The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 180 - 17 November 2016
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In This Issue
Cutter Summit Highlights
Supercomputing News
Seen Recently
Claude Baudoin

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Small Delay
The KIT normally comes out on the 1st and 16th of the month, or the first work day after those dates. November 16 came and went, because I was busy collecting my notes from the Cutter Summit (see below). Apologies for this small delay.

-- Claude Baudoin

Cutter Summit Highlights
The sesquiannual gathering of Cutter Consortium clients and consultants just took place in Cambridge, Mass., on November 15-16. The main theme was "digital transformation," including the new business models centered on "digital data streams" and the implications of this transformation for the CIO's organization.

Prof. Karim Lakhani presented a Harvard Business School case study on "GE and the Industrial Internet." It tells of GE's decision to create a new entity devoted to applying IoT technology to industrial environments (manufacturing, transportation, electricity generation, etc.). There was a lot of discussion of how some other companies missed the transformation to digital services, in part by underestimating in the early 1990s the explosion in the number of smartphones.

At the same time, some participants expressed a cautionary view. First, we still need products ("I can't eat or wear data"). Secondly, the digital transformation has been progressive, perhaps starting with the dematerialization of financial instruments many years ago already. But several speakers gave examples of new forms of value creation through data.

Vince Kellen led a workshop on the evolving role of the CIO in this new world. Some of the key suggestions for new/increased responsibilities were:
  • manage privacy and data residency when a company collects and stores so much information about its customers;
  • "ingesting" startup companies or fostering internal innovation without killing those groups through corporate bureaucracy;
  • leadership in the upcoming "human/machine teaming" that comes with big data analytics, natural language processing, machine learning, augmented reality, etc.;
  • decommissioning the accumulation of legacy systems;
  • navigating the contrast between the need for extremely stable processes to keep the "IT utility" running 24x7, and an innovation capability that, on the contrary, must constantly try new things that will often fail;
  • bringing together IT and OT (operational technology) in industrial companies.
KM Book of Knowledge
The Australian Society for Knowledge Management (AuSKM) is in the process of designing a new Knowledge Management Body of Knowledge (KMBOK). A live and evolving site has been published here
Supercomputing News
This HPC Wire article provides the latest updates about the race for supremacy in supercomputers, as recorded in the TOPS500 ratings, and the general trends in the field. Overall, China and the U.S. very much dominate the field. China has a significant advantage thanks to its 93-petaFLOPS (93×1015 floating operations per second) TaihuLight system, that seems poised to increase even further as they pursue the goal of an exaFLOPS (1018) system by 2020.
Seen Recently...
"Cut through organizational impediments and get some real work done."
-- found on a fortune cookie last week 
"The Transformational CIO is a business leader first, that happens to have responsibility for IT."
-- Tim Crawford (strategist, blogger and advisor to CIOs), @tcrawford