BrandPost: Achieving a Hyper-Converged Instructure with Cloud Verified

Ken Marr is not a fan of technology for its own sake. The CTO of First National Technology Solutions (FNTS) is quick to note that there is no one “one-size-fits-all” digital transformation (DX).He believes that any transformation is about delivering…

Ken Marr is not a fan of technology for its own sake. The CTO of First National Technology Solutions (FNTS) is quick to note that there is no one “one-size-fits-all” digital transformation (DX).

He believes that any transformation is about delivering the capabilities enterprises need to effectively do business and overcome real-world challenges. And those of course are unique to every company.

“In all honesty, if there isn’t some form of digital transformation taking place today, that organization probably won’t exist for long,” says Marr. “But the endeavor really isn’t about technology, rather the culture and the processes it enables that make it possible to deliver real business value with speed and agility. That’s why we believe it’s so important to meet our customers on their own terms, identify the end state they want to reach and develop a path to digital transformation that maps to their unique situation.”

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BrandPost: Blockchain: Game-Changer for International Travel

Anyone who has planned a vacation or a business trip involving air travel to several different countries knows that travel documentation can be a big hassle. Every country has a different set of regulations governing visas, they’re usually complex, …

Anyone who has planned a vacation or a business trip involving air travel to several different countries knows that travel documentation can be a big hassle. Every country has a different set of regulations governing visas, they’re usually complex, and failure to understand and comply with them means you’ll be blocked from entering your country of destination at the airport.

The problems this state of affairs creates for individual travellers are nothing compared to those it creates for the airline industry as a whole, which has to deal with roughly 1.5 billion international passengers annually. And when an airline makes a mistake, it affects the bottom line. To begin with, there is a fine of roughly $3,500 on average for every passenger who is turned back at a destination airport due to improper documentation. In addition, airlines are compelled to fly such passengers back to their point of departure at no cost, which means one less seat that could be sold to a paying customer. The International Air Transport Association estimates the total cost of documentation problems to be $750 million annually.

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BrandPost: Moving IT from Enabling to Inspiring

Many IT organizations have become partners in the overall corporate effort to digitally transform and improve the customer experience. And IT teams often focus their efforts on being the “enabler” of these changes. But what if IT went a step further…

Many IT organizations have become partners in the overall corporate effort to digitally transform and improve the customer experience. And IT teams often focus their efforts on being the “enabler” of these changes. But what if IT went a step further? What if, rather than focus only on enabling changes, IT became more engaged and actually inspired business units by showing the way forward?

That’s the approach taken by Santiago Aldana Sanin, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Technology Officer at Avianca Airlines, the Colombian national carrier. One of the keys to Avianca’s success is that Aldana Sanin is responsible for the customer digital experience and works with numerous operating teams to enhance it. Avianca starts with a focus on the cultural changes necessary to improve the experience. Then the carrier makes decisions about the technology platforms needed for cultural change. To inspire, IT must adopt new thinking to become more agile and innovative. Further, as Aldana Sanin explains, “there must be a commitment to becoming data-driven, with strong data-collection processes.”

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BrandPost: Seeding the Right IoT Architecture to Build a Better Farm

Enterprises around the world are working actively to capitalize on the opportunities brought by the convergence of high performance computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence. And we’re not talking about just the big, global players. Smal…

Enterprises around the world are working actively to capitalize on the opportunities brought by the convergence of high performance computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence. And we’re not talking about just the big, global players. Small and midsize businesses are very much in this game — in a big way.

That’s the case at AeroFarms, a U.S.-based company that is on a mission to build and operate environmentally responsible farms throughout the world by enabling local production at scale.
This young company is dedicated to nourishing communities with safe, nutritious and delicious food. To carry out its mission, AeroFarms runs the world’s largest indoor vertical farm, which yields up to 390 times more produce than a traditional field farm — all without sunlight, soil or pesticides, and all with 95 percent less water.

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BrandPost: The Customer Experience Management Mandate

Consumers want more than just products and services. They want experiences. That’s why so many organizations, regardless of industry, are reorganizing and strategizing around the customer experience mandate.Make no mistake: making experience your bu…

Consumers want more than just products and services. They want experiences. That’s why so many organizations, regardless of industry, are reorganizing and strategizing around the customer experience mandate.

Make no mistake: making experience your business is good for business. Consider a May 2018 study by Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Adobe, which found experience-led companies have 1.6x higher brand awareness, 1.5x higher employee satisfaction, and 1.9x higher average order value. Experience-led businesses also have 1.7x higher customer retention, 1.9x return on spend, and 1.6x higher customer satisfaction rates.

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BrandPost: Getting Ahead with Customer Experience Data

Delivering an incredible customer experience is top of mind for every business today.  Customers expect to be treated like celebrities by brands. They expect brands to know them, understand their preferences, and deliver relevant experiences.  Exper…

Delivering an incredible customer experience is top of mind for every business today.  Customers expect to be treated like celebrities by brands. They expect brands to know them, understand their preferences, and deliver relevant experiences.  Experience has become the currency of brand loyalty and retention. More than half (55%) of companies surveyed by Gartner Research reported their digital ambition is to create a better customer experience.

Global businesses know they need to enable all lines of business to create holistic experiences, because differentiating only on price or product features is no longer a viable growth strategy. A 2018 Forrester Consulting study of global enterprises found that experience-driven businesses grow revenues 1.4x the rate of other companies and enjoy significantly higher customer retention rates.

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BrandPost: Why SPAs Improve the IT-Marketing Partnership

As people value convenience and working on any device, native applications are giving way to web applications. At the same time, users are demanding and expect web applications to work as easily and quickly as the regular native versions.These requi…

As people value convenience and working on any device, native applications are giving way to web applications. At the same time, users are demanding and expect web applications to work as easily and quickly as the regular native versions.

These requirements are prompting the use of Single Page Applications (SPAs) — a process of building web applications that improves user experience.

Most people currently use SPAs every day without realizing it. Google Maps and Twitter are some examples. Technology advances have caused interest to rise recently, but still misconceptions exist about the technology.

Consequently, companies may not be using SPAs as effectively, losing the potential to eliminate friction between IT and marketing.

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BrandPost: IT isn’t just about technical skills anymore

One of the long-standing misconceptions about a career in information technology — at least among some people — is that it’s all about the technical skills.Technical skills are certainly important — you can’t build applications if you can’t write co…

One of the long-standing misconceptions about a career in information technology — at least among some people — is that it’s all about the technical skills.

Technical skills are certainly important — you can’t build applications if you can’t write code ­— but most successful IT workers these days will need to be more well-rounded. The days of the stereotypical coder working alone in a dark basement are largely over.

In particular, the most valuable IT workers will understand their employers’ businesses, including their needs, their goals, and the larger market.

IT workers need to understand how technology fits into those larger business objectives. They should know how to work with their colleagues and their employers’ customers. The key to success is not so much the technology itself, but identifying and filling a need that the business has. Most people preparing for an IT career would do well to take some business classes before they enter the job market.

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BrandPost: CIOs and AI: Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities

Cathleen Southwick, CIO at Pure Storage, has provided strategic IT leadership for multibillion-dollar businesses. She has expertise in a broad range of areas, including technology strategy and roadmaps. Previously, Cathleen spent 22 years at AT&am…

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Cathleen Southwick, CIO at Pure Storage, has provided strategic IT leadership for multibillion-dollar businesses. She has expertise in a broad range of areas, including technology strategy and roadmaps. 

Previously, Cathleen spent 22 years at AT&T, most recently as vice president of technology engineering.

IDG recently sat down with Cathleen Southwick, CIO at Pure Storage®, to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities that artificial intelligence (AI) poses for CIOs, and how they can best introduce this transformative technology in their companies.

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BrandPost: Developers and IT Ops: Finding the hybrid cloud common ground

Trying to get different teams to collaborate is never an easy feat. But no two groups are more notoriously difficult to work together than developers and IT operators. After all, the two groups have had a contentious relationship for quite some time…

Trying to get different teams to collaborate is never an easy feat. But no two groups are more notoriously difficult to work together than developers and IT operators. After all, the two groups have had a contentious relationship for quite some time. Historically, developers want to release features as quickly and efficiently as possible, while IT operators want to ensure things are done reliably, securely, and meet corporate and compliance policies.

In a recent BriefingsDirect podcast, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, talks with Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research and Analysis, about how developers and IT operators can find newfound common ground around making hybrid cloud the best long-term economic value for their organizations.

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