Kubernetes Adoption Challenges Solved

The business wants better software, brought to market faster. Enterprise IT wants to manage cost and risk. The problem for large, complex organizations is that they need to accomplish these objectives and still maintain existing business operations. It is like changing the wheels of an F1 race car at full speed without a pit stop. […]
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5 data security techniques that help boost consumer confidence

These days, it seems like hardly any time passes between headlines about the most recent data breach. Consider the revelation in late September that a security intrusion exposed the accounts of more than 50 million Facebook users.
For that matter, not much time goes by without a new survey or study that confirms the difficulty of data security. Forbes recently reported that US businesses and government agencies suffered 668 million security intrusions and data breaches in the first half of 2018 alone. It’s no wonder consumers have little faith in organizations’ abilities to protect their data. Only 20 percent of US consumers completely trust organizations to keep their data private.
No business is immune to data breaches, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do everything in your power to prevent them. By taking proven, sensible measures to ensure data security, your enterprise will not only tighten its defenses, but also promote trust among customers.
Here are five steps your organization can take that will demonstrate to consumers that you’re committed to data security.
1. Encrypt sensitive information.
Many industry regulations require certain data be encrypted, but it wouldn’t hurt if your organization considered safeguarding other types of data too. Almost anything can be encrypted. There are the obvious resources: email, SMS messages, user names, passwords and databases. Other sensitive data, such as intellectual property and the personal data of customers and employees, can also be encrypted.
Before considering encryption, review whether a particular type of data would cause financial harm and reputational damage to your organization if someone exposed and manipulated it. Encryption isn’t foolproof, especially if the key to encryption falls in the wrong hands, but it is a first-line security step that can show customers you take these matters seriously.
2. Optimize backup and recovery.
Most enterprises have data backup and recovery plans and likely rely on some form of disaster recovery (DR) technology, whether it’s offsite servers or a cloud service. But is it effective enough to boast about? An organization can’t make any stated commitment to protecting customers’ data if it’s at risk of losing it.
Because cyber incidents usually happen without notice and can go undetected for days, weeks or even longer, it’s critical to restore data to its clean, pre-breach condition. It’s a complicated process, but cutting-edge, purpose-built resiliency technologies can automatically recover data to its correct state and enable enterprises to find their footing quickly after a breach.
3. Promote compliance and transparency.
This year, organizations around the world started abiding by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a European Union standard for the handling of customer data. The GDPR essentially puts the power in consumers’ hands, enabling them to control how their data is stored and managed. It’s a thorough and detailed mandate for any organization, no matter where it’s based, to properly handle European citizens’ data.
Companies that comply with GDPR should use this compliance to their advantage by promoting how they collect, use and store consumer data. Asking users to review privacy settings or agree to a laundry list of new standards won’t effectively relay the steps you’re taking on their behalf. Instead, organizations should separately promote the many ways they follow GDPR and other compliance standards in easily consumable marketing materials. This will show customers that the organization is serious about its commitment to protecting personal information.
4. Consider cyber insurance.
In its annual study on the expenses of cybercrime, Ponemon estimates that the global average cost of a data breach has increased 6.4 percent over last year, climbing to an average $3.86 million in 2018. Those high costs have prompted many businesses to view cyber risk insurance as a critical investment.
Businesses that want the support of insurance should look for a policy that covers common reimbursable expenses. These might include a forensics examination to review the data breach, as well as monetary losses from business interruption, crisis management costs, legal expenses and regulatory fines. Hopefully, your enterprise won’t face many of those costs, but cybercrime is unpredictable. The peace of mind that insurance can provide you and your customers is worth the cost.
5. Work with a data security expert.
It’s not easy deciding which technologies and data security management strategies will work best for your organization. There are many technologies and strategies to implement. With regulations such as GDPR increasing expectations, don’t take any chances with customer data. Work with a data security expert that knows the lay of the land and already has insight on potential changes that would affect how you safeguard information.
Customers have an increasingly endless array of options to choose from on the digital market, so you might get only one chance with each consumer. Win their loyalty by demonstrating how you can expertly handle and preserve their data.
Learn about more ways IBM can help your organization secure your cloud platforms by registering for the guide to securing cloud platforms.
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Red Hat Summit is almost there

Wow! We can’t believe it’s almost time for another exciting Red Hat Summit!
This year, aside from all the super interesting sessions we usually have, please, take a look at our keynote speakers! Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO will be on stage with Jim

 
This year it will be in Boston, MA  from May 7 until May 9

Red Hat Summit 2019 is at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
415 Summer St
Boston, MA 02210

 
You can find more information here https://www.redhat.com/en/summit/2019
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Elaw uses IBM AI to automate management of complex Brazilian labor lawsuits

Brazil has strict and complicated labor laws and according to The Brazil Business, Brazilians are prone to sue their employers. It is a cultural behavior and a way to make “easy money”. With an awareness of this tendency, many companies operate illegally and wait to see if the employee is going to sue them or not. In many cases, this practice is a lot cheaper than working under proper regulations.
Brazil is said to have the highest number of labor claims in the world. TMF Group reports that Brazil currently operates with 11,000 labor lawsuits a day. In comparison, the average in France is 60,000 lawsuits per year. In Chile, there are 40,000 per year and Japan has only 10,000 lawsuits per year.
Elaw Tecnologia SA is a company that specializes in the development of corporate solutions for legal management. It currently manages approximately 2.2 million active lawsuits.
Cognitive legal process management solution
Elaw wanted to automate its legal process management. The company approached the IBM Cloud Garage team, knowing that it needed a new business model, believing that artificial intelligence (AI) could improve the solution, but not having a clear scope of what it planned to develop.
The Garage team conducted an agile planning session to capture the issues faced when dealing with labor lawsuits. Elaw brought a chief legal officer that personified the end user of the solution, as well as lawyers who specialize in labor law.
Together, they created an Elaw cognitive solution using the IBM Watson Machine Learning service on the IBM Cloud.
IBM Cloud Garage projects included training Watson to identify employee complaints in lawsuits and document them in its legal management system. Elaw looked at the five most common labor lawsuit claims — such as “I’m owed overtime wages” or “my salary should be the same as my colleague’s” — and identified the claims and factors that influence each lawsuit. This helps lawyers predict what legal approach could be more effective when dealing with that case.
Watson also learned how to monitor the status of existing cases. With the application programming interface (API), Elaw automatically taps into more than 90 different court software systems to keep a close watch on new subpoenas or sentences, as well as which cases are most likely to close.
Now with Elaw’s cognitive service, client lawyers are able to analyze, compare and interpret cases.
Improved efficiency with AI and automation
Because processes are automated in the Elaw cognitive solution, they are faster and more accurate. The AI capabilities of Watson are more accurate than a human by 15 percentage points (80 percent compared to 65 percent) when reviewing and documenting employee complaints in lawsuits.
Financially, the solution is a big win for clients. Since they can act on orders faster, they avoid penalties for non-compliance. The ability to predict the outcome of cases correctly means more strategically provisioned financial resources. Additionally, being able to close cases in a timely manner means cost savings, since eLaw clients pay by active case.
Ultimately, Elaw’s AI-enabled legal process management solutions reduce the time it takes lawyers to understand lawsuits, thus improving efficiency and productivity. Lawyers perform less tedious, routine work and focus on effectively practicing law.
Read the case study for more details.
See how the IBM Cloud Garage team can help your business. Schedule a free four-hour virtual consultation.
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Financial industry adopts cloud solutions

The financial services sector (FSS) has reached a tipping point, according to an ITPro article on technology within the financial industry.
“We have reached the point where banks, in particular, must consider and position themselves not just as financial entities, but as lifestyle brands too,” shared Bharat Bhushan, IBM CTO, Banking and Financial Services.
The cloud is transforming the banking industry as banks adopt cloud solutions to help deliver against increasing customer expectations. This is because bank customers are often measuring bank services against the technical sophistication they experience in their digital and mobile interactions with companies in other sectors, such as retail.
“The cloud and emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning serve as both a catalyst and a reason to change for the financial industry,” ITPro reports. “Customers, ultimately, expect the same — if not greater — level of tech sophistication they’re used to in their consumer lives when it comes to everyday tasks such as banking.
Banks choose IBM Cloud to deliver services
Two banks this week announced their commitments with IBM Cloud.
Fukui Bank of Japan will adopt IBM Cloud to run its distributed processing systems. The company plans to use IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions for the migration. Learn more by reading the announcement.
Boursorama, a subsidiary of Société Générale in France, renewed its commitment to hybrid cloud with a five-year contract with IBM to continue building the bank’s new product offerings and services.
Learn more
Read more about technology in the financial services sector in the full article by ITPro.
Learn more about IBM Cloud solutions for banking.
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Building Modern Distributed Applications with Redis Enterprise on Red Hat OpenShift

This piece was written by Sheryl Sage, Director of Partner Marketing at Redis Labs. We live in a connected world and expect that our services are always-on and instantly delivered. The Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform helps you easily build and deploy applications in nearly any public, private or multi-cloud environment. But what about building […]
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New Forrester study: What is the ROI of application modernization?

If you work in IT, you’ve probably heard grandiose-sounding promises about the ROI of application modernization. It might not be surprising, then, that businesses everywhere are embracing the hybrid, multicloud cloud model.
According to an IBM commissioned study by Forrester Research, 62 percent of infrastructure decision makers reported using hosted private cloud in 2017, and 64 percent reported having an internal private cloud. Meanwhile, containers continue to rise in prevalence, as teams look for ways to modernize existing software and create cloud-native applications.
Cloud modernization challenges
There is clearly a lot of excitement around modernization, but what results should businesses expect from these transformation efforts? Are there major economic benefits beyond the hype?
To answer this question, IBM commissioned a Forrester study on the total economic impact of IBM Cloud Private, our own Kubernetes-based, container platform for private cloud, application modernization and cloud-native development.
According to the study, clients faced two major challenges before adopting the new technology:

Challenges from traditional infrastructure. Forrester found that businesses using traditional application servers struggled with slow deployments, silos that created management complexity and costly overprovisioning for handling spikes in capacity. These inefficiencies frustrated developers, business users, IT operations and line-of-business stakeholders.
Growing pressure to move to a cloud delivery model and achieve faster time-to-market. Organizations in the study reported two main priorities: modernizing established applications and bringing new cloud-native applications and features to market more quickly. Many organizations realized that in order to accomplish these goals, not only would they need to move to a continuous delivery model, they would also need the tools to support that transformation.

Application modernization ROI
Forrester interviewed a large range of IBM Cloud Private clients to better understand the concrete benefits that came with tackling these challenges. Overall, clients reported three main benefits:

Improved developer productivity. According to the study, developers are as much as 40 percent more productive, on average, on teams that have adopted IBM Cloud Private. By modernizing existing applications and providing access to better developer services, the right cloud technology can help make engineering teams more efficient and improve time-to-market.
Greater operational efficiency. The organizations that Forrester interviewed achieved a greater level of operational efficiency and saved their employees a massive amount of time. Cloud services can automate many manual tasks associated with rolling out, managing and monitoring the application environment. This provides operational simplicity and reduces the burden on IT operations and middleware administrators.
Reduced costs. IBM Cloud Private helped clients in the study to optimize infrastructure and license costs. This allowed for an average savings of more than $500,000 over the first three years of adoption. The right hybrid cloud technology can accomplish this by reducing past overprovisioning, providing license and support savings for middleware products and allowing organizations to use existing infrastructure to run workloads.

These are only a few of several benefits highlighted in the study. To learn more about Forrester’s study on the economic benefits of application modernization and IBM Cloud Private, download your free copy of the report today.
Related reading and resources:

Download your free copy of the new Ovum study: Delivering Business Value through Transitioning from Managing VMs to Orchestrating Containers.
Visit the IBM Cloud Private website.

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Gain flexibility with microservices applications

Microservice development techniques have ushered in an unprecedented era of continuous delivery and deployment. It’s important that organizations investing in IT evaluate its application modernization journey. As part of that journey, businesses can gain efficiencies and cost savings by unlocking the potential of microclimate architectures. Yet, careful consideration must be given to how to best deploy microservices in an environment where more demands are being put on developers and site reliability engineers (SREs) every day.
The complexity of microclimate architectures requires developers and SREs to monitor and ensure application reliability and performance even after they go into production. While monitoring the resource consumption of an application during development mitigates any cost or sizing surprises before production, microservice architectures, and the opportunity they offer to rapidly enhance application capabilities while in production, require the SRE to continue monitoring resource consumption during an application’s life cycle of changes. Thus, using a resource monitoring solution that can be used throughout the development and production life cycle is ideal. Lightweight data collectors embedded into a microclimate can offer incredible value.
What are lightweight data collectors?
But, what are lightweight data collectors and how do they help? Data collectors are simply application modules that collect performance metrics. Modern data collection agents are easy to install and have minimal footprints, making them “lightweight”. Most lightweight data collectors are open source, which not only allows the community to contribute improvements, but also enables customization specific to your applications. Supported in Node.JS, Swift, and Java runtime environments, modern data collectors can be embedded into the application container image just like any other application library. They can also be easily instrumented by adding a line of code to the runtime instead of installing a huge agent into each service. The ability to collect data at the service level can help developers work more efficiently.
Overcoming microservices development challenges with lightweight data collectors
During development in a microservices environment, tracking the compute resources, application response times, throughput, stack and method traces is very valuable. By measuring and monitoring these resources earlier in the development lifecycle, companies can prevent latency and other issues occurring in production that may affect the customer. But, even this due diligence isn’t enough in a microservices environment.
The versatility of microclimates allows for rapid innovation even after deployment. Developers are often faced with troubleshooting applications while in production. With user impact looming, it can be a scramble to get insight into container performance and measure the availability of compute resources.
As applications progress through the continuous delivery pipeline, developers need to collect metrics to ensure they understand resource consumption at each stage. Lightweight data collectors in a microclimate environment provide real-time intelligence at the service level to help developers find problems during development or in production, so that they feel confident in delivering code to the pipeline and maintaining availability during improvement cycles. As applications are changed in production, developers can easily compare resource metrics from one version to another.
Lightweight data collectors offer huge benefits to developers, but they also improve the IT environment.
Overcoming microservices operational challenges with lightweight data collectors
In most enterprises, SREs are faced with monitoring applications deployed in both private and public clouds, and often in hybrid cloud environments that include traditional on-premises resources. Ensuring applications are performing well while being continuously updated in hybrid production environments can be difficult if data is not processed quickly.
Luckily, lightweight data collectors offer a common approach to collecting resource metrics. In these situations, and also for deployments that are spread across multiple public clouds, microclimate topology and lightweight data collectors help gather performance metrics in a consistent manner. This is doubly important when migrating applications to microservice architectures. When a new service is introduced in the cluster, it’s a huge value add for operations teams to have performance metrics data at their fingertips comparing how service was performing before and after the transition.
And, when modernizing application architectures, teams will need tools that not only collect data, but also provide insights into how to fix issues when they arise.
The solution: A centralized view of microservices application metrics
Microclimate environments enable rapid continuous delivery processes and allow teams to communicate through common metrics, but that communication is only as valuable as the data being pushed out. Siloed data can create big problems. Redirecting lightweight data collectors for a centralized view of microservices applications metrics ensures your teams are all operating from the same view.
Using tools like the IBM Cloud App Management and data collectors, developers and site reliability engineers can share a centralized view of all of an application’s microservices resource metrics. IBM Cloud App Management monitors at the service level using SRE golden signals, latency, errors, traffic and saturation as indicators with lightweight data collectors to give deeper insight into service impacting issues.
Learn more:

See how IBM Cloud App Management deploys lightweight data collectors, informed by SRE golden signal monitoring.
Learn how to deploy your company microclimate on IBM Cloud Private.
Read about the importance of the application modernization journey to organizations investing in IT.

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How to get more business value from robotic process automation

Organizations can gain outsized results by using robotic process automation with other automation technologies. As a result, many companies are betting big on automation and the impact it can have across all aspects of their business operations. In fact, according to Forrester 40 percent of enterprises are centering their digital transformation journey around automation. For many enterprises, robotic process automation (RPA) is a solid first step towards digitizing operations and improving business value.
Because today’s knowledge workers spend far too much time performing repetitive tasks like copying and entering data across disjointed systems, RPA has the potential to provide an immediate, meaningful impact. By integrating RPA bots to automate these types of tasks, organizations are able to increase operational speed and reduce copy-and-paste errors across systems. As a result, employees are free to focus on higher-value work, helping to increase overall efficiency and employee productivity.
RPA+ in action: Banco Popular drastically improved process completion times with automation
For example, Banco Popular one of the largest banks in Puerto Rico deployed the IBM Robotic Process Automation with Automation Anywhere solution to automate manual repetitive tasks and processes, greatly decreasing process times and freeing employees to focus more on value-added activities. Their example shows the immense business value that can be created when bots and employees seamlessly work or perform tasks alongside each other.
“The results that we’ve seen have been pretty positive,” shared Luis Benitez, Vice President of Digital Workplace at Banco Popular. “We’re aiming, by the end of the year, to record about USD 10 million in savings just by automating the processes that we’ve identified so far.”
Watch the following video to learn how Banco Popular was able to take a complicated process and decrease its process completion times by 90 percent (i.e. from about 10 minutes to about 10 seconds).
 
 
The next level of RPA bots: Extending the IBM partnership with Automation Anywhere
To unlock even greater value from their RPA investments, organizations are now seeking to incorporate RPA into their broader automation plans and use their bots in conjunction with other technologies such as workflow, decision and data capture automation.
To help clients move toward intelligently automating all their business operations, IBM and Automation Anywhere have extended their partnership. The expanded agreement provides for advanced integrations and enables both companies to help clients deploy leading RPA technology using the Automation Anywhere intelligent RPA platform in conjunction with the IBM Automation Platform for Digital Business to automate more types of work.
IBM RPA with Automation Anywhere uses the platform to augment task automation with additional automation capabilities. This collaboration enables RPA to orchestrate workflows, integrate with business rules and decisions, manage content and capture data. The planned integration will also bring accelerated value to the more than 8,000 customers currently using the IBM platform and RPA from Automation Anywhere.
As part of the extended agreement, IBM will feature bots in the Automation Anywhere Bot Store, which is the industry’s first online marketplace for preconfigured downloadable RPA bots. Further, IBM Services will deploy new RPA services that advance the adoption of software bots.
Learn more about IBM Robotic Process Automation with Automation Anywhere.
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Running a Ghost Blog on OpenShift

The Ghost blog setup relies on their custom ghost-cli to install everything that’s needed. We’re going to use the Red Hat OpenShift Source-to-Image (S2I) build process to encapsulate everything needed for the install, and then package the whole deployment in an easily shared and reproduced OpenShift Template. Video sped up for the sake of brevity. […]
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