Catch up on this week’s round-up of the latest hosting and tech news. Here’s what we’ve uncovered since our last edition.
While there are many reasons cryptocurrency has not yet become mainstream, perhaps one of its biggest obstacles is that it’s not exactly eco-friendly. Until this month, Ethereum, the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, used the equivalent energy of a mid-sized country to keep itself going. In a world vying for net-zero, such CO2-churning currencies are going to struggle for wider acceptance.
Now, however, Ethereum is about to transform cryptocurrency by reducing its energy consumption by a staggering 99.9 per cent – a move that may help it overtake its larger rival. The technically complex changeover, which its co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, calls The Merge, is a risky manoeuvre, potentially putting significant investments in jeopardy if something goes wrong. However, if successful, we are likely to see other currencies being urged by their users to follow suit – which is excellent news for the planet.
Old firm – latest tech
Founded by Hull City Council in 1904 and the only telecom company not nationalised into what eventually became British Telecom, KCOM, famous for its cream-coloured phone boxes, is, after 118 years, still going strong. Now delivering full-fibre broadband services, the company has recently announced a £100 million plan to extend its network to an additional 50,000 properties across the East Yorkshire region, taking its total reach to 350,000 homes and companies.
Showing the same innovative approach that saved it from nationalisation in 1912, KCOM ensured that East Yorkshire was the first region in the UK to have a full-fiber service back in 2019. Where many service providers run fibre cables only as far as the green cabinets on the roadsides, KCOM took the high-speed cables directly into 200,000 properties. The expansion of its network will lead to additional jobs and boost local suppliers.
According to a survey of CIOs by Dynatrace, we are at the limit of human capability when it comes to managing the vast amounts of data from cloud technology and teams are at risk of being overwhelmed if strategies are not changed. One of the major issues is the complexity of managing data, with today’s organisations relying on multiple systems and platforms and with over thirty different technologies being deployed in the average IT stack.
One of the chief problems is the lack of oversight that IT teams have over their technology stacks. The average organisation, according to the survey, had only 9 per cent observability across their cloud environments. This results in opportunities being missed, issues not being identified, security weaknesses not being addressed and expansion being highly challenging to implement.
Tech layoffs benefit SMBs
While the current global economic downturn is not in anyone’s interests, it could provide an unexpected boon for smaller businesses that have been struggling to recruit IT talent. As we have reported before, there is a huge skills gap in IT, with many companies struggling to recruit the expertise they need. With demand being high, big firms have pushed the boat out with salaries, out-recruiting many of their smaller rivals. In the current climate, however, that position has changed. Large companies in the UK, US and EU have been laying off IT staff as demand falls and budgets tighten – with almost 40,000 IT redundancies in the US alone.
With fewer vacancies at higher-paid companies and more competition between candidates, this presents smaller companies with an opportunity to recruit IT talent and do so for smaller salaries than the going rate before the downturn commenced. It is likely, however, to be a short window of opportunity that will reverse once the economy picks up, so smaller companies may need to recruit quickly to reap the benefits.
One-vendor cloud security
According to Gartner, three-quarters of companies are dissatisfied with having to rely on a range of products from different security vendors and this is causing many to seek a single vendor solution to defend their cloud systems.
Almost 30 per cent more companies are seeking to unify their security stack compared to the previous year, with improved security rather than cost being the main factor. Companies are also concerned about the increasing challenge of having to learn, use and manage a wide array of complex security tools, with many struggling to integrate them effectively. Choosing a provider that offers next-gen firewalls, like FortiGate, with built-in intrusion and malware protection, provides a strong starting point for robust cloud security.
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