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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Massachusetts and Nevada data protection laws, and you

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

I’m all for data protection, and I believe we can all agree that the protection of personal information is extremely important. However, if our government wishes to enact laws to protect our data, then it should do a better job of crafting unambiguous wording. Ambiguity is an attorney’s best friend. With the number of attorneys-turned-legislators in government one would think they should know better.

I was inspired by a recent post on Stephen Foskett’s Enterprise Storage Strategies Blog titled “Massachusetts Says Encrypt It All!” Stephen raised an interesting issue about tape encryption in the context of MA and NV data protection laws. His post compelled me to take a closer look at the wording of the laws. For your reference, the laws are:

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Will CEOs really learn any lessons from the failures of their peers?

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

I’m doubtful, but hopeful.

Bob Hill over at www.BusinessBrief.com crafted a list of 10 lessons every CEO can learn from Fortune 500’s biggest losers.

I agree with Bob. There are lessons to be learned. However, I added:

And what, perhaps, is the biggest lesson of all? If you are F500 don’t worry about all of the above. If you screw things up royally, rest assured that (one way or another) Uncle Sam will bail you out.

Bob, I wish I could believe that CEOs will actually learn from the mistakes of their peers, but history has proven this to be largely untrue. And with a Federal government so willing to prop up institutions in our faux free market economy, what, precisely, is the incentive to genuinely succeed? Companies such as AIG and CITI have demonstrated that even catastrophic failure is rewarded handsomely.

Until the penalties outweigh the incentives, we are unlikely to see genuine change in any industry.

Take, for example, finance, health care and pharmaceuticals. What is the incentive to do the right thing for investors/patients/consumers when the penalties pale in comparison to the anticipated profits? The answer is: none.

Still, Bob’s list is worth reading for those of you who care. Join the conversation over at www.BusinessBrief.com.

And now for something a little different…

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Frankly, I simply do not like managing a blog as you can tell by how infrequently I publish.  I much prefer to contribute insight to the blogs and columns of others than to publish my own beyond Data Mobility Group’s usual research.  In fact, I’m quite active in that regard, and my comments can be found on forums of all types from politics and education to transportation and information technology.

In the months ahead, you can expect to find the complete text of a select subset of my comments – past and present – published here with links to the original questions and conversations located elsewhere on the Internet. I encourage you to follow the links and join the conversations.

Cheers,

Joe Martins
Managing Director
Data Mobility Group, LLC.

Where has personal integrity gone?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Following the recent news about David Donatelli’s sudden defection from EMC to HP, blogging pundits jumped at the opportunity to debate the nature of non-compete agreements.

Over the past couple of days I have read more than a dozen blog entries on the topic, written by industry analysts and veterans, and [in my humble opinion] every last one of them – including StorageMojo’s own Robin Harris – completely missed the big picture. (more…)

The Vendor Lock-In Bogeyman

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

By now, most of us have experienced vendor “lock-in.” Cell phones sold at a discount in exchange for contract agreements that lock you in to the provider. PC applications that are a nuisance to put up with but would be an even bigger nuisance to switch. And—we all love this one, don’t we?—the surprisingly cheap printer that requires you to buy that company’s surprisingly expensive ink cartridges.

In the business world, we’ve got vendor lock-in and we’ve got it bad. We spend tens of thousands—or tens of millions—of dollars on a complex business system, by which I mean some combination of hardware, software, and business processes sufficiently embedded in the company’s day-to-day operations that it would be extremely painful, difficult, and costly to replace it. Think CRM, ERP, CMS, BI, ILM—the list goes on. Once a system like that is up and running, once people have learned how to use it, once mountains of data have been stored in it and processed by it, once customers are interacting with it, once processes have been re-engineered around it, once a myriad of apps have been made compatible with it, once the IT folks have learned to baby it along . . . Talk about being locked in!

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2008 and Beyond

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

As Data Mobility Group nears the end of its sixth year in business, we look back with mixed feelings on what has been accomplished in the world of business. In our opinion, amazing technological achievements have been overshadowed by persistent personnel problems.

Ineffective people management and a lack of high-quality quantitative personnel insight continue to impair every aspect of business, from sales, marketing, and accounting to administration, engineering, and IT. These failings, combined with a misguided focus on technology, are a serious and sometimes fatal impediment to bottom- and top-line growth.

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Welcome to the Saltworks

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Why “the Saltworks”?

Salt is essential for human survival and, according to Mark Kurlansky, the author of a fascinating book titled “Salt: A World History,” was one of the most sought after commodities in human history until about 100 years ago, when innovations in manufacturing and distribution drove the cost down—and the availability up—to a point where we can hardly imagine that salt once fueled wars and financed empires. Salt continues to serve us in more than 14,000 ways—most of which most of us are unaware of—including the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, soaps, water softeners, and textile dyes.

Similarly, the developed world has become inextricably dependent on technology for its survival and on a constant stream of new technology for its economic health. New technologies such as toilets and clocks were at first available only to a very few; it could take centuries before ordinary people could own such things. Today’s innovations in manufacturing and distribution fuel the almost instant commoditization of new technology, quickly giving computers, cell phones, and iPods the ubiquity of salt shakers.

Then there is salt’s broad metaphorical importance which Kurlansky attributes to its “ability to preserve food, to protect against decay, and sustain life.” According to Kurlansky, we associate it with such things as longevity, permanence, immutability, truth, wisdom, and protection from evil. We tend to revere technology in a similar fashion given how it has enhanced healthcare, education, science, digital preservation, social discourse and our standard of living.

Lastly, Kurlansky points out that salt is “a potent and dangerous substance that has to be handled with care.” History has shown that technology is no less dangerous in the wrong hands or the wrong circumstances.

To Data Mobility Group, the essential and virtually invisible technologies that surround and sustain us are the saltworks of modern civilization.

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