Daily Tech Digest - December 21, 2023

The New HR Playbook: Catalyze Innovation With Analytics And AI

Metaverse and blockchain technologies — underpinned by data and AI — also offer a lot of possibilities for improving HR practices. The metaverse, a shared virtual space bridging physical and digital realities, offers avenues for remote workspaces and virtual collaboration. It can enhance recruitment, onboarding, training, and development processes by providing immersive and interactive experiences that engage candidates and employees on a new level. The metaverse could also help companies with decentralized teams cultivate a strong organizational culture by giving employees a shared virtual space for interaction and engagement. Blockchain technology offers transparency and security that can have profound implications for HR processes. HR departments can use blockchain to improve the security of record-keeping, verify employee credentials, and simplify benefits administration. Blockchain can also streamline payroll processes, especially for international employees. Companies can even use blockchain to create decentralized, employee-driven platforms for collaboration and communication.

Why 2024 will be the year of the CISO

As the ESG/ISSA research indicates, many fed-up CISOs will retire, while others will move on to become virtual CISOs (vCISOs) or take field CISO positions with security technology vendors. We'll read numerous stories next year about CISOs up and quitting on the spur of the moment. While the reasons won't be disclosed, you can bet they are among those cited above. Competition for qualified candidates will be fierce. On a side note, I don't believe there is a significant population of next-generation CISO candidates with the right experience to step up. In 2024, we will augment our general discussion of the global cybersecurity skills shortage with a specific addendum about the CISO shortage. CISO pay and compensation will rise precipitously. Aside from a handful of $1 million positions, CISOs aren't paid nearly as much as one might assume. Salary.com calculates a median salary of about $241,000 with 90% of CISOs making $302,000 or less. Given the job requirements (long hours, stress, being on-call, etc.), this isn't very much. With the competition for candidates, firms will greatly increase base pay, perks, and bonuses, leading to hyper CISO salary inflation.

Hot Jobs in AI/Data Science for 2024

“The new and highly specialized role known as the ‘LLM Engineer’ is primarily found within organizations that have reached an advanced stage in their AI journey, having conducted numerous experiments but now facing challenges in the operationalization of their AI models at scale,” says Kjell Carlsson, head of data science strategy and evangelism at Domino Data Lab. ... “Some of the most sought-after AI positions today include machine learning engineer, AI engineer, and AI architect,” says Shmuel Fink, Chair Master of Science in data analytics, Touro University Graduate School of Technology. “Nevertheless, several other AI roles are also gaining prominence, such as AI ethicist, AI product manager, AI researcher, computer vision engineer, robotics engineer, and AI safety engineer. Moreover, there are positions that require industry-specific expertise, like a healthcare AI engineer.” But back at the ranch, employees in any job role will become more valuable if they possess AI skills. As they gain those skills, some specialized job roles will evolve while others disappear.

How Blockchain Will Change Organizations

The fact that blockchain is a distributed database means it is very difficult to delete data. Once something has been recorded on the blockchain, it becomes part of the permanent record. This traceability of data is another key advantage of blockchain technology. The data stored on a blockchain is immutable, meaning that it cannot be changed or deleted. This traceability can be useful for tracking the provenance of goods and tracing the origins of data. It also has implications for compliance, as organizations will be able to show exactly what data they have and where it came from. ... Under the traditional centralized model, organizations have complete control over the data they store. However, individuals have full control over their data with blockchain technology. This is because each user has a private key, which is used to access their data. Individuals have complete control over their data, which is a key advantage of blockchain technology. It means that users can be sure that their data is safe and secure and that they can share it with whomever they choose.

Industry Impact: Celebrating IT's Milestones and Achievements This Year

The integration of AI into various solutions, including observability, IT service management, and database solutions, has allowed for greater automation of the mundane tasks that often bog down IT pros and hinder organizations from accelerating their digital transformations. AI-powered capabilities free up valuable time for IT pros, allowing them to focus on the most important tasks at hand. Autonomous operations, enabled by purpose-built models for IT operations and large language models, are poised to revolutionize IT environments in the coming years, reducing operation costs and bettering the lives of those in the tech workforce. ... The IT industry has a smorgasbord of accomplishments that have enriched the digital lives of organizations this year. The industry’s cloud migration journey, in particular, has played a central role in allowing organizations to scale their operations and pivot rapidly in response to market conditions. The cloud journey has transformed the way businesses operate, offering scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. 

An IT Carol: How the Ghosts of IT Past and Present Can Help Improve the Future

You see yourself sitting at your desk, frantically trying to juggle more service desk tickets than you ever thought were possible. The trip to the future also shows the vast number of new complex systems that teams are using. As applications, networks, databases, and infrastructures grew in complexity, so did the tools and solutions we need to manage them. This has created a future where IT pros are trying to navigate and manage some of the most complex systems and environments imaginable. Teams are more overworked than ever before. You spend so much time fighting fires that you have no time to build better technology that provides important new capabilities. You have almost no time to think about anything else, let alone spend the holiday with family or friends. Thankfully, this is not a future that has to be, but rather one we can avoid if we take the right steps today. Right now, we are on the path to improving the lives of IT teams through the integration of artificial intelligence (AI). IT solutions powered by AI, such as observability and ITSM, can help manage the complex IT environments we are witnessing through ongoing digital transformation and the move to the cloud.

Why data, AI, and regulations top the threat list for 2024

Some of the essential questions security teams ought to be asking themselves include: How do we manage and safeguard aspects like confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data? What strategies can we employ to protect our data against cyber threats and misuse? How do we address the security challenges that emerge with expanding data repositories? How do we differentiate between valuable data and redundant information? Furthermore, there’s often a misalignment in how data is structured versus the business framework. Consequently, security teams may need to engage in discussions with business units to clarify issues such as how we are applying our data. With whom is this data being shared? ... Although AI technologies aren’t new, the recent widespread adoption of AI has introduced a myriad of business and security challenges for organizations. Key questions to consider include: How do we monitor AI usage within the organization? How do we regulate the data shared with AI systems by employees? How do we ensure ongoing compliance with ethical standards and legal requirements?

2023 - The year of transformation and harmonisation

Millennial leaders bring a distinctively dynamic, digitalised approach to their roles, characterised by agility, openness, proactiveness, and hands-on engagement. Their adeptness in navigating the digital landscape seamlessly allows them to forge strong connections within their predominantly Gen Z and millennial workforce. This workforce, in turn, embodies an informed, forward-looking, and tech-savvy ethos, driven by cutting-edge technologies that facilitate smart and efficient work practices. In the world of leading-edge technologies, the arrival of Chat GPT by OpenAI in the preceding November continued to take centre stage. Throughout the year, there was a surge in competition and discussions surrounding AI, particularly generative AI, which gained momentum. Amidst these discussions, Google's introduction of Bard added fervour to the debate, igniting intense conversations about the potential impact of generative AI on employment and the perceived threat to various job roles. This stirred a pot of mixed emotions—feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and ambiguity swirled within the tech sphere.

Small businesses lead the way, while larger industries lag in tech adoption

On the other hand, many leaders in the small and mid-sized industrial sector are in the age group of 50 and above. When they initially embarked on their careers in the core industry, the adoption of IT and technology in their companies was significantly lower. Technology was not as pervasive, and IT integration was often considered an unnecessary expense. For those who did attempt computerisation in the early 2000s, the experience was often disheartening. Small IT companies that provided software solutions during that period often faced challenges and many even disappeared. The owners of these companies, faced with the uncertainty and challenges of running a technology-based business, opted for well-paying jobs instead. This experience left a lasting impact on their perception of technology and its role in business operations. Moreover, the proliferation of the internet and the rise of startups introduced a new paradigm. Many services and software were offered for free or at significantly reduced rates, fostering an expectation of inexpensive or cost-free technology solutions. This demotivated many software company owners from continuing in the business. 

What’s Ahead for AI In 2024: The Transformative Journey Continues

The coming year will see a shift in how generative AI is employed by businesses, with a greater emphasis on using organizational data. Companies are increasingly cautious about sharing sensitive data on public platforms, opting instead to host private foundation models within their four walls. This move is driven by concerns over data security and the desire to customize AI applications to specific organizational needs. By using their own data, companies can ensure that AI output is relevant and in context. This trend will lead to innovative applications of generative AI in a variety of business functions. ... New tuning techniques such as prompt tuning and retrieval augmented generation (RAG) will gain popularity next year. These methods provide more context-specific adjustments to AI models without the need for extensive retraining. Prompt tuning, for example, uses smaller pre-trained models to encode text prompts; RAG combines specific information with prompts to enhance the relevance of the model's output.

Quote for the day:

"People who avoid failure also avoid success.” -- Robert T. Kiyosaki

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