I was discussing outsourcing with a friend the other day. I work in government IT, and outsourcing is used widely in government. He was discussing the tricky nature of being brought in as an independent vendor to the outsourcing vendor. What this brought up was something that is often overlooked in outsourcing deals, especially major ones. That is: any organisation that outsources a function (such as its IT) usually does so in the hope of saving money by shedding large amounts of staff. But, they usually don’t factor in that they will need additional staff with different skills to manage that outsourcer.
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.
As the cloud computing market matures, consumers of cloud services are beginning to realise that successful use of the cloud means more than just getting a cheap and convenient service. Two new documents from the European Union and New Zealand highlight the importance of covering off other factors when buying or using cloud services. The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has released a document – Procure Secure – which sets out guidelines on how to measure and monitor security of cloud computing services on an ongoing basis. The New Zealand Computer Society is facilitating a Cloud Computing Code of Practice, and has just released a draft for public consultation.
In general I think cloud computing is a great thing. Elsewhere I have talked about the benefits that it can bring to many organisations. Many of the positive financial benefits of cloud computing are well-known: pay only for what you need or use; cost certainty; being able to reduce the cost of ICT as the demand for ICT services reduces; reducing the need for massive upfront investment in infrastructure and so on. One of the benefits that I have been more sceptical about, however, is the way that cloud computing moves the cost of ICT from capital expenditure to operational expenditure. From my point of view money is money. Merely moving it from one line on the budget (capital expenditure or capex) to another line on the budget (operational expenditure or opex) seems to me to be no benefit at all. On investigating the issue further it seems that there are some unusual circumstances where this is a bad thing.
This post is dedicated to my colleagues in the Government ICT Supply Management Office within the New Zealand Government. I’ve learnt a lot from working with them over the last few months.
When working in the ICT architecture of an organisation – whether enterprise architecture or solution architecture – your architecture will always be better for a well-informed engagement with the commercial side of ICT. In this post I will describe why it is important to understand the commercial aspects of ICT in order to deliver more successful ICT solutions, and how working with your commercial team can assist in this success.