April Fool’s Day is Every Day for Cyber Criminals

When April Fool’s Day comes around each year, it’s human nature to be a little more on-edge than usual. Your guard is up, and you can’t completely trust anyone (even your closest friends and family). So, for the whole day, you take extra precautions, carefully opening the present your friend just “wanted to drop by,” and not believing there’s “cake in the break room” until it’s fact checked. While it’s fun to dedicate one day per year to April Fool’s Day, organizations of all industries must take these precautions… every day of the year. Cyber criminals are looking for a way to break through security defenses 24/7/365, so organizations must also remain on the clock, working to protect their most critical assets. But when it comes to cyberattacks and protecting your data, the stakes are much higher than whether the cake in the break room is real or not.

Topics: Cybersecurity ESG Validation Services

4 Ways that Solution Validation Marketing Content Can Help You to Close More Deals, Faster

When you buy something online, a toaster for instance, do you simply find one in your price range and hit “order?” Or do you first look for third-party articles about which toasters are on the market (top rated, or those that include a specific feature you want)? You may also check to see which toasters have the highest customer ratings and read the reviews. From something as simple as a toaster, all the way up to a data center full of hyperconverged infrastructure, customers put trust in the opinions of those who don’t have stakes in the game. Independent third parties deliver the facts about product features and differentiation (why the customer should consider the product), and customer reviews provide raw, personal, and honest feedback about the product. Both are invaluable to customers that are trying to choose between several products in a saturated market.

Topics: ESG Validation Services

HCI: The “Super Infrastructure”

You know those people who seem to have more than 24 hours in a day? They simultaneously balance work, hobbies, family, friends, and health (somehow). These “super humans” do it all. And although those aspects of life are separate entities, they still affect one another and must be managed concurrently. A desire to continuously “do more” creates challenges in our lives – it adds complexity and requires us to find new ways to become more efficient. Similarly, IT teams are tasked with doing more with the limited resources and budget they are provided - all in a world in which IT environments are becoming more and more complex. Organizations strive to increase operational efficiency and speed while minimizing costs and downtime; but this is no easy feat.

Topics: Converged Infrastructure ESG Validation Services

Ransomware Attacks are Everyone’s Problem

It can be easy to think, “That sounds horrible! But it probably won’t happen to me.” From getting into a fender bender, to spilling ketchup on your new white shirt, to… ransomware attacks. Believing ransomware attacks will only happen to “somebody else” can put your organization at a huge risk. On a much larger scale than buying car insurance or bringing an extra shirt, taking precautions against ransomware attacks can save your organization millions of dollars, as well as employee confidence, customer trust, and more.

Topics: Cybersecurity ESG Validation Services

Silencing the Noise in Cybersecurity

It’s noisy out there. Hundreds of TV shows that your friends insist you “HAVE to watch,” a concerning number of crime-related podcasts (seriously, why are there so many?), and seemingly non-stop communication with one another – text, email, social media, carrier pigeon.… There are only so many hours in the day, and a lot of things fighting for your time and attention. It can be difficult to cut through the noise and see clearly what should be prioritized, both in your personal life and at work. The cybersecurity space is noisy, too.

Topics: Cybersecurity ESG Validation Services

I Just Want the App to Work…

Our networking analyst, Bob Laliberte, has recently written about connectivity and experience. In today’s networking world, connecting end-users to a network is simply not enough. The focus is shifting to end-user experience once connected to that network.

Those who connect to some network daily know what I mean. I’ve had to connect to our network and edit documents while on the road. I’ve been in a running store wanting to buy some gear, but because I was overwhelmed with choices, I checked online reviews before I made my purchase. Most times, I have had no issue. But there have been times when the experience of trying to do my work or get information became frustrating. In most cases, I gave up and went elsewhere, just so that I could find a place with “good” connectivity.

Topics: Networking ESG Validation Services

Talking Validation (ESG 360 Video Series)

In this discussion, part of ESG's 360 Video Series, VP of ESG's Validation Services Brian Garrett explains how the ways that ESG conducts its validation services have changed over the years - not only driving a better appreciation of the value that vendors' offerings can deliver but also reflecting a change in users’ demands. The change is twofold: Whereas early testing and proving was most often around individual products and features, now the functional emphasis is much more likely to be around a complete solution - anything from HCI to data protection to cloud and “...as a service” offerings; in all these situations, flexibility and ease of use have come to the fore. Secondly the validations that ESG conducts are now much more frequently focused on the economic and business value of a solution instead of - or as well as - merely its functional efficacy. Brian discusses the reasons for these changes, and notes that actual user input is now also increasingly important to the process.

Topics: Storage ESG Validation Services

Mid-range vs. Enterprise Storage: Is Size All that Matters?

We often hear small and mid-sized organizations talking about how management constantly urges them to “do more with less.” Keeping competitive requires them to squeeze all they can out of their infrastructure, and their staff. ESG research bears this out; respondents chose cost reduction as one of the business initiatives that will drive the most technology spending at their organizations this year, appearing second on the list, only bested by strengthening cybersecurity.

Topics: Storage ESG Validation Services

The 90s called—they want their PDF files back!

It’s amazing how prescient the creators of the PDF were. In 1993, they designed a file format that captured physical output in extremely high fidelity. Twenty-five years later, PDF is the gold-standard for content distribution.

And ESG has always delivered technical validations—and much of the rest of our content—as PDF files.

Topics: ESG Validation Services

Change is Constant

The one constant in IT is change. This aphorism applies not only to the technology, but to people, processes, and organizations. Like the rest of IT, ESG’s validation services have been undergoing change.

In my last few blogs, I wrote about benchmarking tools and performance analysis because, for a long time, these were significant parts of our validation process.

Topics: Cybersecurity Networking ESG Validation Services