Fresh Links Sundae – November 16, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image28379626Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

Predictive analytics is a well-understood subject area within the data management field. Recently a new subject of prescriptive analytics is getting a great deal of attention and discussion. William Vorhies examines both approaches to analytics and discusses their similarities and differences. Prescriptive versus Predictive Analytics – A Distinction without a Difference? (Data Science Central)

A number of organizations are pondering the question of whether to commercialize the data they have for those who might find the data useful. Jennifer Belissent suggests ways to take your data to market and avoid some common pitfalls. Exploring The Data Economy Opportunity: Some Do’s and Don’ts (Forrester Blogs)

Most of today’s senior executives built their careers in the pre-digital age, and many of them struggle to meet the demand imposed by the changes created by the digital business. Kate Smaje and Chris Wigley discuss a few practical tips that can help senior executives make the transition to digital. Five habits for executives to become more digital (McKinsey & Company)

With the availability of personal technologies, almost everyone has become a technologist in their daily lives. However, implementing technologies for an enterprise still require a CIO to balance operational requirements, security, and compliance with agility, transparency, and modernization. Dion Hinchcliffe discusses a set of strategies that CIOs can leverage in designing the enterprise of the future. A CIO’s guide to the future of work (Enterprise Irregulars)

As more business users get more involved in working with their IT counterpart, they also demand that enterprise data management technology keeps pace with a new view of their data that is accessible and easy to consume. Donald Farmer outlines the ways we can use to avoid three barriers to providing a multifaceted view of enterprise data. Overcoming Data Obstacles for Integrated BI (The Data Warehousing Institute)

The emphasis of security used to focus on detection and protection. These days, response (especially Incident Response IR) increasingly becomes a key element of an overall security strategy. Bruce Schneier describes the OODA loops and why it is a way of thinking about IR in the real-time adversarial situations. The Future of Incident Response (Schneier on Security)

Some would argue for the position that most systems are safe, and people are a hazard. As a result, all human involvement should be minimized in order to minimize human errors. Steven Shorrock believes that people will still be the key to making the system as a whole work, and he suggests some approaches for blending and balancing the humanistic and systems thinking. If it weren’t for the people… (O’Reilly Radar)

Peter Drucker had pointed out that most of us are too pre-occupied with efforts rather than results. We became ineffectual as we worry over what the decision authorities and powers we do not have but should have. Marshall Goldsmith gives guidelines that can help us do a better job of influencing the decision-makers in our lives. What I Learned About Influence from Peter Drucker (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 2, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image14628852Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

Thomas Redman believes that managers should rarely take an important analysis at face value. He explains how data can be interpreted to tell one story but still fail to present the whole picture. When It Comes to Data, Skepticism Matters (Harvard Business Review)

Like all technology implementation efforts, cost benefits analysis should be part of a NoSQL implementation. William Vorhie explains what the two categories of benefit in NoSQL are and how to quantify them. Quantifying the Value of a NoSQL Project (Data Science Central)

Most of us think of taking meeting notes as merely a mundane transcription exercise. Bob Lewis would argue that taking and publishing the meeting notes is one of the most important jobs in a meeting. Notes about notes (IS Survivor Publishing)

Glen Alleman would advocate that, in order to make good decisions, we require good estimates. He explains five decision-making processes and how to incorporate sound estimating effort into those processes. Decision Making Without Estimates? (Herding Cats)

Understand the algorithm is a critical element of leveraging machine learning techniques effectively. Jason Brownlee outlines five ways to study and learn about machine learning algorithms. How to Study Machine Learning Algorithms (Machine Learning Mastery)

Many organizations do not have an organized approach to handling major IT incidents, and, as a result, they compromise their abilities to capture valuable lessons. Ryan Ogilvie discusses the four stages of a major incident handling and what challenges we need to overcome. Not Doing Proper Post Incident Reviews Could Haunt You (Service Management Journey)

Many organizations spend a great deal of effort on IT benchmarking but often get back the results that have little impact. Pearl Zhu discusses how to do benchmarking effectively in order to get the most impactful results from the effort. Is IT Benchmarking valuable or a Waste? (Future of CIO)

With the current and future landscape of tools, technologies, and processes, the IT environment has been changing in a fast and dramatic pace. Chris Riley discusses the challenges IT and Operations will face now and into 2015 and how to address those challenges. 6 Challenges Facing DevOps and Operations Teams in 2015 (logentries)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 28, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-sundae-image13526471Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

In a 9-part series, William Vorhies discusses the important considerations that can help you determine which NoSQL technology is appropriate for your project. I featured parts one through five last week. We feature parts six through nine here to wrap things up. Lesson 6: Document Oriented Databases  Lesson 7: Column Oriented Databases (aka Big Table or Wide Column)  Lesson 8: Graph Databases  Lesson 9: Making Your Selection – Final Considerations (Data Science Central)

Today’s business leaders need to understand enough about data analytics in order to begin to appreciate the opportunities possible by leveraging data. Alex Jones discusses a variety of different data analytics approaches along with their advantages and limitations from a business leader’s perspective. Data Analytics for Business Leaders Explained and Advanced Data Analytics for Business Leaders Explained (KDnuggets)

Many organizations believe they must hire data scientists from outside who will come with both broad and extensive background in order to succeed. Michael Schrage recommends a different approach in which organizations grow their data science talents from within the enterprise. Stop Searching for That Elusive Data Scientist (Harvard Business Review)

Analytics project is one of the top priorities for many organizations these days. IT is in a unique position to play a pivotal role in managing the full information life cycle. Pearl Zhu explains how CIOs can take on the adventure of analytics projects and deliver the business value from deploying them. CIO as Chief Analytics Officer (Future of CIO)

Data migrations are rarely an attractive of projects to sponsor. On occasions, the migration activities can be seen a difficult, bitter pill to take in and digest. Dylan Jones outlines the areas where the sponsors for data migration projects need to have considerable input and oversight. Are you a data migration sponsor? A reminder of your responsibilities. (The Data Roundtable)

Spreading the good news of business intelligence (BI) technology requires marketing, but good news alone will not be enough to move people to action. Max Russell explains how IT can leverage good marketing practices to improve its effectiveness in implementing and supporting BI in the enterprise. Marketing IT In-House: Good News Is Not Enough (TDWI)

Cloud computing has changed how IT operate and interact with its business constituents. Pierre Moncassin discusses how IT needs to transform itself towards providing services in a software-defined data center environment. A New Angle on the Classic Challenge of Retained IT (VMware CloudOps)

Decision making is the most prominent and critical element of a leader’s responsibility. When it comes to effective decision making, Eric McNulty outlines the four key tests of any critical decision. The Four Rs of High-Stakes Decision Making (Strategy+Business)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 21, 2014 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

In a 9-part series, William Vorhies discusses the important considerations that can help you determine which NoSQL technology is appropriate for your project. Parts one through five are listed here to start things out. 9 Lessons: Picking the Right NoSQL Tools  Lesson 2: NoSQL Databases are Good for Everything – Except Maybe this One Thing  Lesson 3: Open Source, Distribution, or Suite  Lesson 4: Features Common to (Most) NoSQL/NewSQL Databases  Lesson 5: Key Value Stores (AKA ‘Tuple’ Stores) (Data Science Central)

Cloud computing is here to stay, and many organizations have begun implementing their private clouds. Thomas Bittman talks about ten reasons why most organization fails to get the most out of their private cloud efforts. Why Are Private Clouds Failing? (Gartner Blogs)

Many organizations hire for skills and aptitude, but are there other elements that play an even more critical role in the organization’s success? Stephen Mann suggests that the attitude of the IT staff can go a long way in shaping and promoting their organization’s chance to succeed. Working In IT: Does Your Attitude Determine You… (ServiceNow)

Effective software asset management (SAM) is a crucial component of any IT operation, but the scope of SAM needs to be well-defined and precise, or it could become unmanageable quickly. Brent Jarnell talks about what to consider when designing your SAM practice. Setting the scope in SAM design (The ITAM Review)

When operating a complex system, it is often difficult to grasp the potential connections between many data sources which are part of the system. Rita McGrath explains how predictive analytics can now help organizations gain more insights into their business by bringing more disparate data stores together. To Make Better Decisions, Combine Datasets (Harvard Business Review)

When adopting a non-waterfall project management practice, some organizations had to face the decision of whether to adopt Scrum or Kanban. Simon Morris discusses the similarities and differences of those two approaches and how to be successful with either. Scrum vs. Kanban (The ITSM Review)

Many IT organizations have a significant portion of their budget goes into maintaining operations and application portfolio. Pearl Zhu gives suggestions on managing a balanced IT portfolio and how to run IT more effectively. IT Portfolio Management (Future of CIO)

Conducting proof-of-concept (POC) projects to test out a new idea is a popular approach, but many POC efforts fall into the traps of wasted valuable time and resources. Bob Lewis talks about how to avoid those traps when conducting POCs. How to prove a proof of concept (IS Survivor Publishing)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 31, 2014 Edition

dreamstime_xs_32609411-240x178Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

A majority of organizations implement only reactive problem management; however, it is the proactive problem management practices that bring even more value. Stephen Mann discusses the barriers we need to overcome and the good practices we should implement for proactive problem management. 6 Barriers To Proactive Problem Management and 6 Problem Management Best Practices (ServiceNow)

A number of organizations are experimenting with predictive analytics and exploring its business value. James Taylor explains how to avoid common mistakes of predictive analytics. The Four Traps of Predictive Analytics (MIT Sloan Management Review)

Working in the field of IT Service Management, vendor management needs to be one of the high competency areas. Morgan Hunter talks about the considerations you should be aware of before signing a contract and recommends a nice checklist. Contract Negotiation Checklist – Don’t forget Your Pre-Nup (Intréis)

Predictive analytics is an increasingly mature technology, but many organizations still are not aware of the opportunities it presents. William Vorhies discusses the paths that a business leader can follow to discover more opportunities from leveraging predictive analytics. From Data Analyst to Predictive Modelers to Data Scientists (Data Science Central)

Many would believe that exercising technology leadership is all about achieving a successful implementation. Bob Lewis believes that the most important goal for technology leadership is to build a reusable organizational capability. Organizing for technology leadership (IS Survivor Publishing)

While the DevOps movement is evolving into a culture for continuous delivery of IT services, many organizations are still trying to find a balance between the human collaboration aspect and the tools/technologies. Mark Burgess uses the Promise Theory to explain how DevOps should work and why having a functional IT is a business imperative. The Promises of DevOps (Mark Burgess Website)

Analysts need to know the business rules which influence their database designs in order to ensure data operations make sense and results can be interpreted correctly. Fabian Pascal advises data analysts on the types of business rules for which they should be familiar with. Data Analysts: Know Your Business Rules (AllAnalytics)

Many believe that you cannot achieve value from your investment in ITSM without a fully functional and integrated CMDB. Oded Moshe explains why that is not necessarily true and recommends a list of advices to implement CMDB. Clearing Up the Myths of CMDB (SysAid Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – August 17, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image5686314Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

Many organizations look to their CIO to lead by demonstrating technology leadership, but many CIOs view doing things new and different can be risky. Bob Lewis reminds us that technology leadership is hard to do but very necessary. What technology leadership takes (IS Survivor Publishing)

According to William Vorhies, there are two broad categories of analytics. The first includes reports, visualizations, and dashboards, and the second is predictive analytics. He explains what predictive analytics is and what benefits and promise predictive analytics may present. Types and Uses of Predictive Analytics, What they are and Where You Can Put Them to Work (Data Science Central)

Delivering a faster user experience to your customers online is no longer optional but a necessity. Tammy Everts discusses what we can learn from the most high-performing sites for improving web performance. What the 10 fastest ecommerce sites can teach us about web performance (Web Performance Today)

As more business functions join the digital trend, more marketing and IT leaders are taking actions to build trust and to improve alignment. Mike Sutcliff recommends the steps that CMOs and CIOs can take to make progress toward working together productively. CMOs and CIOs Increasingly See Eye to Eye (Harvard Business Review)

If you were asked by your organization to lay out the necessary steps to build an analytics capability, will you know exactly what to do? For most us, asking the right questions is the first step and the key to getting the right answers. Bryan Beverly discusses the questions that aimed at helping your organization move from concept to reality. What to Ask When Setting Up an Analytics Shop (AllAnalytics)

Each organization is facing the challenge of making use of the large amount of data it collects on a daily basis. In a two-part series, Lee Feigenbaum discusses the challenges and the practices for turning big data into smart data to surmount these challenges and to drive business value. Turning Big Data into Smart Data (Part 1 of 2)  5 Steps to Turning Big Data into Smart Data (Part 2 of 2) (The Data Warehousing Institute)

More and more organizations are beginning to understand the significance that IT Risk & Compliance has in the success of their business. Morgan Hunter talks about the benefits a robust IT Risk & Compliance function can add to the business and what to expect in the future. Intreis COO Sheds Light On IT Risk & Compliance (Intreis Blog)

If your organization is just starting to implement ISO 27001, you are probably in a dilemma as to what and how many documents you need to have. Dejan Kosutic outlines the criteria for deciding what to document. ISO27001 documents – Eight criteria to decide which ones to write (27001Academy)