Skip navigation

Verified Expert

December 2014 Previous month Next month

Cybersecurity is a difficult and serious endeavor which over time strives to find a balance in managing the security of computing capabilities to protect the technology which connects and enriches the lives of everyone. Characteristics of cyber risk continue to mature and expand on the successes of technology innovation, integration, and adoption. It is no longer a game of tactics, but rather a professional discipline, continuous in nature, where to be effective, strategic leadership must establish effective and efficient structures for evolving controls to sustain an optimal level of security.


This presentation, first delivered in October at the Cybersecurity 2014 Strategy conference in Rome Italy, discusses the emerging challenges as it analyzes the cause-and-effect relationships of factors driving the future of cybersecurity.


2014 the future evolution of cybersecurity from Matthew Rosenquist

 

 

Twitter: @Matt_Rosenquist

IT Peer Network: My Previous Posts

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/matthewrosenquist

My Blog: Information Security Strategy

Danger 2.jpgHackers are always on the lookout for new ways to monetize their activities.  We know cyber attackers have the first-move advantage and are currently outpacing security capabilities and implementations.  Even now, they run undetected and unabated through the networks of many large and respected companies and government sites.  When they are detected or choose to show their position, what makes news is the breach, data loss, and potential financial liabilities.  What is rarely spoken of is how such incidents on trusted organizations can be used to greatly amplify broader cyber-attacks across the systems of other entities and their respective customer base.

 

As attackers are rummaging and shopping around compromised networks, one of the highly valued targets are the certificates of the host.  These are used when communication, updates, and applications are sent to customers and partners to validate content is coming from a legitimate and trustworthy source.  Certainly not as sexy as credit card numbers, but in the wrong hands it can be a much more powerful tool to professional attackers.  These stolen credentials are being used to ‘sign’ malware which will get past typical defenses and then infect and compromise the computers of the host’s customer base.

 

Say for example you have a media or game company that requires end-users to install an application to access news, movies, songs, games, entertainment, or anything really.  The content pushes, program updates, and even security patches are electronically signed by the host, to ensure they are legitimate.  This is good security practice that is often used by app stores, anti-malware software, network filters, etc.  If this host company is compromised and their certificates are then used to ‘sign’ a malicious update, one which will compromise the target system and open it to the attackers, the entire community is at a heightened risk of these slipping past the security controls.  Chances are very good that recipients will receive and install code designed to hack their systems.  Now imagine that such users have this app on their phone, home system, and most worrisome their work computer.  All could be quickly compromised, at the speed of updates.  Most security defenses will not stop such an attack until it becomes known the certificates have been stolen.  Even then, it is not such a simple process to revoke usage across an entire community.  It can take years to close the vulnerability on all the potential targets.

 

Welcome to the 3rd Level of future cybersecurity attacks.  Here is my prediction: the broader community of attackers will soon realize the value of these certificates and begin to regularly harvest them as a resource for resale to discrete buyers, much like how vulnerabilities are being sold today.  Additionally, we will see more darknet services emerge where a malware writer can pay to have their software ‘signed’ with a stolen certificate for propagation to targeted communities.  This will be the next big market for hackers and will become a standard practice for cyber warfare teams worldwide.

 

Hold on, this is going to be a bumpy ride.

 

Twitter: @Matt_Rosenquist

IT Peer Network: My Previous Posts

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/matthewrosenquist

My Blog: Information Security Strategy

The McAfee Labs Threat Report for Q3 2014 is out.  (McAfee is part of Intel Security)  As one of my longstanding benchmarks to track malware growth and velocity, this issue does not disappoint. 

Here are my Top 5 most interesting metrics, every security professional should be thinking about.

  1. Signing Malware continues to skyrocket as a practice by attackers, more than doubling to 40 million samples, a growth of over 1000% in two years!
    McAfee Q3 2014 - Signed Binaries.jpgSigning malware with legitimate and trusted certificates is a great tactic for attackers to get their harmful files past network filters and security controls to be installed by unaware users.  We will see this trend continue, because it works.  In fact, I predict a more mature market to emerge for selling and using stolen credentials by hacking communities and darknet enterprises.  Be careful who you trust. 
    “Trust is the currency of security, without it we are bankrupt.”
  2. New Malware is created at a rate of over 5 per second, 307 per minute
    McAfee Q3 2014 - New Malware.jpgThe relentless onslaught of malware production continues to grow at a tremendous pace.  Can attackers sustain this insane growth rate?  Yes.  Malware is easy to create, customize, and deploy.  More advanced and well-funded attackers have the ability to produce more complex malicious software to compromise systems and environments.  Take all necessary precautions and expect this trend to persist.  Rely on security products, services, architectures, vendors ,and employees who can keep pace with the attackers.
  3. Total Malware in existence exceeds 300 million, growing 76% over the past year
    McAfee Q3 2014 - Total Malware.jpgThe malware zoo grows every year and now exceeds 300 million distinct samples.  It is mind boggling that we must be protected against each of these critters.  The electronic world is truly a hazardous place.  For organizations, establishing a comprehensive layered set of defenses, starting at the perimeter, supported within the network, reinforced with specialized communication protections (web, email, IM, etc.), embedded on client devices, and with good judgment of users, is the only way to survive the onslaught over time. 
  4. Mobile malware jumps 112% from last year
    McAfee Q3 2014 - Mobile Malware.jpgRisks of malware on our mobile devices continue on a steady rise.  Not a sexy news grabbing story, but how long can we ignore these growing threats to our most used computing device? 
  5. Denial of Service still the king of network attacks
    McAfee Q3 2014 - Top Network Attacks.jpgDenial of Service attacks are still most prevalent but aren’t necessarily the most impactful.  As attackers leverage other tools and methods to achieve their objectives, the mix will shift and DOS attacks will wane.  Will you and your organization be ready as attacks change to more effective ways to cause harm?  Security is an ongoing endeavor and planning for the future is a requirement for sustaining a strong posture.  Past successes won’t stop attackers in the future.  As Sun Tsu said over 2 thousand years ago, persistence is not important in combat, only victory.  Think ahead and prepare for how the threats will evolve.  It is your move.

 

Twitter: @Matt_Rosenquist

IT Peer Network: My Previous Posts

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/matthewrosenquist

My Blog: Information Security Strategy

I am excited for the opening of the free Cyber Warfare Range. I had the pleasure of meeting the team at Arizona Cyber Warfare Range (ACWR) and getting an exclusive tour of their virtual warfare range. During this guide of their internal architecture, I was able to get some insights into controls which protect their cyber warfare environment.  It is vital the activities which occur inside the range do not get loose and directly impact the real world.


800 (2).jpg


So what is a virtual warfare range?


A virtual warfare range is an open-source, virtual location where security professionals can test their skills and programs in a simulated environment. You can conduct dangerous activities in a safe, isolated, and controlled space.  You can think of it like a cybersecurity gun range or paintball arena. For example, users are encouraged to hack the servers, compromise networks, break software, test the robustness of products, and even play with toxic malware (in specialized ranges).  Customized environments can be created to attack or defend.  All of which are important learning experiences for security professionals.

 

It’s no secret that security professionals need practical, real-world experience. However, it is never recommended to do dangerous activities on production, personal, or work networks as it is a recipe for harmful unintended consequences.  As a vitally important resource, the warfare range provides a free, internet accessible, and safe place where  novices and experts alike can learn and test their skills while conducting more specific activities – such as testing products, evaluating malware, etc...

 

The ACWR is simply a safe environment for learning by doing. Hacking, testing, war games, malware practice, product evaluations, and real opponent challenges help security professionals hone their skills in an isolated setting. Beginner and advanced ranges provide teaching challenges, customizable environments, analysis, and metrics. The site encourages users to go wild, ‘burn systems to the ground’, and do whatever it takes to learn and improve.

 

No more excuses, time to get learning.

 

- Matthew Rosenquist

 

To find out more visit the Arizona Cyber Warfare Range Website: http://www.azcwr.com/


Twitter: @Matt_Rosenquist

IT Peer Network: My Previous Posts

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/matthewrosenquist

My Blog: Information Security Strategy

I’ve been blogging recently about how we as IT leaders can improve the way we innovate—something we need to do if we want to deliver transformative innovations that do more than just keep the lights on a little better.  I’ve identified the need to commit resources to innovation, create a culture that supports disciplined creativity and risk-taking, and define problems in ways that encourage transformational thinking.


Today, I’d like to share more about the process Intel IT uses for innovation, focusing on IT as an applied science. After all, in IT, we typically don’t design breakthrough technologies. We learn what technologies are available and on the horizon, and develop new ways of applying them to deliver business value.


At Intel, our corporate research arm, Intel Labs, runs an extensive program to create those breakthrough technologies. Within Intel IT, we use a similar model to help us apply those technologies and other innovations to create business value. We’ve established our own Intel IT Lab with our own innovation centers, and we follow a measured, disciplined process to move from idea to implementation—or trashcan, since not all ideas come to fruition.  We call our process the “Idea Pipeline.”

 

 

Idea_Pipeline Image.PNG

 

This picture shows the process steps used by the Intel IT Labs and the expected yields from each step through the idea pipeline.  We look at our yields through each of these steps as a way to measure our investments.

 

Intel IT Idea Pipeline_YT Image.png

 

Moving through these phases, we evaluate whether the research idea has enough perceived future value and determine if there is available technology available that we should look into more.  Then, we do the Proof of Technology and if the technology is not ready or we find that it doesn’t meet our needs, this is where the work stops.  Otherwise we assemble a team and prove the concept. We might or might not run a pilot. If the results are promising, transition to the appropriate team in IT happens and a project kicks off.

 

We expect low yield in the research phase, a middle range in proof of technology and proof of concepts and by the time we get to the transformation step, the yield should be high. If we see percentages too high at the first few steps, we know that we aren’t taking enough risk in what we are looking at to truly help the organization.

 

The Intel IT innovation centers are places where we can bring together people, ideas, technologies, and possibilities to increasing cross-organizational collaboration.  The IT innovations centers have as their motto: “The Place where Innovation is put into Action.”

 

Does your IT organization follow a formal ideal and innovation process? Do you have an IT Lab organization and or innovation centers? I’d like to hear what’s working for you.

 

Please follow me on Twitter.

 

Some additional recommendations:

 

As IT practitioners, we are often inundated with a well-known set of fire drills. Whether it is schedules, contracts, operations or just continually being asked to do more with less. Ultimately, we bear the administrative burden of the systems, services, and capabilities we establish.

 

It can be difficult to step back, take a deep breath, and reassess what we are doing and for whom we are doing it. With constant pressure on the present, it’s challenging to look into the past and understand the present to help inform the future.

 

800.jpgBut that’s exactly what we must do, especially if we want to be strategic and influential contributors of business success. We must shift our attitude and our role, from systems administrators and problem solvers to higher value orchestrators and consultants.

 

This requires a skill and responsibility that is sometimes forgotten in the tyranny of the urgent: Listening.

 

Users are our customers. But amidst the chaos of systems and services and trouble tickets, it can be easy to lose sight of their desires and preferences, challenges and opportunities—all of which are continually evolving.

 

We must work hard to understand our users and learn from them. Only then can we solve the right problems and deliver the right capabilities—to the right user community in the right way at the right time.

 

Intel IT formalized its “listening” process four years ago with an annual Voice of the User (VoU) survey. The survey helps us assess employee preferences and satisfaction, and the intelligence derived helps us determine not only our IT priorities and goals, but also the best approach for achieving them.

 

You can read more about the VoU survey and how we are building stronger bridges with our users in the Intel IT Business Review, which is now available in a mobile app.

 

The VoU is an invaluable tool that is helping us become more effective and strategic over time. We dive deeper and gain more insight every year, giving us a much richer picture of the work we do on behalf of our user community.

 

Beyond baseline satisfaction and preference data, we can use the VoU to take the pulse of different roles, geographies, and teams. We can identify and track trends. We can learn more about the value and usability of emerging technologies. And we can evaluate our past efforts and investments, and finely tune our current and future activities.

 

For Intel IT, listening is one of the first and most important steps to meeting the needs of our business. It helps us evaluate the past, inform the present, and aim for the future our customers demand and deserve. Learn more by downloading the Intel IT Business Review mobile app. And please reach out to me on Twitter or in the comment section below to share your best practices and experiences.

 

I’m all ears. Follow me here in IT Peer Network or on Twitter @edlgoldman.

 

Ed Goldman

Enterprise IT Segment CTO

As I look back at my career (no it’s not over ), I think on the important lessons I have learned. When I first started in IT, my first two promotions happened without any real involvement by me. I worked hard, did my job and my manager promoted me. I remember thinking this was great, but it was really my boss who was responsible for me being promoted.

 

All of a sudden, I noted that others who worked just as hard, were also getting promoted around me. As a result I wasn’t moving up as quickly as before, comparatively speaking. I began to spend time trying to understand why this was happening. I hadn’t changed anything in what I was doing — I was still working hard, arriving on time and working well with others. So it took me a while to figure it all out.


I saw that these newly promoted individuals were taking an active role in their careers by seeking out new opportunities and new ways to demonstrate their skills to a wider audience. They were taking on projects that others didn't want and delivering results.

 

I was not doing that.


Truthfully, the thought had never even occurred to me. To reach out and ask for work that was not inherently mine wasn’t something that I intuitively pursued.


IT LEadership.jpg

From this realization, I started to look for these opportunities. I viewed it as a way for me to expand my knowledge and demonstrate the work I knew I could perform. Taking the time to meet with others, I focused on how I could help my surrounding colleagues and managers, and just as important, how they could help me. In this way, I connected with people that provided me with mentorship and guidance throughout my career.

 

The hard lesson that I ultimately learned was that my career was my own responsibility. I had to take an active role by seizing opportunities. It wouldn't be in my interest to wait around and play the selection game. I couldn't expect for things to just happen.

 

For me, this change came about when I took the initiative to take on the projects that no one else wanted — the assignments that came with no fanfare. However, these menial tasks were still key to actual delivery, albeit their success was not easy to measure. In such cases, failure was definitely an option. But while I thought that failure would mean early termination from the company, the truth was that it was only through failure that I was able to learn so much so quickly. As long as corporate policies were followed and we learned something during the process, our “failures” on a project would never be the cause of getting fired.     

 

As I've worked over the years, I have come to a profound discovery regarding career promotion. When you start to climb the ladder, your boss is the one that promotes you. But as you reach the middle rungs of the corporate hierarchy, it’s actually your peers that promote you. And as you get closer to the upper reaches of executive level leadership, it is the peers in your specific industry or executives outside your current path that are the ones that move you up the ladder.

 

More often than not, this happens much sooner if you get directly involved rather than simply being in the right place at the right time. 

 

Good luck with the climb and connect with me on Twitter to let me know what you’ve learned along the way.

I just finished Words of Radiance, book two of The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson (now have to wait for book three). In this series, the main characters all have an oath to which they adhere and to which they must commit themselves in order to be part of this special group. The oath goes like this:


“Life before Death.
Strength before Weakness.
Journey before Destination.”

 

sdi journey.jpgOne part of this oath, “Journey before Destination,” made me think about some of the challenges IT organizations face in today's world. While those of us who work in the industry to provide IT solutions care a lot about the destination, the solutions are not always there for the journey!

 

Today, I talk to lots of customers about the concept of software-defined infrastructure (SDI). SDI really is the destination. It’s where organizations can get to a hybrid cloud and then control workloads through an end-to-end orchestration layer that allows you (the customer) to institute and enforce policies for your application workloads.

What a great idea! When I ran IT infrastructure in the past, this is exactly where I wanted to be, from an infrastructure perspective. To think I’d have the ability to manage and optimize my resources in a way that requires fewer people to control and manage. And that I could enforce and comply with the controls we had in place while utilizing all my resources to their optimal level. This is the dream of most IT infrastructure folks.

 

So where is SDI today, really?


Ultimately, we need to think about where we are on that journey toward SDI. Most organizations today, to some degree, could complete these steps, as the tools exist.

 

  • Virtualized resources with compute, storage, and networking (all in different levels of maturity): check
  • Created pools of resources with various products available to do this: check
  • Provided some level of telemetry (information, from the hardware to the software, on health and performance of the platform): check
  • Automated and orchestrated the use of these resources to ensure policies and workload management: check
  • Managed service levels through IT service management software: check

 

Sounds like it’s all in place, right? Well, kind of. The challenge here is that we either need to totally accept a vertical solution with one or two add-ons, or we need to assemble it ourselves. On both fronts, some integration is necessary and granted, many vertical solutions are not yet complete. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t some good ones out there; rather, that some glue is necessary to make it all work.

 

The truth is that while the destination matters, it’s important to think about the journey to create a winning strategy for SDI. Innovation is necessary and plays a huge role in that strategy looking forward, and also in our efforts to “create the glue.” Yet IT budget allocations are still heavily weighted toward maintenance efforts. Forrester reported in a 2013 survey of IT leaders in more than 3,700 companies that respondents estimated that they spend an average of 72 percent on “keep-the-lights-on” functions to support ongoing maintenance, while only 28 percent of the money went toward new projects.[i] This is still consistent with many of the organizations that I talk to in IT.

 

Ultimately, the SDI journey is really where the rubber meets the road. And for most enterprises day to day, the journey is still underway.

 

So where is your organization on that journey?

 

Ed Goldman

@EdLGoldman


Be sure to visit the Intel® IT Center to get the latest resources and expert insights, and check out the planning guide to find out how you can optimize the data center to move toward SDI.



[i] Bartels, Andrew, Christopher Mines, Joanna Clark. Forrsights: IT Budgets and Priorities in 2013. Forrester (April 25, 2013). http://www.forrester.com/Forrsights+IT+Budgets+And+Priorities+In+2013/fulltext/-/E-RES83021?isTurnHighlighting=false&highlightTerm=Forrsights:%2520IT%2520Budgets%2520And%2520Priorities%2520In%25202013

I just spent the past week at the Intel Capital Global Summit. It was an excellent event where companies interested in innovation, venture capitals, and startups met to network and discuss new trends. Overall, this experience served as proof that innovation is still alive and well around the world.

 

If you have seen any of my past blogs on the topic of innovation, you will know that I believe there are three pillars necessary for innovation:

 

  1. Commitment: It is important that innovation is championed through executive support and ultimately with an investment of funding and resources.
  2. Clarity: An understanding of which specific problems need to be solved and how to fail fast to eventually get to the solution is vital for innovation.
  3. Culture: The organization needs to be supported in the area of failure. It is through trial and error along with the eventual learnings that are derived from failure that encourages innovation.

 

It was exciting to see all three demonstrated very clearly at the Intel summit.

Ed.jpg

Innovation Starts with Executive Understanding…

 

Through a series of organized meet and greet sessions, I had the opportunity to talk with many companies at the event. It was incredible to see the level of clarity demonstrated by the CEOs and executives of some of these companies. Plans of development and go-to-market strategies were well defined and clear. Additionally, these company leaders displayed an exceptional understanding of what problems they’re working on and the details on how they’re solving them.

 

But in every one of these cases, there was a common belief that the real innovation begins once the customer gets a hold of new technology. This is the point at which true understanding and the collision of ideas can occur. The specific problems are discovered as customers bring additional information to the discussion that can help companies hone in on legitimately scalable solutions.

 

…And a Company Culture That Embraces Strategic Change

 

Throughout the event, companies also met with each other to discuss how technology can be used to enhance solutions and better address some of the real problems faced by customers. It was apparent from the discussions that all of the CEOs were passionate about solving customer problems with the technologies that they are using.

 

This concept of ideas coming together to enhance and evolve a solution is very well outlined in Stephen Johnson’s video on the "slow hunch.” Rare is the occasion when someone conceives a brilliant idea in the shower (think Doc Brown in “Back to the Future”). More common is the process of a great idea starting from a seed, growing through a wide range of interactions, and eventually developing into something that is key to individual or company success.

 

Interested in innovation and the world of venture capital? Consider the Intel Capital Global Summit for next year. It can prove to be a significant gateway to network with these innovative companies. See how they can help you and how you can help them.

 

See you there,


Ed

 

Follow me on Twitter at @EdLGoldman and use #ITCenter to continue the conversation.

Christopher Peters

Big Data Rebound

Posted by Christopher Peters Dec 23, 2014

Managing the Changing IT Landscape: Big Data

Interested in learning more about Big Data trends? Sign up for the 3 part email series titled, Intel® IT Center Essentials Series on Big Data.

 

A recent article in Forbes* magazine quotes a CIO at a New York City

Big Data Tops IT manager priorities.jpg

event saying he’s sick of the big data conversation. And a New York Times* article has declared big data a “big dud.”

 

In 2011, when a McKinsey Global Institute report declared data as important as labor and capital, businesses sat up and took notice. Big data quickly achieved celebrity status in the press and at events.

 

I don’t think big data is sliding into the “trough of disillusionment” phase of Gartner’s Hype Cycle.  Just look at the recent industry press. A good portion of it reflects a big data backlash from skeptics denouncing its economic value. Emerging technologies always undergo skepticism, but it’s some of these very technologies that are now crucial to our daily lives. As the Forbes article reminds us, “electricity was the demon technology of the late 1800s.”

 

Big data backlash?

 

In a previous blog, I described key insights from an A.T. Kearney study forecasting the future of IT through 2020. Not surprisingly, one significant finding points to data analytics as a top priority. It’s a clear indication that enterprise IT organizations will continue to focus on big data analytics as a core responsibility, and one that they can use to create business value from the role of strategic technology partner.

 

The interesting thing to me is that we have an endless need for information to help us make better decisions, as consumers and as business people. We turn to technology to help us do that. And for this reason, the concept of big data is here to stay. Big data technology continues to mature, and the marketplace offers a growing number of enterprise-ready platforms and solutions to move the industry through disillusionment to the stability of business productivity.

 

The signs that this is already under way can be found in the results of some 2013 studies that, among other things, look at where organizations are in the big data planning cycle. For example, a Gartner* report found that the percentage of companies that have invested in or plan to invest in big data has risen from 58 percent in 2012 to 64 percent in 2013. Looking into the near future, Gartner sees even greater investment this year in big data–related markets.

 

IT-Mgrs_Big Data Use Cases.jpgBig Data IT and Business Decision Makers agree.jpg

Business leaders and IT agree on big data

 

 

Intel’s 2013 big data survey of 200 IT managers found that big data initiatives are one of the top three priorities in 44 percent of companies, and three out of four respondents are already processing both structured and unstructured data. Rather than being disillusioned, these IT managers seem quite realistic, with 50 percent recognizing the importance of upgrading data center infrastructure as a key component of the overall strategy.

 

One of the results I find particularly interesting in the Intel survey is that IT managers judge that most of their stakeholders requesting advanced analytics had a strong understanding of big data—and that IT knows what it takes to support these requests. This understanding of big data and how to use it had grown from Intel’s benchmark survey in 2012.

 

And how is the survey group using big data? Today top uses are for evaluating staffing levels and productivity and generating competitive intelligence. By 2016, this group plans to use big data to improve operational efficiencies and generate new revenue sources.

 

Big data staying power

 

From my perspective, big data is here to stay. While some organizations may be tired of talking about big data, these companies ignore it at their peril. Data-driven insights and decision making have an increasingly important place in the enterprise, and exploring the relevance of big data for your organization offers the potential for solving real business problems and developing competitive advantage.

 

 

Don’t be discouraged by the skeptics. Find out how to make a difference using big data in your own organization. Whether you’re just getting starting or

currently leveraging big data, you’ll find everything you need at the Intel IT Center.

 

Where is your organization on big data? Comment below, or better yet, connect with big data experts in our data center community.

 

Chris Peters

Chris Peters is a business strategist with more than 21 years of experience ranging from Information Technology, manufacturing, supply chain, nuclear power and consumer products.


Find him on LinkedIn.

Follow him on Twitter (@Chris_P_Intel)

Check out his previous posts and discussions

 

#ITCenter #BigData

intel_football.jpg

Germany has emerged as the World Cup champion, beating out Argentina in extra time on Sunday in a match that had over 20 million TV viewers in England alone. It seems the entire world has caught football fever; Germany’s historic trouncing of Brazil in last Tuesday’s World Cup game, for example, was the most-socialized event of all time. At ground zero, the flood of data coming from spectators in Brazil has been unparalleled, causing big brands like ESPN to scramble to adjust social media in real-time and comb through waves of incoming posts, photos, and videos for relevant information.


In a similar fashion months earlier, Team Germany was combing through its own set of data - not from fans, but from its own tracking and analyzing of players’ practice stats to find ways to improve like never before.

 

There’s no question that strong coaching and other factors have contributed to Germany’s near sweep of the football series (7-0-1), brushing past Portugal with ease, tying Ghana, and knocking out the USA before beating Algeria and France. Still, Germany’s careful review of data from 2,000 “events” in games and practices - every kick, pass, steal, and goal - deserves recognition. Some are even calling data “Germany’s 12th man” at the World Cup. The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Statistics show Germany at the top of many team and individual statistics categories.

 

The team has been using emerging tools such as goal-line and ball-tracking technology that can measure the tendencies of players in various situations. Video analytics using keywords to detect and return specific audio and visual events from game video allows the German team to retrieve video of relevant scenes and create a highlight reel for each win.

 

germany_data.jpg

To get an even finer look at players’ actions, Germany’s TSG Hoffenheim is placing sensors in shin guards, clothing, and even the ball itself to collect more than 60 million positional records per match, including speed averages, ball possession, and other player tendencies. Those records are then streamed, analyzed, and stored using SAP HANA, the in-memory data platform for real-time analytics, and used to build customized training applications that target the strengths and weaknesses of each player. Through data, the team has created the most efficient training plan, reduced the risk of injury, and ultimately boosted game performance.

 

[Did You Know: The latest Intel Xeon E7 v2 processors deliver a 2x improvement in scan speed per core, without rewriting any of the SAP HANA code.]

 

The use of analytics in sports and businesses is growing fast. MLS reported in early 2013 how teams, like my hometown Seattle Sounders, are using big data to improve fan experience and build stronger teams. And with Seattle boasting the best record in MLS at the mid-point of the 2014 season, I’m happy they chose to be on the leading edge of this trend.


And it’s not just the teams that are looking to emerging technology to improve. World Cup refs are embracing goal-line sensor technology along with precise video recording and ball-tracking systems. Of course, don’t expect that to clear up coaches concerns over referee choices or commentators wondering if the USA was robbed of a World Cup win again this year. Then again, I’m not above a bit of home-team speculation during a heated match either. (We’ll get ‘em next time, Dempsey!)

 

Here at Intel, we’re committed to helping IT organizations, sports-centric or otherwise, embrace and deploy advanced analytics, whether you’re just getting started or working to optimize your existing solution. If you’re looking to win big in the enterprise, the Intel IT Center Essential Series on Big Data has more insights on big data trends along with detailed research and planning tools to tackle analytics projects.

astro.pngThis year marks NASA’s 56th anniversary. It’s incredible to look at the speed and significance of the innovation they accomplished in little more than a half-century. In their first year of operations, they launched Explorer-I, the first U.S. satellite. A decade later, they stunned the world by putting a man on the moon. Since that milestone in human achievement, NASA developed the International Space Station, put a roving research tool on the surface of Mars, and they’ve taught us all about the universe, the stars, and our own planet.

 

Despite their massive achievements and contributions to society, their internal IT operations function a lot like yours. NASA is an enterprise-level organization, with just over 18,000 employees, and their IT department deals with common IT challenges, such as BYOD, big data, and cloud computing.

 

Segmenting BYOD Services

 

Similar to their methodical pre-launch checks, NASA takes mobile security seriously. Enterprise Applications Service Executive, John Sprague, recently explained how NASA created different permissions levels based on user demographics, the data being accessed, and considerations for network access points – the who, what, and where of BYOD.

 

Mobile network users fall into four groups:

  • Visiting scientists and experts
  • Interns
  • Vendors
  • Employees

 

Each group is then further categorized based on how and what they are accessing through the network:

  • Duration
  • Vetted identity or not
  • Risk levels
  • Access and usage patterns
  • Data types


Increasingly IT organizations have adopted this approach, including Intel’s own IT department, where we established a granular trust model to improve BYOD security.

 

Managing Hundreds of Terabytes an Hour

moon.png

As you can imagine, a large research organization like NASA amasses huge amounts of data – where petabytes are as common as astronaut candidates.

 

(Fun Fact: There were 6,100 astronaut applicants in 2013)

 

While the scale of NASA’s big data challenge can dwarf many enterprise organizations, the challenges (data collection and storage) and opportunities (analysis and actionable insights) are the same. In this recent Information Week article, Chris Mattman, a principal investigator for the Big Data initiative at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that while some projects are focused on retention and data stewardship, “[t]here are a lot of active analytics and analysis problems that [researchers] are more interested in than necessarily keeping the data around."

 

While your IT organization may not be trying to predict global climate change by measuring polar ice thickness or finding ways to improve fuel optimization during a trip to Mars, the ability to streamline warehouse operations, optimize an ecommerce program, or improve customer retention with analytics are vital to your company’s survival.

 

As I discovered NASA’s big data approach, I drew three conclusions:

 

  • Manage Data: Don’t let it manage you. Decide what data to collect, keep, and discard based on business need.
  • Embrace Open Source: Solutions like Hadoop are helping to gain cost efficiencies and analyze new sets of data.
  • Stay constantly curious: Rather than feeling intimidated by the amount and type of data, focus on what it may tell you or help you discover.

 

Using Cloud As An Innovation Platform

 

In June of 2014, NASA launched another program with the goal of tapping into the wealth of knowledge and curiosity shared by the scientific, mathematic, and tech communities. The OpenNex challenge provides public access to a trove of earth sciences data and cloud-based computational resources, allowing people to help solve problems and develop new approaches to use information.

 

Organizations are increasingly using crowdsourcing and gamification as a means to improve services, develop necessary skills, and solve problems. Earlier this year, Intel and Kaggle partnered to sponsor a contest to encourage data scientists to compete for prizes by developing models that would best predict the winners of this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.

 

Intel IT also recently implemented an internal crowdsourcing effort by reaching out to our 90,000 employees for ideas. The results allowed our IT department to provide employees with new workplace capabilities and tools they need and want.

 

Aiming Higher for IT Services

 

Ultimately, while NASA’s operations and goals likely differ significantly from those of your organization, I believe that all IT departments – regardless of industry – have more in common than they realize. We all strive to learn from our environment, to enable our company’s employees to operate at the highest level, and to provide “out of this world” experiences for our customers.

 

To help IT organizations tackle these challenges, the Intel IT Center has developed 3-part email series that provide the fundamentals, tools to develop step-by-step plans and evaluate solutions on the following topics:

 

Enterprise Mobility

Big Data

Hybrid Cloud

 

Before I sign off, I’d like to wish NASA a big congrats on 56 years of technology innovation.

 

Chris

chrisblog1.pngFor the past year my blog series — Managing the Changing IT Landscape — has explored how forces such as consumerization, cloud, and changing business demands are directly shaping the way IT operates.

 

After I finished reading “The Quantum Age of IT” by Charles Araujo, I began thinking about the Industrial Revolution that took place during the late 18th century. The Industrial Revolution was the first time we endured a cultural shift as a direct result of technological developments, where industries were forever transformed by the progress made in manufacturing and production. But it didn’t stop with business. This revolution changed the way human beings lived their daily lives. And it started with human beings who understood the capacity of technology to simplify and enhance life.

 

Fast forward 250 years and we see these same forces around us today impacting the IT industry.  “The Quantum Age of IT” eloquently summarizes this revolution.  IT as we know it has changed — with each new day, the expectations of IT organizations are evolving rapidly and new skills, technologies, and business relationships are needed for success. It’s crucial for us to recognize that these changes did not occur overnight, but are rather a manifestation of forces that have been building for years.

 

Evolution. Not Revolution.


crhisblog2.pngThose who lived through the Industrial Revolution probably did not realize how significant and impactful the changes were at the time. Similarly, we are simply too close to the problem to realize how big the forces are. This is where we in IT are at risk. We have to take a step back.

 

In this new age, the risk of maintaining the status quo can be the most dangerous behavior of all.  Even though the path forward can feel daunting, now is the time to focus on making innovation a priority in your enterprise. Charles makes an excellent argument for the need to transform IT.

 

Wal-Mart or Nordstrom?

 

In his article “Customer Disruption, It’s Already Here,” Rod Byfield describes how IT leaders are walking a tightrope — balancing keeping the business both running and evolving.

 

It comes down to choices of IT services, systems and strategies that are best for the business.  In the Quantum Age, Charles states that IT organizations have a single choice of evolving into one of two business models: become Wal-Mart or Nordstrom, but never both.

 

Transformation is Personal

 

My favorite quote from the book can be found on page 206 and states, “There is no such thing as organizational transformation. Transformation is always personal. It is always individual. It also can only be realized from the inside out. That is, you cannot transform another person. You can only transform yourself.”

 

Too often when faced with the need to change, people wait for someone else, typically those above them in the organization to lead the way. However, IT can’t wait because the business can’t wait and won’t.  Start with the services your team provides to your customers. Leadership, like transformation, is personal and throughout the Quantum Age, Charles offers practical tips and advice to willing leaders ready to make a change.

 

Get Started Today

 

For a limited time, the Intel IT Center and the IT Transformation Institute are excited to offer a special edition of “The Quantum Age of IT” at a 50% discount from retail price.

 

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.  I also hope you’ll share your insights with others and with us by using #TransformIT on Twitter

Quantum Age Quote.pngI discovered this quote during my recent reading of Charles Araujo’sThe Quantum Age of IT.” It struck me in that it encompassed why IT leaders need to embrace change — “deliver on the true promise of IT” — and how they need to embrace change — “engaged…driven…empowered to understand…in the language of their customers.”

 

The other week, I wrote the blog, Industrial Revolution Meets IT Revolution, based on my initial thoughts surrounding why IT leaders need to embrace change and outlined some interesting lessons from and parallels to the Industrial Revolution. As IT undergoes this current revolution, new skills will be needed — skills that are focused on the business and centered around personal development.

 

Developing Business Acumen

 

During our careers, when we change jobs or companies, we focus initial efforts on learning the culture, processes, and products, building relationships with customers, peers, and suppliers. Then we adapt our existing skills and develop new skills to guide our success. IT is going through a career change.

 

The developments made in the 18th century happened in response to the changing needs of the end users and the pervasive availability of new technology. Similarly, IT leaders today are faced with both challenges and opportunities to embrace and integrate new technology. Yet if our focus is on the technology, then success will elude us. I agree with Charles when he says, “IT as we know it is dead.”

 

Empathy is a Skill

 

In a recent CIO article titled Top Leadership Quality Isn't What You'd Expect, Sharon Florentine talked with Jack Cullen, CEO of Modis, about how emotional IQ is a highly coveted trait in C-suite executives today. The article details how soft skills such as empathy are increasingly important for business leaders. "‘Years ago, if you looked at CEOs, company presidents and directors, there was more of a focus on 'dictatorial style' leadership. But now, there's much more pressure for leaders to be outward-facing, to be more sensitive to the communities they sell to, or to the communities of employees that work for them,’ Cullen says.”

 

As a young naval officer, I was once taught that I needed my men more than my men needed me.  As an engineering scientist and confident leader (I had recently

crhisblog2.pnggraduated from college, and thought I knew more than I did), this advice ran counter to who I thought I was. But it was the best advice I ever received and is consistent to the message that Jack shares above and Charles explores in “The Quantum Age of IT.” This message applies to IT leaders as we seek to deliver the promise of IT in the language of the business.

 

Five Skills For Success

 

In “The Quantum Age of IT,” Charles outlined five skill areas that represent a combination of both business and personal development for IT leaders:

 

  1. IT financial management skills
  2. Critical thinking and analytical skills
  3. Communication and marketing skills
  4. Innovation and collaboration skills
  5. Leadership skills

 

This list may feel very generic at first glance, but I found Charles’ stories, case studies, tips and action items to be practical tools with immediate applicability. Although the context of the book is written with IT in mind, these skills apply to many if not most professions.

 

The sooner you accept that IT is as much a customer service organization as it is a technology provider and implementer, the sooner you’ll be able to see the value in good relationships, strong communication, and a transparent IT organization.

 

Get Started Today

 

For a limited time, the Intel IT Center and the IT Transformation Institute are excited to offer a special edition of “The Quantum Age of IT” at a 50% discount from retail price.

 

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. I also hope you’ll share your insights with others and with us by using #TransformIT on Twitter and by watching and participating in the Transform IT Web Series hosted by Charles.

 

Get your personal copy of Charles’ book, and join us in our collaboration to Transform IT.

Can you shed your IT clothes?


That was the big challenge that Brian Vellmure gave us in Episode 6 of the Transform IT show. We talked about the changing landscape for both business and IT professionals and, in my opinion anyway, a lot of what he had to say was pretty controversial.

 

Ep.-6-Promotion-Graphics---Transform-IT-2 (2).png
First, he related the current business climate to surfing in the ocean. No matter how well you think you know a certain span of beach, even if you go there every single day, every single day it's going to be different. One day there may be massive waves. The next it may be almost flat. The tide, the current - everything changes every single day. And that,at least according to Brian, is the world in which we now live.

The ramifications for us as IT professionals are pretty significant. To begin with, we need to get comfortable that we will be in a constant state of "selling". We will need to be constantly communicating the value that technology can provide and how it can be leveraged. But more than anything, he challenged us to break free from our conceptualization of our own role. He said that in the very near future, titles were going to be nearly meaningless. And that to be relevant, we were going to have to spend a lot more of our time and energy connecting with everyone that is consuming the technology that we're providing.

But he also had some words of hope. He said that as he spends his days with CEOs, CMOs and other business executives he has learned a few things. First, they are frustrated and are increasingly taking more and more control of their technology strategies. But he is also seeing that as they do, they begin to realize how complex it is and that they really don't want to have to deal with it, if they can help it.

Which means that there is a great opportunity for those IT leaders who can step up and step in to fill that gap.

That's great news for those IT leaders who are able to understand this and willing to do what it takes to "shed their IT clothes" and take a different approach.

It's not going to be easy. There's no getting around that. It will take courage, a dedication to really learning about your business and will require that you stick with it even when all the fires are burning around you. But while the stakes are high, the rewards are amazing for those who are willing to do what it takes.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Brian. I hope that you heed his advice. You can access the replay of the show here: Replay Episode 6 with Guest Brian Vellmure.

What does it mean to be a futurist?

 

In episode 5 of the Transform IT show I sat down with James Jorasch and Rita J. King, powerhouse couple, futurists and founders of Science House. We talked about their unique and distinct journeys that led them both to this point at which, in their view, technology and humanity are intersecting.

Behind the Scenes - Transform IT.JPG


We talked about the perspectives that cause then to be viewed as "futurists" and what we can each do to develop that viewpoint. Most importantly, we talked about how important it is to recognize that we are in control. That we can shape everything: our culture, our future and our destiny.

 

They challenged us to move ourselves away from those things that are known and comfortable and to be willing to immerse ourselves in the unknown. They challenged us to employ diligent practice to develop our skills, but to not stop there - to then expand our horizons into seemingly disconnected areas. And then to simply let things simmer and percolate.

 

It was a fascinating look into a different way of seeing the world around us.

 

Perhaps the greatest challenge came from Rita as she encouraged each of us to "have an adventure". When was the last time in our busy, corporate lives that we thought of ourselves as on an adventure?

 

Probably never.

 

Yet her challenge was a way of reminding us that the only way to prepare for an uncertain and rapidly evolving future is to put ourselves in a state of adventure. We need to be open to new ideas and new perspectives. We need to be willing to challenge the status quo and be open to connections that might not seem to make any sense on the surface.

 

It can be a tall order for most IT professionals. We're more comfortable with things that we can see and touch. But I believe that we need to embrace this kind of perspective if we are going to remain relevant as our world transforms around us.

 

And I believe that's what it means to be a futurist.

 

A futurist is not someone that knows what the future holds. But rather, a futurist is simply someone who is in a constant state of exploration about the future and who is open to wherever that future may lead.

 

So the question for you is how will you rise to this challenge? How will you begin your adventure and begin thinking a bit more like a futurist tomorrow?

 

Share your "morning action" with us in the comments section below. And you can also join in the conversation any time on Twitter using the hashtags #ITChat and #TransformIT.

 

And, if you missed episode 5 of the Transform IT show, you can watch it here. Also, make sure to tune in on December 2 when I’ll be talking to Brian Vellmure on becoming an IT outsider.

 

If you haven't had a chance to read my book, “The Quantum Age of IT”, you can download the first chapter for free here.

What did you think about Frank Wander comparing all of us to pieces of technology infrastructure? On the surface, it can seem dehumanizing. Like we’re just parts of a machine.

 

But the reality is much more powerful. Frank does see people as the human infrastructure that powers every organization. He believes, in fact, that people are every organization’s most important asset - and that we don’t pay nearly enough attention to those assets.

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 11.03.02 AM.png

He challenged us with the question that if a piece of our technical infrastructure was failing and was unable to do the job, we’d pay attention and we’d take immediate action. And yet when part of our human infrastructure is in the state, we either don’t notice or don’t care. And that’s the problem.

 

In order to maintain our human infrastructure, we have to treat people as humans - NOT cogs in a machine. We must understand their emotional makeup and how that drives them. Treating our teams as “human infrastructure” is actually the least dehumanizing thing we can do.

 

Frank’s challenge to us was to prepare for the massive changes that are coming and build high performing, highly innovative environments. To do that you need to be prepared to be in a state of perpetual learning and become a student of both culture and the emotions that drive us as humans.

 

That might not sound like doing much, but educating yourself in these crucial areas is an important first step.

 

So what will that first step be for you? How will you begin your lifelong journey in cultural and emotional learning? Share that first step with us in the comments below of via Twitter using hashtag #ITChat.

 

If you missed Episode 4, you can watch it on demand here.

 

Also, make sure that you tune in on November 11th when I’ll be talking to James Jorasch & Rita J. King, futurists and founders of ScienceHouse. We’ll be discussing their interesting view of the future and how it will impact all of us. You don’t want to miss it. You can register for a calendar reminder here.

 

And don’t forget that you can join the Transform IT conversation anytime using the Twitter hashtags #TransformIT and #ITChat.

How did you like what Ray Noonan, CEO of Cogent, had to say about collaboration and the need to focus on business value?

 

Did it challenge you?Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.57.47 AM.png

 

It probably should have. If I can summarize what Ray shared with us, it would be that we need to:

 

Break down the walls that separate us and keep us apart and to always put the business value above the needs of IT.


I’m quite sure that some of what he said sent shivers down the spines of IT people everywhere. But Ray wasn’t focused on “IT” - only on what IT can do to deliver value to the organization.

 

He believes that IT is too important to be segregated in a separate function and so he integrated it into the business units directly. He believes that we should all be technologists and so that we need to trust our people with technology decisions. He believes that the sense of “ownership” - to the degree that it inhibits sharing and collaboration - must be eliminated so that our teams can work together rapidly and fluidly. And he believes that the only thing that matters is the value that is generated for the business - so if an IT process or policy is somehow disrupting the delivery of value, then it should be changed.

 

If you keep your “IT hat” on, these ideas can seem scary and downright heretical. But if you think like a CEO, they make a lot more sense.

 

And that was Ray’s big challenge to all of us.

 

To break down our “ownership walls”.

To focus, instead, on how we create value for the organization.

To understand and embrace that value.

And then to deliver and protect it.

 

The question for you is how you’re going to start doing that. How will you begin?

 

Share with us the first step that you’re going to take to begin breaking down your own “ownership walls” and to focus on value.  I believe that your ability to understand how value is created for your business and how you, personally, contribute to that value, is perhaps one of the most critical first steps in your own personal transformation to becoming a true digital leader.

 

So decide what you will do to begin this process and start now. There’s no time to wait!

 

If you missed Episode 2, you can watch it on-demand here: http://intel.ly/1rrfyg1

 

Also, make sure you tune in on October 14th when I’ll be talking to Patty Hatter, Sr. VP Operations & CIO at McAfee about “Life at the Intersection of IT and Business." You can register for a calendar reminder here.


You can join the Transform IT conversation anytime using the Twitter hashtags #TransformIT and #ITChat.

When I was a young boy, my parents told me that they would be taking me and 7 of my friends to Disneyland to celebrate my birthday. This was a huge deal to me. They were going all out - and I was going to be able to bring my entire group of close friends. I was simply beside myself with anticipation. And when the day finally arrived, I almost couldn’t believe that it was real - that it was actually happening.

 

I’m having a similar moment right now.

 

Next Tuesday, September 16th, the first episode of my new web show will air. And I am completely beside myself with anticipation. But this time, instead of bringing along just 7 friends, I get to bring along...everyone! But the most important person that I hope to bring along is YOU.

 

 

The Transform IT show, presented by the Intel IT Center is going to be a show dedicated to helping you navigate what the “future of IT” holds for you. So I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little bit more about the show and why I’m so excited about it.

 

Since my book, The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change, came out I have been given an amazing opportunity: to meet and talk with some of the most thoughtful, progressive and inspiring executives, leaders and futurists you can imagine. Whether it was sharing a stage at an event or having them reach out to me because the book spoke to them in some way, I have had the privilege of meeting them and hearing their own stories of both our past and the future. And invariably, as I did, the same thought came to me over and over again.

 

“Everyone needs to hear this story.”

 

Their stories were inspiring. They w ere challenging. They were thought provoking. They told stories of overcoming challenges, of taking huge risks and of trying completely new things. And I almost felt guilty that I got to hear them and others didn’t.

 

The Transform IT show gives me an opportunity to change that.Every other week, I will be interviewing these smart, progressive and game-changing executives and leaders so that their stories can be shared. Most importantly, I will be asking them to speak directly to you. I will ask them to give you the advice and guidance that they would if they were mentoring you directly. My hope is that you will be able to take important lessons from their personal journeys and then be able to apply that in practical meaningful ways - right now.

 

To help make it practical and actionable, we’ll also be holding a live Twitter chat during each episode “airing” so that you can engage in a conversation about how you can apply the lessons from these stories. You can join the conversation using the Twitter hashtags #TransformIT and #ITChat.

 

I believe that you will find their stories compelling and inspiring. But I also believe that you will see that they are really people just like you and me. And that you will be able to take lessons from their stories to make your own journey more successful, more enjoyable and more impactful.

 

In the end, that’s the most important thing that I hope comes out of the Transform IT show. That in some small way, it will help you become a better, more impactful leader so that you can help lead us all into the future.

 

Register today and tune into the premier episode on Tuesday, September 16th at noon EDT / 9:00am PDT and let’s get to work!

During the latest episode of the Transform IT show, Patty Hatter, Sr. VP of Operations and CIO at McAfee, challenged us to take what I called, “the curvy path.” To be unafraid of having a career path that doesn’t look like a straight line. But the curvy path can be scary, right? The trick is in how you approach it.

 

Wasn't it fun to hang out with Patty? What I love about her is that she is a no-nonsense, get-it-done executive who makes big things happen. But she also refuses to accept the status quo, is easy to talk to and she’s just a lot of fun to be with. What a powerful combination.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 2.31.11 PM.png

And as I was talking to her, I couldn’t help but think that her own “curvy path” is a lot of the reason why.


As she explained during the interview, she is able to relate to all of her counterparts because she has been in their shoes, at least in part, at different times in her career. I think that kind of depth and breadth of experience gives you an inner confidence that allows you to drop your guard a bit. I think that inner confidence - and the easy manner it engenders - came through loud and clear when I was talking with Patty.

 

So her challenge to each of us was to be unafraid of our own curvy path. To be willing to step off the safe, straight and narrow career path that most of us have been on, and to be willing to try something completely new and different.

 

It’s scary. It’s risky. But it’s what will give you the depth of experience that you need to have that kind of inner confidence in almost any situation.

 

So how will you step off the safety of the straight path and seek out the less direct, but much more interesting path that will lead you forward? It may be an uncertain future, but by embracing the uncertainty and becoming an intellectual and experiential explorer, you can prepare yourself for whatever that future may hold.

 

So what will it be? What will be your first step off the straight, safe path onto your own “curvy path”?

 

Share that first step with us in the comments below or via Twitter using #TransformIT and #ITChat. Taking that step is a critical decision that will put you on the path to getting some amazing things done at the intersection of IT and business!

 

If you missed Episode 3, you can watch it on demand here.

 

Also, make sure that you tune in on October 28th when I’ll be talking to Frank Wander, former CIO at Guardian Life and Author of the book, Transforming IT Culture. We’ll be discussing the similarities between wine and culture from his own personal wine cellar! You’re not going to want to miss it. You can register for a calendar reminder here.

 

Join the Transform IT conversation anytime using the Twitter hashtags #TransformIT and #ITChat. Don’t forget that you can order my book, “The Quantum Age of IT” for 50% off thanks to the Intel IT Center: http://intel.ly/1pfz4tU

Did you catch the premier episode of Transform IT, with Charles Lee?


I hope so because I think that he laid out a great challenge for you, if you choose to accept it.

 

As I closed the show, I tried to summarize what Charles challenged us to do:

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 9.39.27 AM.png


To be bold, but to maintain balance.

To be ambitious, but to not lose our soul in the process.

And most of all, to take action right now. To not over analyze, to not wait, but to step forward and act.

 

I think that it is profound in its simplicity. But being simple does not make this easy.

 

What I think that he was really talking about is finding balance. That you need to be willing to "jump into the deep end of the pool" - to step out and take the risks that make sense - but that you also shouldn't just jump into any and every pool.

 

More than anything else, Charles challenged us to act now and to not wait. I asked you to go ahead and identify the action that you would take tomorrow to respond to Charles' challenge. Did you do it? Did you tweet it as part of the Twitter Chat? Did you post it in the show comments?

 

If not, I promise you that taking that first action, that first step, is the most important. In fact, you might consider it your first act of boldness. So don't be afraid. Instead, be bold. Tell the world what pool you will be diving into - the action that you're going to take right now to take your first steps on your own transformational journey.

 

There is no right or wrong answer. The only way that you can fail at this is by not doing it. So be bold. Take action. And then follow it through. Tell us what it is and encourage others to do the same. You'll be glad you did.

 

Don’t forget to join us on September 30 when I talk with Ray Noonan, CEO of Cogent Ltd. In the process of resurrecting his company he has taken collaboration to all new levels. You might call it “Collaboration as a Business Model” and I think that you’ll find that his story has some important lessons for you as an IT leader. Register today, you won’t want to miss it.

 

Note: If you missed the first episode at “air time", not to worry. You can watch it on-demand here.

 

You can join the Transform IT conversation anytime using the Twitter hashtags #TransformIT and #ITChat.

About six years ago, I got my first inkling that something had changed. I just wasn’t quite able to put my finger on it.

 

I was working on a process improvement project for a very large financial firm — something that I had done several times before. But this time something just seemed different. There was a different sense of urgency. You could just tell that the stakes had gotten much bigger — I just didn’t understand why or what it would mean.

 

While I didn’t know exactly what was happening, I knew that something was happening. So like some crazy street preacher telling you to “Repent for the end is near”, I began calling on IT executives to transform their IT organizations from every bully pulpit I could find. Eventually, people began to be worn down by my unrelenting chorus and so they started asking me, “Ok, Charlie — we get it. We need to ‘transform' — but into what? What’s coming?”

 

Frankly, the question kind of stumped me. I still hadn’t really figured things out. But I knew they were right. If I was going to keep on “preaching”, I should know why. I began contemplating what I saw happening around me and coined the phrase “The Quantum Age of IT” to represent the new era that I believed we were entering and what it means to both IT organizations and IT professionals.

 

THE FUTURE UNFOLDS Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 9.50.51 AM.png

 

As I began speaking at events and conferences everywhere, I realized that people expected me to tell them what the future would bring. At first, I laughed. Then I began getting scared. People were really expecting me to tell them what was going to happen. The truth is that I don’t really know. As humans, we’re really bad at predicting the future with any certainty. But we can observe what is happening around us and try to make sense of it all.

 

That’s really what my book is about. I believe that as we observe what is happening, here is the one thing that we can say for certain: Our future will not look anything like our present looks today. Which is why I opened my book with the line, “IT as we know it is dead.”

 

But while an uncertain future can be scary, it can also be exciting. I actually believe that we are in a time of great hope and opportunity for those IT organizations and IT leaders who see this future unfolding and step forward to lead us into it. Our future may be uncertain, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot prepare ourselves to thrive in uncertain times.

 

That’s what the Transform IT show is all about.

 

GUIDES FOR YOUR JOURNEY

 

The good news is that while IT may be dead, our future may be uncertain and everything we know may have changed — it doesn’t mean that we’re completely on our own. The truth is that this future has been unfolding for quite a while and there are a number of smart and progressive leaders all over the world who saw this happening and have been doing something about it. They have been boldly living in this future and have been stepping out to break all the rules and do things differently.

 

Transform IT will be a show about their stories. We will hear about their triumphant successes. And we will learn from their failures and struggles. Most importantly, we will be inspired by their vision of the future and the lessons that they will offer us as we strive to step forward and lead ourselves and those around us into this exciting, but uncertain future.

 

I’m so excited that my organization, The IT Transformation Institute, is partnering with the Intel IT Center to produce this show. I believe that through it, we will share stories that will have the power to literally help change our industry for the better. More importantly, I believe that these stories will have the power to change YOU. Your future lies in front of you. It is a time of great hope and great opportunity. But you must understand what is happening and be prepared to act upon that knowledge. Through this show, we hope to do our part to help. But the rest will be up to you. Are you ready?

 

Make sure to register today for the first Transform IT Web Show on Tuesday, September 16th at 9:05am PST. The show will feature guest, Charles Lee, Former CIO, of Taco Bell. The first 30 who register will receive a free copy of, "The Quantum Age of IT". There will also be a live Twitter chat throughout the show starting at 9:00am PST. Make sure to use #ITChat and #TransformIT to be part of the conversation.

 

Note: In my next blog post, I’ll tell you a little bit more about the show itself and how you can best prepare to take advantage of what you will learn. Stay tuned!

You may have heard the common phrase: "Content is King".  If that's true, credibility is the crown. 

 

VerifiedExpertAd.jpgThe IT Peer Network is set to launch the Verified Expert Program, which is an initiative designed to highlight and showcase experts within the community.  Identifying members who are true thought-leaders and influencers will give added recognition to expert participants.  Think Twitter's Verified Users or LinkedIn's Influencers.


There is certainly something about having an official title that boosts credibility.  Upon LinkedIn’s campaign to assign the title of “influencer” to leaders of several industries, the company has seen significant popularity with the program.  Since launching a little over a year ago, there are now over 300 influencers, who receive an average of 30k views.


According to a recent article published on LinkedIn by fellow influencer, Dharmesh Shah, the founder and CTO of HubSpot, there are significant advantages to the program. Shah explains that posts on his personal blog usually average “5,000-10,000 views” – and if a specific article is popular and shared across social media, “that number can spike to 50,000+ views.”  While these viewing metrics are nothing to scoff at, he goes on to describe the major jump he has seen with LinkedIn.  Under the title of “Influencer”, Shah has posted “30 posts” with an “average number of views of… 123,000” per post.  Thank you credibility.  How’s that for tipping your crown?


Some of the perks that IT Peer Network will offer to verified experts include:


  • Title of “IT Expert” on profile picture and avatar
  • Added editorial support (formatting, editing, proxy publishing, etc.)
  • Social amplification (promoted on Intel IT Center social channels)
  • Posts featured on the “Community Spotlight”
  • Nomination for a monthly spot on the “Meet the Experts” section


Not to mention, the envy of your peers and professional contacts.

 

Unique to the Verified Expert Program is that it is open to all members.  While specific qualifications must be met, any IT Peer Network enthusiast can become a Verified Expert.  A transparent document detailing what it takes to earn this title will be published and released later in 2015. 


Sneak peaks to some of the requirements for Verified Expert considerations:

  • Be a member
  • Have a profile picture
  • Include relevant information on profile
  • Be an active blogger
  • Write regularly about hot topics
  • Follow blogging best practices


While best practices alone can promote blogger credibility the IT Peer Network aims to put the icing on the cake with official acknowledgment through the Verified Expert Program. 


After all, what’s a king or queen without a crown?

 

To learn more about the IT Peer Network Verified Expert Program, connect with us on Twitter for updates. 

You can also check out the IT Peer Network regularly and be on the lookout for the official release of the transparent document in late January 2015.