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January 2014 Vol. 12 Iss. 1 | pctoday.

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Some businesses think that because security solutions seem to be
getting stronger every day, there isnt much need to invest in new
ones. But security isnt necessarily a place to cut costs, especially
considering how malicious hackers are able to adjust their tactics to
overcome nearly any type of security measure. Turn to the Essential
Business Tech department to fnd out more about how neglecting se-
curity can cost your organization more than you might realize.
Business Tech
for executives,
and entrepreneurs
Solutions that
help businesses
make the most of
mobile devices
and services
Table Of Contents
volume l2 - |ssue l - 1anuary 20l4
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services, and
helpful advice
for home
and leisure
Travel 911
Highly useful
for conducting
business on
the road
According to a recent indepen-
dent survey of 300 IT decision
makers in the U.S. and U.K., 78%
of CIOs reported that their busi-
nesses have a mobility strategy,
however the majority of respondents
see problems with mobility. For ex-
ample, 72% fnd it too costly to inte-
grate mobile solutions with existing
applications, 86% think their busi-
nesses havent optimally used mo-
bility to expand business, and 66%
think mobility solutions are simply
too complex. According to Mobile
Helix, which sponsored the study,
companies today are finding the
most benefits in the mobility area
from secure offline/remote access,
device storage, and push updates.
Tablet computers, mobile phones, and ultramobile devices (i.e., small com-
puting devices that dont easily ft into the laptop, tablet, or phone categories;
ultramobiles tend to fll the gap between tablets and laptops) are all enjoying a
continued surge in sales, and they will continue to do so through 2014, according
to recent forecasts from Gartner Research. On the fip side, the frm expects PC
sales to continue their decline, with little hope for a signifcant turnaround. The
accompanying chart shows how Gartner thinks mobile devices will fare relative
to PCs next year.
Even with the sequestration and
government shutdown, 2013 federal
IT spending will increase slightly ac-
cording to immixGroup, an organiza-
tion that helps technology companies
do business with the government.
Much like other enterprises, govern-
ment organizations will increase in-
vestments in big data, mobility, and
cloud technology. For example, de-
fense agencies are capturing enormous
amounts of data that needs to be man-
aged, tagged, stored, and accessed, says
Tim Larkins, market intelligence man-
ager, thus increasing investments in big
data tools such as analytics, enterprise
search, and data management tools. For
civilian agencies, the need to fnd cost
savings is driving many to reduce their
data center and IT infrastructure foot-
prints by using cloud services, says
senior analyst Tomas OKeefe. Both de-
fense and civilian agencies are spending
on mobile technologies, including secu-
rity and collaboration.
Data center managers will need to
invest in computing and storage ca-
pacity over the next several years to
keep pace with increasing business
demands. Although the conventional
thinking would be to add more data
center foor space, power, and cooling,
Gartner analysts note that may not be
necessary. The frst mistake many data
center managers make is to base their
estimates on what they already have,
extrapolating out future space needs ac-
cording to historical growth patterns,
says Gartner research vice president
David J. Cappuccio. This seemingly
logical approach is based on two fawed
assumptions: that the existing floor
space is already being used properly
and usable space is purely horizontal.
Instead, data center managers should
rethink the foor plans and cooling and
server refreshes, Gartner notes, aiming
for an Infnite Data Center that can meet
growing business needs indefinitely
without having to increase footprint.
The Hacket Groups most recent
Book Of Numbers, which examines
performance trends within 100 compa-
nies, reports an increasing number of
companies are expanding product, ser-
vice line, and delivery reach on a global
scale. Many of those companies, how-
ever, lack the necessary automation, as
well as deep insights into key supply,
demand, distribution, and risk factors,
necessary for optimal success, the study
indicates. Companies understand that
tapping into emerging markets is a
key to success in the future, says Sean
Kracklauer, president of Advisory and
Research Services for Hackett. But,
he adds, its pretty obvious that most
companies simply dont have the global
DNA that they need to do this effec-
tively. Kracklauer asserts that leaders
in globalization understand they must
address numerous issues, including
governance, acquisition of service de-
livery talent, and development of plans
for in-sourcing vs. outsourcing.
PC (Desk-Based
& Notebook)
Ultramobile Tablet Mobile Phone
2012 Total:
2013 Total:
2014 Total:
2012 2013 2014
4 January 2014 /
Q3 2013 was a record quarter for
smartphone shipments, according to
IDC, with 258.4 million smartphones
shipped. That represents 38.8% year-
over-year growth as well as a 9% in-
crease over the previous record quarter,
Q2 2013, when 237 million smartphones
shipped. What is behind the sharp
rise? Price points have declined sig-
nificantly, driven largely by low-cost
Android solutions, says Ryan Reith,
program director for IDCs Worldwide
Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. This
has helped China to become one of the
fastest growing smartphone markets
in the world, accounting for more than
one-third of all shipments last quarter.
Looking ahead, IDC expects another
record quarter.
According to an October 2013 report from Maxymiser, Branchless Banking:
A New Era Of Online And Mobile Banking, digital consumers in the U.S.
(specifcally, American adults who own a computer, tablet, or smartphone) are
making more use of online banking services and making treks to branch loca-
tions less often. These charts provide a snapshot of recent usage; the results are
from the June 2013 survey that formed the basis of Maxymisers report. (Figures
may not total 100% due to rounding.)
According to the Consumer Elec-
tronics Associations Consumer Out-
look On Tablets: Q4 2013 report, 41%
of online U.S. consumers said they
owned a tablet computer as of Sep-
tember 2013. Thats almost steady from
the CEAs March 2013 figure of 40%.
Of those tablet owners, 29% say they
own a model with cellular (3G or 4G)
connectivity, but of that portion only
half pay for a data plan while the other
half does without. In terms of tablet
ownership rates, Canalys sees further
growth ahead; the research firm re-
cently forecast that tablets will account
for 50% of the total PC market in 2014.
A new Juniper Research report
points to a steady rise in international
money transfers via mobile phone.
Although there are relatively few ser-
vice providers at this time, Juniper
anticipated that the grand total for
international money transfers would
reach the $10 billion mark for 2013.
Uptake is hindered somewhat by com-
plexity, says report author Dr. Windsor
Holden, as there are licensing and
risk factors involved, but that has not
prevented the recent surge in activity.
Juniper expects that by 2018 approxi-
mately 400 million users will use mo-
bile phones for money transfers.
$69 BILLION BY 2018
According to the latest Private
Cloud Customer Report from Tech-
nology Business Research, which sur-
veyed 650 cloud-using companies in
North America, Europe, and Asia,
worldwide businesses adoption of
private cloud computing solutions
could produce as much as $69 bil-
lion in revenues by 2018. Private
cloud has truly come into its own as
a delivery mechanism that customers
understand and are using to achieve
the benefits of cloud where public
options are either not available or
viable, says Allan Krans, lead cloud
practice analyst for TBR.
Use Website Or Mobile Site Visit Branch Location
Frequently (10+ times) Often (5-9 times) Occasionally (3-4 times)
Rarely (1-2 times) Never
PC Today / January 2014 5
Somewhat like the Internet in its
early years, the so-called IoT (Inter-
net of Things), which involves an
interconnected world of appliances,
equipment, computing devices, and
other machines, already exists but
still has a long way to go before ev-
erything is fully connected. Cellular
M2M (machine to machine) equip-
ment manufacturers are moving
into high gear to support the IoT
market, according to a new report
from Juniper Research. The reports
author, Anthony Cox, explains: Mo-
bile technologies will play an im-
portant role in the creation of the
Internet of Things, particularly as
mobile chipsets and modules con-
tinue to reduce in price.
Research firm IDC expects IT
spending among worldwide financial
services will pass $430 billion in 2014.
IDCs Worldwide IT Spending Guides
cover current and projected spending
in global financial markets. The series
includes a banking guide (which tracks IT spending in banks, credit unions, and
specialized banking institutions) and an insurance guide (which tracks IT spending
across a broad range of insurers). The latest guide shows that banks, at $215 bil-
lion, will account for a full half of all fnancial services IT spending in 2014. North
American and European fnancial institutions will see modest growth at less than 5%
through the year; those in Latin America, the Asia/Pacifc region, the Middle East,
and Africa will experience greater than 7% growth. Karen Massey, senior analyst
with IDC Financial Insights, says a common trend across many industries also ap-
plies to the fnancial world: Bankers continue to be selective with IT initiatives, fo-
cusing on those that can deliver value to their clients and the organization, while also
satisfying the mandate of reducing costs and improving effciency. Massey says f-
nancial services will be spending money in 2014 on projects around risk and compli-
ance, core and infrastructure modernization, customer experience, and security . . .
According to IDCs latest World-
wide Semiannual Software Tracker
report, released in November 2013,
year-over-year growth in the global
software market is 4.3% from 2012
to 2013, revised down from 5.7%
growth as forecast in May 2013. U.S.
software industry growth stayed
closer to the forecast. IDC says big
data and analytics solutions has
driven industry sales and will con-
tinue to do so. The research firm
also expects collaborative applica-
tions and enterprise applications
(including customer relationship
management and enterprise resource
management) to also drive sales over
the next fve years.
For technology-driven companies,
Gartner provided two main pieces of
advice at its November Symposium/
ITxpo in Barcelona: keep in mind a
10-year life cycle and prepare for the
disruptive force of smart machines.
Long-term expansion cycles influ-
ence all businesses, and your major
competitor in 10 yearsif you survive
that longprobably does not exist
today, says Steve Prentice, vice presi-
dent and Gartner fellow. This com-
ment stems from Gartners notion that
technology-driven life cycles usually
last 10 years or less. Prentice adds that
tech businesses today should prepare
for the scale of automation smart ma-
chines will introduce.
IN 2013
Thanks in large part to pro-
nounced sales growth in smart-
phones and tablets, the global market
for processors rose by 24% in 2013,
according to research from IHS
iSuppli. Only the PC category pro-
duced a downward trend. Mobile
chips and those used in high-per-
formance computing all performed
well. The PC market that tradition-
ally drove the growth of the micro-
processor segment has slowed, says
Gerry Xu, senior analyst, processor
research, with IHS. The new mobile
platforms have more than picked up
the slack, delivering both large vol-
umes and fast growth for processor
6 January 2014 /
It took just 40 minutes for Coin, the
San Francisco-based startup behind
the mobile payment system (service,
platform, and physical card) of the
same name, to reach its initial $50,000
crowdfunding goal. That enabled the
company, which has been accepting
pre-orders at $100 a pop (or $50 for the
earliest of adopters), to make more pre-
orders available. What makes Coin so
interesting to investors and consumers
alike is its promise to help people get rid
of their stack of plastic cards and com-
bine their features into a single card-
sized device. The Coin uses encryption,
password protection, and an app to en-
able users to manage how the device
works with their credit cards, and to
thwart unauthorized use and theft.
Like the drive to build a better mouse-
trap, the impulse to improve on lighting
technologies seems to be a perpetual
dream of inventors. Some lightbulb im-
provements have to do with efficiency
or ambience, but Matthews, N.C.,-based
iFi Systems offers a new twist: a LED
lightbulb that is intelligent enough to
know when the power has gone out, and
to temporarily switch on a backup light
source built right into the bulb. The so-
called SmartCharge LED Bulb uses Grid
& Switch Sensor technology to detect
both power outages and switch posi-
tions; in that way, the bulbs circuitry can tell when the power has gone out due to an
electrical grid failure as opposed to simply being switched off. Geared mainly toward
consumers and small businesses, the SmartCharge bulb flls a gap in the market, ad-
dressing the needs of those who dont typically have backup generators. Through the
associated Kickstarter project, the company hopes to raise $50,000 for production.
RetailNext, a San Jose, Calif.,-based
retail analytics company that claims to
analyze the data of about 20 million con-
sumers per month, recently acquired
Nearbuy Systems, a startup with similar
ambitions. Based in San Mateo, Calif.,
Nearbuy had received funding from
Innovation Endeavors (co-founded by
Eric Schmidt), among others, in its mis-
sion to provide real-time analytical data
to retailers, shopping centers, and man-
ufacturers. In a statement, Nearbuy CEO
Bryan Wargo says the acquisition will
help deliver more powerful solutions
that provide the ability to identify op-
portunities for growth, execute changes,
and measure success like never before.
Te SmartCharge bulbs Grid & Switch
Sensor technology uses a control circuit,
battery, battery charging circuit, and
inverter to create an intelligent lightbulb.
Connect data. Get insights. It
sounds simple enough, but when a
company has data floating around in
multiple unconnected systems (includ-
ing external systems, such as social net-
works), the task of bringing all of that
data together, making sense of it, and
making it readily available in mean-
ingful ways looks like a far greater chal-
lenge. Making those connections is what
SumAll strives to do for small and me-
dium-sized enterprises. To further its
endeavors, the New York-based startup
has received $4 million in new funding
from Battery Ventures and Wellington
Partners in addition to a $1 million in-
vestment from Silicon Valley Bank.
Tempe, Ariz.,-based ClearDATA
Networks aims high in a rapidly grow-
ing industry; its stated vision is to be-
come the global leader in cloud-based
health care. To that end, the company
recently cleared $14 million in Series
B funding from investors including
the Merck Global Health Innovation
Fund, Excel Venture Management, and
Norwest Venture Partners. Our inves-
tors recognize the escalating need for
hosting and services in the cloud that
can help these organizations reduce IT
costs while improving productivity, reli-
ability, security, regulatory compliance,
business continuity and agility, said
CEO Darin Brannan in a press release.
8 January 2014 /
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Most companies are constantly
trying to find new ways to save
money. Whether its through server
consolidation, virtualization, or cloud
computing, there are many new tech-
nologies that can free up resources and
improve the bottom line. Some com-
panies may even think that because
security solutions seem to be getting
stronger every day, there isnt much of
a need to invest in new ones. But secu-
rity isnt necessarily a place to cut costs,
especially considering how malicious
What Can A Lack
Of Security Cost You?
In Short, Everything
hackers are able to adjust their tactics to
overcome nearly any type of security.
And while it may save you costs in the
short-term to shortchange yourself on
security, it could end up costing you a
lot more in the long run.
If a data breach is a poker game,
it costs about $10 million to sit in on
it, says John Kindervag, vice presi-
dent and principal analyst at Forrester
Research ( It isnt just
the damage control factor that goes
into the aftermath of a data breach,
nor is it simply a matter of potential
brand damage. Kindervag says that
most people dont think about the
costs to send out all the letters to tell
people their data has been breached,
or the costs associated with bringing in
all the lawyers to deal with it. In fact,
he often tells his clients that every se-
curity problem could be fxed for less
than the cost of the legal fees if there is
a data breach.
For a smaller company, the cost
may not be as high as $10 million,
You shouldnt cut corners
on security because deal-
ing with a data breach
after the fact can be as
much as ten times more
expensive than taking the
steps to prevent it.
Determine risk tolerance
level before investing too
much in security mea-
sures, because you can
end up wasting money by
spending too much on un-
necessary solutions.
Attacks have a huge
impact on your IT team.
Putting them in damage
control mode prevents
them from focusing on
other projects and other
areas of the company.
Consider implementing an in-
trusion detection and prevention
system or security information
and event management system
to take your security to the next
level. And make sure your solu-
tions are always up-to-date.
10 January 2014 /
and dealt with them in advance. And
although he doesnt have recent statis-
tics, McCloskey estimates that when
it comes to non-software threats, its
probably three to five times more
costly to deal with security issues
after the fact.
The impact of a security breach
goes much deeper than potential cus-
tomer reparations due to losing stored
sensitive information such as Social
Security numbers and credit card data.
You also have to consider how your IT
resources will be utilized during the
incident response process. You have
to deal with cleansing any systems that
got attacked, but you also have to start
tracing the attack back through all of
your systems to make sure that there
werent any less obvious symptoms of
this, says McCloskey. Its analogous
to cancer treatment. You need to not
only deal with the stuff thats obvious,
but you also have to make sure you
get every last trace of it out of your sys-
tems before you can determine your-
self to be clean.
This labor intensive process means
that your IT teams time and atten-
tion needs to be directed at fixing a
problem that could have been pre-
vented rather than focusing on other
scheduled operational projects. It
means that those IT workers are po-
tentially being brought in after hours
to do cleanup work, says McCloskey.
It means that theres going to be an
impact on productivity through your
but hackers can still do quite a bit of
damage. Kindervag warns compa-
nies of all sizes that being optimistic
and hopeful only go so far when it
comes to security, because everybody
that uses the Internet and all of these
great technologies weve built in the
past few years are also directly con-
nected to the worlds largest cyber-
criminal organization or the worlds
best hacker. For this reason, you cant
rest on your laurels and assume the
solutions you have in place will be
enough to protect you or that your
company is simply too small of a
target. Kindervag says you have to
understand that you live in a really
bad neighborhood and the chances of
your getting broken into and having
your data stolen are very high.
Although every company is a po-
tential target for malicious attacks,
there are some with more sensitive
information to steal than others. James
McCloskey, senior consulting analyst
at Info-Tech Research Group (www, says that security needs
to be a balance between the business
risk tolerance and what the organiza-
tion is willing to invest in security.
But McCloskey warns that security
shouldnt necessarily exist at the ex-
pense of user experience. In fact, he
says, you shouldnt implement all
security in the tightest possible way,
because that, in itself, can end up
costing your company in the long run.
Risk can often be a competitive ad-
vantage if youre capable of living on
the edge of what is acceptable and
unacceptable risk, he says.
For example, McCloskey says,
some companies, especially larger
ones with big brand awareness, re-
ally cant afford to deal with the nega-
tive publicity thats associated with
a major breach. But then there are
other situations that affect both small
and midsize companies where cus-
tomers start to question whether
or not the organization can continue
to satisfy the customers needs, he
says. McCloskey points out that you
often hear about larger organizations
having security breaches and then
simply moving on from them because
they can absorb the cost. But he
warns that not all companies are this
lucky and you dont hear as much
about smaller [businesses] where the
company cant absorb the cost and
ultimately goes belly up. You have
to understand just how much of a risk
your company is willing to take and
use that to influence your security
budget and what types of solutions
you may need.
McCloskey says companies that
skimp on security and only aim for the
bare minimum approach may be able
to stop the more trivial attacks, but
that they may be leaving the door open
for the most persistent and advanced
attacks hackers have at their disposal.
This all goes back to how important it
is to have security solutions and pre-
vention strategies in place beforehand
rather than hoping for the best and
waiting to clean up afterward.
For companies that cant wrap their
head around the $10 million figure,
McCloskey says that a general rule of
thumb, and one confrmed by studies
done by major technology corpora-
tions, is that software flaws cost
about 10 times as much to repair after
the fact as if you had prepared them
Security needs to be a balance between
the business risk tolerance and what the
organization is willing to invest in secu-
rity. Its important to have the business in-
volved in a lot of these discussions about
risk tolerance, otherwise you end up with
security solutions that are overly secure
and create problems for the user base.
James McCloskey
senior consulting analyst, Info-Tech Research Group
PC Today / January 2014 11
common approach people take for
their internal data.
Regardless of what security solu-
tions you put in place, its important
to keep them up-to-date and invest in
upgrades as they become available. He
says that every new volume of indi-
vidualized malware has its own fn-
gerprints and therefore needs to have
its own defnition. Security vendors
are constantly updating their malware
databases to keep up with emerging
threats, so its crucial to install every
update that a vendor provides in order
to protect your company and data.
You have to understand that the
threats constantly mutate, and they
mutate faster than our ability to re-
spond to them, says Kindervag.
Hacker groups dont have to deal
with change management. Its a con-
stant thing of trying to maintain your
security posture. You have to always
be monitoring everything thats going
on. You have to always be looking
at the threats. Thats why it takes a
full-time staff of people to deal with
security. The need for security is just a
byproduct of the technological revolu-
tion that weve gone through in the
last 20 or 30 years.
user population who maybe wont be
able to use all of the systems that they
need to use during the time theyre
being cleaned up.
Kindervag adds that theres a lot of
confusion and a fair bit of chaos during
and after a data breach, which is
something that needs to be addressed
ahead of time as well. In the event that
the unexpected becomes a reality, your
IT team needs to understand the pro-
cess and know exactly what steps to
follow to solve the problem quickly.
Data breaches are the tornadoes, hur-
ricanes, and tsunamis of the Internet,
says Kindervag. How would you re-
spond to those kinds of things? You
need to have those plans and proce-
dures in place just like you would if
there was a fre or a tornado.
If youre suffciently scared by the
potential for massive damage after an
attack or data breach, then you may
be wondering what new types of se-
curity solutions you need to consider.
McCloskey recommends that compa-
nies at least invest in an IDPS (intru-
sion detection and prevention system),
because a lot of these more sophisti-
cated threats are not going to be picked
up by anti-malware and are designed
to get around y our frewall defenses.
An IDPS solution lets you quickly re-
spond to a threat if and when it actu-
ally gets inside your network, he says.
For larger companies, McCloskey
says, SIEM (security information and
event management) solutions are great
because they aggregate information
from the different security systems and
bring you a more holistic picture of
your security posture. Instead of put-
ting a solution in place and leaving it
or hoping that an attack wont happen,
a SIEM system gives you a better view
of whats happening on your network
and goes beyond using disparate tools
to better deal with advanced attacks
against your network and nip them
in the bud before they can morph into
something more sinister.
Kindervag agrees that these solu-
tions are important because they help
companies understand the context of
whats going on, but he also stresses
the importance of having experienced
staff to deal with security issues as
they arise. For larger companies, its
possible to have a large team of ex-
perts in-house to deal with such prob-
lems; for smaller organizations, it may
make sense to invest in a third-party
source. This, in part, is where cloud
computing comes into play. Thats
kind of the promise of the cloud in
many ways . . . that it can alleviate
some of your burdens because you
can have access to better systems that
have more security and have better
and more people available to watch
over that security than you could af-
ford on your own, Kindervag says.
But the cloud also addresses some
unique security challenges. Its a dif-
ferent mix of endpoint, application,
and data security techniques that are
needed depending on the deployment
of your system, McCloskey explains.
If its internal versus cloud-based,
you may have more of a focus on net-
work security and applications secu-
rity, whereas if you start handing this
data out to third parties to manage
for you, you may need to encrypt it
in place, which is not necessarily a
Dont assume that because youre a small
company, there are bigger targets and no-
body cares about you, so you dont have
to fx something. Theres no way to know
that and, in fact, youre often just a piece
of data to an attacker that they see when
they automatically scan the public Inter-
net. They may see that faw, know that its
exploitable, and take advantage of it, but
they may not necessarily know or care
who you are.
John Kindervag
vice president and principal analyst, Forrester Research
12 January 2014 /
SAS ( dubs itself the
leader in business analytics software
and services. Based on facts, statistics,
and general sentiment concerning the
company, youd have an uphill battle
making an argument against the claim.
Originally started in 1966 at North
Carolina State University as a statistical
analysis system designed to analyze
agricultural data collected through the
USDA, SAS offcially launched business
operations in 1976. While the companys
headquarters remain in North Carolina,
SAS has grown into the self-proclaimed
largest independent vendor in the BI
(business intelligence) market counting
The Power To Know
SAS Delivers Fact-Based Decision-Making Through Advanced Analytics
more than 65,000 organizations in 140-
plus countries as users of its solutions.
That includes 91 of Fortunes 2012 top
100 companies.
Equally telling about SAS is that while
its reach now expands worldwide, the
company hasnt grown so large as to
lose touch with its customers on a local
level. This is reflected by the fact that
SAS has offces in more than 50 coun-
tries, something Sascha Schubert, SAS
director of technology product mar-
keting, says enables SAS to be close
to our customers at each step of the
journey, from identifying a business
problem to implementing the software
and creating value. Further, the spe-
cialists SAS employs work with our
prospects to design the solution that best
meets their needs, which means not a
one-size-fts-all solution, Schubert says.
In simple terms, SAS helps busi-
nesses, educational institutions, gov-
ernment entities, and organizations
of all sizes and across a wide range
of industriescasinos, financial in-
stitutions, health care, life sciences,
manufacturing, media, retail, and
utilities, to name a fewturn their
data into a valuable resource in order
Employing specialists and
having offces in more
than 50 countries enables
SAS to work closely with
customers and design
solutions to suit their
specifc needs.
SAS offers analytics solu-
tions unique to a range
of industries but also
provides cross-functional
solutions that address
issues that all companies
SAS helps organizations
analyze their data in or-
der to make fact-based,
data-driven decisions
more quickly and ex-
ecute business process
SAS simplifes. Case in point:
SASVisual Analytics enables
users with limited analytic
expertise or technical abilities
to easily work with data and
generate and share reports via
their mobile devices.
14 January 2014 /
issues that companies in all industries
encounter (fraud detection, optimizing
IT networks, customer relationship en-
hancement, etc.).
Overall, Schubert says, SAS mis-
sion is to be the frst company people
call when they need to solve business
problems. SAS has everything it takes
to achieve this: unmatched analytics,
deep industry expertise, a long track
record of delivering proven results,
and the ability to innovate, he says.
Among SAS long and varied list
of product lines is High-Performance
Analytics, which includes products
geared toward enabling businesses
to derive new value from big
data and helping them stay
ahead of the competition.
Benefits related to the High-
Performance Analytics solu-
tions include faster innovation
(decision-making timelines
move from days or weeks
to minutes or seconds), real-
izing previously unrecogniz-
able growth opportunities and
better performance across the
organization, optimally using
and managing IT infrastruc-
ture resources to leverage
big data, and making future
growth possible with a focus
on scalability and reliability.
Schubert describes High-Per-
formance Analytics as being all
about gaining accurate results faster
to help you act on business op-
portunities in a timely matter. For
example, if a customer needs an im-
mediate answer in order to make a de-
cision, even if it is the most accurate
answer possible, theres no value if
that answer is provided tomorrow,
he says. Additionally, he says, due to
constraints that technology has intro-
duced, more complex business issues
have historically needed to be simpli-
fed or even completely ignored. With
High-Performance Analytics, these
constraints are lifted in many areas,
allowing organizations to get answers
to make better decisions. The list of
applications SAS provides to help do
so is long, Schubert says, and with
the recent phenomena of big data, it
keeps growing.
Specifically, SAS solutions enable
organizations to analyze data to ac-
complish numerous tasks, including
predicting customer behavior in order
to generate personalized marketing,
identifying fraudulent fnancial-related
transactions, and preventing essential
equipment from failing. The result of
such abilities is organizations can make
decisions backed by data and that ulti-
mately lead to optimizing various busi-
ness processes.
SAS products include SAS Cloud
of f eri ngs and sol ut i ons
adapted to small and midsize
businesses, nonprofit organi-
zations, and various indus-
tries. Products cover areas of
analytics; business, customer,
fnancial, fraud, security, and
supply chain intelligence;
data, decision, performance,
risk, and sustainability man-
agement; governance, risk,
and compliance; IT and CIO
enablement; and on-demand
solutions; among many others.
SAS Business Analytics
software helps companies
apply analytics to all aspects of
their business. But it goes fur-
ther than that, says Schubert. SAS also
knows that businesses today need to
embrace a data-driven culture sup-
ported by the right technology, he
says. With growing volumes of data,
diversity, and complexity, Schubert
says, new issues within businesses are
constantly developing that can beneft
from analytics.
The digitization of our lives and
the dawn of the Internet of Things
create new opportunities and new chal-
lenges that BA (business analytics)
can address, he says. An example of
such an opportunity includes assisting
customers in real time with analytic-
based recommendation engines to
help them choose the right products.
Another example is using real-time
customer behavior data to make per-
sonalized offers or to detect remote de-
vice failures that may be looming.
SAS aptly depicts its Business
Analytics software as delivering
to businesses the power to know.
Among other things, this means
helping businesses pinpoint and take
advantage of growth and proftability
opportunities, and gaining the ability
to quickly implement strategies to
carry out operational and tactical ac-
tions that result in tangible outcomes
SAS cites three key capabilities as
forming the foundation for helping
businesses solve problems. These in-
clude data management (for facili-
tating business and IT collaboration in
achieving real data asset management
while reducing risk), analytics (SAS
provides a broad array of advanced
analytics tools to compile evidence-
based answers), and business intelli-
gence (providing the right information
to the right people at the right time to
enable fact-based decision-making). In
addition to providing industry-unique
business solutions (such as helping f-
nancial service businesses solve credit-
management problems), SAS also
provides business solutions that tackle
Based in Cary, N.C. (SAS campus shown here), SAS simplies the
processes of gathering data, analyzing it, and deriving actionable
information from it for organizations of all sizes.
PC Today / January 2014 15
Schubert says. SAS Mobile Business
Intelligence puts the power of business
analytics on tablets and other mobile
devices. The mobile support for visual
analytics lets companies share, de-
velop, and navigate data and reports on
mobile devices within the company and
with external stakeholders Schubert
says. Decision-makers can easily ac-
cess, download, and explore reports re-
gardless of where they are or if Internet
connectivity is available, he says. The
central source of all mobile reports en-
sures that information remains synchro-
nized and up-to-date.
Before and after implementing
an SAS solution, SAS works di-
rectly with customers to build what
Schubert calls a sustainable cul-
ture of analytics and data-driven
decision making. Prior to any im-
plementation, SAS helps the cus-
tomer understand its individual
maturity level to make data-driven
decisions and how it can expand
that maturity. This includes per-
forming comprehensive business
analytics assessments, as well as
conducting workshops to ensure the
implementation follows a suitable
journey for the customer.
A few examples that point to-
ward SAS commitment to cus-
tomers include the more than 30,000
education certifcations its completed
in 4,400 courses during the last four
years, Online Communities that SAS
provides to foster customer interaction,
3,000 analytical consultants SAS has
to help customers design and deploy
SAS analytics, and the 800-plus part-
ners part of SAS Partner Ecosystem
focusing an analytics.
SAS strongly believes in bringing
people, process, and technology to-
gether for enabling customers to
get value from our software as fast
as possible, Schubert says. Getting
the customer started quickly and
helping them to create the right envi-
ronment, as well as the right skills, is
part of that.
from their data they could not get be-
fore, he says.
Examples of questions that high-per-
formance analytics solutions can po-
tentially answer for a business include
What should a website recommend
based on given behavior observed on
an online shopping site? or What is
the optimal price today for every item
in a multi-store chain? The answers
to such questions could include such
variables as the item in question, the
day of the week, historical performance,
store location, and numerous other at-
tributes. More and more, customers
expect personalized offers from all their
product and services providers, and
High-Performance Analytics helps to
deliver, Schubert says.
SAS approach to delivering high-
performance analytics is to provide
an integrated, supercharged plat-
form that addresses all aspects of the
journey, from huge raw data vol-
umes from a plethora of sources to
the best fact-based decision in the
fastest time, Schubert says.
A new approach to BA that SAS
provides is SAS Visual Analytics,
which includes capabilities com-
panies can deploy on premises, in
their own private cloud, in a public
cloud providers service, or in an SAS
Cloud environment. Essentially, SAS
Visual Analytics lets a user with even
limited technical abilities or analytic
background easily view and interact
with complex data to spot important
relationships, unearth opportunities,
and make finer-tuned decisions more
quickly. Users can also design interac-
tive and meaningful reports shareable
with others via SAS Mobile BI tools.
Schubert says that with SAS Visual
Analytics, organizations can identify
opportunities and challenges faster and
more reliably, as well as make decisions
based on verifiable data. The ease-
of-use breaks down barriers and puts
the power of analytics in the hands of
everyone, he says. For example, ex-
perts arent required to prepare data for
pre-defned reporting, and users have
more flexibility for how they can ex-
plore data and visualize it. There are
no limits in the size or diversity of the
data that can be analyzed, he says.
To enable this approach, SAS uses
revolutionary distributed in-memory
processing, which Schubert says frees
users of constraints in how they can in-
teract with data. A user with an idea, for
example, can simply ask the data and
get an immediate answer. If the answer
isnt suffcient, she can immediately try
a different approach. This new way
of interacting with the data supports
the iterative nature of discovery and
testing of new insights, Schubert says.
Data discovery is like discovery in na-
ture: a constant testing, evaluation, and
re-evaluation of ideas. The faster dead
ends can be eliminated, the faster one
can derive the best answer.
Ultimately, SAS Visual Analytics
makes it easy to let the data speak,
Schubert says. In addition to providing
an intuitive interface to control com-
plex data analysis, SAS provides intel-
ligent guidance to help explore data and
understand the results of an analysis.
When a new insight is discovered, a
user can create new reports on-the-fy
and send them to others mobile devices
for sharing.
This mobile aspect is important be-
cause BI users need access to the right
information anytime and anywhere,
SAS Visual Analytics helps data speak for itself,
with dashboards and reports that provide the data
necessary to form solid decisions, whether youre
using a computer in the ofce or a tablet on the go.
16 January 2014 /
Business intelligence (BI) is, for
all practical purposes, the difference
between making a well-informed de-
cision and taking a shot in the dark.
Advertising companies have been
using BI for years to better understand
certain demographics and determine
the best way to target specific cus-
tomers. But BI isnt only for companies
in the marketing or public relations
felds. In fact, companies of all sizes in
almost any industry can take advan-
tage of BI in some form or another,
which is why SAS offers a diverse set
of solutions designed for smaller busi-
nesses as well as large enterprises.
SAS Business Intelligence software
leverages much of whats available in
the companys Analytics offering by let-
ting you gather valuable information
from multiple data sources so it can be
presented in the most useful way. You
can mine data from text documents,
gather statistics from past studies and
reports, and put it all into a clear busi-
ness context rather than staring at sev-
eral disparate data streams. Then, using
this wealth of information, you can de-
termine what did or didnt work in the
past, monitor your current business ini-
tiatives, and use new insights to better
prepare for the future.
Enterprises that want to dig deeper
into their analytics for business intel-
ligence purposes can take advantage
of the SAS Enterprise BI Server. This
centralized software solution makes it
easy for IT administrators and data ex-
perts to pull data from multiple sources,
present it in the best possible format,
SAS Business
Use Data & Analytics To Improve The Decision-Making Process
and then send it to the appropriate per-
sonnel within the organization. You can
create a year-to-date graph and send it
to your sales team or compile some cus-
tomer satisfaction fgures and send them
to your customer service representatives.
Rather than giving all of your depart-
ments access to all of your information,
you can pinpoint specifc data sets and
make them readily available to the em-
ployees that need the most.
SMBs (small and medium-sized
businesses) can take advantage of re-
porting features within SAS Business
Intelligence software. As with the
Enterprise BI Server, you can send de-
tailed reports to different people in a
decision-making tree and make sure
they all have the most relevant informa-
tion. SAS Business Intelligence ensures
that everybody in your company is on
the same page and looking at the same
information. This not only speeds up
the decision-making process, but also
improves communication and collabo-
ration throughout your organization.
Chicos is a womens clothing retail
franchise with more than 1,200 stores
throughout the United States and in-
ternationally. The challenge for any re-
tailer when it comes to marketing is
understanding the customer base and
trying to target current and potential
customers in the most specific ways
possible. For Chicos, this meant that
the marketing team wanted a way to
study Web traffc behavior and try to
determine exactly how customers were
using the company website.
The company worked with SAS to
build a solution that allowed for Web
traffc analysis and then developed a da-
tabase to help business analysts within
the organization. Using this information,
Chicos was able to see that one cus-
tomer, for instance, browsed the website
and put some items in her shopping cart
but didnt complete the transaction. In
the past, this may have been chalked up
as a lost sale, but insights gleaned from
the SAS software solution showed that
the same customer actually bought those
items in the store rather than online.
This information, combined with
various other data insights, have
changed the way Chicos targets cus-
tomers and reacts to certain situations.
The company has used its SAS solution
to interact with customers in a more fo-
cused way and develop new marketing
strategies. Chicos also uses this data to
track the shopping patterns of certain
customers and fgure out the best way
to close a sale.
PC Today / January 2014 17
The success of a company de-
pends on the productivity of its
workforce and the performance of
its technology, but it can be dif-
ficult to ensure youre getting the
best possible efficiency out of all
available resources. To assist in that
endeavor, SAS offers a variety of
performance management solutions
that help you better monitor and
manage your resources. SAS per-
formance management solutions
also help you forecast years ahead
to gain more insights into your fu-
ture needs and make the necessary
adjustments beforehand.
SAS performance management
solutions are designed to help en-
courage the future growth of your
company without sacrificing your
present. The key to this is to under-
stand where the true value is within
your organization and then use that
information to utilize your resources
more effciently. But the other major
aspect of promoting future success
is to possess the foresight to avoid
low-value risks while staying aware
of potential opportunities.
S A S F o r P e r f o r ma n c e
Management helps you discover
the insights you need to make
well-informed decisions for nearly
every aspect of your company.
The solution illuminates potential
across resources, including in tech-
nology, finances, and people, and
helps you align them within the
context of how your organization
SAS Performance
Gain Control Over Your Resources & Point Them In The Right Direction
operates to make sure every facet
of your company promotes the suc-
cess of the others. By essentially
putting your ducks in a row, SAS
For Performance Management can
help point out weaknesses in your
business processes and show you
paths for change that will optimize
the existing value of your resources.
Additionally, because you have to
constantly be looking forward to new
opportunities, SAS also gives you the
ability to plan and run simulations
with the most relevant information
available to you.
SAS suite of performance man-
agement products includes dash-
boards and scorecards, tools for
financial consolidation (including
budgeting, planning, and reporting),
and ways to use advanced analytics
as part of the resource management
process. All of these separate solu-
tions work together to streamline the
management process and improve
the quality of your data.
Maine Medical Center, one of the
most respected orthopedics and heart
care health institutions in the United
States, is in charge of caring for as
many as 606 patients when oper-
ating at full capacity. The organiza-
tion has long taken advantage of SAS
products for various use cases, all of
which are designed to improve pa-
tient health.
For i nst ance, Mai ne Medi cal
Center currently uses SAS score-
card solution to track medication
reconciliation, which means en-
suring that patients receive the
same medication at home as they
did during their hospital stay. SAS
points out that approximately 7,000
deaths per year occur because of
medication errors, which is a fgure
the medical center finds unaccept-
able. The facility has been able to
use SAS solutions to push their com-
pliance rate from 40% up to 75%,
with 90% as the ultimate goal.
While the Maine Medical Center
is already using SAS solutions in
so many ways, its always looking
for new tools to implement. Doug
Salvador, the associate chief med-
ical offcer at Maine Medical Center,
says many employees are looking
forward to using the note-taking
functions inside of the SAS eco-
system to help benchmark goals.
But he also points out how helpful
i t i s that SAS for Performance
Management makes it easier to track
progress and make sure changes
have the desired effect.
18 January 2014 /
The true value of information,
especially if you hope to get in on
the big data boom, lies in analytics.
After all, you can store as much
data as you want, but if you have
no way of gaining insight, spot-
ting trends, and using analytics
to improve your decision-making
process, then your business could
miss out on potential growth and
success. SAS understands the im-
portance of these insights, and its
SAS Analytics solution is designed
to streamline the data mining and
analysis processes so users can get
the most from their data.
The SAS Analytics software suite
is comprised of multiple integrated
tools designed to help users gath-
er and analyze data and use their
fndings to make business decisions.
SAS Analytics lets you pull in rel-
evant information from any con-
nected data stream for comparison
and in-depth assessment. Its text
analysis capabilities let you search
a host of other data types (emails,
forms, call logs, etc., really anything
at all containing text) and fnd par-
ticular types of information.
After youve gathered and ana-
lyzed all the relevant information,
you can use that data to see visual
representations of your companys
past, current, and anticiapted (pre-
dictive) performance. Having this
information on hand can be bene-
fcial, because management can use
the data to back their decisions and
ensure that the business grows and
maintains its success for many years
to come.
SAS Analytics
Use Data Insights To Solve Current Problems & Ensure Future Success
SAS Analytics isnt solely de-
signed for financial or sales use. In
fact, company data could point to
potential changes in other aspects
of a business. For example, growing
companies often need to hire more
employees to address customer de-
mand, but they will also need to
consider what internal operations
resources are necessary to support
those new employees. With SAS
Analytics, you can determine how
many smartphones, tablets, laptops,
desktops, or other productivity
tools your employees use based
on their departments and job func-
tions, and then use that information
to forecast how many devices you
will need to adequately support in-
coming employees.
In essence, SAS Analytics is de-
signed to make every aspect of your
business more effcient and effective.
Obstacles to planning that once took
weeks or months to properly research
and overcome can now be analyzed
in a fraction of the time. Within SAS
Analytics, the SAS/OR (SAS Opera-
tions Research) component helps
organizations draw on a greater
amount of data to generate more thor-
ough scenarios for upcoming projects,
as well as to plan accordingly with the
appropriate staffing, resources, and
As part of a wider MOD (Min-
istry of Defence) process, the British
Army is restructuring and must re-
duce the number of enlisted soldiers
to 82,000 by 2020. With this goal in
mind, British defense leaders are
focusing on making their Army into
a more efficient and modern mili-
tary force while also maintaining
a lower operating budget. Areas in
which Army officials want to see
improvements without having to
increase spending are data integra-
tion and analysis. That is where the
SAS 9.2 software suite enters the
Using SAS 9. 2, Army officials
can collect information from dis-
parate data streams, bring it to-
gether under one product suite,
and then analyze the data to aid
in the decision-making process for
military operations. The data also
gives Army officials more insight
by providing them instant access
to a soldiers grades and training
results to ensure they are filling that
82,000-person unit with the best
available assets.
Perhaps the biggest factor in the
British Armys decision to use the
SAS solution is that the company ac-
tually brought in experts to support
the product suite on-site and help
develop it into the type of tool the
Army required to support its data
analysis needs.
PC Today / January 2014 19
The only way you can truly take ad-
vantage of your data for analytics and
other purposes is to make sure you have
as much control over it as possible. This
means centralizing your data, moni-
toring it, and making sure its within
reach of your employees. SAS suite of
Data Management solutions takes the
first step by making your data much
more accessible.
Comprised of multiple products and
solutions, including SAS Data Quality,
Data Governance, Federation Server,
and more, the SAS Data Management
product makes it easier to pull informa-
tion from multiple sources and put it
into one platform for quicker access.
Simply put, SAS Data Management
places your data at the center of ev-
erything you do so that you can give
managers, employees, and applications
easier access to the information they
need. And because these solutions inte-
grate well with your existing hardware
and software, implementation is a much
more streamlined process.
SAS also helps you track changes
to your data. With master data man-
agement tools, you can see what files
have been changed, when they were
changed, and who changed them. Plus,
you can make sure that whatever piece
of data youre accessing is the newest
and most complete record. This dove-
tails with the Data Management suites
data federation and stewardship as-
pects. You can control user access and
defne permissions to make sure only
the proper people have access to certain
pieces of information. For instance, if an
SAS Data
Improve Access & Better Utilize Your Information
employee moves to a different position
or leaves the company entirely, you can
revoke permissions or grant new ones,
all from one main platform.
Another major pillar of SAS Data
Management solutions is to improve
data governance and collaboration be-
tween the IT and business sides of your
organization. The IT team can make ad-
justments to access, permissions, and
other aspects of data management to
align better with business-wide policies.
And if the business side of your com-
pany needs information about current
and future success, they can simply re-
quest reports and monitoring informa-
tion to discover trends and improve the
decision-making process.
With SAS Data Management, em-
ployees throughout your organiza-
tion will have access to the data they
need when they need it. It removes the
headaches of searching for relevant
data, manually developing reports, and
hoping you have the most up-to-date
information at your disposal.
Absa Bank is a fnancial services frm
with headquarters in Johannesburg.
Absa runs a data warehouse of 144
billion records connected to 11.8 mil-
lion customers and their 16 million ac-
counts. Absa also must contend with
managing 500 core business applica-
tions. According to the companys
head of enterprise management, Dev
Govender, the IT team has traditionally
struggled to convince the banks busi-
ness team that the growing amount of
storage, and the costs associated with
that storage, is actually essential to the
businesss success.
Govenders initial approach to han-
dling these challenges was to show
the business team four main strategic
challenges facing the company and
how data culled from information
management systems could be used to
overcome them. Govender essentially
shocked the business side of the orga-
nization into action by showing them
that they the data was under-utilized.
Govender implemented a new, long-
term analytical approach designed to
use SAS solutions to better manage
data and take advantage of data in
multiple ways. Govender created an
analytical innovation team that initiated
a variety of pilot projects, including
credit scoring and credit risk manage-
ment, among many others. Govender
and his team were then able to use SAS
solutions to better understand Absas
customers; some up-sell tests showed
uptake rates of around 60%, which
made it easier for the business side to
visualize potential uses for the com-
panys data.
20 January 2014 /
Some data analytics and business in-
telligence vendors focus primarily on
generating sales through demographic
research, marketing programs, or other
approaches. In addition to common ap-
proaches, SAS offers financial intelli-
gence solutions that help you look at
budgeting, risk assessment, and more.
This multifaceted approach not only lets
you drive up sales and increase profts,
but also make sure that your current
and forecasted budgets are sound.
The first of four solutions in the
SAS financial intelligence portfolio is
Activity-Based Management, which lets
you dig deeper into your budget and
understand where your money is actu-
ally going. Using cost and proftability
measurements tools, you can monitor
costs at the most basic activity level, de-
termine whether or not your spending
is as efficient as it could be, and use
models to forecast how certain changes
may help cut costs or drive up proft-
ability. You can make sure that every
spending activity will have some kind
of positive impact, while also removing
certain activities that provide little or no
value to your organization.
The SAS Profitability Management
solution goes hand-in-hand with these
components because it can leverage in-
formation from the SAS Activity-Based
Management solution and use it to in-
crease the proftability of certain proj-
ects or business processes. By looking
at each individual transaction, you can
fine-tune your spending and make
sales-based decisions quickly without
relying on potentially inaccurate
SAS Financial
Lower Costs & Increase Profitability With SAS Financial Intelligence Solutions
forecasts built from incomplete data.
You will also be able to build models
and create reports like you can with
many of SAS other offerings.
SAS Financial Management is another
part of the companys four-pronged
solution; this one is designed to help
out in the areas of budgeting and plan-
ning. SAS Financial Management can
provide simpler functions, like quickly
creating fnancial reports, but it can also
provide real-time data analytics tools
that will aid in the decision-making pro-
cess. With this solution, youll always
have access to the most relevant infor-
mation, whether its historical data or
newer research, and be able to use it to
create more accurate budget forecasts for
the future. Instead of waiting until the
end of the year to make budget adjust-
ments, you can look at updated data in
real-time and make necessary changes
Its great to make changes at the
micro level, but you sometimes need a
macro view to make sure small tweaks
wont negatively affect your long-term
goals; this is where the SAS Strategy
Management component comes into
play. Strategy Management reveals the
relationships between multiple objec-
tives, so instead of looking at each as-
pect of your organization in a silo, you
get an overall view of how those items
are connected. This approach allows
you to gather information from all cor-
ners of your company and use it to craft
long-term strategies that will pay divi-
dends for you now and in the future.
Any reputable software company
should believe in its products enough
to not only sell them to customers but
also use them internally, which is ex-
actly what SAS does with its Financial
Intelligence solutions. SAS chose to
use its products as a replacement for a
system that required analysts all across
the globe to enter data manually, which
was diffcult and time-consuming.
The tools within the SAS Financial
Intelligence portfolio make it so mul-
tiple data streams are automatically
mined, collated, and consolidated. For
SAS, this means that its global analysts
can find the information they need
much more quickly. And the data itself
is protected because only analysts with
certain security clearances can access
the most sensitive data. This new ap-
proach has also improved the decision-
making capabilities of other employees
within the organization, which means
faster budgeting, more accurate fore-
casting, and an overall better view of
the companys long-term success.
PC Today / January 2014 21
Any endeavor comes with certain
risks. This includes launching a new
cloud-based service that will reach cus-
tomers, clients, and partners via the
Internet. If proper planning, testing,
and communication among relevant
stakeholders doesnt occur, even minor
post-launch problems can mushroom
into major failures. Even with due
diligence, however, chances are that
a setback, if only temporary, could
occur. The following details such risks
and how organizations can minimize
the damage.
As Mukul Krishna, Frost & Sullivan
( senior global director,
digital media, aptly says, The ben-
efits of cloud-based solutions are im-
mense, but the problem really isnt with
the cloud. The problem is with orga-
nizational inability to see the larger
picture. Examples of how businesses,
Avoid Cloud Failures
Address The Risks Of Launching A New Cloud-Based Service Or Application
government agencies, health-care pro-
viders, and all other organizations large
and small have experienced failures after
launching a cloud service due to poor
planning, underestimating the projects
scale, or just overlooking certain com-
ponents are numerous.
is a good recent example. Among other
things, the site wasnt prepared to ef-
fciently and effectively handle the on-
slaught of users the service initially saw.
Dan Kusnetzky, Kusnetzky Group
( founder and ana-
lyst, says one lesson to learn from the
rollout of is that its
wise to start small and add new fea-
tures as theyre tested and proven
solid. He suggests having a plan that
includes what the site is to deliver
and identifying the dependencies for
each function. And have a thorough
test plan to prove that everything
works before committing to a release,
he adds.
Testing, says Rachel Dines, Forrester
Research ( senior ana-
lyst, is another major lesson for compa-
nies to learn from the
website deployment. The best way
to avoid failure is to understand all
the ways that you can fail, she says.
Extensive testing, especially load-
testing, could have prevented some of
HealthCare.govs troubles, she explains.
Clive Longbottom, Quocirca (www.quo analyst and founder, says
scaling to deal with an initial rush
is what everyone seems to miss.
When launching a service for a po-
tentially large user base, he says,
engineering only to manage an av-
erage workload will inevitably result
in overload and failure. Engineering
compute and storage needs to meet
the possible impact of millions of
users isnt even enough, he says, be-
cause the Internet connections wont
be able to deal with it all, and the very
22 January 2014 /
companies, she says. Elsewhere, small
software and database errors can have
catastrophic and cascading impacts, as
can failed changes or human error.
Valani says another example is
choosing between a single, monolithic
database and a distributed database.
The decision seems pretty straight-
forward. Well go with monolithic. Its
easy to maintain, he says. Lo and
behold, you fnd you have millions of
records, and from a transactional per-
spective it slows down your appli-
cation, he says. Today, Valani says,
applications are becoming increasingly
complex, and hes seeing more distrib-
uted and API-driven development,
which means organizations must en-
sure they have the right team in place.
Were starting to see just a huge ve-
locity in terms of how quickly things
need to go through, and if you dont
have this set up right, the chances of
going in there and risking failure are
even higher, he says.
Krishna says many times personnel
identify certain needs that a specific
technology will address. As people
start using the technology, other needs,
benefts, and everything they had not
thought ofgood and badstart sur-
facing, and constantly does, he says.
This is one reason why technology pro-
viders issue regular updates. Also, es-
pecially when looking at cloud-based
providers, theyre providing iterative
software updates vs. when buying
on-premises solutions when youre
looking at major, minor, and hot batch
releases, Krishna says. Such examples
are literally happening from a minor
point of view to a major point of view
with literally every solution, every
hour, across the world, across every or-
ganization, he says. And no one has
gotten it right, and no one ever will. It
will always be a learning process.
Krishna says its important to re-
member that when an organization
puts something in the cloud or moves
to a cloud-based application, it doesnt
mean you treat it any differently from
any of your on-premises solutions. A
cloud-based solution needs to work
actions being taken will have the
pattern of a DDoS [distributed denial-
of-service] attack.
To compensate, workload man-
agement must be built in, Long-
bottom says, meaning you need the
ability to offload workloads to other
servers in other data centers to dis-
tribute workloads. Another must is the
ability to capture some user attempts to
reach the site early on and offoad these
to a different system that can capture
certain details. Further, enough human
help desk resources must be available
to deal with exceptions, which should
be minimized through running as many
use cases through the system before
going live to make sure that the rules
are working correctly, Longbottom
says. While the elasticity that cloud
computing affords might seem able to
dynamically adjust to meet workload
needs, Longbottom says, throngs of
people trying to access the same cloud
service simultaneously still needs
painstaking engineering designPlan
B, C, and D will still be required.
A bigger issue with the HealthCare
.gov site, Dines says, revolved around
IT and business communications.
Specifcally, there was a very limited
amount of time to deploy the solution,
and the final business requirements
werent even fully defined until six
months before the launch, she says.
Clearer communication between IT and
stakeholders to defne what was real-
istic to complete within the time con-
straints was needed, she says.
Where executives and cloud proj-
ects are concerned, Altaz Valani, Info-
Tech Research Group (www.infotech
.com) senior consulting analyst, says
fundamentally the higher the com-
plexity the more communication thats
required. Organizations need a
grounded estimation of both, he says.
So, its important to take both the his-
toric efforts that have been done that
are similar to the project, as well as ana-
lytic estimation efforts, to try and better
understand how that actually fts into
the context of that particular initiative,
he says.
In some cases, even a minor problem
can result in a major cloud service
failure. In fact, Dines says that most
failures result from mundane events.
Power outages, for example, have
brought down many different cloud
The best way to avoid failure is to
understand all the ways that you
can fail.
Rachel Dines
senior analyst, Forrester Research
Further, enough human help desk
resources must be available to deal
with exceptions, which should be
minimized through running as many
use cases through the system before
going live to make sure that the rules
are working correctly.
Clive Longbottom
analyst and founder, Quocirca
PC Today / January 2014 23
says. The role could be akin to an ar-
chitect who understands from a system
level and development perspective
how to translate what the business is
looking for. In the technical domain,
he says, consider assigning front-end,
midtier, and back-end developers. In
todays environment, its not enough
to just consider a front-end scheme;
for example, a desktop solution, he
says. Youve also got browser-based
solutions, mobile-based solutions, tablet
solutions, etc.
Management, meanwhile, is a cross-
cutting concern, Valani says, and will
entail such areas as project manage-
ment and communication with stake-
holders on the business side. Project
management can be dealt with via a
standard governing body from a PMO
(project management office) perspec-
tive, but for something high risk its
more appropriate to use a more agile
technique that enables periodically
communicating with the business and
letting it know where youre at and
what issues youre facing, he says.
with other solutions important for your
knowledge workers just as an on-prem
[solution does]. Many people fail to re-
alize the cloud-based solutions need to
talk to other solutions, as well.
Dines says new cloud services
sometimes fail because an organiza-
tion doesnt fully understand the
uneven handshake thats inherent
in most cloud services. For example,
some cloud providers dont perform
backup and disaster recovery for cus-
tomers, she says. Often, companies mis-
take availability for resiliency, she says.
Dines adds that many cloud providers
also protect themselves with a force
majeure clause, meaning if an act of
God caused a failure they arent re-
sponsible for upholding SLAs. This
reinforces the need to take resiliency
into your own hands, she says.
Another example of compensating
for risks relates to response times.
Longbottom says unless an organiza-
tion provides suitable messaging to
users trying to access a new service,
they may keep refreshing their screens
or clicking buttons, which only makes
matters worse or causes them to give
up, possibly in the middle of a trans-
action being logged. This leaves the
system in a state of having to roll back,
thus using more resources, he says.
Providing a Were encountering heavy
traffic, please try again later page is
better than users staring at a frozen
page, he says.
Determining how critical a ser-
vices function is to users is key, says
Kusnetzky. Critical functions should
be fully tested, fully documented, and
supportable before customers can use
it, he says. If an entire site is consid-
ered critical, start with a few func-
tions, ensure they work, and add on
later. Overall, Kusnetzky recommends
designing an architecture that allows
for growth, scalability, and reliability.
Sometimes, he says, organizations
fail to properly plan for or address
risks because promises get ahead
of a technology or teams ability to
deliver. Business people who plan
without knowledge of the technical re-
alities often get into trouble, he says.
Considerations about security, reli-
ability, manageability, and even how
failover should happen should be part
of the plan.
When launching large cloud-based
applications, Valani suggests using
specialists, such as those well-versed in
creating scalable databases or security
solutions, because if you have a large-
scale application, the chances youre
going to face some type of attack at
some point is probably significant.
From a development perspective, he
suggests hiring someone experienced
in coding and developing in such a
way that your code remains loosely
coupled and gives you an opportunity
to scale out in the future.
Valani also recommends assigning
roles, starting from a business-objec-
tive point of view. For a large-scale
project you may have a team of BAs,
and you need to be able to translate
that over to a technical domain, he
When launching a
cloud-based service,
Dan Kusnetzky,
Kusnetzky Group
founder and analyst,
recommends that
before building any-
thing organizations
should understand
their future cloud
service goals, plan to
test every function
before going live, and
deploy performance
management tools that
peer into all interac-
tions among internal
services to discover
any problems before
they turn into outages.
Altaz Valani, Info-Tech
Research Group
senior consulting ana-
lyst, meanwhile, lists
fve items to consider:
Avoid big-bang
releases. For services
aimed at a large
audience, stagger
implementation in
iterations, learning
what you can iterate
over to improve and
do better.
Push for increased
when theres greater
Earnestly estimate
complexity and
communication met-
rics; dont be overly
optimistic with this
process, as this will
form actual strategy
and execution.
Involve generalists
and specialists for
large projects.
Establish clear re-
sponsibilities and
by assigning roles
based on credentials,
experience levels,
and past projects.
24 January 2014 /
Cloud computing services have tra-
ditionally split among three different
models: SaaS (software as a service),
PaaS (platform as a service), and IaaS
(infrastructure as a service). While
those categories still exist, most cloud
vendors now offer a mix of two or
three of these favors as well as other
services in an effort to accommodate
a broad variety of company require-
ments. This has transformed the cloud
marketplace from a landscape dotted
with specialized providers to one flled
with vendors purporting to serve as
one-stop shops for every cloud need.
The large assortment of cloud vendors,
The Changing Cloudscape
Cloud Provider Qualities To Look For In An Ever-Changing Market
most of which strive to appear as full-
service as possible, can make it diffi-
cult to distinguish one vendor from the
next. In this article, well help you navi-
gate the increasingly complex cloud
service market and find the services
that are right for your organization by
identifying some of the key things to
look for in a vendor.
More companies are also relying
on cloud computing components for
key businesses processes, according to
CompTIAs ( Fourth
Annual Trends In Cloud Computing
report. It found that adoption rates
for SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, have in-
creased year-over-year. In the report,
CompTIA identifed four primary busi-
ness models for cloud providers: Build,
Provide/Provision, Enable/Integrate,
and Manage/Support. An average
of seven out of 10 cloud solution pro-
viders started out life with the Build
business model and are now involved
in one or more of the other frameworks,
according to the report. CompTIA
found that 26% of companies were con-
ducting business across all four sectors.
Carolyn April, director of industry
analysis with CompTIA, told us that,
The cloud has broadened
from accommodating
specifc resources such as
storage, Web hosting, and
productivity to mission-
critical applications, cus-
tom projects, and security.
The proliferation of cloud
vendors, some of which
are offering a host of
new services that cross
traditional cloud bound-
aries, have added to the
marketplace confusion.
Consultants can help by
advising organizations
about how to choose the
particular cloud offer-
ings that are best-suited
to those organizations
Companies should look
for cloud providers that
can and will make time
for serious conversations
about company-, industry,
and location-specifc
PC Today / January 2014 25
option for private cloud services.
Typically, the turnkey cloud setups
have been targeted at SMBs, as the
tools in the deployment are ideal for
the limited skills sets, customer needs,
and finances of smaller businesses.
Large and private enterprise clouds
are more likely to require customized
deployments. Whether yours is a big
or small business, its a good idea to
use consultant(s).
Selection of a cloud computing
advisor should be based upon a risk-
adjusted cloud computing strategy,
says Alterson. You need to take into
account not just the cloud providers
services but also the tools and data
they have available to support migra-
tion and operations. Understand and
factor in to your cost/beneft model if
you need third party tools to migrate
and support your cloud environment.
Also, make sure your company is op-
erationally ready to support the cloud.
In other words, dont forget you need
to run your cloud environments after
you build them.
April told us that Consultants will
play a strong role in helping customers
decide where cloud is a good fit and
where it isnt and the best option is to go
with an on-premises solution. If youre
unsure of how well the company will
be able to utilize a cloud computing ser-
vice, consider investing in a provider
that offers an IT dashboard that will
track things like cloud utilization and
As vendors, their channel partners and
customers have become increasingly
savvy about cloud and more comfort-
able with the model, they have grown
more open to offerings and services
higher up the food chain taking up resi-
dence there. This includes more mis-
sion-critical SaaS applications, custom
development projects, security solu-
tions, and even business intelligence/
analytics. April adds, Customer af-
finity for cloud solutions at all levels,
however, will remain a case-by-case sit-
uation depending on the industry they
are in.
In its Wave Enterprise Public Cloud
Platforms Q2 2013 report, Forrester
Research ( indicates
that vendors are blurring the lines be-
tween the three cloud-computing cat-
egories as they seek to create public
cloud platforms that can satisfy the
needs of enterprises and widen their
appeal to developers. For example,
the report finds that IaaS players,
such as Amazon Web Services (AWS)
and Verizon Terremark, are building
services that deliver the abstrac-
tion and hosted middleware benefits
often associated with PaaS. AWSs
CloudFormation, ElasticBeanstalk, and
OpsWorks are examples of these ser-
vices. The report also found that ven-
dors who began life offering PaaS now
offer a variety of IaaS platforms that let
them deploy and confgure middleware
and databases.
One of the key benefits of cloud
computing is that it can reduce your
overall IT costs. The caveat is that youll
need to select the services that best ft
your needs to ensure that youre not in-
vesting in more capacity and tools than
what youll use. Gary Alterson, senior
director of Risk & Advisory Services
at Neohapsis (, told
us that Organizations should seek ex-
pertise from a consulting frm for help
building a governance structure and
strategy that properly addresses the risk
and complexity of todays cloud ser-
vice offerings. Before you meet with
a consulting frm, youll want to do an
internal audit of your business require-
ments and have a frm knowledge of the
tasks you need IT to achieve. Based on
that information, you can price services,
both individually and in bundles, to get
an idea of what itll cost you to receive
the types of cloud computing you need.
For its Wave Enterprise Public
Cloud Platforms Q2 2013 report,
Forrester analyzed 28 enterprise cus-
tomers and found that there were three
distinct types of cloud developers: rapid
app developers, coders, and DevOps
(development and operations) pros.
According to the report, rapid devel-
opers commonly work with graphical,
automated tools to create applications,
but they tend to stay away from writing
code and setting up virtual infrastruc-
ture. The so-called coder group is al-
most the opposite, as this type of cloud
developer will perfect an application
and deliver revisions down the road.
The coder group may not work with
configuring and maintaining things
like application servers and databases.
Lastly, DevOp pros are expert program-
mers who will confgure both the appli-
cations and the database.
CompTIAs report found that a
number of cloud computing vendors
now offer a cloud-in-a-box type of
solution where channel partners can
provide customers with a turnkey
Companies need to strategize, plan and
add governance and oversight to cloud
initiatives. Without appropriate oversight
and planning, it is all too easy to layer on
more services than needed, costing way
more than the benefts achieved. It also
has the potential to open up additional
risks regarding cost, fexibility, vendor
lock in, security, and compliance.
Gary Alterson
senior director of Risk & Advisory Services, Neohapsis
26 January 2014 /
costs. CompTIAs Fourth Annual
Trends In Cloud Computing report
found that six in 10 channel frms using
the Manage/Support business model
offer IT dashboards, which make it easy
to demonstrate ROI to customers and
others in the business.
Using multiple cloud providers
is an attractive option to many com-
panies. They can pick and choose the
cloud providers that best meet their
needs and better take advantage
of price differentials to gain the best
bang for their buck for each service.
However, using multiple cloud pro-
viders adds a greater degree of com-
plexity and companies should carefully
consider if they have the right people,
process, and tools to handle the engi-
neering, development and operational
complexity, says Alterson.
When it comes to pricing, there
are a lot of things youll need to con-
sider. Forresters 15 Most Important
Questions To Ask Your Cloud Identity
And Access Management Provider
indicates, For pure cloud-based solu-
tions, you defnitely need to have a full
understanding of the pricing structure
and mechanics and obtain a detailed
pricing list in order to compare various
cloud IAM (identity and access man-
agement) providers offerings. Leading
vendors provide a trial period for
the service as well. Common pricing
schemes include a per-user per-month
fee with an additional per-application
fee. The report also emphasizes that
further consideration is necessary. It
says, You cant take for granted that
a cloud IAM solution will be less ex-
pensive than an on-premises approach;
you must calculate the total cost of
ownership for your solution using at
least a three- to fve-year period.
One of the benefits of cloud so-
lutions is that they are scalable, so
customers can start small and add of-
ferings as they grow or their needs
develop, says April. Because many
cloud solutions are offered as part of a
recurring contract or managed services
engagement, a channel provider can
avoid the up-front bundle and simply
deliver a basic service to the customer
if thats what they wantand then scale
additional cloud services when needed.
As an end customer, its important to
do their homework and align with a
provider that will represent the options
ideally for them.
Alterson says, Organizations that
choose the single provider route are
looking to simplify their operations
and decrease the training requirements
for developers. In many ways, this is
similar to the best-of-breed vs. single-
vendor decision that companies have
been struggling with for years. You may
give up some beneft in terms of grab-
bing best of breed, but gain some op-
erational advantages. He went onto
say that there are a couple of nuances
though. First, not all cloud providers
are equal, and those that do offer the
most services tend to have better pricing
and compelling services. The second
is that adopting one vendor can lead
to lock-in; this is especially true if your
developers code directly to the cloud
providers APIs. Once your applications
get hard coded to the provider APIs,
the switch cost becomes much higher.
There are ways to manage and mitigate
this risk, but again, it requires proper
governance and oversight.
When choosing a cloud pro-
vider, it helps to be able to ask
the right questions to ensure the
service is right for you. Gary
Alterson of Neohapsis says, You
should start by making a detailed
list of your requirements for
the foreseeable future and ask
about each one of them. These
should include questions about
what systems are supported (to
integrate with your existing IT
components); management ca-
pabilities; resource management
features; service-level agreement
details; availability; integration
with maintenance and provi-
sioning systems; and end user
interface capabilities.
According to Forrester
Researchs 15 Most Important
Questions To Ask Your
Cloud Identity And Access
Management Provider, you
should also discuss how a cloud
provider can help you to move
between on-premises and the
cloud solution. Its also good ad-
vice for when switching from any
locally stored data to the cloud.
The days when a fnite set of major IT
players were the go-to companies for
vendorsand for the channelto work with
are now a Web of startups, established cloud
players like Amazon and the old guard that
are all pitching solutions. One of the chan-
nels opportunity areas is to be an aggrega-
tor of these services, essentially vetting the
best cloud solutions for their customers.
Distributors will also play this role.
Carolyn April
director of industry analysis, CompTIA
PC Today / January 2014 27
From the data center to high-end
consumer goods (think shiny laptops
and Apples newest iPhone), biomet-
rics (the use of physical characteristics
to prove identity) are making a splash:
Purveyors of biometric solutions im-
portune us to invest in technology that
promises to add still another layer
(perhaps the most sophisticated layer
yet) of security to our digital transac-
tions and to protect human access to
those transactions.
Biometrics: Great Promise,
Hidden Perils
Beware Of Unexpected Costs & Obsolete Assumptions
And yet, experts point out that
this approach may not be the silver
bullet we seek, and thatas always
we need to do our homework before
jumping on this latest bandwagon. As
with all technologies, there are things
to think about before we make any
rash moves.
First, lets defne a few terms. When
discussing the technology, biometrics
refers to tools used to identify specifc
individuals by some personal charac-
teristica facial shape, a retinal pat-
tern, a fngerprint, or some other such
identiferand then using that identi-
fcation to allow (or disallow) access to
a system or building.
It sounds like a brave new world
of almost perfect security, and the
technology has certainly proven con-
venient and useful in many respects.
But the use of biometrics is far from
In practical technological
terms, biometrics refers
to the tools used to iden-
tify specifc individuals
by way of certain physi-
cal characteristic, such as
a fngerprint or iris.
Although technologists
have found many posi-
tive uses for biometrics
and will surely continue
to do so, there are some
weaknesses that should
be considered.
Alternatives to biomet-
rics such as RFID (radio
frequency identifcation)
systems can be more
benefcial in some
circumstances, such as
building access control.
One main drawback to
biometrics is the rate of false
positives (where a user is
improperly granted access to
an area) and false negatives
(where someone who should
have access is denied).
28 January 2014 /
million different passwords, the one
thing you cant forget is your fnger
or your face. So it not only simplifes
things for end users, it also alleviates
support calls. In general, almost 50%
of calls to corporate help desks are
password resets, so that can equate to
a big savings.
But there are pitfalls related to bio-
metrics, as well, notes Alexander.
The biggest issue is false positives,
which may allow access to unauthor-
ized users, and false negatives, where
I cant authenticate. False positives are
the more common and more costly
issue, although false negatives actu-
ally present the greatest risk.
Risks vary, too, among the various
types of biometrics. Facial recogni-
tion can be tough because peoples
faces do change shape over time.
Meanwhile, there are signifcant pri-
vacy issues with retina/iris scans.
Many communicable diseases, as well
as pregnancy and even some chronic
health issues, are detectable through
the eyes, and that presents a whole
other set of privacy issues, says
Alexander. One of the big issues,
he adds, is ease of use. Many facial
systems need you to place your face in
some kind of fxed stirrup. Iris scans
also require a fxed position. Given the
nature of the risk you are mitigating,
fngerprint scans probably make the
most sense.
Absolutely. Systems fail. People
make mistakes. Things change, often
suddenly. What would you do about
an employee who has cut a finger?
Or about someone who has sustained
an eye injury and must wear an eye
patch? Or about someone who, for
some other reason, suddenly finds
himself unable to utilize a previously-
installed biometric device?
foolproof, and even its most fervent
proponents are not afraid to point out
its weaknesses as well as its strengths.
Jim OGorman, president of North
Carolina-based Offensive Security
(, points out
that a purely biometric approach (ret-
inal scans, fngerprint IDs, etc.) may
not always be the best frst choice.
I would suggest that the organiza-
tion frst look at the use case and en-
sure that biometrics is really the way to
go, says OGorman. There are good
reasons why RFID (radio frequency
identifcation) cards and similar [tech-
nologies] are far more popular building
access controls, and those solutions
should be seriously considered.
In fact, says OGorman, one of the
issues that bothers some people about
biometrics is that everyone is required
to make physical contact with the
same device. Squeamishness aside,
there are tangible cleanliness issues
related to this aspect of biometrics that
adopters must be ready to manage.
OGorman envisions the best use
of biometrics in locations to which a
very limited number of employees are
allowed access. Typically this involves
the use of RFID cards or similar de-
vices to control access to a building,
and the use of a biometric device to
control access to a specific room or
area within the building. This helps
control the costs by reducing the
number of employees that need to
take part, says OGorman.
Sure, youve got a quote on de-
vices and installations, but have you
thought about other variables? Are
you really looking at the TCO (total
cost of ownership), or just a piece of
it? Hidden costs of biometrics can in-
clude dealing with the rate of false
reads, and the time between device
failure. Management costs are often
ignored as well, including costs that
become part of the enrollment pro-
cess, procedures required to secure the
data, and so on.
Biometrics are cool, but imperfect,
says Chris Hadnagy, chief human
hacker with
( and author of
Social-Engineering: The Art of Human
Hacking. Keep in mind that your fn-
gerprints are everywhere, notes
Hadnagy. And an inexpensive reader
installation can be (and many have
been) fooledsome by something as
simple as some gelatin and a copy of
the real fngerprint. And, once a bio-
metric measurement has been hacked,
its fnished; its not as if you can go
get yourself a new fngerprint because
that old one has been compromised.
Is fingerprint verification always
the way to go? Is it cool to unlock
your phone, asks Hadnagy? Sure,
I think that is a sexy new addition
that will make life easier. But to log
into a mission-critical cloud account?
To give access to purchases? That I
am not feeling too safe about, says
Hadnagy. Personally, I think that
there are still way too many vulner-
abilities to keep in mind.
As with any other technology deci-
sion, one balances risks and rewards
before diving in. The main beneft,
says James Alexander, senior vice
president with Info-Tech Research
Group (, is conve-
nience for end users. In this era of a
. . . once a biometric measurement has been hacked, its fnished;
its not as if you can go get yourself a new fngerprint . . .
PC Today / January 2014 29
securing mobile devices today is a
much larger concern than desktop or
on-premise devices. Lets face it: mo-
bile devices are mobile, after all; so the
chance for a malfeasant to get hold of
them is far higher than them gaining
an opportunity to break into a data
center or to access an on-premises
system. The incidence of mobile mal-
ware attacks grows each year by an
exponential amount. Programs like
Dropbox, Evernote, and even Google
Apps mean that IP (Internet Protocol)
has left the building, referring to the
swelling use of cloud-based services.
So securing endpoints in the best
way possible is critical.
Look, the era of security in IT is
over, says Alexander. The idea that
you can architect a solution for this
by keeping bad guys out and the
good stuff in is an arcane construct.
Today, IP is on the move and it goes
from place to place and device to de-
vice at speeds and with a regularity
we cant control or even observe.
The concept of trusted access
is disintegrating as well, Alexander
says, as we often open up our IP to
folks outside of that circle of trust:
suppliers, customers, prospects, and
even the world in general. So now
its really about mitigating enterprise
risk. So having a good think about
the return on investment for opening
ourselves up to IP risk is really the
discussion that has to occur, and this
goes beyond IT; its an enterprise
Obviously you need a fail-safe or
backup plan, says Alexander. So,
for employees who physically may
be unable to use a particular type of
biometrics, be prepared to either im-
plement another one or allow alter-
nate password access. Ditto for cases
where devices may suddenly prove to
be non-functional. Even if you imple-
ment biometrics, you need more than
one way to gain access, in order to
account for such failures and for other
unexpected occurrences.
Well, to use consulting weasel
words, it depends, says Alexander.
Time and attendance is a great ap-
plication. You should also consider
biometrics for both physical prem-
ises access [and] workstation login.
Of course you need to balance any
potential gains with the cost of imple-
menting biometric technologies.
Are there biometric capabilities al-
ready present in existing equipment?
If not, you will need to add it, and,
Alexander says, theres a cost for
that. As well, theres the issue of in-
tegrating recognition software with
other software and login processes.
In more heterogeneous environments,
this could well be a signifcant exer-
cise, and then theres the ongoing sup-
port to think of. The cost of users not
being able to access devices anywhere
and at any time could well be a signif-
cant loss for the enterprises.
Say youre interested in (and must
be vitally invested in) secure ac-
cess. The safest way to ensure that,
says Alexander, is to take a three-
fold approach, which involves using:
Something I know (a password)
something I have (a swipe card),
and something I am (biometrics). So
having all three is really the most se-
cure approach. He adds, Changing
from a password to a biometric solu-
tion may not make things more se-
cure, but it may ease issues relating
to the need to administer and support
quality passwords. If a higher level
of security is necessary, then imple-
menting two of the three measures is
obviously an advantage to risk miti-
gation, but also a potential drag on
productivity and access. As always,
its a balance.
The big issue is integration, not just
with all of the different devices and
their operating systems, but also in
terms of all of the different systems.
End users today face a virtual phalanx
of passwords to traverse amongst all
of the different systems they need to
access. So trying to create a biometric-
enabled version of a single sign-on
would be much preferred.
Of course, the single biggest point
of failure on any technology imple-
mentation is the piece between the
chair and the keyboard. Thus, the real
key will always prove to be end user
training and access to immediate sup-
port when theres an issue.
Alexander points out that there
are lots of capabilities for both com-
pany-owned and BYOD (bring your
own device) devices, and were be-
ginning to see these shipped natively
with biometrics already included; we
can expect that growth to continue.
Says Alexander, I would suggest that
In this era of a million different pass-
words, the one thing you cant forget is
your fnger or your face. So [biometrics]
not only simplifes things for end users, it
also alleviates support calls.
James Alexander
senior vice president, Info-Tech Research Group
30 January 2014 /
How we interact with machines has
expanded beyond keyboards and mice.
Youve experienced this shift already
via touchscreens, voice recognition,
game controllers, and other technolo-
gies that Microsoft, Samsung, Apple,
and other companies provide. In the
future, these human-device interactions
will only further expand. In fact, some
believe perceptual computing will
bring about a radical transformation.
This trend in new human-device in-
teraction abilities is known as percep-
tual computing. Perceptual computing
isnt any one product, however, its
more of a concept. Michael Palma, IDC
( research manager, refers
to the movement as transparent com-
puting because taking human-machine
interactions beyond the traditional key-
board and mouse approach and making
Perceptual Computing
Humans Interacting With Computers Naturally
them as natural and transparent as pos-
sible is essentially the aim.
A good example of this is what touch-
screens have done for interacting with
phones and tablets. Even a small child
or adult with little computing experi-
ence can generally pick up a tablet and
start using applications fairly quickly vs.
doing the same via keyboard or mouse.
Tim Bajarin, president of Creative
Strategies (, says for
PC, tablet, and smartphone vendors,
perceptual computing is about pre-
senting new forms of UIs (user inter-
faces) and ways to interact with these
products. This includes adding touch,
gestures, speech, and eventually even
eye-tracking user input to control and
navigate a PC, tablet, or smartphone.
Examples of products using what are
considered forms of perceptual comput-
ing include Microsofts Kinect (www.mi, which provides voice, mo-
tion, and gesture abilities in conjunction
with Xbox 360 consoles and PCs. Sam-
sungs Galaxy S4 (
smartphone, meanwhile, provides eye-
tracking, Air Gestures, and Air View
technologies. Other examples include
Apples ( voice recogni-
tion-driven Siri, and Leap Motions
( Controller, a USB-
based device that supports using hand
movements to interact with computers.
Intel ( is also heavily in-
vested in perceptual computing. Beyond
forming the Perceptual Computing
Group, Intel released a Perceptual Com-
puting software developer kit to ap-
plication developers and launched a
Perceptual Computing Challenge to re-
ward the best applications using Intels
technology. In June, Intel Capital an-
nounced details of a $100 million invest-
ment aimed at speeding up software/
application development, and in July,
Intel acquired Omek Interactive, a ges-
ture-recognition product provider.
PC Today / January 2014 31
locally, as well as across the cloud, to
recognize who is the audience or poten-
tial user within that area and what con-
tent they might like to see and deliver it
in an unobtrusive way without the user
having to take action.
Perceptual computing could also be
useful to people with disabilities. Rather
than having to use a keyboard and
mouse, which might be diffcult, hand
waves and voice recognition could help
a disabled person interact with a PC,
Bajarin says. To handle the next genera-
tion of perceptual computing interfaces,
though, Bajarin says more innovation,
better algorithms for voice and speech
recognition, and more powerful proces-
sors are needed.
Palma describes a progression con-
sisting of four waves. The frst is get-
ting interfaces working. The second is
creating software that uses the inter-
faces and incorporates the interfaces
directly into software applications.
The third wave, he says, entails de-
vices taking sensor data and building
context to understand how youre
using it. The fourth wave, Palma
says, is when I link up to the broader
environment and I can interact in the
background with intelligent systems
that surround me.
With all the technologies involved
in perceptual computing, Palma says
the quality of data capture is impor-
tant. Also important is expanding the
breadth of my interaction and experi-
ence with the device, he says.
Palma says going beyond what
weve seen in Star Trek is still years
away in terms of the hardware and
software advancements needed, al-
though movement and sensing tech-
nologies have advanced rapidly and
were pretty far along that curve in
moving into the third wave and actu-
ally being able to move into the fourth
wave in a year or two. As percep-
tual computing does develop, he says,
it will radically change how we live
our lives and how we interact with a
growing number of systems.
Voice navigation and speech recognition,
however, will likely have the greatest
impact on future UIs (user interfaces), be-
cause they bring the dimension of voice
and speech into the UI arena, providing
a powerful new way to interact and deal
with digital devices in the future.
Tim Bajarin
president, Creative Strategies
Intel is one of several companies that is
developing perceptual computing
technologies and products.
Intel has also publicly demonstrat-
ed various hand gesture controls used
in association with a 3D camera and
computer. Reportedly, Intel believes 3D-
sensing cameras could be integrated
in Ultrabooks and notebooks by the end
of 2014. Intel senior vice president
Mooly Eden says enabling devices with
3D vision thats comparable to humans
and bringing natural interaction to PCs
could open up a whole new dimen-
sion not just for PCs, but for smart-
phones, tablets, media boxes, vending
machines, cars, and almost anything
that connects to the Internet. Craig
Hurst, Intel director of visual comput-
ing products, says hes optimistic that
when developers realize how readily
they can create interesting perceptual
computing experiences, it will cause an
explosion in the ecosystem.
Bajarin views touch and gesture con-
trols as more of an evolution of user
input. Air gestures such as those that
Leap Motion provides, for example,
let users use their hands to draw, ma-
nipulate 3D objects, and move among
screens and tiles without touching a
screen. These abilities will all add
greater depth to the user experience,
Bajarin says. Voice navigation and
speech recognition, however, will likely
have the greatest impact on future UIs,
he says, because they bring the dimen-
sion of voice and speech into the UI
arena, providing a powerful new
way to interact and deal with digital
devices in the future.
Palma, meanwhile, sees perceptual
computing as being tied with several
larger trends, including intelligence
systems, or the growing number of
connected global devices being
equipped with more powerful proces-
sors and OSes that humans are inter-
acting with frequently. Such devices
include digital signage, information ki-
osks, point-of-sale systems, information
boards at airports, factory and industry
automation, and medical equipment.
Palma also sees perceptual com-
puting tied to pervasive computing,
which he says is coming in line with
intelligent systems and which involves
humans being surrounded by more
systems theyre interacting with. Long-
term, Palma says these technologies
could propel a considerable amount of
interaction occurring in the background.
I wont have to walk up to digital sig-
nage and have to touch a touchscreen
to select something I want to see. It
will sense that Im there, he says. Its
being able to have processing capability
32 January 2014 /
We are awash in data, and thats
not going to change; the challenge will
be making sense of all of the informa-
tion that will continue to pour in. The
result, that huge mass of complex
data sets, is what we call big data.
To begin, lets defne our most im-
portant term. Big data refers to sets
of data (often of a size and variety
beyond the ability of typical data-
base tools to effciently capture, store,
manage, and analyze) that are col-
lected, curated, and stored so that
the information can be searched and
analyzed for the purpose of helping
us make business decisions.
How big is big? For our purposes,
and given the constant flow of data
from more and more sources, were
talking about petabytes (1 million giga-
bytes or 1,024 terabytes) or exabytes (1
million terabytes, or 1 billion gigabytes)
Big Data
Terms You Should Know
of information. (Yes, there are measures
that scale up even moresuch as bron-
tobytes, as in one followed by 27 zeros.)
Keep in mind that a size-based def-
nition is somewhat fuid; what consti-
tutes big varies depending on the
capabilities of the organization man-
aging the data and on the capabilities
of the applications used to process and
analyze that data.
When people talk about analytics,
they generally mean software- or hard-
ware-based algorithms and statistics
that are used to derive meaning from
data. (An analytics platform is soft-
ware that provides the tools and com-
putational power needed to build and
perform complex analytical queries.)
What brings meaning to data is the
discovery of patterns, and analytics is
a set of tools used to discover and com-
municate those patterns as a way of
describingor even predictingbusi-
ness performance.
HANA is a software/hardware com-
puting platform from SAP. Designed for
high-volume transactions and real-time
analytics, HANA can perform lightning-
fast searches and analysis, partly because
much of its power resides in memory.
SAP says that HANA can help you dra-
matically accelerate analytics, business
processes, sentiment data processing,
and predictive capabilities.
An open source distributed system
for performing interactive analysis on
large-scale data sets, Hadoop is man-
aged by Apache and powerful enough
to handle distributed applications.
Hadoop gains much of its efficiency
by dividing applications into mul-
tiple fragments, each of which can be
PC Today / January 2014 33
executed on any node in a given
cluster of machines.
Not every company is able (or has
the desire) to set up a data warehouse
and processing center just to enable
big data analysis. And you need not
do so; any number of companies can
provide metered, cost-effective, cloud-
based analysis and storage of big
data. These services are referred to as
BDaaS (big data as a service).
BI (business intelligence) is a term
encompassing the identification, ex-
traction, and analysis of data. An
essential purpose of big data is the
collection and analysis of such data to
enable informed business decisions.
BI grew out of decision support
systems that can be traced back to
the 1960s or earlier, and which even-
tually evolved into computer-aided
modeling that managers ultimately
put to work analyzing information
collected in what came to be called
data warehouses. As data sets be-
came larger, and as more and more
businesses came to collect more and
more data from disparate sources,
special-purpose systems and ap-
proaches (such as those outlined
here) became necessary.
Clickstream analytics involves the
analysis of users Web activity based
on the items they click on a page.
If you can collect and aggregate
enough of this type of data, you can
learn a great deal about how your
website visitors interact with your
Software that enables the graphical
reporting of static or real-time high-
level data on a computer in order to
give managers basic status or perfor-
mance information often has a man-
agement interface called a dashboard.
Many dashboards are included with
BI software and used to provide brief
overviews aimed at managers.
The process of deriving patterns
or knowledge from large data sets is
called data mining. Appropriately
correlated and analyzed, the data can
create a good deal of value for the or-
ganizations using it.
A database is a collection of struc-
tured data meant to model a real-
world construct, such as an inventory
or mailing list. Typically, a database
can contain separate tables that are
indexed into still more tables, thus
providing a series of interrelated data
sets. For instance, interrelated inven-
tory, address, and customer name ta-
bles could be used to determine what
percentage of widget sales is being
made when, and to which ZIP codes.
Often referred to as the next big
thing, the Internet of things is the
result of ordinary devices, such as re-
frigerators, televisions, thermostats,
and other such appliances, being con-
tinuously connected to the Internet
via sensors. The assumption is that
communication between the devices
is ongoing and multidimensional. For
example, not only will your thermo-
stat talk to your oven (perhaps cooling
the room as the ovens heat affects
the temperature in the house), but it
will talk to other thermostats in other
homes; that way, the utility company
always knows what the energy de-
mands will be and how best to dis-
tribute that power. Given enough
things, enough sensors, and enough
time, were talking about a huge
amount of potentially useful data.
Sometimes called MPP, this refers
to a system that breaks processing up
into pieces, each of which is then ex-
ecuted on its own processor. Much
speed and effciency can be gained by
using multiple processors to perform
complex computations.
Predictive analysis involves using
statistical functions on one or more
data sets to predict trends or future
events. This may be the most valuable
type of big data analysis, used to help
predict what someone is likely to buy,
visit, or do in the future.
Structured data is data that con-
forms to recognizable formats and
frameworks, and which fits easily
i nto a rel ati onal database. An
(American) address, for instance, is
made up of specifc felds arranged
in a specifc order: a number, a street
name, a city, a state, and a ZIP code.
These can be easily stored, searched,
and retrieved because the system
doing so knows what each piece
should look like and where in the
table it is located.
Much of the data we encounter in
business is termed unstructured
emails (composed of seemingly
random text strings) and images
(composed of what look like random
bits and bytes that light up pixels or
draw lines), for instance. The seeming
lack of structure makes it diffcult to
parse, categorize, and format such in-
formation; it also makes it diffcult to
locate and retrieve specifc informa-
tion once it is saved.
But thats not to say that such data
actually has no structure; it does, oth-
erwise Photoshop wouldnt know
how to display that image fle, and
Outlook wouldnt be able to display
emails. What we call unstructured
data is simply data that doesnt fit
the typical relational database model.
Unstructured data can thus be useful,
and if theres enough quantity and
variety in the data, and enough pro-
cessing power to handle it, big data
solutions can successfully categorize,
store, parse, and analyze that data.
34 January 2014 /
If your company doesnt have a DRP
(disaster recovery plan), its time to
consider one. Every company, regard-
less of its size, should have a DRP, be-
cause you never know when an event
will occur or turn catastrophic. Whether
you create a DRP from scratch or im-
prove on an existing plan, there are sev-
eral things to consider.
For a disaster recovery plan to be
truly effective, you need to have an idea
of how much downtime your company
can afford and when you absolutely
need to have systems and networks back
up and running to prevent major perfor-
mance issues. This is where RTOs (re-
covery time objectives) come into play.
You have to determine whether the RTO
for a specific piece of equipment or a
software solution is one hour, one day,
one week, or one month, consider your
Post-Disaster Checklist
Take Steps To Minimize Downtime & Maintain Business Performance
recovery point objectives from a data
perspective, and determine your max-
imum tolerable data loss, says Roberta J.
Witty, research vice president at Gartner
( Looking at your in-
frastructure in this way will help you
categorize and prioritize your equipment
and help your disaster recovery plan run
more smoothly.
Rachel Dines, senior analyst at For-
rester Research (, says
that location should be a big consider-
ation in your disaster recovery plan. If
you live in a particularly disaster-prone
region, then you must involve a remote
location, whether its an in-house data
center or a server provider, out of the
same risk region where your primary fa-
cility is located, she says. It might not be
enough to simply back up data onsite, so
you may want to consider a third-party
hosting arrangement or a cloud backup
solution. When you have offsite access to
data even if your offce or data center are
out of commission, your employees can
continue their work and customers wont
experience delays.
When creating a DRP, it is essential to
ensure you can turn to employees who
have experience with disaster recovery.
Many organizations simply dont
have the internal human resources to
maintain a data center once disaster
strikes, but because the data center is the
backbone of the entire organization, you
need to have a solution in place to gain
access to your resources.
Some third-party providers can offer
assistance through what they refer to as
jump-start programs. Witty says, If you
need to get out of region for your re-
covery site, it may take your staff eight
hours to get to that recovery site, but
your frst RTO is two hours. What you
PC Today / January 2014 35
might want to do is leverage the staff at
the disaster recovery service provider
to jump-start your program to help you
meet your RTOs.
To ensure the fastest possible re-
sponse times to potential disaster
recovery scenarios, establish an emer-
gency alert system, have a tool that au-
tomates that system, and set up a crisis
communication procedure.
If and when a disaster occurs, you
dont want there to be panic within the
company. By building specifc commu-
nication instructions into your recovery
plan, you can keep multiple parties, in-
cluding your workforce, customers,
and partners up-to-date throughout the
event and recovery process, Witty says.
One way to test your DRP is with a
full-scale test that involves completely
shutting down one site and failing over
to a secondary site, says Frank Trovato,
research analyst at Info-Tech Research
Group ( Simulation
and parallel testing involve bringing
the secondary site online to validate
that the equipment is functional, up-
to-date, and can be accessed, he adds.
And while these are two larger-scale
testing approaches that companies can
use sparingly, he says that for most or-
ganizations, tabletop testing is actually
much more effective because it gets at
the people and process issues.
Tabletop testing is a paper-based
exercise where the emergency response
team maps out the tasks that should
happen at each stage in a disaster re-
covery, who is responsible for each
task, and what information or resources
would be required, says Trovato.
When companies go through tabletop
exercises, theyll fnd out that key infor-
mation is being kept in a folder in some-
ones offce where it obviously cant be
reached if the building is inaccessible
or there are one or two key individuals
who are critical to the overall recovery
because no one else knows the recovery
procedures. They find out they better
Once you understand the business require-
ments in terms of what is critical and how
much downtime and data loss systems can
withstand, you need to develop a strategy
and a technology implementation plan.
From there, companies must write their re-
covery plans and set up a process for keep-
ing them up-to-date....Once plans are writ-
ten, an exercise strategy and agenda must
be developed and then executed.
Rachel Dines
senior analyst, Forrester Research
When companies go through tabletop
exercisesthey fnd out they better start
documenting their SOPs [standard oper-
ating procedures] or the best plan in the
world wont do them any good.
Frank Trovato
research analyst, Info-Tech Research Group
start documenting their SOPs [standard
operating procedures] or the best plan
in the world wont do them any good.
If your company allows employees
to bring their personal devices into the
workplace, then support of those de-
vices during a disaster is something
youll need to consider. How much re-
covery is the company going to provide
for those devices? Witty asks. She says
that leveraging mobile technology in
your application environment is huge
and that if you can provide an applica-
tion for employees to use on a smart-
phone or tablet, you can structure it in
a way that people can do some work.
Witty says companies need to consider
mobile devices in the overall DR ap-
proach, because if a data center or offce
is expected to be down for quite some
time, employees could work from home
using mobile devices or remote telecom-
muting solutions.
After you have your disaster recov-
ery plan in place, youll need to evaluate
it regularly to ensure plans still align
with your business needs. Dines says
companies need to follow the process
of conducting a business impact anal-
ysis and risk assessment, moving into
strategy and plan development, setting
up a testing schedule and sticking to it,
and making sure plans are always as
up-to-date as possible.
But the nice thing about this process
is that you dont have to go through it
alone as there are third-party experts
that can aid in the DR testing and as-
sessment. Many frms dont have the
time or resources to invest in this cycle,
since it needs to be repeated every few
years, Dines says. Many companies
bring in outside consultants to assist at
various phases or use business conti-
nuity management software tools that
can help automate and streamline some
of these steps.
36 January 2014 /
Computers, cell phones, fax ma-
chines, networking equipment, tele-
visions, VCRs, PDAs, monitors, and
other electronics that have become
obsolete are all examples of e-waste.
Your business has likely dealt with its
share of the stuff, but has it done so
responsibly? The following offers
guidance on handling e-waste.
Some estimates suggest there are
upward of 600 million obsolete com-
puters in the United States alone.
That would be enough to span six
acres and stretch a mile high. Other
estimates state 80% of U.S. e-waste
ends up in landflls, while globally 40
million tons winds up in dumps or is
incinerated annually.
Two particularly startling es-
timates state that only 10% of un-
wanted computers are properly
recycled, and that more than 70%
Business E-waste
Guidance For Reusing & Recycling Obsolete Electronics
of discarded electronics are shipped
overseas to developing countries with
few, if any, safety regulations. This in-
cludes e-waste that U.S. recyclers ship
to countries where unprotected lo-
cals burn, tear apart, dump, and bury
electronics. These processes expose
workers, communities, wildlife, water
resources, and crops to the hazardous
materials the e-waste contains. Many
estimates, for example, proclaim one
computer contains as much as four
pounds of lead, sometimes more.
Proper handling of e-waste begins
with purchasing electronics that have
green (environmentally friendly)
characteristics. One resource that
assists buyers is EPEAT (Electronic
Product Environmental Assessment
Tool;, which maintains
a registry of green electronics. After
purchasing electronics, businesses
can implement any number of moni-
toring and management tools aimed
at enabling more efficient energy
use. The FEC (Federal Electronics
Challenge; www2. epa. gov/fec) and
Energy Star ( also
offer resources for e-waste disposal.
Once electronics become e-waste,
the primary methods for responsibly
handling the devices are to reuse or
recycle them. Reuse can be as simple
as donating old electronics to schools,
churches, or other organizations.
The Environmental Protection
Agency ( and the NCER
(National Center For Electronics
provide resources for finding local,
manufacturer- and retailer-, and gov-
ernment-supported reuse and recy-
cling programs. The EPAs Plug-In
To eCycling program (tinyurl. com
/asd8uwz), for example, helps develop
reuse and recycle programs through
national and local partners.
Where recycling is concerned, its
important for businesses to under-
stand what local and state regu-
lations require. The EPA offers
information on the topic, as does
the NCER and NERIC (National
Electronics Recycling Infrastructure
Clearinghouse; www.ecyclingresource
.org). According to NCER, 25 states
currently have laws concerning how
e-waste should be handled.
Arguably, two of the most im-
portant recycling-relating issues
businesses should consider include
making certain that data is dis-
posed of on old electronics before
recycling and that decision makers
select a recycler that handles e-waste
responsibly vs. shipping electronics to
impoverished nations with suspect
oversight in place.
To fnd a recycler in your area and
learn more about donating unwanted
electronics, visit Earth 911 (earth911
.com) and TechSoup (
as these sites provide search engines
and other information.
PC Today / January 2014 37
One Angel Square, the
Co-operative Groups new
headquarters in Manches-
ter, England, recently re-
ceived the highest BREEAM
(Building Research Estab-
lishment Environmental
Assessment Method) score
ever with a 95.16% rating.
The 15-story, three-sided
structure is home to more
than 3,000 Co-op employees
and features some of the
most environmentally friend-
ly state-of-the-art design
work ever seen in a com-
mercial building. An open
atrium lets in natural light and a double-skinned faade maximizes heating and air
conditioning loads. Louvres at the top of the faade can be opened during summer
months and closed during the winter months to release warm air or trap it inside. The
building also generates its own heat and power through an onsite CHP (combined
heat and power) plant. Other features include effcient LED lighting and greywater
and rainwater recycling systems.
Much is being done to improve the effciency of solar panels at the cell level, but
recent research revealed that homeowners in at least one Texas town could beneft
by altering the position of their rooftop solar panels.
In the past, some people have questioned the impact of residential solar systems
on electric reliability. Pecan Street Research Institute CEO Brewster McCracken says
there is evidence that suggests rooftop solar systems can produce large summer
peak reductions that beneft utilities and customers alike without requiring customers
to change their behavior or sacrifce comfort. Pecan Street analyzed 50 single-family
homes in Texas and reported that west-facing solar panels produced 49% more
electricity than south-facing panels during summer peak demand hours from June
1 through Aug. 31, 2013. When researchers studied the electricity those solar panels
generated that was actually used in a home, west-facing panels cut peak demand
from the grid by 65% and south-facing panels reduced peak demand by 54%.
The technologies
that make our lives
easier also produce
some unwanted side
effects on the envi-
ronment. Fortunately,
many researchers,
manufacturers, and
businesses are work-
ing to create solutions
that will keep us
productive while
reducing energy
demands to lessen
our impact on the
environment. Here,
we examine some of
the newest green
One Angel Square was designed by 3DReid and received
a 95.16% BREEAM rating.
38 January 2014 /
Rechargeable batteries are used in
a variety of the mobile devices we use
each day, and some also work as stand-
alone AA or AAA pop-ins for certain
devices. Because the charging-dis-
charging cycle causes these batteries to
expand and then contract as electrons
release, their silicon electrodes tend to
develop cracks. Eventually the silicon
becomes so cracked that it cant store
electrons and will no longer work. To
overcome this problem, scientists from
Stanford University, the SLAC National
Accelerator Laboratory, and Tsinghua
University in Beijing, China, designed
a polymer coating that could essentially
heal silicon electrode-based batteries.
When the silicon electrode expands,
the weak bonds of the polymer break.
These broken bonds attract each other
and re-form as the silicon shrinks.
Currently, the electrodes can withstand
100 charge-discharge cycles, but re-
searchers hope to reach their goals of
500 cycles for a smartphone and 3,000
for an electric automobile.
Researchers at Queen Mary Univer-
sity of London and Imperial College
London discovered that vibrations from
high-frequency pop and rock music can
increase the photovoltaic effciency of
solar cells by as much as 45 percent.
Whats more interesting is that the solar
panels reacted differently according to
the type of music researches played.
The solar cells responded more to pop
music than classical music, for instance,
because pop songs tend to use higher
pitched notes. The music itself doesnt
have to be loud (as low as 75 decibels)
to trigger the rise in effciency, which
could open the technology up to urban
solar implementations where traffic
and some louder air conditioning units
are present.
Boeing claims the 777x, its newest family of twin-aisle airplanes,
will be 12% more fuel efficient than its competition. It will feature
the newest GE Aviation GE9x engine, which will be greater than 5%
more efficient than anything in its class, and composite wings that
are slightly longer than traditional wingspans but have folding, raked
wingtips. A Boeing press release states that this feature shortens the
wingspan by approximately 6 meters when the plane is on the ground,
and also delivers greater efficiency, significant fuel savings, and
complete airport gate capabilty. Two 777X models are currently in
the works. The 777-8X has 350 seats and a range of more than 9,300
nautical miles, while the 777-9X has 400 seats and a range of 8,200 nau-
tical miles. At this writing, Boeing has received 259 orders for the 777x,
which should be ready for delivery in 2020.
It is possible to capture carbon dioxide emissions underground
rather than release them into the atmosphere, and now researchers
are looking at ways to turn that carbon dioxide storage into a geo-
thermal energy generator. CCS (carbon capture and storage) can be a
costly process for power plants because they are tasked with captur-
ing carbon emissions and transporting them to storage sites. This
new process would negate some of that cost by not only using carbon
dioxide-generated energy to aid in the CCS process, but also gener-
ating additional energy and essentially creating underground geo-
thermal power plants.
Currently, geothermal energy is used mostly in wet regions where
water (a primary resource used in the process) is plentiful. Swapping
water for carbon dioxide would also open up geothermal power to
drier regions. In fact, researchers using computer simulations found
that carbon dioxide could produce twice the amount of electricity as
compared with water. The technology is currently in its early stages,
but researchers and energy startups hope to refine the process and
overcome limitations throughout the next few years.
PC Today / January 2014 39
Its often said mobile devices make
workers more productive. Andrew
Borg, Aberdeen Group (www.aberdeen
.com) research director, enterprise mo-
bility and collaboration, says, how-
ever, just giving your employees
mobile devices will not give you the
benefts that you think should accrue
to you automatically. It doesnt work
that way. That said, the following are
eight recommendations for improving
enterprise mobile productivity.
One way to improve mobile pro-
ductivity is to arm employees who use
portable devices with todays best mo-
bile worker apps, says Jeanine Sterling,
Frost & Sullivan ( mo-
bile and wireless principal analyst.
In a 2013 Frost & Sullivan survey of
North American companies, decision-
makers indicated more effcient busi-
ness processes and more productive
Better Mobile Productivity
Eight Keys To Building A More Efficient Mobile Workplace
employees as the top reasons for
providing workers with mobile apps,
she says. The question is which apps
to start with. Two categories currently
experiencing significant growth and
providing fantastic ROI for users
are MWM (mobile workforce man-
agement) and mobile SFA (sales force
automation)/mobile CRM (customer
relationship management) solutions.
MWM apps aimed at feld-service
workers use wireless and location
technologies to locate and manage
mobile feld-service workers and op-
timize their work processes, Sterling
says. The emphasis is less on Big
Brother tracking and more on ex-
pediting and improving workflow,
whether its installing or repairing
a product, delivering a package, or
providing on-site health care to a
homebound patient, she says. This
occurs via wireless forms, data-cap-
ture methods, real-time dispatching
and routing, and other abilities that
immediately connect mobile workers
to back-end systems (billing, inven-
tory, etc.). Benefits include reduced
paperwork, higher job completion
rates, improved response times, and
happier customers.
Mobi l e SFA/CRM sol ut i ons,
meanwhile, extend all or some CRM
abilities to sales employees mo-
bile devices, including real-time
access to calendars, contacts, and cus-
tomer data to complete contact and
order-management functions. More
sophisticated solutions add sales pre-
sentation and documentation abilities,
social media connectivity, and more,
Sterling says. Benefts include faster
sales processes, increased sales and
sales visit rates, and enhanced cus-
tomer engagement.
For smaller and midsize firms,
implementation options include
working with wireless carriers.
40 January 2014 /
Peter Crocker, Smiths Point Ana-
lytics (
founder and principal analyst, says
as IT managers shift from managing
servers and endpoints to managing
cloud and BYOD (bring your own de-
vice) responsibilities, theyre refocusing
efforts on users. This means ensuring
enterprise data is securea task get-
ting more challenging as employees
look to consumer-grade mobile apps
to improve productivity but that can
open up data-loss risks. This dynamic
lends itself to an adversarial relation-
ship between IT and users, where IT
has less control but is still responsible
for security and compliance, and users
focus on productivity outweighs their
concern for compliance to security poli-
cies, he says.
As a result, IT may ban consumer
apps only for employees to use them
anyway. IT and users need to collab-
orate and share responsibility for pro-
ductivity gains and security, Crocker
says. Users are much better equipped
to innovate new and more productive
business processes, and IT needs to
support this endeavor. Further, IT
must make enterprise-grade mobile
technology more accessible to drive
the greatest possible productivity
gains for each employee. Cultural
differences and ITs changing influ-
ence can pose challenges to imple-
menting this strategy. Crocker says
third-party consultants with knowl-
edge of business processes and
emerging mobile technologies that can
bring business processes users inno-
vate into the mainstream and make
them more secure without breaking
the process can offer assistance.
Another key Crocker cites is de-
livering valuable data anywhere,
anytime, on any device. Building
systems that enable easy access to
valuable data through flexible user
interfaces will be important to sup-
porting better and faster decision
Sterling says some have already
vetted mobile worker apps and make
monthly per-user pricing options
available. She suggests working with
carriers that offer multiple choices in
these app categories. The monthly
per-user pricing makes these solu-
tions affordable and scalable, and
you can usually get billed right on
the monthly carrier invoice, she
says. Solutions typically require some
back end integration and/or custom-
ization but take less time and expense
than custom built apps, she says.
Larger companies can also go this
route or look to their current desktop
software vendors or systems inte-
grator partners. For companies with
field service management or CRM
systems in place, it can make sense
to work with a vendor to mobilize
current systems, though numerous
standalone MWM and mobile SFA
solutions are available that can work
in parallel, she says.
Rob Bamforth, Quocirca (www principal analyst, says
ensuring employees are part of a
team by integrating them as much as
possible into the organizations cul-
ture and daily life should be a prime
objective. This isnt just about their
productivity . . . but also the produc-
tivity of the entire business process,
he says. Among the ways to achieve
this is using almost any type of so-
cial business/collaboration tool and
such basics as integrating mobile
phones into PBX systems for hunt
groups, he says.
Another possibility Bamforth sug-
gests is educating employees about
time managementsomething that
was done when paper-based orga-
nizers appeared in the 1990s. Its
a transferable skill that isnt really
about mobile but working in gen-
eral, one that can make a big im-
pact on mobile effectiveness, he
says. Learning good techniques that
can apply to workers personal lives
also sends a much more positive
message to employees than dont
do this, dont do that, he says.
A simple but potentially effec-
tive recommendation Rob Enderle,
Enderle Group (
principal, suggests is having mo-
bile workers turn off their phones
for most of the day, and batch mes-
sages so they arent constantly in-
terrupted. Additionally, eliminate
practices that prevent collaboration
(such as forced rankings) so that em-
ployees use devices for collaboration
more often, he says. Also monitor
and correct obsessive phone behavior
(games, videos, etc.) to ensure de-
vices arent a bigger problem than
they are a tool, he says. You have
to monitor the device use during
working hours and correct bad be-
havior when you fnd it thoroughly
and consistently.
Also monitor and correct obsessive phone
behavior (games, videos, etc.) to ensure
devices arent a bigger problem than they
are a tool, he says. You have to moni-
tor the device use during working hours
and correct bad behavior when you fnd it
thoroughly and consistently.
Rob Enderle
principal, Enderle Group
PC Today / January 2014 41
theres been a turnaround in under-
standing the importance of customer
experience management in the gen-
eral health of the business, and I be-
lieve similar trends are beginning to
happen in terms of employee satisfac-
tion as a critical metric of business
Dan Shey, practice director with
ABI Research (,
says providing extended battery
cases to mobile workers who need
data services access to tap into corpo-
rate systems and/or are heavy users
of mapping and navigation apps is a
must. Elsewhere, he recommends pro-
viding well-designed mobile applica-
tions and devices specifc to employee
tasks. Sales people, for example, need
tablets to review presentations and
content with clients, while feld force
employees typically need something
portable and easy to carry.
While a good app needs respon-
siveness, proper page view design,
and ability to work offine, a key capa-
bility needs to be access to corporate
systems both for data access as well as
data submission, he says. Mobile ac-
cess to CRM, ERP, and other corporate
systems can also eliminate unneces-
sary phone calls and offce travel time
and provide better customer service.
He emphasizes selecting the right
partners to create and manage mobile
apps. Consider providers that offer
one-stop shop services that can pro-
vide mobile developer expertise and
mobile management services to go
with the app.
making, he says. By developing API
strategies that standardize access to
data, he says, developers can focus on
creating UIs tailored to specifc roles
and devices.
Borg says the whole point of mo-
bility is to give people access to the
right information at the right time, in
the right place in order to make better
business decisions. He adds, how-
ever, that its not just about making
decisions where every employee is
an island unto himself. Ultimately,
mobility is about sharing information
to make better decisions and foster
teamwork. Mobility without collab-
oration is mobility unrealized in its
potential, he says.
Such collaboration can take on
many forms (email, voice, document
sharing, tweets, etc.), but the notion
of collaboration in the workplace is
that this content is being shared with
a fellow worker to share informa-
tion, gain insight, and ask questions.
For example, a sales worker meeting
a client could IM the accounting or
warehouse departments to check the
clients status. Enabling the sales
person to have all that information
and all that shared knowledge at [his]
fngertips, thats the promise of mo-
bility, Borg says.
For its October 2013 Enterprise
Social Collaboration: The Collaborators
Advantage report, Aberdeen surveyed
629 organizations to track the perfor-
mance of those possessing an enter-
prise-class collaboration infrastructure
compared to those without. Those with
such an infrastructure saw 2.3 times
the improvement in customer retention
year over year, more than seven times
the improvement in employment pro-
ductivity, more than seven times the
improvement in employee satisfaction,
a 2.5 times reduction in the sales cycle,
and over two times the improvement in
operational effciency, Borg says.
Aberdeens collaboration report
found companies with a collaboration
infrastructure improved employee
satisfaction by more than 13% year
over year vs. organizations without,
Borg says. Employee satisfaction in
companies without such an infra-
structure decreased by 2% over the
same time frame. The impact of de-
creasing employee satisfaction is a
reduction in productivity, Borg says.
Decreased employee satisfaction and
less productivity in a sales division,
for example, means increased sales
costs, lower employee morale, attri-
tion, and other negatives.
In less collaborative environments,
employees become less satisfied
because they feel less likely to find
vital information, be innovative, and
possess a sense of teamwork, Borg
says. They also have difficulty co-
ordinating meetings with peers and
experience delayed or inconsistent
project delivery when dependent on
peers. Conversely, employees in or-
ganizations with a mature collabo-
ration culture know where to find
vital information, feel engaged be-
cause they feel theyre working in
an innovative business culture, fnd
it easier to coordinate meetings with
essential teammates, and fnd project
delivery more consistent and on time.
All these factors lead to better satis-
faction and pride in a job well accom-
plished, Borg says.
Borg believes employee satisfac-
tion also infuences customer service.
Think about it. With demotivated
employees, how can you provide
superior customer service and im-
prove the customer experience?
You cant. The two are intrinsically
linked, he says. Recently, Borg says,
Think about it. With demotivated em-
ployees, how can you provide superior
customer service and improve the cus-
tomer experience? You cant. The two are
intrinsically linked.
Andrew Borg
research director, enterprise mobility and collaboration, Aberdeen Group
42 January 2014 /
Theres a sentiment among many
experts that in exchange for the conve-
nience mobile devices provide users
give up chunks of privacy to various
parties. Although privacy barely regis-
ters a blimp of concern for some users,
its a predominant worry for others
as fallout from the recently exposed
NSA (National Security Agency) sur-
veillance program strongly indicates.
Moving forward, the mobile device-
privacy issue will likely only become
more of a hot-button issue. The fol-
lowing explores the issue, examining
how much privacy mobile device users
really have, common beliefs they hold,
Mobile Privacy
Is True Privacy A Thing Of The Past?
how accessible mobile communications
are, and more.
Considering the details and raft of
attention the NSA-Edward Snowden af-
fair has generated, a fair question to ask
is whether there even is such a thing as
mobile privacy. Opinions vary. Trevor
Hughes, International Association of
Privacy Professionals (www.privacyassoci CEO and president, says pri-
vacy standards vastly differ globally,
with regulator action and social and cul-
tural norms driving them. With the pri-
vacy landscape changing so quickly its
not that there isnt any mobile privacy,
its just diffcult for users to understand
the risks associated with it, he says.
Rob Enderle, Enderle Group (www principal, fatly says
the answer is no. Between the NSA
and Google, mobile privacy is a myth,
he says. Once Google Glass is estab-
lished, he says, the entire concept of
privacy may be obsolete. Seth Schoen,
Electronic Frontier Foundation (www senior staff technologist, la-
bels the entire mobile infrastructure
concerning user privacy and security
abysmal in every respect, including
on levels of technical infrastructure,
Coverage of the NSAs
surveillance program has
raised awareness of mobile
device privacy, but some
experts believe many users
dont understand what that
surveillance really means.
Many experts believe
privacy isnt something
entirely possible with
mobile devices, while oth-
ers believe mobile privacy
can exist, although not in
a perfect sense.
Depending on the type
of communication and
wireless carrier, traces
of mobile phone com-
munication can stay on
a carriers network up to
several years or longer.
Users have a responsibility
and burden to be knowledge-
able and aware of the guide-
lines and policies that various
parties have in place regarding
how their data is being used
and stored.
PC Today / January 2014 43
devices are inherently insecure and that
mobile privacy doesnt exist, he says.
Still, most people continue using mobile
devices upon concluding the benefits
outweigh the risks to their information.
If theyre wrong, they become another
data point in one of these data loss and
breach statistics and move on, he says.
The problem is business executives
often do the same type of intuitive risk
assessment vs. a fact-based, structured
one and cant simply move on when
their company is ruined, Casper says.
Ken Westin,
founder, says one SMS (short mes-
sage service) produces at least 20 log
fles throughout a carriers network,
with records kept anywhere from
90 days to forever. Further, theres
no guarantee that the archived data
hasnt been siphoned off and pro-
vided to law enforcement, like the
NSA, he says. Hackers, govern-
ment, and corporations all use data
for different purposes, Westin adds. If
theres a proft possible, odds are its
being compromised, he says. Enderle
says from the NSA disclosures. its ap-
parent that content, call logs, and ad-
dress books have been compromised
and email is being monitored by
various entities.
Zumerle says regional and national
regulations factor into how long data
traces remain on carrier networks.
The European Unions Data Retent-
ion Directive, for example, requires
culture and incentives of mobile car-
riers, and law and regulation sur-
rounding mobile networks. At the
cultural level, most phone compa-
nies have extraordinarily close con-
nections with government, he says.
In many countries the largestor
onlytelephone company is directly
government-owned or is the suc-
cessor of a government agency that
operated a post and telecommunica-
tions monopoly.
Worldwide, telephone companies are
among the most extensively regulated,
Schoen says. Theyre also accustomed
to asking governments for permission
for almost everything that they do,
including requesting spectrum rights.
Far from the culture of fighting for
their users privacy rights that the press
has been attributing to parts of the IT
industry, the phone world is generally
acquiescent and cooperative on surveil-
lance. Sometimes, its even proactive
in offering governments its help with
spying on the public, he says.
In the digital world, says Dionisio
Zumerle, Gartner (
principal research analyst, theres no
such thing as perfect privacy. Beyond
surveillance issues, he says, consum-
erization and mobile apps follow a
business model that requires access to
private data to survive. Leakage occurs
from data sent to a number of parties
for commercial reasons. Users consent
to some of this, but much is done with
their inadvertence, he says. Typically,
theres little effort in anonymizing that
data, he says.
Carsten Casper, Gartner Europe re-
search VP, privacy and security, also
says privacy isnt perfect, as varying
degrees of effort can circumvent most
controls. Ensuring these efforts are
higher than the value of information on
the device is the challenge for every
user; not just business executives, he
says. Users in developed countries, says
J. Gerry Purdy, Compass Intelligence
( chief mo-
bile analyst, trade privacy for conve-
nience and ease of communication. We
blog, post, text, and email, and when we
do that with our mobile phone[s] were
doing it with our location stamped to
every message, he says.
Among mobile device users, knowl-
edge and beliefs concerning privacy and
personal information varies widely. For
example, some users believe email and
text messages are secure, Enderle says,
despite employers often having access
to those communications and email and
text not being secure communication
methods to begin with.
Zumerle says most enterprise users
are comfortable with the mobile com-
munication security they perceive,
though recent events have caused a
slight surge in Gartner inquiries for so-
lutions that provide voice and texting
privacy. Casper believes the common
user doesnt differentiate various
threats. Mobile communications are
created by a whole ecosystem consisting
of domestic and international carriers,
device manufacturers with open or
closed technical systems, operating sys-
tems and applications, but also wireless
hotspots, home networks, and Web-
based servers from banks, e-commerce
shops, and others, he says. Every party
is interested in protecting some of users
information (primarily for reputation
and legal reasons) but also in exploiting
some to fnance products and services,
he says.
Many users dont see this variety.
They read about a specific privacy
incident and conclude that mobile
Recent revelations and increasing com-
mercial use of private data for analytical
and other purposes make it evident there
will be a need to reassess existing gray
areas in regulations and perhaps even the
overarching model of governance of cer-
tain shared communication resources.
Dionisio Zumerle
principal research analyst, Gartner
44 January 2014 /
Schoen says while many companies
are creating secure mobile apps that
attempt to address mobile app-security
concerns, users should be skeptical and
informed about what secure means.
For example, are voice calls being pro-
tected but metadata still being exposed?
In terms of privacy-related guidelines,
laws, and other measures, Zumerle
says recent revelations and increasing
commercial use of private data for an-
alytical and other purposes make it
evident there will be a need to reassess
existing gray areas in regulations and
perhaps even the overarching model of
governance of certain shared communi-
cation resources.
Casper says the problem with
paper-based controls is they cant
adapt as quickly as technology changes.
Sure, guidelines can be written quickly
and best practices emerge as a commu-
nity effort, but the more authoritative a
legal requirement is, the longer it takes
to go through the legislative process,
he says. Policymakers capture societal
developments and lawmakers create
legal frameworks that have a long-term
impact, but nobody takes the burden
of personal responsibility off todays
mobile users.
Westin advises users to realize that
if you arent paying for the product,
odds are you are the product. Assume
everything has been compromised and
work backwards. The best way for a
service to protect your data is to not col-
lect it. Ultimately, he says, its not up
to the government or companies to pro-
tect your data and privacy. We need to
take responsibility for our own privacy
because like integrity, once lost, its dif-
fcult to regain.
Hughes says while privacy is still a
maturing space, one thing organizations
can do is provide privacy training to
employees. An organizations privacy
is not just for the CPO or compliance
professionals anymore, he says. While
theres still a need for the core privacy
team, every employee that touches
data in a signifcant way should know
enough to at least spot rudimentary is-
sues in their jobs, he says.
providers retain data related to public
communications six to 24 months.
Typically, only metadata (data that
identifies actual callers, time of com-
munication, etc.) is stored. Generally,
he says, other regions apply similar
measures. Depending on the country,
a court order may or may not be neces-
sary to obtain access to such data for a
law enforcement authority, he says.
Policy-wise, Schoen says the phone
industry is consistently more proac-
tively cooperative with the government,
less transparent about government re-
quests, and much less apt to challenge
those requests. He says many phone
companies log massive amounts of
communications data, keeping it po-
tentially for years, which exposes them
to future subpoenas or government
requests even under programs that
didnt exist when the data was frst col-
lected. Technology-wise, Schoen says
cell phone networks inherently know
where individual devices on the net-
work are, and carriers can track an indi-
viduals location and hence his activities
and relationships. This ability, he says,
is regarded by the industry as a com-
mercial opportunity rather than a ter-
rible mistake.
The U.S. government has consistently
argued that users dont own any data
that phone companies collect about
them and dont have any privacy in-
terest in that data unless a specific
statute affirmatively grants you one,
Schoen says. He believes most users
havent thought about phone-related
security and privacy problems at all
or really articulated what the threats
are. I think theres been enough press
coverage of location tracking and phone
tapping that a general awareness is
emerging that phones are insecure, but
maybe not of what that means, he says.
Some businesses may think fore-
most about security as it relates to
trade secrecy, believing they dont
have much to fear from the govern-
ment in terms of exposing trade secrets,
Schoen says. Surveillance, however,
is a global problem. If a French or
Russian or Chinese spy agency has an
IMSI [International Mobile Subscriber
Identity] catcher set up in an office
building around the corner, [it] can in-
tercept a U.S. business mobile calls, he
says. Elsewhere, he says, it seems clear
most spy agencies are directly spying
on cellular communications in other
countries. American businesspeople
traveling to these countries will likely
roam onto mobile phone networks and
their communications likely exposed
directly to those carriers even without
particularly high-tech surveillance or
even without malware attacks, he says.
With relatively little money and av-
erage-to-higher technical skills, Zumerle
says, its possible to attack GSM de-
vices/networks. While 3G and newer
communication technologies provide
better security, they arent immune to
attacks, he says. When it comes to mo-
bile public network communications,
the security mechanisms in place dont
guarantee confidentiality. A mobile
phone conversation offers the same de-
gree of confidentiality as a conversa-
tion with someone in a public place,
he says.
Policymakers capture societal develop-
ments and lawmakers create legal frame-
works that have a long-term impact, but
nobody takes the burden of personal
responsibility off todays mobile users.
Carsten Casper
research VP, privacy and security, Gartner Europe
PC Today / January 2014 45
To some extent, the increased re-
sponsibilities and complexities that
IT departments are now dealing with
due to the infux of tablets (and smart-
phones) into their enterprises is simply a
numbers game. It makes sense, after all,
that the more devices added to the feet
of PCs and notebooks that IT depart-
ments are already managing, the more
weight thats being placed on its shoul-
ders. In short, the days of one-device-
per-one-user management are over.
Its not unfathomable that in some
enterprises IT is now devoting as much
or more time to managing tablets as
they do PCs/notebooks. This isnt
Under New Management
Tablets Place Increased Responsibilities On IT Departments
surprising considering the number of
possible tablet platforms and OSes in
question. Further, factor in the increased
burden that tablets place on corporate
networks; all the security risks tablets
open up (including those related to lost
and stolen tablets containing company
data); and the tasks involved with de-
veloping, maintaining, and enforcing
policy. And weve yet to mention the
many aspects that go into selecting, de-
veloping, deploying, and managing
apps used on workers tablets. While
theres no denying tablets can offer en-
terprises many benefits, they are also
changing ITs job requirements.
Characterizing exactly to what ex-
tent ITs job requirements have changed
due both to enterprises adopting tab-
lets and the BYOD movement is tricky,
if only because were essentially still
in the early days of these movements.
Still, its easy to point out several areas
where ITs duties have already been
altered, and significantly so in some
cases. Rob Bamforth, Quocirca (www principal analyst, says
the change BYOD brought about is
akin to shifting from instructing dogs
to herding cats to luring and tagging
rabbits. Once, he says, IT had total
In many enterprises
IT department must
juggle multiple tablet-
related platforms and
OSes as opposed to
often just one OS for
desktop and laptop PCs.
Permitting workers to
install apps on com-
pany tablets means that
IT departments must be
prepared to deal with
malicious apps, potential
data loss, and other issues.
Workers generally
expect to be able to
use tablets anywhere
within the companys
space, including the
hallways, break areas,
and even restrooms.
Industry data suggests that
in the coming years a large
number of corporate wireless
networks, which employees
rely on for tablet and other
mobile device connectivity,
will become oudated.
46 January 2014 /
and divergent. A signifcant one, par-
ticularly for enterprises embracing
BYOD, is the multiple hardware types
and OSes that are at play. Whereas
an IT department may only have to
manage and service one OS for the
enterprises PCs, its possible it must
stay abreast of upgrades, updates, se-
curity risks, hardware requirements,
and other issues for two or three tablet
For security and end-user experi-
ence purposes, IT must also deal with
numerous issues related to the dif-
ferent versions of apps aimed at those
tablet platforms and OSes. Frost &
Sullivan ( data from
2013, for example, indicates 44% of
companies expect their mobile app
partners to support multiple form fac-
tors and OSes.
Overall, Enderle says, there really is
no set process among companies yet
for handling multiple OSes. Controls
can range from light rules surrounding
device approval to full IT purchase
and control. I think we are waiting
for the first big public tablet sourced
breach, and then well see a great deal
more consistency, he says. In essence,
handling multiple hardware types is
just the nature of BYOD, he says.
Although it poses problems, he says,
IT is working to ensure much of the
problem lies with the line managers
who approve the devices.
Outside of juggling issues tied to
multiple tablet platforms/OSes, IT per-
sonnel are also being confronted with
new responsibilities related to the cor-
porate network, app usage, theft and
loss, and devices that are likely to
be accessed by more people and ab-
sorb physical punishment vs. more
stationary PCs and notebooks. Take,
for example, the ease with which a
worker can pass a tablet among mul-
tiple people, including friends or family
members. Even if only sharing a tablet
with a non-employee for a few minutes,
sensitive data is potentially falling into
non-employees hands.
control, and obedience was expected
from the users. BYOD dramatically
changed this dynamic to the point
that now, its a matter of trying to en-
courage a bit of formality and identif-
cation to smart small devices that keep
popping up all over the place, he says.
Rob Enderle, Enderle Group (www principal analyst, says
the difference between managing PCs/
notebooks vs. tablets is signifcant. PCs
tend to have set configurations and
are wrapped with both security con-
trols and security software, he says.
Tablets tend to belong to the em-
ployees [and] have little consistency,
and IT doesnt have much control over
them. Thus, tablets often represent a
much higher concern in regard to se-
curity exposures and must be risk-ac-
cepted by the line of business allowing
them on premise, he says.
In addition to plenty of variations
in basic controls between PC/note-
books and tablets and the likelihood
that workers are using tablets for both
personal and work purposes, Bamforth
says its fair to say many enterprises
also are dealing with at least a couple of
tablet OSes. However, one of the big-
gest challenges from a business IT man-
agement perspective is that PC/laptops
are used as more personal devices in
controlled settings, but tablets will be
right in the thick of a business process,
because theyre more mobile and acces-
sible, he says.
For example, sharing figures with
a co-worker is far more instant via a
tablet than doing so in a document via
email or pulling a co-worker to your
desk to look at your PC/laptop screen.
This immediate and informal sharing,
as well as workers assumption that a
tablet will just work, leads to higher
user expectations, Bamforth says.
Ironically, as the technology is fading
to become consumer-like, the expecta-
tions on the invisible infrastructure are
soaring, he says.
The complexities that tablets can
add to IT departments are numerous
PCs tend to have set confgurations and
are wrapped with both security controls
and security software. Tablets tend to
belong to the employees [and] have little
consistency, and IT doesnt have much
control over them.
Rob Enderle
principal analyst, Enderle Group
One of the biggest challenges from a
business IT management perspective is
that PC/laptops are used as more per-
sonal devices in controlled settings, but
tablets will be right in the thick of a busi-
ness process because theyre more mobile
and accessible.
Rob Bamforth
principal analyst, Quocirca
PC Today / January 2014 47
hardware vendors and wireless carriers
and to receive hefty discounts.
Then in terms of day-to-day
management on the device, nothing
changes regardless of the ownership
model, he says. Its more about what
happens if the employee loses [his] de-
vice or it gets stolen or the employee
gets terminated. In many countries, its
a federal offense to do a full wipe of
the device if you dont own it. So you
lose a lot of those restrictions. And with
this COPE model, the organization can
say were going to prevent copy-paste
because weve put a sandbox in and if
you dont like it, tough cookies.
How tablets will continue to change
ITs job requirements really depends
on what happens to tablets, Enderle
says. With notebooks getting smaller,
lighter, and cheaper, and cell phones
getting bigger, you begin to wonder
if tablets will make it outside of cer-
tain vertical markets like health-
care through the decade, he says.
Eventually, however, Im expecting a
breach, which will result in a more ag-
gressive lockdown of this technology.
We tend to wait for a disaster and
then overreact, he says.
Bamforth, meanwhile, expects ITs
management of tablets to continue to
move to a service provider model, after
which it will need careful balancing
between core infrastructure services,
which could be regarded as common
plumbing (and could therefore be out-
sourced) and value-added services that
directly help the business. Overall, he
says, the evolution represents inter-
esting times for many in IT.
App-specifc concerns and respon-
sibilities that IT are tackling include
security worries stemming from mali-
cious apps, company and customer
data shared and stored via online ser-
vices, and all the compliance issues
that go along with such scenarios. In
response some enterprises are estab-
lishing their enterprise app stores and
installing mobile device management
solutions on tablets, both of which add
yet more duties to ITs plate. Bamforth
says the shift toward managing an
enterprise app store and dealing with
user self-service app activities in one
form or another means IT is essen-
tially switching toward a service pro-
vider model.
Frost & Sullivan data indicates that
more than 70% of the North American
companies it surveyed plan to imple-
ment one or more new apps for mo-
bile workers in coming years (73%
already have at least one mobile em-
ployee-facing app in place). Jeanine
Sterling, Frost & Sullivan principal
analyst, says clearly, todays IT or-
ganization is receiving an increasing
number of requests from company
departments to create or purchase mo-
bile applications. That is, when the
line of business executive doesnt just
decide to do an end-run around IT
and purchase and deploy a prepack-
aged application on their own.
Current prepackaged mobile worker
apps, she says, are typically designed
to work on iOS and Android tablets,
so IT organizations have to make an
informed choice and decide just how
important security, price, open architec-
ture, and other features are within the
mobile ecosystem theyre building for
their companies.
Where the corporate network is
concerned, tablets are producing
scores of headaches for IT. Gartner,
for example, predicts that by 2015,
80% of wireless networks newly in-
stalled will be out-of-date. Overall,
mobility changes are occurring faster
than enterprises can adapt to and
change, Gartner states, and continuing
increases in mobile traffic will only
expand the situation. Bamforth says
compared to laptops, tablets have
poor Wi-Fi range, but workers will
expect to use them everywherecor-
ridors, break areas, and even rest-
rooms. In addition to addressing
availability issues, Enderle says IT
must also tighten down on wireless
access points given the security expo-
sures rogue access points represent.
While many enterprises have im-
plemented BYOD policies and prac-
tices, Philippe Winthrop, Enterprise
Mobility Foundation ( found-
er, says another strategy companies
are using is COPE (Corporate Owned
Personally Enabled), which is the
mirror opposite of BYOD. Essentially,
the company owns, manages, secures,
and does whatever it wants with the
tablet, he says, but the employee picks
the platform. Regardless of using either
BYOD or COPE, Winthrop says users
expect to pick the platform or brand
they want, and the corporate mandate
just doesnt apply anymore. And if any-
thing, the onus is then on IT to leverage
software assets that are cross-platform,
in terms of MDM (mobile device man-
agement), sandboxing, or even email
for that matter.
Winthrop says a recent study indi-
cated 70% of Fortune 500 companies
plan to implement a COPE-like model
in the next three years. The difference
between COPE and BYOD isnt nec-
essarily what IT will do daily but it is
more about the economic impact a com-
pany can realize by having better econo-
mies of scale in terms of being better
positioned in contract negotiations with
Todays IT organization is receiving an
increasing number of requests from com-
pany departments to create or purchase
mobile applications.
Jeanine Sterling
principal analyst, Frost & Sullivan
48 January 2014 /
For businesses, guest Wi-Fi hotspots
are great for providing customers
and visitors with an Internet con-
nection without giving them access
to the companys private network.
Home users can even benefit from
setting up a separate Wi-Fi hotspot
to provide wireless access to their
Internet connection when friends or
family come over to visit. Although
this article is geared toward small
and midsized businesses, it includes
information that is also applicable
to larger businesses and consumers.
We will describe what you need to
get started, as well as what to expect
along the way. Setting up a guest
Wi-Fi hotspot is a relatively simple
task, whether you want to use an ex-
isting router or consider a new model
Add A Guest
Wi-Fi Hotspot
Establish A Separate, Public Wireless Network For Guest Access
that includes features that make
it more appropriate for sharing a
Wi-Fi connection.
A strong, stable Internet connec-
tion is the foundation on which you
will set up your guest Wi-Fi hotspot.
Having a good connection that works
properly will stave off potential
questions and complaints, particu-
larly if you go out of your way to ad-
vertise your free wireless network
to customers or visitors. Pin down
the approximate number of simul-
taneous connections you expect the
hotspot to support at any given time
and use that fgure to determine (1)
what type of Internet connection you
need and (2) what router capabilities
are necessary to handle the expected
amount of traffc.
For example, some ISPs (Internet
service providers) offer DSL (digital
subscriber line) speeds, which are
often much lower than broadband
speeds that can reach as high as
30Mbps or more. A simple broadband
line would be plenty if you plan on
only having a few connections at a
time. However, if you think youll
need to support a large amount of
traffic, you may want to consider
newer Internet access types, such as
fiber or power-line. Note that these
services are only available in certain
areas and will be more expensive than
broadband, so you may just want to
ask if your ISP offers a faster broad-
band service instead.
PC Today / January 2014 49
If you plan to use one wireless
router to support two separate net-
works, look for a business-class
router that supports a maximum data
transfer speed of at least 300Mbps;
some models will support much faster
rates. The appropriate router speed for
your environment depends on how
you use your internal network and
how much bandwidth you want to
give your guests.
It doesnt hurt to opt for a dual-
band router, if possible, because
it will operate on both the 2.4GHz
frequency (which most current and
older devices support) and the 5GHz
frequency (which 802.11n and newer
devices support, and which offers
faster data transfer speeds). Most
dual-band routers offer the choice
of broadcasting in 2.4GHz, 5GHz, or
both simultaneously to support the
widest range of devices and prevent
signal interference.
You also want to look for a wireless
router that includes built-in features
that let you easily create two com-
pletely separate networks: one you
can use for your companys internal
network, and one you can use to pro-
vide wireless Internet access for guests
with Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
Wireless routers and access points
can range in price from $20 up to as
much as $300 or more depending on
speed and feature sets, so make sure
you only pay for functionality that
you and your customers or visitors are
likely to use.
All wireless routers come with soft-
ware that enables you to change the
routers settings. The software might
be included on a disc or accessible only
via an IP address. Once installed, you
should be able to access the routers
settings through an IP portal. To do
this, you simply open a Web browser,
type the appropriate IP address for
your router into the browsers ad-
dress bar (a commonly used IP ad-
dress, but you can search
the Web or the router manufacturers
website to locate the address for your
router), and manage the routers set-
tings as desired.
If you find the perfect router and
it doesnt come with sufficient bun-
dled software, you can always use free
frmware that will allow you to set up
two separate networks (one internal,
one guest) along with additional fea-
tures. CoovaAP is one example of free
frmware that is commonly used for
this purpose.
Once you have all of the hardware
and software you need for a Wi-Fi
hotspot, its time to get it up and run-
ning. Most mainstream routers sold
in the U.S. market will have software
that is intuitive to use and makes a
simple task of adding a guest hotspot.
With some routers, its as easy as
clicking Yes to allow guest access,
but with other routers you may need
to follow more steps or launch a
setup wizard. Because there are varia-
tions in this process depending on
the device and manufacturer, check
the manual for instructions specifc to
your router.
In the process of using the routers
software to establish a guest Wi-Fi
hotspot, you will discover relevant
settings that provide you with further
control over the hotspot. For instance,
router software typically allows you
to set specific days of the week and
ranges of time during which the guest
network can be accessed. Use these set-
tings to make sure the hotspot is avail-
able when youre open for business
and off when youre closed; this pre-
vents unwanted, unauthorized access.
Perhaps the most important thing
to think about when setting up a
public Wi-Fi hotspot is to make
sure that your guest hotspot is sep-
arate from your company network.
Most routers support WEP (Wired
Equivalency Privacy), WPA (Wi-Fi
Protected Access), and the newer
WPA2 technologies, which provide
for encryption and password protec-
tion. Use one of these settings as a
minimum safeguard from potential
unauthorized access or abuse; we rec-
ommend using WPA2 as it provides
the best security.
From a guests perspective, Wi-Fi
security means that he will have to
find or enter the SSID (service set
identifer, or network name) as well
as enter a password in order to log on
to the network. You might also want
to consider requiring guest users to
accept a ToS (Terms of Service) agree-
ment. You can do this by employing
a captive portal, which is essentially
a splash page users will see on their
device screen when logging on to the
network. Many business-class routers
come with an option to quickly set up
a captive portal.
Using router settings, you can im-
pose bandwidth controls to prevent
a burden on your networks perfor-
mance. You can also set guest connec-
tion time limits and designate which
websites or applications are permitted
to use the hotspot. Its also possible
to charge a fee for using the hotspot.
Once you have installed any necessary
hardware (routers and access points),
adjusted the settings, and turned on
your guest Wi-Fi network, its ready
to be discovered and used.
50 January 2014 /
As your small business grows, you
will learn that with success comes
more responsibility. In the begin-
ning, you focus solely on getting
your company off the ground, of-
fering the best product possible and
providing solid customer service.
Then, as you increase your customer
base and bring in additional em-
ployees to support demand, things
may become more complicated.
One aspect of a business that you
may not consider initially is how to
handle mobile devices in the work-
place. A growing staff means more
mobile devices, which could over-
whelm your IT department. While
you may not want to implement
MDM (mobile device management)
software or other advanced mobile
security solutions right now, there
Plan Early For
Mobile Growth
Consider Device Types, Operating Systems, Wireless Carriers, Applications & More
are some things you can do before
mobile device use in your company
gets out of hand.
Initially, you can ensure that these
mobile devices increase productivity
rather than introduce distractions.
No matter what companies do, mo-
bile devices are in the workplace, and
that comes with a certain amount
of distraction, says Mike Battista,
Ph.D., senior consulting analyst at
Info-Tech Research Group ( The best thing a company
can do is enable productive use of
mobile devices rather than attempting
to cut off distractions. Most attempts
to unnecessarily lock down devices
are futile at best and can even backfre
to decrease productivity.
Youll also want to consider al-
lowing devices and OSes (operating
systems) that your IT staff is comfort-
able using and already knows how to
support. Battista says that the greater
the device variety, the greater the
complexity of support. This means
that you cant let employees bring in
whatever devices they prefer, because
doing that could lead to security vul-
nerabilities or integration issues that
your company or IT staff isnt pre-
pared for.
However, this doesnt mean you
should limit employee choice too much.
Instead you could actively encourage
the use of supported devices or provide
company-issued devices to employees
that need them the most. Then, as sup-
port issues are worked out and more
device-agnostic technology is put in
PC Today / January 2014 51
devices, Battista says, because it will
encourage employees to properly use
their devices for business and make
it less likely for them to go against
company policy. It all comes down
to giving your employees options
rather than forcing them to download
company-supported alternatives they
would rather not use.
This is one area where choice and
variety is not necessarily a bad thing,
says Battista. Users can often beneft
from using apps theyre already used
to . . . rather than being provided with
a clunky enterprise alternative. There
can be surprising uses for apps that
IT never even thought of, so it helps
to collaborate with users. When awe-
some app use cases are identifed, IT
can help make them more widespread
by informing the user groups that
would beneft.
Another way to encourage this type
of collaboration and promote the use
of certain apps is to implement an in-
ternal private app store. Battista says
that a private app store can suggest a
set of apps that integrate with existing
services, as well as with each other,
which means you wont have to worry
about building new support capabili-
ties into your existing infrastructure. A
private app store also lets you curate
the selection. You can have your IT
team test certain applications, make
sure they work well in your business
environment, and then push them out
to users.
Battista emphasizes the importance
of not burdening your employees with
company controls. You want your em-
ployees to use their devices for busi-
ness, especially if they travel regularly,
because theyll always have access to
potential sales tools and will be able to
promote company growth. There are
security and support issues to work
out, of course, but again Id flip the
traditional thinking on its head, says
Battista. Instead of asking how can we
. . . lock down all apps except the ones
we approve of, ask how can we enable
safe use of the apps people are already
using to do their jobs better?
No matter what companies do, mobile
devices are in the workplace, and that
comes with a certain amount of distrac-
tion. The best thing a company can do is
enable productive use of mobile devices
rather than attempting to cut off distrac-
tions. Most attempts to unnecessarily lock
down devices are futile at best, and can
even backfre to decrease productivity.
Mike Battista, Ph.D.
senior consulting analyst, Info-Tech Research Group
up their own telecom plans, as theyd
need to do with their personal devices
anyway, but provide a flat monthly
telecom stipend to users who require
their plans for company work.
Although company-issued devices
give a business more control over
which carrier its employees use, it
simply isnt an option for some smaller
businesses that may not be able to af-
ford paying for numerous devices. To
help with this, some wireless carriers
will offer company discounts, which
may encourage an employee to choose
one carrier over another because he can
save money on his monthly bill. With
this option, your company can still opt
for a BYOD program but also make it
more likely that your employees will
stick with your preferred carrier.
After you nail down your car-
rier options and have a clear plan
for how your company will support
mobile devices and OSes now and in
the future, you can then look at ap-
plications. As Battista advised previ-
ously, avoid trying to lock down
employee devices and dictating what
types of applications they can and
cannot use, especially if the app they
prefer is better than one your company
currently supports. Its important to
provide and promote apps as a way
to enable productive use of mobile
place, more variety can be introduced
gradually, Battista says. And you
can open up mobile device usage to
more employees in more departments.
Eventually, you can get to the point
where regardless of device type or op-
erating system, youll be able to provide
adequate support and point users to-
ward applications and services that will
help improve productivity.
Next to device types and OSes, the
choice of wireless carrier can also have
a big impact on employee usage as
well as the ability for the company
to support those devices. There are a
variety of wireless carriers available,
including the major ones that require
two-year contracts as well as smaller
ones that may use a month-to-month
model. It all depends on how your em-
ployees plan to use their devices and
what types of plans they can afford on
their own, which is more of a problem
for BYOD programs than company-
issued devices.
For company-issued devices that
the company pays telecom expenses
for, it usually pays to stick with a single
carrier, says Battista. BYOD gets
more complicated. Corporate plans
on personal devices can be complex
enough and could be an outright night-
mare with multiple carriers. An alterna-
tive is to allow users to choose and set
52 January 2014 /
An in-house IT staff can only
do so much to keep your com-
panys network secure. Although
employing anti-malware software
on company computers and pro-
moting best practices goes a long
way, employees bear a great deal
of responsibility when it comes
down to using those best practices.
Here are some tips to pass along.
Even the best software needs up-
dating to prevent potential cyber-
criminals from creating havoc on
your employees systems. IT staff
maintains the network and makes
Web Security
Common Sense Goes A Long Way
sure server updates take place, but
employees need to help facilitate
the process by installing updates on
their systems when prompted.
Opening an attachment that con-
tains malware is an easy way to
infect your computer with mali-
cious files. Any time you receive
an email with an attachment, you
should consider whether you know
(and trust) the sender and then de-
termine whether the email fits the
senders character. For example, if
an email suggests that you open
some mysterious link, its probable
the email is spam. Likewise, your
grandmother isnt likely to send an
email asking you to download some
salacious photos of hot girls, so you
can be assured that such a message
is also malware-bearing spam.
Malware-laden email attachments
and malicious links within email
messages are frequent bedfellows
in spam. Often, bad links are even
more insidious than attachments
because they can take you to a le-
gitimate-looking website where you
may be tricked into entering your
credit card number or a username
and password.
If your security software alerts
you to a potential virus or mali-
ci ous websi te, don t di smi ss i t.
Many Web browsers can display
icons or other indicators in their ad-
dress bars that help you determine
whether a site is secure. If youre
unsure of a sites authenticity, look
for the secure icon (often an image
of a padlock) near the URL in the
address bar or https in the URL
indicating that the site uses SSL
(Secure Sockets Layer) encryption.
Some browsers will also alert you
if youre about to visit a potentially
dangerous website and will require
your permission before displaying
the page.
Although its convenient to use the
same USB flash drive for storing
and transferring files between your
home and work computers, its best
to keep any personal media devices
separate. If you have a flash drive
or other media that has been in-
fected with malware without your
knowledge, then connecting that
device to your work computer is
potentially a quick way to unwit-
tingly infect all the systems within
the company.
PC Today / January 2014 53
Smartphone Tips
T i me - S a v i n g A d v i c e & P r i v a c y T i p s
If you are switching from a non-Windows Phone smartphone to a new
Windows Phone 8 smartphone, there are different ways to transfer your
contact and calendar data.
Use a service. If you use, Google, or another major service,
you can set up your new phone to work with that service; access Settings,
tap Email + Accounts, tap Add An Account, choose the type of account, and
follow the on-screen instructions to complete the procedure.
Use a SIM card. Or, if you have transferred a SIM card from your pre-
vious phone to your new Windows Phone 8 smartphone, you can tap Start,
People, More, Settings, and Import SIM Contacts, and then follow the on-
screen instructions to import all contacts or only specifc contacts; calendar
information cannot be transferred using this method.
Use Microsofts wizard. If those options dont work for you, Microsoft
offers a Windows Phone Sync wizard ( to walk you through an
alternate process.
Moving your email activity from
one device to a new Windows Phone
8 smartphone is as simple as adding
the email account information to your
new smartphone. Initial phone setup
involves adding a Microsoft account,
but if you still need to add one (or
would like to add another), access
Settings, tap Email + Accounts, tap
Add An Account, choose Microsoft
Account, tap Next, and enter your
email address and password to sign
in. To choose any other type of ac-
count, access Settings, tap Email +
Account, tap Add An Account, choose
the relevant account type (Outlook,
Google, or Yahoo), and follow the on-
screen instructions.
54 January 2014 /
If you have added an event to
your calendar, the entry can be
public or private depending on the
setting used. If there is an event in
your calendar you would like to
keep private, launch Calendar, ac-
cess the event, tap the event name
to open it, press the Menu key, tap
Edit, and make sure the event is set
to Private rather than Public.
All major carriers will assure you
that your voice calls are secure, but
there is a way to add another layer
of encryption to voice calls, which
makes them more secure. To do this
using an Android smartphone, ac-
cess Settings, tap My Device, tap
Call, and tap to place a check mark
in the Voice Privacy check box.
One of the best ways to ensure
that your smartphone stays secure
in general is to use a security app.
Many wireless carriers ship their
Android smartphones with a se-
curity app installed, so press the
Home key, tap Apps, and look for
any security apps. If none are in-
stalled, visit Google play, search for
security, and choose one to install.
By default, there are a few applications that track and record your location
data. And while many of them request permission from the outset, you may
decide at a later date that you want to turn this feature off. On your Android
device, go to Menu, Settings, Privacy And Accounts, and Manage Location
Settings. From this menu, you can turn off the location settings of Google
Maps and also turn off location reporting to prevent your data from being
sent to (and stored by) the company. But if had location services turned on,
that means there is still some data stored on Googles servers.
Sometimes you have
data access, and some-
times you dont. Because it
can be a pain to suddenly
lose access to live maps on
your Android smartphone
while traveling, its wise
to search for the maps you
might need ahead of time
and download them for of-
fine use later on. That way,
whether you encounter a
cellular dead zone, have no
access to a Wi-Fi network,
or both, youll still have ac-
cess to the maps you need.
To download a map, open
the Google Maps app, fnd
the area youre looking for,
tap Menu, and tap Make Available Offine. You can then view the estimated
size of the available map section and pinch and zoom to select the map area
you prefer. Keep in mind that there are some limitations: you can download
up to six apps (if you try to download a seventh, youll have to delete a pre-
viously downloaded map) and there must be enough storage capacity avail-
able on your device to accommodate the maps.
Deleting your mobile Chrome browser history eliminates some potential
privacy issues and helps keep your Android device clutter-free. In Chrome,
tap the menu icon, Settings, (Advanced) Privacy, and Clear Browsing Data to
remove browsing history, site data, and related information.
Need to be sure a map will be handy later on? Google
Maps makes it easy to save maps for ofine viewing.
Use Android settings
to maintain privacy
PC Today / January 2014 55
Al though i t can be conve-
nient to receive notification of
each new iMessage, scheduled
remi nder, or i ncomi ng emai l
message, you may not want these
alerts to pop up on your iPhones
Lock screen, especially if you
pref er t o keep t hi s i nf orma-
tion private or want to conserve
battery life. To disable badges
for individual apps in the Lock
screen, access Settings and se-
lect Notification Center. Scroll
down to the Include section, lo-
cate an app you would like to
modify, and tap to access the no-
tification settings for that app.
You should see three Alert Style
opt i ons: None, Banners, and
Alerts. Either tap None to select
it or scroll down, find Show On
Look Screen, and tap to switch
it off. If you would like to com-
pletely disable accessibility to
the Notification Center, access
Settings, tap Notification Center,
and turn off Notifications View
and Today View.
To protect the privacy of your data
usage, youll need to disallow the
monitoring of your iPhone. On iOS 7,
you can do this by tapping Settings,
Privacy, Location Services, and Systems
Services. Find Diagnostics & Usage and
switch it off. Its also wise to switch off
Location-Based iAds because leaving it
on makes your real-time location vis-
ible and effectively informs Apple and
its partners that they can use your in-
formation to customize your adver-
tising experience. The Advertising
setting is also worth changingto do
so, access Settings, tap Privacy, tap
Advertising, and switch on Limit Ad
Trackingbut keep in mind that this
only prevents tracking and interest-
based advertising, it does not nec-
essarily decrease the number of ads
appearing on your iPhone.
Building on the Facebook and
Twitter integration in previous iOS ver-
sions, for iOS 7 Apple has partnered
with Flickr and Vimeo to embed their
platforms into the operating system. If
you have already connected your de-
vice to Facebook and Twitter, youll
understand how this upgrade further
streamlines your social media experi-
ence. Essentially the upgrade enables
you to share personal photos directly to
Flickr and upload videos to Vimeo with
little effort. You can enable these fea-
tures when you tap Settings and swipe
down until you see the group of social
media options. Tap the appropriate icon
and sign in to your account. Keep in
mind that Flickr requires a Yahoo ID
and password.
i O S
Location Services within iOS 7 settings let
you limit the ways in which app services and
advertisers can access your data.
Apples iOS 7 includes Flickr and Vimeo
integration, so users can quickly post new
photos and share newly recorded videos.
Prevent unwanted
56 January 2014 /
Those running iOS 7 on an iPhone 5s can now unlock the device
using a fingerprint identity sensor called Touch ID. The sensor is built
into the Home button, so you can configure Touch ID to recognize your
fingerprint and instantly unlock your phone. Touch ID can also serve as
your authorization (in lieu of a password) for purchasing content from
the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store. This feature doesnt com-
pletely replace your passcode, but youll rarely have to use the passcode
once you start using the fingerprint sensor. The passcode is still re-
quired if you restart your iPhone 5s, if you havent unlocked the device
in 48 hours, and when you set up Touch ID. To start using the feature,
access Settings and tap General, Touch ID & Passcode, and Touch ID;
enter the passcode and then touch your finger to the Home button and
wait until you feel the phone vibrate or see on-screen instructions to
raise your finger.
You probably already knew the iPhones Spotlight Search capability
is designed to mimic the universal search function found in other de-
vices, but what you may not have known is that you can remove items
from the list of indexed sources to speed up your device, or just elimi-
nate items you never search for. To access the Spotlight Search settings,
access Settings and tap General, Home Button, and Spotlight Search.
You can rearrange the sources to give a higher priority to Mail, for in-
stance, by tapping on the right side of the Mail source and dragging it
up to the top of the list. You can also tap the check marks on the left side
of each source to eliminate them from Spotlight Searches. Reducing the
number of sources here can also speed up your searches.
If you are switching from a
non-Windows Phone smartphone
to a new Windows Phone 8 smart-
phone, there are different ways
to transfer your contact and cal-
endar data. If you use Outlook.
com, Google, or another maj or
service, you can set up your new
phone to work wi th that ser-
vice; access Settings, tap Email +
Accounts, tap Add An Account,
choose the type of account, and
follow the on-screen instructions
to complete the procedure. Or, if
you have transferred a SIM card
from your previous phone to your
new Windows Phone 8 smart-
phone, you can tap Start, People,
More, Settings, and Import SIM
Contacts, and then follow the on-
screen instructions to import all
contacts or only specific contacts;
calendar information cannot be
transferred using this method.
If those options dont work for
you, Microsoft offers a Windows
Phone Sync wizard (
to walk you through an alternate
Te iPhone 5s is the rst model
to work with Apples Touch ID
feature, which lets you unlock your
phone with your ngerprint.
i O S
Get better
iPhone search results
PC Today / January 2014 57
As the window into everything you
see on your PC, the monitor plays an
important role in your overall com-
puting experience. If it has been a while
since you bought a new monitor, youll
fnd that there are a lot of new features
and technologies out there to digest be-
fore you can make an informed deci-
sion. In this article, well demystify the
tech terms youre likely to encounter to
help you make the right display choice.
Like most everything else you buy,
the best monitor for you is the one that
makes the most sense for the tasks you
perform. That being said, there are a
handful of features that will benefit
anyone. For instance, a large widescreen
monitor lets you keep more windows
Display Features
& Your Budget
Monitor Buying Advice
maximized and viewable at once, which
can dramatically improve multitasking
by letting you scroll less, see more, and
browse the Web more effciently.
If content creation is important to
your organization, then a high-resolu-
tion screen can make a big difference
when working with images and video.
Many professional-grade monitors give
you more control over the confguration
and appearance of content on the screen.
Sometimes the best upgrade is to
simply add a second (or third) monitor
to your desk, but this may involve up-
grading your PCs graphics adapter.
Other goodies, such as built-in speakers,
webcams, USB hubs, energy-saving LED
backlighting, and a handful of new inter-
face technologies, are all good reasons to
purchase a new monitor.
You will likely encounter many
monitors that have the same or sim-
ilar viewable screen space, but that
vary wildly when it comes to reso-
lution. Screen resolution is the more
important specifcation to look at as it
refers to the absolute number of pixels
that the screen can display. A mon-
itor that has a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution
has 1,920 pixels across the horizontal
plane and 1,080 pixels along the ver-
tical plane.
Pixel size is also a factor. A 24-inch
monitor with a 1,600 x 900 resolution
will have larger pixels than a 24-inch
monitor with a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution.
Smaller pixels mean the screen can dis-
play more detail in images and video. If
you tend to view enlarged text and are
58 January 2014 /
even slightly visually impaired, you can
select a monitor with a lower resolution,
and it wont make as much difference.
Price and screen resolution are very
closely associated. Generally speaking,
the higher the resolution, the higher the
sticker price. If you view a lot of HD
content, then make 1080p (1,920 x 1,080)
your bare minimum screen resolution.
Games will look good on high-reso-
lution screens, but only if the graphics
adapter rendering the game is suffi-
ciently capable. A powerful discrete
graphics card can cost between $150
and $700. Those who perform any 3D
rendering or CAD (computer-aided de-
sign) tasks will also need to make sure
their graphics card is capable enough
to handle the workload. If running
multiple monitors is a priority, then
you will need a graphics adapter that
supports this capability.
These two abbreviations stand for
liquid crystal display and light-emitting
diode. The former is a general term that
refers to the technology that the screen
uses to display colors and images. The
latter refers to the backlight technology.
The most common display type on
the market today is an LCD monitor
utilizing an LED backlight. Both tech-
nologies have advanced to the point
that todays monitors are less than an
inch thick and consume a fraction of the
amount of energy old CRT (cathode ray
tube) monitors consumed.
Your smartphone and tablet have
one, so why not your desktop? A
touchscreen is essentially a standard
LED-backlit LCD with a touch-sensi-
tive flm coating that lets you use your
finger instead of a mouse to navigate
the operating system and software.
Touchscreens are commonly used in
the retail, restaurant, and other indus-
tries where keyboards are imprac-
tical to keep clean and operational.
Touchscreens work best when paired
with software designed for use with
taps, long presses, and gestures.
Microsoft redesigned its Windows
8 operating system with touchscreen
interfaces in mind; the Start screen
utilizes large icons and the OS recog-
nizes numerous gestures to let users
navigate the software, browse the
Web, launch and use apps, enjoy mul-
timedia, play games, and more with
the touch of a fnger. The drawback of
using a touchscreen is that a vast ma-
jority of the software used on desktop
PCs was designed for keyboard and
mouse input. On-screen keyboards
work well, but they limit viewable
screen space and can be uncomfort-
able to type on for extended periods.
Icons and text fields designed to be
used with traditional input devices
tend to be diffcult to tap and interact
with when youre using your fngers.
Touchscreens can also significantly
increase the cost of the monitor, by
a hundred dollars or more, so make
room in your budget if youre inter-
ested in getting a touchscreen.
One of the first things you should
do when shopping for a new monitor
is determine how the laptop or PC
will connect to it. There is a handful
of possibilities, including VGA (Video
Graphics Array or D-Sub), DVI
(Digital Visual Interface), HDMI (High
Definition Multimedia Interface),
DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt. VGA
ports are typically blue and have 15
pins; theyre the oldest standard listed
here and represent the lone analog op-
tion. DVI ports tend to be white, fea-
ture up to 29 pins, and support digital
signals. HDMI, while most common
on HDTVs, utilizes ports and connec-
tors that look similar to USBs, with
tapered corners on one side of the plug
and port. Again, HDMI is all digital,
but this interface also supports HDCP
(high definition content protection),
which is primarily a Blu-ray-specific
anti-piracy scheme. DisplayPort and
Thunderbolt are very similar in shape
and functionality, and these ports are
the newest standard. To make sure
your get a monitor that works out-
of-the-box (and without potentially
expensive adapters), find a one that
shares the same type of ports available
on your PC or laptop.
Contrast ratio, or the difference
between the brightest portion of the
screen and the darkest, is difficult to
compare between monitors from dif-
ferent manufacturers. Thats because
nearly every monitor manufacturer
uses a different scale or technique to
measure or infate their contrast ratio.
When comparing models from a single
manufacturer, the higher ratio will
tend to produce better image quality.
Brightness, measured in nits, or cd/
(candela per square meter) lets you
know how bright the monitor will ap-
pear. Favor a higher brightness if you
plan to work in areas with a lot of am-
bient light.
Response time refers to the pixels
ability to switch from its one to off
state. Slower response times can make
rapid motion on screen appear blurred.
Those looking for a monitor for gaming
and multimedia will want to get a unit
with response times around 5ms (mil-
liseconds) or lower.
Judging the best monitor for you
is more involved than looking for the
highest specs. But youll know if you
followed our advice; your eyes will
thank you.
Above all, dont
simply go by the
spec sheet. Its
important to see a
monitor in action,
from different
angles and with
different lighting,
before buying.
PC Today / January 2014 59
Whether you are shopping for a
new digital camera or trying to get a
better fx on the features included in
the camera you already have, a better
understanding of the digital imaging
lexicon can be helpful. We hope this
article will serve as a painless intro-
duction or reference guide for your
digital imaging endeavors.
AF-C is one of several autofocus modes
generally available on digital cameras.
This mode is helpful for capturing a
freeze-frame shot of a moving or unpre-
dictable subject, while AF-S (single area
autofocus) is best for photographing ob-
jects that are completely still. By keeping
your fnger pressed halfway down on a
cameras shutter release button, you can
use the AF-C mode to continually focus
on your subject even as it moves around
within the frame.
Digital Imaging
Terms To Know For Buying & Enjoying A Digital Camera
Often compared to the iris of the eye,
the aperture refers to the hole in the
camera lens that lets light through.
Like the iris, the aperture expands and
contracts to control how much light
can enterthe bigger the hole, the
greater the amount and angles of light
that can get through. On cameras this
is measured in focal length, or f-num-
bers (f/1.8, for example), where lower
numbers represent a larger hole (for
instance, f/2 is signifcantly larger than
f/4). Lenses with lower f-numbers are
better for shooting in low light, and for
controlling depth of feld.
This feature, which may alternatively
be labeled continuous mode, allows
you to capture a series of photos in a
matter of seconds, usually by pressing
and holding the shutter button. The
number of rapid-succession photos
you can take in a single instance
varies among camera models, but it
isnt uncommon for burst mode to ac-
commodate shooting up to 10 photos
in quick succession.
These are perhaps the most technical
terms in our little glossary, but the CCD
or the CMOS (digital cameras will use
one or the other) serve as the cameras
eyes. The CCD and CMOS are similar
in function; each can be described as the
image sensor that performs the magic
of transforming reality (i.e., the light
that makes up a scene) into something
digital (i.e., the electrons that computers
use to recreate images). Photographers
will argue the benefts of one over the
other, but generally the CCD is consid-
ered to produce higher quality images
60 January 2014 /
with less noise while the CMOS is ap-
preciated for its affordability and low
power consumption.
A mid-range type of camera, the CSC
is sandwiched in between the basic
point-and-shoot and the high-end
DSLR. Unlike basic cameras, the CSC
accommodates different lenses, but it
is generally easier to use than DSLRs
due to its automatic controls. CSCs
are typically small and lightweight.
Ordinarily the primary choice of in-
vested photography enthusiasts and
professionals, the DSLR camera is de-
signed to produce the highest quality
digital photos. The body and lens
are separate components that can be
selected and purchased separately,
but when combined they can do far
more than a standard point-and-
shoot camera. Most models feature
high-end processors, large image sen-
sors (CMOS or CCD), a plethora of
shooting modes, manual controls, and
sometimes built-in wireless connec-
tivity for uploading images remotely.
A filter is a translucent glass or
plastic lens accessory that blocks or
alters light, applies colorful hues, or
adds other enhancements to achieve
specific photographic results. For
example, polarizing filters reduce
cloudiness by enhancing color satura-
tion and removing unwanted refec-
tions. UV filters can improve photo
quality by protecting the cameras
image sensor and thereby prevent a
blue haze from appearing in images.
Diffusion, color balancing, and soft
focus are among the long list of other
creative flters.
Nearly all cameras and camcorders
sold today have an autofocus feature,
but if you want total control look for
a model that allows for manual over-
ride. Focus modes that can lock in
on a subject and adjust as the subject
moves are important if you plan to
take action shots. If you use a digital
camera with interchangeable lenses,
note that not all of them have their
own autofocus motors, and all of
them will autofocus a bit differently.
The sharpest lens on the planet is
worthless if you cant focus with it, so
test a lens out at the store whenever
possible before buying.
HDR photography combines mul-
tiple exposures to capture a scenes
full range of contrast. For instance, a
photographer can use fve exposures
and vary the shutter speeds to cap-
ture all of the dynamic rangei.e.,
all of the darks and lights. An HDR
program synthesizes each image to
create a single representation of the
scene. If you are trying to photograph
a view with a lot of contrast, HDR
is helpful because it preserves the
details within light and dark areas;
without it, lighter areas may appear
too bright and darker areas may ap-
pear shadowy.
Even though ISO are the initials for
a Switzerland-based standards or-
ganization, the term ISO used with
a number is used to identify the set-
ting for light sensitivity in a cameras
sensor. The lower the ISO setting, the
clearer the image will be, generally
speaking, although you will need
higher ISO settings for low-light situ-
ations. For example, ISO 100 may be
best for a bright day, but ISO 1600
will work better to capture images in
a dimly lit room.
Al though many manufacturers
tout the MP (megapixel) rating of a
camera or camcorder, MP is one of
the most irrelevant specifcations. It
tells you only the number of pixels
(picture elements) the sensor can
capture, but nothing about more im-
portant features of the sensor (such
as physical size) that contribute to
image quality. Getting great pictures
is all about capturing as much light
as possible, and a smaller sensor with
a high MP rating will always cap-
ture less light than a larger sensor
with a smaller MP rating. Larger sen-
sors also allow for less noise (the little
speckles of color that plague shots
from small sensors), and a shallower
depth of feld. Depth of feld control
is what lets photographers do things
like put someones face in sharp focus
while blurring the background.
A camera with built-in wireless com-
munication functionality lets you by-
pass the computer altogether when
uploading images or videos. Instead
of connecting via USB to transfer im-
ages to PC folders or online accounts,
you can use a Wi-Fi- or Bluetooth-
enabled model to wirelessly share
media directly from your camera.
Features on wireless cams vary, but
different models can wirelessly send
your image fles to social networking
sites, email addresses, your smart-
phone, tablet, PC, and more.
The difference between optical and
digital zoom is significant. An op-
tical zoom physically moves the cam-
eras lens to magnify the subject (and
increase the focal length), whereas
a digital zoom simply magnifes an
image by cropping and smoothing
out pixilation. The advantage of op-
tical zoom is twofold: it eliminates
effects from camera shake and pro-
duces photographs that use the cam-
eras maximum number of pixels for
sharper results. Although cameras
that come with high digital zoom
levels can seem superior to optical
zoom 3X, 20X, etc., digital zoom actu-
ally degrades the picture quality due
to its removal of individual pixels.
PC Today / January 2014 61
The Latest Premium Electronics
Intel ( uses a lot of apt phrases to describe what its Ultrabook
platform is all about. The most ftting one may be an Ultrabook (of which there
are numerous models from various manufactures) is a tablet when you want it,
laptop when you need it. This dual-personality ability is especially important to
business users because, depending on the model, an Ultrabook offers the conve-
nience (ability to run apps), entertainment (full HD displays), portability (less than
an inch thick and lightweight), and user friendliness (touch-screen support) of a
tablet but still possesses the power and performance to do serious heavy lifting in
terms of business-oriented tasks. Those traits come thanks to the use of Intel Core
processors (including newer 4th-generation processors with certain models) and
various integrated Intel technologies, such as Turbo Boost, Intel HD graphics, and
Intel Wireless Display. Further, Ultrabooks are Windows-compatible, provide
laptop-like connectivity and peripheral support, and can power up in seconds.
Available in clamshell and 2-in-1 designs, Ultrabooks also include Intel Anti-
Theft Technology and Identity Protection Technology for added security.
62 January 2014 /
No desktop required. Thats one of the possibilities
that Apple ( claims about its iPad mini
and the A7 processor inside it. While the iPad mini may
in fact make working away from the offce conveniently
possible, that doesnt mean there arent times when a
worker wouldnt be better off with traditional desktop
tools in hand, particularly a physical keyboard vs. a tab-
lets integrated touch-based board when working with
loads of data. Enter the LuxePad i9010 ($39.99) from
Genius (, a Bluetooth 3.0 keyboard
thats sized specifcally for use with the iPad mini. In fact,
beyond providing a slot that lets you prop up your tablet
for a laptop-like work experience, and the 11 integrated
Function keys that grant fast access to various iPad fea-
tures, the LuxePad i9010 utilizes a clip-and-go magnetic
design. The design enables attaching the keyboard to
the iPad minis front side to protect its 7.9-inch Retina
display. Detach the i9010 and the board automatically
wakes. Clip it on and the i9010 goes to sleep, thus helping
preserve the keyboards built-in lithium battery, which
offers up to 180 working hours. To recharge the battery,
Genius provides a micro USB cable.
Where digital audio on the PC is concerned, Creative (www has enjoyed a long, storied history with its lineup of
Sound Blaster sound cards. The company recently extended the
Sound Blasters reach into the mobile realm with its SB-Axx1 audio
processor in an attempt to bridge the worlds of the computer,
smartphones, and tablets. By integrating the SB-Axx1 directly
into the wireless EVO ZxR headphones ($299.99), Creative states
its delivering the type of detailed, immersive audio previously
only available with a Sound Blaster PC sound card. Housing
FullSpectrum 50mm drivers that Creative claims can reproduce
the full audible range, the EVO ZxR goes long on features. These
include a foldable design; active noise cancellation abilities (via
built-in rechargeable battery); 7.1 virtual surround sound support
with PC and Mac use; Bluetooth, NFC, USB, and 3.5mm jack con-
nectivity; and dual beamforming microphones that work with
Creatives clarity-enhancing CrystalVoice technology, which cre-
ates an acoustic zone that picks up only your voice and nothing
else. Also on tap is SBX Pro Studio software, which provides a
bevy of customization options (Crystalizer, Smart Volume, Dialog
Plus, Bass, and Surround) confgurable in a Sound Blaster Central
app for iOS and Android devices or Sound Blaster EVO Control
Panel for PC and Macs.
PC Today / January 2014 63
As the number of employees doing
business outside the walls of the tra-
ditional office environment increases,
companies of all sizes are adopting new
ways of getting work done. Namely,
theyre moving toward more flexible,
effcient cloud-based services. Although
the purposes of online SaaS (software
as a service) options vary, users are tak-
ing advantage of seamless conferencing,
file sharing, idea generating, and so
much more. Read on to fnd a service
that suits your collaborative needs.
It seems inevitable that wireless In-
ternet availability determines when
and where you edit online documents
while you are on the road. But with the
help of the right device-specifc offine
app, you dont have to postpone work
until you are within range of a Wi-Fi
hotspot. Some basic apps primarily let
you read docs offline, whereas more
feature-packed options let you edit and
save changes to collaborative docu-
ments, spreadsheets, and presentations.
Microsoft, for instance, provides a solu-
tion for offine workers through Offce
365s SharePoint Online (ofce365.micro Using the programs MySite
tool, you can create copies of documents
on your PC and work on them when
you are offine. Then, when you connect
to the cloud again, SharePoint automati-
cally syncs your work.
Collaboration is accomplished on an
international level these days, which
means that face-to-face conversations
with globetrotting team members are
commonly conducted via LCD touch-
screens. Whether youre working on a
smartphone, tablet, laptop, or PC, using
your webcam as a collaboration tool
connects you to colleagues and clients
more intimately than the routine confer-
ence call. We suggest using a videocon-
ferencing app or software that supports
multiuser conversations. Some options
let you incorporate shared whiteboards
and simultaneous document editing.
If you need to share documents that
dont contain particularly sensitive data,
you can do so using a fle-sharing ser-
vice. Most fle-sharing services let you
securely upload and store a limited num-
ber of gigabytes (2 to 5GB is common)
of data. Some services also give you the
tools to organize your fles. Sharing from
Quick Cloud Collaboration
64 January 2014 /
your mobile device makes on-the-go
collaboration convenient, so its ben-
efcial to check out fle-sharing apps ap-
propriate for your device.
A plethora of Web apps fall under the
umbrella of productivity, but in no
way is that a bad thing because there is
an app for practically every task, prior-
ity, project, and goal. For instance, you
can use project management tools to
juggle deadlines, manage to-do lists,
track workfows, and more. Adding to
these capabilities, Microsoft Office
365 gives team members shared ac-
cess to master documents via user-
created intranet sites, so they can edit in
real-time and manage fle access among
customers and partners.
When you cant meet in person, you
and your virtual team can interact and
brainstorm on full-featured online
whiteboards. Browser-based white-
boards typically let you invite meeting
participants to create and sketch on the
same board. A number of whiteboard
apps also support real-time collabora-
tion in which everyone in the session is
an equal participant. This is a good tool
for tablet users who want to share ideas
on the go but need input from others.
Multitaskers take note: Not only can
you collaborate with more team mem-
bers in the cloud than ever before, but
you can also complete more tasks with-
in the same service. Want to walk your
team through a live slideshow from
a presentation sharing service? No
problem. Need to create fow diagrams
and share relevant images with your
colleagues online? Theres a service for
that. And, if your team and a third-party
developer are working on a website,
for example, you can work together in
a virtual space where anyone can add
comments, crop images, and more.
Organizing schedules and all the as-
sociated meetings, deadlines, projects,
and so forth can become a daunting
task. Among the available cloud-based
sites and mobile device apps, you can
find apps and services that will help
you manage your work life. Consider
utilizing event-based planners, group-
oriented reminder apps, services for
meeting coordination, and visual to-do
lists to keep your busy life on track.
When you need to print content from
your mobile device, you can use one
of many available apps to print docu-
ments to supported printers anywhere
in the world. For example, if you are
working on a presentation on your
tablet while traveling and need to
distribute copies to colleagues, you
can print the presentation to a print-
er in your main offce. Some mobile
printing apps let you search a direc-
tory for nearby printers (such as those
in hotels or airports) or locate a print-
er via GPS, so if you need to print a
boarding pass or other content from
your device while traveling, you can
do that, too. Some cloud-based print-
ing apps and services also provide the
option to print by sending an email
attachment to a supported printer, or
to print documents saved in an online
storage service.
With a cloud service such as Microsoft Ofce 365, you can co-author Word documents,
Excel sheets, and other les with colleagues. Unlike traditional Ofce products, you dont
have to save a separate version for yourself or wait until another person closes the le.
If youre a Windows Phone user, you can easily access Ofce 365 apps from your device.
Specically, you can start a new OneNote page, create a new Ofce document, or edit les
saved in SharePoint.
PC Today / January 2014 65
An unfortunate fact about using
an Internet-connected computer these
days, whether it is a personal or com-
pany-issued notebook, is the constant
threat of malware infection. Even
when taking pre-emptive action to
combat malware attacks, theres a fair
chance one will eventually hit your
notebook anyway, if for no other
reason than the sheer volume of mal-
ware that attackers introduce daily.
Frighteningly, research from a leading
security software maker cited 6.5 mil-
lion malware samples were developed
between January and March 2013
alone. Of this number, Trojan horses
accounted for 75% of all malware and
were responsible for 80% of all global
computer infections.
Whats startling is that these attacks
included zero-day threats in which, as
the name suggests, zero days expire
between when a given vulnerability is
discovered and when attackers release
malware targeting the vulnerability.
With malware being so prevalent and
persistent, a large part of combatting
it is being able to recognize signs that
a system may be infected and then
knowing how to troubleshoot the
problem. Also important is what secu-
rity tools are available to detect, protect
against, and remove malware. The fol-
lowing details these issues and others
for notebook business users.
Although new malware variants are
constantly being developed and re-
leased, malware is generally catego-
rized into several common groups,
including viruses, worms, rootkits,
spyware, Trojans, keyloggers, adware,
and ransomware. What these groups
have in common is an aim to infect a
users notebook to steal personal or
company information, hijack the sys-
tem outright, or cause other types of
damage. Malware infections can tran-
spire in numerous ways, including
when you visit an infected website,
install software or an app with mal-
ware hiding inside, click links or open
attachments in email, or insert an in-
fected USB thumb drive.
Though warning signs that mal-
ware may be present can differ de-
pending on the malware type, there
are some primary indicators to look
for. Michela Menting, ABI Research
( senior analyst,
says the most common include ap-
plications and programs running no-
ticeably more slowly, slower Internet
performance, and data or fles that are
unexpectedly deleted or altered. A
Isolate Malware
66 January 2014 /
notebook running more slowly, for
example, could indicate malware is
stealing computing resources to fuel
whatever activity the malware was
designed to execute, such as hijack-
ing the system to help generate and
spread spam to other systems.
Some specifc examples of changes
in notebook performance to watch
out for include programs, fles, and
folders that take longer to open or
that dont open at all and the note-
book taking exceedingly long to
shut down or not shut down at all.
Menting says an easy way to check
for system performance issues on
Windows notebooks is to look at
the processes running in the Task
Manager and pay particular atten-
tion to memory or CPU resources.
If users regularly check the Task
Manager, they may be able to more
easily spot when something looks dif-
ferent from normal, she says.
Other odd or strange system-re-
lated occurrences that can signal pos-
sible malware activity include the
notebooks battery draining more
quickly than normal, beeps or alarms
sounding unexpectedly, and internal
fans speeding up for no obvious
reason. Elsewhere, the sudden and
constant appearance of error messages
can be a clue that malware is present,
as can a Web browsers home page
changing or new toolbars appearing
in the browser without the users in-
volvement. Additionally, an inability
to access various system tools; mes-
sages that report that administrator
rights have been denied; and a sudden
disappearance or appearance of unfa-
miliar icons, shortcuts, folders, photos,
and file types are all other possible
malware warning signs.
Pop-up messages, including those
that display when a Web browser
isnt even open, are another indica-
tion that malware (particularly ad-
ware and Trojans) may be present.
An especially cruel type of malware-
related pop-up is one that warns a
user of security vulnerabilities on his
notebook and recommends that he
download or buy the suggested se-
curity software (which happen to be
fake). Other indicators to look out for
are phony social network posts that
the user appears to initiate and share
with his contacts.
When you suspect malware has in-
fected your notebook, Menting
advises turning off its Internet con-
nection. Most malware will use the
Internet connection to send informa-
tion back or infect other computers
on a network, she says. Isolate the
laptop and then run an antivirus
scan. Additionally, ensure that anti-
virus software on the notebook is
up-to-date with the latest malware
signatures. If not, then copy a free
AV program onto a USB thumb drive
and use it to install [the software] on
the disconnected infected PC, she
says. More sophisticated malware,
Menting says, may be able to obfus-
cate its presence, and others, such as
zero-days, have simply not yet been
uncovered by security firms and,
therefore, an antivirus [program]
will not help. In such cases, Menting
says the best option may be to wipe
the hard drive clean and reinstall the
operating system.
As a means of prevention, Menting
says, at the least, you should en-
sure that a firewall is running and
working properly. Generally, she
says, most operating systems have
built-in security features that users
should activate. Additionally, nu-
merous programs (including PDF
and document-creation programs)
provide options to password-protect
files. These are really useful for
protecting sensitive documents,
she says. On browsers, there are a
number of security features that can
also be activated or increased.
Beyond built-in tools, numerous
malware-removal tools are free for
download and use, as are numerous
useful and easy-to-use program-
based, on-the-fly encryption tools
and anti-theft products. Menting
says, Users should definitely con-
sider protecting their data as well as
their devices. She says specifc fea-
tures and abilities to seek out in such
tools included antivirus, antispam,
antiphishing, and antispyware; fre-
wall and intrusion prevention sys-
tems; email, browser, chat/instant
messaging, and application protec-
tion; privacy, ID, and online trans-
action protection; encryption and
password management; antitheft and
remote locate/lock/wipe; and cloud-
based services and backup platforms.
Usage-wise, routinely run antivirus
scans and avoid opening email and
attachments or clicking links within
messages from senders you dont
recognize; dont reply to suspicious
email; avoid visiting suspicious or un-
known websites; dont click pop-ups
that appear suspicious and consider
using a pop-up blocker; and dont
download and install software from
suspect sources. Additionally, keep
software, including Web browsers
and security programs, updated;
back up data regularly; and report
suspicious activity to your companys
IT department.
Most malware will use the Internet
connection to send information back
or infect other computers on a network.
Isolate the laptop and then run an
antivirus scan.
Michela Menting
senior analyst, ABI Research
PC Today / January 2014 67
Excel spreadsheets are useful for
tracking fnances, storing important fg-
ures, or even creating databases of in-
formation. But the only way to take full
advantage of Excel is to use functions
and formulas. Whether you simply
want to fnd the sum total of a column
of numbers or calculate compound in-
terest, formulas are the best way to
transform your data. Here are examples
of formulas that might save you time.
Because Excel doesnt have
a built-in function for calcu-
lating compound interest,
Microsoft provides a formula that will
get you the results you need using
present value (PV), interest rate (R),
and the number of investment periods
(N). So, if you make an investment
of $100 and want to see how much
money youll have in 10 years with a
4% interest rate, you can plug those
numbers into the =PV*(1+R)^N for-
mula. In our example, your formula
would be 100*(1+.04)^10. Note that
you need to change the 4% figure
into a decimal number, otherwise you
might expect larger than life return
on your investment. Calculate the for-
mula and youll see that over 10 years
your initial $100 investment will grow
to $148.02.
You can calculate percentages in a va-
riety of ways using Excel, depending
on the information you already know.
For instance, you can use a simple di-
vision formula to find a comparison
between two numbers. For instance, if
you shipped 25 products and only one
of them was returned, you can simply
enter =24/25 (or use cell coordinates) to
get a fgure of .96 or 96%. If you want to
calculate change between numbers (200
to 250, for example), you can use the
formula =(250-200)/ABS(200) to get a
growth rate of .25 or 25%.
Excel Formulas
Excel doesnt have a built-in
compound interest function, but you
can use this relatively simple function
to get the same result.
68 January 2014 /
cells and adding them to the end
of the formula =WORKDAY (A1,
A2, A3:A9), which will change the
end date.
Excels NOW function is a quick
and easy way to display the cur-
rent date and time in your spread-
sheet. Type =NOW() into a field
and the date and time will appear.
This information doesnt update
automatically, but rather every
time you make a calculation with-
in the spreadsheet as well as every
time you open that particular Excel
Typing the same thing over and
over can quickly get repetitive,
especially if you need 32,767 in-
stances of the same information.
If you think that number is oddly
specific, youre right. Its the max-
imum number of times you can use
the REPT function, according to
Microsoft. To use the REPT func-
tion, simply take a word, number,
or other entry (Repeat, in this
instance) and tell Excel how many
ti mes you want i t repeated by
typing =REPT(Repeat ,5) into
a cell. You can also use this func-
tion to better visualize data. For
instance, you can use symbols to
represent sales figures or your
amount of customers and watch
your growth over time.
Lets say you keep track of sales
figures over the years using the
same Excel document. Not only
do you want a record of your cur-
rent years sales, but you also want
your sales figure from the previous
year at the top of each sheet. This
will require the use of the SUM
function as well as some cross-sheet
calculation. Using the SUM func-
tion, =SUM(Sheet1!A1:A6) for in-
stance, you can take numbers from
the first sheet, add them together,
and display them in a cell on the
second sheet.
Excels MATCH function makes it
easier to find the location of a spe-
cific figure relative to its order in a
column. For instance, if you are
searching for the number 780 in a
column of 30 cells, you can type the
formula =MATCH(780, B1: B30, 0)
to find your exact match. If the in-
formation is located in the 15th
cell, for instance, youll receive the
result of 15 from the formula. You
can also use a 1 or -1 modifier in
place of the 0 to find the number
that is greater than or less than your
desired fgure.
If you work with figures that have
multiple decimal numbers and need
to round up or down to a specific
decimal place, then Excel has two
easy functions you can use to get
the j ob done: ROUNDUP and
ROUNDDOWN. For example, take
a number you want to round up,
such as 12, 345. 678 and decide
what decimal place you want to
round to. Then, use the function
=ROUNDUP(12, 345. 678, 2) and
Excel will automatically round it up
to 12,345.68.
WORKDAY lets you take a start
date and a number of days to de-
termine what your end date will
be with weekends and holidays
taken into account. For example,
you need to enter the DATE for-
mula, well use =DATE(2014,3,1)
into the A1 cell, and a specific
number of days in the A2 cell,
well use 18, you can use the for-
mul a =WORKDAY( A1,
A2) to find your end date,
which in this case is March
27, 2014. You can also add
holidays to the formula
by entering the dates into
Cross-sheet calculation makes it
possible to link formulas across
multiple sheets in the same
workbook, so you dont have to
copy and paste information or
calculate gures outside of Excel.
function is helpful
if you want to nd
a specic gure in
a long column of
numbers. It shows
you where your
query is located in
relation to the array
you provide in
the formula.
PC Today / January 2014 69
Youre ready to give your presenta-
tion, but until that frst slide appears
on the big screen, you can never be
sure that your equipment has got
your back. We cant tell you not to
worry, but these handy tips should
help bail you out if your presentation
goes south.
It can be difficult to track down the
source of problems that occur when
connecting a notebook and projector.
Following are some things to watch for.
Video. Turn off all equipment and
connect your notebooks video out port
to the projector. The usual connection
choices for a notebook are VGA (Video
Graphics Array), DVI (Digital Visual In-
terface), HDMI (HD Multimedia Inter-
face), and DisplayPort. Many projectors
have VGA and one or more digital con-
nections. If possible, use a digital connec-
tion for high quality.
Sound. Some HDMI and Display-
Port digital video connections can carry
audio through the same port, but both
notebook and projector must support
audio over the digital video connection.
Traditionally, audio is connected using
the notebooks audio out jacks and the
projectors audio in ports; both of these
are often RCA or 3.5mm. If youre not
using the projectors built-in speakers,
make sure you connect your notebooks
audio out to the sound system you
intend to use and turn the volume down
on the projectors speakers.
Mouse. If you are using a mouse, or
a remote mouse controller, make sure
the controller/mouse is connected,
usually through the notebooks USB
port. If you are using a wireless device,
make sure the notebook has the ap-
propriate wireless connection enabled.
This is typically Bluetooth or a USB
port wireless dongle.
Many venues supply network projec-
tors, which are made available as a
If you are using a wireless device, make sure
the notebook has the appropriate wireless
connection enabled.
Solve Laptop-Projector
70 January 2014 /
menu. Your Desktop background
should now appear on the projector.
Win7 also has a pop-up display for
selecting the content that is sent to the
projector. Press the Windows-P keys to
bring up the four possible selections:
Computer only (turns the projector
display off)
Duplicate (mirrors your computers
Desktop on the projector)
Extend (uses the projector as an ex-
tension of your Desktop)
Projector only (turns off your note-
books display and uses the projector
as the main display)
When the projector cant reconcile a
video signal from a notebook with its
preset resolution, it displays an out-of-
range message. To solve this in Win7:
Right-click a blank area on the
Select Screen Resolution.
Select the display associated with
the projector.
Use the resolution drop-down
menu to adjust the resolution to
the correct value. Try 800 x 600 or
1,024 x 768 as these are resolutions
that many projectors can handle.
If the projectors display turns off
during your presentation, check your
notebooks power management fea-
ture, especially if youre running the
notebook off of its battery. Whenever
possible, use your AC adapter to run
your notebook.
Your slide presentation works fine,
but when you try to show a video, all
you see is a blank window or a choppy
rendition of the video. Trying to display
a video on two monitors can be too
much for a video card that has marginal
graphics capabilities. If video isnt dis-
playing correctly, change the Display
settings to make the projector the pri-
mary display.
shared resource. Making a connection
to a network projector is as easy as plug-
ging your notebook into the corporate
network via wired or wireless Ethernet.
Check with the companys IT staff for
specifcs. Once connected, use the net-
work connection wizard in Windows 7
to fnd the projector you wish to use:
Click Start (the Windows button in
the bottom-left corner of the screen).
Click All Programs.
Click Accessories.
Click Connect To A Network
The network connection wizard may
inform you that your notebooks
frewall is blocking the ability to
connect with the projector. Click to
establish the network connection.
Either have the wizard search for
available network projectors or
enter the projectors address manu-
ally if it is available.
Once connected, a Network Presen-
tation window will minimize to your
Taskbar. When youre ready to make
your presentation, open the Network
Presentation window and select Resume.
Your notebook will treat the network
projector like an external monitor.
In many cases, your notebook will de-
tect that you have a projector plugged
into one of its video outputs and will
automatically turn on the port. Not all
notebooks do this, however; and even
those that do can still have missing
video if the notebook isnt set to dupli-
cate the Desktop or extend it to the sec-
ondary monitor (the projector). Many
notebooks use a function key combina-
tion to toggle the projector port on or
off and set how you can use the dis-
play. We recommend using the control
panels in Win7:
Right-click a blank area on the
Select Screen Resolution.
Select the second display from the
drop-down menu.
Select Extend These Displays from
the Multiple Displays drop-down
Turn off all equipment
before connecting the note-
book to the projector.
If possible, use a digital
connection to ensure a
high-quality presentation.
If youre not using the pro-
jectors built-in speakers,
turn them down and con-
nect the notebooks audio
out to the sound system.
If youre using a wireless
mouse or controller, make
sure you can establish the
wireless connection.
Use the straightforward
network connection feature
in Win7 to connect to a net-
work projector.
If there is no video, check
all the ports and then
check Windows Screen
Resolution settings.
Out-of-range messages can
be solved by adjusting the
screen resolution.
When a projected image
isnt proportionally correct,
try repositioning the pro-
jector and/or changing the
projectors keystone setting.
If a display turns off during
a presentation, check the
notebooks power manage-
ment settings.
If video isnt displaying cor-
rectly, change the Display
settings to make the pro-
jector the primary display.
PC Today / January 2014 71
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