Inside CTO/CIO - July 18th, 2019 |

Inside CTO/CIO (Jul 18th, 2019)

Deutsche Bank reduces tech spend/EU investigates Amazon/ Elon Musk's human brain chip

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1. Deutsche Bank again has plans to cut tech spending and modernize systems. An initiative to slash spend that was announced in 2012 failed to stop spending from going up by 44 percent. The financial institution says it can be successful now without hurting its need to modernize its systems. It expects to save money by moving most of its applications to the cloud, for example, and by cutting almost 5,000 external IT contractors by 2022, replacing them with its own staff at a lower cost. It's announcing its plans before it has hired a new executive to lead technology and operations at the bank. - BLOOMBERG 

2. The European Union is investigating whether Amazon's use of data from independent sellers violates competition rules. The EU's top antitrust official, Margrethe Vestager, says that it must ensure that large online platform vendors don't eliminate the benefits they deliver to consumers, such as reduced prices on purchases, through anti-competitive behavior. The EU recently levied an anti-trust fine on Google $1.7 billion (€1.5 billion) for abusing its dominant position by forcing customers of its AdSense business to sign contracts stating they would not accept advertising from rival search engines - CNN

3. Gartner sees a substantial acceleration in AI adoption this year. It recently surveyed 106 members of its Research Circle and found that about three in five had deployed AI-powered applications and projects. It predicts these organizations will each have 35 AI systems in place by 2022 for use cases such as improving decision making and recommendations to improve the customer experience, Gartner says that as more companies embrace AI, a best practice is to establish an AI Center of Excellence to distribute skills, obtain funding, and set priorities. - CIO

4. Elon Musk's startup Neuralink has developed a chip that can be implanted into human brains. The initial goal is to provide patients with brain disabilities the ability to control a mobile device. The tiny computer chip is attached to ultra-fine, electrode-studded wires that are stitched into living brains by a robot to pick up signals from across the brain and translate them into code. It has a longer-term goal of using the chips to create a “tertiary level” of the brain that would be linked to artificial intelligence. The day before this announcement, his startup SpaceX conducted a static-fire test of its Mars-colonizing Starhopper - FORBES

5. Sports intelligence analytics firm Smartodds is cutting management time and database restores from hours to minutes by moving from backup tape to Rubrik backup appliances and a Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure. The hyper-converged infrastructure market is growing as companies seek enhanced data protection. Expectations are that the market will post a compound annual growth rate of more than 38 percent during the period 2019 to 2023. - COMPUTER WEEKLY

6. A new Nemertes Research study finds that successful IoT initiatives focus on capacity planning, while less-successful initiatives tend to focus on system health monitoring, It also ranked living health monitoring, facility and environmental monitoring, visual and audio remote monitoring, precision action, customer engagement and distance action. It reported that there was no difference in success levels for companies that adopt these approaches to IoT. - TECHTARGET

7. Data pipeline innovator Ascend has emerged from stealth mode with $19 million in capital. The company, financially backed by Accel, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and 8V, says that its Autonomous, Dataflow Service lets engineers create pipelines using 85 percent less code, with 90 percent less time between prototyping and production and a zero maintenance burden.. - VENTUREBEAT

8. Over 3 billion people soon will be directly connected to the global economy, and companies should prepare to take advantage of that, says Jim Cashel, chairman of global digital strategy and development firm Forum One. He says that companies need to provide more accessible and intuitive designs for products and services offered via the internet, localize communications and adapt business models to the unique needs of new audiences. That might mean, for instance, developing a “paygo” model, where consumers pay a bit each month from online accounts for a product or service. - HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

9. Louisville-based GE Appliances is investing $150 million to make its distribution system smarter, faster and more responsive to customer needs. It is deploying virtual reality technology to train warehouse employees by exposing them to difficult logistics challenges before they have to handle them in the real world. - INSIDER LOUSIVILLE

10. Zimit, which offers a Configure Price Quote (CPQ) platform for professional services companies, has launched a partnership with professional services automation provider FinancialForce, Customers are increasingly asking for packaged services, creating a need to automate quote-to-order processes. - DIGINOMICA

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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