GDPR Promises to Forever Change How Data Gets Managed

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 14, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Given the rise of both Donald Trump and Theresa May, there’s never been more focus on regulations in recent memory. But the regulation that is starting to loom largest in the minds of business executives emanates from Brussels rather than Washington or London.

In a little over a year, the European Union is gearing up to implement its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that requires all personal data collected by companies operating within the EU to be centrally managed under the auspices of a chief data protection officer—and regularly audited. Any security breach pertaining to any of that data must also be reported immediately.

But the GDPR doesn’t just stop there.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Tantalizing NFV future lies just over Mobile World Congress horizon

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 1, 2017 8:35:02 AM

The future of network services enabled by network function virtualization (NFV) software was on display in full force this week at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 conference.

The working NFV theory is that many of the network services that are processed at the core of the network today will soon be moving out to the edge. To enable that, many of the physical appliances that are currently relied on to both process network services and secure them will be transformed into software that can run on commodity processors at the edge of the network.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Digital business to drive cloud application convergence

Posted by Mike Vizard on Feb 23, 2017 3:19:25 PM

Arguably, the first phase of cloud computing has been mainly about moving applications and their associated data into the cloud. Whether that involves merely invoking a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application or building a custom application that gets hosted on a public cloud, the business outcome is essentially the same. One way or another, the internal IT organization is getting out of the business of deploying and managing IT infrastructure.

That trend has been playing out to varying degrees for the past 10 years. What should be of paramount interest to IT service providers is what will happen in the next 10 years. Today what runs in the cloud is essentially a mirror image of applications that were once deployed on premise. Thanks to the rise of digital business initiatives coupled with advanced analytics, it’s only a matter of time before many of those applications start to converge.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

If data is the new oil, here's how MSPs can seize the opportunity

Posted by Mike Vizard on Feb 16, 2017 1:49:12 PM

They say data is the new oil. But just like oil, data is worth much more when it’s refined than when it's in its raw state. In fact, raw data isn’t all that valuable. It’s only when that data is correlated against other data that valuable insights gets created. The challenge IT organizations face is they need to move data from one place to another to refine it and get those types of insights. 

The IT industry is on the cusp of a unique moment in time when many organizations have come to understand the potential value of their data. The trouble is most of them have limited ability when it comes to turning their data into actionable intelligence.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Vendor reliance on indirect channels increases

Posted by Mike Vizard on Feb 9, 2017 11:00:00 AM

A new report issued by the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) finds that 62 percent of the vendors surveyed expect the amount of business being generated via indirect channels to increase in 2017. The bad news is only 13 percent of those vendors rely 100 percent on channel partners to sell their products.

Most vendors profess a lot of love for their channel partners. But the terms of that endearment is generally limited by concerns those channel partners might not be as faithful to them as they would like. That insecurity often results in vendors investing in various forms of direct sales efforts that almost invariably lead to some form of conflict with their channel partners.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Turbulent times ahead for providers of managed GRC services

Posted by Mike Vizard on Feb 7, 2017 11:19:32 AM

They say it’s truly an ill wind that doesn’t blow someone some good. As far as managed service providers (MSPs) are concerned, that’s pretty much been the case for the past eight years when it comes to anything to do with governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC). Many MSPs have been able to considerably shore up their bottom line by offering a wide variety of managed GRC services. Now the Trump administration via an executive order is signaling its intention to either not enforce or altogether abandon key provisions of the Dodd-Frank act, which enshrined many of the regulations that created the need for managed GRC services in the first place.

The Dodd-Frank act is, of course, only one piece of the GRC puzzle. The Trump administration has made it clear that just about every Federal regulation is now subject to review.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

MSPs need to look far beyond immigration issues

Posted by Mike Vizard on Feb 2, 2017 2:57:23 PM

Any conversation involving U.S. immigration inevitably comes around to the merits of an H-1B visa program under which a fixed number of highly-skilled IT workers are permitted to move to the U.S. For years now allegations concerning abuses of this program have been rife, and the Trump administration has promised to review the program.

Many managed service providers in the U.S. have complained that rivals based in, for example, India were abusing the program to bring skilled workers to the U.S. that they would then pay at a much lower rate to create an unfair competitive advantage. It’s been alleged that many of those workers were housed in low-cost rental apartments and paid salaries commensurate with what they might expect to make in their native countries.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

MSPs finally appear to be gaining some pricing leverage

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 31, 2017 9:48:22 AM

Value is one of those things that’s usually in the eye of the customer who beholds it. Managed service providers have long complained that competition over pricing for their services has been so fierce it’s difficult to turn a profit.

But a recent survey of more than 900 MSPs conducted by Kaseya suggests that MSPs that experienced the most growth in the past year increased prices for their services. Specifically, the survey finds that half the MSPs that saw revenue increases of 10 percent or more last year found ways to increase pricing for their services despite the level of competition they face.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Rise of multi-cloud computing plays to MSP strengths

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 26, 2017 3:37:08 PM

The rise of public cloud computing has transformed the way most IT organizations view investments in data centers, but it turns out providers of public cloud services are not the only major beneficiaries of that shift.

A new report from 451 Research finds that as of the third quarter of 2016 the datacenter colocation and wholesale market was on track to generate $28.9 billion in annualized revenue. The research firm is predicting the datacenter colocation and wholesale market will top $48 billion by 2021.

That level of growth suggests that while IT organizations may not be investing in building new data centers as much as they once did, they are not moving all their application workloads into the public cloud. Instead, they appear to be applying the IT infrastructure lesson taught by public cloud providers in a way that allows them to maintain more control of the IT environment while benefiting from higher levels of service.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

MSPs should look to gateways at the network edge for big opportunity

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 24, 2017 11:10:57 AM

Hope may spring eternal, but when it comes to IT security it seems organizations are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. A new survey of 593 IT and security professionals conducted by The Ponemon Institute on behalf of IBM and Arxan Technologies, a provider of tools for securing mobile data, finds that just 20 percent of the applications deployed in an Internet of Things (IoT) environment have been tested for vulnerabilities. In comparison, 29 percent of mobile applications have been tested.

Obviously, security creates significant new opportunities for managed service providers. But many of those MSPs are about to discover that IoT and mobile applications are instances of distributed computing deployed at levels of unprecedented scale. Connecting millions of endpoints directly to a data center simply isn’t feasible. The amount of data that would wind up being transferred across wide area network (WANs) would be too large to manage, not to mention prohibitively expensive to transfer.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

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