* Posts by Raindancer

6 posts • joined 10 May 2010

Six of the best ways to mess up IT change management

Raindancer

Commoditisation

There is a wider issue here in that in today's environment users have very high expectations in terms of what can be delivered, how fast and for what cost. Take an old, but simple example: you want an email address, you go to hotmail.com, type in a couple of details and press submit. Job done - and it was entirely free.

Now go to your 1990's IT department and say, "right then chaps, I'd like you to get an email account for everyone". Cue wringing of hands, pursing of lips and warnings of months of work and hundreds of thousand pounds of cost.

This is becoming a much more wide-spread problem as "cloud" services move from being just email to a wide variety of enterprise apps. The business can still visit a website and click submit to get access to storage, CRM, video editing, etc etc. And they expect their internal IT department to be as responsive.

There are two principle issues here:

1) The self-service cloud solutions don't have to worry much about a lot of the issues that internal IT departments worry about: integration and security being two of the main ones.

2) IT departments generally don't (yet) have the ability to respond quickly and cheaply to new business needs.

Issue (1) is about understanding when these things matter and when they don't. Then leveraging the opportunities to use rapidly provisioned on-demand services appropriately. Issue (2) is about improving the underlying systems that provide business services and moving towards a Private, Enterprise cloud solution.

I don't really agree therefore with the thrust of the article. It isn't about process or communication for most IT departments anymore - they generally have this in fairly good shape. The issue is that business expectations are outstripping the ability of IT departments to deliver. Tooling would certainly help, but the underlying infrastructure architecture is the key issue - and this is something that typically doesn't change overnight.

Will the internal IT department ever be able to catch up, or will we need to become enablers to help the business use cloud services appropriately?

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Apple, Walmart, and you: Making money in mobile

Raindancer
Coffee/keyboard

More thoughts...

Good point, although with the right APIs (provided through Javascript?) there's no reason why a web app couldn't interact with the sensors, but of course, some things you want locally (e.g. camera). I'm no developer, so I might be talking mumbo jumbo about Javascript, but hopefully the point is clear!

Data volumes though is a different matter. Again, there seems to be a skewed market here. The fixed line ISPs and Mobile ISPs have the same/similar core networks for data. The difference is the cost of the last mile, which is significantly higher for a fixed line provider than mobile. [Hence why mobile phones are much more common than land lines in the developing countries]. So why does my mobile phone provider feel they need to limit my bandwidth use, when my fixed line ISP does not? OK, 3G has limitations in terms of capacity, but these aren't going to be around for long with 4G and talk of ubiquitous wifi services.

Note that HML5 also has a lot of features that will help with off-line capabilities for online applications. So you wouldn't necessarily have to be connected all the time - but you'd lose the automatic synchronisation between your different clients if you made off-line changes.

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Raindancer
FAIL

Apps - What for?

I've always seen apps as the modern WAP. Restrictive and dysfunctional, but temporarily necessary due to technology limitations.

However, even without HTML5, the latest mobile clients are quite capable (should the vendors choose) of providing a fully-functional web experience, which combined with 3G+ network speeds is all you need. These same vendors continue to restrict browser capability and push the app model because it makes them money despite it providing a poorer service to customers.

I've got an n900 (don't all laugh at once) - it has a fantastic browser, which is probably a good thing since it has nothing much in the way of quality apps. I can still access most/all the functions that my iPhone wielding friends do though, just online. The most annoying thing on the n900 is when the site, in it's wisdom, directs me to a "mobile version", which invariably has functionality stripped out. So now developers are having to create a standard website, a mobile website and apps all to do the same thing - and ultimately to make the customer experience worse.

Surely market forces are going to come to bear on the whole sorry mess and bring this pack of jokers tumbling down?

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Facebook facial recognition tech 'violates' German privacy law

Raindancer

Use is not the issue

Surely whether someone chooses to use this technology is not the issue. The real issue is that Facebook has the technology to automatically recognise a person's identity based on a photo.

As long as your friends can still manually tag photos of you, they continue to build the capability to recognise your image. Even if you remove that tag, do you believe that Facebook doesn't include the mapping between image and identity in their face recognition database.

So essentially:

they will continue to gather a robust way of identifying someone based on an image

they have a lot of personal information about you from your profile, relationships and posts

they make all this available (by law) to the American government

ergo, the US goverenment gains the ability to identify anyone in the world who has a facebook (or indeed Google+) account, based on any image that they take. Without wanting to sound all tin hat and coathangers - they may even be able to do this based on satellite imagery...

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Gamer claims complete console collection

Raindancer

Binatone TV Games

I had the Black and White Mk10. These consoles were made in the UK in the 1970s.

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Physicist unmasks 99-year-old mistake in English dictionaries

Raindancer

Shorter OED seems OK

My Shorter (two-volume) OED says:

"A pipe or tube used for conveying liquid from one level to a lower level, using the liquid pressure differential to force a column of liquid... etc". It doesn't specifically say gravity, but that's what causes the pressure differential, right?

It never occured to me that the Shorter would use different definitions for a word than the Compact...

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