Data Management: How to reduce the time, cost, and risk of your data migration project

As your company moves application data to new on-premise systems or to the cloud you are doing it to create new business outcomes for your organization.  Companies are always adding new capabilities to the front/back-office systems, modernizing IT systems and infrastructure or changing billing systems. Migrations are also often performed as part of an upgrade or transition to a new product.  That is why running a successful data migration is essential to ensure a smooth business transition. When you attempt this without the right people, process and tools, data migration projects can be risky, often resulting in cost overruns, data issues, or business interruptions (Information Week ran a nice article on the subject). To minimize those risks, turn to NextUs Consulting for help with the management, process, governance, staffing, and tools to meet your data migration goals and objectives. Read more

A New Approach to Test Data Management

Finding your edge during your Digital Transformation

Introduction

If you are a President, CEO, COO or leader of the digital transformation at your high-tech company, this article is for you.  In this day and age, it is all about disruption in the industry. Do you have the vision, fortitude and leadership abilities to continue to attack and catch the next wave of technology to help shape the business and allow it to grow and prosper?  Or will you join other companies that did not see it and wind up closing your doors?

Starting out and what not to do during your Digital Transformation

No one said that a Digital Transformation process was easy.  In fact, it is quite hard. Why? A lot of people and organizations are resistant to change.  I have gone through two of them in my career and neither of them was successful. Both of their failures stemmed from two key issues.  First, the top executives saw a need for change, but they never did what was necessary to get buy-in and support at all levels of the company.  I saw the buy-in at the lowest levels because they saw a need and bought the vision, but the mid-tier managers never did.  They were fearful that they would lose their jobs. Losing your job is a very probable harsh reality during a transformation.  Why? Companies need better talent, top skills, and a different mindset. My second transformation experience failed because the executives never finished the job.  They started the transformation, but they got distracted with running the business and they never completed it. The executives just stopped communicating. No one knew what was going on or if they were finished.  And to make matters worse, they had layoffs every quarter. In my humble opinion, that is the start of the downward trend towards oblivion.   Read more

3D Printing will Disrupt Many Industries and Businesses

When I started to work on an IoT opportunity for a large transportation company three years ago developing a trailer tracking prototype, I started to think about how 3D printing was going to affect their company in the future. I see the disruption even more clearly now since years have passed since then.  3D printing will dramatically change the transportation industry and the effect 3D printing will have in other verticals will be staggering. And to make it worse, it is not going to be good news for the transportation industry because the disruption will be negative.

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Using War Rooms for Major System Deployments

I was supporting a major global deployment for a large multinational insurance company that supplies insurance, annuities, and employee benefits programs when they asked me to pull together a “War Room” for their multi-million dollar program. Why do you ask? It’s because the original deployment of it failed numerous times causing the company to spend additional tens of millions of dollars to try again. Failure was not an option for the executives running the project this time. This story probably sounds familiar to many of you that support testing, deployments, and rollouts of high profile programs at numerous Fortune 500 companies in the US. The lesson here is don’t be like Samsung, don’t skimp on testing and put the right processes, procedures, people, technology and infrastructure in place to be successful. Read more

A World War has broken out and you are in the middle of it

On October 21, 2016, a distributed denial of service (“DDOS”) attack of epic proportions was released upon the United States of America. Many security firms say that this attack was one of the largest they have ever encountered. The folks on the war front were American citizens from dozens of corporations throughout the U.S. Companies like Dyn, Twitter, Netflix, PayPal, and Amazon were brought down for hours. What is the most amazing part of this story is that you may have had a hand in these attacks. Hacked home devices helped the attackers flood the internet with fake requests to Domain Name Servers. And I watched it all unfold from the comfort of my home using a laptop. Read more

Testing ROI Assumptions with BPM

As companies continue to be challenged with achieving a return on investment (ROI), many are realizing how critical a role their IT departments can play in achieving this goal.  In the past, IT departments have turned to business process management (BPM) vendors to help them in this endeavor. However, vendors have been unable to provide the appropriate calculations necessary to show how companies can reach their ROI goals. Without the right calculations, companies have been reluctant to make bold changes such as restructuring their business processes, changing they do business with other organizations, or redefining their application portfolio. Read more

Data Breach 101: The key steps to take when your company’s data has been stolen

Your worst nightmare just came true; your company has been hacked. This scenario happens every day to small, medium and large corporations. It is the world we live in today because of the ability to gain access to a company’s infrastructure via the internet. They literally can steal from you anywhere in the world. And what makes this problem even worse is they are very good at it. If they really want access to your data and systems, they will find a way. The most common ways are: your employees unknowingly give away password/account access; or the hackers exploit weak access control where the data is kept; or the thief’s exploit architectural vulnerabilities because of poor design or known holes in the security systems you use. And my favorite, your systems where penetrated because of 3rd party vulnerabilities. Read more

Quality Assurance is in the Middle of your Software Delivery Life Cycle

Major organizations and consulting firms make the call many times to skimp on quality assurance (“QA”) testing throughout my IT career. The executive management team always comes up with reasons for not spending the time or effort on it. Quotes like: 1) We need to hit the date at all costs; 2) We don’t have the budget for competent testers; or 3) Let’s reduce the functionality in this release to make the date; 4) We only have a handful of users in the first release so let them debug it, are some of the top ten reasons. But the poor choices and mistakes do not end there. Many organizations look at the QA role as an afterthought or at the last minute because they do not have a Quality Assurance organization. Read more