5 Technology Observations: 21 May 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights, gossip, chatter and rumors to start your day for Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Actually, here are 10 items to sip on.

10. This Is Revolutionary?: Pardon the yawn. But is it really disruptive and radical to outfit your offices with WiFi, and turn on cloud software for file sharing? Those were some of the anecdotes from CIOs who described their new, advanced workplaces for the digital age during the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. My reaction? Welcome to 2005 (WiFi) and 2009 or so (FileSharing).

9. Have You 'Seen' the News?: Spotify is pushing beyond streaming music. Next up: Video. I'm a bit of a laggard in the streaming media market -- spending most of my time on 'legacy' platforms like Pandora...

8.  More Than A Fad: Chromebooks, those web-centric notebooks promoted by Google and some PC makers, continue to enjoy a strong run. Worldwide Chromebook sales will grow 27 percent to 7.3 million in 2015, according to a Gartner forecast. We've had a Chromebook and Chromebox (the desktop version) in our house for about two years. The verdict: Big thumbs up. Early critics said customers didn't want all of their software and apps maintained and delivered via the cloud. The critics were wrong.

7. Storage Miss: NetApp missed its Q4 profit estimates and plans to cut about 500 jobs. Caught somewhere in midsize purgatory, NetApp is too big to be a nimble storage-defined startup and too small to match EMC's overall product diversity (though EMC has critics who want more growth as well). Plenty of folks have wondered if Cisco Systems will eventually buy NetApp. My spin? Cisco typically only buys growth companies... and NetApp doesn't meet that criteria. 

6. Unhealthy Trend: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield says its 1.1 million member database was hacked in July 2014. FireEye detected the breach after it was hired to inspect the healthcare company's systems. Two key takeaways: First, the rate of healthcare data breaches continues to skyrocket. Second, FireEye always seems to be the "first responder" assisting businesses with detection and the cleanup.

5. Three Things Every Entrepreneur Wants: The answer is freedom, growth and wealth, according to Brad Couper, CEO of simPRO Software -- a job management software platform provider in Australia. My take? Pursue freedom and growth. Perhaps wealth will find you along the way. But I don't think you can hunt down wealth as a priority.

4. F-bombing the CXO Suite: Earlier this week I heckled Cisco Systems for suggesting that companies need to hire chief disruption officers (May 18, Item 8). Nonsense, I claimed, because the CXO table is already crowded with executives (CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, Chief Data Officers, Chief Digital Officers) who should understand disruption or resign. Now, a Forbes contributor is getting raked over the coals for suggesting businesses need to hire Chief Native Officers. Nonsense... but I'm willing to soften my stance if companies add Content Czars to their C-suites.

3. Running Out of Time?: Pebble, the smartwatch maker, could be running out of money and might be struggling to maintain its growth rate, according to speculation on TechCrunch.

2. Congrats: Rumor has it VP of Business Development Zak Karsan is wrapping up a successful run at VaultLogix, the online backup provider. Next alleged stop? I'm not positive but I think Karsan's destination is OneCloud -- a hot hybrid cloud startup that has a strong relationship with Amazon Web Services...

1. Reminder: We don't blog or distribute our newsletter on Fridays, which allows us to focus on R&D the entire day. Also, Monday is Memorial Day here in the U.S. We'll be back with new content on Tuesday, May 26.

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