More governments are exploring cloud services as a means to increase their operational efficiency, responsiveness and to slash expenses.
Extensive regulatory restrictions call into question just how ‘cloud’ (and therefore effective) implementations can be in achieving their objectives.
The public sector is not usually known for being on the leading edge of the adoption curve for new information technology. But governments around the world have been very vocal in their enthusiasm about the flexibility and cost benefits that the on-demand computing model promises. The U.S. federal government is actually writing cloud adoption into policy with its Cloud First initiative, which stipulates agencies procuring new IT sourcing solutions must choose a cloud option when a stable, secure and cost-effective offer is available. The UK is experimenting with similar mandates, and has solicited bids for suppliers to join its G-Cloud network of suppliers offering on-demand services. Continue reading “The Public Sector is Jumping on the Cloud Bandwagon”→
New security challenges must be weighed against giving customers a more personalized experience.
After six years of debate, ICANN, the Internet global domain name manager, has thrown open the gates and set the price bar ($185,000) for any legal entity to acquire its own generic top-level domain name (gTLD). Examples include company brands and geographic locations below the country level (typically city names). These also include suffixes using non-Latin and non-ASCII characters, specific product category names and general activity terms such as sports or .music. This can become a real cash cow for the non-profit ICANN, which expects to receive between 1,000 and 1,500 applications: about two-thirds for ‘dot-brand’ gTLDs such as Hitachi (.hitachi), Canon (.canon) and Deloitte (.deloitte), and 10% from .dot cities such as London, New York and Las Vegas. However, the TLD universe has been expanding for some time now. In 2009, ICANN launched IDN (internationalized domain name) TLDs with non-Latin alphabets (the first being a group of Arabic names for the countries of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates). Continue reading “ICANN Launches Generic .dot Addresses for Any Legal Entity”→
The fast-approaching conjunction of social analytics, the YouTube generation, and pervasive mobility will radically alter the workplace as employees begin broadcasting the telemetry of the workday.
Companies that head down this road must prepare now for the inevitable ethical, legal, and even technical conundrums that will follow such ubiquitous and pervasive exposure.
When I go out for a bike ride, I never go alone. That is, anyone who has befriended me on MapMyRIDE can follow my progress in real-time, noting some very specific telemetry data generated by my iPhone and the MapMyRIDE app, including my altitude, speed, direction, and exact location. Later, my friends and I can review a given ride, analyzing my performance (like average speed over distance) or just going along for a virtual fly-along ride. With bespoke devices, the gobandit GPS-HD, for instance, I could take this to an entirely new level, recording and later broadcasting my daily sojourns using the same telemetry data tied to a high-definition video feed. Soon, corporate employees will begin broadcasting their daily work routines in much the same way. Continue reading “The Workday Will Be Televised”→
Business IT support of consumer-side computing and communications long predates talk of ‘consumerization.’
Consumerization’ drives complexity;IT departments will spend more to manage it all.
When people talk about the ‘consumerization of IT,’ the concept that technology starts in the consumer market and then spreads into the business, often what they really mean is: “Why doesn’t my company support my iDevice?” Consumerization is an effective shorthand term, but it does not reflect reality; the trend was around long before the term was coined, and technology-wise, there is not much new. Continue reading “The Anti-Consumerization of IT”→
Social media as a potential source of strategic information in the contact center has been a serious consideration for the past two years as social media Web sites have become a channel for individuals venting and/or boasting regarding their customer service and business interactions.
Many businesses have jumped to quick conclusions regarding the value of social media and what should be done with its information relative to other data currently available to agents. It is becoming apparent that more thought, time and effort is required before the marketplace settles on strategies that will optimize this potentially valuable flow of information.
Over the last decade many call centers have made the transition from a single channel, voice-only solution to multichannel contact centers. In addition to customer self-service channel access, which includes Web browser and interactive voice response (IVR) interfaces, end users now expect to have additional agent-assisted channels such as e-mail, fax and chat accessible to handle their corporate interactions available at their discretion. Over the past two years yet another very tempting channel of access has become available to customers seeking to get their customer service issues resolved – social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others. Some contact center managers have been investigating social media data as the nirvana of customer care solutions. And many contact center vendors, including Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco, Interactive Intelligence and Siemens now incorporate interfaces to popular social media sites into their contact center application functionality. This enables corporations to monitor social media site feeds for both negative and positive mentions of their company by customers and prospects and actually put relevant social media interactions into to contact center queues along with voice calls, chats and e-mails for agent consideration, handling and resolution. Continue reading “Is Your Contact Center Ready to Jump on the Social Media Bandwagon?”→
Experience-level agreements offering guarantees beyond connectivity are an aspirational concept.
But competitive market drivers are pushing service providers in this direction, which is encouraging.
One of the 2012 IT market predictions I discussed during the Current Analysis webinar in December related to so-called experience-level agreements. As I noted during the session, predictions sometimes are not really predictions at all, rather, they are expectations or hopes. The development of experience-level agreements certainly falls in the latter category, for the desire of service providers to gain differentiation by changing the game in relation to their commitment to customers is truly aspirational at this point. Continue reading “Time to Take Experience to Another Level”→
Let’s try to avoid a security strategy that relies on a placebo effect.
Assuming the worst is a good way to start the new year.
The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article this week called “Why placebos work wonders.” It seems there is much more to the “placebo effect” than simply tricking someone into thinking they are getting a “real” drug. Research has shown that it doesn’t seem to matter whether patients know they are getting “real” treatment or a sugar pill. The body can benefit. I used to think about the placebo effect when I would take my very old dog in for acupuncture treatments. I assume that if they worked for him (and they did) then there must be more to acupuncture than just a placebo effect. Dogs need “real” treatments, while humans can benefit from both “real” and “fake” treatments. Some of the check box security products that enterprises spend their money on seem like fake treatments. This might be ok, if computers and networks were more like humans and less like dogs. Continue reading “Placebos, Dogs, Burglars and Security”→
Mobility will continue to be a huge priority for enterprises in 2012, with BYOD, mobile apps, mobile security, and tablet adoption as major themes.
How is the supplier ecosystem responding to the needs of business customers, and what will we see from them in 2012?
2011 was a busy year for enterprise mobility, as it was the year of the tablet (or at least the iPad) explosion; BYOD support became a priority (even beyond the U.S.); there was a surge in the development of mobile applications; mobile security finally gained precedence; the availability of LTE in the U.S. became widespread enough to matter; M2M deployments grew in the automotive, utility, and health care verticals – we could go on and on. Suffice it to say that while enterprises are becoming increasingly dependent on mobile devices and applications, the supplier ecosystem (wireless operators, IT service providers, handset/tablet vendors, mobile application developers, enterprise infrastructure equipment vendors, and platform providers for TEM, MDM, mobile security, and mobile application enablement) has stepped up initiatives to generate revenues by satisfying the enterprise’s hunger for mobile solutions. So, what were some of the key service launches in 2011 among these vendors and service providers, and what do we see as their priorities for 2012? Continue reading “Enterprise Mobility 2012: What Can Businesses Expect in the New Year?”→
Mobility will continue to drive enterprise network spend aggressively in the campus.
Data center fabrics will further coalesce, and interoperability between carrier and private networks will improve (performance and simplicity).
Last year saw a number of new initiatives and exciting developments drive the network industry forward. WLAN growth was enormous, due to both the proliferation of wireless-enabled devices being brought into the enterprise and the sheer economics of not having to re-cable a plant or campus for increased productivity. This year will only see this investment increase, and the WLAN sector will benefit for it. Look for Aruba, Cisco, HP, Motorola, and more to articulate and differentiate based on their existing market share and technology breadth. As device proliferation accelerates and more enterprise applications become tablet-friendly, enterprises will begin to establish processes and some will even go so far as to provide company-sponsored tablets which they can control and administer directly. Whoever purchases the tablet is secondary to the additional increase in WLAN traffic that will come with these devices. If your architecture is more than two or three years old, it is time to evaluate and plan for traffic contingencies to ensure that productivity applications will have sufficient bandwidth to perform well. Those applications will include VDI, mobile video conferencing, and new and creative use cases for bi-directional multimedia (multi-site classrooms, multi-site faculty participation, etc.). Continue reading “If You Thought 2011 Was Exciting for Networks, Wait Until You Get a Load of 2012”→
Enterprise adoption of now-generation collaboration tools has been slower than expected
This could change in 2012 – if suppliers get the solutions right
The calendar made its ritual shift from one year to the next over the weekend – just another day, to be sure, but one that no doubt triggered a flurry of Facebook updates and a torrent of Twitter tweets with even casual users joining the devotees in contemporary online social revelry. Texting is so last century. And as for “Happy New Year” phone calls? Well, I did ring my octogenarian parents, and didn’t even use video. Continue reading “Productive Collaboration a Target for 2012”→