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

How global IT services firms will react to Brexit

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 28, 2016 10:22:36 AM

It’s difficult to say what impact the decision made by voters in Britain to exit the European Union (EU)—otherwise known as Brexit—will ultimately have on IT services firms that operate globally. But if that decision stands, two things are almost certain. Once the UK is no longer a member of the EU, the talent pool available to IT services firms headquartered in the UK will shrink because they'll no longer be able to leverage IT professionals who can freely move between jobs in the European Union. It will also be much harder for UK firms to hold onto those IT professionals because as the English pound weakens the cost of living in Britain is going to be much higher than most other places in the EU.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Time to focus on customer renewal rates in age of the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 23, 2016 12:53:35 PM

When it comes to selling IT solutions in the age of the cloud, the biggest change for IT service providers is the emphasis that needs to be placed on customer renewal rates for services that are sold as a subscription. Historically, IT services providers almost always focused on the initial transaction. Renewals of software licensing contracts were an afterthought because most providers were rewarded for their efforts upfront. Now most of the deals in the age of the cloud involve subscriptions where vendors and partners get compensated over the course of one- to three-year contracts.

The vendor, however, still has to invest in the core technology to deliver the service. For that reason, most providers of cloud services are underwater for the first year of a subscription contract. They generally break even on the second year and then begin to make a reasonable return on the third year. As a result, cloud service providers need to have a fanatical emphasis on customer renewal rates in order to succeed.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

It's time to face the digital business fear factor

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 21, 2016 10:31:41 AM

A new report from the Harvard Business Review (HBR) suggests that the majority of businesses today are about to be on the receiving end of the disruption being created by the rise of digital business.

Sponsored by IBM, “The Ecosystem Equation: Collaboration in a Connected Economy” finds that even though more than half (52 percent) of the business executives surveyed acknowledged that substantial portions of their revenue streams are being threatened by digital disruption, only 18 percent said they are participating in a connected economy to a significant extend.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

How IT services providers can address a $2.7 trillion productivity gap

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 16, 2016 12:00:00 PM

One of today's economic mysteries centers on why after years of investment in IT the average worker is actually less productive today than they were before the great recession that occurred earlier this decade. In fact, economists have come to refer to this trend as the “productivity gap,” which they say is having a $2.7 trillion impact on the gross domestic product (GDP).

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Topics: IT Services Trends

The growing importance of security breach incident management

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 14, 2016 12:00:57 PM

How an IT organization handles a breach is now arguably more important to the business affected than all the time and effort they put into preventing one from happening.

In this day and age, some kind of breach is now almost inevitable. In fact, a new survey of 2,400 end users in the U.S., United Kingdom, and Germany conducted by Centrify, a provider of identity access management software, finds that roughly three quarters of them have come to expect that a business is going to be hacked. Despite having that expectation, however, well over half say it is somewhat likely or very likely that they will stop doing business with an organization that’s been hacked.

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Topics: IT Security

Geoffrey Moore shares advice on how to cross the IT selling chasm

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 9, 2016 10:25:40 AM

When it comes to selling an IT project, many IT vendors and their partners have come to appreciate that the part of the budget controlled by the internal IT organization only represents a few percentage points of the total operational budget inside most organizations.

In fact, Geoffrey Moore, author of “Crossing the Chasm,” the seminal book on how to build an IT company, says there are basically three classes of IT projects that solution providers need to be able to distinguish if they're going to succeed in an age where multiple people in an organization have control over IT-related spending.

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Topics: IT trends

Navigating the nuances of the IT security services paradox

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 7, 2016 10:00:00 AM

One of more maddening aspects of being an IT security services provider is the approach organizations take to IT security. In theory, a raft of revelations concerning security breaches should have organizations begging for additional IT security expertise. But a new survey of 500 IT security professionals conducted by CompTIA finds that half of them think the security technologies and processes they have in place today are good enough to protect them.

Yet, the survey also finds that satisfaction with existing security products remains below 50 percent. When the two numbers are considered together, it shows that there is a surprising amount of inertia that providers of IT security services need to overcome. The simple fact of the matter is that there is still a lot of complacency when it comes to IT security despite the near daily revelations concerning one breach or another.

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Topics: IT Security

A $1.7B ecosystem emerges around containers and microservices

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 2, 2016 9:13:41 AM

With the rise of containers and microservices, a whole new ecosystem surrounding “cloud native” applications is starting to emerge. In fact, a new report from Codenvy produced in conjunction with The New Stack says venture capitalists have already poured more than $1.7 billion into this ecosystem.

The report identifies 104 projects from 67 different companies that are now making container-related products, and about of a third of those (35) came to market in the past year. Navigating this ecosystem, which spans everything from container infrastructure to continuous delivery platforms, is a fairly complex endeavor for most IT organizations.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

How deploying operational IT intelligence as a service can help MSPs

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 31, 2016 12:00:00 PM

When most IT professionals think about Big Data, their minds naturally turn to Hadoop. But for many IT service providers, the most immediate opportunity for building a managed service may have little to do with Hadoop. Instead, massive amounts of machine data is now being natively captured in a repository developed by Splunk specifically optimized to provide operational intelligence to IT organizations.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Who's really responsible for IT security in the cloud?

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 26, 2016 9:33:53 AM

The typical public cloud service provider employs a bifurcated approach to IT security in the cloud. They'll take responsibility for securing the infrastructure services they provide, but any software running on top of those infrastructure services is the responsibility of the developer or the IT organization that put it there.

A new survey of 100 IT decision makers conducted by the market research firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) on behalf of iland, a provider of cloud hosting services, finds that when it comes to securing application workloads nearly half (48 percent) of IT organizations are spending more on security technologies than they ever did when they only ran application workloads on premise.

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Topics: IT Security

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