Archive for the ‘ business technology ’ Category

social networking … will the pendulum swing back?

in a world where everybody seems to have something to say in the hope that everyone else is following … we are beginning to see some curbs come into play.

the pentagon reviewed social networking on computers and we see that the marines have banned social networking sites.  that is pretty reasonable given the security risks involved in publishing any-to-any information over open networks.

one person has even gone far enough to suggest that social networking is outright dangerous!

the transient nature of instant-contact and combined with the permanence of communication-records, makes for an interesting environment where folks tend to share things that they might never otherwise consider sharing.  add to that the relative comfort afforded by keyboards that seem to ‘de-personalize emotions’, you’ve got a flood of expression out on in public domain that might otherwise not escape the privacy of ones cranial confines.

makes me wonder whether the pendulum which has swung to the extreme of total openness will begin to swing back … after all, just how much of our time pie can be continue to give up to the social networking slice?  what do you think?

3 obvious ideas:

a. why: consider why you are connecting and communicating through social networking sites.  if its ‘because its the cool thing to do’, you are probably sending the wrong kinds of messages.  it helps to have a pretty solid reason to be out there.  while this might appear to go against the very grain of social networking, let us not forget that social networking on the internet is still about human-to-human contact and you dont want to be out there blabbering from a soapbox like the guys you find at trafalgar square declaring that the ‘end of the world is here’.  (i guess you could say they know ‘why’ they are there)

b. what: consider what the core essence of your message is.  whether you are posting pictures of your weekend party or random musings from the beach, dont lose sight of what the core message is.  communicating for the sake of communicating just adds more noise to the channel and makes for an overall sub-optimal experience … over the long term.

c. whom: its pretty obvious to consider whom you are trying to reach out to.  deeply divisive and polarising topics tend to attract undue interest and intense online debate.  dont forget that the ‘whom’ in this case can be pretty much anyone out there.  so dont get into an online debate or argument with a total stranger … regardless of how passionate you are about the topic.  its just not worth it.

sai@obviousideas.com

teachable moments … in technology leadership

the world of technology leadership is long overdue for its share of ‘teachable moments’.  i was going through some old trade rags and business mags that seemed to have escaped the eventual journey to the recycle bin … for about 7 or 8 years!  i was struck by how the topic of ‘business-IT’ alignment seems to have barely progressed in the last half decade or so.

the pain points, promises and pontifications on business-IT alignment have not seemed to change a lot.  indeed, that is depressing.

i would have hoped to see the dialog progress in some direction.  hopefully progressive, not regressive.  but status-quo is dangerous.   even disastrous.

3 obvious ideas:

a. from buzz to business-need: we need to step back from the din of new buzzwords and tech, and ask ourselves a fundamental questions: “what do we want to achieve with technology?” “what are we able to?” “what are we not able to?”

b. from cost to competency: we need cio’s to move away from a focus on cost-containment to one on organization competency-creation.  “what can we do with technology to enable business value creation?”

c. from staffing-for-operations to staffing-for-success: we also need cio’s to shift their staffing from a vertical domain-orientation to a horizontal competency-orientation.  while engineering and operations oriented teams will still be needed, we will need to see more artistic analysts and creative consultants within the cio organization.

what do you think?

sai@obviousideas.com

on cloud computing … real clouds … and business value

recently a woman in iowa took a photo that sparked the push for a new cloud type.  this got me thinking about the current buzz in the enterprise technology world … cloud computing. 

there is scarcely a corner in the tech world where you dont find a vendor with ‘cloud’ hastily scribbled into the storefront in fresh chalk … hoping to attract your attention and wallet-share.  then there are those that sprouted into business under the promise of a new cloud. 

soon enough, there came many different types of cloud … from private-clouds, to iron-clouds, to personal-clouds … the list goes on.  coming up with new tech cloud types and sub-types seems to be as easy as spotting clouds in the sky. or, so it seems.

except that new cloud types are not named as commonly as we see in the tech world.  the last time a major cloud type was named was 1951.  and despite all the very different types of clouds we might come upon, there are not as many new ‘types’ declared as commonly as the tech world …

this brings me to my staple diet of …

3 obvious ideas:

a. create value hand-in-hand with conveying it: it is imperative that the technology world create new value before going about creating new types and sub-types to convey value.  a new cloud type hasnt been declared since 1951.  maybe, just maybe if there was a market for these we would have had a 1000 more types …

b. buzzwords + flavors deprecate IT value: business decision makers and buyers tend to gloss over when they see freshly scribbled chalkmarks carrying the latest buzzwords .. why dont we do a better job of quantifying real measurable business value with the same gusto with which we create new buzzwords?

c. appreciating nature: i like the idea of the cloud apprecation society.  maybe, just occassionally, we should all step away from the keyboards and clouds to step out in the real world … and spot some real clouds.  maybe, just maybe, we might actually find a real new cloud category … like the lady from iowa.

sai@obviousideas.com

mit sloan cio symposium planning meeting … what an evening!

the 6th annual mit sloan cio symposium will convene on may 20 in cambridge on the hallowed lands of mit … it promises to be a dynamic day with ceo’s, cio’s, analysts, faculty and practitioners.

it is amazing to note what a 100% volunteer team has managed to execute.  the planning event earlier today had its usual mix of friendly folks + fine food + fun.  graham rong + chris reichert are leading an amazingly talented team between sponsorship, marketing, logistics, web, partnerships and more.

3 obviousideas:

a. if you are a cio, do not miss this event.   it is a unique opportunity for a mind-meld with like-minded professionals that care about delivering business value through information technology.

b. if you are not a cio, show up to find out what your cio cares about.  get a sneak peek into what the future of business technology might look like and figure out what you’d like to do about it today.

c. if you are still not sure why you should go… check out www.mitcio.com and see who is coming !  at a minimum, the rich conversations + connections will make the hike to mit worth the while.

sai@obviousideas.com