May 07, 2015

CIO-CSO tension makes businesses stronger
"There's a natural tension between these roles because they have what appear to be different priorities, and because in many larger organizations, the CSO role, and security in general, becomes a higher priority," says Justin Cerilli ... It's not so much that the goals of the CIO and the CSO are different, but that the priorities are flipped, says Bhutta. For CIOs, speed of delivery - for new hardware, software and applications - and efficiency are paramount. For CSOs, the concern is with the security of data, information and privacy, says Bhutta. Contention comes into play when the CIO and CSO don't work together to plan and agree on an overall strategy that takes both of their needs and concerns into account, says Robert Orshaw

The dawn of artificial intelligence
Even in the short run, not all the consequences will be positive. Consider, for instance, the power that AI brings to the apparatus of state security, in both autocracies and democracies. The capacity to monitor billions of conversations and to pick out every citizen from the crowd by his voice or her face poses grave threats to liberty. And even when there are broad gains for society, many individuals will lose out from AI. The original “computers” were drudges, often women, who performed endless calculations for their higher-ups. Just as transistors took their place, so AI will probably turf out whole regiments of white-collar workers. Education and training will help and the wealth produced with the aid of AI will be spent on new pursuits that generate new jobs. But workers are doomed to dislocations.

Alibaba: Will it succeed being the AWS of China (and elsewhere)?
The big question is whether Alibaba will be content being the AWS of China. Can it expand into the U.S. market as well as emerging economies? Possibly. In a research note, Forrester Research handicapped the public cloud race. The report was primarily focused on HP's plans in the cloud and noted that private cloud vendors will have to deliver public cloud capabilities to keep enterprises interested. ... The U.S., however, is ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to cloud. There's no reason why Alibaba couldn't be a China cloud juggernaut and then expand to other markets---especially emerging ones. If that formula sounds familiar that's because it is. Lenovo used that playbook well before. There's no reason why Alibaba couldn't run the same plays in the cloud.

Rethinking the Manufacturing Robot
Many manufacturers are eager to explore new manufacturing approaches because the cost of labor is climbing quickly, especially in China. The era in which manufacturers save money by setting up operations in areas of the world where workers are cheap is coming to an end, says Justin Rose, a partner at the Boston Consulting Group and coauthor of a recent report on the potential impact of collaborative robotics. The report found that 60 percent of all direct manufacturing tasks could be plausibly automated or augmented by robotics. The government of Guangdong province in China, where much of the country’s manufacturing takes place, announced last month that it would spend $152 billion to replace human workers with robots.

Having ‘the ear of the CEO’ is key to battling cyberthreats
The potential for hacks and data breaches amounts to "an existential threat to the corporation, and there needs to be someone in charge," Mueller says, "someone who has the ear of the CEO." More than 500 top IT leaders responded to our online survey to help us gauge the state of the  One of the most important hires is the CISO," Mueller says. ... "Cyberattackers are leapfrogging traditional defenses," Brown says, noting that the challenge is further compounded by the number of infiltrations and attacks that go undetected. When Symantec begins working with an organization to help respond to a cyber incident, company officials "find several others already in progress," according to Brown. Mueller recalls efforts to increase cybersecurity awareness throughout the workforce during his time at the bureau, at times running counter to the hierarchical culture at the organization.

Data analytics helps auditors gain deep insight
Audit regulators are watching the technological developments in this area with great interest. Martin Baumann, the PCAOB’s chief auditor and director of professional standards, said in a video interview that regulators need to make sure auditing standards facilitate possible improvements in auditing rather than serving as an obstacle to progress in this area. “That’s important for us as standard setters to stay on top of that, such that the technology and potential uses of it in auditing don’t get ahead of where the auditing standards are,” said Baumann, who was sharing his own opinion and not that of the PCAOB or its staff. “We wouldn’t want auditing standards to be an inhibitor that might otherwise allow technological audit achievements to move ahead.”

Awareness lessons from the Sony hack
While it is important to detect messages, it is as important to ensure that employees report potential phishing messages, which is also an aspect of a good security awareness program. Password reuse was also a vulnerability targeted by the North Korean hackers. In a good security awareness program, password reuse would be addressed as part of a Password Security Awareness campaign. The attackers exploited the likelihood of password reuse by not just the average users, but by administrators as well. And if an administrator reuses passwords between his personal and corporate administrative accounts, there are likely other accounts that are similarly vulnerable. So in this case it is clear that you cannot just classify the phishing messages as being due to “stupid users.”

The secret to becoming a 'digital master'? Close the IT/business gap.
Here's an interesting takeaway for CIOs: Shadow IT may provide a workaround for injecting new technology into the business (a must for digital transformation, by the way), but it's a short-term solution at best. Shadow IT perpetuates departmental silos, and if businesses want to make the digital transformation leap, they'll need to knock down those silos and pave the way to better communication. ... The more pressing question for businesses is how to build a better bridge between IT and the business. "I don't think anyone has figured it out completely," Bonnet said. But he pointed to trends like two-speed IT and the rise of the chief digital officer as examples of businesses searching for ways to overcome that hurdle.

Do IT professionals have to abandon technology to progress in their career?
Ultimately technology management focuses on the relationship between the management of technology and innovation, and how these relate to other areas of management, including operations, finance, supply chain and logistics and strategy.  This means looking at how existing technologies can work together to enhance an organisation's processes and products or services. It requires a broad perspective on what's available and an understanding of what works best, when, where and why. Technology managers appreciate how technology can be integrated; how the skills they and their team have can be employed to improve business operation and deliver value, both internally and externally, and where and when they need to bring new skills in to do so.

Continuous Quality and the Cloud: How You Should Be Testing Mobile Apps
Continuous Quality is a methodology for embedding quality activities into every step of the SDLC process— from design through build to production— all based on supporting processes, tools and testing lab infrastructure that is customized to support an organization’s specific requirements. A successful Continuous Quality process optimizes time to market, drives faster and more frequent releases and enables minimizing escaped defects to production by managing risk in an automated way as early as possible. The main driver behind the rise of Continuous Quality is the constant need to release high quality mobile apps (Native, Hybrid, etc.) more frequently. ... Embedding all of the quality aspects into each build and delivering constant feedback to the development team gives them early insights into bugs - this is the core value of continuous quality.

Quote for the day:

“Increasingly, management’s role is not to organize work, but to direct passion and purpose.” -- Greg Satell