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Why digital disruption leaves no room for bimodal IT

CIO.com - IT industry - May 11, 2017 - 4:20pm

Saying bimodal IT is dead may be a tad premature. But as digital disruption continues to sweep across sectors -- driven by companies such as Amazon.com, Uber and Airbnb -- two-speed IT is beginning to look and feel antiquated. Some CIOs and consultants argue that the operating model hinders innovation at a time when companies must accelerate their digital initiatives.

Introduced by Gartner in 2014, bimodal IT splits technology departments into two groups: a stable mode (Mode 1) where the bulk of technology is carefully cultivated and refined and a second mode (Mode 2) that espouses experimentation, free-thinking and agility. Forking IT into separate tracks made sense a few years ago, as many CIOs worked to plug gaps in talent, process and technology, Forrester Research analyst Matthew Guarini tells CIO.com.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Some HP PCs are recording your keystrokes

CIO.com - News - May 11, 2017 - 3:08pm

Nearly thirty different Hewlett-Packard Windows PC models may be recording every keystroke their owners make and storing them in a human-readable file accessible to any user on the PC. Oh, boy.

Switzerland-based security company Modzero recently discovered a keylogger present in an audio program in HP PCs called MicTray. Modzero reported it on their blog early Thursday morning.

You can also find a complete list of affected HP PC models in the company's security advisory. Affected models include PCs from the HP Elitebook 800 series, HP ProBook 600 and 400 series', the EliteBook Folio G1, and others. The program has existed on HP PCs since at least late 2015, Modzero says.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

Puppet zeroes in on containers, cloud workloads

CIO.com - News - May 11, 2017 - 2:00pm

Devops platform provider Puppet has introduced its Puppet Cloud Discovery service for learning what, exactly, users have running in the cloud and their impact.

As Puppet's first foray into SaaS, the service offers visibility into cloud workloads, providing the same type of introspection as the on-premise Puppet Enterprise platform. For example, it can tell users if they might have vulnerabilities because they're running an outdated version of OpenSSL, or it could inform users which virtual machines need to migrated when moving from Windows Server 2012 to 2016.

[ Download the Deep Dive: Monitoring in the age of devops. | Get a digest of the day's top tech stories in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. ]

Cloud Discovery will debut in a preview form on the Amazon Web Services cloud later this month; plans call for it to eventually be supported on other cloud platforms as well.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

Intel's Itanium, once destined to replace x86 in PCs, hits end of line

CIO.com - News - May 11, 2017 - 1:46pm

It's the end of the line for Intel's Itanium chip, a troubled processor family that spawned many product delays and bad blood between HP and Oracle.

Intel on Thursday started shipping its latest Itanium 9700 chip, code-named Kittson, in volume. It's the last of the Itanium chips, which first appeared in early 2001.

Beyond Kittson, there will be no more chips coming from the Itanium family, an Intel spokesman said in an email. That ends a tumultuous, 16-year journey for Itanium, which Intel once envisioned as a replacement for x86 chips in 64-bit PCs and servers.

Support for Itanium has dwindled over the past decade, which has led to its gradual death. Server makers stopped offering hardware, software development stalled, and Intel has been openly asking customers to switch to x86-based Xeon chips.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: CIO value proposition: Negotiating key IT vendor contracts

CIO.com - Opinion - May 11, 2017 - 1:07pm

We've talked about how CIOs can bring value to the organization through flexibility, business capability, strategic advantage and the development of a partnership mentality. Companies nowadays are measuring the value of their IT departments and their services, comparing their company's technology and capability to others' technology acumen and agility. Are they creating benchmarks as a result of those outcomes? While it's important for CIOs to provide a strategic advantage and to work on creating a partnership mentality, one area that needs to be smartly managed are those cumbersome and expensive vendor contracts.

Before you negotiate a key vendor contract, you need to have developed the right vendor management strategy; failure to do so can result in a dysfunctional relationship that can negatively impact your business, according to The Balance. While you need to be prepared to play hardball, you must also value your vendor and build a strategic partnership that is mutually beneficial for both parties. Although you want to be the hero and negotiate a rate that boosts the company's bottom line, you don't want to go too far and turn your vendor off. And you REALLY don't want to cut corners on service, which can hurt your business and cause an eventual breakdown of the relationship.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Is psychometric testing perfect for IT?

CIO.com - Opinion - May 11, 2017 - 1:00pm

When I asked associates, acquaintances and clients (who had all recently recruited for IT roles) how many had used personality type or psychometric testing, 7 out of 10 said that they had.

I recall the response from a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management to this question was around one in five. That was about six years ago and although my little poll was far from scientific — it does suggest progress.

The reason for my renewed interest in this is that I have been interviewing recently. As part of the interview process, the candidates were given a project scenario, a technology project across several locations and they were asked to develop the plan including a presentation and a project initiation document (PID).

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

Ad network takes steps to reduce fraud

CIO.com - News - May 11, 2017 - 12:34pm

The fraud rates for online ads are scary, with advertisers losing billions of dollars each year.

Last week, Pixalate released a report showing that 35 percent of U.S. desktop ad impressions sold through programmatic advertising networks are fraudulent. Programmatic ads are those purchased through online networks, often through automatic bidding systems, instead of directly from individual publishers.

U.S. advertisers spent more $25 billion on programmatic online ads last year, meaning that about $8 billion is lost to fraud.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

Every day should be Bring Your Child to Work day

CIO.com - Opinion - May 11, 2017 - 12:01pm

My 6-year-old was sick a few weeks ago. It started with the normal whine I'm sure most parents are used to hearing on a school day: "I don't feeeeel goooood."

I immediately suspected he was faking. He'd been fine the night before. He got a decent night's sleep. He didn't look sick -- but just as I was about to roll my eyes and tell him, "Too bad, you're going to school," he pushed past me and threw up all over the bathroom floor.

OK. Guess he was serious.

I cleaned him up, mopped the floor, got him settled on the couch with cartoons, Saltines and some ginger ale, called the school and got ready to go to work. In this regard, I'm especially lucky. I have the freedom to work from home and I have a great boss-slash-editor who gets it. But I realize not everyone is so lucky.

All I had to do was dash off a quick message: "Hey, my son is sick, so I'm keeping him home from school with me today," and I was good to go. I don't have to change much to make this work, aside from moving my laptop to the kitchen table instead of my home office and locking the door if I have to do an interview. My editor and I had a good laugh when I realized it was "Take Your Child to Work Day." The thing is, all working parents should be that lucky; if we're going to improve diversity in tech -- and that includes increasing the number of women -- we have to accommodate working parents. One way to do that is normalizing kids in the workplace.

Sabrina Parsons, who's been the CEO of Palo Alto Software for 10 years, is a huge advocate of this idea, and she's been putting it into practice for quite some time. Her three kids have accompanied her to the office and even on business trips, and it's been of great benefit for her personally, but also her company and her kids.

"The whole concept of 'Take your child to work day' is so indicative of how corporate America is still stuck in this post-World War II, Mad Men-type idea of the workplace. That's so not the reality for the majority of working parents, especially working moms. And there's a huge number of single working moms -- and dads for that matter -- who are left out of the conversation altogether. Companies need to have a realistic view of their employees as complete, whole people with lives and families, and help them balance and juggle all of these elements," Parsons says.

As a CEO, she's empowered to make child- and family-friendly policies available and accessible to her workforce, because she understands that without them, people would have to make an impossible choice.

"If you have a family member who needs you -- whether it's a sick child, or a parent or a spouse -- and you're not 'allowed' to take the time to help them, well, that's just not right. No one in the world wants to put their company before their family, and if you are a company forcing your employees to make that choice? You're going to lose, every time, and in every meaningful way," Parsons says.

You might be able to get away with it for a while, but as soon as a better opportunity comes up, you'd better believe those employees you penalized for taking care of their families are going to walk out the door and never look back. And they'll tell their friends, their families, their new co-workers -- seriously, it's just the wrong way to do business, Parsons says.

Policies that allow workers to bring their kids with them aren't as impossible or as disruptive as they sound, either. Older kids can do homework, read, draw or play games on an iPad or a laptop. Parsons and I agreed that the toddler ages, from about 1 to 3, might not work as well, but younger kids and babies sleep a lot -- and really, who wouldn't love to hold a cute baby at work?

Marissa Mayer famously took a whole lot of crap for having a nursery installed next to her office when she took over at Yahoo, but it's actually a pretty smart idea. If only every working mom had that luxury -- and if only the rest of Yahoo's workforce was able to do that. But, I digress.

It's also great for the kids. Parsons' kids have a unique understanding of the inner workings of a software company, and they're exposed to a lot of different people and experiences, and a completely different side of their mom.

"My kids know how marketing works. They know what the role of software developers is. They've put together business plans and come up with their own ideas for products and projects -- it's important for them to be exposed to all this. I think we do our kids a major disservice if we're not showing them these sides of ourselves, and seeing how you can manage work and life and family at the same time," Parsons says.

While my own son doesn't get to come with me to an actual office, he loves talking to me about what I'm working on and who I spoke with on any particular day. On a personal level, he's learning by watching me multitask, plan, schedule and manage my workload both at home and on the job. He's also one of my biggest cheerleaders. One day, he informed a woman at the grocery store that his mom is a "famous" magazine writer who "talks to important people and writes stories about technology." OK, so maybe he inherited my tendency for exaggeration. I also think it's important for him to grow up seeing women in all of our roles -- not just as a mother -- because it normalizes it. And we all know Silicon Valley could do with a lot fewer stereotypes and discrimination and lot more women and inclusion.

"It's going to take all of us talking about these issues and pushing them to the forefront of workplace conversations until it's just a normal, everyday thing," Parsons says, and I absolutely agree. "Bring Your Child to Work Day" should be every day.

Related Video

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

Every day should be Bring Your Child to Work day

CIO.com - IT industry - May 11, 2017 - 12:01pm

My 6-year-old was sick a few weeks ago. It started with the normal whine I'm sure most parents are used to hearing on a school day: "I don't feeeeel goooood."

I immediately suspected he was faking. He'd been fine the night before. He got a decent night's sleep. He didn't look sick -- but just as I was about to roll my eyes and tell him, "Too bad, you're going to school," he pushed past me and threw up all over the bathroom floor.

OK. Guess he was serious.

I cleaned him up, mopped the floor, got him settled on the couch with cartoons, Saltines and some ginger ale, called the school and got ready to go to work. In this regard, I'm especially lucky. I have the freedom to work from home and I have a great boss-slash-editor who gets it. But I realize not everyone is so lucky.

All I had to do was dash off a quick message: "Hey, my son is sick, so I'm keeping him home from school with me today," and I was good to go. I don't have to change much to make this work, aside from moving my laptop to the kitchen table instead of my home office and locking the door if I have to do an interview. My editor and I had a good laugh when I realized it was "Take Your Child to Work Day." The thing is, all working parents should be that lucky; if we're going to improve diversity in tech -- and that includes increasing the number of women -- we have to accommodate working parents. One way to do that is normalizing kids in the workplace.

Sabrina Parsons, who's been the CEO of Palo Alto Software for 10 years, is a huge advocate of this idea, and she's been putting it into practice for quite some time. Her three kids have accompanied her to the office and even on business trips, and it's been of great benefit for her personally, but also her company and her kids.

"The whole concept of 'Take your child to work day' is so indicative of how corporate America is still stuck in this post-World War II, Mad Men-type idea of the workplace. That's so not the reality for the majority of working parents, especially working moms. And there's a huge number of single working moms -- and dads for that matter -- who are left out of the conversation altogether. Companies need to have a realistic view of their employees as complete, whole people with lives and families, and help them balance and juggle all of these elements," Parsons says.

As a CEO, she's empowered to make child- and family-friendly policies available and accessible to her workforce, because she understands that without them, people would have to make an impossible choice.

"If you have a family member who needs you -- whether it's a sick child, or a parent or a spouse -- and you're not 'allowed' to take the time to help them, well, that's just not right. No one in the world wants to put their company before their family, and if you are a company forcing your employees to make that choice? You're going to lose, every time, and in every meaningful way," Parsons says.

You might be able to get away with it for a while, but as soon as a better opportunity comes up, you'd better believe those employees you penalized for taking care of their families are going to walk out the door and never look back. And they'll tell their friends, their families, their new co-workers -- seriously, it's just the wrong way to do business, Parsons says.

Policies that allow workers to bring their kids with them aren't as impossible or as disruptive as they sound, either. Older kids can do homework, read, draw or play games on an iPad or a laptop. Parsons and I agreed that the toddler ages, from about 1 to 3, might not work as well, but younger kids and babies sleep a lot -- and really, who wouldn't love to hold a cute baby at work?

Marissa Mayer famously took a whole lot of crap for having a nursery installed next to her office when she took over at Yahoo, but it's actually a pretty smart idea. If only every working mom had that luxury -- and if only the rest of Yahoo's workforce was able to do that. But, I digress.

It's also great for the kids. Parsons' kids have a unique understanding of the inner workings of a software company, and they're exposed to a lot of different people and experiences, and a completely different side of their mom.

"My kids know how marketing works. They know what the role of software developers is. They've put together business plans and come up with their own ideas for products and projects -- it's important for them to be exposed to all this. I think we do our kids a major disservice if we're not showing them these sides of ourselves, and seeing how you can manage work and life and family at the same time," Parsons says.

While my own son doesn't get to come with me to an actual office, he loves talking to me about what I'm working on and who I spoke with on any particular day. On a personal level, he's learning by watching me multitask, plan, schedule and manage my workload both at home and on the job. He's also one of my biggest cheerleaders. One day, he informed a woman at the grocery store that his mom is a "famous" magazine writer who "talks to important people and writes stories about technology." OK, so maybe he inherited my tendency for exaggeration. I also think it's important for him to grow up seeing women in all of our roles -- not just as a mother -- because it normalizes it. And we all know Silicon Valley could do with a lot fewer stereotypes and discrimination and lot more women and inclusion.

"It's going to take all of us talking about these issues and pushing them to the forefront of workplace conversations until it's just a normal, everyday thing," Parsons says, and I absolutely agree. "Bring Your Child to Work Day" should be every day.

Related Video

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

‘So, what do you do?’

CIO.com - Opinion - May 11, 2017 - 12:00pm

Whenever you meet someone new, whether in a professional or social setting, one of the first questions that you ask each other (at least here in the U.S.) is, “What do you do?” It’s part of the bedrock of small talk. But how you answer this seemingly innocuous question can have serious implications for both your career success and your personal happiness.

Most people answer along the lines of “I’m a (insert profession here)”: “I’m a GO developer.” “I’m a SQL Server DBA.” “I’m a rabbit farmer.”

When you think about it, that’s a rather odd way to answer this question. In fact, the standard response is really an answer to a quite different question, who you are vs. what you do, identity vs. activities.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

Uber offers taxi service, not software as a service, says EU court official

CIO.com - News - May 11, 2017 - 11:38am

Uber operates a transport service, not a software service, and so can be subject to taxi licensing regulations, the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union advised Thursday.

According to Advocate General Maciej Szpunar, Uber's platform falls under EU regulations for transport, not information services, so can be required to obtain the necessary licences and authorizations under national law.

If Szpunar's opinion is followed by the full court, which is now beginning its deliberations, then the ruling could cause trouble for Uber and companies like it across the European Union. 

The case began in 2014, when an association of local taxi drivers asked a commercial court in Barcelona, Spain, to rule that neither Uber nor the UberPop drivers in Barcelona offering rides in their own vehicles have the necessary authorizations to operate a taxi service there.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

GE Power's Ganesh Bell: How not to fail at digital transformation

CIO.com - IT industry - May 11, 2017 - 11:00am
Chief Digital Officer Ganesh Bell shares the three keys to a successful digital transformation and explains how GE Power turned "digital exhaust" to $4 billion in new business.

AGENDA17 mainstage presentation: GE Power's digital transformation

CIO.com - IT industry - May 11, 2017 - 11:00am
Chief Digital Officer Ganesh Bell describes how GE Power followed the "digital exhaust" of its customers to capture $4 billion in new business. Exclusive 40-minute session.

Intel concerned about name of John McAfee’s privacy phone

CIO.com - News - May 11, 2017 - 7:49am

Intel has told a court that MGT Capital Investments has gone ahead with the announcement of the “John McAfee Privacy Phone,” even though the company that proposes to change its name to “John McAfee Global Technologies” has previously said that it did not plan to launch products and services under the McAfee mark.

The chipmaker claims it acquired the mark when it bought McAfee Inc. in 2011, and has used and promoted it for security products, services, and publications for consumers and businesses. Security expert John McAfee has stated that he did not sign away rights to his personal name.

Intel spun off last month its security business as a separate company, called McAfee, in which it now owns 49 percent of the equity, with the balance owned by investment firm TPG. The federal court had earlier refused John McAfee and MGT Capital a preliminary injunction until the resolution of the dispute on Intel’s transfer of marks and related assets containing the word McAfee as part of the spin-out.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

Conservative group takes credit for anti-net neutrality comments

CIO.com - News - May 11, 2017 - 2:21am

A conservative group took credit for a barrage of anti-net neutrality comments posted on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's website this week, but it denied generating fake activism.

The Center for Individual Freedom said it did not use a bot to generate comments after news reports raised questions about the legitimacy of the posts. Between Monday and early Wednesday afternoon, the FCC had received more than 128,000 comments duplicating the language provided by CFIF.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

The next 5 years in AI will be frenetic, says Intel's new AI chief

CIO.com - News - May 10, 2017 - 10:18pm

Research into artificial intelligence is going gangbusters, and the frenetic pace won't let up for about five years -- after which the industry will concentrate around a handful of core technologies and leaders, the head of Intel's new AI division predicts.

Intel is keen to be among them. In March, it formed an Artificial Intelligence Products Group headed by Naveen Rao. He previously was CEO of Nervana Systems, a deep-learning startup Intel acquired in 2016. Rao sees the industry moving at breakneck speed.

"It's incredible," he said. "You go three weeks without reading a paper and you're behind. It's just amazing."

It wasn't so long ago that artificial intelligence research was solely the domain of university research labs, but tech companies have stormed into the space in the last couple of years and sent technical hurdles tumbling.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

Desktop 3D printer presages the future of multi-layer circuit board design

CIO.com - News - May 10, 2017 - 9:35pm

An Israel-based provider of 3D printing technologies and nano-inks is now shipping a desktop machine to beta customers that can produce multi-layer circuit boards.

Nano Dimension's Dragonfly 2020 is a desktop 3D printer that can produce circuit board prototypes and small production runs, potentially reducing development time from weeks to hours, according to Amit Dror, co-founder and CEO of the startup.

The Dragonfly 2020 uses an inkjet-like material deposition method followed by a heat-based curing system to create the printed circuit boards (PCBs), and it has no limit to the number of layers beyond the mechanical height of the printer's z axis.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

Comparing the performance of popular public DNS providers

CIO.com - News - May 10, 2017 - 9:25pm

ThousandEyes, a network intelligence company with the ability to monitor performance from hundreds of vantage points across the Internet, has insight into a variety of services across the globe, including public DNS service providers.  In this article we’ll dive into our results from testing 10 of the most popular public DNS resolvers, with the goal of helping you make informed conclusions about your choice of provider. We observed a wide range of performance across different services, both globally and from region to region.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the internet’s system for converting alphabetic web addresses into numeric IP addresses. If a given service’s DNS records are unavailable, the service is effectively down and inaccessible to everyone.  DNS can also have a substantial impact on page load time and web page performance. While it’s just the first step of many in the page load process (see the below image), any increase in DNS lookup time will directly increase load times. DNS lookup time, in turn, is directly affected by latency to the DNS server.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

MSC Cruises uses wearables, mobile apps to power 'small city on the sea'

CIO.com - News - May 10, 2017 - 9:16pm

MSC Cruises -- the world's largest privately-owned cruise liner -- will launch its latest vessel next month, promising to showcase investments in a range of digital technologies. Guests and crew members onboard the MSC Meraviglia will have access services that rely on mobile apps, facial recognition, IoT beacons, and wearable technology, all aimed at improving customer experience.

It is part of a 20 million investment in technology for two ships -- the Meraviglia and the Bellissima, which is set to launch in 2019 -- and the culmination of a three-year process to upgrade the company's digital services, according to Luca Pronzanti, MSC's chief business innovation officer.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

Gap explains how a retail customer can give back to OpenStack

CIO.com - News - May 10, 2017 - 9:13pm

American retail giant Gap deployed its first OpenStack cloud in 2013, but now the vast majority of its forward-facing e-commerce platforms now run on the open source infrastructure.

Eli Elliott, infrastructure architect responsible for private cloud at Gap, explained to Computerworld UK how the company's close partnership with Rackspace -- among other OpenStack vendors -- saw it build and develop from an isolated testing pipeline to running all kinds of workloads.

"We work pretty closely with Rackspace, we're one of their more hands-on clients, I guess I'd say," Elliott said. "I meet with them weekly at places like this, I meet with their architecture team, and tell them all the stuff I wish we had -- and they tell us how quickly they can get it. It's a nice collaboration."

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Categories: Opinion

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