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      INAP’s New Strategic Alliance Showcases Benefits of Private Cloud for Legal Tech


      We’re pleased to share that NMBL Technologies LLC (pronounced “nimble”) today announced it will offer its legal workflow management solution, Proxy, in a secure private cloud environment managed by INAP.

      The partnership strengthens INAP’s foothold in the legal services industry, and bolsters Proxy’s position as a secure legal technology solution that businesses can trust with their most sensitive data.

      “While cloud adoption in the legal services industry has improved recently, many corporate legal departments remain wary of moving to a public cloud provider,” said Daniel Farris, a NMBL founder and the company’s so-called Chief Man in Suit. “Leveraging INAP’s secure private cloud environment further bolsters Proxy’s position as a leader in secure legal technology.”

      INAP’s hosted private cloud solution is offered as a logically isolated or fully dedicated private environment ideal for mission-critical applications with strict compliance standards and performance requirements.

      NMBL Homepage

      “INAP is already a trusted provider of cloud services in highly regulated industries, including healthcare, financial services and ecommerce, where stringent standards like HIPAA and PCI dictate how infrastructure and applications are secured and managed,” said T.J. Waldorf, INAP’s Chief Marketing Officer. “When we looked at the legal services market, we could see that it was underserved, and very much in need of providers who understand the unique issues lawyers face when adopting and implementing new technology. This alliance is a natural fit for us, bringing together our platform with a workflow solution tailor-made for corporate legal departments.”

      “Inefficiencies brought about by antiquated processes, lack of adequate controls, poor workflow management and collaboration tools, and the generally ineffective use of technology plague the legal market,” said Farris. “Corporate legal departments feel the effects more acutely than most; they’re often trying to manage their work with solutions that weren’t built for their needs.”

      “In-house lawyers are under greater pressure than most other business managers to protect data and documents,” agreed Rich Diegnan, INAP’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “In fact, lawyers in many states have an ethical obligation to understand and ensure the security of the legal technology they use. Implementing already-secure platforms like Proxy in INAP’s secure private cloud environment allows in-house lawyers like me to migrate to the cloud with confidence.”

      NMBL and INAP have a common perspective on their work, viewing the management of legal work performed within companies by in-house counsel as the most significant opportunity in legal tech.

      “NMBL is embracing the legal ops movement, viewing in-house legal departments as business units, and developing enterprise solutions like Proxy for the corporate legal ecosystem,” said Christopher Hines, NMBL’s so-called Uber Geek. “Partnering with INAP is a no-brainer for us—their secure IaaS solution is yet another differentiator that creates competitive advantage for Proxy.”

      “Seventy-five percent of all U.S. legal work is now performed by in-house counsel, but the majority of legal technology products and solutions are still targeted at firm lawyers,” said Nicole Poulos, NMBL’s Marketing Maven. “Combining legal ops, workflow management, and a secure cloud platform powered by INAP, will provide corporate legal departments with greater control of their legal function, improve efficiency, and provide actionable data and intelligence.”

      The two companies also share a geographic connection. INAP’s cloud services expansion has been heavily influenced by the Chicago-based personnel brought on with the company’s acquisition of managed hosting provider SingleHop in 2018. Also based in Chicago, NMBL was recently named a Finalist in the American Bar Association’s Startup Pitch Competition at TECHSHOW 2020, taking place in Chicago in February.

      “The Chicago tech scene has generally been more focused on enterprise and B2B solutions,” said Farris. “INAP and NMBL are both dedicated to helping companies be more productive and efficient by enabling the adoption of strong technology suites.”

      “Cloud adoption in the legal market still trails other sectors significantly,” said Jennifer Curry, INAP’s SVP of Global Cloud Services. “The most-cited reason is concern about privacy and data security. INAP’s secure private cloud solutions make a lot of sense for an industry focused on not only ensuring the privacy and security of information, but also on faster, better, more effective ways to manage legal tasks and documents.”

      Both companies focus on providing flexible, lightweight solutions to customers in regulated industries.

      “INAP is always looking to establish alliances with disruptive tech companies,” said Waldorf. “Our scalable, reliable and secure platform offers best-in-class architecture with all the convenience and power of any well-established cloud provider. NMBL wants to leverage INAP’s platform to continue to disrupt an industry ripe for technology-driven change.”

      INAP


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      The Most Overhyped Tech Trends and Buzzwords of 2020


      Tech trends impacting IT departments evolve at a break-neck pace. Whether they are expected or not, this reality forces IT pros to quickly distinguish which trends are relevant and which can be treated with skepticism.

      To learn what tech trends really deserve attention in the coming year, we presented 500 senior IT professionals and infrastructure managers a list of general tech and IT buzzwords and asked whether these trends will be overhyped or noteworthy in 2020.

      Take a look at the results:

      tech trends

      Trends IT Pros Deemed as Over-Hyped

      None of the buzzwords/trends broke 50 percent in the over-hyped column. While there wasn’t a broad consensus, augmented reality (AR), 5G wireless, biometric authentication, blockchain and AI in the data center claimed the top five spots in this category.

      Augmented Reality

      AR ranked highest on the list of over-hyped trends at 39 percent, but the majority agree that it deserves attention (51 percent). Why the disparity? It may depend on whether or not AR has practical applications for the IT pro’s industry or business.

      There are plenty of examples of AR being incorporated across a variety of use cases. While it more prominently (and visibly) has to capture the imagination of the public, AR has also worked its way into the data center. As this technology continues to develop, a greater majority of IT pros might come to view AR as something worth giving attention.

      5G Wireless

      This next frontier in wireless may be a popular topic of discussion, but 35 percent of IT pros think it will be overhyped in 2020. Mary Jane Horne, INAP’s SVP of Global Network Services, weighed in on the on the 5G buzz at CAPRE’s seventh annual Mid-Atlantic Data Center conference in September 2019.

      “Just because I have a region with 5G, doesn’t meant that that particular provider is going to get it to the destination the fastest,” said Horne. “I need to have a variety of providers I can pick from. 5G is only going to be fast as the background network.”

      CNN Business notes that most consumers won’t be using 5G technology until 2025. At the enterprise level, conversation on 5G will be more relevant when upstream network infrastructure is better equipped to handle it.

      Biometric Authentication

      While it may come as a surprise that 1 in 3 IT pros view this proven, cutting-edge branch of security technology as over-hyped, it may not be practical for every business or IT team.

      Biometric authentication is another layer of protection on top of a strong security system, and it can frequently apply to specific locations, such as data centers or other high-security facilities. However, for day-to-day user access, it may not hold as much of a practical application as implementing two-factor authentication.

      What Tech Trends Will Earn IT’s Attention in 2020?

      Participants showed greater consensus on what is really deserving of attention in 2020, with 71 percent of pros agreeing on the top buzzwords—machine learning and digital transformation. DevOps and multicloud rounded out the top four, with more than 65 percent of IT pros saying these trends deserve attention.

      Multicloud

      Multicloud strategies continue to gain traction as we launch into 2020. The model gives companies the flexibility to pick the right environments that allow their workloads to run optimally.

      “The adoption of multicloud by enterprises spurs the innovation of tools to monitor and manage across platforms and increases the value of the role MSPs play in partnering to design and manage these complex scenarios,” says Jennifer Curry, SVP of Global Cloud Services.

      She continues, “The traditional division of dev and test in public cloud and product on prem or in a private cloud will go by the wayside as multicloud makes it easier to optimize your environment without sacrificing performance, security or visibility.”

      We can definitely expect to hear much more on multicloud services over the coming years.

      Digital Transformation and DevOps

      Seventy-one percent of IT pros deem digital transformation to be worth attention. While some may think the term has become a bit “nebulous from overuse,” the concept itself is popular because companies across industries are adopting new technology that changes the way business itself is done.

      DevOps is tied into digital transformation, with software developers and IT teams working in closer collaboration to more rapidly build, test and release new software. With these silos eliminated, processes can be automated, giving IT pros the ability to solve critical issues faster.

      Senior leaders are significantly more likely to think DevOps deserves attention than non-senior IT infrastructure managers, with a 21 versus 11 percent split, respectively,  As leaders for their respective areas, it makes sense that fostering a DevOps culture/philosophy is appealing, especially if it means that work can be done with greater speed, agility and results.

      Machine Learning

      Considering machine learning makes it possible for a computer to efficiently process large amounts of information and make adjustments accordingly, it’s no wonder that 71 percent of participants said this technology deserves attention. Paired with AI, machine learning can be even more effective. At present, the growing amount and variety of data necessitates this technology to deliver faster and more accurate results.

      The cost effectiveness of machine learning will likely lead to shifting functions in tech roles. As accurate and efficient as machine learning technology is, time and resources are still needed to train it properly. IT pros will need to stay on top of the latest education and skill building as their career paths evolve.

      Laura Vietmeyer


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      Here’s How Ad Tech Can Reduce Its Biggest Enemy: Latency


      Editor’s note: This article was originally published Dec. 4, 2019 on Adweek.com.

      Latency—the delay that occurs in communication over a network—remains the enemy of Ad Tech, and by extension, the enemy of publishers and agencies relying on increasingly sophisticated tools to drive revenue and engage audiences.

      With real-time bidding demanding sub-100 millisecond response times, advertisers are careful to avoid any process that could hinder their ability to win placements. Website page-load speeds, meanwhile, continue to be a critical metric for publishers, as adding tracking pixels, tags and content reload tech to page code can inadvertently increase latency, and as a result, website bounce rates.

      If you think a few dozen milliseconds here or there won’t tank user experience, note that the human brain is capable of processing images far faster than we previously thought. An image seen for as little as 13 milliseconds can be identified later, according to neuroscientists at MIT. The drive for greater speed and better performance will march on because users will demand it.

      At its core, latency reduction—like the mechanics of transporting people—is governed by both physics and available technology. Unless a hyperloop breaks ground soon, you will likely never make a trip from Los Angeles to Chicago in two hours. It’s a similar story for the data traversing internet fiber optic cables across the globe. Even with a high-speed connection, your internet traffic is still bound by pesky principles like the speed of light.

      So how are Ad Tech companies solving for latency?

      The two most straightforward answers are to simply move data centers closer to users and exchanges, or move the media itself closer via Content Delivery Networks. The shorter the distance, the lower the latency.

      A third, lesser-known tactic involves the use of internet route optimization technologies (first developed and patented by my company) that operate much like Waze or any other real-time traffic app you might use to shave minutes off your commute. Deploying this tech can significantly reduce latency, which in the programmatic and digital ad space, can be directly correlated to upticks in revenue.

      To understand how it works, let’s first consider how most internet traffic reaches your laptops, smart phones, and (sigh . . .) your refrigerators, doorbells and washing machines.

      Unlike the average consumer, companies increasingly choose to blend their bandwidth with multiple internet service providers. In effect, this creates a giant, interconnected road map linking providers to networks across the globe. In other words, the cat video du jour has many paths it can take to reach a single pair of captivated eyeballs.

      This blended internet service has two very real benefits for enterprises: It allows internet traffic to have a greater chance of always finding its way to users and sends traffic by the shortest route.

      But there’s one very important catch: The shortest route isn’t always the fastest route.

      In fact, the system routing internet traffic works less like real-time GPS routing and more like those unwieldy fold-out highway roadmaps that were a staple of many family road trips gone awry. They are an adequate tool for picking the shortest path from point A to point B, but can’t factor in traffic delays, lane closures, accidents or the likelihood of Dad deciding a dilapidated roadside motel in central Nebraska is the perfect place to stop for the day.

      In much the same way, the default system guiding internet traffic selects a route based on the lowest number of network “hops” (think tollbooths or highway interchanges) as opposed to the route with lowest estimated latency. While the shortest path sometimes is the fastest, traffic is always changing. Congestion can throttle speeds. The cables carrying data can be accidentally severed, stopping traffic altogether. Human error can temporarily take down a data center or network routers. But unless someone intervenes, the system will keep sending your traffic through this path, to the detriment of your latency goals, and ultimately, your clients and end users.

      Network route optimization technologies, conversely, manipulate this default system by probing every potential route data can take, diverting traffic away from routes with latency that kills user experience. While it is pretty easy for a company’s network engineering team to manually route traffic, it’s not practical at scale. The randomness and speed at which networks change mean even an always-on army of experts can’t beat an automation engine that makes millions of traffic optimizations per day.

      Of course, latency is just one of many factors affecting the increasingly innovative Ad Tech space. For instance, services capable of intelligently delivering content users actually want to see is pretty important for all parties, too. And as an avid content consumer myself, I’m thankful more Ad Tech providers are turning their eyes toward the user experience.

      But that’s all moot if industry leaders lose sight of the fact that milliseconds matter. And they matter a lot. Success in Ad Tech, as with any service powering the digital economy, is only as good as the data center technology and the network delivering the goods.

      Mary Jane Horne


      Mary Jane Horne is responsible for planning and executing INAP’s global network strategy, delivering a more robust, scalable and secure network. In addition, Ms. Horne oversees INAP’s vendor management team responsible for all carrier relations, including vendor strategy and contract negotiations. READ MORE



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