May 23, 2014

Different approaches to BYOD policies are recipe for success
Different approaches must be taken in part because of different laws. For example, Germany laws don't allow EnBW, an electrical utilities company there, to lock onto a device with full MDM. Instead, the company started a BYOD approach focused solely on MAM, according to Boris Schroeder, team lead for IT mobile solutions for EnBW. "We just want to take control of the applications we deliver and what the content of the applications is," said Schroeder. As part of that approach, EnBW recently pushed out its first Citrix Worx Home application, Worx Mail, which connects to its Microsoft Outlook email.

Strategy or Culture: Which Is More Important?
Strategy must be rooted in the cultural strengths you have and the cultural needs of your businesses. If culture is hard to change, which it is, then strategy is too. Both take years to build; both take years to change. This is one of the many reasons that established companies struggle with big disruptions in their markets. For example, all the major credit card companies are seeking to transition from traditional payments to digital commerce. This shift in strategy will be difficult to pull off. It not only requires a cultural change, but also a change in companies’ target customer, value propositions, and essential capabilities—the three most fundamental choices a business strategy comprises!

Promising a privacy-friendly successor to today’s internet
A more fundamental problem is the shift to mobile. It’s all very well for a PC user to leave their machine on 24/7 in order to earn as many safecoins as they can, but you simply can’t do that with today’s mobile technology and data pricing. The connections and local processing power can probably handle it, but the batteries can’t – there’s a reason phones are forever going to sleep – and data usage caps are too restrictive. Down the line these things may change, but for now they mean mobile users are only theoretical consumers, not contributors. MaidSafe could pin basic access to the possession of safecoins, but those will be scarce in the early days. It’s a fine line to walk.

Business Adapts to a New Style of Computer
The technology industry is preparing for the Internet of things, a type of computing characterized by small, often dumb, usually unseen computers attached to objects. These devices sense and transmit data about the environment or offer new means of controlling it. For more than a decade technologists have predicted and argued about the onslaught of these ubiquitous devices. “There is lot of quibbling about what to call it, but there’s little doubt that we’re seeing the inklings of a new class of computer,” says David Blaauw, who leads a lab at the University of Michigan that makes functioning computers no bigger than a typed letter o.

Money and Government in the Virtual World
In a way, Bitcoin is a business intelligence maven’s dream come true. You can actually mine money directly on your computer, and the process is even referred to as “mining Bitcoins.” To get into the game, you must participate in the Bitcoin network and contribute compute power to solve a cryptography problem that protects the integrity and the chronological order of the transaction chain, mainly finding the key that matches a hash number accompanying a collection of transactions.

Control Without Compromise Through Superior Data Center Protection
A key challenge is that many of today’s security solutions are simply not designed for the data center, with limitations in both provisioning and performance. The situation will likely get worse before it gets better as data center traffic grows exponentially and data centers migrate from physical, to virtual, to next-generation environments like Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and Application Centric Infrastructures (ACI). To deliver the protection data center administrators need – without compromising the performance and functionality that these new data center environments enable – intelligent cybersecurity solutions must address five critical issues:

Coming soon to a fridge near you -- targeted ads
The Federal Trade Commission has acknowledged the need for a closer inspection of the potential security and privacy implications of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). "Consumers already are able to use their mobile phones to open their car doors, turn off their home lights, adjust their thermostats, and have their vital signs, such as blood pressure, EKG, and blood sugar levels, remotely monitored by their physicians," the FTC noted last November while convening a workshop on IoT privacy and security issues. "In the not-too-distant future, consumers approaching a grocery store might receive messages from their refrigerator reminding them that they are running out of milk," the FTC said.

Why Banks Still Struggle with Big Data
"The challenge is that banks have these silos of info, so your deposit data isn't necessarily in the same place as your loan data.... The inside information is so extraordinarily valuable from a marketing and communications standpoint, and yet they don't use it." "Overall for banks, especially the midsize and smaller banks, there are so many things on the table that the prioritization of what they should do next gets blurred." "The bigger banks are using digital information, and it's a very big concern to make sure they don't break any privacy rules or perceived privacy rules....

Healthcare data goes from big to great
Today, with the advent of "text analytics," organizations like Highmark can make sense of vast stores of unstructured data, not just information entered in a discrete format. (Pitts called this the "bag of words" method.) According to Pitts, computers now can look for "term concurrence" across multiple documents to search out patterns, such as evidence of patient dissatisfaction, according to Pitts, so people don't have to flip through hundreds of pages in hopes of stumbling across something meaningful. "Have machines find things," he said.

Exchanging Industry Experiences with Agile Methodologies
Becoming Agile is no excuse for doing no or bad project management. On the contrary, Agile teams do more and more frequent planning than a lot of traditional teams but in a different way. Agile planning focusses much more on the outcome (value) for the customer and how to deliver and track that. And also output is measured in terms of how much working and ‘done’ product is delivered instead of the percentage of work or effort that is done. In general Agile project management switches to real measurements of done product instead of estimates as soon as possible and makes risks and uncertainty explicit in the planning.

Quote for the day:

"The trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more" -- Erica Jong