Displaying articles for: 05-13-2012 - 05-19-2012
This weekend is the HP Byron Nelson Golf tournament. It is one of DFW’s biggest sports attractions and I’ll be out there today.
One of the features is the HP technology zone where anyone can touch some of the latest devices HP has on the market.
Most technologists are likely familiar with MapReduce as an approach to breakdown computing problems into smaller tasks that can be addressed in parallel. ManReduce is similar but for human resource parallelization.
“ManReduce is a framework for combining human and machine computation into an intuitive parallel data flow that goes beyond existing frameworks in several important ways, such as enabling functions on arbitrary communication graphs between human and machine clusters."
These efforts (or similar ones) are going to shift how organizations think of process and problem solving in the future. The traditional concepts of structured workflow and processing are going to change and this will require new architectures and open up whole new business possibilities. This is one of the reasons HP labs is looking at this space as well.
HP should have some interesting hardware, software and services to show this year. Naturally, there will be a range of Cloud capabilities for people to both discuss and experiment with this year.
For the first time HP labs will have a booth demonstrating some of the interesting research efforts that are currently underway.
Wednesday June 6th
Thursday June 7th
When I am not presenting, I’ll probably be at the HP Labs booth, although I am always tempted by hands-on labs. I’ll try to twitter at @cebess as well.
I hear there are a few tweetups planned as well, so if you will be there, keep those in mind. There will also be a screening of Madagascar 3 in 3D as well as some other special events. I was able to see a couple segments of Madagascar 3 at Interop and the first segment was very humorous.
Last week I was at Interop and I just saw that CIO magazine released a post titled 5 Key Interop 2012 Takeaways for CIOs and Other IT Pros. They were:
1) Interoperability is making a comeback – it definitely is the case that as organizations move to a hybrid cloud infrastructure that interoperability issues develop. This is one of the reasons HP is focused on Converged Cloud.
2) Security needs to be throughout the network, and that's no longer empty talk – I’ve been saying for a long time that security needs to permeate an organization’s architecture. If there is one thing we should have learned from the 1990s, it is that perimeter based security doesn’t work.
3) Cloud infrastructure is becoming a commodity, but new services will help providers protect their profits – It amazed me the amount of time and space that was dedicated to cloud at Interop. There were a large number of providers and organizations selling enabling capabilities. Naturally all of them were talking about how different they are. One person’s commodity is another another’s core business.
4) As resources move into the cloud, IT operations is forced to navigate in the dark – I don’t necessarily agree with this observation. There are numerous ways to provide greater visibility in the cloud. Granted few of them are free, but this is also an area HP has been focused on with Converged Cloud. It needs to look like one enterprise computing environment at the end of the day, regardless of where the bits are being twittled.
5) DNS vulnerabilities are becoming too risky to ignore – this last one is something I’ve heard a great deal more about recently. DNS is definitely a vulnerable point in today’s Internet protocols. OpenDNS recently unveiled a secure DNS service for consumers (it runs on both windows and iOS). It’s interesting how many people are concerned about security… but don’t realize that their DNS requests are sent in the clear and that can allow quite a bit of information leakage. Of course if you always use a VPN your risk is minimized.
Gamification in business is an area that I’ve been interested in lately. In particular, looking at its use to both measure and change behavior, in many dimensions.
Gabe Zichermann gave an interesting talk at the 2012 The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam on gamification that is worth the time to watch, since it provides a good foundation for gamification (warning – he does use some strong language):
Gabe Zichermann coordinates the gamification.co site (one of the go-to sites for the topic).
The further I get into the topic, the more ways I see it can be applied (but gamification is not a panacea). Its reuse possibilitiesare exciting. There are so many business functions and situations that are similar across industries… that some behavioral and scenario libraries should be possible – reducing risk and increasing the likelihood of success for all.
When organizations think about the separation of “normal” and the automation, I always view that the people’s skills can be applied elsewhere, where their creativity is needed. I came across this article titled: 5 Crucial Skills for the Next Generation Workforce, that talks about the kind of skills that will always be needed. They are: “
- Applied math and statistics. Knowing which analyses to conduct and how to interpret their results is more valuable than ever.
- Negotiation and group dynamics. It turns out that organizations need dedicated managers working with teams, advancing their agendas and working with their members.
- Good writing. Computers can only generate the simplest, most formulaic prose.
- Framing problems and solving open-ended problems. Computers don’t know what’s wrong or where the next opportunities are.
- Persuasion. Does anyone seriously think that a great salesperson will be unable to find work, even in a highly digitized economy?”
We need to use computers for what they are good at - Computers have infinite patience and people do not. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in their article Winning the Race with Ever-Smarter Machines article stated:
“Computers lack intuition and creativity, they can be painfully fragile in uncertain or unpredictable environments, and they are lost when asked to work even a little outside a predefined domain…. Fortunately, humans are strongest exactly where computers are weak, creating a potentially beautiful partnership.”
Understanding these capabilities can make a big difference in planning the business environment and the employee training needs for the future.
It is interesting to me that people will often attribute ongoing issues to new technologies. In Lori MacVittie’s blog post: Never attribute to technology that which is explained by the failure of people, she talks about the issue of improperly designed load balancing and how some people will view this as a cloud computing issue. Clearly it is not and it has been around since the first parallel processing efforts took place.
There are numerous examples of this misattribution today in technology, whether it is:
- Cloud causes greater integration issues than before – which is really the enterprise architecture issues that organizations have been dealing with since at least the advent of client/server.
- The attention crunch of the mobile/social era – this has been discussed since the dark ages.
- Technology adoption - the Luddites are the poster child for this.
- The increased complexity of cloud when added to the existing environment – this is also an architecture issue that we’ve been dealing with for decades.
Technology adoption and vendor management are core skills that teams should have already that will be increasing in importance. With every new technology there are new problems as well as solutions, but it is surprising how many of the problems existed before - we just may need to relearn the solutions.