January 15, 2016

Digital Influencer: Catching Up With David Linthicum, Sage Of The Cloud

It’s unusual for techies with no particular writing background to have the discipline to write such a book. Linthicum’s secret? “You have to give up stuff. Spend less time on things you enjoy,” he says. “It’s tough to get the discipline to write one to two thousand words per day, but you have to do so to crank out a book.” In spite of putting in such an effort, the book proved too early to market – another repeating theme in Linthicum’s background. “I wrote the EAI book for Addison Wesley,” Linthicum explains, “But only a few people were following EAI at the time. In 1996 there was no interest in the book.” Then in 1997, Software AG spun off their American efforts as SAGA Software, and Linthicum joined as CTO. “They had no technology at the time, so we had to create our own,” Linthicum says. “By 1997 EAI was still not hot, so we called it ‘solution-oriented middleware’.”

IT efficiency is a moving target; here's how to hit the bull's-eye

IT staying behind closed doors or locked in the data center is no longer an option. Technology continues to integrate deeply into every business and job function of the organization. All leaders, including the chief information officer and directors, should attend and be involved with activities on campus. How can IT develop an internal strategic plan if we are not fully engaged with business units, academics, faculty senate, staff senate and student government? Without that engagement we are only focusing on what we think is best or listing the next evolution of our favorite technologies. It is easy to like a particular technology and be biased toward the true impact it will have at an institution.

What Remix OS means for Android on PCs

What Remix means for Android is unclear. While Chrome OS has taken over the education market, it hasn't seen the same level of success that Android has in mobile. In particular, the selection of Chrome apps is pretty paltry, while development of Android apps is thriving. If Android were Google's laptop-and-desktop operating system, the app gap would cease to be an issue. But Google's ultimate plans don't really matter. Android's fundamental open-source nature means it can be hacked and modified into a desktop operating system even if Google never wants to go in that direction. The Remix OS proves that. Even if Android does become more of a desktop operating system, Google probably won't start offering it for download onto any PC. With some work and polish, Jide's Remix OS could become a more compelling alternative for average computer users than traditional desktop Linux. This is a project to keep an eye on.

Why the lack of women in IT is bad for tech, bad for the economy

According to the report the problem starts at school. It points to a 2012 survey which found that only 17 percent of girls had been taught any computer coding in school, while almost twice as many boys had (33 percent). "And some argue that girls are often steered away from science and math courses in primary school," the report says. "Other experts go earlier still, stressing the role parents need to take in encouraging girls younger than school age to be interested in science and technology." According to Regina Moran, the CEO of Fujitsu UK & Ireland, the gender imbalance is bad news for the UK. "Women make up a large proportion of our customers both professionally and personally," she said. "Neglecting women in the workforce will be a costly mistake."

When To Upgrade PCs: 4 Tips For A Smart IT Strategy

It's equally important to monitor user behavior, to see if their PC usage is changing over time. Smartphone and tablet use through progressive BYOD policies within many organizations are pushing users away from the PC and onto mobile devices. Additionally, applications themselves are being reworked so that they can operate on lower-performance mobile devices. In many cases, the only option for PC users is to access applications using a Web front-end that requires very few computing resources. The corporate-issued PC is becoming nothing more than a simple keyboard, mouse, and monitor portal, which connects to backend servers that handle the bulk of the processing power. That's why we see companies waiting for a catalyst event -- such as a major OS upgrade -- in order to justify new hardware.

Smartwatches in transition as smartglasses rule

In 2015, industry analysts expected smartglasses to realize $1 billion in annual costs savings in the field services industry, and they estimate the market will grow to $6 billion in 2016, Ballard said. "I think monocular smartglasses are going to really fly this year in enterprise. I think you're going to see true augmented reality glasses like Microsoft HoloLens and cousins like Epson's glasses bridging gap between the two," Ballard said. "We are seeing some early adoption trends that we think will take off around HoloLens, biometric authentication, token, and wearable IoT sensors." AR glasses are particularly beneficial in the enterprise. Dan Ledger, principal for Endeavour Partners, said, "We're getting to a point now where Google Glass came out a few years ago and ran its course and Google is working on its new iteration of that and Microsoft has some incredible products.

Why thinking like a criminal is good for security

A combined focus on technical and human surveillance is good security practice. “Have employees be aware. Lock doors and windows. There are a lot of technology things you can do. Bad guys have as good of technology as the good guys. We scan and find, but bad guys do too, but they act before the hole is fixed,” Stolte said.  A slight shift in language when talking about security and data can also help security teams think like a criminal. Erlin said, “It’s a very common best practice for organizations to identify sensitive data. Using the term valuable instead twists perception away from what organizations feel is sensitive to what might be valuable to a criminal.” Regardless of what other information criminals might find valuable, the crown jewels will always remain sensitive and top priority.

Data virtualization tools move into strategic IT realm

Well, like a lot of things in analytics, things have been around for a long time but the business need for them and the ability of the environment that we're in -- in terms of the amount of memory people have, network bandwidth -- [wasn't conducive to effective use of its capabilities]. The technology … has existed for a while but the business demand (social media, IoT, sensor devices, machine learning, Web data and a lot of the cloud data) [did not]. A lot of companies use cloud applications … so there's much more demand for this virtualization of the data and there's much more data that's scattered out there. Even though the technology existed before, the need for it has exploded and then the capabilities for that kind of technology to go after the volumes of data -- the unstructured data and structured data -- have all sort of grown based on the demand.

2016: Cyber-Crime Becomes Big-Time

"2016 will see cybercrime finally find its place in our official statistics," says KPMG's cyber security technical director, David Ferbrache, "extortion attacks have been making a comeback with criminals demanding significant sums for suspending denial of service attacks against targets; not going public with stolen data; and of course providing a ‘service’ which grants access to a ‘client’s data which they had previously hacked and encrypted." “While phishing attacks, banking Trojans and large scale low value cash outs have characterised the last 10 years of cybercrime, new techniques are becoming part of the criminal arsenal while firms invest more and more in cyber threat intelligence in the hope of keeping up," adds Ferbrache, "in 2016 we predict that organised crime groups will become increasingly selective in targeting high net worth individuals, corporate treasuries and commercial bank accounts."

State CIOs agenda targets cybersecurity

"Our CIOs have to manage a lot of federal data, and they all have to be managed differently, even though the CIO is attempting ... to establish an enterprise vision," she says. "These federal regulations are standing in the way of consolidation and optimization, to put it simply." So NASCIO is asking for relief from federal regulations, generally (a tall order, Cooke admits), and in particular is trying to call attention to the challenge of sharing information, both within different state agencies and with outside entities like federal and local government groups, other states and the private sector. Too often, Cooke says, federal programs administered by the states don't afford CIOs or agency administrators the explicit flexibility to share information and collaborate across the siloes in which those programs reside.

Quote for the day:

"The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you." -- Bette Midler,

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