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Don’t let 33% of customers fall through the cracks

  • Marketing and PR


Today we continue our Black Friday Bootcamp to show you how to make sure your website is mobile-friendly and fast.

The reason we want a mobile-friendly website is because mobile devices accounted for over one-third of ALL sales transactions in 2015.

The name of the game for Black Friday and holiday shopping is to maximize every single visitor. This means we need to ensure our website is optimized for mobile devices.

In addition, Google reports that 77% of mobile searches occur at home or work, places where desktop computers are likely to be present. And I think it’s safe to assume that people will be shopping from the office for this holiday season.

If you’ve not updated your website in a few years, my guess is that you could use a few tweaks to be mobile friendly.

Step 1 – Check Your Existing Site(s)

The first thing we need to do is head over to Google and run a check on your existing website.

You can do that here:

With any luck, your website will already be mobile-friendly and you’ll see the following message per screenshot below. If so, I’ll see you in our next Black Friday Bootcamp article!


If by any chance you were hit with the following message, there’s a few things we can do to make it mobile friendly.


Assuming that your website is not mobile – think we can remove this line entirely.

Step 2 – How Did You Create Your Site(s)?

In order for us to fix the mobile-friendly problem, we need to know how your website was built.

How was your website built?

  • Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla!, or Drupal
  • Someone else built the website
  • I built the website myself and understand coding

I’ll go over a plan of action for each of the above.

Assuming you used WordPress (the most popular CMS), your road to becoming mobile-friendly is rather easy.

WordPress Mobile Websites

First thing you need to do is make sure your WordPress installation is fully up to date. Contact the Superb Internet’s support guru’s if you need help updating WordPress.

If you wish to update WordPress on your own, login to WordPress for the website you wish to make mobile-friendly.

Once logged in, look under the “Home” link for “Updates.” This will be in the top left corner of your WordPress dashboard.

Once you have located the “Updates” link, click it.


You will then be taken to a new page where you will be told what updates you need.


Once you are up-to-date, your website should be mobile-friendly.

You can re-check your website using the Google Mobile check:

If you still don’t pass, we can install plugins that will fix everything for us.

Generally, updating WordPress should resolve it. But if your website is still not mobile-friendly then your theme is most likely causing the problem. We can perform a work around by installing the following plugins:

And most current theme’s (if not all) are mobile-friendly for WordPress.

Now, if you are using an alternate CMS, you can visit the following links for more help:

You may ask, “What if someone else has built my website?

Website(s) Built By A Web Designer Or Programmer

You’ll need to contact your web designer to see if they are capable of making your existing site mobile-friendly. With that said, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when choosing a web developer for this project:

  1. Make it easy for customers. Show them what they want and make it easy for them to take action.
  2. Design for all devices using responsive design. Tablets, phones, desktops.
  3. Use the same domain, don’t place your mobile site on a sub-domain. This just increases work and confusion.
  4. Ask for references and a portfolio of mobile websites.
  5. Make sure your mobile site loads quickly. 4 seconds or less is the general rule of thumb given to us by Google.

But what if you built the site yourself?

I Built The Website Myself

If you understand HTML coding, congrats! You’ll be able to knock this all out on your own.

The good thing is, Google has a checklist you can go over when designing your website here.

I’ll be back in a day or two and we’ll start doing the fun stuff and I’ll give you a few idea’s so you can organize a plan for Black Friday so your sales don’t evaporate.

Is Your Website Ready for Holiday Traffic?

  • General


Today’s Black Friday Bootcamp Checklist is all about speed.

Slow pages =  lower conversions (lost $$).

Is your website built for speed this shopping season?

If not, it’s OK.

We’ll get your hosting ready with today’s checklist item.

You’ll learn what you can do to welcome traffic surges and prevent high-latency and bottlenecks.

High amounts of traffic can cause the “Shark Tank Effect” resulting in slow downs, bottlenecks and outages… and pages that won’t load.

An Aberdeen Group study showed that a 1 second delay in page load time equals 11% drop in page views and a 7% loss in conversions.

Internet retailers discovered when load time is reduced from 8 seconds to 2 seconds, conversions went up by a staggering 74%.

Outages can occur when your hosting plan has limitations on traffic or processing power.

Luckily, you can easily do a few things to reduce the “load” on your server… ensuring that it will work fast and deliver your web pages, even when your site is busy.

Check #1: Content Delivery Network

The first thing you need to do is setup a Content Delivery Network… or CDN for short.

A CDN is a collection of servers placed in diverse locations around the World. The CDN works by storing images, large files, videos, and audio files.

When a visitor hits your website, the CDN decides which location is closest to the site visitor and then sends the files for download from that location. The closer the server sending the images and data, the faster the end user experience.

Here’s some research on how site speed affects user experience:

  • Conversion rate increases 74% when load time decreases from 8 to 2 seconds (real-user monitoring data from 33 major retailers)
  • Aberdeen Group study showed that a one second delay in page load time equals 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions.
  • One marketer got an 8.47% conversion rate improvement by moving his landing page onto a faster host.
  • Shopzilla sped up their site by 5 seconds and increased the conversion rate 7-12%.
  • Shaving 2.2 seconds off Mozilla’s landing pages increased download conversions by 15.4%, which they estimate will result in 60 million more Firefox downloads per year.
  • Amazon reported way back in 2006 that they got 1% revenue increase for every 100ms of improvement.

The faster your website loads, the higher your conversions.

=> Click Here to Try the Superb Internet CDN for FREE

A CDN is easy to use and easy to setup. In fact, you can be up and running in just minutes.

The Superb Internet CDN has 172 Points of Presence in 113 cities across 43 countries. Your content will be delivered fast – no matter where your website visitors are located.

Next up: Check #2: Choosing the right hosting plan.

We’ll dig deeper next week to get you ready for the 2016 holiday shopping season.

Black Friday Bootcamp (Are You Ready?)

  • Marketing and PR


For the next two weeks, I will show you how to prepare for Black Friday so you can increase your traffic and conversions.

I’ll also show you how to create an annual marketing plan, enabling you to increase your revenue throughout the year.

We’ll release articles every few days with actionable steps so you aren’t overwhelmed. This will make it quick and easy for you to prepare for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season.

But first, let’s look at some numbers before we dive into this “Black Friday Bootcamp” series.

Online shoppers spent a record $4.45 BILLION dollars during Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday sales last year.

And according to IBM statistics, consumers cashed in on Black Friday deals:

The average order value for the mobile and desktop shopper combined for Black Friday 2015 was $127.84, down slightly from 2014($129.37)

That’s a lot of money, and you can grab your chunk of it with the proper preparation.

Interestingly, over one-third of ALL sales transactions were completed using mobile devices. Smartphones accounted for 44.7% of all online traffic, 3 and a half times that of tablets at 12.5%.

In addition, I was surprised to learn 40% of customers begin researching their holiday shopping before Halloween (according to the National Retail Federation).

The NRF expects retail sales in November and December to increase 3.6% (to $655.8 BILLION). Online sales are forecasted to grow between 7 and 10% over 2015, by as much as $117 billion dollars.

The good thing is, you have plenty of time to prepare for the holiday sales season.

My sincere hope is that you implement all that you can to improve your sales process. This alone will ensure more profitability throughout the year.

By the end of this series, you will be prepared and ready to maximize revenue this holiday season and throughout the year.

Here’s your Black Friday Bootcamp Checklist:

  • Get your hosting ready. How to welcome traffic surges and prevent high-latency and bottlenecks
  • How to make it rain – steps to plan and organize sales for Black Friday so your sales don’t evaporate
  • Change their mind and increase your profits – the best methods for reducing abandoned shopping carts
  • Copywriting basics you can use to create stunning and convincing banners and text ads for Black Friday
  • Borrow Amazon’s ‘teaser method’ to create buzz in advance for any marketplace
  • Turning the old to new again – using pixels on your site to bring back old traffic and customers for cheap
  • 5 tweaks to your Facebook page that will boost Black Friday sales immediately
  • This method drove 27% of last year’s holiday sales and it can work for you too
  • Do this now and you’ll turn one-time shoppers into year-round customers
  • Watch your competition closely with this technique to remain ahead of the game
  • Surefire way to create a blazing email campaign for Black Friday that’ll lure anyone

I’m really excited about this new marketing series.

As you can see above, we will cover a lot of topics. Don’t worry though, each lesson on our checklist will be easily actionable… taking only a few minutes out of your day.

The end result will be a streamlined process for boosting sales not just for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but year-round.

Be sure to check tomorrow for the first check to perform so you can be ready for Black Friday.

National Retail Federation:

A Crash Course on SSL Certificates – A MUST Read for Every Website Owner

  • General
  • Secured Sockets Layer (SSL)
  • Security

At Superb Internet, we’re always looking out for you. That’s why we want to take the time to give you a crash course on one of the most important elements to keeping your website safe, secured, and compliant – SSL certificates.

Giving You the Lowdown on SSL Certificates

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and an SSL certificate is a critical component to keeping your website safe, secured, and compliant.

Any ecommerce website must have an SSL certificate to ensure the safe handling of sensitive information, such as a customer’s personal and credit card information. By adding an SSL certificate, you not only protect your business but also increase customer confidence by safely encrypting your customers’ most sensitive data.

For online transactions, an SSL certificate turns sensitive data into encrypted secure code. The web browser then checks the SSL certificate to make sure that the website is legitimate. Once verified, the web browser and server processes the encoded information.

SSL Certificate 1

This helps to ensure that the sensitive data delivered between the web browser and server is handled safely, securely, and that the website is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant.

Why Picking the Right Certificate Authority (CA) Matters

Picking the right Certificate Authorities (CA) is integral in the entire SSL process because they’re the ones issuing these digital certificates. In essence, digital certificates, such as an SSL, are small verifiable data files containing identity credentials that help authenticate the online identity of people, websites, and devices.

Each digital certificate includes valuable information like the expiration date of the certificate, the owner’s name and other important information, along with a public key – a value provided by some designated authority as an encryption key.


As a trusted entity issuing these digital certificates, the CA must meet strict and detailed criteria before being accepted as a member. Once accepted, the CA is authorized to distribute SSL certificates.

The longer the CA has been operational, the more browsers and devices will trust the certificates issued by the CA. One important thing to note is that for certificates to be transparently trusted, it must have “ubiquity” where it’s capable of being backwards compatible with older browsers, including mobile devices.

Overall, CAs play a vital role in how the Internet operates today by protecting information, encrypting billions of online transactions, and enabling secure communication. Without CAs, the Internet would not be as transparent and trustworthy as it is and online transactions would be more susceptible to hacks, data breaches, and phishing.

Get the Perfect SSL Certificate(s) to Meet Your Needs

Of course, not all SSL certificates are created equal. To ensure that you pick the right SSL certificate(s) for your needs, it’s important to understand the main differences in regard to its validation level:

Server Gated Cryptography (SGC) SSL Certificates

To begin, let’s start with one of the original secured digital certificates – the Server Gated Cryptography (SGC) SSL certificate. SGC SSL certificates were made available from the mid 1990’s as a means to increase the cryptographic strength of the SSL connection from 40, or 56 bits, to 128 bits.

At that time, the goal was to force weakly encrypted browsers to use the stronger 128-bit encryption method for online financial transactions. Of course, times have changed and SGC browsers, such as Netscape, are obsolete. The once reliable, and unbreakable 128-bit encryption, is now susceptible to new vulnerabilities and are unable to support the ongoing revisions of SSL protocols.

Today, the standard SSL encryption is 256-bit and we recommend anyone with an SGC SSL certificate to replace it immediately with one of the other types of SSL certificates below based on their validation level and security requirements.



Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificates

Organization Validated (OV) SSL certificates are more trusted because the validation process not only requires for the domain to be authenticated but also additional information and documentation to certify the company’s identity.

The CA must authenticate the company against the business registry databases held by the local government to confirm information, such as the entity’s name, city, state, and country to ensure that it’s a legitimate business. Because of this, the entire process can take anywhere from a few hours, to a few days to complete depending on the CA’s validation process.

OV certificates are considered the standard type of certificate for any commercial website because it contains all the necessary information for company validation. By giving people more visibility into who is actually behind the site when they click on the Secure Site Seal (lock icon) located on the address bar, visitors feel more comfortable sharing their personal information with the site.

Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificates

Domain Validated (DV) SSL certificates are used on public websites and are one of the cheapest certificates to get. The validation process is very simple and is typically performed via email or DNS to confirm that the domain is registered and that someone with admin rights is aware of, and approves, the certificate request.

Since no company information is vetted, the entire process can be complete almost immediately. If the certificate is valid and signed by a trusted authority, the browsers would indicate a successfully secured “Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)” connection in the address bar.

DV certificates are ideal only to those wanting a quick and low cost SSL where organization validation is not a concern. With this in mind, an informed user may acknowledge that DV certificates do provide encryption and security as other certificates but they may still not trust the site with their personal information because no company information has been vetted as part of the validation process.

Extended Validated (EV) SSL Certificates

If you’re looking to go the extra mile in keeping your website(s) safe, secured, and compliant, then Extended Validated (EV) SSL certificates is the perfect solution for you. Unlike the validation process for DV and OV certificates, getting an EV certificate is more difficult because of its strict and stringent authentication procedure that requires domain ownership and additional company documentation, along with other steps and checks. Overall, there are two main phases to the authentication process.

The first phase requires the CA to conduct thorough research to identify the legal entity that controls the website. This is done by verifying the legal, physical, and operational existence of the company. In addition to verifying that the organization’s identity matches official records, the CA must also ensure that the organization has exclusive rights to use the domain specified in the EV certificate and that it has properly authorized the issuance of the EV certificate. Typically, the CA will also obtain an attorney’s legal opinion on the validity of not only the business but also the information provided to obtain the EV certificate.

The second phase assist with enabling encrypted communication of information over the Internet between the website and the user of an Internet browser. By having processes for facilitating the exchange of encryption keys to prevent hacking, phishing and malware, organizations with EV certificates have a vehicle in place to properly address online identity fraud.

Since the validation process for EV certificates are much more in-depth, the entire process can take a few days, to even a few weeks to complete. Plus, CA’s issuing EV certificates must undergo recurring audits to ensure the integrity of the SSL certificate issued.

EV certificates are an ideal solution for businesses that wish to assert the highest levels of authenticity and security. By adhering to the strictest authentication process, any company with an EV certificate is rewarded with a visible “Green Bar” that’s clearly noticeable on any modern browser. This gives visitors and customers the utmost confidence that the site is extremely secured and compliant.

Wildcard (*) SSL Certificates

Wildcard SSL certificates secures your website similar to standard SSL certificates and the requests are processed using the same validation method. These types of SSL certificates are available for most of the validation levels (DV, OV, EV) mentioned above and can help protect an unlimited number of subdomains for a single domain.

One of the key differences is that Wildcard SSL certificates uses “Subject Alternative Names (SANs)” to secure a domain and all of its first-level subdomains. Whereas, a standard SSL certificate will only secure the domain that you bought the SSL certificate for and any subdomains will be left unprotected unless you purchase a Wildcard SSL certificate or additional SSL certificates for each subdomain.

For instance, let’s take as an example. By purchasing a Wildcard SSL certificate for this domain, all you would have to do is add an asterisk (*) in the subdomain area located left to the common domain name and you can secure an unlimited number of subdomains for *, such as the following:


Overall, Wildcard SSL certificates is a great solution for those with multiple subdomains who want to save time, money, and to make the SSL administration process easier for securing their site. However, the drawback with Wildcard SSL certificates is that each subdomain is not individually protected. So if a certificate is revoked on one subdomain, other subdomains will be compromised and revoked as well.

Always be on the Lookout and Manage Your SSL Certificates

Having an SSL certificate is an essential part in protecting sensitive data in transit. And while SSL certificates provide additional layers of security, it can still be vulnerable and susceptible to attacks. This is where SSL certificate management comes in. You always have to be on the lookout to ensure that the SSL certificates are managed properly.

Proper SSL certificate management requires knowing the status of each certificate across sites, browsers, and networks. Through careful monitoring of these certificates, website owners can prevent major incidents from occurring, such as phishing and data breaches, which can not only be expensive to resolve but also cause long-term damage to your reputation with customers.

Now is the Time to Protect Yourself, Your Business, and Your Customers

Thinking about getting an SSL certificate for your website? Let us help keep your website safe, secured, and compliant. Whether you’re thinking about getting an SSL certificate to encrypt sensitive information, authentication, PCI compliance, to gain your customers trust, or to prevent phishing and data breaches, we have a wide-array of trusted brands to choose from.


Start now and easily compare SSL certificates from major global CA’s like GeoTrust, Comodo, and Symantec. See our latest line of secured, reliable, and affordable SSL certificates below. Get trusted, be protected, and stay compliant today!

Certificate Authority Certificate Name Validation Level(s) 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year
Comodo EssentialSSL DV $11 $20 $28
GeoTrust RapidSSL DV $18 $26 $38
Comodo InstantSSL OV $39 $79 $99
GeoTrust True Business ID OV $119 $199 $289
Comodo EV SSL EV $179 $359 N/A
GeoTrust True Business ID with EV OV/EV $299 $469 N/A
Comodo EssentialSSL Wildcard DV/WC $179 $289 $399
GeoTrust RapidSSL Wildcard DV/WC $129 $249 $369
Comodo PremiumSSL Wildcard OV/WC $199 $398 $597
GeoTrust True Business ID Wildcard OV/WC $499 $998 $1,497

Recommended Validation Level(s):

Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificates:

DV certificates are ideal only to those wanting a quick and low cost SSL where organization validation is not a concern.

Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificates:

OV certificates are the standard type of certificate and contains all the necessary information for company validation.

Extended Validated (EV) SSL Certificates:

EV certificates are an ideal solution for businesses that wish to assert the highest levels of authenticity and security.

Wildcard (WC) SSL Certificates:

WC certificates are a great solution for those with multiple sub-domains who want to save time and money.

Cognitive Computing Set to Exceed $13B by 2020

  • Technology

Artificial Intelligence


A new industry analysis forecasts cognitive computing to have revenues of nearly $14B by the end of the decade. What exactly is cognitive computing, and why is it becoming such a prominent computing approach?

  • What is Cognitive Computing?
  • Why is Cognitive Computing Becoming so Prevalent?
  • Automated Reasoning to Grow at 37% Annually
  • North America the Largest Cognitive Computing Region
  • Summary: Key Research Highlights

A study by industry analyst Allied Market Research (AMR) projects that the cognitive computing market will hit $13.7 billion in global revenue by 2020, meaning that its CAGR between 2015 and 2020 would be a stunning 33.1%.

What is Cognitive Computing?

As its name suggests, cognitive computing is a subset of artificial intelligence. It is a form of computing that simulates aspects of the human mind. Systems are designed so that they are capable of learning. Specific methods that are used in these settings include natural language processing, data mining, and pattern recognition. The objective of this form of computing is to allow IT automation to problem-solve without the need for human intervention.

Machine learning algorithms are set up to allow these systems to work, explains Margaret Rouse in TechTarget. “Such systems continually acquire knowledge from the data fed into them by mining data for information,” she says. “The systems refine the way they look for patterns… as well as the way they process data so they become capable of anticipating new problems and modeling possible solutions.”

This IT area is used to perform artificial intelligence within virtual reality, robotics, neural networks, natural language coding, and expert systems.

Why is Cognitive Computing Becoming so Prevalent?

The broad recognition and adoption of this AI field has been in line with other aspects of the third-platform technological revolution (cloud, mobile, big data, and social). Cognitive computing has been spurred by the rapid growth of cloud hosting, big data, and the prioritization of speed.

Related: At Superb Internet, we designed and developed our cloud hosting infrastructure over the course of six years. The tens of thousands of hours we put into research, testing, and troubleshooting resulted in a true 100% high-availability cloud. See our Cloud Benchmark Report.

“Cognitive analytics have optimum capabilities in handling huge volumes of data and facilitate the quick transitioning of manufacturing footprints and technologies,” notes AMR. “The increasing adoption of cognitive computing in business applications has led to significant improvements in the productivity and standard of operations in numerous organizations.”

Automated Reasoning to Grow at 37% Annually

To understand the cognitive computing market, the report by AMR segments the field into technology, applications, end users, and modes of deployment. Technology is subdivided into information retrieval, automated reasoning, machine learning, and natural language processing. The applications are subdivided into various industries, such as healthcare, security, and BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance). The end users are categorized as sizes of businesses: SMBs and enterprises. Modes of deployment are public cloud and on-site infrastructure.

The top form of technology in 2014 was natural language processing. It represents the lion’s share of the market with 40%, or 2 out of every 5 dollars spent, and will continue to be the biggest money-maker moving forward. However, there is another huge chunk as well: machine learning, which represents 30%. Automated reasoning is currently smaller but is expected to grow at a 37% CAGR during the forecast period; computational biology is a primary application for that segment.

In terms of applications, the two top industries are healthcare and BFSI. Healthcare alone accounted for $745.1 million in revenue in 2014, which was approximately 30% of the market. According to AMR, “[t]he growth in the segment is driven by medical imaging technology,” such as “the ability of cognitive analytics to help physicians and nurses in analyzing mammogram images and detecting suspicious areas that indicate potential abnormalities.”

North America the Largest Cognitive Computing Region

The global region that has the most early-adoption of cognitive computing apps is North America. Measuring $1.06 billion in 2014, the continent is projected to continue as the leading region through the end of the decade. Europe is second. Also, Asia-Pacific will likely be a big market because of fast cloud growth in the region’s SMEs.

Companies such as Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte primarily use cognitive computing internally, for employee training and to increase workplace efficiency. Within healthcare, the computing method is used to glean a better understanding from health records.

Summary: Key Research Highlights

In summary, here are five top findings of the cognitive computing study:

  • Growth will accelerate due to expansion of unorganized big data within healthcare, finance, security, and IT/telecommunications.
  • The highest-revenue technology is natural language processing.
  • Highest adoption through 2020 will be in healthcare, retail, and finance/insurance.
  • The top region for these applications is North America, with 41.6% of worldwide revenue in 2014.
  • “Asia-Pacific and LAMEA are expected to be the most lucrative markets in terms of growth,” reports AMR, “owing to the developments in the healthcare and the insurance sector along with the growing adoption of advanced technologies.”

Modernizing and Consolidating Your Data Center: Tips from Gartner

  • Data Centers


Modernizing a data center means that a company has to reconsider its business plan both operationally and organizationally in response to shifts in the economy and developments in computing. With this report, based largely off advice from Gartner, you can work toward cutting your costs and becoming more flexible while pursuing your business objectives.

  • The CIO Perspective: 5-Point Checklist
  • IT Director Perspective: 8-Point Checklist
  • IT Pro Perspective: 9-Point Checklist
  • Organizational Perspective: 5-Point Checklist

By modernizing and consolidating your data center, you can adopt greater agility and streamline your expenses – effectively giving yourself a better market position. You can make your firm more flexible and better suited to serve an increasingly mobile staff. By adopting the methods listed below, you should be able to cut your yearly operating expenses by at least 10%.

The CIO Perspective: 5-Point Checklist

CIOs should look at the requirements of the organization, the shape of the economy, and technological factors as they think about their plan for data center modernization and consolidation. Here is a basic five-point checklist to ready yourself for this effort:

  1. Review the company’s infrastructure. What could be improved?
  2. Think about how you can trim costs with your servers, storage, and network.
  3. Ask everyone who will be involved in this project to be forthright about any political concerns that could make it difficult to succeed.
  4. Increase your awareness of potentially game-changing technologies and approaches.
  5. Finally, look at your facilities themselves, advise Gartner analysts Mike Chuba and Matthew Brisse. “Map out the number and location of data centers,” they say. “Determine whether they should be stand-alone, colocated or outsourced.”

IT Director Perspective: 8-Point Checklist

IT directors must strike a balance between improving capacity and being careful not to overprovision space. Overprovisioning is, after all, a widespread problem and challenge, notes Sead Fadilpašić in ITProPortal. “[M]ore than three quarters (76 per cent) of IT pros overprovision IT infrastructure to save themselves capacity-related problems,” he says. “Capacity-related issues have had more than half (59 per cent) still experiencing downtime and service degradation, and in almost two thirds (61 per cent) of cases, IT staff is blamed for it.”

To address this challenge head-on, IT directors must create a thorough plan and cost-benefit analysis. Here is an eight-step checklist:

  1. Assess the infrastructure and meet with the CIO.
  2. Promote the importance of looking top-down from well-strategized infrastructure to all aspects of the business. Consider possible political snags.
  3. Look at how you could change infrastructure to create savings.
  4. Review newer strategies such as web-scale IT.
  5. Create a web-scale IT plan and collaborate with HR to move it forward.
  6. Review your data centers and decide if you think they should be standalone, colocated, or outsourced.
  7. Think about the impact modernizing might have on your systems.
  8. Do a full review of your vendors and technologies.

IT Pro Perspective: 9-Point Checklist

IT professionals understand that optimizing agility is increasingly necessary for businesses. In order not to be outpaced by competitors, organizations must look toward strategies such as virtualization, automation, software-defined anything, and cloud. Follow this ten-point checklist:

  1. Reconsider operational value. Think in terms of turnkey solutions. Get away from customizing excessively. Instead, use that time to collaborate with business units for better speed and security.
  2. Promote innovation. Create systems that facilitate access to innovations (either via traditional or cloud models).
  3. Embrace convergence. Integrate and connect services.
  4. Expedite assimilation. Get into a mindset of rapid-fire research and deployment of new technologies.
  5. Standardize. “Reduced complexity improves speed, agility and availability,” say Chuba and Brisse. “Worry less about lock-in and more about ways to accelerate orchestration and automation of IT tasks.”
  6. Focus on brokering. Take on the role of assessing technology and managing risk.
  7. Consolidate. Partner with business and IT leaders for business continuity.
  8. Review vendors and technologies. Look at infrastructure configurations, cost modeling, and performance.
  9. Use cloud. Figure out the best storage and app locations: public cloud, private cloud hosted internally, or colocated private cloud.

Related: At Superb Internet, our cloud hosting infrastructure is the result of a full six years of design and development, including tens of thousands of hours spent researching, testing, and troubleshooting. Get 100% high-availability cloud.

Organizational Perspective: 5-Point Checklist

Here are guiding principles to help the organization move forward with this project:

  1. Plan. Figure out how you can reduce your costs. Know how modernizing will impact other elements of your infrastructure. Calculate ROI.
  2. Craft a solution. Where should data centers be located, and how should they be configured? Consider colocation and outsourcing. Create a cloud plan. Update your business continuity plan.
  3. Select the pieces. Determine what technologies will best improve your agility, reliability, and energy-efficiency.
  4. Build. “Focus on design efficiency and an incremental build-out methodology,” say Chuba and Brisse. “Factor in density zones and multitiered designs.”
  5. Continue to adapt. Closely watch efficiency moving forward. Put a plan in place to continue consolidating servers and a policy for virtual server deployment so you don’t end up with virtual server sprawl.