Nov 15

CIO.com – Enterprise IT appears to be going insane

Are we continually asking our users what they really need from IT?

Long may we have high-quality, capable, resilient, inexpensive IT. Unfortunately for CIOs and enterprise IT, these characteristics don’t equate to “value” in 2015 in the opinion of business users.

Increasingly, business users are less and less enchanted with IT consistently achieving its SLAs and KPIs and increasingly grouse about such things as a faster way to market, a better customer experience or a lower cost in the employee on-boarding process.

Business users are frustrated with the enterprise IT function because of its inability to meet their business needs in a timely fashion. This frustration is not new and has been around since organizations first centralized IT into a shared service. However, there’s no doubt that business users’ patience is running out; they are increasingly vocal and often more likely to go around the enterprise function to accomplish their goals.

More of the CIO.com article from Peter Bendor-Samuel

Nov 15

LeadingWithTrust.com – Close Your Mouth and Open Your Ears – 4 Tips to Build Trust

It’s easy for leaders to fall into the trap of thinking they need to have the answer to every problem or situation that arises. After all, that’s in a leader’s job description, right? Solve problems, make decisions, have answers…that’s what we do! Why listen to others when you already know everything?

Good leaders know they don’t have all the answers. They spend time listening to the ideas, feedback, and thoughts of their people, and they incorporate that information into the decisions and plans they make. When a person feels listened to, it builds trust, loyalty, and commitment in the relationship. Here are some tips for building trust by improving the way you listen in conversations:

Don’t interrupt – It’s rude and disrespectful to the person you’re speaking with and it conveys the attitude, whether you mean it or not, that what you have to say is more important than what he or she is saying.

More of the LeadingWithTrust.com post from Randy Conly

Nov 15

CIO.com – Why companies are switching from Google Apps to Office 365

Microsoft’s increasingly strong Office 365 performance is coming partly at the expense of Google Apps. Motorola’s recent decision to move from an elderly version of Office to Google’s cloud service bucks the more common trend of companies who have been using Google Apps switching to Office 365.

It’s not just Microsoft saying that Office 365 is growing (COO Kevin Turner claims that four out of five Fortune 500 companies use the service). Last year, cloud security company Bitglass said traffic analysis gave Google twice the market share of Office 365 among its customers, with 16.3 percent of the market; that went up to 22.8 percent this year as more companies switched to cloud services. However, over the same year, Office 365 grew far faster, from 7.7 percent to 25.2 percent. Google has a slight advantage with small businesses (22.8 percent to Microsoft’s 21.4 percent) but in large, regulated businesses (over 1,000 employees), Microsoft’s 30 percent share is twice that of Google and growing fast.

Office 365 is even more popular with the 21 million customers of Skyhigh Network’s cloud security services, where 87.3 percent are using Office 365 services, with each organization uploading an average 1.37 terabytes of data to the service each month.

More of the CIO.com article from Mary Branscombe

Nov 15

PsyBlog – How The Brain Forgets Things To Conserve Energy

A fascinating new explanation of why our brains forget some things we’ve learned.

The brain may forget in order to save energy, a new study suggests.

So, our brains contain mechanisms that help us erase unnecessary learning.

Now scientists have uncovered how this may happen at the cellular level.

The results come from a strange finding about how we learn.

You may know the story of Pavlov’s dogs, who were taught to salivate at the ringing of a bell because they associated it with being fed.

More of the PsyBlog post from Dr. Jeremy Dean

Nov 15

Margaret Heffernan – The secret ingredient that makes some teams better than others

“The trust, knowledge, reciprocity and shared norms that create quality of life and make a group resilient. “Thanks, Emily Theis, for sharing this.

Culture defines any business, but it’s one of the hardest things to manage. In this extract from her new TED Book, Margaret Heffernan lays out the often-overlooked element necessary to build an effective, efficient organization: social capital.

Running a software company in Boston, I recognized — and my board told me — that we needed to reposition the business. Our product was too bland, too generic to stimulate excitement or loyalty. I needed a team to help me, and I ended up working through the problem with a motley crew: a young web developer, a seasoned and eccentric media executive, a visual artist, and me. We spent a week in the private room of a burger joint, exploring options, rejecting easy answers, pushing one another to find something none of us could see. Looking back, I recall that intense period as one of the most thought-provoking learning experiences I’ve ever had. The team was outstanding — and successful — but why? How did such an eclectic combination of people manage to work together so well? What made this experience of creative conflict so productive?

More of the Ted Idea from Margaret Heffernan

Oct 15

ReadersRead.in – 9 Classic Books That Will Change Your Life And Career

The appetite for books that inspire us, move us forward, and give us practical guidance seems to be only increasing. The publication of new business books alone tops 11,000 every year — an overwhelming choice for readers.

The ones that tend do well these days seem to be grounded in humanity.

Perhaps that’s because creativity, innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship — they all begin within us; each is very much a human process.

So naturally, the more we humanize the way we think and work, the more progress we can make in these arenas. If we understand the mental and emotional drivers of innovation and creativity, we can be more innovative and creative.

Today’s authors and thinkers have the privilege of standing on the shoulders of giants. Their works, a diverse arrangement of titles and backgrounds, have inspired me to understand what’s behind things like mindfulness, creativity, innovation and leadership, and I believe they will inspire you, too:

More of the Readersread.in post from Faisal Hoque

Oct 15

The Telegraph – Deleting genes could boost lifespan by 60 per cent, say scientists

Scientists have discovered more than 200 genes linked to ageing and have found switching them off extends life.

The secret of extending life by decades may lie in switching off certain genes, scientists believe, after showing that small genetic tweaks can make organisms live 60 per cent longer.

Ten years of research by the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing and the University of Washington has identified 238 genes that, when silenced, increase the lifespan of yeast cells.

Many of the genes are present in mammals, including humans, suggesting that switching them off could dramatically increase lifespan.

More of The Telegraph post by Sarah Knapton

Oct 15

Forbes – How Google Engineered The Dell-EMC Merger

Yes, Joe Tucci is a great salesman and Michael Dell is the ultimate entrepreneur, but it is Google that is really behind the $67 billion merger. Tucci: “The waves of change we now see in our industry are unprecedented and, to navigate this change, we must create a new company for a new era.” In other words, we must survive in the digital natives era, ushered in by Google, and magnified by the likes of Amazon and Facebook.

To understand what Tucci calls “the new world order,” let’s take a quick tour of the old one, to better understand how the digital natives forced Dell and EMC into the largest tech acquisition in history. Dell and EMC were the two most successful U.S. stocks in the 1990s, appreciating more than any other stock over that booming decade. They rode on a new tidal wave of digital data, unleashed by the advent of the PC and the networking of PCs in 1980s.

As a result, between 1990 and 2000, the structure of the IT industry has changed for the first—and so far, the last—time, expanding to include large vendors focused on one layer of the IT stack: Intel in semi-conductors, EMC in storage, Cisco in networking, Microsoft in operating systems, Oracle in databases. IBM—the dominant player in the previous era of vertically-integrated, “one-stop-shopping” IT vendors—saved itself from the fate of DEC, Wang, and Prime (all, like EMC, based in Massachusetts) by focusing on services.

More of the Forbes.com post from Gil Press

Oct 15

BATimes.com – The Innovative Enterprise Business Analyst

Enterprise Business Analysts (EBAs) are rising to the occasion to foster creativity and produce innovative products and services.

The Business Analysis discipline is transforming itself in response to the 21st century realities: the Internet of everything is everywhere; change is the only constant, digital, social and mobile spheres have converged; every company needs to be a technology company; competitive advantage is always at risk; software is embedded in virtually every product and service; technology advances are fast and furious and unrelenting. In the midst of these challenges, we strive to reduce costs, do more with less, provide customer value, improve decision making, produce innovations, and advance internal capabilities.

In response to these challenges and to remain competitive, companies are continuously innovating to transform themselves and remain on the leading edge. EBAs are rising to the occasion to foster creativity and produce innovative products and services. Project-related requirements management skills are still needed.

More of the BATimes.com post from Kathleen B Hass

Oct 15

BrainPickings.org – 9 Learnings from 9 Years of Brain Pickings

Read this list. It might change your life.

On October 23, 2006, Brain Pickings was born as an email to my seven colleagues at one of the four jobs I held while paying my way through college. Over the years that followed, the short weekly email became a tiny website updated every Friday, which became a tiny daily publication, which slowly grew, until this homegrown labor of love somehow ended up in the Library of Congress digital archive of “materials of historical importance” and the seven original recipients somehow became several million readers. How and why this happened continues to mystify and humble me as I go on doing what I have always done: reading, thinking, and writing about enduring ideas that glean some semblance of insight — however small, however esoteric — into what it means to live a meaningful life.

More of the BrainPickings.org post from Maria Popova