Technology 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cyber 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.
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 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%
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
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:
Business Impact Analysis
Disaster Recover Organization
Disaster Recovery Organizational Procedures
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
Blockchain Education is Addressed by Several Universities
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:
Design groundbreaking software products with an eye toward compliance.
The subject-matter expert (SME) for the Blockchain applications including a knowledge of the top partners that make up our Blockchain segment globally.
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
Working with partner development managers, build C-level relationships with our top partners and generate interest in new programs focused on DevOps/Tools
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
DRP 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:
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.
The 2019 Version of the Security Manual Template was just released.
There now are new standards for user privacy and control according to Janco Associates – Janco has just released an update to its Security Manual Template which identifies mandated user rights and enterprise responsibilities related to privacy protection. The CEO of Janco, Mr. M. Victor Janulaitis said, “We have reviewed in detail the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CaCPA) and generated a detail list of user rights and business responsibilities that are mandated. The CaCPA requirements are very complex and significant resources will have to be allocated for organizations to comply with these new mandates. These mandates will impact all organizations that have an Internet presence in the U.S. and California in particular. The compliance deadline is January 1, 2020.”
The Security Manual Template is now distributed in a segmented format with five (5) specific directories. They are:
Security Manual Template directory – containing the full editable MS WORD and pdf versions of the template;
Forms directory – containing all the forms that are needed to implement a “World Class” security infrastructure;
Policy directory with 5 policies in MS WORD and pdf versions – Blog and Personal Website Policy – Mobile Use Policy – Sensitive and Confidential Information Policy – Server Security Policy – Travel and Off-Site Meeting policy;
eBook directory (with the author’s name as the directory name)- with eBook versions of the Security Manual Policy and the supporting policies; and
Tools directory with the Business Impact Analysis Tool, Threat and Vulnerability Assessment Tool, Security Checklist, and PCI Audit Program.