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Industry & Technology

IDG Contributor Network: Data governance in the world of “data everywhere” - IT industry - July 31, 2017 - 12:55pm

In the world of “data everywhere”, Data Governance is becoming even more important.  Organizations that develop a data warehouse ‘single source of truth’ need data governance to ensure that a Standard Business Language (SBL) is developed and agreed to, and the various sources of data are integrated with consistent and reliable definitions and business rules.  Decisions around who can use what data and validations that the data being used and how it’s used meets regulatory and compliance requirements are important.

As the enterprise data management solutions grow and broaden, incorporating Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), Master Data Management (MDM), increasing use of external data, real time data solutions, data lakes, cloud, etc. Data Governance is even more important.  While there may be value in having data, if it’s not accurate, no-one can use it and it isn’t managed, then the value of the data, wherever it resides, diminishes greatly.

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IDG Contributor Network: Here’s how companies can reach post-millennials through blogging - IT industry - July 31, 2017 - 12:51pm

Today’s young adults missed the blogging boom, with many of them opting to share their thoughts through photos, videos, and short status updates. For businesses, however, blogging is an essential way to keep fresh content on their websites, ensuring they rank well in the search results that often send customers their way.

But those born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s are a serious force in the retail landscape. Also known as Generation Z and centennials, post-millennials currently occupy our nation’s high schools and colleges, soon to follow millennials into the workplace. For the retailers who have been chasing the $65 billion in yearly buying power that millennials bring, this means it’s time to shift focus. How do entrepreneurs reach out to a generation that spends more leisure time on apps like Snapchat and Instagram than conducting Google searches on a computer?

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IDG Contributor Network: How CIOs can avoid the next ransomware attack - IT industry - July 31, 2017 - 12:49pm

No question about it, ransomware is on the rise, and the majority of enterprises remain vulnerable to inbound phish emails that often are the originators of ransomware attacks.

One recent ransomware outbreak, Petya, appears to have originated in the Ukraine. Like WannaCry before it, once it has infected a computer it attempts to spread through local area networks. But according to the Romanian national CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team) Petya’s initial point of entry is often a phishing email that contains a Trojan-horse document which, if opened, will infect the target computer. “Initial infection of systems is achieved through documents attached to phishing email messages that users are urged to open,” according to the Romanian publication Business Review.

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IDG Contributor Network: Technology-led innovation in digital health: The law of inverse relationships - IT industry - July 28, 2017 - 1:07pm

While researching for my upcoming book, I asked the nationally recognized CIO of a health system what he thought of the market for emerging technologies such as AI, cognitive, blockchain and digital health solutions in healthcare. His response was: The teacher is ready, but the student is not.

What he meant was that the technology vendor community is developing innovative solutions at a faster rate than the ability of the healthcare sector to adopt it.

It’s no secret that healthcare IT is a couple of steps behind other sectors such as banking and retailing. I have been keenly noting the seeming contrasts in the outlook for healthcare IT when I speak with healthcare industry executives and technology providers.

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IDG Contributor Network: Taming the Tower of Babel: A radical idea for coping with collaboration tool overload - IT industry - July 28, 2017 - 12:51pm

The Tower of Babel is a euphemism for the Biblical curse placed on the citizens of Babel for believing that mere mortals could actually construct a physical stairway to heaven. For those not familiar with the story, God punished the Tower workers by replacing their common language with multiple tongues, making it impossible for them to work collaboratively. The curse brought the Tower construction project to a screeching halt.

The Tower of Babel is an apt analogy for the problems created by the proliferation of collaboration tools in many modern enterprises. Although employee collaboration is obviously beneficial to daily business operations, the proliferation of disparate texting, note taking, document sharing, task prioritization, file management, audio conferencing, workflow management, video conferencing and project management tools can actually undermine the collaborative work practices such tools were designed to enable. 

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IDG Contributor Network: What's new with ISO/IEC 20000? - IT industry - July 27, 2017 - 4:07pm

Is there anything more exasperating than dealing with a service organization that has failed to implement even the most basic process and quality control tools? Not in my book. Those pesky critters who ate my broccoli and Brussels sprouts this summer are a distant second to IT service providers that fail to deliver uniformly high-quality services for a reasonable price.

The 1980s-style MIS (management information systems) is still with us, and no makeover will make it more attractive. What can you do?

Reengineer and reinvent, of course. But you don’t need to do it all by yourself. One of the simplest ways to reinvent your IT service organization is to use ISO 20000 as a foundation.

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IDG Contributor Network: Will predictive AI finally solve the multi-billion-dollar downtime problem? - IT industry - July 27, 2017 - 3:45pm

Downtime for today’s large, complex businesses means more than a simple inconvenience. The cost of interruptions, especially when workers are prevented from completing tasks due to out-of-service infrastructure, can be huge. A Gartner study calledThe Cost of Downtime” suggests that a large company may actually lose as much as $540,000 per hour from a preventable technical failure.

For service companies, that means providing equipment upkeep and repairs in a timely and effective way to reduce unplanned maintenance. The challenge is that a technician on a call may not always possess sufficient knowledge, or have the right tools and parts on hand, to expedite unplanned service. Service companies simply don’t have the inventory to enable every technician to carry every part that might fail. So what could have been a simple repair taking minutes becomes a dragged out affair? That’s downtime in a nutshell – and globally it’s a $647 billion a year problem.

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IDG Contributor Network: Develop a decision framework for enterprise chatbots and conversational experiences - IT industry - July 27, 2017 - 2:59pm

In speaking with enterprise business leaders in a wide range of organizations, the number one priority has been and still is improving and delivering a better customer experience. This is at the center of all business strategies. In fact, if it is not, I dare to say, you do not have a real people-centric business strategy. So it’s no surprise that we are now witnessing the synergistic rise of artificial intelligence and AI-enabled chatbots to provide conversational experiences for users and customers. Enterprise chatbots have to be implemented with the primary purpose of providing conversational experiences for internal users and customers.

Enterprise chatbots are critical for digital workplace transformation. They can access status and workflow data, perform tasks automatically, respond to text or voice commands, plan and schedule interactions, and contextualize events within internal and external business processes. Business and IT leaders need to act now to optimize how people access and share information for better business outcomes.

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How global media companies handle digital disruption - IT industry - July 26, 2017 - 4:18pm

In 1925, a bespectacled Scottish engineer named John Logie Baird strode up the entranceway to the Daily Express in London. The year before, Baird had used sundry items, ranging from a bicycle lamp to a used tea chest, to fashion a crude device he dubbed a “televisor.” In his laboratory, the “televisor” managed to successfully transmit a flickering image of objects in outline over a distance of 10 feet.

Further breakthroughs followed. On Oct. 2 1925, Baird transmitted the world’s first grayscale image at five frames per second, that of a garish ventriloquist head dummy nicknamed “Stooky Bill.” Immediately afterwards, Baird fetched a young office worker named William Edward Taynton, who became the subject for the first televised image of a human face in full tonal range.

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IDG Contributor Network: Step aside venture capital: Corporates are stepping up to the plate - IT industry - July 26, 2017 - 2:19pm

I started my career in the height of the dot-com boom. My first job was to pitch for the redevelopment of the website. I remember submitting a two-page proposal, detailing next to nothing, and summarising with a price tag of £1m. A price tag which was roughly £900,000 overpriced.

Looking back, it was a pretty irresponsible time. And not one I’m particularly proud of. Especially as FTSE became a client.

There’s plenty of talk of whether today is a repeat of that time.

We’re seeing "unicorns" (companies valued over $1 billon) popping up daily. Building profits is now secondary to building revenues. And building revenues doesn’t seem that important either.

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Mingis on Tech: Why companies are turning to 2-in-1s - IT industry - July 26, 2017 - 11:00am
Your next corporate computer may not be a traditional computer at all: it may well be a tablet or a hybrid laptop/tablet combo. Here's why.

IDG Contributor Network: Splunk’s CIO on DevOps, APIs and the evolving role of IT - IT industry - July 25, 2017 - 11:14am

The role of IT has evolved from a centralized delivery model to IT as a service, where IT-owned capabilities are being offered as a service throughout the business to drive new levels of agility. One CIO embracing the changing role is Declan Morris of Splunk, which enables organizations to turn massive streams of data into operational intelligence. (Disclosure: Splunk is a customer of my employer, MuleSoft.)

In this Q&A, Declan explains how Splunk’s IT team is driving value across the organization and partnering with the business to deliver on unified vision focused on customers and growth. Recalling his experiences at Splunk and Adobe – where he was on the original team that helped launch Adobe Creative Cloud – Declan shares best practices around how CIOs can take advantage of the technology trends impacting every industry and how CIOs can help pivot to new business models when needed. 

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IDG Contributor Network: Harvard PhD Andy Yen provides tips to governments on cybersecurity protections - IT industry - July 21, 2017 - 1:50pm

Recently, I asked Harvard PhD and ProtonMail co-founder and CEO Andy Yen his thoughts on how to prevent government cybersecurity attacks. A physicist and economist by training, Andy was part of the ATLAS experiment at CERN, where his research focused on searches for supersymmetric particles. He is translating his experience in large-scale computing to build the infrastructure that is used to run ProtonMail. With two colleagues, Wei Sun and Jason Stockman, he co-founded ProtonMail, an encrypted email startup based in Geneva, Switzerland, that seeks to make secure email accessible. The group aims to advance internet security and protect online privacy rights by making it possible for everyone to incorporate encryption into their everyday communication. Check out Andy’s TED talk on email privacy. See his thoughts below:

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IDG Contributor Network: Understanding today’s outsourcing market - IT industry - July 21, 2017 - 3:20am

Last month, I asked if traditional outsourcing had lost it strategic relevance. The question was based on the business world’s current irrational exuberance over digital transformation and the shifting focus of CIOs in today’s digital economy. Many readers agreed with me, but I was reminded recently that sourcing is far from dead. According to the latest state-of-the-industry report from ISG, the market generates more than $100 billion of total contract value a year.

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IDG Contributor Network: Harvard students partner with U.S. government to address digital skills gaps - IT industry - July 20, 2017 - 4:15pm

Recently, I interviewed Neel Mehta, a senior computer science major at Harvard University with a 4.0 GPA. He has interned at Khan Academy, Microsoft, and the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, he was a technology fellow with Partners in Health. Neel is passionate about civic tech, and there were no good civic tech internship programs around for undergraduates to engage with government, so he started his own Civic Digital Fellowship, a fully funded data science and technology internship program in federal agencies. Here’s our interview:

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IDG Contributor Network: What you need to know about single sign-on - IT industry - July 19, 2017 - 4:57pm

Separation of concerns has been an important phenomenon in all modern organizations. The result is that monolithic stacks are being broken into multiple services for more granular control. Some of these services can then be outsourced to other providers as well, who often have expertise in handling that particular service. This is not confined to the development teams in the organization either. Each team has different a set of requirements and use different tools and services to do their job.

With this explosion in the number of services each team uses, access management becomes a menace for the sysadmin. The sysadmin is required to ensure that each employee only has access to the services they are authorized to use. They also need to take care of credentials management to make sure that the employees are accessing the infrastructure securely. This is fairly easy to do in small organizations, but once the organization starts to grow, handling these tasks manually becomes very difficult to scale. This is where Single sign-on (SSO) comes into play.

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7 hot IT outsourcing trends — and 7 going cold - IT industry - July 19, 2017 - 11:00am

As IT organizations become more strategic, so too do their partnerships with IT outsourcing providers. Digital transformation, automation, and the data revolution are not just shaking up how IT operates, they are greatly impacting the kind — and quality — of services under contract with IT outsourcing firms.

Here is a look at the technologies, strategies and shifting customer demands shaking up IT outsourcing right now and the once-hot developments that are beginning to cool. If you’re looking to leverage an IT outsourcing partnership, or want to make good on the market for IT outsourcing as a provider yourself, the following heat index of IT outsourcing trends should be your guide.

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Mobile management acronyms explained - IT industry - July 17, 2017 - 5:00am
Confused by the jumble of acronyms surrounding mobile device management? This video simply defines three key concepts: Mobile application management (MAM), enterprise mobility management (EMM) and unified endpoint management (UEM).

Interview: Sara Spivey, CMO, Bazaarvoice - IT industry - July 14, 2017 - 3:23pm
Sara Spivey, Chief Marketing Officer of Bazaarvoice, discusses how Bazaarvoice uses segmentation to reach the right audience, the importance of data in delivering personalized customer experiences and why face-to-face events are still valuable for building relationships with prospects and clients.

Interview: Lauren Flaherty, EVP & CMO, CA Technologies - IT industry - July 14, 2017 - 2:45pm
Lauren Flaherty, EVP and CMO of CA Technologies, discusses the changing role of the CMO, the importance of mapping the buyer journey, launching CA's Modern Software Factory and reaching the right tech buyers and decision-makers.

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