Archive | May, 2012

The woman of your life!

27 May

Tomorrow you may get a working woman, but

you should marry her with these facts as well.

Here is a girl, who is as much educated as you are;
Who is earning almost as much as you do;

One, who has dreams and aspirations just as
you have because she is as human as you are;

One, who has never entered the kitchen in her life just like you or your
Sister haven’t, as she was busy in studies and competing in a system
that gives no special concession to girls for their culinary achievements

One, who has lived and loved her parents & brothers & sisters, almost as
much as you do for 20-25 years of her life;

One, who has bravely agreed to leave behind all that, her home, people who love her, to adopt your home, your family, your ways and even your family name

One, who is somehow expected to be a master-chef from day #1, while you sleep oblivious to her predicament in her new circumstances, environment and that kitchen

One, who is expected to make the tea, first thing in the morning and cook
food at the end of the day, even if she is as tired as you are, maybe more,
and yet never ever expected to complain; to be a servant, a cook, a mother,
a wife, even if she doesn’t want to; and is learning just like you are as
to what you want from her; and is clumsy and sloppy at times and knows that you won’t like it if she is too demanding, or if she learns faster than you;

One, who has her own set of friends, and that includes boys and even men at her workplace too, those, who she knows from school days and yet is willing to put all that on the back-burners to avoid your irrational jealousy, unnecessary competition and your inherent insecurities;

Yes, she can drink and dance just as well as you can, but won’t, simply
Because you won’t like it, even though you say otherwise

One, who can be late from work once in a while when deadlines, just like yours, are to be met;

One, who is doing her level best and wants to make this most important,
relationship in her entire life a grand success, if you just help her some
and trust her;

One, who just wants one thing from you, as you are the only one she will know in your entire family – your unstinted support, your sensitivities and most importantly – your understanding, or love, if you may call it.

But not many guys understand this……

MB’s Recommendations

25 May

So finally based on each and every aspects of cloud computing and organisations, I’d say Cloud Computing is not the right choice for every businesses or organisations. It depends on your processes, objectives, strategy and requirements. Moreover, Cloud computing requires a very good internet and browser connections.

Opting for cloud computing in Mauritius may cause some inconveniences because the internet speed from the local providers is highly questionable!

Organisations can still opt for trial periods. They can start their transition into the cloud with a small ‘trial’ testing it with some of their infrastructure, applications or data. And if both the company and clients are happy with their trial period they can further transit their business into the cloud based. The least which the management of an organisation can do is making sure you can make backups, just in case!!

To be true, I still don’t know if any organisation in Mauritius has really switched to Cloud environment and I’d say that’s a shame taking into consideration the ‘l’ampleur’ it is taking worldwide. There has been initiatives on the part of the government to train IT specialist on this particular aspect though.

Since this research is for an accounting firm, I believe the stigma attached to entrusting a third party with sensitive financial data still remains. However, many accounting firms around the world are public cloud-ing and issues and concerns about data security are being dealt with. Sales of Software as a Service (SaaS) – systems based online – in Western Europe is anticipated to hit $3.2bn (£1.96bn) this year, according to IT analysts Gartner, up 18.5% on 2011’s levels.

According to Kevin McLoughlin, Twinfield UK country manager, Accountancy firms need to ask these key questions before signing on the dotted line with their cloud provider, which I find is as VITAL, if not COMPULSORY:

  • Data Location:Ask where your data is being stored and the different legislation of that country in regards to data protection.
  • Data security:It is important to assess the quality of security being used. Check the physical security employed on site and whether the centre conforms to the standard required – has it been certified as offering a high quality security?
  • Data centre processes: With internet risks evolving on a daily basis, companies need to ascertain the quality of monitoring tools and intrusion detection techniques. They also need to check the robustness of back-up solutions to ensure no data is lost and what guarantees there are to continue receiving the promised 24×7 access to information.
  • Legal requirements: The essence of the SaaS model is total flexibility, allowing companies to easily move between suppliers. But what happens to the data if the company moves from one provider to another? With a legal requirement to retain financial information for at least seven years, it is essential to ensure the centre has a process in place to adhere with compliance requirements.
  • Secondary site: All data centres need to have good disaster recovery to ensure continuous availability and safeguards at the primary site. Also what are the security measures at the secondary site?
  • Independent audit: Is the vendor audited every quarter by a trusted third party, which assesses the quality of processes and technologies employed to safeguard financial information?
  • Effective staff management: What is the vendor’s policy towards front-end issues such as passwords? Most companies have good back end security processes in place, leaving hackers to focus on compromising staff in order to gain access to passwords. Can staff be targeted with unsolicited email and USB sticks which can upload trojans or other viruses onto your company network? Also do staff adhere to strict policies of data protection, such as shredding paper before disposal or changing passwords on a regular basis – it is worth asking for proof of these practices.
  • Education: For the investment in SaaS to realise its full potential, it is essential users trust the data – otherwise they will be tempted to retain key information in spreadsheets, undermining the improvements to be gained through automation and creating opportunities for errors. Can the vendor advise on good user education on the new online model as part of the overall implementation?

If your cloud provider can answer all of these questions and meet your requirements, your organisation is ready to fly into the era of cloud-ing, offering entirely new business capabilities, less expensive IT resources, and unrivaled flexibility for businesses of every size! Enjoy your ride! 

– Maliha Bhugalee

Know Your Statistics!

25 May

The Apprehension Behind ‘Cloud-ing’

25 May

The overriding concern about cloud seems to surround data, personal data and the security of data. Users worry where their data will be located, whether it is split, who else’s data is held in the same place & whether there is a danger of cross-contamination.

According to David Turner, Marketing Director of Coda, which provides access for clients to Salesforce data centres, says they are protected like military bases with many retina & fingerprint scans just to enter. Security is at the core of Salesforce. Their reputation depends on it & it would kill them overnight if there was any data loss, so their security is world class.

The Health of the cloud Provider

So it is essential for any organisations to ensure the health of the cloud provider. This includes gaining complete confidence that the cloud provider is a viable, stable business with assurances and protections, such as comprehensive risk & security defences in place, to safeguard business date. Using these trusted vendor based on the precautions they take and track record seems to be a viable way for organisations to reap the benefits of cloud computing.

Negotiate suitable contracts

As with all commercial relationships, the underlying contract needs to drafted to meet the needs of both parties. Organisations willing to fly into the cloud should negotiate suitable contract which clearly sets out your concerns and what happens if an issue arise.

In short, there are issues with any technology & no ones has any desire to finding oneself at the bleeding edge of technology advancement. Cloud computing is here, will be developed further and will become increasingly ubiquitous! How about seeing the massive opportunities instead of the issues? 

– Maliha Bhugalee

Types of Cloud

25 May

For those who will see value in adoption the Cloud environment, the next question will be – what type of cloud to adopt?

Cloud Computing happens on a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud. Governance and security are crucial to computing on the cloud, whether the cloud is in your company’s firewall or not.

  • Public clouds are virtualised data centers outside of your company’s firewall. Generally, a service provider makes resources available to companies, on demand, over the public Internet.
  • Private clouds are virtualised cloud data centers inside your company’s firewall. It may also be a private space dedicated to your company within a cloud provider’s data center.

Hybrid clouds combine aspects of both public and private clouds.

Source: Deploying Public, Private or Hybrid Clouds – For Dummies


So, now the key is to decide on the types of cloud.  A private cloud, built using your resources in your data center, leaves you in control but also means you shoulder the management overhead. Public cloud services relieve you of that management burden but at the expense of some control. A hybrid approach might make it possible to realize the best of both worlds, but you’ll still have to pick private or public as the base for operations. The best approach eventually depends on the organisation.

– Maliha Bhugalee

Why Cloud Computing?

25 May

Three years ago, members of the ICAEW took part in a survey, which revealed that 82% are already using web-based software for their business. Only 30% of finance directors and accountants see value for money as the main reason for adopting cloud. This figure increased over the years.

Organisations are now flying to the cloud. More than storage space, the hosted solutions now offer Software-as-a-service (SaaS) and even Platform-As-A-Service (PaaS) functionality for business.

(SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet. (PaaS) is a paradigm for delivering operating systems and associated services over the Internet without downloads or installation.

THE PROS!

Below are the main reasons which I’ve identified for why an organisation should go for a cloud environment!

  • Organisations now pay a monthly payment options/subscription costs (depending on cloud provider) rather than an up front capital costs of on-premise
  • Employers can work anywhere as long as there is an internet connection
  • No softwares or platforms compatibility issues, for example in the same organisation someone may be using different versions of word or some people may be using MAC and others laptops
  • You won’t have any additional hardware costs, no specialist internal IT resource is required
  • You can increase and decrease the user numbers as required everyday, i.e. you pay for what you use – you won’t need to purchase licenses for each user and then later when the number of users decrease, that will be a waste of money
  • Everything technical is looked after for you.
  • Cloud based environment saves you the hassle of the end life and replacement of servers and high-specifications PCS because all systems and files access are handled via the net, with all the softwares available on a hosted remote desktop as opposed to individual employees desktop PCs in office
  • The SMEs are able to put the infrastructure normally available to larger organisation & start ups can get their applications up and running much quicker
  • Cloud hosting providers offer ‘a la carte’ pricing to allow organisations to purchase only the level of service they need, but most web hosting providers offer packages incorporating the most popular cloud computing services
  • The cloud hosting providers now also offers disaster recovery services in the cloud environment which enables faster recovery and reduced disruptions to ongoing operations for companies affected by major environmental events
  • Insurance offer against prolonged service interruptions caused by tornadoes, earthquakes, floods and hurricanes.
  • Configuring and installing software when a new staff arrives or when a PC is replaced will no longer be an issue.

The main concern about cloud remains SECURITY – this is dealt with in the next post!

Understanding Cloud

25 May

Are you hearing the term everywhere and not sure what it is?

If you are using hotmail, twitter, itunes, dropbox, ebay or use business applications such as Salesforce.com, congratulations – you are already a cloud user. Cloud is the current technology buzzword. I was asked to do a research on ‘the possibility of migrating to cloud environment’ for an accounting firm, and I have gone through like 100 articles, forums, research papers and actually downloading trial versions of some cloud applications.

Wikepedia defines ‘cloud computing’ as: “The practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server”.

So, it is simply shifting everything a server or any storage device can hold to a remote server on the internet. And everything can be accessed wherever you are using an internet connection.

Cloud Services include the delivery of software, infrastructure, and storage over the Internet (either as separate components or a complete platform) based on user demand.

The Cloud world has as main participants (i) the end user who doesn’t have to know anything about the underlying technology; (ii) Business management who needs to take responsibility for the governance of data or services living in a cloud; and (iii) the cloud service provider who is responsible for IT assets and maintenance.

Tips: Now the first hint is to keep the cloud chain as small as you can.

The next few/many posts will be what I learnt and my own resume and summary about the cloud. Keep tuned!

– Maliha Bhugalee