Six steps to success in a world driven by cloud computing


I recently gave the keynote for an event series on cloud computing run by Telstra Business across five Australian cities. My keynote was followed by a presentation by Telstra’s Chief Technology Officer Hugh Bradlow.

In the current issue of Telstra’s customer magazine Business Insights the feature article is based on Hugh and myself. The article is here, with the full text of my quoted ‘Six Steps to Success’ is below.

Cloud computing: Interview with Ross Dawson and Hugh Bradlow


For businesses, the challenge is understanding the new technology and realising they’ll have to make significant shifts in the way they think and work to take full advantage of it all. Ross Dawson describes this process in his six steps to success, which covers everything from more flexible approaches to working, to new technology strategies.

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Review of Telstra Business Insights event on cloud computing


In August I went on a five-city roadshow run by Telstra Business on cloud computing. In the breakfast events for Telstra clients, I gave the opening keynote providing a big picture view of the forces driving change in the business world, followed by a presentation by Telstra’s Chief Technology Office Hugh Bradlow on the technology and Telstra’s offerings.

Telstra have created a video review of one of the events, including snippets from Hugh’s and my presentations, and comments from attendees. This provides some useful highlights from the series.

I’m glad they included Hugh’s opening words: “You will succumb”, suggesting that despite business reluctance, they will all before long embrace the cloud.

I will soon post a video of my complete keynote at the event for those who are interested.

Infographic: iPad sales fly way beyond expectations


Here is the first of a series of infographics we are creating on the iPad and media. It shows the growth in sales of the iPad, including actual sales figures announced by Apple and forecasts by a variety of players for the end of this calendar year.

Click on the image to see at full size

It is interesting to look at the forecasts made before the launch of iPad for September 30 (Apple’s end of financial year). No-one had any idea how successful the iPad has turned out to be. Given continued shortages in the stores, it appears clear that any forecasts for sales this year need will be driven by supply capacity rather than demand.

While some believe these high initial sales are just early adopters and Apple fanboys (and girls), I think the higher range of forecasts for this year and beyond (some as high as 35 million for next year) are likely.

[NOTE:] Our iPad Strategy Workshop on 27 August in Sydney is now at 75 registrations and will almost certainly sell out, so register soon if you want to come!

The Future of Workplace Communications – Live notes from Future Forum webcast


I am at The Future of Workplace Communications webcast, which is an hour-long discussion broadcast as live video as part of Viocorp’s Future Forum series. (Archived event now available)

The four panellists are Oscar Trimboli, head of the Information Workers group at Microsoft, Nicky Wakefield who runs the Human Capital practice of Deloitte Australia, Phil Cronin, General Manager of Intel Australia, and myself.

I am just taking notes through the event – on the fly so they probably include misquotes. I also won’t be able to record what I say, so I’ll do a separate post later with my thoughts.

[UPDATE:] Here are the thoughts I shared on future of workplace communication

NICKY: It’s about solving the war for talent. Difficult to get talent. We have found a strong correlation between use of Yammer and staff retention. Deloitte Australia is world’s largest user of Yammer, with over half of 4,600 employees using it, having sent over 24,000 messages. Use quickly shifted from social use to business applications. People are looking to communicate with each other and the organization. Workplace communications is a key part of the answer.

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Breathe in the cloud! Keynote for Telstra Business


This morning in Adelaide I delivered the first of five keynotes I’m doing as part of a Telstra Business national roadshow on cloud computing. I am giving the opening keynote at the breakfast series, followed by Telstra Chief Technology Officer Hugh Bradlow or his key staff.

In the preparation phase I wrote up a brief description of my keynote on Tapping the Forces of Change for use in Telstra’s promotion of the event to their clients and prospects. In doing so I came up with the concept of ‘Breathe in the Cloud‘ as a useful metaphor. Companies need to breathe in the resources of cloud computing in order to give them the vitality to grow and prosper.

Here is a video of the opening for my keynote, talking about why it is so important for companies to Breathe in the Cloud.

Tapping the forces of change: Why cloud computing is the future


Through the month of August I will be doing the keynote address at a five-city Australian roadshow run by Telstra Business. I will open the breakfast events by providing a big picture view of how driving forces in technology, business and society are moving the world towards cloud computing, cloud working, cloud thinking, and cloud strategy.

I will be followed by Hugh Bradlow, Telstra’s Chief Technology Officer, who will provide a more detailed vendor view of cloud computing.

There is no public website for the event; I was told to suggest you contact your Telstra account executive if you’re interested in attending the event.

Below is a brief article I provided Telstra to help promote the event to their customers. I’ll be fleshing out the thinking in this article in some further writing and quite possibly a cloud framework.

Tapping the forces of change

Take a deep breath. As you breathe in, think about the invisible substance that is all around us and sustains us, but we cannot see. Air is vital to us and fuels our energy. In the same way, businesses today are finding that access to a universe of computing resources on tap in the ether around them is helping to keep them healthy and drive their growth. A company’s vitality increasingly depends on how readily it can breathe in this vital resource.

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Atlassian makes its Enterprise 2.0 ambitions clear – raises $60 million in first ever external funding


Big news: Australian enterprise software company Atlassian, creators of popular wiki Confluence, project tracking platform Jira and other innovative software, has just raised $60 million from Accel Partners in what Wall Street Journal reports as a ‘growth equity’ round.

Atlassian has been entirely bootstrapped with no external funding to date, making it one of the larger companies in that situation, given its $59 million revenue in the last financial year. The reasons given for the funding round are to fund expansion in Europe and Asia, acquisitions, and to give liquidity to its employees, who all have stock options. Similarly, Microsoft’s CFO at the time of their IPO said that they didn’t need the money but mainly wanted to give their employees a way to participate easily in the company’s success.

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The rise of the cloud workplace: co-working facilities


Tele-commuting has shifted from something that prognosticators talk about to an everyday work practice for many. More and more companies are happy for their staff to spend some or all of their time working from home, facilitated by a profusion of cloud software as well as familiarity with collaboration tools such as instant messaging, screen sharing, and video chat.

At IBM, for example, 46,000 out of its 115,000 workers in the US were reported to be working at “alternative workplaces” including home. Many companies large and small are following this lead. Moreover, in the free agent economy a rising proportion people global headquarters IS their home office.

There are of course pointed upsides to working from home, not least forgoing frustrating commutes, as well as greater personal flexibility. But some people find it hard to get themselves motivated, and many miss the daily banter and social interactions of the office. This is not a trivial issue – the vagaries of working from home will be a shaping force on society and how companies operate.

One of the approaches more and more freelancers and home workers are taking is to regularly meet locally to work together, creating a pleasant, sociable, collaborative work environment.

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