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Open Microsoft?

Steve Ballmer was frequently quoted as saying “Windows first; Windows best” when describing Microsoft’s strategy for software. Satya Nadella has changed that position quietly and emphatically. The most visible aspect was with the initial release of Office on iPad – with the useful functionality tied to Office 365 – and the recent release for iPhone (and upgraded for iPad), not []

Nicks Notes

As often when writing my blog I have my headphones on and music playing. That is partly because of my love of music, partly the effect of working in an open plan office and needing to focus, and partly to be inspired. Depending on my mood I listen to very many types of music, and I listen to music a []

Paper Tigers

My colleague Richard Muddle and I were having a discussion. It wasn’t too serious, we were in the kitchen at work waiting for the kettle to boil. The cause of our debate was a phrase we’d read in a draft report about innovation and neither of us fully agreed with it, yet found it very difficult to succinctly rephrase the []

Optics

I’m in the middle of writing up our 2014 Horizons inquiry report. As I’ve mentioned before in these blogs that this year it’s all about Innovation, which both leads on from the previous topics and chimes with what Chief Executives want from their CIOs. One data point relates to what CIOs perceive to be the major barrier to being innovative. []

SARS, H1N1 and now Ebola…

Remember SARS? It was going to wipe us all out in 2003. 775 people died out of some 8,000 who contracted the disease, which is not trivial, but hardly the global epidemic that was feared. Although it did disrupt the Far East for a while, it wasn’t a disaster. Then in 2009 came a strain of the H1N1 virus, sometimes []

Left Field

When Nick Carr’s article “IT doesn’t matter” appeared in Harvard Business Review in 2003 it caused a firestorm in technology businesses and the analyst community. The rest of the world didn’t notice. I well remember the Gartner Analyst community working together to draft a reply which I saw prior to submission and was published in a later magazine. Carr refers []

Pushing

The CIO Connect Annual Conference “Innovation isn’t anything new” was a great success. We had more CIOs in the room than ever before and a set of great speakers. Today, though, I just want to pull one lesson out of the many interesting perspectives. It became clear as our presentations and discussions unfolded that there are differing mindsets and different []

Focus

There is only one real thing to write about this week – the CIO Connect Annual conference, which takes place on Wednesday 1 October. That means I can’t write in any detail about the four occasions recently where I have trusted someone to an extent none of us do normally and how each of those people have repaid that confidence []

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. []

Perception

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 []
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