IT News and Events
Sep 14th, 2020 — Sep 20th, 2020 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 270, Issue 3 << Previous Issue
IT News - CxO
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Blue Cross NC Brings IT Back In House To Improve Agility
The health insurer insourced its engineering team after a frustrating experience with an MSP and is now reaping the benefits of a more responsive infrastructure
Peter Sayer writes in CIO, "When Petar Bojovic joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina three years ago, his task was to build an engineering department - and the IT infrastructure it would manage - from the ground up.

The organization had no engineering team because it had outsourced most of its IT operations: Pretty much anything that had an IP address was run by a managed service provider (MSP), he says..."

CIO, September 7th, 2020
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Digital Transformation: 4 Post-Pandemic Security Priorities
Amid pandemic-related disruption, security has become inseparable from digital transformation. Consider these priorities for building trust with colleagues, customers, and regulators
"Businesses are at a crossroads on their journey to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic," notes Sean Joyce in The Enterprisers Project. "Budgets are tight, but sizeable investments in digital transformation are needed. Companies continue to face the complex challenges associated with enabling a remote workforce, shifting their business model to overcome supply chain disruption, or embracing a new digital platform for the first time.

For many companies, the rapid adoption of new technologies to support these transformation initiatives - full-stack cloud, virtual desktop interfaces, identity-based segmentation, and more - has left little time to test new processes or fully address the new threat landscapes they are now confronting..."

The Enterprisers Project, September 9th, 2020
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10 Value-Adds That CISOs Can Deliver
Savvy security chiefs are generating returns for their organizations beyond enabling secure business operations. Here's how they do it
"Like all executives, CISOs are facing pressure to demonstrate the value that they and their teams provide to their organizations," writes Mary K. Pratt in CSO Online.

"Many, however, say they still struggle to do that.

Only 52% of CISOs say that they feel their fellow executives value the security team from a revenue and brand protection standpoint, according to the report Life Inside the Perimeter: Understanding the Modern CISO from Nominet, the registry for .uk domain names..."

CSO Online, September 7th, 2020
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2020 Has Shown That The Time Digital Transformation Is Now
Organizations cannot afford to put off digital transformation - this is how best to approach it
"Digital transformation is a topic that has dominated discussion and discourse over the past few years," notes Jeff Mills in ITProPortal. "It's something that most organizations are aware that they need to tackle, but equally it's also something that many organizations realize is a significant undertaking.

Overhauling older analogue systems and platforms and replacing them with digital tools that make operations faster, more efficient and more cost-effective is one thing. But reimagining the organization so that digital informs everything that it does is something else entirely. This requires vision, ambition, the backing of the c-suite and will also involve a major change management program..."

ITProPortal, September 11th, 2020
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Leading In The Next Normal: 6 Lessons Learned For CIOs
We need to lean into the lessons - around challenges ranging from training to silos - learned in the first months of the pandemic, in preparing for the next transition
"When the pandemic hit six months ago, our workforce - like so many others - went remote," recalls Julie Cullivan in The Enterprisers Project. "This transition was difficult for everyone as we navigated new solutions, policies, and emotions. During this time, we learned a lot about leadership, management, communication, and productivity.

As we prepare for the reality of a hybrid work environment in the future, now is the time to lean into these lessons to ensure that we're successful in this next transition. Here's a look at what we've learned over the past several months..."

The Enterprisers Project, September 10th, 2020
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IT News - CRM
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Part 1: Audit Your B2B CRM For A New Lead On Sales
Most of us practice some sort of annual-cleaning ritual. We reorganize by cleaning out closets, drawers and garages to bring some order back to our homes and our lives
"Purging what has become old and outdated helps make room for the new items we need to add," writes Christa Tuttle in Business 2 Community.

"Much like spring cleaning your home, businesses should take time to make sure their CRM is updated and ready for all sales efforts, as well as confirm staff are properly using the analytics tools they have in place for informed reporting. These checks and balances on essential marketing and sales tools help ensure you are following best practices for outstanding results.

In part one of this two-part series, we analyze the importance of your B2B CRM and maintaining it to showcase the most current and appropriate contacts for your marketing and sales efforts..."

Business 2 Community, September 9th, 2020
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IT News - Security
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Global Security Appliance Market Revenue Grew To $4.2B In Q2 2020
The total security appliance market delivered solid unit shipment and revenue growth in the second quarter of 2020 (2Q20), according to IDC
"Worldwide revenue increased 7.5% year over year in 2Q20 to $4.2 billion. Unit shipments experienced similar growth, increasing 8.0% year over year to a little over 1.1 million units.

The unified threat management (UTM) market segment accounted for the most significant revenue growth. This segment saw an increase of $250 million in revenue for 2Q20 when compared to the same quarter a year ago..." - HelpNet Security

HelpNet Security, September 8th, 2020
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10 Common Cloud Security Mistakes That Put Your Data At Risk
Yes, the cloud offers many security advantages over on-premises, especially for smaller organizations, but only if you avoid these mistakes around cloud configuration, monitoring and patching
"The news is filled regularly with attacks on misconfigured cloud servers," notes David Strom in CSO Online, and the leaked data that criminals obtain from them. The errors happen because we are all human. We might set up a cloud server with loose (or no) credentials and forget to tighten them when the server is placed into production. Or we fail to keep software up to date when exploits are discovered or get IT involved to audit the finished production app to ensure that it is as secure as possible..."
CSO Online, September 10th, 2020
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How Centralized Log Management Can Save Your Company
Through centralized log management, organizations can consolidate all log data into one central, data highway and directs logs wherever they need to go
"The digital transformation wasn't gradual," opines Robert Meyers in DevOps.com. "It came crashing into industries worldwide in response to safety restrictions around the pandemic.

Nearly a third of Americans are working remotely in light of the pandemic-drastically increasing the external users-with no signs that employees will be returning to the office full-time post-COVID-19. A recent PwC survey found that 83% of employees want to work remotely at least once a week and that 55% of employers anticipate their employees will do so even after the pandemic..."

DevOps.com, September 10th, 2020
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Towards Smarter Security
What is your number one priority?
"Imagine if the CIO's job could be described with that kind of clarity. Well, as a matter of fact, it can be," opines Adib C. Ghubril in CIO

"Corporate boards and the c-suite may not spend too much time thinking about information systems (unless they are an information systems company) but one thing they definitely think about, and indeed fret about, is security breaches and the persistence of cyber threats..."

CIO, September 10th, 2020
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IT News - Storage
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Tiered Storage, Building Optimal Storage
Strategy to balance storage costs, data lifecycle management practices, and storage technology priorities with storage performance
"An effective tiered storage strategy has to balance storage costs, data lifecycle management practices, and storage technology priorities with storage performance. The best choice is to take advantage of a multi-tier storage system that automatically migrates your data to the most cost-efficient (TCO) tiers of storage. Clearly today's storage management challenges will only get larger. The long-standing goal of delivering on the promise 'to have the right data - in the right place - at the right time' can finally become a reality. For some enterprises building a tiered storage strategy may still be optional, but that won't be the case for much longer..." - StorageNewsletter
StorageNewsletter, September 11th, 2020
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NVMe Speeds Explained
The non-volatile memory express protocol is tailor-made to make SSDs fast. Get up to speed on NVMe performance and how it compares to the SATA and SAS interfaces
"The NVMe protocol is quickly becoming the industry standard for supporting solid-state drives and other non-volatile memory subsystems," reports Robert Sheldon in SearchStorage.

"NVMe SSD speeds are substantially better than traditional storage protocols, such as SAS and SATA.

The non-volatile memory express standard is based on the NVM Express specification published by the nonprofit group NVM Express Inc. The specification defines a register-level interface that enables host software to communicate with NVM subsystems..."

SearchStorage, September 11th, 2020
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Archival Storage
The size of preserving digital archives is now reaching the order of petascale, exascale and will approach zettascale capacities in the foreseeable future
"A strategy to move low activity, but potentially valuable archival data to the optimal storage tier immediately yields the greatest cost savings. Archive storage growth and requirements have no foreseeable limits and could demand a new deep archive storage tier in the next few years. Unless a new archival technology arrives, the numerous improvements in tape have made it the clear-cut optimal data archiving choice for the foreseeable future..." - StorageNewsletter
StorageNewsletter, September 11th, 2020
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IT News - AI
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Artificial Intelligence Is Now
Today, we still think of artificial intelligence (AI) as the technology of tomorrow - and that makes me worry that many of us aren't paying close enough attention to the incredible leaps happening in the field. In truth, AI has already started to transform life - and marketing - as we know it
"The adoption of AI is right now bringing companies the benefits of real-time audience segmentation, personalized messaging, predictable customer value, and optimized media buys," writes Dave Sutton in Business 2 Community.

"It has ceased to be an abstract idea located at some distant point in the next decade. It is instead a tool that marketers need to equip themselves with now in order to stay effective and relevant for the near future.

With explosions taking place in the amount of customer data that can be generated each second, deep insights are obtained regarding customer intentions and behavior. Deep learning - a subset of machine learning (ML) - makes personalized marketing-at-scale a present-day reality. Every day, tons of data are gathered from leads, prospects, and customers. With data flowing in from websites, apps, CRMs, marketing automation systems, social media, and even the Internet of Things (IoT), companies now have more substantive information to leverage than ever before. Optimal marketing ROI being a top priority for any business owner, once they pair with the power of AI, an enormous value is instantly created..."

Business 2 Community, September 9th, 2020
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Why You Need To Start Thinking About Mlops
The future of successful AI implementations will be MLOps
Yaron Haviv writes in ITProPortal, "Businesses increasingly solve complex problems with data science. Access to very large data sets, accelerated advances in ML research fields, and inexpensive computing power are driving an AI-fueled transformation across industries.

In a crowded market where consumers can have anything at any time, ML/AI applications that prevent fraud, mitigate churn, serve product suggestions in real-time, and manage predictive maintenance on infrastructure can be the critical differentiator. Yet as AI/ML projects come into the mainstream, businesses are finding just how hard it is to go from data science to business value..."

ITProPortal, September 8th, 2020
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AI Accountability: Proceed At Your Own Risk
A new report suggests that to improve AI accountability, enterprises should tackle third-party risk head-on
"A report issued by technology research firm Forrester, AI Aspirants: Caveat Emptor, highlights the growing need for third-party accountability in artificial intelligence tools," writes InformationWeek

"The report found that a lack of accountability in AI can result in regulatory fines, brand damage, and lost customers, all of which can be avoided by performing third-party due diligence and adhering to emerging best practices for responsible AI development and deployment.

The risks of getting AI wrong are real and, unfortunately, they're not always directly within the enterprise's control, the report observed. "Risk assessment in the AI context is complicated by a vast supply chain of components with potentially nonlinear and untraceable effects on the output of the AI system," it stated.

InformationWeek, September 8th, 2020
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IT News - Technology
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Compare 7 Desktop-As-A-Service Providers
When it comes to choosing a DaaS provider, organizations may get overwhelmed by the options. Compare the features and capabilities of 7 major vendors to determine the best fit
Robert Sheldon writes in SearchVirtualDesktop, "DaaS is an increasingly popular deployment option for organizations that want to deliver a secure option for employees to remotely access desktops.

Not all DaaS services are the same, however. Organizations need to carefully vet potential providers to ensure they can deliver their desktop environments at a price that they can afford..."

SearchVirtualDesktop, September 9th, 2020
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IT News - ERP
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Top Change Management Tips For ERP Implementation Success
Not taking change management seriously is a surefire road to ERP implementation failure. Learn how CIOs and other leaders can do it right and boost the likelihood of success
"Change management determines ERP implementation success" may be the most-ignored advice in the enterprise technology realm. That doesn't make it any less important, opines Pam Baker in SearchERP.

"ERP offers significant business advantages -- but only if it is widely adopted. And that means CIOs and other leaders must prioritize people.

"Particularly in this cloud era, people issues seem to be one of -- if not the -- most important factors in the success of an ERP implementation," said Kathie Topel, director of organizational transformation for global consulting firm Protiviti.

Indeed, the human factor can make or break an ERP implementation -- and far too often, it's the latter...

SearchERP, September 11th, 2020
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IT News - Humor
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Memory-Lane Monday: OK, So It's No Problem For You, But What About Your PC?
I don't think you really understand my question
"User complains that her PC has no network connectivity, so this help desk pilot fish gives her a call to do basic troubleshooting before making a desk-side visit.

'I describe the network cable to her and ask her to confirm that it's connected firmly on both ends,' says fish. 'Check. I ask her to restart her computer. She does. The problem persists.'..." - ComputerWorld

ComputerWorld, September 7th, 2020
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Please Hold For Nice Barney
He always gets up on the wrong side of the bed
"This pilot fish runs the night support shift, and fairly regularly they have to call a particular DBA when they're stumped. He is just that good you could be sure he'd have the answer.

But when he answered the phone, he would cuss and yell, smear the caller with every name in the book, and then hang up. Within five minutes, he would call back on the manager hotline and say, 'This is Barney. I am awake now. How can I help you?' Friendly as that dinosaur of the same name..." - ComputerWorld

ComputerWorld, September 8th, 2020
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IT News - BI
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6 Ways Business Intelligence Makes Better CFOs
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has an increasingly important role within any company
"In the past, the finance department had been in charge of keeping the books, managing the budget and looking after cash and capital," recalls Michael Zimmel in Note Business 2 Community .

"Still today, when it comes to working with data beyond accounting postings, many CFOs and their teams mostly use Excel to collect data manually and store it rather than studying and understanding it. The result is disconnected and inconsistent data silos.

However, as our global economy becomes increasingly competitive, it becomes even more essential for every member of an organization to add direct value. The potential is there for CFOs to do so much more..."

Business 2 Community, September 7th, 2020
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IT News - HR
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The Top 15 Interview Questions To Ask Job Candidates
It's time to fill that vacancy on your team and the pressure is on to find a job candidate who has all the skills and professional experience you need. But can you determine that from just an interview?
"It's possible - if you pose smart queries. Here are 15 of the best questions to ask an interviewee.

1. What do you know about our company, and why do you want to work here?

You'd think with the easy access to information online today, most candidates would do their homework, but that's not always the case. Some applicants may not even know what type of business the company engages in. Ask this interview question and you'll find out quickly who is sincerely interested in working for you - and who isn't..." - Robert Half

Robert Half, September 7th, 2020
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IT News - Database
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Best Enterprise Database Software & Systems For 2020
If you're looking for a system to store your company's data on-premises or in the cloud, chances are you'll be considering at least one of these top enterprise database software solutions
"How far back does your knowledge of databases go - late-1980s, mid-1990s, five years ago? If so, you might not recognize some of the old-timers on this list. You'll also do a double-take if you didn't know many of them have their roots in the mid-to-late 1970s. It would be hard to argue that the enterprise database software market is not mature.

It's also a highly competitive market, as mere minutes of downtime can mean millions of dollars in losses. Enterprise database systems come packed with features from hot backups to high-availability to extensive cloud services. These database systems range in price from free to tens of thousands of dollars..." - ServerWatch

Best enterprise database software

There's no single correct answer for every data problem. Nor is there a perfect database system; each has its own set of features and shortcomings. Here's a primer of the top enterprise database systems on the market in 2020 to help you determine which solution will likely work best for you..."

ServerWatch, September 10th, 2020
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IT News - Server
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7 Benefits Of Deploying A Hyper-Converged Infrastructure
HCI is more straightforward to manage than legacy alternatives. That means your tech staff can spend less time on mundane chores and focus their attention on more pressing matters
"Businesses and organizations in all sectors strive for the most efficient infrastructure," notes Sam O'Brien in Network Computing.

"They need an IT framework that will work best for them both now and in the years to come. In many cases, companies look to migrate workloads to the cloud.

There's one form of on-premises framework, though, that's gaining not losing popularity. That on-premises solution is hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). The global HCI market was worth $4.1 billion in 2018. It's predicted to grow to a value of $17.1 billion by 2023..."

Network Computing, September 11th, 2020
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Server Hunger Is Stronger Than Economic Uncertainty
The appetite for compute capacity, and presumably also for storage and networking capacity, in the datacenter of the world might be waning in some sectors of the economy, but thanks to the voracious hunger of the hyperscalers and cloud builders and more than a few large enterprises that need to do more, not less, computing in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, server sales are now consistently at the levels we saw way back in the Dot-Com Boom more than twenty years ago.
Timothy Prickett Morgan writes in The Next Platform, "In the second quarter ended in June, the market researchers at IDC reckon that the world consumed a whopping 3.19 million shiny new machines, up 18.4 percent from the prior year's second quarter, which was admittedly a bit soft at 2.69 million machines sold but still huge by the standards of the past several decades.

The original design manufacturers, or ODMs, who make custom machinery for the hyperscalers and cloud builders and a very small number of large enterprises, accounted for juts under 1.1 million machines, or 34.4 percent of total shipments, a significant jump from the 25.2 percent share in the year-ago period. Dell, Inspur, Lenovo, Supermicro and a few other original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, who sell predesigned machines to end user customers but who also sometimes work as ODMs for selected customers, also have a sizeable chunk of shipments to the hyperscalers and cloud builders, but we don't know how much..."

The Next Platform, September 10th, 2020
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Reduce Your Server Response Time For Happy Users, Higher Rankings
Server response time is often overlooked when it comes to improving page speed
"It can, however, improve your site's ranking," opines Matt Diggity in Business 2 Community. "Users like fast sites, so Google likes fast sites. In this article, I show you how to reduce your server response time. I also provide a few other ways to improve your page speed.

How much does server response time matter?

Server Response Time (SRT) is the amount of time between when a web client makes a request (e.g., clicking on a link or entering a URL into the address bar) and the server responds to that request.

With a good SRT-and a site optimized for speed-your website will appear to load almost instantly. Without it, the page will take longer to load, which can damage the user experience and, ultimately, search engine rankings..."

Business 2 Community, September 11th, 2020
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IT News - Linux
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Best Linux Distro For Privacy And Security In 2020
The top privacy and penetration testing distros
"The best Linux distros for privacy and security make it easier to secure your computer against cybersecurity threats, from malware to hacker intrusion attempts," notes Nate Drake and Brian Turner in techradar.pro.

"Additionally, privacy and security have become increasing concerns for internet users, not least with increased government monitoring and corporate collection of user data, and a long string of well-publicized hack attacked in which this user data has been stolen and mis-used..."

techradar.pro, September 7th, 2020
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IT News - DevOps
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3 Ways To Tackle The Operations Complexity Of DevOps
DevOps is challenging, some of its complexity requires a platform that is both SaaS and managed environments, running on top of several cloud providers and potentially on-premises as well. Is there a platform that connects applications and systems while supporting enterprises as they accelerate their digital transformation efforts?
Peter Kreslins writes in DevOps.com, "If done the traditional way, you have all the ingredients to fall into an operations nightmare. Unless you tackle the challenges with cloud-native approach from day one.

Let's explore three ways to tackle the operations complexity of DevOps.

Cloud-Native Architecture

Why use Kubernetes? This technology is an open source system for automating deployment, dealing with massive scale and management of containerized applications. If the main initiative is to isolate every single integration that runs, then select an architecture component that could give you a head start..."

DevOps.com, September 9th, 2020
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IT News - Cloud
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The 8 Best Cloud Security Certifications For IT Pros In 2020
Certifications can help security pros prove their baseline knowledge of infosec topics. Consider adding these top cloud security certifications to your arsenal
"Many professionals seeking a career in cloud security will turn to certifications to advance their learning and prove their knowledge to potential employers< notes Sharon Shea in SearchCloudSecurity.

"The number of enterprise cloud deployments is growing: In 2019, more enterprise workloads were executed in the cloud (56%) than in on-premises data centers (44%) or branch offices (4%). Having someone well versed in cloud security on an IT team is integral to securing today's distributed environments.

As cloud adoption has furthered the need for cloud security pros, it has also increased the number of cloud security certifications available..."

SearchCloudSecurity, September 8th, 2020
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