Assure

Assure

Do Our Expectations Cloud Our World?

Tags: , Advice, Assess, Assure, Strategy
photo credit: One Way Stock via photopin cc

photo credit: One Way Stock via photopin cc

In strategic decision making, we have certain expectations about the world and how it behaves. In order to find your blue ocean, you are on the lookout for distinguishing elements.

The aim is to make competition irrelevant by carving out for yourself a hopefully close to inimitable competitive advantage. These processes are often similar to paradigm shifts in sciences. These shift describe the advancement from one paradigm, e.g the sun circulates the earth, to another, e.g. the earth circulates the sun.

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Embed the Document Lifecycle Approach into Your Organisation

Tags: , , , , Advance, Advice, Assess, Assure, Business Process Documentation, Process Design
photo credit: storebukkebruse via photopin cc

photo credit: storebukkebruse via photopin cc

No matter how clean and accessible your business documentation is, it is dead weight if it’s out of date. And this is the sad reality in many organisations today. Your business is growing, optimising, and doing things differently every day. Document maintenance becomes a nightmare. Read More

Why Operational Documentation Really Matters

Tags: , , , , , Assess, Assure, CIO, Organization
Documentation

photo credit: Christmas w/a K via photopin cc

It might not seem straightforward, but the benefits of having an up to date and accurate business process documentation are much more imperative than you may think. The need for a proper operational package can be driven by different organizational triggers and objectives. Some common scenarios include:

Regulatory compliance: Highly regulated industries (e.g. financial services) more than others require strict compliance in terms of documenting your business processes. This task then becomes mandatory and cannot be ignored – it’s not a “nice to have” process. Read More

Managing IT Risks in the Real World

Tags: , , , , , Assure, Business, CIO, Process Design, Strategy
photo credit: frozenchipmunk via photopin cc

photo credit: frozenchipmunk via photopin cc

Several times in our previous articles here on this blog, I have referred to the challenges that come with managing disasters or threats in the IT world. cibsys is part of a group training Non Exec Directors (NEDs) on how to handle the risks and opportunities that come with IT at the executive level, in fact our next course for NEDs (and executives who want to know more about IT risks) is on 20th January in London, please contact me directly here for detailed information. Read More

Hit me when I’m down – The gloves are off in cyber attacks

Tags: , , , , , , , , Advance, Advice, Assure, CIO, Organization, Strategy
photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin cc

photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin cc

We all know in boxing that you cannot hit below the belt as well as hit someone when they are on the canvas. Sadly, in the world of IT security and hackers there are no such rules. Watching the recent real world events in the banking world, we have seen a number of banks hit with cyber attacks in the run up to the Christmas period.  Consumers relying on payments and being able to make purchases have been disrupted, dare I say, yet again. Poor old RBS group and especially NatWest seem to have taken the brunt of the hits in the past weeks (NatWest, Ulster Bank)
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Operational Risk and BCP

Assess, Assure, Data Centre, Process Design, Strategy
photo credit: rcbodden via photopin cc

photo credit: rcbodden via photopin cc

There is nothing like learning from mistakes and experience.  Strategy and process design is best grounded in the reality of experience.  I would like to share a real story of an incident that I remember to often when looking at plans and remind myself that there is always more than the obvious to learn when things go wrong. On the surface this story has one key learning point but digging deeper revealed three.

A major trading organisation data centre loses their air con system to one of the two chillers that cool the data centre.  Most people even in IT are not aware that air con is as fundamental as power in data centres. Put simply, 10,000 servers produce a lot of heat.   In this case the temperature in the cabinets furthest from the working units reached 120 degrees Celsius – despite emergency fans being added to circulate the air and direct the hot air to the cooler end.  120 degrees – oven temperature!  To keep temperatures down all non essential systems had to be shut down, all live BCP running was removed to reduce load and as many as possible MIS and other non core transaction processing systems had to be shut down; as the incident constitutes an emergency.

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IT Strategy Development: a Quick Guide

Tags: , , , , , , , Advance, Assess, Assure, Business, Strategy4IT
photo credit: DoNotLick via photopin cc

photo credit: DoNotLick via photopin cc

In my previous blog entry, I discussed the need to make time for creating an IT strategy. I have also discussed the need for balance between free, unstructured thinking, and structured analysis. Brainstorming all the possible approaches is a great start, but how should you structure these thoughts into a workable plan with measurable results?

Clearly, in a short blog post it is impossible to set out all the detailed methods that can be used to drive a strategy but I hope this is a useful overview for non-practitioners and a useful reminder to the strategists amongst readers.

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Measuring and Assuring Service

Tags: , , , , , Assess, Assure, Business
photo credit: hans s via photopin cc

photo credit: hans s via photopin cc

Those of you who have watched the firm evolve may have noticed that we have adopted a three-word slogan – Assess, Advance, Assure. Put another way – set your strategy, deliver your projects, then make sure the deliveries continue to add value once operational. We forget the last part at our peril.

Last year, I was actively working on the Assess part, setting the strategy for a large department in one of the major banks. Just recently, they have called me back in to deliver on the proposed strategy. My colleagues at the bank seem to find it amusing that, so often, consultants set the strategy then walk away.

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