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.
Ever since I read today that Goldman Sachs formerly employed a $400,000 programmer, I have been contemplating a career change. What software could Sergey Aleynikov develop that you or I couldn't also develop for $400K per year? Whatever, he knows must be valuable because he apparently left the Goldman job headed for a better one that would have paid him 3 times that amount. He would have that is, if he hadn't been arrested by the FBI.
Sergey is probably not writing any code right now, because he has been charged with "theft of trade secrets" by the FBI after he alledgedly stole codes used for sophisticated automated stock trading, improperly copied proprietary computer code, and then uploaded it to a computer server in Germany.
Controversies and eccentricities notwithstanding, Michael Jackson is a brilliant musicalartist and performer. I was acutely aware of this on February 2009 in London after 3 colleagues and I went to see the new West End show, Thriller Live at the Lyric Theater after Forrester's EMEA Enterprise Architecture Forum. If you are in London, go to this show! Go, especially if you have no rhythm because you will probably find it there. The show is a celebration of Michael's breathtaking musical career shown through the performances of very talented singers and dancers. The hits are nonstop.The night flies by leaving you wanting more. Go.
The evaluation speaks for itself. Forrester goes through great pains to assure a fair, detailed process that looks into the strengths and weaknesses customers care about most — and this Wave is no exception. But considering the amount of time and effort we spent putting this report together, I wanted to provide some additional thoughts on what I learned during the process:
Over the past 2 months, I've seen an increase in the number of end user inquiries regarding high availability and almost more importantly, how to measure high availability (HA). HA means something different depending on whom you're talking with so it's worth a quick definition. I define HA as:
Focused on the technology and processes to prevent application/service outages at the primary site or in a specific IT system domain.
This is in contrast to disaster recovery or IT service continuity (ITSC) which is about preventing or responding to outages of the entire site.
Why so many inquiries about HA recently? I believe that due to our increasing reliance on IT as well as the 24X7 operating environment that companies of all sizes and industries are becoming more and more sensitive to application and system downtime. The interest in measurement is driven by the need to continuously improve upon IT services and justify IT investments to senior management, especially now.
CSC celebrates its 50th anniversary at Innoventure Europe 2009
At Innoventure Europe 2009 on June 22 & 23 in Paris CSC outlined their new strategic concept – increased industry focus and innovation.
After 2 years of transformation CSC has finally settled on their new vertical organization and strategy around the 6 industry clusters Public Sector, Financial Services, Manufacturing / Aerospace & Defense, Technology / Consumer, Health Services and Chemical, Energy & Natural Resources. With solid figures for FY09 including a net income of $1,115 million and strong sector growth in e.g. Healthcare (+30%) and Public (+4%) based on the new vertical strategy, CSC seems to be well positioned to navigate the stormy waters of the current economic crises. However, with the new vertical company orientation CSC will face some new fundamental challenges and questions that need to be addressed.
We are now approaching the half-way point of 2009, and most of us are still trying to figure out the nature and scope of regulations that will descend in reaction to the massive corporate failures of the last 9 months. Considering the hefty burden brought by Sarbanes-Oxley in reaction to — by comparison — less egregious issues, it’s no wonder risk and compliance professionals are waiting with nervous anticipation.
“Was it an accident that Citibank, Iceland’s banks, and the ice banks of Antarctica all melted at the same time?”
“Was it an accident that Bear Sterns and the polar bears both faced extinction at the same time?”
In Friedman’s eyes, no, the recent economic and environmental woes are not accidental or coincidental. He explains that what the “great recession represents, if that what we can call this economic moment, is that both the market and Mother Nature hit wall at same time.” How? Because, according to Friedman, we’ve been using the same accounting system in both worlds that has massively under-priced risk, privatized gains, and socialized losses:
In the financial world, credit default swaps were sold without having adequate collateral behind them, gains were privatized to the financial institutions that sold them, and losses were socialized onto tax payers when the credits actually defaulted.