May 01, 2014

First 100 Days As a CIO
“Formation of a proper IT organisational structure was my first challenge and priority... I was aware that without a competent team I would not be able to justify my role in the organisation,” says Jade “So, the first thing I did was to evaluate the existing IT team and according to the assessment, form a new structure by hiring / changing the roles of the existing team and surrendering some IT employees.” At this point, the focus was on the IT Infrastructure which was obsolete and not sufficiently equipped to meet the company’s ambitious growth projections. As a strategy, while deploying new infrastructure, Jade simultaneously began outsourcing activities that were part of the IT strategy.

Keeping the promise of wireless charging
"Without giving any specific names," Lachman said, "we are hearing from the companies whom we work with that on the integration side that the process electronics manufacturers have to go through to integrate wireless charging isn't viable. Their engineering costs have crossed the line of impossibility. ... Humavox is pitching its product on three sides: that it's simple to use, and therefore user friendly; it transfers energy more efficiently than magnetic induction charging; and it's low cost — handy given the electronics manufacturers that include wireless charging in the devices are unlikely to charge extra for the feature.

4 Ways to Overcome Age-Related Tension in the Office
Across all generations, a quarter of people admit to avoiding conflict with colleagues of a different age. If they did speak up, they spoke in generalities and danced around the real issues. We also found that younger generations hesitate to hold older generations accountable. On the other hand, older generations admitted to losing their temper more easily with more than one in four people saying they became frustrated, upset or angry during a difficult conversation. Most alarming, perhaps, is that Millennials -- who make up the majority of working America -- are the least confident in their ability to handle a difficult situation.

Metadata, Connection, and the Big Data Story
According to Marie Wallace, “the biggest piece of missing information isn’t the content itself, but the metadata that connects various pieces of content into a cohesive story.” What sort of metadata? Stephen Pulman refers to properties of the message (for example, whether it’s humorous, sincere, or likely fake) and of the author, such as sex, age, and maybe also influence and ideology, which “tell us how we should treat the content of the message, as well as being interesting in themselves.” As if expanding on Pulman’s thought, Marie Wallace asks, “if I don’t know the individual and the background behind her current communication, how can I really decide what her mood or intent is, and most importantly take effective action?”

Change the Game with APS and PolyBase
What is PolyBase, how does it work, and why is it such an important, innovative technology? Put simply - it’s the bridge to your business data. Why is it important? It is unique, innovative technology and it is available today in APS. PolyBase was created by the team at the Jim Gray Systems Lab, led by Dr David DeWitt. Dr DeWitt is a technical fellow at Microsoft (i.e. he is important) and he’s also been a PASS Summit key-note speaker for several years. If you’ve never seen any of his presentations then you should absolutely address that. They are all free to watch and are available now; including a great session on PolyBase.

MongoDB releases new version, aligns with Cloudera
While not ruling out integration with other prospective partners, it lays down the gauntlet that both popular platforms will commit to joint development. The announcement comes on the heels of MongoDB’s GA release of v2.6, which rewrote the platform’s query engine while delivering incremental enhancements aimed at scalability and security. The takeaway for enterprises is that two leading players in the NoSQL and Hadoop data platform spaces are teaming up, with the likely goal of delivering a de facto NoSQL/Hadoop integrated technology stack that will be equivalent to, and potentially compete with, the traditional database/enterprise data warehouse pairing that is common in large enterprise environments.

Where hybrid excels: Looking beyond scalability and flexibility in the cloud
Hybrid cloud models deliver the simplicity and flexibility companies expect from the cloud, while offering data protection solutions needed to quickly back up data without diminishing network performance. Since hybrid cloud rely upon a combination of on-premise environments and the cloud, and don’t solely depend on the Internet to transport data – like public or private clouds do – large scale backups and restores can be handled without saturating the network. This benefit not only keeps the network clear for business needs, but also leads to a significant cut in backup window time. To wit: Cobalt Iron, an adaptive cloud data protection service provider, helps clients backup resources on both on-premise and public cloud deployments.

Australian govt should harness outsourcing: Commission of Audit
"The Commission considers that the Government should appoint a highly credentialed business technology expert to oversee the new system design, working with experts from the Department of Human Services." The prospect of outsourcing the system was raised in the report, with the touted benefits of such a move being increased effectiveness, efficiency and lower cost. Any move in this direction would be complicated by the need to simplify the system, ensure the protection of citizen rights, and the quality of any requirements scoping, the report said. "Specialist outsourcing providers prefer high volume, low complexity stand-alone activities because they are generally low risk and can be managed relatively easily," it said.

Hackers Lurking in Vents and Soda Machines
Security experts say vendors are tempting targets for hackers because they tend to run older systems, like Microsoft’s Windows XP software. Also, security experts say these seemingly innocuous devices — videoconference equipment, thermostats, vending machines and printers — often are delivered with the security settings switched off by default. Once hackers have found a way in, the devices offer them a place to hide in plain sight. “The beauty is no one is looking there,” said George Kurtz, the chief executive of Crowdstrike, a security firm. “So it’s very easy for the adversary to hide in these places.”

Harnessing the power of the cloud
Cloud computing and mobile devices have untethered CPAs from their desks and desktops, allowing them to do work and access data on a virtually anytime, anywhere basis. ... The internet also brings danger. Security breaches such as those at Target and Nieman Marcus show how cybercriminals are ready to exploit weaknesses to gain access to confidential financial information CPAs leveraging the web for their business efforts need to be aware of the security concerns and protect themselves and their clients’ and companies’ data. To help CPAs navigate the technological seas, the JofA gathered three of the top experts in accounting technology for a round-table discussion of the most crucial tech issues facing the profession.

Quote for the day:

"Leaders keep their eyes on the horizon, not just on the bottom line." -- Warren G. Bennis

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