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Technology innovation creating complex leadership dilemmas

Value Creator, Brian Vellmure

The growth of technological progress is outpacing our ability to keep up. Over the last few decades, we’ve witnessed the dynamics of Moore’s Law extend beyond microprocessors to storage costs, biotech applications, human genome processing, and just about anywhere where processing power plays a role in advancement. As more of our lives become digitally connected, we must ask ourselves what does this mean for our collective institutions? More specifically, how will they change? And at what pace? And, how will traditional roles and functions evolve with them?

One critically important thing to note about the pace of change of technology driven innovation is that it’sexponential. If the pace of progress continues on its current trajectory, there is a strong argument that we can expect to see the same amount of technological innovation and progress over the next 10 years as we’ve seen during the previous 100.

For perspective, in 1914 there was no such thing as a radio tuner. Band-aids did not exist. There was no tommy gun, no bubble gum, no frozen food. There were no polaroids, no jet engines, no ballpoint pens, and no helicopters. There had not yet been a world war, and Babe Ruth had not yet swung a bat in a Major League baseball game. In essence, through today’s lens, 1914 feels like just barely on this side of prehistoric. It was a different era – several eras ago.

So is it possible that 10 years from now, when my oldest son will be getting ready to graduate from high school, 2014 will feel like an era long gone, as we contemplate how we ever survived without hundreds of (yet to be created) things?

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IDG’s Pat McGovern, 1937-2014: Computer Publishing’s Man of Many Worlds

Time

March 20, 2014

The owner of PC World, Macworld and other publications spent 50 years helping the world be smarter about technology.

Patrick J. McGovern died yesterday at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California. You probably don’t know his name.

But if you’re interested enough in technology to read about it in print or online, there’s a very good chance that you know one or more of the publications produced by International Data Group, the privately-held company he founded in February, 1964 and ran for the rest of his life. They included PC WorldMacworld,GameProInfoWorld, the Dummies books and many, many more.

I worked at IDG for 16 years and eventually spent a fair amount of time in Pat’s company. It’s standard practice when someone passes away to describe that person as an unforgettable character, but trust me on this: Pat was unforgettable.

He was deeply interested in the human brain and how it worked, a pursuit he turned into a major philanthropic effort when he and his wife Lore pledged $350 million to create and fund MIT’sMcGovern Institute for Brain Research. I’m not sure if I ever completely understood how Pat’s own brain operated, but it was fascinating to watch it in action. He was a dreamer, but one with a prodigious ability to crunch numbers. (During board meetings, he often seemed to be recalculating spreadsheets about matters such as subscription revenues in his head.)

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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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The Customer: The Most Important Statistic in Marketing – Everything Else is Just Offensive Rebounds

IDC PMS4colorversion  The Customer: The Most Important Statistic in Marketing – Everything Else is Just Offensive Rebounds

Let’s start with a story that relates to marketing today. When my brother in-law was trying out for his high school basketball team, the coach sat all the players down at the end of one practice and asked them, “What is the most important statistic in all of basketball.” My brother in-law, quite confident his answer would be correct, raised his hand and answered “Points scored.” The coach stared at him for a few seconds and responded, “No. Offensive rebounds.” For those of you who are familiar with basketball, you know that is a ridiculous statement – while offensive rebounds are important, the final score determines the winner, and thus is inarguably, the most important statistic in basketball.

For marketing, the customer is the final score

Today in marketing we are in an exciting phase with so much change happening, but also so much opportunity. The current atmosphere is a scary proposition for some, yet energizing for others. This energy has brought enthusiasm to many areas within marketing that are touted as “the most important.” While areas like marketing technology, big data and analytics, and content marketing are INCREDIBLY important, ultimately, they are only a portion of marketing and not the full picture. In the end the most important “statistic” is the customer. The buyer ultimately judges and scores you, so remember, how well you provide value to your customer will determine whether you win or lose.
Highlighting this customer focus, in our 11th annual marketing barometer survey we asked over 75 senior level marketing executives to “compose a tweet on the future of marketing.” We then took those answers and created a word cloud (see above). Low and behold, the two largest words that came up were “Customer” and “Buyer”. These executives, whether intentional or not, understand that the customer/buyer will determine the final score. So remember, while different marketing practices may have incredibly important functions, in the overall game of business, they are all just offensive rebounds.

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

IT Maturity Increasing Among MEA Manufacturers as They Embrace Technology in Bid to Drive Productivity and Competitiveness

IDC PMS4colorversion  IT Maturity Increasing Among MEA Manufacturers as They Embrace Technology in Bid to Drive Productivity and Competitiveness

16 Mar 2014

With Middle East and Africa (MEA) manufacturers showing considerable enthusiasm for IT and comfortably outspending their counterparts in Central and Eastern Europe, the sector is well set for a significant boost in productivity and increase in competitiveness, according to the latest findings released today by IDC Manufacturing Insights.

A recent end-user survey conducted across MEA by IDC Manufacturing Insights shows that manufacturers in the Middle East, in particular, now view IT as an area that can help accelerate their manufacturing maturity. To this end, more comprehensive and competitive IT strategies are being put in place in core MEA countries, and more mature decisions regarding IT environments are being made, with customer-oriented initiatives and integration across the enterprise resonating particularly strongly. IT solutions that can be developed around the core enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite are also being viewed as powerful tools for fulfilling key strategic objectives.

“MEA manufacturers are becoming more mature in their use of IT,” says Martin Kuban, IDC Manufacturing Insights’ lead research analyst for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) “Ongoing industrialization and market optimism have translated into increased IT spending, which has helped to accelerate this process. IDC forecasts that 2014 will be a very dynamic year in terms of IT deployments in the MEA manufacturing vertical.”

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World Tech Update- March 20, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Sony debuts Project Morpheus, Google gets into wearables and IBM’s Watson looks to cure cancer.

Google shrinks Drive cloud storage prices

IDG News Service

Google has slashed the price of some Drive plans, as it battles Microsoft, Dropbox, Box and others in the red-hot cloud storage market.

Google still offers 15GB of Drive storage free with a Google account, but it cut the monthly price of the 100GB plan from $4.99 to $1.99 and the 1TB plan from $49.99 to $9.99.

[ Control your storage requirements by eliminating data redundancy. InfoWorld lays it all out in our Deep Dive Report on Data Deduplication. | Keep up with the latest approaches to managing information overload and compliance in InfoWorld'sEnterprise Data Explosion newsletter. ]

The company was able to cut the plans’ prices thanks to “recent infrastructure improvements,” said Scott Johnston, director of product management, in a blog postThursday.

Now that 1TB of Drive storage costs radically less, more people are bound to consider it, so Johnston offered them some perspective about use cases for the plan. “How big is a terabyte anyway? Well, that’s enough storage for you to take a selfie twice a day for the next 200 years and still have room left over for… shall we say… less important things,” he wrote, influenced possibly by his company’s Calico project, whose goal is to radically extend human life.

Google also introduced new Drive plans with 10TB of storage for $99.99 per month, 20TB for $199.99 per month and 30TB for $299.99 per month.

Google will automatically adjust the accounts of existing subscribers to the plans whose prices were cut.

The price cuts apply only to individual Google accounts for consumers and not to Google Apps customers.

Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education subscriptions include 30GB of Drive storage per user, and domain administrators can purchase more space if necessary, but the plans and prices vary from the ones for individuals.

The rise of the mobile editor

Digiday

CNN readers following the news of [the] explosion in Harlem via their phones owe a lot to Etan Horowitz, CNN’s mobile editor.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Horowitz and CNN sent out four push alerts to app users with the latest developments about the blast. They also updated mobile headlines, added new photos and linked to video streams of aerial views of the scene.

“The building collapse in Harlem is a story that works well on mobile,” Horowtiz said. 

This is the new — and growing — job of mobile editor. As publishers see up to half their traffic arriving on mobile, many of them — including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post — are staffing their newsrooms with editors who know how to tweak and create content specifically for mobile devices. That can mean making sure an image is smartphone-friendly. Or it could mean sending out push alerts in breaking-news situations. One thing it is not: a settled job.

Take David Ho, the editor for mobile, tablets and emerging technology at The Wall Street Journal. Ho started as the Journal’s mobile editor in 2009 and is, in relative terms, a veteran in the space. Five years ago he helped develop the Journal’s BlackBerry app, its early iPhone app and its basic mobile site. Today, he’s thinking about the best strategies for new platforms, tablets, and more recently, wearable devices like Google Glass. This might sound like more of a tech job, but it’s actually central to the future of journalism since how content is presented can be just as important as reporting and editing.

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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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