Yes, Cloud Is Still Safe Despite The AWS Outage - UPDATE

Dave Bartoletti

UPDATE 2016-03-02:

Less than 48 hours after the failure, AWS has published a detailed analysis of what went wrong. As we'd hoped, the analysis is extremely transparent, direct, and outlines the actions AWS is taking to mitigate the risk of future failure. If you don't have time to read the details, here's the lowdown:

  • As we expected (see below), the inititating event was a human error. An authorized admin executed a script to take some parts of S3 off line, but took more than needed off line at once. The user was authorized and the script worked, but it should have had additional safety checks (limits).
  • Restarting such a large subsystem took longer than expected. A restart of this magnitude had not been tested recently. As a key part of the S3 system in the affected region, the restart delay caused the S3 APIs to become unavailable.
  • The AWS Service Health Dashboard admin console could not be updated because it, too, depended on S3 in the affected region.

What It Means:

Our original advice for AWS customers below stands: check your apps for dependence on a single S3 region. In addition,

  • Test your operational scripts. Do you have a maintenance script you have't run for a while? Check is now for limits.
  • Isolate your monitoring tools from your production systems. You can't monitor a system from the inside while it's failing.
  • Think big in your DR and availability planning. Test a larger failure than usual. Rare events over a long enough period of time...are no longer rare.
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The Cloud Is Disrupting Hadoop

Brian  Hopkins

Forrester has seen unprecedented adoption of Hadoop in the last three years. We estimate that firms will spend $800 million in Hadoop software and related services in 2017. Not surprisingly, Hadoop vendors have capitalized on this — Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MapR have gone from a “Who?” to “household” brands in the same period of time.

But like any good run, times change. And the major force exerting pressure on Hadoop is the cloud. In a recent report, The Cloudy Future Of Hadoop, Mike Gualtieri and I examine the impact the cloud is having on Hadoop. Here are a few highlights:

●     Firms want to use more public cloud for big data, and Hadoop seems like a natural fit. We cover the reasons in the report, but the match seems made in heaven. Until you look deeper . . .

●     Hadoop wasn’t designed for the cloud, so vendors are scurrying to make it relevant. In the words of one insider, “Had we really understood cloud, we would not have designed Hadoop the way we did.” As a result, all the Hadoop vendors have strategies, and very different ones, to make Hadoop relevant in the cloud, where object stores and abstract “services” rule.

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YouTube Is The First Digital Platform To Take On Live TV

James McQuivey

Watch out, cable TV. Today YouTube shared it's newest subscription service -- YouTube TV -- with a hundred or so journalists at a live event at the company's headquarters. This is different from YouTube Red, the subscription version of YouTube enjoyed by at least 1.5 million people and focuses mostly on ad-free access to short-form videos along with a few exclusives. Instead, this new service is aimed squarely at pay TV. It does so by offering three things that cable TV has previously been best at:

  1. Live TV. YouTube announced deals with the major broadcasters -- CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox -- as well as a slew of cable programmers. Like with earlier over-the-top (OTT) TV providers Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, the content can be watched live, on an Android or Chrome device, or on a TV via a Chromecast and one assumes other devices soon enough.
  2. Cloud DVR. This is the new thing that all OTT TV services specialize in and some traditional cable packages -- like Xfinity from Comcast -- also offer. YouTube's DVR is unlimited and can record multiple shows at the same time.
  3. Sports. Yep, ESPN is one of the main reasons people still pay for TV and to succeed any OTT TV service has to have it. That ice was already broken by Sling TV, giving YouTube TV a way in to what used to be the most closely guarded part of the pay TV business.
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Spotify Loves Me; Spotify Hates Me: Serving Today's Demanding Customer

James McQuivey

Welcome to the age of the customer, a time where consumers can get what they want, when, where, and how they want to. Or at least they expect to because that's how their life is panning out more often than not. But what happens when they don't get something that seems obvious? An example: Five years ago this month, a Spotify user posted a request on the company's Live Ideas feature request, titled, "Explicit Button." The request was simple, at least from a digital customer's point of view:

Now five years later, the request has yet to be implemented, despite having achieved 7,463 upvotes from the Spotify member community. This makes it the most upvoted, unimplemented idea in the community. Yet there it sits. Search for explicit lyrics & Spotify and you'll get at least dozens, probably hundreds (I won't take time to count but you are welcome to) of complaints. Lots of people claim to have left Spotify over it. Others continue to listen but are angry about it. Spotify did respond in 2016 by saying:

This is wonderful: We have heard you, we agree with you. But we haven't yet done anything about it nor do we have plans to do so. What's up, Spotify?

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Link Marketing Results To Decision Making And Revenue Outcomes

Allison Snow

Link B2B Marketing Results to Decision Making and Revenue OutcomesIf you took your company name and logo off of your marketing collateral, would the reader still know that it came from your firm? How strongly does your brand shine through in unique language, perspective, and distinct value? 

You can ask the same about your marketing performance reports. Are the metrics that you use to demonstrate success unique? Do they reflect your firm’s core priorities? Without these distinctions, you may be providing a collection of data that is ultimately disconnected from decision making.

If your marketing reports don’t enable performance management, it’s time that they do. Eighty-two percent of CMOs report that their goals directly align to revenue targets. But many practitioners acknowledge that marketing performance management programs require significant tuning to link marketing results to decision making and revenue outcomes.

The window of opportunity for you to lead your marketing department toward revenue relevance is closing. I suggest that you do the following before it shuts:

  1. Uncover your firm’s explicit path to revenue. You might be satisfied to make your numbers, but switch your focus to supporting a revenue mix that reflects your firm’s most strategic priorities. Get in lockstep with your organization’s explicit path to revenue. Perhaps this is net new customer acquisition from a specific industry, building out the market presence of a specific segment of the product portfolio, or customer service proficiency for up-sell and renewal revenue in a specific business line.
     
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DevOps, No Longer Just For “Unicorns”

Robert Stroud

The born-digital “unicorn” companies such as Etsy, Google and Netflix, are pioneers of modern DevOps, but BT leaders at companies of all ages, sizes, and types are now eagerly pursuing the same principles.[i] The pressure for speed and quality is DevOps becoming pivotal for all organizations. For example, KeyBank is leveraging DevOps to quickly deliver business new customer capability using streamlined coordination between application development and operations. DevOps is allowing KeyBank to shorten delivery time by up to 85% and reduce defects by at least 30%.  According to a 2016 State of DevOps report, high performers are twice as likely to exceed their organization’s profitability, market share, and productivity goals.[ii]

Understand Your Company's Requirements For Modern Service Delivery

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Don’t Be Fooled -- DAM Is Still Relevant

Nick Barber
If you think digital asset management solutions are a relic of the past or a graveyard of static assets then you’re dead wrong. While complementary technologies like web content management, content marketing platforms, and product information management offer DAM-like capabilities, most marketers still prefer to use a dedicated DAM.
But how do you determine if you need a dedicated DAM or if you can use adjacent technologies to store your rich media assets? That’s exactly what we answer in Eight Questions To Consider When Investing In Digital Asset Management.
 
Keep in mind these key considerations when weighing a DAM investment:
 
  • DAM can serve as the central hub for your content. DAM solutions of today sit squarely between upstream creative workflows and downstream delivery mechanisms. If you have multiple systems that need to access rich media content, a dedicated DAM is the core repository that serves that content into a presentation layer. 
 
  • DAM supports complex workflows and multiple stakeholders. DAM systems have integrated components of marketing resource management (MRM) technologies around planning and allocation of resources. DAM allows your team to pass around an asset for creative and legal approval. Each stakeholder can annotate assets and review iterations before creative teams finalize assets. 
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Did Move 37 Signal The Impending Death Of The Financial Services Industry As We Know It?

Nigel Fenwick

A couple of years ago I wrote a post predicting a new business paradigm for financial services. You may have read this post and been skeptical. Maybe you thought it wasn't realistic. If so, you may be wishing you were paying more attention very soon. Read on.

This week I spoke on "The Experience Economy" at a client conference where attendees were primarily from the financial services industry. At the conference the opening keynote was by a renowned "futurist". Most futurists don't claim to predict the future, they extrapolate the trends they see around them today to help prepare you for what is likely to come. Interestingly, that's exactly what analysts at Forrester do every day. Perhaps that's why I feel "futurists" are over-hyped – I had expected more from the keynote.

In side conversations with attendees I shared my own "futurist" thoughts on the impending death of the financial services industry. Indeed after chatting for a while, one attendee even suggested I should rename my speech "The Death Of Financial Services" just to get people's attention. It seems many people in the industry haven't been paying enough attention to what's going on in technology.

Let's begin with Google's AlphaGo AI. In March of 2016 Google's AI beat world Go champion, Lee Sidol. To understand the enormity of this you need to understand a little about the game of Go as compared to Chess.

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Operating Global and Local Social Intelligence Requires A Tender Balance

Samantha Ngo

Social media is human.  It’s embedded in local cultural context of consumer needs, affinities, and behaviors. But to serve consumers, multinational companies need effective social intelligence to keep a finger on the global pulse of brands and simultaneously inspire local-relevant campaign content and interaction.  So how do you start on this journey?  My colleague Cinny Little and I have recently published a report that provides practical guidance on executing on this tender global / local balance.  A summary of our take:

You need a Center of Excellence (COE). A center of excellence’s mandate is to drive common approaches and processes that enable generating insights from the data and assessing results across brands and regions. But a center of excellence isn’t a one-time a project that you can check off your company’s digital transition list. It’s a long-term commitment to establishing purpose, people, processes, and platforms that enable data- and insights-sharing across departments. Our research shows that the success factors for building an effective COE for social intelligence require you to:

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The Future of Retail Will Blow Your Mind

Martin Gill

The Future of Retail Will Blow Your Mind. A bold claim? You bet.

 

The retail industry is facing a tectonic shift. Empowered customers are challenging age-old truths every day. New distribution channels, e-commerce impacting physical stores, new payment systems and innovative technical solutions disrupt old operating models. Mobile and wearables connect customers wherever they are. Retailers face new and unprecedented challenges.

 

But you know this, right? You’ve developed a digital strategy. You’re selling online. You’ve got a mobile app. Maybe some digital signage in your stores. You’re sorted.

 

Think again.

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