Nick's Notes

United or Untied?

So Scotland voted to stay part of the United Kingdom by 55% to 45% in favour. This was a long and gruelling campaign which, although it lasted two years, really came alight in the last two weeks – when some hastily made promises were thrown out in a desperate attempt to keep the UK together. Despite the vote being for []

Board Guidance

I facilitated two very different meetings over the past week. Interestingly, both came out with the same conclusion – and it was one that I didn’t expect. The first meeting was a Round Table meeting on the subject of Intelligent Security for the Digital Enterprise. The CIOs were joined by RSA – the security division of EMC – and Accenture. []


As I write, the big story in the news in the UK focuses on the King family, whose five-year-old son Ashya has a brain tumour. In essence, the parents took him against doctors advice from the NHS Hospital where he was being treated. As a consequence, they appeared to be on the run – and as they are Jehovah’s Witnesses, []

Reality Distortion

It has been said of Steve Jobs that he created a ‘reality distortion’ field around him, which also engulfed the people he was talking to. He had such a strong self belief that even against all the available evidence he could convince people to back his idea – whether on the feasibility of cramming too many tasks into too short []

Fin de siècle

Returning from holiday things feel a little different. The hedgerows have changed from the dark green of summer to the brown tinged start of autumn, the hawthorn berries a deep red that emphasises that and astonishingly blackberries are everywhere (I mean the fruit of course). All these things act as a reminder that summer is nearing its end. It’s only []

While the cats away.. learn don’t play

There are many joyful consequences of one’s Chief Executive being on holiday, not least I get to engage with our delightful on-line banking platform to to do the digital version of signing the cheques, I get to lead the team meetings etc. And more interestingly, I got an opportunity to review and importantly interact with very early versions of our []


As human beings we gravitate to extremes. The fact we have 24-hour rolling news channels desperately trying make a story out of, frankly, the minutia of life, apart from the few occasions when something big happens, exemplifies this situation all too well. And that is not to make light of recent big news stories, such as the shooting down of []

Far, far away

They say things get clearer the further you are away from them. Phrases such as “being able to see the wood for the trees” is one such statement. I’m in Singapore as I write this, and I can see the UK clearly from here. The first thing is that social media has changed everything; not since I was down here []


It’s interesting how things cluster. Perhaps it’s more psychological than statistically valid but I sense that there are more conversations I’m having with CIOs and others about leadership at present. Leadership is an interesting concept. For example, leadership can be in evidence at all levels of an organisation – it’s not really hierarchical like management, which has a defined scope []


We ran a story in the Daily News last week about one American company whose CIO has been outspoken about why he will never allow a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. His argument is that the employees would make the wrong choice and there are security implications, so he won’t allow it. I like to read these stories from []

CIO Connect App

Many of you know me as a closet techie. Well not so closet, although in my working life I am always looking at business problems to be solved, rather than technologies to be used. At home, it’s rather different… So how do you solve the following problems? A wide community of people exist, all very knowledgeable in slightly different ways []

Is Real Time an illusion?

I write this blog on a train heading south from Edinburgh to London. For various reasons, I needed to buy a ticket last night for this morning’s train, and as usual I used thetrainline app on my iPhone. The transaction was quick and easy, and within seconds I got my Amex alert that my card had been used. I also []
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