June 02, 2016

‘Vendor Overload’ Adds To CISO Burnout

Irfan Saif, a partner in Deloitte Advisory Cyber Risk Services, said the need to understand the organization’s needs and business requirements is “paramount,” and the failure to do that can lead to the use, or overuse, of, “overlapping or redundant tools that aren’t integrated or aren’t working in unison towards mitigating and managing key risks to the organization.” That, he said, “can distract from the more important task of truly understanding the risks and threats and designing the right solutions, which may include one or more technologies working in tandem.” Hutchinson agreed. “Focus on what your business needs, not what tools are available,” she said, adding that it is also important to make sure security measures enable the business, and don’t restrict what workers need to do.


How Google Fiber Could Upset The Entire Broadband Industry

Long story short, if Alphabet decides to take on Comcast and Time Warner, there’s literally nothing the two companies can do except watch as their customers abandon them. People are desperate for an alternative to price-gouging and poor service. I don’t think I’m remiss in saying that the only reason America’s two biggest ISPs are still in business is because they have a monopoly - Comcast and Time Warner are the very definition of broken brands. Just look at what happened this past November, when Comcast tried to post a snide remark on Facebook about Google Fiber losing connectivity during a televised sporting event. They were met with torrents of negativity, which they desperately tried to mitigate (to no avail). Fact is, if Google Fiber manages to succeed, things might start looking very grim for Comcast.


Cloud Security 101: What is Cloud Compliance?

Many providers already have very mature programs in place to deal with common standards, and are able to map those standards to customer controls as part of their workload migration and onboarding process. It is critical that an enterprise choose cloud vendors that are able to meet or exceed their security and compliance standards – mapping and assisting in audit and compliance activities should be delineated in contracts and service level agreements before any workload migrations start. With the variety of cloud solutions in the marketplace, a solution exists that will mesh with a company’s compliance concerns, and allow them to maintain the progress in security and compliance maturity they had achieved before migrating to the cloud.


Big data without the big headaches: How to get your strategy right

Big data is big business: analyst Gartner says the amount of chief data officers (CDOs) being appointed by major organisations rose from 400 in 2014 to 1,000 in 2015. The analyst predicts 90 per cent of large companies will have a CDO by 2019. Such CDOs can help firms to focus on the value of analytical information. But all organisations -- with or without the appointment of a CDO -- must find ways to demonstrate the value of big data, and that job often falls to the CIO. So when it comes to setting a big data strategy, what is the role of the CIO and how can he or she help the rest of the organisation to make the most of their information? ZDNet speaks to the experts and discovers best practice advice.


Microsoft Teams With Blockstack, ConsenSys to Develop Blockchain IDs

Together, the companies are embarking on an open-source collaboration that will incorporate the Bitcoin-based Blockstack identity platform and uPort, the Ethereum identity management and wallet technology from ConsenSys. They expect to produce an extensible, cross-chain identity platform that will be compatible with any future blockchains and other decentralized systems. "Our goal in contributing to this initiative is to start a conversation on blockchain-based identity that could improve apps, services, and more importantly, the lives of real people worldwide by enabling self-owned or self-sovereign identity," said Yorke Rhodes, blockchain business strategist at Microsoft, in a May 31 announcement. "An implementation of self-sovereign identity can be established using the qualities of blockchain based systems and we have chosen to start collaborating with two partners with considerable blockchain identity expertise."


Cognitive Bias and Innovation: How Can We Combat Instinct?

Rather than expecting yourself, as an innovator, to identify areas of bias and change them, create systems where your bias is limited and horizons are changed. If looking at information, attempt to approach it clinically, as if someone else was asking you for help. Institute systems that don’t rely on individual perceptions to make decisions. Allow lots of time for important decisions to be examined fully. Bring in outsider opinions. Plan on always taking extra time for big decisions so that your conscious mind will be able to review your choices without the pressure that often prompts gut instincts to kick in. Get second opinions from people who are outside your core team. If you are hiring to fill a position, create a system where you won’t have any indication of candidates’ races or genders in their initial applications.


Embracing Cloud: How Cloud Services Impact All Verticals and Industries

Digital business incompetence will cause a quarter of organizations to lose their market position by 2017. The former Gartner analyst believes every company in the world is in “some way” an IT company – but while firms work on expanding cloud products and services, they need to remember the focus is on business. However, Bova thinks many within the enterprise are destined to make a mess of this, and will lose their market positions in the next few years as a result. With all of this in mind, it’s critical to see that the emergence of the cloud has helped many organizations expand beyond their current physical data center. New types of cloud-based technologies allow IT environments to truly consolidate and grow their infrastructure quickly, and, more importantly affordably.


Delivering Effective Quality of Service

You can eliminate the conflict over resources, or you can simply increase the performance resources available. That’s one of the reasons for the explosion in all-flash storage; organizations are throwing more and more all-flash at their performance problems. But all-flash alone is not enough—it’s a band-aid. It postpones having to deal with the underlying problem (LUNs), and you have to apply more and more over time. It’s easy to see how costs can spiral out of control. Now, some storage providers tout QoS despite having a LUN-based architecture—but that’s not a solution either. You can set QoS for an entire LUN. If a VM within that LUN goes rogue you can use QoS to assign the entire LUN even more performance. Since you can’t see which specific VM is causing problems, you’re just pouring performance resources at the LUN, not addressing the root cause.


CIO interview: Lee Edwards, chief technology officer, The British Library

“What we need to do is improve the efficiency of the delivery of those services and that underlying infrastructure – the plumbing and wiring that the Library runs on,” says Edwards. “Moving to infrastructure-, storage-, platform- and desktop-as-a-service will give the business the ability to expand its capacity.” Edwards adds that the needs will become greater as the Library expands its collection and progresses with its digitisation work. IT infrastructure at the British Library is mainly managed in-house. According to Edwards, although the organisation works with various suppliers for maintenance and licensing, it is a “very transactional” supplier support arrangement. “If we have a fault on a network that has a server chassis, then we may get the hardware supplier out,” says Edwards. “But we don’t really have a strategic partnership, which is an issue we are looking to solve.


Why business apps design must better cater to consumer habits to improve user experience

First and foremost, we need to build it intuitively, so that you naturally apply the patterns that you have to that software, but we should come about it in a different way, where training is in context, in product. We’re doing new things with overlays. and to take users through a tour, or step them through a new feature, to give them just the quick highlights of where things are. You see this sort of thing in mobile apps all the time after you install an update. In addition to that, we build in-context questions or answers right there at the point of need, where the user is likely to encounter something new or initially unknown in the the product. So it’s just-in-time and in little snippets. But underpinning all of it, the experience has to be very, very simple, so that you don’t have to go through this overarching hurdle to understand it.



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"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." -- Dr. Seuss