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Protect Your Data – or Pay the Price [INFOGRAPHIC]

There’s a reason security is such a big topic among IT and business leaders. The potential loss in money, proprietary and personal data, time, and reputation from a security breach is just too significant to ignore.

Whether your organization is a large enterprise or a smaller business is of little concern to attackers. If you have information of value — and what successful business doesn’t? — it is in danger of a security breach, Harry Sverdlove, CTO of security firm Bit9, said at the recent Interop conference in New York.

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Top Financial Firms Begin Applying New Tech Trends

banking-technologyWe’ve talked before about how Big Data and other technology trends have helped businesses in the financial industry see gains and stay competitive.

Indeed, “there’s a lot of opportunity to apply new data sets and new algorithms,”Rod Bodkin, founder and CEO of Think Big Analytics, tells InformationWeek. “Fundamentally, we see Big Data coming in and letting people solve problems that were never before solvable.”

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How to Factor Wearable Tech Into Your Company’s Future

It’s not news how BYOD has evolved from movement to mainstay in business. But what about BYOWD? That stands for Bring Your Own Wearable Device. And though it might not yet be an actual trend, it’s gaining momentum, as devices like Google Glass, the HC1 Headset, and Plantronics start becoming available — and may soon make their way into the business world for work use.

The “wearable technology” market is predicted to be a $12 billion sector by 2018, according to Business Insider. And ABI Research estimates that the global market for wearable tech in health and fitness could reach 170 million devices by 2017. These numbers show why it’s important for business and IT leaders to stay on top of this new technology now to be ready for the future.

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5 Top Tech Discussions at Interop 2013

The role of IT in businessIT securityBig DataBYOD and cloud computing, and networking and applications were all important topics discussed among the thousands of IT professionals who made their way to New York for the annual Interop IT conference last week. A host of workshops, keynote speeches, and in-person discussions with technology leaders and innovators gave attendees plenty of technical information to bring back to the office.

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3 Tech Trends Retailers Can’t Afford to Ignore

mobile-credit-cardLike other industries, retail is experiencing rapid technological change — change that, if disregarded, could have a negative impact on business. That’s why it’s so important for business and IT leaders to keep abreast of the latest in retail technology.

Let’s take a look at some of the important trends in retail IT, and how they can help businesses like yours see success.

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Healthcare Providers Take a Shot in the Cloud

TGSyringe-and-clouds-200x200Like businesses in a host of industries, healthcare providers have set their sights on cloud computing, hoping to gain competitive advantages and better serve doctors and patients by moving important data and operations to cloud-based systems.

In fact, the healthcare cloud computing market is expected to grow to nearly $5.4 billion by 2017, according to a recent study by the firm MarketsandMarkets. This growth in healthcare cloud is part of a larger trend in telehealth, which is predicted to grow by 55 percent this year.

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When It Comes to IT Challenges, You’re Not Alone [INFOGRAPHIC]

Leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises know all too well the challenge of trying to compete in a crowded marketplace while still keeping up with business demands. It’s especially challenging when when one demand, such as IT services, takes up time and money that could be spent instead on growing the business. 

We know that business leaders like you want to be able to free up IT staff from tasks that keep them from focusing on the bigger-picture work that drives business revenue. Or you want to reduce risk and downtime that cause loss of revenue and reputation.

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Four Reasons Why Businesses Like ITaaS

For a sector driven by rapid change, it’s always discouraging to hear IT catch blame for being a corporate bottleneck.

Yet it’s a refrain growing all the more common with the widespread adoption of SaaS, IaaS and other cloud-based service offerings that enable IT circumvention. And it’s one that continues to push IT leaders to redefine their strategies and policies.

One way IT can retain the control and compliance it needs and still give end users what they want is to operate “as-a-Service,” a movement the industry is calling IT-as-a-Service, or ITaaS.

What is ITaaS?

Outsourced ITaaS transforms IT organizations from a traditional business cost center to a service provider. With this type of model, IT organizations can become more business-focused and introduce a new level of agility to their company.

Under this scenario, internal employees become clients of the IT department and pay the IT department as they would an external contractor for a regular, predictable maintenance fee to come in and perform a certain number of services.

The IT department decides what on-premise or off-premise hardware, software or cloud applications and infrastructure are needed, and they provide the exact services necessary to keep all internal business units happy. Business users simply decide what services they want from a menu of options, letting the IT department make the decision as to what products or vendors will be available to the users.

Why Outsourced ITaaS Models Deliver

The benefits of ITaaS vary across organizations and needs. There are, however, four common advantages to transforming your IT model using outsourced ITaaS, including:

  1. Cost Predictability: IT service costs are more predictable from month to month. Plus, in many cases, expenses are billed back to the business unit requesting the services, never affecting the IT budget.
  2. Better Focus: IT departments will no longer be in the business of day-to-day IT tasks and problems. Instead, they will strictly deliver services that better advance current and future business requirements.
  3. Self-service: Business users no longer have to wait on the IT department to get the products they need for their latest project. Instead, they simply go through the catalog of previously vetted cloud service providers and choose the right cloud solution for their project.
  4. Scalability: IT departments no longer need to worry about increasing or decreasing capacity or capabilities in the short timeframes normally demanded of changing business needs.  Make sure to select an outsourcing vendor that keeps at the forefront of technology trends, such as cloud, and takes on the burden of technology obsolescence.

Want to learn more about ITaaS? Join me September 23 at the Gartner Outsourcing & Strategic Partnership Summit, for a deep dive into how ITaaS can help your business minimize risk and improve innovation. 

Walt Strubbe is managed services principal at CenturyLink.

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