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CIO.com - Opinion
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Updated: 5 min 6 sec ago

IDG Contributor Network: Top 7 books on digital transformation

June 23, 2017 - 4:30pm

Take a look back to 2010 and digital transformation or disruption were terms reserved for tech companies and startups. Fast-forward to 2017 and regardless of what industry you’re in, digital transformation is coming. For example, yesterday as I walked past an off-duty taxi and hopped in my Uber, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to watch on Netflix after dinner when a thought crossed my mind, does anyone remember Blockbuster? Maybe I should ask Jeeves…

 My point is, even the most well-established industry leaders can quickly fall to the wayside if they don’t actively seek out innovation and prepare to adapt quickly when it shows up unannounced. Unfortunately, most people and by extension most businesses are about as fond of change as your “not racist, just from another time” uncle. We may say we want change, but when things are going well we want them to stay precisely the way they are.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Here's why mobile app development needs to speed up

June 23, 2017 - 3:51pm

The mobile app market is expected to grow 270 percent — from $70 billion in 2015 to $189 billion by 2020, according to market researcher App Annie. With the average American spending up to five hours per day on mobile devices, businesses will need apps if they want to remain relevant. Of those five hours, 50% of user’s time spent is on social, messaging, media and entertainment applications. This growth has been fueled by Communitainment, a term coined by Flurry analytics to describe communication for the sole purpose of entertainment.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: How big data is disrupting the oil and gas industry

June 23, 2017 - 2:07pm

The role of CIOs in the success and long term survival of companies in today’s competitive landscape is growing. Technology is the leading differentiator between rival companies, and the next battleground industry could be the biggest one yet.

 The industry to watch in the coming years is oil and gas. While a small sector in terms of employment, the industry is a major IT user. Oil and gas spent $700 million on high-performance computing in 2014, according to the latest available data from IDC. Defense agencies spent $968 million, by comparison.

 Oil and gas "is one of the most IT-dependent industries," said Chris Niven, research director for IDC Energy Insights. This IT push in America’s shale fields has advanced more rapidly than in any other segment of the energy industry. Shale 2.0 will ultimately yield break-even costs of $5–$20 per barrel — in the same range as Saudi Arabia’s vaunted low-cost fields and, as the Wall Street Journal recently reported, America can perhaps become the world’s biggest oil exporter in the coming years. The confluence of technological maturity and market opportunity is ideally aligned for the upcoming pivot to data-centric Shale 2.0.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: The 5 fundamentals of creating an employee experience in the workplace

June 22, 2017 - 4:51pm

The "employee experience" refers to the totality of an employee's experience interacting with the organization they work for. This includes how an employee perceives their company's intentions, good or bad. Employees who have a positive employee experience typically have faith in their organization’s decision-making and believe their place in the business has value. Meanwhile, a negative employee experience often leaves workers feeling out of place or disregarded.

As a result, it makes sense that a positive employee experience would lead to better performance. It's a business leader's job to create, build and maintain a positive employee experience. Doing so can be beneficially transformative for any business.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: What do they really want? Decoding IT demand signals from your business

June 22, 2017 - 4:38pm

This article is part of a series highlighting key takeaways from my recently published book, Truth from the Trenches, A Practical Guide to the Art of IT Management. As a seven-time CIO I’ve had an opportunity to observe the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of IT management up close and personal. Truth from the Trenches is my attempt to share my experiences with emerging IT leaders to help them avoid the chronic problems that afflict so many IT organizations.

Every leader of a large IT organization manages two very different types of business. And each business serves a very different clientele and each has its own unique set of success metrics.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: 7 surprising ways a hackathon will boost your employability

June 22, 2017 - 4:34pm
The rise of the hackathon

Let’s get one thing straight. You don’t have to be a “hacker” to participate in a hackathon. These events are nothing to do with that dubious practice. Instead, they bring together technical professionals, split them into teams and pitch these teams against one another for one or two intense days. The main aim is to create something new, or solve a tricky problem in a unique and inventive manner. It could be an app, a robot or a new business model. The sky’s the limit.

Once the domain of the start-up culture, hackathons are now very much storming into the mainstream as businesses clamour to find more innovative ideas, create new and exciting products, and even find and recruit digital tech talent. And these big businesses are also prepared to stump up serious amounts of cash.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Does gender matter?

June 22, 2017 - 4:07pm

Every March the media focus is on how men outperform women as part of National Women’s History Month, but these issues fade from the forefront. So what? Do women have the intelligence and opportunities to advance in business and why should corporations care?

Women are equally intelligent...

...attain more university degrees, and with higher academic performance. (ALBA) Women have a higher degree of emotional intelligence and empathy, which may be a biological adaptation similar to the flight-or-fight response, dubbed the tend-or-befriend response. As a result, women tend to be less aggressive, they have a harder time asking for what they want and may be more concerned about being liked. Studies found that women candidates are more likely to be chosen for risky roles. (EY) Teams including women are more successful at logical analysis, coordination, planning and problem solving. The ability to advance in business appears similar for both genders.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: How venues are using technology to reinvent event marketing

June 22, 2017 - 3:38pm

Events are ideal for marketing, with thousands of potential consumers gathered in one place, sometimes for days. Whether it’s an industry-specific trade show or the final game of the World Series, brands know that if they can get their name displayed in front of those captive audiences, they can make substantial sales.

But event marketing has gone well beyond logos and banners. Thanks to technology, today’s event sponsors have a wide variety of options available. Savvy brands realize that customers now use technology to create a multifaceted customer experience at events of all types. Enterprises considering ramping up their marketing efforts in the near future can learn from these businesses. Here are a few ways venues are working with brands to reinvent event marketing.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Insights from the Gartner Security & Risk Summit

June 22, 2017 - 3:32pm

As a CIO today, you are limited in the number of events you can attend. Given this, I will bring the event to you by this summarizing the key insights of the Gartner Security & Risk Summit. The summit was clearly meant for professionals focused on security and risk. However, many topics had clear relevance to CIOs. CIOs like Steven diFilipo, the CIO for the University of Texas’ Institute for Transformational Learning, said to me during the summit, “CIOs should be involved in risk mitigation across the entire business landscape.” Given this, I will share a few gems from this summit having particular relevance to the Chief Information Officer. To be succinct, here are the names of Gartner analysts you may want to follow or engage with to learn more: Sid Deshpande, Neil McDonald, Leigh McMullen, Paul Proctor, and Jeffrey Wheatman.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: How the insurance industry is integrating IoT

June 22, 2017 - 3:16pm

IoT is making waves in many sectors, especially within the insurance industry. The amount of information available is increasing at a considerable rate and it only makes sense that insurers find ways to exploit the emerging technologies.

The field is changing the dynamic between customers and businesses in the insurance industry which is already exploiting IoT sensors to create usage and behavior-based insurance plans. Emergent technology is even allowing smartphones applications to detect and report on the telematics of driver behavior. The applications measure acceleration, braking, cornering and even phone usage while driving and utilize these metrics to either rebate or charge to the policy. These metrics are compelling drivers to drive better and consequently minimize accidents \,which benefit both the client and the insurer.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: 6 data-driven marketing trends every small business should embrace

June 22, 2017 - 1:00pm

Marketers are increasingly relying on data for their campaigns, measuring the results of every effort so that they can streamline their messages. Instead of wasting time and money reaching out to Facebook members, for instance, they could learn that Instagram posts lead to more conversions. With so many brands now investing in software that analyzes their efforts, businesses that don’t use data-driven marketing may find that they’re falling behind.

Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions that can make gathering and working with data easy. But professionals still must keep up with the newest trends in data-driven marketing to make sure they’re measuring and applying the right metrics. Here are the latest trends you should include in every marketing strategy.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: 5 project management mistakes your marketing team is probably making

June 21, 2017 - 4:16pm

Project management isn’t just for your software development team. The same concepts can be applied to other areas of your operations, as well, from human resources to accounting. Anytime your employees need to collaborate on a long-term project, it’s essential to have a plan in place to keep things on track from start to finish.

This is especially true of your marketing efforts. You likely already strategize your campaigns before they begin, but do you monitor their progress along the way? If not, things can easily fall through the cracks. Here are a few project management mistakes your team may be making, along with tips on how to correct them.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Why banks must have an omnichannel digital strategy

June 21, 2017 - 3:39pm

It’s unquestionable that digital technology is changing the way that customers are banking globally, once it’s safe to say that every customer is irreversibly a digital customer. Digital has become more important to customers in every single aspect. Although customers have embraced digital technologies at different degrees, more and more basic transactions migrate from physical to digital channels within traditional financial institutions, which leads to a major repositioning in banks’ distribution mix, once their branch networks are being downsized. The point is that many customers have become digital-only users, preferring to prospect, purchase and interact exclusively through digital channels (internet banking, mobile banking amongst others). The market is also seeing the GAFAs (Google, Amazon®, Facebook® and Apple®) surrounding the banking industry, looking for ways to participate and create value without taking on the burden of a regulated balance sheet and providing an entirely digital journey and experience to an increasing group of customers that are quite aware of the quality, customization and availability such companies are able to provide. Therefore, what lies ahead for banks and financial institutions when it comes to better engaging with the new digital customers is, in many ways, a blank page.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: In digital, what was context now becomes core

June 21, 2017 - 2:35pm

I don’t know about your company’s situation; but having looked at literally hundreds of outsourcing contracts, I see that they all have something in common. The original intent was a one-time shift to transform and improve an operational aspect. Unfortunately, IT outsourcing contracts sort of poured concrete around the outsourced processes. Thus, the quest for operational excellence through outsourcing IT has the effect of stopping companies from changing. That’s a non-starter in the digital world.

When companies begin to rotate from legacy environments into digital technologies and digital business models, it’s not long before they realize they must fundamentally rethink their assumptions around the old ways of doing things. In those old assumptions, outsourcing IT infrastructure, development and maintenance and other IT functions made sense. The assumption was those functions were not core competencies, so the company should outsource to get efficiencies of scale and price points through leveraging the outsourcer’s core expertise. That assumption was usually right; the company transformed from Point A to Point B and achieved a one-time shift in improving operations.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: What does 'open' mean to IT in the cloud era?

June 20, 2017 - 3:54pm

The term “open” when used in the IT context is an old and heavily used word. In an industry where new terms are introduced with incredible frequency, then age, and are discarded like napkins at a BBQ restaurant, the term “open” has surprising longevity. But what does “open” mean in the IT context? And why is it important to IT decision makers?

Dictionary.com offers a robust set of definitions for “open” as a verb, adjective and noun. For IT, I like number 5 under adjective – “relatively free of obstructions to sight, movement, or internal arrangement." This fits with the most common uses in IT associated with open standards and open source software (OSS) – visibility and access to the creation, enhancement and maintenance of standards and software.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: 3 ways big data is changing financial trading

June 20, 2017 - 3:52pm

The impact big data is making in the financial world is more of a splash than a ripple. The technology is scaling at an exponential rate and the consequences are far reaching. Increasing complexity and data generation is transforming the way industries operate and the financial sector isn’t exempt.

Currently, the world is creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily and this represents a unique opportunity for processing, analysing and leveraging the information in useful ways. Machine learning and algorithms are increasingly being used in financial trading to compute vast quantities of data and make predictions and decisions that humans just do not have the capacity for.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Can innovation help curb medical mistakes?

June 20, 2017 - 3:46pm

Even with all the advances in patient care, medical error continues to take lives at 1,000 per day in the United States (Leapfrog – Spring 2017 Report). So what are we doing to reduce these numbers? The answer: Individuals and organizations like The Innovation Institute, who want to have a positive impact in health care, are developing and funding new technologies that are focused on reducing medical mistakes. Health care is an area where innovation is making a difference curbing medical mistakes to save patient lives. Here are some areas where progress is being made.

3D printing

Additive Manufacturing, or 3D printing, has been around since 1984. Today, technology advances are allowing health care to leverage 3D printing in many ways. 3D printing is used to develop shoes, textiles, jewelry, concept cars, robots and a variety of other industrial and consumer products. It is also becoming cost-effective and is finding its place more prominently in health care, and applications are abundant. Low-cost prosthetic parts, plastic implants, personalized casts, and printed biomaterials (ears, heart valves, bones, etc.) are some examples. 3D printing can help save lives. Last year, surgeons at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami used 3D printing to save a 4-year-old’s life, as shown on CNN. If traditional surgery preparation tools were employed, a small error or mistake during surgery could have cost the 4-year-old her life.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: 4 little-known factors influencing your ROI

June 20, 2017 - 3:07pm

The one thing nearly every business on the face of the planet has in common, is they are all trying to bring their rate of investment (ROI) to a profitable level. While ROI applies to every aspect of business operations, the bottom line almost always comes down to the ability to convert customers.

A recent study by Econsultancy shockingly found that only about 22 percent of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. That doesn’t mean the rest need to radically change their ways of doing business. In many cases, solutions come from small tweaks that clear big roadblocks. Let’s talk about some factors that can significantly boost your sales and make your marketing investments work hard.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: A major medical device maker's unique approach to data security

June 20, 2017 - 3:03pm

The inside joke among healthcare IT executives is that there are two kinds of CIOs; those that have been hacked and those that don’t know they have been hacked.

The recent Wannacry cyberattacks that temporarily crippled the National Health System (NHS) in the UK had limited impact in the U.S. Notably; the malware was able to infect a medical device by healthcare company Bayer, prompting other major medical devices manufactures such as Becton and Siemens to release IT security notifications.  A chain is only as long as its weakest link, and in the chain of healthcare information security, many consider medical devices to be the weakest link.  

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: How Adam Noble, CIO of GAF, drives innovation through collaboration

June 20, 2017 - 2:59pm

As a CIO, I’m sure you’ve been reading a lot about collaboration and how, as a strategy, it helps CIOs improve their working relationship with business units. After all, as companies begin to recognize that technology needs to be at the core of their business, CIOs are continuously challenged to collaborate with business units to leverage technology to create new and improved products, services, and processes. But have you thought about how you would go about doing this?

A few months ago, I was prepping my collaboration presentation undisturbed in the green room for a CIO event. After about ten minutes someone walked in, and quietly began to prep his presentation. After a few minutes, we exchanged pleasantries and shared our presentation topics. As it turns out, he is Adam Noble, CIO of GAF, the Parsippany New Jersey company with 3,500 employees that manufacture building materials worldwide. I quickly learned that Noble not only understands the power of collaboration but has implemented a model within GAF.

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Categories: Opinion

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