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

AWS extends ambitions well beyond its own data centers

Posted by Mike Vizard on Dec 1, 2016 1:38:46 PM

At the AWS re:invent 2016 conference this week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) signaled for the first time that its ultimate ambitions now extend beyond application workloads running in its own data centers.

While stopping short of employing its core software to enable IT organizations to stand up private clouds that would run outside of an AWS data center, AWS is moving to create a Greengrass platform that extends the Lambda serverless computing environment all the way out to specific classes of endpoints.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Calculating the cost a ransomware attack

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 29, 2016 10:37:17 AM

On average, it takes an organization 33 man hours to recover from a ransomware attack. That’s the benchmark identified by a survey of 500 IT security professionals conducted by the market research firm Vanson Bourne on behalf of SentinelOne, a provider of endpoint protection software.

Naturally, the actual amount of time can vary based on the number of people an organization might have available to throw at the process. But, the report does give managed service providers (MSPs) some insight into what they need to be able to beat to make a case for taking over backup and recovery.

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Topics: Ransomware

What the rise of DevOps and microservices means for MSPs

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 23, 2016 9:40:31 AM

As is often the case in IT, there is usually a fair amount of revisionist history applied to determining what was the original cause of certain trends. Case in point is a recent survey of 1,850 IT professionals conducted by ServiceNow. In that survey, 76 percent of the respondents said it was the rise of a DevOps culture inside of IT that is driving organizations to implement a cloud-first approach to deploying applications.

What's a little closer to the truth is the simple fact that developers have gotten fed up with the inherently slow rollout of applications deployed using on-premise systems. Thanks to the availability of application programming interfaces (APIs) on public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), developers discovered they could programmatically provision their own IT infrastructure in a way that enables them to get around their internal IT teams. Since then, internal IT teams have been struggling to catch up by adopting integrated DevOps processes.

But IT never stands still.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Machine learning algorithms poised to change the MSP game

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 22, 2016 9:35:00 AM

Managed service providers (MSPs) are highly dependent on networks that time and again prove to be frustratingly fragile. In fact, a recent survey of 315 network professionals conducted by Dimensional Research on behalf of Veriflow, a provider of tools for modeling networks, finds that 74 percent of respondents admit that network outages significantly impact their business at least several times a year. A full 97 percent also concede that human errors generally play a significant role in causing those outages.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

MSPs need to seize the cloud moment

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 17, 2016 10:52:14 AM

new survey of 581 IT professionals conducted by 451 Research finds that the total percentage of enterprise IT budgets allocated to hosting and cloud services is expected to increase from 28 percent this year to 34 percent in 2017. That's the good news.

As impressive as that six-point gain may seem, though, the research also reveals that a significant portion of hosting and cloud services spending is on unmanaged or self-managed infrastructure or application services. Only 44 percent of infrastructure services spending and 49 percent of application services spending is for offerings bundled with additional managed or security services.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

How APIs and the rise of microservices is transforming IT

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 15, 2016 9:43:48 AM

Application programming interfaces (APIs) have clearly been a boon to IT service providers and their customers alike. In fact, a new report crafted by Apigee (an API management firm that was recently acquired by Google) and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology digital fellow suggests that companies that employ APIs see annual revenue increases of 13.5 percent on average.

But APIs are only the beginning of a much larger trend that is transforming how software is built, delivered, and managed. The general availability of APIs has given rise to microservices architectures that better isolate specific software functions. Rather than building and trying to support monolithic applications, many IT organizations are starting to employ container technologies such as Docker to change the way they build and manage applications.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

What a Trump administration might mean for IT service providers

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 10, 2016 12:14:01 PM

While IT issues were hardly a major focus of the 2016 presidential election, the election of Donald Trump to be president of the United States has some interesting implications for IT services providers.

Trump has said little about technology issues, but he has said that he wants to allow unlimited first-year expensing on all capital equipment. These days, the single biggest portion of the capital budget inside most organizations is still IT. Add in all the other tax cuts being proposed, and it becomes apparent there would, in theory, be more dollars available to upgrade IT infrastructure, assuming there is no downturn in the overall global economy.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Friends don’t let friends build data centers anymore

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 8, 2016 9:58:08 AM

While there may be confusion in the wake of CenturyLink’s decision to first acquire Level3 Communications for $34 billion and then sell its data centers for $2.3 billion to a consortium of private equity firms to help fund the deal, one thing that is clear is that data center real estate might not be as valuable as it once was.

For anyone counting, $2.3 billion is less than 5 percent of $34 billion. Naturally, Level3 Communications has its own data centers, but many of those data centers will most likely be up for sale as well once the larger deal is consummated. The entity that emerges in the wake of the acquisition will be the second largest provider of voice and data services after AT&T.

Managed service providers (MSPs) should be paying attention to what’s happening behind the telecommunications scene that's fueling multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

The trouble with customer satisfaction

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 3, 2016 11:18:20 AM

A new report suggests that when it comes the customer experience being provided by IT service providers there’s plenty of room for improvement. But, who is ultimately responsible for this state of affairs is debatable.

The 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings of Tech Vendors report surveyed 800 IT leaders from large companies to determine how they rated 62 large technology vendors in terms of success, effort, and emotion. The most troubling aspect of the survey from the perspective of IT service providers is that no less than six of the leading IT services firms occupy the bottom six rankings. Starting with Cognizant in 57th place, the next five slots are held by Sunguard, CSC, the outsourcing arm of Accenture, Infosys, and finally Capgemini.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Data gravity becomes irresistible force in the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 1, 2016 11:44:26 AM

Cloud applications of all types have generally been a very good thing for managed service providers (MSPs). As more applications move into the cloud, IT becomes more complex to manage for the average IT organization. Not only are there multiple applications running in multiple data centers, there are also still all those workloads running on premise that aren't going away any time soon.

But the one trend MSPs should take note of is the rate at which many cloud applications are starting to consolidate on Amazon Web Services (AWS). A recent survey of 336 privately-held software-as-a-service (SaaS) application providers published by Pacific Crest Securities, a unit of KeyBanc Capital Markets, finds that 55 percent currently rely on AWS to deliver their applications. The rest rely mainly on their own self-managed servers (33 percent), a third-party (10 percent) or Microsoft Azure (4 percent).

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Topics: Cloud Trends

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