Daily Tech Digest - January 25, 2017

What Happens When a Customer of IT Becomes an IT Leader

An IT leader must think about the business outcome of technology investments, keeping in mind that conflicts can surface in employees’ mindsets, corporate operating rhythms, team reporting structures and more. One approach I’ve developed is to speak in the language of business executives and highlight the business outcomes they want to achieve. For example, Intuit has no less than nine billing systems that IT must try to bridge across. Our objective is to retire them in favor of one global system. But when we talked about "retiring" systems familiar to them, it caused some business leaders to think about how it might be risky to do so. When we flipped it to talk about the new capabilities the initiative would deliver – from wholesale bundling to quick pricing adjustments – they were willing to take on much more risk in parallel with us to move to these new systems.


Why this CTO says you need a CDO to do digital transformation right

The CDO plays a central and pivotal role in the digital enterprise and therefore in the future success of any business. Why? Because digital companies, digital disrupters, base their new digital business models on software, connecting the digital and physical worlds. Therefore, if software is the connection between the digital and the physical, the CDO is the connection between IT and business. They are now two sides of the same coin. Based on software, digital companies can create enhanced or totally new business models that offer completely new digital customer experiences. We have seen this with the newborn digital enterprises that are typically free of any physical assets such as fleets, factories, machineries or goods. It is through this software platform-only based business model they can move so fast, often resulting in exponential growth.


The road ahead: the coming rise of Artificial Intelligence in GRC

The GRC landscape is under a lot of stress due to the large number of unexpected events. Once again, Brexit and Trump are the obvious examples, with very few predicting the outcomes to those historic votes. The domino effect is the uncertainty they have created. For instance, there’s the wildly fluctuating exchange rates between the Dollar, Pound and Euro, and the unknown extent of regulatory change, which will come about following the triggering of Article 50 and Trump’s declaration to de-regulate the US. Businesses are finding it more difficult to plan and are having to allow for wider risk margins.  What is predictable, is that there will be far more unpredictable events in the next few years. As such, GRC technology and approaches will evolve to handle persuasive uncertainty and not simply the standard events.


When Machines Know How You're Feeling: The Rise Of Affective Computing

This particular branch of computer science is known as affective computing, that is, the study and development of systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process, and simulate human experiences, feelings or emotions. But it’s also related to deep learning, because complicated algorithms are required for the computer to perform facial recognition, detect emotional speech, recognize body gestures, and other data points. The computer compares the data input — in this case, a human with whom it is interacting — to its learning database to make a judgement about the person’s emotions. A University of Ohio team programed a computer to recognize 21 ‘compound’ emotions including happily surprised and sadly disgusted. And, in tests, the computer was more accurate at recognizing these subtle emotions than the human subjects were.


Deloitte CIO Survey Finds Gap Between Business Expectations and IT Capabilities

Business priorities are focused on customers and innovation, says the Deloitte report, while IT capabilities are still lagging in these areas, which is where CIOs can play a critical role. Yet the business expectations for CIOs still focus on maintenance, efficiency, cybersecurity, and business process improvement. These gaps between business and IT may stand in the way of CIO inspirations. Deloitte classifies CIO types into three categories: “Trusted operators” ensure operational excellence, “change instigators” enable large business transformations, and “business co-creators” focus on revenue and growth. The survey found that 55% of CIOs report their current type as trusted operator and 34% as business co-creator, but 66% of all CIOs surveyed say their ideal state is business co-creator.


Tap into the new SELinux, DR features in RHEL release 7.3

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is one of the biggest improvements in RHEL release 7.3, giving administrators better control over policies. It is now possible to override a system module with a custom module that has a higher priority, so the custom module takes precedence. ... With RHEL release 7.3, organizations can also deploy multisite disaster recovery (DR) services without having to use a third-party vendor; the DR components are built-in and will integrate with the operating system. Admins can configure pacemaker to enable the multisite functionality, and trigger pacemaker alerts to receive notifications of status changes. This built-in disaster recovery option will help RHEL 7.3 be more reliable than preview RHEL iterations.


Big data: It may be the new oil but have public failures damaged adoption?

A recent report released by MHR Analytics found that 88% of UK C-level executives agree that data analytics and BI will be crucial to the future of their business, citing factors such as driving growth 42%, helping drive cost reduction and efficiency savings 39% and the need to improve customer intelligence 36% as key factors as to why they are introducing data analytics into their organisation. Challenges exist, the same report found that almost one in five businesses don’t have a chief analytics officer or a chief data officer, while 21% of the C-suite execs say that a lack of big data expertise is a challenge at board level. These are clearly big problems that need to be solved, particularly so when you consider that 76% of organisations are planning a big data or data analytics project in the next 12 months.


Could You Go to Prison for Not Reporting a Data Breach?

Not coming clean in a timely fashion about a cyber-breach is a serious matter - and creates opportunities for all sorts of financial improprieties. If anyone profited from insider information by acting on knowledge of the breach while he, she, or others were covering it up, for example, it is easy to understand why that person could face jail time for insider trading. But the issue is much broader. How many people bought or sold Yahoo stock between the time Yahoo employees discovered the breaches and the time that the firm disclosed the breaches to the public? Did anyone with insider knowledge of either breach advise anyone on the outside? Did anyone profit from that insider information? Did any employees receive compensation based on company-stock performance that was effectively distorted by a breach being covered up?


Are You A Venture CIO?

Focus on two types of venture capital investments. One type, called “Enabling” investments, increases the demand or expands the market for the investor’s own products and services. An example is Intel’s venture capital investments in video and audio software development firms that built systems requiring more powerful Intel chips. “Emergent” investments instead explore new, future opportunities not currently part of the investor’s business strategy by leveraging related products or services. For example, General Motors invested $500 million in the online car- and- ride sharing company Lyft to investigate mobility services. Venture CIOs must support their business in deciding whether to be the sole investor or to co-invest, if the company should acquire minority or equal stakes, and at what stage of the startup’s life cycle to invest.


Building Reactive Applications with Akka Actors and Java 8

The actor model provides a relatively simple but powerful model for designing and implementing applications that can distribute and share work across all system resources—from threads and cores to clusters of servers and data centers. It provides an effective framework for building applications with high levels of concurrency and for increasing levels of resource efficiency. Importantly, the actor model also has well-defined ways for handling errors and failures gracefully, ensuring a level of resilience that isolates issues and prevents cascading failures and massive downtime. In the past, building highly concurrent systems typically involved a great deal of low-level wiring and very technical programming techniques that were difficult to master.



Quote for the day:


"Some people change their ways when they see the light; others when they feel the heat." -- Caroline Schoeder