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: Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform has a long heritage in the enterprise, but in the past five years its market share has decayed as a tsunami of consumer-oriented smartphones hit the market. Microsoft’s latest offering, Windows Phone 7, is a big step up from its previous mobile offering, but it is unlikely that it will be able to bury the iPhone, as Microsoft attempted to imply recently1. However, the platform has a strong story to tell with regards to enterprise mobility.


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Conclusion:  For many organisations, the issue is not if, but when and how they will move to Windows 7. IBRS has identified three key phases that must be worked through prior to making the move to Windows 7 (or indeed an alternative desktop environment).


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Conclusion: Creation of an enterprise strategy for printing services and printing often revolves around the issue of shared (or centralised) printing resources versus local (desktop) printers. The common approach is to use a TCO model to identify which approach is most suitable. However, simplistic TCO models miss important secondary financial and workplace benefits. When creating an enterprise printing strategy, one must look deeper into the TCO model.


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My dog is cloud computing and I think you should invest in him. For a start, he’s a total mongrel and everyone has a different opinion about what he actually is. No one will ever be able to clearly define him because they all look at him and see what they want. In that respect he’s exactly like cloud computing. Some people see him as infrastructure, others as a platform for applications and others see something between. One thing is certain though, no matter what you think my dog is, he’s fuzzy.


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Conclusion: Electronic documents and records management solutions (EDRMS) from yesteryear are failing to provide the flexibility and collaborative experiences that today’s organisations require. In most organisations, less than 10% of content has been placed in existing EDRMSs. However, investing in a new EDRMS will not result in greater satisfaction levels if new principles are not first adopted.


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Conclusion: Traditional approaches to web application performance optimisation have focused on the physical network infrastructure, WAN optimisation, and to a lesser extent application development. As web applications become mainstream, the complex issue of ensuring they remain responsive has received increased attention.

Web application performance is impacted by physical infrastructure, application design, software, specialised services and WAN optimisation. This begs the question, who is actually responsible for a web application’s performance? IBRS recommends that a single person, or team, be responsible for end-to-end web application performance, with direct governance of the physical infrastructure, software and services needed.


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Conclusion: Organisations that have fleets of Windows XP desktops will soon find themselves squeezed to either embark on a rushed migration to Windows 7 or pushed into purchasing additional licensing from Microsoft. IT Professionals managing the transition to a new Managed Operating Environment (MOE) must factor in Microsoft’s convoluted licensing options or run the risk of encountering higher than expected costs.


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Conclusion: Organisations that still have Windows XP as their Standard Operating Environments (SOE), and those that have plans to stay with XP for near term, need to tread carefully with regards to Microsoft’s licensing. While remaining compliant with Microsoft’s licensing will not necessarily incur significant costs, falling out of compliance will be costly. Organisations without Software Assurance and those without an active Microsoft Volume Licensing Agreement at risk with regards to falling out of compliance, especially if purchasing desktops with Windows 7 pre-installed.


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Conclusion: In the short-term, the soon to be launched Windows Azure platform is likely to be misunderstood by IT enterprise architects and under-estimated by in-house software developers. The notion of "cloud computing" has become ill-defined and confused. In order to understand where Azure and other cloud based solutions can benefit an enterprise, it is vital to have clear definition of the different classes of cloud computing and the trend of clouds towards greater simplicity at the expense of flexibility.


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Conclusion: Public sector IT departments are facing greater financial scrutiny as a result of both the GFC and the Gershon Report. There is a broad mandate to reduce ‘business as usual’ costs. In order to prioritise projects, manage expectations and drive down IT costs, IT professionals need to understand the key technology trends in the public sector.


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Conclusion: Microsoft’s new Sketchflow product breaks many of rules of software development and prototyping. Instead of taking an architectural approach, where data requirements are identified up front, Sketchflow places the focus firmly on user experience, with the expectation that data and architectural issues will be dealt with in good time. Sketchflow represents a quiet new development approach by Microsoft and one that is worth examining, even if only for a glimpse of things to come.


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Conclusion: This year's Tech·Ed comes at a time when Microsoft is attempting to recapture attention with products such as Windows 7, HyperV, Office 2010, Visual Studio 10 and Silverlight 3. IBRS has analysed Tech·Ed attendee patterns to identify key issues and areas of interest for developers and enterprise architects for the coming year. Topping the list is a range of desktop deployment issues. However, this analysis also shows that some technical skills that have been assumed to exist within IT departments are in fact under-developed. These skill gaps must be addressed prior to new desktop or unified communications deployments.


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Conclusion: With the exception of an improved web browser, Windows 6.5 offers organisations little benefit over Windows 6.1, and developers will find accessing the iPhone-like features cumbersome. Organisations with Microsoft-based mobility initiatives should either ignore 6.5 and wait for Mobile 7, or expand support of alternative mobile platforms.


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At IBRS, we get to see our fair share of IT project failures. We often get called in at the last minute to explain why or how some project is going FUBAR and to suggest remediation tactics. What never ceases to amaze me is that so many of these project failures are identical.


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