February 11, 2015

The Future of Value Generation - Value Propositions Where People and Planet Matter
In executing any profound transformational strategies or implementing change programmes, before we can introduce new business models we require a systems view of the organisation. However, this systems view can not be mechanistic or Cartesian, since any attempt to introduce the new business model (and value proposition) will still be articulated and understood using the old logic, and therefore are likely to fail. ... What Value Proposition Design has done is to provide a new level of granularity, allowing people to now zoom in and out of their conceptualisations of value, in a way in which is now truly powerful and beneficial.

Data Center Building vs. Outsourcing: What’s Best For Your Business
For companies in need of a large deployment of cabinets, with the resources easily available and, according to Schneider Electric, a data center life expectancy of more than five years, it may make sense in the long term to build an in-house data center. For smaller to midsize companies and startups, the evidence points toward outsourcing data center needs. The bottom line is that no matter the size of a company, it is no longer viable to ignore the importance of having a reliable data center. So whether it is a large company with extensive financial resources or a smaller company, let the numbers and evidence guide the decision to determine whether to build or lease a data center.

Learn to Crunch Big Data with R
After exploring many options, I chose to implement this piece in R, taking advantage of the wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modeling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering) and graphical techniques implemented in the R system. One of the attractions for me was the R scripting language, which makes it easy to save and rerun analyses on updated data sets; another attraction was the ability to integrate R and C++. A key benefit for this project was the fact that R, unlike Excel and other GUI analysis programs, is completely auditable.

Want To Go Digital? Fix IT Fundamentals First
Quick wins, and bringing mission, purpose, and accountability to IT are two important fundamentals. But another fundamental to good IT is making business units accountable as well. They, too, are sometimes part of the technology problem. Caudill's first business accountability mechanism was to implement activity based costing, where every IT request has a price, and is either reported or even charged back to business units. This practice makes sure that service users understand the financial, not just operational, impacts of their decisions. He said this practice was a significant component of his digital IT transformation.

Do Enterprises Really Need a BYOD Policy?
The most challenging adjustment for CIOs adapting to the BYOD trend is the need for better systems to authenticate network users, essentially all who access corporate systems with their own personal mobile devices. The IT infrastructure to support BYOD has developed, but there are a few kinks to iron out in terms of policies and guidelines. According to Khilnani of BlackBerry, “Organisations deploying BYOD policies are exploring new grounds in the consumerisation of IT. They look to improve the productivity of the staff and also believe that costs will reduce drastically as employees will require less technical training if they use the same machines at home and at work.”

The problem with cloud service providers and security SLAs
In recent discussions with several professional service providers including ViON (a Washington-based systems integrator), BRUNS-PAK (a data center deployment firm), Google (the search engine/cloud services provider), as well as conversations with former employees of professional services firms, I have developed some interesting new insights – particularly with respect to cloud security. I’m finding that these firms and individuals possess a wealth of information on industry trends – as well as deep insights into why information technology (IT) buyers are making certain decisions while discarding other ideas.

How infosec hiring lost its way: Harsh findings in Leviathan report
The report -- real name "Analysis of Cloud vs. Local Storage: Capabilities, Opportunities, Challenges" -- concisely explains the solutions coming from the establishment classes: Basically, it's either poach talent from other countries, or make everyone go to college, get degrees, and hire them in five years after they have experience. "The first category of solutions," Leviathan diagrams, "to a country that has a shortage in qualified security workers involve finding expert security workers in other countries, and bringing them (on either a temporary, as-needed, basis, or on a permanent one) to the country with the shortage."

The Redefined No of the CFO
You are no longer seen primarily as a wielder of the sharp pencil, someone who holds the line on expenses to protect a tight bottom line. Instead, you are the voice of focused investment, asking the right questions and providing the right insights so that everyone understands when to say no and how to say yes. You help the company turn down many activities so that the few most important can thrive. The deciding factor is strategic value. Economies of scale and market clout are no longer the formidable barriers to entry they once were. The allocation of resources must now favor a company’s most distinctive capabilities—those differentiating things it does particularly well that enable it to outperform competitors over time.

Understanding the Business Benefits of Colocation
A colocation solution provides companies with a variety of opportunities, with exceptional SLAs and having data secured off-site, providing organizations with added levels of risk management and the chance to invest in better equipment and state-of-the-art servers. This can enable IT teams the possibility to explore options such as virtualization and condense the amount of racks and servers required. Colocation providers are able to meet business requirements at a lower cost than if the service was kept in-house. Data centers and colocation providers have the ability to have businesses up and running within hours, as well as provide the flexibility to grow alongside your organization.

HP predicts major cyber attack in next five years
HP also predicts enormous challenges around creating a robust single digital online identity and managing the security of information shared online through social media, in the cloud and through devices connected to the internet of things. “All these things are all about sharing data, not about security. Securing all the data shared in this way is a huge challenge in the absence of any standards to enable us to take control,” said Kawalec. Another significant challenge in the next five years, he said, will be ensuring that regulatory and privacy concerns are addressed without limiting cross-border trade or exposing industry to financial risk.

Quote for the day:

"All that we are is the result of all that we have thought." -- Buddha

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