Meta physical- not real?


I like to focus on things that are surprising, I am obsessed with context and complexity, and I work day in and day out with people and organisations that face data challenges.  So here goes another odd story.

I had seen an advert for Heinz Large chunky soup (the advert showing large chunks of beef on a spoon) promising a more manly experience than tiny invisible beef remains I made up my mind to try this. The advert had been screened on US TV, but when I saw the soup in a UK supermarket I tried it.

IT up the stove pipe


This is just a quick rant. I cannot understand why we are making it so difficult to share. IT people should know better. Things that should be available in general are service based access to master data from any company, serviced based access to any computer service provided and above all service based identity management (including rights distribution and so on). More than that I believe that this is a citizen ship element that should be covered by government capability and services.

Who monitors the monitor?

We have all been there. The TV is 2 years old and just before (or after) new year the thing decides to try and desolve itself from all responsibilities. No news, no movies, no drama, no life sports. You might even have taken out the store’s extended warrenty, but the terms and conditions state that a chance of repair has to be exercised (which means that no-one comes for a week to look at the thing, then you wait another week for someone to take it away, and you wait a further 6 weeks for someone to say “you will need a new one”). It’s not what you were led to believe when you paid for the extended warrently. Either way you are left without the TV.

lessons learned

You read a book, a good book, and if you are not completely set in your ways it starts to pull at a thread and your life, just like an old jumper starts to unravel. The book I read was about the Madrid Bombing of the trains. In the bombing the family of the main character gets killed, and it leaves him without home, heart or purpose. But another character emerges with capabilities and a freedom and recklessness that gives him power.

Data Architecture – a dirty word?

BoardroomBattleWhen I walked into the boardroom of a large UK CPG company to talk about the need for change I expected a fairly non committal fight for mind share. I expected for members of the board to be impatient, polite and most importantly ignorant of technology beyond Networks (most CXOs have a home network between their kids PlayStation 3, PCs, Laptops, Printer and Network storage), Systems (order tracking, HR, Finance, Manufacturing, Shipping, Tracking, Reporting and so on). What I didn’t expect was all out war with flying pieces of spreadsheet like shrapnel, underhanded attacks and me sitting there wondering how this is shareholder value.

You might wonder how I came to be there and the answer is quite simple, the CIO wanted back-up when wondering into the lion’s den. The business had gone through an aggressive growth strategy including acquisitions, one painful merger and IT was trying to keep up by aligning processes, create relevant reports so managers could make decisions and trying to keep the Costs under control with very little luck. In answer to this crisis the CIO decided to stop running after a train that was travelling faster than she could travel. Instead she was advocating a step change providing a Service oriented architecture, outsourced and a cut over of the business to the new architecture. It would mean lower costs over 5 years, more flexibility, true integration because of shared information definitions (so everyone speaks the same language or at least understand each other) plus an open integration framework which would allow her to offer embedded services to customers, partners and suppliers. The strategy business case was strong, the shareholder value was strong, the proof of concept proved the concept working and generated savings of just under 1 million and had been delivered on time and to budget, even though there had been a large surge of reporting requirements at the last minute drawing resources from the project. Pitches to the members individually had gone very well and everyone was up for it. So what could possibly go wrong?

Cloudy computing…

peopletogetherI keep pictures of my children. I think I am not alone in this. But since my children were born in the digital age, so most of the pictures of them are in digital format. Now who do I trust with keeping them. Well, I could put them on google, trust Apple, maybe Yahoo / Flickr, but ultimately I don’t trust anyone with them. I have them on DVDs, back-up HDs and memory sticks as well as printed out. There is just no way that it is acceptable that I lose a single one of them.

Why Architecture frameworks are difficult

Introduction: an Analogy

TOGAF - Open Group(c)

TOGAF - Open Group(c)

We are in the process of changing our home to be a bit “greener”. We have put in double glazing, we are getting wall cavity insulation put in, and we are improving the insulation in the loft. In order to do the loft. We are also planning to extend the house to accommodate our growing children. But looking at the economic increased uncertainty we might also move. The boiler could also do with a make-over.