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Data Sheet—Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Good morning, Data Sheet readers. How does Oracle’s cloud plan differ from the strategies of Amazon, Google and Microsoft? Larry Ellison is counting the ways. An annual survey of chief information officers finds female technology strategists prioritize digital initiatives higher than their male counterparts. Plus, Hewlett-Packard and IBM are cooperating on standards for a fast-growing data center management approach. Have a productive Tuesday!


Courting marketers in Cannes. A who’s-who of social media companies is in France this week schmoozing at a high-profile advertising festival. Facebook is promising new mobile ad formats. Snapchat is talking up videos that reach millennials. And dating app Tinder is pitching its brand “matching” service.



Privacy group protests Uber’s updated data collection practices. At issue is a new policy that goes into effect July 15. The change allows the ride-sharing service to collect location data, even when the mobile app is running in the background.

What Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hewlett-Packard and IBM have in common. They’re among big names vowing to create a standard behind docker, a technology that makes it simpler to move applications between data centers.

Note to interim Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey? The social network will only consider chief executive candidates willing to commit full time to the job. Plus, Spencer Stuart is officially in charge of the search.

Oracle vies for cloud distinction, and share. The software giant is talking up more than two dozen new services meant to set it apart from Google and Microsoft. Oracle founder Larry Ellison noted: “Isn’t it interesting? Our primary competitor used to be IBM. It is now Amazon.”

Cisco is latest tech giant investing in solar energy. The networking company’s deal with NRG Energy is part of a plan to source one-quarter of its electricity from clean sources by 2017.

You can add photo agency Getty’s name to the list of companies unhappy with Google’s business practices in Europe.

Can Microsoft finally fix its complicated software licensing agreements? Customers aren’t exactly holding their breath.

BlackBerry’s software bump. Sales for the division more than doubled during its latest quarter.


Female CIOs prioritize digital initiatives higher than male counterparts

Companies with women leading the information technology team are apparently ahead of the curve when it comes to digital innovation investments. At the very least, they appear to be spending more money on same, according to some newly published research.

Research firm Gartner’s latest survey of CIO priorities finds that females holding that title prioritize predictive analytics rather than analysis of historical data higher than their male counterparts. That’s especially true if they report to the CEO rather than the CFO.

The same was also the case for digital marketing initiatives: among women, this was the third highest priority; for men it was the sixth most important area, Gartner reports.

“While it’s not entirely clear why this difference exists, further survey data indicates that female CIOs are more concerned about underinvestment in risk initiatives than males CIOs,” said Gartner fellow Tina Nunno in a statement.

The findings come from the 2015 Gartner CIO Agenda survey, representing more than $397 billion in annual spending on information technology and services. Of the 2,810 respondents, approximately 13.6% were women.

Generally speaking, the female CIOs surveyed by Gartner anticipated bigger budget increases over the new 12 months. On average, they expect increases of 2.4%, compared with the 0.8% growth projected by the male IT leaders. One possible rationale is women are more risk-averse, which in this case winds up being a potential advantage because they’re more inclined to want to protect revenue.

“The risk data, combined with budget numbers, may indicate that female CIOs are more focused on the resource side of the digital equation than their male peers and are, therefore, requesting and accumulating more IT budget money,” Nunno writes in her comments.

What does it take to be successful? The first step involves defining what digital means to a company’s industry sector—and taking stock of what disruption is already taking place. McKinsey’s consulting team is running a month-long series of articles meant to help business leaders improve their “digital quotient.” This excerpt crystalizes how organizations can get started:

Companies get their digital strategy right by answering three important questions. First, where will the most interesting digital opportunities and threats open up? Second, how quickly and on what scale is the digital disruption like to occur? Third, what are the best responses to embrace these opportunities and to reallocate resources away from the biggest threats.

“CEOs like to spin up edge projects. If they succeed, they then can become core to the business,” said Andy Main, the U.S. practice leader for Deloitte Digital. “From there, you need to become agile, remove the red tape, and build a group that is supercharged.”

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Unique approach to data warehousing. Snowflake Computing, fronted by former Microsoft executive Bob Muglia, has raised another $45 million to build out its cloud-based digital repository.

Going commercial. Enigma, which offers analytics services to municipal governments using publicly available data, closed a $28.2 million Series B round led by New Enterprise Associates. The money will go toward doubling its staff and expanding business with corporate customers such as Merck & Co. Enigma’s board members include former chief technology officers from Silicon Graphics and Sun Microsystems.

Chipmaker Nvidia doesn’t make virtual reality headsets, but it’s poised to benefit substantially from VR applications.

Alibaba sells U.S. ecommerce venture after just one year. It will retain a 37.6% stake in 11 Main as part of a deal with marketplace OpenSky.

Up to half the smartphones sold next year could have integrated fingerprint sensors, reports Computerworld. By the way, more than 70% of the U.S workforce, or about 105.4 million people, will be considered “mobile” by 2020.

Can this analytics company match women with the right tech employer? Doxa uses “OKCupid-style alorithms” to determine how a job candidate might fit a company’s culture, reports Wired. Early partners include Instacart, Lyft, TaskRabbit and Shyp.


Everything you need to know about your Millennial co-workers by Katherine Reynolds Lewis

Martha Stewart just sold her media empire for a near-clearance price by John Kell

How this startup is using algorithms to help farmers battle the drought by Katie Fehrenbacher

Amazon’s new experiment could change how authors are paid by Claire Groden

Former Nike exec is now CEO of Bitreserve by Daniel Roberts

Here’s the real reason Apple caved in on fees for its new music service by Mathew Ingram


Do you speak emoji? General Motors just published an entire, baffling press release using visual shorthand usually reserved for short messages.


Brainstorm Tech: Fortune’s invite-only gathering of thinkers, influencers and entrepreneurs. (July 13 – 15; Aspen, Colorado)

Esri Business Conference: Mapping the value of data. (July 18 – 21; San Diego)

LinuxCon North America: All about open source. (Aug. 17 – 19; Seattle)

SuccessConnect: Simplify the way the world works. (Aug. 10 – 12; Las Vegas)

VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)

Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 – 18; San Francisco)

.conf2015: Splunk’s “get your data on” gathering. (Sept. 21 – 24; Las Vegas)

Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)

BoxWorks 2015: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 – 30; San Francisco)

Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 – Oct. 1; Las Vegas)

HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 – 6; San Diego)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 – 8; Orlando, Florida)

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World’s largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 – 16; Houston)

Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 – 29; San Francisco)

TBM Conference 2015: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 – 29; Chicago)

QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 – 4; San Jose, California)