Unrelenting frigid weather often means frozen water pipes – one of the biggest risks of property damage. In fact, a burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage, according to IBHS research.
Structures built on slab foundations, common in southern states, frequently have water pipes running through the attic, an especially vulnerable location. By contrast, in northern states, builders recognize freezing as a threat and usually do not place water pipes in unheated portions of a building or outside of insulated areas.
Freezing temperatures can be prevented with the installation of weather stripping and seals. This offers two major benefits: keeping severe winter weather out of a structure, and increasing energy efficiency by limiting drafts and reducing the amount of cold air entering.
Innovation has become accepted as central to competitiveness in today’s world, both in new product development and in enhancement of internal processes. Companies struggle with innovation, and there have been numerous attempts to regularize and program it. But the development of truly breakthrough ideas is difficult, and recognizing them when they do arrive can be harder still. We have processes available for vetting ideas and passing them through a series of increasingly selective gateways until they reach the point of usefulness or are discarded altogether. But we do not have good processes for stitching together new ideas and reaching that eureka moment that says a critical new idea has been found.
Some of the ways that ideas are sourced include crowdsourcing, internal suggestions, brainstorming, and the like. There are idea factories employing innovative individuals who apply diverse experience to create an “out of the box” concept. And, there are programs such as TRIZ, an innovation program developed in Russia in 1946 that seek to apply a systemic process to ideation itself, based around principles extracted from patent literature subjected to contradiction, synthesis, and new arrangement. But creation of ideas is forever thwarted by the fact that we don’t really understand the creative process and may, in fact, be generalizing a multitude of processes in a way that makes them impossible to replicate.
Predictive analytics is apparently lucrative for businesses, investors and, of course, predictive analytics companies.
In a recent Forbes column, Lutz Finger noted that predictive analytics companies are attracting multi-million dollar investment deals. Most recently, a company called Blue Yonder secured $75 million in funding from a global private equity firm, which is the “biggest deal for a predictive analytics company in Europe….”
If you’re not familiar with Finger, he’s a director at LinkedIn, an expert on social media and text analytics, and the co-founder and former CEO of Fisheye Analytics. The column shares highlights of his interview with Blue Yonder’s CEO Uwe Weiss, so it’s no surprise that it makes the case for predictive analytics as a sound investment.
It’s not a hard case to make. Gartner predicts a compound annual growth rate of 34 percent from 2012 to 2017, and estimates the market will reach $48 billion. To give you an idea of how that compares, Gartner says MDM was worth $1.16 billion last summer.
Despite your best efforts – and despite the advanced levels of security in your cloud-based file sharing solution – MSPs may eventually find themselves on the wrong end of a data breach. The key question isn’t how to prevent such an incident from happening; even the world’s most security-conscious organizations suffer breaches. Rather, the key question is how much will this inevitable data breach cost you?
Today, the cost is relatively limited and abstract for MSPs. While a data breach can certainly result in a lost customer, or time spent trying to resolve the issue, the real financial costs tend to fall on the client. They are the ones who will pay the compliance violations and lose revenue. After all, it is their data.
But as data breaches increase in both frequency and severity – and as clients rely on you for more of their critical IT functions – it’s only a matter of time before someone decides that the MSP should be held responsible when things go wrong. After all, it is your solution they are using to share data.
ContinuitySA provides advice for organizations based in areas where power supplies are unstable.
One risk that has become very real for South African businesses is load-shedding. An unstable power supply with the potential of extended periods of power outages over the next several years creates a range of risks that have to be integrated into current business continuity plans.
“We know that load-shedding is going to occur and, in order to put mitigation strategies in place, we first need to understand what the implications are,” says Michael Davies, CEO of ContinuitySA. “What are the issues that businesses should be looking at? Now is a good time to update your business continuity plans in order to assess the impact of load-shedding on your business and weigh up what your risk appetite is.”
Davies says that because electricity is now so integral to modern society, load-shedding creates a complex and interdependent set of risks over and above the task of just keeping the business’s lights on. These risks need to be understood within the context of each business's strategic plan.
Picture this. A main water pipe bursts and water begins to flood the warehouse, which is also where you happen to be, smartphone in pocket. To avert serious damage and downtime, you need to find the cut-off valve – quickly. At this point, two scenarios are possible. First scenario: you try to find out who can help by calling reception and trying to note the names they suggest and the phone numbers. Second scenario: you access a directory of resources directly from your smartphone, call the person concerned and turn the call into a video call from that person’s desktop so that you can be remotely guided to where the cut-off valve is and how to shut it. How do you get from scenario one to scenario two?
Although Washington remains stuck in partisan gridlock, there is one thing that Democrats and Republicans agree on: the need to reduce gridlock in the rest of the country by bringing America's infrastructure into the 21st century.
The basis for that rare consensus is painfully clear. The nation's infrastructure has earned a grade of D+ from the American Society of Civil Engineers, which estimates that it will cost $3.6 trillion to bring our systems to a state of good repair. Across the nation, aging and deteriorating bridges and water treatment plants pose a real threat to public health and safety and a drain on economic growth.
How and when Republicans and Democrats might find common ground to fix the problem remains to be seen. But when that does come to pass, here's another idea that should win support from both sides: Our next-generation of infrastructure must be resilient.
Many efforts to implement ERM are unfocused, severely resourced constrained, and pushed down so far into the organization that it is difficult to establish relevance. The near-term results are “starts and stops” and ceaseless discussions to understand the objective. Risk is often an afterthought to strategy and risk management an appendage to performance management. Ultimately, the ERM implementation runs out of steam and is no longer sustainable.
While there is no one-size-fits-all, the following design principles will help overcome these issues:
Company to use proceeds to expand sales and marketing teams to respond to increased demand for its hyper-converged infrastructure products
AUSTIN, Texas – Pivot3, a pioneer and innovator in the development of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions, has announced a $45 million equity and bank financing closing today.
Argonaut Private Equity, a new investor in Pivot3, joins S3 Ventures, InterWest Partners, Mesirow Financial Private Equity and the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati investment fund in providing additional equity in this closing. As a part of this round, Steve Mitchell, managing director of Argonaut Private Equity, will join Pivot3’s Board of Directors.
“We invest in premier companies that can transform large and important industries,” said Steve Mitchell, managing director of Argonaut Private Equity. “Pivot3 is on the leading edge of a once-in-several-decades transformation of the underlying technology that operates IT data centers globally.”
Industry analysts predict dramatic market growth in hyper-converged systems. According to the Technology Business Research (TBR) quarterly webinar series in October 2014, “Converged systems are the go-to alternative to complicated piece-part infrastructure, sparking a $17.8B global market opportunity.”
“The pervasive need to address unmanageable IT complexity while providing lower cost and improved service on a global scale has created an environment for explosive growth in the HCI market,” said Ron Nash, chairman and CEO of Pivot3. “Pivot3 now has the opportunity to go from being an original innovator of hyper-converged infrastructure to becoming a global leader in providing transformative IT infrastructure technology to our customers, who are leaders in IT and security organizations.”
The new funding is aimed at accelerating Pivot3’s growth and extends the company’s technological competitive advantage. To accelerate its growth, the company will add resources to accomplish the following:
- Extending its leadership position in very dense virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) implementations on blade appliances where storage space is at a premium;
- Increasing its presence in data backup and disaster recovery, by leveraging its exceptional storage efficiency and the high fault tolerance of its patented Global Hyper-Convergence technology;
- Increasing market share for solutions that enable 24x7x365 operations for critical video surveillance applications;
- Continuing to transform its security operations center (SOC) with innovative virtualization and high-performance storage solutions like the Virtual Security Server; and
- Providing Pivot3’s customers with the latest hyper-converged infrastructure to support additional IT workloads as they broaden the applications operating on the Pivot3 platform.
Pivot3 will use the new financing to invest in sales and marketing, recruit top talent across multiple job functions in various geographies globally and expand on its channel partner strategy.
In addition, Pivot3 will focus on taking a leadership role in enabling the use of advanced analytics designed to extract new insights from massive unstructured video data sets for business intelligence and enhanced security.
To learn more about Pivot3’s hyper-converged technology leadership, based on its unique and patented Scalar Erasure Coding, or to apply for one of the job openings, visit http://go.pivot3.com/lp_pr_funding_announcement.
Pivot3 was founded in 2002 on the idea that today’s stack of virtual servers, shared storage and networks could be converged using software to drive down complexity and cost while dramatically increasing scale-out performance. Pivot3 delivered its first fully hyper-converged infrastructure appliance in 2008. Today, Pivot3 has more than 1,600 customers around the world deploying more than 13,000 globally hyper-converged infrastructure appliances. Pivot3 products are deployed in the video surveillance, virtual desktop, disaster recovery and video-based security markets, and have seen particular success in the healthcare, government, transportation, entertainment, education, gaming and retail vertical segments. The company has won numerous awards and was most recently selected by Forbes Magazine in 2013 as “One of America’s Most Promising Companies,” and by CRN in their top 50 Virtualization list for 2014. To learn more about Pivot3, visit www.pivot3.com.
Industry-First Solution Addresses Global Privacy Complexities and Challenges for Unmatched Cloud Data Protection
SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Druva, the leader in data protection and governance at the edge, today unveiled a set of new capabilities that together comprise a comprehensive data privacy framework to enable businesses to meet growing global privacy demands. The new framework, built on Druva's industry-proven cloud security foundation, addresses often-neglected concerns about corporate and employee data misuse and emerging legal data requirements.
There is a rapidly increasing data privacy concern around the globe; Germany, France, Russia, Singapore and others have recently taken steps to ensure the privacy of their citizens' personal information by adopting new data protection regulations. This, combined with existing regulations such as HIPAA and FINRA in the United States has had a sweeping impact on global corporations. These businesses must now adapt their IT infrastructure to support the varied regional requirements or face potential sanctions and/or legal repercussions.
Druva centralizes and controls business data residing on employees' desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones via integrated endpoint backup, data loss prevention, IT-managed file sharing, and data governance controls. Druva continually mirrors end-user data, which enables rapid data recovery for lost or stolen devices, allows remote user access to any file or folder from any device, and supports eDiscovery, compliance and forensics needs.
The new privacy capabilities include geo-defined governance and administration features that ensure data privacy. Druva customers can also delegate storage and data administration rights to regional personnel, enabling global organizations to meet varied regional data privacy requirements within a single cloud solution. This geo-specific capability is critical for global organizations such as those with operations in Germany, whose data protection act mandates stringent employee data regulations, including a ban on data storage outside the country.
The new features complement Druva's use of Amazon Web Services, which recently opened its German region and supports data centers worldwide, as the underlying inSync cloud infrastructure. Druva now supports over 11 regions, which include Germany, GovCloud, Japan, and Australia.
"Securing data is important, but addressing security without enacting appropriate privacy measures leaves data -- and companies -- vulnerable. Today, more than ever, global organizations must comply with regional data regulations. Privacy concerns are being forced into IT's top priorities. Focusing exclusively on security can compromise privacy, exposing organizations to negative publicity as well as possible legal and regulatory action," said Jaspreet Singh, CEO, Druva. "With 70 percent of new inSync customers now choosing our cloud deployment option, we have developed a rigorous privacy framework to reduce those risks and support their global needs."
Druva Privacy Framework
The components of Druva's data privacy framework are designed to protect organizations from unauthorized data access, thwart misuse of employee data by authorized users, and ensure data integrity regarding legal or compliance initiatives. This unique combination of safeguards includes:
- Global Storage Locations: Support for 11 global admin selectable regions that are policy-configured to ensure data is stored to meet DPA requirements, including the newest region in Germany.
- Data Producibility Restrictions: Druva's approach to storing unique block data separated from metadata, along with its unique envelope key encryption model, delivers the highest level of data-scrambling and obfuscation ensuring cloud data privacy -- no third party, not even Druva under court order, can provide access to your data.
- Delegated Role-Based Administrators: Regional end-to-end data management enables global organizations to meet local privacy laws while maintaining a single system of record for corporate governance.
- Audit trails for end-users and administrators: Ensuring that all data access and file sharing activity is tracked with tamper-proof audit logs so that data privacy violations and interference with data integrity can be identified for forensics, regulatory, eDiscovery, and compliance investigations.
- Individual privacy controls: Depending on regional requirements, end-users can be set private by default or flag their personal data to ensure administrators do not have visibility into their data.
- Data segregation: With Druva's mobile device containerization and exclusionary backup controls end-user personal data can be maintained separate from corporate data on both BYOD and COPE devices.
- Adaptive Administrator Roles: Administrative flexibility enables organization to address specific needs around compliance and litigation. For example, an explicitly defined legal administrator can override privacy controls to enforce data governance.
To learn more about Druva's new data privacy framework, visit www.druva.com/dataprivacy or join Druva for a live webinar on March 12 titled, "Cloudy or Clear? Understanding Today's Global Privacy Requirements in the Cloud."
Druva is the leader in data protection and governance at the edge, bringing visibility and control to business information in the increasingly mobile and distributed enterprise. Built for public and private clouds, Druva's award-winning inSync and Phoenix solutions prevent data loss and address governance, compliance and eDiscovery needs on laptops, smart-devices and remote servers. As the industry's fastest growing edge data protection provider, Druva is trusted by over 3,000 global organizations on over 3 million devices. Learn more at www.druva.com and join the conversation at twitter.com/druvainc.