Category Archives: IT Infrastructure

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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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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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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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.

IT Job DescriptionIT Salary SurveyInterview & Hiring Guide

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IT Service Management Tool

IT Service Management Tool Now used by over 120 organizations

IT Service Management Tool  (ITSM) and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) have gained great acceptance as the change management discipline has grown over the last several years.

In a survey of over 200 organization, Janco found that 71% of all organizations use the KPI Metric of User Review as a key metric.

ITSO KPI Metrics

Over 71% of organizations that have implement KPI metrics use favorable review by users as the key metric

The percentage of participants using a structured approach to manage change has grown from 55% to 75%. The reasons ITSM, SOA, and change management have become so important to organizations in recent years are:

  1. More and frequent changes – Change is occurring at an incredible pace in organizations today. The sheer quantity of changes is increasing, and changes are happening more frequently and faster than ever before. With such large amounts of change happening, organizations need a better and more structured way to manage the individuals in the organization impacted by all of these changes.
  2. Dynamics of the business environment – With the rapid change in the economic climate, CIOs and their IT organizations are now required to do more with less. Change management and change control is one-step that insures that changes are implemented correctly.
  3. Value system of empowerment – Over the last few years, value systems have shifted in many organizations. Old values of control and predictability have been replaced by new values to push decision-making, authority and responsibility down into the organization. While this shift has delivered many benefits, it has also made top-down changes more difficult and increased the resistance they face. Organizations with empowered work forces need to manage the human side of change more effectively than they did in the very hierarchical structure of the past.
  4. Competitive advantage – Many sources of competitive advantage have eroded as information moves more quickly and across the globe in seconds. In upcoming years, speed and agility will be a central differentiation in the market place. In addition, organizations that do not use change management cannot build their internal competency too quickly and effectively implement change. Strong change management competencies within an organization are a key source of competitive advantage in coming years.

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Top 10 Security Weakness

Top 10 Security Weakness Issues Enterprise-Wide

Top 10 Security Weakness Issues – In a review of over 100 enterprises we identified the security weakness issues that CIOs, CSOs, and IT pros need to address. There are:

  1. Using only single level verification for access to sensitive data
  2. Having “public” workstations or access point is connected to a secure network
  3. Weak Passwords
  4. Sharing login credentials
  5. Static Passwords
  6. Data validation for forms is contained in client-side JavaScript
  7. Connect to network from an unsecure access point
  8. Corporate web site is encrypted but the login process is not
  9. Using weak encryption for back end management
  10. Using unencrypted or weak encryption for Web site or Web server management
Top 10 Security Weakness

Top 10 Security Weakness Issues Identified

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Janco’s Security Manaual provides tools that IT Professionals can use to address these  issues.  In addition, there are a number of articles that have been published on Janco’s main web site.  To see them go to the site and under the main menu bar there is a search option.  With that you will be able to see all the web pages that have the term security weakness or any sub-set of the seach term.

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Top 10 CIO Issues

Top 10 CIO Issues For 2018

C-Level Job Descriptions

C-Level Job descriptions are key to recruiting IT Professions

Top 10 CIO Issues – The role of the CIO and CTO is changing as more enterprises more towards a “Value Added” role for the Information Technology function. Those changes are depicted in the detail job descriptions that have been created for all of the functions with IT — especially for the CIO and CTO.

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In 2018 the Top 10 issues were:

  1. Security and Hacking – If there was a major breach at a company that made the news, then the CIO and/or CSO lost thier jobs
  2. Blockchain and Cloud processing were the focus of much new development and staff recruting
  3. Mobile Computing  and support of those activities took up an ever increasing percentage of the support and help desk functions
  4. Standardization and Integration of information and sensitive data were marked as areas where operational managment wanted better controls
  5. Access Management in light of compliance and secrurity mandates
  6. Identity Protection of users both internal and external was a concern of many
  7. Budget Management was less of an issue than in prior years but still of some concern
  8. SaaS Demand in responce to increasing costs of support
  9. Staffing with demand for IT professionals increasing both salaries and attrittion rate incearsed
  10. Internaation compliance with the requirement that GDPR be followed.
Top 10 CIO issues

Top 10 CIO issues are monitored by Janco and the resultant data is published at least once every year

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Blockchain Payment System

Blockchain Payment System

Universities Work Together On Payment System – Shades of Internet Development

Universities Work Together On Payment System just like they did when the Internet was developed by them in the late 1960’s with ARPAnet.

Blockchain payment system must smoothly collect, process, and protect sensitive personal information

Several universities, including MIT and Stanford, are working together to develop a digital currency network that solves blockchain’s scalability and performance problems before public confidence in the technology erodes.

Funded by a Swiss-based non-profit organization, the cryptocurrency application, called Unit-e, and its blockchain-based payment system is expected to launch in the second half of this year; if successful, it would surpass even mainstream financial networks like Visa’s VisaNet in transactional capability.

This is very similiar to how the Internet was first developed.  Universitiy staff and associates worked together to create a common netwok which was in competition with the then exisiting TimeSharing services.  None of which exist today.

The question is will propritary systems like VisaNet exist after the public university system is operational. Research shows that well-run companies are most productive, suffer the least loss of sensitive data, and have less downtime of operations if they have good policies in in place.

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IT Job Market Expands

IT Job Market Expands in the US by 79,800 jobs

The IT job Market Expands to over 3.5 million jobs in the US.  The jobs are divided up with 61% of the jobs in Computer Systems Design and Related Services; 21% Telecommunications; 9% in Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services; and 9% in Other Information Services.

IT Job Market Segmentation

In 2018, the total nimber of new jobs grew by 79,800.  That was 21,000 more new jobs than were created in 2017.

IT Job Market Expands

IT Job Market expands as the economy continues to improve

This expansion of the job market is now twenty months in the making.  The expansion is one of the reasons that IT salaries are going up.

In interviews with both CIOs and HR professionals since the election, Janco has found CIOs to be more optimistic about the probability of increased IT spending and hiring. The data on the number of IT jobs created in the prior two months was increased by the BLS.

The three month moving average for IT job market growth trend for IT Professionals is up dramatically. That metric is the change rate in increase and/or decrease in the total number of new hires. What it means is that CIO and HR recruiters are continuing to hire at a rate that is higher than in prior months. When that metric falls below zero then hiring demand will fall back to previous levels.

IT Job Market read on…

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