The Week in Links: Retailers Look to Tech to Transform Shopping Experience

Like other industries, retailers are finding new ways to use technology to gain competitive advantage, particularly in the area of gaining insight to better target customers and improve the shopping experience. For this “Week in Links,” we’ll take a look at some of the latest in this retail IT News:

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Expect Your Workday to be Ruled by the Internet of Things in 2020 [INFOGRAPHIC]

As technology continues to evolve to support and create uses of the Internet of Things, it’s not hard to imagine — even predict — how businesses and their workers will come to depend on this interconnection among devices, users, and the Internet in everyday life.

In homes, cars, offices, stores and more, connected devices — an estimated 26 billion worldwide by 2020, according to Gartner — will have a wider influence on what we do, and how we do it.

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The MOOC Evolution: What’s New, and What We Still Have to Learn

We’ve examined some important trends in schools and universities that technology makes possible. It’s time to take a look at another: Massive Open Online Courses, known as MOOCs.

These online courses, which made a big splash a couple of years ago — The New York Times even dubbed 2012“The Year of the MOOC” — have faced the initial hype and criticism that accompany big tech trends. And now the courses are in the midst of what some are calling MOOC 2.0.

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Managed Services and Office 365: A Better Working Environment

For many businesses, managing a full complement of IT services in-house has become costly, complex, and inefficient. Companies of all sizes, in a variety of industries, are seeing the benefits of moving some or all IT functions off premises for a third party to manage.

Through managed services, businesses are able to keep IT costs in check, and technology — such as cloud, network, and data solutions — flexible and efficient. So business and IT leaders can focus on the big plans that add value to the organization.

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Transforming Networks: A Look at Government IT Challenges

The IT requirements in Washington are vast and complex — much like the government itself. So when it comes to cybersecurity, cloud computing, and IT networks, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

To better serve the government’s needs, IT leaders within agencies can look to industry leaders for ways to innovate and implement solutions that are mindful of current challenges.

Together with Ciena, we took a look at some of these government IT issues in our “Transforming Networks” video series:

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Ready for Kickoff: Next-Gen Tech for the Broncos’ 2014 Season

The roar of the crowd. The lights on the field. The call of the quarterback.

Attending a football game can be a thrilling experience. For many fans, the only thing that can improve the experience is a fast and reliable connection for their devices — so they can share the media and provide the commentary that’s expected in today’s always-connected world.

Businesses know this — and make no mistake, pro sports is big business — so it behooves them to offer customers, the fans, the bandwidth they demand.

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IT Providers Give Businesses Room to Innovate

Think, let others do.

When it comes to business IT, that outlook has become more prevalent. Because by letting others take care of the technology that drives business processes, business leaders are free to think: about the myriad ways they can innovate and add value to the business.

As businesses move more IT functions to providers, in-house talent can, according to Phil Fersht, principal of HfS Research, “add value to their organizations that are insightful to help base decisions; that are creative, which help try new ways of doing things, or targeting new markets; that are innovative, where their organizations can find entirely new ways of competing, or developing unique products or services.”

This idea was emphasized at this year’s WIRED BizCon. We spoke to a couple of business leaders after the event who explained that outsourcing IT infrastructure isn’t just about cost. It’s about letting them keep the focus on creating, innovating — and doing the strategic work that keeps their businesses moving forward.

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4 Steps to a Seamless Hybrid IT Solution

cloud-computing2As cloud deployments mature at more businesses and government organizations, many are evolving to a more hybrid approach. And for good reason.

Hybrid cloud, an often customized integration of private and public cloud solutions, helps organizations meet their specific data, security and regulatory, scalability, and capacity needs. Businesses are able to count on the control of on-premise IT functions, while taking advantage of the agility, mobility, cost savings, and competitive advantages that public cloud solutions offer.

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