To close out 2012, a selection of some of the posts and presentations published this year. Most popular topics: IT strategy and the big trends disrupting ‘business as usual’: social networking, mobile/tablet devices and cloud computing


Extranet Decisions – January

As cloud computing increases in popularity, the first service to move off-premise is often email services. Closely followed by extranets. Arguments about data security are limited in both cases – once you start sharing data with other people, you’ve already lost control

Imagining the future Intranet – February

A presentation created and delivered for Ovum Analysts at their Enterprise Collaboration event, looking at the impact the four big trends – Social Media, Mobile Devices, Cloud Computing and Big Data – are likely to have on the future design of intranets

Think beyond not post-PC – March

For 99% of people, keyboard-input is becoming less relevant since devices became interactive through touch, motion and sound. The design of the typical workplace and business software needs to catch-up…

Virtualisation case study: Revlon – March

As a result of virtualisation, Revlon reduced document printing from 750,000 pages a year to zero, reduced energy consumption by 72% and collapsed 21 ERP applications into one. Keeping ‘it’ simple was a guiding principle.

Architect or Gardener? – April

It’s easy to forget that IT is still a very young industry and one that has grown up by adopting terminology from others, not always successfully. When planning for a new system and its governance requirements, consider whether the system is transactional and in need of specifics versus unstructured or social and in need of guidance. Architect one and landscape the other

Unexpected social connections – April

It is not just you who decides how secure your personal information is on an online social network. If you decide to share it with them, all your friends get to decide too. As do all the apps and web sites you connect to. And if you’re one of Facebook’s social butterflies, everyone gets to decide…

Who gets to own or access the data? – April

As relevant at the end of the year as when it was published, the recent news around Instagram changing the terms of service to try and profit from peoples photos. It’s easier to comprehend why Facebook bought Instagram for crazy money if you ignore the social networking and instead focus on the value in automatic location updates via Internet-connected mobile devices

Align your project dependencies – April

A presentation delivered for the International SharePoint Conference in London. The original presentation title was ‘From Business Requirements to Technical Scope’. Intended for a business rather than technical audience, this session looked at how to prioritise requirements and understand the hidden dependencies that determine outcomes

Office 365 vs Google Apps – May

A presentation that was originally uploaded to Slideshare by Microsoft. This is my edited version with comments from practical experience. Some of the arguments were poorly made. In reality, each service has different strengths and weaknesses. Office 365 offers greater breadth of capabilities and is geared towards content management/process improvement. Google Apps is stronger for collaborative working

The benefits of retiring old equipment – May

An IDC report was published showing how costs increase as computer hardware and software ages. IT systems can become like a pair of comfy old slippers – we hang on to them for far too long after they outlive their usefulness. You rarely see a company car over the age of 3 years old, let alone in service for over a decade. There are benefits to setting a lifetime limit for computer equipment too

Valuing friction in social networks – June

Examining the effects of automatic updates. Have too many become obsessed with achievements and badges when knowledge-sharing of value is far more likely to happen in conversations?

Yammer and SharePoint – June

Does Microsoft’s recent acquisition of enterprise social networking tool Yammer mean the beginning of the end for SharePoint as we know it? For SharePoint’s benefit, I hope so…

Networks need individuals who care – June

A great case study in social media and why it is so often individual actions that make the difference – not an easily repeatable process… In this example, a young girl writes to a supermarket, the supermarket writes back, the response goes viral and a product gets renamed

Can tablets enhance productivity? – July

One of the biggest criticisms about tablet devices such as the iPad is that they are only good for consuming content, not for creating content. Or rather, long-form content such as documents and media files. But that’s an argument about content creation, not productivity. Just how many of those documents being created everyday in the workplace help improve productivity?

Who wants to be in the middle? – July

In just about every scenario imaginable, success is usually found at the edges rather than the middle. Being in the middle is normal, comfortable, average, bland, OK, alright, doing fine…. feels safe but usually isn’t

Social Analytics or Awareness? – July

A lot of analytics can be like looking in the rear-view mirror whilst driving. Tells you where you’ve just been, allows you to make some course adjustments safely but you really want to keep most of your focus on the road ahead…

What is the CIO mandate? – July

Presentation looking at IT strategies and the different mandates identified by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, using a benefits analysis model to determine priorities

Who benefits from collaborative work? – August

With the 2012 Olympics well underway in London, it’s interesting to note the differences between boat races and road races. In the rowing boat, everyone has to work together for the boat to win. But in road races, a team of cyclists work together with the goal of ensuring one of them can go on to win the medal. Is work-based collaboration managed like a boat race or road race?

Do you need a portal? – August

Presentation delivered for the International SharePoint Conference, looking at the definition of a portal versus platform, different types of portal and how to prioritise requirements through scenario mapping and personas

Loyalty, Control and Terms of Service – September

How employees feel about your company will have a far bigger influence on maintaining control of your data than any security system, digital or physical. The ‘vibe’ of the office matters more than most people realise

Analysis of cloud platforms for collaborative workplaces – October

A presentation taking a look at the analysts forecasts for vendors offering cloud computing for collaborative working and the decision criteria when considering a switch from on-premise servers to online services

Choosing a tablet for work – October

With the arrival of Apple’s iPad mini and Microsoft’s Surface, along with the accelerating growth of tablets running Google’s Android OS, this presentation evaluates the different form factors for different working scenarios

How clouds enable IT to create value – November

Toyota case study. How the CIO for North America is leveraging cloud services to standardise/commoditise basic IT services, freeing up IT roles to focus on more strategic uses of technology

Simple technology improvements to save costs – November

A client case study showing the quick cost savings achieved by simply improving printer management and avoiding unnecessary paper waste

Can apps be open and trusted? – December

Plenty of criticism is directed towards Apple’s control over their app store. Whilst vendor complaints often focus on monetary issues – the 30% cut taken from all app and subscription fees, there are benefits from a user perspective.  Those strict controls create trust

Image: fireworks at Whistler, own photo

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