Link: Insurers go all-out on mobile, but what comes next is elusive

“74% of Canadians begin their insurance research journey online, with 25% of those using a smartphone only. Further 61% of this segment will immediately abandon a broker’s website if not considered mobile-friendly, and a full 50% of Canadian consumers believe that if a company does not have a mobile website it does not care about that customer’s business”

Better have a mobile app.
Original source: Insurers go all-out on mobile, but what comes next is elusive

Link: U.S. CIO Suzette Kent: Don’t change IT modernization plan; ‘turbo boost’ it

When it comes to digital transformation, the goal of businesses is to drive profit, or more broadly, get more money. Finding government’s goal is a tad more tricky. Here’s a good, brief explanation:

‘The end goal of all this, Kent reminded the crowd, is to improve agencies’ ability to achieve their various missions, deliver “excellent” customer service and “be great stewards of taxpayer money.”’

Most people forget that last part: ensuring that the money is well spent.
Original source: U.S. CIO Suzette Kent: Don’t change IT modernization plan; ‘turbo boost’ it

Link: Dell Technologies’ “essential infrastructure” strategy

“We divested Dell services. We divested [VMware’s] vCloud Air, and really began to clean up the portfolio to drive forward Michael [Dell’s] vision that the world is going to need an essential infrastructure company. It might not be the sexiest play in IT, but absolutely at the end of the day, all this stuff has got to run on something. We’re proud to be that something.”
Original source: Dell Technologies’ “essential infrastructure” strategy

Link: 6 Challenges of Agile at Scale for ERP

The problems with taking an agile approach to outsourcing your COTS projects. Among the problems:

“In agile projects, it is more difficult to define risk sharing between the company and vendor. Contracts for large-scale programs tend to be waterfall or deliverable-based, with penalties or incentives driving cost and schedule performance which enables companies to hold vendors accountable for delivering full scope. On the contrary, Agile assumes cost and time is fixed when scope is variable. This situation flies in the face of the standard belief that much of the scope of ERP is not flexible. One area that this complicates is defining and resolving the concept of warranty support. This is another reason that everyone in the project, on both client and vendor sides, must have the same definition of “done” for each sprint… The lack of documentation makes benchmarking vendor performance a challenge. Overtime, the more traditional waterfall methods have provided opportunities for clients and vendors to establish measurable standards of performance and productivity. Agile is broadly assumed to provide productivity improvements but Agile at Scale still falls short in providing clients with a clear-cut way to quantify and measure the performance of vendors.”
Original source: 6 Challenges of Agile at Scale for ERP

Link: Merrill Corporation alongside Leading Technology Companies, Launch New Category for M&A Professionals

“Merrill uses MongoDB technology to build horizontal applications on top of four key pillars: a secure repository, document collaboration, data and machine learning as well as analytics. Pivotal Cloud Foundry is used across all engineering stages – development, testing and production – with a focus on maximizing the microservices infrastructure that arranges the application into a suite of independently deployable, modular services. For security, identity and storage components Merrill DatasiteOne uses Microsoft Azure Key Vault, Azure Active Directory and Azure Storage.”
Original source: Merrill Corporation alongside Leading Technology Companies, Launch New Category for M&A Professionals

Link: For Women and Minorities to Get Ahead, Managers Must Assign Work Fairly

“For many women, the disparity in assignments comes back to what we’ve called maternal wall bias — a set of negative assumptions about mothers’ competence and commitment. After having a child, mothers come back to work to find that their best projects and clients have been reassigned to colleagues. In some cases, women report that it takes years to get back to the type of work they were doing before taking maternity leave. As a white female lawyer reported, “I made partner in the shortest time of any female. Things were great. I had my son. I worked part-time during leave and came back in nine weeks. My work was gone. It has taken two years and a change in focus to get back to the level I was at.”
Original source: For Women and Minorities to Get Ahead, Managers Must Assign Work Fairly

Link: Gartner Survey Reveals Business Value or Benefits Realization Is the Leading IT Cost-Optimization Priority for CIOs

Saving money to spend it on new, growth driving projects:

“The survey findings highlight how cost optimization has become a business-focused, continuous discipline that drives spending and cost reduction, while maximizing business value (see Figure 1),” said Stewart Buchanan, research vice president at Gartner. “It’s not enough to simply reduce IT spending; CIOs must reinvest in growth and transformation to deliver more value. Those who fail to engage in optimization risk having savings decisions imposed on them by an advisory organization with less understanding of IT or digital technology opportunities.”

See the chart as well.
Original source: Gartner Survey Reveals Business Value or Benefits Realization Is the Leading IT Cost-Optimization Priority for CIOs

Link: Veteran Tech Analyst Aims to Change the Research Game in Tesla and Others

The pressures of being public drive bad research management decisions, this dude believes:

“If you look at places that attract the best talent, they’re all partnerships — the old Goldman Sachs, or consulting firms like BCG and McKinsey, or law firms. You don’t want any other shareholders than those bringing in the intellectual capital. I believe ultimately the leading research houses will all be partnerships and nothing else.”
Original source: Veteran Tech Analyst Aims to Change the Research Game in Tesla and Others

Link: Re-Hermit

“I can run a lot of windows on my screen, but eventually the screen fills up and I’m doing more clicking than viewing just to see everything that’s going on in my head. Which means that less is going on in my head because I’m doing more clicking than looking. Something like that.”
Original source: Re-Hermit

Link: Misunderstanding “Open Tracing” for the Enterprise

Enterprise systems management software is hard.

“OpenTracing doesn’t solve the interoperability problem, so what does the “open standard” attempting to solve? Well, for one thing, is that it allows those making gateways, proxies, and frameworks the ability to write instrumentation. That should, in theory, make it easier to get traces connected, but once again the requirement to change implementation details for each tool is a problem.”
Original source: Misunderstanding “Open Tracing” for the Enterprise

Link: On Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft

“[H]aving a decent integration platform in its arsenal enables Salesforce to tell better stories about the seamlessness of its own application portfolio, even as this continues to expand through acquisition (which, note, was where Oracle was with its Fusion Middleware portfolio and strategy when it bought BEA). It also potentially helps Salesforce further develop its Einstein proposition, by making it easier to get access to corporate data from more systems in more locations…. However, just as was the case with BEA, many of MuleSoft’s customers made that investment precisely because it could demonstrate its ability to connect anything to anything without bias, and nurture customers’ own heterogeneous ‘application networks’. I hope Salesforce can take MuleSoft’s existing value proposition forward as it creates the Salesforce Integration Cloud.”
Original source: On Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft

Link: On Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft

“[H]aving a decent integration platform in its arsenal enables Salesforce to tell better stories about the seamlessness of its own application portfolio, even as this continues to expand through acquisition (which, note, was where Oracle was with its Fusion Middleware portfolio and strategy when it bought BEA). It also potentially helps Salesforce further develop its Einstein proposition, by making it easier to get access to corporate data from more systems in more locations…. However, just as was the case with BEA, many of MuleSoft’s customers made that investment precisely because it could demonstrate its ability to connect anything to anything without bias, and nurture customers’ own heterogeneous ‘application networks’. I hope Salesforce can take MuleSoft’s existing value proposition forward as it creates the Salesforce Integration Cloud.”
Original source: On Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft

Link: The Insurance Industry Is A Prime Target For AI Technologies And Solutions

Quote below:

  • Technologies Oriented & Experience Focused: Experience related AI technologies include virtual assistant, speech analytics, and recommendation engines. These technologies are being adopted in customer service and insurance product selection business activities.
  • Technologies Oriented & Operational Focused: Operational AI technologies comprises text analytics, advanced analytics, facial and image recognition, machine learning and natural language generation. Most of these AI technologies are being adopted to improve operational efficiencies. However facial recognition and machine learning are being used to mitigate the risk exposure of insurers.
  • Solutions Oriented & Experience Focused: The two experience focused AI solutions concentrate on providing a positive customer experience. The solutions combine multiple AI technologies to create conversational solutions and industry pre-trained solutions. The latter is also being used to train internal customer facing roles.
  • Solutions Oriented & Operational Focused: As machine learning has grown in maturity, we find insurers combining other AI technologies with machine learning to create deep learning solutions. Currently, risk management is the focus area of deep learning solutions.
    Original source: The Insurance Industry Is A Prime Target For AI Technologies And Solutions

Link: How Does Advertising Work?

‘It is also SELECTIVE … because, apparently, we have always been overwhelmed by sensory data and can’t begin to notice it all. Even before Snap and the iPhone X, our brains said: “Too much! Give me the bullets!”… For advertising, the implications are obvious. To rise from our sensory swamp, an ad must be EMOTIONALLY INTENSE. We assume the binary default is positive, but there is evidence that negative works as well. This study (from a consultancy now called System 1) showed that ads we hate are more likely to get us to buy a product than ads we don’t notice’
Original source: How Does Advertising Work?

Link: Windows chief leaving Microsoft as CEO Satya Nadella rolls out massive engineering reorg

‘The reorg includes the creation of two large new engineering groups inside Microsoft, focused on Experiences & Devices, led by Microsoft Office leader Rajesh Jha; and the company’s Cloud + AI Platform, led by Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise chief Scott Guthrie… They join the existing Microsoft AI & Research group, led by research chief Harry Shum, to form three massive engineering groups inside the Redmond tech giant.’
Original source: Windows chief leaving Microsoft as CEO Satya Nadella rolls out massive engineering reorg

Link: There is no “technology industry”

‘But today, the major players in what’s called the “tech industry” are enormous conglomerates that regularly encompass everything from semiconductor factories to high-end retail stores to Hollywood-style production studios. The upstarts of the business can work on anything from cleaning your laundry to creating drones. There’s no way to put all these different kinds of products and services into any one coherent bucket now that they encompass the entire world of business.’
Original source: There is no “technology industry”

Link: Serverless at Bustle

‘Probably the biggest is: how do you deal with the migration of legacy things? At Bustle we ended up mostly re-architecting our entire platform around serverless, and so that’s one option, but certainly not available to everybody. But even then, the first time we launched a serverless service, we brought down all of our Redis instances — because Lambda spun up all these containers and we hit connection limits that you would never expect to hit in a normal app.

‘So if you’ve got something sitting on a mainframe somewhere that is used to only having 20 connections and then you moved over some upstream service to Lambda and suddenly it has 10,000 connections instead of 20. You’ve got a problem. If you’ve bought into service-oriented architecture as a whole over the last four or five years, then you might have a better time, because you can say “Well, all these things do is talk to each other via an API, so we can replace a single service with serverless functions.”’
Original source: Serverless at Bustle

Link: Survey Shows Cloud and DevOps Complexity and Culture Concerns

“The findings, based on more than 1,300 responses from DevOps and IT professionals, showed the top barriers to DevOps adoption involve stagnant organizational cultures (according to 22 percent of respondents); managing the jumble of legacy processes, IT infrastructure and newly created cloud environments (21 percent); and growing software complexity that impacts application modernization initiatives (20 percent). ”

And:

“DevOps teams are still highly dependent on IT assistance to help deliver infrastructure, often through a ticket-based process. About 27 percent of those surveyed get access to the necessary infrastructure and environments within one day. But nearly 50 percent must wait up to one month for infrastructure access, while 24 percent wait for more than a month, particularly those with distributed teams.”
Original source: Survey Shows Cloud and DevOps Complexity and Culture Concerns

Link: Docker founder Solomon Hykes leaving company, cites need for enterprise-focused CTO

“To take advantage of this opportunity, we need a CTO by Steve’s side with decades of experience shipping and supporting software for the largest corporations in the world. So I now have a new role: to help find that ideal CTO, provide the occasional bit of advice, and get out of the team’s way as they continue to build a juggernaut of a business.”
Original source: Docker founder Solomon Hykes leaving company, cites need for enterprise-focused CTO

Link: As it shifts cloud focus to platform services, Oracle tries to hold on to its database legacy

‘“the way Oracle plans on differentiating itself from Amazon is by offering a complete suite of platform services at a higher level than infrastructure services,” Ellison said. Open-source databases like MySQL and MongoDB have become very popular with developers in the cloud era, but there are still lots of companies running Oracle databases on their own hardware as well as companies that want to maintain application compatibility with Oracle but through Oracle’s cloud services.’
Original source: As it shifts cloud focus to platform services, Oracle tries to hold on to its database legacy

Link: My advice for a Paris visit

“If you want to spend forty euros for a very good but not revelatory lunch, find a “cool” area with lots of restaurants and poke your head in at their opening, at 12:30, to ask for a table. By 12:45 it is too late and you are screwed and back to your favorite cheese shop. By the way, I don’t think Paris is the best city in which to spend $200 on a meal.”

Exiled to your favorite cheese shop. Tragic!
Original source: My advice for a Paris visit

Link: Worldwide Spending on Security Solutions Forecast to Reach $91 Billion in 2018, According to a New IDC Spending Guide

“Worldwide spending on security-related hardware, software, and services is forecast to reach $91.4 billion in 2018, an increase of 10.2% over the amount spent in 2017.” Also, a breakdown of spending per industry and type of security product.
Original source: Worldwide Spending on Security Solutions Forecast to Reach $91 Billion in 2018, According to a New IDC Spending Guide

Link: A look inside American Family Insurance’s digital transformation office

“More specifically, our definition will include leveraging technologies, such as AI, machine learning or robotic process automation, but it’s really about data and how we’ll utilize it. Like most insurers, we have decades of outcome data. Now, with evolving capabilities, the availability of new data sources and advances in analytical modeling, we can marry historical data with real-time data to create something more powerful. The ultimate goal is establishing new ways of working that are more data-driven in order to become more proactive and valued in our customers’ lives.”
Original source: A look inside American Family Insurance’s digital transformation office