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A keynote in Perth

May 1, 2008

I gave a keynote today in Perth, Australia about the future of the ICT function, along with issues of compliance and the anal retentiveness of Sarbanes-Oxley which despite its good intentions is to my mind increasing not decreasing the possibilities for fraud. The more you make a procedure explicit the easier it is to game. For those interested the podcast is here. I was I freely admit a bit disruptive. The speakers who followed me were all taking more conventional routes and I had seen their slides in advance – an irresistible temptation to a debater. The audience was great – they got the jokes, understood irony and were generally cynical in the best sense of the world. One of the nicest things that anyone said was that I had exposed the brutal reality of the customer experience.

At the same time there were several statements with which I profoundly disagreed. This includes: Centralisation for the greater good and the incredible proposition that If it is not in the data warehouse then it can’t be true. A lot of people seem to want to fit things into comfortable rather than challenging models. We were told that ECM (Enterprise content management) is the latest buzzy think. From what I can see there is no difference between ECM and ERP which only partially succeed and CRM where it abjectly failed. Business intelligence was raised, but I could have made the same statements about its utility and tools eight years ago as I would make now. In effect any new requirement or need was being interpreted within the constraints of an older model of the ICT function. New wine was being poured into old wineskins.

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