EU to require organizations to appoint data protection officers

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 3, 2016 11:03:12 AM

data_protection_officers.jpgWhile it may be popular to decry regulations these days, IT service providers that specialize in data protection will soon have a lot to be grateful for as governments such as the European Union move to implement much stricter privacy requirements.

As part of a wave of regulations that will go into effect in the next two years, the European Union has decreed that any organization doing business in Europe must have a designated Data Protection Officer (DPO). These DPOs are to be appointed based on “professional qualities and, in particular, expert knowledge of data protection law and practices and ability to fulfill its tasks.”

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Are you a victim of service catalog sprawl?

Posted by Mike Vizard on Apr 7, 2016 10:31:26 AM

service_catalog_sprawl.jpgThe number of catalogs the average organization is able to provision services through is starting to spin out of control. A new survey of 766 technical support professionals conducted by HDI Research finds that 85 percent of IT professionals now identify service catalog sprawl as being at least somewhat of a problem inside their organization.

In many cases, service catalog sprawl is simple too much of a good thing. Internal IT organizations create service catalogs to drive increased consumption of a sanctioned application, and external IT service providers create them for the same reason. Before long, multiple IT service providers along with multiple IT departments inside an organization are exposing end users to multiple service catalogs. The HDI Research survey finds that almost half of all organizations (49 percent) have five or more catalogs spanning a variety of IT and business services.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Battle of the business intelligence clouds

Posted by Mike Vizard on Apr 5, 2016 10:47:19 AM

business_intelligence_clouds.jpgWhile interest in business intelligence (BI) applications remains relatively high, the battle over whether those applications should run in public clouds or private clouds is just now starting to intensify.

In fact, BI deployment plans for public clouds is now slightly ahead of private clouds, according to Dresner Advisory Serivces' new Cloud Computing and Business Intelligence Market Study, which is based on a survey of 550 IT professionals. Key to that change is a shift among smaller businesses that tend to be less concerned about security and regulatory compliance issues when it comes to accessing BI applications.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

The reality of Big Data opportunities and challenges

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 29, 2016 3:58:39 PM

At the Strata + Hadoop conference this week, there will be a lot discussion about the business impact of Hadoop specifically and Big Data in general. While interest in both areas continues to run high, many organizations are discovering that mastering all the relevant technologies associated with these trends is anything but simple.

In fact, Nick Heudecker, an industry analyst at Gartner, predicts that through 2018 a full 70 percent of Hadoop deployments will not meet cost savings and revenue generation objectives due to skills and integration challenges.

While that may be unfortunate for those organizations, that kind of disconnect between interest in a technology and the ability to actually use it usually bodes very well for IT service providers.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

March Madness can drive an MSP crazy

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 25, 2016 11:00:00 AM

With as much as 70 percent of the unstructured data traveling across networks being generated by video, it’s understandable that many managed service providers are finding it harder to maintain service levels. After all, video tends to consume significant network bandwidth—at the expense of business-critical applications. In fact, most MSPs are reminded of that this time every year during the March Madness basketball tournament staged by the NCAA.

While March Madness is far from the only network bandwidth culprit, the fact that so many teams are involved in the early stages of the tournament means there are that many more fans trying to watch games that are often played at the same time. To measure just what kind of impact all those fans are having on the network, Wandera, a provider of tools for securing and managing mobile data, commissioned a study of broadband traffic patterns across its U.S. customers, which encompassed roughly 50,000 devices accessing Web sites and mobile applications run by ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo, and the NCAA.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

White House tech training initiative may be too little too late

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 17, 2016 1:37:48 PM

At the South by Southwest (SXSW) 2016 event this week, President Barack Obama announced another expansion of the White House TechHire initiative, which aims to fill some roughly 600,000 open tech jobs in the U.S. The challenge is that many of those jobs may soon be eliminated thanks to the rise of machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

The White House says a total of 50 communities will soon be working with more than 600 employers to train technology workers in a matter of months instead of years. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a final rule to expand and extend the use of the existing Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for STEM graduates. The STEM OPT program gives international students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in the U.S. the chance to supplement their classroom education with practical skills training.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Advanced analytics driving professional IT services engagements

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 10, 2016 9:32:05 AM

A new report finds that usage of professional services in the deployment of analytics software accelerated significantly in the second half of 2015, with 70 percent of the organizations that have adopted analytics software reporting they relied on professional services to implement them.

The Technology Business Research (TBR) report makes it evident that investments in advanced analytics have become a major priority for organizations of all sizes. In fact, the TBR report finds that customers expect to increase annual spending on professional services involving analytics applications by approximately 10 percent year-over-year in 2016.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Cloud service providers start to diversify virtualization investments

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 1, 2016 11:57:07 AM

virtual_machines.jpgWhile there’s no doubt that VMware vSphere still rules the roost in terms of virtualization environments supported by cloud service providers (CSP), both Microsoft Hyper-V and OpenStack are starting to gain significant ground.

A survey of cloud service providers conducted by Tintri finds that while 95 percent of them are running VMware vSphere, nearly a third are also running either Microsoft Hyper-V (33 percent) or OpenStack (31 percent).

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Topics: IT Services Trends

A tale of two very different IT markets

Posted by Mike Vizard on Feb 25, 2016 10:03:20 AM

IT_spending.jpgOne of the more interesting conundrums of our time is the disparity between IT spending in traditional enterprise IT and what’s occurring in the small-to-medium business (SMB) market served mainly by the IT channel.

Dragged down heavily by the slowdown in Asia, global IT spending year over year is down about 5 percent. While the downturn in Asian economies played a major role in the decline, the simple truth is that the shift to the cloud is starting to have an impact on the total amount of dollars that enterprise IT organizations need to spend. In fact, Gartner is predicting that total IT spending for 2016 will remain relatively flat.

The paradox is that in the face of that decline the IT channel continues to grow.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Why MSPs should target companies that aren't market leaders

Posted by Mike Vizard on Feb 18, 2016 10:48:18 AM

digital_disruption.jpgWhen it comes to drumming up new business, just about every IT service provider knows to segment opportunities by vertical industry. But rather than going after the market leaders in each vertical segment, IT service providers might be better off targeting the middle of the customer pack.

Speaking at an IBM PartnerWorld conference this week, Ray Wang, principal analyst for IT and marketing consulting firm  Constellation Research, said the issue with market leaders is that they rarely feel enough pressure to try leveraging IT in new ways to be more competitive. Instead, it’s usually the companies that don’t dominate a particular sector that are open to new ideas, Wang explained.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

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