April 20, 2016

Making the case for in-house data centers

Leasing data center capacity to another organization is another way for an internal data center to add value. “Our Texas data center has over thirty thousand square feet available which could be developed. We are exploring the possibility of leasing this capacity to another organization,” Connor says. The potential leasing arrangement would be with a single organization which would partner with BlueCross on data center design. If research and development is a priority for the organization, a specialized in house data center makes sense. In 2014, Cambridge University built the West Cambridge data center facility. The data center has delivered cost savings in the form of lower power consumption. Scientific research in chemistry, physics and other departments have increasingly decided to adopt the central data center rather than departmental resources.

European Commission formally objects to Google’s Android dominance

The EC said pre-installing and setting Google as the default, or exclusive, search service on most Android devices sold in Europe, closed off ways for rival search engines to access the market, via competing mobile browsers and operating systems. ... The EC said Google’s actions also harmed consumers by stifling competition and restricting innovation in the wider mobile space. As an example, it said Google's conduct has had a direct impact on consumers, as it has denied them access to innovative smart mobile devices based on alternative, potentially superior, versions of the Android operating system.

Leadership is more powerful than technology

One thing that's interesting is that everyone always asks, 'Well, what happened to your tech and can't you use it?' It's like, 'Well, no. ... The key is to remember always that a lot of [management] stuff comes directly from the candidates themselves. Even though, you know, Barack Obama didn't come to me and say, 'Harper, here is what you should build.' Barack Obama found people that would represent [what he wanted], and it trickled down to me. The candidate determines how software will be built, and what it will do because they choose to organize all these other things. That's how tech works. If the candidate is a terrible person, probably their technology is going to be [supported by] terrible people. That doesn't mean it's going to fail. Those are not related.

Don’t overlook SaaS, the original cloud option

There are often better SaaS alternatives -- not only cheaper, but with better capabilities and better workflows -- for internal applications. And not Salesforce alone. There are SaaS-based HR systems such as the popular Workday, as well as accounting, manufacturing, learning, project management, and even office automation. By my count, there are more than 2,000 SaaS offerings, ranging from niche applications to integrated ERP and CRM systems. Perhaps because SaaS is now 15 years old, IT has stopped thinking about it as cloud -- they confine the term's use to newer offerings like IaaS and PaaS. But SaaS is the original cloud, and it represents the largest part of the cloud market.

Brexit won’t exempt you from new EU data protection obligations

In the long term, the economic argument for the UK adopting the GDPR if we leave – or, indeed, implementing even more stringent measures that would satisfy the Regulation’s data protection requirements – is strong: according to the Office for National Statistics, e-commerce accounted for 20% of UK business turnover in 2014. And, as think tank Chatham House pointed out only last month, “data sharing has an impact on all business with the EU (both online and offline), valued at 45 per cent of UK exports and 53 per cent of UK imports.” In still-straitened economic times, that value is obviously something the Exchequer will be keen preserve.

How compliance can be an excuse to shun the cloud

"When you break down the problem it only governs a specific piece or component of data and only those apps," he says. "They aren't breaking down the problem and laying out the workloads and data sets."  As it turns out, the excuses for not embracing the cloud are numerous. One cause is generational. People have been running internal data centers for decades. Good luck convincing a CIO in his or her 50s who fears being cut out of a job in the first place that data and applications should be moved off-site into a data center somewhere across the country. ... The problem is also dependent on the size of the company. Small firms without a dedicated IT staff can be more reticent because they don't have someone who is fully dedicated to understanding computing services and products, said James Gast

Next up in smart devices: The Internet of shirts and shoes

IoT startup Evrythng is teaming up with packaging company Avery Dennison to give apparel and footwear products unique identities in Evrythng’s software right when they’re manufactured. The companies have high hopes for the Janela Smart Products Platform, seeing a potential to reach 10 billion products in the next three years. The system could put a simple form of IoT into the hands of millions of consumers who weren’t even shopping for technology. Evrythng and Avery Dennison don’t want to make your clothes into online celebrities, they want to make them more useful. What they’re doing may make it harder to counterfeit desirable products and commit fraud at the returns counter. There could be some fun features for consumers, too.

Free Up IT Infrastructure Costs to Fund Transformation

Though few near-term opportunities for savings may be apparent, I&O provides plenty of longer-term room if you‘re willing to address cost optimization with careful scrutiny of every asset. “The most important thing is to make sure you have a strategy in place,” said Ms. Caminos. “Then you can look at cost savings, starting with some areas that will give you some quick wins depending on your existing environment.” Consider each of the four major technology domains that make up I&O: data centre, networking, client computing and service desk. Then evaluate the most impactful methods for reducing costs and prioritise your initiatives. It’s important to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO) for each of these functional areas.

Insurance Giant John Hancock Begins Blockchain Tech Tests

While the company isn’t sharing details around its proofs-of-concept, earlier this year ‘Big Four’ accounting firm Ernst & Young published a report listing peer-to-peer insurance and faster distribution of “regionalized or personalized” products among its list of opportunities for insurers using blockchain. Other possible applications according to the report include fraud detection through creating a decentralized repository of customer information and policies; digital claims management through providing historical third-party transaction data; types of distribution using micro-insurance and micro-finance; and new kinds of products around "cyber liability" for security professionals. But, not all considerations mentioned in the report were positive.

Companies high on virtualization despite fears of security breaches

Adding to the confusion, virtualization has caused a shift in IT responsibilities in many organizations, says Greg Young, research vice president at Gartner. The data center usually includes teams trained in network and server ops, but virtualization projects are typically being led by the server team. “The network security issues are things they haven’t had to deal with before,” Young says. The average cost to remediate a data breach in a virtualized environment tops $800,000, according to Kapersky Labs, and remediation costs bring the average closer to $1 million – nearly double the cost of a physical infrastructure attack. Companies don’t see technology as the sole answer to these security problems just yet, according to the HyTrust survey.

Quote for the day:

"Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind." -- Walter Landor

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