June 30, 2015

How three years of Yammer has changed Microsoft for the better
Early Yammer use at Microsoft wasn't all positive, but even the arguments could be productive, Pisoni noted when we met last year. "Someone at Microsoft made a comment about a product in a mean-spirited way and the person who made the product popped up and said, 'Hey I make that product,' and they had a conversation. I think there were parts of the company so used to being in a silo that they had to realise they could communicate and get used to having constructive conversations and people got more constructive with each other." Fast forward to 2014 and if you worked at Microsoft and you wanted a new laptop, you had to use Yammer to request it. But it wasn't just a different way of filling in a form, Coplin told us. "It's not just another inbox, it's a culture. You're now measured on your contribution across the company."

The C-Suite Needs a Chief Entrepreneur
So if the CEO isn’t someone who can innovate, then who should? It’s a question that I’ve discussed with Lean Startup founder Steve Blank and business thinkers such as Yves Pigneur, Henry Chesbrough, and Rita McGrath. We believe that CEOs need a partner for innovation inside their companies, someone who will create and defend processes, incentives, and metrics that encourage radical ideas and find new areas for growth. It’s an executive who can help large companies reinvent themselves while they’re still successful. And this new role needs to sit in the C-suite. You could call this person the Chief Entrepreneur (CE) — someone who can lead the future of the company while the CEO takes cares of running the existing business. This is a huge divergence from the traditional norm for chief roles, but the CE is a necessary position of power to ensure that a company innovates.

Avoid culture shock in your next cloud computing project
"An engineer thinks, 'Oh, if you automate this… you're not going to have any work for me,'" said Jason Cornell, manager of cloud and infrastructure automation at Cox Automotive, an Atlanta-based provider of vehicle remarketing services. Enterprises must emphasize that cloud's automation will allow engineers to perform other, higher-value tasks for the business. "What I've been trying to do within my organization is to get us to the point where we can work higher and higher up the stack and get further and further away from managing things like patching [or the] maintenance of servers," Maddison said. "Those kinds of things we want to throw out the window, and get us to focus on stuff that is actually going to add business value."

CIOs warned of IT overspending risks as US dollar strength grows
“We’re looking at the US dollar being high through 2017, but the effect we’re seeing now is around product vendors re-pricing, using obfuscation and trying to keep the revenue they generate in line [with their in-house projections],” he said. “Next year it will be about recovering margin and the year after that, there will be a whole new world out there.” The latter point is in reference to the long-term effect the strong dollar will have on imports and exports arrangements between different countries, which could benefit some suppliers and harm others. “Printers are an interesting market right now, particularly in Europe, as it’s the only market where we have a vendor who has non-US based products and that’s Fujitsu,” said Lovelock.

Announcing the R Consortium
While the R Foundation continues its role as the maintainer of the core R language engine, the R Consortium will initiate projects to help the user community make even better use of R, and to help the R developer community further extend R via packages and other ancillary software projects. Projects already proposed include: building and maintaining mirrors for downloading R; testing and quality assurance platforms; financial support for the annual useR! Conference; and promotion and support of worldwide user groups. In general, the Consortium will seek the input of its members and the R Community at large for projects that foster the continuing growth of R and the community of people that drives its evolution.

OPM Chief's new Cyber Defense operation has potential
"Within almost any organization, there is a tendency for structure to drive behavior and for execution toward goals to be the ones that are measured by management," Harkins said. "By publicly demonstrating the leadership of accountability," OPM will surely "be able to stay on top of future risks because they will have the structure to drive prevention of issues and learn from incidents that may occur." Cylance late last year published an analysis labeling Iran a rising power in cyberspace, comparable to China, and specifically cited a campaign dubbed Operation Cleaver. On Friday, The Hill reported the group behind that series of attacks provided WikiLeaks with about 70,000 confidential cables from Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry.

Cisco fleshes out its Internet of things system, portfolio
Cisco's IoT approach revolves more around a portfolio of products, reference architecture and ecosystem with the likes of Rockwell Automation and GE to name a few. Not surprisingly, Cisco's IoT rollout includes a heavy dose of infrastructure ranging from networking gear to security cameras. But Cisco also added tools for analytics, application management as well as "fog computing." Fog computing is an extension of the cloud designed to manage data from sensors and edge devices. For instance, a temperature reading every second doesn't need to be uploaded to the cloud. Fog computing techniques would take that real-time data, average it out based on parameters and upload it to the cloud every half hour or so. If temperature got out of whack the sensor would have enough intelligence to act quickly.

Re-imagine Master Data Management -- With Graph Databases
Current MDM solutions typically store their data in an Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) which makes it hard to see relationships within the data and leverage those insights in real time for competitive advantage. The new MDM needs to use a different type of data store optimized to quickly discover new insights in existing data, provide a 360-degree view of master data, answer questions about data relationships in real time. The good news is that this is not only possible but happening today, thanks to new technologies and approaches that transform the concept and execution of MDM to enable companies to consolidate data from many channels into one and offer a highly related, true view of this data.

Cybersecurity’s future will require humans and machines to work symbiotically
Although companies are building their own security solutions to detect and mitigate attacks at the earliest possible stages, as time goes on and more devices get shared across contexts by multiple users. That means the methods by which attacks will be perpetrated will multiply. The modern enterprise lives across the cloud, mobile devices, and the Internet of Things, which means the approaches we previously used to defend against cyber threats are no longer viable. ... In most enterprise settings, security data gets collected and correlated in SIEM (Security Incident and Event Management) products made by Splunk, LogRhythm, and others, and it ends up overwhelming the security analysts tasked with making sense of it.

Compliance Is Now Calling the Shots, and Bankers Are Bristling
“These people are in great demand,” says Maurice Gilbert, founder of Conselium, a headhunting firm in Dallas. Gilbert used to do executive searches for all sorts of positions. “Then, about eight or nine years ago, we got a compliance search,” he says. “And then we got another one. And we said, ‘Is this the tip of the iceberg?’” It was. Now, compliance is all Gilbert does. His biggest payday usually comes when he places a chief compliance officer. These people sometimes report straight to the board of directors, and they make really good money, Gilbert says. In April, a very large pharmaceutical company had him looking for a compliance head to come aboard at $1.5 million a year.

Quote for the day:

"People not only notice how you treat them, they also notice how you treat others." -- Gary L. Graybill

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