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When you get right down to the nuts and bolts of today’s IT job market, technical skills alone aren’t enough. Employers want IT professionals with equal parts business savvy and technology expertise. In short, differentiate yourself by understanding both the business your company is in and the customer it serves.

The days of the IT department silo are gone. IT professionals who bring together the business role and technology role are best suited to be the business problem solvers for the company’s tech division.

“It’s not technology first, business second, anymore,” says Ian Ide, partner and general manager of the New York technology division of Winter, Wyman, a recruitment firm.

As you move up the ranks of IT professionals, there’s more of a requirement to understand the business and be able to interface with business units. As strategic players in the organization, CIOs and CTOs have always had to understand the business. This requirement, however, is trickling down to other IT players, as well.

“If you’re working on e-commerce for Gucci or Amazon, you have to understand how that world works; if you’re building an accounting or other type of internal application you have to be able to interface with the business units to know what to build; if you’re building the company website you need to understand the consumer and the interface…we see the need for business knowledge across the board for IT professionals,” says Ide.

Certain industries, such as financial, healthcare and retail, for example, that have their own jargon and unique business processes are more likely to seek candidates with industry-specific business knowledge.

IT professionals don’t need a MBA degree to get ahead – although it can be a real plus for those who have it – but they must be able to align technology to business goals and customer needs.

Avoiding Outsourcing

The close integration of technology and business knowledge is probably what keeps certain technology jobs from being outsourced. “The roles that we see are those that do require business savvy as a key component,” says Peter Woolford, market manager at Kforce Inc., a professional staffing firm in Boston, Mass.

Finding the IT professional with the right combination of tech skills and business knowledge today isn’t easy. Companies, however, are willing to wait, says Woolford.

“There’s been a trend over of the last couple of years to leave the IT positions open, sometimes for three to six months, in order to find the right person,” he says.

In the best of all worlds, companies like customer service-centric Litle & Co., an independent payment processing company based in Lowell, Mass., would be able to find IT professionals capable of moving seamlessly between the business and IT sides of the business. But today, that individual is a rare find.

So Litle requires that all of its employees attend Litle University to learn about each department in the company and how it serves its customers.

That includes IT personnel. “We train our developers on both the business side and the engineering side,” says Jason Pavona, vice president product management at Litle. “We mandate that our engineers understand our business so they build better code,” he adds.

Using agile software development, engineers at Litle move quickly. “But it means our engineers must have an understanding of our business, our merchants and our customers,” says Pavona. Agile software development, in essence, breaks projects into small parts which results in a fast-paced environment with new releases coming out once a month compared to once a year with more traditional development methodologies.

Getting There

Industry experts agree that business knowledge is best acquired on the job.

The ideal path to developing business savvy is to target the industry you want to work in early on and leverage the experience over time, suggests Ide. “Then volunteer on projects that bring in new technology,” he adds. Building on specific industry experience will ease the transition to another job.

Companies look for IT job candidates with experience in their industry.

It’s not too late to get started. “There’s no question in my mind that this will be on ongoing trend and spread even deeper into the IT department,” says Ide.

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Ibm’s Power Systems Business Is Growing For The First Time In Years

A few years ago, you wouldn’t have bet much on IBM’s Power systems having a bright future. The major Unix platforms have all been on the decline for more than a decade, giving way to Linux servers powered by increasingly capable x86 processors from Intel.

IBM reported its financial results for the fourth quarter this week, and while overall sales continued their downward trajectory, the company reported the first growth for Power systems in four years.

The numbers aren’t spectacular, but they’re on the upswing. Last quarter, Power systems revenue climbed 4 percent from a year earlier, or 8 percent adjusted for the strong US dollar. On that basis, sales were up for all of 2024, too.

IBM doesn’t release actual dollar figures for Power, only percentages. But it’s clearly a turnaround from two years ago, when the business was tumbling more than 30 percent each quarter.

IBM

The Power System S812LC, a Linux server for big data.

A big part of the reason is Linux. Two years ago, IBM said it would invest a billion dollars to make it easier for clients to run Linux as an alternative to AIX, its proprietary Unix software. Its newest Power8 processor includes changes that make it easier for clients to port Linux applications from x86.

IBM also opened up the platform to third parties, a big change to its business model. Under the OpenPower initiative, other companies can now design and sell Power servers and processors under license from IBM. And IBM is adding more components to its systems from third parties like Nvidia and Mellanox.

Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight64, said customers want choice. “Everybody is looking for an alternative to Intel,” he said.

Brookwood questioned whether IBM can sustain the growth long term. Vendors including Qualcomm are investing heavily in ARM server chips, and Power could eventually find itself “squeezed out” by Intel and ARM, he said.

Still, for now IBM’s RISC chip is having a mini-renaissance.

Meanwhile, Oracle continues to pile money into Sparc, confounding predictions that Chairman Larry Ellison would kill off the architecture after buying Sun Microsystems. Oracle tends to focus on systems that run its own applications, however, while IBM is going after a broader market.

The RISC platforms give both companies a way to differentiate their products from commodity hardware based on x86 processors.

“I think they gave up on PA-RISC for all the wrong reasons,” Brookwood said. HP was worried about the cost of building new chip manufacturing plants, he said, and didn’t foresee the rise of third-party foundries like TSMC.

The efforts with Power are part of a broader effort by IBM to make its hardware profitable again. It sold its money-losing x86 server business to Lenovo to focus on higher end products. Its System z mainframe had a good 2024 as well, thanks to the release of the z13 early last year.

The upshot is a much smaller but more profitable hardware business. For all of 2013, IBM’s hardware division reported a loss of $507 million on $15 billion in revenue. Last year, it made a profit of $604 million on $8.0 billion in revenue.

The Skills You Need To Succeed In Operations Management

Most operations managers rely on certain skills to effectively carry out their duties. If you are planning on becoming an operations manager, then these skills can help you succeed. These include organizing projects and budgets, working with teams, and ensuring that the organization’s processes and practices are in place. In this article, we’ll talk about the various operational management abilities that you should develop in order to excel in this field.

What  Are Operational Management Skills?

As operations managers, you play a vital role in supporting business practices that aim to maximize efficiency. You must have the necessary soft and hard skills to manage your organization’s processes. These include planning, technical aptitude, and coordination.

Operations managers need to develop the necessary skills to support their companies’ strategies in order to improve the efficiency of their processes. These include the ability to work with a team and possess technical expertise.

Top 13 Operational Management Skills Recognizing And Addressing Customer Requirements

An operations manager must have the necessary knowledge and skills to predict what consumers will need in the future. This will allow them to provide the best possible service to their customers.

Planning

An operations manager should have good planning skills, regardless of the task that they are working on. Having a plan helps you keep track of all of your tasks and projects, and it can help you know what you are doing throughout the day. Your duties may include creating budgets, developing procedures, and supporting all of the functions of the organization.

Technical Proficiency Management of Employees

One of the most critical skills an operations manager should have is employee management. This involves regular monitoring and assessing the performance of their team members. It can help improve the company’s efficiency and develop its workforce.

Excellent Communication

Whether you are an operations manager or a client, it is important that you have the necessary skills to effectively communicate with both your team and clients. Having the necessary knowledge and skills to communicate effectively with each person that you come into contact with can help improve the efficiency of your work. Situations can get out of control if a communication line breaks down. It’s important that you use a variety of communication methods to keep the tasks and projects moving in the correct direction.

Data Processing Skills

You are responsible for disseminating and collecting operational data within the company’s computer system. This data collection and organization function is essential for keeping track of various business activities, such as sales transactions and cash flow.

Standards Implementation

Most businesses follow a set of procedures when it comes to operating. An operations manager is responsible for making sure that all of the company’s employees follow these guidelines and that they are following all the necessary laws and regulations. If they fail to do so, the company might face legal repercussions. Having the skills to enforce standards is very important for any organization.

Time Management

In order to thrive in their role, operations managers need to understand how to manage their time. There are various deadlines that you have to meet, and it is important that you regularly report to your managers and supervisors within a realistic time frame. You don’t want to miss a deadline, as it can lead to the loss of customers and severely affect the company’s future. Having the right time management skills can help you deliver work on time and provide better quality.

Product Development

As part of their duties, many operations managers are involved in the development of new products. They must understand the various steps involved in the process of product creation to ensure that the projects are successful. This role requires the ability to lead and support teams.

Leadership

As an operation manager, you are responsible for leading a team of people with varying technical and specialist skills. You must also be able to motivate them and provide them with the necessary support to succeed. You should regularly hold meetings to assess the quality of work and identify any issues that may be affecting the project.

Risk Analysis

In order to start new projects and develop new ideas, operations managers need to analyze and mitigate the risks associated with their organizations’ operations. This process can help them identify potential problems and develop effective solutions. Having the necessary skills in this area is very important for any operations manager.

Problem-Solving

As an operations manager, you will face many obstacles and challenges. This is why it is important that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively resolve these issues. A good operations manager will be able to identify potential issues and improve the current situation. They will also be able to identify the factors that can affect the development and maintenance of the organization.

Budget Administration

In addition to being responsible for the company’s production expenditures, operations managers also have to be knowledgeable about corporate economics. These individuals are responsible for forecasting the future profitability of the business and keeping track of expenses and revenues.

Conclusion

One must have extensive management experience and be able to demonstrate the necessary skills to become an operations manager. This job is very important for a company or organization to maintain its stability and expansion. If you are ambitious, highly motivated, and have a positive and powerful personality, then this is the role for you.

During your interview, you can show off your skills by providing examples of how you have used your knowledge and experience to achieve results. This will help interviewers assess how you can effectively implement your skills.

Don’t Fall For The Ps5 Pro Hype; You Don’t Need It!

The thing is, the PS5 is already a powerful gaming machine. However, Sony has not been pushing the hardware to its limit. That is, the PlayStation 5 has a lot of untapped potential in it. And that’s why the tipster believes we will have the same gaming console in disguise as a whole new machine.

Do We Really Need a PS5 Pro?

Yes, a more powerful machine, which could be the PS5 Pro, makes a lot of sense for PlayStation fans. For example, if you were to run the God of War Ragnarök at 4K and 60 FPS, you would need to compromise the visuals to a massive degree.

And it is not just applicable to the God of War. The case is pretty much the same for the other titles. Another great example would be Horizon Forbidden West. If you were to run it at a high resolution, you would have to be stuck with 30 FPS. Now, 30 FPS on the PS5 is not bad. But it is not as smooth as 60 FPS.

Basically, the promise of experiencing true 4K 60 FPS gaming was not properly delivered by the PS5. But it’s not just applicable to PlayStation 5. Even the Xbox Series X can not deliver. And considering this, a more capable machine, PS5 Pro, makes sense.

PlayStation 5 Could Be More Than What It Is

The titles mentioned above work on both the PS5 and PS4. That is, the games have been engineered to be playable on both generations of consoles. However, on the PlayStation 5, the experience is much smoother, and the visuals are more impressive.

Still, if you take a look at the God of War Ragnarök, it looks great on the PS5. However, it is pretty evident that the game, at its core, is using a PS4-era graphics engine. It was not specifically designed keeping the PlayStation 5 in mind.

That means there have been a very low number of dedicated PS5 games. In other words, very few games have been engineered from the ground up to run specifically on PlayStation 5.

What Could Games be On the PS5

Some examples of games that were particularly for PS5 would be Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Returnal, and arguably Deathloop. These games look visually impressive and run considerably great on the PlayStation 5.

However, all these games were very early PS5-exclusive. They were designed when the console was in its early stage. But now, the hardware is much more mature than it was back then. So, where are there no recently developed PlayStation 5 exclusives yet?

Yes, Coronavirus has disrupted game development. And with that came the great shortage of PS5. Needless to say, developers did not even have the time to fully explore the potential of PlayStation 5. That becomes more evitable when you consider that they had to factor in the performance of the PS4 while developing.

On the note of the PS5 shortage, it translates to a less growing user base. That eventually indicates developers needed to consider a low install base compared to PS4. And it also means that the developers had less info on how their games would actually run on the new gaming console.

The PS5 Should Be Focused More Instead of Bringing Out the Pro

Furthermore, it seems like the PS4 is going to hit its end-of-life state. When it does, developers will be able to fully focus on the hardware of PS5 to develop games. And that will eventually make the games bring out their best on the PlayStation 5.

Yes, the recently released Forspoken could not wow us for being a PS5 console exclusive. But we strongly believe that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, coming later this year, will. And we can confidently say that Sony has irons in the fire for more PlayStation 5 exclusives that will really push the hardware to its limits.

So, in short, we do not need a PS5 Pro, at least not yet. Still, you can definitely appreciate what Tom Henderson hinted at. A redesigned PlayStation 5 would be better. Maybe, with a new cooling system?

4 Types Of Evergreen Content You Need For Your Business

With every company keen to climb Google’s search rankings, it is easy to lose perspective by simply churning out fresh content that seizes on the zeitgeist or otherwise meets current demand

It is difficult to overstate the importance of evergreen content for modern content marketers. Evergreen content is, by nature, time-proof, as relevant if read in a year as it is today.

While Google does like to answer searchers’ queries with up-to-date articles, it also rewards high-quality legacy content created many months or even years ago – particularly if you update it regularly.

Some blog pages have stubbornly hung on to a number one page ranking for eight or nine years now, bringing a constant stream of traffic to the page, as well as building trust (being the number one spot in search results will help make more people trust you and your business) and, consequently, boosting your conversions.

By creating evergreen content, you are both pleasing our Google overlords and providing solutions the customer will find valuable. By focusing on an article, infographic, or video that stands the test of time, whether because its content is timeless or easy to quickly update, you can positively influence search engine ranking, traffic, and lead generation. Evergreen content provides more value to the reader, and as a result, more publications are likely to link to it, resulting in improved page and domain authority.

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In this blog post, I’m going to talk about four types of evergreen content you should start creating for your business, along with tips and best practices for creating better-performing evergreen content. What’s more, I’ll highlight the strategic techniques that ensure your marketing drives the results you need to achieve your goals.

Marketing strategy for every stage of the customer journey

Our RACE Framework is a popular marketing structure framework for Startups, SMEs, and international corporations, since it can scale up or down according to your short-term and long-term objectives.

The strategic insights gained through the RACE Framework can be applied to one channel, multiple channels, or an entire omnichannel strategy. So you can continue to develop content marketing strategies and tactics to suit your business’ needs.

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Essential elements of good evergreen content

Before you start populating your editorial calendar with new content ideas, what makes a good piece of evergreen content?

For a start, it needs to provide real value to your audience: What does your audience get out of this piece of content? What is the value to them? In order for a piece of content to perform well for long periods of time, it needs to provide this value to the audience – usually, in the form of educating them and informing them about a subject.

Another hugely important factor is that it the information in your content is relevant for a long period of time – even if you might have to make occasional changes to bring it up to date. For example, a Facebook marketing guide won’t be relevant for long as Facebook makes changes frequently to their algorithm, along with adding new features; but, if you update the guide regularly to reflect new changes and features, then it will continue to stay relevant.

In terms of length, although evergreen content doesn’t necessarily need to be long, satisfying searchers often necessitates an in-depth piece.

As such, many pieces of content that cling to a page one ranking are on the lengthy side, having required considerable time and effort on the research and writing side of things. Compelling evergreen content almost always attracts a significant number of page views when it first appears and the effect gradually snowballs.

Best practices for creating evergreen assets

Before you start creating any new evergreen content, here are some tips to help you create better, more effective content:

Research keywords

This is one of the most vital parts of creating evergreen content. With thorough keyword analysis, you can identify the phrases and queries that searchers are using, then retrofit your content accordingly.

With a strong focus on keywords, particularly in the article title but also in subheadings and body copy, you’ll give yourself the best chance of driving traffic to your page – and perhaps just as importantly, understanding which topics are relevant to your audience over longer periods of time.

To help, you can use “traditional”  keyword research tools like the Moz Explorer or something like Answer the Public, which helps you visualize and discover all of the different queries and questions people Google.

Magnify and dissect specific topics

Although how-to guides are highly comprehensive, there is definitely a place for creating succinct evergreen content that zeroes in on a single subtopic or feature.

For example, you might be selling a piece of software. In addition to creating an authoritative long-form guide on the software as a whole, you should consider crafting a dozen or more short articles concentrating on particular frequent queries that your target audience might have. For example, definitions and explanations of industry terms, like this short article that pops up when you search for “what is SEO”:

Use short paragraphs, concise text, highlight elements

Some of the greatest writers in the literary canon penned page-length paragraphs to get their point across. Leave that to the old-timers: digital natives prefer short two or three-line paragraphs and understandable language.

Because modern searchers have a penchant for scanning content, their eyes alight on words or phrases which are highlighted. Not to mention, so many of us now consume content on our mobile devices – and a small screen makes it difficult to read long paragraphs.

So make it easy for your audience by highlighting key points and instructions in bold, as well as using short paragraphs, bullet points, keyword-rich sub-headlines, along with lots of imagery.

Plan your customer journey

Great content attracts the customers you need, at the stage of their lifecycle you want them to be. Are they:

Discovering your brand for the first time?

Deciding between you and a competitor?

Evaluating whether to purchase your product again?

Planning and optimizing your content in the context of the RACE Framework will help you create efficient and effective customer journeys.

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The best types of evergreen content

Now that we’ve gone through the best practices for creating great content, here are some ideas of evergreen content that you can get started on:

Comprehensive user guides and tutorials

How-to guides and tutorials are exceptionally good examples of evergreen content. These long-form documents are just what searchers are looking for and are ideal for strategically deploying both short and long-tail keywords.

Think about it this way: people will always seek to find the best way of doing something, whether it’s building an extension or editing a home video.

If your content satisfies their curiosity and is sufficiently definitive, Google will sit up and take notice, along with other publications who will want to link to it; and your well-crafted article will continually attract new readers asking the same question or variants thereof.

Customer testimonies

Creating review pages of your products or services is a wise idea, as positive reviews stand the test of time. OK, consumers might not trust a decade-out-of-date review of a company that has since taken a completely different direction and replaced its board of directors; but for the most part, customer testimonies have long relevance and improve visitor trust.

Think about it: if a consumer is attempting to find out whether they can trust a company, Google will almost certainly feed them review pages.

Curated lists

Listicles help searchers make a better-informed decision. Whether you are ranking apps, blogs, restaurants, software or some other asset, such rundowns have terrific potential to become evergreen.

Just make sure your lists are useful, well-written and updated as necessary. After all, you don’t want to be touting an obsolete tool or defunct blog as number one. By the same token, you’ll want to make sure all links in evergreen content are kept up-to-date.

Checklists

Checklists are fun, easy to use, and can provide a lot of value to your audience.

They tend to attract audiences as they’re so highly effective at making sure you’re doing something the right way – and they can be used by pretty much any industry or niche.

Maybe you run health-based services? In that case, an “emergency checklist for seizures” will help you reach your target audience via search engines.

Whatever you’re selling, services, or products, there are always ways to leverage such checklists; and many of them won’t require much changing over the years.

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Conclusion

Jobs’ Original Vision For The Iphone: No Third

Remember back in 2007 when Apple first told developers that to develop for the iPhone, they’d need to build WebApps for Safari? Well, that really was the plan. At the time, Jobs said:

The full Safari engine is inside of iPhone. And so, you can write amazing Web 2.0 and Ajax apps that look exactly and behave exactly like apps on the iPhone. And these apps can integrate perfectly with iPhone services. They can make a call, they can send an email, they can look up a location on Google Maps.

And guess what? There’s no SDK that you need! You’ve got everything you need if you know how to write apps using the most modern web standards to write amazing apps for the iPhone today. So developers, we think we’ve got a very sweet story for you. You can begin building your iPhone apps today.

The App Store came later and apparently as a reaction to jailbreakers and developer backlash.

The App Store nowadays is arguably the most vital app community on any platform, but Steve Jobs initially resisted the idea of users customizing their iPhones with third-party programs, later to become known as apps. The revelation is another of the many interesting nuggets to leak from the upcoming Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, which goes on sale Monday. According to the Huffington Post which obtained an early copy of the book:

Apple board member Art Levinson told Isaacson that he phoned Jobs “half a dozen times to lobby for the potential of the apps,” but, according to Isaacson, “Jobs at first quashed the discussion, partly because he felt his team did not have the bandwidth to figure out all the complexities that would be involved in policing third-party app developers.”

Some other tidbits: Jobs informed Cook on a flight to Japan that “I’ve decided to make you COO”. Also, the initial lukewarm reception to iPad “annoyed and depressed” Jobs.

As for Apple’s seemingly unstoppable mobile application bazaar, Jobs – of course – would later embrace the App Store fully as it had become the central theme around Apple’s famous iPhone commercials featuring the “There’s an app for that” tagline. Upon releasing, the original iPhone immediately captured attention of the hacking community which had begun tinkering with the product. Soon thereafter, popular tweaks ensued which added more functionality to the device despite the lack of the official software development kit.

Apple at the 2007 WWDC announced the iPhone would run web apps. The news fell on def ears with programmers, prompting Steve Jobs to announce in an open letter on October 17, 2007 that the iPhone software development kit for third-parties would be released on March 6, 2008. The App Store went live alongside the iPhone 2.0 software update on July 11, 2008. Apple CEO Tim Cook shared the latest App Store numbers in Tuesday’s conference call with analysts. The App Store, he said, now has more than 500,000 apps for iOS devices, 140,000 of which have been written specifically for iPad. Users have downloaded third-party programs more than 18 billion times since the App Store’s inception, he said, while noting the App Store expanded to 33 new countries during the September quarter.

The Huffington Post article also mentions how Jobs took it upon himself to wage a “thermonuclear war” against Android, threatening to “destroy” it because he thought Google was stealing Apple’s ideas. A change in heart was most evident in the following highly publicized interview with Jobs…

Reflecting on the App Store in his chat with Walt Mossberg, the Wall Street Journal columnist, at the 2010 D8: AllThingsDigital conference, Jobs enthused how there was nothing like the App Store before the iPhone came along. After Mossberg objected that pre-iPhone devices were able to run third-party apps, Jobs responded by saying that the carriers controlled everything, including the design of cell phones, noting there was no easy way for a guy in his bedroom to create programs for cell phones and distribute them with ease. “It’s huge now,” he quipped. Here’s that quote:

Well it wasn’t like this. Now it’s huge. And also, when you bought a phone the carrier dictated what you had on the phone. iPhone was the first phone where we said you worry about the network, we’ll worry about the phone.

The book goes on sale on Monday and can be picked up from Amazon here.

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