IT News and Events
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Volume 273, Issue 5 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
IT News - CxO
10 IT Trends To Watch For In 2021
Here's how the dramatic events of 2020 are likely to shape enterprise IT teams in the coming year, according to analysts from firms like Gartner, IDC, and Forrester
"2020 has been a year unlike any other," opines InformationWeek.

"Twelve months ago, when tech industry analysts and experts made their annual predictions, they were focused on how technologies like cloud computing, artificial intelligence and robotics would likely transform the market. They forecast that demand for tech workers would continue to outpace supply, that data science would continue to be important, and that digital transformation would determine which enterprises were successful and which were not..."

InformationWeek, December 22nd, 2020
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10 CISO Predictions: How To Navigate Uncertainty In 2021
Neil Thacker, CISO EMEA and Latam at Netskope, explores how leaders can navigate uncertainty by providing his 10 CISO predictions for 2021
"A fully functioning crystal ball would be particularly handy during these uncertain times," writes Neil Thacker in Information Age, "as we all move on from a year in which everything we took for granted changed. 2021 will see new opportunities in our industry, but we should also expect new and damaging threats to emerge. Here are 10 predictions from myself and my colleagues at Netskope, to help arm our fellow CISOs as they step into the unknown in 2021..."
Information Age, December 21st, 2020
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Here's How IT Leaders Can Adapt To Stricter Data Privacy Laws
Whether we are prepared or not, there will be a global shift toward strict data privacy rules in the coming year
Neil Sweeney writes in InformationWeek, "As the US moves past one of its most critical election cycles in years, data protection legislation is poised to take center stage in the coming year. This comes as many Americans have become increasingly concerned about transparency from big tech when it comes to their privacy and personal data.

In a recent survey conducted by PWC, 85% of global consumers wish there were more companies they could trust with their data. And now the pandemic has given rise to contact-tracing mobile applications, which despite helping keep people safe, also track consumer data persistently. This led to over 60% of Americans who were surveyed feeling that their privacy has been compromised due to COVID-19 location tracking..."

InformationWeek, December 21st, 2020
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Co-Managed IT: Shifting To A New IT Model
Bob Petrocelli, CTO at Datto, explores how over the last year enterprises have changed their IT model to co-managed IT
"The past year has seen a prominent shift in how enterprises manage their IT," writes Bob Petrocelli in InformationAge. "With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting a lack of agility in some organisations - who struggled to quickly set up secure, large-scale work-from-home environments - and with IT departments having to downsize, the need for external technology expertise, added scalability and agility has never been greater..."
InformationAge, December 24th, 2020
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CIOs Need To Build Digital Self Service Options For Their Organizations
Covid-19 pushed organizations to offer digital products, customers don't just preferred it, they demanded it
"Many businesses have finally shifted out of survival mode and, wise of what pushed them there in the first place, are laser focused on developing their own digital products and services," notes Andy Rowsell-Jones in ITProPortal.

"As the businesses shift tactics, customers are making it clear that not only do they like their vendor going digital, they'd prefer it to stay like that for the future.

This year's Gartner CIO Agenda Survey shows that 76 percent of CIOs increased demand for new digital products and services as a result of COVID-19 and 83 percent expect demand will increase further in 2021. In addition, 65 percent of CIOs saw an increase in the use of self-service by customers/citizens, and 79 percent expect that usage will increase in 2021..."

ITProPortal, December 21st, 2020
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IT News - Security
Passwordless Authentication: The Future Is Here
The future has finally arrived, and it looks like it may be passwordless
"It's no surprise that most people are frustrated by having to juggle passwords to access their ever-growing list of digital accounts," opines Simon Armstrong in ITProPortal.

"Once upon a time, it made sense to gate-keep access to digital services with usernames and passwords. However, now that the average user has around 150 online accounts (with this set to increase to 300 by 2022), it's no wonder people are struggling to remember all their passwords..."

ITProPortal, December 22nd, 2020
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Lesson From Solarwinds Hack: Why It Should Rethink On-Premises Tooling
The targeted update from SolarWinds is getting a lot of grief for these issues; however, the fact is that any one of hundreds of similar applications used by the government could have been used in the same manner
"It's entirely possible that the U.S. government has undergone - and is still undergoing - the harshest, most potentially devastating cyber breach in the short history of digital information," opines Chris Preimesberger in eWeek.

"Reuters broke the story last week that foreign entities - the National Security Agency and FBI have identified them as the Russian hacking group APT29, also known as Dark Halo or Cozy Bear (logo pictured) - had infiltrated several federal IT systems, including the Pentagon, National Institutes of Health, Homeland Security and State Department. This has been confirmed by highly regarded security companies that include CrowdStrike, FireEye, Volexity and Microsoft, for starters..."

eWeek, December 21st, 2020
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Cybersecurity Budget Breakdown And Best Practices
Once budget is secured, CISOs must figure out where it should be allocated -- as well as how to justify the costs. Get the lowdown on a cybersecurity budget breakdown here
Ashwin Krishnan writes in SearchSecurity, "The reasons for adding cybersecurity to an organization's annual budget are clear by now. But how a CISO allocates and justifies that budget is never quite as straightforward. Unlike marketing, sales, engineering and support -- where the ROI can be more easily explained -- the math of cybersecurity's ROI is not simple. However, with the costs and occurrences of data breaches rising by the minute, securing budget and ensuring it is spent appropriately are more critical for today's CISO than ever before..."
SearchSecurity, December 21st, 2020
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Top 10 Cyber Security Stories Of 2020
Here are Computer Weekly's 10 top cyber security stories of 2020
"The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the world of technology in 2020, and the cyber security sector was itself profoundly affected<' notes Alex Scroxton in ComputerWeekly.

"But that is not to say a microscopic virus had the headlines all to itself, with developments around data privacy and protection, cloud security, vulnerability and much more, all seizing their share of the spotlight. And as usual, we've not even begun to consider the impact of cyber crime.

Here are Computer Weekly's top 10 cyber security stories of 2020:..."

ComputerWeekly, December 23rd, 2020
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U.S. Cybersecurity: Preparing For The Challenges Of 2021
In 2020, cybersecurity became a business problem for every industry, as well as the U.S. government
"According to a new report by the Aspen Cybersecurity Group, there are several opportunities for the new presidential administration to increase cybersecurity efforts and awareness to create a more resilient digital infrastructure," reports Tom Kellermann in HelpNet Security.

"Organizations like the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), local and state governments, and the private sector have all taken significant steps to mitigate and respond to cyber incidents. Given the rise in bad actors targeting critical infrastructure, ongoing nation-state threats, and increasingly sophisticated ransomware attacks, here are three cybersecurity priorities to keep in mind as we head into 2021 with a new administration..."

HelpNet Security, December 24th, 2020
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IT News - Storage
Memory And Storage 2020: Intel Unveils 6 Next Gen Memory And Storage Products
Including Optane SSD P5800X, Memory H20, SSD 670p next gen 144-layer QLC 3D NAND SSD, Architected with 144-layer, TLC 3D NAND technology SSD D7-P5510, and SSD D5-P5316 144-layer QLC design
"At Memory and Storage 2020 event, Intel Corporation highlighted 6 memory and storage products to help customers meet the challenges of digital transformation" -

"The company announced 2 new additions to its Optane SSD Series: the SSD P5800X, a fast data center SSD, and the Memory H20 for client, which features performance and mainstream productivity for gaming and content creation. Optane helps meet the needs of modern computing by bringing the memory closer to the CPU. The firm also revealed its intent to deliver its 3rd gen of Optane persistent memory (code-named 'Crow Pass') for cloud and enterprise customers...", December 22nd, 2020
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Storage Market 2020 Retrospective
New technology developments, M&As... and of course Covid-19
"2020 will stay in our mind for a long time for sure, very long time: "

"We have a few more days to run and this year will be over and we all hope to start 2021 in a complete different mindset and behavior. Vaccines should help and we saw huge collaboration between countries and many partnerships between therapeutics research centers and biotech laboratories have demonstrated the power of human being. It's fantastic to realize such rapid progress and human effort and support globally. Let's stay positive wishing for all a better year 2021...", December 22nd, 2020
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The 10 Hottest SSD And Flash Storage Devices Of 2020
Innovations in flash storage hardware, from SSDs to the latest in all-flash storage arrays, continues as vendors including Dell EMC, Hitachi Vantara, NetApp and Pure Storage introduce the latest technologies including NVMe and low-cost QLC flash while using software to help squeeze even more performance
"For solution providers and their customers," notes Joseph F. Kovar in CRN, "new performance-enhancing technologies such as NVMe, along with the wider adoption of low-cost QLC flash and innovative use of software, mean there is no lack of new ways to store data from the largest all-flash storage arrays to the tiniest embedded devices on the edge.

CRN rounded up 10 of the biggest advances in flash storage technology this year from vendors including Dell Technologies, Hitachi Vantara, NetApp, Pure Storage and more..."

CRN, December 21st, 2020
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IT News - AI
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths To AI
Enterprise IT leaders no longer always need to follow the build-it-yourself path to AI. Here's how the market will shape up in the future.
Jessica Davis writes in InformationWeek, "First mover organizations in the initial wave of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence generally had to blaze their own paths. The technology leaders inside of these organizations hired the expensive and hard-to-find unicorn data scientists to build their own data science platforms by cobbling together open-source tools and technologies.

But while some enterprises may continue to build their own, greater market maturity in the data, machine learning, and AI space is establishing some easier and less expensive paths for other leaders help their organizations gain a foothold with these technologies..."

InformationWeek, December 23rd, 2020
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Five AI And ML Trends For The Workplace In 2021
Sanjay Vyas, CTO of Planful, provides five artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) trends that could emerge in 2021
"Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have been transforming our world for some time now," writes Sanjay Vyas in InformationAge, "but the year 2020 has given these two game-changers new opportunity and urgency - with even greater developments anticipated in 2021.

COVID-19 has clearly been a catalyst, upending business from the office to the manufacturing floor, and from product innovation to consumer preferences. Here is what to expect from AI and ML as the world continues to adapt in the year ahead:..."

InformationAge, December 22nd, 2020
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Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Stories Of 2020
How to harness data to ensure C-suite support and employee wellbeing during uncertain times
"In the spring, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and triggered an international transition to remote working, few of us thought the immediate changes to our daily lives would be so enduring," writes James Knight in ITProPortal.

"Amongst employers and their HR teams, initial responses understandably focused on solving short term problems and keeping the wheels of business turning.

Months on, it has become clear we're facing a marathon, not a sprint. Employers are being asked to rethink how they support their people in a more dispersed world of work, whilst balancing the books. With employees either in the office, working from home, or in front-line roles, the task has fallen to HR leaders to understand a workforce that's not only more decentralized than ever before, but also facing new and unique challenges..."

ITProPortal, December 21st, 2020
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5 Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Trends To Watch In 2021
How is Robotic Process Automation adoption changing? What about data privacy approaches? Tie-ins to AI tools? Experts share RPA issues to keep on your radar screen
"Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tool adoption has soared during the past couple of years," reports Kevin Casey in The Enterprisers Project. "If anything, the pandemic gave organizations added motivation to automate in general - especially around mundane tasks, the type that are in RPA's sweet spot.

Gartner recently reported that spending on RPA software will top $1.5 billion this year and continue to grow by double-digit percentage terms for the foreseeable future. Deloitte has previously projected that RPA will hit nearly universal adoption in the business world at some point in 2023. There are lots of other lofty stats and anecdotal evidence that tell a similar story.

Don't expect that story to change in the new year. Gartner, for example, expects spending on RPA software to grow nearly 20 percent in 2021..."

The Enterprisers Project, December 22nd, 2020
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IT News - Technology
14 Tech Predictions For 2021 And Beyond
IT and tech leaders look at the road ahead and predict what's next for remote work, AI, cybersecurity, and more
"One lesson we'll all take away from 2020," suggests Carla Rudder in The Enterprisers Project: "predicting the future is tricky. Factors outside your control can significantly impact your plans - either propelling you forward, or knocking you off course. Those who can adapt easily are often better off than those who can predict the most accurately.

Many organizations had to shift their plans in 2020, but those IT leaders already operating with a digital-first mindset were in a better position to pivot and rise to the challenges, said Jan Gilg, President of SAP S/4HANA at SAP..."

The Enterprisers Project, December 21st, 2020
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What Are ARM CPUs, and Are They Going To Replace x86 (Intel)?
Everyone is going ARM these days-Amazon and Apple are both shipping in-house CPUs with crazy performance increases, with Microsoft rumored to be developing their own
"ARM has historically been used for low power mobile chips, so why exactly is ARM crushing x86 on the desktop and server space?" asks Anthony Heddings in CloudSavvy IT.

Everyone Is Going ARM These Days

The processor world is a complex industry, and only a few designs from a few companies are able to compete on the high end of performance. Usually, Intel or AMD holds the crown of performance, with both of them manufacturing x86 CPUs. But recently, CPUs from Apple and Amazon based on ARM have been giving Intel (and the x86 architecture) a run for their money..."

CloudSavvy IT, December 23rd, 2020
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After Moore's Law: How Will We Know How Much Faster Computers Can Go?
From scientists to vendors and enterprises, the computing industry needs a way to predict what's coming and when
"Moore's Law doesn't appear to be working anymore," warns Scott Fulton in Data Center Knowledge .

"In 1965, Intel founder Gordon Moore observed that there was a virtuous cycle to expanding the breadth of transistors 'crammed,' as Moore himself put it, onto an integrated circuit design. By managing the rate of decline in unit costs, he wrote, a manufacturer could effectively double that transistor count every 18 months to two years. Consumers' expectations for performance increases would then meet that demand perfectly, ensuring the revenue necessary to justify the development and production expenditures..."

Data Center Knowledge, December 21st, 2020
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IT News - BI
Business Intelligence - It's All About Data Collection, Not Data Usage
Integrating business intelligence (BI) and consumer analytics is a powerful catalyst for any business to succeed
Chris Kronenthal writes in Payments Journal, "It turns data into smart decisions that can boost sales, reduce risk, and generate greater efficiencies. As such, it should be an integral part of any business's sales, marketing, and operational strategy. However, even with appropriate investment, it's often underutilized, misunderstood, and siloed within specific departments or missing completely. This is compounded with the fact that it is estimated that poor data quality within these solutions costs the US economy around $3.1 trillion annually, according to IBM..."
Payments Journal, December 24th, 2020
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IT News - Server
Top 10 Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) Solutions
Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) helps organizations virtualize storage, servers, and networks. HCI takes a software-centric approach to building IT infrastructure
Samuel Greengard writes in Datamation, "A hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution is a primary tool for connecting, managing and operating interconnected enterprise systems in a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). The technology helps organizations virtualize storage, servers, and networks. While converged infrastructure uses hardware to achieve this objective, HCI takes a software-centric approach..."
Datamation, December 25th, 2020
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IT News - HPC
CentOS And HPC: It's Okay, We Are Moving On
The recent announcement by the CentOS project to discontinue mirroring Red Hat releases, which The Next Platform has already reported on, has hit some sectors hard
"Those that depend on the freely available version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux are now cursing the CentOS project," opines Douglas Eadline in The Next Platform, "and looking for alternative solutions. In reality, there is no need to panic, particularly in the HPC community.

Looking forward, CentOS 8 will not matter all that much to HPC and possibly in other sectors. Distributions will become second class citizens to containers. Ultimately, all that is needed is a base operating system to run the container. Consider projects like Singularity, where everything needed to run an application is encapsulated in a secure container file that runs pretty much at bare metal speed..."

The Next Platform, December 21st, 2020
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IT News - Cloud
Top Cloud-Access Security Vendors For 2021
A whole new sector of IT has sprung up in the last decade focused on cloud-access security
"Cloud computing has not only altered the way the world does business," writes Chris Preimesberger in eWeek, "but it also has brought new and often challenging enterprise security requirements. As a result, a whole new sector of IT has sprung up in the last decade focused on cloud-access security- acronymed CSAB (for cloud access security brokers) - which requires very different skills and tools from data center or campus-centric security.

Going into 2021, there are few areas of security that are more important to businesses, government, the military, consumers or the scientific sector than CASB. This is because all of use are doing the majority of our work in cloud-based applications..."

eWeek, December 24th, 2020
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IT News - IoT
5 IoT Threats To Look Out For In 2021
As we bring 2020 to a close, it's time to look at 2021 and a new chapter in the book of cybersecurity
Mike Elgan writes for SecurityIntelligence , "While there are no doubt a multitude of possible attacks, here are six types of attacks that are becoming more popular and more common among attackers using Internet of things (IoT) threats.

1. Built-In IoT Threats

As entities embrace the IoT, they still lag in the defense and guidelines departments. And, threat actors will take advantage of the gap between the risks posed by IoT and how prepared people are to address those risks..."

SecurityIntelligence, December 23rd, 2020
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IT News - Careers
Rebrand Yourself In A New Career With These 8 Easy Steps
Pivoting to a new career or industry can be a daunting prospect. But knowing how to rebrand yourself and create a new and powerful personal brand can make this process a whole lot easier
Wendy Marx writes in Business 2 Community, "And that's just what I want to share with you today. Below I have collected 8 tactics that will help you to rebrand yourself for whatever new career awaits.

How to Rebrand Yourself in a New Career

1. Tap Into Social Media

When it comes to personal branding and career change, there's no better place to start than social media..."

Business 2 Community, December 21st, 2020
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Top 5 Tech Skills To Master In 2021
If you want to improve or expand your current skill set, there are a few options you can focus on. Tom Merritt lists five tech skills to master in the coming year
"Looking for an IT job in 2021?" asks Tom Merritt in TechRepublic. "Want to make sure you stay up to speed in the job you have? It's good to know which skills will give you the best chance at landing or keeping that position you want.

TechRepublic's Veronica Combs talked to online course providers, tech experts, and chief people officers to find out what skills will be most in demand. Here are five tech skills to master in 2021..."

TechRepublic, December 21st, 2020
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2021: A Year Of IT Career Opportunity
As we leap headlong into the new year, the outlook for IT leadership and career opportunities is bright -- albeit not entirely certain
"When we began 2020," recalls Brian Gillooly in InformationWeek, "the outlook for careers and leadership opportunities in IT was as hopeful as ever. Traditionally, opportunities in IT haven't just been plentiful -- think of perennial openings in certain IT sectors like security and data analytics -- but for the most part they've also been lucrative. However, with the global pandemic, the situation in the industry was catapulted forward as IT projects were accelerated and the need for leaders to step forward was paramount. In many cases we've seen the need for CIOs and their direct reports to reengineer entire enterprises in a matter of weeks, if not days, which has prompted a need to reexamine their roles within the organization..."
InformationWeek, December 23rd, 2020
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IT Careers: 8 Hot Jobs In 2021
Both IT job seekers and hiring managers need to understand what's in high demand. Cloud, security, data, and AI skills star on the list of 2021's hottest jobs, say IT recruiters and leaders
Stephanie Overby writes in The Enterprisers Project, "A sharper focus on digital transformation - driven by the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic - is creating some clear priorities for 2021 IT talent.

'As we enter 2021, more companies than ever are embracing digital transformation. Part of this has to do with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many companies to reevaluate everything from their current tech stack to how and where their employees work,' said Art Zeile, chief executive officer of DHI Group, Inc., the parent company of technology jobs web site Dice.

The Enterprisers Project, December 21st, 2020
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IT News - Developer
The Serverless Future Of Supercharged Applications
Thinking about deploying serverless computing? Here's what you need to know
Anshu Agarwal writes in Container Journal, "Today's business environment is dominated by digital transformation. Digital-first and legacy companies alike are racing to upgrade their IT infrastructure while executives are grappling with how to maximize the return on their technology investment. This is especially critical in a post-pandemic world where enterprises are doing business remotely, as well as managing remote and distributed teams..."
Container Journal, December 22nd, 2020
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