Posts Tagged ‘IT’
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
The conventional, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., five-day work week is a thing of the past for the overwhelming majority of workers at small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), according to a new survey on work-related email habits. Due to the widespread availability and use of smartphones and tablets, email is more accessible than ever and, as a result, it has become deeply embedded in the daily workplace and personal lives of most employees.
The independent, blind survey of 503 employees in SMB workplaces in the U.S. was conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software. The results highlight employee habits around email usage, including response frequency during the work day as well as after hours.
The new 24/7 paradigm
- Based on the reported email habits of survey respondents, the line between work and home life has become blurred. More than three-quarters of respondents (81%) said they check their work email on weekends, 55% check email after 11 p.m. and 59% keep on top of their work email while on vacation.
- Outside of regular work hours, more than six in 10 (64%) check email at least once a day. 12% of employees said they check work email in real time beyond the standard workday.
- One in 10 respondents admitted to checking work email at a child’s school event, 9% at a wedding, and 6% at a funeral. An additional 6% said they logged into their work email while they or their spouse was in labor.
- On the flip side, nearly one-third (30%) of employees also said they send personal emails from their work account.
Email used at the office more than any other form of communication
- Despite the growing use of instant messaging platforms, email dwarfs other forms of office communication. 44% of respondents use email at work more than any other communications format, with 28% relying primarily on the phone, 22% on face-to-face, and 6% on instant messaging.
- Email is a constant presence in the lives of SMB employees during the workday. More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents said they typically reply to emails within one hour during work hours, with nearly one-third of them (32%) replying within 15 minutes.
An organizational and business intelligence tool
- Many employees use email for more than just communicating. Well over half (58%) use it as a means of storing and retrieving information.
- Nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents use specific folders to organize their email for easier access, and 29% of employees archive their email.
- The oldest saved email by a survey respondent was received back in 1994.
- Less than one-quarter (24%) of SMB employees said they use their email as a business intelligence tool, identifying a massive missed opportunity to extract value from email data.
Differences among regions and professions
- Employees in the Southwest are the quickest to respond to email, with 42% replying within 15 minutes of an email arriving. Only 27% of residents in the Midwest respond as quickly.
- Residents of the Southwest are most likely to have checked their email while they or their spouse was in labor (14%). Just 3% of employees in the Northeast have done so.
- Professionals who say they have checked email at a funeral are more likely to work in IT and telecommunications (14%) and finance (13%). People working in sales, media and marketing and health care said they have never checked email at a funeral.
- Legal (38%), IT and telecommunications (32%), and manufacturing (34%) professionals are more likely to respond to emails within 15 minutes. Professionals who think that responding to an email within one working day is sufficient are more apt to work in education (23%), retail, catering and leisure (20%) and arts and culture (20%).
- Employees at larger companies are more likely to check email during off hours. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents who work at companies with fewer than 10 employees check email outside of regular work hours, while 75% of those who work at large companies said the same.
- During vacations, 74% of sales, media and marketing professionals said they check their email. In contrast, less than half (46%) of manufacturing and utilities employees do so.
Overwhelmingly, email is viewed positively, not negatively
- Workers overwhelmingly appreciate the value of email, despite its omnipresence in daily life.
90% of respondents said email is a “blessing,” with just one in ten (10%) considering it a “curse.” Regardless of all the stresses and strains that a deluge of email can bring, it is still preferred to the way we used to work.
Effective management needed
“Email has transformed the way we do business globally, but it has also had a fundamental impact on the work/life balance for many employees, especially in smaller organizations where speed of response to orders and queries is critical in retaining a competitive advantage against larger competition,” said Phil Bousfield , general manager of IT operations at GFI Software.
“The research results have affirmed how critical it is for organizations to manage the use of email effectively, not only to prevent employees from being overwhelmed by a deluge of data, but also to ensure that email is exploited as a revenue generator and benefit to the business, rather than an inconvenience.”
“The research also revealed some worrying trends, including that many organizations are failing to efficiently use their collected email archives for customer relationship management and other business intelligence functions, and that many users are putting their email at risk by maintaining unnecessarily large Outlook PST repositories in order to use their inbox as a living database.
This is inefficient and puts the organization at risk of substantial data loss from email archive corruption,” Bousfield added.
A copy of the full survey results is available upon request.
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Despite an overwhelming effort by businesses to reduce unnecessary IT costs, many organizations miss out on big IT cost savings each year by prematurely upgrading networking infrastructure and insufficiently scrutinizing ongoing maintenance contracts.
A new commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Network Hardware Resale, revealed that although an overwhelming number (76 percent) of IT decision-makers are concerned about the pressures to reduce costs, many are unaware of the available options that exist for alternative maintenance contracts and are unduly influenced by vendors regarding hardware refresh cycles.
Once not too many years ago, we were responsible for overseeing the IT costs of a local organization and reviewing the very first cost sheet found half a dozen areas in which we could save. The first thing we had to do was challenge vendor agendas that didn’t match our needs.
You might want to do the same sort of scrutiny.
According to the study:
- Up to 79% of organizations refresh their wired networking infrastructure every one to five years guided by industry averages that originate from the vendors.
- Vendors set the end of life agenda resulting in the sometimes unnecessary and expensive replacement of IT equipment — that still carries market value and has 20 plus years mean time between failures.
“After surveying 304 IT decision-makers, Forrester found that even though IT budgets are under constant scrutiny, businesses have defaulted to vendor influence which has blinded them to the rewards of extending hardware lifecycles and third-party maintenance solutions,” according to the Forrester Consulting study.
Forrester study findings:
- End of Life (EoL) equipment is prematurely retired: 85 percent of respondents admitted that they would have kept their legacy networking equipment if the vendor continued to support it.
- OEM maintenance services have little return on investment: More than 80 percent of organizations buy maintenance contracts from their equipment manufacturer even though they see little value in what they are purchasing and express discontent over misrepresented cost savings, new fees, and inflexible pricing models.
- Third-party maintenance options are widely unknown: Only 21 percent report that they have leveraged competitor third-party bids when negotiating service and maintenance contracts, while 80 percent claim they would leverage third-party maintenance if they found it to be more affordable than their current contract [see Figure 1].
“Every CIO should make it a priority to read this report,” said Mike Sheldon , President and CEO of Network Hardware Resale.
“Businesses of all sizes need to know that there can be incredible value and cost savings with a reliable third-party maintenance service provider — helping to ease worries about tightening IT budgets without sacrificing quality.”
To achieve greater value and maximize the ROI of network infrastructure they have purchased, Forrester Consulting suggests organizations implement the following key recommendations:
Keep what’s working within an existing infrastructure to avoid premature and unnecessary upgrades.
- Don’t pay for software updates if there are none, or if they are available for free. Organizations should carefully scrutinize ongoing maintenance contracts in order to find valuable Operational Expenditure (OPEX) savings.
- Put maintenance contracts out for competitive bid, not just to different resellers, but also include third-party options.
- Put metrics in place to reward value, quality, and longevity, not just resiliency.
- The study and its findings are explored in further detail in the Forrester study, Challenging the Status Quo on Maintenance Contracts and Refresh Cycles to Lower Costs. Click to download PDF.
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
Now here’s a paradox – while most industries saw fewer security vulnerabilities in 2012, IT web sites actually had the highest number ov vulnerabilities per site. You would think that IT would be on the forefront of best practices, but that doesn’t appear to be so.
That’s according to WhiteHat Security, the Web security company, in the 2013 edition of the WhiteHat Security Website Security Statistics Report.
“Website security is an ever-moving target, and organizations need to better understand how various parts of the SDLC affect the introduction of vulnerabilities, which leave the door open to breaches,” said Jeremiah Grossman , co-founder and CTO of WhiteHat Security.
“This report – comprising survey and website vulnerability data – is the first time we can correlate various software security controls and SDLC behaviors to vulnerability outcomes and breaches. The results are both insightful and complex.”
The Current State of Website Security
In 2012, the average number of serious* vulnerabilities per website continued to decline, going from 79 in 2011 down to 56 in 2012. Despite this, 86 percent of all websites tested were found to have at least one serious vulnerability exposed to attack every single day of 2012.
Of the serious vulnerabilities found, on average 61 percent were resolved and only 18 percent of websites were vulnerable for fewer than 30 days in 2012. On average, resolving these vulnerabilities took 193 days from the first notification.
WhiteHat Security designated each tested site by industry, and a closer look revealed that:
- With the exception of sites in the IT and energy sectors, all industries found fewer vulnerabilities in 2012 than in past years.
- The IT industry experienced the highest number of vulnerabilities per website at 114.
- Government websites had the fewest serious vulnerabilities with eight detected on average per website, followed by banking websites with 11 on average per website.
- Entertainment and media websites had the highest remediation rate (the average percentage of serious vulnerabilities resolved) at 81 percent.
- In years past, the banking industry had the fewest vulnerabilities and fixed the most vulnerabilities of any industry. This year, banking came in second with 11 average serious vulnerabilities found per website and a below average remediation rate of 54 percent (average is 61 percent across all industries).
Top Ten Vulnerability Classes
The two most prevalent vulnerability classes in 2012 were Information Leakage and Cross-Site Scripting, identified in 55 percent and 53 percent of websites respectively.
The next eight most prevalent include: Content Spoofing – 33 percent; Cross-site Request Forgery – 26 percent; Brute Force – 26 percent; Fingerprinting – 23 percent; Insufficient Transport Layer Protection – 22 percent; Session Fixation – 14 percent; URL Redirector Abuse – 13 percent; Insufficient Authorization – 11 percent.
SQL Injection continued its downward slide from 11 percent in 2011 to 7 percent in 2012, no longer making the Top 10.
Best Practices May Not Result in Better Security
In correlating the survey results with vulnerability data, WhiteHat Security could see how software security controls, or “best practices” impacted the actual security of organizations. Some of the findings include:
- 57 percent of organizations surveyed provide some amount of instructor-led or computer-based software security training for their programmers. These organizations experienced 40 percent fewer vulnerabilities, resolved them 59 percent faster, but exhibited a 12 percent lower remediation rate.
- 39 percent of organizations said they perform some amount of Static Code Analysis on their websites underlying applications. These organizations experienced 15 percent more vulnerabilities, resolved them 26 percent slower, and had a 4 percent lower remediation rate.
- 55 percent of organizations said they have a Web Application Firewall (WAF) in some state of deployment. These organizations experienced 11 percent more vulnerabilities, resolved them 8 percent slower, and had a 7 percent lower remediation rate.
Best practices may not be enough
Some of this data implies that best practices such as software security training are effective, yet some of the statistics clearly show that following best practices does not necessarily lead to better security.
The correlated data revealed that compliance is the primary driver for organizations to resolve vulnerabilities, but also the number one reason organizations do not resolve vulnerabilities. In other words, vulnerabilities are fixed if required by compliance mandates; however, if compliance does not require a fix, the vulnerability remains, despite possible implications to the overall security posture of the site.
“This collective data has shown that many organizations do not yet consider they need to proactively do something about software security. It is apparent that these organizations take the approach of ‘wait-until-something-goes-wrong’ before kicking into gear unless there is some sense of accountability,” said Grossman.
“This needs to change, and we believe there is now an opportunity for a new generation of security leaders to emerge and distinguish themselves with an understanding of real business and security challenges. Our hope is that they will address these issues we have identified and base their decisions on a foundation of data to improve the state of Web security over time.”
To view the complete report, visit https://www.whitehatsec.com/resource/stats.html.
Monday, April 29th, 2013
A “Recruiting for IT Talent” survey of U.S. companies conducted by Monster, the worldwide leader in successfully connecting people to job opportunities and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW), revealed a large majority of employers who hire for IT professionals are likely to hire in the next 60 days.
Their hiring activity is primarily driven by staff increases (60%) and company expansion (45%).
Employers of all sizes are focused on IT roles that support aligning business and technology goals with primary hiring needs; this includes application development (72%), database analysis and development (58%), web design/development (57%), networking (56%), and business intelligence/analytics (55%).
IT demand remains stable
“The demand for IT expertise remains relatively stable with employers confident that they will look to fill these types of roles in the near-term,” said Jeffrey Quinn, Vice President of Monster’s Global Insights. “Meanwhile, on the job seeker side, the IT jobs viewed on Monster see millions of views each month, indicating high interest by, if not volume of potential candidates seeking employment in this field.”
While the survey revealed nearly one-half (49%) of employers were confident in their ability to find the talent they need for all these roles, some hiring challenges remain, including:
- A skills gap, with 70% of employers reporting the number of qualified candidates available to fill all the opportunities as smaller than the total opportunities, creating increased competition for talent;
- Specialized requirements, with 52% of employers reporting many of these technical roles are increasingly defined by highly specific skills further limiting the number of qualified candidates;
- An inability to attract talent due to compensation. 52% of employers report they are unable to compete on salary alone.
More than one-half (53%) of employers responded that there are fewer IT Professionals searching for jobs in the U.S. And, nearly half of employers (48%) believe IT jobs continue to be outsourced to other countries, a contributing factor to a shrinking number of U.S.-based IT jobs to be available.
For those who may be seeking employment in the IT fields, it’s important to note that the majority of employers (92%) feel that careers in IT are promising and rewarding.
Additionally these companies believe academic training is not enough (40%) while certifications provide an advantage (85%). Employers also report that qualifications beyond technical skills that are critical to the assessment of IT talent include: communication skills, personality/cultural fit, type of work experience and interpersonal skills.
Here are the top occupations and markets for IT jobs by volume1:
Top 10 Occupations:
1. Software Developers, Applications
2. Web Developers
3. Computer Systems Analysts
4. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
5. Computer User Support Specialists
6. Information Technology Project Managers
7. Computer Programmers
8. Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers
9. Computer Systems Engineers/Architects
10. Database Administrators
Top 10 Markets for IT:
1. New York
2. Washington DC
4. Los Angeles
5. Dallas-Fort Worth
8. San Francisco
9. San Jose
For a copy of the full report, visit the Monster Resource Center.
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
For the third consecutive quarter the CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index recorded a positive gain in Q2. The Index is a measurement of technology business sentiment produced by CompTIA, the leading non-profit association for the information technology (IT) industry.
The CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index is now at 58.0 on a 100-point scale, up from 56.1 in the first quarter.
Positive gains over the last three quarters represent the longest period of upward momentum in the history of the index, which is comprised of three metrics: opinions of the U.S. economy, opinions of the IT industry and opinions of one’s company.
Additional increase in confidence expected
Looking ahead, survey respondents project a two-point increase in confidence over the next six months, driven primarily by expectations of a strengthening macro economy.
“The data suggests that IT companies are feeling better about business conditions,” said Tim Herbert , vice president, research, CompTIA. “Generally, demand for technology has been consistent in many areas and among many customer segments. Technology has never been so accessible and affordable for businesses of all sizes.”
Thirty-eight percent of IT companies plan to increase their investment in new products or business lines over the next six months, an indicator of both the desire to capitalize on emerging technologies, as well as an expectation for future revenue opportunities.
Causes for concern noted
This figure is down slightly from the Q1 reading, but still rates highest among business investment IT companies plan to increase.
Herbert cautioned, however, “a number of factors are still cause for concern, such as the stubbornly high unemployment rate, the unknown effects of the federal government sequestration cuts or turmoil overseas. Business sentiment can quickly deteriorate with bouts of volatility.”
CompTIA’s IT Industry Business Confidence Index for Q2 of 2013 is the result of an online survey of 309 IT companies conducted in late March. The full report is available at no cost to CompTIA members. Visit CompTIA.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Friday, April 5th, 2013
Eighty percent of developers belong to a developer program, according to Evans Data’s recently released Developer Relations Program survey, an annual survey of over 500 software developers conducted in February.
That’s an increase of 57% since 2008, which was the first year that more developers belonged to programs than did not and an increase of 156% since 2002, when the survey series was first introduced.
While a significant number, 34%, belong only to free programs, 23% belong exclusively to programs that charge a fee, and 23% belong to both paid and free programs. Both paid and free program membership has increased significantly during the last year. Total membership has increased sharply each year since 2011 when only 55% were in a program.
Programs becoming even more important
“Developer programs are highly important today and getting even more so,” said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data Corp.
“Not only do developers expect to be supported by anyone who offers a platform or even an API for adoption, but the number and types of companies that are offering APIs is increasing rapidly as the world becomes more interconnected and software becomes ubiquitous.”
The Developer Relations Program Survey is an annual survey now in its eleventh year, which examines developer program acceptance, attitudes about program features, including support, app stores, training, community and social aspects, tools and SDKs, and more. See complete Table of Contents here:
Thursday, March 28th, 2013
A step-by-step approach to cloud adoption focused on specific service areas or functions is most effective for large organizations, according to a new whitepaper from nformation Services Group.
The analysis, jointly authored by ISG and HCL Technologies, examines how organizations are integrating cloud-based services into traditional operational environments, assesses industry- and company-specific objectives, and employs case studies to illustrate various cloud scenarios and client priorities.
“As enterprises take a gradual approach to cloud adoption, traditional IT delivery models remain highly relevant,” said Stanton Jones , Analyst, Emerging Technology at ISG, and one of the report’s authors.
Most effective cloud developments
“The most effective cloud deployments tend to be discrete initiatives focused on specific business requirements and workloads.”
The analysis also found that clients are becoming savvier about cloud offerings – and more leery of vendor claims.
“Market hyperventilation regarding the potential benefits of cloud computing is giving way to a more reasoned approach,” saidKalyan Kumar , VP & Chief Technology Architect, HCL Technologies – ISD, and the report’s co-author.
“Clients perceive correctly that implementing cloud solutions is not as easy as cloud suppliers suggest, and are picking and choosing specific business problems, then identifying the appropriate cloud service and deployment model to adopt.”
The analysis includes the findings of a survey conducted by HCL of over 40 of its global clients during the past 12 months.
Clients were asked to prioritize from among four potential outcomes from a cloud initiative: cost reduction; scalability; consolidation; and service improvement. The results are shown below, by geography.
Cost reduction a dominant objective
“Cost reduction – always an imperative – remains the dominant objective driving cloud adoption globally,” said Kumar. “In addition, cloud platforms provide the option to cost efficiently pilot new processes and applications, freeing up critical capital to invest in growth areas.”
Case studies included in the analysis detail how both ISG and HCL have worked with clients to define objectives and achieve results from cloud initiatives.
In many instances, the projects delivered a range of benefits, such as, for example, significant cost savings coupled with process improvement and increased agility through moving to a standardized environment.
The analysis also examined the constraining impact that business requirements, industry regulations and poorly defined standards have had one cloud deployment.
Constrained by regulations
“Cloud options and benefits are limited for customers requiring hardware-based separation of critical data,” said Jones.
“Moreover, in many industries regulatory requirements have failed to keep up with technology advances. As a result, many IT organizations seeking to adopt cloud-based services are currently constrained by outdated regulations.”
The complete white paper, titled “Adding Cloud to the Service Delivery Mix: Business Drivers and Organizational Considerations,” can be downloaded at http://www.isg-one.com/knowledgecenter/whitepapers/private/papers/White_paper_-_Cloud_Delivery_ISG_HCL.pdf.
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
Delivering services through cloud computing is a high priority objective for many IT departments, even though nearly 4 of 10 IT managers say they’ve experienced a cloud outage.
“With nearly one-third of respondents spending $1 million or more on cloud services annually, unplanned outages in the forty percent range won’t be tolerated by business leaders or their customers,” said TeamQuest Director of Product Management Scott Adams .
Many survey respondents believe the reported outages could have been prevented.
Capacity management minimizes risks
Capacity management is sighted as one way to minimize the risks associated with cloud computing, according to respondents in a survey from Kelton Research, commissioned by TeamQuest Corporation.
“Cloud, whether it’s internal or external, is here to stay and it has great benefits, but IT managers need to know whether there is sufficient service capacity to support growth or peaks in their workloads and still meet required SLAs, for example,” said Adams.
“The IT team must play a larger role with the emergence of today’s dynamic environment. You have to ask the right questions and provide expertise and advice to a variety of constituents to mitigate risks.”
To help decrease the number of outages, Adams suggests a diligent business capacity management analysis.
Adams provided a short to-do list for business capacity management in the cloud:
- Evaluate cost/performance trade-offs for alternative infrastructure deployment strategies
- Determine the best mix of sourcing options to best meet business service needs
- Monitor service levels on cloud deployments
- Size and optimize cloud infrastructure to meet SLAs
- Understand how costs grow with increased volumes and workload growth
Adams advised that companies familiarize themselves with more than just the business side of capacity management. “You have to look at capacity management from the component, service and business levels to improve cloud implementation, for example.”
According to the survey, 65% of IT managers agree with Adams on the importance of capacity management in the cloud. Adams said proper capacity management is more important now as IT and the business rely on cloud computing to house business critical services.
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
More than 80% of IT security professionals believe that corporate employees deliberately ignore security rules issued by the IT department.
The survey, which looked at the attitudes of nearly 250 IT security professionals, also discovered that more than half of those who think that workers deliberately ignore IT security directives do not believe end-users would listen more even if these mandates were issued by executive management.
These findings are despite the fact that more IT security professionals and vendors are insisting that in order to improve IT security within organizations, strategic guidance must be issued from the board level.
Commenting on the research, Philip Lieberman, CEO of Lieberman Software, said: “These figures highlight the fact that most end-users are still not taking IT security seriously and are unnecessarily putting corporate data — and potentially customer information — at risk.
And these behaviors are continuing even after it has been proven that human error is the leading cause of data breaches. Organizations need to implement better cyber security training that properly instructs staff about the consequences of data breaches.
“IT groups must also look beyond conventional security products and invest in technology like privileged identity management (PIM),” continued Lieberman. “PIM products ensure that powerful privileged accounts found throughout the enterprise in large organizations are available only to authorized IT personnel with limited-time, audited access. This ensures that end-users are not able to accidentally or maliciously change configuration settings, access systems with sensitive data, or perform other actions that are not required of their jobs.”
The survey was conducted in February at RSA Conference 2013 in San Francisco.
For more information on the survey, seewww.liebsoft.com/2013_information_security_survey.
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
More than 30 percent of developers are spending more time developing mobile and cloud-based applications, according to data from a new joint study from Dr. Dobb’s and Forrester Research.
TheGlobal Developer Technographics Survey, Q3 2012 analyzes results from a survey of more than 500 platform-agnostic, programming-language-independent developers from Dr. Dobb’s audience base that collectively represent the full software development community.
Respondents were queried about the types of applications they are writing and how they are writing them and about the state of application development.
The survey turned up trends that could have major implications:
- 35% of developers surveyed are spending more time developing mobile and cloud-based apps. This growing number shows that mobile and cloud are rapidly getting traction in all businesses and that developers are increasingly being asked to adapt their software to new client front ends and cloud back ends. This trend demonstrates how much IT will change in the future — with both ends of its processing pipeline shifting to new platforms — and how organizations’ reliance on developers will only increase.
- 84% of developers use open source software (OSS) products. The greatest adoption rate was in infrastructure, such as operating systems (56%), web servers (52%), and relational databases (47%). Development tools were the next largest categories, with IDEs (41%), SCM (33%), and build tools (22%) being the most popular categories.
- Surprisingly, open-source NoSQL databases (such as Apache Hadoop and MongoDB) were used by 13% of developers, suggesting that the NoSQL phenomenon is real and not just hype. With nearly one in seven developers currently using NoSQL, it’s likely to become a standard part of enterprise software development going forward.
- 75% of developers program outside of their work responsibilities. This not only proves that programmers have a genuine love for programming, but indicates that their motivation for programming on their own time is to explore new technologies.
- Developers must continually learn about cutting-edge technologies and the new ways to use existing products because the rate of change in their industry continues at a rapid pace.
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
With the March Madness basketball tournament less than a week away, IT professionals around the country are preparing for the office network issues that often accompany it, according to a 2013 survey from Modis, a leading provider of information technology staffing.
The survey shows that 34 percent of IT professionals will take some action to prepare for March Madness, including banning March Madness video, throttling video feeds, or simply blocking content altogether. More broadly, 48 percent of IT professionals say their company takes action to block, throttle or ban the streaming of all non-work related content in the workplace.
This comes on the heels of other studies that showed allowing employees to watch March Madness events together can be a powerful team and morale building activity. See: Tips for keeping employees on the ball during March Madness
Interestingly enough, it seems the rules on content streaming may not be the same for all employees. Even though companies may have a policy banning streaming content during March Madness, more than half – 66 percent – of those surveyed indicated they would make an exception for the head of the company (i.e. CEO or president) and 52 percent would do the same for senior employees.
Content policies becoming the norm
Content policies are becoming the norm in corporations — and it looks as though they aren’t going to ease up anytime soon. Of the 48 percent of IT departments currently taking action against streaming content, including March Madness, 29 percent believe their company’s policies will become stricter over the next two years. Only 4 percent believe they will become more relaxed.
The March Madness tournament is a month-long series of college basketball games that draw attention from sports fans across the country. Because many of the games are played during traditional work hours, many people attempt to watch them streaming live from their office computers.
v”March Madness is one of the most popular sporting events in the country, so many fans don’t want to miss a minute of it — even if they’re at work,” said Jack Cullen , president of Modis. “However, streaming content can put a significant burden on networks and the IT professionals responsible for maintaining them. Instituting systems and policies to block or reduce access is really the most logical option.”
Among those companies that don’t completely block content, there are different ways IT professionals manage the effect of content streaming events, like March Madness. Of those surveyed 30 percent resort to monitoring for violators of content policies. Twenty-four percent of respondents say they remind employees about the company’s content streaming policy, while 23 percent ask employees not to visit sports sites, relying solely on the honor system.
Other findings include:
- IT professionals are just like everyone else. Despite admitting to giving their bosses special treatment, IT professionals put themselves in the same boat as everyone else with only 12 percent of those surveyed making an exception for themselves as far as content streaming policies.
- Bans aren’t exclusive to March Madness. A majority (68 percent) of IT professionals restrict employee access to various social networking and content streaming sites. At the top of the list are Facebook (44 percent) and Netflix/Hulu (40 percent).
- IT professionals burn the midnight oil. To help prepare for potential network burdens, survey respondents said they are putting in extra hours on the job. For example, nearly half (46 percent) of IT professionals said they have worked overtime either on the weekend or during the week due to situations that cause network strain, while 45 percent have had to skip lunch breaks to prepare for upcoming problems. Even worse, 34 percent have had to work during vacation and 39 percent have put in time overnight.
“IT professionals around the nation work hard to keep office networks from slowing despite a growing array of employee web habits that may impact them,” said Cullen. “In an era where network disruption means potential loss of real business dollars, it’s not an issue that IT professionals can afford to treat lightly.”
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
How many IT professionals does it take to fix an issue? The answer is five, working a combined average of 100 hours a week to fix unexpected IT issues, proving why IT continues to focus on IT efficiency.
One IT professional averages 20 unexpected issues per week, putting out fires such as dealing with network slowdowns/outages, poor performing applications, unanticipated change requests, or equipment failures according to a survey by independent market research firm Kelton Research commissioned by TeamQuest Corp.
Daily business hiccups affect the efficiency and productivity of IT. Dynamic IT environments demand that IT use its resources wisely as business leaders focus on exploiting the benefits of cloud computing and virtualization to better serve customers and boost profitability.
Growing service demand
One of the presumed benefits of the cloud is freeing IT staff to work on strategic initiatives such as planning for cloud initiatives or understanding the risks associated with BYOD.
However, with 30% of an IT organization’s time spent on maintenance and mundane tasks, companies too often compensate by over-provisioning, wasting energy and money. IT is faced with a growing service demand from the business and consumers.
“From a service delivery view, IT staff deal with differing capacity requirements from different business units,” said Director of Product Management Scott Adams . “And the only constant is that those requirements are always changing.”
Efficiency has been a battle cry for IT and the business for years. IT services and business processes are measured and audited for efficiency and effectiveness.
“To increase efficiency, IT needs to institute mature capacity management processes that will protect against over-provisioning and reduce or eliminate the number of IT issues,” said Adams.
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
The increasing complexity of both IT and physical security requirements for commercial and government organizations will drive a shift towards outsourcing security to managed security service providers (MSSPs). Adopting an outsourced model reduces the need for in-house provision and can provide the most cost-efficient approach to an organisation’s security.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.defence.frost.com), Analysis of the Global Managed Security Services Market, finds that the market will be around $66.25 billion in 2012 and estimates this to increase to $139.10 billion by 2021. The research covers two key service segments: physical and IT security.
“In current times, many organisations remain highly cost-conscious, motivating them to outsource their security requirements and reduce operating costs,” noted Frost & Sullivan Aerospace, Defence & Security Research Analyst Anthony Leather. “Even while security remains a priority for organsiations, chief decision makers are looking to the industry to provide them with the most advanced security solutions at the most competitive prices.”
Growing complexity of attacks spurring investment
The growing threat and complexity of attacks, especially in the IT segment, is spurring greater investment in new and existing solutions to ensure both physical and network security. Shifting security operations to MSSPs enables organsiations to outsource progressively more complex security requirements to the experts, while focusing on their own core business processes.
While there are cost-efficiencies to be gained through a security outsourcing model, some organisations still prefer to keep security in-house. This allows them to address issues immediately, without relying on outside companies.
“A common concern among security managers is the wide range of companies that MSSPs have to monitor,” added Leather. ”This might result in the untimely handling of security breaches or incidents.”
Focusing on the larger markets, such as North America and Europe where outsourcing security services is a more accepted practice, will help build market share and a strong customer base for companies. This trend is expected to spread to other regions, with Asia Pacific anticipated to experience the highest growth in the next ten years.
“As MSSPs become more established and demonstrate high levels of security with excellent customer service, organisations will become more comfortable with outsourcing security services,” concluded Leather.
Wednesday, December 26th, 2012
A new report from business intelligence firm IDC, published in Forbes says that the IT industry had 1.7 million openings in cloud-related technologies this year that went unfilled. Job research website EmploymentCrossing.com has also found 13,000 openings in the field.
The reason :companies could not find qualified workers. The lack of training and certification among jobseekers were given as the main reasons by IT hiring managers. Firms currently are struggling to fulfill the cloud-related positions.
The report concludes by stating that existing staff should be retrained for these new jobs and students encouraged to pursue related IT training and certifications. The overall outlook is also bright for the industry. The report predicts that almost 7 million new cloud-related jobs will be available worldwide by 2015.
Job research website EmploymentCrossing.com has also found that among the 13,000 cloud-related job openings that it has tracked down, there are various skill sets and certifications required to get these jobs. Some of the actual job openings on the site are: Director of infrastructure and cloud operations architecture, cloud senior network engineer, cloud administrator, cloud storage engineer among others. The site also has managed to track down around 234,000 IT job openings overall.
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
Although more than 27 million (one out of every six) Americans are now out of work or underemployed, Apollo Research Institute identifies six areas of the economy that offer job growth, particularly for women, and provide a snapshot of the new economy.
“We see job growth ahead in 2013 – and in some surprising places,” said Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti , vice president and managing director, Apollo Research Institute.
Based on extensive environmental scanning and two years of research for its forthcoming book, Women Lead: Career Perspectives from Workplace Leaders, Apollo Research Institute identifies which fields will offer job opportunities, and four other career trends for 2013:
1. Six sectors will offer on-ramps to career growth
Six career areas provide a snapshot of the new economy: business services, education, healthcare, IT, nonprofits, and manufacturing. Healthcare, the fastest-growing sector in the nation, offers obvious opportunities, but less intuitive choices such as nonprofits—which will need a projected 80,000 senior managers a year by 2016—also offer attractive prospects.
2. Women’s career paths will zig and zag
Fifty-eight percent of women describe their career path as “nonlinear,” and nearly 90% of women executives and managers shift careers in midlife. As women and younger workers look for new ways to blend work, family and other life pursuits, the career ladder will gave way to a labyrinth of stops, starts, and lateral moves.
3. Career credentials will be under real-time scrutiny
Instant fact-checking and counter-claims on social media are not just limited to political scandals and natural disasters. Lying on your resume can hamper your job prospects, but some studies indicate more than 40% of employment applications contain false credentials. Today’s workers must present themselves factually and appropriately online, and provide proper attribution for their work.
4. Women will use their tech-savvy at work and home
A look at technology adoption among women, including in the over-50 age group, smashes the stereotype of men as the primary techies. Women spend 30% more time on social networking sites than men, and mobile social usage is 55% female. Women will increasingly lean on high-tech help to start businesses, enter STEM fields, and manage home-related tasks.
5. Work and education will intertwine
The competition for skilled workers provides an incentive to keep learning, on and off the job. Workers will pursue certifications, degrees, technical training, and leadership development to keep their skills current, and will look for internships, apprenticeships, and job rotations to gain hands-on experience.
Friday, December 14th, 2012
Legal and IT teams don’t communicate with each other all that well, a new Deloitte poll suggests. Only 8.1 percent of executives surveyed think their company’s IT and legal teams fully understand each other.
“Legal and IT teams have been working together more closely each year, responding to litigation or regulatory investigations. These fast-paced, complex efforts to locate, collect, preserve and analyze electronic data—evidence, really—are crucial to defending corporate reputations, legal claims and more,” said Mark Michels , a director in the discovery practice for Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP.
Michels adds, “Unfortunately, each year there are cases that hit the headlines in which poor legal and IT cross-team communication and collaboration results in electronic discovery omissions.”
Not collaborating well
Nearly 1-in-5 respondents (19.3 percent) says their organizations’ IT and legal teams do not collaborate well.
“Sometimes the first step to improving legal and IT teams’ collaboration is simply to network within your organization,” continued Michels.
“In my experience, finance, risk and compliance teams who work with legal and IT separately can really help the two groups bridge the organizational gap between them. Teaming with other departments can be invaluable in shifting discovery efforts away from fire-fighting mode into a streamlined, repeatable process.”
CIOs and General Counsels sometimes bridge the gap
When asked whether the experience of a chief information officer (CIO) and general counsel (GC) enabled them to bridge the gap, 20.2 percent of respondents report that their company CIO and GC do not understand each other’s field.
However, 16 percent indicated they have experience in each other’s fields; 4.5 percent report their CIO has some knowledge of the law and 5.9 state their GC has some knowledge of technology.
“Industry aside, in-house legal teams commonly rely on IT leaders as expert witnesses in court or regulatory hearings to describe how electronic evidence was located, collected, preserved and analyzed,” continued Michels. “Having these teams work together now can only benefit everyone involved.”
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
The vast majority of IT leaders (86 percent) view enterprise app projects as a critical or strategic priority, but keeping them on time and budget is proving tough, according to a survey of corporate IT leaders by IDG Research for Delpix.
On average, $173 million per enterprise has been allocated specifically for application projects in 2013, which equates to 41 percent of the average $432 million IT budget of the organizations surveyed.
Yet, two thirds of respondents indicate that it’s extremely or very challenging to deliver these applications on time or on budget. In fact, for the enterprise apps currently in development, an average of 28 projects are delayed and/or over budget.
Y2k For healthcare?
“Managing so many new applications and associated data is tough in any industry, but it’s particularly difficult for healthcare with the upcoming cutover of all systems to the ICD-10 classification system,” says Rick Caccia , VP for Delphix.
“Some of our customers refer to it as ‘Y2K for healthcare,’ due to the significant work and deadline pressure involved. No one wants insurance providers to decline treatments because of inaccurate data codes. Gartner forecasts that the bulk of healthcare IT reform transition costs, some 60-70 percent, will be used for testing apps and the related data. Delphix can help.”
“Database environments are constantly getting bigger and bigger, and they’re increasingly the bottleneck,” said Tim Campos, CIO of Facebook. “If you have multiple projects going on, you have multiple copies of an environment you need to maintain. What ends up happening is you get an absolute sprawl in the database environment. Scaling that is particularly expensive for IT organizations.
“We have high expectations about how quickly new initiatives are rolled out and needed new technology to facilitate rollouts and support more projects simultaneously. With database virtualization, we get better use of hardware and our people. It can accelerate our enterprise application development projects significantly in the same time frame.”
Enterprise App Development Project Challenges
With about 41 percent of their IT budget to spend on enterprise app development projects related to business operations and analysis and an average of 46 new enterprise apps to deploy, 94 percent of IT executives survey admitted their organization finds it challenging to deliver these projects on time and on budget.
About 76 percent of IT executives note that this high difficulty of staying on time and on budget has remained largely the same or gotten worse; only 24 percent indicate that it’s become easier.
Often the difficulty lies in the earlier stages of deployment. Roughly one-half (48 percent) indicated their toughest stage is development, while another 38 percent said their toughest stage is testing.
Nearly half of IT executives believe this is because of the length of time required to test apps, the resistance they encounter from end users, and the limited skill-sets of their IT employees. Pile these on top of budget constraints and the result is 65 percent of IT executives who find deploying enterprise applications to be extremely or very challenging.
To view a full summary of the CIO survey results, please visit: http://marketing.delphix.com/IDGCIOSurvey.html