Weekly Word on the Street: Big Data and the Big Apple

by Jim Staats | May 11, 2012

Takeaway of the week is a couple more shots-in-the-arm for job-seekers either in the process of beefing up their cybersecurity skills and experience or about to embark on such a journey. That sector of the marker is becoming more and more attractive. And for those not interested in preventing cyber attacks, one can't go wrong aiming to tame the beast known as "big data." And, if you're looking for a worthy tech locale to put down tech roots, ever heard of a place called New York City?

Cybersecurity: Certification Among Key Hiring Tips

What's it take to get snapped up for the ever-growing batch of attractive cybersecurity jobs in government, financial services, retail and other sectors?

Based on the advice of several experts in a recent Network World article, official certification, a keen eye, skill and mobile technology, for starters.

The key recommendation from the people who know, according to the article, is to earn a security-related certification, especially if the target is a commercial or defense-related IT security role. Credentials recommended included CompTIA Security+.

Jacob Braun, president and COO of Waka Digital Media, an IT security consulting firm, said such offerings "demonstrate a body of knowledge and experience."

Other items that help lead to a cybersecurity role include experience in the U.S. military or a law enforcement agency, knowledge of Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), experience with mobile security and ability to analyze log monitoring data for trends.

Fed CIO Concern #1? Cybersecurity

Continuing with a theme, recent survey data indicates the big issue giving federal chief information officers the most wrinkles is the protection of government data from cyberattacks.

According to a Nextgov report, one-fifth of the respondents to the Federal CIO Survey by TechAmerica/Grant Thornton LLP rated cybersecurity as their top concern, surpassing cost control, human capital, IT modernization efforts and mobility.

In the survey, which featured 40 executives from three dozen federal organizations, concerns outlined included an inconsistently applied government security framework and lack of general quality when it came to cybersecurity issues.

Other news to come out of last week's release of survey data included the unfortunate nugget that cost control remained a high concern as well, with an eye towards consolidating redundant systems and canceling underperforming IT projects.

Big Data, Big Investors

The surging need to manhandle massive amounts of consumer data is spurring venture capital firms to throw big wads of money into firms with the technology to address this need.

The latest example of this is last week's announced $26 million investment into big data software maker Birst by a handful of VC firms, a recent Computerworld article notes.

That announcement follows the trend of big investment from venture and growth capital firms into the big data movement.

In November, Cloudera, which sells and supports a commercial version of open-source Hadoop big data technology, was the beneficiary of $40 million in a round of funding which has since topped $75 million.

Other firms to collect big investment paydays include Domo, which offers cloud-based big data services, software maker Splunk, Teradata, Tibco and Qlik Technologies.

Investor interest is coming from the growing enterprise demand for big data tools quickly in the face of tech trends including cloud computing, mobility and social media, experts suggest.

"Big data has become big business," said Greg McDowell, an analyst with investment banker JMP Securities. "Companies are looking for tools to store, manage, manipulate, analyze, aggregate, combine and integrate data."

He said the market for big data tools is expected to rise from $9 billion in 2011 to $86 billion in the coming decade. Spending on big data tools, McDowell added, will make up more than 10 percent of all enterprise IT spending by 2020.

NYC, Not SV, as the Tech Mecca?

Look out Silicon Valley, the rapidly growing technology industry in New York City is nipping at your heels to become the end-all, be-all of the tech world, a new study shows.

The technology industry is growing faster in the "Big Apple" than anywhere else in America and only trails that well-known West Coast locale as a hub for developing new technology companies, according to a study titled "New Tech City," conducted by the Center for an Urban Future, The New York Times reported.

Study findings show that 486 technology firms were born in the city since 2007 and recent economic troubles have yet to slow such growth.

Investors interviewed for the survey noted that New York City has surpassed the Boston area as the nation's second-leading tech firm breeding ground, behind only Silicon Valley.

Between 2007 and 2011, survey findings show, NYC was the only place in the nation where the number of deals to finance tech start-ups increased.

Reasons being credited for this trend include efforts of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration to make the city more attractive for the industry and the fact that the current wave of innovation is more about designing creative applications for mobile technology for multiple industries rather than computer chip design.

When you think of where dominance reigns in industries such as finance and advertising, you think of New York City.

The study found that tech start-ups were concentrated in Lower Manhattan and Midtown, mainly due to access to better broadband access - a bit of a sore spot that's becoming more glaring as the city's tech profile rises.

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