Mobile Development

Mobile Development
Do you trust the data & reports from the big analysts?

Top Answer: You have to be careful in the context the data and reports are being presented. The data and reports often tell a story, but be cautious from the viewpoint of how it is being presented.

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How should startups look to sell to CIOs?

Top Answer: First and foremost, really work on your messaging and positioning. It’s easy to get enamored with the technology how instead of the strategic why - why is this important to them and why should they listen to you. If you can’t articulate that in a couple of minutes, you don’t want to go talk to a CIO.

Once you have that, it’s about finding the right warm introductions, or reaching out to meet if you’ll be at the same conference/event and just having a conversation. Hard selling doesn’t work. Find out what they are working on, what their priorities are, and then if applicable work it in. Take a trusted advisor approach instead of a cold email or call, which may work sometimes but certainly doesn’t scale.

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What are the top KPIs for IT for the next 3 years?

Top Answer: I think it should be a lot more elastic. Businesses are changing rapidly and what’s important to measure and improve today is likely not important or measurable next year. Long-term KPIs have the danger of being rear-facing rather than forward-facing or predicting. CIOs need to collaborate with their C-Suite peers to drive business KPIs and metrics that matter to them to move the business forward and increase revenue.

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As a large enterprise, why do you engage with startups and how do you choose the right ones?

Top Answer: It's not a secret that engaging with startups and emerging technologies is crucial for every business. It's no longer about being good enough, it's about being the best and taking advantage of new products and innovations comes with the territory. My primary motivation to engage with startups is to deliver business value at Flex. My secondary motivation is to learn from people smarter than me (the entrepreneurs I meet) about the latest technologies, products, and solutions being created to shape the future of enterprises.

Our business priorities are very clear and we work as a team to figure out which technologies (and then companies) will help us drive our goals. This top-down approach is methodical - we have a budget and a structured approach on how to work with vendors (big or small) to select the right one. The bottom-up approach is equally important, and requires a team that is passionate about technology to make it work. One example for us is that, as a team, we spend a few hours every Friday morning learning about new technologies, products, and innovations that may be helpful for us. We then come together as a team and share our learnings. If one or more products stand out, we dig deeper and explore how we can leverage it at Flex.

Regardless of top-down or bottom-up, seeing a meaningful ROI is generally important to us. That doesn't always hold true, but these are rare exceptions, not the rule.
Startups we engage with have a few things in common:
  • We get to know the team before we get to know the product because we're betting on the people and the vision as much as the product. How strong is their technology, sales, and executive team?
  • Is the product easy to use and does it have an adoption strategy in place?
  • And finally, in return for us coming in as an early customer, are they willing to have us shape their product and roadmap to fit our needs?
With thousands of startups, it can be daunting to figure out the right ones to engage with, but a few channels have been helpful to curate the best — my peer network (we exchange emails on a weekly basis), curated online IT communities that go beyond what traditional analysts provide, and working with select VCs like a16z, Lightspeed, and others.

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How do you balance spending on innovation vs. core business needs?

Top Answer: To me, there is no right answer here and experience certainly plays a role along with the kind of business you are in. I think what is important though is to consistently set aside a portion of your budget to invest in emerging technologies. This continuous experimentation has multiple benefits to the IT organization and the business:
  • It sets up a culture that is always ready for change. Continuous exposure forces us to question status quo and this helps keep complacency at bay.
  • Even if the experiment doesn’t have immediate value, it’s never a waste. Someone from the business inevitably asks about something they read or come across and experiments give us the depth to answer confidently and maintain the trust the business puts in us.

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Do you have remote employees on your team?

Top Answer: 5 of my 6 directs are remote.

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Digitizing Customer ExperienceDigitizing Customer Experience

This survey was created to help IT executives understand how companies are prioritizing the digital experience of customers.

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How did you make your transition to the cloud? What worked and what didn't work?

Top Answer: At Palantir, we moved all on prem servers to the cloud (AWS) but did it all as code (as opposed to configuration). There are several reasons for doing it this way and this approach while not new is recently gaining more traction. The idea here is don’t configure anything in your infra, instead describe the end state you want using a declarative language like terraform and then let the tools build the infrastructure for you. This is contrary to the classical approach where it is a combination of code, interspersed with manual config, resulting in fragile infrastructure.
By using this approach, we:
  1. are somewhat cloud agnostic (as to the infra is described in a language that works with all major cloud providers)
  2. don’t have any administrator as a single point of failure
  3. have infra that is repeatable and consistent across environments
  4. have a process that is fully integrated it with VCS, CI/CD so there is continuous deployment and automatic tracking of all changes

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Does Digital Transformation mean getting rid of legacy?

Top Answer: Not necessarily. It depends on your definition of legacy, but more important, is the technology or business process labeled as 'legacy' inhibiting the company's strategic plans. If the legacy is creating a poor customer experience, is difficult to upgrade, can't easily be integrated with other applications or data sources, is exhibiting poor performance, requires lots of people to support, or has risky security holes then there probably is good reason/rational to want to get rid of it.

Even if the answer is yes, then organizations can't replace all their legacy issues at once. It requires roadmapping. More often than not, it requires maintaining legacy systems for sometime.

There are cases where legacy isn't bad or needs to be replaced. If the technology is stable, does its job well, and is not a barrier to business needs then there's little reason to get rid of it.

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What are organizations using for annual employee performance evaluations and tracking leadership development progress? 

Top Answer: If anyone is using or has evaluated a commercial solution, i would appreciate the specifics.. 

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Rubrik, Cohesity, Veeam, curious if anyone has any experience with them? PoC experience to share, other thoughts?

Top Answer:

Veeam is more focused on business continuity than anything else, so depending on your use-case, may not be a good fit for application and data management.

On Rubrik vs. Cohesity, the background of the founders and how the companies started is indicative of the products they've built. While they may seem to have feature parity on surface, Cohesity was built all in-house / ground-up. The features and experience are seamless. Rubrik focused on a particular use-case to start and then acquired Datos.io, but in my experience its hard to integrate another company/product and have a seamless solution. 

Cohesity’s founder (Mohit) was a lead on the Google File System and founded Nutanix. With that experience, Cohesity's product is architected in a way that scales 'infinitely' and for me, they win on that fundamental difference.

Rubrik also has a single point of failure with their nodes, whereas Cohesity doesn’t have that problem. Additionally if you have to do a restore in Rubrik, its painful and quite manual and again Cohesity manages a lot of this complexity for you.

Both products have a 'global search' if you do need to do a more granular restore. However in Rubrik, to locate a particular file, you need to know which VM to look in. Cohesity does a truly seamless global search.

Cohesity also has better support for immutability of backups. You can mark a backup as ‘can’t touch’. If you are one of the organizations hit by the recent waves of ransomware attacks, with Cohesity you can restore seamlessly. Rubrik’s backups are not so ‘fully immutable’ and it's also more complex within their interface.

Lastly Cohesity is less on cost overall since there is more automation in place and therefore less pro services and time is required to maintain the solution.

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Data InfrastructureData Infrastructure

This survey is a view into data growth and storage within companies.

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Identity and Access Management in EDUIdentity and Access Management in EDU

What are the top IT priorities for companies in the education sector? Over 100 CIOs in the Pulse community shared their insights.

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