Tech Insights
Apr. 17, 2013

Texas Legislature should keep Texas graduation standards high
Commentary by MTBC President/CEO William C. Sproull
Texas has blazed a trail of raising high school graduation requirements and testing standards to meet the growing demands of the 21st century. For years, these efforts have attracted national attention and set the stage for other states to follow suit. Now, a concerted push by state legislators to reduce academic rigor in Texas is attracting an entirely different type of attention.More

Gain recognition along with the top technology companies in North Texas
If you envision yourself or your company as a key player in North Texas technology, you won't want to miss this opportunity for peer validation. Nominations are now open for the prestigious MTBC Tech Titans awards. These awards recognize the best of the best in North Texas technology and a make a big impact on your reputation in the industry. Recipients will be recognized at a formal banquet attended by 700-plus top executives and coverage in the Dallas Business Journal.More

Business ExtrAA program benefits MTBC members and their companies
American Airlines has agreed to offer its Business ExtrAA program to MTBC members as a benefit of MTBC membership. Business ExtrAA is a complimentary business travel rewards and incentive program designed to help small and midsized companies reduce their travel costs. Business ExtrAA members earn points for their company's air travel, which can be redeemed for flights and other exciting awards. At the same time, employees will continue earning their individual AAdvantage miles in addition to the Business ExtrAA points the company receives.More

MTBC Chairman's Circle profile: Internap's Intelligent IT infrastructure solutions provide competitive advantage for all size organizations
Smart IT professionals understand that one size does not fit all when it comes to IT infrastructure. As fast as business on the Internet moves these days, something as little as a one-second delay in website performance could result in 7 percent fewer customer conversions or lost revenue. To stay ahead, businesses need an IT Infrastructure that is constantly adaptive and flexible, instantly scalable and powerful enough to help capture opportunities the second they arise. Internap uses a three-pronged approach — unmatched performance, platform flexibility and world-class support — to deliver business-critical applications that lower operations costs and drive revenue. More

Big data could uncover clue on marathon
USA Today (commentary)
The explosions in Boston represent a terrible, random and deadly act. All Americans, but especially Bostonians, are approaching the days following the tragic event with a knot of fear and apprehension. Acting swiftly, the authorities are conducting interviews, sophisticated chemical forensics and other investigative techniques. But one factor that was in its infancy during the explosions at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta will dramatically assist the investigation today: the video revolution. More

Prescriptive analytics and big data: Next big thing?
Predictive analytics predates big data, of course, but the two complement each other nicely. According to Gartner, more than 30 percent of analytics projects by 2015 will provide insights based on structured and unstructured data. Being tipped off to the future is always helpful, but what's the best course of action once you get a prediction? That's where prescriptive analytics comes into play. More

Siemens and Teradata team up over grid big data
Utilities are increasingly embracing the tools needed to manage big data, and recently, data warehouse software firm Teradata said it's teamed up with power grid giant Siemens for a better way to manage the massive data flowing off the smart grid.More

Big data: Huge risk or huge opportunity?
Help Net Security
The amount of data government agencies must capture, store and analyze is growing exponentially. Whether this data boom provides agencies with new opportunities to gain insights or threatens agencies with massive new data collection, security and management requirements remains to be seen.More

Predictive analytics unlocks big data
Predictive analytics is the "open sesame" for the world of big data. It's the predictive technology that enables computers to learn how to predict the future behavior of individuals. In business, this ability to predict — which is based on surfacing patterns found in data — helps businesses make informed decisions and identify risks and opportunities. It's the science that unleashes the power of big data. And the results affect everyone.More

Research: 2013 State of Database Technology
Database technology is evolving for the 716 respondents to our InformationWeek 2013 State of Database Technology Survey, all of whom are involved in the selection of, management of or other interaction with databases. Still, IT's never played fast and loose with these critical systems, and that's not about to change.More

Survey: Cloud computing gets deeper and more strategic
Close to two-fifths of organizations now run private clouds in one form or another, and one-fourth are using public cloud services in an enterprise capacity. Private clouds are being extended deeper into the organizations that have them — a majority expect to be running most of their workloads in the cloud within the next 12 months, especially Platform as a Service middleware. In addition, close to one-third of public cloud users report they are employing hosted services to run their private clouds for them.More

Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013
Gartner's annual top 10 strategic technology trends could have a major impact on the enterprise during the next three years. Factors that denote major impact include a high demand for a particular technology by end users or business leaders, the potential for disruption to IT or the business, and the need for a major dollar investment. More

IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 career insights
IT is consistently cited as one of the most promising U.S. careers, even with the rise of offshore outsourcing. As with most professions, however, compensation is rising only modestly. The IT field still pays well, with staffers earning $90,000 in median total compensation and managers earning $120,000, the 2013 InformationWeek U.S. IT Salary Survey finds. But compensation for staffers is flat compared with last year and up only 3 percent for managers.More

The cloud hits the mainstream: More than half of US businesses now use cloud computing
If you've attended a technology conference over the last couple years, it's hard to avoid the obvious buzz around cloud computing. Almost every vendor has applied the term to anything and everything imaginable. During this time there has been some debate over the level of adoption outside of the startup scene, specifically within the larger "enterprise class" of companies. We're now at a point where most "new software" created, is created with the Internet as a central tenant. It's how modern software is developed, deployed and consumed. Yes, the cloud has gone mainstream.More

Texas Instruments builds the business case for volunteering
Dallas Business Journal
Volunteerism is good business. And good businesses volunteer. That's how the leadership of Dallas-based Texas Instruments approaches the company's and employees' community involvement, Trisha Cunningham, TI's chief citizenship officer, said in a recent interview.More

Health IT VC funding sees 'torrid' Q1
Healthcare IT News
With nearly half a billion dollars raised in venture capital funding for health information technology, the first three months of 2013 represented a "record quarter," according to Mercom Capital Group. Some $493 million was raised industrywide, according to Mercom's "2013 Healthcare IT Funding and M&A Report," in twice as many deals as the previous quarter. There were nearly four times as many early stage deals compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.More

5 schools making STEM education fun for kids
Fast Company
The current generation of middle and high school students will need to be much more math and science-savvy than past classes — in the next decade, science, technology, engineering and math jobs will grow by 17 percent, compared to 9.8 percent in other fields. Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow initiative recently awarded five U.S. schools over $100,000 in various technology products for raising enthusiasm about STEM in their communities. The five schools answered the question: "How can STEM help improve the environment in your community?" in video form.More

Robotics can help fill the STEM gap
The Boston Globe
The first robot was created in 400-350 B.C., a steam-powered pigeon engineered by the mathematician Archytas. Since then, robots have captured our imagination.More

CIOs must embrace digital business
The MO of the digital business is that it's adept at using mobile, social and analytics platforms to boost sales and improve marketing and customer service.More

The tech industry's massive marketing problem
The U.S. has a skilled-developer shortage, and it's one of its own making. While Silicon Valley wrings its hands over H1B visa caps on skilled foreign workers, the bigger issue remains the U.S.' inability to educate its own citizens. More

Robotics forecast: Cool with a chance of lost humanity
Ars Technica
You might expect a book titled "Robot Futures" and written by a robotics researcher to be a whiz-bang prophecy of technologies that are the best thing since sliced bread. Soon we'll be living to 200 while traveling from vacation to vacation in our flying cars. All the while, robots handle all the parts of our jobs that we hated anyway, right? Maybe, but this book isn't the place to find it. There's plenty of speculation in it, but it's decidedly more pragmatic and sober than that.More

Robotics can help fill the STEM gap
The Boston Globe
The first robot was created in 400-350 B.C., a steam-powered pigeon engineered by the mathematician Archytas. Since then, robots have captured our imagination. National Robotics Week, now in its fourth year, helps us realize that we are already knee deep in the robotics era. Robots are cleaning floors, making cars, keeping our military safe, assisting in patient care, exploring the depths of the oceans and patrolling the skies. However, for the U.S. to remain a dominant force in this quickly growing industry, we will need significantly more skilled professionals in science, technology, engineering and math in the future.More

8 things you should not do every day
If you get decent value from making to-do lists, you'll get huge returns — in productivity, in improved relationships and in your personal well-being — from adding these items to your not to-do list. Every day, make the commitment not to do these things. More

The happiest people pursue the most difficult problems
Harvard Business Review
Lurking behind the question of jobs — whether there are enough of them, how hard we should work at them and what kind the future will bring — is a major problem of job engagement. Too many people are tuned out, turned off or ready to leave. But there's one striking exception. The happiest people are dedicated to dealing with the most difficult problems: turning around inner-city schools, finding solutions to homelessness or unsafe drinking water or supporting children with terminal illnesses. More