A good blog is a bit like a good book. Once you find one, you hold onto it, bookmark your favorite pages and return to it for education, entertainment or enlightenment. For the last three years, BizTech has recognized the best and brightest IT blogs in business and we're proud to announce this year's class of 50 Must-Read IT Blogs.
Like we've done in previous years, we opened up the nominations to you, our readers. Some of these reader submissions made it all the way to final list. The rest of the top IT blogs came from selections from our editorial team and from previous honorees who earned a spot yet again on our list.
One thing we strived to achieve this year was to include a wider range of blogs across various industries. This aligns with our redesign earlier this year, which saw us add a filter for industry-related content in the main navigation of the site. So as you peruse the list of this year's Must-Read IT Blogs, you'll see we included blogs from the retail sector, legal services, financial services, manufacturing, startups and more.
Please enjoy the 2014 BizTech Must-Read IT Blogs below. If your blog is one of this year's honorees, be sure to grab a badge and share the news with your readers. For the RSS lovers, here's an OPML file for you to download and import all of the blogs into your reader of choice.
Banks are facing a rapidly evolving landscape as online and mobile banking continue with their relentless disruption of the branch banking model. Jim Bruene of NetBanker tracks the latest trends and technologies in online and mobile banking.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which outlines how banks can begin to plan their digital banking strategies.
The NFL, the NHL and the NBA are becoming deeply entrenched in tech, and SportTechie, a blog dedicated to covering the intersection between sports and tech, has been covering it every step of the way. If you’re interested in how mobile, Big Data, social media and wireless connectivity are transforming the sports entertainment industry, bookmark this blog right away.
MUST-READ POST: The World Cup is going all in with Big Data, and Germany and SAP are leading the way.
Brian Krebs, a well-known technology journalist, sprinted to A-list celebrity status in IT security circles when he broke the news about Target’s game-changing data breach. His site is a must-read to understand the ever-evolving advanced persistent threat landscape that all organizations face.
MUST-READ POST: This story, which details how an HVAC worker ultimately proved to be the conduit for the retailer’s massive data breach.
Got cloud on the brain? So does Microsoft senior technology evangelist Tommy Patterson. His blog covers various Microsoft products, including Azure and Windows Server. For IT shops that rely on Microsoft, this blog can be an invaluable resource. Also, the blog’s home-page photo of Patterson’s family holding virtual clouds is kind of epic.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which includes an embedded video of a podcast that discusses how to develop virtual machine migrations and self-service infrastructure.
Enterprise IT has become increasingly chaotic as we attempt to find direction in the midst of software-defined IT, Big Data, mobility and the Internet of Things. Brian Katz, who lovably considers himself a bit of a grouch, puts his brand of crazy to good use as he dismantles myths and misconceptions about enterprise mobility.
MUST-READ POST: This post explains why adopting mobility is a lifestyle change, not just a way to work remotely.
Everybody loves a good futurist, and when it comes to understanding the intersection of business, emerging technologies and digital media, Brian Solis is among the best. His blog offers readers big ideas along with Big Data. Consider this a must-read if you’re interested in the idea of big possibilities.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which highlights how the maker/3D printing movement is affecting supply-chain management.
Sometimes you need a good co-pilot to steer you out of a jam. PwC Partner and Chief Technologist Chris Curran’s blog is the wingman that every CIO can get behind. He offers advice and insights on the problems plaguing IT leaders today, and he offers his blog as a platform for other IT leaders via guest blogs.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which offers CIOs talking points about the role they should play in the Internet of Things.
The mall, which used to be a staple of the 1980s and ’90s, is on its way out. Online shopping has gone from a curiosity to a way of life. Retailers must embrace and create memorable and inimitable experiences that will keep customers engaged. Tim Dickey, a retail technology consultant, uses his blog to help retailers do just that.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which explores the value of using iconography in POS interfaces.
Duncan Epping, who has been running his Yellow Bricks blog for several years, is among the more knowledgeable and wise voices in the space. He works at VMware in the Office of the CTO, and he shares his in-depth knowledge of VMware’s products and best practices with his readers.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which explains how deep your disk controller’s queue should be.
When it comes to wearable tech, forget about those fitness trackers. Syuzi Pakhchyan, a fashion consultant and Intel’s Technologist in Residence at Art Center College of Design, covers the serious and innovative exploration that’s happening as the worlds of fashion and tech combine. This might not be the normal sort of fare for most IT geeks, but this blog opens your eyes on how far we can push tech into the clothes we wear.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which covers the latest collaborations between tech companies and fashion brands.
As president of Boston User Groups, chief technology strategist at Microsoft and a Microsoft-certified trainer, Dan Stolts has amassed an impressive wealth of IT knowledge over the past 25 years. His blog offers practical real-world tips that IT professionals can use in their day-to-day lives. This is another great resource for Microsoft IT shops.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which highlights an easy-to-use migration tool for IT pros interested in moving to Azure.
Somehow, despite our best efforts, the precious iPhone that many of us rely on ends up with a broken or cracked screen. BrothaTech, aka Terrance Gaines, is here to help. In addition to helping fix broken iPhones and iPads, Gaines is a bona fide expert on all things Apple, and he shares his smarts with readers of his blog.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which details Gaines’ first week with the iPhone 6 and shows how his personal brand of tech can inform and entertain.
If hardware is IT’s car, and software the car’s fuel, then networking technology is the U.S. National Highway System. As co-host of the networking podcast Packet Pushers, Banks has carved out a name for himself as an authority on the subject, and his blog offers readers more of his thought-provoking, analytical, technical insights.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which challenges the notion that gigabit connectivity must be pervasive for all users.
As a network engineer, Amy Renee prides herself on taking on the challenges of field with enthusiasm and smarts. Her blog shares the challenges and lessons learned with readers in the hopes of inspiring them to push their skills to new heights.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which shares a useful new tool that Amy discovered at Cisco Live.
If you prefer blogs with more of a research bent, then Jeremiah’s data-driven blog is right up your alley. As a former tech industry analyst, Owyang uses his research to inform his high-level viewpoints about business, technology and disruption.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which pinpoints the key players and entities in the red-hot collaborative (or sharing) economy that is disrupting traditional sectors of business nationwide.
In the great wide world of tech personalities, Richie Etwaru, an IT leader at a CRM company that caters to life sciences, is an undiscovered gem. His sharp wit, big ideas and forward-thinking mindset have helped him transform this one-time, one-man blog into a full-blown editorial team. This blog will satiate your appetite for innovation and mental stimulation.
MUST-READ POST: This post thoughtfully makes the argument against confining wearables to just fitness tracking.
Technology isn’t easy, and the men and women who run our networks, systems and corporate IT environments deserve to be celebrated. Keith Mayer, a senior technical evangelist at Microsoft, provides resources, support guides and tutorials to make IT workers’ jobs easier.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which lists numerous support resources for IT admins of Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012.
William Lam is a virtualization veteran who works in the research and development department at VMware. He focuses mainly on automation and acts as the voice of the customer as he provides feedback to product teams within the company. His blog offers useful tips and tricks for virtualization administrators.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which is one of several on the blog that highlight real case studies from organizations that have deployed VMware products in Mac environments.
Who’s afraid of the Big Data Wolf? Not this human resources professional. Joe Burridge is an analytics specialist for Salt, a staffing firm based in London. His approach to data and workforce management attempts to address the intersection between data and humans.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which highlights the problem with overweighting the value of data in the hiring process.
When it comes to getting the scoop on all things Microsoft, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley is queen of the pack. Her blog uncovers essential information about the company’s latest products, including its flagship operating system, Windows, and offers insight into the thought process behind one of tech’s most iconic firms.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which offers a candid Q&A with Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s unified operating systems group. While Foley is known for scoring scoops within the company, she’s also got enough clout to get Microsoft officials to speak with her on the record.
As another leading voice in the world of Microsoft, Thurrott’s blog is a go-to resource for Microsoft fans. The site is continuously updated with the latest developments regarding the company’s product lineup and leadership. And yeah, Paul isn’t afraid to throw his two cents in, either.
MUST-READ POST: This review of Office for iPad, which Thurrott astutely observed is “the real deal.”
Sam Womack may or may not be a fan of Dr. Seuss’ classic Green Eggs & Ham, but he’s most definitely a Cisco-certified collaboration and DevOps professional. Womack’s blog is a godsend for developers, since much of it consists of snippets of code and step-by-step tutorials. But there are personal musings as well, such as his posts on Cisco Live.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which walks users through the steps to automatically configure holidays with Cisco Compatible Extensions.
What started as a place for network engineer Jeremy Stretch to store study notes for a Cisco certification has turned into a full-blown educational resource for fellow engineers. Packet Life plays host to useful tips and tactics about networking technology.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which delves into the hotly debated topic of MPLS vs. the Internet.
The name for this virtualization- and cloud-focused blog comes from the Maori name for New Zealand: Aotearoa. Translated into English, it roughly means “land of the long white cloud,” says the blog’s author, Michael Webster. Consider reading this blog if you’re a member of the cloud tribe.
MUST-READ POST: This post, in which Webster identifies and troubleshoots a scripting bug.
Chris Wahl is a networking pro and a “virtualization whisperer.” His blog offers insights into business challenges and technical trouble spots, but he also has a wacky side that manifests itself in the form of pizza vending machines and mascot hugging.
You know that bar they sing about on Cheers — the place where everyone knows your name? Online communities are kind of like that, and Geek Speak, a blog/forum hybrid on SolarWinds’ Thwack Community, is the kind of place where IT professionals can share experiences, swap tips or just hang out.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which asks other IT pros to share their VoIP readiness checklists.
As one of the top IT analyst firms, Forrester is a firm that IT leaders have long relied on. The company’s research and white papers are useful tools to inform decision making. This blog takes the company’s great insights and lasers in on current events, trends and leadership case studies.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which explains the importance of collaboration software in defining and valuing the customer experience.
The financial services industry lives and thrives on data, so tech is a natural and essential element of many of the organizations in this sector. Bill Winterberg, a certified financial planner and a former software engineer for HP, runs the blog and keeps fin-tech folks in the loop on the tools and the tech they need to know about. He includes videos in most of his posts, which bring his personality (and sense of humor) to the forefront.
MUST-READ POST: This post, in which Winterberg humorously tackles “Celebgate.”
Lawyers, paralegals and judges are just like us: They’ve gone mobile. For the Android loyalists among us, Jeffrey Taylor, an Oklahoma City–based attorney, catalogs and covers all things Android and legal IT. He highlights useful apps as well as new devices.
MUST-READ POST: This brave post, in which Taylor explains why he relies on Android’s built-in security features.
Jeff Richardson, the iOS counterpart to Taylor’s Droid Lawyer, is a New Orleans–based attorney who relentlessly tracks and updates legal IT enthusiasts on the latest and greatest tips, tricks and news on iOS devices in the legal space. If you’re an attorney who lives or dies by your iPad, this is the site for you.
MUST-READ POST: This post dissects the use of iPhones and iPads among attorneys and provides valuable insight into the numbers..
The future of the banking industry is being shaped right now, and Bank Innovation offers a front-seat ride in the innovation bus. Whether it’s reporting on Apple’s potentially game-changing mobile payment system or best-in-class bank-tech case studies, this blog ensures that its readers stay on the bleeding edge..
MUST-READ POST: This post, which advises community banks to ditch the kitchen-sink approach and do just one thing well.
As CEO of The Store WPP, EMEA and Asia, David Roth is a recognizable and authoritative leader in the retail industry. His blog includes his thoughts and insights on retail, tech and Asian markets, making it a fascinating personal and professional read, filtered through a global and local lenses.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which examines how the mirror has affected the retail experience, and how technology is evolving it.
Forget what you’ve heard: Manufacturing is alive and well. With the renewed interest in making things taking hold across the country thanks to 3D-printing and the maker trends, there’s a growing pool of people who are geeked out about manufacturing. This blog gathers like-minded folks and explores news, trends and innovations in the space.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which explores how technology has transformed the factory.
As a veteran security expert and thought leader, Rafal Los has a habit of cutting to the chase. This blog features Los’ signature incisive insights, along with contributions from two other security experts, Michael Santarcangelo and James Jardine, to provide readers with a well-rounded perspective.
MUST-READ POST: This post zaps FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about U.S. infrastructure straight through the heart.
It’s not easy being the top dog in IT, and Peter Kretzman, who has more than 25 years of IT leadership to lean on, offers tangible, valuable and engaging discussions around the evolution of the CIO and CTO roles.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which is part of a series on IT’s resistance to estimates.
Thanks to modern 3D-printing technology, if you can think it, you can print it. Yes, even your food is 3D-printable. 3ders is the premier destination for 3D-printing enthusiasts, and it covers the latest trends, ideas and products on the market.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which details the development of a 3D-printed, Wolverine-inspired prosthetic hand.
As mobility becomes the new normal in the workplace, IT shops must be prepared to address the new and changing ways enterprise IT handles and supports the work companies do. MaaS360 is a leading vendor in mobile device and application management, and their MaaSters Blog can take anyone from mobility white-belt status to black belt.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which explores how IT pros should handle the challenging demands that BYOD and the World Cup place on your company’s network.
This blog plays host to “perspectives at the intersection of business, communication and technology.” The blog’s author, Neville Hobson, considers himself an “entrepreneurial business communicator” and his posts offer insights into the shifts taking place in B2B and B2C communications.
MUST-READ POST: This post, in which Hobson explains his point of view on the potential for visual messaging to disrupt business communications.
While New York City has been seen as the crown of the startup world on the East Coast, Washington D.C. is definitely on the come-up. President Obama paid a visit to 1776, the city’s very own startup incubator, and the organization’s blog offers insights and news on startup activity within its ecosystem.
MUST-READ POST:This post, which highlights one 1776 member’s “Shark Tank” experience.
While IT is what many of us do for a living, there’s much more to IT professionals than their work. Mitch’s blog offers a great blend of personal and professional as he weighs in on Microsoft technologies (he’s a longtime Microsoft MVP) and shares his personal passions for martial arts.
MUST-READ POST: This post, in which Garvis touches on how martial arts and tech both impact his life.
After spending 15 years as a sysadmin, Jennelle Crothers learned how to hop around when it comes to tech. Her blog, which has no relation to the Easter Bunny as far as we know, offers insights and advice on server and data center tech for all.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which tackles the mysteries of DNS queries.
While the name of blog sounds like the title of a great superhero comic book, Adam Bertram, the sysadmin behind the blog, is a regular IT guy. At least as far as we know. His blog offers tips and tricks on scripting and automation technologies, which pretty much means his blog is a great resource for showing IT pros how to get things done faster.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which covers what makes a person an excellent troubleshooter.
Simon May, the author of this blog and an Infrastructure Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, keeps his readers up to date with news and information about IT products that can help enterprise IT find efficiencies. But he also interjects his own geek personality into the content he shares with his readers.
MUST-READ POST: This post, in which Simon May took part in the biggest viral movement to sweep the web: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
There’s a plethora of startup advice out there on the Internet, but Mark Suster’s blog offers a refreshing balance between the venture capitalist and entrepreneur’s point of view. His blog, which often involves the use of anecdotes and real-world examples, is a bit like an episode of Shark Tank, but without the harsh judgment of Mark Cuban and company.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which offers a polite and responsible way to cancel a meeting.
We’re all under a time crunch, so we’re all seeking ways to do things faster, smarter. IBM takes a look at the ways that life, enterprise and society can be transformed through the use and innovation of technology.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which outlines how Big Data is helping in the fight against cancer.
Some say that success is a mixture of luck and skill. Dr. Jim Anderson, the author behind this blog, attempts to increase your odds on both fronts with his relatable, reader-friendly approach to leadership advice and strategies.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which poses the thought-provoking question about who’s responsible when a multimillion-dollar IT project goes bust.
If there isn’t a CNN for data-center news, Rich Miller’s blog is the closest thing to it. The site covers trends and case studies and plays host to industry-leading discussions on the future and evolution of all things data-center-tech-related.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which highlights IBM’s supercomputer tech powering a food truck at SXSW.
Our colleagues in the Great White North face many of the same challenges that their American counterparts face and CAN IT Pro offers Canucks (and frankly Americans too) a forum and a resource for peer discussions and exchange. Resident bloggers Anthony Bartolo and Pierre Roman keep readers informed and educated on all things IT.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which highlights what IT pros should look out for with the end of life for Windows Server 2003.
Compliance isn’t always pretty, but keeping your IT systems compliant can certainly help you sleep better at night. The Netwrix Blog offers readers insights, ideas and strategies for achieving that perfect mix of security, compliance and usability.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which explains why patching should be a daily activity.
As a longtime leader within the EMC family, Chuck Hollis has made a name for himself in the blogosphere, thanks to his frank, incisive style of blogging. He recently made a switch to the VMware division of the EMC family, but his tell-it-like-it-is blogging style has (thankfully) stayed the same.
MUST-READ POST: This post, which stresses the importance of the IT operational model above everything else.
If your blog is one of those featured in our 2014 Must-Read IT Blog list, you can grab a badge here.