Category Archives: Information Technology
The FCC’s Privacy Foray: Privacy Regulation Under Title II

The FCC’s Privacy Foray: Privacy Regulation Under Title II

The ill-advised classification of broadband as a Title II telecommunication service triggers a cascading series of additional proceedings to sort through the wide-ranging implications of this radical shift in policy. Prominent among these is the treatment of customer proprietary network information (CPNI) by broadband access providers. In the workshops and proceedings to come, we must recognize that broadband network data is fundamentally different than the CPNI of the legacy telephone network that the Communications Act imagined. The increased functionality and value this type of data offers should encourage regulators to allow room for a flexible, voluntary framework to grow atop baseline expectations of privacy. While many aspects of this issue remain to be explored, we should generally prefer transparent and visible “opt-out” mechanisms over a rigid regime that would make it hard to use data effectively.

Source: The FCC’s Privacy Foray: Privacy Regulation Under Title II

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Vet IT opportunities’ risks vs. rewards in a flash with this test

Vet IT opportunities’ risks vs. rewards in a flash with this test

Opportunity abounds for most IT leaders, from new vendor products to potential hires. Here’s how to quickly evaluate whether an opportunity is worth pursuing.

Apple’s MacBook lineup

Image: Apple

For IT leaders, opportunity is so plentiful that it can become impossible to even focus on the boundless chances we have to leverage new products, implement a new management philosophy, or hire a talented individual who just came onto the market. Here are several tips for recognizing and exploiting the right opportunities.

Perform a “three-way test”

Just because a favored vendor appears with something billed as an opportunity doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily helpful to you or your company. For an opportunity to be worth exploring, it needs to pass a three-way test of sorts:

  1. Is the opportunity valuable to you?
  2. Is the opportunity valuable to your IT organization or group?
  3. Is the opportunity ultimately valuable in the broader context of your company?

Note that the vendor or entity offering the opportunity doesn’t figure into this initial evaluation, and in the IT space the opportunities you’re presented with will often be those that make the most sense for the vendor, and not for you or your company.

The best opportunities provide some immediate benefit to you directly, providing a solution to a problem directly in your purview. While seemingly selfish, an opportunity with personal benefit is one that you’re likely well positioned to vet. If you’re constantly playing the part of disinterested evaluator, you’re less likely to take the initiative to fully realize what might be a time-sensitive situation.

With a personal interest, consider how the opportunity will impact your department, as well as the larger organization. Some opportunities will satisfy all three constituencies, while others may be at odds in some or all dimensions. For example, outsourcing your department may be the right move for the broader organization, but obviously less compelling for your department and potentially your individual success. With significant conflicts, consider passing the opportunity along to someone else if it provides legitimate benefit, as they may be better positioned to exploit it.

Engage a trusted party

If an opportunity comes your way that can’t be quickly evaluated in the context of the above test, consider engaging a trusted third party — this could be a colleague, a subordinate, or even a trusted vendor who can provide feedback that’s appropriate to your organization. Be aware that this third party will apply their own three-way test, and thus their judgment will be influenced by their perspective. Also avoid subjecting this person to “opportunity fatigue,” which may result from passing them anything that comes across your desk.

Measure the risk

With an understanding of the benefits to yourself, your immediate organization, and the larger company, and potentially the help of a third party, it’s worth evaluating the risk of pursuing an opportunity. Everyone has a limited amount of time and attention span, and thus you must pursue opportunities wisely.

A critical factor in determining if an opportunity is worth further investigation is to quickly analyze the risk of pursuing vs. ignoring the potential opportunity. Highly experimental software might be personally interesting, a boon to your department, and have the potential to support a new corporate initiative, but it might be more risky than a chance to streamline an uninteresting but high-volume process when the benefits of each are taken into account.

Follow your gut on the timing question

Most true opportunities are time sensitive. That great candidate who just appeared on the job market won’t be there in a month, just as an emerging technology won’t be unique to your company forever. People who are peddling opportunities know this, and may attempt to create false urgency to force you to move forward.

If something feels amiss, don’t let the pressure of a “one-time offer” force you to abandon a sensible investigation into the risks and rewards of pursuing an opportunity. This must be balanced against an overly aggressive desire to avoid risk, a tendency that is easily identified after you miss several legitimate opportunities due to an inability to make a decision.


Taking the time to assess opportunities, vet them with a trusted party, measure the risk, and manage timing can turn a seemingly overwhelming task into one that becomes manageable. The alternative – that is, ignoring all comers — is a recipe for stagnation. Diligence can prove beneficial to you, your department, and your company.

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Source: Tech Republic New feed

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IPsoft buys Swedish IT services firm ab1 Group AB in bid to realise Nordic ambitions

IT services

David Nikel

Automation software provider IPsoft has bought Swedish IT professional services firm, ab1 Group AB.

This increases IPsoft’s reach into the Nordic region for its autonomic platform, IPcenter.


IPsoft CEO and founder Chetan Dube said the Nordic market is an early adopter of innovative technologies.

“The region continues to surprise us by the pace at which businesses want to expand into the areas of cognitive and autonomic technologies,” said Dube.

“For such drastic business transformation to happen, we need management consultants and business transformation experts who specialise in overhauling business models. Our aim is to make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible.”

IT services supplier ab1 Group AB employs 50 consultants from its Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö offices, with clients including Ericsson, IKEA, the City of Stockholm and the Swedish Tax Agency. In 2013 ab1 Group AB reported a turnover of SEK58.2m (£4.5m). The value of the acquisition has not been disclosed.

Automation boosts ab 1 customers’ efficiency

Erik Danielsson, CEO of ab1, said: “We work with many of the largest firms in Sweden. Over the past 18 months, we have seen their appetite for automation explode as they embark on growth strategies that demand a new efficiency paradigm.”

IPcenter is an ITIL-aligned (information technology infrastructure library) automated service-management platform. IPsoft claims users – including Accenture and NTT – typically see a 35% efficiency improvement in operations in 90 days.

Demand for such automation systems in the region remains high, but the skills and abilities to support the business processes are in short supply. IPsoft will use ab1’s consultants to assist IPcenter’s Nordic customers and plans to expand into Europe later in 2015. IPsoft claims ab1’s existing clients will see no disruption to service.

One of the early beneficiaries of the combined group could be the banking sector, with IPSoft in talks with two leading Nordic financial institutions.

“The biggest challenge for automation in banking is how we move from this era of in-person banking to one where there is no human interaction. I’m not just talking about mobile and online banking, but all the back-end systems and processes that we need to stitch together. It’s a big job, but I see it as a do-or-die challenge for the banking sector,” said Dube.

IPsoft is no stranger to the Nordic market. Leading third-party sourcing advisor, Alsbridge, awarded an IPsoft  IT transformation programme an Alsbridge Innovation Award as one of the most innovative uses of automation technology in Europe.

Mats Magiste, Cygate’s CTO, said that, without IPsoft’s technology, they would not have come so far in reaching their growth goals.

“By embracing automation we have broken the link between rising business volumes and a rising cost base,” said Magiste.

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Source: Computer Weekly IT News

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IT Tips for Chicago Companies

One of the cornerstones of every successful business is an efficient IT system. It ensures you simply have the ability to remain on top of your legal and regulatory responsibilities as the business owner. From a sole proprietor to an employer, here are various tips for setting a good IT system for your Chicago business.

Preserve all documents

All legal and other documents relevant to your company such as bills, receipts, invoices and bank statements should be preserved. These documents ought to be the source of information to be included in the system. Your Chicago tax advisor can guide you on which documents to dispose or keep permanently.


For each financial document you maintain, set-up an individual file filing system. This may involve a blend of online as well as the physical files. All documents that necessitate action ought to be placed in a single file, hence, moved to their individual files later.

Get Professional input

You may opt to handle all your business activities as well as hire part-time or full-time employee to handle them. However, this depends with the complexity of your company and your own comfort point. If you decide to seek for help from a third party, focus on professionals that specialize in IT systems for the initial setup of a system that matches your preferences. If you would like professional IT help or a consultation for your business read about these IT services Chicago.

Choose an efficient software

Choose software that is convenient and easy to use for your business. Some commonly used programs provide you with a free trial period in order to help you decide at the end of the trial period. You can also choose various free system programs online, nevertheless they may contain limited functionality. For example, if you are running a construction or architecture business, you may want to get a wind load calculator online.

Prompt data entry

Every IT system software is as good as the information entered into it. All transactions should be entered promptly, update every record and ensure you have a backup. There are various cloud storage systems that guarantee safe storage of data as you do not have to worry about losing any vital information.

Documented transactions

Always ensure all transactions are documented through providing your clients with receipts. Payments made in cash should always be put down in writing. Receipts and cash ought to be reconciled on a regular basis via your monthly credit and bank card statements. Every expense should be documented in order to be authorized. All this is achieved by ensuring that you set up a n It system that supports output of all transactions made.

Get an opinion from experts

An efficient system requires accuracy and heightened attention. You should seek opinions from other Chicago company owners who have experience in using the system. This will aid you in deciding on the best system to set up.

Decide on an accrual or cash basis method

Most small businesses in the United States use a cash basis method. This means you enter expense data when payment is made and income data when cash is received. Accrual method entails recording expenses when incurred and income when earned. You ought to choose the best method that suits your business before setting up a system.

Watch these IT tips and tricks from Adobe below:

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11 Remarkable Things About Microsoft’s New Surface 3


The Surface fills a device gap between laptop computers and tablets. Today’s tablets are terrific for mobility, reading and watching video, however they’re not ideal for doing work. Laptop computers are developed for getting stuff done, but you would not wish to read a book on them. The Surface area is a laptop that looks and acts like a tablet.

However the Surface area Pro 3 expenses $799, and that’s without a key-board. Toss in a key-board and Bluetooth pen, and you’re looking at a device that costs close to $1,000.

With the Surface area 3, Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) set out to make a similar tablet priced more magnificently for students, moms and dads and on-the-go professionals.

Right here’s exactly what you have to learn about the new Surface 3:

  1. It costs $499.

That’s a respectable rate for a PC that includes 2 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. But that does not include the $129 key-board (unless you already occur to have a Surface key-board lying around, your overall cost is: $628).

“Surface Pro 3 is an item individuals know and love,” said Panos Panay, head of Microsoft’s Surface team, in an unique interview with CNNMoney. “When we were bringing [the Surface 3] to life, it was about, ‘How do we offer all that to folks however bring it to more individuals?'”.

A higher-end Surface 3 is available for $599, giving you two times the RAM and storage. You can likewise add 4G-LTE wireless connectivity for $100 more.

The Surface 3 is presently available for pre-order, and it will certainly go on sale May 5.

  1. The keyboards are super-bright.

Real to Microsoft’s target student audience, the key-boards are available in some bright, trendy colors aimed at a more youthful generation. They are available in a bright tomato red, a darker burgundy, light blue, and purple. Those been available in addition to the slate gray and dark blue that specialists like.

  1. It weighs more than an iPad Air but less than the new MacBook.

The Surface area 3 weighs 1.4 pounds. Even with the type cover, the new Surface weighs less than 2 pounds.

It’s likewise very thin: simply 0.34 inches, only somewhat thicker than an iPad Air.

  1. It runs “complete” Windows 8.1, and it’s upgradable to Windows 10.

Unlike previous non-“pro” versions of the Surface area, the Surface area 3 runs a complete variation of Windows, indicating it can run all the software application that you’re accustomed to operating on a PC.

“It needs to run everything– even if it’s iTunes or Chrome,” stated Panay. “You’ll feel good because you left nothing on the table when you purchased this product.”.

  1. It has actually a processor designed for mobile gadgets.

The original Surface RT and Surface 2 operated on smartphone processors made by Nvidia (NVDA, Tech30). That made them somewhat sluggish, but more notably not able to run complete Windows.

The Surface 3 runs an Intel (INTC, Tech30) chip created for high-end tablets called the Atom x7. The benefits to the switch are twofold: complete Windows (see No. 3) and a mix of power and battery effectiveness that you ‘d get out of a mobile processor.

  1. It has a 10.8-inch screen.

Just like the Surface Pro 3 (however unlike other previous versions of the Surface area), the Surface area 3’s screen has a 3:2 element ratio. That makes it a little less ideal for viewing HD video but way much better for reading and composing when you hold it vertically.

  1. It makes use of the very same plug that charges your smartphone (well … unless you have an iPhone).

The Surface 3 gives up the magnetic charger that other Surfaces sported in favor of a micro-USB port that every non-Apple cell phone uses for charging.

Panay stated micro-USB was of clients’ most sought-after functions.

  1. It has a kickstand that clicks into 3 different positions.

The Surface’s kickstand is one of its most standout functions, and it gets better in each version. The Surface 3 broadens the variety of positions to 3: desk, lap and sofa.

It’s not rather as helpful as the Surface area Pro 3’s pick-any-angle “continuous hinge,” but it’s more flexible than the one or two positions you obtained from previous Surface areas.

  1. It has a pen.

The Surface area Pen deals with both Surface area Pro 3 and the Surface 3. It has a great weight and density to it, and though you cannot keep it in the device, the tradeoff is that it’s far more helpful than a stylus.

The pen can be made use of to write, record a screen shot, highlight text and launch One Note to name a few tasks.

  1. It has two HD cameras.

The 8-megapixel rear electronic camera and the 3.5 mexapixel front video camera are both efficient in shooting 1080p HD video.

  1. Its battery lasts 10 hours.

Battery life is difficult to determine, but Microsoft states the Surface’s battery must have the ability to get you through a day of regular use. Microsoft declares the battery is big enough to let you view 10 hours of video on a single charge.

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