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March 2015   
inFOCUS is a monthly e-newsletter with summaries of business and technology articles, selected from 12,000 sources, to help you stay current with the latest news, ideas and research.
 This Month's Buzz
The Perils of Ignoring Software Development
Software is essential to market differentiation and value generation for growing numbers of products and services, yet software development is often a low C-suite priority. To raise its profile in the higher ranks, C-suite executives must understand the strategic stakes of software development, and establishing a software development executive who reports directly to the CEO can help the C-suite comprehend software development's strategic value. Also critical is fostering desired software development talent, and there has to be follow-through with operating models that include agile development, flexible hours, and motivational strategies.

From "The Perils of Ignoring Software Development" 
McKinsey Quarterly (Winter 2015) Peter Andén; Chandra Gnanasambandam; Tobias Strålin
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A Holistic Approach to App and Network Performance Visibility   A Holistic Approach to App and Network Performance Visibility 
Poor application performance impacts business performance. Forrester Research found that 64 percent of organizations use a fragmented approach to IT monitoring. This often leads to islands of in-actionable data within organizational silos. Read this whitepaper to see how a holistic monitoring approach that spans applications, networks and infrastructure can help you eliminate blind spots, resolve issues anywhere along the application delivery chain, and foster collaboration across various groups within IT.

 Trend Watch
Emerging Enterprise Technologies to Watch
Key emerging enterprise information technologies include quantum computing, whose viability could lead to faster and more efficient optimization problem-solving, while gamification could be an effective motivational tool for employees for training and productivity enhancement. Reactive programming is seen as a practical solution for concurrency and distributed operations, and augmented reality can significantly reduce training times and human error when guiding industrial tasks. Meanwhile, transient electronics hold the potential of safe, disposable devices operating in the body, and named data networking is a candidate for replacing TCP/IP as data-centric apps dominate the Internet.

From "Emerging Enterprise Techs to Watch" 
Computerworld (02/25/15) Lamont Wood
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5 Enterprise Mobility Trends CIOs Should Watch
This year's Mobile World Congress offered CIOs insight into trends likely to affect enterprise mobility, such as the Internet of Things' tighter integration with business processes, and the increased enterprise-friendliness of Android. Announcements of support for wearables means deploying the technologies is also worth consideration by CIOs, while the forthcoming launch of various devices with much stronger security later this year invites opportunity as well. CIOs should also consider less expensive smartphones, as their capabilities and enterprise applicability have greatly expanded in the last year.

From "Five Takeaways for CIOs From This Year's MWC" 
IDG News Service (03/06/15) Mikael Ricknäs
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Riverbed Network and Application Performance Visibility
 Monthly Data Points
4 Data-Driven Predictions for IT Innovation
Data analytics, the cloud, and digital business feature prominently in the 2015 plans for InformationWeek's Elite 100 group of business-IT innovators. Nearly half of the tech leaders say they will let end users do "what-if" data analytics without their involvement, while cloud sophistication is rising as more companies employ "cloudbursting" techniques to dynamically shift work from in-house data centers to public clouds to handle surges in computing demand. In addition, two thirds of Elite 100 companies plan to increase IT spending this year, and over half say their CIO has official responsibility for innovation.

From "4 Data-Driven Predictions for IT Innovation" 
InformationWeek (03/12/15) Chris Murphy
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 View from the C-Suite
The CIO as Chief Integration Officer
CIOs should integrate technology with business strategy by restructuring their department to build credibility and trust via organizing assets to address business priorities, embedding speed and flexibility, adopting a portfolio management approach to IT's risk and reward, and delivering visibility into the balance sheet. Fostering an innovation culture through collaboration and experimentation is also recommended, by building a culture that encourages failure and collaboration to address business challenges. CIOs should also assume business leadership duties via engagement with business peers and by being a link to IT.

From "The CIO as Chief Integration Officer" 
CIO Journal (02/25/15) Peter Vanderslice
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3 Trends Making CIOs' Jobs Even More Complex
CIOs must deal with growing job complexity, such as the trend toward IT consumerization, which requires CIOs to serve the workforce better by providing tech tips, apps that work wherever employees are, and their seamless integration with employees' preferred consumer productivity apps. Meanwhile, accelerating technological change demands a rethink of vendor relationships with monthly, utility-based pricing contracts, assurance of data retention, and lock-in of minimum capacity and flexible pricing. In addition, as big data makes centralized data stores less viable, CIOs should adopt a model to enable real-time data visibility.

From "3 Trends Making CIOs' Jobs Even More Complex" 
The Enterprisers Project (02/19/15) Minda Zetlin
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5 Reasons CIOs Should Be Involved in Mergers & Acquisitions   5 Reasons CIOs Should Be Involved in Mergers & Acquisitions 
In many cases, mergers and acquisitions have a lasting impact on money, assets and the future of the organization. Yet chief information officers and IT leaders are sometimes left out of the crucial planning process. Failing to include these C-level decision makers can be a grave mistake, contributing to the high percentage of acquisitions that fail to meet target objectives.Learn the five reasons why CIOs must be part of the merger or acquisition process.

 Managing IT
4 Pilot Project Best Practices for IT Leaders
Small IT projects should have a pilot phase that applies certain best practices, including being mindful of staff and stakeholders' emotional needs and how they might be disrupted by a project's cancellation. Also important is strict avoidance of enhancement scope creep, while the success rate on pilot projects should be at least five to one in order to prevent staff and stakeholder skepticism from taking root. Finally, unsuccessful pilot projects should be dissected to uncover what caused them to fail so such issues can be avoided going forward.

From "Four Pilot Project Best Practices for IT Leaders" 
TechRepublic (02/24/15) Mary Shacklett
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 Security Update
Cybersecurity Remains a Top Concern in the C-Suite
The possibility of a cyber attack is the third most pressing fear among corporate executives, according to a global Protiviti survey. Fifty-three percent of respondents indicated insufficient preparation to manage cyber threats is a risk that will "significantly impact" organizations this year. The improving economy is leading many corporate executives to shift some of their focus from broader economic worries to issues closer to home, especially IT security, as more than 3,000 U.S. organizations were victims of a cyber attack in 2014, which cost an estimated $445 billion.

From "Cybersecurity Among the Top Concerns for CEOs" 
FierceCIO (02/12/15) David Weldon
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Confidence in IT Security Declining as Budgets Rise
A majority of security decision-makers and practitioners expect a successful hack next year, according to a CyberEdge Group survey. The survey also found IT security budgets are surging as more than 70 percent of respondents said their networks were breached in 2014, and nearly a quarter were breached six or more times. Security analytics/full-packet capture and analysis are the most popular network security technologies for future procurement, according to the survey, which also found a growing desire for alternative endpoint anti-malware solutions and a reliance on continuous monitoring solutions.

From "As Confidence Sinks, Cyber Attacks Rise" 
Help Net Security (03/12/15)
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10 Tips to Strengthen Cyber Security This Year   10 Tips to Strengthen Cyber Security This Year 
In the age of frequent breaches, do you have a realistic idea of how effective your 2015 cyber security strategy is? Assessing your system’s vulnerabilities is a complex and large task, requiring an in-depth understanding of organizational risks and vulnerabilities, as well as current threats and the most effective policies and technologies for addressing them. It is also a step you cannot afford to skip if you want to protect your data. Review 10 helpful tips to perfect your cyber security plan starting right now.

 Research and Reports
6 Biggest Challenges Facing IT Managers
Process management, performance management, change management, quality management, project management, and financial management are the six biggest priorities for IT managers, according to APQC. Performance management's biggest challenge is setting up a performance culture, while cross-functional governance is the hardest task for process management. Change management's biggest issue is engaging employees across the change cycle, quality management's toughest challenge is generating a quality management system that impacts staffers' productivity, while quantifying project success based on business results is the key project management challenge.

From "Six Biggest Challenges Facing IT Managers" 
CIO Insight (03/06/15) Dennis McCafferty
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 The Bottom Line
IT's 2015 Top Investment Priorities
Top IT spending priorities for this year include application development, service-oriented architecture, support services, infrastructure, and app testing and quality assurance, according to a recent DATA survey. Leading challenges will be cost, adaptation, dearth of available experts, support and maintenance, and scope, cost creep, and other overruns. Factors contributing to IT vendor selection include experience and expertise, cost benefit, and product/solutions offerings. Positive findings include technology projects continuing to fuel enterprise initiatives to enhance internal processes and better engage with customers and stakeholders.

From "IT's 2015 Top Investment Priorities" 
Baseline (02/16/15) Dennis McCafferty
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What is the Value of IT?   What is the Value of IT? 
Nearly 65 percent of U.S. companies increased their IT budgets in 2014, and companies are investing about five percent of revenue in IT this year. Deriving value from these investments is more important than ever. As a result, chief executive officers and board of directors are setting goals to create and enhance their digital capabilities to drive growth, respond to threats in the marketplace, and create new competitive advantages with greater agility. Learn the best ways to measure the value of IT accurately.

 The Takeaway
CIOs Should Redefine Roles as Technology Shifts
CIOs should redefine their roles as enterprise IT tools such as mobile and cloud come to the fore in corporate life, with two specific models expected to emerge in 2020. One CIO model will manage internal technologies, while the other will mainly outsource internal IT management tasks and enhance the capabilities of other executives in producing customer-facing products. Flexibility and a perception of changes in IT spending power as opportunities to get closer to clients will help CIOs thrive during this transition.

From "Enterprise IT in 2020: Predictions and Preparation Tips" 
TechRepublic (02/19/15) Patrick Gray
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83 Percent of U.S Workers: Workspace Flexibility is Top Priority   83 Percent of U.S Workers: Workspace Flexibility is Top Priority 
The workplace landscape is shifting toward a more holistic blend of applications, communication, and mobility. It is a distinctly modern mix that helped save IBM more than $100 million a year on office space. In fact, 63 million Americans will work from home by 2016. For the vast majority of U.S. workers, technology is enabling employees to replace the traditional nine-to-five work schedule. View this infographic to read how the future of workspace is breaking down office walls.

 Words of Wisdom
“These are indeed dangerous times, but there is still cause for optimism as organizations take active steps to prepare for the unexpected.” - Steve Piper, CEO of CyberEdge Group, as quoted in Help Net Security.
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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 

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