May 20, 2015

Gartner Doubles Estimate Of Amazon Cloud Dominance
The revised Magic Quadrant kept Amazon in the desired top right of the leaders quadrant, with Microsoft also in the leader quadrant -- far below but moving a little closer to Amazon on the "completeness of vision" axis. On the second measure, the "ability to execute" axis, the companies remained basically the same as a year ago. Gartner put only those two vendors in the leaders quadrant, and that status is unlikely to change anytime soon. That's because the upper left quadrant next door, meant to illustrate the challengers to the leaders, was completely empty in this year's chart. No one is threatening Amazon as the dominant public cloud infrastructure provider, nor Microsoft as the runner up.

NoSQL for Mere Mortals: Designing for Document Databases
Redundant data is considered a bad, or at least undesirable, thing in the theory of relational database design. Redundant data is the root of anomalies, such as two current addresses when only one is allowed. In theory, a data modeler will want to eliminate redundancy to minimize the chance of introducing anomalies. ...  There are times where performance in relational databases is poor because of the normalized model. ... Document data modelers have a different approach to data modeling than most relational database modelers. Document database modelers and application developers are probably using a document database for its scalability, its flexibility, or both. For those using document databases, avoiding data anomalies is still important, but they are willing to assume more responsibility to prevent them in return for scalability and flexibility.

How do you solve a problem like big data?
Knowing where to begin with all of this information is one thing; having the time to actually get to work on it is completely different. So much of the data mentioned above is useful to marketers, but sifting through to identify and collect the necessary parts is an extremely long-winded task; far from ideal in an industry where spare hours are a rarity. Unfortunately, this tedious aggregation process is a necessity for most marketers, despite the availability of so many useful tools. According to a January 2015 Econsultancy report, just over half (51 per cent) of organisations are using more than 20 digital marketing technologies at present. With such a collection of data sources to tend to, though, it’s no surprise that so much valuable time is being wasted.

Executive interview: Google's big data journey
“Google fundamentally rethought the practice of building bigger machines to solve these problems. We only build using commodity machines and we assume systems will fail. “We have done several iterations of almost every piece of technology we showed in the white papers.” The use of massively scalable low-cost commodity infrastructure is almost diametrically opposite to how the big four IT suppliers go about tackling big data. Yes, they do NoSQL and offer Hadoop in the cloud. But SAP, for example, wants customers to spend millions on S/4 Hana, Oracle pushes Exadata and its engineered appliance family, IBM sells the merits of the z13 mainframe, and Microsoft has SQL Server.

What a new survey on payment solutions reveals about your security leadership
“Companies in the payments industry face a huge challenge in securing emerging technologies like virtual currencies, mobile payments and e-wallets. While the industry has always prioritized the implementation of new technologies for customer convenience, in today’s landscape, it is critical that they equally emphasize the security of new technologies to protect customer data.” -- Michael Bruemmer, vice president of Experian Data Breach Resolution ... The challenge is the balance between customer convenience (especially when it comes to their ability to give your company money) and the appropriate level of protection . This survey underscores that we’re under pressure to adopt new systems without a clear understanding of the risks or methods to reduce those risks.

Back-end complexity slows XenMobile deployments
The problem for some organizations is that they don't have the expertise in house to handle a XenMobile implementation. Deploying XenMobile is much different than Citrix virtual desktops, applications or cloud infrastructure, so the IT department's resident Citrix experts might not be able to easily transition, Gamble said. "Just because you're a good Citrix guy, doesn't equate to being a good XenMobile guy," he said. But it's not always the back-end complexity that makes XenMobile deployment difficult. Handling users is a challenge, too. "Once we did a pilot, the deployment wasn't that bad," said Noel Prevost, a services delivery manager at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss.

SaaS and the Cloud are Still Going Strong
Aside from the prominent cost benefits of cloud computing, innovation and mobility are highlighted as key reasons for uptake. Cloud technology enables faster, cheaper software development, with key cloud usage scenarios including collaboration, file sharing, business productivity, CRM and marketing. Mobile applications including Vend applications, PayPal platforms and secure VPN access are some of the top requirements of businesses in 2015. ... QuoteColo’s infographic sums up many of the key stats and predictions for the future of cloud computing throughout the world, and highlights the importance of strong cloud infrastructure and application development through 2015 and into the future.

Celebrate mistakes: Creating a culture of forgiveness
When you encourage healthy risk-taking, you encourage innovative behavior in your team. Employees who know that they’ll have your help and support when problems arise feel empowered to integrate changes into new projects and daily operations. Those changes could save time, save money or bring in a big win for the organization — just the sort of behavior you want to encourage. But does your team know you’ll make it a learning opportunity and not a mark of shame if something doesn’t work? Of course we’re talking about reasoned risk, with plenty of planning. There are always ways to learn from a thought-out endeavor that failed.

Toward Omniscient Cybersecurity Systems
CISOs recognize this disjointed situation and many are undertaking cybersecurity integration projects to address this problem. This is certainly a step in the right direction, but I find that a lot of these projects are one-off point-to-point integration efforts. Good idea, but CISOs should be pushing toward an ambitious endgame – omniscient cybersecurity systems. ... In summary, CISOs need a single system or an integrated architecture that can tell them everything about everything – in real-time. This system must be smart enough to recognize patterns and offer user-friendly visual analytics interfaces enabling analysts to easily pivot from one data point to all others. Armed with this type of system, cybersecurity professionals could move on to the next task – automated remediation and security operations.

Finance and retail sectors struggle to detect cyber intrusions, study finds
Key findings in the financial services sector included that 71% of organisations polled view technologies that provide intelligence about networks and traffic as most promising at stopping or minimising advanced threats during all phases of an attack. But the study showed that only 45% have implemented incident response procedures, and only 43% have established threat-sharing agreements with other companies or government groups. More than half of financial services firms consider distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks as an advanced threat, but only 48% say they are effective in containing DDoS attacks, and only 45% have established threat-sharing agreements to minimise or contain the impact of DDoS attacks.

Quote for the day:

"The measure of success isn't if you have a tough problem, but whether it's the same one you had last year." -- J.F. Dulles