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Industry & Technology

IDG Contributor Network: Step aside venture capital: Corporates are stepping up to the plate - IT industry - July 26, 2017 - 2:19pm

I started my career in the height of the dot-com boom. My first job was to pitch for the redevelopment of the website. I remember submitting a two-page proposal, detailing next to nothing, and summarising with a price tag of £1m. A price tag which was roughly £900,000 overpriced.

Looking back, it was a pretty irresponsible time. And not one I’m particularly proud of. Especially as FTSE became a client.

There’s plenty of talk of whether today is a repeat of that time.

We’re seeing "unicorns" (companies valued over $1 billon) popping up daily. Building profits is now secondary to building revenues. And building revenues doesn’t seem that important either.

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Mingis on Tech: Why companies are turning to 2-in-1s - IT industry - July 26, 2017 - 11:00am
Your next corporate computer may not be a traditional computer at all: it may well be a tablet or a hybrid laptop/tablet combo. Here's why.

IDG Contributor Network: Splunk’s CIO on DevOps, APIs and the evolving role of IT - IT industry - July 25, 2017 - 11:14am

The role of IT has evolved from a centralized delivery model to IT as a service, where IT-owned capabilities are being offered as a service throughout the business to drive new levels of agility. One CIO embracing the changing role is Declan Morris of Splunk, which enables organizations to turn massive streams of data into operational intelligence. (Disclosure: Splunk is a customer of my employer, MuleSoft.)

In this Q&A, Declan explains how Splunk’s IT team is driving value across the organization and partnering with the business to deliver on unified vision focused on customers and growth. Recalling his experiences at Splunk and Adobe – where he was on the original team that helped launch Adobe Creative Cloud – Declan shares best practices around how CIOs can take advantage of the technology trends impacting every industry and how CIOs can help pivot to new business models when needed. 

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IDG Contributor Network: Harvard PhD Andy Yen provides tips to governments on cybersecurity protections - IT industry - July 21, 2017 - 1:50pm

Recently, I asked Harvard PhD and ProtonMail co-founder and CEO Andy Yen his thoughts on how to prevent government cybersecurity attacks. A physicist and economist by training, Andy was part of the ATLAS experiment at CERN, where his research focused on searches for supersymmetric particles. He is translating his experience in large-scale computing to build the infrastructure that is used to run ProtonMail. With two colleagues, Wei Sun and Jason Stockman, he co-founded ProtonMail, an encrypted email startup based in Geneva, Switzerland, that seeks to make secure email accessible. The group aims to advance internet security and protect online privacy rights by making it possible for everyone to incorporate encryption into their everyday communication. Check out Andy’s TED talk on email privacy. See his thoughts below:

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IDG Contributor Network: Understanding today’s outsourcing market - IT industry - July 21, 2017 - 3:20am

Last month, I asked if traditional outsourcing had lost it strategic relevance. The question was based on the business world’s current irrational exuberance over digital transformation and the shifting focus of CIOs in today’s digital economy. Many readers agreed with me, but I was reminded recently that sourcing is far from dead. According to the latest state-of-the-industry report from ISG, the market generates more than $100 billion of total contract value a year.

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IDG Contributor Network: Harvard students partner with U.S. government to address digital skills gaps - IT industry - July 20, 2017 - 4:15pm

Recently, I interviewed Neel Mehta, a senior computer science major at Harvard University with a 4.0 GPA. He has interned at Khan Academy, Microsoft, and the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, he was a technology fellow with Partners in Health. Neel is passionate about civic tech, and there were no good civic tech internship programs around for undergraduates to engage with government, so he started his own Civic Digital Fellowship, a fully funded data science and technology internship program in federal agencies. Here’s our interview:

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IDG Contributor Network: What you need to know about single sign-on - IT industry - July 19, 2017 - 4:57pm

Separation of concerns has been an important phenomenon in all modern organizations. The result is that monolithic stacks are being broken into multiple services for more granular control. Some of these services can then be outsourced to other providers as well, who often have expertise in handling that particular service. This is not confined to the development teams in the organization either. Each team has different a set of requirements and use different tools and services to do their job.

With this explosion in the number of services each team uses, access management becomes a menace for the sysadmin. The sysadmin is required to ensure that each employee only has access to the services they are authorized to use. They also need to take care of credentials management to make sure that the employees are accessing the infrastructure securely. This is fairly easy to do in small organizations, but once the organization starts to grow, handling these tasks manually becomes very difficult to scale. This is where Single sign-on (SSO) comes into play.

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7 hot IT outsourcing trends — and 7 going cold - IT industry - July 19, 2017 - 11:00am

As IT organizations become more strategic, so too do their partnerships with IT outsourcing providers. Digital transformation, automation, and the data revolution are not just shaking up how IT operates, they are greatly impacting the kind — and quality — of services under contract with IT outsourcing firms.

Here is a look at the technologies, strategies and shifting customer demands shaking up IT outsourcing right now and the once-hot developments that are beginning to cool. If you’re looking to leverage an IT outsourcing partnership, or want to make good on the market for IT outsourcing as a provider yourself, the following heat index of IT outsourcing trends should be your guide.

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Mobile management acronyms explained - IT industry - July 17, 2017 - 5:00am
Confused by the jumble of acronyms surrounding mobile device management? This video simply defines three key concepts: Mobile application management (MAM), enterprise mobility management (EMM) and unified endpoint management (UEM).

Interview: Sara Spivey, CMO, Bazaarvoice - IT industry - July 14, 2017 - 3:23pm
Sara Spivey, Chief Marketing Officer of Bazaarvoice, discusses how Bazaarvoice uses segmentation to reach the right audience, the importance of data in delivering personalized customer experiences and why face-to-face events are still valuable for building relationships with prospects and clients.

Interview: Lauren Flaherty, EVP & CMO, CA Technologies - IT industry - July 14, 2017 - 2:45pm
Lauren Flaherty, EVP and CMO of CA Technologies, discusses the changing role of the CMO, the importance of mapping the buyer journey, launching CA's Modern Software Factory and reaching the right tech buyers and decision-makers.

Interview: Tim Minahan, SVP & CMO, Citrix - part 02 - IT industry - July 14, 2017 - 2:22pm
Tim Minahan, Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of Citrix, discusses how Citrix uses data to predict customer needs and engagement readiness, Citrix’s content marketing approach and the importance of industry events in building credibility and long-term relationships with new audiences.

Enterprise software fuels IT spending as CIOs become builders again - IT industry - July 13, 2017 - 11:35pm

Companies are refreshing enterprise software platforms for the cloud era and   stitching together new systems to support digital business projects, triggering an uptick in IT spending worldwide.

Gartner is forecasting a 2.4 percent increase in global IT spending this year, amounting to $3.5 trillion, up from an anemic 0.3 percent growth last year. The big driver of growth is enterprise software spending, expected to jump 7.6 percent this year, hitting $351 billion, according to the market research and consulting company.

[ Get insights into the State of the CIO role today with our in-depth report, and find out what other CIOs are focusing on with our 30 CIO Strategy Quick Takes. | For the latest from CIO, sign up for our daily CIO newsletter. ]

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IDG Contributor Network: AI in healthcare: The unevenly distributed future is here - IT industry - July 13, 2017 - 9:41pm

AI. Cognitive. RPA. Autonomics. Machine learning. Deep learning.

All these terms fly around in IT organizations today as CIOs, battling marketplace uncertainties and cost pressures, look for ways to enhance enterprise performance. As with most technology trends, the hype tends to overhang reality by a significant margin in the early stages of adoption, much in line with Gartner’s hype cycle theory.

Early this year, I wrote a piece that discussed how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain will drive precision medicine this year. Halfway into the year, the signs are that the use of AI technologies has definitely picked up momentum.

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IDG Contributor Network: Impact of organizational fatigue on digital transformation initiatives - IT industry - July 13, 2017 - 3:22pm

If you follow my blogs, you won’t be surprised that I’m passionate about helping organizations drive to success in business transformation and achieve breakthrough performance. As the demand for digital transformation accelerates, I find companies setting out on the required multiyear journey without understanding what lies ahead – and then failing. I’ve blogged about several pitfalls such as the need to determine and develop support up front for the strategic intent, issues around budgeting and funding the initiative, how to de-risk the transformation journey, and much more. In this blog post, I want to alert you about the risk of “organizational fatigue.”

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IDG Contributor Network: Uber's culture crash and how to avoid it - IT industry - July 12, 2017 - 3:18pm

Uber has been in a leadership crisis for the last several years. In recent months, Uber has gone through a series of highly public missteps. Some highlights include:

  • The NYT published a bombshell report, accusing Uber of promoting a culture of sexual harassment.
  • CEO Travis Kalanick berated an Uber driver on video.
  • The WSJ reported that Uber used a nefarious software to trick and avoid law enforcement.
  • The WSJ reported that Uber had “mistakenly” shortchanged drivers by millions of dollars, despite documentation that they were aware of this problem since 2015.
  • Uber announced it had lost over $700M in the first quarter of 2017 as its head of finance is departing to join another start-up. Uber has operated without a CFO since 2015.
  • Google accused Uber of stealing proprietary self-driving car technology by hiring a former Google employee immediately after his resignation from Google; Uber later fired this employee.
  • It fired 20 employees for sexual harassment, including an executive who did not disclose that he was fired from ABC for sexual harassment.
  • CEO Travis Kalanick was forced to resign; Uber now operates without a CEO, COO, and CFO.

While the intense scrutiny began in February when Susan Fowler published a blistering condemnation of the abusive culture, the problems Uber faces today have been snowballing well before she came forward. We typically think of problems in the workplace – sexual harassment, embezzlement, a discriminatory hiring practice – as one-off instances of someone making a mistake. In reality, these issues are a culmination of a progression of looking the other way, lack of accountability, and mismanagement of culture. Growing and expanding a team is exciting – it means a company has identified its product-market fit and is gaining traction. As technology leaders quickly scale business operations and product development, the team and culture must scale with it. Making culture a priority from the start, rather than fixing it when it’s broken (see: Uber) is critical for long-term success of the company. 

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How new IT operating models stave off digital disruption - IT industry - July 12, 2017 - 11:00am

Companies are facing a digital imperative to revamp business operations to better serve customers. To accommodate these shifts, CIOs are making sweeping organizational changes, adding new key roles, setting up innovation labs and tapping modern technologies to meet strategic mandates issued by their CEOs and boards.

Social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) forms the primary digital fuel for most IT organizations. But CIOs who are eager to stay atop trends are also testing artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and blockchain. Collectively, such technologies have the potential to help companies transform their business processes.

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IDG Contributor Network: GDPR: Why it is time for the CIOs to be counted? - IT industry - July 10, 2017 - 1:47pm

Much has been written in this publication about the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). According to PWC, CIOs are allocating millions of dollars from their budgets to GDPR. Yet Gartner’s Bart Willemsen says, “97% of companies did not have a definitive strategy as of late last year,” and “23% of companies actually expect to be sanctioned or to take remedial action.” I was not surprised by Bart’s numbers because in a recent conversation with the Executive Director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, she said that “although most organizations expect a grace period after the regulation becomes effective, regulators believe enough time has been made available to comply and enforcement will commence on May 2018”. One CIO that I know said recently, “It is unfortunate that many are not studying up on GDPR because the impact of not doing so is so material to their businesses.”

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IDG Contributor Network: Smartphone vs laptop survey shows false sense of security - IT industry - July 7, 2017 - 1:35pm

It’s hard to turn on the television or read another article about corporate data breaches. With that kind of coverage, one would think that most Americans are taking their own personal cybersecurity very seriously. Not so.

According to a recent survey from AlertSec, only 45% of Americans know they have anti-virus protection on their laptops.

But despite all the information that is stored on your laptop. Most Americans only really care about whether their phone is encrypted. “While most people work on laptops or desktops for their job. They likely think they’re employer is making sure it is secure. To them, mobile devices are more personal and they are more of an extension of the user,” Says AlertSec CEO Ebba Blitz.

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IDG Contributor Network: Cyber starts with skilled workers - IT industry - July 7, 2017 - 1:23pm

Over the past two months, we’ve clearly seen how cyber attacks inflict immense harm on companies and governments. The WannaCry ransomware attack crippled healthcare institutions across Great Britain and affected hospitals in the U.S. The Petya attack shut down critical infrastructure in Ukraine; left global shipping giant Maersk reeling; halted operations at a Cadbury chocolate plant in Australia; and struck the property arm of French bank BNP Paribas.

That’s quite a wide swath.

Cyber attacks will continue to become more complex, frequent and destructive. Yet, when discussing cybersecurity, we consistently avoid focusing on the elephant in the room. We do not have enough cybersecurity professionals to help keep us safe in the first place, and more swiftly mitigate the aftermath of these attacks. Our country’s national security is at risk.

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