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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.

The drama surrounding Microsoft's new CEO has been something akin to the reality TV show ‘The Bachelor’. Who would be the perfect match for the rich, handsome, but somewhat socially awkward hunk?

In order to answer this question, it became publicly clear that there was confusion both within Microsoft and in the market in general as to what role the organisation would – indeed should – take in a rapidly changing technology market. The choice of Satya Nadella says as much about the company's final direction as it does about the man.


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Conclusion: Software Asset Management (SAM) is not simply a set of technologies: it is a set of ongoing organisational practices and processes. Prior to embarking on SAM, organisations need to ensure that the foundations for a successful program are in place: identification and education of executive stakeholders, clarifying the scope of the SAM and setting clear and measurable objectives as well as identifying the sources and quality of information required.


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Conclusion: Software Asset Management (SAM) is now a pressing issue for many organisations, due to growing complexities in vendor licensing as a result of the mix of: traditional per device, virtualisation, consumerisation, mobility, cloud services licensing models. SAM is no longer just a tracking service, but an essential part of financial and risk management. However, implementing SAM solutions must accompanied by the alignment of key business units. Processes – both for governance and automation – must be clearly defined between the key business units if SAM is to be of any lasting value.


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Conclusion: Mobile devices have fundamentally different patching and upgrade cycles compared to the desktop models of which IT services staff are familiar. The key differences are: more frequent refresh cycles, cloud-based updates that generally are not manageable by the organisation, Internet-based rather than intranet-based delivery of upgrades. Managing mobile patches and upgrades will more about end-user communication, training, and change management than technology.


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Conclusion: Software Asset Management (SAM) is a widely overlooked and misunderstood practice. Over the last five years IBRS has seen a marked rise in organisations finding themselves out of compliance due to immature SAM practices, and this is resulting in licensing exposure ranging from hundreds of thousands, to millions of dollars. This rise is partly due to the more aggressive stance of software vendors, namely Microsoft, Adobe and Autodesk. However, it is mainly due to a lack of awareness among IT professionals of the financial risks of not having SAM, and the potential benefits of getting SAM right. IT executives should determine the benefits SAM brings to their organisation, and articulate these to senior business executives.


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Conclusion: Given previous uncertainties regarding the future of TRIM, and dissatisfaction with what is perceived to be onerous knowledge management, IBRS has noted that many organisations are considering replacing TRIM with SharePoint. Simply migrating to SharePoint will not alleviate the perceived problems associated with TRIM, nor indeed traditional EDRMS in general. Organisations should recognise that while knowledge management is more important than ever, it will not be met with a single solution. Instead, multiple repositories for different types of knowledge, at different stages of the knowledge lifecycle will be required.


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Conclusion: Microsoft’s licensing for its end user products (Windows, Office) attempts to straddle the old desktop-bound paradigm and the new user-centric paradigm brought to the fore by mobility, cloud services and consumerisation of end points. This has resulted in a fragmented and complex set of intertwined usage rights that can confound even the most astute procurement specialist. The only workable approach is to prepare long-term scenarios that deal with specific end-user situations and have Microsoft develop and confirm the licensing requirement in writing prior to deployment: plan for more dynamic application deployment, but externalise the effort, time, costs and risk of the licensing decision back to Microsoft.


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Conclusion: A new category of service provider is emerging in the cloud ecosystem: ‘Cloud Integration Services’. Cloud Integration Services will have significant implications for IT planning, investments, and the extent to which IT can maintain control over architecture and standards. Understanding the role of Cloud Integration Services, their strengths, their limitations, and the likely impact on traditional IT groups is essential for any organisation that is engaged with, or considering being engaged with cloud services – which is everyone.


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Conclusion: The concept of work context provides a framework to examine how staff interact with technology, information and their environment when performing different tasks. Without considering work context, mobility strategies can become overly focused on a single delivery channel for mobility – usually handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones – and miss other opportunities.


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Related Articles:

"Coping with Mobility - Part 3: aligning generic use cases to application development approaches" IBRS, 2012-04-30 00:00:00

"Coping with Mobility - Part 2: First steps towards a holistic mobility strategy" IBRS, 2012-03-29 00:00:00

"Coping with Mobility - part 1: mobile architecture and the enterprise" IBRS, 2012-02-28 00:00:00

"Coping with mobility - part 4: governance" IBRS, 2012-05-31 00:00:00

"Coping with mobility - part 5: developing the strategy" IBRS, 2012-10-28 00:00:00

Conclusion: Organisations looking at building enterprise mobile applications too often put the device selection and coding tools selection as their primary concerns. Instead, organisations should be focusing on identifying the mobility architectures need to support business strategy. Technological priorities then become identification of broad mobile service platforms, integration infrastructure and abstraction of the client.


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