August 24, 2015

Shifting to DevOps? Put your ducks in a row first

Historically, trying to measure "software quality" has been tricky because we've tried to measure attributes of the code, and the team delivering the code was not actually responsible for providing the ultimate customer-facing service. Personally, I think the only metrics that really matter are those related to the "consumer experience" of the system: percentage of successful API calls responded to in a reasonable amount of time, number of customer purchase transactions, number of applications successfully processed, etc. Of course, it's only fair to start measuring a team on these metrics if the team has a reasonable degree of influence on them. So, to some extent, this approach implies "DevOps" or "product teams" or whatever we want to call them.

Inside-Out versus Outside-In

The disruptive technologies of cloud-based applications, delivered through browsers and apps to a variety of devices, are all part of the external environment and linked to the role of front office. New business models are focused on taking these external capabilities and redefining how to find, win and deliver new forms of competitive offerings. Front office environments are focused on people who create value through external interactions to win and deliver business, people working Outside-In. This is unlike the back office where the focus is on process removing people and cost. Outside-In technologies enable the people in the front office to find and share the resource they need to improve their performance within these new business models. “The Future of Work” is a term used to describe the manner in which these new technologies are deployed in new optimal ways.

Big Data is Driving Health Care

In conjunction with mobility, big data is changing the way patients engage with their doctors and experience their treatment. Research has found that three out of five patients would choose telehealth visits over in-person appointments for minor check-ups and follow-ups. In PwC’s survey, more than 50 percent of respondents would feel comfortable sending a digital photo of a rash or skin problem to a dermatologist for an opinion. Not only is the technology for “virtual treatment” available, but 64 percent of surveyed patients expressed their willingness to adopt new, non-traditional ways of seeking medical attention. In a world where services are available in an instant, doctors must start treating their patients as a customer to continue to meet their needs. That includes opening the line of communication or easier visits and quicker treatment.

Firms’ lack of knowledge puts them dangerously at risk of cyber attacks

What makes new security risks particularly challenging is their fluid and dynamic nature; the rapid rate of change has proven to be increasingly difficult for organisations to keep up with. “It’s somewhat like being in a submarine with leaks that pop up in random places at random times”, Booch explains. “You have to be vigilant about not just reacting to security threats – any company has to be diligent about keeping up with the latest patches and attending to zero day exploits – but also to be proactive in seeking out potential risks”. The traditional and perhaps even stubborn mind-sets of those in the IT sector are slowing down progress in cyber securitisation, so accustomed are people to protecting their businesses and assets in a certain way. Yet this rigid approach is no match for hackers.

Framer.js for people who think things like Framer.js are weird and hard

You might think you need to be a JavaScript expert to use Framer, but in reality, Framer is doing a lot of the hard work by providing awesome documentation and familiar properties to interact with your design. CoffeeScript does you an additional favor and gets rid of all the icky JS syntax, so you can concentrate on making an amazing prototypes. Many of the properties used in Framer are exactly the same, or extremely similar to CSS properties. If you know basic CSS, Framer shouldn’t be too scary. ... If you want to accurately communicate high-fidelity interactions, a verbal description or napkin sketch isn’t going to cut it. After all, this is what you are an expert in — it’s worth learning how to use the tools that communicate your expertise.

CoreOS Adds Intel Container Security To Rocket

Among other things, the ability of Clear Containers to run on Rocket affirms CoreOS's design choice to map different "stages" for different operational characteristics for a container. CoreOS also implemented "pods" with its runtime. Pods allow multiple containers to function as a single logical service, even if the containers have been spread over multiple hosts in a cluster. ... "For the little function you need, you don't need the full QEMU layer," Sousou said, referring to the code for the emulation of a complete x86 machine that's part of a hypervisor startup. Intel stripped QEMU out of the KVM initialization process, along with multiple other minute adjustments, to take milliseconds out of the startup process.

Retail CIOs become heroes with the help of CMOs

That “hero vs. zero” attitude has shifted considerably in the past few years as the relationships between the CIO and CMO has matured, says Tom Litchford, vice president of retail technology at the National Retail Federation. “The whole idea is that the CIO and CMO really have to be attached at the hip,” he says. “As we go forward, there is less of the old feeling that “all I ever hear from IT is ‘no.’” The Forrester/NRF study reported improved relationships between the retail CIO and line-of-business colleagues such as the CMO. ... These issues go beyond technology into fundamental issues related to marketing and the entire organizational structure, so CIOs and CMOs must each bring their separate strengths to the table.

Automakers form alliance to bolster cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a new issue for the industry, one handled by automakers in different ways. That varied and still-developing approach has fueled industry critics, including some lawmakers, who say the industry lacks a comprehensive solution to safeguard their customers. The immediate threat of malicious hackers wreaking havoc on connected cars appears to be relatively remote. The researchers who remotely controlled some Jeep Cherokee vehicle systems ... were highly sophisticated security experts who spent years developing the tools needed to complete the hack. Hackers seeking monetary gain have little current incentive to target cars. Even though vehicles can collect huge amounts of data, the auto industry has yet to monetize it in a major way

Banks hope cardless ATMs will get millennials to open accounts

The cardless ATM technology is the latest attempt by banks to persuade customers under 35 to open an account with them instead of migrating to their traditional competitors or the latest Silicon Valley startup that promises to help consumers borrow, manage, and invest money through their phones. Hudson-based Avidia Bank said earlier this week that it had introduced the new technology to the ATMs at its eight branches in Central Massachusetts. Salem Five Bancorp launched cardless ATMs this month at its 30 ATM machines, primarily on the North Shore. Twenty banks across the country, mostly regional and community banks, also have gone mobile, although the ATMs still accept traditional debit cards, said Doug Brown, senior vice president and general manager of mobile at FIS, the Florida banking technology firm that makes the mobile software for the ATMs.

Data and Analytics in the Cloud Is Real Today

Private and hybrid cloud implementations of data and analytics often coincide with large data integration efforts, which are necessary at some point to benefit from such deployments. Those who said that integration is very important also said more often than those giving it less importance that cloud-based analytics helps their customers, partners and employees in an array of ways, including improved presentation of data and analytics, gaining access to many different data sources and improved data quality and data management. We note that the focus on data integration efforts correlates more with private and hybrid cloud approaches than with public cloud approaches, thus the benefits cannot be directly assigned to the various cloud approaches nor the integration efforts.

Quote for the day:

“If it involves technology it is your fault if it breaks, The CIO should have seen it coming.” -- Earl Perkins

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