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Johna Til Johnson

Eye on the Carriers


Johnson is president and chief research officer at Nemertes Research, an independent technology research firm. Reach her at

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Getting a handle on chaos and complexity
There's a lot of interest these days in the notion of "controlling complexity," particularly when it comes to networks.
The impact of 'enterprise technology'
With ET, technology has leapt off the desktop and joined the real world. Users and inanimate objects (like cameras, signs, monitors and sensors) are now mobile-enabled and compute-powered. That's paving the way for a host of new applications.
Top 10 telecom contract mistakes
When it comes to telecom negotiations, most telecom managers have a difficult time. I see far too many contracts riddled with unacceptable clauses and limitations, shackling companies with sub-par terms and conditions, bloated pricing, and even obsolete technology.
Mobile device management in an age of paranoia
Smartphones don't look particularly dangerous. But in the wrong hands, they can cause serious damage to a company's finances, reputation, and even long-term survivability. And those "wrong hands" aren't always the folks on the wrong side of the law.
The mobility business case
A hot topic among my clients these days is defining a mobility business case. The rationale is simple: Mobility budgets have been rising more than 10% year over year for the past three years — even though IT budgets overall have been declining.
Tightening up those telco Ts and Cs
If you enjoy negotiating with telcos, you're pretty weird. Most people hate it, for good reason. Carriers generally present their services with a "take-it-or-leave it" attitude. If you don't like the rates, or terms and conditions -- too bad. After all, where else are you going to go -- the cable companies? (Well, yes, but that's the topic of my last column.) 
Time for your company to consider cable?
A few years back, I predicted that a cable company would supply the lion's share of WAN services to a Fortune 100 company within the year. Still hasn't happened, but there are increasing signs that 2011 could be the start of cable as a serious contender in the enterprise arena.  
What you should include in an agreement with a cloud provider
Cloud computing is a lot like the weather: Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it. Just 9.3% of companies say they'll be using platform or infrastructure as a service (P/IaaS) offerings by the end of the year. And a paltry 4.5% have definite plans to use cloud services in 2011 or 2012.
Internet ADO Makes the Video Star
There's a song by the Limousines that always makes me smile. Called "Internet Killed the Video Star," it's a tongue-in-cheek reference back to the 1979 song, "Video Killed the Radio Star," by the Buggles -- the very first music video on MTV.  
Top five tips for managing mobility
If you read my recent column on the untethered enterprise, you're probably wondering what you can do to maximize the success of your wireless and mobility initiatives. Fortunately, Nemertes Research recently took a close look at what does and doesn't work for wireless and mobility, based on an in-depth benchmark of over 200 organizations.  We conducted correlation analyses to tease out demonstrable best practices for wireless and mobility initiatives.
The two flavors of M2M: sensor and control nets
Here's a provocative prediction for you: By 2012, there will be more non-IT than IT devices on the typical corporate network. This came from an IT professional I work with, who's seeing these trends already on his network.
Get ready for the untethered enterprise
For a small but growing number of enterprise users, it's time to cut the cord.
The new WAN architecture: a blueprint
If you're struggling to rearchitect your WAN to handle unprecedented growth, you're not alone. Enterprise organizations are gearing up for a bandwidth tsunami.
The glass is greener: an explosion in capacity
Back in 2007, my company predicted that demand for network bandwidth — specifically IP bandwidth — would exceed capacity in the 2010/2011 timeframe. We arrived at that conclusion by independently modeling network consumption and capacity (and factoring in go-forward changes in both), and we highlighted growth in wireless as a key element in driving demand.
IT is becoming ET (enterprise technology)
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, IT as we know it didn't exist. I'm talking of course about the 1980s, when what we call IT was generally called MIS (management of information services). MIS was about automating back-office functions such as accounting and payroll.
Dead? Hardly. Ruling all but ensures net neutrality
As I predicted last month, a federal appeals court recently overturned the fines imposed by the Federal Communications Commission on Comcast in 2007. The ruling was overturned on the grounds that the FCC lacks jurisdiction over telco Internet access offerings.
Google throws down the broadband gauntlet
You have to give Google points for great timing — and an entertaining sense of mischief. Just as the telcos are gearing up for battle with the FCC over the feasibility of widespread broadband, Google rolls out an audacious new plan to deliver gigabit/sec residential connectivity to some 500,000 users.
Wireless broadband: There's a gap for that
Back in 2007, Nemertes Research predicted a "broadband access" gap that would begin affecting Internet connectivity by the year 2012.
The future of IT holds much promise
Every few years, someone announces "the death of IT." True, the industry's vital signs don't look all that promising — particularly recently. Last year, IT budgets declined by 10% to 20%, depending on who you believe. Upwards of 100,000 IT jobs were lost in 2009 in the United States. And the pool of vendors is constantly shrinking, given the tsunami of bankruptcies and mergers over the past few years. (Adios, Nortel.)
Cloud computing: The telcos' game to lose
You're probably sick of hearing about cloud computing. I can't say I blame you. The buzz seems to be nearly deafening these days. And the most annoying part is that for those of us old enough to remember, it's "back to the future" all over again.
Data-leak lessons learned from the 'Climategate' hack
In case you've missed it, someone recently dumped a large cache of e-mail files and documents from the University of East Anglia University's prestigious Climactic Research Unit onto the ‘Net. The CRU is one of the leading climatology research institutions, and its data and models provide much of the infrastructure on which the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is based.
Your must-have telecom budget for 2010
It's autumn again. Wood smoke in the air, leaves crunching underfoot … and budgets weighing down the desktop.
Investing in (all kinds of) infrastructure
October 27 marked the 105th birthday of the New York City subway system, which is both gratifying and depressing.
Firing up those femtocells
The folks over at the Femto Forum, in conjunction with the European telecommunications standards institute, recently announced a "plugfest" for March 2010. The plugfest will serve as a forum to for interoperability tests among femtocell network gateways, security gateways, femtocell access points and chipsets.
Hello net neutrality, goodbye Internet
As the old adage goes, "Be careful what you wish for — you might get it, and wish you hadn't." Proponents of net neutrality might want to keep that in mind now that net neutrality regulations from either the FCC, Congress or both are a virtual certainty.

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