The Cloud is Here to Stay

Tags: , , , , , Business, Cloud, Strategy

Vanessa Hoffmann

Those that know me well would be surprised to find me preaching about the cloud. However, I am not an evangelist. For me, it is clear that the cloud is not just a trend, but a fundamental shift in the way IT is provided that no business can ignore. So I genuinely believe that every business (however large or small) should be facing up to the challenges it brings.

To do this they should be making carefully considered judgements and rational decisions on what to do and when to do it: setting their strategy and planning for adoption.

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The Changing Role of the CIO

Tags: , , , , , Business, CIO

Once a bastion of technical experts, in recent years the CIO role has evolved into a more business-focused position. According to a survey in CIO Magazine, many now feel that their cloud experience has provided sufficient commercial nous to prepare CIOs for the CEO position. This is yet to be realised, with few CEOs coming up from the ranks of CIO, but with increasing reliance on the cloud, it seems a significant shift is occurring.

The shift towards commercial over technical skills can be seen throughout the IT sector, with increasing specialisation of programming skills alongside the gradual integration of business processes into the IT landscape. Attaining proficiency in multiple coding languages is no longer as lucrative as it once would have been, with many tasks being offshored by all sizes of organisation, while a UK-based team focuses on strategy. Although a good understanding of the working of a system is useful, it is return on investment that is critical to the business.

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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. Read More

SOPA, PIPA and Your Business

Tags: , , , , , , , Business, IP, Legal

Vanessa Hoffmann

If you happen to have looked anything up on Wikipedia on Wednesday, you may have noticed the internet blackout protests against the SOPA and PIPA bills that are being considered by the Senate and House of Representatives in the United States.

SOPA or the Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA – the Protect IP Act, are essentially equivalents of the same thing, but with slightly different emphases. The aim of the bills is ostensibly to prevent abuses in intellectual property such as file-sharing or the streaming of pirated content. However, the way the bill is written, placing the onus of responsibility on websites and domain hosts to police content and links posted by users, means that many user-content-heavy websites such as Facebook and YouTube would become too costly to monitor and would have to shut down or risk prosecution. 

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Aligning Your IT Strategic Decisions to Business Objectives

Tags: , , , , , , Business, Strategy
photo credit: angeloangelo via photopin cc

photo credit: angeloangelo via photopin cc

Watching the outsourcing decision of some organisations, I sometimes wonder if they really understand what really adds value to their business. Stepping back and looking at them from the outside, I doubt they can genuinely justify their choices for the target of their cost saving exercises.

Which one of these adds more value to the business: a major development project to implement a CRM system to generate more revenue, or keeping the day-to-day running of the racks of servers in the machine room? Time and again I watch, as the supposedly easy and risk free outsourcing targets are chosen, especially the value-adding development projects, whereas the question of real “day to day” IT is avoided because it is seen as too risky or too difficult to change. Ask yourself, is this really the case?

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Cloud Inertia: Overcoming Resistance to a New IT Strategy

Tags: , , , , Business, Strategy
photo credit: steve_lodefink via photopin cc

photo credit: steve_lodefink via photopin cc

Speaking to our contacts and clients, we see many of them either ignoring or turning a blind eye to the obvious benefits of the cloud. We have come to believe that there is an inherent inertia in organisations against the implementation of the cloud.

Taking one big company we know, we see them quite happily outsourcing critical projects and developments half way across the world, or trusting third parties to supply them with even their customer-facing reception services. Despite this trust, they are unable to see that having 10,000 or more servers in a private data centre is not core business and a waste of time and money!

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