March 24, 2014

Outdated mainframes putting businesses in debt
"The challenge for CIOs is keeping up with the accelerating pace of business and so they do need to actually introduce a lot more capabilities into the core system," he said. "For example, places like Korea uses mobiles to make touch payments via credit cards without any pin and in order for that to happen, core systems had to be changed. The modernisation of these things is more important at this point than just looking at the pure cost." Another key research finding was that 31 percent of current mainframe applications are accessible via the cloud, with this figure expected to rise to 41 percent in two years.

WebRTC standard is unfinished but enterprises are ready to adopt
Testing out the more recent browser-based communication technology gave McFarlane and his team the confidence that WebRTC was a viable option, and Twilio helped LiveOps achieve browser-based telephony quickly. "As of 2013, we were completely enabled for WebRTC," he said. The best part about the WebRTC standard lies in the fact that it's not a proprietary technology, he said. While Twilio is currently the sole provider of WebRTC for LiveOps, that doesn't always have to be the case down the road. "It's really big on the hype cycle, but I think the hype is worthwhile at this point," he said.

It's good business to let your business go social
Technology is the enabler of a social enterprise, but culture is its core. IBM uses the term “work-life integration” rather than “work-life balance” because the reality is for our people – and specifically people entering our work force – the lines between “work” and “non-work” are blurry. Team members are accustomed to continuous sharing of ideas on social platforms and often those ideas are related to a work project or a work relationship. If someone needs flexibility during traditional working hours to attend to a personal matter, as a leader you have to trust that that person will provide full value at other times during the day.

Microsoft to review policies after admitting it searched customer email
Court filings revealed that Microsoft's internal investigation involved searching through the French blogger's Hotmail account where it found emails from Kibkalo. Hotmail has since been rebranded as ... Microsoft also searched through Kibkalo's instant messaging conversations and his account with SkyDrive, the company's cloud file hosting service that's now called OneDrive. While it appears that the terms of service for Microsoft's online services allows the company to access users' content "to protect the rights and property of Microsoft," among other things, the incident drew criticism from privacy advocates and other users on social media.

NSA hacked into servers at Huawei headquarters, reports say
The NSA "pried its way" into Huawei servers at the company's headquarters in Shenzhen, China, according to an online report in The New York Times Saturday. The operation, code-named "Shotgiant," was to try to establish long-suspected links between Huawei and the PLA, and also to plant backdoors on Huawei equipment sold worldwide, according to the Times. Among the information cited by newspaper was a 2010 document detailing Shotgiant operations. However, covert operations against Huawei go as far back as 2007, The New York Times report said. The NSA also monitored communications of Huawei executives, the report said.

IBM's Anti-Fraud Push Strikes a Chord with Banks
Banks are said to need such products to sift through vast repositories of data and get the left hand of their large operations, say the anti-fraud group, to compare notes about suspicious activity with the right hand, perhaps the anti-money-laundering team, in order to catch the bad guys. In the same way, IBM executives have to make sure their products do a good job of talking with each other to be effective. If such anti-fraud technologies "aren't connected and in sync with each other, that creates gaps for the fraudsters to cut through," says Richard Hoehne, global counterfraud and financial crimes leader at IBM.

Dell Acquires StatSoft
The acquisition of StatSoft bolsters Dell Software’s growing portfolio of information management solutions, while further enhancing the company’s open approach to data management. StatSoft adds advanced analytics to a robust set of software capabilities that includes database management and optimization, application and data integration, and big data analytics, all underpinned by Dell’s myriad software, storage, server and services offerings and industry relationships.

How a digital Cold War with Russia could threaten the IT industry
While the European Union has imposed similar travel bans and asset freezes of key Russian individuals, political realities will likely stop them from imposing wider-range sanctions like those the US is threatening, due to their heavy reliance on Russian natural gas. While the United States, unlike Europe, is not a major consumer of Russian gas exports, it would be simplistic to say that Russia has no impact on US business at all. A full-on Cold War with Russia and imposition of the kind of wide-ranging sanctions that we currently impose on Iran and other hostile states would actually have a real and costly impact on the technology industry, should the situation degrade further.

Government open data proves a treasure trove for savvy businesses
Hoping to capitalize on this open data revolution, IT leaders are taking the lead in discovering the value of converting terabytes of data into new revenue streams. Forget about the open-source movement's clarion call for free software, greater collaboration and anti-establishment bootstrapping. Today's open data trend is driven by a desire for both greater government transparency and a fatter bottom line. And as more and more techies clamor for a seat at the table, they're finding that the era of open data represents a prime opportunity to prove that they're indispensable revenue-generators, not just server-room sages.

Career Watch: The rise of people architecture
For employers, people architecture can mean improved individual and team performance and more predictable execution, more consistent availability and quality of skills and workers, higher utilization rates, and optimized resource supply/demand management. For IT professionals, it can mean more tangible career paths, more useful feedback on how they fit into the overall IT and business mission, and less confusion about job options. And we hear stories about better morale.

Quote for the day:

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up." -- Thomas Edison

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