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Showing posts from March, 2015

Embracing the Internet of Customers - Relevance to Corporate IT

Embracing the Internet of Customers - Relevance to Corporate IT One of the key benefits of talking about the “ Internet of Customers ” rather than the  “ Internet of Things ” is that it helps us shift focus from devices to people, and specifically to customers. I was struck by how impactful the simple act of putting in a presentation a picture of an actual customer - sounds simple but just the visual of a customer changes people’s thought process and reaction. As an experiment, for your next large business/IT program kick-off, on the first program slide start with an actual picture of the program’s “customer”. It’s amazing what an effect it has when you remind people that it’s all about the customers versus starting with the classic program ‘Goals and Objectives’ slide. That’s the beauty of The Internet of Customers . It isn’t just a simple word change. The Internet of Customers reminds us that everything we do is designed to benefit our customers - ultimately we are all try

IT Agility: 7 Ways to Accelerate Time to Value

IT Agility: 7 Ways to Accelerate Time to Value For the CIO, often lost in the discussions of Cloud, Mobile, Data and Social is the discussion about Time to Value for IT . Time to Value (TtV) is the time between a business request and the initial delivery of that request. The goal of any business is the minimize TtV in order to realize some level of business value as quickly as possible. There is a direct correlation between IT agility and fast TtV because a business can do very little nowadays without considering and including their IT systems. A CIO has a number of ways to accelerate TtV. Agile development is one way that businesses can accelerate TtV. Historically IT teams used a “Waterfall” development model but this has been significantly replaced with an Agile development model in many companies. Be careful that it is a true Agile methodology and not anarchy masquerading as Agile! Leading with Architecture - a solid focus on enterprise architecture provides flexibil

You Want to be Agile? 4 Mandatory Changes for Corporate IT

You Want to be Agile? 4 Mandatory Changes for Corporate IT I am reminded every day that the pace of innovation just gets faster and faster. Agility in the eyes of the business functions comes in the form of tangible business capabilities that can be seen, touched, and experienced. These are usually instantiated in the form of some sort of application or mobile app. As the pace of change increases, corporate IT risks being left behind if it doesn’t make these four fundamental changes: 1. Structure Corporate IT needs to shift to an agile structure, which empowers each person in IT with the opportunity to deliver. Adopting a dev/ops model in IT is growing in popularity because it increases the empowerment of IT teams by blending development with IT Operations. Classically, these IT functions were separated into two separate teams but more IT teams are finding that combining those functions leads to faster delivery of business capabilities. Agile scrum teams are anot

Adopting an Agile Mentality in IT

Agile IT is not an Oxymoron Every business is trying to move faster. Almost every facet of business relies on IT. Corporate IT is notoriously slow. Having been in IT for the last 20+ years, it is definitely painful to write the last line - “Corporate IT is notoriously slow”. Ouch. Being IT professionals, our natural inclination is to jump into explaining the logical reasons for the perceived slowness of IT (with a heavy emphasis on the word ‘perceived’) because all of us know there are ‘good reasons’ for the perceived slowness. Our explanations, that happen to sound like excuses, start to formulate. But instead of defending IT slowness, I’d propose a potentially healthier approach - we should accept the fact that IT can always improve and more importantly lead the change in our respective organizations. Accepting the fact that IT can always improve, presupposes that corporate IT isn’t as fast as it could be. See the challenge as a welcome opportunity instead of seeing

Why Salesforce is Good for Your Career!

Salesforce - It’s Good for Your Career! Salesforce has an amazing set of sales, marketing, service, collaboration, security and analytics capabilities, as well as the ability to create your own solutions on the Salesforce1 platform. Salesforce is used by a wide range of companies from small start-ups to large enterprise companies in various industries. But did you also know that it’s good for your career ? While I attended Dreamforce last October, it was exceptionally clear that having knowledge and experience using salesforce is good for your career because of the abundance of job opportunities associated with salesforce. I noticed a number of specific examples: There are close to 200k customer companies that use the salesforce platform. Each of these companies leverages salesforce for critical business functions. In many cases these customers are expanding their use of salesforce and need experts to help determine how best to leverage the myriad of capabilities. The

6 Key Steps to a Successful Mobile Apps Strategy

What IT Can Do to Lead a Successful Mobile App Strategy CIO’s are under pressure to deliver business capabilities on mobile devices, all while optimizing budgets, increasing operational excellence, and providing innovative, secure solutions. It’s a complex juggling act. In the mobile space, it’s tempting to just jump in and start building mobile apps. But corporate IT needs to help balance the exuberance of building apps with using a common set of success criteria. This is especially true if the enterprise wants a manageable and successful mobile app effort, defined by usage, adoption and business value. While corporate IT can provide technical design and architecture expertise, even more important is the role they play in terms of coordinating the enterprise mobile app strategy. Here are six key steps for doing so: 1. Create a cross-functional “mobile app working team” This is a group of business and IT team members that are passionate about creating mobile solutions

5 Key Components of a Successful Enterprise Architecture Function

5 Key Components of a Successful Enterprise Architecture Function Creating and managing a successful Enterprise Architecture function requires a variety of different hard and soft skills. In addition, each company is different and the Enterprise Architecture function needs to calibrate and align itself to the specific company. However, there are five common features of a successful Enterprise Architecture function that are applicable to all companies. 1. Governance Enterprise Architecture (EA) requires governance, however not in the form of complex documents, forms or processes. The best governance starts with a simple, recurring dialogue across multiple functions facilitated by EA. I am always amazed at how valuable it is just to get cross-functional teams to talk. Pick a specific topic, typically a critical pain point, which might be some business capability, and create a dialogue about how it works today. Each function will be able to share their perspective of how

A dedication to my friends who have passed away...

I was in Indianapolis traveling for work. Around 11am I got a voice mail message from a friend who asked me to call her back. I had a bad feeling. I called her back and learned from her that a friend of mine that I worked with at a previous company had taken his life. Great guy, amazing family, super upbeat attitude and always concerned about how everyone else was doing. He and I were planning to have dinner in March. Unfortunately I have been the recipient of this type of sad news in the past but no one can ever get used to it. This time it hit me especially hard. Suicide happens in all industries to all sorts of people. Since I work in the technology industry, I think about how challenging it is to keep up in tech and to stay current. There are an unending number of changes in the tech industry - people, products, solutions, technologies, companies. Like a lot of my tech colleagues, I love the perpetual changes, the challenge of keeping current, the need to continually learn new