IT and the business (yet again)

May 30th, 2007

In the short history of this weblog, common topics have included business agility, agile software development, arguments against big bang projects, and commentary on the relationship between IT and the business.

So I was interested to read Another Sideways Look At Agile in which JP Rangaswami pulls these threads together.

“there’s no Agile without active and enthusiastic business participation”

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Enterprise Mashups – Composite 5.0???

May 29th, 2007

I always thought of mashups as being internet based, for example using Google Maps to link to Salesforce.com and locate your customers on a map, much like Google Analytics shows me an overlay of where my website visits come from.

This is all great stuff but not very enterprise.  So when I heard the term “Enterprise Mashup” coined recently, I listened carefully.  Then I read this post by Jeff Nolan, a top notch blogger who I have been following for ages.  Jeff contends that “mashup” is the new “composite” and that mashups can apply equally to the enterprise world as the private individual and SME sectors.  As Jeff says:

“The fact of the matter is that it’s just a word, whether you call them composite applications, web services orchestration, SOA, next generation EAI, or  mashups, it just shouldn’t matter”

I can be a bit slow sometimes but when I read this I suddenly realised that this is the space that my company, Blue Prism plays in.  I hadn’t considered Blue Prism to be about mashups, or even a composite app really.  It’s a robotic back office that can non-invasively integrate corporate systems and turn them into automated business processes.

There are a number of vendors taking this more front ended view of integration so I thought it might be of interest to highlight a few.  The common theme here is that integration is “code-free” and further up the software stack than traditional EAI techniques. 

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Big Bang = Big Bucks

May 23rd, 2007

Good to hear others arguing against big bang  implementations…I have just subscribed to Andy Piper’s Blog.

Sharpening the saw

May 22nd, 2007

Taking Stephen Covey’s advice I’ve just been away for a long weekend (Fri to Tues) free of laptop and mobile phone.

I thoroughly recommend it to anyone.  At first you feel naked without digital communications and then you start to relax and really enjoy.  However, returning home tonight I couldn’t wait to get back online!

For the record I was mostly in Cornwall (one of the most beautiful parts of the UK).  Well worth the six hour drive to get there.  Any visitors to the UK should definitely try to get down to The Eden Project in St Austell – truly inspirational!  If you live in the UK you have either already visited, or have a visit planned.

SOA is just a tool

May 16th, 2007

Since my last post has clearly ruffled some feathers, I wanted to clarify my position.

I am pro-SOA.  I think it has great possibilities in delivering a more agile enterprise.  But at the end of the day it’s just a tool and one means of getting there.

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Farcical SOA Targets

May 14th, 2007

I am indebted to Joe McKendrick for alerting me to this story providing exciting news that the SOA Consortium is targeting that 75% of the global 1,000 businesses will have made a “successful” SOA implementation by 2010.

It’s this sort of complete nonsense that gives SOA, and IT people in general a bad name.

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Rogue IT Survey – can you help?

May 14th, 2007

If you work in enterprise IT can you help me by completing a short survey?

Click here to go to the survey

A frequent theme on my blog is the ongoing fallout between IT and The Business.  This is often exacerbated by business staff trying to implement their own technology solutions despite IT.

Allan, commenting on my IT vs the business post suggested that the business views IT as “not so much irrelevant as an active hindrance for most (large) organisations”.

Is this driving the rise in so called “Rogue IT” solutions being implemented by business staff?  I want to capture the views from an IT perspective.

Please have your say.  If you want to leave your contact details at the end of the survey (optional) I will send you a copy of the results.  I will also publish them on this blog.

Email Updates

May 12th, 2007

By popular request (one person asked) you can now get email updates from WorkforceInABox by entering your email ID in the box in the right hand column and hitting “Subscribe Me”.  Easy peasy.

Are all ISPs like this?

May 11th, 2007

I’ve been having a few problems with the availability of the database server that serves this and my other blog so I asked Streamline.net, my ISP for some help.  Below is the transcript which is getting to the point of hilarity.  You need to read it in reverse (assuming the website is up).

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SOA The Economics of Agility

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.

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