All Gov't Levels to Search for Cost-Effective Operational Stability

This coming year, government leaders will be looking for the most cost-effective means of operational stability for their level of government. Public sector executive leaders will take specific steps to assess their organization (both operations and information technology) to determine the most cost-effective means for business operations. For the IT organizations, this means taking a detailed look at the utilization of operational disciplines, governance and business alignment methods. In addition, decisions will have to be made regarding human capital replacement, training and/or selectively sourcing required technology operations and functions. At the same time, executive leaders will be faced with making decisions on modernization of systems and productivity applications. Progressive executive leaders will utilize an unbiased and …

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IT to Secure its Role in Selecting/Implementing Cloud Solutions

Here’s what I see coming in the new year: Enlightened CIOs will regain a key role in the acquisition and implementation of enterprise Cloud solutions, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) computing resources. They will not only put policies in place that will encourage end-users and business units to include IT in the procurement and deployment processes, but will also enable IT to play a more proactive role in the evaluation and selection process. Corporate end-users and business units will be forced to enlist greater IT involvement and support in the acquisition and implementation of enterprise Cloud solutions because they will face greater challenges integrating them into their existing systems, software and data sources, …

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Will the Laggards Speed Up, Please?

The Oil and Gas (O&G) industry, especially its so-called “upstream” segment, exploration and production (or going from the rock to the pipeline), is totally based on data. A seismic survey may collect petabytes of acoustic signals. Increasingly, when wells are drilled, sensors are inserted in them, and these sensors collect data for the next 30 years of production. Two completely different applications, but in both cases they result in masses of data. O&G’s dependency on data began decades ago when the Schlumberger brothers invented the “electric log” in 1926. And yet, this sector has been one of the most conservative, even lagging, adopters of modern modeling and management techniques for both information and processes. Over …

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Analytics "Late-Comers" will Gain New Prominence

We’ve come to expect breakthroughs from retail, social and financial institutions as they apply leading-edge analytics to deliver impressive business insights. Heavy industries such as utilities, energy exploration and transportation have lagged these analytics power-users in three key dimensions: enterprise culture, technology foundation and business results. I believe 2014 will be the year when these analytics “late-comers” will gain new prominence. Here are six predications on what to expect: Enterprise Culture: new beliefs and norms are necessary to embrace analytics within most enterprises 1.  Analytics will be formalized as a leadership competency. Most large organizations have a set of leadership competencies that reflect their vision and strategy. In 2014, being able to drive decision making with …

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IoT, Big Data, Mobile Apps, Drones to Impact Privacy & Security

Here are my predictions for 2014: 2014 will bring exponential expansion and evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT). This will also bring new opportunities for information security trailblazers unlike any we’ve seen before. The potential benefits of the IoT will be huge, but just as large will be the new and constantly evolving information security and privacy risks. We will see some significant privacy breaches resulting from the use of IoT devices as a result. New IoT risks, and resulting security incidents and privacy breaches, will bring a significant need for technology information security pros to also understand privacy concepts so they can implement privacy protections within all these new devices, and into the …

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Every year, we hear about a shortage of talent. Many people label it a “war for talent.” Well, this war has been going on for decades, with no end in sight. Is it really a war? No. And there’s data to back me up. Back in August, Cutter Fellow Robert Charette published “The Stem Crisis Is a Myth” in IEEE Spectrum. He published the data I have seen for years in my clients. We do have problems hiring people. Absolutely. But we don’t have a crisis. We don’t have a shortage of talent. We have four specific problems. 1. Hiring Managers Create Overloaded Job Descriptions It’s difficult to write a great job description. It takes about …

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Dec 162013
 
Securing Internet Traffic

By the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015, various large cloud providers as well as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) will have developed mechanisms to protect most Internet traffic against the pervasive domestic spying performed by the U.S. National Security Agency. The NSA won’t be unable to decrypt the traffic it really cares a lot about, but it will just take too much computer time to decrypt all traffic, as it can do right now. I predict this because there is a great convergence happening. First, the NSA’s antics have finally made companies aware of the security issues involved in taking client-server traffic that used to be inside the firewall and moving …

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Dec 152013
 
Workforce Challenges

With the work force continuing its shrinkage, there’s going to be serious influence purveyed by the “do more with less” crowd.  Entrepreneurs who can find ways to leverage smaller and smaller staffs will be seen as the prophets in the year ahead, with an ability to make businesses (and whole industry sectors) thrive with what once would have been considered bare-bones staff.  This is bad news for the underskilled, as they will find fewer and fewer positions available to take advantage of their trainable strengths. Some of the smart executives will find ways to control their work force challenges (and the increased disparity between the very well-paid highly-skilled crowd and their less-skilled counterparts) by looking …

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Software Defined Networking (SDN) gets the attention of the CIO

Today’s Internet is a product of over forty years development, beginning with the ARPANET in the late 1960s and the formulation of the TCP/IP protocol in the early 1970s. We are now poised for the next major change in Internet development with the introduction of Software Defined Networking (SDN) – network architecture (hardware and software) that allows creation of “virtual internets” using potentially new protocols, running over the fiber optics and other hardware of today’s Internet. The National Science Foundation began funding university research in SDN under the GENI Project Office and moved to large scale prototyping in 2009. The Open Networking Foundation has been formed by all the big players in networking technology to …

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Lean, Devops and the Resurgence of the Industrialization of Software

One the constant tensions in our industry is the business need to make software more like manufacturing — highly predictable and controllable — and the reality that much of the software development lifecycle is not amenable to the process control techniques that are so effective in manufacturing. Software development is different than manufacturing in that: There is a wide range of uncertainty. Software efforts span from green field projects with little initial understanding of the needed system to bug fixes and small changes with very detailed specifications. There is an indirect relationship between the effort expended and value created. Generally, if one spends 10 hours painting a wall, one can expect there will a lot …

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