EMC said this week it has inked a definitive agreement to purchase Kansas-based Archer Technologies, a privately held governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software vendor.
"Traditional security management focuses primarily on addressing technology issues, but our customers are telling us that their real challenges are in the areas of policy management, audit and compliance," said Art Coviello, President, RSA, The Security Division of EMC. "You can’t manage what you can’t see. The Archer solution not only offers the visibility into risk and compliance that customers need, it brings stronger policy management capabilities to the RSA portfolio. The end result is customers are able to better manage their security programs and prove compliance across both physical and virtual infrastructures, and effectively communicate to the business."
The acquisition instantly expands EMC's GRC portfolio and enables the company to offer a broader set of IT-GRC solutions, ranging from policy orchestration and real-time security event management, EMC said.
After the deal is finalized, Archer will remain in Kansas and operate as part of EMC's security division, RSA.
According to a recent white paper titled "The IT Complexity Crisis: Danger and Opportunity," IT failures ended up costing the global economy a whopping $6.2 trillion. Or so says Roger Sessions, a noted author on complexity who developed a model for calculating the total worldwide cost of IT failure.
For the nuts and bolts of Sessions' formula, you can read the white paper here, but the end result is that the U.S. accounted for $1.2 trillion of the total failure, and the worldwide IT failure costs $500 billion per month, according to his calculations. However, not everyone agrees with how Sessions came about those numbers.
"Unfortunately, Sessions is fundamentally wrong in his numerical analysis, and his numbers are off by more than 'ten or twenty percent.' For the Federal Government alone, they are off by almost a full order of magnitude (10x)," said Bruce Webster an IT failure expert consultant.
According to Webster, Sessions made quite a few mistakes, including incorrectly interpreting government-supplied data regarding IT failure rates and associated costs, and wrongly extrapolating limited U.S. data to the remainder of the world, among other goofs.
It's been a tough year for data center managers, who have battled against a global recession for the better part of 2009 and watched as their IT budgets went in the wrong direction, particularly as demand for services ramped up. But having weathered the economic storm, the suits in charge hope 2010 brings more money to the table to devote to IT.
"They're hoping to see budgets again in 2010," said Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates. "Some dough is what they'd like. They're all for refreshing clients now that [Microsoft's Windows 7] is here, and generally shortening the average system life, but [they] have been severely constrained this year."
Whether or not data center managers get this wish remains to be seen. According to research firm Gartner, worldwide IT spending slid 5.2 percent in 2009, while enterprise spending dropped nearly 7 percent. Sure, IT spending is expected to grow by 3.3 percent in 2010, but at the same time, more than half of all CIOs surveyed said they expect their budgets to remain flat or decline in 2010.
It's not all about money, though. According to Bob Gill, an analyst with TheInfoPro, IT professionals put virtualization and cloud computing high on their wish lists.
Microsoft hit a home run with Windows 7, and not just with home consumers. In the corporate world, companies are buying more PCs, and according to market research firm ChangeWave, it's due to the new OS, which has only been on the market for two months.
ChangeWave polled more than 1,700 U.S. corporate IT buyers, of which 93 percent said that their company is satisfied with the new OS. This is in line with previous studies the research firm has conducted.
"Previous ChangeWave surveys found companies deferring their PC purchases in anticipation of Windows," said director of research Paul Carton and researcher Adam Golub. "The latest results show the opposite now occurring."
About one in five of those surveyed said that Windows 7 has caused their firm to upgrade their PCs faster than they normally would. And while just 3 percent said the new OS caused "significant acceleration" of upgrade plans, 16 percent said Windows 7 led to either "modest acceleration" or "slight acceleration."
Digicable, a major cable and broadband provider in India, has signed an $83 million, 10-year outsourcing agreement with IBM, Big Blue announced on Tuesday.
"The business landscape is changing continuously, competition is getting intense, and customer demands are increasing exponentially," said Jagjit Singh Kohli, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Digicable. "It is hence imperative to differentiate ourselves by constantly evolving new and exciting service offerings to attract and retain customers, ably supported by a partner who understands our business and provides significant value-add."
The decade-long deals calls for IBM to support the integration of Digicable's digital media content delivery and value added services applications, with the company's core business technologies and processes, IBM said. IBM will also provide IT infrastructure services, network support, application maintenance services, and security services.
Denise Dubie over at NetworkWorld has posted an interesting piece on how enterprise IT leaders looking ahead to 2010 may find themselves coming up short on staff and high-tech skills needed to grow their business during an economic recovery.
Dubie points to research from various sources who all have found that high-tech suits are fearful about how to handle business in the coming year if left with a lean staff. Robert Half Technology, for example, found that 43 percent 1,400 CIOs polled recognize that their IT departments are either somewhat or very understaffed in relation to current workloads.
"Many companies have cut technology staff levels too deeply, making it challenging for IT departments to keep pace with demands," said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a statement. "Although businesses may be able to operate with stretched teams in the short term, being perpetually understaffed isn't sustainable and can detract from the overall productivity and morale of the organization."
Let's also not forget that there remains a question of whether IT workers will remain loyal once the recession ends. In that same report, Willmer noted that "staffing cuts and the reduction or elimination of benefits have left many employees feeling overworked and undervalued."
Tiger Woods isn't hurting for sponsors, but one he'll have to do without is Accenture, a technology services and outsourcing firm. The IT company is the first of Tiger Woods' sponsors to drop him ever since his personal life became one of the biggest topics in sports.
"For the past six years, Accenture and Tiger Woods have had a very successful sponsorship arrangement and his achievements on the golf course have been a powerful metaphor for business success in Accenture’s advertising. However, given the circumstances of the last two weeks, after careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising. Accenture said that it wishes only the best for Tiger Woods and his family," Accenture wrote in a statement posted on its website.
The company added that it will "immediately transition to a new advertising campaign," one which will launch later in 2010 and without Tiger Woods.
Microsoft's latest OS, Windows 7, figures to play a big part in IT spending next year, says investment group Goldman Sachs. The reason, Goldman says, is because of pent-up demand for new hardware like servers and PCs stimulating an increase in Windows 7 upgrades, ComputerWorld reports.
Goldman came by its prediction through a survey comprised of 100 IT executives from Fortune 1000 companies. Some 94 percent of those surveyed said they intend to upgrade to Windows 7, with 32 percent saying they'll do so in 2010, and another 28 percent indicating they'll make the jump in 2011. The remaining 34 percent pegged 2012 and beyond as the expected upgrade time frame, but Goldman reckons most of them will migrate in 2012 rather than waiting much longer.
One other reason Goldman believes IT spending will rise is because 36 percent of respondents said they believe their spending with Microsoft will increase, compared to 15 percent and 24 percent in the last two surveys (June and August, respectively).
IBM on Monday announced it has signed a 7-year outsourcing contract with Navistar, a global provider of trucks, buses, RVs, and engines.
"With facilities on five continents and continued global growth, it is imperative for Navistar to transform its IT infrastructure to efficiently manage the company's existing needs and to support future growth," said Don Sharp, Navistar Chief Information Officer. "This agreement supports Navistar's strategies of building a competitive cost structure and supporting profitable growth."
Under terms of the contract, IBM will overhaul Navistar's IT sector by providing the full gamut of services, including data center relocation, server and storage management, physical database support, and the utilization of IBM server and storage technology, IBM said. Big Blue will also provide disaster recovery services.
"By teaming with IBM, Navistar will ahve access to the world's leading services technology and research, allowing Navistar to significantly reduce overall IT operation costs and increase productivity while focusing on their core business and global expansion," said Scott Hopkins, IBM General Manager, Industrial Sector.
According to a recent survey by Accenture on IT investments, information technology will play a key role in the global economic recovery. Accenture noted that about 72 percent of business and IT execs say their "organizations place greater value on the IT function today than they did before the economic crisis," and believe that IT will prove integral to getting the economy back on track.
"The results of the survey show that firms recognize the need to invest in technology to defend and accelerate their competitive position, even in difficult times, which has not always been the case in the past," said Keith Haviland, Accenture's Global Managing Director for Systems Integration Consulting. "The turmoil over the last 18 months has underscored the need for further flexibility and scalability to stay ahead in business and drive agile business change."
Many execs said they expect technology spending to increase in their organization either selectively (47 percent) or across the board (10 percent) in the next year. Perhaps more surprisingly, around 61 percent of the non-IT executives pinged said they expect IT spending to rise.