August 12, 2016

How smart offices of the future can make companies more intelligent

A smart office will change everything. Think of how, just 10 years ago, a desktop computer was everything. Now, most employees use multiple devices daily, said Jeremy Ashley, group vice president for Oracle Applications User Experience. "The office has just become one part of the entire story. We're looking to see what types of trends are emerging here. One example is a trend that has emerged only because we have these devices. Everywhere I've been around the world, I ask, 'what's the very first thing you do in the morning?' Doesn't matter where it is, they say, 'I pick up my phone and I read my email, my Facebook, and a selection of other things.' This is a brand new behavior. It's never happened before," Ashley said.

New DBMS products open the door for a once dormant market

As new requirements, such as the need to support more unstructured data, emerged from advances like social networking, start-up vendors approached DBMS concepts differently. "The DBMS market had become quite boring, but market changes recently have made it much more interesting," said Donald Feinberg, vice president, analyst at Gartner. Traditional system revenue has flattened out, but sales of new tools -- although small in relation to the total market -- are increasing by double digits. So, buying a DBMS is no longer a simple choice among Oracle, Microsoft and IBM. One reason for the recent attention is the market's size and growth. The database market is expected to increase from $40 billion in 2015 to $50 billion by 2017, according to IDC. A number of factors are fueling the growth and market shake-up.

Busting Bimodal Myths

Bimodal is the practice of managing two separate but coherent styles of work: one focused on situations of greater predictability, the other where exploration is required. Mode 1 is optimized for areas that are more well-understood. It focuses on exploiting what is known. This includes renovating the legacy environment, so it is fit for a digital world. Mode 2 is exploratory, potentially experimenting to solve new problems. Mode 2 is optimized for areas of uncertainty. Mode 2 often works on initiatives that begin with a hypothesis that is tested and adapted during a process involving short iterations. ... “Bimodal capability that marries the renovation of the IT core with the exploratory approach to developing new digital products and services is essential for an enterprise to survive and flourish in the digital era,” said Mr. Mingay.

Want The Government To Do Something About Cybersecurity?

Our IT infrastructures and capabilities are known to produce benefits for our economy, but clearly we are sub optimized in our current approach. Our schools still teach the old way with almost no benefits from new technology. Most students have no more than a working knowledge of computers. And we turn out too few who can master IT. Economically, we have great unrealized potential in using IT to enable job growth and economic benefits while reducing cost of healthcare, cost of living and cost of education. Smart IT can also reduce cost of business and reduce the cost of goods to consumers. In the federal government, IT helps serve citizens but CIOs and CTOs struggle agency by agency to deliver value.

Information security ignorance is not a defense

Government entities, regulators, and the courts are increasingly applying the "reasonableness" test to determine if an organization was responsible for a breach, or other security lapse. First, courts in California applied this standard, followed closely by the FTC. Unfortunately, "reasonableness," as it relates to information security practice, is nowhere defined specifically. Even so, this standard will likely be applied by many courts in the growing number of security-related lawsuits.  It is clear that businesses of all sizes must ensure that they have done everything practical to protect their customer assets, and to prevent any harm to those customers due to their neglence. Given the rise in litigation, however, they must also be able to demonstrate in court that their precautions were "reasonable."

Why Outsourced Call Center Roles Are Coming Back Onshore

So-called “enabler technologies” accounted for about half of the reported investments by contact center providers from 2014 to 1015 — with analytics, automation and multichannel tools the biggest areas of spending, according to the Everest Group report. “CRM and communication technologies have become table stakes with most, if not all, providers including them within their portfolio,” Bhargava says. “In order to differentiate themselves in the hyper-competitive call center outsourcing landscape as well as cater to enterprise needs, service providers have invested in enabler technologies.” HGS, for example, launched its DigiCx platform, which incorporates automation and analytics to deliver chat-as-a-service and other self-service capabilities.

Business Intelligence Analytics is the Future of SaaS

Data preparation is quickly becoming a critical capability of experts, who traditionally relied on others to get the data sorted out and ready from them. In order to transform unsorted data into information on demand, people doing customer targeting, risk analysis and marketing operations will need the necessary tools and skills to handle self-service data preparation at scale. As the gap widens between all of the data and the people who know how to analyze it and use it, companies that do not adapt to modern standards will experience big data blunders, such as embarrassing data quality errors and miscalculation of data.

How developers define 'open' and 'closed' technology

"Open" is one of the most nebulous terms in technology, yet it's also a label that oddly carries huge emotional baggage. To be open is to be on the side of truth and righteousness. To be closed or proprietary is, well, on par with drinking unicorn blood. (Hint: only Voldemort does that.) The problem, however, is that there are no hard and fast rules for "open" or "closed," yet we act as if there were. Perhaps the best way to sniff out true "openness" is to look to developers to see what they feel comfortable building upon. With developers as our guide, the stark differences between open and closed become much more subtle and interesting.

Asymmetric Information Is Economists' Little Secret

Why is asymmetric information so crucial to an understanding of financial markets? It’s probably related to the reason people want financial assets in the first place. People want cars and bananas and microwave ovens because those things are immediately useful. But most people who buy and sell financial assets have no intrinsic desire for the asset itself -- they only care about how its value to other people will change in the future. That means that while information is important for many products, when it comes to financial markets, information is the product. Many major economics papers have explored this fact. One example is the famous 1980 paper “On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets,” by Sanford Grossman and Joseph Stiglitz.

Inside Look at SWIFT-Related Bank Attacks

"We came across a very interesting piece of malware and one of our researchers, during their analysis, recognized that this malware is likely to have been used in the attack against the Bangladesh Bank," McKinty says. "That's where we got engaged with SWIFT. We were able to provide them some insight, with regard to what had happened at the Bangladesh Bank." And from there, the tale of the malware got more interesting, he adds. While attributing any of these attacks to a single entity or group is challenging, McKinty says the code used in the Bangladesh attack is not widely available in the underground. As a result, BAE believes that the code used in the SWIFT-related attacks is a variant of the same code used in the attacks against Sony Pictures and the bank in Vietnam, he says.

Quote for the day:

"No amount of source-level verification or scrutiny will protect you from using untrusted code." -- Ken Thompson

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