A look back at IT strategy in 2010

30 Dec 2010

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A digest of some of the top IT strategy and security stories of 2010.

January

EU approves Oracle’s acquisition of Sun – The European Commission has approved the acquisition of server and software player Sun Microsystems by business software giant Oracle for about US$7.4bn.

IT spending bounces back a year earlier than expected – Gartner – A slow but steady improvement in the macroeconomic environment in 2010 should support a return to modest growth in overall IT spending, according to Gartner, which reckoned worldwide IT spending will reach $3.4trn in 2010 – up 4.6pc on last year.

Boards.ie offline after hack attack – Irish internet community site Boards.ie went down following an attack on its database that included outside access to members’ user names, email addresses and obfuscated passwords.

February

Revenue Commissioners’ sites achieve ISO security standard – Irish Revenue Commissioners’ websites succeeded in achieving the ISO 27001 Certificate, a globally recognised information security standard.

Hackers are now attacking Irish computers As Gaeilge – It was revealed criminals are launching even more targeted attacks at Irish computer users. Native Irish-language speakers are being spammed As Gaeilge and are no longer just random spam recipients.

March

IBM to create 200 Dublin jobs in ‘smart cities’ venture – Big Blue’s first-ever IBM Smarter Cities Technology Centre aims to revolutionise how cities provide services, such as water and transport.

Global SMB IT spending to return to growth in 2010 – Small and medium-sized business spending on IT globally was tipped to return to growth in 2010 but a full recovery was not predicted until 2011 by analyst IDC. It said spending on IT would increase 5.5pc in its 2010 to 2014 forecast, lower than previously expected.

April

Corporate desktops no longer physical but virtual – HP – The end of the corporate desktop as a physical entity is nigh, warned the world’s largest computing company, HP, pointing to desktop virtualisation as a trend encouraging it to rethink its client computing architecture.

Vordel grows revenues 85pc on cloud security promise – Dublin-headquartered cloud security technology firm Vordel reported an 85pc increase in first-quarter revenues – the most successful in the history of the company.

Apple CEO is entrepreneur US teenagers most admire – Steve Jobs emerged as the entrepreneur who American teenagers most admire, a survey has revealed. In the survey by the non-profit organisation Junior Achievement USA, which took soundings from 1,000 US teenagers, some 35pc thought the Apple CEO was more impressive than the second and third-placed entrepreneurs, TV host Oprah Winfrey and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

May

Third Irishman promoted to vice-president of Intel –The plant manager of Intel’s Fab 24 chip manufacturing plant in Leixlip, Eamonn Sinnott, has become the second Irishman after country manager Jim O’Hara at the site in Ireland to have been made a vice-president of Intel, a major honour for the local operations.

June

Cloud is ‘significant and disruptive’ IT trend: Microsoft – Microsoft restated its commitment to cloud computing at the launch of its latest Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 products in Amsterdam, but the company believes customers will ultimately want the choice of where their documents are stored.

Financial Regulator approves Realex’s Carapay platform – A pioneering cross-border mobile and web payment instrument for consumers and businesses – that will eradicate the need for cash and cheques – developed by Realex was licensed by the Financial regulator.

July

CIOs playing a more active role in business decisions – The recession has had a major impact on IT projects with a third of CIOs saying projects had been stopped. That said, IT is contributing cost reductions across firms, with 75pc of CIOs implementing automated solutions.

It could be lights out as USB worm Stuxnet attacks networks – A new form of malware that began by being transmitted from USB devices was discovered attempting to steal data from IT systems used in the utilities sector, in particular SCADA software (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), used to manage power grids.

August

K Club spends €100,000 on virtualisation and cloud tech – Five-star golf resort the K Club invested €100,000 on a virtualised IT system that included a private cloud and a high-speed network. The next-generation investment is part of a plan by the company to be carbon neutral by 2020.

September

Irish enterprises are taking cloud computing more seriously – ReadyDynamics.com, on behalf of the Irish Internet Association, revealed in an Irish-focused cloud computing market research survey that cloud computing is being taken more seriously by larger Irish enterprises.

Tech veteran launches new IT service firm – Longtime IT security executive John Ryan has launched a new IT services company. Called Zinopy, the company employs 30 people and plans to hire a further 30 staff over the next two years.

3 alliance with Google to bring mobile cloud to small firms – Mobile operator 3 Ireland signed an agreement with search giant Google to provide cloud computing bundles to small businesses and give them access to technology only affordable to large companies.

October

Microsoft Office 365 brings productivity to the cloud – Microsoft unveiled Office 365, which brings Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online into the cloud.

November

Hackers torpedo Royal Navy website – Hackers navigated their way past Royal Navy online security measures in an attack that has forced the site offline.

PwC to investigate ‘sexist email’ scandal – One of the largest accountancy firms in Ireland is to investigate how male workers were able to compile an email "top 10" of young female workers who had just joined the firm. Alarm bells started ringing when the email chain went viral around the world.

Report suggests an increased demand for IT professionals – There was an increase in demand for IT professionals, according to the Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor.

Most workers would steal company data if fired – As many as 70pc of workers admit they have clear plans to take something with them when leaving their jobs – the most popular item is intellectual property.

Cloud computing to grow 40pc a year in Irish market to 2014 – Cloud computing in the Irish market will grow from a small base at the rate of 40pc a year until 2014, according to a study by IDC. Lack of awareness and poor understanding have so far hindered growth.

SAP to pay Oracle US$1.3bn in largest verdict of its kind – In what is to be the largest payout for copyright infringement in the history of the software industry, a judge ruled that German business software giant SAP has to pay Oracle US$1.3bn.

December

EU reveals e-govt action plan to boost services 50pc – The European Commission revealed a new action plan under the Digital Agenda to move governments to increase services to citizens online by 50pc and to businesses by 80pc.

McDonald’s customers’ personal data hacked – Hackers gained accessed to a McDonald’s database, which contained personal information, such as email addresses and birth dates of customers who signed up on its websites and promotions.

Hardware fault in Dublin blamed for Amazon.com outage –A hardware fault on Amazon.com’s servers in Dublin was blamed for a brief outage, and not a hactivist attack from hacker group Anonymous.

US military outlaws use of portable media – The US military told troops to stop using USB keys, USB drives, rewritable CDs and DVDs or any other digital device that allows them to carry data, or face court martial.

Customers must repay overdrawn cash – BoI – Bank of Ireland has said that customers who withdrew in excess of their balances during the "unforeseen technical issue" that restricted access to accounts, must pay back the overdrawn cash.

Europe to reap €177.3bn dividend from cloud computing – As many as 2.4 million new jobs and revenues of €177.3bn per year could be added across Europe’s top 5 economies as a result of the uptake of cloud computing, EMC-commissioned research claimed.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com