February 09, 2015

Banking industry is finally ripe for digital disruption
We are seeing the emergence of new, challenger banks based on digital technology, which do not suffer from the complex, legacy IT that the incumbents depend on. Also, banks find some of their services being cherry-picked by the new tech giants - payment services such as Apple Pay, for example, not to mention Paypal. Research suggests more of us will use smartphones to pay for things than credit or debit cards by 2020.  Some banks are responding, of course. Barclays is pushing hard on new mobile services, and even providing training in branches for children to learn coding. Santander is going further, and taking on the cloud suppliers at their own game, offering cloud storage to corporate clients.

What Are Legacy IT Systems Costing You?
“Old systems and these legacy systems can slow down government, and it takes a lot of time and money to keep them updated,” Hudgins told KING 5. Rough estimates show that replacing all legacy systems could cost between $568 million and $2.8 billion, according to a November 2014 report to the state Legislature. Modernizing the state’s 343 mission-critical legacy IT systems alone is projected to cost $485 million to $2.4 billion. The state’s classification of legacy systems is about more than age or the programming language used to write software code. Washington state’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) also considers whether a system can be easily updated, if there are adequate staff to support the system and whether the system poses security risks or made businesses processes more complex.

The Future of Commodity Systems in the Data Center
We’re at a very interesting point in time during the cloud infrastructure era. The modern data center continues to evolve from physical to virtual, numerous management stacks being abstracted into the logical, or virtual, layer. Is another data center evolution around the corner? Will new kinds of compute platforms allow for a more open data center model? We’ve already begun to see a shift in the way data centers provide services. A new kind of commodity architecture is making its way into the consumer, cloud provider, and even service provider data center.

Dependencies, Scrum of Scrums, and SAFe
That said, there’s no doubt in my mind that when the program-level people allocate plan components to teams, they’ll inject many more dependencies than are necessary, because they just can’t really know what the teams can do. In addition, many organizations have strange silos of specialization, and these cause dependencies that are often unnecessary. One example of that is the Database Administrator (DBA) function that many organizations have. No changes can be made to the company’s databases unless the DBA people approve. This can take ages, and if your DBAs are anything like the ones I’ve dealt with, some of them are really uncooperative bullies. Others, of course, are a delight to work with.

7 Workforce Management Trends That Will Impact IT in 2015
With 2015 well underway, it's time to start developing your workforce management strategies and plans for the coming year. We asked two experts in workforce management, The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and Robert Half Technology's Executive Director John Reed to discuss the biggest issues that will impact workforce management in 2015. From the effect minimum wage laws will have on your business to an IT hiring boom, here's what to expect.

Samsung SmartTV eavesdropping flap overblown
Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition. If you do not enable Voice Recognition, you will not be able to use interactive voice recognition features, although you may be able to control your TV using certain predefined voice commands.

Flash in the Data Center: Solid-state Drives For Enterprise Workloads
Flash enables and accelerates key data-center initiatives in database, analytics, cloud computing, and virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI)—all of them workloads requiring high performance and low latency. Today, vendors are addressing IT’s historical concerns about the cost and reliability of flash, but the changing economics of flash-enabled computing are still not widely known. Although individual SSDs still cost more than hard-disk drives (HDDs), the increase in IT efficiency reduces the overall operational cost of deployment and maintenance. In this environment, the decision to implement flash-enabled workloads rests on greater awareness of the impact that flash storage has on workload performance, IT efficiency, and operational costs.

What Is Your Next Big Thing In Technology And Innovation
The million dollar question, I wish I knew the answer to this one. The Internet has revolutionized the world in a way that only a handful of creations and collaborations has. What will be the products, ideas or services that will have an impact on the future and will change our lives? I’ve mentioned a few possibilities in this post. These are all promising, but my pick for what it will be? Decision Engineering, better decisions with the help of Big Data. I invite you to share your bold ideas. Aren’t we all supposed to have flying cars like the Jetsons by now?

Insights into the Testing and Release Processes for Chrome for iOS
Generally, there are a certain number of cases where a manual test is the only way forward, e.g., with specific types of users that have some rate limit, so tests cannot be executed too fast; or special enterprise account types that put restrictions on actions, etc. But manual testing is also used when no test cases have been automated yet for a given feature. This may happen with the introduction of new features, which get approved and enter the development process late. Sometimes, indeed, they get through the whole milestone without any automated tests having been written. Finally, there can also be features for which it is simply deemed not necessary to have automated tests, like the Chrome tab switcher feature.

Chief Innovation Officers: Do They Deliver?
What innovation officers really need, Goldsmith said, is the imprimatur of the governor or mayor to challenge the status quo up and down the bureaucratic ranks–even if it means stepping on some toes. “You need someone in the executive office – the governor or the mayor – to take on entrenched interests: the bureaucracy, the vendors, or labor, and chart a path to a better solution,” Goldsmith said. Tapping someone from outside government often works best. Some states and cities have created “entrepreneurs in residence” programs to attract successful people from the private sector willing to devote their time and creative juices to public service.

Quote for the day:

"Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.” -- Peter F. Drucker

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