Our insight

Mick McLean

Solutions Director

Recent Posts


You don't need me to tell you that there's a worldwide shortage of cyber skills - just try advertising a cyber security vacancy. According to the Center for Cyber Safety and Education there's already a 1.5 million-person shortfall in the worldwide information security workforce, and the centre's research suggests this will have widened to 1.8-million staff by 2022.

What does this mean for you?

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At the top of the year, Mike set out the challenges and opportunities we're all facing in 2018. More than a month in already, and I wanted to talk about the exciting ways Ideal is rising to meet those challenges, and help you seize and deliver on opportunities.

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In the age of apps, mobile devices and data everywhere, the way that customers, employees and partners expect to interact with your organisation is changing fast. As your business needs to change and evolve at an ever-increasing rate, so your IT planning, delivery and performance need to keep pace.

How do you ensure that your IT strategy is clearly aligned to the needs of your business, and that you have the necessary buy-in from stakeholders to support your approach?

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The danger with any great IT idea is that the hype surrounding it can gather until it begins to drown out the underlying point. If ever there was an example, it's the mobile workplace.

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Your customers want to contact you in new ways, your staff expect flexible access to their workplace, and your finance team needs to slash overheads: welcome to running a business in 2016.

In this environment, the business that responds in the most agile and innovative way is most successful, responding to challenges thrown up by a changing world, and anticipating others with clever technical solutions. Key to this agility is satisfying the growing demands for a mobile, flexible workplace - but what does that actually mean, and what are the steps necessary to deliver it in your organisation?

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Last month I blogged about the demise of the Safe Harbour agreement, and the spotlight that it's thrown on some of the issues with cloud provision. Now I want to look at what the death of Safe Harbour means for solutions providers such as Ideal, and for our clients.

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Ever since the 2013 Snowden revelations, which uncovered the potential scale of US government data gathering, the integrity of the Safe Harbour Agreement has looked seriously weakened. In October, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled it invalid, delivering a coup de grâce that, on the surface of it, leaves firms who use US cloud services with a huge headache. So what exactly does it mean for us all in the IT community?

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We're currently in the final stages of an 18-month UK telephony project for IKEA, the world's biggest furniture chain. As my thoughts turn to writing a project close down report, I'm in the truly enviable position of being able to ask "why did this work?"

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Many IT departments now have to consider the role of location-based services to deliver better user experience and marketing initiatives. Two of the most discussed technologies used to provide direct interaction with customers are Wi-Fi and beacons (or iBeacons).

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