Category Archives: Technology

Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Based on Aberdeen Group’s Computer Intelligence Dataset, there are more than 1.6 billion permutations to choose from when it comes to cloud computing solutions.

So what, on the face of it, appears to be pretty simple is actually both complex and dynamic regardless of whether you’re in the market for networking, storage, servers, telephony, virtualisation or applications.

By making the right choices for your cloud computing technology you stand to benefit from improvements in profitability, improved time to decision, improvements in complete and on-time delivery and reduction in downtime.

What is cloud computing?

TSG has created infographic to help you navigate your way through the benefits of cloud technologies and ensure your business doesn’t get left behind.

(Infographic created by UK IT Support Solutions Company, TSG)

TSG---infographic---Benefits-of-Cloud-Computing-compressor

The Cost Implications of Cloud Computing

The Cost Implications of Cloud Computing

Pricing The Cloud

Gartner predicts that by 2017 the public cloud services market will exceed $244 billion, achieving an impressive growth over just a few years, and organizations worldwide are reflecting this development. IT departments are expected to provide far more tools and services for their businesses than ever before, and they’re expected to do it for less money due to the volatile business environment. Cloud is proving to be the foundation which makes this possible, but merely opting for cloud doesn’t guarantee savings.

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Choosing the Right Cloud Deployment Model

Public cloud is typically adopted for the benefits of cost-savings, but according to Kurt Marko of MarkoInsights, IT professionals usually prefer hybrid cloud deployment models. However, hybrid models which result in a split of workloads between public and private clouds tends to complicate cost and design analysis. Organizations have the choice between public cloud, primarily involving variable OpEx costs, private cloud which requires a much greater staffing contingent and is characteristically a CapEx costing model, the hybrid cloud mentioned before, and multi cloud models more recently surfacing in the business market.

When choosing a particular deployment model for an organization, the operational benefits often overshadow cost analyses because, let’s face it, the techies want a structure that works best, and the business managers tend to assume that because it’s cloud, it’s the economical option. No single model is universally superior to the others, but instead by accounting for CapEx versus OpEx, personnel and management costs, and overheads such as utilities and licensing, organizations can sensibly choose a model that delivers the greatest cost advantages for the necessary tools and services the selected deployment model will provide.

Reducing Cloud Costs

Management

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Once the cloud deployment model has been chosen and implemented, organizations can further reduce the costs of the cloud through efficiency. At this point, businesses should be installing the necessary servers, adequate storage, and suitable networks which interface with the cloud services adopted. Appropriate management of billing and metering, security, performance, and infrastructure integration may seem an excessive cost, but purely trusting that you’re receiving all you need at the best price is impractical. Business needs change, services morph, and being up to speed on the minutia of the cloud integration in an organization is a role worth the expense. If done competently, managing your organization’s cloud implementation is likely to ensure that the streamlined and cost-effective model initially applied is continuously tailored and restructured to ensure the necessary features are delivered with continued savings.

Ensuring Cloud Success

Profiting from the cloud is, of course, only possible if it’s successfully applied and operated. CIO questioned 16 chief information officers and IT leaders about their cloud deployments and received the following advice:

  • Embrace Change Management. It’s important that businesses are educated and informed about the cloud models put in place.
  • Vet Your Partners. Choosing partners wisely is more important than saving money; working with providers that share the same values and requirements while assisting you to advance to standards benefits both parties. Says Paula Tolliver, CIO and corporate vice president of business services at Dow Chemical, “We’re encouraging our service providers to get standardization across industry so that we live up to the ultimate cloud promise of being able to move services and capabilities at will and as needed.”
  • Feed the Network. Sysco’s CTO, Wayne Shurts, insists, “Your network has got to be Class A.” He points out that an organization’s network becomes “more important and a huge point of failure in your infrastructure,” and so there’s no room for shortcuts.
  • Have an Exit Plan. Contracts need to address service standards and performance, but says Avnet CIO, Steve Phillips, they must also tackle future separation.
  • And finally… Don’t Let Cost Savings Distract You. Although there are savings to be had, cloud models shouldn’t be executed for this alone. Says Joe Spagnoletti, Campbell Soup CIO, “It’s an option to deliver capability. You have to get it at the cost commensurate with the capability. You can’t do it for cost savings or management efficiency.”

By Jennifer Klostermann

Breakthroughs in Clinical Trials Utilizing the Power of the Cloud

Breakthroughs in Clinical Trials Utilizing the Power of the Cloud

Clinical Trials and the Power of the Cloud

Clinical trials play an essential role in the drug development process by effectively demonstrating the efficacy and safety of a pharmaceutical compound. Although lead by scientific endeavor with patient safety and therapeutic benefits in mind, the process of bringing drugs to market is long, complex, bureaucratic and, above all else, expensive.

Inefficiencies in the clinical trials process continue to stymie industry stakeholders anxious to rein in the cost of product development and adhere to tighter timelines. There is an urgent need to expedite the time-to-market for new drugs and to make the approval process simpler. Discontent with the ‘status quo’ and dismal performance metrics are driving a cacophony of infrastructural changes with stakeholders embracing technologies that are finally moving the needle. Cloud-based solutions such as clinical trial management systems (CTMS), electronic data capture (EDC), electronic trial master file (eTMF), and study startup (SSU) are all quantum leaps and are collectivity referred to as the eClinical stack.

Why the cloud?

randy-biasCloud computing continues to be a disruptive force in IT with no signs of slowing down. According to the Synergy Research Group, the worldwide cloud computing market grew 28% to $110B in revenues in 2015, and forecasts from the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicate worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a 19.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) – almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth – from nearly $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019. “Cloud computing provides a dramatic opportunity across all industries,” according to Randy Bias, Director, OpenStack Foundation, and author of Grasping the Cloud Is Essential to Business Efficiency. “Old businesses are leveraging cloud to disrupt the existing incumbents. Cloud computing is profoundly disruptive in a way few can truly understand.”

By playing a critical role in enabling digital transformation, cloud computing lowers typical IT barriers of slow time to value, risky implementations, limited resources, heavy maintenance, and incompatible systems. Allowing cloud computing to free up resources to run the business enables organizations to focus their time and energy on the pursuit of innovation and growth.

Some of the key reasons driving cloud-based adoption are:

  • Ease of deployment and management
  • Greater flexibility in supporting evolving business needs from both a technical and business perspective
  • Lower cost of operations
  • Easier way to scale and ensure availability and performance
  • Overall ease of use

According to Nan Bulger, Executive Director of SCIP, the Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals society, and author of The New Decision Influencer, “In profit and nonprofit based businesses alike, the future of anything rests in the ability to influence the bottom line through operational efficiency and effectiveness, customer revenue generation and social impact.

The need for more efficient clinical trials is driving greater use of cloud-based solutions in the pharmaceutical industry – historically slow in adopting new technologies – especially with the rise in outsourcing and globalization. The “cloud” gives the ability to access value-added services from anywhere at anytime with a level of simplicity, flexibility, and cost-efficiency never seen before.

Leveraging the cloud for speed

high-speed-cloud

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

The public’s growing dissatisfaction with the clinical trial process is evident in the press with the recent push for expedited programs, such as, the 21st Century Cures Act, compassionate use and the “Right to Try” laws leading the vanguard of change to an industry which has been historically mired in regulation and slow to adopt new innovative technologies, technologies which have the ability to significantly reduce cycle times and get much-needed therapies to those in need faster.

Significant financial losses bolster the insistent calls for change. Data from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development indicate that mean clinical development time is 6.7 years, and daily revenue lost because a drug is not yet on the market has been estimated in the range of $1 million – $8 million. To confront these issues of cost and time, the industry has been evolving from its slow paper-based methods toward cloud-based systems. With the flurry of attention focused on the issue of speeding clinical trials, the need for collaborative, cloud-based solutions has never been greater.

In the cloud, data is available in real-time from anywhere in the world, and the rapid elasticity afforded to cloud-based hosting solutions can offer virtually infinite scalability – a proposition that is attractive for large Pharma and Contract Research Organizations (CROs). Cloud-based technologies also allow results to be analyzed more quickly and facilitate communication amongst clinical research teams across the globe. The introduction, and growing adoption, of cloud technologies for clinical trials will lower of cost of technology and thus the barrier to entry, making the cloud attractive for small-to-mid sized biotech, medical device companies and universities. For small companies, cloud computing services can provide a fast way to launch a new product, while keeping the focus on developing product features instead of fine-tuning office servers.

Improving Study Startup with Cloud-Based Services

While companies have often focused on improving study conduct in order to make gains in clinical trial efficiency, stakeholders are becoming increasingly aware that better Study Startup (SSU) – a perpetual bottleneck – processes are linked to shorter clinical timelines, and the emphasis is slowly shifting in that direction. SSU includes activities such as country selection, pre-study visits, site selection and initiation, regulatory document submission, contract and budget execution, and enrolling the first patient.

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Research indicates that lengthy start-up times are problematic for many stakeholders: companies seeking to develop new treatments, insurers formulating policy, providers, and patients. Addressing this issue is a challenge because too often, information needed to launch clinical trials still resides in multiple databases, leaving SSU activities to be performed using Excel spreadsheets, e-mail, and shared file drives. Consequently, too much time is spent on non-productive activities, such as status meetings, because the desired information is housed in various locations and is not readily available.
http://www.nextivadrive.com

These inefficiencies can be minimized using a purpose-built SaaS SSU solution. With this type of solution, real-time viewing of data and smart workflows that standardize processes become possible. Some key advantages of the solution are: it functions as a single repository for study documents; information only needs to be entered once; and documents from the study database can be accessed using a single logon. Overall, the technology is designed to provide better collaboration with sites, improve business processes, identify bottlenecks, and avoid redundant processes. Using cloud-based technology, a better SSU methodology aligns with the goal of faster development by significantly impacting cycle times. This approach leads to greater cost savings and faster market entry, making valuable therapies available to patients sooner.

Conclusion

Industry analysts estimate that the data generated by the pharmaceutical industry doubles every six months and recently published research indicates that by 2020 approximately 70% of clinical trials will be outsourced to CROs. How will on-premise or custom-built applications handle these scale and business operational challenges – simply put they won’t.

Cloud computing is attractive because its inherent scalability, availability and flexibility offer the potential to streamline the clinical development process, accelerate timelines, and cut information technology costs. Additionally, the cloud can add a layer of security and control that is simply not possible with paper-based processes. Introducing these important efficiencies into routine clinical processes helps companies adhere to increasingly aggressive timelines, and comply with the changing nature of global regulations in a timely manner.

And while the pharmaceutical industry might not be the vanguard of innovative cloud technology adoption, one thing remains clear – the cloud will continue to revolutionize the healthcare industry by enabling pharmaceutical companies to bring their drugs to patients faster at a lower cost.

Craig MorganBy Craig Morgan, brand development director at goBalto Inc.

Craig is a technology and life sciences management professional with more than 15 years of experience in the application of informatics and bioinformatics to drug discovery. He currently heads up the marketing and brand development functions at goBalto, working with sponsors, CROs and sites to reduce cycle times and improve collaboration and oversight in clinical trials.

The 2016 Stratus Awards For Cloud Computing: New Categories Acknowledged

The 2016 Stratus Awards For Cloud Computing: New Categories Acknowledged

The Stratus Awards For Cloud Computing

The most innovative and exciting companies and individuals in the world of cloud computing are set to be honored in an awards program that recognizes the enormous contribution that cloud-based services are making to organizations all around the globe. As the adoption of sophisticated cloud services and strategies gathers momentum, the work of pioneers in the field has become more critical than ever, and the Stratus Awards for Cloud Computing aims to recognize their achievements.

Copy of Business-Intelligence-Group-Logo-300

The awards program is the work of the Business Intelligence Group, an organization which is committed to honoring excellence, and provide business owners, leaders, executives and managers a platform to get the recognition they deserve. Managing Director of the Business Intelligence Group, Russ Fordyce explains how “we expect to reward companies from across the globe, those whose offerings are truly differentiated in the market.

The size of the cloud services industry has expanded enormously over the last few years, and is expected to grow incrementally as the “internet of things” becomes part of all of our lives. Tech research firm Gartner expects the public cloud market to grow by over 16 percent this year, and to surpass the $200 billion mark for the first time ever.

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As the cloud market grows, so the awards categories have expanded to include new areas of expertise. There are new categories for cloud storage, cloud collaboration and cloud-based Internet of Things (IOT), each of which is profoundly shaking up the tech landscape.

In addition to the new categories, a new voting mechanism has also been introduced. “We are excited to announce the addition of an optional, and voluntary, Stratus People’s Choice Awards this year,” says Fordyce. The People’s Choice program will run alongside the judged awards and will reward one company in each category. Companies that wish to be eligible for the People’s Choice Awards must indicate their eligibility as they submit nominations. In so doing, a portion of the nomination will be published to the Stratus Awards website, and the general public will be encouraged to vote in each of the categories.

One of the most innovative aspects of the Stratus Awards is the judging process. The program relies on volunteer judges from within the industry to read, score and to judge the nominations. But it doesn’t end there; the judges are encouraged to engage with the nominees and share public and private feedback with them as a way of helping them improve their overall offerings to the market.

See some of the 2016 judging panel right here.

There are 17 categories in this year’s awards. In each of the categories, awards will given to Startups (less than 3 years), small companies (fewer than 150 employees), enterprise (more than 150 employees), and the People’s Choice award. In order to enter successfully, the data provided must be under a year old, it must not be duplicative of others’ work, and must illustrate the impact or potential impact of the work done, either through measurement or analysis.

Nominations for the Stratus Awards for Cloud Computing are due on June 3 2016, with the winners being announced on July 11, 2016.

You can find entry forms and further information right here. If you would like to find out more about being a judge for the Stratus Awards, click here.

By Jeremy Daniel

Brand Identity Is Now The Crux Of Technology And Business

Brand Identity Is Now The Crux Of Technology And Business

Identity, Technology and Business

When Tim Cook and Apple pushed back against the FBI’s iPhone hack request, the resulting conflict hit on where we are, and where we’re going, with technology and business. It’s not just about useful tools people can use for convenience and entertainment anymore. It’s about identity.

Apple pushed back because the hack represents an intrusion on privacy. Hacking Syed Farook’s phone provides a direct window on who he is. This would open a wormhole to other iPhone users, too. Now, Apple wants to know how an anonymous third party was able to hack the phone.

Should Apple’s technology, or any sort of tech, protect identities from prying eyes? Or should people’s identities be fair game for organizations that want to use them? So far we’ve seen more of the latter.

Power and Liquidity of Identity

This has been brewing for a while. Businesses and customers both have a stake. Consumer identity has become a commodity. Every touch-point in high-tech commerce hinges on who the customer is. Business and consumer alike trade in the power and liquidity of identity.

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First, an example of how the identity protection issue is playing out for American businesses, in a very concrete way. According to Square’s guide to EMV (Europay Mastercard Visa), “Almost half of the world’s credit card fraud happens in the United States.” As a result, businesses must switch to a new “processing device” that will accept EMV cards. You’ve probably seen local businesses that have complied, some that haven’t.

Because of the new EMV requirement, if someone commits credit card fraud with a magnetic stripe card, the business is liable. Credit card fraud is identity theft. Now businesses have to protect customer identity by staying technologically relevant.

Is this appropriate, or ironic? Businesses trade in customer identity, oftentimes without giving the customer a choice; now they don’t have any choice but to protect the identities they trade in.

Analyzing customer preferences, location data, spending habits, and other factors linked to who you are is a part of tech-savvy marketing and sales. Consumer data is a hot item—the topic doesn’t just come up on marketing blogs.

Appnovation is a web development company with a blog post titled “Integrating Customer Data into Your Business Decisions“. The author (whose last name isn’t provided—apparently they wanted to protect his identity) says, “If good information promotes growth and growth allows for success, why doesn’t every organization just do it?” He’s not merely observing the trendy practice of using customer data to grow business—he’s promoting it. There’s technology for tracking “customer experience and actions”, which gives the business an advantage. According to the author, “The insights and data from your analytics product do more than predict and hone customer behavior, they can be a window into your infrastructure’s current health.”

This final statement holds the key to the commoditization of identity. To the observer, what we do determines who we are. And now, what we do, including what we post online and the sites we visit, directly influences business determinations. They want to “hone and influence our behavior”, but that behavior also plays into how a business views itself. Even further than that—consumer behavior determines a business brand’s identity.

Consumers Dictating Brand Messaging

consumer-focus

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Base Creative is an international branding agency. Their brand strategist and senior writer, Rod Parkes, has this to say about the evolving meaning of brands:

The brand owner can no longer dictate the meaning of the brand – the customer defines this, and today’s customers cannot be so easily told what to think. From Amazon to TripAdvisor, websites and social media enable the experience of others to help shape the potential purchaser’s perceptions.”

Web technology—primarily social media and peer reviews—gives consumers the same type of power businesses want to have over them. It’s the power to determine what an entity will do.

Consumer perception and the intersection of technology create a fluid, relative identity for brands, because brands must react to consumer perception. They’re watching us, we’re watching them, and on either side we’re making decisions based on our observations. It’s a dynamic feedback loop.

Personalization 

This relationship between identity, technology, and power is reflected in the trends to watch in 2016. Dynamic personalization, in which brands analyze data to market directly to individuals, reportedly delivers ROI (Return on Investment) five to eight times greater than non-personalized efforts. Personalization is also estimated to boost sales by ten percent. At least ninety percent of the time, though, consumers conduct their own research before they buy something. Brands want to influence research efforts.

On Facebook, for one, brands seek to establish an identity alongside users. Despite that, 62 percent of consumers in a Gallup poll report social media has no influence on their buying decisions whatsoever. This doesn’t stop marketers from pursuing social marketing strategies, such as influencer marketing.

According to this influencer marketing infographic from Simplilearn, influencer marketing is the most effective channel for customer acquisition. Of all the social networks, Facebook is considered the most effective for influencer marketing, with 27 percent of the share. Why would marketers use influencer marketing on social media if 62 percent of people aren’t influenced by it? There’s clearly a disjunction between consumer perception and brand perception.

The respondents to the Gallup poll may not have realized influencers are marketing to them. Word of mouth is wrapped up in the identity of the speaker. You trust what an influencer says because, ostensibly, you know them.

Clearly, the intersection of identities and technologies has created a new playing field for business. As we’re seeing with the Apple vs. FBI case, Apple’s struggle is to maintain a brand image that people associate with consumer identity protection.

The struggle for businesses that use data to personalize marketing is also a power struggle. Does the brand influence the consumer’s purchases more than the consumer influences brand identity? The answer to this question will ultimately determine how people identify with brands, and what brands do with data.

By Daniel Matthews

How To Build Mobile Apps Quickly Without Sacrificing Stability

How To Build Mobile Apps Quickly Without Sacrificing Stability

Mobile Security and Stability

It’s a fear that many mobile app developers have. That in the haste to construct a mobile app and get it out to market, your slapdash efforts will lead to a buggy and poor performing app. This fear is very viable, especially if your team is rushing to construct an entire multi-leveled app in one-go. You need a way to build your product quickly and effectively without compromising security. Here are the four main ways to build your innovative mobile app in no-time and still make sure that your app is secure and bug-free.

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Launch Your MVP, Start Testing

Use the Lean Startup method, launch a lean version of your core product – your MVP – and immediately begin collecting data using a build-measure-learn feedback loop. Through testing, all feedback should be collected that continually informs the development process. Plan to operate on very short iterative cycles or “sprints,” where updates are released in short 2-4 week periods.

Hybrid Apps

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Cross-platform hybrid solutions allow you to get 2 for the price of 1. Two versions of your App –Android and iOS – for the same code. This is a huge time-saver as opposed to writing native code for Android and iOS separately. Having said that, hybrid Apps have performance limitations — hybrid Apps handle animations with less fluidity and slow your phone down because they take up a lot of memory. For these reasons, hybrid Apps are best used to enter new markets quickly. If need be, they can then be replaced with more robust, native Apps at a later stage.

Two examples of cross hybrid solutions include Adobe Phonegap and Xamarin.

Integrate Pre-Made Engagement Applets to Increase Engagement

Once you have your MVP, it’s time to think about how your mobile app is going to effectively engage or communicate with your customers. A number of mobile engagement platforms have popped up recently to provide you with just that — all types of pre-made applets that you can add to your core product without any additional coding.

One of the newest platforms launched recently offers codeless mobile engagement . It has a variety of free engagement-driven applets that can be integrated with developer’s core products, without additional coding. The applets are managed and implemented through a smart SDK dashboard and are constantly updated to comply with each operating system demands. This enables not only hyper-accelerated development process but also a continual rock-solid coded solution.

Set Up Automated Testing to Ensure App Security

Automating your mobile application testing is a huge time-saver. Automating your testing allows you to run a suite of tests that would otherwise take hours to complete manually. By speeding up testing, you will be able to expand test coverage in the same amount of time. And you’ll sleep better with the knowledge that your code is bug-free. Appium is a great option on the market right now. Appium is an open source test automation framework for use with native, hybrid and mobile web apps for iOS and Android apps.

By Boaz Amidor

Did You Know That There Is A Real SHIELD?

Did You Know That There Is A Real SHIELD?

The Real Shield

You cannot make this up. The ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence), an Act of Congress and a European Commission special “working group” known as Article 29 are all involved. Blame it on Edward Snowden. The Europeans are “concerned” (meaning: terrified) about the privacy protections surrounding any of their data stored in the US.

What are we talking about? Facebook, Google, Amazon and many more B2C and B2B organizations collect customer’s data and often hold it in their cloud platforms in the US. If your firm works with anyone in the EU and you use the cloud you need to be aware of the major change that has taken place in just the last six months or so. You could be legally liable and suffer penalties for not following these new regulations.

online privacy

A little back ground – until October of 2015 the relationship between the US and EU around privacy protection of EU citizens data stored in the US was governed by something set up in 2000 called Safe Harbor. It was basically a self-policing agreement that stipulated any US company who collected data from EU citizens needed to:

  • Inform them their data was being gathered,
  • Tell them what would be done with it,
  • Obtain permission to pass on the information to a third party,
  • Allow EU citizens access to the data gathered,
  • Ensure data integrity and security and
  • Provide a way to enforce compliance.

But then came the revelations of Snowden. The Europeans were antsy about American Intelligence’s ability to view their personal data but Snowden really drove them wild. A privacy activist named Max Schrems filed suit in the European Court of Justice against the Irish data protection authority based on the concerns he had about Facebook transferring his data from Ireland to the US.

The court ruled last October that Safe Harbor agreement was invalid under the EU’s rules. As you might guess there was immediately a great deal of confusion over what this meant to the various providers and consumers. There was also a recognition that it would be in all parties’ best interest to create a replacement that would meet the EU restrictions. Hence, SHIELD was born.

The EU-US Privacy Shield, commonly called “Shield”, was forged out of an EU and US set of consultations and changes of law on both sides. There were a few hair-raising moments when it appeared that all the needed steps might not be accomplished by the deadline imposed by the court. But, in the end, they were and when you look back, it is amazing how fast governments can actually work.

The European Commission did all of the following:

  • Reformed the EU Data protection rules, which apply to all companies providing services on the EU market,
  • Passed the EU-U.S. Umbrella Agreement ensuring high data protection standards for data transfers between the EU and U.S., and
  • Established the Shield for commercial data exchange, which contains obligations on U.S. companies who handle personal data.

On its part The US Congress passed the Judicial Redress Act of 2015 and President Obama signed it. This has significant consequences for US based businesses because it means that EU citizens will have the right to obtain judicial redress in the US if American authorities mishandle their data.

So what are some of the consequences and differences from Safe Harbor?

  • Safeguards related to intelligence activities will extend to all data transferred to the U.S., regardless of the transfer mechanism used.
  • The Shield’s dispute resolution framework provides multiple avenues for individuals to lodge complaints, more than those available under the Safe Harbor and alternative transfer mechanisms such as Standard Contractual Clauses or Binding Corporate Rules.
  • An organization’s compliance with the Privacy Shield will be directly and indirectly monitored by a wider array of authorities in the U.S. and the EU, possibly increasing regulatory risks and compliance costs for participating organizations.
  • The Department of Commerce will significantly expand its role in monitoring and supervising compliance, including carrying out ex officio compliance reviews and investigations of participating organizations.
  • Participating organizations will be subjected to additional compliance and reporting obligations, some of which will continue even after they withdraw from the Privacy Shield.

For the big cloud-based providers none of this represents a real burden but for medium and smaller firms you need to ensure your compliance even if your underlying cloud provider is one of the big boys like Amazon or Microsoft. As they always say: “Consult Your Attorney”.

So, what about the spooks? The EU is still worried that representations by the ODNI are not sufficient (“we don’t do bulk spying”) to assure protections. The bet is the European Commission will probably approve the Shield but the whole thing will still land up in court. Meanwhile, commerce continues to march on and hopefully we will see a complete resolution soon.

By John Pientka

Netflix And Net Neutrality

Netflix And Net Neutrality

How Netflix went against net neutrality

For years, Netflix has been claiming that its videos have been deliberately slowed down by carriers so that they could protect their own TV services.

But, guess what?

It all turns out, things were the other way around.

Netflix has finally admitted that for the past five years the company has been slowing down videos for AT&T and Verizon wireless users. And they claimed to do it because they didn’t want their users to face overage penalties.

All this points to the net neutrality debate which has been going on for years. The funny part is – Netflix itself has been lobbying FCC to ban internet throttling everywhere. And yet, the online streaming service decided to throttle speeds of certain users without their consent.

AT&T and Verizon users were the only ones whose speed was capped to 600 kilobits per second, but it wasn’t done for T-mobile users. You know why?

Because Netflix in collaboration with T-mobile provides a ‘binge-on’ pack using which users can watch unlimited videos on Netflix at a fixed video resolution.

Netflix has obviously been criticized by many. But the company refuses to call it a mistake. According to them, they were only trying to help out their customers. The company wrote on their blog that their main motive was to help users avoid exceeding their mobile data. But shouldn’t that decision be in the hands of the user?

Why did Netflix take a stance on net neutrality

Now that is simple. The two companies in North America that generate more than half of the total downloads are Netflix and Google, it was these two companies who left no stone unturned to make sure the government gives out the net neutrality rule.

traffic-jam-bandwidth

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Why is Netflix not being investigated by FCC

Well, that is because of one big reason – according to the FCC rules, Netflix didn’t do anything wrong.

This is because, according the rules defined by the FCC, net neutrality only applies to internet service providers (ISPs). Netflix is not an internet service provider, it is what FCC calls an ‘edge provider’ or a ‘content provider’, and that is why the net neutrality rules do not apply to it.

This was done by the FCC to give freedom to the content providers so that they could give their users a seamless experience.

It’s the same as Youtube lowering the video quality when it notices the internet speed has gone down and watching an HD video with that speed would take a lot of time. But that is done by Youtube to make sure users can watch continuous videos without any buffering time. Also while doing so, Youtube notifies the users about it and the users can also choose a higher video quality even at a low speed, if they want to. Now if Netflix did a similar thing, it would have been acceptable. The main issue was that the company did not notify its users.

When FCC was asked about Netflix’s notorious activities, they started by saying that since the video streaming service is not an open service provider, it is outside FCC’s jurisdiction.

But Michael O’Rielly, chairman of FCC made a statement in front of the Federal Trade Commission saying that Netflix should be investigated. According to O’Rielly, Netflix might have not directly broken any net neutrality rules by throttling speeds but while doing so, they might have broken some commission rules since the company did withhold the information.

Are other content providers doing the same thing as well?

There are chances that they are, or they might be getting the idea from Netflix. The main purpose of introducing net neutrality was to make sure all the content providers were given equal bandwidth access by the ISPs and the government. To make sure, every website or app you access online gets the same internet speed from your end.

But with content providers trying to take advantage of this, it’s time the governments all around the world step up and create some regulations for content providers too.

By Ritika Tiwari

CloudTweaks Comics
Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Small Business Cloud Computing Trepidation is inherently attached to anything that involves change and especially if it involves new technologies. SMBs are incredibly vulnerable to this fear and rightfully so. The wrong security breach can incapacitate a small startup for good whereas larger enterprises can reboot their operations due to the financial stability of shareholders. Gordon Tan contributed an…

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do I am not going to mention names in this article, but if you want to be the best, you must look at what the best do – and do it better. The importance of investing in SaaS onboarding can be easily overlooked in favor of designing efficient and powerful software…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Computing And SMEs SMEs (Small/Medium Sized Enterprises) make up the bulk of businesses today. Most cloud based applications created today are geared toward the SME market. Accounting, Storage, Backup services are just a few of them. According to the European Commission, cloud based technology could help 80% of organisations reduce costs by 10-20%. This infographic provided…

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus For Both Cloud Vendors And CIOs

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus For Both Cloud Vendors And CIOs

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus Shadow IT, a phenomenon defined as building internal IT systems without the official organizational approval has been a growing concern for CIOs over the last few years. In 2015, it climbed to the top of the list of the emerging IT threats, with as much as 83% CIOs reporting…

Four Reasons Why CIOs Must Transform IT Into ITaaS To Survive

Four Reasons Why CIOs Must Transform IT Into ITaaS To Survive

CIOs Must Transform IT The emergence of the Cloud and its three delivery models of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) has dramatically impacted and forever changed the delivery of IT services. Cloud services have pierced the veil of IT by challenging traditional method’s dominance…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing Innovation Sao Paulo, Brazil has had trouble with both energy and water supplies as of late. Despite it is the rainy period. Unfortunately Sao Paulo is very dependent on its rain as a majority of its power is generated from large dams. No water, no energy. Difficult situation for a city of some…

Cloud Computing and Finland Green Technology

Cloud Computing and Finland Green Technology

Green Technology Finland Last week we touched upon how a project in Finland had blended two of the world’s most important industries, cloud computing and green technology, to produce a data centre that used nearby sea water to both cool their servers and heat local homes.  Despite such positive environmental projects, there is little doubt that…

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation Digital transformation is the acceleration of business activities, processes, and operational models to fully embrace the changes and opportunities of digital technologies. The concept is not new; we’ve been talking about it in one way or another for decades: paperless office, BYOD, user experience, consumerization of IT – all of these were stepping…

15 Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies

15 Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies

Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies (Updated: Originally Published Feb 9th, 2015) We have decided to put together a small list of some of our favorite cloud performance monitoring services. In this day and age it is extremely important to stay on top of critical issues as they arise. These services will accompany you in monitoring…

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Incident Response Planning – Part 1 The topic of cybersecurity has become part of the boardroom agendas in the last couple of years, and not surprisingly — these days, it’s almost impossible to read news headlines without noticing yet another story about a data breach. As cybersecurity shifts from being a strictly IT issue to…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery  Ok, ok – I understand most of you are saying disaster recovery (DR) is still a critical aspect of running any type of operations. After all – we need to secure our future operations in case of disaster. Sure – that is still the case but things are changing – fast. There are…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Cloud Security Mindset Businesses are becoming wise to the compelling benefits of cloud computing. When adopting cloud, they need a high level of confidence in how it will be risk-managed and controlled, to preserve the security of their information and integrity of their operations. Cloud implementation is sometimes built up over time in a business,…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

DDoS Attacks October 21st, 2016 went into the annals of Internet history for the large scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that made popular Internet properties like Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and Box inaccessible to many users in the US. The DDoS attack happened in three waves targeting DNS service provider Dyn, resulting in a total of about…