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Alphabet Inc. is the holding company that owns Google, along with a portfolio of other companies and assets. Among these many entities – including Calico, Sidewalk Labs, Chronicle, Dandelion, DeepMind, Google Fiber, Waymo and numerous others – Google is certainly first and foremost. By itself, even Google is no simple beast, though. It acts as the umbrella company for all of Alphabet’s business with an internet focus or connection, including the Android mobile OS, YouTube and Google Search, among many other elements.

Given Google’s enormous market recognition and mindshare, it may come as something of a surprise to learn that it is not the market leader in cloud services and delivery. In fact, Google didn’t make Forbes’ 2017 list of The Top 5 Cloud Computing Vendors. That said, the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a member of the top five such platforms, along with Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, which routinely swap between first and second place. Oracle and IBM also place in the top five as well, often ahead of the Google Cloud Platform, depending on the metrics used to rank them.

Given all this, Google has powerful incentives to create and get behind a potent and well-regarded certification program for the Google Cloud Platform. Its efforts over the past two or three years are starting to pay some dividends, as an upcoming chart of job board search results will illustrate. But first, let’s take a look at the Google Cloud Platform certification portfolio as it currently stands.

The Google Cloud Platform certification portfolio

The Google certification program has experienced significant growth since our last update. At our last update, Google offered three certifications, one at the associate level and two at the professional level. Today, Google offers one associate-level credential, five professional level certifications, plus a certification aimed at G Suite productivity and collaboration tools. Current certifications include:

  • Associate Cloud Engineer
  • Professional Cloud Architect
  • Professional Data Engineer
  • Professional Cloud Developer
  • Professional Cloud Network Engineer
  • Professional Cloud Security Engineer
  • G Suite certification

To earn a Google certification, candidates must pass a single exam. All exams are reasonably priced with professional-level exams costing $200, $125 for associate-level exams, and $75 for the G Suite exam.

Associate- and professional- exams must be taken at a Kryterion testing center. At present, the G Suite exam is remote. While there are no mandatory prerequisites for any certification, training is highly recommended, and Google maintains links to various training resources on the respective exam web page.

Google is also affiliated with Coursera, and candidates will find formal training available through Coursera as well. At least six months of experience working with Google Cloud Platform is recommended for associate-level credentials, and a minimum of three years of industry experience for professional-level certifications with at least one year in designing and managing GCP solutions.

Google Cloud Platform: Associate Cloud Engineer

The Associate Cloud Engineer (ACE) deploys applications, monitors operations and manages enterprise solutions. He or she can use Google Cloud Console and the command line to complete common platform-based tasks. An ACE also maintains one or more deployed solutions that use either Google- or self-managed services in the Google Cloud environment.

To qualify candidates, the ACE exams seek to assess these specific abilities regarding Google Cloud solutions:

  • Set up a Google Cloud Platform environment
  • Plan and configure a Google Cloud Platform environment
  • Deploy and implement a Google Cloud Platform environment
  • Ensure successful operation of a Google Cloud Platform environment
  • Configure access and security controls for a Google Cloud Platform environment

Google recommends two training courses: Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure and Architecting with Google Cloud Platform: Infrastructure and are available in ILT and online formats. Both courses are also offered in affiliation with Coursera. Qwiklabs also offers Google Platform Essentials labs and a Cloud Architect Quest to support hands-on learning and experience.

It’s absolutely correct to treat the ACE as the entry-level credential for the Google Cloud Platform. It’s most likely to appeal to early-stage or mid-career IT professionals interested in cloud computing, who work with (or want a job with an organization that uses) the Google Cloud Platform. The ACE represents a great way for such people to learn and acquire the skills and knowledge needed to set up, deploy and manage a runtime environment that incorporates the Google Cloud Platform.

Google Cloud Platform: Professional Cloud Architect

The Professional Cloud Architect (PCA) enables organizations to make effective and efficient use of Google Cloud technologies. PCAs must develop a thorough understanding of cloud architecture in general, and the Google Cloud Platform in particular. Those who hold this credential can design, develop and manage dynamic Google Cloud Platform solutions to meet business objectives that are robust, secure, scalable and highly available.

To qualify for the PCA, the exams seek to assess these specific abilities regarding Google Cloud Platform solutions:

  • Design and plan a cloud solution architecture
  • Manage and provision a cloud solution architecture
  • Build cloud solutions that are secure and compliant
  • Perform technical and business analyses to optimize processes, procedures and policies
  • Manage cloud architecture implementations
  • Ensure that cloud solutions and operations are reliable and remain available

A slate of related curriculum elements for the PCA is available online through Coursera, or in the classroom, as candidates’ needs and budgets may dictate. The same labs and quests offered for the ACE also apply to the PCA as well.

The PCA represents a more senior credential that’s most likely to appeal to mid- to late-career professionals interested in filling a cloud architect role in an organization of some size. Thus, the ACE makes a pretty good precursor to the PDE (even though it’s not formally required as a pre-requisite).

Google Cloud Platform: Professional Data Engineer

The Professional Data Engineer (PDE) focuses more on analyzing and using data stored in the Google Cloud Platform, rather than in designing, deploying or maintaining such environments as with the ACE and the PCA. As such, a PDE supports and facilitates data-driven decision-making based on collecting, transforming and visualizing data. Such professionals design, build, maintain and troubleshoot data processing systems. The PDE curriculum and exam puts particular emphasis on ensuring that such data processing systems are secure, reliable and fault-tolerant, as well as scalable, accurate, and efficient.

To qualify for the PDE, the exams seek to assess these specific abilities regarding Google Cloud Platform solutions:

  • Build and maintain data structures and databases within the Google Cloud Platform
  • Design data processing systems based on the Google Cloud Platform
  • Analyze data to support machine learning within the Google Cloud Platform
  • Model business processes for analysis and optimization within the Google Cloud Platform
  • Design for reliability and robustness, security and compliance within the Google Cloud Platform
  • Visualize data and advocate policy within the Google Cloud Platform

A different slate of courses is offered for the PDE, covered on the Data and Machine Learning page at Google Training. Candidates may choose among courses for three tracks for this credential: a data analyst track, a data engineering track and a data scientist track. In addition to a data engineering quest for hands-on PDE training, Google also offers an advanced, four-week machine learning advanced solutions lab at the main Google campus in Mountain View, California. A set of five practice exams may be purchased from Udemy.com for $24.99.

IT professionals interested in big data, data analysis, and/or machine learning are most likely to be attracted to the PDE. It’s a great credential for those with strong data interests and proclivities anywhere in their IT careers, though a strong background and interest in mathematics and data modeling/analysis is strongly recommended.

Professional Cloud Developer

The Professional Cloud Developer (PCD) is ideal for candidates who use Google services, tools and recommended practices to design, build, test, and deploy highly available and scalable applications. Candidates should possess the skills necessary to successfully integrate GCP services and conduct application performance monitoring. While not covered on the exam, candidates need to be able to successfully use Stackdriver to debug, trace code, and produce metrics. Proficiency in at least one general programming language is also recommended.

The exam is focused on validating a candidate’s ability and skill to use GCP services and practices in five key areas:

  • Designing cloud-native applications
  • Building and testing applications
  • Deploying applications
  • Integrating Google Cloud Platform Services
  • Managing application performance testing

On the certification web page, candidates will find links to an exam outline and demo case studies to help prepare for the exam. Recommended training includes the Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure course and the Developing Applications with Google’s Cloud Platform. Quests on application development for Java or Python and core technologies, such as Stackdriver, Google Cloud Solutions: Scaling Your Infrastructure, and Kubernetes solutions, are also recommended.

Professional Cloud Network Engineer

A Google Professional Cloud Network Engineer (CNE) manages and implements network architectures using GCP. In addition to GCP, successful candidates should be skilled in working with technologies such as hybrid connectivity, network architecture security, VPCs, network services, and the GCP Console command line interface.

The exam is comprehensive and covers related topics:

  • Designing, planning and prototyping a GCP network
  • Implementing a GCP Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
  • Configuring network services
  • Implementing hybrid connectivity
  • Implementing network security
  • Managing and monitoring network operations
  • Optimizing network resources

Recommended training includes the Core Infrastructure course and Networking in Google Cloud Platform. If you’re looking for hands-on practice, Qwiklabs offers labs for networking in the Google cloud and network performance and optimization.

Professional Cloud Security Engineer

Another newcomer to the Google certification portfolio is the Professional Cloud Security Engineer (CSE). An expert-level credential, CSEs are well-versed in industry security requirements, regulations, best practices, and security-related syllabus and technologies, such as identity and access management, data protection using GCP, configuring security at the network level, analyzing logs, managing incidents, and recommending organization-wide security policies. CSEs also possess the skills necessary to design, implement and manage secure infrastructures on GCP.

The exam validates a candidate’s ability to:

  • Configure access within a cloud solution environment
  • Configure network security
  • Ensure data protection
  • Manage operations within a cloud solution environment
  • Ensure regulatory compliance

As with other certifications, Google provides a free exam outline and overviews plus in-depth discussions. In addition to the Core Infrastructure course, Google recommends taking the Security in Google Cloud Platform training and the Security and Identity Fundamentals Qwiklabs.

G Suite Credential

The G Suite cert aims at end users of Google’s productivity suite. As such, it’s likely to have only limited appeal for IT professionals, most of whom learn a productivity suite (MS Office, most typically) before they graduate from high school. The exam targets a candidate’s ability to communicate, work with, and manage tasks using the G Suite productivity and collaboration tools, including Drive (cloud-based storage), Gmail (cloud-based email and messaging), Hangouts Meet (online meetings), Docs (cloud-based document creation and editing), Sheets (cloud-based spreadsheets), Forms, and Slides (cloud-based presentation software).

The certification web page contains links to a number of training options including Qwiklabs, self-paced G Suite lessons, applied digital skills, and the G Suite Learning Center.

Google Cloud Platform Certifications

For those who work around or with the Google Cloud Platform, the current certifications seem like a very safe bet for career and personal development. Given high demand, relatively low cost and a single exam for these certifications, the risk-reward ratio looks quite favorable. Be sure to check them out, if you work (or would like to work) in an organization that uses this cloud platform.

Tue, 28 Jun 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/11157-google-certification-it-career-guide.html
Killexams : 5 Digital Transformation Strategies to Excellerate the Air Travel Experience

Digital transformation continues to be a vital undertaking for airlines during this critical recovery period. According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), total industry losses between 2020 and 2022 are expected to reach $201 billion. As a result, airlines are increasingly leveraging technology to solve pain points for passengers and employees, not only to optimize their operations, but also to drive revenue and long-term growth.

With legacy systems to untangle, complex business processes to investigate and reorganize, and new technology to test, making that shift is easier said than done. In this environment, airlines are undertaking more coordinated efforts to make digital transformation a “way of life” through technology like cloud architecture, mobile apps, and artificial intelligence. The key to making this leap is understanding the central business challenges and then continuously refining the direction to target essential needs.

“One of the first questions I ask my airline customers is, ‘What is the root cause of any problems today, in the context of your people, processes, and technology?’” said John Szatkowski, IBM’s global offering leader for travel and transportation. “The value isn’t one specific piece of technology or app, it’s solving a critical problem that gives the airline a better foundation.”

Reinforce the “House Of Cards” With Scalable Cloud Solutions

Guiding an airline’s journey into modernization starts with understanding how existing systems are intertwined.

“Some of the major airlines we are working with have thousands of systems that need to be modernized, deprecated, lifted, and shifted as part of a ‘cloud transformation’ project — and we need to figure out what to do with them,” said Szatkowski. “The hardest part is that it’s often a tangled web of systems created over the years. There might be 20 systems related to a process. It’s like a house of cards.”

Transformation doesn’t mean starting over — it means reinforcing what’s already part of an airline’s technology stack and removing inefficiencies. It’s important not to go it alone. For example, Etihad Airlines recently partnered with IBM Cloud to produce a more seamless airport check-in. With 18 existing integration systems, 12 major systems for check-in, and 270 unique processes needing to be catered to, it was a complex migration.

In order to make all of this work, Etihad had to deploy a hybrid cloud strategy. Without the help of technology partners like IBM, the time to research, cost to test and learn, and speed to market would have been on a much longer timeline. In total, the team created the new solution on IBM Cloud in just 15 weeks.

“The technology and moving to the cloud are the easy parts,” said Szatkowski. “The hard parts are the project management, people, and process transformations. That’s where consulting comes into play.”

Leverage Partners to Transform Complex Problems

As organizations with multi-faceted operations, airlines need systems that easily connect to each other and allow employees to handle issues on the move.

For instance, timely flights and smooth passenger flow are critical factors for revenue growth. KLM recently undertook a project to Excellerate the aircraft turnaround experience for its ground-handling employees so they can access the information they needed easily in one place.

Working with an outside partner to assess the challenges and find a solution proved integral. Several ground crew members were invited to participate in a three-day IBM Design Thinking Workshop to discuss problems and solutions. While it sounds obvious to bring in end users and hear about their issues in the field, it’s not always common practice.

“There is nothing better than having the business team listen to their people talk, so we made a point to fly in the ground handlers,” said Erin McClennan, global design director for travel and transportation at IBM. “[Companies] often don’t realize the challenges their employees are facing, and there’s also palpable excitement when we co-create together.”

The workshop was “transformational,” McClennan added. By the end of the second day, the group had a mobile app design to help solve operational issues. By day three, participants received a beta version of the APPron mobile app, which integrates airline, cargo, operations and baggage data — putting the coordinators in control of turnaround.

“We can transform the way employees do their jobs because they have this amazing technology in their pockets,” said McClennan.

Connect Systems and Real-time Data for Optimized Operations

By using real-time data effectively, airlines can create connected cabins, improving turnaround times and the passenger experience.

“If a passenger tells a flight attendant that the IFE [in-flight entertainment] is not functioning, the flight attendant can capture that information mid-flight so the maintenance crew can fix it on the turn,” explained McClennan. “The next passenger doesn’t have the same complaint and the flight attendant doesn’t have to have that same difficult conversation — this kind of connecting of systems and real-time data transfer can have a real impact.”

Predictive maintenance is another area that can transform business operations in real time. McClennan and Szatkowski both agreed, however, that effectively implementing a predictive system falls on a spectrum. Needs vary widely from airline to airline depending on their people, processes, and technology mix.

For example, McClennan explained that many airlines are still relying on paper, and sometimes getting started on a path to “full-blown” predictive maintenance is as simple as modernizing systems to reduce paper usage. Others may be ready to build much more complex systems, such as a digital twin of an aircraft or engine that integrates operational, manufacturer, and IoT data sources — which take much longer to build.

“We are really focused on insights and process optimization, which is a consistent aspiration from client to client,” McClennan said. “We can help airlines wherever they are in the process — our focus is to help the client reach the ultimate goal, while still providing value at each step along the way.”

Improve Efficiency and Experiences With Artificial Intelligence

Airlines can harness the power of conversational AI for a variety of applications.

“[Chatbots are] about redirecting the transactional lower priority calls to automation and dynamically rerouting calls that have a higher priority to an agent,” said Szatkowski, adding that this type of service is ideal for airlines as they experience peaks and valleys of demand.

For example, AI-powered virtual agent IBM Watson (aka “Watson”) learns from customer interactions and knows when to search its knowledge base for answers, when to ask for clarity and when users should transfer to a human agent. According to a Forrester study commissioned by IBM, chatbot agents with Watson reduced handle time by 10 percent, and an analysis of four companies using the system reported an ROI of more than 300 percent.

In another instance, ANA partnered with IBM to bring customer feedback into a centralized, trackable system. Along with Salesforce Service Cloud, the airline brought together four global contact centers in the U.S. and Japan, providing complete, up-to-date customer views to enable better real-time service across communications channels. As part of the contact center, Watson Speech to Text visualizes customer conversations to help streamline information and enhance the insights gathered.

Power Personalized Interactions With Intelligent Data Systems

By using data intelligently to provide a 360-degree view of a passenger at any point on their journey, airlines can tailor proactive services to customers that will drive greater satisfaction and revenue growth.

ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) reported an estimated 25 percent to 29 percent decline in passengers in 2022 compared with 2019, but that’s now all starting to come back. As airlines compete ferociously to win back market share amidst spiking demand, their ability to understand customers’ changing expectations during this volatile time will be critical.

“We know so much about passengers, and I don’t think we’re using that data well,” said McClennan. “Data is now more easily connected, and there is a big opportunity to Excellerate passenger experience by putting it into the hands of more employees.”

Consider the journey-transforming scenarios such as the following: Automated recognition of a flight with an unusually high number of vegetarian passengers on board triggers a timely increased delivery of plant-based meal options. Or a push notification upon landing advises passengers on baggage carousel number and how to get there.

As an example of leveraging this data during the booking process, IBM partnered with Malaysia Airlines on a “Personalized Pricing and Offers” email ad campaign based on AI algorithms. Malaysia Airlines customers receiving these personalized recommendations made 34 percent more bookings than those who did not. The uptake was even higher (54 percent more) for business class customers.

These are only several examples of how the data airlines collect from their customers, with consent, can turn a pedestrian flight into an unforgettable experience.

Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for digital transformation. As airlines consider where they are on the path to digitize their operations, they might have any number of starting points and milestones across departments and disciplines. By working with technology partners who have seen use cases and understand the underlying systems required to solve issues common across large, complex, enterprise organizations, they can feel confident improving efficiency, profitability, and customer satisfaction.

For more information about IBM’s solutions for the travel and transportation industry, visit https://www.ibm.com/industries/travel-transportation.

This content was created collaboratively by IBM and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.

Tue, 28 Jun 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://skift.com/2022/06/29/5-digital-transformation-strategies-to-improve-the-air-travel-experience/
Killexams : IBM Acquires Observability Platform Databand.ai

IBM has announced the acquisition of data observability software vendor Databand.ai. Today’s announcement marks IBM’s fifth acquisition of 2022. The company says the acquisition “further strengthens IBM’s software portfolio across data, AI, and automation to address the full spectrum of observability and helps businesses ensure that trustworthy data is being put into the right hands of the right users at the right time.”

Data observability is an expanding sector in the big data market, spurred by explosive growth in the amount of data organizations are producing and managing. Data quality issues can arise with large volumes, and Gartner shows that poor data quality costs businesses $12.9 million a year on average.

“Data observability takes traditional data operations to the next level by using historical trends to compute statistics about data workloads and data pipelines directly at the source, determining if they are working, and pinpointing where any problems may exist,” said IBM in a press release. “When combined with a full stack observability strategy, it can help IT teams quickly surface and resolve issues from infrastructure and applications to data and machine learning systems.”

IBM says this acquisition will extend Databand.ai’s resources for expanding its observability capabilities for broader integration across more open source and commercial solutions, and enterprises will have flexibility in how they run Databand.ai, either with a subscription or as-a-Service.

IBM has made over 25 strategic acquisitions since Arvind Krishna took the helm as CEO in April 2020. The company mentions that Databand.ai will be used with IBM Observability by Instana APM, another observability acquisition, and IBM Watson Studio, its data science platform, to address the full spectrum of observability across IT operations. To provide a more complete view of a data platform, Databand.ai can alert data teams and engineers when data they are working with is incomplete or missing, while Instana can explain which application the missing data originates from and why the application service is failing.

A dashboard view of Databand.ai’s observability platform. Source: Databand.ai

“Our clients are data-driven enterprises who rely on high-quality, trustworthy data to power their mission-critical processes. When they don’t have access to the data they need in any given moment, their business can grind to a halt,” said Daniel Hernandez, General Manager for Data and AI, IBM. “With the addition of Databand.ai, IBM offers the most comprehensive set of observability capabilities for IT across applications, data and machine learning, and is continuing to provide our clients and partners with the technology they need to deliver trustworthy data and AI at scale.”

Databand.ai is headquartered in Tel Aviv, and its employees will join IBM’s Data and AI division to grow its portfolio of data and AI products, including Watson and IBM Cloud Pak for Data.

“You can’t protect what you can’t see, and when the data platform is ineffective, everyone is impacted –including customers,” said Josh Benamram, co-founder and CEO of Databand.ai. “That’s why global brands such as FanDuel, Agoda and Trax Retail already rely on Databand.ai to remove bad data surprises by detecting and resolving them before they create costly business impacts. Joining IBM will help us scale our software and significantly accelerate our ability to meet the evolving needs of enterprise clients.”

Related Items:

VCs Open Up the Checkbook for Observability Startups

Building Continuous Data Observability at the Infrastructure Layer

Data Quality Study Reveals Business Impacts of Bad Data

Wed, 06 Jul 2022 00:02:00 -0500 text/html https://www.datanami.com/2022/07/06/ibm-acquires-observability-platform-databand-ai/
Killexams : Managing Requirements Tracking, Implementation and Sign-off for Embedded Systems INTRODUCTION

This document describes the issues faced when building hardware and software systems where the success of the project is dependant on requirements being fully supported and tested. Where the cost of failure is high there is a greater necessity for a robust requirements sign‐off capability. This particularly applies to systems where the financial cost of recalling a failing product is prohibitive and/or there is a high safety factor which is typical of embedded systems.

The following represents an approach to achieving the above through a combination of a software solution, asureSign™ and associated best practice as defined by Test and Verification Solutions Ltd (TVS).

CURRENT INDUSTRY PRACTICE

Currently best practice in requirements tracing stops at test definition. From that point the industry provides only a partially automated approach and most software developers settle for a manual one. There is no tool that will automatically track the results of tests as they apply to requirements. Quite often companies export tests from their requirements management tool into a spreadsheet (or similar) and then record test results in the spreadsheet. They do not hold the tests results for more than a few days and as changes are made the test results are soon out‐of‐date. What is really required is the ability to automatically record test results against the requirements they satisfy, to generate management reports from those results generate and to keep those results for future reference.

The hardware industry has developed numerous techniques to help verify design correctness, such as pseudo random testing, functional coverage, assertions, formal verification etc. But the usage of all these approaches also brings other problems. Quite often a particular requirement will be Checked by a collection of approaches, and with hundreds (or thousands) of tests, functional cover points, properties etc complicated by the fact that some tests or cover points could target more than one requirement, it quickly becomes non‐trivial to determine how well a particular requirement is progressing. Different tools also require different approaches to analyse their status, often having independent people in charge of them with independent flows. This makes it harder to see the full picture and to understand how an individual’s activity fits in relation to the project. Most companies address this by taking a number of days at the end of a project (when the pressure is greatest) to manually map all these approaches to project requirements. Inevitably this is time consuming and only provides valuable information at the end of a project. It also usually results in the identification of verification holes, leading to more work and another round of manual signoff. Finding late bugs often has the same effect.

The software world developed an array of tools for analysing source code and testing executable code associated with newly developed programmes and applications. Source control software provides a mechanism for defining versions of software and an associated history. Requirements management software enables the definition and tracing of user requirements. Bug tracking provides a simple process of listing and describing bugs and their status. However, these do not address the issue of ensuring that requirements had tests defined against them and that these tests were successfully completed.

THE asureSign APPROACH

The asureSign approach was identified during a UK]wide survey into verification carried out by TVS on behalf of the National Microelectronics Institute. The approach is equally relevant to both hardware and software development in solving the above challenges. It is derived from the needs expressed by Infineon Technologies AG and XMOS Ltd; both companies are designers and manufacturers of advanced semiconductor products and their associated software. XMOS undertook early development of a solution to problems stated above and used it to sign off both their hardware and software products. That solution was subsequently taken over by TVS (under agreement with XMOS) and Infineon has contracted with TVS for development of a software product, and have been a primary contributor in determining the functionality.

asureSign addresses the gap between the capture and tracing of functional requirements available in industry leading products (such as DOORS. from IBM and Reqtify. from Geensoft) and the testing capability provided by a whole host of solutions. The industry has to date not addressed the need to ensure that for every functional requirement there is, i) a test for each requirement, ii) what tests have been specified but not written and iii) what tests have been written but not run. There has also been no simple and cohesive method for tracking over time how a project is developing with respect to every feature and requirement, and how these features relate to the tests that are used to measure their progress

asureSign has been developed to address these industry shortcomings. It provides a solution that both supports management in delivering higher quality products and developers/testers in achieving more complete and robust development and testing procedures in support of their system development.

asureSign uses the flexibility of a relational database to track how a project is developing over time for every feature and requirement, and how these features relate to the tests that are used to measure their progress. The product tracks not only tests, but an array of information that can be used to measure progress: coverage, memory leaks, performance, etc. The asureSign database enables management to ask more complex questions, from very high to the very low level:

  • reports on a range of key criteria associated with the sign‐off of your functional requirements including who ran the various tests and on what servers.
  • reporting of incomplete test specification and the presence of the tests specified, written and run on a project wide basis
  • how are my requirements progressing over ti me, with visibility in to historical results and trends and how they relate to requirements
  • improved decision making due to the high quality, real-time information on the project status

The database also provides the ability to access real]time information on the progress of a test run, and the advantage of aggregated statistics about the tests: How long to they take to run?How much computing power do I need to run or verify a particular requirement ?

For developers and testing teams asureSign provides a structured and logical means to Excellerate control;

  • visibility on early stages of test and verification and the automatic tracking of test resulcoverage (structural and functional) for a wide variety of verification and testing functio
  • bug tracking. When a test fails your bug fixing system will be updated
  • plotting of historic results e.g. Was this passing before? If so, then what version of the source code was it using and what changed between those two runs of the tests?
  • automatically relate test results to the code that generated them


Figure 1: This shows the change over time for the correlation between requirements that have tests specified, written, run and passed

asureSign has a number of opportunities to provide automated links to products addressing key areas of support for other parts of the system development llifecycle.

  • Requirements Management: By linking to established products users can ensure that requirements are fully tested.
  • Configuration Management: By llinking to a source control system asureSign can provide a history of which versions were tested at what time.
  • Bug Fixing: By linking to bug fixing systems users can ensure that their bug fixing system will be updated with the latest test results.

SUMMARY

asureSign provides embedded system developers and management with a controlled environment for managing the implementation, tracking and sign-off of requirements. Development teams can be certain that requirements have been implemented through the development and testing of associated programs.

Wed, 07 May 2014 11:01:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.design-reuse.com/articles/32123/managing-requirements-tracking-implementation-and-sign-off-for-embedded-systems.html
Killexams : Organisations look to backup, recovery as cyber crime soars

Organisations have stepped up their focus on backup and recovery as they face an ever increasingly likelihood of falling victim to cyber crime. This is according to speakers participating in an IBM EMEA webinar on boosting cyber resilience with IBM Storage and Predatar, the cyber recovery platform that adds another dimension to IBM’s Spectrum Protect and Spectrum Protect Plus.

Roland Leins, Business Development Executive for Storage Software at IBM Europe, said data protection had to be transformed as organisations made cyber resiliency a top priority. “Modernising data protection for resilience has become crucial. A common mistake is to architect for backup, but organisations must architect for quick recovery to meet the SLAs for the data – this can be the difference between getting the business up again or going out of business completely,” he said. Automation is also necessary to ensure that the necessary recovery happens in a repeatable consistent manner to meet the business SLAs.”

Ben Hodge, Head of Marketing at Predatar, said while the NIST best practice framework covers identify, protect, detect, respond and recover, many organisations have focused on identifying, protecting and detecting in the past. “Organisations are increasingly realising it is quite likely their defences will be breached. There’s a refocusing on response and recovery for a fast and effective response. As they refocus, they are realising they have big challenges to overcome. Predatar is all about the response and recovery, working hand in hand with IBM storage and defences. It is the final piece of the puzzle,” he said.

Built for IBM Spectrum Protect and Spectrum Protect Plus environments, the Predatar cyber recovery orchestration platform takes resiliency to the next level with capabilities to rival any enterprise backup and recovery solution. Predatar’s cyber analytics and real-time alerts have been built to help infrastructure and security teams cut through the noise of complex backup systems to show them their recoverability risk factors on a configurable dashboard. Predatar IQ instantly notifies users of anomalies, changes and issues in their backup environment as they occur, while Data Explorer lets organisations explore the environment to discover new recoverability insights. 

Hodge noted that around two-thirds of backup recoveries failed to meet the recovery time objectives for business continuity. “Recovering cleanly is becoming increasingly difficult because of the dwell time malware can sit inside the storage environment before being discovered; being replicated into backup and storage. If organisations are infected deep and wide, recovery will reinfect the infected environment. Around 10% of backup recoveries fail to recover – there could be critical business data in there and organisations can’t afford to have holes in their data,” he said.

“Our cyber recovery orchestration uses automated workflows and AV tools and XDR/EDR tools to continually recover backup workloads, scan them to ensure they are clean. The only way you can be certain you can recover quickly, cleanly and completely is by testing it continually. We also have cyber analytics built in to serve users with data and insights to understand the overall health and recoverability of the backup environments. With machine learning and artificial intelligence overlaid on these analytics, Predatar learns and, over time, it becomes smarter and capable of finding more infections, faster. With Spectrum Protect, Predatar is running in the background, running tests and plugs into SEIM platforms such as QRadar. Predatar continuously searches across backups to look for known infection signatures and identify dormant malware, and will recover suspicious backup workloads to an isolated CleanRoom, scan them for viruses, clean them and restore them to production. By continually scanning your backups in the background, Predatar finds, quarantines and eliminates dormant viruses and malware before they can wreak havoc.”

In SA through Axiz

Craig Botha, Business Development Manager: Advanced Technologies: IBM at Axiz, says Predatar is a compelling solution for anyone tasked with protecting, backing up and recovering data.

“With Predatar running continuous recovery testing and backup data validation, scheduled testing, randomised testing with ML behaviour-based testing, organisations will be able to recover backups quickly, cleanly and completely. What’s exciting is that IBM has taken tried and trusted technology and packaged it with Predatar for an all-in-one solution: you get the full muscle of QRadar enterprise security information and event management (SIEM) in a modern, midrange storage device. It’s new and exciting thinking from IBM. An impressive differentiator is that it’s continuously learning – the AI built into it is phenomenal,” says Botha. “It gets to a point where it knows exactly what team needs the backup, and which data is most important to the company, and adapts to cater for priorities.

He notes that Predatar brings key data protection and backup features into one solution, enabling cyber security and storage teams to do more with less. “There’s a massive cyber skills problem, and there’s a lot of burnout among those with too much to do. Restoring data using traditional methods can be a nightmare – backups might not work, or tapes may be damaged. But Predatar is the future come early, making restoring an immutable copy quick and easy. It’s the future come early. For South African businesses, it addresses challenges around skills and cost,” he says.

“We have been asking for this for some time, and now we have it as part of our portfolio, along with Spectrum Protect and Protect Plus for a complete cyber resiliency story.”

Mon, 20 Jun 2022 19:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.itweb.co.za/content/G98Yd7LGogPvX2PD
Killexams : Prolifics Acquires Tier 2 Consulting Limited

Orlando, FL, July 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Prolifics Acquires Tier 2 Consulting Limited

 North America, June 29, 2022 – Prolifics, a global digital transformation leader, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Tier 2 Consulting Limited. Incorporated and registered in England and Wales, Tier 2 delivers software solutions to its clients using modern, open-source, cloud-native technology, and an agile project approach. The Tier 2 team is composed of full-stack Java developers and Red Hat Middleware and OpenShift experts. Based on its skills and experience, Tier 2 was in fact the first Red Hat Premier Middleware Partner for the UK and Ireland.

 For Prolifics, the acquisition is part of its ongoing expansion and growth goals. Tier 2 brings expert custom software development – using its agile approach with disciplined delivery – with a large and loyal UK customer base. Its Red Hat Premier Partner status, coupled with Prolifics already strong partnership with IBM, will expand opportunities across the board.

 For Tier 2, becoming part of the Prolifics family will mean the ability to scale its existing custom software delivery capability to meet the increasing demands of its customers, offer expanded solutions and services in performance, volume, and penetration testing, in data and analytics, as well as provide enhanced career opportunities and job advancement for its people. Tier 2 will continue to operate as a separate entity under its current leadership structure.

 Satya Bolli, Prolifics Chairman & Managing Director, said, "We are thrilled to have Tier 2 as part of the Prolifics family. Their skill in software development and delivery and significant expertise in Red Hat Middleware and OpenShift will greatly increase our position and visibility in the high growth potential of the North America and UK cloud market."

 Andrew Kennedy, Managing Director at Tier 2 Consulting, said, "This acquisition marks a significant milestone in Tier 2's 20-year history.  Building on our already proven track record of custom software design and development, it will provide Tier 2 with the basis for future expansion, to the benefit of our customers and our highly skilled team.  We share Prolifics' ethos around quality solution delivery and technical expertise, and are delighted to have become part of the family."

 About Prolifics

Prolifics is a digital engineering and consulting firm helping clients navigate and accelerate their digital transformation journeys. We deliver relevant outcomes using our systematic approach to rapid, enterprise-grade continuous innovation. We treat our digital deliverables like a customized product – using agile practices to deliver immediate and ongoing increases in value. We provide consulting, engineering and managed services for all our practice areas – Data & AI, Integration & Applications, Business Automation, DevXOps, Test Automation, and Cybersecurity – at any point our clients need them. Email solutions@prolifics.com or visit us at prolifics.com.

About Tier 2 Consulting

Tier 2 works in partnership with our customers to understand their business challenges, and deliver custom software solutions using modern, open-source, cloud-native technology and an agile project approach.

 We are full-stack Java developers, Red Hat Middleware and OpenShift experts, and became the first Red Hat Premier Middleware Partner for the UK & Ireland in 2014, an award based on proven skills and experience.  In 2021, we became one of the first Red Hat Container Platform specialists in EMEA, an award which cements our position as the Red Hat partner of choice for delivery of cloud-native applications. 

# # #

Pamela Roman
Prolifics
8188770073
<a href="mailto:pamela.roman@prolifics.com">pamela.roman@prolifics.com</a>

© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Sun, 03 Jul 2022 23:15:00 -0500 text/html https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/22/07/g27944107/prolifics-acquires-tier-2-consulting-limited
Killexams : A quantum leap for computing </head> <body id="readabilityBody" readability="27.959183673469"> <h3>Newscorp Australia are trialling new security software on our mastheads. If you receive "Potential automated action detected!" please try these steps first:</h3> <ol type="1"> <li>Temporarily disable any AdBlockers / pop-up blockers / script blockers you have enabled</li> <li>Add this site in to the allowed list for any AdBlockers / pop-up blockers / script blockers you have enabled</li> <li>Ensure your browser supports JavaScript (this can be done via accessing <a href="https://www.whatismybrowser.com/detect/is-javascript-enabled" target="_blank">https://www.whatismybrowser.com/detect/is-javascript-enabled</a> in your browser)</li> <li>Ensure you are using the latest version of your web browser</li> </ol> <p>If you need to be unblocked please e-mail us at accessissues@news.com.au and provide the IP address and reference number shown here along with why you require access. News Corp Australia.</p><p>Your IP address is: 108.167.164.204 | Your reference number is: 0.3f911160.1658141826.8c6a835c</p> </body> </description> <pubDate>Mon, 30 Nov 2020 00:21:00 -0600</pubDate> <dc:format>text/html</dc:format> <dc:identifier>https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sponsored/6ghlxk5QTBmHPtKMsacf/a-quantum-leap-for-computing/</dc:identifier> </item> <item> <title>Killexams : IDX Complete Review Tue, 12 Jul 2022 15:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/idx-privacy Killexams : Unleashing Breakthrough Innovation in Government

(Illustration by Dan Page) 

The innovators who shake up industries the most do so by reimagining how things should look from the ground up. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs imagined a world where everyone owned a computer, not just the corporations that could afford an IBM mainframe. Twitter cofounder Evan Williams imagined a world where everyone could publish content on the Internet, not just the media companies who could afford expensive Web publishing programs.

Incremental innovations occur everywhere, but breakthrough innovations—the kind that leverage new technologies and business models to drive down costs, increase accessibility, and Excellerate services—have tended to remain the province of the private sector. Returnseeking investors and entrepreneurs reap the financial rewards of changing the world by tearing down the structures of old industries.

Fortunately, that type of innovation is beginning to trickle into government as well. Leaders inside the public sector are slowly learning to pursue these major breakthroughs without the benefit of the profit motives that drive entrepreneurs elsewhere. Take, for instance, an innovation pursued in the US capitol by the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT). The agency envisioned a time when the city would no longer need traditional, coin-operated parking meters and the expensive employees required to collect the coins. In its place, DDOT would create a system in which people simply hit a “pay-my-meter” button on their Internet-connected phones. The system would be easier for drivers to use (no more carrying around bags of change) and less expensive for the city to operate. Despite these obvious benefits, the improvement would also require the city to migrate away from an established system that employed many workers and relied on existing infrastructure—the type of situation that has long made it difficult to implement innovations in the public sector. To the surprise of many, DDOT’s two-year endeavor was successful. In a sector known for special interests, unions, and a lack of competition, the agency successfully pioneered a model that embraced new technology to Excellerate convenience for citizens and drive down costs for the city.

All too often, this kind of success has not been the outcome. Many citizens believe that the public sector is incapable of such innovation because of the absence of competitive forces, lack of incentives for employees, and excessive red tape. And ordinary citizens are not alone in their concern. Government leaders and employees are quick to point toward systemic problems such as outmoded human resources systems, a budgeting process that rewards extraordinary performance by reducing future resources, and burdensome request for proposal (RFP) systems as explanations for their lack of change.

For many reasons, this sorry state of public sector innovation cannot stand. The US economy has stagnated for nearly four years. In 2012, gross domestic product (GDP) was $15.7 trillion, having grown only 0.6 percent in inflation-adjusted terms since 2007. Similar economic conditions exist throughout much of the developed world. At the same time that public leaders struggle to find a means to spur growth, municipal and state governments hurtle toward fiscal crises of unparalleled proportions, carrying billions in unfunded debt obligations. During this time of adversity, government, a sector that accounts for 24 percent of US GDP and one-sixth of employment, needs to be a solution to our problems—not one of the sources.1

Over the past year, our research group at Harvard Business School led an effort to discover how to empower public leaders to drive out unnecessary costs where possible, freeing up capital to help spur economic growth. Our group—supported by contributions from research groups at Harvard Kennedy School, various municipalities, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy of the White House—surveyed hundreds of government initiatives, interviewed public sector innovators, collaborated with academics across the country, and convened some of the brightest minds in the field for a conference at Harvard Business School. We grounded our research in theories of causality from both the studies of microeconomics and the management sciences, such as the theory of disruption.

What we found confirmed our hypothesis: Breakthrough innovation in government is possible.

As we studied instances of successful and unsuccessful innovation in government, we identified scenarios in which leaders were able to drive out costs through the implementation of novel technologies and service models that got the job done better for constituents. As the causal theories suggested, the difference between success and failure was the ability to create or preserve most if not all of these five conditions for breakthrough innovation:

  • Ability to experiment
  • Ability to sunset outdated infrastructure
  • Existence of feedback loops
  • Existence of incentives for product or service improvement
  • Existence of budget constraints for end users

For instance, by developing robust feedback loops along with the other conditions into their traditional budgeting process, the government of Hampton, Virginia, was able to survive an 8.4 percent budget gap—including program reductions ranging from 18 to 23 percent for economic vitality and neighborhoods, infrastructure, and leisure services—without experiencing a decrease in citizen satisfaction. Instead of cutting across the board, the feedback loop helped the city of Hampton cut only those programs in which the government was providing taxpayers with luxury services when they were happy to settle for more economical services. In Philadelphia the addition of experimental infrastructure for waste collection empowered the city to identify a new service model that reduced departmental operating budgets by almost 70 percent.

In this article, we illustrate how these five conditions enable breakthrough innovation in the public sector. Though our research focused on municipal service innovation, we suspect that the same principles are true at all levels of government. We will also address some of the practical barriers to creating innovative organizations—knowing what to do is only part of the answer; understanding how to create change is an integral part of the solution. To that end, we will offer recommendations on how public leaders, social entrepreneurs, and non-government organization (NGO) managers can encourage innovation in ways that will not be rejected by the system.

By documenting what empowers successful innovation, we hope to make the process repeatable and scalable. Government progress should not have to rest on the herculean efforts of lone innovators; it must be based on sound theory if it can help us to solve the pressing problems facing our society.

The Five Conditions for Innovation

In the book Seeing What’s Next,2 members of our research group introduced a framework to evaluate innovation systems. The authors suggested that two primary factors set the stage for innovation: ability and motivation. These broad categories simplify underlying economic conditions of market structure and information flow within well-functioning free markets. When both ability and motivation are present in a market, a hotbed of innovation forms—in much the same way as the Internet has led to a deluge of entrepreneurship and innovation. When ability and motivation are not present, innovation stalls.

This framework had one principal limitation, however: The scope of the analysis was limited to the private sector, where access to markets (ability) and the profit motive (motivation) are intrinsically present. In the public sector, by contrast, we cannot assume that entry and exit are as simple as incorporating and declaring bankruptcy, or that profit will serve as the primary motivation.

Our challenge was to discover what underlying conditions inherent to private sector innovation needed to be replicated in the public sector. We found that the ability to innovate is derived from the first two conditions—the ability to experiment and the ability to sunset outdated infrastructure. Fundamentally, innovation requires something new to replace the old. Often, it is difficult for incumbents with a vested interest in the status quo to participate in pushing their own obsolescence. In the public sector where startups do not naturally attack incumbents for market share, leaders must find other methods to preserve these two conditions.

The remaining three conditions—the existence of feedback loops, the existence of incentives for product or service improvement, and the existence of budget constraints for end users—all can motivate government innovators in the right direction. Whereas profit and price work together to drive private sector innovators toward optimal solutions, motivating government innovators toward socially optimal outcomes requires more thoughtful direction.

Together, the five conditions allow public sector innovators to try, test, adopt, and reject new technologies and service models. The conditions ensure that the dramatic transitions to less expensive products, which generally perform worse when compared to incumbents, occur only in situations where customers are over-served by existing solutions. These same conditions ensure that public managers do not pursue unnecessary incremental innovation when constituents do not value it. By thoughtfully creating and preserving the five conditions, public innovators can harness much of the power previously relegated to the private sector.

To illustrate how these conditions affect the innovation process, we will examine each of the five conditions and their influence on the implementation of the mobile-payment parking system in Washington, D.C. (In 2010, the municipal government contracted with the private firm Parkmobile to provide a remotely monitored parking system alongside traditional parking meters. The technology was developed and managed by Parkmobile, and the deployment parameters and budgeting decisions remained in the hands of local government.)3

Ability to experiment | Any organization that wishes to adapt to its changing environment needs a system for experimenting with new technologies and delivery models. Without the ability to develop experimental infrastructure, fundamentally new and different approaches rarely emerge. In the private sector, we see this mechanism arise in both the form of corporate innovation and new entrants in existing industries. Unfortunately, public managers often encounter structural barriers when they attempt to experiment. Instead of eliciting exuberance from voters, deployment of capital for experimental projects draws scrutiny from watchdog groups and regulators alike. Without data to validate an initiative’s existence, the public sector attacks the experimental efforts. Yet the inherent paradox is that in order to generate data, experiments are required. To overcome this dilemma, public leaders must behave like venture capitalists by placing small bets based on a theory about the future and using those bets to guide subsequent action.

In the case of Washington’s parking innovation, the DDOT created a thoughtful methodology for experimentation. In 2010, a year before a full rollout was planned and approved, the city started a pilot program for Parkmobile in a single area of the city. This experiment allowed the municipality to gauge how citizens would react to the new service. The positive reception and uptake of the Parkmobile system indicated that the service had promise and would likely be successful across the city. An important feature of the initial system was that it did not require removing the legacy infrastructure. Instead, the Parkmobile system was overlay as an alternative experimental system, minimizing the disruption to citizens’ lives.

Ability to sunset outdated infrastructure | If an experiment is successful, a new challenge is revealed—namely, phasing out the old product or service. In the private sector, when businesses fail to adopt the appropriate technologies or service models, competitors steal their customers and market forces push laggards out of the market. Most government agencies do not experience this process—just look at the difficulty the US Postal Service is having in cutting back its delivery schedule. In fact, many agencies actually lack the ability to freely remove outdated technology and business models.

Though Parkmobile has been successful as an additional layer of Washington’s transportation infrastructure, the full value of the innovation will be realized only after the old infrastructure and collection system is phased out. It was not possible to phase out the old system until the new one was in place. Thus during the rollout, traditional and mobile-payment technology were duplicated for all of the more than 17,000 parking spots. Now the city can phase out the old parking meters and begin to realize the benefits of the new system.

Existence of feedback loops | Once the experimental infrastructure is in place, it should be no surprise that strong feedback loops between the citizens and public servants are required to motivate investment into and adoption of the right innovations. In the private sector, when products and services fail to meet customer expectations, firms have a natural incentive to Excellerate their offerings: the allure of increased market share and the pursuit of premium prices. The feedback loops offered through free market transactions also help private sector innovators identify when their offerings have exceeded customer desire: At some point customers stop paying for incremental improvements. In government, this sort of signal is often lost. Citizens can express dissatisfaction through votes, but these votes are rarely effective at critiquing the performance of specific programs. Unfortunately, without explicit feedback, it is difficult for managers running these programs to judge when to focus on improving service versus reducing cost.

For the mobile-payment rollout in Washington, D.C., a feedback loop was embedded into the experimental system itself. Municipal leaders captured and analyzed a great deal of data from Parkmobile’s online system. The behavior of people using the system led them to see the value the system created directly. After one year, transactions through the mobile-payment system increased by more than 430 percent. This aggressive adoption rate and widespread usage indicated that parkers preferred the new system, providing justification to sunset the old one. The city also learned that 74 percent of all transactions were occurring through the cell phone application, a fact that allowed the government to extrapolate which geographic areas would be more likely to embrace the system upon full implementation.

Existence of incentives for product or service improvement | Armed with the knowledge of what customers want, suppliers can Excellerate their offerings. They must also, however, have the motivation to make improvements. In the private sector, this motivation often stems from the ability to charge higher prices or reach more customers, thereby increasing profits. Though the profit motive does not exist in the public sector, motivation can still be created. For example, decreasing their budget difficulties through access to increased revenue and reduced costs will incentivize senior managers to innovate. Similarly, individual government employees can be motivated by the mission of the work or by recognition for doing it. The difficulty in public management is not creating motivation—it is ensuring that motivation is appropriately aligned with the goals of the organization.

In Washington, D.C., the motivation to Excellerate performance was twofold. First, municipal leaders saw the mobile payments system as a way to capture savings and increase revenue—thereby decreasing budget burdens on the city. Municipal innovators also had another meaningful motivator: being considered forward-thinking. Adrian Fenty, the mayor of Washington, D.C., at the time of the effort, was known to promote this trait in his managers. Innovators inside the government knew that they would be recognized for their innovative solutions, a public reward that provided a powerful, non-financial incentive.

Existence of budget constraints for end users | In any transaction, customer behavior is affected by budget constraints. Budgets force prioritization. For example, when a person has a limited amount of money, she will probably pay the rent on her apartment before she goes on a vacation. Not only do limited financial resources force people to prioritize, they also create incentives to cut costs. If the same person can find a less expensive apartment, she can use the savings to go on vacation. For breakthrough innovation to take hold, government leaders should ensure that budget constraints exist for end users in order to motivate the appropriate prioritization. In some situations, such as in the case of individually distributed services like postal delivery, those constraints should be placed on the customers themselves. In other situations, such as in the case of defense procurement, the constraint should be placed on the person responsible for acquisition. Regardless of where the constraint falls, it is vital that budget incentives be used to force prioritization.

In the case of Parkmobile, customer time and cash constraints naturally force prioritization. Setting up Parkmobile can be a hassle: the user needs to get an app, create an account, and register her car before she can pay for parking. Fortunately, after the initial set-up, the enhanced functionality compared to parking meters is realized: the ability to pay without quarters; receiving text messages warning that time is about to run out; and the ease of paying for more time when the driver is miles away from the car. The mobile payment story in Washington, D.C., is still unfolding, but it is undeniable that following the five conditions has allowed the city to pursue a breakthrough in a core service. And the US capitol is not an outlier. There are many other examples of municipalities successfully embedding the five conditions for successful innovation. (See “Breakthrough Innovations in Government Across the United States” below.)

 

The five conditions for innovation make continuous change possible. Though many of our examples highlight cities that have embraced new service models and technologies and driven unnecessary costs out of their systems, continuous change also allows for improvements in other areas of government such as transparency, performance-based funding, civic engagement, and measuring social outcomes, each of which provides an even stronger argument for enabling breakthrough innovation in the public sector.

Planning for Breakthrough Innovation

Of course, ensuring that the five conditions are properly embedded in a public service or product does not by itself certain successful innovation. Innovation is always an uncertain endeavor—no innovator ever enjoys a 100 percent hit rate. Therefore, ensuring that the system facilitates experimentation even in the wake of failures, identifying what is working through small-scale data gathering efforts, and then scaling up new solutions become even more important. Successful public sector innovators actively shield themselves from the scrutiny and interference that can derail their efforts. Through our study, we identified four best practices to help public leaders succeed.

Identify white space for innovation | Academics often point private sector managers toward innovation in areas lacking competition. Our colleague Mark Johnson codified this sort of thinking in his 2011 book Seizing the White Space.4 By delivering differentiated products and services in underdeveloped segments of the market, innovators can avoid profit-inhibiting competition. Though public sector innovation does not suffer the same competitive threat, the threats of special interests and existing regulation create equally compelling support for innovating in new ways. For instance, Web and mobile application development, bike sharing, and pop-up retail represent burgeoning areas of opportunity for municipal innovators. As each of these areas is relatively novel, little policy has been created that dictates how public leaders can leverage them to affect change. This white space empowers government innovators to test novel solutions to problems on top of existing structures, in some situations generating compelling evidence for how products or services can be further developed.

Minimize expenditure, embed in an existing budget | Watchful public interest groups are always on the lookout for new, unnecessary, or redundant programs that might be evidence of pork barrel spending or waste. Although transparency is generally a good thing, it can make it more difficult for government innovators to launch new programs, especially ones that might seem to replicate existing services (as the D.C. parking program did). One way to avoid such scrutiny is to stay lean, spending the least amount of money to learn the most in any experimental process. The Office of Science and Technology of the White House, for example, created a program called RFP-EZ to solicit solutions from non-traditional sources. Because RFP-EZ is restricted to projects costing below $125,000, a small amount for federal procurement, the executive branch has been able to minimize scrutiny and increase efficiency in the procurement process. Another way to protect programs is to embed them inside existing offices. Boston’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and New York City’s &lt;ahref=”http://wagner.nyu.edu/leadership/leadership_dev/bidf.php”&gt;Innovation Delivery Fellows have both positioned themselves inside mayoral offices in order to provide risk-tolerant spaces for innovators. By minimizing attention in these ways, innovators can ensure that they are not seen as harming so-called sacred cows before they have collected valuable data in support of their hypotheses.

Invest in constituent alignment | Nothing breaks down barriers better than making sure that the people affected by an innovation are aware of and in agreement with the change. Many of the programs and services that we have identified as shining examples of public sector innovation were led by managers who were very conscious of bringing along their various constituencies. In Philadelphia, for example, when a new trash collection system was implemented, municipal employees could have resisted efficiency improvements in fear for their jobs. The mayor’s office, however, made it clear that reductions in workforce would be achieved through natural attrition (retirement), not through layoffs. Employees no longer required by the new system would not be fired, but instead would be redirected toward services that needed additional support. By taking into account employee interests, Philadelphia could roll out its program without resistance.

Validate with data | The best case against the status quo is one grounded in scientific research. When the benefits of new services are speculative—even if supported by pundits and academics—it is easy for stakeholders to resist change. Innovators should know what they are testing for and experiment in such a way that makes their achievement irrefutable. Boston’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, for example, has done so with the Citizens Connect mobile application—what some might consider a quantum leap in 3-1-1 services. By demonstrating quantitatively how much additional geographic coverage is achieved, the group has made it difficult for stakeholders in the legacy call center to resist the city’s investment in the program.

The five conditions we have identified lie at the core of breakthrough innovation, enabling a repeatable process that can overcome the absence of competitive forces, lack of incentives for employees, and proliferation of red tape. We no longer need to think of public sector innovation as an exception to the time-tested rule; in fact, we believe the pursuit of breakthrough innovation in government can turn into a more scientific practice than the art form it resembles today.

Throughout the United States and much of the developed world, governments are on the brink of crisis. They need answers to a paradoxical challenge—how to spur economic growth while simultaneously reducing spending. This can be done only when we find novel solutions to the real problems that we have relied on government to solve. By embedding the five conditions for innovation inside new services and products, public innovators can best position their organizations for success in these trying conditions. Though there is no silver bullet for our problems, ensuring that the ability and motivation to innovate effectively exists throughout the public sector is a vital piece of any solution we develop.

Read more stories by Nikhil R. Sahni, Maxwell Wessel &amp; Clayton M. Christensen.

Mon, 23 May 2022 23:10:00 -0500 en-us text/html https://ssir.org/articles/entry/unleashing_breakthrough_innovation_in_government
Killexams : Prolifics Acquires Tier 2 Consulting Limited

Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Orlando, FL, July 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Prolifics Acquires Tier 2 Consulting Limited

 North America, June 29, 2022 – Prolifics, a global digital transformation leader, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Tier 2 Consulting Limited. Incorporated and registered in England and Wales, Tier 2 delivers software solutions to its clients using modern, open-source, cloud-native technology, and an agile project approach. The Tier 2 team is composed of full-stack Java developers and Red Hat Middleware and OpenShift experts. Based on its skills and experience, Tier 2 was in fact the first Red Hat Premier Middleware Partner for the UK and Ireland.

 For Prolifics, the acquisition is part of its ongoing expansion and growth goals. Tier 2 brings expert custom software development – using its agile approach with disciplined delivery – with a large and loyal UK customer base. Its Red Hat Premier Partner status, coupled with Prolifics already strong partnership with IBM, will expand opportunities across the board.

 For Tier 2, becoming part of the Prolifics family will mean the ability to scale its existing custom software delivery capability to meet the increasing demands of its customers, offer expanded solutions and services in performance, volume, and penetration testing, in data and analytics, as well as provide enhanced career opportunities and job advancement for its people. Tier 2 will continue to operate as a separate entity under its current leadership structure.

 Satya Bolli, Prolifics Chairman &amp; Managing Director, said, “We are thrilled to have Tier 2 as part of the Prolifics family. Their skill in software development and delivery and significant expertise in Red Hat Middleware and OpenShift will greatly increase our position and visibility in the high growth potential of the North America and UK cloud market.”

 Andrew Kennedy, Managing Director at Tier 2 Consulting, said, “This acquisition marks a significant milestone in Tier 2’s 20-year history.  Building on our already proven track record of custom software design and development, it will provide Tier 2 with the basis for future expansion, to the benefit of our customers and our highly skilled team.  We share Prolifics’ ethos around quality solution delivery and technical expertise, and are delighted to have become part of the family.”

 About Prolifics

Prolifics is a digital engineering and consulting firm helping clients navigate and accelerate their digital transformation journeys. We deliver relevant outcomes using our systematic approach to rapid, enterprise-grade continuous innovation. We treat our digital deliverables like a customized product – using agile practices to deliver immediate and ongoing increases in value. We provide consulting, engineering and managed services for all our practice areas – Data &amp; AI, Integration &amp; Applications, Business Automation, DevXOps, Test Automation, and Cybersecurity – at any point our clients need them. Email solutions@prolifics.com  or visit us at  prolifics.com.

About Tier 2 Consulting

Tier 2 works in partnership with our customers to understand their business challenges, and deliver custom software solutions using modern, open-source, cloud-native technology and an agile project approach.

 We are full-stack Java developers, Red Hat Middleware and OpenShift experts, and became the first Red Hat Premier Middleware Partner for the UK &amp; Ireland in 2014, an award based on proven skills and experience.  In 2021, we became one of the first Red Hat Container Platform specialists in EMEA, an award which cements our position as the Red Hat partner of choice for delivery of cloud-native applications. 

                           

# # #

Pamela Roman Prolifics 8188770073 pamela.roman@prolifics.com

Sun, 03 Jul 2022 23:03:00 -0500 en text/html https://apnews.com/press-release/GlobeNewswire/technology-d1df8e2b11cd057210477308054ed0bd
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