Stories by Bert Latamore

Nine things you need to know about SAAS

Software-as-a-service may have come into the enterprise through "the bathroom window," but it's definitely becoming part of the mainstream, says SAAS expert Mike West, vice president at Saugatuck Technology Inc., a boutique management consulting and subscription research company focused on disruptive technologies.

Network performance vital to insurer's success

In the pressure-cooker global economy, U.S. regional insurance companies face particularly heavy pressure. Operating in the shadow of giants like The Prudential, Aetna and Allstate, they survive by the rule "grow or die" in constant fear of a shakeout that could see them gobbled up by their larger competitors. And because most sell through independent agents, who represent multiple competing insurers, they are in direct competition for every sale.

Advanced network monitoring supports remote offices

Highly distributed organsations run their IT systems on a managed services provider (MSP) model -- supporting numbers of offices dispersed over a geographic area. Mark Scott, president of The Utility Company, says the best model for this combines advanced network monitoring with a franchising system, such as that used by Dunkin' Donuts. His company is an MSP serving a growing population of small companies -- "five-person PR firms, 30-person law offices" -- across North America from its Ottawa, Canada, base.

Traditional networks are integral to management

Value networking, says Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst Carol Rozwell, is a method for examining the relationships among a group of related organizations or individuals to understand and categorize the value each gains from the relationship.

Fighting security threats from IM and rogue Web access

Businesses of all sizes today are graduating from the first stage of Internet use, dominated by e-mail, to a new stage characterized by increasing use of the Internet for research and of instant messaging (IM) to supplement telephone and e-mail for communications both inside the company and with clients and business partners.

This 'smart home' even monitors your health

The phrase "smart home" usually summons an image of lighting that goes on and off at a voice command, a stereo that automatically plays the music its owners like best, and vacuum cleaners that automatically keep the house shiny and bright.

How to protect with pragmatic network security

In the increasingly federated, network-based IT environment, perimeter security is important but not sufficient by itself to protect company secrets, according to president and principal analyst of Security Incite and former Meta Group security analyst, Mike Rothman.