Archive for July, 2011

IT News and Views – the Friday Collection

IT giants ‘ripping off Whitehall’, say MPs
MPs find that governmental IT spending has reached the level of ‘obscenity’. The report on which the article is based repeats the mantra that we must get good value; it begs the question as to when effective action will replace the empty words of recent months. Read it, here.

Government trials e-marketplace for offering more contracts to SMEs
Following on from the above article, the Cabinet Office is piloting a tender system that allows smaller companies greater opportunity. It has much to live up to as the government has earmarked 25% as the minimum percentage of IT work that should go to SMEs. Read about it, here.

Why IBM Represents The Future Of Social Business
Blog about the way in which IBM uses social media and how they make it work. It discusses how IBM have embraced the technology and made profound cultural changes. Click here for further details.

Java skills now most in demand
Survey reports that Java is becoming evermore prevalent in the business arena. A shortage of talent means developers can command hefty packages. Read here.

And finally…
NHS touts virtual visits by Skype to cut costs
The word ‘unbelievable’ is grossly overused but I think it is entirely appropriate for this story. Saving money by depriving the vulnerable of direct contact with relatives seems harsh regardless of the financial mire. Judge for yourself, here.

Categories: News, News digest

Microsoft launches 365 into the Cloud

Microsoft launched its new cloud-based offering in a bid to compete with Google. Office 365 does exactly what it says on the tin: it is the Office suite located in the cloud (plus your email, too). It is designed to be accessible via a variety of devices from the humble PC to the more exotic array of smartphones.

The pricing model adjusts the cost according to the size of organisation; the higher cost for the larger enterprise reflects a more comprehensive offering. However, this ‘pay as you go’ is seen as something of a gamble as a significant proportion of Microsoft’s revenue has traditionally come from selling the Office suite to be installed on a local PC. The need to compete in the cloud sphere shows that Microsoft recognise the new IT landscape of having to eke out every last piece of value from dwindling budgets. However, Jeff Mann, a VP of research at analyst group Gartner, succinctly describes Microsoft’s punt:

It’s definitely a very big bet.

Potential customers need to make some strategic decisions: is the cost saving worth the inevitable compromises that will be made regarding functionality and flexibilty? What about the standardised environment? Will integration with non-Microsoft products be painless? In terms of the cost savings, there is a huge scope for cutting costs particularly if you have a transient, diffuse workforce. Rather than having to pay for full licencing on the Office suite, paying per worker per month has got to be a compelling narrative to sell to your Finance Director. And you can add to that service level agreements that are now located outside your business.
It’s still not clear what the outcome will be but I’ll be watching closely.

Read the BBC article, here.

Categories: Cloud, Microsoft, News

IT News and Views – the Friday Collection

The Apollo Missions
With the last Space Shuttle safely back on terra firma, IBM take the opportunity to publicise their historic involvement with the American space effort. It is an interesting story. Read it, here.

MPs to launch malware inquiry
Politicians are going to look into whether the state should have a role in protecting us from malware. Presumably this will look like a public health campaign for our computers. Click here for the story.

DWP loses £800m in overpayments due to faulty IT systems
Article about the inadequacies in the DWP’s computer system resulting in overpayments to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds. If this story doesn’t appear in the Daily Mail, there’s no justice in the world. Be righteously indignant, here.

The UK phone hacking scandal
Interesting Radicati blog entry on the potential future direction of security for mobile ‘phone users. Set in the context of the less than savoury activities of some journalists. Read it, here.

And finally
Food cooking updates via Bluetooth
Enterprising programmers have solved that age old non-problem of ‘how to find out if something is cooked in the oven without looking at it’. If you have an Apple device, your meal can communicate with you during its cooking. Click here for the story.

Categories: News, News digest

IT News and Views – the Friday Collection

Evidence destroyed? News International executive ‘deleted millions of emails’
Allegations have been made that emails were deleted; the assumption being that these messages were relevant to iffy behaviour. If only they had a robust email archiving solution… Read one of myriad reports, here.

Bob Sutor: IBM to donate Symphony code to Apache for consideration
IBM announce that they will offer the code to their Symphony suite to Apache Software Foundation, following Oracle’s lead with OpenOffice. It is intended that there will be reciprocal benefits as Symphony will improve due to community updates of OpenOffice and IBM will throw some resources toward the project, too. Read more, here.

Report criticises government approach to IT security
Report suggests we should be throwing more cash at online government security. Also, our top internet-savvy brains are being poached with fat salaries and benefits we can’t compete with. Read more, here.

Google unveils Google+ beta to aplomb
Herbert Spencer coined the term ‘survival of the fittest’ and it appears that social media is undergoing significant competition for resources (users). This Radicati blog entry suggests that Google+ might make the grade in this space. Find out more, here.

And finally…
YouTube blocks Lady Gaga channel
YouTube blocks a video from ubiquitous starlet. Whether this is good or bad (and whether it should be extended beyond this one performance) I’ll let you decide. Place your bets, here.

Categories: News, News digest

IT News and Views – the Friday Collection

CommVault wins at London’s Annual Storage Awards
Our partner, CommVault, won the award for Deduplication product of the year at the Annual Storage Awards for its product Simpana 9. Read more about the innovative deduplication solution, here.

Microsoft Office 365: Could security be the differentiator?
Opinion piece that suggests the key differentiator for the recently launched Microsoft 365 cloud service might be security. Seemingly, security exists throughout all layers of 365: potential cost savings are well-known but this might persuade the more reluctant to jump. Read more, here.

Amazon’s ‘one-click’ payment method too obvious to patent, European Patent Office rules
European Patent Office offers a slap in the face to Amazon for a lack of originality. Ouch! However, the technology was suitable for a US Patent. (As our American cousins say), Go figure, here.

Printer produces personalised 3D chocolate
Whoever said that technologists were not entirely focused on the betterment of life? Printing potentially troublesome documents in chocolate will also help in getting rid of the evidence. Read the story, here.

And finally…

Budding songwriter? There’s an app for that
If you can’t sing a note (and have access to an Apple device) help is at hand. Making the creative process easier has got to be a good thing – particularly if you’ve ever heard me going 10 rounds with a musical instrument. Read more and watch a video, here.

Categories: News, News digest

IT News and Views – the Friday Collection

Microsoft launches Office in the cloud
Microsoft launched its Office 365 cloud offering this week. A Gartner analyst suggests that this is a gamble from the company: we’ll see… Read about it, here.

Cookie acceptances plummet when ICO requests permission, figures show
The instiution that has mandated the new cookie policy has been hoisted by its own petard. This is a good overview article about the effects of the policy. Confirm that irony isn’t dead, here.

Phishers switch focus to targeted attacks, warns Cisco
Online bandits are switching to a more personalised service to its potential victims. Criminality evolves like everything else, it would appear. Read about the focused and personally engaged face of theft, here.

Cloud: Proceed With Caution — Brokerages Can Help
Interesting Gartner blog about cloud migration. It’s a good overview based on 2 assumptions: the cloud is here to stay and that rapid adoption of it will continue. Read the full opinion, here.

And finally…
Pope integrates bigger religion to Catholic church
(One of) God’s representative on earth is getting with the new tech. The article updates the garden of Eden story for the wired generation (by the by, the story mentioned is in a book called the Bible which is available on a Kindle). Read about scriptural amendments, here.

Categories: News, News digest
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