Category Archives: Work


Performance Management: The End of Year Circus

For most of us the whole circus of performance reviews, calibration and performance management in general is coming to its conclusion. I, like many employees, think the process is unfair but unlike many employees I don’t believe it can be any better. (more…)

Rationalisation != Optimisation

I know the title of this post is somewhat geeky and probably completely meaningless if you’ve never programmed a computer, and maybe even somewhat so if you have.  It says rationalisation is not the same thing as optimisation.  Although the natural thing for enterprise architects to want to do is to rationalise, rationalise, rationalise, with a view to optimise, some degree of caution should be practised when making the recommendation. (more…)

Draw Something

I have been an architect for some years now. This has led to the ability to express technical concepts with a reasonable level of clarity on a whiteboard without really thinking about what I am about to draw.

If you are ever unlucky enough to be interviewed by me, I will ask you to ‘draw for me the architecture (or part of one) that you played a part in defining’. (more…)

Real Time Business and the Wrong Question

I noticed an interested phenomenon this week.  In conversations with two groups within a supplier (or at least a sort of supplier) about two very different subjects my requirement for near real time updates was questioned. (more…)

Moving Away from the Telco Way?

There was lots of conversation last weekend about Verizon’s latest entry into the cloud market. I say latest because their purchase of Terremark means that they have indirectly been in the cloud business for quite some time.  Despite the commentators saying Verizon’s offering is what OpenStack should have been (I don’t agree, but that’s a different subject), Verizon appears, at least from the marketing fluff, to have done some interesting stuff. (more…)

IT, You ARE ‘The Business’

Talk of the business-IT divide is common. There is very little that happens now without the aid of technology so IT is now at the centre of everything that happens. Given that IT must always be involved why is it that the primary complaint is that this gap is widening with the IT and ‘the business’ becoming increasingly suspicious of one-another? (more…)

Architecture Standards and the Entrepreneurship Trend

There has been a recent trend that encourages entrepreneurship, or intrapreneurship to use a recently made up word, within the organisation. There is very little in the way of entrepreneurial activity that now happens without the aid of technology in the ‘new economy’. (more…)

Thinking About the People in Process Automation

I had a very interesting discussion recently that got me thinking about how to execute the move from largely manual workflow engine managed processes to largely/fully automated processes. This topic raises a number of interesting questions about where the human element fits into process design and evolution towards full automation. (more…)

Orchestration Proper

An expression I think is an absolute misnomer is Cloud Orchestration often employed by Cloud Resource Management platform vendors.

Orchestration, in my opinion, is configuration driven process execution which is flexible enough to control anything that has an (electronic) interface of some description as well as drop off into manual/human activities where necessary. Orchestration isn’t, in my opinion, limited, as in most Cloud Resource Management platforms, to a small set of hard coded processes for spinning up virtual machines, configuring a bit of virtualised network or provisioning some storage on a predefined datastore. (more…)

The New Normal – Agile and Architecture

I have had the chance to gain experience of leading a small architecture team working in an “agile” (notice the lower-case ‘a’ here) environment. This experience has had me trying to find the middle ground between two largely conflicting approaches to IT – the waterfall approach I have become accustomed to and the agile approach I found myself in. Over time I have become a big fan of the agile way of working given the satisfaction that seems to be demonstrated by the stakeholders to the progress made compared to what I experienced working in a waterfall environment. (more…)

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