Countless words have been written and uttered about corporate leadership. Universities devote entire MBA programs to the topic and conferences dissect virtually every aspect of how to become a better leader.
Nevertheless, leadership is often MIA in business and IT. A recent study conducted by the public relations firm Ketchum found that only 22 percent of 6,509 respondents in 13 countries believe that today’s leaders demonstrate effective leadership. Moreover, there’s a 14 percent gap between expectations and delivery, and only 17 percent expect any type of improvement in 2014.
XP End of Support – 5 Ways to Mitigate Risk Now
But wait, there’s more. Only about four in 10 respondents believe that business leaders meet expectations and a mere 35 percent say they are effective communicators. The fallout? Customers financially punish companies that lack leadership. The Ketchum study found that 61 percent boycotted or bought less from firms that were perceived to be deficient. Conversely, 52 percent began buying or increased purchases due to the belief that a company demonstrated strong leadership.
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Are we to add the Internet of Things to the pantheon of top strategic technology priorities for the decade? That’s the question increasingly in front of IT decision makers these days as tech vendors add the buzzphrase to their marketing and practitioners evaluate the rapidly growing array of related tools and technologies.
That’s not to say there’s much doubt about the phenomenon itself. There’s essentially no question that the Internet of Things (IoT) is fast becoming entrenched both in consumer and enterprise IT. It already seems like just about other new digital device that emerges these days comes with an app to monitor or control it, remote home automation devices are exploding, and everything electric and digital seems to be heading for 24/7 connection to the Internet.
The data is familiar to anyone tracking the story: By 2020, IoT will be a $8.9 trillion market in 2020, with over 212 billion connected things. To put that in perspective, that’s about half the size of the entire U.S. economy, meaning that the connectedness of everything will soon be one of the world’s largest industries, even though one might say it’s nothing more than a convergence of the top pre-existing trends of smart mobility, cloud, and big data.
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The past two years have seen an arms race at the high end of the virtualization arena. The biggest players in the space have competed furiously to add features and capabilities to their combined platform offerings, either by swallowing up smaller companies or investing heavily in product development. MDM, DaaS, hybrid cloud, profile management, application virtualization, application publishing, cloud orchestration—the largest competitors in the virtualization space have either provided, or are looking to provide, these and many more features.
As the biggest companies try to provide the nirvana of an “everything-under-one-roof” end-to-end virtualization solution, a swarm of smaller players try to play catchup, aggressively growing their own product portfolios in a bid to keep their revenue streams maximized or to increase their own chances of acquisition by the larger beasts around them.
The Virtualization Arms Race
vSphere, Hyper-V, and XenServer are amongst the big hitters on the server virtualization level. In the desktop arena, Horizon 6 faces off against XenDesktop, Amazon WorkSpaces, and their ilk. App-V competes with ThinApp. Profile management tools abound, such as Microsoft UE-V, Citrix UPM, View Persona, and many more. XenMobile is positioned against Windows Intune and VMware’s freshly acquired AirWatch. The list of comparable technological features from the big vendors could go on and on. But this arms race isn’t simply confined to the virtualization tech titans—even smaller companies like AppSense and RES are expanding their product lines and software features quite aggressively. A case in point is enterprise file synchronization. It seems that today, a software suite isn’t complete without an enterprise file synchronization option.
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Traditional enterprise data centers had significantly more outages that had an impact on business than did colocation data centers over a recent span of 12 months.
That is another conclusion from the latest survey of data center industry professionals conducted by the Uptime Institute. We covered data center budget trends from the survey on Thursday, and today we are looking at outage-related data.
Seven percent of enterprise data center operators (other than financial services companies) that were surveyed, said they had five or more “business-impacting” data center outages over 12 months. Only three percent of the colocation data center operators that were surveyed could say the same for their recent outage record.
The split between enterprises and third-party data center service providers that participated in the survey was fairly even.
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Most people don’t notice that information technology pervades our daily lives. Granted, some IT infrastructure is in the open and easy to spot, such as the computer and router on your desk hooked up via network cables. However, plenty of IT infrastructures are nearly invisible as they reside in locked network rooms or heavily guarded data centers. And some IT infrastructures are bundled underneath city streets, arrayed on rooftops, or even camouflaged as trees at the local park. Let’s take a closer look at a few ramifications of IT infrastructure everywhere.
1. Technology is pervasive and commonplace in our daily lives. Little is seen, much is hidden.
Good news: Companies have spent billions of dollars investing in wired and wireless connections that span cities, countries and oceans. This connectivity has enabled companies to ship work to lower cost providers in developing countries, and for certain IT projects to “follow the sun” and thus finish faster. Also, because we have IT infrastructure everywhere, it makes it possible for police forces and/or governments to identify and prosecute perpetrators of crime that much easier.
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Years ago, in the bad old days, you had the weekly status meeting. You’d wait for your turn to talk about your status to the project manager; when other people talked, you’d either tune out to think about what you were going to say or, possibly, tune out entirely and think about that upcoming skiing trip.
All that changed with scrum and the daily standup. It was a breath of fresh air.
But something happened with the daily standup in many organizations. As its focus changed, people were driven to prepare a list of what they were working on and to focus on it.
I woke up one morning and realized that, at a current client, we were still doing those painful, low-value weekly status meetings. The only difference: Now we were doing them every day.
If you’ve experienced this, take heart. You’re not alone. More importantly, the daily standup can be fixed. This article explains how.
Answer Me These Questions
First, let’s look at the famous Three Questions of Scrum:
What did you do yesterday?
What will you do today?
Are there any impediments in your way?
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I remember it as though it were just months ago, but it was early 2005 when a heated discussion rippled across our company. A new way to develop software had matured and had been growing fast since 2001: the agile software development approach. We knew that it would disrupt the very controlled way CI&T had been developing custom software for big companies for over 6 years, and that was scary.
Until then, we were exclusively implementing a formal process called RUP (rational unified process), a successful implementation of the ideas from the unified process framework. In our pitch we were purposely fighting the waterfall method that had been eroding the reputation of software houses over time. Studies were consistently showing that more than 65 percent of big software projects would fail.
Today, it comes without a single sign of pain to say that 100 percent of our projects are carried out using agile, but during that time we were uncertain about the future. That pristine CMMI level 5 certification we had conquered with so much effort over the years was, after all, going to be irrelevant for the industry. Not to mention the detailed processes we had built to align teams and clients in very well defined tasks and waves of work, would all be compromised by a novelty we would need to learn how to use from scratch.
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Seventy-five percent of Americans do not take all of their allotted days off, and 15 percent of them didn’t take any vacation time in the last 12 months.
It’s obvious to most people that Americans are addicted to work. While Europeans nosh on tapas and sip wine after work hours and on weekends, we’re frantically creating the next PowerPoint presentation. While they’re enjoying a four-week summer break, we’re reading reports and responding to emails from our mobile office on the beach. We just can’t seem to disconnect.
Studies show that about half of all vacation time in the United States goes unclaimed. In addition, we’re the only country in the industrialized world that doesn’t guarantee days off.
Ponder these facts: Career site Glassdoor recently reported that 75 percent of Americans do not take all of their allotted days off, and 15 percent of them didn’t take any vacation time in the last 12 months. The leading reasons for not taking a break include: concern that no other employee could do the job (33 percent), fear of getting behind (28 percent), complete dedication to company (22 percent), the desire for a promotion (19 percent) and fear of losing the job (17 percent).
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This is a topic that is a perennial one – and I suspect it will keep evolving. What is the right way to classify architectural models of storage? How does one figure out what the heck is going on through all the marketing and positioning of the industry players (including EMC for that matter)?
WARNING – THIS POST IS NOT FOR THE INTELLECTUALLY LAZY – OR PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT INTO READING
… Don’t say I didn’t warn you
It IS possible to have a taxonomy for storage/persistence architectures, a “phylum” (that’s the grouping of animals in biology, and translates from new latin as “class”) if you will. If you think of the “tree of life” (below – hey, that’s us Humans right next to bears and fungi!) as the world of technology domains, down the information persistence (vs. compute vs. network) “kingdom”, there are indeed “phylum” (classes).
This is an powerful intellectual tool – one that helped humans understand the living world around us.
When it comes applying this “phylum” idea to the topic of storage architectures, it lets you group anything new you see in the whole world of “persisting data”, and QUICKLY understand it’s core architecture, and therefore strengths and weaknesses. I challenge you all to put something on the table that doesn’t fit these broad based buckets.
On another note, as you might imagine, there’s been a lot of discussion over the last 24 hour about Cisco UCS Invicta (formerly Whiptail assets) inside EMC. It’s an old familiar player (Whiptail) on the field in new form, I’ll try to put them into this framework (input welcome!)
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To better understand the immediate future of enterprise mobility, CIO Insight recently spoke separately with Chris Hazelton, research director of mobile and wireless technologies at 451 Research, and Chris Marsh, a principal analyst of enterprise mobility at Yankee Group. The pair discussed mobility trends, device vendors, mobile ROI, and related developments for the enterprise in 2014 and beyond. Here is an edited version of the one-on-one interviews with Hazelton and Marsh.
What are the most important trends affecting how IT handles mobility today?
Chris Hazelton: The two biggest trends driving the way that IT handles mobility are the limited ability to control the devices that employees are using and the increasing amount of corporate data that is going across these devices. This dynamic means IT must control a growing use of corporate data in an environment in which it is steadily losing control.
As IT has ceded ground to users in terms of the devices that are used, the invasion of mobile apps will need to be a rallying point for organizations to regain control of mobile by managing the enterprise data, apps and work environments on mobile devices. Users can control the device, but IT will need to be the gatekeeper for data.
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