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Archive for April, 2012

by: Bsomich
28  Apr  2012

Weekly IM Update.

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A Structural Overview of MIKE 2.0

If you’re not already familiar, here is an intro to the structure of the MIKE2.0 methodology and associated content:

  • A New Model for the Enterprise provides an intro rationale for MIKE2.0
  • What is MIKE2.0? is a good basic intro to the methodology with some of the major diagrams and schematics
  • Introduction to MIKE2.0 is a category of other introductory articles
  • Mike 2.0 How To – provides a listing of basic articles of how to work with and understand the MIKE2.0 system and methodology.
  • Alternative Release Methodologies describes current thinking about how the basic structure of MIKE2.0 can itself be modified and evolve. The site presently follows a hierarchical model with governance for major changes, though branching and other models could be contemplated.

We hope you find this of benefit and welcome any suggestions you may have to improve it.

Sincerely,

MIKE2.0 Community

 
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Deliverable Templates
The 5 Phases of MIKE2.0
Overall Task List
Business Assessment Blueprint
SAFE Architecture
Information Governance Solution

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Start a new article, help with articles under construction or look for other ways to contribute.

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This Week’s Blogs for Thought:
 

Bringing together digital, cloud and big data

History is replete with examples where ideas are launched with great fanfare and yet fail while subsequent iterations of very similar ideas are hugely successful.  The difference between a failed good idea and a success is often only a matter of a few subtle differences.

It can be argued that at any time there are just a few key trends which define technology support for business transformation and innovation in the industry as a whole.

Read more.
 

 
The Applification of the Enterprise, Part IV: An Example

In Part III of this series, I looked at how increasingly self-reliant employees are no longer tolerating many behind-the-times’ IT departments. In this part, I provide a more in-depth example of this type of organization.

It’s May of 2011 and I’m psyched. I have finally started working with my new client, a large healthcare organization based in the midwestern United States. Let’s call it Joel Hospital here, although it’s a pseudonym. Joel has a need for a consultant with my particular skills and, for reasons unbeknownst to me, its previous two consultants did not pan out.

Read more.

 

Communication, Not Tech, is #1 Job for CIOs

Whenever enterprises are asked about the greatest challenges facing IT, they invariably reply that it’s ensuring technology helps drive and change the business, not just polish existing processes to greater efficiency.

Read more.

Forward to a Friend!

Know someone who might be interested in joining the Mike2.0 Community? Forward this to a friend 

Questions?

If you have any questions, please email us at mike2@openmethodology.org.

 

Category: Information Development
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by: Phil Simon
24  Apr  2012

The Applefication of the Enterprise, Part IV: An Example

In Part III of this series, I looked at how increasingly self-reliant employees are no longer tolerating many behind-the-times’ IT departments. In this part, I provide a more in-depth example of this type of organization.

It’s May of 2011 and I’m psyched. I have finally started working with my new client, a large healthcare organization based in the midwestern United States. Let’s call it Joel Hospital here, although it’s a pseudonym. Joel has a need for a consultant with my particular skills and, for reasons unbeknownst to me, its previous two consultants did not pan out.

Joel decision makers and I have danced with each other for a few drawn-out months now, exchanging emails, discussing the cost and scope of the project, finalizing the contract, and getting to know each other. I have filled out a swath of non-disclosure forms promising not to do anything with the confidential employee data to which I will have access.

The process is beyond laborious and I bite my tongue a few times because I know how slowly many healthcare organizations move. No one would ever mistake Joel Healthcare for Facebook. I hope that my “difficult client radar” is off, although I am starting to understand why I am the third consultant Joel has called in.

At the time, I lived in New Jersey and, in order to minimize travel costs, Joel and I agree that much of the work can be performed remotely. A few weeks after signing the contract, I finally receive my log-in credentials via email and open the unusually large attachment. It clocks in at nearly 5 megabytes and is 15 pages in length. I shake my head and read the document, marveling at both its complexity and the number of things that I need to do to gain remote access to a single Joel desktop. In no particular order, I need to enter my user name, password, passcode (different than a password), dynamic four-digit personal identification number (PIN), and answer to a secret question.

I pick up the phone and call the woman who sent me the document (call her Betty here).  I ask if this is for real. I’ve logged in to dozens of external networks in my professional career and, by an order of magnitude, this is the most difficult one I’ve ever encountered. The process is even more cumbersome than those of my government clients. Betty doesn’t understand why I’m complaining because, she proudly admits, she wrote the document in question. I try to tread carefully, but I can tell that my mere call and questions annoy Betty.

Did I mention that I have to clear each of these hurdles just to get to the remote desktop? I’m miffed because that desktop is just the starting point for my work, the tip of what appears to be an insurmountable iceberg. For the five or so different front- and back-end applications that I’ll need to access to complete this project, I’ll need separate user names, passwords, and Lord knows what else for each one.

Betty stood firm. This is a simple process in her eyes. (I doubt that she has seen any other companies’ remote access policies.) I know that I’m not going to win this battle. So I labor on, following every instruction to the letter, hoping to see a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Instead, I hear a thud and see the daunting blue screen of death (BSOD) on my computer. I reboot it and again painstakingly follow the directions.

BSOD!

This is not good. I am not about to repeat the process. I know Einstein’s definition of insanity.

I call my friend John who is a certified computer wizard and long-time consultant. I explain my situation and he calmly tells me that the Joel’s network adapters are outdated. This has happened to him, and he assures me that it’s not my fault.

Relieved, I call my contacts at Joel and tell them about the network adapters. It’s a problem, but at least I think that I have found its solution. They are not impressed. They think that I’m being difficult and lazy.

We’re clearly not off to a great start, and the hard part should be doing the work required by this client, not logging into its network every day praying that my computer doesn’t crash. I make my case for a different way to connect to Joel’s network. It’s not 1999. Remotely connecting to a computer can be done in many simple, secure, and quick ways. I suggest a few of them and am told quite sternly by the head mucketty-muck that “that’s not the way we do things around here.”

Suddenly, I want to find the previous consultants and take them out for a beer. I decide that it’s time to cut my losses. I resign from the project before it gets any worse. This can’t possibly end well and I value my sanity above all else. Joel personnel don’t argue with me.

Broader Implications

In a nutshell, this little yarn represents what’s wrong with how far too many organizations use technology today. Times like these are why many employees want to go all Office Space on their computers. Think about it. I can use Google Maps to immediately look halfway across the globe but I can’t log in to a remote desktop to do actual work.

What’s wrong with this picture?

There’s good news, though. It doesn’t have to be this way. Technology can enable productivity, cost savings, and exciting innovations. Organizations just have to break old patterns, listen to employees, and embrace simplicity. In short, they have to act more like Apple.

Feedback

What say you?

In the next installment of this series, I’ll take it up a level and look at some broader technological and enterprise trends.

Tags: ,
Category: Information Strategy, Information Value
3 Comments »

by: Robert.hillard
23  Apr  2012

Bringing together digital, cloud and big data

History is replete with examples where ideas are launched with great fanfare and yet fail while subsequent iterations of very similar ideas are hugely successful.  The difference between a failed good idea and a success is often only a matter of a few subtle differences.

It can be argued that at any time there are just a few key trends which define technology support for business transformation and innovation in the industry as a whole.  In the past we have dealt with network trends that have resulted in better communications, infrastructure trends which have delivered standardisation and technology management trends that have given us a focus on project outcomes.

In each case, the wave that saw these ideas come through was preceded by iterations of similar concepts that simply failed to gain popular support.

The three big trends that we are dealing with in Information Technology at the moment are: digital disruption, cloud and big data.  All three tend to get discussed in isolation but are, in fact, closely related.  As much as anything, all three reflect the maturing of IT to join other forms of technology where subtle ergonomics, form and design are more important than a simple inventory of features and functions.

Digital is a business trend

Digital technologies are those that contain discrete (discontinuous) elements or values.  Contrary to popular misconception, digital does not mean online activities.  The opposite of digital is analogue where elements are not independent, such as business processes that cannot be isolated.

Digital business isolates individual business functions and their supply through business services, often through B2C or B2B online channels.  Once functions are isolated they can be recombined in new and innovative ways to create disruption.  Digital disruption.  Examples of this disruption include the recombination of supply chains, retail, financial products, telecommunications and even quite traditional manufacturing and mining activities.

The principles and technologies of digital business are not new, the industry has developed service oriented architecture (SOA) approaches over many years with exactly the same goal.  What has changed this time is subtle.  Rather than relying on standards for interfacing, digital approaches are relying on market forces to ensure that individual components are able to effectively exchange information.  Once again, market self-interest is trumping central planning!

Cloud as a power station

While the move towards cloud is complex, it is certainly not new.  Bureau computing through the 1980s (and even earlier) was just as much a cloud capability as today’s services.  With the success of the Internet people have been envisioning a move away from owning infrastructure to combining services online for over a decade.

When people talk about cloud, they often refer to the utility model.  The argument being that the move is inevitable.  After all, no-one generates their own electricity right?  In fact, the utility industry knows full well that electricity production is going a full circle with first solar and now increasing gas generation of electricity moving into the home.  Similarly, many proponents of cloud argue that it is the continuation of trend towards thin client applications, but similarly software architects are very aware that the rise of mobile apps has seen the return of the thick client with a vengeance!

Centralisation versus decentralization and thick versus thin are simply part of the cyclical nature of IT. Cloud is much more important.  It is the vehicle via which discrete services can be combined and delivered.  Whether it is the embedding of payment services in ecommerce solutions, CRM for call centres or the provision of storage of photos for home users the really interesting trend is how these services can be combined in new and commercially viable ways.

Big data is an expression of freedom from technology

Big data leverages the digital bread crumbs from all of the new services that cloud and digital, combined, enable and builds on the freedom that organisations are gaining by not having to own or build everything themselves.

When businesses have to own everything, they naturally try to define it in enormous detail.  With enterprises that are tightly interconnected (or naturally analogue) enterprise consistency and standards are paramount – hence the focus on master data.  As elements of the business become discrete (digital) they can be allowed a level of independence and their data is driven by an internal and external market rather than standards.  The result is big data (see my previous post, It’s time for a new definition of big data) which is as different from structured data as databases are from unstructured content.

Big data existed in the past, but without digital and cloud enterprises were reluctant to set it free for fear of losing control of already complex business processes.

User experience is everything

None of digital, cloud or big data are new.  What we are seeing is that these technologies are supporting each other in a way that is making them practical and the market is learning to use them in a way that fits with day-to-day business and consumer activities.

Digital business makes sense in a world that is used to sharing big data across organisational boundaries.  Cloud is important in a digital world that is not afraid of sharing or migrating whole business functions across boundaries and borders.  Big data’s digital bread crumbs rely on the cloud to free-up the organisation from having to maintain control of all information definitions.

Above all else, these trends are being picked-up because they are being manifested in solutions that are easy to understand and use.  Without app stores, payment services, CRMs and analytics tools which reflect the way people actually want to structure their businesses none of these trends would be taking hold.

Tags: , ,
Category: Information Strategy
1 Comment »

by: Phil Simon
16  Apr  2012

The Applefication of the Enterprise, Part III: The Ethos of Employee Self-Service

::An apple a day keeps the doctor away but if the doctor is cute screw the fruit::

In Part II of this series, I looked at the consumerization of IT as well as the Steve Jobs’ effect. Both have driven the Applefication of the Enterprise. In Part III, I continue explaining this recent phenomenon.

Why Tomorrow is No Longer Good Enough

Years ago, employees would dutifully call IT help desks to report problems. Analysts would open tickets, document issues, attempt to find a resolution, and eventually close the case—often to the dissatisfaction of the employee.

The trend of increase employee self-reliance is unmistakable. As I write in The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business, employees have become much more tech-savvy. They have embraced self-service with open arms, often only calling IT when they have exhausted their own efforts. In a world of constant tweets, creating or customizing your own product, hyper-accurate Google searches, it’s all about now. Many employees are used to doing their own troubleshooting—and the time required to explain a problem may exceed that of solving it. Tech-savvy employees refuse to wait for a call from IT. It’s no longer acceptable. They’ve become accustomed to doing it themselves.

At the same time, these tech-savvy, overworked, and impatient employees are less willing to tolerate inferior technology while on the clock. Thanks to the prevalence of smartphones, open source software, cloud computing, and social networks, there are more ways than ever for creative employees to fly under the radar and use technologies not sanctioned by understaffed corporate IT departments.

What’s more, the last ten years have given rise to the prosumer. The term has taken on multiple meanings—and not all of them are in synch. Duncan Riley defines the word as “a combination of producer and consumer that perfectly describe the millions of participants in the Web 2.0 revolution.” The prosumer is a professional–consumer hybrid much more comfortable with surfing the web, finding creative solutions, creating content, and solving vexing problems.

This takes us back to the simplifying products and technologies of prevalent consumer companies like Apple and Google. Tech-savvy employees don’t want to wait for their own companies to get with the times and upgrade legacy apps. That is, they are anything but passive. They want to use the best stuff at work (read: Apple’s) because they already use these products at home. Employees can clamor for new toys and devices, but if the company doesn’t have the money to spend, those cries will go unheeded. Fortunately for Apple, IT budgets have stabilized after years of contracting, allowing organizations to purchase Apple’s more expensive wares. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, as evinced by the recent rise in Apple’s stock. We are seeing nothing less than the Applefication of the Enterprise.

Feedback

What say you?

In the next installment of this series, I’ll be providing an example of one of the many organizations in dire need of Applefication.

–Phil Simon

Tags: ,
Category: Enterprise Content Management, Enterprise2.0
No Comments »

by: Bsomich
11  Apr  2012

Profile Spotlight: David Shalev

David Shalev

David Shalev is a business intelligence consultant with more then 20 years of in-depth BI experience in the global market. He has successfully held roles as Director, Projects Manager, Designer, Consultant, Analyst and Developer in all areas of Business intelligence including Data Warehousing, Dashboards and scorecards, Revenue Assurance, Information Portals, Executives Information Systems (EIS), Data Mining, BI-to-CRM integration, BI infrastructures, Data Integration, BI marketing, Guidance of BI courses, leading BI Methodology development and other subjects.

His experience was gained in Israel, US, Europe (UK, Greece, Poland, Romania), Asia (India, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Philippines) and South Africa.

Connect with David.

Category: Member Profiles
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by: Phil Simon
09  Apr  2012

The Applefication of the Enterprise, Part II: The Jobs’ Effect and the Consumerization of IT

::An apple a day keeps the doctor away but if the doctor is cute screw the fruit::
Photo Credit: » Zitona «

In Part I of this series, I provided an introduction to this nascent trend.

Part II

Steve Jobs despised focus groups. He was famous for not listening to what customers wanted, but telling them what they wanted. Today, Applephiles are taking a cue from their iconic leader and are increasingly doing the same thing at work. Technology at work is often unnecessarily complicated and they know that there’s a better, simpler way. They’re mad as hell and they’re not gonna take it anymore.

The key question is not whether Apple products can be tweaked to meet the current and complex needs of large, sophisticated organizations and their IT departments. That’s so 1999. Rather, Apple products and evangelists are forcing executives to ask themselves why their technology needs are so complex in the first place. Why do they need to maintain these bloated applications and byzantine requirements? And how everything can be dramatically simplified?

And here’s the funny thing. It’s actually working. Jobs is starting to change the very DNA of IT departments from the grave. Case in point: In the last six months, Apple’s enterprise sales have exploded almost by accident. This explosion is even more remarkable when you consider that historically Apple has not chased corporate clients at all. In this vein, the company is the antithesis of Dell, IBM, and Microsoft.

We have known for a while now that Apple makes the best technology products. Many companies are finally taking notice, especially when the CIO gets it. Progressive CIOs know that Apple is “where it’s at”, even if their kids had to tell them as much. Many CIOs are making top-down decisions about what’s best for their companies—and increasingly that decision has Apple written all over it.

But the Applefication of the Enterprise cannot be attributed to a few hip CIOs getting Apple religion. Remember that large organizations move much slower than startups. To find out why Apple is succeeding in this new arena, we have to delve a little deeper. When we do, we see that there’s a major shift taking place in many organizations, something fundamental, organic, and employee-driven.

The Consumerization of IT

In the 1990s, the vast majority of people used the best available technology at work. Period. Relatively few people bought computers, programs, and devices whose power and functionality surpassed the ones they used in the office. But that was then; this is now.

Today, we have entered Bizarro World. The landscape could not be more different than even a decade ago. For millions of people, the quality, functionality, and power of the devices and technology they use at home today often exceeds their counterparts at work. What’s more, we are constantly using a wide array of devices and apps well after we leave the office. The distinction between “at home” and “at work” has blurred, if not become meaningless. One can just about work anywhere these days, spawning the terms virtual or distributed companies. And the very notion of a computer is changing before our eyes. Smartphones and tablets now compete with desktops and laptops as the primary means by which many people connect to the Internet and do much of their work.

Faced with technologically deficient workplace devices, technologies, and applications, many employees are refusing to compromise. Why should it take then five times as long to do something at work than it takes at home? Restrictions on the size of email attachments? I’ll just use DropBox or YouSendIt. IT is blocking YouTube via Websense? Then I’ll just watch it on my iPhone.

Employees are demanding better products and services than those provided by their own companies—and many CIOs are listening. Worker bees are complaining to their managers or just using their own devices and software to get things done. After all, it’s pretty hard to ban an employee from bringing her iPhone into work and using it.

Feedback

What say you?

In the next installment of this series, I’ll be delving deeper into the consumer IT revolution as it pertains to Applefication of the Enterprise.

–Phil Simon

Tags:
Category: Enterprise Content Management
5 Comments »

by: Bsomich
07  Apr  2012

Weekly IM Update.

 
 
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861 Articles and Counting!

MIKE2.0 is being continually updated by the community. Why not dive in and add your insight to one of the information management problems or solutions that is being worked on by the community?

Below are some of our latest wiki articles:

We hope you find our new article additions of benefit and welcome any suggestions you may have to improve them.

Sincerely,

MIKE2.0 Community

 
Popular Content

Did you know that the following wiki articles are most popular on Google? Check them out, and feel free to edit or expand them!

What is MIKE2.0?
Deliverable Templates
The 5 Phases of MIKE2.0
Overall Task List
Business Assessment Blueprint
SAFE Architecture
Information Governance Solution

Contribute to MIKE:

Start a new article, help with articles under construction or look for other ways to contribute.

Update your personal profile to advertise yourself to the community and interact with other members.

Useful Links:
Home Page
Login
Content Model
FAQs
MIKE2.0 Governance

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This Week’s Blogs for Thought:

The Applification of the Enterprise: Part I

In early February of 2012, Halliburton, one of the world’s largest oilfield service companies, became the latest enterprise to abandon RIM’s BlackBerry. Halliburton’s new smartphone of choice: Apple’s iPhone.

Even two years ago, this would have been earth-shattering news. Companies of this size just didn’t buy Apple products. These days, however, announcements like these have almost become commonplace. That is, Halliburton is hardly alone in adopting the Apple’s iPhone throughout the company. In late 2011, Pfizer announced that it will purchase a rumored 37,000 iPads for its scientists and sales and manufacturing employees. In the same year, biotech giant Genentech announced that it had rolled out 30 company-specific apps in its own private app store.   

Read more.

How to Share Bad Project News

In the spirit of the holiday season, I just wanted to bring some levity to the blog. I’ll leave it to you as the reader to discern if there is any applicable value to you in how you communicate.

Email to the Divisional Vice President

Subject: Weekly Status Report on Project Thames

Alan,

This was not a good week for the project.

23 of our nodes failed and we learned that there are limitations to how much the 3-node failover processes work. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re missing. Once we do, we’ll be in a better position to know when we can recover our data. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again. We also learned that the patch we were expecting from the vendor has been backburnered to 2013.

Read more.
 

    The Last Resort: Custom Fields

For many years, I worked implementing different enterprise systems for organizations of all sizes. At some point during the project (hopefully earlier than later), someone would discover that the core application had no place to store a potentially key field. Against that backdrop, the team and I had a few choices .

Read more.

Forward to a Friend!

Know someone who might be interested in joining the Mike2.0 Community? Forward this to a friend 

Questions?

If you have any questions, please email us at mike2@openmethodology.org.

Category: Information Development
No Comments »

by: Phil Simon
02  Apr  2012

The Applefication of the Enterprise, Part I: Introduction

::An apple a day keeps the doctor away but if the doctor is cute screw the fruit::
Photo Credit: » Zitona «

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

–Leonardo da Vinci

Author’s note: In a series of posts over the next few months, I’ll be delving into a nascent trend: the Applefication of the Enterprise. Today’s introductory post lays a bit of the groundwork for the series. 

In early February of 2012, Halliburton, one of the world’s largest oilfield service companies, became the latest enterprise to abandon RIM’s BlackBerry. Halliburton’s new smartphone of choice: Apple’s iPhone.

Even two years ago, this would have been earth-shattering news. Companies of this size just didn’t buy Apple products. These days, however, announcements like these have almost become commonplace. That is, Halliburton is hardly alone in adopting the Apple’s iPhone throughout the company. In late 2011, Pfizer announced that it will purchase a rumored 37,000 iPads for its scientists and sales and manufacturing employees. In the same year, biotech giant Genentech announced that it had rolled out 30 company-specific apps in its own private app store.

Government Goes Apple Too

If you think that this trend is limited to the private sector companies rife with cash, think again. In mid-February of 2012, another government institution went Apple. As David Zax writes, “the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is throwing their BlackBerrys overboard, opting for Apple products instead. Though NOAA already put some 3,000 BlackBerry devices in circulation among its 20,000 workers, it will only be supporting the devices until May 12. NOAA CIO Joe Klimavicz cited the cost of Research in Motion’s software as the chief reason for the switch.” The cash-strapped public sector is realizing that Apple products are not only just cooler; they actually may be cost-efficient relative to existing applications and devices.

The reasons for these moves aren’t terribly difficult to understand. “With a relatively small investment, companies can re-create the whole information-on-the-fly scenario that was nearly impossible before”, says Pierfrancesco Manenti, an analyst at information technology outfit IDC. More large organizations will doubtless follow the mass exodus away from once omnipresent BlackBerries. PCs and laptops will give way to iPads. Apps will continue to supplant many complex software programs in new and exciting ways in enterprises across the globe.

The key point of these stories is not the demise of any one tool like the BlackBerry, a product whose rate of innovation clearly has trailed that of its competitors. Rather, the story illustrates a new mind-set and the transformative power of Apple and its products. They are no longer merely the solve purview of stylish consumers, small design firms, and niche start-ups. Increasingly, Apple products are now accepted as real products in real companies that solve real problems.

Definition: The Applefication of the Enterprise

The Applefication of the Enterprise is not just about enterprises purchasing and deploying Apple products. Rather, it’s about what companies like Apple and Google represent: simplicity, ease of use, self-service and rapid deployment. Every organization will not use Apple products—and Apple couldn’t produce enough iPads, iPhones, and MacBooks even if every last CIO signed up. Rather, Apple is focusing all organizations to reevaluate their existing technologies, applications, and infrastructure with the intent of making them simpler, more user-friendly, more Apple. In short, Apple is causing large organizations to think different.

Feedback

What say you?

In the next installment of this series, I’ll be taking a look at some of the factors driving the Applefication of the Enterprise.

–Phil Simon

Tags:
Category: Information Management, Information Strategy
3 Comments »

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