Human Machine Partnership – Is 2018 the year of #MachineLearning?

Human Machine Partnerships2018 is all about the further rapprochement of man and machine. Dell Technologies predicts the key IT trends for 2018. Driven by technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things, the deepening of cooperation between man and machine will drive positively the digitization of companies. The following trends will and are shaping 2018:

 

Companies let AI to do data-driven thinking

 

In the next few years, companies will increasingly use the opportunity to let artificial intelligence (AI) think for themselves. In the AI systems, they set the parameters for classifying desired business outcomes, define the rules for their business activities, and set the framework for what constitutes an appropriate reward for their actions. Once these sets of rules are in place, the AI systems powered by data can show new business opportunities in near real time.

 

The “IQ” of objects is increasing exorbitantly

 

Computing and networking items over the Internet of Things are becoming increasingly cost effective. The embedding of intelligence into objects will therefore make gigantic progress in 2018. Networked device data, combined with the high levels of computing power and artificial intelligence, will enable organizations to orchestrate physical and human resources automatically. Employees are becoming “conductors” of their digital environments and smart objects act as their extension.

 

IQ of Things

 

AR headsets ultimate comeback in 2018

 

Its economic benefits have already been proven by augmented reality (AR). Many teams of designers, engineers or architects are already using AR headsets. Whether to visualize new buildings, to coordinate their activities on the basis of a uniform view of their developments or to instruct new employees “on the job” even if the responsible instructor cannot be physically present at the moment. In the future, AR will be the standard way to maximize employee efficiency and leverage the “swarm intelligence” of the workforce.

 

AR headsets

 

Strong bond of customer relationship

 

Next year, companies will be able to better understand their customers through predictive analytics, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) and use these technologies to improve their customer first strategies. Customer service will perfectly maintain the connection between man and machine. It will not be first-generation chatbots and pre-made messages that address customer concerns in the service, but teams of people and intelligent virtual agents.

 

Deeper Relationship with Customers

 

The “Bias Check” will be the new spell checker

 

Over the next decade, technologies such as AI and Virtual Reality (VR) will enable those responsible to evaluate information without prejudgment and make decisions in an entirely balanced way. In the short term, AI will be used in application and promotion procedures to bring out conscious or unconscious prejudices. VR is increasingly being used as an interviewing tool to cover the identity of applicants with the help of avatars. “Bias checks” – “prejudice checks” – could become the standard procedure in decision-making processes in the future, just as spell-checking is today when it comes to writing texts.

 

Bias check

 

The mega-cloud is coming up

In 2018, an overwhelming majority of companies will adopt a multi-cloud approach and combine the different cloud models. To overcome the associated cloud silos, the next step will be the mega-cloud. It will interweave the different public and private clouds of companies in such a way that they behave as a single holistic system. With the help of AI and ML, this IT environment will be fully automated and consistently evaluated.

 

mega-cloud

 

IT security is becoming more important than ever

 

In today’s increasingly connected world, IT security companies need more than ever to rely on third parties. They are no longer individual instances, but parts of a bigger whole. Even the smallest errors in any of the connected subsystems can potentiate to fatal failures in the entire ecosystem. In particular, for multinational corporations, it’s a must in 2018 to prioritize the implementation of security technologies. This development is further fueled by new regulations, such as the GDPR regulation of the EU.

 

 

E-sports gaming industry ready for mainstream

 

Not least driven by virtual reality, the phenomenon of e-sports for companies in the media and entertainment industry 2018 finally become a fixture. Millions of other players and viewers are jumping on the bandwagon and making continuity e-sports mainstream for 2018. This phenomenon is representative of a bigger trend: even original physical activities such as sports are digitized. In the future, every business will be a technological business, and people’s free time will be shaped by networked experiences.

 

“People have been living and working with machines for centuries,” says Dinko Eror, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Dell EMC Germany. “In 2018, however, this relationship is reaching a whole new level: man and machine will be more intertwined than ever, and that will change everything – from the way we do business to the design of leisure and entertainment.”

Business under pressure: Employees want same simple access to #CloudApplications as consumers

KEYFINDINGS - TWO FACTOR authentication

 

According to Gemalto research, nearly two-third (64%) of IT executives admit their security teams are considering using consumer-level access to cloud services in enterprise IT. The reason behind is the increasing spread of cloud applications and the use of different devices in companies.

 

Gemalto’s Identity and Access Management Index 2018 shows that the majority of them (54%) believe the authentication methods implemented are not as reliable as those used on popular sites like Amazon and Facebook application. For the index, more than 1,000 decision-makers from the IT sector were interviewed worldwide.

 

Due to the increasing number of cloud applications, more and more employees are performing their activities remotely. Thus, the pressure to strengthen the authentication mechanisms, while maintaining the user-friendliness increases. IT decision makers are therefore keen to introduce a “consumerized” filing process. In fact, 70% of IT professionals believe that consumer authentication methods can be adopted to secure access to corporate resources.

 

Despite these findings, 92% of IT managers express their concern that employees could also use their personal credentials in the work environment. However, 61% agree that they still do not implement two-factor authentication to access their networks and are thus easily exposed to cybercrime attacks.

 

At the same time, there seems to be a belief that new approaches to cloud access will solve these issues. Of respondents, 62% believe cloud access management tools could simplify the user sign-in process. On the other hand, 72% say that behind the idea of introducing a cloud-based access solution is the desire to reduce the risk of massive security breaches. In addition, 61% of respondents believe that inefficient identity management in the cloud environment is a key driver behind the adoption of a cloud-based access management solution. This in turn illustrates that scalability and management overhead are also high on the IT staff worries list.

 

“These results highlight the IT-related issues of finding a balanced solution that combines the need for a simple, easy-to-use login process with the security you need,” said Francois Lasnier, SVP for Gemalto’s Identity and Access Management. Although there is a need to facilitate operations for employees, this is a fine line. IT and business managers would be best advised to first identify the risks and vulnerabilities associated with the various applications used in their organization and then use the appropriate authentication method. In this way, they can ensure a user-friendly login process while maintaining access security.

 

With the increase in remote access, the cloud and secure access to applications have become important factors for businesses. As a result, nearly all (94%) of respondents believe that cloud-based access management plays a key role in bringing applications to the cloud. 9 out of 10 people believe that ineffective cloud access management can cause issues such as security issues (52%), inefficient use of IT staff time (39%), and increased operational costs and IT costs (38%). Although cloud application protection is paramount, only three of the 27 applications a company uses on average are protected by two-factor authentication.

 

Study also highlighted that the rapid growth of cloud applications brings many benefits to businesses, but also brings with them a high degree of fragmentation in terms of their ability to provide access security to numerous cloud and in-house applications. Without effective access management tools, it can increase the risk of security breaches, insufficient visibility into access events, and non-compliance, as well as hinder a company’s ability to scale in the cloud.

DevOps, Integration and Deployment- Why is this important and how to achieve results?

DevOps, Integration and Deployment

New technologies often have a hard time in the beginning. As always, a large number of doubters are contrasting to early users and adaptation. We still remember today the difficulties that VMware had with the acceptance of its virtualization concept in the early years, which increased in importance only after a few years and today plays a central role in IT.

 

A similar enlargement seems to be happening to DevOps at the moment. This technology stayed a hot subject for several years, but it has not arrived everywhere yet. But the willingness to use DevOps is growing steadily and the market is clearly moving upwards. Because as nowadays everything is changing faster and faster, existing applications must constantly be adapted, at an ever-increasing pace. Concerning the numbers of the present situation, the annual report of “State of DevOps Report 2017” reflects that the sum of employees in DevOps positions has doubled since 2014. Complications also often occur between developers and operational teams. The DevOps approach is a good way to overcome these problems.

 

What is DevOps? Well, more than a methodology for software development, DevOps is a culture, which is necessary to meet the current needs of companies in the development of software, websites, applications, etc. In the traditional model, the requirements for software were clear and carefully defined in advance. The definition of the product itself was also stable. The developers were responsible for the coding of the software, and the operational teams then had to implement it on the company’s systems or the web.

 

Sure, there are industries that are DevOps-savvy. Companies, for example, who have already taken the first steps in terms of digital transformation and develop their own applications and software. Meanwhile, companies that are still at the beginning of their digital transformation and do not yet run DevOps are asking themselves, “What is DevOps at all, what has Digital Transformation to do with it, and why do we need that?”

 

The Digital Transformation reveals internal company problems in DevOps implementation

 

The need for DevOps in itself arises only through the use of new IT technologies. The development and operational teams of the company that was previously completely independent of each other are brought up to work together. Optimizing this cooperation for the benefit of the company is the basic idea. IT is the ideal example for this. Traditionally, it has always been a stand-alone entity that ultimately provided only IT services to the rest of the company but otherwise had little intersections with other departments. Chronically overloaded, the IT of many companies had even isolated itself and developed a genuine hatred to many new IT-related requirements of the users, which was not seen as the core task of IT. Everything that was not part of the job of providing IT services was literally ironed out, for whatever reason.

 

At the same time, the value of digital applications has increased. The Internet in general, cloud computing, e-commerce, mobile apps, social media companies today offer companies many new ways to grow their businesses. However, the in-house IT is rarely responsible for the development of these opportunities, but they are mostly software developers who are employed in new in-house development departments and work more with marketing than with IT. This obvious gap between software development and IT operations teams is forcing the management of many companies to better integrate these departments in order to better implement innovative ideas.

 

This is necessary because the current structure of collaboration between development and IT is a real drag: developers are motivated to provide new applications and functionality, but their responsibility ends when the software is handed over to IT operations. And the Operations team plays in software development so far anyway no role, but only in the provision. Thus, the goals for developers and operations are in many cases totally contradictory, and the lack of cooperation between the two has a strong negative impact on the development and implementation of IT projects involving both sides.

 

The goal of DevOps practices is to eliminate these issues so that companies can implement new, digital projects faster and better. Thus, any company that seeks to implement such projects as part of its digital transformation can benefit from DevOps.

 

How is DevOps implemented in practice?

 

Of course, implementing DevOps successfully in practice is easier said than done. Implementing DevOps is far more complicated than just putting together the initial syllables of two words. Also, it is not enough just to buy a new technology or platform to fix the problem. The implementation is rather on two levels, the organizational and the technological level. Both levels need to be planned as part of a company-specific DevOps integration to work seamlessly together.

 

The integration of development and operations succeeds on an organizational level as a company identifies processes and practices that make teams work together more effectively. Technologically, DevOps seeks to automate the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes. Once automated, processes take much less time out of the IT department and greatly accelerate the delivery of new software. With the extra time, IT teams can more actively focus on new projects, and development teams can dramatically shorten their development cycles. In order to automate processes and improve development, there are several DevOps platforms whose implementation can make sense.

 

DevOps – part of the Digital Transformation

 

A company’s IT can make an important contribution to the success or failure of an organization. An important role for the future of an organization plays in this regard, the digital transformation, which is often led by the IT but must also include other parts of the company. DevOps is one of the means to successfully implement the Digital Transformation internally, as it provides a way to seamlessly integrate all parts of the IT environment into one project. But it’s not just about technology, it’s about corporate culture and internal processes. Organizations need to reunite these three areas to be in the fast lane when it comes to digital transformation.

CISCO: Cloud networking trends

Essential characteristics of cloud

The annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2016-2021) shows that data-center traffic is growing rapidly due to increasingly-used cloud applications. According to the study, global cloud traffic will reach 19.5 zettabytes (ZB) in 2021. This is an increase of 6.0 ZB compared to 2016, which is 3.3 times higher, with an annual growth rate of 27%. In three years, cloud traffic will account for 95 % of total traffic, compared to 88 % in 2016.

According to the study, both B2C and B2B applications contribute to the growth of cloud services. For consumers, video streams, social networking, and web search are among the most popular cloud-based apps. For employees, it’s ERP, collaboration and analysis solutions.

 

Security and IoT as a growth driver

Increasing IoT applications, such as smart cars, smart cities, connected healthcare and digital care, require a highly scalable server and storage solutions to meet new and expanded data center needs. In 2021, there will be 13.7 billion IoT connections, compared to 5.8 billion in 2016, the study said.

In the past, security concerns were a major barrier to cloud usage. Improvements in data center control and data control reduce the risk to businesses and better protect customer information. New security features coupled with tangible benefits from cloud computing, such as scalability and efficiency, play an important role in cloud growth.

 

Hyperscale Datacenters Growth

The increasing demand for data center and cloud capacity has led to the development of hyper-scaled public clouds based on Hyper-scale data centers. The study predicts that there will be 628hyper-scale data centers worldwide in 2021, compared to 338 in 2016, nearly the double. In three years Hyperscale data centers will have:

  • 53 % of all data center servers (2016: 27 %)
  • 69 % of the computing power of data centers (2016: 41 %)
  • 65 % of data center data stored (2016: 51 %)
  • 55 % of all datacenter traffic (2016: 39 %)

The growth of data center applications is exploding in this new multi-cloud world. The predicted increase requires further innovation, especially in the public, private and hybrid cloud sectors.

 

Virtualization of data centers and cloud computing growth

By 2021, 94 % of the workloads and server will be processed in cloud data centers, the remaining 6 % in traditional data centers. All data center workloads and server instances will more than double (2.3x) between 2016 and 2021, while cloud-based workloads and server instances will almost triple (2.7x) over the same period).

The density of workloads and server instances in cloud data centers was 8.8 in 2016, rising to 13.2 by 2021. In traditional data centers, density increases from 2.4 to 3.8 over the same period.

 

Big Data and IoT fuel data explosion

Worldwide, the amount of data stored in data centers will increase almost fivefold, from 286 Exabytes in 2016 to 1.3 ZB 2021 (4.6x, with annual growth of 36%). Big data will grow almost 8x, from 25 to 403 EB. In 2021, it will contain 30 % of all data stored in data centers compared to 18 % in 2016.

The amount of stored data in devices in 2021 will be 4.5 times higher at 5.9 ZB than data stored in data centers. Mainly due to the IoT, the total amount of generated data (which will not necessarily be saved) will reach 847 eg by 2021, in 2016 it was 218 eg. This generates more than 100 times more data than saved.

 

Applications contribute to data growth

By 2021, Big Data will account for 20% (2.5 ZB annually, 209 EB monthly) of data center traffic, compared to 12 % (593 EB annually, 49 EB monthly) in 2016, video streaming will account for 10 % of data center traffic, compared to 9 % in 2016. Video will account for 85 % of data center traffic to users, compared to 78 % in 2016, internet search will account for 20 % of data center traffic, compared to 28 % in 2016, social networks will account for 22 % of data center traffic, compared to 20 % in 2016.

 

SaaS is the most popular cloud service model by 2021

By 2021, 75 % (402 millions) of all cloud workloads and server instances will be SaaS-based, compared to 71 % (141 million) in 2016 (which represents 23 % of annual growth).

16 % (85 millions) of all cloud workloads and server instances will be IaaS-based, compared to 21 % (42 million) in 2016 (which represents 15 % annual growth).

9 % (46 millions) of all cloud workloads and server instances will be PaaS-based, compared to 8 % (16 million) in 2016 (which represents 23% annual growth rate).

 

As part of the study, cloud computing includes platforms that provide continuous, on-demand network access to configurable resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services). These can be quickly deployed and shared with minimal management effort or interactions with service providers. Deployment models include Private, Public, and Hybrid Clouds. Cloud data centers can be operated by both service providers and private companies.

 

The key differences between cloud data centers and traditional data centers are virtualization, standardization, automation, and security. Cloud data centers offer higher performance, higher capacity, and easier management compared to traditional data centers. Virtualization serves as promoter for the consolidation of hardware and software, greater automation and an integrated approach to security.

When is a Cloud Service Provider GDPR-suitable?

Cloud providers are much more committed to the Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) than before. As of 25 May 2018, the new regulation on the processing of personal data will apply – but what exactly does that mean for us as a cloud user? How do you know if a service or provider meets GDPR requirements? And when does a cloud service actually qualify as a GDPR -compliant?

 

The values governing the processing of personal data are initially governed by Article 5 (1) of the GDPR; Further regulations can be found, inter alia. in Articles 25 and 32. In what follows, explanations on main demands are, especially in relation to cloud services, can be found.

 

Data must be processed lawfully and fairly – GDPR Art. 5

 

The processing of personal data in the cloud is legal only if the data subject has consented or if another legal basis exists. The data processing must take place in a manner that is comprehensible to the person concerned, i.e. the cloud provider must be able to provide clear guarantees as the transparency is now included as a fundamental aspect of these principles.

 

Confidentiality, integrity and availability – GDPR Art. 5.1 f & Art. 32

 

The data must be processed in a manner that ensures adequate security of the data, including protection against unlawful processing, loss or damage. Furthermore, the processing must not be expected to breach the dignity of the persons concerned or to restrict their freedoms.

 

Security and state of the art processing- GDPR Art. 32

 

During the processing, a sufficiently high security must be guaranteed. The legislator demands that the level of security be constantly improved and always based on the so-called “state of the art” methods.

 

Privacy by Design and Privacy by Default – GDPR Art. 25

 

Taking into account the state of art, Data protection must be guaranteed by privacy-friendly technology design (Privacy by Design) and privacy-friendly default settings (Privacy by Default).

 

Accountability – GDPR Art. 5.2, Art.28, Art 30 & Art.35  

 

Basically, the controller is responsible for compliance with all mentioned requirements and must be able to prove this in advance (accountability). He must include the processing in the cloud in his directory of processing activities and, if necessary, conduct a risk analysis, a so-called privacy impact assessment. The controller now shares this responsibility with the cloud provider, who in turn also has to provide sufficient guarantees that the requirements of the GDPR are complied with.

 

Processing – GDPR Art. 28

 

In cloud computing, the user orders the provider to process the data. In order for the cloud user to be able to live up to his responsibility to the data subjects in this case too, he ensures his agreement with the cloud provider with an order processing agreement that also fulfils the requirements of the GDPR. Part of such an agreement must be that the cloud provider provides all information necessary to demonstrate compliance with the requirements.

 

Proof by certificates

 

Of course, for you as a cloud user, it is difficult and almost unacceptable to check compliance with these requirements yourself. It is helpful that cloud providers can use an “approved certification process in accordance with Article 42 to demonstrate compliance with the above requirements. Although no “approved” certificate is yet available, this does not mean that certificates specifically aimed at the requirements of the GDPR cannot already be used as proof of GDPR conformity.

 

For example, the Trusted Cloud Data Protection Profile (TCDP) was developed with respect to the GDPR. Certifications according to the TCDP should be converted into certificates according to the GDPR standard after the extension of the procedure and standard test. With the research project “AUDITOR” there is also a follow-up project to the TCDP, whose goal is the conception and implementation of an applicable EU-wide data protection certification of cloud services. The first catalog with certification criteria should be completed by the end of April 2018.

 

So, if you choose a cloud service that is TCDP certified, you’re already on the safe side; From the deadline of May 25, you should additionally ensure that the conversion into a certificate according to the GDPR standard actually takes place or that the service proves compliance with the GDPR with another suitable certificate.

2017 Digital Evolution Report – CyberCrime, Digitization, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence

Cyber-crime, Smart-Cities, Digitization, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence are those words which really got the hype on the platform of IT in 2017. Cybercriminals have smacked many companies many times. Digitization is progressing despite lame internet connections. Blockchain became Gold Chain and Artificial Intelligence is experiencing an incredible revival.

Key Technologies 2017

Ransomware: The ransom and the cyber blackmailer

 

Ransomware remains a leader in digital security threats. According to ITRC Data Breach report, in 2015 more than 177,866,236 personal records exposed via 780 data security breaches, and the previous mentioned number lift up to 30% in 2016 with security breaches arising on multiple fronts, companies, healthcare systems, governmental and educational entities, and individuals started to realize how real the threat of cybersecurity attacks was. 2017 so far, was a very highlighted year for cyber-crimes. 519 Cyber-attacks were placed from Jan 2017 until September 2017 affecting financial sectors, health-care sectors, gaming companies, containing information about credit cards, health data of billions of people around the world. With all these attacks phishing, spying on webcams or networked household appliances (IoT) remain risky.

 

Very popular in this year’s cyber attack list are the #wannacry and Equifax data breach attacks. These attacks unbaled 300000 computer systems for 4 days and affected financial data on more than 800 million customers and 88 million businesses worldwide and more than 45% of all detected ransomware.

Cyber policies are currently very much in vogue, but in which cases of damage do these insurances actually comes in? ABA, American Bankers Association, explains how companies should best go about finding a suitable policy and what makes good cyber insurance.

 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): What needs to be changed?

 

Companies only have a few months left to prepare for the new European #DataProtection Regulation. On 25 May 2018, all companies managing personal data of citizens of the European Union will be required to comply with the new regulations and requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

This regulation will impose significant new obligations on companies that manage personal data, as well as severe penalties for those who’ll violate these rules, including fines of up to 4% of global turnover or € 20 million highest amount being withheld. But what is to change concretely? Here is a “Guide to compliance with the EU GDPR” and a framework to become step by step GDPR-fit.

 

Digital Transformation: Slow Internet connections as a brake pad

 

Digitization is progressing, but most users still complain about slow Internet connections. Despite the 7th place in the worldwide internet ranking, Belgium is still far behind the world’s fastest internet country. Notwithstanding all the shortcomings of the national IT infrastructure, companies are dealing with the technical and organizational challenges that result from the digital IT transformation.

 

The crazy rise of Bitcoin

 

In the period of a year the value of bitcoin has been multiplied by ten. A bitcoin was worth “only” 1000 dollars on January 1, 2017 … and 8000 dollars ten days ago. In April 2017 Japan officially recognised bitcoin and virtual currencies as legal methods of payment. You should know that Bitcoin represents less than 50% of the money supply of all cryptocurrencies in circulation. this is partly explained by the network situation and the rise of the Ethereum currency. Even if bitcoin is a legal in the vast majority of countries around the world, only a few governments have recognized the legal status of bitcoin in a particular regulatory manner.

 

IoT Projects: The 5 Biggest Mistakes and the Five Steps to Success

 

Closely linked to Digital Change is Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 projects. Pioneers already pointed out the four biggest mistakes in IoT projects. If a company wants to exploit the potential of the IOT, it means a lot of work and often frustration – the technical, commercial and cultural challenges are manifold. Until an IoT solution is successfully established on the market, many decisions have to be carefully considered.

But how does an IoT project succeed? Four steps are needed to make an IoT project a success.

 

Blockchain: The new gold chain

The blockchain is a much-debated technology with disruptive potential and three key characteristics: decentralization, immutability, and transparency. It could help to automate business processes, increase the security of transactions and replace intermediaries such as notaries or banks. Blockchain turns out to be the silent revolution that will change our lives. On top of that, it can turn into a gold chain for early adopters.

 

Cloud: Companies use public cloud despite security concerns

For years, companies have avoided the public cloud, as it is difficult to get a grip on in terms of security. However, this year, companies in the EMEA region increased their investment in the public cloud despite ongoing security concerns and lack of understanding of who is responsible for data security. However, caution is still needed to provide attacks such as wannacry.

 

Artificial intelligence

In 2016, Gartner put artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning in first place in its forecast for 2017, stating that this trend was really pronounced during 2017. Briefly 80 % of companies have already invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Nevertheless, one out of every 3 deciders believes that their organization needs to spend more on AI technology over the upcoming years if they want to keep pace with their competitors. Artificial intelligence penetrates into all areas of life. But how does it work?

One example is the automated and personalized customer approach to AI. With personalized campaigns and individual customer approach, the marketing of the future wants to win the battle for the buyer. As a rule, the necessary data are already available in companies, but the resources and software tools for their profitable use are not.
In 2018 Businesses will have an availability of AI-supported applications and should therefore focus on the commercial results achieved through these applications that exploit narrow AI technologies and leave the AI in the general sense to researchers and writers of science fiction;

 

The future of the human worker

AI systems can be used without a doubt. The world is becoming increasingly complex, which requires a thoughtful and wise use of our human resources. This can support high-quality computer systems. This also applies to applications that require intelligence. The flip side of AI is that many people are scared about the possibility of smart machines, arguing that intelligence is something unique, which is what characterizes Homo Sapiens. Not only that but many people still think that Artificial intelligence is the new threat to employment. It will replace the man and steal all the jobs. And they thinks that the future is dark.

Yet technological progress has never caused unemployment. On the contrary, since the industrial revolution, employment has multiplied. But, always, with each progress, fears resurge. Today, it is artificial intelligence that scares, or is used to scare. Economic history, and economic science therefore invites us to remain calm in the face of technological progress in general, and artificial intelligence in particular. By allowing the invention of new things to be exchanged, by stimulating entrepreneurship, it is not a danger but only an opportunity.

 

DATA based business models

Data Driven Business Model puts data at the center of value creation. This central place of data in the Business Model can be translated in different ways: analysis, observation of customer behaviour, understanding of customer experience, improvement of existing products and services, strategic decision-making, and marketing of data.

These data can be gathered from different sources, generated directly by the company, processed and enriched by various analyses and highlighted by data access and visualization platforms. Once data is collected, It’s essential to manage the multiple sources of data and identify which areas will bring the most benefit. Tracking the right data points within an organization can be profitable during the decision-making process. This allows an organization’s management to make data-driven decisions while amplifying synergy within the day-to-day operations.
As for revenue models, these can be based on a direct sale of data, a license, a lease, a subscription or a free provision financed by advertising.

 

6 Tips for Deploying #CustomerService in the #Cloud

One of the biggest challenges facing companies is figuring out how to assist consumers, in an innovative and better way, in an environment where customer engagement is rapidly variable. Implementing a successful customer experience strategy means organizations need to be responsive enough to serve customers on their own terms across the entire customer experience lifecycle. Therefore, shifting customer service to the cloud in the form of a contact centre offers many advantages, especially for fast-growing companies: from flexible sourcing models to a low burden on their own IT and high scalability.

Cloud customer service maturity model

This is immensely important, especially in the case of occasionally high loads, for example in the customer service of mobile service providers in case of a network outage or in e-commerce on Black Friday in e-commerce. When choosing a contact centre solution from the cloud, companies should consider these six criteria.

 

  1. Distributed Micro-services Architecture for Independent Clients

 

Although old cloud applications are, most of the time, multi-client capable, they are often designed as a set of interdependent components. Often, an error in one of the components also results as an error in other components. In a kind of chain reaction, several clients can fail – or in the worst case – all at once. To avoid this, a cloud solution should divide its functionality into many micro-services that is able to work independently of each other. For example, one micro-service handles voicemail messages while another distributes incoming calls. In addition, the micro-services are scalable independently. If a client needs to send a million e-mails at short notice, the capacity of the micro-service is automatically increased to handle this load without affecting the functionality of other clients. In addition, cloud solutions can be continuously updated with such an architecture, bugs can be quickly removed, and new features can be quickly imported without – as with conventional systems – having an effect on other system modules or clients. The entire platform can continue to be actively used by all users.

 

  1. Accessibility of important functions even without Internet

Customers today expect constant accessibility from their service centre and have no understanding of IT outages. Especially with cloud applications, the services must be reachable, even if the internet connection is interrupted there. This is possible, for example, via local components in the corporate network, which maintains basic applications such as a PBX telephone system, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) and other functions even without an Internet connection.

 

  1. Integration into existing IT

One of the big challenges of Cloud Contact Centres is the integration into the existing IT infrastructure. Often, users need to hold multiple passwords and login multiple times. Another obstacle is often the lack of synchronization with other systems such as Active Directory and Exchange. As a result, employee accounts must always be created, deleted and managed separately. In addition, integration with customer relationship software (CRM), such as Salesforce, often requires customization of the contact centre software and experiences additional costs with each software update.

A cloud-based contact centre solution that communicates with the company on the basis of certificates and encrypted networks can help here. With ready-made plug-ins for the most common systems, it can be synchronized with an Active Integrated Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, Salesforce, SAP, SQL Server, Oracle, and many more. The overhead is reduced and all data is always up-to-date and easily accessible to contact centre employees, whether they are in the enterprise network or in the cloud.

 

  1. Easy and fast configuration

Contact centres from the cloud are also attractive for small and mid-sized businesses, which can save significant IT resources. However, these companies often need to be extremely flexible and can quickly deploy new solutions. Also for companies that want to grow strongly, a cloud solution is suitable: New locations or even newly acquired companies can be quickly integrated into the network. With a cloud solution, all features are available over the Internet, eliminating the need for costly MPLS connectivity or local enterprise network installations.

 

  1. Independence from a fix location

The workplace of the future is more likely to be part of classic offices. According to a Bitkom survey, a good four out of ten companies (43%) expect the proportion of home office employees to continue to rise over the next five to ten years. Business software should, therefore, be reachable from any location via a web interface and an internet connection. Multinational companies also need a multi-language version and compliance-compliant data management.

 

  1. Multiple security systems

Especially with cloud applications, there are still numerous concerns about security issues, which puts breaks in use of cloud computing. In order to promote cloud use in Europe, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has published a guideline for assessing security risks and data protection. These ENISA recommendations provide a very good orientation for quickly, inexpensively and professionally finding a secure cloud provider that adequately implements existing security concepts.

Cloud providers are also helping to address the concerns and benefits of cloud solutions. Modern cloud solutions work end-to-end with encrypted data so that no outsider can access or hack them. Also, such solutions provide the option for more secure access to sensitive corporate data that resides not on the cloud but on the corporate servers.

Companies that consider choosing a cloud contact centre solution that meets their needs with these six criteria are able to provide consistently good service to their customers, make for happier employees, stay agile and are well prepared for fast growth. And when done right, however, the enterprise can have a unique customer culture and a sustained competitive advantage over the long-term.

#CloudComputing: Fix The Present Before You Plan The Future

Cloudcomputing

Cloud computing is leading to a major transformation in the terms of digital technology by companies in all economic sectors. The associated challenges relate not only to activity and job creation among digital players, but also to a competitive gain that can be realized by all user companies.

 

The cloud computing model consists of providing remote and on-demand computing resources, infrastructure, platforms or application software. The advantages in terms of cost reduction and ease of access lead to this rapid adoption, which results in a gradual but decisive change in the information systems, activities and related markets.

 

However, complexity and lack of integration is slowing down companies’ adoption of the cloud, according to a study conducted by Oracle on the EMEA area. The wide gap between central IT and the rest of the organization is directing many companies towards a bad approach of the cloud.

 

While many European companies are adopting the Cloud Computing, nearly half of them are facing difficulties due to increased integration costs and data storage. One of the main reasons for this situation is that more than 60% of a company’s total IT spending is now directly managed by the different business units, instead of IT department, which prevents companies from benefiting from cloud services to which they subscribe to. To avoid these problems, IT department must be the one responsible for providing the funds to keep other departments running. Because the budget is an important tool for identifying and executing the IT initiatives that are crucial to each department, therefore it should be well discussed between IT department together with CIOs.

 

Study also revealed that organizations continue to finance their IT investments without taking into account potential revenue and innovative projects: 2/3 decision-makers claim that funding their IT is too traditional and penalizes innovation, and 1/3 decision-maker admit that the IT funding models of their organization are hindering IT innovation. As IT budget can be divided across various categories, depending on the complexity and sophistication of your company/department and its structure, it must reflect benefits of IT strategy. For example, if you’ve been communicating a strategy of migrating to the cloud and highlighting the operational savings, you should reflect those advantages and use them as justification for budget allotment.

 

Companies need to rethink their IT financing models and undertake a profound cultural transformation in order to fully exploit all the benefits of the cloud. 33% of respondents say that an inadequate model of IT funding is currently penalizing their business. 33% are also convinced that their company’s IT culture is insufficient for the cloud age. As a result, 72% of respondents say that a new cloud financing model will allow IT to offer more cloud services to the company, and 70% say it will allow the company to reduce its costs.

 

Problems that companies are facing in cloud computing adoption are less about technology but it’s about the difficulties of synchronization between the different business units. Managers of each department are increasingly making cloud purchasing decisions without involving the CIO or the IT department advice, especially because these purchases are very easy to make. So to be successful with digital business transformation and optimization, CIOs and leaders must brainstorm and communicate the strategy to allow IT spending and functional resource costs to be connected to business processes, outcomes and goals. By developing multiple views of the IT budget and resource allocations per department they can provide a better IT service supply on demand.

The Lessons of #CloudComputing – What Have We Learned So Far?

Cloud computing

In a remarkably short period of time, cloud computing has moved from a marginal to a fundamental element of IT operations. Thus, in just ten years, CIOs were presented with an opportunity to break the rules and create a new model for the implementation of IT. The cloud now regroups one-third of all spending on IT infrastructure, according to IDC. In terms of software, Gartner predicts the worldwide total spending in business applications of cloud services will grow 18% in 2017 to $246.8B, up from $209.2B in 2016.

While cloud computing is essential in the IT strategy, it’s good to highlight where the cloud has brought benefits and in which areas companies still have to prove.

Let’s find below what is working and where there is still work to be done.

 

Practice of cloud computing to bridge gaps in services

Cloud computing should be seen as a form of flexible outsourcing. It is only one vector among others for the provision of services. In computing on demand, what matters is how the company subscribes to services and benefits, not how they are delivered.

Cloud computing has the advantage of offering a very different model from the traditional ways of purchasing enterprise computing, where an ISD would acquire hardware and software for a specific location. This may be appropriate for services limited to a regional market, but can encounter problems of latency at the global level. This can be very problematic, especially if you are managing IT for a highly transactional business such as a financial institution, or if you ship large amounts of data, such as in oil and gas exploration. The cloud enables CIOs to ease these performance issues by purchasing on-demand computing to create omnipresent service delivery.

You can rely on the third party to provide the diverse service you need, while they, as an expert, have the capability to deliver peak capabilities and performance where and when you need it.  As a CIO, you can expect the platform to work and be available. Now, many IT executives will do their best to avoid possessing new physical hardware, while being assured that the service will be well provided. The cloud enables IT managers to take a step towards hosting and achieve high levels of backup and security for a defined fee.

 

Adopt a cloud computing mindset

A company must have a long-term goal to migrate as much IT capacity to the cloud as it provides a cost-effective way to gain access to new skills and expertise. It can be difficult to keep in touch of all the innovations associated with the cloud; so, make sure to spend enough time to brainstorm and talking with future IT professionals to get an idea of ​​what’s going to happen. They are probably more aware of the next big phenomenon that will affect the company. The culture that surrounds IT management is evolving, and that’s why you have to take a look at the new services that are available on the market and encourage employees to adopt a mindset favoring cloud computing.

However, a migration to the cloud must be carefully managed, including governance and information security. By definition, major providers (such as Amazon and Google) should be much better at securing data. However, CIOs need to be aware that convincing the rest of the company of the benefits of cloud computing can be a slow process, particularly with regard to governance, security and approval issues.

 

Let the cloud take care of core domains

Cloud computing integration must bring a tremendous solution to your organization’s operational challenge. The starting point concerns a number of core areas that CIOs can easily deliver on demand.

If you are using products such as Salesforce and Office 365, you’d have to be crazy to want to host them yourself. Better to let someone else, expert in this field, take charge of your operational concerns. The cloud also serves as a one-time solution to problems involving certain operational projects.

 

Finding a balance and determining how to manage legacy systems

IT managers would be foolish to dismiss cloud computing, if only in terms of the quality of the service. However, while businesses will continue to migrate on-demand services, much remains to be done. We’ve noticed that some companies are opting ​​for an on-demand model and there are others that buy more internal resources.

For CIOs, moving to an on-demand model can be a headache. You have your systems inherited and at some point, you will have to consider migrating these services to cloud computing, but it’s possible, as the momentum is in favor of computing demand, despite persistent concerns about security and governance.

 

Security and Privacy

The main challenge to cloud computing is how it addresses the security and privacy concerns of businesses thinking of adopting it. The fact that the valuable enterprise data will reside outside the corporate firewall raises serious concerns. After the #WannaCry attack, hacking and various attacks to cloud infrastructure are affecting multiple (potential) clients. These risks can be mitigated by using security applications, encrypted file systems, data loss software, and buying security hardware to track unusual behavior across servers.

 

Reliability and Availability

Cloud providers still lack round-the-clock service; this results in frequent outages. It is important to monitor the service being provided using internal or third-party tools. It is vital to have plans to supervise usage, SLAs, performance, robustness, and business dependency of these services.

Survey: Is #CloudSecurity Still a Concern in 2017

The need to run Business more efficiently, improve time-to-market and enhance user experience is driving more and more enterprises to embrace the cloud as part of their IT strategy. You must note that “Cloud” still has many different meanings; IaaS, SaaS, PaaS and so on. Equally interesting is the fact that enterprises today deploy a variety of cloud delivery models to restructure processes and increase agility. IT teams usually have good visibility into and control over their on-premise networks. But when it comes to cloud environments, it’s not as easy to see and react to threats. Regardless of how your organization defines “Cloud”, it’s important to make sure your security can adapt to your organization’s cloud strategies.

 

57% of companies remain skeptical about the security of migration to cloud environments. The loss of “physical control” of data remains a major concern. Companies are still suspicious about the risk of switching from traditional computing to cloud computing environments, reveals a new study by Forbes, which also mentions that the massive trend is towards migration to the cloud.

Cloud Security

The survey reveals that even if the cloud is not a new technology, this market still has a strong growth potential, if security is strong. Forbes says that 65% of companies remain skeptical about the security of migration to cloud environments. Specifically, 40% of companies are concerned about the loss of “physical control” of the data involved in cloud computing.

 

The study also finds that companies seem more comfortable with hybrid cloud deployments in this period of migration to the cloud. 44% of organizations prefer this method. In addition to that, Hybrid cloud adoption grew 3X in the last year, increasing from 19% to 57% of organizations surveyed. Private clouds also seem to be a safer option for many.

 

Think Security Upstream of Cloud Migration Projects

Security Threat in clouds

At the top of the cloud migration concerns, unauthorized access ranks first among 61% of respondents in the study. For 52% online piracy is a second fear.

Cloud security risks are on the top of the barriers list of cloud adoption (33%). The most dramatic shift is the lack of staff and expertise to manage cloud security (28%) – moving from #5 to #2 and trading places with legal and regulatory concerns (24%) as key barriers to cloud adoption.

 

Finally, it is noted that companies are increasingly considering enhancing the security upstream of their cloud deployments, with a focus on new internal policies. 56% of respondents said they plan to improve identity management and authentication. 51% of companies use encryption to go to the cloud. Finally, 45% of medium and large companies plan to implement audits as part of a migration to the cloud.

 

Only 13% of companies still reject the idea of ​​moving to cloud computing infrastructures. But 30% admit that if they perceive that security is improving, they may reconsider their point of view. While process efficiencies and network agility are key cloud drivers, enterprises of all sizes continually cite cloud security as their top concern. Despite this, cloud adoption continues to rise.

 

Cloud adoption certainly provides many benefits, but enterprise security needs to adapt to this new environment. The end goal of a cloud security strategy must be to permit organizations to realize the full benefits of the cloud without letting security slow them down.

*For the survey, more than 600 IT professionals worldwide, in various sectors, were selected.