IT News and Events (SFTA Edition)
Apr 26th, 2021 — May 2nd, 2021 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 277, Issue 4 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
IT News - CxO
CEO Directives: Top 10 Initiatives For IT Leaders
CIO, April 19th, 2021
Stacy Collett writes in CIO, "When the calendar flipped to 2021, CIO Sue Workman started looking back at the IT priorities she had set for Case Western Reserve University back in July to see which initiatives were still tenable. 'Are we still there, or are we now able to think differently?' Workman deliberated.

She concluded that the university's IT strategy now required a whole new set of initiatives..."

3 Factors That Should Be Driving Your Digital Transformation
InformationWeek, April 21st, 2021
"In my conversations with other companies," writes Steele Arbeeny in InformationWeek, "customers, partners, new prospects -- I often get the sense that a lot of executives think about digital transformation in a tail-wagging-the-dog manner. That is, driving toward digital transformation or cloud migration because the idea of achieving it is itself good, and not because doing so will meet a certain goal or unlock some specific new value for the company. In their minds, the end goal of digital transformation is the transformation itself. But that's just not how it works. You'll never realize value that way.

Rather than letting 'digital transformation' be the reason you want to transform, here are three factors that should be driving your path toward a digital future..."

What Is Digital Transformation?
Datamation, April 23rd, 2021
"Digital transformation is the process of not only transferring tasks and tools into the digital world, but also completely reinventing business processes and customer experiences because of new digital capabilities," writes Shelby Hiter in Datamation.

"Many companies start with digitization, the term for transferring paper and analog data to a digital format without making any changes to business processes. However, these organizations often realize that the convenience of their new format could be matched with new ways of doing business. That moment in a digital transition is when digital transformation happens..."

Northwestern Mutual CIO Takes Incremental Approach To IT Innovation
CIO, April 21st, 2021
Clint Boulton writes in CIO, "If a management philosophy helps inculcate culture, the IT department at Northwestern Mutual is on a path toward continuous improvement, courtesy of CIO Neal Sample.

Since joining the Milwaukee-based company in 2019, Sample has managed his tech team leveraging principles from the 'aggregation of marginal gains,' which proposes that making incremental improvements in a number of areas will improve the holistic effort, yielding greater gains over time. The theory, embraced by a British cycling coach who used it to rack up gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, borrows from the Kaizen ethos of continuous improvement in processes..."

IT Leadership: 3 Mistakes To Avoid In Challenging Times
The Enterprisers Project, April 23rd, 2021
"It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has turned businesses around the globe on their heads" writes Brian Day in The Enterprisers Project. "As of last fall, more than 97,966 businesses had permanently closed their doors during the pandemic, and that number continues to grow, contributing to unemployment. Business leaders have been forced to navigate everything from layoffs to complicated health and safety guidelines while expediting digital transformation initiatives to remain afloat..."
CXOTALK: Digital Supply Chain And Innovation At Unilever
CXO Talk, April 20th, 2021
"To learn more, we spoke with Wendy Herrick, Unilever's head of Digital Supply Chain. Wendy has 25+ years in Unilever and has held leadership roles across both Finance and Supply Chain. She started her career with Unilever in Bristol, England, and has worked in numerous countries across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

In 2015, Wendy was appointed to the position of VP Supply Chain US responsible for end to end Supply Chain integration, Supply Chain Digital Strategy, and in-market business results. She was appointed Head of Digital Supply Chain in July 2018..."

    IT News - Storage
    5 Top Online Courses In Data Storage, April 20th, 2021
    "Did you know that one of the earliest data storage devices was the humble punch card?" writes Rahul Awati in

    "Invented in 1890 and used to program mechanical devices like textile looms, a punch card could hold only 80 characters. That is not even enough to fit a fleshed-out tweet. Compare that to today's digital universe estimated to hold 2.7 zettabytes of data. That's 27 followed by 17 zeroes.

    All that data storage requires IT professionals who know what they are doing. Fortunately, there are a number of online courses available to help keep even the busiest storage admin up on the latest in data storage technology and best practices..."

      FCIA 2020 Fibre Channel Roadmap
      StorageNewsletter, April 19th, 2021
      "FC has had an accurate roadmap for over a decade, showing the past, present and future of the FC physical layer. The interface has been progressing since 1996 by doubling the data rate (FC) every few years and the roadmap shows the progression will continue far into the future.

      The ANSI INCITS T11.2 Task Group (T11.2), the standards body that defines FC speeds, finished 64Gb FC in 2018. 64GFC runs 9% faster than 50GbE and has been defined for a Bit Error Ratio (BER) of 1E-15 that is 1,000 v better than Ethernet that has a 1W-12 BER. 64GFC products are expected to ship in 2020/2021..."

      Explore The Challenges, Benefits Of Provisioned IOPS Storage
      SearchStorage, April 21st, 2021
      "Storage system design has always entailed a tradeoff between three parameters:" opines Kurt Marko in SearchStorage, "capacity, throughput and IOPS. Unfortunately, for systems engineers, the physical limitations of storage components don't allow them to be set independently -- at least, not in hardware.

      Parametric dependency forces designers to choose between capacity and performance. Need more throughput? Throw more spindles or SSD controllers at the problem and live with the unused capacity..."

      IT News - AI
      EU Proposes Strict New AI Regulations, April 22nd, 2021
      Sead writes in, "The European Commission (EC) is drafting a new set of rules that could dictate how businesses use artificial intelligence (AI) in future.

      According to the report, some use cases for AI are 'unacceptable', namely when "AI systems 'are' considered a clear threat to the safety, livelihoods and rights of people".

      For example, AI systems that manipulate human behavior using subliminal techniques will not be permitted..."

      Solving The AI Gap: What's Needed To Boost Sluggish AI Adoption
      EnterpriseAI, April 21st, 2021
      Todd R. Weiss writes in EnterpriseAI, "That's the conclusion of a new 36-page global survey on enterprise AI use and exploration trends from Juniper Networks, which identifies three top challenges to greater AI adoption in business as well as strategies to help companies meet those challenges.

      The report, 'AI is Set to Accelerate: Is Your Organization Ready?,' says that two-thirds of the 700 business leaders who responded see AI as a top priority in their FY21 strategic plans. But despite that optimism, many business leaders are still being shackled by fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) when it comes to diving in to adopt AI, the report continues..."

      5 AI Tools That Can Think And Write Like Humans
      ZDNet, April 22nd, 2021
      "These five tools can actually think and write just like humans! (Or at least they can passably get you started.)", writes Greg Nichols in ZDNet.

      "It would have been hard to miss the buzz around AI-powered text generation, and in spheres like content marketing a host of tools are now broadly used for day-to-day tasks. Journalists are no doubt next, so it's with trepidation that we call out some of the top tools currently in use to generate articles, blogs, and relevant words automatically (and without, ahem, a well-trained writer at the switch)..."

      vBeers South Florida - Weekly Virtual Meetups via Zoom May 5th 2021
      Wednesday, May 5th, 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 May 12th 2021
      Wednesday, May 12th, 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
      Cyber Security Spending Heading For $200 Billion A Year - Bloomberg
      InformationAge, April 22nd, 2021
      Aaron Hurst writes in InformationAge, "The rise in cyber security spending forecast by BI in its report, Cybersecurity Primer: Accelerating Cloud Shift, is set to be due to a switch to cloud security, with the network and endpoint security segments likely to see the fastest growth.

      Increased remote working is partly responsible for the expansion of the market, which was worth around $132 billion last year, but cloud-based software was already expanding in the security space before the Covid-19 pandemic, as it replaced traditional infrastructure..."

      Time To Rethink Your Security Strategy
      Security Boulevard, April 21st, 2021
      "The attack is not over yet," warns Leonid Sandler in Security Boulevard. "We can always wait for another attack and blame another vendor, but when it comes to Microsoft, well, who can we rely on after that?

      SolarWinds, Centreon and now Microsoft Exchange - with almost 80% enterprise market share, Exchange holds the biggest secrets of our times, and now nobody knows where they went. Many of the affected organizations certainly had top-notch security measures and personnel in place. Should we buy and install more security tools? Well, clearly, more isn't always better..."

      How To Detect Security Vulnerabilities And Prevent Risks, April 21st, 2021
      "Any company is constantly under attack from a variety of sources," opines Ritoban Mukherjee in "No company is completely immune to attacks. Every minute, there are 250 new malware threats. The simple truth is that there are too many risks that cannot be dealt with successfully.

      Malware isn't the only threat; malicious actors may take advantage of a variety of cybersecurity threats and network vulnerabilities to steal your company's data or cause damage. So, let's find out how to detect security vulnerabilities and prevent the risks that come along with them..."

      The Security Impact Of Shadow IT
      Information Age, April 20th, 2021
      "Shadow IT is invisible to you," warns Gemma Moore in Information Age.

      "It might not be covered on your asset lists, because your asset management lists are incomplete. It might have no assigned owner, either because it doesn't fit neatly into any business unit, or isn't related to any current operational priorities but hasn't been fully decommissioned yet. It might have been installed outside of usual processes, either without authorisation or because usual processes were overridden..."

      Top Security Challenges Of 2020 Show Us How To Protect What's Next
      CIO, April 21st, 2021
      "2020 was an unusual year where circumstances shifted at record pace. Amidst the scramble and confusion, security teams rose to the occasion. Perhaps most significantly, organizations had to rapidly protect and scale their remote access while facing new security risks.

      The past year has shown us just how cyber threats can impact our lives, and the need for everyone to prepare for evolving attacks in the future. Let's examine what happened last year in the world of security, celebrate those who were able to keep governments, businesses, and individuals cyber safe, and look to how we can prepare for 2021..."

      IT News - HR
      6 Ways To Ensure A Great Candidate Experience Through Your Recruitment System
      Business 2 Community, April 22nd, 2021
      "From the moment that you post job ads down to the onboarding recruitment process," writes Stacy Lee in Business 2 Community, "you have the power to implement strategies and policies that could elevate the level of satisfaction that applicants get for them to be fully convinced to join your company.

      In any part of these stages, you can modify your approach until you onboard and successfully hire candidates- avoiding drops along the way and giving you several opportunities to propel company growth on various fronts.

      Before anything else, let's delve deeper into why a great candidate experience is important to consider first in your hiring process..."

        How Can Digital Marketing Tactics Boost The HR Industry?, April 22nd, 2021
        Yogita Tulsiani writes in, "These two verticals seem to be working in two completely different directions. However, with the popularity of social media and advanced technology, HR leaders are capitalizing on vast opportunities that digital marketing presents in searching for competent candidates and retaining the existing ones.

        HRs have come a long way in infusing digital marketing strategies in their recruitment and other employee-related functions. For instance, the use of online job portals became a universal trend in the industry which has transitioned to using social media networks for quality talent. Nowadays, organizations are working extensively to stay on top of technological trends for training, recruitment and talent management..."

        IT Leadership: 8 Ways To Be A Great Coach
        The Enterprisers Project, April 22nd, 2021
        "Are you driving a digital transformation today?" asks Bob Kantor in The Enterprisers Project.

        "Leading multiple agile teams to deliver new digital products and services? Designing new business models with your fellow senior executives and client partners? Seeking your next promotion?

        If you are, then one of your most important leadership roles should be regularly coaching your staff to achieve consistently higher levels of performance. Here's why that's essential, and some advice on how to do it..."

        How To Make Your Payroll And HR Processes Faster, Accurate And More Cost-Effective
        ITProPortal, April 21st, 2021
        "In today's difficult economic climate," writes Abigail Vaughan in ITProPortal, "it comes as no surprise that operational efficiency and cost-cutting are now right at the top of the agenda for many businesses.

        As a result, payroll and HR departments often come under scrutiny, as business leaders attempt to understand where it might be possible to reduce overheads or prune back on both direct and indirect expenditure..."

          7 IT Hiring Trends For 2021
          CIO, April 23rd, 2021
          Sarah K. White writes in CIO, "The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every industry, fundamentally altering the way most organizations conduct daily business - and that includes how they recruit, hire, and retain IT talent.

          Robert Half Technology surveyed more than 2,800 senior managers in the US to gauge the hiring and salary trends for 2021, as companies continue to contend with the pandemic, the resulting rise of remote work, and the need to fill key technical roles at a distance. From Robert Half's report, it appears that many COVID quick fixes are likely to stick around after the pandemic subsides, with 74% of more than 1,000 workers surveyed in the US saying they 'want to work remotely more frequently following the pandemic' - a desire that IT organizations are likely to have to keep in mind as the competition for top talent rages on..."

          IT News - Cloud
          5 Key Cloud Container Strategy Elements
          CIO, April 21st, 2021
          "Containers offer significant benefits, including the ability to quickly spin up apps, deploy them anywhere, and enhance scalability - all of which grows business agility and speeds innovation. In addition, containers offer portability and greater security through immutable infrastructure. They remove traditional stumbling blocks like dependencies and differences in OS and infrastructures.

          Despite these benefits, container adoption has been slow. There are several reasons why containers haven't caught on as quickly as one might expect, at least when compared to other digitally transformative technologies..."

          How To Calculate Cloud Migration Costs Before You Move
          SearchCloudComputing, April 22nd, 2021
          "Determining the cost of a cloud migration isn't easy," opines Chris Tozzi in SearchCloudComputing. "Not only do businesses need to account for the differences between on-premises and cloud prices, they also must consider a variety of other factors -- many of which are often overlooked.

          Some costs are easy to predict. For example, the cost of migrating data from on-premises storage to cloud-based object storage is straightforward. Other migration costs, like those incurred from workload refactoring, are more difficult to nail down. It's also easy to overlook expenses associated with things like staffing and deploying new types of services..."

            Why IT Leaders Should Make Cloud Training A Top Priority
            Network Computing, April 22nd, 2021
            John Edwards writes in Network Computing, "Adam Burden, North America technology lead for business and technology advisory firm Accenture, has a firm opinion on cloud training..."

            "All leaders should make cloud training a priority-it's a technology that's fundamentally reshaping every industry and 'is' the main ingredient for digital businesses," he stated. In IT specifically, cloud fluency will be needed to deliver on the promise of digital transformation. "More broadly, being conversant in cloud technology will be needed to recognize opportunities and stimulate innovation across the enterprise," Burden added.

            IT News - Technology
            60% Of The World Is Online - 10 Big Takeaways On The State Of The Internet In 2021
            The Next Web, April 21st, 2021
            Simon Kemp writes in The Next Web. "The new Digital 2021 April Global Statshot Report - published in partnership between Hootsuite and We Are Social - reveals that more than 6 in 10 people on Earth now use the internet.

            Internet users have grown by more than 330 million over the past year, reaching a total of more than 4.7 billion at the start of April 2021.

            That's not the only big story in this quarter's report though; we also cover:..."

              You Can Now Set Up A Baby Kubernetes Cluster On Raspberry Pi
    , April 20th, 2021
              "Canonical, the company behind popular Linux distro Ubuntu, recently released the latest version of MicroK8," reports Mayank Sharma in, "which enables the building of Kubernetes environments on the edge.

              MicroK8s is Canonical's lightweight Kubernetes distro, which offers a quick and relatively simple way for people to spin Kubernetes clusters.

              With the latest MicroK8s 1.21 release, Canonical has managed to further trim the memory footprint of the distro to enable users to deploy containers on resource-strapped edge devices, such as the Raspberry Pi..."

              Deep Dive Into Intel's 'Ice Lake' Xeon SP Architecture
              The Next Platform, April 19th, 2021
              Timothy Prickett Morgan writes in The Next Platform, "Getting the 10 nanometer manufacturing processes finally working was key, of course, because it is the change in transistor sizes that allows for the increase in the core count that drives per-socket throughput and also allows for clock speeds to be increased a bit. Don't count out microarchitecture improvements, which as we have noted in our initial story about the Ice Lake launch were quite substantial.

              Intel has been at work on the 'Sunny Cove' cores used in the Ice Lake Xeon SP processors for quite some time, which really needed that process shrink to 10 nanometers to be implemented to keep the four dies down to reasonable - and therefore profitable - sizes..."

              IT News - Email
              A Decade Of Email Security
    , April 21st, 2021
              Peter Goldstein writes in, "Flaws in email security are a leading cause of cybersecurity attacks for many organizations. Whether it's ransomware, business email compromise (BEC) attacks, or a phishing email that leads to cybercriminals gaining access to sensitive data, email is the common denominator.

              According to Google, the average phishing campaign lasts only 12 minutes, making traditional tracing or blocking specific servers less effective and stopping attacks more challenging than ever. Stopping phishing attacks during the global pandemic is even more vital, as we've seen email use increase coupled with work from home, creating an even bigger attack surface..."

              IT News - DevOps
              How The DevOps Skill Journey Fosters A Learning Culture
    , April 21st, 2021
              "The increase in remote work tends to challenge individuals in unique ways, and these human skills are becoming critical," writes Eveline Oehrlich in

              "Top 5 Skill Domains for 2021

              This year, 69% of respondents to the Upskilling 2021: Enterprise DevOps Skills Report told DevOps Institute they consider human skills a 'must-have or very important' skill for the DevOps human, among other priorities, around skill domains as seen below:..."

              DevOps Trends To Watch In 2021
    , April 21st, 2021
              "My custom shell scripts, Python scripts and cron jobs did all the heavy lifting so that we could reliably deploy software and scale resources on AWS," writes Ashish Kakran in

              "Fast forward to today, and that problem of confidently building and securely deploying software has become an even more enormous challenge at scale.

              The Cloud-Native Application Stack

              A simple looking e-commerce app today can easily be a big set of coordinating microservices that are powered by containers, orchestrated using Kubernetes and hosted on multi-cloud/hybrid cloud. This combination enables faster delivery of code, cheaper hosting bills and more efficient use of server resources..."

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