Prep for continuous delivery with iterative development

Are you ready for continuous delivery? This article explains how an established, iterative development practice puts you on the right path.

If you aren’t practicing iterative development, you aren’t ready for continuous delivery.

If you aren’t doing automated testing, you aren’t ready for continuous delivery.

If you don’t have a quick way to see what happens to code when it’s deployed on your infrastructure, you aren’t ready for continuous delivery.

If you don’t have a staging environment for review before production release, you aren’t ready for continuous delivery.

If the business you work for hasn’t made a commitment to continuous delivery, you cannot reap the full benefit of ongoing, rapid software releases.

 “Continuous delivery is the sum of a series of practices,” said Carl Caum, prototype engineer at Puppet Labs. “The end goal is to deploy every [software] change at the push of a button. But there are numerous problems you have to solve before you can do that.”

In this two-part series, Caum and other continuous delivery experts outline those problems — which define the prerequisites for charting a course to continuous delivery. This article, the first in the series, discusses what continuous delivery is, and explains how an established, iterative development practice sets the foundation for this new way of releasing software.

The second article in the series examines why automated testing, adopting infrastructure-as-code practices and establishing a staging environment are essential aspects of this new approach to delivering software.

Neither tip in this two-part series focuses primarily on the business benefits of continuous delivery. But it bears repeating that software organizations cannot succeed at continuous delivery unless they make a sustained commitment to this process. “Fundamentally, continuous delivery is a business decision, and if management doesn’t get it, it’s a tough sell.” said Mary Poppendieck, co-author with Tom Poppendieck of The Lean Mindset, among other books.

Read more at: TechTarget-Prep for continuous delivery with iterative development by Jennifer Lent

Data Breaches in Europe

A growing number of massive data breaches are degrading the personal privacy of people around the world. Data security and privacy policy are ongoing concerns in Europe. But it can be difficult to assess privacy breaches in Europe in particular, since many of the biggest incidents of compromised personal records involve people and organizations from around the world. This working paper offers early descriptive statistics and analysis of the first cross-national, systematized event log of data breaches in Europe. The data is available for download at http://cmds.ceu.hu/.

See more at: http://cmds.ceu.hu/article/2014-10-07/data-breaches-europe-reported-breaches-compromised-personal-records-europe-2005#sthash.0LuQ9t2R.dpuf

chief architect (chief IT architect)

In information technology (IT), a chief architect is a c-level executive whose job is to look closely at how IT functions can be centralized so that departments across the company can work together seamlessly.

Infrastructure design can have a big effect on the performance of an IT organization, and the chief architect plays a critical role in building or buying the technology that will help an enterprise meet its business goals. To that end, the chief architect is responsible for solving integration problems and
synching technology frameworks across the organization’s business units.

The role of every architect in IT is directly related to the added complexities of information technology and the need for a top-down approach to managing and sharing data and processes. The chief architect role requires a wealth of both process and technical knowledge about security, storage, data management and network service delivery. Depending upon the organization, the chief architect may oversee and coordinate the efforts of other technology-specific architects, including the chief security architect, the chief data architect, the chief mobile architect and the chief cloud architect.

by Margaret Rouse (TechTarget)

The Forrester Wave™: Videoconferencing Infrastructure And Cloud Services, Q3 2014

Key Takeaways
Cisco And Polycom Distance Themselves With The Most Complete
Solutions
Forrester uncovered a market in which Cisco and Polycom stand apart with proven
track records and complete offerings. Vidyo, Avaya, Blue Jeans, and Lifesize lead
with specific strengths or in specific segments. Acano, Pexip, and Videxio are quickly
advancing their capabilities and building customer momentum. AGT misses some key
enterprise features.
Prioritize Solutions That Scale, Deliver Interoperability, And Simplify
Deployments
Leaders deliver virtualized infrastructure to ramp up capacity, cloud services to simplify
deployments, and interoperability to allow employees to connect using Microsoft Lync.
They simplify guest access with browser support for WebRTC and streamline meeting
management by providing end user access to controls on endpoints and mobile devices.
Separate Vendors Into Those That Provide Call Control And VMRs Or
Those That Provide VMRs Only
Startups Acano, Blue Jeans, and Pexip deliver infrastructure and cloud services focused
on virtual meeting rooms (VMRs) as the model for connecting. Enterprises use these
services, in conjunction with existing investments in video infrastructure that provides
call control, to add capacity, interoperability, and an easier way to join meetings.
Access The Forrester Wave Model For Deeper Insight
Use the detailed Forrester Wave model to view every piece of data used to score
participating vendors and create a custom vendor shortlist. Access the report online
and download the Excel tool using the “Download” link at the top of the report page
or on Figure 4. Alter Forrester’s weightings to tailor the Forrester Wave model to your
specifications.

Read the Report at: The Forrester Wave™:  Videoconferencing Infrastructure And  Cloud Services, Q3 2014

Microsoft continues cross-platform tear, releases Outlook for iOS, Android

Microsoft today launched Outlook for iOS and Android, a rebranded version of startup Acompli’s app, to replace the oft-derided Outlook Web App (OWA) as the go-to mobile email client for Office 365 users.

Microsoft acquired Acompli late last year for a reported $200 million, then immediately folded its developers into the Outlook team and made its former CEO and co-founder Javier Soltero a general manager in the group. At the time, Microsoft said that Acompli Email would be blended “with work currently in progress by the Outlook team.”

In fact, Outlook for iOS and Android — the apps are free — are Acompli Email with a new name. Microsoft dubbed the Android version a preview.

Outlook for the iPhone and iPad can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store; the Android version is available on Google Play.

Outlook requires iOS 8 or later, or Android 4.0 — aka Ice Cream Sandwich — or later.

Read more at: Computerworld- Microsoft continues cross-platform tear, releases Outlook for iOS, Android By Gregg Keizer  

A new IT model and CIO role for the digital age

A former CIO and author lays out the blueprint for how to disrupt old-school IT.

The traditional model of IT is starting to look like ancient history, according to Ian Cox. And that isn’t good for CIOs who still see their roles as technology and services providers rather than technology and services brokers, said Cox, a former CIO-turned-consultant and author of Disrupt IT: A New Model for IT in the Digital Age. In the digital age, businesses are looking to technology to create new products and services, not just enable them.

SearchCIO senior news writer Nicole Laskowski recently caught up with Cox to discuss what he sees as the new core competencies for IT, what CIOs need to do to transform their role, and why clinging to old-school IT is helping pave the way for a new C-level executive — the chief digital officer (CDO).

Read more at: A new IT model and CIO role for the digital age by Nicole Laskowski

Honda fined £46m for computer system that failed to report deaths and injuries

Investigation finds that IT staff did not understand how the system reported deaths and injuries in Honda cars

Honda has been fined $70 million (£46 million) for failing to report deaths and injuries involving its cars due to errors in its SQL database.

The US authorities found that Honda had failed to report 1,729 deaths and injuries between 2003 and 2014. These figures are required from every carmaker and are crucial to spotting patterns that may suggest defects in certain models – potentially saving lives.

The carmaker will pay two $35 million (£23 million) fines for both a failure to report deaths and injuries as well as warranty claims.

The reporting tool is a computerised case management system called an ‘Early Warning Reporting’ system, based on SQL, the carmaker disclosed in documents filed to US authorities.

Any injury or death involving a Honda car or motorcycle across the world is pooled to this central system using codes – provided the model is similar to one sold in the US.

Read more at: Honda fined £46m for computer system that failed to report deaths and injuries By Margi Murphy Computerworld UK

Microsoft Azure had more downtime in 2014 than main cloud rivals

Microsoft Azure suffered more downtime than its main rivals in 2014, with almost 54 hours of downtime for its two main services, according to detailed analysis.

Azure Object Storage was down for 10.89 hours and Azure Virtual Machines experienced 42.94 hours of downtime globally in 2014. Azure had 241 outages in total.

In comparison, the analysis from CloudHarmony showed Amazon Web Services (AWS) experienced fewer than five hours downtime in total for its storage services – Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3) – with 35 outages.

Google’s cloud storage was down for less than 15 minutes in 2014 and its cloud computing platform suffered just under four hours offline. SoftLayer – now part of IBM – had a total of 11 outages with just under 15 mintes downtime for its storage service.

In Europe, AWS EC2 was down for 19 seconds and S3 was down for little more than two minutes. Google experienced no downtime for its cloud storage in Europe but its cloud computing services were down for 2.22 hours.

Microsoft Azure suffered the most downtime in Europe, with 5.97 hours for its cloud compute service and 1.31 hours for its storage service.

Read more at: Microsoft Azure had more downtime in 2014 than main cloud rivals by Karl Flinders

CIOs Need to Snap Out of Complacency

Your business colleagues aren’t as impressed with you as you are. Our 14th annual State of the CIO research rewrites your priorities for 2015

As CIOs cope with digital disruption, the good news is that personal indicators lean positive. Compensation is up 7 percent, tenure holds steady, at about six years, and so does the portion of CIOs reporting to the CEO, at 44 percent, according to our 14th annual State of the CIO survey.

But don’t rest easy. This year’s results also reveal a collection of alarming disparities between what business colleagues want from IT and what CIOs think they’re providing. That gap came to light when we worked with market research firm IDC, a sister company of CIO, to survey 304 non-IT business decision-makers on some of the same questions the State of the CIO survey posed to 558 IT leaders.

When conceiving big projects, CIOs often talk about finding the “pain points” in a process and fixing them. That’s IT Management 101. But it seems CIOs haven’t identified all of the pain points in the interaction between IT and the rest of the company. For example, 54 percent of business leaders see the IT group as an obstacle to getting things done, but only 33 percent of CIOs have the same impression. Business leaders want the CIO to simplify technology; it’s the most important thing CIOs can do to improve relations, they say. They also say it’s much more urgent than CIOs think for the IT group to reorganize, to be easier to work with and to train IT people to focus on external customers.

[ State of the CIO: Research Slideshow ]

[ State of the CIO: Women CIOs Face Greater Challenges ]

[ State of the CIO: CIOs Still Need to Strengthen the IT-Business Connection ]

Read more at: CIOs Need to Snap Out of Complacency by Kim S. Nash

IT firms seek to ensure talent pool to tap SMAC technologies

Companies work with academic institutions, set up in-house institutes to groom talent as they move to social media, mobility, analytics and cloud technologies

It’s back to school for India’s information technology firms, working with academic institutions and setting up in-house institutes to groom the right talent as these companies move to social media, mobility, analytics and cloud, or SMAC, technologies.

Tech Mahindra Ltd, India’s fifth largest software services exporter, is talking to the Indian Academy of Sciences-Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay and Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad to co-develop courses in cyber robotics and predictive analytics, said a company spokesperson.

In 2013, Tech Mahindra had set up the Mahindra École Centrale in Hyderabad along with École Centrale Paris university of France to train students in contemporary industry practices. In 2014, it started a programme similar to Infosys Ltd’s campus connect programme that allows fresh recruits to interact with the management once a month.

Tech Mahindra’s infrastructure management services academy set up last year has inked partnerships with five universities—Chandigarh University, JSS Mahavidyapeetha in Mysore, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology in Bhubaneswar, Karpagam University in Coimbatore and Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology in Pollachi—to hire students trained on a co-developed curriculum.

The company will shortly form partnerships with other colleges also, the spokesperson added. Similarly, in 2013, Hexaware Technologies Ltd, a mid-tier software services firm, set up Hexavarsity in Chennai.

Read more at: IT firms seek to ensure talent pool to tap SMAC technologies by Beryl Menezes