Thursday Feb 14, 2013

Profit Briefing: Social, Big Data, & Workforce Trends

Wherein the music industry's Grammy awards and US President Barak Obama's state of the union address provide teachable moments for social media mavens. Plus: trends in workforce management and Big Data.

Social Media: 7 Social Media Lessons From the Grammys
Get smart insight into what Grammy organizers did right -- and wrong -- before planning how to use social media for your own event. CNET

Social Media: Still Waters
Senator Marco Rubio's famous swig from a bottle of Poland Springs water provided a watershed social media moment for the company. The results? A missed opportunity on Twitter but a thumbs up on Facebook.

Study: C-Level Leaders  Want HR Professionals to Look at Big Picture
CEOs and CFOs said they believe that the HR function’s expertise and experience in people issues can help companies make difficult but crucial staffing decisions in challenging economic times. Oracle

The Future of Work: Millennials Are Most Stressed Generation
Respondents age 18-33 reported highest levels of stress in a recent study by the American Psychological Association. In fact, "slightly more than 50 percent said that overwhelming worries disrupted their sleep in the past month." Los Angeles Times

Dealing With Data: Author Nassim N. Taleb On What To Watch For
"Modernity provides too many variables, but too little data per variable. So the spurious relationships grow much, much faster than real information. In other words: Big data may mean more information, but it also means more false information." says author Nassim N. Taleb. Wired

Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

Editor's Notebook: Oracle #CloudWorld 2013

It's been almost two weeks since
Oracle's CloudWorld events landed on US shores (learn more about how you can attend) and I'm starting to compile my notes into a bit of insight and editorial planning
for 2013.

First the insight:

  • What has Cloud done for me lately? - Executives and business users are now familiar with the concept of accessing a remote IT solution--or having their own solution managed offsite. So adding the word "cloud" to your slide deck is not enough to have a meaningful conversation about the impact a solution can have on your business. Indeed, one of the most common statements I heard from CloudWorld presenters as they showed off their products was "By the way, this is all in the cloud." To me, this statement underscores that it's the functionality of a solution that really matters. Sure, a cloud-based solution it has to perform, be secure, scale properly, and play well with other systems (just like an on-premises solution, BTW). But if a cloud solution can't deliver enterprise-grade functionality, the fact that it's "in the cloud" is just a distraction.
  • How fast do you want it? - A key driving force behind the adoption of cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions is rapid speed-to-deployment. If you need a solution, and need it fast, you can get your credit card and get that application online right away. Certainly there are other benefits to SaaS solutions (system monitoring and maintenance, optimized business flows, backup/failover support, automatic upgrades, etc.), but reducing planning and install time appears to be emerging as the critical differentiator for applications on the cloud. However...
  • Cloud Wrangling - ...since it is relatively easy to acquire a SaaS application (see credit card comment above), an enterprise IT environment runs the risk of having cloud-based applications scattered all over the lines of business. Each LOB executive may enjoy the benefit of ready access to an IT solution they control, but that can put them at odds with the CIO's overall IT plan for the entire enterprise. Especially if one of those SaaS applications contains data (say for instance, key customer or sales records) that must be accessed by on-premise enterprise solutions (an ERP system, for example). Not to mention if a business process spans multiple SaaS applications and on-premise systems. These scenarios threaten to undermine the real potential value of cloud computing by adding new friction to an already complex computing environment. Oracle systems architect Tim Sent, who hosted an excellent CloudWorld session on integration, told me that this problem can be avoided with 1)intelligent use of virtualization in the mid-tier and 2) published requirements/policies that LOB managers must follow when acquiring a SaaS solution. But more on that in the August issue of Profit...

Now the editorial planning: the August 2013 issue of Profit will focus on Cloud. Keep an eye on your mailbox/inbox for that issue. And in the meantime, I'll continue to post notes from our reporting and information about exclusive content updates on this blog. More to come...

Bonus! Oracle CloudWorld featured Facebook's founding CMO Randi Zuckerberg as a keynote speaker. She presented her thoughts on the top 10 technology trends to watch in 2013. They are:

  1. Luxury living without luxury spending. How are you delivering top shelf service to customers?
  2. Your mobile phone is everything.
  3. The rise of the entre-ployees. How how you promoting employee innovation?
  4. Digital detox. Can disconnecting spark creativity?
  5. Big data personalization. Are you turning customer data into customer service?
  6. Everything you need to remember is now in the cloud.
  7. The car is the new mobile computer.
  8. The gamification of everything. A scale that tweets your weight?
  9. Everyone can have a second job. Monitizing hobbies, chores, common activities.
  10. Tech culture is pop culture. Tech fluency now presumed of mass culture audiences.
Zuckerberg might have a personal interest in #10...

Learn more about Oracle CloudWorld events.

Wednesday Feb 06, 2013

NEW - Profit Briefing: What We're Thinking About

This week, we're starting a new regular feature called Profit Briefing. It's basically a collection of links to new Profit content and news in the business/tech world that we find interesting. A bit of a snapshot into the the regular reading habits of the Profit editorial staff.

So, without further ado:

Proposed Acquisition: Oracle Buys Acme Packet
The combination of Oracle and Acme Packet is expected to accelerate the migration to all-IP networks by enabling secure and reliable communications from any device, across any network. Oracle

Oracle Voice: 10 Reasons Why CEOs Don't Understand Their Customers
Oracle Senior Vice President Bob Evans reveals the results of a customer experience study commissioned by Oracle -- and the dangerous implications of its results Forbes.

Trends for 2013: Trends in Employee Training: Online Global Learning Management
"A learning management system is only as good as the learning design, technology, and methodology for delivery that governs it," says Denise Pirrotti Hummel, CEO of Universal Consensus, a cross-cultural management consulting and training firm. Profit Online

Study: Two-thirds of American adults who are online use Facebook.
This, according to a Pew Research study. However, 61 percent of these users say "they have voluntarily taken a break from using Facebook for a period of several weeks or more." Learn the reasons so many say they need a break. Pew Internet

Debate: Is the Internet Making Us More Generous?
Columbia University's first Chief Digital Officer Sree Srennivasan argues that "the Internet has made the world more generous, while also changing our traditional understanding of generosity itself." What do you think? Read his essay and join the discussion. Big Questions Online

The February issue of Profit in now available!

Just after Oracle acquired cloud-based talent management company Taleo in early 2012, the company's former vice president of research, David Wilkins shared some statistics with me about the challenging environment managers face competing for workers in the global marketplace: the US faces a deficit of 3 million workers with post-secondary degrees, China a shortfall of 70,000 executives capable of leading global expansion, and 70 percent of German companies report challenges finding the "right people."

But managers are certainly not helpless in the face of headwind in the global talent market. With the right talent management strategies, corporate culture, IT tools, and (of course) people, many organizations can be inoculated against the skills malaise. But it will require long-term vision and early action.

This issue of Profit looks at some of the forces at work in the market and some of the smart, creative efforts Oracle customers are making to address talent issues in their organizations. I hope the stories prove useful as we face the coming skills gap together.

Some highlights from the February 2013 issue of Profit:

Mind the Gap
Getting greater value from millennial and baby boomer employees

Breakthrough Talent
Enterprise systems help employers cope with the global skills shortage.

Chain Reaction
Built on sound IT and standard processes, LinkedIn?s finance department goes from startup to IPO—and beyond.

Giving Up Control
How empowered customers and employees make your business stronger.

Going for the Gold
NBC Sports Group CMO John Miller says social engagement can return unprecedented marketing results.

Innovation at Work
How smart IT solutions are inspiring fresh ideas among the workforce.

Is one issue of Profit not enough to get you through to May? Visit the Profit archives, or follow @OracleProfit on Twitter for a daily dose of enterprise technology news from Profit.


Updates from Profit editor Aaron Lazenby and an inside look at the creation of the magazine. Also, exclusive online content updates and news about business and technology.


« February 2013 »