20 Amazing, Amusing and Alarming IT Facts

More Odd IT Facts

* It might not hurt to brush up on your Ethernet skills, too. Business Ethernet services boomed in the United States during the first half of the year, with the number of installed ports rising 16%. AT&T led the way with 21% of total ports, with Verizon, TW Telecom and Cox in pursuit, according to Vertical Systems Group.

* Who knows, maybe all that new Business Ethernet capacity is helping to stave off a massive Internet outage. Despite prognostications that the Internet is about to collapse from the weight of traffic growth -- especially video -- international Internet traffic grew 53% between mid-2007 and mid-2008, down from 61% the preceding year, according to a market research firm. For the second consecutive year, total international Internet capacity grew faster than total Internet traffic, leading to lower utilization levels on many Internet backbones, according to market tracker TeleGeography.

* Nevertheless, there are at least 5 trillion reasons to stay in telecom: global telecom revenue is estimated to hit about $5 trillion by 2011, according to the latest Telecommunications Industry Association. High-volume business and consumer data applications are driving demand, according to the report.

* Yes, Cisco rules enterprise networking, but it also is no pushover in the carrier market. Infonetics' quarterly service provider routers and switches report shows Cisco gained 15% in IP edge and core router revenue in the second quarter and now owns more than half the worldwide market. Though it was Fujitsu that made the biggest gain during the quarter, jumping from No. 9 to No. 6 worldwide.

* Cisco also talks a good game in software these days, though its muckety-mucks might want to note this: Software-as-a-service has a way to go, according to a survey of 417 IT decision makers at companies with less than 500 employees. The survey by the Technology Practice of Chadwick Martin Bailey found that just 14% of those surveyed say they are more likely to subscribe to software-as-a-service than they are to purchase software-as-a-license and manage it internally.

* And now, for a few words about ERM. Are you among the 8% who have no clue what ERM is? A survey commissioned in part by a company that sells e-mail security and content protection software, and conducted by Gilbane Group and University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, found that the number of people who don't know what enterprise rights management is had fallen from 26% in 2005. The vendor promoting this survey pats itself on the back too many times in its news release to earn mention here. (Here's one company's explanation of ERM:)

* Don't go looking to your 4th and 8th graders for any explanations of ERM, by the way. Their math and science proficiency "remains unacceptably low," according to AeA, a high-tech trade industry that recently issued a report analyzing the latest math and science scores based on Department of Education figures. Among the ugly numbers: 39% of 4th graders and 31% of 8th graders tested at or above the proficiency level in math last year, and the number of 4th graders at or above proficiency in science rose only one percentage point between 1996 and 2005.

* Here are some numbers that almost anyone can understand, though. Investors are still putting their money into new wireless network companies even though the prospects of big IPO payoffs are not at all obvious. In the latest Rutberg & Co. wireless industry report (for August), the research outfit found $313.2 million in wireless investments vs. $233.9 a year ago, though not a single IPO (not that that's unusual in IT these days). The biggest chunks of that investment went into carrier infrastructure and technologies, though enterprise applications also earned attention. While the IPO market has dried up, the mergers&acqusitions market has not, and there was plenty of action in the wireless market in August, including HP buying Colubris and Nortel snapping up Bluesocket's Pingtel assets.

* Guess who's atop the U.S. smartphone market? (It doesn't begin with "A")

Research in Motion captured almost 54% of the market in the second quarter, according to IDC. That was a big jump -- almost 10 percentage points -- from the first quarter, and the gain came at the expense of Apple, maker of the iPhone, and Palm, both of which lost share.

* And finally....you'd think we could find a few interesting tidbits in a study about "findability," the art of being able to locate your content. Sure enough, trade group AIIM issued a report this summer (funded by a couple of content management companies) that dished up this fact: Only 10% of the 500 business users surveyed said as much as 76% to 100% of its company's information is searchable online. More than a third of those surveyed said 25% or less of the information is searchable online.

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