Staci Emery

Big data analytics will drive next generation of revenue

Achieving a competitive advantage in this day and age is not the easiest task. Companies must possess the right vision and have the available resources to set themselves apart from their rivals. In recent years, the focus on business intelligence has grown by leaps and bounds, especially in the wake of the big data phenomenon.

Firms with the right analytics solutions can gain insight into this information to make more sound decisions pertaining to their targeted markets like never before. A recent IDC report suggested this capability will be a driving force behind future revenue generation, especially among retailers. Continue reading

Staci Emery

ERP software experiencing rapid changes

Enterprise resource planning software will look a bit different in the coming years, thanks to the influence of various trends sweeping the IT industry. Although some of these new developments will benefit how companies leverage ERP systems, it may be challenging for businesses to incorporate the tools if they lack the resources or knowledge to do so.

A New Straits Time Online report detailed the most significant changes sweeping the ERP market. The Internet of Things is one trend that will drive data collection, allowing organizations to view performance details to determine if operational assets go unused. Continue reading

Staci Emery

IT investments point toward the cloud

Cloud computing dominates the IT industry, in terms of both headlines and adoption rates. Businesses worldwide are investing in this flexible technology more than ever to satisfy a broad range of functions, especially disaster preparedness. Disruptions strike at any time, damaging infrastructures and mission-critical data that are essential to operations. Firms without access to these resources cannot compete during such periods of downtime.

A Kable report recently suggested cloud computing will account for 17 percent of IT procurements in the next year. The highest percentage of investments will be allocated toward data backup and software application hosting during this time. Continue reading

Staci Emery

Confidence in IT industry strong for 2014

The IT industry is in good standing at the present time, a great sign that businesses are investing in the most innovative technologies available to promote long-term growth. CompTIA’s latest Business Confidence Index is at a 60.1 on a 100-point scale, down slightly from the second quarter’s 61.3. The IT nonprofit organization asserted, however, that the overall outlook for 2014 looks optimistic and is expected to gain two points in the next six months.

Of the companies included in the study, 75 percent said they are on target or have exceeded initial revenue goals for 2014 at the halfway mark. In 2013, 68 percent of businesses answered similarly, so there is clearly improvement to this year’s use of IT solutions. Continue reading

Staci Emery

Organizations heavily rethinking security strategies

IT security has garnered its fair share of headlines recently, due in large part to the major breaches that have afflicted well-known brands such as Target. Companies, regardless of size or industry, are susceptible to sophisticated attacks from malicious cybercriminals trying their best to steal corporate information and customer data.

A new Websense and Ponemon Institute survey of nearly 4,900 IT security professionals found that nearly 30 percent want their companies to “overhaul” their systems to defend against threats.

John McCormack, CEO of Websense, said the study emphasizes the lack of communication, security solutions and education impacting organizations on a global scale. Continue reading

Staci Emery

SaaS-based BI market experiencing rapid growth

The use of business intelligence tools, specifically Software-as-a-Service-based suites, is taking off on a global scale. BI allows firms to gather valuable information and analyze this data to make more informed decisions regarding operations and customer markets. In an age where even a slight competitive advantage can set one company apart from the others, SaaS figures to become an even more dominant force in helping organizations leverage BI tools for years to come.

A recent TechNavio report indicated that the SaaS BI industry will expand at a compound annual growth rate of roughly 31 percent between 2013 and 2018. Continue reading

Staci Emery

Global virtualization market expanding at consistent clip

The entire IT industry is experiencing healthy maturation, with key sectors such as virtualization achieving even more rapid expansion. Technologies are playing a critical role in helping businesses remain flexible and competitive for years to come, with virtual environments among the top options for assisting firms in this regard.

A recent TechNavio report suggested that the global virtualization market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 10.4 percent between 2013 and 2018, due in large part to advancements surrounding cloud computing.

The report said there has been an increased focus on Web-based virtual environments to boost efficiency, security and reduce costs. Virtualization helps organizations achieve these goals by creating virtual services, storage devices, networks and operating systems. Continue reading

Staci Emery

Microsoft Dynamics a clear leader in CRM marketplace

The customer relationship management market is dominated by a small list of leaders pushing the industry forward. Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online are two such tools gaining greater market share. A recent Gartner report listed these two suites as part of its Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation study, explaining businesses can use either an online system or an on-premise deployment.

The research firm said both Microsoft Dynamics products offer similar functionality. The online version is a testament to the amount of companies migrating operations to cloud computing environments. Continue reading

Staci Emery

Disaster recovery tip: Don’t be afraid to update strategies

A lot can happen to a business when companies least expect it, especially in terms of disruptions. Human error or Mother Nature can impact operations for an hour or two, or destroy mission-critical data if firms lack a proper backup plan. In short, organizations, regardless of industry, need an effective disaster recovery strategy to avoid prolonged periods of downtime.

Forbes contributor John Beattie recently highlighted some ways companies can improve their recovery and business continuity protocols. Firms often continue to implement similar strategies year after year, which is not always the most sound approach to maintaining operational efficiency and safeguarding data. Continue reading

Staci Emery

ERP budgets expanding alongside IT spending

The global IT industry is looking up, according to a recent Gartner report. The research firm believes worldwide budgets will total $3.7 trillion, up 2.1 percent from last year. In 2015, this figure will reach $3.8 trillion. Enterprise resource planning solutions are expected to follow this trend and increase their market share in the near future, growing roughly 7 percent and 7.3 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

In an interview with InformationWeek, John Lovelock, Gartner research vice president, detailed how traditional enterprise software spending increases generally result in expansion in other categories. However, on-premise deployments – especially regarding ERP – are becoming less popular as cloud-based options emerge. Continue reading