"Pretenders don't quite understand that design is born of constraints. Real-life constraints, be they tangible or cognitive: Battery-life impacts every other aspect of the iPhone design - hardware and software alike. Screen resolution affects font, icon and UI design. The thickness of a fingertip limits direct, gestural manipulation of on-screen objects. Lack of a physical keyboard and WIMP controls create an unfamiliar mental map of the device. The iPhone design is a bet that solutions to constraints like these can be seamlessly molded into a unified product that will sell. Not a concept. Not a vision. A product that sells."
This article is about British mathematician Donald Davies who conceived of the idea of network "Packet Switching".
"The insight of Dr Davies and his team was to slice data, be that a chat on the phone, an e-mail or a picture, into separate pieces or packets. These are then put on the network and rely on the intelligence of nodes in the network to help them wend their way to their destination. Once there they are re-assembled into the right order."
I first read about Davies in the book "Where Wizards Stay Up Late" which tells the story of the pioneers behind the creation of Arpanet, the precursor to the internet. It's a great read. I highly recommend it.
"Beyond job cuts, Mr Pandit said one of his key priorities would be reducing Citi’s information technology budget, which runs into the tens of billions of dollars. Citi’s sprawling IT operation has 23,000 developers, on a par with many large technology companies, and is highly decentralized – a structure that led to duplication of functions and an increase in expenses."
Bubble, Bubble, Bubble....
but I really liked the quote below
Specialisation is short term-success but it is long-term risk; because as soon as the ecosystem becomes destabilised, you're the first candidate to go extinct. It's the generalists that get through... (From: Sabretooth's surprising weak bite)
I'm at the CSC Connect Conference in Orlando. It'''s hot and humid!
"We've been studying competition in all U.S. industries, not just the high-tech ones, and we've observed a remarkable pattern: On average, the whole U.S. economy has become more "Schumpeterian" since the mid-1990s. What's more, these changes have been greatest in the industries that buy the most software and computer hardware."
This post's title is cribbed from Celent's Latest "Report on SOA in Insurance 2007". The report is primarily the result of surveys conducted by Celent with a number of insurers and includes mid size to large carriers (premiums > $1 billion). The report is mildly interesting for someone in the midst of deploying SOA techniques/technologies in the insurance industry (namely me;) but clearly reiterates three key points:
- The promise of a fully realized SOA enabled infrastructure is alluring and there is an incredible amount of hype around the potential.
- Building out a fully realized SOA enabled infrastructure is hard and will take time
- Even small steps toward SOA can pay dividends so get started now!
I Think the quote below best summarizes this:Celent - Web Services and SOA in Insurance 2007
While the model may not be very sexy, Celent believes that for the next two years Web services/SOA in insurance will remain essentially a "Plumbing" issue - a set of technologies and practices that make it more efficient to share data and transactional capabilities between systems, both internal and external, in a reusable way that allows the value of systems investments to be leveraged repeatedly in subsequent initiatives. While this may not get the CEO's attention, it is absolutely key to the CIO's mission to do more with less.
So get started... Each company is unique in its own way and requires it's on approach but don't get caught up in analysis paralysis. Do not wait for the perfect project or tool. Starting allows you to "do" and doing allows you to learn from the experience. Learning allows you to adapt and "do" again providing opportunity to continually improve as you go. "Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good!"
It is always interesting to hear Steve Ballmer spin Microsoft's latest marketing, product, technical, whatever announcement. As if on cue eWeek.com published an article titled
Quoting Steve Ballmer characterizing the move as a "big bold bet". I just had to laugh. How could anyone view this as a "bet" in the current technology environment. About the only part of this decision that could be considered a risk is weather to use the W3C "formal" Web Services specifications or a more lean REST based architecture. Granted the formal Web Services specifications are starting to get that hairball consistency, but there are still valid reasons to go either way.The article goes on to state...
Microsoft believes Web services will work in tandem with PC-installed software, a vision that differs from that of "software as a service" advocates, such as Salesforce.com and Google, who expect services delivered over the Web to replace traditional software... "We believe this shift is the most important technological transformation during the next decade," Ballmer said.
Aahhh.... now this is more like it. I began to have a flashback. [the screen goes fuzzy and "Dreamweaver" begins to play in the background...] In my days at Viant Corp. during the Web 1.0 heyday (don't remember if it was 98 or 99), I had the privilege of being invited to Seattle for a special Microsoft conference. Before I arrived, I didn't have any other information than that it was a selected audience of internet savvy technology partners.Microsoft began by discussing what they felt was a challenge for them. They were encountering both resistance and lack of interest to using their products any deeper in Corporate America than the desktop. The biggest issue seemed to be the integration challenge. Unix seemed to be the OS lingua franca for integration projects and Sun was selling servers by the boat load.Microsoft proposed that they were considering XML messaging as the lingua franca for their platform and were seriously looking into embedding its use throughout all its products. From applications like Excel, Outlook right down to the core operating system, all would expose access to features through XML messaging. I was not a Microsoft fan at the time, but the idea was exciting, Microsoft even had a cool code name for it... "Mega Services!".Alas, although Microsoft bore SOAP and .NET, the vision never seemed to fully pan out in the way described in that conference. This latest announcement is probably the closest they've come and is a step in the right direction, but I still hope for a day when the vision is fulfilled;)
Sorry, I just can't hold my tongue on this one. There has been a number of technology pundits waxing on about whether or not we're in another tech bubble. I couldn't decide myself either. It sure feels like there is enough froth around Web 2.0 and Me-To startups to say yes. But having lived through the first one, something is missing... Could this be it?