See things clearly
When large businesses suffer major problems related to information technology, the bad news often hits the headlines, usually because a lot of money has been spent.
One example in the past few weeks is the cancellation of the BBC’s £100 million Digital Media Initiative, which was intended to transform the way staff developed, used and shared…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on June 27, 2013 at 4:29 — No Comments
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the finance industry is working on a number of regulatory initiatives, including Solvency II, Basel III and Dodd-Frank.
Fundamentally, the aim of these various initiatives is to reduce risk, be it insolvency risk in the EU insurance companies, liquidity risk in banking, or systemic risk across the U.S / global financial sector.
One of the…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on March 27, 2013 at 6:35 — No Comments
The other day, a little behind the times, I watched the fourth of the series of ‘Die Hard’ movies.
Detective Lieutenant John McClane had his hands full yet again, battling devious cyber criminals in Washington D.C.
The bad guys set out to ultimately do a bit of electronic money pilfering, and as part of their cunning plan they disrupt some of the computer-reliant critical networks that typically support a modern city. By hacking into systems and interrupting…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on January 15, 2013 at 7:30 — No Comments
As 2012 draws to a close, businesses of all kinds, in all parts of the world, continue to suffer ‘data flow disasters’.
Here at OBASHI, “data flow disaster” is the term we use for an event where a flow of data is interrupted or compromised, so that there is a negative impact on those who use or interact with that flow of data.
Here are a few examples of such ‘disasters'. In no particular order:
UK - Prior to the 2012 Olympics, the…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on December 21, 2012 at 8:02 — No Comments
One of the most famous works of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, is “To a Mouse”.
During 1785, on a bleak winter’s day, Burns addressed a field mouse whose home he accidentally turned up with his plough.
In the poem, the bard praises the ‘foresight’ of the mouse in building the ‘cozie’ nest in advance of the freezing weather, while there was still good grass to do so.
But, ultimately, one of Burns’ conclusions is that, although we can…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on November 1, 2012 at 6:30 — No Comments
A point we make regularly here at OBASHI is that in today’s digital world, it is important to understand how data flows through and between businesses.
We occasionally blog about “data flow disasters” - events that occur when a flow of data is interrupted or compromised, so that there is a negative business impact on those who use or interact with that flow of…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on October 22, 2012 at 5:10 — No Comments
One of the analogies I sometimes use to describe how understanding data flow is becoming ever more important in business, is that of the doctor understanding blood flow through the human body.
Medical professionals have a clear understanding of the vascular system, which carries blood, and how it interacts with other physiological systems, and the various parts of the body.
When a vascular disease occurs, most often, blood flow in the sufferer’s body is…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on August 30, 2012 at 5:00 — No Comments
There is an interesting juxtaposition between the brilliant success of NASA landing the Curiosity Rover on Mars last week, and the recent ‘software glitch’ at Knight Capital, which nearly wrecked the company.
NASA projects like Curiosity are highly complex and highly dangerous, yet, when we consider what they entail, failures are rare – why?
A key explanation is that good engineering practice is at the heart of space exploration projects.
Added by Fergus Cloughley on August 17, 2012 at 2:57 — No Comments
“Data flow disaster” is the term we use here at OBASHI for an event where a flow of data is interrupted or compromised, so that there is a negative business impact on those who use, or interact with, that flow of data.
During what has been an extraordinary few weeks for major IT problems, there have been numerous such events, around the world and across many business sectors.
Here are a few examples, in no particular order:
Added by Fergus Cloughley on August 2, 2012 at 7:30 — No Comments
“Technology Risk Management Guidelines”, is a research paper published by The Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The objective of the guidelines is, “to promote the adoption of sound processes in managing technology risks and the implementation of security practices”, in regulated financial institutions.
Added by Fergus Cloughley on June 29, 2012 at 3:53 — No Comments
“So how does that bridge work?”
A few years ago, one summer evening I was with my son and daughter, wandering the shore of the River Forth, the majestic road and rail bridges towering over us.
Added by Fergus Cloughley on May 30, 2012 at 5:17 — No Comments
In Chapter 3 of the OBASHI Methodology, we describe how understanding various flows has been critical throughout economic history:
1770s - mechanisation, factories, and canals – water
1830s - steam engines, coal, and iron railways – steam
1870s - steel and heavy engineering,…
Added by Fergus Cloughley on May 18, 2012 at 4:39 — No Comments
In his blog “Who’s accountable for IT failure?”, Mike Krigsman argues that there are three reasons that IT projects fail.
Added by Fergus Cloughley on April 19, 2012 at 2:30 — No Comments
On my way to meet friends the other day, I took a train to Waverley Station, the main railway terminal in Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh.
Although I was looking forward to the get-together, the tail-end of a heavy cold meant that I wasn’t feeling 100% fit.
As I made my way out of the station, I was delighted to discover that, as an alternative to the fearsomely steep steps on the main exit route from the building, escalators had been…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on March 9, 2012 at 3:09 — No Comments
A few years ago, some of the OBASHI team were on the road, driving to an important meeting.
The driver, who shall remain anonymous, was behind schedule, so when he hit the motorway he, ‘put the foot down’.
Unbeknown to him, a speed camera system was in place on some of the gantries above the road.
So, a week later, he was rather shocked to receive a speeding penalty notice through the post. The document contained a crystal clear snapshot of…Continue
In advance of the recent Davos conference of business executives, think tanks and leading politicians, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published its “Global Risks 2012” report.
The report is a ‘call to action’ to global leaders. It seeks better coordination and collaboration of
“...public and private sector efforts to map, monitor, manage and mitigate global risks...” …
Added by Fergus Cloughley on February 10, 2012 at 3:05 — No Comments
This is the fourth in an occasional series of “OBASHI likes” posts, where we highlight the ideas of others who have recently made us think about aspects of business and IT from an interesting perspective.
We may agree with all, some, or occasionally none of what each writer says, but whichever is the case, their ideas are thought provoking.
Added by Fergus Cloughley on January 13, 2012 at 11:19 — No Comments
Looking back at the past year, few issues have as quickly gained the attention of both business and political leaders as that of cybersecurity.
When we consider some of the cyber events that have occurred during the past 12 months, perhaps it’s not surprising. For example,
Epsilon – in March, a successful cyber attack on the American marketing email…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on December 20, 2011 at 3:57 — No Comments
This is the third in an occasional series of “OBASHI likes” posts, where we highlight the thoughts of others who have recently made us think about aspects of business and IT from an interesting perspective.
We may agree with all, some, or occasionally none of what each writer says, but whichever is the case, we think their ideas are worth thinking about.
In alphabetical order:
Added by Fergus Cloughley on December 9, 2011 at 6:01 — No Comments
“Cyber Security and the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure” was published during September by Chatham House, home of the UK’s Royal Institute of International Affairs.
The report discusses cybersecurity in the UK, not only in government, but also relating to the UK’s ‘essential services such as water, gas, electricity, communications and banking’ [CNI].
As it points…Continue
Added by Fergus Cloughley on December 2, 2011 at 12:24 — No Comments