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Submission + - SPAM: Tech Future Depends on Open Source and Investors Take Note

Lemeowski writes: In the last 10 years, open source has evolved "from a cheaper alternative to proprietary software" to "the primary source of innovation that is driving the industry forward," writes Bryan Che, general manager of cloud product strategy for Red Hat. Che calls out Uber, Facebook, Alibaba, and AirBnB as digital-first industry leaders that are turning to open source technologies to compete in the "digital future," which he breaks down into three categories. He says, "Mobile will be how you'll deliver your digital business experience. The Internet of Things will be what your analog business will do in the digital realm. And the cloud will be where your digital business will run. And across all of these technologies, open source is leading the way and creating new categories of functionality." A recent Wall Street Journal article suggests that investors are taking note of this trend, as well, pointing to the explosion in funding of open-source startups in recent years. "As of last year, at least 110 private companies based on open source had raised more than $7 billion in total from venture capitalists, more than double the funding tally in 2013," the article notes.

Submission + - Why DevOps is So Painful for Big Companies

StewBeans writes: A recent poll of IT professionals found that DevOps adoption is on the rise, jumping from 66 to 74 percent adoption — 81 percent among enterprises. Despite this jump, more traditional enterprises are having a hard time getting DevOps right and often run into a number of problems, like lack of common tools, collaboration, or culture change. That's because to do it successfully, organizations have to change a deeply embedded mindset and processes that contradict what DevOps is. An article by Peter Buonora, enterprise architect for BJ's Wholesale Club, points out, "Compared to the traditional IT mindset, which is about trying to minimize change, question change, and manage it to a point where the number of overall changes is reduced and we lock down the environment, it’s not hard to see that the two approaches are on a collision course." He offers a few DevOps approaches for traditional enterprises, which include setting up a dedicated team to demonstrate business value, and bringing in new talent that have lived and breathed DevOps in a previous job.

Submission + - Most Businesses Unprepared for Cyberthreats

Lemeowski writes: A recent study highlighted by ZDNet this week paints a troubling picture of just how unprepared most organizations are to deal with a major data breach or cyberthreat. The survey showed that less than 15 percent of C-level executives only "kind of" understood what defines an online security risk to their business, and many had to use Google to help explain the risks. In another article, CenturyLink Chief Security Officer, a former FBI special agent for 30 years, said that despite widely-publicized data breaches in recent years, "many companies still don’t have a culture of security that measures up to today’s cybersecurity threats." In his article he outlines the top threats all businesses need to be aware of, and stresses that all organizations gain a better understanding of who has access to their network.

Submission + - Reluctance To Go Mobile Inhibiting Innovation in Financial Services

Lemeowski writes: Compliance concerns have long prevented financial services businesses from adopting mobile capabilities as quickly as other industries. But Yvette Jackson of Thomson Reuters argues that technology advancements have made compliance worries of the past now obsolete, and financial services companies are running out of excuses for not going mobile. She stresses that holding onto this reluctance will cause businesses to miss opportunities, limit innovation, and turn away talent by restraining their workflow. She says, "Any millennial joining the financial services industry, who expects a flawless user experience both at home and at work, is – I’m sure – surprised on their first day in the office when they get to their desk and are transported back in time by the technology they’re expected to use."

Submission + - The Chicken and Egg of Digital Tech Skills Gaps

StewBeans writes: New research from IDG and MIT Sloan suggests that there's a chicken-and-egg conundrum going on when it comes to digital technology skills gaps. On one side, over half of large enterprises expect to experience a skills gap as they look to implement new digital technologies, like cloud computing and mobile. On the other hand, filling those gaps may prove difficult because the brightest technology workers want to work with companies that are digitally mature. So, what comes first? Digital transformation, or the business-savvy technologists needed to achieve it? In this article, six IT experts discuss digital tech skills gaps they are currently facing, and how they are attracting the talent they need to succeed in the digital economy.

Submission + - Should consumers control privacy in the Internet of Everything era?

Lemeowski writes: Who is responsible for ensuring security and privacy in the age of the Internet of Things? As the number of Internet-connected devices explodes — Gartner estimates that 25 billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020 — security and privacy issues are poised to affect everyone from families with connected refrigerators to grandparents with healthcare wearables. In this interview, U.S. Federal Communications Commission CIO David Bray says control should be put in the hands of individual consumers. Speaking in a personal capacity, Bray shares his learnings from a recent educational trip to Taiwan and Australia he took as part of an Eisenhower Fellowship: “A common idea Bray discussed with leaders during his Eisenhower Fellowship was that the interface for selecting privacy preferences should move away from individual Internet platforms and be put into the hands of individual consumers.” Bray says it could be done through an open source agent that uses APIs to broker their privacy preferences on different platforms.

Submission + - What goes into a decision to take software from proprietary to open source

Lemeowski writes: It's not often that you get to glimpse behind the curtain and see what led a proprietary software company to open source its software. Last year, the networking software company Midokura made a strategic decision to open source its network virtualization platform MidoNet, to address fragmentation in the networking industry. In this interview, Midokura CEO and CTO Dan Mihai Dumitriu explains the company's decision to give away fours years of engineering to the open source community, how it changed the way its engineers worked, and the lessons learned along the way. Among the challenges was helping engineers overcome the culture change of broadcasting their work to a broader community.

Submission + - FCC CIO on how to stay relevant in the Internet of Everything era

Lemeowski writes: "We’re going into uncharted territory with Internet of Everything – there is no rule book. The best way for a CIO or CEO to operate in this undefined future is to create a space for creativity to blossom into innovation." That's the advice of U.S. Federal Communications Commission CIO David Bray, an Eisenhower Fellow who recently traveled to Taiwan and Australia to discuss the Internet of Everything with industry and government leaders. In this interview, Bray shares the strategic actions he believes leaders should take now to prepare for the future ahead, including updating legacy infrastructure and embracing new models of collecting, sharing, and making sense of data collected and shared by Internet-enabled devices. Perhaps most importantly though, Bray emphasizes the need for organizations of all sizes to embrace change, and encourage positive “change agents” if they want to remain relevant in an Internet of Everything era: "With the pace of change that the IoE will bring, if you try to take a top-down approach and assume you have all the answers, you’ll quickly become obsolete in this new world," Bray says.

Submission + - Overhauling IT was a life-saver for American Cancer Society

Lemeowski writes: American Cancer Society CIO Jay Ferro lets readers peek behind the curtain of the nonprofit's IT organization, saying that when he took on the role a little over three years ago, the nonprofit had 12 different divisions — each with its own independent IT set-up and more than 600 independent applications in its portfolio. In the past three years, Ferro has aligned the entire IT organization into one global entity, consolidating dozens of data centers into three; increasing spending on strategic projects from 5 percent to 40 percent, and reducing 600 core systems down to fewer than 200. His journey is a powerful reminder that while streamlining IT can often be painful upfront for IT managers, the payoff for sticking with it, especially for nonprofits, can feed into saving more lives.

Submission + - Global business leaders say they don't know enough about technology to succeed

Lemeowski writes: New Harvard Business Review research finds that only 45% of business leaders surveyed say they personally have the technology knowledge they need to succeed in their jobs. What's more, the survey of 436 global business leaders finds that only 23% are confident their organizations have the knowledge and skills to succeed in the digital aspects of their business. The report says that given the low levels of digital knowledge and skills outside of IT "it's troubling that close to half of all respondents (49%) said their department occasionally or frequently initiaties IT projects with little or no direct involvement of IT."

Submission + - How NASA JPL helped developers and operations see eye-to-eye on containers

Lemeowski writes: When developers at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory got excited about container technology, they immediately hit a roadblock with operations. Operations worried containerization was the next shiny object and that they would be left with operational challenges, writes JPL IT Chief Technology Officer Tom Soderstrom. With questions on both sides, Soderstrom shares how he bridged the divide between the two groups by getting operations people to test and understand container technology. "This was particularly important because containers are part of a much broader trend in IT – automating the infrastructure. Any new cloud startup, or any startup that works on the cloud, automates their infrastructure from the get-go. That’s not how an enterprise-built software stack and operations stack work, so initial resistance or skepticism is natural." It's a challenge he expects larger IT organizations will face as they investigate containerization.

Submission + - Even the Weather Company feels the pain of the data scientist drought

Lemeowski writes: With a forecasting system that produces more than 10 billion forecasts a day on active weather days, The Weather Company knows a lot about big data. You might think that presents huge technology challenges, but Weather Company CIO Bryson Koehler says the technology part is actually very simply to solve, relative to the challenges of finding great data scientists. "As IT professionals, we can stand up all the infrastructure and technology and data platforms in the world, but if we don't have the right human drivers for these tools, then we're not going to go anywhere," Koehler writes.

Submission + - How The New York Times is reinventing itself as a mobile company

Lemeowski writes: Two years ago, mobile was only 30 percent of traffic across all of The New York Times' products and devices. Last year it topped 50 percent for the first time. As little as two or three years from now, NYT CIO Marc Frons estimates that as much as 75 percent of its audience may come from mobile. Frons explains how the Times is engineering its technology to accommodate the shift to mobile, and what it means for the future of mobile journalism, saying: "This is a time for experimenting with form and content, since no one knows exactly what works best for serious journalism on the smartphone."

Submission + - Why the New York Times prefers open source software

Lemeowski writes: When investigating open source versus proprietary solutions for The New York Times, CIO Marc Frons says the questions he asks are surprisingly pragmatic. "If an open source solution is available, I’d prefer to use it, since I believe open source software often advances faster than many proprietary solutions," Frons said. "Today there are so many open source components in our software that I couldn’t probably even count them. We don’t really have long discussions here about what we're going to use based on whether it's open source. The question is, “Is it the right thing or not?"

Submission + - Companies are held back from using big data by IT execs scared of open source

Lemeowski writes: Most organizations are sitting on a goldmine of data, but they're not doing anything with it because technology and service vendors have led IT leaders to believe that to be "best in class analytics, you have to pay millions of dollars and wait years for its value to materialize." That is not necessarily the case, writes Sergo Grigalashvili, who oversees analytics for his company. He says open source tools and databases combined with "the government releasing treasure troves of data" can help companies see results quickly and cost effectively. The problem, he says, is there are still IT executives who "are not comfortable or even scared of using open source tools."

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