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The Rule of Three Works for IT

July 14, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

The rule of three is a teaching, writing or presenting device where a key concept is broken into three easy to remember pieces. Does the rule of three apply to the fields of technology and business? Going forward, let’s be sure to use more tricolons in our training materials, internal presentations and customer whitepapers.[read more]

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Beware of Big Data Technology Zealotry

June 23, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

Invariably, there are hundreds of additional arguments proffered by big data vendors and technology zealots inhabiting organizations just like yours. However, there are few crisp binary choices in technology decision making, especially in today’s heterogeneous big data environments. Beware big data zealots that counsel you otherwise.[read more]

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When Ideology Reigns Over Data

June 2, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

Increasingly, the mantra of “let the data speak for themselves” is falling by the wayside. There are dangers to reputations, companies and global economies when researchers and/or statisticians either see what they want to see—despite the data, or worse, gently massage data to get “the right results.”[read more]

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Ramifications of IT Infrastructure Everywhere

May 20, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

Most people don’t notice that information technology pervades our daily lives. Some IT infrastructure is in the open and easy to spot, however plenty of IT infrastructures are nearly invisible as they reside in locked network rooms or heavily guarded data centers. Let's take off the covers of this often invisible underpinning and examine just a few ramifications of IT infrastructure everywhere.[read more]

The High Cost of Low Quality IT

April 25, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

Technology purchases and implementations aren't like buying widgets. A half-baked solution full of “second choice” technologies may end up being unusable to end-users, and cut-rate implementations that are seriously delayed or over-budget can translate into lost revenues, and/or delayed time to market.[read more]

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Mobile: It's Still a Big Deal

March 31, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Mobile is still a big deal.

Taking a look at the latest round of capital investments from the internet giants, it’s easy to believe they’re more infatuated with self-driving cars, robots and drones that deliver packages than driving value to mobile consumers. That should leave a pretty wide open gap for businesses of all stripes to invest in meeting the needs of the mobile consumer.[read more]

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It's Time to Ditch Scarcity Thinking

March 19, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

The information age has brought persons, businesses and societies elasticity, scalability, and the removal of many earlier capacity constraints. While some worldly things are physically scarce, when living in the information age, we need to retrain our minds to ditch scarcity thinking and instead embrace “sky’s the limit” abundance.[read more]

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Technology Training Needs a Hands-On Approach

March 4, 2014 by Paul Barsch
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Risky Business column.

Instead of simply a “core dump” of manuals and online training courses, technical employees should also get “hands on” simulations, boot camps and courses led by advanced robo-instructors to fully hit the ground running[read more]

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When is CAPEX Coming Back?

February 17, 2014 by Paul Barsch
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Risky Business column.

Companies have stockpiled cash on their balance sheets instead of spending it on upgrading and/or building new facilities or buying new equipment. Six years since the global financial crisis, long lost CAPEX still hasn’t come home. The better question is: Will it ever?[read more]

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IT Doesn’t Matter... Until It Does

January 29, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

While most business leaders equate the Information Technology (IT) department with simply “keeping the lights on,” IT does much more than administer and operate business systems. In fact, with how quickly technology is changing the game in retail, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing and more, companies that underinvest in IT are in real danger of becoming yesterday’s news.[read more]

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Debunking Five Cloud Computing Myths

January 6, 2014 by Paul Barsch
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Risky Business column.

For the third year in a row, cloud computing is one of the top three technology investments for CIOs. However, there are many misconceptions of “the cloud.” I have come across five common cloud myths or misconceptions. It’s high time to debunk them.[read more]

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Be Wary of the Science of Hiring

December 10, 2013 by Paul Barsch
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Risky Business column.

While reliance on experience/intuition to hire “the right person” is rife with biases, there’s also danger in over-reliance on HR analytics to find and cultivate the ultimate workforce. While HR analytics seems to have room to run, there’s still the outstanding question of whether “the numbers” matter at all in hiring the right person.[read more]

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Text Analytics for Tracking Executive Hubris?

November 18, 2013 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

With computers reading the news, it’s more important than ever for leaders of all stripes to be cognizant that stakeholders are watching and acting on their words—often in near real time. The next audacious “off the cuff” statement your CEO makes could tank your company’s stock price in minutes.[read more]

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When Big Data Loses to the Anecdote

November 5, 2013 by Paul Barsch
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risky business

Need to persuade someone to take a course of action? Simply presenting numbers, for numbers sake, will only cause glassy eyes and blank stares from those you are trying to persuade. Keep in mind that while it’s tempting to believe that we “must bring data” and lots of it in order to persuade, sometimes it’s the personal anecdote/s that end up making the final sale.[read more]

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Science Needs to Be Less Certain

October 21, 2013 by Paul Barsch
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Good science isn’t without question, discovery and even a bit of “humility”—something that scientists of all stripes (chemists, mathematicians, physicists and, yes, even data scientists) should remember. So let’s encourage debate, discussion, testing and re-testing of theories.[read more]