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Big data market in flux; Apple and Google confront diversity in IT

Kicking off this week is SearchCIO senior news writer Nicole Laskowski’s Data Mill, where she addresses a looming question on everyone’s minds during the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium’s big data panel: Is the big data market converging? Learn why the answer isn’t as simple as you might think; plus, find out how Apache Spark competes with MapReduce, what the future could hold for Google’s driverless car, and how digitization is changing competition within — and across — verticals.

Switching gears, Laskowski writes about how the impact of high-profile data breaches (a la Target) has changed the equation in risk management conversation. At Boston’s 2014 CFO Technology Conference, CFOs and other attendees posed questions to security experts on matters ranging from data breaches, passwords, Software as a Service applications and more.

Elsewhere on SearchCIO…

Apple’s buyout of Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics and Google’s diversity report monopolized tech news this week. In Searchlight, associate editor Emily McLaughlin highlights an important reality behind these headlines: diversity in IT, in more ways than one. Apple’s purchase might seem a blunder at first blush but, as CEO Tim Cook explained, it’s Beats’ people and their creativity that his company is after. And the harsh reality Google’s report illuminated about the lack of diversity in its workforce (already true in many tech firms) has triggered calls to action for greater transparency and turning to untapped talent sources.

What exactly is “fog computing?” features writer Kristen Lee asks in a TotalCIO blog post. Cisco argues it’s synonymous with Internet of Things (IoT), while others, like Forrester’s James Staten, thinks it’s all hype: “What they call fog we already call mobile and IoT.” But regardless of the name, edge computing is a notion CIOs should consider as more and more devices (like jet engines!) become part of IoT and data continues to balloon.

If there’s one thing we learned at last week’s MIT conference, it’s all about the customer, and a small jeweler business is taking this to heart with its social media strategy. Contributor Christine Parizo recounts how Wixon Jewelers uses social media monitoring and engagement to manage its online reputation and ensure its customers are happy.

How can global sourcing give your company a competitive advantage? Next week’s World BPO/ITO Forum might provide the answer. Editorial director Christina Torode previews the show and its focus on innovative sourcing strategies in an interview with speaker Vishal Ahluwalia.

On that sourcing note, if you’re thinking of taking advantage of cloud and are looking to brush up on the facts, look no further than SearchCIO’s quiz. Review our recent coverage and get some guidance on just what moving some or all your apps or infrastructure to the cloud might mean for your IT staff, business operations, service delivery and bottom line.

We’ve covered aplenty how a strong security strategy can give enterprises a competitive edge, but how exactly can a small business with limited resources leverage security as an asset? Executive editor Linda Tucci talks to Robert Jimenez, IT specialist at Scooterbug, about how he invested in cloud-based security to do just that.

Your turn: If you’re unsure whether your security program can go head to head with today’s breed of cybercrime, have we got a tool for you! Check out SearchCIO’s cybersecurity quiz to review our recent stories and get up to speed on why a strong cybersecurity strategy is valuable to your business and your customers.

Heading over to SearchCompliance…

Today’s digital market, in which consumers and machines are increasingly connected, “data is the new currency,” aptly put by Dell CIO Andi Karaboutis. This means data breaches are a dime a dozen. From MIT’s symposium, associate editor Fran Sales covers panelists’ take on how CIOs and compliance officers should face their fears and take a proactive risk management approach.

One of the fundamental tools IT should utilize to deal with data- and intelligence-driven threats: systems logging. From the RSA 2014 Conference earlier this year, SearchCompliance caught up with Tenable Network Security’s Marcus J. Ranum to discuss what the CSO calls the most important tool in security and why it’s a key element in building a strong, analytics-driven security strategy.

And that’s a wrap! Stay tuned for next week’s Symmetry roundup; before then, get your fix of news and tips by following us on @SearchCIO, @SearchCIOSMB and @ITCompliance.

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