trends-e1608583565273 Looking Back and the Trends and Predictions for 2021

What are Some Trends and Predictions for 2021?

Looking back at 2020, the year has been hectic no matter what industry you’re in. From agriculture to real estate, every industry has been impacted in ways that could never have been predicted. Revenue has dropped for many businesses, making it impossibly hard for some organizations to reach quotas, for example small family businesses and restaurants. The technology/business sector has been luckier than most. Although this year has pushed all industries to their bounds, we in the tech and business sectors have had the benefit of being the necessity during the crisis; the cloud really saved the day. We want to give you a look back at this year, and a glance into the trends and predictions for 2021, for communities of all sizes. 

Top Trends for 2020 and the Impact of the Pandemic:

In our recent webinar, Betty Rhiger said that the organizations who were prepared (ie. with online ordering or curbside pickup enabled) were able to react swiftly and adapt to handle the disruption of the pandemic. The digital transformation driver with the biggest ROI is a disruptive business model that has the ability to adapt to a changing market in an agile way. So what were the top business/tech trends of 2020 that allowed organizations to shift during the impact of COVID? 

  • Changing Business Models

The pandemic has pushed many companies to stretch and fill holes they didn’t realize existed. We know that oftentimes, people don’t realize what they are missing until the need arises, and it was the same with COVID. From local tech organizations to the massive tech giants at the forefront of innovation, everyone changed their business models this year. COVID “stress tested” cloud service providers, pushing them to their limits to keep up with demand. In April, Microsoft reported a 775% increase in the demand for cloud services. For more information on how the technology industry reacted to the pandemic, read our article here

  • The Increased Importance of Connectivity

As well as this, connectivity has taken on new importance. Not being able to see friends or colleagues at work has taken a big toll on company relations, but virtual collaboration has come a long way since the start of the year. Take Microsoft Teams for example. They have updated the platform to minimize “meeting fatigue”, save time, and keep people engaged. We can see connectivity as a trend in 2021, and predict it will carry over to 2021 just as strongly. To learn more about virtual collaboration and its future, click here

  • More Data-Driven Cultures 

And finally, prioritizing a data-driven culture is becoming more crucial than ever. With the omnipresence of the cloud, and the imminent need to collaborate regardless of location, there is a bigger need than ever to be relying on the same data. Organizations with a data-driven culture, better satisfy customers. 

Trends and Predictions for 2021:

We see many new trends and predictions emerging on the horizon for 2021, but we wanted to share a few of the most crucial. COVID doesn’t seem as though it will dissipate with the new calendar year, and so advanced connectivity will still be in demand. 

  • A Demand for Efficiency

Platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams will be under the most pressure to date; all organizations relying on remote operations will be pressing for innovation. With this also comes the desire for faster turnaround times in the service industry. From SaaS in cloud to Doordash, there is a new appreciation for efficiency because the majority of services are now virtual. There is a reduction in in-person interactions, therefore creating a need for quicker service. 

  • Automation and Digitalization

How do we see this happening? With more automation and digitalization. COVID has already taken most organizations to the cloud, but now there’s a need to stand apart from the crowd. The only way to do that is by becoming even more attractive and foolproof to customers, through automation, creating as little hold up as possible.

  • Cybersecurity and MFA

This all sounds very exciting, and daunting, for cloud service providers and those in the software development industries, but it’s important to note that trust, safety, and inclusion are more important now than ever. Data security has always been crucial, but now that everyone is taking to the cloud, cybersecurity and multi-factor authentication (MFA) is necessary. For more information on MFA and its benefits, read more here. How would we suggest managing your cloud security? Read our article on the “5 Cloud Security Best Practices” and get an inside scoop. We can predict that cybersecurity will be very vital in the months to come. 

Looking to the Future

This unprecedented time has taught us a lot as business owners and leaders, but more importantly, as humans. We have now seen first hand how resilient our communities can be, and how even in the face of adversity, we find ways to gather and support each other through difficult times. COVID has been scary and unsettling for many, not knowing what the future holds, but we at Optimus are hopeful that there will be more light than ever in 2021. We are gearing up to take on the new year and we are excited to see what it brings for the tech community. Happy new year! 


iot-3337536_1280 Top 5 Cloud Adoption Pitfalls

What are some pitfalls you can avoid in your cloud adoption journey?

Digital transformation is the evolution of business because it embraces the necessity of change. Cloud adoption is a pivotal and typical step in the digital transformation journey. However, if not implemented correctly, there are many potential pitfalls you can encounter. In a recent webinar with Betty Rhiger, CTO of Microsoft Canada’s One Commercial Partner, she discussed common cloud adoption pitfalls and how to avoid them

1. Not Defining the Outcome

During the cloud adoption journey, business will sometimes feel like they are not achieving what they wanted. Often, this is because they didn’t clearly define what digital transformation meant for their organization or what specific outcomes they wanted to achieve. These outcomes are not necessarily technology outcomes, but they could include improving speed to market, agility, and employee engagement. Regardless of the outcome you’re after, it is important to define these outcomes from the beginning because it will change the workload, your plan, and what you’re measuring your success against.

2. Not Assessing who is invested

Major roadblocks can be encountered if you don’t have the buy-in from your stakeholders: customers, investors, your team, etc. Who will be impacted and who is invested? 

Also to avoid cloud adoption pitfalls, be sure to evaluate your team and see if they have the skills to adopt the cloud. Building a skills readiness plan is also recommended. This helps identify how and which team members should be reskilled or where you want to get the support of a third party.

3. Overlooking the details

Now that you have identified your outcomes and developed a strategy and plan, some businesses forget about the details such as the environment setup, architecture framework, and landing zone. Moving to the cloud can save money if it’s done properly. But, companies make assumptions that overlook these details, and it can end up being costly. Know your details, migrate and modernize properly, and save money. 

4. Not Maintaining the Same Quality

Cloud adoption requires adjustments, but don’t sacrifice quality along the way. Regardless of whether you are adapting existing offerings or building new ones, have a plan to ensure you are maintaining the quality of your application or service. To avoid this cloud adoption pitfall, ask yourself: Do you know what the quality was before? How might these changes create a dip in quality and impact your user experience? Making a change for the newest and “coolest” technology won’t work if your users don’t know how to use it. 

5. Not Incorporating Governance Early 

Governance underpins everything. Controls, compliance, security are all needed in a cloud environment. Even if you are using SaaS, where users are not responsible for hardware or software updates, that doesn’t mean you are handing all support over to the cloud provider. For example, you will have to think about how you will incorporate new releases. What functionality will you use or not use? If data is being pulled out of that app and being used somewhere else, are you still staying compliant? Governance should be in place early and any feedback and learnings should be incorporated into your iterative process. 


data-driven-1500x630 How to Create a Data-Driven Culture

We are truly in the digital age; data in every enterprise is growing at an exponential rate. A report from Forrester shows that businesses with a data-driven culture are growing 30% annually. And with this growth, our statistical analyses are becoming more accurate too. But one thing to remember is that as humans, when we see success we tend to stick to the behaviours we practiced before the success happened. As a result, sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in one mode of doing things. As well, we often fall into the trap of having data silos confined to only a certain team or project. But why? Why not make data accessible all through the entire organization and allow business leaders to make faster, better-informed decisions. And here’s where creating a data-driven culture comes in.

What is a Data-Driven Culture?

Although it’s a term that’s being used frequently in the technology community nowadays, what does it really entail? Essentially, having a data-driven culture means treating your data as the main resource and educator for every facet of the organization. Using data and analyses allows team members to make better-informed decisions that aren’t as skewed by what “feels right”. Although emotion is important, a part of what makes us human, it’s easy to be swayed into a less than optimal situation. There are a few main components that are crucial to securing a data-driven culture. Firstly, every team member needs access to high-quality data. But not only that, they need the tools and background knowledge to know how to implement the data itself. Having a tool like a central database is incredibly powerful, but only when the people using it know how to get the most out of it. 

Why is it Important?

For most businesses, the customer or client is the priority all the way through the business model. Companies with a data-driven culture better satisfy customers. With fact-based innovation, decision making becomes efficient. Strategies are clarified and backed by hard data. Having data scientists available to all branches of a company actually simplifies concepts, as counterintuitive as that might sound. More people leading to less entropy? With a data-driven culture, that’s the reality. Understanding and implementing these techniques offer the upper hand to the company, especially when combined with team training. 

Ways to Create a Data-Driven Culture

  • Change the Culture

At the root of it all, a change into a data-driven culture is a change in mindset on all levels. And the only way to incentivize this shift is to identify and communicate the necessity and importance of data. Make sure your team understands why data is such a vital part of an organization, and how it will help not only their own work, but the organization as a whole.

  • Lead With a Top-Down Approach 

Leading by example has always been a word from the wise. A top-down approach sets clear goals and expectations for all members of the organization, C-suite or otherwise. When the top executives show that they are investing time, energy, and mind space into a new process, others will follow suit. This will help change the aforementioned mindset.

  • Invest in High-Quality Data Infrastructure

Just like with anything else, when you are starting out, it’s usually beneficial to have durable, reliable resources. The same goes for a data-driven culture. Making sure to invest in high-quality data infrastructure demonstrates the emphasis that the leadership is putting into being data-centred. As well as this, it assures fewer bumps down the road due to technical instability. 

  • Establish Accessibility

The whole idea behind having data as one’s main resource is that the whole company gets to benefit from the statistics. It’s crucial to make sure that every team member can access information, whether it’s across divisions or not. Creating those inter-team relationships and communication between projects not only fosters community, but also a wider awareness of what else is going on. Additionally, when everyone is working from the same dataset, it’s less likely that analyses from different sectors won’t be in alignment.

  • Keep An Open Mind

Arguably the most pivotal part of adapting to a new practice is keeping an open mind. It can be difficult sometimes. Understand that data may be surprising and contrary to your belief, but it’s up to how your organization chooses to accept and reflect on it. Getting in the habit of backing all decisions with analytics and data points, increases credibility and provides fact-based evidence for decisions; this is great for communicating with clients as well. 

Optimus Information can help create a strategy and roadmap for your Data & AI initiatives and use your data for actionable intelligence to maximize the business impact.


Contact us if you want to learn more.


data-center How to Overcome Data Migration Hurdles

Overcome Data Migration Hurdles

We overcome data migration hurdles when we plan around them. Recently, we migrated a client’s 20 terabyte SQL server on an on-prem database running an old operating system. We loved the challenge of the task and each problem we solved. We learned a few lessons along the way, and we’d like to share them with you. This article examines possible hurdles you might face when migrating an overextended SQL server with legacy schema to Azure, and which data migration method might serve your organization’s needs.

Azure Site Recovery

Azure provides a number of technologies around site recovery. Those technologies can also be used to trick your system into a behind-the-scenes migration to the cloud. Typically, this Azure Site Recovery is used to create a backup in case of a failover. However, you can set up an existing on-prem datacenter to backup to the Azure datacenter. So, not only is the data backed-up, but it’s now on the cloud (and ready to make use of other Azure services). Beware though: some data centers are running on older operating systems that won’t support Azure Site Recovery.

Physical Migration with Data Box

Physical migration is like using a giant USB stick called a data box. In this scenario, the data box is physically hooked up to the data center, and all the SQL data files are transferred. The device is then taken to a Microsoft server facility where it is hooked up, and all the data is downloaded to several storage accounts. Keep in mind: the data center and Microsoft server facility would need to be relatively close in proximity to one another and you will need to migrate any new data accumulated from your backup point.  


Replication is another method that can be used for data migration. Replication copies and distributes data and database objects from one database to another. It then synchronizes between databases to maintain consistency. However, this method can take a long period of time because it is restricted by the bandwidth available. Relying on a relatively slow bandwidth to migrate 20 terabytes of data could take a month for the system to sync up. 

Replication can be use to migrate any data that may have accumulated while transporting the data box. Since the data box would have all the data up to a specific backup point, replication could be used to synchronize, and therefore, migrate the remaining data. However, when replication is used, the data schema in your product needs to be conducive to replication. That means, tables need to use a primary key, which uniquely identifies each row/record in a database table, and Azure backups need to be stored in standard SQL backup format. Even with these things in place, using replication still might not be an option if there is legacy technical debt in your schema. 

Azure ExpressRoute

Azure ExpressRoute lets you connect your on-prem networks to Azure over a private connection. Since the connections don’t go over the public Internet, this offers more reliability, faster speeds, consistent latencies, and higher security. Another data migration hurdle is having a lot of data to migrate and a small window to do it in (e.g. 48 hours over the weekend). Having a faster network speed is crucial in this scenario. Watch out for bottlenecks! Read on to plan ahead.

To avoid a bottleneck, you will need to find a balance between your network, VM, and disk speeds. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider:

  • Is your VM storage optimized? Storage optimized VM sizes offer high disk throughput and input-output speeds. This is ideal for Big Data, SQL, NoSQL databases, data warehousing, and large transactional databases.
  • Is your VM memory optimized? Memory optimized VM sizes offer a high memory-to-CPU ratio.
  • Do you have the right disk size? The wrong disk size can limit your speed because it won’t have the throughput needed.
  • Are you copying from on-prem disks to storage accounts on Azure or to managed disks? If so, you’ll need to use a copy tool like AZCopy. However, depending on what you’re copying from and to, there might not be a commercially available tool.

Overcoming data migration hurdles can quickly get quite complex. Leveraging the help of Azure experts can save you time and keep you on budget. Contact us to schedule a complimentary discovery session with one of our solution architects. 

Cloud-security-tips-e1603911679385 5 Cloud Security Best Practices

What are the top 5 cloud security best practices?

Here’s a staggering fact: Each year, cybercrime rakes in more profits for criminals than the illegal drug trade and is predicted to cost the world $6 trillion by 2021. Given this, it shouldn’t be a surprise that cybersecurity attacks are becoming more common and more sophisticated (often targeting the financial assets of a business). So, we decided to sit down with an expert in the field, Michael Argast, CEO and Co-Founder of Kobalt Security Inc. Based on our discussion, we picked our top 5 cloud security best practices.

Read on or watch the full video of our discussion on-demand here


Best Practice #1: Design security for how you are adopting the cloud (IaaS vs PaaS)

If you’re moving to the cloud, the security questions you need to ask yourself will differ based on how you are adopting the cloud. A common mistake is assuming security is the same from one provider to another. For example, if you are using IaaS and moving workloads from a secure data center that provides a lot of security layers to a bare-bones MS or AWS environment where the security isn’t built-in. In the case of IaaS, the Cloud provider is responsible for the hardware and you are responsible for the rest, which includes building in the security layers. For PaaS, your responsibility is limited because you are only responsible for the code and there is more security built into the PaaS environment. It is important to look at your security architecture upfront. This allows you to see who (Cloud provider, your organization, third party) is responsible for what and map in controls for the gaps.


Best Practice #2: Migrate to the cloud quickly to avoid hybrid environments

Hybrid environments can make security more complex. Most organizations don’t have enough resources and expertise for both data centers and the cloud which can leave you at risk. If you are migrating to the cloud, you should do this as fast as possible and/or leave as little behind in the data center as possible. The longer you are in a hybrid environment, the longer you will have a skills gap. 


Best Practice #3: Use Microservices to address multiple entry points

Today’s applications need to talk to several other applications and are connected with multiple APIs. APIs create multiple entry points for attackers. Over the last few years, there has been a shift from a traditional monolithic architecture to microservices and serverless infrastructure. The benefit of using microservices is that it is decoupled from the rest of the system; which defines a smaller surface area of attack. Security can now happen on the API layer and not the network boundary layer.

Read more about securing modern APIs and microservices in this blog from Kobalt Security.


Best Practice #4: Use Proactive Security Methods 

While your response to attacks is vital, getting ahead of attackers and taking proactive steps can help minimize vulnerabilities. Some easy proactive security methods are: 

  • implementing multi-factor authentication, 
  • providing awareness training to educate your staff, 
  • using security monitoring to help identify intrusions, and
  • using penetration testing on your applications.


Best Practice #5: Focus on risks with the greatest impact and highest probability of attack

Security is a balancing act. You want to secure as much as you can but you don’t want to sacrifice your ability to be agile. Use a risk register to analyze the impact and the probability of breaches and attacks on your business. Knowing what will have a critical impact on your business is a good place to start. Taking a security program gap assessment can also help. It shows where you are strong and where you are weak; based on the risks your organization is most likely to face (e.g. data breach, ransomware). That way you know where you should be investing or if you are over-investing in a certain area.


Contact us to learn more about securing your cloud environment.

what-is-multifactor-authentication-1500x630 What is Multi-Factor Authentication and Why Should You Have it?

The Status Quo: Single Factor Authentication

You’re probably familiar with normal authentication by now. It’s made up of typically two things: your username and password. And if you know your username and password, you can get into a site, right? It’s a good basic first level of security. But if you happen to use that same username and password somewhere else, and that site gets compromised, it can be used to compromise other sites where you happen to use those same credentials. And if we’re being honest, those credentials can often be guessed again and again. So single-factor authentication has some limitations, and it’s easy for accounts to be hacked. The solution? Multi-factor authentication.

The Future: Multi-Factor Authentication

So what is multi-factor authentication (MFA)? It combines two or more different factors, typically something only you would know or have. Bank cards are a great analogy in this situation. If you think about your traditional bank card, you need your bank card as well as your pin. Having your bank card alone doesn’t get your cash out of the machine and neither does having your pin alone. You have to have the two of those things in combination. This combined layer of security adds a layer that makes it much harder to compromise. 

Authenticator Applications

There are two classic applications of MFA these days. In addition to your username and password, the site might send you a text message to your phone. This way you have to enter a code in order to authenticate. Although better than single factor authentication, it does have its weaknesses. It can be compromised by someone taking over your phone number or intercepting a message. This would be considered the weaker form of MFA. The stronger of the two would be an authenticator application that runs on your phone and generates codes on a regular basis. This way you have to know your username and password, but also must have access to the exact device at the time of login. 

Why Should You Use Multi-Factor Authentication?

MFA is the best thing that individual users can do to protect themselves. Google and Microsoft have both independently done studies on the effectiveness of adding MFA to protect your accounts. Their findings? It increases the effectiveness of your security by over 99%. In simpler words, it reduces the likelihood of a successful attack to less than 1% of what it would otherwise be. In security, we’re a big believer there’s no such thing as a silver bullet, but multi-factor authentication is as close as it comes. And it’s effectively zero cost for the sites that support it. 

Watch the video from our webinar about Cloud Security Best Practices to learn more about MFA and other ways to stay safe from cybersecurity threats. 

key-business-success-1500x630 The Digital Transformation Journey of a Vancouver based eCommerce Retailer

What’s behind most successful businesses nowadays? We’d argue the key is a solid data centre, cloud base, and vision. While communication and office culture are both integral in a thriving business, it helps to have an online space that encompasses it all. Recently we hosted a “Digital Transformation Journey with Azure” webinar with Riz Somji. As the CEO of Cymax Group, one of the fastest online furniture retailers, he was more than qualified to discuss many key points of his experiences: community, data storage and digital transformation being a few. Keep reading to hear the highlights of the event. 

People, Culture, and the Need for a Top-Down Buy In:

Vision and strategy are two of the most integral parts of the digital transformation journey. When Cymax first started, most sales were driven by ad revenue. But soon the team realized that they really needed to take a bold move to be data driven. Instead of finding data and working from that, they needed a top down model. They soon had a stronger, more sound foundation. As Somji shares during the webinar, people need to drive the transformation. Everyone should imagine the vision and comprehend the strategy before sponsorship even begins. 

Data-Driven Organization: 

How is Cymax using data to help improve their business? First off, as Somji tells us, everyone needs to have the software and understand how the analytics work. Implementing a dashboarding tool, such as PowerBI, is also a good choice. For Cymax, every part of the company was focussing on data to drive decisions during the digital transformation journey. True, at the beginning analytics were inconsistent because everyone had different perspectives of which data was crucial or not. But soon after, the company decided to just have one source of data and proof. Enter: data warehousing. Now they could have data cleaned as it came in. The newest development? They’re working on linking data to people’s own objectives and jobs. It’s a cross functional view, as Somji describes it. And it’s more efficient. They used to have 120 people in the call centre. Now they are down to only 30 people. And the sales? Well, they’ve tripled. 

A Digital Transformation Journey with Azure and Microsoft: 

For Cymax, because everyone was motivated to undergo the transformation process, they got their migration done and moved over to Office 365 in the span of a couple weeks. Crazy? We know. Microsoft supported them on this journey to the cloud as well, providing investment funds, strategic directions and more. Somji explained that because Cymax is such a dynamic company, using Azure kept everyone’s energy levels high. Because Azure DevOps is constantly evolving, the team stayed interested and had a really positive experience. For them, they understood that servicing technical debt is too much work, so using the cloud would save not only time but also money.

Where are They Investing Next and Why?:

So what is a company like Cymax planning on investing their money in next? There are really 2 main categories: artificial intelligence and machine learning. Both provide added value to them but also their vendors. They’re looking for AI and ML engineers to help them integrate the processes into production. In the past, they had a pricing engine that priced products in real time. Sound slow? Well it was. And considering that they were competing against so many other sellers, this was less than ideal. But now, they’re looking to use AI and ML for image optimization. This way they can look at damaged products, and using technology find out where the product inconsistency is. Instead of having back and forth conversations with vendors, they can share their learnings, and improve product quality. 

Digital transformation is the way to the future. It ensures that your business is online in the upcoming times, especially important as everything has been remote lately. If digital transformation is something you’re interested in, contact us at Optimus here.


dos-and-donts-to-succeed-at-digital-transformation-scaled 5 Do’s and Don’ts to Succeed at Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has been a hot topic for a long time, and for good reason, but what are some do’s and don’ts to succeed at it? If you haven’t had a chance to implement it, you may be worried. In a study by The International Data Corporation (IDC), they estimated that there is a $20 trillion market opportunity over the next five years. A survey done in 2019 gives jarring results to go along with these statistics. 64% of business leaders fear that they have less than 4 years to undergo digital transformation or they may go out of business. According to Harvard Business Review, 52% of Fortune 500 companies that existed in 2000, are no longer in existence today. The reason? It was because they couldn’t keep up with the way the world was transforming. So why is it so crucial to overcome the fears of being behind, and just go for it? We will highlight why it’s so important but also how you can take steps to integrate it to your advantage, through our 5 do’s and don’ts to succeed at digital transformation.

Digital transformation is important but is it too late to implement it? More importantly, how can you succeed?

So why is digital transformation so critical? If you haven’t already checked out our other blogs on digital transformation, they are a great first step to learning about the topic. Check out one of our favourites here. Digital transformation is about more than just taking your business online. It encapsulates all aspects of business, whether that be management or data storage, and makes it accessible, secure, and timeless. It’s been talked about for a while, and so it’s natural to feel late in the game if you’re only starting out now. But this isn’t actually the case! Digital transformation is an ever-evolving process and it’s better late than never. There are steps to take on this journey, so keep reading if you want to learn more. 

5 do’s and don’ts to succeed at digital transformation:


DON’T: Don’t buy what you’re not going to use. Don’t procure cloud like you procured software in the 2000s. The old model/way of thinking is to put more money on the table to get a bigger discount. Cloud providers have built-in services that are intended to help you save money by allowing you to turn things on when you are using them and turn them off when you’re not. So there’s no need to put a lot of money upfront with a 12-month expiry to get a discount. You could just end up throwing away money that you won’t use. Instead, you can employ the pay as you go model, and save yourself a lot of overhead costs.
DO: So what should you do? Work with your vendor. The old mentality is that organizations don’t want to work with their vendors, want to isolate themselves, and just try to get bigger discounts. Public cloud vendors are willing to help you with your setup and how to best use their services to achieve your business outcomes. Leverage auto scale and off features that dynamically allocate your resources and optimize your cost to stay within budget. Essentially: if you’re not using it, turn it off.

Multi-Cloud vs. Single Cloud

DON’T: There’s no need to go multi-cloud just because. There’s fear about vendor lock-in. If you are going to go multi-cloud know your reason why. Going multi-cloud when you are a small organization or early in the cloud adoption journey can just slow you down because you are mixing in additional complexities and adding new services for your team to learn.
DO: So what are your alternative options? Adopt one cloud and do it well first before you adopt any others. Leverage Platform as a Service from cloud providers. It saves you time because these services are pre-built and you can start using them immediately. 

Actual Innovation

DON’T: This one is short and sweet. When undergoing digital transformation don’t just have a recreation of your on-premise work, keeping arbitrary ancient rules for no reason.           DO: Instead, challenge your team to reach the bounds of what they can do and embrace automation. 

Learning and Growth

DON’T: The previous point being said, don’t replace your hard working experts with automation.
DO: As a replacement, invest in learning and don’t expect it to happen automatically. Encouraging agility and innovation during this process is crucial. Automation is important, but only in conjunction with new learning. 

Security and Trust

DON’T: Finally don’t treat your network like a security boundary. Using the same network that you used in 2010 doesn’t do you any favours. And don’t expect that you’ll find your perfect match in terms of frameworks and diagnostics tools on your first try.
DO: Try to iterate governance and improve each time. Aim for progress over time.

Do you need a partner with Azure or digital transformation expertise?

Want guidance on finding a strategy and determining a roadmap? We at Optimus understand the needs of each company, and are an extension of your organization. We will use our expertise in Azure and the Cloud Adoption Framework to successfully guide you through your digital transformation, no matter where you are on your journey. To learn more and set up a complimentary discovery session, click here


managed-services-provider-e1598310923486 Managed Services: How Can It Help You?

In this increasingly digital world, there is infinite access to beneficial services that can grow and take your business to the next level. But sometimes it’s hard to differentiate what service is actually the best fit for your organization. What do you actually need? Is it infrastructure as a service? Report generation? Sometimes it can get confusing. We’re here to clear up one area of technological services: managed services. What does it mean and how does managed services compare to hiring staff internally? Is it better for you to hire a small group of individuals with specific expertise or instead get the job done with a managed service provider (MSP)? Read on to learn what it entails, how it can help you, and how to tell if it is the right service for your company.

Managed Services as a Whole:

So what are managed services? Managed services (MS) are typically defined as services provided by a third party to manage and refine daily operations of your applications or business systems. Managed services provide the most modern and updated skill sets needed and is usually a highly trained group of individuals with expertise in your specific business needs. MS differs from traditional IT support in a variety of ways. Not only is it considered a more cost-effective use of resources but also provides 24/7 support. 

Benefits of Using a Managed Services Provider:

There are a plethora of upsides to using a managed services provider (MSP), so we will just highlight a few. 

  1. Flexible
    An MSP delivers the most flexible service model available. Not only is it scalable, you can direct your MSP to certain applications, objectives, and core values. This makes for less distraction and “noise” in what would otherwise be a spread out agenda for your (already busy) internal team. 
  2. Cost-effective
    Instinctively, one might assume that using an MSP is additional upkeep that they don’t want looming overhead. However, what many fail to realize is that MSPs allow for the efficient allocation of tasks to those specifically trained in the area. In the time that your own internal team would have to educate themselves it would cost far more than bringing in the experts. As well as, most likely, delivering less efficient results. 
  3. Proactive
    Finally, using an MSP is a proactive approach to maintenance. Instead of the traditional IT support method in which something needs to be “broken” in order to be “fixed”, MSPs root out future problems and fix them before they even surface. This allows for greater support for security and increases stability within your organization.

Is Managed Services the Right Fit for Your Business?

Sometimes it can be hard to tell what is good for your organization. So how can you tell if MS is the right solution for you? If you are looking for a smaller, dedicated team of experts, this is a good indication that MSPs may be for you. Do you have specific problems that need to be pinpointed and solved? And are you looking for continued maintenance in the future rather than just fixing what is broken? If your organization checks any of these boxes, MSPs may be just what you are looking for. And saving some money never hurt anyone either. 

Why Optimus?

Not only do we cover all of the aforementioned, we have deep Azure experience and can take your day to day operations off your plate. With 24/7 support, improved risk management, dashboards, reports, and more, we will deliver on all key objectives. Think of us as an extension of your team. We understand your business, so let’s improve it together over time.


Interested? Contact us here.


business-management How Digital Transformation is Changing the Face of Business Management

Cloudy with a Chance of Management Theory: How Digital Transformation is Changing the Face of Business Management

What is business management? And how is it evolving as the world moves online? Along with overseeing operations, working face-to-face with customers, reviewing contracts, and pushing employees to their brightest performance, business management is also a key part of keeping a company caught up with the times. What do we mean by that? Well, as the world rapidly becomes more digitized, businesses have to adapt. Nowadays we see the cloud affecting management and customer service, and it pushes us to think: how is the cloud and digital transformation changing businesses? 

Digital Transformation is Inevitable So How Are Organizations Changing?

We’ve talked extensively about digital transformation in the past (for a recap, read our article on “Digital Transformation in a Nutshell”), so we won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but digital transformation is a looming inevitability on the technology landscape. You see, here at Optimus, we encourage you to look at how you can not only keep up with technological innovation, but also cut down on your workload and overhead costs at the same time. By moving to the cloud, all of these are attainable. And we aren’t the only ones realizing that. Organizations all across the globe are rapidly adapting to this idea. 

Digital transformation and cloud computing are on the horizon whether organizations choose to accept it or not. So how are organizations really changing? Well for one, workloads are scaling down, and businesses are scaling up. Or perhaps a better way to describe it is that it is increasingly easier to take on new customers while also increasing the quality of work. Because of this, the way in which tasks are overseen and assigned should change, allowing for mobility within organizations. We see an amalgamation of different sectors. Product design and customer interaction, as well as working with sales, IT, and marketing, creates a web of connections because everything is related to each other now. This comes with the move to the cloud; there is a move towards connectedness. And last but definitely not least, costs are being cut on menial tasks that were taking up valuable time and resources. 

How the Cloud Affects Customer Service

We’ve talked about how the cloud affects the inside end of operations, but what about the receiving end? What are customers experiencing? The constant release and uptake of new software creates a relationship between companies and clients like never before. Production time on new applications or products is cut down from many months to mere weeks. Business leaders will have to re-envision their models and also embrace new ways to provide value to customers. Not only does this mean taking on the process of moving to the cloud, but also finding new ways to deliver information, for example interactive dashboards or analytics software. 

The Misconception About What Drives Digital Transformation

The future is bold and bright for software services companies as well as non-technology related groups who are looking to apply digital transformation. People tend to focus a lot on the technology that comes with moving to the cloud, rather than honing in on how the people in the organization are taking the change. Tech Intensity is the combination of cultural and social aspects of technology in combination with the tools themselves. With big changes come big reactions. How do you manage people who feel threatened by these developments? It’s important to modify and plan this move to the cloud keeping all relevant parties in mind. New ways of thinking, and adaptation to new processes that come up with digital transformation will have to take place. 

Start your transformation small. Don’t focus on turning the whole organization around quickly, forgetting the effects it will have on the community. Instead, look at a more approachable sized problem that you may be facing. Know your “why”. Why are you making this specific change? Why will it be beneficial for the whole team? By looking at the whole process start to finish, you can identify your pain points and work on managing those throughout the transformation. And then you can focus on measuring your success and tackling the next challenge. 

So What Now?

We think it’s fascinating to analyze where the future of technological innovation is headed, especially in relation to the rest of the world. Cloud computing is undoubtedly changing the face of business management, and we at Optimus are a part of that. 


Want to learn more about what we do? Contact us here.