Colin Boswell

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Conclusions:When an organisation needs to trigger its Business Continuity Plan (BCP), and: it does not exist, or is untested, or is non viable, or it fails when activated..... the results are likely to be catastrophic. It is probable that its operations will not recover smoothly, if at all, and the business will be severely impacted, possibly unable to continue operations.


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Conclusions: While there is now an increasing emphasis on Business Continuity Management (BCM), many organisations still focus on disaster recovery planning. Unwisely they restrict their focus to restoring IT infrastructure, giving only a “cursory nod” towards a more holistic business orientation that focuses on all critical business operations. Some create an artificial air of confidence by developing their business continuity plans and then not proving them. Others have little appreciation of the quality of their Business Continuity Plans (BCP) and whether or not they meet good practice. In all these cases there can be no assurance that the BCPs will be of any practical use if and when they are needed. The outcome will be, at least, serious and could be catastrophic.


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Conclusion: The increased focus on the environmental impact of ICT activities makes it essential that organisations making ICT purchasing decisions focus on the virtuous triple bottom line of economic viability, social responsibility, and environmental impact. Purchase agreements or tender requests for ICT goods and services should explicitly require vendors to demonstrate how and where their products meet the buyer's environmental requirements.


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In 2003, the UK Office of Government Commerce (OGC) established and coordinated “Proof of Concept” trials of Open Source Software (OSS) in a range of public bodies in conjunction with IBM and Sun Microsystems. The OGC report that summarised the key findings from the trials also included information obtained from other public sector activity in OSS planning and deployment in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

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Conclusion: Organisations are moving to minimise their IT staffing problems by contracting much of their planned IT recruitment process to specialised HR outsourcing agencies. This trend, Resource (or Recruitment) Processing Outsourcing (RPO), brings significant benefits including having the right people available at the right time, reducing placement costs, and saving hiring managers time and stress. This RPO approach is even more potent when coupled with Panel Supply contracts. Its value is not limited to ICT recruitment and can be applied across as much of the organisation as will benefit.


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Conclusion: Environmental issues and conservation are now mainstream in almost all areas of commerce and an increasing focus in computing, driven in part by economic and energy considerations. Governments, ICT vendors, providers and consumers must focus on sustainable computing as part of their quest for good citizenship. All participants in the ICT industry will have to respond by adopting and demonstrating sustainable computing principles, whether they want to or not.


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Conclusion: Voice over IP is having, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the telephony and PBX market. Telephony is becoming increasingly software based and is taking advantage of software-related economics. The popularity of services such as Skype1 and Babble2, and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)3, 4 VoIP applications demonstrates this. Microsoft’s recent release5 of its SIP based Office Communications Server (OCS 2007) will have a major impact on the telephony expectations and applications on organisations, irrespective of their size.


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Conclusion: Trusted Computing is a family of open specifications whose stated goal is to make personal computers more secure by using dedicated hardware. Critics, including academics, security experts, and users of free and open source software, contend, however, that the overall effect (and perhaps intent) of Trusted Computing is to impose unreasonable restrictions on how people can use their computers1.


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Conclusion: Until recently, Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been viewed primarily as an antipiracy technology. The recent advances in DRM and digital media management technology now mean that DRM is able to provide significant and new revenue generating opportunities for suppliers of existing or new digital products.


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Conclusion: Large companies can expect a significant business crisis once every four to five years and, if the disruption is significant, the organisation will be seriously affected or may never recover sufficiently to resume business.

The focus on what were once considered separate activities, business continuity, and disaster recovery, has changed and both are now considered an integral part of corporate governance. This integrated approach is now called Business Continuity Management (BCM) and should be the lynch pin in any organisation’s risk management.


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Conclusion: IT/MIS within an organisation can be thought of as a business and, like any business, should have an active marketing plan in place. Such a plan helps the CIO and key members of the MIS group actively promote to all parts of the organisation the value of the services delivered by the MIS Department. The plan should be couched in business terms understood by each user community and not in “IT-speak”.


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Conclusion: Server consolidation has become widespread as budget pressure is maintained and corporate mergers and reorganisations continue. Although the overwhelming majority of consolidation projects are viewed as successful (at least in terms of the reduction in number of servers) when failures occur it is usually because of poor planning. Vendor endorsed programs often appear very attractive, but unless the full implications of your particular environment are taken into account the only goal that will be met is the vendor’s revenue target.


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