Author: Outsourcing Center, Patti Putnicki, Business Writer

It is easy to get caught up in the greatness of Big Data analytics. It’s a marketer’s dream: tracking customer activity; understanding what he or she is thinking, doing—using this information to transform every interaction into unexpected delight. To know the customer is to love the customer, and companies everywhere are showing that love through personalized offers strategically mapped to individual needs, wants and propensities to buy. All goodness there. But, what happens when things go a little too far? When the use of customer data transgresses from “friendly and engaging” to pseudo-stalker-like? When, instead of analyzing it for their…

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It’s hard to look at what’s happened to enterprise technology over the past few years and not feel a bit of an adrenaline rush. Cloud computing, mobility and data analytics are pretty sexy stuff—full of excitement, packed with benefits and changing the way we do darn near everything. While this triad of technological wonderment has continued to transform IT, storage solutions stood their collective ground—cementing their position as the wallflowers of the data center, doing what they’ve always done, working like they’ve always worked for as long as most of us can remember. Nothing was particularly wrong with traditional storage,…

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Please silence your smartphone and give this article your full attention. For most people these days, that’s easier said than done. Although the proliferation of mobility has untethered global employees from their desks, provided anytime access to the information they need to do their jobs, and given workforces newfound agility, there is a dark side. When overused and abused, mobility and connectivity tools can transform an organization of brilliant individuals into a mass of whirling dervishes who are unproductive, uninventive and beyond burned out. “In many cases, the tool becomes the task. Technology grows so big that it becomes an…

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It almost seems like something from a science fiction movie; a brainchild of a clever writer or the product of a young child’s fertile imagination. But, 3D printing is very real indeed, with the power to completely transform manufacturing, health care, engineering and retail—from the way parts and products are designed and produced to the way inventory is managed. Although 3D printing has recently made nearly every analyst’s “top ten industry disrupter” list and attracted the attention of the media and curious consumers alike, the technology itself isn’t exactly new. “Three-D printing is actually about 30 years old. Originally, it…

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Your social media campaign not so well “liked?” Facebook friend-count a little sparse? Don’t despair. If you’ve got the money, somebody’s got the time to click, like and Friend away. Today, offshore click farms are popping up on every digital corner, ready to follow you, like you, link to you or provide any other form of cyber stimulation—for a small fee. Unethical, deceiving, though not illegal, this new form of analytic prostitution is tempting organizations and individuals alike. All for the promise of perceived relevance and ultimately, the Big SEO. “Friends” with Benefits The Associated Press (AP) recently shed new…

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July 6, 2013: An Asiana Airlines flight carrying 307 people from South Korea to San Francisco clipped a seawall and crashed, killing three people. Although all of the causes of the crash are still being investigated at this writing, reports indicate that one big contributing factor was the pilots’ reliance on automation. They were so used to flying on auto-pilot that they didn’t notice or respond quickly enough when the auto-throttles (controlling the airspeed) failed—until it was too late. Now, let’s look at corporations today. With the proliferation of automation and the rise of smart machines, are we all going…

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Move over, Rolex. Step aside, Armani. If the predictions hold true, tomorrow’s corporate climbers will all be ditching the designer accessories for the next big thing: namely, wearable computing devices. From smart watches to augmented reality glasses and contact lenses, today’s emerging tech toys have the potential to become tomorrow’s most valuable business tools. You think these wonderful wearables are just a lot of hype? That no one really wants to walk around looking like Dr. Science? A glance back at recent history may just change your mind. “When Bluetooth® headsets first came out, no one thought they would last.…

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We’ve all heard it, or said it, a million times: Our outsourcing engagement works because of the relationship. It is a partnership, not a buyer-vendor arrangement. And for the most part, that statement has held true. Traditional outsourcing typically involved a 10-plus-year contract, along with a real need to make the relationship work. Changing providers meant migrations, downtime and extra expense—and all the ancillary pains associated with switching gears in the pre-Cloud, all-my-apps-are-customized world. Now, let’s look at today. We’ve not only gained the agility and scalability of Cloud computing and a bounty of “as a Service” offerings, but a…

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Forgive me if the title of this article elevated your blood pressure or caused undue anxiety. The goal here is not to discount the role of the CIO in today’s business environment but to point out the fact that, in many companies, that role has significantly changed. Almost every company is becoming technology-centric, with digital solutions driving their supply chains and revenue streams. As IT moves front and center in all functions, the CIO must now not only have technical knowledge but true business DNA. Going forward, that need will alter org charts, as well as the backgrounds of those…

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It’s 2014, and Big Data analysis is still big news. Businesses in every market segment are scrambling to use this insight to create “right-time” experiences for their customers and internal staff. When done well, Big Data analysis gives companies a clear competitive advantage. However, for many organizations, Big Data efforts have gone awry, transforming the Big Data buzz into a buzz kill; derailing initiatives before they even get off of the ground. According to recent studies, more than half of Big Data analysis projects never get completed, with many others falling short of their objectives. All that’s left of these…

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