Behavioral Science and the Future of the Connected World

The French writer, mathematician, and philosopher Rene Descartes said “To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say.”  Today, the underlying theme of the hottest technological advancements is geared towards two things:  Understanding behavior and shaping behavior.  The importance of this phenomena cannot be overlooked.

 

Information Security – Understanding and stopping unwanted user behavior

It used to be that information security would focus on protecting assets and data by building a wall around them.  That was fine when everything was centrally managed and controlled.  Today, cloud computing has shattered the notion of where critical data may be stored.   Protecting the information is now much less about walling off resources.  It’s about identifying someone and recognizing and understanding their behavior with data.

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Who’s Creating “The Social Network of Things”?

I’m willing to bet that in the future Facebook will be nothing compared to a social network platform that is dedicated to Things. Internet of Things (IoT) has been a buzz in the IT industry and the manufacturing community for some time. The struggle with IoT is that it is trying to find a great marketing message about how it will directly improve human lives. The primary focus in magazine articles, blog posts, and IT water cooler conversations has been about how to make IoT matter for people.

No matter how evolved we as humans have become, our fundamental instinct is to measure what is good as it relates to human benefit. Self-admittedly I have been thinking about IoT in terms of personal benefit as well. And for that reason I’m finding myself a bit reluctant to be super excited about the Internet of Things.

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Orchestrating Consumption

The parallels between manufacturing supply chain best practices and IT service delivery are clear.  But what hasn’t been clear is the nature and construct of a working system to provide automation of IT service delivery.  The goal is to have a commerce engine for IT service consumption, where the business user is in charge of the consumption.  The following article is a discussion about how it will actually work.

Now that we have virtual machines that can model almost any component (security systems, load balancers, apps, OS, compute, etc.) in a datacenter, we have the opportunity to automate the creation of a complete IT service.  Building an IT organization that follows the Demand Supply IT operating model is challenging because it’s process intensive.  Trying to fulfill this model where everyone in the IT organization is interacting with one another manually will put a tremendous amount of strain on them just to maintain the process continuity.  To find success in the model, you have to automate the process of service delivery.  Only then will you realize the cost savings and end user experience you were hoping to achieve.

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Office Of The Cloud CIO

Joseph Campbell (Mythologist, Scholar and inspiration for Star Wars) described disruption as, forces that will break your ego.  At first the forced change can feel like hell.  Its hell because everything we have perceived to be the understanding of our existence and our value within it, is getting destroyed.  These changes only feel like hell because we cling to our egos.  But if we allow our egos to be opened up and accept the change, we can have a peak-experience.

This idea has always struck me as an important piece of knowledge that I have tucked away since I read his books years ago when I was in high school.   Its relevance in the context of how technology is impacting human beings ability to relate with one another is significant.  On a macro level this is exactly what cloud computing has done to IT professionals and more importantly to how the Enterprise IT organization will serve the business.

In a previous article (The Great Transformation), I discussed how the Enterprise must transform to adapt to this new world of cloud computing.  Now, I want to explore the possibilities of how an IS organization could be constructed after it moves away from Plan, Build, Run operations and shifts to a Demand Supply IT model.  It’s important to understand because it will speak volumes about the challenges your organization will feel as it accepts and goes through this transformation.

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The Business Value Marketplace

The move from Plan, Build, Run IT operations to a Demand Supply IT organization, is not a strategic move; it represents the complete commoditization and consumerization of IT. Beyond instituting an ERP system specific to running IT, there exists one more solution which will prove to disrupt the IT industry and in the process give the business a method for understanding how to drive value for the business they serve.

Implementing a supply chain system for managing the delivery of IT services (sourced internally or externally), tells us an interesting story about the future of IT. The slide below describes the manufacturing methods of fulfillment used for each category of IT service delivered.

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The Great Transformation – The Era of Demand Supply IT Begins

The Enterprise IT organization is about to transform, into a services organization.  Not by its choice, but because the business is forcing its hand.  Business units are engaging cloud services with or without IT’s involvement.  The decision making power has shifted from IT to the business.  IT organizations will have to evolve their operations to adapt to this new world.  With so much discussion about the cloud, there has been very little in the way of providing a framework of how to orient your IT organizations to become the service organization that the business unit will prefer, versus them dealing direct with the cloud providers.  How to get from a traditional IT model to services organization model deserves its attention from every single enterprise regardless of industry.  This will be a discussion about how cloud computing is impacting organizational behavior, future architecture and what operational infrastructures are required for the successful transformation of Enterprise IT.

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Ding, Dong, The Suite is Dead! (as we know it)

For the last two years a colleague of mine Scott Skellenger (Sr. Director of IT for Illumina) has been professing that the next generation business suite won’t be a traditional suite at all.  He has been carefully watching the integration-as-a-service market and believed that the new world of business applications will be where business units will seek business function-as-a-service solutions (LoB).  Then IT’s role will be to manage integration and master data.

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Cloud Suite or Integration-as-a-Service?

In a reversal of direction, SAP cloud strategies are ripping pages out of the Informatica cloud strategy handbook.  The two camps of thought within SAP finally emerge in the public eye.  ByD versus HANA cloud app approach have been a hotly contested subject within SAP.  Selecting Lars to run their cloud practice is an acknowledgement of which camp within SAP won that debate.

I believe SAP when they say that they will continue to support the continued development of ByD, but there is no denying that they placing their focus around LoB applications.  We have been watching its development over the last year.  What has always bothered me about the development is that there was no fabric to integrate these solutions.  Architecturally, it may have been available but there was no single platform for integrating these solutions in a loosely coupled suite.  Not until SAP announced its integration-as-a-service.

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Building a Cloud Ecosystem: Part 3

The goal of this three part series is to describe the strategy and framework for constructing an ecosystem from cloud services to best serve your enterprise.  It’s also a discussion about the future role of cloud service providers and how the end user will become ultimately empowered.

Why pursue a cloud ecosystem?

The reason for orchestrated services from different cloud providers is to ultimately enable the users through efficient execution of business processes.  The end goal is to create business processes that are well structured with controls, but at the same time agile enough to respond to your company’s industry and unique requirements.  For process execution to be successful the business users need to have the right tools.

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SAP Has Declared War on the Hard Drive Industry

Well by now you have heard about HANA from SAP.  In-memory technology is a significant revolution in database and real-time analytic technology.  The rest of the industry appears to be playing catch up because the relevance of this technology is significant and can’t be ignored.

The HANA database resides in memory in a columnar architecture.  All read/write activity is occurring in memory.  The system also writes to a traditional hard drive based database.  The real purpose of this traditional database is for system restarts. So it can load the database back into memory.

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