Inside CTO/CIO - July 11th, 2019 |

Inside CTO/CIO (Jul 11th, 2019)

Facebook seeks diversity/Microsoft AI and healthcare

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1. Facebook has announced new workplace diversity goals that include increasing its percentage of black and Hispanic technical workers. Facebook has been particularly focused on building a more diverse technical force in the last few years, but to date, black and Hispanic people hold only 5 percent of its tech jobs. That's up just 1 percentage point from 2014. Other tech giants have diversity issues, too: Among the eight largest U.S. tech companies, only 3 percent of technical jobs are held by black workers. A survey from Boston Consulting Group finds that companies that reported above-average diversity on their management teams also reported innovation revenue that was 19 percentage points higher than that of companies with below-average leadership diversity. - ADAGE 

2. Microsoft is partnering with Providence St. Joseph Health to modernize the non-profit healthcare system's clinical and administrative IT departments and to improve patient care. Providence will migrate the clinical data it hosts in eight data centers onto the Microsoft Azure cloud. Microsoft AI technology will be applied to help make clinical decisions for patients with cancer and other conditions. The partners want to reduce the time it takes to identify cancer cases using natural language processing and machine reading technology. The pilot will launch at an as-yet-unnamed Providence St. Joseph Health hospital in the Seattle region. Microsoft's health unit is a multi-billion dollar business.  - GEEKWIRE


3. Cisco has acquired Acadia Communications, its supplier of optical networking hardware, to boost its stock of optical technologies. Bill Gartner, the head of the networking giant's optical systems and optics business, said in a conference call that the optical networking market is a multi-billion-dollar opportunity that's driven by the exponential growth in internet users, video content delivery, and social networks and by a significant demand for high-speed networks that are open, programmable and automated. Cisco intends to buy Acadia for $2.6 billion. Cisco's last big deal was its $3.7 billion acquisition of application analytics vendor AppDynamics  - XCONOMY

4. Health insurer Anthem is bringing Apple top talent on board to help it expand its digital offerings and make them more user-friendly. Hires include Warris Bokhari from Apple Health and senior machine learning researcher Stephanos Giampinis. The expertise these and other former Apple execs can bring to the table will be valuable as the insurer works on tech projects including a partnership with the health-tech start-up to detect allergy patterns. Another project is Act Wise, a website for health plans to better manage their employees’ medical benefits. Anthem CEO Gail Boudreaux has said that a priority for the company is to increase investments in digital and mobile technology to improve health plan member experience. - CNBC

5. The recently released State of Data Science and Analytics report shows that data workers spend 90% of the workweek on data-related activities such as searching, preparing and analyzing data. More than 30 percent of workers say that too much of their time is devoted to data preparation, a task that can easily be automated, according to the IDC report. Almost three out of 10 say response times to their requests are too slow. - ZDNET

6. Virtual reality trailblazer HTC has launched an enterprise-focused business unit and strategy. The new organization, Vive Enterprise Solutions, will expand HTC's VR offerings for business with new hardware, software and services that address training and simulation, design and visualization, and collaboration. - BUSINESS INSIDER

7. CIOs are starting to explore product-led IT strategies. Managing IT services as products rather than projects means moving to iterative releases and delivering value in increments. Gartner found that 55 percent of businesses surveyed are moving to product delivery to accelerate digital transformation. - CIO

8. North Carolina lieutenant governor Dan Forest has launched a state blockchain initiative to determine how the technology can boost economic growth and deliver cost efficiencies. The program follows North Carolina's passage of a law that expanded the state's Money Transmitters Act to cover activities related to cryptocurrencies. - COINDESK

9. Three fundamental issues prevent IT from engaging with the business. Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of management consulting and research firm Everest Group, offers commentary on how IT may fall short of delivering value to the business, and put itself in a bad position when it comes to funding, The dangers arise when IT fails to understand stakeholders, lacks focus on making it easy for the business to engage with it, and has an outdated mindset about its function. - THE ENTERPRISERS' PROJECT

10. Developers can improve their mobile application security by taking precautions such as encrypting both data and code and minimizing the storage of sensitive data. Mobile application development marketing strategist Dana Kachanhey offers ten tips for locking down mobile apps. - CUSTOMERTHINK

Jennifer Zaino is a freelance writer and editor specializing in business, technology, healthcare and education. 

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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