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CIO.com - IT industry
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Updated: 28 min 14 sec ago

8 steps to regaining control over shadow IT

4 hours 47 min ago
A dangerous practice on the rise

Image by Pexels

“Shadow IT” refers to the too-common practice whereby managers select and deploy cloud services without the consent or even the knowledge of the IT department. These services act as extensions of the corporation but are steered entirely by groups that lack the knowledge or process to ensure they follow necessary guidelines, introducing security, compliance, and brand risk throughout the enterprise. Gartner predicts that by 2020, one-third of security breaches will come in through shadow IT services.

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State of the CIO 2017: More challenging, still complicated

February 20, 2017 - 10:15pm

Any CIO worth his or her C-suite executive office space knows that the job is more complex than ever. Moving apps and workloads to the cloud, ensuring legacy software can talk to off-premises apps, and keeping networks and systems secure remain core functional tasks of the CIO role. At the same time, boards of directors, CEOs and business colleagues are turning to the CIO to lead digital transformations, win customers and drive revenue.

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(Insider Story)

7 project management tools any business can afford

February 20, 2017 - 5:06pm

The time has never been better for startups to access well-tested, feature-rich, affordable project management product previously offered only to larger companies. Here are just some of web-based options that a startup can license to manage its activities right out of the gate.

If your startup is considering making the leap to a project management tools, these affordable options can make light work of collaboration and manual tracking of project tasks, time and budgets.

It’s important to note that many of these per-month-per-user pricing models are based on companies making one annual payment.

7 affordbable project management tools (listed by price)

1.  Trello (acquired by Atlassian in 2017) has been around since 2011 and offers a web-based PM solution that works for companies of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Their affordable business class solution costs $9 a month per user and allows companies a free trial of the software.

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Understanding the attack surface to better allocate funds

February 20, 2017 - 1:30pm

In the last few years, the attack surface has changed from defending the perimeter to protecting applications in the cloud, leaving CISOs wondering how they can best allocate funds to stay ahead of attacks.

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(Insider Story)

6 senators say U.S. firms are hiding their offshoring

February 17, 2017 - 10:08pm

Publicly traded companies are required by law to disclose only their global headcount, and that's all the information many of them provide. That keeps certain information a secret. These companies may be shrinking their U.S. headcount as they grow their overseas workforces. Six U.S. senators want to change that.

These senators -- all Democrats -- are co-sponsoring legislation, introduced Thursday, that would require publicly traded companies to disclose their numbers of employees by location, by state, and by country.

"It's hard to hold companies accountable for gaming the system and shipping jobs overseas when it's not even known where their employees are located," said Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), in a statement. One of the key reasons this bill, called the Outsourcing Accountability Act, was introduced is because it is difficult to find information about the number of jobs that are moved offshore.

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Computer crashed? You could blame forces beyond our solar system

February 17, 2017 - 6:46pm

When your computer crashes or phone freezes, don't be so quick to blame the manufacturer. Cosmic rays may be your real foe, or rather the electrically charged particles they generate. 

While harmless to living organisms, a small number of these particles have enough energy to interfere with the operation of the microelectronic circuitry in our personal devices. It's called a single-event upset or SEU. 

During an SEU, particles alter an individual bit of data stored in a chip's memory. Consequences can be as trivial as altering a single pixel in a photograph or as serious as bringing down a passenger jet.

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Computer crashed? You could blame forces beyond our solar system

February 17, 2017 - 6:46pm

When your computer crashes or phone freezes, don't be so quick to blame the manufacturer. Cosmic rays may be your real foe, or rather the electrically charged particles they generate. 

While harmless to living organisms, a small number of these particles have enough energy to interfere with the operation of the microelectronic circuitry in our personal devices. It's called a single-event upset or SEU. 

During an SEU, particles alter an individual bit of data stored in a chip's memory. Consequences can be as trivial as altering a single pixel in a photograph or as serious as bringing down a passenger jet.

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Facebook’s latest goal is to connect (and save) the world

February 17, 2017 - 6:30pm

For nearly 13 years now, Facebook has been trying to make connections between friends. Now, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a new - and bigger - plan.

Facebook will focus on creating a global community.

"This is a time when many of us around the world are reflecting on how we can have the most positive impact," wrote Zuckerberg in a blog post late Thursday. "We may not have the power to create the world we want immediately, but we can all start working on the long term today. In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develope the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us."

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IDG Contributor Network: IT-as-a-Service model essential in digital transformation

February 17, 2017 - 3:00pm

Some issues never seem to go away, including business users’ demands for IT departments delivering against business needs — and doing it quickly to gain or sustain a competitive advantage. Legacy infrastructure and processes make it difficult to achieve. It reminds me of a friend’s dachshund who incurred a slipped disc. The back of a dachshund, of course, is elongated. She could no longer jump or sprint, and when trying to walk straight, the front half of her body went straight forward, but the back half awkwardly took a more roundabout swerve to the left. IT departments still organized in a traditional, function-based construct are like the injured dachshund — unable to move quickly and straight to address business needs and having to swerve and do workarounds for new technologies.

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Robotic process automation makes nearshore outsourcing more attractive

February 17, 2017 - 2:03pm

The traditional benefits of IT outsourcing to nearshore locations have included geographic proximity, time zone alignment, cultural affinity and shared language. The one area these adjacent providers have not been able to compete with their offshore counterparts on has been price.

[ Related: Building a business case for offshore robotic process automation ]

But that could change as robotic process automation (RPA) takes hold. The automation itself will begin to chip away at the offshore competitive advantage of labor arbitrage. But more importantly, argues Marcos Jimenez, CEO of Softtek North America, it will highlight areas in which nearshore providers excel: proximity, agility, and flexibility. A nearly 20-year veteran of the Mexico-headquartered company, Jimenez has doubled the profitability of Softtek’s U.S. and Canadian business since taking it over in 2011.

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Get 72% off NordVPN Virtual Private Network Service For a Limited Time - Deal Alert

February 17, 2017 - 4:45am

NordVPN gives you a private and fast path through the public Internet. All of your data is protected every step of the way using revolutionary 2048-bit SSL encryption even a supercomputer can’t crack. Access Hulu, Netflix, BBC, ITV, Sky, RaiTV and much more from anywhere in the world. Unmetered access for 6 simultaneous devices. You're sure to find dozens of good uses for a VPN. Take advantage of the current 72% off deal that makes all of this available to you for just $3.29/month (access deal here). This is a special deal available for a limited time.

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RSA: Eric Schmidt shares deep learning on AI

February 17, 2017 - 12:05am

SAN FRANCISCO – Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt says artificial intelligence is key to advances in diverse areas such as healthcare and datacenter design and that security concerns related to it are somewhat misguided. (Alphabet is the parent company of Google).

In a wide-ranging on-stage conversation here at the RSA Security conference with Gideon Lewis-Kraus, author of The Great A.I. Awakening, Schmidt shared his insights from decades of work related to AI (he studied AI as a PhD student 40 years ago) and why the technology seems to finally be hitting its stride.

In fact, last year Google CEO Sundar Pichai said AI is what helps the search giant build better products over time. "We will move from a mobile-first to an AI-first world,” he said.

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Why is Apple hyping augmented reality?

February 16, 2017 - 7:11pm

Augmented reality has a powerful ally, and apparently ardent supporter, in Apple CEO Tim Cook. The leader of the most valuable publicly traded company in the world reiterated his optimistic outlook for the future of augmented reality (AR) and highlighted the technology’s capability to layer improvements in the physical world.

“I’m excited about augmented reality because unlike virtual reality, which closes the world out, AR allows individuals to be present in the world but allows an improvement on what’s happening presently,” he told The Independent in a recent interview. “Most people don’t want to lock themselves out from the world for a long period of time and today you can’t do that because you get sick from it. With AR you can, not be engrossed in something, but have it be a part of your world, of your conversation. That has resonance.”

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WWDC dates announced: Apple is moving its annual conference to San Jose in June

February 16, 2017 - 3:57pm

In a departure from the norm, Apple just announced the dates and location of its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. This year, the event will be at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center instead of San Francisco’s Moscone Center, though Apple is keeping its usual June time slot.

Apple unveiled the dates and venue change in a Thursday press release. The company typically holds off on revealing WWDC details until much closer to the event, but Apple execs wanted to give developers plenty of time to make travel arrangements, according to The Loop.

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CIO sees mobile platform as patient engagement cure

February 16, 2017 - 3:06pm

St. Luke’s Healthcare Systems is tucking several mobile applications for its patients into a platform typically used by professional sports stadiums. Picking a platform designed to help fans find their seats and order hot dogs and beer may seem odd for a hospital system tasked with delivering patient care, but CIO Deborah Gash insists on providing people the convenience they are accustomed to getting from entertainment, retail and other sectors.

In other words, Gash wants to treat patients more like valued customers than like, well, patients. "Consumers demand the ability to have more convenient ways to interface with their healthcare providers," says Gash, who joined the organization 25 years ago, spending nearly 11 of those years as CIO.

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Behold the awesome office of the future

February 16, 2017 - 12:00pm
The office of the future

Image by JAKO5D via Pixabay

The workplace environment known as “the office” has gone through a good deal of change over the years. Consider the timeline of props: Typewriters. Switchboards. File cabinets. Mimeographs. Desktop computers. Fax machines. Cubicles. Exercise desks. Nap stations. The coffee maker seems to have endured. And, of course, the stapler.

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Collaboration key to achieving business goals

February 15, 2017 - 10:25pm

Collaboration technology — ranging from email, smartphones and videoconferencing to emerging cloud-based collaboration applications — is driving dramatic improvements in organizations' efficiency, productivity and business decisions, according to a new report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.

More than 80 percent of those surveyed said collaboration technology is very or extremely important for meeting their organizations' top business goals, and 90 percent said they expect collaboration technology to be very or extremely important to their organizations over the next two years.

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IT leaders say it's hard to keep the cloud safe

February 15, 2017 - 9:17pm

IT managers are finding it difficult to keep their applications and data safe in the cloud, and many are slowing cloud adoption because of it.

That was one of the findings of an Intel cloud security report that surveyed 2,000 IT professionals in different countries and industries last fall.

The issue isn't with the cloud itself, since trust outnumbers distrust for public clouds by more than two to one, according to Intel's survey.

IT professionals told Intel that shadow IT and a shortage of cybersecurity skills are causing the most problems.

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U.S. solar growth blows away previous records

February 15, 2017 - 6:54pm

The U.S. solar market nearly doubled its electricity-generating capacity last year, as 14.6 megawatts (MW) of new photovoltaic panels were installed throughout the country.

There was a 95% increase in new solar installations over the previous year, when 7.5MW were installed, according to a new report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The complete report -- titled "U.S. Solar Market Insight, 2016 Year in Review" -- is due to be released on March 9. 

GTM Research/SEIA

The share of new energy capacity for 2016

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IBM delivers machine learning on the private cloud

February 15, 2017 - 3:27pm

IBM is making machine learning technology available in the place where much of the world's enterprise data resides: the z System mainframe.

Today Big Blue announced IBM Machine Learning, a cognitive platform for creating, training and deploying a high volume of analytic models in the private cloud. The platform draws on the core machine learning technology from its Watson Machine Learning service on its Bluemix public cloud offering.

"Our mission is making data simple and accessible to clients," says Rob Thomas, general manager, IBM Analytics. "If you look at the data landscape today, over 90 percent of the data in the world today cannot be Googled. It's neither simple, nor accessible. Most of that data resides behind corporate firewalls in private clouds."

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