Category Archives: Big Data

Connecting Big Data and IoT

Connecting Big Data and IoT

Data Connection

Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are two of the most discussed tech topics of late, and the progress of each eggs the other on; as the increasing amount of information collected due to an expanding range of IoT devices bulks up Big Data stores, so Big Data and Big Data analytics influences the designs and developments of new IoT sensors and mechanisms. Often working hand in hand, IoT and Big Data are changing our lives in big and small ways across a variety of sectors from healthcare management, to education approaches, to marketing and advertising.

The Elementary Connection

IoT, a quickly expanding compilation of internet-connected sensors, involves the multiple measurements obtained by device sensors which track our daily lives. These measurements are the Big Data so coveted today, large amounts of both structured and unstructured information typically obtained in real-time. It is important, however, to recognise that not all Big Data holds equal value and the tools used to process it play a significant role in the final value. To get the best out of IoT and the Big Data it collects, organizations struggle to access high-value and relevant data that is current, reflecting an adequately-sized information footprint, and able to provide necessary insights through analysis. This is easier said than done, and so far much of the data we collect isn’t able to give us considerable value.

What a Lot We’ve Got


Gartner predicted 6.4 billion connected ‘things’ would be in use in 2016, and expects this number to reach 20.8 billion by 2020. In 2016, Gartner contends, 5.5 million new things will be connected each day. With the cost of sensor technology steadily decreasing, as well as developments in low-power hardware and spreading wireless connectivity, it’s no wonder we’re seeing such an explosion of IoT devices. On the other hand, there was really no shortage of Big Data before IoT technology became popular, and analysts predicted in 2012 that we’d see our digital universe, the digital data created, replicated, and consumed in one year, doubling every two years to reach 40 zettabytes by 2020. This enormous number has since been revised by some to approximately 10% higher than the original prediction. An even more astounding prediction came from Cisco, estimating that data generated from Internet of Everything devices (including people-to-people, machine-to-people, and machine-to-machine connections) would hit 403 zettabytes by 2018.

Big Data & IoT Disruptions

Such enormous quantities easily leave one feeling overwhelmed, and though it’s fairly obvious that Big Data and IoT will be disrupting our landscape, it’s almost too much to comprehend. Luckily for us, some brilliant data scientists and developers have simplified the processes for us and by implementing effective tools we’re seeing the positive outcomes in improved global visibility, more efficient and intelligent operations, and improved market agility and business systems through real-time information and insight.

The realm of influence of Big Data and IoT is already large, but to effectively meet expectations a few challenges will have to be dealt with. Standardisation is one area with no clear solution as the increasing number of devices comes with a growth in the applications and programs required to operate devices and analyse collected data; most IoT devices don’t work together, and their manufacturers are hesitant to join forces with competitors. Furthermore, we’re still waiting for a single framework which allows devices and applications to securely exchange data. Suggests OneM2M, “The emerging need for interoperability across different industries and applications has necessitated a move away from an industry-specific approach to one that involves a common platform bringing together connected cars, healthcare, smart meters, emergency services, local authority services and the many other stakeholders in the ecosystem.” Further barriers include concerns for privacy and security of data, as well as relevant skill sets and practical analytics tools.

The Big Data and IoT connection continues to grow and develop, and though not yet delivering everything we’re hoping for, it’s possible to see just how influential these two spheres will be in our future lives.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Cloud Computing – The Good and the Bad

Cloud Computing – The Good and the Bad

The Cloud Movement

Like it or not, cloud computing permeates many aspects of our lives, and it’s going to be a big part of our future in both business and personal spheres. The current and future possibilities of global access to files and data, remote working opportunities, improved storage structures, and greater solution distribution have the pundits encouraging the cloud move for one and all; on the other hand, complete reliance on electronic networks and external service providers comes with its own set of dangers, along with a sometimes insufficient understanding of the products and tools implemented.

The Increasing Demand for Cloud Computing

The last ten years have seen a marked increase in demand for and implementation of cloud computing. Thanks in part to smartphones, real-time streaming, connected devices, and always-on social media needs, this flexible, off-site, and highly scalable technology has become indispensable. Gartner estimates that we’ll see the public cloud services market reach $204 billion in 2016, an annual growth of 16.5%, and the highest growth is set to come from cloud system infrastructure services. Says Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, “The market for public cloud services is continuing to demonstrate high rates of growth across all markets and Gartner expects this to continue through 2017. This strong growth continues to reflect a shift away from legacy IT services to cloud-based services, due to increased trend of organizations pursuing a digital business strategy.

The Good



Cloud services mean solutions and resources once only accessible by the elite or giants are now open to all. With options such as pay per use and global reach, organizations of all shape and size can tailor packages to suit both their needs and their budgets.

Reduced Costs of Infrastructure

In the three top cloud computing categories, IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, organizations typically don’t need to lay down their own infrastructure or spend money on hardware. Cloud service providers provide the IT teams, connections, software and storage facilities, reducing a business’s Capex costs.

Improved Disaster Recovery

Thanks to the distribution of data across multiple failover points, disaster recovery is a prime benefit of cloud computing. Implementing cloud-based disaster recovery means it’s possible to switch over to mobile systems when necessary and resume the use of local systems thereafter.

Collaboration & Flexibility

Providing advanced solutions for team collaboration, cloud computing allows numerous users to work simultaneously on the same projects and files with real-time updates and no restrictions that bind them to specific sites.

The Bad


Opex Costs

Although cloud computing certainly reduces Capex costs, it naturally increases operational costs adding a monthly burden for the services used. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of outsourcing or keeping infrastructure in-house to suit each business and its budget.


A concern in all things IT, cloud computing is no different. It’s important for organizations to identify which data they’re comfortable storing on the cloud, and which perhaps should be off-network. It should be noted, however, that most reputable cloud service providers offer security superior to that which the average business is able to implement. Security doesn’t have to be considered a negative of cloud computing, as long as organizations take the time to ensure the tools they’re using are compliant with regulations and standards, and confirm their service providers are implementing the necessary security features.

Always-On Connection

Cloud computing, of course, requires an always-on internet connection, good bandwidth, and suitable speeds – only a negative when you haven’t got it.

Limited Control

Although cloud computing provides much flexibility and choice, it’s important to remember that the infrastructure is owned by someone else and so organizations are limited to the services they pay for and the solutions a service provider is willing to provide.

Overall, the drawbacks of cloud computing tend not to cause too much disruption and are easily outweighed by the benefits. It’s important to understand the risks and disadvantages, but the constantly evolving cloud computing environment is rapidly stamping out weaknesses and replacing them with constructive innovations.

By Jennifer Klostermann

The FTC, Data Privacy and Facebook

The FTC, Data Privacy and Facebook

Data Protection

Facebook is in deep water over their recent decision to start harvesting phone numbers from one of the apps they own, called WhatsApp. WhatsApp is a mobile phone app that allows people to place long distance phone calls and send SMS messages for free. A complaint was filed with the Federal Trade Commission that accuses Facebook of violating Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which specifically bans “unfair or deceptive acts”.

According to Marc Rotenberg, President of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, WhatsApp promised their users, the FTC, and to privacy authorities everywhere that they would not disclose any information to Facebook after Facebook acquired their company.

In 2014, the FTC did in fact send a letter to both WhatsApp and Facebook after WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook. This letter stated, “We want to make clear that, regardless of the acquisition, WhatsApp must continue to honor these promises to consumers. Further, if the acquisition is completed and WhatsApp fails to honor these promises, both companies could be in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act and, potentially, the FTC’s order against Facebook.” Both companies promised to stay far away from each other’s data, with WhatsApp founder Jan Koum boasting, “privacy is coded into our DNA.”

This statement seemed to have been forgotten however last Thursday WhatsApp announced that it would start sharing user phone numbers with Facebook to improve ads and products. To many of WhatsApp’s users as well as privacy advocates, this was a major betrayal, especially after having been promised only two years ago that “nothing would change” when Facebook bought WhatsApp. Since users must use their phone numbers to log in to WhatsApp, this is probably the most valuable piece of information that WhatsApp gathers, and can be the key to unlocking even more personal data from its users.

Facebook Cloud

If WhatsApp wants to transfer user data to Facebook, it has to obtain the user’s affirmative consent. It’s not complicated,” affirmed Katharina Kopp, director of policy at CDD, in a public statement.

Facebook has had a long and troubled past in regards to user privacy, in which the social media giant has often been called out for making the personal information of its users public, usually with little to no warning to the users. In 2011, EPIC and other privacy advocate groups secured a 20 year consent order against Facebook. That certainly was not the first or last time Facebook violated their users privacy, and now many are insisting the time has came for the FTC to really crack down on Facebook’s privacy practices.

Unfortunately, the FTC does not share any information about their investigations with the public. WhatsApp has however finally made mention of the changes to their users, letting them know that they have 30 days to opt out of using WhatsApp and having their phone numbers harvested by Facebook.

In a statement made to Motherboard on Monday, Facebook spokesperson Matt Steinfeld insisted that Facebook was not in violation of any laws, stating that they were obtaining consent from their users by requiring them to agree to the new terms and privacy policy.

By Jonquil McDaniel

Top 5 Digital Health Trends

Top 5 Digital Health Trends

Digital Health Trends

It is very important to keep up with the changing technology. However, it is also just as important to advance the consumer experience, care delivery methods and create opportunities for career development for the healthcare workforce.

Five trends that are proven to be effective in winning in the digital age have been revealed by the Digital Health Technology Vision 2016 via Accenture.

They are:


1. Intelligent Automation – Do different things in different ways and create new jobs, products and services in the healthcare industry. Across the health ecosystem, intelligent automation is responsible for making the job of care delivery and administration more seamless. While robots are performing housekeeping duties and the patient intake process is being streamlined by avatars – the trend is not about replacing people but it is about making people do their job more efficiently and work where they are needed the most.

2. The Liquid Workforce – A smoother workforce has been generated by digital technology. For example, when you have a sick child, you can Skype with a pediatrician and take advantage of the Digital service scan. Or during a high-risk pregnancy issue, the virtual technology will enable a doctor in New York to treat a patient in New Mexico.

3. Platform Economy – Platforms can make healthcare experiences more connected by providing underlying technology. The whole healthcare ecosystem – from patients to providers to health plans can be connected by platforms.

4. Predictable disruption – With the advent of digital technology, disruptions are bound to happen any time. Digital technology is changing the way consume everything from products to entertainment. Healthcare isn’t immune to the consumers’ demands of personalized and on-demand services. Digital manufacturers of wearables and other devices are connecting meet consumers’ demands.

5. Digital Trust – To build consumer trust, organizations must figure out a way to efficiently and ethically manage a vast consumer data. If these data can be handled properly, this treasure trove can become a valuable tool for creating customized services and build consumer trust at the same time. In 2014, Apple discovered the importance of consumer trust after the consumer outcry after its iCloud breach. There should be solid policies placed for the governance of ecosystem. Moreover, in order to ensure the right consent and access to information, those policies must be disclosed and understood.

By Glenn Blake

How Secure Is Your School Campus Network?

How Secure Is Your School Campus Network?

School Networks

School related networks are one of the most attacked sectors today, coming in third worldwide to healthcare and retail. Because of the ever growing threat of cybercrime, IT professionals everywhere aren’t thinking in terms of “what if our network gets attacked?” Now, they think in terms of “when will our network be attacked?” The standard firewall and anti-virus software isn’t enough to protect data from malicious hacking attempts.

A primary way to secure a school’s network actually has little to do with the network itself, which is why it often goes overlooked by IT professionals. The staff, faculty, and students in the school make for an excellent defense against on site computer access, but they do need training on how to do this. The training on how to keep the network secure, if it exists, is often lacking, leaving a loophole that a social engineer can easily slip through if he/she plays their manipulative role well with untrained people. Human error accounts for 52% of security breaches today as seen in this insightful infographic discovered via edtechmagazine.

Another important concept in securing a school campus is maintaining a risk management strategy, which 45% of scholarly institutions have been found to be lacking. No matter how much you secure your school’s network and train the people that go there every day, at some point you can be sure your security will be breached in an unanticipated manner. Because of this, it’s vital to have a clear grasp of the risks involved in such a breach, and to take action by developing a strategy that addresses each risk you find with a solution.

There’s many new technologies that can help with making a school’s network secure. Cloud computing reduces the risks of physical on site access, since the server is not stored at the location it’s used. Cloud vendors also offer networking monitoring tools and advanced threat detection that can alert you to a security breach. They also implement strong security policies and procedures that make use of endpoint security tools such as encryption and SSH keys.

Trending technologies have made school networking security as easy as it can be without negatively its ability to protect or monitor the network. The cloud even helps with physical security by removing the on site server from the picture. Most importantly though, in this modern age IT professionals need to accept that breaches are going to happen even if they believe their network is impenetrable. That’s why training those in the school to look out for security issues, and being prepared for security breaches with a risk management plan is so important.

By Jonquil McDaniel



IBM and VMware Expand Partnership

More than 500 new clients, including Marriott International are now running VMware software on IBM Cloud since the strategic cloud partnership was announced;Introduction of VMware Cloud Foundation on IBM Cloud helps move existing apps to the cloud within hours; More than 4,000 IBM service professionals trained to help organizations extend their VMware environments to IBM Cloud

LAS VEGAS –Aug. 29, 2016 – Today at VMworld® 2016, VMware (NYSE: VMW) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced the availability of industry-first cloud services that enable organizations to quickly and easily move enterprise workloads to the cloud. With more than 500 clients engaged, the global partnership between IBM and VMware is helping more organizations extend existing workloads to the cloud in hours, versus weeks or months.

Earlier this year, IBM and VMware set out to tackle one of the industry’s most pressing challenges: extending existing VMware workloads from on-premises environments to the cloud without incurring the cost and risk associated with retooling operations, re-architecting applications and re-designing security policies.

Rapid Enterprise Adoption of VMware Environments on the IBM Cloud

Since then, more than 500 mutual clients have begun moving their VMware environments to IBM Cloud including Marriott International, Clarient Global LLC and Monitise. IBM is a strategic cloud platform for VMware users with a growing footprint of nearly 50 highly-scalable and security-rich cloud data centers across the globe. With almost 100 percent of the Fortune 100 customers using VMware technologies, the partnership is designed to preserve and extend customer investments across thousands of data centers.

Enterprises need fast and easy ways to deploy and move workloads between on-premises and public cloud environments,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, IBM Cloud. “Our collaboration with VMware is becoming the glue for many organizations to scale and create new business opportunities while making the most of their existing IT investments in a hybrid cloud environment.

IBM Provides First Offering For VMware Cloud Foundation as a Fully Automated Service

Today’s introduction of VMware Cloud Foundation™ combines VMware’s market-leading compute, storage and network virtualization solutions into an integrated platform. For the first time, organizations can now automatically provision pre-configured VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) environments on IBM Cloud in hours versus weeks or months. The platform integrates VMware vSphere®, VMware Virtual SAN™, VMware NSX® and VMware SDDC Manager™, and gives customers broad choice in their infrastructure decisions.

In addition to new services, IBM is training more than 4,000 service professionals with the expertise required to provide clients with VMware solutions. This expansive team of sellers and advisers will provide clients with the expertise to extend VMware environments to the cloud.

IBM and VMware share a common vision for providing customers with an easy path from the data center to the cloud,” said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware. “This collaboration has been so successful that we’re investing more deeply so our customers can quickly deploy software-defined solutions in just hours to IBM Cloud with all the sophisticated workload automation they have within their own data centers.”

Marriott Enhances Customer Service Experiences via the Cloud

Marriott International is a globally recognized hospitality company, reporting more than 4,500 properties in 88 countries and territories. The company is constantly looking for ways to innovate and transform the guest experience. By extending their VMware investments on IBM Cloud, without the need to re-architect applications, development teams have the ability to focus on innovation and preserve their existing IT investments.

It’s more than just keeping our guests happy, it’s about helping them create a memory by exceeding their expectations,” said Alan Rosa, senior vice president of Technology Delivery and IT Security, Marriott International. “From reserving and booking rooms, planning their next family vacation or facilitating an important business event, the process of consuming our services and products needs to be seamless and integrated into our guest’s style of working and transacting. Marriott has been able to keep innovating by rapidly launching new customizable applications that support these experiences. The partnership between IBM and VMware gives us an advantage in that Marriott can continue to do what we do best but expands our reach on a global scale with trusted partners whom consistently deliver.”

Analyst Perspective

IBM and VMware are making great strides to enable enterprise hybrid cloud adoption through automation,” Melanie Posey, vice president of Research, IDC’s Hosting and Managed Network Services. “The IBM – VMware partnership offers enterprises the ability to extend existing on-premises workloads to the cloud seamlessly without the need for a major IT operations overhaul, thus greatly simplifying the entire migration process.”

Additional Resources

  • Read a perspective by VMware Vice President of Global Service Provider Channel Geoff Waters, “What VMware Cloud Foundation on IBM Cloud Means for Companies Globally.”
  • Also announced today at VMworld, VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture builds on its leading private and hybrid cloud capabilities by offering customers the freedom to innovate in multiple clouds, and is delivered through VMware Cloud Foundation™ and a new set of cross-cloud services, which VMware is developing.Learn more about the announcement.
  • Follow VMware on Facebook and Twitter.

About IBM Cloud

IBM Cloud delivers fast, easy and automated access to public, private and hybrid cloud services that enable companies to lower their overall IT costs while increasing agility and productivity.  IBM offers a complete portfolio of cloud services supporting a wide range of applications including big data, analytics, mobile and cognitive computing. For more information please visit or @ibmcloud.

About VMware

VMware is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility. Built on VMware’s industry-leading virtualization technology, our solutions deliver a brave new model of IT that is fluid, instant and more secure. Customers can innovate faster by rapidly developing, automatically delivering and more safely consuming any application. With 2015 revenues of $6.6 billion, VMware has more than 500,000 customers and 75,000 partners. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the world and can be found online at

VMware, Cloud Foundation, vSphere, Virtual SAN, and NSX are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.

Cloud Security Alliance Big Data Report

Cloud Security Alliance Big Data Report

Big Data’ Report

SEATTLE, Aug. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), today announced the release of the new handbook from the CSA Big Data Working Group, outlining the 100 best practices in big data security. The Big Data Security and Privacy Handbook: 100 Best Practices in Big Data Security and Privacy strives to detail the best practices that should be followed by any big data service provider to fortify their infrastructure. The handbook presents 10 compelling considerations for each of the top 10 challenges in big data security and privacy, which the group previously outlined in the Top Ten Big Data Security and Privacy Challenges white paper.

The term “big data‘” refers to the massive amounts of digital information companies and governments collect about human beings and their environment. The amount of data generated is expected to double every two years from 2500 exabytes in 2012 to 40,000 exabytes in 2020. Large-scale cloud infrastructures, diversity of data sources and formats, the streaming nature of data acquisition and high-volume, inter-cloud migration all play a role in the creation of unique security vulnerabilities.

This is an important initiative for the cloud community as new security challenges have arisen from the coupling of big data with public cloud environments. As big data expands through streaming cloud technology, traditional security mechanisms tailored to secure small-scale, static data on firewalled and semi-isolated networks are inadequate,” said J.R. Santos, Executive Vice President of Research for the CSA. “Security and privacy issues are magnified by this volume, variety and velocity of big data. This handbook serves as a comprehensive list of best practices for companies to use when securing big data.”

The handbook provides a roster of 100 best practices, ranging from typical cybersecurity measures, such as authentication and access control, to state-of-the-art cryptographic technologies. It addresses why these security measures are needed as well as how they can be implemented.For more information on the Cloud Security Alliance, please visit our website. To download the new best practices handbook visit

About Cloud Security Alliance

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining and raising awareness of best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. CSA harnesses the subject matter expertise of industry practitioners, associations, governments, and its corporate and individual members to offer cloud security-specific research, education, certification, events and products. CSA’s activities, knowledge and extensive network benefit the entire community impacted by cloud — from providers and customers, to governments, entrepreneurs and the assurance industry — and provide a forum through which diverse parties can work together to create and maintain a trusted cloud ecosystem. For further information, visit us at, and follow us on Twitter @cloudsa.

Significant Emerging Technologies To Lookout For In 2017

Significant Emerging Technologies To Lookout For In 2017

Emerging Technologies

The entire world is being transformed right before our eyes. Emerging technologies are developing at break-neck speeds, and the global community needs to be prepared for what lies in the horizon. As with anything new or evolving there is benefit versus risk to consider. Most of the up-and-coming technologies that will soon affect the lives of millions have been developing over many years and are now reaching their apex to create a significant impact.

The Internet of Things: Nanothings & Biosensors

Internet of Things devices are already impacting our daily lives. Low-cost microsensors, microprocessors, wireless antennas and miniscule power sources has brought things we interact with in our everyday into the digital cosmos. Experts predict that energy harvesting device market will reach $26 billion by 2024 as seen in this infographic discovered via Jabil. Nanotechnology is taking us into the Internet of Nano Things (IoNT), and will advance medicine and numerous sectors like nothing we imagined.


Next-Generation Batteries

Keeping pace with supply and demand is one of the biggest barriers for renewable energy. The newest developments show that using sodium, zinc, and aluminum constructed batteries make the mini-grid a solid possibility. It could potentially provide 24-7, reliable and clean energy to entire small rural towns.

2-D Materials

New materials such as Graphene are emerging and are going to change the world forever. Think about the Bronze Age…the Iron Age—these newest materials each contain a single layer of atoms and are two-dimensional. The potential positive impacts of evolving materials are limitless and bound only to the reach of scientists and how far they choose to push.

Autonomous Transportation

Self-driving cars are already in the here-and-now, but just how soon will autonomous cars be ubiquitous? Sooner than you think. And the positive implications seem to be outweighing the negative. Helping to improve the lives of handicapped and elderly will change the quality of life for millions. This is but one example of the potential impact fully autonomous cars will have on society as a whole.


The technology behind Bitcoin digital currency is called Blockchain. It is a sophisticated mathematical process based on cryptography and considered to be fool-proof. It is effectively changing the face of how people conduct transactions and trade international currencies. The blockchain has implications far reaching money exchanges. Like the internet, it is finding ways around barriers of traditional dealings and is all but eliminating transaction fees.

Organs Growing on Microchips

By growing tiny versions of human organs on microchips, scientists can study exactly how the organs operate. This is going to catapult medical research into the science fiction age—allowing researchers to witness the workings of human anatomy as never before seen.



This material will improve the efficiency of generating solar power. It has the advantage of affordability and capability to be used most anywhere. Scientists are calling perovskites the “wonder materials” of the future. Manufacturing it is fairly cheap and the liquid batches can be formed into almost any shape without the need for furnaces. The biggest asset is that it is light weight, opposed to its heavy-weight counterpart.

Personal AI

From your own personal robot assistant that can anticipate your every need and perform tasks at your whim, to entire AI environments—this could be affordable to everyone with the emerging availability of Open AI ecosystems. This will interconnect everything around you and collaborate with your personal data to be accessed by your spoken work…artificial intelligence to make your everyday more productive.


Neuroscientists will use recent developments of visible light to treat brain disorders like Parkinson’s. This emerging technology brings new hope where there once was none. Individual neurons can be controlled by turning the on or off as necessary to treat specific disorders. Revolutionary and amazing in its possibilities and prolonging meaningful quality of life.

By CJ Callen

CloudTweaks Comics
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Security and the Potential of 2 Billion Device Failures

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Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

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A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

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Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

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5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

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Are CEO’s Missing Out On Big Data’s Big Picture?

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5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

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The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

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Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

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Cloud-based GRC Intelligence Supports Better Business Performance

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The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

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