IT News and Events (SFTA Edition)
Oct 11th, 2021 — Oct 17th, 2021 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 283, Issue 2 << Previous Issue
IT News - CxO
5 Must-Read Harvard Business Review Articles
The Enterprisers Project, October 5th, 2021
Each month, through our partnership with Harvard Business Review, we refresh our resource library 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 the month.

  • When to take on tasks that are outside of your job description
  • How to eliminate strategic overload
  • Getting AI to scale: 4 steps
  • Resist old routines when returning to the office
  • The hazards of a 'nice' company culture

Read on for details

    3 Hybrid Work Strategy Tips CIOs And IT Need Now
    SearchCIO, October 4th, 2021
    "Many companies are in the process of creating or refining their hybrid work strategy," writes Joe Berger in SearchCIO. "CIOs and other IT leaders are critical to ensuring that strategy is a success.

    Planning a return to the office is complex: It's not as simple as turning on the lights and bringing employees back to the pre-pandemic office they remember. Business and IT leaders must rethink and improve office spaces to ensure employee safety and support their new hybrid workforce.

    Here are three ways IT leaders can bring clarity to reopening plans, enable hybrid work and improve the employee experience..."

      A Journey In Organizational Resilience: Crisis Management
      SecurityIntelligence, October 4th, 2021
      George Platsis writes in SecurityIntelligence, "For a moment, let's look at a 'right of the boom' (post-incident) theme: crisis management (CM), an important component of your cyber resilience planning.

      A good CM plan will be part of a larger governance cybersecurity framework (a topic that we look at in the next piece) and has an emphasis on a vital attribute: communications. Carrying out a CM plan requires knowing roles and responsibilities, when to escalate, when to act, and what (and what not!) to say..."

        The CIO's Guide To Managing Enterprise AI
        ZDNet, October 4th, 2021
        "Today's CIOs must ensure that their organizations have an "AI-ready" infrastructure capable of supporting data and applications related to AI," opines Michael Krigsman in ZDNet.

        "The challenge is not whether to embrace AI, but how to prepare the organization to adopt AI in a way that increases business value and reduces risk. CIOs must also consider how to establish a distinct set of enterprise capabilities around AI. All this requires CIOs to establish a holistic view of their enterprise infrastructure and how it should evolve to support current and future capabilities related to AI and data..."

          IT Leadership: 5 Traits Of Truly Digital Leaders
          The Enterprisers Project, October 8th, 2021
          "Every organization can make standalone digital investments, launch many digital transformation efforts, or even hire a team of digital executives to help them achieve digital nirvana," notes Mazen Ghalayini and MJ Johnson in The Enterprisers Project. "But actions made in isolation without fully adopting what it takes to become a digital business are destined to fail. The fact is, there's no silver bullet for building a digital organization, nor is there a clear deadline or desired end state.

          To truly be digital - instead of just doing digital things - a business becomes a different version of itself by adopting a complete mindset and operational shift, preparing to adapt to change continuously. Becoming a digital business means accepting that change is the rule, not the exception - and that this constant state of change is the opportunity for them to stand out, not fall behind. And it takes an exceptional team. No single individual or IT leader can do it alone..."

            People Are The Key To Successful Digital Transformation
            ITProPortal, October 4th, 2021
            Pete Hanlon writes in ITProPortal, "Digital transformation - the adoption and integration of digital technologies across all areas of the business to fundamentally change and improve processes and value for customers. Whilst the concept appears a simple one. It is far from it.

            It will look different across businesses, industries and countries. The conversation being raised due to varying issues or problems, improving customer experience or increasing productivity. All personal to the business. No one size fits all..."

              IT News - AI
              Gartner Identifies Four Trends Driving Near-Term Artificial Intelligence Innovation
              Gartner, October 5th, 2021
              Four trends on the Gartner, Inc. Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2021 are driving near-term artificial intelligence (AI) innovation. These trends include responsible AI; small and wide data approaches; operationalization of AI platforms; and efficient use of data, model and compute resources.

              'AI innovation is happening at a rapid pace, with an above-average number of technologies on the Hype Cycle reaching mainstream adoption within two to five years,' said Shubhangi Vashisth, senior principal research analyst at Gartner. 'Innovations including edge AI, computer vision, decision intelligence and machine learning are all poised to have a transformational impact on the market in coming years.' - Gartner

                Artificial Intelligence Market 2021
                Datamation, October 8th, 2021
                Shelby Hiter writes in Datamation, "As the demand for AI efficiencies continues to grow, data scientists and other AI experts are challenging themselves to harness and apply big data in new ways.

                Read on to learn about artificial intelligence, how AI is being used, and the state of the AI market:..."

                  Where AI Has Made Real Progress
                  InfoWorld, October 4th, 2021
                  "We've been overselling current capabilities of AI for years," writes Matt Asay in InfoWorld, "but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a bright future. That's perhaps why Stanford University researchers conceived of a 'One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence' (100 years!) back in 2016, with plans to update the report every five years through 2116, charting the progress of AI along the way. Five years after the inaugural report, the study authors recently released the second report.

                  The TL;DR? We've made 'remarkable progress' in just five years, on the back of ever-improving data infrastructure, yet we still fall 'far short of the field's founding aspiration of recreating full human-like intelligence in machines.' What we are discovering, however, is the importance of meshing human and machine to achieve better outcomes. Is it 'true' AI? Not as originally envisioned. But arguably it's better..."

                    The Data And AI Landscape 2021: It A Mad, Mad, Mad World
                    ZDNet, October 7th, 2021
                    "While much of the world closed down during the COVID-19 pandemic, the gates opened wide for financing early and late-stage startups in the data and AI space," writes Tony Baer in ZDNet.

                    "A team at FirstMark Capital, led by partner Matt Turck, has issued the latest of its annual encyclopedic data and AI landscapes. At one end of the spectrum, Turck and colleagues wrote, there is the maturation as evidenced by the breakout IPOs of Snowflake and Confluent, reassuring the VC community that revenues and growth are real and that the onrush of funding is not triggering a replay of the dot com bubble..."

                      Artificial Intelligence vs. Machine Learning 2021
                      Datamation, October 8th, 2021
                      Shelby Hiter write in Datamation, "The combination of these two tech trends has gained significant buzz in the business world, but AI and ML aren't the same thing: machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence.

                      Bartowsz Wojtowicz, a machine learning engineer at Netguru, a machine learning and digital transformation company, offered further distinction:

                      'AI describes a general concept of creating machines, simulating human cognitive capabilities - such as learning and problem solving,' Wojtowicz said. 'Whereas, machine learning is currently the most promising and most widely used application of AI, which allows computers to learn and improve based on experience'..."

                        IT News - Careers
                        IT Careers: 5 Ways To Get Out Of A Rut
                        The Enterprisers Project, October 6th, 2021
                        "IT career ruts happen for many reasons," warns Sampa David Sampa in The Enterprisers Project. "If you're feeling stuck, it may have to do with your workplace culture, or with the person you see in the mirror every day. Routine work can lead to boredom. At the same time, workplace pressures may create a sense of fear, so performing tasks is no longer enjoyable and rewarding as survival instincts take over and the fear of losing a job outweighs everything else.

                        The combination of fear and boredom often leads to a feeling of inertia in your career. You might find it difficult to take on new challenges due to a fear of coming up short..."

                          In Person: vBeers South Florida (Biergarten Boca) (October 20th)
                          Wednesday, October 20th, 2021: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
                          vBeers meetups are informal networking events for South Florida Tech professionals.

                          In-person, after work vBeers resumed in June!


                          • Wednesday 20th - Biergarten Boca, Boca Raton
                          • Wednesday 27th - Mike's at Venetia, Miami


                          • Wednesday 3rd - Zoom
                          • Wednesday 10th - Funky Buddha, Oakland Park
                          • Wednesday 17th - Biergarten Boca, Boca Raton
                          • Wednesday 24th - Mike's at Venetia, Miami

                          Hang out with IT colleagues after work!

                          Hosted by John J. McLaughlin

                            IT News - Security
                            Cybersecurity Awareness: The Basics Are The Foundation
                            SecurityIntelligence, October 4th, 2021
                            Cybersecurity Awareness Tips: Stop Throwing Good Money After Bad

                            George Platsis writes in SecurityIntelligence, "More than ever, basic cyber hygiene is vital to protecting data. Here's why: the risk footprint has never been larger. Some reasons were not surprising: big data becoming harder to manage, more alerts bogging down and burning out incident responders, a blast of Internet of Things devices coming online and 5G deployments being a management issue of their own..."

                              How To Be Cybersmart This Cybersecurity Awareness Month
                              CISO MAG, October 4th, 2021
                              "The cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve, with threat actors leveraging new hacking techniques to penetrate and exploit critical infrastructure. While organizations are worried about misconfigurations and poor security practices, human errors remain a major cause of cyberattacks and data breaches.

                              The Cost of Human Error

                              According to a study 'Psychology of Human Error' by Stanford University Professor Jeff Hancock and security firm Tessian, 88% of data breaches are caused by employees' mistakes. The study highlighted that nearly 43% said they're sure they have made a mistake at work that had security repercussions for themselves or their company. Several organizations claim that human error was the primary factor with a year-over-year increase in several security incidents. Almost 93% are concerned about human error causing accidental exposure of their cloud data..."

                                Active Directory Security Is Hard. Here's Why And How To Fix It
                                ITProPortal, October 4th, 2021
                                Andy Robbins writes in ITProPortal, "Active Directory (AD) is one of, if not THE, most critical services used by organizations of all sizes. In fact, for roughly 90 percent of Global Fortune 1000 companies, AD is the primary method utilized for seamless authentication and authorization when connecting and managing individual endpoints inside corporate networks. For these enterprises, AD is effectively the foundation upon which access is managed for endpoint management services, identity and authentication services, email authentication and critical business operations..."
                                  Top Cybersecurity Statistics, Trends, And Facts
                                  CSO Online, October 7th, 2021
                                  "2021 has been a banner year for cybercriminals," opines Brian Carlson in CSO Online, "they have taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in remote work, attacking both technical and social vulnerabilities. This historic increase in cybercrime resulted in everything from financial fraud involving CARES Act stimulus funds and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to a spike in phishing schemes and bot traffic. Piled on top of that is a growing wave of ransomware and software supply chain attacks..."
                                    Top Security Risks To Watch For In Shifting To Hybrid Identity Management
                                    ITProPortal, October 4th, 2021
                                    "It's easy to see why enterprises are gravitating toward a hybrid identity management model that promises the best of both worlds-a little bit in the cloud, and a little bit on-premises," opines Doug Davis in ITProPortal.

                                    "In an Active Directory-centric environment, leveraging the cloud means integrating with Azure Active Directory. Azure Active Directory (AAD), after all, is designed with an eye toward SaaS applications, providing single sign-on and access control. As cloud adoption increases, the ability to manage both on-premises and cloud access is becoming a business necessity. Leveraging AAD alongside Active Directory (AD) helps make hybrid identity management a reality. As with anything in IT, however, the adage of look-before-you leap still applies..."

                                      Cybersecurity Best Practices Lagging, Despite People Being Aware Of The Risks
                                      HelpNet Security, October 7th, 2021
                                      'The cybersecurity threat landscape is as complex and diverse as it has ever been,' said Lisa Plaggemier, Interim Executive Director, National Cybersecurity Alliance.

                                      'The daily headlines of data breaches and ransomware attacks is a testament to the problem getting worse, yet most people aren't aware of the simple steps they can take to be a part of the solution. It's critical to have a deeper understanding of both the challenges we face and the prevailing attitudes and behaviors among the public.' - HelpNet Security

                                        IT News - HR
                                        IT Hiring's Big Miss: How To Hire For Aptitude
                                        The Enterprisers Project, October 7th, 2021
                                        Julie McPherson, Haluk Saker write in The Enterprisers Project, "On the surface, it's easy to see IT hiring difficulties as a symptom of the pandemic. 2020 alone was an exercise in roller-coaster talent economics, and some recent reports indicate that hiring is slowing as fears of rising case numbers swell.

                                        But to place the blame solely at the feet of the pandemic belies the fact that there's been a consistent widespread need for exceptional IT talent for years. As recently as 2019 organizations struggled to find the right people for their IT positions.

                                        At issue is the hiring process itself. Understandably, many recruitment efforts have emphasized technical experience over soft skills, which are harder to measure but by no means less important. By narrowing their focus, potential employers have limited their talent pool and left no room for less traditional, more diverse applicants. What's missing, it seems, is a focus on aptitude - the unstated skillset that breeds innovation and drives new ways of thinking..."

                                          Tips For Managing Remote Teams: 3 Secrets To Success
                                          Business 2 Community, October 7th, 2021
                                          "More and more employers are switching to at least a hybrid remote work setup, " writes Haiden Hibbert in Business 2 Community, "and while there are many benefits to this, you might face some new challenges when managing remote teams. Even if you're a seasoned remote team manager, it's always good to brush up and see where you can up your game. Here are some helpful tips to do just that..."
                                            Legacy HR Technology Is Impacting Employee Productivity
                                            ITProPortal, October 7th, 2021
                                            Tony De Graaf writes in ITProPortal, "According to a recent report by Forrester, 90 percent of HR workers are losing up to four hours a week on admin and management tasks due to outdated technology. Despite the shift in the industry to remote working and recruiting therefore driving digital transformation, over 90 percent of organizations aren't maximizing their investment in HR tech. In fact, over 75 percent of organizations admitted the need to update their HR tech in the coming months..."
                                              IT News - DR
                                              The Business Continuity Plan Of The Future
                                              Continuity Central, October 7th, 2021
                                              Nick Simms writes in Continuity Central, "The business continuity plan of the past was usually predicated on the loss of the building and that only a certain percentage of the staff - usually 20-25 percent of the total - could be accommodated at a recovery site. The remaining 75-80 percent of staff were usually told to go home and wait for further instructions. The business continuity plan, therefore, tended to focus on who would go where and what their priorities and key tasks would be when they got there. Anything that was generic, such as muster points following an evacuation, would usually be contained in a crisis management plan or on a wallet card given to all staff..."
                                                IT News - Networks
                                                Best Network Monitoring Tools Of 2021
                                                ITProPortal, October 4th, 2021
                                                "The best network monitoring tools make it simpler and easier to manage all aspects of remote monitoring of your IT infrastructure," writes Brian Turner and Will Dalton in ITProPortal.

                                                "This is important because IT is now at the heart of any given business, and applies to every department, every section, and every employee. Yet the larger the business, the more difficult it can be to monitor and maintain the network infrastructure, and keep it monitored for security threats..."

                                                  IT News - Operations
                                                  6 Data Center Trends To Watch
                                                  Networkworld, October 4th, 2021
                                                  "Data-center owners and operators face increasing complexity and operational challenges as they look to improve IT resiliency, build out capacity at the edge, and retain skilled staff in a tight labor market," writes Ann Bednarz in Networkworld.

                                                  "Meanwhile, use of the public cloud for mission-critical workloads is up, according to Uptime Institute, even as many enterprises seek greater transparency into cloud providers' operations..."

                                                    Best IT Management Tools 2021
                                                    ITProPortal, October 4th, 2021
                                                    "The best IT management tools make the process of managing IT systems simpler and easier, from customer support to diagnostics," writes Ritoban Mukherjee in ITProPortal.

                                                    "This is especially important, as running an organization involves keeping track of a wide variety of assets, both hardware and software. For a very long time, this task was handled by maintaining manual logs on a company spreadsheet. Now, it's done using dedicated software managed by the IT department..."

                                                      IT And Security Professionals Find Patching Complex, Cumbersome And Time-Consuming
                                                      siliconeANGLE, October 7th, 2021
                                                      "A new report from Ivanti Inc. may provide answers to that question," suggests Duncan Riley in siliconeANGLE. "The company surveyed information technology and security professionals and found that 71% consider patching overly complex, cumbersome and time-consuming.

                                                      In the age of COVID-19 and shift to remote work, 57% of respondents said remote work had increased the complexity and scale of patch management. That shift, with employees connecting with various devices to access corporate networks, data and services as they work and collaborate from new and different locations, is said to have made patching harder than ever..."

                                                        IT News - Technology
                                                        Darpa Program Aims To Build Quantum-Inspired Solvers
                                                        insideHPC, October 5th, 2021
                                                        "Department of Defense (DOD) must solve many complex optimization problems to enable mission capabilities - from determining the most efficient way to distribute supplies to minimizing warfighters' exposure to hostile forces. Solving these intricate scenarios is difficult, largely owing to the limitations of existing computing resources. Today, many optimization problems are solved on conventional computers running both heuristic and approximate algorithms, extracting the best solutions allowed by the limited time and energy that is available..." - insideHPC
                                                          IT News - ERP
                                                          Are ERP-Centric Enterprises Being Left Behind?
                                                , October 6th, 2021
                                                          Vaidya Aiyer writes in, "These systems accommodate vital business tasks ranging from inventory management to ordering capabilities to accounting programs to CRM platforms-all of which were custom-built to fit the enterprise's specific needs and meet the KPIs of each unique organization. These applications tend to sustain grades, patches and reworks, sometimes resulting in multiple redesigns over the course of decades, and these often are not properly documented. To make matters worse, these ERP software systems also tend to be written in outdated programming languages such as ABAP for SAP and PL/SQL for Oracle, making them a challenge to update..."
                                                            Top ERP Systems Need Ability To Deliver As Well As Tech
                                                            SearchERP, October 8th, 2021
                                                            Jim O'Donnell writes in SearchERP, "The top ERP systems are characterized by usability and functional reach, according to the "2022 Top 10 ERP Systems" report from Panorama Consulting Group.

                                                            The Denver-based firm, which provides ERP selection services, compiles a list of the top 10 ERP systems annually. Compared to previous years, Panorama's list of the best-rated vendors has seen little change, although Epicor, a vendor customarily present on the list, did not make the cut for 2022..."

                                                              IT News - Email
                                                              4 Steps To Protect The C-Suite From Business Email Compromise Attacks
                                                              CSO Online, October 4th, 2021
                                                              "The damage from executive email account takeovers can run into millions of dollars, as recent examples show," writes Rosalyn Page in CSO Online.

                                                              "In 2019, Toyota Boshoku Corporation lost $37 million after the information in a payment direction from a third-party was changed, sending millions to the fraudsters. The recent SolarWinds attack was bad enough, and now Nobelium, the group responsible, has since launched a campaign of email attacks appearing to originate from USAID after its Constant Contact email account was compromised..."

                                                                IT News - Compliance
                                                                How To Create A Data Retention Policy
                                                                CIOinsight, October 8th, 2021
                                                                "Due to the high volume of data that companies capture and retain," writes Lansford Roberts in CIOinsight, "and taking into consideration the amount of laws and regulations that have a primary focus to safeguard that data - it's critical to develop and deploy a robust data retention policy that will improve your business and meet archival regulations imposed by law.

                                                                Let's take a look at what exactly data retention is, how it is composed, and some guidance on how to develop your data retention policy..."

                                                                  IT News - HPC
                                                                  Bringing Supercomputing Technologies To Every Industry At Any Scale
                                                                  HPCWire, October 4th, 2021
                                                                  "Today's organizations are looking for more effective ways to deploy data-intensive workloads quickly and securely-with optimal time to value. The answer? Supercomputing technologies.

                                                                  Today's supercomputing technologies are no longer just built into giant systems. Your organization can utilize the same components of a supercomputing system but on a smaller scale-at your scale..." - HPCWire

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