November 18, 2014

CIO interview: Anna Barsby, CIO, Halfords
“There’s complexity running a programme and upgrading SAP, which is pretty much at the heart of our system estate,” she says. “And it was our first move into the cloud at the same time,” she adds. “Going into the cloud with anything has its unknowns, but with SAP as our first foray it just felt risky.” “Culture was a really big one for us,” she says. “Once agreed on HP, we decided we also wanted to move from a physical server to the cloud.” Barsby says while the move to the cloud increased risk, the retailer only needed one period of downtime to complete the upgrade.

Testing Strategies in a Microservice Architecture
There has been a shift in service based architectures over the last few years towards smaller, more focussed "micro" services. There are many benefits with this approach such as the ability to independently deploy, scale and maintain each component and parallelize development across multiple teams. However, once these additional network partitions have been introduced, the testing strategies that applied for monolithic in process applications need to be reconsidered. Here, we plan to discuss a number of approaches for managing the additional testing complexity of multiple independently deployable components as well as how to have tests and the application remain correct despite having multiple teams each acting as guardians for different services.

Mega Data Breaches: Are They Here to Stay?
Current security solutions either do not have the capabilities to aggregate, analyze and correlate information from multiple sources, or cannot scale and handle the volume of data generated by the activities over a period of time. The greatest area of unmet need with conventional security solutions is effective, targeted attack prevention and breach detection. Organizations are failing at early breach detection, with more than 92% of breaches detected and notified by a third party—this is what ultimately impacts the size and cost of the data breach.

Cloud computing's not-so-secret mission
As the cloud matures, we are seeing another layer of cloud computing that promises to shake the foundation of our IT infrastructure to its core – the advent of IT-as-a-Service, which will be perhaps the cloud’s highest calling. Initially, many thought of the cloud as the successor to the web host. The next-gen data center. As someone who first became involved in web hosting in 1995 or so, I will admit that I thought that as well. The cloud is a great place to keep your web infrastructure, and it is even great to keep your apps and app infrastructure. However, the cloud is also a great place to which you can move your entire IT infrastructure as well. It took a little longer than moving websites or even apps to the cloud, but IT in the cloud has arrived.

9 Healthcare Innovations Driven By Open Data
Vinod Khosla, a leading tech venture capitalist and the former CEO of Sun Microsystems, sees the change as inevitable. He described his vision in a keynote at this past June's Health Datapalooza, an annual celebration of new developments in data-driven healthcare. Khosla predicted that "data science will do more for medicine than all the biological sciences combined" over the next two decades. One driver, he believes, will be the need to reduce medical errors by using computers for more accurate case monitoring than humans can accomplish. These new advances are made possible by two related categories of data: big data and open data.

Five winning strategies of successful CIOs
Whether CIOs are being asked to deliver or transform, Marks says they will always have to consider a digital element. Data centres, he says, are being transformed, while mobility has become crucial and software is being delivered as a service by default. "The new digital value lies in the CIO's ability to match the best combination of technologies and to negotiate the right deal for all parties,” says Marks. “Whether the CIOs of today have the experience, skills, and motivation to achieve this combination is a different matter. This is perhaps the more daunting challenge for the CIO than the march, and possibly passing trend, of the chief digital officer.”

Determining data value to reduce cloud storage risks
The value of data deals with the utility of data. Data utility requires evaluation for the value of the content in the present, along with the potential value of that same data content in the future. A useful analogy might be to consider an old photograph taken of a subject in his younger days and showing him wearing the styles of that era. At the time the picture was taken, the image provided no offense to the subject. However, the same picture many years later might cause the subject to cringe at the fashion it displays. Now consider that instead of an old, funny picture, business or personal data is on display.

CIO success is all about winning friends and influencing people
The general consensus is that these pillars of technology are last year’s news, because CIOs today should be thinking about the concepts and technologies that sound a bit left field – such as how 3D printing and the internet of things (IoT) could influence the organisations they work in. One of the keynote sessions at this year's Gartner Symposium in Barcelona was a "fire-side" chat with Oliver Bussman, CIO of UBS. During the interview, Bussman was asked about the challenges facing the banking sector. "Digital disruption has arrived in banking," he said.

More users will hire criminals to fight cyber crime
The idea of using the skills of people that were once on the wrong side of the law is one that is taking hold in a rising number of companies, according to findings from KPMG. The firm found that over half of UK firms would consider hiring a hacker or someone with a criminal record in order to improve their own defences and stay ahead of the criminals. The reason why many would recruit former criminals is because the overwhelming number (74%) recognise there is a growing cyber threat and they are struggling, in the cases of 57%, to get hold of specialised staff and then keep them.

Cisco hands over security analytics framework to open source development
Announced in a blog post on Monday, the San Jose, CA-based company said Opensoc, a framework that uses big data analytics to detect threats, is now available for businesses to integrate within their own systems. ... The OpenSOC framework integrates elements of the Hadoop ecosystem, including Storm, Kafka, and Elasticsearch. According to the firm, this means OpenSOC is capable of full-packet capture indexing, storage, data enrichment, stream processing, batch processing, real-time search, and telemetry aggregation, and also provides a platform that can "effectively enable security analysts to rapidly detect and respond to advanced security threats."

Quote for the day:

"Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are." -- Malcolm Forbes

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