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Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 282 - 16 February 2021
IIC Releases a Free Industrial IoT RFP Toolkit
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) announced on Jan. 19 the release of a free toolkit (beta version) to enable companies to build Requests for Proposals for Industrial IoT solutions.

"The procurement process for a typical IoT project is quite different from that of an enterprise software project. The toolkit is a collection of best practices and online tools to help guide IIoT project managers and procurement managers/buyers through the process of procuring all the different components and resources required for a complete end-to-end IIoT solution."
Cloud Security Alliance UK Predictions for 2021
The title of this report from the UK Chapter of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is not too auspicious: "2021 -- Gazing Into the Abyss." The report is strangely presented in a format that looks like a PowerPoint presentation without really being one. The eight key predictions, which clearly apply across countries, are:
  • Resilience will swallow security
  • Workload portability will remain a niche approach
  • Cloud Management Platforms may undergo a renaissance (note: some of us didn't know they had died...)
  • Cloud Provider-native security tooling will be increasingly accepted
  • Data protection certification approaches [will] increase
  • Return of the Community Cloud
  • Evolving UK data protection law (that prediction sounds somewhat specific to the UK and the self-inflicted headaches created by Brexit, but in reality this is a worldwide issue too; multiple countries, as well as states of federal countries, such as California, are adopting their own RGPD-like regimes for data protection)
  • Rise of secure DevOps.
Digital Twin Consortium: $0 for Startups for One Year
The Digital Twin Consortium (DTC), which "drives the adoption, use, interoperability and development of digital twin technology," has announced the renewal of its "$0 for startups for one year" membership program. If you run a startup that is less than three years old and has less than $1 million in revenue, you can join for one year for free. Details here.
From the Skillsoft Course Library

The Skillsoft courses are offered for free to members of the ACM (through the ACM Learning Center). Non-members can sign up for a 14-day trial and then pay for a subscription. Two courses caught our attention out of recent announcements:
  • Cybersecurity Audits: don't expect to become a certified auditor by the end of the course, which consists of 14 short videos totaling only 1hr 40min. But it is a good overview of the concepts of security assessment and monitoring (with a plug for the Nessus audit tool near the end).
  • Introduction to HTML5 and CSS: some of us dabble in web site design and maintenance on occasions, and after the retirement of Adobe's Flash at the end of 2020, learning HTML5 may make sense. The course is officially aimed at people who want to take Microsoft's 70-48 exam (whatever that is...) but we don't see why it wouldn't interest others. The total duration is only 1hr 18min.
Seen Recently...
"The main benefit of requirements documents is to get the users to understand their requirements. A formal sign-off process for requirements specifications isn't worth squat."
-- Vince Kellen, CIO of University of California San Diego, during a Cutter Consortium webinar on
"How New Database Technologies Are Turning Data Analytics Rules Upside Down" on Feb. 3, 2021

People who do not understand what is going on in AI "will actually trust the algorithm more than they should. It's a magic black box that gives an answer, and they don't have this concept of why it could be wrong. Part of this is our problem, because we give them a false sense of accuracy by giving precision.”
-- Adam Singer (ExxonMobil), during a panel session on the Application of AI in Edge Computing
at the "Edge Computing in Oil & Gas" virtual conference on Jan. 27. 2021