Posts tagged ‘Concepts’

October 27, 2015

A Presentation on ICT for Lawyers

This post is a summary of a presentation I gave to a group of lawyers on ICT fundamentals. It represents my own opinion, and not that of my employers or anyone else! I apologies for it being so wordy – but a lot of material was covered.

My presentation walked through some fundamental concepts in ICT, some major trends that are shaping ICT, and how ICT organisations are evolving. The aim is to give a plain english summary to allow ICT lawyers to have sensible conversations about ICT to support the work that they do with ICT professionals. In my view ICT may be hard to do, but it is not hard to understand. At the end of each topic I will include my own personal view.

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October 23, 2013

What Is the Difference Between Privacy and Security?

When talking with people about privacy and information security I often come across a common misconception – that there is nothing more to privacy than security, or that the two are roughly the same.  In particular this often comes up in discussions around the use of cloud services where people seem to think that if they address security issues with cloud services, then there is nothing more to do from a privacy perspective.

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June 11, 2013

Ban the Word “Alignment” From Your Architecture

Something about the typical language of enterprise architecture is starting to bug me. The overuse of the word “alignment”. When people are asked to describe what enterprise architecture is all about, they often answer with the phrase “it’s about the alignment of IT with business strategy”. But is that enough? Should it be something more?

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October 9, 2012

BYOD Is Not About Devices

This is my 11th post on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solutions. A discussion the other day with Microsoft’s Beat Schwegler (Head of Platform Strategy Group) brought out something that was behind much of my thinking, but I haven’t made explicit: my approach – and my recommended approach – is that BYOD is not actually about devices at all.

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September 25, 2012

The Chimera of Business-IT Alignment

Most of the talk in enterprise architecture circles is about business-IT alignment. By which I take it that we mean that IT should not prevent the rest of the organisation’s attempts to meet its goals, follow its strategies and deliver its outcomes. Or, more strongly, that IT should directly contribute and support the rest of the organisations attempts to follow the strategies, meet the goals, and deliver the outcomes. These are laudable aims, but to my mind if we pursue this too narrowly we may miss the bigger issue: there is no use seeking business-IT alignment if we don’t have business-business alignment. In other words, you cannot achieve business-IT alignment, if the business is not aligned with itself. If different parts of the business are not aligned we will find we don’t have IT aligned with itself causing conflict and inefficiencies; parts of IT may well be aligned with parts of the business, it will necessarily come into conflict with those other parts of the business that are in conflict with the first part of the organisation we have been focussing on.

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May 8, 2012

What Is BYOD?

Much noise has been made about the consumerisation of IT and its effect on enterprise IT shops. One of the biggest aspects of the consumerisation of IT is the idea of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). As I am heavily involved in a number of significant BYOD initiatives I thought I’d discuss some of the issues it raises, starting with this discussion of what I think BYOD is, and what I think are the different types of BYOD.

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November 14, 2011

It’s the Desktop, but Not as We Know It!

This is the second in a series of posts about the desktop. In the first post I described a conceptual architecture of the desktop, or end user computing environment. In that first post I used the term desktop, since then I have had a  change of heart, or at least of terminology. I’ve been thinking about the wider computing environment that people use and encounter in their daily working lives and I see that it is both much bigger than what we traditionally call the desktop, and that it is all connected – part of a multi-dimensional spectrum of ways of interacting with devices and software and ways of managing those devices and software. We need to understand the commonalities between the way that people use mobile phones,  traditional desktop PCs, virtual desktops, ruggedised devices, special purpose devices, and their applications. For this reason I’ve decided that I won’t use the term “desktop”, and will instead use the clumsier term “end user computing”. While not so elegant, it does seem to me to better describe what I am trying to talk about, and is at least better than (or less ambiguous than) any other alternative I’ve come across.

October 8, 2011

Why Bother With Concepts?

Or conceptual architectures? This question – and my answer – was prompted by Peter Bakker‘s post Factual Architecture! Basically, my understanding of Peter’s criticism is that he thinks that concepts are too abstract – don’t connect with audiences, and don’t connect with reality. He contrasts this with “factual architectures” – whatever they are. I’ll respond directly to Peter’s post on his site, but here I’d like to defend the notion of conceptual architectures and conceptual analysis in more detail than I have done in my two other posts.

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October 6, 2011

A Conceptual Desktop Architecture

I’m thinking hard about desktops, desktop technology and desktop architecture at the moment. With some of the key technology trends of the next few years being the increased power and ubiquity of mobile devices, the post-PC era and the consumerisation of IT, everybody working in IT strategy and architecture should be.  What I have found interesting, however, is the lack of a common understanding of what a desktop is. (In fact I’m fairly sure that “desktop” is the wrong term. Perhaps I should be talking about “end user computing”, or “client computing” or  “workspaces”. I’ll stick with “desktop” for the moment though). As we move from traditional physical desktops running operating systems and installed applications towards virtual desktops with virtualised applications to Desktop-as-a-Service it helps to have a conceptual framework to discuss these models and understand where they are the same and where they are different. In this post I want to describe the conceptual components of a desktop architecture, and then build on this in subsequent posts to analyse the different ways we can implement desktops and desktop architectures.

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September 27, 2011

Avoiding the Standard Metaphors for Enterprise Architecture

I recently read another thought-provoking article from Anna Mar (aka @simplicableanna) entitled “How to Explain Enterprise Architecture to Your Grandmother“. It contains good advice: “it is a useful exercise to think-out an explanation that doesn’t rely on specialized terms” – especially when you are thinking about what you do for a living! So, how does Anna respond to this challenge? With a tried and true metaphor for Enterprise Architecture:

A Enterprise Architect is like a city planner. A city planner sets building codes and plans common services such as roads and water. Enterprise Architects do the same thing for technology.

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