June 30, 2016

MoneyLion brings traditional banking ever closer to obsolescence

Tim Hong, one of the key behavioral architects of the platform, wants MoneyLion to dream big. Many of the tedious financial tasks we all dread can be streamlined with readily available technology. How can we prevent fraud? Facial recognition of course. Need a verification photo for a loan application? Just take a selfie. “One of the problems we saw in consumer finance was that marketplace lenders were spending lots of money to acquire customers for one transaction,” said Choubey. MoneyLion uses rewards to incentivize users to stick with the platform. The idea of rewards is not new in banking, nearly every credit card offers benefits or cash back. A large variety of data enables MoneyLion to offer a wide breadth of rewards for building good financial habits. Reward redemptions on the platform have been growing at 39% month over month.

5 secrets for writing the perfect data scientist resume

For better or worse, big data has become a “mine is bigger than yours” contest. Employers are anxious to see candidates with experience in large data sets—this is not entirely unwarranted, as handling truly “big data” presents unique new challenges that are not present when handling smaller data. Continuing with the above example, a hiring manager may not have a good understanding of the technical challenges you’re facing when doing the analysis. Consider saying something like this: “Reduced model error by 20% and reduced training time by 50% by using a warm-start regularized regression in scikit-learn streaming over 2TB of data.”

10 Hot Smartphones To Consider Now

Google meanwhile has promised to deliver developer versions of its Project Ara modular phone this fall, with general availability planned for next year. Project Ara has been scaled back a bit -- the CPU, display, and RAM won't be removable -- but it still has potential to change the dynamics of the smartphone market. Other handset makers like LG are already experimenting with limited modularity. If Project Ara succeeds, smartphones may become a bit more open and more conducive to third-party participation from peripheral makers. But Google has to demonstrate that Project Ara phones won't just be bigger and more expensive than smartphone designs that don't contemplate expansion or modification. While we wait, here are nine great smartphones you can pick up today, and one to look forward to in a few months.

Migrating Azure IaaS SQL Server AlwaysOn Cluster to Premium Storage

Microsoft recommends the use of Premium Storage for optimal performance of SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. If you are running a SQL Server AlwaysOn environment on Standard storage, you might plan to migrate your environment to Premium Storage. This Step-by-Step guide will describe how to migrate to Premium Storage an existing SQL Server AlwaysOn Cluster built on Azure VM (IaaS), reducing the down time to its minimum. This blog article will cover infrastructures deployed with Classic deployment model. Microsoft recommends that most new deployments use the Resource Manager model.

Faster Payments says 'open access' model ready for take-off

Faster Payments’ commitment to opening up access to its services via its new aggregator model will provide these PSPs with lower cost solutions and more choice. This will boost innovation and competition, enabling PSPs and Fintechs to offer greater payments choices to consumers and businesses, improving their payment experience and driving economic growth in the country.  Things are moving fast and the rising number of aggregators accredited is evidence that there is a demand from PSPs for real-time payment for their customers. The latest organisations to be awarded the certificate of technical accreditation ‘trust mark’ are ACI Worldwide, Bottomline and Compass Plus. They join FIS and PayPort by VocaLink to bring the number of accredited providers to five, with a further three organisations currently in the testing phase required to obtain accreditation.

Brexit: Cloud community mulls over implications for data protection regulation reform

“Brexit is obviously a challenging time and could provide an opportunity for the UK to get data protection legislation that is practical, commercial and pragmatic,” he said. “There are some areas [of GDPR] that don’t work and will be difficult to implement in practice, but we could revisit those to make them a bit more practical and commercial. “The challenge will be to see if Brussels consider it to provide an adequate level of protection. That’s the key thing, because – if it doesn’t – it all falls apart,” he added. Speaking to Computer Weekly, Andy Lawrence, vice-president of datacentre technologies and eco-efficient IT at market watcher 451 Research, said – once the UK gets the process of extricating itself from the EU underway – there may be an influx of legal experts on hand who can help with this.

Public cloud adoption causing some big vendors to stumble

As with any new technology, security is always a worry. In Moyse's experience, the number one concern with cloud revolves around data security, privacy and sovereignty. Data protection is one of the most important aspects of any business, and any weakness can affect the bottom line. "People are paranoid and justifiably so, in some instances, but … it's just like any other change when you are leveraging the Internet," Linthicum says. The concept of moving your business to an unfamiliar environment can make any organization have second thoughts. But "once they've done it once, they're a lot quicker and more receptive to a second or third [cloud service] because … they've felt the benefit[s] and they've overcome that challenge," Moyse says.

Fintech spawns regtech to automate compliance with regulations

Regtech is “the use of new technologies to solve regulatory and compliance requirements more effectively and efficiently,” as the Institute for International Finance (IIF), a research-oriented trade association in Washington, put it in a March report. “I would define it as technological advancement that assists those focused on compliance and regulatory-related activities in their professions,” Kari Larsen, counsel at Reed Smith LLP in New York, and formerly in the Enforcement Division of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, told Bloomberg BNA. “So making it easier, swifter, more complete, more efficient to monitor compliance and regulatory obligations.” “For many years post-crisis, the only growing area of personnel, of hiring, in banks was in compliance,” Andres Portilla

CIOs combat messaging overload with mobile 'micro apps'

The lack of user-friendly enterprise software gives Sapho a shot at slipping into IT departments at a time when more CIOs are adopting a mobile first mentality to software development. In its 2015 CIO survey, Gartner found that 48 percent of employee-facing applications are being designed with mobile as the primary or secondary consumption mechanism. Sapho's user interface and push notifications will play well with millennial managers who have grown up using consumer-focused web apps from Google and Facebook, says Gartner’s Baker. It's a digital native generation raised on push notifications that interrupt their workflows, if only for a few brief moments. "It fits seamlessly into a behavior that is already well established. And that gives [Sapho] an advantage to go to market.”

Why antivirus programs have become the problem, not the solution

This vulnerability is particularly bad—exploiting the vulnerability requires no user interaction. The vulnerability exists in a default configuration, and code execution occurs at the highest privilege level, if not the kernel itself. According to Ormandy, open source libraries used in the products such as libmspack and unrarsrc had not been updated "in at least 7 years." This problem is not, itself, an aberration, and is not limited to Symantec. Security software necessarily requires high access privileges to operate effectively, though when it is itself insecure or otherwise malfunctioning, it becomes a much higher liability due to the extent to which it has control over the system. These software issues, combined with logistical and political problems in the antivirus industry itself, are making users less secure.

Quote for the day:

"Structure is more important than content in the transmission of information." -- Abbie Hoffman

June 29, 2016

The devil is in the details: The importance of tight processes to strong information security

Policies do not have to be long. In fact, the more succinct the better, so long as they cover the required details. In my experience, they should be quite granular -- single policies that cover a variety of topics are hard to maintain and follow.  Policies are usually augmented by procedures. A procedure defines the specific steps you will follow in the implementation of the related policy, and by their nature should be very detailed. If a procedure is well written, someone familiar with your organization but not a particular function should be able to follow the procedure and complete the function.

How to install MongoDB community edition on Ubuntu Linux

MongoDB is a NoSQL database that avoids the traditional structure of relational databases in favor of document-oriented JSON-like objects. What this translates to is the integration between application and data is faster and easier. If that's not enough, consider this: MongoDB is one the databases preferred by big data and large enterprise companies, including Adobe, Craigslist, eBay, FIFA, Foursquare, and LinkedIn. There are different versions of MongoDB; the version I'll focus on is the community edition. You can easily install MongoDB on Ubuntu from the standard repositories, but that version tends to be out of date. Because of that, I'll show how to install the version from the official MongoDB repositories.

Windows 10's Biggest Controversies

Since the release of Windows 10 last summer, users of Windows 7 or Windows 8 whose computers have Windows Update set to automatically update the OS have gotten pop-up notices telling them to upgrade to Windows 10, and the large installation files for it (which can be about 6GB) have downloaded in the background onto their system’s main drive, usually without the user directly consenting to this. Initially, Microsoft did provide the option to delay the upgrade, and hacks were figured out by users to put off the upgrading and stop the installation files from being downloaded. But Microsoft has become more aggressive in thwarting efforts to block the download by pushing through strongly worded notices that give just two options: “Upgrade now” or “Upgrade tonight.”

Indian Startups Need Lessons from Their Israeli Counterparts

Solving a problem lies at the core of the Israeli tech startups. Outbrain, one of the world’s most successful content recommendation engine, is one such example which highlights the problem solving nature of these active startups. In the words of Ori Lahav and Yaron Galai, founders of Outbrain, the company has solved a complex problem for two business communities. For newspapers facing tough competition from online channels, it helped them develop a significant and sustainable new revenue source in their hard times while for marketers, it provided them with an opportunity to tell their brand story on the internet in a more effective way. By addressing this problem, Outbrain jumped ahead of the curve by coming up with a new business model that solved problems for all parties involved.

BlueData Introduces First Big-Data-as-a-Service Offering

“One of the challenges for organizations thinking about deploying big data workloads in a public cloud is that their data may already be on-premises, and moving it all to the cloud can be challenging, time-consuming and expensive,” says Jason Schroedl, VP of marketing at BlueData. With the latest EPIC release, end users can run big data applications such as Hadoop and Spark on any infrastructure, whether on-prem, public cloud or hybrid deployment. Initially, the offering will be a direct availability program running on AWS, but over time the company plans to make the platform available on Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and other public cloud services. The user interface and experience remains constant whether customers are using BlueData on-prem or in the cloud, giving the same security and control in terms of how many resources are given to different groups for individual use cases.

Ransomware and Cyber Extortion Are on the Rise – What Can Be Done?

Hardly a day goes by anymore without ransomware or cyber extortion making the news. A seeming turning point in the severity of this crime was the mid-February 2016, cyber extortion of a large Los Angeles hospital chain where a reported ransom of $3 million was originally demanded. Although the ransom ultimately paid was 40 bitcoins (about $17,000, a far cry from $3 million), its payment nevertheless represents a substantial and noteworthy increase from the hundred dollar ransoms that were previously commonplace. Among those taking note are insurers providing cyber coverage, who often will include ransomware coverage in their policies. Since this manner of cybercrime is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, insurers and their insureds are best served by proactively managing, and thereby perhaps eliminating, the harm that may result from a ransomware attack.

A career in Unix: The best and the worst

Of all the work I've done over the years, the one that I miss the most was one in which what I did every day seriously mattered. I was a Unix admin and managed a network of servers and workstations. My users were highly intelligent, dedicated analysts who helped to ensure that intelligent decisions were being made on a national level. At some other positions, I provided an environment that supported development of products that made a difference to many thousands of individuals (e.g., emergency communications), but was so remote from the end product that I never got a sense that I was contributing to something of great value.

'Socially-cooperative' cars are part of the future of driverless vehicles, says CMU professor

The basic idea is that if you program a robot to do some tasks, it may not behave in a way that human beings would normally behave when other human beings are around. You can imagine situations where robots are in a lab and they really don't care, they just get a job done. But things are different out of a lab, when you're in a driving situation. Think about when our car enters a highway from an entrance ramp. We negotiate with nearby cars; if we're close to another car, if it's ahead, we let it go. If we're ahead, it lets us go. If we're close to it, we negotiate with visual cues, and also with speed cues. We speed up in order to indicate that we don't want to yield to the other car. Or, vice versa—they speed up in order to get in front of us.

Decentralizing IoT networks through blockchain

A decentralized approach to IoT networking would solve many of the questions above. Adopting a standardized peer-to-peer communication model to process the hundreds of billions of transactions between devices will significantly reduce the costs associated with installing and maintaining large centralized data centers and will distribute computation and storage needs across the billions of devices that form IoT networks. This will prevent failure in any single node in a network from bringing the entire network to a halting collapse. However, establishing peer-to-peer communications will present its own set of challenges, chief among them the issue of security. And as we all know, IoT security is much more than just about protecting sensitive data. The proposed solution will have to maintain privacy and security in huge IoT networks and offer some form of validation and consensus for transactions to prevent spoofing and theft.

Cybersecurity: Is AI Ready for Primetime In Cyber Defense?

Machine learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence, a field of computer science that started in 1958 when Marvin Minsky founded the Artificial Intelligence lab. Everyone, including DARPA, was pouring money into it. Their goal was to build a fully artificial intelligence capable of passing the Turing test in fifteen years. However, their plans were overly ambitious, for two reasons. They underestimated the technical difficulty and simply didn’t have enough compute power. When it became clear they weren’t going to meet their goal, funding suddenly dried up and the lab closed. AI became a dirty word. However, AI research continued and went in and out of favor for years. In the 1980s, the Japanese became enamored with AI and started applying it to everything from rice cookers to automated subway trains. But until recently nobody called it AI.

Quote for the day:

"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant." -- Max de Pree

June 28, 2016

A Letter to the Manager: Release the Power of Your Agile Teams

In knowledge work, like software development, there is an almost infinite amount of new stuff to learn and therefore an infinite potential to get more productive. Just using some of this potential will get you far. A team getting together every week or two in a safe space to discuss what works or not will find the most productive ways to work together. A product developed through exploring different possible solutions, will more likely be the one that's even better than you thought in the beginning. One way you can start is to make sure there is slack in the process. By slack we mean time that is not dedicated to specific work and what the time is used for can be decided by either the team or a team-member when the slack time occurs. 

Microsoft-backed Langauge Server Protocol strives for language, tools interoperability

"We developed the protocol based on many learnings and contributions from teams across Microsoft and partners," Microsoft said in a statement. "Visual Studio Code is the first Microsoft product to take advantage of this protocol but in the future other Microsoft products may adopt it as well, including Visual Studio and Xamarin." ... Driving the protocol has been a shift to micro-services and developers writing business logic in any language, Jewell said. Previously, companies such as Microsoft or Red Hat were wedded to a particular language and provided proprietary tooling. "They protected that stack and made it proprietary and guarded it with zealotry that was very intense. All that has changed."

Little Bits of Security – Micro-Segmentation in Clouds

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could create a hardened shell around each one of my applications or services within my datacenter? Opening access to the applications through firewalls and segmented networks that would make your security even more robust? If my outer datacenter security walls were breached, hackers would uncover a set of additional security walls—one for each service/application in your IT infrastructure. The best way to envision this is to think about a bank that has safety deposit boxes in the safe. Even if you broke into the safe there is nothing to take—just a set of secure boxes that also need to be cracked. One of the benefits of this approach is when someone hacks into your datacenter, they only get access to at most one application.

Microsoft’s open source .NET Core and ASP.NET Core hit 1.0

While the 1.0 release of .NET Core is definitely the most important launch today, Microsoft also made a number of other announcements at the Red Hat Summit. The company, for example, is working with Red Hat and CodeEnvy to bring to other tool and language providers the protocol that allows its free Visual Studio Code editor to support more than 100 programming languages already. “This means that any developer can have a consistent, productive editing experience for their favorite programming language on any tool — even if that tool isn’t Visual Studio Code,” Microsoft’s corporate VP for its Data Group Joseph Sirosh explains in today’s announcement. The company is also showcasing a few more of its open-source technologies today, though the demo that will likely draw the most attention is SQL Server 2016 running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Artificial Intelligence Has a ‘Sea of Dudes’ Problem

That's not so surprising, given how few women there are in the field, said Fei-Fei Li, who runs the computer vision lab at Stanford University. Among the Stanford AI lab's 15 researchers, Li is the only woman. She's also one of only five women professors of computer science at the university. "If you were a computer and read all the AI articles and extracted out the names that are quoted, I guarantee you that women rarely show up," Li said. "For every woman who has been quoted about AI technology, there are a hundred more times men were quoted." Much has been made of the tech industry's lack of women engineers and executives. But there's a unique problem with homogeneity in AI. To teach computers about the world, researchers have to gather massive data sets of almost everything.

What the JIT!? Anatomy of the OpenJDK HotSpot VM

OpenJDK HotSpot VM converts bytecode into machine executable code by “mixed-mode” execution. With “mixed-mode”, the first step is interpretation, which converts bytecode into assembly code using a description table. This pre-defined table, also known as the “template table”, has assembly code for each bytecode instruction. Interpretation begins at JVM startup, and is the slowest form of bytecode execution. Java bytecode is platform independent, but interpretation and compilation into machine executable code are definitely dependent on the platform. In-order to get faster, efficient (and adaptive to the underlying platform) machine code generation, the runtime kicks off just-in-time compilation, i.e. JIT compilation. JIT compilation is an adaptive optimization for methods that are proven to be performance critical.

Y Combinator wants to build a tech city, too

More to the point, perhaps, is that a true city is more like an organic entity, growing on its own when conditions are right, than a planned, organized, intentional creation. To date, most attempts to plan and create new cities have turned out to be sterile failures instead of vibrant communities. Cities aren’t companies, where you can hire and fire your way into making sure everyone is on board with the plan. They’re messy, disorganized, contentious places where multiple ideas and goals and cultures ebb and flow according to the needs and desires of the cities’ citizens and would-be citizens. Trying to carefully orchestrate all of that spontaneous confusion and complex energy isn’t just impossible, it’s not a very good idea. Careful command and control in the service of over-arching principles or goals tends to founder on the shoals of residents’ own goals and ambitions. And that’s how most people like it.

Yahoo Wants to Sell Its ‘Chicken Coop’ Data Center Designs

Yahoo plans to structure the potential transaction in a way that will allow it to continue using innovations in the portfolio, including its data center designs, by licensing them from the future buyer. The Yahoo Computing Coop has been a key part of the company’s data center strategy in the US, and it plans to continue using it and iterating on it in the future. “We’ll continue to have access to the Chicken Coop design through our license-back and will look for opportunities to continue to leverage that incredibly efficient design going forward,” the spokesperson said. “Equally, we see value in sharing our data center cooling technology patents as part of the portfolio that we’re divesting, so architectural design and construction firms can leverage that patented technology.”

Fed Agencies Look to Encourage Use of Ethical Hacking In Healthcare

Given the need to improve cybersecurity, Savage revealed to the group that ONC is studying the issue of how the agency can accelerate the rate at which ethical hacking occurs in healthcare. “We are all in this together, and we have to figure it out,” Savage added. “I have no idea at the end of the day if we facilitate more ethical hacking in healthcare whether it will be happening at hospitals or in some lab where the data’s not live. I don’t really have an answer for that today. That’s exactly the kind of thing we’re thinking about.” Dale Nordenberg, MD, a member of the Health IT Standards Committee and CEO of Novasano Health and Science, said that it was exciting to hear that ethical hacking is being considered in healthcare.

McAfee Labs reveals new mobile apps collusion threats

Mobile app collusion requires at least one app with permission to access the restricted information or service, one app without that permission but with access outside the device, and the capability to communicate with each other. Either app could be collaborating on purpose or unintentionally due to accidental data leakage or inclusion of a malicious library or software development kit. ... “Improved detection drives greater efforts at deception,” said Vincent Weafer, vice president of Intel Security’s McAfee Labs group. “It should not come as a surprise that adversaries have responded to mobile security efforts with new threats that attempt to hide in plain sight. Our goal is to make it increasingly harder for malicious apps to gain a foothold on our personal devices, developing smarter tools and techniques to detect colluding mobile apps.”

Quote for the day:

"People often seek and find complexity where there is none" -- Gordon Tredgold

June 27, 2016

BYOD can pose privacy risks to employees

Another worrying feature of MDM platforms is the ability to do a remote wipe. The software can wipe managed apps, or individual apps, or it can wipe the entire phone. "It's something that organizations might want, but it puts personal data at risk," Hafid said. One reason that a company might want to do a full wipe is if employees download company documents to non-managed applications. But it could result in employees losing personal photos and personal messages. "Say you leave the organization and your employer wants to makes sure that there's no corporate data you take with you," he said. "They may wipe the device without notifying you." In addition, many MDM solutions allow companies to restrict smartphone features such as iCloud backups.

Board presentations on IT risk: Don't make these five mistakes

IT leaders fail in their board presentations when they try to use presentations to advance management decisions, such as setting budgets, making investment trade-off decisions, and soliciting guidance on strategic projects. These types of management decisions are the C-suite's job, not the board's. Rather, the board's role is to fulfill its fiduciary duty to ensure risk is managed. This is primarily accomplished by evaluating leadership's effectiveness and ensuring the organization has the right management team in place.  IT leaders who come to their board presentation asking the board to make management decisions about information security are likely to fail. Instead, the best IT leaders ensure that every aspect of their presentation is designed to build their credibility as a leader.

How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics

In today’s constantly connected world, customers expect more than ever before from the companies they do business with. With the emergence of big data, businesses have been able to better meet and exceed customer expectations thanks to analytics and data science. However, the role of data in your business’ success doesn’t end with big data – now you can take your data mining and analytics to the next level to improve customer service and your business’ overall customer experience faster than you ever thought possible. Fast data is basically the next step for analysis and application of large data sets (big data). With fast data, big data analytics can be applied to smaller data sets in real time to solve a number of problems for businesses across multiple industries.

Brexit: Uncertainty around funding and skills likely to affect UK tech startups

Christoph Gerlinger, CEO of German Startups Group, said the Brexit was good news for the German startup scene. “We expect a significant decrease in new incorporations in London in favour of Berlin, as well as an influx of successful London startups,” he said. Techspace, a flexible co-working space for tech startups, has expanded to Berlin – a decision which was taken ahead of the referendum. However, its CEO David Galsworthy added that there is “no doubt London will also continue to be a central hub”. Computer Weekly previously reported that Australia has called on UK technology startups to set up shop on its shores, with the promise of government support, a highly skilled workforce and a stepping stone to Asia.

From not working to neural networking

Deep learning comes in many flavours. The most widely used variety is “supervised learning”, a technique that can be used to train a system with the aid of a labelled set of examples. For e-mail spam filtering, for example, it is possible to assemble an enormous database of example messages, each of which is labelled “spam” or “not spam”. A deep-learning system can be trained using this database, repeatedly working through the examples and adjusting the weights inside the neural network to improve its accuracy in assessing spamminess. The great merit of this approach is that there is no need for a human expert to draw up a list of rules, or for a programmer to implement them in code; the system learns directly from the labelled data.

Talking with your hands: How Microsoft researchers are moving beyond keyboard and mouse

“How do we interact with things in the real world? Well, we pick them up, we touch them with our fingers, we manipulate them,” said Shotton, a principal researcher in computer vision at Microsoft’s Cambridge, UK, research lab. “We should be able to do exactly the same thing with virtual objects. We should be able to reach out and touch them.” This kind of technology is still evolving. But the computer scientists and engineers who are working on these projects say they believe they are on the cusp of making hand and gesture recognition tools practical enough for mainstream use, much like many people now use speech recognition to dictate texts or computer vision to recognize faces in photos.

10 Ways Machine Learning Is Revolutionizing Manufacturing

Manufacturers often are challenged with making product and service quality to the workflow level a core part of their companies. Often quality is isolated. Machine learning is revolutionizing product and service quality by determining which internal processes, workflows, and factors contribute most and least to quality objectives being met. Using machine learning manufacturers will be able to attain much greater manufacturing intelligence by predicting how their quality and sourcing decisions contribute to greater Six Sigma performance within the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) framework. ... Manufacturers are turning to more complex, customized products to use more of their production capacity, and machine learning help to optimize the best possible selection of machines, trained staffs, and suppliers.

Step-by-step guide to a blockchain implementation

IT's involvement with blockchain implementations -- and therefore the level of urgency associated with putting this technology into operation -- will to some degree depend on the vertical industry the company is in, with financial services being the most urgent. But as evidenced by Caraher's enthusiasm for blockchain's application to legal services, interest in the technology is widespread. Vendors active around blockchain -- both broad IT vendors such as Microsoft and IBM, as well as niche blockchain suppliers -- say they're fielding calls from virtually all industries. In addition to financial services and legal industries, others include: insurance, utilities, public sector, advertising, healthcare, auditing, supply chain, manufacturing and real estate.

Automotive Grade Linux wants to help open source your next car

The average consumer doesn't know much about Linux and probably nothing about AGL. Truth be told, that doesn't matter. That same average consumer is already using Linux in devices at home and work; smartphones, embedded devices, clouds, chromebooks, etc. And when they purchase a car running AGL, it won't matter that it's Linux; it will only matter that it meets (and exceeds) their needs. AGL will do just that. Linux has already proved how well it can function in embedded systems and smartphones, so there is no reason to think it will not rise far and above what both Google and Apple are doing with their in-car solutions — solutions that cannot fully function without being connected to an external mobile device.

Banking IT community faces uncertain Brexit future

Emmanuel Lumineau, the CEO of Financial Conduct Authority regulated startup BrickVest, a real estate investment platform, said the company might have to move some of its business and people to other EU member states. “Without doubt, the UK is now a less attractive option for fintech investment platforms that want to operate across Europe,” said Lumineau. “Platforms such as Brickvest are typically regulated by the FCA, whose framework allows us, and companies such as ours, to target investors across Europe. “Brexit now means firms will eventually need to find a new regulator on the continent to continue doing business across Europe. Cities such as Paris, Berlin or Frankfurt can offer this. Consequently, BrickVest may have to shift some of our business and team abroad.”

Quote for the day:

"The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority." -- @kenblanchard

June 26, 2016

2 Ways Big Data and Little Data Are the Perfect Couple

Big Data is so in vogue, that it’s at risk of becoming the next “synergy”. Ah yes, all those wonderful hip words used by executives trying to show just how young and hip they are. While executives wear ball-caps to cover up their bald spot, Big Data is bandied around the Board Room. But what’s the point of Big Data if it doesn’t actually drive decision-making in an effective direction? Or, worse yet, it’s used instead of the tried and true set of smaller data metrics that have driven sales teams and marketing departments for generations?  At the risk of showing my bald spot, I think it’s time we look at Big Data for what it is; a fantastic tool that is more than welcome inside the successful company’s toolbox, but not at the expense of smaller data.

Smart contracts: Welcome to a world of automated digital commerce

Blockchain ledger technology opens the door not only to decentralized transactions, but also to smart (that is, automated and computable) transactions and smart (computable and self-executing) contracts that can take advantage of smart transactions. A smart contract is a digitally signed, computable agreement between two or more parties. A virtual third party—a software agent—can execute and enforce at least some of the terms of such agreements. ... Over the long term, the blockchain concept is about creating new entities and processes that can be automated in whole or in part. New blockchain-inspired systems—public, private, or both—will be essential to the growth of the Internet of Things. They will be fundamental to machine-to-machine transactions at scale.

How Open Data Is Changing Chicago

The action of posting data sets makes everything much more transparent and easier to access. In the past, some of this data might have been public in the sense that you could have requested it from us, but now it’s something that you can get on demand. By making data publicly available, I think you change the type of discourse that you have because you’re being proactively transparent, not reactively transparent. Your trust model changes. For example, if somebody came up to you and told you some facts about themselves, about their life, without you even having to ask that question, you would be hard-pressed to call that person reclusive. Same thing here. Proactively publishing information makes it harder to say that the government is being reclusive—and that helps increase trust.

Docker Momentum Mesmerizes and Threatens

“It’s everything you need to go from simple, containerized development to a whole live system that can receive anything from anywhere, anytime that can span multiple service providers and survive hardware failures,” said Hykes, looking trim and peppy in the uniform of the DevOps crowd — jeans and T-shirt. Despite the growing success of Docker — the company is now understood to have a multi-billion dollar valuation because of its expanding use by DevOps teams — there is some anxiety among its technology partners that Docker will wield its growing power to rule the container management space. Even though many of Docker’s tools are open source, its management platform is a proprietary software product that the company is now monetizing with large services contracts.

Don't clear out your cubicle for a robot just yet

“The cognitive era will create new jobs, such as robot monitoring professionals, data scientists, automation specialists, and content curators,” the analysts wrote. “But the transformation of existing jobs resulting from re-engineering a process to use cognitive support -- such as turning low-value data entry work to higher-level analyst or customer-oriented roles -- will be even more dramatic.” The analysts pointed out, for example, that IBM’s Watson cognitive platform can reduce the amount of time that data analysts spend crunching numbers. That means those data scientists should have more time to focus on higher-value tasks, such as interpreting results. Eliminating mundane tasks and giving people more interesting work, should improve both morale and worker retention, according to Forrester.

World’s Fastest Supercomputer Now Has Chinese Chip Technology

"It’s not based on an existing architecture. They built it themselves," said Jack Dongarra, a professor at the University of Tennessee and creator of the measurement method used by TOP500. "This is a system that has Chinese processors." The new machine shows China’s determination to build its domestic chip industry and replace its dependence on imports that cost as much as oil. The world’s most populous country may also try to lessen its reliance on U.S. companies for defense technology and security infrastructure. Supercomputers aren’t major consumers of chips. But being at the heart of the world’s most powerful machines helps processor makers persuade the broader market to consider their technology.

Are Tech Skills Required to Effectively Lead IT Governance?

“Some IT specialists mistakenly think business leaders cannot govern IT, since they lack technology skills.” The article emphasizes that the reality is that no technology knowledge is actually required. “Understanding the capability IT brings or planning new, improved business capability enabled by smarter, more effective use of IT does not require specific knowledge of how to design, build, or operate IT systems.” 4 To further prove their point, the two authors of the article compared this concept to an automobile: If someone wants to operate a taxi service, they need to understand the capabilities and requirements for the vehicles used to operate the service, NOT how to design and manufacture cars. Therefore, effectively leading IT governance does not require IT skills.

How to know if your organization is ready for data governance software

Understanding the specific scenarios where data governance will provide business benefits to your organization dictates functionality requirements, which then help determine which tool category -- or categories -- you should be looking into. You'll then need to either prioritize your requirements or consider acquiring multiple tools. While most vendors strive to provide a full spectrum of data governance support, or partner with others to achieve that, there's currently no one tool that will meet all data governance requirements. Many companies look for tools that support administration of a data governance program and provide workflow and glossary functionality; they then integrate that software with existing data modeling environments.

Chasing Enterprise Architecture Perfection

The balancing of keeping the lights on and innovation is where Enterprise Architecture is supposed to add direction and most often does. Where most IT organizations seem to focus though is on the lower level stacks. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a need for those levels including integration strategy, master data, and infrastructure management; but what if instead, the attention was centered on the business process? If IT could better align with the business needs and objectives, and everyone came to sit at the same table wouldn’t the end solution be a much more effective design? I’ve seen a few companies do this very well, so I realize I’m not presenting a new idea; just trying to emphasize the thoughts for companies who aren’t yet thinking in this manner.

Change As Core Competency: Transforming The Role Of The Enterprise Architect

The mantle of change agent has graced the shoulders of many an enterprise architect over the years, but it rarely fits well. Today we’re finally realizing why. Pushing an organization to move from a problematic status quo to some other more desirable state has never led to organizations that are better able to deal with change overall. Instead, for such organizations, change is a temporary and difficult chore, best finished quickly so that people can go about their business. Instead of being an agent of change, the EA must become an architect of change. Change is all around us, pervasive and ubiquitous. Organizations need to get better at dealing with it, and ideally, leverage both internal and external disruption for competitive advantage.

Quote for the day:

"When someone says you can't, look at where they are sitting. Perhaps they meant they can't." -- Tim Fargo

June 25, 2016

Configure Once, Run Everywhere: Decoupling Configuration and Runtime

Configuration is a common cross cutting concern across all applications. Properties are usually specified as key = value pairs, and are supplied in files that can be loaded into a Java Properties object. Unfortunately OSGI, Spring, Java EE, SE and other frameworks and solution running in Java all provide their own configuration APIs and formats. Many of them use propertiary XML formats, others use more modern formats such as Yaml. Java EE even does not support dynamic or remote configuration in most cases. And combining different frameworks in an application always is cumbersome due to different configuration formats, locations and redundancies. All these add unnecessary complexity and is error prone. And it affects code written for one application, but also has impact on integration with surrounding systems.

Passwords… can’t live with them, can’t live without them

According to CSID’s ‘password habits’ survey (September 2012), 61% of people reuse the same password on multiple websites and 54% of consumers have only five passwords or less. In fact splashdata recently posted a blog that listed the 25 most common passwords and worst offenders. This list took its influence from the major security breach suffered by Adobe in which 38 million accounts were compromised. Here are the top 10. ... When you calculate risk, you take into account the probability of something happening and the impact it would have, if it were to happen. This is simplifying it somewhat, but in basic terms this calculation will provide a risk level. So the fact that 61% of online users are adopting the same password/s across multiple websites and in some cases choosing commonly used passwords, multiplied by the increasing number of data security breaches over the past 3 years, it becomes clear that the resulting risk could be problematic.

Data Mining Reveals the Crucial Factors That Determine When People Make Blunders

The bottom line is that the difficulty of the decision is the most important factor in determining whether a player makes a mistake. In other words, examining the complexity of the board position is a much better predictor of whether a player is likely to blunder than his or her skill level or the amount of time left in the game. That could have important implications for the way researchers examine other decisions. For example, how does the error rate of highly skilled drivers in difficult conditions compare with that of bad drivers in safe conditions? If the difficulty of the decision is the crucial factor, rather than driver skill, then much more emphasis needs to be placed on this. “We think of inexperienced and distracted drivers as a major source of risk, but how do these effects compare to the presence of dangerous road conditions?” ask Anderson and co.

The implications of large IoT ecosystems

“Most people don’t understand the notion of scale,” says Ken Tola, CEO of IoT security startup Phantom. “Effective security needs to provide a realistic mechanism to control millions of devices.” Which becomes a nightmare with current solutions. “Current options rely on internet connections which kill batteries, overwhelm the extremely fragile mesh networks onto which most IoT systems rely and fail completely when the internet goes down,” Tola explains. According to Tola, the solution is to move much of the functionality to the edge, between devices themselves. “Working in a peer-based manner makes it much easier to handle scale,” he says. “No matter how big a system is, when authentication/authorization takes place between devices, it can happen simultaneously across millions of devices without requiring internet access, heavy network loads or any other burdensome features.”

When Do You Need ECM vs. Cloud File Sharing?

In the past few years, cloud-based file sharing and sync services (CFSS) have become quite popular. The rise of consumer-oriented services such as Dropbox and Google Drive is a testimony to their increasing popularity. These services are simple to use, usually require no up-front investment, run off a public cloud, and provide lightweight document and collaboration services. These tools provide useful services for file sharing, multi-device sync, and the ability to work offline using a cloud-centric deployment model. Not surprisingly, many enterprises want to explore whether these relatively newer category of tools could obviate the need for heavyweight, complex Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platforms. I can understand why, because from a services standpoint, the two segments definitely overlap, and indeed in RSG's research, we evaluate them according to the same criteria.

Why banks shouldn’t fear blockchain

Many individual banks are examining and experimenting intensely with the technology on their own as well — but are doing so in an open, collaborative way. At UBS, for example, we set up our blockchain laboratory in the famous Level39 technology incubator in London, where we can rub elbows with over 190 fintech start-ups, sharing our insights and profiting from theirs. We are also working closely with peers on developing blockchain capabilities. With these initial experiments and projects the industry is collaborating on solving some of the smaller, individual blockchain puzzles, in the hope they will provide the pieces needed to one day solve the great puzzle of a blockchain-enabled financial system. That would benefit everyone involved. At the moment it is impossible to say how or when this puzzle will be solved, or what it will look like when it is.

What Must We Do to Fix Broken IoT Security?

Good security is at least half about good management of the product. Yet the consumer technology industry prioritizes the user experience over everything else. If a more secure product requires one more page of user manual to read, or 30 seconds more brain power for the end-user to configure, the increased security benefit is often dismissed. As an industry, we must weight security more heavily when making product decisions. The recently discovered Samsung SmartThings flaws raise some important questions about smart home security. Do these systems really need a mobile app? Does the app need to connect to central server in the cloud? And, most importantly, is it right to have a smartphone control anything that is critical to you? In many cases the app itself is developed not by the smart device OEM but a third party over which they might have little control or visibility.

Johanna Rothman on Agile and Lean Program Management

A more traditional program manager tends to tell people when she needs this done. That is because a more traditional approach works backwards from the deadline to accomplish the deliverables. If you ever worked on a stage-gate program, it’s a mess before the second stage. Requirements take forever. Architecture boxes the program into a narrow place and by the design/spec stage, the people realize they can not work in the architecture. Or, they realize it by the coding stage and the architects are long gone. The technical people work like crazy, and that’s when the program manager has to make crushing decisions: do we reduce scope or testing? We all know what happens: we have a less-useful product that does not work.

Do you want to be a machine learning ninja

Google’s bear-hug-level embrace of machine learning does not simply represent a shift in programming technique. It’s a serious commitment to techniques that will bestow hitherto unattainable powers to computers. The leading edge of this are “deep learning” algorithms built around sophisticated neural nets inspired by brain architecture. Google Brain is a deep learning effort, and DeepMind, the AI company Google bought for a reported $500 million in January 2014, also concentrates on that end of the spectrum. It was DeepMind that created the AlphaGo system that beat a champion of Go, shattering expectations of intelligent machine performance and sending ripples of concern among those fearful of smart machines and killer robots.

Tesla speaks: How we will overcome the obstacles to driverless vehicles

The typical early response to Autopilot is people are a little bit anxious. They're used to a glitchy laptop or a problematic smartphone, and they tend to implicitly extend that experience into the car, and they think, "Man, if my car were to have a glitch like my phone or my computer typically do, this could be really bad." The extrapolation there is not quite accurate, nor is the standards or the bar the same for some of these consumer devices as they are for vehicles. Autopilot obviously won't account for all scenarios, but it also is explicitly designed not to be at the ultra-pedigree state that a lot of consumer electronics devices typically are.

Quote for the day:

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

June 24, 2016

Mobile Payments: Where’s the Benefit?

Mobile payments continue to be less common than mobile banking — more consumers are checking their bank account balances and paying utility bills online, for example, than paying for their Starbucks coffee with their phones. But there were some positive signs for mobile payments adoption: For example, 24% of all mobile phone owners reported having made a mobile payment in the 12 months prior to the March 2016 survey, up from 20% in 2015. In addition, of current mobile payments users, 10% had started using mobile payments in the six months prior to the survey, and 20% said they had started using mobile payments in the prior one to two years. Younger individuals are adopting mobile payments faster. Of those with a mobile phone ages 18 to 29, 30% had made a mobile payment. Of those ages 30 to 44, 32% had done so.

How Smart Data Lakes are Revolutionizing Enterprise Analytics

Smart Data Lake solutions permit organizations to focus on the data that provides real business benefit. Currently, Smart Data Lakes are being adopted by pharma and financial institutions in use cases ranging from competitive intelligence and insider trading surveillance, to investigatory analytics and risk and compliance. For instance, the regulatory reporting environment for financial institutions is evolving quickly, placing unprecedented demands on legacy processes and technology. Two areas where new smart data solutions are already adding value for banks include report preparation as well as data and technology. Smart Data Lakes also improve the quality of your competitive intelligence by allowing subject-matter experts to curate, correct, and augment the data they know best.

Real Time Audit within the Capabilities of Blockchain

Some studies have even shown that firms are reporting downward pressure on audit fees due to clients questioning the value of audit services, especially given that they are now increasingly ‘commoditised’ as a result of being heavily regulated, and thus there is little differentiation among the services being offered by various auditors. Many believe that #blockchain could transform this process, in part because the #technology removes the need for auditing to depend on trust. Blockchain provides a globally distributed, decentralized ledger of which everyone has the exact same copy. Whereas auditing at present entails the confirmation of transactions and balances on a company’s accounting ledger at the end of the period, a transaction on the blockchain would provide a permanent and immutable record of the transaction almost immediately.

Five Reasons Traditional IAM Can’t Handle the Internet of Things

One particular problem area for IoT security is Identity Management. In many ways, the Internet of Things is fueled by the identities of things to enable connections between people, devices, and apps, all of which require Identity and Access Management (IAM). Indeed, managing identities and controlling access to this valuable information is a critical step in securing the Internet of Things (IoT), but legacy identity and access management (IAM) systems cannot handle the extreme scale and complexity that the IoT brings to the enterprise. The Identity of Things requires a new class of IAM system. The best practice for managing identity in the Internet of Things is to employ a next-generation IoT IAM platform. But what exactly does next-gen IoT IAM entail? And how does it succeed where traditional, workforce IAM fails?

How the blockchain could kill off national currencies

“Money isn’t valuable by itself,” Meiri says, “it’s what you can do with it that matters.” Neighbourhood community managers and municipalities around the world are already agreeing with him and are using Colu to keep wealth circulating within their local communities. The startup also just closed a $9.6 million funding round including investment from venture capital firms Spark Capital and Aleph. Technology requires a perfect storm of circumstances before an innovation really takes hold, Meiri adds. If Spotify was pitching way back in 1995 it would have been a great idea, but it took the widespread growth of high-speed internet to turn music streaming into a reality.

Next-generation enterprise security architecture to combat cyber weaponry

What's interesting is there's almost an inverse correlation of those steps between genius required to do them and criminality of the steps. What we mean by that is it is not illegal to create an attack, create an exploit or discover a vulnerability. If it were, there would be entire universes of white hat attackers and cyber researchers who would no longer exist. That's their job. They're supposed to go around and look for vulnerabilities and see how they respond under attacks. It just happens to be a very hard thing to do, which is why the genius requirement is so high. The other end of this ecosystem, laundering money, is clearly illegal, regardless of whether it's cyber money or real money or anywhere in between. And monetizing that information -- selling things like Social Security numbers -- is obviously pretty illegal as well.

How Does It Work: IPTables

In the Linux ecosystem, iptables is a widely used firewall tool that interfaces with the kernel’s netfilter packet filtering framework. For users and administrators who don’t understand the architecture of these systems, creating reliable firewall policies can be daunting, not only due to challenging syntax, but also because of number of interrelated parts present in the framework. The iptables firewall works by interacting with the packet filtering hooks in the Linux kernel’s networking stack. These kernel hooks are known as the netfilter framework. Every packet that enters networking system (incoming or outgoing) will trigger these hooks as it progresses through the stack, allowing programs that register with these hooks to interact with the traffic at key points. The kernel modules associated with iptables register at these hooks in order to ensure that the traffic conforms to the conditions laid out by the firewall rules.

Gartner's Top 10 Security Predictions

“By 2018, the need to prevent data breaches from public clouds will drive 20% of organizations to develop data security governance programs.” Data security governance will be promoted by insurance companies that will set cyber premiums based on whether businesses have these programs in place. Prediction: “By 2020, 40% of enterprises engaged in DevOps will secure developed applications by adopting application security self-testing, self-diagnosing and self-protection technologies.” Here Perkins looks to maturing technology called runtime application self-protection (RASP) as a way to avoid vulnerabilities in applications that might result from problems overlooked due to the rapid pace at which DevOps teams work. RASP does its work rapidly and accurately to provide protection against vulnerabilities that might be exploited, he says.

Hey ops teams, developers want control of the data center

Application teams are tired of integrating with each and every SDDC to make their apps portable. Instead of integrating with the SDDC, app teams can integrate with a container runtime like Kubernetes, Swarm, or Mesos. All of the "portability" work now happens in the container runtime. Crucially, the industry is making Kubernetes, Swarm, and Mesos work on top of all of the SDDCs so you don't have to. Ops teams and the vendors who love them (like VMware) are rushing to support these new system management tools. In turn, the tools, like Kubernetes, are starting to build in developer-oriented features. According to the Kubernetes blog: "Kubernetes defines not only an API for administrators to perform management actions, but also an API for containerized applications to interact with the management platform." This latter API is new to Kubernetes, but we should expect it (and more like it) to cater to developers.

Multi-cloud is a safety belt for the speed-freaks

In the case of "multi-cloud," then, it's your application and organizational-knowledge portability you're hedging with in return for locking into the cloud native method of application development and delivery. What you get in return is the ability to run your cloud platform on any IaaS, public or private, that comes up. You'll probably want to choose a platform based on open source, like Cloud Foundry that's ensconced in a irreversible foundation. Then, even if you use a commercial, "open-core" distro of it, you'll have a huge degree of portability because the same application packaging, services and microservices architectures, and overall runtime will remain similar no matter which distro you choose in the future. At this point, many people look to build their own platform to maximize their future freedom to leave.

Quote for the day:

"The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable." -- James A. Garfield

June 22, 2016

How Big Data Is Changing The Game For Backup And Recovery

In the world of today's next-generation databases -- where data is distributed across small machines -- it's not quite so simple. "There is no concept of a durable log because there is no master -- each node is working on its own stuff," Thakur explained. "Different nodes could get different rights, and every node has a different view of an operation." That's in part because of a trade-off that's been required to accommodate what's commonly referred to as the "three V's" of big data -- volume, velocity, and variety. Specifically, to offer scalability while accommodating the crazy amounts of diverse data flying at us at ever-more-alarming speeds, today's distributed databases have departed from the "ACID" criteria generally promised by traditional relational databases. Instead, they've adopted what are known as "BASE" principles.

How to hire for the right big data skill set

And before you can even determine what skills you need for data collection, it's important to first consider your audience and customer base. Polich gives the example of a bank, which can't withstand any down time or lag in data retrieval, so companies need to hire accordingly. That might mean hiring people who have worked in similar high-stress environments, where certain aspects of data matter more than in other industries. Alternatively, he also gives the example of a social media network, which can probably withstand a minimal amount of lag or inconsistency in data retrieval, especially if it results in cost-savings. That might mean you can hire someone with other skills that are important to your business or someone more accustomed to working in agile and innovative environments.

New life for residential Wi-Fi

The contrast between this modern approach and older residential Wi-Fi routers shows what happens when a market advances in linear fashion. The main selling features of a home router have for years been lower cost and higher headline speeds. This resulted in standard reference hardware implementations, packaged unimaginatively; the physical design and user-interface were contracted out to the lowest bidders, and we got what we paid for. With the exception of Apple (and Google, with a niche product), these are beastly products that even experts shrink from tinkering with. But the primary technical advance promoted by eero and Luma is, in the vernacular, “Wi-Fi that doesn’t suck.” These startups have seized on the universally recognized coverage issue: A single Wi-Fi router installed at the most convenient spot in the house is unable to provide reliable building-wide coverage in perhaps 10 percent of cases.

Expert panel explores the new reality for cloud security and trusted mobile apps delivery

When we look at mobile, we've had people who would have a mobile device out in the field. They're accustomed to being able to take an email, and that email may have, in our situation, private information -- Social Security numbers, certain client IDs -- on it, things that we really don't want out in the public space. The culture has been, take a picture of the screen and text it to someone else. Now, it’s in another space, and that private information is out there.  You go from working in a home environment, where you text everything back and forth, to having secure information that needs to be containerized, shrink-wrapped, and not go outside a certain control parameter for security. Now, you're having a culture fight [over] utilization. People are accustomed to using their devices in one way and now, they have to learn a different way of using devices with a secure environment and wrapping. That’s what we're running into.

Q&A with Roman Pichler about Strategize

Product strategy and product roadmap are neither agile nor anti-agile; it entirely depends on how we apply them. The challenge for any product is to first find a valid strategy—an approach that is likely to be effective—and then to review and adapt it on a regular basis so that the product becomes and stays successful. It would be a mistake to think of strategy as something static that merely has to be implemented: As the product grows and as the market and technologies change, the strategy and the roadmap have to change too. In some cases, these changes can be drastic—think of YouTube, for instance, which pivoted from a video-dating site to a video-sharing product. In other cases, the changes are incremental. Take the evolution of the iPhone, for example. When the first iPhone was launched in 2007, it did not allow people to take videos. But the latest generation uses video to set the product apart from the competition.

Top website domains are vulnerable to email spoofing

Of those vulnerable, 40 percent were news and media sites, and 16 percent were software-as-a-service sites, Detectify said in an email. A common way these domains are trying to prevent email spoofing is through a validation system called Sender Policy Framework or SPF. It essentially creates a public record, telling the Internet which email servers are allowed to use the domain. Ideally, any messages impersonating the domain will be detected as spam and rejected before delivery. In practice, however, the system can often come up short. The SPF will filter out spam emails best when on the so-called "hardfail" setting, but many website domains decide to implement the SPF at the "softfail" level. Although this will flag any forged emails as suspected spam, the messages will still be sent out to the recipient.

Why I Prefer Merge Over Rebase

Why would anyone be based on your work-in-progress branch? Because it happens. Sometimes tasks are not split that strictly and have dependencies – you write a piece of functionality, which you then realize should be used by your teammates who work on another task within the same story/feature. You aren’t yet finished (e.g. still polishing, testing), but they shouldn’t wait. Even a single person may want to base his next task on the previous one, while waiting for code review comments. The tool shouldn’t block you from doing this from time to time, even though it may not be the default workflow scenario.

Infographic: CIOs reveal IT hiring trends for 2016

On Tuesday, Robert Half Technology released the results of a survey that showed 21% of US CIOs plan on adding more staff to their IT department and 63% plan on only filling open IT roles. The report forecast IT hiring trends in the second half of 2016. The data was collected from 2,500 phone interviews with CIOs. John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, said that many organizations are getting the go-ahead on new technology projects, which is leading to more hires, but they are still running into problems. "Technology leaders continue to struggle to find highly skilled talent in a market with low unemployment," Reed said. "They seek IT professionals with specialized skills, especially in the areas of cloud computing, data analytics, mobile strategies and cybersecurity."

IT talent biggest roadblock to digital transformation

When looking at hiring for new and in-demand skills, you might first want to look within your own workforce and see if there is an employee who could be trained in that area, says Holland. Another options, he says, to look to at third-party services "who are selling a full solution without the need to unpack what specific skills are necessary." ... Mark Troester, vice president of Solutions Marketing at software provider Progress, hiring for digital transformation is about striking a balance between skills. "From a leadership perspective, look for individuals that live in the middle of business and technology -- individuals that are entrepreneurial in spirit and have the ability to apply technology in new and creative ways. If that skillset is lacking then you may need to go outside the organization," he says.

Power of Teamwork In Data Science

Data science can be summarized as the interplay of data, statistics, technology and business. So by default, doing data science is about collaboration, teamwork and combining different skill sets. It does include but is not limited to statistics and mathematics. It would also include skills like computer science, machine learning, industry expertise (banking, insurance, retail etc.) and expertise on functional domains like sales, customer service or marketing, communication and presentation skills and last but not least, data visualization. A wide set of skills will not necessarily make it easier for organizations to find and recruit data scientists in the war on talent that has already started. My colleague Bhima Auro recently wrote a blog on how organizations can hire talent.

Quote for the day:

"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -- Juliean Smith