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Joseph Sweeney

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Dr. Joseph Sweeney is an IBRS advisor specialising in the areas of workforce transformation and end user computing, including: workplace strategies, enterprise solutions, collaboration, policy, organisational cultural change, and software deployment and licensing.  He is the author of IBRS’s Digital Workspaces methodology. Dr Sweeney has a particular focus on Microsoft products, and often assists organisations in rationalising their Microsoft licensing spend and helping to identify budget for end user computing innovation. He is an accomplished technology strategist and pioneer of Asia’s internet industry. He was a cofounder and Vice President, of Asia Online, where he headed up product development  and assisted the start-up grow into one of Asia’s leading Internet and on-line services. He is also deeply engaged in the education sector. He 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.

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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In the News

Busting The Three Big Cloud Myths - WHICH-50 - 11 June 2019

Organisations that are resisting the shift to cloud computing are often basing their decisions on common misconceptions around security, price and integration. That’s a key finding in a recent...
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ANZ business users calling the shots in ICT decisions

Conducted by Australia’s Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS) and commissioned by TechnologyOne, the survey of 261 business leaders in ANZ has shown that business functions are having more...
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Managed security: a big gamble for Aussie IT providers - CRN - 02 August 2018

TechSci Research estimates the Australian managed security services (MSS) market will grow at a CAGR of more than 15 percent from 2018-23 as a result of the increased uptake of cloud computing and...
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Kids, Education and The Future of Work with Dr Joseph Sweeney - Potential Psychology - 25 July 2018

What is the future of work and how do we prepare our kids for it? Are schools and universities setting kids up for future success? Does technology in the classroom improve outcomes for kids? Should...
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PageUp starts rebuilding and looks to learn lessons after data breach nightmare - AFR - 27 June 2018

The timing couldn't have been worse for PageUp; two days before Europe's new data protection regime came into force the Melbourne-based online recruitment specialist's security systems detected...
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