Latest read: Competing on Analytics

How can you compete today in a globalized, highly competitive world? One very smart solution: Analytics. From Google and Amazon to the Boston Red Sox organizations (yes sports teams included) are succeeding by competing on analytics with proven results. Just ask the Yankees…
competing on analyticsCompeting on Analytics: The New Science of Winning from Harvard Business School Press is simply a must read for your organization. New data analysis tools and the internet have changed the rules for competition.

This book is not about Google’s Analytics tool but rather focuses on business intelligence, analysis and data reporting that has changed the competitive landscape.

It would be a mistake to think your organization is immune to the lessons shared in this book. I was even surprised how poorly my former employers rate in this book. Some feel colleges need not apply business intelligence to admissions, continuing education, communication and strategic planning. This book proves that notion dead on arrival.

The shift in data gathering tools and enhanced analysis proves this a key tool for any organization moving forward in a tough economy and market with a shrinking pool of customers. Your probably losing prospects to your competition as a result of analytics and business intelligence conveyed in smart communication.

Michael McIntyre taught me lessons regarding You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know (YDKWYDK) and how it deeply impacts organizations. The single key to winning with analytics is the total support by the CEO — from the top down — and this is where most organizations simply fail.

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Latest read: Innovation Nation

Innovation Nation: How America Is Losing Its Innovation Edge, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do to Get It Back from John Kao is a timely read. To say I enjoyed his lessons how America is losing it’s innovation lead was not pleasant experience, yet the book is highly engaging.
There are timely lessons in this book from the $100 laptop and more importantly the exodus of top American talent. No surprise that top talent from India is returning home after attending college in America as globalization brings new opportunities to India.

You may be surprised to learn how Kao documents the loss of top Americans heading overseas. That’s native-born Americans leaving our best institutions (and their home country) to work in new innovation centers with more creative, less political conditions.

The list includes Paul Saffo from Stanford, John Seely Brown from Xerox PARC, Peter Schwartz from Global Business Network and Rita Colwell, former head of the National Science Foundation and current professor of biological sciences at the University of Maryland.

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OLPC running XP

olpc xpWell the long wait is over. Microsoft Press Release has struck a deal with OLPC to offer XP on those little laptops. I’m not sure this is a good thing. Ask anyone who has Vista if they would like to downgrade back to XP (I did) and then you realize this is what will be introduced to millions of future Microsoft customers children around the world?

Lots of press here: Slashdot, NYTimes, CNET, Gizmodo,

I’m counting on the fact that behind the scenes Microsoft is helping fund OLPC. I’m not sure Sugar has what it takes to be the interface because OLPC clearly failed to market the story behind Sugar. And that’s a shame.

Tags: OLPC, sugar, Microsoft, XP, globalization, laptop, trends

Latest read: The Black Swan

There are interesting lessons in The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Want to learn to look for trends, events and all the gems in life that seem hidden, out of place, under the table and around corners?
the black swanAt 400 pages its no quick read but Taleb has presented his research by sharing stories and analysis about randomness in his own life.  Taleb has suggested that technology and history is primarily driven by Black Swans.

There are many lessons for IT leaders when it comes to Black Swans.  The BBC wrote an interesting article about how black swans in the area of information technology enterprise systems.  One in six big IT projects go over-budget by an average of 200%

Why?.  Once you see his point of view it will be much easier to notice black swans within your organization.  His book’s takeaway?  Unexpected and rare events and even novel ideas have a huge impact on the world.

Bandwidth for Schools

A National Broadband Policy needs to be more than just a talking point. Schools in our country need to upgrade their internet bandwidth to 25 Megabytes per second. This is for every school — not just the K12 district who slices up the bandwidth based upon the total number of school buildings in the district. The technology and educational impact upon our schools: leaving them behind just when students from around the world are joining and benefiting from the broadband educational internet.

Playing catch-up
Today we find a majority of schools around the country in the educational slow lane. For some reason it does not matter if the school is remote or urban, many are connecting at just 5 Megabits/second. Its like teaching history with books that still recognize Russia as the old Soviet Union….oh how I miss Gorgachev.
Any college connecting at less than 10MB — shows a lack of understanding and vision for their students who enter higher education seeking not just a degree but an advantage to enter the global marketplace.

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WiscNet FTC Day 2 Keynote

Joel Mambretti presented an overview of projects underway in Chicago’s Starlight network during his address: Creating Communications for the 21st Century: Applications, Architecture, Technology and Facilities.

Starlight is really one of the true keys of internet research and development. At the high end he presented the incredible work utilizing bandwidth coming out of Chicago and how Starlight has repositioned the globe regarding fiber points spanning the globe.

Tags: Internet2, WiscNet, Joel Mambretti, Starlight, globalization, network, trends

WiscNet FTC Day 1: Internet2 Keynote

The 2008 WiscNet Future Technologies Conference kicked off with an Internet2 keynote from CEO Doug Van Houweling. His address showed the progress Internet2 has made in just ten short years.

Could you have predicted a 100GB backbone just 10 years ago crossing the US?

At the same time Internet2 has opened a plan to redesign Internet2. This project should result in a stronger organization with continued leadership in advanced networking for research and education.

Tags: Internet2, WiscNet, Doug Van Houweling, community, globalization, trends