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IDG Contributor Network: Why is Facebook’s iOS app so bloated?

CIO.com - Opinion - May 22, 2017 - 5:29pm

Love it or hate it, Facebook is one of the most popular apps in the iOS App Store. It consistently places in the top ten of the most popular free apps. As I write this post it sits at number 7 on the list, and I doubt it will drop out of the top ten anytime soon.

And yet all is not well with the Facebook iOS app. It currently weighs in as a very chunky 388 MB download. The weight of the Facebook app has not gone unnoticed by users. A recent thread in the Apple subreddit noted how bloated the Facebook iOS app is and redditors didn’t pull any punches sharing their thoughts about it.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Ecosystems: when digital transformation grows up

CIO.com - Opinion - May 22, 2017 - 5:28pm

With more companies changing the way they do business in order to adapt to the new digital world, phrases like “digital transformation” are starting to feel too abstract. I’ve been expecting these generalities to give way to more specific advice: practices based on industry leaders’ patterns for success.

Gartner’s 2017 CIO Agenda report is a case in point. Its headline? “Seize the Digital Ecosystem Opportunity.”

Indeed, ecosystem strategies are emerging as a more specific and robust take on the digital transformation narratives we’ve all grown used to. In the report, Gartner notes that “in digital ecosystems, 79% of the survey’s top performers indicate they participate in a digital ecosystem vs. 49% and 24% for typical and trailing performers, respectively.” In another article, “Ecosystems are the future of digital,” Gartner Research SVP Peter Sondegaard doesn’t mince words, stating, “Avoiding participation is not an option.”

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: The MP3 is dead: long live the MP3!

CIO.com - Opinion - May 22, 2017 - 5:27pm

The MP3 is now confined to the dustbin of history.

That appears to be the perspective of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits when they announced that they terminated “Technicolor’s mp3 licensing program,” and various online writers have now pontificated about the death of the MP3. The Fraunhofer Institute developed the MP3 format back in the 1980s, and it is certainly true that MP3s have been supplanted by more modern codecs like the AAC family or what most laymen know as MP4s. And when is the last time you saw anyone use a dedicated MP3 player in favor of a smartphone?

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Understanding the benefits and threats when building an IoT strategy

CIO.com - Opinion - May 22, 2017 - 5:25pm

The Internet of Things, or simply IoT as commonly known, has introduces to the market a large range of benefits to consumers, and industries besides the potential to completely change the ways that consumers and technology interact in every fundamental way. In a close future, IoT is very likely to converge both virtual and physical worlds in many different ways that are currently hard to understand. The year of 2017 will mark a great inflection point for the development and adoption of IoT Technology, once it has presented a significant move over the past 12 months. On August 2015, there was too much hype surrounding the technology, even though many speculated that the public adoption of IoT devices would still take years to happen. On the 2015 Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, IoT appeared on the top peak of inflated expectations, but That same situation didn’t happen in the 2016 Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, in which IoT didn’t even appeared, which made many CIOs and IT leaders to question if this isn’t just another over-hyped technology that will never go mainstream. 

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Why we are going about diversity all wrong

CIO.com - Opinion - May 22, 2017 - 12:25pm

Is diversity good for your business? When answering this question, supporters of diversity point to the growing number of studies that show companies with greater diversity outperform the competition. I see two major reasons why these studies, compelling as they may be, are not moving the needle on diversity.

First, these studies show correlation, which is indicative of two phenomena occurring together, but they cannot show causality -- i.e., which is the cause and which is the effect. Take gender diversity: The fact that companies with more women in senior executive positions outperform their competition on various key performance indicators can be interpreted in three ways:

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Elementary OS is trying to create a business model for open source app developers

CIO.com - Opinion - May 20, 2017 - 3:06pm

What makes elementary OS apart from the rest of the crowd is their attention to details and polish. It comes naturally as the team behind elementary OS comes from a graphic design background, so their approach towards desktop Linux is to use a stable base of Ubuntu LTS and create an experience that matches the gloss and polish of macOS.

The Elementary OS team has released a new version of the OS, code-named Loki. In addition to newer kernel (4.8), and improvement in every component of the operating system the most notable feature of the release is AppCenter.

In a previous interview Daniel Fore, the founder of the project, told me about his vision to create a platform for third party application developers where they cannot only reach out to more users through a store, but also monetize from their work.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: The pain of legacy-to-digital transformation is an epidemic

CIO.com - Opinion - May 19, 2017 - 4:00pm

Unless it was born in the digital-age, your enterprise is likely to suffer from the chronic pains of legacy-to digital transformation – locked-in budgets, lacking innovation, tired organization, mismatched skills, unabating vendor issues, unbearable complexity and bureaucracy, and the list goes on. The problem is not you, your management team or your company’s culture; it is an epidemic caused by the shortcomings in the digital-age of a 60+ year old operating model, which is ubiquitously used by traditional organizations to manage enterprise technology.

In earlier articles, we lengthy discussed the short-comings of the traditional enterprise IT operating model, a.k.a. efficient IT, and suggested an alternative model, a.k.a. lean IT, as a stepping stone on the legacy-to-digital transformation journey. Lean IT – think of iterative, agile, product-orientation, continuous improvement – is not a new concept but it hasn’t become mainstream at traditional enterprises yet, even though the underlying lean principles are most relevant and well proven. Why?  There are two major roadblocks. First, the case for lean in the enterprise IT context is not as clear as it was in the manufacturing industry, where it was born.  Second, there are several unanswered C-suite questions about an enterprise-scale adoption of lean IT.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Panasonic Toughbook CF-33: a Hummer comes to the suburbs

CIO.com - Opinion - May 19, 2017 - 3:45pm

Right away, things are different when the Toughbook CF-33 arrives. It’s not all encased in froufrou plastic bubbles. It’s just wedged in the cardboard box diagonally, wrapped in a soft carrying case. As if someone had thrown it in their trunk on the way to work. The case turns out to be a hefty backpack. Unzip, exposing the red lining, and presto! A brand new pre-production unit of Panasonic’s latest convertible 2-in-1 notebook, a clamshell with a snap-in tablet. This is pre-production, mind you, Panasonic took pains to clarify that actual customers get standard packaging with their deliveries. I’m an analyst, and the unit was a 30-day loaner.

This is military grade stuff. First thing, I check the lock on the release and the release itself, popping out the tablet. It’s solid but smooth. Everything is buttoned down. Ports and connectors are all tucked away behind molded plastic doors that snap tightly into place, pressing forms that match the openings into a seal. The screen is responsive and can even take input from gloved and wet hands.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Are you participating in the ICO excitement of cryptocurrency funded development?

CIO.com - IT industry - May 19, 2017 - 1:15pm

The excitement is real, but so is the risk. Decentralized business model discussions are the talk in board rooms and C-suites around the world. A new market to raise development capital is emerging called initial public coin offerings (IPCO or ICO).

Token sales and crowdsales embrace empowering a network of users to participate in a project. Participants are incentivized to get involved—early participation has greater rewards—in anticipation of the project increasing in value.

Access to ICOs has significant potential for up-side benefits with an equally startling downside risk. The main concern of ICO risk is unduly escalated asset values or irrational exuberance. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, in The Challenge of Central Banking in a Democratic Society (1996), first introduced the concept of irrational exuberance, defining it as unsustainable investor enthusiasm that drives asset prices to levels of frothiness not supported by fundamentals.

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IDG Contributor Network: Are you participating in the ICO excitement of cryptocurrency funded development?

CIO.com - Opinion - May 19, 2017 - 1:15pm

The excitement is real, but so is the risk. Decentralized business model discussions are the talk in board rooms and C-suites around the world. A new market to raise development capital is emerging called initial public coin offerings (IPCO or ICO).

Token sales and crowdsales embrace empowering a network of users to participate in a project. Participants are incentivized to get involved—early participation has greater rewards—in anticipation of the project increasing in value.

Access to ICOs has significant potential for up-side benefits with an equally startling downside risk. The main concern of ICO risk is unduly escalated asset values or irrational exuberance. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, in The Challenge of Central Banking in a Democratic Society (1996), first introduced the concept of irrational exuberance, defining it as unsustainable investor enthusiasm that drives asset prices to levels of frothiness not supported by fundamentals.

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Categories: Opinion

Why IT service providers are investing in North America

CIO.com - IT industry - May 19, 2017 - 1:01pm

IT service providers set up more new IT delivery centers in North America than anywhere else in the world last year, according to new research.North American locations accounted for more the one-third of new delivery sites (29 out of a total of 76) established by service providers in 2016, according to a report from IT and business sourcing consultancy and research firm Everest Group.

The need to be close to U.S. customers coupled with the increased use of automation to control costs is making North America a more attractive option for service delivery, says Everest Group.

[ Related: IT service providers increase investment in onshore locations ] The demand for digital transformation related technologies specifically is driving interest in certain metropolitan areas. The share of digital services being delivered in new service provider set-ups has been steadily increasing from approximately 25 percent in 2012 to 63 percent in 2016. “This percentage is expected to continue to remain high as service providers focus on expanding and broadening their digital capabilities,” says Everest Group Vice President Salil Dani.

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IDG Contributor Network: Stop making speeches

CIO.com - Opinion - May 19, 2017 - 1:00pm

I am frequently asked whether it is better to memorize a speech or attempt to speak extemporaneously when giving a business presentation. It’s certainly better to memorize a speech than to read a speech. But why would you want to give a speech? What does a speech have to do with a business presentation?

If you consider all the synonyms offered by Google for a “speech” — talk, address, lecture, discourse, oration, disquisition, peroration, deliverance, presentation, sermon, homily, monologue, soliloquy, spiel — you will recognize that most of them have little to do with, and in fact work against, the definition or spirit of a business presentation.

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Categories: Opinion

Goodbye cable; hello gigabit broadband

CIO.com - Opinion - May 19, 2017 - 12:15pm

I’m finally getting to practice what I’ve been preaching: I cut the cord on pay TV this month and signed up for ultra-fast, fiber-based broadband. Having much faster access to the Internet isn’t a benefit I need to explain, of course, and who doesn’t want to tell their cable provider to buzz off. But the two big changes to my digital life have taught me a few lessons that weren’t nearly so obvious.

I’ve learned that I can take advantage of faster speeds to work more securely and getting rid of always-on cable has freed up a lot of time. Ditching pay TV, though, isn’t saving me all that much money, and I’ve learned that not every device in your home is capable of handling speeds approaching what has become the holy grail of broadband: downloads of 1Gbps.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: 5 notable things about Facebook's AR plans

CIO.com - Opinion - May 19, 2017 - 12:01pm

It has been over two weeks since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg formally announced his ambitious plans to create an augmented reality platform for Facebook at the annual F8 developer conference. In an earnings call on Wednesday, Zuckerberg elaborated more on the idea, as he talked about how Facebook intends to monetize augmented reality and declared that augmented reality could even replace televisions and physical things that “don’t actually need to be physical.”

Augmented reality could undoubtedly revolutionize how we approach social media and life in general, but the devil is always in the details. Here are some important things to note about how Zuckerberg and Facebook’s technological pursuits and what they intend to do with augmented reality.

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Categories: Opinion

The 3 best wearables to buy right now

CIO.com - Opinion - May 18, 2017 - 11:53pm

Sad to say, movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t cover tech products. So how can you figure out which wearables are the most highly rated overall?

I checked out six review websites. Factoring in my own impressions, here are the top three-rated wearables to buy right now.

Fitbit Charge 2 ($150)

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. For most people (meaning, people serious about improving their health but not serious marathoners), there’s no better wearable available.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Tip No. 5: Show appreciation and have fun!

CIO.com - Opinion - May 18, 2017 - 6:00pm

A key success factor in agile data management is self-managing teams. As a leader of self-managing teams, you need to develop a unique set of skills, moving from command-and-control to communication and enablement. 

This is the fifth installment of my series entitled “Five Tips for Leading Agile Data Management Development Teams.” Here I discuss Tip No. 5: Show appreciation and have fun!

Who says you can’t work hard and still have fun? Ideally, the fun activities are ones that encourage team collaboration and exceptional performance.

High-performing teams need to balance working hard and having a little fun. Be supportive of that fun—make sure it happens. To paraphrase, all work and no play makes for a very dull working life.

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Categories: Opinion

Apple simplifies Windows 10 installs with support for Creators Update

CIO.com - News - May 18, 2017 - 5:22pm

Apple this week updated macOS Sierra to version 10.12.5 with more than three dozen security patches, and a change that lets users install Microsoft's latest version of Windows 10 on their Macs.

Sierra 10.12.5 "adds support for media-free installation of Windows 10 Creators Update using Boot Camp," the update's brief release notes read. Creators Update was the name Microsoft assigned to Windows 10 1703, the upgrade issued last month.

Boot Camp, which is baked into macOS, lets Mac owners run Windows on their machines. A Windows license is required. Boot Camp, while not virtualization software like VMware's Fusion or Parallels International's Parallels Desktop, serves the same purpose: Running Windows applications, including custom or mission-critical corporate software, on a Mac personal computer.

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Categories: Opinion

Apple simplifies Windows 10 installs with support for Creators Update

CIO.com - News - May 18, 2017 - 5:22pm

Apple this week updated macOS Sierra to version 10.12.5 with more than three dozen security patches, and a change that lets users install Microsoft's latest version of Windows 10 on their Macs.

Sierra 10.12.5 "adds support for media-free installation of Windows 10 Creators Update using Boot Camp," the update's brief release notes read. Creators Update was the name Microsoft assigned to Windows 10 1703, the upgrade issued last month.

Boot Camp, which is baked into macOS, lets Mac owners run Windows on their machines. A Windows license is required. Boot Camp, while not virtualization software like VMware's Fusion or Parallels International's Parallels Desktop, serves the same purpose: Running Windows applications, including custom or mission-critical corporate software, on a Mac personal computer.

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Categories: Opinion

WannaCry reminds CIOs to stay on top of patching

CIO.com - IT industry - May 18, 2017 - 5:01pm

The WannaCry ransomware worming its way through thousands of corporate Windows computers is a sober reminder of the importance of safeguarding software, particularly when patches become available for critical vulnerabilities. And while it's easy to shame affected companies for failing to patch their software, cybersecurity experts say the calculus is much more difficult. Regardless, the experts agree that Wannacry was serious enough that it warranted immediate patching.

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IDG Contributor Network: How successful team leaders avoid common meeting pitfalls

CIO.com - Opinion - May 18, 2017 - 5:00pm

What if more of your team meetings could be fun and productive?

Wouldn’t that be helpful to you as a leader? Wouldn’t that be helpful to your team? Your organization? Your customers?

Well, you might be a whole lot closer than you think to consistently great team meetings. I’ll show you how to get there. It’s the subject of one of my most popular blog posts of all time: ”8 Ideas for Running Great Team Meetings.”

Here, we will dig deeper.

First, we’ll talk about some common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Then, we’ll talk about the one critical thing you can do as the team leader.

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Categories: Opinion

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