Digital Partner Insights

Making Sense of the Mainframe, 50 Years Later

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Computing has changed a lot in the last 50 years, but one 50-year-old technology remains significant. The durability of the mainframe illustrates the maxim that new technologies don't usually replace old ones, but rather coexist alongside them. When the IBM System 360 debuted on April 7, 1964, it was, in effect, the first general-purpose computer of any type. We don't call today's app-laden smartphones mainframes as we use them for everything from texting to watching Netflix movies, but they are the descendants of the 360. Meanwhile, real mainframes that use the basic architecture of the 360 are still essential in business. IBM's current-generation zEnterprise systems have extraordinary capabilities, and can manage 1.1 million transactions per second.   More

Analytics & Data Partner Insights

How Do Consumers Want to Be Persuaded?

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Persuasion has been a cornerstone of education and business since ancient Egypt. Through the centuries, those who skillfully brought audiences to their own position were seen as wise scholars and merchants. Usually, they were well rewarded. But global access to the Internet has created a virtual landscape where persuasion is open-sourced and citizens and consumers are overloaded with information.   More

Analytics & Data E-Commerce Partner Insights

How Businesses Get ROI from Social Sharing

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Social-media-savvy businesses are turning their best customers into direct sales forces online. By leveraging the social networks of their biggest brand advocates, retailers can extend the reach of their product promotions. It’s word-of-mouth advertising at a massive scale. Some companies have been using this “social sharing” approach for several years to build brand awareness and drive sales. Until lately, though, such initiatives were hampered by unsophisticated methods for managing and engaging customers as well as tracking return on investment. Now, new tools and apps are available to develop a smart social sharing strategy that enhances customer experience while providing true ROI data based on sales conversions.   More

Government Learning Partner Insights

Will All Schools Have Nanotechnology Labs?

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gets a lesson in nanotechnology from Wheeling High School student Drakkari Lott. (Photo: Ed.gov)

Setting up high school students with atomic-force microscopes and optical profilers so they can study nanotechnology may seem like a science teacher’s dream, but it’s already happening in at least one school in the United States. And the amount of outside financial support received by Wheeling High School in Illinois to make the lab a reality, coupled with efforts to encourage teachers to emphasize the field, suggests that more labs may soon be cropping up. The focus on nanotech in Wheeling and elsewhere speaks to its potential.   More

Learning Partner Insights

Lawmakers: Colleges Need Free Digital Textbooks

Undergrads on average spend more than $1,200 annually on books and supplies. (Photo credit: Lightpoet)

Lawmakers in Washington are considering a proposal that would help colleges produce and share free digital textbooks, a move proponents say would help make college more affordable. The Affordable College Textbook Act would create a grant program for colleges interested in establishing pilot programs that use “open educational resources” to reduce textbook costs. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a supporter of the legislation, has defined these resources as free, online academic materials that everyone can use, adapt, and share.   More

Partner Insights

Your Car Will Take Your Blood Pressure

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Customer research and societal trends suggest that there’s a strong business case for automakers to explore opportunities in health and wellness. Here’s what we at Ford have learned: While chronic illnesses are on the rise, the number of healthcare providers has remained relatively flat, which effectively limits patient access. For this reason and others, people of all ages and from all income groups are taking a more hands-on approach to their own health and wellness. More people now visit online health sites than go to the doctor’s office. Paralleling the increasing interest in health websites is an explosion of interest in mobile health solutions. These trends create a natural role for the automobile in the emerging digital health and wellness field.   More

Digital Media & Marketing Partner Insights

Action! Roll ‘em: Personal Video Poised to Take Off

Video has become as simple for ordinary consumers to create as snapping a photo. But while digital snapshots have become so ubiquitous that they have morphed from a kind of consumer "art" into routine day-to-day communication, that sort of transformation has yet to occur with video. The success on Twitter of Vine, which allows the creation of 6-second repeating videos, suggests such a transition may loom. Now Instagram, too, enables short videos. The raw materials are in place, and the consumer will to change behavior seems to be emerging. This new report from GigaOm research evaluates the factors that may enable the rise of more polished, convenient, everyday videos that could rival stills as a routine tool for consumer communication and expression.   More

E-Commerce Media & Marketing Partner Insights

What Shoppers Want: In-Store Shopping with Online Services

If the electronic commerce predictions of the late 1990s had come true, today's average 18-year-old may never have known what it was like to step in a store or participate in the whirl of shopping as millions of Americans will this holiday season. By today, he or she would have a phone or computer permanently attached to their hand, and anything they would need or want would be ordered online and then delivered directly to them. Who knows? Maybe some products were going to be transported—like Star Trek. But, we all know that has not come true.   More

E-Commerce Partner Insights

M-Shoppers Redefine the Mobile Shopping Experience

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Mobile-assisted shoppers (m-shoppers) used to strike fear into the hearts of retailers. Armed with a handy mobile device, a savvy consumer could easily compare prices on the Internet and find the best deal available. Brick-and-mortar doomsayers called it the end of their world. How could a business compete with that? But hold on. All the Doomsday speak may have been a bit premature. According to new research from the Columbia Business School and Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management, m-shopping may ultimately provide a retailing asset in two distinct areas.   More

Life Science Partner Insights

Bedside Data Is Good for What Ails Us

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Amid the clamor in Washington over the Affordable Care Act, the medical community is trying to stay focused on improving outcomes for today’s patients—and those who will require treatment tomorrow—by finding ways to strengthen the quality of care. Whether it’s the receptionist who confirms patient identities by making sure every file contains a photo, or the surgical team that uses an evidence-based checklist to avoid infections, improving care is an effort that benefits from widespread contributions.   More

Media & Marketing Partner Insights

How Marketers Can Use Data to Stay Employed

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It's getting easier to follow users as they walk through the digital landscape. New data-driven marketing tools can extract increasingly meaningful and nuanced insights from peoples' footprints—including their credit card statements, web browsing history, and social media history. When I say nuanced, I mean nuanced: retail stores are even using customers’ phone GPS to track how long they stand in the yogurt aisle. This makes older techniques like retargeting—a cookie-based technology that keeps brands visible even after traffic has bounced—seem like a shot in the dark.   More

Digital IoE Partner Insights

True Stories of the Connected: Rural Healthcare in Northern Canada

The Internet of Everything is connecting people, process, data, and things every second of every day. In this episode of True Stories of the Connected, a Canadian doctor demonstrates the power of video and telehealth as he works to keep in contact with patients who are sometimes hundreds of miles away in a remote, tribal village. Amazing things happen when you connect the unconnected.   More

Digital Partner Insights Techonomy Tucson

Ericsson: Mobility Report Tracks Global Interconnectedness

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This report is more than a bunch of stats about cellphones. It is a window into the transformation of our planet. The growing interconnectedness of the human race is a historic turn. We are entering an era of inclusiveness, in which the vast billions of humanity, most of them heretofore sequestered in their villages away from progress, from health, from education and information, and critically, from earning power, are suddenly being thrust into the thick of the global economy.   More

IoE Partner Insights

Beyond Things: The Internet of Everything Takes Connections to the Power of Four

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Many people are familiar with the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT). Not only does it have its own Wikipedia article, but last month the Internet of Things was added to the Oxford dictionary, which defines it as “a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.” So it’s not surprising that people might be confused when we start talking about the Internet of Everything. What’s the difference? Is IoE simply a rebranding of IoT?   More

Business Partner Insights Techonomy Detroit

Five Game-Changers To Reignite U.S. Growth

The US economy is struggling to find a new formula for vigorous growth. But all growth opportunities are not created equal. New McKinsey research pinpoints five catalysts—in energy, trade, technology, infrastructure, and talent development—that can quickly create jobs and deliver a substantial boost to GDP by 2020. An animated video below also runs the numbers on these game changers and frames the challenge for business and government to make the most of the opportunity.   More

Digital Partner Insights

Why Measuring Digital Capital Matters

Although largely uncounted, intangible digital assets may hold an important key to understanding competition and growth in the Internet era. On July 31, 2013, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis released, for the first time, GDP figures categorizing research and development as fixed investment. It will join software in a new category called intellectual-property products. In our knowledge-based economy, this is a sensible move that brings GDP accounting closer to economic reality. And while that may seem like an arcane shift relevant only to a small number of economists, the need for the change reflects a broader mismatch between our digital economy and the way we account for it. This problem has serious top-management implications.   More

Business IoE Partner Insights

John Chambers on Why Business Can’t Ignore the Internet of Everything

The only constant is change—and companies that do not change get left behind. My perspective is that it’s best to accept change as inevitable—to embrace it, lead it, and use it to shape desired outcomes. As I discussed previously, many of today’s leading trends—what I call market transitions—are combining into the Internet of Everything, which we define as the intelligent connection of people, processes, data, and things.   More

Digital Government Partner Insights

Coming, Ready or Not: Cell Phones as Sensors

In the Mexican city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez in Chiapas state, an interesting experiment is unfolding that could be an early forerunner of a future trend—the use of cell phones as sensors. Under the city's "Vigilante Taxi Driver" program, cab drivers use GPS-enabled cell phones to send messages and photographs about everything from accidents and potholes to burst water mains, downed streetlights and criminal activity—effectively acting as additional eyes and ears of government to combat high crime rates and run-down infrastructure. The reports go to a control center for routing to the appropriate government agency.   More

Learning Partner Insights Security & Privacy

Educating IT Security Soldiers for a Virtual Cold War

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On a new global battlefield, countries, criminals, and commercial competitors can effectively leverage technology to steal from or attack target organizations. Corporate intellectual property is at risk of breach as most everyone seeks to gain advantage in the innovation race. Military and government information faces the same risks with consequences for national security, digitized assets, and international affairs. The most dangerous hackers are no longer solitary, discontented teenagers working from their basement bedrooms, but instead are highly skilled professionals employed by corporate offices or military bases.   More

Digital Partner Insights

How ‘Social Intelligence’ Can Guide Decisions

By offering decision makers rich real-time data, social media is giving some companies fresh strategic insight. In many companies, marketers have been first movers in social media, tapping into it for insights on how consumers think and behave. As social technologies mature and organizations become convinced of their power, we believe they will take on a broader role: informing competitive strategy. In particular, social media should help companies overcome some limits of old-school intelligence gathering, which typically involves collecting information from a range of public and propriety sources, distilling insights using time-tested analytic methods, and creating reports for internal company “clients” often “siloed” by function or business unit.   More