Roman Sandals

August 8, 2008

Lean and Mean

Filed under: business, management, technology — Craig Lawton @ 3:00 pm

Lean manufacturing principles originated in Japan.

People are now applying them in IT: Lean software management, and also other aspects of IT such as Service Management.

In July 2007 it all looked so promising.

A year later what went wrong?

May 1, 2008

Going with the cloud

Filed under: management, musing, technology — Craig Lawton @ 5:01 pm

Really interesting article on the Reg’ which should put data centre fretters’ feet firmly back on the ground. It seems the “thought leaders” don’t see data centres disappearing anytime soon because:

  • Security – “… there are data that belongs in the public cloud and data that needs to go behind a firewall. … data that will never be put out there. Period. Not going to happen. Because no matter how you encrypt it, no matter how you secure it, there will be concerns.”
  • Interoperability- “…figure out ways for systems that are … behind the firewall … to interoperate with systems that are in the public cloud”
  • Application licensing complexity.
  • Wrangling code to work over the grid – getting any code written that exploits parallel infrastructure seems to be very difficult.
  • Compliance – “What happens when government auditors come knocking to check the regulatory complicity of an application living in the cloud?”

Also they didn’t cover jurisdictional issues, such has, who do you take to court, and in what country, when there is an issue with data mis-use “in the cloud”.

It makes you wonder about why cloud computing will be any different to grid computing, or thin desktop clients. A great idea, but not enough inertia to overcome ingrained corporate behaviour.

November 14, 2007

Offshore destinations.

Filed under: management, technology — Craig Lawton @ 7:29 am

Nobody ever asks about the technical – or quality – benefits of offshoring. The financial benefits are obvious. There are two aspects to any business “benefit”: reduced cost and/or improved service. But the best you can hope for when offshoring is similar quality. Nobody cites better quality as a reason for offshoring. Business processes don’t improve or get re-engineered when the real business is half a planet away. I’ve worked in businesses where two groups separated by little more than a 40 minute drive, have come to despise each other. These particular relationships were not confused by language, culture and wage-worthiness issues.

Offshoring is mostly MBA-hyped wankery. That is, it’s real, but completed oversold, and not based in the real world. A fad. A blunt instrument.

Offshoring simple processes gives a similar (hopefully) result at a lower price; offshoring more complex ones is difficult and frequently gives you a worse outcome, and an outcome which is unlikely to be improved upon over time. But it will be cheaper. (more…)

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