Catching up: short links

I’ve been away for a couple of weeks celebrating a major family birthday (and there’s been a longer gap in the blog). We’ve been in Malta, almost completely (and deliberately) out of the range of technology. Just one snippet though. I now have a mobile phone with built-in WiFi. And not only the hotel lounge, but Valetta’s central square, have open access WiFi networks. I don’t think you can get that in Trafalgar Square. Unless, of course, you know different …

Catching up has involved an enormous backlog of emails and news feeds, and I’m now getting to the really worthwhile ones – the ones that accumulate in Google Reader rather than my inbox. Here are a few short links from the trawl. Some of them go back a long way – it was a big catch up!

  • George Colony of Forrester was, as always, at Davos. Link 1 is his report.
  • George also posted more recently a corporate “how to benefit” for exploiting social media. For many of us who are already involved, there’s nothing new here. But if you want a brief note to pass to the CEO, try Link 2.

I think George has just rebuilt his Counterintuitive CEO blog. In Reader, everything’s dated 10th March. Don’t be deceived.

  • Mike Rasmussen at Corporate Integrity is starting a new series, interleaved in his blog, about developing a risk assessment and management process. Take a look at Link 3.
  • I’ve been involved in various Cloud things recently including the Corporate IT Forum’s Cloud Conference in London (a great event with some first class speakers and good user case studies). Bernard Golden has a recent blog post from a recent forum, CloudConnect, in California. See link 4. But watch this one: it’s from and it seems to click almost anywhere to navigate you off the page.
  • And while I’m on the Cloud, check our R “Ray” Wang (now at Altimeter) for a terminology review; link 5.

Finally: it looks like (as I and others have been saying for a while) Forrester is finally going to get its blog platform and policy coordinated. Each analyst will then have a personal blog (let’s hope the index is better organised than Gartner’s, but we’ll index it in InformationSpan just as soon as I see the shape of it). See the post at Link 6 from Cliff Condon, posted in the existing Groundswell blog.


  1. Davos 2010, George Colony, Forrester Research, 4 Feb 2010
  2. Social Sigma — getting customers to improve your products, George Colony, Forrester Research,
  3. Everything I Need to Know About Risk Management I Learned In . . ., Corporate Integrity, 2 Mar 2010
  4. Cloudnomics: The Economics of Cloud Computing, Bernard Golden,, 22 Mar 2010
  5. Tuesday’s Tip: Understanding The Many Flavors of Cloud Computing and SaaS, R “Ray” Wang, Software Insider, 22 Mar 2010
  6. Guest Post: Forrester Wants More Analysts Using Social Tools, Groundswell, 8 Feb 2010

Did you see … 15 Free Online Collab Tools

Just caught up with this post via a tweet re-tweeted by Duncan Chapple. Original posted last August; worth reviewing. Add this to my posting on Can Web 2.0 run your Business: the two sets of suggestions don’t overlap.

• 15 Free Online Collaboration Tools, guest post by Karen Schweitzer, Mission to Learn, 12 Aug 2009
Can Web 2.0 run your Business?, ITasITis, 28 Jan 2010

assureEV: a new insight company

Larry DeBoever, George Paras and Tim Westbrock have created a new company, assureEV, as a spinoff from EADirections where Larry was MD.

The company was formed in November. On their current homepage, they explain the difference as between enterprise architecture (EADirections) and IT leadership (assureEV) and between advisory support and collaborative project delivery.

Larry is developing a new suite of architecture frameworks, designed to “architect for value”. Alongside advice and templates, they will support communication of EA value and thus complement (not replace) other frameworks such as Zachman or TOGAF. He’s promoting his own name and EA pedigree alongside these, though: and he does have a long record of contribution in the domain.

There’s limited information on the website at the moment (including a set of tabs across the page which have no links …): watch this space.

• assureEV
• EADirections

A whimsy

The Guardian newspaper this morning carries a story about a plan to increase control of dangerous dogs. There will be mandatory third party insurance. And it will be compulsory to have them microchipped, so that owners can be traced.

There’s nothing technologically special about the online report. But the print edition has a significant difference: an extra headline.

And that headline? Man bytes dog.
Man Bytes Dog

• Crackdown on dangerous dogs, Guardian, 9 March 2010

More theology: science and faith

Via one of my science talk-lists, I learned of a new blog from Carleton University “Earth and Mind: Reflections on thinking and learning about the earth”. And a recent post celebrates the birthday of Galileo and explores in some depth Galileo’s 16th Century arguments with those in both science and faith who relied on their prejudices and opinions rather than confirming his reported observations. Bad science was as prevalent then as now.

But I took issue with one thing: the authors perpetrate the classic error of restricting the impact of faith to “the salvation of the soul”. Here’s my response, which you can also see on Earth and Mind.

Generally this is a good logical exposition and I’m a million miles from being a creationist. But please don’t restrict faith, or the Bible, to “the salvation of the soul”. It’s a great deal more than that.

If science answers the “what”, “when” and “how” of the universe and our existence, faith addresses questions such as “why” and “who for”. The tools of faith meet the whole realm of human life: our relationships with each other, our use of the “created” world (we all use the word, creationists or not!), exploitation, poverty, and humans’ ability to be both caring and inhuman to each other. And it addresses our scientific endeavour, which a person of faith will understand as exploring the reality which God holds in being (however we understand that) and which, as you rightly say, flows directly from our use of our God-given intellect.

Yet yours is another version of “God of the Gaps”, restricting faith to those areas that we currently believe science cannot address (in this case, “the soul”). History shows that such a god is progressively diminished, as science increasingly explains what we previously thought unexplainable. And the segregation of the so-called “spiritual” is one  of the ways in which the impact of faith is contained, by denying its applicability to the business of human living.

I commend two twentieth century books as foundational reading. Charles Raven wrote “Christianity and Science” in 1955. Charles Coulson, professor in turn of Physics (London), of Mathematics (Oxford) and of Theoretical Chemistry (also Oxford) published “Science and Christian Belief” in the same year.

Coulson was a truly great scientist, developing many of the fundamental concepts of wave theory and of valence. He was also a great Christian thinker, preacher and communicator (he once received a letter addressed to the “Professor of Theological Physics”). Perhaps two quotes can stand alongside Galileo’s:

“Science is putting a human face on God”.

“Either God is the God of the whole of nature, with no gaps, or he’s not there at all.”

• Raven, Charles E. Christianity and Science. United Society for Christian Literature, London, 1955
• Coulson, Charles A. Science and Christian Belief (from the McNair Lectures, University of North Carolina). Oxford University Press, 1955; my copy is Fontana, 2nd edition, 1971

Risk management for the Cloud

Yesterday I was part of a Cloud Computing Forum in London (one of the pleasures was to re-encounter in person Euan Semple, who was one of the keynote speakers). I’m also in the process of creating an InformationSpan insight services Coverage Report on Cloud.

These two projects set me thinking about the risks associated with the various forms of Cloud. Of course, as an independent worker I use a variety of Cloud services in my work – it’s not quite the same as saying Web 2.0 but it’s not, for this purpose, so far different. There’s material about this in my recent BCS Consultancy Group presentation: something about the services we need, the gotchas to watch out for, and the balances of benefit and challenge.

So I mailed Mike Rasmussen of Corporate Integrity, one of the gurus of risk management, to ask if he had covered this in any specific way. To date, he hasn’t; though I hope he might turn his attention to it. But of course one of the points about Cloud is that the issues it raises have, in almost every case, been seen before in previous technology cycles. And there’s no point in asking about security or risk management in the Cloud if you don’t have an understanding of risk management in the things you already do (business, or IT, or both).

Coincidentally, Mike’s latest newsletter just hit my inbox and he heads it with a succinct quote which expresses the fundamental thing about risk: which is that in business (as of course in our personal lives) we accept risks all the time. Enterprise is the undertaking of risk for reward (Judge Mervyn King of South Africa).

Mike is starting a series on Developing a Risk Assessment & Management Process. For those who are concerned about risks of adopting Cloud technologies, I simply want to commend it to you.

• Everything I Need to Know About Risk Management I Learned In . . . (Corporate Integrity, 2 Mar 2010
• King Committee on Corporate Governance, South Africa, 2002
• Can Web 2.0 run your Business, ITasITis, 28 Jan 2010