The Never-Ending Cat and Mouse Game

Paula Musich

Paula Musich

Summary Bullets:

  • Two legs of the security stool’s people, process and technology equation are routinely underserved.
  • Progress toward more relevant and actionable threat intelligence sharing is inching forward.

Cyber thieves continue to improve their game, bringing great creativity, technical skills, good organization, communication and financial backing to their illicit endeavors.  In a fine example of life imitating art, an Ocean’s 12-style gang robbed the UK’s Barclays bank last April, blending a creative mix of system compromise with social engineering in the flesh and technical skills to make off with about $2 million.  As reported in CSO Magazine, the gang sent one of its members into a Barclay’s branch, posing as an IT guy to fix a computer problem.  While there, he installed a KVM switch linked to a router, which in turn was attached to a computer at the branch.  The installation allowed the gang to transfer money from the bank to other accounts under their control.  When they tried a similar heist at another London bank not six months later, they were caught. Read more of this post

Mobility Will Shape the Contact Center of the Future

Ken Landoline

Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • Technological developments are making customer service for mobile customers simple, convenient and very effective across many vertical markets and for a select group of special, high-net-value clients.
  • Thanks to a cloud-based infrastructure, delivery systems and sophisticated contact center applications these mobile systems and customer service applications are coming from new and very agile sources and spreading quickly.

In previous blogs I speculated about how mobility was affecting the contact center in terms of the end user customer, the agent and the contact center supervisor. Admittedly, I was simply projecting out a few years and commenting on how current technology was changing basic factors such as where the agent worked, the channel from which the customer entered customer support, and how the supervisor could monitor his/her center. Recent conversations with contact center application developers and people who manage centers have caused me to extend my vision further into the future. Read more of this post

The Big Data Challenge: Should You Sell It, or Use It?

Joel Stradling

Joel Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • Services companies need to turn to experts in data warehousing, mining and analytics to seek consultations on how big data can be manipulated.
  • Service providers have fantastic opportunities to both sell big data, for example to advertisers, as well as to use it for strengthening business relations with customer-centric solutions.

There are many questions surrounding the big data phenomenon, such as can services companies (e.g., telcos) sell it and/or use it for their own purposes? The challenges include how to configure already complex billing and IT architectures to capture the information and make sense of it, as well as navigating local regulations. There are several professional software and IT integration companies, such as Amdocs and Accenture that are all vying for business from telecom operators, and other industries, to help capitalize on the big data gold mine. Read more of this post

The Four Cs of Effective Collaboration

Tim Banting

Tim Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise social collaboration, when correctly implemented, reduces decision making time and building upon the collective wisdom of communities
  • Technology is but part of an enterprise social collaboration strategy- there are other barriers to adoption that need to be overcome

Modern organizations understand they need to react to a rapidly changing business environment quickly. The need to address customer demands, react to competitive threats, and improve profitability, is largely dependent on the way employees interact and engage, collaborate and communicate – not only with each other, but also with business partners and customers. Read more of this post

Mobile Security Solutions Moving from Threat Assessment to Managed Services

John Marcus

John Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • Most mobile security services for the enterprise still focus on advisory and integration, stopping short of fully managed services.
  • This should change soon, as managed solutions increasingly hit the market, but managed mobile security will be baked into more comprehensive mobile device management (MDM) solutions rather than packaged as a standalone offering.

In yesterday’s IT Connection blog post on IT service providers and mobility, Kitty Weldon wrote about how 2013 has seen noticeable activity – rather than just talk – when it comes to key players delivering mobile-centric services to the enterprise.  “ITSPs are gaining an increasing share of mobility-oriented enterprise business, especially in areas such as mobile strategy and mobile application development and enablement (which is to be expected), but also for mobile device management and mobile security.”  The security piece is especially intriguing, as a number of professional and managed services focused on the intersection of MDM and security have been rolled out (or at least announced) in the last couple months, and the impression given by service providers is that they cannot get their solutions out fast enough to answer enterprise demand for external knowledge, advice and operational assistance in the wake of the flood of devices overrunning their IT landscapes. Read more of this post

IT Service Provider Mobility Heats Up

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • While IT service providers always claim to be doing a lot in mobility, this year they really are:  Many have reorganized/repositioned or added a mobility overlay to consolidate all the different internal organizations and services offering mobile solutions.  Others have added new partners and services or reconfigured their portfolios.
  • While the large global IT SPs still target the Fortune 500, they see mobility as a wedge; they can take on smaller projects within large companies because they can upsell and cross-sell related consulting, advisory application development and integration projects, or get business from the prospect in other related transformational areas such as cloud/virtualization, UCC and social/data analytics/B2C.  Does this make them a bigger threat to operators and pure-play managed mobility services providers than they were before?

Historically, whenever Current Analysis has talked to the large IT service providers (ITSPs) about mobility, they have claimed it is a really significant area and noted that they are providing mobility solutions throughout their vertical industry practices, their application development groups and their managed services organizations.  However, each year, both the ITSPs and the operators claim they do not really consider each other competitors and, in fact, play well together for joint engagements.  We recently completed a round of briefings from companies including IBM, HP, Accenture and T-Systems, and the sets of mobility services these providers offer appear to be positioned more as standardized services and less as simply a small (but growing) component of much larger BPO engagements.  These solutions also seem to be similar to the operators’ portfolios. Read more of this post

The Fragmented World of SDN

Mike Fratto

Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • Do not expect anything claiming to be SDN to interoperate with other products.  Make your vendor or VAR prove it.
  • Each technology or product decision you make limits all the rest of the decisions you can subsequently make.  Keep the dependencies in mind at all times.

Software-defined networking (SDN) will not make multi-vendor networking any easier.  In fact, SDN will make multi-vendor networking more difficult, if not impossible to achieve.  SDN is fragmenting along many dimensions such as overall architectures, protocol usage and orchestration integration.  The result for vendors making network products such as firewalls, application delivery controllers, intrusion prevention systems, application performance monitoring and basic troubleshooting is that they have to expend development resources integrating with all of these protocols and products instead of adding new features or bringing new products to market. Read more of this post

Big Data and Predictive Analytics Need More People, Not More Data

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Machine learning, data mining, and advanced analytics coupled with big data seems poised to reshape the way we make business decisions, automating them and making them more effective.
  • However, if our early work with stocks, recruitment and credit scoring are any indications, our algorithmic innovations need human oversight now more than ever.

My Google Nexus tablet knows when I should leave the house in order to keep my daily routine humming along smoothly. Using historical geolocation data, search results and email trafficit knows, for instance, where I like to dine and how long it will take me to get there at the prescribed hour on the customary day of the week. Read more of this post

Mobile Developers Look to Advanced Cloud Services to Solve Their Greatest Challenges

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Most enterprises prefer PaaS offerings which include a mobile app platform component.
  • Enterprises look to SIs as well as PaaS and MBaaS offerings to solve their backend integration challenges.

New research from Current Analysis, which polled 735 global enterprise respondents, proves that mobile app developers are demanding sophisticated new cloud services for solving their greatest integration challenges.  The majority of respondents said having a combo hybrid/cloud configuration option was very to somewhat important (64%), with another 19% acknowledging this will be an important factor in the future.  Enterprises are looking for a mix of on-premises, cloud and hybrid configurations in their development process. Read more of this post

What to Do About Android in the Enterprise

Paula Musich

Paula Musich

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises are right to hold back on an endorsement of Android devices as part of their BYOD programs, but that may not stop employees from trying to go around policies that prohibit their use within the enterprise.
  • IT shops that are developing or managing BYOD programs for their employers should evaluate the level of security that Samsung has built into its Knox containerization technology and, if they find that it is adequate, push their MDM/MAM suppliers and mobile application developers to support it.

As enterprises struggle to get their arms around the BYOD phenomenon, one of the stumbling blocks in creating policies for sanctioning the use of employee-owned devices to access enterprise applications and data is IT’s reluctance to embrace Android smartphones and tablets.  While consumers are voting with their dollars more and more for Android devices (thanks to their cool factor), enterprise IT would much rather embrace Apple’s iPhones if it is to allow and support employee-owned device use.  At the AirWatch Connect users conference in Atlanta this week, that preference was made abundantly clear by several customers.  Read more of this post