IT News and Events
Aug 31st, 2020 — Sep 6th, 2020 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 270, Issue 1 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
IT News - CxO
5 Conversations CIOs Must Have To Advance Digital Business
CEOs are turning to CIOs to lead digital business efforts, but success depends on your ability to inspire, empower, and engage other business leaders. These are the conversations you need to be having
Chris Howard writes in CIO, "Digital business efforts have accelerated in the face of COVID-19, with leading enterprises and government agencies quickly implementing digital capabilities to support remote and virtual engagement. Now, they have turned their attention to widespread optimization and revenue generation opportunities. CIOs, along with other members of the executive team, are on the implementation front lines. Given their technical expertise, the expectation falls to the CIO to influence, educate, and drive digital transformation..."
CIO, August 26th, 2020
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5 Critical IT Roles For Rapid Digital Transformation
As some organizations look to transform faster than anticipated, putting critical tech roles in place will be the key to a smooth, successful journey
"We're still seeing the ripple effects of the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year," writes David Karandish in InformationWeek.

"It's still disrupting the way we work, learn, communicate, make purchases and more. We're relying more heavily on technology than ever before.

Prior to the pandemic, many businesses were already putting digital transformation in motion -- a process that can take years to complete. Traditionally, digital transformation occurs in stages, but COVID-19 forced some businesses to completely digitalize nearly overnight..."

InformationWeek, August 28th, 2020
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A New IT Landscape Empowers The CIO To Mix And Match
IT has always had an outsized influence on which technologies are adopted by organizations large and small. Now cloud giants are rolling up customers into big suites that are easy to manage just as the obstacles that prevented best-of-breed drop away
"It's an issue that IT has been challenged on countless times over the years," writes Dion Hinchcliffe in ZDNet.

"Shouldn't a given application or IT solution be picked primarily on the basis of the best business fit? It's the perennial pushback to a department that has to actually make tech solutions do what they claimed they'd do over the long haul, while also keeping said systems operational and secure, fitting them into a rapidly expanding enterprise architecture, and supporting their users..."

ZDNet, August 27th, 2020
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CIO Role: 8 Ways The Pandemic Has Changed IT Forever
The CIO's place as a cross-functional business leader has crystallized during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some other ways the role is evolving, according to CIOs
"If it was not entirely evident before a global pandemic swept the world, leaving us with little but digital interfaces to connect us," notes Stephanie Overby in The Enterprisers Project, "then it is crystal clear now: There is no meaningful line between business and technology. Post-COVID-19, there is no going back. The crisis has crystallized the significant shift in the CIO role that was already underway from technology leader to cross-functional business leader..."

"I don't think it has changed the direction in which we've been heading. I think that our more progressive CIOs had already shifted in this way," says IT management consultant and executive coach Bob Kantor. "What I do think the pandemic has done is clarified this reality and incented more CIOs to get on board with being business leaders, and not just technology leaders."

The Enterprisers Project, August 26th, 2020
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How CISOs Can Play A New Role In Defining The Future Of Work
Rather than just reacting to security issues in the COVID-19 era, CISOs are now in a position to be change agents alongside their C-suite peers
David Bradbury writes in Dark Reading, "When the COVID-19 pandemic began, every CISO across every industry scrambled to get their teams up and running. When we left our physical office space, we left our traditional security strategy behind with it. The theme of remote security has stayed top of mind since March: Cybersecurity experts correctly predicted that cybercrime in a virtual workforce would be a central topic at the recent Black Hat conference, and CISOs have had to rethink 2020 strategy with remote work leading the way..."
Dark Reading, August 27th, 2020
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IT News - Security
Best Practices To Maintain VPN Security
Enterprises looking to maintain VPN security should focus on proper endpoint security and authentication, VPN server security and documentation for security policies
"A virtual private network permits users to create a secure connection to another network over the internet," writes John Cavanaugh in SearchNetworking.

"The VPN concept typically connects an endpoint running VPN client software to a VPN server connected to the secure network.

For enterprises, VPNs initially became popular to provide users with secure access to corporate resources while they traveled or occasionally worked from home. For most enterprises, only a small percentage of a typical workforce traveled or worked remotely at any one time, so these implementations didn't have the capacity to handle the changes spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, during the crisis, many firms bypassed normal channels and best practices and stood up less secure systems, such as implementing direct VPN access to Linux or Windows servers or using consumer-grade equipment to cover the load..."

SearchNetworking, August 27th, 2020
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Deep Fake: Setting The Stage For Next-Gen Social Engineering
Humans are susceptible to normalcy bias, which may leave us vulnerable to disinformation that reinforces our beliefs
Jon Mendoza writes in Dark Reading, "Bias and susceptibility were evident during the 2016 US Presidential election and has plagued much of President Trump's first four years in office. The term "fake news," which years ago would have been considered absurd, is now part of our cultural vernacular. Allegations against foreign-state actors interfering with US elections and conspiracy theories related to COVID-19 has divided a culture, communities, friends, and even families. Social media has become a platform that propagates both real and fake news and has confounded the next generation of fact checkers and truth seekers dedicated to vetting accurate content..."
Dark Reading, August 26th, 2020
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IT News - Storage
SAS vs. NVMe: The Future Of The Two Key Storage Interfaces
SAS and NVMe both play significant roles in enterprise storage. See how the two interfaces stack up in terms of performance, scalability, flexibility, manageability and the future
"As NVMe SSDs make inroads into the enterprise market, the question remains:" asks Stacey Peterson in SearchStorage, "What's in store for SAS drives? While they don't provide the performance enhancements and latency reduction of NVMe SSDs, they do have a future.

For all enterprise storage -- HDDs and SSDs combined -- SAS drives dominate in terms of exabytes (EB) shipped, and they will continue to dominate the market for years to come, according to the analyst firm TrendFocus Inc. Nevertheless, TrendFocus found PCIe-based drives surpassed SAS and SATA SSDs in 2019 by nearly 2 EB shipped. That's a trend expected to continue in the SAS vs. NVMe rivalry, as NVMe brings speed and efficiency advantages to the SSD market. NVMe uses PCIe to transfer data to SSDs..."

SearchStorage, August 27th, 2020
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Storage Analytics: How AI Helps Storage Management
We look at storage analytics products that measure key metrics in storage hardware, single-vendor and multi-vendor tools, and how AI-based storage management and AIOps is emerging
"IT infrastructure spend is expected to decline as a result of the coronavirus pandemic," writes Stephen Pritchard in ComputerWeekly, "but that will likely be combined with continued growth in the volume of data, in part driven by greater levels of remote working.

All of this, and the need to get more from smaller budgets, will put pressure on organisations to streamline how they manage their IT. Increasingly, they are turning to automated monitoring for storage management as part of this..."

ComputerWeekly, August 25th, 2020
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IT News - AI
AI System Defeats U.S. Air Force F-16 Pilot In 5 Simulated Dogfights
An artificial intelligence (AI) system on Thursday defeated a U.S. Air Force (USAF) F-16 pilot by scoring five straight victories in a simulated virtual dogfighting event hosted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Kavvitaa S Iyer writes in Techworm, "The U.S. military's AlphaDogfight Trials sought to demonstrate the 'feasibility of developing effective, intelligent autonomous agents capable of defeating adversary aircraft in a dogfight.'

Developed by defence contractor Heron Systems, the winning AI named Falcon defeated a human pilot with the callsign 'Banger' - a District of Columbia Air National Guard pilot and recent Air Force Weapons School F-16 Weapons Instructor Course graduate with over 2,000 hours of experiencing flying F-16s - by winning 5-0 in one-on-one virtual combat..."

Techworm, August 24th, 2020
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Getting Maximum Value From AI Deployments
Artificial intelligence presents tremendous business opportunity, and organizations are increasingly investing in this technology to experience the value it can deliver
"One survey of leading companies shows that the vast majority (91.6%) of global companies are increasing the pace of their AI investments," writes Sivan Metzger in EnterpriseAI, "with 91.7% saying investment is 'required to transform into agile and competitive businesses.'

However, the problem is that once created, as many as 87% of AI models don't make it into production. And even when they do, they're not always properly managed to deliver continuous value over time. To ensure organizations are deriving maximum ROI from their AI investments, they need MLOps..."

EnterpriseAI, August 28th, 2020
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Maximizing The Impact Of Ml In Production
In this special guest feature, Emily Kruger, Vice President of Product at Kaskada, discusses the topic that is on the minds of many data scientists and data engineers these days, maximizing the impact of machine learning in production environments
"Kaskada is a machine learning company that enables collaboration among data scientists and data engineers. Kaskada develops a machine learning studio for feature engineering using event-based data. Kaskada's platform allows data scientists to unify the feature engineering process across their organizations with a single platform for feature creation and feature serving.

Machine learning is changing the way the world does business. Everywhere you look machine learning is powering customer-facing and business-critical systems and delivering outsized impact. Trends toward hyper-personalization, automated operations, and real-time decisioning continue to drive investment, and enterprises are betting millions of dollars on their machine learning capabilities..." - insideBIGDATA

insideBIGDATA, August 25th, 2020
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IT News - Technology
MIT Partners With National Labs On Two New Quantum Research Centers
Early this year, the U.S. Department of Energy sent out a call for proposals as it announced it would award up to $625 million in funding over the next five years to establish multidisciplinary Quantum Information Science (QIS) Research Centers
"These awards would support the National Quantum Initiative Act, passed in 2018 to accelerate the development of quantum science and information technology applications.

Now, MIT is a partner institute on two QIS Research Centers that the Department of Energy has selected for funding.

One of the centers, the Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage (C2QA), will be led by Brookhaven National Laboratory. MIT participation in this center will be coordinated by Professor Isaac Chuang through the Center for Theoretical Physics..."

HPCWire, August 27th, 2020
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IT News - Humor
Flashback Friday: Just Wondering
Stymied by a fiber line that's overloaded with traffic from just too many users, this pilot fish finally gets approval to trench and pull new cable.
Stymied by a fiber line that's overloaded with traffic from just too many users, this pilot fish finally gets approval to trench and pull new cable.

'The day we changed the line from 100 Mbit/sec to 1 GB/sec, I confirmed with our clerks their increased speed and functionality.'

The clerks tell fish that they had timed a save with a stopwatch that took a minute and a half. So they try that save now and find it to takes about three seconds.

Computerworld, August 28th, 2020
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In Search Of Lost Time
Simple math stumps a computer system.
"At the healthcare IT vendor where this pilot fish works as a supervisor for a group of Level 2 support engineers, a CRM system is used to track the time they spend resolving customer issues. That's important, because management expects them to spend 75% of their workday doing this type of work, and if it's not recorded properly, the group's time reports won't be accurate - repercussions sure to follow. In short, every minute counts..."
Computerworld, August 25th, 2020
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IT News - Operations
Data Center Backup Power Systems, Standards To Address Downtime
Backup power is essential to reduce -- or eliminate -- downtime. Admins can refer to industry standards, UPSes and generators to build out systems that support critical components
Alan R. Earls writes in SearchDataCenter, "As companies must deliver ever-higher levels of uptime, data center backup power supplies gain more attention. They have also grown in sophistication, and admins can use multiple system types and industry standards to ensure trouble-free operations.

According to the April Research and Markets report "Data Center Power Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2020-2025," uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems represent the largest revenue contributor to the growing power backup systems market. Market share is then split between generators, transfer switches and switchgears, and power distribution units..."

SearchDataCenter, August 26th, 2020
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Top 10 Help Desk Tools For Better Customer Service
If you're looking to automate your help desk look no further than these 10 popular help desk ticket tools that can help you create a more streamlined customer service experience
Sarah K. White writes in CIO, "Help desk software is designed to streamline customer service and create a functional, centralized point of contact for incident ticketing, customer issues and tracking the quality of customer service. Help desk tools focus on automating tasks such as assigning tickets, answering basic queries for customers, categorizing incidents or problems and tagging the necessary employees when issues arise.

The best choice of help desk software is the one that meets all your organizational needs and fits your budget. While most help desk software options offer similar services and features, some offer unique features or better pricing structures that will fit your business goals. If you're looking for a service desk or help desk software to manage your IT service needs, here are 10 popular help desk tools designed to help elevate your customer service, streamline your IT ticketing system and strengthen your help or service desk..."

CIO, August 28th, 2020
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IT News - Cloud
Top 3 Benefits Of Multi-Cloud Strategy
With the increased use of cloud computing technologies, organizations should consider implementing a multi-cloud strategy to reduce overall costs and improve service and security
"Most organizations operate de facto multi-clouds," notes John Burke in SearchCIO "but few tie all those efforts together into a coherent, strategy-driven enterprise multi-cloud.,

By taking that next step of developing a multi-cloud strategy, organizations that are already delivering IT services to end users via a blend of on-premises and cloud-based resources can yield benefits in three specific areas: service delivery, security and cost management..."

SearchCIO, August 26th, 2020
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IT News - DR
Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery: What's The Difference?
The line between business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) may seem fuzzy, but there are important differences between the two. Here's what you should know
"Business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) are often used in coordination with one another, or even interchangeably as terms," notes Girish Dadge in The Enterprisers Project.

"But they are two different things. With the pandemic making the importance of business continuity known, leaders should understand the key differences between BC and DR.

What is business continuity? The big picture

BC is a methodology that allows organizations to keep their business running in the event of a crisis and return to full functionality when the crisis ends. It's a process of continuous improvement that reflects both internal and external operations, focusing on preserving the functionality of the overall business. This includes setting up preventative controls and managing employees and customers..."

The Enterprisers Project, August 26th, 2020
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Everything CIOs Need To Know About IT Business Continuity Plans
Carrying out a BC plan has become vital to organizations, especially as they deal with the effects of the pandemic. Here, we discuss what the plan entails and the role the CIO plays.
"The time to plan a response to a crisis is before one hits," opines Paul Kirvan in SearchCIO.

"CIOs who wait for one to occur set themselves up for a long, uphill battle.

While CIOs will most likely have a team in place that is responsible for maintaining and testing one or more technology disaster recovery (DR) plans, they're also likely to be an integral part of implementing an IT business continuity (BC) plan, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic..."

SearchCIO, August 28th, 2020
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IT News - IoT
Developing A Scaling Strategy For IoT
With Internet of Things (IoT) networks continuing to add more devices, we explore how to go about developing an effective scaling strategy for IoT
Aaron Hurst writes in InformationAge, "Scaling IoT networks effectively can be easier said than done. While having more devices leads to more connectivity, there is the danger of encountering issues with latency, as well as security. In addition, there is the service that's being delivered to customers to consider.

'From experience, as true scaling starts - typically at around 1,000 devices deployed - providers hit a brick wall as they suddenly realise that they have neither the tools nor the processes to answer even basic questions about their device estate and customers, such as 'Am I actually providing a good service?'', said Pilgrim Beart, CEO of DevicePilot..."

InformationAge, August 27th, 2020
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The Internet Of Things: Being The Best At Developing And Testing IoT Products
By 2022, worldwide spending on IoT related devices and systems is likely to surpass $1.1 trillion USD, making it one of the single biggest drivers of man-made change in the world
Manish Mistry notes in Business 2 Community, "the Internet of Things (IoT) isn't a single technology; it's a potentially vast ecosystem with many overlapping technologies and endless use cases. Add in the complexity that many IoT use cases are out in the physical world rather than a virtual, cloud world and you have a whole new set of factors to account for when developing and testing IoT products.

That's why testing IoT applications and devices matters. a lot. They require rigorous, reproducible testing under real-life conditions before they can be even considered for market. And remember that no IoT system is an island, so there are interoperability challenges that must be worked out before it gets into the hands of end users. Finding one of these issues, or problems with a buggy UI or a defective algorithm, after the product has gone to market will spell disaster, costing time, money, brand equity and, crucially, any competitive advantage you may have had..."

Business 2 Community, August 24th, 2020
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IT News - Careers
10 Ways To Build Influence As A Remote Employee
How do you build influence when you're not in the building? Many people are exploring this question during the pandemic. Consider these real-world tips for remote employees
"Sometimes your introduction to working remotely happens on your terms," writes Laurianne McLaughlin in The Enterprisers Project, "and sometimes a pandemic forces it on millions of people. When the pandemic hit, I was grateful that I had been working remotely since 2011. But I saw the changes weighing on colleagues and friends, and I understood the concerns. I've walked through many of them, some more successfully than others.

One frequent concern is career stability and advancement: Does out-of-sight mean out-of-mind with your boss? How do you build useful bridges with others in the organization even when you can't bump into them in the hallway? Can you build influence across organizational groups from a distance?.."

The Enterprisers Project, August 25th, 2020
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How To Transform Your Skills Set Into A Product People Want
Earlier this year, Google released figures that show a 100% increase in searches for upskilling in 2020. This comes as no surprise.
"As the pandemic injects huge uncertainty into just about every area of our lives, people are becoming more aware of how upskilling can help them future-proof their careers and businesses," writes Claire Mason in Business 2 Community.

"There's a huge opportunity here for trainers, consultants and tutors.

The value of bite-size learning

Sorcha Finucane is the founder of TrainedIn, a platform that helps people access the training that they're looking for..."

Business 2 Community, August 26th, 2020
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IT News - Virtualization
6 Open Source Virtualization Technologies To Know In 2020
Run, customize, and manage your VMs with open source Virt Tools. Plus get a glossary of key virtualization terms
Bryant Son writes in, "Virtualization Tools, better known as Virt Tools, is a collection of six open source virtualization tools created by various contributors to make the virtualization world a better place.

Some of the tools, like KVM and QEMU, might be familiar to Linux enthusiasts, but tools like libvirt and libguestfs are probably less so.

In case you prefer to learn through watching videos than reading, I created a video version of this article, which you can access on YouTube...", August 25th, 2020
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A Beginner's Guide To Hosted And Bare-Metal Virtualization
Choosing a virtualization approach isn't a matter of competition. Admins must consider their personal use cases to determine which hypervisor type suits their needs
"Virtualization has become a ubiquitous, end-to-end technology for data centers, edge computing installations, networks, storage and even endpoint desktop systems," opines Stephen J. Bigelow in SearchServerVirtualization.

"However, admins and decision-makers should remember that each virtualization technique differs from the others. Bare-metal virtualization is clearly the preeminent technology for many IT goals, but hosted hypervisor technology works better for certain virtualization tasks.

By installing a hypervisor to abstract software from the underlying physical hardware, IT admins can increase the use of computing resources while supporting greater workload flexibility and resilience. Take a fresh look at the two classic virtualization approaches and examine the current state of both technologies..."

SearchServerVirtualization, August 24th, 2020
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IT News - Big Data
Best Data Quality Tools & Software For 2020
Searching for data quality software? Instantly compare the top 10 data quality tools from Datamation now
Samuel Greengard and James Maguire write in Datamation, "Data quality tools play a critical role in today's data centers. Given the complexity of the Cloud era, there's a growing need for data quality software to help with data analytics and data mining. The best data quality software efficiently analyzes and preps data from numerous sources, including databases, e-mail, social media, logs, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Data quality software typically address four basic areas: data cleansing, data integration, master data management, and metadata management. They typically identify errors and anomalies through the use of algorithms and lookup tables. Over the years, these tools have become far more sophisticated and automated-but also easier to use. They now tackle numerous tasks, including validating contact information and mailing addresses, data mapping, data consolidation associated with extract, transform and load (ETL) tools, data validation reconciliation, sample testing, data analytics and all forms of Big Data handling.

Datamation, August 24th, 2020
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Top Trends In Data Lakes
Does it seem too early for data lakes to have trends? The reality is data lakes are on the very edge of business transformation efforts and dramatic change
William McKnight writes in InformationWeek, "Data lake platforms load, store, and analyze volumes of data at scale, providing timely insights into business. Data-driven organizations leverage this data in many ways -- advanced analysis to market new promotions, operational analytics to drive efficiency, predictive analytics to evaluate credit risk and detect fraud and many other uses.

While it may seem like early days for the data lake idea to have trends, the reality is that data lakes are on the very edge of business transformation efforts and therefore there are some dramatic changes happening to them now. Some lakes have even failed, but most of those organizations have retrenched and are coming back for its value proposition..."

InformationWeek, August 24th, 2020
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