Daily Tech Digest - January 31, 2017

Agile Is King, But Continuous Integration Is An Elusive Goal

Continuous integration with an ability to deploy hourly, often described as an end goal of adopting an agile development process, was cited by 28% as the destination they were shooting for. However, only 14% were actually doing so. Hourly continuous integration a year ago was a goal for only 18%. The added 10% a year late shows how quickly continuous integration is rising in the consciousness of development staffs. It's rising faster than the actual ability to deploy, currently at 14%, but a year ago a similar Dimension Labs survey showed it to be 10%. On the other hand, everyone is trying to practice the meshing of a software update into a production system. Thirty-five percent of respodents said they could integrate updates daily and 17% said weekly. Another 20% do updates on a "less than weekly basis" but still more frequently than the six-month or annual update periods practiced by development staffs of yore.

A human capital challenge in information technology

Leaving IT jobs unfilled can have serious consequences. For instance, with the rise of the IoT, the number of connected devices is estimated to increase to 200 billion by 2020, from 2 billion in 2006.5 Cyberattacks—crimes ranging from data theft to malware—are also on the rise. In 2015, the number of breaches involving the exposure of more than 10 million identities increased by 125 percent and new mobile vulnerabilities increased by 214 percent.6 Without the right IT talent in cybersecurity, the proliferation of the IoT could give cyber criminals increased opportunity to attack and breach businesses. Moreover, IT skills such as cybersecurity and data analytics span all industries from manufacturing and retail to financial services and government. In fact, IT skills in general span several industries, and therefore, filling IT job openings with the right talent is important to the overall performance of the economy.

Smart Cities of the Future: An Innovation or Intrusion?

An interconnected city grid of traffic and pedestrian cameras offers a wealth of actionable Big Data. As an example, in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, “the traffic authority monitors about 22,000 vehicle movements every morning, while the regional environment agency produces hourly data about air quality from sensors across greater Rotterdam resulting in over 175,000 observations per year.” In addition to better managing traffic and public transit, as well as controlling pollution, proponents highlight the ability of such data to enable enhanced policing, crowd control, and even public sentiment monitoring. However, others express grave concerns about the potential for abuse in such systems, especially given the integration of smartphones into connected apps utilized by many smart cities. Although ostensibly “anonymous,” smartphones contain personal markers, and a wealth of information that represents great value to marketers, government agencies, and fraudsters.

Why open source helps you build your applications that much faster

The ability to create new applications quickly, reliably and economically is drawing businesses to open source and inspiring them to use it for ever-larger projects. When developers think of open source, they think "free." And with good cause: it’s technology you can get at no cost and use with few licensing restrictions. However, the association I prefer is to business agility. According to the Forrester Research report "Development Landscape: 2013, 76% of developers have used open-source technology at some level. Open-source technologies offer a variety of benefits to that makes it easier to build your apps, be it bringing innovative ideas to market fast with reduced development costs, creating scalable and portable apps and services, or continuously building, testing and delivering high quality production code.

VR + AI: the very real reality of virtual artificial intelligence

By layering in aspects of natural artificial intelligence, experiences are developing that lose the feeling of being so “unreal;” distinct memories, interactions and relationships are being created that cause the user to question — well, if it happens in real life, but inside of a headset, does that not make it real? Of our five senses, Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) handle vision, a solid pair of 3D headphones like OSSIC handle sound; AxonVR and others are working on haptics and touch…next up is smell and taste, those should be, well…interesting. But beyond our five senses which create the feeling of physical “presence” in a virtual space, is the “immersion” of having a real experience, experiencing the unexpected and having the opportunity to create very real memories. As opposed to playing a pre-programmed “AI” game experience, natural social interaction is the key to this.

Who owns the data from the IoT?

There are two major classes of parties in this space. The first category includes corporations, data brokers and marketplaces, which exchange data among themselves. This is not typically exposed to tight government regulation. The second category is composed of consumers who submit data to a vendor in exchange for a product or service. Agreements in the consumer space may be subject to government oversight. The result is that certain industries such as healthcare must comply with a network of statutes and agency rules. On the other end of the spectrum is the give-and-take approach. Under this approach, the vendor may collect in-depth data from a sensor platform to optimize the user's experience. Here, the contract allows all data to be exchanged in return for incentives such as a curated service or discount. This approach conveys all data usage rights and data title once the end user opts in.

Linux: The 10 best privacy and security distributions

The awesome operating system Linux is free and open source. As such, there are thousands of different ‘flavours’ available – and some types of Linux such as Ubuntu are generic and meant for many different uses. But security-conscious users will be pleased to know that there are also a number of Linux distributions (distros) specifically designed for privacy. They can help to keep your data safe through encryption and operating in a ‘live’ mode where no data is written to your hard drive in use. Other distros focus on penetration testing (pen-testing) – these come with tools actually used by hackers which you can use to test your network’s security. In this article, we’re going to highlight 10 of the best offerings when it comes to both privacy and security.

No silver bullet for business IoT security

One way to sabotage IoT deployments is to replace trusted devices with rogue ones. Existing technologies can help here. SSL/TLS encryption not only ensures that data transmitted by devices is secure, it also confirms a device’s identity. To this end, there has also been renewed interest in PKI (public key encryption). This means more encryption certificates as devices proliferate, which may mean upgrading certificate management capabilities. The encryption suppliers all have new messages around IoT security, including Symantec, Gemalto, Thales, Entrust Datacard, Vormetric and Venafi. Other approaches are being developed to help with IoT device identification. Third-party registries are gaining popularity. These can be referred to for identifying devices and their expected location and function. DNS service providers such as Neustar list known devices and there are specialist databases such as Xively.

Security Automation Isn’t Artificial Intelligence Security

What is confusing many security technology buyers at the moment lies with the inclusion of AI buzzwords around products and services that are essentially delivering “automation.” Many of the heavily marketed value propositions have to do with automating many of the manual tasks that a threat analyst or incident responder would undertake in their day-to-day activities, such as sifting through critical alerts, correlating them with other lesser alerts and log entries, pulling packet captures (PCAPs) and host activity logs, overlaying external threat intelligence and data feeds, and presenting an analytics package for a human analyst to determine the next actions. All these linked actions can of course be easily automated using scripting languages if the organization was so inclined.

Introduction to Machine Learning with Python

Machine learning at a high level has been covered in previous InfoQ articles (see, for example, Getting Started with Machine Learning in the Getting a Handle on Data Science series), and in this article and the ones that follow it we’ll elaborate on many of the concepts and methods discussed earlier, emphasizing concrete examples, and venture into some new areas, including neural networks and deep learning. We’ll begin, in this article, with an extended “case study” in Python: how can we build a machine learning model to detect credit card fraud? (While we’ll use the language of fraud detection, much of what we do will be applicable with little modification to other classification problems—for example, ad-click prediction.) Along the way, we’ll encounter many of the key ideas and terms in machine learning, including logistic regression, decision trees, and random forests, true positive and false positive rate, cross-validation, and ROC and AUC curves.

Quote for the day:

“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.” --@LarryEllison

Daily Tech Digest - January 30, 2017

10 new UI features coming to Windows 10

An addition to the Windows Hello security feature would automatically send your Windows 10 desktop to its lock screen when you step away from it. (You can go to the lock screen by hitting the Windows logo and “L” keys at once.) An official name has not been released, but possibilities include Proximity Lock, Dynamic Lock and Windows Goodbye. Microsoft has not revealed how Windows 10 would sense that you have stepped away. The simplest method would be to use your computer’s webcam, but this feature could also pair your smartphone with your Windows 10 computer or device through Bluetooth. When you step away, taking your smartphone out of Bluetooth range, Windows 10 would then go to its lock screen.

Cyber Security : Why It Belongs In The Board Room

Given the present state of cyberspace, no longer can organizations afford their departments to work in silos when it comes to cyber security. What is required is cultural shift from the bottom to the top of the organizational pyramid covering every nook and corner of all echelons and stratums wherein every individual employee of the organization maintains an optimum cyber hygiene. It is the job of every employee from the CEO to the newly hired apprentice to inculcate an optimum security hygiene and develop a level of vigilance and awareness. It is the cumulative impact of individual cyber hygiene that can effectively deter and prevent the belligerent and bellicose cyber criminals from raiding the organizational networks and stealing the data. It is the shared level of vigilance and cyber awareness on which the organization’s cybersecurity posture is dependent.

The changing face of business - and the part artificial intelligence has to play

While many believe that AI will supplant humans, we think it will instead mostly enable people to do more exceptional work. Certainly, AI will cause displacement of jobs, but it may also significantly boost the productivity of labor. Innovative AI technologies will enable people to make more efficient use of their time and do what humans do best – create, imagine and innovate new things. With technology overall and AI in particular, the key ingredient for success and creating value is taking a “people first” approach. But to make this transition means both companies and governments must acknowledge the challenges and change how they behave. They must be thoroughly prepared—intellectually, technologically, politically, ethically and socially. Governments and businesses will need to take several steps, many of which are not easy

The bank of the future: AI technology a driving force in banking

Future-focused banking institutions need to get on board with AI sooner rather than later, as the industry moves to embrace smart technologies and customer bases become more familiar with these tools. Many banks are already heading in that direction, with a great deal of success. According to Banking Technology, as of June 2016, Sweden's national bank utilized an application that handled more than 30,000 customer conversations per month, with the ability to understand more than 350 different queries – and it resolved issues 78 percent of the time. Co-publisher of The Financial Brand Jim Marous noted in early January 2017 that artificial intelligence was set to explode in the coming year, and the numbers seem to corroborate that claim. A survey conducted by Narrative Science and the National Business Research Institute found that 32 percent of financial services executives were using AI technologies within their operations

7 Tips For Getting Your Security Budget Approved

'This the season for building budgets, and security managers are under pressure to get the funds they need to protect their organizations. Of course this is easier said than done. The road to budget approval is paved with difficult conversations between infosec professionals and business executives. If security leaders don't convey their needs in an understandable way, they risk disapproval from decision-makers and, as a result, less security spend. Businesses' risk of cyberattack will only grow higher in 2017. As they create their security budgets, managers need to consider a few points that will help prepare them for productive conversations with executives. Here, experts share their advice for security leaders creating and discussing their budgets for this year. Bear these in mind while navigating the budget approval process. Are there any tips you would add to this list? Let's keep the conversation going.

What the AI? Trends in Artificial Intelligence, and What’s to Come

“Imagine a world where every app could talk to every other app, and those conversations were animated by a deep and contextual intelligence…That’s exactly the experience Viv wants to enable, and in its tantalizing demos, it seems to conjure that world from the thin air of our current infrastructure — ask it to send $20 to your friend Adam for the drinks last night and Viv parses and then executes your request.” ...  “In order for Viv to utilize the incredible scale Samsung offers, and in order to achieve our ultimate goal of redefining the way people interact with the digital landscape, it would be essential for Viv to be available across more than just Samsung devices. Our vision requires that Viv be everywhere. Samsung is with us. We share a mutual vision to leapfrog the current state-of-the-art in AI, ushering in a new era.”

Protecting Health IT infrastructure from DDoS Attacks

“An attacker may be able to deter patients or healthcare personnel from accessing critical healthcare assets such as payroll systems, electronic health record databases, and software-based medical equipment (MRI, EKGs, infusion pumps, etc.),” said the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in a recent cybersecurity newsletter. “The attacker may hijack or take control of a computer, forcing the computer to send out huge amounts of illegitimate data traffic to particular websites or send spam to particular email addresses,” OCR continued. “The attacker can also control multiple computers with malicious software (also known as botnets) to launch a DoS attack.” According to Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet: Security Report published in May 2016, DDoS attacks increased by almost 40 percent over the previous year, making them one of the most serious threats to healthcare data.

How financial-services firms can become more agile by bringing IT out of the back office

A better solution is available: integrating technology directly into business units, through a model we call capabilities-driven IT. In this model, teams combine business, operations, and technology skills to deliver a specific capability. These teams — called capability pods — contain all the talent and tools necessary to deliver the capability and are responsible for all its aspects, including product ideation, product management, operations, technology design, and development. The pods contain technology specialists, but they also leverage IT’s evolution to SaaS, service-based architectures, and increasing user-friendliness to permit team members without formal technology backgrounds to contribute to IT development. The technology specialists also provide insight to and receive feedback from business and operations.

How to Digitally Transform the Wealth Management Experience

Wealth management is undergoing enormous changes. As new technologies and business models transform the investment experience, emerging generations have different needs and requirements. Tech-savvy users are demanding increased access to information and resources. Artificial Intelligence, or AI-enhanced applications are becoming more commonplace, and robo-advisors have emerged as an alternative strategy competing for high net worth investor attention and share of wallet. Investment management firms that have embraced digital solutions are better able to support their client engagement efforts. Leaders in this space are increasing assets under management and reducing costs, while offering higher levels of service and expanded offerings for valued customers.

If You Want To Do Something Disruptive In A Changing Industry, You Need New Blood

What is also radically different about Kiran’s approach is that he has left the medical professionals to focus on providing treatment, while not being bogged down by the day-to-day administration. Conventionally, in India, the doctor runs his own practice, so has to be an entrepreneur in the sense of promoting his or her own practice. With the daily hassles of managing eye care centres taken care of, the doctors are free to focus on what they know best – provide care and top quality treatment. This has really helped to make an impact. He is now working on a revolutionary idea that would take the hospital to the people instead of the other way around through a mobile eye clinic. “I feel I am answerable to my investors, so I must show them results.” In the future, this model can extend beyond eye care to other aspects of healthcare as well.

Quote for the day:

"Man is a slow, sloppy and brilliant thinker; the machine is fast, accurate and stupid." -- William M. Kelly

Daily Tech Digest - January 29, 2017

The Number 1 Mistake Most Founders Make

The trick here is to learn focus -- think of a compelling book you recently picked up. More often than not, you might find a handful of great ideas covered in just a few paragraphs. It's time consuming for the reader and a waste of paper for the author. Founders should find the core parts of their mission that matter and weave out the things that don't Figure out precisely what you’re going to do for two weeks to be productive and change behaviors. By identifying existing strengths and targeting these pillars, founders can make a bigger impact in the appropriate areas. Albert Einstein said it best when he defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you keep doing the same thing, don’t expect a different outcome. Focus on things that can add substantial growth opportunities to the business.

Meet the chief architect of Aadhaar, Pramod Varma

Pramod recollects a rather worrisome conversation with a professor in the US who specialised in biometrics, having worked in the area for a long time (he volunteered for Aadhaar). He said, ... Pramod then spoke to Google and Facebook and studied their architecture. He realised that in Aadhaar, one identity deduplication has to do nothing with another person’s ID deduplication of data. They realised that it's a very parallelisable problem. Pramod then took a personal bet and decided to go with an open source, commodity computing. They didn’t use any proprietary chipset or computers because they couldn’t have a (architectural) lock-in situation of national critical infrastructure like this (if it succeeds).

Making a Difference with FinTech – Three Examples

There is enough said about the scale of the FinTech industry, its inclusive agenda and massive surrounding ecosystem, but the real value of this industry is not in millions that are moving around in funding, expansion and acquisition deals. The value is measured in micro-processes, in the real, everyday difference FinTech startups make for small businesses and individuals. One of the most important hallmarks of the FinTech community is its focus on solving cumbersome operational problems, allowing business leaders to recalibrate resource allocation (talent, financial resources) to deliver value to their clients rather than to simply remain afloat in a highly competitive market. Let’s look at three illustrative examples of FinTech companies that make a real difference

The Power of Artificial Intelligence is to Make Better Decisions

Reese notes that there is no consistent definition of AI. There is no consistent agreement on the meaning of intelligence. There is also a debate on the word ‘artificial’. That said, the power of AI for augmenting humanity intelligence, improving productivity, and delivering large scale insights is real and in place today. “The power of AI is the power to make better decisions. It is the ability to analyze data, learn and gain new insights in order to make better decisions,” said Reese. ... The power of AI is all about the data. AI that does something based on your data, which Reese calls transferred learning. More importantly is when AI can help businesses make more informed decisions and actions on data sets that you may not have. Reese believes that AI use in business will be ubiquitous.

How enterprise architects can raise their profile within the business – and earn a seat at the table

IT teams have long fought for a seat at the executive table. They have longed to be heard, and be regarded as trusted advisors to the CEO. Now that digitisation is widely recognised as being essential to innovation, growth and the capacity to readily compete, IT is well on its way to becoming firmly embedded in charting the direction of the business, as are the enterprise architects (EAs) that work alongside them.  ... Respected for their technical savvy, and for bringing key technology information into strategic planning, capacity planning and project execution, EAs have typically been key players in the IT team, fighting alongside CIOs to have their strategic insights heard and their version of innovation understood.  In order to earn a seat at the business strategy table, and further show how they are driving business transformation, EAs must increase their visibility within the business.

With tech skills but not enough electricity, meet Gaza's first startup accelerator

"In a crunch, we charge our phones and laptops with car batteries, but such methods are unreliable and not scalable and the problem is chronic. So that startup founders and freelancers can compete at an international level, we need to reliably power up our laptops and mobile phones and access internet and light for at least 12 hours each day, every day of the week." Access to power may be something that many of us take for granted, but it's not a given for Gaza's young, tech-literate population. GSG director Ryan Sturgill tells ZDNet that with unemployment for people aged under 30 years at over 50 percent, technology can help to address vital socio-economic issues. "Increasing coding skills and access to in-demand technologies boosts Gazans ability to build products that can be competitive around the world," he says.

6 Benefits of Coworking With Strangers

Freelancers and contractor writers operate as independent entrepreneurs, but that arrangement doesn't have to mean creating entirely in a vacuum. Gathering with other freelancers in a coworking environment can benefit professionals as well as their products. Coworking provides opportunities to observe and learn from colleagues who value their autonomy and often share other values, too. From this perspective, it's natural that freelancers would appreciate the synergy of a place where numerous, talented people converge in a similar space. The technology age has made it easier than ever for contractors to bring their tools with them. This enables them to work with other like-minded individuals from virtually anywhere. If you're thinking about moving your one-person shop to a coworking atmosphere, consider how these perks could infuse you with new ideas and elevate your current projects.

IT Service Providers Prepare For Potential H1-B Visa Changes

The chief executive of number two Infosys, which earns about 60 percent of revenues from U.S. clients, acknowledged in a press conference two weeks ago that there were likely changes coming to the H-1B program but said he was not “overly concerned” because the company had already increased local hiring. “This is something that I have been focusing on since I started,” said CEO Vishal Sikka, himself a U.S. citizen. “So, we are absolutely committed to creating U.S. jobs, similarly in Australia, in Europe and other geographies where we operate in... Regardless of visa policy, the right thing to do for innovation is to have a lot of rich local talent.” Likewise, HCL Technologies CEO C. Vijayakumar told reporters this week that the company has already been increasing campus and entry-level hiring in the U.S. to support future growth.

Russia Arrests Cybersecurity Official

Kaspersky Lab says that the work of its computer incidents investigations team has continued despite Stoyanov's arrest.According to Stoyanov's LinkedIn profile, he joined Kaspersky Lab in July 2012. Prior to that, he worked as deputy director at a firm called Indrik  ... What's also not clear is if Gerasimov's potential dismissal might relate to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The U.S. intelligence community accused the Russian government of attempting to influence the election. As part of that alleged campaign, Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU, provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, according to a report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security"

Deleted Versus Destroyed: The Critical Difference In Dealing With Data

“The majority of data breach victims surveyed, 81 percent, report they had neither a system nor a managed security service in place to ensure they could self-detect data breaches, relying instead on notification from an external party. This was the case despite the fact that self-detected breaches take just 14.5 days to contain from their intrusion date, whereas breaches detected by an external party take an average of 154 days to contain.” These statistics underscore the importance of having a military-grade solution for corporations, data centers, governmental agencies and organizations with the strictest data destruction standards. ... The act itself happens at a client’s site, so those in attendance can see the most advanced resources of their kind—including the deployment of shredding trucks to remove all destroyed materials—guarantee that data are no more

Quote for the day:

"Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion." -- Bill Hybels

Daily Tech Digest - January 28, 2017

IoT and business model transformation: We're not there yet

One thing is clear: IoT integration should be at the top of your agenda — and, in fact, at the top of your entire C-suite’s agenda. Because prying open the IoT treasure chest isn't a matter of technical prowess — it's a matter of organizational prowess. Sure, the technical challenges are formidable in their own right. With the promise of near-endless data comes the requirement to store and analyze that near-endless data. And when our data lakes become so vast, how can we make sure that our data is secure and the quality is up to par. Tough nuts to crack, but with the help of advances in storage technology, machine learning and cybersecurity, we’re definitely making good progress. That’s why most of my conversations with the C-suite take on a different focus: “Hypothesize these challenges solved, how do you get it to actually work? And what does it mean for my organization?”

Hydraulic muscle makes for tougher, stronger disaster-site robots

The Tokyo Tech/Bridgestone artificial muscle is a very simple device based on the human muscle, only instead of using contracting muscle tissue it uses a rubber tube bound by woven high-tensile fibers, which contracts in length as its pressurized with hydraulic fluid. The combination of rubber and fabric gives it a structure like that of the human artery, so it responds dynamically as pressure is applied and released, allowing it to move smoothly and precisely. ... According to the team, producing the muscle required the development of a new oil-resistant rubber that also has excellent deformation characteristics. The sheath needed a new technique for weaving high-tension chemical fibers, and the tube ends required special tightening to resist high pressure without leaking. The result was an actuator five to ten times the strength-to-weight of electric motors or solid hydraulic cylinders.

The Great Digital Identity Debate

For optimal management of digital identity, Madhu said, the process “begins at the business endpoint, which represents the edge that the consumer interacts with. That could be a private or public business.” A consumer could be challenged for credentials at one business and, across transactions, might not have to be challenged at subsequent interactions with other firms, as they intrinsically trust the credentials already presented and “accept you and can personalize content knowing who you are.” That has been established by XAML. But there are no hard and fast guidelines in the U.S. governing the attributes that a business should check for risk beyond typically confirming one’s name, date of birth or Social Security number. Other avenues of technology tied to digital identity, said Webster, include biometrics. But, said Madhu, biometrics exist primarily to avoid using passwords, where there is nothing wrong with passwords per se in establishing identity.

Big Data Leadership: CIO, CAO, Or Maybe The Big Dog

The common theme in the analytics community is along the lines of "We have to get buy-in from the CEO and the board." Buy-in means giving an OK or allocating funds. What a big data strategy really needs is for the big boss to say, "We're going to do this. If it changes people's jobs, the products we offer, or the way business gets done, we still have to do it." It's about delivering a mandate and providing leadership. Someone on the analytics or IT team can come up with great ideas for the use of data and how it can change the company, but they have no authority over the business units and too often they have only a marginal understanding of a line manager's job in the field. The CEO may have even less of an understanding of what really happens in the field, but what they do have are the authority and the responsibility. A big data initiative -- in fact the broader adoption of analytics -- is a multi-departmental effort.

Black market medical record prices drop to under $10, criminals switch to ransomware

The black market value of stolen medical records dropped dramatically this year, and criminals shifted their efforts from stealing data to spreading ransom ware, according to a report released this morning. Hackers are now offering stolen records at between $1.50 and $10 each, said Anthony James, CMO at San Mateo, Calif.-based security firm TrapX, the company that produced the report. That's a big drop from 2012, when the World Privacy Forum put the street value of medical records at around $50 each. That's because the average profit per record was about $20,000. The information in medical records can be used for medical billing fraud as well as identity theft and other big-money scams. But the market has become saturated, said James. With about 112 million records stolen in 2015 alone, the medical info of nearly half all Americans is already out there.

Zuckerberg defends immigrants threatened by Trump

While the country will have to come to grips with how to deal with the coming unemployment crisis fueled by globalization and automation, and Zuckerberg doesn’t claim to have an answer here, he’s brave to stick up for inclusive values that underpin the modern American spirit. Even if that means sparring with the other most powerful man in the world. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg today announced he’s dropping his Hawaiian land lawsuits that were part of him securing land on the island to build a home, calling the suits “a mistake” and planning a different route forward. The CEO has learned a lot about listening to the public since the early days of Facebook’s privacy missteps. In other Facebook-Trump news, COO Sheryl Sandberg yesterday posted her stern disagreement with Trump signing an executive order that will pull funding from foreign aid organizations that provide counseling about family planning options including abortion.

Here's how robots are going to change employment

"We are seeing the emergence of a Skills Revolution — where helping people upskill and adapt to a fast-changing world of work will be the defining challenge of our time. Those with the right skills will increasingly call the shots, create opportunities and choose how, where and when they work," said Jonas Prising, Chairman & CEO at ManpowerGroup. "Those without will look to the future and not be able to see how their circumstances will improve. This polarization of the population that is playing out in front of our eyes is no good for society or for business. ... "Now is the time for leaders to be responsive and responsible: we cannot slow the rate of technological advance or globalisation, but we can invest in employees’ skills to increase the resilience of our people and organisations. Individuals also need to nurture their learnability: their desire and ability to learn new skills to stay relevant and remain employable."

Banking on Bots: The Move towards Digital Labor in Financial Services

It’s no exaggeration to say that nearly every major process in the world of financial services will present candidates for bots, from the front, middle and back-office to enterprise services such as finance, compliance, and risk management, across all business units including investment banking, wealth and asset management, retail and commercial banking and insurance. At one bank, for example, bots are being used in trade settlement. According to an article in American Banker, the bank has programmed bots with rules that let them perform research on the orders, resolve discrepancies and clear the trades. While it takes a human five to ten minutes to reconcile a failed trade, the bot can do the same task in a quarter of a second.

Vanishing point: the rise of the invisible computer

Technologies such as gesture tracking and gaze tracking, currently being pioneered for virtual-reality video games, may also prove useful. Augmented reality (AR), a close cousin of virtual reality that involves laying computer-generated information over the top of the real world, will begin to blend the virtual and the real. Google may have sent its Glass AR headset back to the drawing board, but something very like it will probably find a use one day. And the firm is working on electronic contact lenses that could perform similar functions while being much less intrusive. Moore’s law cannot go on for ever. But as it fades, it will fade in importance. It mattered a lot when your computer was confined to a box on your desk, and when computers were too slow to perform many desirable tasks. It gave a gigantic global industry a master metronome, and a future without it will see computing progress become harder, more fitful and more irregular.

From insular US firms to spammy marketers: Who will GDPR hit the hardest?

“The upcoming GDPR will be especially demanding for SMEs that aim to collect large amounts of personal data for disruptive applications. For instance, GDPR requires that a data protection impact assessment should be carried out prior to processing personal data. GDPR provides some leeway to SMEs in terms of assigning a data protection officer, or in their record keeping activities. However, this holds true only if the processing is not likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of the data subjects, or the processing is not the core activity of the business.
 “GDPR demands that consumers should be able to review when their personal data is collected and how it is used, and be able to give or withdraw consent. ...”

Quote for the day:

"Pride is concerned with WHO is right. Humility is concerned with WHAT is right." -- Ezra T. Benson

Daily Tech Digest - January 27, 2017

‘Security and fraud risks drive merchant payment decisions’

Despite the increased merchant focus on security, in almost all companies there’s one aspect of a business which represents a potential vulnerability that goes unnoticed from the security perspective. It’s a part of the fraud management team. One reason that this weakness is usually undiscussed is precisely that it is a part of the fraud team’s structure and method, and in general the fraud department is not a usual subject of infosecurity concern. Since their purpose is to protect the company and prevent loss, their goals seem to fit in naturally with the wider security concerns of the company. The potential vulnerability is a function of a method typically used by fraud departments rather than anything integral to the nature of the fraud prevention effort itself.

IoT hits pay dirt where needs and capabilities align

"Manufacturing is seeing huge returns from IoT," said Isaac Brown, analyst with Boston-based Lux Research. "Both from improving operations [within factories] and from producing and selling IoT-enabled products." Jabil, a contract manufacturer, takes an innovative approach to smart manufacturing, going beyond using networked vibration or heat sensors to track equipment health. For example, by taking precise weight measurements of the components produced by an injection molding machine, and using Microsoft's Azure IoT software to analyze that output, it gets clues into whether that machine is running optimally, and can move toward preventative rather than reactive maintenance. "We've seen 10-20% improvements in metrics we track, such as scrap reduction," said Gary Cantrell, Jabil's director of enterprise production and quality.

6 areas of AI and machine learning to watch closely

Given that AI will impact the entire economy, actors in these conversations represent the entire distribution of intents, levels of understanding and degrees of experience with building or using AI systems. As such, it’s crucial for a discussion on AI — including the questions, conclusions and recommendations derived therefrom — to be grounded in data and reality, not conjecture. It’s far too easy (and sometimes exciting!) to wildly extrapolate the implications of results from published research or tech press announcements, speculative commentary and thought experiments. Here are six areas of AI that are particularly noteworthy in their ability to impact the future of digital products and services. I describe what they are, why they are important, how they are being used today and include a list (by no means exhaustive) of companies and researchers working on these technologies.

Robots and the Future of Work

Whoever makes the best robots owns the future of work. There will be so many kinds of robots, there are already quite a few. Will it be China, Japan or can we too make useful, adorable and importantly, robots able to learn? It's more important than everything else, it's how AI, IoT, Big Data and 3D-printing reach the next level of sophistication. Robots like Ethan, from the show Extant. Robots will enable us to understand the human condition in new ways, and help us take greater custodianship over the material world, we have so unconditionally exploited. Robots will be our children, but also our slaves and we'll learn to love our robots until robots themselves can become something else.

Choosing optimized technology for the Internet of Things

To optimize for IoT, companies need to transition from traditional architecture to a more optimized architecture. Elements of the current technology stacks may need to be redesigned so they can support billions of interdependent processing events per year from millions of products, devices, and applications. Since networked devices are always on, companies must be able to react to customer and system requests in real-time; agile software development and delivery will therefore become a critical competency. Seamless connectivity will also become a must-have, as well as collaboration across IT and business units, which have traditionally been siloed. Moreover, companies must be able to securely and efficiently collect, analyze, and store the data emerging from these refined IT architectures.

Why Smart Machines Will Boost Emotional Intelligence

We will not flourish along with smart machines by ourselves. It is going to be an otherness game. It is not going to be a competitive game. It’s going to be a collaboration game. New Smart is a new way of thinking, to define yourself not by what [you] know or how much [you] know, but by the quality of [your] thinking, listening, relating and collaborating. It has four other principles. I am not my ideas; I must de-couple my beliefs, but not my values from my ego. My mental models are not reality; they’re only my generalized stories of how the world works. I must be open-minded and treat my beliefs — not my values — as hypotheses to be constantly tested and subject to modification by better data. My mistakes and failures are opportunities to learn. Those are the five new smart principles, and the new way of thinking that will help us humans complement, augment, and thrive, in the smart machine revolution.

Israeli Cybersecurity Industry Grows as Global Threats Multiply

According to figures based on the non-profit’s data platform and tech industry database PitchBook, 365 Israeli cybersecurity companies raised a total of $581 million in 2016, about 15 percent of all capital raised by the industry globally. About a quarter of the 65 Israeli cyber start-ups founded last year have already succeeded in raising funds, the report said. The report was released ahead of next week’s Cybertech Tel Aviv 2017 conference. ... The new research suggests the country’s cyber industry is maintaining its status as a global leader, drawing on expertise and experience gleaned from the country’s elite military intelligence forces. “Israel is at the forefront of innovation in cybersecurity” as entrepreneurs who completed their mandatory military service “uniquely bring their cyberwarfare and cyberintelligence expertise to the commercial sector,” said Avivah Litan, a vice president and analyst at Gartner Research.

The shifting role of the IT professional In 2017

The ability to quickly learn new IT concepts and skills will soon become one of the most important attributes of an IT pro. With the workplace becoming more interconnected, the traditional structure and boundaries of IT roles are beginning to blur. Being an expert in one technology won’t be enough anymore. Employees who are a jack-of-all-trades, solution-focused, and can communicate the impact of technology to the organisation will see their demand grow. More specifically, the introduction of new machine-based technologies, alongside the continued adoption of a DevOps culture, will require IT pros to focus on developing new skill sets and certifications to operate and manage next-generation data centers. In 2017, two things will impact the role of the IT pro: the rise of the machines and an increase in the adoption of DevOps.

Growing UK's tech skills base will make or break prime minister's industrial strategy

“The industrial strategy says very clearly that we must become a more innovative economy and do more to commercialise our world-leading science base to drive growth across the UK, and that really runs through the entire document.”  According to the prime minister, this work will form a “critical part” of the government’s plans for a “post-Brexit Britain”, and ensure the country is in a strong economic position for many years to come, once its extrication from the European Union (EU) takes place. ... “If we’re going to have the kind of science, innovation and economy we need, we must make sure we are attracting people of all genders and from all backgrounds into science and innovation, and I see very little in this paper to give us confidence of that.”

Might the Blockchain Outlive Bitcoin?

On the regulatory front, the reviews remain mixed, but lawmakers seemed to err on the side of caution in 2015. For example, the state of New York enacted legislation to open up the crypto-currency market for Bitcoin banking licensure. Unfortunately, the bill attached draconian requirements, including a separate license for each exchange service offered and complicated registration requirements. ... Based on strong entrepreneurial movements fueled by aggressive venture capitalists, some speculate that the G7 nations will tend to eventually pave the regulatory way for digital crypto-currencies. If not, others speculate that developing nations in Africa, Latin America, and Asia will benefit, if the more developed nations exact too much restriction. Clearly, many of the world’s regulatory bodies still remain in deliberation with regard to managing crypto-currency.

Quote for the day:

"We're all passionate about something, the secret is to figure out what it is, then pursue it with all our hearts" -- Gordon Tredgold

Daily Tech Digest - January 26, 2017

Survey: IT workers worried about U.S. net neutrality repeal

IT workers debating net neutrality on the Spiceworks website "care deeply about the subject, with one side arguing government regulation of the internet is unnecessary and counterproductive, while others fear potential deregulation of net neutrality could put companies at the mercy of ISPs," Peter Tsai, an IT analyst at Spiceworks, wrote in a blog post.  Forty-five percent of respondents say they expect upload or download speeds to get slower if the rules are scrapped. "A website belonging to a small business might be given less priority than a website belonging to a more established company with deeper pockets," Tsai wrote.  More than eight in 10 respondents said they were concerned that a repeal of the net neutrality rules would allow broadband providers to slow certain types of content and to block access to some content.

Indian techies nervous about stay in Donald Trump’s America

The lack of clarity on how exactly the Trump administration will tweak visa norms is fuelling apprehension among Indian techies. While some have put off key financial decisions, others say their job prospects have dimmed since the change of guard at the White House. “I have put plans to buy a house on hold, because my visa is expiring next year. So, I don’t know how my green card application, which was supposed to begin in February, would get affected,” said a management graduate who earned his degree in the US and now lives in Texas. A New York-based information management specialist who has been in the US since 2012 said he has experienced an immediate fallout of the Trump presidency. “I was looking for a job and got one a few weeks ago. But they stalled the appointment because I have an H-1B visa,” he said. 

Riding The Blockchain Train, Together

“It’s all a do-mocracy,” Behlendorf said. “For every line of code, we’re dependent on the companies bringing their developers and the independent developers getting together with them and forging something in common. The downside of that is that you need to create a compelling case to get that fire lit, but on the upside, it means that no one is waiting for one developer or a team to do everything for them, but they’re all working together to build something.” ... “It started life internally at IBM as a research project, so they brought the code along with documentation and a bunch of other things,” he said. “But they knew they needed to get input and build a community around it and make it less of an IBM project and more of a multi-stakeholder project. So, in that time, Fabric has had contributions from many other developers and now is on course.”

Google is finally letting anyone make apps for its new virtual reality platform

This approach is understandable: It means that Google can ensure that only the very best experiences are available to showcase its new technology — something especially important given the full-on nature of virtual reality. As the company says on its page dedicated to quality requirements for Daydream apps, "designing apps for VR is substantially different than for other platforms, particularly because poorly designed applications or performance issues can make some users feel nauseated." In other words: A bad smartphone game might annoy you, but a bad virtual reality app could make you want to vomit. The flipside of this strategy is that the selection of apps is necessarily limited. By releasing guidelines and letting anyone submit Daydream apps for inclusion in the Google Play app store, the selection available is likely about to get significantly broader.

ISACA Privacy Principles and Program Management Guide

As connected devices proliferate and the volume of data about individual users continues to increase, individuals are understandably increasingly concerned about their personal and online privacy. In response, numerous governments throughout the world have drafted legislation governing how individual privacy is treated. Navigating this landscape can be a challenging exercise – particularly given an increasingly interdependent global economy. ... When considering approaches to address potential privacy threats, you must acknowledge that privacy has multiple dimensions, and those dimensions can be used to define taxonomies of privacy problems, intrusions or categories. Enterprises must consider and address these seven categories of privacy with security controls and with appropriate privacy practices.

How half a million people are being paid pennies to train AI

A common technique for teaching AI systems to perform these tricky tasks is by training them using a very large number of labeled examples. These machine learning systems are fed huge amounts of data, which has been annotated to highlight the features of interest. These examples might be photos labeled to indicate whether they contain a dog or written sentences that have footnotes to indicate whether the word "bass" relates to music or a fish. This process of teaching a machine by example is called supervised learning and the role of labeling these examples is commonly carried out by Turkers and other online workers. Training these systems typically requires vast amounts of data, with some systems needing to scour millions of examples to learn how to carry out a task effectively. Training datasets are huge and growing in size ...

E-commerce players seek sops on digital transactions in Budget

"The Indian e-commerce industry would be looking for some positive outcomes both in terms of tax relaxation and more freedom of operation," said Harshvardhan Lunia, Co-founder and CEO, Lendingkart Technologies. "Moreover, the sector will also look at receiving more clarity for FDI (foreign direct investment) in B2C (business-to-consumer) e-commerce through an automatic route," he added. Industry stakeholders are of the view that expectations from the government in the upcoming budget on direct tax issues follows the fact that several challenges have surfaced in the area of taxation in the e-commerce space. "The characterisation of income is a key issue faced by e-commerce industry both by residents and non-resident players," said Anil Talreja, Partner, Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP.

30 tasty tips for Android Nougat

Google's latest major Android release may have officially launched last fall, but if you're like most folks, you'll probably be getting your first taste of Nougat -- also known as Android 7 -- in 2017. If you want timely Android updates, Google's own Nexus and Pixel phones are the only way to go -- all other devices depend on third-party manufacturers to prepare and provide rollouts. And as we see time and time again, that tends to result in slow and uncertain progress. Once you've got the software, though, there's plenty to be learned about Google's most recent mobile efforts. Here are some practical tips to help you get the most out of Android's newest features -- both the marquee additions and the less obvious little touches.

The C4 Software Architecture Model

The Agile Manifesto prescribes that teams should value working software over comprehensive documentation. This doesn’t mean that we should not create documentation; it just means we should create documentation that provides value and at the same time does not hinder the team’s progress. We can achieve this using C4 architecture model. It is a static model, that provides an easy way to communicate the design of the system to all involved, and also brings a natural narrative for exploring the architecture of a software solution. Starting from the highest level (what is the system and how does it provides value to the business), it drills into the details, until the very low level of functionality. ... The C4 model is a hierarchical way to think about the structures of a software system. Why such a model would be needed, since the existence of UML, or 4 + 1 architecture views and the others?

What Does "Being Digital" Actually Mean?

An organisation’s journey to a digital universe is fraught with challenges and hard work and probably no small amount of contention. During that journey, you will almost certainly be confronted by those that throw doubt at its benefit. In fact, you may start doubting it yourself. The hardest part is the mindset shift from non-digital to digital. Any strong organisation is one that has a strong core of people that have stayed with them for many years. One that understand the business, that are loyal to the business. It is those people that create the culture and mindset of the organisation. And it is they that will have the toughest time in changing. It is they that will need to be convinced that your customers are not your internal “business” but those people that use your services. They will need to get used to releases on a weekly, or even daily basis.

Quote for the day:

"When people say they'd like to be in your shoes, it's usually after the difficult journey is finished." -- Tim Fargo

Daily Tech Digest - January 25, 2017

What Happens When a Customer of IT Becomes an IT Leader

An IT leader must think about the business outcome of technology investments, keeping in mind that conflicts can surface in employees’ mindsets, corporate operating rhythms, team reporting structures and more. One approach I’ve developed is to speak in the language of business executives and highlight the business outcomes they want to achieve. For example, Intuit has no less than nine billing systems that IT must try to bridge across. Our objective is to retire them in favor of one global system. But when we talked about "retiring" systems familiar to them, it caused some business leaders to think about how it might be risky to do so. When we flipped it to talk about the new capabilities the initiative would deliver – from wholesale bundling to quick pricing adjustments – they were willing to take on much more risk in parallel with us to move to these new systems.

Why this CTO says you need a CDO to do digital transformation right

The CDO plays a central and pivotal role in the digital enterprise and therefore in the future success of any business. Why? Because digital companies, digital disrupters, base their new digital business models on software, connecting the digital and physical worlds. Therefore, if software is the connection between the digital and the physical, the CDO is the connection between IT and business. They are now two sides of the same coin. Based on software, digital companies can create enhanced or totally new business models that offer completely new digital customer experiences. We have seen this with the newborn digital enterprises that are typically free of any physical assets such as fleets, factories, machineries or goods. It is through this software platform-only based business model they can move so fast, often resulting in exponential growth.

The road ahead: the coming rise of Artificial Intelligence in GRC

The GRC landscape is under a lot of stress due to the large number of unexpected events. Once again, Brexit and Trump are the obvious examples, with very few predicting the outcomes to those historic votes. The domino effect is the uncertainty they have created. For instance, there’s the wildly fluctuating exchange rates between the Dollar, Pound and Euro, and the unknown extent of regulatory change, which will come about following the triggering of Article 50 and Trump’s declaration to de-regulate the US. Businesses are finding it more difficult to plan and are having to allow for wider risk margins.  What is predictable, is that there will be far more unpredictable events in the next few years. As such, GRC technology and approaches will evolve to handle persuasive uncertainty and not simply the standard events.

When Machines Know How You're Feeling: The Rise Of Affective Computing

This particular branch of computer science is known as affective computing, that is, the study and development of systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process, and simulate human experiences, feelings or emotions. But it’s also related to deep learning, because complicated algorithms are required for the computer to perform facial recognition, detect emotional speech, recognize body gestures, and other data points. The computer compares the data input — in this case, a human with whom it is interacting — to its learning database to make a judgement about the person’s emotions. A University of Ohio team programed a computer to recognize 21 ‘compound’ emotions including happily surprised and sadly disgusted. And, in tests, the computer was more accurate at recognizing these subtle emotions than the human subjects were.

Deloitte CIO Survey Finds Gap Between Business Expectations and IT Capabilities

Business priorities are focused on customers and innovation, says the Deloitte report, while IT capabilities are still lagging in these areas, which is where CIOs can play a critical role. Yet the business expectations for CIOs still focus on maintenance, efficiency, cybersecurity, and business process improvement. These gaps between business and IT may stand in the way of CIO inspirations. Deloitte classifies CIO types into three categories: “Trusted operators” ensure operational excellence, “change instigators” enable large business transformations, and “business co-creators” focus on revenue and growth. The survey found that 55% of CIOs report their current type as trusted operator and 34% as business co-creator, but 66% of all CIOs surveyed say their ideal state is business co-creator.

Tap into the new SELinux, DR features in RHEL release 7.3

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is one of the biggest improvements in RHEL release 7.3, giving administrators better control over policies. It is now possible to override a system module with a custom module that has a higher priority, so the custom module takes precedence. ... With RHEL release 7.3, organizations can also deploy multisite disaster recovery (DR) services without having to use a third-party vendor; the DR components are built-in and will integrate with the operating system. Admins can configure pacemaker to enable the multisite functionality, and trigger pacemaker alerts to receive notifications of status changes. This built-in disaster recovery option will help RHEL 7.3 be more reliable than preview RHEL iterations.

Big data: It may be the new oil but have public failures damaged adoption?

A recent report released by MHR Analytics found that 88% of UK C-level executives agree that data analytics and BI will be crucial to the future of their business, citing factors such as driving growth 42%, helping drive cost reduction and efficiency savings 39% and the need to improve customer intelligence 36% as key factors as to why they are introducing data analytics into their organisation. Challenges exist, the same report found that almost one in five businesses don’t have a chief analytics officer or a chief data officer, while 21% of the C-suite execs say that a lack of big data expertise is a challenge at board level. These are clearly big problems that need to be solved, particularly so when you consider that 76% of organisations are planning a big data or data analytics project in the next 12 months.

Could You Go to Prison for Not Reporting a Data Breach?

Not coming clean in a timely fashion about a cyber-breach is a serious matter - and creates opportunities for all sorts of financial improprieties. If anyone profited from insider information by acting on knowledge of the breach while he, she, or others were covering it up, for example, it is easy to understand why that person could face jail time for insider trading. But the issue is much broader. How many people bought or sold Yahoo stock between the time Yahoo employees discovered the breaches and the time that the firm disclosed the breaches to the public? Did anyone with insider knowledge of either breach advise anyone on the outside? Did anyone profit from that insider information? Did any employees receive compensation based on company-stock performance that was effectively distorted by a breach being covered up?

Are You A Venture CIO?

Focus on two types of venture capital investments. One type, called “Enabling” investments, increases the demand or expands the market for the investor’s own products and services. An example is Intel’s venture capital investments in video and audio software development firms that built systems requiring more powerful Intel chips. “Emergent” investments instead explore new, future opportunities not currently part of the investor’s business strategy by leveraging related products or services. For example, General Motors invested $500 million in the online car- and- ride sharing company Lyft to investigate mobility services. Venture CIOs must support their business in deciding whether to be the sole investor or to co-invest, if the company should acquire minority or equal stakes, and at what stage of the startup’s life cycle to invest.

Building Reactive Applications with Akka Actors and Java 8

The actor model provides a relatively simple but powerful model for designing and implementing applications that can distribute and share work across all system resources—from threads and cores to clusters of servers and data centers. It provides an effective framework for building applications with high levels of concurrency and for increasing levels of resource efficiency. Importantly, the actor model also has well-defined ways for handling errors and failures gracefully, ensuring a level of resilience that isolates issues and prevents cascading failures and massive downtime. In the past, building highly concurrent systems typically involved a great deal of low-level wiring and very technical programming techniques that were difficult to master.

Quote for the day:

"Some people change their ways when they see the light; others when they feel the heat." -- Caroline Schoeder

Daily Tech Digest - January 24, 2017

On Building a “Data Culture” in a Real Organization

What will vary from organization to organization will be the manner in which data governance and data analytics services are managed. The CDO has to have the authority, responsibility, and resources to manage all the necessary development, services, staff, and support associated with key points in the data supply chain. One important issue is what ongoing services have to be provided to make data and analytics useful, given the mix of analytical skills of those who can use the data. This should be driven by a consideration of what problems we are trying to solve with the help of data. As I suggested in How Much "Data Science" Do You Really Need?, ... Interestingly, the question of technology is not being raised in this discussion. Instead, we’re focusing on management, policy, and organizational issues.

Exploring the Intersection of Machine Learning and Analytics

All this machine learning gives us other great ways to interact with our data as well. With the SiSense chatbot, you can carry on a chat conversation from a messaging system like Slack or Skype, in which you engage in a natural language conversation with Sisense to get insights. You might type something like “Summarize sales by region for the fourth quarter of 2016” and Sisense will present you with a written response that might also be accompanied by a graph to further elaborate on the data provided. From this point, you have information to ask other questions, such as drilling down on a region to look at the store or salesperson performance. You could even do this while you’re on the run with the Sisense mobile app.

Technology continues to disrupt the marketing industry

It is evident from the research that customer experience and technology are still having a major impact on marketers. Marketers recognise that tech disruptors, such as Amazon and Uber, have raised the bar on customer expectation – with almost half (49%) of marketers surveyed feeling the pressure to reinvent customer experience just to keep pace. Customer experience is clearly moving up the business agenda, as it clearly should, with one in five respondents asserting that customer experience is now the primary focus for their organisation, and a further 15% saying they have gone through a major process of transformation in the past year to ensure they stay relevant.

What’s next for blockchain and cryptocurrency

Think of what’s happening in India, where the government recently scrapped 86 percent of cash in circulation, and in Venezuela, where currency is so devalued people now need to carry stacks of cash just to buy food. As a result, many retail investors are turning their attention to digital currencies, as well. Cryptocurrencies are free from government control. Governments can’t easily call in bitcoins or halt their movement across international borders without taking drastic actions. Financial institutions, bound by charters that describe the types of investments they can embark upon, have had few means of putting their money into bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. But in 2017, we’ll see a greater push towards a diversity of cryptocurrencies as investments, and ETFs, hedge funds, and derivatives will start to act as conduits for institutions to gain exposure and get into the cryptocurrency game.

A CIO's role in 2017: Keep the lights on while planning for the future

Even with all the effort to digitally transform, there is an inherent tension between the past, or status quo, and future technology including either all the potential or complication it brings, depending on your view. But that tension can be eliminated if CIOs and IT organizations are conscious that the customer is their fellow employees. "If you pay attention to the concerns and to the people — [making] a cognizant decision that you're going to focus on making sure that the IT that they have is valuable to the company — and you're going to help them move into more current technologies without having them worry about their jobs, then they're going to continue to work well as a team," said Warren Perlman, CIO of Ceridian.

The Evolution of the 'Virtual Law Firm'

The biggest technological change around virtual law practice has been in cloud computing. Thirty-seven percent of all respondents to the 2016 ABA TECHSURVEY said that they used cloud technology, up from 30 percent in 2015. Cloud computing has especially caught in the small firm realm: 61 percent of small firms polled for the ILTA/Inside Legal Technology Purchasing Survey predicted that their firm’s software could be cloud-based in the next one to three years. “Core to a virtual law firm is going to be leveraging the cloud, using practice management software that’s in the cloud that you and your team can access from everywhere, using document storage where there’s collaboration there. It’s really focused around the cloud,” Burton says. The ABA’s TECHREPORT survey found that certain types of collaborative online client services haven’t really taken off, however.

Data science is easy; making it work is hard

With data science, it’s always smart to look backward from the point of action, from the decision being made to understand whether your systems are yet capable of handling the interaction. By focusing first on the decisions, and how they are being made, it becomes possible to understand where data science can truly add value. There are few things I find more frustrating than data scientists identifying value that could be delivered, but then realizing that there is no way to actually deliver it. Another common mistake is not identifying where inefficiencies are beyond your control — the delivery time from your logistics supplier, for example. No analytics will improve that. So data science is easy. Making it actionable is the hard part.

A star tech and media banker shares his thoughts on dealmaking in 2017

"The convergence of traditional and digital media will yield content synergies, advertising scale across several platforms and sales force efficiencies," Bourkoff wrote. He added that this convergence does not mean that we'll see more over-the-top streaming and skinny programming bundles. Demand for OTT falls sharply when prices rise, Bourkoff said, and the programming costs needed to create skinny bundles of channels will force prices so high that demand will ween. Bourkoff said his firm's deal pipeline included 50 mandated live deals at the end of the year. " As we build out LionTree in 2017, I firmly believe it has never been more important to take a long-term investment view as it is now," he said.

Why Slack, Chatbots, And Freelance Workers Have Your IT Department Freaking Out

Compounding these growing threats are a couple of workforce trends that make them more likely—namely, the rise of workplace collaboration tools. CompTIA’s report points out that as more workers take advantage of BYOD ("bring your own device") policies and use their own smartphones and laptops for work purposes, the use of project-management platforms and apps has risen in order to keep everybody connected. A new study from Okta, an identity and device management provider, based on data from its own customers who generate an estimated million+ logins, found that more than 50% of apps accessed through its service are not provided by IT departments. This means workers are using Okta to secure their personal apps and data as well.

How information security professionals can help business understand cyber risk

Business owners also do not like spending money on anything that does not make them money, says Holman, adding that even cyber insurance is a grudge purchase. “I’m never fond of paying a high premium, but I accept it if there’s a niggling feeling that I could lose my livelihood and house if I fail to get the right insurance cover,” he says. “And mitigating cyber risk is exactly the same. If companies don’t do it, they could go out of business.” But businesses tend to be overconfident in existing defences and often doubt they could be seriously affected by a cyber attack, leaving infosec pros with the challenge of persuading them there is a real need to mitigate security risks.

Quote for the day:

"A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study." -- Chinese Proverb