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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: 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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Conclusion:SharePoint’s rapid installation across organisations (and especially within the public sector) is leading to fragmented deployment, which is then causing difficulties when attempting to merge or share content and applications. Organisations that are part of a federation, such as Local and State Councils – can alleviate future integration bottlenecks, reduce investments in application development, increase the rate of eServices delivery and help ensure that stakeholders can share information, by adopting the governance practices from the open source community.


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Conclusion: Microsoft licensing costs for SharePoint range from free to well over A$100,000. Minimising installation costs requires organisations carefully analyse user requirements, business needs and then narrowly define what SharePoint features are actually needed, then work through Microsoft's licensing model, taking into account existing enterprise licensing arrangements. Savings of over A$30,000 on SharePoint deployments are possible through careful selection of licensing options.


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Conclusion: Windows 7 is ready for release and by now most organisations' IT departments will have spent some time evaluating the product. While initial reviews have been positive, a fundamental question still needs to be asked - does this new operating system offer your enterprise anything of substantial benefit that would warrant its use?


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Conclusion: The recent media frenzy regarding Google’s soon-to-be-released operating system is not a sign of a serious competitor to Microsoft’s Windows Operating system – it’s the last gasps of a dying IT topic. That is, the importance of the operating system. As the computing power of underlying hardware on non-desktop devices (SmartPhones, handheld devices, netbooks, game consoles and so on) increase, and as consumers become increasingly technology savvy, users are caring less about the operating system and more about the overall ‘usability’ and ‘experience’ of the applications on the devices, which are provided by user interface layers that reside above the operating system. While operating systems will remain a consideration for IT architects, they will increasingly be a moot point for users. This has significant implications for IT management.


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Conclusion: A decision to migrate an enterprises desktop operating environment from Microsoft Windows XP to Windows Vista in the near term, or to wait until Windows 7 is available and proven, is both technically and politically complex. The final decision depends heavily upon several key factors: the existing software and hardware infrastructure, Microsoft licensing arrangements, the sophistication of desktop management tools, scale of the help desk and ability to train end users and manage change.


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In the News

The pros and cons of shadow IT In today’s business world - WHICH-50 - 23 July 2019

Shadow IT sounds like a covert — quite possibly dark — force. And to some people it may well be. But the truth is both far simpler and more complex. According to Cisco, Shadow IT is the use of...
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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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