Product Development Must Evolve for the Internet of Things

Nate Fleming

Traditional physical products and machinery are steadily being replaced by connected products and assets that shift business models and augment customer relationships with digital experiences and data.  But creation of these products is a major challenge for traditional product companies. The process of building connected products is complex, requiring new software development skill sets, accelerated product release cadences, and innovative software tools and proccesses that meet the needs of IoT product organizations.  For traditional product companies to make the transition to a digital product development organization and successfully create connected products they will need to focus on the following five initiatives:

  1. Create an open partner ecosystem that amplifies product value.
  2. Organize for continuous product improvement through software updates.
  3. Adapt agile development and planning processes to physical product development.
  4. Embrace flexible requirements and contracting for iterative projects.
  5. Build an extended team of broad and deep t-shaped skillsets.

Adaptation and execution on these initiatives will be difficult requiring executive buy in, core shifts to company cultures, partnership with services firms, reskilling, and change management initiatives.  For a deeper dive on this topic and actionable steps to take in the transformation to a digital product development organization, see the Forrester report The Internet Of Things Propels Product Development Into The Digital Era.

IBM to retire Emptoris and work with SAP Ariba on next generation digital procurement

Duncan Jones

SAP Ariba & IBM today announced a partnership that had been a rumour for a few days now. Part of the deal includes IBM gradually retiring Emptoris and encouraging its customers to migrate to SAP Ariba.

http://www.ariba.com/about/press-releases/sap-ariba-and-ibm-transform-procurement

It’s an ambitious move by SAP Ariba. IBM Emptoris’s leadership had an exciting vision of next gen digital procurement but decided they couldn’t deliver it without a cost prohibitive replatforming of its various products. SAP Ariba has a good suite of products and a captive market, but now its leaders have shown that they also have a vision for digital procurement. The partnership makes sense for both companies.

·         IBM can now convert its digital procurement vision into revenue streams. By linking up with SAP Ariba it will be able to create a royalty stream for IBM Watson and implementation work for IBM GBS. Gracefully retiring Emptoris is a pragmatic decision and avoids wasting money trying to shore up a revenue stream that was doomed to decline anyway.

·         SAP Ariba will benefit from IBM’s vision, technology, and influence. It will get some new ideas about the opportunities for digital procurement. IBM GBS’s procurement transformation practice will become a source of leads for SAP Ariba. IBM’s own procurement department may be a proving ground for its innovation, (assuming that it eventually migrates from Emptoris to the Watson-enhanced SAP Ariba platform).

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Five Factors That Make Deep Learning Different - Go Deep Baby!

Mike Gualtieri

At the highest conceptual level, deep learning is no different from supervised machine learning. Data scientists start with a labeled data set to train a model using an algorithm and, hopefully, end up with a model that is accurate enough at predicting the labels of new data that is run through the model. For example, developers can use Caffe, a popular deep-learning library, to train a model using thousands or millions of labeled images. Once they train the model, developers can use it within applications to probabilistically identify objects in a new image.  Conceptually like machine learning, yes, but deep learning is different because:

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C-Level Business Executives Are Playing A Bigger Role In Tech Spending, But CIOs Still Remain Dominant

Andrew Bartels

Tech buying in business and governments is clearly shifting from the sole or primary control of the CIO and the tech management organization and into the hands of business leaders.  But how much is this happening? Anecdotal comments and surveys – including Forrester’s own Business Technographics surveys – suggest that most tech purchases are now controlled by business executives.  However, in our just-published report, “C-Suite Tech Purchasing Patterns,” Forrester’s analysis shows that the shift of tech buying from the CIO to business executives is much less dramatic, with just 5% of all new tech purchases fully controlled by business by 2018.  Moreover, this shift varies dramatically by C-level executive. CMOs and eCommerce heads have the highest proportion of new project spending under their control, but CFOs, COOs, supply chain heads, and heads of customer service are much less likely to go it on their own.

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Data is the perimeter, defend it that way

Chase Cunningham

Data is the perimeter, defend it that way

Unless you have been living under a rock or possibly hiding in the mountains of Montana with a giant beard and eating way too many government issued MRE’s you probably heard about the nuclear bomb of a ransomware attack that kicked off last week.  Welcome to the post apocalypse folks.  For years, many of us in the cybersecurity industry have been jumping up and down on desks and trying to get the world (writ large) to pay attention to managing and patching outdated systems and operating systems that have been running legacy software, to no avail.  Now that Pandora’s box has been opened and the bad guys have use the NSA leaked tools as weapons platforms all the sudden everyone gives a dang.  I caught no less than 17 talking heads on the news this morning stating that “this is the new reality”, and “cybercrime is a serious threat to our way of life.”  Duh, also water is wet and fire is hot.  Thank you news.  

Regardless of all the bad that is bouncing around the news and everywhere else today (and as I type this I can literally see a pew pew map on CNN that looks like a Zika Virus map showing the spread of WannaCry dominating the screen behind the anchor team) the reality around this “massive hack” and “global attack” is that if folks didn’t suck at patching their systems and followed basic best practices instead of crossing their fingers and hoping that they didn’t get hit the “end of days malware” would be basically ineffective.  The “hack” targets Windows XP systems, an old, outdated, unsupported OS that should have been pulled from use eons ago.  And if the legacy system running that OS couldn’t be pulled, IT SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST BEEN PATCHED.  Problem solved, or at least made manageable. 

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Landscapes, Portfolios, And Point Solutions (Oh, My!)

Rusty Warner

If you’re a marketer struggling to decipher the complicated marketing technology landscape of more than 5,000 vendors – and show me a marketer who isn’t – then I have some good news for you. It won’t be as easy as following the yellow brick road, but you can begin to make sense of today’s seemingly infinite array of enterprise marketing technology (EMT) offerings.

Two of my research areas at Forrester are Cross-Channel Campaign Management (CCCM) and Real-Time Interaction Management (RTIM). I field myriad inquiries on both, as they are critical, confusing, and conflated in terms of technology and vendor overlap. While CCCM primarily focuses on automating marketing-driven campaign strategies for outbound channels, and RTIM primarily focuses on next-best-action strategies for customer-initiated interactions via inbound channels, both rely heavily on systems of insight (customer data and analytics) and systems of engagement (automated content and interactions). And both cover multiple inbound, outbound, digital, and offline channels.

CCCM is evolving as marketers strive to align highly personalized marketing campaigns with customer-initiated interactions to drive deeper levels of engagement throughout the customer life cycle. I addressed this evolution in The Forrester Wave™: Cross-Channel Campaign Management, Q2 2016, which featured 15 leading vendors. Since the CCCM space is much broader, earlier this year I also published the Vendor Landscape: Cross-Channel Campaign Management, and it adds a further 32 vendors to the mix, categorizing them as enterprise, small, or regional players, and reviewing capabilities such as vertical expertise or content management.

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AI Is Not An Exception – Technology Has Always Taken Jobs

Mike Gualtieri

Yes, AI will take jobs away from many workers - our relatives, friends, and neighbors. So too have all technologies created throughout human history. We invent things to make things easier and the impossible possible. The invention of the wheel made transport easier. Gutenberg’s printing press put lots of monk’s out of business. The chainsaw saw a reduction in the number of sawyers (lumberjacks). Modern medicine created a sharp decrease in snake oil charlatans. The Wang word processor annihilated typing pools. The list goes on. Technology changes how and who performs work, but it also enables new work that no one ever imagined. AI is but another technology in a long list of technologies dating back to the blunt club.

The culprit is gray matter

It is human intelligence. There is nothing that can stop it. But, it is that same gray matter that finds a way – a way for humanity to flourish – at least statistically. If life is precious, then the last hundred years have seen a dramatic increase in life expectancy. According to the National Institute On Aging, the most dramatic and rapid gains have occurred in East Asia, where life expectancy at birth increased from less than 45 years in 1950 to more than 74 years today.

AI will short-term replace workers just as all technology has, but longer term it will raise wages as human workers become exponentially more productive because their efforts are augmented by intelligent machines – non-human servants.

We can go back or we can go forward. Let’s go forward.

Massive Ransomware Outbreak Highlights Need For A Digital Extortion Decision Tree

Jeff Pollard

5/12/2017 might be another day of cyber-infamy based on malware as hospitals and critical infrastructure providers are locked out of their machines due to what appears to be a new variant of ransomware dubbed WannaCry spreading through corporate networks. Like the ransomware outbreaks in mid-2016 here in the US, NHS hospitals are experiencing patient care issues as a result of the malware, with some shutdown completely as of 11:37 AM Eastern time.

Early analysis indicates the malware spreads via SMB protocol, possibly using a vulnerability published by Microsoft on March 14th, per CCN CERT National Cryptologic Center. This same exploit mechanism appeared to be in use by ETERNAL BLUE, included as part of the Shadow Brokers dump. Patching and update information from Microsoft is located here. For the specific list of affected systems, along with CVE Number, specific MS patch details, and alternative mitigation techniques check here.

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NIST Is Jealous That PCI (Still) Matters More Than It Does

Jeff Pollard

The summary of the new Executive Order is a bit of a letdown:

Government agencies must complete a risk management report within 90 days. The risk report should align with NIST.

Outside of those with a risk fetish, this new EO probably isn’t that exciting from the perspective of any near-term cybersecurity transformation. That said, there are some aspects worth mentioning:

  • Cybersecurity is now a multi-agency public policy issue driven by the Executive Branch. The Department of Homeland Security, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Commerce, Department of Education, Department of Labor, and Office Personnel Management are all mentioned in the order.
  • The government wants to go shared services – including email, cloud, and cybersecurity services. The President requires a specific report on the costs related to modernizing government IT and cybersecurity by utilizing shared services.
  • Cybersecurity, services, and innovation are tied together with the order placing the Director of the American Technology Council as one primary stakeholder for the report modernizing IT and cybersecurity.
  • The order emphasizes workforce development as a key component of the United States cybersecurity advantage. Within 120 days the order requires the President receive a report on how to support the growth and sustainment of cybersecurity education.

Does the order change much? Not really.

Is it worth getting excited over? Absolutely, for those that felt the government had too few reports and committees.

For security practitioners? Probably not, but we are a cynical bunch by trade. It isn't transformative, but it does show incremental improvement by existing.

Then again, cybersecurity requirements for accepting credit cards are still tougher (and more enforceable) than ones for providing electricity....

Energy Is Embracing Zero Trust, All Industries Should Too

Stephanie Balaouras

I recently heard a segment on WBUR (a public radio station in Boston) on the emergence of microgrids and I was amazed at how much the concept of microgrids closely aligned with the concept of microperimeters within our Zero Trust model of information security. Zero Trust is a conceptual and architectural model for how security teams should redesign networks into secure microperimeters, increase data security through obfuscation techniques, limit the risks associated with excessive user privileges, and dramatically improve security detection and response through analytics and automation. Zero Trust demands that security professionals move away from legacy, perimeter-centric models of information security - which are useless for today's digital businesses no longer bounded by the four walls of their corporation - to a model that is both data and identity centric and extends security across the entire business ecosystem.

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