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Day: February 4, 2018

IDG Contributor Network: Why tech careers need a makeover, fast!

You’d think that American college students would be banging down the doors to major in software engineering, data science, or information technology.

They aren’t, relatively speaking.

To those of us in the technology field, the statistics should be stunning, and not in a good way: computer science majors, engineering majors, and biology majors COMBINED don’t come close to the number of humanities majors who graduate every year. Let’s face it, fellow techies: ours isn’t a popular field, especially in light of the lure of high compensation, low stress, and great work-life balance. In this golden age of technology, where the “T” in STEM careers should be the hottest letter of the quartet, computer science is the 16th most popular college major, and Information Technology is number 21.

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IDG Contributor Network: The business landscape is changing – your company should, too

According to a recent report, the United States dropped out of the top 10 in the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index for the first time in its history.

For six years, Bloomberg has evaluated the business landscapes of countries around the world. The countries are given a score based on seven categories of criteria: research and development spending, manufacturing value added, tertiary efficiency, the concentration of researchers, patent activity, high-tech density and productivity.

The countries ranking at the top are those where businesses are embracing technology. The countries earning high marks aren’t just responsible for generating new tech innovations, they’re also seeing widespread adoption of technological advancements.

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IDG Contributor Network: The strategy journey

What is your book about?

The book is a guidance system full of templates, tools, case study examples and expertise from many industries thought leaders and practitioners, on how to build the foundations or architecture that unpin the growth, sustainability and ongoing transformation of a business and organisation in the current digital ecosystem.

Who is your book for?

The book is for anyone who wants to enhance and structure their own entrepreneurial capabilities as well as the entrepreneurial culture and practices within their business or organisation. It can be used by start-up founders, owners of growing and expanding business, or global corporate executives, and in multiple roles across an organisation. Many industry sectors are covered including financial services and fintech, energy, automotive, health, technology, media & telecommunications, engineering and manufacturing, food, consumer goods and retail, public sector and more…

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IDG Contributor Network: Amazon in healthcare: disruption in motion or a nothing-burger?

No company I know can stir up so much debate over so little detail in a public announcement as Amazon did last week. Judging by reactions to the announcement, to some it was a harbinger of the much-needed disruption of healthcare, but to others, it was a tornado in an espresso cup.

Most of the focus of the discussion has been around whether Amazon will succeed where others have failed. The skeptics call this a nothingburger. They base their arguments on empirical data: look at Google, Microsoft and a slew of startups who all started out to “disrupt” healthcare, and where they ended up. Healthcare is too local and too dependent on the current clinical infrastructure and physician networks. What’s different this time and why would this succeed? The counter-argument goes like this: Amazon has disrupted retailing, has transformed consumer behavior, and has the talent, technology, money, and sheer willpower to make it happen. The joint announcement between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P Morgan (an unusual troika if there ever was one) helpfully – but enigmatically – added that the new enterprise would be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints”. Make what you will of that.

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IDG Contributor Network: Applying the 3-box solution to technology transformation

I’m currently attending a six-week course entitled “Strategy is Innovation” designed by Professor Vijay Govindarajan (VG). He is a Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author, widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation.  While this course addresses the how an organization as a whole should implement the strategy as a way to innovate for the future, I was wondering if the same principles could be applied to a more specific area – technology transformations.

The main concept behind the Three Box Solution is this: Box 1 represents managing the present. Box 2 represents selectively forgetting the past. And Box 3 represents creating the future. VG’s posits that companies tend to focus on box 1 which is all about managing the present. However, this, in the long run, can be limiting, since all of your efforts and energy is being spent on the present, and not enough emphasis or time spent addressing the future needs of the organization.   So, by focusing on box 1 thinking they will never grow. Box 1 thinking is about competition for the present. Box 2 and 3, on the other hand, are about competition for the future. Box 2 is about selectively forgetting the past, and box 3 is about creating the future.

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IDG Contributor Network: 5 infamous startup failures in 2017: pick your lessons

Many startups emerge every year, aiming to rise and succeed. However, the painful truth is 90% of startups fail.

There are many reasons why most startups shut down while a few thrive. The year 2017 saw several startup companies emerged, struggled and eventually shut down. Five of the most popular startup failures in 2017 are listed here. It is up to pick the lessons as you read on.

1. Beepi

Beepi was an online peer-to-peer marketplace for people selling, buying and leasing used cars. Used cars were assessed, processed, listed on Beepi’s website and finally delivered to the buyer by Beepi. Transactions were executed completely with a smartphone or PC. Aside from avoiding the expensive structure of car dealership, Beepi’s excellent customer service was its big selling point.

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IDG Contributor Network: AI is hungry for fresh data…so why are you starving it?

Businesses spent an awful lot of time talking about artificial intelligence and machine learning in 2017. It appears that 2018 is shaping up to be the year the talk trails off and morphs into reality.

And that’s precisely the moment that CIOs and IT decision-makers at large companies are going to realize that for all the attention they’ve paid to enabling AI in their business, they may have neglected the critical resource that fuels it: Data.

Data is always on the mind of Eric Schrock, CTO at Delphix, the Redwood City, Calif.-based company that since 2008 has worked to make data easier to work with and more accessible to the people who need it. Whatever business you’re in, chances are you’re dreaming of a near future where that business is made better by AI, and Schrock says that means that whether you know it or not, you have an unquenchable thirst for data that’s quickly going to rise to the top of your priority list.

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IDG Contributor Network: What is a product management manifesto and why do you need it?

In the first part of this series, an initial look at Planview’s product manager philosophy – the “product manager manifesto” – focused on many of the critical cross-organizational roles the product manager plays. There’s no doubt that product managers wear many hats, including evangelist, product champion, sales liaison, developer and marketer, just to name a few.

As a reminder from last time:

  1. You are both internal champion and external voice for your product/product area.
  2. You serve sales and development as primary customers.
  3. Your job is a combination of inbound (product management) and outbound (product marketing).
  4. You are responsible for defining the positioning of any new capabilities delivered in your product/product area.
  5. You are the expert on the competition for your product/product area.

In this edition, we’ll focus on what is central to the role – building great products. Elements 6 through 10 of the manifesto are all about building great product.

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8 early warning signs of IT disaster

There may be something rotten in your IT department, and if you don’t deal with it soon you could have a disaster on your hands.

Things may look fine now. But the warning signs are already there; you just haven’t noticed them yet.

The network is suddenly glitchy, simple problems are taking longer to fix, and some things just keep breaking over and over. Every massive code release is followed by a blizzard of bug fixes. Shadow IT is now business as usual. And you’re the last one to hear about changes in business strategy.

By the time your staff walks out, your website goes offline, your users have spun up their own data centers in the cloud, and hackers have put your customer records up for sale on the darknet, it’s too late.

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