Daily Tech Digest - July 10, 2021

IT leadership: 3 ways to enable continuous improvement

"If technical leadership has one job, it is to tend to that socio-technical system so that team members can spend as much time as possible on priorities that move the business forward, not on trying to navigate or fix internal systems. Pay really close attention to those feedback loops and make them tight. Invest in the work where it makes sense – not just trying to fix everything and make it perfect, but look for where you can get really big wins and not have to reinvent the wheel. “It turns out we have the benefit of knowing all the science that even just five to 10 years ago, we didn’t have. Read Accelerate, for example. There used to be a lot of ‘I think’ statements, and while it worked, it was very ‘cult-y’ and it was very based on osmosis. If you had been lucky enough to work with one of the best engineers in the world, then you kind of knew this stuff – it was all just contagious. Now, we have this freely available data, and we should be using it.” ... “If your job is to align people, motivate, and understand the friction points, you really have to walk a mile in their shoes, and you have to find the outcomes that fix those problems,” says GitHub’s Dana Lawson.

New SaaS Security Report Dives into the Concerns and Plans of CISOs in 2021

For years, security professionals have recognized the need to enhance SaaS security. However, the exponential adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications over 2020 turned slow-burning embers into a raging fire. Organizations manage anywhere from thirty-five to more than a hundred applications. From collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams to mission-critical applications like SAP and Salesforce, SaaS applications act as the foundation of the modern enterprise. 2020 created an urgent need for security solutions that mitigate SaaS misconfiguration risks. Recognizing the importance of SaaS security, Gartner named a new category, SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM), to distinguish solutions that have the capabilities to offer a continuous assessment of security risks arising from a SaaS application's deployment. To understand how security teams are currently dealing with their SaaS security posture and what their main concerns are, Adaptive Shield, a leading SSPM solution, commissioned an independent survey of 300 InfoSecurity professionals from North America and Western Europe, in companies ranging from 500 to more than 10,000 employees.

How Enterprise Architects Can Evolve from Order Takers to Trusted Advisors

The value of strong interpersonal skills can’t be overstated when it comes to building trust with executives. Persuasive advisors are those that are confident and clever in how they communicate their ideas to others. That being said, there are also tools EAs can leverage to appeal to executives and secure buy-in for projects. Though they may propose and finance IT change projects, many executives are focused on other areas of business besides IT logistics. As such, EAs won’t get their ideas across by using heavily technical jargon or by presenting complex spaghetti models to them. Instead, they need to address executives’ personal priorities when detailing their proposed solutions: are they looking to cut costs? Make their data stores more compliant? These are the value points that EAs need to address when presenting their ideas. With a platform that enables EAs to manipulate their organizational data to support different viewpoints, EAs can speak to executives’ and stakeholders’ personal interests, instead of turning them away.

Java on Visual Studio Code Update – June 2021

Remote Development has always been a popular feature in Visual Studio Code and it allows developers to use a container for a full-feature development environment. For the upcoming quarters, we are working on supporting more Java versions as well as Spring framework in the containers so developers can access those technology in their remote development scenarios. We have just released support for Java 16 in the remote dev container which is shown in the later sections of this post. In addition, Gtihub Codespaces is a configurable online development environment that allows you to develop entirely in cloud. Visual Studio Code plays a critical role in Codespaces as it provides the essential code editing experience. In terms of Java, the team is working on providing the support for Java language extensions in Codespaces so Java developers can find all Java related tools they need. For details on how to request access for Codespaces, please follow the official Codespaces documentation here. In terms of testing, Visual Studio Code Java is targeting to adopt the new Testing APIs introduced recently. 

OpsRamp’s Ciaran Byrne on managing multicloud and hybrid environments

The biggest challenge is dealing with the complexity. It’s not just a matter of cloud and on-premises; you have networks, servers, storage, virtual environments, containers, and applications that you have to discover and collect metrics on, and those are running in both cloud and on-premises environments. In most cases, you’ll be managing these mixed environments with multiple monitoring tools, leading to tool sprawl. You’ll have to make sense of large volumes of data coming from these mixed environments managed by a diverse toolset. The environments that are mixed will likely have inter-dependencies which may make it difficult to be aware of and troubleshoot issues. Troubleshooting may also be more complicated, as each of the environments will have their own nuances for investigating and resolving issues that require operators and admins to have a broad range of skills. Once you’ve “solved” the problem of monitoring these hybrid environments, you have to understand which parts of this hybrid infrastructure are supporting which application services.

How RPA-As-A-Service Can Power The Next Mid-Market Winner

Current RPAaaS offerings, including the solution we offer at AutomationEdge, are low on code and high on “drag and drop” functionality, making the intuitive user interfaces open to automation across the enterprise. With an RPAaaS solution that has plug-ins that connect to the common systems of record in the enterprise, RPA is no longer an island, but rather a means of intergalactic travel across the enterprise galaxy. ... Full-blown, on-premise RPA implementations come with mature governance models, which are unnecessary at the start of a company’s life. A check-the-box approach to governance that meets all mandatory legal, financial and accounting requirements is adequate for this stage of growth. Not all processes need to be run every day; many are run once a quarter or even annually. Employees can monitor these processes much easier. Another advantage of RPAaaS is having access to a robust RPAaaS community that can help developers keep in touch with the latest hacks, patches and previews that they can then bring into their craft.

Top 10 Chrome Flags you should consider enabling in July 2021

Chrome Flags are basically experimental features that Google is currently testing on either Chrome OS or the Chrome browser. It’s important to note some Flags are exclusive to Chrome OS, while others work on Chrome browsers across Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. Eventually Flags will be removed as they become part of either a stable Chrome release, or get absorbed into Chrome developer tools. Once you enable a Flag, you need to restart your browser (or restart your machine if you’re on Chrome OS) for the change to take effect. You should realize that enabling Flags does carry some risk. Not all Flags are stable and may cause some unintended behavior with your browser or device. It’s also important to understand that browser-based Flags are not tested for online security protocols. This means you carry some security risk when conducting financial transactions online while using untested Chrome Flags. If you run different versions of Chrome OS or Chrome browser, you can find different Flags available. 

Industrial cybersecurity: How to protect your assets in the digital transformation age

Industrial businesses that embrace transformation and have a holistic view of cybersecurity are benefitting from diverse technology ecosystem development, including connected devices, edge control, apps, analytics and cloud services, which are enhancing business performance at an unprecedented pace. It’s vital that your organization’s approach to security is part of the organizational culture – using components that meet recognized standards and include encryption by default. Security must be integral to the design of any process or operation and fundamentally baked into the services that support the operation of your systems and business objectives. The tsunami of risks focused on operating technology (OT) ranges from the exposure of intellectual property and lost production systems or data to serious fines and reputational loss. Cybersecurity is a multi-faceted discipline requiring a proactive approach across the business. For your business to be best prepared against threats, it’s important to consider the following elements:

5 Skill Sets A Blockchain Developer Must Have

Data Structure is the first essential skill that a Blockchain programmer should have. For the advancement and deployment of systems, blockchain engineers must engage with the data structures skill promptly. The entire Blockchain system is made up of data structures. Moreover, we can also say that a block is indeed a data structure. Because of their encapsulating data structure and the public ledger functioning as the Blockchain, blocks behave as groups of transaction activities associated with the open register. ... Cryptography is a methodology for designing procedures and algorithms to prevent a foreign entity from reading and learning content from personal messages throughout a communication session. Kryptos and Graphein are two old Greek concepts that mean “disguised” and “to record,” respectively, are also used in cryptography. ... The potential to view and collect information across many blockchain systems is known as interoperability. For instance, if someone sends data to some other blockchain, will the receiver read, understand, and respond to it with minimal effort?

5 elements of servant leadership

Setting expectations is quite simply clearly defining what is needed from each individual in the performance of their assigned role. It is all of the what’s and when’s of the position. In some roles and organizations, it may also articulate the how’s. Expectations define the goals, activities, and behaviors that drive the measurable results that the manager is charged with. For employees, it clarifies their contribution to the organization - both what it is and what it should be. It represents the outcomes to which they are being held accountable and enables them to check the objective behaviors or metrics to which they are held accountable. ... Mobilization is about skills and the effective application of those skills to drive the team’s mission. Managers have to ensure that their team is both equipped and deployed to most effectively contribute to the organization. This includes matching team members’ strengths with specific tasks or roles and constantly asking if there are other or alternative contributions that could be made. The most effective managers hold their directs responsible for skills development by setting a vision for what is needed, suggesting methods, and making opportunities available.

Quote for the day:

"Leadership is particularly necessary to ensure ready acceptance of the unfamiliar and that which is contrary to tradition." -- Cyril Falls

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