The marriage of Nissan and Renault, well into its 15th year, brought with it a significant business reform strategy that puts IT transformation at its core. Stephen Kneebone, Nissan’s chief information officer with responsibility for the EMEA region explains to BCN how the Alliance’s IT strategy is helping both brands deliver a consistent, coherent digital platform for internal users and customers.
Property management isn’t the first vertical that springs to mind when one thinks of IT as a strategic differentiator. But Moataz Hassouna, chief information officer of the Egyptian division of Emaar Properties, one of the Middle East’s largest property management firms, says that IT is one of the essential means by which the company keeps ahead of its competitors.
European Parliament has approved a motion stressing among other things the need to unbundle search engines from the other commercial services offered by those companies. Though technically non-binding, largely symbolic and heavily criticised, the move seems largely aimed at pressuring the European Commission to investigate the possible breakup of Google. The move was brushed off by some as “political theatre.”
The USA Freedom Act, which was proposed in a bid to end mass surveillance and give more transparency and oversight to how digital communications are monitored by the US intelligence community, died on the floor of the US Senate this week, falling just two votes shy of the 60 votes it needed to pass. Some analysts believe the result will stoke further debate around Safe Harbour and other data sharing agreements with the US.
The development of OpenStack moving forward is likely to focus on refining the existing features and capabilities within the project and securing agreement on a common idea of what the core OpenStack platform consists of, according to Alan Clark, chair of the OpenStack Foundation’s board of directors and director of industry initiatives, emerging standards and open source at Suse.
Under threat from companies not traditionally viewed as competitors, telcos are racing to both offer cloud services to end-user customers and tap into the cloud to run core network functions in a bid to make their value propositions more competitive and infrastructure more dynamic. But cloud experts from Orange, Swisscom and AT&T have each voiced concerns around just how capable the sector may be at managing such a bold transformation with existing tools.
BMW is using OpenStack to stand up its private cloud platform in a bid to improve the scalability and flexibility of the company’s IT infrastructure, but according to Dr. Stefan Lenz, the company’s IT infrastructure, department manager datacentre, the open source project still needs to become more hardened in order to support a greater variety of workloads and use cases.
Software defined networking (SDN) has been the darling of the networking and IT world for the past few years, billed as one of the key cloud-enabling technologies with the potential to make every digital service consumable on-demand. But despite widespread appetite for technologies that can make networks more flexible, scalable and easy to manage, SDN still has a number of hurdles to overcome before enterprises embrace the technology.
UK oil and gas firm BG Group plans to put much of its data in the cloud over the coming months and is currently trialling Box’s cloud-based storage and collaboration platform, which it plans to extend across its global network of employees and partners. But it still needs to address data classification issues, and educate employees, in order to strike the right balance between security and efficiency according to Judy Porter, BG Group’s global IT strategy.
Data security – and its correlate, data privacy – has become the leading issue when it comes to emerging digital technologies, especially cloud computing, big data, and the burgeoning Internet of Things. That’s why some of the world’s foremost data privacy and data security experts are calling for harmonised international standards on policies and processes related to data storage and handling.