Daily Tech Digest - July 06, 2017

Connecting 400 million people to the IoT? No sweat.

The first wave of the roll out will connect nearly 2000 communities and covers an estimated 400 million people, making the project the first of its kind in terms of scale. In addition to successful trials in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, the two firms have 35 proof-of-concept applications under trial over the network. Tata are aiming to speed up digital transformation in a variety of sectors including supply chain, utilities and healthcare. “The sheer size of this project is incredible, bringing new services to millions of people,” said David Sliter, vice president and general manager of the Communications Solutions Business at HPE. “Through our partner-centric approach, the HPE Universal IoT platform will enable Tata Communications to build multiple vertical use cases for its IoT network in India on a common platform with a common data model.”

Navigating the AI ethical minefield without getting blown up

As AI, big data, and the related fields of machine learning, deep learning, and computer vision/object recognition rise, buyers and sellers are rushing to include AI in everything, from enterprise CRM to national surveillance programmes. An example of the latter is the FBI’s scheme to record and analyse citizens’ tattoos in order to establish if people who have certain designs inked on their skin are likely to commit crimes*. Such projects should come with the label ‘Because we can’. In such a febrile environment, the risk is that the twin problems of confirmation bias in research and human prejudice in society become an automated pandemic: systems that are designed to tell people exactly what they want to hear; or software that perpetuates profound social problems.

How to manage vendors in a cloud-first world

The first is centralized, where everything -- including contract, performance, financial, risk and relationship management -- is handled centrally by vendor management and procurement professionals. This offers control and consistency, but can be inflexible and slow to react. Another common approach is decentralized, where vendor management is generally handled by individual business and IT departments, which has the benefit of being more responsive to issues as they arise but can have laxer and less consistent controls. The third, more recent approach, is hybrid, where vendor management functions are spread across the organization, according to where they fit best. In this scenario certain functions, such as contract management, could be handled centrally, while others, such as performance management, are carried out by individual departments or IT groups.

3 steps to create a digital banking relationship center

CIOs should help the business steer the transformation to a digitally enabled contact center. However, the work also involves developing an integrated platform that can help a new breed of “empathetic advisors” to serve customers. For instance, CIOs can help develop capabilities that allow intelligent machines to produce data insights that are shared with customer service agents so that they can deliver the most personalized services possible.  Right now, legacy technology hinders positive customer experiences. Data is piecemeal, there are gaps in knowledge, and silos make it near impossible to gain a comprehensive view of the customer. With an effective platform strategy, banks can break through the silos and deliver personalized customer experiences.

Use the cloud to achieve operating model transformation: Six steps

This also means that the cloud should be just one component of corporate IT's operating model transformation. Cloud can't be expected to deliver top-line digital results without software design and development strategies that connect it to digital business projects. This has spurred IT leaders' efforts to bring DevOps into enterprises and include the use of teams that coach developers to code for cloud-based architectures. It's not possible for cloud to deliver without new business engagement approaches that connect cloud adoption strategies to opportunities for scale and innovation. In one organization we studied, this led to the establishment of "cloud champions" -- commercial product managers who teach business unit leaders how to make use of cloud capabilities in their products for better commercial outcomes.

6 Robo Advisory Firms Trying Hard to Innovate

We’re often puzzled as to how people can use terminology to put an entirely new coat of paint on something that’s been around for a long time and then purport that it’s new and exciting. Take robo advisors as an example. In the good old days, you met with a wealth manager who asked you a bunch of questions and then plugged them into a piece of software that said where you should optimally invest your money. Usually, this is just a very simple asset allocation strategy with X% in bonds and Y% in stocks based on your age and appetite for risk. Then, as a result of the perpetual cost savings initiatives that permeate the corporate world, we decided to remove the human element, externalize the software, and call it a “robo advisor”, a term that somehow implies that there is more under the hood than there actually is.

Is your sandbox strategy keeping you safe?

To better detect APTs, security professionals are deploying advanced threat detection and protection technologies, often including virtual sandboxes which analyse the behaviour of suspicious files and uncover hidden, previously unknown malware. However, threats are getting smarter each day, and many vendors’ sandbox techniques simply have not kept pace. An APT is a set of stealthy and continuous computer hacking processes, often orchestrated by criminals targeting a specific entity. These threats often include unknown and undocumented malware, including zero-day threats. They are designed to be evolving, polymorphic and dynamic. They are targeted to extract or compromise sensitive data, including identity, access and control information. While these types of attacks are less common than automated or commoditised threats that are more broadly targeted, APTs pose a serious emerging threat.

Data Center Automation Advances Hybrid Cloud

A recent study by Morar Consulting concludes that it's difficult to realize savings in energy consumption and efficient operations without a data center infrastructure management system (DCIM). The implication of the study is that data centers have gotten so complex with so many invisible, moving parts, including virtual servers and containers, that average systems administrators/data center operations specialists need all the help they can get. Morar contacted 101 CIOs, CTOs and senior data center managers across the US for the study and another 100 in the UK. "A successful DCIM solution deployment allows managers to understand, manage and optimize the myriad amounts of data under their control, the Morar study said. The study was sponsored by Intel and Schneider Electric.

Get Ready for the Post-Cloud World

In the fast-approaching post-cloud world, the new differentiator is in how well an organization procures and consumes many digital business assets simultaneously, dynamically, and in deep synergy — across a diverse and complex supply chain and easily reconfigured installed base. Technology’s new poster child, artificial intelligence (AI), and its engine, machine learning, will be a major reason why cloud goes mundane, practically invisible, fairly soon. To make the most of a spectrum of apps and data hosting options, many variables need to be considered, evaluated, measured, reassessed and implemented. Repeat. All the time. To me, managing the complexity of such hybrid computing real-time procurement is a killer app of AI. These are not necessarily the skills resulting from completing a Microsoft certification process.

The Robot Automation Tipping Point

There are robots all around you, and you didn’t notice. From factory automation to self-driving cars, to drones, to the machines that make your pizza or how you paid for your parking. To the wild and fun automation that happen at a Disney resort. You can also build bots to analyze large amounts of data. Do you trade stocks? Well, 99% of the processing is happening on computers rather than brokers. That’s right even the trades are not completed by brokers anymore. People are going crazy over “Chat Bots” however it’s part of the automation tipping point. Humans love stories. We love reading books and engaging in conversation. The Message interface is simple and universal. This allows all ages and all walks of life to understand it, and use it. But what about all those people losing their jobs?

Quote for the day:

"In programming simplicity and clarity are not a dispensable luxury, but a crucial matter that decides between success and failure." -- Dijkstra

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