August 11, 2016

IT leaders: In the wake of Delta Airlines outage, it's time to simplify

Efforts to reduce complexity, like application portfolio rationalizations, are usually placed low on the priority list, since they're expensive and, when executed perfectly, are completely transparent to end users, save for a large bill for the effort. The historical problem with reducing complexity was a high cost, with a low perceived return. ROI calculations usually centered around reduced hardware and support costs from eliminating redundancy and complexity, which rarely covered the high cost of replatforming, rebuilding, or retiring a legacy application. However, incidents like Delta's readily demonstrate the very real costs of IT complexity in lost revenue. A company need not be a complex, time-sensitive operation like an airline to experience this challenge;

The Differences Between Virtual reality, Augmented Reality And Mixed Reality

Virtual reality is hot, and enterprise- and consumer-facing organizations are eager to figure out how they can take advantage of the new medium, whether it be for entertainment, productivity, sales, or a myriad of other potential uses. However, sometimes lost in all this excitement is the difference between virtual reality platforms and whether the required technical underpinnings are in place to deliver a satisfying user experience. It’s important to understand what virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality are in relation to each other, as well as the technical considerations that those hoping to create experiences for these platforms need to keep in mind.

Canadians Moving Fast and Hard into Blockchain Space

Reports this month suggest the Canadian market will work on strengthening its global position of implementing potential use cases for Blockchain technology. Blockchain News reported recently that payments tech firm NetCents revealed a new partnership with The Vanbex Group, owners of Blockchain payments tool Genisys, to help banks in Canada implement the distributed ledger technology. ... NetCents isn’t the only company anticipating disruption to ACH payments by Blockchain technology. The Deloitte Centre for Financial Services released a report in March that pinpointed ACH payments as a target for Blockchain disruption, and that Blockchain-based payments platforms could reach the scale and volume that ACH currently holds (at 23 billion transactions a year) by 2025.

What do CIOs in high-performing companies do differently?

As companies increasingly rely on technology as a competitive differentiator, CIOs need to build and sustain peer relationships with other C-suite leaders. But all relationships are not created equal. A strong CFO-CIO relationship, for example, can mean smarter technology investments that align with strategic growth plans, improve business performance, and administer effective risk governance.4 This isn’t lost on HPC CIOs. When asked which relationships are important for their success, most (93 percent) consider the CFO relationship one of the top strategic relationships. Only 70 percent of other CIO respondents agreed.

Consortium develops prototype blockchain application for banks

The consortium utilised the Linux Foundation open-source Hyperledger Project blockchain fabric, the development of which was supported by IBM Research and IBM Global Business Services. The consortium said that the proof of concept shows the potential to streamline the manual processing of import/export documentation and improve security by reducing errors; this could also increase convenience for all parties through mobile interaction and make companies' working capital more predictable. The consortium now plans to conduct further testing on the concept's commercial application with selected partners such as corporates and shippers.

Data theft rises sharply, insiders to blame

IT professionals also claimed that "insider negligence" is the most common, root cause of a data breach -- and is twice as likely to cause the loss of data in comparison to external attackers, malicious employees with an axe to grind, or lax contractor security. In total, 87 percent of respondents said their jobs require them to access and use data including customer information, contact lists, employee records, financial reports, and corporate documents, but only 29 percent of IT respondents said their organizations enforce a least-privilege model to keep access to this kind of information on a 'need to know' basis. To make matters worse, the survey suggests over a third of businesses have no searchable record of file system activity, and only 25 percent of organizations monitor employee, email, and file activity.

Tech 'utopia is creepy,' according to Nicholas Carr

When we saw the resurrection of the internet after the big dot-com bust, there was this sense that the walls of old media and the gatekeepers were coming down and there was golden age of people in control of their own expression and what they read. This was a strong theme back then. There was Wired cover story called “We are the web” that presented this as a whole new world opening up. What we've seensince then has been very different. The old gatekeepers, to the extent they were gatekeepers, have been replaced by companies like Facebook and Google and companies that really now have become the new media companies and are very much controlling the flow of information.

IT asset management: How to be efficient

Having a service management discipline and ITAM together helps organizations make more informed decisions and design better processes. Imagine the value of having a change risk calculator that factors in asset details such as the age of the assets being changed or whether it was due to be returned from a lease expiring in sixty days. Having solid practices or procedures for collecting asset lifecycle data along with a sophisticated inventory ensures the reliability and integrity of the information.  Getting started is not simple. True governance practices require that the company’s learning and growth culture with an effective long-range plan will guide the successful implementation of this business initiative.

Here’s Why We Need Fintech Disruption Now More Than Ever

Maybe it’s unfair to expect fintech mount a meaningful challenge to the likes of JPMorgan and Nasdaq in just a few years. The aspect of the financial world that makes it so apt for disruption – its top-heavy concentration – is also what makes it so hard to disrupt. Neither should the engineering challenge be minimized. The technology of finance is probably second only to agriculture (and maybe one “other” profession) in how long humans have spent honing it. Financial startups inevitably bump into realities that explain why banking is so cumbersome to begin with. They tend to to end up focusing on pesky chores like verifying customers’ identities, or trying to establish systems that are actually indeed secure.

Myth busted: Older workers are just as tech-savvy as younger ones, says new survey

"It's dangerous for companies to assume that if you're under 35, you're tech savvy," said Paul Bernard, an executive coach and regular contributor to Next Avenue, a website for 50-plus-year-olds. "In many cases, I've seen that many older people are able to combine tech-savvy with communication skills—almost without exception, it's easier for older workers to pick up more tech skills than younger workers, who are tech savvy, to pick up communication skills." ... "Older job applicants are viewed as too expensive, and thus are often automatically rejected," Matloff said. "Some employers do claim that the older ones are rejected due to not having up-to-date skills, but I have found that that is generally just an excuse, and that most older tech workers do have modern skill sets."

Quote for the day:

"If you make decisions based upon people's reactions or judgments then you make really boring choices." -- Heath Ledger

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