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

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

Smaller organizations making faster pivot to the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 12, 2014 9:52:47 AM

A new study finds that nearly 80 percent of U.S. small businesses will be fully adapted to cloud computing by 2020, more than doubling the current 37 percent of small business that have already adapted.

A "Small Business Success in the Cloud" report from Emergent Research that was commissioned by Intuit Inc., suggests that the rate at which small businesses are adapting to the cloud is significantly higher than traditional enterprise IT organizations.

In fact, a separate report from Oxford Economics that was commissioned by IBM finds that only 20 percent of application workloads in the enterprise are actually running in the cloud. IT leaders concede that they are not sure where more than 50 percent of their workloads will be running in the next five years, but chances are many of them will continue to run on premises for the forseeable future.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

Time to productize IT services has arrived

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 7, 2014 9:05:19 AM

In order for an IT service to be really profitable, it has to be repeatable. A service engagement requires a lot of investment in technical staff. Unless an IT service provider finds a way to leverage that investment a one-time engagement around the delivery of that service is not usually very profitable.

Now IBM is taking that concept to the next logical level with the delivery of IT services that can now be purchased online using a credit card much like any other product.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Race to Windows Server 2003 migrations gets underway

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 4, 2014 9:20:53 AM

With Microsoft currently planning to eliminate support for Windows Server 2003 in 2015, many IT organizations think they still have plenty of time to make the migration to another operating system. But given the fact that it takes over 200 days to make such a migration, it turns out most IT organizations are running out of time.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Reducing maintenance fees frees up IT budgets

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 1, 2014 8:58:47 AM

In the current economic climate IT service providers need to find a way to free up IT dollars already allocated to other projects if they want customers to invest in a new project.

The simple fact of the matter is that anywhere to 70 to 90 percent of any IT budget is already allocated to funding existing projects. The only way IT service providers can really change that equation is by either outright eliminating the need for an incumbent IT solution or reduce the cost of supporting it.

One of the easiest places IT service providers can free up some of those funds is by reducing the ongoing maintenance fees for legacy products that are either not actually supported by the vendor that sold them or are nearing the end of their useful lifecycle.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

New and old IT services guard fight for AWS control

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 28, 2014 9:24:36 AM

As the dominant cloud computing platform, providers of IT services are now flocking to Amazon Web Services. But as is often the case with any disruptive platform a fierce battle is underway between startup providers of IT services and the traditional old guard that has traditionally dominated enterprise IT.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Software licensing rebellion starts to ferment

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 24, 2014 11:05:21 AM

The complexity of software licensing has always been one of the great inhibitors of IT adoption. But for all the complaining about software licensing over the years, things have only become even more complicated in the age of the cloud.

Now there’s a nascent rebellion under way in the form of a new user advocacy organization that is calling for not only more clarity in software licensing terms, but also for a standard set of procedures for resolving software licensing conflicts between customers and software providers.

As the newly appointed CEO of The Campaign for Clear Licensing non-profit organization, Mark Flynn says that things have become so bad that many IT organizations are afraid to negotiate licensing terms with software vendors for fear of triggering an audit. Given the complexity of the licensing terms, most organizations are violating those terms to one degree or another.

By applying the collective weight of an organized campaign, Flynn says standard licensing terms would go a long way towards reducing the anxiety that exists between software vendors and the customers they serve.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology