Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Endpoint Imperative: ID’ing and Overcoming the Stumbling Blocks to Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is the No 1 priority for organizations large and small. It’s imperative that IT remove any obstacles to digital transformation success – including outdated PCs and mobile devices. Intel’s Kaitlin Murphy has some pointers to assure that your PC fleet and mobile devices are not your Digital Transformation Stumbling Blocks.

Kevin: Hello everyone and welcome to this episode of "The Endpoint Imperative" podcast series from Intel. My name is Kevin L. Jackson and I'm your host for this series. This episode's topic is identifying and overcoming digital transformation stumbling blocks. With me is Kaitlin Murphy, director of marketing for business clients at Intel. Kaitlin it's great to have you back.

Kaitlin: Thanks, I'm glad to be back.

Kevin: In my last episode I was talking with Yasser Rasheed, and he told us about how the IT security model is changing. Earlier you had talked about even more than that is changing, and that the PC is at the center of what's being called digital transformation. Can you tell us more about that?

Kaitlin: Sure. One of the core tenets of digital transformation is building in digital environment, where employees can work wherever they want, whenever they want, and however they want. To some degree that means using the technology they want, which includes the PC. The PC is a very personal device and it's heavily relied upon on a daily basis. In fact, there was a recent global survey that said 95% of respondents chose the PC if they could only have one device to use during the workday. So, for lots of employees the PC is the thing that they need to be productive. It's literally the gateway to access everything. The tools, the apps, and data and then to be able to do things with it, not to mention communicate with others.

It isn't just a consumption device, it's a creation device too. And with each generation of new platform, new features, new enhancements are introduced, and they help employees to be able to perform the way they want. Delivering performance improvements and security improvements too. It also benefits IT and they've realized the importance of prioritizing the new devices in the transformation, so that they can take advantage of those capabilities.


Kevin: Can we zoom in on this migration to Windows 10. What does that mean to the organizations in their digital transformation?

Caitlin: The moving to Windows 10 a new hardware is one of the quickest and easiest ways to take advantage of the best of both worlds. New hardware in conjunction with the new software delivers the best performance, the best security, and ultimately the best experience, both for end users and for IT organizations. And Intel powered devices are a great way to unlock that premium performance, for things like mobility, touch and workloads. Think about battery life, you can literally have a battery that lasts you all day. You're not tethered to your desk or to a power cord. Then there's multitasking. We all multitask, and the performance today allows people to be running multiple things at the same time and not be slowed down.

Not to mention there's huge enhancements with the introduction of Windows 10. Just think of the optimization in 365 and all the touch capabilities. Especially with the tight development relationship between Intel, Microsoft and OEMs you just can't find a bunch of well integrated devices to meet their needs and how they want to work. Like the two in one options, they have dials and touch and they can use a bunch of different modality based upon what the person is trying to do and how they feel most comfortable doing it.

Kevin: It sounds like a lot of new capabilities for the end users, but what is the biggest challenge you see facing organizations as they ramp up for this transformation?

Kaitlin: For any large-scale transformation is difficult, right? It's complex and it takes time. Not just time to execute but time for the people to adjust as well, and the culture. One big issue we hear about is the proliferation of more devices. How do you secure and manage all of them? So, think about it. Digital transformation is anchored in PC's but it's actually a lot larger than that. It's about building that digital environment. In doing so also involve deploying ambient compute, things like sensors from lighting temperature control, or intelligence in the conference room so that meetings it can start faster and deliver improved collaboration capabilities. Each of these pieces of compute has to be maintained right, both security managed, and that presents a challenge.

Kevin: Wow, sounds like the digital transformation can be really hard for the organization. But now we're out of time for this episode. I'd like to really thank Kaitlin Murphy with Intel, for providing us her insights and expertise. Thanks.

Kaitlin: Thank you.


( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)


Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2017)



Friday, December 1, 2017

Industry Verticals Tackle Unstructured Data


Organizations around the world are struggling to cope with the current data explosion. A vital characteristic of this data is that it is unstructured and represents things like email, images, and videos.  Storage of this form of data is typically in an object format which differs significantly from the database norm. Databases housed data grows very slowly because most of it is structured. Object storage formats are now being used to optimize access to large amounts of non-transactional files across a growing number of vertical markets. These markets include:

  • Media and Entertainment – video Pre- through Post-Production which requires secure distribution and hassle-free scalability on a mix of standard hardware
  • Retail Consumers - HTTP accessible Photo and Video Sharing that offloads SQL databases to custom metadata which significantly reduces web applications complexity and latency
  • Research (images, raw datasets) – Which requires robust multi-tenancy for shared access to large datasets and integrated metadata customization.
  • Digital asset management (unstructured files) -  A global scale-out storage repository with integrations to Alfresco and other S3-based asset management solutions.
Companies in every one of these markets face many storage challenges where traditional file-based storage systems tend to fall short.



One more critical example lies in the healthcare industry where PACS [picture archiving and communication system] systems store images derived from MRIs. In most cases, law or by policy requires retention of this data for up to 30 years. Although the customer may be charged for the image when taken, the healthcare provider is responsible for the ongoing cost of storage.

Another crucial industry vertical that is feeling the data storage squeeze is law enforcement. Many agencies are now using cloud computing services for delivering mission-critical information to officers in the field. Standard applications include digital video evidence storage, management, and cataloging; crime mapping and analytics; records management; and backup for disaster recovery. Mike Donlan, Microsoft Vice president of State and Local Government Engineering Sales estimates that the average United States city or county now owns between four or five petabytes of data, with that requirement expected to double every two years. 


Object storage is perfect for tackling these unstructured storage business requirements because: 
  • Scalability - Object storage does not face the same file count and capacity limits of file-based NAS systems.
  • Interoperability - Object storage has better interoperability with various protocols with the flexibility needed to move data across a global namespace.
  • Data Backup - Continuous data backup protection that reduces the risk of data loss and can reduce data restoration time after a system failure.
  • Pay-as-you-grow pricing – Avoidance of substantial capital expenditures for storage acquisition through a pay-as-you-go economic model.
  • Searchability – More effective and efficient use of metadata

According to PC World, one of the more exciting object storage providers is Wasabi Technologies. To meet these growing industry vertical challenges, they are offering an object storage solution that offers six times the performance of Amazon's S3 service at one-fifth the price. This startup’s service is available globally and claim that their single pool of capacity can deliver primary, secondary or archive data at a sustained-read speed of 1.3GB per second, versus 191MB per second at Amazon. To support law enforcement needs, Wasabi has deployed in fully secure and CJIS-compliant redundant data centers. Wasabi storage services were awarded the official CJIS ACE Compliance Seal by Diverse Computing, a trusted third-party law enforcement agency solution provider with deep CJIS audit and compliance expertise.  Enterprise Strategy Group analyst SteveDuplessie sees this as an ideal option for enterprises looking to use cloud storage as a much cheaper alternative than traditional storage options.



( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2017)



Monday, November 27, 2017

The Endpoint Imperative: The Perimeter is Dead; Long Live the Perimeter!

Cloud, mobility and the Internet of Things have obliterated the traditional perimeter that protected organizations. The result: Higher productivity, but bigger challenges for security, data protection, and mobile device management.

This episode of the “The Endpoint Imperative” podcast series from Intel, Kevin L. Jackson and Intel’s Yasser Rasheed explore the new normal for security, with a focus on the end users.

Kevin: The topic for this episode is,"The Perimeter is Dead, Long Live the Perimeter". With me is Yasser Rasheed Director of Business Client Security with Intel. Yasser welcome back.

Yasser: Hi Kevin, happy to be back.

Kevin: This time, however, I'd like to really talk to you about this security perimeter thing. Cloud mobility and the internet things have really obliterated what I've always referred to as the wall and moat security paradigm, where working inside the enterprise was safe but working outside of the company's walls wasn't. What's pending impact of this evolution?

Yasser: You know Kevin nowadays with the cloud and mobility trends, we as end users we take our devices and work anywhere and everywhere at anytime. We take our laptops and work from home or from a coffee shop or on the go during the trip. The new shift here is really making us re-think how we protect the information that we have access to. The concept or the traditional concept of protecting at the perimeter with the traditional firewalls and gateways is really non-existent anymore. When I'm using my laptop at a coffee shop, I am no longer going through a firewall to access a cloud service. It's imperative for the industry to re-think the concept of listening at the perimeter level from a security perspective.

Kevin: Did the IT team miss the boat with getting a grip on the management of security within this new business ecosystem of today?

Yasser: From my perspective, it's not about missing the boat as much as the industry is moving and evolving very fast and IT organizations, more specifically information security organizations, need to cope with this evolution, and in certain cases may need to be ahead of it. At the same time, by the same token, that evolution is giving an advantage to the hacker community, to the bad guys really, to take advantage of the shift and attack the endpoints. Attack the end users, grab the data, steal the data or lock it in and ask for ransom.

Kevin: These new approaches to information technology have really changed the traditional workplace. Yasser how are IT leaders balancing the benefits of cloud and mobility, things like productivity and accessibility, with the obvious security challenges?


Yasser: Great question Kevin. We know that end users especially the new generations of end users focus tremendously on the ease of use and the productivity, and don't want to be burdened with additional security processes that they don't really comprehend. It's imperative for the IT leaders and information security leaders to balance end-user productivity, the simplicity of integration for IT and the productivity end-user experience for end users. The only way for the industry to evolve and achieve the right level of protection is with the right balance. This is not an easy job to do, however, it's the only way for the industry to keep moving in this direction.

Kevin: Do you have any advice on how to make security everybody's job in this new normal?

Yasser: Great question. The first thing I advise everyone is for the leaders in the IT and information security industry to educate their teams and their end users. Education is king. We need to first educate them and get them to the level of comfort with the simple attacks like phishing and how scams happen. More importantly, IT organizations and information security organizations need to focus on four priorities. The top one is identity protection. That is really protecting against identity breaches which today constitute 80% or more of the total number of breaches. The second priority is to protect the data. Data protection is really an imperative because the data is the asset that the attackers are going after. The third priority is about detecting and preventing threats, especially the new and advanced threats that we see nowadays where signature-based detection of viruses is no longer sufficient, it's necessary but insufficient. The fourth and last priority is the ability to recover quickly from an event of a breach. The breach is a matter of when it happens, not if it happens, and organizations need to be ready recover quickly to a good level of productivity. These are the four priorities that I recommend the industry to focus on, and more importantly, apply the new techniques based on hardware-based security as opposed to traditional software-based security that is no longer sufficient in this space.

Kevin: With that sound advice we've come to the end of our time for this episode. We really want to thank Yasser Rasheed with Intel for his insights and expertise.

Yasser: Thank you, Kevin, it was a pleasure to be here.

( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2017)



Friday, November 24, 2017

The Data Storage Explosion


Cloud computing innovation will power enterprise transformation in 2018.  Cloud growth is also driving a rapid rise in the storage market, exacerbating the enterprise challenge around storage cost and complexity. The business reason behind this marketplace reality is the proliferation of real-time data from the web, mobile devices, social media, sensors, log files, and transactional applications. Big Data has also found a home on the operational side of many market verticals in applications ranging from fraud detection to the processing of video evidence.

Originally coined to describe datasets whose size stretched beyond the ability of traditional databases to manage, the term’s scope has significantly expanded to include technology and services that capture, store, manage and analyze extensive collections of data, to solve complex problems. Despite concerns regarding privacy and organizational resistance, Big Data investments continue to gain momentum globally. Researchers estimate that these investments will exceed $57 Billion in 2017 alone and are expected to continue growing at a CAGR of 10% over the next three years.

In the past, this type of unexpected enterprise business investment would have led to very costly and time-consuming storage technology refresh projects. These projects also brought with them the risk of accidentally leaving data on now obsolete equipment, negatively impacting application availability or disrupting data backups.  Luckily the maturation of cloud computing has delivered new options to the marketplace. Public cloud services have, in fact, wholly changed how companies consume technology. Advanced analytics, machine learning, Internet of Things, edge computing services and new database services are making these storage modernization decisions even more critical.


In meeting this storage challenge, enterprises are increasing their use of hybrid IT solution models. By shifting investments from capital acquisition to more manageable operational expenditures, these options combine the flexibility of public cloud storagewith security and permanence of traditional data center storage. Forecast shows that operational expenditures for storage services will soon start to exceed capital expenditures. For many organizations, this path has been the key to minimizing risk, boosting efficiencies and modernizing at the speed of business.


While these new hybrid storage options help your IT team shift from a reactive tactical model towards being much more strategic business partners, the selection of the right storage service provider is crucial. For Big Data applications that means the consumption of cloud object storage. The elasticity and virtually unlimited capacity of this option make it ideal for solving corporate big data storage challenges. While cloud storage is seen by many as the ideal solution, cloud service responsiveness, price and additional charges for things like API calls can make partner selection tricky. The longer you wait to shift to cloud storage, the harder it is to keep pace with rapidly increasing storage demands. If business success is your goal, start now to find a storage partner that can help bridge storage gaps, boost efficiencies, and stay ahead of your chosen market.


( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Digital Transformation Drives Mainframe’s Future


Digital Transformation is amplifying mainframe as mission critical to business growth more than ever before. With 70% of the world’s corporate data and over half of the world’s enterprise applications running on mainframe computers, they are at the core of just about every transaction. A single transaction can, in fact, drive up to 100 system interactions. The continued increase in mainframe transaction volumes, growing on average 7-8% a year for 78% of customers,  has even led to a new buzzword: The Connected Mainframe.

According to IDC’s research, connected mainframe solutions generate almost $200 million in additional revenue per year while simultaneously improving staff productivity and cutting operational costs. Over 50% of the benefit value ciomes from higher transaction volumes, new services, and business expansion. Businesses rely on mainframes to:
  • Perform large-scale transaction processing (thousands of transactions per second)
  • Support thousands of users and application programs concurrently accessing numerous resources
  • Manage terabytes of information in databases
  • Handle large-bandwidth communication


The growth of transaction volumes and diversity of applications connecting into the mainframes can lead to significant operational challenges. With more mobile to mainframe applications tio manage and more data to transact, including eventually blockchain data, organizations need to improve their mainframe operations model drastically. Reactive approaches to mainframe management just can’t keep up with the velocity of change and dramatic growth. Enterprises are losing an average $21.8 million per year from outages and 87% of these enterprises expect this downtime cost to increase in the future. An astounding 66% of enterprises surveyed admit that digital transformation initiatives are being held back by unplanned downtime.

Improving the enterprise’s ability to support increased mainframe workloads is why machine learning, augmented intelligence, and predictive analytics are critical to the CA Mainframe Operational Intelligence solution. Embedded operational intelligence proactively detects abnormal patterns of operation by ingesting operational data from numerous sources. This helps to anticipate and avoid problems through:
  • Detecting anomalies quickly and delivering proactive warnings of abnormal patterns
  • Using advanced visualization and analysis that accelerates issue triage and root-cause analysis
  • Deploying multiple data collectors that work synergistically to provide broad visibility, more in-depth insights and increased accuracy of predictions
  • Delivering dynamic alerts that improve mean time to resolution (MTTR)
  • Combining simplified visualization of time-series data with deep-dive analysis tools
  • Clustering alerts automatically to correlate related alerts and symptoms
  • Removing irrelevant data points from reports to provide more actionable insights

CA Mainframe Operational Intelligence consumes data from multiple CA solutions and directly from the IBM® z Systems® environment through SMF records. Raw alerts from performance, network and storage resource management tools are automatically correlated to surface specific issues and provide predictive insights for each issue. With machine learning and intelligence, wide data sets lead to more accurate predictions, and better relationship and pattern analysis. This insight also includes drill-down and probabilities which can also trigger automated problem remediation. This capability is uniquely embedded into the management environment to more proactively optimize mainframe performance and availability with fewer resources.

This modern approach to operational management will help organizations on-board new IT staff to manage the mainframe moving forward, while also protecting limited mainframe experts to focus on essential tasks. Using machine learning and advanced analytics, your entire team can now act on potential issues much earlier, isolate the real root-cause faster and ultimately remediate issues before they become revenue-impacting incidents.


( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2017)



Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Endpoint Imperative: Global Security Compliance. Are you ready?



China has its Cybersecurity Law. Next May, the General Data Protection Regulation – or GDPR –goes into effect for the European Union. Research shows most organizations just aren’t ready for these and other measures.

Tune into this episode of “The End Point Imperative: A Podcast Series from Intel,” to hear from Intel’s Yasser Rasheed, Director of Business Client Security on how a combination of protection at the hardware and software level can help organizations gain compliance and avoid breaches, fines, and financial impact.

Kevin L. Jackson: Hi everyone and welcome to this episode of the Endpoint Imperative. A podcast series from Intel. My name is Kevin L. Jackson and I'll be your host for this series. The topic for this episode is "Global Security Compliance. Are you ready?" With me is YasserRasheed, director of Business Client Security with Intel. Yasser, welcome.

Yasser Rasheed: Thank you for hosting me today. I'm very excited for this talk.

Kevin L. Jackson: It's really our pleasure. Let's get started on this. The security world is really abuzz. We talk about GDPR or the General Data ProtectionRegulation. This is Europe's looming security regulation. Can you tell us a little more about it?

Yasser Rasheed: Absolutely. You know Kevin, the industry is shifting and evolving very quickly in this space. We're excited about the positive changes taking place in the industry. The GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation coming out of Europe is really a replacement for the European directive that they had in the past. It covers a whole slew of data protection and security regulations that allows - but really caters to protecting the end user and the end user data.

Kevin L. Jackson: I understand it's really the hefty fines that have the information security officers worried. I'm told that they can be the greater of either 20 million Euro or 4% of global annual revenues. Why is this putting the spotlight on security and compliance in North America? I thought this is a European thing, right?

Yasser Rasheed: It is not a European thing only. It affects anyone that deals with the European citizens or in business in Europe so global companies are really impacted by this regulation and they need to pay attention to it.



                     (When viewed on a mobile device, please press select "Listen in browser")

Kevin L. Jackson: This is really important to you. From your point of view, at the IT and operations level, what should these companies be really focused on?

Yasser Rasheed: The companies need to first get educated on the new regulations. It is going to be applicable in May or enforced starting May 2018. It is really coming very soon. The GDPR regulation is really a legal framework that comprehends a number of data security and privacy guidelines for organizations. For example, they need to make sure that they look at how the data is processed, how the data is protected. Who gets access to the data at what point in time and under what tools? Is everything audited and logged in the right way so that they can have the right traceability. There are a number of things that the organizations and especially IT and chief information security officer teams need to pay attention to in this case.

Kevin L. Jackson: With all that in mind, what should these enterprises be thinking about when it comes to data protection at the hardware and the software level?

Yasser Rasheed: That's a great question. First, let's head back and look at what's happening in the industry nowadays. The whole space of cybersecurity is full with hackers and really malicious users trying to get access to information and this is impacting everyone. We see breaches every day. Solutions today are available in software, however, we believe that the software alone cannot protect and cannot enforce the level of readiness for GDPR and the likes. What we really look for is the role of the hardware to augment and compliment the role of the software in the space. More specifically in the security space, there are many hardware products that companies like Intel is offering in this space to protect the identity of the user, to protect the data of the user. These are tools that our key organizations can take advantage of to be ready for GDPR compliance and in general, to have a more healthy and stronger security posture in the environment.

Kevin L. Jackson: Thank you very much for sharing that important point. Unfortunately, though, we're at the end of our count for this episode. Many thanks to Yasser Rasheed with Intel for his insights and expertise.



( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2017)



Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Endpoint Imperative: IT Spending: Setting Priorities in a Volatile World




Fast-evolving trends are changing the way IT thinks about security. To stay secure and productive, IT operations must excel at the fundamentals: PC refreshes for security, and optimizing end-user computers with Microsoft Windows 10. In “The Endpoint Imperative,” a podcast series from Intel, learn from the experts how hardware and software together make for optimized security.

In Episode 1,"IT Spending: Setting Priorities in a Volatile World," Intel’s Kaitlin Murphy talks PC refresh, security, and productivity. Here she also addresses the key trends that drive IT spending decisions. As Director of Marketing for business clients with Intel, Kaitlin leads the business client marketing organization responsible for mobile and desktop platforms, vPro, Intel Unite, and other products.]

Kevin L. Jackson: Let’s get started. Kaitlin, IT spending is up and this is being driven by cloud computing digital transformation. What could this mean to Intel?

Kaitlin Murphy: Digital transformation is really the changes associated with applying digital technology to people. In the case of my group, it's about businesses and employees, the end user, IT, facilities, and even other groups. Digital transformation touches all of the aspects of a business like, smart office or smart workspaces. How do you make your environment aware and then have it take action on your behalf?

Kevin L. Jackson: Can you give us some examples of this?

Kaitlin Murphy: Sure. This could be something as simple as air conditioning. When the room's unoccupied, the air conditioning is off, but when it sees somebody come in, it knows to adjust the temperature to their preference. It could even be something more complex like, the room knows who you are and it can contextually retrieve information based on your conversation in real time, knowing that you're allowed to access that information.

 (When viewed on a mobile device, please press select "Listen in browser")


Kevin L. Jackson: That's amazing. One of the real key driving components of this spending has been the personal computer or PC sales. This is also driving the PC refresh cycle. Can you talk about those drivers and their impact on organizations?

Kaitlin Murphy: Absolutely, totally agree. PC refresh or PCs, in general, are a huge piece of digital transformation. Today, it's heavily influenced by a variety of things, one of which is security manageability. In general, a newer PC with a newer operating system is more secure and more manageable. That means less burden on IT resources, lower lifetime costs, and higher employee productivity and satisfaction. Having performane, secure, managed up to date devices is critical for a business of any size. Not only does it help with the items we talked about above but more and more that we're seeing in a company that has a digital transformation strategy is better able to attract and retain the target talent that they want. It literally affects every single aspect of a business.

Kevin L. Jackson: Let’s zoom in on security. How do you see that factoring in on the spending decisions?

Kaitlin Murphy: The corporations are a major target for bad actors. Literally, in one place you've got the crown jewels. You've got IP. You've got customer information. You've got employee information and more. Because of this, companies have to have a comprehensive security strategy in place and then the products to execute that. Part of the executing their strategy means having secure PCs. Like we mentioned before, newer PCs are typically more secure and that's for a variety of reasons. First, you've got the latest and greatest technologies and solutions and the PC ecosystem behind it. Second, with an older PC bad actor have simply had more time to find the holes and to exploit them.

Kevin L. Jackson: It really seems like you’re focusing on the PC instead of the data center. Why is that?

Kaitlin Murphy: You need to focus on both. You're right, the PC is a critical piece. One thing that not everyone knows, is that when an attack is launched on an enterprise the most common route into that company is through the endpoint. What happens is a bad actor captures the credentials of an employee and they can access their PC. When they can access the PC, they can access all the data on that PC. Typically, any place that PC is authorized to access as well. Newer PCs have solutions to help minimize this risk.

You can protect your credentials and hardware, for example, so they're harder to be spoofed or otherwise exploited. When we look at IP support desk calls, the one type of call that's grown the most in the past years' security-related incidents, like viruses or malware. These incidents place a resource burden on the company, not to mention the security risk. IT now has to make a decision. Is the cost of that older PC protecting it, securing it plus the safety risk worth more or less than just buying a new PC that has new security?



Kevin L. Jackson: Now, let’s zoom out to 18 or 24 months from now. What considerations do you see impacting IT budgets, especially, the spending on PCs and other endpoint devices?

Kaitlin Murphy: Well, while technology moves quickly, sometimes, it often moves a little bit slowly as well. I think the trends we talked about today are very firmly entrenched and the ones that we're going to continue to see in the next 18 to 24 months, security, manageability, even the value of local compute performance will all be relevant.

Kevin L. Jackson: [chuckles] Wait a minute. Why do you have to worry about local compute? Everyone's going to the cloud.

Kaitlin Murphy: Local compute's going to continue to be important. There are some things you just don't want in the cloud and some things you can do better locally, not to mention that when you have performance on the endpoint you can run some of these security solutions we've talked about today. I also think there's a trend around security innovation and that's definitely not going anywhere. Look at Off Network Solutions and Loan. The average US company has to use six different endpoint solutions just to secure a single device.

There's also a lot of trends around unified endpoint management. How can an IT organization manage its entire fleet, but usually at this point is more than one PC per person with a single set of tools? This coupled with more ambient compute devices, think of workplace transformation, devices that don't necessarily have a dedicated user, are going to increase the need for a single out of band management solution. The reason why I say out of band management is because you need to be able to manage your device regardless of OS State.

Especially as organizations become more geographically dispersed, it is increasingly important. Collectively, it seems like there's going to be a continued strain of IT resources. Budgets might be up but they aren't necessarily keeping pace with the number of new trends that IT have to track, make decisions on and execute against. This is going to pose an important question and decision for IT, on how to best allocate the resources to serve both as strategic and operational initiatives in the organization.

Kevin L. Jackson: Unfortunately, we are at the end of our time for this episode but thanks to Kaitlin Murphy with Intel, for her insights and expertise.


( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Top 1000 Tech Bloggers

The Rise "Top 1000 Tech Bloggers" leaderboard recognizes the most inspiring Tech journalists and bloggers active on social media. They use Klout scores (50%) and the blogger's twitter conversations on "tech" (50%) to rank these leaders on their social media influence. The first 100+ tech writers and bloggers on this board were picked from a Twitter search.  The board curator's goal is to grow this to 1000+ names and make it the definitive go-to list for people to find who they can follow to get all tech news and analysis.

This Week's Top 5!




If you are a tech blogger creating fresh content regularly but not on the list already, visit the site and join the list. If you would rather nominate nominate someone, please send an email to support@rise.global with your nomination's Twitter handle.

( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)



Saturday, October 14, 2017

IBM - The Power of Cloud Brokerage

Hybrid cloud adoption is now mainstream and you are making decisions every day about how to transform application and infrastructure architectures, service delivery, DevOps, production operations and governance. With Cloud and Systems Services you rethink how technology can be used to give you more power than ever before.

Cloud and Systems Services, part of IBM Services Platform with Watson, are infused with automation and cognition so you stay ahead of the needs of your every-changing business.







To lean more or to schedule 30 mins to discuss your Enterprise IT issues, click here: https://ibm.co/2g7lHR3



This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit Point B and Beyond.







Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)







Friday, September 29, 2017

More SMB Love Needed



In a recent post, titled “10 Surprising Facts About Cloud Computing and What It Really Is”, Zac Johnson highlighted some interesting facts about cloud computing in the SMB marketplace:
  • Cloud Computing is up to 40 times more cost-effective for an SMB, compared to running its own IT system.
  • 94% of SMBs have experienced security benefits in the cloud that they didn’t have with their on-premises service
  • Recovery times for SMB are four times faster for businesses using cloud computing when compared to those not utilizing cloud services.
  • For SMB, energy use and carbon emissions could be cut by 90% by using cloud computing, saving the environment and energy costs.

These advantages show a strong indication that SMB information technology should be dominated by the adoption of cloud computing services.  Although one of the most prominent of these cloud services is Microsoft’s Office 365 (O365), a recent survey cited by CIO.com suggests that 83% of U.S. small and medium businesses (SMBs) have yet to use any form of O365.  If cloud services can deliver such remarkable improvements, why are SMBs holding back?

According to the survey, part of the reason is that SMBs often lack the required internal resources needed to analyze the cloud migration opportunity.  This type of analysis often requires the testing of multiple cloud-based business and productivity services as well as more focused attention on data protection capabilities.  Many SMB executives see cloud computing as nothing but marketing hype and are more focused on running their businesses.  Cloud services may also be perceived as being very confusing, technically overwhelming, and even frightening.  Another key technical challenge is dealing with a more sophisticated networking environment that may require virtual private network (VPN) management and remote infrastructure access.

The networking challenge is further exacerbated by the requirement to support a distributed mobile workforce with secure mobile device access to company network resources.  NETGEAR is making an impressive bid to address this challenge by their recent release of a new line of small business switches, access points, and NAS devices equipped for native cloud management via a new mobile application.  The app, called Insight, is designed to let administrators or unskilled end users discover and configure multiple wired and wireless network devices.  The users can then monitor and manage these network resources remotely through an intuitive touchscreen interface.  Insight is designed to fill a critical gap in the networking market for simple SMB solutions that provide robust functionality.


Switching from software or CPU license-based pricing to the subscription-based utilization models offered by cloud service providers can also require an SMB to conduct a careful economic analysis of the change.  This change can potentially divert finance and IT staff from their core jobs. The reality is that most cloud services aren’t designed for SMB consumption.  Small businesses are therefore likely postponing cloud migration because they don’t know where to start or don’t possess the internal resources to manage through the transition.

This small business industry challenge is bound to become harder. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the small and medium business spending on IT hardware, software, and services, including business services,  is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2%, reaching $668 billion in 2020.

As SMB cloud adoption grows, the need for more cloud transition support for the SMB marketplace will also continue to grow.  As a historically underserved market, more SMB tailored cloud services and cloud adoption support are desperately needed.  Unfortunately, the SMB market is typically seen as an afterthought by enterprise vendors, and small business solutions are designed as dumbed down versions of the enterprise solutions, let’s hope that more companies like NETGEAR will wake up and serve this clear and growing SMB marketplace need.

( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)




Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)



Monday, September 4, 2017

ATMs Are IT Too!


That world of homogenous IT technology managed entirely by the internal IT organization has long disappeared.  Operations today require efficient and global management of technologically heterogeneous environments. The challenges and mistakes organizations make when tackling this important task include:
  • Operational disconnects caused by ineffective internal communications;
  • Resource contention when multiple, independently developed project plans compete;
  • Incompatible technical documentation; and
  • Inconsistent communications with vendors.
A case in point is the finance industry which has endured some rather unique pains in this area, especially when it comes to ATM Fleet Management. According to Diebold Nixdorf, a world leader in connected commerce, this problem has been caused by three major trends that have changed the nature of ATM network management.
The first, and broadest driver of these changes has been the rapid adoption of newer and more sophisticated technology. Some reports cite that in 2014, up to 95% of the world’s ATMs were running Windows XP. That year, the entire industry was basically forced to transition to Windows 7 and this was when some banks were still using OS/2!
“These more sophisticated systems, requiring updates, patches, and support in real-time, along with software and hardware that can operate nimbly in an agnostic ecosystem. And as more and more transactions are migrated to self-service terminals, the devices must advance in complexity, too.”
Security challenges, the second key trend, are also morphing daily as threats become more and more diverse. Specific problems include physical security of the cash inside the terminal, malware threats to software and the use of data skimming devices. As banks expand their self-service networks, competition around their ability to deliver greater functionality and more complex transactions within an even tighter personally identifiable information regulatory environment is daunting.
The final trend is around management and overhead. As the traditional focus of IT support groups has changed from PCs, firewalls, routers towards the administration of an extensive network of remote self-service terminals, the scope of the required core competencies has changed tremendously. These teams must now deal with multi-vendor hardware, software, security, and services. To deal with these tectonic shifts, financial institutions are now looking to partner with technology services companies.
In this strategy shift, they are looking for a provider that brings broad multi-vendor management skills and analytics-based, proactive technical support. Additional criteria for selecting a multi-vendor management partner include:
  • Global presence with the ability to provide on-site engineering support to any ATM site;
  • Demonstrated continuity of support as exhibited by an ability to dispatch the same customer engineers on most occasions;
  • Customer engineers with proven and demonstrable experience with the same type of installation and configuration;
  • Support organizations with the breadth and depth of resources necessary to deliver high-quality support with minimal service disruption; and
  • A global logistics infrastructure capable of providing the timely delivery of parts from any vendor, if required.
IBM has proven to be a major player in this space. Their ATM and branch services support provides a predictive maintenance solution that uses advanced analytics to identify potential concerns. They then work with financial organization’s IT teams to schedule proactive support services. This proactive approach ensures proper intervention before customer service is disrupted. As a proven, global provider of multi-vendor service support, IBM can be your single agnostic vendor supporting your multi-vendor ATM environment. If your team is in need of a multi-vendor support partner, consider IBM.

This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit Point B and Beyond.



Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Digital Transformation Asset Management



Today’s businesses run in the virtual world. From virtual machines to chatbots to Bitcoin, physical has become last century’s modus operandi.  Dealing with this type of change in business even has its own buzzword – Digital Transformation.  From an information technology operations point of view, this has been manifested by organizations increasingly placing applications, virtual servers, storage platforms, networks, managed services and other assets in multiple cloud environments.  Managing these virtual assets can be much more challenging than it was with traditional physical assets in your data center.  Cost management and control are also vastly different than the physical asset equivalent.  Challenges abound around tracking and evaluating cloud investments, managing their costs and increasing their efficiency.  Managers need to track cloud spending and usage, compare costs with budgets and obtain actionable insights that help set appropriate governance policies.

The cloud computing operational expenditure (OPEX) model demands a holistic management approach capable of monitoring and taking action across a heterogeneous environment.  This situation is bound to contain cloud services from multiple vendors and managed service providers.  Enterprises also need to manage services from a consumption point of view. This viewpoint looks at the service from the particular application down to the specific IT service resources involved, such as storage or a database. Key goals enterprises need to strive for to be successful in this new model include:


  • Obtaining ongoing visibility into true-life cloud inventory;
  • Viewing current and projected costs versus industry benchmarks;
  • Establishing and enforcing governance control points using financial and technical policies;
  • Receiving and proactively responding to cloud cost and operational variances and deviations;
  • Gaining operational advantages through advanced analytics and cognitive computing capabilities;
  • Simulating changes to inventory, spend goals and operational priorities before committing;
  • Managing policies through asset tagging across providers and provider services; and
  • Identifying and notifying senior managers about waste and opportunities for cost savings.
Accomplishing these goals across a hybrid IT environment will also require timely, accurate and consistent information delivery to the organizations, CIO, CFO, IT Financial Controller and IT Infrastructure and Operations Managers.  Ideally, this information would be delivered via a “single pane of glass” dashboard.

One path towards gaining these capabilities would be through the use of a cloud services brokerage
platform like IBM® Cloud Brokerage Managed Services – Cost and Asset Management. This “plug and play” service can assist in the management of spending and assets across hybrid clouds by visualizing data that provides focus on asset performance.  Through the use of predictive analytics, it can also provide insight-based recommendations that help in the prioritization of changes according to their expected level of impact.  Analytics enables an ability to recalibrate cost by comparing planned versus actual operational expenditures.  The built-in cloud service provider catalog, pricing, and matching engines can also help organizations find alternative providers more easily.  Using IBM Watson® cognitive capabilities, IBM Cloud Brokerage Managed Services – Cost and Asset Management will also highlight cloud best practices and expected results based on IBM’s rich knowledge base of cross-industry cloud transition experience.

Operating a business from a virtual IT platform is different.  That is why advanced cost and asset management skills, capabilities and tools are needed.  According to Gartner, more than US$1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years. This makes cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since the early days of the digital age.  You and your organization can be ready for these tectonic changes by implementing the straightforward five-step process supported by IBM Cloud Service Brokerage capabilities:


  1. Establish governance thresholds and policies for services;
  2. Connect the advanced management platform across all cloud service accounts;
  3. Track the costs of the services, including recurring and usage-based costs;
  4. Enforce compliance on the costs and asset usage using the purpose-built cost analytics engines; and
  5. Simulate and optimize the control and compliance actions and better control your costs.



This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit IT Biz Advisor
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)