(Bloomberg) — In a world where protecting against cyber crime is high on most big business agendas, a U.K. provider of IT security to clients as small as dentists and neighborhood stores is outpacing the best that Silicon Valley has to offer.

Sophos Group Plc shares have more than doubled in 2017, beating every other stock in the Nasdaq CEA Cybersecurity Index, including larger California-based peers such as Symantec Corp. and Palo Alto Networks Inc. The stock has also left domestic equities trailing, being one of the top five performers in the U.K.’s FTSE All-Share Index.
Investors’ appetite is understandable. After this year’s global WannaCry ransomware attacks and headline-grabbing hacks at Uber Technologies Inc. and Equifax Inc., demand for cyber security has never been greater — whether you are a multinational corporation or a local shop owner. It’s a platform that’s giving Sophos some lofty ambitions in a British technology sector that was jolted by the $32 billion Japanese takeover of ARM Holdings in July 2016.
“We should be, we will be, the U.K. tech champion,” Chief Financial Officer Nick Bray said in an interview.
To get there, Bray will need to overtake software giants including Sage Group Plc and his former employer Micro Focus International Plc, whose market value of about 10.8 billion pounds ($14.5 billion) dwarfs Sophos’s 2.5 billion pounds.
The executive’s optimism is mostly shared by analysts, with nine out of 10 having

 

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission swept aside rules barring broadband providers from favoring the internet traffic of websites willing to pay for speedier service, sending the future of net neutrality on to a likely court challenge.

The Republican-led commission voted 3-to-2 on Thursday to remove Obama-era prohibitions on blocking web traffic, slowing it or demanding payment for faster passage via their networks. Over objections from its Democrats, the FCC gave up most authority over broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. and handed enforcement to other agencies. The changes won’t take place for at least two months.
“It is time for us to restore internet freedom,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was chosen by President Donald Trump to lead the agency, and who dissented when the FCC adopted the rules under Democratic leadership in 2015. “We are restoring the light-touch framework that has governed the internet for most of its existence.”
“This decision puts the Federal Communications Commission on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic member who voted against changing the rules.
The change frees broadband providers to begin charging websites for smooth passage over their networks. Critics said that threatens to pose barriers for smaller companies and startups, which can’t afford fees that established web

 

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission swept aside rules barring broadband providers from favoring the internet traffic of websites willing to pay for speedier service, sending the future of net neutrality on to a likely court challenge.

The Republican-led commission voted 3-to-2 on Thursday to remove Obama-era prohibitions on blocking web traffic, slowing it or demanding payment for faster passage via their networks. Over objections from its Democrats, the FCC gave up most authority over broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. and handed enforcement to other agencies. The changes won’t take place for at least two months.
“It is time for us to restore internet freedom,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was chosen by President Donald Trump to lead the agency, and who dissented when the FCC adopted the rules under Democratic leadership in 2015. “We are restoring the light-touch framework that has governed the internet for most of its existence.”
“This decision puts the Federal Communications Commission on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic member who voted against changing the rules.
The change frees broadband providers to begin charging websites for smooth passage over their networks. Critics said that threatens to pose barriers for smaller companies and startups, which can’t afford fees that established web

 

(Bloomberg) — For years, Squarespace Inc. has been a leader in the old-school art of designing websites. Its main rival, Wix.com Ltd., has been public since 2013, but Squarespace remains private.

Now in its teenage years, Squarespace is giving early employees and investors a way to cash out. The New York-based company said General Atlantic LLC, an investment firm and Squarespace backer, is injecting a new round of funding, most of which will go toward buying stock from other investors and employees.
General Atlantic will commit about $200 million to the deal, and the new shares value the business at $1.7 billion, said a person with knowledge of the deal. Squarespace Chief Executive Officer Anthony Casalena declined to comment on terms of the funding.
As many technology companies postpone initial public offerings indefinitely, early backers are getting restless. The Bloomberg U.S. Startups Barometer, an index tracking the private technology industry, shows IPOs and acquisitions are at a three-year low. More startups are arranging deals similar to Squarespace’s to appease shareholders. Uber Technologies Inc. recently offered stockholders the option to sell to a group of investors led by SoftBank Group Corp. at a 30 percent discount to the most recent valuation. At least two high-profile backers have already agreed to participate.
Unlike Uber, Squarespace is profitable. “If anything, we actually would have been interested in buying more,” Anton Levy, managing

 

(Bloomberg) — For years, Squarespace Inc. has been a leader in the old-school art of designing websites. Its main rival, Wix.com Ltd., has been public since 2013, but Squarespace remains private.

Now in its teenage years, Squarespace is giving early employees and investors a way to cash out. The New York-based company said General Atlantic LLC, an investment firm and Squarespace backer, is injecting a new round of funding, most of which will go toward buying stock from other investors and employees.
General Atlantic will commit about $200 million to the deal, and the new shares value the business at $1.7 billion, said a person with knowledge of the deal. Squarespace Chief Executive Officer Anthony Casalena declined to comment on terms of the funding.
As many technology companies postpone initial public offerings indefinitely, early backers are getting restless. The Bloomberg U.S. Startups Barometer, an index tracking the private technology industry, shows IPOs and acquisitions are at a three-year low. More startups are arranging deals similar to Squarespace’s to appease shareholders. Uber Technologies Inc. recently offered stockholders the option to sell to a group of investors led by SoftBank Group Corp. at a 30 percent discount to the most recent valuation. At least two high-profile backers have already agreed to participate.
Unlike Uber, Squarespace is profitable. “If anything, we actually would have been interested in buying more,” Anton Levy, managing

 

(Bloomberg) — Republican regulators moving to kill Obama-era open internet regulations say one big reason for their action is that the rules have depressed investment in broadband.

But much of the research being held up by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to justify rescinding that rule comes from the very companies that stand to benefit and their advocates. Even some of the authors involved question whether all the research cited by regulators is valid.
“This is a classic case of garbage in, garbage out,” said telecom industry analyst Craig Moffett, a founding partner of New York-based MoffettNathanson. “There are so many other factors that drive capital investment beyond just regulatory environment.”
With the FCC poised to vote Thursday to eliminate the 2015 restrictions on internet service providers, or ISPs, the seemingly academic question of how reliable the studies are could quickly become critical when opponents file lawsuits asking judges to undo the vote.
Under laws designed to prevent wide swings in policy during changes in administrations, Pai will need to prove that scrapping the rules is justified by changes in conditions since they were put in place. The move can’t be arbitrary or capricious, according to a law that sets out procedures for federal rulemaking.
Major Turnaround
It will be difficult “for the agency to justify a major turnaround based on data from such a short time frame,” said Andrew

 

(Bloomberg) — Iron Mountain Inc. agreed to acquire the U.S. operations of Io Data Centers LLC for $1.3 billion, adding to a string of deals this year by the data storage and management real estate investment trust.

Io will receive an additional $60 million based on the future performance of the centers, Iron Mountain said in a statement Monday. Iron Mountain is acquiring land and buildings in New Jersey, Ohio and Arizona that provide 62 megawatts of capacity.
The data center market is “super exciting for us,” William L. Meaney, chief executive officer of Iron Mountain, said in an interview. Large enterprises developing their cloud strategies “really fuels the growth of people like ourselves,” he said.
Iron Mountain agreed in July to buy Mag Datacenters LLC, which operates private data center business Fortrust, for about $130 million. In October, it said it was acquiring data centers in Singapore and London from Credit Suisse Group AG in a $100 million transaction.
“We look at a lot of deals but we’re really disciplined,” Meaney said. With the Io assets “we were able to find both the quality of assets and pricing that made sense,” he said.
The purchase of Phoenix-based Io’s U.S. operations will be Iron Mountain’s second biggest deal by valuation, after its 2015 agreement to acquire Recall Holdings Ltd. for about $2.6 billion.
Iron Mountain’s data center business is expected to contribute about 7 percent of its total revenue by 2020, according to

 

New Apple App Store guidelines state that apps created from “commercialized template or app generation services” will be rejected from inclusion in the App Store as of Jan. 1, 2018.
According to a report by TechCrunch, template and DIY services, as well as platforms and developers serving the SMB and non-profit markets, will be impacted by the new guidelines. The guidelines, which seem to be broader than many developers realized, were released by Apple after its Worldwide Developer Conference in June, banning apps “created from commercialized template or app generation service.”
ChowNow, which is quoted in Apple Pay documentation regarding its integration into the company’s platform for making restaurant apps is affected, and the company’s CEO told TechCrunch it was shocked to be categorized as spam.
Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA) has asked Apple to reconsider its guidelines 4.2.6, relating to template-based apps, and 4.3, relating to duplicate content, in a letter dated Dec. 1.
“Recently, I was informed that Apple’s decision to more stringently enforce its policy guidelines regarding design and functionality may result in the wholesale rejection of template-based apps from the App Store,” wrote Lieu (per TechCrunch). “It is my understanding that many small businesses, research organizations, and religious institutions rely on template apps when they do not possess the resources to develop apps in-house.”
Apple’s partnership with IBM for

 

I’m a big fan of hybrid and multi-cloud solutions. I believe, as an industry, we’re no longer seeing the future organization as one that has everything in one cloud provider. Rather, the future is very much more hybrid.
Organizations across almost every vertical and company size see hybrid cloud solutions as the gateway to digital transformations and new types of competitive advantages. These initiatives are being driven by the business layer, and not just IT leaders.
“Overall, there are very real trends toward cloud platforms, and also toward massively scalable processing. Virtualization, service orientation and the Internet have converged to sponsor a phenomenon that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they’ll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models,” said Chris Howard, research vice president at Gartner. “Services delivered through the cloud will foster an economy based on delivery and consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management.”
See also: Using Automation as a Change Agent for IT Transformation
A recent WSJ article said CIOs are knitting together a new IT architecture that comprises the latest in public cloud services with the best of their own private data centers and partially shared tech resources. IDC points out that overall spending on IT infrastructure for off-premises cloud environments—both

 

I’m a big fan of hybrid and multi-cloud solutions. I believe, as an industry, we’re no longer seeing the future organization as one that has everything in one cloud provider. Rather, the future is very much more hybrid.
Organizations across almost every vertical and company size see hybrid cloud solutions as the gateway to digital transformations and new types of competitive advantages. These initiatives are being driven by the business layer, and not just IT leaders.
“Overall, there are very real trends toward cloud platforms, and also toward massively scalable processing. Virtualization, service orientation and the Internet have converged to sponsor a phenomenon that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they’ll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models,” said Chris Howard, research vice president at Gartner. “Services delivered through the cloud will foster an economy based on delivery and consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management.”
See also: Using Automation as a Change Agent for IT Transformation
A recent WSJ article said CIOs are knitting together a new IT architecture that comprises the latest in public cloud services with the best of their own private data centers and partially shared tech resources. IDC points out that overall spending on IT infrastructure for off-premises cloud environments—both

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