Saturday, 30 July 2011

Technology breeds stupidity.

Here's a nice line from an article by Jack Wallen on ZDNet trying to dispel myths about open-source software. This section points out that you don't have to be an expert to use it, and it's as easy to install as proprietary software, if not easier...

"Like all things to do with computers, as the intelligence of the average computer user has dropped, the ease of use of open-source software has increased."

But I suppose it applies to most technologies. The more complex things become under the skin, the more user-friendly and idiot-proof the developers try to make them. The same applies to cars. Thirty years ago you might have had a go at replacing the cylinder head gasket. On modern cars you can't even find the cylinder head. Is technology actually making us less capable?

Cloud is going to do for operations what the web did for marketing.

The growing capability of cloud software as a service.(SAAS) functionality is looking to change the business models of many small medium enterprises and particularly micro businesses. The web enabled anyone to market to the world where previously only large companies could market with substantial budgets. It has revolutionised marketing and sales over the last 10 years making small businesses able to compete in markets where years ago it would have been impossible.

Cloud is going to do for operations what the web did for marketing.

When you have an idea and uptake could be slow it takes a brave entrepreneur to fork out for expensive software and supporting infrastructure; raising fixed costs and automatically creating as a result high take up to hit the break even point. Many have shrunk back from this and how many good ideas have not developed due to high initial investment costs?

With many SAAS offerings a "freemium" approach is used for low volumes so it is low on up front cost to start trading in a certain way and really good to "just see how it goes".

I think this is going to be a serious stimulant for innovation and the development of smaller businesses.

Cloud is going to revolutionise many business models and create those that historically would never have got of the "fag packet".

It will particularly assist part time business and lifestyle ventures as these low volume options previously could not be sustainable and reduce the risk of start up operations.

Costs bases will be more aligned to variable costs and the costs therefore flexible with the ability to expand or contract due to changes in volume. Scalability both up and down is the benefit.

So cloud is more than just another I.T.fad its going to make some serious waves in business design land.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Tom Graves speaks sense yet again.

I always like to read what Tom Graves has to say on business/enterprise architecture, recently he posted the following which was spot on as usual.

" If you come from an IT-centric architecture background, the first need is to realise that the standard EA view of business-architecture is a mess - it's essentially a random grab-bag of 'everything not-IT'. Tom Graves 2011.

I.T. centric EA is a core problem to us in the Business architecture space because often 80% of represented architecture is I.T and 20% is business which is the wrong way round.

Whilst EA continues to be used incorrectly as a term and job role title then the problems and culture persist in an unhelpful way.

Tom is a business centric business architect so when you see his name in discussions stop and read because, most of the time, its worth reading and take note.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Off site Courses Reap Benefits

I just finished yesterday afternoon a public delivery of Dever Solution's three day business architecture course which we held at New Place near Southampton.

Delegates enjoyed getting away from it to discuss and exchange views as well as learning a new set of techniques in a relaxing environment.

They commented that it is difficult these days to get thinking time as corporate cultures drives a "let's be busy" way of operating where stopping and reflecting is often seen as laziness.

The excellent facilities and calm environment provided by Devere Venues( no connection) were certainly conducive to a quality learning experience with both UK and overseas delegates meeting to up-skill in Business Architecture. The food was pretty good too! Many thanks to Zulfiya Huntley and her colleagues for looking after us so well.

So, we better schedule another course soon as even today, the day after the course finished, we have had further enquiries. It looks like a repeat in September is on the cards.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Business Architecture Recruitment

Most agents don't seem to appreciate what business architecture is. They call associates of ours on regular occasions talking about data migration projects, technology integrations or new platforms; hardly business architecture is it?

When end user clients express a need for an EA with good business skills they organise interviews "yes we want business people" and then later in the second interview it becomes clear that really when the chips are down they want someone technical. Time wasting seems to be on the increase my ex colleagues tell me.

There is obviously a lack of skill in agents really understanding what clients what and agents just repeating what they are told rather than really understanding the role they are recruiting for.

A colleague of mine earlier this week spent some time, whilst speculatively applying for a permanent role, to explain to an agent what a trading consulting business was; the agent, bless her socks, couldn't see that when you run a business you spend large amounts of time marketing and selling and wanted every assignment and piece of delivery outlined with dates so to present a clear pattern to her client. You have too many gaps!!" she said. The conversation soon ended after that and he went elsewhere.

We all don't operate as serial contractors or employees. Commercial naivety like that is probably why they can't get their heads around business architecture - well its commercial is it not!

Perhaps there is a role for people who do business architecture to do some recruiting least we know what we are taking about!