Strategy & Transformation

Flourishing in the modern marketplace relies on an organisation’s ability to make the right choices.

To avoid being left behind in an evolving world it is critical for organisations to jump at opportunities for transformational growth. However, acting without sufficient planning is fraught with risk. 

Transformation can only happen when an organisation is aligned on its strategic intent, and IT leaders need the resources to drive great choice-making across their organisation.

From planning to delivery, IBRS can cut through the confusion and guide your organisation all the way through its transformational journey. Our advisors have first-hand experience delivering digital transformation projects and can develop a tailored roadmap to deliver the outcomes you want. 

Conclusion: IT executives are increasingly being pressured to adopt Windows 64-bit operating systems as a foundation for the next generation of desktop environment. Vendors – and in many cases IT engineers – are touting a range of technical benefits of Windows 64-bit operating systems over 32-bit operating systems. However, these technical benefits do not equate to business benefits.

Unfortunately, market movements and vendor strategies will force enterprises to adopt Windows 64-bit desktops sometime in the next two desktop refresh cycles. As such, the move to a Windows 64-bit environment should be viewed as conceding to market pressures and adopted only within the context of moving to a new Dynamic Desktop architecture, which is where the real business benefits are to be found.

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Conclusion: Despite recent IT Shared Services (ITSS) failures in government, the global appetite for ITSS seems to continue unabated. Given evolving developments in the cloud, ITSS seems assured of longevity. It is thus important to understand its nuances, especially from a delivery perspective. Whilst tempting to think of ITSS initiatives merely as ambitious programs of work capable of delivering attractive savings, it seems that a scaled-backed, incremental delivery approach, though perhaps more costly and time-consuming than other methods, may result in more lasting and beneficial outcomes.

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Conclusion: SharePoint is well known as a platform for small-scale knowledge management, team collaboration, and Web applications. However, some organisations have begun experimenting with SharePoint as an alternative to large-scale Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions, handling more than 100 million documents. The lessons learned from these initiatives indicate that while SharePoint can deliver ECM, such projects require a great many technical and planning skills that are foreign to most SharePoint implementation teams in Australia. It is almost certain you will need to hire short-term project specialists to be successful.

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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: Adding analytics is essential to any social media strategic initiative, whether it is well organised or just experimental. Without using analytics an organisation is blind to market interaction and therefore cannot modify or understand how to modify tactics. However, avoid simply trusting the data alone to provide the answers and set directions. To gain the most benefit from such analytics tools will require skills in interpretation, analysis and judgement in when to implement actions and or revisions.

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Conclusion: With the recent announcement regarding availability of Microsoft Windows 8, desktop managers are once again finding themselves with the challenge of building a business case for a desktop refresh. However, IBRS proposes that operating system upgrades should no longer be the centrepiece of the desktop refresh process. It is time to radically change how desktop refresh decisions are made. Instead, organisations should be creating an applications deployment strategy that looks not at devices and operating systems, but at ways in which to get the right applications in the right hands, no matter the device or OS.

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Conclusion: The seemingly growing deployment of enterprise social media may add another layer to organisational communications and collaborative suites; or it may replace them altogether. At this stage definite judgement is not possible, given the varying feedback on usage, value and overall benefits.

Ostensibly these tools are being introduced to improve collaboration and productivity. Yet the evidence is not conclusive on those criteria. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to rationalise such deployments on efficacy criteria alone.

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This month Microsoft unveiled aspects of its new Windows 8 operating system at the Build developers’ conference. A significant change in the new OS is the use of the “Metro” style user interface, which will be familiar to anyone who has used Windows Phone 7. Metro involves extensive use of multi-touch and “tiles” that represent both applications and live data, instead of icons and menus. The Metro user interface metaphor is arguably one of the most creative and context aware on the market, and is well suited for mobile devices and tablets. However, will Microsoft be able to bring this new User Interface to the traditional desktop space? To answer this question, we need examine three issues.

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Conclusion: Crafting a durable social media strategy is a challenge. How social media tools and behaviour will mature, and the lessons taken from the early phase, will define how it will be implemented later. To manage the social evolution, adequate guidelines can serve as a strategic path.

The two key elements to have in creating a social media strategy are: 1) a robust view of how users and user behaviour is evolving and 2) practical and tactical techniques and tools to deploy and measure in order to produce the information to grow competence.

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Conclusion: Just as the influx of personally owned mobile devices is reaching a peak in enterprises, there are new options for mobile device management (MDM) which are being driven by three factors. The three factors are: HTML5, Exchange ActiveSync, and carriers moving up the value chain in an IP-centric world. Ultimately, all three options will have appeal to different types of organisations, and different applications. Due to the rate of maturation of these factors, CIOs should expect that an MDM platform deployment will have a shelf life of less than two years.

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Conclusion: Mature Unified Communications (MUC) is more than a blending of messaging, voice, and presence information. The coming wave of unified communications will be executed as part of a larger ’worker mobility’ strategy and be more closely coupled with business processes. This type of unified communications allows significant organisational structural change. Thus, planning for MUC begins with an examination of organisational processes and discovery of where knowledge is located within the organisation, and then evolves into a discussion regarding how to restructure teams to gain a competitive advantage.

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Conclusion: Market and technological forces are minimising the value of the Microsoft Office client, and pushing the true value proposition for productivity services to backend services. Microsoft’s evolving product, marketing and licensing strategies to support this trend. Understanding Microsoft’s strategy is important when planning future desktop deployments, as well as collaboration and mobility strategies.

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Conclusion: NBN’s price model combines two different views of telecommunications market pricing: how the markets actually operate and; what the policy designers of NBN perceive it to be.

Without complete agreement to resolve the price model, there are many problems being stored for the future.

Inevitably these will affect NBN adoption, profitability and also the layout of the telco landscape. In addition they present challenges to organisations and entrepreneurs with plans to utilise the NBN. The current NBN price model also appears to stop the industry trend of falling prices for telecommunications services.

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Conclusion: Investment in meeting room management systems is becoming increasingly important for organisations looking to modernise and optimise their facilities. It is however a complex investment. The investment will fail if appropriate stakeholders’ perspectives are not included in the process and if an objective analysis of user requirements fails to occur. When executed correctly, the definition of a meeting room can be expanded, ensuring efficient use of assets such as car parks, lockers and technology.

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Conclusion: An effective Enterprise Architecture should enable the strategy of an organisation to be clearly linked to the underlying business processes and information technology assets. Established enterprise architecture frameworks such as Zachman, TOGAF et al. include limited support for modelling the strategy of an organisation. An emerging framework, the Business Motivation Model, provides a much richer structure for capturing an organisation’s objective. Focusing on the strategy of an organisation represents an opportunity for Enterprise Architects to engage with the highest level of organisational planning and reflect true business intent, rather than reverting to a limited techno-centric perspective.

Observations: The Open Management Group defines “business architecture” as:

"A blueprint of the enterprise that provides a common understanding of the organization and is used to align strategic objectives and tactical demands."

Enterprise Architects have long been comfortable managing the raw technology assets (applications, infrastructure, information etc.) that support the “tactical demands” of system design required to support enterprise change. IBRS’ experience has also shown that many organisations in Australia are making great progress in mapping business processes and services into an integrated architecture picture. The challenge is now connecting the knowledge of business processes and business rules to the higher-level strategic objectives that govern organisational evolution.

The first prerequisite in linking architecture to strategy is that an organisation has agreed and defined a strategy that clearly articulates its mission and purpose. There are many challenges in doing so. Sometimes organisations struggle to agree on their core purpose; neglect strategic planning activities; or maintain the strategy in tacit form without ever formally documenting it. An organisation may have a valid strategy defined, but the Enterprise Architecture team may not be appreciative of it.

In the absence of a defined strategy, Enterprise Architecture development can be a compelling voice calling for the establishment of a defined strategy, or indeed even leading the charge in its creation. However, beware the political risks attached to launching into this debate. Questioning or challenging an organisation’s strategy (or absence thereof) can be a confronting experience and risks adverse reactions from important stakeholders who have not bought into the concept.

Assuming a strategy has been identified and agreed there needs to be a way for it to be expressed architecturally. Popular Enterprise Architecture frameworks usually have some capability to capture important strategy elements. For example:

  • The Zachman framework includes what it calls the “motivation description” as one of the core six dimensions of its taxonomy

  • The TOGAF 9.0 framework optionally includes business drivers, goals and objectives in the “Motivation Extensions” of the core meta-model

  • The Australian Government Architecture 2.0 defines the “Mission and Business Results” area of the Performance Reference Model which maps to the strategic outcomes and outputs defined by the government for public service agencies

For organisations which have not yet embraced an Enterprise Architecture framework there is support available in frameworks such as the Open Management Group’s Business Motivation Model1 (BMM). In essence the BMM is a formal model for depicting business plans. However the BMM is not currently well known within the enterprise architecture field so it is worth examining in more detail.

The BMM is a structure that supports understanding the ‘doing’ of an organisation (mission, strategy, tactics) alongside the ‘being’ (vision, goals, objectives). The BMM situates the means (“doing”) and end (“being”) in the context of the forces or “influencers” that could impact on to either the means or the ends. Related to the “influencers” are the “assessments” of the potential impacts of the influencers and the mitigation approaches to deal with them.

These “means”, “ends” and “influencers” are then linked to the responsible organisational units and business processes. These responsible elements should already be defined in an Enterprise Architecture model, or business architecture view and are not directly part of the BMM itself. The operation of the organisational units and business processes are governed by “directives” that specify the business policies and rules that apply to the “means” in pursuit of the “ends”.

The BMM provides a much richer level of detail than the established mainstream Enterprise Architecture frameworks for documenting a strategy – delving into business policies, impact assessments, assets, liabilities and so on. This richer level of detail facilitates the modelling of a high-fidelity business plan (or strategy) if so desired. For large organisations the BMM model can reflect a nested approach where each organisation unit can generate a BMM model that can link to the superior or subordinate BMM models as appropriate.

The linkage between BMM elements and underlying technology architecture is through the associated business processes and rules. The linkages to business processes and rules once defined in the BMM can be mapped back to the supporting systems and applications. This establishes the linkages from business aspirations through to technology implementation.

It is worth noting that the BMM is methodology neutral. It describes the information to be managed, but not how the information should be gathered. In practice maintenance of a BMM or any Enterprise Architecture framework strategy model should be done in lock-step with the strategic planning decision-making cycle of an organisation.

Ultimately the value of maintaining an organisation strategy as an architectural model (EA framework, BMM or otherwise) provides a number of key benefits:

  • an organisation’s strategy can be made explicit and the rationale behind changes to it become visible and shareable

  • the outcomes of strategic decisions can be traced to the operational impacts across systems and services

 

Next steps:

  1. Understand the how the organisations strategy is defined – is it well formed and formally documented?

    • If a written strategy exists have the Enterprise Architecture team document the strategy within either established EA frameworks or adopt an offering like the BMM for that purpose.

    • If not, advocate for better clarity and rigour around organisational strategy.

  2. Make the incorporation of the strategy into the enterprise architecture pass the executive “so what?” test.

    • Apply it to real life examples to increase understanding or clarify decision making for a particular important issue.

  3. Embed the maintenance of the architecture view into the strategic planning lifecycle for the organisation.

 

1 http://www.omg.org/spec/BMM/1.1/

 

Conclusion: Google’s recent announcement that it was depreciating its Translation APIs (application program interfaces) with minimal notice sent shock waves through the world of translation services and developers of mobile, consumer and even enterprise software. After the initial announcement, Google changed its position and stated API services would be offered on a pay-per-use basis. Google’s moves highlights risks associated with public APIs that are provided under ‘terms of use’ rather than firm contractual agreements. As cloud services evolve, the use of free API services allow vendors to effectively hold enterprises and developers to ransom. Organisations must consider carefully the risks of free APIs, and create risk mitigation strategies while still reaping the considerable benefits these services deliver.

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Conclusion: Social media networks may appear to have developed businesses that can only continue to grow, but they have a real challenge ahead. Demography is everything and with social networks it’s the crucible which will affect the organisations that use social media for their communication and marketing objectives.

Organisations should take a 3-5 year view with Facebook and other social media to build strategies that can evolve with the channel over the period.

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Conclusion: IBRS has identified three broad approaches to Microsoft Office upgrades. In this research, we examine the benefits and challenges of each approach, and key considerations for planning. Organisations with more than 750 seats should avoid ad hoc Office deployments and take time to get their migration strategy in place, or risk creating a “demand feedback loop” that will result in higher costs and dissatisfaction with the IT department.

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Conclusion: Business process management and enterprise collaboration tools are converging into a new form of enterprise capability termed Social BPM. This new approach harnesses the viral power of social networking into enabling real-time user-developed collaborative business processes within the enterprise. This convergence may deliver the transformational value promised, but never realised, by either technology in isolation. Organisations should watch this trend carefully and have a combined strategy for enterprise collaboration and business process management to be in a position to exploit the amplified value that social BPM promises.

Observations: Business process management and enterprise collaboration have long been two prominent themes for organisations seeking to improve efficiency and productivity through IT innovation. IBRS experience with Australian and New Zealand organisations has found the return from investments into these areas to be underwhelming.

Business process management has tended to focus on centralised business process modelling and attempts at process re-engineering. There are many challenges in doing this. The common model has been for a team of dedicated business process modellers to study the organisation from an almost anthropological perspective, capturing imperfect business processes from the field and seeking to create an optimised future state. However, the resulting models are often ineffectual in driving real change in the organisation, succumbing to the ivory tower syndrome of being disconnected from the “real world”.

At the same time enterprise collaboration and more recently enterprise social networks have been seen as a way of improving communication and interaction within the enterprise. Generally this has meant the implementation of browser-based content and document management systems, along with the ubiquitous (and often token) “blogs and wikis”. While centralised, well-structured searchable corporate knowledge is a tremendous asset, it tends to reflect static policy and operational documentation, not real-time system and stakeholder behaviour.

The over-trumpeted “Web 2.0” technologies do provide a degree of democratisation of content and freshness of information but are most commonly seen at the periphery of core business activities. Social networking tools are emerging within the enterprise but the enduring business value of “James just made a cheese toastie in the marketing kitchen” status updates are viewed with scepticism.

Social business process management. A new class of information management tools is emerging. These web-based tools allow business processes to be defined and implemented in a decentralised fashion using “Facebook-style” social networking tools. These tools leverage the creativity and intelligence of human participants in work processes to deliver productivity and efficiency benefits. The fundamental shift in perspective is to acknowledge that a business process is a fluid activity performed by a group of people acting co-operatively, rather than a rigid set of flowcharts imposed by an aloof systems bureaucracy.

With social BPM the participants in a business process are responsible for defining it. Once a business process is operational, the participants can use an array of social technologies including social networking, status updates and comments, RSS/twitter feeds, blogs/wikis to augment the process with contextualised support. Supporting IT systems feed important updates into the social stream to provide events that can trigger support from the underlying network of interested parties.

This is a novel concept and an example will help illustrate how it works in practice.

A fictitious manufacturing company has a range of people supporting the enquiry-to-sale business process. With a social BPM tool, a stream of relevant events underpinning the business process is made available to users. A range of people in the company may have subscribed to receive events from a particular customer. These events are notified across web, mobile and email channels. In the web channel these updates may appear in a similar fashion to a Facebook page.

  • An event is posted from the CRM system indicating a particular customer’s contract will expire in two weeks.

  • A comment is left by a salesperson saying he is planning to visit them next week and will organise a renewal.

  • Another comment from a legal person provides a link to the new contract template that must be used for future transactions.

  • An engineer posts a comment that they have an active support call open which needs to be finalised if they choose not to review the contract.

  • A salesman who has been assigned to a different account chooses not to be notified about this customer and removes them from his subscription feed.

  • After the contract is renewed the SAP system posts an automatic hyperlink to the invoice which was generated for this client.

  • A marketing expert notes that this process could be improved by having a customer satisfaction report being completed for each contract renewal and modifies the defined business process to automatically post a link to the client satisfaction survey system after each renewal for a client is completed.

This example shows have a user-driven real-time business process emerges that uses collaboration technologies across a variety of channels to improve productivity, increase quality and improve client service. Key to this process is the feeding of events from both human and system participants in the process. It is the integration of important system events into the social media stream that distinguishes Social BPM from the established enterprise collaboration or unified communications models.

While a number of CRM and ERP systems may offer social features, these are often limited to within the confines of a particular software system and cannot span across the enterprise. Vendors of broad-spectrum social BPM tools include Appian Tempo, Salesforce Chatter, IBM Blueworks Live, Oracle BPM Suite 11g and PegaSystems.

Social BPM embeds the responsibility and power for business process design and management into the hands of the people responsible for delivering in the real world. It also connects the raft of collaboration tools directly into the nervous system of business process execution. While this devolved model of organisational management may run counter to the traditional command-and-control mentality of some large organisations, it opens up a new model for democratic empowerment of business users.

Next Steps:

  1. Take stock of the value gained from enterprise collaboration and/or business process management investments within the organisation – are real benefits being realised from these investments?

  2. Conduct a trial of a social BPM tool within the organisation with a passionate and curious user base. With a web-based SaaS social BPM tool this can be achieved at little cost, risk or commitment. The user driven philosophy also means this can be achieved with little corporate support.

  3. Evaluate the findings of social BPM usage against traditional methods. Decide whether it suits the culture of the organisation and is sustainable as a long-term business platform. If so reframe the business process management and enterprise collaboration strategy to embrace social BPM as a core strategic objective.

  4. Ensure appropriate governance, risk and policy controls are in place to guide social BPM as a platform for business execution.

 

Conclusion: What the apps will be for NBN is unclear: even NBN Co. is not sure. It need not be so difficult as NBN can be seen simply as a national grid, and therefore conquer distance, regardless of its bandwidth capacity and other correlated benefits of such a network. It could run all the apps that are common amongst the metropolitan areas and for specific industries in remote areas.

Of course, that is not what NBN is intended to do, but rather enable the apps of a new generation that human creativity will forge one day in the future.

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Conclusion: Business intelligence has traditionally served as an after-the-fact reporting and analysis capability that drifts weeks or months behind current events. Modern enterprises demand timelier access to integrated information. This demand cannot be met by conventional business intelligence approaches and requires a variety of new techniques targeted at the immediacy of the information required.

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Three recent events have cast serious doubts on the viability of public cloud computing in the Australian marketplace. These events have raised critical concerns about the security, reliability and regulatory aspects of emerging cloud platforms in both public and private sectors.

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Conclusion: Many industries: finance, media, agribusiness, and education, to name a few, are talking up their growth prospects via NBN. The logic seems to be that the faster and extensive network will leverage their opportunities and improve their terms of business.

To understand which industries are more likely to prosper with NBN it is necessary to analyse three factors: timing, and with it market scalability; industry segment; and finally, productivity.

Unless and until these factors are brought to analyse the economic potential it is impossible to sift the possible from the wishful hopes.

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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:  Moving from Office 2003 or earlier, to Office 2007/2010 should not be viewed as a software upgrade. It should be viewed as a migration to a new solution architecture entirely, and planned accordingly. If an organisation treats the move to Office 2007/2010 as a simple software upgrade, not only will there be no tangible return on investment for the upgrade initiative, but it is possible that productivity may be negatively affected.

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Conclusion: While it appears that every known test to evaluate cloud computing has been done, there are two which determine the accuracy of any savings claimed. Indeed, they could be applied to any evaluation of IT savings and not the cloud alone.

To a large degree the tests discussed here challenge some processes of cost assessment, but IT executives ought to look for better ideas and arguments. It should be possible to ask questions of consultants and vendors in order to obtain better answers.

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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 calculated process by which the Facebook message is intended to corral investors, marketers, users and others into the world of ‘social’ is breathtaking. The reality is more complex, less easily believable, and should make any organisation involved with social media ask questions.

Because Facebook (and social media generally) is still developing, it is necessary for organisations using the media to set their own metrics and build knowledge.

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Conclusion: Organisations migrating from GroupWise or Notes should consider side-stepping on-premises email and calendaring solutions such as Microsoft Exchange, and look instead to cloud-based solutions such as Google Apps for Enterprise, BPOS / Office 365 (Exchange) or Zimbra. Doing so can deliver benefits in terms of total cost of provisioning and agility. However, this does mean that organisations with on-premises Exchange infrastructure will benefit from a move to the cloud at this time.

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Over the past two years, IBRS has come to the conclusion that many IT departments are at war with consumer mobile device trends. We have been inundated with enquiries regarding mobility and mobile devices. Questions range from how best to support secure email on iPhones, or how to manage a fleet of iPads, to how to plan for Android application deployment.

These enquiries have one thing in common: they all focus on the device.

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Conclusion: Optimising the efficiency and security of statutory board communication is a critical requirement for any organisation. The development of board portal solutions have enabled the basis of board communication to shift from paper to digital media. It is vital that the IT department helps to facilitate this shift. The key challenge for IT departments is to ensure a focus on solutions that are able to be implemented across multiple platforms, and not tied to the latest ‘must-have’ device.

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Conclusion: Many enterprise applications remain in existence for 10 or 15 years, or even longer. The magnitude of their total lifetime costs usually mark enterprise applications as being in the top decile of all IT investments. Despite these factors, many of those involved in selecting candidate products choose the wrong products for the wrong reasons. A more structured approach is necessitated in which the traditional focus on detailed functional requirements is de-emphasised and balanced against other factors essential to making a sound, long term IT investment.

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Conclusion: Demand for storage capacity continues to grow at 60%+ per annum, requiring ongoing capital investments in incremental capacity upgrades, or worse, a capital intensive rip and replace upgrade every 3-4 years. Since “cloud” is the current IT buzzword, IT organisations are being asked to look at how the use of cloud storage can reduce cost and transform lumpy capital expenditure into a more uniform “pay as you go” operational cost.

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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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Search used to be easy. Not in the future. The momentum in online trends last year was all about ‘social’ and that included social search. If an organisation does not have a view of what the impact of social search might be to its online activities, it may present challenges that could have been avoidable.

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Reviewing one of the many new Christmas/New Year film releases, David Stratton, probably Australia’s best known film critic remarked: “It’s surprising how many A-grade actors it takes to make a B-grade movie these days......”.

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Conclusion: Many organisations use flawed approaches for selecting enterprise applications. In short, they buy the wrong software for the wrong reasons. With many enterprise applications continuing in existence for 10 or even 20 years, this is a long time to live with a bad decision.

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In dealing with the many issues around the cloud it will take a delicate balance of political skill backed by a strong communications strategy to negotiate and collaborate with business. Offering informed and contextual guidance in an open minded discussion is a strong position to adopt. Technology managers should reflect on, and if necessary, modify how they are managing the cloud, with their business colleagues. In some cases a formal approach may be required: presentations, roadmaps, evaluations and information packages delivered to a business audience. In many other cases, a revised approach may be informal, and involve a collaborative attitude to enable an organisation to make better choices.

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Conclusion: IBRS will be delivering research series covering the ramifications of new mobility and "consumerisation" of technology. In this first note, we provide an overview of current trends and make predictions on the shape of things to come.

While the introduction of the iPhone represented a milestone in consumer devices impacting IT decision-making within organisations, many strategic planners have been struggling to predict where trends in consumer technology will take us. Recent market shifts in Europe, the USA and even in Australia now provide a clear path as to how, where and why consumer devices will drive change in organisational IT. The ramifications for how enterprise solutions are developed and deployed are profound and should be top of mind for any CIO… and the COO, CFO and CEO.

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Conclusion: Effective IT Strategic Plans (ITSPs) are blueprints. They path future directions, provide rationale, explain benefits and can offer a rallying-point for staff. Yet many ITSPs become shelf-ware. Some become disused as initiatives enacted diverge from those in the plan, thereby undermining their credibility. Other ITSPs simply lack sparkle – the ‘Ah Hah’ factor that signals to stakeholders that the strategies will propel IT and the organisation into exciting, yet well-considered, new directions.

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