Connect me please…

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In the best sense of full disclosure I still have a record player. I don’t use it very often, but I actually have two, one that converts LP’s to USB memory the other connected to my home theater. I have a minidisc player and CD recorder also connected to my home theater.

Why?

Well a number of years ago I invested in 8 track technology. That of course sadly ended when the 8 track player I owned died. Why? Because it died in 1989 and they weren’t making 8 tracks anymore. I had always played vinyl (love the reality of the scratches and hisses) and moved from 8 track to cassette. Then I moved to CD’s etc. Now I digitize everything (and thanks to the new Amazon service I don’t even have to work hard to digitize – just hit my cloud player and the new disks are there).

I share this as much for the reality check on future predictions as anything else but also to bring back a topic from the Syncverse essays of two years ago.

The reality of the new paradigm in computing is the portability of the solution itself. That is as much a need as anything else. Being able to simply plug your device into any computer and move the information from the device onto that computer. You can do that now with video camera’s (remember capturing video in the old days – it required a board and time). You can easily move pictures from your DSLR or Cellphone (you may like me also have a rugged camera just to avoid damaging your iPhone or Android phone with rough outings).

Everything digital is the true reality of connection. It isn’t that you are free to roam the world with your device it is that you can quickly and easily connect to any media source on any device and interact with the information you’ve saved.

Connection is as much the media as it is the device. It is as much what you are connecting to as it is the very connection itself. Are you ready to be connected?

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

My data, your data we all lost data

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As the concept of security evolves it provokes many interesting ways to slice and dice reality.

Recently we’ve heard of hacks that scored hundreds if not thousands of card numbers, pins and worse. People suddenly finding themselves vulnerable for shopping for essentials.

The problem? Security or for that matter a feeling of insecurity often causes a backlash. That is a normal or projected response to something happening that causes people to feel less secure. The issue is that the backlash is normally way more than required.

In the early half of the last century the government of Japan attacked an American Naval institution (Pearl Harbor). The resulting insecurity of the American Government caused a horrible backlash (the internment of Japanese American’s). History is full of backlashes like that over time.

The question I have is there a backlash coming in the world of personal devices? 

Change is occurring rapidly in that space. So rapidly that devices (consumer) are outstripping security confines. You can certainly build an HTML5 container on the device and if it doesn’t check in delete it. Or a secondary password application (like Good). But in the end all things are flawed if the device is active and in use when it is stolen. Or if an insider (employee) decides to leave the company and takes everything with them.

What would have to change to increase mobile device security?

(Use the Intel TXT technology on every device)?

Or worse, install an agent at the hardware level and monitors everything and can’t be removed.

Backlash…

its coming.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Sensory Overload…Or the Divergence of Convergence

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With your mobile device you can log into camera systems. You can connect to radar detectors. You can connect to your monitor. You can connect to your TV. You have information on your watch. You have information from your weather system on your phone. You can connect to Bluetooth sensors that remind you where your keys are where any device you tag with the sensor is. You can, in a large shopping mall park anywhere and your phone will take you back.

Is it overload?

I’ve argued for years that KM systems were desired and often started to solve one specific problem, how do I? People use information that exists to reduce the time to solution for a new problem.

But I am beginning to wonder if the intelligent collection of information isn’t well more than any one device should have access to.

Gartner calls this the connected user. I have also seen this called the converged user. I wonder.

The concept of convergence has two distinct flavors. You have to consider the reality of the converge rather than the simple convergence act. What and how the convergence occurs is critical. For example, what are the connections people really want?

For example you can take 1000’s of pictures from an event and converge them to recreate a moment or set of moments. Photosynth is a great tool for that. That converged movement however never existed for any one person who contributed to that collection of pictures. Let’s call that “created convergence” where the convergence is new for any one part of the creation process.

Another example is remote sensors. There are many that you can buy now (my personal favorites are Canary and NetATMO) that produce information about a specific location where you place them (they are physical devices).  My argument has been that the makes of devices like these should offer a shared service like the photos that creates a new experience a created convergence where any one part adds to the value of the whole. All the NetATMO devices in the DC area producing a temperature map that shows the various temperatures in various places (its normally 4 to 5 degrees warmer in DC proper than in the suburbs. We have more vegetation they have more concrete).

More to come…

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

New Product Idea…

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There is a great discussion going on right now on Linkedin. Its about the decline and fall of Microsoft.

*******New Product Idea****************

(copyright Scott Andersen)

I have a Sonos playbar at home in the home theater. Its an amazing audio device. With the subwoofer behind and the bar in front you get the THX theater experience in the basement.

Since the device has the ability to connect to applications today (as the Samsung TV I have can, as well) I would love to see them adapt a Go-To-Meeting, Lync and WebEx client so that each could use the sound bar to push out the audio of the call. Then you can view the audio and interact with it at a much greater level than before.

It may only take a small amount of modification for the iPad, Laptop or phone client to be able to do that.

********* end new product idea ******

I love the quiet time between Christmas and New Years Day, I can catch up on all the projects I haven’t been able to finish. If only I could have two weeks, then I could get caught up, forever.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Anon Father yon floppy disk is bad…

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People always show the progression of computing from Mainframes to distributed to the cloud and beyond. I wonder if that really is the reality we are in now.

Cloud is really a concept devoted to organizational efficiency, cost reduction and ultimately the improvement of computing services by removing the distributed chaos that many IT shops dread. (or you can call it migrations).

I think however the concept of computing has evolved differently than the concept of cloud’s evolution which is why we are at a junction now in the overall adoption of cloud.

My original computer program was printed on paper. My original class input into the computer for college was on cards. When I was a school teacher I built a HyperCard stack with my class on Dinosaurs. it spanned 28 3.5 floppies. We had another 28 as a full copy backup. It could take as long as 10 minutes of floppy swapping to actually load the entire program.

The floppy gave way to the hard drive. The hard drive gave way to the CD drive. The CD drive replaced the floppy when it became read/write.  The DVD replaced the CD and the Blu-Ray disk replaced the DVD. All along in all those steps I had a device that could read and write the various media types. Now I tend towards USB keys and network storage (backed up to Carbonite of course).

Evolution as observed by Darwin was the alteration of a species to better reflect the environment (and in particular the food source) of that species. Soft beaked birds began eating harder nut shells and the beaks became harder. The evolution in computing has slipped by us without us realizing that the ultimate driver for computing is not the environment we are computing in but the ability to go grab what we were working on yesterday, easily.

I guess in the end what I am saying is Cloud, Client Server and even mainframe computing aren’t evolutionary steps. They are simply the end game of the evolutionary steps. The steps were floppy drives, laser disks, Blu-Ray disks and USB Keys. It was never about the computing environment it was about what we created with it.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Innovate, to in to vate to innovate!

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2014 is the year of innovation expansion.

I wonder (and  have wondered here quite a few times) on this blog about the reality if corporate Kickstarter is around the corner. Or perhaps it will be a consortium of companies that band together to create an industry wide Kickstarter. Perhaps it could become a tiered process where solutions are offered to corporate sponsors in a separate offering at the same time. Pending the outcome of the new dual campaign the funding goals could be met much quicker.

This would broaden the reality and the funding levels for a number of campaigns.

You would have to have various controls in place however to avoid the destruction of ideas and innovation.

Lots to talk about…

.doc

Scott Andersen

The winds of change and a conversation…

I’ve been posting now for a time about the concept of the CInO role in many companies. Yesterday I acknowledged as a friend pointed out to me that such people exist today. My argument yesterday was that in fact they had the title but not the job. I then realized that while I have talked about a number of components of the job i hadn’t really laid out what I thought someone with the job did.

Innovation without borders

First off innovation cannot be contained within the traditional walls of the organization. It is critical to look beyond the confines of your company and group to see where innovation is exploding in the world around you. Innovators no longer come to your building and beg for jobs. They simply crowd fund their idea.

Innovation within the borders

Changing how your organization evaluates and pursues new ideas is also a function of this role. Its a nurturing process as I wrote about in my book transitional services creating “a greenhouse” team. That team finds nuggets of ideas and helps them grow inside the company or agency.

Innovation and the trash

The CInO has to be willing to let go. Of ideas and projects and sometimes teams and people. Letting go means letting an idea out the door easily, not hassling the people if their innovation doesn’t fit the portfolio. The CInO has to be a network builder someone who can create and add to their personal network.

I wonder if this role should carry a P&L. In the end a P&L within an organization allows for flexibility within the solutions built. It does offer good and bad and as such would have to be provided on a case by case basis. If it is to build a power base within an organization it is regardless bad.

The thing is Innovation in and of itself represents the future. What is today will not be the same tomorrow. The CInO has to be the steward of the organizations tomorrow.

.doc
Scott Andersen

Yes there are CInO’s in the wild but are they really innovators?

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I have a number of readers who reach out to me via email when the disagree. The reason for this is I got a great email yesterday from a long time reader.

He said loosely that the Chief Innovation Officer I’ve been touting exists in many companies. That I was simply rehashing things that had been for a time.

My response was simple. Yes, Chief Innovation Officers exist in the wild (CInO) and yes many large companies have them. Few if any are looking outside in. They like most people within an organization tend to look outside in.

So yes there are people with a title, but not many that are taking a holistic view of what could happen within their organization. Part of this is tradition (you can’t have a job without having the time in grade). Hiring managers are limiting innovation? That seems sad to me but it’s a fact. The what and how of hiring limits who gets various roles in organizations. So what happens? Like in the book good to great, the companies tend to pick people who live and understand the course they HAVE BEEN ON.

Yes there are people with the title CInO but they aren’t always doing what really has to happen. For large companies right now looking at the reality of Kickstarter and Indiegogo (and there are many more crowd funding sites growing rapidly) they see potential. What organizations are missing (and yes I mean you hiring people) in the end is the real problem.

KS and IG are as much about the brain drain as they are about innovation. Innovation that once would have gone into a big company and eventually would have come out the other end now goes out on its own, cuts the development time and delivers its new products in less time.

Yes the big company can buy the innovation after its done. But there is a cost multiple there that impacts the bottom line of the big company (and greatly increases the ability of the innovator to go off and build his or her next idea.)

Certainly there are people with the title. There are hiring managers who put people in those roles. I wonder if they will be around in five years (both).

Innovation isn’t doing the same process differently. Certainly that is a level and form of innovation. In the end innovation is also about catching the wave of change and being ahead of the wave. Watch a surfing contest sometime see what happens to the surfer who gets behind a big wave.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Who will struggle as a company in 2014…

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I posted my what’s hot for personal tech on my IASA blog – under the category Architect’s Should (and my addition have fun!!!). I had a chance to catch up with a dear friend yesterday. Throughout the call we talked about the various things we have talked about for the past well, nearly 10 years now.

We wandered around the concept of companies that will fail in the coming year. We have this conversation this time of year nearly every year. I thought a lot about that conversation and came up with my list of companies I think will take a hit in 2014.

(Take a hit does not mean fail)

Big Technology Consulting Firms

Why are they going to struggle in 2014 and potentially beyond, their partner channels are weak. Companies often distance themselves from the vendors because of the risk of partnering…I believe 2014 is the year of the small integrated vendor.

  • IBM – time to have a single cloud strategy. Where is your partner channel. Is IBM willing to cannibalize their existing high margin business to expand into cloud?
  • HP – growth is going to slow and frankly where is your partner channel? HP is everywhere and nowhere and that is a huge concern in the cloud arena. They need a solid consistent strategy.

Big Software Companies

Why are these companies going to struggle in 2014 I believe it has to do with the shift in innovation. While to date Kickstarter and Indiegogo have focused heavily on hardware solutions I believe the new reality of software innovation is moving that direction. The reality of the market is Apple is removing the ability of the big software firms to make a killing on software over time.

  • Microsoft – huge partner channel and lots of solutions that are strong. The growth market for MS? Is the tablet world and they are behind with their own tablet’s and support for office on other tablets. Middle and upper management make it really hard for MS to make effective changes now. The divisions (Bing and Xbox) where the management layers are independent are the growth areas.
  • Oracle – like Microsoft they have many strong market positions but like Microsoft they struggle with Tablets and with anything not Oracle. What can they do to get back on track?

Reality says any one company can be on top for 20 to 30 years without a major shift. The 4 companies listed all made massive shifts in the past 10-20 years but were they lasting changes?

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Security and Mobility not a marriage more a nightmare…

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Security is less a concept and more a state of mind at least that is what I’ve been told. With the increased functionality of the mobile device the reality of security is less a state of mind and more a state of constant awareness.

I heard an interesting quote from a security expert yesterday. “People hire me to break into their networks.” He said. The interviewer said “what’s your success rate.” He looked at her smiled and said “100%.” he paused and then continued “hackers are ahead of security professionals right now.”

That gulf isn’t closing any time soon. In fact, I suspect in the near term the reality of mobile security will continue to increase the gap between what hackers can attack and what security professionals can protect.

I’ve recently written about the reality of disconnection and mobile devices. That you can easily record audio and video without being in the room. You have spy pens and a variety of other devices that create a security problem.

  • You can’t assume someone left there phone anywhere on purpose.
  • You can buy a GPS tracker for your car.
  • You can buy a GPS tracker (Kickstarter) for virtually anything. They are small enough that you could stick them inside someone’s bag.
  • Not all devices that record are transmitters.
  • Not all transmitters are monitored (cellular devices)!

The paradigm shift is significant. The security reality is painful.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow