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Future of Digital, Cloud Hardware+

TelePacific Talks | December 2013

Up To Date | Nov/Dec 2013
Nov/Dec 2013

The Future of Digital

Business Insider recently released its report called "The Future of Digital 2013," which illustrates how trends in commerce, media, entertainment and communication are dramatically changing business. Among the more interesting points:

• The most important trend is multiple devices and screens, and
  how screen fragmentation is impacting consumer action

• Retailers are seeing huge mobile audience gains

• Mobile is now 20% of e-commerce traffic and 11% of sales

• The next big thing is wearable computing (smartwatches and
  fitness bands)

• The Internet of Things or connected devices will grow 31% CAGR
  through 2020

If you're interested in the digital future and how it will present big challenges and opportunities, Business Insider CEO Harry Blodget's slide deck presentation provides a comprehensive picture.

Less Hardware, Less Stress

IT pros are finding that cloud-based IT apps can make their jobs a lot easier and less stressful, according to a survey by Spiceworks, and they are getting on the cloud bandwagon right along with their users, say Spiceworks researchers. Despite initial concerns that IT departments would view the cloud as a threat to their job security, the cloud is being embraced by IT for several reasons, but particularly because cloud-based tools free IT from the burden of babysitting hardware and software night and day, show Spiceworks' findings.

Up to this point, IT professionals' use of the cloud centers on three primary services:

Online backup is used by more than 30 percent of Spiceworks members, with another 13 percent planning to move to the cloud backup in the next six months. Among those, a third is backing up 1 TB or more of data to the cloud. Close to three-fourths of them are backing up 100 GB or more.

Cloud security is currently being used by 60 percent of IT pros with 5 percent planning to adopt in the next six months. Within cloud-based security, more specifically, the most-used solution is anti-spam, currently employed by 41 percent of IT departments, followed by content filtering (27%), anti-virus (22%) and firewall (11%).

Web hosting is among the most mature applications in the relatively youthful cloud market. Some 70 percent currently employ it instead of web hosting themselves.

The reasons behind this rather aggressive uptake of cloud-based IT apps vary slightly depending on the service. When it comes to online backup, the top reason IT pros use it is for the protection it provides against local disasters. When it comes to both Web hosting and security, however, IT pros overwhelming cite how these services free them from the burden of maintaining hardware and software and simplify management of the services. Even among online backup, the second and third most popular benefits are "no offsite tape hassles" and "ease of use."

Aberdeen: Sales Orgs Increasingly Turn to ESC Tools

Few lines of business understand better than sales the old axiom that "time is money" as even small delays in closing a deal can extend the sales cycle and impact compensation and quota attainment. In turn, sales organizations, even if somewhat reluctantly, increasingly are turning to enterprise social collaboration (ESC) tools, suggest Aberdeen Group studies, that effectively speed up the sales process by cutting across organizational silos to connect employees, partners and prospects with appropriate subject matter experts and applicable content.

"The most successful leaders of sales teams and sales operations functions are more aggressively investing in device, applications, security and network infrastructure to support their sellers than are under-performing firms," writes Peter Ostrow, Aberdeen vice president and research director, in his November 2013 report on ESC and sales.

Much of this is being driven by the rapid decline of the traditional 9-to-5 office location for knowledge workers. Indeed, the number one pressure motivating investment in ESC among companies is the fact that teams are "too geographically dispersed for meetings and discussions," named by 42 percent of respondents. Read more

PaaS Market to Reach $14 Billion in 2017

As enterprises look to lower infrastructure costs through outsourcing, International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts the worldwide public platform-as-a-service (PaaS) market will grow from $3.8 billion last year to more than $14 billion in 2017. The opportunities for monetizing public PaaS functionality are high in light of the advances being made in social, mobile and real-time contextual activities, the firm reports.

Industry-specific market drivers, primarily for healthcare reform in the U.S., fiscal reform in governments outside the U.S., and worldwide financial services reform, also will accelerate PaaS adoption. Indeed, the overall compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for PaaS from 2013 to 2017 will be approximately 30 percent, compared to 4 percent this year for IT spending overall, according to IDC.

Additionally, IDC research indicates that by 2017, public PaaS will account for more than 10 percent of overall application development and deployment revenue.

Privilege Gone Wild

According to a CompTIA survey, while most respondents still consider viruses and malware the top security threat, 53 percent attributed their data breaches to human error, offering another dimension to the rising concern about insider threats. It should serve as a wake-up call to many organizations that inadvertent or malicious insider activity can create a security risk.

Still, recent data from BeyondTrust suggest that in many companies, data access controls are lacking and easily circumvented. Some figures based on the responses of 265 IT decision makers across a variety of industries:

• 80% of respondents believe that it's at least somewhat likely that
  employees access sensitive or confidential data out of curiosity

• 28% admitted to retrieving information not relevant to their job
  like financial reports, salary information, HR and personnel docs

• 65% of organizations have controls to monitor privileged access,
  yet 54% say they have the ability to circumvent these controls

• 44% of employees have access rights that are not necessary to
  their current role

• 45% allow sensitive data to be stored on employee workstations
  and laptops

• Over 75% say the risk to their organization caused by the insecurity
  of privileged users will increase over the next few years.

If you are interested in learning more about protecting data from the inside out, this review of best practices is a good place to start.


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