Archive for January, 2008

Société Généreuse

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Whilst there is plenty of serious coverage of Jérôme Kerviel and his antics, I was amused to see French commentators renaming the stricken bank “Société Généreuse“.

The serious point to me is about governance.  Whether IT systems, banking processes, or capital management, there must always be governance, assurance, security surrounding human activity.  That is not say a lack of trust, far from it.  But there needs to be parameters within which people are allowed freedom to act, combined with systems that prevent them straying outside these, when to do so has such serious consequences on the organisation and its environment.

The larger the enterprise, the more this is so.

Time for “Guerilla” SOA?

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Joe McKendrick at ZDNet picked up on my previous post on short termism and budgets, and suggested that the time may be ripe for “Guerilla SOA”.

That’s exactly the sort of thought I had in mind.  However, if you can implement the guerilla initiatives in such a way as to keep an eye on the long term future even better.  So if you are using mashups for example, the architecture is flexible so new data sources can be plugged in and out down the line.  Guerilla initiatives are great at delivering value in local areas of the organisation but one day it will be desirable to join up the dots.

I guess I am arguing for a bottom up approach to SOA which is hardly a new suggestion, and not one that everyone agrees with, but seems well suited to these times.

Has your 2008 IT budget been cut?

Friday, January 11th, 2008

David Linthicum makes some recommendations on what to do if your SOA project is threatened by budget cuts.

Focussing on ROI and $$$ measures is certainly a good idea.  I also totally agree that if you can’t justify a business case to yourself then you should cancel the project.  Shifting around resources and reallocating from other projects is only a good idea if those resources end up being allocated to the biggest business case – i.e. they are targeted at achieving best value.

My personal view is that budget holders will give much more support to business case and $ ROI arguments than any other justifications.  However, the current climate is very short term.  Most enterprises are focussed on short term cash and short term profit.  Directors are targeted on short term measures.  They are also ever less likely to hold their role for more than 2 years.

So when you try to justify your project, bear this in mind.  There is no point in demonstrating that your $25M investment will pay back handsomely over 10 years.  You must find ways of proving that your project will deliver incremental short term benefits so the longer term project funds itself and delivers ongoing business value as well.

Longer term management views may well return when the economy starts the next upwards cycle.  In the meantime, we all need to live within the current constraints.