September 14, 2016

Six shifts that define enterprise digitization in 2020

Before company leadership teams get dragged into conversations about specific technologies or start speculating about how they can be the "Uber of their industry," they first need a common perspective on the business, consumer and technology trends that are driving enterprise digitization, and consensus on which are most important for their context and which can be safely ignored. This creates the starting point for a business-led strategy that will yield much better results than chasing after the latest buzzwords. Often, CIOs find themselves leading the way in creating this shared understanding. So to help, CEB has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the business model, consumer and workforce changes that will have the greatest impact on the digital enterprise by 2020. The trends point to six shifts that apply broadly across industries, geographies, customer types and operating models.


The structure of Blockchain Technology and How it works.

Every block within the blockchain is recognized by a harsh, created with the SHA256 cryptographic hash algorithm on the block header. Every block also references a preceding block, referred to as the parent block. In other words, every block has the hash of its parent in its own header. The series of hashes connecting each block to its parent makes a chain going back to the first block, referred to as the genesis block. Although a block has one parent, it can momentarily have many children. Each child refers to the same block as its parents and has the same parent harsh. Many children appear when there is a blockchain “fork,” a short-term situation that happens when different blocks are found nearly concurrently by different miners. Ultimately, only s single child block becomes the blockchain part and the “fork” is resolved.


Digital government isn’t about user needs – it’s more fundamental than that

It’s not hard to conjecture that exposing the value chains of government services to the public, so that we can all see and compare and improve on them on a daily basis – akin to tinkering with a giant Meccano set made of lots of standard components – would amount to nothing less than a democratic revolution. An early example of an exposed value chain is DVLA’s road tax renewal service, where we watch government join up our registration, insurance and MOT databases, and take our money, in real-time.  Instead of stale, self-legitimising talk by public administrators about how they are building stuff to “meet user needs”, the function of public administrators becomes increasingly about providing us with the building blocks to, for example, assemble, innovate, combine, question and contract for our public services.


Montreal cops hunting data thieves

The curious question that comes to mind is how long has this been going on at Concorida? Or even more to the point, where else has this activity been taking place? I would be curious to see if other universities have discovered similar instances. ... This serves as a great lesson to have a strong monitoring regime in place in your organization. Do you have alerting in place to fire in the even someone inserts a USB device into a server in your datacenter? Do you have access controls in place to alert you as to who is coming and going from your data center? This might seem rather basic on the face of it but, I have seen many instances over the years where companies would have all these great biometric controls, man traps, cameras and the like but, then they would prop open the back door so that the security guard could sneak out for a smoke break.


AI Can Recognize Your Face Even If You’re Pixelated

The researchers were able to defeat three privacy protection technologies, starting with YouTube’s proprietary blur tool. YouTube allows uploaders to select objects or figures that they want to blur, but the team used their attack to identify obfuscated faces in videos. In another example of their method, the researchers attacked pixelation (also called mosaicing). To generate different levels of pixelation, they used their own implementation of a standard mosaicing technique that the researchers say is found in Photoshop and other commons programs. And finally, they attacked a tool called Privacy Preserving Photo Sharing (P3), which encrypts identifying data in JPEG photos so humans can’t see the overall image, while leaving other data components in the clear so computers can still do things with the files like compress them.


Future of Banking: IoT, Retail & Mobile Banking Industry Trends

As we move forward, banks are turning toward new IoT technologies to enhance the user experience and reduce costs. Some banks have started using beacons, for example, to send customized offers right to customers' smartphones as soon as they enter the branch. And some ATMs now have live stream video support that allows customers to speak to tellers if they need additional assistance. Financial executives are pouring significant money into these technological changes to help stave off competition from tech companies that are sticking their hands into the financial services industry. A recent PwC survey revealed that these executives expect their digital investments to increase their revenues and enhance the customer experience above all else.


Business and IT alignment gets physical at Avnet

We take business and IT alignment very seriously at Avnet. For example, my senior IT leaders are part of the lines of business unit teams, and they sit in those executive teams. Their variable compensation is tied to business performance and not just IT performance. We take that very seriously. What we find is happening in business, in general, is just the rate of innovation, the rate of change is accelerating. So at Avnet, we're introducing agile methodologies to help move faster and be more nimble. What we're finding is key to that increased rate of innovation is really that we need colocation, so we're colocating our IT teams with our business teams. It helps to really bring the groups together and follow a term that we have in IT, which we call 'place business at the center of IT.'


Hired guns: The rise of the virtual CISO

There’s no set universal standard for hiring a virtual CISO. You can set up a retainer for a certain number of hours, you can hire someone on a project basis, and/or you can even buy a chunk of support hours and use them when you need them. It's a way of getting the cream of security talent without buying the whole cow.Contracting a virtual CISO can be far more cost effective than hiring a full-timer. They can fill in where you need it the most, helping your CIO pull together your security policies, guidelines and standards. That could entail anything from coming to grips with HIPAA or PCI compliance to staying on top of vendor risk assessments. A qualified virtual CISO is going to be fully up to speed on the latest best practices, they have experience dealing with a wide variety of scenarios, and they are well-positioned to train your internal security staff.


Empower your employees by embracing shadow IT

Embracing shadow IT can actually benefit your company and your employees, but according to Martin Johnson, senior director of Cloud Product Marketing at Blue Coat, attitudes around shadow IT will likely change depending on who you talk to. Employees at smaller business units don't necessarily consider the negatives of adopting new software without IT's knowledge. Rather, they see it as a faster and more efficient way to increase productivity and alleviate redundant tasks. For example, your workers might opt for a third-party cloud service over an internal network, so they can access files across devices or on the go, which leaves IT largely out of the loop, but makes their work lives easier. IT, on the other hand, views it as a "security risk," according to Johnson, but notes that IT departments also understand the importance of remaining on top of the latest technology trends.


Digital Transformation Boosts Captive Offshore Center Growth

Cultural differences and alignment with business objectives historically have been the biggest challenges for captive offshore centers. But as they have taken on higher-level deliverables like digital services, these GICs must also rethink their talent acquisition models. “The GICs are undergoing fundamental shifts in their operating models… from being centered around arbitrage to skill-centric, functional orientation,” says Kala. “This shift is significantly impacting the relative emphasis on talent attributes required for success.” Domain, functional, and technical knowledge are now table takes; digital services require skills in the areas of collaboration, analysis, creativity and innovation.



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"First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst." -- Dale Carnegie