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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As the market ecosystem changes, so too do the dominant species. The introduction of Internet and – more importantly – wireless Internet, has changed the IT landscape to such a degree that new dominant species are emerging rapidly: IBM is something of a dinosaur now, shrunk to a stroppy old crocodile; Apple kept its DNA of excellence in branding, evolving from a tasty Macintosh, into a Venus flytrap; and Google is a clever and adaptive monkey; and then there is the mammoth in the room, Microsoft.


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Conclusion: IT managers and purchasing officers need to be aware of recent changes in Microsoft’s licensing and evolving interpretations of licensing terms, or face surprises during true up and licensing negotiations that Microsoft will use to its advantage.


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Conclusion: Rather than building specific solutions for individual, mobile form and workflow applications, organisations should look towards identifying the most appropriate overarching mobile forms architecture from which many different forms-oriented solutions can be realised.


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Conclusion: The Mobile Document Library is one of the three most common generalised use cases. It provides an enterprise answer to the growing ‘drop box’ problem where users are utilising unmanaged public cloud services to gain mobile access to corporate documentation. While unchecked distribution of enterprise documents should be addressed, any solution put forward by IT must have a user experience that is at least as good as cloud-based, consumer-oriented solutions. In addition, the cost savings of automating mobile document distribution can often pay for a fleet of mobile devices: and therefore mobile document libraries can be used to introduce the foundations for a larger mobility initiative.


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Conclusion: Based on recent survey data and interviews conducted by IBRS, the position of Windows 8 in Australian enterprises is likely to be limited to specific use-cases and tablets / hybrid devices, or those with security policies that mandate N-2 versions of the desktop OS. As predicted, Windows 7 will dominate the enterprise and it is our prediction that Windows 7 is set to be the next Windows XP.


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Many organisations are seeing growing demandand discussion around mobility and mobile ap-plications, in particular in the Networks Group.In theory, mobility can enable significant businessinnovation and optimisation of business process-es. However, few organisations have been able toclarify the benefits of mobility in terms that arealigned to their organisational goals and visionsstatements. This challenge is exacerbated by therapid innovation and changes underway in themobility market.

What is needed to address these problems is aconsistent, repeatable process that embeds mo-bility into the organisation’s overall IT Strategy.At the same time, mobility needs to be treatedslightly differently to many traditional projectsof work, as most mobility initiatives are smaller,with shorter deliver times, than large system de-ployments, but of often intimately interconnectedwith, and enabled by, the traditional larger backend systems.

To meet this challenge, IBRS developed its Mobil-ity Strategy Methodology, which provides a formalframework and process.


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Conclusion: Windows 8 desktops are being largely sidestepped by IT managersresponsible for desktop deployments in the enterprise, with many desktop managers suggesting Windows 7 will reign supreme for at least the next 5-7 years. However, many of these managers do see a role for Windows 8 as a solution for enterprise mobility. Windows 8 tablets address most desktop manager’s concerns: manageable, secure, support for existing software and software deployment methods. But users have a very different set of concerns. Desktop managers need to base future solutions on the users’ concerns first and foremost, which means that Windows 8 tablets, or any device for that matter, will not be a panacea for mobility.


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Sometimes IT managers feel like Santa: lots of kiddies storming their armchair, sitting on their laps, demanding the latest must-have toys. But unlike Santa, IT managers don’t have a secret ice bunker full of unpaid yet highly-skilled elves, nor can they deploy their gifts faster than the speed of light via magic flying reindeer. No. Instead, they’re lumbered with the financial constraints of The Grinch.

The only hope for them is to figure out the most popular gift and give it to all the kids. This year’s must have gift is mobility. No question about it, it’s the hands-down favourite toy of screaming kiddies and frustrated executives the world over.


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Conclusion: Maintaining innovation while gaining clarity and control over IT operations is a fine balancing act, especially in organisations that are seeing rapid growth. IBRS recently conducted a series of interviews with Australian CIOs regarding their approach to this dilemma. This research note outlines the different approaches taken by these CIOs, and the impact of their personal philosophies regarding staff development on the IT Operating Model.


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Conclusion: A mobility strategy is not simply a broad set of statements and visions for how mobility can be used in enterprise. While it must be connected to the broad vision statements of the enterprise, a mobility strategy must identify specific aspects of the organisation where it can deliver a multiplying (not just incremental) impact on the business. Furthermore, the strategy needs to contain specific, achievable actions that will lead to the delivery of this value. This research note concludes the “Coping with Mobility” series by bringing all aspects previously discussed into a workable strategy for mobility.


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Related Articles:

"Coping with Mobility - Part 3: aligning generic use cases to application development approaches" IBRS, 2012-04-30 00:00:00

"Coping with Mobility - part 1: mobile architecture and the enterprise" IBRS, 2012-02-28 00:00:00

"Coping with Mobility - Part 2: First steps towards a holistic mobility strategy" IBRS, 2012-03-29 00:00:00

"Coping with mobility - part 4: governance" IBRS, 2012-05-31 00:00:00

"Coping with mobility Part 6: Work context" IBRS, 2013-06-26 00:00:00

Conclusion: Many organisations approach Unified Communications as a singular initiative: a generic solution that will solve myriad business issues. One key tenet behind this thinking is that the unified communications will "unify" all aspects of communications, from voice and text chat to presence and video. In practice, however unified communications is best deployed to meet specific business cases, and does not actually need to be deeply integrated in order to achieve the benefits sought in many real business cases put forward. In summary, some of the best implementations of unified communications have not been unified at all.


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Conclusion: For desktop fleets, Windows 8 offers few benefits to enterprises over Windows 7 and presents a number of additional challenges. However, its arrival will place more pressure on organisations still using XP to migrate. IBRS recommends organisation standardise on Windows 7 rather than Windows 8 for enterprise desktops.


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Conclusion: In order to optimise spending on Microsoft’s products, licensing should not be viewed as a short-term, tactical activity, but rather a long-term strategic activity. Failure to do so will almost certainly result in licensing surprises in future, and the turmoil and budget overruns associated with such situations.


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Conclusion: Microsoft licensing continues to be a major point of confusion and disruption to many IT groups, and procurement managers. Understanding the principles underlying Microsoft’s licensing will go a long way to optimising procurement during negotiations and avoiding licensing errors.


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