Joseph Sweeney

Joseph Sweeney

Dr. Joseph Sweeney is an IBRS advisor specialising in the areas of workforce transformation and the future of work, including; workplace strategies, end-user computing, collaboration, workflow and low code development, data-driven strategies, policy, and organisational cultural change. He is the author of IBRS’s Digital Workspaces methodology. Dr Sweeney has a particular focus on Microsoft, Google, AWS, VMWare, and Citrix. He often assists organisations in rationalising their licensing spend while increasing workforce engagement. He is also deeply engaged in the education sector. Joseph was awarded the University of Newcastle Medal in 2007 for his studies in Education, and his doctorate, granted in 2015, was based on research into Australia’s educational ICT policies for student device deployments.

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Conclusion:

Workstyle innovation encompasses three aspects: technology, culture, and management. To be truly innovative and define a hybrid workplace that actually works for all staff, organisations should revisit work practices, physical spaces, and culture. Organisations may need to redefine (and digitise) existing processes and reinvent physical working spaces.


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TechnologyOne released a significant study into the economics of Cloud computing and SaaS, which has significant insights - and implications - for Australian organisations. Deemed ‘too big to ignore’, the study details the costs and benefits of IaaS and SaaS adoption by industry sectors and provides IT strategists with realistic benchmarks. After the success of this report, IBRS advisor Dr Joseph Sweeney was invited to join InnovationAus.com on The Pause Breakfast to discuss Software-as-a-Service and the next phase of economic transformation.

For anyone interested in the role of technology and information management in shaping the full potential of organisations across all sectors, look no further.

 

 

 

Conclusion:

Australia was one of the fastest markets in the world to transition from Microsoft’s persistence licensing of Office and related services, to the subscription-based Office 365 (launched in 2017). More recently, Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365, which bundles Windows OS and related services into the subscription licensing. In most cases, organisations selected to migrate into the Office 365 enterprise plan 3 (E3) licensing, as this offered the closest like-for-like offering for the Office suite.

However, organisations are now looking at their 365 licensing and realising they have not realised all the benefits of Microsoft’s 365 offerings. In addition, Microsoft is evolving its licensing bundles to entice clients to adopt higher levels – currently this is largely via the additional security features that are bundled into higher-end 365 enterprise plan 5 (E5) licensing.

With licensing costs disproportionately impacting small to medium-sized businesses, concerns on the platform’s value remain crucial as these pain points impact their investment in this suite of services.

IBRS recently hosted a roundtable discussion with members of the Australian IT community to uncover some pressing challenges users have encountered with Microsoft 365. The key findings and recommendations from this peer event are detailed in this paper.


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Conclusion:

As the use of video meetings and online calls has skyrocketed, so too has the use of call recording solutions. However, there is an urgent need to implement stronger security controls over these solutions and implement policies over the use of recording solutions procured by staff as shadow IT. Most importantly, organisations should ban any recording solutions that do not support multifactor authentication.

 

NOTE: Since publishing of this paper, Otter.AI as introduced multifactor authentication (MFA) on all tiers of its product. This repositions Otter.AI well as an enterprise-ready meeting recording / transcription tool. Other tools mentioned in the paper remain without MFA and should be avoided.

 


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It is a mistake to view Office 365 as simply a move to subscription licensing and Cloud-based services. Organisations that simply view Office 365 in this way fail to obtain value from the technology, and continue with business as usual, albeit with an increase in cost and licensing.


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Conclusion:

During the lockdowns imposed around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and organisations had no choice but to find a way to pivot and continue operations. This pushed numerous businesses to work away from the workplace. Working from home became the new normal.

With the challenge of not being able to work in the office and not being able to work together in a physical setting, came a new set of hurdles and expectations. Businesses who were able to invest in technology and infrastructure prior to the pandemic were able to adapt immediately. However, this setup does not only require up-to-date technology, it also requires that the organisational culture be one of trust and accountability, especially with the change in employee expectations.

Now, with the easing of restrictions, normal is again being rewritten with the concept of a hybrid workplace where employees can work from home on some days, and come to the office on some days.


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Conclusion:

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised expectations for improved organisational processes, new policies, and evolving workplace habits. Armed with experiences from 2020 and 2021, many (not all) knowledge workers now prefer to work for organisations that can give them tools to do their jobs remotely and effectively. What is often overlooked in this discussion is the increased need to consider diversity and inclusion in a hybrid work enablement process.

Leaders have critical decisions to make in relation to both hiring and the creation of a workplace that embraces diversity.


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Conclusion:

Disruptive collaboration is the term IBRS uses to describe the impact collaboration tools have on processes, knowledge management, and organisational structures. Over the last two years, most staff members have become familiar with collaborative solutions, such as Microsoft Teams. There is no going back.

As a result, many organisations are beginning to discover how outmoded their enterprise knowledge and records management solutions are. We are in the midst of a tectonic shift away from the traditional paper metaphor of business, to a digitally native, collaborative business model. Organisations must be prepared for the coming generation of knowledge management solutions that address this new collaborative business model.


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IBRSiQ is a database of client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.


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Conclusion: Chatbots are a valuable addition to any organisation’s customer service strategy, and are an essential part of the toolkit that should support your organisation’s high-tech, high-touch approach to increasing customer satisfaction.


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Conclusion: Organisations are using chatbots as information assistants, advisors, and digital services channels. Most businesses start with generic chatbots (as virtual agents), but as the demand for customer communication grows, chatbots require integration with an increasing number of backend systems and improved scalability.

The reason why most chatbot ventures fail is the inability to recognise that the chatbot principle is simple, yet complexity of deployment rises sharply over time. In addition, chatbot design must align the business and target audiences, and both will evolve. This subtle shift over time is important as organisations need to learn the role, tone, specific purpose, and personalities of their chatbots based on actual usage and feedback.

Thus, starting small with continuous, incremental development is the best strategy for chatbot development. However, this iterative approach must balance the development of chatbots with business implementation, and must consider the attributes of the existing and future deployments.


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IBRSiQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.


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Conclusion:

Implementing machine learning operations (MLOps) is complicated by several challenges: the number of the stakeholders involved in a project; the shortage of people with the necessary skills; the scope of regulatory compliance; validation of the machine learning (ML) model; and model degradation issues. Considering how these challenges will be addressed is a vital precursor for the successful implementation of MLOps.


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ICT executives and data analytics specialists are facing ever-increasing demands from business stakeholders. Driven by vendors’ promises of agile, self-service analytics and instant access to big data, business stakeholders expect the world, while concerns of governance and data quality are often overlooked.

In this webinar replay, IBRS explores the growing tension between business stakeholders expectations and the ICT group’s ability to provide appropriate guardrails for analytics.

The video explores:

  • How the concerns of business stakeholders differ from those of ICT
  • The four operating models of business intelligence
  • The emergence of data mesh architecture, and the potential impact
  • Using data literacy maturity to drive an evolving and practical data strategy

Download the presentation kit:  Business-First_Analytics_Webinar.pdf