Martin P Wilson

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Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Insight, IT

Facilitation and Mentoring for Success.

Elizabeth Tower, Houses of Parliament AE23079 ©M-dashPolice Product Insight magazine (Feb-March 2014) featured my Viewpoint article: Why the angst over IT. There has been much debate and consternation in policing circles, and more widely, about having joined up IT and systems that support end to end processes. It is an old issue that predates my spell as Director of Criminal Justice at the Police IT Organisation.

I have long advocated a rapid, incremental approach to systems development and business change. I developed the ideas in my book, The Information Edge (Pitman/IMgt, 1997) where I argued that traditional legacy systems could be hidden behind a much user friendly and agile layer that protected end-users from the complexity of old systems and the changes as the legacy was replaced.

From the continuing debate it is obvious that lesson has still not been learned, most notably because of the fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) created by vested interests of traditional suppliers of major systems and senior managers who worry their knowledge will become irrelevant. However there are glimmers of light from surprising quarters – the UK government.

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Cloud Service Models

Light Clouds KG07031In our previous articles What is Cloud Computing? we covered the principal definition and characteristics of true cloud services. However those characteristics are not enough in themselves to fully describe cloud computing. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) adds four deployment and three service models to complete the picture.

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What is Cloud Computing?

Clouds and Angel Light IMG 0058Cloud computing did not come about overnight; it is a logical continuation of changes that have been taking place in the background for many years. It is not a panacea but at its best it frees organisations from the need to worry about information technology and allows them to focus on using automation to support more flexible and efficient business operations. It is a useful adjunct to the Rapid Incremental Development described previously.

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Is the EU and Eurozone Becoming a Cause of Conflict?

Flag of European Union

One of the objectives cited by Europeans politicians for the European Union (EU) and the Eurozone is to eliminate risk of aggression between European states by political and economic cooperation. With two major wars and many smaller armed conflicts during the twentieth century this is a laudable aim.

But in reality is the European Union driving the partners into conflict through distrust caused by unequal treatment of its members by the EU and Eurozone?

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Microsoft Project 2010 Inside OutMicrosoft Project has become the de facto standard software for project management in all but the most specialised organisations. It is now a powerful tool yet many users barely touch its full capability.

With Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out even the most experienced Project users will learn new ways to improve their use of Project. It provides a comprehensive guide to the software and the differences from the previous version. For those new to either project management or Project it will take them through the project management process in a structured way using Project 2010.

Indeed Microsoft Project 2010 Inside Out is more than a guide to Project, it is effectively a complete project management course. As a result it may feel slow, initially at least, to experienced Project users who are looking for an update on the new features of Project 2010. That said even experienced project managers will be surprised how much they will learn if they work through the detail. However any reader who perseveres will end up as a Project power user and a well-equipped project manager.

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Subcategories

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  • Thoughts

    Frequent Thoughts and comments on life, business, management and organisation.

Quick Thoughts

Has Military Action Ever Dissuaded Tyrants?

Syria - flagIn his speech before the war in Iraq Tony Blair, the UK Prime Minister, argued that not intervening would send a message that tyrants would feel at liberty to act without consequence. By military action in Iraq, he argued, those who would perpetrate atrocities would think twice. There would not seem to be any evidence, before or since, that would back up that contention.

We now have David Cameron, the current Prime Minister, making essentially the same arguments – do politicians ever learn from history?

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Government Spending is not Driver of Growth

Parliament Square London IC02001If more public spending is the only way to create growth then surely governments have become too large a part of the economy? Government is about spending and has little to do with creating wealth.

The best government can do is move wealth from individuals and business to those who serve government.

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Capped Bonuses, There May be Trouble Ahead

Politicians do not seem to be good at imagining unintended consequences. The cap on bankers’ bonuses, however popular, may be counter-productive in reducing risk.

Dark Stormy Skys and Beauty Often CoexistIf a smaller proportion of a trader’s income is at risk if a trade goes wrong they may pursue high-risk opportunities to get that big win. If it works they guarantee the full bonus and could also use it to negotiate a higher salary (and bonus) for the following year. If it fails the downside is limited by the capped bonus to a smaller part of overall income. At the end of the day traders are competitive and gamblers at heart so will they be more likely to pursue the big win when their own risk is limited?

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