Month: February 2021

The Art of the Possible

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first_imgAs IT professionals, we have never been strangers to change.  New technologies have come and gone…some minor, some quite disruptive.  However, the Third Platform is upon us and has opened the door to new opportunities to drive performance, agility and value for our businesses.While I’ve been a part of each platform throughout my 30+ years in the industry, this is the first time that so many trends – cloud, Big Data, analytics, mobile, social, digital and security – have converged simultaneously.  This presents some challenges for CIOs and IT professionals.For instance, a recent Economist Intelligence Unit Survey cited that while 92% of those surveyed are familiar with these emerging technologies and trends, only 50% know how to integrate them into their business.That said, forever the optimist, I am excited about exploring the “art of the possible” to disrupt not only how we deliver IT, but how our users consume and drive value in this third platform.  So where do we start?In my opinion, we start with the business.  Our first priority should be engaging more closely with the business; conversing in their language; understanding their expectations; and demonstrating how IT can quickly unlock agility and revenue opportunities.Within EMC IT, we built an industry-leading cloud infrastructure, which is the foundation for our third platform approach.  We are delving deeper into Big Data and offering business analytics as a service; we’re building mobile apps; and we’re starting to offer a more convenient and contemporary experience for employees.  For example, we recently began rolling out an enterprise version of Syncplicity to encourage sharing and collaboration.  But we have a long way to go.For years, we have clamored for a seat at the table.  If we want to be a contemporary IT organization, we need to partner even closer with the business and explore how we can unlock the art of the possible to make our business users more agile and productive.  The third platform has given us our seat at the table…and it is ours to lose.How are you embracing the third platform?last_img read more

The Benefits of Converged Infrastructure in the Oil and Gas Sector

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first_imgThe era of “easy oil” is coming to an end. The growth of gas exploration – both shale and liquefied natural gas – coupled with the increasing number of unconventional wells, are providing new opportunities and challenges for the industry. Today and going forward, improving the efficiency and productivity of wells will define the success of oil and gas companies.Among the many assets and benefits critical to the exploration and production processes, data is emerging as one of the most important. The ability to understand and accurately capture production levels at every well in an operation is critical to managing production and correctly forecasting results. Oil and gas companies that collect and manage data have been able to improve automation in the oilfield, gain process efficiency, identify the skills gap that is emerging in the work force, and make more informed business decisions.“These opportunities and challenges are pushing energy enterprises to transform how they use IT. Oil and gas CIOs are realizing the benefits of a more agile IT infrastructure that can rapidly deliver new applications and services, streamline automation strategies to increase production, and connect oilfield operations with backend IT systems.ShareConverged infrastructure can help expedite the development of enterprise applications and services by increasing operational efficiency and improving production predictability, while maintaining current IT spend levels. It has become a catalyst for consolidating siloed organizations, freeing up critical IT resources to work on higher-value projects and new application deployments.VCE converged infrastructure – Vblock Systems – transition oil and gas companies’ IT infrastructure deployment and operations to a simple, standardized, service-based approach.  Adopters have validated Vblock Systems by constructing the next generation of cloud-based and software-defined data centers on the highly reliable platforms. VCE architects and engineers have helped oil and gas customers successfully achieve:Standardized infrastructure platforms with a predictable performance envelope for oilfield and mobility application deployments. This has enabled organizations to centralize operations and remotely manage Vblock Systems with a highly optimized staff.Data center consolidations to gain efficiencies and speed up integrations from merger and acquisition activity, capturing the cost benefits from consolidation.Deployment of highly secure infrastructure as a service capabilities for application development projects and delivery of popular ISV applications in a software as a service (SaaS) delivery model.As a validated infrastructure for SAP environments, VCE is also working with oil and gas customers to architect solutions that use Vblock Systems as highly reliable, scalable platforms for their next-generation SAP applications and databases.  A recently published impact assessment by Forrester Research describes the value that customers have identified utilizing Vblock Systems for SAP deployments.All journeys begin with a first step. VCE leads the way for oil and gas enterprises, such as Iqon/Rompetrol and Plains Midstream, as they begin their transformation to a more agile, data-driven enterprise.last_img read more

Conversations at #ShiftForum: Protecting Human Capital in the Digital Age

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first_imgWe’ve all heard the dystopian predictions of doom in which robots will take over the world and leave us humans with nothing to do. I don’t subscribe to that extreme view. In fact, recent research reveals that business leaders are divided about the impact machines will have on our day-to-day work in the near future, but they all agreed on one thing: balancing technology with a human touch will be vital to success.So who is looking out for the interests of humans? How do we ensure that people have the relevant skills to thrive in the jobs of tomorrow? What role should government take in shaping future workforce development and technology policy? I hosted a roundtable exploring this topic at NewCo’s Shift Forum, held recently in San Francisco, and the conversation was fascinating.Liz Matthews, senior vice president of Global Brand and Creative at Dell, on stage at NewCo’s Shift Forum 2018 where she discussed the future of work.With emerging technologies like augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI), big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) poised to completely transform the workplace by 2030, our small group agreed that government must help create a level playing field and that it has a role in ensuring basic security and privacy protections. But beyond that, no one saw government as being nimble or visionary enough to actively manage tech advancement in a way that was beneficial to the workforce.Skills for the #FutureofWorkAs technology disrupts entire industries, it’s inevitable that some jobs will be lost while new ones will be created. And it’s not just occurring in blue-collar professions; some will argue that AI is already taking over a number of white-collar jobs by automating certain tasks in sectors like accounting or the law.The most likely area for government to intervene is in the area of workforce development, specifically by shaping soft skills development in a way that maps to technology advancements. To do so, our roundtable participants noted, government must:Drive skills development from the state and local level to ensure a talent pipeline for jobs in a particular region.Focus on soft skills – critical thinking, for example – knowing that they should be applicable for those currently in the workforce regardless of how technology shifts in the future.Realize not everyone, particularly those likely to be displaced in the next 10-15 years, wants to be coders.Work with companies to build education curriculum targeted to available jobs.In the long-term, universal basic income (a much-discussed topic at several Shift Forum sessions) in some form will be part of the conversation. Our group explored ways to balance this safety net concept with the dignity of work. For example, could an alternative be using an individual’s personal data as a commodity against which they would be paid?The real trick, everyone agreed, will be for government to intervene appropriately and drive productivity while not stifling innovation.Business Must LeadOrganizations, too, have a role to play. As jobs are phased out or upleveled, what is a company’s obligation to its employees? Certainly on-the-job training and skills development. But it will be just as important, if not more so, for companies to create internal cultures that encourage exploration and knowledge-sharing across generations. Reaching out proactively to local governments or partnering with unions are other ways the business community can start preparing for the workforce changes to come, our group concluded.What are your views on the role of government and business in preparing for the massive societal and economic shifts on the horizon? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!last_img read more

Foot of snow blankets parts of Midwest, disrupts travel

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first_imgOMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A major winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the middle of the country while another system blanketed parts of the Southwest with snow. The storms disrupted travel and shuttered many schools. There were closures of several coronavirus testing sites on Monday and Tuesday in Nebraska and Iowa. Both states saw 12 to 15 inches of snow in places. At least 4 inches of snow was expected through Tuesday across most of an area stretching from central Kansas northeast to Chicago and southern Michigan. The storm made travel treacherous in places as wind-whipped snow piled up. In the Southwest, more than a foot of snow fell in the mountains of Southern California, Nevada and Arizona.last_img read more

UniCredit designates investment banker Orcel as new CEO

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first_imgMILAN (AP) — Italian bank UniCredit says Andrea Orcel, one of Europe’s leading investment bankers, will replace outgoing CEO Jean Pierre Mustier, who offered his resignation this fall over strategic differences with the board. Orcel, a 57-year-old Italian, faces a shareholder vote before being confirmed in the role running Italy’s largest bank. Orcel spent 20 years at Merrill Lynch, where he helped manage some of the biggest bank mergers n Europe, including the merger of Credito Italiano and UniCredito to form UniCredit in 1998.  He most recently ran the UBS Investment bank from 2014-2018 and was slated to take over Spanish bank Santander in 2018, but ended up in a dispute over compensation.last_img read more

Iraq sends mixed signals over closing camp for displaced

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first_imgQAYARA, Iraq (AP) — Iraq appears to have back-tracked on plans to close a camp for internally displaced Iraqis, many with links to the Islamic State group. This comes after a week of confusion and outcry from families unable to return home. Iraq’s minister of migration and displacement said this week that news that Jadah 5 camp in northern Iraq would close within the month was false and that it would remain open for the foreseeable future. A letter issued by the ministry’s provincial directorate in Ninevah province addressed to its sub-districts said closures would begin on Jan. 25, suggesting that the federal government reversed the decision.last_img read more