August 28, 2015

Is a flat organization the key to IT agility?

The power of collective intelligence is that you get to these optimal solutions fast. When we first started holding these two-day sessions, the most common comment on the evaluations was, 'I cannot believe how much work we did in so short a period of time.' That's the function of having the network in the room. Nothing is as powerful as getting the whole system in the room because, as issues come up, you can say, how will this affect you? Even if the representatives are not the leaders of the group, it doesn't matter. As long as the voice is there, it seemed to work. By having them there, we could say, 'We can't stop until these four people are all comfortable with what we're going to do because all four people are impacted.' In hierarchies, you don't realize who is impacted until sometimes you're halfway through the project.

Why Big Data Alone Is An Inadequate Source Of Customer Intelligence

One reason that companies are unable to benefit fully from their investments in big data is that “management practices haven’t caught up with their technology platforms,” according to Ross and Quaadgras. For example, companies that have installed digital platforms, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and customer relationship management (CRM) systems over the past 10 to 15 years, haven’t yet taken full advantage of the information they make available. A cultural change is needed within companies so that “all decision makers have performance data at their fingertips every day,” Ross and Quaadgras write.

Culture impacts strategy and corporate governance

One key aspect of creating a conducive culture within an organisation is to be overseen by a board of directors that come from a diverse background. By introducing multiple perspectives in the mix dangers like ‘group think’, where one kinds of personality or way of looking at the world comes to rule the corporate culture, can be avoided. As a result, bringing in diversity, for instance wider female participation (with two thirds of companies actively seeking to introduce more women to the board), cultural diversity and other forms of diversity like social background, are growing in importance in boardrooms. In terms of female diversity, Eastern Europe comes out on top with nearly a quarter of executives being women, followed by Latin America.

Simon Wardley's 100-day Corporate get fit plan

Understanding context is key to applying these ideas but such situational awareness is a rarity in corporates. The lack of this causes visible symptoms such as poor communication, misapplication of doctrine (e.g. agile everywhere or six sigma everywhere), massive cost overruns in contracts, silos, duplication, constant reinventing of the wheel and a long list of other undesirable effects. I did want to write a post on the 61 different forms of strategic play and how to manipulate an economic environment but given the responses I've received from the Wardley mapping post, it seems something more basic is required.

IT must map its way to visibility

One action that I advocate for IT leaders is to create the technology maps that their enterprises will need to negotiate today’s marketplace. Modern executives should never be surprised by technology. They might be disappointed by technology. Frequently they should be ashamed at their ham-handed, small-minded attitudes toward the adoption and deployment of technology. Some should be flogged publicly for their bordering-on-malfeasance inability to make money with the technology cornucopia that defines modern existence. But they should never be surprised by technology. Technology futures are knowable. Technology futures and possible technology opportunities need to be mapped.

Taming today's cyberthreat landscape: A CIO checklist

Could this be true? What about the other 19%? Feeling a bit skeptical about what I was reading, I checked the research methodology, in particular, the demographics of the respondents: 814 IT security decision makers and practitioners, all from organizations with more than 500 employees. The respondents represented seven countries in North America and Europe and 19 industries. Seems pretty comprehensive. Another study performed earlier this year by Accenture titled Business Resilience in the Face of Cyber Risk, reported that: 66% of executives experience significant attacks on their IT systems on a daily or weekly basis; yet only 9% of executives run ongoing security penetration or continuity of business/disaster recovery tests on their systems.

The Looming Problem That Could Kill Bitcoin

Andresen’s gloomy prediction stems from the fact that Bitcoin can’t process more than seven transactions a second. That’s a tiny volume compared to the tens of thousands per second that payment systems like Visa can handle—and a limit he expects to start crippling Bitcoin early in 2016. It stems from the maximum size of the “blocks” that are added to the digital ledger of Bitcoin transactions, the blockchain, by people dubbed miners who run software that confirms Bitcoin transactions and creates new Bitcoin. Andresen’s proposed solution triggered an uproar among people who use or work with Bitcoin when he introduced it two weeks ago. Rather than continuing to work with the developers who maintain Bitcoin’s code,

Artificial Intelligence, Legal Responsibility And Civil Rights

What happens if an AI machine commits a crime? Who is responsible for the actions taken? This may sound like science fiction, but it has already happened. A Swiss art group created an automated shopping robot with the purpose of committing random Darknet purchases. The robot managed to purchase several items, including a Hungarian passport and some Ecstasy pills, before it was “arrested” by Swiss police. The aftermath resulted in no charges against the robot nor the artists behind the robot. How should an AI machine be regulated when it is acting on its own, outside the control of humans? There have already been several regulatory problems identified for controlling and regulating artificial intelligence.

6 SMB Data Security Myths and Misconceptions

Today, cybercrime costs companies more than $300 billion worldwide, and nearly all of it’s due to someone trying to steal credit cards, identity information, trade secrets, etc. Today’s hackers are all grown up and take the form of transnational organized crime rings, terrorist cells, hacking co-ops and groups and even nation-states and foreign intelligence services. According to Marc Goodman in Future Crimes, “The defender must build a perfect wall to keep out all intruders, while the offense need find only one chink in the armor through which to attack.” Make no mistake, these people are serious, they’re in it for the money, they’re organized and well-funded, they’re highly skilled, and they will find you.

Cyber security culture is a collective effort

The socialization of cyber threats among all levels of a company’s workforce reinforces the concept that cyber security is a shared endeavor. For example, social engineering and spearphishing e-mails that target one class of worker may not target another; yet it is imperative that everyone be cognizant of what they entail, how suspicious e-mails can be checked, and what should be done if they are received. This instills the knowledge that each employee has a vested interest in safeguarding the organization by ensuring its sensitive information and accesses are preserved and maintained.  It’s imperative that accountability and responsibility must not be viewed projected as burdens that punish employees or risk the impeding business operations for the sake of compliance.

Quote for the day:

“Ultimately, the only thing that matters is what we do for other people.” -- Daniel Vasella

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