Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Intronis.
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Recent Posts

Ransomware Creates Delicate IT Services Opportunities

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 19, 2014 8:08:40 AM


Attacks known as “ransomware” are ugly no matter how you look at it. But from the perspective of IT service providers, they are often the event that leads to their first engagement with a customer.

Faced with the prospect of having to pay a fee to rescue a machine from the clutches of a criminal that has hacked their way into their system, many customers make their first call to an IT services providers for help.

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Cloud API Battle Enters a New Phase

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 16, 2014 10:10:00 AM

With the acquisition of Eucalyptus by Hewlett-Packard the whole debate over APIs in the cloud just got a whole lot more nuanced.

Eucalytpus got its start by promoting the adoption of private clouds based on the same APIs that Amazon Web Services (AWS) uses in its public cloud service. The basic idea is that in a hybrid cloud computing world it would be simpler to move workloads between private and public clouds if they shared the same API.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

IT Services Providers Caught in Net Neutrality Quandary

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 10, 2014 9:45:00 AM

When it comes to the idea that there should be a thing called Net Neutrality, IT services providers often find themselves in an uncomfortable position. The Internet is the core enabling technology that is at the foundation of many of the services they provide, so keeping costs down is in the best interests of many of IT service providers and their customers.

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IT Automation and the Cloud Redfine the IT Services Paradox

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 8, 2014 9:30:00 AM

A new survey of 312 enterprise IT customers conducted by Horses for Sources and KPMG finds that half of all existing outsourcing contracts are up for grabs because customers are dissatisfied with the level of value-added innovation being provided by the IT service provider.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Coping with multiple instances of Windows

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 4, 2014 9:03:41 AM

The combined usage of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 for the first time exceeds Windows XP. But despite the pulling of official support for Windows XP, there are still millions of instances of the venerable operating system that are still running. And just to make matter more interesting for IT service providers, Windows 9 is now on the horizon. 

For IT service providers this means that in addition to the multitude of non-Windows clients that are proliferating, chances there will ever be again a standard desktop computing environment for them to support are almost nil.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Playing the IT governance card

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM

More than a fair number of IT organizations are now concerned about the lack of control they have over their IT after an extended period of irrational exuberance involving the adoption of “shadow IT services.”

While none of these organization want to sacrifice the flexibility that many external services running in the cloud provide, they clearly are open to alternatives that provide a modicum of control in a way that doesn’t compromise the overall agility of the business.

With that goal in mind IT service organizations are starting to gain traction with application services in the cloud that provide all the cost and agility benefits of a shared infrastructure in the cloud in a way that provides the governance capabilities that IT organizations crave.

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Topics: IT Security

Navigating the nuances of cloud pricing models

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 27, 2014 9:15:55 AM

For all the hype surrounding the cloud, the number of pricing options relating to how infrastructure as a service (IaaS) actually gets consumed has been fairly limited. In general, organizations could either commit to consume a specific amount of resource per month or be billed by the hour. Both approaches have significant drawbacks in terms of actually delivering what the customer really wants and what the cloud service provider needs to be be profitable.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Fight for IT services talent escalates

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 22, 2014 11:00:00 AM

IT service providers are reporting that it’s becoming a lot harder to hold onto to IT talent. In fact, the most recent survey of IT services providers conducted by CompTIA, the IT services industry association, saw an uptick in concern over IT labor costs, increasing four percentage points over the previous quarter’s rate of 24 percent.

With almost a third of IT service providers surveyed identifying the cost of labor as an issue, it’s clear the economy is heading northwards. Not too long ago IT folks were just happy to be employed. But as the economy continues to steadily grow, the demand for the services of people with IT expertise is increasing.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Getting a better handle on the mobile computing opportunity

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 18, 2014 7:09:20 AM

There’s no doubt that mobile computing is one of the hottest trends in all of IT. In fact, a new survey from Oracle finds that spending on mobile support in the enterprise will increase 54 percent in the next two years. The survey pegs average IT department spending—per device, per employee—at $157 today, which is expected to grow to $242 over the next two years.

While IT organizations will clearly need some outside help in terms of managing mobile applications, it’s less clear who will build them. The Oracle survey finds that internal IT organizations are torn between building applications themselves and purchasing them. But new research from Apigee, a provider of an API management platform, finds that IT organizations that rely on external IT service providers to build mobile applications enjoy considerably greater success.

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Topics: Mobile Device Management

Federal digital SWAT team sets IT services example

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 14, 2014 10:26:31 AM

On those rare occasions when the Federal government learns from its mistakes, IT service providers should take notice. With the announcement this week that the Federal government is creating a U.S. Digital Service that will function more or less as a digital SWAT team for identifying opportunities to use IT to improve government functions, a model that could be replicated across any number of vertical industries has been created.

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Topics: IT Services Trends