IT News and Events
Mar 22nd, 2021 — Mar 28th, 2021 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 276, Issue 4 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
IT News - CxO
Where IT Is Headed In 2021: 5 Key Trends To Watch
2021 might not yet feel too different from 2020, but CompTIA's latest report highlights five intriguing trends in the IT industry for which you need to be ready
"While the first months of 2021 didn't look much different from late 2020, there are some positive trends to follow and business initiatives to consider, according to survey data in CompTIA's "IT Industry Outlook 2021."

The yearly study provides the latest insight into the trends shaping the industry and its workforce, and changing business models. Here's a look at five things to know about in 2021, with more details available in the report below..."

SearchITChannel, March 16th, 2021
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Why The Pandemic Has Given CIOs More Credibility In The Boardroom
IDC research finds that Covid-19 transformed IT from cost center to business enabler.
"The role of the CIO has never been more critical and respected than it is today, as IT teams seek to accelerate digitization across their businesses in response to the pandemic.

A new study conducted by market research company IDC and leading cloud services provider Cloudreach reveals that 45% of CIOs have seen their relationships with business leaders improve as a result of the pandemic. The same percentage of respondents also claim Covid-19 has helped transform IT from being a cost center to a business enabler. More than half of CIOs (55%) said it had increased their scope of influence across the business, finally giving them a seat in the boardroom and the opportunity to digitally transform the company..."

CIO, March 16th, 2021
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IT Leadership: 5 Books For The Next Normal
How do you plan to make 2021 a success for your career and your company? These five leadership books can guide your strategy
"As an IT leader, you've previously experienced disruption - but nothing compares to last year. It takes expertise and experience to overcome challenges, develop strategies, and adjust goals.

As we look toward the future, I'm reading everything I can find that analyzes the potential post-pandemic business environment or imagines a future of disruption. Here are five books that attempt to do just that for CIOs and CTOs who are helping to build a new digital future..."

The Enterprisers Project, March 15th, 2021
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To Power Digital Transformation, Build A Better Workplace: Report
Four in 10 (44%) of business leaders believe extensive talent structure changes are necessary for successful digital transformation, according to TEKSystems 2021 State of Digital Transformation report
"Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents said about 50% or more of their workforce will remain remote, according to the survey. While the digital transformation stemming from supporting remote work can be beneficial to business, leaders will first have to iron out workforce difficulties.

Digital transformation stems from technology, but it's rooted in people and culture, according to Franklin Reed, executive director of inclusion and diversity at TEKsystems, in a statement to CIO Dive. Allowing employees to bring their authentic selves to work, even in a virtual environment, enables innovation..."

CIODIVE, March 17th, 2021
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3 Cybersecurity Goals for CISOs
If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that anything can happen. Honestly, how many of us had, 'I will do my best to avoid a global pandemic,' as a New Year's resolution for 2020?
"That said, the chances that 2021 will be even more unpredictable are slim. So, we might as well indulge in setting some solid, achievable cybersecurity goals for 2021. Let's dive in!

Stay Vigilant About WFH Cybersecurity Policy

Working from home (WFH) was the standard for the vast majority of companies throughout 2020. The situation will likely remain the same for the better part of 2021..."

Security Boulevard, March 19th, 2021
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The New And Evolving Role Of The Chief Data Officer
More and more enterprises understand today that the most profitable asset of their business is data
"Data helps to enhance products and services, boost profitability, increase customer satisfaction, and provide a path toward operational efficiency. It also enables the development of AI/ML applications that extract value from data. Based on data, algorithms are able to predict future events more accurately. It is for these reasons and many others that the newest title in the C-Suite is the CDO: Chief Data Officer..."
insideHPC, March 18th, 2021
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IT News - CRM
Use Cases For CRMs Beyond Sales
Customer Relationship Management is a system used to improve the relationship with customers by collecting and organizing relevant data
"Over time, CRM systems have emerged as the primary tools used to coordinate sales strategy, especially in prospecting new customers. This contradicts the essence of CRM since, after all, the relationship with a customer never ends with the first sale. Customer relationships are to be continually nurtured for effective business growth.

No company can exist without customers (or clients); business is predicated on delivering satisfaction to customers. Therefore, fostering a healthier customer relationship should be the connecting factor of all layers and divisions of an organization's structure.

Effective customer relationship management spans marketing, operations, product development, etc. including, of course, sales..."

Business 2 Community, March 18th, 2021
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IT News - Security
More Than $4 Billion In Cybercrime Losses Reported To FBI In 2020
American victims reported $4.2 billion in losses as a result of cybercrime and internet fraud to the FBI in 2020, a roughly 20% uptick in the money known to be lost to scammers in 2019, the bureau said in a new report
"The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, the organization through which U.S. citizens and businesses report financial losses from hackers, said in its annual report released Wednesday that it received an average of more than 2,000 complaints per day through 2020.

The uptick in crime reporting - the bureau says it received an average of 1,200 complaints per day in 2019 - is driven largely by business email compromise (BEC), ransomware attacks and widespread technology support scams, in which fraudsters impersonate customer support representatives from tech firms or financial institutions, only to dupe victims into sending wire transfers..."

CyberScoop, March 17th, 2021
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3 Ways CISOs Can Align Cybersecurity To Business Goals
To work effectively with the C-suite, CISOs can take three steps to align business goals with cybersecurity needs to reduce risk, guest contributor Mike McGlynn advises
"Security professionals face a host of critical threats: the unfolding repercussions of the SolarWinds nation-state attack, vulnerabilities exposed by an ongoing pandemic that has changed how people work, more sophisticated ransomware attacks and new questions surrounding federal and state security.

While it's hard to avoid getting inundated with cybersecurity firefighting, it's important for CISOs to stay focused on the big picture, which means managing athe risks that pose the biggest threat to an organization's overall health. To do so, they must align cybersecurity to business goals. It's a tall order, but not an impossible one with the right approach..."

SearchSecurity, March 18th, 2021
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Best Practices For Securing Service Accounts
While service accounts solve many of the challenges presented by automation, they can also create serious problems when it comes to cybersecurity
"Now is the time to establish cybersecurity best practices to prevent service accounts from becoming the attack vector for today's cyber thieves.

Service accounts are responsible for granting the appropriate rights to applications so that they can perform scheduled tasks automatically in the background, reducing the burden on IT staffers. However, they have a dark side, which illustrates how automation of tasks can become so ubiquitous that those actions often occur unnoticed and unmonitored, falling outside the purview of cybersecurity best practices. Simply put, as the number of service accounts in an organization increases, so does the potential attack surface of that organization..."

Dark Reading, March 16th, 2021
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The Benefits And Challenges Of Passwordless Authentication
More and more organizations are adopting passwordless authentication. Gartner predicts that, by 2022, 60% of large and global enterprises as well as 90% of midsize enterprises will implement passwordless methods in more than half of use cases
"Passwordless authentication swaps traditional passwords for a system that identifies users by more secure methods such as 'possession factor' or 'inherent factor.' By switching to a passwordless approach, companies provide their employees with the same effortless and secure authentication methods that users experience on their smartphones (e.g., FaceID or fingerprint scanner). Sometimes this is confused with 2-factor authentication, because the second factor of 2FA is typically passwordless, but passwordless access is different..."
HelpNet Security, March 19th, 2021
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How To Choose The Right Cybersecurity Framework
Cybersecurity frameworks can help reduce your risk of supply chain attacks and increase your competitive advantage
"The dramatic rise in ransomware attacks and the SolarWinds Orion hack have thrust cybersecurity back into the spotlight. With everyone a target, it's time for organizations to implement cybersecurity frameworks like those provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which can help you set a bar for measuring your cybersecurity effectiveness..."
Dark Reading, March 15th, 2021
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IT News - Storage
7 Signs A Small Business Should Shift From NAS To SAN
Take a deep dive into seven reasons, including performance issues and scalability demands, an SMB would want to ditch NAS in favor of entry-level SAN
"Storage area networks were once limited to large organizations with the resources to deploy and maintain these complex systems. Prices have decreased, however, and SANs have become a viable option for small and medium-sized businesses, especially those that manage large amounts of data or run applications with high-performance requirements.

Even so, SMBs shouldn't rush to abandon network-attached storage just because of the increased availability of SANs. They should first evaluate their current storage systems and look for these seven signs that it's time to move from NAS to SAN..."

SearchStorage, March 16th, 2021
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5 Challenges Of Managing Unstructured Data
Filled data centers, terabytes become petabytes, remote office file data, storage proliferation, TCO
"Many organizations struggle with managing expanding volumes of unstructured data throughout the organization. Storing, protecting, and providing secure access to this data creates challenges around cost, complexity, and scalability. Addressing these issues take cycles away from other important IT projects bringing innovation and future profits. A new gen of SDS products offer solutions to these challenges...", March 17th, 2021
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NVMe SSD Classification By SNIA
The SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) published its NVMe SSD Classification
"NVM Express technology is driving the next generation of SSDs for data centers. NVMe SSDs are not limited by legacy form factors or protocols, and they can better address the needs of servers and storage in enterprise and hyperscale data centers. Each of these use cases has distinct requirements and application environments, and they are outlined in the table below.

There will always be exceptions to these guidelines, but these are generally fit profiles for NVMe SSD classification...", March 19th, 2021
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IT News - AI
Common AI Ethics Mistakes Companies Are Making
More organizations are embracing the concept of responsible AI, but faulty assumptions can impede success
"Ethical AI. Responsible AI. Trustworthy AI. More companies are talking about AI ethics and its facets, but can they apply them? Some organizations have articulated responsible AI principles and values but they're having trouble translating that into something that can be implemented. Other companies are further along because they started earlier, but some of them have faced considerable public backlash for making mistakes that could have been avoided..."
InformationWeek, March 19th, 2021
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Why Machine Learning Struggles With Causality
When you look at the following short video sequence, you can make inferences about causal relations between different elements
"For instance, you can see the bat and the baseball player's arm moving in unison, but you also know that it is the player's arm that is causing the bat's movement and not the other way around. You also don't need to be told that the bat is causing the sudden change in the ball's direction.

Likewise, you can think about counterfactuals, such as what would happen if the ball flew a bit higher and didn't hit the bat..."

TechTalks, March 15th, 2021
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Seven Questions To Determine If A Project Is Right For AI
No business problem is so hard that artificial intelligence won't be suggested as a way to solve it. And it's the job of chief information officers and information technology leaders to figure out if it can
"That's what it's like in the technology world: Every generation of technology results in hype, and AI is no exception. If enterprises fall victim to such hype, they may incorrectly apply AI technologies to existing initiatives, or they may offer AI as a solution to a problem that it cannot - or should not - solve.

AI will not always be the right technology for every digital transformation project. To that end, Gartner has identified seven questions that IT leaders can ask to determine if a project is a fit for AI. The first three questions must be answered 'yes,' or there's no point in trying to use AI. The last four would ideally be answered 'yes' in the best-case scenarios..."

siliconANGLE, March 15th, 2021
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IT News - Technology
4K Vs 8K: Is It Worth Upgrading To 'Full' UHD?
We compared Samsung's top QLED flagships to find out
"It's difficult to keep up with TV tech. Anyone who has bought a new TV over the past few years will likely know the feeling. You've saved money for a new, high-endTV and, shortly after you've set it up, a new wave of next-generation TVs is announced, which promises to outperform your new set in absolutely every way. All by the same brand that just promised you had the latest and greatest...", March 18th, 2021
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Lightmatter Normalizing Silicon Photonics For AI
Every chipmaker has an emerging silicon photonics story but as happens only rarely, it could be a small startup that will push them to productize faster
"Lightmatter, with its 'Passage' wafer-scale photonic interconnect, might be the key to letting large numbers of accelerators communicate quickly and efficiently, leading to far denser systems for workloads like AI training, in addition to providing a more dense and power efficient platform. The company has more than just an interconnect-the newly-released Envise AI accelerator chip bundles up the company's work in photonics and silicon design with the software tools to back it up..."
The Next Platform, March 17th, 2021
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Singapore Bank Turns On Face Verification At ATMs
OCBC Bank enables customers to use their face as verification at eight ATMs across the country, bypassing the need for ATM cards, but access currently is limited to balance enquiries with cash withdrawals to be added at a later stage
"OCBC Bank has turned on face verification at selected ATMs across Singapore, letting its customers authenticate their identity without the need for an ATM card. Access, though, currently is limited to balance queries, before other transactions are added to the mix at a later stage.

Facial biometrics are available at eight ATMs in the city-state, including at the local bank's main branches in Tampines, in CBD, and at a convenience store. For now, OCBC customers will only be able to use the authentication option to check their account balance, according to a statement released Thursday..."

ZDNet, March 18th, 2021
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IT News - BI
It's Time To Abandon Business Intelligence Tools
Organizations spend ungodly amounts of money - millions of dollars - on business intelligence (BI) tools. Yet, adoption rates are still below 30%
"Why is this the case? Because BI has failed businesses.

Logi Analytics' 2021 State of Analytics: Why Users Demand Better survey showed that knowledge workers spend more than five hours a day in analytics, and more than 99% consider analytics very to extremely valuable when making critical decisions. Unfortunately, many are dissatisfied with their current tools due to the loss of productivity, multiple 'sources of truth,' and the lack of integration with their current tools and systems..."

TechCrunch, March 19th, 2021
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What Are The Features Of A Comprehensive BI Solution?
Even organizations with niche requirements find security in comprehensive BI solutions
"Since it's virtually impossible to anticipate the myriad use cases that will arise for all users now and in the future, teams look for business intelligence platforms that cover all the basics.

But what's considered 'basic' when it comes to BI? It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish fleeting trends from core essentials. Without a clear answer to this question, organizations run the risk of adopting either a limited solution or one so bloated with features that no one can figure out how to use it.

To alleviate confusion, we've compiled this list of seven features you can safely expect from any comprehensive BI solution, whether it's embedded or standalone..."

Business 2 Community, March 16th, 2021
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IT News - Linux
CentOS Replacements For Your Production Linux Servers
CentOS 8 suddenly has its life cut short to the end of 2021. 5 Linux distributions you may want to consider for CentOS replacements
"On December 8th, 2020, Red Hat shocked the Linux world. They announced they would be shifting all of their investment in CentOS Linux from the popular downstream CentOS distribution. This is where history repeats itself. Back in 2004, Red Hat did the same thing by EOL'ing all versions of 'Red Hat Linux' and forced users to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

If you are currently using CentOS 8 you will have to find an alternative operating system to use. Its end-of-life cycle has been cut short in December, 2021. But if you use CentOS 7 you do not have to take any action right now. CentOS 7 will reach its end-of-life June 30th, 2024..."

linuxiac, March 15th, 2021
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IT News - Cloud
Edge Computing: 5 Examples Of How Enterprises Are Using It Now
Where and how are enterprises using edge computing? Experts share common examples of the problems edge solves - from predicting equipment failure to improving remote work
"As global consultancy Bain & Company pointed out, COVID-19 and the shift to remote work may accelerate the shift to edge computing, since 'dramatic shifts in traffic patterns have exposed weaknesses in network infrastructure, strengthening the case for investments in technology that reduces bottlenecks.' But IT leaders must first understand where the value of edge computing lies for their organizations.

Understanding the specific business case for emerging technology capabilities is always important. Exploring increasingly common use cases is particularly helpful when it comes to potential enterprise edge computing investments because their applications can vary so widely..."

The Enterprisers Project, March 17th, 2021
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10 Ways Enterprises Can Use The Edge
Edge computing is very much a work in progress, but there are several interesting use cases at work today and more anticipated for the future. Here's a look at the possibilities
Edge use cases are expanding across industries as companies move compute and analytics capabilities to the edge. Some companies want to reduce latency. Others want to gain greater insights into what's happening in the field whether people, crops, or oil rigs.

"Edge computing enables companies and other types of organizations to analyze large amounts of data on site or on devices in real time," said Shamik Mishra, CTO for Connectivity in the Engineering and R&D Business at global consulting firm Capgemini. "This can enable several new opportunities in terms of new sources of revenue, improved productivity, and decreased costs."

InformationWeek, March 18th, 2021
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Cloud Infrastructure Spending Passed On-Prem Data Centers In 2020
There is a prevailing notion that while the cloud infrastructure market is growing fast, the vast majority of workloads remain on premises
While that could be true, new research from Synergy Research Group found that cloud infrastructure spending surpassed on-prem spending for the first time in 2020 - and did so by a wide margin.

'New data from Synergy Research Group shows that enterprise spending on cloud infrastructure services continued to ramp up aggressively in 2020, growing by 35% to reach almost $130 billion. Meanwhile enterprise spending on data center hardware and software dropped by 6% to under $90 billion,' the firm said in a statement...

TechCrunch, March 19th, 2021
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IT News - DR
Disaster Recovery And The Cloud - Three Options For 24/7 Businesses
A look at the three core options for disaster recovery in the cloud
"Now that organizations around the world have switched to working from home, it is more important than ever for systems and data to remain available 24/7. Across industries, from online retailers to healthcare organizations, even brief periods of downtime can have disastrous consequences. But avoiding service interruption is a tough task for IT departments, who work around the clock, and in many cases have fewer resources than usual..."
ITProPortal, March 16th, 2021
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IT News - IoT
The Internet Of Things Is Everywhere. Are You Secure?
From smart homes that enable you to control your thermostat from a distance to sensors on oil rigs that help predict maintenance to autonomous vehicles to GPS sensors implanted in the horns of endangered black rhinos, the internet of things is all around you
"The internet of things (IoT) describes the network of interconnected devices embedded with sensors, software, or other technology that exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet.

According to Gartner research, 35 billion devices will be connected to the internet in 2021, and that number will more than double in the next few years to reach 75 billion connected devices by 2025. This means that currently there are three IoT devices for every one human on the planet. Whether these devices are smart (they have the ability to compute) or dumb (they report data to a centralized location with little or no processing power), this market is experiencing phenomenal growth..."

Security Boulevard, March 18th, 2021
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IT News - Careers
IT Careers: 7 Pandemic Job-Hunting Mistakes To Avoid
A new class of job-hunting mistakes has cropped up during the pandemic, recruiters and IT leaders say. Use this advice to successfully make your next IT career move
"Plenty of job-hunting advice is timeless. Don't take out your phone and answer a personal call during an interview; don't misspell the hiring manager's name in your cover letter; don't be dishonest. These tips are all just as true in the Zoom age as they were before.

A new class of job-hunting mistakes, however, has cropped up during the past year, according to multiple IT leaders and recruiters. And these missteps will likely continue to be an issue for IT job hunters for the foreseeable future, especially with remote work positions poised to become a permanent facet of some segments of the business world..."

The Enterprisers Project, March 15th, 2021
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IT News - Virtualization
Virtualization vs Containerization
Understanding the differences between virtualization vs. containerization can lead to improved scalability and reduced operational costs for organizations
"In this article, we'll discuss the specific differences between both methods of creating virtual packages as well as the general differences between these two valuable solutions.

Discussions about server virtualization inevitably revolve around VMware, Hyper-V and, to a lesser extent, Xen and KVM as well. But another important inclusion is Docker.

And if we talk Docker we are talking containerization - something a little different than hypervisor-based server virtualization. But encapsulating an application in a container with an operating environment achieves many of the benefits of loading an application onto a virtual machine: both can be dropped onto any suitable physical machine and run without any worries about dependencies..."

ServerWatch, March 15th, 2021
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