Jorn Bettin

Jorn Bettin

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Conclusion: The Australian Institute of Management recognises that leadership and management will need to continue to evolve to keep up with technological innovation and globalisation. Whilst organisations are usually aware of the need to keep up with technological changes, they often struggle with the practical implications for management and impact on organisational structure. On the one hand operational management can increasingly be automated, and on the other hand the ability to build and lead high performance teams is gaining in importance. Having appropriate people in executive team leadership positions is critical.


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Conclusion: Over the last decade, the volume of data that governments and private corporations collect from citizens has been eclipsed by the data produced by individuals, as photos, videos, and messages on online social platforms, and also the data produced by large scale networks of sensors that monitor traffic, weather, and industrial systems. Web users are increasingly recognising the risks of handing over data-mining rights to a very small group of organisations, whist getting very little in return. The pressure is on to develop robust solutions that not only deliver value, but also address concerns about data ownership, privacy, and the threat of data theft and abuse.


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Conclusion: Does every organisation need a dedicated ECM system? Not necessarily. Given the breadth of the topic, it is common to use a combination of different systems to adequately address enterprise wide management of content. When embarking on an ECM initiative, it is important to set clear priorities, and to explicitly define the limits of scope, otherwise the solution that is developed may primarily be a costly distraction.


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Conclusion: Educating executives in the essentials of information management and related technology trends is an ongoing challenge. CEOs and board members are being bombarded with simplistic marketing messages from the big global IT solution vendors, as well as the messages from the most prominent local IT service providers. The same vendors usually target CIOs and senior IT managers with a bewildering set of new, “must-have” technologies every year. To avoid spending millions of IT dollars on dead ducks, vendor claims must be deconstructed into measurable aspects of product or service quality.


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Conclusion: The discipline of Enterprise Architecture has evolved from the need to articulate and maintain a big picture overview of how an organisation works, covering organisational structure, processes, and systems. Whilst Enterprise Architecture can assist in implementing industry best practices, several-fold improvements in productivity and quality are only possible if the organisation makes a conscious effort to attract and retain top-level subject matter experts, and if it commits to a so-called Domain Engineering / Software Product Line approach to the strategic analysis of market needs and the design of products and services.


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Conclusion: Lock-in to software technology always goes hand in hand with lock-in to knowledge. When using Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software, most of the lock-in relates to elements external to the organisation. In contrast, the use and development of open source software encourages development of tacit knowledge that extends into the public domain. It is time to move beyond the passive consumption of open source software, to remove business-risk inducing restrictions on the flow of knowledge, and to start actively supporting the development of open source software.


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Related Articles:

"The Art of Lock-In Part 2" IBRS, 2011-07-26 00:00:00

"The Art of Lock-In; Part 1" IBRS, 2011-06-28 00:00:00

Conclusion: Lock-in is often discussed in relation to external suppliers of products and services. In doing so it is easy to overlook the lock-in relating to internal tacit knowledge and in-house custom software. The opposite of lock-in is not “no lock-in”, it is lock-in to an alternative set of behaviour and structures. Even though organisations can sometimes suffer from an excessive degree of external lock-in, organisations also benefit from lock-in, in the form of reduced costs and risk exposure. The art of lock-in involves continuously monitoring the business environment, and knowing when to switch from external to internal lock-in and vice versa.


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Related Articles:

"The Art of lock-in Part 3" IBRS, 2011-08-24 00:00:00

"The Art of Lock-In; Part 1" IBRS, 2011-06-28 00:00:00

Conclusion: To date vendors such as Microsoft and Apple have been able to exploit operating systems as an effective mechanism for creating locked-in technology ecosystems, but the emergence of the HTML5 standard and Google Chrome sees the value of such ecosystems tending towards zero.

Providers of Cloud Computing services are united by the goal of minimising the relevance of in-house IT, from hardware right up to operating systems and higher-level infrastructure software. Enterprise application vendors such as SAP1 and Salesforce.com are pulling in the same direction. To avoid sunk IT costs and a dangerous level of technology lock-in, any further developments of in-house architectures and applications that ignore this trend should be re-examined.


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Related Articles:

"The Art of Lock-In Part 2" IBRS, 2011-07-26 00:00:00

"The Art of lock-in Part 3" IBRS, 2011-08-24 00:00:00

Conclusion: In many organisations there is a major disconnect between user expectations relating to software quality attributes (reliability of applications, intuitive user interfaces, correctness of data, fast recovery from service disruption, and so on.) and expectations relating to the costs of providing applications that meet those attributes.The desire to reduce IT costs easily leads to a situation where quality is compromised to a degree that is unacceptable to users. There are three possible solutions:

  1.  Invest heavily in quality assurance measures,
  2.  Focus on the most important software features at the expense of less important ones, or
  3. Tap into available tacit domain knowledge to simplify the organisation, its processes, and its systems.

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Software: Ah, what a day. Do you know you’re the 53,184th person today asking me for an account balance? What is it with humans, can’t you even remember the transactions you’ve performed over the last month? Anyway, your balance is $13,587.52. Is there anything else that I can help you with?

Customer: Hmm, I would have expected a balance of at least $15,000. Are you sure it’s 13,500?

Software: 13,500? I said $13,587.52. Look, I’m keeping track of all the transactions I get, and I never make any mistakes in adding numbers.

Customer: This doesn’t make sense. You should have received a payment of more than $2,000 earlier this week.


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Conclusion: We are living in the Knowledge Age, and the operations of many organisations are critically dependent on the use of software-intensive systems. The value of operational data is well recognised, and the power struggle between the Internet superpowers such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook is largely about control over data. Knowledge however, is much more than raw data, and can be defined as the capability to transform data into valuable products and services. Today vast amounts of knowledge are expressed in the form of program source code and related data structure definitions. Most of this knowledge is not nearly as easily accessible and modifiable as we would like it to be. Techniques for knowledge reconstruction are becoming highly relevant, and organisations are well advised to up-skill Enterprise Architects and Business Analysts in this new discipline.


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Conclusion: In order to be effective, Quality Assurance must be woven into all parts of the organisational fabric. Designing, implementing, and monitoring the use of an appropriate quality management framework is the role performed by a dedicated Quality Assurance Centre of Excellence in the organisation. This internal organisation ties together QA measures that apply to core business processes and the technical QA measures that apply to IT system development and operations. Unless the QA CoE provides useful tools and metrics back to other business units, quality assurance will not be perceived as an essential activity that increases customer satisfaction ratings.


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Conclusion: The evolution of the social web 2.0 is creating a plethora of technologies for conducting transactions, with eBay, Amazon and PayPal being the most prominent players. The global financial crisis has sped up a trend towards specialised markets for peer-to-peer transactions and towards radically new business models that have the potential to transform entire industries. Consumers and SMEs are driving the change, and traditional banks and established corporations must re-focus part of their competitive edge on those areas that complement peer-to-peer transactions. Peer-to-peer exchange is as old as recorded human history, but traditionally it was limited in scope, leading to the creation of financial institutions that perform the role of a broker of trust between sellers and buyers, a role that is now being challenged by web based alternatives.


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Conclusion: The increasing reliance of software solutions on third party web services creates new kinds of risks that must be considered when designing software systems. The main difference between in-house software components and external web services is the level of control available in the event of unforeseen issues. Consequently it is prudent to invest in improving the level of fault-tolerance and usability of applications. In order to determine where improvements are needed, organisations need to understand the end-to-end web service supply chains that are encoded in their software solutions.


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