The old saying "may you live in interesting times" is a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. These times are indeed interesting. "Transition" and "transformation" are pervasive themes in the channel and elsewhere in IT. Business Transformation is the Buzzword to Know A recent report from CompTIA outlines those themes: "Business transformation will remain the buzzword of the moment as channel firms of all stripes continue to assess the direction of their companies in the age of cloud computing, mobility, managed services, big data, social media and other market and technology forces. Navigating new routes to market and evolving customer buying habits will challenge channel firms to focus just as much on their own branding and marketing as they will on elevating their tech skills."
It is no longer just a matter of simply using touch, voice, and keyboards to provide your computer with information. Going forward, how you interact with your computer is going to change. More importantly, your computer will be able to perceive what is happening around it and take that into consideration as well. Perceptual computing is not new. It has been in the mainstream consumer market for half a decade, thanks to Microsoft and the Microsoft Kinect. Perceptual computing, however, is not just a toy for gaming consoles; it is quickly about to become a part of computing systems across the ecosystem.
"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War There was a time not so long ago when the word "hacking" conjured up the image of fifteen-year-old writing viruses that presented a message like "You've been hacked by badboy45". If the individual was particularly malicious, they might go so far as to reformat your C drive. While extremely inconvenient, acts such as this merely enforced the case for performing regularly-scheduled backups. It is only in the recent past that organizations have taken to the systematic targeting of business and governmental agencies in order to carry out highly nefarious deeds – with devastating success.
My 14-year-old son spends a lot of time shopping for stuff online. His least favorite part of online shopping is waiting for his purchases to arrive at our door. Because of this, he often uses functions that allow him to see if the merchandise he wants is available in a local store, then nags me to take him there. (Thanks, retailers!) A growing number of companies are offering these kinds of interactions between online and offline channels as part of an omni-channel strategy, one that is designed to give consumers a consistently good shopping experience, no matter which channels they opt to use (Web, in-store, call center or mobile). Other examples of this include getting receipts via email instead of at the point of purchase and ordering merchandise online and having it shipped to a store for pick-up.
Things move with incredible speed in container space. As recently as October everyone, it seemed, loved them some Docker. You could also have been forgiven for thinking Docker was the only container game in town.
The data storage industry is in no danger of diminished growth anytime soon. The amount of data we need to store is not only growing, it’s growing exponentially. Everything from the smartphone in your pocket to the server in your business creates fresh data streams constantly. And with the advent of the Internet of Things, the avalanche of data will only grow larger. But while data storage as a whole is growing, not every type of data storage media is growing. The venerable storage media of tape is seeing declining fortunes – or is it?
Many folks seem excited about Apple's introduction of Apple Pay and its potential to advance contactless payment technology, by solidifying support for the NFC (Near Field Communication) standard among other things. In a piece on Pymnts.com, Doc Vaidhyanathan, CA Technologies' VP Product Management, Digital Payment, said Apple Pay "confirmed NFC’s position for the communication between mobile devices and points of interaction." CyberSource Senior Vice President Andre Machicao said Apple Pay "has the potential to accelerate the pace of both mobile commerce and mobile payments adoption in the marketplace."
The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of those somewhat rare technology topics that is pretty easy for the layperson to understand, at least on the basic level. But the topic as a whole encompasses enough layers of change for IT to make your head spin. Networking a rapidly growing variety of physical objects to enable data collection and transmission is part of what analyst Rob Enderle calls the third age of IT: digitization. You might also call it a mega-trend. Alongside advances in robotics, mobile technologies and, of course, Big Data analytics, the IoT is one of the most fascinating, fast-moving – and fun – topics we cover at IT Business Edge.
Does this sound familiar? An online service promises to help your small business cut costs, increase productivity, make your coffee and walk your dog. So you hop online to sign up, and then you get to the page where you have to agree to the site's terms of service (TOS). If you're like oh, 99.9 percent of the rest the world's population, you click "agree" without so much as glancing at the actual terms.
Mobile technology. Cloud computing. Big data analytics. The Internet of things. All four technologies are essential to business (and personal) progress. Unfortunately, they are also a threat to our privacy—and to the trust that should exist between businesses and consumers, employers and employees. Privacy of Personal Data is a Top Issue According to research conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, privacy of personal data is a top issue for 76 percent of global consumers and 83 percent of U.S. consumers. Yet, a massive, seemingly endless series of highly publicized breaches has eroded both our privacy and our trust. It feels as if we're holding our breath while we wait for the next theft of personal information to be reported, analyzed and condemned by the citizens of the Web.
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