Daily Tech Digest - January 23, 2023

CIOs step up to fill plus-size leadership roles

While it’s common for others in the C-suite to take on so-called plus-roles, the CIO has historically worn multiple hats without the benefit or glory of a formal title marking their expanded terrain. The successful shift to remote work and accelerated digital transformation during the pandemic years elevated CIOs’ stature, earning trust and recognition from business leaders that was absent in the past. With technology now a pervasive enabler of all aspects of the business, CIOs have the end-to-end visibility and cross-functional insights that other executives lack, not to mention oversight of key enterprise assets such as data and analytics. “We always had business leaders take on other roles, but the CIO hasn’t been considered for one of those pluses — they were always rolled up underneath another executive that was,” says John Hill, senior vice president and chief digital information officer at MSC Industrial Supply, where he heads up digital strategy, ecommerce, marketing, vending solutions, metalworking innovation, and advanced analytics. 

ChatGPT Prompts for Agile Practitioners

“One important thing to keep in mind is that conflict is a natural part of any team and should be viewed as an opportunity for growth and improvement. As a Scrum Master, it's important to create an environment where team members feel comfortable discussing and resolving conflicts in a constructive manner. It's also important to be aware that conflicts can often be the result of deeper underlying issues, such as lack of trust, poor communication, or unmet needs. As a Scrum Master, it's important to be aware of these underlying issues and work with the team to address them. Additionally, it's important to be aware of the team's dynamics and to be mindful of the impact that conflicts can have on individuals and the team as a whole. As a Scrum Master, it's important to be aware of any team members who may be more affected by the conflict and to provide them with additional support as needed. Finally, it is important to be aware of the impact of external factors on the team, such as changes in the organizational structure or market conditions, and to take them into account when addressing conflicts and underlying issues.

3 predictions for open source in confidential computing

Confidential computing is the practice of isolating sensitive data and the techniques used to process it. This is as important on your laptop, where your data must be isolated from other applications, as it is on the cloud, where your data must be isolated from thousands of other containers and user accounts. As you can imagine, open source is a significant component for ensuring that what you believe is confidential is actually confidential. This is because security teams can audit the code of an open source project. ... In the past year, a lot of discovery and educational activities were developed. Confidential computing is now better known, but it has yet to become a mainstream technology. The security and developer communities are gaining a better understanding of confidential computing and its benefits. If this discovery trend continues this year, it can influence more outlets, like conferences, magazines, and publications. This shows that these entities recognize the value of confidential computing. In time, they may start to offer more airtime for talks and articles on the subject.

Exploring Cloud-Native Acceleration of Data Governance

Any seasoned data governance practitioner knows that implementing data management is only for those with extraordinary perseverance. Identifying and documenting data applications and flows, measuring and remediating data quality, and managing metadata — despite a flood of tools that attempt to automate many data management activities, these typically remain manual and time-consuming. They are also expensive. At leading organizations, data governance and remediation programs can top $10 million per year; in some cases, even $100 million. Data governance can be seen as a cost to the organization and a blocker for business leaders with a transformation mandate. So, here appears our “so-what.” If data governance could be incorporated directly into the fibers of the data infrastructure while the architectural blocks are being built and connected, it would dramatically reduce the need for costly data governance programs later. We will review three essential design features that, once incorporated, ensure that data governance is embedded “by design” rather than by brute manual force.

Crossplane: A Package-Based Approach to Platform Building

While Crossplane allows users to install many packages alongside one another, a common pattern has emerged of defining a single “root” package, which is an ancestor node of every other package that gets installed in a control plane. Doing so makes the entire API surface area reproducible by installing that one package. As an organization grows and evolves over time, that package can be expanded by defining new APIs or establishing new dependencies. ... Furthermore, because using a root package is a convention rather than a technical constraint, the property of composability is not violated. Taking the previously mentioned MySQL Configuration package for example, a user may install it as the root package of their MySQL database control plane, while another user may depend on it as only one component of a much larger API surface for use cases like internal cloud platforms. Declaring a Vendor Dependency While the attributes of Crossplane packages enable platform builders to quickly add functionality to their control planes, they also present a unique distribution mechanism for vendors. 

The loneliness of leading a cybersecurity startup

When building something unprecedented and game-changing, the course and rules are steeped in darkness and uncertainty, with naysayers, critics, board members, competitors and time itself hurling criticisms every step of the way. Why on earth would anyone subject themselves to that? Perhaps it should be made clear that, for most of the aspiring CEOs I meet, their career path is hardly a choice. Entrepreneurship often runs in their blood, serving as a defining force for the people who pursue it. This all-consuming nature has become a necessary qualifier for most investors; It’s an important tool for survival, as well as for success. This is not to discount the absolute necessity of vision, inspiration and faith in a good idea. But on the long road to entrepreneurial success, these are often subject to so much scrutiny and judgement that a different strength is necessary to stay the course. These days, tightening budgets and dreaded potential layoffs only add to the pressure they feel. However, during the toughest times, an entrepreneur’s hunger to build can provide the critical momentum they need to move forward.

IT hiring: How to find the right match

A strong company mission is not only crucial to attracting talent, but it will also motivate existing employees to do their work well. I am motivated to push through the complex problems I face in my work, for example, because I know that my company is solving some of the most significant issues in the healthcare industry. My work ultimately brings a better experience to hospital staff and patients, which leads to improved patient outcomes. In every organization, it is crucial for executives and board members to focus on agreed-upon goals and to share with employees how the company is meeting them regularly. Furthermore, employees seek a collaborative environment where they work together toward a common goal. ... Intelligent, scrappy workers are often attracted to startups, allowing ambitious employees to try many hats and build new skills quickly. I am fascinated by the technical and intellectual aspects of my job and find them highly rewarding. My teammates and I don’t know all the answers as we work with new models, so we must test our hypotheses and rethink our approach.

Pentagon must act now on quantum computing or be eclipsed by rivals

Many experts, including Spirk, believe that military applications for quantum computing could be less than 10 years away. Case in point: according to the Pentagon’s annual report on Chinese military power, China recently designed and fabricated a quantum computer capable of outperforming a classical high-performance computer for a specific problem. This is also why DARPA announced the ‘Underexplored Systems for Utility-Scale Quantum Computing’ (US2QC) program to explore potentially overlooked methods by which quantum computers could achieve practical levels of utilization much faster than current predictions suggest. The White House recently signed the Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act into law, signaling that it regards quantum as a serious issue. The act addresses the migration of executive agencies’ IT systems to post-quantum cryptography (PQC) - encryption which is secure from attacks by quantum computers because of the advanced mathematics underpinning it.

How Will the AI Bill of Rights Affect AI Development?

The AIBoR states that AI systems should be transparent and explainable, and not discriminate against individuals based on various protected characteristics. “This would require AI developers to design and build transparent and fair systems and carefully consider their systems’ potential impacts on individuals and society,” explains Bassel Haidar, artificial intelligence and machine language practice lead at Guidehouse, a business consulting firm. Creating transparent and fair AI systems could involve using techniques, such as feature attribution, that can help identify the factors that influenced a particular AI-driven decision or prediction, Haidar says. “It could also involve using techniques such as local interpretable model-agnostic explanations (LIME), which can help to explain the decision-making process of a black-box AI model.” AI developers will have to thoroughly test and validate AI systems to ensure that they function properly and make accurate predictions, Haidar says. “Additionally, they will need to employ bias detection and mitigation techniques to help identify and reduce potential biases in the AI system.”

The metaverse brings a new breed of threats to challenge privacy and security gatekeepers

While security experts point to authentication and access controls to protect against metaverse-based scams and attacks, the growing number of platforms providing access to the metaverse may or may not have secure mechanisms for recognizing frauds, says Paul Carlisle Kletchka, governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) analyst with Lynx Technology Partners, a provider of GRC services. “One of the major vulnerabilities is the lack of standardized security protocols or mechanisms in place across the platforms,” he says. “As a result, cybercriminals can use the metaverse for a variety of purposes such as identity theft, fraud, or malicious attacks on other users. Since people can download programs and files from within the metaverse, there is also a risk that these files could contain malware that could infect a user's computer or device and spread back into the organization’s systems. Another threat is piracy: since the metaverse is still in its early stages of development, there are no laws or regulations written specifically for the metaverse to protect intellectual property within this digital environment.

Quote for the day:

"A leader is judged not by the length of his reign but by the decisions he makes." -- Klingon Proverb

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