The $500,000 to $1M/hour problem of choosing the wrong Internet provider

‘Sunny ways shines’ on innovation, making the Web faster and why it’s never too late to learn new skills

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The Internet is down. Now, what?

Internet outages can be annoying, not to mention costly for many businesses.

One IDC study estimates that the failure of a mission-critical application can cost, on average, as much as $500,000 to $1 million per hour for Fortune 1000 companies.

This recent article on, compiles some of the best practices IT departments can employ to limit the impact of an Internet outage.

Spoiler alert, some of these recommendations are practices that many organizations tend to ignore – such as creating a contingency plan.

Google’s AMP project aims to speed up the Web

As mobile devices become more powerful with every release cycle, developers come up with faster native apps that take better advantage of all that power.

Ironically, as apps get faster, the Web is getting slower. This is why Apple rolled out Apple News and Facebook introduced Facebook Instant Articles which allows articles to load up to 10 times that the mobile Web. Both appear to RSS from publishers and optimize the content for delivery within their applications.

Instant Articles are only available via Facebook’s mobile app and it means users only get a faster and richer experience if they are reading articles from Instant Articles partners such as BBZ, Buzzfeed, and National Geographic. It looks like Apples News works the same way.

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project doesn’t use RSS and HTML but rather the company’s own modified subset of HTML with AMP’s own limited set of tags.

AMP promises faster pages, no tracking scripts and no JavaScript and no ads asking you to sign up for newsletters.

But it could be problematic if you prefer the open Web and current HTML standards.

Building trust in an omni-channel world

Transforming customer not about getting a handle on what the next killer app will be, according to Jeff Henderson, CIO of TD Bank.

“It’s all about delivering an infrastructure and an architecture that keeps us agile,” he said in a recent interview with Shane Schick.

Designing an omni-channel customer experience is critical to TD strategy but it still boils down to trust.

Henderson discussed how he deals with the security and privacy risks that surface when information is made more accessible.

Although it might put TD at a disadvantage relative to companies that are less regulated, the bank “will never trade off security” or take a chance eroding the trust of its customers, said Henderson.

“If we lose that relationship with our customers, the value they place in us starts to erode pretty quickly,” he said.

Best of expertIP

Learning never ends

After working for 19 years in the IT industry, Don Miller, systems administrator for a company in Western Idaho, is heading back to college.

It’s never too late to learn new skills, the 50-year-old IT professional wrote in his Spiceworks blog.

You could say Miller’s plans are instructional for young and seasoned IT professionals who want to take their careers to a new level.

Supporting a single network for the last 10 years, he felt he lost some skillset and failed to keep up with technology. Now working towards a degree in information technology, Millers looks forward to graduating with his MCSE, Security+, A+, Network+ and Project+ certifications, as well as being a certified Web developer.

“My goal is to take my 20 years of IT experience and my new degree and become an IT manager or CIO with a larger organization,” he said. “At almost 50, I feel like I’m getting too old to keep crawling under people’s desks.”

How talking business leads to IT project success

In their presentation at the Government Technology Exhibition and Conference (GTEC) held in Ottawa several weeks ago, managers of a network project by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada, revealed some excellent pointers in how a strong focus on business results can lead to successful project implementations

For example, in discussing service bus meant to strengthen information governance, the presenters said they refrained from talking about service-oriented architecture – a concept more familiar to IT managers than to business-line directors – and instead billed the bus as a cost saver and better way of keeping track of information.

Results-focused topics are easier for business managers to understand, they said.

Why government needs to alter its approach to Web governance

Governments tend to approach Web governance with the right intentions but the wrong measures, according to Melissa Hathaway, former director of the U.S. Joint Interagency Cyber Task Force during the George W. Bush presidency and a member of the National Security Council in the Obama administration.

Speaking at GTEC, Hathaway said governments invest in IT research, high-tech skills development, and other innovation initiatives but at the same time are wary of the Web, malware and cyber-espionage and end up passing laws to block spam, track down criminals and thwart online terrorists.

The economic benefits of the Web depend on worldwide information sharing, she said. Unfortunately, this lack of alignment of the economic and security sides of technology often result in laws meant to safeguard information end up hindering the global flow of data.

More tech terms for business leaders

In the last few years, social engineering has become a familiar term not only in the business world but also to consumers in general. The same goes with spear-phishing, Trojan, and malware.

But what about terms like scrubbing-station, UTM, whaling and zero-day?

Dax Nair, director of marketing for unified communications at Allstream, tackles 20 more tech terms in the final installment of his three-part series of explaining complex IT security jargon to business executives.

  1. The Financial Post
  2. Networkworld
  3. ArsTechnica

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