August 20, 2014

Software-Defined Networking: Beyond the Hype
New and groundbreaking technologies tend to focus on innovation rather than practicality, so security is typically the last feature added to any new revolutionary piece of software. In other words, even though security is becoming increasingly important, it’s often prioritized later in the game. But with SDN making 75 percent of network and security configurations, the business risk for data breaches increases greatly without sufficient oversight. To curb this, you will have to be just as proactive and cautious about security as the admins working on legacy infrastructure.

5 Ways To Beat The Digital Disruption Curse
Rather than just focusing on collaboration efforts across IT (a la DevOps), look for opportunities to unify digital teams across lines-of-business. One manufacturer I know did this by forming a cross-business DevOps style team tasked with integrating proprietary plant equipment with ERP for more seamless stock replenishment. In this case, IT teams provided expertise in security and standards, while engineers guided app development and analytics -- a perfect digital business combo.

Google SSL Decision: IT's Chance To Be A Hero
Unlike past algorithm tweaks that focused on keyword relevance and metadata optimization, this change requires IT to get the business ahead of the game or at least keep it playing. In the interim between now and when the full effects of the new algorithm begin to have an impact on organizations your business has an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by ensuring it's SSL-enabled -- before the competition. Google's post gives seven specific steps to take. This change puts the ball squarely in IT's court. It is only within the bowels of IT that SSL can be enabled, whether implicitly on every application server that might deliver an app that will be affected, or explicitly via an SSL-enabled reverse proxy architecture.

IDG Survey – State of IT Cyber Defense Maturity
Download this IDG global survey report based on responses from over 1500 IT security professionals that sheds light on the state of cyber defense maturity. In addition to affording new incident and violation trends across industry and region, the results yield insights into IT security management capabilities, deficiencies and planned investments. Read it and see where your organization fits on the IT cyber defense maturity spectrum compared to your peers. The report delivers insights on: Network Complexity, Exposure; Diversity and Issue Velocity; and Challenging Security Management

The Next Battleground In The War Against Quantum Hacking
So in the cat and mouse game of information security, physicists have been fighting back by designing equipment that is more secure. Today, Nitin Jain at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany, and a few pals show how the changes still leave the equipment open to attack but at the same time reveal how the next generation of quantum cryptography could be made better. In quantum key distribution, Alice sends information to Bob encoded in the polarisation of single photons. So she might send a sequence of 0s and 1s as a series of photons polarised horizontally and vertically. Bob can then use this information as the key to a one-time pad for sending information with perfect security. Hence the name quantum key distribution.

Moving to the Cloud: 3 Data Integration Facts That Every Enterprise Should Understand
Overall, there seems to be two types of enterprises: First are the enterprises that get the value of data integration. They leverage the value of cloud-based systems, and do not create additional data silos. Second are the enterprises that build cloud-based data silos without a sound data integration strategy, and thus take a few steps backward, in terms of effectively leveraging enterprise data. There are facts about data integration that most in enterprise IT don’t yet understand, and the use of cloud-based resources actually makes things worse. The shame of it all is that, with a bit of work and some investment, the value should come back to the enterprises 10 to 20 times over.

Integrating R with production systems using an HTTP API
Today, two problems — one technical, and one organizational — create friction when trying to integrate R code into existing software applications. First, while R is a great language for analytical code, most enterprise software systems are written in more general purpose languages, such as Java, PHP, C#, C++, or even data pipeline tools such as Informatica or Microsoft’s SSIS. Invoking R code from these languages requires some non-trivial technical work, or translation to another language. This leads to the second problem: in most companies, software engineering teams are separate from analytics teams, so when analysts need engineering help, they are forced to compete against other priorities, or they must do their own engineering.

Data Governance: The Silent Hero to Achieving MDM Triumph
As the challenge to manage critical organizational data grows, businesses are increasingly embracing data governance strategies to protect the integrity of their valuable enterprise assets and to get the most from their master data management initiatives. Andrew White of Gartner recently blogged about the data governance challenge, saying, “In 2012 and 2013, a notable number of end users were struggling to embed the work of governance and stewardship in normal, day to day work of business users. Many firms are continuing to struggle with this. It is perhaps one of the major challenges of MDM and ANY information governance effort in this decade.” Designed to give control processes for data stewards and data custodians, data governance is more of a methodology than a tool.

3D Printing will Transform the Corporate IT Environment
The rise of 3D printing is likely to lead to the re-invention of many old products, as well as the introduction of extraordinary new innovations. Since these processes can print virtually anything that can be designed on a computer—thus eliminating the limitations posed by machine tools, stamping and moulding— engineers and designers will no longer be limited in their designs because of previous manufacturing technologies. In fact, the use of the technology has evolved beyond initial imagination with 3D printing technology being studied by biotechnology firms and academia for possible use in tissue engineering applications – in which organs and body parts are built using inkjet techniques.

PUE - the benevolent culprit in the datacentre
By some estimates, many datacentres are actually only using 10-15% of their electricity to power servers that are actually computing something. Companies should minimize costs and energy use, but nobody invests in a company solely based on how efficiently they move electricity. Datacentres are built and maintained for their computing capacity, and for the business work that can be done thereupon. I recommend correlating computing and power efficiency metrics with the amount of useful work and with customer or end user satisfaction metrics. When these factors are optimised in a continuous fashion, true optimization can be realised.

Quote for the day:

“True leaders bring out your personal best. They ignite your human potential”. -- John Paul Warren

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