Noticias de Tecnologia en Ingles

Fairy-tale Castles, Mad Kings and Business Analytics: the Gartner BI Summit

21 Oct 2014 01:39:31 Z

Those of you who have been follow me for a while will know that  my blogging can sometimes be as much travelogue as it is about data and analytics. (“Holding the Law In Our Hearts”“Winning With Big Data” and “Context is Crucial, but People are Paramount” are all such examples.) This week has seen me back on my travels, this time to Munich for Gartner’s European Business Intelligence Summit (and my first official event as a fully-fledged Gartnerist.)

Ahead of the conference, I had the chance to meet up with a few of my Gartner colleagues (including Ian Bertram, Tom Austin, Joe Bugajski, Frank Buytendijk, Mark Beyer and Thomas Oestreich) as we headed out of the city and drive to the village of Hohenschwangau in the Alpine foothills, where sit the fairy-tale castles of Schloss Hohenschwangau  (“High Swan County Palace”) and Schloss Neuschwanstein (“New Swan Stone”), best-known for being the inspiration behind Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.

P1020978  P1020971

Either of these edifices would serve as a perfect setting for a fairy story (take your pick as to whether you prefer dark morality tales like those by the  Brothers Grimm, the hopeful and whistful fables of Hans Christian Andersen, or re-worked, high-gloss musical froth from Disney).

There is no doubting the beauty of there glorious royal follies. Both castle-come-palaces are works of art, both outside and in, and the majesty of the German Alps serves as a perfect backdrop. However, in considering these two magnificent works, the creations of King Maximillian II of Baviaria and his son Ludwig II respectively, it struck me that I was looking at an architectural analogy to what we do in business analytics.

The  castles are beautiful, accessible, represent a hundred different and interlinked stories that connect with the Bavarian psyche, and are what draw in the paying public. The village of Hohenschwangau has plenty of restaurants, bars and entertainment too, so overal it’s a fun place to be.  That’s exactly what want your analytic output to be like – beautiful, accessible, connectable and fun.


But pretty, engaging and user-friendly doesn’t add up to much if the castles were likely to fall down at any moment – notwithstanding the potential waste of investment, you’ve also got a significant safety and security problem to deal with. So strong foundations, robust underpinning ground and high quality construction are a must. The two castles in Hohenschwangau are built respectively on the former sites of twin medieval strongholds, which were constructed for defence, not enjoyment. And the whole site is built into the side of an Alp. So all-in-all plenty of strength and solidity there. The workmanship is exquisite, yet the process was lengthy and involved huge amounts of work – for two decades, the construction of Neuschwanstein castle was the major employer of the region.

So it is with Analytics; we need a strong foundation of good data upon which to build, and there is likely a lot of hard work involved before we can have any form of outcome, let alone anything robust and resilient. (Cue discussions about the trade-offs between time-to-value/responsiveness and integrity/maintainability).

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Finally, let’s consider the roles of the kings, Maximillian and Ludwig. Both had a strong vision of what they wanted to achieve and were aspirational in their desires to see their castles come to fruition. Both were committed to seeing their respective projects through to completion. As king, of course both had the power and authority to enact their plans. Ludwig in particular was visionary in his aspirations for his fairy-tale castle masterpiece as well as in his care for the welfare of his subjects, setting up insurance and welfare services for the construction workers. Realising this vision came at a huge cost however, both financial and personal, and Ludwig was ultimately declared insane and deposed by government commission, before then dying in mysterious circumstances.


Do you have a strong sponsor for your analytics project? Is the sposor truly committed, both in terms of financial investment and emotional involvement? Or should they be committed?! Is their vision shared by those around them, or are their plans viewed with “it’ll never work” cynicism by others? Just because everyone else thinks you’re crazy doesn’t mean it’s really so.

Analytics. The fairy tale can be made reality. Just don’t let the process drive you mad. See you at the BI Summit…


Welcome to the Gartner Careers blog!

21 Oct 2014 01:39:31 Z

Stay tuned for some cool posts about working at Gartner.

Hadoop Is A Recursive Acronym

21 Oct 2014 01:39:31 Z

Hopefully, that title got your attention. A recursive acronym – the term first appeared in the book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid and is likely more familiar to tech folks who know Gnu – is self-referential (as in “Gnu’s not Unix.”) So how did I conclude Hadoop, whose name origin we know, fits the definition? Easy – like everyone else, I’m redefining Hadoop to suit my own purposes. 

Let’s start with the obvious one. Of course, Doug Cutting named Hadoop after his child’s toy elephant, seen here.

Photo: Merv Adrian

Photo: Merv Adrian


And in its early days, as I discussed in my post about the changing composition of distributions a few months back, the story was simpler. Hadoop was HDFS, MapReduce and some utilities. As those utilities got formalized and became projects themselves and were supported by commercial distributors, the list grew: Pig, Hive, HBase, and Zookeeper were Hadoop too. And a few months ago, as I noticed, Accumulo, Avro, Cascading, Flume, Mahout, Oozie, Spark, Sqoop,  and YARN had joined the list.

YARN is the one that really matters here because it doesn’t just mean the list of components will change, but because in its wake the list of components will change Hadoop’s meaning. YARN enables Hadoop to be more than a brute force, batch blunt instrument for analytics and ETL jobs. It can be an interactive analytic tool, an event processor, a transactional system, a governed, secure system for complex, mixed workloads. At Strata this week, we’ll talk about its integration with Red Hat’s middleware, its cautious alliance with Spark for MapReduce replacement, its alliance with data wrangling tools from startups and Teradata, its connection, via Sentry, to security stacks… and more.

So yes, many of us are redefining Hadoop as we add new pieces – new use cases, new projects that change its very nature. My answer to “What is Hadoop”?


OK – it’s a bit cute. But hopefully, it got your attention. Hadoop’s journey is just beginning, and there is much more change ahead.

Ebola Virus Workplace Preparedness and Response Best Practices

21 Oct 2014 01:39:31 Z

Note: Gartner does not normally post detailed solutions via its publicly available blogs. After all, we are in business to provide solutions to our clients. However, issues of public safety deserve broad distribution in the public interest. Therefore, occasional exceptions are made to our normal blog policy. This post is one of those exceptions. Further information may be posted later on this topic.

It is time to dust off your pandemic preparedness and response plan in order to prepare your organization for the impact on business operations due to an outbreak of the Ebola virus. Acknowledging that this is a very scary illness, your job is not to incite more fear than already exists. Your job is to develop a sound and thoughtful preparedness and response plan to such an outbreak so that the workforce and customers have confidence that you are in control of the workplace impact and that you can continue business operations. Gartner provides the following best practices to all organizations to help them take appropriate actions.


  1. Assume a very high fear factor in the workforce. Because of the highly contagious nature of the virus albeit under very specific circumstances, the severity of the symptoms and the very high death rate of the Ebola virus, people will be much more afraid to be in contact with others than they were with the influenza virus, even though the latter is a much more easily contractible illness because it is an airborne-spread virus. According to the CDC, the Ebola virus is not spread through the air.
  2. Assume an initial very high rate of worker absenteeism in the business location that has had the confirmed Ebola virus infected patient due to the fear of becoming infected themselves.
  3. Due to the higher than normal absenteeism rate, assume a very quick impact to your business operations, not the rolling kind as with the influenza virus. However, due to the short incubation period of 2 to 21 days, business operations should return to normal rather quickly.
  4. Assume that your crisis management team will conduct its operations virtually due to the social distancing practices put in place once a confirmed Ebola virus incident has occurred in your business location.
  5. Shelter-in-place policies do not apply ? no worker should be isolated at the work location during the 2-21 day incubation period. And obviously, a worker infected with the Ebola virus should be under medical care.


  • Monitor the CDC (, the WHO ( and state and local public health services for Ebola virus medical advice. See the Resources section below for a list of references.
  • Contact your local office of emergency management and public health services to understand the protocol they use for notifying employers of an infected worker and for on-going communications and interaction. Questions to ask include: How do we find out that we have a worker with the Ebola virus? How do we handle a worker who is displaying Ebola virus-like symptoms at the workplace? How do we handle communications with our workforce in regards to informing them of an Ebola virus incident at the workplace?
  • Review and update your pandemic preparedness and response plan to ensure that the information is up-to-date. Focus on changes in contact information and business operations since the last review and update. Especially important to review are your absenteeism trigger points that indicate when and if you need to shut down operations. Also, review your social distancing procedures to determine how you can reduce face-to-face interactions.
  • Review and update your crisis management team and plan to ensure that the information is up-to-date. Determine who will be the primary and secondary crisis commander for your response efforts at each of your business locations.
  • Educate the workforce on the basics of the Ebola virus (what it is, how it is spread, the symptoms et al), infection prevention personal hygiene practices and what to do if the worker starts exhibiting Ebola virus symptoms. The WHO has a set of advice for travelers entitled ?Template message for travellers? that can be leveraged for your educational messaging. This template is in their document entitled ?Travel and transport risk assessment: Interim guidance for public health authorities and the transport sector, September 2014?.

In addition, medical experts are emphasizing the need for a flu vaccine this year. Flu symptoms are very similar to the early Ebola virus symptoms, so ensuring you are protected from the flu means that 1) the worker knows that their symptoms are likely not flu-related and therefore obtain immediate medical action, and 2) emergency rooms are not overwhelmed with visits due to more easily preventable illnesses.

  • Meet with the cleaning service used for each of your business locations to ensure that they are following strong personal hygiene practices of their workers as well as ensuring they are managing your organization?s procedures for supplying and cleaning workspaces and bathrooms. Put on retainer a cleaning service for each of your business locations that are experienced in handling medical hazardous waste if you have an Ebola virus outbreak.
  • Procure three to six months? worth of personal hygiene and cleaning supplies to meet the needs of your workforce in each business location.
  • Due to the high absenteeism and social distancing procedures that may be put in place, review your work-at-home/telework policy and procedures. Test your VPN capacity for at least 60% of employees working from home.
  • Meet with your property management company to know what their procedures are for managing worker and visitor traffic in and out each of your business locations. Ensure your procedures are not in conflict with theirs.
  • Talk with your travel department or outside travel agency to update your travel policy and practices and your travel risk management program (e.g. would your organization need to be involved in the evacuation of a worker infected with the Ebola virus from a risky/remote location to a safe/more medically advanced location). Protections that you might put in place include workforce travel restrictions to highly risky locations as well as traveller preparedness and response procedures. Again, refer to the WHO web site dedicated to Ebola-related travel advisories and their document entitled ?Travel and transport risk assessment: Interim guidance for public health authorities and the transport sector, September 2014?:
  • Like other pandemics when social distancing and isolation/quarantine policies are in place, data center/command center operations may not be able to be maintained if they depend on people?s physical presence. Therefore, remote control management practices should be implemented and tested. This is true also for IT disaster recovery: if physical presence is required, you may not be able to recover during the virus outbreak. All recovery exercises should be rescheduled.
  • Meet with your mission-critical suppliers to ensure that they have pandemic preparedness and response and crisis management plans in place. Knowing when and how they will contact your organization of their own Ebola virus outbreak and how that impacts your ability to deliver your products/services is critical to maintaining your business operations and meeting your business obligations.
  • Review your HR policies regarding how your organization will handle compensation and benefits to the workforce during such a crisis. Refer to the Gartner research note ?Toolkit: Update Your Human Resources Policies for BCM Considerations? for detailed advice on this topic.
  • Talk to your insurance carrier(s) to determine if your business interruption insurance policy(ies) will pay for an Ebola virus outbreak in each of your business locations. You might decide to enhance coverage if possible.
  • Test your pandemic preparedness and response plan to ensure that all team members know their role and responsibilities and all workers know the policies and procedures if you need to invoke response procedures in the plan due to an Ebola virus outbreak.
  • Test your crisis management plan to ensure that all team members know their role and responsibilities if you need to invoke the plan.
  • Craft crisis communications messages now in preparation for Ebola virus messaging, including: Ebola virus education training, infection prevention personal hygiene best practices, Ebola infection instances and response procedures found in your workplace, Ebola workforce impact (e.g. location closings, social distancing procedures put in place, work-at-home procedures enhanced et al) and open for business messages.
  • Test your EMNS service now to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for all contacts, and to train the workforce on the use of the service to communicate business operations information.
  • If possible, and not in conflict with Privacy regulations (consult with your HR and Legal departments to determine what is possible), track internal incidents of workers out sick, workers out due to fear of infection, workers out taking care of sick family members/those under their care, workers who have traveled to Ebola virus risky locations, workers who have been in close proximity to people with confirmed cases of Ebola virus infection. Increases in these data points can trigger an absenteeism rate for which you need to take action.
  • Monitor for Ebola virus-triggered local quarantines, school closings and food and fuel shortages in the area of each of your business locations to determine the level of absenteeism at those sites.
  • Continually monitor your pandemic preparedness and response plan procedures and public health announcements to ensure you can move quickly when needed.

by  Roberta Witty, Carl Claunch, John Morency, Werner Zurcher

Data Quality Improvement

21 Oct 2014 01:39:31 Z

Several discussions I have recently had indicate that people continue to have challenges with getting their enterprise data quality towards a more mature state.

I am seeing organizations continue to struggle with securing resources to improve the quality of their critical data.   Often this is because they are unable to effectively communicate what it is that is actually broken, to the people who should care and are able to help them.  First and foremost, the far too general concept of ?good data quality? must be translated towards what is appropriate data quality.  In other words, data quality that is ?fit for purpose for business operations?.    Since business operations use measures to assess just how well (or poorly) they are doing, this means tying such measures (e.g. KPI?s) to the data created and consumed by business operations.  So now we are getting closer to why and which data quality rules (in the world of possibilities) are the appropriate ones that then tell us what ?fit for purpose? actually means ? using metrics.

A metrics-based approach to assessing data quality helps remove the assumptions, politics and emotion often associated with information, giving organizations something more factual on which to justify, focus and monitor their efforts.  With this solid foundation of facts and focus, rather than unsubstantiated assumptions, misconceptions and apathy, we might actually begin to better manage the quality of our data.  If you haven?t yet established which data is critical to your enterprise, then you absolutely should.  And once you are clear on that, assess what ?fit for purpose? means for each of your data elements against certain more objective characteristics. such as:

  • Accuracy (for now) ? whether the data values being held reflect the properties of the real-world object or event that the data is intended to model. I say ?for now? because data is temporal, but I haven?t got the space here to explain why this dimension is actually more complex ? maybe I should try it in Twitter ;-)
  • Consistency ? whether the values of attributes managed or presented in multiple locations are the same
  • Existence ? whether a value is being held for a particular attribute
  • Integrity ? whether all expected relationships between data in multiple data stores, tables and files etc. are intact
  • Validity ? whether the values held fall within the allowable domain of values established for an attribute

There are actually quite a lot more data quality dimensions that you could use and the above are just in short-hand, but here?s the thing: choose the ones that make sense, are practical and that move you forward.  You can get cleverer as you move forward.  What I may do next week, is to follow-up on these dimensions with the more subjective ones and explain how these relate to trust.

If this has sparked an interest in data quality topics (this or others), do let me know.  I am in fact endlessly fascinated about this subject and information in general, which inevitably leads to geek-off competitions with my lovely colleagues in Gartner.

"Forward Guidance" versus the Peril and Pleasure of Ignorance

21 Oct 2014 01:39:31 Z

I was dismayed after reading two articles.  One in yesterday?s US print edition of the Financial Times, the other from today’s Wall Street Journal.

Bank of Canada turns sceptical on forward guidance

The Bank of Canada was an early adopter and pioneer of “forward guidance”.  This practice has become popular with central banks around the world.  The last head of the Canadian central bank took the same job recently with the Bank of England.   Forward guidance is the practice of sharing with the market and public at large the expectations of the future by the central bank.  Such guidance typically focuses on the future timing and scale of changes interest rates.  The idea is that by exposing such “forward guidance”, the market would be less exposed to sudden shocks.  In the past a central bank might have changed interest rates with little warning.  Markets tend to over react to shocks.

An article in yesterday?s Financial Times, called ?Bank of Canada turns sceptical on forward guidance“, reported that the current head of the central bank thinks such practices are best saved for times of crisis.  The article goes on to suggest that Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, argues that there is too much uncertainty to make the effort worthwhile.  Excuse me?  That is exactly why forward guidance should be used!  In times of certainty we don’t need such help.  Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.  Most central banks have elaborate; if outdated and very manual, data gathering processes and data analysis teams crunching numbers all the time.  If these guys can’t get their act together, who can?  It is because of the very same uncertainty Mr. Poloz refers that we need his best guesses. Maybe we need more forward guidance on his own confidence in his own data.  That might help us all hedge?.

Jack Lew, Investment Killer

In an article in today?s US print edition of the Wall Street Journal, an Option piece (Jack Lew, Investment Kill) shows just how messed up the current US administration is with what drives growth in our economy.  The tax rule changes invigorated by the Treasury Secretary will actually slow investment in US by reducing the motivation of rational firms to repatriate their profits from overseas enterprise.  I think the situation is actually laughable.  I really can?t fathom why we put up with this madness.  The US, as the Opinion piece mentions, is one of the few developed nations that double taxes profits from overseas operations.  That should be stopped, not enhanced.  Our leaders, our policy makers, are completely out of touch with how rational firms operate, and how organizations compete.  They think they can do better.  Oh, hang on, we have heard that line before?

Five things I learned about Digital Business from the World Cup

21 Oct 2014 01:39:31 Z

Five things I learned about Digital Business  from the World Cup:

Time is relative and shift-able

Viewing time: one of the odd things is that with the technology of digital recording and/or digital streaming its easy to get out of sync with real-time peer event watchers.  It took me a while to realize that I was 30 secs to 1 minute behind real-time, while discussing the results with others in chat.  It is now more than easy to do that, which will increase the opportunity for miscommunication (is the hotline between Moscow and Washington still analog?)

Comment time:  Even if you are posting ?real-time? comments on Facebook, its easy for readers to miss the post time, and view comments based on when they pop (which ? as we have found out through Facebook experiments, is easily manipulated). Reconstructing the time sequence of comments can be a chore, depending on how they were delivered.  Which brings up an old saw I would often use: ?just because you sent the message doesn?t mean it was actually received?.

Nationality is a flux concept

 As a dual nationality individual, the nation state concept starts looking very antiquated.  My American born children will be eligible for up to 4 nationalities ? assuming there are no limits.  Comes in handy in the world cup, though. I root for two teams ? unfortunately they have BOTH been knocked out.  And when they play each other? It?s a tough choice ? and varies goal by goal.  OK, I am an opportunist ? and just looking to celebrate whoever wins.

Digital Borders are permeable

In the US we were limited to two viewing options E$PN (cable subscription) or Spanish language Univision.  I can get by on the Spanish, but there are lots of options to VPN over to a third party country and watch their local TV (in my case Hola).  It was a great viewing experience, and easily (Apple TV, Chromecast) viewable on my 55? screen.  Take that, internet censors and intellectual property nazis!

Infrastructure is THE growth sport

Three years ago in my visit to Sao Paulo and other parts of Brazil, the concern was whether their infrastructure, especially their digital infrastructure, will be ready.  It was.  But not without serious investment.  Watching and communicating with parts of the country that a few years ago were only accessible by boat or plane?  Now that?s amazing.  And what a small world it has become?.

Sport is a Digital Business

Concepts around the interconnection of People and Things – and by extension to processes,  locations, and presence –   affect sports, too.   This will probably be one of the last major global sporting events where Internet of Things like capability doesn’t become center stage, for lots of reasons.  Like what Adidas has introduced with the miCoach Elite Team System:

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 To learn more about these topics ? and hear The VP of Innovation at Adidas, Qaizar Hassonjee, talk about what they did — come to  the Gartner Catalyst conference in August.

10 Proof Points - Why Customer Experience Is the Next Big Thing

21 Oct 2014 01:39:31 Z

If you?re bombarded as much as most marketers are with pushed content, then you?re probably skeptical of one more claim for the ?next big thing?. Every marketing technology and service provider, every specialized association and publication, and every ?independent? pundit has at one time or another proclaimed the ?next big thing? you need to pay attention to ? and of course invest in. Even when they present proof points, I take the claims with a grain (sometimes a heaping teaspoon) of salt.

So hearing that the next new big thing all marketers need to prioritize in their 2015 budgets is end-to-end customer experience, I thought ?yup, just another set of projects in a marketer?s already bulging at the seams budget.” Even though it was a respected Gartner colleague who said it, and even though logically it made sense, I wasn?t about to jump on the bandwagon without proof.


Digging for Data

I?ve admitted before to being a data junkie. Always have been, always will be. So I went looking for evidence in primary research surveys, in interviews with C-level execs, in publications and blogs, in software and service spending forecasts, you name it. And I found lots of it ? in fact a lot more than I expected to find.

One big problem is that the term ?customer experience? means different things to different people ? people in the same function and in adjacent functions. But let?s not go down that rat hole ? I picked a commonly used definition and said ?good enough?.

Next came the analysis to evaluate what was most credible ? who said it, how many people said it, what kind of people, in what kind of companies, when did they say it, how did they phrase it ?. you get the idea. I focused on what large and very large companies in sufficient numbers said as the basis, supplemented with name-brand company executives? comments. I wound up with over four dozen strong proof points.

10 Proof Points

To cut to the chase, here is a subset of the proof points – a list of 10 findings from primary research surveys – that convinced me customer experience is indeed the ?next big thing? that requires investment in people, process and technology for the foreseeable future.  The list is in alphabetical order by the firm who conducted the research. Note that some research requires registration. Gartner research requires subscription.

1.   Accenture – 2013 Global Consumer Pulse Survey (n=13,168 consumers)

?85 percent of customers are frustrated by dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them, 84 percent by companies promising one thing, but delivering another; and 58 percent are frustrated with inconsistent experiences from channel to channel.?

2.   CMO Council, in partnership with SAP ? 2014 ? Mastering Adaptive Customer Engagements (n=319)

?Marketers believe that customer centricity?and the customer?s belief that they are engaged with a customer-centric organization?is critical not just to the business, but also to the individual marketer?s success.?

?39 percent of respondents agree that the very definition of customer centricity is being established at the very top of the organization with the president/CEO?

3.   Gartner ? 2014 – Gartner Survey Finds Importance of Customer Experience on the Rise ? Marketing Is on the Hook (n=200 responsible for customer experience, revenue > $500M)

?89% of companies surveyed plan to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience by 2016 ?

?65% of companies have the equivalent of a chief customer officer ? they report equally to the CMO and CEO?

4.    Gartner ? 2014 – The 2014 Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey: ‘Risk-On’ Attitudes Will Accelerate Digital Business (n=410)

?The most important technology-enabled capability investment to support growth over the next five years is digital marketing, followed by customer experience.?

5.   Gartner ? 2014 ? Gartner’s 2015 Marketing Spending Survey ? Customer Experience Leads Investments (n=315 responsible for marketing budgets, revenue > $500M) [to be published October 2014] 

?The top marketing technology investment for 2014 was customer experience?

?18% of the total marketing expense budget was spent on customer experience in 2014?

?#1 innovation project for 2015 is customer experience?

6.   Gartner and The CMO Club ? 2014 ? CMO Leadership, Accountability & Credibility within the C-Suite (n=105) [to be published October 2014]

?CMOs say leading the customer experience cross-functionally at all touch points is the top investment over the next 2 years?

7.   IBM – 2013 ? The Customer-activated Enterprise (part of the Global C-suite Study) (n=4,183 CXOs)

?As the digital infuses the physical, and vice versa, organizations are transforming the customer experience. Nearly seven in ten CxOs recognize the new imperative ??

? 39% of outperformers have developed a fully integrated digital-physical customer strategy?

8.   IBM – 2013 – Stepping up to the challenge:  CMO insights from the Global C-suite Study (n=524 CMOs)

When asked to what degree they?ve implemented ?Integrated customer touchpoints across physical and digital channels?, 16% said ?large extent?, 38% said ?somewhat?, 46% said ?limited extent?

9.   McKinsey ? 2014 ? The digital tipping point (n=850 CXOs)

?Of the six digital trends we asked about, executives expect the largest share of their digital growth in the coming years will be from digital customer engagement,??

?Respondents most often rank digital customer engagement as a top strategic priority, too, and report that current spending patterns mirror digital priorities?

10.  Oracle ? 2013 – Global Insights on Succeeding in the Customer Experience Era (n=1300)

?93% say that improving CX [customer experience] is one of the top three priorities for the next two years; 97% state CX is critical to success?

Gartner clients can see more of the proof points on the Gartner for Marketing Leaders website. Free marketing research is available at


CEOs and CIOs - what's your "techquisition" strategy?

21 Oct 2014 01:39:31 Z

I am intrigued when I see a company in a traditional industry, acquire some kind of digital or information technology business. It’s a very modern M&A sub-trend I’ll call  “techquisitioning”. We did not see much of it during the original dot com and e-business boom of the early 2000’s. However, there are many more interesting entities out there to be considered today – some quite mature and ready to pick. Here are some recent examples:

I think some of the smartest traditional industry business leaders have rather suddenly woken up to the digital threats on the horizon in the post-recession new normal. Companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Alibaba have used digital era technology to amass a great deal of market power which they can use to either enter or pressure multiple industries. After a decade of relative under-investment in technology, catching up or leapfrogging isn’t easy for the traditional incumbents. Organic capability development is slow. So sometimes, jump-starting your future by acquiring a technology, online property, platform or talent team might make sense.

Let’s imagine for a moment that this is a good idea and it works (we cannot know yet, it’s too soon to tell). The early movers have started- what are you going to do?  Do you have the management team competency to find and evaluate potential targets? If so, do you have the funds and the investor tolerance to make your own fast follower moves? Finally – could you integrate such delicate and culturally disparate entities without crushing them? These are questions I think many boards of directors will be debating with their CEOs over the next couple of years. CIOs should be ready to help the leadership team develop answers.

Introducing the Programmable Economy, the Value Graph and Other Elements of a Post-Bitcoin World

21 Oct 2014 01:39:31 Z

Having been heads-down in a number of projects for a long while, finally surfacing for air, I wanted to share with you some of what has transpired recently. This past week I was at Gartner Symposium in Orlando presenting on peer-to-peer digital currencies and meta-coin platforms.

One of the benefits of being at Gartner is getting the chance to do what are called “Maverick” projects. These are projects that seek a perspective that is unconventional, contrarian or new. Often an outsider’s view is needed when looking at well-established categories such as security, application development, supply chain, or data management. In the case of a new field such as metacoin platforms, almost all perspectives are new, by definition.

When I started digging into this 12 months ago, the topic of digital currency was completely new to me (and perhaps to many of you as well). Over the past few months, I’ve come up with some observations that I presented at Symposium and will covering in more detail in upcoming research notes.

Here are the highlights:

  • The Bitcoin system is a great start on enabling what some call “the Internet of Money”, but in my opinion, Bitcoin has some fundamental flaws which cannot fully be addressed by layering on top of it. Therefore it will likely fail to meet the expectations of those hoping it will engender a revolutionary transformation of digital commerce.
  • Nevertheless, there are many converging trend lines in digital world (the “sharing economy”, the social graph, evolving digital platforms, mobile adoption, etc) that mandate a programmable platform for distributed value exchange — a next-generation digital currency platform.
  • In my presentation I called this a “metacoin platform”, with an emphasis on platform. Some use the term “Bitcoin 2.0″, but that I think the future platform is going to be substantially different than Bitcoin 1.0.
  • There are many in the industry that also see the limitations of Bitcoin, and have been exploring different approaches. Some of these approaches are layers on top of Bitcoin (some use the metacoin term to refer to these layers), while other approaches are wholesale from-the-ground-up replacements for Bitcoin. Examples are Ethereum, Ripple, NXT, Counterparty, and Colored Coins. It is too early to pick a winner. Each system has its strengths and weaknesses.
  • But although the immediate future may not be clear, I think the eventual outcome is not in doubt: a platform for distributed value exchange that enables a range of use cases, including non-monetary exchanges of value.

In looking at the post-Bitcoin era, I introduced the following concepts and terms:

  • the Programmable Economy: the aggregate of solutions built on a digital currency platform that enables entities to incorporate full-strength programming constructs, including smart property, self-enforcing contracts and decentralized autonomous corporations.
  • the Value Graph: the data model that captures value-related interactions. It is akin to the Social Graph, but with a value dimension.
  • the notion of “markets as products”: the notion of designing markets in the way that one would design products, which is possible if you have a platform to build upon.
  • the “minimum viable market”: analogous to the minimum-viable product (MVP) concept, taking a lean and agile approach to market design and market cultivation.
  • “thinking outside the bucks”: to look at exchanges of value that are not directly tied to monetary transactions, but can have a beneficial effect on digital business.

These are exciting times. There is a wave of innovation going, with some very talented people chasing down some powerful ideas and new platform designs. I plan on sharing some of my observations on this wave in coming weeks and months. Stay tuned!

Noticias de Tecnologia

ENTER al día: Resultados de Apple, Spotify familiar y Sofa para todos

21 Oct 2014 01:39:41 Z

Bienvenidos a ENTER al día, estas son las noticias del día más importantes en el mundo de la tecnología y la cultura digital.Continúa leyendo en ENTER.CODeja un comentario en ENTER al día: Resultados de Apple, Spotify familiar y Sofa para todos, 2014 ENTER.CO

¿Varado por el paro? Easy Taxi le regala $10.000 para llegar a casa

21 Oct 2014 01:39:41 Z

Easy Taxi acaba de anunciar este 20 de octubre que les regalará un bono de $10.000 a todos sus usuarios en Bogotá para que se movilicen “sin estrés” en medio del paro de transportes que aqueja a la ciudad. Continúa leyendo en ENTER.CODeja un comentario en ¿Varado por el paro? Easy Taxi le regala $10.000 para […]

La jugada sucia que China le estaría haciendo a iCloud y al iPhone

21 Oct 2014 01:39:41 Z

El gobierno chino no es el mejor amigo de las empresas estadounidenses de internet. Así lo ha demostrado en varias ocasiones en el pasado, y la llegada del iPhone 6 a esa nación volvió a levantar la polémica en ese terreno. Según Mashable, varios grupos dedicados a monitorear los movimientos de censura de China detectaron […]

En vivo: los resultados financieros de Apple

21 Oct 2014 01:39:41 Z

Apple acabó de publicar los resultados financieros para el cuatro trimestre fiscal de 2014. La compañía obtuvo ventas de 42.120 millones de dólares que dejó una utilidad por acción de 1,42 dólares. Los analistas de Wall Street esperaban 39.850 millones dólares y 1,31 dólares, respectivamente. Con estos números, la multinacional estadounidense confirma que pasa por […]

Google remueve links de las fotos desnudas de Jennifer Lawrence

21 Oct 2014 01:39:41 Z

Las acciones legales con respecto al escándalo de hace unas semanas, cuando se filtraron fotos de varias celebridades desnudas, no iban a hacerse esperar demasiado. Ahora, como reporta The Guardian, los links que conducen a las fotos hackeadas de Jennifer Lawrence han empezado a removerse de los resultados del buscador de Google luego de una […]

?Noobs?: la crisis de los 30 de un grupo de geeks

21 Oct 2014 01:39:41 Z

Una nueva serie web colombiana busca explorar un terreno al que muchos de nosotros estamos llegando: la crisis de los 30 cuando se es geek. Ese momento de la vida en el que se tiene que comenzar a ser adulto y no se quiere dejar de ser niño, en el que hay que combinar las […]

Envía dibujos a tus amigos con Skype para Windows Phone

21 Oct 2014 01:39:41 Z

Los desarrolladores de Skype para Windows Phone han estado ocupados últimamente y eso se nota en las dos recientes actualizaciones que han llegado primero a la plataforma móvil de Microsoft. Hace algunas semanas, la aplicación se actualizó con la posibilidad de compartir la ubicación desde los equipos con Windows Phone. Ahora, a través de su […]

Cuatro juegos móviles para hacer felices a los más pequeños

21 Oct 2014 01:39:41 Z

Luego de una primera selección de juegos para los más pequeños, llega el momento de volver a revisar la oferta de estos títulos en el mercado. Las franquicias de animación como ?Cars? o ?Ice Age?, junto a los shows de televisión como ?My Little Pony? o ?Adventure Time?, también quieren conquistar a las audiencias más […]

Los lectores eligen los mejores animes de otoño 2014

21 Oct 2014 01:39:41 Z

Hace unos días publicamos nuestros animés recomendados de la temporada de otoño 2014. Pasó un par de semanas, en las que se estrenaron los títulos y ustedes nos enviaban sus sugerencias. Así que ahora les presentamos los cinco animes elegidos por los lectores de ENTER.CO para esta temporada que podrán ver por Crunchyroll: ‘Terra Formars’ No […]

IBM vende su unidad de semiconductores a Globalfoundries

21 Oct 2014 01:39:41 Z

La transformación de IBM continúa. Hoy lunes se conoció que la compañía de tecnología venderá su unidad de semiconductores, que lleva generando pérdidas por varios periodos. Después de advertir que harían un gran anuncio en horas de la mañana, Bloomberg reporta que el negocio se hará con Globalfoundries, una compañía que ya hace chips para […]