January 31, 2014

How Geospatial Data Can Enrich Your Customer Experience and Drive Revenue
Geospatial analysis offers many possibilities for organisations. It can be used to show social media activity on a map during an environmental crisis. Mapping tweets, posts or blogs to a certain location can help relief workers know where they have to be. For example, during Hurricane Irene, which struck the American East Coast in 2011, many of such tools where used to gain a better picture of the damage that had been done by the hurricane.

The Future of Personal Entertainment, In Your Face
So what makes the Glyph special? Avegant says it’s the headset’s image projection method, which reflects light onto each retina through a series of lenses and tiny mirrors and makes for sharper, easier-to-watch images than using a screen, as many competing products like Oculus Rift do. Its ability to mimic depth certainly makes it particularly good at showing natural-looking 3-D content.

Rise of Open Source Technologies in Middle East
Open source customization is one of the trendiest technologies, these days in order to bring up the imagination and unique ideas into real action. Open source technology is one such software and IT related technology which has changed the course of business and industry over there in Middle East and the biggest nation getting influenced from this is Dubai. Open source consultants Dubai have become the one of the greatest hub around the world today to look for quality assured yet highly pocket friendly open source services.

Why Line of Business Managers Hate IT (and How ITaaS Can Change That)
To this day, in many companies, there is a rift between IT and LoB departments. It starts with physical separation. When they’re not working from home, LoB employees work in cubicles or (more recently) shared open spaces geared toward collaboration. When they’re not working at home, IT employees are likely to dwell in the basement or other windowless location, behind locked doors. Such physical separation leaves little opportunity for spontaneous cross-departmental discussion.

Winning the Talent Game: How Gamification Is Impacting Business and HR
Gamification applications are most effective when they are customized to various industries and their specific needs. For example, some firms leverage their employee base by creating recruitment “ambassadors” and lead generators by conducting gamified events across campuses. This achieves all the benefits of crowdsourcing as well as creates an effective brand for the organization. Gamified new hire programs are personalized, engaging and often convey a creativity within an organization.

What You Really Need to Know about Artificial Intelligence
For those who started their careers in AI and left in disillusionment (Andrew Ng confessed to this, yet jumped back in) or data scientists today, the consensus is often that artificial intelligence is just a new fancy marketing term for good old predictive analytics. They point to the reality of Apple’s Siri to listen and respond to requests as adequate but more often frustrating. Or, IBM Watson’s win on Jeopardy as data loading and brute force programming. Their perspective, real value is the pragmatic logic of the predictive analytics we have.

The Why, How, and Where of moving to the Cloud
Once you have answered the “Why” and “How” of your Cloud journey you will have a fair idea of where the organization is. For any successful journey, it is important to know the starting point and destination in order to develop a path that considers all factors before embarking on the journey. It also helps you in other important decisions that you will need to make along the way to ensure that you have considered all of the factors and are on track with where the organization is heading. Here are a few pointers to ensure that you are on track to taking the organization in the right direction with the transition to the Cloud.

A Virtual Bill of Rights is Needed to Guard Our Data
Chances are that all such attempts to legislate will be superseded as new forms of information gathering and analysis develop. One only has to look at the number of cameras being installed on next-generation cars, or the fears around utilities using smart grids to switch off energy without the home-owner's consent, to appreciate some of the difficulties which lie ahead. The debate becomes even more complex when metadata (data about data, such as phone call records), data aggregation and anonymising are taken into consideration.

Delegated Authority: An Agile Trust Experiment
For my part, just the act of thinking about what is important to me allows me to let go of some areas of responsibility that I might otherwise have gripped tightly. As issues come up, I am constantly thinking about this contract and my role in the decision-making process. For the team, they recognized that this is a living document. They're already thinking about ways to improve or change it. Before this experiment, we had individuals named as technical leads for our different technologies.

Federal IT Procurement Reform Proposed
Obama administration officials argue that efforts to reform federal IT management, through the administration's "Cloud First" initiative and PortfolioStat IT investment review process have already saved billions of dollars and improved the way agencies acquire and manage commodity hardware and software. They also point to efforts, such as the President's Open Data initiatives, that are making government data more transparent and accessible, and meeting with experts to capitalize on IT innovations.

Quote for the day:

"Success is the prize for those who stand true to their ideas!" -- Josh S. Hinds

January 30, 2014

The real measure of Agile success
Another factor spreading Agile practices beyond software development is the movement of millennial generation employees into the work place, said Diana Larsen, a partner at Agile consultancy FutureWorks, in Portland, OR. "They are a lot more comfortable working collaboratively." As a result, many Agile practices come naturally to them. "They want to check in on a daily basis and get feedback early," she said.

Mass e-surveillance project set for launch
The Centre’s highly advanced telecom and Internet surveillance project — the Central Monitoring System (CMS) — is in its final stage of deployment. Yet, there has been no word on the legal and procedural framework under which the country’s security agencies can track phone calls, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and e-mails in real time. In seven of the 11 states covered in the first phase, the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) — a government agency — has already installed the equipment for this massive snooping programme

IBM's suggestions for mid-market cloud security
Since cloud computing is based upon today's complex IT infrastructure it would be very wise to make sure company business and IT decision makers are speaking with one voice and thinking with one mindbefore contracts are signed and the company begins using a cloud computing solution. Decision makers who don't understand this technology should not be making purchasing and implementation decisions without the help of those who do.

IT services firm ITC Infotech on data analytics in retail
One of the biggest challenges that retailers will face in 2014 is the fear of losing their customers, as well as winning new ones, in a very competitive business environment. To address these challenges more and more companies will make aggressive investments in technology to gather intelligence about the buying trends and experiences of their customers. The most exciting area of growth is expected to be the use of data analytics as companies try to understand real time consumer buying patterns and behaviours.

Cyber security quest strong in UK, says Isaca
“It has provided an opportunity for information security professionals to engage with their organisations about the implications of data leaks and how to do proper risk assessments,” he said. It has also raised fresh questions about what the role of chief information security officers (CISOs) should entail, where they should sit in an organisation, and how they should be relevant to an organisation. “One of the interesting things that some UK organisations are already doing is ensuring that the CISO role is not just a senior role, but moving forward from being reactive to being proactive,” said Stroud.

Sync Your Files without Trusting the Cloud
Klinker says Bittorrent Sync shows how popular applications of the Internet can be designed in a way that gives people control of their own data, despite prevailing trends. “Pick any app on the Web today, it could be Twitter, e-mail, search, and it has been developed in a very centralized way—those businesses are built around centralizing information on their servers,” he says. “I’m trying to put more power in the hands of the end user and less in the hands of these companies and other centralizing authorities.”

Data Governance: A Critical Starting Point in Addressing the Challenges of UDI Compliance
Data governance provides a structured approach to managing changes to core, shared business data. Without a governance program in place, the organization runs the risk that the changes initiated during the course of UDI compliance will negatively impact the quality, accuracy, usability or availability of the data used by the rest of the organization. Conversely, a solid governance program can facilitate the data, process and application changes needed to comply with unique device identification. It can also accelerate an existing UDI initiative.

Flash your way to better VMware performance
By consolidating server-side flash into a single shared flash cluster, PernixData FVP leverages many small flash investments into a large I/O improvement. Installation is quick and easy, and it doesn't even require a reboot of the hosts. PernixData FVP comes in SMB and Standard versions. The SMB version is $9,999 for up to four hosts and 100 VMs. The standard edition is $7,500 per host with no restrictions on the number of hosts or virtual machines.

Storage Innovations Bring Unparalleled Capacity Opportunities
Most recently, hard drive manufacturers have turned to helium to help continue to improve storage economics. Until recently, hard drives all had regular, everyday air inside the enclosure. Today, some hard drives are actually filled with helium, which is much lighter than air. As a result, as the disk spins and the heads are dragged through the enclosure, there is much less drag, which can mean better performance.

Software process: Guiding principles in a perfect world
Wilson offered his thoughts on the role of testers in a DevOps-oriented organization. But what emerged from our discussion was a broader, big-picture view of how the software development process should work—or could work if organizations were willing to rethink it and make needed changes. Here are my guiding principles for improving the software development process in 2014, based on ideas shared by Compuware's Wilson.

Quote for the day:

"What gets measured gets done. If you don't measure morale, you wind up taking it for granted." -- Jack Stack

January 29, 2014

VPN bypass vulnerability affects Android Jelly Bean and KitKat
A malicious app can exploit the newly identified Android vulnerability to bypass an active VPN connection and route all data communications from the device to a network address controlled by an attacker, the Ben-Gurion University researchers said Monday in a blog post. "These communications are captured in CLEAR TEXT (no encryption), leaving the information completely exposed. This redirection can take place while leaving the user completely oblivious, believing the data is encrypted and secure."

Crafting a data lifecycle management strategy to control capacity
As with data being classified, ILM also requires storage to be classified. Storage arrays offering specialty features such as fast access or slower access but low cost per-GB, or that offer special data protection services such as mirroring, replication or continuous data protection, can be given their own target classification, thereby providing discrete destinations for data writes and data moves.

When Design Best Practices Become Performance Worst Practices
It conforms to known design and usability best practices, and your testers loved it in the lab. You push the design to your live site and the results are … well, a little disappointing. Not terrible, but your conversion rate hasn’t made the leap you expected. Why? You’ve done everything by the book, but perhaps the book is missing a chapter or two. Chances are, you’ve accidentally made one of three common design mistakes, and these mistakes have affected how your pages load, which ultimately hurts page views, bounce rate, conversions, and pretty much every business metric you care about.

India Ranked 7th in Attacks by Trojans in Banking
The Internet among many things has made our daily activities very convenient, especially when it is percolated to mobile devices. Among other activities consumers now prefer ‘armchair banking’ where banking transactions are carried out easily. However, attackers who are financially motivated, target these online banking services and financial institutions by leveraging advanced Trojans to commit large scale financial fraud.

Leading by Taking a Step Back
We aspire to do more, dream more, learn more, and become more, and for better or worse, the traditional wisdom has been that we need to accomplish more in order to get more. But for many, experience, trial and error says differently. We pile on more projects, goals and objectives and lose sight of the one unifying vision that defines us as a company and as leaders. So how can leaders learn to step back and only move forward by putting one foot in front of the other at a time? How do we avoid becoming task managers and get back to being leaders? When everyone is “leaning in” to get ahead, does it make sense to “lean out” for a change?

Big Data's Opportunity for Information Optimization
Businesses are always looking for ways to grow and to streamline their operations. These two goals can come into conflict because as organizations become larger it becomes more complicated to be agile and efficient. To help them understand and modify their processes, businesses can derive insights from analytics applied to their data. Today that data is available not only in the enterprise and cloud computing environments but also from the Internet. To collect, process and analyze it all is a challenge, one that an increasing number of organizations are meeting through the use of big data technologies.

BYOD and the Internet of Things bring unique challenges for hospital CIOs
Both of these trends offer special security and interoperability challenges for hospitals. Developers are still working on how to merge this data with the various electronic medical records (EMRs) in use, but that’s the easy part. Data security is the more difficult issue. Not only do you need to ensure that unauthorized people do not access the network via any of these devices, you need to ensure security in transmission of the data. Again, this is a scenario that would (or at least should) create a high level of concern for any CIO.

Executives debate need for the CIO title
When it comes to appointing an organization's IT strategy leader, how important is it to dub that person the CIO? In the absence of a CIO title, does the title of IT director carry the same weight? Technology experts debated these questions and more during the recent "CEO/CIO Marriage Proposal" panel at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Technology Conference in Washington, D.C.

Kanban’s service orientation agenda
Service orientation with Kanban starts with viewing the organization through the Kanban “lens” of service delivery, work flow and knowledge discovery. Typically, this begins with the identification of customer needs, expectations and frustrations, matched to the corresponding capabilities and frustrations of internal systems. The tools of the sustainability agenda (visualization, WIP controls, feedback loops, and so on) are then applied with a deliberate end-to-end emphasis, extending to the customer both upstream and downstream.

Get Ready, It's the Year for Big Data Heists
These security breaches were all different but had a common cause: negligence. Although the technology and techniques to protect data, or at least to make life more difficult for hackers, have been around for years, companies and their customers mostly assumed that data theft was something that happened to other people. They need to start getting wise. The U.S. retail attacks are part of a recent trend, reported by the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, in which the hackers (or "adversaries," as the company describes them) target point-of-sale devices in which physical credit cards are swiped.

Quote for the day:

"An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn't take his education too seriously" -- C. Kettering

January 28, 2014

The Internet of Things might not be what you're hoping for
The problem that we now face is that the internet into which IoT is being born is philosophically very different to the internet into which the web was born. The internet of twenty-plus years ago and prior was a place of free love and open standards. It all came from academia where commercial pressures were low. As we moved into the era where internet connectivity onto PCs was the norm -- I usually take this to be related to the introduction of Windows 95 -- what we as a society has done with the internet has had an uneasy relationship with this "free love", uncommercial philosophy.

Measuring the Impact of Social, Economic, and Technological Factors on Cybersecurity
Interestingly, the model found a paradox that stems from the modernization of information and communications technology. While increased Internet access and more mature technological development is correlated with improvement in cybersecurity at the global level, it has the opposite effect among countries with developing economies and lower levels of technological development. For example, as Broadband Penetration increases, Maximizers (countries that are more technologically mature) experience a decrease in malware, while Seeker countries (that are less technologically mature) experience an increase in malware.

Data-driven troubles
"Some time ago the company I work in decided to change one system with another. We wrote the new system and it was time for testing. In general at the first stage the new system must do the same things as the old one. We had a lot of tests for old system, so we decided to reuse these tests. The point was that the same test should be executed for both systems."

How and why to check port 32764 on your router
There are roughly 64,000 ports that are not tested by ShieldsUP. One of them is 32764. On a LAN, testing all 65,535 ports is a more do-able thing. Recently Eloi Vanderbecken did just that on his home network and turned up something interesting. His Linksys WAG 200G router responded to the virtual knock on the front door for port 32,764. The port was open and the router itself (not a computer on his LAN) was processing data sent to it.

Service Complexity And the Perils of Productization
Complexity can be a good thing. But when it comes to servicing customers, it is generally accepted that complexity reduces satisfaction. In other words, the proliferation of products in many service-based organizations prevents them from staying true to who they are—a service company. Service vision becomes clouded and the overall strategy is no longer clear to employees or customers. Modern banks simply have too many products and services for front-line staff to understand and properly explain to a customer.

Cisco aims to be cloud connector in hybrid data centers
Strategically, InterCloud may be the most interesting item for Cisco. If successful, InterCloud puts Cisco in the middle of the network and cloud connections on a software basis. Licensing models are still being worked out. If Cisco can make InterCloud a dominant software defined networking platform it'll have more licensing revenue and the profit margins that go with it. Meanwhile, InterCloud is designed to work with any server or switch, said Gori. Naturally, there will be more features enabled with Cisco's software and hardware combined.

Security testing basics: QA professionals take the lead
Having test professionals assume some responsibility for security testing basics is important for two reasons. First, application security is a growing concern for all software and test organizations as security breaches continue to make headline news. Second, getting testers involved can help solve a problem that plagues most software development organizations today, said Payne. "Where in the application lifecycle does security testing fit?"

Suspected email hackers for hire charged in four countries
Three other U.S. residents were charged with misdemeanor offenses for hiring email hackers from foreign countries. John Ross Jesensky, 30, of Northridge, Calif., is believed to have paid $21,675 to a Chinese website to get e-mail account passwords. Laith Nona, 31, of Troy, Michigan, and Arthur Drake, 55, of Bronx, N.Y., are suspected to have paid $1,081 and $1,011 respectively for similar services. The five defendants are expected to plead guilty in the coming weeks, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Big Data Influences More Long-Term Storage
The pursuit of big data has led to an increase of companies keeping older files they would have previously discarded, confirms Scott Gillespie, expert on regulations and compliance and senior VP of business analysis at Quadron Data Solutions. There is a six-year retention requirement of client account data, he explains. Account records, trades, holdings, profile information, goals and objectives and so on fall into this category. There are three reasons these records, which have historically been discarded with regularity, are now starting to stick around.

Agile with Guts - A pragmatic guide to value-driven development
You want to deliver valuable software with iterative delivery. There might be dozens of stakeholders with dozens of definition of value. How do you ensure you are both “building the right thing” and “building the thing right”? Suppose you are increasing your productivity, you might be building the wrong product faster. This book describes how a large organization uses techniques to focus on the right product and to deeply anchor the idea that less output can deliver more outcomes.

Quote for the day:

"The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionable integrity." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

January 27, 2014

NSA surveillance revelations could lead to data collection policy
What one hopes it won't do is impede innovation. Sure, the data collection we see every day in things like targeted coupons and targeted advertisements can have a rather high creepiness quotient. But there's much good that big data collection can do. Examples abound -- from analyzing Tweets to understand smoking habits to collecting meter data to optimize the grid to improving automation. That's as long as the analytics end of the equations are sound.

The ROI of Data Governance
Many organizations have found success by “thinking globally and acting locally.” Sometimes referred to as guerilla governance, this may not be the fast path, but is likely the pragmatic path to enterprise data governance. This is not a shortcut – there’s no substitute for the broad-based communication, collaboration, coordination, executive sponsorship and investment required to obtain sustainable governance. It’s merely a way to align with the principles and practices of data governance and obtain some small, quick wins cheaply to build the evidence and confidence required to support greater investment.

Would NFC smartphones have helped at Target?
The answer is complicated and political, primarily because there are questions over who is liable for a data breach -- the retailers or the financial institutions and their associated card processing companies such as Visa and MasterCard. It is also expensive to install point-of-sale (POS) terminals in millions of retail locations and at ATMs that can read chips on the newer contactless cards, as well an NFC signal from a smartphone. It also doesn't help that Apple hasn't included NFC chips in its popular iPhones. "Apple's refusal to integrate NFC functionality is a blatant roadblock, there's no other way to put it,"

Hands-on with Knoppix Linux 7.2.0: A well-established and very stable Linux distribution
Over the years, Knoppix has evolved and expanded. In about 2005 a Live DVD version was added, with loads of additional applications, utilities and packages included. Rather than drop the Live CD version, however, both formats have been maintained since then, with the CD version as a "small/fast/easy" alternative, and the DVD version as an "everything including the kitchen sink" alternative. My first use of Knoppix came at SANS training classes, where they were using the Live CD version as a convenient way for course participants to gain access to Linux tools.

Wipro's CEO maps out a future for IT Services firms
The world continues to change rapidly for Indian IT Services firms. Here’s a recent interview with Wipro CEO T.K. Kurien with all the usual stuff about firms in transition, the trauma of effecting change and other such things. However, embedded in there are three observations that give us a glimpse into a brave new world for software services firms.

How Xerox Evolved From Copier Company To Creative Powerhouse
There’s one other thing that’s crucial to getting the best, most innovative work out of Xerox employees. “Having fun is one of the principles I always talk with new hires about,” says Vandebroek. “Unless you have fun, you can’t truly bring your intellect, your skills, and your deep knowledge to push the boundaries of the unknown, to invent and create.” She goes on: “Being innovative to me is being both creative and entrepreneurial. And you can’t be creative and entrepreneurial unless you truly bring your heart to work, and have fun at work. Having fun is really essential. You need to have fun every day.”

As security woes bedevil IT, guess who’ll shoulder more of the load?
So what’s the solution? One increasingly prevalent view is that end-users be enlisted to the cause, first by educating them about safe practices, about corporate security policies and regulations (and the penalties for breaking them) and finally by enforcing those policies. Let’s face it, if you are a knowledge worker, you need to collaborate with others, sometimes contractors, partners outside the firewall — and should have a good idea of who is to be trusted with documents and work product.

Myths and Misconceptions about Transaction Isolation Levels
In every discussed Isolation Level so far, you are also always able to get so-called Phantom Records – records that can appear and disappear in your result set. If you want to get rid of these phantom records, you have to use the Isolation Level Serializable, which is the most restrictive one. In Serializable SQL Server uses a so-called Key Range Locking to eliminate phantom records: you are locking complete ranges of data, so that no other concurrent transactions can insert other records to prevent phantom records.

Fiberlink president talks IBM MobileFirst plans, EMM consolidation
Candidly, what we were not good at was global marketing and global sales. We did not have the scale and we did not spend the money. We could, but we chose not to go that route to just try to buy market share. Over the course of the last couple of years, we continued to get close to IBM in terms of packaging some of their stuff for the laptop side, but also uniquely developing the whole mobile side of the house. It was becoming more and more obvious to us that the market in mobile management still has not found vendor loyalty…

Interview with Ole Jepsen on Leadership in Agile
Good leaders create an environment where self-organizing teams can thrive and create great products and services to delight their customers: that is what Ole Jepsen explained in this interview. At the XP Days Benelux conference he talked about truly leading people and the subtle but important differences between taking and giving control. InfoQ interviewed Ole on leadership in agile, self organizing teams and focusing on people

Quote for the day:

"You can't improve and still be the same" -- John C. Maxwell

January 26, 2014

Enough PaaS vs. IaaS: The cloud is really about Services as a Platform
Two things have happened since that definition was first put forth. The first is that IaaS providers, especially Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, have delivered services that blur the lines between platform and infrastructure. In Amazon’s case, it evolved a set of a services from the infrastructure up to include middleware services (RDS and Elastic Beanstalk, for instance), as well as deployment and ongoing operations services such as Autoscaling and Opsworks.

Top 10 InfoSec Careers Influencers
Each of these Influencers has a substantial impact on InfoSec careers. Their influence ranges from education and training to recruitment, research and management. Our selections include some of the nation's most recognized leaders in promoting information security careers. But they also include a few individuals who focus on growing the profession behind the scenes. How did we choose the Influencers? We queried our board of advisers and other information security thought-leaders to identify candidates, with the editors making the final decision.

Internet of Things: What Strange Things Can Happen
IDC anticipates that more than 200 billion connected devices will be in use by 2021, with more than 30 billion being autonomous devices. Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) predicts some 25 billion devices will be connected by 2015, and 50 billion by 2020. How will having lots of things connected change everything? Find the answer in the infographic. With all this, Internet of Things is coming and will be here to stay soon. Whether we, the humans are ready to take on this evolution remains to be seen.

Judge Partially Dismisses Oracle Lawsuit Against Solaris Support Providers
"While a customer may choose to engage a third party instead of Oracle to provide support services on Oracle hardware, under such circumstances neither the third party nor the customer may access or use Oracle's support website," Oracle said. "In particular, neither the third party nor the customer may use official, Oracle-authored Solaris updates to support the Oracle software running the hardware."

Best Value BI Trends: BI Embedded into Business Processes and Decision Making
The key to business value from BI is that it is “actionable” -- meaning based on her analysis the business person can do something meaningful with the data. Embedding BI into business processes means the business and IT understand that the workflow needs to include analytics not as the end result of BI, but as the fuel that drives business activity. The goal is managing and improving business performance, not analyzing reports.

Information Security Management at HDFC Bank: Contribution of Seven Enablers
As an early adopter of COBIT 4.1, HDFC Bank’s IT governance journey started almost six years ago, when COBIT 4.1 was just introduced. Almost all of the 34 IT processes defined in COBIT 4.1 were adopted by the bank. Following COBIT 5’s introduction in April 2012, HDFC Bank took some time to consider a migration. Because the bank has successfully implemented COBIT 4.1 to great benefit, it will not immediately migrate to COBIT 5. However, the seven enablers introduced by COBIT 5 were intuitively adopted by HDFC Bank even before these were popularised in COBIT 5.

Think you need Hadoop? Think again
In the big data buzz, Hadoop has been the big data solution of choice leaving many feeling like Hadoop is their only option for harnessing big data. However, there are many other big data options out there that offer different features than Hadoop, and may actually fit your business needs better. Flash array storage, in particular, has made it easier to create fast, affordable storage options, so check out these other big data solutions before settling on Hadoop.

Interview: The Need for Big Data Governance
The right approach to all these problems is to have a data quality “firewall” that filters data rather like internet traffic. And you can’t create that firewall unless you first have a definition of what “good data” looks like. IT will have technical definitions of good data – no characters in a number field, for example. But ultimately, only the business knows what defines business-ready data, therefore IT has to collaborate with them to create the business rules. And those business rules need to be in place before any new big data project, not after.

Agile testing is not about automation
If you buy into the premise of the Agile testing quadrant, only roughly half of the mentioned testing practices are applicable for automation – and these are primarily technology-facing tests. Aren’t the business-facing tests just as important? I would definitely argue that they are, especially for assessing if you are actually building the right thing for your users. It doesn’t matter if the smallest pieces of your system work well if they haven’t been assembled into something your users want or need.

Top Architecture & Governance Principles for 2014
Following are some of the key architecture and governance principles that you could adopt for your project for this year 2014. The architecture principles could be seen as “guiding principles” based on which team would want to design, develop and test the applications. ... Sooner than later, it may be good idea to create a software quality metrics to measure some of the non-functional software code quality characteristics

Quote for the day:

"To have long term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way." -- Pat Riley

January 25, 2014

Scientific Thinking in Business
While data is essential for scientific decision making, theory, intuition, and imagination remain important as well—to generate hypotheses in the first place, to devise creative tests of the hypotheses that we have, and to interpret the data that we collect. Data and theory, in other words, are the yin and yang of the scientific method—theory frames the right questions, while data answers the questions that have been asked. Emphasizing either at the expense of the other can lead to serious mistakes.

7 ways to transform into a connected leader
According to Delight Leadership Inc., a ‘connected leader’ is one who holds him/herself in high regard. These leaders take their personal care and growth seriously, and understand that in order to develop as a person and to lead thousands in a transformational way; they must first do the work – the inner work that lets them evolve into a better version of themselves (that can in turn profoundly captivate and influence others). Here are 7 Ways to begin to transform into a Connected Leader:

CIOs need a System of Engagement with the CMOs
CIOs are being asked to fast-track the implementation of Systems of Engagement. What options does the CIO have? Moore explains that the demand for Systems of Engagement is driven by the need to collaborate in the disaggregated ecosystem we find ourselves in today. Compelling technologies are easily accessible in the social media that control our personal lives. We get so used to (and spoiled by) these technologies that we expect the same experience at work.

Can problem solving be taught?
“Good innovative problem solving has to be collaborative,” he says. “You can do it on your own, but group conversations can spark new thoughts and solutions much quicker than individuals will. It will also, usually, be a much richer experience and, if you’re going to teach someone problemsolving techniques, then they, at least in part, have to be able to run a team of problem solvers.” The trick, it seems, is for leaders to design and empower teams to break problems down and design solutions.

Location-based services: Controversy at every level
Overall, location-based services use three different levels of accuracy -- vicinity to within a block or two (derived from GPS coordinates), presence (establishing that you are inside a given building or store) and department (pinpointing your location within a given store). Shopkick makes use of the presence level, primarily; it's also the level that's demonstrating the most commercial success and producing the most fears about Big Brother-style surveillance.

Dueling R and Python, Contest 1A
The Python and R code in this admittedly simple example is remarkably similar. Indeed, driven by the numpy/pandas libraries, Python reads more like R than it does core Python. Python/pandas is the performance winner with this exercise on my 16G Wintel notebook. In the early morning with plenty of wifi bandwidth, both download/unzips complete in about 10 minutes. The data frame creations, though, are much faster in Python-pandas than they are in R – 2.5 minutes vs 14 minutes – probably to some extent reflecting the R kluge for column selection.

7 Principles to Enable Agile Projects Through Enterprise Architecture
The strategy, governance and co-ordination of this changing landscape is often referred to as Enterprise Architecture. At this point you might be wondering there is a way to join Agile projects with EA in perfectharmony. If there is, I haven’t discovered it. What I can offer you is some principles, based upon what has worked in organisations that I have worked with.

Using Auto-Classification to Improve Your Information Governance Practices
Governance is still lacking in many organizations as around 85% of users still manually identify records, but are not clear which content is valuable and not valuable, and as a result, there is considerable fear towards the regulatory impact of deleting information. New auto-classification technologies can take the burden off the end user by eliminating the need for them to manually identify records, by providing automatic identification, classification, retrieval, archival, and disposal capabilities for electronic business records according to governance policies.

Sizing Up the Changing IAM Market
"The cloud versus enterprise divide to IAM was never a comfortable situation, but had become quite clear cut," says Andy Kellett. That's why Salesforce's move to offer an IAM that can be applied to both cloud and on-premises applications "breaks the mold," he says. ... Despite the moves by Salesforce and Microsoft, many organizations will still choose to work with separate IAM providers if their systems' features and capabilities match their needs, Gartner's Iverson says. However, the pressure is on these IAM providers to demonstrate why their technology is worth the extra investment, he says.

Highly-Available Load Balancing of Apache Tomcat using HAProxy, stunnel and keepalived
This article will describe the process required to set up a highly-available SSL-enabled load balancer using HAProxy, stunnel and keepalived to front a pair of Apache Tomcat instances. The configuration will start off simple, and extend and grow as more functionality is added. First, a session-aware HAProxy load balancer is configured. Next, Tomcat clustering is configured with session replication and the responsibility for maintaining session state is moved to Tomcat. Then, keepalived is added – providing a failover IP between HAProxy instances running on two nodes.

Quote for the day:

"Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared." -- Eddie Rickenbacker

January 24, 2014

Windows malware tries to infect Android devices connected to PCs
The new malware, dubbed Trojan.Droidpak by Symantec, drops a DLL file on the Windows computer and registers a new system service to ensure its persistence across reboots. It then downloads a configuration file from a remote server that contains the location of a malicious APK (Android application package) file called AV-cdk.apk. The Trojan program downloads the malicious APK, as well as the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) command line tool that allows users to execute commands on Android devices connected to a PC.

Management technologies to ensure mobile data security and compliance
There is no shortage of management technologies available to address these situations. The key is choosing the right products and developing the proper policies to enable secure use of consumer technologies in the enterprise without detracting from their many benefits. Organizations often turn to device-focused strategies and legacy technologies, but a new breed of products and a different way of thinking may be required to strike the right balance.

Lack of Stronger Cyber Security May Cost World Economy $3 Trillion
Titled 'Risk and Responsibility in a Hyperconnected World', the report cautioned that there could be increased cyber attacks if there is a failure to strengthen capabilities for deterring such activities.  Major technology trends, including massive analytics, cloud computing and big data, could create between USD 9.6 trillion and USD 21.6 trillion in value for the global economy.

Data Center Infrastructure Management - Where's the Beef?
There's a general lack of acceptance or understanding of what a DCIM tool is supposed to be. Is it asset management, capacity planning, resource management, environmental controls, automation, or all of the above and more? When the customer hears too many voices, they tend to ignore all of them, at least I do. To combat this issue, DCIM vendors will have to get better at highlighting and demonstrating value in a clear and simple way. I know this seems obvious, but I would argue that the majority of Data Center operators aren't listening yet, likely because they haven't "heard" the right message.

Living in Interesting Times—A View from the New Zealand Privacy Office
Leaving space to deal with the unexpected isn’t easy when even the “known knowns” —or should that be “known unknowns”? —occupy us full time. These include the government’s intention to reform the 20-year-old Privacy Act. The exact shape of the changes is still tba, but we’re hoping for announcements reasonably soon. Proposed changes by the Law Commission, if accepted, would include putting a few more items in our enforcement toolbox, to enable us to deal better with modern information practices and to speed up our current investigations processes. Fingers crossed.

5 Big Business Intelligence Trends For 2014
What's in store for business intelligence in 2014? In some respects, 2014 will echo themes heard in 2013, but the message is getting louder when it comes to visual data discovery, cloud, and mobile. Big data also will continue to garner attention, but people will take a pragmatic approach to adoption. Simplicity, meanwhile, will experience a second coming.

Why I did it: Former hacker Mitchell Frost explains his motivation
"In 2006, I was young and, even at that age, I could see there was a lot of corruption and media propaganda going on in newspapers and on television. At that time, I had a rather large and complicated botnet. With the botnet, I was able to use the compromised computers for almost anything; key strokes, DDOS, servers, passwords, pranks. I had several botnets over the years from a few to thousands and didn't do a whole lot of DDOS on servers because I had no need to."

Cool or creepy? The ethics of big data is on the table
Ethics aren't an easy conversation to have in a business setting, Davis said. The topic is huge, messy and, yes, personal, and it tends to get tacked on to a pile of pressing obligations. In other words, it's not a topic that's easily dispatched. But in the absence of legislation that keeps pace with technological advancement, Davis believes it's a conversation that should happen -- especially among those practicing big data analytics.

The Neuroscience of Agile Leadership
The more we try to convince people of something, the more they push back. It’s our brains telling us this doesn’t add up. We sense threat when we feel forced in some way. Employees need to own any kind of change initiative for it to be successful. There is a critical role that neuroscience can play in making successful change. In environments where there is less stress, there is more thinking going on, we can focus our brains to find meaning in our work, and we can learn to see change as part of personal and organizational growth. Neuroscience is adding new insight into how the brain reacts to change.

Real-Time Computer Vision on Android using BoofCV
In this article, a step by step tutorial will be given for writing a simple computer vision application on Android devices using BoofCV. At the end of the tutorial, you will know how to process a video feed, compute the image gradient, visualize the gradient, and display the results. For those of you who don't know, BoofCV is an open source computer vision library written in Java, making it a natural fit for Android devices.

Quote for the day:

"The best strategy for building a competitive organization is to help individuals become more of who they are." -- Marcus Buckingham

January 23, 2014

PayPal chief on the state of digital payments: Mobile is everything
"Mobile is the territory where we want to lead and be best-in-class at across the board," Marcus said matter-of-factly, stressing a need to put developer needs first in this sector too. Marcus implied that PayPal was able to overcome numerous competitors by making strides to tap into all of these different platforms. Just one example, Marcus asserted that PayPal was the first to be able to integrate itself into Apple Safari and utilize the iPhone's camera to scan barcodes to enable purchase power.

Neural Nets: Now Available In The Cloud
“We present the N2Sky system, which provides a framework for the exchange of neural network specific knowledge, as neural network paradigms and objects, by a virtual organization environment,” they say. That’s neural networks in the cloud, to you and me. Anybody can sign in and start using a neural net in ways that have already been validated. Schikuta and Mann even want to create a search engine for neural nets. Simply type in the problem you want to solve and the engine searches for nets that are already known to have successfully tackled the problem or ones similar to it.

Microsoft says it will let users choose where data is stored, but things aren’t that simple
Microsoft’s top lawyer has said the company will let non-U.S. customers choose to have their data stored outside the U.S. On the face of it, this would be a boon for the privacy of the firm’s foreign customers. But in reality, privacy advocates should dampen their enthusiasm. ... But there are two big things to bear in mind if you’re non-U.S. and hoping Microsoft’s storage choice will let you evade the watchful eyes of the NSA:

New Techniques Detect Anomalies in Big Data
In any case, it's clear that anomalies can play a big role, for the better or worse, in optimizing system availability and performance; when a process, application, or infrastructure component fails or slows down, it's typically presaged by usually multiple types of events happening simultaneously or in quick succession. Anomaly detection deciphers how this series of events and their patterns vary from the norm and enables experts to quickly determine what it means to the business. The power behind anomaly detection is neither a single technology nor a single technique.

The Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues For 2014
The CIO job itself continues to undergo a profound transformation that is pushing business-technology leaders inexorably closer to customer demands and customer experiences and customer engagements; to revenue generation, enhancement, and optimization; and to sometimes-revolutionary new business models and operating models, and unheard-of new processes. In that spirit, I’d like to share my list of the Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues for 2014, inspired by conversations with executives at hundreds of companies around the globe.

Five best Linux applications for enterprises
Linux has been a part of the enterprise back end for a long time and is becoming more prevalent in the office-side of businesses, from small businesses to major enterprises. So, what are the best Linux applications for IT managers and business owners to use in the enterprise? These five apps will expand the business's IT infrastructure and functionality while reducing the overall cost of maintaining an efficient, reliable business.

Dell Research: Can it deliver innovation from blank slate?
According to Menon, the timing for Dell's R&D push works well with going private. "From a timing perspective this (forming Dell Research) is perfect," he said. "As we go private there's an opportunity to focus more on longer-term trends." ... CEO Michael Dell introduced Menon and his team at Dell World in December. Dell Research was formed 6 months ago. If all goes well, said Menon, Dell Research will be the glue that brings the company's various units together in a "cross Dell way." Menon doesn't have to replicate IBM's approach, but take what he's learned from his more than 25 years at Big Blue and apply them in a Dell context.

Dimension Data and Application Modernization
In Dimension Data’s case, the firm has historically been positioned as a leading professional services firm linked to Cisco products and services. These new market initiatives are helping to broaden the range and focus of its professional, consulting, managed and support services. In fact, despite the anticipated introduction of continued new Cisco-related services in the coming years, we would not be surprised to see the Cisco-related component of Dimension Data’s service delivery decline from roughly two-thirds of revenue in 2013, to somewhere in the 30-40 percent range by YE2018.

European experts divided on success of cyber security
“Cyber security is a failure at all levels, including compliance, methodology, skills and technology,” said Lacey. While agreeing that regulatory compliance is necessary, he said it tends to encourage organisations to come up with the cheapest response. Lacey said regulation does not encourage innovation and tends to recognise outdated standards and models that give the attacker the advantage. The old “plan, check, do” model is too slow-moving and needs to be replaced with a military-style “observe, orient, decide, act” model that enables the faster response times required, he said.

The Secret to Lean Innovation Is Making Learning a Priority
Lean innovation embraces a philosophy of not letting progress get in the way of perfection. It leverages the Pareto principle that 20% of a product’s features (what’s distilled down into the minimal viable product) will most likely deliver 80% of the benefits sought by customers. As an approach, lean innovation lends itself especially well to corporate cultures, often engineering ones and others strongly focused on process-improvement programs such as Six Sigma. Its straightforward, step-by-step methodology makes it relatively easy to explain and to implement

Quote for the day:

"For a manager to be perceived as a positive manager, they need a four to one positive to negative contact ratio." -- Ken Blanchard

January 22, 2014

GRC programs on the rise with data management complexity tides
"There is so much new data they have to deal with," Gascon said. "Organizations are realizing the amount of information they are generating has to be managed in a way that they can more easily produce it when necessary, and also be able to protect it throughout the lifecycle." But with compliance already broadly deployed, new programs may be on the decline: Twenty-four percent of respondents said their organizations would implement a compliance program in 2014, down from 36% of the respondents in last year's survey.

4 New T-SQL Functions
SQL Server 2012 was released last April, making it the 11th major release of the product. Every new version has delivered new functionality that should excite developers, and this release is no different. With the latest release of SQL Server, Microsoft produced 14 new T-SQL functions. ... These functions will be demonstrated using the "SELECT" statement, so no specific database structure is needed. They can be executed against any database, in a stored procedure or other scripts, just like all other T-SQL statements.

The New Cloud Application Design Paradigm
In traditional application design, you forecast how much infrastructure you need, then purchase that amount as a capital expenditure. While it's difficult to really predict how much resource you'll need to run an application, the amortized cost of the resource is consistent: It's the inexorable depreciation of the infrastructure, which never varies whether the resources are 100 percent loaded or runs without a bit of load.

How Xerox Evolved From Copier Company to Creative Powerhouse
How exactly does Xerox get creative about imagining new education products and services? There are a few crucial steps and ingredients, says Vandebroek. First, Xerox employs ethnographic researchers to go into the “field”--in this case, a classroom--to directly observe how teachers work and how they might work more efficiently. Second, Xerox engages in what Vandebroek calls “dreaming sessions” with its clients.

Performance Tuning with SQL Server Dynamic Management Views
Some DBAs are simply unaware of the depth and breadth of the information that is available from the DMvs, or how it might help them troubleshoot common issues. This book investigates all of the DMVs that are most frequently useful to the DBA in investigating query execution, index usage, session and transaction activity, disk IO, and how SQL Server is using or abusing the operating system. Secondly, the DMVs have a reputation of being difficult to use. In the process of exposing as much useful data as possible, sysprocesses has been de-normalized, and many new views and columns have been added.

Amazon Innovates With Its Business Model, Not Drones
The essence of business model innovation (BMI) is not a new concept. Indeed, creating disruptive new business models is at the heart of many entrepreneurial start-ups. However, in most large companies and corporations, business models take a back seat to brands. BMI should command more attention as business models, above products, services or brands, are the basis of competitive advantage in the 21st Century. The implications to this are significant.

Calculating the Median Value within a Partitioned Set Using T-SQL
I’m not sure exactly what got me to thinking about calculating the median in SQL, but it was long ago and I realized almost immediately that this could be quite a challenging assignment. SQL didn’t, at the time, have available any built-in functions for the purpose and I did find quite a few competing solutions out there but no clarity on the performance of the various methods. ... SQL 2012 now offers an analytic function called PERCENTILE_CONT that is capable of calculating the median within a partitioned set when it is passed an argument of 0.5 and the ordering within that set is specified.

Walgreens CFO tug of war between IT legacy systems and tech that could 'take us to glory'
We have other legacy systems that you could argue we need to update and refresh. But the problem with some of them is that they are so massive and so integrated that it is not even an issue of whether or not we can or should afford it; the issue is how do you do it and make sure that when you pull all these things apart and put them back together, it is going to work. But I think it is really forcing IT and finance and accounting to work together -- we're partners -- to really say what is the business case here and what value will it create and what are the milestones along the way?

Siccing MDM on personal mobile devices
The mitigation came in part from the fact that users need a domain account to connect to our corporate wireless access points. We don't advertise the SSID and we have a strong password that enables encryption. But the "security by obscurity" approach only goes so far, and it didn't take long for employees to spread the word about how to connect personally owned devices to the corporate Wi-Fi network.

ActiveJPA – Active Record Pattern for JPA
ActiveJPA is a Java implementation of Martin Fowler’s Active Record pattern over JPA. It wraps around JPA and provides useful abstractions to simplify data access. With ActiveJPA, models themselves act as a DAO and interact with the database without you having to write any additional code for the DAL. Since ActiveJPA uses the JPA spec, all ORM implementations (Hibernate, EclipseLink, OpenJPA, etc.) that implement JPA can be used with ActiveJPA.

Quote for the day:

"Who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity; who aims at mediocrity will be far short of it" -- Burmese saying

January 21, 2014

University lecturer reports bad news about your information governance program
The sad truth is that most information governance initiatives either fail or fall short. But there are some steps that companies can take to help increase the chances of success, according to Richard J. Self, a senior lecturer in informatics and business and information governance at the University of Derby in the U.K. SearchDataManagement caught up with Self in between sessions at the IBM Information on Demand conference. Self explained that achieving success with an information governance program means first getting buy-in from senior executives.

TempleOS: an educational tool for programming experiments
It's simple to understand, manipulate, and work within. In essence, it's an educational tool for programming experiments. Drawing a line onscreen in TempleOS and on the Commodore 64 is about as equally complex for the end user. It's barebones by design -- you have direct access to the hardware, and you can do what you like with it, within the limitations of the hardware. This is a laudable goal, and one solution to the complexity of programming modern computers that programmers, hardware designers, and educators are seeking to solve.

Automated penetration testing in the Microsoft stack with OWASP ZAP
"The OWASP Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP) is an easy to use integrated penetration testing tool for finding vulnerabilities in web applications.  It is designed to be used by people with a wide range of security experience and as such is ideal for developers and functional testers who are new to penetration testing as well as being a useful addition to an experienced pen testers toolbox."

Author Q&A: Patterns of Information Management
An “Information Centric Organization” drives its business on high quality and timely information that is aligned to its mission and goals. We have entered an era where information is now a key competitive resource, and those organizations focused on what they can do and learn with the information they have at hand are finding far greater success than those who do not have this focus. By making the management of information a strategic priority, and by developing systems and practices that nurture and exploit information to maximum effect, an “Information Centric Organization” can exploit analytics to spot new revenue opportunities, drive product innovation, identify patterns to reduce fraud, and mitigate risk.

The Big Data Edge for Hedge Funds
There are three major trends when it comes to big data. The first remains just information gathering. There’s a ton of information that is generated by everyone and basically everything is now tradable. There’s tradable news; there is information provided by Bloomberg, Reuters, and Dow Jones; and there are news feeds. There’s also the internet that is like a data mine of information -- there’s unlimited numbers of stuff. The number one trend is really to synthesize and gain an edge by having some custom understanding of how the news is incorporated into the market and be the first to synthesize the news from the global universe of news.

Enterprises facing shortage of cybersecurity experts: Cisco
According to the networking solutions major, overall vulnerability and threat levels reached their highest in 2013, ever since it began tracking in May 2000. Its 2014 Annual Security Report (ASR) reveals that 2013 was a "particularly bad year", with cumulative annual threat alert levels increasing by 14% since 2012. Organisations in India are also witnessing a huge growth in cyberattacks and intrusions and the country faces shortage of about 4 lakh trained cybersecurity professionals.

Appetite for disruption: Can Simple and the web reinvent banking?
The advent of Simple's ideology came from the idea that large banks have a revenue model that relies on customer confusion about hidden fees and money management. They decided to do away with fees and provide a solid customer service team to help make things as clear as possible for customers. Co-founder and CFO, Shamir Karkal, said the mission of Simple is, "to provide a banking experience to customers that helps them spend smarter and save more." So, how can Simple hope to compete in a land of giants?

Data Management Maturity Model points way to best practices
The DMM is being developed by the Enterprise Data Management Council, a group founded by financial services firms, to provide a way for organizations to assess where their data management programs stand on a five-level scale. The EDM council released an initial version of the model to its members in June 2012; updates have been made this year, and the group expects to release the DMM publicly in 2014 along with a self-assessment spreadsheet.

Pre-fabrication: A New Way of Architecting Data Centers
With business success relying heavily on an organization’s ability to connect with customers and provide services, data center downtime can not only be detrimental to an organization’s reputation, but can strain customer relationships and incur costs upwards of tens of thousands or millions of dollars. To avoid these problems, data center and facility managers should consider a recent innovation helping to mitigate these difficulties: pre-fabricated architecture. In contrast to traditional construction where components are installed separately onsite, pre-fabricated infrastructure is a pre-engineered, factory-integrated and pre-tested system of power, cooling and IT modules mounted on a skid or in an enclosure.

Risk and responsibility in a hyperconnected world: Implications for enterprises
There are multiple scenarios for how the cybersecurity environment could evolve over the next five to seven years. However, if attackers continue to get better more quickly than defenders, this could result in a world where a “cyberbacklash” decelerates digitization. In this scenario, a relatively small number of destructive attacks reduces trust in the economy, causing governments to impose new regulations and institutions to slow down the pace of technology innovation.

Quote for the day:

“You have to dig a well before you can draw water from it.” -- Richie Norton

January 20, 2014

SDN essentials: Why network orchestration and virtualization?
SDN orchestration tools have emerged from startup Anuta Networks and Alcatel-Lucent's Nuage Networks. These tools target cloud providers that need to automate the creation of network services for their customers, although each company attacks the problem in a different way. Anuta's solution focuses on working with the network infrastructure many providers already have in place, while Nuage introduces a distributed software router and overlay network to create multi-tenant friendly network containers.

The PoSh DBA - Reading and Filtering Errors
Both the SQL Server Error Log and the Event Viewer are designed to be used via their respective graphic user interface. This is fine for one or two servers, but painfully slow for the average DBA who has to read and filter information in many servers. Even when you’re focusing down on a problem with a single busy server, the added weight of the graphical tool in terms of resources can slow troubleshooting down considerably. It is very important in the day-to-day life of a DBA to have a mechanism to read and filter error messages quickly and unintrusively; a technique for "mining errors".

E-book: IAM for the Real World: Simplifying Complexity
The world of identity and access management (IAM) is one of constant change, shrinking deadlines, minuscule budgets, overtaxed staff and unmerciful regulations. Unfortunately, the historical approach to IAM involves piecing together “half solutions,” in hope that tomorrow’s solutions will address real-world needs. The e-book “IAM for the Real World: Simplifying Complexity” evaluates what IAM for the real world would, should and can look like. It delves into the most pressing IAM issues faced by virtually every organization and offers actionable, affordable and sustainable approaches to the IAM challenges you face.

The smartest cars may need 5G, Ericsson says
Connected to a 5G network, cars could warn drivers of an impending collision or even be guided through traffic automatically with no driver behind the wheel, Ewaldsson said. Demonstrations at CES showed off both of those types of capabilities. But making those kinds of services work would require guaranteed performance all the way from the cloud that runs the service to the car, and back again. "The networks that we have today have nowhere near that quality-of-service guarantee," Ewaldsson said.

Which mobile cloud approach is right for your company?
Most companies are still trying to find the appropriate mobile cloud computing strategy to make sure their employees are more productive and their data (and their customers' data) is secure. Doing so could mean that remote workers have a combination of mobile apps, remote access to other systems and secure email, for example. Business leaders and IT managers need to think about their enterprise architecture and how to make their employees more productive in the mobile era.

The 24 most exciting new gadgets coming soon
CES has come and gone: we now have a long list of new and notable products coming in 2014. What follows are the ones we're most looking forward to. Let's start by stating the obvious: in 2014, we're going to see a lot of "sequel" products building on the success -- or attempting to fix the shortfalls -- of their predecessors. We've broken out some of the more notable ones on the pages that follow. This story was originally published on January 1, 2014, and has been updated extensively with additional products announced at CES 2014.

Build big data adaptability through rapid experimentation
Adaptable organizations experiment rapidly with their offerings (products, services, and relationships) and build strong discovery capabilities. There's no better way to accelerate discovery than to embrace big data in your strategy -- the key is to attack this with purpose and vigor. To dramatically increase adaptability, you must build an organization that experiments in a big data fashion: with high volume, velocity, and variety.

What Executives Should Know About Open Data
Not all data that’s valuable is internal and proprietary. New initiatives by governments as diverse as those of the United States, Mexico, and Singapore are opening the spigots of readily usable public data. Corporate information too is becoming more “liquid,” moving across the economy as companies begin sharing data with their business partners and, sometimes, consumers. Also surging is the richness of the information from data aggregators, which are assembling, rendering anonymous, and selling (to interested third parties) a wide range of data flows.

Rapid Diffusion of New Technologies Stumps IT Managers
IT managers allowing these technologies to enter the workplace must also take into consideration wireless security. Currently, emerging technologies use either their own WiFi capability to connect to a network or Bluetooth to tether themselves to a tablet or smartphone to access the Internet via a 3G/4G network. There are several issues to consider; the first is using public, unsecured networks. As these devices become more widely deployed they will be a target for the cybercriminal community just like today’s mobile devices.

Considering Going Remote? Here’s What Managers Need to Know
Telecommuting comes with challenges. From a manager’s perspective, there can be security concerns about sensitive company data on a remote device. Remote employees can burn out more easily as they work longer than they would have if they were in the office, research shows. Working from home can also be isolating and lonely. “The worst part about being remote is the feeling of being disconnected. We always wonder if we’re doing OK, if we’re remembered, if we’re sufficiently connected to the home office,” said Scott Hanselman, a programmer at Microsoft who works remotely.

Quote for the day:

"Successful people make the right decisions early and manage those decisions daily." -- John Maxwell

January 19, 2014

The models of data stewardship: how to run a data governance program
In this video interview from the fall 2009 TDWI World Conference, Dyche, partner and co-founder of Baseline Consulting, and Nevala, a senior consultant at Baseline, give tips on how to manage data governance programs and detail what they've defined as the five models of data stewardship. In addition, they discuss the benefits that BI teams can get from data governance programs, the need to measure the success of governance initiatives and the importance of giving data stewards the authority and accountability that's required to succeed in that role.

The 5 Keys to Effective Vulnerability Assessment
The bad news here is that too many organizations are not taking care of the basics that they need to in order to secure their systems. The good news: there are many straightforward steps these organizations can take to dramatically improve the security of their systems. One of these steps is having an effective vulnerability risk management program. In fact, a vulnerability assessment to scan for and remedy security flaws and weak configurations within your infrastructure is one of the most effective things you can do to increase the security of your enterprise.

A Simple Model for Information Governance, Part 1 of 3
While both AIIM and ARMA cover the information portion of the topic well, they seem to struggle with bridging the discussion into “Governance.” Others, in the Governance, Risk Management and Compliance arena, make clear the linkage between “Governance” and risk management and compliance, but generally with little reference to “Information.” See OCEG’s “GRC Capability Model ‘Red Book’ 2.0.” (The current version, 2.1, doesn’t address this as well).

SQL Server Change Tracking: A Near Bullet-Proof ETL Solution (Part 1)
This multi-part series will concentrate primarily on the Extract portion of the data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) process using SQL Server Change Tracking (CT). The second part will concentrate more on design architecture with CT, and the last part also touch on the Translate and Load portions as well as a near-real world example using the AdventureWorks2012 database. This segment will introduce the concept of CT as well as provide a substantive demo (i.e., something better than a hello world example) of CT’s functionality.

Australian IT project failures spark new ICT governance standard
"The standard was prepared due to continuing failures of major IT projects to deliver expected value. The aim was to bring home the need for action from boards and senior business executives who are responsible for the overall governance of the organisation," said Standards Australia chief executive, Dr Bronwyn Evans. "If organisations want to obtain maximum value from their investment, governance of IT projects should not be left to the IT department alone."

Cloud computing faces a clear and present danger
The “war on terror” is a political reality for both Australia and the US, and business leaders clearly need to more broadly consider the risks involved in working with cloud service providers. Cloud services and offshoring style outsourcing arrangements can be a contractual minefield. They are made more complex when the provider is a multinational that operates infrastructure located in multiple legal jurisdictions. Contractual and legal complexities can clearly be simplified when services and infrastructure are located entirely in Australia, and provided by an Australian company.

Assessing Vulnerability, Strategy, and Cost
The pervasive use of virtualization, the consumerization of IT, and the adoption of Cloud solutions to support IT service delivery are drivers of "new infrastructure" innovation that require public sector technology managers to better identify and mitigate associated security risks. By leveraging a holistic approach to vulnerability, strategy and cost, IT managers can formulate sound plans and operative decisions relative to security and its management. This session will explore these considerations for new infrastructure, workforce mobility, and end-point application security.

Creating a SQL Server DBA's Library
DBAs - like any other information worker - creates, collects, shares and interacts with all different types of information to help him/her do their job. Some of these pieces of information may be needed repeatedly, some of the knowledge gathered over time may be better saved in a secure location. Some of the applications used should perhaps be available for everyone else in the team. This is the concept of a "DBA Library": it's not the library in traditional terms where you have books and journals stacked on your desk; rather it's a centralized and integrated repository of knowledge, information and applications for the DBA.

Obama unveils NSA reforms: 'Keep calm and carry on spying'
A senior White House official speaking to sister-site CBS News' Mark Knoller said the President wants to dance the delicate line between preserving the NSA's surveillance capabilities while addressing "privacy and civil liberties concerns." But Obama remained on the defensive, reiterating previous claims that the NSA was "not abusing authorities in order to listen to your private phone calls, or read your emails." Obama's comments will likely not appease everyone, considering the conflicting desires of the technology and telecoms industry, intelligence agencies, foreign diplomats and privacy advocates.

Minding the API Hierarchy of Needs with RAML and APIkit
The trend for the approach used in designing and building public APIs is towards a RESTful approach, and away from the SOAP web services approach, as shown by the following graph drawn from the directory of APIs within ProgrammableWeb.com. This trend also extends to the internal and partner APIs within the enterprise. ... Enter the RESTful API Modeling Language (RAML). As described on RAML.org, RAML “is a simple and succinct way of describing practically-RESTful APIs. It encourages reuse, enables discovery and pattern-sharing.”

Quote for the day:

"Do something. If it doesn't work, do something else. No idea is too crazy" -- Jim Hightower