Business impact of online social networking

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of presenting a three-hour workshop at CPA Congress in Melbourne on the ‘Business Impact of Online Social Networking’.  Partly my presentation was regarding the business risk of online social networking, but also considering the positives and how online social networking can be used to make growing your enterprise.

@micktleyden was there, as was @alex_d13 from time to time.  I think it went fairly well – I have to say that three hours is a long time for any workshop.

Overall I was happy with it – as usual my opinion though doesn’t count so if you attended please feel free to email me or leave a comment either here on my blog or at the CPA Congress community.  Incidentally, I have to say that having the OSN to support the conference has been a different and good idea – it allows you to get expectations sorted out a little earlier and provides a framework for an ongoing discussion outside of the three-hour workshop.  Depending on your perspective that may or may not be a good thing.

Anyway, as usual you can download the ‘Business Impact of Online Social Networking’ workshop notes here.

Incidentally, the PR machine at CPA Australia has been working overtime – there’s been an interview with a journalist at Melbourne MX and apparently I am to appear on ABC radio in Melbourne with Richard Stubbs, about 2.30pm Melbourne time.

As it’s radio I probably won’t have to shave…

All good fun.  Hey, if I run out of things to say about online social networking perhaps I can talk about budgeting (did a thesis in it), database querying (did a thesis in it), technology dominance (doing a phd in it) or IT governance (lecture in it)

I am a dilettente.

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ITGI Roundtable discussion

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the Brisbane ISACA chapter’s Executive Lunch with John Thorp on the topic of Value Governance, Investment Management and Portfolio Management.  Amongst many other qualifications, John chairs the ITGI Val IT Committee.

John’s luncheon presentation was very, very good, and reaffirmed some of the positions I’ve had for some time now.  What I love about COBIT and VAL IT is that it is bringing a framework to all that stuff we have in the past done ‘just because’. 

Some highlights for me from John’s presentation were the following points:

  1. IT investments don’t exist, this is all about investment in IT-enabled change – which we can only change when business and IT know who is responsible for what.
  2. A nice little formula from John:  OO + NT = COO [Old Organisation + New Technology = Complex Old Organisation].  Seen that a few times.
  3. Appealing to the television geeks in the audience (like myself), John pilloried the Star Trek school of management – ‘Make It So!’ is rarely as successful as it is in Star Trek.  For a start, most people have no common view as to what ‘it’ is.
  4. John has a nice turn of phrase – ‘bad news does not get better with age’; ‘decibel-based decision-making’, ‘more effort into less things for more value’ (so true!).
  5. Apparently governance goes back to the Greek word ‘kubernan’, which is defined as ‘continually steering or adjusting to stay on course’.
  6. There is a new VAL IT – VAL IT 2.0, which partners COBIT more closely than in the past, and is maturing.  I suspect that in a year or two the course I am giving on IT Governance needs to pick up on this point and move with it.
  7. What I have always referred to as a ‘business prioritisation forum’ is better called an ‘investment services board’ – at least that is what it is in VAL IT parlance.

I believe John’s presentation will soon be on the Chapter website.

Last night I had also had the honour of attending dinner for a recorded roundtable discussion on the topic of IT Governance, with many local professionals giving their thoughts and comments.  One of the curious things that really did highlight for me is probably that the term ‘IT Governance’ is all wrong – which is why ISACA’s new qualification is called ‘CGEIT’ – Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT.  I haven’t met anyone yet who actually likes the term, yet we keep using it and getting confused with corporate governance issues.

I mean, why don’t we have a marketing governance or an HR Governance, or such like?

At any rate, John is very passionate about advancing the profession in the world of IT management.

It was a good night, and we certainly managed to relax after the microphone was turned off in the convention centre.  I was bitterly disappointed though – the Plough Inn was closed at 10.20 on a Thursday night.  Bitterly disappointed!

ISACA Executive Briefing on IT Governance

Today I am attending the John Thorp Executive Lunch on IT Governance (specifically, he is discussing value governance, investment management and portfolio management).  This is happening at the Convention Centre, and then afterwards I am attending a round table discussion for the IT Governance Institute on the topic of IT Governance and where it needs to go to.

The discussion is complementary to my current role lecturing in IT Governance at QUT and the PhD I am doing in IT Audit (which relates directly to COBIT, and whether organisations need to have different approaches to IT Audit).  My personal view is that not enough organisations are working with COBIT enough, and are treating their IT systems as black boxes.  I don’t believe that that’s appropriate for large, IT-dependent businesses.  And I think that is becoming an increasingly validated point of view. 

I get a guernsey to the roundtable discussion as a ‘leading local professional’ in the area of IT Governance.  Modesty prevents me from affirming that description, but I will fight for their right to say it. 

It promises to be interesting; I’ll post my thoughts on how it travelled after it’s happened. 

Dow Jones vs Gutnick – and the law’s an ass

Blogging from the back of the taxi, I’m just reminded to blog about the intriguing case I alerted to last night. I am lecturing at QUT for about seven weeks starting in about September on IT Governance. The first half is being presented by Bill Singleton, a senior associate with Allens Arthur Robertson, and he is basically presenting the law to them as it relates to ensuring the good governance of IT.

I attended last night to be introduced to the class, and I stayed for the lecture. One of the interesting cases was to me the Dow Jones v Gutnick case. From what I understood, Dow Jones implied in their newsletter that Gutnick was involved in insider trading. This did not sit well with Mr Gutnick who, even though the newsletter was written in New York and uploaded to the net to a server in New York, sued them in Victoria for defamation.

My first reaction was that the suit would fail for lack of jurisdiction – Victoria is not New York after all.

Apparently Gutnick won on the basis that the defamation occurs where the download took place – Victoria. And the kicker is that, because of the bilateral agreements with the US, Gutnick then had an enforceable court order that he could pursue in the States.

When I mentioned this to my lawyer wife (I’m certainly no lawyer) her reaction was ‘So? That makes sense, otherwise you’d forum shop.’

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My view is that it’s rather bad – you write something, put it on the net, and any jurisdiction where there is a bilateral agreement – or where you want to do business – could result in an enforceable court order.

I mean, what if you innocently break the law in another jurisdiction? China, for example? Admittedly this was a defamation case, but even so it scares and annoys me a little.

I suspect there may be implications for corporate bloggers there.

I may misunderstand, after all I was in a lecture late at night. However to me it seems a classic case of, once again, the law getting in the way of progress.

Introducing a guide for delivering ICT Services in SME’s

Some time ago as part of my commitments to the CPA Australia IT & Management Centre of Excellence, I was the primary author for a new guide called ‘Delivering information and communications technology services to small to medium enterprises’.  This guide joins the CoE’s other major publications on IT Governance and Business Management of IT in helping businesses manage today’s IT. 

Although I’m listed as the primary author, the new publication draws upon the combined experience of the CoE in making sure ICT does those things that the business needs doing.  Case studies are used to illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of using in-house, managed service provider, or completely outsourced approaches.  A practical approach to managing ICT in an SME so that the business can get what it needs from ICT is provided. 

This new guide is now available for free download on the IT Business Management section of the CPA Australia website. 

Please click the picture below if you’d like to download the complete publication. 

For reference, the other publications that are available are the ‘Business Management of IT’ guide and the ‘IT Governance’ guide:


The last two publications are available from the CPA Store.