Constraining Ideas

I read a story in the newspapers over the weekend that made me surprised and disappointed. The article was about a trial of driverless cars on the roads of the UK. There are to be four locations for a trial, and that this innovation is being taken so seriously surprised me. But then the disappointment kicked in as there is []

Je suis…

There has been so much coverage of the dreadful events in Paris, and they are so far away from my usual subjects in this blog, save for the knee-jerk reaction of some politicians to want to put in place surveillance measures that damage our freedoms in the name of freedom that having referenced the phrase that so many have spoken []

Caring about your information can make you look silly

I got into a big argument with my family over the Christmas break. It wasn’t about relatives, nor about who was doing the cooking or the washing up or even how many more days we really needed to eat turkey. It was much sadder than any of that – it was about privacy and how your personal data is used []

Happy Holidays

This blog is taking what I think is a well deserved rest over the holiday period. Normal service will resume in January. Thank you to each of you who has read one or more of my 47 blogs this year. I hope my ideas stimulate yours, my frustrations mirror those you have, and any insight is useful to you. So, []

Real World Cloud Benefits

Discussion about cloud services tend to be about IT benefits – CAPEX to OPEX, capacity flexing and rapid deployment. Those things are real benefits, and as our news feed this week shows, CIOs are more focused on cloud than they are on running in-house data centres. I have long argued that readily available public infrastructure and cloud computing services will []


I learned a new word yesterday. I picked it up from my colleague Alistair Russell, who had also learned it that same day. Only trouble is it turns out to be over 50 years old. We were discussing data analytics, and crashing together datasets to find new relationships and effects when Alistair came out with “munge”. No one in the []

An unnecessary Evil?

I wrote in an earlier blog that I felt I could justify my bias towards Apple, at least to myself. This week I intend to try to partly justify that bias to you as well. It’s got nothing to do with their beautifully designed product either. Last week Google hit the news with a story of a woman who tried []

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 []


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 []
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