IT News and Events
Jul 6th, 2020 — Jul 12th, 2020 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 268, Issue 2 << Previous Issue
IT News - CxO
20 Reasons Why Software Projects Fail
From outsized expectations to fundamental feature changes, software development projects get derailed - or declared failures - thanks to a variety of project management and technical factors
"Every software project begins with big dreams and grand visions," notes Peter Wayner in CIO. "Somewhere in an alternative universe, there is a project that fulfills every dream but all too often software projects in our universe stumble toward the finish line and sometimes cross it.

Of course, by definition, software project failure isn't a binary thing. You can end up with code that runs well but no one uses. Or you can end up with code that won't even compile. Sometimes you can salvage something useful from the flaming wreckage and sometimes it's best to run away before it explodes..."

CIO, July 1st, 2020
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5 Digital Transformation Strategies Embracing The New Normal
Here is a look at five digital transformation strategies companies should consider implementing now to overcome any setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
Matt Jackson warns in SearchCIO, "Today, we face a source of disruption unlike any in recent memory -- one that has left no aspect of business untouched. In the coming months and years, the ability to quickly adapt to changing demands will be critical to business survival. Fortunately, there are ways to begin digitizing iteratively to achieve impactful outcomes.

While the driving factors behind transformation may have shifted, digital transformation strategies and best practices for planning, implementing and managing it ultimately remain the same..."

SearchCIO, June 30th, 2020
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CIO Interview: Amex Global Business Travel CTO On Incident Response
American Express Global Business Travel adapted an existing incident response service to support staff and clients during the lockdown
"Like many global firms, American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) needed to adapt its IT department overnight after the industry was brought to a rapid standstill by the coronavirus outbreak," reports Cliff Saran in ComputerWeekly.

"David Thompson, chief technology officer (CTO) for products and technology at Amex GBT, says the company began seeing lockdowns appear in late January, and the company kicked emergency response measures into gear to support clients and protect its staff..."

ComputerWeekly, July 1st, 2020
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5 Must-Read Harvard Business Review Articles In July
Check out these five thought-provoking HBR articles, curated especially for CIOs and IT leaders
Carla Rudder writes in The Enterprisers Project, "Each month, through our partnership with Harvard Business Review, we refresh our business library for CIOs with five new HBR articles we believe CIOs and IT leaders will value highly. The curated pieces below are available now through the end of July..."

  • Does diversity training work?
  • 3 tips to avoid remote work burnout
  • The key to inclusive leadership
  • Your company is too risk-averse
  • Firing with compassion

Read on...

The Enterprisers Project, July 1st, 2020
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With COVID-19 As Backdrop, CIOs Are Playing Bigger Roles Leading Digital Transformations
A new Tata Consultancy Services study on CIOs finds their responsibilities are continuing to change and adapt as they help their companies rise to new challenges
"The roles of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in businesses have been evolving for years, but have been changing even more amid the COVID-19 pandemic," writes Todd R. Weiss in TechRepublic.

"According to a new study by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the biggest changes are being seen inside companies where CIOs have been leading the way in digital transformations.

The 2020 TCS Chief Information Officer Study, which was conducted by the TCS Business 4.0 Institute thought leadership center, surveyed 1,010 IT executives in 11 industries in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands to gain their insights into the roles of CIOs in 2020 and the future within their companies..."

TechRepublic, July 3rd, 2020
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IT News - CRM
Best CRM Software Of 2020
In an age where customers can find someone else to do business with just a quick internet search away, building strong customer relationships is a must. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is designed to do just that
Jeremy Brown writes in U.S. News, "By organizing information from various customer-facing teams (marketing, sales, customer service, etc.) into one place, CRM software makes sure a company's employees have access to the same efficiently organized, real-time information. Organizing all your company's customer data and storing it in one place allows your teams to operate more effectively, minimizes miscommunications, and ensures everyone on your team has up-to-date information..."
U.S. News, July 1st, 2020
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IT News - Security
The More Cybersecurity Tools An Enterprise Deploys, The Less Effective Their Defense Is
New research highlights how throwing money indiscriminately at security doesn't guarantee results
"The enterprise is slowly improving its response to cybersecurity incidents," writes Charlie Osborne in ZDNet, "but in the same breath, it is still investing in too many tools that can actually reduce the effectiveness of defense.

On Tuesday, IBM released the results of a global survey, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and featuring responses from over 3,400 security and IT staff worldwide. The research suggests that while investment and planning are on the uptake, effectiveness is not on the same incline, with response efforts hindered by complexity caused by fragmented toolsets..."

ZDNet, June 30th, 2020
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10 Essential Negotiation Tactics CISOs Should Know
Lose that winner takes all mentality and build your negotiation muscle with advice from security leaders and negotiation experts
"CISOs are constantly in negotiations, whether it's to draw up vendor contracts, developing strategy with C-suite colleagues or drafting workplace requirements with newly hired direct reports," notes Mary K. Pratt in CSO Online.

"'Pretty much everything I do involves some negotiations. It's much wider than just doing contracts,' says Gerald Beuchelt, CISO of tech company LogMeIn..."

CSO Online, June 30th, 2020
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Inside A Ransomware Attack: From The First Breach To The Ransom Demand
Security researchers map out how a ransomware attack plays out over a two week period
"Security researchers have revealed the anatomy of a ransomware attack," writes Steve Ranger in Government Technology, "showing how cyber criminals gained access to a network and deployed ransomware -- all in the space of just two weeks.

Researchers from tech security company SentinelOne examined a server that was used by criminals in October last year to turn a small security breach in a corporate network into a damaging Ryuk ransomware attack. This sort of data can be vital in helping understand the tactics and techniques used by attackers..."

Government Technology, June 28th, 2020
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3 Must-Ask Post-Pandemic Questions For CISOs
The worldwide health pandemic has created multiple challenges for today's CISOs and their security teams. Ask these three questions to stay safe in a post-pandemic workplace
"The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated several emerging tech trends but none more immediately disruptive than the proliferation of cybersecurity threats," writes Jessica Groopman in SearchSecurity.

"The sudden uptick in both reliance on digital and widespread uncertainties has ripened the landscape for cybercriminals, resulting in a 600% increase in attacks, according to the UN. The total volume of coronavirus-related lures and threats marked the largest collection of attack types exploiting a single theme in decades -- and possibly ever -- according to other analyses..."

SearchSecurity, July 1st, 2020
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IT News - Storage
When Should You Use Cloud Vs. On-Premises Storage?
Choose the right data storage approach with this breakdown on the differences between cloud and on-premises storage. Consider cost, compliance, performance and other factors
"In the current IT market, most organizations have a rapidly expanding data footprint," notes Kurt Marko in SearchCloudComputing. "As a result, IT teams face a common dilemma over whether they should buy and maintain on-premises storage systems or rent capacity from a cloud IaaS or SaaS provider. Each option has notable advantages and drawbacks.

This decision has only become more difficult since storage service options now include virtually anything an organization might need, such as object, block and network file services, or packaged file synchronization and collaboration applications..."

SearchCloudComputing, July 2nd, 2020
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Data Storage Security Best Practices For Avoiding Cyberattacks
Protecting stored data requires meticulous planning and a well-crafted strategy. Here are steps you need to take today to keep your organization's essential data safe and secure
"One of the biggest challenges of data storage security is preventing intruders from accessing critical storage resources," suggests John Edwards in SearchStorage.

"To ensure that data is secure, organizations must keep track of the location of company data and who can access it. Security policies require regular updates, as well.

Meeting data storage security best practices will help mitigate the threat of cyberattacks, and this begins with developing comprehensive defense-in-depth and tiered protection strategies..."

SearchStorage, June 30th, 2020
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6 Basics Of Storage Automation, Predictive Analytics And AI
AI and predictive analytics are included in many storage offerings. See how this functionality helps automate storage, which features are useful and which products have them
Stacey Peterson writes in SearchStorage, "AI and predictive analytics are essential features in modern storage systems, helping to assess the health of the infrastructure and identify problems and storage automation capabilities to keep these systems running smoothly.

Gartner recently identified augmented data management as No. 2 on its list of 10 top data and analytics trends for 2020. Vendors are adding machine learning and AI capabilities to provide self-configuring and self-tuning data management to free IT staff to focus on higher-value tasks, according to the research firm..."

SearchStorage, June 30th, 2020
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IT News - AI
Learn The Business Value Of AI's Various Techniques
To drive business value from AI, business managers need to distinguish between the various AI techniques, starting with the many flavors of machine learning
George Lawton writes in SeachEnterpriseAI, "As artificial technology gains traction in the enterprise, many on the business side remain fuzzy on AI techniques and how they can be applied to drive business value. Machine Learning and deep learning, for example, are two AI techniques that are often conflated. But machine learning can involve a wide variety of techniques for building analytics models or decision engines that don't involve neural networks, the mechanism for deep learning. And there is a whole range of AI techniques outside of machine learning as well that can be applied to solve business problems..."
SeachEnterpriseAI, June 30th, 2020
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9 Emerging Job Roles For The Future Of AI
Artificial intelligence is fast proving a business differentiator. Here are the key roles and skills you may soon need to fill for your AI A-team
"AI is poised to transform nearly every industry, and with it will come significant changes for many job functions," opines Maria Korolov in CIO. "Many roles across organizations will require at least some use of artificial intelligence technologies in the coming years, creating massive new opportunities for the AI-savvy regardless of discipline.

Alongside this transformation of how many IT and business staff do their work will be the emergence of new jobs targeted at making the most of organizational AI strategies. Machine learning engineers have already cemented their place as must-have members of AI teams, taking first place in Indeed's best jobs list last year. AI specialist was also the top job in LinkedIn's 2020 Emerging Jobs report, with 74 percent annual growth in the last four years, followed by robots engineer and data scientist..."

CIO, July 2nd, 2020
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IT News - Humor
Memory-Lane Monday: Self-Inflicted
Things like this do tend to happen at 3:00 in the morning.
It's the 1980s, and this pilot fish works in a group at a big financial services company that provides 24/7 support. That means taking turns doing a weeklong on-call rotation.

Fish has done his on-call duty, with pager, before, but this is his first time with a new and improved pager. Now you don't call back a prearranged phone number; you call the number that is displayed in a small window on the pager.

ComputerWorld, June 29th, 2020
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Wayback Wednesday: He'll Figure It Out
Just point him in the right direction
It's a hot day, and the building where this IT pilot fish works has no air conditioning, although it's quite cool and pleasant in his basement office-cum-workshop.

On the upper floors, however, the heat is starting to get to everyone. As fish finds out when he gets a call from a young guy in the marketing department: His screen's just gone dead, and he's on deadline.

Arriving in the open-plan office that this user shares with half a dozen others, he finds that there is some air movement from a floor fan.

ComputerWorld, July 1st, 2020
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Flashback Friday: Just Don't Say A Word To The Bank
This small vendor provides software to big banks, says a pilot fish who helps keep everything running.

'Part of our job requires supporting the installation at the customer, who happens to be far, far away,' fish says. 'In order to do this remotely, we need to VPN into the bank's network so we can troubleshoot the system.'

The bank has set up an account for the vendor's techs to use, so that's not a problem. But logging in requires the use of a security token - a little device displaying a number that changes every minute. So far, so good: Fish and his cohorts can log in and fix problems.

ComputerWorld, July 3rd, 2020
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IT News - Operations
Cybercrime: It's Worse Than We Thought
The cyber world is relatively new, and unlike other types of assets, cyber assets are potentially accessible to criminals in far-off locations
Douglas S. Thomas writes in NIST, "This distance provides the criminal with significant protections from getting caught; thus, the risks are low, and with cyber assets and activities being in the trillions of dollars, the payoff is high.

When we talk about cybercrime, we often focus on the loss of privacy and security. But cybercrime also results in significant economic losses. Yet the data and research on this aspect of cybercrime are unfortunately limited. Data collection often relies on small sample sizes or has other challenges that bring accuracy into question..."

NIST, June 30th, 2020
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The Role Of IT In Rearchitecting For A WFH Future
Using AIOps, IT will play an important role in maintaining the network infrastructure, data security, and user experience in the new home microbranch
"COVID-19 has radically changed the way we work," opines Bob Friday in Network Computing. "Recent shelter-in-place orders have turned our homes into the new enterprise microbranch of the future and forced a greater workload onto home wireless networks.

Experts predict that even post COVID, we will see a new norm with more people working from home, fundamentally shifting how businesses will provide IT services moving forward. As we continue to rearchitect for a work-from-home future, IT will play an increasingly key role in providing enterprise-grade support to remote workers, securing data with Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), and deploying AI solutions to provide better end-to-end visibility and remote support..."

Network Computing, June 30th, 2020
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IT News - DevOps
3 DevOps Skills IT Leaders Need For The Next Normal
As the triage phase of COVID-19 response ends and the transformation phase begins, individuals and organizations can achieve more by focusing on three areas that DevOps pros know well
"Many IT organizations are moving out of the triage and stabilizing phases of their response to the COVID-19 crisis and into the transformation phase," reports Eveline Oehrlich in The Enterprisers Project.

"In recent months, organizations had to learn to quickly shift into virtual operations and interactions not only with their employees but also with their entire ecosystem. This rapid shift to virtual resulted in swift adoption of technologies that helped organizations with security, usability, and scalability..."

The Enterprisers Project, July 1st, 2020
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How DevOps Teams Can Get More From Open Source Tools
To get the best from DevOps, tackle your open source strategy in two dimensions: horizontal and then vertical. Consider this advice on tools and approaches that work
"Open source software development is rapidly becoming a staple in DevOps teams' toolkits," suggests Derek Smart in The Enterprisers Project.

"Open source software (OSS) allows organizations to - especially at the beginning of their journey - avoid the cost of expensive proprietary software that might not scale with the business or become obsolete as time goes on. While cost savings are an obvious draw, it's actually the flexibility of open source that makes it such a great fit for DevOps..."

The Enterprisers Project, July 2nd, 2020
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IT News - Cloud
Cloud Computing: Automation Is Essential
Hybrid clouds demand a finely tuned automation platform for smooth deployment and operation of applications, while avoiding human error
"Today, cloud computing is a fixture in every IT shop. Cloud-based applications bring proven value: reduced time-to-market, enhanced scalability, agile development, and embedded redundancy. Cloud services are mature, in the sense that a plethora of world-class cloud platforms, facilities, and software-as-a-service offerings give you unprecedented freedom of choice. The question you, as an IT manager, are likely asking today is no longer 'Can we do this in the cloud?' but 'Which clouds do we use, and how do we manage them?'

A vast field of choices isn't the only challenge you face. Management requires that you deploy cloud apps while maintaining security and auditability, meet all governance rules -- and with disaster recovery and business continuity built in..."

Network Computing, June 29th, 2020
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How Liberty Mutual's Cloud Journey Led To Going Serverless
Making the move from datacenters to the cloud set off a transformation strategy that created new operational opportunities and cost savings
"The start of Liberty Mutual Insurance's journey to the cloud some six years ago set the stage for the continuing evolution of its infrastructure," reports Joao-Pierre S. Ruth in InformationWeek.

"As a major provider of insurance, Liberty Mutual, can receive millions of customer calls per year that may tap into considerable data resources. The insurer's transformation strategy included moving out of datacenters to public cloud, says Dave Anderson, director of technology at Liberty Mutual Insurance IT. The strategy kept business needs in focus rather than pursue technology just for technology's sake. 'We started to realize that cloud is not just a datacenter,' he says. 'It's a transformational way of working.'

InformationWeek, June 29th, 2020
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IT News - Wireless
5G And Wi-Fi 6: Unlikely Allies
Before the pandemic, telcos pondered how to sell 5G fixed wireless so convincingly that consumers would willingly ditch their Wi-Fi routers. Now that Wi-Fi is everyone's best friend, that strategy has pivoted completely.
"You probably won't find a 5G Wireless small cell or small base station within sight of where you're seated right now," notes Scott Fulton in ZDNet.

"Maybe in the distance, you're able to spot a 4G base station, perhaps one that's already been upgraded with 5G transmitters. The move to incorporate 5G spectrum into existing mobile wireless is well under way, and in some regions is already done..."

ZDNet, July 1st, 2020
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IT News - Careers
The 15 Most Valuable IT Certifications Today
Looking for a leg up in your IT career? Here are the most valuable IT certifications you can earn to boost your salary in 2020
"Certifications and skills can boost your salary, set you apart from the competition and help you land promotions in your current role," suggests Sarah K. White in CIO.

"According to the Global Knowledge 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report, the average IT professional in North America earns $109,985 per year, which is 27 percent higher than the average salary in the U.S.

Over 85 percent of IT professionals hold a certification and 66 percent say they plan to obtain a new certification this year, according to the report. The average IT salary increases with each certification earned. IT professionals with one certification earn an average salary of $106,780 per year, while those with six or more report an average of $117,212 per year. This year, cloud computing and security take center stage as some of the highest-earning certifications on the list..."

CIO, July 3rd, 2020
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IT Career Paths You May Not Have Considered
As IT continues to expand into new areas, there are lots of potential career moves. Some lie outside the IT department
"IT is constantly evolving so having a static skill set can be career-limiting move," writes Lisa Morgan in InformationWeek. "While there's plenty of room for specialists and generalists the only constant in IT is rapid change, so it behooves you to know how things are changing, why and how that could impact your career.

The latest twist to everyone's plans is the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. On one hand, organizations and individuals are pondering their futures. The good news is that companies' ability to survive and thrive depends considerably on their ability to leverage technologies. For example, more companies are accelerating their moves into the cloud and remote work has taken on new meaning..."

InformationWeek, June 30th, 2020
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