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Good morning, CIOs. Take note IT executives facing the task of gauging ROI on the myriad systems, cloud environments and blockchain-meets-quantum experimental projects under their remit. Tracking costs and disseminating that data across the business can bring IT closer to the business, as Ashley Pettit, senior vice president of enterprise technology at State Farm tells CIO Journal’s Sara Castellanos.
Accountability for the “managing IT like a business” mantra. Using data analytics software to track specific IT costs helped State Farm eliminate hundreds of duplicate software applications, reduce spending on storage for data that’s rarely accessed, and reinvest money into emerging technology research projects including some related to robotics process automation and artificial intelligence.
Like a good friend, State Farm IT is there. Pinning down precise IT costs also engendered a new era of trust between IT and the rest of the business, Ms. Pettit says. Before, there was frustration among heads of different business units who thought IT projects simply cost too much or took too long to complete, she said. Tracking specific IT costs and explaining how they deliver or don’t deliver value has helped change the conversation and build stronger relationships between IT and the business.
Broadcom to buy CA Technologies for $18.9 billion. The takeover marks a major strategic move for Broadcom Inc., coming months after its $117 billion-plus hostile bid for Qualcomm Inc. was blocked by President Donald Trump.
A broad jump. “Software is a natural extension when you think about the ecosystem we’re playing in,” Broadcom finance chief Tom Krause tells the WSJ.
What they do. Broadcom makes chips for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS connectivity in smartphones, as well as components for wired networks and data storage. CA Technologies sells tools for mainframe computers and for planning, developing and managing programming projects.
Uber cuts more test drivers in robot car operation. With a plan to focus on more highly trained drivers, who can man the autonomous vehicles on both test tracks and on public roads. Uber Technologies Inc. is cutting more than 100 test-driver jobs from its autonomous vehicle program in Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The Journal’s Greg Bensinger has more.
Twitter follower numbers to drop as it removes locked accounts. Twitter Inc. is removing accounts that had been locked due to an unusual change in behavior such as the sudden sharing of misleading links, sensitive information and other types of problematic content, the Journal’s Sarah E. Needleman reports. Removing the locked accounts will reduce follower counts by about 6% across the service, the company said.
ZTE poised to resume business with U.S. suppliers. The Commerce Department on Wednesday said it had reached an agreement with ZTE Corp. regarding the process by which the firm would deposit $400 million into an escrow account as part of a penalty for its violations of an earlier settlement, the WSJ’s Kate O’Keefe reports. In April the Commerce Department banned U.S. companies from selling to the Chinese telecommunications firm as punishment for its failure to honor an earlier U.S. agreement to resolve its sanctions-busting sales to North Korea and Iran.
Facebook gives researchers access to election data. A newly formed group of academics will have “full access” to data on Facebook Inc.‘s 2.2 billion users for the purpose of identifying areas of research about the effects of social media on elections and democracy, the WSJ’s Douglas MacMillan reports.
Privacy concerns? Giving researchers access to data raises questions around user privacy, but it also gives the public a valuable glimpse into Facebook’s practices, said Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University. “There’s no way to really hold internet companies accountable without getting access to their data,” Mr. Goldman said.
Up, up and away… Alphabet Inc. Wednesday announced that Loon, its internet connectivity-by-balloon project, would become its own business unit. Also graduating from the company’s research lab: the delivery-drone project Wing. The New York Times has more.
Ex-Tesla worker escalates battle. A former Tesla Inc. employee portrayed by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk as a saboteur has filed a whistle-blower tip to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleging the company made misstatements and omissions to investors, reports Bloomberg.
EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Trump administration is expanding the battlefield in its trade fight with China into consumer products for the first time, illustrating how dependent the vast U.S. consumer economy is on Chinese imports. (WSJ)
The European Union cut its 2018 eurozone growth forecast Thursday, as the bloc’s nascent trade conflict with the U.S. and political upheavals within the EU threaten to derail the common-currency area’s economic momentum. (WSJ)
Papa John’s International Inc. said late Wednesday that its independent directors have accepted the resignation of John Schnatter as board chairman, after a report that he used a racial slur in a conference call. (WSJ)
Stocks in Asia and Europe rose a day after major global indexes fell amid concerns over escalating trade tensions and falling oil prices. (WSJ)
The Morning Download cues up the most important news in business technology every weekday morning.