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Leading off this week’s roundup, from our sister site SearchCIO-Midmarket.com, we have a CIO whose gold medal-worthy green tech innovation is truly energizing London’s Olympic Park. Also, read about how speeding to market with software could kill a trading firm, and read about the CIO’s role in IT transformation.
As chronicled on the SearchCIO-Midmarket.com blog, CIO Symmetry, the CIO of the London summer games scored big, lighting up Olympic Park with green tech innovation. And he didn’t even have to put on a Speedo.
Speed is great for sprinters and the like but can be downright dangerous for makers of stock-trading software. Perhaps Wall Street’s third stock-trading fiasco in five months will drive home this point.
Winning by changing the rules doesn’t sound very sportsmanlike. Unless we’re talking victory over network hackers — then by all means we ought to hear out the argument for changing the rules of writing code.
Think social collaboration is a frivolous pursuit? Perhaps this bar graph can convince you otherwise.
Finally, be sure to check out this week’s CIO Matters column, in which SearchCIO.com’s Editorial Director Scot Petersen looks at the role of the CIO in the midst of IT transformation.]]>
Zynga may want to have a word with friends. Opinion is rife that Facebook doesn’t have the company’s best interests at heart.
We now know one outlet where BlackBerry users won’t be reading more bad news for RIM.
Where there’s money, there are criminals. Hot on the heels of tech innovation that makes your smartphone a virtual wallet comes a tech innovation that virtually steals that wallet.
Who doesn’t like a good chart? We especially like this one which attempts to diagram the main routes to unified information access (UIA) across silos when dealing with big data.
Finally, be sure to check out this week’s CIO Matters, wherein our crusading columnist Wendy Schuchart saves the day with awesomely powerful leadership lessons CIOs can glean from superheroes. Kapow!]]>
The panel’s topic, “A day in the life of an IT pro,” was intended to give reporters fresh insights into how IT pros spend their days, and it didn’t disappoint, covering many of the issues we at SearchCIO.com strive to understand better from the CIO’s point of view. Topics ranged from how technology investment decisions get made (methodically) to managing vendors (oy!), to which of the many buzzwords tech reporters bandy about are actually things IT pros need to pay attention to (“consumerization of IT“).
(A few tidbits before I get to the takeaway here: Telco vendors should be ashamed of the way they treat their IT customers. It’s a good idea to Google the phrase ”[insert product name] sucks” before pulling the trigger on a technology purchase. EBay is attacked an average 100,000 times per day.)
Hiring a consumer advocate who belongs to the IT organization was a suggestion that came up in answer to a question about how IT roles are changing — must change! — to keep up with business demands. Standardizing processes has helped. Methods like Scrum, and waterfall too, have taken some of the hit-or-miss quality out of software development. But the standard practice of a business analyst or a business relationship manager collecting business requirements and translating them to IT? That was insufficient, the CISO on the panel said. The inventors of smartphones and tablets and social networking sites aren’t going to business relationship managers with their ideas. They are dealing directly with consumers. IT shops need a consumer advocate among their ranks, if they hope to keep up with what business users expect from technology, he said. What do you think?]]>
Thanksgiving is around the corner, so today’s brief missive is devoted to the eyes-are-bigger-than-the-stomach syndrome — in this case with regard to real-time business intelligence (BI).
Analyst Roy Schulte, the Gartner Inc. expert quoted above, was talking about the mistakes to be avoided when presenting operational BI. (Let’s ignore for now the semantic debate about whether real-time BI and operational BI are one and the same.) The point he was making is that when it comes to the intelligence aimed at decision making in the moment, both digital providers and digital users err on the side of too much. Our stomach for information is bigger than our capacity to process it.
The result is that the pertinent data is obscured and people are overwhelmed with information they thought they needed to help them work — but don’t. Less is more.
Schulte offered the advice at a session at the recent Gartner Sympoisum/ITxpo show. Here are three pointers (heavily paraphrased from the talk) that will improve operational BI.
Don’t junk it up with pictures. Nonessential clip art, logos and decorations actually slow down decision making. Unless you’re a genius at accessorizing — and maybe even if you are — don’t go there. The 3-D graphics that are all the rage in BI reports? Also a no-no. They can obscure the attributes you are trying to show.
Stop with the metrics already! People always want more metrics than they can use. If users ask for a bunch of metrics, it’s hard not to oblige and keep your job. But you can keep to your less is more rule by showing users the pertinent metrics, and making the other metrics optional behind a click-on icon, Schulte says. “Most times, after a couple of weeks people find they are not using that additional information.” (How to separate the wheat from the chaff on metrics is a topic for another story.)
Beware of alert fatigue. Alert clutter is just as counterproductive as information clutter.
The pointers, as I mentioned, came in Schulte’s talk about mistakes that even the pros make in operational BI. But these presentation rules spill over to all sorts of applications. The bigger message for CIOs — and one that I’ve been hearing at conferences and from IT people in the trenches — is the need to focus on people-centric design. If time is money, success will depend on designing applications and platforms that quickly adapt to and reflect how people think and work. And, just to make things more complicated, IT also needs to make these people-centric applications and platforms adaptable to a ton of devices. Less is more. And more is needed.]]>