Lunch And A Call

This just seemed like a funny photo to me.


In the cafeteria, someone was checking out at the register. 


And on their lunch/food tray, they had, of course, their lunch. 


But also, they had a big black telephone.


Talking about a working lunch!


Wow, is that customer service or what? lol


This reminded me also of the BIG red phone on some top officials’ desks –always ready for that critical call in case of near world catastrophe.


So here we go Joe… 


I will eat my lunch and am ready for your call at any time. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Okay For A Drive By

Shooter
So, having grown up in New York, I’ve definitely heard of a drive by shooting, but never a “drive by meeting”. 



Until a colleague asked me, “Okay for a drive by?”



A little taken aback, but I was available (and figured not in any imminent danger by his type of “drive by”), so I agreed to meet for a few minutes. 



The meeting was quick, like a car whizzing by, but we discussed what was needed and accomplished the immediate goal. 



Personally, I prefer when someone is driving the meeting, rather than having a drive by meeting, but we all need to be agile to whatever the day brings. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

They’re Not Playing Ketchup

Heinz_and_h-p

I wouldn’t necessarily think of Heinz as a poster child for a company that is strategic and growing, and was therefore, somewhat surprised to read an impressive article in Harvard Business Review (October 2011) called “The CEO of Heinz on Powering Growth in Emerging Markets.”

Heinz, headquartered out of Pittsburgh PA, is ranked 232 in the Fortune 500 with $10.7B in sales, $864M in profits, and 35,000 employees. They have increased their revenue from emerging markets from 5% a few years ago to more than 20% today.

Bill Johnson, the CEO of Heinz, explains his 4 As for success–which I really like:
1) Applicability–Your products need to suit local culture.  For example, while Ketchup sells in China, soy sauce is the primary condiment there, so in 2010, Heinz acquired Foodstar in China, a leading brand in soy sauce.
2) Availability–You need to sell in channels that are relevant to the local populace. For example, while in the U.S., we food shop predominantly in grocery stores, in other places like Indonesia, China, India, and Russia, much food shopping is done in open-air markets or corner groceries.
3) Affordability–You have to price yourself in the market.  For example, in Indonesia, Heinz sells more affordable small packets of soy sauce for 3 cents a piece rather than large bottles, which would be mostly unaffordable and where people don’t necessarily have refrigerators to hold them.
4) Affinity–You want local customers and employees to feel close with your brand. For example, Heinz relies mainly on local managers and mores for doing business, rather than trying to impose a western way on them.
Heinz has a solid strategy for doing business overseas, which includes “buy and build“–so that they acquire “solid brands with good local management that will get us into the right channels…then we can start selling other brands.”
Heinz manages by being risk aware and not risk averse, diversifying across multiple markets, focusing on the long-term, and working hard to build relationships with the local officials and managers where they want to build businesses.
“Heinz is a 142-year old company that’s had only five chairmen“–that’s less than the number of CEO’s that H-P has had in the last 6 years alone.
I can’t help but wonder on the impact of Heinz’s stability and laser-focus to their being able to develop a solid strategy, something that a mega-technology company like H-P has been struggling with for some time now.
If H-P were to adopt a type of Heinz strategy, then perhaps, they would come off a little more strategic and less flighty in their decisions to acquire and spin off business after business (i.e. PCs, TouchPads, WebOS, etc.), and change leadership as often as they do with seemingly little due diligence.
What is fascinating about H-P today is how far they have strayed front their roots of their founders Bill and Dave who had built an incredibly strong organizational culture that bred success for many years.
So at least in this case, is it consumer products or technology playing catch-up (Ketchup) now?
P.S. I sure hope H-P can get their tomatoes together. 😉
(Source Photos: Heinz here and H-P here)

Visualizing IT Security

Media_httpwikibonorgb_rigax
I thought this infographic on the “8 Levels of IT Security” was worth sharing.

I thought this infographic on the “8 Levels of IT Security” was worth sharing.

While I don’t see each of these as completely distinct, I believe they are all important aspects of enterprise security, as follows:

1) Risk Management – With limited resources, we’ve got to identify and manage the high probability, high impact risks first and foremost.

2) Security Policy – The security policy sets forth the guidelines for what IT security is and what is considered acceptable and unacceptable user behavior.

3) Logging, Monitoring, and Reporting – This is the eyes, ears, and mouth of the organization in terms of watching over it’s security posture.

4) Virtual Perimeter – This provides for the remote authentication of users into the organization’s IT domain.

5) Environment and Physical – This addresses the physical protection of IT assets.

6) Platform Security – This provides for the hardening of specific IT systems around aspects of its hardware, software, and connectivity.

7) Information Assurance – This ensures adequate countermeasures are in place to protect the confidentiality, integrity, availability, and privacy of the information.

8) Identification and Access Management – This prevents unauthorized users from getting to information they are not supposed to.Overall, this IT security infographic is interesting to me, because it’s an attempt to capture the various dimensions of the important topic of cyber security in a straightforward, visual presentation.

However, I think an even better presentation of IT security would be using the “defense-in-depth” visualization with concentric circles or something similar showing how IT security products, tools, policies, and procedures are used to secure the enterprise at every level of its vulnerability.

IT security is not just a checklist of do’s and don’t, but rather it is based on a truly well-designed and comprehensive security architecture and its meticulous implementation for protecting our information assets.

Does anyone else have any other really good visualizations on cyber security?

(Source Photo: here)

>Domain Names Demystified

>

Mynameis

It’s so hard to come up with just the right domain name, especially when the landscape already seems so busy.

How are you to know what’s already out there, what’s available, and what’s original?

Panabee.com is a “brainstorming engine for finding cool names and checking domain availability.”

I tested it out and it gives you lots of useful information, including:

Interesting variations (by prepend, append, swapping, even spelling backwards, and more)

Related terms (each of which can be clicked on to continue brainstorming a name)

Translations (in over 2 dozen languages from Afrikaans to Welsh)

Alternate endings (including .net, .biz, .org, country extensions, etc.)

Inspiration from social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, and Google–entries, terms, and mentions)

In terms of the availability of suggestions, these are indicated in a dashboard type fashion with green 🙂 or red 😦 to make it easy to see what’s what.

Finally, there is a link to Go Daddy to “buy [the Domain Name] now for $7.49 before somebody else does.”

Overall, I found Panabee to be a useful tool to come up with innovative domain names and thereby help us start up new and exciting ventures on the web.

>Balancing Strategy and Operations and The Total CIO

>How should a CIO allocate their time between strategy and operations?

Some CIOs are all operations; they are concerned solely with the utility computing aspects of IT like keeping the desktops humming and the phones ringing. Availability and reliability are two of their key performance measurement areas. These CIOs are focused on managing the day-to-day IT operations, and given some extra budget dollars, will sooner spend them on new operational capabilities to deploy in the field today.

Other CIOs are all strategy; they are focused on setting the vision for the organization, aligned closely to the business, and communicating the way ahead. Efficiency and effectiveness are two of their key performance measurement areas. These CIOs are often set apart from the rest of the IT division (i.e. the Office of the CIO focuses on the Strategy and the IT division does the ops) and given some extra budget dollars, will likely spend them on modernization and transformation, providing capabilities for the end-user of tomorrow.

Finally, the third category of CIOs, balances both strategy and operations. They view the operations as the fundamentals that need to be provided for the business here and now. But at the same time, they recognize that the IT must evolve over time and enable future capabilities for the end-user. These CIOs, given some extra budget dollars, have to have a split personality and allocate funding between the needs of today and tomorrow.

Government Technology, Public CIO Magazine has an article by Liza Lowery Massey on “Balancing Strategy with Tactics Isn’t Easy for CIOs.”

Ms. Massey advocates for the third category, where the CIO balances strategy and operations. She compares it to “have one foot in today and one in tomorrow…making today’s decisions while considering tomorrow’s impacts.”

How much time a CIO spends on strategy versus operations, Ms. Massey says is based on the maturity of the IT operations. If ops are unreliable or not available, then the CIO goes into survival mode—focused on getting these up and running and stable. However, when IT operations are more mature and stable, then the CIO has more ability to focus on the to-be architecture of the organization.

For the Total CIO, it is indeed a delicate balance between strategy and operations. Focus on strategy to the detriment of IT operations, to the extent that mission is jeopardized, and you are toast. Spend too much time, energy, and resources on IT operations, to the extent that you jeopardize the strategy and solutions needed to address emerging business and end-user requirements, and you will lose credibility and quickly be divorced by the business.

The answer is the Total CIO must walk a fine line. Mission cannot fail today, but survivability and success of the enterprise cannot be jeopardized either. The Total CIO must walk and chew gum at the same time!

Additionally, while this concept is not completely unique to CIOs, and can be applied to all CXOs, CIOs have an added pressure on the strategy side due to the rapid pace of emerging technology and its effects on everything business.