Fresh Thoughts

What makes us Trust a Trusted Adviser?

Where there is a solution there is always selling involved. Funnily, even if there is no obvious problem to solve sales is pushed. In my opinion, a Trusted Adviser is someone who provides an Approach to identifying the opportunities or problems that the customer does not see yet. Thereby, may provide approaches to Capitalize on this opportunity or fix the problem. The approach may involve the necessary solution Options and selection criteria but without actively selling any particular solution. The moment selling comes into play the credibility as a Trusted Adviser is lost. I'd insist on the Approach and urge to resist the temptation to sell a Solution. The boundary between Sales and Advise is narrowing in today's hyper-competitive business landscape At the same time advisory may broker an internal team or an ecosystem to come up with a customized solution for the customer based on the discovery; focus as far as the customer is concerned remains on the Value Real

Security at the Cyber-Physical Intersections

In my previous post  Complexity impedes Security  I covered the simplification principles. The Cyber-Physical interactions are the focus in this post. The Physical-space comprises the geographical locations and the users and the tools in them orchestrated within a business process context.  The Cyber-space comprises the Network that provides the connectivity, the Platforms that provide containers for the Applications to run on hence process the Data.  Enterprises operate their businesses across the breadth and depth of their capabilities using internal and external entities that share each others’ physical and cyber space.  E.g., an Order Processing system illustrated here has a Payment Processing Team operating from Vietnam, an Order Processing Application accessible over the extranet (to employees, partners and customers) and a product catalog hosted on the Cloud. Today’s Enterprises, old and new alike, operate a network of processes that transact across physical a

Complexity impedes Security

Complexity is the primary reason Enterprises struggle so much with security vulnerabilities.  Today’s Enterprises are complex mashup of capabilities in operations and technology. Even small and medium enterprises aren’t an exception. Business capabilities are both broad and deep often cross-referenced in the context of an end-to-end business process.  Businesses are, in today’s information economy, wide open to internal and external threats. Each possible entry and exit are potential points of vulnerabilities.  Enterprises are forced to invest in complicated security systems to monitor, control and audit access to vital assets that include information. Often the cost of securing are a big operational overhead on the profitability. Enterprises need to constantly re-look at the need for complex systems in securing information. at each level of the capability Breadth and Depth for relevance and consistency.  Simplifying the architecture gives an opportunity to apply security where

Frameworks should stay invisible

Imagine a building under construction. You see the props jutting out buzzing with construction activity. Unfinished pillars and floors cast a gaudy look. This is how anything under work-in-progress looks like. In the IT side this stage is the beta versions. Imagine a broken traffic signal and the ensuing chaos on the road. Long disorderly queues of vehicles is a common sight. You become aware of the vehicles around you, the road infrastructure including the traffic lights, enforcement mechanisms come into vision. In the IT side this likens to a system gone into maintenance mode. In the two examples above we become aware of the frameworks that hold things together. The former because it is work-in-progress and the latter because it is broken. Now imagine you walk into your office and your devices automatically connect to the wifi network and you are connected to the Internet. Your device seamlessly switches from the telco network to the corporate network. Besides the Internet you

Design is constraint

A famous sculptor was asked how he makes such realistic sculptures. He said 'I do not make them I merely remove the unnecessary pieces from the rock'.  Design is often looked upon as an innovation that was created without any constraints. It seldom is the case. Where there is a good design there is bound to be a set of constraints imposed on the system.  When traversing the design approach as an architect I find business operating model lays the first level system constraint followed by the data that is required to effectively run the business processes associated with the operating model. The data needs determine the applications that need to be put in place. The applications determine the infrastructure requirements. So, the design constraints imposed by the business, process, data and application define the design of IT systems and infrastructure. It might also happen that infrastructure puts constrains on the business model. This is when business design is constrained by

Anything on a page

A well-thought-out idea, a powerful marketing message, an informative info-graphic, a restaurant menu card, a movie poster, a cheat sheet, London tube map.  What is common in all of the above? The title of this post is a hint.  They are all something on a page. Anything that fits a page is a  well articulated viewpoint of a customer.  Anything on a page is an amazing vehicle to reach the information to the right audience at the right place and time. Three principles to bear in mind:  1. Focus on the outcome of the process (why) 2. Take the viewpoint of the audience (who, when, where) 3. Apply sophistication to the tools yet keep the output simple (how)