IT :In the News

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Is metro Detroit the next Silicon Valley? Is Silicon Valley the next Detroit?

Metro Detroit and Silicon Valley are about as different from one another as two places can be. After all, Detroit's a blue collar manufacturing town while the Valley is the center of the white collar tech universe.
Yet Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program contends that these two iconic regions may actually be becoming more alike than different.
Katz writes:
"Increasingly, manufacturing has gone high-tech in Detroit, while the Silicon Valley/San Jose region has seen an uptick in manufacturing…
It would surprise no one that San Jose and Silicon Valley have the highest concentration of advanced industries workers in the country, with 30% of all jobs in the metro area in one of these R&D and STEM-intensive industries. While some might think Facebook FB 0.57% and Twitter TWTR dominate the Valley, manufacturing actually employs nearly half (46.1%) of workers. These 134,000 workers produce everything from semiconductors to computer equipment to aerospace parts and pharmaceuticals.
The reverse dynamic is at play in Detroit. While the automotive industry accounts for over one-third of all advanced industry employment, services still employ almost half. Over 32,000 professionals in the Detroit metro area are employed in the computer systems design sector alone—many of which feed into the larger automotive supply chain."
To learn more about how the economies of Detroit and Silicon Valley are becoming more similar, read Katz's piece for the Brookings Institution.

Farmington Hills-based Kybba makes Inc. "Build 100" list

Just out: Inc. magazine's list of companies that have consistently upped their headcounts every year, recession or not. IT and staffing firm Kybba is one of the very few that did so.


"We began the Build 100 project by collecting  data  on more than 100,000 U.S. midmarket companies (those with 85 to 999 employees). We then looked at how many increased head count in every year from 2007 to 2012. Remarkably, fewer than 1.5 percent of the companies met that standard...We focused on head count rather than revenue because we found that increased hiring is more predictive of future sustained growth, and that’s what this project is all about."

More here.

Henry Ford Health System receives $3M grant for digital health incubator

The healthcare field is getting a technology upgrade with Henry Ford Health System's receipt of a $3 million grant to establish the  William Davidson Center  for Entrepreneurs in Digital Health.


"The Davidson Center hopes to bring together innovators, educators, and corporate partners from around the world to create new technologies and companies focused on the intersection of health care and information technology.

Another goal of the grant will be to establish an educational curriculum that integrates entrepreneurship, healthcare, and digital technologies, with programs to be created for Henry Ford physicians and staff, medical residents, and middle and high school students in the community."

More here.

LTU receives $40M software grant & kudos in Princeton Review

It's a double whammy of good things for LTU: a major software grant and a naming to the Princeton Review's "Best of the Midwest" list.


"Lawrence Technological University has received an in-kind software grant with a commercial value of $40 million from Siemens PLM Software. It is one of the largest in-kind grants in the university’s history.
The in-kind grant gives LTU students access to the same technology that companies around the world use every day to develop innovative products that are engineered for manufacturability in a wide variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, defense, machinery, medical, high-tech, electronics and many more."


"Lawrence Tech was among the 155 colleges in the 12-state Midwest Region and 643 colleges overall – representing 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges – selected for the “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list...

According to the Princeton Review, Lawrence Tech is a university armed with a great local and a growing national reputation. In the survey, students reported the university manages to feel “like one big family.”  
Undergrads value that LTU promotes both “theory and practice” and “hands-on experience."
More here and here.

Metro Detroit IT firms get creative with hiring

Metro Detroit's IT industry is growing in leaps and bounds and that means local firms must get creative about bringing in the talent they need to succeed.
"Secure-24 is one of many Metro Detroit companies that are looking for creative ways to increase a local talent pool with a shortage of qualified IT workers.
"Demand is huge, and I think that in southeastern Michigan, the news is that we have in the past year doubled the requests (for IT workers) compared to Silicon Valley," said Alysia Green, director for talent development for Automation Alley, a technology business group in Troy."
Read the rest here.

Oakland County wins two digital government awards

The Center For Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government, (there's a mouthful) thinks Oakland County's IT services are mighty keen. Not only did the county's "Mobile Touch" website (for mobile browsing) get singled out in their "Government-to-Citizen County Government category" but the county's portal also took home the silver.

Check out the rest of the winners here.

Beaumont hailed as IT innovator

InformationWeek singled out Beaumont Health System as a tech innovator at its annual award ceremony, noting the hospital's advances in IT technology.


"Beaumont Health System has been named to the 2011 InformationWeek 500, an annual listing of the nation’s most innovative users of business technology. The list was announced at an awards ceremony this week at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif.

InformationWeek has identified and honored the nation’s most innovative users of information technology with its annual 500 listing for 23 years. It also tracks the technology, strategies, investments and administrative practices of America’s best-known companies, including Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., General Motors Co., Colgate-Palmolive and Merck."

Read the rest here.

Oakland County government ranks 4th in digital innovation

Who says government can't keep up? When it comes to municipal innovation in the digital realm, Oakland County landed in the top ten of the U.S.'s largest counties. Cloud computing, a portal that allows residents to monitor budgets, and the creation of an online forum boosted the metro Detroit burb's cred.


"The Digital Counties Survey identifies the very best examples of how counties are aligning technology to support strategic priorities and create crucial operational and administrative efficiencies," said NACo Executive Director Larry E. Naake. "Especially important during these tough economic times, counties across the country are using innovative technologies to reduce county operations costs and enhance service delivery."

Read more here.

Good FORTUNE found in outsourcing in Detroit

Outsourcing used to be a dirty word in Detroit. That is until IT companies like GalaxE.Solutions started filling downtown's office towers.


FORTUNE -- The downtown business district of Detroit, Michigan contains precious few beacons of economic optimism these days amid the empty office buildings, vacant lots and unsold condos.

One notable and unlikely bright spot is Somerset, New Jersey-based GalaxE.Solutions. The firm opened its doors a few months ago in a near-empty office tower with a promise by its chief executive officer to hire 500 workers from Detroit over the next five years. Only the landing of a flying saucer might have been more unexpected.

Read the rest of the story here.

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at

New Economy Partnerships focus on IT sector

Michigan has the potential to be a destination for a lot of things these days, from fisherman to urban farmers to IT nerds. No, no, no... Just kidding about the nerds comment. But, all jokes aside, Michigan is launching an initiative to boost up the growth of IT jobs. By bringing together different programs, organizations, and efforts, the hopes are to grow the sector here in the state and bring back the offshore jobs.


The state is launching a new initiative to attract and retain jobs and investment in information, communications and technology industries.

The New Economy Partnerships collaboration brings together, in some ways, disparate programs, organizations and efforts throughout the state, with the goal of making Michigan a destination for industry firms and services, said Ken Theis, director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology, or DIT.

He said the state hopes to capitalize on growth in the IT sector, a push to bring IT services back into the United States from offshore, and major federal investments under way in areas like broadband and health information technology.

Read the entire article here.

Walsh College survey finds what 'new economy' businesses want to change

We're in an era of change. Moving forward from what seems to have been in play since the 80s, when Reagan was in office. Now, a Walsh College survey uncovers the thinking of new economy firms.


"The results indicate 'new-economy' businesses want policies that will reduce business taxes while advancing strategies to better prepare our workforce, retain our graduates, and rebuild our roads and bridges," Walsh College President and CEO Stephanie Bergeron said. “That has been an important issue raised by many business leaders. However, the considerable support for education and retraining initiatives is significant, as evidenced by the high ranking of work-relevant curriculum changes, expanding the role of workforce development, and finding ways to keep graduates in Michigan. We believe these are critical issues to address if we are to have the workforce necessary for a knowledge-based economy."

Read the entire story here.

Storage space: Metro Detroit is a growing data-hosting hub

In a new outsourcing trend for the region, insurers, banks, and health care companies are entrusting local data centers to manage critical business information.


"It's one of the secrets of Michigan," said Yan Ness, Online Tech's CEO… "Right now there's a downslope in the banks and the credit markets. Companies that basically help other companies avoid capital deployment are acutely in demand."

For businesses, the ability to outsource the hosting of enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) or supply chain management software to offsite data centers adds up to money saved on IT staffs and server banks.

Read the full story here.

Airfoil Public Relations helps companies make friends

Southfield-based PR firm brings social awareness to clients' digital media campaigns.


…Airfoil's staff has an average age of 28. And that is exactly why Airfoil's clients hire them, said President Janet Tyler. They know Airfoil's employees will know the difference between a phonebook and Facebook…

For example, Airfoil's newly formalized Digital and Social Media Department aims to connect all of Airfoil's clients with Web 2.0 communications, such as blogging, Twitter and Facebook…

While the economy has slowed business for public relations companies generally, Airfoil is doing well and has high hopes for a bright future in Michigan and California, where it also has offices.

Read the full story here.

IT hirings still on the up and up

A survey of metro Detroit CIOs produced some positive results in the IT field and it seems as if there should be some hiring in the future.


"Businesses remain cautious in their hiring outlook, recruiting IT staff who can help them maximize the use of technology to improve efficiency, achieve cost savings and gain a competitive edge," said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Investments in Web 2.0 initiatives continue to generate demand in areas such as web development and help desk."

Lee added that a growing number of companies need IT personnel to support systems upgrades. Seventeen percent of CIOs polled cited this as the primary factor behind their technology hiring plans for the first quarter, up from 7 percent projected for the fourth quarter of 2008. Information systems security also is driving more IT hiring quarter over quarter: 12 percent of CIOs seek more IT personnel to support this area, compared to 7 percent last quarter. The need for professionals who can install or develop new enterprise-wide applications has decreased, cited by 11 percent of CIOs for the first quarter of 2009, compared to 21 percent projected last quarter.

Read the entire article here.

SE Michigan IT security conference says watch your home computers

You gotta watch your home computers. That's the advice Gordon Mitchell told a couple of hundred IT professionals at the Secure World Detroit conference in Dearborn. It's at home where the biggest threats lie. What is the triple threat of a security breach? File sharing, games, and pornography.


The threats to data security are most severe at home, a Seattle security expert told the Secure World Detroit conference at the Ford Conference and Events Center in Dearborn Wednesday.

Gordon Mitchell, president of Future Focus Inc., told the audience of a couple of hundred IT security professionals how to "become a counterspy in three easy lessons."

Mitchell said good counterspies must figure out what information is valuable, think about who could be a spy, think likea spy would and protect the information.

Companies and institutions are constantly surrounded by people who are spying on them, Michell said. The strategies can range from the sophisticated to the simple -- like the biotech client that actually had an employee listening to board meetings by using a drinking glass up against a wall.

Read the entire article here.
27 IT Articles | Page: | Show All
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