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Cloud, SaaS, PaaS, SOA, Web 2.0: What Were They Again? Reflections After a Stint on the Other Side

29 Apr

Hello.  I have been somewhat absent of late.  Please let me explain.

Basically I left Fujitsu Services in November 2008 to have a change of scene after working on cloud strategy for three years.  This change of scene turned out to be effectively working as CTO of the General Insurance business at Lloyds TSB (a big bank in the UK) and hence already much closer to the coal face of today’s IT realities.  At about the same time Lloyds TSB decided to acquire another big UK bank named HBOS as a result of the global financial crisis.  What ensued for me was thus 18 months of hardcore enterprise architecture, driving the development of a target operating model and roadmap for the IT capability of the merged insurance organisation and leading a great group of architects in its realisation.

I don’t really plan to talk much about the work I did other than to say that:

  1. I got to do a lot of EA work – particularly focused around the business capability concepts I’ve often discussed on this blog in the past;
  2. I had the opportunity to reflect deeply on the way in which a large and mature internal IT organisation works, the needs of modern businesses and my beliefs in new IT business models;
  3. I had a great time working with a fantastic group of people and together we managed to deal successfully with some pretty huge challenges; and
  4. I discovered that the pressures of such a huge undertaking weren’t really conducive to out-of-hours blogging, lol.

Once again things are on the move for me, however; as I was arriving at the end of a phase of delivery I was offered the opportunity to work with the software arm of the Fujitsu Group on cloud computing again.  Given that my interest in the subject had never waned I regretfully decided to leave Lloyds TSB and start a fresh challenge with some new perspectives.

As a result I am rebooting this blog to return to my discussions of all things related to future business models for both IT and the organisations that use it.  In this spirit of ‘returning’ I am going to finish the series of three posts that got caught in my hiatus – especially as I have had quite a number of requests for part III whilst I’ve been busy elsewhere, lol.  The content is now 18 months old but I guess it will be a fitting jumping off point for my new reflections as it creates a bridge between the ‘me of then’ and the ‘me of now’.

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Summer Hiatus

11 Sep

Well it’s been a long break since my last post as I’ve been coping with the long summer break – both my own (well deserved) and others (totally undeserved) holidays.  In the former case I obviously left everything in good order for my colleagues but in the latter they obviously left me a pile of stuff to deal with in their absence. 

In any case I’m back now and have made a number of resolutions:

  1. To post more often
  2. To post less lengthily (if that is a word)
  3. To comment more on other people’s posts.

In deference to the second aim I’ll stop there and go and post something short and more useful; although it’ll take a train journey or something before I’m able to post about other people’s stuff 😉

The Wisdom of Hype Cycles

14 May

Just came across this image after following a link to John Evdemon’s site.  I think the phrase – at least according to one of my friends who is teaching me IM etiquette – is LMAO.

I think my favourite is ‘Harnessing the wisdom of crowds that watch “Dancing with the Stars”‘.  I’ve always loved the phrase ‘wisdom of crowds’ for the way in which it conjures up – at least to me – one of those scenes from an old Frankenstein film where a shabby, ill-educated crowd brandish torches and pitchforks whilst whipping each other up into a bloodthirsty mob.  They may be wise for all I know but the evidence of my own eyes kind of points to dumb.  God forbid that someone who knows something about the ‘Monster’ try to reason with them either, particularly given that we now – no doubt partially as a result of studying such footage – have realised that if a crowd thinks something then it must be right (although I also thought that a crowd with an opinion could be termed ‘a mob’ but then I guess that was before I ‘wised up’ to their authentic wisdom).

The thing that really made me laugh about the phrase in this spoof hype cycle, though, was the way in which it highlights the recent revelation that harnessing the wisdom of people irrespective of its quality is the way to go; the more people who think something the more true it must be – lowest common denominator obviously trumps talent, discrimination or expertise since more people think it’s better.  

I’m really looking forward to the continued democratisation of every field – the more the wisdom of the genuine crowd (i.e. the mass of everyone) permeates the arts, politics and business the less I’ll have to worry about stuff, since everyone will tend to the same level of mediocrity given that its cheaper and doesn’t hurt your head. 

Lol.

Sunshine as a Service and Blog Guilt

22 Apr

Hello. My name is Ian and I haven’t blogged for 12 days.

I have to say that I’m amazed; I’ve just enjoyed a couple of weeks holiday in the unseasonably fine weather here in Wales and now find myself feeling horribly guilty for not posting over that period.  I only started this blog a few weeks ago and I’m already suffering from ‘Blog Angst’.

Oh well, I’m back in work today and so I’d best pull my finger out and have a look at what’s been happening whilst I’ve been building trampolines and such like with my kids. 

The sunshine was pretty cool, though 😉

Blagging Kick Off

29 Mar

Hello.  My name is Ian and I am a long suffering technical strategist within a large global IT services organisation.  I’ve basically been working in the Internet space for just over 10 years, cutting my teeth on Java and CORBA, getting over-exited by CBD and then rising and falling with each successive wave of change like a storm tossed, drunken sailor (or maybe like one of those people in a tedious Mexican wave that just keeps on coming despite the fact that everyone’s had enough – whey hey a new technology, doh! sit down, whey hey a new technology, doh! sit down).  Over the last 5 years I’ve been concentrating on SOA, BPM and Internet business models, latterly with great over-excitement (hey, it’s a pattern) around web 2.0, capability unbundling, SaaS, service aggregation, BPO etc. etc.  As you can see the list of areas of interest seems to expand with each wave, going kind of:

Java

Java and CORBA

Java and CORBA and J2EE

Java and J2EE and web services

Java and J2EE and web services and SOA

Java and J2EE and web services and SOA and BPM

Java and J2EE and web services and SOA and BPM and unbundling

Java and J2EE and web services and SOA and BPM and unbundling and .net

…. and on to

Java and J2EE and web services and SOA and BPM and unbundling and .net and software factories and industrialisation and virtualisation and business architecture and web 2.0 and business 2.0 and mashups and aggregation and SaaS and BPO….

I guess there’s no need to labour the point.

Anyway, I’ve been threatening to start a blog for a while now as I’ve certainly been taking heavily from the communities in these areas and wanted to start giving a little back.  As a result I’m going to start throwing my ideas and concepts down here as a way of engaging in the debate.

Why IT Blagger 3.0?  Well having to sound sensible on all of these subjects (and on the growing list of related and orthogonal concepts) sometimes makes me feel like I’m making it up as I go along (surely not).  At the same time who’s going to pay attention to something that isn’t at least 2.0?  As a result I thought I’d just cut to the chase and claim a blagging ability of 3.0 in order to demonstrate that I’m new, social and open.  That’s got to be a good thing, surely?

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