Saturday, July 24, 2010

CIOs: Second Class Citizens

Lately here at ATK we have been focused on raising the visibility of the CPO and moving them up to first class status. However, a little noticed (and unrelated trend) is that CIOs are losing their first-class status. This article looks at why that is happening. It cites that CIOs lack broad business understanding, strategic vision, and interpersonal skills. Fortunately, as the article notes, these are skills that can be overcome, but CIOs need to be open to change. They also need to look at moving from the tactical (servers, laptops, phones) to the strategic and embrace initiatives such as data integration (as reported here). Ultimately technology is a commodity these days and with the consumer market outpacing the corporate market there is diminishing strategic value in large-scale corporate IT.


Read the article.

Windows 7 Phone Blunder

As if last week's announcement that Microsoft is paying App developers to build Apps for its upcoming Windows phone 7 (reported here) or that it won't launch to later this year wasn't bad enough, now they are reporting that the Windows phone 7 won't offer multitasking capability. This is a catastrophic blunder, not only are they late to the party, they aren't even coming dressed in costume. It is hard to believe that Microsoft hasn't been watching Apple being excoriated over the iPhone's lack of multitasking capabilities for the last couple years. How is it they could not realize how important this feature was? I think it is fair to say that Windows Phone 7 is done before it is even finished.

Read the article.

(submitted by Mike)

iPhone Supply Chain and the China Labor Market

This article takes a look at the supply chain behind the popular iPhone and how it is (and will be affected) by changes in the China labor market. The author starts by discussing the manufacturing labor market in Southern China, which components are the most expensive (hint: chips and memory), and the truly global nature of producing a simple device like this. The article notes that the total manufacturing cost of the iPhone is $187.51, but it retails for $600, where could the rest of that money be going... But the major theme in this story is how China's labor market is changing and how companies like Apple are having to adjust. The labor market changes cited demonstrate that the low-end assembly work in China will be getting more expensive as China attempts to steer away from it.

Read the article.

(submitted by Helen)

Social Flying

After years of being battered by negative tweets, status updates, and other social networking outlets, the airline industry is starting to come around in its understanding and adoption of social media. Sites like Twitter and Facebook have given frustrated travelers a highly public way to vent their rage at airlines (food, delays, flight attendants, other passengers, etc...). This trend has only been exacerbated as Wi-Fi has made its way onto planes. Starting with an increased presence on sites like flyertalk.com and offering services that connect travelers to one another the airline industry is attempting to use these tools for positive benefits. Lufthansa is even installing a seat-to-seat chat. Of course the most anticipated development in this realm is the installation of Wi-Fi on the remaining carriers and planes that don't have it, which is shockingly still a large number.

Read the article.

(submitted by Walter)

$35 Tablet Computer

The Indian government just announced their development of a $35 tablet computer. They are currently looking for a manufacturer to produce the device. The tablet, built on the Linux operating system, is designed for web browsing, word processing, and video conferencing. In many ways it is similar to MIT's $100 laptop project (which is also developing a tablet machine), cheap computing designed for mass consumption in mostly rural areas. There is no word on the device's capabilities for Apps, which could limit its long term usefulness. As should be expected, this initiative is tied to a comprehensive broadband upgrade, without which the device would be relatively useless. Of particular note, the government's goal is to eventually drive the cost down to $10 per device, which would be quite impressive.

Read the article.

(submitted by Sumit)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Intel Responds Poorly to Social Media Protest

In yet another example of a company not fully appreciating the impact of how its actions play out in the social media world. Recently a set of protesters setup camp outside of Intel's campus in Hillsboro Oregon. Intel responded by sending security guards out to confront the protesters and of course this exchange ended up on YouTube. Interestingly, the protesters then hijacked the Intel Facebook page by posting dozens of messages about their cause. Intel promptly deleted the posts, causing an even greater flurry of activity that resulted in the reinstatement of the deleted comments and the eventual closing of comments on the Intel Facebook page. Social media is a two edged sword and companies, especially large multi-national companies need to be very careful in how they engage or do not engage the public. Most importantly they need a crisis plan on how to deal with various issues that come up in social media before a formal PR communications plan can be put in place. As with so many things these days, waiting for traditional media takes too long. To be sure, this is not a problem that is going away and it is likely to increase.

Read the article.

(submitted by Helen)

LOOK OUT!!! Mobile Device Usage Dangerous for Pedestrians too

Ever walked into a sign while engaged with your mobile device? Ever stepped off the curb and been almost hit by a car? While most most people equate mobile devices as a threat to public safety, and clearly they are, pedestrians are increasingly getting injured as a result of attention defect to their mobile devices. Now technology companies attempting to solve this problem with a variety of new creations. Jawbone is introducing a Text-To-Speech feature, while another program will use the phone's camera to project the road ahead on the screen. One has to wonder, just how important it is to respond to that email/text/facebook/twitter message right away or can we just wait 5 minutes until we get to our destination?

Read the article.

(submitted by Judi)

Encouraging Innovation with SharePoint 2010

One of the major breakthroughs in SharePoint 2010 is the incorporation of social tools. This article makes suggestions as to how these tools and SharePoint 2010 can help drive innovation, engagement, and knowledge sharing. While the author offers nothing groundbreaking in this assessment it is still useful to get a closer look at SharePoint's new social tools.

Read the article.

(submitted by Mike)

Can You Build an App For That?

In what can best be described as a last ditch effort for relevance in the mobile market, Microsoft is now offering incentive pay to developers for Windows Phone 7 Apps. Microsoft is offering generous up-front incentives to developers to make sure there will be an ample supply of music, navigation and other apps when its revamped Windows Phone 7 mobile OS is released to consumers later this year. Though this strategy is not likely to win, it is an interesting way to approach App development. Instead of building an App for a device that has a significant user base and unlimited revenue, Microsoft is enticing potential developers to opt for an early and more limited payday.

Read the article.

(submitted by Tom)

iPad Contest Closes Friday: Get Your Entries In!

We received some very clever entries so far, but the contest doesn't close until Friday, so keep submitting your entries. Here are a few more iPad articles to spur everyone's creativity.

--> Kraft launches iPad App. Read about Kraft's new App Big Fork Little Spoon, which educates parents and children about healthy eating. This article is a reminder that Apps are great for those that are content providers. Typically content providers are viewed as publishing and media companies, but as this article demonstrates, Apps are a good way for CPG, automotive and other industries to distribute their content. Read the article (submitted by Judi).

--> This article describes how the iPad and the iPhone are boosting creativity. From size and weight to the touch interface, users clearly have responded to the device. The question is, as noted in this article, is can these devices make the leap from consumption device to productivity tool. Read the article (submitted by Hugo).

--> While our contest looks at business uses there are ideas to glean from iPad's usage in other markets. This article describes the appeal of the iPad for seniors and why the device is the first computer many have purchased. Read the article (submitted by Tom). This article examines how Apps and an iPad can entertain kids on those long road trips. Read the article. (Submitted by Tom).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chilln: Breakthrough in Computer Cooling Systems

IBM just announced a major breakthrough in computer cooling technology using a water cooled system. Today most computing devices, especially servers, are cooled through air conditioning. However, through this new breakthrough IBM claims to be able to cut the amount of energy spent cooling by 40%. Naturally this would reduce both power consumption (something critical in today's data centers) and carbon emissions. Given that electronics and water do not mix this will be very interesting to see how this develops. More importantly it is nice to see that IBM is alive and innovating, it's been a while Big Blue.

Read the article
.

(submitted by Judi)

Social Eating: Would you like Fries with Your Status Update?

4food, a recently launched burger chain in New York, has embedded social media into the whole dining experience. Customers place their orders on iPads located in the restaurant. Customers can customize their order and post it directly to Facebook and Twitter. If other patrons order the customized creation than the creator is credited 25-cents of credit. Those ordering from home can make video commercials and post them directly to YouTube. The seating is designed to be “social” with bleachers and communal tables forcing strangers to talk to one another. No doubt this is one of the first restaurants designed explicitly for the millennial generation.

Read the article
.

From World of Warcraft Guild Leader to Corporate CIO: A Look at Transformation for American Business

This article examines the work of John Hagel and Stephen Gillett who recently published a study comparing lessons learned from playing World of Warcraft and how they could apply to American businesses. They note the importance of cultivating passionate, change-driven employees who collaborate to innovate. They argue that it is this process that staves off complacency. Those who study how to attract and connect with millennials will note many similarities.

Read the article.

(submitted by Walter)

How IT can Make Itself Relevant: It’s the in the Data

Delivering the right data to the business end user is critical for business operations, right? Access to good data can open new markets, drive sales, improve relationships, and affect any number of elements throughout the supply chain. If that’s the case then why is it that IT so often fails at this? Is it the technology, the culture, or lack of imagination? Whatever the issue is, and it probably different for each company, this article discusses how IT and by proxy the CIO, can remain relevant in the rapidly changing business world.

Read the article.

(submitted by Mike)

Stumped for iPad Contest Ideas? Here is some Suggested Reading

Our iPad contest is off and running and we have received some great entries already, but there is still a long way to go. If you are stumped for ideas or need some inspiration we included a few articles this week to help you along.

--> See how the iPad is winning converts within the enterprise at SAP, Wells Fargo, Mercedes-Benz. Article #1 (submitted by Walter Alvendia) and Article #2 (submitted by Sumit Chandra and Laura Shoemaker).

--> Microstrategy BI Software provider announces new release of their software for the iPad. Read the press release or view the product site.

(submitted by Bharath Thota)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's Lonely at the Top: iPad Competitors Are Nowhere to be Found

Once again Apple has redefined a market giving it a key strategic advantage over its competitors. Just like they did with the iPod and iPhone the iPad is in a league all by itself. But what is more shocking is not Apple's success, but rather the inability of other vendors to even enter the game. This article notes that the closest any vendor is to launching a competing product is Winter 2010. By that time Apple will have sold nearly 16 million iPad units and will be on its 2nd release, once again capturing the market. In fact the closest OS competitor is going to be Android, but there are a litany of hardware problems to overcome that will take time work out, as has happened with the Droid phone. Of course Microsoft is not even in the conversation at this point. Could this be an anti-climactic battle? Is the war won before it even started? Let's hope not because competition is good for the end user. This article gives you some ideas of what to expect in the upcoming months.

Read the article.

(submitted by Mike)

Fall of the Titan: Dell's Fall From Grace

Dell Computer, the darling technology company of the early 2000s, has fallen to the junk pile of tech companies. While they are still in business, they are basically on life support, with dwindling sales, an angry customer base, and several misses on key strategic initiatives. Most of these transgressions are common to tech business and in most cases forgivable, in Dell's case they are not. Why? Well that is easy, they built faulty computers, blamed their customers, and lied about all of it. Recently revealed documents from a 3 year lawsuit show just how bad the Dell products were and the poor management decisions led to the spreading of lies and blame. For those that remember Dell's meteoric rise to the top, this article is a sobering reminder of how quickly the tech industry can change.

Read the article.

(submitted by Judi)

Microsoft Going After Google (again): Visual Search for Bing

In yet another example of Microsoft playing catch up to Google, they just introduced visual search for Bing. With the release of a new mobile App, users can now scan a barcode and receive instant online information (reviews, descriptions, comparison pricing). This App is no where near as robust as Google's, but is integrated with social applications. One has to wonder though it all this effort to catch up to Google is really worth it...maybe they should just stick to the corporate market, which is their sweet spot.

Read the article.

(submitted by Mike)

Technology Jobs Expected to Grow, but Women are Exiting the Industry

Jobs in the technology field are expected to grow faster than any other professional industry over the next decade. Unfortunately, even though tech is a growth sector, it does with a disproportionately low amount of women. A recent study shows that 56% of women in technology companies leave their jobs mid-career. Another sobering statistic is that in 1991 women held 36% of all IT related jobs, in 2008 that number had dropped to 25%. In this day and age with the struggle to find good talent these numbers are staggering, especially considering recent studies show women outpacing men in the adoption and usage of social media. Of course this problem is not localized to the tech sector, the science and engineering industries have the same problem. Clearly something in the system is broken, but the question is how to fix it.

Read the article.