Category Archives: Cloud


Dropbox? When is it OK to say ‘yes’?

When CIO Gerry Moore joined St. James Hospital Group last year, the staff and doctors — who increasingly work with mobile devices — wanted to use Dropbox, a popular, cloud-based storage tool often used for file sharing. Moore denied the requests because of security and compliance concerns.

Physicians and hospital departments wanted Dropbox so they could quickly share medical reports and results, but the hospital group “could not implement a solution that would put a patient’s data at risk in any way, shape or form,” Moore says.

Speed vs. security

St. James Hospital Group, which has hospitals in Malta, Hungary and Libya, is greatly concerned about ensuring data privacy and security, but it also needed a way to speed up collaboration and workflows.

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IDG Contributor Network: Why you must rate enterprise software requirements

Too often, RFPs (or RFIs, or RFQs) are just lists of requirements with little thought of how important those requirements are. In the absence of importance ratings, all requirements must be treated equally. This is never accurate because some requirements are always more important than others. Here’s a look at why it is worth rating requirements for importance, and how to do it.

Rating requirements for importance means capturing who wants them, why they want them and how important they are. In doing this, the organization is exploring, discovering, and documenting their needs. Rating requirements should be done by the process owners and subject matter experts, and not by those who capture the requirements in the first place. While most organizations looking at a particular type of enterprise software have very similar requirements, it is the relative importance of those requirements that makes each organization unique.

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IBM, Fujifilm show tape storage still has a long future

IBM and Fujifilm have figured out how to fit 220TB of data on a standard-size tape that fits in your hand, flexing the technology’s strengths as a long-term storage medium.

The prototype Fujifilm tape and accompanying drive technology from IBM labs packs 88 times as much data onto a tape as industry-standard LTO-6 (Linear Tape-Open) systems using the same size cartridge, IBM says. LTO6 tape can hold 2.5TB, uncompressed, on a cartridge about 10 by 10 centimeters (4 by 4 inches) across and 2 centimeters thick.

The new technologies won’t come out in products for several years and may not be quite as extreme when they do, but the advances show tape can keep getting more dense into the future, said Mark Lantz, manager of IBM’s Advanced Tape Technologies Group.

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Salesforce revs up Pardot with two new B2B marketing-automation tools

It’s coming up on two years since Salesforce acquired Pardot, and on Thursday the company enriched its resulting Sales Cloud B2B marketing-automation product with two new key capabilities.

Intelligent Engagement Studio, for instance, offers granular targeting, testing and reporting capabilities designed to help marketers and sales teams connect with prospects in new ways. For example, the new feature enables adaptive lead-nurturing campaigns that evolve based on more than 100 triggers.

Previously, B2B marketers could see only basic behavioral data such as the rates at which prospects opened their emails; sales-stage data from their CRM systems was not integrated with it. Now, with Intelligent Engagement Studio, marketers can act on the combination of those data points. So, when someone advances to a new sales stage and also views a specific piece of content, Intelligent Engagement Studio will analyze those data points to proactively route the prospect to a new lead-nurturing path.

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Federal CIOs want SLA assurances from cloud vendors

By some measurements, the federal government’s adoption of cloud computing has been on a steep rise, but there remain significant obstacles that have stood in the way of modernizing legacy systems and applications.

A pair of industry officials cautioned in an online presentation this week that cloud vendors looking to do business with federal agencies will help their cause if they can address some of those sticking points, including favorable service-level agreements (SLAs), security and compliance considerations, and, of course, costs.

“Cloud is basically a business decision,” says Alan Boissy, product manager of VMware’s vCloud Government Service offering. “It’s a business enabler to allow government agencies to save money.”

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Indian outsourcer Satyam’s founder guilty of accounting fraud, court rules

The founder of Satyam Computer Services has been found guilty of a financial scam that brought the Hyderabad-based outsourcer to the verge of collapse before its rescue by a rival.

A special court in south India found B. Ramalinga Raju and nine others, including former executives of the company, guilty of several crimes for which they will be sentenced on Friday, according to local reports. Raju and some other key accused had previously spent about a year in judicial custody.

The company went into crisis in January 2009, when Raju disclosed that the company’s revenue and profit had been inflated for several years.

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Cloud computing brings changes for IT security workers

Watch out, computer security professionals: Cloud computing vendors are coming for your jobs.

It may be inevitable, or you may be able to take back control by rigorously studying how your organization uses technology. But either way, life is changing for IT security experts.

Companies like Google and Amazon have figured out configuration management while enterprises avoid the process, said Marcus Ranum, chief security officer of Tenable.

“That’s the reason why Amazon is going to have your jobs in 10 years. We are failing as an industry,” said Ranum, who spoke Wednesday at a meeting of the Information Systems Security Association, New England chapter.

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Oracle bolsters Retail Cloud with new services

It’s been just over half a year since Oracle completed its US$5.3 billion acquisition of Micros, and on Wednesday the company added several new services to the retail-focused technologies it gained through that deal.

Six new Oracle Retail cloud services, specifically, are now available by subscription, with the goal of helping retailers manage e-commerce, customer engagement, order management, order fulfillment, loss prevention and brand compliance.

Oracle’s new Retail Brand Compliance Management cloud service, for instance, automates many of the operations required to grow and improve private-label merchandising operations. Retailers can use it to plan, track and manage merchandising activities, drop shipping and supplier relationships.

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IDG Contributor Network: Turbo-charge ROI when buying enterprise software

No organization buys enterprise software for the sake of owning it. It’s all about the return on investment or ROI. The software is bought to realize benefits that flow from use. There are four categories of benefits:

  1. Increases in things like revenue, profit, growth, efficiency, speed, compliance.
  2. Reductions in things like costs, time, complaints, attrition, complexity.
  3. Improvements to things like productivity, processes, quality, reliability.
  4. Creation of things like strategy, alignments, new products, new processes.

(This list of benefits is from the work of David A Fields of the Ascendant Consortium. Disclosure: I have paid for and taken one of David’s training courses.)

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BrandPost: Joined at the Hip: The Cloud and Mobility

The trend lines are clear: Laptops began replacing desktops, and then tablets began replacing laptops. And at this rate, smartphones one day might replace them all. It’s hardly hyperbole: IDC expects mobile workers to number slightly more than 37 percent of the global workforce by the end of this year. Putting it another way, we’re talking about some 1.3 billion mobile workers. 

That tectonic shift also underscores the changing landscape that CIOs are navigating, one in which increasingly mobile employees expect reliable and seamless access to their corporate networks, no matter what device they carry with them. This has major implications for the future of the cloud. 

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