October 14, 2016

Don't Be Sure Big Tech Breakthroughs Are Behind Us

Technology that makes these thing cheaper will make the business world more efficient, just like cheaper steel makes manufacturing cars more efficient. And it’s here, in the realm of white-collar work, where I believe the technologies bow under development have the potential to create huge productivity gains. A lot of effort right now is being poured into machine learning and artificial intelligence, thanks in part to technical advances in the field, and also thanks to the availability of large amounts of data to train machines. In a recent interview with Lee, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen explained why he thinks machine learning is the next transformative technology. Essentially, machine learning allows machines to do your thinking for you.

How Blockchain Can Benefit IT Outsourcing

Initially, the technology will be used to monitor the delivery and usage of IT equipment with a sensor that embeds information into the blockchain. Ultimately, that information would then trigger automated invoicing and payment processes between the two companies. If service providers and their customers were to tie their payment systems and SLAs together on a blockchain in that way, it would increase the efficiency of outsourcing contract management a great deal, says Ferrusi Ross. In this case, the bank might have a business rule on its engine that on the 4th of the month launches a validation of the SLAs and initiates a payment to IBM based on those results without any human intervention. The smart contract approach also offers the promise of increased transactional security. “If it can do that, it will become widely used,” says Susan P. Altman, partner in the commercial transactions and outsourcing practice at law firm K&L Gates.

Amid security concerns, Google's Allo virtual assistant is still worth a look

You might have heard that Edward Snowden has warned users to not install or use Allo. Why? The concern is simple— that conversations will be retained on servers. There is another, more disconcerting issue. Allo was supposed to employ end-to-end encryption for messages. That is, unfortunately, not happening. At least not out of the box. You can, however, start a chat in Incognito mode to encrypt your chats (this should be the default). But what about Assistant? Will these conversations between user and AI be encrypted, or vanish from the Google servers once they've served their purpose? It seems the answer to these questions are "no" and "until the user deletes them." Good news: the deletion of Assistant chats is a really simple task.

Security spending to top $100 billion by 2020

IDC analyst Sean Pike noted that enterprises fear becoming the next cyberattack victim and boards of directors are demanding security budgets be used wisely. Indeed, our CXO 2017 spending planner noted that network security is the No. 2 priority for the year ahead with securing networks and data the No. 1 challenge. Not surprisingly, banking is investing the most into security for 2016 with $8.6 billion, followed by discrete manufacturing, government, and process manufacturing. Those industries account for 37 percent of annual security spending. Healthcare will be the fastest growing area for security over the next five years with a compound annual growth rate of 10.3 percent. By model, services will account for 45 percent of all security spending. Managed security services account for much of that spending.

Why Physical Security Should Be as Important as Cybersecurity

In addition to having a staff member in a building’s lobby monitoring who gets access to a company’s offices, security technology expert Robert Covington, the founder and president of togoCIO, writes in Computerworld that “systems requiring a proximity card for entry are now quite common, and with good reason.” Such systems are important and should be used more than they are, he says, because they “provide tight granularity of access control for individual doors and a detailed audit trail.” Yet, as Covington notes, badges or badge data can be stolen by thieves or malicious actors. Ralph Goldman, a security industry veteran and lead writer for the Lock Blog, tells CIO that wireless communication technology is now enabling businesses to deploy “smart locks” that can let firms add barriers to doors and unlock the doors remotely via wireless protocols.

People Are The New Security Perimeter

Insider threats like these have become a considerably more prominent issue in the past few years. And you only need to look so far as your organization’s favorite coffee shop or the connected devices in every home to see how easy it could be to accidentally share confidential or proprietary information to prying eyes and ears. In the past, we could rely on technology to protect your confidential information and protect your workforce. But more and more users bypass these security measures, and these problems will only expand as the internet of things continues to grow. You can no longer expect your workforce to refrain from interacting with the world outside of your organization’s security precautions. If controls hinder employees’ activity, they can stifle business innovation altogether.

1 billion reasons to care about cyber due diligence

The legal, financial and reputational risks involved in these sorts of large scale data security incidents are firmly on the agendas of boardrooms around the world. A recent Mergermarket report, Testing the Defenses: Cybersecurity Due Diligence in M&A, highlights an IBM survey which found that the average cost of a data breach in the United States in 2015 reached US$3.79 million, an increase of 7.6% from 2014. Given the ever increasing risks in this area, companies are asking themselves how they can reassure boards and shareholders that what appears to be an attractive takeover target won’t end up being a poisoned chalice. While Mergermarket reported that in the majority of cases cyber security issues were not enough alone to cause buyers to walk away from a deal, deal timelines and deal value can be significantly affected by cyber security issues.

Critical Strategies to Prepare for the Future with All-flash Storage

Because of the internet, technology has rapidly accelerated in the last 20 years. Making all this possible is a myriad of connected infrastructures that are the vital foundation that keep technology running. If we look back when the computer was first introduced mainstream, the entire back-end of it would be in the same room as the user. Today, the massive amount of data a computer produces and stores are far more likely to be in a datacenter on the other side of the country. While it may be out of sight – it should never be out of mind. Today’s modern datacenter needs to support the dynamic nature of modern businesses, including seamlessly scaling with growth and demand, delivering superior user experience so employees don’t see any downtime, and supporting the need for businesses to be agile in response to changing market requirements.

Rolling into the digital age: inside Rolls-Royce’s tech transformation

The IT function is focusing on product data and document management; integrated design, simulation and verification; lean engineering; and enabling IT capabilities such as high-performance computing and fast technical engineering PCs. This IT vision is allowing the company to move towards a completely digital design-and-test process for the aircraft engines it builds. Simulating the fan-blade-off test, for example, has provided more insight, helped the environment and reduced engine development time and costs, as well as the number of physical engines required to be tested. Rolls-Royce’s digital aspirations spread far and wide. The creation of a digital twin for the physical engine is allowing the company to move from engine health monitoring – which it has done for many years – to the merger of that data and other data on the aircraft to provide value-added services to airlines.

Google takes on IoT with Brillo and Weave

In addition to Brillo, Google is also fielding Weave, an IoT-oriented communication protocol. Weave is the communication language between the device and the cloud. Google Brillo is the OS for IoT products and Weave is built right in, explained Hanwook Kim, product manager for both. "Our vision is to make every device connected, smart, accessible and secure," he said. With something like 1.4 billion devices already running Android, Kim said Google Brillo and Weave are natural extensions. "We want to make it easy for developers to build connected devices in an open ecosystem," he said. "If you're building a new product from scratch or find that your current OS isn't providing the flexibility you need, Brillo could be a good fit." On the other hand, he added, if you're already using an OS or have an existing product, Weave can still be used to provide a way to connect your device to the cloud and other Google products.

Quote for the day:

"Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up." -- Thomas Wolfe

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