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Connected stuff is catching on — just don’t call it IoT

CITEworld

Many organizations today are looking for things that talk to the Internet. Sensors, cameras, medical equipment and even snowplows are on that wish list.

The “Internet of Things” is not.

The municipalities that come to systems integrator AGT International are already sold on so-called IoT technologies, such as wireless traffic sensors embedded in streets, said Gadi Lenz, a senior technical fellow at AGT.

But they aren’t interested in IoT, nor in “smart cities,” another term that’s been getting a lot of play lately. What they want, Lenz said, is a solution to their problems.

Even Cisco Systems, one of the biggest evangelists for IoT, thinks the concept still needs some explaining. Enterprises, cities and utilities all could stand to benefit from IoT, but first they need a better idea of how it can help them do their jobs.

“We definitely need to spend more time educating the market,” Inbar Lasser-Raab, vice president of Enterprise Network Solutions, said last week at a meeting at Cisco. Leaders from IT vendors, industrial companies and governments came together there to hash out issues for IoT.

Networked devices have been talking to each other for years. What’s new in so-called IoT is the scale of those networks and the way advanced data analysis can draw conclusions from them. But getting this broad vision off the ground, including getting enterprises to adopt the new technology, raises several challenges, according to participants at last week’s meeting.

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Amazon, Google, or Microsoft: Which free cloud service should I use?

CITEworld

Cloud platforms are a big investment. Giving them that credit card number is the start of what could be a long relationship and many tens of thousands of dollars. So it’s a good idea to try before you buy, and if you’re using the cloud as a departmental developmental solution, it’s an even better idea to find a service that won’t cost you a penny while you get your applications and services up to speed.

That makes it well worth your time to use the various trial, test, and low-volume cloud services out there. They’ve been available for some time — especially Google’s free tier for its App Engine platform-as-a-service — and Amazon has now joined the club with a free tier for test and development. Low cost and free services like these make particular sense for individuals and teams wanting to try building their own apps.

You might still need a credit card to get started, but it won’t get billed if you stay within the services limits; so don’t use too many resources, or forget about any time limits. And if it does get billed, you can quickly cancel the service and move on.

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Consumerization of IT Continues to Cause Digital Disruption as New Technologies Enter the Market

 Consumerization of IT Continues to Cause Digital Disruption as New Technologies Enter the Market

IDG Enterprise’s 2014 Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise Research Details Integration of Consumer Devices into the Enterprise and Adoption of Cloud, MDM and Mobile Apps

Framingham, Mass. – March 24, 2014 – IDG Enterprise—the leading enterprise technology media company comprising Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, CIO Executive Council, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld—releases the findings from the 2014 Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise (CITE) research, highlighting the impact CITE adoption has on the enterprise; integration of cloud, apps and mobile device management; and the next wave of consumer technologies IT decision-makers need to consider.

CITE Adoption Results in New Policies and IT Purchases
The proliferation of personal devices being used for work purposes has required the majority of organizations (82%) to make changes, from creating policies on how corporate data can be shared and investing in mobile device management (MDM) solutions, to purchasing secure file sharing services. IT executives and their departments are leading the charge for integrating consumer devices into the organization. To support a culture of employees working in the office and at home, over the next two years more organizations will support employee owned smart phones and tablets and 83% of organizations will invest in mobile technologies. The approval of consumer devices in the workplace is well received by employees; CITE will have a positive impact on user satisfaction (69%), and user productivity (66%) over the next 12-18 months (check out the CITE infographic).

“Consumerization of IT in the enterprise has created significant digital disruption in the past year, and the opportunity to innovate continues with the introduction of new devices and services,” said Matthew Yorke, CEO, IDG Enterprise. “Organizations are working to mitigate risk and build security that enables employees and the businesses to use CITE technology to move the business into the digital era and create improved employee productivity and customer satisfaction.”

Click here to continue reading press release

Click here to view sample slides

Screen Shot 2014 03 24 at 1.59.46 PM Consumerization of IT Continues to Cause Digital Disruption as New Technologies Enter the Market

Why so many digital publishers are flocking back to print

Digiday

With circulation numbers sinking and print ad rates dipping just as fast, now seems like a really bad time to start a magazine. But digital publishers like Politico, Pitchfork and Pando are doing  just that: backwards-engineering their online publications for the physical page.

The trend is a 180-degree flip from the typical publisher transition from print to digital: Whereas print publishers have sold their websites as extensions of their print products, today’s digital publishers are creating magazines to supplement their websites.

Technology blog Pando, for example, will sell its magazine Pando Quarterly to readers as part of a site membership, which also includes access to premium video and monthly events. The magazine’s content, a combination of repurposed Web stories and those written exclusively for each issue, benefits from the “innate gravitas of print,” said Paul Carr, investigations editor at Pando.

Publishers are leaning heavily on the idea that these are “premium” magazines, with deep reporting and full-page photos. Music reviews site Pitchfork even hopes that printing its quarterly magazine’s long-form features and illustrations on high-quality paper stock will encourage readers to collect them just as they collect vinyl records.

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How to Make Technology a Win-Win for the CMO and CIO

IDG Connect 0811 How to Make Technology a Win Win for the CMO and CIO

Technology used to be the exclusive realm of the CIO; now, it underpins the work of every facet of every organisation. CMOs want to use digital technology to power their campaigns and sales drives; HR wants to automate payroll and resource management; and so on. IT decision-making is now everyone’s responsibility – but rather than facing extinction, the CIO still plays a crucial role in making sure these decisions are sound.

CIOs need to play to their strengths – and in doing so, help their C-suite counterparts play to theirs. The CIO has deep technical expertise coupled with a holistic view of technology within the organisation; they’re used to ensuring that a new technology won’t wreak havoc across other parts of the system before they invest in it. This puts them in a unique position to both support other line-of-business initiatives, and also ensure compliance and internal control (so that one division’s rapid adoption doesn’t endanger another’s outcomes).

However, this doesn’t mean the CIO should be the policeman of IT; rather they should be partnering with their executive colleagues and seeking to understand their goals better. These goals are often more directly aligned with business growth and efficiency than IT’s, which have traditionally been more of the “keep the lights running” type. If you’re a CMO, the objective of your marketing and social media campaign directly impacts the business’ bottom line – but you also need technical leadership so that your campaign runs smoothly and without downtime.

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5 things that will remake big data in the next 5 years

Gigaom

Big data has evolved a lot of the past few years; from a happy buzzword to a hated buzzword, and from a focus on volume to a focus on variety and velocity. The term “big data” and the technologies that encompass it have been pored over, picked over and bastardized sometimes beyond recognition. Yet we’re at a point now where it’s finally becoming clear what all of this talk has been leading up to.

It’s a world of automation and intelligence, where it’s easier than ever to mine data, but also to build intelligence into everything from mobile apps to transportation systems. Big was never really the end goal, but the models driving this change generally feed on data to get smarter. Variety was never really a goal, it’s just that the more we can quantify, the more we can learn about the world around us.

It’s a world we’ll delve into in great detail at our Structure Data, which kicks off just a week from today (March 19) in New York. We have speakers from nearly every tech company that matters, as well from some of the biggest companies in the world and some of the smartest startups around. They’ll be talking about everything from fighting human trafficking to the future of Hadoop and the cutting edge in artificial intelligence.

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What You Think You Know About the Web Is Wrong

Time

If you’re an average reader, I’ve got your attention for 15 seconds, so here goes: We are getting a lot wrong about the web these days. We confuse what people have clicked on for what they’ve read. We mistake sharing for reading. We race towards new trends like native advertising without fixing what was wrong with the old ones and make the same mistakes all over again

Not an average reader? Maybe you’ll give me more than 15 seconds then. As the CEO of Chartbeat, my job is to work with the people who create content online (like Time.com) and provide them with real-time data to better understand their readers. I’ve come to think that many people have got how things work online quite mixed up.

Here’s where we started to go wrong: In 1994, a former direct mail marketer called Ken McCarthy came up with the clickthrough as the measure of ad performance on the web. From that moment on, the click became the defining action of advertising on the web. The click’s natural dominance built huge companies like Google and promised a whole new world for advertising where ads could be directly tied to consumer action.

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A Call for Digital Content Standards

IDG Connect 0811 A Call for Digital Content Standards

By Bob Johnson, VP & Principal Analyst

Content Automation Demands Better Asset Identification

IT buyer frustration with finding the right marketing content to make informed purchase decisions is of great concern. Irrelevant content is a reality to a degree, but when buyers have to unnecessarily consume it because its title or description is unclear, general, or positioning fluff, it adds length to their decision timelines. For vendors, our voice of the buyer research continues to show that such low relevance is a big barrier to inclusion among a shortlist of finalists. Content creators must clarify the potential relevance of any given asset up front by giving each one some profile information for quick consideration by buyers and/or systems.

Without the ability to pre-judge a piece of content, buyers will be forced to waste more and more time wading through assets that don’t help, which adds over 20% to the time it takes to make decisions.   Want evidence? Only five years ago, buyers found relevant content about fifty percent of the time. New IDG Connect research of enterprise buyers within the US reveals the relevance hovers just over forty percent and it adds about 3.5 weeks to the buying cycle. Add on that buyers want to self-search and are busy and impatient and one thing is clear: vendors, agencies and media organizations must take more responsibility to speed the process of how one confirms the degree of relevance of a piece of content without requiring its consumption to do so. That process of force feeding is simply unfair.

IDG Connect proposes standards around how digital content is cataloged and profile information is shared with buyers and automated systems to speed getting relevant content to those who need it most. A content identification method can be simple and powerful to help increase the value of offered content.

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Pinterest Debuts A “Gifts Feed” Featuring Only Things You Can Buy

TechCrunch

Pinterest publicly introduced a new Gifts feed on Wednesday that only displays “Product Pins” – pins that are enhanced with additional details, including pricing, availability and where the item can be purchased online. The announcement was made on Pinterest’s Business blog, aimed at advertisers, instead of on the company’s more widely read, consumer-facing main blog.

The company describes the Gifts feed as a “work-in-progress” section on the Pinterest website where only those items that are available for sale are listed. These products can also be filtered by price by clicking on buttons that range from one to four dollar signs ($ – $$$$), equating to products that range from less than $50, $25-$50, $50-$200, and over $200, respectively.

Product pins were first introduced in spring 2013 as one of many new pin types on the service, which also included other new things, like movie pins and recipe pins, for example. In order for retailers to take advantage of the new functionality, they have to first update their website with the appropriate metatags (described here on the Pinterest Developers website). Afterwards, Pinterest users encountering those products on the social service would be able to see the product’s price and inventory levels, and could even click through on the provided URL to make a purchase.

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Mobile’s next great leap will happen in the cloud

InfoWorld

The fact that mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming cloud devices is nothing new. What is new is that we seem to be nearing the point of feature saturation on those devices. When that happens, the use of the cloud by mobile applications and providers will accelerate.

Smartphones and tablets are getting about as fast as we need them to get, the platforms are more capable, and the apps more sophisticated. My smartphone can download faster than most DSL services can, the user interfaces are easy to deal with now, and the applications equal or exceed those that we can find on a PC. Indeed, were it not for the fact that my smartphone has a 4-inch screen, I would have written this post on it.

[ Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]

This is not to say that mobile devices are now as good as they can ever get. Smartphone providers will keep finding new ways to enhance them. But I am saying that the mobile devices will be more difficult to improve, so the push will be on cloud-delivered systems to enhance their use.

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