APIs Are Like a Box of Chocolates: Part 2

Posted by Steve Cormier

2/26/14 8:30 AM

In my last post I talked about APIs, whether they are really a new technology, and how to avoid being swept up in the hype surrounding them. In this post, I'll go over the important principles of software engineering and deployment that you should review if you plan on buying and implementing an API. 

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Topics: Optimization, Information Management, Information Integration, Digital Business Evolution

APIs are Like a Box of Chocolates: Part 1

Posted by Steve Cormier

2/20/14 8:00 AM

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Topics: Optimization, Information Management, Information Integration, Digital Business Evolution

IT Managed Service Series: What steps are necessary for successfully converting to managed IT services?

Posted by Charley Lingerfelt

2/10/14 11:00 AM

Step 1: Self Assess

If you are interested in seeing what a managed services provider can do for your organization it is best practice to first conduct a self-assessment of your current IT capability. This will allow you to compare your internal cost and quality to a provider's offering.

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Topics: Optimization, Digital Business Evolution, Managed Services

Managed IT Services Series: What are Managed Services?

Posted by Charley Lingerfelt

11/26/13 11:00 AM

Company A: Classic IT Service

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Topics: Optimization, Digital Business Evolution, Managed Services

Digital Business and SOA - how do they relate?

Posted by Christian Franklin

10/29/13 6:18 AM

I recently wrote about the merits of having a digital business strategy. Subsequent conversations with a client about service oriented architectures, enterprise service bus and messaging highlighted the overlap between Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and the 'API Economy.'  I realized that the overlap and subtle differences can make this subject confusing so I thought putting fingers to keyboard would be a good exercise.

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Topics: Optimization, Information Integration

IT Transformation Success Means Resisting Existing Systems

Posted by Steve Cormier

4/24/12 7:25 PM

You're an architect and you've just entered a new environment: a company in the throes of business and IT transformation initiatives.  Your task is to design a new system to replace what's already there, achieving enterprise transformation that yields competitive advantage. 

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Topics: Optimization, Information Management, Information Integration

IBM PureSystem – The first expert integrated system infrastructure

Posted by Mark Rabin

4/11/12 4:26 AM

Simplified deployment and management of servers, networks, storage and virtualization has been trumpeted by many vendors for their products.  In some cases they delivered that capability for their respective products, but not the entire infrastructure.   In an industry first, IBM is delivering integrated management for the complete infrastructure stack in the next generation platform called IBM PureSystem.  This Expert Integrated System has captured the experience of thousands of server, network, storage and virtualization deployments and merges it into a single management interface, the IBM Flex System Manager.

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Topics: Optimization, Agile

ITSM and DevOps: Part technology, part culture

Posted by Christian Franklin

3/31/12 8:41 AM

As the disciplines of IT Service Management continue to evolve, the buzz around DevOps has tapered off.  But that doesn't mean the conversation is no longer relevant - particularly with continued maturation of virtualization platforms, prepackaged, 'off the shelf' dynamic infrastructures and advances application delivery controller (ADC) capabilities. Our opinion is that IBM's pending Expert Integrated Systems announcement has some intriguing capabilities on this front but we'll know more on April 11 (IBM NGP Troy is also a common reference).

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Topics: Optimization, Agile

Expert Integrated Systems and Transformational IT

Posted by Christian Franklin

3/24/12 6:35 PM

The transformational effect of cloud capabilities on IT organizations gets most of the press, but the real story is the transformational impact of digital business and digital delivery. In fact, digital delivery is fundamentally changing the shape and definition of markets -- digital business is different and its driving the necessity for cloud computing both inside and outside the four walls of today's organization.

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Topics: Optimization, Agile

Life Sciences, Analytics and Smarter Infrastructure

Posted by Christian Franklin

3/22/12 10:17 PM

Years ago we were very involved with cutting edge life sciences firms doing genomics and proteomics research - cutting edge stuff that was going to help pharmaceutical firms and healthcare in general. Craig Venter and Celera had mapped the human genome and the race was on... (among other things, search for smarter infrastructure that improved results a leg of that race).

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Topics: Optimization, Analytics

Interoperability of Data in Health Information Technology

Posted by Christian Franklin

12/9/11 12:27 PM

The continually changing state of healthcare needs and interoperability of data in Health Information Technology (HIT) systems is growing exponentially. The need to have and consume discreet data exchanges between electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR), Health Information Exchange (HIE) and Personal Health Records (PHR) portals is in the forefront. The ability to exchange a fully coded Continuity of Care Document (CCD), availability to trigger automatic delivery once an event in care occurs, and to deliver the SAML interface is essential for adoption and use in the industry by all Health Information Technology groups. Ambiguity of the coded CCD mapping and missing naming definitions is hindering interoperability. Vendors need to quickly recognize that they no longer have control over consumers or their behaviors. Data access continues to rapidly empower the consumer but creates major challenges for healthcare providers and vendors. This shift also embodies the need to provide needed deliverables to users with even greater security and speed.  Data virtualization in healthcare and agile code morphing by vendors will be key to driving quick adoption by consumers (patients, providers and payors). 

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Topics: Optimization, Analytics, Information Management

Analytics: getting better all the time

Posted by Steve Cormier

8/3/11 4:27 PM

The pace of competition in business is increasing, fed in part by advances in information dissemination and computing power.  It doesn't matter what type of business, constant improvement is the focus.

The obvious sector is retail, where margins are often thin, competition can be fierce, and immediate product feedback allows businesses to adjust their advertising, promotions, or product placement in time frames inconceivable even a decade ago.    

A customer on the Internet can experience a new set of offers based on aggregate information from thousands of their fellow shoppers, drawn from their reaction to an offer experienced within the previous hours or even minutes.

Retail isn't the only sector subject to demands for constant improvement.  Healthcare, with pressure from government, constant innovations in treatment, and an emerging sense of consumerism on the part of patients, is seeking to identify improved practices and achieve better patient communication.

Utilities, faced with constrained resources and ever increasing need, are looking to smart feedback systems to help them tune their supply and demand balances, based on how people react to various factors in their consumption of services.

The solution to all of these demands for constant improvement is found in analytics.

What is analytics, really?  

Analytics is about getting feedback from existing systems to determine how to alter them for the better.

To do this, data (often large amounts) is drawn from existing systems, and compared against desired outcomes.  Where the result doesn't match the expectation, further analysis can be done to see where things are going wrong.  The system is altered, and the cycle starts again.  Doing this over and over again can lead to deeper customer satisfaction and better rewards to the provider.

Predictive analytics takes this one step further.  By applying algorithms based on extending existing data patterns, expected results of possible changes to the system can be modeled.

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Topics: Optimization, Analytics

Rational Developer - Application Development on IBM Power

Posted by Mark Rabin

6/22/11 3:33 PM

IBM WebSphere Development Studio Client has been replaced by the Eclipse-based Rational Developer for Power System Software (RDPSS) to allow developers to do RPG, COBOL, programming on the System i.  This is built on the same platform as Rational Developer for WebSphere that provides Java delelopment tooling.

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Topics: Optimization, Agile

Service Management: the New Reality

Posted by Christian Franklin

6/9/11 11:20 AM

The terms ‘Cloud Computing’ and ‘DevOps’ are terms and people are trying to figure out what they mean.  We saw something similar with SOA a few years ago but things have settled out and creating services is becoming standard practice.  I expect similar things to happen with DevOps and Cloud.

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Topics: Optimization, Cloud & DevOps