Another consideration that many businesses seem to overlook — yet spend millions on — is whether the vendor is able to deliver a good customer experience. Meeting customer expectations is important because it leads to returning customers, though the bigger challenge lies in retaining this loyal bunch.
"Once the hook has caught the fish, you want to make sure that you can bring it into the boat," said Hurmuses. "The customer experience must be second to none. Customers remember if they have had a great experience with you; but they remember it even better if they've had a bad experience with you. So unless you screw up, you can almost guarantee that these customers will continue to support your business."
He added that Barracuda often conducts internal surveys to rate customer's satisfaction with the company, and they seek to ensure that they at least score a nine out of 10.
Looking at the bigger picture, Hurmuses noted that when deploying cloud, CIOs and CFOs often don't see eye to eye on this because of their clashing interests — CFOs focus on controlling the cost, while CIOs are keener on investing in the best IT infrastructure that supports the enterprise goals.
As such, businesses often end up looking at the budgets first, and needs second. In order to move forward, CIOs and CFOs have to learn to collaborate and make sure that both the budgets and needs are aligned.
"The better approach is to focus more on the needs, and then work the budget around them," advised Hurmuses.
Security getting 'cloudy'
Hurmuses predicts that there will be a continuous growth of online file sharing and an increasing reliance on cloud storage this year. Therefore, it is becoming crucially important to have adequate security measures in place in order to be prepared in lieu of impending threats and security risks.
With companies turning to cloud storage and online file sharing to improve business connectivity and flexibility, this has resulted in a greater risk in cybersecurity breaches. This is compounded by the rise in mobile access, mobile internet and web applications, which have created more threat vectors to monitor and protect.
In addition, mobile devices that are constantly moving between secure corporate networks and unsecure home or public Wi-Fi also present a risk and must be safeguarded. "The web application vector is the attack surface which is most vulnerable and exposed as it is currently the least understood by most IT administrators. Hence, we can expect an increasing rise in web application attacks," said Hurmuses.
With threats becoming more fluid and complicated, Barracuda will continue developing products and solutions to ensure that companies remain vigilant and can implement sufficient security measures, he added.
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