A lot of IT administrators probably wake up each morning, look at the calendar, and sigh. That’s because there’s only three months and change left before January 14, 2020 – the day that Windows 7 is officially end-of-life.
Applications don't age like fine wine. The older an application is, the less likely it will work natively with newer hardware and software. In turn, this means you'll spend more time maintaining your legacy application and less time building newer and more valuable software. You'll also spend more money. Companies spend up to 80% of their IT budgets maintaining legacy applications.
This July, the Zoom bug quickly got us all thinking about videoconferencing security again. Although the bug was quickly squashed, the idea that someone could send you a link that would arbitrarily add you to a conference call – thus allowing attackers to spy on you through your webcam – was unsettling beyond belief. Although Apple patched the Zoom bug out of existence before anyone could take advantage of it, the implications are worth considering.
Artificial intelligence (AI) may be at the center of most discussions these days, but without a solid data platform, AI technology won't have the proper foundation. Business intelligence tools organize data in a way that provides clear insights which you can use to make educated business decisions. When AI and BI work together, a company can rely on AI to use data (collected by BI) to make informed business decisions without the need for human interaction. However, without BI, your AI is useless.
When it comes to manufacturing and utilities, legacy applications have considerable sticking power. For example, a substantial number of manufacturers are still using legacy SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems. These legacy systems are unable to keep up with the speed demanded by information technology in the era of industry 4.0 – and they’re also dramatically vulnerable to cyberattacks. A recent survey by Kasperksy labs shows that almost 43% of industrial control systems (ICS, of which SCADA is a subset) were attacked or infected by malware last year.
The conventional wisdom has it that American manufacturing is beginning to die. Plant closings, mass layoffs, and rusting industrial cities are now supposed to characterize that portion of our economy. When you look at the actual data, however, this grim picture shows anything but the truth.
If you work in information technology, you probably know that when a piece of software is declared “end of life,” its end is in reality far from over. If you’re still running a copy of Windows Server 2003 – like one in five companies as of 2016 – then you’ll get the idea. Same if there’s a computer in your organization that still runs Windows XP. Although less than 5% of companies still run Windows XP, a majority of ATMs still do.
We are literally drowning in data. Every day, the combined efforts of humans, businesses, and automated processes generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. We are still only approaching the upslope of an exponential curve, however.
“Big Data” is already really big, and as the Internet of things expands, we can expect an even greater deluge of data. Luckily researchers and scientists have come up with new and intriguing ways to make use of all that data.