Daily Tech Digest - August 05, 2023

ESG & Climate Risk Management: Integrating Environmental Data In Ratings

Integrating environmental data into investment strategies allows investors to identify companies proactively addressing environmental challenges. It provides a comprehensive picture of a company's sustainability practices, particularly relevant in industries susceptible to climate risks, such as energy, agriculture, and transportation. By considering environmental data, investors can assess a company's resilience to climate change, regulatory changes, and physical risks such as extreme weather events. They can also evaluate how well a company aligns with global sustainability goals, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Moreover, environmental data integration helps investors identify companies capitalizing on emerging opportunities in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Companies with innovative solutions, efficient resource management, and clean technologies will likely thrive in a future characterized by climate-conscious policies and consumer preferences.

How New Tech Elevates Release Management’s Quality Standards

ML and AI technology can help with intelligently choosing when to deploy and roll back a release. In order to recommend deployment tactics, machine learning (ML) models can learn from previous deployment experiences, including success rates, user input and mistake patterns. In order to ensure a more dependable and error-resistant deployment process, AI algorithms can track the deployment process, evaluate the system’s health and initiate automated rollbacks if anomalies or severe concerns are discovered. In general, ML and AI provide valuable capabilities to release management, boosting testing and quality assurance, streamlining release planning, enabling continuous monitoring, analyzing release risks and simplifying wise deployment decisions. Utilizing these technologies enables businesses to improve software quality, streamline release management procedures, and deliver high-performing applications more effectively and reliably. 

Unleash the Power of Open Source: The SONiC Revolution

As businesses embrace connectivity from core to cloud to edge, network management becomes more complex. Open source networking, specifically SONiC, simplifies network management by providing a unified fabric across the entire network ecosystem. SONiC enables organizations to manage and control their networks seamlessly, regardless of the deployment location. This simplification allows for a more consistent and streamlined network management experience, reducing operational complexities and enhancing efficiency. In addition, SONiC is built on standards-based open APIs, providing organizations numerous management platform options to choose from, which is particularly useful for those already invested in other DevOps, Linux-based, or open source solutions. ... Emerging technologies like AI/ML, 5G, and the data boom at the edge are transforming business operations and service delivery. These technologies require a modern infrastructure built on containerized architecture, Ansible automation, and predictive AI/ML monitoring solutions. SONiC easily enables the adoption of these technologies, providing the foundation for next-generation networking.

The Art of Reducing 'Technology Debt' & Winning Digital Transformation Race

Almost every organization is undergoing digital transformation hence a noticeable surge in investments toward cloud automation, cloud computing, and cybersecurity services. However, in this scenario, not only the pace at which organizations should attempt transformation but also about choices they make during this journey is equally important. All transformations are not mandatory. In the IT industry, there is a term called 'technology debt,' which basically means that you are at a specific juncture because of decisions you took years ago. Technical debt is similar to dark matter; you can deduce its impact but cannot see or measure it. So for any company deliberating on large-scale digital transformation, it must ensure to partner with the right tech partners/vendors to get the right perspective on talent and capability. To strike a balance between reaping the benefits of transformation and ensuring security, companies must adopt a multi-faceted approach that can be led by experts effectively. Companies should thoroughly assess potential partners' cybersecurity measures, track records, and commitment to data protection.

Spare Some Change: Emotional Debt, Technical Debt, & Preparing for Change

The tricky thing about emotional debt, in particular, is that the collectors are unpredictable — you can defer payments for months or even years without a single letter or call, then you run into a health scare, an unexpected bill, or just an especially bad day, and all of these feelings that you’ve been deferring come crashing down on you all at once. And it’s important to recognize this emotional debt translates into workplace well-being; a recent Deloitte study indicates that many employees are struggling with unacceptably low levels of well-being. ... I had one of these moments recently. I ran headlong into a mental and emotional wall that I didn’t see coming at all, and at first, it made every part of life overwhelming. These are the moments when understanding and applying a strategic planning framework like I provided in my book, Building the Business of You, provides much-needed structure. I’ve never tackled some of the challenges I’m dealing with in my personal life before, but I have been a manager, which means I’ve helped create strategies to help to manage change and facilitate progress, so I know I can do that.

How to account for hidden costs of digital product development and offset them

Once your digital product is developed and deployed, the journey is far from over. Ongoing software maintenance and troubleshooting are crucial to ensuring your product's stability, security, and optimal performance. However, these aspects can bring forth hidden costs that may catch you off guard if not managed strategically. Software maintenance involves routine updates, bug fixes, security patches, and performance enhancements. Failing to allocate adequate resources to these tasks can lead to a deterioration of your product's functionality and user experience. Additionally, the need for troubleshooting arises when unforeseen issues or bugs emerge post-launch, demanding swift resolutions to avoid disruptions and customer dissatisfaction. ... Outsourcing grants you the flexibility to scale resources based on the current maintenance requirements, saving you from the burden of hiring and training additional staff. You can easily add or reduce resources as needed, ensuring cost-effectiveness and optimized productivity.

India’s Data Privacy Bill is Back

The Bill itself proposes data protection legislation that allows transfer and storage of personal data in some countries while raising the penalty for violations. It suggests consent before collecting personal data and provides stiff penalties to the tune of Rs.500 crore on those that fail to prevent data breaches. The Bill applies to processing digital personal data within the Indian territory and processing it outside of India if such processing is in connection with any profiling or offering goods or services to data principals within India. However, it does not apply to non-automated processing or processing for domestic or personal purposes by individuals and data contained in records that have been in existence for at least 100 years. ... On the issue of consent, the Bill notes that personal data of an individual can only be processed for a lawful purpose for which the concerned individual has given consent or is deemed to have given her consent. It mentions the consent should be free, specific, informed, and unambiguous.

AI Ethics Teams Lack ‘Support Resources & Authority’

Diplomatically approaching one product team after another in hopes of collaborating only gets ethics workers so far. They need some formal authority to require that problems be addressed, Ali says. “An ethics worker who approaches product teams on an equal footing can simply be ignored,” she says. And if ethics teams are going to implement that authority in the horizontal, nonhierarchical world of the tech industry, there need to be formal bureaucratic structures requiring ethics reviews at the very beginning of the product development process, Ali says. “Bureaucracy can set rules and requirements so that ethics workers don’t have to convince people of the value of their work.” Product teams also need to be incentivized to work with ethics teams, Ali says. “Right now, they are very much incentivized by moving fast, which can be directly counter to slowly, carefully, and responsibly examining the effects of your technology,” Ali says. Some interviewees suggested rewarding teams by giving them “ethics champion” bonuses when a product is made less biased or when the plug is pulled on a product that has a serious problem.

A 4-pronged strategy to cut SaaS sprawl

IT leaders must conduct regular software audits to identify and assess the usage of all SaaS applications across the organization. Kamal Goel, senior VP of IT at Hitachi Systems India, says, “Gather data on software adoption, utilization, and user feedback to determine which tools are genuinely adding value to the organization and which ones are underutilized or redundant. This analysis will help you make informed decisions about which subscriptions to keep, downgrade, or terminate.” At a previous employer, Goel’s IT department conducted a comprehensive audit of all SaaS applications and found that multiple teams were subscribed to a project management tool but most only used a fraction of its features. “By switching to a more focused and cost-effective project management tool and discontinuing the old one, the organization saved significant expenses without compromising productivity,” he says. Oftentimes, teams continue to rely on existing systems and processes while the quality of data and intelligence in the new system suffers resulting in its more advanced features becoming superfluous.

API Standardization and Its Role in Next-gen Networking

APIs are becoming more important because of the way applications are built, and services are delivered. Applications are composable, relying on integrated functional elements from different sources. A simple application for most businesses might need a mobile frontend, a link to a backend database, and a processing engine in between. And many might use data from third parties. Standardized APIs would ensure the elements worked together and developers did not have to start from scratch every time they built a new application. ... “Increasingly next-generation services like Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solutions will be delivered across a system of many providers, and the networks supporting these services will be fully API-driven,” says Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “For this to happen, standards-based automation is required throughout the entire system where all parties adopt a common, standardized set of APIs at both the business process and operational levels.”

Quote for the day:

"Leadership without mutual trust is a contradiction in terms." -- Warren Bennis

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