September 07, 2016

CIO travels new path to IT governance at native cloud company

"It’s like the European Union – we have too many conversations that go on at the company within the confines of collaboration tools,” says Settle. “We need to swallow hard, pick some winners and losers and some people are going to have to change their day-to-day activities to get some benefit out of it.” Settle must win over departments accustomed to procuring their own solutions with the promise of services they cannot render themselves, including data management, enterprise application integration and information security. In effect, he must centralize a decentralized and fragmented IT landscape. This entails instituting change control procedures, in which his department will make changes to Workday, NetSuite, Zuora and Concur, according to evolving business requirements.

Is FinTech really a game changer?

Today, FinTech is the term that sounds the death of the banking as we know it. It is shorthand for a seismic disruption of payments and lending so transformative that in less than a decade the banking system as we know it will be replaced by new services and new service providers in equal measure. Or perhaps not. To truly understand the likely impact of FinTech, you need to look rather more closely at the market participants, and what they are up to. First and foremost, that means recognising that FinTech encompasses a broad range of technologies across payments, digital currencies, personal finance and lending. From that starting point, you can begin to analyse what it takes to succeed.

Fintech Startups Face Dilemma on Banks: Are They Friend or Foe?

Fintech firms that don’t partner with banks are often at risk when big banks come into their niche, or when market forces turn against them and they don’t have deposits to fall back on. Many online lenders have learned that the hard way this year. On the other hand, startup firms that do partner with banks can be subject to all kinds of scrutiny and criticism. They are seen as capitulating to incumbents, and increasingly come under the watchful eye of regulators. “Rent-a-charter” models, in which banks backstop or formally provide services behind fintech websites, have been recently scrutinized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the case of lending, and by states such as California and Texas in the case of money transfers.

The AI revolution is coming fast. But without a revolution in trust, it will fail

AI is going to unleash a whole new level of productivity and augment our lives in many ways. As in past industrial revolutions, AI will also be a disruptive force, dislocating people from jobs and surfacing profound existential questions about the relationship between man and machine. It’s inevitable that jobs will be impacted as AI automates a variety of tasks, but just as the internet did 20 years ago, the AI revolution will transform many jobs as well as spawn new kinds of jobs that drive economic growth. As a society, we need to adapt to the changing nature of work by focusing on training people for the jobs of tomorrow and addressing growing economic inequality.

Two Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Integrating Services

Since, an organization cannot influence the external service vendors to adhere to specific business semantics, reliability should not be tightly coupled to the business application level. Therefore, it would be essential to use a more generic (independent of its business semantics) mechanism to achieve reliability of system. Message-Broker is an intermediary pattern which decouples message senders and receivers. Most of the ESB vendors support integrating with Message Brokers (MB) via protocols such as JMS. The next sections would focus on elaborating how ESB and MB patterns together could be used to achieve a more reliable communication link between the services which are chained through the ESB (achieve zero message lost).

What Tech-Enabled Startups Should Do to Grow in a Turbulent Economy

“Start-ups of today are teenagers of corporate world, and they are disrupting the whole industry, challenging the conventional thoughts, and bringing in innovation,” said Sandeep Majumdar, Chief of Operations-North, Sify Technologies. The current generation is always on the move and connectivity for them is as essential to them as roti, kapda aur makaan. Most start-ups want to be very transparent with their customers. Many companies want to share notifications with their customers and be visible in their supply chains. So if you don’t provide transparency, the brand suffers. Today’s millennial generation is very different from pervious generations. People who belong to the selfie generation are obsessed unabashedly about themselves. It’s a good business strategy for brands if they sell products more through customer engagement and personalization.

4 Ways SaaS Is Transforming IT Departments

CIOs are quickly learning that the skills, infrastructure, and processes that have governed their fields for the past two decades are becoming obsolete, and a shift to SaaS necessitates a radical reevaluation of how they approach their jobs. “This is much bigger than just a technology change,” said Matt Griffiths. “There’s an entire organizational and cultural shift required to support that change.” Griffiths spent 16 years at Dell serving in various roles that included running the automation tech behind the company’s supply chain and leading the internal IT infrastructure within the organization. More recently, he served as CIO of Biogen, a biotech company that specializes in treating autoimmune diseases. It was there that he witnessed the full potential of cloud technology and began to think through the various pain points of adopting a SaaS-based infrastructure.

In Information Security, the Only Constant is Change

In the security world, new techniques for intruding into organizations appear fairly frequently. Some of them grab big headlines, which of course can increase attention and pressure on security types from non-security types in leadership or executive positions within our respective organizations. But how firm of a grasp do we have on the primary ways in which we are being attacked and owned, as well as broader patterns and trends across the industry? It is far too easy to divert important resources away from their strategically prioritized day-to-day work and onto the hack du jour. But if today’s distraction poses a minor risk to our organization, does it make sense to divert resources from mitigating risks or plugging holes that we know pose serious risk to the organization?

Mobile app reversing and tampering

When you think about hacking a mobile device you might intuitively think about an attacker trying to get a better understanding of the device so they can reverse it and build their own, similar, possibly malicious, masquerading version. Maybe they want to modify the logic so that they can bypass certain controls like authentication. Or perhaps they are just looking to steal sensitive data. In all these cases you would be correct. But there is a forth and perhaps lesser thought of motivation. As apps become more advanced they often have richer logic flows. That logic likely interacts with an organization’s backend IT infrastructure. Hacking an app can put sensitive processes, systems, networks and data in the hands of an attacker that can be used to attack traditional IT assets

The future of innovation management software

While ideas themselves are often generated rapidly, it takes considerable time to rationalize the ideas and develop the most promising into a vision board, business model canvas or similar form of initial business case that the organization can then review in more depth and decide how to proceed. Today's innovation management software does a good job of supporting idea management, but needs to expand to help companies focus their innovation teams more on deciding "where to play" and "how to scale" their big bets. If we can automate the idea-management function as much as possible -- for example, with intelligent automation to streamline processes and with analytics to aid decision making -- we can help free up resources to spend more time on the critical front-end and back-end components of the innovation life cycle.

Quote for the day:

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts... for support rather than for illumination." -- Andrew Lang

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