January 08, 2015

Using the Kanban Canvas for Driving Change
Systems Thinking uses the iceberg metaphor, where individual events are what we see above the water line. Below the water, often unobserved, are the patterns of events over time. Below that are the system structures that create those patterns, and even further down are the mental models that lead to those structures. To begin to understand the systemic problems we want to address, we first need to look for the patterns. One way of finding patterns is through narrative. I ask people to tell stories about what has happened in the past, over time.

Corporate officers — security changes for 2015!
CSOs rarely quantify a return on investment, as the rest of your department heads can. Instead, CSOs talk about threats to other companies, and deep down you’re wondering who would have both the inclination and capability to attack your company anyway? You have firewalls, and you’re forced to memorize (okay, write down in your secret place) longer and longer passwords that NOBODY could guess. You’re compliant with your industry standards, such as PCI (for payment cards) and HIPAA (health records), so you must be protected. In short, you need to trust your CSOs to do their jobs, just as you trust your CFOs — in the same way that President Reagan trusted the Soviet Union to disarm: “Trust but verify.”

We Don’t Have Time for Risk Management
Unfortunately, that kind of response is not unusual or unfamiliar to even basic risk management questions, particularly when there is a pressing need for results. Risk management is time consuming and consequently costly but it is often more costly to rush forward without considering risk, because when the unexpected happens, we have to react, which involves delay, rework, and sometimes waste. In Gene’s case, not considering the areas of uncertainty means that important areas of planning might be overlooked; potentially impacting work, schedule, and cost expansion by unknowingly accepting significant liabilities related to property and safety. Part of the problem is that Gene (like many) thinks of risk as interference to his plans and timelines.

Merging Old and New: Embracing the Hybrid Cloud
It requires careful planning to manage a private cloud and a third-party public cloud host. But for companies that want to get the benefit of new technology while still needing to provide bullet-proof continuity of operations, the old and the new need to work together. Many established companies with significant IT infrastructure are making the decision to develop a hybrid cloud. For example, NiSource Inc., one of the largest natural-gas transmission companies in the U.S., recently said that it plans to move to a hybrid cloud.

How to boost creativity in your organization?
“Being creative is going to be associated with a lot of failure,” says Dr. Lynne Vincent, co-author of Outside Advantage: Can Social Rejection Fuel Creative Thought? “You have to have the confidence to persevere and continue on past the hurdles and barriers.” People say they value creativity, but in reality they celebrate the successful outcome of its implementation. I have seen many organizations stuck in a creativity slump as their employees focus too much on what they’re working on and they don’t see the forest for the trees. One question I am asked often times is: how do I boost creativity in my organization?

How To Use BGP Prefix-Independent Convergence
BGP Prefix-Independent Convergence is described in a draft RFC, which initially came out in September 2012 and was updated a couple of times in 2013 but is currently in an expired state with the IETF. Cisco does support PIC on all their routing platforms (IOS, IOS-XE, IOS-XR and NX-OS). The BGP PIC edge and core for the IP and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) function improves convergence after a network failure. This convergence is applicable to both core and edge failures on IP and MPLS networks. Normally, BGP can take several seconds to a few minutes to converge after a network change.

Internet of Things demands security by design
"Connected devices are effectively allowing companies to digitally monitor our otherwise private activities," Ramirez says. ... She points to "ubiquitous data collection" and the potential for consumers' information to be used or shared in ways they would not expect as particular areas of concern, along with the worry that manufacturers and service providers aren't adequately securing the data they collect. ... "The small devices are sort of a problem. You have limited capabilities in terms of computation," says Joseph Lorenzo-Hall, CTO at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington digital rights group. "Some of them are meant to be very disposable and lightweight, which is going to be difficult to maintain and make a business case and do security upgrades for."

Why CIOs Should Turn To Cloud Based Data Analysis in 2015
CIOs are under tremendous pressure to quickly deliver big data platforms that can enable enterprises to unlock the potential of big data and better serve their customers, partners and internal stakeholders. Early adopter CIOs of big data report clear advantages of seriously considering and choosing the cloud for data analysis. These CIOs make a clear distinction between business critical and business enabling systems and processes. They understand the value that the cloud brings to data analysis and exploration and how it enables the business arm to innovate, react and grow the businesses.

Introduction to Puppet
unlike procedural scripts, Puppet’s language works across different platforms. By abstracting state away from implementation, Puppet allows you to focus on the parts of the system you care about, leaving implementation details like command names, arguments, and file formats to Puppet itself. For example, you can use Puppet to manage all your users the same way, whether a user is stored in NetInfo or /etc/passwd. This concept of abstraction is key to Puppet’s utility. It allows anyone who’s comfortable with any kind of code to manage systems at a level appropriate for their role. That means teams can collaborate better, and people can manage resources that would normally be outside their ken, promoting shared responsibility amongst teams.

Next Shift: From Big Data to Deep Data
As big data moves beyond hype to realized value, things are beginning to change. As we enter 2015, companies will move toward the "Deep Data" framework– an approach based on the premise that a small number of information-rich data streams, leveraged properly, can yield more value than masses of captured data. By shifting to a deep (rather than big) data approach, businesses are able to better understand their customers and offer actionable, scalable and customized insights while crucially enhancing the value of the economic investment in data to their businesses.

Quote for the day:

"Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish." --Marcus Aurelius