Friday, 23 November 2012

Webfactotum launches the Webfactotum blogsite

You have read my chronicles dedicated to expounding the joys of information systems to the uninitiated. Well, information systems are not the only things that happen at Webfactotum. We now have a new blogsite, and that is where new information and discussion of all of our services and activities will take place. It is where our community will find out our current thinking and how that has evolved through interaction with our clients and their projects.

These littel outporings will continue of course. The difference between the two is that on blogsite, information specifically relating to Webfactotum'sproducts and services are under discussion, whereas here I will continue to wax lyrical about the joys of MIS.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Some reasons to consider data rationalisation in an information economy

IT managers are increasingly waking up to a dilemma. For many organisations IT consumes an ever increasing share of corporate budgets, yet as soon as the expenditure is made, it seems that it is out of date. And this conundrum is becoming ever more apparent the more dependent we are on quality, current and timely information.

The legacy application nightmare

In an information economy, all organisations have a tendency to accumulate vast quantities of data. Some of this may be of long-term value to the enterprise. But much of it may only be business-critical for a brief period of time. Moreover, a significant amount of data may also be sitting on legacy applications in the data centre or elsewhere in the organisation – for example, on individual desktops, or on redundant or little-used servers.

The scenario is this - few people within the organisation know what is on these devices or what some of these legacy applications may be. Indeed, it may be that, thanks to staff turnover, nobody knows what all of them are, or whether some of these applications will ever be used again. Also, discovery of what information exists and is kept where, if it is ever done, consumes valuable time. In the meantime, it is taking up valuable data centre space and maintenance effort, at a time when data volumes are expanding and the watchword for IT departments is “do more with less”.

We all recognise this scenario. But in the modern world data - especially business critical data must be 'to hand' and presented with pristine clarity.

Enter the mobile worker

Organisations are increasingly embracing the idea of a mobile workforce with all the obvious advantages of flexibility and the ability to respond rapidly to changing circumstances. With today's ability to be permanently connected it is becoming anachronistic to 'leave it till I get to the office'. For instance, it is the case that more corporate workforces are making use of email management using personal or company-provided smartphones and tablets; and healthcare professionals are transitioning to healthcare records management using tablets and smartphones. Many point of sale and and field technicians have been using mobile devices for some time.

In an enterprise mobile environment, where applications are delivered over various mobile device types powered by different carriers, multiple operating systems, and numerous combinations of local and network technologies, the end user experience is intensely impacted by local device factors and by the mobile network itself. In such circumstances traditional server-based or network-based monitoring, supervision and information management become subverted, while organisations that hold on to desktop based legacy applications will be destined for extinction.

Not just for giants

These considerations are not just for large corporations. The ability to respond speedily while 'in the field', and to supply or retrieve information that is current determines in many cases the quality of an organisations service to its customers and clients. The world wide web provides the single unifying factor enabling information to be centralised, portable and always available.We at Webfactotum seek to address just these imperatives facing organisations of all sizes.

We are convinced that a streamlined and centralised information management model accessed via the world wide web provides the approach needed to address these problems. That is why we launched our MISBank service, specifically aimed at the smaller business rising to meet the challenges of the information economy.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lovely when nice things are said

As I say, it is nice when people give you a good old write up. And as we have been doing some work for Birmingham and Solihull Women's Aid - designing and implementing an online client management system - they have been so good as to provide us with an excellent little testimonial.