June 05, 2014

CIOs should 'leave innovation to marketing'
“Because technology and digitisation are so important, we will see more and more innovative ideas come from other parts of the business,” said CEB managing director Andrew Horne. “The idea that CIOs and chief digital officers will be the source of innovation does not make sense.” If the CEB is right, the role of the CIO will refocus on the less glamorous tasks of managing the IT infrastructure, while leaving innovation to other parts of the business. “One way of looking at it is that IT looks less exciting than it has in the past,” Horne said in an interview with Computer Weekly.

Geeks Versus Jocks: CIOs, Beware Your Culture
"Put simply, Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity, and it's hard to address these kinds of challenges if you're not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts." It isn't only about racial or gender diversity -- obviously, there are geeks of every gender and race. And it isn't that geeks are bad -- they're delightful (and I count myself among them, and I even write a weekly column dedicated to them). The issue is homogeneity. As Dougherty pointed out concerning jock culture, a single-minded culture destroys conversation, engagement, and innovation, and it sublimates the minority voices (of all types) in your company.

CISOs Look to Hire White Hat Hackers to Head Off Security Breaches
"One of the things I've noticed is the escalating need for security pros at all levels, especially in the last few years," Conrad says. "When the Web was young, security was a secondary priority, but as unscrupulous people found ways to exploit vulnerabilities, it moved quickly to the top of the list, and it has stayed there," he says. However, while the demand for highly skilled security pros hasn't lessened, the available talent pool has, especially among specialized talent like vulnerability testers, penetration testers and white-hat hackers, he says.

Turn to in-memory processing when performance matters
When an entire structured database needs to be repetitively queried -- as in many kinds of data exploration, mining and analysis -- it is beneficial to host the whole database in memory. Columnar analytical databases designed for business intelligence (BI) have optimized data storage formats, although often in some partially compressed state less suitable for high-volume transactional work. In the race to produce faster analytical insights, suitable in-memory options are evolving.

Data Discovery Is Not Business Intelligence
Data discovery is related to business intelligence but it is not the same task. Business intelligence is about a set of report templates that are standardized and repeatable. Even the ad hoc section of a business intelligence platform is run against a carefully constructed data set where users can seek answers to pre-defined questions. Data discovery is much more free form. Many times data discovery users don't actually know what questions they need to ask. Even if they did, users will often find something that will make them say, "Huh. That's interesting."  In data discovery, users can use their initial question as a springboard into further free form analysis. This free form analysis and data discovery provides an opportunity for a user to have a conversation with the data.

Big data creates storage security headaches for CISOs
As principal analyst, Brian Lowans puts it: "Businesses have traditionally managed data within structured and unstructured silos, driven by inherent requirements to deploy relational database management systems, file storage systems and unstructured file shares."  The arrival of big data and cloud storage environments is transforming the way in which data is stored, accessed and processed so chief information security officers (CISO) need to develop a data-centric security approach themselves. "Unfortunately this is not common practice today," Lowans said. Access to public cloud services and infrastructure further complicates this process due to the potential access by cloud service providers and security vendors, said Lowans.

Regaining the technology high ground – one blog post at a time
There is naivety though. People still don't really understand what it takes to keep big, complex systems going or to manage large-scale change. They are quick to point the finger of blame when things go wrong, or complain about not keeping up with the latest cool toys, but don't always appreciate what it takes to do that in the real world.  In the face of these challenges, those in charge of enterprise technology are losing influence. IT staff are not seen as the world's enablers. Their skills are becoming less valued. Their influence in their organisations is diminishing. Rebranding doesn't help. Most people don't know the difference between a CTO and a CIO.

SSL After The Heartbleed
SSL is used today for encrypting communications sessions on the Web via websites, virtual private network, email, and instant messaging sessions. But most websites today do not use SSL -- or HTTP-S -- save for high-profile ones that include financial transactions or other sensitive traffic such as banks and retailers, for example. There are an estimated 3.3 million to 4 million SSL digital certificates in circulation on the public-facing Internet, according to a University of Michigan report. Cost isn't a major hurdle for adopting SSL, experts say. Computing power isn't as expensive as it once was, and SSL isn't that much pricier than pure HTTP: it costs about $150 per year or less for an SSL certificate, says Michael Klieman, senior director of product management at Symantec.

Don't make these virtual server management mistakes
While a virtual environment seems simple, it is an incredibly complex system to install, configure and manage. In a perfect world, we never see beyond that magic curtain because nothing ever goes wrong. Last I checked, we are not in a perfect world and things do go wrong, which means someone has to fix it. The technicians have to work with consultants and the vendor to find out what happened, a process where the more you know about what is behind the scenes, the better. It does not mean you have to be able to fix the issue yourself, but the ability to properly communicate the issue can become one of the key steps in getting your systems back online.

How Will the New Indian Government Impact Tech?
India’s IT industry is valued at more than $100 billion now. It took the industry 15 years to reach this milestone. But now, with Modi leading the show, the industry is expected to reach the $200 billion milestone within the next five years. One key factor behind this is of course the improving global economic outlook. But the real fuel is going to come from within. With increased investments in infrastructure, agriculture, water management, energy generation, eGovernance, health and education, there are going to be a lot more domestic jobs for tech players of all sizes. So there’s every possibility that while businesses will be trying to get jobs from the international market, the focus is going to shift to getting domestic projects.

Quote for the day:

"The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others" -- Gandhi

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