June 16, 2014

The era of the entitled customer: A recipe for creating amazing customer experiences
A single bad experience might lose you a customer — or a handful of customers — through word of mouth, but companies didn’t really care because they could drown out negative experiences with marketing spend. Clever marketing trumped user experience. ... But the advent of social media has changed all that: Customer's voices, amplified by social media, now trump even the cleverest of marketing. Combine that with a massive surge towards subscription and freemium models, increasing saturation of digital marketing channels, increased competition and decreasing customer loyalty, and you have the recipe for an era where users, not brands, wield unprecedented power.

The Data-Driven Workforce: 5 Critical Roles
Data is the lifeblood of digital organizations. I've seen a European retail bank generate an average 500% sales increase from its marketing campaigns, for example, by segmenting the customer base and using advanced analytics to determine which products to offer to each segment. To find and unlock this kind of data-driven competitive advantage, however, business leaders need to develop a more data-savvy workforce. We're starting to see a transition to a more data-oriented workforce, in which existing roles take on a revived importance and new roles have arisen from the need to manage and fully exploit data. Here are five key roles to develop as you strive to build a data-driven organization:

The App-Driven Future of TV
The Rising Star app will direct users to the appropriate music store for their advice in order to download music from performing contestants. It will also serve ads, which, like Twitter’s promoted tweets, can be coordinated with on-air commercials. First, it needs to get them to tune in. Viewers have their choice of singing competitions already with American Idol and NBC's The Voice(where Yaron previously worked as an executive producer). The Rising Star app risks coming off as a gimmick slapped on an old concept. Or, says Yaron, it "could revolutionize live television ... not to oversell it."

Operators warned to push security up the agenda and respond quicker
Chris Stock, Director of Security Management Programmes at TM Forum, believes all this indicates one thing – a change in culture is still required at operators. “Chief Security Officers need to be talking on an equal level with the rest of the C-suite. How you sell security to the board is a key challenge that needs to be addressed,” he tells European Communications. “Security needs to be included as you design new processes… and the first step is education.” Paul Nguyen, President of Global Security Solutions at CSG Invotas, is in full agreement. “Security is moving up the agenda as the C-suite is being held more accountable and concern around the protection of consumer data grows,” he explains.

Internet of Things: What Does it Mean for Data Centers?
In 2014, data centers are only at the beginning of the change phase to the IoT. Whereas today, monitoring power and backup power still calls for someone physically walking up to that monitoring equipment, once everything becomes digital, the monitoring of the information as well as the control of the power will be achieved through digital technology over the Internet. There are elements of that futuristic concept being used today in data centers but they are not integrated, rather, they are used independently. Down the line, when collected data at data centers are connected to the Internet, analyzed and used intelligently, all that data will be used to predict the future and facilitate better business decisions.

The Ad Industry Reinvents the Hyperlink for the Mobile Era
Technology companies large and small are now driving wider adoption of deep linking by offering technology that makes it easy to deploy, manage, and use deep links. Twitter and Facebook are perhaps the most influential companies pushing for deep links to be used more widely. Last April, Twitter added support for deep links in the “cards” that companies can use to display rich media alongside Twitter messages sent from their website or app. The support was also added to “promoted,” or paid for, tweets. Facebook had already, in 2012, allowed deep links to appear in posts to its News Feed, but last October the company began selling a new kind of mobile ad based on deep linking.

Where does troubled Mozilla go from here?
There is no question, however, that the firestorm about Eich's political stance, which led to three Mozilla board members resigning and web sites banning the use of Firefox, hastened his departure. Eich himself simply stated that, "I resigned because I could not be an effective leader under the circumstances." ...  Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman gave perhaps the most nuanced explanation of why Eich left when he blogged that while Eich had "led a band of brilliant engineers and activists who freed the Internet from the grip of Microsoft," at the same time he wasn't able to "connect and empathize with people." In short, he was a fine CTO, but not CEO material.

Cloud security: Are firms still fretting about the wrong issues?
Companies are still hung up on questions such as the physical location of their data in the cloud, as much for emotional reasons as for regulatory compliance, a recent Dell round-table event in London heard. "The irony is that most of these organisations will be using outsourced development teams in India, who probably have access to live production instances and have access to all the data anyway," technical lead for Dell's EMEA information security practice Don Smith said. He saidd that one of Dell's largest European customers is in Finland, which shares a robust approach to data protection with Germany.

MPLS networks not obsolete, but Internet as WAN catches up
"There is a trend toward using the Internet, but it's nowhere near as dramatic as: ‘The private WAN is dead. Long live the Internet!'" says Johna Till Johnson, president and founder of Nemertes. "[The growth] is interesting and provocative, but doesn't necessarily mean people are using the Internet as a WAN." For all its headaches, MPLS will continue to play a major role in WAN architectures. Enterprises will likely favor a "hybrid WAN" model that uses both MPLS and high-speed Internet or carrier Ethernet in a single location or alternates between them throughout the WAN, according to Andrew Lerner, a research director at Gartner.

Security: The Fault Lies not in Our Clouds, But in Ourselves
What continues to fail is the management of security. The known security problems related to Cloud, to date, have been engendered and enabled by management failure. Some of this comes from continuing inadequate, perimeter-focused, technology-first IT security practices – in itself a large and prolonged management failure. The fact that even some Cloud providers, typically thought to be leading-edge in technology and business, continue to apply these same types of security practices amazes me. But some management failure also comes from Cloud providers’ customers, the companies that outsource storage, processing, apps and more to Cloud. It’s not blaming the victim to suggest that too many businesses don’t look far enough into, or demand enough from, Cloud providers’ security management.

Quote for the day:

"Close scrutiny will show that most "crisis situations" are opportunities to either advance, or stay where you are." -- Maxwell Maltz

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