Daily Tech Digest - January 26, 2020

AI to play a greater role in Financial Services in 2020

One of the major threats to productivity is the inability for FS firms to connect and organise all of the data they have at their disposal, so that they can use it as the basis for improved and new customer services. Compared to newer industry challengers, established banks and FS providers have far richer data going back decades or longer. If institutions could tap into this considerable resource, it could be used to distil invaluable intelligence and insights into consumer trends, product performance, and relative account profitability. Although organisations have all of the underlying information stored within their legacy systems, it is typically very difficult for teams to access, combine and cross-analyse this data. This is because, too often, systems are unconnected, use incompatible data formats and feature considerable data duplication between applications. In our research, FS providers confirm that, on average, they store information and content across nine different systems. And these systems tend to operate in silos: almost three-quarters of respondents say their organisation’s systems are not fully connected with each other.

Tridash 0.8: Stateful Applications using Functional Programming

With imperative programming, a typical implementation, of the sum application, involves attaching event listeners to both fields, which are called whenever their values change. In the event listener, the value entered in the text field is read from memory, and stored in a variable, a reference to another memory location, which is accessible to the internal sum component. A procedure is called to recompute the sum. This procedure reads the values of the internal variables, which store the values entered in the text fields, and computes the new sum. Finally this new sum has to be written to the memory, in which the value displayed to the user, is stored. The problem with this approach is that the synchronization of the application state, across all its components, is left entirely up to the programmer. This quickly becomes repetitive and the application logic is buried under layers of state updating and synchronization code. This approach is also inflexible to changes in the application's specification.

Competing in the Age of AI

Oddly enough, the AI that can drive the explosive growth of a digital firm often isn’t even all that sophisticated. To bring about dramatic change, AI doesn’t need to be the stuff of science fiction—indistinguishable from human behavior or simulating human reasoning, a capability sometimes referred to as “strong AI.” You need only a computer system to be able to perform tasks traditionally handled by people—what is often referred to as “weak AI.” With weak AI, the AI factory can already take on a range of critical decisions. In some cases it might manage information businesses (such as Google and Facebook). In other cases it will guide how the company builds, delivers, or operates actual physical products (like Amazon’s warehouse robots or Waymo, Google’s self-driving car service). But in all cases digital decision factories handle some of the most critical processes and operating decisions. Software makes up the core of the firm, while humans are moved to the edge.

What are the Most Valued Skills of an Enterprise Architect?

Enterprise architecture is the process by which an organization (or enterprise) aligns its business objectives with IT infrastructure. The strategies needed to execute this powerful approach involve those at the highest level of the business. IT capabilities and investments are guided by their alignment with the needs of the business as a whole. Enterprise architects must understand the strategy and develop the best way to execute it. As the need to ensure legacy programs, procedures, and technology are carefully managed to align and transform towards modern practices – through digital transformation or IT modernization – the enterprise architect must possess the skills of a technical specialist as well as those of a technical leader. ... These technical skills are tablestakes when it comes to being valuable to prospective employers, but exhibiting emotional intelligence and other soft skills will give you a real competitive edge as an enterprise architect.

Why the perception of digital transformation needs to change image
Many organisations call on digital transformation for a single project, without understanding how to fully utilise the process to bring about transformative, long-term change. To maximise transformation, businesses and leaders need to question everything – their operations, processes and current ways of working – to really understand what is and isn’t working, gaining a clear insight into what needs to be changed and why. In understansding how damaging the phrase ‘but we’ve always worked this way’ can be, business leaders start to shift their perceptions and focus on what they want their business to look like and why. Business leaders believe conventional digital transformation is about technology – in replacing it with ‘outcome realisation’, they will understand it’s not just about digital. It’s about people, hearts and minds – everything. A core part of ‘outcome realisation’ is having objectives, goals and targets; knowing exactly what you want from transformation and change.

Trend Micro antivirus zero-day used in Mitsubishi Electric hack

trend micro
This week, Japanese media dug deeper into the hack. According to reports, the hack first originated at a Mitsubishi Electric Chinese affiliate, and then spread to 14 of the company's departments/networks. The intrusion was allegedly detected after Mitsubishi Electric staff found a suspicious file on one of the company's servers. None of this was confirmed by the Japanese company, but discovered by Japanese reporters. The only technical detail in relation to the hack Mitsubishi Electric disclosed was the fact that hackers exploited a vulnerability in one of the antivirus products the company was using. A source with knowledge of the attack told ZDNet that the hackers exploited CVE-2019-18187, a directory traversal and arbitrary file upload vulnerability in the Trend Micro OfficeScan antivirus. According to a security advisory Trend Micro sent out in October 2019, "affected versions of OfficeScan could be exploited by an attacker utilizing a directory traversal vulnerability to extract files from an arbitrary zip file to a specific folder on the OfficeScan server, which could potentially lead to remote code execution (RCE)."

Project management v. business process management: What you need to know

Multiethnic businesspeople develop business strategy on whiteboard
Business process management involves the redesign and management of a company's internal processes or workflows. It isn't necessarily a project but an ongoing initiative to ensure a company's processes are effectively working to meet company goals. A company can kick off a specific process improvement project. That project would have a defined start and end, but the company would establish an ongoing process monitoring and management phase that continues after the project is closed. Project management has a defined start and end; it doesn't have any ongoing stages or components like process management does. Projects accomplish specific objectives within a set timeline and follow five unique phases: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and close. Projects are managed by a project manager and his or her team. In contrast, business process management initiatives can be managed by a business analyst, business process improvement specialist, or other functional team leads. Now that we've looked at each as a separate discipline, it's essential to recognize how business process management and project management must work together to create organizational success.

How AI Is Improving Omnichannel CyberSecurity In 2020

How AI Is Improving Omnichannel CyberSecurity in 2020
The survey’s results are noteworthy because they reflect how AI and machine learning-based fraud prevention techniques are helping retailers, financial services, insurance and restaurants to reduce false positives that in turn reduces friction for their customers. All industries are in an arms race with fraudsters, many of whom are using machine learning to thwart fraud prevention systems. There are a series of fraud prevention providers countering fraud and helping industries stay ahead. A leader in this field is Kount, with its Omniscore that provides digital businesses with what they need to fight fraud while providing the best possible customer experience. ... The insurance industry has a friendly fraud problem that is hard to catch. Over half of the financial institutions interviewed, 52%, plan to invest in additional technologies to secure existing accounts, and 46% plan to invest in better identity-verification measures. Based on the survey banks appear to be early adopters of AI and machine learning for fraud prevention.

2020: Disruption, The Changing Workplace And The Future Of Automation

2020: Disruption, the changing workplace and the future of automation
The workplace in 2020 will see ‘augmented collaboration’, with humans and robots increasingly working together side-by-side. This amalgamation of human and robots is already visible on the shop floor, as Amazon Go-style stores begin to spring up, allowing for a completely cashier-less retail experience. This isn’t necessarily new: people have been working collaboratively with tech such as laptops and mobile phones for many years. However, what’s new is the advent of human-machine convergence. This goes hand-in-hand with advanced robotic technology, powering anything from ‘smart glasses’ to intelligent assistants. Furthermore, autonomous machines will be capable of taking on even more tasks, enabling humans to focus on the real value-add work. On the flip side, companies will need to prepare their employees for this shift, as Gen Z start to enter the workforce. With their own unique set of demands and expectations, the new generation’s life experiences affect the types of jobs they seek and define what’s most important to them. They’re naturally tech-savvy, for example, with a recent survey finding that technology offered by an employer would influence the job choice of 91% of respondents.

Internet Security- Get Ready for the "Splinternet"

The main defense against the hypothetical 2028 scenario I described earlier is an economic one–at least when it comes to America shutting its doors to the global web, says Professor Rajneesh Narula, the John H. Dunning Chair of International Business at Henley Business School. “America’s bargaining power vis-a-vis such unilateral actions has declined considerably over the last 50 years. This is because there are multiple economic poles of strength, and as the U.S. becomes more inward looking it is pushing others to discover that when America sneezes the rest of the world no longer catches a cold–although some may also sneeze,” says Narula. Yet he does concede parts of America’s internet may splinter off from the rest of the global web. “I think there will be two levels to this trend–one level that will be a world wide web for e-commerce, while sensitive matters will roll into regional webs–it is already happening,” says Narula. “Can this be used for leverage by the U.S.? Only to a point, because the large U.S. [technology] firms will resist this vehemently. "

Quote for the day:

"A leader takes people where they would never go on their own." - Hans Finzel

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