December 18, 2015

#noprojects – Focus on Value, Not Projects

#noprojects provides a better and less risky approach to delivery by removing the common factor in all of these failures, the project itself. This is not to say that there are no failures in a #noprojects approach. However, because of the discrete nature of #noprojects activities, technical failure is self-contained, easily identified and generally recoverable. Failure relating to project process, project governance, stakeholder buy-in, and scope management is, by definition, no longer relevant. Opportunity costs can be the hardest to quantify, but can be the largest single cost to an organisation running a project.

How to avoid being caught out by ransomware

Patrick Wheeler, director of product at Proofpoint, calls regular backups “the most reliable method for recovering infected systems”, which makes it all the more important to prevent the initial infection. Gary Warner, chief threat scientist at PhishMe, says that rather than a simple backup, in order to be effective, a backup must be “serialised”, with older versions of files available in case newer versions have been corrupted or encrypted.Other advice includes storing backups in an offline environment because many ransomware variants will try to encrypt data on connected network shares and removable drives. Daniel Miessler, director of client advisory services at IOActive, stresses the importance of having known-good and up-to-date backups that are as close to real time as possible.

Can This Man Make AI More Human?

Given that probabilistic algorithms and other technology in the works at Geometric Intelligence would be compatible with deep learning, it is possible that eventually the likes of Google or Facebook will acquire the company and add it to its overall AI portfolio. And despite Marcus’s criticism of connectionism and deep-learning fever, I have a hunch that he would be quite satisfied with such an outcome. Even if that does happen, it will be significant if ­Marcus can show that the most miraculous learning system we know—the human mind—is key to the future of artificial intelligence. Marcus gives me another example of his son’s cleverness. “My wife asked him, ‘Which of your animal friends will come to school today?’”

Public cloud vs. on-premises, which is more secure?

Perhaps cloud pessimists have good reason. In 2014 CodeSpaces became a poster-child example of how not to use the cloud correctly. Hackers gained access into the company’s central AWS administrative and demanded a ransom. When it was not paid hackers deleted everything in CodeSpaces’ AWS environment. It was a dark day for cloud security. Some saw it as an example of why the cloud can be insecure. Others used it as a teaching moment. But there are certain workloads that will likely never move to a public cloud. Some organizations for regulatory, compliance, safety or customer demand reasons require “air-gap,” offline data center operations – meaning no network connectivity into or out of the data center.

Big Data – The Trillion Dollar Asset

If you look at companies today, most of them are not very good at using the data they have to make better decisions in real time. I think this is where the next trillion dollars comes from for our customers and for our industry.” Dell’s in the midst of a $67 billion, history-making tech acquisition with EMC and clearly trusts the enterprise information technology as a service (ITaaS) leader to store and manage a treasure chest of smart data. And Dell isn’t the only tech player betting on a hot data economy. ... And by 2020 IDC believes that line of business buyers will help drive analytics beyond its historical sweet spot of relational (performance management) to the double-digit growth rates of real-time intelligence and exploration/discovery of the unstructured worlds.

The Inception Of Wearables In The Workforce

The information organisations will be able to gather with wearables can improve productivity, increase employee engagement and even potentially lower the number of sick days employees take. The use of this data presents the opportunity to largely disrupt existing benefits and rewards schemes. While wearables allow employees to go hands-free and participate in meetings while on the go, the real value for organisations will be real-time insights and the information these devices can collect. For instance, wearables can allow employers to easily track an employee’s time throughout the day and gain a clear picture on where time is being spent and quickly identify inefficiencies. This information can have an enormous impact on a company’s ROI and show new ways to improve employee engagement based on individuals’ preferences and habits.

Now's the time to perform a personal Android security audit

Head over to the Google Play Store settings and look at your list of available devices. These are the Android devices that show up as options every time you install a new app from the Play Store Web interface -- and also the devices that show up as options in the Android Device Manager (more on that in a sec). ... You might not realize it, but Google has its own utility for tracking, finding, and remotely wiping an Android device in case you ever lose it -- and the whole system is built right into the operating system. So what are you waiting for? Make sure all of your phones and tablets are enrolled now, before it's too late. Just head into the Google section of each device's main settings menu (or look for the app called Google Settings), then tap Security and verify that "Remotely locate this device" and "Allow remote lock and erase" are both checked.

Lessons Learned About Cloud Migration

An interesting side effect of cloud migration is that it placed APM tools on the agenda of the CIO. With the elasticity and flexibility of the cloud, companies can more directly and immediately drive cost optimizations. Greg Birdwell from BARBRI made the point, “We use an APM tool not only to monitor the health of our infrastructure. If I see that we have servers consuming significantly less CPU or memory, I can switch to cheaper instances. The cost savings are immediate.” Mark Kaplan of BARBRI said that Ruxit helped them to get exactly the insight into the dependencies and resource requirements of their environemt as basis for migration It might still take a while until we see CIOs around the world looking at APM tools and calculating cost benefits based on monitoring data, but things are moving that direction.

Biometrics to support 50pc of mobile transactions in 2016: report

There was also was significant growth in 2015 in the number of people using their mobile devices to open a wide range of financial accounts. With this trend in mind, financial institutions are increasingly optimizing their account opening content for the mobile Web and integrating it into their apps. Others who are lagging behind are expected to put this at the top of their priority lists in 2016, per Mitek. With certain clients already seeing a greater volume of account openings on mobile compared to desktop and other expected to put a focus on this next year, Mitek forecasts that mobile will win the account opening race in 2016.

Work-life balance: don't overlook the role of technology

Often management make assumptions that employees are armed with the right equipment or that the tools are "good enough" to work with, so are reluctant to rock the boat to invest in new technology. PwC saw that a UC deployment achieved a whopping 54% uplift in employee well-being. That clearly highlights that employee's value being given technology that make their jobs and collaboration easier.  For me the big worry was the marked difference between the 8% well-being benefit that management expected and the realised 54%. This shows how out-of-touch management really are with how employees feel about their jobs and their desire to perform to the best of their ability.

Quote for the day:

"The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on." -- Walter Lippmann

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