Why it is more than cultural differences for the millennials

Tags

, , , ,

I read a BBC article yesterday on how millennial preferences are driving recruiting differences for graduate student hiring for firms such as KPMG, Goldman Sachs, and Deloitte.

These are folks that can be impatient and self-serving (require instant feedback and reassurance), yet they are also the fuel that drives the engines of firms that need their grunt work.   The question is: Can they do grunt work?  Will they stick around for the hours required to get them up to speed for what they did not learn in education?

I say this as universities make it far too easy for them these days to graduate with little or no empirical skills.  Firms now have to retrain these graduates to be the kind of workers they need, which is a larger investment than they have had to make in the past, because of the millennial expectations on how they work and what they do.

This article, also published on the BBC website,  gives part of the issue. I just taught a summer school class for a group of study abroad students visiting here in Belgium from the US.  They found two things difficult about doing an internship:  being in the workplace for a full workday and not being told exactly what to do. They also felt that they were not important enough to the organisation (as interns). One of them commented they felt irritated that they could have spent their time on something else personal when in a slow period in the office. And dressing for work, vs comfortable clothing, was something else they had to get used to.  Granted these were US students in an international environment, but it was more than a growing up issue, it was an expectation that work and personal life are one in the same thing. And that they have immediate value to the organisation on day one and should be properly cared for.   I have to admit that in an organisation, being welcomed on the first day and made to feel part of the organisation is important in adapting to the culture of the firm.

My point is that we do not teach students how to succeed in the workplace, we only teach them basic skills.   Doctors are trained in medical schools, but intern in hospitals. Lawyers come from law schools, but do initial stages with law firms.   So why don’t we have a transition programme for business students beyond trainee programmes for specific fields?  It is fairly clear to me that if we want the millennials to help us adapt the future of work for the next generation, we need to provide programmes to get them integrated and engaging so we can change the culture to suit both parties going forward.

Just my two Euro cents.

 

 

Advertisements

Can service and security co-exist? What is the Glue that brings them together?

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

There are a number of pilot implementations on smart access for providing services for the last mile for eCommerce.   These include DHL having access to your vehicle by means of a smart access code to your car locks in order to leave a package you ordered in the trunk (boot for my British friends), working together with Audi and Amazon to create a trial service for Audi users. Volvo has also started addressing this area.

The audit ability of who has had access to your vehicle, particularly from an auto insurance perspective, would be a concern as to know who exactly has been in the vehicle in case of theft of personal objects of value.   However, there is a trend for your vehicle to be more of a storage facility than just a transport option, as discussed here.   Personally, while moving house recently, my car became a storage locker as well!

Those of us who are used to having house cleaning services know the dilemma of giving someone access to your home without your presence.   Anyone who has rented out part of their home for AirBnB has had to deal with this issue.

The latest pilot that caught my eye was in Sweden, where a combination of postal courier and grocery stores are testing a service that stocks your refrigerator while you are not home, so you can come home to a fully stocked kitchen.  PostNord is running this pilot with 20 homes in Sweden.

Here you would have to have a smart lock installed on your home which can be opened with the smart phone app of the courier service.   The company that has created this lock is called Glue AB and it allows residents to decide remotely who to give access to their homes.    You can see the video on the project here.

Is “in-fridge” delivery the next wave of on-demand commerce services?  Will this encourage people to think differently when it comes to opening up their homes (cars, or other personally owned objects) for convenience services?    Will access control to your home, intelligent alerts and secure encrypted technology give you greater peace of mind as Glue states on its homepage?

I think the audit ability (again insurance and theft/damage) with immutability would be useful, and could easily be tracked and audited not only for damage, but for performance (e.g. number of hours house cleaner worked, correlated to access to the home).  Can this be tied to the objects themselves, with an IoT component?

Smart access is a growing trend that I will continue to be examining and discussing in the coming months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IS COPPER GETTING OUT OF THE CONUNDRUM?

Tags

,

Author: Bruno de Vuyst    Follow @b_devuyst on Twitter

While spot prices suffered from the Fed Minutes released yesterday and sank, looking more closely at LME quotes for later delivery may be of interest. The volumes are picking up, albeit slowly. Moreover, there appear to be increasing delta’s between offer and bid as one progresses in time of delivery. This may be interpreted as writing on the wall for a further bear market in 2017, which would be in line with general macroeconomic forecasts of a weakly recovering global economy, with lags in trade

But this might also be interpreted as pointing to results in restructuring by miners and smelters, and the very beginnings of a new, realistic, price setting, which would be less bearish.

Key is now to follow closely progress reports in the sector, so as to see which of the players are first in succeeding in their restructurations. Such progress may not reflect immediately in earnings and may be buried inside a report, but they may be the key indicators of success to come.

Is there hope outside of that town in Arkansas? Rather than investing in a marketing organization and hoping for its further inventiveness in producing gadgets we all want to have, it may be profitable to ride out the bear market and to be ready to pick up on profitably restructured market participants at increasingly interesting p/e ratios.

Webinar on securing IT assets

Tags

, , ,

Having secure IT assets should enhance the overall user experience by ensuring security is more effectively and more seamlessly embedded into everyday IT and IT services provisioning activities. But IT assets have a lifecycle, and they need to be protected differently during this lifecycle. Automation of the protection process allows the core competencies of the staff to be focused on more strategic aspects of asset security than patch management or stolen passwords.

I recently shared a webinar with Dell and Markit on IT asset management and information security, which you can listen to on InfoSecurity Magazine here.

Some of the points I was making in my presentation on IT asset management were:

  • The lifecycle cost of an IT asset begins with planning and design and continues through procurement, adoption, operations, maintenance, rehabilitation/renewal, and disposal/replacement.
  • IT asset management (ITAM) seeks to optimize costs through each stage of this lifecycle, while meeting established levels of service, reliability, and risk. In today’s enterprise, ITAM plays a dual role of asset management and risk protection.
  • Protection levels can be performance-related (critical value to the business), or customer/regulatory related (impacting response times, complaints, information availability, etc.).
  • Risk is the exposure and uncertainty assumed due to the opportunity for significant damages. And data from IDC had previously forecasted that by this year, 25% of large enterprises will make security-related spending decisions based on analytical determinations of risk.

But what kind of IT assets bring the most concern to the enterprise today? Half the world’s population will be on mobile Internet by 2020. And the key drivers behind the growth in the mobile worker population include the increasing affordability of smartphones and tablets combined with the growing acceptance of corporate bring your own device (BYOD) programs. In addition, innovations in mobile technology such as biometric readers, wearables, voice control, near-field communications (NFC), and augmented reality are enabling workers in completely new ways, increasing productivity by enhancing communications and business workflows.  And these devices need to be secured to protect the enterprise.  But it is not just about endpoints, but also the network and the physical assets of the enterprise that are impacted by IT asset management not being automated and hardwired into the organization.

So one of the key points I made was that the key to a successful IT asset management program is the legwork performed before selecting solutions, including evaluating your existing IT environment, gaining executive sponsorship, setting program goals, committing the appropriate human resources, and designing strong processes that support your organization’s business objectives. Before getting started with your asset management security program, it is important to achieve the following milestones to ensure not only that the right solution is selected, but that the processes are formally established, understood, and documented.

One of the discussion points between myself and my fellow presenters was the fact that older IT assets are not as well documented as the newer ones.  I mentioned in the conversation that I had a 10 year old Dell from previous employment that was still able to access that domain. ( I am not sure which was the more startling statement, then 10 year old Dell still worked or that it could still log on to the systems of my previous employer!)   We discussed the concept of good practices (ISF Standard of Good Practice) and the importance, not only from a risk perspective but also from a compliance agenda, to be able to reduce the risk of information security being compromised by weaknesses in hardware / software and protect assets against loss, as well as support development of contracts and meet compliance requirements for licensing.

One other point I made in the presentation was around encryption. It is necessary that an IT department have an encryption plan to provide reasonable assurance that all enterprise owned devices, such as laptops, can be identified and encrypted. Encryption is at the heart of a complete endpoint security solution. When you safeguard the data, you reduce the risk of compromising sensitive customer or employee information, confidential files, and your company’s reputation.  So you need to make it easier to identify and activate new devices as they come on the network for their usage of encryption.  And to find the older devices as they log back in for software updates into the network.

The CISO on our panel from Markit talked about the convergence of IT asset management (ITAM) and security.  His point was the security professional had a very different point of view in the past on what an asset is because their focus is information risk. IT managers focused instead on where physical hardware was at any time; from a software standpoint, the focus was on consolidating license negotiations.  Now this is coming together, not only due to cyber threats but for protection of the rest of the assets (data or otherwise) of the enterprise.  Another point he made was that decisions regarding procurement, deployment and management of technology are not made centrally and then there is a disconnect. There is no point in putting into place sophisticated network forensic tools (from the network team) if there is no basic patch management from the desktop team.

Our main point: There needs to be a holistic view of IT asset management throughout the lifecycle of the object in question, and throughout the entire IT team as to how to address the risk profile of the assets.

FOSSIL FACTS AND CONJECTURES

Tags

,

By Bruno de Vuyst    Twitter: b_devuyst

The Rockefeller family is backing away from fossil fuel. Forget that the forebear built the family fortune on Standard Oil: the descendants want to invest in renewable energy.

For the time being, however, fossils will be needed. Nuclear energy has become a safety suspect, and wind, solar and water energy have not picked up sufficiently to meet energy demands. Moreover, the cost of these alternatives still leaves to be desired if one considers fossil fuel.

In the meanwhile, some fossil facts.

Or the lack thereof.

Venezuelan production numbers are shrouded in mist. Saudi Arabia has, in the last three years, lost market share in nine out of 15 of the most important client countries. All of this while volumes of production grew exponentially.

Crude oil prices hover today around USD 40/barrel, both for WTI and Brent (notice the lack of meaningful spread between the two).

No wonder. If prices go through 45 USD/barrel and sustain such a level, North American production of shale oil may activate again, causing a further oversupply and, ultimately, a price decline.

There is as much talk of higher crude oil prices than of the Fed raising rates. In both cases, there may be much ado about nothing. Indeed, as the supply/demand situation is not globally straightening itself out, there is no escape from a narrow price band. It may be until 2017, at best, that one may expect a price rise, and then it will likely be either a cautious one, not to awaken possible production entrants, or a brutal one, to take a temporary advantage of the lag between the decision to come on stream and the actual coming on stream, before the next price decline.

It is not unrealistic to expect some OPEC and some non-OPEC producers to choose the second scenario, as, apart from Kuwait, all are under budgetary pressure and any windfall may be appreciated.

This assumes that OPEC, and in particular Saudi Arabia, leaves caution – and market share. Giving in to other OPEC members, it would leave market growth to Iran in particular – not a happy thought for Saudi Arabia.

For that reason also, do not assume a production cut in reality. It may be pushed onto some more reluctant members; however, words may be words, and cheating might be rampant.

All of this may be the reality of 2016: a very brittle economic upturn in the US, possibly combined with an about ten per cent correction in the stock markets, Western Europe remaining in the doldrums, Asia attempting to climb out of a lack of export growth and China experimenting with an internal, consumption driven growth model, while at the same time dealing with a real estate bubble and with massive debt burdens in public companies and some municipalities.

Domotics and Digital Home Services

Tags

, ,

I have been a keen fan of the concept of connected home and the connected office for quite a while. In fact, I coined the term “personal service provider” for pre-cloud  era servers that would sit in your linen closet and remotely manage your personal documents (birth certificated, marriage licenses, home owner documentation, etc.) for you.   Domotics have always intrigued me, as the infrastructure in your home has always been under leveraged in my humble opinion.

I was reading an article at lunch in Fast Company from the March issue where it talks about our homes becoming the creative home of our work lives using Slack.  (NB: I also use Slack, and like it very much.)  And some of these ideas resonated with me in terms of digital home services.  For example, if you are in need of a contractor for your home, Slack could connect you to local tradespeople who are willing and able to work in your community.

But if you extend these possibilities, then your automated home could also reach out for a solution provider when it senses you will need one, in advance of the problem escalating to a more costly impact.  Imagine if you home belonged to Slack, along with other homes as well as people (contractors, energy firms, home automation vendors) that your home could help optimize your living environment.

A bit out there?  Not for long.  🙂

Impact of the evolving storage ecosystem business model

Tags

, , ,

ComputerWeekly.com/TechTarget IT Priorities Survey for 2016 has just released its findings, which questioned 194 IT professionals in the UK and Ireland. And they found that flash storage deployment appears to have plateaued. They stated that solid state storage (SSDs) is a key project for 16% of respondents, down slightly from just about plateauing across 2015 (19%), 2014 (20%) and 2013 (18%).

So is this a surprise?   Have flash storage priorities changed? Let’s take a look at what is driving flash in the storage ecosystem right now.  Naming conventions: The terms flash storage and solid state disk (SSD) storage are often used interchangeably to describe a type of storage that has no moving parts and can be erased and reprogrammed. SSD is a disk that does not have moving parts, and flash is the implementation that allows that to happen. Modern SSD hard drives are flash-based.

There are two main drivers for considering flash in the storage ecosystem: the increases in storage volumes required by higher definition in video and mobile computing, and the trend for higher performance for certain applications such as rapid SQL querying for customer online purchasing.  Last year we saw more flash technology embedded in servers to increase response time for consumers, specifically those in transaction rich industries such as healthcare, finance and retail, where instant transactions can define the customer experience.

And flash is impacting market consolidation and arguments in the market place, with EMC acquiring XtremIO, NetApp acquiring SolidFire, EMC and Pure Storage continuing to wrangle over infringed deduplication technology, and Violin Memory recently taking a restructuring plan and reduced headcount by approximately 25 percent.

There is no argument in the datacenter that the first tier should incorporate flash from a performance perspective.  Major storage suppliers already report that shipments of 15,000rpm disks have almost entirely been replaced by flash in the form of solid state discs (SSDs). The question is what should be chosen for the second (and perhaps third and fourth) tiers – disk, flash, hybrid flash combos, or what other option? And what is this uncertainty impacting flash adoption?

The storage ecosystem model explained

What data sits where, and why? Tiered storage is the foundation of information lifecycle management (ILM).  Data is stored appropriately based on performance, availability and recovery requirements. For example, data intended for restoration in the event of data loss or corruption could be stored locally — for fast recovery — while data for regulatory purposes could be archived to lower cost disks, either at a remote location or not in the production environment.

Like the “death of the mainframe”, the “death of disk” is also exaggerated as there will always be a need for HDD in some form or fashion in the overall storage ecosystem, whether it be for archiving, recovery, remote storage, cold storage etc. The big thing in storage ecosystem design now is consolidation.  But to build up the infrastructure could require adding hard disk drives (HDD) for performance, not capacity.

Traditionally, datacenter storage is tiered on the basis of latency, IOPS and relevancy of the data to operations.  With flash in the mix, datacenter storage is becoming more tiered than now, meaning that there would be at least three tiers:

  • Ultra-low or low latency, will be flash based if not all flash (AFA)
  • Low latency/high IOPS,  hybrid flash or HDD
  • “Cool/cold,” long term storage, mainly HDD

A report that was published in 2012 by the University of California and Microsoft Research (UCMR), The bleak future of NAND flash memory, painted a pessimistic picture of the future of flash: “Building larger-capacity flash-based SSDs that are reliable enough to be useful in enterprise settings and high-performance enough to justify their cost will become challenging. We show that future gains in density will come at significant drops in performance and reliability. As a result, SSD manufacturers and users will face a tough choice in trading off between cost, performance, capacity and reliability.”

Even with flash technology coming down in price, it will still be a while before datacenters start moving to all flash. Many think that going all flash would be a mistake, because not every application is going to need it. But if enterprises are forward looking with their storage footprint in their own ecosystem, where does flash fit in the tiers?  Is it price dependent, or application specific?

Price and performance

New flash arrays are generally available and priced competitively with traditional hard drive-based arrays. Which means that prices for SSD are dropping, but are also in line with the goals of the HDD business, which sets goals for itself mapping out the industry’s planned areal densities (bits per square millimeter of HDD surface) several years in advance.  This is managed by IDEMA (International Disk Drive Equipment & Materials Association), and is called the ASTC (Advanced Storage Technology Consortium).

So price is a factor, but not alone. For something like an all-flash array (AFA), scalability, particularly scale-out, becomes a primary differentiator. Even blended, SSD-HDD combinations will favor flash. For hybrid arrays, the ratio of flash capacity continues to grow as customers seek a balance between the cost-effective capacity of hard disk drives and the business-aware performance of flash.

Trade-offs – the implementation of hybrid flash

The shift for flash at present is pragmatic and more for going hybrid. A hybrid array combines flash memory with traditional disk storage, with flash mostly used for applications that demand a high number of IOPS and traditional spinning disks used for storage. Hybrid combinations of flash drives and HDD have become a viable option for organizations of all structures. There are many ways IT can architect solid state discs (SSDs) into the storage mix. Many are simply adding SSD drives to the PCIe slots in the servers, which also have hard disks (or configuring new server purchases with flash drives) or adding them as direct-attached storage (DAS). Companies managing storage networks are also increasingly adding flash to their storage arrays. In a growing number of shops where performance is critical, some are stepping up to pure flash-based SSD storage.

AFAs will likely only needed for the most performance sensitive application workloads.  The move to hybrid came after IT departments started to realize the challenges of what an all flash environment could face. For example, you have the “boot storms” that occur in the beginning of the work day with the simultaneous installation of software, patches or workloads with multiple people performing needed tasks on a schedule.

Reliability of SSDs

One of the remaining questions is if SSDs are reliable enough to replace disk drives completely. With an SSD, you must first erase the original data and then write the new data, so no overwriting. And ultimately memory cells wear out, limiting the number of times you can erase and write data. The more data stored on the drive and the greater the number of write operations, the sooner performance will begin to degrade. An important part of the management functionality provided by the controllers built into SSDs is wear leveling, a process that controls how data is written to prevent one set of them from wearing out before others. In this way, the controllers can help to significantly extend the life of the drives. SSDs are still susceptible to a number of vulnerabilities, and they tend to fail more spectacularly than HDDs. And data recovery can be much trickier with an SSD, often requiring specialized expertise or software to retrieve the lost data.

 How to best configure the ecosystem

The key is understanding the I/O profiles of the workloads and then using I/O profiles to generate workload models that can be used to evaluate hybrid offerings versus AFA vendor offerings and to determine the optimal configuration mix of HDDs and SSDs in the ecosystem. A focus on use cases can best drive the specialization of storage systems and new tiers of storage. Best action is to look into the use of storage workload modeling tools and load generators.  Tools such as Load DynamiX provide ways to determine the performance characteristics/limits for any storage system specific to your workload profiles.   For any storage deployment, it is important to get a handle on peak workloads, specialized workloads such as backups and end of month/year patterns, and impactful events such as login/logout storms.

Final note

There is a paradigm shift from storage being stand alone to more software-defined storage (SDS), which is another blog post in itself.  In the shift for enterprises to be application and use case led in defining their infrastructure, they are starting to understand the dynamic between applications, compute, network and storage. Storage is becoming an integral part of the entire stack and tightly integrated with the use case for the business and the necessary performance/ reliability trade-offs.

A different kind of day in Brussels

Most of you who know me know I am based in Brussels.  I had a very busy day planned yesterday, and got to my office at the university in the very center of town rather early, so I could get some writing in before teaching my 11am Foreign Trade class.  About quarter past eight, I went to see a colleague who normally comes in fairly early, and she said to me — it’s awful!  And then I saw what had happened at our airport. I went back to my office, and sent a DM to my friends in social media at Brussels Airport, wishing them strength and sending support.

And then saw a Tweet from a former student, Evan Lamos,  that he was in the metro, his ears popped and the metro stopped suddenly.   And then I started hearing about what happened in our metro. Evan’s pictures and interview were on many of the major channels and news senders.

I then heard a commotion in our hallway, and one of my colleagues had just come from the central station (2 min walk from our place) and was a bit hysterical about the security and the lock down of the station.  And then I heard about the transportation shut down.

And then all of our phones rang at the same time, which never happens.  The university had pushed an urgent message to us and to the students to stay inside and to make sure we carried our uni ID with us.  And our Dean came down the hall telling us classes were cancelled, and we need to go back to our offices (and get back to work!).

But two of us were scheduled to teach, and we asked the question if we could go across the street to the classroom building and see if students were there, and if we could help them understand the situation and answer questions.   We were allowed to do so, and I came to the classrooms to find most 9am classes had stopped lecture and were watching live streaming of the major news channel.

For my 11am class, only one student (out of 98) showed up, since she was already on campus.  I talked to her about her assignment (which was due at 5pm), and since she could not go home, brought her back to my offices, gave her a place to work, better WiFi and let her borrow my office landline to call her grandma and tell her she was okay.  The mobile network was fairly challenged by this time! She told me where she was from / where she lived, and I made arrangements with colleagues on the next floor down who had a car and lived in the same area to get her home later.

Because in Belgium, it is all about networking.  Before I knew it, several colleagues had come by (it is normal I drive to the uni when I come in, not normal for my colleagues) asking if I still had a seat in my car for the ride home.    Most wanted to leave ASAP, but I had meetings most of the afternoon.  Most of those got cancelled, and I left with a full vehicle at 4pm (Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride then started, I had four babbling guests and they have never driven with a Californian before 😉  ).

From about 11:30 onward, I started receiving mails, texts, tweets, etc. from folks around the world asking if I was safe and okay. Yes, I do travel a lot and yes, Brussels Airport is my home port and Twitter friend, so I do take lots of airport shots in my Twitter stream.  I have the utmost respect for the crisis communication from the airport team yesterday, and have said as much openly on Twitter yesterday as well.

A few things struck me about yesterday.

  1. The faculty and the parents of the students were a lot more unnerved about the events in Brussels than the students were.  The students were only wondering if their midterm exams on Wed would be cancelled, and did they have to study anyway?
  2. When push comes to shove, we know how to communicate.  Both formal and informal communication platforms worked well, and we arranged for transport and buses for the students and the staff.
  3. People care about people, whether it be first responders, people offering rides or places to stay, or people just inquiring if you are okay.
  4. This is not about religion, nationality, patriotism, belief structures — it is about compassion, understanding, cooperation.

Today the campus is shut, not out of fear, but because of the logistics of transport in Brussels today and for securing the facility even tighter for the coming days.  And with technology enabled faculty and staff, we still are doing business albeit slightly more 21st century version today.

This unfortunately reminded me of when I was at Cornell, and we had a hostage situation in our dormitory, which made the national and international news.   Surprising after all these years that memory came back for me.  Similar kind of panic due to fear and miscommunication, with a news media aftermath and then an impact on how we lived/worked, with processes changed and doors now locked.

Life goes on.

 

 

When the “C” in CRM stands for Citizen: My POV on the Optevia acquisition by IBM

Tags

, , , ,

When government (local, regional, federal or national) provides public sector services for its citizens, they should have a responsibility to provide them in a professional, timely manner. That’s not an easily scalable activity when dealing with thousands of citizen cases, often with limited resources. However the aim is to deliver consistently positive experiences to your citizens or constituents. And using external providers who may be better resourced or with a more rationalized core competency in this area can be beneficial to all involved. In my consulting for regional government, I find that they actually work even harder than federal government to find ways to engage their constituents, given how important the revenue stream is for them to be prosperous. Therefore a cloud-based CRM system is an excellent fit for a resource constrained yet innovative regional public service authority.

Which is why I was pleased to see that IBM announced Friday that they had acquired Optevia, a privately owned Software as a service (SaaS) systems integrator specializing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions for public sector organizations. Optevia will join IBM Global Business Services and help meet the increasing client demand for CRM SaaS solutions within the public sector. Optevia’s main focus on UK health, housing, and emergency services, along with their role in both local and central government service provisioning, puts their services smack in the centre of the citizen’s world. Building solutions based on a foundation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Optevia has worked with governments from the local to central level, public service agencies, and more.

The acquisition of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM integrator highlights that IBM is interested in industry sector solutions, and is not adverse to that solution being based on another SaaS platform.

Why this is valuable for both IBM and Optevia is:

  • For IBM: IBM gains Optevia’s expertise, experience, and agility in the public sector CRM SaaS space, plus the benefit of their wide-ranging existing client relationships.
  • For Optevia:   Optevia gains access to IBM’s technical skills plus its reach and range, as IBM said that the Optevia solutions will be scaled across other areas worldwide.

 

Details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Optevia was founded in 2001.

To rethink the process, rethink the content creation

Tags

, , ,

I am multitasking right now, trying to finish a report, an article and two blog posts, as well as finishing my weekly assignment for my online teaching course. No, I am not bragging, rather I am a bit bemused by how the process of all of these is similar, but yet very different, because of the content.

One of the pieces is on process realignment, so I am stopping for a moment and sharing my thoughts on content creation with you.  So much of what we do now is crafting content for delivery, rather than focusing on content creation and then worrying about what form the delivery will take. This reminds me of a conference I went to a number of years ago where the focus of the conference was content creation, but almost all of the booths at the show were on delivery and distribution.

I was at the Shopping Innovation Expo on Thursday here in Brussels, and attended the session of Steven van Bellingham who seems to be well-known in Belgium for his expertise on social media.  What drove the audience in droves to his presentation was not how he packaged his message, although it was very well done, but his message itself.

Because of my work schedule, it is taking me much longer these days to get my content out, partly because I am too concerned about the packaging of the content for delivery.   So what hit me this morning, as I am making my to-do list for the weekend for work, is just how much of my time is spent on content delivery, rather than content creation.  And for me, content creation has been the joyous part of the journey.  So I am changing my processes to align with being in the “data” business, and will just focus on bringing you that content as best and as rapidly as I can get it out……!

Back to work.