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

Consolidation coming to collaboration in the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 25, 2014 8:30:00 AM

For as long as almost anyone can remember anything to do with collaboration in the cloud has been fairly fragmented. But with the unfurling this week of separate cloud services from Cisco and IBM it’s apparent that a long overdue wave of consolidation of collaboration services is finally in the offing.

With the launch of Project Squared, Cisco is the furthest along in terms of delivering an offering that IT service providers can broadly implement. In the case of Cisco, the company is leveraging its Webex collaboration service base to create a new cloud service that allows end users to share messages, post files, and start voice and video calls. Files are rendered in the cloud and are immediately viewable alongside messages with no downloading of files required.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Driving the shift to digital business

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 19, 2014 8:33:00 AM

Just about every business executive these days is repeating a “digital business” mantra without fully understanding what that all entails.

In fact, a poll conducted by the research firm Saugatuck Technology finds that only a quarter of the enterprise leaders surveyed said their companies were already “Fully Engaged” or “Established” in digital business, with 74 percent having no digital footprint just yet.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business

Lots of migrations in the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 10, 2014 8:41:00 AM

A new survey of 400 business and IT professionals conducted by CompTIA, an IT industry association, finds that more than 90 percent of companies are using some form of cloud computing. But what may come as a real surprise is how often those organizations are moving workloads between different types of clouds.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

A tale of two cloud markets

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 5, 2014 8:46:52 AM

Many cloud service providers are convinced that when it comes to the pricing of cloud computing services, it’s a race to the bottom. But a new survey of 550 IT professionals conducted by Peer 1 Hosting, a provider of hosted IT services, suggests that at least half of the customers surveyed are wary of cloud hosting services that are priced too low.

Under the heading of "you get what you pay for," half of the respondents said they would not switch hosting providers for a less expensive option. Over 50 percent said they would eschew a price cut if it meant a reduction in the quality of the service being provided. In fact, both security and customer services ranked highest in terms of what IT professionals are looking for from their hosting providers.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Data sovereignty issues make the cloud a global endeavor

Posted by Mike Vizard on Oct 29, 2014 8:30:00 AM

One of the primary benefits of cloud computing is that it is supposed to centralize access to applications in a way that should reduce IT infrastructure costs. As it turns out, legislation around the globe is actually turning cloud computing into a global exercise for distributed systems.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Key to More Cloud Migrations Lies with Microsoft Active Directory

Posted by Mike Vizard on Oct 23, 2014 11:09:00 AM

One of the major challenges that any provider of cloud services faces in the enterprise is the dependency most organizations have on Microsoft Active Directory (AD). For more than 20 years, IT organizations have relied on Microsoft AD for almost every aspect of how they manage access to applications. Any effort to get those organizations to move wholeheartedly to the cloud requires providing some level of equivalent functionality.

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Topics: Microsoft Windows

The Perils of IT Security Services Profitability

Posted by Mike Vizard on Oct 20, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Providing IT security has never been an activity for the feint of hearts, which is one of the primary reasons that many IT services firms are reluctant to engage in providing IT security unless they really specialize it.

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Topics: IT Security, Cyber Security

Unpatched Operating Systems and Apps are Bane of IT Security

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

Given that it is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, now may be as good a time as any to reflect on just how many operating systems and applications are still run out there that are not likely to ever see much, if anything, in the way of a new security patch.

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Topics: Cyber Security

Microsoft Moving to Smooth Windows 10 Migrations

Posted by Mike Vizard on Oct 2, 2014 11:43:00 AM

IT service providers have made a lot of money over the years helping customers migrate to new versions of the Windows operating system, so it’s understandable if many IT service providers are getting excited about the pending arrival of Windows 10 in 2015.

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Topics: Microsoft Windows

Changing the IT Services Labor Equation

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 29, 2014 9:23:09 AM

Just about everybody agrees that there is a significant shortage of skilled IT talent that is limiting the size of the addressable market for IT services providers. What many IT services providers may not appreciate is how much distributors are investing in helping IT services firms close that gap.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, Productivity Month