Daily Tech Digest - October 11, 2022

How SASE might improve worker productivity and make CFOs happy

The amount of time that information empowerment saves is likely related directly to the information content of each worker’s job. That doesn’t mean how much time a worker spends on the computer, but on the value of information in supporting productivity. If a worker already has all the information they need, then it’s doubtful that further information empowerment will pay back. Only about half of all workers are “empowerable” based on information needs, so enterprises that want to assess productivity gains to be expected through empowerment usually start by asking workers what data would help them be more efficient. The more helpful data is found, the more network empowerment can improve productivity. The dollar value of that productivity improvement is what CFOs will look for, and that depends on the unit value of labor. For people whose jobs involve producing something, the unit value of labor is the burdened compensation rate for the workers involved, meaning salary plus benefits.

Ukraine and EU explore deeper cyber collaboration

“Cooperation with the European partners includes two key vectors for our country,” said Zhora. “On the one hand, Ukrainian experience in cyber war, confronting cyber threats from Russia, would definitely be beneficial for other democracies. “On the other hand, having gained candidate status for EU membership, our country has to bring its national legislation in conformity with European standards. Intensified collaboration with ENISA will let us make this process much more efficient.” Other points of discussion at the summit were assessments of the current cyber threat landscapes facing the various post-Soviet states, and an account of some of the specific cyber challenges faced; the implementation experiences of EU states linked to the NIS and NIS2 directives and other cyber certifications and standardisation initiatives; cyber capacity- and awareness-building; approaches to more generalised cyber crime; and the role and structure of ENISA as a pan-EU body. 

Enterprises are forced to ramp up resilience in an increasingly erratic world

The good news is that companies are taking resiliency planning seriously: 49% of decision-makers said their company has a well-defined strategy to handle disruptive events and among employees, and almost eight times more said they are prepared than not, according to the report. Digitalization and automation are driving that preparation: 90% of companies that have well-defined resilience strategies in place are investing heavily in these areas, the report said. However, researchers cautioned that it is important to recognize the value in proactive rather than reactive resilience—something that may not be a part of many enterprises’ strategies. Further, natural disasters caused by climate change such as flooding and storms are key challenges for 42% of decision-makers, and more expect it in the future. In essence, more work needs to be done given the current climate, the report stressed. “War. Energy crisis. Natural disasters. Pandemics. Our world has become increasingly complex, and the time to adopt resiliency strategies is now,” said Patrik Hedlund, senior researcher for the Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab at Ericsson. 

The Future of the Web is on the Edge

When people say “the edge,” they mean that your site or app is going to be hosted simultaneously on multiple servers around the globe, always close to a user. When someone requests your site/app, they will be directed to the one closest to them geographically. These distributed servers not only serve static assets, but can also execute custom code that can power a dynamic web app. Moving servers closer to end-users is also a physical approach towards latency optimization. This means lower latency on every single page load. The longer your pages take to load, the more likely users will bounce. 32% more likely according to Google research when load speeds go from 1 second to 3 seconds. 90% more likely when speeds go from 1 second to 5 seconds. Users will visit 9 pages when pages load in 2 seconds, but only 3 pages when they load in 7 seconds. That’s the gist. Now the nuance. You’ve built an app. It’s cool. It does fun things. You want to show it to the world, so you deploy it. For ease, you use Heroku. You git push heroku main and then head to myfunapp.com to check out your handiwork.

Small business tech outlook: Here are the challenges and opportunities ahead

Digital transformation and the adoption of new technology is an important focus for SMBs as it can put them in a better position to ride out challenging economic conditions and gain an edge on their competitors. Cloud technology such as SaaS applications -- particularly ones aimed at specific vertical markets -- deliver obvious benefits in terms of shifting from capital to operational expenditure by outsourcing the deployment and maintenance of the underlying technology. This should allow businesses to concentrate on adding value via the agile development of bespoke products and services, and by transforming online experiences using new technologies such as AR and VR, machine learning and AI. ... "This prioritization of IT spending represents a continuation of modernization efforts kick started during the pandemic. Over the last few uncertain years, corporate decision makers have seen first-hand the benefits of IT investments, which often pay for themselves by improving processes, enhancing resilience, or enhancing workplace productivity," Tsai added.

The Social and Psychological Consequences of Ransomware Attacks

The social impacts of ransomware attacks can cause lasting damage to an enterprise, its customers and its employees. Social impacts can occur when service is disrupted. For example, because affected enterprises have to shut down operations, their employees may be temporarily laid off, which increases unemployment and can lead to financial stress. There are strong associations between higher levels of financial stress and increased alcohol consumption, which can lead to other negative effects. Victimization can also cause individuals to be unwilling to adopt new technologies in the future, leading to people losing confidence in businesses and governments. There is also a wide range of psychological responses to ransomware attacks. In many cases, victims respond more negatively to the effects of the attack than the attack itself, and each individual handles the threat of a cyberattack differently. Some may proactively face the problem while others may exhibit protective or avoidance behaviors to prevent attacks.

Time To Dispel Myths Surrounding Privacy Enhancing Technologies

How are PETs already benefiting organisations? For financial services firms, being able to access more data in a secure, privacy-preserving, and efficient manner means they are able to make better, intelligence-led decisions in a business-relevant timeframe. Those additional data points and resulting insights are especially important when working to combat money laundering and fraud on a global scale. With PETs, financial institutions can prioritise customer privacy while still ensuring data is accessible when and where it needs to be, even if that location is across jurisdictions. PETs also create a paradigm shift for public health readiness, allowing optimal secure and private data sharing between governments and health agencies. In the clinical research arena, medical professionals and public health officials can use PETs to securely search or analyse decentralised research data across organisational, privacy, and regulatory boundaries while safeguarding patient privacy and sensitive medical indicators.

Scrum Master or Waste Master?

When scrum masters who live and die for delivering agile find themselves, perhaps even subconsciously, in need of more work to feel productive or efficient (aka “keep busy”), they tend to gravitate towards Jira or any other task-managing tool. They start to herd “issues” or “stories” with descriptions of the work that someone thinks lies ahead, they add columns that describe the status of each task, and if they’re really feeling it, some statistical content like burndown charts based on the silly concept known as “estimating.” Going for this approach, the scrum master has now found a purpose: They can keep track of the work and measure things to see how well the team is doing. At least that’s the perceived feeling, in reality, they’re keeping track of waste and guesswork. Agile was created because estimation is impossible in tech. Otherwise, we might as well have stuck with waterfall deliveries, where everything is simply planned ahead of time. The obsession with creating a mountain of future tasks that rarely get carried out is also beyond me.

The Future Of Quantum Computing In Business

The future of quantum computing in the business world looks very promising. Many experts believe quantum computers will eventually outperform classical computers on many tasks, including complex optimization problems and machine learning. This could have significant implications for businesses, which would be able to solve previously unsolvable problems and gain a significant competitive advantage. While quantum computers are not yet widely available, several companies are already working on developing them. IBM, Google, and Microsoft are all investing heavily in quantum computing research, and the first commercial quantum computers will likely become available within the next few years. Given the potential benefits of quantum computing, businesses need to start thinking about how they can use this technology. Quantum computers could revolutionize many industries, so those who can early adopt will be well-positioned to reap the rewards.

Why is Everything so Slow? - Measuring and Optimising How Engineering Teams Deliver

As teams scale, communication becomes more difficult as more and more people are added to the teams. A team of three people will have three primary communication paths, whereas a team of seventeen has one hundred and thirty-six possible paths, for example! So it gets harder and harder to understand what’s going on and it becomes harder to disseminate information without causing cognitive overload. Misalignment also becomes a big problem as teams scale, and not having teams and team members aligned on what’s the priority and what’s next can cause wasted work and a perception that the team is slow because the delivery of value to production doesn’t happen. For example, within a microservices architecture, team A may be working on a change to a service, on which team B needs to build further parts of a wider feature. Unless both teams are aware of the need to coordinate that work, there is a high likelihood of misalignment and work being either wasted or needing rework when, upon feature testing, bugs are found in team A’s solution.

Quote for the day:

"Leadership is not a position. It is a combination of something you are (character) and some things you do (competence)." -- Ken Melrose

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