“Talking smack” is often frowned upon, but talking “SMAC”? Completely acceptable. In a two part-interview with Andi Karaboutis, Executive Editor Linda Tucci got the Dell CIO to discuss SMAC — social, mobile, analytics and cloud — and the many enterprise uses of these technologies. Karaboutis also opened up about how IT can turn itself from an order taker into a business partner while driving efficiency and productivity.
SearchCIO expert contributor Harvey Koeppel brought his usual array of charts, humor and historical perspective to his latest column on big data. In the first part, Koeppel explains why enterprises can’t simply treat big data as little data writ large, but must understand that it changes everything. In part two, Koeppel points to the myriad ways in which CIOs can draw value from disruptive technologies such as social, wearables, the Internet of Things and robotics.
Can we give some of the “CIO vs. CMO” talk a rest, and focus instead on the synergies a partnership can create? Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski explains how a strong alliance between CIOs and their organization’s chief marketing officers can bring about a new era of data-drive marketing strategies.
In her weekly Data Mill column, Laskowski took an in-depth look at whether employees are circumventing the official company intranet in favor of the external social platforms they use in their non-work life. Got an opinion? Weigh in on the story page. Laskowski also shares this handy list of five questions CIOs should as in crafting an effective digital business strategy.
Our latest SearchCIO handbook, “Big Data in Motion,” is ready for your reading pleasure. It’s stuffed with some amazing case studies of healthcare of organizations that are using data proliferation to improve health outcomes, despite the sometimes-sticky matter of protecting data on the move.
In SMB coverage: We round up some of the best free IT templates from around the Web and share a webcast that lays out the benchmarks of a winning bring your own device program and shares the five W’s that every organization should consider as part of a BYOD acceptable use policy.
Last but not least: It’s almost #CIOChat time! Plan to join us Wednesday, March 26, at 3 p.m. EDT when we discuss rogue and shadow IT and all of its benefits and drawbacks.
Our latest FAQ looks at how Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement and development of rules will evolve in 2014, which has already been an active year, contributor Caron Carlson explains.
What are your organization’s biggest governance, risk and compliance (GRC) snafus and obstacles? In this video from the recent GRC Summit in Boston, Site Editor Ben Cole speaks with an expert about how a lack of collaboration and poor third-party management can doom a GRC program.
SearchCompliance will also be hosting its own tweet jam, #GRCchat, next week! Tune into Twitter Thursday, March 27, at noon EDT to talk with our editors and followers about the role of compliance in the cloud.
Looking to develop a digital strategy? Start with the basics “but with a digital twist,” says Mark McDonald, managing director and digital business strategy lead for Accenture. McDonald, a keynote speaker at the Fusion 2014 CEO-CIO Symposium in Madison, Wis., said every digital business strategy should answer five questions:
1. Who wants to be your customer? “That’s a fundamentally different question than we’ve had in the past,” McDonald said during his talk. “Who are our customers presumes we are in control of who does business with us.” But in the digital world, it’s the customers who have the control. In a blog post, which he published after his talk, he expanded on this idea, writing, “This inverts the answer to this question and the approach to finding that answer.”
2. Why will digital outperform the current business model? Don’t fall into thinking you can simply digitize the way you’re already doing business; that “does not constitute a digital business strategy,” writes McDonald. To avoid “the digital substation trap,” start asking why. “It’s a motivation question,” McDonald said. “Yes, I can put it out there, but why are people going to use it and why are people going to abandon a different kind of activity?”
3. Where will the value be demanded and delivered? Related to the question above, digital businesses demand different thinking. And things as basic as a “value chain” simply don’t translate. That’s being replaced by customer networks and ecosystems, according to McDonald. One way to answer the question of where value will be delivered is to think “less about where you play and more about who you play with,” McDonald writes (emphasis added).
4. When will digital transformation happen? Only a soothsayer could pinpoint exactly when a market will transform or face digital disruption but, McDonald said, if you can learn to recognize the “forces that shape the market,” you’ll be able to see the storm before it strikes. Signals to consider: customer direction, product selection and pricing, and even product information intensity.
5. How will you win? To answer that, McDonald suggested businesses must first know this: How will the players assemble — both internally and externally? Both questions get at the same thing: survivability. As he pointed out in his blog, a strong digital business strategy needs a direction. One to consider: How to shift from using new technology to improve business as usual to using “new technology to bring new value proposition and operations to market.”
As the workweek winds down, catch up on all of the news, tips, guides and videos you might have missed this week on SearchCIO and SearchCompliance.
Is your CIO career in tip-top shape, or do you have a lot to learn about the CIO role? In our latest Essential Guide, we look at how to achieve a high-level career in information technology. Learn about the management techniques that work, the tools and technologies available to you and the real-life case studies of CIOs who have gotten ahead by, well, getting ahead of their peers.
We’re on the verge of St. Patrick’s Day, not Valentine’s Day, and yet, love is in the air. In her weekly Searchlight column, Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski asks whether contextual computing is the love child of big data, mobility and the Internet of Things. It’s a love triangle only likely to grow as our digital and physical lives become more intertwined, so be sure you’re ready to pounce on the enterprise applications of ubiquitous computing.
Editorial Director Christina Torode rolled out a two-part podcast interview with Derek Lonsdale, an IT transformation leader, Lean expert and CIO advisor of global management and IT strategy with consulting firm PA Consulting. The topic at hand? Configuration and IT asset management, and why it’s important that the two processes be sympatico. In the first part, find out why these systems need to be integrated. In part two, listen to the case for merging asset and configuration management systems.
Our March issue of CIO Decisions e-zine tells a whale of a tale about rogue IT — those technology set-ups that lurk under the surface of your enterprise, enabling ability while also putting your information at risk. Are you prepared to take on — and make the most of — these rogue technology arrangements?
Our latest SearchCIO handbook asks the question, “What’s mobility got to do with it?” As the bring-your-own-device movement expands, it’s up to the CIO to enable a mobile workforce, one that thrives off the latest portable tools in order to achieve business results. This handbook provides advice on how to propel your mobile program forward.
This week’s CIO Searchlight kicks off with a witty look at the effects of the appification trend through the lens of some classic 1990s slacker movies. Read the full column for info on the Web’s 25th birthday, Edward Snowden at SXSW and more.
We shared two more video interviews from the Governance, Risk and Compliance Summit held last week in Boston, Mass. In the first one, Duke Alden, vice president of global information governance at risk-management firm Aon plc, spoke with Editor Ben Cole about how companies can build a converged approach to data governance and the risk management processes that go along with it. The second video, featuring Gretchen Herault, vice president of site standards and user safety and deputy chief privacy officer at Monster, examines the numerous security risks that exist around BYOD and explains how companies can protect corporate information. (And, if you missed last week’s video with keynote speaker Brian Barnier about proactive risk assessment, catch up here.)
Finally: It’s listicle time. SearchCompliance contributor Jeffrey Ritter weighs in on the four rules of mobile information management you don’t want to neglect. Designing your governance program is only the first step.
It’s conference season for the CIO/IT Strategy Media Group! With one group in San Francisco, another in Wisconsin and a third at a local show in Boston during the past two weeks, our brains (and recorders) are packed with CIO content to share.
Coming out of the Fusion 2014 CEO-CIO Symposium this week in Madison, Wis., Karen Goulart’s weekly Searchlight looks at what dooms a digital strategy – and apparently, if your business is diving right into digital, you’re doing it wrong. Also from Fusion: Nicole Laskowski shares tips about forming partnerships in the C-suite between CIOs, chief marketing officers and even chief financial officers.
On our blog, Goulart discusses gauging the benefits of cloud ERP and why it’s a more talked-about topic among small-business IT leaders than enterprise CIOs. And speaking of the cloud, in an Ask the Expert tip, Forrester Research Inc. analyst James Staten shares why bring your own encryption (BYOE) — a cloud computing security model that allows cloud services customers to use their own encryption software and manage their own encryption keys — is an important model for enterprises today.
In other SearchCIO news…
Take it from Ann Mei Chang, CIO at global aid agency Mercy Corps: IT could be wasting an immense amount of money and resources in deploying technology without a clear understanding of its value and value to end users, Linda Tucci reports from MIT’s Disrupting Life! event.
This week also brought us the latest issue of CIO Decisions e-zine, focusing on rogue IT. CIOs are often unaware of these technology deployments, but IT leaders bear responsibility for managing security and data on these devices, services and apps — and could grow their careers by squeezing additional agility and value out of them.
Over on SearchCompliance…
Coming out of the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Calif., last week, Christina Torode pulled together a quick read featuring four luminaries’ POVs on underestimated security threats. In this blog post, hear from Marcus Ranum, Howard Schmidt, Dave Cullinane and Eugene Spafford.
SearchCompliance also hit the 2014 Governance, Risk Management and Compliance Summit in Boston, Mass., Wednesday to learn about emerging trends in risk management from leaders in the field. Ben Cole caught up with Brian Barnier, principal analyst and advisor at ValueBridge Advisors LLC, after his morning keynote to ask more about his proactive approach to enterprise risk management in this on-camera interview.
The ERP system is the workhorse of the business, housing critical information — from human resources to finances. Ideally, it’s the silent backbone, working in the background of the business. But for SMBs, where the IT department could very well be a party of one, upkeep and troubleshooting could become an all-consuming, overwhelming task. Add to that cost and security considerations, and cloud ERP can seem quite alluring.
In fact, in a recent web presentation, Gartner analyst Nigel Montgomery said cloud ERP is a hot topic for SMBs — even more popular than among enterprises. This is due in large part to the fact that cloud ERP offerings for SMBs are maturing at a faster rate.
But whether cloud is right for a particular small business depends on several factors. For example, whether you’re self-contained, a satellite office or on the small side of “small business” will factor in to what your company should consider when it comes to cloud ERP. The decision also hinges on whether ERP is viewed by the organization as a value or simply a cost. More often than not, ERP is viewed as the latter because its value goes unmeasured. In a recent Gartner poll, only 37% of SMB respondents said they actually calculated the value of their ERP. You can’t expect to get budget approval for cloud acquisitions without providing information about the value of traditional ERP, Montgomery said.
Cloud shouldn’t be seen as an all or nothing proposition, especially for SMBs that have been doing ERP on premises for years Montgomery pointed out. For some companies, yes, cloud could come in as a wholesale replacement. But for businesses with years of legacy add-ons, this all-in approach is neither reasonable nor particularly wise. That doesn’t mean counting out cloud. As Montgomery noted, there are a myriad of ways cloud can be used to aid or augment on-premises systems, either for the long-term or as part of a gradual, calculated move away from a legacy system.
It’s also important to evaluate business goals and priorities you’re hoping an investment in cloud ERP will achieve before you or your IT organization starts considering cloud vendors. Decide what exactly you want to do:
• Leverage existing investments
• Deliver new capabilities/application modernization
• Deliver rapid time to market
• Avoid operating expenses, preserve capital
• Support scalability requirements more cost effectively
• Provide access to all users, all customers, all devices
• Free-up data center space
• Improve operational efficiencies
• Develop easier integrations with other web and cloud apps
As with any major change or acquisition in IT, it can’t — or at least shouldn’t — be done without a clear strategy. If you organization is lacking an ERP strategy, build one. Without that strategy and how it serves the business, the desired benefits will never be achieved, Montgomery said. These are some of his recommendations for those considering cloud ERP:
• Do not seek cloud solutions unless there are clear business objectives. Cloud is not one-dimensional, it involves significant business
• Understand the continuing development of cloud and its potential impact. Even within a domain, there are different levels of adoption and benefits for SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.
• Keep pushing established on-premises vendors for their road maps, proofs of viability and case studies.
• Use pace layers to structure the discussion with the business and adjust your application strategy as needed.
• Fuse pace layers with the cloud options available today and in the next three to five years. Generate a workable road map.
As a short (and chilly!) month rounds to a close, SearchCIO is stuffing our coverage with a range of hot topics to leave readers feeling satisfied (and toasty).
“One man’s gold is another man’s garbage,” says Ken Gleason, director of electronic trading product development at New York City-based Deutsche Bank Securities, in this week’s Data Mill column by Nicole Laskowski. Gleason shares his framework to help CIOs separate the good data from the bad data with his four C’s of data quality.
Think you’ve got what it takes to get ahead? This information technology careers quiz draws advice from TechTarget’s recent IT Salary and Careers Survey coverage and feature stories highlighting influential leaders in the IT space. Find out: Do you have what it takes to climb the IT career ladder?
After learning how to lead, be the best innovator you can be. In this feature, Gartner analyst Leigh McMullen talks catch-22s, City of Palo Alto CIO Jonathan Reichental discusses lean IT and MetLife CIO Gary Hoberman shares his thoughts on IT startup culture.
News out of MIT…
Ann Mei Chang is chief innovation officer at Mercy Corps, a global aid agency using mobile technology and the Internet to improve the lives of people, particularly populations affected by flood, famine, political persecution or genocide. Last week, Executive Editor Linda Tucci attended Chang’s keynote at MIT’s “Disrupting Life!” conference and examined methods of using disruptive technology to change the way people live.
In today’s news…
Privacy is the new black… or is it the other way around? In today’s Searchlight column, Karen Goulart follows talk at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, where the world was introduced to Blackphone, “the world’s first smartphone which places privacy and control directly in the hands of its users.” And speaking of Searchlight, check out last week’s column on wearable technology, where “it’s all about the work, stupid.”
Over on SearchCompliance…
Site editor Ben Cole and editorial director Christina Torode just returned to (frigid) Boston from RSA’s 2014 conference in San Francisco. Here Torode shares some of her discussions with Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) members and industry VIPs regarding threats those in the security profession need to pay more attention to.
In this recap of last week’s #GRCchat, learn why remote device wipe could be the best option for IT departments looking to safeguard data — both corporate and personal. Another way to feel at ease is to keep tabs on new access points that continue to complicate data protection strategies. Finally, expert Ed Moyle instructs enterprises on how to stay compliant when faced with shadow IT.
Keep an eye on SearchCIO for recaps of this week’s #CIOChat tweet jam on new-wave security technologies. Stay tuned for our next weekly roundup here on CIO Symmetry and follow @SearchCIO, @SearchCIOSMB and @ITCompliance to get news as it’s posted.
Hot off the press! Senior Features Writer Karen Goulart hits on three big questions in her weekly column: Should CIOs focus on the potential, not just the problems, of wearable technology? What’s in store for WhatsApp and Facebook? Why all these big hacks? Get it all in today’s Searchlight.
Another burning question: What’s in a title? In this CIO Snapshot, Goulart talks to Bart Murphy, the CIO and CTO at the CareWorks Family of Companies. Murphy was hired as vice president of shared services, tasked with building a shared services framework for the company and lending a hand in their massive insourcing project. In this Q&A, Murphy dishes about what it’s like to hold two critical titles.
This wasn’t all Murphy had to share with our readers this week. In the first installment of a two-part CIO Innovator feature, Murphy explained his shared services strategy and how he puts the fun into IT service management. In part two, Murphy explains how a flexible ITSM platform can make a difference.
Contributor Niel Nickolaisen — a CIO-turned-CTO — addresses disaster recover in his latest CIO Matters column, advising that it may be best to look outside your IT department when it comes to DR, and offering guidelines to determine what provider might work for your organization.
It’s no secret that big data is complicating information security, disaster recovery and business continuity efforts within enterprise organizations. Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski’s weekly Data Mill column covers a recent talk by security technologist Bruce Schneier at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Turns out, CIOs have a lot to learn from the National Security Agency (NSA) data collection mission.
In another CIO Snapshot…
Finding and retaining top IT professionals is a major hurdle faced by today’s CIOs. In this CIO Snapshot by Laskowski, CIOs from Partners HealthCare and Harvard University discuss their talent retention strategies and offer advice for other IT organizations on identifying and managing good employees.
In tweet jam news…
Join our next SearchCIO #CIOChat this Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 3 p.m. EST. We’ll be discussing new security technologies and the need for similarly newfangled enterprise risk management plans.
If we may brag for a moment (and tip our cap to the Olympics): The SearchCIO team took gold in several categories in TechTarget’s internal editorial awards this week, which honored our work during the past year.
Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski’s Data Mill series, which focuses on all things data, was among the honorees. In her most recent weekly column, Laskowski talked to Felienne Hermans, assistant professor at Delft University of Technology, and Steven Gustafson, R&D manager at the Knowledge Discovery Lab for Schenectady, N.Y.-based GE Global Research, about new visualization tools with the ability to spot weaknesses in error-prone spreadsheets.
Senior Features Writer Karen Goulart’s CIO Innovator profile of Bally Total Fitness CIO Guy Their also nabbed top honors. In this feature from last year, which appeared in our flagship CIO Decisions e-zine, Thier opened up to Goulart about managing his company’s total business transformation.
SearchCIO also won an award for our CIO Briefing on the evolution of big data. After you’ve checked out that guide, stop by this month’s edition, which looks at why traditional IT infrastructure is getting a little TLC — or, in some cases, being scrapped completely — as outsourcing, cloud technologies and hybrid IT take hold.
The appointment of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is causing quite the stir in IT circles. Some of our expert CIO contributors — Harvey Koeppel, Niel Nickolaisen and Ravi Ravishanker — weigh in on the Microsoft landscape Nadella now faces.
In place of our regular Searchlight column, check out a recap from our latest SearchCIO tweet jam. Read why #CIOChat participants believe wearable devices will present CIOs with huge, expensive data challenges — but that shouldn’t deter them from finding ways to extract value for business.
Also on SearchCIO, Editorial Director Christina Torode talks to Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, the U.K’s special representative to business on cybersecurity as appointed by the prime minister, about cybersecurity. In this video, filmed at ISSA’s International Conference, Neville-Jones discussed why mapping enterprise infrastructure should be a top concern for IT leaders looking to improve cybersecurity.
In SearchCompliance news…
Contributor Judith M. Myerson outlined three steps security professionals should take to implement defense in depth, mitigating risks stemming from mobile GRC application use. In another video with Neville-Jones, the Baroness talked about how companies are not necessarily looking in the right places to ensure information protection — something that will definitely hurt the business. Learn why what you don’t know will hurt you.
As innovative biometric technologies enter the corporate sphere, we expect to hear IT leaders and their users exhale a big, collective sigh of relief. Why? Startup companies specializing in biometric authentication are popping up all over the place, providing organizations with harder-to-hack password options for better security. In this Future State column, SearchCIO Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski talks to Kansas City startup EyeVerify LLC about its technology that recognizes blood vessel patterns in the eye and uses that information to allow access to, say, mobile banking applications.
Much like biometric technologies, wearable devices are beginning to cause a stir among enterprise executives. During our most recent tweet jam, participants took to Twitter to discuss what to do with all that data, which tools are needed to make workplace wearables effective and how to improve customer interactions and increase business value.
In other news….
New year, new ‘zine! Our CIO Decisions e-zine got a facelift this month, and touched on some hard-hitting CIO topics from top dogs like MetLife, the University of Michigan and Purdue University. Topics covered in this issue include how to draw IT inspiration from startups, a CIO’s cloud conundrum and the ongoing battle against malware.
In addition to our info-packed e-zine, SearchCIO was bustling with valuable advice for CIOs, including how to rise through the leadership ranks and usher in corporate-wide cloud strategies. Learn what it takes to get ahead in this CIO Innovators feature of Allstate’s Pat Coffey, a programmer-turned-senior vice president. In our second CIO Innovators piece of the week, learn how Revlon CIO David Giambruno built a corporate cloud that transformed the department from a vertical organization into a horizontal one. For our small-business audience, contributor Christine Parizo assesses the ongoing presence of PCs in the workplace, even as Microsoft winds down Windows XP support.
Have you ever gotten half way to your destination and realized you forgot your flash drive or external hard drive at home? Well, that’s exactly how Dropbox Inc. was born. Last week, Andrew Houston, Dropbox CEO and a former MIT student, returned to Cambridge, Mass., for a fireside chat on “The War for Talent.” Read Houston’s five tips for winning the tech talent war in Data Mill, then hop over to our TotalCIO blog to learn about Dropbox’s company culture philosophy.
Fresh off the press….
Karen Goulart’s weekly — and very timely — Searchlight column looks at the potential of Bill Gates’ new advisory role at Microsoft as the company welcomes new CEO Satya Nadella. After debating what Nadella should do first, take a look at other stories in Goulart’s round-up, including Facebook’s 10th anniversary and more.
As January wound down, we had one heck of an exciting week on SearchCIO. For starters, Wednesday marked our first #CIOChat of the new year, and the wearable-tech theme attracted a huge (virtual) crowd. Expert Simon Jones, managing director at OnPR, a technology public relations and analyst firm, and a blogger at WearableTechWatch, bunkered down over in Munich and responded in real time to our followers’ tweets about this technology of the future — or is it now the present? In our first recap, tweet jam participants discussed how CIOs should prepare for bring your own wearables now. Stay tuned for more tweet roundups next week, which will all be found on SearchCIO.
Nicole Laskowski’s Data Mill column hit on another hot button topic: ethical dilemmas for data scientists. Columbia University challenges students to not just trust data-driven decisions, but also to think hard about ethics and data manipulation — especially as organizations try to monetize the data they collect. And speaking of the collection and storage of data, are you keeping up with all things data center? Take our CIO quiz on managing today’s data center to find out.
While CIOs wait for Columbia students bake and ripen, they’re plagued by the ongoing struggle to attract the right mix of IT talent within their organization — and there’s no time to dilly-dally. As new technologies like cloud, mobile computing and predictive analytics enter the enterprise, building teams quickly is important. Executive Editor Linda Tucci took notes at the Society for Information Management’s annual CIO gathering in Boston, sharing how four top-drawer business technologists are addressing the IT skills challenge.
Speaking of IT roles, how important is the CIO title? Senior Community Manager Jenny Laurello sat in on the recent “CEO/CIO Marriage Proposal” panel at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Technology Conference in Washington, D.C. In other piece on the CIO role, Nigel Fenwick, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc., advised organizations to play to their digital strengths if they want to survive digital disruption — but is there a place for the CIO in all that?
And hot off the press today, this week’s Searchlight explores how omnichannel strategy could to return location-based social networking website Foursquare to relevance.
On our blogs…
Whether intentionally or by mistake, humans account for most cybersecurity breaches. In three separate midmarket studies released this month, the majority of participants pointed the finger of blame squarely at themselves when asked to identify their company’s biggest data security risk, but they should also turn a watchful eye on fellow members of senior management, said Senior Features Writer Karen Goulart. Also on our blogs, Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski discussed the move away from strategy models and governance toward experimentation and agility. Dave Aron, an analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Research Inc., suggests IT start playing Go, the oldest board game in the world, to find some strategic inspiration.
Contributor Christine Parizo examined the difference between compliance and security — a distinction made evident by recent retail credit card fiascos at companies assumed to be compliant with industry standards and regulations. In another tip, Jeffrey Ritter discussed the often-overlooked digital information governance factors that are critical to maintaining records management compliance.