Wardley Mapping and building situational awareness in the age of service ecosystems.

How do executives make sense of their complex digital ecosystem of cloud services? How do they gain situational awareness? One method gaining increasing popularity in a large number of organisations is Simon Wardley’s “Wardley Mapping” technique. With Simon, and with Roser Pujadas and Mark Thompson, we have been developing and researching of how and why this technique is used. The following paper, to be presented in June at ECIS Stockholm[1], outlines the basics of the technique and our early findings.

Pujadas, R, Thompson, M., Venters, W., Wardley, S. (2019) Building situational awareness in the age of service ecosystems. 27th European Conference on Information Systems, Stockholm & Uppsala, June 2019. 

Paper Abstract:

We discuss the little-explored construct of situational awareness, which will arguably become increasingly important for strategic decision-making in the age of distributed service ecosystems, digital infrastructures, and microservices. Guided by a design science approach, we introduce a mapping artefact with the ability to enhance situational awareness within, and across, horizontal value chains, and evaluate its application in the field amongst both IS practitioners and IS researchers. We make suggestions for further research into both construct and artefact, and provide insights on their use in practice.

Keywords: Situational awareness, Distributed systems, Design Science, Strategy, Digital Ecosystems, Digital Infrastructure, modularity, servitization.

[1] ECIS, the European Conference on Information Systems, is the meeting platform for European and international researchers in the field of Information Systems. This 27th edition will take place in Sweden. We will present our paper in the “Rethinking IS Strategy and Governance in the Digital Age” research track.

For more on Simon’s Wardley Mapping see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wardley_map or https://www.wardleymaps.com/ 

UK Cloud Awards 2018

I am pleased to be a judge for the UK Cloud awards again this year.  https://www.ukcloudawards.co.uk/

If your company is keen to apply for the awards the closing date for entries is the 23rd February 2018. And hopefully I will then see you for the awards ceremony at County Hall in May!

 

Cloud Expertise Report with Rackspace and Intel

For a number of months I’ve been working with Rackspace and colleague Carsten Sorensen to undertake a study of the impact of skills and expertise on cloud computing. The report “the cost of cloud expertise” has just been published here. The headline figure is that $258m is lost a year through lack of cloud expertise.

Cost of cloud expertise report

In the press release I am quoted as saying; “Put simply, cloud technology is a victim of its own success. As the technology has become ubiquitous among large organizations – and helped them to wrestle back control of sprawling physical IT estates – it has also opened up a huge number of development and innovation opportunities. However, to fully realize these opportunities, organizations need to not only have the right expertise in place now, but also have a cloud skills development strategy to ensure they are constantly evolving their IT workforce and training procedures in parallel with the constantly evolving demands of cloud. Failure to do so will severely impede the future aspirations of businesses in an increasingly competitive digital market.”

The report also explores the requirements for cloud skills, and discusses the strategy businesses can adopt to mitigate the risks of the cloud skills shortages:

  • Split the IT function into separate streams – business focused and operation focused.
  • Develop a cloud-skills strategy.
  • Assess the cloud ecosystem and ensuring a balanced pool of skills.

Take a look!

https://blog.rackspace.com/258-million-year-cost-enterprises-lack-cloud-computing-expertise-says-rackspace

Some early press coverage below…

Only 29% of IT leaders have the skills needed to fully embrace the cloud TechRepublic Sep 21, 2017
Rackspace asked organization execs around the world about cloud IT — here’s what they found San Antonio Business Journal Sep 21, 2017
Cloud Skill Shortage Costs Large Enterprises $258 Million Each Year: Report Windows IT Pro Sep 21, 2017
Cloud skills shortage holding back some Aussie businesses CIO Australia
Is cloud computing a victim of its own success? Computer Business Review Sep 21, 2017
Two-thirds of businesses losing money over poor cloud skills Cloud Pro
Here’s what’s costing businesses a lot of money London Loves Business
UK organisations lose millions a year due to lack of cloud technology skills Bdaily
Lack of cloud expertise costing companies $258mn per year The Stack
UK businesses losing revenue due to lack of cloud expertise ITProPortal

What is Fog Computing?

I read an interesting article on Fog Computing and thought readers might like a short precis:

Applications such as health-monitoring or emergency response require near-instantaneous response such that the delay caused by contacting and receiving data from a cloud data-centre can be highly problematic. Fog Computing is a response to this challenge. The basic idea is to shift some of the computing from the data-centre to devices which are closer to the edge of the network – so moving the cloud to the ground (hence “fog computing”). The computing work is shared between the data-centre and various local IoT devices (e.g. a local router or smart-gateway).

“Fog computing is a paradigm for managing a highly distributed and possibly virtualized environment that provides compute and network services between sensors and cloud data-centers” (Dastjerdi et al. 2016)

While cloud computing (using large data-centres) is perfect for analysis of Big Data “at rest” (i.e.  analysing historical trends where large magnitudes of data are required and cheap processing necessary) fog computing may be much better for dynamic analysis of “data-in-motion” (data concerning immediate ongoing actions which require rapid analytical response).  For example an Augmented Reality Application cannot wait for a distant data-centre to respond when a user’s head it turned. Similarly safety-critical and business-critical applications such as health-care remote monitoring, or remote diagnostics cannot rely on permanent availability of internet connections (as those in York know when floods knocked out their internet for days this year).

Privacy concerns are also relevant. By moving data-analysis to the edge of the network (e.g. a device or local mobile phone) which is often owned by, and controlled by, the data-source the user may have more control over their data. For example an exercise tracker might aggregate and process its GPS data and fitness data on a local mobile phone rather than automatically uploading it to a distant server. It might also undertake data-trimming so reducing the bandwidth and load on the cloud. This is particularly relevant as the number of connected devices increases to billions. This gain should be balanced with the challenge of managing an increasing number of devices which must be secured to hold sensitive data safely.

Another challenge is the climatic damage this new architecture poses. While data-centres are increasingly efficient in their processing, and often rely on clean-energy sources, moving computing to less efficient devices at the edge of the network might create a problem. We are effectively balancing latency with CO2 production.

For more information on see:

Dastjerdi, A. V., Gupta, H., Calheiros, R. N., Ghosh, S. K., and Buyya, R. 2016. “Fog Computing: Principles, Architectures, and Applications,” in Internet of Things: Principles and Paradigm. Elsevier / MKP. http://www.buyya.com/papers/FogComputing2016.pdf

(Image Ian Furst (cc))

Keynote for Athens Cloud Computing conference

I am proud to be the keynote speaker at the Athens Cloud Computing conference on the 10th of March.

I will be kicking off the event with a challenge to see cloud not as the transfer of computing from within the enterprise to an external party, but instead as a chance to reconsider the boundary of the enterprise, and try to create new business opportunity by partnership through cloud computing.

Cloud Computing conference.

Aleksi Aaltonen – a friend involved in the “Moves App” recently sold to Facebook gives tips for entrepreneurs

A friend and colleague of mine, Aleksi Aaltonen, talks about how he and his friends created the “Moves” app recently acquired by Facebook…

Tips for LSE entrepreneurs – 2014 – Around LSE archives – Around LSE – News and media – Home.