August 14, 2014

Systems Disparity: The Implications of Data Proliferations on Business Decisions
A typical too-big-too-fail organization will have between 1,500 and 2,000 applications. These applications have proliferated for various reasons, ... they can run on a variety of hardware platforms and technologies (each with its own unique operating system). The applications in question are designed according to a variety of paradigms and methodologies and are developed using a vast range of tools. These tools, which are generally aligned to a technology platform, encompass, among other things, programming languages, database-management systems, and user-interface builders. And it is in the context of this variety and the resulting heterogeneous environment that the term disparate is coined.

How to Expedite Continuous Testing
The prescription for continuous testing is deceptively simple: Automated unit tests, version control and a continuous integration server. We wanted to first get past the buzzwords and talk about how to actually do it, by getting started with Ruby and GitHub. Today, we'll install Jenkins and CircleCI, hook them to our GitHub repository and get continuous automated build/inspect going, step by step. Along the way we'll talk about some common setup problems; you may want to read the whole article first, then try to follow the step-by-step instructions.

Partnership Enables Smaller Companies to Leverage Advanced BI Solutions
“Robust BI and analytics solutions are tools that organizations of all types and sizes must actively use to achieve success in today’s business environment,” said Gerald Cohen, president and CEO of Information Builders. “All companies, regardless of size, should have access to the BI tools they need to understand and make positive use of the information generated by their organizations. Information Builders is thrilled to be partnering with Arrow to extend the power of BI to a greater pool of potential users and ensure that more companies have the tools needed to make informed decisions, improve business processes, and boost revenue.”

Create real-time graphs with these five free web-based apps
Creating graphs is easy -- grab your favorite spreadsheet program, enter some data, and use the chart wizard. What's more difficult is creating those graphs to be published on the web based on dynamic data. Plenty of options are available to graph hard-entered data, but few are capable of dynamic generation. In this edition of Five Apps, we take a look at five free web-based tools for creating different types of graphs from dynamic data. Each of these apps offers a vast number of options and lots of customizability, more so than I could possibly demonstrate here. So take a look at each webpage and browse through the examples provided to see the power of each of these tools.

Cyberspace 2025: Overview
Our research forecasts that by 2025, two billion new Internet users will come online, for a total of 4.7 billion people online. Nearly 75 percent of these Internet users will hail from emerging economies. During the same period, social and demographic trends, such as the growing need for a highly-skilled workforce and increases in aging populations, will create new layers of challenge for policymakers already grappling with societal dependence on the Internet.

BYOD and the challenges of managing VDI and VDA
Apart from the difficulties resulting from integrating these new devices into a corporate IT infrastructure, there are a number of specific software asset management (SAM) related issues to consider which have important licensing implications. For example: Who owns the software on the device that is brought in? What applications are they using? Are there apps in use that are free for personal use but need to be paid-for when used in a corporate environment? How will the software on these devices be consumed?

Managers Can Motivate Employees with One Word
David Rock, founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute, has identified relatedness — feelings of trust, connection, and belonging—as one of the five primary categories of social pleasures and pains (along with status, certainty, autonomy, and fairness). Rock’s research shows that the performance and engagement of employees who experience relatedness threats or failures will almost certainly suffer. And in other research, the feeling of working together has indeed been shown to predict greater motivation, particularly intrinsic motivation, that magical elixir of interest, enjoyment, and engagement that brings with it the very best performance.

Reconceptualizing the Board and its Metrics
The focus on features has lead to a faulty evaluation metric for corporate governance. Indeed, counting features is the most common scale used when comparing boards. When The Globe and Mail, for example, publishes its rankings of Canadian boards, it scores companies by looking at the number of features of governance. If Company A can check off more boxes than Company B, then the conclusion is made that Company A has a better board than Company B. The verification of a board’s features, however, does very little when it comes to understanding and evaluating actual board behavior.

The automated threat mitigation tool helping to beat Big Data security blues
Hexadite aims to bring that automation to corporate IT environments — and Barak believes the system is robust enough to allow administrators to rely on that automation to protect their environments. Hexadite comes with a pre-defined library of alerts and behaviours that look at all actionable information from the network and endpoints to gain a holistic view of what’s really happening. The system's analysis is built on algorithms that took years to develop, Barak said, that takes into consideration the minutiae of detail in a system, evaluating files, network connections, internet traffic, processes, and anything else going on — looking for the anomalies that can mean that a system has been compromised.

Balancing Quality and Velocity in Agile
Agile software development teams have to assure that the products that they develop have sufficient quality. Management often also expect that they increase their velocity to be able to deliver more functionality faster to their customer. Several authors explored the relationship between quality and velocity and suggested ways to improve both quality and velocity. Bob Galen wrote about the importance of software quality in respect to becoming faster in the blog post read my lips – agile isn’t fast:

Quote for the day:

“You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.” -- Winston Churchill