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Microsoft Azure Sphere chip for end-to-end IoT security from the Cloud to Network Edge

“MediaTek is a good partner [for Microsoft] to have for its Azure Sphere secure IoT chip,” said Laura DiDio, principal analyst with ITIC. “They will provide a Wi-Fi controller, the processor will run Microsoft’s Linux-based IoT OS and you’ve now got a highly secure, connected device at a decent price point.”

Channel Futures, April 17, 2018

Microsoft Reorganization:

“Microsoft has actually been moving away from Windows and more towards the cloud, analytics and AI for the past ten years,” explained Laura DiDio, an analyst at ITIC. “This did not happen overnight.” DiDio pointed out that Nadella has made major changes quickly during his tenure. “That’s the way you have to move,” to stay relevant, she said. “You’ve got to be agile to stay ahead of the game.”

The changes don’t mean that Microsoft is totally giving up on Windows, DiDio said. But they do mean that Nadella is focusing the company’s energies around stronger assets.

“They’re de-emphasizing Windows,” she said, in order to become a stronger “player in cloud and artificial intelligence, because that’s where the money is.”

CNN Money, March 29, 2018

Failure to deliver reliability and uptime:

“Time is money,” DiDio says. “Systems, networks and connectivity devices are subject to failure. If the downtime persists for any significant length of time, it can be expensive in terms of monetary losses. It can disrupt operations, decrease worker productivity and negatively impact the organization’s business partners, customers and suppliers.

“A security outage of any significant duration can also be a PR nightmare and damage the company’s reputation, causing lost business,” DiDio says. “Reliability and uptime go hand in hand with a comprehensive, detailed backup and disaster recovery plan that also includes an internal operational level agreement that designates a chain of command in the event of any type of service disruption.”

Every organization should have a disaster recovery plan that includes an itemized list of who to contact at vendor organizations, cloud and third-party service providers, DiDio says. “The CISO should also know what the company’s contracts stipulate as the response time from vendors, cloud, and third-party service providers to respond to and thwart security incidents and track down the hackers,” she says.

CSO Online, November 21, 2017

Cal State University and Hartnell College Launching Cohort Program:

“Since 2013, the two institutions have promoted this program as a way to attract minorities, women and students who are the first in their families to attend college to Computer Science and STEM subjects. The Cohort program nurtures these students by having them take their CS classes as a group.” DiDio says. It also helps them adjust more quickly to college life by providing them with group study and life skills classes to help them stick with CS as a major and graduate.

“So far, so good. A 75% majority of students enrolled in the CSUMB/Hartnell CS Cohort program graduate. This is well above the national average of about 30%,” DiDio notes.

ITIC Corp, November 17, 2017

Burger King Ad Creates Whopper of a Mess:

“In the Internet of Things environment, where you can have “an ecosystem or ecosystems of ecosystems interconnected, the attack vector universe is potentially limitless,” noted Laura DiDio, research director for IoT at 451 Research.

The risks are “everywhere, and what you can do is mitigate risk to an acceptable level,” she told the E-Commerce Times — but that requires vendors to make secure products.

E-Commerce Times, April 13, 2017

United Airlines Customer Service Snafus:

United’s behavior was “cavalier and callous,” said Laura DiDio, research director for IoT at 451 Research.

“The deck is stacked against passengers these days,” she told CRM Buyer.

However, this situation “is a PR nightmare for United Airlines,” DiDio added, “and it’s not going away.”

CRMBuyer, April 11, 2017

Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is a Virtual Data Center and a Big (Apple) Mac on my office desktop

The latest independent joint ITIC/Sunbelt Software survey found that demand and deployment for several technology sectors – most notably server and application virtualization – will remain robust in direct contrast to the bearish global economic climate.

ITIC and Sunbelt, polled C-level executives and network administrators at over 700 corporations worldwide on a variety of technology and business related topics. The Web-based survey included multiple choice and essay responses. In addition, ITIC and Sunbelt conducted two dozen first person customer interviews to validate the survey responses. ITIC and Sunbelt received no vendor sponsorship for this research. Additionally, no vendors had any influence or input into the survey or the results and none of the survey respondents received any remuneration for their participation. Approximately 85% of the respondents came from North America; the remaining 15% came from 20 countries including Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South America.

Virtualization Results

Virtually Yours: Server Virtualization Still a Top Priority in the Datacenter

Virtualization remains a high growth technology area, and the survey found that the market leaders – VMware, Microsoft and Citrix are all consolidating their positions. The survey also showed that while desktop and application virtualization will play a pivotal role for businesses – particularly enterprises with > 500 end users, the market will not materialize as quickly as it did for server virtualization. Among the survey highlights:

  • VMware remains the market leader but Microsoft’s Hyper-V is closing the gap. In response to a question in which we asked customers to select ALL the virtualization products they plan to use/deploy in 2009, nearly 60% said they plan to deploy VMware’s ESX Server (29%) or the free VMware Server (30%) . However, 52% of the respondents indicated they will use Microsoft’s Hyper-V or the older Microsoft Virtual Server; 37% of respondents indicated they will opt for Hyper-V compared with the remaining 15% who said they will use the older Virtual Server. This percentage is double the number of survey respondents who indicated they would use Microsoft hypervisor solutions when we polled users in a 2007 survey.
  • When it comes to Application Virtualization solutions, Microsoft’s App-V is the market leader, clearly beating VMware’s ThinApp by a 2-to-1 margin, which also came trailed Citrix’s XenApp 5.0. That said, it must be noted that thus far, only about 15% of the survey respondents have fully virtualized their applications across the entire enterprise.
  • It’s still very early in the game for the emerging application virtualization market: nearly two-thirds — 62% — of businesses have not yet even begun to deploy application virtualization in production environments (though pilot networks abound) or even chosen an application virtualization vendor.
  • Interestingly, in spite of cost constraints and pressures on IT budgets, only 7% of the survey respondents said they had attempted to renegotiate the terms and conditions of their virtualization licensing contracts to get better deals. Another 27% said they were studying the issue but had not yet made any definitive attempts to renegotiate and 66% said “No.”

Microsoft Vista: Most Users “Surprisingly” Satisfied

On the Windows desktop OS front, the ITIC/Sunbelt survey respondents gave Microsoft’s much maligned Vista operating system surprisingly high satisfaction ratings. We say “surprising” because Vista has gotten a lot of bad ink, much of it undeserved. Overall, 59% of the survey respondents said Vista was “Excellent”, “very good” or “good.” Despite these grades though, 45% of those polled said they would skip Vista and go directly to Windows 7 when that desktop OS ships in early 2010. Drilling further into the Vista responses:

  • To date, only 10% of the 700 survey respondents’ organizations have deployed Vista.
  • Windows XP is the primary desktop OS for 88% of the respondents.
  • Vista seems a victim of Windows XP’s success: Among the 45% of survey respondents who indicated they’ll skip Vista, the main reason(s) cited were cost constraints and the prevailing feeling that Windows XP is more than adequately meeting corporations’ business and technology needs.
  • The Vista experience was much better than anticipated for the 10% of companies that use Vista is their primary desktop OS: 27% rated Vista’s performance, reliability and security Excellent or Very Good; another 32% rated it “Good”, 19% said it was “Satisfactory.” Only 19% gave it an “Unsatisfactory” rating, mainly due to application incompatibility problems.

One recurring theme among the survey respondents was that since Windows XP is getting the job done, there’s no compelling business reason to upgrade to Vista.

“Windows XP, Windows 2003 and our other applications are more than adequate for now,” said one network administrator. “That means we will be investing very little in new infrastructure for the next couple of years. The constant upgrade progression for the sake of “keeping current” is dead for now,” he added.

The Vista desktop OS – all six flavors – is generally solid. The biggest impediment facing large enterprises deploying Vista is application incompatibility. This problem is especially acute in large enterprises that have dozens of third party applications associated with specific vertical markets. Consider the case of one such enterprise based in the Northeast with over 3,000 end users.

The company’s IT manager said his firm was 65% deployed onto Vista Business but, he noted, two of his crucial application vendors “have not yet migrated their products.” One is a financial application and the other is a GIS application. “They [the ISVs] have promised compliance by the end of 2009 so we plan to be 100% deployed on Vista by Q1 2010. At that time we’ll be ready to continue our normal replacement cycle (30% per year) deploying Windows 7 Service Pack 1 in late 2010!”

Apple Macintosh Enterprise Usage Continues to Grow

And finally, Apple Mac and OS X 10.x continue to make inroads in the enterprise.

  • Over two-thirds of the 700 survey respondents – 68% — indicated they are likely to allow their end users to deploy Macs as their corporate enterprise desktops in the next 12 months.
  • Almost one-quarter or 23% have a significant number of Macintoshes (> 50) present in their organizations. Apple Macs have long been a favorite of company executives, but the survey responses clearly indicate that Mac usage has filtered down to rank and file knowledge workers across the enterprise.
  • Half of all the survey respondents – 50% — said they plan to increase integration with existing Apple consumer products such as the iPhone to allow users to access corporate Email and other applications. This augurs well for the iPhone to establish itself as a viable alternative to Research In Motion’s (RIM) as a mobile device that allows users to access Email and other collaboration applications.

In summary, the ITIC/Sunbelt survey responses show that businesses will find themselves challenged to do more with fewer resources. The respondents also exhibited their practicality and resourcefulness in extending the lifespan of still-useful technologies like Windows XP. However those who have the need and the budget, will get an able assist from emerging technologies like virtualization – and for those that correctly configure and deploy them – Vista and the Mac and OS X 10.x

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