Not impressed by high tech ?

avril 17, 2007

Not impressed by high tech evolution? Just read 2007 ten emerging technologies.

And what’s new just now?

about Computing
Super lenses and chips, to see nanometers…
Intel going on…

about Communication
Optical fibers … and the web
IBM going on…
– and all the mobile stuff, changing potentially your life…

about Storage
Nanotubes again…
– and flash memory on your desktop

about Man/Machine interfaces
– what about ultramobiles
– some virtual earphones
– Internet names length
– and emoticons…- and last but not least, if you don’t succeed to retrieve information (all those blogs !!!), why not organize your disorder?


Do you think IT governance is easy? and to be CIO?

avril 17, 2007

Governing IT (look at this PWC perfect report) is (and that is not new!) key for company performance:
Strategic alignment is key, but clearly a subtle adaptive one, not too mechanistic…
What are CEO feelings on that?

Some new innovative ideas on this old alignment topic, like this definition of IT organizations as fitting into one of three categories, which called Solid Utility, Trusted Supplier, and Partner Player.
McKinsey emphasizes on some conditions of success…

All that relies usually on CIO. He is responsible of all dimensions of IT Governance (Strategic Alignment, Operational Efficiency, Risk Management, Security, Business Continuity, Change Management, System Integrity, Cost Management, Regulatory Compliance, Value Delivery):
Don’t forget that sometimes IT can put you out of business!

CIO priorities on theses subjects evolve, and more

Recently published, on those topics:
On Security : Web2 increases security risks and is a new challenge, and globalization is another key issue…
On Compliance: Compliance environment in US and more
On Business continuity
With such responsibilities, why CIO careers are not more dynamic, does CIO still means « Career Is Over« ?

SOA, is that clear for everybody?

avril 17, 2007

SOA story is a nice one! It was at the top of CIO challenges for 2007, and reemphasised in recent CeBit, …

To consider the best way to develop, maintain application is to design them as independant LEGO buiding blocks, exchanging services is a nice creative dream.
picture, in large companies, of application portfolio shows the real mess:
heterogeneous applications, different programming language, weight of history, big amount of usable application, only a small part being used and a smaller part really useful (using Renault CIO typology)

In that kind of case, SOA is more a modern (desperate?) programming way to try to make these old (and new) applications communicate, creating a layer of web services (communication layer using web xml protocols…).

OK, let’s imagine it will work (in some years…)

Will that solve the « data base » problem, that created this heterogeneity? Every silo in the company has his own view (about what is client, what is a map, what is a piece of material) and therefore about the meaning, the way it must be coded, the information that must be inside….

Sure, a way to avoid all that is to move progressively to an ERP, insuring communication between silos but nobody can suddenly stop the past and move to a new way. And ERPs have got their own « philosophy of life »…

On that:

– is SOA DOA ? (Dead on arrival!)
– Good SOA synthesis by IBM (clear enough)
SOA governance is a must, teams are key…

Some stories, feelings, fairytales about Web2 and some consequences (on KM, …)

avril 17, 2007


This Web2 emphasis is a bit enervating for some people (like me). Any rational?

This big Web2 bag contains a lot of concepts and techniques, sometimes rather new (Ajax, long tail, ..), sometimes rather old (social networks, blogging, forums, …).
Some of those concepts where historically peripheral, borderline, even sometimes freakish, and are now becoming, just because technology is more mature, full mainstream.


– a first immediate consequence is irruption of merchants, vendors, consultants around the concepts
– another consequence is a lack of balance in ideas and marketing.
One exemple: it is not because we have now tools that allow people to participate, to contribute that they will do it!
Some people prefer to be passive, to be softly manipulated by some ideas coming from the others (marketers, politicians,…)

Some recent contributions around these subjects

—- Is Web2 another bubble?
—- Good rebound on web2 & new marketing. B2BC (Business to Business Consumer) concept seems interesting to develop.
—- That implies to move progressively to Entreprise 2.0. Is that so easy?
—- At last, companies are interessed in social networks (« the chart behind the chart »)
—- … and a nice survey on that…
—- so, are we that way entering KM2?
—- Is enterprise 2.0 term equivalent to KM 2.0? Surely not! KM really wider!
—- Short stimulating ideas about social networks replacing KM (but you have to pay for it) !
—- COP’s (community of practices) basic rules
—- but… social networks not so simple. Will we have to manage them?
—- The fundamental question is still alive: Will « semantic web », SOA, …, all those web2 tricks will facilitate impressive new services ? Integrating is sometimes the key. Mashups are in the center. Not so easy !
—- Is web2 replacing, by direct access, consultants? No consultants for Web2?
—- Some happy with blogs …, some not happy
—- May be a better way to understand sociology, but big brother can be there….

but social networks are so nice, so easy to build….

Technology still moving fast

avril 17, 2007

About Moore’s law, Intel still invest strongly in 45 nanometers technology in competition with AMD, IBM, …
For the future, why not quantum computers? May be not ready !
..and atom thin graphite to build transistors…

And this fantastic technology, RFID, with all its opportunities and risks, now at 50 micrometer size !

Man/machines interface:
Suppressing the mouse, eye movement driven computer? It’s an old dream. I already tried that in an IBM research lab years ago. A bit disorienting, with a funny feeling not to be allowed to look anywhere, and a sort of sea-sick impression. I hope they improved !
… and why not connect your brain directly to games?

…and how much data world wide? and what for? If we cannot absorb more than 1 info/s (short term memory size limitation), compute how many information you will be able to absorb during your all life (3 Billions ?). Multiply by the population (6 Billion?)… It give something at the level of zettabytes, considered by IDC as the level of amount of data stored around 2010…
So we will zap more and more !

About the advances about programming bots (intelligent agents), look at these social bots !

And the other face, risks are always there, hackers and co .

How to survive in daily business life?

avril 17, 2007

– So many management concepts!
Smoking or non smoking management concepts? I really like this one !
Remind me an old chart about management concepts life cycle…

– A good manager has surely to be stress tolerant, have to feed his curiosity, …
In daily life, some nice vizualization tools can help him (look at the demos…)
Ignorance is his basic state. Can Artificial intelligence, this prothesis to natural ignorance help him?
(« Before we work on artificial intelligence why don’t we do something about natural stupidity? » Steve Polyak)

And so much tasks, contradictory, so many mails, sometimes useful, sometimes just « umbrella » mails (« I copy you, so I am clean »), sometimes just business intelligence information. Microsoft showed that over 70% of information workers spend a fifth of their time or more on e-mail related tasks.
How do people deal with these queues of « things to do », are their trade-off, to decide to do or not, based on their own personal priority system or on organization priority system ?
Recent studies by IDC, the Working Council of CIOs, the Ford Motor Company, and Reuters found that:
* Knowledge workers spend from 15% to 35% of their time searching for information.
* Searchers are successful in finding what they seek 50% of the time or less.
* 40% of corporate users report that they cannot find the information they need to do their jobs on their intranets.
* Some studies suggest that 90% of the time that knowledge workers spend in creating new reports is spent recreating information that already exists.
* An IDC report suggests that rework costs an enterprise about $5,000 per person per year for an estimated annual total of $12 million dollars across the U.S. Furthermore, not locating and retrieving information has an opportunity cost of $15 million dollars per year.

People are still interested in « learning » how to deal with email better. Maybe Web2 can offer some solutions – for a recent analysis of the situation, see Michael Sampson’s series of posts on the topic that starts here..
…but is there a danger that Web2 opportunities amplify the problem?

Knowledgable ?

avril 17, 2007

– Just found a good new book about KM and performance manager. It examines the partnership between decision-makers and the people who provide them with information to drive better decisions and suggestions for 42 decisions areas, taking into account the need to understand your data, but also plan and monitor performance.

– One way to start KM in an organization is to consider it as a service

– KM often needs technology, what do you do in front of that kind of people (good funny story about relation with technology ! I know so many people like that…)
More seriously, I like Martin Koser blog, with this relevant post on Management tools and Bain article

– The conventional wisdom today is that the flow of knowledge cannot be organized and driven by IT. Is that true?

– Management of K is not enough, you have too to do things !
– …and always this relation between Innovation and KM techniques

– Librarians are the historically first « knowledge managers » in organizations. Now, all managers are supposed to be ! Are librarians out? Or any manager is the librarian?
– But classification not so easy: look at this good literature synthesis of some connected concepts

– Teaching (I’m a teacher) and KM tools: a relevant list of techniques

– PKM, a new buzzword or individual productivity still a key challenge?
and Davenport’s thoughts about it

– Against dominant thoughts, creating knowledge, tagging changes and improves KM…

– I like this idea about KM strategy to capitalize on know-how can be counterproductive, in the case the know-how you store is average, too low level. It can inhibit employee’s will to experiment.

– KM, organizational learning gurus still alive, studying how KM can be a link between NGO and companies, in case they want to cooperate.
-…and a good way to use knowledge at the bottom of the pyramid

– Are incentives on KM good enough to stimulate K improvement?


Is BI so far from KM? Where is the real frontier?
Does BI concerns more « weak noises », unknown things, intelligence of outside and KM more known things, inside existing knowledge?
BI tools can be applied inside, e.g. to discover new concept through BI analysis of internal stream of messages! So, what new on BI?

– Good strategy and BI: there is a clear convergence between strategy and BI
Data mining is the central tool of any BI mechanism…

Do you love processes?

avril 17, 2007

BPM: Processus, toujours un thème central. Ce séminaire a lieu en Europe pendant tout 2007.

Some very nice useful charts, from Gartner, about best of BPM, and a lot of additional charts.
Among these, this one about BPM and SOA relation, or another one

but… what about HOP (Human and Organizational Performance)?
Must human problems be treated before technological and organizational problems? Old debate.

Is corporate performance depending from good management of management processes?
Sure it is a key necessary condition, but not sufficient!

Projects and processes are closely related:

– What is a process ? many good definitions, but one way is to see it as a never ending project.
So you can apply some of project methodologies to processes.
Why not, for example, prototype a process as we, in agile companies, prototype projects?

– Alignment of projects with strategies is key. To do that, we have to recognize that 90% of projects are created to optimize way of doing, processes. So, project prioritization needs first processes prioritization!

…so what’s new about IT projects ?

New world of IT projects, towards globalized agile companies…
and some still alive good laws about conditions of IT projects success (systems integration, databases, IT governance, cost reduction, and delegating work to IT)

IT Governance, key and still alive

avril 17, 2007

So many publications mentionning this topic. Does that mean that
– nobody understand anything?

– there are some unsolved problems in the concept and its application?

– it is now just a way for vendors (consultants, gurus, SOA solutions providers, scorecard specialists ) to market

– Organizations, in spite of the « official speech », are very very far from that?

One of the permanent criticism is that too much governance can kill agility, can kill innovation and adaptation.

It is sure that governance concepts and techniques are mainly « mechanistic », and sometimes far from systemic and « organic » adaptation.

Often too, within governance speeches, a « human » point of view is developed, but is it sincere or just « window dressing »?

Some rebounds on that:

– Is governance, agility incompatible? May be, not?

SOX and management decommitment !!!

This can occur in some big companies, that are sometimes exceptional at the IT Governance point of view (IBM, …), and now try to find the right balance between control and need of organic adaptation…

– the key Application Portofolio Management (APM) again and again

– as everybody knows, indicators are connected to Governance. BSC concept is not far, strategic mapping tools too…

Some example of comment on a good usage of bsc…
…a lot of education in business schools on BSC, in a lot of different disciplines
(financial control, governance, strategy, business plans, …)
examples of students thinking on bsc…

CIO is just in the middle of all that.
– a lot of choices to do in the permanent pressure of demands
– …with end user power at last…
– Governance often means contracts. But contracts don’t solve everything:
SLA (Service level agreements contracts) cannot replace cooperation in case of outsourcing

– How can CIO solve application challenges? Replace everything by an ERP ? Bridge everything with SOA and Web services? Good question.

– …And CIO has to use already existing models like ITIL (and others, Cobit, CMMI, ISO xxx, …)


Searching and Thinking…

avril 17, 2007

I like this one:

MIT’s Michael Schrage explains why getting highly relevant results from a search can actually inhibit the iterative process by which we discover and learn.
Idea we have about relevance of our search evolves while searching. Creativity can come from that iterative process too:
I search something, I am partially dissatisfied of the result, that makes me refocus on new idea about my search, I search again, ….

So: If you find what you search immediatly, you stop your brain ! Nice philosophical thought.


You can find there nice high level contributions about searching…
Just took this one too:
Jim McGee talks about the need for businesses to allow employees time to think, and the extent to which thinking can be done in the social public of blogs.

About fast thinking, I adore this fast (at the speed of the brain ), intelligent video from Michael Wesch (Kansas State University) about Web2 (but don’t like the music, I stopped the sound…)

Some additionnal comment on it….