July 29, 2015

What you can learn from Nordstrom’s use of the cloud

“We’re trying to be a supportive team,” Homewood says. “We could give everyone in the company access to Amazon, but that would be like leaving a pile of car keys in a parking garage, but not knowing if anyone knows how to drive. Instead, we ask people to come to our team, explain what they’re trying to do, and then we work with them to define a path for using the cloud and start them down that journey.” Homewood calls the cloud team a “center of excellence” focused on cloud use within the company. This approach has a number of advantages. It allows the mobile team, the database team, and any other team that wants to use the cloud to focus on what they know best. Meanwhile, members of the cloud team are experts at using the cloud.

10 Real Techniques That will Help You Tackle Enterprise Mobility Security

A truly mobile enterprise is better designed to handle modern day opportunities as an organization. That’s why, any CIO you meet today is working on making productivity-on-the-go a reality by having everything business including email, documents, CRM and BI apps run on mobile. Yet, according to nearly every analyst study, security is the primary inhibitor to both enterprise mobility and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs. For example, according to the MobileIron’s user conference held earlier this year, 73 percent of CIOs say that while mobility is forging forward in all aspects of business, security loopholes, if ignored, will derail mobility within the enterprise.

IoT continuous deployment keeps software current

An agile approach often comes with the practice of continuous integration. Sometimes it involves so-called “squad teams,” these are small engineering teams that take full responsibility for a specific task from design, to implementation and test, final integration, test automation and a nightly test-and-build system. This results in new feature development, fully production tested and integrated, built into the final system on a regular period, which should be every 1 – 3 weeks. Perhaps some teams might already be using a continuous delivery approach, so for them the step to continuous deployment is to remove the manual step from production to deployment.

B-Schools Aren’t Bothering to Produce HR Experts

Understanding HR innovations and figuring out which ones are effective is, sadly, a low priority in the world of scholarship. That would never fly in marketing, operations research, or even accounting, where academics are all over new developments. In most companies, the HR staff is many times larger than the marketing department—yet while all leading B-schools have a marketing department, almost none have any HR-dedicated faculty at all. The lack of research interest in HR stems partly from carving up the topic into so many subfields. There are separate associations for labor economists, sociologists, and psychologists that look at the same problems, but these specialists don’t seem to be aware of one another’s efforts, let alone work together on solutions to our talent problems.

The PaaS Game Just Changed — HP Has Acquired Stackato from ActiveState

“Expanding our presence in the Cloud Foundry community is critical to our strategy of helping enterprises transition from traditional IT systems to a hybrid infrastructure,” reads a blog post from HP Senior Vice President for Helion Bill Hilf, published by HP Tuesday. “In 2014 alone, the Cloud Foundry community has seen a 36 percent increase in community contributions and more than 1,700 requests to improve functionality or implement bug fixes, and it is well-positioned to gain more influence. We’re at the forefront of open source innovation driven by a broad community. It’s where cloud is headed and what our customers want.”

Actian DataFlow, the Little Hadoop Engine That Could, But Probably Won’t

DataFlow was invented originally back in the early 2000’s for the multi-core revolution. As Moore’s Law started to slow down, a lot of hardware folks adapted to computer chips no longer getting faster at the same rate by putting in more and more chips. DataFlow was designed to automatically scale up at runtime to make best use of all those cores, without knowing ahead of time how many cores it was going to be running on. It’s power lay in a philosophy of “Create once, run many.” and leaving no hardware power behind. It squeezed power levels out of standard hardware that no one previously believed possible.

Lessons from the Digital Classroom

While most schools don’t have the type of technology AltSchool is developing, classrooms are increasingly filled with laptops and other digital teaching aids. This year U.S. elementary, middle, and high schools are expected to spend $4.7 billion on information technology. What is new is that many of the technologies are capturing expansive amounts of data, enough of it to search for meaningful patterns and insight into how students learn. The potential for that to be turned into profit is a big reason investors have increased funding of educational technology startups worldwide, from $1.6 billion in 2013 to $2.4 billion in 2014; they invested over $1 billion more in the first quarter of 2015, much of that in China.

State of IT Skills Quick Take

We’ve witnessed how important technology is for the success of businesses and its growing role in strategic priorities—nearly 9 in 10 U.S. IT and business executives echo that technology is important or very important to the success of their organization. As such, we expect continued demand for foundational IT skills (e.g. support, networking and security) in addition to the more emerging ones (e.g. cloud, mobility and big data), particularly as companies themselves span the tech adoption curve from the “innovators” to “late adopters". There are many influences to tech adoption to keep in mind, including industry, company size, business type and organizational support for professional development.

The Senate's Cybersecurity Bill Is in Trouble

There are currently two bills in the House that complement the Senate's cybersecurity legislation, but reconciling the House bills—and then squaring the result with the Senate version—may prove to be very difficult. The two House bills originated from different committees: One came from the House Homeland Security Committee, and the other from the House Intelligence Committee. Although they are similar in many ways, they differ on some key points, including on liability protection and privacy provisions. What's more, neither currently lines up with the legislation under consideration in the Senate, which trades fewer privacy protections for more security provisions.

Android Stagefright Vulnerability Puts 950M Devices at Risk

The Stagefright flaw opens vulnerabilities for devices running Android version 2.2 and up, according to Drake's findings. Most at risk are devices using Android Jelly Bean (versions 4.1 through 4.3.1), which covers about 11 percent of all Android devices, due to "inadequate exploit mitigations." "If 'Heartbleed' from the PC era sends chill down your spine, this is much worse," the Zimperium blog post noted. The targets for this attack can be anyone from prime ministers, ministers, executives of companies, security officers to IT managers and more, with the potential to spread like a virus."

Quote for the day:

"I've always tried to go a step past wherever people expected me to end up." -- Beverly Sills,

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