On average, companies that use disaster recovery through a cloud-computing provider recover from downtime events almost three times faster than companies that use their own in-house recovery system, says a new report from Aberdeen Group, Inc. The new report, “Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service: It Delivers,” authored by Dick Csaplar, senior research analyst for Aberdeen’s IT Infrastructure/Storage and Virtualization research practice, highlights how cloud recovery infrastructure enables companies to greatly reduce the impact downtime can have on an organization. The report also states that users of cloud recovery have just over half the number of downtime events and appear to take application uptime very seriously as evidenced by their backup planning and testing schedules. The full report is available on Aberdeen’s website.
(Aberdeen Group, Inc., 617-854-5200, www.aberdeen.com.)
Tablets are displacing single-purpose devices such as PCs and acting as a major “disruptor” in the digital home, according to a new report released by Forrester Research April 12. The report, “The Tablet-TV Connection,” authored by Forrester Analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, shows that, in a survey of more than 5,000 US adults, 35 percent of tablet owners use their laptops less frequently since getting a tablet. Additionally, 45 percent do not have plans to purchase an eReader now that they own a tablet. However, while 88 percent of tablet owners say they use their tablets in the living room, only 12 percent say they use their TV less frequently now that they have a tablet. The report states that the reason for this is that tablets and TVs are “largely complementary,” with 85 percent of owner using tablets while watching TV and 18 percent connecting their tablets to their TV through an HDMI or VGA connector. Epps predicts that, while tablet to TV connection is still in its infancy, the industry is beginning to see new innovative products such as “TV everywhere,” social TV, and “transmedia storytelling” apps. But the greatest potential for growth in this area, according to Epps, lies with the “Big Five,” Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, to make a larger play for the TV to tablet market.
The full report is available on Forrester’s website. (Forrester Research, Inc., 212-857-0754, www.forrester.com.)
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Worldwide PC shipments in the first quarter of 2012 increased 1.9 percent to a total of 89 million units over 87.3 million units 2011, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc., exceeding the company’s earlier prediction of a 1.2 percent decline for the quarter. Gartner Analyst Mikako Kitagawa said, “The results were mixed depending on the region, as we saw the EMEA region perform better than expected, while Asia/Pacific performed below expectations, in part because of slow growth in India and China.” Kitagawa went on to say that while there are high expectations for strong growth in the emerging markets, the slowdown provides a cautionary notice to vendors that the future growth for the industry cannot depend too heavily on the emerging markets even with low PC penetration in these regions. Gartner’s results also show that the market, which typically posts low sales in the first quarter, is showing worse than usual growth due to intensified competition for consumers’ budgets. Gartner predicts that vendors with limited product lines will only get a small portion of the consumer wallet, while companies like HP and Apple with their comprehensive product and service offerings will gain a large part of consumer spending. HP increased its share of the market with 6.6 percent growth and 29 percent of the market share, accounting for 17.2 percent of shipments and enabling it to experience the strongest growth among the top five US vendors. Lenovo experienced the strongest growth among the top five vendors, as its shipments increased 28.1 percent. Apple was the only other vendor among the top five to show growth in the quarter, as its shipments increased 3.8 percent. Dell under performed in most regions compared with a year ago, experiencing a year-over-year shipment decline in the Asia/Pacific market for the first time in two years. According to Gartner, early indications suggest that the relatively low shipments were mainly due to Dell’ focus towards businesses over lower-end consumer systems. US PC shipments experienced a decline of 3.5 percent for a total of 15.5 million units in the first quarter compared to 2011. However, that is still better than Gartner’s prediction of a 6.1 percent market decline for the quarter. On the other hand, PC shipments in EMEA rose 6.7 percent to total 28.2 million units in the first quarter over last year. Also growth in PC shipments to Central and Eastern Europe was slightly higher than expected, with improved demand from Russia and members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and more modest upturns in other countries, and the Middle East and Africa also had an upbeat quarter. However these were only the preliminary results and Gartner says the final statistics will be available soon through their PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. Additional research can also be found on the Computing Hardware section of the company’s website. (Gartner, Inc., 408-468-8312, www.gartner.com.)
Central and Eastern European (CEE) utilities realize the competitive advantages of leveraging cloud-computing, but they still remain cautious about its adoption and devote only a small portion of their IT budgets to cloud, according to a study by IDC Energy Insights released April 13. The study, “Business Strategy: Utilities and Cloud Computing – A View from Central and Eastern Europe,” is based on a survey of IT decision-makers in the utility sector. The study found that, in general, IT spending in CEE is becoming more conservative in response to the overall economic situation while at the same time a persistent austerity climate stimulates these firms to explore alternative IT models, such as cloud computing. “Our report shows that one half of the CEE utility companies surveyed do not dedicate any portion of their budget to cloud computing, and only three percent of respondents allocate 10 percent or more of their IT budgets to cloud. In spite of this, short-term expectations for cloud computing budget allocations are positive,” said Milan Kalal, senior research analyst with IDC Energy Insights. According to IDC, cloud computing is still at a nascent stage in the CEE region, and industry standards, regulatory framework, and best practices that would fuel wider uptake have not yet been established. IT executives in the utility sector, however, are considering a move to the cloud, as the industry has a number of distinctive features that could benefit from the new technology. The survey also found that CEE utilities have identified IT issues as an area that could potentially benefit from cloud computing. A key driver of cloud computing deployment for CEE utilities is the principle of paying only for services consumed and avoiding the need to over-provision, according to IDC. Twenty-five percent of respondents indicated in the survey that on-demand server and storage capacity is the function that utility companies consider the most suitable for deployment via both private cloud and public cloud. Additionally, the survey found that security remains the biggest concern about using cloud-based technologies, specifically about entrusting systems and information to an off-site third party. The survey results are analyzed in a new report by IDC Energy Insights that highlights the nature of current cloud computing environments, future plans for cloud deployments, industry-specific drivers and inhibitors for cloud investments, and delivery model and cloud service type preferences, specifically focusing on CEE utilities. The report highlights IDC’s top recommendations and actions to consider for utility sector CIOs, key IT decision makers, and IT professionals considering moving into the cloud and is available by contacting IDC. (International Data Corporation (IDC), www.idc.com; IDC Energy Insights, +420 221 423 234, www.idc-ei.com.)
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