IT News and Events (SFTA Edition)
Mar 8th, 2021 — Mar 14th, 2021 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 276, Issue 2 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
IT News - CxO
7 Ways COVID-19 Has Changed IT Forever
CIO, March 2nd, 2021
"COVID-19 struck IT like a tsunami in early 2020," opines John Edwards in CIO, "sweeping away long-established operations and processes, forcing CIOs to quickly identify and deploy acceptable alternatives. Now, as the virus threat appears to be gradually receding, IT leaders are viewing a radically transformed landscape, wondering how essential operations and practices will fit into a 'new normal' business world.

The pandemic reshaped enterprises in an almost endless number of ways. IT, too, has felt the impact, leaving CIOs to wonder how their departments will cope with and function in a post-virus world. With basic changes already appearing, here's a look at seven ways that COVID-19 has permanently transformed IT..."

5 Must-Read Harvard Business Review Articles In March
The Enterprisers Project, March 1st, 2021
Carla Rudder writes in The Enterprisers Project, "Each month, through our partnership with Harvard Business Review, we refresh our business library for CIOs with five new HBR articles we believe CIOs and IT leaders will value highly. Check out the curated pieces below, available to readers through the end of March.

  • Innovate with urgency - even when there's no crisis
  • 4 tips for effective virtual collaboration
  • 5 strategies for reinventing your career in uncertain times
  • Turn your team's frustration into motivation
  • 4 considerations for using AI in personnel decisions

Read on for details

Why IT Is Shifting Gears And Priorities In 2021
CIO, March 3rd, 2021
"The great remote work experiment has changed everything," writes Chris Savio in CIO, "and by all accounts, flexible work is here to stay. Gartner reports that 82% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely some of the time after workplaces reopen. By the end of 2021, 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week, according to Global Workforce Analytics.

How does that impact how IT must prepare to support their organizations? Here's what we're hearing from IT leaders as they set their sights on the new year..."

12 Service Level Agreement (SLA) Best Practices For IT Leaders
The Enterprisers Project, March 5th, 2021
"All IT leaders need to get the most from their service providers: Service Level Agreements (SLAs) serve as a key tool for doing just that," suggests Stephanie Overby in The Enterprisers Project.

"'They' set the standard of service and the expectations for service providers,' says Amy Fong, vice president at Everest Group. 'As IT is under greater pressure to deliver business outcomes instead of technical outcomes, SLAs are increasingly evolving to measure quantifiable business outcomes..."

    How To Deliver IT Resilience While Adapting To The New Normal, March 1st, 2021
    "The COVID-19 crisis has affected individuals, businesses and communities in a way we've simply never seen before," opines Lewis White and Gary Newbold in

    "Government-imposed lockdowns have resulted in demands on businesses changing, with the physical moving to digital seemingly overnight. Weeks became months, and what started with business continuity is now seeing organizations shift their focus towards what's next.

    Delivering operational efficiency, as well as improving the overall digital customer experience, must play center stage for businesses if they are going to survive - as well as thrive - as we move throughout the pandemic. It's without doubt that the businesses that can adapt most effectively will fare best..."

    What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of RPA?
    SearchCIO, March 1st, 2021
    "As PSCU, a credit union service organization based in St. Petersburg, Fla., focused on growth in recent years, the company saw robotic process automation as one of the tools that could help it scale," reports Mary K. Pratt in SearchCIO. "Therefore, it developed a strategic RPA plan, choosing Nice for its automation software and consulting capabilities.

    PSCU, which implemented its first bot in September 2019, now has RPA handling four back-office functions, said Molly Walker, the company's manager of business excellence running its RPA center of excellence..."

      Accelerating Digital Transformation: The CIO Role And Why It's Important
      FCW, March 1st, 2021
      Dave Powner writes in FCW, "As the new administration begins to implement its policies, the leadership of the federal chief information officer and agency CIOs will be critical for delivering better business results and building trust with citizens.

      The Federal Information Technology and Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), passed in 2014, increasingly brought more visibility to the CIO role and helped achieve considerable savings by eliminating inefficient and duplicative infrastructure and business systems.

      Take for example data center optimization: Agencies have reported nearly $5 billion of cost savings on this initiative alone. This past year, agency CIOs have dealt with the federal response to the pandemic, demonstrating tremendous agility in expanding telework and telehealth, and supporting the IT implications of the economic fallout, such as unemployment and stimulus payments..."

      6 IT Leadership Lessons For The Future, From New York CIO Of The Year Winners
      The Enterprisers Project, March 2nd, 2021
      Ginny Hamilton writes in The Enterprisers Project, "These CIOs will carry forward 2020's lessons - on empathy, communication, and related leadership skills - as they shape the future

      In the past year, I've heard a fair share of CIOs discuss their response to the pandemic by citing a classic quote attributed to Winston Churchill: "Never let a good crisis go to waste."

      This quote (or some flavor of it), has inspired many CIOs to rise above the technical challenges presented by the pandemic, and demonstrate the full capabilities of their IT organizations..."

      IT News - AI
      5 Ways In Which AI Is Revolutionizing Finance & Insurance
      AiTHORITY, March 2nd, 2021
      "Everything from consumer banking to capital management uses RPA or robotic process automation these days," opines Cliff Stanton in AiTHORITY.

      "RPA algorithms rely on machine learning techniques to deliver better solutions to customers and build more efficiency into finance processes. AI technology is still nascent, and implementing some of these use cases has been challenging.

      However, thanks to advances in ML techniques, financial firms are increasingly relying on RPA to power more sophisticated use cases. Here are 5 scenarios where AI involvement is significant in finance and where progress is occurring..."

      How To Meet The Enterprise-Grade Challenge Of Scaling AI
      aitrends, March 4th, 2021
      "To experience all the benefits, the organization needs to align the AI to the business strategy, ensure cross-functional collaboration, invest in the right talent and training, and apply strong data practices, suggests a recent account in Tech Wire.

      These are no small tasks. A recent global survey on AI conducted by McKinsey found that most respondents who have committed to AI are gaining value, but some are attaining great scale, revenue increases and cost savings than the rest..." - aitrends

      Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools Realities: 5 Questions To Ask Your Developers
      The Enterprisers Project, March 2nd, 2021
      Taylor Peer writes in The Enterprisers Project, "Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools that just a few years ago would have been found only at the most cutting-edge companies are now becoming commonplace. But while specialized hardware, software, and frameworks may be more mainstream these days, the knowledge and experience to use them effectively has not kept up.

      Here are five essential questions to ask your development teams before you finalize your AI strategy..."

      IT News - FOSS
      IT Leaders See Open Source As Higher Quality
      InfoWorld, March 2nd, 2021
      Paul Krill writes in InfoWorld, "While enterprises believe open source software provides benefits including higher quality software and innovations, they also perceive barriers to adoption including levels of support and compatibility, according to a Red Hat report assessing enterprise open source usage.

      Curiously, security shows up as both a positive and negative in the report, with open source seen as offering better security but the security of the code seen as a barrier. Released on March 2, the 2021 State of Enterprise Open Source report covers data collected from interviews with 1,250 IT leaders worldwide, who were not necessarily Red Hat customers, Red Hat said..."

      LibreOffice 7.1 Office Suite Gets First Point Release, Over 90 Bugs Were Fixed
      9to5linux, March 4th, 2021
      Marius Nestor writes in 9to5linux, "Released a month ago, the LibreOffice 7.1 office suite introduces numerous new features and improvements, such as a new dialog that lets you select the User Interface flavor of your choice at first start, a new Additions Dialog that lets you search, download, and install extensions with a single click, and improved interoperability with proprietary documents formats like DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX.

      LibreOffice 7.1 also introduces the ability to display all supported files when adding a new extension in the Extension Manager, an improved Print Preview dialog that updates asynchronously to not block the user interface when adjusting the settings, as well as lots of other enhancements to Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw..."

      Enterprises Embraced Open Source During The Pandemic
      VentureBeat, March 2nd, 2021
      "The third annual 'State of Enterprise Open Source' report found that nearly 70% of IT leaders believe COVID-19 has accelerated investment in public cloud infrastructure," reports Paul Sawers in VentureBeat. "Moreover, 90% reported that they now use enterprise open source in their organizations, compared to 83% and 89%, respectively, in the previous two reports.

      'Much of the data shows continuing trend lines of enterprise open source gaining adoption and strategic use,' Red Hat technology evangelist Gordon Haff told VentureBeat..."

      vBeers South Florida - Weekly Virtual Meetups via Zoom March 17th 2021
      Wednesday, March 17th, 2021: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
      vBeers meetups are informal networking events for South Florida Tech professionals.

      In-person vBeers are suspended until the COVID-19 thread is diminished and public gathering are again allowed. I will host a Virtual vBeers every Wednesday until in-person events resume.

      After the intros, the rest of meeting will be an informal hangout!

      Please join the live meeting at 6:00PM EST with this Zoom link:

      You can also join by phone:

      • Meeting ID: 792 850 274
      • 646 558 8656 US
      • +16465588656,,792850274# US (New York)

      vBeers@Boca is sponsored by TechLauderdale:

      • "TechLauderdale promotes the growth, connectivity, and awareness of the thriving technology ecosystem in Greater Fort Lauderdale"

      Hosted by John J. McLaughlin

      vBeers South Florida - Weekly Virtual Meetups via Zoom March 24th 2021
      Wednesday, March 24th, 2021: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
      vBeers meetups are informal networking events for South Florida Tech professionals.

      In-person vBeers are suspended until the COVID-19 thread is diminished and public gathering are again allowed. I will host a Virtual vBeers every Wednesday until in-person events resume.

      After the intros, the rest of meeting will be an informal hangout!

      Please join the live meeting at 6:00PM EST with this Zoom link:

      You can also join by phone:

      • Meeting ID: 792 850 274
      • 646 558 8656 US
      • +16465588656,,792850274# US (New York)

      vBeers@Boca is sponsored by TechLauderdale:

      • "TechLauderdale promotes the growth, connectivity, and awareness of the thriving technology ecosystem in Greater Fort Lauderdale"

      Hosted by John J. McLaughlin

      IT News - Security
      Seven Out Of 10 Organizations Report Facing New Security Challenges As A Result Of The Pandemic
      AiTHORITY, March 1st, 2021
      "Tanium, the provider of endpoint management and security built for the world's most demanding IT environments, released the report 'IT Leads the Way: How the Pandemic Empowered IT' to evaluate the primary IT operations and security challenges organizations have faced amid the large-scale shift to remote work in the COVID-19 era, and how businesses plan to adapt moving forward. The report was conducted by PSB Insights and surveyed 500 senior-level IT decision-makers (ITDMs) in the U.S. and U.K. across a variety of industries, including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and retail..." - AiTHORITY
      What Is End-To-End Encryption & How Does It Work?
      Security Boulevard, March 5th, 2021
      "Today, platforms like WhatsApp, Signal and PreVeil use end-to-end encryption to protect the exchanges of users' data. Yet what is end-to-end encryption and how does it work?" asks Orlee Berlove in Security Boulevard.

      "How does it differ from other forms of data protection and how does end-to-end encryption ensure the protection of data?

      End-to-end encryption: What it is and how it works

      End-to-end encryption provides the gold-standard for protecting communication. In an end-to-end encrypted system, the only people who can access the data are the sender and the intended recipient(s) - and no one else. Neither ackers nor unwanted third parties can access the encrypted data on the server..."

      Top Trends In IT Security And Networking In 2021
      AiTHORITY, March 5th, 2021
      "Companies started planning the modernization out in a way that it would not disrupt any existing company working and compliances. They had to pay attention to security, especially because of remote work. According to a renowned research group, the global information security market is to reach $170.4 billion by 2022. On the other hand, network engineers are now expected to have the skill-set of automation tools as well, along with networking knowledge. Shifting the company database to the Cloud is a very complicated task to execute, but doing so is convenient for today's workplace scenario..." - AiTHORITY
      CrowdSec - Open Source Security Automation Tool
      TechTalks, March 1st, 2021
      "CrowdSec is free and open source (under an MIT License), with the source code available on GitHub," reports Georgio Baremmi in TechTalks. "It is using a behavior analysis system to qualify whether someone is trying to hack you, based on your logs. If your agent detects such aggression, the offending IP is then dealt with and sent for curation. If this signal passes the curation process, the IP is then redistributed to all users sharing a similar technological profile to 'immunize' them against this IP.

      The goal is to leverage the crowd power to create a real-time IP reputation database. As for the IP that aggressed your machine, you can choose to remedy the threat in any manner you feel appropriate. Ultimately, CrowdSec leverages the power of the crowd to create an extremely accurate IP reputation system that benefits all its users..."

      It's An Amazing Time To Be In Digital Identity
      Security Boulevard, March 5th, 2021
      "The announcement of Okta's intent to acquire Auth0 underscores the importance of this market," opines Fran Roschn in Security Boulevard.

      "It's more exciting than ever to be part of ForgeRock as we execute on our mission of helping organizations create digital identity experiences that are frictionless and intuitive while still protecting the security of the enterprise in a Zero Trust environment.

      We're in a Better Position than Ever Before to Lead the Way

      In light of the news, I was reflecting on what we hear consistently from customers. Based on research and experience, some things have become crystal clear. To support the future of work and digital transformation, ForgeRock is uniquely poised and ready to help customers meet their requirements as they embark on their modernization journey..."

      Gartner And The Top Strategic Technology Trends For 2021
      Security Boulevard, March 1st, 2021
      "On-premises-only styles of work were quickly supplanted by fully remote workforces," writes Jacob Serpa in Security Boulevard.

      "This shift had (and continues to have) massive implications for IT and security teams. In essence, the pandemic killed the perimeter and the legacy security strategies that organizations had leaned upon for years. Fortunately, in Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021, Gartner explains the impact of the global pandemic on businesses around the globe and makes suggestions about what organizations can do in order to succeed in 2021..."

      IT News - BI
      Decision Intelligence: The New BI
      CIO, March 4th, 2021
      "Business intelligence (BI) platforms are evolving," notes Maria Korolov in CIO. "By adding artificial intelligence and machine learning, companies are transforming data dashboards and business analytics into more comprehensive decision support platforms. This movement toward 'decision intelligence' sees its sophisticated mix of tools increasingly embedded into enterprise workflows, when and where decision-makers need them most..."

      'Decision intelligence is the ability of the enterprise to process large amounts of data to make decisions,' says Nicole France, analyst at Constellation Research. 'It's the same thing that business intelligence was going to do, but accessible throughout the enterprise.'

      IT News - Cloud
      5 Steps For A Successful Multicloud Strategy
      Business 2 Community, March 5th, 2021
      Dan Kogan writes in Business 2 Community, "Applications and their data are now residing in multiple locations-from customers' on-premises data centers to edge locations, and hyperscale public clouds such as Microsoft's Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform. This means customers are rapidly adopting multicloud strategies, which can deliver significant benefits around flexibility and agility. But they can also create new data management challenges.

      Here are five critical steps to help you successfully implement your own cost-optimized and easy-to-manage multicloud data management strategy..."

      IT News - Operations
      9 Must-Do Security Protocols Companies Must Embrace To Stem Remote Work Risks
      Security Boulevard, March 6th, 2021
      "This is something companies are under pressure to allow to help minimize the spread of Covid 19. The main problem for remote workers is the threat to online security. Remote workers face having both their personal and work-related information compromised.

      As a remote worker, it is imperative to take measures to protect yourself and your employer online. Start by checking to see what security protocols your company has in place. Your employers might be able to provide you with specific directions on how to handle certain aspects of your cybersecurity..." -Security Boulevard

      IT News - Technology
      HDMI 2.1: What The New Cable Standard Means For Your TV, March 4th, 2021
      "What is HDMI 2.1?" asks Henry St Leger in

      "The new standard for HDMI connectors has arrived in full force, with 2021 TV ranges offering broad support for HDMI 2.1, building on the foundation of last year's high-end sets.

      HDMI 2.1 is a game-changer, quite literally. It allows you to pass more information from games consoles, AV receivers and the like - upping the potential resolution and refresh rate for more detailed pictures and better-looking games. In a world of PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles, that's a big deal, and it's clear that TV makers are trying not to miss out on demand for the next-gen gaming machines..."

        RISC-V Is On a Roll. Is It Ready to Take a Seat Alongside Intel, AMD, and Arm?
        DataCenter Knowledges, March 1st, 2021
        "RISC-V, the emerging open source instruction set architecture for processors that have so far been used mostly as accelerators, is suddenly on a roll and appears about ready to become competitive in the CPU arena," notes Christine Hall in DataCenter Knowledges.

        "The most activity has been in the hacker space. A year ago about the only way to play around with a RISC-V processor was to spend $1,000 for a development board from the RISC-V-based startup SiFive. These days, SparkFun, BeagleBoard, Pine64, Rios, and others have either already released or are about to release single-board computers powered by RISC-V silicon, and at prices as low as $15. There's even a BBC Doctor Who-based RISC-V mini computer, meant for kids to learn coding and sold for under $100..."

        IT News - ERP
        How To Successfully Implement An ERP System
        BizTech, BizTech
        "Enterprise resource planning systems are great for managing a business's many complexities," opines Ernie Smith in BizTech. "While ERP systems are drawing attention at the moment as efficiency remains a heavy focus for businesses, the far-reaching nature of these systems can make implementation challenging.

        The potential upside of bringing ERP systems online is significant for businesses, nonprofits and other types of organizations. To realize that potential, there are steps that can be taken to ensure a smooth process for adopting the solution..."

          IT News - Email
          The Top Email Clients And Apps Of 2021
          Business 2 Community, March 5th, 2021
          "Luckily, if you're struggling, we're here to help," writes Mary Dolan in Business 2 Community. "We recently published our report 'The Path to Email Engagement in 2021,' which highlights the latest email trends and user habits - and that includes research into today's top email clients. Since the 1990s, email has become a prime method of communication for people all over the world, with many clients to choose from..."
            IT News - Server
            Why The Mainframe Is Alive And Thriving
            ZDNet, March 5th, 2021
            R "Ray" Wang writes in ZDNet, "Over the past seven decades, compute power, storage, and networking have seen various waves of centralization and decentralization amidst each wave of disruptive technology adoption.

            As with each wave, pundits, analysts, and industry watchers have forecasted the death of the mainframe. Yet, the venerable mainframe has prevailed. In a Q4 2020 update on mainframe usage, IBM shared the following statistics on mainframe adoption:

            • 67 of the Fortune 100;
            • 45 of the top 50 Banks;
            • 8 of the top 10 Insurers;
            • 8 of the top 10 Telcos;
            • 7 of the top 10 Retailers;
            • 4 of the top 5 Airlines;

            use the mainframe..."

            IT News - Backup
            Compare File Sync vs. Backup For Data Protection
            SearchDataBackup, March 4th, 2021
            "File accuracy and security are critical," writes John Edwards in SearchDataBackup, "especially, in remote work environments. File sync and backup are two related, yet unique, approaches that support these tasks.

            To grasp the key differences between file sync vs. backup, consider their respective uses, benefits and drawbacks.

            When productivity tops protection

            File syncing can just barely be called data protection -- it's more about productivity enhancement, said John Annand, infrastructure and operations research director at Info-Tech Research Group, an IT research and advisory firm..."

            SF IT Events News
            Summary of Upcoming South Florida IT Events
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