CIO Symmetry

December 23, 2016  4:08 PM

Does EU’s charge against Facebook demonstrate ineptitude of regulators?

Brian Holak Brian Holak Profile: Brian Holak
cybersecurity, Hack, news

This news roundup was written by Mekhala Roy and Brian Holak.

What made headlines this week? Here, we run down the biggest tech news from the week of Dec. 19th.

Facebook is the latest tech giant to feel the heat from EU regulators. Following a $14.6 billion tax bill issued to Apple and biting antitrust charges against Google, the European Commission has charged Facebook with providing misleading information during its acquisition of the popular messaging service WhatsApp. The allegations center around WhatsApp’s recent, controversial privacy policy change that allows the Facebook-owned entity to share user data — including phone numbers and the last time subscribers used the service — with its parent company. The European Commission asserts that back in 2014 during the takeover probe, Facebook claimed it was impossible to reliably combine user accounts between the two companies. Facebook contests the Commission’s claims. Analysts think the allegation is representative of regulators’ overall lack of cognizance. “Regulators are, to a certain point, naïve and inept,” said Holger Mueller, principal analyst and VP at Constellation Research, Inc., “Whatsapp works on a phone number base to validate the user; as Facebook has phone numbers or users share them [with Facebook] — the connection can be made. Believing that Facebook does not have the tools is naïve.” Legislators and regulators in general are behind on technology capabilities, Mueller said, as we saw with the unlocking of the San Bernardino iPhone on the legislative side. Luckily for Facebook, the Commission has affirmed that its statement of objections will not affect their approval of the $22 billion merger, but the social media giant could face a fine of 1% of its turnover. Much ado about nothing?

Russia was in the news again this week, but for a different reason. It was discovered that a Russian cybercriminal ring has created more than 500,000 fake internet users and 250,000 fake websites to trick advertisers into paying it as much as $5 million a day for video ads that will never be seen, The New York Times reports. “This is a very advanced cyber operation on a scale no one’s seen before,” said Eddie Schwartz, COO at White Ops, the cybersecurity firm responsible for the discovery. The cyberforgers impersonated more than 6,100 news and online content publishers, siphoning more than $180 million in ad revenue so far from the digital marketing industry, according to CNN. This went on for two months without detection because the bots have gotten better at creating a “more perfect, life-like copy” of the browsers, according to White Ops CEO Michael Tiffany. White Ops went public with this information in an attempt to coordinate an industry-wide effort to stop it.

Executive departures continue in Twitter: The California-based microblogging service is losing yet another C-level executive: Adam Messinger, chief technology officer, announced his resignation Tuesday. “After 5 years I’ve decided to leave Twitter and take some time off. Grateful to @jack [CEO Jack Dorsey] for the opportunity and to my team for shipping,” Messinger tweeted. The news brought down Twitter shares by 4%. Messinger served as CTO at Twitter for almost four years. Also leaving is Josh McFarland, Twitter vice president of product. He is headed to Silicon Valley venture capital firm Greylock Partners. The two departures follow the resignations last month of Adam Bain, who served as chief operating officer, and Adam Sharp, head of news, government and elections. The company, which is going through hard times, slashed 9% of its workforce in October after failing to find an acquirer.

Verizon seeks to renegotiate deal terms: Verizon, which had agreed to buy Yahoo’s core internet business for $4.8 billion in July, is seeking a discount on the deal price “to reflect the economic damage” related to two Yahoo hacks, Fortune reported. Yahoo’s recent discovery of a billion-user hack that happened in 2013 came on the heels of its disclosure in September of a 2014 500 million-user hack. “There is no assurance that the Sale transaction will be consummated in a timely manner or at all,” Yahoo had warned investors in an SEC filing in October.

Beaming internet from space. Satellite startup OneWeb said Monday that it has secured $1 billion in funded capital from Japanese telecom and financial conglomerate SoftBank that will be used to launch 720 satellites into space in 2019. “The investment will support development to enable global access to affordable high-speed internet services for everyone, as well as using OneWeb’s leading technology for growing global markets including consumer broadband, connected cars, cellular backhaul and the internet of things,” SoftBank said in a statement. Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank, said the investment is a first step toward his pledge to invest $50 billion in the U.S. The satellites will be assembled at a new production facility in Exploration Park, Fla.

December 16, 2016  4:56 PM

What IT execs should learn from the Yahoo breach

Mekhala Roy Mekhala Roy Profile: Mekhala Roy

This week, Yahoo revealed that more than 1 billion accounts were compromised in a breach that took place in 2013. In Searchlight, Senior Executive Editor Linda Tucci spoke with experts to find out what’s different about the hack and how creating a layered approach to security and establishing a corporate security culture can help.

At the recent AI Summit in New York, Carlyle Group CIO Suhit Gupta talked about what makes artificial intelligence technology disruptive and why his organization is considering implementing this emerging technology. Editorial Director Sue Troy writes about the barriers to AI implementation and how to overcome those, as highlighted by Gupta at the event.

In this tip, Andrew Horne, IT practice leader at CEB, highlights CEB’s CIO outlook for 2017 in five steps.

This end-of-year story by Senior Site Editor John Moore looks back at the stories from 2016 that provide hints on how traditional enterprises can learn from startups.

In this tip, O.C. Tanner CTO Niel Nickolaisen forecasts the big IT trends for 2017 and offers pointers on what projects CIOs should be investing in. “We must identify the few things we need to do better than anyone else, innovate just those things and then leverage the innovation, specialization and expertise of others to provide what is not our specialty,” Nickolaisen suggests.

In this video, Ray Toler, vice president of IT and marketing at heat transfer technology company HTRI, advices new leaders in IT to learn their business; know what’s going on at the company and listen to people.

Last week, Forrester released a report on its post-election projections for the 2017 U.S. tech market. On TotalCIO, Features Writer Jason Sparapani highlights what analyst Andrew Bartels has to say about growing SaaS costs and why CIOs should pay attention to contract details and exit clauses.

Over on our SearchCompliance site, we have a four-part webcast on IoT cybersecurity by vArmour CISO Demetrios Lazarikos. In part one, Lazarikos explains the history of infosec and the three different categories included in the information security maturity model; in part two he talks about the future of IoT and its role in the evolution of technology; in part three Lazarikos briefs on some of the prominent IoT security issues and vulnerabilities and in the final part he answers questions on IoT security.

Please follow @SearchCIO, @SearchCIOSMB and @ITCompliance to get updates on new stories throughout the week.

December 9, 2016  6:44 PM

Trump’s tech policy: What CIOs should watch for

Brian Holak Brian Holak Profile: Brian Holak

President-elect Trump’s technology policies will impact the future of the enterprise, but that’s not the whole story. Following Trump’s invitation to tech leaders to talk policy, Features Writer Jason Sparapani explores how the president-elect’s policies themselves won’t be as important to CIOs as the economic impact those policies will have on the industry they’re in.

How do you decide between renewing vs. replacing software? CFOs at the recent MIT Sloan CFO Summit say it depends on business capabilities and cloud computing factors. In this Data Mill, Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski explores the topic of renewing vs. replacing software and presents advice for IT executives.

You can call it the rise of the chief data officer. A new report from Gartner finds that the CDO position is gaining clout as more companies establish a data office. Laskowski discusses the findings and the unique perspective that a CDO brings.

Just because there is a bigger push for deregulation doesn’t mean it’s the end of information governance investments. On SearchCompliance, governance expert Jeffery Ritter details the new business case for information governance investments and why they may prove more vital next year than ever before.

As we all know, sometimes the biggest security risks come from within. In this Q&A at the recent ISSA International Conference in Dallas, vArmour senior vice president and chief cybersecurity strategist Mark Weatherford explains why inadequate cloud security practices are endangering companies and offers advice for tackling the problem.

Please follow @SearchCIO, @SearchCIOSMB and @ITCompliance for our new stories throughout the week.

December 2, 2016  5:13 PM

Get future-ready for omnishoppers

Mekhala Roy Mekhala Roy Profile: Mekhala Roy

This week, Cyber Monday sales hit a new record with consumers spending $3.4 billion on online shopping. In Searchlight, Senior Executive Editor Linda Tucci spoke with research analysts to find out how digital savvy “omnishoppers” are transforming the U.S. e-commerce scenario and what that means for IT leaders.

In this opinion piece, Brown University’s Sandra Smith highlights the key skills that technology professionals must develop to become “high impact” business leaders.

O.C. Tanner CTO Niel Nickolaisen offers a strategy for IT organizations that can help prevent them from getting crushed by legacy systems and the pace of technology change.

At the recent Gartner Symposium in Orlando, SeacrchCIO caught up with Otto Berkes, CTO at CA Technologies and former CTO at HBO. In this video, Berkes emphasizes the need for setting attainable goals and focusing on innovation to aid digital transformation.

The December issue of our CIO Decisions e-zine is out! Read about why more companies are using AR and VR technologies and what impact these emerging technologies can have on digital business management. Also in this issue: MIT Media Lab’s Moral Machine project and Oral Roberts University CIO offers pointers on how IT can overcome the “IKEA effect”.

In this four-part webcast series, mobility consultant Bob Egan explains the impact of mobile technology on business operations, the benefits of investing in mobile security, how to establish a mobile security framework and why businesses should make mobile security and mobile information management a top investment priority.

Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential election raised questions about how opinion polls are conducted. Features Writer Jason Sparapani sat down with Harvard political scientist Gary King to find out what pollsters can do to improve future election predictions.

Over on Total CIO, Sparapani spoke with King to find out why stable voters matter more than opinion polls when it comes to elections and why organizations should exercise caution when shopping for survey research outfits.

Senior Executive Editor Linda Tucci reports from the 14th annual MIT Sloan CFO Summit, where the CFOs at Blue Apron and Redfin provided pointers about how to deal with the startup mindset.

Also from MIT Sloan CFO Summit: Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski writes about the differences between the  “consumer internet” and the “industrial internet,” as highlighted by Jeffrey Bornstein, SVP and CFO at General Electric Company, at the event.

At this week’s CTO Summit in San Francisco, Calif., Xavi Cortadellas, head of innovation at Gatorade, talked about what steps the company has taken to adapt to digitization.

At the recent ISSA International Conference in Dallas, SearchCompliance Senior Site Editor Ben Cole met with Delta Risk’s Stephanie Ewing-Ottmers and Chris Evans. In this video from our SearchCompliance site, Ewing-Ottmers and Evans offer their advice on infosec training best practices to help protect business data.

Want to protect your organization’s sensitive data from threat actors? A panel of CFOs at the recent MIT Sloan CFO Summit highlighted how hiring a CISO and implementing network segmentation can help.

In this GRC news roundup, read about how a Trump presidency could affect compliance; the recent ransomware attack on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority and how “dronejacking” may be the next big cyber threat.

Please follow @SearchCIO, @SearchCIOSMB and @ITCompliance to get updates on new stories throughout the week.

December 1, 2016  11:41 AM

Technology-driven innovation: No sweat for Gatorade

Brian Holak Brian Holak Profile: Brian Holak
Digital transformation, Digitization, innovation

If a 50-year-old sports drink company can embrace technology-driven innovation, you can too.

At this week’s CTO Summit in San Francisco, Calif., Xavi Cortadellas, head of innovation at Gatorade, discussed how the company is adapting to digitization by expanding its reach and shifting its focus from solving a sports drink problem to solving an athlete problem.

“From a science point of view, there was nothing really to be done with the product … so, we needed to start with a clear approach that would help us evolve the brand for the next 50 years,” Cortadellas said.

Gatorade’s innovation strategy centers around the development of its new digital platform, Gx, that is using technology to deliver mass personalization to athletes and fulfill their individual hydration needs.

Described by the company as a real-time hydration platform, Gx provides instant feedback on hydration level, fluid intake and fluid balance. It does this by using a sensor-filled “Digital Sweat Patch” to monitor fluid and salt levels and a smart cap bottle that gives visual feedback on fluid intake. Gx also offers different drink formulas depending on the individual’s hydration needs.

Athletes can receive real-time hydration reminders on their mobile devices before and after a sporting event. The real-time data collected from the platform can then be analyzed on a smart device to discover trends and figure out how an athlete can perform better on the field.


Launching online to consumers in 2017, Gx basically gives Gatorade a foothold in ecommerce, Cortadellas noted, which opens up a massive potential revenue stream and redefines the company’s relationship with customers.

The sports industry is one example of the increasing need for personalization and customization in today’s digital, customer-first world, but this trend is not new. Every industry is experiencing this shift.

Gatorade just found a way to change with the times.

Cortadellas admits that bringing technology-driven innovation to a product-based, traditional retailer  has been a challenge, but the key, according to him, is recognizing that — no matter what industry you’re in — technology-driven innovation needs to be personal and meaningful for the user.

One more pointer: Not everything needs a boost from innovation-driven technology, Cortadellas said. Small pilot and testing programs help you determine where technology can help bring business and customer value — and where it’s not needed.

November 23, 2016  4:09 PM

Is Microsoft-Linux alliance good for CIOs, open source?

Brian Holak Brian Holak Profile: Brian Holak

In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft has announced its plans to join The Linux Foundation, despite the companies’ less-than-friendly repertoire over the years. Senior Site Editor John Moore explores what this means for open source technology and CIOs.

At the recent SIM Boston Summit, SearchCIO caught up with two IT leaders to get their take on pertinent CIO topics. In the first video interview, Mikhail Papovsky, CEO at management consulting firm Abraic Inc., details the top challenges facing today’s CIOs. Then, Bhavani Amirthalingam, VP of information technology and business transformation at energy management company Schneider Electric, discusses developing an IoT business plan that works for IT and the business.

Perkins School for the Blind is working towards a more accessible future by taking advantage of cloud computing. Features Writer Jason Sparapani explores how cloud factors into the delivery of bus stop information to people with visual impairment and where the school plans to go from there.

There’s a new CIO at Facebook — Atish Banerjea, who joined the social media company last month. Martha Heller, CIO recruiter and president at Heller Search Associates, explains why he’s a good choice.

At the SIMposium conference in Connecticut, executive coach Michelle Lederman delved into three leadership tenets of the relationship-driven executive. Here, Assistant Editor Mekhala Roy details those tenants and the importance of overcoming the bad-boss syndrome.

Also from SIMposium: The massive DDoS attack on domain name server provider Dyn is the latest example of just how much damage can be caused from IoT-related attacks. In this IT Compliance Advisor blog post, read how that attack — and others — is a wake-up call for IT professionals to up the ante on IoT security.

Please follow @SearchCIO, @SearchCIOSMB and @ITCompliance for our new stories throughout the week.

November 18, 2016  6:08 PM

Change is the only constant in the digital age, says GE CFO

Mekhala Roy Mekhala Roy Profile: Mekhala Roy

This week, SearchCIO was at the MIT CFO Summit. In Searchlight, Associate Site Editor Brian Holak writes about General Electric Company SVP and CFO Jeff Bornstein’s advice on how embracing change helps build successful business leaders. Also in Searchlight: Facebook and Google ban fake news; Samsung to acquire Harman International Industries.

MIT Media Lab’s Scalable Cooperation Group is working on a project titled Moral Machine, a crowdsourcing platform that aims to get people talking about machine ethics. Senior News Write Nicole Laskowski talked with Edmond Awad and Sohan Dsouza, research assistants who developed the site in June, to find out more about the project.

In this Q&A, academic, author and analytics expert Tom Davenport briefs CIOs on how to get started on artificial intelligence, the technology that topped Gartner’s list of top 10 technology trends for 2017.

Contributor Mary K. Pratt talked to Brad Hardin, global CTO of construction and engineering company Black & Veatch, to find out how the company deployed Microsoft HoloLens to bridge the geographical gap between its employees and job sites spread across the world.

Todd Kimbriel, State of Texas CIO, knows that legacy IT systems can be a barrier to innovation, but 58% of the State’s 4,130 business applications are legacy systems. Pratt talked to Kimbriel to learn about his game plan for remedying the situation.

In our updated Essential Guide on IT metrics, learn about the need for a “metrics-driven pipeline” for developers, ways to measure cloud ROI and tips to overcome cloud performance issues.

In this GRC news roundup on our SearchCompliance site, read about the future of Dodd-Frank compliance regulations and how tech companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google are urging President-elect Trump to back encryption and cut down on online government surveillance.

Please follow @SearchCIO, @SearchCIOSMB and @ITCompliance to get updates on new stories throughout the week.

November 12, 2016  9:12 AM

Data lessons learned from Trump’s victory

Mekhala Roy Mekhala Roy Profile: Mekhala Roy

This week, the news of Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential election made headlines. In Searchlight, Features Writer Jason Sparapani talks to experts to find out whether Trump’s unexpected win signals the defeat of big data and analytics. Also in Searchlight: Yahoo hack could kill deal with Verizon and WhatsApp launches two-step verification for beta users.

At the recent Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Fla., SearchCIO staff wasn’t just taking notes about Gartner’s technology predictions for 2017. In this Symposium roundup, we highlight snapshots from our Instagram posts during the event and brief about the major themes, predictions and sessions.

At the Cambridge Cyber Summit last month, experts talked about the evolving nature of cyber threats and highlighted insider threats as a growing cyber concern for organizations. Over on our SearchCompliance site, read about the steps that an organization should adopt to thwart such threats.

Please follow @SearchCIO, @SearchCIOSMB and @ITCompliance to get updates on new stories throughout the week.

November 7, 2016  11:04 AM

Enterprise collaboration space heats up; the IT empowerment model

Brian Holak Brian Holak Profile: Brian Holak

Here’s what you missed last week on SearchCIO and SearchCompliance:

Microsoft Teams is poised to take on Slack. What does that say about the nature of work and the future of messaging in enterprise terms? In this week’s Searchlight column, Executive Editor Linda Tucci explores those questions and digs into the topic of enterprise collaboration. Also in Searchlight: CenturyLink’s $34 billion deal; Google’s official rejection of EU antitrust charges.

This year’s SIMposium conference in Connecticut was loaded with strategic advice and case studies for CIOs and IT executives to soak in — and Executive Editor Linda Tucci was there to report it all. First, Pfizer CIO Jeffrey Keisling disclosed a leadership trait that would help up-and-coming IT leaders get ahead. Then, in a two-part story, executive coach Susan Cramm urges CIOs to train the business to become technology proficient and details a step-by-step process for how IT can empower the business.

In this installment of Conference Notebook, Editorial Director Sue Troy reports from the recent Gartner Symposium on how Gartner is redefining how we think of Mode 1 and Mode 2 by emphasizing the symbiotic nature of the relationship between the two modes. Also from Gartner Symposium, Features Writer Jason Sparapani explains how non-IT higher-ed workers are becoming more technology-proficient — due to the ease of use — and are often a step ahead of IT on new apps and tools. Plus, Sparapani describes the important difference between two similar words: digitizing and digitalizing.

On the Total CIO blog, Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski reports from the recent EmTech event, detailing how to sell the business on the idea of AI and talking about the evolution of AI technology.

In our latest issue of our CIO Decisions ezine, we explore Facebook’s venture into the enterprise collaboration market with Workplace and why cooperation between business and IT remains vital to enterprise success.

Over on SearchCompliance, Editorial Assistant Christian Stafford runs down the latest GRC-related news, starting with how new privacy rules passed by the FCC could influence AT&T’s plans for its acquisition of Time Warner.

Please follow @SearchCIO, @SearchCIOSMB and @ITCompliance for our new stories throughout the week.

October 28, 2016  6:03 PM

CIOs, are you ready for immersive computing?

Mekhala Roy Mekhala Roy Profile: Mekhala Roy

This week, Microsoft announced a Windows 10 “Creators Update,” among other immersive computing features. “Windows 10 is the most ambitious upgrade to an operating system that Microsoft has ever developed,” the company said. In Searchlight, Associate Site Editor Brian Holak asks analysts what this update — and the company’s renewed focus on AR and VR — signify and what it means for CIOs.

Site Editor John Moore interviews IT leaders and organizational experts to find out how CIOs are working toward keeping pace with the changing work culture and how they are collaborating with the business side of their organization.

Best practice insight and technology company CEB recently collected IT budget data from about 150 companies worldwide. Here, CEB’s Andrew Horne highlights the five different trends in IT spending that the company unearthed from analyzing the data.

At the recent EmTech conference in Cambridge, Mass., AI was the talk of the town. Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski reports on the “AI at work” session, where Tom Davenport of Babson College and Vikram Mahidhar, senior vice president of AI solutions at RAGE Frameworks, shared their thoughts on artificial intelligence and how the enterprise should prepare for getting “serious about the application of AI.”

“We are in a war for talent, we want to get the best people we can and we can’t wait forever,” Joel Jacobs CIO at The MITRE Corp. said at the recent SIM Boston Technology Leadership Summit in Newton, Mass. Jacobs was on a panel discussing “The Fight for Talent: How to Mentor, Groom and Grow your Team”. Over on TotalCIO, Executive Editor Linda Tucci gives an overview of what panelists had to say about IT talent management systems.

Tech-talk was not all that was happening at the Gartner Symposium last week. Features Writer Jason Sparapani writes about all the exciting things happening in-between session. Read to find out what “special event” attendees got to enjoy during the conference this year and look at the photos that Sparapani took at the event.

The EU-US Privacy Shield framework, which replaced the Safe Harbor law, went into effect on July 12 this year. Over on our SearchCompliance site, Contributor Caron Carlson details how it differs from the Safe Harbor law, how companies can self-certify, penalties for companies that do not comply by the framework principles and how the Privacy Shield principles strive toward raising consumer privacy standards.

Please follow @SearchCIO, @SearchCIOSMB and @ITCompliance to get updates on new stories throughout the week.

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