Research Notes

03-10-2015: Safe Harbor Collapses

Business as we know it has been disrupted for companies located in both the EU and U.S. because the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) invalidated the Safe Harbor agreement between the two entities earlier this month. The 15-year old agreement allowed businesses to move European data to servers in the U.S. But the court ruled European data is insufficiently protected when transferred to American data centers because federal intelligence services could gain access. ...more details

02-10-2015: IBM Analytics - Watson Everywhere

IBM, the vendor behemoth best known for its large systems software and services, wants enterprises to know that it is fully embracing the new state of computing. To that end, the company has been working to advance its analytics offerings with comprehensive cognitive computing capabilities that tie into its on-premises and cloud-based Watson engine across and embedded into numerous of its products. Additionally, IBM is marrying Watson’s structured and unstructured analytical and recommendation capabilities to a host of third-party data streams and non-IBM database, processing engines, and delivering application programming interfaces (APIs) wherever possible to provide users with both choice and portability. ...more details

01-10-2015: Dell EMC HP Remix

Cloud computing continues to disrupt the traditional IT hardware and software markets and invalidate long-standing business models. Dell Inc. is acquiring EMC Corp. and spinning out Vmware, Inc. and Virtustream in hopes that it can gain momemtum in three different market segments. Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) splits into two entities, announces more staff cuts and drops its Helion public cloud business. Expectations are mixed that the new HP companies can halt the revenue shrinkage and reverse the course. ...more details

03-09-2015: iPad Pro- Not a Notebook Substitute

Apple Corp. aims to bridge the gap between the iPad’s ease-of-use and MacBook computing power with Apple’s iPad Pro. Sporting a large 12.9” screen, more powerful processor, and available keyboard, the iPad Pro is a powerful and capable device. While a compelling alternative to mainstream notebooks and ultrabooks on its face, the iPad Pro is a pricey tablet/notebook hybrid necessitating compromise from those committed to it fully and choosing to forgo full-function desktop capabilities altogether. ...more details

02-09-2015: Plan Conservatively for 2016

2016 looks to bear a strong resemblance to 2015, but has the potential to be worse. The U.S. GDP growth most likely will again be in the two percent range with low to no inflation. The worldwide GDP growth will likely be less robust and in many of the key countries it will be flat or negative. A strong dollar and weak oil prices will keep inflation down and slow job growth, too. Business and IT executives need to plan accordingly and ensure purchases, resources and staffing can be flexibly adjusted to support the changes of the economies and potential volatilities of the markets. ...more details

01-09-2015: IT's Disconnect

IT organization charts show development and operations executives and staff as equals but operations staff that function on that premise do themselves and their organizations a disservice. There is a pecking order: the lines of business and corporate offices gives direction to and fund development; development, in turn, delivers and maintains the applications portfolios; and operations ensures that the applications are available as desired by the lines of business, corporate offices, and development. With the advent of the cloud this is more important today than ever before – developers have a choice and can work around operations more easily than ever before. ...more details

03-08-2015: The Devil Made Me Do It

Diablo Technologies Inc. just disrupted the memory and PCIe flash markets with its launch of the Memory1 flash-based DDR4 memory modules. These modules use a standard DIMM form factor, support up to 4 TB of memory in a two socket server, and require no changes to the servers, operating system, or application. This will change the capacity and cost dynamics and enable greater performance per server. IT executives should understand the value proposition of Memory1, determine the areas where its use would be most valuable, and identify who offers the best solution. ...more details

02-08-2015: FTC – Converting Data Breaches to Intrusion Disruption

Irony of ironies: the federal government that exposed millions of personnel records and created the insecure Obama HealthCare.gov system now wants to heavily fine companies that fail to protect consumer information. Based on a recent U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can find businesses at fault for data breaches and tie them up with consent decrees that force them to submit to thrid-party security assessments every two years for up to 20 years. Business and IT executives need to understand the implications of the ruling and ensure they can demonstrate they have implemented and are monitoring "reasonable" security practices.  ...more details

01-08-2015: LinuxOne – Penguins without Limits

What do you call a Linux solution that enables users to start small and grow exponentially without ending up with server sprawl – and it can be acquired on a rental basis? IBM Corp. calls it LinuxONE. The LinuxONE portfolio melds together the best of mainframes with Linux and open systems, accompianied by services and support and a new pricing model. The buyer-friendly LinuxONE business model may finally give IBM the breakout it was looking for with its Linux on mainframe solutions. IT executives should understand the LinuxONE value proposition and consider it for their short list of Linux hardware platforms. 
 
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03-07-2015: Cybersecurity Tops CFO and CIO Priorities

Recent CFO and CIO studies highlight the need for a focus on cybersecurity and risk. Although these studies concur on the priority, the viewpoints of the respondents differ dramatically – CFOs take a broad view while IT executives remain more inwardly focused. IT executives should take a broader corporate view and provide better quality of information so that the organization can execute the appropriate steps to protect itself and its customers, employees, customers, and suppliers. ...more details

02-07-2015: Cloud Obsoletes Outsourcing Model

For more than a decade now outsourcing has been the way to cut costs while maintaining the business model; cloud computing is making that obsolete. Outsourcing is really a "business as usual" (BAU) model but with development and/or operations shifted from in-house to an external provider. The cloud model disrupts the BAU approach of development by reining in options and commoditizing operational components. Outsourcers that do not address the shift in the market will struggle to survive and remain competitive. IT executives should understand the impacts of the model shift and negotiate agreements accordingly.

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01-07-2015: Dancing Elephants

Based on second quarter financials it looks like Amazon Inc. is teaching tech elephants how to dance while EMC Corp. and IBM Corp. are trying not to get trampled as they learn all the right moves.  ...more details

03-06-2015: Oracle Bluster

Oracle Corp. delivered disappointing fourth quarter and fiscal year 2015 results but true to form, top management came out slugging, claiming they over-achieved in cloud and are beating competition. Software license sales were down and the gains in their cloud offerings did not cover the shortfall. And for all the prior-quarter chest-beatings on its hardware offerings, the sales continue to slip. Oracle wants to prove it is still a winner and therefore, IT executives should expect the company to become more aggressive in its audits and sales pushes, especially cloud.

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01-06-2015: How to Stop Betting Your Job on Security

Security surveys show the cybersecurity instances are increasing, as are the risks of a successful breach. Furthermore, 55 percent of attacks are carried out by insiders. Major enterprises and governments are no more immune from massive breaches than smaller firms. If security professionals want job security, they need to achieve a reasonable acceptable level of risk exposure that is supported by the board of directors and top management.

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03-05-2015: Where to Recoup the Wasted 60 – 70 Percent of IT Operations Budget

Sadly 60 – 70 percent of the typical IT operations budget is wasted. The business model is broken. The three malfunctioning areas are the procurement process, asset management process, and lifecycle process. The good news is that there are ample opportunities for driving improvement and doing so will enable internal IT operations to become more competitive with clouds and competitors.

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02-05-2015: Halfway to HP Enterprise, HP Inc

Hewlett-Packard Co., the corporation ex-CEO Mark Hurd built for economies of scale, is about to be carved in half by the current CEO Meg Whitman in the name of agility, focus and lower costs. In another six months two Fortune 50 companies will come into existance – HP Inc., the home of the PC and printer business segments, and HP Enterprise, the realm of servers, storage, software, services and all things big business. Both companies will have their share of challenges and opportunities. There will be dissynergies for the two firms and for their business customers. IT executives can expect to deal with breakup discontinuities and dropped balls as they sort through working with both entities.  ...more details

01-05-2015: Analytics Maturity

We have moved from an era where the businesses are in possession of all the knowledge to today's complex interconnected world where the buyer can acquire more information than the seller and thereby be in control. Thus, to remain competitive companies must incorporate the various social media dimensions and real-time and predictive analytics into their distribution, marketing and sales processes if they wish to maximize revenues and customer loyalty while minimizing costs and risks.

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03-04-2015: Why OpenPOWER Takes Marketshare from x86

Initial prototype results realized by the OpenPOWER Foundation members point to major performance gains that lead Experton Group to believe enterprises with large server farms and/or data-intensive, compute-intensive workloads may be enticed to abandon x86-architected servers for these next-generation alternatives. IBM Corp. and the other OpenPOWER Foundation members presented the technological advances they are obtaining at the GPU Technology Conference last month but avoided pricing discussions.  ...more details

02-04-2015: When Should You Upgrade Smartphones and Tablets

Much has been said over the years about optimizing refresh cycles for PCs, servers, and a host of other IT and non-IT corporate assets.  While ownership and control over these items rest within the enterprise, the same cannot always be said of smartphones and tablets, which are often acquired independent of the organization and managed through bring your own device (BYOD) strategies. ...more details

04-03-2015: Clouds Need a New Architecture

Most IT executives believe that if they virtualize their applications, automate processes and orchestrate provisioning of services, they are running a cloud. Granted that there are other elements required if one is to deliver a true cloud environment but missing from most all architectural comments is the fact that unless applications and databases are architected for the cloud, the biggest gains will be lost.  ...more details