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TECHNOLOGY

These Three Steps Help Facilitate its Professional Use

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These Three Steps Help Facilitate its Professional Use

Consumerization of IT is Here to Stay: These Three Steps Help Facilitate its Professional Use

With the advancement of digital devices and technology, many employees as well as consumers are becoming more advanced and technologically savvy than companies and even their IT departments!

This is an internal disruption quickly taking place across industries and has been for some time. While businesses can certainly benefit from the ever-expanding consumerization of IT, there are also challenges that must be faced, especially as the workforce becomes more hybrid than ever before.

Traditionally the consumerization of IT referred to employees increasing reliance on their personal devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and computers, in business settings. But with the more recent influx of hybrid and remote work opportunities, many employees are now finding their own software applications to help get their job done better as well.

As more sophisticated apps and other profound software developments are more readily available to the professional consumer, the average person’s knowledge base is growing exponentially as well. As a result, many companies and managers at those organizations are realizing that this is a Hard Trend future certainty that must be understood and leveraged!

What Are the Primary Drivers of the Consumerization of IT?

There was a time when you had to be an IT professional to understand or have access to many software applications integral to industries. Those softwares are still at play; however, the world is transforming around them, and newer, more user-friendly options have now emerged.

1679074237 854 These Three Steps Help Facilitate its Professional Use

One of the current key drivers of the consumerization of IT is the rapid advancement of digital technologies and the availability of transformative software applications to the general public that businesses and organizations are often unaware of. In other words, personal devices and the software on them are quickly becoming more advanced and user-friendly than the legacy IT systems that are commonly used in those businesses and organizations.

This is especially true when it comes to mobile devices. As many working professionals now have two mobile phones, one for personal use and the other for work use, they know what applications they like, they pay for services that perhaps their company does not, and they know what works well.

As such, they often use their personal devices for professional work instead of the devices their company gives them, which can really decentralize a business process in both good and complicated ways.

1679074237 770 These Three Steps Help Facilitate its Professional Use

Another main driver behind the consumerization of IT is the younger generation entering the workforce. These generations grew up with transformative digital technology and devices that impact their personal lives. Unlike previous generations, Millennials, Generation Z, and now the generation that follows relies on technology for their many needs.

As such, these individuals are prepared to utilize them professionally and are knowledgeable about why certain software applications are better than others, depending on the circumstance.

Growing Your Organization Effectively

Both the continuous advancement of digital software and younger generations being willing to work with new technology in exponential ways are Hard Trend future certainties. These Hard Trends can quite easily provide organizational growth opportunities when leveraged the right way as well as facilitating a positive Futureview around employee growth opportunities.

1679074237 871 These Three Steps Help Facilitate its Professional Use

Because the consumerization of IT is shifting to a software focus in addition to the traditional hardware focus, the additional Hard Trend future certainty of hybrid and remote workforces makes for the perfect IT storm where workflow can either become incredibly efficient or a cumbersome juggernaut that may spiral out of control.

Falling behind in your industry as employees and middle managers leverage their own software preferences creates internal and external rifts that can not only inhibit organizational growth but also can create a ripple effect of problems between remote, hybrid, and in-person employees. If legacy technology is being utilized on-site and remote workers find their own software to do their job more efficiently, someone is missing the boat.

The benefit of the consumerization of IT is that business leaders will get top-tier productivity from them, as they will feel comfortable in their role, use the skills they have mastered to do a great job, and feel as though they are helping transform the business and industry for the better! Instead of remaining stuck in legacy technology, successful businesses embrace the creative and critical thinking that comes along with new devices and software that many employees already know how to use.

The Challenges Organizations Face

Of course, there are always challenges that come with adapting new software or processes as a business or organization. The consumerization of IT is certainly no exception.

The biggest concern IT professionals have internally is security. Especially with an influx of remote employees and hybrid work environments, employees are using personal devices or software they prefer over that which is provided by their IT department can pose a security risk if company data is not effectively protected.

To combat this potential breach of information, IT professionals cannot protect and defend their legacy systems. Instead, internal IT departments can be Anticipatory in their approach to leveraging employee software preferences and take the following steps:

1679074237 671 These Three Steps Help Facilitate its Professional Use

Training Role Reversal Talk to your employees directly and get great insight into the software and applications they find most useful. Let them train you before you find a way to train others on new, innovative software. Do not just ask how it works; ask why these applications help them get their job done more effectively and efficiently. Be receptive to new ideas!

Create a List of Software Pros and Cons As you have these discussions with employees in regards to their preferred software, create a list of feature benefits and setbacks that you see using your experience in the industry. This helps you better communicate to those who are higher up than you how this software might better meet the company’s needs and adequately reveals loopholes in security to be aware of.

Have Security and Safety Protocols in Place Here is where your IT professionals can combine their knowledge with the knowledge employees have about their preferred software. After identifying potential safety risks with new software, you can find ways to solve those problems preemptively in an Anticipatory manner! Firewalls and anti-virus software may need to be implemented, so require employees to do so, especially those working remotely.

The consumerization of IT is a Hard Trend that is here to stay and one that will only accelerate now and in the future as a result of younger, technologically advanced generations entering the workforce and the shift to hybrid environments! It is important for business leaders, middle managers, and even employees to take an Anticipatory approach to this constant shift.

Adapting and embracing new software just as we quickly adapted to mobile devices, tablets, and other consumer-based technology, as well as the Internet itself, the new workforce of hybrid and remote employees will be able to operate efficiently. Do not ignore this Hard Trend — leverage it now and watch future growth unfold!

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TECHNOLOGY

Next-gen chips, Amazon Q, and speedy S3

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AWS re:Invent, which has been taking place from November 27 and runs to December 1, has had its usual plethora of announcements: a total of 21 at time of print.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the huge potential impact of generative AI – ChatGPT officially turns one year old today – a lot of focus has been on the AI side for AWS’ announcements, including a major partnership inked with NVIDIA across infrastructure, software, and services.

Yet there has been plenty more announced at the Las Vegas jamboree besides. Here, CloudTech rounds up the best of the rest:

Next-generation chips

This was the other major AI-focused announcement at re:Invent: the launch of two new chips, AWS Graviton4 and AWS Trainium2, for training and running AI and machine learning (ML) models, among other customer workloads. Graviton4 shapes up against its predecessor with 30% better compute performance, 50% more cores and 75% more memory bandwidth, while Trainium2 delivers up to four times faster training than before and will be able to be deployed in EC2 UltraClusters of up to 100,000 chips.

The EC2 UltraClusters are designed to ‘deliver the highest performance, most energy efficient AI model training infrastructure in the cloud’, as AWS puts it. With it, customers will be able to train large language models in ‘a fraction of the time’, as well as double energy efficiency.

As ever, AWS offers customers who are already utilising these tools. Databricks, Epic and SAP are among the companies cited as using the new AWS-designed chips.

Zero-ETL integrations

AWS announced new Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for MySQL integrations with Amazon Redshift, AWS’ cloud data warehouse. The zero-ETL integrations – eliminating the need to build ETL (extract, transform, load) data pipelines – make it easier to connect and analyse transactional data across various relational and non-relational databases in Amazon Redshift.

A simple example of how zero-ETL functions can be seen is in a hypothetical company which stores transactional data – time of transaction, items bought, where the transaction occurred – in a relational database, but use another analytics tool to analyse data in a non-relational database. To connect it all up, companies would previously have to construct ETL data pipelines which are a time and money sink.

The latest integrations “build on AWS’s zero-ETL foundation… so customers can quickly and easily connect all of their data, no matter where it lives,” the company said.

Amazon S3 Express One Zone

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon S3 Express One Zone, a new storage class purpose-built for customers’ most frequently-accessed data. Data access speed is up to 10 times faster and request costs up to 50% lower than standard S3. Companies can also opt to collocate their Amazon S3 Express One Zone data in the same availability zone as their compute resources.  

Companies and partners who are using Amazon S3 Express One Zone include ChaosSearch, Cloudera, and Pinterest.

Amazon Q

A new product, and an interesting pivot, again with generative AI at its core. Amazon Q was announced as a ‘new type of generative AI-powered assistant’ which can be tailored to a customer’s business. “Customers can get fast, relevant answers to pressing questions, generate content, and take actions – all informed by a customer’s information repositories, code, and enterprise systems,” AWS added. The service also can assist companies building on AWS, as well as companies using AWS applications for business intelligence, contact centres, and supply chain management.

Customers cited as early adopters include Accenture, BMW and Wunderkind.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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TECHNOLOGY

HCLTech and Cisco create collaborative hybrid workplaces

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Digital comms specialist Cisco and global tech firm HCLTech have teamed up to launch Meeting-Rooms-as-a-Service (MRaaS).

Available on a subscription model, this solution modernises legacy meeting rooms and enables users to join meetings from any meeting solution provider using Webex devices.

The MRaaS solution helps enterprises simplify the design, implementation and maintenance of integrated meeting rooms, enabling seamless collaboration for their globally distributed hybrid workforces.

Rakshit Ghura, senior VP and Global head of digital workplace services, HCLTech, said: “MRaaS combines our consulting and managed services expertise with Cisco’s proficiency in Webex devices to change the way employees conceptualise, organise and interact in a collaborative environment for a modern hybrid work model.

“The common vision of our partnership is to elevate the collaboration experience at work and drive productivity through modern meeting rooms.”

Alexandra Zagury, VP of partner managed and as-a-Service Sales at Cisco, said: “Our partnership with HCLTech helps our clients transform their offices through cost-effective managed services that support the ongoing evolution of workspaces.

“As we reimagine the modern office, we are making it easier to support collaboration and productivity among workers, whether they are in the office or elsewhere.”

Cisco’s Webex collaboration devices harness the power of artificial intelligence to offer intuitive, seamless collaboration experiences, enabling meeting rooms with smart features such as meeting zones, intelligent people framing, optimised attendee audio and background noise removal, among others.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: Cisco, collaboration, HCLTech, Hybrid, meetings

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TECHNOLOGY

Canonical releases low-touch private cloud MicroCloud

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Canonical has announced the general availability of MicroCloud, a low-touch, open source cloud solution. MicroCloud is part of Canonical’s growing cloud infrastructure portfolio.

It is purpose-built for scalable clusters and edge deployments for all types of enterprises. It is designed with simplicity, security and automation in mind, minimising the time and effort to both deploy and maintain it. Conveniently, enterprise support for MicroCloud is offered as part of Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro subscription, with several support tiers available, and priced per node.

MicroClouds are optimised for repeatable and reliable remote deployments. A single command initiates the orchestration and clustering of various components with minimal involvement by the user, resulting in a fully functional cloud within minutes. This simplified deployment process significantly reduces the barrier to entry, putting a production-grade cloud at everyone’s fingertips.

Juan Manuel Ventura, head of architectures & technologies at Spindox, said: “Cloud computing is not only about technology, it’s the beating heart of any modern industrial transformation, driving agility and innovation. Our mission is to provide our customers with the most effective ways to innovate and bring value; having a complexity-free cloud infrastructure is one important piece of that puzzle. With MicroCloud, the focus shifts away from struggling with cloud operations to solving real business challenges” says

In addition to seamless deployment, MicroCloud prioritises security and ease of maintenance. All MicroCloud components are built with strict confinement for increased security, with over-the-air transactional updates that preserve data and roll back on errors automatically. Upgrades to newer versions are handled automatically and without downtime, with the mechanisms to hold or schedule them as needed.

With this approach, MicroCloud caters to both on-premise clouds but also edge deployments at remote locations, allowing organisations to use the same infrastructure primitives and services wherever they are needed. It is suitable for business-in-branch office locations or industrial use inside a factory, as well as distributed locations where the focus is on replicability and unattended operations.

Cedric Gegout, VP of product at Canonical, said: “As data becomes more distributed, the infrastructure has to follow. Cloud computing is now distributed, spanning across data centres, far and near edge computing appliances. MicroCloud is our answer to that.

“By packaging known infrastructure primitives in a portable and unattended way, we are delivering a simpler, more prescriptive cloud experience that makes zero-ops a reality for many Industries.“

MicroCloud’s lightweight architecture makes it usable on both commodity and high-end hardware, with several ways to further reduce its footprint depending on your workload needs. In addition to the standard Ubuntu Server or Desktop, MicroClouds can be run on Ubuntu Core – a lightweight OS optimised for the edge. With Ubuntu Core, MicroClouds are a perfect solution for far-edge locations with limited computing capabilities. Users can choose to run their workloads using Kubernetes or via system containers. System containers based on LXD behave similarly to traditional VMs but consume fewer resources while providing bare-metal performance.

Coupled with Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro + Support subscription, MicroCloud users can benefit from an enterprise-grade open source cloud solution that is fully supported and with better economics. An Ubuntu Pro subscription offers security maintenance for the broadest collection of open-source software available from a single vendor today. It covers over 30k packages with a consistent security maintenance commitment, and additional features such as kernel livepatch, systems management at scale, certified compliance and hardening profiles enabling easy adoption for enterprises. With per-node pricing and no hidden fees, customers can rest assured that their environment is secure and supported without the expensive price tag typically associated with cloud solutions.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: automation, Canonical, MicroCloud, private cloud

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