Archive for the ‘Digital’ Category

Cyber’s ODI Operating Model – The Future of Cyber Security

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Cyber's ODI Operating Model is the emerging future of cyber security.

This operating data intelligence (ODI) operating model will take over Cyber operations and be driven by data.

However, as an actual set of realized practices today, Cyber’s ODI does not yet exist in full regalia and will not for some time.

Despite being emergent, ODI is the unstoppable future of Cyber.

Let’s take the covers off Cyber's ODI and peek at what it is, why it is the future of Cyber, and what to expect of it.

But before we do, let’s review today’s dominant Cyber operating models.

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Bitcoin and Blockchain – Bubble, Bubble Toil and Trouble

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

Can Bitcoin and Blockchain be compared with the misquoted line from Shakespeare's play Macbeth, "Bubble, Bubble Toil and Trouble?"

Unfortunately, Shakespeare never published his play Macbeth with the line "Bubble, Bubble Toil and Trouble" in it.  Instead, he published "Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble", recited in unison by three witches pondering the fate of Macbeth in Act 4, Scene 1.

Is this oft-misquoted line from Shakespeare well suited to the current over-inflated and breathless puffery surrounding Bitcoin and Blockchain?

Let's look further at both.

One of these (Bitcoin) is cited as the first coming of digital currency, the other (Blockchain) is routinely cited as the disruption agent de jure of just-about-everything.

  • Is Shakespeare's use of the Witches incantations relevant to Bitcoin and blockchain today?
  • Are we living in a new age of Tulip-mania dressed up in digital concept garb?
  • Does the current market hype and craze surrounding Bitcoin and Blockchain have legs to them?
  • When can we really expect Bitcoin to stabilize and Blockchain to become real?

Read on for unseen insight.

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Digital Transformation and Enterprise Inertia

Friday, May 25th, 2018

The phrase of the day is digital transformation and its kissing cousin, which is disruption.

What is less well understood - nor is it widely discussed - is the impact of organizational or enterprise inertia.

Creative destruction, transformation and change

The overwhelming talk-track heard in conference halls, in expo centers, on podcasts, in webinars, and in online and mainstream business coverage is all about transforming this and transforming that.

When the modifier "digital" is appended to "transformation" everyone nods their head in agreement and in unison: bound to one another by social compact about expected behavior and the unwillingness the admit that they have no idea what others are talking about.

All this talk about transformation - digital or otherwise - and disruption is music to the ears of all the people who are in the businesses of offering management consulting, advisory and guidance services, especially about the nexus of strategy, markets and digitally enabled business processes.

But even these companies - the advisory firms - suffer from the same enterprise inertia that afflicts their clients.

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Innovative Digital Business Models – Wellington Research Perspective

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

The era of innovative digital business models has arrived and with it as they say is something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

Something old is the old businesses models of the tech industry now that every industry is a software company.

Something new are actually new business models or ways to organize resources and assets to turn a profit.

Something borrowed is the old tech foundations that cannot be jettisoned entirely while new digital tires are retrofitted for new roads and discoveries.

Something blue is the realization that digital business is just like old business, and once in the trenches of digital business innovation, it is just as difficult as old business because it is business.

Our new report on Innovative Digital Business Models provide some perspective on it all.

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Digital Business, Transformation and Automation

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

So what's up with all the talk about digital business, transformation and automation?

The way these are talked about you would think none of us have had anything to do with or been doing anything digital for the past fifty years.

None of us who earned our stripes anyway - whether it bee with paper tape loaders, front panel flip switches, JCL, hollerith cards, micro-controllers, CP/M, systems programming, kernel builds, and NOS's among others - have apparently been doing digital business, according to some anyway.

Nor was anyone who built and used RDMBS, middleware or client-server computing.

Hooey on all of us - or them - because apparently none of us have been doing digital business!

Foolish rubbish! (more…)

Brands are Dead – Customers are Loyal to UX

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

In the 21st century, customers are loyal to the User eXperience (UX for short). Yet all that marketers talk about is this "Brand" and that "Brand." Is the concept of "brand" keeping marketers fully employed because they have hoodwinked everyone into believing "branding" has magical powers?

I'm here to tell you the concept of "Brand" as something existing on its own, separate from the experience of customers, is dead. The very concept of "Brand" is a vestige of 20th century industrial manufacturing economics built on the premise of "build it and they will buy."

But today, yesterday's concept of "Brand" has been replaced by the UX.

Brands are dead - customers are only loyal to UX and more importantly to their expectations.

Don't want to believe it?

Travel to Kuala Lampur, Dubai, Bangkok, Mumbai, Rome, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo, San Francisco, Sydney, New York, St. Petersburg and any number of other major cities of the world.

There in the midst of all these unique cultures and cities you'll find the same upscale "Brands" in exactly the same layout, with the same trade dress, the same products, and the same experience.

So why is it that "Brands" put so much weight on what is called "trade dress?"

Let's find out.

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Bots Change Security – Are You Ready?

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Bots change security - at least that's the view of most forecasters.

But what does it mean that bots change security, and what kind of bots? Are we talking about:

  • Programmed scripted bots, as in robotic process automation otherwise known as RPA?
  • Programmed machine- and data- learning pattern recognition and response bots?
  • Human learning bots using natural language processing (NLP)?
  • As yet unseen artificial intelligence bot?

Exactly what kinds of bots makes a difference, and where these are applied makes a bigger difference.

Let's find out more.

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Artificial Intelligence – Cybersecurity’s Future

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

There was some controversy emerging from the most recent RSA conference when the CTO of RSA - Zulfikar Ramzan - was quoted saying "I think it (the technology of machine learning) moves the needle," he said on Wednesday. "The real open question to me is how much has that needle actually moved in practice?" What he did not address is the intelligence that is going to change the entire industry.

This is probably an understandable reaction to the state of the market for security products and services today with all manner of technology product vendors and service providers claiming their "solution" uses the latest ... machine learning, cognitive (my favorite marketing buzzword term) and artificial intelligence ... take your pick, powered security Swiss Army knife. Moreover, this has been going on now for a few years as new end-point detection and recovery systems have hit the market powered by AI, and all manner of other security tools.

The point Zulfikar is/was trying to make is that it is hard trying - for some- to decrypt marketing buzz from reality when it comes to the latest AI-powered security tools. But I think this attitude is condescending. Most IT security buyers that have been around more than a few years have specially equipped radar for BS and can smell it in the air. What did not get covered at the RSA conference is the huge impact AI is going to have on the entire industry, impacts that will not be too far in the future.

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The Digital Transformation of Security

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

The digital transformation of security is underway: are you prepared for it?

Our security practices of have grown up and around the combination of procedures/technologies tools that we use to implement it. We are very proud of our defense in depth security approaches. We revel in their coverage and speak of their architectures. The only problem is they don't work. If they did, we wouldn't be on the defensive worried about where our systems/networks/data have been compromised most recently.

Identity and access

For instance, one of our most common process/technology buckets involves vetting someone is who they claim to be (have you ever heard of a user id and a password?) and then making programmatic decisions about what that account/person/software process acting on behalf of that account/person can do/access/etc.

Better known by its moniker IAM - identity and access management - we use combinations of procedures and technologies to identify people, data, network systems and components, software services, systems and assets, and crytographically sealed data among other purposes.

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Blockchain Disrupts Everything :-)

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

I saw a story the other day about how Blockchain technology is disrupting everything, as in present-tense, happening today, the world is being disrupted. The author goes on to cite voting, finance, music, ownership and counterfeiting. Not exactly everything, and not exactly present tense either.

Another one from Forbes says Blockchain startups are disrupting the $15 billion music industry.  Another one goes further to say Banking is only the start: 20 big industries where blockchain could be used.

Are you growing as weary as I am about all the big disruption talk?

It seems that every day, I see a story about another industry that is about to be disrupted by another technology, another startup, and another use of ......name the disruptor.

It seems as if the word disruption has replaced the word innovation as the new "it" word, used with abandon by writers (PR hacks) everywhere.  I can understand the use of the word innovation, it makes sense. It's certainly better than the sustainable and green craze we went through about 5 years ago (truth be told, its remnants are still with us).

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What’s Behind the Microsoft Linkedin Linkup

Friday, July 1st, 2016

What's behind the Microsoft Linkedin linkup announced in June 2016?

Microsoft announced it intends to acquire Linkedin – the premier business social network – in an all-cash deal for the sum of $26 billion on June 13, 2016.

The acquisition announcement set off a firestorm of controversy about the deal ranging from utter bewilderment and outright rejection, to admiration for its chutzpah and vision.

Is this a big departure from the steady cash cow business of Software sales?

Is it a new sideways slide similar to the company's decade plus mobile phone debacle?

Is it a way to monetize new revenue streams that do not yet exist?

Let's find out more.

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Microsoft and Market Dominance

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Seventeen months after announcing that it would do so, Microsoft formally ended technical support and security updates for Internet Explorer versions 7, 8, 9 and 10 on most operating systems. Some see this as the end of an era while others see it as a potent of potential risk for web users and companies still reliant on old versions of IE.

And rely they will. It's amazing how long in the tooth old versions of Internet Explorer are in corporate computing and how ill equipped organizations are to deal with technology change when it comes to IE. Compared with the lightning-updates of Firefox and Chrome, it's downright scary that corporate compute still hews to outdated technology that causes so much pain when it comes to updates.

We see the end of IE more as an illustration of an important cycle in IT market creation and dominance, and as a cautionary tale for those who believe that so-called “first movers” are most likely to dominate new markets.

Microsoft introduced IE well after “first movers” like Netscape created, popularized, and then dominated the market for browsers and web servers. Once it came into the market, IE was panned, and yet its rapid rise to dominance was also at the heart of one of the messier and most entertaining IT industry antitrust actions of the past few decades, which resulted in Microsoft - more or less -  later unbundling IE from the Windows operating system.

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The New Analytics

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The new analytics are already in play, and are about the become a more critical part of our lives in the future. They can be seen in use with Siri, Cortana and "Hey Google" through your phone.

The new analytics are also being used with sales offers using new mass personalization applications, by healthcare providers looking to delivery more accurate higher quality care, by insurers eking-out more profitable segments, by banks stemming online and offline fraud from eating profits, and from governments trying to collect taxes, among industry other uses.

The new analytics are known by many different names, including data mining, machine learning, big data analytics, contextual and cognitive computing, all of which have their differences.

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Google, Android and Stage Freight

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Do you have Stage Freight?  No, not the kind of stage freight fear and anxiety that occurs when you have to deliver a speech or pose for the camera. This Stage Freight is a bug in the Android operating system powering the vast majority of mobile phones and tablets now on the market.

This vulnerability makes it easy for attackers to remotely execute code via a multimedia message without the user of the phone or tablet ever being aware their device was attacked and taken over. To see if your device is infected, download one of the StageFreight detectors from the Google Play Store: here's one from Lookout Mobile Security. There are others here as well if you prefer. The advice from the experts is to uncheck Auto-retrieve from the MMS or Hangout application on your device to avoid losing it to an unseen hacker.

Google, the developer of the Android operating system had a patch for the bug and the patch was ready to be distributed when the bug was announced at the end of July. But it's not yet been distributed.

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IoT Market Leaders and Laggards

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Depending on who you talk with, the Internet of Things (IoT) is everything from the next big change that's going to revolutionize entire industries to an interesting tech-led fueled publicity feeding frenzy.

If you look behind the scenes there are some rather interesting pictures that are emerging of industries, products and breakout opportunities.

FitBit Activity Trackers, Apple Watch and Android Wear devices are the leading-edge of consumer breakout opportunities that will stretch from simple activity tracking applications to healthcare tracking, and from phone replacements to entirely new and transformed industries that interact with consumers.

On the other hand, the recent hack of a Chrysler Jeep reveals an automobile manufacturing industry that is not ready for IoT, has not yet figured out what it means for their current business model, and what it must do to make its future practical, effective or safe to use. See more of the story at Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway - With Me in It.

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Microsoft’s Big Mobile Gamble

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Microsoft is - quietly and not so quietly - gambling big on mobile. The company loudly bet big when it acquired Nokia for $7.2 billion in 2014.

In the year since the acquisition, the company has figured out that it's route to market is not going to be as a manufacturer of handsets competing with Apple, Blackberry, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sony, TCL, Xiaomi, Yulong, and ZTE among others.

The company could continue to flog sales of mobile handsets by focusing on the very large opportunity in the developing world at the low price-point end of the market and reach scale by selling lots of handsets with a Windows experience to many people who do not have the means to purchase expensive devices and post-paid service plans. This is a market Nokia once owned but has lost to Chinese manufacturers embedding Android - and non-Android OSs - on sub-$100 phones sold into the pre-paid service plan market around the world.

An alternative is the company can go upstream into the expensive land of dream-handsets that are sold to a small population in the developed world who are willing and able to spend more on handsets.

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Microsoft’s Got Its Groove Back

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Don't look too closely, but Microsoft's got its groove back!

The company is about to land its software on the desktops, laptops and tablets of its entire installed base in July with an upgrade to Windows 10 that will see most of its consumer customers migrating to the new platform in short order. And, it's hoping to establish a new Win 10 beachhead on mobile phones.

The business holdouts will be the same one's that can't afford to replace their XP-based - and older - hardware platforms that are currently in use. The large enterprises with many thousands, to tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of PCs and laptops still in the field are paying dearly for XP-support. These users may see the free Win10 upgrade as an opportunity to bring everything current, unless of course they're stuck on older versions of Internet Explorer that have been hacked to work with specific application extensions.

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The Cone of Silence

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

We live within the cone of silence, at once a vacuum and a deafening sound infecting almost all businesses today: some more than others.

It is especially evident in companies where the boss only hears what he or she wants to hear, not what customers are saying and doing, and where the underlings only tell the boss what he or see wants to hear. It is at its loudest pitch in companies where the boss micromanages everything and yet has no time for anything. The cone of silence is reinforced by incivility and rudeness in the workplace, and driven by ego, overstress, and information overload. An outcome of the cone of silence can be seen when businesses lose the way. The retail sector is replete with examples, the most recent of which includes the American retailer Gap planning to close more than one-fourth of its stores in the coming year.

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The Cloud (R)eVolution

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

The Cloud (R)eVolution is happening under our feet, behind our backs and under our noses. We have trouble seeing it because we're trapped in our slow-motion time capsules that prevent us from seeing the vast changes this (R)eVolution is introducing.

Here are some of obvious signs of our return to a new future:

  • We're talking about workloads
  • We're scheduling jobs
  • We're using Cloud data centers

Interestingly two of these are old and familiar and date back to the dawn of commercial computing, when mainframe dinosaurs tread the earth and gobbled vast sums of money to acquire, operate and maintain. But the third is new: "public" Cloud data and App centers that can be turned-on the same day for pennies on the dollar compared with mainframes of 10 or 20 years ago. (more…)

Predictive analytics & contextual computing

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Mobile and cloud are here with us to stay. Both of these trends are relying on two different levers we can't resist. In the case of mobility, it's convenience, while for Cloud it's a case of more taste, less filling. Or is Cloud more rewarding and less risky?

Cloud and mobility change the delivery and use of technology, and usher in the age of Apps and services, as in Apps through Mobile devices, and Infrastructure as a Service, Software applications as a Service ... and so on and so on.

Both Cloud and Mobile (and Social network Apps) relieve many of us from the expense, delay and learning cycle we have to endure to take advantage of a new technology. Instead, we simply plug-it-in and use it, pay a lease-rate, and enjoy the immediate - or nearly immediate - gratification of using something that delivers convenience.

Get ready for the next Big Mega-Trends

Mobile and Cloud are being joined by two other mega-trends that are now underway: one of these is predictive analytics and the other is contextual computing.

Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics  is already here today:  search on "predictive computing" to see what turns-up. Predictive analytics combs through historical data to make predictions about something occurring in the future. It is already being put to use for business to consumer marketing, and plenty of the big business intelligence suppliers are already servicing customer needs for pent-up business demands.

An example of this is predicting - with more certainty - the likelihood of a specific person and segments of the population who will purchase an automobile in the next three months based on an analysis of past purchase behavior, Internet searches, financial conditions and a lot of other information. Beyond being able to predict when someone is likely to purchase something like an automobile, predictive computing also takes it a step forward by being able to predict what kind of brand and offer the person is likely to respond to - or not.

Where does the data for predictive analytics come from? Well, it comes from your weekly trip to the grocery store when you use your shopping loyalty cards, the trip to your local gas station, your flight last week, what you ordered for breakfast at the hotel, what kind of rental car you drove, where you live, your credit history, which books you ordered on Amazon or from the local library, your Internet searches, your segmentation, and from almost all prior transactions.  In short, it comes from what you did (you're behavior) to what people's interests are (internet searches and books read), how marketers look at you and a group of similarly inclined people (your segmentation) and behaviors you exhibited in the past (which cars you rented and purchased for example).

And interestingly, it comes from a vast array of commercial data aggregation firms making money from farming information about you - and your company - and serving up slices of you - and your company - to their clients. The differences between the NSA and private-sector interests when it comes to surveillance include resources (almost unlimited public versus limited private resources), and motivation (defense versus profit).

Contextual computing

The age of contextual computing is just starting, with a lot of experimental jabs occurring in fits and starts, including a variety of data reuses by Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, Microsoft, IBM, Axciom, Choicepoint, the insurance industry, financial service firms, the travel industry, the healthcare industry and the retail industry among others. An example of this is Google Now, a compendium of applications that promise to "help you out" as it were.

As a personal aid and concierge, Google Now is but one of many new experiments in being more predictive within the context of the user. These experiments promise to take predictive analytics to another level by adding your social connections (think Social networks), what you know and believe (think Gamification and the interest groups you belong to or affiliate with), how you respond to stimuli and learn (think Google Glass) to what your interests are and what your behavior is (what you actually did) to make the power of analytic prediction even more precise.

Commercial drivers

The commercial interests in these technologies and experiments are strong. After all, marketers will be able to more precisely target their next customer or retain current customers with much less cost than current methods.

Not only will an existing supplier know more about you, those you've never heard about before will have access to the same information about you from all the information brokers now collecting data in exchange for advertising and commercial surveillance dollars.

As the craze for these two catch on, we will likely see new strains between prey and predator in this surveillance game over the uses of what is considered someone's - or some company's - private data. Current legal conventions - outdated as they already are - will be further outstripped by the advance of technology. And, we will see new jobs created (data scientists for example) and some existing jobs dry-up and go away.

The mega-trends of predictive analytics and contextual computing are very likely going to transform existing businesses across many - but not all - industries.

Security and privacy

Security and privacy are already challenged by the the combinations of cloud, virtualization and mobility. They will be further stressed by big data, predictive analytics and contextual computing as convenience and commercial self-interests collude with one another.

The trade-offs we make - as individuals, organizations and nations - between convenience, security and privacy - about personal data being taken from us with our consent, and without our knowledge, will define how much opportunity can be taken by first-movers and the damage that can occur to us all.

Security will be especially challenged because the industry and many if its practitioners have been on a brutish course of destruction over the past ten years trying to outdo one another by how rapidly or completely they can pwn systems and networks. Like the construction business, it only takes a few days or less to destroy a building and many months to rebuild. But, it's rebuilding - not destruction - that will be required to deal with protection of identity and information through authentication, access and cryptographic solutions.

The combination of these two - identity and cryptography - are the controls needed to take full advantage of, and control for, the mega-trends of predictive analytics and contextual computing that are now underway.

In short, the intersection of identity and protection of information - of individuals, firms, and governments - will depend on protecting identities and information exceedingly well, and doing so conveniently.

Are you ready?

The next big mega-trends are predictive analytics and contextual computing.

Will you know what tradeoffs to make between your information and identity - or your company's information and identity - in exchange for the convenience being ushered in by predictive analytics and contextual computing?

Will you have the identity and information protection tools you need to cope with a new Panopticon world that turns in on itself and everyone connecting with it?

Will you be ready to take advantage of it, and and will you be able to control it?