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  • The overwhelming presence of business and personal mobile applications in our lives has reached a state of "appdiction," according to a recent survey from the Apigee Institute and Stanford University's Mobile Innovation Group (MIG). Findings reveal that a significant number of smartphone users plan to spend even more time on their mobile devices than they already do, while also increasing the number of apps they download. The vast majority said these tech tools have changed the way they do their job, manage their health and connect to their friends. In fact, some even confessed that they would be incapable of maintaining a relationship with a significant other without a smartphone. If that wasn't bad enough, the survey singles out a group it describes as "top app users," who take their addiction to new heights by incessantly checking their phones—even while they're at dinner with family and friends. On the positive side, however, most of these users said their obsession makes them more productive. An estimated 1,000 respondents took part in the research.

  • When everything, including security, is only about dollar costs and squeezing out maximum profits, we are headed down a dangerous and disturbing path.

  • The vast majority of organizations have reinvented their operating models over the past year, according to survey research from Accenture. This, of course, speaks to the growing demand for agile-driven business strategies, and technology is playing a significant factor in helping companies make the necessary transitions. Senior executives recognize that emerging innovations will transform their industries, so they're encouraging internal IT teams to introduce better collaborative and analytics tools throughout the organization to more effectively manage change. While this sounds encouraging, there is a cautionary note: A significant number of employees do not feel their corporate leadership adequately supports a culture of experimentation. Apparently, failure is still not an option at many companies. In an agile universe, however, failure is typically perceived as an opportunity to learn from mistakes and emerge stronger as a result. The research, which includes perspectives of executives from high-growth, high-performance companies, is compiled from a variety of Accenture surveys completed over the past year.

  • A new customer relationship management app, dubbed Philly311, enables the city's government and citizens to communicate in a more collaborative, productive way.

  • With Open Innovation, companies partner with players in a global ecosystem to jointly develop new platforms and apps, enhance offerings or move into new markets.

  • Does the prospect of making a public presentation send you into a state of panic? If so, then you're far from alone. In fact, three-quarters of people suffer from speech anxiety, which means that it's the most common phobia of all. That said, most employees and managers who are considered key contributors within their organizations and industries will need to make a speech from time to time, and that includes those in the IT profession. (Remember, it's not all about programming and other tech skills.) So, to help make the experience less stressful and more successful, we're presenting the following 11 tips for giving a great speech. They include best practices for calming the nerves, as well as advice about delivery, preparation and the overall presentation. As is the case with most professional pursuits, the more time you invest up front in researching, planning and practicing for your big event, the more likely it is that you'll be a hit with your audience. Our tips are compiled from a number of online resources, including those posted by The Leader's Institute and Lifehack.org.

  • Smart devices are at the core of a growing universe of machines, sensors and systems that redefine business processes. But success requires vision and planning.

  • As technology continues its breakneck pace of change, the threats keep evolving. Vulnerabilities in mobile applications are being increasingly exploited, and the Angler exploit kit is picking up where Blacole left off. In addition, the increasingly aggressive posture of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) means that those seemingly harmless apps may not be that harmless after all. Intel Security's latest "McAfee Labs Threats Report," which summarizes McAfee Labs' 2014 findings, suggests those are three trends that information security teams should keep their eyes on. But it's clear that McAfee considers the alarming lack of patches issued for vulnerabilities in even the most popular mobile apps—some of which boast hundreds of millions of users—as the top concern. There's a lot at stake here, including the social contract that causes users to trust mobile apps. "Mobile app developers must take greater responsibility for ensuring that their applications follow the secure programming practices and vulnerability responses developed over the past decade," said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. By doing so, he said, apps developers can "provide the level of protection required for us to trust our digital lives with them."  

  • Professionals with Linux skills are in greater demand than ever, according to a recent survey-based report from Dice.com and the Linux Foundation. Nearly all hiring managers surveyed plan to bring on more Linux talent this year, and many of them said they will be hiring in greater numbers than they did last year to cover Linux-supported functions. The vast majority said it's difficult to fill these positions, and, as a result, many are offering special work arrangements and/or compensation to land Linux professionals. In fact, to fill these needs, many of the organizations surveyed are willing to pay for at least some of the cost of certification training. "Demand for Linux talent continues apace, and it's becoming more important for employers to be able to verify that candidates have the skill sets they need," says Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation. "Formal training and certifications are a key way of identifying qualified talent." More than 1,000 hiring managers and 3,400 Linux professionals took part in the research.

  • The self-driving car raises a critical question: How do we approach and manage machines that do things better than humans do? Do we value safety over choice?

  • While the number of U.S. telecommuters represents only a small percentage of the overall workforce, the trend is clearly on the upswing. Still, given that half of American employees hold a job that's compatible with a telework schedule, there's plenty of room for improvement. Managers and senior executives (most famously Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer) often present obstacles to telework, citing the need to keep staffers in the office for accountability reasons. There's also the prevailing perception that in-person interaction improves team cohesion and collaboration. With that in mind, if you want to state your case for a work-from-home arrangement—even on a part-time basis—you may want to present the following 10 facts about telecommuting. For starters, they show that organizations can cut costs significantly when they provide this benefit to employees—if just from savings in office space allocations and operational expenses. Meanwhile, research shows that employees who telecommute work more hours than office-based professionals. And they're more productive too. The following 10 facts are compiled from a number of online resources, including those posted by Global Workplace Analytics and PGi.

  • Many of the actions that go into hosting a news show are best practices for any successful endeavor in which people work together to create something of value.

  • Most organizations interact with both existing and potential customers through their marketing and advertising initiatives. More than ever, company leaders are looking to improve these efforts with data-driven advances, according to a recent survey from GlobalDMA and the Winterberry Group. The accompanying report, "The Global Review of Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising," states that an overwhelming majority of marketing, media and tech professionals said that data plays a key role in marketing and advertising campaigns. Budgeting for such projects is expected to expand—primarily justified by the need to become a more customer-centric organization. Because of this, there will be a surge in demand for IT professionals who are experienced with data modeling and predictive analytics, according to the findings. "Everywhere around the globe, across virtually all vertical markets and business functions, one marketing truth has emerged as universally clear: Data matters," according to the report. "It enables insight into customers and prospects, and it's a tool for targeting messages, offers and content that drive response. But data's contribution is even more substantial because it represents a means of learning about changing markets, of bridging that gap between traditional and digital in the media mix, of evolving toward a customer-centric approach to doing business that backs up promise with action." More than 3,000 global marketing, media and technology professionals took part in the research.

  • Needing to simplify and streamline its IT operation, the company migrated from a server farm with hundreds of physical machines to a next-generation mainframe.

  • When you post a link on social media, you're not simply sharing something that you found interesting or amusing. You're making a statement about yourself as a person and as a professional. So it's important to understand how digital leaders have learned to share. In a section of a recent book, The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation (Wharton Digital Press/available in March), author Charlene Li focuses on the need to "share to shape." She recommends harnessing social tools to share in a way that elevates your leadership profile, while shaping the actions of your followers in a productive, positive manner. Digital leaders understand this and move forward in social network circles with a clear strategy in mind. "The perceived disconnect between everyday leadership and followership within social channels belies an interesting and relevant point," writes Li. "Leaders may have 500 or 5,000 people reporting to them, but only a tiny percentage of those people follow them on social and digital channels. … Sharing, the next step to becoming an engaged leader, can exponentially multiply one's authority and influence in several ways." The following best practices for digital sharing are adapted from the book. Li is founder and CEO of Altimeter Group, a consultancy specializing in technology disruption and change management for clients such as Adobe, Google, IBM and UPS.