This weeks round up from Amicus ITS

£250,000 penalty for Sony
The Information Commissioner’s office (ICO) has fined Sony Computer Entertainment Europe £250,000 for breaching the Data Protection Act, The data breach penalty relates to the hacking of the Sony PlayStation Network Platform in April 2011, which compromised the personal information of over 77 million customers. At the time Sony took down their Playstation network for over 3 weeks, to rebuild a more secure online platform, with over 77 million world-wide affected this was one of the biggest security breaches in history, who will be next!

Office 365 Home Premium launched
Microsoft takes Office into the cloud and for the first time lets consumers pay via monthly subscription. As well as the ‘modern’ look, users also get perks such as extra SkyDrive storage and free worldwide Skype calls to landlines. This is a unique way of marketing the Office package, it makes Office very accessible through a price point that everyone can afford and in addition the ‘always connected’ features of the Cloud helps Microsoft fight software piracy, a win win for all I feel!.

Blackberry 10
RIM who recently changed their name to ‘Blackberry’ launched their latest and long awaited new platform Blackberry 10 in the UK on the 31/01/13. They decided to launch in the UK first as Blackberry’s UK’s market is one of their strongest, this launch is fundamental for the future of Blackberry. The Z10 and Q10 both look good and take the Blackberry style into truly modern phones. We believe it is unlikely to be enough to truly gain significant market share, but if there’s one market they will crack it will be the UK, so this is definitely one to watch.

This week’s technology news from Amicus ITS

Cloud security fundamental to BYOD

A recent study suggests that cloud computing plays a vital role in the success of BYOD in the work environment. The study stated that although 54% of respondents identified BYOD as an area for growth, 78% stated that the trend could pose a ‘significant’ risk to information security. We believe that with increased efforts to educate users on cloud computing, fears surrounding BYOD may begin to dispel and the benefits, including operational costs and user experience, can be rewarded.

NHS to become paperless by 2018

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced his plans for the NHS to become paperless by 2018. The NHS will be joining a list of organisations already paperless, including 38% of Fortune 1000, saving them costs of up to £4.4 billion. We believe that this is overly ambitious and the concept of a fully paperless office is far from reality.

Gartner show shift in PC market

This week Gartner have stated how there is a current “structural shift” in the PC market as tablet demand continues to grow. The research firm has stated that shipments of PC’s are down by 4.9%, due to users opting for tablet devices instead of laptops and PC’s. So what does this mean for mobile device management? We believe that this shift will continue through 2013 and into 2014 with mobile devices becoming more prevalent in the workplace as they become more adaptable for the workforce.

What technology skills will be needed in 2013?

MSP mentor have released a list for top technology skills needed in 2013. Topping the list for in-demand technology knowledge include; business intelligence, mobile projects and cloud technology. These skills can cover a multiple of sins including, virtualisation, big data and app development. We believe a number of organisations have already made the move in understanding mobile and cloud technology.  However, business intelligence is still seen as a specialist area, and requires a different level of expertise and investment for organisations to fully understand and capitalise on this opportunity.

New Year, New Technologies

With so much information in the public domain it’s difficult to get a snap shot of the areas which are important and how it affects you, so here’s my breakdown for the week.

Gartner Says Worldwide IT Spending Forecast to Reach $3.7 Trillion in 2013

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2013, a 4.2 percent increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. The 2013 outlook for IT spending growth in U.S. dollars has been revised upward from 3.8 percent in the 3Q12 forecast.  Time to increase marketing expenditure!

NHS needs to embrace future technologies

This week Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, stated that the NHS needs to embrace future technologies in order to improve patient care and reduce costs.  This comes as no surprise as many other industries are beginning to see the substantial rewards associated with using advancing technologies.  By doing this we believe embracing future technologies enables the NHS to reduce costs, free up hospital bed space,  practioners time, whilst offering a vast range of new healthcare solutions.

CES 2013

At this year’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Lenovo demonstrated its sought after preview of the new Idea Centre Horizon Table PC, a 27-inch all in one desktop with around the house portability.  This new product has been especially designed for multiple use, where up to four people can use the device at any given time.  It is to be seen if this design can be used in a wide range of environments, which one maybe the hospitality industry.

2013: make or break for Blackberry

RIM has been busy creating its new touchscreen OS for Blackberry’s upcoming phone and tablet.  BlackBerry 10, which is expected to be released worldwide this quarter, has the support of all major UK and US carriers.  This is a good start for the upcoming platform, however, we believe this is truly the make or break year for RIM whose market share has been falling steadily over the past few years.

Cloud Computing in 2013

The Government have announced their plans to pledge £5 million in R&D to address the perceived issues hindering the adoption of cloud computing.   We envisage, with the help of this Government funding scheme, this year organisations will begin to let go of their security qualms and the adoption curve for cloud computing will take off.

Your first stop for this week’s MSP news in technology

MDM? Not without MSP’s help  

Even though the BYOD trend is gaining significant momentum, some organisations are still refraining from implementation.  Adopting MDM requires investment in technology, training, staffing and policy creation, meaning organisations can’t justify the funding.  However we believe there is a solution to this problem; introducing MDM through a managed service provider.  MSP’s can offer all the MDM benefits including 24×7 managed support, but save customers time as well as costs.  This will allow even small businesses to work more mobile.

Looking into the future in the Tablet market

The big three: Microsoft, Google and Apple are now all runners in the tablet market share race.  In recent months Apple has seen its sales decrease due to the increased popularity of cheaper Google devices. At this pace we may see Android over take Apple in Q2 2013. As Microsoft’s devices have only been on the market for less than a quarter, we are expecting a slow and steady uptake.  As more devices and apps come over to Microsoft’s new platform next year, we predict the market will shift.

‘Appy’ Christmas

Microsoft has announced that their Windows Phone app developers will be hard at work this festive season.  Since the launch of Windows Phone 8, mobile app requests have increased by 40%, seeing a recent surge in the last couple of weeks.  However, some companies refuse to jump on the bandwagon. Google have declared they have no plans to develop apps for either Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8. We believe that Google might be missing a trick.  As Windows 8 adoption grows momentum in 2013, we are predicting Microsoft’s app store will take off in a big way, enabling both a consumer and a corporate environment.

Microsoft release Cloud Deployment programme

Microsoft has released a new Cloud Deployment programme designed at educating partners as to how they can get the most out of Office 365.  Organisations have currently been viewing the Cloud as a threat to their security rather than an instrument for success.  With Microsoft’s latest partner programme, MSP’s will be able to offer management tools and expertise to help consumers understand the Cloud.  We believe that this will give MSP’s the opportunity to add value to the Cloud, helping customers with its set up and running.

This week’s news from the MD of Amicus ITS

Let’s end the confusion on Windows 8  

Since the launch of Windows 8, consumers have been primarily focused on the impact Microsoft’s latest OS will have on mobility. Although this plays an important role, the other key components of Windows 8 must also be explored.  Next week Amicus ITS are holding a Windows 8 event at Microsoft’s HQ in Reading, to demonstrate all of its offerings.  The event will feature what Windows 8 can offer to the corporate world through demonstrations, as well as explaining how to effectively manage a mobile work environment. 

Top Malware trends of 2013

With the recent increase in global security breaches, MSP mentor have revealed the top malware trends of 2013.  Trends for 2013 include; increased attacks on Google Chrome, malware that has the capability to invade virtual machines, and the introduction of native 64-bit Windows malware.  We believe organisations need to take a good look at what procedures are currently implemented and what they need to change.  

Mobility brings big changes to the market

The release of Microsoft’s latest device, the Surface Pro, is just around the corner.  As more and more users are taking advantage of mobility and connectivity on-the-go, we think the market is set to change.  Consumers now want to accomplish more with their tablet, performing the same tasks (including Word and Excel) that they could in the office. However, this doesn’t just refer to devices; applications play a large part too.  As users turn to alternative online communications tools, such as free messaging and email, SMS messaging has seen its first decline since mobile phones began.

 SME’s need to embrace the Cloud  

Gartner have recently suggested that Cloud Computing is set to be one of the biggest trends of 2013, and with a vast amount of SME’s yet to embrace the cloud, there is still great opportunity for growth.  The Cloud offers numerous benefits for SME’s, including cost effectiveness, operational efficiencies and scalability.  We believe that with clear education and a protected security procedure put in place, Cloud Computing can change not only large corporations but SME’s as well.

Amicus ITS – Our views on this week’s new

Apple’s profits – The Bigger Picture

Research firm, Statisa have announced Apple’s profits amount to more than Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, eBay and Yahoo combined.  Their $47.1 billion profits are primarily thanks to the popularity of their well-designed, fashionable, mobile devices and the growing impact on the work environment.  Whilst we love the iPad and the iPhone, can Apple maintain this lead by using their design and phenomenal budgets to drive consumers to the next big thing?

The end of XP

This week saw the start of the 500 day countdown for the end of XP support, giving Windows 8 a fighting chance in gaining significant sales figures.  Although Windows 8 has so far seen a slow start, we think Microsoft’s big gamble will pay off.  As mobility grows, organisations will look to the best solution to meet their OS needs and we think Windows 8 will come up trumps.

Windows Phone anyone?

Microsoft is placing all bets on the new Windows 8 ecosystem to push sales of its phone division.  The new device comes with a similar look and feel to its desktops, tablets, Xbox and phones, in the hope that users will enjoy the experience on one device and try another. We think this is a smart move for Microsoft and predict that by the end of 2014, we may see the market share spilt between Apple, Microsoft and Google.

Security breaches enhance corporation’s awareness

In recent months, hacking has increased.  Many big names are currently in the firing line; Google, Yahoo and Microsoft becoming the latest.  As industry leaders succumb to security breaches, the rest of the world becomes increasingly concerned as to how secure their IT infrastructure really is.  Organisations need to step up their game and will look to managed service providers for help.

Technology through our eyes – Amicus ITS

Underground Wi-Fi

Virgin Media announced its offering of free Wi-Fi service for the London Underground during the Olympics. With the end of this free service imminent, Virgin Media have enlisted both Vodafone and EE (the UK’s first 4G provider) as partners.  From early next year only customers of these networks will be able to gain access. This long overdue increased Wi-Fi service confirms the demand to be ever mobile and always available.

HP and Autonomy – $5 billion write off

HP has accused Autonomy of inflating their financial value before the acquisition.  It seems that HP’s eagerness to capitalise on Big Data may have seen their governance standards slip, costing them over $5 billion. This should be a warning to other technology giants to think carefully before taking drastic steps to try and get a foothold into future technologies.

Bring Your Own…

BYOD is changing the way users live and work, and as many organisations see its steady increase, a new angle has emerged.  The BYOS (Bring Your Own Service) trend incorporates the cloud, allowing end users to introduce apps and services that allow file synchronization for the movement of data across numerous devices. Our concerns remain with security.  Until organisations are able to offer a secure IT environment, the safety of company information can’t be guaranteed.