Coffee Briefing Oct. 31 – NPower receives investment to empower underserved youth; Dell partners with Meta; Bell outlines five key security outcomes in new report; and more

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NPower receives investment from DIGITAL, CIBC and Microsoft to empower 6000 job-seekers


Toronto-based non profit organization NPower has announced that it received a co-investment of C$2 million from DIGITAL, CIBC Foundation and Microsoft to launch 6,000 job seekers into tech-related careers via the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator (CTTA) program.

The program, launched in 2021, has since enrolled 3,000 underserved job seekers in NPower Canada’s workforce development program, which provided them access to essential digital skills, certifications, and job placement support.

Eighty percent of program graduates were able to secure employment within six months, NPower revealed.

“Our transformative relationship with DIGITAL, Microsoft, and the CIBC Foundation has already changed the lives of thousands of deserving job-seekers, launching them into sustainable tech and tech-enabled careers through our free workforce development program,” Julia Blackburn, chief executive officer of NPower said. “This new commitment will enable us to continue to further scale our efforts and provide opportunities for those who need it the most.”

The company also noted that it plans to leverage Microsoft’s curriculum to introduce a skilling program in cybersecurity.

This investment, NPower said, will further enable it to close educational and employment disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Dell to make it simpler for customers to deploy Meta’s Llama on premises


Dell has announced it is partnering with Meta to make it easy for Dell customers to deploy Meta’s Llama 2 models on premises with Dell’s generative AI portfolio of IT infrastructure and client devices.

Through this partnership, Dell seeks to simplify the on-premises AI environment by bringing together its own infrastructure portfolio and Llama 2 family of AI models. The company says it intends to become the preferred on-premises infrastructure provider for customers deploying LLama 2 with their own IT.

“We are at the beginning of a new era with GenAI transforming how industries operate, innovate and compete,” said Jeff Boudreau, chief AI officer, Dell. “With the Dell and Meta technology collaboration, we’re making open-source GenAI more accessible to all customers, through detailed implementation guidance paired with the optimal software and hardware infrastructure for deployments of all sizes. Now, customers can more easily deploy secure GenAI models on-premises for powerful new approaches and insights.”

Customers can accelerate their generative AI efforts on-premises in a traditional data center, at edge locations or public clouds.

50 per cent of enterprise applications to reside outside of centralized public cloud locations through 2027: Gartner


According to Gartner, 50 per cent of critical enterprise applications will reside outside of centralized public cloud locations through 2027, as interest in migrating workloads grows and enterprises struggle to identify the right partners and solutions.

“Enterprises are beginning to seek placement for workloads that have not migrated to the public cloud,” said Dennis Smith, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner. “This represents approximately 70 per cent of all workloads, but the growing number of vendors, technologies and overlapping markets makes it difficult to identify the optimal infrastructure choice for an organization’s unique circumstances and needs.”

Gartner recommends the following three placement strategies:

  1. Enterprises that expand their on-premises environments to be cloud-inspired must ensure deployments address public cloud requirements. 
  2. Enterprises can look into more hybrid capabilities as the ongoing need to support workloads located outside public cloud regions means that mixed cloud and non-cloud infrastructure will be needed in the foreseeable future.
  3. Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders need to determine their preference for a vendor with either an inside-out (traditional data center vendors that have added cloud services) approach or outside-in (cloud providers that are providing on-premises services.). 

The report says that leaders also need to decide whether they want to follow a cloud-only or cloud-first approach, or adopt cloud more moderately.

Five key priorities of security leaders: Bell report


In a survey of 402 Canadian organizations across private and public sectors, Bell asked C-level executives who are looking to secure their organizations about the most important outcomes they seek. The top five are:

  1. Meeting/exceeding compliance objectives
  2. Maintaining a high level of confidence in security posture to business stakeholders
  3. Achieving the best possible rates for cyber insurance
  4. Having highly satisfied security staff (and lower turnover rates of security personnel)
  5. Avoiding cybersecurity breaches in the past 12 months

Many organizations report a high level of achievement across the security outcomes, but only 1.6 per cent of Canadian businesses report high achievement on all top five indicators.

Dollar investment and time are needed to achieve these outcomes, but, more importantly, they need optimized resource allocation, the report revealed.

Organizations that have a well-defined and collaborative security governance process also tend to do better. That is in part because executing well on technical guardrails relies on agreed-upon risks, boundary lines and responsibilities from across the organization.

Leaders are also encouraged to be open to change and calculated risk, as this could mean the early adoption of new technologies, improved employee morale, and other factors that reduce the risks of a breach.

Pasqua First Nation unveils mobile app to empower its citizens


The leadership of Pasqua First Nation has introduced a new mobile app for their citizens to provide instant access to news releases, events, jobs, forms, and emergency push notifications.

“It’s our duty as leadership to direct the Nation in a way that ensures our members have access to current information,” explained chief Matthew T. Peigan. “New technology provides us with an opportunity to stay connected to our citizens at all times.”

Users can also use the app to contact Nation administration, fill out forms and save favourite posts for quick reference.

“When our users fill out forms in the app, their private information isn’t stored on a third-party server; it’s sent directly via encrypted email to the appropriate staff member so we can rest easy knowing our data sovereignty is intact,” said nation navigator Treena Lealalii.

Communikit, a mobile app platform designed for First Nations and Indigenous communities, built the app.

It is available for download now on the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

More to explore

SolarWinds allegedly misled public on its security before Sunburst cyberattack: SEC

SolarWinds and its CISO have been accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with fraud and internal control failures relating to allegedly known cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities relating to the compromise of its Orion software update mechanism in 2020.

Chen to leave BlackBerry at the end of the week

After a decade of trying to resuscitate BlackBerry Ltd., John Chen is leaving the company.

Government offers guidance for administration of IAA

Steven Guilbeault, minister of environment and climate change, on behalf of the Canadian government, has unveiled plans to offer guidance on the interim administration of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), following an opinion from the Supreme Court.

The new, the emerging focal point of ServiceNow World Forum

It has been a busy year for ServiceNow when it comes to generative AI (GenAI) development, something not lost on company chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Bill McDermott, who earlier this month said, “we are all agents of change and change has never happened this fast, it will never happen this slowly again.”

Acronym Solutions CEO talks rebranding, tapping into the mid-market, and mitigating network outages

In an interview with IT World Canada, chief executive officer of Acronym Solutions John Papadakis discussed how the business needs of the mid-market became a key target for the company, following its rebranding in 2021.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: ‘Staff training far most cost-effective than going through a cyber compromise’

As Cybersecurity Awareness Month comes to a close, let’s face the elephant in the room: Employee awareness training is expensive and time-consuming.

Toronto Public Library hit by cyber attack

Toronto Public Library’s services have been impacted following a cyber attack.

Channel Bytes October 27, 2023 – Cohesity adopts RHEL; Case IQ acquires WhistleBlower Security; Backblaze, HYCU partner on data protection; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Hashtag Trending Oct.31-White House issues orders to regulate AI; Can open source help combat the monopolization of AI by giants? A new version of the Linux core is out

Listen to the latest episode of Cybersecurity Today

Cyber Security Today, Oct. 30, 2023 – Hackers warn Las Vegas-area parents they have their children’s data

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances

If you live in Québec, or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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