A new survey of CIOs worldwide from Brocade BRCD, -0.99% reveals the business impact of legacy infrastructures, and highlights the need for more innovative solutions to businesses network needs. In the Brocade Global CIO Survey 2015, 75 percent of CIO respondents stated their network is an issue in achieving their organizations goals. For almost a quarter of CIO’s polled, it is a “significant” issue.
The continued rise of new technologies, which fundamentally change the way businesses operate and engage with their customers, are responsible for a dramatic renaissance of the IT department. This has led to CIOs facing a range of challenges to contend with, and ultimately highlights a clear need for them to understand and embrace the opportunities offered by the New IP.
Ken Cheng, CTO and Senior VP of Corporate Development and Emerging Business for Brocade, commented, “The role of IT is changing from being an administrator of infrastructure to becoming an enabler of the business — driving innovation and new ways of working to revolutionize customer engagement and transactional processes. More than ever, the CIO has a critical role in advising the board and senior management on strategic business investments, but legacy infrastructure remains a major roadblock, prohibiting business agility and innovation. The New IP offers a way of addressing this, enabling business objectives to be met.”
The survey, conducted by independent research agency Vanson Bourne, polled 200 CIOs across six countries. Topline findings include:
-- CIOs are distracted by the business of keeping the lights on. Over half spend more than 50 percent of their time reactively citing network downtime/availability as one of the most likely reasons especially for CIOs with more than 1,000 employees in their organization. -- CIOs top concerns are security and fast deployment of and access to new applications and services, more than big data and analytics, communication and collaboration, or compliance with regulations. -- The top four technology issues CIOs need to address are: operational platforms (Oracle, SAP), data center upgrade/expansion, virtual, security, network upgrade/expansion. -- 40 percent of CIOs claim to be concerned about choosing the right vendors to deliver what the business is asking.
On the topic of cloud, the survey found:
-- Cloud is a given (90 percent have some form of cloud within their organization) but control of cloud acquisition is a different matter. Over one third of respondents state that cloud adoption without involvement from IT is not allowed but does or may happen anyway. -- CIOs concerns about non-authorised cloud include its (negative) impact on owned infrastructure performance, inability to manage the network and IT disputes with cloud providers. These are more likely to be worries than security, compliance, poor SLAs, inability to access data or the cost to the business due to duplication of spending. -- 83 percent of CIOs believe procurement of cloud services without IT engagement will increase. -- 82 percent admit this leads to fears about their job security, and one in five find such activities cause them extreme stress.
When questioned what most worries them in their role, the respondents answered:
-- 79 percent of CIOs were worried about the delivery of new services to support business growth -- 77 percent were concerned about delivering better analytics/data mining -- 68 percent of CIOs were worried about improving delivery of services, with the same percentage citing fast deployment of new applications as a significant concern -- Reducing organizations operational expenses was a top concern for 65 percent of the respondents
Research Methodology Vanson Bourne conducted a series of in-depth interviews with 200 CIOs from China, France, Germany, Russia, UK and the U.S. in late 2014, to understand the challenges a modern CIO faces in today’s rapidly changing IT environments. All respondents work for organizations with more than 250 employees. 81 percent of respondents work for organizations that have between 500 and 5,000 employees. A broad range of vertical industries are represented.
-- Brocade Global CIO Survey 2015 Report -- Brocade Global CIO Survey 2015 Interactive Infographic -- Brocade Global CIO Survey 2015 Infographic
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AMAZON ERROR ALLOWED ALEXA USER TO EAVESDROP ON ANOTHER HOME
A user of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant in Germany got access to more than a thousand recordings from another user because of “a human error” by the company.
The customer had asked to listen back to recordings of his own activities made by Alexa but he was also able to access 1,700 audio files from a stranger when Amazon sent him a link, German trade publication c’t reported.
“This unfortunate case was the result of a human error and an isolated single case,” an Amazon spokesman said.
The first customer had initially got no reply when he told Amazon about the access to the other recordings, the report said. The files were then deleted from the link provided by Amazon but he had already downloaded them on to his computer, added the report from c’t, part of German tech publisher Heise.
CRYPTOCURRENCY INDUSTRY FACES INSURANCE HURDLE TO MAINSTREAM AMBITIONS
Cryptocurrency exchanges and traders in Asia are struggling to insure themselves against the risk of hacks and theft, a factor they claim is deterring large fund managers from investing in a nascent market yet to be embraced by regulators.
Getting the buy-in from insurers would mark an important step in crypto industry efforts to show that it has solved the problem of storing digital assets safely following the reputational damage of a series of thefts, and allow it to attract investment from mainstream asset managers.
“Most institutionally minded crypto firms want to buy proper insurance, and in many cases, getting adequate insurance coverage is a regulatory or legal requirement,” said Henri Arslanian, PwC fintech and crypto leader for Asia.
“However, getting such coverage is almost impossible despite their best efforts.”
Many asset managers are interested in digital assets. A Greenwich Associates survey, published in September, said 72% of institutional investors who responded to the research firm believe crypto has a place in the future.
Last month, Mohamed El-Erian, Allianz’s chief economic adviser said that cryptocurrencies would gain wider acceptance as institutions began to invest in the space.
Most have held off investing so far however, citing regulatory uncertainty and a lack of faith in existing market infrastructure for storing and trading digital assets following a series of hacks, as well the plunge in prices.
The total market capitalisation of crypto currencies is currently estimated at approximately US$120bil (RM502bil) compared to over US$800bil (RM3.3tril) at its peak in January.
“Institutional investors who are interested in investing in crypto will have various requirements, including reliable custody and risk management arrangements,” said Hoi Tak Leung, a senior lawyer in Ashurst’s digital economy practice.
“Insufficient insurance coverage, particularly in a volatile industry such as crypto, will be a significant impediment to greater ‘institutionalisation’ of crypto investments.”
Regulatory uncertainty is another problem for large asset managers. While crypto currencies raise a number of concerns for regulators, including money laundering risks, few have set out clear frameworks for how cryptocurrencies should be traded, and by whom.
Insurance might allay some of the regulators’ concerns around cyber security. Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission recently said it was exploring regulating crypto exchanges, and signalled that the vast majority of the virtual assets held by a regulated exchange would need insurance cover.
Keeping crypto assets secure involves storing a 64 character alphanumeric private key. If the key is lost, the assets are effectively lost too.
Assets can be stored online, in so-called hot wallets, which are convenient to trade though vulnerable to being hacked, or in ‘cold’ offline storage solutions, safe from hacks, but often inconvenient to access frequently.
Over US$800mil worth of crypto currencies were stolen in the first half of this year according to data from Autonomous NEXT, a financial research firm.
Some institutions have started working to solve this problem, and may provide fierce competition to the incumbent players.
This year, Fidelity, and a group including Japanese investment bank Nomura have launched platforms that will offer custody services for digital assets.
Despite the industry’s complaints, insurers say that they do offer cover. Risk advisor Aon, received some two dozen inquiries this year from exchanges and crypto vaults seeking insurance, according to Thomas Cain, regional director, commercial risk solutions, at Aon’s Asian financial services and professions group.
“It is not difficult to insure companies that hold large amounts of crypto assets, but given the newness of the asset class and the publicity some of the crypto breaches have received, applicants need to make an effort to distinguish themselves,” Cain said.
The industry also says it is getting closer to solving the custody problem.
“This year there have been a number of developments, and some providers have developed custody solutions suitable for institutional clients’ needs,” said Tony Gravanis, managing director investments at blockchain investment firm Kenetic Capital.
“Players at the top end of the market have also been able to get insurance,” he said.
But this is not the case for all.
One cryptocurrency broker, declining to be named because of the subject’s sensitivity, said insurers struggled to understand the new technology and its implications, and that even those who were prepared to provide insurance would only offer limited cover. “We’ve not yet found an insurer who will offer coverage of a meaningful enough size to make it worthwhile,” he said. – Reuters
CTECH’S THURSDAY ROUNDUP OF ISRAELI TECH NEWS
Scrapped London Skyscraper set to dominate Tel Aviv skyline. A tower ditched mid-construction in London due to the economic downturn of 2008 is now being resurrected in Tel Aviv in the midst of the city’s unprecedented tech boom. Watch the video
Acquisition by Medtronic complete, Mazor delists. Medtronic paid $1.3 billion in cash for the Israeli surgical robotics company. Including Medtronic’s existing stake, the deal is valued at $1.7 billion. Read more
Israelis receive 8.5 spam calls a month, according to Truecaller. The country ranked last among the top 20 countries affected by spam calls in 2018, according to a new report released by the company. Read more
Innoviz expands globally, sets up a commercial manufacturing line in China.The Israel-based LiDAR maker has doubled its employee count in the past year and intends to recruit additional personnel for research and development, business and sales. Read more
Particle analyzer company PML sold following liquidation. The company developed electro-optical systems for monitoring and measuring fluid particle sizes and concentration.