Posted by on 14 August 2014
Fifty-five percent of businesses are under threat from digital disruption. An MIT CISR Research Report that landed in my inbox this morning reports that out of a sample of 105 senior executives that attended a recent workshop on digital business models, 55% assess their business as being in the "red zone"—significant threat of digital disruption.
Posted by on 23 July 2014
Building distributed systems is our métier. One lesson we learned very early is the importance of visibility across all the elements in a system. But the more extended and loosely coupled your systems, the harder it is to achieve the visibility required. Loose coupling promotes availability and resilience but works against oversight and control. This is essentially a corollary of the CAP theorem. The challenge is very applicable to microservices as described by Benjamin Wootton in his article "Microservices - Not A Free Lunch!."
Posted by on 02 July 2014
A billion dollars used to be a lot of money. These days it can buy you a small social network, a sports team or perhaps a high profile IT project disaster. ComputerWorld's round-up of top IT disasters for 2013 leads with the Healthcare.gov debacle, but Australia proves its world-class chops with the Queensland Health payroll upgrade project; number two with an estimated cost of A$1.25 billion. These big project failures have many contributing causes and there are some good commission reports to learn from, but undoubtedly a major problem is their sheer size and scope.
Posted by on 25 June 2014
IT goes through cycles—fat clients vs thin clients, centralised mainframes vs distributed computing. These tend to be areas where the costs and benefits of either end of the spectrum are difficult to discriminate between the alternatives. It takes time for the industry to settle on an equilibrium position, and quite often technology change shifts the equilibrium before it is reached.
Posted by on 18 June 2014
There are many catchcries that have been misinterpreted through history. Donald Horne meant it as an indictment when he referred to Australia as the "Lucky Country". Anne Thomas Manes said "SOA is Dead" to refer to the demise of SOA as technology "silver bullet" that could be applied without thought or substantial organizational shift. And Nick Carr has proved to be "spot on" when he says that "IT Doesn't Matter" meaning that as IT becomes more ubiquitous and commodified it is not the mere use of IT that matters, but how an organization uses IT that makes the difference.
Posted by on 11 June 2014
Perhaps the number one problem in enterprise IT is 'change'—how to handle it and how to keep up with a changing world. Gartner says that "IT organizations' application strategies often aren't dynamic enough to handle changes in technology."
Posted by on 04 June 2014
There are two ways to look at integration:
Integration is a cost: poorly planned system procurement and development means that we carry the technical burden of multiple applications with overlapping concerns. Data must be replicated between systems in order for them to function. The mechanisms we use to perform this replication are decided by individual projects and as a result we have a hotch-potch of hundreds of interfaces, in different languages, using different tools, realtime, batch and manual re-keying.
Integration is an opportunity: no single application does what we need to run our organization. No application is an island, so it behoves us to make integration a core competency. By externalising data, processes and events, by making those capabilities addressable from the outside, we can develop and maintain a platform that allows us to build our unique organizational capability on top of our choice of commodity or best of breed applications.
Posted by on 07 August 2012
The IT debates continue - vehemently as ever - about which language, which architecture, which methodology and whether to use any methodology at all. Sometimes it feels like we're stuck in the veritable goldfish bowl admiring the shiny new castle that periodically presents itself. How could everyone be so right and so wrong at the same time?