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Mike Tarrani
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Tuesday, February 05, 2002


A few random topics:
  1. Bad News: Doug Kaye has shelved his new book tentatively titled Blog the Organization (see the book's discussion forum and book proposal for more information). What makes this event particularly sad is Doug was on to something special regarding tools that enable organizational knowledge management. That he cannot find a publisher indicates that either Doug is ahead of his time (my theory) or publishers don't "get it" (my fallback theory). Linda and I have a view of information, knowledge and value chains that is shown in the following poster she and I created. This view cries out for weblogs as one of the components in a management information value chain. I hope Doug doesn't give up because if he prevails with the book it will spark insights into how to disseminate knowledge using easy-to-implement tools (weblogs and RSS/RDF publish and subscribe). It also has implications for how portals evolve. I would love to see weblogs and RSS integrated into ThinkingWare which is built around the Open ArsDigita Community System. The combination, in my opinion, is potent.
  2. Good News: Mike Sisco has sent me the entire IT Manager Development Series (see my previous entry) and Linda and I will review a book from the series in future entries until we've finished the entire series. If you're interested in this series (and if you work in IT management you should be) you can contact Mike with any questions. Also feel free to contact Linda and me about this series for our take on it.
  3. Something to Ponder: You're the CIO and have made capital investments exceeding $1M to assure availability and business continuity. You've built a monument to fault tolerance. You overlooked the simple things, though, and you're standing in front of the CEO attempting to explain why none of your systems are available because the local fire marshal closed down your data center for local fire and safety code violations.

    Yes, it can (and does) happen. Why? Facilities are taken for granted, and in many cases the IT people running the data center do not consult with the facilities professionals before making changes, bringing in more hardware and taking it upon themselves to determine where new hardware goes.

    Too many CIOs and IT managers who are dimly aware of the problem plan around it. This misses the point for two reasons: (1) it's reactive, which is less desirable than proactive, and (2) planning around a potential problem costs money. Why squander more shareholder value devising elaborate and expensive contingency plans, when vigilant internal inspections and a close working relationship with your company's facilities professionals cost much less and is proactive? See my point?

    If you are not familiar with the issues and factors I strongly encourage you to visit Mission Critical Facilities, which is a site that lives up to its title. The tools and resources provided by this valuable site include a site selection tool, an interactive design flowchart (Linda and I used this a few years back when developing facilities management policies and procedures for a CLEC), and RA/Quick Test, which is a freeware program for Windows 9x that automates the reliability analysis methods described in the site's technical articles. You can use this tool to estimate and compare facility designs from a cost/reliability perspective.

    If you've outsourced all or part of your facilities to an ISP, MSP or other facility I sincerely hope that your contract terms and conditions included a requirement for your vendor to maintain their facilities in accordance with all federal, state and local codes.

  4. Frustrations: I have a pile of books reviews to post to Amazon and am frustrated by their new problems with reviews. They are taking too long to post, reviews are getting lost and other problems and challenges in Amazonland. Not that there aren't a few here on blogger as well. As I write this I cannot get into either of my weblogs because of server timeouts on the blogspot end. If anyone knows of a reliable service to which I can move these weblogs I'd appreciate hearing about it. I don't mind paying as long as I know it's professionally managed and available.