Can you afford not to have an ICT Director?

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Is there a case for Virtual ICT Directors?

By john L. Evans
First Posted July 21, 2017

With Computers and Systems and Broadband, the Internet, Cloud, Digital, Mobile, and so on, and so on, all becoming ubiquitous, inexorable and inextricable components of doing business today, and with Sales and Marketing and HR taking control of some of the company’s most important and valuable assets, activities and budgets, companies of every size, shape and form could benefit from the help and expertise of an ICT [Information and Communications Technology] Director; if only they could afford one.

An ICT Director can help identify needs and the solutions to meet them, and manage the changes required to implement those solutions:

  • move data, connect to suppliers, customers, professional service providers, Government; Local, Regional, National and even International;
  • acquire the necessary tools, avoid bad advice and over eager sales reps, and most of all, avoid getting locked into lengthy onerous contracts and being ripped off for years to come;
  • break out of unwanted, unnecessary, inappropriate, expensive, inefficient, unresponsive, inadequate existing arrangements;
  • take control of data, costs, functionality, outcomes and decisions:
  • use professional programme management aids, knowledge and expertise to manage change, protect from risk, and quickly resolve issues;
  • ensure the right techniques &/or methods are employed:
  • stay abreast of advances in technology and competitor activity.

You need someone who understands how your business works; can analyse and define requirements, identify solutions; knows the “ins and outs” of the seemingly black arts of digital computing and can help you buy and manage the things you need to flourish, be effective, efficient, legal, successful and profitable.

Whether it’s a Small, Medium or Large organisation, if you need a leader in ICT but cannot justify the expense, nor do you have the workload for a full time Director, consider a “Virtual Director of ICT” (VICT)?

A good VICT should bring skills, knowledge and expertise of a CTO, Chief Technical Officer and / or CIO, Chief Information Officer.

A good VICT should be able undertake and manage the work necessary to provide you with the solutions you need and the skills needed to operate them without the cost and overhead of a full time employee.

Your VICT could sit between you and your ICT suppliers of equipment and services, protecting you from double-speak and jargon, and provide you with a plain language interpretation.

Affordability comes from balancing the business case for retaining a VICT, with payment for results, remuneration for time, materials and disbursements, expenses.  Payment might take the form of equity, regular fees over time; the key word is flexibility; you get what you need, and pay for what you use, at a fraction of the cost of a full time director, with accountability, continuity and commitment; and because your VICT is a specialist in their field, understands yours, an is driven and rewarded for results, you get fantastic value for money, moreover, because your VICT is independent, you can have a high degree of confidence in their integrity, advice and guidance,

John L.  Evans FCMI, FlC, FBCS CITP, MCIPS

© John L.  Evans July 2017

About:

John Evans is an independent advisor in the selection, acquisition, implementation, commissioning, development and operation of Digital, Computing and Commination Systems, a Director of EXECS LTD.  and has worked in many countries in many roles.

He is a:

  • Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute FCMI.
  • Fellow of the Institute of Consulting FIC.
  • Chattered IT Professional Fellow of the British Computer Society FBCS CITP.
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply MCIPS.

He has worked for and with, advised and changed organisations in:

  • Utilities Infrastructure (Transport, Telco, Power, Energy, Water, Gas, Storage, Distribution and Transportation, Metering, Generation, Wholesale, Retail, Customer Services, etc.)
  • Retail (Bricks and Clicks)
  • FMCG
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Financial Services (Investment Banking, Fl/FX, Life, General, Wealth, etc.)
  • Automotive (Manufacturing, Finance, Sales, After Market, etc.)
  • ICT/Digital/R&D
  • Telecoms and Networking

His expertise includes:

  • GeneralManagement / Direction
  • Troubleshooting / Turnaround
  • Portfolios, Projects and Programmes (£100M+)
  • People and Change, Operating Models
  • Purchasing, Procurement (£500M+)
  • Supply Chain 
  • Bids and Tenders (RFQ, ITT, etc.)
  • Commercials, contracts, negotiation, dispute resolution
  • In / outsourcing 
  • M&A, integration, divestment, unification, consolidation, rationalisation, restructure 
  • Due Diligence
  • Business Relationship and Stakeholder Management 
  • Business Development
  • Raising Capital
  • Leadership
  • ICT / Telecoms

He would be happy to consider Retained, Virtual, Interim, Contract, or Permanent, Full or Part-time roles in the UK, Europe, or perhaps even farther afield.

He lives near Warwick, in the UK, and is an UK/EU Citizen, and has no problems with travelling. 

You can contact him:

  • +44 203 051 3370
  • +44 7957 190 186

 

 

 

© John L.  Evans 2017

 

Due Diligence – the Key to successful Change?

Aside

Due Diligence – the Key to successful Change?

Someone asked me, “If you’re given the role of Programme Director,  what are the first things you do?”

Frequently, projects and programmes are over specified (too ambitious), over promised, under funded and late starting, with poor plans and negligible provision for contingency, realistic risk avoidance and / or issue management plans – people plan for success invariably failing to anticipate failure – if you don;t assume there are going to be problems, why would you include contingency time, resource and budget to manage them?

Reports of progress are over stated and issues and risks concealed or undhappyPMerstated.

The delivery team are sceptical and soon become concerned that failure will be blamed on them, but, these are the people most likely to know what’s going well and what isn’t, and what is required to address / resolve the challenges.  Happy people deliver good quality and productivity, frightened people don’t turn up!

In complex portfolios or programmes, the slippage of one key activity in one project, activity or task could stop or delay the entire enterprise being a significant dependency across the plans sitting at the intersection of multiple critical paths – the little things matter.

Care needs to be taken in reviewing motives – if a project features multiple suppliers or service providers, none of them wants to be the cause of or the victim of delay, but they will all be looking for opportunities to extend the scope of their obligations and increase their revenue – extensions.  However, extensions in one area often result in scope creep in others and costs rise.

It is essential to start every assignment / new role with a comprehensive Due Diligence exercise which can take anything from a few days to weeks, depending on the scale, circumstances and the state of the portfolio, programme and / or project.

Delivering big changes on time, budget and to expected scope of requirements, is not easy, and although businesses and service providers (marketing companies in particular) may trumpet success, a comparison of the final outcome and the original scope can be very revealing.

AGILE is very popular with both internal and external suppliers; it provides the capacity for lower start up costs; and the attendant need for senior management approvals, early deliveries and continuous improvement, additions to functionality, etc.. However, it also enables projects to run and run, never ending, and work to be charged to the project repeatedly, when there are repeated failures to deliver, and costs to run rampant below the senior management radar.

Should you require any further information, please get in touch.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Cheers John

John L. Evans FCMI, FIC, FBCS CITP, MCIPS.
+44 7957 190 186
+44 203 051 3370

© John L. Evans 2017

 

Right Next Time – Really!?

The key to success is quality which means ‘Right First Time’.

Nothing wrong with continuous improvement but serial failure is not acceptable.

Total quality management (TQM) is an approach to success through customer satisfaction that can be summarised as a management system for a customer-focused organisation, that involves all employees in continual improvement.

Do it right the first time (DRIFT) is a management accounting theory related to production management & just-in-time (JIT); whereby a manufacturer only receives goods as needed, cutting inventory costs.

We expect zero defects in things or services we buy. Buy a new TV & the pixels start burning out, & you demand satisfaction. When  the car goes in for a service, you expect the mechanic to install parts as prescribed. No defect is acceptable when it affects you personally.

So why is it so easy to accept that “shit happens” when producing a product or providing a service.

Zero defects is a great way to resolve the discord between what we expect for ourselves but can accept for others.

AGILE is great if it means continuous improvement,  not so much if it means continuous rectification.  Trouble is, if the supplier has to get it right first time, then how’s he going to justify continuing to milk the cow?

[ERP is a system or systems (people, processes & technology) to facilitate & support JIT & getting things right first time.]

Cheers John

The Biggest Risk of All

Risk is the likelihood that things will go wrong.  Wherever and whenever there is more than one potential outcome, a less desirable outcome is possible.  To manage risk effectively requires the anticipation of outcomes, including less desirable outcomes, and a plan and budget to manage those events.  Simply compiling a list of risks of potential issues and / or problems, without embedding strategies to deal with them into plans, is not effective risk management.

Anticipating every potential issue at the start of a programme may be impractical, however, it is possible to continuously anticipate problems as a programme progresses and to continually update and amend plans to deal with issues as and when they occur, and keep the plan on track, time, cost and quality.

To quote the ‘Scrum Alliance’:

There is no definite consensus on the need for risk management within the Agile method. This has led many to believe that risk management is irrelevant in an iterative model. Some follow the approach of ignoring risks until they manifest into issues; they then manage them through the natural sprint progression.”

And that’s why ignoring risk is the biggest risk of all!

Feel free to retain a copy for your records.

Cheers John

John L. Evans / FCMI, FIC, FBCS CITP, MCIPS

+44 7957 190 186

 

LinkedIn? I can help….

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RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Servings | Prep Time | Total Time
INGREDIENTS
 10+ year’s experience of LinkedIn
 25+ years experience in business
 30+ year’s experience in IT /ICT / Digital Technologies
DIRECTIONS
We live in the age of smoke and mirrors:
It seems as though everyone’s a salesman, but no one makes anything.
PR, media, web design, marketing, events, SEO, social networking, blogging,  moderating, customer support, press, content, copy, publishing, music, video, VR, apps, data, analytics, AI, presenting, coaching, team building, training, mentoring, etc.
Nothing new and all variants of what has gone before.  But with the seemingly exponential growth of sales and marketing in it’s so many new and mutated forms, and the continued decline in product manufacturing, it seems the world is on an inexorable path to somewhere, be it utopian or oblivion, that will find our current world as strange and alien as we see the World Of The Victorian Workhouse and disgusting shared Prive’.
The day cannot be far away before manufacturing and supply are replaced by giant 3D printers; you choose your goods from a menu, and they’re manufactured (printed) in the colour and specification you want whilst you wander the virtual Malls and Showrooms.  Guaranteed for 3 years whereupon they become obsolete, and after which they’re automatically recalled to be recycled and replaced by the latest model.  The Internet of Things (IoT) already replenishes my printer consumables, why shouldn’t it replace my car, for instance?
Yesterday, I sat in a Grand Hall full of entrepreneurs and directors and managers of SME’s, only to realise that there really are millions of people out there; intelligent, well educated, enthusiastic, entrepreneurial, hardworking, diligent, eager, inventive, etc. etc. people, for whom social and business networking via the WWW is still a complete mystery, furthermore, it seems I am an expert, and if you want to know more about LinkedIn, et al, I really can help.
However, and there’s always a ‘but’, I’m not sure if I could hold my head up and call it real work.  I don’t know how I’d feel about charging money for sharing this ‘knowledge’.
I don’t know who it was, and it was many years ago (c. 2005), however, someone described social networking as “unpaid work”.  Well it seems that’s no longer true, and that having been working at this, unpaid, for so many years, I am now happy to declare that if you want to learn more about the WWW and particularly social networking for business, I’d be more than happy to help, present to your team or audience, help you develop a strategy, whatever that might be, and the really good news – the initial consultation is free!
Lastly, having witnessed, first hand, the breadth of quality available in this particular market, do you know what….. I think I can probably add an awful lot of value to people’s’ enterprise.

You can contact me here…..

Cheers John.
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/johnevans

#seewhathappens

How to get rid of adcash.com popups?

Do you suffer from those annoying pop-ups which seem to come randomly from nowhere, and can frequently be embarrassing dating or gaming sites?

Well I did, until I discovered a solution which really works, or at least, this worked for me, and was nowhere near as complicated as most of the suggestions I came across.

Simply click, download, install, run, quarantine the offending objects.

http://fr.malwarebytes.org/mwb-download/

No mal-effects yet, and if there are any in future, I’ll post them here.

Cheers John

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