The link between freedom and money, data edition

Commercial services—including those used by Fortune 500 companies—outsourced to India typically consist of information technology outsourcing or business process outsourcing. For example, IBM likely employs the majority of its employees in India, where they process bank records, perform financial analyses, and write software. Chinese workers can no doubt handle these tasks, but given the reports of industrial espionage in the country, foreign businesses may be wary of trusting their internal workings of their computer systems, accounting, or customer relations platforms. As a corollary, companies might also be unwilling to reveal to their customers that they outsource customer personal data to China. In a time-sensitive services environment, uncertainty about whether information flow can be interrupted for political reasons is difficult to tolerate. Most people do not have the same fear of transferring information to India, which, as the world’s largest democracy, maintains a boisterous and free press.

China may be the world’s factory but it won’t become our information hub

Of course, if you replace "China" with "NSA," things get intellectually annoying as well.

Spending all your money just keeping the lights on

Researchers have found that IT departments typically spend 75% of their time, money and resources simply keeping things running on a daily basis, leaving only 25% of efforts dedicated to new strategic initiatives.
Getting Control of the Application Portfolio

This kind of thing is always suspect, and with the source it’s likely scopes to banks. Still: that’s IT for ya!

When white-collar workers have opinions

"The mobile revolution has given end-users the power to find new software, new ideas and new content all by themselves," he says.

"If our users find a new mobile app that gives a better way to do their expense claim easily and efficiently, they will put pressure on their employer and say, ‘Why are we using Concur when we have this app which is so cool and easy to use?’," Tetaz explains.

Concur turns start-up investor to develop its ecosystem

People seem to be buying Chromebooks

Chromebooks have in just the past eight months snagged 20 percent to 25 percent of the U.S. market for laptops that cost less than $300, according to NPD Group Inc. The devices, which have a full keyboard and get regular software updates from Google, are the fastest-growing part of the PC industry based on price, NPD said.

Chromebooks still remain a small portion of the total U.S. market for laptops and netbooks. The devices had about 4 percent to 5 percent share in the first quarter, though that was up from 1 percent to 2 percent in 2012, according to Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Gartner Inc.

Google Chromebook Under $300 Defies PC Market With Growth

This Is the Woman at the Heart of Everything Google Builds

Using RedMonk logic: companies tend to keep what they consider their competative advantage closed source; Google keeps their dev toolchain closed source; Google’s ability to more productive in development (the primary point of a dev toolchain) is a core differentiator for Google. QED.

More: This Is the Woman at the Heart of Everything Google Builds

Open Web Crew Blindsided

Then Facebook began to grow and grow. I remember the first time someone was showing me Facebook—it was Tantek of all people—I remember asking “But what is it for?” After all, Flickr was for photos, Delicious was for links, Dopplr was for travel. Facebook was for …everything …and nothing.

I just didn’t get it. It seemed crazy that a social network could grow so big just by offering …well, a big social network.

But it did grow. And grow. And grow. And suddenly the AOL business model didn’t seem so crazy anymore. It seemed ahead of its time.

Battle for the planet of the APIs

Advice for Dairy Maids

The reality is that it is only the `cash cows’ that are really important—all the other elements are supporting actors. It is a foolish vendor who diverts funds from a `cash cow’ when these are needed to extend the life of that `product’. Although it is necessary to recognize a `dog’ when it appears (at least before it bites you) it would be foolish in the extreme to create one in order to balance up the picture. The vendor, who has most of his (or her) products in the `cash cow’ quadrant, should consider himself (or herself) fortunate indeed, and an excellent marketer, although he or she might also consider creating a few stars as an insurance policy against unexpected future developments and, perhaps, to add some extra growth. There is also a common misconception that ‘dogs’ are a waste of resources. In many markets ‘dogs’ can be considered loss-leaders that while not themselves profitable will lead to increased sales in other profitable areas.

Growth-share matrix

No one got fired for buying IBM cloud

So what is the impact of IBM’s acquisition of SoftLayer? This analyst believes this acquisition may be a fundamental signal to competitors that the old world of outsourcing is fading and that the only way to the future is delivery of services via an “IT” utility called the cloud. Just consider that 80% of U.S. buyers indicate that they will have transformed 50% of their IT environment to a cloud by 2017 and that they will not have all the resources to manage their own cloud.

David Tapper, IDC

Tapper also covers a good history of IBM getting into “utility computing,” all the way back to 2000-ish, if not 1957.

I met and talked with Tapper at the recent Dell analyst event. I liked him a lot: he was pretty much as abrasive/honest as the UK analysts! As in this piece, what I like is people who bring the full, shaggy-dog context to what seems like a point in time in the IT industry continuum.

How’s Microsoft doing with Yammer?

If we look at it from Yammer’s perspective, it’s been a good year. Being part of the Microsoft family has helped it grow its total user base by 60% in the last 12 months to almost 8 million users, and its number of paid networks has grown by 200%. Plus, Yammer’s 2012 full year sales almost tripled year over year, helped by a stellar Q4 performance.

Microsoft & Yammer: still a long way to go

Heterogenous Systems Management

Increasingly, PC makers are experimenting with Android, given that Microsoft’s Windows 8 devices have struggled to attract consumers, according to analysts. Google promotes Android as a free and open operating system, and many tech companies are already relying on the OS to build their smartphone and tablet products.

PC makers will come out with more Android devices, "But the question is what is it going to look like?" said Bryan Ma, an analyst with IDC. "Most of the good Android apps aren’t really for the larger screens."

HP shows off 21-inch all-in-one desktop installed with Android

Despite where I work, I don’t pay super attention to this space. However, the above does provoke the point: between Chrome, iOS, Android, OS X, and Windows, if you lump them all together, you’ve got mass fragmentation on the "desktop" area. Throw in all the public cloud archipelagos, along with "traditional IT," and It’s heterogenous systems management all the way down!

A surplus of innovation

Adrian Cockcroft, who runs all things cloud for Netflix, called it “technical indigestion.” His group is releasing an open source project a week – including new monitoring tools that came out this week. “We’re driving a lot of innovation but we’re giving people indigestion. There’s only so many blog posts you can read in a day,” he said.

‘Analysis paralysis’ slowing down cloud adoption