February 29, 2016

How do you define great IT leadership?

"Being recognised as the person that is going to drive innovation and help the company be more successful than it is today is a great way to show the important role you play," he says. While communication skills are crucial, great leaders do not necessarily have to assume the mantle of a spokesperson. ... "Your results should speak for themselves. Personal knowledge and experience can be built over time. If you bring specific industry knowledge, actively engage with peers in their language to understand their business challenges, then you can be confident that you will be recognised as a critical part of your organisation's competitive advantage."

US law will restore trust in transatlantic data flows, says EU commissioner

"[This] will pave the way for the signature of the EU-US data protection umbrella agreement. This agreement will guarantee a high level of protection of all personal data, regardless of nationality, when transferred across the Atlantic for law enforcement purposes. It will strengthen privacy, while ensuring legal certainty for transatlantic data exchanges between police and criminal justice authorities. This is crucial to keep Europeans safe through efficient and robust cooperation between the EU and the US in the fight against crime and terrorism," Jourová said. The data protection 'umbrella' agreement, a new privacy framework that will apply to personal data transferred to US law enforcement agencies, was announced by the European Commission last September, although it will not apply until EU law makers ratify it.

3 Ways to Build an Outstanding Company Culture

Engaging in constructive dialogue holds more value than simply measuring NPS scores, Cain adds. His team recognizes that unsolicited feedback offers granular insight into what truly matters to employees and customers. Also, instead of incenting employees based on quotas and numbers targets, Avnet offers informal rewards for behaviors that increase or reinforce customer relationships. Focusing on quality over quantity empowers employees to pursue and fulfill their shared mission. "The top-notch service, support, and expertise that we provide to partners and customers will not be possible without our self-motivated and professional employees who live up to the core values of Avnet," Lim says

How Serverless Applications Will Change Your Business

Even with serverless applications, not everything happens in the cloud, nor does all functionality come from the cloud. There's still a need for on-premises developers "who control the end-user experience," said Emison. These developers should assume the end-user part of the application is running on a powerful smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. A substantial part of the application logic can reside there, given the growing power of the devices. In that sense, Web applications, which put all the logic on an Internet server and give the end user a browser or other form of thin user interface display, have been re-architected. In serverless applications, the user's experience is determined by the business logic on the end-user device, as well as the Internet data center server, and it represents a significantly larger share of the application than a display window.

CEO training critical to cyber resilience, says APMG

“In part due to a lack of free time and in part due to a perceived view of cyber security as tangential to their core role, CEOs often overlook cyber training. Taking into account the number of cyber attacks that have become public in the past 12 months or so, any large organisation must view a breach as inevitable. “To deal with the range of threats faced by an organisation on a daily basis, its cyber security strategies must consider all possible technical or cultural factors that pose a degree of risk. With the right skills in place, an appropriate response to threats can be effectively communicated across the whole organisation in a common language,” he said.

The best media and methods for archiving your data

Active archiving has nothing to do with hard drives, per se. It’s simply the act of shuttling data between media in a storage area network or SAN with the goal of keeping the most frequently accessed data on the fastest media (RAM or SSDs) and the least frequently accessed data on slower tape or optical, with hard drives somewhere in middle. ... Don’t bother with trivial or unfinished data. Archive only irreplaceable data that’s in its final state: legal or financial documents, important memorabilia, your creative efforts, etc. If you can download it again, reinstall it, or if you are still working on it, don’t bother—you’ll just waste time and space. Let your everyday backup take care of it. Also take the opportunity to de-duplicate and prune your data before you archive.

How the Internet of Things is becoming the 'Internet of Commerce’

The maturation of mobile payment services combined with the proliferation of IoT-capable devices has created a perfect storm of innovation that's seeing our money going places it never could, both securely and conveniently. And thanks to innovators like MasterCard, the Internet of Things is moving from pure connectivity, to all-out functionality. Consider this: When the world was first introduced to IoT, it was "enough" to fantasize about controlling objects around you, like programming your home's thermostat from your phone. But control only scratches the surface. When MasterCard launched its Commerce for Every Device program last October, the payment innovator declared that any connected device — not just a smartphone or smartwatch — could become payments-enabled.

Data Center Security Is an Inside Game

Micro-segmentation addresses this new security challenge by distributing the security functions across all servers and machines, right at the source where applications reside (as opposed to concentrating security deep down in the physical network). Done correctly, micro-segmentation can enable 100 percent protection of data center traffic, in a simple and scalable manner. The intent is to secure data centers from inside and protect east-west traffic using fine-grained security policies. It’s worth noting that micro-segmentation isn’t limited to the east-west direction only – it is a comprehensive, 360-degree approach to protecting all data center traffic, in a modern scalable way. Is it feasible to put this new security shield around existing and new applications?

Apache Spark vs. Apache Flink – Whiteboard Walkthrough

To give you a good analogy, imagine collecting water in a bucket, flowing water in a bucket, and then pouring it out, vs. putting in a pipe there and letting water flow continuously without any intermediate delays. That's essentially the difference between a micro-batch and a continuous flow operator.  Spark essentially started as a batch processor, and eventually started adding more and more capabilities that make it more often real-time streaming processing as well. Flink ,which initially during its research stages, started solving problems around batch, but along the way, its researchers identified several interesting challenges in the real-time streaming paradigm. As a result, they pivoted more from a continuous flow operator-based model and kind of treated batch as a special case of real-time streaming.

Unified Data Modeling for Relational and NoSQL Databases

Current relational databases all follow the 3rd normalization. With ACID transaction model (Atomic, Consistent, Isolated, Durable), it is good to use relational databases when one data set has only one copy in the database. It means modifying one copy at a time. However, data needs aggregation when it’s queried from multiple different applications. So data needs to be distributed, and data schema needs to be de-normalized according to the business requirements. Schemas should be designed for enabling distributed query. This requires each data set to contain enough information to run the executed queries separately in different data nodes. Based on the above, using logical model describing business requirements and de-normalizing schema to physical data model is fundamental when building NoSQL databases.

Quote for the day:

“The path of cultivating excellence is practice. And not just any practice...” -- Bob Dunham