Report highlights DR in Asia

There are many reasons as to why you would spend time developing a Disaster Recovery Plan (DR) that fits your company. The biggest reason is because it will help during times of disaster, and could be the difference between your business failing or succeeding. Often when we develop such a plan, we only look at the immediate surroundings, which could make the strategy too narrow. When developing a plan of action, it might help to look outside your region and country to what other regions are doing in relation to DR.

A report published by the EMC corporation in the summer highlights the current state of Disaster Recovery in Asia. The report takes an in-depth look at IT spending and the views of IT decision makers on Disaster Recovery in the Asia Pacific Region – South East Asia, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and India.

The findings of the report are interesting considering current socioeconomic and natural conditions in the region. Asia, to date, has been largely unaffected by the negative economic conditions in both Europe and North America. According to the Q2 2012 Asia Job Index report released by Robert Walters, the number of IT positions advertised in major regions has grown across all sub-regions in Asia.

The most impressive countries were: Japan which saw IT postings achieve a quarter-on-quarter growth of 8%, compared to a country-wide quarter-on-quarter average decrease of postings across all industries of -4.6%. Malaysia is the other IT star, seeing IT positions grow 24.2% quarter-on-quarter, compared to a nation wide average growth of postings across all industries of 13.4%. On comparison, the whole Business Services Industry, including IT, in the US, achieved a growth of approximately 11%.

These figures for Asia show that companies in the region are investing in IT services and positions. The EMC’s findings parallel this, noting that many companies are investing more on DR possibly due to the relatively high number of disasters, natural or otherwise, affecting the region in the past year. On average, companies invested 11% of their IT budget on DR plans. Companies in North America spend between 2% and 4% of their annual IT budget on DR plans. This is a big difference, but is it paying off?

Looking deeper into the survey it can be noted that in the past year, 47% of respondents saw some form of data loss. The average amount of data lost was 484GB. Malaysia and India were hardest hit with an average loss of 1,099GB and 713GB lost, respectively. The top three reasons for loss were reported as being due to: data corruption (58%), hardware failure (50%) and loss of power (35%).

Despite the larger spending, the information reveals that many companies in Asia may not be spending their DR budgets wisely. Almost half of companies have experienced negative effects from some kind of emergency they likely could have prepared for.

In this region, and in all regions, the amount of data available to, and stored by companies is growing exponentially. If this trend of inadequate spending continues, companies will stand to see loss of data compounded.

We highly recommend that you take this information into account when developing your DR plans, and ensure that your budgets are properly allocated. For help with adopting the right DR strategy please contact us, we may have an effective plan that meets your needs.

Published with permission from Source.

Five things that jeopardize battery life

Batteries are awesome. Mix a few chemicals together and you have a chemical reaction that when encased can be used to power nearly anything and everything. There are a number of different kinds of batteries out there, and when it comes to Lithium-Ion batteries, commonly found in mobile phones, there are many factors that can cause them to be less efficient.

Here’s the top five battery life killers:

  1. Exposure to extreme heat/cold. Leaving your device in the car during a hot day, or frigid night can and will reduce the life of batteries. You should be careful not to expose your device to these extreme conditions.
  2. Moisture/Humidity. While most places in the US, Australia, the UK and Canada don’t have high enough humidity to noticeably affect battery life, rapid or sudden changes in moisture can and often will affect battery life. If you’re traveling from say Phoenix to Singapore, you should ensure there is a charge in the battery (above 40%) and to remove it from the device before traveling. This will help reduce shock due to an extreme change.
  3. Incredibly bright screens. High quality displays like those found on the iPhone and most new Android phones have amazing image quality. Some are also super bright. If you have your brightness cranked, you will notice fast battery drain which could lead some users to think their battery is functioning poorly. If you turn your screen’s brightness down, you will have  increased battery life, which means less drain.
  4. Data is fast…at draining batteries. 3G and 4G data connections are great, as you can surf the Internet at speeds that rival current high-speed landlines. The only problem is that coverage in most places can be a little spotty. The way most phones are set up is If you have mobile data turned on, the phone will be always searching for a connection. This constant action, especially when you don’t have 3G coverage, will drain the battery, and make most users think that their phone’s battery is dying. When not in use, turn off data connections.
  5. Full discharge/recharge. Yes, believe it or not, phones with a lithium-Ion battery (nearly all new smartphones) will see decreased battery life if the user keeps doing full cycles – using the phone until it dies, then recharging it. Lithium-ion batteries work best when you keep them charged, fewer full cycles results in longer battery life. In other words: ABC (Always Be Charging). Combine this with tips three and four, and you will increase your battery’s life.

If you’d like to learn more about caring for your phone, please contact us.

Don’t make these 5 LinkedIn mistakes

Social networking has become an integral part of the fabric of modern society. There are more social networks than you can count, all offering a network usually aimed at a niche market. One of the more popular networks is LinkedIn. Geared towards professionals, LinkedIn is a great tool that can help you in many different ways. However, if you make mistakes, it could harm your reputation.

Below are five common mistakes professionals make on LinkedIn.

  • Using it only for job searches. One of LinkedIn’s most powerful tools is the job search, as you can tap into the hidden market of jobs, or reach out to contacts for potential for potential openings, or to hire them. The only problem with this is: Many LinkedIn users only use the network when they are actively looking for a job. You should make an effort to keep your profile and connections up-to-date and be active even when you’re not looking for a job or to hire.
  • Having an incomplete profile. One of the key aspects of any social network is your profile. It’s the online representation of who you are, and an incomplete profile is like an incomplete picture of who you are. At the very least, you should have information about all the important companies/jobs you’ve had and your main achievements associated with them. Having industry recognized keywords sprinkled in helps as well; it makes you and your expertise easier to find.
  • Not belonging to groups. The groups we associate with make up a large part of who we are. LinkedIn is no different and has a ton of professional groups, including alumni and industry specific groups. Joining these groups is a good idea as you can connect with colleagues and other professionals, share your experience and keep your finger on what’s going on; maybe even find your next big business idea.
  • Not making connections. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: LinkedIn is all about connections. If you only connect with people when you need something you will reduce the efficiency of the network. You should be actively looking for people that you know – personally or professionally – to connect with. At the same time, don’t connect with anybody and everybody, LinkedIn should be your online professional network – only connect with people you know or have met.
  • Not a team effort. With other social networks like Facebook, colleagues are usually against connecting with workmates. While this is probably a good idea for Facebook, after all, who wants their boss seeing pics from your weekend shenanigans? LinkedIn is different, it’s beneficial to connect with your current colleagues as the main idea of LinkedIn is to establish professional connections. The best place to start making connections is your current job, so encourage your team members to have profiles and connect with each other.

Through effective use of LinkedIn, you should be able to build a solid professional network that spans countries and could provide you with your next big opportunity. If you have questions about LinkedIn or social networking in general, please contact/connect with us.

Data backup is good. Continuity’s better

Business continuity – the act of ensuring that business activities are available at all times, including during disasters – is a practice all businesses, regardless of their size, should be implementing in their organization. While many businesses backup their data and think that they’re protected, they will find that during times of disaster they aren’t.

Here are five things you should be doing, aside from backing up your data, to ensure you’re ready for anything.

  • Where to work. One of the first things you should consider is where you’re going to work if your office is inaccessible. Hotels, convention centers or other office buildings are viable locations. Whichever location you pick, you should pick at least two different places, as far apart as possible. You should also be sure to inform your staff and include maps of the routes to the locations you’ve chosen.
  • Replacement equipment. It’s incredibly important that you know exactly what equipment you use and how integral it is to operations. For mission critical equipment (equipment your company absolutely can’t work without) you need to have a plan in place as to how you can quickly replace lost equipment, the cost of it and replacement time. For less important equipment, you should have a couple of vendors in mind.
  • Communication systems. During adverse business conditions it’s vitally important that you and your employees are able to communicate both with one another and with your clients. You should look into a communication system that’s flexible, can be established wherever you are and allows you to keep your numbers. VoIP is a great system, telecommuting is another option as well.
  • Coordinate staff. You’re staff drive your business, without them, your business likely won’t be able to run. With the continuity plan you develop, it’s important that you have hard and soft copies of the plan that are accessible to all staff, and staff know their role in the plan. When your plan is enacted you need to contact your staff and ensure that there aren’t any problems.
  • Access to critical documents. If you have a good backup location, can set up equipment quickly and staff know their roles you may think your plan is perfect. You’re missing one key element: access to documents, employees won’t be able to work without them. It’s important to ensure that you can access your data backups, which means you should probably keep copies offsite and in the cloud if possible.

A continuity plan is important, hopefully you’ll never have to enact it. Nevertheless, you should plan for the worse. If you’re unsure of where to start, or feel your current plan is inadequate, please contact us.

Published with permission from Source.
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