Archive for May, 2007

SOA The Economics of Agility

Friday, May 11th, 2007

Marc Rix alerted me to a paper he had written on Bottom Line SOA: The Economics of Agility

I am a big fan of SOA and Marc’s writings and he makes a compelling case for the positive business cost/benefits of SOA over P2P architecture.  However, I feel compelled to make a few points to balance the argument slightly.



Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

No matter what type of change you are responsible for in your organisation, business processes, training, IT, M & A, R & D, HR, you will have seen a big bang project go wrong.  The most spectacular ones are always IT of course and, as an ex-IT Project Manager, I have to own up to a couple of dropped ones…

I have long thought that big bang projects are inappropriate for the enterprise.  They always end up costing more than planned, delivering less than planned, and causing more disruption than planned.  They also take so long to deliver that there is a very serious risk that by the time they are implemented, the results are no longer relevant or useful.


SOA – A Good Idea Badly Implemented?

Monday, May 7th, 2007

The second on my short series of posts reflecting on a recent discussion with Clive Longbottom of Quocirca.

We discussed the success (or otherwise) of SOA implementations.  Now, I must be honest, I am not aware of a single shining example of SOA excellence in the enterprise, but I had presumed the reason was the limited range of industries I come across.  For example, most banks, telecoms, utilities, retailers and the like are so monolithic, the cost of embarking on an enterprise wide SOA initiative wouldn’t get past even the most naiive of capital expenditure committees.  So I have read vendors’ press releases about successful SOA implementations and taken them at face value.

Clive’s view, however, stopped me in my tracks.  He reckoned most SOA “experiments” were nothing more than web services connected together in a point to point architecture!  Picture my face with a look of incredulity on it – no I am more incredulous than that!  I may be dumb but isn’t loose coupling the whole point of SOA?


The Wallet of the Future

Friday, May 4th, 2007

I was reading this article about Barclaycard and Oyster preparing for the launch of the small payments card in the UK (in fact only in London).

Although, as a Barclays customer, and Oyster Card holder, this will mean one less card for my wallet, its only a tiny, rather limp step in the direction of the contactless payments of the future.


IT vs The Business – the Final Countdown?

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Part of my day job involves briefing industry analysts.  They don’t generally get much good press in the blogosphere.  Vendors pay them to write “independent” reports and buyers think that their reports are 100% biased even though they pay for the privilege of reading them.  Many have told of a theory that the various industry analysis charts (e.g. Magic Quadrants) being scored on the level of vendor contribution.

I can’t afford to take sides in this debate.  More precisely, Blue Prism can’t afford to pay any analysts so I don’t actually know the truth.  So our briefings tend to be a bit one way and the analysts rarely reveal any “trade secrets” to me, and we only get coverage if we happen to hit them exactly when they are particularly interested in our area (in fairness that does happen).

Anyway, whatever your views of the analyst community and there are some grey ones, this week I was very pleased to meet one guy who was very open, very helpful and offered some free insights into industry trends.

This is the first of a small number of small posts inspired by my meeting with Clive Longbottom of Quo Circa who was even kind enough to permit me to post his thoughts (so no doubt he will comment if I misrepresent him!).