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

OpenStack starts to come of age

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 25, 2016 10:37:11 AM

OpenStack initially emerged as a platform for running a new generation of “cloud native” applications on premise as an alternative to VMware. A few years later it became apparent that carriers and cloud service providers (CSPs) were pouring a lot of engineering resources into OpenStack because using commercial software at that level of scale is simply cost prohibitively.

These days, OpenStack is being used mainly by developers and engineers as a platform for creating new applications. It still takes a fair amount of expertise to stand up an OpenStack cloud. As a result, there is still quite a bit of VMware software running on premise in the enterprise because from a management perspective the VMware environment is significantly more mature.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Cognitive computing comes to IT staff allocation

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 23, 2016 9:50:53 AM

The allocation of IT staff across multiple ongoing projects is often the most challenging management issue that IT service providers regularly face. After all, there are a limited number of IT specialists in any given category, and optimizing the deployment of those experts is often the difference between success and failure across multiple IT projects that need to be managed simultaneously.

Because of these issues, IT service providers should pay attention to an effort Capgemini has embarked on to employ the IBM Watson platform to optimize IT staff deployments.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

How 5G technologies from Intel will transform IT services

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 18, 2016 11:15:00 AM

At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) this week, providers of IT services were given a glimpse of how Intel plans to transform the delivery IT services by the end of the decade.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Profiting in a multi-cloud world

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 16, 2016 9:43:32 AM

When it comes to competition in the era of the cloud, it’s increasingly apparent that one size will not fit all — not even for a single customer. An IT organization may very well decide to run one class of application workload on one cloud and then in the next breath decide to deploy another type of workload on an entirely different platform.

In fact, this week Workday made it clear that employing multiple clouds is now the new normal. While the provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications will continue to use Amazon Web Services to host its production applications, Workday revealed that it will be using the IBM SoftLayer cloud to host its application development and testing environments. Terms of the seven-year deal were not released, but for IBM any win of this scale in the cloud against AWS is significant.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

EMV chip card controversy puts IT services firms in the middle

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 11, 2016 9:29:47 AM

It’s fair to say that the transition to credit cards using chips in the U.S. has not gone nearly as well as planned. Based on technologies jointly adopted by Eurocard, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV), so-called (EMV) chip cards are designed to cut down on the number of instances of credit card fraud. But issues slowing down usage of chips on these cards span everything from the cost of upgrading a point-of-sale (PoS) system to the length of time it actually takes to get those systems certified for use.

While PoS systems have long been profitable endeavors for IT services providers that serve retail customers, many IT service providers now find themselves caught in a wave of recriminations being hurled back and forth between retailers and the credit card issuers.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Navigating the politics of a digital business transformation project

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 9, 2016 10:36:40 AM

When it comes to digital business transformation, there’s plenty of hype these days about how line of business units and “citizen developers” are leading the charge. After all, most of the applications being developed directly impact a business process these types of units typically manage.

But a new survey of 301 employees working at U.S. businesses conducted by Market Cube on behalf of QuickBase finds that the internal IT organization is still firmly in charge of these projects. In fact, the survey finds that 67 percent of the respondents say the internal IT organization is in charge of building applications that will be used in a digital business transformation. Another 48 percent cited third-party consultants. A third (33 percent) said these projects were being led by non-technical staff working closely with IT. Only 23 percent said they were being led by non-technical staff working on their own.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

IoT projects require more integrated hardware and software expertise

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 4, 2016 10:30:00 AM

The Internet of Things (IoT) represents a massive opportunity for IT services providers. But how they go about addressing that opportunity may require many of them to change their fundamental approach to the way they add value.

Over the years IT services providers have tended to divide themselves into hardware and software specialists. The challenge many of them will now face in the context of an IoT solution is that in these environments hardware and software are more intertwined than ever.

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Topics: IoT

Overcoming an Olympic network bandwidth challenge

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 2, 2016 11:06:25 AM

This week, the Summer Olympic games are about to begin in Rio de Janeiro. While most of the world will be rooting for their countries’ Olympic teams, most managed service providers will be glued to a different kind of screen. As it turns out, the Olympics tend to bring a phenomenal amount of pressure on the average corporate network.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Assessing the impact of Windows 10 on MSPs

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 28, 2016 9:56:22 AM

As Microsoft gears up for the second anniversary of Windows 10 next week, managed service providers should plan on seeing a lot more of the latest version of Windows on corporate desktops.

Overall, Microsoft claims to have delivered more than 380 million instances of Windows 10 already. Most of those instances of Windows 10 are running on consumer devices, though. More interesting to MSPs is the fact that Microsoft also claims that 85 percent of the Fortune 500 have been piloting Windows 10. Couple that with an estimated third of the small-to-medium (SMB) market running some form of Windows 10, and it’s clear that starting this fall MSPs should be seeing Windows 10 on more of the endpoints they support.

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Topics: Microsoft Windows

Ransomware driving backup and recovery conversations for MSPs

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 26, 2016 10:14:37 AM

Backup and recovery may not have always been the sexiest of IT topics, but thanks to the rise of ransomware it is now one of the hottest.

The single most effective defense against ransomware is an ability to recover an organization’s data from an unencrypted data source. Otherwise, most organizations wind up paying a fee to recover data that has been encrypted by cybercriminals who typically used social engineering techniques to trick an end user into downloading a file loaded with malware.

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Topics: Ransomware

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