Data Monetization: Big Potential, Bigger Challenges
Feb09

Data Monetization: Big Potential, Bigger Challenges

The concept of data monetization — the act of turning corporate data into currency (either actual dollars or data used as a bartering device or a product or service enhancement) — has been around for the better part of a decade, but it’s still very early days in transforming this concept into a reality, Dell EMC’s Steve Todd, Dell Technologies Fellow, tells IT Trends & Analysis. The power of monetization relies on variety of data sources brought together into a fluid data lake that facilitates data sharing between lines of business. “We’re seeing a lot of customers that don’t have that data lake strategy.” That’s problem number one, he says. The second big problem is that business executives have not considered business data to have an asset value. “Everybody is trying to get to data monetization but nobody is thinking about tracking that value.” So the second issue is that “data needs to be treated as a capital asset”. Also referred to as infonomics, the economics of information, data monetization is predicted to be huge in the not-too-distant future. IDC figures revenue growth from information-based products will double the rest of the product/service portfolio for one third of Fortune 500 companies by the end of this year.  Gartner predicts that 10% of organizations will have a highly profitable business unit specifically for productizing and commercializing their information assets by 2020. However the road to data monetization will be bumpy, as Todd noted. While more than 85% of respondents report that their firms have started programs to create data-driven cultures, only 37% report success so far, with key roadblocks including management understanding, organizational alignment, and general organizational resistance. The range of ways to do information monetization is endless, says Gartner VP and distinguished analyst Doug Laney, but the first and biggest vision roadblock is a failure to think beyond selling information. Rather than limit the economic potential of your information, he advises businesses to think more broadly about “methods utilized to generate profit,” which can range from indirect methods in which information contributes to some economic gain, or to more direct methods in which information generates an actual revenue stream. Todd was involved as a collaborator and in joint research on data value and data monetization with EMC and the University of San Diego. Back in 2014 EMC did a Big Data survey with Capgemini that found that 61% of the over 1,000 C-suite and senior decision makers acknowledged that Big Data is now a driver of revenues in its own right and is becoming as valuable to their businesses as their existing products and services. “The fact that monetization...

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CybSec Scores An ‘F’
Feb02

CybSec Scores An ‘F’

With the the RSA Conference 2017 just a week away, cybersecurity surveys are showing up everywhere, including Cisco’s 10th study, 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report. However, while the networking giant wants to paint a more positive picture, my big takeaway is that the bad guys are winning. There are a number of positive developments in the survey — with input from 3,000 CISOs and SecOps from 15 countries, as well as telemetry data — but the key findings are, if not surprising, at the very least cause for increased concern. The key findings Cisco focused on were: -over one-third of organizations that experienced a breach in 2016 reported substantial customer, opportunity and revenue loss of more than 20%; and, -90% of these organizations are improving threat defense technologies and processes after attacks by separating IT and security functions (38%), increasing security awareness training for employees (38%), and implementing risk mitigation techniques (37%). The Cisco findings that concerned me were: -just 56% of security alerts are investigated and less than half of legitimate alerts remediated; -more than 50% of organizations faced public scrutiny after a security breach; operations and finance systems were the most affected, followed by brand reputation and customer retention; -for organizations that experienced an attack, the effect was substantial: 22% of breached organizations lost customers — 40% of them lost more than 20% of their customer base; 29% lost revenue, with 38% percent of that group losing more than 20% of revenue; and, 23% lost business opportunities, with 42% percent of them losing more than 20%. Cisco is also touting (justifiably) that it has reduced the ‘time to detection’, the window of time between a compromise and the detection of a new threat, from a median of 14 hours in early 2016 to as low as six hours in the last half of the year. That’s good, but hardly good enough: while the industry average for TTD is 201 days (with a range of 20 to 569 days), in  almost all breaches (93%), it took attackers minutes or less to compromise systems, and data exfiltration occurred within minutes in 28% of the cases. These issues are not a new story, said Cisco’s Security Business Group Architect, Franc Artes. He told IT Trends & Analysis that there are ongoing issues around budgets, trained personnel and the complexity of security environments, “but at the end of the day it’s really a human issue. We’re leaving a lot on the cutting room floor.” People are a big problem when it comes to CybSec. They both cause most of the security vulnerabilities — 55% of all attacks were carried out by either...

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Dell EMC: Convergence Is Reshaping The Datacenter
Jan26

Dell EMC: Convergence Is Reshaping The Datacenter

Trey Layton says the future of the datacenter is all about convergence and while he congratulated HPE for last week’s SimpliVity acquisition, he didn’t appear too optimistic about its prospects for success in the still small but rapidly expanding hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) subsegment. “As related to Simplivity, we rarely see them in a deal… we don’t see them when it comes down to evaluation and comparison”, said the CTO of Dell EMC’s Converged Platforms & Solutions Division (CPSD), the group currently sitting atop the integrated infrastructure market, which includes HCI. As the world rushes to all-digital, all-the-time, somewhere there is a datacenter powering all that software making DX possible. While numbers of the overall market are sketchy, a slew of recent surveys reinforce the growing need for datacenters of all sizes: -the global datacenter market will grow at a CAGR of 10.72% during the period 2016-2020; -the modular and containerized datacenter market will grow at a 12% CAGR between 2017-2021; -the mini datacenter — a self-contained system designed to be from a single rack (micro datacenter) to up to 40 rack enclosure (containerized and aisle containment solution) — market will grow at a CAGR of 17.17% during the period 2017-2021; and, -the hyperscale datacenter market — also called cloud 2.0 — will explode 4100% between 2016-2023, from $869.7 million in 2016 to $359.7 billion in 2023. Increasingly, these datacenters are turning to integrated, or converged solutions that IDC breaks down into four segments: -integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems are pre-integrated, vendor-certified systems containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software; -integrated platforms are integrated systems that are sold with additional pre-integrated packaged software and customized system engineering optimized to enable such functions as application development software, databases, testing, and integration tools; and, -hyperconverged (AKA hyperconverged infrastructure or HCI) systems collapse core storage and compute functionality into a single, highly virtualized solution; a key differentiator of hyperconverged systems is their ability to provide all compute and storage functions through the same server-based resources. Not liking to play well with others, Gartner prefers to label HCI as hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS). However, whether HCI or HCIS, this segment is still relatively small: hyperconverged sales grew 104.3% year over year during Q3, generating $570.5 million worth of sales, or 22% of the total converged market, according to IDC. It will account for just 24% of the integrated systems market by 2019, but it will reach ‘mainstream use’ and is expected to be worth close to $5 billion, stated Gartner. According to the latest available numbers (Q3), the combined integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems market accounted...

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The Mainframe Is Dead, Dying… or DT/DevOps-ing?
Jan19

The Mainframe Is Dead, Dying… or DT/DevOps-ing?

For decades pundits and competitors have been writing off the mainframe, AKA Big Iron, and while its market share has been eroded by newer platforms — as befits an industry where ‘what have you done for me lately’ is right up there with ‘Moore’s Law’ as Revealed Truth — it’s still alive and kicking: 55% of enterprise apps need the mainframe; 70% of enterprise transactions touch a mainframe; and, 70-80% of the world’s corporate data resides on a mainframe. However at least some are arguing that despite its age — now in its ‘50s — the venerable platform that IBM powered to success is finding new life with a couple of the current industry darlings, Digital Transformation and DevOps. First, some industry factoids: the latest quarterly server data (3Q16) showed a drop in shipments (-2.6%) and revenues (-5.8%) year over year, with IBM plummeting -33% (to $889 million). However the datacenter systems market is expected to grow 2.6% this year, to $176 billion, which should benefit mainframe sales. According to many, the future does look brighter for the mainframe. When not pointing out HPE’s perceived faults, analyst Rob Enderle (and former IBMer) has covered Big Blue extensively and recently (October) noted that developments like cloud, analytics, Linux and Blockchain are offering new optimism for the embattled platform. ‘Suddenly, mainframes are not only not obsolete, they are cutting edge, go figure. Yep the mainframe is back, with a vengeance.’ Reporting on IBM’s annual year-end recap for the Systems group, analyst Joe Clabby, Clabby Analytics, noted that the mainframe’s future is positive. Big Blue was emphasizing Blockchain and HSBN (the company’s “high security business network”). ‘Blockchain serves as the basis for creating a new way to perform transaction processing, one that features a secure “open ledger” that is shared amongst all concerned parties during the transaction. This new approach streamlines transaction and business processes and enables significantly greater security that traditional approaches.’ IBM claims that it is making solid headway with this offering in the securities, trade, finance, syndicated loans, supply chain, retail banking, public records and digital property management industries. ‘For over 20 years, ever since industry pundits in the mid-1990s forecast the demise of the IBM mainframe, Clabby Analytics has taken the position that there is no other architecture better suited for processing secure transactions (and now in-transaction analytics workloads) than IBM’s z System. ‘Given this position, we see IBM’s new LinuxONE mainframe servers as ideally positioned to support a projected major market move toward Hyperledger and Blockchain transaction processing over the coming years. This movement should greatly escalate the sale of mainframe servers. Long live the mainframe!’ Released...

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Dell Security Aims To Be One Step Ahead
Dec08

Dell Security Aims To Be One Step Ahead

It’s still too early to talk about Dell EMC’s security plans, said Brett Hansen, VP, Endpoint Data Security and Management, Dell, but he tells IT Trends & Analysis there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes on the future of the company’s post-merger enterprise security strategy. “I’m like a kid in the candy store with this acquisition.” What’s not to be excited about? Cybersecurity is getting a lot more attention — and customer budgets — and the acqusition brings together two sets of technology assets, skills and customer bases. While overall IT spending may be inching upward, security is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.3% through 2020, from $73.6 billion in 2016 to more than $100 billion. Other estimates put this year’s cybersecurity spend at $122.45 billion, and a 10.6% CAGR to $202.36 billion by 2021. EMC’s former security division, RSA (with more than 30,000 customers), will retain its autonomy, but will benefit from being part of the world’s largest privately controlled technology company, said president Amit Yoran in a September conference call. “RSA is now part of the broader Dell Technologies – a much broader platform that allows us to make decisions along private company timelines and horizons for a more strategic perspective, and less maniacally focused on the 90-day public company window,” he stated. “There is a natural upside [for enterprises] of having the broader ecosystem of Dell Technologies from a leveraging relationships standpoint.” He said authentication and identity, advanced security operations and analytics, and the business context and business drivers around those will continue to be the three key areas that RSA is focusing on. As for the unit’s R&D focus, he said in a world where there is no longer any perimeter, being able to identify who is where on what and provide them the appropriate access with strong multi-factor authentication and an elegant user experience “is a key area where RSA has great capability and we will continue to invest aggressively in R&D in that area”. In addition, it is investing heavily in advanced security operations, which includes RSA’s endpoint threat detection and response product Ecat, the NetWitness suite, and all the analytics around those. “Ultimately, context matters most to the organisation. What is mission-critical, what is business-critical, what is required from a compliance and regulatory perspective, and ensuring that the limited security resources are being spent on the most impactful and critical things for the enterprise,” said Yoran. In June, prior to the acquisition’s close, EMC announced the findings from its global enterprise backup survey, ‘Are You Protected?’, which included: -incidents of traditional data loss...

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CA: Shift Left Up The Value Stream
Dec01

CA: Shift Left Up The Value Stream

“If you went to bed last night as an industrial company, you’re going to wake up this morning as a software and analytics company.” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt In the late 1980s an analyst said IBM faced two bad choices: it could shoot itself in the foot, make drastic and expensive changes to survive, or it could wait until the market shot it in the head, at which point survival was unlikely. Almost 30 years later, CA Technologies has been grappling with the same dilemma: make drastic and painful changes or hope to survive when the market makes those changes for it. Originally focused exclusively on the mainframe market when it opened its doors in 1976, the company has set its sights on the Digital Transformation segment in general, and the Application Economy in specific. At November’s annual customer and partner event, CA World 2016, it highlighted its new motto — Built To Change — which pretty much says it all about the opportunity/challenge before it (and the rest of us), a world of constant change where the optimal application of speed and agility to new and emerging business opportunities is becoming the norm. While mainframes aren’t disappearing any time soon, they’ve long been replaced by other platforms as the ‘compute’ growth engines, so CA’s focus has had to change with the market. The company’s other core competence, software development, has also been under increasing pressure as the world moves to DevOps and the demand for cheap, fast and secure application development that addresses everything from mainframe to mobile, sensors (IoT) to the cloud. So CA has been remaking itself over the last few years and the new and improved software giant showcased a variety of new and improved offerings last week, including new DevOps capabilities with intelligent analytics and integrations for cloud services and virtual networks, and predictive analytics capabilities with machine learning for the mainframe. The company also reinforced its ‘shift left’ messaging, a term originally applied to moving testing to the left on a timeline, i.e. earlier, in the software development cycle. However, CA is using the term in a broader context. Customer expectations are never met, said CEO Mike Gregoire, they always want more. “We call that shift left.” The new digital world is all about “creative disruption and destruction”, said CA’s Ayman Sayed, President and Chief Product Officer, at last week’s event. The world as we know it is changing: “traditional business models are threatened, fading or obsolete,” and the company’s mission is to help customers win digital transformation, “breaking the barriers between ideas and outcomes.” A big part of the company’s...

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