Category Archives: Information Technology

News You Can Use: 11/25/2015

sn_starrysky_Patrick Hendry

  • Why Your First Generation Sourcing Platform Is Not Ready For Modern Sourcing

    Many organizations that acquired these suites and applied them successfully saw year-after-year returns of 10%+ on the spend brought under management. And a few are even seeing some savings today, but just like the second auction saw little savings and the third auction saw a price increase, the year-over-year return is dropping. Why? Because while these first generation platforms were infinitely more powerful than anything that had come before, they weren’t designed to capture the full extent of complexity in an average category — complexity that has been considerably increased since the early days of sourcing due to increased outsourcing, increased globalization, increased regulation, and a constantly evolving global marketplace.

    http://sourcinginnovation.com/wordpress/2015/11/20/why-your-first-generation-sourcing-platform-is-not-ready-for-modern-sourcing/

  • How to Be Promotable

    Anybody (well, almost anybody) can do what they’re told. To get promoted, you have to go above and beyond. Taking on additional responsibilities without being asked is not only a great way to demonstrate your work ethic, energy, and skills, but it also lets your boss know that you’re ready (and able) to expand your scope. When you take on more than the norm, your boss can’t help but think that you’re capable of a bigger role. This includes showing that you’re willing to take risks by making innovative suggestions.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/252879

  • Third of supply chain processes ‘inadequate’

    The findings also revealed that Europe and North America appeared to lag behind the developing world in terms of “process maturity” when comparing weighted averages, with fewer companies reaching the basic competency level. Some 32 per cent of firms’ processes in Europe and North America were found to be inadequate compared to 22 per in developing countries. This “surprising result” could reflect the tendency of processes to get worse over time and may also be a result of the move of manufacturing out of the old markets and the removal of good process discipline from those markets, the research suggested.

    http://www.supplymanagement.com/news/2015/third-of-supply-chain-processes-inadequate

  • Paris attacks demand ‘wake-up call’ on smartphone encryption

    “A lot of people in these terror groups have developed encryption techniques, and France has one of the most sophisticated systems for monitoring communications. If France didn’t pick up this attack in advance, it’s a wake-up call for all of us,” said Darren Hayes, assistant professor and director of cybersecurity at Pace University.

    Encrypted messages reportedly helped ISIS hide communications prior to the attacks, keeping security agencies from any advance warning of what was being planned. Some experts have blamed the attacks on the growth of cheap or free smartphone apps like WhatsApp or Chatsource that encrypt messages.

    http://www.cio.com/article/3005655/mobile-security/paris-attacks-demand-wake-up-call-on-smartphone-encryption.html#tk.rss_all

  • How to Power Through the Day Without Any Sleep

    Hanging around the coffee machine all day isn’t going to do much to give you sustained energy to make it through the day. While you may think gulping down caffeine will help you feel more alert, too much caffeine can cause you to feel jittery and anxious rather than focused. Dr. Lichten says 50mg to 100mg of caffeine is the optimal dose for alertness and focus. Opt for a short cup of coffee every four hours during the day, stopping at 4pm to prevent another poor night of sleep.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/252892

  • A Race To The Bottom Or To Strategic Business Partner?

    This reaches far beyond top level competitor intelligence. This is the granular level information that can directly impact the financials of your organization. A good example of this would be working with sales teams. They will generally know the strengths and weaknesses of key competitors and their products. They may even know recent wins/losses of the key competitors. However, when you can work with them and let them know which individuals have recently left or are looking to leave the competitor and how this could impact the competitors delivery, this could have a genuine impact on the business. For example, if a Program Director has recently left a competitor, what was their succession plan? How will this impact the competitor’s delivery on future programs?

    http://www.eremedia.com/sourcecon/sourcings-tipping-point-a-race-to-the-bottom-or-to-strategic-business-partner/

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Video: Storytelling with Data

sn_paperplane_LuisLlerena

It’s surprisingly easy to make a confusing graph. No one sets out with that purpose, but it happens frequently—across all industries and by all sorts of well-intending people. One way to avoid this challenge is to never simply show data, but rather to tell a story with it.

Former Googler Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic teaches people how to turn data into high impact visual stories that stick with their audiences. Join this engaging session, moderated by Tina Malm and Davey Nickels, where Cole features highlights from her new book, storytelling with data: a data visualization guide for business professionals. Hear about the powerful strategies that were honed through her work on the People Analytics team and the data visualization course that Cole created at Google and taught at offices throughout the US and Europe.

Photo: Luis Llerena

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News You Can Use: 10/28/2015

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  • Millennials: Entitled or Just Ambitious?
    As they come into their own professionally, millennials are shifting corporate culture and the way companies are organized. In this video, Jamie Notter, co-author of “When Millennials Take Over” digs deeply into common millennial values and how they’re changing the ways top companies compete for premium talent. Unlike previous generations, millennials aren’t satisfied with years of “paying their dues” in positions of low responsibility. They want autonomy, transparency, and a sense of mission. Expect to see the tides continue to shift in this direction as the emerging generation takes the reins in the coming decade.
  • Your Best Ally For A Big Data Budget

    Under pressure to provide better information on their businesses, CFOs are beginning to latch onto the possibilities that big data and analytics offer for their own financial reporting. A survey by Ernst & Young found that 90% of the 500 responding CFOs and others with financial titles expect to be reporting on forecasting, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility within three years. That effort will take some investment, and CPOs can perhaps make a case that with their management of the supply chain they can help, if they have the resources.

    http://www.procurementleaders.com/blog/my-blog–paul-teague/your-best-ally-for-a-big-data-budget-575274

  • Why Dell acquisitions strategy beats the industry’s Frankenstein approach

    Dell’s method was developed initially at IBM to preserve the value of the acquisition. It does that by shifting the focus from conformance to focusing on the value of the company acquired. The first step is to identify and protect the assets that were acquired and then not doing anything to damage what was purchased. In general the firms culture, process, compensation plan, span of control, executive team, hiring process, and even location remain intact.

    What gets changed are things that can be done behind the scenes to cut costs and increase execution. For instance, it is common to use Dell’s advanced supply chain to increase the speed of the acquired firm’s execution and reduce its costs. If the change makes financial sense and doesn’t put the identified assets at risk then it is put into the plan, if it doesn’t it isn’t.

    http://www.cio.com/article/2997155/mergers-acquisitions/why-dell-acquisitions-strategy-beats-the-industry-s-frankenstein-approach.html#tk.rss_all

  • How to cure the Sunday night blues
    I am definitely someone who suffers from Sunday night blues and of all their suggestions, this is the one that I deploy to keep it in check…

    While it’s tempting to dash out the door on Friday evening, you might be doing yourself a big favor if you take a bit of time to organize the following week first, O’Brien says. Or, take a few minutes on Saturday morning to plan what will need to be done on Monday, ensure you have the information and resources you need to complete those tasks, and identify any obstacles or challenges so they don’t catch you by surprise.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/3052390/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/how-to-cure-the-sunday-night-blues

  • CIOs turn to cloud-based analytics to manage IT asset costs
    I want to know more about this Apptio services to see if it is legit…

    LaPlaine says he started off with rudimentary calculations, using Apptio to figure out total IT costs divided by total IT assets. This revealed data duplications in the general ledger, missing lease costs and other bad data. “We spent a ton of time cleaning up data … now we have a very rich model,” LaPlaine says. He counts 25 IT services in AOL’s service catalog, which produce 70 invoices every month to run and support IT services, including public cloud software from Amazon Web Services and Salesforce.com, as well as kilowatt power costs its IT systems generate. LaPlaine, who sends the corporate finance department a file with the costs every month, says he’s also using a new planning tool from Apptio to build his IT budget for 2016

    http://www.cio.com/article/2996559/cloud-computing/cios-turn-to-cloud-based-analytics-to-manage-it-asset-costs.html#tk.rss_all

  • More on Apptio… (from 2009 and not directly published from the company)
    Here is something from the company…
  • Make Your Company More Like a Family to Attract Talent
    This is easier said than done with HR policy and in companies with a downsize requirement.  That being said… I lean more towards this style than not (and did so when I had my store)

    Beyond earning insight into a company’s operating information, employees need to feel like they’re given ample opportunity for personal development and that the company is invested in making that development happen. Sixty-one percent of highly talented managers work to leverage and develop employee strengths and attributes,according to Gallup. I’ve prioritized investments into a leadership development program that teaches basic management skills to current and future managers. Better leaders help motivate and inspire employees. In turn, those new leaders will live up to a company’s values and reinforce its culture.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249793

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News You Can Use: 10/21/2015

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  • A FORMER GOOGLE RECRUITER REVEALS THE BIGGEST RESUME MISTAKES
    I will point out this one since I get into a disagreement almost every time I mention removing it…

    OBJECTIVE STATEMENTS ARE OBJECTIVELY BAD
    “These are a bit old school and are generally pretty generic,” Bacon explains. He believes they’re also typically too focused on what the candidate wants for themselves instead of what they can do for the company to which they’re applying.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/3052371/hit-the-ground-running/a-former-google-recruiter-reveals-the-biggest-resume-mistakes

  • Should Vendor Executives Be Held Personally Liable For Failed Implementations?

    What if company executives had to personally guarantee that they had performed a “capability audit” before entering into a contract, verifying that they could indeed deliver a working solution within the appointed time and for the agreed upon cost. This capability audit would then become the basis to hold not only the company, but the executives themselves, personally liable if said implementation did not occur has promised.

    https://procureinsights.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/should-vendor-executives-be-held-personally-liable-for-failed-implementations-by-jon-hansen/

  • China to consume nearly 30% of the world’s flash, 21% of DRAM

    “Increasing shipments of Chinese-branded PCs and smartphones in recent years have contributed to the overall DRAM demand,” said Avril Wu, assistant vice president at DRAMeXchange. “China’s top PC maker Lenovo and the global PC market leader HP are neck on neck on shipments, and this is an indication that the Chinese brand vendors’ purchasing power in the DRAM market is getting stronger every year.”

    http://www.cio.com/article/2994112/data-management/china-to-consume-nearly-30-of-the-worlds-flash-21-of-dram.html#tk.rss_all

  • Why You Might Want to Hold Your Next Business Meeting on a Boat
    Somebody needs to share this with the big boss… officially a trend setter.

    “It’s a perfect place to close a deal,” says Adrian Gradinaru, co-founder of Sailo, an online peer-to-peer boat rental marketplace where you can compare and book a boat for a day or even part of a day. “You tend to be a bit more open to things when you are really happy, so people tend to be happy on the water, looking at New York. You tend to be a little bit more cooperative when you are on the water.”

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/video/249693

  • 3 Tips to Develop a Balanced Supplier-Vendor Relationship

    While there is always room for caution, never approach a new partnership as if you are going to be cheated. Instead, remember that a bit of humility and humanity can go a long way. Even when negotiations do not go as well as expected, remaining positive can preserve partnerships for long-term success.

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/251578

  • Office “treehouses”…
    I am not big on the “resting places in the office” fad, be it a cocoon or a tree house or even a heavily pillowed area.  I don’t care how “cool” the work place environment is, if an owner or executive walks by and sees someone taking a powder… game over.  (But they are kinda cool)
    http://www.fastcoexist.com/3051747/open-office-getting-you-down-maybe-you-need-an-office-treehouse
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Video: Ginni Rometty: A new era in technology and business

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For the past several years, the converging forces of data, cloud, mobile and social technologies and the Internet of Things have disrupted industries and led to unprecedented transformation across every type of business. Many enterprises have made the shift to become ‘digital.’ However, at IBM we believe that digital is not the destination, but the foundation for a new era of business, which we call cognitive. When digital disruption meets digital intelligence, new possibilities are created by systems that understand, reason and learn.


Photo: Lisbon Council, Flickr

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