The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that, while we continue to hear stories of layoffs, "consolidation", and dire financial straits IT pros are faring quite well. According to a study conducted by employment site Dice.com, IT pros saw an average salary increase of 4.6% last year over 2007. Whether that type of jump will occur throughout 2009 is up for debate and doubtful, it does seem that businesses are recognizing IT professionals for the work that they're doing to help bring efficiency and savings to the business. Good news for IT pros casting a wary eye on the road ahead in 2009.
I reported recently on the fact that spending in IT seems alive and well, based on research I conducted using data from our IT readership panel. Areas such as networking, virtualization, and consolidation are seeing budgets increase in 2009, all in an effort to continue the momentum of IT-drive bottom-line improvements.
CES, the showcase of all tech that is likely to make a splash over the next year, is upon us. While reserved primarily for, as the name implies, consumer technology, there are fundamental tools and technologies that will impact businesses as well.
News coming out of Las Vegas today is around chipmaker Intel's use of existing Wi-Fi radios for personal area network (PAN) connectivity. The release of the updated Wi-Fi driver software will allow the existing wireless 802.11 radios inside devices with the Centrino 2 chipset to use the radio as a means to connect to an IP-based network as well as local, Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The devices, ranging from cameras to network attached storage (NAS) will allow users to rely on the Wi-Fi radio in their Centrino-powered device to provide IP connectivity as well as file sharing and peripheral connectivity. Currently, the standard for most PAN applications and peripheral devices is Bluetooth, however Ozmo Devices, a firm partially funded by Intel, is out to change that.
I'm in the process of reviewing data from the IT Plans and Priorities panel survey which I've mentioned before on the blog. In fact, the last post on the survey was an invite I passed along to our readership and I hope that, as I churn through the data from the survey, I'll be reviewing some of your inputs.
One of the early findings that I'll be writing and publishing formal research on is the fact that, while some areas such as devices (computing clients and mobile devices) may see longer refresh cycles in light of the economy, and certainly when faced with actual budget cuts in 2009, areas such as networking are likely to remain relatively static with some small increases in spending. I attribute the latter to the continued build-out of services such as Wi-Fi networking. Formerly a convenience or "nice to have" element of the network, Wi-Fi is increasingly critical to connect mobile devices and mobile users to applications that house ever more critical, role-specific data.
There's been plenty of news on the state of the economy and how it's affecting everything from the length of the work week to the ability to travel, even Steven Colbert has been forced to make some changes.
It's been said, though, that it's always a recession in IT Operations. Companies look to the advantages technologies like mobile and remote access, unified communications, virtualization and IT consolidation as ways to reduce cost while keeping - and in many cases, expanding - functionality.
So what are your peers doing to keep IT budgets in check and save their organizations money during this financial tumult? I'm looking to our research panel to find out. We're currently in the process of fielding a panel survey to assess the measures organizations are taking to reduce costs and make and I'd like you to participate. While this research is in the field, joining our research panel gives you the opportunity to share your best practices, a link to join is here:
Tom Waits fans know the title of this post as one of his pieces and one that was used in the Enron documentary "The Smartest Guys In the Room." There's a YouTube video of the Waits piece here, if you're interested. Doing some research recently, the first couple lines of the song - if one can call it that - started playing in my head as I began contemplating what Cisco is planning for its upcoming, and much publicized 11/11/08 release. I've been piecing together some things I'm seeing in emails and Cisco blog posts and they're definitely building something "in there" in San Jose. The question is, "what is it?"
I'm concerned about the state of WLAN vendor marketing. In the last year, a relatively precipitous drop-off of marketing driven "news" has occurred in my RSS reader, and a noticeable lack of "pitch decks" are finding their way into my inbox. That's not to say that I'm not still drowning in press releases (no, the fact that the Poughkeepsie School District is using your solution is not worthy of coverage) but I'm seeing less and less sizzle in a time where more would be better. A good thing for me, perhaps, but not a good thing for continuing to make the case for Wi-Fi.
It seems the WLAN acquisition rumor mill is hot again after a recent drop in Aruba Network (ARUN) shares nearly a week ago. Still not trading near its most recent trough of $4.29/share on July 14, according to Google Finance, I am not convinced that the next acquisition announcement will involve Aruba.
The company, publicly traded and still letting the ink dry on it's government go-to-market partnership with Foundry, still seems a formidable pill for any other networking powerhouse - Juniper being everyone's favorite contender - to swallow.
Readers of this blog know that I'm quick to extol the virtues of 802.11n as a means to un-wire client devices and allow users to roam free. The technology has the potential to provide these users a parity of experience on wireless with the wired networks they may leave behind while leaving them unencumbered to explore new modes of work. Enterprises are making the move to more flexible work environments seriously, take Cisco's Workplace Of The Future, for example.
Forrester's take on the status of WiMax as an enterprise service - based on a recently published report I worked on with my colleague Lisa Pierce - is being discussed in Network World's "Newsmaker Of The Week" podcast, where I discuss where WiMax is today in terms of a network build-out and service availability, its potential uses in the enterprise and its (lack of) potential to eclipse Wi-Fi in the enterprise.
It's a short but informative piece that is a good digest of the report; it goes live today here.