HP to Acquire Poly in Clear Pivot for Hybrid Model Work Solutions

HP Inc. announced that it will be acquiring Poly, a video and audio equipment provider, for over $3 billion in valuations. Compulink is a proud partner and reseller of HPI and Poly, and we are very excited for both companies. 

The acquisition is a clear sign that HPI is looking to bolster their hybrid work solutions as more companies continue trending towards a combination of more remote and on-site workforces. By providing both 

“The rise of the hybrid office creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine the way work gets done,” said Enrique Lores, President and CEO of HP. “Combining HP and Poly creates a leading portfolio of hybrid work solutions across large and growing markets. Poly’s strong technology, complementary go-to-market, and talented team will help to drive long-term profitable growth as we continue building a stronger HP.”

To read the full press release, click here

If you are looking to purchase remote and hybrid work solutions from either HPI or Poly, visit our E-Store

 

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How MWBEs in New York persevered through the pandemic

Minority- and women-owned businesses dot the many regions of New York state. Some have been in business for more than 20 years, others just over a decade, and they are owned and run by women, minorities or both. They are New York’s long-standing MWBEs.

Many were able to start their businesses smoothly, growing and developing in their industries over the years to become reliable enough to maintain a sustainable clientele. Some even caught the attention of state agencies and educational institutions, which helped these MWBEs remain successful after they secured their MWBE state certifications.

But like all other businesses, these companies faced an uncertain future two years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic started. Some of the MWBEs listed below were left with little to no clientele when the first shelter in place order was issued in March 2020. This led to some employees being let go or furloughed. Some of these MWBEs had to reinvent themselves to fit the needs of a population largely under quarantine, while others saw increased demand for their work. 

Two years later, these eight MWBEs have bounced back as business returns to normal. These MWBEs learned a lot during this daunting period for their company and their employees, perhaps enough to endure any future difficulties.

DRB BUSINESS INTERIORS

Saratoga Springs
Owner: Dorothy Rogers-Bullis

Drb Business Interiors has been in business since 2009 and offers over 200 pieces of furniture for professional environments. The company designs the pieces, assists clients in making selections and handles the installation process. Drb had its tough moments during the pandemic, when it reduced its team from 15 people to less than 10. But it looks like Drb has plans to hire new employees, with owner Dorothy Rogers-Bullis optimistic about the company’s future. “Never stop on a hill,” she tells herself and her team.

B&W SUPPLY

Ithaca
Owners: Becky Benjamin, Hoyt Benjamin Jr., Chase Benjamin

Since 1976, this family-owned business has been providing food businesses with everything from restaurant equipment to paper and janitorial supplies. Its products can be found in catalogs such as Carlisle Companies for utensils and kitchen supplies, Garland Group for gas equipment and Pitco for fryers. B&W also has a showroom in Ithaca. During the pandemic, B&W had to make an adjustment by selling in-demand items, like personal protective equipment and restaurant takeout containers instead of larger equipment. The Benjamin family believes their future is bright and that they will continue to survive and serve their customers.

MINORITECH INC.

Rochester
Owners: John Marcaida, Richard Marcaida and Patricia Marcaida

Patience, perseverance and persistence – that’s what it took for this engineering company to find nationwide success. Created by Emma Briones, a Filipina immigrant who first began working for Kodak, the name MinoriTech refers to her minority and technology background. Now, it is her children – John Marcaida, Richard Marcaida and Patricia Marcaida – who are running everything. These past two years have not been easy, but having a diversified client base as well as a wide range of products and numerous suppliers has helped keep MinoriTech afloat. Government financial assistance also helped, and things are looking up. MinoriTech was able to hire a part-time customer service representative, and it is hoping to continue to grow both in Western New York and New York City.

MAEDA CONSTRUCTION INC.

Staatsburg
Owner: Robert Drost

Putnam County’s Maeda Construction primarily does commercial and industrial projects, along with some affordable housing projects. The pandemic shut down many construction projects in New York, which hurt Maeda. Luckily, an approved Paycheck Protection Program loan gave the business “some room to breathe for a little while,” owner Robert Drost said. Doing private work was not easy since Maeda could not get concrete deliveries without a note from the city or town where it was working. Drost said the company is back and running at 100%, and COVID-19 taught them to “trim the fat” and not go overboard with expenses.

NEW YORK AMSTERDAM NEWS

Manhattan
Owner: Elinor Tatum

For over 100 years, the New York Amsterdam News has been one of the most respected Black newspapers, not only in New York City, but the entire country. Like so many news publications during the pandemic, it faced uncertainty when the whole city had to go into lockdown in March 2020. Luckily, Publisher Elinor Tatum made sure the New York Amsterdam News adjusted quickly. “We immediately went to a remote model,” she said. “Never missing an edition. Continued to print the paper as well as launch a new website and (creating) a new daily newsletter. While very challenging, it was a time of great creativity and team building in a very different way.” For the future, the New York Amsterdam News, New York City’s oldest Black newspaper, will continue to expand and grow its audiences while leveraging its philanthropic opportunities to ensure its sustainability and growth.

MICROKNOWLEDGE INC.

Latham
Owner: Kathleen Pingelski

Since 1986, MicroKnowledge has been training nonprofits, credit unions and state government departments with the latest technology, along with technology consulting and providing documentation services. The business has been serving both New York and the rest of the country and has been certified as an MWBE for nearly 30 years. But that did not insulate MicroKnowledge from struggling during the pandemic. In March and April 2020, the company lost 75% of its clientele. Fortunately, MicroKnowledge pivoted. It trained state employees in database tracing for New York’s COVID-19 initiative, which meant while it didn’t trace the virus itself, it helped workers learn to do the tracing. These days, business is back to normal, and as its President Kathleen Pingelski said, it’s all about asking: Where is the new business challenge?

IMPROVE

Chappaqua
Owner: Nona Ullman

Giving technical support to school districts, higher education institutions and other government agencies all over the state and the country since 2005, one would think Improve would not have struggled when COVID-19 hit. But instead, as owner Nona Ullman said, their work “ground to a halt,” despite all the school districts moving lessons and classroom management completely online. But as federal aid trickled down, Improve’s team became very busy, and it continued to develop business with major New York clients, such as the State University of New York.

COMPULINK TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 

Manhattan
CEO and Founder: Rafael Arboleda

For over 15 years, Compulink has been providing information technology services to government agencies, nonprofits, commercial businesses and others. The company was fortunate to be active when the pandemic began as government clients needed help transitioning to virtual work. However, as marketing coordinator Liam Hanvey explained, “As the pandemic progressed, we were one of the first industries to be affected by global supply chain shortages, the effects of which are still being felt today.” The good news, though, is that Compulink has rapidly adapted to the “new normal” and is expanding its services to its clients with the newest IT products available.

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highest paying tech jobs in 2022

As of 2022, over half of the global economy is built on, or influenced by, digital services, according to global marketing intelligence firm IDC. It also estimates that by 2023, 90% of organisations worldwide will have started to prioritise their investments in digital tools to augment physical spaces and assets.

With all this investment, expect to see careers in the IT sector continue to grow as demand for roles increases. In the UK, for example, the latest KPMG UK Tech Monitor found that in Q3 2021, rising volumes of new work and efforts to expand capacity led companies to add to their payrolls once again. The rate of job creation was only fractionally slower than the record pace seen in the previous quarter.

Similarly, in the United States, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections demonstrate that tech occupations are set to grow by 11% through to 2029, which is “much faster than the average for all occupations”.

As well as great growth, a career in the technology sector can be very lucrative, especially as companies fight for the best talent causing some salaries around the world to inflate.

We’ve compiled a list of the highest-paying tech jobs in 2022 for both the UK and US, with data based on GlassDoor figures for both the UK and US. Don’t forget that most of these careers require extensive work experience and training, and for many it can be a fairly competitive market.

  1. IoT Solutions Architect

    Average salary US: $127,454/year

    Contrary to popular belief, the Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer in its infancy. Worldwide, 41 billion IoT devices will be installed by 2027 — up from 17.1 billion in 2016. 

    An IoT architect primarily oversees the development and deployment of IoT-based solutions

    involving a network of internet-connected objects exchanging data using embedded sensors. IoT developers are also well-versed in systems engineering and hardware device programming.

  2. Big Data Engineer

    Average salary UK: £48,414/year

    Average salary US: $104,463/year

    Big Data engineers turn large volumes of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data into usable data. Also tasked with designing scalable data management systems, top-tier algorithms, and predictive models, big data engineers foretell market fluctuations, industry shifts, and other trends with high levels of accuracy. 

    The most common titles for big data engineers include business intelligence developer, data analyst, and research scientist.

  3. Cloud Architect

    Average salary UK: £70,507/year

    Average salary US: $137,265/year

    Cloud architects design and develop cloud environments. A cloud architect may suggest a public, private, or hybrid cloud infrastructure depending on the organization’s needs. Cloud architects also carry out deployment, maintenance, monitoring, and management tasks within the implemented cloud structure.

    Cloud architects may also choose cloud providers and vet third-party services for compatibility and security.

  4. Computer Network Architect

    Average salary UK: £51,185/year 

    Average salary US: $113,488/year 

    Computer network architects, or network engineers, design data communication networks from the ground up. Proposed networks may include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets, and extranets. After deployment, network architects troubleshoot issues as they arise. They also research new networking technologies and upgrade hardware and software, such as routers and network drivers, to support computer networks. Computer systems analyst, network administrator, and systems architect are popular job titles in computer network architecture. With an average annual pay of $112,690, the network industry is one of the most lucrative fields to work in. 

  5. AI Engineer

    Average salary UK: £52,260/year

    Average salary US: $119,297/year

    Combining data engineering, machine learning, data science, and software development skills, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers build, test, and deploy complex networks of algorithms that mimic human intelligence. But that’s not all. AI engineers also convert machine learning models into ready-to-use APIs so other applications can access them. 

    Popular designations for AI engineers include AI research scientist, business intelligence developer, and computer vision engineer. 

  6.  Software Developer

    Average salary UK: £39,943/year

    Average salary US: $97,763/year

    Software developers build applications that allow users to perform specific tasks on computers and other devices. They supervise the entire software or web development process while also leading and instructing programmers who write and test computer code. 

    You can also spot developers writing code at times. 

    After deployment, developers perform upgrades and maintenance. Software developers also work closely with UX designers and business and systems analysts to identify areas needing modification. 

  7. Quality Assurance Engineer
    Average salary UK: £38,907/year

    Average salary US: $83,719/year

    Quality assurance (QA) engineers play a vital role in the software development life cycle. They carry out tests to identify bugs and potential problems in a software product, keeping quality high. 

    Most importantly, QA engineers ensure deliverables meet functional and non-functional (design) specifications and requirements. QA engineers also troubleshoot issues encountered by customers in live production environments. Based on a company’s internal structure, QA engineers can advance to executive or managerial roles.

  8. Data Scientist

    Average salary UK: £46,953/year

    Average salary US: $117,212/year

    A data scientist analyzes large sets of structured and unstructured data to find trends that translate into actionable insights. Much like detectives, data scientists also investigate patterns within data to enable companies to make smarter business decisions. 

    By and large, organizations feed analytical data into a recommendation engine that ingests user data and makes personalized recommendations based on consumer behavior and buying patterns. 

    The most popular job titles related to data science include research analyst, data architect, and data engineer.

  9. Information Security Analyst

    Average salary UK: £39,323/year

    Average salary US: $99,275/year

    Information security analysts identify vulnerabilities in enterprises’ digital security systems and execute security measures to shield sensitive and proprietary information. Information security analysts can also use intrusion detection systems (IDS) to monitor networks for suspicious traffic.

    With cyber attacks becoming more sophisticated each year, there is increasing demand for information security analysts to develop intelligent security solutions to counter online fraud and phishing attacks. 

  10. DevOps Engineer –

    Average salary UK: £47,698/year

    Average salary US: $105,017/year

    By its very name, DevOps ties development to operations processes. The versatile role involves overcoming traditional barriers between software development and operations teams.

    Engineers specializing in DevOps primarily collaborate with software developers and operators on software development, create actionable timelines, automate testing, and perform maintenance.

    DevOps engineers also oversee code releases within the production environment. Strong IT infrastructure management skills and deep knowledge of dedicated, multi-tenant, or hybrid cloud environments set them apart.

  11. Database Administrator

    Average salary UK: £36,845/year

    Average salary US: $83,700/year

    Humans create over an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Much of this data is stored in databases.

    Database administrators (DBAs) use specialized software to store, manage, and organize sensitive data, such as customer details, purchase history, and shipping records. They also ascertain database systems’ physical requirements, including disk space and network requirements. 

    Additionally, DBAs control access permissions, develop and test backup and recovery plans, and fine-tune system parameters for optimum performance.

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Tech Trends for 2022 and Beyond

Technology has been changing society since humans began using stone tools, and the pace of change is only accelerating. Here are predictions from six Rutgers technology experts about which innovations will have major impacts over the next few years.

This article was originally published on Rutgers, click here to view 

Business Intelligence

Ellen Law
Associate Vice President
Office of Information Technology

While business intelligence (BI) software has existed for a while, 2022 will see a significant expansion in its use for enhanced, data-driven decision-making. Entities across higher education and other industries are moving toward extensive use of BI software, which can provide visual representations of data for improved analytics and analysis. The shift is away from static, historical data in spreadsheets and toward proactive analysis and alerts produced by BI software.

Users of BI software will expand their use of its understanding to natural language – often spoken rather than typed – to ask questions about any data source connected to the BI software. Similar to asking Alexa or Siri to perform an action on a speaker or phone, users can vocally ask some BI software to provide insight and answer questions with different views of data based on the criteria requested.  

Users of BI software will also take advantage of integrated algorithms run against data sources to detect anomalies, correlations, patterns and trends. The results can provide predictive insights on what likely will occur based on the data analyzed. These are exciting times, as BI software will become a huge enabler across all industries, advancing our capabilities to make more informed decisions and introducing next-gen functionality.

Artificial Intelligence

Barr von Oehsen
Associate Vice President
Office of Advanced Research Computing

Artificial intelligence (AI) will become even more pervasive through Internet of Things (IoT) devices – automobiles, household appliances, and more – as well as navigation, health care and many areas of research. AI is increasingly used to do things like diagnosing health problems from smart-watch data, enhancing digital maps by analyzing satellite images and driving vehicles with limited human assistance. Because of this, there will be more emphasis on data security and privacy, digital ethics and the need to address any inherent bias that may be introduced into AI models. Tech companies, the federal government, state agencies, research organizations and universities will allocate more resources toward developing and implementing strategies, policies, principles and guidelines focused on AI risks, security and ethics.

The Internet of Things

Michael Palis
University Professor
Department of Computer Science
Rutgers University-Camden

In 2022 and beyond, we will witness rapid growth in IoT deployments across industry sectors. In simple terms, IoT (Internet of Things) extends network connectivity to physical devices and everyday objects that are equipped with sensors, actuators, embedded computers and communication interfaces. These devices enable them to generate, exchange and consume data via private networks or the public internet with minimal human intervention. IoT is here, now – already it has given rise to innovative applications in sectors as diverse as health care (remote monitoring and patient care), industrial automation (asset tracking, predictive maintenance), smart buildings and homes, transportation (fleet management, connected vehicles), entertainment (augmented reality) and wearable devices. Analysts predict that by 2025, there will be over 55 billion connected devices worldwide.

Despite its rapid growth, IoT faces important challenges such as interoperability. The lack of interoperability due to vendor lock-in, incompatibility between different transport protocols (e.g., WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee) and the absence of standards is preventing IoT from realizing its full potential. Clearly, IoT standardization is key. Fortunately, many technology companies and IoT platform providers are now working collaboratively to address interoperability by adopting standards and promoting open-source development.

Another challenge is security. The ever-growing breadth of IoT devices provides new opportunities for attackers to hack into these devices and penetrate the networks to which they are connected. Most of these attacks stem from simple security problems, such as insufficiently protected credentials, lack of encryption and unpatched/outdated software. Unfortunately, IoT security often gets neglected by device manufacturers and the organizations that use them. For IoT security to be effective, what is needed is a collaborative approach that brings all parties together to take steps to make devices and their uses more secure.

Everything as a Service

Frank Reda
Associate Vice President
Deputy Chief Information Officer
Office of Information Technology

It’s hard to survey the technology landscape today without pondering the future of Everything as a Service, or XaaS. 

In the beginning, it was Software as a Service, or SaaS replacing homegrown IT applications with general-purpose applications that could be customized to meet local business requirements. SaaS (like Gmail) reduced development costs and sped applications to production. Next, Platform as a Service, or PaaS (like Windows Azure) helped IT organizations to achieve even greater efficiencies by maintaining software platforms and operating systems in the cloud. Eventually, that led to Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS (like Amazon Web Services), where cloud providers began providing all aspects of IT hardware operations and organizations could shift IT costs from capital to operating expenditures.

Clearly, the “as a Service” model makes fiscal and practical sense. It will continue to evolve in the IT world and elsewhere. Currently, “as a Service” models exist for industries like banking, communications, call centers, and site and service monitoring. Transportation as a service? That’s already here, with Uber. Expect to see more of this with quality assurance and rental space, available via apps in just hours. All of these serve as testimonials to the efficacy and efficiency yielded by specialization.

Human-Centered Computing

Patrick Shafto
Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
Rutgers University-Newark

Historically, technology development has been driven by computer scientists and engineers, who come up with ideas for products – search engines, services, and products – that were designed to be treated as tools. People, who are “users” in engineer-speak, were expected to adapt to the tools.

Historically, people did adapt: they developed pidgin English for inputting queries to Google, endured endless advertisements on Facebook and navigated labyrinthine drop-down menus for Microsoft Word.

In the new year, however, look for a new emphasis on human-centered computing, both as a buzzword and as a technology trend. As competitors increase, technologies must compete. Competition will be fierce to convince people, both through marketing and experience, that each company’s technology does not require a long training period, during which the value you get from the product is limited. Technologies will, in talk and action, become more centered on humans. You never know; they might stop referring to us as users too.

Generative AI

Hui Xiong
Distinguished Professor
Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick

Generative AI – programs that can use existing content like text, audio files or images to create new content – is one of the disruptive technologies that will grow in 2022. It has the power to learn the patterns in the existing data and use it to create related but original content that can take the form of everything from images and texts to protein structures. Last year, for example, generative AI was used to make a song called “Drowned in the Sun,” which is designed to sound like a new song by the long-defunct grunge band Nirvana. We will see the rapid use of AI generative models in many industries, including but not limited to health care, material science, digital media, design and manufacturing, and life science.

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Why these 5 cybersecurity threats should concern any IT team

This article was originally published on TechRepbulic – click here to view

Cybersecurity changes rapidly, but one thing remains constant. Threats don’t seem to slow down. If your network and security tools aren’t up to the task of protecting your organization now, it’s not likely to get better going forward. Cybercrime is an industry unto itself, with new business models and tactics being developed all the time.

If you’re still struggling to integrate and manage a collection of single-purpose products, the resulting complexity and lack of visibility is likely to leave your organization vulnerable. You should work to address security gaps as quickly as possible and take note of these five threats. They may target different areas, but each is cause for concern.

  1. Attacks on Linux Systems – Remember when everyone said we should all ditch Windows and move to Linux because it was never attacked? It’s true that up until recently, Linux was generally ignored by cybercriminals. But sadly, that’s no longer the case anymore. Attacks against Linux operating systems and the applications that run on those systems are becoming as common as attacks on Windows systems. You might be used to defending against Windows attacks, but you might not be familiar with how to protect Linux from malware. One example of a Linux attack is a malicious implementation of the Beacon feature of Cobalt Strike called Vermilion Strike. It can target Linux systems with remote access capabilities without being detected. More botnet malware is being written for Linux platforms as well.

    In addition to being yet another vulnerable area to worry about, attacks on Linux systems are particularly concerning because Linux runs the back-end systems of many networks and container-based solutions for IoT devices and mission-critical applications. And even worse, Linux environments often have valuable data like Secure Socket Shell (SSH) credentials, certificates, applications usernames, and passwords.

    Here’s something else to consider. Microsoft is now actively integrating Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) into Windows 11. WSL is a compatibility layer used for running Linux binary executables natively on Windows. You can be sure that malware will follow.

    Most organizations just aren’t used to protecting Linux systems. Furthermore, many Linux users are power users and these systems are frequently sitting in parts of organizations that are providing critical services.

  2.  Attacks in space – Space may be the final frontier, but it’s no longer safe from cyberattacks thanks to the increase in satellite internet. New exploits targeting satellite Internet networks will increase, and the biggest targets are likely to be organizations that rely on satellite-based connectivity to support low-latency activities. These activities include online gaming or delivering critical services to remote locations and remote field offices, pipelines, or cruises and airlines. As organizations add satellite networks to connect previously off-grid systems such as remote OT devices to their interconnected networks, it will increase the attack surface.
  3. Attacks on Crypto Wallets – Just as a pickpocket can run off with your money in the real world, in the digital world, crypto wallets are now at risk. Attackers are creating more malware designed to target stored information, so they can steal credentials such as a bitcoin private keys, bitcoin addresses, and crypto wallet addresses. Once an attacker has vital information, they can drain the digital wallet. Many attacks begin with a phishing scam with a malicious Microsoft Word document attached to a spam email. A Word document macro then delivers the malware that steals the crypto wallet information and credentials from a victim’s infected devices.

    Another scam involves a fake Amazon gift card generator that targets digital wallets by replacing the victim’s wallet with the attacker’s. And ElectroRAT is a new remote access trojan (RAT) that targets cryptocurrency by combining social engineering with custom cryptocurrency applications. ElectroRAT can perform keylogging, take screenshots, upload and download files, and execute commands.

  4. Attacks on Critical Infrastructure – Over the last year, ransomware attacks have been on the rise, but now they are increasingly targeting critical infrastructure. Instead of going after smaller targets, cybercriminals are waging larger, more public attacks that affect more people. The convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) networks has made it easier for attackers to access OT systems. By accessing compromised home networks or the devices used by remote workers, they can access IT and then OT systems. The rise of ransomware as a service means that attackers don’t need to have specialized technical knowledge anymore. They can simply buy attack kits on the dark web to attack OT systems.

    Some of the incidents that target critical infrastructure have been called “killware,” even though the attacks don’t directly target human lives. However, the malware differs from regular exploits in that it disrupts hospitals, pipelines, water treatment plants, and other critical infrastructure that directly impacts people.

  5. Attacks on the network edge – The increase in the number of people working remotely has led to an exponential expansion of new network edges, which has significantly expanded the attack surface and exposed corporate networks to many of the threats to residential networks. Because of this increase in network edges, there are more opportunities for “living off the land” threats. This type of threat involves using malware created from existing toolsets and capabilities, so the attacks and data exfiltration appear to be normal system activity. Living off the land attacks are sometimes combined with edge access trojans (EATs). The malware located in these edge environments uses local resources to observe activities and data at the edge and then steal, hijack, or ransom critical systems, applications, and information.

Be prepared

All of these threats amply show why organizations must prioritize cybersecurity. Threats aren’t going away, so organizations need an integrated, coordinated approach to security instead of attempting to assemble a collection of point products. Instead of adding yet another security product to solve a problem, organizations should consider a cybersecurity mesh platform approach to security for unified visibility, automated control, and coordinated protection.

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Five Common Mistakes Made Hiring Technical Staff

Hiring the right technical staff can be a daunting process these days. Competition for good IT talent is at an all-time high, and it can be extremely costly to bring someone on that doesn’t have the proper requirements or doesn’t match company culture. Here are some mistakes to avoid when bringing on technical staff. 

  1. Focusing too much on Education Background – This may seem sound like an oxymoron, but focusing too much on a candidates education background can leave you filtering out top-notch IT talent. There are plenty of great engineers from established universities, but there are also plenty of engineers that learned to code at a community college that worked their way towards becoming expert coders and technically savvy. Engineers no longer need to have four-year degree accreditations to prove they are capable of being excellent IT resources. Take the time to vet each candidate thoroughly and not get too caught up on university degrees. 
  2.  Not Utilizing Contractors – Hiring multiple developers can be a lengthy process, unless of course you are a tech titan, like Cisco or Microsoft. So if you are in a pinch and need to hire an engineer immediately, it is pertinent to hire a contractor. There are amazing contractors out there and ready to work at a moment’s notice. Yes, this can be costly at times, but as long as the team you are comprising isn’t massive, then it shouldn’t burn your budget too much. 
  3. Not Being Authentic – As mentioned in point #1, there is a surplus of opportunities for candidates with technical backgrounds. While this is great for the candidate since they have their pick of the litter of opportunites, this can be very limiting for employers. Companies need to stand out during the interviewing process and prove their authenticity and values as employers, or candidates will move on to a better opportunity. 
  4. Not Hiring Talent Fast Enough – This goes back to point #4 that there are an abundance of options for the talent pool, but tech talent have lots of options for finding a company to work for. If the recruiting process is taking too long, or there is little to no communication between the interview process, talent will simply move on to the next position. It can be very tricky for employers to find the right balancing act for hiring tech because they want to make sure they vet a candidate properly. Employers need to be able to thoroughly research and vet candidates, but if they take too long or overcomplicate things, the talent will simply walk away, leaving employers scrambling. 
  5. Not Testing Talent – As we mentioned above, it can be a difficult balancing act between making the hiring process seamless for candidates whilst also ensuring it is challenging enough that you are getting quality candidates. Employers may find that the candidates they are interviewing match company culture, but employers also need to make sure that candidates are also technically capable of doing the job. A good rule of thumb is to test candidates in the early phases of the screening process to determine if coding skills and technical knowledge are up to par with the demands of the job. By getting these portions of the interview out of the way early on, you can focus on the interpersonal aspects of the interview. 

Hiring anyone can be a daunting process, but it is especially difficult now to find top tech talent. By adhering these five steps, you and your business will be able to find the right candidate without scaring them away and also ensuring that they match the needs of the company as well as the candidate. 

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Microsoft, Ukraine, and the Future of Cybersecurity Amidst Global Conflict

Last Wednesday, Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center alarms blazed as a never-before-seen piece of malware appeared aimed at Ukraine’s government ministries and financial institutions. Amazingly, Microsoft was able to update its virus detection systems and were updated to block the malicious code which was built to ‘wipe’ data on computers in a network.

Why this matters? 

Typically tech giants do not involve themselves in global disputes or conflicts, however, Microsoft was asked by European nations to provide tthe updated code to prevent the malware attacks so that Ukrainian and other Baltic regions would be safe from Russian cyberattacks. This is a significant boundary to cross as Washington for years has discussed the need for public/private partnerships to thwart destructive cyberattacks. 

What Microsoft has to say.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president had this to say about the recent attacks, which highlight the change in tone from what is a normally a neutral response to global, political matters: “We are a company and not a government or a country.” “[Yet] These recent and ongoing cyberattacks have been precisely targeted, and we have not seen the use of the indiscriminate malware technology that spread across Ukraine’s economy and beyond its borders in the 2017 NotPetya attack. But we remain especially concerned about recent cyberattacks on Ukrainian civilian digital targets, including the financial sector, agriculture sector, emergency response services, humanitarian aid efforts, and energy sector organizations and enterprises. These attacks on civilian targets raise serious concerns under the Geneva Convention, and we have shared information with the Ukrainian government about each of them. We have also advised the Ukrainian government about recent cyber efforts to steal a wide range of data, including health, insurance, and transportation-related personally identifiable information (PII), as well as other government data sets.

How will this impact the future of IT? 

Cyberwarefare has been around since the Cold War, but there have been no regulations within the Geneva Convention over who can be targeted. The recent attacks on Ukrainian insitutions like their emergency response systems, humanitarian efforts and agricultural program raise serious concerns. 

Conclusion 

Cybersecurity will continue to be extremely important during both war and peace time, but the recent events surrounding the cyberattacks on Ukraine will begin to muddle the future for how tech giants position themselves during global conflict. We could very likely see private companies play a pivotal role in conflict, similar to how Ford Motor Company provided Humvees during World War 2. 

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Compulink now listed on Poly OGS Contract PM69215

Compulink Technologies is proud to announce that we are now listed to the Poly OGS contract (NY PM69215). The Compulink-Poly duo has successfully enabled NY SLED Agencies to empower and upgrade their video conferencing and telecommunications infrastructure with Poly’s advanced hardware solutions.

As work-from-home and hybrid work become more relevant, it’s become crucial for businesses to provide their employees with powerful video-conferencing equipment, headsets and web cameras that allow them to stay focused and communicate effectively with team members

Poly is one of the leading manufacturers of voice and video solutions and they have been leading the front to help organizations ‘unleash the power of team collaboration.’

Compulink and Poly share the same vision of providing flexible, advanced solutions to businesses to prepare them for the influx of digital transformation for hybrid and remote workers.

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IT Strategies for Cloud

Scott Sinclair wants to debunk two myths associated with cloud computing. The first is that cloud is a zero-sum game in which apps that once ran in the data center are simply relocated to the public cloud, says Sinclair, senior analyst at market research outfit Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). The second is the idea that eventually all applications will run in the cloud, and data centers will be phased out.

IT strategies for hybrid cloud

“Digital demands are increasing so much that, no matter how fast the cloud is growing, people are still investing in their data centers,” Sinclair says. In ESG’s latest research on data infrastructure trends, respondents report the average expected growth rate for data in the public cloud was a staggering 39% year over year. But that doesn’t mean that the amount of data stored on-premises is declining. In fact, the estimated growth rate for data centers is comparable—35% year over year. 

“If we think about a large modern enterprise, we may have two, three, four data centers; three, four, five public cloud providers; dozens, if not hundreds of edge locations,” says Sinclair. “And we have data moving and apps moving everywhere all the time.” 

For example, the London Stock Exchange Group has dozens of data centers, hundreds of applications, and a presence in Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, according to Nikolay Plaunov. He’s a director and technologist in the infrastructure and cloud division of LSEG, the diversified company that runs the stock exchange and also provides data-based financial services. Its portfolio includes virtualized applications running on-premises, containerized apps running in the cloud, and legacy apps running on mainframes. 

 

“What is really hitting people today, versus probably five or 10 years ago, is this idea of, ‘I have these things in my data center, and I have these things I’ve moved to the public cloud and I need to manage a lot more things,’” adds Sinclair. “Now, I’m living in a world where not only do I have to manage a lot more things, but I am constantly dealing with data and apps moving in all directions.” 

One of the most significant effects of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic from an information technology (IT) perspective has been the sudden, unplanned migration of applications to the cloud, as organizations moved quickly to accommodate remote workers and the surge of online shoppers. Today, companies find themselves with one foot in the cloud and the other still in the on-premises world, facing significant challenges in terms of how to manage this mixed IT environment, how to secure it, and how to keep costs under control.

A hybrid cloud IT infrastructure, in which resources are distributed across on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud environments, enables companies to accelerate time to market, spur innovation, and increase the efficiency of business processes. And companies are keen on its promises: more than a third (37%) say hybrid is an investment priority over the next year and a half, according to a 2021 ESG survey of 372 IT professionals.

But the complexity of managing a hybrid cloud presents challenges that can bedevil chief information officers, including compatibility with legacy equipment, cybersecurity concerns, and cost issues associated with moving data and managing data access. 

To successfully manage a hybrid cloud environment, organizations need a specially designed hybrid cloud management plan that includes the right tools and strategies. These approaches can be as varied as the types of businesses out there, but some guidelines apply across industries—the need for a central control plane, for example, using automation to manage IT operations, and transitioning from managing infrastructure to managing service-level agreements with vendors.

It all starts with applications

Russell Skingsley, chief technology officer for digital infrastructure at Hitachi Vantara, says most customers started their cloud journeys with somewhat unrealistic expectations. They initially believed that all apps would eventually end up in the cloud.

What they’re finding is “there are things we can move, there are things we might move, and there are things we definitely can’t move,” Skingsley says.

Sinclair adds that while the rising tide is certainly lifting enterprise apps from the data center to the public cloud, there’s a countercurrent in which organizations are moving some applications from the cloud back to the data center. Some of the reasons cited by organizations speak to the complexity of hybrid cloud management: these include data sensitivity, performance, and availability requirements.

To effectively move applications to the public cloud, organizations need to set up a systematic methodology, almost a factory-style assembly line that analyzes each application in its portfolio and then decides which ones to “lift and shift” as-is to the cloud, which ones to re-factor or rewrite to take full advantage of the cloud, and which to keep on-premises.

The first step is conducting an inventory of the application portfolio. This can help organizations eliminate duplication and identify apps that no longer serve a business purpose and can be de-commissioned. The next step is to analyze applications through the lens of business outcomes. Then, organizations need to make decisions based on factors like time, risk, cost, and value.

At London Stock Exchange Group, Plaunov is constantly balancing cost with business criticality. Every application is different and requires its own specific calculation. “I’ve seen several applications that were lifted and shifted to the cloud, and in some cases, it’s relatively simple to optimize them and to optimize their costs.” In other cases, it can be expensive to convert a monolithic app to the public cloud because it entails breaking the app into smaller components.

This article was created and originally published on Technologyreview.com

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What Are NFTs?

What are NFT’s?

“Right click, save as.”

NFT’s have exploded into the pop-culture lexicon over the past year. In fact, Meriam Webster’s dictionary named it the most popular word of 2021, but just what exactly makes these digital pictures unique from other jpegs, and why are they going for millions of dollars and being adopted by some of the world’s biggest celebrities, athletes and influencers?

The Blockchain

NFT’s exist on what’s called a ‘blockchain.’ There are several types of blockchains that are composed of different cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin), the most popular of which is the Ethereum blockchain. These blockchains record transaction information on a ledger and help identify the owner of a particular NFT, basically like a digital receipt.

What’s an NFT

NFT stands for ‘Non-fungible token’ which means that more or less whatever NFT you possess is completely unique and cannot be replaced or replicated by anything else. NFTs are basically jpegs with transaction ID’s that point to the owner.  Sure, you can “right click save-as” to save an NFT to your computer and use it as your profile picture, but that digital receipt on the blockchain will always point back to the original owner.

So why the heck are these pictures so valuable, what gives?

It really comes down to what people perceive the value of an NFT to be, just like any other piece of art. However, there are a lot more variables that go into what the value of an NFT can go for other than just its art design like its utility.  

What does the future of NFTs hold?

The future of NFTs is fascinating. You will probably see tickets for events become completely digitized as NFTs in the next few years. It sounds crazy, but almost anything could be an NFT in the future, from car titles, to album covers to plots of physical land.

WAGMI or Rug Pull?

The current landscape of NFTs is murky. There are countless scams, or “rugpulls,” where users are swindled out of their money. NFTs have been compared to Ponzi schemes, and critics also argue that they are bad for the environment and are used for money-laundering schemes.

Like many recent web3 developments, at its core, NFTs give power back to the people. Underpaid graphic artists can become overnight millionaires and same with savvy investors. Ultimately, NFTs are like any other investment, and like any investment, people need to be prepared to only spend whatever they are willing to risk and to do their own research. Like the early days of the Internet, NFTs are in the ‘wild-west’ phase- there are very few regulations, and little understanding; but like the wild west, the opportunistic may strike gold… or lose it all trying.

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