CompTIA is the non-profit trade association advancing the global interests of information technology (IT) professionals and companies including manufacturers, distributors, resellers, and educational institutions. Since 1982 CompTIA has supported and led the global IT industry through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and political advocacy.
How the Future of Technology Will Determine the Future of Channel Services
As major trends like cloud computing, mobility and Big Data continue to dominate technology headlines and channel discussions; there are a number of interesting developments taking place at other levels of the technology universe. Improvements to the most basic building blocks of IT have enabled today’s trends, and tomorrow’s trends will be fueled by the pioneering improvements currently underway:
Computing: The end of Moore’s Law has been predicted for at least a decade, but many industry experts believe that it may actually be near as current fabrication processes beyond 10-nanometer truly push up against the laws of physics and also become prohibitively expensive. However, several potential technologies may allow computing capacity to increase, even if not at the rate of doubling every 18 months. 3D transistors, 3D stacking and the use of graphene as the primary transistor material all show promise, and new techniques in software development could also improve performance.
Storage: With IDC estimating the amount of global data at 2.7 zettabytes at the end of 2012 and the amount of data doubling every two years, storage has never been more critical. The pricing and density of both flash storage and DRAM have improved to make them more palatable options recently, leading to the rise of applications such as in-memory databases. Further out, technologies such as Read more.
Why the IT Industry Needs Cloud Certification
Given the rapid rate of change and the addition of new players in the cloud market, it’s rare that organizations will understand the entire scope of knowledge that they need to cut through the sales pitches and successfully deploy the cloud solution that is right for them. In-house cloud solution knowledge and skills still vary greatly by organization.
“At this point in time, people are unconsciously incompetent,” said Dave Nelson, VMware IT Academy Program director with VMware Global Education. “They don’t know that they don’t know.”
To address this problem, CompTIA worked with cloud subject matter experts to develop the CompTIA Cloud+ certification exam. Subject matter experts invested hours into defining cloud concepts, specifying cloud technologies and articulating ways to quantify cloud skills.
The certification exam, available now, “creates a standard industry definition of the core concepts and skills involved with cloud computing solutions,” said Craig Cardinet, director of information technology at EMW Inc.; one of the subject matter experts who helped develop the exam.
The Cloud Rush
The need for common definitions and clarity in the cloud market is critical given cloud’s rapid evolution as a game-changer for business.
Ninety percent of companies say they use some form of cloud computing, according to the CompTIA Fourth Annual Trends in Cloud Computing report, released in August 2013. That’s up from 80 percent in 2012.
And Gartner estimates that the global public cloud services market will account for $131 billion in revenue in 2013, an 18.5 percent increase from 2012.
Benefits cited by cloud users include ability to cut...
The Latest Mobility Trends Create a Number of New Options for the Channel
One of the core values for IT channel companies is the ability to improve the productivity, operational efficiency and overall success of a variety of small- to medium-sized businesses. That custom has undergone a variety of transformations over the years — from break-fix to managed services, and from traditional software and hardware to the latest cloud offerings. These channel makeovers altered not only the way technology and support services are delivered, but how organizations finance their computer systems and network infrastructure.
While each of these changes adds incremental value to the overall business community, they also improve the opportunities available to solution providers. Many organizations simply can’t reach their full potential using the one-size-fits-all-type portfolio that some IT companies offer. VARs and MSPs, on the other hand, understand that each of their clients face a variety of unique business challenges and compliance issues and realize the importance of customizing their solutions to address those specific concerns.
In a similar fashion to managed services and cloud solutions, mobility is transforming the way businesses are purchasing and consuming technology. Platforms for smartphones and tablets continue to grow almost as fast as the number of people using them. With businesses becoming so dependent on mobile devices, it’s not a matter of if solution providers want to adapt their portfolio to account for this latest technology shift, but how soon they can make the leap.
Shipments of smartphones and tablets are expected to exceed desktop and laptop computers this year, so it’s a great time for IT professionals to capitalize on the BYOD and enterprise mobility market. Whether starting a new practice or expanding their service offerings, solution providers who understand these technologies and how they can enhance their clients’...
Startup 3.0 Incentivizes Growth and Innovation for Small IT Businesses
Earlier this year, a bipartisan group on Capitol Hill recognized the potential for start-up companies and introduced the “Startup Act 3.0” bill in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This legislation aims to spur small business entrepreneurship on a national scale, advancing innovation and our national economy.
Startup 3.0 legislation offers straightforward solutions to some of the problems facing many small start-up companies. It encourages capital investment in start-ups by providing a 100 percent capital gain exclusion for certain start-up investments. It also incentivizes these businesses to perform research and experimentation by allowing an R&E credit to be offset by payroll taxes. In addition to freeing up capital for these businesses, it also removes some of the barriers that currently limit their access to the most talented workforce.
CompTIA believes the Startup 3.0 legislation will facilitate both meaningful growth and a pathway to innovation for SMBs. Providing real support for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce will certainly further our national efforts to create and sustain high-paying tech jobs.
We support steps to create new visas for U.S.-educated students and entrepreneurs. Providing visas for world-class talent will help to fill the thousands of IT-related jobs currently open, furthering opportunities for starting and growing new businesses in the U.S.
We are also supportive of the small business research and development credit included in this legislation, which will help level the playing field between small start-ups and big corporations. Start-ups are an important incubator of new innovations, and we encourage and support these new small companies.
We urge Congress to move quickly to pass this legislation. This is an important step that will aid in...
The Time Has Come For a National Data Breach Notification Framework
The world has changed a lot in the last decade, and as it continues to get more complicated, it’s imperative that we promote and adopt public policies that reflect this. The mobility of people, devices and data will only continue to expand in new and novel ways that we cannot possibly predict. Consumers and small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need a national data breach notification (DBN) framework that provides one-stop shopping and clear rules of the road for notifying consumers when their personally identifying information (PII) has been breached, eliminating regulatory uncertainty.
DBN laws generally require businesses to notify consumers that their PII has been breached or disclosed to unauthorized individuals. The first state DBN law was enacted by California in 2003 in response to rapid growth of the Internet. But what started 10 years ago as an effort to ensure consumers received notice about a breach to their PII has turned into a complicated quagmire; a patchwork of more than 47 state DBN laws that complicates the notice process for consumers and adds an unnecessary regulatory barrier for SMBs.
For example, state DBN laws vary as to when a consumer notice should be provided. Some state DBN laws require consumer notice when a company is made aware of a breach. Other state DBN laws require notice only if the breached data has the likelihood of resulting in harm to the consumer. Moreover, all state DBN laws differ on the type of penalties and fines that can be imposed and whether a consumer can file a private right of action against a company that has suffered a breach of consumer PII.
Under the current state-by-state DBN regime, there are various scenarios in which state data breach laws do not help the consumer and create regulatory uncertainty for...
Why Your IT Business Needs To Get Involved in Public Policy
Since the IT industry plays such an important role across so many sectors of the U.S. economy, it has direct influence over our nation’s ability to innovate, grow and create sustainable jobs. Not surprisingly, then, federal policy-makers want to know what they can do to help expand our industry. While these efforts are often well-intentioned and sometimes quite helpful, they’re occasionally a bit off-target.
As a consequence, it is crucial that industry provide input and expertise as various policy debates unfold. In Washington, D.C., larger technology companies are already well-represented and being heard on Capitol Hill. While there can be significant consensus throughout the industry on a variety of issues, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in IT have slightly different needs and concerns that are not as well-represented. That is where CompTIA has planted its flag – in support of the SMB tech entrepreneur.
A sizeable portion of anticipated workforce growth will come from start-ups and tech SMBs. The SMB sector of the IT industry accounts for about 40 percent of industry jobs, or more than 2 million workers, and 163,000 employer businesses that maintain a payroll. Moreover, there are an estimated 400,000 self-employed IT industry workers that are not classified as business establishments by the U.S. Census Bureau Economic Census but, nonetheless, provide meaningful employment and services throughout the country.
To have a stronger voice for tech SMBs on Capitol Hill and within the executive branch, we formed TechVoice in 2011. It’s a partnership of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA), and participating regional technology associations. TechVoice gives eyes, ears...
Get Valuable Channel Education Whenever and Wherever You Need It
The vast majority of entrepreneurs who attempt to make any life- or business-altering changes typically fall back into their usual activities within weeks, if not days. After all, change rarely comes easy and long-established routines are the hardest to break, with most who attempt it defaulting back to a more comfortable practice.
That challenge is just one reason why successful solution providers look to industry associations and trusted partners such as vendors, distributors and consultants to help them break old habits and create new, more productive behaviors. The education and training programs offered by these organizations are typically designed to expand solution providers’ client-oriented skills and abilities, as well as their internal business processes.
Of course, the value of those programs and tools is often dependent on the flexibility they offer to prospective participants, whose busy schedules may not allow them to attend live classes or webinars from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For solution providers, those time restrictions are often much tighter. Between the rapidly expanding needs of their clients and employees, as well as myriad business-related issues, there’s little time for the training and education needed to grow the business.
Of course, in the IT industry, change is a part of everyday activities. As innovation and customer needs continue to grow at breakneck speed, solution providers have to adapt their business practices just as fast if not faster to stay ahead of their competition. So when they can’t carve out time for a 1:00 p.m. webinar to help them acclimate to those changes or attend a distant conference to gain new skills, they may find themselves behind the eight ball. That is, unless they have access to the new CompTIA Read more.
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