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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

From Australia to Italy, from Canada to Columbia and from the U.S. to South Africa, pragmatism is the order of the day for IT departments as they struggle to stretch their 2010 budgets and resources to make much needed infrastructure upgrades in the face of a still uncertain and tight economy.
Those are the results of a new 2010 IT & Technology Trends survey which polled over 500 respondents from 18 countries worldwide on IT budget and staffing issues for the year ahead. ITIC partnered with Stratus Technologies and Sunbelt Software to poll C-level executives and IT managers. The results indicate that businesses are in a better place now than they were at the close of 2010. And there’s even a hint of cautious optimism in the air. The survey results indicate that by and large organizations of all sizes and across all verticals will maintain IT staffing levels and budgets during 2010 as they continue to implement upgrade and migration projects that began in 2009.
Nearly one-third of organizations – 31% — revealed that their IT budgets will remain the same in 2010, while 27% say their budgets will increase and an 17% minority said IT budgets will decrease in the New Year. Interestingly, 15% of respondents said their 2010 IT budgets are still not approved and 10% remain unsure of their budgets for the next 12 months.
Among respondents who indicated their budgets will increase, the largest percentage – 27% — say the increases will be modest in the four-to-six percent range. Only 3% indicated their budgets would rise by 30% or more while 50% are unsure.
And among the 17% minority of respondents who say their budgets will decrease, the cuts will be minimal or modest. Some 7% say they will decline by one-to-three percent, while another 11% say they will decline by four-to-six percent. Only 7% of the respondents indicated their firms will slash 2010 IT budgets by 21% or more; 68% said they weren’t sure how big the budget declines would be.
IT Hiring: Modest but Stable
Based on the survey responses it is apparent that IT staffing levels are stable. However, it’s safe to say that very few firms would consider themselves fully staffed or even at pre-December 2007 levels, which was when the U.S. Government officially said the recession began.
And while the economy has not fully recovered, there is a sense from the survey respondents that the worst may be behind them. Over half of those polled – 52% — said their organizations will maintain current IT staffing levels for 2010. In a sign that business is improving, 25% of those polled say their organizations will hire additional IT staff as needed in the coming 12 months. Only a very small 2% minority say their firms are planning layoffs. Another 14% of respondents, say their organizations have made no decisions on hiring and are taking a wait and see approach.
Current IT staffing levels: Surprisingly just over one-quarter — 26% — of survey respondents indicated their IT departments are smaller now than they were in 2008. The biggest percentage – 42% — responded “No” while another 32% say their IT staffing levels are about the same as they were a year ago.
The anecdotal responses from around the globe all shared a common thread: pragmatism and a desire to do what it takes to weather the ongoing economic downturn. The uncertainty of the economy and how to Many respondents voiced concern about staying on top of crucial issues like security, disaster recovery and finding the funds to make the necessary desktop and server hardware, software and application upgrades.
But once again, pragmatism seems to be the byword. Many of the survey respondents simply said they’re picking up the slack and working harder and longer hours. It’s also apparent that some vertical markets have been hit harder by the recession than others. Government agencies, state and local municipalities have suffered. Likewise, the automotive industry and smaller hospitals and consulting firms have also been hit hard over the past 18 months.
An IT manager at a small government agency noted that a large part of their budget comes from state and federal grants. “Those sources are about dry in this economy. We took a 65% cut in state funding this year and pray that we can maintain that low level in next year’s state budget rather than take another cut,” he said.
An IT manager at a mid-sized U.S. consulting firm said his organization is just trying to weather the severe downturn. “Our existing clients have cut back on spending and only do what is absolutely necessary to keep their systems running. New clients are much more difficult to cultivate, so survival over this period is the top priority,” he observed.
“Our main goal is to keep the infrastructure updated, supported and available with less staff,” said an IT manager at a mid-sized healthcare firm with one thousand users.
No one is sure when the economy will rebound to pre-2007 levels. Meanwhile, IT departments are doing the only thing they can do: endure. The silver lining in the cloud is that most organizations have adapted to the belt tightening and working longer hours and have somehow generally managed to keep the corporate data centers up and running. It may not be comfortable or optimal but it’s working.

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