Category Archives: Blog

Five Major risks in Office 365 Implementation

office 365 implementation risks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloud has become a viable option in almost every aspect of IT. With Microsoft’s push to move exchange environments to Office 365, many enterprises have already moved or planning to implement.Though Microsoft offers lot of great features such as security, and reliability, enterprises are postponing the adoption due to implementation challenges. Let’s find out what are the major risks in office 365 implementation.

BELOW LISTED ARE THE TOP 5 OFFICE 365

  1. Access
  2. Mitigating risk
  3. Messaging security
  4. Corrupt Data
  5. Migration

Access Issues: All deployments begin with access. Access to a business’ core infrastructure and domain is a critical success factor. Domain access (domain verification with clouds) is critical to begin the Exchange Online deployment. Those companies with no access to their domains will be challenged and suffered deployment delays.

Mitigating Risk: With Office 365, you have a number of places where failure can occur – email, online protection, even just authentication can all be subject to failure – so if you acknowledge the possibility of Office 365 being down, you’ll need a plan on how your users will access and use email during that downtime. Need to find an alternative solution to keep your services working even if Office 365 is offline. Third party policies and solutions are there for efficiently handling an outage.

Messaging Security: Spam filtering is one of the biggest challenges during Office 365 implementation. With on-premises Exchange, there are many choices of vendors to provide layers of security and hygiene for your messaging – some based at the gateway and some on the client. But when moving to Office 365, the options diminish significantly. Though Office 365 utilize Exchange Online Protection, it fail to address the more advanced attack that are realized at the connection level as well as the email content level.

 Data Loss: Data loss is often a major concern for Office 365 customers because Microsoft’s backup policies cannot guarantee a complete and speedy restore of lost data. Even when data is retrievable, the process is long and complicated, and retention policies vary for each application included in the cloud platform. New data retention policy setting introduced in Outlook can be a good news to office customers to some extent. But the retention policies can only protect you from data loss in a limited way and are not intended to be a complete backup solution.

Migration: Office 365 migration can be either one of the easiest things or one of the most challenging. It mainly depends on the size and complexity of the environment you are working on. If you have an on premise Active Directory environment and you want to perform a migration, it won’t be an easy process. Exchange Server 2010 SP2 includes a wizard that reduces the number of steps from roughly 50 down to six, but the migration process is still tedious and requires a lot of advanced planning.

FOR A SUCCESSFUL MIGRATION, IDENTIFY THE PIECES THAT ARE MISSING IN YOUR CURRENT ENVIRONMENT. ONCE YOU IDENTIFIED THOSE SEEK THE HELP OF SOME EFFICIENT THIRD PARTY PROVIDERS/SOLUTIONS THAT CAN PROBABLY MAKE YOUR MIGRATION AND RUNNING OF OFFICE 365 A FAR SMOOTHER PROCESS.

As your dedicated IT management arm, Insight Consultants  can handle all of your computing and software, to allow you to get back to what you do best and concentrate on your own business.We already embraced the cloud by moving email, collaboration and document management onto Microsoft’s Office 365. With Office 365 providing Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Office Web Apps services, we find this platform can effectively manage all communication and collaboration within the organization, with minimal retraining of technical staff or users. Our installation service transitions all your data and documents from your older version of Windows software to the up-to-date Office 365, without losing any information in the process. Our methodical approach RadicalRooting not just give you the solution for your problem, but will walk along with you till you get the expected benefits from our solution.

 If you have any challenges facing during your Office 365 implementation, please feel free to Contact Us

Project Experience: Microsoft Office 365 Implementation for ABC International

Secure Software Development- Best Practices

secure software development

A 100% secure software development is almost impossible, as no software can be made fully protected. But with cyber-attack and malicious threats common in software industry, it is very essential for an enterprise to think about the security of their most sensitive data. However, by following certain best practices, a secure software, which is less susceptible to security breaches can be developed.

HERE IS A LIST OF BEST SECURITY PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR A SECURE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

1. Protect your business and brand with secure solutions: Understand your business clearly to create secure solutions for potential security risks, regulatory requirements and training needs. Customer trust is the real cost and an organisation is obligated to retain it by protecting the brand name through more secure software.

2. Understand Software Technology: Before building a software, a thorough understanding should be made on the existing infrastructure for a smooth deployment. An insecure implementation can lead to severe breaches.

3. Governance, Regulations and Privacy Policy: Ensure compliance to governance, regulations and privacy policy. An up-to-date understanding should be made on the internal and external policies that govern business.

4. Protect the sensitive information: Company’s sensitive information must be correctly classified, properly controlled and secured.

5. Design, develop and deploy secure software: Many software security vulnerabilities are not coding issues at all, but design issues. So while designing a software, use threat model and abuse case modelling to identify potential threats. Incorporate necessary secure controls during the development stage of your software development lifecycle (SDLC). Secure deployment ensures that the software is functionally operational and secure at the same time. It means that software is deployed with defence-in-depth, and attack surface area is not increased by improper release, change, or configuration management.

6. Educate: Without a full participation, no security plan is likely to succeed. So once the security measures are identified convey it to the stakeholders so that they can implement the security activities.

Software security is a step by step procedure which cannot be achieved just at a specific level but it should be taken into account from the beginning of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

As an Intelligent Business software provider, at Insightconsutants, our home grown process RadicalRooting looks at software requirements backwards, starting from the reports that tell us what problem the software seeks to solve and then allow that insight to define what the software should and should not do. The process ensures that adequate time is spent to understand and anchor solutions around problems and not the other way round. Once the core problem is clearly defined, the RadicalRooting™ process ensures that reports are designed to track not just how well the solution performs, but also how well the problem is finally getting resolved through the solution. If you feel this is something you expect or if you would like to know more about this, contact us.

6 Ways to Effectively Manage Your Software Development Risk

project risk

Software development is activity that uses a variety of technological advancements and requires high levels of knowledge. Because of these and other factors, every software development project contains elements of uncertainty. This is known as project risk. Successful projects are always associated with proper risk management. All the projects have one or other minor or major risks.  It is impossible to remove all the risks, still successful project managers should design a risk plan which involves identifying, quantifying, and managing risks to reap the full success of a project.

Can software management risk be effectively managed?

From our experience with dealing with more than 80 customers worldwide, here are 6 ways that help us to effectively reduce your risk.

1. Break down the project and schedule payment . To manage the risk better, break the project as well as the total project costs down into various phases. The key here is to identify discrete deliverables at the end of each phase. Each deliverable will be signed off by the client if found acceptable and complying to the specified requirements. The client will make a payment against each sign off.

2. Go, No-go : The client has the prerogative to declare a go or a no-go after each deliverable is presented, according to whether the deliverable conforms with the requirements specified in the requirements document. This way, we place the client in a position of control.

3. Reduce risk by starting with a business-prototype. Take 5 % of the business process and web-enable it and analyze the results before continuing.

4. Good Process and Documentation: Good processes and documentation help considerably in managing risk. Requirements and Change management process is a good example. Remember for instance that whenever requirements and subsequent changes to these requirements are not managed well, in the development process, we are adding to the risk.

5. Use of efficient technology for future proof solutions. XML transforms existing IT systems into e-business systems allowing information to flow seamlessly throughout your corporation.

How to identify risks?

All projects have some measure of risk. It is impossible to remove all risks, so try to identify and manage them to prevent project failure. There are various sources of risks from scope risks to cost overruns associated with a project.

Major risks associated with a typical project include:

  • Scope Risk (the project grows in complexity as clients add to the requirements, integration issues, software & hardware defects)
  • Scheduling Risk (unexpected delays at an external vendor, delays in acquisition of parts)
  • Resource Risk (lack of suitable resources and lack of availability of funds)
  • Technology Risk (delays arising out of software & hardware defects or the failure of an underlying service or a platform)
  • External Risk (Unforeseen regulatory requirements, natural disasters)
  • Legal Risk (violating trade mark and licenses, sued for breach of contract)

Project management at Insight

Defining project success before you start requires critical and conceptual thinking. A project can be conceived as a measured chain of achievements and this chain is created by starting at the end of the project. This last achievement in a project is what defines the success of the project. This measurement is not just a deliverable and a due date, it is instead a strategic result that needs to be defined with clear consultation with the stakeholders.

When a problem is identified, available solutions are studied, potential solutions determined and a project brief is created in this stage. A decision is made to outsource or work on the project internally. As may be the case, the service provider and the team members are then identified.

A project manager at Insight plans and monitors projects to accomplish goals within predictable quality, cost and time. The aim is to build and deliver solutions that exceed customer expectations using well-defined, reliable, flexible, economical and adaptable processes from end-to-end in our business cycles.

The project scope defines the vision and the end-results of the project. A needs analysis document will gather detail information like target audience, technology profiling, budget and schedule, staffing and risks. A project scope or proposal document is then developed as a detailed proposal for meeting project needs. The next step is to then negotiate and sign a contract and select a team to work on the project. A project plan is then developed. It contains a description of the project management activities that will be necessary for the execution and control of the project.

We’ve been in the business of software and web application development for the past 18 years and our services include custom software development, website design & development, web application development, web enabling legacy systems, website maintenance and eLearning solutions. There are a range of project management techniques that are used to manage and track time, resources and tasks in a project. At Insight Consultants, we use an in-house software called Operations Management System that doesn’t just help manage projects, but also functions as an employee relationship management. To  know more about our software development process, Contact Us

Enterprise mobility strategy-best practices

enterprise mobility

Enterprise Mobility is one of the most significant IT shift ever. The giant leap in the mobile technology and its associated applications indeed transformed our lives. Accessibility of all manners of smart products and services is now possible with just a click via advanced mobile technology. The evolution from business connectivity to business mobility is unlike previous compute transitions because it redefines how people work. More number of enterprises are using the mobile workforce for increased productivity.

Mobility can impact IT in many ways like:

  • Mobility will make computing location independent.
  • Improved customer experience and enhanced collaboration with colleagues
  • Mobile computing will anchor the network and become a strategic asset that will be used as the basis of competitive differentiation

But to balance with the mobility revolution, a clear work space mobile strategy is imperative. What can be the best practices to be observed while implementing an effective mobility strategy for an enterprise? Here we have summed up an unbeatable enterprise mobility strategy in 7 simple steps.

Enterprise Mobility Strategy

Identify the business objectives and targeted benefits: Before implementing an effective strategy, clearly identify how it is going to impact your business. They should detect the kind of risk while integrating personal device to the enterprise network. Define a clear set of goals, expecting through mobile platform. Keep goals closely bound to enterprise’s core objectives for the best results.

Introduce a clear mobile policy: The policy should cover every possible scenario which includes IT strategy, security and audit requirements, infrastructure policies etc.

Device management and access policies: As a first step, devices needs to be registered so that users can securely and seamlessly access corporate data. To secure the sensitive data, it’s important to determine which corporate applications can be accessed from an employee-owned device.

Restrict the mobility cost: IT managers should strictly monitor to reduce the mobile data cost down. A dedicated Wi-Fi provider can be a cost- effective option

Strive for continuous application delivery: Since the mobile world is prone to daily updates, enterprises should think above the traditional approaches. Instead enterprises should use Agile methods in software development and moving to DevOps methods to speed both the development and deployment of software.

Security Measures: While encouraging BYOD, IT should ensure security policies and also able to remotely wipe corporate data if the device lost or any kind of malfunction happened.  Advanced security choices need to be implemented to shield network. While exposing mobile oriented services, make sure the back-end integration and transaction details are properly secured

Leverage both cloud-based and on-premises solutions: When choosing between cloud- and premises-based solutions, the decision is not easy. Both models have strengths and weaknesses. Businesses should combine cloud based and on-premises solution components to provide maximum flexibility to align with technology and business priorities

Insight Consultants, proven best practices cover all aspects of defining and executing a comprehensive mobile strategy for our clients. Our proven methodology, Radical Rooting enable us to tailor enterprise architectures and application strategies, evaluate and plan security and infrastructure strategies. We typically approach this through 4 steps of Radical Rooting

Assessment: Review current state and perform bench marking. We gather client requirements and come up with a firm foundation for building solution

Establish indicators that help clients measure solutions in terms of return. Create mobility business and technology plans

Design mobility solutions. Through prototypes will give a clear idea to the client how the end solution will be

Drive enterprise and customer value. Will walk along with you till you realize that your solution performs as per expectation

Get in touch today to transform your business-inside and out – using innovative mobile technologies

Mobile and Collaboration – Two Benefits from Cloud Tech

mobile colloboration

The latest technology, cloud  have made it possible that you communicate with, and serve all your clients whether they are sitting next to you or they are on the other side of the globe. With new and emerging technologies like mobile cloud computing, and cloud collaboration, it has become possible that a business can stretch out its hands to find new clients or just cater its existing clients sitting on the other part of the globe.

Cloud Computing

There are many types to cloud; one can be on public cloud which will have all the advantages of auto updates, application integration, to produce its own solution along with inheriting the features of Cloud itself. Then there is the private cloud, where business wants an assurance for the security of their data or would want to keep daily tasks to reduce redundancy. Another option that’s quickly gaining traction is the hybrid cloud concept where the business can have their data split into very sensitive, high security data and the one that it wants to share with the clients, internal and external stakeholders. A few core benefits of cloud computing are:

1. Pay-per-use model that enables you to pay only for the resources you use

2. Resources, whether hardware or software, will be available on-demand basis

3. You get the benefit of all auto updates to the applications when on public cloud

4. Your employees would concentrate more towards adding value to your business rather than concentrating on the existing and required infrastructure

5. Your clients anywhere in the world would be able to access business data

What a beautiful concept of keeping your infrastructure on cloud and focusing more towards adding business value through strategic decisions or towards resolving more complex business issues.

Mobile Cloud Computing

Mobile is a necessity and not just a method of communication anymore. A research shows that 90% of C-level executives look at the updates on their mobiles before even brushing their teeth! The mobile applications allow us to do banking, shopping, and have gaming and entertainment on fingertips. One can reach anyone, anytime without worrying about who has the software or not, you just have the application and you work on it either in silos or in collaboration, all with real-time changes.

Collaboration

Collaboration is still in the stage of evolution. Voice services, messaging, video and social media are all coming together to form Unified Communications and Unified Collaboration. While BYOD may provide with all the services that an employee might ask for to have seamless work environment.

Cloud collaboration

This is a new emerging way of storing and managing documents on cloud where others can share modify, and access at the same time. This combined platform brings together the wellness of cloud computing and new techniques of collaboration which is highly cost effective and easily manageable for globalized industries.

Mobile collaboration is the use of mobile devices and collaborative apps to allow geographically dispersed people to work together on endeavors ranging from small personal projects to high-profile enterprise teamwork. Enterprise mobility is increasingly becoming something that both employers and employees take for granted. The ability to work from anywhere and at any time affords workers more flexibility in terms of both specific hours worked and the places they can be while they work.

it’s increasingly crucial for mobile workers to have the ability to collaborate with other employees from wherever they happen to be at any given time. As a result, many vendors offer collaboration platforms and tools, and the capacity for mobile access and collaboration are often built into standard business applications.

Benefits of collaboration

Technological advances have allowed today’s workplace to grow in a more connected, global, collaborative and flexible way. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why cloud collaboration is becoming increasingly popular amongst businesses in order to enhance their brand and improve interaction in the workplace.

  1. More efficient
  2. Anytime anywhere access
  3. Improved video communication
  4. Companies have several options when it comes to cloud collaboration because it offers a variety of solutions depending on whether it’s the deployment of a private, public or hybrid cloud environment.

Greater flexibility across time zones and a greater mobile workforce productivity

Having all the trends in the market, one has to look at which is the best suited solution for his business. Consulting established market leaders for BI solutions will certainly provide you not only with the best solution but also some added business values through innovative ideas.

Insight Advantage:

RadicalRooting™ is an in-house development of Insight that helps you look intently at your business’s pain points and spend time resolving them, before moving into the solution conceptualization stage. We have been the leaders in consulting and developing BI solutions for Mid-Sized businesses since 18 years with the latest in technology.