Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Is Tim O'Reilly Evil?

Was reading Matt Asay's blog here when he mentioned that O'Reilly media is off trademarking terms in order to cause harm to others.

I recently bought Phil Windley's book on Digital Identity but now am lugging it back to the store as I refuse to buy any book they publish until they see the error of their ways...

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Enterprise Architecture: Pay attention to these web 2.0 sites

Many of us enterprisey folks are busy shutting down internal conversations by circulating industry analyst reports that don't show the entire picture. Imagine the day when industry analyst reports contain recommendations that include non-commercial open source software next to proprietary closed source offerings. Hopefully though enterprise architects are smart enough to figure out on their own what is missing and have looked at viable candidates in the portal space such as Liferay Enterprise Portal.

I wonder though if folks within the enterprise start adopting open source portals and enterprise service bus products such as ServiceMix are they stuck in 1.0 land...

Web 2.0 for the most part eschews portals which puts many of the large software vendors in a dilemma since they really can't do chock-a-block eye candy Powerpoint presentations for all the folks in the enterprise who don't do their own homework. Anyway, for those that do, I figured I would construct a list of some useful web 2.0 sites that are worthy of enterprise attention.

Basecamp is a unique project collaboration tool. Projects don't fail from a lack of charts, graphs, or reports, they fail from a lack of communication and collaboration. Basecamp makes it simple to communicate and collaborate on projects.

Central Desktop
Central Desktop is ideal for teams and businesses that operate in distributed locations or virtual office environments.

30 boxes
Shared public calendaring system that demostrates advanced using of AJAX.

James Governor of Redmonk fame turned me onto this site. Imagine being able to build database applications via a browser.

ESBN is a web 2.0 Copyright and DRM solution. An Electronic Standard Book Number (ESBN) is the unique identifier of electronic content and media. ESBNs are recognized worldwide by electronic publishing companies and electronic content providers. ESBNs are simple and quick to generate and serve as branded identifier or copyright for individuals or companies developing electronic content and media.

Flickr - almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world - has two main goals: 1. To help people make their photos available to the people who matter to them. 2. To enable new ways of organizing photos.

Google Maps
Maps are great for getting around, but online maps could be a lot better. So Google decided to make dynamic, interactive maps that are draggable — no clicking and waiting for graphics to reload each time you want to view the adjacent parts of a map.

Omnidrive is what you expect hosted storage to be - easy to use, accessible from anywhere and unrestrictive. Omnidrive will make your life easier by allowing you to store, access and stream your files from almost any web connected platform. Of course though, you shouldn't put data that contains personally identifiable information on public servers.

Push CRM
Low cost CRM system that makes a great replacement for Act, Goldmine and similar fat client CRM oriented products.

16 Bugs
Pretty decent bug tracking software that is incredibly useful in outsourcing situations. We know that folks in india don't know how to code as well as us Americans, so this is highly useful.

Writely allows you to edit documents online with whomever you choose, and then publish and blog them online.

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Monday, May 29, 2006


Analyzing the Analysts: Brenda Michelson

Figured I would provide commentary on Brenda Michelson, thought blogger with industry analyst firm Seybold Group...

First, let me get the bashing out of the way. She grew up as a Warrior and I am a Warhawk (Town rivalries) which means that I have to be highly critical of anything she does and therefore analysis will be even deeper seeking out holes than I would do for other analysts.

Second, my blogroll isn't filled with very many women bloggers which means that even though she hasn't acknowledged her duty, she needs to step up and get other women industry analysts to blog. It would be interesting if she could call up some women analysts from Gartner and Forrester and get them to realize the value proposition of having a two-way dialog.

Third, she is one of the only industry analyst bloggers in the United States that isn't babbling about product-oriented architecture and mentioning the latest greatest vendor she had a discussion with. Is she getting it twisted and think she is in the UK where analysts tend to only focus on customer problems?

Fourth, her blog entries are very insightful. I suspect this is due to the fact that she was once an enterprise architect for L.L. Bean Seems like other analysts in the blogosphere never worked within a large enterprise and therefore have an outsider looking in perspective on our thought processes. I wonder if you could help out other analysts understand what business-driven EA (vs product-oriented EA) really means by not blogging periodically but doing a blogothon and drilling down deep every single day for the next three months.

Five, your boss always talks about innovation but I have never seen you discuss this topic. Yes, this word is minimally abused and definetely overloaded. Many EA practitioners believe that EA is all about transformation which is distinct from innovation. Maybe you could tell us what innovation for EA is all about?

Six, how come you don't speak at conferences? I am tired of the mindless dribble that comes from other industry analyst firms. It is so high-level that I have to pretend I am Bill Clinton lighting a big one but not actually inhaling. What would it take for you to speak at an upcoming Infoworld conference? I am sure Jon Udell can hook you up.

Seven, it's ok to talk about personal things every once in awhile. What do you drive? Where do you vacation? What was the last book you read? Could you tell us what other industry analysts you have engaged in meaningful dialog with before (I know you and Stephen O'Grady have talked but who else?

Eight, we both have a vested interest in SOA and Portals but what would it take to convince you to start doing a research report on how enterprises can start embracing web 2.0? We know that other analyst firms are clueless to web 2.0 and you will have a headstart of at least six months before they finally get their ah-ha moment.

Nine, I'm in a sharing mood. What would it take for you to come and visit our enterprise and do a case study on how we do architecture governance or even on practices we use to construct our SOA?

Ten, does your boss know that you actually put references to non-seybold research in your reports? This is even more transparent than what any other industry analyst firm has ever done. Maybe the others will continue their practice of plaigarism and simply stay status quo but you need to talk about why you do this and encourage other analysts in the blogosphere to start doing the same. Transparency builds trust...

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Sunday, May 28, 2006


Do Kim Cameron, Dick Hardt and Pat Patterson really understand federated identity?

Do Kim Cameron, Dick Hardt and Pat Patterson really understand federated identity? I am of the belief that they have an outsider looking in perspective that could be detrimental to many enterprises. Industry analysts aren't really doing their due diligence on this space either. Heed whatever you hear in this space with caution...

Dick Hardt of Sxip frequently talks about the notion of user-centric identity which puts the choices around identity and privacy in the hands of users which is highly useful in federated consumer-oriented interactions. He seems to mysteriously never discuss how Sxore could work in enterprise scenarios though. I wonder if he things that enterprises should simply let folks bring in their identity from home to access enterprise applications? If we were delusional enough to allow this to occur within the walls of the enterprise, I wonder what all those auditor folks that expect us to be compliant to regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley say?

Any thoughts on other aspects of identity such as tying Sxore into RACF? What about tying Sxore into relational database engines such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. After all, relational databases are not only the holder of identity stores, they internally create identity for their own usage instead of externalizing it.

Pat Patterson lately seems to be using his blog to push product instead of using it to engage in meaningful conversations with the blogosphere. Hopefully he will revert back to topics that we are all interested in and not just product-oriented architecture. He also lately seems to have stopped talking about Project Liberty of which I am happy. The main problem with such an organization is that they purport to give enterprises a voice if they become members. You may have noticed that the roster of membership doesn't contain a whole lot of Fortune enterprises to engage in a meaningful dialog with and is only filled with vendors whom we can demand our voices be heard through our wallets anyway.

I suspect the reason that the masses of large enterprises aren't participating is simply do to the fee structure they impose on members. If Enterprise Architects were to put monies into next years budget for joining, it would more than likely not make it through the budget cycle and get cut. I wonder if Pat would take deliberate efforts to make membership for enterprises free? No, this still may not increase our participation but would at least remove one impediment.

I do wonder though when Pat will start acknowledging on a public level that federating using Microsoft's Active Directory Federation Services is a better approach than sticking strictly to the Liberty endorsed SAML approach. Meaningful federations are not between large corporations but the interactions between large Fortune enterprises and the multitude of small businesses within their supply chain who don't have the budget nor expertise to have separate standalone products and need something more integrated...

Kim, you are guilty of forgetting important aspects of identity in that it needs to be thought of from a physical perspective. I was cleaning one portion of my basement where I ran across employee ID badges that I retained while I was a consultant in a past life at Aetna, Bank One and FleetBoston and noticed a pattern. At the time, I remember going to the guard's station and filling out paperwork in order to get one. The badge systems used in the majority of enterprises are not tied into any identity management strategy or even a consolidated identity store. All of the badges indicate department and one of them has a title that I made up. There was no check to see if any of the information printed on it was correct nor did the guard have a way to even validate it except to call the approver of the paperwork.

The funny thing is that even industry analysts haven't started noodling the relationship between physical identity and the building folks and digital identity and us IT types. This space should converge and do so quickly. I wonder if Microsoft and the industry analyst community are steering vendors to start solving for this space. Seems like an opportunity for the venture capital community to also start creating additional ventures...

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Saturday, May 27, 2006


AnalyZing the Analysts: Open Source and Security

Been thinking, what if industry analysts were to step up their game and actually started to provide useful advice to Fortune enterprises in the security space, would the world become a better place?

It seems as if it an almost weekly event where some laptop gets stolen that contains personally identifiable information or other sensitive data. Pretty much none of the operating systems that are in use contain the necessary mechanisms to prevent data theft. Maybe this is an opportunity for the open source community to step up? Maybe this is an opportunity for enterprises to not only use open source but start contributing to it...

The only way to meet growing legal and regulatory considerations around theft of data off laptops is by employing the notion of full disk encryption. Imagine if software in this space was not just built into the operating systems such as the upcoming Microsoft Vista platform but we took it one step further. I wonder if the folks over at Redmonk have considered advising Sun to consider putting this functionality into Open Solaris to get a one up on the Linux community?

There is one package that kinda fits in this space, Truecrypt but it has several flaws or lack of depending upon one's perspective. Fundamentally speaking, this project eschews any form of backdoor which makes it problematic for deployment in enterprise situations. Corporations in order to stay compliant to legal and regulatory are absolutely required to have the capability to respond to subpeonas by attorney generals and therefore need functionality where key escrow and recovery functionality is built in and ideally tied into a corporate identity store such as Active Directory.

Since analysts are only capable of recommending products but never solutions, I figured the blogosphere could help. I am thinking about pursuing funding to start a 100% open source full disk encryption project and would love to hear from other enterprises that are game to also contribute time, money or both. I also have on my radar, the creation of a 100% open source project to create a desktop firewall that can also be tied into GPO.

Would love to hear the communities thoughts on this idea...

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Friday, May 26, 2006


Enterprise Architecture: Bullshit Phrase of the Year

See this blog entry...

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Thursday, May 25, 2006


Analyzing the Analysts

Figured I am long overdue to express additional thoughts on the industry analyst profession...

I never thought about a habit I had in what types of analyst research I read until recently. The funny thing is that I seem to have a preference for UK analysts over their US counterparts.

One pattern I have noticed is that UK industry analysts tend to talk more about problem spaces that I care about. They also don't seem to be so focused on product-oriented discussions like in the US. Maybe one of the problems is that the United States actually suffers from having to many software companies all jockeying for analyst attention which results in them not actually having a clue as to the real problem at hand and instead focusing on feature comparisons, marketshare and other things that are of questionable value in the long run to end user customers.

What would happen if all the customers stood up and demanded of industry analysts to not write research reports that contain product offerings but instead provided us with guidance on how to better define problems within a given space and how to frame our thoughts around them? In the short term I suspect that most vendors will rebel and not want to pay fees because in their minds, industry analysis is not about insight but advertising.

Anyway, I am working on a methodology that I will share of the next couple of days on an approach that will uncover which analysts we should be paying attention to and most importantly why. I am attempting to make my methodology both quantitative and qualitative so that there is something in it for everyone.

I hope to provide insights and perspectives on the folks over at Redmonk, 451 Group, Patricia Seybold, Burton Group and a few other firms that happen to come to mind. In the meantime, would love to hear from others there own opinions on the quality or lack of for these firms...

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006


How the agile community helps promote waterfall methodologies...

With the sole exception of Scott Mark, I have yet to see anyone represent an insider opinion of agile methodologies within the blogosphere. All of the discussions when discussing enterprises seem to be outsiders looking in...

I have always wondered what it would take for the agile community to be, well agile. Imagine if the agile community dropped its club-like feel and instead embraced open dialog with other communities. Wouldn't it be wonderful to hear the likes of Kent Beck at an industry vertical conference?

Agilists seem comfortable on their own turf and hold conferences where they practice command and control of the agenda. Ever notice that pretty much every agile conference has had the same set of speakers for the most part year over year? Sure, us enterprisey folk could always attend agile conferences but in all honesty, we already have little say in which one's we attend.

You are probably aware that many of us attend conferences put on by industry analysts. This is not because we necessarily gain insight from oversummarized information and highly abstracted sources but because they are great opportunities for networking with peers and happen to be the most budget friendly choice we have. Don't always expect us to come to your turf but instead consider presenting at one of the conferences we already attend.

Maybe, Ron Jeffries or Uncle Bob would consider putting some effort into presenting at an upcoming Gartner conference? Wouldn't it be interesting to see Ward Cunningham at say an Infoworld conference?

When was the last time any "high-ranking" agilist ever had an open honest dialog with executives in a Fortune 100 enterprise? Of course, you have as you were there attempting to sell us something. Do you think we were really listening?

I wonder what would happen if Martin Fowler decided to hook up with Accenture's CTO and talk about how Accenture could adopt agile approaches on all of their consulting engagements? Who would be the bigger impediment in making such a dialog occur? Imagine if Alistair Cockburn did the same thing with the CTO of Wipro?

Ignoring certain practical considerations, if this were to actually occur I speculate that agile would grow by leaps and bounds. This of course would mean that the founding members may lose control. Maybe they are fearful of agile growing beyond them...

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Reverse Industry Analysis: Database Security

Been noodling how the industry analyst model is busted and what us customers can do about it...

I have been known to rant about the industry analyst community but think I have landed on something that enterprise architects should pay attention to. Many folks in the community are aware that I have been working passionately on an industrywide specification (I wonder if this counts as a form of open source) that addresses a problem space I have labelled as data masking.

The problem space says that many databases don't have the right protection mechanisms in order to secure personally identifiable information. My specification has formalized SQL grammar about this problem along with many recommendations for putting encryption functionality within database engines.

So far, I have managed to catch the attention of twenty enterprise architect peers (and would love to see this number grow) with the specification. I have also shared it with Dan Blum of the Burton Group and Michael Cote of Redmonk.

My original thought in sharing was to solicit feedback but now has morphed into me figuring out how to get acceleration and amplification of this specification. I would love to not only influence the research calendar of this organizations but actually tell them in explicit detail what they should be writing about. It doesn't stop there. I wonder if I wrote my own research, could I pay an analyst firm to force distribute it to their client base? This would meet my needs nicely.

Anyway, if you are curious about better ways to protect enterprise data, please leave a comment with your work email address. IBM has committed to implementing the specification in the next release of DB/2. The vendor that has the lead on it though, is a vendor that in of itself deserves more industry analyst coverage. Check out Ants as they have a value proposition that really needs to be paid attention to.

Microsoft is also considering implementation of this specification. I had a wonderful conversation with one of the SQL Server program managers in Redmond last night and they quickly understood the value proposition.

The funny thing is that the laggards in terms of implementation will be many of the players in the open source community including MySQL, Postgres and Ingres. Maybe enterprises should consider database security over simply having the ability to have cheap databases. After all, isn't protecting customer data top priority...

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Monday, May 22, 2006


Enterprises 1, Industry Analysts 0

In a previous blog entry I asked for the assistance of the industry analyst community to wire me up with PC manufacturers in hopes that one or two of them may donate PCs for a project I am working on with inner-city children. None of them stepped up to the plate. Luckily a large enterprise did...

Cigna stepped up to the plate and bought seven brand-new laptops (Dell) with all the software we would ever need. They found within their own corporate policies that they couldn't give away all the PCs they had coming off the books and were sitting idle in storage do to concerns around information protection and simply found it easier to buy news ones. Kudos to the folks over at Cigna for not only stepping up but doing so quickly and without reservation.

Hopefully though I am still digging at the policies of several enterprises that have older machines as I think there is merit in making the program even bigger. I am of the belief that we may be able to get more PCs from enterprises if they simply remove the hard drives and we can find an industry analyst that could wire me up with the right contacts from Maxtor, Seagate, etc to donate some hard drives.

Our local Microsoft account rep stated to me yesterday during a conference call that it wouldn't be a problem for Microsoft to contribute licenses for Windows XP and Office for this project. I guess Microsoft has a strong sense of charity.

Does anyone have a sense of how charitable Oracle, BEA and Sun are in this regard?

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Sunday, May 21, 2006


Enterprise Architecture and Fear

In the book: Beyond Fear, Bruce Schiener who is CTO of Counterpane discusses five different tendencies people in general do to exaggerate risks: to believe that something is more risky than it actually is. Many enterprise architects are more guilty of this than the general population.

1. People exaggerate spectacular but rare risks and downplay common risks.

2. People have trouble estimating risks for anything not exactly like their normal situation.

3. Personified risks are perceived to be greater than anonymous risks.

4. People underestimate risks they willingly take and overestimate risks in situations they can't control.

5. People overestimate risks that are being talked about and remain an object of public scrutiny.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006


Vendors and Industry Analysts

Here are some things that I would absolutely love to see in upcoming industry analyst research reports...

It seems as if most enterprises still have tons of homework after talking with an industry analyst. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could include in their research commonly asked questions or at least some of the concerns we may or may not consistently articulate?

There are probably other things that will come to mind over time. If you have other suggestions, please continue the discussion via trackback...

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Friday, May 19, 2006


How to pretend you are an industry analyst and not get caught

Good to know how to pretend know what you are doing when you really have no clue...

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Thursday, May 18, 2006


Why most enterprise architects simply don't get Web 2.0!

Figured I would list some reasons as to why my peers in the industry are clueless about web 2.0...

1. Web 2.0 requires a fondness of scripting languages. Us enterprisey folks only believe in compiled languages for enterprise applications and won't consider the possibilities of scripting.

2. User behavior is emergent. This rules out our savage practice of user-centered design where we attempt to do big user design upfront.

3. Web 2.0 actually requires you to trust your users. We all know that we have to idiot-proof systems and trust no one is our mantra.

4. Web 2.0 enables democracy. For example bloggers have counted corporate cultures in determining what is news. It is diametrically opposed to our indoctrination into controlling the message.

5. We can't possibly learn anything about release management. The thought that flickr can do production releases every thirty minutes isn't of interest to us. We would rather take valuable time by coordinating heavyweight processes and create lots of lets go around the table ceremonial meetings so we can justify doing releases not every 30 minutes but every 30 days when we are feeling aggressive.

6. We don't actually understand what our intellectual property is. We may all use google and get it twisted to think theirs is all around search algorithms but will never do any homework to figure out that what really matters to them is systems administration, operations and load balancing which they have never hinted at exposing.

7. Web 2.0 is simply too cheap. How can someone build a site with high availability on $50K when we can't do it for millions. Maybe if the industry analysts that cover infrastructure started doing case studies on how these 2.0 companies operate, then we might pay attention, but otherwise we will continue spending more money than we should.

8. Analysts simply aren't covering topics on how to be lightweight in this regard. Maybe they also don't have a clue about how web 2.0 works or even what it is...

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Why aren't more enterprise architects speaking at industry conferences?

Just returned from Infoworld conference and was thinking...

Why aren't more enterprise architects speaking at industry conferences. Figured the answer is best stated in multiple choice format:

a) Most conferences are sponsored by vendors who foot the vast majority of the expenses and therefore demand the ability for their CTO to present thinly veiled Powerpoint chock-a-block with eye candy but lacking substance.

b) Conference chairs (especially in the agile community) would love to invite them but are stuck in comprehensive documentation mode (aka call for papers) and don't actually practice face-to-face conversations with this demographic

c) Other attendees at conferences such as practitioners of Ruby would feel intimidated being in our presence.

d) Conference organizers practice a form of insular thinking and believe that we will attend any event simply to get out of the office and don't actually care to hear from our other peers in the industy.

I suspect that folks could come up with more options than I have listed. Would love to hear some of them...

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More thoughts on being a developer within a large enterprise

The conflict between the bean counters, who want to treat the results of your development as assets to be managed, and the operations folks who view your product as simply services to be procured creates an environment where truly stupid decisions are taken in the name of compromise or synergy if you prefer management babble...

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Are you a real Enterprise Architect?

Here are some things that many enterprisey folk do on a consistent basis to justify their existence...

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Human Resources 2.0: Hiring folks you don't like

Hire people who make you squirm. Find happy employees and encourage them to fight and reward failure. Sound like weird management ideas? In some circles, they are. But when it comes to meaningful innovation and not the overloaded form of the word used by industry analysts and practitioners of management by magazine, these ideas can be essential to real game changing innovation...

To innovate, enterprise must do things that clash with accepted management practices, with common but misguided beliefs about the right way to manage any kind of work. In organization after organization, managers act as if they can keep developing new programs, services and solutions by adhering to old ways of managing people and making decisions. This happens even in organizations where managers say that innovative work requires different practices than routine work. Yet these same managers continue to use methods that force people to see old things in old ways, expecting new and valuable ideas to somehow magically appear.

One idea I advocate is in acknowledging and encouraging the hiring of slow learners (No jokes please about this is what us enterprisey folks do day in day out) and even encourage hiring people you don't need (No jokes about the outsourcing staff either). Great ideas at first glance seem counterintuitive to most managers. Research shows that innovation is increased whenever an enterprise does any of the below three things:

(1) increase variance in available knowledge
(2) see old things in new ways
(3) break from the past.

The above three are immutable. Doing without them will result in industry analyst forms of innovation and not anything that actually benefits the enterprise...

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The Web 2.0 Trinity: People, Data, and Great Software

Providing a little bit of amplification to this blog entry...

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Monday, May 15, 2006


Thoughts on the InfoWorld Test Labs...

Jon Udell absolutely rocks. Hopefully, everyone in the blogosphere that subscribes to InfoWorld read the May 8th issue where they compared JBoss Portal to Liferay?

The winner is obvious to folks who pay attention to the enterprise portal space. For those that have read it, click here. Imagine what would happen if industry analysts started not only covering non-commercial open source but started to compare it to commercial offerings?

Maybe in a future issue, the test labs would be game to compare Sonic ESB to ServiceMix and Aqualogic...

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Recent Thoughts on Compliance

Why aren't industry analysts talking about the notion of compliance patterns?

The notion of compliance patterns as part of a compliance-oriented architecture could include representations for common problems among privacy regulations (concern for the individual), security (protection) and governance (transparency).

Software developers, auditors and Chief Security Architects could start having candid conversations about the problems an enterprise faces. The conversations could even be extended to regulators and maybe even the likes of Elliott Spitzer. Refactoring to patterns and the ability to "distill" the myriad of solutions and practices in this space down to a handful of archetypes seems useful.

I wonder which industry analyst firm will show leadership first in this regard...

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Does Microsoft discriminate in favor of folks from India?

Are you a developer based out of India? Do you know how to write secure code? If yes, you can win a Customized Scorpio Passion, Toshiba Tecra M4 laptops, Pocket PCs, and lots more. Interested? Check out

I wonder which Indian outsourcing firm truly gets security? Based on my own travels, my bet is the folks from Wipro will have an early lead. Curious to know what others think?

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Sunday, May 14, 2006


So, exactly what is innovation?

Technically, "innovation" is defined merely as "introducing something new;" there are no qualifiers of how ground-breaking or world-shattering that something needs to be—only that it needs to be better than what was there before. And that's where the trouble starts when an organization requests "innovation services" from a consulting firm. Exactly what are they really requesting? The fact is, innovation means different things to different people.

I suspect that many folks in the blogosphere have over time heard on multiple occasions stories of consulting companies taking a project and running with it, only to come back with fantastic, ground-breaking ideas that the hiring organization could do absolutely nothing with. Insultants of course, never acknowledge their idiocy especially if they are from agile insulting firms and of course prefer to shift blame to enterprisey folks which misses the point.

At the end, the research, documents and prototypes become shelved, and everyone leaves the situation resentful. The hiring organization feels like they didn't get the value that they deserved for the price tag they paid; the consulting firm feels as though their efforts were undervalued, and that the client wasn't nearly as progressive as they had hoped (or promised).

I suspect there are several best practices here. What would happen if enterprises started to be open and transparent about how decisions get made within their organization, about the past attempts to solve the problem (both failures and successes, and everyone's respective understanding of why), and—here's the laundry part—about any individuals within the company that will likely try to sabotage the effort.

Likewise, what would happen if a consulting firm not only acknowledged productivity aspects of non-mainstream tools (Ruby comes to mind) but also publicly stated that it provides them competitive advantage and a form of lock-in at least in the short-term).

Both parties are now armed with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. Agile insulting firms provide a benefit in failing fast but do not provide enough transparency such that past problems can easily be discovered and avoided shifting this task at the last minute to the enterprise. Enterprises can make decisions based on more than "comfort" relationship, price, golf or other factors that should be secondary.

The real key to innovation is that large enterprises are not only understanding the value of being open and transparent, they are doing so at a faster pace than the smaller consulting firms that serve them...

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Saturday, May 13, 2006


Why NSA spying doesn't matter...

There has been lots of talk in the blogosphere regarding the NSA keeping track of American's and the phone calls they make. In all reality, this doesn't really matter...

If you are so paranoid about George Bush listening to your wife and her friends talk about buying panties at Victoria's Secret then switch to Qwest, the one major phone company that had the integrity to resist government pressure.

For those who are technologists and even have one scintilla of knowledge of databases would understand that it would take at least three things in order for the government to do anything useful with all the information they have collected. First, they would need to stop hiring losers who aren't capable of working in large enterprises or even small software companies. Two, they would need to stop hiring CIOs based on political influence or any form of influence for that matter and start getting real leadership in key positions. The notion of strong technical leadership is missing in action in the federal government. Three, the government needs to throw out many of the insulting firms they use to create systems.

Actually, the government would also be better served if they stopped listening to many of the industry analysts that give motherhood and apple pie advice to them. Anyway, I suspect there will be many lawsuits emerging suing George Bush for violating our rights. Sadly, you can't sue someone for being an idiot.

Anyway, it didn't take long for the telcos to start seeing lawsuits. Feels like an opportunity to enter some short orders on Ameritrade before the market opens...

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So, why aren't more enterprises contributing to open source?

So, why aren't more enterprises contributing to open source? I did an interview yesterday that attempted to uncover this behavior that folks should see in an industry publication sometime next week. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts as to why...

1. Many enterprises have absolutely zero clue as to where their own intellectual property stops and therefore constrains the ability to participate. Would love to see analysts provide guidance on helping enterprises contribute and remove roadblocks such as these. Maybe an opportunity for the folks at Redmonk to do some open source analysis and publish under creative commons?

2. Enterprisey folks are way too dependent on vendors showing up and doing Powerpoint. Participating in open source may require them to do Powerpoint themselves? Maybe even some of them aren't capable of creating compelling content?

3. We are too busy practicing Management by Magazine and simply need the folks over at CIO and InformationWeek to start telling us more frequently it is ok to contribute.

4. Architects today are rewarded and compensated based on "internal" influence which has characteristics that don't translate well to open source community models.

5. Some architects in corporate environments don't understand technology and may not have even written a single line of code in their entire career and are afraid of embarrasing themselves when they interact with a community of folks who truly know what they are talking about.

6. Some architects may have good ability but not at the level of myself or any of my peers and are afraid of feeling inferior in our presence.

I suspect that others may be able to provide their own insight as to why folks in corporate America are using but not contributing to open source. Let's get the dialog going...

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