Research Notes

03-02-2016: Enterprise Security Under Attack

Ah, security. It is a slippery and fast moving intangible that both eludes and evades. The encryption-based security on Apple Inc.’s iPhone devices has been a popular subject among the FBI, Apple, tech companies, and the public as the mobile device vendor has been unwilling to help FBI break the encryption on the iPhones used by criminals. ...more details

02-02-2016: Z13 – the Super-Secure Server

With the mid-February announcement of the IBM z13s servers, Big Blue is marketing its mainframes based upon business value and not the usual feeds and speeds. IBM has positioned the z13s as "the world's most secure server, built for hybrid cloud, available for mid-sized organizations." Experton Group believes this statement to be true, not hype. In support of this positioning, IBM also announced security enhancements that improve performance and security. Business transactions are no longer done behind firewalls but primarily conducted using mobile devices and IoT (Internet of Things) with access to the corporate assets (data) sitting on the servers.  ...more details

01-02-2016: Blockchain Ready for Prime Time?

The next evolution of the digital economy will require shorter transaction cycles, lower costs, reduced risk, real-time straight through processing (STP), greater security, and transparency. The unfortunate truth is the current financial processing technologies are not designed for the next wave of the digital economy, as they are constrained by too many bottlenecks and limitations.  ...more details

03-01-2016: Mobile Payment Systems Have Finally Arrived

Mobile payment systems have been around for about two decades and met with varying pockets of success in individual geographies. While implementations worked, they were kludgey, lacked security, and were far from ubiquitous.  ...more details

02-01-2016: Plan Conservatively for 2016

2016 looks to be a more challenging year than 2015. The U.S. GDP growth most likely will be in the one to two percent range with low to no inflation. The worldwide GDP growth will be less robust and in many of the key countries it will be flat or negative. A strong dollar and extremely weak oil prices will keep inflation down and slow job growth, too.  ...more details

01-01-2016: How To Negotiate the Best Deals in 2016

The lackluster global economy projected for 2016 will result in a more challenging year for IT vendors and, as a result, they will have to work much harder to close a deal. This opens up a buying opportunity for users. Business and IT executives that have an effective procurement process and strategy in place should be able to obtain deeper discounts and better overall deals than in the past few years.

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03-12-2015: Technology Part 2

Mobile first initiatives will take on new meanings in 2016 as corporations were stung by initiatives that failed to limited scope, poor security, and  long development times due to both app bloat and resource contstraints. Smartphones and PCs will be where most enterprises focus both from a development and acquisition perspective; however, interest in Internet of Things (IoT) adoption will begin to take shape in earnest. ...more details

02-12-2015: Technology Part 1

The global economic headwinds in 2016 will once again constrain IT budgets; that, combined with the new digitally disruptive entrants, will force IT executives to accelerate the restructuring of their organizations. The rapidly changing business climate is pushing IT executives to do much more with less.  ...more details

01-12-2015: 2016 Predictions - People & Process

The global economic headwinds in 2016 will once again constrain IT budgets; nonetheless, more business executives recognize the need for cloud computing and collaboration and strategic planning with IT executives. To address both issues business and IT executives must examine the people and process issues for the digital economy and productivity improvements.  ...more details

03-11-2015: Love it or Hate It

As debate rages over whether or not bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend started at the beginning of the decade is a boon or boondoggle, the fact remains that the majority of organizations have some degree of BYOD allowance. Formalization of BYOD and enterprise mobile security policy varies vastly among corporations and many recent analyses point to the significant shortfalls in established methodology and increased enterprise concern over the viability of BYOD strategies in the long term.  ...more details

02-11-2015: The Digital Economy

The digital economy is here, especially in the U.S., where for the first time more people shopped online over the Thanksgiving weekend (including Cyber Monday) than in physical stores. But it is not just in the retail space the digital economy has supplanted the traditional players.  ...more details

01-11-2015: Data Center Effectiveness Metrics - 2015

Data center executives must eliminate their gross inefficiencies or face disintermediation by cloud providers within three to five years. Unfortunately, data center executives have set a low bar for improving their data center effectiveness and efficiency within and across data centers as part of their cost cutting and optimization efforts. The gains in the last year have been minimal compared to the opportunity. What still holds a number of executives back from making major strides in strategic optimization planning are the identification of problem points, starting points, metrics, paybacks, and desired target state.  ...more details

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