Vista does not improve tax payers' welfare
With reference to "Lack of apps delays council Vista roll-out", I find it rather disturbing that a local government organisation should be considering such a move in the first place. Newham, after all, is one of the poorest boroughs in the land, and Newham Borough Council's job is to provide decent services to people who live there.
I would suggest that Newham's decision to be an early adopter of Vista has much more to do with its relationship with Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft than it does with providing quality services to the good people of Newham.
Richard Steel's comment that there was insufficient planning is astounding, as well as being an admission of the manifest incompetence of his own office. Surely, when you put yourself up as an early adopter of a new technology, planning is even more important than normal.
I would like to ask Steel what the productivity gains that he expects from Vista have to do with providing a decent living environment for the council tax payers of Newham. They need housing and education far more than Windows Vista.
App virtualisation can ease website pressure
Managing director, EMEA DataSynapse
The failure of Northern Rock's website under pressure is the second incident in as many months to demonstrate that online service provision is often not as resilient as it should or could be.
Karl Flinders rightly points out that the episode shows "how critical it is for businesses to ensure their websites continue to perform during unexpected peaks in demand". In August, Egg was the victim when Cable and Wireless' network went down for nearly 24 hours and customers were unable to access their accounts through the site.
Many organisations will have contingency plans in place, but in exceptional circumstances they do not stand up. No one predicted the Northern Rock crisis, so one could argue that it is understandable the system collapsed. However, technologies exist that make this an outdated assumption.
Yes, you can have web accelerators and timing systems, but this is a distraction rather than a solution. Yes, you can add extra capacity, have dual-site contingency, a multi-server infrastructure and monitor online activity to anticipate possible stretch demand levels, but what happens when the stretch is too much?
Organisations need to be building an on-demand infrastructure that is flexible enough to withstand unprecedented and unplanned-for levels of pressure.
And this is where application virtualisation, which places the emphasis on application performance and provisioning, comes into its own.
By simplifying infrastructure management, IT departments can respond with real-time solutions to mission critical problems, ensuring consistent service provision and, most importantly, protecting the brand. In today's unpredictable world, the ability to react quickly is key.
Asset management can track carbon footprints
Robin Martin, Managing director, IBM Maximo
Companies are increasingly aware of their carbon footprint and are taking steps towards reducing their impact on the environment. I believe that significant reductions in carbon emissions can be achieved through the maintenance, and indeed, the management of an organisation's assets.
Investment in technology to track the performance of assets can highlight areas of inefficient energy performance, thus demonstrating the optimal time for assets to be repaired or replaced.
There are two core ways in which asset management can help companies deliver positive environmental results. From a reporting perspective, tracking information related to carbon emissions, energy consumption and performance, and their environmental impact will be increasingly important, as organisations look to include environmental issues in their annual reports.
Second, asset management can help businesses demonstrate what they are doing to actually reduce that impact through best practice and processes.
Technology is one of the most sustainable routes to decreasing the environmental impact of industry and the assets it uses.
Unless companies know exactly where they are in the journey from an environmental footprint perspective, then surely they cannot gauge whether they are making any improvements?
Unquestioning security spend must be reined in
Earnie Kramer, managing director, Lightspeed Systems (Europe)
Businesses cannot afford to unquestioningly invest in security technologies that deliver no return on investment or tangible business value. Gartner's comments at the London IT Security Summit are another timely reminder that IT security spending is getting out of control and must be reined in.
Despite an escalating year on year spend on security products, breaches and incidents continue to increase. As organisations create a highly complex infrastructure of point security systems, they are in danger of losing control.
To be frank, the majority of security installations in place today are an accident waiting to happen.
It is only by monitoring actual network activity that any organisation can develop the security controls - and systems - that truly reflect business risk.
Isn't it time to call the security industry's bluff and deliver a network security system that actually protects against the real business threats?