Archive for January 28, 2019

AI & Cybersecurity Topping the List of Priorities for Canadian Businesses to Invest In: NOVIPRO/Léger Survey

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 28, 2019 by itnerd

2018 proved to be an exciting year in technology for many Canadian businesses with AI and cybersecurity topping the list of priorities to invest in.  According to the third annual IT Portrait of Canadian Businesses Survey conducted by Canadian IT solutions firm, NOVIPRO, AI adoption is on the rise amongst mid to large-sized companies with more than one-third (34%) of businesses planning to invest in Artificial Intelligence within the next two years. This represents an increase of 48% compared to 2017.

Despite advances in IT and AI, the survey reveals that cybersecurity remains the Achilles’ heel for most businesses across the country with more than half (57%) owning confidential information on their clients and of these, nearly four in five (79%) already falling victim to a cyberattack. Perhaps most troubling is the lack of processes in place to manage a cyber attack with one quarter (25%) of businesses without a recovery plan in place and nearly half (49%) citing they would not write a note to their clients in the event of a data breach.

Investing in AI across the country

The survey reveals that while all provinces continue to plan on major tech investments in AI in the next two years, not all businesses are in sync. Surprisingly, Ontario businesses are planning the least amount of investments at 35%, compared to Atlantic Canada (48%), Quebec (42%), British Columbia (42%) and the Prairies (41%). Some industries also consider AI as a priority more than others. This is the case for businesses in consumer goods (52%), technology, media and telecoms (40%), as well as financial services (40%). Companies that work in professional services (23%), manufacturing (25%) and healthcare (26%) are the least likely to make any significant investments in AI.

As the labour shortage continues to be a growing phenomenon in Canada, almost one in three Ontario businesses (30%) plan to invest in AI to replace manual tasks of their organization with the main goal of adapting AI to increase their productivity (48%).

Cybersecurity still an important issue amongst businesses

In addition to AI, the survey sheds light on the current state of cybersecurity amongst Canadian companies. While 28% of Canadian businesses admit they had been a victim of a cyber attack in 2018, only 25% Ontario businesses were a victim this year compared to 34% in 2017.Businesses from Atlantic Canada (43%) and Prairies (38%) had the most attacks. Industries that were victims of cyber attacks the most were from agriculture (50%) and construction and real estate (40%) sectors.

Furthermore, if a data breach occurred, not all companies would want to share this information. Respondents from Ontario businesses say that 79% would communicate with their IT team, half (49%) would write to clients, and 64% would report to police and company leaders. The study found that the most transparent industries were companies in the agriculture and healthcare sectors.

Better perception of IT, but not Security

After three years of conducting this study, NOVIPRO found that Canadian companies have a better perception of their IT systems. In fact, they are much more conscious this year (38%) in recognizing the strategic role of technologies than in 2016 (21%). Two years ago, one out of five companies (20%) considered their technological infrastructures to be avant-garde. In 2018, the proportion is 34%. In 2016, 54% of Canadian businesses thought the future was in the cloud, but felt they were not ready to implement this change. In 2018, 44% of the companies’ surveyed say that Cloud computing has made them better than ever.

About the 2019 NOVIPRO/Léger Survey

For the third year in a row, NOVIPRO and Léger have drawn a global picture of the IT in Canada. The online survey was conducted from November 1 to November 21, 2018, and polled 476 decision-makers in IT sectors (300) and various other industries (176). All the respondents worked for big (500 employees or more) or medium-sized (100 to 499 employees) companies. Consult the main findings of the survey.

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US Justice Department Drops The Hammer On Huawei

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 28, 2019 by itnerd

From the “this escalated quickly” file, comes the announcement that The United States Department of Justice has announced it plans to seek extradition of arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou who is out on bail in Vancouver.

A 13-count indictment filed in New York City against Huawei, two of its affiliated firms, and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, accuses Huawei and an affiliate of bank fraud and wire fraud. The company is also charged with violating U.S. sanctions on Iran and conspiring to obstruct justice related to the investigation.

Canadian officials arrested Meng on a U.S. warrant Dec. 1. She has been detained in Vancouver since then.

This is sure to make life difficult for Canada as China is likely to flip out at this latest development in the Huawei gong show. At this point, Canada should just hand over Meng and be done with it.

LinkedIn Unveils 2019 Global Talent Trends Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 28, 2019 by itnerd

Today, LinkedIn released its annual Global Talent Trends report, that provides information into the trends that are impacting HR leaders today. Focused on the changing relationship between the employee and the employer, the results are based on a survey of over 5,000 talent professionals in 35 countries, including 287 professionals in Canada, and looks at four main trends: pay transparency, soft skills, work flexibility and anti-harassment practices.

Here’s a closer look at the top trends transforming your workplace:

  • The future of work relies on soft skills. Nearly all Canadian respondents (94%) agree that soft skills are an important trend for the future of hiring.
  • Companies adapt to workplace flexibility. Research reveals that 69 per cent of HR and hiring professionals believe that allowing employees to work remotely improves employee morale, but with these benefits come their own unique challenges. Only 49 per cent of respondents believe that it’s an attractive perk that helps to hire talent.
  • Harassment prevention takes the front seat in the modern workplace. Talent professionals are putting policies, practices, and work cultures under a microscope to create safer workplaces. Nearly half (49%) of Canadian HR and hiring professionals have noticed that employees are more empowered and willing to say something when they feel uncomfortable and only 22 per cent have seen no changes in workplace dynamics and culture.

LinkedIn surveyed 5,164 talent professionals and hiring managers, including 287 non-staffing professionals in Canada, who self-identified as either talent professionals who work in a corporate HR/TA department or hiring managers who have some authority over hiring decisions for their team. These survey respondents are LinkedIn members who were selected based on information in their LinkedIn profile and contacted via email between September 18th and October 10th, 2018.

You can read the blog post featuring key global findings here.

Review: Vesafe Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Posted in Products with tags on January 28, 2019 by itnerd

After my rather negative experience with the Nonda Zus Tire Safety Monitor which was only the second product in the history of this blog that I pulled a recommendation from, I was looking for another tire pressure monitoring system as my car does not have tire pressure monitoring. Fortunately for me the folks at Vesafe sent me their tire pressure mounting system to review.

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Here’s what you get in the box.

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You get four tire sensors that replace the valve caps. You also get a LCD screen that you plug into a 12V outlet.

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Here’s one of the sensors. One of the things that I like about it is that you can see easily which wheel it goes on as the writing is on the top of the sensor.

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One area where this tire pressure monitoring system beats the one from Nonda is that the metal that is used in the sensor appears to be brass. That’s important because Nonda’s sensors use some sort of alloy that is prone to galvanic corrosion. Meaning that the sensors had a tendency to fuse to the valve stems requiring you to cut the valve stem off and replace it if you wanted to put air into your tire. That of course is bad. In this case, seeing that the sensor is brass and valve stems tend to be brass as well, this should not be an issue. Having said that, I will still use dielectric grease to make sure that this is not an issue. Another plus is that the rubber gasket on the inside looks far more robust than what was in the Nonda offering which had a habit of getting stuck to the valve stem and coming off the sensor.

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You also get a bag with anti-theft bolts, a wrench for said anti-theft bolts, and some spare parts. You also get a tool (on the right) to help you to disassemble the sensors to replace the batteries.

Installation is simple:

  1. Plug in the LCD screen into a 12v outlet.
  2. Turn on the car to get the LCD screen to light up.
  3. Screw on the sensors on to the right valve caps.
  4. Turn on the car and set the minimum and maximum pressures (28 PSI and 41 PSI based on a cold tire pressure of 35 PSI in my case) as well as the maximum temperature that the tires can take. I left that at 70 degrees Celsius.
  5. Done! Declare victory and have a beer.

I did the above and within a couple of minutes the tire pressures with each tire pressure showed up on the LCD screen:

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Mine is in the cubby beneath the controls for the HVAC system. I can still see it, but it is in an out of the way place. But I won’t be looking at it while you are driving so that’s fine. Depending on where your 12v outlets are, you might get better or worse results from a visibility perspective. I checked the pressures and the information on the screen was more or less accurate (within 1 PSI) based on comparing what was on the screen with an air pressure gauge that I trust. The system is capable of generating alarms for low or high tire pressure, as well as high temperatures on a tire. Not to mention a low battery in the sensor. The beep it generates is hard to miss. Thus it covers all use cases to keep you safe. I like this use case because if an alert goes off you don’t need to whip out your smartphone and open an app to see what’s going on because everything that you need to see is right there.

Gripes? None really. And the price is right at $84.99 CDN on Amazon. If you’re a refugee from Nonda’s problematic tire monitoring system, or you want a easy to install system for your car that lacks tire pressure monitoring, then the Vesafe Tire Pressure Monitoring System is definitely worth a look.