of the first Mozy employees and is a familiar smiling face to all. In the early days, Mark was a team of one. These days he manages a team of five that oversees all of Mozy’s global tech documents. He is a family man and a dedicated super fan of the University of Utah. Go, Utes!

 

I define my workspace as…

Slightly messy with mementos from my coaching past. I tried to make it a little personal with some family photos as well.

A device I can’t live without….

My smart phone. I am on it all the time. The first thing I do when I wake up is check my mail and social media.

My work routine is…

Very sporadic. It really depends on the day, some days I am in meetings most of the day while others I am working on projects most of the day at my desk.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …

It depends upon my mood. Sometimes I blast the music through the headphones while at other times I like it quiet so I can concentrate better. If I am writing a lot I prefer to not have music playing. While if I am researching something I prefer to have music playing.

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …

Practice your writing skills. I have noticed recently that a lot of college students and graduates lack the ability to write well. I finished my MBA not that long ago and had to do group projects a lot. I was amazed at how many students couldn’t write very well.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …

Coaching lacrosse. I coached football for 5 years before moving onto lacrosse. I really enjoy sports and working with the young men on my team and getting to know them.

My eating habits are …

Terrible. I actually probably eat better at home because my wife does most of the cooking during the week. I definitely could eat healthier.

If I could be someone for a day – I would be …

Michael Jordan in his hay day especially when they were crushing the Utah Jazz.

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …

I think my secret sauce is to have fun doing what you are doing while working hard. For those people that know me know I am always cracking jokes and trying to have a good time.

One thing that makes me unique is….

I have a large occipital protuberance.