Thursday, June 28, 2012

Going Post-Digital - Deloitte Tech Trends 2012

The Deloitte Tech Trends 2012 report's theme is "elevating IT" in a post-digital business environment, so its focus is on how IT can make an impact, and how the described trends present "an opportunity for IT to truly help elevate business performance" (Preface).

Will these technological trends be disruptors or enablers? Essentially, the way each trend affects your organization is up to IT leadership. The degree to which each technology trend will be disruptive or enabling within your organization depends on how proactive/progressive you are in implementing it.

BYOD and BYOT are two trends not mentioned in the report, but which are related to the status of IT within organizations in a so-called "post-digital" age. (The "post" prefix is somewhat ironic in that it denotes not a lessening of digital technology's impact, but an amplification of its effect within an organization ‑ to the point where it manifests as a paradigm shift.)

The post-digital organization is one in which the role of IT is lessened, because more technology is embedded, more devices are personal, and more networks are outsourced. The technology trends delineated in the Deloitte report present an opportunity for IT to re-assert itself as a progressive voice within the enterprise, but to do so, IT leaders must understand how these trends work individually and together to transform the enterprise.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Crowdsourcing Artificial Intelligence

Via Bonnie Hohhof (@hohhof)

This story brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "gaming the system."

DARPA, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is using online gamers as part of its strategy to develop the behavioral intelligence needed by unmanned submarine hunting vessels, according to a post by Stewart Baines on the Connecting Technology blog.

DARPA has released a gaming combat simulator called Dangerous Waters. With the permission of the gamers, the simulator returns information back to DARPA for analysis and application to their unmanned vessel control algorithms. They are, in essence, assimilating the wisdom of crowds.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Big Data's Fourth "V"

Volume, Variety, and Velocity are the three "Vs" of Big Data. @RobertKugel tweeting on a talk by IBM's Brenda Dietrich reveals a fourth: Veracity. Here's an IBM presentation slide (PDF) that shows the relationship:

The Fourth Big Data V stands for Veracity

Monday, June 18, 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

Facebook IPO: Data Rich, Information Poor, Analysis Absent?

Michael Rappa's analysis of the circumstances surrounding the Facebook IPO reveals just how easy it is for a large and seemingly bulletproof enterprise to fail miserably at Business Intelligence, Business Analytics, and Big Data:

Facebook has mountains of data on a scale few companies have ever seen before. Shouldn't it have unparalleled insights into its users and their value to advertisers? Reading the prospectus, I was surprised to see the IPO rested as heavily as it did on the weight of a single trend line ‑ growth in active users over time ‑ and not on data-driven insights into its user community. If Facebook is making good use of its data, it’s not evident to investors.

It seems to be a classic case of selling the sizzle rather than the steak, and the market figured it out pretty quickly, though not quickly enough to prevent a lot of people losing a lot of money. Has the dot-com bubblereally faded from our collective memory that quickly?

It's already hard to remember what we did before social media, but the question about social media, as with the dot-com ventures, has always been how to monetize its great wealth of community and data.

But the Facebook story is now also a Big Data story, because the information Facebook has about each of us is vast, and comes in many formats. It has volume and variety, two of the three defining qualities for Big Data.

The third defining quality for Big Data is velocity: It's not enough to analyze the available data; the analysis has to be as close to immediate as possible. If Big Data offers competitive advantage, it is in the velocity with which insight can be delivered and monetized.

Risk management, management by strategic objective, and public company governance find common cause in Big Data. Jill Dyché says as much in her Harvard Business Review article, "Data: One Antidote to Risky Behavior":

Savvy managers understand that weaving data-driven decisions into the fabric of corporate governance can obviate organizational infighting and drive progress. By establishing clear accountability measures, managers can determine whether and how corporate goals are being achieved, and hold people accountable for how they are achieving those goals. This motivates business people to rely less on hunches and more on hard data.

When we apply what we know, when we know it, to the realization of strategic objectives, we mitigate risk, and increase shareholder value. The attraction of managing by "gut feelings" has always been its immediacy. Providing the hard data to support or counter gut feelings with the same kind of immediacy is the Business Intelligence/Business Analytics/Big Data challenge.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

APOS Insight Baseline Scan

APOS Insight is our enhanced audit and metadata management solution for SAP BusinessObjects. During today's Well Managed Migration webinar, Blair Pzytula noted that APOS offers a service based on APOS Insight called the APOS Insight Baseline Scan. 

The APOS Insight Baseline Scan uses Insight's incomparable audit and metadata management capabilities to identify the objects in your system (Crystal Reports, Webis, Deskis, Universes, Folders) and their structures and dependencies. This information is invaluable for planning migration, or even for system sizing excercises.

The Baseline Scan is offered as a free, limited service to qualified customers. if you want to know whether you qualify, contact your APOS Account Manager.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Webinar Reminder: Well Managed Migration

June 5, 10am ET and 4pm ET.
  • Before Migration – Clean up and back up before you move
  • During Migration – Test, evaluate and tweak
  • After Migration – Maintain your well managed BI