Daily Tech Digest - April 14, 2017

3 Overlooked Attributes of a Great Chief Digital Officer

Confronting the tidal wave known as digitization, some CEOs call for a lifeboat in the form of a Chief Digital Officer (CDO). The CDO helps a company respond quickly and strategically, to the rapidly evolving digital landscape. There are several qualities that every CDO needs. To start, they need an innovative mind and great skill at communication. Those are obvious. “It’s really about [developing] a set of capabilities—around customer engagement, digital marketing, using algorithms to adjust the way the company works—not about a title,” says Martha Heller, President of executive search firm Heller Search Associates. Here are three less-obvious qualities that Heller says make CDOs effective


The Future of Application Development Is Here and it Is Cognitive-First

The DataRPM platform automates predictive modeling, leveraging proprietary Meta Learning capabilities to increase quality, accuracy and timeliness of equipment failure predictions by more than 300 percent. The technology enables customers such as Jaguar, Samsung and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to predict and prevent asset failures, reduce maintenance costs, optimize inventory and resources, predict quality issues, forecast warranty and insurance claims and manage risks effectively. Imagine, analyzing a massive volume of data, with hundreds of different variables, concurrently, within hours and leveraging that data to drive the business applications of the future? This is what Progress will deliver and we’ll do it in a way that is easy and affordable for businesses of any size.


Analysing distributed architectures in the era of IoT

Design and architecture phases must aim at conceiving a structure able to easily provide data and services to a multitude of unrelated devices. Third generation consumers, like wearable devices, personal and support equipment, sensors and actuators, and more in general any electrical appliance, should be easily pluggable and require the lowest integration and maintenance efforts, without any structural integration. The consequence is simple: we cannot architect our applications as they were isolated islands, self-contained and device/platform dependent. We must provide easy access to the information processed by our software, easing the fruition from devices potentially unknown.


Communicate IT’s Business Benefits More Effectively

Over half of IT leaders see themselves as part of a cost center or service provider, and only 4% are highly satisfied with IT’s communication with the rest of the business. This survey points out the risks and costs of these sorts of order-taker relationships, including loss of credibility and low level of engagement with business partners. Today’s CIOs acknowledge the problem, but many are struggling with how to address it. In fact, the same CEC survey found that 89% of IT leaders report at least one significant barrier to effective communication. How can you show the company the benefits IT is bringing, and help them to process and understand that story? The first step is to accept the inadequacy of working in silence while hoping the company understands the impact you are having.


95% of Organizations Have Employees Seeking to Bypass Security Controls

“Insider breaches are a growing threat to virtually all organizations including mainframe users,” says John Crossno, product manager of Compuware’s security solutions group, which recently released a tool designed to mitigate the threat. The increasing number of incidents where employees fall prey to phishing and other social engineering attacks and hand over authorized user credentials to attackers have made even otherwise secure mainframe environments vulnerable, he says. He points to the massive data breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in 2015 as one example of how attackers are able to gain access to critical mainframe systems by acquiring the valid credentials to do it. In the mainframe environment, “enterprises have traditionally relied on insufficient methods to identify threats including disparate logs and data gathered by security products to piece together user behavior,” he says.


‘Cloud adoption and escalating threats accelerate encryption deployments’

The report revealed enterprises have accelerated adoption of encryption strategies, with 41% of respondents saying their organisation has an encryption strategy applied consistently across the enterprise. Notably, for the first time in the study’s 12-year history, business unit leaders have a higher influence over encryption strategy than IT operations. Other critical findings demonstrate organisations continue to show a preference for control over encryption and key management when those activities migrate to the cloud. John Grimm, senior director of security strategy at Thales e-Security, said that “This year’s findings align with key trends demonstrating an increased reliance on the cloud, ever-evolving internal and external threats, and new data sources mandating stronger protection.


Blockchain 101: How This Next Big Service Will Change The Future

Setting up your own Blockchain is not easy. It requires heavy infrastructure and development capabilities that most businesses aren’t savvy enough to manage. Enter BaaS. As more companies discover the power of Blockchain and what it can do for their businesses, there will be even greater demand for making this technology more easily accessible. According to Harvard Business Review, Blockchain is the next great disruptor, even more likely to change the next decade of business than big data or artificial intelligence (AI). Says the writer, just as the internet was the first native digital medium for information, Blockchain is the first native digital medium for value. Some 65 percent of banks are expected to implement a Blockchain solution in the next few years—and that’s just on the finance side. The technology is set to see a massive explosion throughout the business landscape.


Multi Or Hybrid? Dealing With A Complicated Cloud World

“We’re seeing conversations shift towards multiple clouds, not one single technology,” said Simon Crawley-Trice, director of global solutions & services for EMEA at Rackspace. “I think it’s going to be a combination between hybrid and multi-cloud depending on what’s right for the business.” “A lot of service providers tend to lead with the technology, but CIOs want a business conversation around what is the business value of hybrid cloud? They want to know what the business value is of consuming these different cloud technologies.” Cockerton agreed, highlighting that “ultimately the conversation is going to become one of the right workload in the right place at the right price. That’s going to determine the conversation for the next 10 years”.


The AI revolution: Is the future finally now?

Despite the mounting interest and the proliferation of new technologies, is this current wave that much different than what we have seen in the past? Do the techniques of the modern AI movement – machine learning, data mining, deep learning, natural language processing and neural nets – deserve to be captured under the AI moniker, or is it just more of the same? In the earlier peaks of interest, the broad set of activities that were typically bunched together under the term ‘AI’ were reserved for the labs and, if they ever saw the light of day, they were severely constrained by what the technology of the day could deliver and were limited by cost constraints. Many of the algorithms and structures central to AI have been known for some time; rather, previous surges of AI had unrealistic expectations of immediate consumer applications that could never be accomplished given limitations of the data and techniques available at the time.


Augmented reality in financial services

Within a bank, AR has the potential to transform productivity. Data visualisation is a key tool for traders needing to make important data-driven decisions quickly. AR can help traders view, analyse and manipulate large quantities of complex data faster through a more intuitive AR interface. Several companies have trialled Oculus Rift to create immersive 3D virtual reality environments for analysing data. Citibank has taken the next step by using Microsoft’s HoloLens headset to create Holographic Workstations for traders. These headsets use AR to layer complex data sets that enable traders to visualise and make decisions collaboratively with clients. We can expect to see more AR in bank offices in the future.  With the rapid growth in mobile banking apps and introduction of digital-only banks, there are more and more questions about the future role of branches.




Quote for the day:

"We're entering a new world in which data may be more important than software." -- Tim O'Reilly