Blog posts by Mike Small



There is an old joke that circulated amongst IT professionals during the 1980s – this joke goes as follows.  A man goes up to an ATM puts his card in the machine and requests some cash.  The machine accepts his card and PIN but doesn’t give out any cash.  He goes into the bank and tells a cashier what has happened.  The cashier replies – “that’s strange because we just had brand new software installed this morning”.  This joke is probably not funny if you bank with RBS in the UK . I normally write about IT security issues so – why is it that this entry is about managing change.  Well -...


Security out of the Blue

If you were asked to think of an IT security firm perhaps IBM would not be top of the list.  However IBM has a significant set of products in this market and it manages the security of its customers’ outsourced and cloud systems, as well as that of its very large internal IT operations.  Following the acquisition of Q1 Labs late last year IBM is reorganizing to bring together all the security products under one division.  Well large companies are forever re-organizing so why does this change matter?  In short this is important because it reflects the increasing level of cyber risk and the...



I just returned from NISC - the National Information Security Conference - held this year in Cumbernauld in Scotland. The theme of this event was “the diminishing network perimeter”. With the advent of smart phones, tablets, Kindles and BYOD, the boundaries between the work and home environment have dissolved so how do you maintain the security of your corporate network? How does this impact on the corporate network, and how much can you put into the cloud? There were many interesting sessions around this theme and, as well as giving a talk on the Deadly Sins of Cloud computing, I...


Choosing the Right Cloud

Adopting Cloud computing can save money, but it is important to choose the right Cloud solution for your business need. KuppingerCole have produced a Scenario Report – Understanding Cloud Computing to help you make the right choice. The Cloud provides an alternative way of procuring IT services that offers many benefits including increased flexibility as well as reduced cost.  It extends the spectrum of IT service delivery models beyond managed and hosted services to a form that is packaged and commoditized. The Cloud is not one thing; it covers a wide spectrum of types of...



Adopting Cloud computing can save money, you need to avoid the seven deadly sins. The Cloud provides an increasingly popular way of procuring IT services that offers many benefits including increased flexibility as well as reduced cost. It extends the spectrum of IT service delivery models beyond managed and hosted services to a form that is packaged and commoditized. However - many organizations are sleepwalking into the Cloud. Moving to the Cloud may outsource the provision of the IT service, but it does not outsource the customer’s responsibilities. There are issues that may be...



Is your location private? If you have installed an App on a smartphone it is almost certain that your location is being tracked. So should you care? Are you giving away details of your movements too cheaply? Is being able to track where your children are a benefit or a risk? To find the answers to these and other questions, on December 12th I attended “A Fine Balance 2011: Location and Cyber privacy in the digital age” sponsored by the UK Knowledge Transfer Network. The title to this article is taken from the lyrics of a 1983 song by “The Police” that was used as the basis of a talk...



If you think that China only manufactures socks – read on to learn how Chinese software and European Cloud expertise plans to deliver ERP and CRM to mid-sized enterprises in EMEA. On November 8th, 2011 – the European IT services company ATOS and the Chinese software company UFIDA INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS, LTD. announced the formation of a Joint Venture, YUNANO™ which will address the growing Cloud market in Europe and China, targeting midsize organizations. UFIDA is a Chinese software company, registered in Shanghai, which was founded in 1988 and has a focus on software for Accounting,...


Is cloud computing worth the hassle?

Cloud computing provides organisations with an alternative way of obtaining information technology services and offers many benefits including increased flexibility as well as cost reduction. But man many organisations are reluctant to adopt the cloud because of concerns over information security and a loss of control over the way IT services are delivered. These fears have been exacerbated by recent events reported in the press including outages by Amazon and the three-day loss of Blackberry services from RIM. So what approach can be taken to ensure that the benefits of the cloud outweigh...


UK Government ID Assurance Program

The UK National Identity Card ceased to be a valid legal document on 21 January 2011. What does this mean for e-Government in the UK? In October 2010 Martha Lane Fox – the founder of and UK Government’s digital champion – delivered a report on delivering government services via the web. As a result of this report the Right Honourable Francis Maude, the minister responsible, launched a study “Ensuring Trust in Digital Services” through the Technology Strategy Board. On October 31st, 2011 I attended a series of presentations and demonstration describing the results of this...


What can News International teach us about information governance?

WHAT HAPPENED? On July 19th, Rupert Murdoch, proprietor of one of  the world’s largest news organizations News International, apologized for phone hacking by reporters at the News of the World, and is quoted as saying “this is the humblest day of my life” to a committee of MP’s in London. What does this teach us about information governance? On Sunday July 10th, 2011 the News of the World published it last edition. This paper had been publishing for 168 years and was the top selling Sunday newspaper in the UK. The closure came following revelations of how the newspaper had allegedly...

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