Archive for March, 2009

Credit Lunch

March 25, 2009

Thanks to the recent grinding of stones I’ve not had chance to get out and about to check the pulse of the average technology lunch in recent months. One of the concerns that’s obviously been forefront of my mind is whether the credit crunch has affected the standard of conference lunches. Yesterday’s JISC event in Edinburgh gave me the opportunity to conduct a little market research and I’m pleased to report that all is alive and well – the only crunch evident was the honeycomb sprinkles that sat atop the rather wonderful dark chocolate and honeycomb tart that I had for pud.

Doing Enterprise Architecture

March 23, 2009

For those of you who have noticed the dearth of blogging recently, I can now unveil all. Since Christmas I’ve had my nose to the grindstone working on a new futures project for JISC. It’s going to be formally launched at JISC’s annual conference in Edinburgh tomorrow, but I’ll give you a sneak preview now.

The project is called the Enterprise Architecture pilot programme, which is a complicated way of saying we went ‘native’ with a small group of universities for a year while they were trying out something called enterprise architecture, or EA, a strategic management technique which helps large organisations align their business processes with their ICT and data/information sources. It’s supposed to help manage business change and enable what’s sometimes called the ‘agile’ organisation.

We’ve been involved in developing something called an Early Adopter Study, where we’ve written some introductory material and overseen the production of some quite detailed case studies from the participating universities. Despite being used in the corporate world for over a decade, EA has very little in the way of ‘warts and all’ case studies, so it will be interesting to see how this goes down.

For us it’s been more about trying out a new report format – there’s a lot of quite adventurous stuff goes on in universities but people don’t often get to hear about it. So whereas we were already involved in forecasting and speculation, this is a little closer to home in that it’s looking at some of the ‘toe in the water’ stuff.

The report’s called Doing Enterprise Architecture: Enabling the agile institution and you can have a look at a PDF of the report on the JISC TechWatch Website.

The utter twitterings of your local MP

March 5, 2009

Not content with bloating Hansard with their backbench ramblings, many MPs are starting to fill twitter space. A new service to help collate these twitterings, Tweetminster, was launched last week. It allows you to “track UK politics in real time” using a handy search tool and also a “Hot in Westminster” tag cloud.

All in all it’s a nicely laid out Web 2.0 style tool, but I suspect there will be much fun to be had with this one. Harriet Harmen, for example has said nothing in over two weeks. Is this because she has been busy secretly plotting to get her hands on the leadership? Or take a look at Michael Fabricant (the Guardian’s favourite MP) whose latest posting reveals he is in the cinema crying at a film. And then there’s Lembit Öpik…

The disappointing thing though, from the point of view of this blog, is the singular failure of our expense-accounted representatives to post what they are having for lunch.