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Humanized IT and What it Means for the Industry

In my blog post to support BCS' month long "IT Women" campaign, I return to the subject of "humanized IT" (It's Humanized IT, Stupid). The blog highlights the opportunity to update the image of the industry to become more relevant to digital natives, the children who have grown up with the ever connected Internet at their fingertips, who love technology but shun the IT profession: "BCS IT Women - May 10".
Recent posts

Fixed Price Contracts and Agile Developments – Never the Twain Should Meet

There is a lot of buzz about agile software projects in the public sector these days. Adoption of the methodology is increasing as public agencies look to improve project outcomes and achieve their service transformation objectives.  The trouble is that the new found love of agile brings pricing uncertainty and is not so desirable from a procurement perspective. What is happening is that while project teams are adopting agile, the procurement teams continue to want fixed price contracts. Agile and fixed price do not go together – never the twain should meet.
The agile approach for software development involves taking iterative steps in phases that can result in solutions changing or evolving over the lifecycle of the project.  To make agile development work, organizations bring a wide set of skills together, such as line-of-business experts, enterprise architects and software developers and testers. These collaborate, typically in regular scrums (meetings), held daily. This helps buil…

It's Humanized IT, Stupid

IT has come a long way from its early days, when it was primarily technology for corporate bean counting. It has been growing and maturing and in the process shifting into various shapes including enterprise IT, cloud, and consumerized IT. But here is the thing, those eras are over. We now live in the beginning of the age of ‘Humanized IT’. Humanized IT is all around us. Examples include: Enterprise software with avatars and social networking capabilitiesCRM that allows you to see the social profiles of your clientsVideo chat product supportApps that deliver the information that you need on your mobile/smart device, no matter where you areTouch and gesture computing and gamificationHolographic customer interfaces (see my previous post: The Changing Face of Local Authority CMS Gives Green Light to Suppliers for More Automation within Offerings ) Customer has always been king but in Humanized IT, the user is king, no matter if she/he is a customer or an employee, in a b2b or b2c setting.
I…

The Changing Face of Local Authority CMS Gives Green Light to Suppliers for More Automation within Offerings

Brent Council’s new hologram receptionist got a mixed reception from pundits in the U.K. last week. Love her or hate her, Shanice, the hologram, is here to save costs while improving sign posting for visitors to the council. The council estimates cost savings of >£17k a year. In another recent development, in July 2013 Capita was awarded a customer contact management services contract extension by Vale of White Horse District Council, part of a shared service with South Oxfordshire District Council. In this contract, Capita is taking a different approach to customer contact management. It is deploying kiosks in the council’s offices for visitors to use with one receptionist (real/not virtual) at hand should help be needed. A traditional appointment system will be available for visitors with more complex or urgent queries. We have had automation and self-service in customer contact management, e.g. via phone (IVR) and web channels, for some time. We have seen the odd kiosk in council …

A Good Dose of Pragmatism Needed with Cloud-First Strategy

This weekend, the UK government formally announced a ‘cloud first’ IT procurement strategy for the public sector.  The strategy is mandated for central government and strongly recommended to the wider public sector. The policy puts the public sector on the right track but a good deal of pragmatism is needed when implementing it.  

There is much to cloud to recommend it to the public sector. For example, it is a natural fit to public sector’s ambitions to lower costs of IT by increasing re-use and sharing services and resources. Re-use is built into cloud with infrastructure and platforms that can be rented when needed. Cloud is also the natural evolution of shared services, a model that the public sector has considered for decades but which it has found difficult to implement successfully. The hardest part of implementing shared services is having to get consensus about which platform and processes to standardise on. Typically, different stakeholders push the option that best suits the…

Help UK’s Technology Industry Win Gold

Team GB’s exceptional achievements in the Olympics show us that the UK can transform its performance on a spectacular scale. The approach usedfor success at sport could be applied to the technology industry to spot, nurture and develop talent to boost innovation and to attract more women into the sector. The Government now has the opportunity to learn lessons from the success at the Olympics and to apply the approach to the industry.

Great Britain has transformed its sporting achievements since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta when we managed to win only one gold medal thanks to Redgrave and Pinsent. Only one woman out of the GB squad managed to win a medal then and that was Denise Lewis who won Bronze in Women's Heptathlon. Compare that with Team GB’s performance in this year’s Olympics and, in particular, our women who have so far won the majority of the gold medals haul: 11 out of 19 to date.

This stellar transformation has been achieved through: FundingA coordinates approach to spott…

BCSWomen Blog Carnival – Editor’s Choice

This is our first blog carnival and what better time to start than the beginning of the New Year. The response and the quality of entries have been fantastic and I am delighted to be featuring a great collection in this editor’s choice blog.   The posts link the contribution of women to the key technology questions of the day.  Each is a personal take, but they raise questions that this group considers key to IT and the future of women in our profession.
The submission fromAmanda Clare, lecturer in Computer Science at Aberystwyth University takes us straight into the science of computing in a post about the work of Kathleen Fisher titled “We need more than one programming language”. In her writing Amanda discusses why we need many computer programming languages. She argues that the answer is in the bigger theoretical picture that computer scientists should be able to understand.
The carnival submission from Anita Lettink, Managing Director NL at NorthgateArinso, takes us from the scien…