Dec 012010
 

The future belongs to neither the conduit or content players, but those who control the filtering, searching, and sense-making tools we will rely on to navigate through the expanses of cyberspace. [from It’s the Context, Stupid]

This seems even more important now that when Paul wrote this in the 1990s.

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Nov 232010
 

Each year, U.S. State Chief Information Officers compile a list of what they feel are the important trends for the coming year. I always find it interesting as it generally speaks to the unique perspective of government technologists. As a result, it has closer relevance to my work here in Ottawa.

A. Priority Strategies, Management Processes and Solutions: Top 10 Final Ranking

1. Consolidation / Optimization: centralizing, consolidating services, operations, resources, infrastructure, data centers

2. Budget and Cost Control: managing budget reduction, strategies for savings, reducing or avoiding costs, activity based costing

3. Health Care: the Affordable Care Act, health enterprise architecture, assessment, partnering, implementation, health information exchange, technology solutions, Medicaid systems (planning, retiring, implementing, purchasing)

4. Cloud Computing: as a service delivery strategy; models, governance, service management, provisioning, security, privacy, data ownership

5. Shared Services: business models, sharing resources, services, infrastructure, independent of organizational structure

6. Governance: improving IT governance, data governance, partnering

7. Security: risk assessment, governance, authority and executive support; budget and resource requirements; insider threats; third party security practices as outsourcing increases; and security frameworks

8. Broadband and Connectivity: strengthening statewide connectivity, public safety wireless network, telehealth

9. Legacy modernization: enhancing, renovating, replacing, legacy platforms and applications, business process improvement

10. Data and Information Management: enhancing the role of data, information / intelligence, knowledge management

B. Priority Technologies, Applications and Tools Top 10 Final Ranking

1. Virtualization (servers, storage, computing, data center)

2. Cloud computing (software as a service, infrastructure, applications, storage)

3. Networking (voice and data communications, unified communications)

4. Legacy application modernization / renovation

5. Identity and access management

6. Document/Content/Records/E-mail management (active, repository, archiving, digital preservation)

7. Security enhancement tools

8. Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics applications

9. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

10. Social media and networking (Web 2.0 services, wikis, blogs, collaboration technologies, and social networking)

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Nov 222010
 

Tim Berners Lee:

The Web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments—totalitarian and democratic alike—are monitoring people’s online habits, endangering important human rights.

If we, the Web’s users, allow these and other trends to proceed unchecked, the Web could be broken into fragmented islands. We could lose the freedom to connect with whichever Web sites we want. The ill effects could extend to smartphones and pads, which are also portals to the extensive information that the Web provides.

Why should you care? Because the Web is yours. It is a public resource on which you, your business, your community and your government depend. The Web is also vital to democracy, a communications channel that makes possible a continuous worldwide conversation. The Web is now more critical to free speech than any other medium. It brings principles established in the U.S. Constitution, the British Magna Carta and other important documents into the network age: freedom from being snooped on, filtered, censored and disconnected.

Yet people seem to think the Web is some sort of piece of nature, and if it starts to wither, well, that’s just one of those unfortunate things we can’t help. Not so. We create the Web, by designing computer protocols and software; this process is completely under our control. We choose what properties we want it to have and not have. It is by no means finished (and it’s certainly not dead). If we want to track what government is doing, see what companies are doing, understand the true state of the planet, find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, not to mention easily share our photos with our friends, we the public, the scientific community and the press must make sure the Web’s principles remain intact—not just to preserve what we have gained but to benefit from the great advances that are still to come.

Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality: Scientific American.

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Nov 202010
 

Tim O’Reilly’s core competencies of Web 2.0 companies:

  1. Services, not packaged software, with cost-effective scalability
  2. Control over unique, hard-to-recreate data sources that get richer as more people use them
  3. Trusting users as co-developers
  4. Harnessing collective intelligence
  5. Leveraging the long tail through customer self-service
  6. Software above the level of a single device
  7. Lightweight user interfaces, development models, AND business models
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Nov 202010
 

Essentially everyone, when they first build a distributed application, makes the following eight assumptions. All prove to be false in the long run and all cause big trouble and painful learning experiences.

1. The network is reliable
2. Latency is zero
3. Bandwidth is infinite
4. The network is secure
5. Topology doesn’t change
6. There is one administrator
7. Transport cost is zero
8. The network is homogeneous

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