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April 2013  
 This Month's Buzz
Big Data Key to Customer Data Management Strategy
Leveraging big data is a key competitive advantage for companies, but few are truly succeeding in their efforts to engage with customers. IT leaders should implement an architecture that offers a multidimensional view to individualize customer experience, provide customer insights, and create new opportunities for businesses to offer customized experiences. Big data, predictive analytics, in-memory technologies, and data virtualization will be the key to architectures that process larger amounts of data and support external and internal data integration.

From "Big Data Lives or Dies Based on Customer Data Management Strategy"
CIO Journal (03/26/13) Noel Yuhanna; Mike Gualtieri
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How to prepare your storage environment for big data   How to Prepare your Storage Environment for Big Data
Research has shown data is growing exponentially and around 80 percent of all company data will be unstructured in the next decade. How does IT maintain unstructured data’s versatility while managing and controlling this data? Download this white paper to learn how your company can manage this burgeoning collection of data and move data among virtualized storage technologies in an automated manner.

 News and Noteworthy
4 Mobile Predictions CIOs Should Watch For
IT consumerization and the bring your own device trend are posing challenges for IT leaders, but new technologies will ease the situation, says Forrester Research. IT departments should boost remote access to corporate content and data, and adopt cloud-hosted, service-driven deployments. Forrester says CIOs are likely to see an increase in four trends: personal devices in the workplace, adoption of seamless mobile virtualization approaches, HTML5 enterprise apps, and pervasive mobile data collections.

From "4 Mobile Predictions CIOs Should Watch For"
Computing Canada (04/17/13) Nestor E. Arellano
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BYOD Benefits Go Beyond ROI
Many IT leaders are ardent supporters of bring your own device (BYOD) policies, which they say reduce costs, increase productivity, and boost morale. Although some analysts say support costs, compliance risks, and usage reimbursement increase BYOD's total cost with no return on investment, many executives believe BYOD policies provide nontangible benefits, such as seamless integration between work and home environments and an environment that is attractive to millennials.

From "Running the ROI Numbers on BYOD"
Computerworld (04/17/13) Tam Harbert
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 Trend Watch
The Top 12 Tech Trends for 2013
This year's top 12 technology trends include big data, the Internet of Things, Jericho-style security, and augmented reality. Augmented reality is changing the interaction between people, objects, and information, while big data will improve customer insight and help organizations target customers. Jericho-style security is a growing security trend that brings a more granular and flexible security approach, while the Internet of Things will make it possible to access remote sensor data and control the physical world from a distance.

From "Report Identifies the Top 12 Tech Trends for 2013"
TechJournal (03/20/13)
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3 Data Trends to Look For
Massive data centers are increasingly facing costly power bills, maintenance, and upgrades. Emerging data center trends are leading in a new direction. Cloud computing has transformed IT departments, while another trend with a significant impact on data centers is the redesign of layout and server architecture, as traditional, rackable x86 servers pose cooling and maintainability problems. Finally, IT leaders should focus on providing scalable capacity to meet business needs and determine essential capabilities.

From "Three Data Trends to Look For"
Tech Republic (04/08/13) Patrick Gray
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How to Find the Right Systems for the Right Workload   How to Find the Right Systems for the Right Workload
As organizations move to the hybrid data center model, one of the continuing challenges is determining where to place various workloads to optimize performance and cost. Getting it right requires working within three constraints – business, technical and workload. Learn more about analyzing your IT infrastructure and developing a strategy for workload placement.

 View from the C-Suite
3 Questions for Strategic Leaders
Strategic leaders understand their mission, have a vision, and are able to execute on that. Strategy cannot succeed without understanding an organization's mission, and leaders should ask who they serve, why they serve them, and how they intend to provide value. Beyond the mission, leaders should have a vision defining the direction in which they are heading, what needs to be done to accomplish goals, and the ability to execute on their mission and vision.

From "Three Questions for Strategic Leaders"
CIO Insight (04/03/13) Charles Araujo
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Using Knowledge Management to Improve the Web Experience
Knowledge management (KM) enables businesses to leverage information to improve the customer Web experience. For example, a company could use KM to assign higher search result preference to video feeds that are likely to engage viewers, while giving those with less follow-up engagement a lower priority in the search results. KM could also help a firm create a centralized photo repository for website use, with filing, tagging, and identification capabilities to manage digital photos in the cloud.

From "Improving the Web Experience"
KMWorld (04/13) Vol. 22, No. 4, P. 14 Phil Britt
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8 Steps to Implementing a Knowledge Management Program   8 Steps to Implementing a Knowledge Management Program
In today’s information age, knowledge is one of the most important assets of just about any organization. Which means finding a way to share that knowledge—especially everything locked in the heads of various experts—is crucial to a company’s success. Knowledge management is more than just installing a technology platform as this article points out.

 Managing IT
How to Use BPM to Improve Customer Experience
Business process management (BPM) technologies will transform customer service in coming years, bringing cohesion where a disjointed experience currently exists. Customer loyalty, branding, and quality teams often operate in their own silos without integrating their efforts. BPM provides an organizational structure that enables companies to offer customers a consistent experience regardless of how they interact with the firm. Aligning front-office operations with the back office is the key to successful implementations.

From "How to Use BPM to Improve Customer Experience"
CIO (04/04/13) Kenneth Corbin
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Policies Key to Business Continuity Management Systems
A business continuity (BC) management system should start with BC and disaster recovery (DR) policies to establish basic rules of operation in both normal and disaster situations. To garner senior management support, the policy statement should clarify the initiative's importance, alignment with business objectives, and goals. BC/DR policies should also address the program's compliance with applicable standards and regulations, and should be reviewed and updated periodically to ensure consistency with the company's goals.

From "Defining, Reviewing and Updating Your Organization's BC/DR policy"
TechTarget (04/01/13) Paul Kirvan
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Why Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery is More Than a Checklist   Why Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery is More Than a Checklist
The recent flooding problems in the Midwest and the approaching tornado season are reminders of the need for a good business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Yet while nearly every company will agree it’s important, many don’t understand the real implications of falling short. This infographic provides a clear, graphic explanation of exactly what’s at stake.

 Security Update
High Level of Cloud Security Faces Long Hard Climb
Cloud computing still has not reached a high security level, which might cause some organizations with sensitive data to refrain from cloud-based services, says Gartner's Jay Heiser. He says establishing a security baseline might be simpler when using infrastructure-as-a-service instead of software-as-a-service because there is more flexibility and less service provider dependence. Organizations should also identify requirements and security options before assessing potential cloud services.

From "Gartner: Long Hard Climb to High Level of Cloud Computing Security"
Network World (04/10/13) Ellen Messmer
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Rethinking Security in the Cloud   Rethinking Security in the Cloud
Although the cloud has garnered a lot of attention in the IT world, anxiety still persists around security, governance and risk management issues. Yet the problem isn’t the cloud. It’s trying to manage security in the cloud using traditional processes and technologies. Check out some new ideas on how to ensure security in the cloud.

 The Bottom Line
Recent Incidents Could Boost Security Funding
Chief information security officers (CISOs) can leverage recent highly-publicized cyberattacks to make the business case for increased cybersecurity funding. Rather than using technical jargon, IT leaders should speak to executives in terms of liability and loss of revenue and customers. CISOs should emphasize that security involves not just managing system hygiene, but also layering, secure architecture, policy enforcement, system monitoring, and lifecycle management to stay ahead of adversaries.

From "Using Cyber-Attacks for C-Suite Buy-In" (03/29/13) Jeffrey Roman
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8 Steps to an Effective Vulnerability Assessment   8 Steps to an Effective Vulnerability Assessment
Cybercrime has been a hot topic in the news lately. Cyber attacks have been coming not only through the operating system but also through mobile devices. With the average annual company remediation cost now at $36.5 million, it makes business sense to prevent rather than fix problems. These eight steps will help you find your weaknesses.

 The Takeaway
Specific Goals Key to Social Collaboration Success
Social collaboration initiatives have just a 10 percent success rate because companies tend to follow a worst-practice approach of offering access to social collaboration technology and hoping for results, according to Gartner. Although 70 percent of organizations use social technology, most treat collaboration as a platform decision instead of a means to an end. Social collaborations that begin with a specific goal usually succeed, so companies should identify the collaboration's participants, specific issues, and target community.

From "Social Collaboration Initiatives Fail Due to Lack of Purpose: Gartner"
eWeek (04/02/13) Nathan Eddy
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 Words of Wisdom
“At the end of the day, business users and IT buyers want to buy access to an IT-driven service, not infrastructure.” - Patrick Gray in the Tech Republic.
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 Editor's Note
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of inFOCUS. We welcome your feedback. Please send us articles or topics of interest that you would like to see in future editions. Email us at

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