September 24, 2014

How Agile Can Yield Effective IT Business Alignment
In her talk Klasien showed how can you apply lean thinking to decide which architecture documentation is needed and when it is needed, discussed why Agile practices are often only used by the IT Teams in many projects, and provided suggestions on how to increase the involvement of stakeholders from business, demand and supply in agile projects. Klasien presented her experiences from working in different architectural roles with the council for the Judiciary and with the Dutch tax authority, both governmental organizations.

IT Dress Code: 10 Cardinal Sins
Just as we might sometimes try a little too hard for our own fashion good, there are those among us who grossly misinterpret the meaning of the word "casual." It's a lasting artifact of the first dot-com boom, the offices where soccer sandals and flip-flops are de riguer. Maybe we don't need to dud up in suits every day, but a decent pair of shoes might still behoove everyone. Then there are variables of common sense -- and common decency -- to consider. No, we don't want to talk about the sprawling ERP upgrade with you while you're sporting super-snug bike shorts and an equally form-fitting tour jersey. That's just awkward, your upcoming triathlon notwithstanding.

Predictive Analytics in Health Care: Helping to Navigate Uncertainties and Change
Changes to payment models will likely cascade across the industry and affect all participants, from private insurers and government which will develop new models, to providers and patients who will change their behavior accordingly. Each of these steps can affect the eventual decision to prescribe or use a specific health care product or service, as well as how much this product will cost and how it will be paid for. And it is clear that ACA will result in additional future price pressures, the impact of which will vary greatly by product, therapeutic area, service and state.

How a CIO Shift to Strategic Management can Eliminate IT Hero and Firefighter Mentality
It may sound odd, but sometimes laziness has its place in the business. Some of the best IT folks I know work very hard, but they don’t realize they’re working hard because the work they’re doing is helping them avoid work they don’t like doing. Every IT organization needs a few leaders and contributors who can look at the job at hand and say, “How can I fix this so I never have to do it again?” If you celebrate the contributions of firefighter martyrs, you are to some extent, rewarding bad behavior. There may be a wide range of reasons for the fires in the first place, but you certainly don’t want to make it worse by establishing the wrong success motivators.

5 Ways Data Warehousing Is Changing
In today’s world, it’s important to deal with data in its raw format, including semi-structured, first-class formats such as JSON and XML. Data warehouses must be able to not only bulk-load large data sets as is, but also scale linearly in a cost-effective manner as volumes and formats grow, without upfront planning. This ability preserves the richness of the data while also circumventing the need (and cost) of writing custom code in order to build, collect, model and integrate data from various streaming and semi-structured sources before analysis.

Secure Computing as Threats Evolve (Infographic)
Data breaches have dominated the headlines for months, but the overall cyber security landscape is far from bleak. Researchers have made significant inroads battling spam bots, closing up mobile vulnerabilities, and keeping users away from malicious web domains. This infographic highlights some of the positive developments in the war against malware and illustrates Symantec’s unique position in the security intelligence market. You’ll discover: Which threat vectors are shrinking vs. growing; How spear phishing attacks have evolved; and How Symantec’s security intelligence helps block more attacks, more quickly

The Dangers of Dark Data and How to Minimize Your Exposure
Most discussions of dark data tend to focus on its potential value and utility to an organization. Indeed, for those outfits willing to expend resources (money, tools and time) to develop and exploit the information and value locked up inside dark data, such potential is undoubtedly attractive. This also explains why many organizations are reluctant to part with dark data,  ... or perhaps more chillingly, the dark data about them, their customers and their operations that's stored in the cloud, outside their immediate control and management – can pose risks to their continued business health and well-being.

Puppet Server's Big Revamp
Puppet is a project that has built a widely used configuration management system, one designed to let an IT administrator or "puppetmaster" to pull the strings inside the data center and create servers for whatever infrastructure was needed. In the commercially supported version, Puppet Enterprise from Puppet Labs, the core piece of the system, Puppet Server, has been rewritten to allow add-on applications. ... With Node Manager, servers can be quickly grouped together "based on its job rather than its cute, assigned name" or other manually-inspired designation.

How to choose the right Linux distro
Unlike most other desktop and server operating systems, Linux comes in a wide variety of flavors, each based on a common core of the Linux kernel and various GNU user space utilities. If you're running Linux servers -- or Linux desktops, for that matter -- you should understand the important differences and be discerning about which flavor of Linux is best suited to any given situation. This article will help you do just that. Because Linux is open source software, the number of discrete Linux distributions is hard to know for sure.

Technical Architecture in Banking and Gaming
By contrast, when gamers have formed a major emotional attachment to a particular game they can be much more tolerant of outages. For popular games which deploy regular, largeish patches (often a few hundred MB in size) potentially slow download times seem to be mostly accepted by users - and no mass exodus to another game occurs. Even the occasional crash of a server seems to be regarded as a fact of life. As long as it doesn't happen too often gamers seem to regard crashes and even the loss of a small amount of game state and experience as acceptable.

Quote for the day:

"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." -- Harvey S. Firestone