Q&A Session: Our Engineering Experts Answer Employee’s Queries

Posted April 6, 2023 by Sayers 

Emerging technologies, services, and business continuity stood out among top-of-mind topics in a recent internal Q&A session, which gave Sayers employees an opportunity to quiz our engineering experts.

As you consider the technology needs of your organization, we offer these highlights from the panel discussion.

Who Will Be An Emerging Technology Partner In 2023? 

Looking beyond vendors who have established technology partnerships with Sayers, such as Palo Alto Networks and Check Point, we asked our engineering leaders who they see as an emerging partner or technology for 2023. 

Among the most frequent responses:

Zscaler. Zscaler offers the world’s largest in-line cloud security platform, the SSE-based Zero Trust Exchange™. The Zero Trust Exchange platform securely connects users, devices, and applications in any location.

Zscaler is well known and recognized in the secure access service edge (SASE) and zero trust network access (ZTNA) space, with many features consolidated into their offering for a platform approach. 

Ken Wisniewski, Sayers Senior Security Architect, says:

“The whole SASE market is still continuing to build. It seems like every other day there’s an article talking about how much growth and consolidation there’s going to be in that space. Zscaler has so much mindshare in the market.”

Cloudflare. Cloudflare offers a global network built for the cloud. Their Web Application Firewall (WAF) is an integral part of Cloudflare’s cloud-based security solution, and they have released new feature functionality beyond the cloud WAF space. 

Kevin Finch, Senior Business Continuity Architect at Sayers, explains:

“I say Cloudflare because they are right on the heels of competitors with their service offerings, and they keep growing. They’re a one-stop shop for ZTNA, WAF, and DNS security.”

Containerized workloads. Rather than a specific partner or product, containers in general are the topic of conversations Sayers engineers are having with customers looking to replatform onto containers for their virtual infrastructure. 

Organizations choose containers to help them more quickly and securely deploy applications. Among container options, Wisniewski says:

“Kubernetes is the enterprise-class version of a container platform. Public cloud service providers offer managed Kubernetes options including AKS (Azure), EKS (Amazon Elastic), and GKE (Google) that are easier to deploy and manage than most of the on-premise options.”

What Service Offerings Complement Emerging Technology Solutions?

Whether you want to deploy new IT infrastructure, implement cybersecurity solutions, move workloads to the cloud, or ready your organization for business disruptions, the right services from a trusted partner can meet the specific needs of your business.

In particular, our engineering leaders recommend:

Lifecycle Services, which can address a range of needs that companies may not have the knowledge or resources to do themselves, such as performing ongoing configuration health checks or reviewing security policies. Organizations choose from a menu of customizable options based on their needs.

Disaster recovery (DR) planning and testing, which have taken on even more importance in the face of data breaches, ransomware, power failures, and natural disasters. Moving to the cloud is another area that requires you to reassess your DR planning process to ensure business resiliency and recoverability.

Christopher Willis, Sayers VP of Cybersecurity and Network Engineering, also recommends:

“Doing a security assessment helps identify where the gaps, deficiencies, and overlaps are, and what solution(s) would be the best fit. We look at which technology vendor you are already using and what you potentially could leverage more.”

What Is The First Step To Take Toward Business Continuity? 

If your company has no business continuity (BC) practice to speak of, the first step is to do a BC Program Maturity assessment to know where you are, where you need to be, and where to prioritize in putting together your business continuity plan.

The assessment covers a variety of areas such as whether you have the appropriate documentation, how often you’re updating it, how frequently you are testing and validating processes, and how current your data is.

Another valuable step in creating or improving your BC plan is to perform a Business Impact Analysis (BIA). The BIA analyzes the activities, processes, and operational functions of your business and what effect a business disruption would have on them. With the BIA results, you can plan ahead to minimize the pain points.

Once you create your BC plan and policies, you test them, track results to see what worked and what didn’t, and then reassess your BIA data. 

“Business continuity is a continuous improvement process,” says Finch. “It’s a lot more like software development than a one-and-done implementation process.”

Even a company with an established BC program will benefit from an assessment, as it allows you to see how well you’re aligned with best practices and identify where you can improve.

Finch adds:

“Sayers can help at any step in the process, such as conduct a BIA or write your BC or DR plans. One of the nice things about the BC assessment is that it’s not a big time commitment for our customers. It’s a 90-minute meeting, with a bit of work ahead of time, and then we meet a week later to present the results.”

Which Technology Websites And News Feeds Keep You Current?

Keeping track of the latest technologies, cybersecurity developments, and tech happenings takes daily effort. We asked these engineering leaders which websites, news feeds, or other sources they use to stay current:

Kevin Finch: “For industry news and perspectives, I follow more than 1,000 different people on LinkedIn. Among the trade publications I read, Disaster Recovery Journal is a good one.”

Christopher Willis:

“There’s definitely the technology vendors who will put out the news. There’s also other options such as Ars Technica, and TLDR has a daily news feed they will email to you.” 

Gerry Wollam, Sayers Senior Cybersecurity Solutions Architect:  

“A lot of times I’ll catch a headline from one of our technology partners and go out and research it myself among other sources. The news never stops.”

Questions? Contact us at Sayers today. We offer extensive solutions and expertise to cover all areas of your business.


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