Monthly Archives: February 2019

Technology Acquisition

Technology Acquisition – Desktop Computer Shopping

Technology Acquisition Policy - Desktop Computer ShoppingTechnology Acquisition – Desktop Computer Shopping via the Internet is a way that companies and individuals get the latest technology.  No longer is it the computer salesman at the office or going into a brick and mortar store.

One of the first things that we found is most of the larger companies like HP, Dell, and Lenovo have great selections of desktops.  The major issue that you quickly discover is that the technology they are selling you is at least 3 to 5 years old.  In some cases, the desktops and laptops are close to end of life.

A sign of the age of technology offered is the appearance of those offerings in big box stores and special sales which discount  those configurations by 20% to 50% off of list prices.  That is not hard to understand when you look at the business model for those companies.  By the time the technology is released and made stable, the companies need to ramp up manufacturing to hit the masses.  However, these same vendors will go thru “real-time” product refreshes to update to more recent technology and stay relevant – but they still are behind the technology curve.

A better solution

In our last acquisition for power desktop workstations we found a company  that really stood out – Velocity Micro (VM) – https://www.velocitymicro.com. VM sells custom desktop computers that are worth a look for the following reasons:

  1. The company assembles and stress tests 100% of the computers they sell.  As an added benefit they do all of this in the U.S.  That is opposed to some of the major manufacturers who send 100% of their order to China, only do power on test and then ship it to the U.S.
  2. Ordered equipment is usually delivered in a less than 2 weeks.  That is a far cry from 3 to 4 week delivery time for desktops configured in the U.S., assembled in the China, and then shipped to the customer.
  3. VM has a dedicated support staff that is in the U.S. and has the unique ability to listen to customer requirements.  The majors have preset packages that they push even they do not fit the customer’s requirements.
  4. VM does not add “bloatware” to the computers it sells.  Almost every major vendor ships computers with not only “free” software trials, but also software that ties the computer to them with  preset  proprietary software.
  5. VM ships systems with a basic OS and OEM media.  With that if the system OS needs to be regenerated, the user has all of the options available to the user.
  6. The cost of the power professional workstation from VM was just over $3,000.  A similar, but less powerful system from HP and Dell was  configured at a cost of $4,200.

For those reasons, we strongly recommend Velocity Micro as a vendor to evaluate when looking for technology acquisition.

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Cyber Currency Hacker Target

Cyber Currency Hacker Target – Risk is High

Security Manual TemplateCyber Currency Hacker Target as the population of Blockchain applications expands.In the last year there was a boom in malicious cryptocurrency mining. That is where cyber attackers secretly hijack the processing power of computers, servers and even IoT devices and use it to mine for cryptocurrency. While it is not very lucrative in the short term, it is stealthy and can be sustained over a long period of time. Typically it is taking very little from each PC, most users don’t even know their machine’s processor is being used to line someone else’s pockets.

Ransomware a much more aggressive approach: pay up, or risk having your files permanently locked.

Both cryptojacking and ransomware continue to be widespread threats, other attackers are quietly deploy a potentially much more damaging threat: trojan malware.

Trojan malware sneaks onto your PC by disguising itself as something else, often hidden in a malicious attachment that’s distributed with a phishing email.

Trojan attacks range from those using commodity malware, with phishing emails spammed out in bulk in the hope of scooping up victims for the purposes of stealing their login credentials, banking information or other private information. Other attacks are far more precise, targeting organisations or even individuals to gain access to specific data or information: this can be for creating a persistence presence on their network for espionage, stealing data and selling it, or loading other malware onto the system.

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Experienced IT Pros Harder to find

Experienced IT Pros Harder to find as demand rises

Experienced IT Pros Harder to find –  A major research firm has just published our forecast for US tech employment and compensation (“2019 US Tech Talent Market Outlook”). It has some foreboding news for CIOs and for tech vendors: Tech talent will be harder to find and more expensive over the next two years.

Experienced IT Pro harder to find

The median salary for IT Professionals continues to rise. Currently, it is $93,077 and Janco forecasts that it will be around $95,000 by the end of this year. Experienced IT Pro harder to find as demand increases.

At the same time, they found that the supply of tech workers has largely kept up with demand. But the current data available for 2018 suggests that wage growth is starting to accelerate. This supports the finding in the latest IT Salary Survey from Janco Associates, Inc.

This acceleration poses a special threat to CIOs, who could find themselves paying premiums for certain tech roles in high demand.

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Top 10 Blockchain Challenges

Top 10 Blockchain Challenges for Project Managers

Top 10 Blockchain Challenges – Janco Associates conduct a survey of IT Blockchain Project Managers in large and mid-sized corporations. 178 PMs participated in the study. All of the managers had been operating in that role for over one year and several had been project managers for well over five years. They all had at least 5 project team members and the largest project had over 60 IT professionals on it.

Top 10 Blockchain Challenges

Top 10 Blockchain challenges are associated with the importance and priority of the associated development and implementation activities

Top 10 challenges identified by Janco are:

  • Coordination Internal/External requirements, specifications, and activities – 63%
  • Overworked with Manny work weeks that were well over 60 hours – 53%
  • Understaffed with scores of open requisitions that remained unfilled for months at a time – 51%
  • Changes in specifications both on the data and requirements that were moving targets – 47%
  • Changes coming too fast as more was done the rate of change increased at an ever-increasing rate – 42%
  • Technology New & Rapidly Changing as tools and available resources/tools keep evolving – 42%
  • Scalability of applications designed into the infrastructure architecture – 41%
  • Deadlines not agreed on and set arbitrarily by individuals not involved with the day-to-day development – 39%
  • Staff turnover as key members of the team are burned out and or hired away -34%
  • Staff skills gaps as many team members did not have all of the skills and experience necessary to complete tasks in a timely manner – 34%

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Disaster Recovery Business Continuity

Disaster Recovery Business Continuity Template – 2019 Version Released

Disaster Recovery Business Continuity has just been updated and the 2019 Version has just been released.  The changes to this version are:

  • Updated all included job descriptions
  • Updated all included forms
    • Disaster Recovery electronic forms
    • Safety Program electronic forms
  • Added co-location checklist
  • Audit Program Updated
  • Administrative changes
    Disaster Recovery Business Continuity Template

    2019 Version now available for immediate download

    • Changed core document to exclude job descriptions and forms which are delivered in their own directories
    • Business and IT Impact Questionnaire is delivered in its own and comes as a MS WORD, pdf, and eBook electronic format
    • 3 included job descriptions are delivered in their own directory

The chapters of the template are:

  • Plan Introduction
  • Business Impact Analysis
  • Backup Strategy
  • Recovery Strategy
  • Disaster Recover Organization
  • Disaster Recovery Organizational Procedures
  • Plan Administration
  • Appendix – Full of tools and checklists

Also included as separate MS Word and/or eBook electronic files in thier own directories:

  • Job Descriptions – Disaster Recovery Manager,  Manager Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
  • Disaster Recovery electronic forms – Business Continuity Site Evaluation Checklist, Business Continuity LAN Node Inventory, Business Continuity Location Contact Numbers, Business Continuity Off-Site Inventory, Business Continuity Personnel Location, Business Continuity Plan Distribution, Business Continuity Remote Location Contact Information, Business Continuity Server Registration, Business Continuity Team Call List, and  Business Continuity Vendor List
  • Safety Program electronic forms – Area Safety Inspection, Employee Job Hazard Analysis, First Report of Injury, Inspection Checklist – Alternative Locations, Inspection Checklist – Computer Server Data Center, Inspection Checklist – Office Locations, New Employee Safety Checklist,Safety Program Contact List, and Training Record
  • Business Imact Analysis Questionnaire – PDF and MS WORD Formats
  • Business Impact Analysis electronic form  – Application and File Server Inventory
  • eBook versions – Disaster Recovery Business Continuity Template and the DPR Audit Program

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Blockchain Education

Blockchain Education is Addressed by Several Universities

Blockchain Education

The blockchain job description was created with the assistance of two Fortune 100 CIOs.

Blockchain Education now is addressed by a number of universities. They understand that it is a hot evolving technology.  Salaries for developers can reach $180,000.  Late last year there were over 12,000 open positions – that was 4 times the number of open positions at the same time in the prior year.

Course address cyber currency (Bitcoin) and business scale blockchain networks.  Some of the universities include:

  • Stanford University has a course called “Bitcoin Engineering”
  • UC Berkeley scheduled a two-course series which attracted 7,400 students before it was closed out. The topics were cryptocurrencies and business-scale blockchain networks.
  • MIT has two Instructors teaching Applied Blockchain.

Many other universities are addressing this area as well. It’s still very early in the game, so there is going to be that market for the hotshot blockchain technologist who will build systems and can hop from company to company and make a ton of money. But, if the promise comes through on the potential, there will be a lot of work in this space for many years, even a decade or more. This will be entrenched and deeply connected into the enterprise. It will be making money. It will be a core piece of the infrastructure.

Role of the Blockchain developer

The job description documents over 25 specific accountabilities for an individual in this role. Below are some of them:

  1. Design groundbreaking software products with an eye toward compliance.
  2. The subject-matter expert (SME) for the Blockchain applications including a knowledge of the top partners that make up our Blockchain segment globally.
  3. Own the execution of the strategic plan for each market segment, which includes aligning with partner development managers who manage our top technology and consulting partners focused on Blockchain, maximizing influenced revenue driven with and through partners
  4. Working with partner development managers, build C-level relationships with our top partners and generate interest in new programs focused on DevOps/Tools
  5. Represent the partner strategy for Blockchain to our internal and external stakeholders including the  sales teams as well as media coverage and industry events focused on the Blockchain segment

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High Paying IT Jobs

High Paying IT Jobs

Median IT Salaries

Median Compensation for IT Professionals based on Janco’s January 2019 IT Salary Survey

High Paying IT Jobs that are in high demand are associated with the new e-commerce roles and Internet based application areas.  All of the job titles that we have listed here fall into positions where the starting salaries are above the median salary of $93,077 for all IT professionals.

The positions that fall we define as high paying for this analysis are associated with IoT (Internet of Things), Salesforce Automation, Virtual Reality and Security.  These are the hot Job titles.  The entry level for each of these positions is over $100,000 and some have pay ranges that exceed $200,000.

High Paying IT Jobs

The positions most in demand and commanding the highest are the associated with Salesforce Automation and that unique application.  That is followed closely by IoT and Security.

If the current demand for these skills continues, two things will happen.  First, there will continue to be an increase in the compensation levels for these positions.  Second, more IT Pros will migrate into these positions increasing the supply.  That in turn will be dampening factor on compensation.

We have seen this before when new technologies required specialized skills.  Typically we found that it took 24 to 36 months for the supply to catch up with the demand. At that time salaries leveled off.

In any case, we see the median salary for all IT professionals at around $97,000 by the end of 2019.

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DRP BCP Audit

DRP BCP Audit Update Released

DRP BCP Audit ProgramDRP BCP Audit Update Released with updates that have been implemented to see that the latest mandated requirements of ISO, the U.S., and the EU are complied with.

This Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity Audit program identifies control objectives that are meet by the audit program. There are approximately 50 specific items that the audit covers in the 17 page audit program. Included are references to specific tools that will assist you in addressing any defects or shortcoming the audit uncovers.

The Audit program covers the following control objectives:

  • Ensure that adequate and effective contingency plans have been established to support the prompt recovery of crucial enterprise functions.
  • Ensure that all mandated disaster recovery, business continuity, and security requirements have adequate compliance policies.
  • Ensure the survival of the business and to minimize the implications of a major enterprise and/or I T failure.
  • Ensure that all the potential risks to the enterprise are identified and assessed.
  • Ensure the optimum contingency arrangements are selected and cost effectively provided.
  • Ensure that an authorized and documented disaster recovery / business continuity plan is created, maintained up-to-date, and securely stored.
  • Ensure that the recovery plan is periodically tested.
  • Ensure that all internal and external parties are fully aware of their responsibilities and commitments.
  • Ensure that appropriate liaison is maintained with external parties (i.e. insurers, emergency services, suppliers, etc. ).
  • Ensure that both the damaged and recovery sites are secure and that systems are securely operated.
  • Ensure that systems and procedures are adequately and accurately documented.
  • Ensure that public and media relations would be effectively addressed.

The audit programs is available as a standalone item. In addition it is included with several of Janco’s offerings.  They are:

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Big Data Salaries

Big Data Salaries – Data Warehouse

High Demand for Big Data and Data Warehouse Skills. Data Warehouse and Big Data Salaries are on the upswing because of this.  In addition, they are tied closely with blockchain applications which is an area of intensive focus.  As a result, many of these positions are difficult to fill with qualified individuals.  In some situations companies have to hire contractors who have these skills in order to complete the design and implementation of systems requiring these skills.  The challenge that CIO and hiring managers face is how to train and / or recruit this talent.

Beyond the management of these technical resources, the positions are divided up in three (3) categories:   architects (Data Scientist, Business Analyst. Data Analyst), administrators (Oracle DBA, SQL DBA), and developers (Data Warehouse Programmer, Oracle Programmer, Entry Level Programmer, Hadoop/Cluster Programmer, SQL Programmer)

In Janco’s Job Classification System each of these groupings are a job family classification. Classes provide the ability to set minimum job requirements, promotion criteria and compensation.  All of these factors are used in the definition of detail job descriptions.

Big Data Salaries

Salaries for Big Data IT Pros are in the upper mid-range. Only the top seven positions fall at or above the overall median range of salaries of $93,077 in the 2018 IT Salary survey

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IT Job Market Explodes

IT Job Market Explodes with 107,100 new Jobs added in 2018

IT Job Market Explodes with 107,000 new jobs in 2018.  In addition, Janco forecasts that an addition 100,000 plus new IT jobs will be added in 2019.

IT Job Market Explodes

IT Job Market Explodes with the latest adjustment in the number of IT Job in November and December of last yerr. The adjustment added 55,600 new jobs ins the IT job Market

Hiring for IT Professionals continues unabated. The economy is generating demand for more IT Professionals. CIOs are creating new jobs that address the increased focus on security, data privacy, Internet-based operations, and digital automation. Blockchain applications are continuing to demand more resources as seamless information flow is prime operational objective.

The median salary for all IT Professionals based Janco’s latest salary data is $93,077. That is $2,628 higher than the same time last year. Supply and demand are working in favor of qualified IT professionals. Janco forecasts that the median salary for all IT professionals will be in the $97,000 range by the end of 2019 – a $4K increase.

All of this means that it is a good time for those in the IT profession.  Not only are they in for better pay but they will be working on projects that impact the operation of the enterprises they are in.  The only requirement they have is to stay current and invest in themselves with training in new technologies.

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