Daily Tech Digest - November 30, 2016

10 ways to gracefully kill an IT project

The factors behind terminating a project may vary; the complexity involved, limited staff resources, unrealistic project expectations, a naive and underdeveloped project plan, the loss of key stakeholders, higher priorities elsewhere, or some other element - but likely it will be a combination of some or many of these possibilities. ...  Halfway through implementation it becomes clear the backup process will consume more bandwidth than expected, will take an inordinate time to complete backing up servers with hefty storage levels, and will cost more in the long run than the existing tape solution which can be refactored for cheaper, more efficient and less complicated administration. Clearly this is the proverbial "record coming off the needle" moment at which a harsh truth must be acknowledged.

Do You Really Have To Migrate To The Cloud?

Call it “digital darwinism.” Cloud brings big benefits to application vendors. On-premise customers using previous versions require maintenance — and that’s are a big drain on vendor resources. And they’re not as happy as new customers because they don’t have the latest innovations. Sales people have to spend lots of time trying to help justify upgrades — time they could use to sell to new customers. Extra costs and slower innovation means that over the long term, vendors offering cloud solutions will win. ... It’s time to remind her that her email — perhaps the most sensitive data you have in the company — already flies freely across public networks, protected only by security protocols. Remind her that money in your company’s bank accounts is really just data stored in ethereal databases around the globe.

4 things you should never say if you want to innovate successfully

For us, realistic innovation means starting with our customers, not our engineering department. Our product team creates bare-bones prototypes in low-tech tools like PowerPoint and shops them around. We learn what resonates with our target market before engaging expensive development resources, which ensures that engineers only work on projects with real legs. The products that pass the PowerPoint test do go to development, but customers remain involved. We ask them not only if the technology fills a need, but whether we are communicating the value proposition in a meaningful way. Successful innovation requires both: the right offering and the right pitch. When you’re lucky and smart enough to find both, pour fuel on the fire. The nature of that fuel will be different for different companies and products.

How the convergence of automotive and tech will create a new ecosystem

The operating models of the two sides differ dramatically. For example, automakers reengineer their core products approximately once every seven years, with noticeable updates every three years, but do not update existing products. Tech companies redo their core products about every two years, make noticeable updates every two months, and provide continual updates for existing products. The OEMs’ systematic “waterfall” approach to product development tends to slow down innovation; the average time to market is about five years. Most tech players depend on agile operating models that enable a time to market of roughly two years.

Branding: A Strategic Imperative For High-Tech Marketers

Unless a company has just hired a brand new CMO who wants to leave a mark, goes through major changes such as a merger, or undergoes a departure from a product line, branding is usually a tool better left for consumer companies. In a world of big data marketing and mandatory ROI, branding spending is difficult to justify as its impact can appear intangible. It takes time for a new brand initiative to bring results when the building of a brand does not occur overnight. The question is: Why would you engage in a branding initiative in an industry where investors and shareholders have little patience? Well, here are a few reasons why we should consider branding as a key strategic imperative for enterprise software or cloud services, especially in a high-growth environment.

Technology Isn’t the Answer to Surviving Digital Disruption

The goal is not to become a tech company. The goal must be to embed technology so ubiquitously and so deeply within the culture and operating model of the company that it becomes transparent - allowing you to enhance the customer experience and deepen your relationships. The challenge is that most traditional organizations have a self-view that is essentially synonymous with the product they sell or the service they provide. The required shift is not to become a tech company, but rather to make the organization synonymous with the value they provide and the relationship they create. The organization can only re-envision its business model from that perspective. The real goal of digital transformation, therefore, is to leverage technology to reshape and enhance the value you deliver to your customers.

A new Digital CIO must emerge from digital economy disruption

Technology has certainly affected the way we do business and companies’ roles. The time is now to refocus, and turn those initiatives into a full-fledged digital transformation strategy, and that means that CIOs must reinvent themselves in order to understand how the disruptions that digital transformation will bring to the businesses as we know them can create opportunities to growth and establish themselves as the strategic digital leader companies expect and need them to be. Before we explore what’s coming with the new digital reality, it is important to look at the present and understand how companies and CIOs are dealing with their IT departments. Reinventing the IT function to support the digital transformation requires far-reaching changes, from talent to infrastructure, and takes multiple years to complete.

What is email security and how can SMEs get it right?

“Email was never intended to be used in the way it is now. It’s not really kitted out for all of the risks associated with the internet; it was designed for a more trusting environment,” he explains. And it’s a mistake to think that SMEs don’t present a worthwhile target. In fact, they present attractive opportunities. ... “What does worthwhile mean?” asks Mr Bauer. “It’s relative to the cost of putting on an attack, and to the downside of getting caught.” Both are low when it comes to an attack on an SME, which makes them more appealing than larger corporations.  Each time an attempt to hack your company is made via email, there are one of two aims at play: to steal money, or gain information.
Small businesses should bear those purposes in mind, because they can be key to spotting – and stopping – hacks.

Why Now Is the Ideal Time for the CIO to Work with Graphs

There’s clearly enormous market growth taking place. Forrester Research estimates that one in four enterprises will be using such technology by 2017 while Gartner reports 70% of leading companies will pilot a graph database project of some significance by 2018. Graph databases aren’t applicable or helpful for all problems; there are transactional and analytical processing needs for which relational technology will probably always be the correct option, and there are NoSQL database alternatives that handle other types of large dataset well. But graphs make sense for any organisation seeking to make the most of its connected data. That is why I would recommend that any CIO looks to NoSQL, including graph databases, as a powerful new tool to supplement their RDBMS investment and deal with the growing data tsunami.

A new way to anonymize data might actually work

This is definitely a good thing, as EHR databases are now popular targets for cybercriminals due to the amount of data available in one location, as well as the fact that data—unlike financial information—cannot be changed or canceled. The paper's authors explain that the PEP framework consists of two components: polymorphic encryption and polymorphic pseudonymisation. The researchers begin with polymorphic encryption by explaining how it differs from more traditional encryption processes: "In traditional encryption, one encrypts for some chosen recipient who then holds the decryption key; whereas in polymorphic encryption one encrypts in a general manner and at a later time the encryption can be transcribed to multiple recipients with different keys."

Quote for the day:

"You have all the reason in the world to achieve your grandest dreams. Imagination plus innovation equals realization." -- Denis Waitley

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