March 20, 2015

Tech Startups Weigh The Merits Of Austin Vs. Silicon Valley
It’s a far different story in Texas, where land is still cheap. The average price of a home in Austin is just $310,187. And with few land-use and zoning restrictions, homebuilders keep adding to the supply of homes, which keeps prices in check. “Our head scientist moved his whole family here from Cambridge, England,” says Murphy. “He could move here and get a house with a pool. I don’t think we could have gotten him to move to San Francisco.” Murphy was also worried about hiring and retaining top-notch employees in the Bay Area. With plenty of job openings for talented engineers and developers, the fight for good workers has created a kind of “revolving door”mentality among employees.

Transforming an Analog Company into a Digital Company: The Case of BBVA
The issue is not limited to handling an increasing volume of transactions and customer interactions. It crucially hinges on the huge amount of data collected in the course of customer contact, combined with the immense and rapidly increasing volume of information available on the internet, largely supplied by people’s social media activity and devices within the “Internet of Things.” We must capture, store and accurately process all that information to generate the knowledge to offer customers the best possible experience, even anticipating their needs and supporting them throughout their decision-making process. This is what I call “knowledge-driven banking,”

curl, 17 years old today
We’ve hosted parts of our project on servers run by the various companies I’ve worked for and we’ve been on and off various free services. Things come and go. Virtually nothing stays the same so we better just move with the rest of the world. These days we’re on github a lot. Who knows how long that will last… We have grown to support a ridiculous amount of protocols and curl can be built to run on virtually every modern operating system and CPU architecture. The list of helpful souls who have contributed to make curl into what it is now have grown at a steady pace all through the years and it now holds more than 1200 names.

The Increasing Cybersecurity Attack Surface
CISOs need to think about new security requirements based upon an old cybersecurity concept, the “attack surface.” In other words, the entire expanding internal and external IT infrastructure should be viewed as a holistic attack surface and addressed accordingly. So risks should be assessed across the complete attack surface while risk mitigation should include central policy management and security controls for distributed policy enforcement that cover the whole attack surface enchilada. This is critical because multi-dimensional threats will pivot from partner IT infrastructure to endpoint devices, to networks, to cloud-based sensitive data so policies and controls must cover the attack surface and the kill chain.

Making Your Own Servers Wasn’t Always Sexy
To be sure, Rackspace-designed Open Compute servers are not the only kind of hardware running in the company’s data centers. They support its public cloud and bare-metal services. Many of its other more traditional services (things like VMware virtual machines) run on traditional enterprise infrastructure. One reason is the legacy of cross-certification among incumbent vendors. If you want EMC, Oracle, and Cisco to cooperate with each other in supporting an enterprise IT environment running in your data center, that environment better consist of components the vendors have certified to work together.

Enterprise Architecture and Systems Thinking – by Ian Glossop
The pattern of interactions within the system, or between the system and its environment, may endure over time – which leads to ideas of structure in and between systems.  Or the interactions between components and systems may involve the fairly rapid movement of material, energy or information – which leads to ideas about system dynamics.  Hence the very simple, general notion of a “system”, with a proper definition, bootstraps or kickstarts a whole theoretical framework for looking at the world – or bits of the world labelled as “enterprises”. One key observation from this way or looking at the world: the real-world is full of thousands or millions of different systems and individual parts may be components in many systems concurrently.

Keep your Head in the Cloud!
No matter how non-IT-oriented you are, the word “cloud” has definitely reached your life, especially if you’ve got a share in business. Cloud services became an important tool for reaching such business goals ... Today, cloud vendors provide a wide range of services which are supposed to significantly save costs and provide unparalleled business value. However, how true is that? How to choose a right cloud vendor that really meets your business needs and won’t leave decision makers disillusioned?  Having clearly defined your company’s business goals, here are the most crucial factors for you to consider while choosing a cloud provider.

The evolving shape of distributed databases in the Internet of Things
At heart, a database remains an organized collection of data that represents a state of affairs in the subject domain as implemented through a consistent schematic model. Another way of expressing this is the notion that a database is a “global, shared, mutable state,” as discussed in this thought-provoking recent post by Martin Kleppmann. ... Most of these fundamentals haven’t changed in the intervening decades, though NoSQL databases with their emphasis on “eventually consistency” have pushed the transactionality bar into looser, less ACID-ic territory. With that in mind, I took great interest in Kleppmann’s discussion of “turning the database inside-out,” specifically with regard to his vision of the evolving database as an “always-growing collection of immutable facts.”

Is it time for CIOs to step up and rule the digital world?
Companies can't wait any longer, so perhaps it's time for a new kind of quarterback. Nearly three out of four brands either have a chief customer experience officer or plan to hire one this year, says IDC. By 2020, IDC predicts 60 percent of CIOs at global organizations will be supplanted by chief digital officers. In the Harvard Business Review, Scott Brinker says chief marketing technologists will become the connective tissue between marketing and IT. "If you don't have a [chief data officer], you've turned the kids loose on the playground of data, and they're going to do whatever they want," Dorman Bazzell, practice leader at Capgemini, told Computerworld. "There is going to have to be a role that manages all of the use of that data."

What startups can teach CIOs about IT funding
One approach CIOs can take is to ask their CEOs and CFOs the following question: "Is there anything that we're going to be doing at scale that doesn'tinvolve information technology?" The answer these days is almost certainly 'No,' she said, but it is still the CIO's responsibility to make the case why any project of scale will be better if it involves information technology. Pull out the IT project portfolio and make the CEO and CFO see how IT projects and initiatives are supporting their business strategy. However, simply spewing out IT project after IT project isn't enough, especially when it comes to convincing the CFO that IT is worth investing more money in. The case must be made about how these projects will pay off.

Quote for the day:

"Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It must bring sides together." -- Jesse Jackson

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