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Hot News in IT this week

Simon Eskow, TechBlog Editor. 14 November 2014, 7:00 am

Some highlights from the last seven days in IT News...

That Human Factor

Security threats to company data on employee mobile devices are real, but the true enemy may be within, according to research covered by TechDay this week. In fact, most IT professionals in Australia and New Zealand surveyed by Check Point Software, in its third annual mobile security report, say careless employees are a much bigger challenge than cybercriminals. Inevitably, despite such concerns, personal mobile device use on corporate networks is proliferating, with 90 per cent of respondents saying the number of personal devices connecting to corporate networks is growing, and 74 per cent reporting the number of personal mobile devices on their corporate networks had more than doubled in the past two years. As TechDay writes, the lines between managed and non-manged environment are porous, making it easy to transport corporate data outside business security measures. More than 80 per cent of the professionals expect mobile security incidents to increase this year. The cost to clean up after a breach is a significant concern among those surveyed. The ANZ results tracked closely to the company's global survey report.

TechDay: The Fool Within Bigger Threat Than the Enemy at the Gate

Marketwatch: Global Security Report Highlights Careless Employees


Xero widens US footprint

New Zealand born and bred cloud service provider Xero has acquired Seattle-based online payroll company, Monchilla for US$4.1 million cash and 240,000 shares. The purchase will allow the company to rapidly extend its payroll offering to US customers. Monchilla founders Couch and Nanjuan Shi, formerly of Microsoft, will continue on with the company to complement design of the Xero's US product, based on Monchilla's solution to the complexity of electronic payroll state filing, Monchilla was still in the initial stages of launching and building a customer base. Stuff reported on the acquisition last week before its completion, writing that Xero was in the market for intellectual property, making Monchilla's low revenue data immaterial to the Kiwi firm's intent.

Computerworld: Xero Completes Multi-Million Dollar Acquisition of US Company

Stuff: Xero to Buy US Firm Monchilla


Infrastructure as Vapour

A build-out of datacentres is spelling the inevitable doom for closet-server rooms and in-house hardware. Well, not doom, but decline. Tech analysis firm IDC this week issued a survey report indicating the number of datacentres being built will peak and dive through 2017. All that compute, storage, backup and the like still has to go somewhere, which is why IDC says that as new datacentre construction starts to fall, global datacentre capacity will increase from 1.58 billion square feet this year to 1.94 billion square feet in 2018. IDC attributes the slowdown to a drop in server rooms and internal server closets, beginning in 2016. Enterprises that once did that sort of thing are turning over internal infrastructure management to cloud-based IaaS providers, a scenario that may translate into greater use of on-premise and hosted managed services for existing IT sitting alongside new shared cloud services delivered from "mega" datacenters. This predicted dawn of consolidation and retirement has been in the works, and as ZDNet point out, it has been brewing. According to the publication, 2014 has been the year of the CxO "investigating, piloting and actively moving production workloads into the Cloud" though a key pain point for shifting into the cloud is messaging and email, which larger enterprises want to keep private, despite headaches in managing and running it themselves. ZDNet also points out that driving the tear-down of the internal datacenter space is legacy application transformation.

Enterprise Tech: Cloud Services Reshaping Datacentre Build Outs

ZDNet: 2014 is the Year the Cloud Killed the Datacentre


Microsoft pushes .NET Beyond Windows

Microsoft announced at a developer conference this week that it will open the full server-side .NET core stack as an open-sourced .NET core for Linux and Mac OS X. The company's move will add to the list of open source technologies rolled out last April, which included ASP.NET, the Roslyn .NET compiler platform, the .NET Micro Framework, .NET Rx and the VB and C# programming languages. Microsoft officials said they planned to make these technologies available via a newly created .Net Foundation. The new technology components will roll out under the MIT open-source license. The move is allowing developers to build ASP.NET 5.0 applications that can be deployed and run on Windows, Linux and/or Mac environments. The company expects most .NET developers to deploy their server-side apps on Windows and Linux, but is providing Mac compatibility mainly for the development environment choice. Microsoft is using GitHub for hosting the core framework porting and open-sourcing work. Microsoft is not planning to open source the client side .NET stack.

Computerworld: Micorsoft Open Sources Net Server Stack

ZDNet: Microsoft to Open-Source More of .NET to Linux and Mac OSx


Voyager's Fast Pace

Voyager Internet took the top spot in this year's NZ Deloitte Fast 50, clocking a 1,391 per cent recent revenue growth. Fast 50 ranks companies by measuring revenue growth over three years, monitoring a range of sectors from manufacturing to consumer products, exporters and mature business. Voyager focuses on business and wholesale internet service, hosting, broadband, voice communication services and cloud telecommunications serving more than 25,000 customers. CEO Seeby Woodhouse tells Computerworld that the Auckland-based company will pick up the pace in retail and wholesale UFB business, which it expects to go live in all 33 UFB by mid-2015. Other tech companies on the Fast 50 include cloud-based POS provider Vend, at number four, experiencing 1097.74 percent of growth. Digital marketing design and strategy company, Touchcast, was ranked sixth, with a growth of 804.98 percent.

Computerworld: Voyager Accelerates UFB Rollout Schedule

TechDay: Voyager Takes Top Spot in Deloitte Fast 50

Click here to see the entire Fast 50 list.


Power Drill

Parts of Auckland lost power for three days over one weekend in October, leaving 85,000 customers in the dark. The event has prompted IT services company CodeBlue to offer a no-cost "data resilience strategic audit" to qualifying organisations in the Super City that host 20 to 300 IT users. According to a statement posted to Scoop, the assessment is a no-strings-attached risk management exercise to determine an organisation's backup strategy, and how quickly it can get employees up and running after a major outage. The company points to a history of significant blackouts in Auckland since the well-known event in 1998 that shut power down to over half of Auckland's businesses for six weeks, thanks to a burned out cable. Other events did not impact the city (or New Zealand GDP) anywhere near as much, however the October outage is said to have cost affected businesses hundreds of millions of dollars.

Computerworld: When the Lights Go Out, And They Will...

Scoop: CodeBlue Pilots Free Data Resiliency Audit Service


Career Care

Going by Absolute IT's annual Remuneration Report, tech professionals with a degree and a decade of experience will earn 12 per cent more than those without a degree. As Computerworld writes, that gap increases over time. Absolute IT is rolling out a service that is designed to help IT professionals figure out how to tackle certifications and professional development. Meanwhile, the oft-reported shortage of skilled IT workers in New Zealand may see a new generation of women emerging from university and ready to take those jobs, if the Summer of Tech internship programme is taken as a bellweather. According to a separate Computerworld piece, that programme is placing more female tertiary students in paid internships than in any other year. For 2014-2015, 33 women will take up internships in high tech companies, out of a record 106 students placed in total, a 40 per cent national increase over last year, and the best year for the programme since its inception in 2006. The Summer of Tech is a non-profit programme supported by Grow Wellington, Wellington City Council and technology companies.

Computerworld: Why Ambitious Kiwis Should Invest in Their Tech Careers

Computerworld: More Women Taking ICT Internships in Summer of Tech Programme


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