June 26, 2015

The Wait-for-Google-to-Do-It Strategy
When it comes to the current state of innovation and the economy, the implications of Google Fiber are complicated. On the one hand, it is a testament to the power of competition. Google’s willingness to invest the money in a new network threatened cable and telecommunications companies’ dominance, and took customers away from them. That shifted the economic calculus. It’s no coincidence that the cities and regions where cable companies first announced they were building fiber, and offering high-speed connections at affordable prices, have been the places where Google Fiber either is or is going. At the same time, though, it’s depressing that ensuring competitive broadband markets required the intervention of an outsider like Google.

Are you suffering from a cloud hangover?
Recent research from Sungard Availability Services found that the hangover is costing European businesses an average of more than £2 billion; with the overwhelming majority of businesses (81%) in the UK, Ireland, France and Sweden having encountered some form of unplanned cloud spending. Not only is each organisation within these countries paying an average of £240,000 per year to ensure cloud services run effectively, but they have also spent an additional £320,000 over the last five years thanks to unforeseen costs such as people, internal maintenance and systems integration. And despite being hyped as a way to reduce IT complexity, many early adopters of the cloud (43%) have found that the complexity of their IT estate has in fact increased since their initial cloud investment.

Why datacentre zero is an impossible dream, even with help from the cloud
Rob Fraser, CTO for cloud services at Microsoft UK, agrees with the assessment that eventually the price of cloud services will fall to a point where it becomes near impossible for firms to compete with the public cloud on computing cost. "Fundamentally, from an economic point of view, there must come a point at which the cost per unit of compute, unit of storage, unit of analysis becomes hard to compete with the scale of public cloud. Economically look at all the forces of commoditisation and that point will have to occur," he said. But to believe that businesses will move wholesale to the cloud on the basis of cost alone, he said, is to ignore a swathe of issues beyond price. "There are still going to be hugely valid reasons why on-premise infrastructure needs to run its own level of scale, even if it might be more pricey, because of other issues around the business."

How CISOs can create security KPIs and KRIs
"If I don't know what you're doing, how can I help you? I'm going to make some assumptions about what you're doing and I could be completely wrong," Durbin says. "Security guys are always talking about cost. If we realign this, the security guys can now go to the business and say, 'look, if this is what is important to you, this is the role I can play in helping you protect that, but I don't have the funding for a variety of reasons.' The business can then make the call as to whether to find the funding for that problem. It's no longer the security guy's problem, it's the business's problem."

Commodity Data Center Storage: Building Your Own
New architectures focusing on hyperscale and hyper-convergence allow you to directly abstract all storage and let you manage it at the virtual layer. These new virtual controllers can reside as a virtual machine on a number of different hypervisors. From there, it acts as an enterprise storage controller spanning your data center and the cloud. This kind of hyper-converged virtual storage architecture delivers pretty much all of the enterprise-grade storage features out there including dedup, caching, cloning, thin provisioning, file replication, encryption, HA, and DRBC. Furthermore, REST APIs can directly integrate with proprietary or open source cloud infrastructure management systems.

Red Hat builds on its open source storage portfolio
This is the first version of the software that does not require RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks) technologies to ensure data integrity, meaning organizations could save on storage hardware by as much as 75 percent, given they would not have to buy the additional storage to make duplicate copies of the data. Gluster can now also guard against bit rot, or the gradual decay of files on disk that can, over time, render them impossible to read. Gluster can now also take the place of hierarchical management systems (HSM), which offload old or less consulted data to less costly, slower storage systems. Gluster now offers operators fine-grain control of where to store data.

Don't be afraid to give your strategic goals a tuneup
As is often the case with startups, strategic goals and objectives will change based on reasons such as changes in technology, desires and directions of customers' needs -- or just a shift in the end-game vision itself. For us, our long-term strategic goals were to provide our customers with a host of offerings that effect a total digital transformation. Yet with our current and growing client list, we were not landing the larger jobs that fit in to this end-state. Instead, we were working on many tactical projects related to Web presence redesign and re-definition (modernization) and customer engagement. What my astute business partner had realized was that our corporate messaging was saying one thing, yet what our new clients needed was something a little closer to the ground.

Computers Are Getting a Dose of Common Sense
Making computers better at understanding everyday language could have significant implications for companies such as Facebook. It could provide a much easier way for users to find or filter information, allowing them to enter requests written as normal sentences. It could also enable Facebook to glean meaning from the information its users post on their pages and those of their friends. This could offer a powerful way to recommend information, or to place ads alongside content more thoughtfully. The work is a sign of ongoing progress toward giving machines better language skills. Much of this work now revolves around an approach known as deep learning, which involves feeding vast amounts of data into a system that performs a series of calculations to help identify abstract features in, say, an image or an audio file.

Who is responsible for digital leadership in the boardroom?
Soon, every member of the C-suite will need to be leading digital. ... there needs to be a concerted effort to raise the digital IQ of the whole senior leadership team which, in turn, will ensure the broader organisation appreciates emerging digital opportunities and imperatives. Developing and, where necessary, recruiting digital talent across the functions will also be required to shape and deliver the desired transformation agenda. The alternative is not attractive. There are still too many firms where the status quo prevails – an enterprise IT organisation that is disconnected from or can’t keep up with emerging digital business activities, a C-suite where “technology is not my job” attitudes are still deemed acceptable, and isolated pockets of digital activity in marketing, engineering and elsewhere that have yet to coalesce into a real digital strategy.

The Rise and Risk of BYOD (INFOGRAPHIC)
The BYOD trend presents its own concerns when it comes to protecting confidential workplace data. As the trend continues to gain steam, CIOs and IT departments are faced with a whole different set of variables due to the variety of devices and the relative level of security that comes with each device. The push to be able to your own mobile device to work is also a push to house personal information and apps alongside company data. It can be a risky endeavor. Although convenient, the conglomeration of data in this way is like a treasure trove for potential thieves.

Quote for the day:

"To do one must set goals; to set goals one must have a dream; to dream one must have an opportunity." -- ‏@Orrin_Woodward

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