July 10, 2015

The underexploited big data sweet spot for healthcare
"They want predictive analytics derived from big data that can help them to better understand consumer behaviors and patterns in their service areas so they can determine which of their services is most likely to be in demand for certain demographic segments," said Elson. This might mean determining if there are certain demographic profiles at high risk for diabetes that might need preventive or treatment care. In other cases, analytics can be employed to assist hospital personnel in keeping add-on revenues within the institution by measuring which doctors regularly make referrals out of network where these add-on revenues are lost — or even preventing costs by identifying patients who should be reached out to for preventive care, which in turn can lessen visits to the ER.

Can Converged Infrastructure Help IT Get Its Mojo Back?
The challenge is that by operating in infrastructure silos, traditional IT organizations typically can’t move with the same speed and agility as their more nimble cloud services counterparts. This lack of speed or responsiveness to real-time business demands has compelled many end users, particularly application developers, to seek alternatives in the cloud. With the swipe of a credit card, there is a virtually unlimited amount of server compute, storage and networking that can be instantaneously dialed up via the likes of AWS, Google, Azure, and Rackspace.  As a result, some IT organizations are being outmaneuvered, outflanked and in some instances, are perilously close to being put out of business by cloud service providers.

Storage systems on Agile
Hardware modifications often introduce timing alterations that can expose code bugs that had never been seen before. Hardware changes also take a longer time to instantiate (build into electronics). This can be worked around by using hardware simulators but timing is often not the same as the real hardware and it can take 10X to 100X more real-time to execute simple operations. Nonetheless, new hardware typically takes weeks to months to debug and this can be especially hard if the software is changing as well. Similar to hardware concerns, OS or host storage protocol changes (say from NFSv3 to NFSv4) would take a lot more testing/debugging to get right. So it helps if the hardware doesn’t change, the OS doesn’t change and the host IO protocol doesn’t change when your using Agile to develop storage software.

Global Cooperation and Cybersecurity: A Q&A with Bruce McConnell
The three elements of risk are threats, vulnerability and consequences. A lot of what needs to be done is to reduce vulnerability. Part of what EWI is working on is promoting the availability of more secure information and communications in technology so that buyers and users can start with an infrastructure that is actually defensible as opposed to the infrastructure we have today which is very difficult to defend. We figure that, yes, there are threats, and yes, there are potential consequences, but one of the places that we need more work in particular is reducing vulnerabilities.

Mobile payments come of age
As CIOs and IT executives, it is clearly time to embrace these technologies whether they are embedded in payments-related applications or others more relevant to your enterprise and/or industry. Most of these technologies have reached critical mass, and some are even mainstream at this point. The more we as an IT community understand the capabilities and constraints of these mobile payments technologies, the more effectively we can integrate them and the more useful, reliable, trustworthy and convenient mobile device technology-enabled payments will become.

What Chicago’s New ‘Cloud Tax’ May Mean for Service Providers
The tax issue is going to increasingly come on the radar as governments look to recover the dwindling tax revenue from brick-and-mortar businesses, he said. Shih also noted a particular implementation problem in defining what qualifies. “The impact on infrastructure service providers starts with how regional and local governments are going to pinpointresidency,” he said. “Is the tax applicable when a server is hosted in a given jurisdiction or is it where the customer logs in from? Or is the residency of the consumer the determining factor? Providers hosting retail sites are going to have to be knowledgeable about these issues when helping online retailers set up their web presence.”

IT departments may be losing their bad reputation
A new survey strongly suggests that most business users are generally pleased with their IT departments, with eight out of 10 survey respondents viewing their relationship with IT as either positive or neutral. "Business units tend to view IT as a valuable partner rather than a hindrance," according to CompTIA, an industry group which produced the report. It found that 52% of business managers reported having a "good relationship" with IT. The survey gathered data collected online from 275 business professionals and 375 technology professionals, and included some interviews as well. The survey asked a series of statements to assess the relationship of business managers with IT. A more neutral view included an affirmative response to the statement that IT "plays a critical support role."

Worldwide cybersecurity market continues its upward trend
The worldwide cybersecurity market continues to grow and grow as defined by market sizing estimates that range from $75 billion in 2015 to $170 billion by 2020. ... What explains the continual growth on cybersecurity spending? Cybercrime. According to Lloyd's of London, cybercrime is costing businesses up to $400 billion annually. As cybercrime rises, corporations and governments increase spending to defend and protect their digital networks and assets. ... Cybercrime is also fueling demand for cyber insurance, a market that is growing alongside cybersecurity products and services. Last year, the insurance industry generated about $2.5 billion in premiums on policies to protect companies from losses as a result of cyber-attacks.

Practices for DevOps and Continuous Delivery
DevOps is an attempt to break the barrier between Development and Operations teams. They are both required for the successful delivery of software, but have been traditionally split into separate organizational silos with competing goals. While developers are responsible for delivering new features and responding to change, operations have to keep everything running smoothly and avoiding change is one way to reduce risk. DevOps is focused on automation and measurement as a way to reduce the risk and collect data to improve the delivery process, but it’s a lot more than using a new tool. It’s about people from different backgrounds collaborating to enable fast and reliable software releases.

OpenSSL bug serious – but no Heartbleed, say experts
“While this may not be a remote code execution bug, it is still pretty severe, as it completely removes the protections that people use OpenSSL. Users of affected versions of OpenSSl should upgrade to 1.0.1p or 1.0.2d as soon as possible,” he said. Thomas added that anyone still using OpenSSL versions 1.0.0 and 0.9.8 should note that support for these versions – including security updates – will stop at the end of 2015. Kevin Bocek, vice-president of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi, warned that bad actors have learned that enterprises are blindly trusting certificate authorities. “This means, that often the easiest, fastest and most effective way to inject malware onto corporate networks is by signing the malware with compromised or stolen digital certificates,” he said.

Quote for the day:

“To be successful, innovation is not just about value creation, but value capture.” -- Jay Samit

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