February 24, 2014

Lync and Skype together - here's how it will work
One of the main news stories from last week's Lync Conference in Las Vegas was that the next release of Lync would support not just Skype audio and IM, but also video. The intention is to provide tools that will allow the millions of Skype users to interconnect with Lync, providing new channels for businesses to connect with customers, users and partners. The big question, then, is how will it work? In the original Skype/Lync federation architecture, both signalling and media followed the same paths through the cloud federation service.

An IT auditor among us
Utter the word auditor, and many CIOs cringe. After all, IT auditors are professional nitpickers who identify problems and get CIOs to fix them. No matter that an auditor doesn't always understand how critical a given technology is to the business. No matter that a CIO is supposed to keep his company's enterprise resource planning system up and running, not take the system offline during business hours to review it for compliance with a lengthy checklist of controls.

How to Test the Security Savvy of Your Staff
User training is an essential part of any security program. Most employees aren't IT or security experts. Nor should you expect them to be. The purpose of security training and awareness is to provide all employees with basic security knowledge, as well as appropriate actions to take when presented with a possible security situation. Technology must be accompanied by awareness training to protect against social engineering and phishing, two common causes of data leakage and breaches. However, once you've spent time and budget delivering a terrific training program, how do you know your employees have retained the information they learned and are putting it to good use?

Free tools for Windows Server admins
There are endless software tools and utilities out there to help you in managing your network. Here are some of the best free ones. They can help you with deploying, maintaining, troubleshooting, and upgrading Window Servers, your domain, and aid with other miscellaneous network tasks.

Wanted: A Flipboard approach for the enterprise
I was recently talking analytics, data and enterprise software with a chief information officer at a massive company and the topic of user interface came up repeatedly. The problem: It's one thing to break down corporate silos, aggregate and define data and then distill it into knowledge. It's quite another to put that data and insight into a format that is actionable for the masses. In other words, we need a Flipboard for the enterprise. What's the corporate story for the day/month/quarter/year in data---revenue, churn, supply chain, day sales outstanding etc.---at a glance?

The 2014 Premier 100 IT Leaders: Reinventing themselves many times over
"Sometimes, it's about trusting other people," Marcante says. "I went and immersed myself in infrastructure and networks, and we doubled our production infrastructure and lowered operating costs in three years." After that, he went on to lead Vanguard's Six Sigma program, then moved again to manage Vanguard's high-net-worth business before moving back to IT. "Never say no to an opportunity because you feel scared or under-ready or not ready. Take the leap, because you're going to learn a tremendous amount," says Marcante. "It's a personal philosophy that I try to pass on to other people."

How OpenStack Storage fits in the larger open source OpenStack picture
In this interview, Ashish Nadkarni, a research director in the storage systems practice at Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corp., explains how Swift, Cinder and an upcoming file-based OpenStack storage service fit into the overall OpenStack plan. Nadkarni also discussed the potential benefits and disadvantages of the OpenStack approach and how third-party storage vendors are working to integrate their products with theOpenStack platform. He cautioned that commercial vendors could put the open source project at risk with their attempts to promote their own hardware and concentrate on their own agendas.

Eight Politically Incorrect Statements About Innovation
I asked myself a different question today: What do I believe about innovation but simply avoid saying to be politically incorrect? What am I not saying? At the risk of being labeled a curmudgeon I’ve decided to state some things I believe to be true about innovation which may offend. Innovation is difficult and it doesn’t happen enough because of these eight impediments, so, this needs said.

Why Your Change Needs a Word of Mouth Strategy
According to a study by Ernst & Young, “People trust their friends and family much more than they trust corporate marketing media. Peer recommendations—not paid-for advertising, whether on social media platforms or in print—are what count.” The report emphasizes that, while personal recommendations have always mattered, their value is increasing. The study stated that the “social consumer” no longer shares their viewpoints with just a close circle. They share good or bad retail experiences online, where they are seen—and passed on—by countless friends of friends.

Weapons of mass data destruction
There's more to IT security than protecting the valuable data an enterprise obtains, uses and stores. How you dispose of it when the hardware it’s sitting on reaches end-of-life should be a major concern too. These days, only a fool thinks clicking 'delete' is enough to wipe data from a hard drive or that a quick disk reformat will do the trick. Smashing the drives with a hammer isn’t a smart move either. So how should the enterprise tackle this problem, and what are the best weapons of data destruction? IT Pro has been investigating.

Quote for the day:

"In matters of style, swim with the current; In matters of principle, stand like a rock" -- Thomas Jefferson

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