Daily Tech Digest - August 09, 2023

You can’t run away from technical debt

It could be poor architecture because IT leaders picked the less efficient path to a solution. Perhaps they went with a specific vendor, even a cloud provider, for the wrong reasons, such as a preexisting relationship. This led to a solution that functions but adds instead of removes technical debt. I’ve heard the excuses: A decision was made to expedite solution delivery for an urgent business purpose. However, that’s almost never the case. Most of the time technical debt accumulates from misguided decisions; the company could have gone in a direction that did not create technical debt but did not. Indeed, many of the better solutions would have cost less money and taken less time to deploy. In other words, most of the technical debt is a collection of self-inflicted wounds, usually caused by leaders who don’t bother to understand the bigger picture and take technological shots in the dark. Of course, “it works,” but it significantly increases technical debt. I’ve second-guessed a great many of these in my 40-year career.

Australia’s Banking Industry Mulls Better Cross-Collaboration to Defeat Scam Epidemic

The Australian banking sector, for its part, has already been looking for ways to work together to combat fraud. In May, 17 banks announced that, thanks to a collaboration between them, they had been able to halve the time it takes to identify and block payments to scam operators. This effort is powered by the ABA’s Fraud Reporting Exchange. This initiative cross-matches data between participating banks and allows for nearly real-time communication of fraudulent transactions across the network. Other government initiatives, meanwhile, include the new National Anti-Scams Centre, which went live on July 1. This organization will enable faster sharing of information, so police and regulators can act on scams more quickly. There will also be an Australian Sender SMS ID registry that will provide a “whitelist” of phone numbers that can be used to block scam calls and SMS messages that supposedly come from government agencies.

6 ways CIOs sabotage their IT consultant’s success

Here’s a promise made during negotiations that’s often DOA once the project starts: The client will provide the consultant with the information necessary for the project to move forward. Of course, once the project starts, it turns out that nobody in the client organization can provide that information. Why would the client make a promise like this? One reason: Whoever in the client organization is responsible for providing the information isn’t willing to admit that they can’t, either to their boss or to the consultants. In the short term it’s safer to make the promise and kick the can down the road, until the project has been going on long enough to shift the blame to those damned consultants who keep on making unrealistic requests of IT staff who are already overworked and underpaid. (Take a deep breath.) There’s another reason some clients can’t deliver information on demand: They’ve outsourced the IT functional area responsible for the information needed, and the outsourcer isn’t willing to help out consultants they see as likely competitors.

Technical vs. Adaptive Leadership

While technical leadership is essential, it does come with limitations. Relying solely on technical prowess can lead to a narrow focus, overlooking broader organizational dynamics and human factors. Additionally, in an ever-changing environment, technical skills can become outdated, necessitating a constant commitment to learning and adapting. Adaptive leadership, on the other hand, revolves around the ability to navigate uncertainty, ambiguity, and change. It is a leadership approach that focuses on guiding teams and organizations through transformational periods. Adaptive leaders are skilled at fostering resilience, encouraging creative problem-solving, and inspiring a culture of continuous learning. Adaptive leaders excel in communication and emotional intelligence. They possess the capacity to connect with their teams on a deeper level, empathizing with their challenges and aspirations. This ability to understand and relate to individuals creates an environment of trust, openness, and collaboration. 

Why big tech shouldn’t dictate AI regulation

Formed initially of Anthropic, Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI, the Forum is presented as an industry body which will ensure the ‘safe and responsible development of frontier AI models’. While not defined by the Forum’s initial press release, ‘frontier AI models’ can be understood to be general-purpose AI models which, in the words of the Ada Lovelace Institute, ‘have newer or better capabilities’ than other models. The forum’s objectives include undertaking AI safety research; disseminating best practices to developers; and collaborating with parties like academics, policymakers, and civil society bodies to influence the design and implementation of AI ‘guardrails’. Membership, meanwhile, will be restricted to organisations which (in the Forum’s eyes) both develop frontier models, and are committed to improving their safety. Admittedly, questions around the safe and effective development of AI will not arrive without investment, so it is encouraging to see a commitment to this collaborative approach amongst prominent AI vendors. Likewise, effective AI regulation will rely on input from those with real domain expertise: the industry’s doors must remain open to governments and policymakers.

Introduction to Apache Arrow

Apache Arrow is a framework for defining in-memory columnar data that every processing engine can use. It aims to be the language-agnostic standard for columnar memory representation to facilitate interoperability. Several open source leaders from companies also working on Impala, Spark and Calcite developed it. Among the co-creators is Wes McKinney, creator of Pandas, a popular Python library used for data analysis. He wanted to make Pandas interoperable with data processing systems, a problem that Arrow solves. ... Another benefit of Apache Arrow is its integration with Apache Arrow Flight SQL. Having an efficient in-memory data representation is important for reducing memory requirements and CPU and GPU load. However, without the ability to transfer this data across networked services efficiently, Apache Arrow wouldn’t be that appealing. Luckily Apache Arrow Flight SQL solves this problem. Apache Arrow Flight SQL is a “new client-server protocol developed by the Apache Arrow community for interacting with SQL databases that makes use of the Arrow in-memory columnar format and the Flight RPC framework.”

How to develop an intrapreneurial culture

A company that wants to inspire intrapreneurship needs to have the ability to mobilize resources across the organization to support the opportunities it surfaces, which can carry execution and reputational risks. But because of the substantial potential upsides, encouraging intrapreneurship should be central to an organization’s mission. Take the example of the Happy Meal, which has been pivotal to the growth of McDonald’s: the idea came from a maverick internal team. The Sony PlayStation became the first gaming console to ship over 100 million units—though it required internal champions to pick up the pieces from a failed external partnership. Southwest Airlines’ humorous safety announcements—pioneered by the airline’s founder as an integral part of the business model—have enhanced its customer experience and business. When intrapreneurship is encouraged, there’s evidence that people enjoy greater autonomy and a stronger connection to the organization’s purpose; not surprisingly, this leads to higher productivity and engagement. What does it take to develop more of this culture, and then to apply it? It’s not an exact science, but there are ways to give your intrapreneurs a leg up.

How Emotional Connections Can Drive Change: Applying Fearless Change Patterns

The Fear Less pattern suggests that you can appreciate their opposition. Ask for Help from the skeptic because they see the innovation in a different way than you do - therefore, they may be able to provide useful information you haven’t considered. You will learn from them and, in the process, they may begin to shift from the act of resisting to rethinking. You may not be able to convince them and trying to do this will likely take more time than you have. But you can seek the places where you agree and, perhaps, create some unique ideas that begin with those points of agreement. Most importantly, when you ask for their thoughts on the upcoming change, they will begin to become involved in the initiative, rather than simply complaining on the sidelines. They will recognize you care about what they can contribute and, as one of our Fearless Change readers pointed out, it doesn’t make it as much fun for them to complain. You may even want to seek out some skeptics to become a Champion Skeptic, taking on the official role of pointing out flaws and challenges at strategic points throughout the change initiative.

India Data Protection Bill Approved, Despite Privacy Concerns

The bill specifically states that the data fiduciary shall give the data principal the option to access such request for consent in English or any language specified in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India. That final part has proved to be a tricky point though, as a PwC insight called this a "much-debated mandatory localization" as the central government may notify such countries or territories outside India to which a data fiduciary may transfer personal data. Cavey says the concerns about the bill are that this draft is more relaxed than the previous draft, and that fiduciaries will have more power over the data principals. "Less protection means that detection and investigation will be harder for the regulatory body," he says. The bill also states that the central government holds the authority to select the members of the Personal Data Protection Board, thus compromising its independence. Cavey says this is a main concern about how the Data Protection Board operates, how independent it will be, and how it will work in conjunction with the government.

Using creative recruitment strategies to tackle the cybersecurity skills shortage

Traditionally, there’s been an assumption that to begin a career in cybersecurity, you must have a specialized education and resume. However, the expanding threat landscape has forced the industry to reconsider what makes great talent. This includes emphasizing soft skills and varied backgrounds above all else, especially when it comes to combating the next big threat. Internships and apprenticeships can then offer the additional training needed to build a successful cybersecurity career. Education should also be continuous in the cybersecurity field, so organizations must ensure they are making an active effort to train the next generation of the workforce. This consists of supporting their current employees and also encouraging their path to learn in the best way possible. External and internal internships and apprenticeships are key to achieving this. They not only create more awareness around what it actually takes to have a job in cybersecurity but also help those within and outside of organizations develop the necessary skills to meet the needs of the evolving threat landscape.

Quote for the day:

"Leadership is a journey, not a destination. It is a marathon, not a sprint. It is a process, not an outcome." -- John Donahoe

No comments:

Post a Comment