Archive for CIO-isms

Membership in the SD Association Ensures Accessibility to Engage in Standards Development for Embedded Technology Critical in Today’s Smart Phones, Set Top Boxes and TVs

By Tom Fedro

Over the last few years, demand for cross-platform drivers has exploded with the proliferation of Smart Devices like Smart Phones, Smart Set Top Boxes and Smart TVs.  And, more importantly, the trend shows no evidence of slowing down. As such, software developers involved in the technology that is critical to these devices should be an active member of the SD Association.

Another important aspect of membership is to providing validity of the developer’s commitment to meeting industry standards across the SD card industry to its OEM partners. SD standards apply to a wide range of peripheral consumer electronics beyond Smart Devices; they also apply to storage media for mobile phones, digital audio players, car navigation systems and electronic books. Technology like Paragon’s embedded exFAT, NTFS and HFS+ for Android and Linux driver technology enables compatibility for mobile devices across a variety of operating systems i.e., Windows™, Mac, Linux, Android™, etc.

Cross-Platform Drivers Ensure Read/Write Operability

OEMs use of SD card technology continues to expand as the consumer electronics device markets cross boundaries and merge. For example, Smart TVs have SD card readers so that consumers can view videos and photos over their televisions without the need of a cable to connect the device to the TV.

Consumers expect their Smart devices to recognize external media regardless of its operating system and to perform at full speed, allowing recording and playback for full HD and 3D video content. Exhibiting industry leadership by actively participating in the SD Association not only ensures that you are at the top of your game, but also lends assurance to OEMs that your products provides compatibility and integrity of the consumer’s stored data –a critical OEM requirement.

Why It’s So Hard to Quantify Losses from Data Storage Problems

By Tom Fedro

Thomas Fedro quantifies loss from disaster recoverySome time ago, I read Out of the Crisis, by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the man generally credited as the Father of the Total Quality Management movement.  This book (which came out in 1984) is just chock full of brilliant business insight, but I’ve carried one phrase with me throughout my career.   He wrote that the effects of some decisions were “unknown and unknowable.”

So much of his book was an exhortation to run companies using statistical process control that the line seemed out of place.  It wasn’t though.  He was illustrating that effects that may not have a visible dollar sign attached to them are still worthy of management consideration.  We tend to push aside concerns that we can’t label easily, and this is especially true in data protection and restoration.

Anyone in the tech sector hears about the nightmare situations where companies lose or compromise data that leads to gigantic expenses by way of lost contracts, fines, or settlements.  For most companies, though, data loss doesn’t represent something that can be negotiated and pinned down.  The truth is, several consequences of data loss have Dr. Deming’s unknown impacts.  Today, I want to focus on two.  There are a whole lot more, but those will come in later posts.

  • Rework.  If you bought motherboards from an overseas provider and they were delivered with flaws, you’d send them back.  The manufacturer would take the defects and put them into “rework.”  This is pretty straightforward.  “Re” is the Latin root that means “again.”  The work is done again.  Everybody gets that this is a bad thing in manufacturing.Somehow, when it’s done with soft work like typing, accounting, and marketing collateral; management tends to forget that it’s still doing work again.  Let me rephrase that—it’s doing work twice and getting the benefit once.  The problem is that a manufacturer will show the rework in the accounting reports.  There’s simply no way to do that effectively in other industries, it’s unknown.
  • Inefficiency.  This is one of my pet peeves.  I like to compare it to writing with a pencil and a piece of paper.  Imagine you had to get a five page document handwritten and you could get about two pages done per hour.  No problem, two and a half hours, right.  Okay, let’s add a curveball.  The pencil lead is going to break.  You’re going to need to wait a few minutes because only one or two people know how to operate the sharpener, and they’re sharpening other pencils right now.Let that happen a time or two and your two and a half hour job has taken an extra hour or two.  Essentially, it’s a hidden and unknown expense.  You can measure how many times the pencil breaks.  You can even measure how long it takes to be sharpened, but you can’t really measure how it impacts an employee’s ability to write.  It would be naïve to believe that the stopping and restarting doesn’t cause delay above the actual downtime.