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Recent News and a Trend Worth Noting

6 July 2017 No Comment

The marketplace is ripe with innovations. As each day brings with it a new sunrise, we can be certain that a new technological development will either be announced or reviewed. The “cutting edge” of the financial sector is not so much who is taking over as CEO, it is geared more towards what the latest creation is forthcoming.

Recently, news has filtered out from some of the “big hitters” in technology, and the affect these will have in the financial sector bear strong consideration from investors and industry observers alike.  

Once a look has been taken at 2 recent news stories, we will explore a trend to reduce barriers between the development and operation teams. A look at the history behind this trend, and its practical implementation will be given. This is a methodology that has benefits for businesses ranging from small to large.  

Google and Microsoft Battling for Schools

According to Ian Sherr, Google has a firm grasp on being the most popular tech used in schools over Microsoft in the United States. Schools outside the U.S. prefer Microsoft. Google’s Chromebook has placed itself as the choice of school systems across the country.

The reasons are straightforward. The Chromebook is a simplified laptop that does not require excess time from administrators tied up in coordinating large quantities of computer software.

Most would assume that this was a cost driven decision. On the contrary, as school systems have come to value the Chromebook’s ease of use.

Microsoft is looking to change this, as they will unveil a new software package that will power computers in schools by running only secure apps from Microsoft’s app store. Google took over the U.S. school system market with simplicity, and now Microsoft is following suit.

While Microsoft openly admits that this is not a profitable market, the school system, they believe that by gaining strength here they can build on customer loyalty. Then, when these students graduate and enter the workforce, they will be more likely to stay with what is familiar.

This strategy has worked well in other industries. As silly as this may sound, take into consideration the subtle advertising found in movies and television that is geared towards younger generations. The difference, of course, is that these products are not placed in the consumer’s hands to use. Yet, the product placement plants a seed in the minds of the viewer.

Product placement, or integration, has been around for decades. It can be found in music videos, television series, movies, and programming streamed online. As with the case of Microsoft and Google, the end aim is to build on customer loyalty for a lifetime.

ABB and IBM Pair Up

The industrial sector is constantly trying to reduce downtime, and with the pairing of ABB and IBM and the subsequent innovations soon to come this will become an even greater reality.

Per Reuters, as reported by John Revill, this collaboration will spearhead technology which will revolutionize how machinery data is collected and then processed.

Rather, than a frequent physical inspection of machinery, the ABB system will take images in real-time, while the IBM Watson will analyze the imaging. The resulting increases in efficiency and effectiveness are certain to raise the eyebrows of a vast number of industry experts, as well as investors.

Developing Trend

The development process, in relation to software, can be a tedious test of patience. DevOps is a viable solution to the resistance that can be found between the development and operations staff.

A historical perspective on this new phenomenon will better give those unfamiliar a gauge on why it has become so popular. Go back ten plus years, at this time most applications were desktop oriented.

Can you vividly recall how new software was distributed? How about that AOL CD that came in the mail as an advertisement to use their services? That is how most software would reach the user, in addition to those who could download a newer version.

We are currently in a transitional phase from desktop to web and mobile applications. In turn, this has brought about an increase in servers. With this, agile development strategies have become a necessity. The result is in the way software is shipped, as it has changed tremendously.

The bottom line of why DevOps has become the movement it has is rooted in the dramatic increase in web applications and agile development. IT departments faced gridlock. This occurred at some of the largest corporations.

So, what does DevOps mean? Developers create apps, and have been empowered to handle operation tasks for those apps. The goal is to provide your development team with all the tools necessary to get the code out as quickly as possible.

On appearances, one may be led to believe that this is a method to decrease communication between the development and operation teams.

That is, shortsighted. On the contrary, the empowerment offered to the development team affords them the opportunity to work together, with guidance from operations, to more effectively and efficiently produce and distribute the necessary code for smooth software launches.

The Key

Which brings us to the key to success within any organization, communication. The aforementioned news stories with Google, Microsoft, ABB, and IBM all have one common denominator. Effective communication horizontally and vertically within the organizational chart.

According to Lou Solomon, an adjunct faculty member at the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte and CEO of Interact, the majority of managers are uncomfortable communicating with their employees.

A recent survey reports 69% of managers fall into this category. How unfortunate this statistic is. Where is the training and development within these organizations? What about accountability?

When managers can set aside their ego just enough to be open-minded to positive and negative feedback, the results will trickle down the chain of command. Whatever the case may be in your organization, consider the possibilities of an open channel up and across the hierarchy. The tools are available, and the benefits will come when implemented.

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