Agile Software Development and the Agile Enterprise

March 22nd, 2007

At the risk of looking like agile processes are the only interest in my life, I just wanted to drop a quick post about the principles behind the agile manifesto drawn up by the much feted “pioneers” of agile software development.

Read the rest of this entry »

Government Driving Need for Agile Computing?

March 19th, 2007

I read with interest that strategic BPM company Handysoft published a survey showing that 2/3 of European Banks are set to miss the MiFID deadline.

Could this be because the regulators have still not finalised the detailed MiFID requirements?

Read the rest of this entry »

IT vs Building Architecture…

March 16th, 2007

Michael Stal makes an interesting point regarding the dissimilarities between IT architecture and traditional disciplines like building architecture.

He suggests that people have unreasonable expectations of software architecture – I quote from his blog “For instance, when building a house no one would ever come up with proposals such as adding additional rooms or floors after construction is completed. But people tend to think software engineering should support exactly that kind of flexibility.”

In a sense I agree.  But as someone with a previous life in Facilities Management I also know that businesses DO request additional rooms and additional floors after construction is complete.  No major business I know has a static property portfolio, and anyone who has worked in a major business for more than a year will almost certainly have moved desks, or even buildings at some point.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rules Engines – Power to the Users!

March 13th, 2007

I was reading Business Rules the Software Reuse Debate by Rajgo.  I bow to his technical knowledge which is far superior to mine, but I want to take the business end of his argument and see if I can violently agree with him.

In my world, business rules enable loose coupling of enterprise applications and services.  So a typical enterprise application might be the CRM system and a typical service (in a retail bank for example) might be to select a customer using the customer reference and return the portfolio of products held by that customer with the bank.

A number of services can be linked to form a business process, but a business process must follow rules.  These rules can be hard-coded or configurable by the user community using some sort of rules engine.

Read the rest of this entry »

What Value an Automated Apology?

March 12th, 2007

In an effort to reduce global warming, I often get on my carbon tippy toes and take the train across the Pennines to work.

On one such occasion last week, whilst waiting at my local station I heard a digitised voice from the tannoy “We…are…sorry…to…announce…that the………O…Seven………twenty…three is delayed by approximately…………six………minutes.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Between “Rogue” and “Pure” IT

March 6th, 2007

An interesting blog post landed in my in-tray this morning: The verdict is in: ‘rogue’ IT is cool by ZDNet‘s Joe McKendrick.

I agree wholeheartedly with Joe although the term “rogue” IT is perhaps a little (no doubt deliberately) provocative.

What is certainly true is that IT Architects are often faced with situations where compromises have to be made.  This could be due to budget constraints, the need to deliver very quickly, or the demands of users who have found their own way of solving the problems, albeit not using “pure” IT.

Read the rest of this entry »

Google Apps – The Ultimate SaaS?

March 5th, 2007

On the face of it, Google Apps Premier Edition is the future.

Software as a service (SaaS) has many attractions and the subscription model that Google has announced has made it particularly attractive from a financial perspective.  Why have an expensive corporate network and storage infrastructure when you can use the World Wide Web?

Staff can log onto their personal productivity tools from anywhere in the world…. ah hang on, is that the problem?  Staff can log on from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.

Read the rest of this entry »

More on Mobile Phone Payments

March 1st, 2007

I was interested to read this article today http://www.finextra.com/fullstory.asp?id=16581 about Citi and Obopay.  I checked out https://www.obopay.com/ and I like what they are doing.

It’s an interesting step forward and has the advantage of using current technology.

However, it doesn’t meet my requirement of being able to throw my wallet in the bin as there is still reliance on a plastic card to bridge the gap between modern technology and last century’s.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is Enterprise Wide SOA Just Too Challenging?

February 28th, 2007

The hype amongst suppliers with a vested interest in Service Oriented Architecture grows daily.

Intuitively its a great idea.  Turn your organisation into a set of services that can be used and stitched together to form business processes which in turn are exposed to front and back office staff, business partners, agents, customers via direct channels etc etc.  These services are loosely coupled to the existing IT applications so can be maintained independently.  Users only effectively see one simple system.  Brilliant!

Read the rest of this entry »

What is a 5GL?

February 23rd, 2007

Trying to pin down the definition of a 5GL or 5th Generation Programming Language proved harder than expected.

Read the rest of this entry »