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  • Is it an odd couple or a match made in heaven? We're talking about the recent Apple and IBM announcement that the two companies have formed a global partnership to sell software, hardware and services to enterprise customers. IBM will migrate more than 150 of its business and big data apps to Apple's iOS platform and will sell iPhones and iPads to its global business customers. As part of the media hoopla, Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty told CNBC that the two companies were like "puzzle pieces" that fit perfectly together. Such mutual admiration distances the tech giants from the "fightin' words" of the past, when Apple's celebrated "1984" ad took swipes at IBM. "Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money," said the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, in 1983 when he previewed the ad. "Dealers … fear an IBM dominated and controlled future. They are increasingly turning back to Apple as the only force that can ensure their future freedom." Well, it's time to forgive and forget, right? With these two powerhouses teaming up, we've compiled the following intriguing facts about Rometty and Cook, along with selected quotes from the two CEOs. They were compiled from a number of online news accounts and resources.

  • CIO Sigal Zarmi describes how GE Capital Americas has approached digital business and offers guidance on how a company can become a digital enterprise.

  • Demand for enterprise software is soaring, according to the latest research from Gartner. The worldwide IT spending growth forecast remains reasonably healthy at 2.1 percent ($3.7 trillion) for the year, findings reveal. That's down from prior projections of 3.2 percent. A reduction in growth expectations for devices, data center systems and IT services is accounting for the slight decline. In contrast, spending in the enterprise software market is on pace to total $321 billion this year, a 6.9 percent increase from 2013.  "Price pressure based on increased competition, lack of product differentiation and the increased availability of viable alternative solutions has had a dampening effect on the short-term IT spending outlook," says Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner. "However, [we] will see a return to 'normal' spending growth levels as pricing and purchasing styles reach a new equilibrium. IT is entering its third phase of development, moving from a focus on technology and processes in the past to a focus in the future on new business models enabled by digitalization." The forecast is based on an analysis of sales of thousands of vendors representing the entire range of IT products and services.

  • The chain of music stores turns to a cloud solution to aid in onboarding, managing talent pools, providing training and addressing other staff development tasks.

  • Both employees and senior managers feel strongly that IT departments must help them increase existing mobile technology capabilities, according to a recent survey from Aruba Networks. Providing support and resources for an all-wireless workplace remains at the top of the must-have list for organizations, as today's professionals frequently work somewhere other than the corporate office. Much of the survey focuses on the needs of what Aruba calls "GenMobile": employees in their mid-20s to mid-30s who seek a more agile, creative and connected working environment. Executives and GenMobile employees "prefer an increasingly mobile style of working, and IT organizations are feeling the pressure to adapt existing technology investments to meet their requirements," says Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer for Aruba Networks. "The workplace of the future will not only need to be right-sized to align with IT budgets, but it will also require a mobility-centric and secure wireless infrastructure—a move toward employee self-service." An estimated 1,000 global IT professionals took part in the research.

  • Many financial professionals are unsure about cloud solutions, but appreciate their ease of use and their ability to decrease reliance on the IT department.

  • With numerous studies indicating that IT hiring is on the rise, it's more critical than ever for companies to get better at finding the best candidates for their job openings. Unfortunately, recent survey data accumulated by the ADP Research Institute indicates a growing chasm between job seekers and the companies recruiting them. Despite the abundance of recruiting solutions and social media platforms available to bring employers and applicants together, neither side appears to be pleased with the resulting processes—but for completely different reasons. For instance, job seekers are frustrated with how long the hiring process takes, while employers say their recruitment systems are letting them down. The bottom line, ADP contends, is that it's up to employers to create a positive experience for job seekers. "Employers need to understand that their recruiting methodologies contribute to their brand perception," said Tony Marzulli, ADP's vice president of product management for talent solutions. "Even in tight job markets, candidates are going to select those employers whose brands align most with the experiences they have come to expect as good online consumers." In other words, companies need to think of job applicants as customers and treat them accordingly. A whitepaper detailing ADP's findings, which were culled from two surveys of more than 3,000 workers in midsize and large U.S. companies, can be downloaded here.

  • One of the nation's leading financial institutions turns to a DevOps approach to speed development and improve results, enabling it to run IT as a business.

  • These practical suggestions will prepare your organization to respond quickly and effectively to what experts consider nearly inevitable: a data breach.

  • You don't have to be the smartest person in the room to become an effective team leader. But you do need to know how to bring out the best in all the individuals on your team, so the resulting "whole" brings greater value to your organization than its individual parts. The recent book, Innovation Breakdown (Post Hill Press, available now), provides insights into how to best align a team of hotshots with disparate skill sets. It's all about striking the right balance, according to author Joseph Gulfo. You have to recognize when it's time to lead and when you should allow team members to take charge. To provide further guidance, we've adapted these 10 best practices from Gulfo's book, which covers everything from dress codes to work schedules, strategic input, personal accountability and problem resolution. Gulfo is a medical doctor, and his book focuses on the conflict between health industry innovation and regulatory constraints, but the following takeaways are readily applicable to all teams. Gulfo is currently CEO of Breakthrough Medical Innovations, which specializes in health care product and commercial development.

  • The majority of worldwide organizations today are either deploying or plan to deploy platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technologies, according to a recent survey from Progress, an app development and data integration software company. These organizations are finding that PaaS is increasing productivity and innovation capabilities, while saving costs. In addition, integration turnover time is being greatly reduced. All of this supports the trend of departments—including those outside the IT organization—adopting what's called a "develop your own application" (DYOA). "It's never been easier to develop an application that can allow your business, a department or even a specific individual to be more productive, regardless of your coding skills," says Matt Robinson, vice president, of technology at Progress. "However … there's still a huge appetite to be able to improve these cycles by making them quicker and better. The benefits of using a rapid application development PaaS to improve speed and productivity should not be lost in the excitement of the DYOA age." Approximately 700 global IT decision-makers took part in the research.

  • The laws of supply and demand do not track in today's digital environment. Increasingly, there is a nearly unlimited supply with no relationship to demand.

  • When does a spirit of relatively harmless snarky humor give way to morale-crushing cynicism? It's a fine line, and one that an organization and its employees should never cross because cynicism can tear away at a key quality of any successful organization: trust. It's a serious concern, as more than four out of five employees surveyed do not believe their bosses are capable of being honest with them. To avoid such negative sentiments, work teams and senior leadership can deploy the following trust-building practices from Rich Karlgaard, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who is also the publisher of Forbes and the author of The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success (Jossey-Bass/A Wiley, available now). Karlgaard stresses the fact that trustful professional environments require more than vague, general directives, such as "Be nice to your co-workers!" Instead, these environments are driven by a top-to-bottom commitment to the principles of integrity, internal accountability, and service to customers and other stakeholders. Karlgaard is a past winner of Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year" award, and he appears as a regular panelist on the Forbes on FOX television show. His guidelines below can help build trust in your organization.

  • A major league baseball club turns to cloud-based storage to manage and share huge video files. It improved performance, lowered costs and reduced demands on IT.

  • When it comes to the Internet of things (IoT), think big. As in really, really big. As in a staggering number of online machines and devices—including those installed for network-enabled cars, shoes, washing machines, pets and virtually anything else in existence—connected by the next decade. For enterprises, this represents a watershed opportunity for cost reductions and new revenue, according to recent research from Deloitte. The resulting report, "The Internet of Things Ecosystem: Unlocking the Business Value of Connected Devices," reveals what companies are seeking from this developing technology. In addition, it presents a number of best practices for IT teams to maximize IoT's strategic value. "The Internet of things has the potential to offer business value that goes beyond operational cost savings," says Eric Openshaw, vice chairman and leader of Deloitte's Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. "Providers in the IoT ecosystem have a largely unexplored opportunity to develop compelling solutions that explore how the ability to collect and analyze disparate data—in real time and across time—might transform the business. These developments will play out within and across enterprises, offering opportunities for sustained value creation, and even disruption for those who can imagine possibilities beyond the incremental." Deloitte compiled the statistics included in the following slides from research conducted by Gartner, the Economist Intelligence Unit and Deloitte's own analysis.