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CIO Conference: Shifting Roles

Tao Ai Lei & T.C. Seow | March 28, 2012
Some 150 industry leaders gathered at Singapore’s Marriott Hotel last March for the CIO Conference to deliberate on the current hot IT issues.

Wong went on to highlight some high profile security breaches. These included athletic apparel company Adidas, whose web server had succumbed to hackers who rendered their German websites inoperable the entire weekend. Two years ago, 400 user accounts from the Apple’s iTunes App Store were hacked into and the data fraudulently used to buy apps or to make substantial purchases within apps.

UBS bank customer records were leaked during a system upgrade in 2009; a Malaysian government agency had the private information of 150 of its officers leaked while the CEO was lecturing the public on having safe IT practices. Singapore is not immune, were the private information like identity card and mobile numbers of election candidates was leaked from the web server of the Singapore elections department last year.

Wong cited four common causes of information leakages from web servers and cloud: compromised web servers, vulnerabilities in web applications, server errors, and sensitive information left on web servers.

In fact, infected websites are becoming a popular way to spread malware. According to data by Websense Labs, the number of malicious web sites grew 225 percent in the second half of 2009, and 71 percent of these are legitimate sites that have been compromised.

Data Centre Boom
In the subsequent presentation, Frank Huang, data centre consultant, Raritan Asia Pacific & Japan, noted that the data centre market has seen strong growth despite the global recession.

He explained that this is because “The Internet… has become very much a part of our everyday living,” he said. “Behind that is the data centre.”

In five years, the number of Internet users has jumped from 1.043 billion users (16 percent of the world’s population) to 2.11 billion (30 percent as of June 2011). In Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia will see strong growth in data centre investment rather than in facility growth.

Frank Huang
Frank Huang

Some data centre trends include: energy-efficient data centres, consolidation where all servers are run from a central location, a shift to private cloud solutions, which are cheaper and provide easier management of data capacity, and deep tiers are used to archive inactive to less-active data, while top tiers are reserved for data that is used constantly.

The key area of interest now is Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM), and that is expected to shape data centre facilities and IT operations for years to come. DCIM involves integrating IT and facility management disciplines to centralise monitoring, management and intelligent capacity planning of a data centre’s critical systems. This is achieved through the implementation of specialised software, hardware and sensors.

The Great Debate
The CIO Conference ended with the traditional highlight of the conference – the Great Debate – which saw two teams cross swords verbally in a bid to respectively affirm and deny the motion: “CIOs, are you ready to be CEO?”

 

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