August 08, 2015

Agile Value Delivery - Beyond the Numbers

Value is an interesting word and one that generates a lot of different opinions. One of the most common views of value is Shareholder Value, as described by Milton Friedman, in which creating return on investment was the primary measure of value. As counterpoint, Peter Drucker argued that value was determined by the customer. When tested in the real world, an interesting pattern emerges – return on invested capital has steadily declined for the firms focused on shareholder value, while it has steadily increased for those that focus on customer value. So value is not about money; it’s about perception. That was why we added the subtitle “Beyond the Numbers.”

A Security Scanner for Human Vulnerabilities

The security industry does have some established ways to try to rein in what are called social-engineering attacks. Security training has become standard at many large organizations, and some companies occasionally stage phishing attacks to drive home the risks of fake e-mail. But Bell says the continual stream of breaches caused by human slip-ups shows that education doesn’t work. Meanwhile, companies that perform phishing tests are rare, and they are generally one-off, manual exercises, she says.

9 big data pain points

Sometimes, there's a big hole in the side of the ship, and the industry decides to wait until the ship starts sinking in hope of selling lifeboats. At other times, less severe flaws resemble the door in my downstairs bathroom, which opens only if you turn the handle one direction, not the other. I’ll fix it one day, although I've said that for 12 years or so.I can count nine issues confronting the big data business that fall at either extreme ... or somewhere in between.

5 reasons nice guy-project managers finish first

So what do you think…do nice guys finish last? I’ve tried to be a nice guy throughout most of my professional career and I don’t think I’ve finished last. And as I consider those I’ve worked with over the years, most of the nice guys (and women) have done pretty well. Yes, a few hardcore jerks have definitely excelled (“the squeaky wheel gets the grease”), but the nice guys have -- in the long run -- faired better, in my opinion. From a project management or even general business standpoint, here are my top 5 reasons why I think nice guys actually finish first.

Business Intelligence versus Big Data: Intelligent Information

BI is a set of tools and techniques to gather, cleanse and enrich structured or semi-structured data for storage in various forms of SQL type database. The data will be managed in standardized formats to facilitate access to information and processing speeds. The goal of BI is to produce performance indicators to understand the past and analyze the present to extrapolate a long-term vision and define future competitive advantages of the company. BI is used by a large number of internal and external users to support the operational activities of the company using strategic monitoring.

Disruptive Innovation and Competitive Intelligence

While established companies in any sector focus on existing customer needs and sustained innovation at the top of the market, they might leave the space open for new competitors to use simple and disruptive innovation that identify unmet customer needs. ... Now imagine if we apply this paradigm to the world of Competitive Intelligence (CI); a discipline that is supposed to monitor the changes in the market and the competitive threats for its business. Is CI also monitoring disruptive innovations that are creating ripples in its own waters? Let’s look at 3 such companies and 3 specific technology-led ideas by which they could potentially disrupt CI: a) Crowdsourcing, b) Temporal analysis, c) Artificial Intelligence

Why Cyber-Physical Hackers Have It Harder Than You

The risk gets scarier as buildings and cities rely more on computer systems. Some physical devices only use electronics as an added benefit -- they may collect or share more data, for example -- but others -- the cyber-physical devices -- cannot function mechanically without input from the computer.  Either way, another challenge for the physical and cyber-physical hacker is that simply finding a vulnerability in the code isn't enough. "There must [also] be vulnerability in the process," says Krotofil. If the physical processes can continue along even without the correct input from the computer, then the exploit doesn't work. Yet, while vulnerability scanners (and the black market bug bounty business) make it relatively easy to find holes in applications, the same tools don't exist for complex processes and environments like, for example, a chemical plant.

Architects Should Code: The Architect's Misconception

Technical leadership stems from the fact that the architect is often highly experienced in development and delivery. A goal of the architect should be to educate and grow the development team. Sometimes there are specific tech leads that play this role, but why horde the experience gained by the architect? Not only does this interaction benefit the team as a whole, it benefits the architect to understand some of the common issues the development team encounters. Mentoring is a form of non-technical leadership that an architect can impart on a team. Topics like working with non-technical people, embracing Agile principles, defining architecture, and modeling architecture are all important skills for growing developers and future architects.

The Least Worst Way of Letting the Govt Read Encrypted Messages

Most discussion of how a government might get access to encrypted data has focused on designs with what you might call a direct backdoor – the government gets a master key or collection of keys that it can use to directly unlock encrypted messages. ... Denaro says more attention should be directed toward an alternative approach that doesn’t put so much power directly in the government’s hands. It would create a less direct backdoor—giving the government access into the system known as a keyserver that a company uses to manage the keys for an encrypted messaging system.

Shift Your Cybersecurity Focus from the Perimeter to the Interior

With the rapid changes in automating and connecting our systems, the adoption of SaaS and IaaS is only on the rise—and those who want to profit from theft of this data are paying close attention. This is a familiar pattern: One team gets an advantage for a short time, long enough for the other team to find a weakness, and the cycle is repeated.  To put it another way: The cat finds a way to detect malicious behavior, and then the mouse finds a new way to get the cheese. Imagine the cat is the latest VC-backed startup with a new detection strategy and the mouse is a new evasion technique. But the asymmetry created by the way our systems are built is not in the cat’s favor.

Quote for the day:

“You must be willing to give up what you are, to become what you want to be.” -- Orrin Woodward

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