Recent Blog Posts
Forum Replies Created
January 6, 2012 at 1:54 am #148178
sure Julie, you’re the human face to what is an intellectually interesting debate on a broader level. I went through the personal pains of MS Access maaany years ago but I can still sympathize! 🙂
I’d say it’s a popular topic because it’s that curious paradox situation, a conundrum where you try and balance the opposing tensions of centralization for control vs decentralization for scalability and customization. The core tensions of politics at the core…
In other words how could a central IT dept empower you, rather than try and control your behaviours, and what is the technology platform to make that possible… (it’s Cloud).
Then as you also mentioned the other big issue that is due to culture is the bureaucracy – Taking 6 months to order servers, and as I have also experienced, this ‘funeral death march’ procedure they call the dreaded RFP procurement….
The next big inflection point in IT will be the emergence of Cloud marketplaces, with automated ordering tools etc., so this last part will be tackled through this trend. As they learn of needs like yours then you’ll also see a faster responsiveness in new product innovations, eg ‘Access Backup for the Cloud’ or something…
I do think Vivek Kundra’s Cloud First initiative fired the starting pistol and the wave will catch up with you guys soon too!
January 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm #148190
I do think out of this group of threads yours is the most finger on the pulse.
Shadow software simply means that the organization has applications somewhere in there that they don’t ‘officially’ account for, ie. IT doesn’t recognize them, so they provide no support.
It’s a specifically named topic because it’s so dangerous, for the huge alarm bell reason in the middle of your own situation description – “If anything happened to that database, we would be “toast”. Ie. you currently are in an agency who has mission-critical apps on fragile software with no support. That should be a red flag – Somewhere!
So while I think every one sympathizes with you, and agrees IT should empower you with tools that are the modernized, Cloud equivalent of MS Access, I also agree there is a need to modernize the whole bureaucracy as that’s the rool root issue you also describe.
The right investments in the right technologies, especially those around Cloud/PaaS (Platform as a Service) are key as they address the automation (reduce server orders from 6 months to 10 mins) as well as the common apps that users need (eg ‘MS Access in the Cloud’ kinda thing).
December 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm #148226
It’s the right dynamic to support for sure, but it’s the how that’s critically important.
End user organizations that take to developing “mickey mouse” software will create a problem that they eventually come back to IT to fix. Think of all those MS Access databases littered everywhere. It’s easy to write software, it’s not easy to write scalable, enterprise-class software, and when it all goes wrong IT is left to bear the associated workload costs etc.
Therefore your ideal balance is that the OCIO should proactively meet this need – They should identify the correct overall enterprise architecture & platform that empowers users to create the new process systems they need, but from a platform designed to do this on an enterprise-wide scale, so that it is also supportable.
May 31, 2011 at 11:23 pm #131507
I’d love to cover this in the upcoming Open Government Canada webinar : http://OpenGovernmentCanada.com
We’re pioneering something similar in Canada, the ‘G-Cloud Open Data Platform’ :
Would love your thoughts on that too.
May 11, 2011 at 12:22 am #130121
I wrote a paper on exactly this, ie how Microsoft Cloud Computing can enable Public Sector Transformation:
Like any IT, the key is to identify what new capabilities are enabled, and how do these relate to the political policy objectives..
May 3, 2011 at 12:16 am #129403
I think it’s a shame we’re still not yet evolved enough to find jubilant celebrations of any one’s violent death inappropriate, nor wise enough to avoid it because ultimately it wishes the cycle back upon ourselves.
December 6, 2010 at 3:58 pm #116956