Tag Archives: innovation

Going Beyond Today’s Cloud Technology Market

While many hear the term ‘the cloud’ and think of storage or hosting, cloud technology is an exciting, robust market that is only just beginning, and has real long-range benefit to both consumers and businesses. The past year has seen a boom in startups and ideas in cloud-based tools and services. Much of this has centered around business needs. It has spanned everything from payroll to billing and bookkeeping, sales and marketing department functions, to applications that track customer behavior. For consumers, online education that moves beyond the traditional courses is increasing. Web-based fitness instruction, dance lessons, cooking and more are all being offered with growing participation. Communications is an equally powerful area — I am EVP of Innovation at RingCentral, which provides cloud-based phone systems. It is a very exciting and emerging category in cloud-based technology, and one that will continue to grow in the years ahead.

While many of the deals and movement has been on the business-side, we have only just begun to see the potential for cloud-based applications. Watch for emerging trends in utility management, cross device tools and services, fun and games for kids and many, many new ideas.

 

On The Evolution Of DevOps

The role of the DevOps 2.0 software method in a development environment and larger business organization is not without its value or challenges. Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell, discussed this and how IT organizations can automate and streamline the process, tapping into the value of DevOps 2.0 while helping to elevate some of the challenges. I participated in the conversation regarding where and how I’ve seen the automation process in action and what it has brought to technology environments I’ve participated in. The evolution of DevOps, and its increased efficiency since the early days of waterfall development, has been significant. With the advent and proliferation of cloud-based architectures, development organizations are now facing new challenges and needs in DevOps environments that are unique to the present and play a significant role for the future. While there have been new innovations and tools that have improved the development cycle significantly, enabling teams to bring up and test environments quickly and efficiently, there is still a need for improvement. With large organizations operating complex products across multiple platforms, there are far more variables than simple deployment – it is a configuration management challenge as well. It includes being able to self-serve across every step of the innovation and development process with both ease and reliability. The conversation is an insightful look into the current DevOps environment and what IT leaders and managers should be exploring for the future within their own organization. You can view the discussion here.

My Thoughts About Gender Balance In The Workplace on Project Eve

I shared thoughts about gender balance in the workplace on Project Eve this past week. Project Eve is a great resource for women in business. It offers mentoring, networking and support for women across multiple industries and markets, as well as commentary, news and insight. It was great to talk about the topic among its online community. Thank you to Project Eve for including me!

At Cloud Expo This Past Week

I was part of a keynote at the Cloud Expo event this past week. The event brings together industry executives and technology vendors from across the market. It’s an excellent resource for anyone interested in gaining insight and seeing the latest innovations in cloud technology. Thank you to Cloud Expo for having me be part of the event this year.

 

 

 

Online/Offline Connectivity Continues

Not long ago I had referenced a media article about Google’s partnership with Barnes and Noble. It came to mind while reading some of the media articles about Amazon opening up a physical store to enable same-day pick up of online orders placed through its Amazon.com site. It’s not the first time that Amazon has laid the foundation for integrating its online offerings with the offline world, but it certainly sparks excitement and ideas for innovations and technologies that connected the online and offline consumer market. For startup entrepreneurs and investors, this is a great arena to watch. There have been multiple new startups in the space and we can likely expect more to come in the future. 

Managing Employee (and Your Own) Burnout

We often hear about the exciting, invigorating and fun elements of owning a startup business. In reality, startup business can mean a great deal of stress, strain, fears, and a range of other challenges for entrepreneurs and executives. This only increases as companies attempt to reach critical outcomes, be it funding, scaling, IPO, acquisition or pivot. Burnout and other challenges are very real, and have the potential to hurt the company and staff if gone without notice or addressed. But as with any issues at a company, this can also be managed — even avoided — with a few specific steps.

First, understanding that both you and your staff can get run down or overwhelmed is an important part. That doesn’t mean you want to see personal days and time off escalate — but knowing it can happen can go a long way in successfully avoiding and managing it in your organization. Second, keeping in tune with yourself and your team is key. Have you been working 14 hour days for several days in a row? Is your staff regularly waking up early to tackle issues or problems, on top of the typical 8-10 hour day? While this can be common at a startup company, no one (not even you!) can sustain or endure it long-range, no matter how great the benefit might be once the work is done. By noticing fatigue and other issues at their onset, you can better assess and work around them.

Third, set the pace for yourself and all in the organization. You absolutely need to work hard, and get work done. But working hard and getting work done does not necessarily mean a frenetic, stressful pace is required. It can mean extra hours or time at work during crunch times or development pushes, but it can often mean a need for more streamlined or realistic expectations and processes. Keep an eye on how things are going, and what it might take to complete projects, at all times.

Last, you want to make the job easier where you can. That doesn’t mean installing a foosball table to give everyone a chance to have fun and improve morale. Rather, ask yourself and your staff what might help relieve stress, strain or prevent burnout — it might be as simple as shifting work hours to a different format than the traditional 9-5, hiring an assistant to handle personal tasks and errands, or other unexpected means to solve the problem.

 

Kairos Global Summit This Past Week

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I participated on a great panel about mobile data at the 2014 Kairos Global Summit this past week. The panel discussion took a look into mobile data and its dynamic role in both the present world we are in and the future, as well as where opportunities might exist for young people to get involved and what solutions may be needed. Thank you to the Kairos Global Summit for having me participate.  Photos by Getty Images.