October 22, 2016

Tech Bytes - Daily Digest: October 22, 2016

Clueless CIO cloud confusion continues, Fintech - a powerful & highly disruptive industry, Is the AI apocalypse a tired hollywood trope or a human destiny, How enterprise software development is changing, Using analytics as a force in business and more.

BMW's vision for the smart city of the future includes autonomous driving and AI

BMW is currently working with the city of Berlin, Germany, on a pilot project where three streets are being transformed into a new urban environment as residents use urban transportation for mobility. The parking areas are being transformed into green spaces to improve the quality of life. BMW is also developing ideas on how to transform city parking garages into affordable living spaces, he said. To create more ideas for urban living, BMW's MINI founded earlier this year Urban-X, which is a startup initiative to focus on engineering the city as a service. Three of the entrepreneurs who were part of the first round of participants presented their ideas at the BMW event in Santa Monica: Multimer,Brooklyness, and CTY. Each participant was in the program for 3-½ months and were able to work with BMW engineers to hone their ideas.


Clueless CIO cloud confusion continues

Ignore the jargon. It means the cloud could be next door, or it might be in the next country. With a hybrid cloud, which uses both private and public cloud resources, it may be both. IT should know the specifics of what’s where. For the ordinary Joes and Janes in accounting, the resources are just in the cloud. From their seats, the cloud is just at their fingertips, the same way the internet is. Rapid elasticity and expansion are vital. In a cloud, you don’t ask for five more servers; you go out and get them. Your computing resources are dynamically assigned, released and reassigned at your request. In the best clouds, users don’t even know they’re asking for more resources. They just get on with their job, and if their work requires more resources, the cloud simply provides them.


FinTech Is Not a Niche Anymore, It’s a Powerful and Highly Disruptive Industry

There are plenty of reasons why FinTech was able to go from being a niche in the financial services industry to a massive industry with highly disruptive potential – customer-centricity, simplicity and scalability, freedom from legacy systems and more. Explaining the FinTech revolution, the Economist has also emphasized such factors as cost efficiency, the absence of the need to protect existing business and lack of regulatory burden along with above-mentioned legacy IT systems/branch networks. The scalability advantage was possible to gain due to a clever approach to risk assessment and use of smart data to profile potential clients. Smart data represents a more sophisticated approach to data collection and analysis, focusing on meaningful pieces of information for more accurate decisions.


DDoS attack Friday hits Twitter, Reddit, Spotify and others

"Because DNS is vital to every person, business and website across the entire internet for system stability and performance, online businesses commonly outsource DNS management to third-party providers who have better and more reliable infrastructures to operate on behalf of their customers," Jeremiah Grossman, chief of security strategy at SentinelOne, told SCMagazine.com on Friday. Historically, he said, this has worked to everyone's benefit. "However, what we're now seeing is that in light of the way the infrastructure works in the security landscape, they are attractive targets for large-scale DDoS attacks – because if you take out one of these DNS service providers, you can disrupt a large number of popular online services, which is exactly what we're seeing today."


Is the AI apocalypse a tired Hollywood trope, or human destiny?

Computers think really fast. In the best-case scenario, we’ll have enough time between an AI acquiring the ability to think as well as us and its rise to super-intelligent status that we can adjust and respond. On the other hand, as Bostrom points out, when you’re dealing with a machine that can think — and therefore develop — at an almost unimaginable speed, by the time we realize what’s going on, it will already be far too late to stop it. Some readers may remember the 1970s sci-fi horror flick Demon Seed, in which an AI not only predicts that it will be shut down by its fearful creator, but employs murder and rape to ensure its survival. “If and when a takeoff occurs,” Bostrom writes, “it will likely be explosive.” Stephen Hawking has echoed this sentiment: “Once humans design artificial intelligence,” he says


How enterprise software development is changing

Technology such as Docker, to enable developers to create code that can run in their own containers, along with the ability to have short feedback loops, helps businesses to adapt more quickly. Such technology and techniques form the basis of the cultural shift that companies of all sizes need to make to enable their developer teams to become more adept at delivering software quickly, says Davis. “Culture is very easy to instil when there is a small group of people,” he says. “Hiring is key.” Davis recommends that IT leaders plan in advance, and hire people appropriate to the direction the IT strategy is taking. Russ Miles, lead engineer at Atomist, believes IT leaders can learn much from the way webscale organisations approach software development. “Organisations of any size have to compete,” he says.


Using Analytics as a Force in Business

With anticipatory analytics, predicting the future is no longer science fiction! Anticipatory analytics build on predictive analytics which tells us to analyze many attributes over many years to make the best and most informed business decisions possible. Dave made a clear distinction between companies that use anticipatory analytics versus those that rely solely on historical data. His take is that using anticipatory data can be a critical differentiator between being an innovator on the cutting edge of meeting customer demand and being completely disrupted. Consuming data in real-time and leveraging it to build a model is what companies that are innovating and disrupting are doing. Companies that rely solely on historical data are most often the ones that fail, even after rising to greatness because their competitors are more effective at using data.


Why you should devote as much time to dark data as big data

"If companies can learn how to harness this data, it can yield new insights," said Mads C. Brink Hansen, product manager at TARGIT, a business intelligence and analytics solution provider. "In one case, a company wanted to assess the efficiency of its field-based salesforce. By looking at the travel expense reports submitted by its salespersons, it was able to determine the number of meetings that each salesperson had while in the field each day and then measure this against what should normally be expected in the way of meetings. This was one way in which an HR-based reporting function (travel and expense reports) was repurposed to provide insights into how many meetings per day an in-field salesperson was likely to have, and who was hitting those targets."


CERT-In had instructed banks on October 7 to stay alert in wake of surgical strikes

CERT-In and the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre sent an email to banks regarding the rise in ATM frauds following ET’s report. "On October 20, 2016, CERT-In has sent mails to State Bank of India, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank to report an incident to CERT-In as seen in media report stating that 3.2 million debit cards have been used in ATMs that are suspected to have been exposed to malware at the back end. The incident has so far not been reported to CERT-In," said the official cited above. Not reporting the matter is in breach of the rules, said another official. "There is an RBI framework… the Information Technology Act mandates that these incidents have to be reported so of course there is a lapse on the part of the banks," he said.


Clour Services Lift IT Outsourcing Market Higher Than Expected

In the Asia-Pacific region, as-a-service contract value has surpassed that of traditional IT services deals. That’s due, in part, to the fact that cloud solutions are particularly well-suited to more volatile markets and midsize enterprises, according to Keppel. The rest of the world has yet to reach that inflection point. “There is a notable uptake in interest in the U.K. in particular,” Keppel says. “The Americas are close but we’re not ready to say that as-a-service will consistently outpace traditional sourcing in [there].” Keppel is quick to point out that the cloud-traditional services story is one of growth rather than cannibalization, noting that the overall market was in the healthy range and has been more than 60 percent of the time in recent years.



Quote for the day:


"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." -- Toni Morrison