Global CIO COVERAGE FROM AROUND THE WEB
Digital marketing is about to enter more challenging territory. Building on the vast increase in consumer power brought on by the digital age, marketing is headed toward being on demand—not just always “on,” but also always relevant, responsive to the consumer’s desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery. What’s fueling on-demand marketing is the continued, symbiotic evolution of technology and consumer expectations. Already, search technologies have made product information ubiquitous; social media encourages consumers to share, compare, and rate experiences; and mobile devices add a “wherever” dimension to the digital environment. Executives encounter this empowerment daily when, for example, cable customers push for video programming on any device at any time or travelers expect a few taps on a smartphone app to deliver a full complement of airline services. Remarkably, all this is starting to seem common and routine. Most leading marketers know how to think through customer-search needs, and optimizing search positioning has become one of the biggest media outlays. Companies have ramped up their publishing and monitoring activities on social channels, hoping to create positive media experiences customers will share. They are even “engineering” advocacy by creating easy, automatic ways for consumers to post favorable reviews or to describe their engagement with brands.
April 1, 2013 By News Staff As Microsoft's Joel Cherkis said last month, no matter where in the world they are, government workers are using their own smartphones on the job more and more -- and government organizations are making significant technology investments to implement bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, despite challenges related to security, governance and sometimes even politics.And the hard numbers associated with BYOD mirror this thinking, according to the following infographic from readwrite.com and Intel, which also notes that 74 percent of IT leaders believe that BYOD can help employees be more productive. You may use or reference this story with attribution and a link to http://www.govtech.com/infographics/BYOD-By-the-Numbers-Infographic.html
FedScoop has learned that Department of Homeland Security’s Chief Information Officer Richard Spires has been put on immediate “on leave” status with no further explanation as to why. Inquiries made to DHS officials about the matter this morning confirmed his “on leave” status and that Margie Graves the agency’s Deputy CIO has been asked to step in as Acting CIO.Spires has served as DHS CIO since August 2009. He also serves as vice chairman of the Federal CIO Council and co-chairs the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative. He was CIO of the Internal Revenue Service from September 2006 to September 2007.
Join us on Tuesday, April 9th as we stream LIVE the Spring US CIO Summit Event. Available virtually for the first time, full day sessions will be streamed during the in-person CIO Summit taking place at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, WA. The US CIO Summit focuses on the role of the CIO as business leader, innovator, and contributor to creating new revenue streams. You will learn about global trends, innovations, and solutions that help you reduce costs, drive revenue and profit growth, and ultimately thrive in a changing economic landscape. In this hybrid event, you’ll see live session presentations, including bonus material not available to the in-person audience. Watch live, backstage and behind-the-scenes interviews with leading solution experts and special guests. Virtual attendees will also have the chance to download related session materials, share ideas and ask questions to Microsoft Experts and Executives through live chat rooms, Twitter and Q&A sessions. Angus Norton General ManagerUS Office Divison Brian Hall General ManagerMicrosoft Surface Luke Williams Author, Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business
Matt Asay is vice president of corporate strategy at 10gen, the MongoDB company. With more than a decade in open source, Asay has served as VP of business development at real-time analytics company Nodeable (acquired by Appcelerator in October 2012); VP of business development at mobile HTML5 start-up Strobe (now part of Facebook); chief operating officer at Canonical, the Ubuntu Linux company; GM, Americas and VP of business development at Alfresco; and part of the team that helped put Novell on its open source track. Asay is an emeritus board member of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and earned his juris doctorate at Stanford, where he focused on open source and other IP licensing issues.For decades the enterprise software industry has grown fat on outsized, upfront license fees coupled with ongoing, high-margin maintenance streams. Cracks in the model have threatened to dismantle the system for years, as reported by The Wall Street Journal back in 2009, with CIOs chafing at paying for low-value, high-cost maintenance.But if Oracle's big earnings miss last week is any indication, one of three disappointing quarters over the past two years, the cracks have widened to a chasm. As bellwether for the enterprise software incumbents, Oracle's miss suggests that the legacy vendors may struggle to adapt to the world of open-source software and Software as a Service (SaaS) and, in particular, the subscription revenue models that drive both.
So organizations have lots of data. New techniques have emerged to correlate big data. Enamored by the potential of big data, leaders are now reinvesting in technologies to find hidden nuggets of insights with the business goals of:These big data use cases often follow the business hierarchy of needs, which are based on concepts pioneered by Maslow (see Figure 1). More importantly, a key question in big data has been to ask the right question.Unfortunately, the problem is most organizations start by talking about outcomes and then get mired in the technologies to achieve these outcomes. Big data technologies include advanced business analytics, application of existing technologies such as data warehousing and business intelligence. In many cases, application of decision automation, semantic technology and collaborative tools are also needed. Yet, from Data to Decisions requires the integration of quite a few disciplines.Data to decisions is about taking data sources, transforming them into useful information, gathering key insights, and then making the right decisions (see Figure 2). Data sources, information, and orchestration belong in the realm of IT and hopefully will be delivered via the cloud. Insight, decisions, and actions are line of business driven areas which deliver the most value add:
CIOs can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting the company from the IT department…Image CreditAs CIO the rest of the company is relying on you to keep them safe. They expect you to lead the IT team in defending the corporate castle from hackers and attackers. The importance of information technology requires us to spend time doing this – it’s really part of the CIO job. However, it turns out that no matter how thick you make the virtual fences that you put around the company’s IT assets, you may be dealing with an even bigger threat from within your own IT department.A recent survey that was done by PriceWaterhouseCoopers revealed that 56% of the companies that responded to the survey said that they had experienced an economic crime in the past 12 months and the person who did it was an employee. The IT department was identified as being the #1 department that these rogue employees might be working in.What this means to a CIO is that we need to be very, very careful whom we invite to work in our IT departments. Before we onboard anyone, we have some serious homework to do.More and more firms are conducting background checks on IT employees that they are considering hiring. The goal of these expensive checks is to assure the rest of the company that the new IT staff can be trusted to be the ones to keep the bad guys out.
After much vacillation and indecision, Groupon finally pulled the trigger and fired CEO Andrew Mason. After a rocky ride since the companies IPO and with no turn-around in sight, the once revered leader of the “supposed” next great tech success story was punted to the curb in hopes that new blood will suddenly make this one time Chicago Gem into what people once thought it could be.Upon his firing, Mason shared his thoughts with his employees (and everyone else by intentionally leaking the note) through this letter where he says his good byes.After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.”“You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I’m getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO earns you that chance. The board is aligned behind the strategy we’ve shared over the last few months, and I’ve never seen you working together more effectively as a global company – it’s time to give Groupon a relief valve from the public noise.
The world is changing every day, perhaps every minute. How are people from all walks of life--from young entrepreneurs to established business leaders to government officials--viewing change not as an obstacle but as an opportunity? Cisco produced the Perspective X interview series to illustrate how we can use innovation today to create impact tomorrow.When Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management went looking for a new dean in 2010, they picked one of their own. Sally Blount earned both her master's and Ph.D. at Kellogg and is now at the helm of one of the nation's most prestigious business schools. Kellogg has ranked first more than any other business school in U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking and tied for fourth in 2012. Sally already had her own reputation of excellence when she came back to Kellogg. She'd been dean of NYU's undergraduate college and vice dean of its business school, and taught at the University of Chicago's school of business. When I chatted with Sally for our fourth Cisco Perspective interview, she told me how important it is for today's leaders to be "architects of collaboration" and how we need to orchestrate conversations--both virtually and in person--to move things forward. At Cisco, we sell technology that helps companies collaborate better. (Not long ago, I blogged on the importance of collaboration.) In Sally's perspective here, she explains how even though parts of our world are changing rapidly, many of the fundamentals remain the same. She says that, "The tools have changed, but the goals have not." Today, we may do many of our meetings--and even classes--over video, and we may download text books rather than buy them, but we all still have to learn to be effective communicators and collaborators. That mindset made Sally a great fit for Kellogg's highly collaborative and teamwork-focused culture. Join me to hear from Sally Blount what she's learning at Kellogg the second time around.
Smart CIOs reacting to the fast pace of digitally enabled change already spend less time in the back office and more time engaging with internal and external customers. However, there is still much work to be done.While some IT leaders have made the transfer from the data centre to the boardroom, other CIOs remain too concerned with operational rather than business issues. Across communication, strategy, leadership and preparation, four IT leaders discuss where they believe CIOs can continue to hone their executive expertise.Paul Colbran, CIO at Brighton and Hove City Council, says he still sees quite a few IT leaders who are CIO in title, rather than behaviour. “It’s fine to want to be a business partner but you need to earn the right to contribute,” he says.Technology implementation, he says, is not just about selecting services and systems. He refers to his Council’s recent introduction of the LINK network, an infrastructure created by specialist MDNX that is shared by organisations across the Sussex region. Colbran’s role, as CIO, is to sell the benefits of the networking capability.“Being an IT leader is not just about buying the network; it’s about talking to the rest of the business about how you can take advantage of the services,” he says. “Many CIOs are good communicators but some are technologists that have been promoted from within the company. Getting out of IT, and into other lines of business, breeds a better level of technology professional.”
The Morning Download comes from the editors of CIO Journal and cues up the most important news in business technology every weekday morning. Send us your tips, compliments and complaints. You can get The Morning Download emailed to you each weekday morning by clicking here.Good morning. For many CIOs, the main decision about moving at least some of their IT infrastructure to the cloud is no longer if, but how. We’re not talking about simply moving noncore business apps like email to the cloud. We’re talking about moving computing power and storage to the cloud.It may seem like the products in this quickly growing market are all the same, but they aren’t. That’s what CIO Journal’s Tom Loftus learned when he called three vendors–Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc.–and asked them to explain what they have to offer customers in the way of infrastructure and platform services. Loftus’s main conclusion: “Amazon and, to a lesser extent, Microsoft provide customers with certain amenities that Google’s new offering, at the moment, does not.” Don’t miss his report–including the survey that clarifies how these three companies structure agreements with customers.No one leaves this cloud. Cloud software vendor Salesforce.com Inc. Tuesday introduced a series of new mobile applications, including a chat function and applications allowing sales and marketing staff to make use of touch capabilities available with many new mobile device types. CIO Journal’s Michael Hickins notes that while the new features enhance its sales management tool suite, they also further the vendor’s goal of becoming indispensable to its customers – and thus more difficult for customers to replace. “Indeed, the companies are competing not only to prove they’re best able to offer customers more innovative products, but to tie their product sets more closely together in a way that weds their customers more permanently to their technology,” Hickins says.
Open source changed computing and all that it touches (which is to say just about everything). It redefined the economics of IT and gave control over their software back to users. But the effects went far beyond the source code. Ultimately, open source made possible a style of community-led development that hadn’t really been possible previously. It effectively turned what had been a top-down vendor-led approach to designing and delivering product into one that springs from ideas coming from everywhere. Open source development can look messy compared to integrated proprietary products, but time and time again, the choice, flexibility, and innovation stemming from open source have won out. Furthermore, open source has helped stimulate the creation of the truly open and extensible standards, protocols, and APIs which make the modern interconnected computing world possible. The Internet as we know it would not be possible without open source, and neither would cloud computing. It isn’t that the cloud wouldn’t have developed as quickly or that it would cost more or not become as functional: it’s that cloud computing simply would not exist without open source. The majority of leading public cloud providers rely on open source, and that reliance on open source is permeating many other cloud computing-related projects and products as well.
The company claims 'speed and quality' are being sacrificed through flexible working, but the move runs counter to a growing trend towards mobile working across most industries and has sparked negative reaction from O2 and Transport Minister Norman Baker.In a memo sent out by the Yahoo HR director Jackie Reses, which was labelled “PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION – DO NOT FORWARD”, and promptly forwarded to news site All Things D, employees were told:“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices.“Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together. Beginning in June, we’re asking all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work in Yahoo! offices.”Speaking yesterday at an event to promote Anywhere Working, which is a consortium of companies that joined in 2011 to encourage flexible working, including Microsoft, Transport for London and Nokia, Transport Minister Norman Baker MP said that Yahoo’s decision was regrettable.“I think that’s a very unfortunate position to take and I think it’s out of line with the evidence which has been shown by the other companies that have embraced this agenda,” he said.
Women-led private technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieve 35 percent higher return on investment, and, when venture-backed, bring in 12 percent higher revenue than male-owned tech companies. That’s according to new research presented at a recent conference in San Francisco organized by Women 2.0, a media company devoted to women founders in the tech industry. It indicates female entrepreneurs, who have traditionally lagged behind their male counterparts, are catching up, at least by some measures.Led by Vivek Wadhwa, who holds titles at Stanford and Duke universities, and Lesa Mitchell, a vice president at the Kauffman Foundation, the report “Women in Technology: Evolving, Ready to Save the World” draws on responses to an online survey from 500 women in the tech sector (inside and outside the U.S.) and is scheduled to be published this spring.It shows that the average age of women entrepreneurs founding tech companies has dropped, from 41 to 32, since an earlier, smaller study was done in 2009, and the percentage who have had graduate-level education has risen, from 40 percent to 56 percent. The findings about women’s contributions to success bolster previous research from several sources, including a Credit Suisse Research Institute (CS) report and Dow Jones VentureSource (NWS) analysis.
The old saw has it that the average tenure of a CMO is just 18 months. Today’s CMOs have to be more consumer- and community-centric than ever before. The CMO sets the tone and direction of a brand’s marketing, which in turn affects a brand’s ability to be agile and make quick shifts as market opportunities or crisis shift.“When the CMO doesn’t get it, it permeates throughout the entire organization,” said Jeff Hayzlett, former CMO of Kodak. “You can only be as good as your slowest common denominator. And if the slowest is at the head of your organization, then you have lost before you began. I’ve got people telling me all the time, ‘Well, my boss doesn’t get it.’ I tell them to get out of the company. If you can’t convince the top, then you can’t be led. You’re grabbing the bull by the tail, and it won’t be pretty.”Ignoring the changes going on around us Top executives at brands need to understand and embrace the power of digital. The CMO needs to be the change agent and cheerleader for digital, making the case for change to those up higher in the organization.“Adapt, change or die,” said Hayzlett. “A lot of times, executives or leaders think you get to a certain way and lock it in. But the process should be ever changing. CMOs need to be looking as leaders on how to make it better. And that is the way that great competitors look at things, and that’s the way CMOs need to be the growth agents for change for new business and new revenue opportunities.”
Wikibon is a professional community solving technology and business problems through an open source sharing of free advisory knowledge. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Next Generation Storage Symposium, an event related to the storage industry. However, what quickly became clear is that there is a blurring line between many areas of the hardware business while, at the same time, we are seeing deep commoditization of hardware platforms. Nowhere was that more clear than in our group’s session with Nutanix. While much of the event focused on pure storage technologies, the Nutanix session was sort of the “anti-storage” event of the day, although storage obviously plays a major part in the company’s offerings. One might even think that Nutanix didn't even belong in the group, particularly given one of the company’s favorite taglines, which is “The SAN-free Datacenter.” However, Nutanix is just one of a growing number of players in a space that is defined by the elimination of expensive storage, specialized hardware, and separation of resources – compute, storage, and networking – in favor of converged, simpler devices based on commodity, less expensive hardware platforms. And, it’s a space that I believe CIOs should watch very carefully, as these players provide the potential to rethink the data center in a number of different ways while enabling new services
When Karl Ronn recently said, "Companies that think they have an innovation problem don't have an innovation problem. They have a leadership problem," I listened carefully.I featured Ronn, a former P&G executive (and current executive coach and entrepreneur), in several places in The Little Black Book of Innovation, most notably for his rant against the evils of focus groups. Ronn is thoughtful, widely read, a seasoned practitioner, and a great communicator.Ronn's basic idea was that four decades of academic research and two decades of conscious implementation of that work have provided robust, actionable answers to many pressing innovation questions. Practitioners have robust tools to discover opportunities to innovate, design, and execute experiments to address key strategic uncertainty; to create underlying systems to enable innovation in their organization; and to manage the tension between operating today's business and creating tomorrow's businesses. Large companies like IBM, Syngenta, Procter & Gamble, 3M, and Unilever show that innovation can be a repeatable discipline. Emerging upstarts like Google and Amazon.com show how innovation can be embedded into an organization's culture from day one. Yet, with all of this progress it still feels like a positive surprise when you see a large company confidently approach the challenges of innovation.
James Hamilton on his boat, Dirona, docked at the Wakiki Yacht Club in Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo: Kent Nishimura/WiredOn a rainy Monday in August 2011, a 10-million-watt transformer exploded in northern Virginia, sending an enormous voltage spike across the power grid. The surge hit an Amazon data center in Ashburn, Virginia, knocking out the facility’s main source of power, and about 15 minutes later, James Hamilton just happened to pull into the parking lot.It was a serendipitous moment. Hamilton is the Distinguished Engineer who oversees the increasingly complex design of the data-center empire that drives Amazon Web Services, or AWS — the nothing-less-than-revolutionary collection of online services that provide computing power to companies across the globe, including names such as Netflix, Pinterest, and Dropbox. The Ashburn facility is part of that AWS empire. When it goes down, services like NetFlix are in danger of going down, and Hamilton is the man who works to ensure this doesn’t happen.When Hamilton and his team drove up, the data center’s backup generators had kicked in, and they were idling away. But for some reason, the power wasn’t getting to the servers inside the facility, and the machines had sapped most of the juice from the battery system that temporarily keeps them going during a blackout. “We arrived just as the servers were starting to come down,” Hamilton remembered during a recent speech at an Amazon conference in Las Vegas. “Super annoying. Super annoying.”
Customer relationship management (CRM) is all about managing the relationships you have with your customers. CRM combines business processes, people, and technology to achieve this single goal: getting and keeping customers. It's an overall strategy to help you learn more about their behavior so you can develop stronger, lasting relationships that will benefit both of you. It’s very hard to run a successful business without a strong focus on CRM, as well as adding elements of social media and making the transition to a social enterprise to connect with customers in new ways.Successful CRM involves many different areas of your company, starting
“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.” - Warren Buffet.Being the CEO of a fast growing company is an incredibly fulfilling but also incredibly demanding job. The day starts early and never ends. Therefore, using my time wisely is super important. I have a seemingly infinite todo list. Therefore, figuring out what not to do is as important as, if not more important than, figuring out what to do.About a year ago we ran into many roadblocks in scaling the company. Among other things, key positions weren’t filling fast enough, which seriously hampered our progress. When I had a discussion with Albert, I was telling him I was putting my focus on hiring but for some reason we didn’t make any progress. He told me “a CEO does only three things”.Sets the overall vision and strategy of the company and communicates it to all stakeholders. Recruits, hires, and retains the very best talent for the company. Makes sure there is always enough cash in the bank.He was spot on. I said I was focusing on hiring but I was running around like a headless chicken. As such, I only devoted a small percentage of my time on hiring. No wonder we didn’t hire fast enough.
The Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), sponsored by Cisco, created a recent research study that focuses on the reasons for adopting private cloud computing. The results were what you might expect, with 52%-62% of respondents reporting that agility, performance and resiliency, and resource optimization topped the list of reasons that enterprises are moving to private clouds.A list of applications that respondents planned to host in the cloud included e-mail, CRM, VDI, custom applications, ERP, accounting, HR, telephony, and even older mainframe-based applications. The private cloud seems like a convenient approach for most within Global 2000 IT, considering that it’s a “cloud,” and also remains in the corporate data centers. Thus, there is a sense of both security and control.The use of private clouds has always been a bit of a controversial issue in the emerging world of cloud computing. When the term was first coined several years ago, and named specifically in the NIST definition of cloud computing, it flew in the face of much of what cloud computing stood for. This included the ability to share public hardware and software and thus reduce our costs, complexity, and even our carbon footprint.These days, private clouds are an acceptable architectural approach to leveraging cloud-based technology, and they include systems inside of enterprises that mimic the features of the public clouds. These features include self- and auto-provisioning of resources and use-based accounting of leveraged services.
The pace of technology-fueled business innovation is accelerating, and enterprise architects can take a leading role by helping their firms identify opportunities for shrewd investment. In our 2012 global state of EA online survey, we asked again what the most disruptive technologies would be; here’s what we found:The results shouldn’t surprise anybody; however, if you are only looking at these, you are likely to get smacked in the face when you blink -- things are changing that fast. In the near future, new platforms built on today’s hot technologies will create more disruption. For example, by 2016 there will be 760 million tablets in use and almost one-third will be sold to business. Forrester currently has a rich body of research on mobility and other hot technologies, such as Forrester’s mobile eBusiness playbook and the CIO’s mobile engagement playbook. But by 2018, mobile will be the norm, so then what?To answer this question, we extended the horizon of our annual The Top Emerging Technologies to Watch report out to 2018 and investigate beyond the “big four”: cloud, mobile, social, and data. We went a level deeper in our research by examining how today’s hot technology create platforms for future disruption. For example, you won’t find mobile in our list; instead mobile is built into emerging technologies such as next-generation devices and UIs, advanced collaboration and communication, systems of engagement, and cloud application frameworks.
Why do marketers revel in military jargon? Must we really rally troops to deploy conquest ads or fire quick hits of bleeding-edge apps? Is it not ironic that we call customers “targets” and seek to engineer their empathy in “war rooms?"The hostilities are endless. And it’s not enough to win. Someone must lose. Beating the competitor takes precedence over helping the customer.These metaphors shouldn’t surprise us. Since the dawn of cultural evolution and the age of hunter-gatherers, group against group armed conflict has shaped human evolution. Some estimates indicate that the proportion of the population that died in the wars of typical tribal societies were twenty times greater than the wars of the twentieth century.For 84,000 generations since the inception of the genus Homo we have lived as “aim and throw” hunters and warriors compared to only two generations as “point and click” shoppers and sharers. Unlike today’s free markets, hunter-gatherer economics were zero-sum. The supply of goods was fixed by nature. One tribe’s gain in food or territory was another’s loss.The problem is evolution is very slow. Our brains remain designed for conflict, scarcity, immediate gain, and a win-loss mentality because we lived in these harsh environments for millions of years. Among our deepest of drives is fight or flight: to seek domination and safety.
In August of 2011, while in the middle of upgrading its network security monitoring, the Federal Communications Commission discovered it had already been hacked. Over the next month, the commission's IT staff and outside contractors worked to identify the source of the breach, finding an unspecified number of PCs infected with back-door malware.After pulling the infected systems from the network, the FCC determined it needed to do something dramatic to fix the significant security holes in its internal networks that allowed the malware in. The organization began pulling together a $10 million "Enhanced Secured Network" project to accomplish that.But things did not go well with ESN. In January, a little less than a year after the FCC presented its plan of action to the House and Senate's respective Appropriations Committees, a Government Accountability Office audit of the project, released publicly last week, found the FCC essentially dumped that $10 million in a hole. The ESN effort failed to properly implement the fixes and left software and systems put in place misconfigured—even failing to take advantage of all of the features of the malware protection the commission had selected, leaving its workstations still vulnerable to attack. In fact, the full extent of the problems is so bad the GAO's entire findings have been restricted to limited distribution.
There is widespread agreement—across the globe and in every industry—that mobile, big data, and cloud computing are the three cornerstone issues of tomorrow’s business environment. In fact, a strong organizational response to each of these issues is already critical to competitive survival.As a result, CIOs, business strategists and IT leaders are working furiously to make sure their businesses have plans in place to stay ahead of these challenges. But there is one subtlety that is frequently overlooked: When it comes to mobile computing, big data and the cloud, what we have is not three problems but one.It’s not a coincidence that the profile of these three business challenges rose in parallel. Mobile, big data, and cloud are not siloed concerns easily addressed in isolation. They exist in an overlapping matrix, where the importance of each issue increases because it leverages (or helps solve) an issue raised by one of the others.For example, in the days before mobile computing, business users typically did all their work using just a handful of applications. Today, the average smartphone has 41 apps installed on it. And each of those applications sparks a need to consider security, since it generates data each and every time it is used. And because these devices are often connected to service provider networks – rather than directly with corporate servers – a great deal of that business app data requires secure cloud storage.
In the latest edition of CloudViews Unplugged Andi Mann and George Watt discuss, amongst other topics, research done by the University of California in Berkeley. The topic of this research is Swarm Computing, which appears to be somewhat related to research on robots. Swarm Computing goes way beyond simply interconnecting many devices through the Internet and enabling them to exchange information. It creates a self-organizing network of entities whose rules of interaction and reaction can create something resembling a living organism.Most of you will know the book ‘The Swarm’ written by Frank Schätzing where protozoae work together to form a collective intelligence manifesting itself through forming bigger orgnisms. The same principles are applied when enabling robots in remote locations to work together to accomplish common tasks, e.g. gather in one location after having done individual exploration. All robots will need to perform some active tasks to complete that mission, but the master algorithm controlling it all is above the individual algorithms owned by each robot.The idea behind Swarm Computing is the same: individual devices all have their own software and capabilities, but they are enabled to collectively pursue a bigger goal, an overarching purpose, something that is beyond their individual reach. This is not accomplished through some sort of centralized control instance that has access to all devices, understands their capablities and instrumentalizes them. Remember robots, maybe on the moon or on mars? There is no practical way of exercising centralized remote control – too much distance from earth, no command center onsite, and far too little knowledge about the situation and condition of every individual robot. Rather, the individual devices need to be able to take care of themselfes, be able to understand and communicate their ability to contribute to an external command, without neccessarily being able to understand the purpose behind that command.
I wish I could say I stated it boldly, chest puffed out and chin held high. Instead, I whispered it in a cowardly manner from behind the conference table as my team’s strenuous objections hurtled at me full force.“It’ll make my life miserable! How am I going to delegate to my assistant? I already have too much to do.”Once the panic cooled, we talked about why I wanted our company to return to the Dark Ages, before electronic communication. Here’s the case I made for why our business (and yours) could benefit from skipping a week of e-mail.In most companies today, internal email is half to three quarters of all traffic. Reading, processing, managing, organizing, and responding to it absorbs vast amounts of time. We clog one another’s e-mail systems and to-do lists with a mishmash of crucial topics and trivial information and then waste hours of every day slogging through a hundred useless e-mails to ensure we don’t look irresponsible by missing the two or three important ones.Worse, e-mail is rarely the best medium for addressing the issues and opportunities at hand. It brings us quick questions that don’t have quick answers; long, informative rambles with no clear action steps; conversation chains with too many people cc’d and many of them offering oversimplified opinions. And that’s on a good day.
Words and phrases are fundamental building blocks of language and culture, much as genes and cells are to the biology of life. And words are how we express ideas, so tracing their origin, development and spread is not merely an academic pursuit but a window into a society’s intellectual evolution.Digital technology is changing both how words and ideas are created and proliferate, and how they are studied. Just last month, for example, the Library of Congress said its archive of public Twitter messages has reached 170 billion tweets and rising, by about 500 million tweets a day. The Library of Congress archive, resulting from a deal struck with Twitter in 2010, is not yet open to researchers. But the plan is that it soon will be. In a white paper, the Library said that social media promises to be a rich resource that provides “a fuller picture of today’s cultural norms, dialogue, trends and events to inform scholarship, the legislative process, new works of authorship, education and other purposes.”The new digital forms of communication — Web sites, blog posts, tweets — are often very different from the traditional sources for the study of words, like books, news articles and academic journals.
Infographics break down data visually, helping viewers make sense of complex information. Their popularity has increased with the rise of social media, fuelling the need for instant results by providing content in bite-size, digestible chunks.Created by Nowsourcing, a social-media marketing company, it shows that infographic posts dwarf traditional posts when it comes to sharing on social networks. The most popular topics for infographics include: business, technology, social media, the economy and health. For more on the most viewed, liked and commented-on infographics in recent history, among other trends, check out the entire post, below:
Published: January 22 2013, 02:43 PM by George Watt In a recent article, "Cloud Providers Ready to Strike With Nuclear Option", Simon Phipps stated that issues related to cloud service level agreements (SLAs) are "under acknowledged and overdue for attention". If you are not already convinced of this, ask yourself the following question: "When is the last time you read one of the click through services agreements you are presented with when acquiring a personal cloud (or other) service?"Come on, be honest. I won't tell anyone. If you are like most people, you have probably reached the point where you've spent so much time reading through agreements, and you've read so many of them, they are all beginning to look the same. (Many of them probably are the same.) And since it is just you and I having a confidential conversation you can tell me whether you have ever read any of them. Unless you are someone who deals with SLAs for a living, I would bet Andi Mann's lunch that you have not read one in a very long time.Now, if you think those agreements are complex, imagine how complex SLAs related to large volume, high cost business services can be. And what is not in those agreements may be way more important than what is.
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