Special Announcement
The true cloud experience you've always wanted for your IBM i and AIX workloads, when and where you want it, is finally here!

Catch industry leaders, John Blair, President & CEO of Blair Technology Solutions, and Timothy Morgan, Chief Editor of "The Four Hundred", as they discuss their knowledge and insights on:

  • How to consume IBM Power (i) and AIX on demand
  • Use cases where public cloud makes the most sense
  • Rapid provisioning using templates
  • And much more...
Industry Updates
After so many years of waiting, it looks like IBM i shops are going to have a wide variety of options when it comes to acquiring true cloud computing to either replace or augment their on premises systems.

On Nov 6, 2019, Timothy Prickett Morgan, Chief Editor of The Four Hundred, interviewed John Blair, President and CEO of Blair Technology Solutions. Working in IBM midrange for over three decades, John shared his insights on what the transition to hybrid cloud means to the IBM Power/i/AS400 community.
This is the 3rd year that Blair Technology Solutions has been partnering with IDC Canada to look at Canadian companies' Digital Transformation (DX) journey from different aspects:

  • 2017 - Where is Canada in the DX journey
  • 2018 - The gap between DX and IT modernization
  • 2019 - Cybersecurity in the age of DX

One of the key takeaways from this year's study is that organizations in the early stages of cybersecurity planning overlook key DX technologies such as cloud, partner security, and IoT. Even organizations with mature DX and cybersecurity plans overlook some of these technologies due to immaturity during the identify stage of planning.
With Exchange 2010 reaching its end of support on October 13, 2020 , this is a great time to explore your options and prepare a migration plan. You can:

  • Migrate fully to Office 365. Migrate mailboxes using cutover, minimal hybrid, or full hybrid migration, then remove on-premises Exchange servers and Active Directory.
  • Migrate your Exchange 2010 servers to Exchange 2016 on your on-premises servers.
  • (Recommended) If you can migrate your mailboxes to Office 365 and upgrade your servers by October 13, 2020, use Exchange 2010 to connect to Office 365 and migrate mailboxes. Next, migrate Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016 and decommission any remaining Exchange 2010 servers.
  • If you can’t complete the mailbox migration and on-premises server upgrade by October 13, 2020, upgrade your on-premises Exchange 2010 servers to Exchange 2016 first, then use Exchange 2016 to connect to Office 365 and migrate mailboxes.
Based on in-depth interviews with more than 500 companies around the world who experienced a data breach between July 2018 and April 2019, the analysis in this research study takes into account hundreds of cost factors, from legal, regulatory and technical activities,
to loss of brand equity, customer turnover, and the drain on employee productivity.

The study, conducted by IBM Security and Ponemon Institute, is now in the 14th year. The research continues to evolve, with consideration for the changing nature of information technology, data regulation, and security tools and processes.
IT Risk Assessment
IT risk assessment should be the foundation of your IT security strategy to help you define security gaps, determine where your vulnerabilities are and review your industry and organizational compliance requirements. Blair IT Risk Assessment includes 4 steps:

  • Identify Assets
  • Review Risk Analysis
  • Evaluate Risk Likelihood and Impact
  • Recommend IT Infrastructure Enhancements
John's Corner
The number of data violations like hacks and breaches has been steadily trending upwards in the past few years. Hardly a week goes by without a major data breach being reported in the news. Cyber threats are rapidly evolving while organizations seem relatively slow to adapt to the rising threat of cyber attacks. When it comes to their targets, cyber attackers aren't picky. Whether large enterprises like Facebook, Equifax, Capital One, or small, privately owned businesses, all fell victim to cybercrime.

What does it all mean and where should you start? It is a good practice to start with an assessment of vulnerabilities to understand where your IT security stands today and how it could be improved Send me a note  and let's get the conversation going.