Question: The output of the maturity assessment would be transformation plans. A hot spot we are finding is making sure all transformation plans move in the same direction. Any best practices to ensure everyone pulls in the same direction?
I just read on Twitter that apparently it is too late to get Lean or Agile. I do question why the two have been bundled together (one is a development methodology, one is a management principle), but either way, I disagree with this statement - at least part of it. Moving to an agile development process is not a decision that should be taken lightly - it involves significantly re-engineering many processes, including much of the program and project management - and this is not a trivial issue! So the statement around Agile I agree with!
However, getting Lean should be on the agenda for all CIOs - in fact, I would argue that Lean is more important now than it has ever been due to the current changing needs of customers. Lean management principles are fundamentally about focusing on delivering the best outcome for the customer with minimum waste. And with major changes going on with the way people consume IT, focusing on the changing requirements for IT customers and delivering them efficiently is extremely important.
Lean typically uses many small changes to achieve this outcome. And it is this point which makes Lean particularly relevant for the current economic environment - you can remove waste (read: save money) through many small improvements - and as a general rule, small changes don't need serious change management capabilities."Lean thinking" should be at the core of all that we do in the IT department - and running some Kaizen blitzes to make small improvements and remove waste should be on the agenda.
Business Technology (BT) is the largest single technology-management transition you will face over the next 5-10 years, as BT redefines IT’s operating model in your firm. BT is pervasive technology use, increasingly managed outside of IT's direct control. How does BT show itself? Employees, customers, and partners are bringing Web 2.0 and social computing technologies into business processes; business leaders are directly contracting for online solutions and business process outsourcing; and users are configuring their own business solutions, using ERP applications from vendors like SAP or IT-provided platforms built from technologies like business process modeling (BPM). Whether the business user is aware of the technology angle or not, IT’s traditional project-based plan-build-run approach to technology management can’t keep up with BT’s user-driven technology adoption.
Forrester has made a series of downward revisions to its IT market forecasts in 2008 and early 2009. And according to my colleague Andy Bartels’ latest analysis - "US And Global IT Market Outlook: Q2 2009" -there is more weakness ahead. Due largely to the breakdown of the financial system and the resulting credit crunch, steep drops in the purchases of equipment, software, and IT services during Q4 2008, Q1 2009, and probably Q2 2009 mean that purchase levels are close to hitting bottom. Forrester predicts that the latter part of 2009 will see:
Microsoft announced more details on Office 2010 today. It's a healthy release from my perspective: more, simpler, better, faster, cleaner. But there's an interesting new thing that Microsoft has introduced with this release. They call it "Backstage," but it might be easier to think of it as the context of the document -- everything you need know about it and everything that you can do with it.
At the highest level, Backstage is all the stuff you do once the document has been created: save it, print it, email it, etc. It's also all of the metadata associated with the document: permissions, version history, etc. This makes it much easier for teams to collaborate on documents and for documents to be part of a workflow or business process.
It looks like this:
So why does this matter? Three reasons:
The "context" of the document as visible as the contents of the document. It's as if the book just got a cover, a card catalog label, and an availability tracker. Wow. Metadata that matters to anyone who's looking for the document.
IBM threw a big event in New York City on Thursday, October 1, and Friday, October 2, to publicize its Smarter Cities initiative, part of its Smarter Planet marketing message. The event featured an impressive list of politicians (Mayor Bloomberg, NY Governor Patterson, governors from Vermont and North Carolina) and CEOs (CEOs from ABB, Verizon, American Electric Power, etc.). I was part of the crowd of hundreds of attendees and IBMers on Friday, and my colleague Doug Washburn attended on Thursday.
It would be easy to dismiss this as part of hype machinery that IBM is running to build awareness of and create customers for its Smarter Planet initiative and the emerging offerings that it is creating under that rubric. But I think there is more going on here. What IBM is really doing is creating a vision - or more precisely, half a dozen visions - of how a new generation of technology can help address some critical challenges facing the planet. Visions of course can easily become hype. But as several speakers noted, visions are also a necessary first step in any transformation process, building awareness of what can be different at the end that will inspire people to start the journey. And IBM to its credit put concrete examples behind the proposals.
Here is what IBM is doing right:
Focusing on key social and economic problems facing many countries around the world. Cities and national governments face challenges of providing healthcare more efficiently, improving the quality and delivery of education, managing greater and greater volumes of people travel and goods transportation, providing public safety and security in the face of increased threats of terrorism and persistence of crime, and encouraging energy conservation and alternative energies to counter global warming. These are the problems that IBM's Smarter Cities initiative focused on.
I had the privilege of hosting the Green IT 2009 conference in London back in May and wanted to share a couple of observations about that terrific event. I often tell clients in the U.S. that I am taking "a trip to the future" when I go to Europe; in particular, UK public sector organizations are probably the most advanced anywhere in terms of green IT behaviors (or should I say behaviours?).
Two statements I heard from IT procurement people at the conference that should be on the radar screen for vendor strategists looking to anticipate the next wave of enterprises' green requirements, and for IT planners looking to get more aggressive about their company's green IT initiatives:
Requirements for longer-lifecycle IT equipment. Planned obsolence is going to become obsolete. Expect your customers to require longer warranty periods, modular/upgradeable designs, and lifecycle-based carbon footprint analysis from you and your gear. Companies are realizing that, as one conference attendee put it, "we puts lots of bodies in motion" when they order new equipment.
Increasing demand for green/renewable energy. No matter how efficient a data center is, it can't really be green unless it's powered by green energy.
Some recent buzz in the industry would have you believe that “SOA is dead,” but that just isn’t the case — SOA is far from being dead, outdated, or irrelevant. In fact, its use and influence are still growing. A recent Forrester survey indicates that 75% of Global 2000 organizations will be using SOA by the end of 2009. 60% of current users are expanding their use of SOA, and a substantial number recognize SOA’s strategic business value and are using it on a sizable portion of their solution delivery products.
Stories of less-than-successful results may dent its reputation, particularly in today’s climate of pessimism and uncertainty, but when done right SOA has the potential for broad-reaching positive impact on the enterprise. Instead of getting caught in the hype or jumping ship on their SOA efforts, CIOs should keep in mind that:
It's been a while since I blogged - and even longer since I did something a bit light hearted - so I thought it's time to make a comment on something about tech that has been bugging me recently.
So Michael Jackson and technology seem like very loosely related issues - and they definitely are. But the death of such a "big name" is quite a rare occurrence - and it makes people think back to the last time someone with such a high profile passed away, and how they reacted then. And at the same time, it demonstrates how technology, that is ultimately designed to connect people, actually ends up keeping us apart (or at least reminding us of the fact that we are apart).
When I think back to the last big "star" that passed away, in any territory of the world connected to the United Kingdom, it was probably the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. This happened in August 1997. In North America, people have been comparing Michael Jackson's passing to that of Elvis, Buddy Holly, and the likes. Such big events act as markers of time. People remember where they were when they heard of Elvis', President Kennedy's, and Lady Diana's deaths. And often these were shared experiences - people remember who they were with at the time - as often they heard this information from other people. I remember driving on Spit Road in Sydney when it was announced on the radio that Diana, Princess of Wales, had passed away. I had my partner (now wife) and friends in the car with me at the time. We shared the experience, and somehow even bonded over it.