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Realities of the New Work Environment April 15, 2013

Posted by stewsutton in business analytics, business intelligence, Cloud, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Communications, Community, Data Portability, Economics, Information Policy, Information Technology, Knowledge Management, Software.
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Trends such as globalization, economic change, externalization, and consumerization are creating  new realities in the modern information workplace.  Here are four workplace realities that are already having an effect on the way we get things done.

1. Greater Interdependence – Employees collaborate many more individuals in their day-to-day work than they did just a decade ago (typically ten or more). As a result, nearly one-half of an employee’s impact on business unit profitability comes from network performance—the ability to help others perform and be helped by others. In contrast, in 2002, nearly 80% of an employee’s impact came from individual task performance. Although network performance is vital, only 20% of employees are effective at it. The way IT supports enterprise collaboration must change as IT adopts techniques to understand and support the needs of teams and individuals.

2. Frequent Organizational Change – Clearly organizations have never stood still.  However, a majority of employees feel that the rate of change is accelerating. Since 2010, the average employee has experienced major changes including:  reorganizations, strategy revisions, or new leadership, at a cycle of roughly every seven months. This state of near continuous change shortens business partner time horizons and puts a premium on responsive IT planning and budgeting. It also undermines efforts to encapsulate business process in enterprise systems and increases the value of integration.

3. Greater Knowledge Intensity – Ah, the Knowledge Management stuff…  An increasing percentage of employees (over 80%) are conducting knowledge work that requires analysis and judgment. Knowledge work is becoming ubiquitous because of transaction automation and the emergence of “big data,” In addition, business volatility means that even when transactions remain manual, there are plenty of exceptions that require analysis and judgment to resolve. Information technology investments are already changing to reflect this trend, with more money being spent on analytics and collaboration and less on process automation.

4. More Technology Choice – It is commonly reported that a serious majority (nearly two-thirds) of employees use personal devices for work purposes.  This is huge!   However, this transition to device consumerization is only the starting point. After BYOD comes BYOI, BYON, and BYOA; bring your own information, networks, and applications. Almost one-half of all employees already use external, unofficial information sources for work purposes,  about a quarter of employees source their own collaboration and networking tools, and a fifth of employees use their own analytic tools. Although BYO has risks, it cannot be stopped. Managed correctly, it can provide faster access to new capabilities and a better fit with individual employee workflows.

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New Roles within Enterprise IT April 13, 2013

Posted by stewsutton in Architecture, business analytics, business intelligence, Cloud, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Communications, Education, Information Technology, Knowledge Management, Software.
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Talent within information technology is adapting to new roles as the work environment changes over the next five years (2013 to 2017).

  1. Collaboration and Social Media Evangelist – Responsible for understanding drivers of collaborative behavior and creating, managing, and developing a collaboration and social media strategy.   The person is likely to have a background in business, marketing, communications, or behavioral science, such as anthropology, organizational behavior, or psychology; more likely to be found in a consultant or other specialized role than in a corporation.  Their job responsibilities include:
    • Analyzing user behavior to understand workflows and collaboration needs
    • Establishing collaboration and social media strategy
    • Encouraging adoption of relevant collaboration and social media tools and techniques
    • Advocating for adoption of collaboration tools
    • Creating and delivering end-user awareness and training programs
    • Establishing collaboration and social media usage policies and procedures
  2. Information Insight Enabler – This role helps the IT organization drive employee productivity and help with equipping employees with competencies and not just tools.  They are responsible for supporting business unit heads, service managers, and knowledge workers with insight, business intelligence, and management reports for effective decision making.  They are likely to have a background in market or financial research or in analytics or statistics.  Their unique key responsibilities include:
    • Understanding the decision-making process and the workflows of business unit heads and service manager
    • Identifying knowledge worker’s information needs
    • Representing information in a user-friendly manner
    • Identifying trends and patterns; generates insight for business units and senior leadership
    • Developing frameworks and processes to analyze unstructured information
    • Performing market and customer research and analysis, and creating dashboards and scorecards
  3. Cloud Integration Specialist – This role assimilates cloud services—for both Applications and Infrastructure—into the existing IT environment.  They have experience in developing, deploying, and maintaining integration solutions; most likely to come from EAI or middleware implementation background, such as EAI/Integration developer.  Key responsibilities for this role include:
    • Collaborating with business unit leaders, service managers, and technology brokers to evaluate new cloud service offerings and determine integration needs
    • Coordinating with enterprise and information architects to ensure new cloud services align with technology roadmap
    • Working closely with business process analyst to ensure integration activities improve business processes
    • Coordinating testing efforts to identify and resolve any cross-functional integration issues
  4. User Experience Guru – This role collaborates with service managers and end users to understand and improve user experience and workflow for new and existing applications.   They are likely to have a specialist background in behavioral science, graphic design, or product design; more likely to be found in a consultant or other specialized role than in a corporation.  They will design and configure user-centric interfaces for in-house and cloud applications, allowing end users to access, visualize, and navigate information and analytics with ease.  Some of their key responsibilities include:
    • Analyzing business and functional requirements
    • Creating user-centered design
    • Improving the user experience
    • Visualizing and presenting information in a user- friendly manner to end users
  5. Technology Broker – This role is responsible for managing spend with all providers in a given category, such as Infrastructure or Applications.  They are likely to have a background in sales or business development at a technology service provider; alternatively, may have a procurement background or extensive experience managing programs that relied on external providers for delivery.  They will introduce new technologies and vendors to business units, the services group, and the remaining IT organization.  Their key roles include:
    • Understanding business needs and translates those into technology capabilities
    • Identifying new and existing technology offerings available in the market or in house
    • Negotiating contracts and manages relationships with multiple vendors for a category of IT spend
    • Creating and maintaining a catalog of technology services
    • Defining service level agreements to monitor vendor performance
  6. End-to-End IT Service Manager – End-to-End IT Services Packages all the technologies, processes, and resources across IT needed to deliver a specific business outcome while hiding technical complexity.  They are responsible for defining and delivering end-to- end IT services and is the primary owner of one or more services.  They are likely to have experience in IT service delivery, direct business engagement, technology sales and marketing, and financial plan development; more likely to be sourced from account manager or business relationship manager, solutions manager, architects, or infrastructure manager roles.  Responsibilities for this role include:
    • Collaboration with IT–business relationship managers to develop the end-to-end IT services strategy
    • Developing annual IT service delivery plan and negotiates delivery expectations with business partners
    • Providing information to business partners about service improvement opportunities and collaborates with them to drive down business costs and effectively support business capabilities
    • Guiding the service review process to drive continuous improvement efforts for services

Big Data Portfolio April 12, 2013

Posted by stewsutton in Cloud Computing, Economics, Financial, Information Technology, Investment.
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Currently assembling a “big data” portfolio of companies that are invested in technology and services for the processing and storage of “big data” OR using digital information directly in the formation of manufactured goods.  All of the usual suspects from Amazon, to Google will be in the mix, and there are the storage companies like Western Digital, but there are others like IBM which bring the processing technology of Watson and the commitment to investing in high-performance flash storage within their enterprise systems.  For the use of digital information there are companies that are vested in the growth of 3D printing with multiple materials.  It’s an interesting cross-section of technology companies that can continue to be a significant component of the information economy.  So here is the list of companies thus far.

Company Ticker What do they sell? 52 Week Range
3D Systems DDD The Company through subsidiaries designs, develops, manufactures, markets and services rapid 3-D printing, prototyping and manufacturing systems and related products and materials. Website: http://www.3dsystems.com/ $15.40 – $47.99
Western Digital Corp. WDC Western Digital Corp. designs, develops, manufactures, and sells hard drives for data storage. Website: http://www.westerndigital.com/ $28.31 – $53.75
Stratasys SSYS Stratasys develops, manufactures, and sells 3-D printers that create physical models from computerized designs. Website: http://www.stratasys.com/ $34.50 – $92.30
Corning GLW Corning makes specialty glass and ceramics that are used in everything from flat-screen TVs to optical fiber to biosensors for drug research. Website: http://www.corning.com/ $10.62 – $14.58
Gartner IT A research & advisory firm that helps executives use technology to build, guide & grow their enterprises. The Company offers independent & objective research & analysis on the information technology, computer hardware, software, communications etc. Website: http://www.gartner.com/ $39.50 – $57.61
Teradata TDC Provide data warehousing services Website: http://www.teradata.com/ $50.40 – $80.97
Google GOOG So dominant it’s a verb, Google is the leading internet search provider and uses its proprietary algorithms to offer targeted advertising. Website: http://www.google.com/ $556.52 – $844.00
Oracle Corp. ORCL The Company develops, manufactures, markets, distributes and services database, middleware and applications software that helps organizations manage and grow their businesses. Website: http://www.oracle.com/ $25.33 – $36.43
Amazon AMZN Once simply an online purveyor of books, Amazon.com has become a marketplace for just about anything you’d want to buy. Website: http://www.amazon.com/ $183.65 – $284.72
Apple AAPL From iPods to iPhones to MacBooks, Apple uses its “think different” approach to reframe computing, communication, and more. Website: http://www.apple.com/ $419.00 – $705.07
Nvidia NVDA The company deals in world-wide programmable graphics processor technologies. Its major product-line operating segments are: graphics processing units, media and communications processors, handheld and consumer electronics. Website: http://www.nvidia.com/ $11.15 – $15.22