There seems to be a number of people doing some pretty serious thinking at the moment. On the one side there are CIOs and business managers grappling with some very real challenges and on the other some very good work on identifying the key factors that underlie these challenges. I think the playing field for CIOs was pretty well defined by the phrase; ‘Business Process Management, Service-Oriented Architecture, and Web 2.0; (is this a) Business Transformation or a Train Wreck?’ I suspect you spotted that there was no mention of clouds in this, well that may be because it is actually the title of a free Oracle white paper http://www.itbusinessedge.com/offer.aspx?o=00300099CTOspon&pc=defoffctoedge and Oracle are a little reticent on clouds.
On the other hand there does seem to be a dawning recognition that clouds are merely a collection of technologies, and the change factor is where, and why, you need to deploy these technologies in a particular manner to solve new business requirements. (I have covered various aspects of this in previous blogs such as ‘why are clouds so hard to understand’ http://www.capgemini.com/ctoblog/2010/02/why_are_clouds_so_hard_to_unde.php) . So actually the Oracle focus on three major aspects and their use in solutions, rather than just throwing in the term ‘clouds’ does make sense. But what is the change in focus, where are the CIO issues, or what’s wrong with IT as we currently know it?
Thomas Wailgum really hit the mark in mid March in a widely reproduced blog entitled ‘Why the new normal could kill IT’ http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/031210-why-the-new-normal-could.html. It is really worth reading his detailed breakdown of the issue, but in summary it comes down to external circumstances such as the credit crunch and recession forcing a re-examination of all aspects of business and the unfavourable light it shines on IT. That means IT as we currently know it – a solution for back office automation of relatively stable processes – in comparison with the way that people can find, use and pay for technology services in the age of the web, but most of all what they want to be able to do with technology. Do read it, it’s well worth it!
But what is, or are, the new business imperatives that IT is not supporting? This debate is not new either and usually hinges around Enterprise 2.0 and business models. A lot has been said and written on this already so can there really be something new and valuable to add? Indeed there can, and there is, posted by Hutch Carpenter a few weeks ago based on the concept of using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs http://www.cloudave.com/link/maslow-s-hiera rchy-of-enterprise-2-0-roi.
You only have to glance at his diagram to see that he is absolutely rethinking and adding value to the whole concept of an organisation driven by change, and how that plays out to unite a people-driven interactive culture based on sound business principles.
Hutch has added some other interesting stuff and post regularly on Cloud Ave http://www.cloudave.com/html/About.html which is a site that I regularly like to visit and find interesting. But in this case I would like to give the concluding thoughts to Mike Bergman who reckons that the change forces are ‘Open Source, Open World, Web, and Semantics to Transform the Enterprise’ in his blog that ties blogs from several sources, including one of my own, into a post called ‘Changing IT for Good’ http://www.mkbergman.com/873/changing-it-for-good/. Mike addresses some heavyweight issues of what happens, or needs to happen, to really make the change. Again well worth reading and using to get reference links as well.
Now all these changes look much more like the kind of moves that an agile private sector enterprise could make, not something for heavyweight government. Actually I think it’s a series of changes that society as a whole will be the driving force of change. In the European model the expectation of citizens that egovernment means that they will get individually unique outcomes to their requirements from governments that increasingly talk up expectations will play its part. In the USA it will be the expectations of a more open and liberal government in which democracy means personalisation.
A pretty heavy post with some opinionated points at the end, so I am expecting some interesting posts in reply.
Another thoughtful post, as is your wont.
Actually, I think we may see quicker action in the government sector than private enterprise, esp. in municipalities. The Pacific NW is a hotbed of new ideas, with constrained budgets, commitments to transparency, and social networking and the Web leading the charge.
You may want to see our Citizen DAN initiative — geared especially to localities — that contemplates our private enterprise work. This open source initiative is getting huge amounts of interest.
Hi Andy – agree with Mike ( another terrific post ) with many angles to comment on but will pick up on your points about Gov 2.0 and citizen engagement. This week was http://sf2010.drupal.org/ and one of the big announcements was http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog which ties in nicely with Citizen DAN Community Indicators System http://citizen-dan.org/details.html ( based on Drupal + much more….)
The general idea being….
Step 1) publish data in open, machine-readable forms ( like World Bank et al has done )
Step 2) aggregate & map various forms of open datasets (web, streams like Twitter, enterprise) into useful open semantic frameworks
Step 3) bring more citizen engagement into the process, to invite the public into a dialog about and contribute to the data to in order to shape policy.
We just completed proof of concept for 1st Canadian city and public unveiling of the current iteration of Citizen DAN will be in at SemTech 2010 http://semtech2010.semanticuniverse.com/sessionPop.cfm?confid=42&proposalid=2960
The first open source release of the full Citizen DAN baseline system is scheduled by the end of 2010.
Hi Steve and Mike -thanks for the instant responses! It shows the strenght of the blogosphere in helping us all to connect, develop threads and builds on topics. I didnt know about Citizen DAN – it looks really interesting and hope we are going to see some more on progress as it moves forward? If I tie this with the World Bank releasing data which you also provided a url for the picture that emerges is the increasing challenge being around data and not around computational power, or integration, or networking. All three of these challenges have been largely solved with the internet, the web and now the cloud, but the new challenge is how to make use of the resulting huge pool of data that this now brings. Thats why Citizen DAN is so interesting!