Why do they Exit the PC Business

Friday, 02 September 2011 08:03 Ayman Abouseif
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In 1991 IBM introduced the Personal Computer to the world. One hundred million PCs and some 25 years later IBM decided to exit the PC business and sell it PC Division to Lenovo.

In May of 2002 and after a bitter board level battle followed by shareholder voting HP confirmed its acquisition of Compaq, both companies were already leading players in the PC market at the time. The merger created the largest maker of PCs in the world. Last month HP announced that it will be exiting the PC business most likely by spinning off that division of the company.

Only last week Acer which can be viewed as a bell weather for the PC industry because it is almost a pure play PC maker reported its first ever quarterly loss, Acer lost close to seven billion yens. The company blamed the loss on excessive inventories or in other wards poor forecasting.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 September 2011 08:51

Only 5% of CIOs Can Authorize IT Investments Alone

Thursday, 07 July 2011 20:26 Ayman Abouseif
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According to a recent Gartner press release, CFO influence in IT is growing as CFOs alone have authorized 26 percent of all IT investments, while CIOs alone have authorized only 5 percent of IT investments, according to a recent joint study by Gartner, Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) and the Committee of Finance & IT (CFIT) of Financial Executives International (FEI). The survey also showed that 42 percent of IT organizations report directly to the CFO, and 33 percent of IT organizations are reporting to the CEO. "This high level of reporting to the CFO, as well as their influence in technology investments, demonstrates the need for companies to ensure that their CFO is educated on technology, and underscores just how critical it is that the CIO and CFO have a common understanding on how to leverage enterprise technology," said John Van Decker, research vice president at Gartner. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2011 20:54

The Various Approaches to BI

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 08:56
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It is no secret that organizations that make inefficient use of their resources are going to find themselves struggling to hold on to market share and business viability. One of your potential resources is that data collected and stored by your operational systems, BI can turn this data into information that supports the decision making process in your organization. A recent CIO2CIO poll reveals that the majority of business decisions are still based on intuition rather than information.

But CIOs planning for business intelligence projects are often facing the dilemma of which direction to take. Users often have their own preferences or preconceived ideas; existing relationships with vendors may sometimes limit your choices while the need for standardization within IT could eliminate new entrants to your environment. Navigating your decision tree and trying to find the most suitable solution that balances some quick wins with long term viability is not easy.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 May 2011 00:34

HP Acquisition Targets

Wednesday, 23 March 2011 14:17 Ayman Abouseif
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This article was originally featured on Software Advice, a free online resource that provides mrp system comparisons. You can view the original article on the Software Advice blog at HP Mergers & Acquisitions: Who's Next?


By design or by chance, HP is poised to become the world’s most complete supplier of end to end IT infrastructure and business software.  The addition of 3Par and Palm extends the firm’s range from high-end storage solutions down to a complete line of handhelds and smart phones. What is missing is software to tie it all together. Figure 1, Acquisition History, shows HP’s buying spree over the last decade.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 May 2011 11:56

Cloudy Days Ahead for Cloud Computing

Tuesday, 22 February 2011 20:25 Ayman Abouseif
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Analysts from Forrester have expressed some less-than-encouraging predictions for IT departments building their first private clouds: You're not likely to succeed. But Forrester analysts insist "that's a good thing," because the failure will pave the way for later success but more importantly pave the way for more positive outlook for IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service).

"Most of these enterprises aren't ready for a private cloud’, but we expect that in 2011, I&O [infrastructure and operations] departments will start building them regardless. These efforts will most likely fail, but through this failure will come valuable experience and knowledge about what it really takes to create and operate a cloud environment," Forrester analysts James Staten and Lauren Nelson write in a new report called "2011 Top 10 IaaS Cloud Predictions for I&O Leaders."

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 May 2011 11:48

The Big Challenge of Massive Data

Saturday, 21 May 2011 22:06
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Data is flowing into every corner of the global economy today; companies large and small produce massive volumes of transactional data and capture information about their customers, suppliers, and operations while millions of networked sensors embedded in devices such as energy meters, automobiles, and industrial machines sense, create, and communicate data in the age of the Internet of Things. Social media sites, smartphones, PCs and laptops have allowed billions of individuals around the world to contribute to the amount of data available. Additionally, the growing volume of multimedia content has played a major role in the exponential growth of data volumes.


Researchers have gathered strong evidence that these massive volumes of data can play a significant economic role to the benefit not only of private commerce but also of national economies and their citizens. Hence, the ability to capture, store, aggregate, and combine data and then use the results to perform deep analyses has become ever more essential for businesses and governments as cloud computing continue to lower the cost of storing data and the capabilities of sophisticated analytics software increase by the day.


Last Updated on Sunday, 22 May 2011 00:29

The Growing Denial of Service Threat

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 11:24
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Most CIOs already know that a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is one in which a multitude of compromised systems acting under the control of a hacker attack and overwhelm a single target website, thereby causing it to become too busy to respond to its intended users or customers.
In a typical DDoS attack, a hacker (or a cracker) begins by exploiting vulnerability in one computer system and making it the DDoS master. From that master system the intruder identifies and communicates with other systems that can be compromised. The intruder loads cracking tools available on the Internet on multiple -- sometimes thousands of -- compromised systems. With a single command, the intruder instructs the controlled machines to launch flood attacks against a specified target inundating it with requests. The target becomes too busy to respond to its intended audience and hence this style of attacks is called denial of service. It must be noted that the hacker never really tampers with the target system or website itself; he or she simply causes it to be too busy.
While the media tends to focus on the target of DDoS attacks as the victim, in reality there are many victims in a DDoS attack, the final target as well as the systems controlled by the intruder. Although the owners of compromised computers are usually unaware that their computers have been compromised, they are likely to suffer because performance degradation.
Last Updated on Sunday, 22 May 2011 00:32

The IBM Jeopardy Challenge, Man vs. Machine

Saturday, 05 March 2011 16:58 Ayman Abouseif
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In 2007, IBM scientist David Ferrucci and his team embarked on the challenge of building a computer that could beat the best players of the popular US TV quiz show Jeopardy!, a 25 year old trivia game in which contestants are given clues in categories ranging from academic subjects to pop culture and must ring in with responses that are in the form of questions.

In some sense, the project was a follow-up to Deep Blue, the IBM computer that defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. Although a TV quiz show may seem to lack the gravitas of the classic game of chess, the task was in many ways much harder. It wasn’t just that the computer had to master straightforward language, it had to master humor, nuance, puns, allusions, and slang—a verbal complexity well beyond the reach of most computer programs. Meeting that challenge was about much more than just a Jeopardy! championship. The work of Ferrucci and his team illuminates both the great potential and the severe limitations of current computer intelligence—as well as the capacities of the human mind. Although the machine they created was ultimately dubbed “Watson” (in honor of IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson), to the team that painstakingly constructed it, the game-playing computer was known as Blue J.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 May 2011 11:47

No the Database War Ain't Over Yet

Monday, 14 February 2011 19:58 Ayman Abouseif
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Some will tell you that Microsoft is slowly inching into the enterprise; others consider IBM’s relative silence about its flagship DB2 as a sign of giving up or loss of interest but the majority will agree that Microsoft is dominating the SME and Oracle is dominating the enterprise database market. That of course is not a great picture for CIOs who want to have more choices and need to see more competition in order to keep the cost down.

According to analysts the $20 billion database market is still growing at around 15% annually, Oracle is leading the pack with some 45% market share followed by IBM and Microsoft at 22% and 18% respectively. The top three vendors combined account for 85% of the market leaving everybody else to fight for the remaining 15%. That is a clear sign of market maturity, so from now onwards you should expect some mergers and acquisitions in that space. Surely a less competitive market can lead to less product innovation, another worry for today’s CIOs.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 May 2011 11:48

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