03
Feb 17

Data Center Knowledge – This Server’s Uptime Puts Your SLA to Shame

An unusual and noteworthy retirement from the IT industry is scheduled to take place in April, Computerworld reports, when a fault-tolerant server from Stratus Technologies running continuously for 24 years in Dearborn, Michigan, is replaced in a system upgrade.

The server was set up in 1993 by Phil Hogan, an IT application architect for a steel product company now known as Great Lakes Works EGL.

Hogan’s server won a contest held by Stratus to identify its longest-running server in 2010, when Great Lakes Works was called Double Eagle Steel Coating Co. (DESCO). While various redundant hardware components have been replaced over the years, Hogan estimates close to 80 percent of the original system remains.

More of the Data Center Knowledge article from Chris Burt


31
Jan 17

The Register: Suffered a breach? Expect to lose cash, opportunities, and customers – report

More than a third of organisations that experienced a breach last year reported substantial customer, opportunity and revenue loss.

The finding is one of the key takeaways from the latest edition of Cisco’s annual cybersecurity report, which also suggests that defenders are struggling to improve defences against a growing range of threats.

The vast majority (90 per cent) of breached organisations are improving threat defence technologies and processes following attacks by separating IT and security functions (38 per cent), increasing security awareness training for employees (38 per cent), and implementing risk mitigation techniques (37 per cent). The report surveyed nearly 3,000 chief security officers (CSOs) and security operations leaders from 13 countries. CSOs cite budget constraints, poor compatibility of systems, and a lack of trained talent as the biggest barriers to advancing their security policies.

More than half of organisations faced public scrutiny after a security breach. Operations and finance systems were the most affected, followed by brand reputation and customer retention. For organisations that experienced an attack, the effect can be substantial: 22 per cent of breached organisations lost customers and 29 per cent lost revenue, with 38 per cent of that group losing more than 20 per cent of revenue. A third (33 per cent) of breached organisations lost business opportunities.

More of The Register article from John Leyden


29
Jan 17

Harvard Business Review – Research: Family Firms Are More Innovative Than Other Companies

Family firms aren’t typically thought of as particularly innovative. More often, they’re viewed as risk averse, traditional, and stagnant.

However, many family-owned businesses are among the most innovative in their industries. Consider Herr’s Potato Chips and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. There are countless other examples of family firms that have brought innovations to market. We wanted to determine how family firms actually compare to their nonfamily counterparts when it comes to being innovative. Our research, conducted with Patricio Duran and Thomas Zellweger, suggests the answer is not simple.

More of the Harvard Business Review article from Nadine Kammerlander and Marc van Essen


28
Jan 17

Waking Times – New Science: DNA Begins as a Quantum Wave

This new science tells us that the universe is constantly conspiring to make biological life, whenever and wherever it can. In any given area of the universe, these hidden microgravitational waves will begin gathering atoms and molecules together to create DNA, and thus, life.

One strand of DNA from one single cell contains enough information to clone an entire organism. Obviously, understanding DNA allows us to understand much about life and the universe around us. A deeper understanding of the new science tell us that DNA beings not as a molecule, but as a wave form. Even more interestingly, this wave form exists as a pattern within time and space and is coded throughout the entire universe.

We are surrounded by pulsating waves of invisible genetic information, whose waves create microscopic gravitational forces that pull in atoms and molecules from their surrounding environment to construct DNA.

One scientist who caught these microgravitational forces in their action is Dr. Sergey Leikin. In 2008, Leikin put different types of DNA in regular salt water and marked each type with a different fluorescent color and the DNA molecules were then scattered throughout the water. In the experiment’s major surprise, matching DNA molecules were found pairing together. After a short time, entire clusters of the same colored DNA molecules had formed. Leikin believes some sort of electromagnetic charge allowed the same colored molecules to cluster. However, other experiments show that this is not the case. That it is most likely to be gravity. Let us explain.

More of the Waking Times post


18
Jan 17

The Register – Just give up: 123456 is still the world’s most popular password

Data diggers’ dumpster dive demonstrates dumb and dumberer defences

The security industry’s ongoing efforts to educate users about strong passwords appears to be for naught, with a new study finding the most popular passwords last year were 123456 and 123456789.

Keeper Security wonks perused breached data dumps for the most popular passwords when they made the despondent discovery.

Some 1.7 million accounts used the password “123456”, or 17 per cent of the 10 million hacked accounts the firm studied.

More of The Register post from Darren Pauli


17
Jan 17

Customer Think – The term “Digital” is simply the latest proxy for describing current unmet needs

Grow my company, and maintain profitability. This is likely the core job for any business owner and/or management team. The markets punish public companies that cannot maintain growth and/or profitability over time. Hey founders, initial growth don’t count! Everyone grows from zero.

The term “Digital” is simply the latest proxy for current unmet needs in many markets. While it’s simple, it’s also confusing. Both customers and suppliers alike have difficulty expressing what needs are in a consistent fashion; which is why we — as whole — have great difficulty achieving high rates of product launch (or solution implementation) success. The only way to address this is to, once and for all, come to a common agreement.

Terms like Digital, the Sharing Economy, etc. are simply trying to describe how certain solutions and platforms are addressing current unmet needs in the market. Products and services that are struggling are serving former unmet needs.

More of the Customer Think post from Mike Boysen


16
Jan 17

Untitled

From the article: “The problem I see more often is that leaders don’t make decisions at all. They don’t clearly signal their intent about what matters. In short, they don’t prioritize.” Is your IT staff clear on priorities?

Every organization needs what I call a “hierarchy of purpose.” Without one, it is almost impossible to prioritize effectively.

When I first joined BNP Paribas Fortis, for example, two younger and more dynamic banks had just overtaken us. Although we had been a market leader for many years, our new products had been launched several months later than the competition — in fact, our time to market had doubled over the previous three years. Behind that problem was a deeper one: We had more than 100 large projects (each worth over 500,000 euros) under way. No one had a clear view of the status of those investments, or even the anticipated benefits. The bank was using a project management tool, but the lack of discipline in keeping it up to date made it largely fruitless. Capacity, not strategy, was determining which projects launched and when. If people were available, the project was launched. If not, it stalled or was killed.

Prioritization at a strategic and operational level is often the difference between success and failure. But many organizations do it badly.

More of the Harvard Business Review article from Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez


13
Jan 17

ComputerWeekly – Disaster recovery testing: technology systems to test DR

In this concluding part of a two-part series, Computer Weekly looks at ways of testing disaster recovery (DR). In the first article, we discussed the need for disaster recovery and for developing a strategy to test the backup process.

We discussed four main items that need to be evaluated to ensure successful testing. These were:

Time – Evaluating the time since a test was last performed and measuring the time to complete recovery, from a RTO (recovery time objective) perspective.
Change – Testing after major changes occur in the infrastructure, such as application upgrades or infrastructure (hypervisor changes).
Impact – What is the impact of running a test? Can a test be run without impacting the production environment?
People – How do we consider the human factor from the perspective of taking human error out of the recovery process?

In a virtual environment, the options for recovery can be divided into four main sections.

More of the ComputerWeekly article from Chris Evans


12
Jan 17

ComputerWeekly – Disaster recovery testing: A vital part of the DR plan

IT has become critical to the operation of almost every company that offers goods and services to businesses and consumers.

We all depend on email to communicate, collaboration software (such as Microsoft Word and Excel) for our documents and data, plus a range of applications that manage internal operations and customer-facing platforms such as websites and mobile apps.

Disaster recovery – which describes the continuing of operations when a major IT problem hits – is a key business IT processes that has to be implemented in every organisation.

First of all, let’s put in perspective the impact of not doing effective disaster recovery.

Estimates on the cost of application and IT outages vary widely, with some figures quoting around $9000/minute.

More of the ComputerWeekly article from Chris Evans


11
Jan 17

IT Business Edge – Whistleblower Advises IT Pros on How to Handle Corporate Malfeasance

Michael G. Winston’s name will probably forever be linked to the Great Recession of the late 2000s, but in a good way: He’s the whistleblower who dared to take on the subprime mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. So what better person to ask about blowing the whistle as an IT pro?

Now a leadership consultant and author of the book, “World-Class Performance,” Winston has become something of a folk hero in the recession’s aftermath, never shying away from speaking out on corporate malfeasance. In a recent interview, I presented a hypothetical scenario to him in which a newly hired network engineer learns that the IT organization is engaged in an effort, initiated by the CEO, to hack into the networks of the company’s competitors, and he’s expected to go along with it. What should the network engineer do?

More of the IT Business Edge article from Don Tennant