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  • Today's IT security teams face a constant and evolving barrage of threats that force them to assess their security policies and procedures on an ongoing basis.

  • The vast majority of organizations have reinvented their operating models over the past year, according to survey research from Accenture. This, of course, speaks to the growing demand for agile-driven business strategies, and technology is playing a significant factor in helping companies make the necessary transitions. Senior executives recognize that emerging innovations will transform their industries, so they're encouraging internal IT teams to introduce better collaborative and analytics tools throughout the organization to more effectively manage change. While this sounds encouraging, there is a cautionary note: A significant number of employees do not feel their corporate leadership adequately supports a culture of experimentation. Apparently, failure is still not an option at many companies. In an agile universe, however, failure is typically perceived as an opportunity to learn from mistakes and emerge stronger as a result. The research, which includes perspectives of executives from high-growth, high-performance companies, is compiled from a variety of Accenture surveys completed over the past year.

  • With Open Innovation, companies partner with players in a global ecosystem to jointly develop new platforms and apps, enhance offerings or move into new markets.

  • Needing to simplify and streamline its IT operation, the company migrated from a server farm with hundreds of physical machines to a next-generation mainframe.

  • Data scientists spend too much time cleaning and organizing data, which pulls them away from what they should be doing: conducting business-benefitting analysis, according to a recent survey from CrowdFlower. Being understaffed contributes to the problem, as does a lack of access to required tools and resources. These professionals would also be better served by a clearer sense of their organization's goals for individual projects, findings show. "Data scientists are valuable to their companies, but there's still a disconnect between what they actually do and what they want to do," says Lukas Biewald, co-founder and CEO of CrowdFlower. "At the end of the day, the time they invest in cleaning data is time that could be better spent doing strategic, creative work like predictive analysis or data mining." Despite the challenges, it's reassuring to find that a large majority of data scientists are happy with their jobs, and quite a few consider what they do "awesome." More than 150 U.S. data scientists took part in the research.

  • Has information security outgrown IT? According to a report from HP, it's possible. The size, scope, severity and frequency of cyber-attacks have raised the profile of security teams to a new level, as evidenced by recent attacks against the likes of Anthem, Sony, Staples and JP Morgan Chase. As a result, cyber-security has evolved into a boardroom concern that calls for it to become a strategic component of the enterprise, on par with finance, marketing and operations. Such is the key takeaway from HP's "State of Security Operations 2015 Report." In assembling the report, HP performed 118 assessments of 87 security operations centers that it has equipped, determining that most enterprises are woefully unprepared to defend against even the most basic attacks. As such, the report suggests it's time to raise the profile of security in the corporate structure. "The size, scope and severity of threats now requires the attention of and direction from senior management, which must ensure that its cyber-security strategy is in alignment with the organization's objectives and risk tolerances," advises Chris Triolo, vice president of professional services for HP's enterprise security products. "In order to adapt, compete and succeed in the current security environment, where threats are evolving quicker than solutions, business leaders must expand security operations beyond IT and into a more strategic capacity."

  • The iconic bus transportation company revamps its IT architecture in a multiyear initiative to accommodate an increasingly demanding business environment.

  • Forget the political noise: The location of your IT workforce should be driven by decisions that meet your organization's priorities and enable your business.

  • By 2017, there will be five connected devices for every Internet user, according to industry projections. This puts a lot of pressure on IT teams setting up WiFi networks that provide outstanding performance and uninterrupted availability. Rising to the challenge, however, doesn't always involve an expensive IT upgrade. In fact, WiFi network capabilities are often greatly influenced by non-tech considerations, such as building design. Fortunately, you don't need a degree in architecture to prevent major issues, as Randstad Technologies has come up with a list of top reasons why WiFi networks fail, along with best practices for avoiding these problems. The following slides were adapted from Randstad's list of potential problems and solutions. They range from conflicting access points to frequency overload to towering ceiling heights to obstructions as small as a leaf on a tree. When investigating a disruption, you may even discover that the office kitchen's microwave—or the nearby dishwasher or refrigerator—is the culprit.

  • Deloitte Vice Chairman Paul Sallomi offers his perspective on the evolving state of IT consumerization and a growing countertrend toward 're-enterprization.'

  • The old saying "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" is taking on new life in the world of information security. Amid a constant flow of high-profile security breaches—and despite plenty of firsthand experience and indications that the volume of incidents is growing—network operators say their organizations are still struggling to prepare themselves for incidents. In addition, many companies are unable to bring in the security talent they need. These issues are among the takeaways from Arbor Networks' 10th annual "Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report." The report, which analyzes the responses of nearly 300 network operators from an assortment of service providers, enterprises, and education and government organizations, is the latest reminder for information security professionals that their skills are increasingly more essential to doing business in the 21st century. "Today, organizations have a much wider and more sophisticated range of threats to worry about, and a much broader attack surface to defend," says Darren Anstee, a director and solutions architect for Arbor. "The business impact of a successful attack or breach can be devastating. The stakes are much higher now."

  • The intensifying debate over digital privacy demonstrates the vast complexities of this issue. On one hand, users appreciate the advantages of having one-on-one purchasing experiences with companies. That's how, through alerts and other techniques, they quickly find what they need online and save money on the transaction. On the other hand, analytics empowers businesses to collect and use consumer data in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Such dynamics are creating a perfect storm when it comes to consumer privacy, with a broad range of developing conflicts, trends and ethical challenges. To provide some insight, Constellation Research has published "Privacy Enters Adolescence: The State of Digital Safety and Privacy in 2015." The report, which has a list price of $995, includes big-picture themes that IT professionals and executives should consider—and even debate. We've adapted the following list of privacy themes based on the report, along with some best practices for enterprises trying to strike the right balance between business-benefiting innovation and respect for customers' personal information. "The digital world brings opportunities and risks that are without precedent in the history of commerce and society," according to the report's author, Steve Wilson. "Information paradoxically is both a commodity and, in the hands of analytics wizards, a great treasure. … Society's critical dependence on ubiquitous connectivity and frictionless access to data contrasts with traditional security and privacy practices, which unfortunately regard these very properties as a problem."