• The Role of AI in Municipalities

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the key drivers behind business transformation and industry disruption. IT leaders are seeing endless potential of its impact in their respective organizations. What does that mean for municipalities and their citizens?

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  • Head In the Clouds: In conclusion

    There are huge challenges facing large enterprises moving to the cloud. Like turning a supertanker there are equal parts of skill and experience combined with a bit of luck.

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  • Head in the Clouds - Leadership and culture

    The entrepreneur who started a company and successfully grew it from zero to its first $1M in revenue, may not be the right leader to take the company and grow it to the next $10M. Similarly, enterprise executives need to recognize that the skills, attitudes and behaviors that exist today in the executive suite may not be those that will get the organization swiftly through a digital transformation.

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  • Head in the Clouds – Fear of job losses

    Some IT professionals especially on the infrastructure and operations side of IT, are reluctant to move to cloud as they believe the may be putting themselves out of work. Executives who have built there departments and reputations based on one vendor’s technology are unwilling to abandon that vendor, retrain some of their staff and restructure (a euphemism for “let go”) the rest. This is entirely human and an understandable fear.  These executive and department holdouts may broadcast their support for a cloud strategy while continuing business as usual and implementing their own favored, on premise, vendor and technical solutions.

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  • D365UG Summit, 2019

    This year, the D365UG Summit happened at Orlando in October - a great excuse to escape Calgary for a week that already threatened us with a couple of snowstorms.

    For starters, D365UG Summit is the biggest Dynamics 365/PowerApps event where the community comes together to learn from each other.

    As usual, an amazing line up of speakers and the presentation list was long enough to warrant a presentation on it.

    We had an opportunity to present a number of sessions for the enthusiastic crowd and to contribute back to the community.

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  • Head in the Clouds - IT organizational impact

    The move to digital and cloud will have a profound impact on the IT organization. The application development teams and support teams will need to ensure that the applications are both secure and capable of operating in the cloud. They will need to implement automated testing so when vendor service/environment upgrades take place, the applications that might be impacted can be quickly tested.  Application testing needs to be focused on the most critical business apps first. Identifying any issues and then correcting them swiftly is paramount. 

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  • Head in the Clouds - Fear of being locked in

    There is a very real fear of migrating applications and data into the cloud and then being locked in to an underperforming or high priced vendor. If the vendor has many terabytes of your data, and the service is mission critical, the cost to break the contract and migrate to another provider may be considerable. As well, the potential impact to business operations during the transition can also be major. If the vendor does not perform or there is a serious security breach, the decision to migrate to cloud will be questioned.

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  • Head in the Clouds - Security, regulatory and compliance

    Trusting a vendor with your client data and your critical business applications can be a stretch for some organizations. Security, risk and compliance considerations may be serious impediments to moving swiftly to the cloud.  There is often not a week that goes by without some major enterprise announcing that it has been breached and sensitive data has been compromised. As well, heavily regulated industries must be sure that cloud providers do not expose them to regulatory failings that could impact their ability to continue to do business or cause serious reputational damage.

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  • Head in the Clouds - Cost of cloud and my assets have lots of life remaining

    Having made massive investments in data centers, on premise infrastructure, and mainframe applications, enterprises are understandably reluctant to shut these down, sell them off and move whole heartedly to cloud. Migrating to cloud can be complex, risky and expensive. Organizations that have a culture of squeezing out the last remaining drops of value from an aging infrastructure may be unwilling to sunset assets. Sometimes organizations will accept the increased risk of aging assets for the potential cost avoidance and the ability to focus their IT efforts on other areas with greater business benefits. Introducing the enterprise to yet another major IT transformation program may not be a popular and career enhancing move. The enterprise, having invested heavily in a new data centres, data centre consolidation and the latest upgrades and security technologies, now faces yet another technology pivot.

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  • Head in the Clouds - Yet another painful user experience

    In the previous article we discussed the temptation for organizations to think of cloud as a managed service, and to move cautiously to cloud. In this article, we will talk about the user impact. 

    How many major migrations and transformations have the user community struggled through? Business units are understandably nervous with the constant changes mandated by IT that impact the productivity of their users. Again and again, these necessary, cost saving upgrades create user disruption and stress. Issues and failures can impact business productivity. Users have to learn a new interfaces and navigate new systems. The IT people are frustrated because they have to upgrade and enhance systems and services but the business units simply won’t tolerate more disruptive change and won’t help foot the bill. The IT people say it will be better next time because of the changes we made today, but it rarely is. All the business units hear is a list of excuses when failures occur.

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