Recently I’ve had an opportunity to spend some time thinking about operations. they are the baseline to which all solutions should be measured – can we operate this.

New solutions:

  • Can the team that exists today operate the solution without net new training
  • Can they operate the solution with some net new training
  • This operation requires a complete retraining of the team

Its funny but those three questions are often not asked during the development of a solution. Why is that? Why wouldn’t it matter as much about operating the solution as it would building and deploying it?

It is something to think about…


Architects, the things dreams are made of

A song I loved in the 80’s “I wanna be a cowboy” should also apply to being a software architect. I wanna be a software architect. Why? Well for the first thing it is a profession in waiting, nearly there. For a second thing, there are an amazing number of cool people in the profession.

But most importantly every career that has a path illuminated and building a future is something you can have a lot of fun doing.

The problem with software architecture is that like doctors, there is a level of experience required. You can walk out of school a teacher, a nurse and many other high level and critical professions. But software architects are a combination of school, learning and experience.

I guess I wanna have a profession.


A vision quest

Upon the horseback the architect bestrode

seeking a vision of technology yet untold

The architect

bedecked in silver

armor shiny

laptop fairly fast and not to hot to hold

Visions from Visio lining the wall

and near the PjM the project plan as well

We seek fair Dulcinia

technology so pure and fair

that it will change our architecture

and, most days validate parking.

We seek a vision

a direction to go.


Bringing the cloud into your life

The other day I was thinking about flying (yeah I know I am a sick person – travel all the time and then sit around thinking about traveling).

Continental airlines recently joined the star alliance. In order to support this change they have had to change their FF system to allow for OnePass (their system) and Star Alliance (United et al’s system) to mix and mingle (and of course vice versa).

Truly this joining of two solutions together is a mix and match cloud solution.

The scope of effort (announcement until fate accompli – 9 months- not sure why i am stuck with French today) was huge.

Amazing – and it works seamlessly.

Cloud computing at its best.


The road to complexity

I would to say that it is a new road, but frankly it has been around for a long time. The Appian way, a famous Roman road is a study in simplististy. More complex roads with larger paving stones and new materials have faded into the memory of history (the time long past).

But the simple road is still there.

Why is that?

Simplicity in and of itself is a long lasting solution. Keep it simple (add stupid and of course you have the KISS rule) is a rallying cry.

But we so often add complexity.

Why is that?

Complexity is the nature of humanity. We are complex creatures. We have communication structures, social structures and even structures that we live in. We are multi-celled complex creatures comprised of billions of cells often working together (although there are times I wonder about that.)

We are complex.

Therefore we seek always the road to complexity.

Sometimes to our own detriment. If you look down and see the Appian way, you are probably on the right track with your solution.


Transformational Services (transitional services applied)

Building a Services Incubation team:

Why the change? For those of you who grew up in the 1980s you may remember Alfred E. Neuman of Mad Magazine and his iconic tagline – “what, me worry?” Most traditional services organizations can in fact throw this book away – the change that is rolling in will force you to react as the internet forced organizations to react in the late 1990’s.

In reality traditional services organizations will find that their business will change over the next 5-10 years. The reality of the world today is that most people have requirements to get at the information they need quickly and anywhere. This change will force organizations to plan or to react. With this book we hope you are planning.

In most cases product companies would welcome services organizations helping them build out the potential market for some of their greenhouse solutions. Products that are not part of the traditional offerings the product company has today.

The other side of incubation is that product companies can bring new solutions to market that may not be a “full installation” product. The solution may in fact be a product that requires services. If an incubation team can build a connection with those early product there may be significant market advantage for both organizations.



Transitional Services impact on process

Impact on Process:

Process becomes the most critical change component as there are a number of organizations within the business that are impacted by the changes in process. These would include (but are not limited to)

· IT Security

· Security

· IT Operations

· End users

· IT Administration

· Business Process Owners

How each of these will be impacted is covered later in the book. But a couple of critical notes:

· Security has ruled the past few years – concerns about the placement and safety of data has driven many cloud solutions

· Delivery (speed) is as critical as security going forward. The ability of a user to work on a cellular phone, cable modem, air card or the wireless connection at Starbucks is critical

· Availability of business based services becomes critical

· Because it is a multi-platform solution there has to be a little of the LCD process in this today

o Organizations can build common custom applications that host the data and allow it to be presented to the user in the same format regardless of device

o Http and the presentation of web pages is another method of having a single data set and an open number of devices consuming

· It is important to do two things in building out this process:

o Allow SME’s to interact with data quickly and effectively

o Allow users to expand the scope of a solution without direct SME intervention you can have the SME review it post, but for the initial solution it is critical that the information gets elevated quickly.

Note: Calvin Coolidge at the time of this statement, president of the United States said “The business of America is business.” If we consider cloud services this still applies. In no way are we changing the consumer processes that businesses work through. People will either purchase or not purchase the goods and services offered by other organizations. What we gain with the Transitional Services is the ability to reach deeper into what people are doing and minimizing processes. Sometimes the process of a solution can be more of a limiter than a growth factor.