Blog posts by Mike Small

Blog

IBM Bets on the Cloud

IBM has recently made a number of major announcements and these are linked.  In December 2013 IBM announced the acquisition of FiberLink a privately held mobile management and security company.  Then on January 23 rd it announced that Lenovo plans to acquire IBM’s x86 server business .  Lastly on February 24 th it made a series of announcements around its cloud offerings.   These announcements illustrate the changing way in which IT services are being delivered.  This is shifting from an in house model focused on improving the efficiency of internal processes to a more flexible one...

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Cyber Security for the Citizen and SME

This week the UK government launched the Cyber Street programme to improve the cyber security of UK residents and SMEs.  This is complemented by a Cyber to the Citizen initiative from the BCS – (The UK Chartered Institute for IT). The background to this is the continuing concern that most cyber-crime is opportunistic and could be prevented if people consistently took simple measures.  For example UK GCHQ estimates that 80 per cent of all cybercrime could be prevented by basic cyber hygiene measures, saving the UK economy billions of pounds annually. The campaign aims to increase...

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Cloud Standards – Complex but not a Jungle according to ETSI!

In September 2013 the European Commission (EC) published the strategy to “to create single set of rules for cloud computing and increase EU GDP by €160 billion annually by 2020”. This strategy identified a number of key actions one of these being “Cutting through the Jungle of Standards”.   Following a request from the European Commission, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) launched the Cloud Standards Coordination (CSC) initiative.  In November 2013 ETSI published its final report from the CSC initiative .    According to this report “the Cloud Standards...

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Smarter Risk

According to IBM a consistent way to manage all types of risk is the key to success for financial services organizations.  To support this IBM will be rolling out their Smarter Risk offering during Q1 2014.  Failure to properly manage risk has been alleged to be the cause of the financial crisis and, to force financial services organizations to better manage risk, the regulators around the world are introducing tougher rules. The underlying causes of the damaging financial crisis can be traced back to the management of risk.  Financial services organizations need to hold capital to...

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Salesforce Identity

Today Salesforce.com announced the general availability of Salesforce Identity – what does this mean for customers and the IAM market? In some ways this is not a completely new product, Salesforce.com CRM customers have been using much of this for some time.  However what is announced today extends the functionalities of this way beyond what previously existed.  Salesforce Identity provides a web single sign on capability that can be white labelled and which can be based on authentication by Salesforce.com or a number of other trusted identity providers.  The Salesforce.com...

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Avoiding Data Breaches and Managing Big Data

Today information is the foundation upon which businesses are built and organizations need to prosper.  However, given its value, information is not treated with sufficient respect by everyone in the organization.  It sometimes seems that the only people that understand the value of information are those who are trying to steal it! Big data makes this problem worse - in addition to the vast quantity of data from the Internet of Things and social media, so much unstructured information is now being created within organizations.  Who owns this data and who is responsible for its security?...

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The Future of the Cloud

As a UK member of ISACA as well as an industry analyst I was privileged to participate in a round table on the subject of the future of the cloud and the results of this were published in a supplement to the Guardian newspaper on September 27 th . Here is a summary of my thoughts on this subject: The cloud is about efficiency and economies of scale.  The successful CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) will be those that can provide value for money to their customers.  For large enterprises the cloud will add complexity by becoming yet another platform to be accommodated.  However for...

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Oracle and Salesforce.com announce partnership

Oracle and Saleforce.com CEOs, Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff, hosted a briefing call on June 27 th to announce a partnership between these two highly successful companies.  What does this partnership cover and what does it mean? Salesforce.com is built on Oracle technology and so Salesforce is very dependent upon Oracle.  Marc Benioff confirmed that Salesforce has confidence in the latest releases from Oracle including Oracle 12C database, Oracle Linux and Oracle Exadata.  Larry Ellison announced that this partnership will ensure that there will be out of the box integration of...

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IBM acquires SoftLayer

On June 24th, IBM  announced that it is to acquire SoftLayer Technologies Inc. and at the same time announced the formation of a new Cloud Services division. Following the close of this acquisition the new division will combine SoftLayer with IBM SmartCloud into a global platform. So what is special about SoftLayer, why is this important and what does it mean? SoftLayer Technologies Inc., which was founded in 2005, has over 100,000 devices under management which makes it one of the largest privately held computing infrastructure providers in the world.  SoftLayer has redefined the...

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The Cloud Blossoms in Europe

A recent report commission by CA Technologies Inc. looks at the growth of the use of cloud services and the evolving attitudes to the security of these.  This report shows some interesting findings:  For instance:  Europe is catching up with the US, with “38% of the European respondents using cloud for two to three years.” As compared with “55% of the companies in the US have been in the cloud for three or more years”.  This finding is confirmed by the recent announcement by salesforce.com that they have signed an agreement to establish European data centre in the UK in 2014....


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