June 11, 2015

Q&A: Nina Bjornstad, Country Manager For The UK And Ireland, Google For Work
The core shift has to be us taking those principles of how we interact with our mobile phones on a daily basis and bringing them into the work environment. Introducing a greater sense of play into what we can accomplish, just like we would with an app; or leveraging cloud platform technologies so that we are able to stand a service up, try it out, shut it back down if it's not impacting the business, or grow it further if it is. Businesses need to have their “wow” moment; their ability to have this sense of play and the ability for them to understand what type of consumer-level behaviour is actually possible to bring into the business environment today.

Cloud storage survey highlights security concerns
Cloud storage gateways are replacing and augmenting traditional file servers and tape storage, particularly in remote or branch offices (ROBO). One third of all organisations with more than 50 ROBOs have implemented on-premise cloud storage gateways that support both the private cloud and public cloud, and 27 per cent of all companies have implemented them. Enterprises are coming under pressure to establish contemporary cloud storage solutions that provide the visibility and control required to meet enterprise needs and industry regulations. In the more heavily regulated financial services, government and life sciences industries 42 per cent prefer a completely private cloud that does not rely on external hosted infrastructure, as do 40 per cent of organisations with 10,000 employees or more.

Redefining Loyalty Programs with Big Data and Hadoop
There’s no such thing as too much data when it comes to this sort of analytics work. Every business analyst and data scientist agrees that expanding the data for any given model will typically produce dramatic improvements in analysis. And that data will obviously come in a wide variety of formats—structured, semi-structured, and unstructured, big and small, near and real-time, as well as historical. Try to store it all in a traditional data warehouse, and you may wipe out all of the profits gained from segmentation. You will almost certainly have availability issues, and you will spend a lot of time waiting for IT to massage the data into a form that can be analyzed.

Dutch Cyber Security Council boosts focus on privacy
“The Netherlands aims at being an open, secure and economically promising digital society. A society that is innovative and entrepreneurial, but which is also strong enough to face the risks that go hand-in-hand with our great dependency on IT,” the council says in its 2015 briefing document. “The cyber world is a world full of unknown possibilities and opportunities, but there is also a darker side to it. “Our lives are becoming more comfortable and less tied to times and places, but our privacy is also coming under increasing pressure and cyber crime is on the increase as well. To continue to stimulate our prosperity and economy, cyber security is therefore of crucial importance,” the document says.

Cyber-Espionage Nightmare
It’s not a surprise that such systems are relatively easy to co-opt for nefarious purposes. Ideas for making the Internet more secure have been around for decades, and academic and government labs have churned out interesting proposals. ... “You don’t hear about rebuilding the Internet anymore,” says Greg Shannon, chief scientist at the CERT division of Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute. What’s a company to do? Wyatt tightened things at United Steelworkers; among other things, he now gives fewer employees so-called administrative privileges to their computers, and he searches the network for the telltale signs of communications by malware. But none of this would have prevented the intrusions. Wyatt says it “might have slowed them down.”

Under pressure: enterprises want better software, delivered faster and cheaper
Successful applications increasingly require greater technical complexity and sophistication -- 51 percent, for instance, believe that the mobile and web application user experience will become significantly more sophisticated in the next year. Enterprises expect these more sophisticated apps to be created over a shorter timeline without a corresponding increase in developer capacity. For example, 65 percent of companies successfully managing these processes say they need to release new features or bug fixes for their applications at least once a month. Another six percent are even pumping out new releases every other week. The proliferation of different devices also creates development and deployment challenges, the survey finds.

Ciena Builds Advanced Network for NOAA Environmental Research
The new network will enable NOAA to support bandwidth-intensive applications and programs such as the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite series R (GOES-R), and the next-generation national weather observation satellite program, which is working to advance weather and climate science and services. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans and coasts. Its N-Wave science network, initially founded via funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is a national spanning network that provides intra-NOAA connectivity, including communication and data transfer (5 Petabytes per month) between NOAA programs, line offices, research facilities and other scientific centers across CONUS, Alaska and Hawaii.

Predicting the next decade of tech
There's another complication in that CIOs increasingly don't control the budget dedicated to innovation, as this is handed onto other business units (such as marketing or digital) that are considered to have a more entrepreneurial outlook. CIOs tend to blame their boss's conservative attitude to risk as the biggest constraint in making riskier IT investments for innovation and growth. Although CIOs claim to be willing to take risks with IT investments, this attitude does not appear to match up with their current project portfolios. Another part of the problem is that it's very hard to measure the return on some of these technologies. Managers have been used to measuring the benefits of new technologies using a standard return-on-investment measure that tracks some very obvious costs -- headcount or spending on new hardware

IT continues to struggle to find software developers, data analysts
Part of the problem may lie with candidates' perceptions of a company's brand, says Tejal Parekh, HackerRank's vice president of marketing. "We work with a lot of customers in areas that aren't typically thought of as technology hotspots. For instance, in the finance sector we have customers facing a dearth of IT talent; they're all innovative companies with a strong technology focus, but candidates don't see them as such. They want to go to Facebook or Amazon," says Parekh. Another challenge lies with the expectations hiring companies have of their candidate pool, says Ravinskar. "There's also an unconscious bias issue with customers who sometimes limit themselves by not looking outside the traditional IT talent pool. They're only considering white, male talent from specific schools or specific geographic areas," says Ravinskar.

Managing Technology with CORE Strategy & Architectural C’s & P’s
What do you do to pursue the opportunities in an organization? In my opinion, these opportunities can be realized by taking four actions –Consolidate, Optimize, Refresh and Enable(CORE) on organization’s technology and system portfolios. These four opportunity vectors form the basis of a handy planning tool, which I call the CORE strategy. Inspired by Kim & Mauborgne [1]’s Four Actions Framework, the idea of CORE came from my experience as IT manager and architect. CORE is all about managing technologies, prioritizing IT spending and allocating resource on the basis of raising or creating capabilities (represented at right-hand side in the diagram), and reducing or eliminating cost & risk

Quote for the day:

"When you innovate, you've got to be prepared for everyone telling you you're nuts." -- Larry Ellison

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