There's no end to the news you need to know about the biggest event in the IBM Software calendar. Let's take a look:
1. It's going to be BIG.
You can tell straight from the titles of each opening keynote:
On Monday: Think Big: In a new era of computing, the use of analytics has evolved from an initiative to an imperative and from changing an organization to transforming entire industries. Getting there, however, requires focusing on the right strategies, investments and business outcomes�Start your week by hearing first-hand from business and IT leaders who are harnessing IBM Smarter Analytics for better insight and business outcomes.
On Tuesday, Big Opportunities: Through thousands of engagements with clients across industries, it�s clear that each industry has a distinct set of challenges and unique opportunities. In this session, you�ll hear how leading organizations are optimizing their business and IT investments using IBM Smarter Analytics solutions designed to address their unique industry imperatives in critical business processes across the C-suite.
On Wednesday, Big Future: Technology is rapidly changing the world and affecting the way we live and conduct business�In this new era of computing, the possibilities that lie ahead are endless, but succeeding in the future requires that you think differently today. In Wednesday�s session, top technology thought leaders will discuss the exciting possibilities that lie ahead and how you can stay ahead of your competition by positioning yourself for success.
2. Why yes, we do have a LinkedIn page. A simple, single click lets your professional network know you�ll be attending, so why not head over there now? You�ll also be able to see who else will be down there, so it�s a great way to make new contacts or reconnect with your peers before you all begin the boarding procedure.
3. Be sure to get your hands dirty in our hands-on Lab Sessions. Get classroom-quality training - featuring interactive, hands-on exercises and workshops - led by our highly experienced professional instructors. Choose from nearly 25 three-hour sessions across a wide range of products. Many of this year's sessions were added at the request of last year's attendees.
4. Get IBM certified at an 85% discount. IOD is the perfect place to further your professional development and add some new bullet points to your CV. This year, we're offering all exams for products within our Information Management, Business Analytics and Enterprise Content Management portfolios for the low (low!) price of $30 each. Why pay $200 when you can pay much (much!) less? Check out our list of product certifications here.
Enterprises that are embracing Smarter Computing are unlocking the value of data to leverage insight and information to gain competitive advantage. They are redefining their customer experience to expand and capture new markets and drive top-line business growth. And they are changing how they manage information and business processes to shift investment from maintaining IT infrastructure to pursuing new projects.
As they strive to support these business initiatives,IT leaders and CIOs are radically rethinking the role of enterprise systems in their IT infrastructure strategy.
"Every company and organization relies on critical data. Enterprise systems are systems that are capable of managing critical financial data, customer data and resource data across multiple lines of business. These systems must simply provide the highest levels of service, world-class scalability and unwavering availability.
Enterprise systems enable a private cloud infrastructure at enterprise scale, with flexible service delivery models that provide dynamic efficiency for resource and workload management. They make sure critical data is always available across the enterprise, making it accessible in new ways so that actionable insights can be derived from advanced and operational analytics. They also provide the ultimate in security, ensuring the integrity of critical data, while mitigating risk and providing assured compliance.�
Why has this become such a hot topic?
�While enterprise systems are not new, the way companies are using them today has changed. IT leaders are refocusing on the servers, storage and software at the center of their enterprise IT infrastructure. They know that these systems hold the enterprise-wide critical data that fuels both their core business processes and the new services that are helping them deliver the experiences their customers demand.A quick look at the stats IT is facing provides some insight into today�s challenges. With 60% of CIOs planning to use cloud, up from 33% two years ago, CIOs are looking to benefit from the economics of private clouds and apply those savings to new services.
CIOs are also focused on how they can use enterprise systems for more advanced analytics on operational data. That is very significant since companies that implement analytics are nearly 3 times more likely to be top performers in their industry.
And, of course, security is a growing challenge for CIOs as they extend new digital services to their clients. According to a recent Data Breach Investigations Report 94% of all data compromised involved servers. In addition, according to Computer Weekly, the cost of data loss has increased by 68% over the past 5 years. Better security is a must.�
What can we expect at InterConnect?
�InterConnect presents a great opportunity to discuss all the elements of enterprise systems solutions � servers, storage, software, services � in one place. Attendees can visit the Expo and explore the latest in enterprise-class systems from IBM, including the zEnterprise servers, Power Systems offerings, Smarter Storage solutions and PureSystems expert integrated systems.They can listen in as Rod Adkins, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems & Technology Group, delivers his keynote entitled �Unleashing innovation: the new economics of IT.� They can also attend targeted sessions with Colin Parris, General Manager of Power Systems, Doug Balog, General Manager of System z and IBM customers to hear more about how enterprise systems are delivering the utmost qualities of service, highest scale, and superior efficiency for critical information and business processes.�
For more information or to join this event � live or virtually, please visit the IBM InterConnect 2012 destination. You can also follow the conversations and information in various social channels, including Facebook and Twitter (also follow and use the event hashtag: #IBMInterConnect) � among others. Stay tuned and learn how IBM is �turning opportunities into outcomes� for organizations around the world!
Guest post by Brandon Hurter, IBM Segment Manager, Private Cloud Strategy and Market Segment Management
It isn't surprising, given the prognosis that the number of enterprises moving to Cloud will double within the next two years, that there's going to be a strong focus on Cloud computing at the IBM InterConnect 2012 conference in Singapore Oct 9 - 11. While some companies are approaching Cloud from a cost and complexity reduction perspective, others are viewing it as a fundamental shift from IT being a cost center to a center of business innovation.
At Interconnect, the Hot Topic �Rethink IT and Reinvent business with cloud computing� will be exploring the cloud computing phenomenon from across this spectrum of perspectives.
The centerpiece for Cloud @ Interconnect will be the Cloud Mini Main Tent, hosted by IBM General Managers Danny Sabbah and Tom Rosamilia. Danny and Tom will outline IBM�s SmartCloud strategy and its alignment with our clients� business imperatives for cloud adoption. You�ll also have the chance to see SmartCloud in action, with real-world stories from our clients in a panel discussion hosted by Paul Moung, IBM VP of Cloud and Smarter Planet, Growth Markets.
Last but not least, Angel Diaz, IBM�s VP of Cloud Standards will spend some time sharing our leadership in the standards community and discussing the importance of building a smarter approach to cloud standards.
No doubt if you are seriously investigating Cloud solutions, you�ll want to understand how Cloud computing can underpin the effectiveness of other initiatives your organization is exploring, like Mobile, Social, Business Analytics and Big Data.
Through Cloud and other hot Hot Topics at Interconnect, you will have the chance to see how Cloud computing underpins the effectiveness of your most strategic initiatives. For details on the other Hot Topics, as well as information on how to register for the conference, visit the IBM InterConnect web site
Also, be sure to follow the latest news from IBM Interconnect via Twitter and Facebook.
Did you know that 92% of breached organizations don�t know they�ve been breached?
I follow a lot of security industry news, so it�s no surprise to me that every morning I see alerts of new breaches, vulnerabilities and �hacktivist� style threats. But what does surprise me is the impact this news is having in traditional news streams. Thanks to groups like Anonymous and Lulzsec, multiple high profile breaches, and new malware threats appearing all the time (think Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame), people everywhere � and especially those outside of IT, such as CEOs and boards of directors � are finally talking about cybersecurity and the roles we all should play in preventing loss of corporate intellectual property, defending against targeted attacks and APTs, and thwarting insider threats. At the same time, businesses are clamoring to embrace innovative new technologies like mobile and cloud � which leads to increased opportunity but also increased risk.
This has led to increased visibility � and opportunity�for CISOs, putting them in a much broader leadership position that expands outside of IT and security and into a closer relationship with business unit executives.
Why does security intelligence matter?
This coming fall, IBM is hosting an event in Singapore, designed to help business leaders turn �opportunities into outcomes.� What does this mean? At Interconnect 2012, IBM wants to help connect the dots between business functions across the organization, driving towards smarter business operations, and of course, a smarter planet. Security Intelligence is an integral part of this event because the knowledge that drives such intelligence is produced from data collected from users, applications and servers, network security devices and other parts of the IT infrastructure across the entire enterprise. It�s hard to imagine that there might be meaningful security data coming from your thermostat, but trust me (and this victim) there is!
But this topic goes beyond security and is a conversation starter for leaders across the organization. If you�ve ever stopped to think about the cost of securing your organization, that certainly brings the conversation outside of the IT corridors. And, if you�ve ever considered the impact a breach or loss of data has had on an organization, particularly its customer base and brand value, the c-suite should be banging down your door! There are ways security intelligence can help streamline the operations of a business, reducing the amount of manual work required with automated and intelligent solutions. Security intelligence also helps move an organization from reactive to proactive, by pinpointing risks and vulnerabilities before they become problems and allowing you to automate policy enforcement without requiring additional man power. Finally, security intelligence also makes the demonstration of compliance much less of a burden because it consolidates data sources and makes it easier to report and show adherence to regulations and policies.
Join us this October 9-11 at InterConnect in Singapore for an opportunity to explore this topic further. Brendan Hannigan, General Manager, IBM Security and Kris Lovejoy, former CISO of IBM Security and now General Manager of IBM Security Services, will be presenting in a hot topic session, �Defending against cyber-threats with security intelligence & behavioral analytics�. This session will include feedback from actual customers sharing their experiences securing diverse, highly sensitive and regulated environments and addressing today�s IT challenges created by BYOD, mobile and cloud trends. They will also discuss the new and constantly evolving role of the CISO and give insight into how IBM runs its own security organization by keeping senior management actively involved along the way.
You can stay connected with us prior to, during and after the event by following us on Twitter @IBMSecurity or joining our LinkedIn Group. And, to become an active part of the security conversation, be sure to register at the Institute for Advanced Security, where security leaders across the globe are sharing the best practices they�re adopting to better protect themselves as their companies adapt to IT trends like cloud and mobile computing. You�ll gain access to videos, blogs and exclusive webinars focused on key issues concerning security professionals.
Hope to see you at Interconnect this fall, and look forward to continuing this conversation as we get closer to the event.
Earlier this summer, my colleague Larry Gerard shared the news about the IBM Security AppScan 8.6 release. In that release, we announced a re-architected next-generation dynamic analysis security testing engine as part of IBM Security AppScan Enterprise. The new engine, at the heart of any web application security analysis scanner, is an integral part of IBM Security AppScan. Now, with the release of IBM Security AppScan Standard 8.6, I�m excited to share with you more details of the new engine and our continued improvement on product features.
Improved Speed & Scalability
Not only is IBM Security AppScan Standard 8.6 now capable of exploring and testing web applications at greater speed, but it is incredibly scalable, allowing it to interact and produce results like never before. Improved speed means a shorter scan time, quicker testing phases, and swift development cycles � saving budget through use of sophisticated tooling abilities. When used throughout the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), IBM Security AppScan Standard verifies that vulnerabilities are caught quickly, thus minimizing damage down the road.
Enhanced Usability & Reporting
The IBM Security AppScan portfolio offers two dynamic application security testing (DAST) products: IBM Security AppScan Standard and IBM Security AppScan Enterprise. With the release of 8.6 these two products have become more integrated and more aligned, allowing more mobility of features from one product to another.
To complement the deep architectural changes, IBM Security AppScan Standard and Enterprise user interfaces offer sleek and clever improvements that users familiar to IBM Security AppScan Standard will quickly notice. IBM Security AppScan�s reports have been completely re-designed to an attractive and easy-to-read format. Reports now expose more actionable results to be easily delegated throughout the organization.
IBM Security AppScan Standard�s main view now exposes the web application�s technical aspects, such as pages, parameters, cookies, instead of the vulnerabilities found. This gentle change brings on a great usability improvement users will be thankful for. Users only too often unintentionally misconfigure scans to the point that many hours are spent unwisely. No longer will misconfigurations go unnoticed with the new �Application Data� view.
Even better vulnerability detection with improved XSS Analyzer
Last, but absolutely not least, IBM Security AppScan Standard 8.6 features a secret weapon dubbed �XSS Analyzer�, which was previously detailed in the release of IBM Security AppScan Enterprise 8.6. Why are we mentioning it again? Because we�ve improved its accuracy to find even more XSS vulnerabilities in greatly sophisticated angles, perspectives and contexts.
This latest release of IBM Security AppScan Standard brings with it sophistication like never before: from the next-gen engine to the innovative XSS Analyzer.
Try IBM Security AppScan 8.6
Are you interested in evaluating these new features and capabilities for yourself? Download a free trial version of IBM Security AppScan Standard 8.6 here.
People spend a lot of time pondering what the future will hold. For those of us working in network security, we daydream about a future full of integrated security technologies that will simplify our jobs. But is that just wishful thinking? Do you think it�s more likely that we�ll end up with more of the same- point solutions working independently that just create more work and frustration? While you sit back and consider these questions, I�ll also ask you to think about one more issue- how will future technologies affect the network group vs the security group? Will they create new challenges as security solutions often impact, and disrupt,network traffic?
Technologies are needed to facilitate information sharing between Security and Network Groups
The path ahead for network security requires tools that both network groups and security groups can use to work together in information sharing. Information sharing is needed by the network operations groups so they have a constant awareness of the state of their network. They need to know where and why packets are being blocked? What is the functional status of the security devices on my network? Likewise, the security group needs information on incoming traffic and its origin as well as traffic exiting and its destination.
Security Groups care about network traffic, too
Security groups need to identify the sources of all traffic entering their networks. They need to know the reputation of the source of the traffic. They need to know where that traffic is going to and what is happening once the source reaches the target. Is this a legitimate e-shopping transaction or is this an SQL Injection attack that is underway? A good way of answering this question is through the use of tools that not only monitor and analyze network traffic but also ones that monitor the database activity. As the path forges ahead, security should demand that the technologies used for risk mitigation be able to correlate data and provide high confidence answers to the behaviors being seen. An example of this might be when an attack is seen by detection devices on the network level and corresponding data mining activity is reported by host monitoring solutions.
�and Network Groups need to know how Security is impacting the network
Furthermore, as security groups use more complex tools and continue to intrude in the network group�s territory, the need for a �what�s happening� report on the network is paramount. Network teams must have insight into security�s activities and the actions that security technologies are taking with regards to affecting network traffic. They should demand information feeds from the security technologies. This could be via SNMP or a portal that they can access to see the status of the security technologies. Ideally, network and security both will be able to make use of a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform to meet their respective data needs. Should both groups be involved in decision making? Absolutely.
Maybe the future isn�t so far away
Fortunately, solutions are already coming to market that help both parties, meaning a better network and security operational framework is on the horizon. Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW) and Next Generation Intrusion Prevention Systems (NGIPS) both focus on consolidating a myriad of technologies into single platforms. The path ahead requires that the network group and security group cooperate on acquiring new solutions for the enterprise so that both groups� needs are fulfilled without overly complicating our IT infrastructure.
More about the author: Brian Fitch is Product Manager for IBM Security.
He has been in the information security industry for over 12 years.Brian currently manages the GX IPS and XGS NG-IPS line of appliances.Prior to his product manager role, Brian was an Internet Security Systems (ISS) Systems Engineer for a decade.
2. Sign into your Twitter account
3. Choose Settings
4. Click on Design
5. Scroll to Customize your own
6. In the Background section, click on Choose file
7. Navigate to where you saved the InterConnect Twitter background, select the image and click ok
8. Click on Save changes
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IBM officially invites you to InterConnect 2012 from October 9-11 in Singapore, where business and IT leaders partner to turn opportunities into outcomes.
In the video below, IBM Vice Presidents Scott Hebner and John Dunderdale explain how, on today's increasingly smarter planet--where everything is becoming more
interconnected, instrumented, and intelligent--a new type of business leadership is emerging as technology dramatically impacts the success of businesses.
To win in this new era of interconnected industries, businesses and consumers, business and IT leaders have to connect with the people who can help turn
opportunities into outcomes. They need to:
Unleash innovation with a new approach to the economics of IT.
Manage to the velocity of today's rapidly changing markets and businesses.
Better leverage the volume, variety, and velocity of information to fundamentally reinvent relationships with your individual clients, employees and business partners.
InterConnect 2012 is the only conference where you can connect with an international network of peers in exchange sessions based on your areas of interest. It also helps you
connect to the issues and �hot topics� such as Cloud Computing, Mobility, Big Data, and Security that are changing the shape of your world and business and IT today and
To learn more about what we can expect to see around Mobile Enterprise at IBM InterConnect 2012, I interviewed Tracy Clark, IBM Mobile Marketing Manager.
What will be the key focus on Mobile Enterprise at IBM InterConnect this year?
IBM InterConnect will highlight speeding Innovation and extending reach securely with Mobile Enterprise - In a world where everyone is connected to everything, your organization�s infrastructure has no boundaries. Successful companies are doing business in motion. The challenge is managing and securing an infrastructure that connects an endless array of intelligent devices and sensors that are outside your control.
IBM InterConnect will examine how to transform your organization to a Mobile Enterprise -- fundamentally changing and creating new value for customer, supplier and employee interaction. It will explore how new data and transactions and analytics workloads can provide value and insight with the peace of mind that the security and management discipline required are future ready.
Why is this topic important right now?
Mobile is no longer a luxury or �want-to-have� � it�s a mandatory transformation organizations must go through today. Successful enterprises must be mobile. Employees, partners and customers are all mobile; they expect and demand it.
Smart mobile devices have now passed PCs in the marketplace, and there are expected to be 10 billion devices in market by 2020. Think of nearly any profession. Chances are they can do their job, even better, with use of mobile technologies. Mobile removes the boundaries of an office, a hard-wired IT system, and it brings data and decision making to the forefront.
There is real value in mobile. Both in terms of business efficiency � one study noted a 45% increase in productivity through the use of mobile apps and in terms of employee, partner and customer satisfaction and loyalty. Mobile is a critical part of the fabric of today�s enterprise. And CIOs recognize it and are prioritizing mobile in their strategy and plans.
Successful mobile enterprises are transforming the way they do business with redesigned processes and user experiences. In doing so, they are creating ever increasing data and transactions and new analytics workloads to derive value and insight. They are fundamentally changing and creating new value in the forms of employee, partner and customer engagement.
What type of Mobile content can we can expect to see at InterConnect 2012?
Conference attendees can join the hot topic session dedicated to �Speeding Innovation and Extending Reach with Mobile Enterprise� to interact with IBM mobile subject matter experts, hear customer stories from various industries, and see hands-on demonstrations of new capabilities from IBM that can help companies take the next steps to make mobile integral to their enterprises.
IBM executives, including Marie Wieck, General Manager of Application and Integration Middleware, will speak on the market context of mobile, IBM�s mobile point of view, and IBM�s mobile strategy going forward.
IBM Business Partners and customers will discuss how they are leveraging IBM Mobile products to extend and transform their business.
IBM Worklight and other IBM Mobile demos showing distinct value, benefits and solving real problems for customers through our IBM product capabilities will be available.
And IBM executives will be sharing some pretty big announcements around IBM�s new innovations and commitment in the Mobile space.
How can others stay connected with IBM Mobile news and information?
I suggest the following options:
Guest post by Nicholas G. Harlow, product manager, IBM Security.
In traditional IT infrastructure, organizations controlled every aspect of the environment, from the physical building, to the machine hardware, to the software stack, and the data repositories. Enforcing security in this environment was easier because there were fewer variables to control.
But like all technology does, the information security landscape has evolved. Organizations no longer control all aspects of the IT environment, nor do they want to do so. IT workloads are frequently collocated in a shared data-center or virtualized and running on public cloud infrastructure, shared among numerous unknown parties. Employees increasingly demand to use their personal smart phones, tablets, and laptops for both personal and professional purposes. Because of this, critical data and business functions are frequently processed or implemented as network-accessible IT applications.
Security threats more often target these applications, and not simply to gain unauthorized access to systems for curiosity or mischief. Instead, malicious attackers are more likely to be well-funded organized criminals or national actors targeting organizations in order to defraud them, compromise their critical data, and disrupt their operations, using increasingly sophisticated attacks. The cost to organizations of a successful breach in lost revenue, productivity, and clientele is climbing steadily. Organizations must manage the risk of operating in this more dangerous landscape.
Although next-generation IT infrastructure provides flexibility and specialization, ensuring equivalent security in this improved operating environment is more complex. The objective is to manage risk and minimize costs without compromising operational efficiency. Security of next-generation infrastructure requires solutions that are flexible, scalable, and manageable. Furthermore, next-generation security must provide adequate visibility into the activity and usage of the infrastructure in order to manage the associated risks. Because of the distributed, flexible nature of next-generation IT environments, no single security product will meet every use case; beware of any vendor trying to sell you a �silver bullet� for security.
Effective security solutions are more likely to be comprised of multiple elements each designed to protect an aspect of the infrastructure, such as the network, critical server infrastructure, virtual environments and user endpoints. These elements should consolidate the required security features as much as possible in order to prevent wasted expenditure and the proliferation of point solutions. Furthermore, in order to keep the cost and complexity of these solutions under control, organizations should look for solutions that centralize and integrate their management and output.
Investing in solutions that can centrally manage large parts of the security infrastructure reduces the administrative overhead and total cost of ownership of the solution. Similarly, centrally collecting and automating the analysis and correlation of security events, network behavioral data, and log data is critical to deriving timely insights from the flood of data your infrastructure can provide. These insights can help to draw focus to the key risks quickly, while focusing less attention on low risk areas of the infrastructure.
Securing next-generation IT infrastructure requires adequate visibility into your systems, scalable management, and a way to extract actionable intelligence from all the data being produced. Effective next-generation security solutions will provide these capabilities, while limiting the cost and complexity of managing the system.
About the Author:
Nicholas Harlow has over a decade of experience in security software. He is the product manager for the IBM Security Systems host and virtualization security products, as well as the security content analysis offerings. Prior to joining product management, he worked as a software engineer on IBM's Identity and Access Management products. He holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Stanford University and an MBA from INSEAD.
IBM today announced the newest version of IBM SPSS Statistics software,its integrated family of products that addresses the entire analytical process, from planning to data collection to analysis, reporting and deployment.
The new enhancements in IBM SPSS Statistics v21ensure that the most advanced analytics techniques are available to a broader group of business users, statisticians, analysts and researchers.Making it easier to access and manage big data, set up and perform analyses, and share results across the organization, IBM SPSS Statistics now includes:
�Simulation Modeling� Using Monte Carlo simulation techniques, users can now build better models and assess risk when inputs are uncertain.
�Advanced Techniques for Big Data�Quickly understand large and complex datasets using advanced statistical procedures to provide high accuracy and drive quality decision making.
�Improved Integration�Deploy analytics faster with seamlessaccess to common data types and external programming languages, including Java and IBM Cognos business intelligence.
Monte Carlo Simulation
The new simulation modeling feature is designed to account for uncertainty in data inputs, such as determining how weather conditions affect energy consumption, how costs of materials (e.g., steel prices) affect profitability of a construction project, or to better understand risks around investment planning.
By using Monte Carlo simulation, theunknown inputs and historical distributions are used to create confidence intervalsand visualizations(see graphic) to help make the best decision.
For example, energy and utilities organizations run simulations on potential weather temperatures, compared against historical weather temperatures, to then determine how much energy it would likely need to generate for an 85 degree day on August 31. This process can be repeated many times (typically thousands or tens of thousands of times), resulting in a distribution of outcomes so users can make the best decision.
Unlike other software packages, IBM SPSS Statistics doesn�tforce users to start from scratch, but allows them to leverage existing predictive models and existing data as the starting points for simulation.
IBM SPSS Statistics now makes working with big data easier, more scalable and ensures optimal performance when working with multiple predictors. By introducing a data file comparison tool, users now have the ability to compare datasets or data files to identify any discrepancies and ensure that the data values and records are compatible.
Users can now compare files for better quality control. For example, users can now find discrepancies between data sets that contain responses by the same respondents to a survey, but entered by two different people.
Also, IBM SPSS Statistics now allows operations like sorts and aggregations to be pushed back to the database, where they can be performed faster. Temporary files created by analytical procedures can be distributed across multiple disks, and large files can be compressed to save disk space when sorting, improving performance and speeding up analysis.
For example, users can run multiple analytical jobs at the same time while continuing to work on their desktops at other tasks. Users can also continue to run server jobs while disconnected from the server without sacrificing the quality of their analysis or output, then reconnect to access their completed jobs.
With IBM SPSS Statistics, users can now use a Java� plug-in to call IBM SPSS Statistics functionality from a Java application and have IBM SPSS Statistics output appear in the Java application.
Finally, IBM SPSS Statistics now provides the ability to easily import IBM Cognos business intelligence data for analysis. Users can now read custom data with or without filters, and import predefined reports from IBM Cognos directly into IBM SPSS Statistics.
Welcome to part 2 of my interview with IBM Champions Alex Philp, Founder and CTO of TerraEchos and Ivo-Paul Tummers, CEO of Jibes. In part 1, we explored strategies and algorithms these innovators are using to transform volume, variety and velocity into business value for their clients. Here, we discuss the broader enterprise-wide repercussions of big data and how they make the vital link to business analytics.
Let's talk about thatmulti-disciplinary approach to big data � at what point does a big data strategy change from an IT challenge to a business imperative?
Alex Philp: I really like what Ivo-Paul said about the value of being able to look at all of these sources from multiple perspectives. We�re all realizing that the game today is analytics. It�s delivering the right analytics at the right time, and applying them at the right time in your workflow. What�s driving our customers in government, in telecom, in oil and gas is the idea that they need to optimize their business processes and their workflows. They�re looking for the right analytics against the right sources to produce the right answers.
There�s actually an amazing corollary between government mission and what a CEO, CFO or CTO needs to see on a daily basis with their operations. We�re not talking so much about specific hardware or software. We�re approaching customers with a solution-based, interdisciplinary approach. We say, �Let�s talk about how we�re going to save you time and money so that you can stay competitive in getting the right information to your customers.� Time savings is a great way to show ROI.
Ivo-Paul, where are your clients on this realization?
Ivo-Paul Tummers: First of all I completely agree that saving time is the best ROI. I also think the timing of IBM�s big data strategy is splendid because I think we�re on the verge of exactly that moment. Where IT departments are already struggling with the challenges of data integration, growing data sets and integration with other systems in the value chain �the Business� is not fully aware yet of the potential.
As a result we see two type of customers. The first are those where IT is still fighting an uphill battle with small and often disconnected initiatives and projects resolving operational issues. The second are those where the board has adopted the concept and see the potential and need to change. This results in more ambitious projects with clear objectives on returns and tactical and strategic advantages.
Let�s look at the connection between Big Data and Business Analytics more closely. Have your clients altered their IT infrastructures or processes to make these capabilities work better together?
Ivo-Paul: Analytics is the most important business goal for a big data strategy. More data provides better analytics outcomes. Beside that, big data should eventually be brought back to a small and meaningful answer. Our Big Data team operates under the label of �Data Analytics & Applied Intelligence.�
Alex Philp: We can�t find enough mathematicians. I can�t find enough people to support the algorithms throughout the stack. The other challenge is that a lot of people are looking to do analytics and big data in the cloud, and synchronizing analytics across a high-volume, high-velocity networks is a challenging situation. That�s not trivial.
We try to look at what we can help customers achieve with a Bayesian approach to statistics, or perhaps a Markov approach when we�re working with incomplete data. We�re trying take complex approaches to data science and mathematics and turn them into usable commodities to talk about �Analytics as a Service.�
Our customers don�t want all the analytics all the time; they want it on-demand so they can look horizontally through the data, pull out the key pieces, do the correlation and then derive some type of function to get a better look at where they�re going. It�s that steering that we�re trying to package up for our customers in a very cost-conscious world. If we can�t show them savings, we need to show them efficiencies.
That�s an incredibly tall order. What IBM technologies are you using to put together?
Alex Philp: I agree with Ivo-Paul that IBM is the world leader in this space. That�s clearly why our company is so involved with IBM. Customers have a lot of options within the IBM big data platform. We focus primarily on the Infosphere streams component � on the real-time, high velocity side. Then we focus on scaling that with the right combination of IBM hardware. We take streams and IBM hardware, we optimize both, then layer in our analytical packages and tools to get data in and out. This could be Hadoop, Netezza, DB2, even a customer�s call center system.
The final piece we�re working is metadata. We have so much video and audio to work with now, but it�s not always relevant or practical to be processing and reprocessing it all the time. We�re trying to create and store the metadata � it might have a temporal component or a spatial component - and develop metadata analytics that complement the IBM components that we�re leveraging every day. We think that�s best of class.
Ivo-Paul, what are your thoughts on the tools and technologies you�re using?
Ivo-Paul Tummers: Alex mentioned metadata; you also need to look at the master data aspect, which is also covered by IBM. Other new technologies are the Hadoop platform, and in memory and/or columnar databases. People need to be trained to handle this, not only from a development perspective, but also from a system administration perspective. For these teams it sometimes looks like a revolution instead of an evolution.
It will take time to adapt to a Big Data platform. The main idea is to keep it simple and small, what should sound strange when talking about big data. But paramount is that the organization needs open-minded employees to work with this new technology. They should be the advocates for other departments.
Groups of six receive one free registration. For a limited time, your company can receive one (1) no-charge registration for every six (6) company employees who register, other than yourself, at the Early Bird or Full Conference price. You�ll need a unique company promo code to take advantage of this offer, so make sure to see our registration page for full details.
OneRepublic and Barenaked Ladies will provide the entertainment. 2008 Grammy nominees OneRepublic have sold nearly two million albums and eight million singles. Their 2007 debut hit �Apologize� topped the charts in 16 countries and went gold in 14 of them.
Canadian legends Barenaked Ladies, meanwhile, are celebrating 20 years of impeccable pop with their 11th album, All In Good Time.
Guest post by Dr. Jean Paul Ballerini, Sales Enablement for IBM Security.
There are few industries untouched by multiple regulations; businesses contend with regulations that control their accounting, IT security, operations, and so on and so forth � in addition to those that are sector specific. But all of this is for the good of the industry and to protect consumers.
If regulations are there for our own protection, why is there so much complaint about them? I�m sure that every now and then there are companies who feel that having to be compliant gets in the way of an �easier� way to run a business, to do accounting, to "do" security� But this isn�t the real issue: the true struggle is having to demonstrate compliance to auditors in order to avoid the consequences ranging from steep fines to seeing your business shut down. So, the million dollar question is, why does it have to be so complicated to demonstrate compliance?
When it comes to an IT security audit, the easiest questions only require showing that certain actions take place-- that actions are logged, that logs are collected, that backups are made, that there is a DRP, etc. The slightly more complex query will focus on proving that companies can stop events that shouldn�t happen; for example, that unauthorized users actually don�t have access to documents, that cyber-attacks are detected and blocked, that compromised systems are identified and cleaned, that logs cannot be manipulated or deleted without alerts triggering. The top of the chart goes to questions that require analysis of the security settings, such as showing the consistency among the access policies on all applications, among the firewall policies, and among the intrusion prevention policies.
The higher the complexity, the longer it takes a company to prove compliance to an auditor; I have seen companies spending several man-months to be able to show compliance. It is obvious that when the process takes that long it becomes very expensive and can impact the revenue margins of any company, in particular because the process of proving compliance is recurring and not a one-time expenditure.
So what can be done to handle this task simpler and cheaper? Two things: automation and security intelligence.
We all know replacing manual processes with automation can be a huge money saver, not only because automation usually works much faster but also because it standardizes the steps making it much simpler to prove compliance. For example, automating the collection of logs allows you to set triggers that will alert you when it doesn�t happen, catching two birds with one stone. The automation of the identity provisioning not only ensures that the correctly configured access rights are assigned but also helps speeding the process and enables employees to become productive much faster.
Security Intelligence is the glue that gives a meaning to the millions or even billions of events that can be generated by an IT infrastructure. When there are billions of log entries, how can a company state they know what is going on if they don�t have a security intelligence solution that not only collects the data but also correlates it in order to identify events and incidents, and enable the security staff to inspect and understand the bigger security picture rather than what point products can collect? The beauty of a security intelligence solution doesn�t only lie in making the security staff�s life easier, but also in the availability of reports that allow both the monitoring and demonstration of compliance. Monitoring compliance allows companies to quickly identify events that can prove costly, for example a configuration change, access to confidential information, etc.; demonstrating compliance allows companies to save the man-months that they are currently spending to run a manual process--repeatedly.
Do you want to take it a step further? Wouldn�t it be great to test the impact of a policy change rather than applying it and monitoring events to identify incidents or loss of compliance? That is possible and is exactly what risk management can do. This new frontier brings companies to be pre-emptive rather than reactive; instead of showing the auditors that they are able to detect security issues and fix compliance issues, companies can show that they verify the policies before applying them, making it even easier and less costly to abide by regulation and prove compliance, while reducing the risk of security incidents.
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About the author:
Jean Paul Ballerini is a member of the World Wide Security Sales Enablement Team since January 2010. Prior, he was the Technical Sales Lead for IBM�s South West Europe region after having covered the role Senior Technology Solutions Expert for IBM Internet Security Systems for the previous six years. Since 2003, Ballerini has also served as the EMEA spokesperson for the X-Force, the IBM security research and development team.
He also holds a PhD in Computer Science and Law. In 2005 Ballerini became a CISSP, and since 2007 has also served as a Qualified Security Assessor for the Payment Card Industry. In June 2008 he was appointed an IBM certified Senior Technical Staff Member.