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Social Media Hacks, Acquisitions & More- Tech Roundup June 2016

Posted on July 06, 2016
  
Social Media Blocks

This month’s tech roundup touches on 2 key topics: social media & improving your IT. The big headline this month was Microsoft buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. Mark Zuckerberg got hacked and Twitter and LinkedIn may be to blame for it. To close it up, the last two articles will provide some key insight into outsourcing IT and tips to take your IT to the next level.

Zuckerberg Hacked- Are Twitter & LinkedIn to Blame?

A few weeks ago, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was hacked. Many of his social media accounts including his Twitter and LinkedIn were breached and vandalized. Luckily according to Facebook, “No Facebook systems or accounts were accessed”, and the accounts that were hacked are now re-secured using best practices. “OurMine Team” is the group taking credit for the hijackings—but they seem to be more mischief- than evil-minded.

The important thing to take away from all of this: data breaches, whether the victim is high-profile or not, can result in brand damage of the hacked organization. According to a Centify Survey in the article on TechNewsWorld.com, “Consumers hold companies more accountable for data breaches than they hold the hackers behind the breaches.” In this instance, maybe LinkedIn and Twitter are to blame because they supposedly have multifactor authentication, which was turned off when the breach occurred.

Apogee IT Services stresses the importance of a multi-layer security profile for all SMBs -- email and SPAM filtering, perimeter protection (firewall), security training for end users, and additional security measures such as multifactor authentication. Cybercriminals continue to become more insidious than ever, with security issues and breaches occurring at an alarming rate. All companies, large and small, are targets. If you want to ensure that your company has the best IT practices, contact us today.

Microsoft & LinkedIn Join Forces

Speaking of social media sites, in mid-June it was announced that LinkedIn is being acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion, according to TechCrunch.com. The deal has been approved by the Microsoft and LinkedIn boards of directors and is expected to close this year, making it the largest acquisition in Microsoft’s history. LinkedIn stock is now set at $196 per share; this is a big difference compared to its pre-acquisition stock price of $131.08.

Microsoft plans to include LinkedIn in their productivity and business processes segment while still keeping LinkedIn’s brand and product the same. Microsoft has put much time and effort into their software, but they have also always been successful with regard to social networking (for example—they invested in Facebook before it went public).

This acquisition gives Microsoft a one-up in this sector. “Integrating these two successful companies would broaden their reach, enhance their utility, and create market-leading services for business customers,” the companies said. Connections and data from Microsoft and LinkedIn that at one time could’ve taken many steps to find and plug together, are now getting combined through the two services, which in turn will make the working population more productive. Stay tuned in the next few months to see what the two companies bring together and have in store. In the meantime, check out Apogee IT Services’ LinkedIn page.

IT Jobs Lost to Offshore Contractors…Yet Again

New York Life is an insurance company that employs over 9,000 people, 1,400 of which work in IT for the company.  However, these numbers are increasingly dwindling.  By the end of 2018 they expect the number of IT workers to be around 1,000. Why are the number of IT employees decreasing when the IT industry is supposed to be booming?

IT employees at New York Life are being forced to train workers overseas to do their jobs, and then the foreign workers eventually replace them. Imagine having to train someone in a foreign country how to do your job, while knowing that once that person feels they know enough—you will be getting laid off.

New York Life claims that their focus is on insurance, not IT; therefore, they needed to concentrate on their roots. It is important to note that what New York Life is doing is not much different than what many other companies are doing—small or large.

The issue of offshore outsourcing IT has caused a lot of IT pain for many different small- and medium- sized businesses. These companies don’t have the same standards for client relationships and could be remoting in from hundreds of miles away. Choosing an IT provider isn’t easy, but when you make the right decision, everything comes together and results in world-class IT without the hassle of hiring and managing an entire in-house team. With Apogee IT Services, your business won’t have to spend time thinking about IT staffing, laying off IT people, or most importantly—having IT pain.

To learn more about New York Life’s IT jobs that are being lost to offshore contractors, read the full article.

Strategies to Take IT to the Next Level

Smart business leaders know that having state-of-the-art infrastructure alone will not protect their companies from industry disruptions. The article titled How CIOs Can Take IT to the Next Level by Anticipating Industry Disruptions on CIO.com provides tips for managed service providers staying ahead of the game when it comes to IT troubles for businesses.

The first tip is to focus more on organizational agility than infrastructure efficiency. It is outdated and wrong to think that the only thing your business needs to be successful is strong infrastructure. “Organizational flexibility and agility are what’ll help your business to continuously innovate, improve customer experience and increase customer value.” says CIO.com. It is important to remember that IT's business value= infrastructure efficiency + organizational agility.

The second tip is to communicate your digital transformation strategy and set up a group of tech’s who can work together on this. The article states “never base your transformation on technology change motives—rather, stress the value stream transformation benefits.”

These two tips highlight the need for a strong managed services provider. You need infrastructure efficiency—IT done the right way. But you also need organizational agility, which encompasses a wide variety of functions. Finally, you need strategic advisement…a group of people who are focusing on the future of your organization from a technology perspective. These three are core competencies of a reputable managed services provider like Apogee IT Services. Learn more about what we do and how we can help take your business to the next level.   

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