Let's start with our special feature on predictive analytics. Gartner describes prescriptive analytics as a form of advanced analytics that examines data or content to answer the question "What should be done?" A recent Tech Pro Research poll shows 65% of respondents currently use or plan to use prescriptive analytics within the next 12 to 24 months.
For more see: Tech leaders are eager to implement prescriptive analytics
For CIOs, the headline figure is startling: almost two-thirds (64%) of organisations now allow technology to be managed outside the IT department. The figure comes from the latest edition of recruiter Harvey Nash and consultant KPMG's annual CIO survey and makes uncomfortable reading for IT leaders who are traditionally charged with being the guardians of technology implementation in the business.
For more see: How the CIO lost control: Why cloud computing and millennials have got tech bosses running scared
There's been a surge in the number of malicious Word documents being spammed out by cyber crooks, according to tech security company WatchGuard. Two separate exploits embedded in malicious Office documents were spotted targeting networks; documents containing the CVE-2017-11882 exploit were blocked by 17% of of networks; a second Office exploit was reported by 8%, according to the company's latest security report.
For more see: Malicious Microsoft Word docs warning: Think before you click on unexpected email
One in three IT professionals (34%) in Europe admitted that their organisation had been breached as a result of an unpatched vulnerability (higher than the average of 27%), according to a survey by security company Tripwire. Just under half of companies said they aimed to deploy a security patch within a week, while over 90% of companies said that they would generally fix a flaw within a month.
For more see: One in three breaches are caused by unpatched vulnerabilities
Two hacker groups are responsible for a huge spike in the number of hacked Magento 2.x shopping sites, according to Willem de Groot, founder of Sanguine Security. This was the third month in a row when the number of hacked Magento 2.x sites has doubled, after it previously doubled from March to April, and again from April to May.
For more see: Two hacking groups responsible for huge spike in hacked Magento 2.x stores
Open-source language Python ranks in third place behind mainstays Java and C, according to programming language index Tiobe. But this month Python has clocked up a rating of 8.5 percent in the Tiobe index, its highest ever score, up 2.77 percentage points compared with this time last year. Tiobe analysts believe that within three to four years' time, Python will "probably replace C and Java" to become the most popular programming language in the world.
For more see: Python predicted to overtake C and Java in next 4 years
Software engineers, senior programmers and back-end developers are among the tech professionals that are the hardest to recruit. Over half of job ads for eight tech roles including systems consultants, senior technology consultants and senior back-end developers remain unfilled for at least two months, according to recruitment website Indeed. The hardest to fill role is that of senior data modeller, with two thirds (65%) of job vacancies left unfilled after 60 days.
For more see: Which tech jobs are the hardest to fill?
Opportunities to work in tech beyond the UK capital London continue to grow, according to a new report that lists the most in-demand tech jobs along with salaries and the best cities for developers to work in. 'Software developer' was the most common tech job advertised, with more than 130,000 job ads last year and a median salary of £39,430, or £55,000 in London, according to the data published by the government's Digital Economy Council.
For more see: Which tech jobs pay best?
Demand for technology contractors also continues to grow ,with day rates increasing by an average of 2.8% in the past year, up from 1.8% the year before. According to the survey by recruitment firm Hays, developer roles have seen pay grow across almost all UK regions. In London, the highest paid development role was development director, earning £900 a day.
IBM plans to bring some data science to its Db2 database. Big Blue's Db2 11.5 upgrade adds drivers to artificial intelligence languages as well as natural language queries and visualisations. For IBM, the move to meld the database with data science workflows makes sense. IBM's Db2 trails rival databases from Oracle and Microsoft, as well as open source alternatives like MySQL and PostgreSQL, according to Statistica.
For more see: IBM aims to meld Db2 with machine learning, data science workflows
The IBM-built Pangea III supercomputer has come online for French energy giant Total, bringing 31.7 petaflops of processing power and 76 petabytes of storage capacity. It's now the world's most powerful supercomputer outside government-owned systems. However, Lenovo tops the rankings as the main high-performance computing vendor in the latest Top500 study.
For more see: IBM: We've made world's most powerful commercial supercomputer
Finally, it seems customers now recognise the power of AI and the role it can play in their relationships with companies as its impact becomes more apparent in customer service and commerce, among other use cases. As many as 62% of customers are open to the use of AI to improve their experiences, up from 59% just a year ago, according to the third State of the Connected Customer report from Salesforce.
For more see: New customer expectations are rewriting the digital transformation playbook