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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

“I am not a number, I am a free man”

IDC reported that we generated and replicated 1.8 zettabytes – that’s 1.8 trillion gigabytes – of data in 2011. To give you an example of scale you would need to stack CDs from Earth to the Moon and Back again – twice – to represent that amount of data and its expected to grow 50x by 2020. Interesting factoid: Through April of 2011 the Library of Congress had stored 235TBs of data. In 2011 15 out of 17 sectors in the US have more data per company than the US Library of Congress, much of that data is about you.

Facebook is preparing to raise $100 billion, yes a hundred billion, in a highly anticipated IPO next spring. Twitter is valued at $10 billion, and social media companies are pulling massive valuations. In terms of data, roughly 4 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook every day, and Twitter registered 177 million tweets per day in March of 2011. The success of these companies, and many others, is trade in human commodity. There is an inherent value to your tweet, your wall post, becoming mayor at some DC cafe or posting your location to wherever people post those things, but the real value is simply in your existence as a number in a sea of other 1 and 0′s.

We are entering a world where every aspect of our lives, short of those thoughts we hold deep, will be processed, indexed, analyzed and archived forever. What we search for, our online activity, where and how we drive, what we buy; when and how often, our health, financial, and personal records digitized for quick sale to the highest bidder. Never before have we had the ability to implement systems to handle massive volumes of disparate data, at a velocity that can only be described as break-neck and with this ability comes the inevitable misuse.

The commercial implications for companies seeking access to this depth and breadth of customer intelligence is clear, but this same information federated with the analysis of unstructured video, picture, voice and text data in the hands of our government or one that meant us harm is truly frightening.

Social media is an interesting experiment in applying a large scale operant conditioning chamber to a mass population, the law of effect is a retweet, a friending, being listed on a top x most influential list, or whatever else elicits the desired response. We leap head first off the cliff of technology and only concern ourselves with the implications when they become a problem for us.

The irony is that in our search for identity and individuality in an increasingly digital world we have willingly surrendered that which we used to hold so dear – our privacy.

May future generations forgive us.

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We have entered a new era of information technology, an era where the clouds are moist, the data is obese and incontinent, and the threats are advanced, persistent, and the biggest ever. Of course with all the paradigm-shifting, next generation, FUD vs. ROI marketing, its important to remember that sometimes we need to balance innovation against misunderstood expectations, vendor double-speak, and relentless enterprise sales guys.

Because contrary to the barrage of marketing, these technologies won’t make you rich, teach you how to invest in real-estate, help you lose weight or grow a full head of hair, it won’t make you attractive to the opposite sex, nor will it solve all your problems, in some cases they can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your operating environment but it requires proper planning, expectation setting and careful deployment…and on that note, I give you the top 10 most overhyped technology terms over the last decade.

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So recently I posted some thoughts on big data and the increasing usage of Hadoop, the general theme was data management != data analysis…this caused confusion with some folks, as evidenced by the twitter exchange (tweets haven’t been altered but some extraneous ‘noise’ removed to maximize your reading pleasure)

@Beaker @amrittsering I’m confused by your last blog. Is your point that people are spending $$$ on data aggregation hoping it leads to analytics?

@Beaker @amrittsering I read/re-read your posts & it’s almost like u r suggesting majority of co’s deploying Hadoop (e.g) are clueless WRT why?

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Big data is a scorching hot topic, currently capturing a lions share of the markets available stock of hyperbole and for good reason, data is growing at a meteoric rate.

As we continue to innovate, as business accelerates technology adoption, as the line bleeds between corporate and personal computing and as we interact more in digital mediums we are creating mountains of data. Much of this data is garbage, but some of it is gold (big-data-are-you-creating-a-garbage-dump-or-mountains-of-gold).

Unfortunately with all overly hyped technologies there is a lot of misinformation, failed expectations and the inevitable trough of disillusionment, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend months or years curled up in a fetal position, disillusioned and wondering what went so wrong. With a thoughtful approach you can venture through the murky swamp of your big data and find the insights that provide your company a significant competitive and market advantage.

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It is the foundation for the free market system and capitalism and it is every entrepreneurs dream; build a great technology, execute and achieve excellence in GTM, deliver fantastic value to customers and take great pride in watching your passion grow – fast.

Then it happens; the exit, the liquidation event, the ‘golden ticket’ and in a blip of your time on this tiny little rock your life changes.

Last year, after spending almost four years as the CTO of BigFix, we were acquired by IT industry behemoth IBM (IBM to acquire BigFix) for what was the largest acquisition of a private software company in 2010 (second was CA’s acquisition of Nimsoft at around $380m) and my life changed…

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So it appears the Internet went down, or so many claimed when they were presented with 404 errors when attempting to watch “Georgia Hillbilly Massacre 17: The return of the Banjo Man” on Netflix  - Since Netflix is selective on what you can stream they certainly weren’t queuing up the latest and greatest new releases, but that is a totally different rant – or attempting to declare themselves the Mayor of “who gives a rats ass where you are right now” on Foursquare.

Last time this happened some started to claim that it rocked the very foundation of confidence in cloud-computing (here), yet they failed to juxtapose Amazon’s operational failures against the universe of enterprise operational failures, security compromises and general administrative stupidity that plagues nearly 99.98% of every organization on Earth (minus the DPRK’s website, really not more you can do to fudge that one up)

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I will post more later but given all the blood, sweat, and tears we have poured into BigFix we are extremely excited about this move.

IBM and BigFix are a great fit. The product portfolios are very complementary (data center to the endpoint), the strategy and vision are well-aligned (automated service management and convergence) and the companies respective values and focus will drive greater innovation to the market

Product and market synergies

  • BigFix offers best in class endpoint management (PCs, laptops, and distributed servers) that extends the IBM portfolio enabling their smarter computing vision from the data center to endpoints anywhere in the world
  • Our product portfolios are very complementary, as demonstrated by the many joint customers we successfully serve today

Strategy and vision:

  • We share a common vision for delivering automated service management and security and operational convergence to our customers worldwide
  • IBM intends to continue to evolve the rich capabilities of the BigFix platform and to innovate, integrate, and expand the combined solutions to address a broader set of market requirements than ever before

Company values and market focus

  • We share similar ideals and value around integrity and innovation
  • We both have a workforce that is provisioned and dedicated to solving the problems of the largest and most sophisticated enterprise environments in the world.

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