October 15, 2015

CIOs eye Dell-EMC merger with cautious optimism

CIOs have watched Dell and EMC’s changes from afar, conducting business with the companies while increasing their consumption of cloud services. But the massive merger portends change, even if its nature can't yet be quantified. Finnegan says he's optimistic about the merger means for Orvis, which he says is increasingly adopting a hybrid cloud computing model. Its point-of-sale system remains on premises, but it is in the process of moving its ERP and marketing systems to cloud services. He says he’s looking forward to what Dell and EMC build for a "guy like me that manages on-premises and cloud ... what are the tools and technology that they bring to the table that allows us to manage both really seamlessly?"

Cloud inventory management for CIOs: Build guardrails, not roadblocks

Data flowing through rogue cloud apps -- or actually any unsanctioned app, cloud or on premises -- increases risks around security and regulatory requirements, Nelson and others said. In fact, a 2014 study from cloud security company Netskope estimated that the use of cloud services by the business increases the likelihood of a data breach threefold. Additionally, with data flowing through rogue cloud apps, experts said a company could lose the so-called single version of truth for its data, a key component of corporate analytics programs and decision making. Then there are cost factors. An organization with multiple independent accounts for the same cloud service or cloud app is hardly going to get the best rate. It may also be paying for duplicate and redundant services.

Training Series for Development on Intel-based Android* Devices

This series of videos presents an overview of Intel tools available for Android* developers through Intel® Software. You´ll discover the benefits of these tools in your everyday life as a programmer whether or not you´re targeting Intel devices. These tools will improve your life as a developer by saving you time, allowing you to create better experiences, and helping you target your app to multiple platforms and architectures. Take a look at the five training videos and follow the links to learn more about each tool. Android developers can benefit from one or more of the tools that Intel offers. Xavier gives a quick description of some of the tools available, what they can do for you, and the benefits you can gain in terms of productivity and results.

The Innovative Organisation: Learning From Design Firms

In order to create value in novel ways (the goal of innovating), you must first locate opportunities to do so. Where to start looking is easy to see—with the end-user—but it’s far more difficult to detect and synthesise actionable information within the complexity of the user experience. Customer surveys and focus groups simplify the process, but are often removed from how people authentically respond in the marketplace. Designers, by contrast, prefer observation to interrogation, developing empathy to discern unarticulated, even unconscious, user needs. As Tim Kobe, CEO of design firm Eight, Inc. put it, “We represent the end-user in all the design decisions that take place in these innovation projects.” And that’s why building empathy with the target user is crucial, as Continuum did when working with Procter & Gamble to reinvigorate the Pampers brand.

A World of Awesome Mind-Controlled Prostheses Is Closer Than You Think

For now, it's up to sophisticated machine learning algorithms. Working with humans test subjects putting in hours of practice, the algorithms learn to correctly interpret a user's intentions for basic tasks like picking up an object based on the limited information picked up by a few electrodes. More complicated tasks require better systems. Froemke gives the example of drinking coffee. When you do this with your natural limbs, you don't think about how complex the motion is. But a brain-controlled arm must correctly understand the intention and execute a series of moves: pick up the cup, bring it to a user's lips, tilt it toward the mouth without spilling it. To make it happen, you need higher-bandwidth communications between brain and interface.

Developing a Sound Risk and Compliance Culture

While conceptually not difficult to understand, risk culture is not easily observable or measurable, particularly in large organizations where subcultures often exist. Knowing whether an effective risk culture exists within an organization, what steps to take to improve it, and when to do so can be somewhat baffling. The issue becomes less daunting if one looks at culture as a prerequisite for effective risk management. Behaviors, attitudes, and incentives that are aligned with a financial company’s risk policies are just as important to effective risk outcomes as are, for example, comprehensive, well-governed risk data, or robust internal controls. Focusing on risk culture may become more tractable — and its value better appreciated — if it is viewed as an essential element of an effective and sustainable independent risk management program.

Capacity planning - aiming for the sky, but hitting the cloud ceiling?

For cloud to fulfil on its promise, it will have to be dealing with multiple workloads on one flexible and elastic virtualised platform that mixes compute, storage and network capabilities. Each aspect of this mix will be dependent on the others - for example, a storage issue may be 'cured' by throwing more storage capacity at it, but this can then cause a network issue that does not fully solve the actual problem of the performance of the end-to-end system. Tools will be needed that can rapidly learn how business workloads operate; create patterns of usage; predict future usage and advise accordingly - or can take immediate action to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

Consumer Demands Outracing Connected Cars Regulation

“The connection between the policy people and the technology developers is going to have to grow stronger, and the conversation back and forth is going to have to be more robust,” Hause said. “I think we're starting to see that.” Companies like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc., he said, are becoming involved in policy discussions as technology evolves along with regulation. The State Department is aiming for multi-stakeholder involvement on cybersecurity, Hause said. “We want to keep the Internet developed and innovative in the way it was originally deployed and developed,” he said. “It's not going to be just a government-level discussion.” Consumers will shape much of the conversation, Hause said. Brand image is “going to be a huge driver on this discussion for standards,” Hause said.

UL creating standard for wearable privacy and security

"Fraud could result if data is not properly maintained and authenticated with a proper level of assurance," Fernando added. UL wants to "begin to raise the bar for how security should be addressed...and establish a minimal baseline for what should be addressed much like we did with electricity 120 years ago," he said. "We want to reach the point [of certifying IoT data security] without having to second-guess it." Without offering many details, Fernando said that "the jury is still out" on how data privacy and security with wearables will be ultimately protected, or even how strictly it will be regulated by the government. Given the U.S. government's recent apparent willingness to let industry regulate itself in such matters, UL's role becomes more important.

Why blockchain heralds a rethink of the entire banking industry

Banks are starting to understand the potential of blockchain and to invest in learning more. RBS is one of nine founders of the R3 consortium, set up in September 2015 for members to work together on a framework and architecture for using blockchain in financial markets. ... “A year ago people were scared,” said UBS CIO Oliver Bussman. “Everybody agreed that the one topic we wanted to work together on is blockchain. The banks are getting ready to understand the impact and the use cases, and also to understand that collaboration and open standards, like the R3 consortium, is necessary. Regulators are actively involved in the discussion too. It’s only possible if we have critical mass in the industry and agree upon standards.”

Quote for the day:

"If you look at what you have in life, you'll always have more. If you look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough." -- Oprah Winfrey