September 09, 2016

Using analytics to align IT with the business

"Inevitably, conflicts arise because different line of business and departmental managers see IT priorities differently," said John Saaty, CEO and co-founder of Decision Lens, which provides decision analytics software that aligns the IT portfolio and its projects with business strategy. Determining the best path toward achieving company objectives with IT is also more important than it has ever been before, as CIOs continue to get pushed to deliver results that are both strategic and transformational to the business. Decision Lens offers a cloud-based, software analytics approach to this often difficult phase of mediation, where some IT projects get prioritized and others don't. "The idea actually began in political negotiations with my father, who as a mathematician developed decision concepts for conflict resolution back in the 1970s," Saaty said.

Enterprise augmented reality: AR applications are just around the bend

AR applications are not confined to the unique needs of shipbuilding. Training and education are both fertile territory for AR technologies. Emerson Educational Services and Fisher Flow Controls have come up with an AR-based training system for engineers and technicians. "One of the groundbreaking tools we are working on is augmented reality, allowing us to superimpose a 3D computer model onto a real world object in real time," said Richard Ritter, instructional designer at Emerson Process Management, in an email exchange. The goal, Ritter explained, is to show workers how to install or repair Fisher products. The application uses a platform developed by Scope AR. "This will impact how we train our employees and customers in a positive way," Ritter added.

How Citibank Delivers Real Business Benefits With Its Data-First Approach

In addition to architecting and engineering the data technology platform, his Data Science team often acts to “jump-start” Big Data-driven analytical activity within whatever parts of the business where it can be shown to offer benefits. Identifying where Big Data resources can most effectively be used involves lining up business use cases with technological capabilities, and is one of the biggest possibilities. Simone tells me, “Since the inception of our Data Innovation program, we have executed hundreds of proof-of-concepts and use cases, all validated against meeting specific business requirements. We are focused on having actionable results that are balanced with very specific metric-based outcomes.”

Artificial Intelligence Swarms Silicon Valley on Wings and Wheels

“Whenever there is a new idea, the valley swarms it,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive of Nvidia, a chip maker that was founded to make graphic processors for the video game business but that has turned decisively toward artificial intelligence applications in the last year. “But you have to wait for a good idea, and good ideas don’t happen every day.” By contrast, funding for social media start-ups peaked in 2011 before plunging. That year, venture capital firms made 66 social media deals and pumped in $2.4 billion. So far this year, there have been just 10 social media investments, totaling $6.9 million, according to CB Insights. Last month, the professional social networking site LinkedIn was sold to Microsoft for $26.2 billion, underscoring that social media has become a mature market sector.

Developers Are Flocking to Blockchain Bootcamps

With banks and insurers starting to tinker with the blockchain, as a tool to record transactions and asset transfers, and venture capitalists investing more than $1.1 billion in related startups, there aren’t enough developers who have mastered the software. The career site listed 136 jobs with “blockchain” in the description as of Sept. 7, everywhere from New York to Boston, while posted 77 jobs. “The supply of people that have extensive blockchain experiences is pretty low,” said Jered Kenna, an entrepreneur who may be hiring a blockchain expert this fall. “And the demand is quickly increasing. Sometimes they get five job offers a day.”

BMC Advises IT Pros to Get Ready for the Hyper Agile Enterprise

Blockchain is basically a distributed database that uses a secure digital ledger of transactions that users can share across a computer network. "It has the potential to completely redesign how we do transactions if it takes off, though I don't know if it will," said Beauchamp. Finally, he noted that many essential computer technologies are being rewritten by breakthroughs in artificial intelligence changing everything from customer service to anticipating security threats. Beauchamp said a new kind of "hyper-agile digital enterprise" is needed to deal effectively with all the technology advances that continue to emerge. He emphasized it's not just about adopting technology, but redesigning how companies relate to customers, their supply chain, partners and their employees.

Why APIs Are Worth The Time And Attention Of IT Professionals

"The addition of Apigee's API solutions to Google cloud will accelerate our customers' move to supporting their businesses with high quality digital interactions," said Google SVP Diane Greene in a blog post. "Apigee will make it much easier for the requisite APIs to be implemented and published with excellence." Google is a bit late to the API management party, which ramped up in 2013 with CA acquiring Layer 7 and Intel acquiring Mashery (only to sell it to TIBCO last year). Other partygoers include 3scale, Akana, Axway, IBM, HP, Mulesoft, and Oracle, not to mention Amazon's API Gateway. Forrester has predicted a shakeout, based on its finding that only 40% of enterprises are advancing digital initiatives relating to mobility, IoT, and big data to the extent that API management investment would be beneficial.

Who influences CIOs? Here's the top 20

One surprise (until, that is, you see the quality of the content she publishes) is Martha Heller, the CIO recruitment expert. Martha has the second highest reach of all the people listed in the report reaching an exceptionally high 9.3 per cent of the CIOs in the sample...This reflects the fact that her content output, Twitter follower / following base and day-to-day focus revolve around the CIO community. Perhaps surprisingly, there are only 10 technology analysts that make the top 300, but leading the way is Michael Krigsman of CxOTalk. Michael's published content is heavily directed towards the CIO which is why they are so attentive to his output. The biggest group in the 300 are the 'CIOs and IT Management' category. Led by Chris Curran, Chief Technologist at PwC.

6 Ways to Build a Solid IT Foundation

Finding IT-centric employees is not an easy task. Consider building internship programs within your organization and work closely with local technical colleges to find IT students who are looking at the traditional IT industry without knowing that the physical security industry is even an option. Attend job fairs and educate students on the great career paths that they can take in the system integration industry. Many of these colleges have apprenticeship programs that integrators can be a part of. Growing an IT student within your organization through an apprenticeship program will result in an engaged and energetic new employee who has been trained in your company’s processes and procedures.

This USB stick will fry your unsecured computer

"When tested on computers, the device is not designed or intended to erase data. However, depending on the hardware configuration (SSD vs platter HDD), the drive controllers may be damaged to the point that data retrieval is impractical," the company said in its marketing material. USB Kill also said the device was created for use by hardware designers of public machines, such as photo booths, copy machines, airline entertainment systems and ticket terminals -- anything with exposed USB ports that need to "ensure that their systems resist electrical attacks." "Finally, the general public, or anyone who wants to test or kill their own devices should equip themselves," the company stated. "Penetration testers and security auditors should include the USB kill 2.0 to their arsenal of testing tools."

Quote for the day:

"The only way to do great work is to love the work you do." -- Steve Jobs

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