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A monthly online journal written by Tim Jennings and CIO Knowledge Centre Analysts, with features covering key activities from the industry.

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Governing IT for Business Value (TECHwatch, March 2009) - 07 Oct 2009

As the discipline of IT Governance has matured, much of that effort has been focused within the IT department itself. This progress has led to a glass ceiling growing up between an IT-centric view of IT Governance and the business-led perspective, often characterised by a sense of frustration on the ... read more..

Sweating enterprise application assets (TECHwatch, April 2009) - 07 Oct 2009

At a time when organisations are under pressure to deliver greater value from existing assets, we believe that there is significant untapped potential within enterprise applications, which for most businesses represents one of their largest IT investments. Although they are still often pigeonholed under the labels of Enterprise Resource Planning ... read more..

A New Dimension to Optical Storage (TECHwatch, May 2009) - 07 Oct 2009

General Electric Company (GE) has unveiled another stage in the evolution of optical storage. It has demonstrated an optical disc technology that will allow 500 gigabytes to be stored on a DVD-sized disc, an order of magnitude greater than today's Blu-ray. The technology uses micro-holographics to store information in three ... read more..

Virtual Desktop - An array of possible solutions (TECHwatch, June 2009) - 07 Oct 2009

2009 is the year that Butler Group is predicting that many organisations will begin to take a serious look at desktop virtualisation. We do not anticipate that these will be all full scale deployments; rather pilot projects so IT and the business can understand the implications, costs, and benefits. TW ... read more..

Business Motivation Model Helps Formalise Strategy (TECHwatch, July 2009) - 07 Oct 2009

The Business Motivation Model (BMM) is a specification intended to capture an organisation's vision, strategy, plans, and objectives in a formal representation that can be utilised both as part of business planning and to link to more detailed business and information system architectures. Developed originally by the Business Rules Group ... read more..

The Risk and Performance Equation (TECHwatch, August 2009) - 07 Oct 2009

There is an emerging trend for closer convergence of risk management software with Corporate Performance Management (CPM) that should help businesses get a better measure of the risks that are associated with their strategies and plans. TW-The risk and performance equation ... read more..

A Different Domain (TECHwatch, February 2009) - 13 Mar 2009

From an initially narrow range of geographical and sector divisions, generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) on the Internet are beginning to proliferate in several different directions. Over the last few years, the familiar .com,, .gov, .org and similar suffixes have been joined by identifiers such as .info, .biz, and ... read more..

Difficult Choices Lie Ahead (TECHwatch, December 2008) - 27 Feb 2009

In the prevailing economic climate, there is pressure on organisations of all sizes to make savings in IT costs. At the very least this will involve seeking greater efficiency and moderating any increase in the IT budget, whilst in other cases it will result in a requirement for significant cost ... read more..

The Dangers of a Mashup Hell (TECHwatch, November 2008) - 08 Jan 2009

There are many hells in the IT world, including DLL hell, Excel spreadsheet hell, Access database hell, Web services hell, and now we can add another: mashup hell. As always with these types of hell it is some group, whether end users or developers, who create a proliferation of entities ... read more..

Strategies for Compliance (TECHwatch, January 2009) - 01 Jan 2009

Amidst a continuing flow of legislation and regulation, the effectiveness of compliance initiatives in many organisations is being called into question, whilst the costs of supporting these efforts threaten to rise sharply. The problem is exacerbated by a number of factors: firstly, successive external mandates have often been tackled individually, ... read more..

Measuring Business Benefits (TECHwatch, October 2008) - 05 Dec 2008

One of the most difficult aspects of any business initiative, whether or not it involves IT, is trying to quantify the benefits achieved. Although it is frequently (but erroneously) taken for granted, at the very outset of any project there should be a clear understanding of why it is being ... read more..

Ask the Crowds (TECHwatch, September 2008) - 25 Nov 2008

More than any other group, Business Intelligence (BI) professionals understand that delivering successful projects is less dependent on technology than it is on managing organisational and business culture issues. Even those working on the foundations of BI initiatives spend much of their effort on educating users and putting in place ... read more..

Cloud Computing Gathers Momentum (TECHwatch, August 2008) - 29 Oct 2008

The past month has seen a raft of announcements from companies making large investments in cloud computing infrastructure: a model whereby processing power, storage, and associated management tools are provided to users as a hosted service. TW Cloud Computing Gathers Momentum ... read more..

Management, measurement, and governance (TECHwatch, July 2008) - 02 Oct 2008

The convergence of three architectural waves is gathering momentum to significantly change the software application landscape, but if organisations are to reap the benefit of this change, it is the traditional disciplines of management, measurement, and governance that will be essential. TW Management Measurement and Governance ... read more..

Building the SharePoint Ecosystem (TECHwatch, June 2008) - 10 Sep 2008

Although it has taken almost eight years to mature, Microsoft's SharePoint range of portal, document management, and collaboration solutions has now reached the sort of critical mass that gives the ecosystem surrounding the product a life of its own. With question marks over the additional value of migrating to Windows ... read more..

Application Development Challenges in SOA (TECHwatch, May 2008) - 23 Jul 2008

The adoption of Service Oriented Architecture continues apace with the expectation that application development and application integration will improve and the IT department becomes better aligned with business needs and be able to react more flexibly to changes. TW Application Development Challenges in SOA ... read more..

Unstructured Data Quality (TECHwatch, April 2008) - 10 Jul 2008

Considerable attention is quite rightly being paid to the topic of data quality in the Business Intelligence (BI) field, since the adage of garbage in garbage out is considerably amplified when data from multiple sources is integrated, aggregated, and processed to create higher level analysis and business insight. There is ... read more..

Update on Global IT Governance Status (TECHwatch, March 2008) - 22 May 2008

The IT Governance Institute (ITGI) recently published its IT Governance Global Status Report 2008, which is based on a survey of IT executives and managers conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) during the second half of 2007. The survey sought to discern the recognition and acceptance of IT governance at Chief Officer ... read more..

Inspecting the Portfolio (TECHwatch, February 2008) - 02 Apr 2008

Whilst an economic recession (at least, a serious one) is still rated as a relatively low probability, the mere possibility is causing many organisations to exercise caution in their spending plans, and will mean that many CIOs will be forced to review their project budgets over the coming months. It ... read more..

UK CEOs Could be Responsible for Data Protection (TECHwatch January 2008) - 13 Mar 2008

CEOs may have to take personal responsibility for protecting customer data if the UK government changes existing data laws. Under new proposals based on the recommendation of information commissioner Richard Thomas, careless treatment of personal data could become a criminal offence. Companies would also be required to report security breaches ... read more..

Masters of ICT (TECHwatch, December 2007) - 22 Feb 2008

The Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) represents and promotes the teaching of computing science and ICT at university level in the UK. Earlier this year, it released a briefing note on the diminishing pipeline of UK graduates in these areas and the consequences for UK industry, which ... read more..

Gaining Intelligence (TECHwatch, November 2007) - 10 Jan 2008

Further consolidation seems inevitable within the Business Intelligence (BI) sector, following SAP's US$6.8 billion acquisition of Business Objects, which I believe will herald the start of a new phase in the BI market. I think that this has been a shrewd, long-term move on SAP's part, despite the view of ... read more..

BI and Search - Is It Only Skin Deep? (TECHwatch, October 2007) - 07 Jan 2008

Vendors are touting enterprise search as the next big thing in Business Inetlligence (BI). However, is the current level of integration between the two sets of technologies only skin deep? Pointing enterprise search at BI is akin to trying to index unstructured and structured data for analysis. The integration ... read more..

Is SaaS Nearing a Pressure Point? (TECHwatch, September 2007) - 26 Oct 2007

The key message coming from Software as a Service (SaaS) providers is that the model goes beyond Customer Relationship Management (CRM). However, the reality within offices and organisations is that its use is largely limited to CRM, perhaps with external application integration. The issue may not be due to the ... read more..

Virtual Disaster Recovery (TECHwatch, August 2007) - 19 Oct 2007

The surge of interest in all forms of IT virtualisation has thrown up some significant benefits in areas such as improved server utilisation, centralised management, lower power consumption, and reduced floor space requirements. However, it has also created some challenges, including licensing, security, and the rather obvious (but sometimes overlooked) ... read more..

The Discipline of Enterprise Architecture (TECHwatch, July 2007) - 03 Sep 2007

Experience shows that embarking on an Enterprise Architecture (EA) programme within an organisation can be a tough challenge. I see the remnants of many initiatives that have been embarked on with hope and a good dash of optimism but have subsequently been abandoned, often after a substantial amount of effort ... read more..

SOA Governance (TECHwatch, June 2007) - 22 Aug 2007

As more organisations embark on SOA projects, and the early adopters attempt to move from an initial pilot towards wider deployment, so the importance of SOA governance and management becomes increasingly apparent. (published in TECHwatch, June 2007) TW SOA Governance ... read more..

Whither Business Process Management? (TECHwatch, May 2007) - 04 Jul 2007

Business Process Management (BPM) has been on a relatively long and steady growth path over the past 5 years, but there still appears to be a mismatch between user requirements and the solutions available, according to evidence from a recent Butler Group event on the topic. For the end-user delegate ... read more..

IT Governance (TECHwatch, April 2007) - 22 May 2007

Driven by requirements such as regulatory compliance, corporate visibility into IT investments, and the search for cost efficiency, IT Governance has become an important priority for organisations in all sectors. For business leaders, the emphasis has been on achieving closer alignment between substantial investments in IT and corporate objectives, whilst ... read more..

EU Study Says Open Source Could Increase Competitiveness (TECHwatch, February 2007) - 18 May 2007

Increased use of free and open source software in Europe could increase the region's competitiveness with the US, according to a recent European Commission study. The survey on Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) was financed by the European Commission's Information Society Technologies program and has found that open source provides ... read more..



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