Cloudy days…..

Back in 2009 I penned a piece for the User Group about cloud computing. That was 8 years ago and some of the same discussions are still being held.

The fact of the matter though is that cloud computing is being provided to all of us every day in nearly everything we do today. It’s interesting how things go through cycles – fashion being one of the most obvious ones. But in computing we had the mainframe, essentially a screen connected to a central computer somewhere, then we went client server where some of the compute was taking place on the client machine with server largely being a data repository. And now we have cloud where there are 2 schools operating – the browser to cloud, and the app to cloud. The browser to cloud is so similar to mainframe!

But the obsession with cloud computing obscures what is really going on. The digital revolution. It’s as big as the so called “Industrial Revolution”. What is the Digital revolution? The best way to describe this is to consider the concept of analogue television to digital television. In analogue days you watched it now, if you didn’t you missed it and there were 4 channels. In digital days you can watch it now, replay it, store it – watch it on tablets, phones, computers and TV’s on hundreds of channels. And therefore the choice moves from the provider to the consumer.

So there is a digital transformation underway, aided by ever cheaper and more powerful technology. The internet has provided a backbone to connect everything, and I mean everything. And this digital capability is no longer confined to business, it’s in the home, it’s in your school, it’s everywhere. In fact the digital transformation is being demanded and shaped by the consumer, not business.

This key change, where the consumer leads, is sadly not understood by everyone. Businesses can no longer drive, they have to predict. They have to establish intelligence that sets them up in the way the consumer demand is going to go. Only the very lucky will be able to pull the customer along with them.

And this is now 365/24 – the always on and available culture that is becoming the norm. There will be some brakes in the ecosystem – internet availability – cabling and fibre are likely to be surpassed by mobile with 5G on its way giving mobile 1GB per second speeds along with 5ms response speed. And then people – and this is the part that seems to get overlooked.

For some areas people will actually not want an always on culture – most likely in the work arena. All work and no play makes Jack and Jill dull people, so expect some legislation starting to segregate work and home life.

This people culture change is the largest of the black holes in the digital transformation roadmap. No longer can companies dictate to their staff that this is what is going to change from upon high if they want success. It has to be a hearts and minds approach, so if you are starting your digital transformation then you need to have proper people change management strategies and processes in place. Ignore this at your peril.

Now remember I said that the consumer was leading this transformation? That is also something you have to understand. The consumer is split into many groups, by ability to change, willingness to change, and fear of change. These are not always age related but can be……… So you have several streams to contend with which is why I believe there will be hybrid solutions primarily adopted out there. The same inevitably applies to your own workforce.

Some companies get it….I’m quite impressed with the Digital Eagles campaign. So yes Barclays are being nice to their customers to help them get digital, but it’s really about them having recognised that to get their consumers through their (Barclays) digital transformation they need to help them. Change management!

This Digital Revolution is the biggest change to our world since the Industrial revolution. And it offers so much to so many….if it is done properly.

 

 

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Nearly there…..

hospital

There is hope that when your MP writes this sort of letter that the campaign by people effected may be getting towards resolution. Sterling work by Jody Clark and her colleagues, not to mention the over 10,000 people who have protested on the streets (many times) as well as undertaken reasoned, sensible argument for over a year. Simply put we are a community in one of the biggest counties in England that is growing, and scheduled to grow under government plans, and we should retain, deserve, and continue the A&E facilities that we had.

There have been a number of community protest marches, clearly voicing the views of the wider community. In all weathers they came and marched, thousands of people.

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In all weathers – the British brolly persevering……

 

Traffic had to stop, but there was no frustration…..just car drivers sounding their support. Something that had to be listened to.

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It brought together people of all race, religion, age and politics – for a common cause. Truly mind boggling……and a lesson to all the politicians.

And every Wednesday night there is a vigil outside our hospital as we wait to get the services reinstated……..throughout the year.

Parliament was visited ……..and MP’s consulted, including the secretary of state for Health, with questions being raised in parliament, even at Prime Minister’s questions.

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Social media has been key so far for keeping the message out there and our elected representatives accountable. And the local clergy volunteered the biggest church in Lincolnshire to host a discussion group with the Trust at which media attended.

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And now we wait….because on November 7th the NHS trust ULHT (United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust) will discuss the actions it is going to take. Nye Bevan, the health minister who set up the NHS after the 2nd World War has it spot on…..

NHS

 

I like the video clip…..

Every day we are all bombarded with marketing clips and then one comes along that catches your attention….in this case for me it’s an SAP one. My view is that this is slick and good marketing……doesn’t tell you that much but works exceptionally well as a teaser, and does what it says on the tin. It gets you thinking.

Click here.

A Celebrity and technology…..

There’s a great article by Gryff Ryhs Jones around taking care of your passport in the Telegraph. His concluding remarks suggest that like Pets we humans should also get “chips” because it would do away with passports, streamlining entry to countries. Perhaps a throwaway remark…..but it got me thinking.

Actually a chip could mean nothing at all, it could be replaced and it could of course be used to track you in many ways. But the solution of course would be to have the chip linked to something physical, and actually why not 3 factor authentication?

A physical object – the chip.

A secret known to the governments only built into the chip – probably an encryption key.

A biometric link of some sort stored on the chip.

It all seems entirely practical to me, but I can hear the civil liberties people chanting from the sidelines, but like Gryff if it was entirely voluntary then why not? If it saved me hours in airline queues, meant that I could get faster access at numerous events and activities that neede to identify you then so be it. Yes, the governments could “snoop” on me, but with nothing to hide what’s the concern?

Retiring is sort of stressful……

The story goes…..it will be so relaxing when you retire.

It’s very early in my attempts to retire so maybe it’s just me, but so far I’ve not noticed this. More it’s a transformation. A move from paid for work to unpaid for work. One of my ex -work colleagues who is about to retire is using the phrase “Taking back control”  to describe this transformation. Unlike the politicians, I think he has hit the nail on the head.

There still has to be a plan, there still has to be financial records and controls, and execution is still key. And there still has to be work….it’s just different and more of what you want to do, rather than the dictatorial direction of the people at the top. But it’s still there….just work you want to do.

Never having been a business owner, I guess it’s a bit like that…….but my customer base is somewhat limited in comparison, just family and friends.

My journey has started, it will I guess never be complete until it is. I’ll still do a bit of SAP related things whilst people want me to, and it doesn’t impact my retirement because that is now the number 1 gig in town.

 

 

User Group Conference 2017 – our most interesting Keynote (ever!)

Although I say it myself, we have conjured up what I think could be the best ever keynote in our series of annual conferences. Join SAP’s Hala Zeine, and Constellation Research’s R “Ray” Wang for a fireside chat exploring how we can all move from the hype of digital transformation to the reality of Business Transformation. They will discuss the latest Business, Management& Technology trends, reviewing disruptive technologies and what they mean to you, including

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI),
  • Internet of Things (IoT),
  • Machine Learning,
  • Data Management.

Learn how everything fits together, how SAP is addressing all of these topics, and how you can help your organisation make the right decisions.

The 2 most popular speakers we’ve ever had, together at the same time!

And this is just one item in an impressive programme …….check it out here.