3 takeaways on the future of IT from Dell EMC World

iot-presentationDell and EMC’s merger was the largest ever in tech, and created the new Dell Technologies. We finally saw the “super” IT company at last month’s Dell EMC World (formerly Dell World), the first public event since the merger was completed in September.

And it was huge! With more than 6,000 attending from more than 80 countries, Michael Dell seized the opportunity to promote the world’s largest IT hardware manufacturer.

I spent three days at Dell EMC World 2016, and saw Dell Technologies’s vision of the future. Not surprisingly, a lot of its focus narrowed in on data, and how the future of IT is reliant on data collection, storage, and analysis. But while new technology will guide us through the next 15 years, some of the old is here to stay – at least for now. Continue Reading…

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4 must-see technologies at Cisco Live 2016

SHI-Cisco-Live-2016The holy grail of IT might be the single pane of glass, but it eludes many IT professionals because of all the segmented technologies and platforms they have to manage. How can an organization get there? Two words: visibility and control.

Which is why those topics will be major themes at this year’s Cisco Live, which kicks off next week in Las Vegas.

Cisco’s many acquisitions in the last year, including Internet of Things (IoT) platform Jasper and a plethora of security-oriented companies, all weave around the common threads of visibility and control. These moves highlight the industry trend toward tools that provide more insights into an IT network and answer the call for stronger asset management. Continue Reading…

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How the Internet of Things is driving cost-saving efficiencies for manufacturers

Cisco Internet of Things for ManufacturingIf there’s one industry that demands efficiency, it’s manufacturing. Lined with robots and skilled workers side by side, modern assembly lines pump out millions of goods every year at record speeds. But nearly every line will experience maintenance shutdowns, can improve flow, and can correct designs and oversights.

Manufacturers are now combating those challenges with Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can bring about big results through data collection. In fact, 61 percent of North American manufacturing executives said they’d be willing to use IoT devices to monitor equipment for predictive maintenance services.

This is the next step in the evolution of industry, which has come a long way from the steam-powered 18th century. The mass production of the 20th century and the advent of robots in the 1970s sped production lines, and now those tools are getting smart. The digitization of manufacturing means smart devices and technological progress that’s opening new opportunities.

Welcome to Manufacturing 2.0, where IoT devices are boosting productivity, improving efficiency, and putting money into manufacturers’ pockets. Continue Reading…

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5 ways technology can increase sales for brick and mortar retailers

shopping mallThe majority of U.S. retail sales still occur in brick and mortar stores, but maybe not for long. Online shopping has drawn dollars away from big box stores, which continue to struggle to attract customers given the convenience and discounts online retailers have to offer.

The giants of e-commerce are also swaying business in their favor through ever-shifting pricing, big data analytics, and a restless approach to capitalizing on technology. But physical stores are starting to catch up, increasingly adding new technology and methods to better serve customers. While some are taking a piecemeal approach and adopting new technologies as they go, the stores that stand a chance of competing with online retailers will look to integrate solutions for a better overall customer experience.

Consider these five ways technology can get shoppers offline and back to your business. Continue Reading…

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3 steps to secure your network for the Internet of Things

everything connectedThe number of devices that rely on network connectivity to do their jobs is skyrocketing — mobile-connected devices will outnumber people in the world by the end of the year, according to Cisco. All those smartphones and tablets are improving productivity and access to data, but they can also become security risks that open your network to attacks. The vulnerability of network connections has always been a problem, but the more devices are linked, the more risks you’ll have to manage, and the more stringent your security will have to be.

No potential threat is greater than the Internet of Things (IoT). As the IoT takes hold in organizations, it will exponentially multiply the number of devices on your network, connecting everything from thermostats and HVAC systems to vehicles and manufacturing equipment. Experts expect 26 billion connected units by 2020.

Every organization is facing the inevitability of the IoT and must take a stand against future security risks now. Here are three things you should do to take control of your connectivity and head off any risks as we brace for an explosion of devices as part of the IoT. Continue Reading…

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5 consequences of poor BYOD management

Tablet-Eating-100-Dollar-BillBring your own device (BYOD) has slashed hardware and maintenance costs and fueled mobile productivity at companies large and small, and adoption is accelerating. Gartner estimates that by 2020, 45 percent of organizations will be all BYOD, while 40 percent will offer a mixed program, and only 15 percent won’t have any BYOD program in place.

But while BYOD can be a positive policy for numerous industries, it’s not going well for all organizations, especially those that have ignored the potential hazards associated with the policy.

Last year I discussed two unexpected consequences of BYOD, but since then the risks have expanded as available technology diversifies and new mobility demands arise. Here are five additional pitfalls of BYOD environments, and how organizations can avoid them: Continue Reading…

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