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How “big data + analytics” is redefining Modern IT October 4, 2013

Posted by danthomas3 in Modern IT.
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Smart CIOs are seeing that the “I” in their titles isn’t limited to information. They are making it stand for innovation, insight, intelligence, integration, and influence. [1]

Big data strategies are undoubtedly changing the way social and digital entities make decisions. Social entities ranging from the US government to big technology firms and even strictly online vendors could potentially wield more concrete, reliable, and robust monitoring and predictive power with big data and analytics methodologies. The unimaginable promises from an unstructured strategy of this kind are shown to be cheaply accessible from a horizontally scaled, re-purposed legacy hardware environment. Analytical computing can now deliver high-throughput data from diverse sources without requiring expensive licenses, software, and hardware commodities, while middleware like Lingual implements the foreign declarative language of SQL to the Hadoop file system, a derivative from the Google File System (discussed momentarily), allowing SQL designers to provision open source and unstructured big data strategies.

Big analytics is only as useful as the person telling the story. Silos of even the most fully measured information needs to clarify a meaningful analytical picture. This translation requires a shared vision between the systems’ architects and decision makers at enterprises who are seeking more depth from the finest extrapolations from social activities pertaining to their services. Analytics of on a big data scale must consider handling the big V’s, velocity, volume, variety, and veracity [4]. Velocity is streamlining “large” datasets, scaling pertains to volume, data flow strategies relate to variety, and veracity relates to analytics. The application of these strategies to an entity could greatly influence mobile and cloud computing provisional decisions.

It could be argued that Mobile Computing is redefining modern IT, but many enterprises are not in a rush to design mobile websites [3] or implement mobile strategies without necessary silos of meaningful analytical silos to justify this ambition, and if enterprises’ primary consumer-base consists largely of an older, typically less trendier demographic than mobile web implementations tend to be less urgent. Big analytics could help guide implementation of mobile strategies, and potentially other superfluous technological influences, with more disciplined influences from executives who’ve become smothered with the latest in modern technology.

Big analytics implementation requires platform and infrastructure design, and potentially middleware implementation. This is undoubtedly a vast undertaking requiring skilled labor [5]. Resource dependencies within both platform and infrastructure domain are relatively cost efficient compared to modern proprietary data warehousing housing strategies. The same design could also be used to supplant expensive backup strategies. Amr Awadallah from CloudEra coined the term “return on data” as it relates to the financial strategist’s term “return on investment” [6] which questions the value of return from the often expensive, constrained, and elusive backup and retrieval strategies of most enterprises. Enterprises often subscribe to some sort of offsite data migration backup strategy, which is typically expensive, and this data is never seen again, but assurance is needed. If such data needs retrieval and migration back into a live environment, this process can also be expensive and proprietary dependent. Amr would argue, and I would agree, that this arcane method although assuring does not deliver the same value it took to back up the data. Backing up large and potentially heterogeneous data with the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) has greater cost saving potential and a much less vertically scaled technological footprint. HDFS uses self-healing legacy hardware to store data using a key-value structure. Most enterprises, in some fashion, trash legacy desktop computers. The HDFS was designed from the Google File System in which recycling of legacy machines are intrinsic to the architecture. As the data grows, the legacy nodes on the HDFS must horizontally grow as well. If space is an issue, then an enterprise could consider a proprietary cloud-based implementation of HDFS.

Big analytics opens vast levels of potential for enterprises of many sizes. From tracking customer activity from a physical storefront and/or online to machine-learning with activity and security logs, to even sentiment analysis and opinion mining from social networks [7], big analytics can help decision maker with more precise and insightful views of an enterprise. Big data environment can be relatively cheap to implement but requires strategic planning and skilled labor size voluminous data to a realistic and useful view. Undoubtedly, big analytics is reshaping modern IT.

References:
[1] – Grubb, Tom. Defining Modern IT: Modern IT is here to stay – embrace it or be left behind
[2] – http://www.cascading.org/lingual/
[3] – http://www.businessinsider.com/the-rise-of-responsive-design-2013-6
[4] – http://dashburst.com/infographic/big-data-volume-variety-velocity/
[5] – http://www.cio.com/article/729283/Open_Source_Lingual_Helps_SQL_Devs_Unlock_Hadoop?page=1&taxonomyId=600010
[6] – Introducing Apache Hadoop: The Modern Data Operating System. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2xeNpfzsYI
[7] – Pak, Alexander. Paroubek, Patrick. Twitter as a Corpus for Sentiment Analysis and Opinion Mining

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How Social Computing is Redefining Modern IT May 8, 2013

Posted by karlkaluzny in Modern IT.
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How Social Computing is Redefining Modern IT

Modern IT is the term that has been used recently to describe the new IT organization which has changed drastically over the past few years and is continually changing.  The changes in IT have come in two different areas.  The more obvious of the two would be the drastic advancements in technology seen over the past several years.  The adoption of cloud computing, emergence of big data, and advancements in analytic tools are prime examples of technological advancements.  These technological advancements have in turn driven the second area of change in IT, which are the increasing roles and responsibilities within the organization.  The importance of technological efficiency has become so great to the success of an organization that it has positioned IT executives to take on a much larger and different role with regards to the direction of the organization.

More specifically, the emergence of Social Computing has played a crucial in redefining Modern IT.  This paper discusses what Social Computing is, where it is going, and gives three practical applications of Social Computing today.

Social Computing is the reaction to and the harnessing of, by businesses, the evolving social aspect of our culture.  The culture in which we live today, can be described as one which is “bent on communicating 24/7”[1].  This mentality along with the explosion of social media, has caused two events to happen.  The first is an explosion of freely available information.  Websites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide an outlet for people to voice opinion easily and publically.  Social Computing involves leveraging this data for the purpose of the organization.  The second event is the harnessing of social media for increased efficiency of employees.  Companies can use social media to facilitate collaboration between its employees, thus allowing communication where it may not have been available before.

Over the past few years, social computing has become much more prominent throughout businesses.  However the adoption of social media into the business climate has presented some challenges as opposed to the ease with which it was adopted into the social climate.  The paper titled “On Adoption of Social Computing in the Engineering Community” by Sigal Louchheim and Sally Price discuss the opportunities created by engineering groups when they adopt social computing [4].  Additionally, the paper discusses several barriers to the adoption of social computing in the engineering community along with suggestions for overcoming these barriers.

The emergence of social media has generated mass amounts of data which historically has not been available.  This is turn has created opportunities for Social Computing which previously did not exist.  A prime example of this can be found in the article titled “Twitter as a Corpus for Sentiment Analysis and Opinion Mining” by Alexander Pak and Patrick Paroubek[2].  The article describes a method for using data from Twitter for the purpose of opinion mining and sentiment analysis.  The model searches each post for sequences of text characters which are deemed to be positive, or negative.  For example, the characters “:-)” would be associated with positive sentiment and the characters “:-(“ would be associated with negative sentiment.  Once a post has been sorted into positive or negative sentiment, the content of the post can be analyzed and presented to companies to use for business purposes.

A second example of an application of Social Computing can be seen at IBM[3].  IBM created a customized internal social networking tool to be used by its employees.  The tool allows employees to post innovative ideas and comment upon posted ideas.  The tool has been created by IBM, which means that it has been customized to fit IBM’s particular industry and employees.  Additionally, the tool provides an infrastructure of communication not only between internal employees, but also with outside partners and customers.  The positive effects of the tool are apparent.  Since 2005, the social networking tool has seen 160,000 users, 18,000 ideas, and 350 of those ideas adopted.  These adopted ideas have had a $500 million dollar impact on the business.

In addition to Social Computing, several other themes and how they impacted Modern IT were discussed this semester.  These other themes include Big Data, Analytics, Mobile Computing, Corporate Culture, and Cloud Computing.  It was observed that Modern IT can be described as the convergence and collaboration of each of these themes.  Each of the other themes can be shown to have in some way supplemented Social Computing in the creation of Modern IT.

For example, Big Data, Social Computing, and Analytics naturally supplement each other.  The widespread use of social media has suddenly created a huge amount of data.  In turn, new analytics need to be implemented in order handle this Big Data.  In the article titled “How Big Data analytics is set to transform social computing” by Vishnu Bhat, it is stated that “Big Data is the biggest force in social network analysis and content analytics, and therefore a principal focus of investment for enterprises”[5].

The explosion of Mobile Computing also has impacted Social Computing.  Today it is common for users to access social media networks on mobile devices.  Additionally, the use of mobile devices is becoming more common for businesses.  According to a prediction by Saugatuck Technology, “…the single greatest driver in IT and business organization and operation change will be Mobility…”[6].  The widespread use of mobile devices will certainly increase the amount of data made available for Social Computing.

Modern IT has also brought about a major change in corporate culture.  This change in corporate culture is best exemplified by the change in the role and responsibilities of the CIO.  Historically, the CIO has only been concerned with maintaining the technological infrastructure of an organization.  Because the use of technology has become integral to the success of an organization, the CIO has evolved from simply a technological expert, to more of a leadership role.  The CIO now has a direct influence on the direction of the organization.  In the paper titled “The New CIO: From Technician To Business Strategist And The Implications For E-Commerce” by Dr. Andres Fortino[7], the top ten skills and knowledge of the new CIO are given.  Each of the skills are related to more of an innovation and leadership type of mentality.  This new mentality has paved the way for increased use of social computing within organizations.

Social Computing and Cloud Computing can also work together in an interesting way.  It is possible to use a social network, for example a private social network of an organization, to determine users of a private cloud[8].  In this way, only members of a certain social network would have access to the data on the cloud.

In conclusion, Social Computing, along with several other themes have converged to form the definition of the new Modern IT.

References

[1] Grubb, Tom. “Modern IT is Here to Stay – Embrace it or be Left Behind”, “Defining Modern IT” ebook.

[2] Alexander Pak and Patrick Paroubek, Twitter as a Corpus for Sentiment Analysis and Opinion Mining, online document available at http://deepthoughtinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Twitter-as-a-Corpus-for-Sentiment-Analysis-and-Opinion-Mining.pdf on February 25, 2013

[3] Kaczmarek, Thomas, “Corporate Social Networking,” Professional Seminar/Computing, Marquette University

[4] Louchheim, Sigal and Price, Salley, “On Adoption of Social Computing in the Engineering Community”, Intel Corporation, Folsom, CA.

[5] Bhat, Vishnu, “How Big Data Analytics is Set to Transform Social Computing,” Infosys Limited, accessed at http://www.techgig.com/readnews.php?category=Top+Tech+News&tgnews_link=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.banktechindia.com%2Fnews%2F13-02-13%2FHow_Big_Data_analytics_is_set_to_transform_social_computing.aspx&tg_type=rss&tgnews_id=36935

[6] West, Mike, “Ten Emergent Trends and Planning Positions for the 2013 Boundary-free Enterprise™”, Saugatuck Technology, accessed at http://saugatucktechnology.com/blog/entry/1150ra-looking-back-and-forth-ten-emergent-trends-and-planning-positions-for-the-2013-boundary-free-enterprise.html

[7] Fortino, A. “The New CIO: From Technician To Business Strategist And The Implications For E-Commerce“ e-Business Engineering, 2008. ICEBE ’08. IEEE International Conference on Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/ICEBE.2008.67 Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 139               – 146

[8] “The Imminent Rise of Social Cloud Computing”, MIT Technology Review, December 14, 2011, accessed at http://www.technologyreview.com/view/426360/the-imminent-rise-of-social-cloud-computing/

 

How Cloud Computing is Redefining Modern IT May 6, 2013

Posted by egordon21 in Modern IT.
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Throughout the semester we covered several key themes affecting the current state of Information Technology. I have learned a lot from big data analytics to the mobile explosion taking place alongside social analytics. When I think of redefining, not just enhancing the way we work, I think of the power of cloud computing. While this is a big topic with many nodes underneath it, I plan on focusing on how it is driving value in our jobs we currently hold today.

 

Integration of existing services was once a very difficult task. Just in the past two years, our company has acquired two other companies both with annual revenues in the billions of dollars per year. Forbes presented an excellent summary on an article from a Price Waterhouse report that was published a few days ago on mergers with cloud computing. “The major catalysts driving cloud deals forward in 2013 is software companies” [1].  Cloud deals move faster and allow their systems to be easier integrated into legacy systems.

 

I typically hear about the problem of legacy systems bogging down everything in the banking realm, where mainframes running COBOL still are core to the business. The companies we acquired alongside ourselves all have adopted a (Saas) model for our in house applications. We didn’t have to write any expensive middleware which typically slows down and complicates the processes going on. The cloud allowed us to host our endpoints to be consumed by our customers who use our products. The distribution chain of the past included installing software from a disc, or sitting through client updates being streamed your way as a patch. With the cloud, updates are almost instantaneous because they are only installed on the load balanced cluster. This model differs from having multiple physical copies of the software, most of which could be of a different version. Configuration can be tricky this way, and upgrade paths become a little more difficult. While each customer will have their own configuration options to make the code work for their needs, the customization is designed for a predefined set of options.

 

With the cloud I have noticed that feature delivery has been much more frequent.

Even Windows now is going away from their 3 year Windows releases for shorter iterations delivered digitally for a smaller price. Windows Blue will be the first wave of this new software delivery model for Microsoft.  We use agile at work and deliver every 3 weeks with a new build that can be deployed. With centrally hosted software, the upgrade is done by us not the customer.

 

The cloud has allowed us to collaborate more than we used to. With social networking taking off thanks to MySpace and Facebook, these features of web 2.0 functionality are often offered with applications hosted online. This allows applications to be able to talk to each other, and share their information. Google Docs is a prime example of this, where one user can be making a change, and it shows up in the other user’s window. I also can update my Calendar, and the change is pushed to my phones calendar as well. This tight level of integration not only makes my life easier, but it also drives value in the centrally located benefits. I no longer worry about backing my files up, or having the wrong computer with me. Cloud storage gives me access to everything I need, so long as I have internet access. This changes the way I work, where before I would have to email or FTP something, I can drop it off in a drop box or content management system like SharePoint for someone else to pick up.

 

Smartphones are the hottest selling tech item outside of tablets for the past few years. Almost everyone I know has one these days. The article Redefining cloud computing calls for changes to applications to not be concerned with being consumed by a traditional PC, but by a mobile device. [2] His key notion that more people are using mobile devices then PCs is true. I do agree that working on the go is much easier with a smaller device, but trying to get serious IT work done isn’t possible without at least a laptop. Maybe your mobile device could serve as a thin client if everything is processed server side, and only displayed back to the user.

 

There has been a lot of hype around the cloud term and rightfully so. One of the topics classes last year focused entirely on the cloud itself and all it has to offer. This article on redefining the cloud [3] focused on the different architectural patters that have emerged to make use of the cloud. Some people think the cloud can be a model to solve any computing problem. This is true if we only focus on the tactical side of storage and scalability, but from a technology standpoint, I feel client server will be relevant for many years to come.

 

Expectations of sustainability were a video I watched. This article dealt with reducing the carbon footprint of the cloud. We think so much in short term gains, and I haven’t had the years of experience to know exactly how things will transition, grow, and scale with my infrastructure in the cloud. Businesses that go green are being awarded for their efforts. By running less servers in house, not having all that unused CPU power going to waste on down time, helps make the planet a little more efficient.

 

The last article I read was on NVIDIA a popular graphics company for the computing industry was redefining GPU technology. [5] I found this article to be fascinating because I do like to play PC games and own a powerful dedicated graphics card. GPUs for rendering extreme graphics often take a huge toll on battery life. If they could harness cloud technology to offload the processing to a new architecture which uses large scale data centers for processing, mobile gaming could take off. Devices would be smaller, games would become more efficient when streamed, and battery life would increase greatly. Many analysts have predicted the next release of the XBOX and PlayStation will be the last generation of consoles. If this architecture is anything to go on, tablets could one day have the power to stream offloaded graphics from the data center and output them right to your TV.

References

  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2013/02/26/how-cloud-computing-is-redefining-the-ma-landscape/
  2. http://cloudcomputing.sys-con.com/node/2515372
  3. http://www.infoworld.com/d/cloud-computing/redefining-cloud-computing-again-187467
  4. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/11/21/cloud-computing-redefining-expectations-of-it-sustainability/
  5. http://nvidianews.nvidia.com/Releases/NVIDIA-Unveils-Cloud-GPU-Technologies-Redefining-Computing-Industry-for-Third-Time-7e2.aspx

How Analytics Redefines Modern IT May 5, 2013

Posted by patrickcallan2013 in Modern IT.
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Many technologies or factors contribute to modern IT including analytics, big data, mobile, social and cloud computing, and corporate culture. One technology, analytics, appears to have the greatest impact upon business and society. The depth of knowledge and understanding which modern IT is delivering via data analytics is profoundly impacting the capabilities of organizations. Modern IT data analytics is unleashing a series of powerful advances including: enhanced competitive advantage using new information to improve operations, products and services, and customer service; transforming disparate data sources into actionable information; encouraging data analytics/evidence based decision making; and moving toward real-time analytics to enable timely decision making. Corporate culture can be an impediment to modern IT analytics as organizational change occurs more slowly than advances enabled by analytics applications. Data analytics impact is enhanced by big data, mobile, social and cloud computing while corporate culture is slowing the progress of analytics. There is a synergy between analytics and big data, mobile, social and cloud computing, which magnifies the impact upon firms and society. Modern IT data analytics reinforced by big data, mobile, social and cloud computing technologies, is transforming organizations into informed modern organizations capable of significantly improving operations, products and services, and customer service.

How Mobile Computing is redefining Modern IT May 5, 2013

Posted by bkrugman in Modern IT.
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While I am not sure what the impact of mobile computing will be within the corporate business model, I think that mobile computing has been and will continue to redefine how businesses interact with current and potential customers.  You can already see the mobile impact in the way that a lot of business like food trucks and other small business currently collect payments.  Allowing small businesses to leverage mobile technology to perform different tasks like payment collection is just the starting point for how mobile computing can redefine how Modern IT currently works and operates.

 

Within the Deloitte University Press article, The Mobile Chasm [1] they mention a few more ways that traditional businesses are changing the way that they work with customers.  One of the coolest ideas mentioned in the article is about how Whole Foods has integrated a Kinect sensor to interact and track customer movements throughout the store and provide them with audio communication.  This is a prime example of how a company can integrate multiple interfaces in a customer-facing application.  By providing an interface like Whole Foods’ interface, the store is able to provide some feedback and potentially alter the purchases that a customer originally went into a store for.  How I see something like this being used would be if the cart recognizes that customer is looking at pasta and using a Windows 8 device to scan different items.  After a customer scans a box of pasta the cart can suggest items that are on sale or items that tend to be purchased with pasta.  Also by using the customer purchases Whole Foods is building a large database that can be used to alter sales and different promotions within the store.

 

Some of the same points that were made within the Deloitte article were also supported by Mia Klaus’s article, Mobile Application Development and Retail Business [2].  In Klaus’s article she makes a strong argument to support the increasing desire by customers to have greater control over various decisions. Customers can see what items have been purchased in the past or what items on a grocery list they might be interested in also buying.  This provides another highlight to how pushing information to a customer can modify a variety of decisions and sway them toward a product or service.  With mobile computing becoming so engrained in the culture of companies, they can alter and develop new ways to keep their products in front customers and promote products to new customers.

 

A different approach to how Mobile Computing is changing the Modern IT is through different areas like Social Media.  Social Media is accessible within multiple different medians, but is increasingly becoming accessed more by different mobile devices whether they are mobile phones or tablets.  The article by Mr. Hachis [3] provides some examples of how companies are using both Social Media and mobile devices to promote their products through focused advertising.  When you look at social media venues like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter they are large sources for not only specific customer data, but also for things that the company cannot fully control like customer experience.  If a customer has a bad experience with a product or service the negative publicity can overwhelm a company and make it very hard for them to recovery quickly.  By allowing customers to have such direct input into a company through these new mobile methods companies are trying to improve all aspects of the company including the normal IT functions like site interaction, availability and performance.

 

The final way that Mobile Computing is causing Modern IT to be redefined is by the cost associated with purchasing the hardware that is used for Mobile Computing.  MXComputing [4] has some good points; if Mobile computing wants to maintain the growth rate and availability that it currently has been experiencing there needs to be some big changes in the cost of the equipment needed.  This is a lot like the issues that PC makers dealt with when laptops were first being introduced and accepted by the customer base.  I think the overall cost of different mobile devices are actually in a better place than they were about 10 to 15 years ago when laptops started to gain a lot of traction.  I think that the main reason why mobile devices are in better shape in regards to price is because the hardware that is used to create mobile technology is reaching a point where it can be reproduced at a fraction of the cost that it would have been a few years ago and that the hardware industry is pushing for smaller hardware.  When you look at some of the mobile devices that are currently available you can now find cell phones that are about as powerful as a lot of different desktop and laptop machines.  While the price for some of these devices is currently still a little high, as MXComputing noted, they are coming down in price. Once the price drops the adoption rate of the mobile technology will increase, which causes the companies that are late to the mobile party to put more resources into the various areas that are touched by Mobile technology.

 

In conclusion, Mobile Computing is causing current IT organizations to not only adjust the development practices, but also to find areas where they can help maintain and improve the customer perception of the business.  With prices of hardware eventually dropping to the point where there will be almost 100% adoption globally, companies need to put focus on ensuring that the mobile experience is universal across the different platforms.  Also, it can be very worthwhile for companies to invest in architecture that can help them leverage data that is collected by mobile technology to focus their advertising efforts to enhance and expand the company’s current market share.

 

References

[1] Briggs, Chacharon, Khan, and Brinker, The Mobile Chasm,  electronic publication, Deloitte Review, Issue 12 available at http://dupress.com/articles/the-mobile-chasm/?coll=2650on February 22, 2013

[2] Mia Klaus (2013, March 25) Mobile Application Development and Retail Business [Online] Available: http://www.articlesbase.com/software-articles/mobile-application-development-and-retail-business-6519372.html

[3] Mr. Hachis, Mobile Computing: The Impact of Social Media [Online] Available:  http://hachis.org/mobile-computing-the-impact-of-social-media.html

[4] MXComputing, Effect of Cost and Market Price In Mobile Computing Development [Online] http://mxcomputing.com/technology-market/effect-of-cost-and-market-price-in-mobile-computing-development/

How Disruptions in Mobile Computing are Redefining Modern IT May 4, 2013

Posted by louloizides in Modern IT.
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The use of Mobile Computing has been rising rapidly over the past decade. Smartphone usage, for instance, grew 90% in 2012 alone (Cisco, 2013). But several disruptive technologies had to emerge to cause this to happen. This report explores some of these technologies.

Before smartphones constituted mobile computing, there was already a shift in hardware technology that was moving from desktop to mobile laptop. Two key drivers of this were the shrinking of hardware to fit the smaller form factor and the availability of wireless networking. The Wi-Fi standard was created in 2007 and its adoption was partially driven by Apple (The Economist, 2004). One could argue that Wi-Fi gave consumers their first experience with mobile devices, starting the trend. And Wi-Fi usage correlates well with the rapid growth of these devices. Wi-Fi data consumption will grow 26 times between 2010 and 2015 and will overtake wired network traffic by 2015 (Roettgers, 2011). Furthermore, in places where cellular plans can be unaffordable, people can use Wi-Fi and a mobile device to make calls using services such as Google Voice (Dias & Wilson, 2011).

Further continuing the trend Wi-Fi started to free computing of a fixed location, the usage of cellular data for Internet access has also grown rapidly. Mobile traffic grew by 70% in 2012 and will increase 13 fold between 2012 and 2017 (Cisco, 2013).

While not necessarily a disruption, another factor encouraging the development of the mobile networking is it’s usefulness in emerging markets. Because of the rapid growth of these markets wired infrastructure can’t expand quickly enough. Wireless networking bridges that gab. China, for instance, is dwarfing all other countries with its mobile device growth rate of 293% year over year since 2011 (Farago, 2012). Similarly, countries in the Middle East and Africa have the strongest annual mobile data usage growth at 77 percent compounded (Cisco, 2013). Due to its open source operating system driving lower cost mobile devices, Google’s international market share grew 3x between 2009 and 2010. (Dias & Wilson, 2011).

Wireless networking isn’t the only hardware technology driving mobile computing. Several other innovations exist from OLED screens to higher capacity batteries. But two hardware innovations are extremely disruptive and important. One is flash memory. Flash memory can be produced in a smaller size than a drive with moving components and uses less energy. In addition, it has had the effect of removing the delicateness of computing. A mobile phone with a moving hard drive would be prone to data failure if violently moved, whereas flash memory is robust enough to handle being dropped on the floor (Dias & Wilson, 2011).

The other big innovation is the move towards RISC computing. ARM, a producer of risk devices, built processors for some of the earliest PDAs like the Apple Newton. The company differentiated themselves from other processor giants like Intel by focusing on reduced instruction set (RISC) design (ARM stands for “Advanced RISC Machine”) (Goodwin, 2013). These processors provided an efficient, lower power implementation to allow mobile devices to operate for long periods of time on limited power. Because of this disruption, shares in ARM are rising while PC revenue is falling (Endler, 2013). ARM’s architecture has been so successful that ARM is now producing low powered embedded servers for more efficient data centers (Wittmann, 2013).

In addition to hardware, several software disruptions are also driving mobile technology. At the forefront of this currently is cloud computing. Cloud computing in terms of business impact has enabled rapid application development by essentially removing the need to invest in infrastructure. In addition, revenue models that formerly to start off negative due to investments are now instant and dynamic. In fact, new accounting standards have had to be created because of this dynamic revenue recognition (KPMG, 2012).

As far as the impact to mobile technology, the cloud is disrupting legacy mobile and web application designs. Perhaps most importantly, the use of cloud servers has allowed service providers to build scalable applications that can keep up with rapid mobile device growth.  In addition to this, while files stored on a mobile device can be lost with that device, storage in a cloud won’t. Mobile devices couldn’t exist with the same levels of usage they have today if the users lost all of their data with the loss of a device. And along the same lines, having data in a cloud allows a user to sync their data across several devices (Dias & Wilson, 2011). So information can be mobile when it’s convenient but still accessible through non-mobile methods. This can help aid in someone’s transition to using a mobile device.

The concept of the mobile app itself is another disruption that has driven the mobile industry. The app store sales model has allowed individual developers and small IT firms to achieve exceptional app sales with small amounts of investment. There are expected to have been 55 billion app downloads across app stores by the end of 2013 (Cocotas, 2012). Furthermore, innovations like Gesture based computing are changing the way people interact with computer programs and encouraging software developer to improve their existing software for mobile use (Dias & Wilson, 2011).

While mobile computing itself can be considered a disruption, clearly several other technologies had to disrupt existing technologies to help drive mobile development. These trends will continue until the next set of disruptions shift the paradigm towards an even newer concept in computing that very few people will be able to predict.

Works Cited

Cisco. (2013, Feb 6). Cisco. Retrieved Apr 26, 2013, from Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2012–2017: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-520862.html

Cocotas, A. (2012, Jan 8). Chart of the Day: The Impressive Growth of App Store Downloads. Retrieved Apr 26, 2013, from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-apple-app-downloads-2013-1

Dias, R., & Wilson, C. (2011, Jan). Mobile Computing Disruptions for the Connected Era, A Vesselhead Technology Brief. Retrieved Apr 26, 2013, from Vesselhead: http://vesselhead.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/vesselhead_disruptions.pdf

Endler, M. (2013, Apr 23). ARM Earnings Rise As PC Market Falls. Retrieved Apr 25, 2013, from Information Week: http://www.informationweek.com/hardware/processors/arm-earnings-rise-as-pc-market-falls/240153475

Farago, P. (2012, Nov 28). Flurry Blog. Retrieved Apr 26, 2013, from Electric Technology, Apps and The New Global Village: http://blog.flurry.com/bid/91911/Electric-Technology-Apps-and-The-New-Global-Village

Goodwin, R. (2013, Mar 26). Lilliput Slays Gulliver: ARM Vs Intel, And Why Intel Lost The War. Retrieved Apr 26, 2013, from Seeking Alpha: http://seekingalpha.com/article/1300481-lilliput-slays-gulliver-arm-vs-intel-and-why-intel-lost-the-war

KPMG. (2012, Aug). Mobilizing Innovation: The changing landscape of disruptive technologies. Retrieved Apr 26, 2013, from KPMG: http://www.kpmg.com/FR/fr/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/Technology-Innovation-Survey-2012.pdf

Roettgers, J. (2011, Jun 1). Wi-Fi to Overtake Wired Network Traffic by 2015. Retrieved Apr 26, 2013, from Gigaom: http://gigaom.com/2011/06/01/cisco-wifi-vni-report/

The Economist. (2004, Jun 10). A brief history of Wi-Fi. Retrieved Apr 26, 2013, from The Economist: http://www.economist.com/node/2724397

Wittmann, A. (2013, Apr 10). ARM, AppliedMicro Take On Intel In Data Center. Retrieved Apr 25, 2013, from Information Week: http://www.informationweek.com/quickview/arm-appliedmicro-take-on-intel-in-data-c/3064?wc=4&itc=edit_in_body_cross

 

 

 

Get Social or Get Lost? How the move to social is changing IT May 3, 2013

Posted by kristinamensch in Modern IT.
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Human beings are social creatures. History has shown us that human beings have always had the need to express themselves and communicate their stories, ideas, and opinions with each other. Many advances in technology have enabled human communication and knowledge sharing over vast distances, but none have reached as many people in as short of a time as social computing. According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s report The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity Through Social Technologies, social site Twitter reached 50 million users after 9 months [10]. Comparatively, it took Facebook 1 year, the Internet 3 years, Television 13 years, and Radio 38 years to meet this user milestone. In October 2011, 1.2 billion global users visited a social networking site [1]. In a world where 1 out of every 5 minutes online are spent on social sites we cannot underestimate the power of value of social computing. As the world embraces social networking and social media as a valid and valuable forms of communication, so too must businesses. According to the HootSuite whitepaper, Organize Your Social Business, 79% of companies surveyed currently use or are planning a social media strategy and 40% of CEOs are looking toward social media initiatives to produce business value [6].

According to IBM, social business “embeds social tools, media, and practices into the ongoing activities of the organization – enabling individuals to connect and share information and insights more effectively with others, both inside and outside the organization” [7]. Any person active on social media sites is able to see that companies representing many different industries have an active presence on these sites. These companies have been successfully using social media to reach consumers with advertising and marketing materials, customer support, and even recruiting. These first attempts at integrating social media with business are a good start and are providing important value to organizations. Social maturity, however, would include implementing an enterprise wide social strategy that is monitored and maintained to provide business value in all aspects of business not just the initial adoption use cases of sales and marketing. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that there is a potential added business value of over $1 trillion over the entire business enterprise that can be reached through social business [10]. Companies must plan and prepare a social strategy to keep up with the quickly evolving social world.

Over the last generation, technological advances have changed the way people handle technology, consume data, and live with – or cannot live without – technology. As workers become more tech savvy and demanding of technologies they use in their personal life in the work environment the traditional role of IT is changing. Traditionally IT has been responsible for the automation of business processes and management of business data and technology infrastructure and it has done its job very well. Businesses have invested heavily in IT in general and are now seeing a plateau in the returns from this investment. Many commodity applications are taking place of in-house applications for daily business task management and business technology is moving from “systems of record” to “systems of engagement” [4]. Systems of record represent the classic business process applications. These highly structured systems are transactional, reliable, slow to change, and represent the core of the business and its data. Technological advances, the consumerisation of IT, and the increased business cycle have altered the traditional business system model. Systems of engagement, on the other hand, are adaptable, loosely structure, variable and dynamic. To ensure a solid future, IT departments must shift their focus toward systems of engagement, collaboration, and communication between internal and external customers. Social business is one of these systems.

According to the IMB, 54% of companies say that the Marketing department owns social [9]. This idea is born from the fact that marketing is using social media and technology more than any other group in many organizations. As more departments (sales, human resources, and product development) begin to see the usefulness in engaging in the social media landscape they will want to have a social identity too. The IT department must insert themselves into the social business discussion early on to prevent the employees on the ground from investing in a social platform without thinking about security, data analysis, integration, and an organizational vision. IT must take the initiative to identify areas where social technology can be of value and collaborate with other departments to create a unified social vision. IT departments within large organizations can be slow moving and a bottleneck to the implementation of the newest technologies. In order to stay relevant in the changing business world IT has to remove the barriers that involved in typical IT projects and decrease the time to market for social applications. . Organizations need a single vision and strategy that is controlled and monitored by an interdisciplinary team in a social command center of sorts and IT needs to be a part of this.

Social, big data, and analytics go hand in hand. Social computing produces a vast and varied data footprint. Big data has been developed to handle this kind of variable, unstructured data and analytics are being developed and deployed to find patterns and make sense of the data that social users leave behind. Without advances in big data capabilities and the specialization of statistical and analytical careers social business would be impossible. The value that social business can provide is a direct result of the data management and analysis provided by these emerging IT fields [5]. Analysis is becoming increasingly important to distill the myriad of social data to actionable intelligence. No social business strategy or vision would get anywhere without deep discussion about the role of big data and analytics – it simply would not exist without them.

Social business is an evolving technological solution. The collaborative, communicative, and sharing nature of the social environment can benefit greatly from implementation along side a cloud solution. Cloud solutions provide organizations with easily scalable infrastructure and resources that can be utilized to pilot social initiatives and analyze social data [8]. The nature of cloud computing can provide small to midsized organizations an economic approach to social business. Business technology providers like IBM and Jive are providing social business PaaS solutions for organizations even today. Out of the box solutions like these or others may provide an organization a good option for social business implementation.

Cisco estimates that by the end of 2013 the number of connected mobile devices will exceed the total world population [2]. This increase in mobile devices will impact the scope and reach of social computing. Mobile technologies have combined with the mobile web to create a generation of users that are always connected to information and each other. Social computing has flourished in the mobile environment. Consumers are used to having a constant connection between themselves and the world with their mobile devices – using them for social networking, micro-blogging, sharing photos, and otherwise documenting their lives. Social and mobile have a symbiotic relationship that is changing the way that companies do business. Consumers and employees want to be able to access social business solutions any time, anywhere, and on any device. For companies developing a social business strategy they must consider how it will translate to and from the mobile environment.

Corporate culture can have a large impact, both positive and negative, on social business. Enterprise social solutions strive to create a collaborative, communicative, and sharing work environment. These implementations can struggle if they are not properly launched, utilized, and championed by workers. Changing the way that organizations traditionally communicate and collaborate can take time (and incentives) to take hold. When moving from a ‘need to know’ to a ‘need to share’ organization, managers and highly knowledgeable workers might balk at the information sharing and transparency that a truly social organization should have [3]. The move from striving for individual acclaim to group acclaim will need much support. A social business solution is more than engaging consumers on social media websites. It is vision for embracing new technologies and empowering employees to find business value where they can. Social business is a solution that can succeed with a solid, incremental, supported implementation.

Social computing has the potential to effect real change in the way that companies conduct business both internally and externally. As consumers and organizations share more social information, products and services will be altered or created to better meet the needs of today’s consumer. Enterprise social business has the capability of removing the barriers that stand between divisions, departments, and locations of organizations to create a truly collaborative work environment. Social business solutions, thanks to big data and analytics, can provide information needed for just in time sourcing, manufacturing, and delivery. The speed and scale at which social media can reach consumers can limit risks in the case of a product recall or other dangerous situations. It is easy to see the numerous ways that social computing can benefit consumers and employees and it is important to realize that with collaboration, communication, and sharing modern IT will be an invaluable part of this vision.

Works Cited
[1] Aquino, Carmela. “It’s a Social World: A Global Look at Social Networking – comScore, Inc.” comScore. January 6, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/It_s_a_Social_World_A_Global_Look_at_Social_Networking (accessed May 3, 2013).

[2] Cisco. “Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2012–2017.” Cisco. February 6, 2013. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-520862.html (accessed May 3, 201).

[3] Clearvale. 7 Steps to Achieving a Successful Enterprise Social Network. Whitepaper, Redwood City: BroadVision, Inc, 2012.

[4] Hinchcliffe, Dion. “Moving Beyond Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement.” Dachis Group. June 8, 2011. http://dachisgroup.com/2011/06/moving-beyond-systems-of-record-to-systems-of-engagement/ (accessed May 1, 2013).

[5] Hinchcliffe, DIon. “Why Big Data Will Deliver ROI For Social Business – Social Business.” Information Week. August 6, 2012. http://www.informationweek.com/social-business/news/strategy/why-big-data-will-deliver-roi-for-social/240004969?pgno=1 (accessed May 1, 2013).

[6] HootSuite Enterprise. Organize Your Social Business: The Executive’s Guide to Enterprise Social Media. Whitepaper, HootSuite Media, Inc.

[7] IBM Institute of Business Value. The Business of Social Business. Whitepaper, Somers: IBM Cororpation, 2012.

[8] IBM Software. Become a Social Business in the Cloud. Whitepaper, Cambridge: IBM Corporation, 2012.

[9]IBM Software. Social Media Analytics – Making Customer Insights Actionable. Whitepaper, IBM, Ottawa: IBM Coropration, 2011.

[10]McKinsey Global Institute. The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies. Industry Report, Seoul: McKinsey & Company, 2012.

How Social Networking is Redefining Modern IT May 3, 2013

Posted by Drew Williams in Modern IT.
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Today, nearly 600 social networks exist on the internet, with new ones for new niches being created constantly.[1]  A variety of advances have been made in social media as well.  As these new methods of sharing information take hold, a lot of these advances are starting to make themselves known amongst businesses.  As social computing tools become more popular, deploying a social networking solution across a business as a whole might also prevent fragmented internal tools and insecure external tools from being used – reducing the probability of vampire data or information leaks.[2]  In fact, Forrester Research recently theorized that “the sales of software to run corporate social networks will grow 61% a year and be a $6.4 billion business by 2016.”  Profits from such use have been modest, but “only about 3% of respondents used social business tools for all three major uses — reaching customers, connecting employees and coordinating with suppliers, McKinsey said.[3]”  In time, it’s expected that more informed use of social networking tools will result in further improved profitability.

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How Mobile Computing is Redefining Modern IT May 3, 2013

Posted by pvidosa in Modern IT.
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Mobile computing has been taking the world by storm for the past few years.  There is much more of a focus on mobile devices now compared to desktops and laptops.  Consumers are steering towards them because everyone wants to have internet access on the go.  As a result, there is continuous growth in smartphone and tablet sales.  Users are becoming more comfortable with their mobile devices than their PCs.  They have received a certain experience with mobile devices and now they expect that same experience at work.[1]

With employees becoming more comfortable using their mobile devices than their PCs, they have begun bringing them to work to help them become more productive.  Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a new policy that has been created as a result of mobile computing taking off.  This policy allows employees to use their own personal devices for work purposes.[2]  It usually comes with a stipulation that company security software must be installed, but otherwise it can be used for work like any other company issued device.  Security measures can be put into place on the devices so that if they are lost or stolen, they can be wiped remotely.[3]  All corporate data will likely need to be encrypted in case a device is lost or stolen.  Companies may decide to not support all devices as this could be costly, and it could leave them open to vulnerabilities.  Not all devices will have the same ecosystem that will allow for IT management of the device, which may provide those devices from being supported.  IT will also need to provide training to employees on how to take advantage of these security features that are provided and what they should and shouldn’t do with the device.[4]

Enterprise IT managers are finding out that consumerization of IT is not going away and they cannot ignore it.  Instead, they need to embrace it and learn how to accommodate it because there are benefits that will be realized by adopting BYOD.  The customers of IT will be more satisfied with the devices that they are using since they are devices that they picked out themselves and it gives the employees the ability to work anywhere and at anytime.  This can also lead to higher job satisfaction among employees.[5]

Social computing will likely help strengthen mobile computing in the enterprise world.  There are many social apps that are focused on enterprises.  Examples include Yammer, LinkedIn and Tibbr.  Organizations are using these apps to “visually discover relevant people, ideas and activities across the enterprise based on who they are, the people they follow and the apps and files that they interact with.”[6]  These organizations are realizing how dominant mobile computing is becoming and they are creating a “Mobile First mantra” where developers will assume that mobile devices will be “the vehicle through which that application is going to be most often accessed.”[6]

Cloud computing will also help promote mobile computing in the workplace.  Cloud computing in general is a big help to mobile devices.  Devices that have less computational power or available storage space can become much more useful with the cloud.  The cloud can be used to store files that can be accessed from many devices, including PCs, tablets and smartphones.  It can also perform computationally heavy operations that would take much longer on mobile devices and drain more of their battery.  With the use of HTML5, mobile applications can be customized in the cloud for the device that they will run on.  This will help prevent applications from having controls that are too big or too small because it targeted a different device or hasn’t been updated to handle new devices.  This means users can still be productive with mobile devices because of the helping hand they receive from the cloud.[7]

Big data and mobile computing work very well together.  Mobile devices can be used to analyze big data quicker with their specialized mobile applications.  Big data analysis used to be “labor intensive back office functions,” but now mobile workers can quickly and easily run reports on any big data repositories.  These mobile applications allow anyone to use them because of how user friendly they are.  “More mobile analytics apps for the iPad and Android tablets are being launched all the time, and they’re only getting easier to use.”  Graphs and charts can be shown at impromptu meetings since the employee likely has a mobile device on him, but may not be carrying his laptop.  As has been shown, mobile devices can actually make someone’s job easier if they need to analyze big data and it will likely make them more productive.   This shows how much analytics would benefit from mobile computing becoming more widespread in the workplace.  An employee could easily share any sort of graphs at a moment’s notice because of how easy the application is to use.  There are likely individuals that simply want high level views of the data and these applications would be sufficient for them.  These applications would likely be available as web applications so that they are accessible on any device.[8]

A company’s culture could be greatly affected by mobile computing.  Mobile computing could influence managers to allow working off-site or telecommuting.  If employees have mobile devices they have the ability to be productive anywhere and that can include their home.  There are many applications available that allow for close collaboration between employees.[9]  Employees would need to have access to all the content they would have if they were on-site, but it would also need to be done securely, which could be accomplished by using a VPN.  If a telecommuting policy was adopted, it would also likely push for more mobile computing amongst the workforce.[10]

Overall, I see all of these different technologies and topics pushing mobile computing into focus for many businesses because of the benefits it will provide and because everyone is eager to use it.  These devices will make employees more productive, make their jobs easier and make them more satisfied with their job.  The company directly benefits from all of this and they would be wise to adopt mobile computing.

References

1) Grubb, Tom. Defining Modern IT. http://www.nimsoft.com/content/dam/nimsoft/documents/un-secure/ebook/Defining-Modern-IT-ebook1.pdf

2) Ramsey, Matthew. What’s Next in Mobile Computing Part 2 – The BYOD Phenomenon Grows. http://www.golime.co/blog/bid/173090/What-s-Next-in-Mobile-Computing-Part-2-The-BYOD-Phenomenon-Grows

3) Ramsey, Matthew. What’s Next in Mobile Computing Part 3 – Mobile Security. http://www.golime.co/blog/bid/173423/What-s-Next-in-Mobile-Computing-Part-4-Mobile-Security

4) McKendrick, Joe. 10 Steps for writing a Secure BYOD Policy. http://www.zdnet.com/10-steps-for-writing-a-secure-byod-policy-7000006170/

5) McLellan, Charles. Consumerization, BYOD and MDM: What You Need to Know. http://www.zdnet.com/consumerization-byod-and-mdm-what-you-need-to-know-7000010205/

6) Vizard, Michael. Tibco Marries Mobile Computing to Enterprise Social Graph. http://blog.programmableweb.com/2013/05/01/tibco-marries-mobile-computing-to-enterprise-social-graph/

7) Claybrook, Bill.  Cloud Infrastructure for Mobile Application Development. http://searchcloudapplications.techtarget.com/tutorial/Cloud-infrastructure-for-mobile-application-development

8) Kelly, Will. The Convergence of Mobile and Big Data. http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tablets/the-convergence-of-mobile-and-big-data/2591

9) Perlow, Jason.  Yahoo: Fix Your Culture and Get Better Telecommuting Tools. http://www.zdnet.com/yahoo-fix-your-culture-and-get-better-telecommuting-tools-7000011989/

10) Kasrel, Bruce. Does Your Mobile Strategy Reflect your Corporate Culture. https://communities.bmc.com/community/bsm_initiatives/cloud/blog/2013/03/14/does-your-mobile-strategy-reflect-your-corporate-culture

How Mobile Computing is redefining Modern IT May 3, 2013

Posted by mtv in Modern IT.
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“Since when did Bill turn into such a techno-geek?”

“Since he got that stupid smartphone.”

It was the mobile device that transformed non-technical people into active participants in the modern IT world.  Mobile has broadened the audience for technology, opened up new kinds of applications and content types that can be delivered, revolutionized the way applications are designed, propelled social media to the next level, and paved the way to a state of pervasive connectivity.  The relationship between mobile and all the other forces shaping modern IT is extremely strong.  The cloud: where would mobile be without it?  Social computing: there’d better be an app for that!  Big Data: what do you think is generating all this data?  Analytics: great tool, can I have that on my tablet now?  Corporate culture: fasten your seatbelts, better embrace mobile of be enveloped by it.  Each of these forces are key in redefining modern IT, but the pioneering force that set the stage for all of them was the mobile device.

How Mobile Computing is Redefining Modern IT May 2, 2013

Posted by downeyjm in Modern IT.
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There are several areas that are having a major impact on modern IT such as big data, analytics, corporate culture, social computing, and cloud computing.  However, One of the more interesting and impactful ones is mobile computing as mobile devices become ubiquitous within our society.  The popularity and capabilities of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are constantly increasing and as such have become embedded into many people’s everyday lives and is having a major effect on IT.  It presents many challenges, but also brings many exciting new possibilities to an enterprise.

It is helping shape policies such as BYOD which figures to become a part of 85% of companies by 2020 [1].  BYOD promises to increase productivity and decrease costs, but not without significant technical challenges on IT.   It is important for a company to have a good plan in implementing BYOD in order for it to be successful.  It is suggested any company considering BYOD should first determine the current level of BYOD use, situations where BYOD is not suitable (i.e. high security environments), the organizations readiness to support BYOD across all end-user platforms, and focus investment on initiatives that build endpoint independence.

It is making technologists rethink how to best secure data in a world where nearly any device can be used to access data.  Data protection with SSO authentication becomes very difficult in a BYOD environment due to the wide variety mobile devices, form factors, and operating systems, as well as the variety of use cases [2].  Most mobile devices have weak password protection and it has led to organizations utilizing a power-on password that is more robust and can be enforced by mobile device management (MDM) tools which is a must for all mobile devices (including BYODs) connecting to the enterprises networks [2].  However, multiple passwords provide a poor user experience which goes against the general expectations from users and as such security is an area with a lot of room for improvement.

It is also making application developers rethink their development methods to meet the fast paced world of mobile apps as well as forcing organizations to think about restructuring in order to gain the most from mobile computing.  To keep up with the fast paced mobile environment, mobile apps require an agile development method [3] and need to be designed for portability, scalability, and use the proper frameworks and design patterns [4].  These aspects of mobile apps are requiring companies to shift their thinking about how their organizations are structured in order to be successful.  In this case they shouldn’t think of mobile as just another silo in their organization but rather as a bridge across the organization and need to create a role solely for managing the mobile aspects of the organization [3]. 

Mobile computing is closely intertwined with other important themes helping shape modern IT such as big data, analytics, corporate culture, social computing, and cloud computing.  In each of these cases they seem to be feeding off each other in a positive way.  For example, cloud computing allows for users to view their data wherever they are and the use of mobile devices is generating data at an increasing velocity promoting big data which in turn demands the use of analytics.

It is opening up the possibilities of a more productive workforce while providing challenges to IT in how to effectively deal with mobile devices.  With the increasing ubiquity of mobile devices, mobile computing is here to stay and will continue to play a major role in shaping modern IT. 

References

[1] Leslie Fiering. “BYOD Doesn’t Have to Be All or Nothing: Match Smartphone, Tablet and PC Rollouts to Organizational Readiness and Employee Demand.” Gartner, Apr 2013.

[2] Ant Allan, Gregg Kreizman, Earl Perkins, and Ray Wagner. “Predicts 2013: Mobile, Social and Federation Drive Identity and Access Management.” Gartner, Nov 2012.

[3] Bill Briggs, Stephanie Chacharon, Shehryar Khan, Mike Brinker. “The Mobile Chasm.” Deloitte Review Issue 12. Jan 2013. <http://dupress.com/articles/the-mobile-chasm/?coll=2650&gt;

[4] Jeffrey Hammond. “The Best Way To Develop Mobile Apps? Don’t Develop Mobile Apps!” ZDNet. Jan 2013. <http://dupress.com/articles/the-rise-of-safety-innovations-in-intelligent-mobility/?coll=2650&gt;

How Social Computing is Redefining Modern IT May 2, 2013

Posted by kirbyr in Modern IT.
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Social Computing means different things to different groups of people.  The average computer user would define social computing as social networking—websites such as Facebook or Twitter.  Companies use the term social computing to describe internal social sites, such as Microsoft’s SharePoint.  These sites allow employees to exchange information, either through sharing documents or data, participating in online discussions, or through IM type conversations.  Marketing departments would say social computing means pulling data off of social networking sites to use for making business decisions.  Below I discuss how these aspects of social computing are influencing modern information technology, as well as how other current trends relate to social computing.

IT has been slow to embrace social media because of the security risks: leaks from employees posting sensitive information or negative views, and potential malware attacks [1].  The first step for IT departments to take control of corporate social computing is to secure the environment in two steps: 1. Create policies for appropriate corporate usage of social networks. 2. Secure the social computing environment.  After this initial step, IT can partner with other departments to provide useful services.  Examples include filtering, structuring and storing data from social media sites for the marketing department to use in data mining, or creating an internal corporate social site to improve communication within the company.

Corporate social sites are meant to increase communication and collaboration, with the end result of higher profits through either cost savings from increased efficiency, or through increased sales.  A popular corporate solution, Microsoft’s SharePoint 2013 borrows features from social networking sites, such as tagging, likes, photos, following users, and newsfeeds [2].  Another new feature is reputations: employees can gain points by participating on the SharePoint site: liking items, answering questions, etc.  SharePoint 2013 connects into existing social sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn; your personal profile allows you to share posts and information from those sites.  The end result for SharePoint 2013 is that employees will be sharing a lot more information about themselves and their activities.  Will employees feel comfortable providing this information, and how does that translate into increase business profits?

Sentiment analysis is mining social media posts to determine how customers feel about a brand, product, or company decision.  This is an area where IT can have a real impact on business goals, by working with marketing departments to conduct sentiment analysis projects.  A current trend is that sentiment analysis projects must tie back to a business goal to have value [3].  You should have a plan for what to do with sentiment data before you start gathering it.  This ties into the big data trend as well.

Big data and social computing are intertwined: big data usually refers to the large datasets compiled from social media activity, such as a set of Twitter posts or Facebook likes.  A challenge with big data has been that companies do not use their datasets effectively to make business decisions [4].  Employees are not asking the right questions, and are using their social computing datasets incorrectly.   Below is a summary of how big data analysis projects work in most marketing departments [4]:

  1. Analyze data — preferably big data.
  2. ???
  3. Profit.

To make the leap from step 1 above to step 3, companies (and marketing departments) need to make a cultural shift to data-driven decision making.  Below are steps for the new process [4].

  1. Big data: collect and organize information, and develop hypotheses.
  2. Big testing: test out your hypotheses to prove cause and effect.
  3. Big experience: use your data and testing results to provide better customer experiences.

Companies often fail in step 2.  Employees are afraid to take a risk and be blamed for failures, so they test out non-consequential hypotheses (if they even engage in testing).  The big data trend uses datasets compiled from social computing, but these datasets are wasted if the right business questions are not asked at the beginning of the analysis process.

Corporate culture has a big impact on the effectiveness of social computing to aid a corporation.  The enterprise social computing platform Yammer gives companies the ability to improve communication and share vital company information [5].  Information is the most valuable business asset in today’s corporations, and employees who receive and share information feel more empowered [5].  Corporate leaders should show how they are making better decisions from information they receive at different company levels, and they should filter information down through the company.  A benefit to executives of using social computing is that social computing platforms such as Yammer can help them spread their corporate culture and goals throughout the organization.

Cloud computing can be used three different ways to implement virtualization within a company: public cloud as off-site backup; public cloud as disaster recovery site; or public cloud as bursting option [6].  Off-site backup and disaster recovery are easily understood, while bursting means using the public cloud as a backup for hosting applications during peak usage times.  All three of these options could be combined with corporate social computing.  In the case of a company SharePoint site, the public cloud could be used as: 1. An off-site backup for SharePoint data. 2. A complete back up site for disaster recovery; or 3. An application host to run the SharePoint site when company resources can’t handle the performance load.  Of the modern IT trends, I would say that cloud computing has the least influence on social computing.

Social computing and mobile computing are interconnected, with each driving the popularity of the other.  One consideration in mobile computing is choosing the development environment [7].  If you develop an app for one environment, you are excluding mobile users from all other environments.  Another consideration in developing mobile apps is to choose between making an actual app or providing a mobile website experience.  A mobile website would theoretically be useable by any mobile phone user, resulting in lower development costs.  A final consideration is that the mobile environment allows you to restrict what the end-user sees, as opposed to a traditional development environment.  These considerations should all be taken into account when developing mobile solutions for social computing, such as a company’s SharePoint site.

Social computing is redefining modern IT by expanding the ways users interact and communicate with each other, as well as incorporating new ideas from other modern IT trends of mobile computing, cloud computing, big data, analytics, and changes in corporate culture.  In particular, social computing allows for collaboration on corporate social sites, allows for collection of big data from social media sites, and brings new security challenges.

References

[1] Social Engineering, Julie Pitta, CA Technologies, “Defining Modern IT eBook,” 2012. [Online]. Available: http://www.nimsoft.com/content/dam/nimsoft/documents/un-secure/ebook/Defining-Modern-IT-ebook1.pdf. [Accessed April 28, 2013]

[2] 10 Great Social Features for Microsoft SharePoint 2013, Jeff Bertolucci, InformationWeek.com http://www.informationweek.com/social-business/news/galleries/social_networking_private_platforms/10-great-social-features-for-microsoft-s/240008678 [Accessed April 28, 2013]

[3] Social Media and Sentiment: 5 Takeways from the Sentiment Analysis Symposium, Adam Helweh, online article available at http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-monitoring/social-and-sentiment-takeaways-from-the-sentiment-analysis-symposium/ [Accessed April 7, 2013]

[4] The big data bubble in marketing – but a bigger future, Scott Brinker, Chiefmartec.com, http://chiefmartec.com/2013/01/the-big-data-bubble-in-marketing/  [Accessed April 22, 2013]

[5] An Interview with Yammer: How Social is Changing Corporate Culture, Don Power, Sprout Insights, http://sproutsocial.com/insights/2012/05/enterprise-social-media-yammer/ [Accessed April 28, 2013]

[6] 3 Ways the Cloud Can Complement Virtualization, George Crump, InformationWeek Must Reads Cloud Computing, http://twimgs.com/informationweek/green/022813mrb/Must-Reads-Feb282013.pdf [Accessed April 28, 2013]

[7] Is Developing a Mobile App Worth the Cost? Aaron Maxwell, Mashable.com, http://mashable.com/2011/02/24/mobile-app-dev-cost/ [Accessed 4/2/2013]

How Mobile Computing is Defining Modern IT May 2, 2013

Posted by mattpassini in Modern IT.
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The field of Information Technology is in a constant state of flux, being catalyzed by any number of new or changing ideas and ideals.  A long argued question is whether society and culture shape technology, or if technology shapes society and culture.  Both have compelling arguments, but perhaps the best answer is that the answer is not one or the other, but both [1]. With that said, it is important to remember that the ever-changing field of technology is defined not only by one technology, nor by one culture or society, but by the combination of all in differing contexts.  Of our current trending technologies, I believe the largest general catalyst is mobile computing.  It is pushing the limits of technology on the three most basic fronts – hardware, software, and user experience.

“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” Mark Weiser began his seminal paper on ubiquitous computing [2] with those timeless words that are hard to improve upon.  Mobile computing may just be a stepping stone, or a subset of ubiquitous and pervasive computing, but it embodies many of the same qualities.  Access to the internet, other networks, and other devices at anytime, anywhere has changed the expectations of the modern user [3]. The necessity of responsive web design or efficiently written native applications is now a minimum requirement.  Contextual awareness, such as devices and services knowing where you are, where you are about to go, and what you want to know and do are quickly becoming the new standard.  Users are slowly demanding the utopian idea that technology invisibly weaves itself into everyday objects, and requires little to no unique input or interaction with it, other than simply carrying out ordinary daily activities.

Of course, in order to fulfill that ideal of indistinguishable and integrated technology, the hardware itself needs to be continually redefined.  The four fundamental challenges [4] of mobile computing are all directly related to hardware, which of course indirectly affect software and user experience.  Mobile devices are resource poor, when compared to more static hardware.  Mobile devices are inherently insecure, given their size and agility.  Mobile connectivity is constantly variable and undependable.  Lastly, mobile device’s power supplies are finite, and are currently the most noted limiting factor in most mobile devices.  These four challenges give a concise generalization of what must be overcome to truly produce a pervasive world where technology simply disappears.  The work that is being continually done to solve these problems are quickly becoming the defining work of modern IT.

Software can be considered the medium that connects the hardware and the user experience.  A beautiful piece of hardware, or perhaps a disparate collection of seemingly unrelated devices, can quickly inspire a myriad of ideas for amazing functionality, but the last remaining piece is the actual implementation of those usage ideas through carefully crafted software.  Many arguments are made both for and against writing native applications versus writing web applications.  While many try to provide a singular answer, the bottom line is that each application requires its own determination on whether a web based or native application would be best [5].  As devices continue to become more integrated with everyday life, we may see a further push towards completely service oriented architecture.  Google’s Glass is a prime example of a device that is intended, for now,  not to run third party native applications, nor to browse to and utilize web applications, rather, its entire ecosystem is based on RESTful web services and the lightweight communication to and from the device [6].  This type of software engineering requires a very different view both from the developer and, hopefully subconsciously, from the user.

As suggested, there are many other facets of technology that are helping mobile computing evolve and define modern IT.  Big data, analytics, social computing, cloud computing, and corporate culture are all significantly impacting modern IT.  Big data consists of the 3 V’s: high-volume, high-velocity, and high-variety. Once the big data is apprehended, analytics are necessary to make sense of it all.  Analytics consists of mining the big data, processing it, and creating enhanced insight to provide intelligence for sophisticated decision making within the business [7].

Cloud computing is the expected evolution of remote data processing and storage, and has quickly become the de facto technology to utilize in conjunction with mobile and ubiquitous computing.  Social computing and networking is a natural extension of mobile and pervasive computing.  Users of technology often want to share information or collaborate in real-time.  This is not a result of social computing technology, rather, the inherent drive within humans to be interconnected with each other.  Lastly, the changing role of the IT department is a welcome adjustment to organizations.  IT leaders are becoming more business aware and business leaders are becoming more technically savvy [8]. IT is no longer about sitting in the back closet supporting back-end systems; it is about directly impacting the product that is used by the customers.  Conversely, business leaders are no longer technically inept and are now able to provide valuable input into the types of technologies that are used and created, in order to provide the best possible product to the customer.

All combined, these catalysts are flowing the ever-changing world of information technology into a decidedly different era – an era that is filled with tremendous successes and failures, which make for an intensely trying and gratifying time to be working both in and with the field of information technology.
Sources:
[1] Dupuy, Jean-Pierre. “Do We Shape Technologies, or Do They Shape Us?” N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2013. <http://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/pdf/ntw-jean-pierre-dupuy-text_en.pdf&gt;.

[2] Weiser, M. The Computer for the 21st Century. Scientific American, September, 1991.

[3] Satyanarayanan, Mahadev. “Mobile Computing: The Next Decade.” Carnegie Mellon University, n.d. Retrieved. 1 May 2013.

[4] Satyanarayanan, Mahadev. “Fundamental challenges in mobile computing.”Proceedings of the fifteenth annual ACM symposium on Principles of distributed computing. ACM, 1996.

[5] Quilligan, Aidan. “HTML5 Vs. Native Mobile Apps: Myths and Misconceptions.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 23 Jan. 2013. Web. 01 May 2013. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2013/01/23/html5-vs-native-mobile-apps-myths-and-misconceptions/&gt;.

[6] Google Glass Development Overview. https://developers.google.com/glass/overview. Retrieved 1 May 2013.

[7] Sicular, Svetlana. “Gartner’s Big Data Definition Consists of Three Parts, Not to Be Confused with Three “V”s.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 27 Mar. 2013. Web. 01 May 2013. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/gartnergroup/2013/03/27/gartners-big-data-definition-consists-of-three-parts-not-to-be-confused-with-three-vs/&gt;.

[8] Murphy, Chris. “Goodbye IT, Hello Digital Business.” Informationweek. N.p., 11 Mar. 2013. Web. 02 May 2013. <http://www.informationweek.com/big-data/news/big-data-analytics/goodbye-it-hello-digital-business/240150200&gt;.

The Effect of Mobile Computing on Modern IT May 2, 2013

Posted by brltkd in Modern IT.
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The rapid advances in computing have led to the evolution of technologies that are changing the face of information technology. Computers are no longer pieces of equipment preforming their tasks in a solitary environment. They are now interconnected and pervasive in society, allowing people to access and share information from nearly anywhere. The advent of mobile computing is a primary driver of the shift in IT.

There has been tremendous growth in the sales and use of mobile devices and that trend is not showing any signs of slowing. People are transitioning away from PCs, as mobile devices, especially tablets, are becoming their primary computing devices. Last year, about 4.3 billion people around the world, about 60% of the total population, had mobile devices [1]. Gartner is predicting that the sales of PCs, including laptops, will decline by 7.6% from 2012 to 2013 while sales of mobile devices will increase 12% [2]. The expected growth of tablet sales is even greater, nearly 70%, as users are increasingly satisfied with the experience they get from tablets [2]. This demonstrates how integrated mobile computing has become in today’s society. This widespread adoption creates a huge impact on all areas of information technology as people expect their mobile device to have the capability to perform most of the computing tasks they require.

One of the hallmarks of mobile computing is the ability to access data and information from anywhere at any time. This is not limited to searching for information about a specific topic. Users actually want to access their own personal data like their pictures, music, and documents. This is facilitated by the use of cloud computing. Approximately a billion people are expected to subscribe to mobile cloud applications by 2014 [3]. These applications provide seamless access to information from multiple devices. The user can transition from a desktop computer to their smartphone or tablet without concern to the version of a particular file on each device. In addition to the productivity aspects, the cloud enhances the reliability of data as well. Mobile devices are more susceptible to loss, theft, and damage than desktop computers. Storing data in the cloud, rather than on the mobile device itself, can help protect against data loss in these scenarios [4].

Social computing is an important aspect of modern information technology and mobile computing has played a large role in this area. Social computing is all about relationships between people, places, and things in which they are interested. It also creates the ability for anyone to have their own presence in the Internet to post information about anything they deem relevant, and most of them are using mobile computing for it. On Facebook, the world’s most popular social networking site [5], approximately two-thirds of their 1.11 billion active monthly users are using their mobile products [6]. Mobile computing allows people to share information about where they are or what they are doing in real-time. Some people do this automatically by “checking in” at places when the location sensors in their device determine they are at a specific location.

Combining mobile computing with social computing produces a treasure trove of information containing people’s thoughts on a wide variety of topics, and societal trends, and interests. The sheer number of people using these services produces a massive amount of data. The use of mobile devices increases this information. Many popular mobile applications collect, use, and transmit to third parties, information such as the user’s current city, GPS location, age, gender, and unique phone identifier [7] in addition to the information the user explicitly enters. Considering that over three quarters of Internet users between the ages of 18-49, a prime marketing demographic, use social media [8], this information would be extremely valuable to corporations, politicians, and others.

Analyzing this data to extract meaning can prove to be difficult. Besides the volume of information, the format of the information is as different as video, text, images, and sensor data. The velocity of data growth is staggering as well. The current digital universe of 2.72 zettabytes is expected to double every two years [9]. To add further complication, the information is generally in unstructured and disparate formats depending on the platform that produced it. Technologies such as Apache Hadoop use distributed computing clusters to allow cost-effective analysis of this data, and non-relational databases are often used to accommodate the variety of data types [9].

In addition to the contributions mobile computing makes to these big data sets, it is also a valuable resource for consuming the results of the analysis. Many companies use business intelligence (BI) platforms to analyze their business operations and use the data to drive strategic decisions. Measuring and analyzing data are primary functions of BI platforms. While dashboards and scorecards provide a general overview of key performance indicators, there is also the ability create customized views containing specific information of interest. Online analytical processing allows users to drill into data and interactive visualization helps stakeholders better understand the workflow through a visual representation and most major BI vendors have or are developing mobile applications to support this functionality [10]. This allows the decision makers to have up-to-date information at any time so they are able to make informed decisions.

The use of mobile technology has caused a shift in the culture of IT within businesses as well. People are no longer tied to their desktop computers. They have access to a wealth of information virtually anywhere though their mobile device. The rapid adoption of mobile technology in the consumer market has fed a demand for this type of access in the enterprise as well [11]. Users want to receive their email and have access to critical business data no matter where they may be [12]. Employees, and especially executives, have a more sophisticated understanding of and familiarity with advanced information technologies than ever before [13]. This is contributing to the shift of IT from being holding a purely support role to being contributors towards business strategy. IT is innovating and presenting ways of using technology to enable new methods to engage customers or improve processes that simplify tasks for the employees.

As the world is becoming increasingly digital, it is critical that IT evolves to take on a leadership role. Technology is becoming the cornerstone of many businesses and they must have the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace. The relative simplicity of using mobile devices combined with their capabilities has driven their rapid adoption. Mobile computing is no longer something nice to have; it is an expectation that businesses tailor their products to these devices to satisfy their customer base.

 

[1] K. Kelleher, “Mobile growth is about to be staggering,” CNNMoney, 20 February 2013. [Online]. Available: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/02/20/mobile-will-growth-is-about-to-be-staggering/. [Accessed 27 April 2013].
[2] J. Rivera and R. van der Meulen, “Gartner Says Worldwide PC, Tablet and Mobile Phone Combined Shipments to Reach 2.4 Billion Units in 2013,” Gartner, 4 April 2013. [Online]. Available: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2408515. [Accessed 27 April 2013].
[3] S. Cherry, “Cloud Computing Drives Mobile Data Growth,” IEEE, October 2009. [Online]. Available: http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/wireless/cloud-computing-drives-mobile-data-growth. [Accessed 27 April 2013].
[4] P. A. Cox, “Mobile cloud computing,” IBM Developer Works, 11 March 2011. [Online]. Available: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/cloud/library/cl-mobilecloudcomputing/. [Accessed 27 April 2013].
[5] Silicon Republic, “Facebook world’s largest social network, followed by Google+,” Silicon Republic, 29 January 2013. [Online]. Available: http://www.siliconrepublic.com/new-media/item/31236-facebook-worlds-largest-so. [Accessed 27 April 2013].
[6] Facebook, “Key Facts,” Facebook, 31 March 2013. [Online]. Available: http://newsroom.fb.com/Key-Facts. [Accessed 27 April 2013].
[7] The Wall Street Journal, “What They Know – Mobile,” The Wall Street Journal, 17 December 2010. [Online]. Available: http://blogs.wsj.com/wtk-mobile/. [Accessed 27 April 2013].
[8] J. Brenner, “Pew Internet: Social Networking (full detail),” Pew Research, 14 February 2013. [Online]. Available: http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2012/March/Pew-Internet-Social-Networking-full-detail.aspx. [Accessed 6 April 2013].
[9] Intel, “Big Data 101: Unstructured Data Analytics,” June 2012. [Online]. Available: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/big-data/unstructured-data-analytics-paper.html. [Accessed 28 April 2013].
[10] J. Hagerty, R. L. Sallam and J. Richardson, “Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms,” Gartner, 6 February 2012. [Online]. Available: http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-196WFCB&ct=120207&st=sb. [Accessed 9 March 2013].
[11] M. West, “Here We Go Again: Ten More Expectations and Planning Positions for 2013 and Beyond,” Saugatuck Technology, 13 December 2012. [Online]. Available: http://saugatucktechnology.com/blog/entry/1152RA%20Here%20We%20Go%20Again-%20Ten%20More%20Expectations%20and%20Planning%20Positions%20for%202013%20and%20Beyond.html. [Accessed 23 March 2013].
[12] Deloitte, “What is the role of the CIO in the postdigital enterprise?,” Deloitte, 14 November 2012. [Online]. Available: http://deloitteblog.co.za/2012/11/14/what-is-the-role-of-the-cio-in-the-postdigital-enterpris/. [Accessed 23 March 2013].
[13] J. W. Verity, “Shifting boundaries,” in Defining Modern IT, Islandia, CA Industries, 2012, pp. 17-19.

 

Big Data Impact on Modern IT May 2, 2013

Posted by bradnatelborg in Modern IT.
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My final paper for the modern IT seminar discusses the impact of big data on modern IT.  Most notably, it has changed two important things in IT: how IT spends their money, and also the impact of IT on corporate decisions.  These two things have radically changed how IT operates.  In regards to how it relates to other modern IT themes, big data receives a large portion of its data from mobile, social, and cloud computing sources.  Without this data, big data is not nearly as valuable.  Concerning its value, big data has no value without analytics being able to draw information out of it.  Analytics have given big data large value in the marketplace.  Finally, corporate culture ultimately dictates the direction of big data in the near future.  Currently, corporate culture is slowing its progress, but as evidence appears supporting big data decisions, more and more companies will be using big data to make similar improvements.

Defining Modern IT April 15, 2013

Posted by Marquette MS Computing in Modern IT.
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This semester in the Professional Seminar we are studying trends in computing from the perspective of an online e-book published by CA Technologies. The title of the work is “Defining Modern IT eBook.” It is assessable at http://www.nimsoft.com/content/dam/nimsoft/documents/un-secure/ebook/Defining-Modern-IT-ebook1.pdf.

We also studied mobile computing, social computing, cloud computing, shifting corporate culture, big data, and analytic processing with an eye to how these are combining forces and how they impact modern IT.

We are posting blogs in this forum to express ideas about how technology and culture are impacting IT.