Category Archives: Education

Major Job Markets For Technology

Major Job Markets For Technology

The last piece I wrote, in April, took data from a personal finance website we respect, called NerdWallet. It used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to calculate tech employees per 1,000 total jobs in a metro area. But that was only half the score. It also looked at mean wages for those jobs, again from BLS data and then median gross rent from the Census Bureau.

Indeed’s list focuses 100% on job listings on its own site and the salary numbers come from estimates derived from its listings. It broke down software jobs into 18 of the most popular titles and then it calculated tech jobs as a share of all job listings in the 25 cities that have the greatest share of tech jobs. Hence several of the smaller cities on the Nerdwallet list, like Huntsville, AL and Durham, NC, did not rank on Indeed’s list…

Read Full Article: Forbes

Novel Employments Of Cloud Technology

Novel Employments Of Cloud Technology

Cloud Technology

Cloud technology has made itself invaluable to business and IT services globally, with applications reducing management and technology costs, providing remote employment opportunities, standardizing data management and security, and improving efficiency and business value. This year’s Cloud Technology Kit offers a host of tools, including a look at the basic concepts and foundational elements of hybrid cloud, determining cloud needs based on business objectives, and creating computing environments that connect components of the data center with public and private cloud services. But cloud technology doesn’t only benefit the typical IT driven organization, and it’s employment in diverse contexts is producing meaningful gains.

Agriculture

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Forbes discusses the role of cloud services in rural locations, far from technology hubs and business centers. Precision agriculture is a compilation of data collection, examination, and prediction technologies designed to collect and analyze crop data to help improve yields and reduce costs. This technology further helps minimize environmental damage while increasing profits. However, these technologies are generally out of the reach of smaller farmers, which is where cloud technology steps in. Once again an equalizer, cloud technology provides IoT and big data benefits to smaller farmers, giving them the opportunity to employ the sophisticated agricultural analytics of massive farming operations through shared services and agricultural crowdsourcing of data. IBM is already researching agricultural weather forecasts, models, and simulations to help farmers make better decisions, and Accenture provides a segmented offering for large agribusiness as well as small operations.

Education

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Collaboration and sharing opportunities supplied by the cloud are main advantages for adoption, saving time and money through the sharing of data, resources, and tasks, and organizations are better able to learn from and support one another. 76% of universities currently use cloud-based systems for student email, this being a flexible and cost-effective tool. The ability to scale services according to need, while providing the best resources without substantial hardware costs is as beneficial to education providers as it is to business.

Entertainment

Variety reports that virtual resources are helping films with limited budgets make an impact. Cloud services have cut the prices on tools such as CGI and digital intermediate, making them available to independent filmmakers and changing their productions. The limitations of physical infrastructure are removed with cloud services, and Aframe states that it’s cloud platform for video collaboration eliminates “friction”.

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Says David Peto, CEO of Aframe, “Friction is all the stuff that gets in the way, every day, of anyone who’s creative.” Of Elemental Technologies cloud services, Victor Borachuk of JupiterReturns says, [The cloud] is like having infinite resources, but you don’t have to own them. Things that were only available to huge television companies with incredible budgets, you get a box that gives you all that power.”

As already apparent in big business, the cloud provides tools and technology with a broad range of potential – and perhaps that range is even wider than we’ve imagined. Take a look at this free 2015 Cloud Technology Kit and make sure you’re getting the most of the silver lining.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Jennifer Klostermann

ERP Training Programs That Appeal To Millennials And Boomers

ERP Training Programs That Appeal To Millennials And Boomers

ERP Training Programs That Appeal

Your workforce is currently made up of two polar opposite groups of people – Boomers and Millennials. Baby Boomers are associated with virtues such as loyalty, dedication and perseverance and Millennials are associated with being technologically savvy and independent. Both generations have great virtues but these virtues translate into big differences in workplace skill sets.

Considering how different your workforce has become, how are you supposed to devise a one-size-fits-all training program to get your entire workforce up and running on your ERP? Successful ERP training must accommodate the characteristics and preferences of their users.

Here are 5 tips to accomplish this:

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1. Baby Boomers as the “Corporate Memory”

Boomers serve as the “corporate memory” of organizations and are typically the disseminators of knowledge. Boomers can play a part in training new employees by sharing their company-specific knowledge and passing down organizational values.

2. Clearly Communicate Training Benefits

Millennials want to know the “end result” of an activity before fully committing to it. Thus, it is important to give them a “run through” of the training program before it commences and let them know how the new acquired skill-set will have a lasting impact on their work. Training should guide them through software simulation practices and show them the big picture of how an ERP improves the company’s bottom-line, their careers, and compensation opportunities.

3. Incorporate Multimedia Content 

Tying Millennials to a chair for 8-10 hours a day while trying to teach them a massive amount of information is not the right way to structure a training program. Trainees must be given the option of accessing training materials in small, bite-sized segments and in a variety of formats. A mix of self-help documentations, 30-minute online webinars by remote experts, and even knowledge apps and YouTube videos can boost interest and increase productivity.

4. Personalized, Targeted Information 

Millennials generally have no patience with cookie-cutter solutions. Thus, it is better to assign a training moderator to small groups of Millennial employees, segmented according to department and position, so that training is relevant and targeted.

5. Using Social Forums to Facilitate Interaction 

Millennial employees are extremely interactive and responsive and, as such, prefer training in social settings. They should also be given a platform where they can give and receive feedback from the training moderator and share concerns and questions with colleagues. Digital forums like private Facebook groups or space on your internal CRM can solve this need.

For Millennials, it is not enough to simply present the new information. Millennials digest new information through multimedia training, and continuous back-and-forth interaction with the training moderator and amongst themselves.

By Boaz Amidor

Three Questions To Ask Every Cloud Storage Provider

Three Questions To Ask Every Cloud Storage Provider

Questions To Ask Every Cloud Storage Provider

As with many new technologies, attitudes toward cloud storage vary. Telephones were immobile; wearables perhaps unwarranted. And now, a global survey of over 26,000 people finds that just 27 percent of US Internet users consider cloud storage essential. While this number nears a third (31 percent) for respondents internationally, a majority of consumers disregard one of today’s most promising software developments.

Why is this? One reason is that, consumers do not always know the right questions to ask when searching for a cloud storage provider. Considering how foreign cloud computing can be, it’s not surprising that those without a background in technology find cloud storage unnecessary. It hardly makes sense to purchase something that you do not understand, and this distance between online storage platform and consumer can dissuade usage.

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However, with a little education, any consumer will come to see that a platform exists to handle their storage needs. To start learning, here are three important questions to ask before committing to a single provider.

Question: How safe is your platform’s encryption method?

Ideal Answer: While end-to-end encryption is a popular option, the safest cloud storage providers also use client-side encryption. Unlike services that just use the first, which only protects data during transfer to the cloud, those that also use client-side encryption ensure safety at all times. To do so, this method entrusts users complete control over the encryption process.

In passing governance from platform to user, client-side encryption tasks consumers with the creation and safeguarding of their own information. Users alone have access to encryption keys and, with the entry of their passphrase, can personalize security. This method is safer, as it removes the liability of password theft from servers. It also guarantees that a platform will never know the name, type or contents of files stored on the cloud. For users new to cloud computing, security assurances like these affirm the value of a storage solution.

Question: How much storage space will I actually get?

Ideal Answer: Storage is a tricky feature to grasp because many cloud platforms are not as transparent as they should be. While some solutions claim to be unlimited, this is not true. Most encryption methods require a copy of every file on both a user’s computer and the cloud. This makes ‘unlimited’ contingent upon a user’s own available hard drive space. In order to be truly unlimited, cloud storage needs to happen directly on the cloud. Providers can engineer autonomous cloud systems to accommodate a user’s storage needs, taking up no space on the hard drive.

In terms of space, look for a platform that allows large files to be transferred, too. Chances are good that every user will need to upload a large file at some point (for example, high-resolution photos). Ensure that the service you choose will oblige to this request when the time comes.

Question: Is it easy to collaborate on your platform?

Ideal Answer: Partnering with a cloud storage provider should always make collaboration easier. After storing files on the cloud, users should be able to improve the following:

  • Mobility: Cloud storage offers users the ability to access stored files from anywhere, at any time. This allows them, or employees of a company, to work on projects even when they’re working remotely.
  • Speed: Platforms have notification features to alert users to when stored and shared files have been altered. From editing to uploading, these notifications can expedite the speed of collaboration by making team members more aware of one another’s work.
  • Organization: Advanced cloud storage systems help users stay organized with integrated team management. Leveraging these teams, users can better control who has access to which files. They can also set internal leaders, which helps spread out the responsibility for sharing and securing files. In addition, this gives users the means to strategically regulate external file sharing with clients or partners.
  • Reporting: As a bonus of cloud storage, some platforms provide users with built-in reporting capabilities. When tracking and analyzing business activity (users can monitor who is working on what and when) a team can optimize efficiency and make collaboration a more fruitful endeavor.

Beyond storage, additional features like these make a cloud storage platform the perfect place for collaboration. This is true for both individual users and businesses.

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(Image Source: Shutterstock)

As consumers become familiar with the growing industry of cloud storage, more and more will begin to see it as a valuable investment. Thirty-one percent feelings of such solution being essential will increase to 50 percent, and then 50 percent to a larger majority. While consumers may come around naturally, cloud storage providers can also drive users to the cloud by making their platforms, as well the learning about their services, more approachable. Similarly, solutions can anticipate consumer questions and tailor their websites and advertisements to addressing them.

Considering multiple options is simply smart shopping. As with any other product or service, those in the market for a cloud storage provider should be asking questions like the three detailed above. By asking the right questions, consumers will have an easier time finding the right cloud storage solution for them.

By Tunio Zafer

Google Glass – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Google Glass – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Google Glass

Though only available to a tiny percentage of the world’s population and criticized as ‘dead’, Google Glass appears, in fact, to be alive and well in the enterprise, with a recent announcement that Google is planning to distribute Glass ‘Enterprise Edition through Glass for Work partners. 9To5Google reports that this new edition will come with a new, larger prism display, Intel Atom CPU for better performance, and optional external battery pack.

Already there are ethical quandaries and debate around privacy. Noted by Jules Polonetsky, executive director and co-chairman of the Future of Privacy Forum, both Kodak cameras and caller ID were initially met with serious privacy concerns when first introduced, but have been accepted as harmless and integral parts of our society today. Perhaps there will be much study and inquiry required before society fully embraces Google Glass and similar tech, but the advantages might quickly put paid to any reluctance.

The Workplace

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Because Google Glass provides users with the ability to record everything they see, as well as surf the net while simultaneously interacting with the world, the impact on business may be both positive and negative. Some public businesses such as restaurants, bars, casinos, and theatres have already banned Google Glass from their premises, though since many similar functions are provided via smart phones, it’s questionable how necessary this is.

Privacy issues including recording confidential meetings, and safety issues such as performing hazardous jobs with divided attention, are evident, but a host of benefits exist too. Google Glass provides apps that aid in business travel with flight reminders, navigation, and expense calculation. Presentations can be far more streamlined and better communicated with apps that allow speakers to control slides and view notes while presenting, and Google Glass provides efficiency optimization through training possibilities, applications that help locate lost items, reminders, and built-in assessments. Checks for quality, safety, and security could create safer, more efficient work environments, and the communication and collaboration possibilities are infinite.

Education

Google Glass may be considered the ultimate cheat sheet though it wasn’t all that long ago that calculators weren’t allowed in exam rooms. Today it’s almost ridiculous to imagine the situation in which any complex mathematics or engineering examination would require students to do without scientific calculators. Google Glass could revamp education systems providing video tutorials and quick research mechanisms, and the interaction capacity could transform learning processes. Affording mechanics and surgeons a working blueprints while leaving their hands free to act may not be far in the future, and so how long before schools and universities train their students to work with such wearable tech instead of insisting without?

Personal

google-glassThe privacy concerns of filming in bathrooms and other private areas are significant, as are safety fears around driving while messaging or Googling. Though many countries have laws related to the use of recording equipment and one or two party consent, as well as safety regulations which control the use of mobile devices while driving, Google Glass will present a new realm for lawmakers to tackle. The assistance Google Glass might provide is really limited only to the imagination.

With the potential for healthcare, assistance for the handicapped, memory support, and translation, as well as augmented reality and safer extreme sports, our personal lives might change dramatically. Of course, the dilemma of social engagement is already of concern with the amount of time people spend locked into virtual reality, ignoring their physical environments. Will we live in a future where it’s polite to remove both your hat and your Google Glass when entering someone’s home?

Glasshole or Not? 7 Urgent Ethical Dilemmas for Wearable Tech offers more insight into how society might deal with these and similar scenarios in the future, providing fresh discussions and perspectives around wearable tech.

By Jennifer Klostermann

The Implication Of Consumers Not Having Their Heads In The Cloud

The Implication Of Consumers Not Having Their Heads In The Cloud

Customers CAN Better Protect Themselves

The majority of cloud consumers don’t understand what cloud is let alone what the implications of transacting in the cloud or of having their data and digital assets stored in the cloud. As a result most consumers are their own worst enemy when it comes to putting themselves at risk in the cloud. The ramifications of not understanding the risks can result in anything from consumer data exposure or loss of digital assets, to online reputation damage or worse still, incurring the same for their children. The good news is with a few tweaks consumers can better protect themselves.

Read up!

Most explanations of cloud are geared at technical business users and very few are aimed at consumers. In fact, Katie Couric’s very recent The Cloud Explained is one of the very few pieces that I have seen that describes cloud in its simplest incarnation as a network of computers and in a way that most non-tech, savvy consumers can easily digest. I strongly encourage consumers to find a starting point on the web that they can easily digest and over time to gain as much knowledge as they can of the cloud services they use.

What is your Cloud Blueprint?

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Cloud is something that become an increasing part of our reality and may have sprawled into a number of different, though very useful services. In fact, we have reached the inflection point where it would be difficult to opt out of having some aspect of one’s life in the cloud. Some consumers may have been initially conscripted into a cloud service without their explicit consent. It may have happened, for example, as their utility company moved its infrastructure to the cloud, or through their doctor’s office now using online appointment settings or through their mobile phone synching settings, even for those who may not necessarily opt to have their information backed up to the cloud. Then there are those who have opted to use cloud storage services knowingly. It may have started with backing mobile phone or computer storage settings to the cloud for assets like songs, photos, videos and documents or even using online applications and sharing tools such as Facebook. However, consumers started out in the cloud it’s probably a good time to mentally audit their cloud services to understand which services are storing, transacting or have access to their data or other digital assets.

Try to find secure cloud storage options

The proliferation of cloud services has resulted in many cloud providers, especially storage providers who have differentiated their services on security. For those using cloud services to store photos, documents and other personal assets there are providers who offer encryption services or those that allow for a layer of encryption to be easily added. Such a layer of security could protect against personal digital assets being hacked into or even accessed accidentally by others.

Connect securely to cloud services

Many consumers find managing passwords a nightmare and despite the well publicized dangers associated with using “password” or sequences of letters and numbers, too many consumers often resort to just that. Consumers need to find something that is memorable to them that others would find extremely difficult to guess. A password phrase like “IstartedskatingwhenIwas15” might be difficult for both friends and hackers to guess but personal enough for the consumer to remember. Consumers also often don’t understand the risks of sharing passwords with family and friends but they need to treat their passwords as a penultimate secret. It is careless password management or lack of a strong password that create the biggest vector for hackers looking for credit card data or other sensitive personal information.

Where possible consumers should also connect using two-factor authentication to cloud services.

Included is an image provided by https://twofactorauth.org which offers a nice list of sites currently offering 2FA.

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Two-factor authentication provides stronger identification of users by requiring two different identity components. A good everyday example is the identification banks require for withdrawing money from a cash machine – the correct combination of a bankcard and a personal identification number (PIN).

Be cautious about oversharing on social media

Most consumers don’t associate social media sharing tools as a cloud service but it is. Oversharing on social media has also become a problem also for businesses who often find that workers blur the lines between their work and their private lives. My guidance to consumers is to only share on social media what they don’t mind sharing about themselves publicly. This advice even goes for photos for which one’s settings may be only family and friends, but over time through other people’s shares may be more broadly circulated.

Cloud is our new digital reality and for the most part the convenience benefits outweigh the risks. The tweaks that I have suggested above are a starting point and by no means a comprehensive list. Finally, remember that different consumers will have different thresholds for data security and privacy so there isn’t a single blueprint that applies equally to everyone.

By Evelyn de Souza

Educating To Create Global Innovation

Educating To Create Global Innovation

Global Innovation

China, which is seen by many as one of the biggest espionage threats to cyber security in the US, is back-stepping and changing its attitude to global commerce.

This is the opinion of Condoleezza Rice, former US secretary of State who says China previously had a plan to use the Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd as “a Trojan Horse” for Chinese espionage. But, she said, “there are rules of the game,” and China must not use its “cyber-power to spy on other people.

Speaking at the 2015 Nutanix .NEXT conference that opened in Miami Tuesday, she said China’s main problem was thatnobody really trusts Huwaei because of cyber-security issues.” As a result, she said, China has found that there has to be a trade off if they want to be a global economic player. “You don’t use your national champions to take other people’s IP.

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Alibaba in the US

Last week the Alibaba Group’s cloud computing business, Aliyun signed an agreement with the US Equinix Inc. to operate together between Hong Kong and Silicon Valley, providing US and Chinese companies with interconnectivity possibilities. In March this year, Aliyun opened its first data center, also in Silicon Valley, showing intent to develop its cloud solutions in the West. The company has also moved into the Middle East, and has declared its intention to expand further into Southeast Asia as well as Europe.

And clearly China wants Alibaba to become a global player.

They are delighted that Alibaba is in the markets and that the IPO was a stunning success,” said Rice. Depicting the US as the guarantor of the world’s democracy, she said the US has the strength to avert Chinese aggression in global commerce markets.

The rules of the “game” she alluded to needed to ensure that the US as a nation was able to continue to import innovators of technology (presumably from countries including China.) Additionally, she implied that because US doctrine is “different,” the country gets to play according to its own rules.

Initially the US Government branded Huawei a national security risk because it is seen to have strong links with the Chinese military system. Then last year Huawei was identified as having security weaknesses in its products, which it denied publicly more than a year ago. At the same time, in the UK, there were reports by local newspapers claiming that UK Government representatives had been forced to stop using Huawei video-conferencing products because it was possible third parties could access conversations.

Innovation Starts With Education

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Condoleezza Rice is an advisor to the enterprise virtualization and storage company, Nutanix. She is passionate about education, and she has stated that she does not believe that the US education system is producing enough people who are skilled enough to sustain a US economy that is based on innovation. She also feels that not enough is being done to educate young people.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Penny Swift

Exciting Job Opportunities In Several Tech Fields

Exciting Job Opportunities In Several Tech Fields

Exciting Job Opportunities

CompTIA has released a report projecting a growth of 5.1% in IT spending this year, and though more than Gartner and IDC expect, they too estimate considerable escalation. According to Infoworld, 2014 saw a 2.4% increase in IT employment, representing more than 100,000 jobs – 2015 could see this figure increase. According to the US department of labour, web development jobs experienced the highest growth in 2014 at 4%, and employment of information security analysts, software systems developers and network and computer systems administers increased between 1.8% and 3.6%.

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Top Jobs

Earlier this year, Glassdoor released a list of the 25 Best Jobs in America for 2015, and ten of them are in the IT sector. Software Engineer takes second place, with Database Administrator and Data Scientist in the top ten. Solutions Architect boasts one of the highest average base salaries, though all of the listed IT occupations offer decent remuneration. US News puts Software Developer at the top of its list of best tech jobs for 2015 and predicts a flood of new jobs in the IT market over the next seven years, with a forecast of a 36.5% increase in demand for Information Security Analysts.

What You Need

While certainly the place to be, the range of skills required to work successfully in IT is broad, and with constant technological evolution, skills often need to be updated just as you think you’ve mastered them. Inc recommends that 2015 is the time for honing your skills in coding, big data, cloud computing, mobile computing, data visualisation and UX design skills, while Training Journal insists that more problem solving skills are critical in IT. FierceCIO advises that business skills should not be overlooked, as many key IT roles require an excellent sense of the business and its workings in order to best perform their roles.

Where It’s Happening

Forbes has detailed the highest-paying cities for tech jobs in the US, with Silicon Valley at the top of their list, followed by Seattle, Washington, DC and Boston. Austin, Texas is credited with the strongest tech sector employment expansion from 2004 to 2014, with Raleigh, North Carolina close behind. In the UK, The Telegraph puts Manchester and Bristol close to London’s top earning average, and notes that Bristol, Brighton and Cambridge offer higher rates to freelancers working in the cloud sector than London.

Wherever you are, it seems 2015 is the year for technology, and if the predictions for IT pay off the future is bright. IT professionals possessing the top skills as well as the ability to pull together various IT services and business acumen are in demand, and it looks like that trend will only increase in the coming years.

Jennifer Klostermann

CloudTweaks Comics
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