October 23, 2015

IT pros weigh Dell versus HP as one swells, the other splits

"One could argue HP is splitting to disaggregate itself so HP Enterprise is free to find more relevant software assets for its portfolio," Woollacott said. "It will be interesting to see who can do a better job at cohesively integrating these assets, identifying the overlaps and creating a roadmap." The acquisition of VMware, long the leader in virtualization, could offer Dell a major advantage over HP, but officials from both companies this week did not clearly spell out what strategic role VMware would play, except to convey that Dell has no plans to change VMware's strategic course. If this hands-off approach, at least for the short term, plays out, some analysts think it will serve both VMware and Dell well.

Defining the "I" In Small Business CIO

A small business typically has no CIO. The company may employ an IT manager, but in many cases owners and CEOs fill the role as they spin different functional and tactical plates simultaneously in a precarious balancing act to prevent overspending and keep the business solvent. While corporations employ CIOs and full tech-savvy teams to focus on infrastructure, innovation, integration and intelligence, SMB leaders don’t have that luxury. Thinking about analytics and its potential benefits may be a plate too many for the SMB owner/CEO. Often, it’s the head of sales or someone in marketing – if there is a marketing department – who starts to wonder how analytics could help the business.

What Dancing Lizards Can Teach Us About Human-Robot Interaction

Living systems famously resist control. Models and robots offer scientists a modicum of command over otherwise unwieldy factors, like when and where a lizard chooses to dance. Robots, the authors argue, are particularly useful when it comes to the complicated world of animal social interactions. They offer amphibian examples: several different studies used “faux frogs” to re-create the visual and auditory cues of a frog mating display. (One robo-frog had pneumatic vocal sacs made of condoms.) Having separate control over the two parts of a frog’s display—the inflation and the singing—allowed researchers to ask which was more important to mating success. This sort of research cannot be written off as only working on “lower” animals either.

Ford Motors, PwC, Starwood CIOs Talk Future Of IT

Klevorn's approach to innovation is partially influenced by her business acumen, which she said has proven advantageous in her role as CIO. "You have to have a hand in both places," she said of today's IT leaders, who have to be strategic and innovative, in addition to possessing technological expertise. "Everything we do -- whether in our fields or outside our fields -- has a huge tech component." Sufficient experience, whether through formal education or on-the-job training, is critical for CIOs. "You can't be a chef without ever having cooked," noted Starwood's Poulter. Future IT leaders can't fill a senior position without knowing firsthand how networking works or how data influences outcomes.

Surface Book vs. Surface Pro 4: Picking the best came down to just one thing

We both agree that the Book’s appeal lies in its discrete GPU, battery life, and laptop-like form factor. The SP4 is slightly cheaper but offers some serious bang for your buck. Gordon and I know both devices: I spent time with the Book, then tested the Surface Pro 4. Gordon owns a SP3 and wrote our Surface Book review.  But a funny thing happened on the way to publication: Each of us became convinced that the other Microsoft product was better. I’m sold on the Book’s long battery life, and Gordon was more partial to the sharp uptick in performance the SP4 offered—without all the cash you’d have to lay out for the Surface Book. So here’s what we decided to do: make our case for each product, and let you decide who’s right.

How Shamsheer Vayalil Built VPS Healthcare into a Billion-dollar Firm

You learn something new every day. As someone who didn’t know how to run a business and had no previous experience of running hospitals, it was a completely new challenge. And I was enjoying that journey — to be there every day, talking to the mechanics, talking to the contracting people, talking to them about construction, learning how the electromechanics work inside an operating room, and how the waste water should be ejected out of the hospitals. So, everything was different. Everything was learning. And I was very keen to learn. I would be there early in the morning, spend 18-20 hours without any problem, fully charged. I didn’t get sleep because of the excitement. This is still the case, sometimes when you have interesting projects.

Are wearables worth the cybersecurity risk in the enterprise?

How can we effectively provide security on devices that appear insecure by design? It seems the safest option is to ban all wearables in the enterprise – there are too many risks associated with them, many of which seemingly cannot be controlled. If this thought has crossed your mind, I may have bad news for you. This isn't really an option for most organizations, especially those looking to stay current in today's fast-paced society. TechTarget's Michael Cobb explains, "Banning wearable technology outright may well drive employees from shadow IT to rogue IT – which is much harder to deal with." If the threat of rogue IT isn't enough to convince you, also consider that there may very well be real benefits of wearables for your organization. 

Digital leaders at DHL, CVS defend against, exploit digital disruption

Increasingly, DHL is turning to technology to build relationships with package recipients. In Germany, DHL is piloting an unusual partnership with Amazon and Audi that would enable DHL to deliver packages to the trunks of Audi customers. "It's something … that might not be recommended for countries with high security issues because you might find the package, but not the car," Ciano joked. "It's on the high end, the extreme of innovation." In the U.S. and Europe, DHL is partnering with third-party delivery locations (Ciano mentioned CVS as a U.S. example) to give customers package pick-up options.

Microsoft has been quietly laying the groundwork to build its own version of Android

What would that mean? The source code for Android is released under an open source license, which means it's freely available for anybody to see and modify. Microsoft would simply take a recent version of it, add links to its own apps and services, and maintain that version in parallel to whatever Google does with the main version of Android. This is exactly what Amazon did with Android a few years ago when it started building the Kindle Fire tablet. Intriguingly, when a reporter asked Microsoft executive Julie Larson-Green about the possibility earlier this month, she didn't outright deny it. Instead, she said only, "We'll go wherever our customers are." While this idea may seem rash, Microsoft has already started laying the groundwork.

How the Internet of Things will Impact our Productivity

The Internet of Things will help individual companies to limit the waste factor in global economies in more effective ways. Products which are connected to the web can communicate how they're being used or their current status. In the near future, Porter predicts that this data will be used to schedule maintenance when it's really needed, not according to a set of inefficient rules that negatively impact the productivity of many a customer service. Usage data, on the other hand, will feed back into predictive analytics which will be used to reduce failures and improve product design. In sum, all those functionalities will boost the efficiency of our products and increase their value, inspiring a surge of productivity and innovation.

Quote for the day:

"Just because something is easy to measure doesn't mean it's important." -- Seth Godin

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