Daily Tech Digest - May 29, 2017

Google will soon find you a job as the tech giant refines its mastery over AI

Not to be confused with reaching and including people at grassroots level, here we are talking about Google being inclusive of first world citizens and Apple fans. The most compelling use case of AI to make an average users' life better is through Google Assistant. The chatty, natural language assistant that aims to help us in real world was launched during io16 for Google Home and subsequently introduced for Pixel phones, it is now available for iPhone. On both Android and iPhone, Google Assistant will now work in French, German, Brazilian Portuguese and Japanese. And coming soon are Italian, Spanish and Korean But that's not all. Google just opened the Assistant SDK for developers and OEM of any apps and electronic appliances to be Google Assistant compatible.


Cybersecurity RoI: Still a Tough Sell

At some point, panelists agreed, cyber insurance providers will get better at estimating the value of breaches. But that component of the industry is still in its infancy compared to decades covering property and vehicles. “They just don't have the data yet,” Stanley said. The reality, said Jim Cupps, senior director at Liberty Mutual, is that there is a long way to go. “I don’t think interactions between boards and CISOs have become a value proposition,” he said. That, Porter said, will require more education. “Cybersecurity is viewed as the CISO’s problem,” he said. “But ultimately it’s an enterprise problem. My job is to educate them about that.” Stanley agreed that is, “a difficult task, but it is getting better. Boards are learning. They need to know, and as it becomes more of a regulatory issue, they want to know,” he said. “Wise CISOs can educate the board and then get the budget they need to do the job.”


How Google’s cloud is ushering in a new era of SQL databases

The market for these new flavors of databases is still emerging. ... A handful of other newer companies offer NewSQL databases, including NuoDB, H-Store, Clusterix, VoltDB, MemSQL and others. Amazon Web Services offers Amazon Aurora, which supports MySQL and PostreSQL, which some consider NewSQL. One of the advantages of NewSQL databases is they support applications that run on traditional SQL databases, such as Oracle’s line of databases. Aslett and Pavlo point out, however that workloads running on those traditional databases are typically core applications that enterprises may be more reluctant to move to new databases unless there is a strong need to do so. NoSQL databases, on the other hand, excel at scalability and are typically used in new applications revolving around social, mobile and Internet of Things applications.


4 of the biggest IT project stressors and how to fix them

Take ample time to understand exactly what technologies or other tools are needed to help you to do your job better. Identify any time and cost savings or how it will improve the quality of any deliverables. If you don't know this answer, it's almost impossible to get management to approve it. Be prepared to outline how any expenditure is an investment in the future of an IT project. Companies seldom want to spend money on technologies or resources unless they can see a fairly quick recapture of costs or justify it through an ongoing need. This becomes particularly important for smaller companies with limited funds or larger organizations that have already invested large capital into existing technologies.


Why Cloud Security Needs Visibility-As-A-Service?

Public clouds need to handle hyperscale deployments, resource pooling, and continuous configuration changes based on demand, which brings unique challenges to ensuring visibility, security, and compliance. In February of this year, we surveyed over 220 senior IT staff at enterprise organizations on their cloud security concerns, and 76% of respondents were ‘very concerned’ or ‘concerned’ about security in their cloud environment. The top security concern with cloud adoption was ‘loss of control over network data’  and being able to achieve full visibility across their networks. The limitation is in traditional visibility architectures. They cannot deliver the agility and insight required to ensure proper operation and security of cloud workloads. On-premises solutions depend on physical hardware, taps, and the fact that the organization’s network deployment is unlikely to grow or shrink dramatically overnight.


How Can CIOs Take Control of App Sprawl?

From an IT perspective, this results in higher costs, more time required to administer systems, security and regulatory challenges, and, in the end, diminished productivity. "It's not unusual for an organization to wind up spending double, triple or even four times as much as necessary because people are using applications that already exist within the enterprise," Evolutionary IT's Guarino reports. "Too often, departments and employees make independent decisions outside the scope of IT. Many of these applications also introduce regulatory compliance and security concerns." Mobile apps add to the challenge. It's not uncommon for different divisions, groups and departments to develop mobile apps separately, or to offer different consumer-facing mobile apps for different customer segments. Such a scattershot approach can confuse users, diffuse an enterprise strategy, and lead to highly inefficient and often redundant development practices.


No-code/low-code project management best practices

When an engineering team begins work on a new feature, a set of guidelines is followed to ensure that all product changes have been made safely, and to the standard set forth by the organization. No-code/low-code products are no different. Things like quality assurance, version management, and efficiency should all be addressed and managed continuously. No-code/low-code or not, one of the most important parts of product development is establishing documented, repeatable processes that the whole team can follow. This can be doubly important when working with non-development staff who might have less experience with the product development lifecycle. Working directly with the product development team will help non-technical staff build effective applications and services in a timely and efficient manner.


Here's how MobiKwik hopes to survive the death of mobile wallets

“MobiKwik’s opportunity might lie in its relatively focused and cautious approach in building a payments business,” says Shubhankar Bhattacharya, venture partner at Kae Capital. “While Paytm has chosen to enter the banking space, MobiKwik might benefit from adding complements to its core offering, while staying true to its identity as a payments solution.” ... Doesn’t the new business model look similar to that of a slew of fintech startups that are already into lending and other financial services? Singh says there are enough differentiations. Take, for instance, the decision not to convert into a marketplace, where one can get a comparison of different kinds of financial products and lending rates. While there are different models in the fintech ecosystem, what would help MobiKwik is forging a stronger relationship with the customer, he adds.


Caught In The Breach - What To Do First

James Lugabihl, director, execution assurance at ADP, agreed that the key to limiting the damage of a breach is, “how quickly can you respond and stop it.” He said it is also crucial not to react without complete information. “It’s almost like a disaster scenario you see on the news,” he said. “It takes a lot of patience not to react too quickly. A lot of my information may be incomplete, and it’s important to get everybody staged. It isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. You need time to recognize data so you’re not reacting to information that’s incomplete.” With the right information, he said, it is possible to “track and eradicate” malicious intruders, plus see what their intentions were. Both panelists said legal notification requirements can vary by country, or even by state, and if it is not a mandate, notifying law enforcement is something they will sometimes try to avoid.


Calculating the Operations Cost of Software You Haven't Developed

We need to move to a model where projects request different budgets for different phases of their lifecycle, experiment vs exploit etc. Using microservices and the approach I discuss allows teams to use empirical data to estimate the operations costs for this budget. The "Sunk cost fallacy" does exist and can be more complicated that just misunderstanding. There needs to be a no blame culture so people are happy to raise "sunk cost" issues without recrimination, otherwise politics will prevent them for being surfaced. ... Although the approach is called DevOps, I feel if anything it is finally aligning the goals of the business with IT. Maybe it should be called BusIt! You honestly can't say that either organisational or technological change is more important than the other.



Quote for the day:


"Success is finding satisfaction in giving a little more than you take." -- Christopher Reeve