May 03, 2015

Thinking Differently About Risk
The growing problem of cyber threats is also a relatively new and increasingly important component of overall risk for almost every business. In addition to the very real threat of clandestine hackers sneaking past firewalls and stealing vital customer and business data, cyber threats also include more mundane concerns, such as an employee inadvertently releasing proprietary information on the Internet. In the latter case, a bad problem can very quickly be made worse if the information is picked up by social media, where it can spread virally around the world in a matter of days, if not hours. So as always, the benefits of new technologies must be balanced against the new and previously unknown risks that they engender.

Six successful innovators and the lessons we should learn from them
Ask someone to think of an entrenched and immutable industry, and automotive would likely make a list of his or her top ten. With a century of history, entrenched competitors, and a business model that's changed very little, automotive would seem like the last industry a startup with an unconventional product would attempt to enter. However, Elon Musk and Tesla Motors made a bold entrance into this market with an unconventional product and a business model so different that it's faced everything from skepticism to legal challenges. Just because a system, process, competitor, or even a whole industry seems monolithic and immune to change doesn't make it so.

Agile versus Architecture
Planning and Management make the development safer for all though. They makes the development fault tolerant. Say a risk materialises, a key developer moves on, falls sick or... The planning should have have considered that to avoid disaster, at some cost, indeed. Hence, even if the principles sound liberating, an all Agile approach of development is a risk in itself because it may endanger the project.  After all, the legacy managed approach is there for this very reason: to provide external visibility, reduce risks and dependencies and render a development as predictable as possible. Without forecasting effort and costs, the project cannot be even sanctioned.

Agile Enterprise Architecture – A Good to Great Evolution
There are substantial benefits when we effectively apply the intentional architecture, provided the iteration is not slowed down. An Agile Architect is a role in an agile team who provides inputs and technical direction based on the Architecture vision to the enterprise and ensures that the design and architecture of an individual application is in conformance with enterprise architecture vision. ... Being Great at anything requires practice. Agile teams needs to use tools and techniques which support constant change e.g. Continuous Integration, testing and refactoring Bottom line “Think long term and act short term “. Understand the agility the business needs, understand what helps you to align to the Enterprise Architecture Vision and choose design wisely!

How to Solve a Difficult Forecasting Problem
Too often, in dealing with our urgent business forecasting problems, we go for the first type of costly and time-consuming solution. Sometimes it may not be obvious that there are alternative approaches. Or sometimes we may have hired an unscrupulous consultant who will (of course) suggest a costly and time-consuming answer. Consider the apparent problem of generating highly granular forecasts, such as by customer/item for a manufacturer, or store/item for a retailer. There can be millions of time series at this most granular level. It may appear that we need to forecast all of them. So we buy terabytes of storage and the fastest processors to be able to model and forecast each of these millions of series.

The Horror of Hybrid Cloud and the real reason why you needed a Chief Digital Officer
Don't get me wrong, there are very strategic CIOs out there but these aren't the problem, in those companies you see adaptation happening already. However if you had found yourself lumbered with a non strategic CIO then these are the people you should have been planning to replace with a more strategic CIO - which after all was the real reason we hired CDOs (Chief Digital Officers).  Assuming you didn't do something crass and get lumbered with a non strategic CDO (i.e. constantly waffling on about innovation, disruption and story telling without any clear understanding of the landscape) then now is probably the time to be considering that change. If, however you only hired a CDO because every other company did then heaven help you.

The Truth About Smartphone Apps That Secretly Connect to User Tracking and Ad Sites
The user tracking sites that apps connect to are less pervasive. More than 70 percent of apps do not connect to any user tracking sites. But those that do can be extravagant, some connecting to more than 800 user tracking sites. What’s more many of these are created by organizations that Google has designated with “top developer status.” The worst offender is an app called Eurosport Player which connects to 810 different user tracking sites. A small proportion of the apps even seem designed to connect to suspicious sites connected with malware. Most users of these apps will have little, if any, knowledge of this kind of behavior. So Vigneri and co have developed their own app that monitors the behavior of others on a user’s smartphone and reveals exactly which external sites these apps are attempting to connect to.

DevOps style performance monitoring for .NET
Recently I began looking for an application performance management solution for .NET. My requirements are code level visibility, end to end request tracing, and infrastructure monitoring in a DevOps production setup. DotTrace is clearly the most well-known tool for code level visibility in development setups, but it can’t be used in a 24×7 production setup. DotTrace also doesn’t do typical Ops monitoring. Unfortunately a Google search didn’t return much in terms of a tool comparison for .NET production monitoring. So I decided to do some research on my own. Following is a short list of well-known tools in the APM space that support .NET. My focus is on finding an end-to-end solution and profiler-like visibility into transactions.

Cloud Native Architectures - a Conversation with Matt Stine
... there are a lot of aspects of what we're now calling microservices that sound very similar to SOA when compared to the first several paragraphs of SOA’s Wikipedia page. I think the real difference is in how SOA was monetized by vendors. Their focus was normally on putting everything into this new piece of middleware called an Enterprise Service Bus that was replacing all of the other large pieces of middleware that were no longer in vogue to sell. Not to say that ESB technology is bad; it was the way that we were using it, replacing one big monolithic thing with another monolithic thing; taking all the complexity from here and shoving it into there. None of that was actually required to make a move to a more service-oriented architecture.

Traceability and Modeling of Requirements in Enterprise Architecture 
As we can see, functional and nonfunctional requirements are members of both solution and problem space. The idea is that requirements are used as a bridge between the problem and the solution space and in order to cross this bridge we have to move from generic, high abstraction level requirements, to more refined ones. On the one hand the generic requirements describe how the enterprise architect formulates the given architectural problem, and on the other hand the more refined requirements provide the rationalization behind specific design decisions

Quote for the day:

"Failure is a prerequisite for great success. If you want to succeed faster, double your rate of failure." -- Brian Tracy

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