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  • Corporations must prepare for regulatory inquiries and arm against data breaches. That should start with proactive, strategic information governance practices.

  • Enterprises that adopt a mobile-first strategy can achieve transformative results, including improvements in customer loyalty, market share and productivity.

  • With the vast majority of IT professionals indicating that service availability is very critical, organizations are making "slow but steady" progress in eliminating unplanned downtime incidents, according to a recent survey from Continuity Software. The accompanying "2016 Infrastructure Resiliency Survey" reveals that companies consider service availability a high priority, with most of them aspiring to have less than eight hours of unplanned downtime a year. To achieve that, these enterprises are depending on technology-driven practices such as virtualization high-availability (HA) solutions, disaster recovery site replication and high-availability clusters for Windows and Unix. That said, IT organizations face a number of challenges in keeping systems up and running, including knowledge gaps, a lack of testing resources and difficulties faced in cross-domain and cross-team coordination. They're also experiencing greater service availability issues when they store mission-critical data in the cloud. A total of 230 IT professionals took part in the research.

  • A significant number of finance and accounting (F&A) executives are not satisfied with the outcomes of their organization's digital technology efforts, according to a recent survey from Genpact Research Institute and HfS Research. The accompanying report, "Finance in the Digital Age: Do F&A Leaders Believe in Digital-Driven Change?" indicates that finance department leaders think that legacy technology is holding back their company, and that better IT solutions are needed to boost productivity and enable employees to focus on high-value activities. Finance execs would also like to cultivate an analytics culture within the workforce to drive smarter decision making, while using technology to reduce costs and optimize cycle times. "Digital technology has immense potential to reimagine F&A operations, but only when it's implemented through a clear strategy of process transformation leveraging deep domain expertise and [focusing] on business outcomes," said Shantanu Ghosh, senior vice president of CFO services and consulting at Genpact. "This study underscores the importance of [taking] a fresh approach to digital transformation, one that leverages a true understanding of business and process nuances … and design thinking for solution development aimed at delivering a superior user experience.'' A total of 380 finance and accounting professionals, related advisers and service providers took part in the research.

  • There’s a huge gap in cyber-security insurance policies: They provide little or no protection against the physical damage to systems caused by malware attacks.

  • When it comes to what tasks they like to do on the job, developers want to learn new technologies while building code, according to a recent survey from Stack Overflow. The resulting "Developer Hiring Landscape" report covers a wide range of developer-related topics, including salary information, job satisfaction levels, employment status and demographic information. With respect to compensation, engineering managers and developers who have attained executive status rank at the top. But data scientists and back-end Web developers are doing pretty well too. As for the demographics: The average developer is male, lives in the United States, is between 25 and 29 years old, and works for a company with 20 to 99 employees. Most are happy about the work they do: It helps that a majority of them actually get to check in or commit code multiple times a day, instead of just fixing bugs. The report also reveals how much formal education developers have completed, and how many consider themselves self-taught. It even includes a fun fact about whether these developers believe in aliens. More than 56,000 developers from 173 countries took part in the research. 

  • Customer service and support are undergoing a radical transformation. As a slew of digital technologies move into the mainstream—including chat, artificial intelligence (AI), screen sharing and analytics—the opportunities and challenges are greater than ever. Simply put, there's a need to boost efficiency while maintaining a human touch. A new report from Dimension Data, "2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report," takes a close look at this evolving space and offers insights into trends and best practices. It points out that digital volumes are on the rise and phone transactions are dropping, but there are also growing gaps between service delivery and customer expectations. "New contact channels are often designed in isolation with little involvement from the contact center," according to the report. "While new technology may be digital and automated, it isn't always working as well it might. It still needs people—that all-important 'human touch'—to design, program, review and amend." The findings are based on responses from 1,320 organizations in 81 countries.

  • Poor content management practices are triggering a number of work process problems, including delays in retrieving content and duplicated tasks, according to a recent survey from the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM). The resulting "Information Management: State of the Industry 2016" report reveals that many survey respondents described their current email, file-sharing and electronic records systems as "chaotic." To address this, a significant number of organizations are seeking to expand their enterprise content management (ECM) capabilities. However, IT teams are encountering a variety of obstacles that keep these efforts from getting off the ground, forcing businesses to depend on relatively outdated file-sharing systems for content needs. "Many [organizations] are facing user adoption issues and file-shares that simply won't go away," according to the report. "Others are struggling to extend the defined governance of established on-premise systems with the more open and user-friendly approach of cloud file-share and sync services. … It is a struggle for many to create and enforce information governance policies, and there is near universal agreement that email is still the big untagged, ungoverned, high-risk content type." More than 260 members of the AIIM community took part in the research. AIIM is a global non-profit organization that provides independent research, education and certification programs to information professionals. (Note to readers: The link above leads to an executive summary. The complete report is available through an AIIM professional membership, which costs $169.)

  • In a world in which IT security is more important than ever, software patches are playing an increasingly important role as companies look to plug holes in their applications before the bad guys can exploit them. Naturally, one would assume that after decades of perfecting the practice, the patch release and deployment process would be relatively seamless by now. Not so fast, though: It turns out that companies are struggling to manage the speed and complexity of patch releases, and, to make matters worse, many of those responsible for patching can't distinguish this activity from remediating vulnerabilities. That's the top takeaway from a recent study, "Combating Patch Fatigue," conducted jointly by Dimension Research and security vendor Tripwire. "The relationship between patches and vulnerabilities is far more complex than most people think," said Tim Erlin, director of IT risk and security strategist for Tripwire. "There can be confusion between patches and upgrades. Or patches and upgrades may address different, but overlapping sets of vulnerabilities. As the complexity of patch management continues to evolve, it has become more difficult for enterprise patch management teams to achieve and maintain a fully patched state."