Delta's outage: agile at the surface but sclerotic at the core

13 November 2016

Many IT departments have addressed the urgent technology demands from the business by leaving the management of their legacy IT intact and by adding a second agile mode where experimentation and rapid iterations are possible. Web front ends and mobile apps often are developed through this agile mode of operations. Nevertheless, leaving the old sclerotic IT core unchanged is similar to putting more lipstick on the pig. Organisations must put serious effort on renovating their IT core. The Delta Airlines data center outage provides some vivid insights.

Are technology giants becoming too big to fail?

14 July 2016

The financial crisis gave birth to the notion of too big to fail financial institutions. IT has quickly become a 24/7 utility and key segments are dominated by few, huge companies. Our personal and professional lives rely increasingly on their well being. Is the notion of too big to fail applicable here too? What would be the effect if one of them were to run into serious trouble? Assessing and mitigating the risks of serious failures of ‘public IT utilities’ is not likely to be a priority for authorities today. Perhaps we have to witness a big ‘accident’ first before adequate measures are being taken.

Do not focus on the competition, focus on the customer

10 July 2016

Three years ago Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post, a company that had become synonymous with the newspaper industry’s decline. It sought help from the Amazon founder because of his knowledge about the internet. Last week New York Magazine published an overview of the changes that are taking place at the Post - the article has valuable insights and lessons for organisations in other industries transitioning to a more digital future! 

Silicon is disrupting more and more industries

3 July 2016

A characteristic of the Wintel-dominated PC industry has been that hardware was a non-differentiating attribute. As an example, take the computer CPU: Intel delivered continuous improvements in performance, but almost everyone used the same chips. The world has changed totally. In today’s mobile world, differentiated chip capabilities have become extremely important. To stay competitive and profitable, organisations must master the interplay of software, services and hardware.

... and more disruption to the Wintel ecosystem from Google

25 June 2016

Most news items about the PC industry Q1 results focused on Chromebooks outselling Macs in the US. The Chromebook is an example of Clayton Christensen's disruptive innovation. Though the news mentioned the Mac, the real victim is the Windows PC and its downfall is a sign of the decline of the Wintel ecosystem. With Chromebooks running Android apps soon, further disruption is inevitable. Google has thrown a compelling business case in the laps of organisations that must, in any case, prepare for an accelerated decline of the Wintel empire!

Apple WWDC & Google I/O drive new commandments for the digital age

18 June 2016

The Apple and Google developer conferences are behind us. News from these events illustrate we live in exciting times. When we look at the existing technologies and practices in the average organisation and compare it to the new realities, it looks like many are riding on a steam engine train whereas the technology world has boarded a TGV. Furthermore, the trains have left the platform and the distance between the two is growing by the day. So here are some new commandments if you don't want to lose out in this race.

One more nail in the coffin of the Wintel ecosystem coming from Apple

10 June  2016

With the arrival of the smartphone less than a decade ago, things started to go downhill for Wintel but the knock on effects have proven invasively corrosive to the entire ecosystem. Continuing to run Wintel applications is becoming a liability because the vast majority of them can run only on Wintel. Your organisation better watch and prepare for an accelerating decline of the Wintel empire that will send shockwaves spreading. Another important reason to put priority on getting rid of your legacy.

The next predator of industries: Artificial Intelligence

3 June 2016

Jeff Bezos recently said about Artificial Intelligence: “It's probably hard to overstate how big an impact it's going to have on society over the next 20 years.” The field is still in its early innings; often brute force approaches to problem solving are used but it has a huge runway ahead of it. Due to the confluence of several developments, AI has switched to exponential growth with disruptive potential  - not utilising it will have detrimental effects to organisations foolhardy to ignore it. The first disruptions of Artificial Intelligence are already discernible.

Getting the most out of the cloud? Get rid of your legacy apps!

28 May 2016

Organisations must ‘move to the public cloud’: it delivers significant business contributions and is a key component of an effective digital strategy. The key question is what you move and what you replace. ‘Lifting and shifting’ your traditional IT may bring some business benefits but may also turn into a costly disappointment. You must put effort into replacing your legacy applications and use the public cloud differently.

IT experience among business leaders urgently needed ...

19 May 2016

When looking at the leadership teams of successful organisations one may conclude: “better stick to your knitting”. Across many industries IT becomes part of the core proposition and upends business models that have persisted for decades. What if “software is eating your world” and IT isn't “your knitting”? The Washington Post newspaper provides an inspiring and practical example: hire experience!

Consumer IT encroaches the SAP ecosystem

8 May 2016

Apple and SAP recently announced a partnership agreement. Given the popularity of the ipad and iphone in the enterprise and the wish of Apple to grow its enterprise business such a deal makes sense for both companies. But SAP's motives for this deal go much further than the creation of “hip” ipad and iphone apps.

Enterprise can capture more benefits from consumer IT innovations

6 May 2016

The emergence of companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple offering consumer services on a massive scale is having a deep influence on hardware and software enterprise IT vendors. This influence is also being felt in enterprise IT departments. Nevertheless, enterprises are not capturing all the opportunities made available to them by consumer IT innovations.

Corporate Governance and getting IT right

6 May 2016

Corporate governance of IT must evolve as the role of IT is shifting. The Dutch Corporate Governance Monitoring Committee recently proposed to include IT governance and risk management in the responsibilities of the Board's audit committee. This appears as an anachronistic view of the role of IT in the enterprise. Additionally, it can even backfire on the good intentions of the Committee to improve risk management of IT.