IT News and Events
Jul 15th, 2019 — Jul 21st, 2019 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 256, Issue 3 << Previous Issue
IT News - CxO
3 Walls IT Leaders Must Take Down
Many IT leaders make three operational mistakes that build walls between the IT organization and the rest of the business. Here's how to fix that
Peter Bendor-Samuel writes in The Enterprisers Project, "The supportive IT services that delighted businesses yesterday seldom spark the same delight today. Companies just expect IT to deliver quality technology components and services at an ever-decreasing cost per unit: That's considered 'hygiene.' Now they want IT to create new business value. But many CIOs and IT groups make three operational mistakes that build walls between the IT organization and the rest of the business. Those walls must be broken down. .."
The Enterprisers Project, July 10th, 2019
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5 Questions All CIOs Must Ask When Picking The Right Technology
CIOs are increasingly on the hook for assessing and also implementing the right customer experience management (CXM) solutions
"Today's CIOs are the architects of their organization's digital transformations, helping build the technology infrastructure needed to support every aspect of a business," opines Cynthia Stoddard in CIO.

"Helping choose the right customer experience management (CXM) technology has become part of the CIO's mandate, with the head of IT increasingly on the hook for enabling customer-facing teams to deliver fluid and personalized customer experiences across all channels and mediums..."

CIO, July 11th, 2019
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Data As The New Oil: The Danger Behind The Mantra
Too many CIOs do nothing with the data - or store it unsafely. Ask these critical questions about your data practices
"Not a week goes by that I don't hear a tech pundit, analyst, or CIO say 'data is the new oil'," notes Jason James in The Enterprisers Project.

"This overused mantra suggests that data is a commodity that can become extremely valuable once refined. Many technologists have used that phrase with little knowledge of where it originated - I know I wasn't aware of its origin.

It turns out the phrase is attributed to Clive Humby, a British mathematician who helped create British retailer Tesco's Clubcard loyalty program. Humby quipped, 'Data is the new oil. It's valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used. It has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals, etc., to create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity; so must data be broken down, analyzed for it to have value'..."

The Enterprisers Project, July 11th, 2019
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More Than 2 Million Cyber Incidents In 2018 Created $45 Billion In Losses
The financial impact of ransomware rose by 60%, losses from business email compromise (BEC) doubled, and cryptojacking incidents more than tripled, all despite the fact that overall breaches and exposed records were down in 2018
"The data shows that cybercriminals are getting better at monetizing their activities, with OTA estimating the more than 2 million cyber incidents in 2018 resulted in over $45 billion in losses, with the actual numbers expected to be much higher as many cyber incidents are never reported..."

"While it's tempting to celebrate a decreasing number of breaches overall, the findings of our report are grim," said Jeff Wilbur, technical director of the Internet Society's Online Trust Alliance...

HelpNet Security, July 11th, 2019
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IT News - CRM
CRM Is 30 And Salespersons Still Hate It
We are now almost forty years after the first CRM tools were introduced, initially as helpers for the sales force, but then with an ever increasing scope
Thomas Wieberneit writes in CustomerThink, "We have seen 'CRM' systems start as point solutions that morphed into suites - and back to what is called 'best-of-breed' to witness the rebirth of the suite.

We have seen CRM as a strategy, as a tool. There has been social CRM, and more recently we have seen customer engagement management (CEM), even customer experience management (CXM). Regardless of the name and scope, the goal has always been to help businesses and their representatives on one side and customers on the other side to build lasting and profitable relationships.

Amazingly, many users, especially salespersons, still hate CRM.


CustomerThink, July 9th, 2019
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How Does Your CRM Manage Different Opportunity Types?
Why do so many CRM implementations behave as if every sales opportunity was created equal?
Bob Apollo writes in Business 2 Community, "If your organization is involved in B2B or transactional B2C sales, a 'one size fits all' approach might possibly work.

But if you are involved in complex B2B sales, and if you are selling to a mixture of new business and existing customers, you'll almost certainly have a variety of different opportunity types.

These opportunity types will inevitably have different critical success factors, different degrees of difficulty, different average sales cycles, different average win rates and so on.

And if your opportunity management strategies fail to reflect these differences, coming up with accurate forecasts will be nigh-on impossible."

Business 2 Community, July 8th, 2019
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IT News - Storage
78 Million Hdds Shipped Worldwide In 2Q19, As In 1Q19
HDD Shipments Up Marginally to Near 78 Million Units - Nearline Units and Exabytes Continue to Rise
"In its SDAS: HDD Information Service, Preliminary CQ1 '19 Quarterly Update, published on July 9, 2019, analyst company Trendfocus, Inc. wrote:

  • 3.5&#8243; Desktop/CE HDDs: Total desktop/CE HDD shipments (including 3.5&#8243; external HDDs) remained steady in CQ2 at around 24.8 million units shipped, reflecting stable desktop and CE demand..."

Read of for details., July 12th, 2019
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How NVMe-oF Advantages Are Transforming Storage
NVMe isn't just about flash drives anymore. The NVMe over fabrics protocol is extending NVMe's high-speed, low-latency advantages across network fabrics
"Whether your organization uses Fibre Channel, remote direct memory access or TCP, NVMe-oF is now a networking option.

NVMe-oF lets an NVMe host communicate with a network-connected NVMe storage device, mapping commands and responses to the host's shared memory. With it, NVMe-based devices can be accessed over greater distances, and more devices can be looped in. One NVMe-oF advantage is it makes distributed data centers with all the capabilities of NVMe a reality.

Read on to find out about NVMe-oF advantages, how they're changing storage and what's important when deploying the technology..."

SearchStorage, July 13th, 2019
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IT News - AI
AI Smokes 5 Poker Champs At A Time In No-Limit Hold'Em With 'Relentless Consistency'
The machines have proven their superiority in one-on-one games like chess and go, and even poker - but in complex multiplayer versions of the card game, humans have retained their edge... until now
"An evolution of the last AI agent to flummox poker pros individually is now decisively beating them in championship-style six-person games," reports Devin Coldewey in Tech Crunch.

"As documented in a paper published in the journal Science today, the CMU/Facebook collaboration they call Pluribus reliably beats five professional poker players in the same game, or one pro pitted against five independent copies of itself. It's a major leap forward in capability for the machines, and amazingly is also far more efficient than previous agents, as well..."

Tech Crunch, July 11th, 2019
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Conversational AI: Myth Versus Reality
When it comes to new technologies, disillusionment and skepticism are the angsty teenage brothers of hype and innovation
Etienne Merineau writes in Forbes, "In recent years, all the excitement around chatbots and AI assistants, in particular, have brought with them a fair share of misinformation as well -- from their capabilities to their development to the bottom line.

Unfortunately, that's to be expected. I see it every day at our agency, which specializes in conversational AI, when chatting with prospective clients: There's a huge gap between the expectations and the actionable, concrete promises of AI when it comes to its real-world business applications..."

Forbes, July 8th, 2019
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IT News - Technology
Are DVD And Blu-Ray Players Still Worth Buying?
It's a fact of life that media formats become obsolete. While we don't think DVD and Blu-rays are outdated just yet, their future is inevitable. So, is a disc player still worth buying?
Andrew Heinzman writes in reviewgeek, "Well, if you want a DVD or Blu-Ray player, you might as well buy one. You don't need anyone's permission. But if you're undecided, you might need some reasons why a disc player is worth your hard-earned cash. Lucky for you, there are still plenty of good reasons to buy a disc player.

A Novel Concept: Owning What You Pay for

As physical media slips into the abyss, we're starting to run into an interesting problem. You can't own movies anymore..."

reviewgeek, July 10th, 2019
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Literally Rings Our Bell: Scotch Eggheads Take First-Ever Snap Of Quantum Entanglement
Spooky action' caught on camera - see it for yourself
Max Smolaks writes in The Register, "Physicists at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, have produced the first-ever image of a strong form of quantum entanglement, known as Bell entanglement.

To achieve this, they devised a system which fires a stream of entangled photons from a quantum source of light at 'non-conventional objects' - which change the phase of the photons as they pass through.

Researchers then set up a super-sensitive camera capable of detecting single photons which would only take an image when it caught sight of both the photon and its entangled 'twin', creating a visible record of entanglement..."

The Register, July 13th, 2019
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What Is A Deepfake, And Should I Be Concerned?
We tend to trust the content of video and audio recordings. But with AI, anyone's face or voice can be recreated with pin-point accuracy
"The product is a deepfake, an impersonation that can be used for memes, misinformation, or porn," warns Andrew Heinzman in How-To Geek.

"One look at the Nicholas Cage deepfakes or Jordan Peele's deepfake PSA makes it clear that we're dealing with strange new technology. These examples, while relatively harmless, raise questions about the future. Can we trust video and audio? Can we hold people accountable for their onscreen actions? Are we ready for deepfakes?..."

How-To Geek, July 8th, 2019
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IT News - Blockchain
How Will Blockchain Change The Healthcare Industry?
Payel Dutta writes in TechWorm, "It's been more than 10 years since blockchain was first presented by Satoshi Nakamoto in the original whitepaper, although the crypto hype - which brought the technology into the spotlight - intensified at a later stage of that journey.

Despite being around for a significant amount of time, blockchain remains an incomprehensible, mythical technology in the public eye. Mainstream institutions and enterprises tend to perceive blockchain as an immature phenomenon, whose benefits are abstract and inapplicable - however, upon closer inspection, this generalization does not hold true..."

TechWorm, July 9th, 2019
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The Top 8 Problems With Blockchain
While blockchain holds the promise for reinventing business processes, it is still a developing technology with few production systems in place, not to mention governance issues and vulnerabilities that must be understood.
"While blockchain holds tremendous potential for creating new financial, supply chain and digital identity systems, it's often erroneously seen as a panacea for business problems," warns Lucas Mearian in ComputerWorld.

"The myriad of pilots and proofs of concept by large corporations and government agencies are showing real promise, but those projects don't always lead to obvious business cases that justify doing something differently. Sometimes a tried and true technology like a relational database can perform the task much more efficiently than a distributed ledger based on peer-to-peer technology that will require complex governance and rules..."

ComputerWorld, July 8th, 2019
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IT News - Humor
Not Even Remotely Right
Can you see me now?
"With just minutes to go before a big meeting in a remote office, the attendees are frantically looking for the long HDMI cable that's supposed to be connected to the big flat-screen TV in the conference room. They need it so they can hook up a laptop to show a presentation, they tell pilot fish, who's on the phone back at the main office. Fish knows the remote location well enough to be able to guide the users to various IT stashes, where they might find a replacement. When that doesn't pan out, fish gets them to cannibalize another setup for its HDMI cable..."
ComputerWorld, July 10th, 2019
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Throwback Thursday: Hardly Worth Mentioning
Well, she thought you were looking for some weird explanation
"This pilot fish does some freelance IT work, and one of his regular clients comes to him with a strange problem..."

"A Linux server at his customer's remote location had a Samba mount of a Windows server's share," says fish. "Every day at around 9:30 a.m., like clockwork, the Linux server would stop responding to any requests on this mounted directory.

"I couldn't figure it out; nothing was being output on the debug logs. I was about ready to build a new Linux kernel to see if that would fix the problem...."

ComputerWorld, July 11th, 2019
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IT News - BI
Howard Dresner Talks Business Intelligence Trends
In this Q&A, analyst Howard Dresner talks about trends in the business intelligence software market, industry consolidation and what excites him about analytics
"Howard Dresner, president and founder of Dresner Advisory Services, has seen business intelligence trends come and go," reports Eric Avidon in SearchBusinessAnalytics.

"Recently, there's been a wave of consolidation with Salesforce acquiring Tableau, Google purchasing Looker, and Qlik buying up both Podium and Attunity. But consolidation is nothing new, according to Dresner, who noted that some companies start with the specific purpose of finding an eventual buyer and that a new cycle of mergers and acquisitions comes every few of years..."

SearchBusinessAnalytics, July 12th, 2019
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IT News - FOSS
9 Open Source Password Managers To Secure Yourself With
A password manager is a special program that stores all the credentials of the websites/services you use, encrypts them or store them securely in another way, and then allows you to access those passwords any time you want using what's known as a 'master password'
"Without the master password, no one can access those credentials (username, password..)," writes Simon James in The FOSS Post.

"The program would allow you to add/remove/modify records of your credentials per website/URL. You can think of it as an encrypted vault to store your sensitive information, and the master password is the key to open that vault.

Why Do you Need a Password Manager?

People use password managers so that they don't have to remember all the usernames/passwords of the websites they visit. Instead, they can just remember 1 password, and then access all the other passwords whenever they need..."

The FOSS Post, July 10th, 2019
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IT News - Cloud
As Public Cloud Adoption Grows, New Drawbacks Discovered
Public cloud adoption has grown, but some companies find benefits are offset by high egress charges, hidden and complicated bills and added IT complexity
"Public cloud adoption is proving to be more costly for some companies than they expected," writes Johnny Yu in SearchDataBackup.

"A recent survey conducted by U.K.-based tech research company Vanson Bourne asked 900 IT leaders if the public cloud has delivered on all of their organizations' expected benefits. Only 32.2% of respondents said all their expectations were met, while 58.1% said some expected benefits came to fruition and 9.6% said only a few of their expected benefits were achieved. The remaining 0.1% said they saw no benefit to public cloud adoption at all..."

SearchDataBackup, July 10th, 2019
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IT News - Careers
7 IT Salary And Hiring Trends For 2019
The IT industry continues to face a talent shortage, but businesses are getting creative to fill the necessary skills gaps for successful digital transformation
"When it comes to IT, change is a constant," warns Sarah K. White in CIO.

"Thanks to a wide range of maturing technologies and the threat of digital disruption, the pace of change in IT has accelerated - even in just the past year. But one facet of IT remains the same: that IT organizations continue to struggle to find enough talent to meet demand.

That talent gap puts pressure on IT hiring practices and on organizations' ability to offer competitive salaries in a tight talent market. But emerging trends from the Robert Half 2019 Salary Guide suggest that organizations are adapting and finding ways to fill skills gaps, even if they can't lure the top tech talent available..."

CIO, July 12th, 2019
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The Future Of Work: 6 Things To Look Forward To
Everyone wants to know: "What does the future of work look like?"
"It's a difficult question to answer, considering the constant changes in workforce demands and advancements in HR technology," notes Brogan Taylor Business 2 Community.

"And according to a recent employee engagement survey, only 28 percent of respondents said their company focuses on employee engagement and 20 percent said they don't regularly measure their employee engagement. This leaves a lot of room for improvement. Here's a quick look into what we can expect in the future of work:..."

Business 2 Community, July 8th, 2019
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IT News - Backup
Best Cloud Backup Services 2019
You may routinely back up your computer's data to a nearby external hard drive - and if not, you should - but that really isn't enough
"Both your PC and your local backup drive could be lost at the same time to theft, flood or fire," warns Paul Wagenseil in Yahoo!.

"Cloud-backup services, also known as online-backup services, help you avoid such data disasters. They copy your valuable information to an offsite repository that never goes offline and is available from anywhere, preventing catastrophe.

Based on more than 40 hours of testing, our top pick among cloud-backup services is IDrive ($13.90 for the first year for Tom's Guide readers), which backs up an unlimited number of PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets for a reasonable price. IDrive is the best choice if you have multiple computers and phones to back up..."

Yahoo!, July 10th, 2019
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IT News - Big Data
5 Big Data Vulnerabilities You Could Be Overlooking
Nearly all data is either stored or passed through network related channels these days, increasing the potential for a major compromise
"The elevated risk is just a byproduct of digital-heavy and internet-reliant operations in the modern world. Few organizations still maintain a local or private data system, with most opting to take advantage of the cloud," notes Kayla Matthews in insideBIGDATA.

"Although there are many reasons for this, the most pertinent is the always-on and mobile-friendly benefits of cloud technologies. In addition, there's an opportunity for organizations to take a step back and allow cloud providers to manage the more complex aspects of a network, including security, maintenance and more..."

insideBIGDATA, July 12th, 2019
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Cloud Cost Implications Of The 5 V's Of Big Data
Moving analytics to the cloud opens a lot doors for users, but only if they keep costs in check and understand the 5 V's of big data -- volume, variety, velocity, veracity and value
"Enterprises increasingly use the cloud for big data analytics," notes Will Kelly in SearchCloudComputing. "These platforms provide scalable alternatives that can save money compared to on-premises systems, but only if they're used properly.

Cost controls can be a problem for companies of all sizes and experience levels, even those well versed in cloud computing. That's why it's essential for users to understand cloud analytics and the five V's of big data: volume, variety, velocity, veracity and value. From there, they must learn to spend wisely to maximize the ROI..."

SearchCloudComputing, July 12th, 2019
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