September 2008 Archives
Things deteriorate over time if you don't do maintenance - even software. One item that needs upkeep is your online identity. Many of us go onto sites -- social networking or otherwise -- and type in details about ourselves (true or not) and there they remain for perpetuity. I just received an update from Plaxo, a site about which I had forgotten - only my details were wrong but also those of some of my connections, including my son Edward, an i-generationer and headhunter now at Amos and Bailey, rather than the previous company cited in his details.
In the future there may be some identity management for the Web where you can be in control of one single version of who you are; until then, do the housekeeping on your on-line registrations. If you don't, that flattering and ever anticipated call from someone trying to recruit you for the job you've always dreamt of, may not come your way.
Technology has never been a glamour business, attracting few women and recently, less young men. However, advertising is and has always been full of both. There's now a hybrid world - on-line marketing - it's a boom business.
A market that, if the demographic of Adtech a conference and exhibition at Olympia last week is anything to go by, is worked profitably and almost exclusively by attractive, cool, ambitious young men and women. These are the talented folk that bring us on-line advertising, pop-ups and a myriad of exciting offers. They are the peeps who understand database mining, targeted marketing and all the things that early adopters dreamt of. The leader of this pack is of course Google.
This morning I was invited on-line to join the Coke Club. Though enured to on-line temptation, I couldn't resist the double entendre. It was my first ever ad click through. Those money honeys' sure know how to turn a old guys head.
Collaboration technology was on show this week at the Project and Programme Management exhibition in London. It was good to see that the PM world now includes more risk analysis and benefit management add-ons than just task, time and resource programmes. However, it was clear from talking to delegates is that the Government has fallen out of love with PRINCEII. HMG believed that you could just train people in a methodology and hey presto projects would succeed.
Good project management has always been a subtle mixture of science and art. This was best exemplified at the show by K4Innovations a Project Management Services Company that manages projects from setting up a bank in Moscow to running community projects in Antigua. The key said Kimikawa De Castro, managing principal, is in a rigorous Requirements Definition process - one where people are pushed hard to really think about what is needed. Many projects are initiated too early because of time pressure without the requirements being realistically captured.
While a key element of PRINCEII it requires good communications skill from the PM to capture requirements from the stakeholders. A series of books on the soft skills of project management are available from the Maven Training Skills Academy. What was good about the show is the realization that technology and methodology are junior partners in bringing a project home. HMG be advised - It's all about the people Stupid!
Glocal is a term not only used as a marketing mantra but is also an in-joke among mathematicians (used where the global structure of an object can be inferred from the local structure). So yesterday I did my arithmetic and put two and two together when the HR director one of a beleaguered investment banks said yesterday. "The country is melting."
As some of the City number crunchers, previously working on derivative algorithms, will have time on their hands what use can they be put to? Surely this is the time to put those brains together and collaborate on local projects that have a global impact; for example, working out how to produce cheap Hydrogen.
- Trust - is the originator who they say they are?
- Security - are the intermediate hosts fully locked down?
- Privilege - Can the administrators of the system access my content?
- Compliance - Does information storage meet SOX (or equivalent) regulations?
- Control - Can I impose an archival regime?
- Ubiquitous - Is access to content easily achieved outside of the firewall or disconnected from the network and then does it stay in a guaranteed secure environment?
- Housekeeping - Can corrupted or accidently deleted information be easily recovered?
There's nothing worse than unplanned events overtaking a well-planned conference. In Mumbai, last Tuesday a CTO summit was held to look into the effective implementation of core banking technology. On the agenda was risk management, financial frauds, money laundering, data mining and information security.
The breakout sessions focused on how information technology has enabled sophisticated product development, better market infrastructure and the implementation of reliable techniques for control of risks. I suspect events in the stock markets made for some interesting discussions.
In the aftermath of the financial melt down let's spare a thought for our colleagues who may loose their jobs. More importantly, let's also hope that when the blame-game starts it's not technology that's made the scapegoat again.
Or to paraphrase Edward Grey. "The pools are going cold all over Europe." I was fortunate enough to grow up with a swimming pool. It was unheated. It means I can swim in glacial rivers, oceans and ice cold plunge pools. Most people prefer the warm bath sensation of modern heated pools. However, with the end of "credit bubble" (buying things you don't won't with money you don't have) some people are being forced to turn the heating off - so if you want to tell who has still got dough, stick your toe in their water.
Is the Web 2.0 bubble about to burst? An American who lives in the Valley seems to thinks so. All the signs of a looming Web recession are everywhere, he said yesterday, including the US mortgage market meltdown which could hammer online advertising, the liquidity crisis effecting internet business plans and a general slowdown in broadband adoption rates.
However, the optimistic case is the converse. It allows organisations to reduce travel/energy costs by the implementing cool collaboration applications. So choose your Web 2.0 partners well - they may not be around long.
'The hosted offering will be targeted for organizations with 1,000 to 10,000 employees, and will offer, in addition to the basic Lotus e-mail and calendaring, additional collaboration tools.'
I play in a 'covers band' called Senior Service. We've just come back from a gig at weekend party for a toff bird's 21st. The morning after the night before I walked around the stage clearing up after an excellent Saturday night thrash. I found; 3 Iphones, 2 ipods and 4 digital cameras. I know we are a good act and drive people into a frenzy but dropping that much digital detritus looked more like carelessness than hysteria.
The 'youff' that made up the main throng of the party guests were pretty well-healed - and I say were, because some of them - work or worked for Lehman Brothers and lost at least two of the items above. On the Sunday morning they were pretty hung-over and not particularly grateful at getting their kit back.
I link these two because of the carelessness that connects them both. Lehman Brothers described itself as "an innovator in global finance, that serves the financial needs of corporations, governments, institutional clients, and high net worth individuals." A lot of this innovation seems to have been done by people seemingly careless with stuff - others or their own.
"Preparing for the next downturn," was the title of a McKinsey report, published last year, I had archived it as possible content for this blog. Realsing it was now passé I deleted it, though not before taking a quick look. It started of, "In a buoyant economy, the next recession seems far off. But managers who prepare during good times can improve their companies' chances to endure--or thrive in--the eventual downturn."
So what, on entering a downturn, did the article suggest were the things to do?
1) Maintain lower leverage on the balance sheets
2) Control operating costs
3) Diversify product offerings and business geographies
Controlling costs is relevant to this posting as it is an opportunity to show Collaboration technology's ability to reduce cost. There's a recent report by Infoedge on IT trends and spending that might help.
- consciously stored in locatable locations
- moved to current formats as old formats become obsolescent
- be checked regularly for degradation
- be catalogued effectively
"Even if the Justice Department backs off the Google-Yahoo deal, therefore--or Google fights the case and wins--the increased Justice Department focus will likely lead to:
- greater scrutiny, especially as Google moves into new businesses
- more complaints
- more litigation (and litigation risk)
- possible reputational backlash
With respect to the Google-Yahoo deal, moreover, Google continues to take a hard line, saying it intends to go ahead with the deal regardless of what the Justice Department does. This could be posturing, but we doubt it. (Puffing out your chest at this stage of the game isn't the best way to win support). More likely, it means that, if challenged, Google intends to litigate."
A collaborative, competitive game played since boys were boys is conkers. It required, good hand eye co-ordination and some wily construction skills. However, all across
It's a sad state of affairs and yet another change in the landscape. I'll miss the glorious rich brown of the conkers as they split out of their green prickly shells that break open as they fall. On the up side, as there's no sunshine in the
The phoney war is over - reality begins. Business and project proposals put out before the holiday period that have been festering on people's desks are about to face the tough test of go/no-go decisions. We'll soon find out how nervous people are out there about the economic climate. I've four such proposals waiting in the slips on collaboration, conversation, communication & cooperation.
- Real Time Collaboration (RTC)
- Group Decision Support Systems and facilitation tools (GDSS).
- Virtual Team Space (VTS)
- Distributed Project Management (DPM)
I'm itching to see which, if any will come home to roost, or if they don't how I'll not free fall into an impending sense of doom and panic. Only time will tell - I'll let you know in a month..
Explorer 8's InPrivate option can hide your internet audit trail allowing you to conceal the sites you've visited from other (family) users of your computer. However, the authorities will still be able to snoop. What does this tell us about ourselves - that you can run but you can't hide?
The Porn Mode is quoted as being able to 'hide one's illicit browsing history'' but also stated as "preventing computers from tracking your online whereabouts or browsing habits - much-needed information for web sites that deliver targeted advertising". Aren't these mutually incompatible from the principle of self-interest?