Forbes Article by Ntirety CEO Emil Sayegh: In the Era of the COVID-19 Crisis, Look Up to the Cloud(s)

Effects of COVID-19 coronavirus are felt everywhere, including the business world.

With its far-reaching effects, business continuity plans are tested in this pandemic crisis – and Ntirety is no different. But with years of experience designing and implementing disaster recovery plans for clients, we are practicing what we preach with Ntirety’s Response Plan to Coronavirus and our experts are here to help prepare your business IT to survive any disaster, from data breaches to hurricanes to coronavirus.

Published in Forbes on March 6, 2020, our CEO Emil Sayegh shared not just what the state of business looks like in this ongoing time of crisis but how cloud technologies and proactive IT planning is allowing organizations to stay up and running.

Read Emil’s full article below or on Forbes.com here.


In the Era of the COVID-19 Crisis, Look Up to the Cloud(s)

One of the biggest stories of the year is the growing impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus contagion. The global response is mind-numbing; the public is scrambling, the stock market is all over the place, and there are hundreds of stories published each day discussing the changing death rate, new cases, and even new strains of the virus. Making matters worse, the novelty of the virus, combined with the wildfire spread of emerging news, has made reliable information hard to come by. This historical episode is disrupting lives and business, and great worry is setting in about the ramifications that lie ahead.

Protect Yourselves and the Public

As individuals, we can do our best to protect ourselves by washing our hands, covering our coughs, and changing our habits as we live within our communities. Behavioral changes help us reduce the spread of this virus, but also future potential outbreaks. It has been projected that the impact of widespread infection may overwhelm our healthcare services and infrastructure due to the sheer number of people that will require advanced care. The fact is that the more we can do to reduce the spread, the better positioned we will be to deal with its impact on the healthcare system.

A World of Business Changed

The virus is also changing the nature and priorities of how we work. Travel restrictions and canceled events – including Mobile World Congress, Facebook’s Global Marketing Summit, and more – are affecting airlines, sales opportunities, and the bottom line for many companies. The stock market had its worst week since the start of the 2008 recession due to fears associated with the coronavirus and supply chain disruptions.

Cloud Is Helping Already

The coronavirus has ignited what Bloomberg calls the “world’s largest work-from-home experiment.” Companies are suddenly having to enable an increasingly mobile workforce. Rife with technical ramifications and considerations, the notion of remote work has emerged a necessity, requiring businesses to consider:

Which employees must remain in an on-site presence

How to protect these employees

What, if any employee functions can be deferred

Technical discovery and requirements for remote work, including bandwidth surveying

Dependable, secure remote work technology has been available for years, and the cloud has pushed the scalability, availability, and security of these solutions to new heights. Thanks to cloud technologies, a world of web-based apps, virtual desktops, endpoint encryption, conferencing software, Virtual Private Networking (VPN), and other cloud-enhanced tools make remote work possible from nearly any device, anywhere in the world.

Cloud Can Help Even More

Remote work is not the only shift on the horizon. Many organizations recognize that the virus’s impact is testing the ability for businesses to respond to crises that may affect their local back-office IT operations, such as local data centers or colocation facilities. History will undoubtedly highlight the importance of distributed Cloud IT systems in disaster recovery situations. The cloud’s distributed nature is a natural fit and will be the hero in a future landscape that features survivors and victims. Those businesses that rely on cloud capabilities for their IT systems and back-office will benefit by not having to worry about personnel going into their data centers to check, maintain, and monitor their server and storage installations. Businesses using the cloud effectively will benefit the most by quickly leveraging the ability to create resilient and disaster-averse systems anywhere around the world protecting data and business application integrity, as well as support an increasingly remote workforce.

Today, more than ever, the cloud is a partner to business, and cloud technology enables our economies to function by relying less on local conditions. A widespread epidemic validates the need for the maintenance of corporate functionality based on cloud technologies. As companies position to maintain productivity, pushing the corporation into employee homes, and evaluating what to do in general when disaster strikes, it is imperative to rethink disaster recovery plans and explore cloud offerings as mitigation to local disasters.

The California Consumer Privacy Act: Not Just “America’s GDPR”

Insights from 451 Research brought to you by Ntirety

In January 2020, California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a set of requirements for applicable businesses designed to advocate and support consumers and their privacy, similar to the European Union’s GDPR mandates. Although there is overlap between CCPA and GDPR measures, the differences mandate the enforcement of new compliance strategies.

Both CCPA and GDPR are designed to meet the growing concern amongst consumers around how personal data is being collected, who has access to it, and how they can gain control over their personal data. But the fine print details reveal variations between each law, and those variations can come with hefty consequences if they are overlooked and inadvertently ignored. Businesses that already meet GDPR compliance cannot assume that they will automatically meet CCPA requirements and must conduct the same thorough due diligence for this latest compliance regulation.

In a new comprehensive whitepaper, The California Consumer Privacy Act: Not Just “America’s GDPR,” Ntirety and 451 Research examine the two compliance standards to highlight their commonalities and expose the gaps that can leave companies open to potential penalties.

Download the Whitepaper »

Find out what your enterprise needs to meet to CCPA and how Ntirety can optimize your compliance strategy to be ready for the next evolution of data privacy. Schedule an assessment today.

Optimizing the Cloud: The 5 Tenets of Continuous Improvement

In the 2019 Hype-Scale Report, Gartner stated aptly that for enterprises using the cloud “the focus is now on how to do it well versus on whether to do it at all.” Migrating to the cloud is crucial to staying competitive, so it may come as no surprise that cloud cost optimization comes as the top priority in 2019 for IT leaders.

Moving away from quick-fix priorities to instead make long-lasting progress takes a more comprehensive approach that encompasses the five tenets of continuous improvement:

  • Security
  • Availability
  • Performance
  • Cost
  • Risk

To learn why these five tenets are so important for a truly optimized infrastructure and how to tackle each one to cut costs, reduce risk, and increase agility, download our eBook, Optimizing the Cloud: The 5 Tenets of Continuous Improvement »

Ntirety Delaware Office Recognized by Delaware Governor and News Publications

Rebranding from the merged Hostway|Hosting to the united enterprise Ntirety has been in the news recently, receiving special attention in our Newark, Delaware office.

Visit from Delaware Governor John Carney

Ntirety CEO Emil Sayegh and SVP of Operations Jonathan Arena welcomed Delaware Governor John Carney to our Newark, Delaware offices to meet the Ntirety team and celebrate a great year—from the merger of Hostway and Hosting to our rebrand to Ntirety in September.

In operation for 15 years, the Newark office and data center—the largest of Ntirety’s 14 global data centers—counts 120 employees and was honored to be the first Ntirety location toured by a government official. Due to our growing partnerships with the University of Delaware and Wilmington University, Ntirety’s roots go deeper than just the Newark buildings. By providing internships and training programs focused on computer science, AI, machine learning, and cybersecurity, Ntirety ensures that Delaware is fueling the next generation of top minds in the industry.

“Security is getting to be more and more of a challenge, and hackers are continually getting more sophisticated,” Sayegh explains. “We need new, fresh talent trained in IT security, interested in a career in IT security, that can keep building up those skills.”

More than just an executive meeting, Governor Carney spoke and interacted with all employees, answering questions and discussing various topics in a town hall setting. The visit was a wonderful opportunity to connect with the Governor and demonstrate Ntirety’s commitment to educating and keeping top IT talent in the state, building the local economies and positioning Delaware as a leader in cybersecurity.

New Name Brings Big Headlines

Along with a great in-person visit with Governor Carney, our local offices and data centers made more news with articles in the Delaware Business Times, “Tech co. with Glasgow office merges, rebrands,” and Technical.ly Delaware, “Ntirety aims to position Delaware as a cybersecurity player.” From our beginnings in 1997 to the 2019 rebrand, the article covers our history and growing enterprise services.

In his interviews, Sayegh shares the impressive skills and tenure of the Delaware office’s tech professionals, some being a part of the team for a decade. Just as Ntirety nurtures IT education in the local universities, the same emphasis on skills and knowledge growth is an integral component within the company as well.

“Ntirety offers a certification reimbursement program and encourages employees to add new skills to their resume,” Sayegh explains to the Delaware Business Times.

Senior Vice President of Operations Jonathan Arena is a shining example of this commitment to employees, joining the company as an entry-level professional and working his way up to senior leadership.

From Sayegh’s perspective, Governor Carney’s visit helped solidify this spirit of growth for Delaware’s tech community.

“I truly believe in the partnership between academia, private business and government, and this was a very good step to work on evolving that,” Sayegh optimistically shared in his interview with Technical.ly Delaware.

Recognized Excellence in Delaware and Beyond

Ntirety is proud to have our Delaware team recognized for their commitment to outstanding service—a core component for each and every one of our offices around the world. Ntirety was selected as one of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employer for 2019 and carries compliance certifications for PCI, HITRUST, HIPAA, and GDPR.

Ntirety is honored to share our success and looks forward to delivering comprehensive managed hybrid, multi-cloud solutions and guidance for businesses to transform into future-ready, agile enterprises.

Find out how Ntirety’s team of IT experts can transform your business. Schedule a consultation today.

Looking for a new job with a team of innovators? Ntirety offices across the world are always looking to talented people to join the Ntirety family! Check out our current job listings, which are updated daily.

Ntirety CEO Gives Insights on Blockchain and AI for ZDNet Article

In a new article for ZDNet.com, Ntirety CEO Emil Sayegh joins other industry leaders as they share their views on the anticipated impact of blockchain. Sayegh shares his insights on the potential destiny of blockchain and AI in the article, titled “CIO Jury: 92% say blockchain will positively impact their industry in the next five years.”

“AI has proven its worth in real-world scenarios, and it’s the perfect complement to blockchain, which is known for its limitation on scaling and somewhat less-than-real-time nature,” explains Sayegh.

Read the full article for more of Sayegh’s perspective and the insights of the other panelists »

Image credit: Launchpresso

451 Research Report: Priorities, Opportunities, and Ntirety

Discover in a recent report from 451 Research if your company is ahead of the game in the next wave of digital transformations or if it’s time to start serious planning to catch up with the competition; plus, how Ntirety is positioned to accelerate enterprises to their business goals.

Full Speed Ahead

451 Research shines a light on the top six IT initiatives and how many enterprises already have them in use and are in planning, with the top three comprised of:

  • Backup and recovery
  • Day-to-day operational monitoring of cloud infrastructure performance
  • Management of applications deployed on cloud infrastructure

Read the full report to discover how your organization’s priority list compares to the enterprise market »

Step Up Optimization

451 Research’s report also uncovers another major missed opportunity for enterprise organizations. In our latest infographic, we break down the report to highlight where enterprise organizations should focus to become truly competitive, future-ready enterprises.

Download our infographic to find out where you can outshine the competition »

Accelerate Towards Agility and Desired Business Outcomes

The more comprehensive approach needed for optimization is often outside the bandwidth of internal teams. Engaging with cloud experts allows enterprise organizations to streamline projects without wasting valuable time and resources.

Ready to take your IT infrastructure priorities to the next level? Schedule a free consultation with our cloud experts and start optimizing today!

Ntirety CEO Provides Insight on Latest Healthcare IT Security Risks for HealthITSecurity.com

In a new article for HealthITSecurity.com, “Ransomware Resurgence Reveals Gaps in Health IT Security Planning,” Ntirety CEO Emil Sayegh provides insight on emerging healthcare IT security risks.

“Cloud sprawl, shadow IT, and a lack of governance throughout the industry and across multiple levels of services, including hybrid public cloud scenarios, is making it easier for cybercriminals,” Sayegh explains.

Hackers are evolving and healthcare IT security is struggling to keep up. With healthcare organizations seen as a “high value target,” Sayegh stressed the importance of proactively combating threats and partnering with qualified, experienced organizations that understand the healthcare industry and the challenges it faces.

Read the full article “Ransomware Resurgence Reveals Gaps in Health IT Security Planning” >>

Don’t Get Spooked! 3 Ways GLAs Take the Fright Out of the Cloud

Don’t let high costs and cybersecurity risks give you a scare! Optimization is the best way to keep haunting cloud challenges at bay. With Guidance Level Agreements (GLAs) and Monitoring Insightsyou can successfully follow the 5 key tenets of continuous improvement: 

  • Cost 
  • Security  
  • Risk
  • Performance 
  • Availability 

Don’t Let Hidden Costs Creep Up on You  

The cloud may have seemed like a harmless way to get away from traditional infrastructure and staffing costs, but are those new bills starting to send chills up your spine? 

Navigating your cloud bill shouldn’t feel like winding through a haunted house, but with such complicated billingmismatched terminology across invoices and spreadsheets mixed in with upwards of 500,000 SKUs and price combinationsa terrible surprise could jump out at any moment. For some unlucky AWS customers, that nightmare became real in September 2019 through major billing error 

Amazon invented more hours than actually exist in a month for billing purposes,” protested one customer. “Pretty much ruined my Friday night when I logged in to check!” exclaimed another.  

Even though the cloud provider fixed the accounting error in this case, there are plenty of enterprise organizations racking up outrageous bills without even realizing it. From overprovisioning to misallocation, $14.1 billion in cloud spending is expected to be wasted in 2019.  

But with GLAs, Ntirety is your guide through the billing madness and wards off waste by rightsizing your infrastructure to truly meet your organization’s needs. GLAs solve the mystery of confusing costs and even helps businesses predict usage needs over time through historical performance analysis. Ntirety takes the time to create long lasting cost-savings, instead of quick cost-cutting that puts put your company at greater risk of availability issues down the road.  

Learn how GLAs and Ntirety Cost Containment Services help maximize your IT spend » 

Don’t Be a Scaredy Cat—Reduce Risk with Better Security    

There are plenty of things to fear when it comes to cybersecurity threats: data breaches, account hijacking, malicious insiders, and nefarious use of cloud services. 

But what about the risks hiding inside your own company? Insufficient identity, credential and access management, and insecure interfaces and APIs leave your organization open to vulnerabilities. Even from the get-go, the challenges are clear62% of IT professionals surveyed in 2019 AWS Cloud Security Report stated misconfiguration of the AWS cloud platform as the single biggest vulnerability to cloud security.  

Even the good guys of data protectionHIPAA, FERPA, PCI, and GDPRcan seem spooky to internal IT teams with all their meticulous requirements and unpredictable updates. Monitoring compliance policies and procedures is the single biggest cloud compliance-related challenge, followed by audits and risk assessments of their cloud environment. 

Optimizing without cutting corners on protection is a finely tuned skill that requires expert attention, yet only 50% of organizations are satisfied with their cloud security vendor. Be sure your provider isn’t just stopping at implementation. It’s important to find a true partner that offers continuous improvement over time to make sure you’re always equipped with the maximum protection.  

At Ntirety, we ensure our clients’ security stack remains optimized with GLAs, which offer a step up from the SLA status quo. Becoming fully immersed with the ins and outs of an organization’s systems, infrastructure, and business goals, Ntirety’s cloud security experts identify the gaps in protection to recommend specific tools and processes, including those imperative to meeting compliance standards. By becoming familiar with a company’s ongoing security needs through services like Monitoring Insights, Ntirety can even forecast the security measures needed to meet upcoming compliance assessments.  

We may not have a crystal ball, but through the recommendations and support of GLAs, your business can proactively reduce risk and rest easy. 

Learn how GLAs and Ntirety Managed Security Services reduce your IT risks >> 

Don’t Fall for the SLA Spell When It Comes to Performance and Availability 

The path to becoming a fully reliable, highly available, agile enterprise is not always a clear one. In fact, it can often seem like a dark, mysterious road filled with downtime and engine problems from your provider.   

Even the biggest players in the industry can have big problems⁠—Microsoft admittedly suffered 3 major outages in 2019 that greatly impacted customers. Despite these issues, AWS is reportedly reliable 99.9987% of the time, beating out Google’s uptime score of 99.9982% and Azure’s 99.9792%. But conflicting reports show Google taking the lead in reliability with the claim that its cloud service was down for 208 minutes versus AWS 312 minutes of downtime in 2018. 

So, who can you really trust for reliable numbers about reliability?    

Unfortunately, customers can find smoke and mirrors even closer to home in their cloud provider’s SLAs. While some SLAs may go so far as to promise 100% uptime, that only means the provider will reimburse the organization when downtime occurs. It doesn’t cover any additional costs you may incur during that time, and companies with frequent outages experience up to 16x higher costs. 

While an SLA on its own may leave you in the dark, Ntirety’s GLAs are a guiding light towards truly becoming a future-ready, agile enterprise. GLAs come with a 100% application availability guarantee and the industry’s only Critical Availability of Service Guarantee, offering 2X MRR credit for any downtime. Paired with Monitoring Insights, Ntirety’s team diagnoses existing performance issues and places proactive measures to maintain high availability.  

Learn how GLAs and Monitoring Insights transforms your business into a truly reliable enterprise »

Take the Terror Out of Technology with Ntirety 

There’s no reason to get spooked by the cloud when you have the right guide. Managed cloud service providers can offer all the right tricks to get your costs, security, and availability in check today, but Ntirety’s GLAs provide insightful treats so you can continuously reduce risk, optimize costs, and create an agile enterprise.  

 Schedule a consultation to see how Ntirety’s GLAs can help your business face your cloud optimization fears.      

 

Calculating the Real Cost of Downtime for Your Business

Be prepared for the worst-case scenario 

From startling headlines that have highlighted recent data breaches to the impending doom a single storm can spell for data centers, it becomes clearer every day that business continuity and disaster recovery are critical components to every IT strategy. While getting familiar with today’s modern IT threats, risks, and possible vulnerabilities within current systems is important, understanding downtime resulting from a disaster and its long-lasting repercussions—numbers unique to each individual business—is even more vital when designing an effective business continuity plan.

In order to determine the cost of downtime and its consequences due to an unexpected disaster, IT professionals first need to break down the overall elements that can contribute to it.

Where do the costs add up?

Time is money, so the saying goes, and the monetary impact of downtime impacts more areas than just the IT team including:

  • Idle workers across departments still on the clock but cannot perform their job duties
  • Physical damage to infrastructure, equipment or the building itself
  • Lost revenue due to inoperable POS or delivery of products to market
  • Hiring additional outside resources and specialists for data recovery
  • Repair or replacement of technology components
  • Reputation damage from vendors, clients and prospects

With the different elements to consider, it is little wonder that research by Gartner reports the average cost of IT downtime as $5,600 per minute. While that statistic may seem staggering—even unbelievable to some—finding the cost of downtime for an individual organization can be easily accomplished.

How to calculate the cost of downtime?

Calculating the unique cost of downtime can be done in terms of revenue loss and productivity cost. Both can be achieved (and reassessed over time) with clear formulas, using the information specific to the company.

To calculate revenue loss, gather the following information:

  • Gross yearly revenue (GR)
  • Total annual working hours (TH)
  • Percentage impact (I)
  • Number of downtime hours (H)

With the numbers identified, use this formula:

(GR/TH) x I x H = revenue loss

 

To calculate productivity cost, gather the following information:

  • Number of employees affected (E)
  • Percentage of employees affected (A)
  • Average cost of employees per hour (C)
  • Number of downtime hours (H)

With the numbers identified, use this formula:

E x A x C x H = productivity cost

Armed with real numbers, crafting the disaster recovery and business continuity plan to adequately prepare and protect an organization can become a priority supported throughout operations.

Control costs and continuity with a trusted IT partner

While the cost of downtime can be calculated with simple formulas, constructing worst-case scenario plans to minimize the impact of such costs is anything but simple. Engaging with experts to design recovery and business continuity plans not only ensures that every detail of an organizations IT systems has been accounted for, but also saves internal IT teams the time of being distracted by “what-ifs” instead of business goals. Ntirety Disaster Recovery (DR) Services help ensure mission-critical applications are safeguarded against malicious attacks, weather-related phenomenon, and other triggers for unexpected downtime. From platform management to continuous data protection and architecture design, Ntirety DR empowers enterprise companies to provide continuous service to customers and stakeholders with confidence.

Assess Your Security Posture

Due to limited time, resources, and expertise, prepping for disasters, avoiding security threats, and meeting ever-changing compliance regulations can be a huge source of pain for enterprise organizations. Take this quick interactive questionnaire to help determine if your strategy is broken. 

CloudEXPO Silicon Valley Key Insights from CEO Emil Sayegh and CISO Chris Riley

The 23rd International CloudEXPO conference in Silicon Valley brought speakers and attendees from across the globe to engage over the latest topics and innovation surrounding up-and-coming technology for 2019, including cloud migration trends and the next iterations of machine learning for enterprise.

Hostway|HOSTING CEO Emil Sayegh and CISO Chris Riley were not only honored to have the opportunity to present on the CloudEXPO stage in Silicon Valley, but took full advantage of attending other sessions, as well as to meet with attendees on the exhibition floor. Upon reflection of the event, both leaders left with the following key takeaways to share:

CEO Emil Sayegh

Fresh off the main stage after his Silicon Valley keynote presentation, “The Great Correction: Why Are Some Enterprises Fleeing the Public Cloud?“, Sayegh came away with several major insights on this year’s conference:

  1. As Sayegh predicted for 2019, the message around the public cloud is shifting: the public Cloud has its strong benefits, but it doesn’t solve every challenge—that’s where the hybrid cloud comes in. Sayegh predictions that the future is hybrid and multi-cloud, rather than a single cloud flavor, is becoming more and more prevalent.
  2. Service is king, as infrastructure is getting more and more commoditized with the hyperscalers. The ability to offer differentiating services on top of the public cloud and other infrastructure will be the norm. As an example, greater focus is being given to DevOps within the cloud and its increasing practice to gain better alignment in enterprise businesses. Enterprises are looking for continuous insights on how to improve their cost structure, reduce their risk, and improve their agility from their partners, not just an old fashioned delivered service.
  3. Despite the trending shift, IT professionals still feel the pressure from their superiors to move to the public cloud. When protests about cost and security are not enough, use cases are becoming a common tool used to sway cloud decisions to hybrid or multi-cloud models⁠—a tactic noted in several sessions. Throughout the audience mix of enterprise, mid-market, and startups, attendees repeatedly said they look for use case examples as a confirmation that they are not alone in IT challenges and can find the solution.

CISO Chris Riley

This year was Riley’s first time both attending and presenting at CloudEXPO, and he was honored to present on the critical current demands of cloud security in his session “The Great Migration: Retreat from the Cloud Sacrificing Security?” Reflecting on his time perusing the conference, Riley shared the following takeaways:

  1. Familiar with other IT events, Riley felt that CloudEXPO was unique in the different topic tracks it offered, including A.I., machine learning, and the intricacies of compliance, including the wide range of industries affected by compliance regulations.
  2. In both the sessions and on the exhibition floor, attendees were mostly seeking practical advice to address their current challenges—an indicator to Riley that many IT professionals are seeking the right talent or partner to help navigate the growing complexity of the hybrid cloud.
  3. Since it has become clear that no one person can tackle these emerging hurdles alone, more emphasis is being put on collaboration and developing cross-sections of talent, such as the importance of aligning Development with Security and Operations teams or DevSecOps, as Riley covered in his session.
  4. Increased interest in code enablement and the human capital needed for visibility into those endeavors demonstrates an evolution from the previous “lift and shift” migration mentality. Instead, organizations are exploring long-term goals and capabilities to shape the cloud journey, effectively moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach.

Ready or Real Solutions and Staying Ahead

As CloudEXPO wrapped up, the team at Hostway|HOSTING left even more excited to bring these tools and techniques to our clients and partners across the globe. Infusing our strategies and services with the latest innovations and insights is crucial to Hostway|HOSTING’s ability to provide the cutting-edge solutions enterprise businesses deserve to stay ahead of the market. We look forward to sharing these solutions with you!

Ready to optimize and evolve your cloud environment? Get expert guidance with a consultation today!