July 03, 2016

Four Ways CFOs Can Add Value to IT Strategy

When it comes to technology purchasing decisions, a CFO should ask how a solution mitigates risk to the business. For example, a company may be running on infrastructure that is end of life and no longer supported by the vendor. The CFO, along with the CIO, needs to assess whether deferring investments to upgrade is an acceptable risk. One would want to make sure that mission critical applications are not running on platforms such as Microsoft Server 2003, which has stopped support some time ago. When selecting a disaster recovery and business continuity solution, a CFO should be a major part of the evaluation. The Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is an important component of these solutions, especially since the cost of downtime in a catastrophic situation is quantifiable

AI experts weigh in on Microsoft CEO's 10 new rules for artificial intelligence

Why would we want the second kind? Because if ever they do NOT work (and no AI is perfect), we can *understand* why and fix the problem. Especially for mission-critical systems, we must choose transparency. We must to be able to introspect our AI, so that if something unexpected happens, we can debug and fix it. Transparency means control. The UK principles of robotics also have a transparency rule. Nadella also says, that empathy, which is so difficult to replicate in machines, will be valuable in the human-AI world. I agree. A study from the University of Michigan shows that college kids are 40% less empathetic than their counterparts 20 to 30 years ago. We have a responsibility to think about our whether our technology will deteriorate or improve our empathy.

How government bodies can unlock the power of digital

Working in what can be a fragmented environment with legacy infrastructure adds to that challenge. So how can central and local government organisations make the move faster to effective digital citizen engagement, while at the same time providing a more cost-effective and ultimately better service? Given the pervasiveness of smartphones and the use of messaging channels in today’s society, mobile devices are vital for effective citizen engagement, using the right channel aligned to people’s preferences. Today’s citizens can be reached on a range of interactive channels including SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype and Twitter, as well as voice. And because one or more of these channels are supported by every mobile device, government groups can connect with people in a quicker and more inclusive way by utilising the right technology to manage multiple channels under one framework.

The big data explosion sets us profound challenges - how can we keep up?

the use of data raises important ethical questions about privacy. The 1998 Data Protection Act now seems distinctly archaic in the face of such abrupt technological advances, and there is understandably a balance that must be struck between public benefit and individual privacy in relation to the use of big data. While personal data remains a small proportion of big data, the public’s justifiable suspicions and concerns must be addressed in policy, with safeguards for their security set in statute. I was personally quite shocked when given a demonstration of readily available popular software which was able to link voter details with their Twitter and Facebook profiles. With most people unaware of the risks, it is far too easy to know far too much about very intimate details of people’s lives.

IoT: Changing the Foundation of Your IT Strategy

Harley Davidson is an example of a company that has employed IoT to increase both sales and overall efficiency. Every piece of equipment in its York, PA plant is now connected to the internet. Its software allows for both reactive and predictive analytics so that if a machine begins to overheat, the system can make real-time adjustments to compensate. At the same time, cost efficiencies are constantly updating, allowing for increases in the speed of production and delivery. Some experts are estimating that between 2013 and 2020, this growing business trend will result in a 25 percent decrease in connectivity costs. Businesses that operate with IoT-focused philosophies can expect to not only lower operating costs and increase productivity but also to expand their markets and develop new products. This is the powerful crossroads of personal sensor tech, business integration of IoT, and the updated systems to support them.

Build your Android applications in Visual Studio using Gradle

Gradle provides flexibility as well as the ability to define common standards for Android builds. Gradle allows Android developers to use a simple, declarative DSL to configure Gradle builds supporting a wide variety of Android devices and App stores. With a simple, declarative Domain specific language (DSL), Gradle developers can easily describe and manipulate the build logic (e.g. manifest entries – minSDKVersion, targetSDKVersion etc.), use the built-in dependency management via Maven or Ivy and essentially have access to a single, authoritative build that powers both the Android Studio IDE and builds from the command-line but this ability to use Gradle in Visual Studio has been missing until recently.

Google Opens Faster Big Data Pipe Between US and Japan

"Ten terabits per second is a lot of capacity, but it's consistent with Google's current bandwidth consumption," Blum told TechNewsWorld. Because tech companies need to transport so much data around the world, it makes sense for them to invest in the infrastructure, and cable still has advantages over other technologies when crossing the seas. "Major Web services companies -- like Google, Facebook and Microsoft -- are investing in transoceanic cables, as well as domestic fiber capacity, because their internal data transport needs are on the same scale as major telecoms companies," Blum pointed out. "In fact, the distinction is becoming increasingly irrelevant. When you send a message via Gmail or respond to a Facebook post from the other side of the world, it's transported primarily on internal networks," he said.

The rise of the revenue-generating CIO

CIOs can craft new businesses within their existing organization that contribute to their company's earnings. In fact, the proliferation of data is the primary driver behind the revenue-generating CIO. Today's CIOs can use data to create better products, new products and services, more targeted marketing programs and a better customer experience, according to Ashley Stirrup, CMO of Talend. ... "As data has become more malleable, more prevalent and more accessible, there is now an opportunity to use it in products that can help drive growth for a company and it's a great idea to move in this direction," said Christian Carollo, co-founder and CTO of Dropoff. "It's about creating efficiencies and directionality for those people in the company tasked with moving the ops and sales forward."

The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech

The fintech sector is starting to use artificial intelligence in several ways. Most recently, the California-based robo-advisor, Wealthfront, has added artificial intelligence capabilities to track account activity on its own product and other integrated services such as Venmo, to analyze and understand how account holders are spending, investing and making their financial decisions, in an effort to provide more customized advice to their customers. Sentient Technologies, which has offices in both California and Hong Kong, is using artificial intelligence to continually analyze data and improve investment strategies. The company has several other AI initiatives in addition to its own equity fund. AI is even being used for banking customer service. RBS has developed Luvo, a technology which assists it service agents in finding answers to customer queries.

From technology first to business first: It's time for the IoT to get strategic

By deploying processing capacity at the source, data can be executed at the edge, in context with other local data if required, and the actionable insight shared with the central resource. This model is cost effective; it leverages existing infrastructure and investment and, most notably, provides a platform for incremental expansion of IoT. And this is key; while IoT standards are still to be defined, a strategy that includes interoperability with other IoT platforms will ensure an organisation can evolve and leverage one infrastructure to deliver a set of applications at a scale and pace that suits the business. As organisations increasingly look to extend their use of IoT, it is becoming essential to recognise the underlying business opportunity.

Quote for the day:

"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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