Engineering

Dynamic Digest: Week of 12/17

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Summary
Welcome to the Dynamic Digest, a weekly recap of the latest news happening in our industry. Want the pulse of what’s going on in enterprise software and analytics, performance management, cloud computing, data, and other like topics? We got you covered! This week in the world of technology, a new...

Welcome to the Dynamic Digest, a weekly recap of the latest news happening in our industry. Want the pulse of what’s going on in enterprise software and analytics, performance management, cloud computing, data, and other like topics? We got you covered!

This week in the world of technology, a new IoT startup unveiled, IBM opened a global headquarter for IoT, and the EU makes strict changes to data protection rules.

Afero, a new IoT startup from Danger cofounder Joe Britt, comes out of stealth – VentureBeat, December 16

First mobile, now the Internet of things. Joe Britt, co-founder of smartphone firm Danger, just unveiled his new IoT startup called Afero. Afera aims to provide a higher level of connectivity and security among the billions of connected devices through Bluetooth Smart module and a cloud service – Afero Cloud. The technology, which took nearly two years to develop, incorporates integrated hardware, software, and cloud services for smart-device connectivity and data analytics.

Key takeaway: Afero hopes to make the lives of IoT developers a little easier, by minimizing the complexity around the connectivity layer, allowing developers to focus solely on the core functionality of the product. Furthermore, Afero is focusing heavily on security, which is a major concern with IoT by promising to secure the connection between a device and the cloud. The startup is still in its early stages, so it’s too soon to tell if and how Afero compares to similar IoT startups.

IBM Bets on Watson With Global Research Center in Germany – Bloomberg, December 15

IBM takes Munich. The company announced the opening of its new Watson Internet of Things (IoT) global headquarters in Munich this week. IBM’s largest investment in Europe in nearly two decades, the addition comes in an effort to increases sales in its data analytics and cloud computing business. The facility will house more than 1,000 data-focused employees and consultants, and is the first of eight planned centers, each focusing on an industry specific to their region. Munich, for example, was chosen as the centerpiece because the country makes so much of the things that data scientists foresee will be connecting to the Internet. With this move, IBM hopes to gain major IoT business by putting more emphasis on European customers and ultimately expanding its profitable growth potential.

Key takeaway: IBM’s major IoT strategy isn’t a surprise, as many large companies have announced major initiatives in the past year. However, the company’s commitment to the space is stronger than ever, as they continue growing the number of employees dedicated to its IoT group and are now looking for global expansion. The company is heading in the right direction, with its investment, organization strategy, and headquarters, but now they need to execute and deliver.

Europe Approves Tough New Data Protection Rules – The New York Times, December 15

Tech companies, listen up. On Tuesday, negotiators approved the biggest changes to privacy laws in the European Union in nearly two decades. Meaning? Citizens have better control of their personal digital information (how it’s used and collected) while large companies face the possibility of paying hefty fines if they fail to abide by the rules. However, the fine is far from small – the law allows the EU to fine up to four percent of revenue, which could mean billions of dollars for big tech companies. The changes will require tighter restrictions on how companies can reuse data, particularly for tech companies who often collect large amounts of personal data for various reasons, such as advertising. New additions to the agreement, including the “right to be forgotten” and requiring companies to get “explicit” consent from individuals to use their data.  The agreement is scheduled for final approval by the European Parliament and EU member states by next week and if endorsed, changes will go into effect by early 2017.

Key takeaway: With the advancement of technology in the past decade, it makes sense to negotiate current privacy regulations, which dates back to 1995 (20 years ago!). The new changes will force companies to take digital privacy issues seriously, an issue that remains top of mind for many – especially after Edward Snowden disclosed how U.S. authorities extracted personal information from tech companies, such as Microsoft and Apple. Will this new agreement be enough to protect European citizens data?

We hope you enjoyed this week’s Dynamic Digest weekly roundup! Have a suggestion or preferred topic you would like to see next week? Tweet at us or leave a comment below!

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