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  • IT Under Attack: Data Quality Technology Helps Companies Assess Security Vulnera
    IT Under Attack: Data Quality Technology Helps Companies Assess Security Vulnera Dan Ortega - VP Marketing at Blazent Recorded: Jul 13 2017 6 mins
    In the wake of the most recent (May 2017) malware attack impacting computer systems around the world, company executives are in urgent discussions with IT leaders, asking them to provide assessments of risks and vulnerabilities and recommendations to safeguard the company’s information and operations. CIOs and IT leaders strongly depend on the accuracy, completeness and trustworthiness of the data at their disposal to make informed decisions. How confident are you of the data being used to protect your organization from harm?
    There are commonly at least 5 independent sources of data that must be combined to identify what devices are potentially vulnerable and what business functions depend on them. When these data sets are gathered, there will undoubtedly be a large number of duplicates, partial records, records for devices that have been retired or replaced, conflicting data about the same device and records with old data that is inaccurate. According to Gartner, at any moment, as much as 40% of enterprise data is inaccurate, missing or incomplete. Data quality technology can help integrate the data, resolve the issues, alert data management staff to areas that need attention and help decision makers understand the accuracy and completeness of the data on which they depend.
    Blazent has been a leader in providing Data Quality solutions for more than 10 years and is an expert in integrating the types of IT operational data needed to help CIOs and IT leaders assemble an accurate and unified big picture view of their technology ecosystem. With data quality and trustworthiness enabled by Blazent’s technology, your leaders and decision makers can be confident that the information they are using to assess vulnerabilities and risks will lead to solid recommendations and decisions that protect your organization from harm.
  • The Future Is Closer Than You Think – Data Is coming (and Fast). How Will You Ma
    The Future Is Closer Than You Think – Data Is coming (and Fast). How Will You Ma Dan Ortega - VP Marketing at Blazent Recorded: Jul 6 2017 5 mins
    What will you do when your job and the future of your company hinges on your ability to analyze almost every piece of data your company ever created against everything known about your markets, competitors and customers – and the impact of your decision will determine success or failure? That future is closer than you think. Data on an entirely different level is coming, and much faster than anyone realizes. Are you prepared for this new paradigm?

    •Technologists have been talking about “big-data” as a trend for more than a decade and that it is coming “” “Soon” is now in your rear-view mirror.
    •Companies have been capturing and storing operational and business process data for more than 20 years (sometimes longer), providing a deep vault of historical data, assuming you can access it.
    •IoT is leading to the creation of a massive stream of new operational data at an unprecedented rate. If you think volumes are high now, you’ve seen nothing yet.
    •The free flow of user-generated (un-curated) information across social media has enabled greater contextual insights than ever before, but concurrently the signal-to-noise ratio is off the charts.

    What does all this mean? It means big data is already driving everything we do. The analytics capabilities of IT systems are becoming more sophisticated and easier for business leaders to use to analyze and tune their businesses. For them to be successful and make good decisions, however, the data on which they rely must be trustworthy, complete, accurate and inclusive of all available data sets.

    Delivering the underlying quality data that leaders need is no small feat for the IT department. The problem has transformed from“ not enough data” to “too much of a good thing.” The challenge facing most organization is filtering through the noise in the data and amplifying the signal of information that is relevant and actionable for decision-making.
  • Answers to 8 Essential Questions about Assets That Should Be in Your CMDB
    Answers to 8 Essential Questions about Assets That Should Be in Your CMDB Dan Ortega - VP Marketing at Blazent Recorded: Jun 29 2017 6 mins
    1. What are they? An accurate inventory of what assets and configuration items exist in your IT ecosystem is the foundation of your CMDB. Your asset/CI Records may come from discovery tools, physical inventories, supplier reports, change records, or even spreadsheets, but whatever their origin, you must know what assets you have in your environment.
    2. Where are they? Asset location may not seem relevant at first, but the physical location of hardware, software and likely infrastructure impacts what types of SLAs you can provide to users, the cost of service contracts with suppliers and, in some areas,
    3. Why do we have them? Understanding the purpose of an asset is the key to unlocking the value it provides to the organization. Keep in mind that an asset’s purpose may change during time as the business evolves.
    4. To what are they connected? Dependency information is critical for impact assessment, portfolio management, incident diagnosis and coordination of changes.
    5. Who uses them? User activities and business processes should both be represented in the CMDB as CIs (they are part of your business/IT ecosystem).
    6. How much are they costing? Assets incur both direct and indirect costs for your organizations. Some examples may include support contracts, licensing, infrastructure capacity, maintenance and upgrades, service desk costs, taxes and management/overhead by IT staff.
    7. How old are they? Nothing is intended to be in your environment forever. Understanding the age and the expected, useful life of each of your assets helps you understand the past and future costs (TCO) and inform decisions about when to upgrade versus when to replace an asset.
    8. How often are they changing? Change requests, feature backlogs and change management records provide valuable insights into the fitness of the asset for use (both intended use and incidental).
  • Machine Learning Is Re-Inventing Business Process Optimization
    Machine Learning Is Re-Inventing Business Process Optimization Dan Ortega - VP Marketing at Blazent Recorded: Jun 23 2017 5 mins
    Machine Learning is a game changer for business process optimization – enabling organizations to achieve levels of cost and quality efficiency never imagined previously. For the past 30 years, business process optimization was a tedious, time-consuming manual effort. Those tasked with this effort had to examine process output quality and review a very limited set of operational data to identify optimization opportunities based on historical process performance. Process changes would require re-measurement and comparison to pre-change data to evaluate the effectiveness of the change. Often, improvement impacts were either un-measurable or failed to satisfy the expectation of management.
    With modern machine-learning capabilities, process management professionals are able to integrate a broad array of sensors and monitoring mechanisms to capture large volumes of operational data from their business processes. This data can be ingested, correlated and analyzed in real-time to provide a comprehensive view of process performance. Before machine learning, managing the signals from instrumented processes was limited to either pre-defined scenarios or the review of past performance. These limitations have now been removed.
    In business process optimization, there is an important distinction to be made between “change” and “improvement.” Machine-learning systems can correlate a large diversity of data sources – even without pre-defined relationships. They provide the ability to qualify operational (process) data with contextual (cost/value) data to help process managers quantify the impacts of inefficiencies and the potential benefits of changes. This is particularly important when developing a business justification for process optimization investments.
  • Unpatched Windows Machines Will Make You “Wanna Cry”
    Unpatched Windows Machines Will Make You “Wanna Cry” Dan Ortega - Vice President of Marketing Recorded: Jun 15 2017 3 mins
    The Wanna Cry ransomware worm ravaged computers across 150 countries. The attacks began May 12, 2017, infecting PCs of organizations that had not applied security updates to some versions of Microsoft Windows. This menace paired ransomware that encrypted computers and demanded payment with a worm that enabled it to spread quickly. The ransomware encrypts all the user’s data, then a pop-up message appears demanding a $300 Bitcoin payment in return for the decryption key.
    In the UK, the National Health System attack resulted in hospital workers being unable to review patient health histories, causing postponed surgeries and increasing risks to all new patients. Medical staff reported seeing computers go down “one by one” as the attack took hold, locking machines and demanding money to release the data.
    Organizations had only days to patch their Windows end-user and server systems. Once on a system, the malware discovers on what subnet it is located, so it can infect its neighbors. Anti-virus software is the next defense when a worm has breached a machine. Ensuring total coverage of IT infrastructure is critical. Any chinks in the armor must be detected and remediated. Anti-virus products detect strings of code known as virus signatures before killing the offending program. When these products fail, network administrators are forced to redirect suspicious traffic to IP sinkholes, and then direct them from harm’s way.
    Just like anti-virus software, patch management solutions usually require a management agent to be installed on the target system. Not surprisingly, 100% coverage is very rare.
    Despite encouraging reports of waning threat activity, Wanna Cry continues to pose significant risks. Blazent provides a SaaS solution that enables its customers to take advantage of five or more data sources to build an accurate inventory of their IT assets, such as end-user systems and servers.
  • Optimizing Business Performance with People, Process and Data
    Optimizing Business Performance with People, Process and Data Dan Ortega - Vice President of Marketing Recorded: Jun 9 2017 6 mins
    People are the heart and mind of your business. Processes form the backbone of your operations. Data is the lifeblood that feeds everything you do. For your business to operate at peak performance and deliver the results you seek, people, processes and data must be healthy individually, as well as work in harmony. Technology has always been important to bringing people, process and data together; however, technology’s importance is evolving. As it does, the relationships among people, processes and technology are also changing
    People are the source of the ideas and the engine of critical thinking that enables you to turn customer needs and market forces into competitive (and profitable) opportunities for your business. The human brain is uniquely wired to interpret a large volume of information from the environment, analyze it and make decisions about how to respond.
    Business and manufacturing processes provide the structure of your company’s operations – aligning the activities and efforts of your people into efficient and predictable workflows. Processes are critical to enable the effective allocation of the organization’s resources and ensure consistent and repeatable outcomes in both products and business functions.
    Operational data enables the people and process elements of your company to work together, providing both real-time and historical indications of what activities are taking place and how well they are performing. The ability of companies to fine tune their organization effectively for optimal business performance will be largely dependent on the quality and trustworthiness of the data assets they have at their disposal. Business processes have become more data-centric, and technology adoption has expanded the possibilities for new and diverse instrumentation. Bringing all of the operational, environmental and strategic data sources together to enable decision making has become critical to business success.
  • Quality to Integrity
    Quality to Integrity Dan Ortega - Vice President of Marketing Recorded: Jun 5 2017 3 mins
    Dan Ortega outlines the of Data Quality Management and integrity to IoT initiatives.
  • Machine Learning and the Rise of the Dynamic Enterprise
    Machine Learning and the Rise of the Dynamic Enterprise Dan Ortega - Vice President of Marketing Recorded: Jun 2 2017 4 mins
    The term “dynamic enterprise” was introduced during 2008, as an enterprise architecture concept. Rather than striving for stability, predictability and maturity, dynamic enterprises began focusing on continuous and transformational growth – embracing change as the only constant. This shift began with the proliferation of social media and user-generated (Web 2.0) content, which started to replace the curated information previously available.
    As the data consumption trends evolved within the business environment, technologists (including Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web) were working behind the scenes on standards for a Semantic Web (Web 3.0), where computers could consume and analyze all of the content and information available
    Making the data readable by computers was only part of the challenge. Most companies still lacked the technology capabilities and know-how to take advantage of the information at their disposal. Advancements in machine learning and cloud infrastructure during the past 3 years have finally unlocked the potential of big data to the masses. A few large cloud service providers have invested in computing infrastructure and developed the capabilities to ingest and process vast quantities of data. They have analyzed, correlated and made it available to users in the form of cloud services that require neither the technical expertise nor the capital investment that were former barriers to adoption.
    As more enterprises and individuals leverage machine learning to draw insights from data, those insights become part of the “learned knowledge” of the system itself, and help the computer understand context and consumption behavior patterns that further improved its capability to bridge the human-information divide.
  • IT Management Is Becoming So Predictive – Which Is Good. Right?
    IT Management Is Becoming So Predictive – Which Is Good. Right? Dan Ortega - Vice President of Marketing Recorded: May 25 2017 5 mins
    Improvements in IT data quality and analysis tools have enabled IT management to spend less time looking into the past and more time enabling the dynamic enterprise of the future. This allows them to anticipate business events more accurately, forecast costs and capacity, and identify operational risks before they appear. Empowered by technology-driven insights and technology-enabled prediction ability, IT leaders have secured a long-sought seat at the table with their business counterparts during the strategic planning process. IT management becoming more predictive is good. Right? Perhaps, but there are some risks to consider.

    Technology-enabled prediction is only as good as the underlying data, and does a poor job of addressing unknown variables. Human intuition and analysis skills have traditionally been used to fill gaps in available data, interpret meaning and project future events. The predictive abilities of most IT leaders are heavily dependent on the quality of information and technology-enabled processing power at their disposal. Modern machine learning systems have made tremendous strides in analyzing large volumes of data to identify trends and patterns based on past and current observations. Their capability to do so is limited, however, by the quality and dependability of data inputs. “Garbage in-garbage out” has been the rule for many years.

    Learning how to harness the power of technology and information and applying it to create valuable predictive insights for an organizations is definitely good; IT leaders should be commended for bringing new capabilities to the decision-making table. As we all know, however, no information is perfect, and technology has its limitations. Becoming entirely reliant on technology for prediction and losing the ability to apply a human filter is a risky situation for businesses. As with many business decisions, it is important to balance the potential benefits with the acceptable risk profile for your organization
  • Why CMDBs are Sexier than you Think
    Why CMDBs are Sexier than you Think Dan Ortega - Vice President of Marketing Recorded: May 18 2017 3 mins
    Sexy may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about your CMDB and the operational data of your company… but (seriously) maybe it should be! After all, your CMDB has a number of attractive qualities and (with some care and feeding) could be the ideal partner for a lasting long-term relationship. There are lots of potential reasons this can work, but let’s focus on the top three:
    Substance: Your CMDB is not shallow and fickle, it is strong and deep, with a history as long as your company’s. The CMDB is built on a core of your master data and pulls together all of the facets of operational data your company creates every day. It contains the complex web of connective tissue that can help you understand how your company works. Those insights then become part of the CMDB itself – enabling the strength of your data to be balanced by the wisdom that comes from analytics and self-awareness.
    Long-term potential: You may lust after the latest new tool or trend, but your CMDB will stand by your company’s side through thick and thin, long into the future. It will grow and evolve with you, always be honest about what’s going on, and work with you to provide insights to get your company through troubled times. As your company changes with new markets, products, customers, and competitors or becomes a part of something bigger through acquisition or partnership, your CMDB is there to help you navigate the changes and achieve success.
    Air of mystery: You may never fully understand all of the secrets that your CMDB holds about your company. As you unlock one insight, the potential for others seems to appear magically. What would you expect from something that brings together all parts of your company data and the complex interrelationships in one place for you to explore?
    Deep substance, long-term potential and an air of mystery. Maybe your CMDB is sexier than you think

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