March 29, 2022
Photo: Eric Prouzet via Unsplash
Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: how SaaS companies are trying to adjust to the rapid changes in the talent market over the last few years, the Pentagon delays its cloud bake-off (again), and how sophisticated AI research could better predict the weather.
How long do you have to react before a successful ransomware attack encrypts all your files? According to Splunk, it depends on which variant has entered your network: Its research showed that the median time to full encryption on a 53GB data set was a little over 42 minutes across 10 different types of ransomware, but the LockBit ransomware only needed a little under six minutes to ruin your day.
Following the shift to remote work spurred by the pandemic and The Great Resignation, recruiting has turned into a race for talent, and HR software is trying to keep up.
Talent is more critical than ever. “Our customers will say to us, ‘If we can't hire, we're dead in the water as a business,’” said Oracle Senior Vice President Nagaraj Nadendla.
In a talent landscape where speed is paramount, cloud vendors like Jobvite and Oracle are using AI, machine learning and automation to help companies snag top candidates first.
Being in the cloud is essential to HR organizations, but there are still challenges. Given the pace and complexity of today’s recruiting environment, being in the cloud is now a strategic imperative. “Those that are still non-cloud-based, I think they're feeling the pressure,” said Nadendla, because it's more difficult to broadcast opportunities or for candidates to find them.
Like most SaaS industries, in the human capital management world, there’s a complicated web of partnerships and competitors amongst vendors.
Ultimately buyers, vendors and startups are all seeking anything that can give them an edge in today’s talent market.
Seeking to triple its employee base, Whisk, a fully remote team, sought diverse talent from a wide variety of regions through Upwork, a work marketplace that connects businesses with independent professionals and agencies around the globe.
The Department of Defense is still not ready to pick a cloud vendor.
It will dole out about $9 billion in cloud infrastructure contracts in December, it announced Tuesday. Those contracts were supposed to go out in April, but if you’ve followed this utterly chaotic digital transformation journey over the years, there’s no way you could have expected any of it to happen on schedule.
“We’ve recognized that our schedule was maybe a little too ahead of what we thought, and that now we’re going to wrap up in the fall and we’re aiming to award in December,” said John Sherman, the Pentagon’s chief information officer, according to CNBC. Unlike the doomed winner-take-all JEDI contract, the Pentagon is willing to award portions of the new JWCC contract to four companies — AWS, Microsoft, Google and Oracle — but has not promised that all four vendors will actually win business.
The new schedule means that the DoD won’t actually deploy any of the new technology until well into 2023, according to NextGov. That means it will have been five years since the “final” request for proposals was issued to the cloud industry, in hopes of getting started in September 2018.
Weather forecasting has never been more sophisticated, but climate change all but assures that old weather models around the world will need to be updated as new patterns emerge. AI could be a valuable tool in helping save lives and property by analyzing that changing data faster than humans could alone, and researchers think they’ve discovered a breakthrough that could help future meteorologists get the forecast right.
ClimateAI worked with researchers at the University of Oxford to use generative adversarial networks “to correct for the biases that exist in current weather models,” it announced last week. Generative adversarial networks consist of two neural networks essentially slugging it out to see which one prevails, and the researchers looked back at old weather data, applied these networks to reach conclusions and compared that data against actual results.
“For example, rather than simply confirming a “40% chance of rain this week” for an entire region, the new model would empower users to easily answer more helpful questions like: What is the likelihood that it does vs. does not rain tomorrow? Where exactly will it rain? If it rains, will it drizzle all over, pour in one specific spot or pour in many places but drizzle in others?” the researchers said.
Micron revenue rose 26% compared to last year to $7.8 billion, exceeding Wall Street’s expectations and confirming that it’s a good time to be in the chip business, especially the memory chip business.
Whisk isn’t alone in unlocking the global marketplace to find the right types of employees to support its business goals. More than three-quarters of U.S. companies have used remote freelancers, according to research from Upwork, and more than a quarter of businesses plan to go fully remote in the next five years.
Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!