The old saying goes that you can’t be all things to all people. But Amazon is sure as heck gonna try. In this week’s SearchCIO.com Searchlight, the king of digital disruption shows how it’s done. With the acquisition of social networking site Goodreads Amazon is not only bolstering its tried and true book business it’s making itself nearly all things to all internet using people. Oh, and likely beating down the competition in the process. Also this week: why the Spamhaus DDoS attack is worth worrying over, a data-loving skeptic’s look at unstructured data and more.
Just about everyone who has a computer has, at one time or another, left a comment online. Be it a simple “congrats!” under a wedding snapshot or an angry mini-rant about poor restaurant service, for some this opinion sharing has become second nature. For the most part it’s harmless — sometimes annoying or mean-spirited — but harmless. In some instances it helps businesses know what they’re doing wrong (or right), which is a good thing, right? But what if it goes to another level? What if folks start commenting on actual humans? This week’s lead Searchlight items looks at this question and what it might mean for the future of work, especially in light of the growing popularity of on-demand services. Also this week: the hot new job in big data, debunking depulication myths and more.
When it comes to making big business decisions, data analytics tools are great to have in your arsenal. But as the lead item in this week’s Searchlight reminds us there is one tool IT leaders shouldn’t overlook amid the big data hype — their own guts. There are many reasons one becomes a leader and high on that list is knowing when to follow an instinct born from the culmination of all that’s been learned on the job and in life. Even in the compared to the vastness of big data, that’s no small thing. Also this week: why you need to put a little FUN in BYOD, exposing project managment’s “dirty little secret” and more.
From the breakout sessions to the lounges to the main stage, at this week’s Fusion CEO/CIO Symposium in Madison, Wis., privacy and cybersecurity were on nearly everyone’s mind. Recent high-profile hacks have brought some much-needed attention to the importance of securing our networked world. Top security experts, former White House CIO Theresa Payton and retired Obama Administration cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt agree the time is now for CIOs and CISOs to step up and do what needs to be done while everyone is still listening — and before it’s too late. In this week’s Searchlight, you’ll find some good examples of why this is so, along with some “lighter fare” on BYOD, IT consumers and more.
It’s a business decision. That’s all it is. Sure, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to pull the plug on telecommuting touches on many other work/life issues, but the bottom line is that it was a business decision. It would be nice to think she would emerge as some kind of champion for working mothers everywhere (and hey, she still could, it’s only been a few months). But for now she’s a CEO running a flailing business, doing the sorts of things CEOs tend to do in these situations — shaking things up, popularity be damned. And in this week’s Searchlight you’ll see I’m not alone in this opinion. Also this week, the Searchlight shines upon major (and majorly cool) innovation at MIT, curious cracks in your cybersecurity armor and more.
Big tech companies like Apple and Facebook are accustomed to encouraging and fostering IT innovation among their employees and getting results. This week’s SearchCIO.com Searchlight finds the leaders of some of those businesses are turning their attentions — and their coffers — to areas outside their walls that could use an innovative boost. The Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize is the collective effort of some top names in tech (Zuckerberg and Levinson, to name two) to encourage research biologists to develop cures to diseases and find answers to tough life-science questions. Why? Because they think it will help and they have the means. What a concept! Also this week, read about cyberattacks on the rise and tips on being a leader folks want to follow.
Attention, businesses that aren’t actively making use of social networking sites and tools: Go directly to obscurity, do not pass Go, do not collect market share. For you see, Monopoly game maker Hasbro has proved you you don’t have to be particularly cool or cutting edge to win over the social media masses. This week’s SearchCIO.com Searchlight looks at how the company drummed up major publicity with a simple, well-executed bit of outreach to fans of its property-buying board game, and SAP’s Oliver Bussman explains why CIOs like himself ought to care. Also this week, you’ll find out how the the White House is making it easier to complain about the state of the union, why President Obama’s cybersecurity executive order is friendlier to your privacy than the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, and more.
Cruising around the Web this week, I happened upon one of those stories that you just know can’t be serious. I don’t mean that in an Onion-y way, more of a the-writer-is-doing-this-to-get-attention way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that — headlines are supposed to grab the reader. But this one just seemed too outlandish — it questioned whether bring your own device (BYOD) wasn’t already dying. I must admit it made me think. The first thing I thought was “no.” As for my other thoughts, well I’m going to employ another old media “trick” and insist that you click the Searchlight link to find out. (If you do, you’ll also find this week’s roundup includes links to interesting items on data mining, social media and more.)
Technically the public didn’t need to know about the recent information security breach at “The New York Times.” No customer information was compromised and no damage was done to affiliated entities. Yet the paper decided to do what newspapers do best and present an in-depth look at the incident in service of the common good. That’s why this week’s SearchCIO.com Searchlight leads off with the piece — it offers insight into how hackers operate and reminds us to be aware that this can and does happen to businesses of all stripes. If you can get past the item about security concerns related to Facebook’s Social Graph, the Searchlight has some less stress-inducing items on the new BlackBerry phones, heartwarming uses for big data and more.
Data mining is often associated with Big Brother-esque marketing tactics: Someone out there is assessing your personal shopping habits and other bits of info in order to sell you something they think you need (or want you to). That’s why we here at SearchCIO.com Searchlight find National Day of Civic Hacking to be a refreshing idea and our favorite find in this week’s roundup. The White House has declared this day (June 1-2) a time for government agencies to make scores of information readily available, and folks are invited to have at it to help find solutions to social issues. Also this week: a reminder of why Twitter is still a social networking force you can’t afford to ignore, the true meaning of enterprise architecture and more.