February 07, 2014

An innovation management approach where ideas don't go to die
Intuit Inc. knew it had to change up its approach to innovation management when employees started complaining that its collaboration tools were the graveyard where good ideas went to die -- that's not good for a company that had reinvented accounting practices with its financial software. The upshot was Brainstorm, explained Roy Rosin, vice president of product management and innovation at the Mountain View, Calif.-based company. In this podcast excerpt, Rosin outlines the steps to building a culture of innovation and why serial disruption is a necessary part of the idea creation process.

Starbucks hits $1B in mobile payment revenues in 2013, analysis says
"In general, we're really encouraged that customers have embraced [the program]... and are keeping track of loyalty points," Jantzen said. "We very much value our customers and their loyalty." Starbucks for years has tracked alternative payment technologies to barcode scanning, such as near field communications on smartphones, but the coffee seller decided to go with what was available and proven when it launched mobile payments in early 2011.

Are Purchasing Practices Killing Your Software Projects?
Heads-I-win, tales-you-lose pricing. I go on endlessly about the perils of fixed-price projects; namely, how they can poison the agile methodology that's the core of lowering project costs. Asking a consultant to absorb the risk of fixed price can mean doubling the bid. Some clients take it a step further with "hourly rates, with not-to-exceed" clauses. This makes perfect sense to every purchasing manager in the world, but it contaminates your project with sloppy thinking, gamesmanship and an adversarial relationship. Agile requires trust. If you aren't willing to start there, go back to waterfall.

You won't believe what happened when Microsoft made Bill Gates its "Technology Advisor"
As a business, one option is to grow into that new space. The other, my preferred option if I'm being honest, is that they don't. So what's the deal? Does the Nadella+Gates combo mean that Microsoft is going to focus on enterprise IT, work on just that core business, and keep it safe? That for me works fine. But if the idea of this is that Gates is the person who can lead Microsoft out into a greater universe where enterprise IT plays a tiny role? I can't see that working so well.

Outside the Box: NoSQL Document Databases
What JSON allows is for an application developer to manage the information that they store about a particular object - customer, product, region, etc. - without having to go through the process of checking the database, asking for a change request, etc. The processes of the "modern" IT department have become too ordered (and some might say immovable) to make a nimble adjustment as business and technical requirements arise.

Virtual PM – It’s Virtually Everywhere
Soooo … is project management virtually everywhere? Well, a lot of people pursue and attain their objectives in less-than-smart ways, but, sure, PM is everywhere, even if it’s not recognized as such. Think about the two main information streams that support smart project management decision-making: earned value, and critical path methodologies. Sound daunting, don’t they? Well, they’re not. Follow me on this little mental exercise for proof.

Enterprise innovation management strategy guide
CIOs and other top IT executives play a vital role in creating enterprise innovation programs that deliver both short- and long-term benefits. Over time, as innovation becomes “business as usual," it's necessary to refresh and revitalize the innovation process, and be prepared to deal with the organizational obstacles that accompany it. This guide is part of SearchCIO.com’s CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.

US to push for mandatory car-to-car wireless communications
V2V communications use a variation of the 802.11 wireless network standard used by laptops and mobile phones, but instead link cars, which can share position and speed information with each other 10 times per second. That can let one car reliably detect when another in front is braking hard, for example. V2V technology initially will assist drivers, but NHTSA is considering linking it to "active safety technologies that rely on on-board sensors." That could let a car brake or steer to avoid a collision without driver involvement.

Get Ready for Big Data Heists
Already there has been the massive plastic card data theft in South Korea, affecting about 60 million cards; the Target Corp. credit card disaster involving up to 40 million customers; the hacking of 16 million German e-mail accounts; data security breaches at Nieman Marcus Inc. and Easton-Bell Sports Inc.; and a group of Russian hackers who compromised the computer systems of Western energy and defense companies, governments, and academic institutions. We're still in January. These security breaches were all different but had a common cause: negligence

The Future of PaaS in Cloud Computing
There has been a raging debate about Platform-as-a-Service and whether it is still a valuable part of a cloud portfolio, so InfoQ reached out to four leaders in the cloud domain for their opinions on the future of PaaS. In this interview, cloud advocate Krishnan Subramanian, cloud developer Dan Turkenkopf, cloud executive JP Morgenthal, and cloud expert James Urquhart discuss misperceptions about PaaS, and its role in the future of cloud computing.

Quote for the day:

“Lead from the back - and let others believe they are in front.” -- Nelson Mandela

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