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IBM i Pulse: September 22nd, 2017

Posted by Tim Losee on Sep 22, 2017 8:12:34 AM


Glad to have you back for this week's IBM i Pulse! Each week we will be taking a deeper look at this week's IBM i news. This week we are looking at Watson's role in helping IBM i shops, 3 Lessons from the Equifax hack, and lessons from an IoT App. 

But First... 

Ted Holt's new book version (version 6) of his Complete CL book is on sale! Make sure you pick up your copy today!

Source: https://www.mc-store.com/products/complete-cl-sixth-edition

Watson for i: Watson Could Help Solve the "Retiring Boomer" Problem for IBM i Shops

by John Ghrist

Many IBM i shops look at the near future and cringe. Not due to technology or some new fad that is coming, but what is actually leaving. Many IBM i developers are rapidly approaching their retirement age and IBM i shops are taking notice to the lack of replacements that are available. It scares many of them. In a recent survey, "Lack of suitable Developers" racked 2nd in their biggest fears. So what can be done? Enter Watson!

IBM Watson talent might be the answer to many IBM i shops prayers, by using cognitive solutions, Watson can help find the right source of talent for your future enterprise needs. These might not be college grades who are fluent in DB2/400 (a little much to ask), but Watson can find those who have the skill set to learn these programs and secure your future. 

AI for HR

IBM Watson Talent is a unique part of the cognitive solutions for professions (which also includes Marketing, Commerce and Supply Chains). Included is IBM Watson Recruitment which uses cognitive analysis to help those in human resources analyze job applicants and rank them in accordance to how well they would do by comparing them to the requirements for an opening within your company. This can give you a road map to how long a hiring might take, and who your ideal candidates are once they are entered into your system. 

Within Watson Recruitment is a tool names IBM Kenexa Talent Framework, this can help your IBM i shop find those well desired programmers with a database of skill-based job profiles. These profiles are industry-specific and have defined key job duties built into them. Those keys include: competencies and skills, job levels, suggestive interview questions and other tips for first finding and then developing potential employees within that position.  In addition, Watson Discovery API can analyze social media and news to help you understand how you appeal to future candidates, this can help you adjust any branding or messaging that might help you attract the best talent. 

Once you have attracted the new talent you want to give them a clear path to succeed and Watson can help you do that too. Another tool that can be helpful is IBM Career Coach. This cognitive behavior analyzes employee goals and organizational goals and can help create a clear path for employee's potential growth path within the company. Making it easier to mentor those employees and giving them the direction that many employees are looking for. This helps keep employees motivated and focused on the future with your company, and not looking elsewhere for upward mobility.  John tackles many more factors that Watson can do to help improve your chances of filling those up and coming positions for your IBM i shop, read the whole article below!

Profound.js can help as well! We make it simple to utilize Watson with your IBM i by using Node.js to simplify how you interact with Watson. This process can be long and complicated, but with the power of Profound.js you can call Watson sometimes with as little as 1 line of code! 

Source: https://www.mcpressonline.com/analytics-cognitive/business-intelligence/watson-for-i-watson-could-help-solve-the-retiring-boomer-problem-for-ibm-i-shops

Three Lessons IBM i Shops Can Learn From the Equifax Hack

by Alex Woodie

With over 143 million people's identities potential put in harms way from the Equifax Hack, everyone seems to have security concerns on their minds now a days. With so much risk involved with sensitive data, business' are looking to sure up security measures on their end to not fall victim like Equifax did. Although it was not an IBM i system that was hacked at Equifax, IBM i shops can still learn some things from the inaction of Equifax. Here are three lessons you can learn to help protect your IBM i system.

Apply Patches

During the hack on Equifax, hackers exploited un-patched vulnerabilities in Apache Struts, a popular open source development framework for Web applications. Keeping up with a plethora of changes and patches can be weary for any administrator with so many shared software components being used in today’s complex enterprise systems. But when it comes to Equifax, the patch became available in March, but by the time they realized that there had been a breach it was July! The lesson here? Update as soon as you can! We know that you can't always update every single software every single day, but do it ASAP. This will reduce your risk of security breeches.

Configure Systems

Once the hackers entered the system it is not likely that the information that they were looking for was just hanging around for them to take. Security best practices suggest putting additional rings of protection in place, especially around user profiles. Security researchers found that it was a lack of protections placed around certain administrator profiles was the downfall for Equifax. Surprisingly, 1 in 10 administrators have a default user name/password which creates very easy access for hackers.

Take Responsibility 

The breach was bad enough, but one of the biggest problems Equifax had was how long they took to recognize the breach and disclose the issue. They found the breach in the middle of July, but did not disclose it to the public until September. That was a PR nightmare. Besides being a PR nightmare, Equifax broke the trust of their customers as well as possible being fined for their lack of attention to detail. Trying to hide the issue only made it worse. Taking responsibility for a hack on your system will give you credibility and allow you to fix the issue quicker then it would be if you held back what happened. 

 Source: https://www.itjungle.com/2017/09/18/three-lessons-ibm-shops-can-learn-equifax-hack/

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Lessons Learned From My First Experience in IoT Development

by Michael Yuan

IoT development is much different from other kinds of software development. Some of the reasons it is different are:

  • IoT devices aren't focused on computing, thus making making them more likely to have less computing power.
  • Because of the constraints on their computing power, IoT devices have their own programming environment.
  • Many IoT devices are used on the go, thus use WiFi connections making them operate on a low bandwidth environment.
  • IoT does not have a traditional UI so deploying and managing IoT devices is difficult.
  • The type of IoT data that is processed usually lends itself to machine to machine type applications.
  • IoT devices out number people, so many of them can be left unattended and be subject to tampering or other attacks.

Lesson 1:

Because IoT devices and application scenarios are so diverse and different, most of the IoT application development is specialized. Developers tend to choose hardware and software combinations to optimize their development for specific needs instead of using general-purpose computers.

Lesson 2:

If you are new to IoT development, it might be tempting to use HTTP sense you are probably familiar with it for your network communication. But, taking the time to learn and use MQTT as your communication protocol is well worth it. It helps you be more efficient and is much more reliable for IoT devices. 

Lesson 3:

If you developing more complex IoT applications, you may need to manage software updates across millions of unattended devices. To help with this you can use software containers that download new modules on demand and then update themselves automatically. 

Lesson 4:

IoT applications generate huge amounts of M2M data (which no human could actually monitor), your IoT application will need to establish "trust" between machines to be able to audit the data if something goes wrong. This is critical to security for your IoT application.

To read more details about each lesson, make sure to check out Michael's great article. Also, don't forget that Profound Logic's Profound.js 2.0 can help connect your IBM i system to IoT applications, giving you greater flexibility to your entire system.

Source: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/iot-lessons-learned-01/index.html?social_post=1080151768&fst=Discover

November 15th-17th Profound Logic will be hosting our 2nd annual PLUS Seminar for their customers. Get the most value from your Profound Logic investment and assure your modernization success. Register here today!

One of our focuses for 2017 is the continued adoption of Node.js in IBM i shops. Click here to read our white paper on Why Node.js Is The Solution Your Company Needs.

Also, Profound.js 2.0 has been released! See how Profound.js 2.0 can help modernize your IBM i today!

And there, you're all caught up! Sounds like we have an interesting 2017!

Topics: Events & Education, Application modernization, IBM i applications, Node.js, Profound.js, IBM i, RPG, AS400 modernization, IBM i Modernization, Agile modernization, iSeries, Legacy Modernization

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