Controversies and eccentricities notwithstanding, Michael Jackson is a brilliant musicalartist and performer. I was acutely aware of this on February 2009 in London after 3 colleagues and I went to see the new West End show, Thriller Live at the Lyric Theater after Forrester's EMEA Enterprise Architecture Forum. If you are in London, go to this show! Go, especially if you have no rhythm because you will probably find it there. The show is a celebration of Michael's breathtaking musical career shown through the performances of very talented singers and dancers. The hits are nonstop.The night flies by leaving you wanting more. Go.
The evaluation speaks for itself. Forrester goes through great pains to assure a fair, detailed process that looks into the strengths and weaknesses customers care about most — and this Wave is no exception. But considering the amount of time and effort we spent putting this report together, I wanted to provide some additional thoughts on what I learned during the process:
I haven’t heard much about alignment recently and I wonder if the subject is loosing its appeal. In 2008 SIM spotted IT-business alignment as the No.1 management concern. But during the six major CIO networking events that I attended this year, I haven’t heard much about IT alignment. Scholars and practitioners used the term to describe the strategy process for adjusting technology resources to match business objectives. And year after year CIOs placed it at the top of their list of unsolved issues.
A major challenge related to alignment is its practicality. Even in the relatively stable days of mainframe computing, few organizations, if any, have experienced alignment nirvana — the perfect state of IT-business relationship, free from animosity, anger and other afflictive perceptions. The waves of tech innovation, which followed the mainframe, increased the complexity of the issue. They came fast, required more changes than most organizations could absorb, and created a state of continuous ailment rather than alignment in the IT-business relationship. See June 17, 2007, “Debunking Alignment Nirvana” report.
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There has been a recent increase in the use of computers to translate information from one human language to another. In this podcast, senior analyst Tim Walters discusses the reasons for this boom in machine translation, how the two main types of machine translation work, and the business use cases for it.
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I came across an interesting article discussing how the U.S. Department of State has recently shown interest in adopting network access control (NAC) tools that perform pre-admission access control. The intent is driving the development of standards that help organizations secure their network from malicious hacker attempts. There is a mounting concern that the nation's critical infrastructure — ranging from the electricity grid to banking systems to defense contractors — is far from being secure. To this end, the SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Institute has worked with security professionals both inside and outside of government agencies to develop the Consensus Audit Guidelines. There are 20 controls in this program to tackle cybersecurity issues. NAC is identified to help with “Critical Control 12: Malware Defenses.”
Over the past 2 months, I've seen an increase in the number of end user inquiries regarding high availability and almost more importantly, how to measure high availability (HA). HA means something different depending on whom you're talking with so it's worth a quick definition. I define HA as:
Focused on the technology and processes to prevent application/service outages at the primary site or in a specific IT system domain.
This is in contrast to disaster recovery or IT service continuity (ITSC) which is about preventing or responding to outages of the entire site.
Why so many inquiries about HA recently? I believe that due to our increasing reliance on IT as well as the 24X7 operating environment that companies of all sizes and industries are becoming more and more sensitive to application and system downtime. The interest in measurement is driven by the need to continuously improve upon IT services and justify IT investments to senior management, especially now.