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  • Analytics combines data and data sources in new ways to help firms understand relationships that can determine whether they soar or stumble into the digital age.

  • During the recent recession, many technology professionals sought numerous job interviews out of desperation, due to a recent layoff. Today, an improving economy is reversing the situation, and many employed IT workers are landing multiple interviews based on a strong demand for their in-demand skills. Many of these pros are asking for a number of quality-of-life and work-life benefits from their next employer, including competitive compensation, telecommuting options and opportunities to work on exciting projects, according to a recent survey from CultureFit Technology Staffing. Highly qualified candidates are in a good position because many corporate executives admit that they have vacancies they're struggling to fill with qualified prospects. As an added bonus, we're including data from CultureFit about rising median incomes for three particular tech specialties—with software architects coming out on top. More than 300 IT professionals took part in the research. Additional research was compiled and provided by CultureFit based on a previously released Harris poll sponsored by CareerBuilder in which 240 IT hiring companies took part.

  • There are many ways for information technology initiatives to go wrong—and they do so all the time. In fact, approximately one-half of businesses will have an IT project fail within a year, according to research. In summarizing the most common reasons for these failures, AtTask has come out with a free-to-download e-book titled "10 Problems Preventing Your IT Team From Doing (Its) Best Work and How to Solve Them." A number of evolving dynamics are contributing to the issues, including mobilization, globalization, stakeholder demands, limited resources and team focus—not to mention badly run meetings. These problems lead to disjointed project approaches and frazzled, stressed-out workers. Inevitably, the unfortunate outcomes include missed deadlines, budget overruns and unmet expectations. To further illustrate the various situations that can result in failed projects—which are inevitably either technology or people issues, or a combination of the two—we're highlighting all 10 cited problems here. AtTask is a cloud-based enterprise work-management solution company.

  • More than ever, IT professionals are helping their organizations increase agility. For example, they are deploying advanced technology tools to better anticipate business changes and overhaul outdated processes. Beyond that, agile companies are embracing diverse backgrounds and skill sets, while giving their employees and teams the resources and freedom needed to make quick, informed decisions. To determine what separates agile frontrunners from followers, Accenture conducted a comprehensive survey of global senior executives. The resulting report, "Traits of Truly Agile Businesses," covers the deployment of analytics, social media, data sharing and other tech-related functions, in addition to specifics on organizational shifts. It also divides companies into the categories of "leaders" and "laggards." Leaders are defined as organizations that increased sales more than 10 percent in the last fiscal year, while laggards are experiencing sales declines. "Leaders stand apart from other companies on nearly every dimension of agility," according to the report, "from speeding up decision making, to knowing what is strategic and what is operational, to aggressively investing in and using analytics to run their organizations." An estimated 1,300 global C-suite and senior-level executives took part in the research.

  • It seems that far too many information workers still don't fully understand the importance of keeping their log-in details confidential. In a recent study of 2,000 white-collar employees in the United States and the United Kingdom, security software vendor IS Decisions found that alarming numbers of workers don't believe their log-in details represent a security threat. What's worse, an even greater percentage of managers feel the same way. IS Decisions' report, "From Brutus to Snowden: A Study of Insider Threat Personas," also found that age is a significant determining factor, with younger workers being much more likely to share log-ins and passwords than their older colleagues. The findings serve as a reminder to IT security teams that understanding the behavior of their own users should be one of their most important jobs. "The recurrent theme is lack of education," said IS Decisions CEO François Amigorena. "This highlights the need for a tailored approach to tackling internal security that addresses everyone in an organization, from top to bottom." The company recommends some steps for dealing with this challenge, including making employees more familiar with security policies, restricting concurrent access and instituting harsher punishments for offenders. There's also one tongue-in-cheek piece of advice: Passwords are like underwear. They should be changed often, not shared with friends, kept as mysterious as possible and not left lying around.

  • Data visualization technologies communicate large amounts of data in ways that are easier for business groups to understand, so insights can be quickly gained.

  • Organizations are increasingly moving toward hybrid cloud integration models, according to a recent survey from Technology Business Research (TBR). As a result, the hybrid cloud represents a potential $7 billion hybrid integration market this year, as IT environments are expected to move toward becoming fully hybridized, the findings state. However, the market is still far from mature, with only a minority of large enterprises currently investing in the integration required to create hybrid clouds. Clearly, the trend creates opportunities for IT professionals who can help organizations move forward with hybrid cloud strategies. "A hybrid IT environment is the end-game for cloud, with the hybrid cloud as a first step," stated one of the reports in the series, "Hybrid Cloud Customer Research." "For enterprises, hybrid cloud will increasingly become the goal, leading to purchases across the cloud services landscape and moving integration into a lynchpin role." TBR defines the hybrid cloud as a cloud infrastructure, platform or application that is composed of two or more clouds (whether private or public) that remain unique but are integrated by technologies that enable data and application movement. The research is being published in a three-part series of reports from TBR, with each report based on a survey involving 2,200 global IT purchase decision-makers.

  • Agile development is about loosening controls, operating in a more iterative way, and constantly adapting, adjusting and pivoting based on changes in the market.

  • Demand for enterprise software is soaring, according to the latest research from Gartner. The worldwide IT spending growth forecast remains reasonably healthy at 2.1 percent ($3.7 trillion) for the year, findings reveal. That's down from prior projections of 3.2 percent. A reduction in growth expectations for devices, data center systems and IT services is accounting for the slight decline. In contrast, spending in the enterprise software market is on pace to total $321 billion this year, a 6.9 percent increase from 2013.  "Price pressure based on increased competition, lack of product differentiation and the increased availability of viable alternative solutions has had a dampening effect on the short-term IT spending outlook," says Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner. "However, [we] will see a return to 'normal' spending growth levels as pricing and purchasing styles reach a new equilibrium. IT is entering its third phase of development, moving from a focus on technology and processes in the past to a focus in the future on new business models enabled by digitalization." The forecast is based on an analysis of sales of thousands of vendors representing the entire range of IT products and services.

  • Both employees and senior managers feel strongly that IT departments must help them increase existing mobile technology capabilities, according to a recent survey from Aruba Networks. Providing support and resources for an all-wireless workplace remains at the top of the must-have list for organizations, as today's professionals frequently work somewhere other than the corporate office. Much of the survey focuses on the needs of what Aruba calls "GenMobile": employees in their mid-20s to mid-30s who seek a more agile, creative and connected working environment. Executives and GenMobile employees "prefer an increasingly mobile style of working, and IT organizations are feeling the pressure to adapt existing technology investments to meet their requirements," says Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer for Aruba Networks. "The workplace of the future will not only need to be right-sized to align with IT budgets, but it will also require a mobility-centric and secure wireless infrastructure—a move toward employee self-service." An estimated 1,000 global IT professionals took part in the research.

  • With numerous studies indicating that IT hiring is on the rise, it's more critical than ever for companies to get better at finding the best candidates for their job openings. Unfortunately, recent survey data accumulated by the ADP Research Institute indicates a growing chasm between job seekers and the companies recruiting them. Despite the abundance of recruiting solutions and social media platforms available to bring employers and applicants together, neither side appears to be pleased with the resulting processes—but for completely different reasons. For instance, job seekers are frustrated with how long the hiring process takes, while employers say their recruitment systems are letting them down. The bottom line, ADP contends, is that it's up to employers to create a positive experience for job seekers. "Employers need to understand that their recruiting methodologies contribute to their brand perception," said Tony Marzulli, ADP's vice president of product management for talent solutions. "Even in tight job markets, candidates are going to select those employers whose brands align most with the experiences they have come to expect as good online consumers." In other words, companies need to think of job applicants as customers and treat them accordingly. A whitepaper detailing ADP's findings, which were culled from two surveys of more than 3,000 workers in midsize and large U.S. companies, can be downloaded here.

  • One of the nation's leading financial institutions turns to a DevOps approach to speed development and improve results, enabling it to run IT as a business.

  • These practical suggestions will prepare your organization to respond quickly and effectively to what experts consider nearly inevitable: a data breach.

  • You don't have to be the smartest person in the room to become an effective team leader. But you do need to know how to bring out the best in all the individuals on your team, so the resulting "whole" brings greater value to your organization than its individual parts. The recent book, Innovation Breakdown (Post Hill Press, available now), provides insights into how to best align a team of hotshots with disparate skill sets. It's all about striking the right balance, according to author Joseph Gulfo. You have to recognize when it's time to lead and when you should allow team members to take charge. To provide further guidance, we've adapted these 10 best practices from Gulfo's book, which covers everything from dress codes to work schedules, strategic input, personal accountability and problem resolution. Gulfo is a medical doctor, and his book focuses on the conflict between health industry innovation and regulatory constraints, but the following takeaways are readily applicable to all teams. Gulfo is currently CEO of Breakthrough Medical Innovations, which specializes in health care product and commercial development.

  • The majority of worldwide organizations today are either deploying or plan to deploy platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technologies, according to a recent survey from Progress, an app development and data integration software company. These organizations are finding that PaaS is increasing productivity and innovation capabilities, while saving costs. In addition, integration turnover time is being greatly reduced. All of this supports the trend of departments—including those outside the IT organization—adopting what's called a "develop your own application" (DYOA). "It's never been easier to develop an application that can allow your business, a department or even a specific individual to be more productive, regardless of your coding skills," says Matt Robinson, vice president, of technology at Progress. "However … there's still a huge appetite to be able to improve these cycles by making them quicker and better. The benefits of using a rapid application development PaaS to improve speed and productivity should not be lost in the excitement of the DYOA age." Approximately 700 global IT decision-makers took part in the research.