Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina

Monthly Archives: September 2017

How do you align IT to business?

Have you ever heard of ITSM or ITIL?

“Unlike other IT management practices that focus on hardware, network or systems, ITSM aims to consistently improve IT customer service in alignment with business goals.”

ITSM stands for IT Service Management and it’s a management principle for customer-oriented IT service. As the above quote from CIO article indicates, its main objective is to align IT with business, which we, as MIS students, seek to figure out. ITIL, IT Infrastructure Library, is a collection of IT infrastructure best practices and a most common framework of ITSM. In today’s business where IT plays a critical role in the corporate operation, ITSM concept might be essential for success as we observed its implementation in Wyeth case. Even though there are many frameworks like ITIL, its form differs and should differ depending on the business goal and its IT architecture. Moreover, the emerging technology trend may change the core process of ITSM such as change management and incident management by automating such.

In your experience (internship, current jobs etc…), did your company adopt ITSM or take other strategies? Do you think it was succeeding and how it could be improved?

Rising risks in cyber-security

Cyber-security attacks have been on the rise for years, resulting in billions of dollars lost, identities stolen, and personal information leaked. The recent Equifax breach is just one of many in a long line of cyber attacks which have threatened large corporations and ordinary citizens alike. However, it often seems as though companies are helpless against such attacks or even worse, negligent in their duty to safeguard their customers from such attacks. With little transparency, consumers’ faith in corporations are falling, preventing new technologies from being released due to security concerns. It is important for corporations to understand the value of IT with cyber-security and put far more emphasis on the need to protect consumers from cyber attacks.

 

Or does it fall on consumers to protect themselves from cyber threats? The debate over personal responsibility vs. corporate responsibility is ongoing and, within the right context, either side has a case to be made. It is possible that both consumers and corporations have to be aware of the risks and take appropriate actions in order to protect themselves.

How Robots, IoT And Artificial Intelligence Are Transforming The Police

Technology is advancing day after day becoming better and smarter than before. Data is now collected in every shape and form, for example buying items at your local grocery store, browsing the web, or even visiting different locations. Most people know this by now, but what happens to all of this data?

Bernard Marr mentioned in his article that technologies such as Fitbit and Amazon have collected evidence that resulted in the arrest of a few suspects and also helped in solving crimes. Most police officers have body cameras, that are used as a second set of eyes. Many patrol cars also have GPS projectiles that can be shot out to hook onto the back of a suspects car. They also have sensors in the officers’ gun to monitor whether it’s unholstered or discharged. In the UK, they have a system called Hart (Harm Assessment Risk Tool) that assess and analyzes if individuals are going to commit an offense in the future. Many other agencies are leaning towards data-driven approaches in order to identify criminal activities. Technology at its finest fighting crime; this is great news!! Isn’t it?

This has many pros and cons depending on how you think about it, what do you think? Also, Do you think that our privacy & rights are invaded by all of this data that is collected from us? Finally, can others harm us by having access to all of our data?

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/09/19/how-robots-iot-and-artificial-intelligence-are-transforming-the-police/#49fae0ee5d61

 

Smile for the Camera, Apple’s new face ID is leaving you vulnerable!

 

             Like any other technology Apple’s iPhone is not perfect. The new phone is leaving users vulnerable to hacking that could prove to be disastrous considering Apple’s new face ID technology.  Face ID allows users to unlock their phones by simply looking at there phone. Some consumers are worried about these phones being hacked and their picture’s and data being stolen. Even worse some consumers believe Apple could take this data and sell it to third party businesses. The new face ID could give hackers,and third party businesses a face to put to all of the valuable data taken from an iPhone. If such a scandal ever occurred it could cause consumer trust in Apple to plummet. Such an event could cause consumers to turn to Apple’s competitors who they determine to be safer.

Determining the Success of IT Investments

investment photo

Identifying the metrics used to measure the success of an IT investment is extremely important in determining the success or failure of the investment.  Calculating the ROI can be difficult because you have to somehow quantify how exactly you are benefiting.

In order to measure the success of an investment in IT, you have look at the cost over a period of years and compare that to the benefit during the same time period.  Benefits could include the reduction of salaries due to the ability to decrease resources/employees, automation of a process that reduces time spent which in turn decreases cost, or a streamlined solution to an existing process.

Costs are the other factor in this type of analysis.  The initial cost to implement a new technology or system and recurring costs associated with this implementation both have to be combined when we compare them to the benefits. As we learned in Enterprise IT Architecture, comparing these costs and benefits is an effective method to measure the ROI and have a value to determine the success of an investment.

Are there other similar measures to determine successful IT projects?

Sources:  Everything is Measurable, How to Measure the Value of an IT Investment

BSI Image Sensor in Nikon D850

The back-side illuminated (BSI) CMOS full frame sensor in the newly released Nikon D850 DSLR camera is the first of it’s kind for the company to use.  Technically speaking some of the benefits of this sensor is the ability to capture a higher dynamic range compared to most digital cameras and its ability to shoot at high ISO without sacrificing its high resolution (45.7 megapixels).  The BSI sensor has unremarkable low light performance and fast processing speeds.  The camera is rated to shoot between 7-9 frames-per-second which is better than the majority of cameras today.  The D850 also features one of the most advanced auto-focus systems available, taken from their flagship D5 camera.  It is also capable of recording video at 4k.

 

Nikon listen to customer needs and incorporated all of these needs into one magnificent camera.   The digital camera market is highly saturated with many competitors such as Sony, Canon, Fuji, and many more.  This camera shows what innovation and listening to customer needs can do and help distinguish itself from the rest of its competitors by creating a highly sophisticated versatile camera.  The D850 is truly a game changer in the digital camera market which leaves its competitors in the dust spec wise and will leave any photographer or tech junkie drooling over.

How do you think this camera stacks up against its competitors?

Do you believe Nikon did the right thing listening to customer needs and incorporating them into this new camera?

 

Source:

https://www.gizbot.com/camera/news/nikon-d850-launched-with-45-7mp-bsi-sensor-4k-video-recording-ability-043578.html

 

Experts Tips on ERP Implementation

In many of my MIS classes, we have learned that implementing a new system is extremely expensive. Including all the expenses, it also takes time to implement and get employees to buy into a new process in their jobs. This is very costly, and according to a report by Panorama Consulting, 21% of ERP implementation projects become failures. To decrease the likelihood of failure, experts have said there are several critical tips that need to be followed. First, a business should have a list of requirements they need in an ERP system to cut down their total cost of ownership. This will save the company money by including everything that a business needs, while excluding the irrelevant parts. Something else the experts said to consider was to pick the right vendor that knows about the industry you’re in. This is so that you know that they have proper experience and have what it takes to build a specific system that the business needs. Another key tip is for upper management to buy into the EMP implementation. I believe that this step is critical because if senior management doesn’t buy into the new system, then the employees under them won’t either. Upper management can control the priority of the project and the resources needed to implement the system, so if they really want it done, then it should be a priority to all the employees. The buy-in can also be created by building cross-functional teams. Cross-functional teams ensure that all areas of the business are taken care of and progresses smoothly throughout different departments. Another tip that was said is to slowly deploy one module at a time because it can get confusing to the entire company. If it is all done at one time, the entire system will look different across the company and the employees will not know what to do, which will cause a backup in the implementation process. The last tip that was given is to fully train the employees. ERP systems can be very good, but if an employee is under trained, then they lose the advantage and the time saved from the new system. These experts in ERP systems encourage these tips to successfully implement and get the most out of an ERP system.

Out of these key tips from ERP experts, systems experts, and project managers above, which do you believe is most important when implementing an ERP system?

Source:
https://www.networkworld.com/article/3050927/erp/8-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-erp-system.html

Will Smart Watches Beat Out Smart Phones?

smart watch photo

Who ever imagined the day when you receive a phone call that not only does your pocket (cell phone) vibrate but so does your wrist (smart watch). Wearable technology is in. Fitbit has feature to help track health and sleep cycles while Apple announced adding cellular to their smartwatch.

Wearable technology added another component to the architecture of your smartphone. Now smart wearable technology has their own architecture to be discussing. You will now be able to build a extremely similar architecture of your smartwatch that you smart phone has, if not exactly identical. Apple in now adding cellular to the Apple Watch, so bluetooth is no longer needed to make or receive a phone call or text message. Will there even be a need for a cell phone anymore?

Would you completely get rid of your cell phone? This is a question to keep in mind as wearable technology advances.

 

http://mashable.com/2017/09/07/fitbit-dexcom-ionic-partnership/#Id95x1l445q3

http://mashable.com/2017/06/22/wearables-not-dead-market-to-double/#g5OdQF8_4qqd

New Data Trends

Data analysis is quite

easily one the most important tools in organizational success. My first ever internship was almost fully centered around analytical projects to help track company progress and give more insight to necessary decisions. While the use of excel was large, I used business intelligence tools to provide insight to many project situations. This data trend has undoubtedly become one of the easiest ways to benchmark and leverage a company’s already existing data.

It no longer requires a full team of data scientists however, graphical info can be pulled together extremely quickly with the slew of self service business intelligence tools available. Tools like Qlik and Power BI allow managers to identify issues quickly with constantly refreshing data. Along with mobile dashboards these drill down analytics can be accessed anywhere at any time.

Its important that analytics stay accessible to the everyday employee and manager, the results of even basic analysis, even in a loose form, can yield much more value over a decision unsupported by factual analysis. Will the use of these tools begin to push out in house analysts? Or will machine learning and the use neural networks, completely render human data analysts useless? Of course a human must interpret but what happens when we no longer fully need humans to conduct the analysis.

 

Sources:

https://www.cio.com/article/3213189/analytics/10-hot-data-analytics-trends-and-5-going-cold.html#tk.cioendnote

https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/AAEAAQAAAAAAAAbdAAAAJDU2YjIwOGYxLWQ1OWYtNDg0MC1iYjZmLTIxNWQ4MzM5ZjlmZA.png

A Multi-Generational IT Team: A Potential Risk or Solution?

As we, the millennials, are all approaching the finish line of our college careers, we are about to enter the workforce as one the most unique demographics.  Whether we go to a small business or large corporation, the stigma surrounding the “careless millennial” are alive and well among senior IT professionals.  In the article by BizTech, it is noted that we, and Gen Xers, are seen as the least likely to follow security policies, and are more than twice as likely to use unapproved apps and devices while on the job.  At first glance, I actually scoffed at this remark because in my experience, the older Gen Xers and younger Baby Boomers have caused nearly every security breach due to carelessness.  For those of you that have had jobs and/or internships already, do you find this to be a common perception?  Do you agree with it?

Regardless of whether or not who commits more negligent acts that compromise a company’s IT systems, fault generally falls to the administrators.  Legacy systems are one of the leading causes of security issues due to their inflexibility and inability to adapt to emerging threats.  A simple solution, such as assigning permissions to certain employees, is made more difficult without an up-to-date organizational structure.

The different generations should learn from each other.  Adapting to three vastly different mindsets within one organization isn’t something that an IT system can fix alone; it comes down to the people in charge.  At my first internship, I worked directly beneath the Director of Digital Marketing, a 40-something who has been in the industry for about as long as I’ve been alive.  Albeit a small company, working with him for many months taught me that there wasn’t much that couldn’t be solved with good communication and a mutual respect for each others’ perspectives.

All this being said, I feel that a multigenerational workforce is not only inevitable, but a chance for enterprises to rethink their organizational systems and set it up for decades of success.

In your experiences, are the stereotypes accurate?  Do you feel that there is another cultural aspect that will prevent or allow for further innovation that is out-of-the-ordinary?  How would you approach stubborn leadership or subordinates of a different generation?

 

Sources:

BizTech Magazine

Intivix