Browsed by
Tag: Future

Photo Credit: freeimages.com/Mark Puplava
Leaving a Good Boss

Leaving a Good Boss

Harvard Business Review recently published an article on employee turnover that challenges conventional wisdom. The article is titled Employees Leave Good Bosses Nearly as Often as Bad Ones by Ravi S. Gajendran and Deepak Somaya. The authors write in a thought-provoking approach that leads me to question how as leaders may we stem the loss of our most talented people.

As I posted on LinkedIn, the leaders whom I have worked for invariably encourage me to take on fresh challenges.  They consistently work with me to help focus my attention inside and across the company for new prospects of growth and development.  In many businesses, there is enough opportunity internally that finding an external position may not be warranted and may arrive from a lack of awareness on behalf of the employee or leader. This was my big take away from the article.  As leaders, we need to show our best people how to move internally to achieve the growth and development opportunities they seek, need and deserve.  I would rather “lose” a star employee to another department inside of the firm instead of to another company.

We spend a significant time developing our people, and we need to help our team look at all opportunities inside of our walls. This includes actively lobbying on their behalf and working to open those new assignments. We cannot let our best people become our future competitors because we fail to help them explore all of their options before they consider an exit.

Photo Credit: freeimages.com/Cory LaFLamme
Some Thoughts on Encryption

Some Thoughts on Encryption

The controversy regarding Apple’s resistance to decrypt an iPhone that was utilized by terrorists has created a national conversation about the role of encryption in modern society. This is a tricky topic that has been a long time in the making. Watching the cable news last week has seen political leaders, pundits, talking bobble heads and technical evangelists weighing in on the debate. Now, we have a court issuing its first decision that may influence the outcome of the disagreement between Apple and the FBI.

I deplore what the terrorists did in San Bernardino. There is no justification for their actions or any other person who engages or supports the attacking of civilians. I wish the government to use all legal means to bring any co-conspirators to justice and use their available tools to penetrate these evil networks.

Read More Read More

Photo Credit: freeimages.com/Javier Ramirez
Back to School Night

Back to School Night

Google is taking over Macs in schools!  Chromebooks and Google Classroom seem to be making some serious inroads in the K-12 education.  For every Mac we saw tonight, I saw a technology cart full of Chromebooks.  It is fascinating to see the adoption of technology in the classroom. The students seem to love it and enjoy the content. Teachers were more dubious.  With all new technologies, some glitches were experienced and some people adapt to new technologies faster than others.

A couple of teachers seemed less than thrilled, but everyone else had positive comments as to the role of the new electronic tools. Many teachers prefer the Chromebooks to Macs for the students.  They commented on cost and the benefit of having one for every student.  In addition, they liked how students could start on an assignment at school and finish it at home.  They days of “I forgot my assignment at home” are gone since all the data is stored in the cloud.

It will be fascinating to see how the technology evolves over the next decade.

Photo Credit: freeimages.com
Cloud Providers Should be Upset

Cloud Providers Should be Upset

Today, I was just speaking with a colleague about one of the “victims” of the NSA data “scandal.”  It is the cloud providers.  All of these cloud-based providers have got to be ‘just thrilled’ with the negative publicity online services are currently receiving with this concern over privacy and government monitoring.

I will be honest; it is made me even a little more cautious about my review and selection of cloud and SaaS providers because I too am concerned about where my data resides and who can access it.  I will not just allow corporate or my personal information to go anywhere that I do not know who can gain access to it.  Do I have anything to hide?  Of course not.  However, that does not negate my duty to my company and family to ensure that our privacy is respected.

If I was a cloud service provider, I would feel more than a little uncomfortable in the current situation, and I think the cloud industry will be set back a little by this affair.  After all, it is raised the ugly specter of “is my information secure” in the cloud or other online environment. That will take a little while for people to regain their comfort level.  On the upside, encryption should be making some nice gains as more companies look to encrypt their cloud environments for added security.

The “Big Players” are moving to Software-as-a-Service

The “Big Players” are moving to Software-as-a-Service

One of my team members has a picture of a rural home that was in for an unlucky day as a funnel cloud heads toward it. The picture is captioned by “The Cloud, it is coming for your data.” Every time I see it, I crack up just a little. We are amidst of a Cloud revolution, and it will change the world as we know it. Web 2.0 is only the beginning.

The online services lead the way, the enterprise is just starting to look, but the software players are actively investing. The software giants’ move slower than the “web guys” but have deep pockets and are the real market makers. So, what am I talking about???

Well, Adobe announced it is moving some of its core software to the Cloud and will sell it as a SaaS product. Microsoft has commented that it will take a cautious strategy by playing both sides of the fence for a while supporting both boxed and cloud software versions. For now at least, Microsoft will keep boxed software and subscription Cloud-based software for a few years.

I don’t buy the Microsoft position. Adobe is leading now, and Microsoft will not be far behind. The SaaS opening makes so much sense for these companies. Let us consider a few wins that SaaS offers…

Read More Read More

Photo Credit: freeimages.com
The Internet Never Forgets

The Internet Never Forgets

An elephant never forgets? Forget that. Try getting something pulled off-line when you really need it to go away. As you will quickly find out, it is nearly impossible to remove information completely off of the Internet once it has been posted. The Internet is such a distributed network with caching and proxy servers all over the world that once information is posted online it is part of that information collective and extremely difficult to sanitize (make it disappear permanently.) And when I say posted, I mean anything that is written to an Internet-based server is fair game, and you should be ready for that information to never go away.

I am not a conspiracy theorist that believes the black helicopters are scanning my brain waves or that the government is using my flat screen television to subconsciously program me. I do believe that the vast majority companies that provide us Internet-based services are honest and ran with integrity and concern for their customers’ privacy. However, I am not naïve enough to accept the fact that information does not get exposed accidentally or there are unforeseen circumstances where information may be breached intentionally or unintentionally.

So what is the big deal? Well, think about all the information that you store online; this goes both professionally and personally. Think about it really. If you are like most Internet savvy people, you have a tremendous amount of personal and professional information stored online. This can come from cloud storage such as Dropbox or Box.net to services such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Many of us do our taxes; host confidential and proprietary meetings; engage in personal and professional email communications that are sensitive; and even conduct medical activities online. How much of this would you like to see in Google’s or Yahoo’s search results? Would it matter that the information was accidentally exposed?

Read More Read More

Finding the Time to Do Everything

Finding the Time to Do Everything

24 measly hours in a day divided up among competing priorities and initiatives that always seem to need more time than we have available. The joys of modern life seem to have ever-increasing demands of our time and attention without giving us the full reward of our efforts. I know this is starting off like a bit of a rant or whining, but I need to constantly remind myself that I need to find time to do everything.

But what is everything? That is really the issue as I see it. I need to do everything that is important and not do anything that is not important. Many people I speak with seem stuck in the position that everything is important. I laugh and scoff at the concept that everything is important and must or should be done.

Probably, one of the biggest challenges we must all overcome is the idea that everything is important. This goes from personal life all the way through professional life. Items that are urgent but are impossible to get done, do not seem to sink the ship for bring our lives to ruin. When that is the case, I really have to challenge the idea if that particular action was important. Obviously, there are items that are truly important that have dire consequences if not completed promptly and accurately. However, I would propose these make up the smallest set of tasks and activities we work on with any regularity.  Modern life is busy, but that does not mean it is focused on the right things or even productive.

As a personal and professional leader, it is part of my responsibility to help determine what “everything” really consists of and understand its relative priority rank. I think a lot of people also miss the point when they believe that only tasks or activities that drive to a specific goal are important. If we do not take the time to rest and recuperate, then we will BURN OUT and never create things of long-term value. Socialization, relationship building, and experiencing new things in many ways is just as important as getting core goal-driven tasks done.

Read More Read More