IT Management

2002, when Ron Williams became president of the U .S. health care services giant Aetna, the company had just reported an annual loss of $280 million and was on the brink of failure. In 2007, just five years later, Aetna posted net income of $1.8 billion and was named by Fortune magazine the United States’ most admired company in health care. To what does Williams, now CEO and chairman, attribute the company’s turnaround? An intense focus on customers and employees, a companywide embrace of “back to basics” values, and the development and use of a dynamic information technology (IT) platform…

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Business Intelligence guru, analyst and author, Wayne Eckerson, and I had great times when we worked together at The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI). He’s a great writer and I particularly enjoyed the first chapter of his most recent book, Secrets of Analytical Leaders: Insights from Information Insiders, where he talks about the concept of “purple people.” But before I explain that, read this concept from his book…

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SDN: “Simply Done Nothing?” With a name that is as clear, you wouldn’t have thought that there is room for vagueness to surround this technology. Yet, the need to explicate an innovation in software has never been more acute than with Software-Defined Networking (SDN). SDN’s introduction has become a paradox of sorts, where clarity (of its name) and mystery (that surrounds everything else beyond the moniker) coexist, offering little help to most IT execs by way of aiding the adoption. SDN started from Ph.D. work sponsored by the Clean Slate program at Stanford back in 2008, and has been available since 2009. But, still, it appears that people who understand SDN are in the minority of the fortunate and the brave. For the rest, SDN still merely represents “been there, if that, but simply done nothing about it.”…

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How old is your data warehouse? It’s a simple question and probably one you don’t think about much. The majority of production data warehouses are now 15 to 20 years old and are probably very transactional-centric. Over the years, you’ve probably remodeled “the house” more than a few times—adding some “rooms” and “upgrades” here and there. It’s starting to feel its age as more Business Intelligence (BI) requirements have been added, including mobile applications and specialized analytics. And more and more ideas seem to show up in your inbox every day, especially Big Data questions…

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