Here are five news items that may have slipped under your radar. What did I miss? Tell me in comments.
1. Sprint foundering on weak earnings and high churn.
The carrier is squeezed between an aggressive cost cutter (T-Mobile) and mature players (AT&T, Verizon) that are not ceding ground. While Sprint’s most recent earnings report beat analyst estimates, its stock is down 43 percent year-over-year, and it posted an operating loss. Meanwhile, the carrier, as expected, bowed out of the recent spectrum auction to conserve cash. Is there room in the market long-term for four carriers — especially if Google decides to go big in the wireless phone business?
2. Speaking of Google, things are getting real on Chromebooks.
Chromebooks as a PC replacement have made strides in the education market but have yet to really take off in the enterprise. No doubt looking to change that, Google this week released six native Android apps to run in Chrome, reports GigaOm, including a slideshare app. They complement the Google Apps for Work suite. IDC predicts sales of Chromebooks will top 9million in 2015 compared to 2.6 million in 2013. If you have not been recommending these devices, like the ruggedized new Acer models, for PC (and heck, tablet) replacements, take a look.
3. The Anthem breach isn’t the half of it. Literally.
As security vendor IT Governance noted in a blog post this week, there have been five major breaches of health-care data already this year. And these are just the ones we know about. One factor at the root of the problem: an ongoing shortage of security expertise. Companies can’t find InfoSec pros, and if they do, they can’t afford them. MSSPs and other solutions providers with strong security chops should be leading with that.
4. How well do you get along with customer CIOs?
Deloitte this week dropped the 2015 version of its popular annual Tech Trends report. The consultancy says that to stay relevant, a typical CIO must work like a venture capitalist, provide visibility into the IT “balance sheet,” and organize assets to address business priorities. Sounds like a big dose of transparency and an effort to stop business units from making tech buys behind IT’s back. If you’ve been riding the “shadow IT” gravy train, Deloitte suggests you watch for a derailment in 2015.
5. Twitter is not dead. Do you have a social strategy?
I know, social takes a lot of time, and at best Twitter is a time suck. At worst it’s like a fire hose of information that drowns your day. But those wishing the social network would get its wings clipped are out of luck. While user growth and engagement are flat, earnings are up and the network signed a deal with that will pull Tweets into Google search results sometime later this year. Solutions providers that ignore social marketing in 2015 may regret that decision.
Follow executive editor @LornaGarey on Twitter.