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: The Workspace of the Future is a vision statement on how staff and stakeholders will perform tasks related to their work in the next decade. It includes technological innovation (e. g. mobility, Cloud, data analytics), organisation transformation (e. g. activity-based working) and cultural change (e. g. social, collaboration). To realise this vision, especially given its all-encompassing and potentially transformational impact, requires a strategy that is specifically crafted to fit with an organisation’s long-term objectives. Part of this strategy is a complete rethink of end user computing, by challenging desktop era assumptions.

However, challenging assumptions is difficult. To gain clarity, IBRS recommends mapping assumptions to principles and business impacts. By conducting an assumption mapping exercise, organisations may begin to not only communicate the need for change within both IT and business groups but, also, uncover potential for fundamental business transformation.


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Conclusion: organisations planning to move to Microsoft Cloud-based Office 365 should first examine and segment their workforce to identify the most appropriate mix of Office 365 editions (which Microsoft calls SKUs) for staff, and then examine Microsoft’s various licensing options. Organisations with existing enterprise agreements need to be particularly careful with the latter, not so much to avoid compliance issues, but rather to minimise spend.


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Related Articles:

"The journey of Office 365: A guiding framework Part 3: Post-implementation" IBRS, 2016-05-05 00:21:00

"The journey to Office 365: A guiding framework Part 1" IBRS, 2016-03-01 04:23:10

"The journey to Office 365: A guiding framework Part 2 migration" IBRS, 2016-04-01 04:43:19

"The journey to Office 365: Part 4 – Skills" IBRS, 2016-06-02 00:26:00

Conclusion: email and basic collaboration services have reached a point where Cloud-based solutions deliver features, quality of service and reliability at price points that cannot be met by the vast majority of in-house IT groups. The question is not should an organisation move its email and basic collaborations services to the Cloud, or even when an organisation should move to the Cloud, but what additional collaboration services will move to the Cloud at the same time.


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Conclusion: when approaching significant software licensing decisions, consider re-evaluating the organisation’s licensing service provider (LSP) to bring contestability to value-added services and costs not directly related to the software licences. Determining appropriate selection criteria for an LSP is based partly on an organisation’s software asset management maturity, and investments in software asset management capabilities, and a range of vendor management issues.


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Conclusion: Enterprise mobility provides opportunities for fundamental shifts in: how organisations interact with stakeholders; how work gets done; where work happens; and how organisations are structured. Mobility itself is not a single product, but the result of the intersection of changes in technology, economics, and culture. Ultimately, enterprise mobility will evolve into a culture that is synonymous with Continuous Quality Improvement1. An enterprise mobility maturity assessment can assist an organisation in identifying which areas it needs to address as it moves towards the new culture.


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Conclusion: Adobe’s ‘Cloud’ licensing model, coupled with aggressive auditing tactics, is causing discomfort for organisations in Australia. In the past, organisations used Adobe’s persistent licensing to deploy Adobe’s products in a largely ad hoc fashion. Now these organisations are being scrutinised by Adobe, and finding themselves out of compliance. Reducing the organisation’s Adobe exposure should be considered a priority.


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Organisations migrating to the Cloud and embracing flexible user-based computing have been tied up in knots with Microsoft’s archaic licensing models. On the end user computing side of things, a quick review of my notes on the nuances of Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) licensing and Remote Desktop Services (RDS) licensing are enough to give most people a brain aneurism.


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Conclusion: Organisations that have made a move to Google in an effort to reduce their reliance on the incumbent Microsoft Office Suite have found that migrating from Microsoft involves far more than just human change management. Technological linkages with the Office desktop client(s) hold back organisations’ transfer to the Cloud. Before implementing Cloud-based productivity tools, an organisation should examine just how ‘sticky’ Microsoft Office is within their organisation, and should plan on how to become ‘unstuck’.


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Conclusion: Determining the optimum licensing mix involves not only an understanding of Software Assurance, but also consultation with the organisation’s business strategy groups, as well as a firm understanding of potential structural changes, such as mergers, de-mergers, acquisitions, and growth strategies. Getting the wrong mix can result in overspend, or worse, an inability to adopt business strategies such as mobility, activity based working, or bring-your-own-device.


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Related Articles:

"Understanding and Optimising Microsoft Software Assurance: Part 1 – The Basics" IBRS, 2014-10-01 20:28:23

Software Asset Management tools vendors have been spreading the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) as thick and as fast as they can. It’s not that they’re wrong in their claims of the risks. It’s just that mitigating these risks is not a matter of technology. SAM is a matter of process. It’s a matter of maturity. And here lies a problem with how software asset management is currently being positioned in Australia.


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Conclusion: Microsoft’s Software Assurance should not be viewed as a monolithic software maintenance and ‘upgrade path’ for existing solutions. Instead, it should be viewed as a collection of additional licences that extend product usage rights, and grant features for enterprise scale deployments. Knowing which Software Assurance licences to procure, and which to reject, can result in significant savings.


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Related Articles:

"Understanding and Optimising Software Assurance: Part 2" IBRS, 2014-10-31 17:57:54

Conclusion: Vendor offerings for end-to-end solutions for ‘self-service desktops’ are both limited and immature. Furthermore, organisations are likely to have many of the individual components that comprise a self-service desktop solution. For the next 4-6 years end-user computing cycle, organisations should look to construct self-service portals from existing point solutions, rather than looking for a pre-integrated stack.


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Conclusion: The architecture for a Software Asset Management solution must take into account an organisation’s structure, ability to digest and utilise the information that such solutions provide, using existing tools and processes. Furthermore, the architecture should not be considered a final end-state, but rather an evolving set of technologies and processes which will incrementally deliver benefits over time.


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Related Articles:

"Software Asset Management Maturity Part 1: A pragmatic model" IBRS, 2014-05-30 00:00:00

"Software Asset Management Maturity Part 2: A Process for bootstrapping maturity" IBRS, 2014-06-29 00:00:00

"Software Asset Management maturity Part 4: Approaches for selecting a solution" IBRS, 2017-07-03 23:42:13

Conclusion: Organisations looking to adopt Software Asset Management (SAM) tools for the first time often discover that they lack the structure and maturity to realise the full benefits of these tools. Addressing the deep cultural issues that are at the heart SAM maturity may not be rushed, leapfrogged or outsourced. Instead, a steady process of organisational development is needed. 


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Related Articles:

"Software Asset Management Maturity Part 1: A pragmatic model" IBRS, 2014-05-30 00:00:00

"Software Asset Management Maturity Part 3: Aligning Architecture" IBRS, 2014-07-29 11:24:24

"Software Asset Management maturity Part 4: Approaches for selecting a solution" IBRS, 2017-07-03 23:42:13