Food for thought in the May issue of CIO Insight

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    1) Dave Larkin, a retired CIO of Pfizer Japan, noted in a letter to the editor that one unheralded benefit of offshoring is that it’s a handy counter to specification creek. "It’s so easy to say, ’You can’t change that, it’s being done in India.’ (Larkin was responding to an article about the difficulty of doing agile programming in an outsourced environment.)


    2) Paul Brown’s review of Leonard Fuld’s new book on competitive intelligence summarizes what he sees as Fuld’s useful, but often "self referential and self reverential" book on competitive intelligence (CI) summarizes some of the author’s key ideas: a) ask why your competition is disclosing a choice bit of information now, b) follow the transaction trail, c) talk to the people who are supplying your competitors, and d) eliminate any bottlenecks that keep information from getting to the people who need it. http://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1397,1456419,00.asp


    3) Bentley College professors suggest implementing seasonal and incremental cultural "training" that avoids the facile stereotypical fare, informing US-based workers about cricket, for example, and their Indian counterparts with the basics of baseball and football. "If you can’t do small talk, you can’t do big talk." It makes sense to me. When your e-mails with professional colleagues include a bit of small talk, perhaps about families or outings, it seems to cement the relationship. http://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1397,1954097,00.asp


    4) There’s also a fascinating article about Jeff Hawkins’ efforts to model the neocortex. http://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1397,1955963,00.asp

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