• IDG Contributor Network: Why (and how) utilities see a future in the cloud

    Disruptive technologies have the capability to trigger rapid advancement in any given industry, yet their adoption is rarely linear, especially in the case of regulated industries. For utilities, times have changed; increasing competition from non-traditional providers (think: Walmart and Amazon providing solar panels straight to consumers) means your local utility can no longer just “keep the lights on” to keep your business.

    An industry that has enjoyed its monopoly status for decades now lags behind other sectors in the US that have adopted top-to-bottom technology platforms. Thanks to increased competition, utilities, like every other industry, are now being impacted by rapidly shifting customer needs and expectations and, as a result, have gone from crawling to walking toward digitization to keep up.

    To read this article in full, please click here

  • IDG Contributor Network: Why low code platforms are the future of app development

    If you’ve never heard of the low code approach to app development before then get ready because you’re about to start hearing it everywhere. The streamlined approach involves rapid design and development with minimal amounts of coding, often relying on third-party application programming interfaces (APIs).

    There’s not really any individual definition of low code development because it’s more of a mindset than something that’s directly measurable. But the very fact that it’s a mindset has led to a community springing up around the mentality, and low code innovators are increasingly disrupting all sorts of different industries.

    And it’s easy to see why. There are all sorts of benefits to low code platforms and we’ll be looking at just a few of them in this article. Let’s go.

    To read this article in full, please click here

  • IDG Contributor Network: Marketers deserve mobile location data transparency, not smoke and mirrors

    Today’s savvy marketers are investing more and more in mobile location data. They are working with providers of data and insights, campaign measurement services and ad attribution reports to understand where consumers travel along the consumer journey and how advertising affects consumer interactions with bricks-and-mortar businesses. They’re becoming increasingly reliant on insights gleaned from mobile location data to measure marketing ROI and even decide where to build new business locations.

    In other words, marketers are using location data to make extremely important decisions every day.

    In "Why 2018 will be the year of mobile data measurement and insights," I suggested a few reasons for the growth in marketer interest in location-based measurement related data and services. I pointed to the increased use of omnichannel campaigns which demand measurement services that connect consumer interactions to trackable, reportable measurement data and Key Performance Indicators. And I proposed that the trend towards automated, programmatic advertising has compelled media agencies to invest in location-based insights to show brand clients innovative services and value.

    To read this article in full, please click here

  • IDG Contributor Network: 7 steps to become an AI-enabled enterprise

    After two decades, platform companies are still collecting tons of data, filling their databases with information of everyone’s knowledge, opinions, recommendations, locations, movements, buying behavior, relation status, lifestyle, etc. This is not a secret and nothing new. And speaking of artificial intelligence (AI), the platform companies are fully embracing and heavily investing into AI. However, most enterprise leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. And especially the established economy is the big loser in this game. Read this article to get a better understanding of the powerful forces that are happening right now and why you need a general AI strategy to run your IT operations and other business processes autonomously.

    To read this article in full, please click here

  • IDG Contributor Network: Should you trust those agile charts?

    Most CTO's and IT leaders have received the agile message by now.  Your staff tells you about agile and this "scrum" thing from your IT department and they say agile has taken over the development world.  They then show you all these pretty graphs with sprint burn down charts, cumulative flows, velocity over time, MVP (Minimum Viable Product) burn down charts, release burn up charts, etc.

    Everything looks stellar, but when you start asking about how those charts are measured, it will often lead to one ambiguous destination: story points.  First, as a disclaimer, there are other units of measurement that are available to track progress including (but not restricted to): hours, ideal days, duration, T-shirt sizes, % stories/PBI's complete and you could theoretically use bananas as a unit of measure, but it is not recommended.  Naturally, you must choose something to track progress.

    To read this article in full, please click here

  • IDG Contributor Network: Achieving business transparency

    Today’s CIO need to achieve many things to be relevant to their business counterparts. At the top of this list should be establishing business transparency. The question is how do they achieve it? And what things are needed to put transparency in place? These are the questions that I posed recently to the #CIOChat. Their answers should be relevant to all CIOs and key members of their management teams.

    Transparency matters

    CIOs believe transparency matters. They say that transparency is about trust—without transparency you do not have trust. Simply put, you go nowhere when your customers and employees do not trust you. In terms of achieving business relevance, CIOs believe that transparency provides the foundation for translating strategy into execution. With it, CIOs believe there can be common understanding, vision, and even purpose. Transparency for these reasons can move the business forward. CIOs say as well that monitoring and measuring progress along the journey matters. In sum, CIOs believe that transparency is critical to creating a healthy company culture and to ensuring that other business leaders are on the same page and can make better decisions.

    To read this article in full, please click here

  • IDG Contributor Network: Infrastructure-as-a-Service set to outpace in 2018

    This month, Synergy Research Group released a review of the 2017 cloud market. According to their analysis, the cloud services and infrastructure market has grown by nearly a quarter annually. Among the cloud services analyzed, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) saw the highest growth rate at 47 percent while Software-as-a-Service grew by 31 percent. 

    According to Synergy, this growth is part of a broader trend: The cloud-services market is growing three times as fast as cloud infrastructure hardware and software.

    To read this article in full, please click here

  • IDG Contributor Network: Communicating and marketing a portfolio of initiatives that drive digital transformation

    Whenever digital transformation comes up in a group of CIOs, there’s often debate on what constitutes a transformation program. Is a cloud migration transformational? When IT organizations adopt agile practices to deliver new applications, is that transformational? If the CIO sponsors a citizen data science program and deploys new self-service data visualization tools, is that transformational? What about devops, investing in artificial intelligence, or experimenting with blockchain?

    To read this article in full, please click here

  • IDG Contributor Network: 5 factors that form a formidable business leader, according to Oracle CIO Mark Sunday

    Lead, but follow. Be transparent, but discreet. Be caring, but tough. Be fair, but strategic. It seems that current business philosophies change with the days of the week.  But for me, I look to Sunday for an inspiring example in leadership. Mark Sunday, that is. As Senior Vice President and CIO at Oracle, Sunday has seen his share of shifting business trends. Where other leaders may scramble to adapt, the secret to his success is his consistent execution of five dynamic strategies day in and day out.

    1. Make sure your goals and values are aligned with those of the company

    Some claim that loyalty in the workforce is dead. In some ways, that’s true. But in the process of scrambling to improve work culture, many companies discovered that a manager who is authentically loyal and receptive to the staff’s needs is an essential part of company morale and staff retention. “Authentic leaders can be counted on to say what they mean and do what they say,” says Harvey Deutschendorf. “They’re the same person to their staff, their own superiors, their customers, and their partners.”

    To read this article in full, please click here

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    This powerful micro-cut shredder from AmazonBasics turns a letter-sized sheet into 2,235 pieces of confetti, up to 6 sheets at a time (5/32 by 15/32 inches; security level P-4). Inserted one at a time, it also destroys credit cards, rendering them completely unusable. It features a generous 4.1-gallon waste bin that is easy to manage. This micro-cut shredder averages 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 1,900 people (72% rate a full 5 stars: read reviews). Its typical list price of $50 has been reduced 29% to $36. See it on Amazon.

    To read this article in full, please click here

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