March 13, 2017
FountainBlue’s March 10 When She Speaks event was on the topic of Embracing Agility in a Sea of Change. Below are notes from the conversation.
We were fortunate to have such influential, well-spoken and diverse leaders on our panel, representing a wide range of companies, roles, backgrounds and cultures. They also had much in common:
- They did great work and got noticed by influential others around them. These people then became mentors, sponsors, and supporters – that network which helped each of them advance with their work, and with their role and influence.
- Having this network of support made it easier for our panelists to shift from one project to another, from one team to another, from one company to another, from one industry to another.
Their collective advice for owning your career path is summarized below.
- Know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. Do what you’re passionate about. Be curious about new ways which would challenge you in good ways, so that you can keep relevant and engaged. Seek the opportunities that would stretch you and make you feel uncomfortable.
- Have the confidence to show up and do what you love well! Work with people you like, products and services you can believe in. Always stand by your values and principles, with your integrity intact. Your reputation and brand will speak for itself, and influential people may give you that opportunity to be agile, even if you’re not looking for it at the time!
- Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. Take the ‘go-for-it’ and the ‘what-if’ approach rather than wait for that coveted invitation, that perfect fit, that just-right job description.
- Focus on solving problems in front of you. Doing so may open doors to opportunities which make you feel uncomfortable, but may be exactly what you need to stretch yourself.
- Embrace your failures as a badge of courage. Most people learn more about themselves and their world from failures than from successes, so welcome the opportunity to succeed, learn if it doesn’t go quite as expected, and be stronger for every attempt.
- Say what you want to do, even if you’re not clear exactly how it will happen to you. If you speak to the right people about what you want to do, that other person may have something in mind which would serendipitously fit your passion. Or they may be able to even create a door if they share your vision and passion! This is a planned happenstance . . . Coincidence? I think not! The luckiest people have adopted this strategy . . .
- The way you communicate is critical to your success. Be clear first with yourself and then strategize on what you’d like to communicate to which audience to help you achieve what you’re looking for career-wise (and in all matters frankly). Market yourself authentically without “bragging”, and help others take credit where and when credit is due.
- When asked to compare working in start-ups vs working in corporates, our panelists agreed that working in both are important, and which one you select depends on what your current priorities are.
- What’s wonderful about working in a start-up is that you get to influence the direction of the company, and shift and evolve quickly with the company. This allows you the opportunity to learn and evolve quickly and bring big-company experience to guide start-ups with their growth and expansion.
- What’s beautiful about working in a large company is that you can be agile from within – shifting between projects and divisions and geographies, all with great opportunities for stellar growth, for lasting impact.
- Empower and encourage your team to step up and be heard if they want to have a seat at the table.
- Glom on to leaders and mentors and team members you admire and work well with. You may go through many journeys together.
The bottom line is that our panelists have encouraged us to both being open opportunities which arise while also setting boundaries based on who you are in terms of skills and values, what you want to do next, and what’s happening otherwise in your life. If you’re self-aware enough to know what you want when, you will be much more likely to have your cake and eat it too!
Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at Aruba, an HPE company, and our panelists for FountainBlue’s March 10 When She Speaks, on the topic of Embracing Agility in a Sea of Change:
- Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue, CMO, SignKloud
- Panelist Aimee Catalano, VP, Partner and Integrated Marketing, Pure Storage
- Panelist Jennifer Miller, VP and Associate General Counsel, Gigamon
- Panelist Maria Olson, Vice President Global & Strategic Alliances, NetApp
- Panelist Ronit Polak, VP Quality Assurance, Palo Alto Networks
- Panelist Jessica Swank, VP Human Resources, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
- Panelist Tricia Yankovich, Head of HR, Five9
March 6, 2017
FountainBlue’s March 3 VIP roundtable was on the topic of ‘Collaboration Best Practices’. Please join me in thanking the executives in attendance and our gracious hosts at SignKloud and Techlab Innovation Center.
The executives in attendance at this month’s roundtable represented a wide range of industries, roles, functions and company sizes. Below is a compilation of their ideas collaboration best practices leveraging technology and processes.
The conversation flowed through many technologies, solutions, stories and challenges around collaboration. Central to the conversation is the need for strong leadership, transparent and continual communication, alignment on near term and long term goals/mission/strategy across the organization, and continuous assessments and reviews to ensure that all of the above takes place. Below is advice on how to best facilitate that collaboration across stakeholders:
- Identify and engage all stakeholders across the ecosystem and work toward common goals and milestones.
- Proactively collaborate to create processes and adopt technologies that support the achievement of those goals.
- Be fluid in selecting the goals, technologies and processes you leverage to achieve those goals, for change is a certainty, and the speed of change is accelerating.
- Include a wider diversity of perspectives and people within your team, and a broader swath of partners and customers outside your team.
- Balance in-person and video communications.
- Physically locate teams in one geography, making sure that they have representation across all necessary functional areas so there are no inefficient road blocks due to logistical, operational or time-zone related challenges.
- Locate corporate leadership team in one physical location for easier coordination and communication.
- Teams may be in different geographies based on acquisition history. This may work well, provided that the product leadership team is located near corporate leadership team.
- Have regular Agile-style stand-up, all-hands meeting to facilitate communication, collaboration and coordination, to increase overall accountability and to improve connections between people and projects.
- Create integrated technologies and processes which take a project end-to-end, while also providing ongoing support.
- Ask the perennial questions in this order: What are we doing? Why are we doing it? How does it fit into our overall strategy? What are the metrics for success? How are we doing towards those goals? Should we change any element of our strategy based on metrics and feedback? REPEAT.
- Hire the young blood to get things done, but also know when to bring in to the seasoned hands to lead. It takes a village and everyone should have a piece of the puzzle.
- Know your non-negotiables for yourself, for your project, for your company, and stand behind them.
- Communicate the following every week: What you did last week. What you plan to do next week. What you need from management to make things happen.
Below is a compilation of ideas on new and hot ideas around tech and process collaboration.
- The innovations in data analytics, artificial intelligence, etc., are facilitating noteworthy innovations in genomic research which are leading to real-life, near term business solutions which also help patients and providers make data-based decisions around their health.
- Healthcare is a lagging industry which is just beginning to adopt collaboration technologies and processes which will continue to transform the industry. There will be implications for: precision medicine, genomic research, patient diagnostics, medical devices, etc.,
- Cybersecurity is a hot area in all industries.
- There will be increased communication and coordination between people, technologies, and processes which impact all industries. Watch specifically for transformations in automobile, consumer home and health, retail, and everything in between.
- Adding an element of creativity to existing technologies and processes may create attractive new solutions and business models.
Below is a list of recommended collaboration tools.
- Slack – Slack brings all your communication together in one place. It’s real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams.
- HipChat – HipChat is group chat built for teams & business.
- WebEx – WebEx online meetings and presentations, webinars, town halls, online courses and training, and online presentations.
- Zoho – Run your entire business with Zoho’s suite of online productivity tools and SaaS applications.
- Salesforce – Build more meaningful and lasting relationships and connect with your customers across sales, customer service, marketing, communities, apps, analytics, and more
- Chatter on Salesforce – Allow Employees to Share Knowledge,Drive Productivity & Innovate.
- Confluence – Confluence is where you create, organize and discuss work with your team.
- JIRA – JIRA Software offers flexible issue and project tracking with best-in-class agile tooling for software teams.
- Skype – Skype is software that enables you to make free calls anywhere in the world.
- RealtimeBoard: Whiteboard for Collaboration
The bottom line is that all businesses are run by people, and selecting technologies and processes which suit your people, and hiring people who fit that culture is a rudimentary requirement for success and growth.
February 23, 2017
As a tech professional and leader in the know, your ears perk up when you hear about seizing that digital advantage. And we do nothing, until we again hear talk of how this or that leader or company leveraged that digital advantage. Here are some specific and tangible things you can do every day to realize a digital advantage.
1. Being digital means easily uploading, downloading, updating and managing content which is easily sorted, filtered and categorized.
2. Being digital means providing access to the specific, relevant and real-time information of interest to them.
3. When leveraged well, access to volumes of relevant information helps companies be more responsive and better attuned to the current and anticipated needs of the customer.
Connecting and Communicating across people, technologies and platforms.
4. Being digital means providing the technology, networks and infrastructure necessary so that people can better connect to each other.
5. Being digital means ensuring ease of access, ease of use, as well as security and scalability of solution.
6. Being digital means connecting with people on any device from mobile to web to billboards to kiosks to automobile displays.
Engagement and Interaction
7. Being digital means you can better describe and communicate your own needs and better understand the needs of others.
6. Being digital means providing interactive and immersive experiences which are memorable, purposeful and engaging.
9. Being digital, connected and engaged leads to better collaboration between teams, between companies, between partners.
The bottom line is:
10. Being digital separates the haves and the have nots, be they individuals, teams, companies or industries.
Don’t get left behind. Seize the Digital Advantage.
February 13, 2017
FountainBlue’s February 10 When She Speaks meeting was on the topic of Expanding Your Circle of Excellence. Below are notes from the conversation.
We were fortunate to have such influential, well-spoken and diverse leaders on our panel, representing a wide range of companies, roles, backgrounds and cultures. But they shared many thoughts about the power of influence.
- Influence is essential for getting things done at work and at home. Most of the time, we don’t have that direct authority to mandate that someone does something in a certain way by a certain time. And even if we did have that authority, it’s not a great way to lead, to empower, to build trust and loyalty.
- Everybody can have a valid perspective, idea, approach or opinion. But not everybody will voice it so that it gets heard and considered. A leader ensures that a wide range of perspectives are heard, which increases the likelihood of project success and bottom-line results.
- We would all benefit if everyone had the confidence and ability to influence decisions and outcome.
- The first step to having more influence is to choose to do so.
- Listen to the inspiring and practical stories of influential people around you, for it will also help you become more influential and feel more empowered.
Their collective advice for expanding your circle of influence is summarized below.
- Know and accept your talents and weaknesses. Leverage your strengths and work on your shortcomings so that you can become more influential.
- Everybody has their own style of influencing others.
- Build deep and trusted relationships at all levels, whether or not you need something done right away.
- Understand the motivations and perspectives of those with whom you work. It’s much easier to find that common ground when you’ve done this first.
- Make everyone around you look good, feel good for the role they played in each project.
- Be open to the perspectives of other people, especially when she/he don’t think like you.
- Communicate in a way that the other party can understand.
- Create a common ground, a common understanding, a shared goal, a shared future . . . something where you and other parties can collaborate in influencing an outcome.
- Point to the data, the measured results which back up a perspective or strategy. This helps keep conversations around the plans and strategy, rather than on politics and games.
- Welcome the gift of feedback, especially when it makes you feel uncomfortable. The best feedback helps you overcome the obstacles you’re putting in front of yourself. Choosing to overcome these obstacles will help you raise the bar for yourself.
- Be a role model for courageously stepping up, out of your comfort zone. Seek a role model who would help you to do the same.
- The fear-of-the-no and the fear-of-failure stop many from even asking and trying.
- The lack-of-an-expressed-wish means many don’t “cash-out” on the goodwill and positive intent due to them.
- Create and support an ecosystem of support within and outside your companies, and enlist that sponsorship and commitment from the top.
- Be patient and resilient. Take a ‘no’ as a ‘not-now’, a failure as a learning opportunity, a building block for success.
- Facilitate a culture of empowerment, a place where people are encouraged to speak up and contribute, to embrace diversity approaches and mind-sets, with alignment in thoughts, words and actions.
- There’s a difference between diversity (when you’re invited to the party) and inclusion (when you’re invited to dance). Move beyond thoughts and words and into actions and projects, to truly integrate diverse people and perspectives into outcomes.
- Connect with people who can help you influence outcomes. Executive sponsors, mentors, champions, advocates, partners, etc., are all part of ecosystems of stakeholders you can create and manage.
The bottom line is that influencing is about partnerships and collaboration, about working together toward a common goal, about creating a win-win which benefits all.
Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at ASML and our panelists!
Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO FountainBlue, CMO SignKloud
Panelist Tonie Hansen, Senior Director, Corporate Responsibility, NVIDIA
Panelist Vijaya Kaza, SVP Engineering, FireEye
Panelist Ishita Majumdar, Senior Director of Products, eBay
Panelist Birte Schwarzenfeld, VP, Head of Corporate Strategy, Flex
Panelist Eileen Sullivan, Vice President Project Management Governance, UXC Eclipse
February 3, 2017
FountainBlue’s February 3 VIP roundtable was on the topic of ‘The Convergence of Technologies and Solutions’. Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at TI and our executives in attendance.
This month’s roundtable executives represented a wide range of industries, roles, functions and company sizes. Below is a compilation of their ideas on the opportunities ahead, as technologies convergence across function and across industry.
Convergence may mean different things for different companies, but at its heart is the idea that we have the infrastructure to support the transference of technologies and solutions across solutions, across industries, across customers. Foundational to the convergence theme is the required infrastructure necessary to support it. This means everything must be in order: from the hardware and software needed to process information and create solutions, to the network needed to connect and communicate, to the policies and processes needed to support commerce, to the systems and solutions to support the delivery of services, and most importantly, the ability of the customer to pay for solutions, and companies to deliver to them what they need.
Each of our represented leaders and companies have solved aspects of these challenges and continue to push the envelope, not just for technology development, but also for the business processes and business model evolutions which would support the growth of the company. (See blog on ‘An Innovation Conversation‘.) There’s general agreement that convergence is happening across industries, across technologies, across companies, so our execs provided the collective advice below.
- Encourage the transition of technologies across multiple use cases, as driven by the needs of the customer.
- Create a collaboration between technologists and sales engineers to partner with customers to design new solutions.
- Create modules and solutions which make it easy for customers to leverage technologies and knowledge, and an easy way for them to communicate with staff and with each other as they design customized solutions.
- Not all customers are created equal. Create self-service solutions which make it efficient and easy for most of your customers to help themselves, while providing additional and separate support for larger accounts.
- Continue to focus on quality as you scale.
- Invite the use of open source solutions and collaborations with trusted partners, creating an ecosystem that’s mutually beneficial.
- Don’t let the management tool distract you from what needs to be done to best serve the customer.
- Leverage modular open source solutions where it is practical.
Below are some hot areas to watch.
- Look for ways to bring the digital to the physical, cost-effectively bringing custom-fit solutions to eagerly awaiting customers who are well positioned to pay well for them.
- Find ways to apply B-to-C businesses models and create B-to-B opportunities.
- Balancing privacy, security and access will continue to be a challenge, find out how it’s also the opportunity.
- Imagine how custom molds, CAD design, 3D printers, and small-scale manufacturing could create a growth opportunity.
- Look at the diagnostic and screening opportunities both for disease management and optimal health. Consider also privacy issues around these solutions.
- Consider moving from a traditional sales model to a SaaS model for standard businesses, much like what Michelin is doing with tire sales – selling by the mile rather than straight sale.
- Robotics and drones and voice activation will be hot in most solutions created.
- IoT will be everywhere. What needs to happen in order to standardize IoT solutions to meet privacy, security and access requirements? Who will lead the charge and what are the business opportunities as this will inevitably happen?
- Blockchain and its ability to provide that audit trail will provide many business and entrepreneurial opportunities.
The bottom line is that convergence is already happening, and it opens up many opportunities ahead for those willing to embrace them.
January 31, 2017
FountainBlue’s January 27 When She Speaks, on the topic of Negotiating for a Win-Win. Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at Twilio and our panelists!
- Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue, CMO, SignKloud
- Panelist Angie Chang, VP Strategic Partnerships, Hackbright Academy
- Panelist Genevieve Haldeman, Vice President, Marketing Communications, Twilio
- Panelist Zaina Orbai, Sr. Director – Head of Global HR Operations, Yelp
- Panelist Katie Penn, Director of Demand Marketing, Twitch
Below are notes from the conversation.
We were fortunate to have a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives on our negotiation panel. Their combined advice is summarized below.
- Start by understanding what all parties want out of a negotiation. Understand what drives the other party so that you can collaboratively create a win-win.
- Be strategic, prepared and plan-ful about how you negotiate, and practical about how to make both parties comfortable, to increase the odds of a successful negotiation.
- This means that you must understand your own needs and that of the other party and find that intersect, driving towards common ground.
- Use LinkedIn and other online resources to Google the backgrounds of the people you’re negotiating with.
- Consider factors such as gender, ethnicity, age, language, etc., when you’re negotiating with others. It will help you better understand their background so that you can properly prepare for a negotiation.
- Go beyond doing the research prior to the negotiation. Vet your strategy and findings with others who may help you think through your strategy and plan prior to the negotiation.
- Know your triggers and manage through them so that you don’t get too emotional throughout the negotiation process.
- Surround yourself with mentors, supporters, champions, managers, and advocates, who will support you and help you learn and grow.
- Embrace the opportunity to connect with people who don’t think like you, who don’t act like you do.
- Sometimes negotiating with your loved ones is harder than negotiating with your peers and partners and customers at work. These family relationships run long and deep and can be more complicated. Focus on the long-term relationship rather than the short term wins.
- Whether you’re negotiating a big deal, or just doing business as usual, remember that networking is the greatest indicator of your success.
- Build relationships and connections before you’re in desperate need of them. Make broad and deep connections. Your network is closely tied to your Net Worth.
- Be that ethical, authentic, trusted party who will negotiate in good faith, and be true to the relationship and the agreement.
- Know your value and your worth, and be confident about lobbying to make sure that you get what you earn and deserve. Center yourself so that you feel that confidence even when you’ve had a bad day.
Below is specific advice which may help you with daily and ongoing negotiations at work and play.
- If you’re trying to get on the calendar of important people, be succinct and focus on what’s in it for them.
- Offer one of several options which you define. This way, you get to control what’s to be done, and the other party feels like it’s their choice as well.
- Be curious about people’s differing viewpoints. Inviting diversity into your circle can help everyone within your circle, provided everyone is open and respectful.
- When you have to work with someone with whom you’ve had a colorful past, try to be open-minded. Humanize the other person, and find an area of common ground as a starting point.
- Focus conversations on the issues at hand, staying away from the personal and emotional issues which may color the conversation and lead to unproductive cycles.
- If you and the other party are bogged down with a negotiation, try backing off and coming from a different angle. Whether it’s working with champions behind the scenes, finding an alternate path to agreement.
- If you’re negotiating a compensation package, consider many factors and weight them all, focusing mostly on the things that are most important to you. From there, you can overlay the various options. Factors other than salary include: Working Hours, Benefits, Bonuses, Title, Role and Tasks, Parking and Commute and Public Transit Access, Leadership Team, Project Preference, Boss and Manager, Team Leadership, Industry, Technology/Customers, Advancement Opportunity, Education and Training opportunities, Presentations to management/customers . . .
The bottom line is that negotiating is a part of life, and your perspective around how to negotiate and your preparedness for any negotiation will help ensure your success.
January 31, 2017
Everybody wants to be known as the ‘Innovator’. For many, it’s better than being known as the ‘Leader’ – there are generally fewer strings attached and less pressure to perform in all these random areas.
But most people think that innovation is reserved for the geekiest of geeks, the eggheads with the novel, game-changing ideas, the brainiacs who shine brighter than the rest of us. I’m hoping that this post helps more people that they can also be part of the innovation equation.
- I created the matrix above to include technology as an element of innovation, but also included business models and process innovations as valid ways to improve the way we work.
- Each element is also divided into the status quo – what we’re doing today in each of these areas, the incremental – which makes the business model, processes, and technologies incrementally better, and the novel – a whole new way of thinking about each element.
- The status quo for business models, processes and technologies have taken us far, and will likely be valid for weeks/months/years to come, depending on the solution and the industry. But accept that the status quo will be passe at some point, and choose to make incremental improvements or pivot in a novel direction.
- I mean no disrespect for incremental changes, which can and has sustain companies and industries for decades. Look for incremental changes not just in technology, but also in business models and process improvement.
- If you’re seeking a novel new direction for technology, processes or business models, listen closely to what the customers are saying or not saying so that you can shape the direction based on their needs.
- Watch for the cross-overs between business processes, business models and technology innovations. Fixing and improving one may create an incremental or novel change for another.
- Be open to innovations of all flavors, coming from all directions. Unless it does not align with your overall objectives, your customer needs, your operational requirements, or your core values.
- Purposely push the limits innovating your internal processes and you may find new business models, or the core of an idea for a novel new technology.
- It’s always about the people. Find people who are smart, open, flexible and eager to do something new, make something better. Beware of people who stick with the same-old thing, no matter how brilliant and wonderful they otherwise are.
- Bringing it all together takes an extraordinary amount of vision, passion, competence, patience and fortitude. This is not the task meant for the ordinary person.
Are YOU extraordinary?
January 23, 2017
FountainBlue’s January 20 When She Speaks was on the topic of Negotiating for a Win-Win. Below are notes from the conversation.
We were fortunate to have a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives on our negotiation panel. Their combined advice is summarized below.
- Build relationships deep and wide before you need to.
- Fundamental to any successful negotiation is understanding your own personal needs and desires, and also the motivations and interests of the other people involved.
- Emotions may run high when stakes run high in a negotiation. Accepting that this may happen and managing your own emotions – like giving yourself the time to react and respond – will help you be more successful through a negotiation.
- Know the strength and value for yourself and for your team/product/company so that you can enter into a negotiation from a position of strength.
- Be open and curious about the perspective of the other parties so you are better positioned to negotiate a win-win.
- Take a chance and get noticed. Reach beyond your responsibilities and role when you’re able to.
- Work with partners, mentors, allies and sponsors to keep stretching yourself, and to make sure others hear of your successes and impact.
- Sometimes asking for something a bit less than you wanted may bring you closer to what you wanted in the long run.
- Be a great listener, one who truly and authentically cares about the welfare of the other party.
- Don’t generalize about people based on gender, ethnicity, age, etc., Everyone is different and unique.
- Make others around you look good, feel good.
- Make the best of what you are given. Sometimes what you dread happening may wind up being better than what you wanted in the first place.
- Put yourself first – that’s hard when your team and family are so important.
- Be accessible and reachable so that people will reach out to you and start that communication channel.
- Manage the conditions for the negotiation itself – everyone should be comfortable and not feel rushed or pressured.
- Have open communications with spouse regarding work priorities so that your own front is managed and your work demands are addressed.
- Be proactive about spelling out your needs and dreams. Don’t judge yourself or others, or be with those who judge you for your needs and dreams.
- Encourage and support children to take responsibility and ownership for their own problems.
- Know your walking points and be wiling to walk under those conditions.
- Know the top line and the bottom line going into the negotiation. Having those boundaries will help ensure a successful outcome.
Bottom line – be strategic, relationship-based, and engage with long-term, win-win results in mind. We wish you the best of luck in managing your upcoming negotiations.
Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at Samsung and our panelists!
- Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant
- Panelist Charlotte Falla, Vice President and General Counsel, Samsung Research America, Inc.,
- Panelist Jennifer Morrill, VP, Commercial Legal (Americas/EMEA), LinkedIn
- Panelist Lucia Soares, Vice President, Healthcare Technology Strategy, Johnson & Johnson
- Panelist Yvonne Thomson, Vice President, Culture & Employee Experience, Symantec
January 21, 2017
FountainBlue’s January 13 VIP roundtable was on the topic of ‘ISMAC is Where It’s At: What’s Hot in Immersive, Secure, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud Technologies for 2017. Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at TCV, and our executives in attendance.
This month’s roundtable executives represented a wide range of industries, roles, functions and company sizes. Therefore, their perspectives around the what’s hot and what’s next would vary greatly. However, there’s agreement that we are on the cusp of great change in the way we adopt technology and in the way we do business.
- Open source technologies will be integral to address technology opportunities and challenges.
- There are an abundance of solutions in the areas of ISMAC. But integration of a wide range of disparate solutions are necessary to address the wide ranging needs of customers.
- Adoption of new solutions and integrations will be difficult for all companies and all industries, with different issues for each company and industry. Policy, leadership, standards and protocols, etc., will all factor in throughout the adoption and integration cycle.
- Starting first with the adoption of Salesforce and other cloud-based solutions, there’s been an increasingly marked shift in focus to adopting cloud solutions, with less reliance on IT staff and support prior to the integration.
- DevOps is becoming a more important target and beta market as they are 1) close to the customer, 2) open to integrating new technologies, 3) tech-savvy enough to understand options and requirements, 4) increasingly more important and empowered, 5) historically known for quick deployment, and 6) known for creating libraries, modules and protocols to support rapid implementation for new and upgraded solutions.
- With that said, DevOps divisions in general has not historically not had the budget or the inclination to buy enterprise-targeted solutions.
- Therefore, business units within enterprises may be more logical targets for enterprise solutions. However, working with DevOps initially would increase likelihood of success for a project and sale.
The collective advice of our executives is summarized below.
- Create an architecture and infrastructure, and an ability to do regular updates. This would support a solution in the near term and for the long term. An example of doing this successfully is to create a security layer like a coat of armor around a solution, and then making it easy to provide modular updates based on ongoing threats and needs – much like a flu shot.
- Collaboration between technologists and business leaders is essential for delivering to the needs of the customer.
- Although DevOps might be a great initial partner for other technologies, security solutions may not be as interesting to DevOps members.
- Although selling solutions to engineers and DevOps team members might be attractive for many reasons, companies such as AppDynamics and Splunk are finding more success selling to enterprise business units.
- When looking at the security of medical devices, you must first consider the health and welfare of the patient. The security of an application is not of primary concern if the life of a patient is at stake.
- When the health challenge is not critical and more ongoing and chronic, like diabetes treatment solutions, there’s more latitude to ensure the privacy of the patient data, while also collecting aggregated data for medical research and clinical application.
- Agencies such as the FDA are not well positioned to review and set protocols for the adoption of tech-based devices or cloud-based applications, yet this is their mandate. A wide range of stakeholders are working with these types of agencies to forge a path forward.
Below are some hot areas to watch.
- Leveraging AI for voice recognition may help virtual assistance better serve customers, beyond what Alexa and Siri are doing today.
- Integrators who work with the wide range of stakeholders on track the adoption of standards are well positioned to help customers integrate a wide breadth of solutions to address specific problems.
- Modular solutions which follow standardized protocols and open source elements will be more likely to be adopted.
- Find ways to leverage aggregated data to generate targeted reports tailored to the needs of the customers.
- Find ways to monetize open source – perhaps by creating customized, dynamically-generated reports.
- Find ways to containerize/modularize elements to ensure cleaner and more robust scalability and security.
- IoT solutions will continue to be hot. Those that integrate well with others and fit protocols and standards will be more readily adopted.
The overarching message is that technology innovation will require more leadership, more collaboration and better coordination and better communication.
December 31, 2016
Digital will continue to be the buzz – the differentiator which makes it easier to gather, digest and interpret data, easier to send personalized solutions to a wide range of customers. There’s no question that AI, BI and the Internet of Everything will affect the amount of information we receive online through our computers and through our wide range of smart devices. But there will be a physical element to digital solutions and elegantly integrating the two will set products and solutions apart.
- Yes, this means that IoT in general will continue to be hot, and affecting all of us in our day to day lives in ways we can barely imagine, and much more pervasively than we expect. Companies who can create a standard for the physical devices and the digital output from these devices will help the entire industry further ride that boom.
- IoT in the health and fitness space will continue to produce volumes of data, but also begin exploring the implications of the data and also interpreting volumes of data for patterns, while respecting the privacy of individual users.
- IoT in the retail space will help companies do everything from managing inventory to tracking customers, from improving security to anticipating orders.
- IoT in the transportation space will go far beyond GPS and emergency services and parking support. It will soon transform everything from car upgrades to changing appearances and going driverless!
- IoT in the consumer at home space will be all around automation a la Google and Nest and its temperature settings, and going far beyond that into appliance automation, lawn and garden care, and automated cooking and anticipatory grocery buying.
- Digital Out Of the Home (DOOH) solutions provide digital experiences going beyond computers and mobile phones and devices. Think about bus stops, bill boards, airports, train stations, food courts . . . pushing information out where people congregate, without the need for a computer or mobile device.
- Digital solutions can extend far beyond the tech world . . . including into agriculture. Imagine if we had tools which could support the full food supply chain – from production to processing to distribution and storage. These innovations will help improve efficiencies and the physical world for millions of people.
- Digital solutions enable peer-to-peer platforms which will continue to explode. Whether it’s with transportation services such as UBER and Lyft or vacation rental services such as AirBnB, or funding and loan services such as Indiegogo and Lending Club, people will connect with each other to deliver physical services, leveraging the digital platform to ensure fit, efficiency, security, etc.
- The quantity and quality of easily-available streaming digital videos is mind-boggling. We’re rapidly reaching the point where videos are preferred over standard television. And the point where original content, even if produced in non-commercial ways a la YouTube is preferred.
- And the point where immersive and interactive components are mandatory requirements for a successful digital experience, leveraging AR, QVC codes, motion sensory or MAC detectors.
The list could go on from here . . . Suffice it to say that the trend is going from Online to Offline (the physical), moving the user Onward – to a richer, more fulfilled, better served future. And if there’s success, there will be a loop back to the Online option, for more information, for more connections, for additional options.