Top Weekly Reads in IT I&O 

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What Wall Street does makes you listen. Netflix, Amazon and Google aren’t the only companies leading the charge for internal IT best practices. Nasdaq’s top IT dog, Brad Peterson, told The Wall Street Journal that serverless computing is a leading strategy in the financial-markets sector. This makes sense, as financial services organizations today must focus on the hefty task of data management, not server management. To that end, Peterson also touted the importance of Apache Kafka in the sector, as a strategic data analytics platform.

“Between cloud, the [application-programming-interface] movement and Kafka,” Mr. Peterson said, “you have the foundational components to really make this concept of markets more cost-effective and more easy to incorporate.” Speaking of Kafka, OpsRamp recently covered how to use Kafka pipelines in machine learning applications: a useful read for enterprise ML developers.

Freedom, prosperity and open source: The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) was founded in 2015, but already this open source foundation has grown to 518 corporate members including Apple, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle, Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Fidelity and Equinix. The organization’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon was the world’s largest open source developer conference in 2019, with 12,000 attendees. (We covered the event here in the blog). Will open source fuel the next class of unicorns? 

Snyk, an open source tool for developers that checks for security risks in code, just announced a $150 million investment, which TechCrunch reports gives the startup a $1 billion valuation. Bloomberg reports that open-source tech is also showing signs of being a disruptor in the chip business, too: “In just a few years, RISC-V has grown from a college teaching tool into an open-source standard being explored by industry giants including Google, Samsung Electronics Co., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Qualcomm Inc. and Nvidia Corp.” 

AI goes under the microscope: Everyone who’s anyone in business, government and global domination was in Davos, Switzerland this week for the World Economic Forum. Leaders and celebrities discussed weighty societal topics like sustainability, the digital economy, cyberterrorism, the future of work….and naturally, AI regulation. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty spoke about the topic at Davos, and along with some other big-wig tech CEOs, says we need to have controls in place so that AI tools don’t hurt people and society. “For example, technology should adhere to anti-discrimination laws and statutes addressing safety, privacy, consumer protection and other sensitive contexts,” as reported in CIO Dive on IBM’s ideas.  That’s a tall order, which will take some time. 

Second-tier cloud wars: The truth is, 10 years since cloud computing became a “thing,” every provider is still in the single digits for market share, except for AWS and Azure.  However for some big traditional tech vendors, cloud computing is nonetheless becoming a lifeline. Take IBM. The company’s professional services business is struggling; Bloomberg reports on the decline but also points to a hopeful future stemming from IBM’s 2019 purchase of Red Hat. Recall above commentary on open source domination!  Fourth quarter sales for Big Blue were $21.8 billion, beating Wall Street estimates. Red Hat’s hybrid cloud solutions (aka OpenShift) are behind IBM’s revamped cloud strategy, says Bloomberg.


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