Nick's Notes

Happy Holidays

This blog is taking what I think is a well deserved rest over the holiday period. Normal service will resume in January. Thank you to each of you who has read one or more of my 47 blogs this year. I hope my ideas stimulate yours, my frustrations mirror those you have, and any insight is useful to you. So, []

Real World Cloud Benefits

Discussion about cloud services tend to be about IT benefits – CAPEX to OPEX, capacity flexing and rapid deployment. Those things are real benefits, and as our news feed this week shows, CIOs are more focused on cloud than they are on running in-house data centres. I have long argued that readily available public infrastructure and cloud computing services will []


I learned a new word yesterday. I picked it up from my colleague Alistair Russell, who had also learned it that same day. Only trouble is it turns out to be over 50 years old. We were discussing data analytics, and crashing together datasets to find new relationships and effects when Alistair came out with “munge”. No one in the []

An unnecessary Evil?

I wrote in an earlier blog that I felt I could justify my bias towards Apple, at least to myself. This week I intend to try to partly justify that bias to you as well. It’s got nothing to do with their beautifully designed product either. Last week Google hit the news with a story of a woman who tried []

Open Microsoft?

Steve Ballmer was frequently quoted as saying “Windows first; Windows best” when describing Microsoft’s strategy for software. Satya Nadella has changed that position quietly and emphatically. The most visible aspect was with the initial release of Office on iPad – with the useful functionality tied to Office 365 – and the recent release for iPhone (and upgraded for iPad), not []

Nicks Notes

As often when writing my blog I have my headphones on and music playing. That is partly because of my love of music, partly the effect of working in an open plan office and needing to focus, and partly to be inspired. Depending on my mood I listen to very many types of music, and I listen to music a []

Paper Tigers

My colleague Richard Muddle and I were having a discussion. It wasn’t too serious, we were in the kitchen at work waiting for the kettle to boil. The cause of our debate was a phrase we’d read in a draft report about innovation and neither of us fully agreed with it, yet found it very difficult to succinctly rephrase the []


I’m in the middle of writing up our 2014 Horizons inquiry report. As I’ve mentioned before in these blogs that this year it’s all about Innovation, which both leads on from the previous topics and chimes with what Chief Executives want from their CIOs. One data point relates to what CIOs perceive to be the major barrier to being innovative. []

SARS, H1N1 and now Ebola…

Remember SARS? It was going to wipe us all out in 2003. 775 people died out of some 8,000 who contracted the disease, which is not trivial, but hardly the global epidemic that was feared. Although it did disrupt the Far East for a while, it wasn’t a disaster. Then in 2009 came a strain of the H1N1 virus, sometimes []

Left Field

When Nick Carr’s article “IT doesn’t matter” appeared in Harvard Business Review in 2003 it caused a firestorm in technology businesses and the analyst community. The rest of the world didn’t notice. I well remember the Gartner Analyst community working together to draft a reply which I saw prior to submission and was published in a later magazine. Carr refers []


The CIO Connect Annual Conference “Innovation isn’t anything new” was a great success. We had more CIOs in the room than ever before and a set of great speakers. Today, though, I just want to pull one lesson out of the many interesting perspectives. It became clear as our presentations and discussions unfolded that there are differing mindsets and different []


There is only one real thing to write about this week – the CIO Connect Annual conference, which takes place on Wednesday 1 October. That means I can’t write in any detail about the four occasions recently where I have trusted someone to an extent none of us do normally and how each of those people have repaid that confidence []
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