University of Pennsylvania – Democracy in the Crosshairs Conference

Heading to the University of Pennsylvania next week to attend the Democracy in the Crosshairs: Cyber Interference, Dark Money and Foreign Influence conference. The two-day event is a closed session. The conference is organized by the Center for Ethics & Rule of Law and the UPenn Law School. I co-authored a paper with Atif Ahmad  (University of Melbourne) for the conference.

Weaponizing Information Systems for Political Disruption: The Actor, Lever,Effects, and Response Taxonomy (ALERT)

Information systems continue to be used by actors who want to undermine public institutions and disrupt political systems. In recent times, actors have engaged in acts of cyber warfare ranging from attempts to compromise voting systems, spread false propaganda, use dark networks to illicitly fund campaigns, and even attack public infrastructure via technologies. Initial analysis points to the fact that most of these attempts have been successful in achieving their intended objectives. Given this reality, we expect them to intensify and be more creative in the future. In this paper, we take a critical look at the concept of weaponizing information systems for political disruption. Our analysis focuses on two specific forms of information systems enabled disruption. The first is direct attacks on information systems infrastructures employed in various facets of political campaigns and the election processes. The second is attacks that target public infrastructure and services, which impact trust in government and public institutions of the nation and indirectly impact political stability and governance regimes. We outline an Actor, Lever, Effects, and Response Taxonomy (ALERT) to understand the nuances associated with various types of options individuals, organizations, and nations have when it comes to weaponizing information systems for political gain and to cause public unrest.

Conference schedule is available here.

Delivering Artificial Intelligence in Government – New IBM Center for the Business of Government Report

The IBM Center for the Business of Government released my new report today.

Delivering Artificial Intelligence in Government: Challenges and Opportunities

This report reviews recent progress made in applying artificial intelligence to public sector service provision, drawing on lessons learned from commercial experience as well as burgeoning cognitive computing activity by Federal, State, local, and international governments.

To access the report, please click here.

The Perils of Petascale IT Projects

PetascaleITProjectsI have an article published in the current issue of FCW: The Business of Federal Technology on petascale IT projects.

Good news: We no longer have to talk about megascale IT projects. Large-scale ventures that typically cost $1 billion or more, megaprojects used to be all the rage, but they are quickly being superseded by petascale IT initiatives. Those projects can cost even more, involve complexity on a truly massive scale and require petaflops of computer processing. Despite the horrendous track record of delivering on even moderately complex IT projects, public-sector CIOs continue to embrace the design, planning and execution of petascale IT projects. To read more, please click here.

To view the article in the digital edition of the magazine, please click here.

Mobile App Development in Highly Regulated Industries Report Released

TSIMReporthe Advanced Practices Council of the Society for Information Management has just published my report, Mobile App Development in Highly Regulated Industries: Risks, Rewards and Recipes. I co-authored the report with my former graduate student, Paul Simons, who serves as the CEO of iHear Network.

Executive Summary

Mobile computing has the potential to be as disruptive to the status quo as the Internet in the 1990s or the Model T in the early 20th century. A driving force behind mobile computing is the adoption of mobile apps, which increase revenues through new and refined business models, greater brand awareness and customer loyalty, and tools that increase employee productivity. However, not all organizations that launch mobile apps end up with successful products. The rewards may be lucrative, but there are risks of entering the marketplace with new products. In highly regulated industries, the risks are compounded by additional constraints for developing mobile software related to protecting and communicating information. Firms in such industries must implement comprehensive security solutions that go beyond standard industry regulatory systems. Since regulations always lag behind technological advancement, organizations must anticipate how their actions might trigger future legislative responses and the impacts on users’ expectations of privacy and trust. Another risk that stems from rapid growth of mobile software is the reduced barrier to entry for emerging companies, especially from startups that circumnavigate existing regulations on the use of mobile technology.

Due to the rapidly changing nature of mobile apps, design thinking has emerged as a methodology to help guide an organization through the process of developing mobile apps. Traditional linear modes of development are not sufficient or flexible enough to keep up with innovation in mobile hardware, software, and mobile operating systems. Design thinking has grown beyond just a methodology for developing software products and experiences to a means of developing business strategy. This non-linear mode of strategy development is better suited for mobile strategy because it provides greater insight into the needs and desires of end users, fosters innovative and creative solutions, and provides greater flexibility to adapt to the changing circumstances caused by disruptive forces of the mobile revolution. This enables the Chief Information Officer (CIO) to provide greater leadership in exploiting internal and external opportunities. This report provides a number of recommendations to CIOs in mobile app development.

Mobile App Development in Highly Regulated Industries @ Society for Information Management’s Advanced Practices Council

mobileappI am thrilled to be invited back to address the Advanced Practices Council (APC) of the Society for Information Management. The APC commissioned a research report on mobile app development in highly regulated industries. Over the last few months, I have collaborated with Paul Simon (CEO of iHear Network and my former graduate student at the University of Washington) on this research report.The presentation will take place on Jan 22, 2014 at the Intercontinental Buckhead in AtlantaGeorgia.

Mobile App Development in Highly Regulated Industries: Risks, Rewards, and Recipes

Mobile computing has the potential to be as disruptive to the status quo as the introduction of the modern Internet in the 1990s or the Model T was nearly 100 years ago. Organizations need to not only understand the risks of mobile computing, but develop strategies to incorporate it before it fatally disrupts their current business model. Some of the rewards of a well thought out mobile strategy include increasing revenues or new revenue streams, greater brand awareness and customer loyalty, and a new set of tools to increase employee productivity. Firms in highly regulated industries face an even more complex set of challenges when considering how to approach the mobile space. Highly regulated industries have additional constraints for developing mobile software because of the additional layer(s) of regulation that dictate the protection and communication of information. It is important for these businesses to implement comprehensive security solutions that go beyond standard industry regulatory systems. Since regulations always lag behind technological advancement, organizations should think more proactively about how their actions might trigger future legislative responses and how their actions impact the user’s expectations of privacy and trust. Although there are risks associated with an organization’s increased use of mobile devices, the rewards that could flow from developing, implementing, and continuously iterating upon a coherent mobile strategy are enormous. In a Pew Research Center study, 63% of adult cell phone owners use their cell phone to go online, 34% said they do most of their internet browsing on their mobile phone. It would be detrimental to the long-term viability of an organization to ignore such trends. Traditional linear modes of developing strategy will not be sufficient or flexible enough to keep up with the rate of innovation in mobile hardware, software, and mobile operating systems. Design thinking has grown beyond just a methodology for developing software products and experiences and now a growing amount of managers are using design thinking as a means of developing business strategy. This non-linear mode of strategy development is better suited for building a mobile strategy as it will provide greater insight into the needs and desires of end users, foster innovative and creative solutions, and provide greater flexibility to adapt to the changing circumstances caused by the disruptive forces of the mobile revolution. This enables the Chief Information Officer (CIO) to provide greater leadership that leads to both internal and external innovative opportunities for mobile strategy development.

Speaking at the Society for Information Management’s Advanced Practices Council

headerI will be presenting my research on innovation and intrapreneurship to the Advanced Practices Council (APC) of the Society of Information Management. This presentation is based on my recent book, Intrapreneurship: Managing Ideas within Your Organization, and will take place in Atlanta, GA on January 22, 2013.

desouzabookAn organization’s ability to compete and continuously renew itself is contingent upon how well it leverages the idea creators in its midst. When organizations fail to leverage their employees' ideas and when employees stumble in their ability to effectively manage those ideas, the loss of energy at all levels – from individuals to organizations and even to society – is tremendous. In this presentation, I will outline how to drive change within organizations through a focus on intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurship-focused organizations give employees resources, time, and budgets to work on their own ideas because they know that creating space for their employees to be inventive may yield the most valuable contributions. Moreover, these organizations do not simply give employees space and then forget about them. They know how to hold employees accountable for their ideas, support employees in their efforts to develop and commercialize ideas, and encourage the intrapreneurial spirit. Drawing on my research and experience consulting with thirty global organizations, I outlines ways to manage all types of ideas, including blockbusters with the potential to create radically new external products and services, and more incremental innovations for improving internal processes. With practical frameworks and real life examples for both employees and managers, I will help you to identify the value in your own ideas and those of others to ultimately benefit your organization. In today’s competitive environment, an organization is only as good as its ability to manage ideas. Successful organizations will be able to design, build, implement, and sustain intrapreneurship processes that are superior to those of their competitors. It is through these processes that organizations will be able to act quickly and effectively to introduce new products and services, avoid blind spots, and attract and retain the best minds around.

My Research Mind – A Little Messy

I have been doing some reflection on my research interests and the connections between the various scientific domains in which I work. I will be on a panel, Working on Mars while Living on Earth - Balancing Demands across Disciplinary Boundaries, with Sandeep Purao (Penn State University), Ajay Vinze (Arizona State University), and Steve Sawyer (Syracuse University) at the 22nd Workshop on Information Systems and Technology where I will share some of my lessons learnt in doing interdisciplinary research and holding academic appointments in various disciplinary units from business schools to information schools and urban studies to public administration.

For a sneak preview here is a graphical description of my research spheres.

Below is a graphical description of my research trajectory mapped across various dimensions.