Nick's Blog


As I was casting around for a topic to hang this blog on, I heard on the Today programme on Radio 4 a story about Afghanistan. Soldiers were apparently not being well looked after when their tour of duty ended, but adding to their post-traumatic stress is a new stress that lawyers are bringing through now investigating actions taken in []

Event Horizons

At our Conference a couple of years ago, Dr Simon Moores illustrated the power of exponential growth by telling an anecdote about how long it would take to fill Wembley Stadium with water. Like all such anecdotes, you have to suspend disbelief – Wembley must be waterproof, the plumbing must be able to supply water at the required rates – []


In our dealings with CIOs we often hear the refrain ‘I don’t have enough resources’. Not surprising perhaps – demand for IT services grows very quickly, and it is the role of the senior executives to make hard decisions about what to do which is realistic and achievable, recognising all of the constraints and opportunities. By resources people usually mean []


Margaret Thatcher once said “advisors advice, ministers decide”. The recent referendum is not binding on parliament, it is advisory. But, in a representative democracy as Mathew Parris put it very eloquently in The Times, a referendum can create a massive disconnect between the representatives and the voice of the people. When the vote is split 52 / 48 that becomes []

Read All About It

When I’m about to write my blog I look for a topic from what’s going on around me, write about it, sometimes obliquely and make a connection which I hope is not too tenuous with what we see happening in the CIO’s world. This morning as I write I have the radio on, which sounds archaic even as I type []

Well-meaning Advice

I have been struck by a recent set of separate articles about diet. As someone who has to watch his weight, and whose job involves giving and attending dinners and lunches, eating out sometimes seems to be an occupational hazard. But now I learn that diets do not work and that there is a gene which separates thin people from []


CIO Connect is actively supporting Action For Children this year. My colleague Alistair Russell is co-Chair of the North East Byte Night Board and we will be showcasing some of their work in our magazine – the current edition includes a profile of Alan Crawford, the CIO. As a result of this I am more aware of stories about disadvantaged []


In my previous blog I mused on the Wintel decline. The following week Apple added to the tech sector’s woes, with disappointing results based on the first decline of iPhone sales since it was originally released in 2008. This has generated much comment, most of it hyperbolic. If you believe the commentators Apple will be out of business in months. []

Are Wintel’s best days behind them?

Intel and Microsoft both announced disappointing results this week. Microsoft sales are down, and profits more so as they move away from the historically profitable desktop to cloud services. Intel is laying off 12,000 people as a consequence of their own poorer than expected results. To be clear, I am not calling the end of these companies which between them []

How do you define yourself?

I was reading recently about the differences between two economists’ behaviour relating to the 1929 crash. Tim Harford, the “undercover economist”, was telling the story in his inimitable fashion. One, Irving Fisher, is hardly remembered now, and died in penury; the other, John Maynard Keynes, was wealthy and successful and his theories are still very much in consideration today. Neither []


Last weekend marked the start of 12 weeks of campaigning in the UK. The choice in the upcoming referendum is to stay in or to leave the EU. Pedantry causes me to reject the idea that the UK is debating leaving “Europe” – which a geographical construct and not a political one. There is no truth to be discovered in []

Being Direct

Happy New Year. Well, sorry, but it’s been a long time since I blogged and its late January already, so do we still do this?. How many of that type of conversation have you had recently? It’s amazing that nobody seems to know how far into January it remains acceptable to wish people a happy new year, and so we []
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