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Big data success needs a data-driven culture; renowned AI visionary dies

Successfully reaping the benefits of big data remains a huge challenge for many companies. Big data projects involve not just identifying the right data analyze, but also finding the right people to implement the right technology. But as big data experts and IT leaders tell Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski, the biggest reason companies encounter big data problems is not the wrong technology or the quality of the data, but the wrong culture.

Marvin Minsky, renowned professor and early explorer of artificial intelligence, died of a cerebral hemorrhage this week at the age of 88. In this week’s Searchlight, features writer Jason Sparapani explores Minsky’s contributions to the AI field and what an AI future means for IT executives. Also: EMC claims Dell deal is on track despite jitters; top Twitter execs are leaving the company.

In an “innovate or die” business climate, business users having access to the power and flexibility of cloud computing is key to moving a company forward. But equally important is having security baked in a company’s operations, said Brian Lillie, CIO at data center space provider Equinix. Features Writer Jason Sparapani spoke with Lillie and other cloud experts to find out how to best foster a cloud security culture and why an organization needs a CISO.

Without clear communication with collaborators and flexible planning, big data projects can quickly go off the rails. Laskowski caught up with Gideon Mann, the head of data science at Bloomberg, to outline the six “gotchas” CIOs and data science teams should watch out for when embarking on a big data project.

Speaking of big data issues, CTO Niel Nickolaisen is no stranger to the costs of advanced analytics projects. In his column, find out how Nickolaisen revamped the admissions model and helped improve student retention rates at the university where he was CIO — with a “dirt cheap” analytics project.

A decade from now, thanks to innovations in fields like robotics, cryptocurrency and genomics, companies will experience huge changes to how they operate. Editorial Director Sue Troy sat down with Alec Ross, Hillary Clinton’s former innovation adviser, to delve into what these developments will mean for technology leaders. In part one of the Q&A, read about Ross’ predictions on blockchain technology and how this technology underlying Bitcoin will affect impact legal processes in the next five years. In part two of the interview, Ross talks about how cognitive robots will affect the labor market and how U.S. companies compete globally.

IoT may be about to change the way we think of food safety. In the coming months, Food safety apps are set to emerge and shake up the industry. In this feature, site editor John Moore details the apps, their implications for CIOs and future obstacles. Also check out SearchCompliance contributor David Loshin’s tip in which he explores major IoT data management questions for both businesses and their customers.

You might want to think twice before you talk to executive headhunter Shawn Banerji about “rock-star CIOs.” “The CIO job or equivalent is bigger than any one person,” Banerji, managing director of the technology officers practice at Russell Reynolds Associates, told Executive Editor Linda Tucci. Find out why Banerji believes great CIOs are those who know how to build a team and grap the corporate values of the companies they work for. Also on the TotalCIO blog, senior news writer Nicole Laskowski details the benefits of properly-managed innovation contests as a way to crowdsource ideas for new products or processes.

According to recent research by IDC, spending on public cloud is set to rapidly surpass overall IT spending in the next four years, growing from $70 billion to $141 billion by 2019 – and SMBs will be making up quite a huge chunk of that total spending: 40%. In a two-part blog post, IDC research director Christopher Chute delves into the drivers contributing to this growth, goes into detail about how the view of public cloud security is changing, and offers tips to SMBs who are tepid about diving into the cloud.

The January issue of our SearchCIO handbook is out! In this edition, columnist and CIO expert Harvey Koeppel offers a list of DR principles to help CIOs design and implement a DR/BC plan that can protect both business and personal data when the next disaster strikes. Also in this issue: Nickolaisen shares how to reap the most value out of DR testing, and writer Mary K. Pratt talks with experts on how to craft a DR/BC plan that can handle any type of disaster, including breaches.

As data threats continue to grow in number and complexity and to endanger business success, end-user security awareness has become vital to protecting corporate information. In this video from the recent ISSA International Conference, Senior Site Editor Ben Cole sat down with Marci McCarthy, CEO and president of Tech Exec Networks, who talks about why end-user security awareness should be in the front lines of organizations’ corporate data protection strategies.

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

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