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  • A seemingly endless barrage of cyber-attacks is forcing business and IT leaders to take notice and step up protection. According to a newly released study of 221 IT directors, managers and practitioners conducted by IT management firm SolarWinds in conjunction with Penton Research, "IT Security Survey North America," preparedness and training are rapidly moving into the spotlight across a wide swath of industries. Among other things, organizations are focusing on improving detection, reducing response and remediation times after an incident, cracking down on misused and abused credentials, gaining better control of network devices and spotting policy violations. Organizations also are looking to ratchet up security training and boost the quality of the training, the report noted. Yet, "While many organizations are less vulnerable today than they were a year ago," noted Mav Turner, director of business strategy at SolarWinds, "it's important for IT professionals to never get too confident in their organization's security posture."

  • Struggling with aging IT systems, the University of California, Irvine, optimized its virtual IT infrastructure by implementing VM-aware storage devices.

     

  • When it comes to making enterprise technology purchasing decisions, Millennial buyers, rather than Boomers and Gen Xers, are most likely to have the final say, according to a recent survey from the Arketi Group. The resulting report, "Not Your Father's Buying Decision: How Three Generations of B2B Technology Buyers Decide What to Purchase," indicates that relevant responsibilities are divided among the generations. Boomers are more likely, for example, to provide input to help evaluators and decision-makers with purchases. Gen Xers most commonly assess providers on the short list, while Millennials are most likely to research candidates for inclusion on that list. As for the research and intelligence needed to make these choices? All three generations greatly depend on input from analysts and internal colleagues. They also like to have face-to-face meetings with vendors while reviewing content on their Websites, in addition to reading case studies and customer testimonials. (The research and intelligence details are also broken down by generation, with results demonstrating that Boomers make the most use of these options.) More than 260 B2B tech purchasers took part in the research.   

  • Google's powerful but easy-to-use cloud service offers little-known features for business users, who can take photos as a way to capture information quickly.

  • At home, we don't think twice about ordering car rides from Uber and, well, pretty much anything from Amazon. And we usually consider such sites and apps easy to use, with relatively fast delivery of services or products. However, the widespread consumer adoption of automated online ordering hasn't migrated to the workplace, according to a recent survey from ServiceNow. The resulting report, "Today's State of Work: The Service Experience Gap," indicates that most managers still use manual methods to order work-related services (such as IT support), even though they turn to Websites and apps to do their personal shopping. The most common manual tool of choice on the job is email, which results in time-consuming processes that interfere with productivity. "Today, online consumer services are easy to use, delivering products and services quickly and efficiently," the report states. "Most companies have a maniacal focus on the experiences of their customers, pulling out all the stops to build both satisfaction and loyalty. They realize that it is very easy for a customer to take their business elsewhere. [But] companies aren't applying those same principles to their internal-facing experiences. The workplace still relies mainly on email, first popularized in the 1990s. … In effect, workers have to leave their 21st century lives at the door when they go to work." A total of 2,400 global managers took part in the research.

  • Without robust policies and rules, along with software and IT systems to support them, a company will likely have to cope with compliance gaps and breakdowns.

  • Digital technology is rewriting business and IT rules. Success requires intrapreneurial thinking, rapid piloting, fast iteration and a different ecosystem.

  • With many employees either actively looking for new job opportunities or remaining open to such a change, potential candidates are growing increasingly savvy about researching companies before submitting an application, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. The resulting report, "How to Rethink the Candidate Experience and Make Better Hires," indicates that job seekers use more than a dozen resources during a search. They also greatly value their time, and will frequently eliminate a prospective employer from consideration if they feel the application process takes too long. When these professionals apply for a job or go on an interview, they're most interested in salary information, benefits and the reputation of the company in question, as rated by its employees. In addition, they seek an honest summary of what their day-to-day tasks would be. "Job seekers may have more of an edge in today's market, as employers grow increasingly competitive for labor," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources for CareerBuilder. "For employers, it's important to remember that the candidate experience starts from the very first click and can impact how effectively a company is able to recruit quality candidates, the popularity of its employer brand, the strength and quality of its referrals, and even its bottom line." More than 5,000 U.S. and Canadian job seekers and about 1,500 hiring managers and recruiters took part in the research. 

  • IT professionals, overwhelmed by the fast-changing environments they're asked to support, are collectively crying "Uncle!" according to survey findings from a poll of more than 1,300 tech pros conducted by Ipswitch, which makes application and network monitoring software. The report, "The Challenges of Controlling IT Complexity," found that new technologies, ineffective monitoring tools, and budget and resource gaps are leaving IT teams unable to effectively manage their domains. "IT is the primary way that businesses engage with customers, employees and partners, but IT complexity has become the number-one obstacle in IT teams' line of work, and the problem is being exacerbated by the lack of budget and resources," said Joe Krivickas, CEO of Ipswitch. "It's clear that IT teams are concerned about losing control of their company's IT environment in the face of new technologies, devices and requirements being added on a regular basis." A big part of the problem is the reliance on too many monitoring tools, which increases complexity and makes getting reliable information a challenge. Along those lines, many respondents reported that they're actively looking to replace their assortments of tools with a single, flexible solution.

  • BY mixing Sesame Workshop's expertise in children's content with Watson's cognitive computing tech, the firms will create personalized learning tools for kids.

  • There's no disagreement that mobile technology helps workers and their employers achieve enormous gains in productivity. However, as organizations migrate to mobile devices and practices, the need for robust security grows. What's more, mobile devices and apps represent very different cyber-security risks and dangers. A recent report from mobile data security and management firm Wandera, "Assessing the Security of 10 Top Enterprise Apps," sheds some light on the security risks related to the most widely adopted enterprise apps. The firm's SmartWire Labs team performed a comprehensive security assessment of the most popular business apps used on corporate devices for its enterprise customers across North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. Here are some of the key findings: Virtually all of the most widely adopted mobile apps display vulnerabilities and weaknesses, including in critical areas such as data storage security and data transport security. In addition, virtually all lack anti-jailbreak protection, and most are missing other key security features.

  • Weta Digital embraces a storage strategy that helps create Hollywood blockbusters, while increasing its total storage capacity by a factor of about five times.

  • An insatiable need for access to data and digital technologies is causing organizations to expand their network capacity to staggeringly high levels, according to a recent survey from Viavi Solutions. The resulting "Ninth Annual State of the Network Global Study" indicates that most companies will soon be running the majority of their apps in the cloud, seeking to lower expenses while provisioning network resources more effectively. In addition, most enterprises are deploying some form of software-defined networking (SDN). At the same time, they're investing in state-of-the art unified communications (UC) tools, including VoIP and Web collaboration apps—all of which are contributing to a need for more bandwidth. "Data networks of all types around the globe are being strained by an explosion of traffic, from bandwidth-hungry video today to the Internet of things tomorrow," said Oleg Khaykin, president and CEO at Viavi Solutions. "IT teams are responding by moving faster to implement emerging technologies, giving them the cost-effective scalability and flexibility they need. Of course there will be ensuing challenges, from the unique installation and maintenance requirements of 100 GbE to the loss of performance-monitoring capabilities for networks spread across physical, virtual and cloud segments." More than 740 global CIOs, IT directors, network engineers and other technology executives took part in the research.

  • Three roadblocks can delay big data adoption in health care organizations. Often, the problems lie with leadership, costs and the lack of specialized skill sets.

  • While most C-level executives are confident that their company will outperform its competitors over the next 12 months, many admit that an unwillingness to take risks may result in a marketplace liability, according to a recent survey from Deloitte Consulting. The resulting report, "Deloitte Business Confidence Report 2016: The Bold Organization—Innovate, Lead, Attract," breaks down success drivers into three key areas: innovation, talent and leadership. With regard to the last driver, nearly all survey respondents indicate that bold leadership is essential to deliver breakthrough performances, but most executives said that isn't happening on a regular basis in their company. They also said their organization doesn't offer compensation and promotions to those who take calculated risks. "Being a bold leader is about having the confidence to make decisions that disrupt and therefore transform your business, preparing it for the future," said Janet Foutty, CEO and chairman of Deloitte Consulting. "It's also about taking an integrated approach to decision making. A more united and collaborative approach to change would create greater coherence across the organization. These bold leadership perspectives are not easy to adopt, but without a 360-degree approach, innovation and transformation progress will remain stuck in neutral." An estimated 300 U.S. C-level execs took part in the research.