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  • A Product Development Success Index highlights six factors—mostly soft skills—that are essential to a company's ability to innovate and develop new software.

  • With the continued surge of interest in the Internet of things (IoT), the number of connected devices is expected to increase from 25 billion today to 50 billion by 2020, according to industry research. During the same time period, the number of connected devices per person will grow from 3.47 to 6.58. Given the wealth of data captured by IoT devices, organizations are focused on how to capture and analyze the information to make better business decisions, thereby creating a new tech buzz phrase: "thingalytics." In the recent book, Thingalytics: Smart Big Data Analytics for the Internet of Things (published by Software AG/available now), author John Bates provides a compelling, comprehensive guide to this emerging technology trend. With sensors establishing the activity and locations of devices—as well as the users and organizations that own them—companies can launch real-time analytics initiatives to boost productivity, decrease costs, maximize operational efficiencies and seize market opportunities from the very moment they emerge. The following examples of thingalytics' real-world capabilities and best practices have been adapted from the book. Bates is the former CTO at Progress Software and is the current CMO and head of industry solutions at Software AG.

  • 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.