Most people don’t want to live on the bleeding edge.
When the pioneers were landing on the Americas and exploring new frontiers, life was exciting.
There were herds of wild beasts that could trample you, new peoples who might want to kill you and so on.
Similarly, in the early development of the steam engine and the internal combustion engine explosions were not uncommon.
On the IT frontier, I have to admit to be excited by technology. My first computer arrived as a solder-together kit. It could lose all its data if it was wobbled in the wrong way.
Most people don’t want to live like that. It is not a good way to do business.
It also explains why so many NHS computers were still running Windows XP, which allowed them to be attacked by ransomware. (It’s a bit more complicated, but…) They were not on a more modern operating system because upgrades break stuff. (See below…) Some IT companies like that sort of thing… it is exciting helping customers out of a fix and they generally appreciate it.
People want their homes to be safe.
They want their public transport reliable (and safe).
Safe cars? To quote the Simpsons ‘unexplained fires are a matter for the courts’.
The point of all this? Salesforce has just performed a major upgrade.
What has it broken? Nothing!
What was the disruption like? There wasn’t any.
What incompatibilities has it introduced? Erm… none?
Boring Salesforce. I did notice it was slightly quicker. There was a slightly different signing-on animation. There will be improvements, that I will have to check over before rolling out to clients. But, everyone is on the latest version with its improved security. No cavalry riding to the rescue, just business as usual.
Everything goes wrong.
It’s obvious but many of us work as if our IT equipment is faultless. That it will never go wrong. We act shocked when all the information that our business requires to operate disappears with the failure of a hard disk or a USB stick or a theft. This normally means the end of the business, too.
So it is refreshing to know that some IT suppliers take a sensible approach.
For instance, here is a recent email from Salesforce.
What is a site switch and what action is required to prepare?
Each Salesforce instance is built and maintained in two geographically separate locations. An instance is actively served from one location (the active site) with transactions replicating in near real-time to the other completely redundant location (the ready site). During a site switch, we swap the locations of your ready and active sites; the ready site becomes the new active site and vice versa.
So if one of their data centres fails you continue working based of another data centre.
None of your data is stored on your computer, so a theft does not matter.
If only everything in life was as reliable as Salesforce. (And when it fails it still keeps on working!)
As I say to our customers: if two data centres fail, you probably have even more important things on your mind than your data.
Here are 7 GDPR myths (General Data Protection Regulation) or ’new Data Protection Act’. We hope this is of some help:
1) It only applies to computers. No, it all applies to all records containing personal data, including those stored on scraps of paper and written in quill pen.
2) You can buy a piece of software that will make you compliant. No! It is more about you knowing how you hold and process data and how you have other people hold and process your data. In other words, it is about you having policies.
- How long do you retain a client’s information after they become an ex-client?
- How do you ensure that data is fully deleted if a client requests it?
- How do you gather data together is a client requests a portable, electronic copy of the data you hold on them? (and they are entitled to this.)
- and many more.
3) It will cease to apply after we leave the EU. Wrong! we are committed to upholding the GDPR after we leave.
4) It only applies to large companies. Wrong! It applied to all companies.
5) It only applies to the ‘owner’ of the data. No! This regulation applies to data processors as well.
6) You can continue to direct market to your potential customers. Do you have their informed permission? Was it given within a reasonable time?
7) If your company holds Cyber Essentials Plus certification you are covered. No! Read all the above again.
Here are the promised truths.
Yes, the top fine is €20M or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is greater!
Yes, you do have to report all data breaches within 72 hours.
We are running a masterclass on Wednesday 22nd November. This will help you sort out the fact from the fiction.
See you at the masterclass to get it all sorted.
Led by Chris Roberts of the GDPR Alliance.
Is your business ready for the new data protection regulations?
On May 25th 2018, less than a year away, the European Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) comes into force. This represents the most significant change to data privacy regulations for more than 20 years. With significant non-compliance penalties including financial ones of up to 4% of global revenue or €20m, it is essential that business owners understand what is coming, the potential impact it will have, and what actions are needed to ensure compliance.
Is your organisation going to be affected by GDPR?
The vast majority of businesses will hold what the regulation describes as “personal data” on an EU citizen so will need to be compliant with the regulations.
What is personal data?
Phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, bank details, demographics, health information, sexual orientation, in fact anything that could identify a specific person.
What’s covered during the workshop?
- Why this legislation has come in to being
- The key points of the new legislation
- Likely causes of non-compliance
- Risks and penalties: what changes will you need to make?
- What actions should you consider to reduce risk
- What are implications of non-compliance?
Chris Roberts a Director at Highend Software and a Co-founder of the GDPR Alliance leads these workshops. Chris regularly presents on business efficiency and productivity improvements and GDPR. Recent presentations include those for the Federation for Small Business (FSB), Superfast Business Wales, Wales Fraud Forum, BNI and numerous private clients.
The class will start at 9:00am for a 9:30am start in the Conference Room at the prestigious Beacon Centre for Enterprise in Dafen, Llanelli, SA14 8LQ.
Tickets are on sale through our ticketing portal https://bit.ly/GDPR-MC. Book early for deep discounts.
On 5th October, I was giving a talk to a Novus Networking in Cardiff. The topic was the GDPR. Not the most exciting topic for a group of under 35s, but there you go.
At its heart the GDPR is about protecting our privacy. As the prominent privacy campaigner, Julian Assuange said, to those who doubt our need for privacy: “There is no killer answer yet. Jacob Appelbaum (@ioerror) has a clever response, asking people who say this to then hand him their phone unlocked and pull down their pants.”
Of course we know of cases where governments want backdoors into our phone security and airports have x-ray systems that reveal our unclothed bodies.
There are many great materials out there. In the next month, Cloud Genius is hoping to be running some courses on the GPRS in Llanelli. As a starter, there is an introduction (for free) on trailhead.salesforce.com
The provisional date of our masterclass will be Wednesday 22 November. It promises to be full of useful information that will help you remain compliant.
(The fines for non-compliance are up to €20M or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater.)
How great would it be if you could take credit card payments directly from you website.
It’s not as if you have an online store, but there are just one or two services that you would like to charge for. You could use PayPal, but their fees are 3.4%.
Stripe is a really good credit card processor. (After all, even billion-dollar businesses like Salesforce use them.)
Their fees are as low as 1.4% + 20p per transaction at the basic level. Much cheaper than PayPal.
The downside is that they require a website that meets the standards of TLS 1.2.
We can set you up with a secure website.
If you use our Safe and Secure website service, we will ensure that it meets the security standards of the future.
(BTW we do full e-Commerce websites, too.)