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Digital transformation is a term being bandied about by the press, business experts, and enterprise gurus. The constant drumbeat on the topic may lead you to believe it is just another empty marketing gimmick used to sell books and pad keynote addresses. But you would be wrong to think that way. Digital transformation is not a new concept, and in many ways, it has been occurring in fits and starts for years now. The personal computer, fax machine, email, and the internet were all digital transformation catalysts. Digital transformation does not really have an end—it is a continuous process—and it is the evolution of technology and its application to our lives. The current digital transformation everyone is talking about now has disrupted, or soon will disrupt, how every business enterprise and every transaction works. But you don't have to take my word for it. Just look at the results of a recent survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, in which 80% of the respondents believe their industry will be disrupted by digital trends. The seeming inevitability of widespread digital transformation in business enterprises is why Microsoft has deployed a strategy to capitalize on the trend. By providing tools in Office 365, Windows 10, and Azure that make the transformation less disruptive and more organic to the organization, Microsoft believes it can offer paths to change that many of their competitors can't. The name of the HBR survey is Competing in 2020: Winners and Losers in the Digital Economy (PDF). It was conducted by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and was sponsored by Microsoft, which is one reason why the results figure so prominently in the company's business strategies. The digital transformation on the minds of the survey respondents this time involves the way businesses interact with customers. Technology has moved the relationship with customers beyond the transaction level. Successful companies must know their customers, must anticipate what motivates them, and must converse with them on a regular basis in authentic ways that don't come across as forced and fake. This is complicated, somewhat messy, and can be dangerous when mistakes are made. According to the survey, the majority of the 783 respondents say achieving exceptional customer experience is their highest current digital priority at the moment. Through technology, enterprises must be able to achieve authentic two-way communication with customers. Not achieving that goal will put your enterprise at a disadvantage, one that you may not be able to overcome once you get behind the curve. Customer relationships are going through a major shift in technology, and your enterprise better get with the program. With digital tools like social media and mobile apps, customers expect to have a real relationship with the businesses they deal with. If your company is still using junk mail and phone calls to "relate" to customers, you are in deep trouble. Microsoft has been preaching the benefits of cooperation, collaboration, and digital conversation for years now. By leveraging technologies built into Windows 10, Office 365, and Azure, Microsoft believes it has the tools to make conversing and engaging with customers a reality for your enterprise. It will take a heck of a lot of effort, and will likely require a huge cultural change for most organizations, but it can—and must—be done. Just like with the advent of the computer, the fax machine, and the internet, the digital times are a-changing. It's time to accept it, embrace it, and make the transition in your enterprise. You don't have to partner with Microsoft to do it, but you need to get it done somehow, some way. When it comes to customer interaction, has your enterprise started its digital transformation? Share your thoughts and opinions with your peers at TechRepublic in the discussion thread below.


Gehrman P.,University of Pennsylvania | Seelig A.D.,Naval Health Research Center | Jacobson I.G.,Naval Health Research Center | Boyko E.J.,Seattle Epidemiologic Research and Information Center | And 5 more authors.
Sleep | Year: 2013

Study Objectives: To evaluate predeployment sleep duration and insomnia symptoms in relation to the development of mental health symptoms. Design: Longitudinal cohort study. Setting: The Millennium Cohort Study survey is administered via a secure website or US mail. Participants: Data were from 15,204 participants who completed their first deployment between the submissions of 2 consecutive Millennium Cohort questionnaires (2001-2008). Interventions: N/A. Measurements and Results: Using self-reported data from the Millennium Cohort Study we evaluated the association of predeployment sleep duration and insomnia symptoms on the development of new-onset mental disorders among deployers. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety, while adjusting for relevant covariates including combat-related trauma. The study outcomes were assessed using validated instruments, including the PTSD checklist-civilian version, and the PRIME-MD Patient Health Questionnaire. We identified 522 people with new-onset PTSD, 151 with anxiety, and 303 with depression following deployment. In adjusted models, combat-related trauma and predeployment insomnia symptoms were significantly associated with higher odds of developing posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety postdeployment. Conclusions: Sleep characteristics, especially insomnia symptoms, are related to the development of mental disorders following military deployments. Assessment of insomnia symptoms predeployment may help to better identify those at highest risk for subsequent adverse mental health outcomes.


LeardMann C.A.,Naval Health Research Center | Powell T.M.,Naval Health Research Center | Smith T.C.,Naval Health Research Center | Smith T.C.,University of San Diego | And 8 more authors.
JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association | Year: 2013

IMPORTANCE: Beginning in 2005, the incidence of suicide deaths in the US military began to sharply increase. Unique stressors, such as combat deployments, have been assumed to underlie the increasing incidence. Previous military suicide studies, however, have relied on case series and cross-sectional investigations and have not linked data during service with postservice periods. OBJECTIVE: To prospectively identify and quantify risk factors associated with suicide in current and former US military personnel including demographic, military, mental health, behavioral, and deployment characteristics. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Prospective longitudinal study with accrual and assessment of participants in 2001, 2004, and 2007. Questionnaire data were linked with the National Death Index and the Department of Defense Medical Mortality Registry through December 31, 2008. Participants were current and former US military personnel from all service branches, including active and Reserve/National Guard, who were included in the Millennium Cohort Study (N = 151 560). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Death by suicide captured by the National Death Index and the Department of Defense Medical Mortality Registry. RESULTS: Through the end of 2008, findings were 83 suicides in 707 493 person-years of follow-up (11.73/100 000 person-years [95% CI, 9.21-14.26]). In Cox models adjusted for age and sex, factors significantly associated with increased risk of suicide included male sex, depression, manic-depressive disorder, heavy or binge drinking, and alcohol-related problems. None of the deployment-related factors (combat experience, cumulative days deployed, or number of deployments) were associated with increased suicide risk in any of the models. In multivariable Cox models, individuals with increased risk for suicide were men (hazard ratio [HR], 2.14; 95% CI, 1.17-3.92; P = .01; attributable risk [AR], 3.5 cases/10 000 persons), and those with depression (HR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.05-3.64; P = .03; AR, 6.9/10 000 persons), manic-depressive disorder (HR, 4.35; 95% CI, 1.56-12.09; P = .005; AR, 35.6/10 000 persons), or alcohol-related problems (HR, 2.56; 95% CI, 1.56-4.18; P <.001; AR, 7.7/10 000 persons). A nested, matched case-control analysis using 20:1 control participants per case confirmed these findings. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this sample of current and former military personnel observed July 1, 2001-December 31, 2008, suicide risk was independently associated with male sex and mental disorders but not with military-specific variables. These findings may inform approaches to mitigating suicide risk in this population.


Leblanc J.,Johns Hopkins University | Leblanc J.,Analytic Services Inc. | Weil J.,Johns Hopkins University | Beemon K.,Johns Hopkins University
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA | Year: 2013

After reverse transcription of the retroviral RNA genome and integration of the DNA provirus into the host genome, host machinery is used for viral gene expression along with viral proteins and RNA regulatory elements. Here, we discuss co-transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of retroviral gene expression, comparing simple and complex retroviruses. Cellular RNA polymerase II synthesizes full-length viral primary RNA transcripts that are capped and polyadenylated. All retroviruses generate a singly spliced env mRNA from this primary transcript, which encodes the viral glycoproteins. In addition, complex viral RNAs are alternatively spliced to generate accessory proteins, such as Rev, which is involved in posttranscriptional regulation of HIV-1 RNA. Importantly, the splicing of all retroviruses is incomplete; they must maintain and export a fraction of their primary RNA transcripts. This unspliced RNA functions both as the major mRNA for Gag and Pol proteins and as the packaged genomic RNA. Different retroviruses export their unspliced viral RNA from the nucleus to the cytoplasm by either Tap-dependent or Rev/CRM1-dependent routes. Translation of the unspliced mRNA involves frame-shifting or termination codon suppression so that the Gag proteins, which make up the capsid, are expressed more abundantly than the Pol proteins, which are the viral enzymes. After the viral polyproteins assemble into viral particles and bud from the cell membrane, a viral encoded protease cleaves them. Some retroviruses have evolved mechanisms to protect their unspliced RNA from decay by nonsense-mediated RNA decay and to prevent genome editing by the cellular APOBEC deaminases. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Bonanno G.A.,Columbia University | Mancini A.D.,Pace University | Horton J.L.,Naval Health Research Center | Powell T.M.,Naval Health Research Center | And 7 more authors.
British Journal of Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Background: Most previous attempts to determine the psychological cost of military deployment have been limited by reliance on convenience samples, lack of pre-deployment data or confidentiality and cross-sectional designs. Aims: This study addressed these limitations using a population-based, prospective cohort of US military personnel deployed in support of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Method: The sample consisted of US military service members in all branches including active duty, reserve and national guard who deployed once (n = 3393) or multiple times (n = 4394). Self-reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress were obtained prior to deployment and at two follow-ups spaced 3 years apart. Data were examined for longitudinal trajectories using latent growth mixture modelling. Results: Each analysis revealed remarkably similar post-traumatic stress trajectories across time. The most common pattern was low-stable post-traumatic stress or resilience (83.1% single deployers, 84.9% multiple deployers), moderate-improving (8.0%, 8.5%), then worsening-chronic post-traumatic stress (6.7%, 4.5%), high-stable (2.2% single deployers only) and high-improving (2.2% multiple deployers only). Covariates associated with each trajectory were identified. Conclusions: The final models exhibited similar types of trajectories for single and multiple deployers; most notably, the stable trajectory of low post-traumatic stress pre- to post-deployment, or resilience, was exceptionally high. Several factors predicting trajectories were identified, which we hope will assist in future research aimed at decreasing the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder among deployers.


Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) play a critical humanitarian role in the developing world. Over 100 NGOs currently operate in Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa that ranks 183 out of 187 in the United Nation's Human Development Index. Following a brutal 11-year war that ended in January 2002, the country has been unsuccessful at building a sufficiently resourced, robust, and anticipatory public health and medical care infrastructure. Consequently, Sierra Leone suffers from high levels of poverty, infant mortality, and limited access to safe drinking water, as well as morbidity from malnutrition, diarrheal diseases, hepatitis A, cholera, and typhoid fever. Large international NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders have attempted to fill the void left by fragile and fragmented government health services but have been overwhelmed and saturated by the continual spread of Ebola virus disease and growing numbers of cases and deaths. Smaller NGOs endeavored to assist during this crisis as well. One of them, Caritas, has actively sought public health knowledge and has applied public health principles to reduce and contain Ebola virus disease transmission. The Ebola outbreak illuminates the importance of building basic public health capabilities within the core competences of NGOs. © 2015 Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc.


Gursky E.A.,Analytic Services Inc. | Bice G.,Analytic Services Inc.
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism | Year: 2012

September 11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks marked the beginning of significant investment by the federal government to develop a national public health emergency response capability. Recognizing the importance of the public health sector's contribution to the burgeoning homeland security enterprise, this investment was intended to convey a "dual benefit" by strengthening the overall public health infrastructure while building preparedness capabilities. In many instances, federal funds were used successfully for preparedness activities. For example, electronic health information networks, a Strategic National Stockpile, and increased interagency cooperation have all contributed to creating a more robust and prepared enterprise. Additionally, the knowledge of rarely seen or forgotten pathogens has been regenerated through newly established public health learning consortia, which, too, have strengthened relationships between the practice and academic communities. Balancing traditional public health roles with new preparedness responsibilities heightened public health's visibility, but it also presented significant complexities, including expanded lines of reporting and unremitting inflows of new guidance documents. Currently, a rapidly diminishing public health infrastructure at the state and local levels as a result of federal budget cuts and a poor economy serve as significant barriers to sustaining these nascent federal public health preparedness efforts. Sustaining these improvements will require enhanced coordination, collaboration, and planning across the homeland security enterprise; an infusion of innovation and leadership; and sustained transformative investment for governmental public health. © 2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Turner R.,Analytic Services Inc.
Space Weather | Year: 2012

In the event of a space weather event of national scope and impact, there is a structure responsible for coordinating the nation's response. The political landscape is complex, including not only federal, State and local governments, but also the public, media, academia, and the private sector. Key federal guidance documents include the Stafford Act, Homeland Security Presidential Directives and Presidential Policy Directives on national preparedness. These directives establish a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies to work together to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the impact of disasters. The recent National Preparedness directive is further emphasizing an integrated all-hazard response. The main roles of the space weather community will be to communicate, without undo hype, the potential threat posed by severe space weather events and to provide alerts, warnings, and general space situation awareness to the decision makers. It is important that the space weather community deliver a coordinated and consistent message using all available public media to appropriately communicate the risk. Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.


Turner R.E.,Analytic Services Inc.
Space Weather | Year: 2012

Numerous developments have occurred in commercial space tourism since a feature article in Space Weather first addressed the growing interest in this facet of human space flight [Turner, 2007]. © 2012. The American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Klein J.J.,Analytic Services Inc.
Astropolitics | Year: 2012

The influence of technology on the conduct of warfare and the development of strategy is still largely misunderstood. This confusion also holds true regarding technology's influence on space warfare and the development of space strategy. Judging from history, we can expect that advances in space-related technology will be used in ways commensurate with the current paradigm, especially with respect to military operations. Therefore, space operations will probably play supporting roles to operations on land, at sea, and in the air, at least in the near term. It will likely be some time until the strategic advantages of space-based or space-enabled operations are fully appreciated and effectively employed. Additionally, the historical theory and principles of general warfare remain valid, even when considering military operations in space. While advances in space-related technology or space-based weaponry will not change the fundamental nature of warfare, they are expected to change warfare's conduct and character. Through a better understanding of technology's influence on military operations, it is possible to develop a more complete theory and more fully developed strategic principles of space warfare. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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