Friday, January 20, 2006

Migrated Blogger

I have decided to get quite serious about this blogging caper and so have moved my blog to

This blog should now redirect, but if it does not, please go to that address.

Thanks: Micheal Axelsen

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Blogs, Wikis, and RSS

Apparently having been provided with a tag of "top blogger" and "blogging evangelist", I am down to speak to the topic of "Implementing Your Online Collaboration Strategy" for Key Forums on 29th March 2006 at Harbourview Hotel.

It promises to be an interesting conference, given the people speaking:
  • Jackson Wells Morris
  • Thinking Home Business
  • The Podcast Network
  • Ltd
  • Fairfax Digital
  • Deakin University
  • Microsoft Australia
  • BDO Kendalls
  • Industry Capability Network
  • Bibby Financial Services Australia
  • Baker and McKenzie
  • Yahoo!
  • Acer Computer Australia

I am speaking on Implementation and Technology, particularly on that whole, rather largeish, 'people' side of the equation. Full details are available from Key Forums.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

There has been a slight interruption to blogging services, normal service will return as soon as possible.

It would seem high time I made a blog entry again. It has been Christmas season as we all know and four weeks off with two small children has not been conducive to blogging - maybe my blogging gene has been defective.

More (serious) blog entries to come. Incidentally, if you're reading this blog and have some comments to make, take a risk, live a little dangerously, and leave a comment (that isn't spam!).

Incidentally, I note a theory that many people that blog are extroverted introverts - they've met people and decide they're not that bad, but all in all they would really rather send emails or blog and imagine that the recipients of their wit respond appropriately at their witticisms. Me? I'm probably somewhere in the middle - you decide.

And no, this is not a reality TV show, which surely must be the lowest form of wit.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Showdown: Wikipedia vs Britannica

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Knowledge is of two kinds, you either know it or you can find it on Wikipedia. This article discusses a study by Nature that took scientific, complex articles from both Britannica and Wikipedia and had them reviewed by experts. The result? Wikipedia and Britannica are reasonably close - the surprising thing is, they both had four "major" errors in 42 articles. Not a good hit rate for Britannica!

This is of course in sharp contrast with the recent kerfuffle over Wikipedia's accuracy and peer review process.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Australian Accounting Review Supplement

The Australian Accounting Review (Supplement #37, November 2005) issue devoted to information technology/systems issues was released in November. I reproduce a small portion of the supplementary edition editorial (which was co-written by John Campbell, Shauna Kelly, and myself - but mostly John) below:

The traditional objective of accounting is to provide information about the pecuniary affairs of an organisation. While this is largely a historical activity that focuses on past performance, the information that accounting provides also forms a useful basis for future action. In this historical context, information technology is commonly viewed as providing a productivity-enhancing and cost-effective means of storing and monitoring transactions, standardising fundamental accounting operations and facilitating compliance and financial reporting obligations. Information technology has reduced the cost of these traditional accounting functions by facilitating the processing and monitoring of large amounts of information about organisational performance. Despite the accretion of these and other benefits to the profession in general, there still exists a degree of uncertainty about the role of accounting professionals in the selection, use and management of information technology in organisations.

The papers in this special Australian Accounting Review supplement address important aspects of information technology that are of relevance to accounting practitioners and researchers. The supplement has been commissioned by CPA Australia's Centre of Excellence for Information Technology and Management.*

The call for papers for this special edition attracted a large number of high-quality submissions, making the final selection process difficult. All research papers were peer-reviewed and carefully scrutinised by the Centre of Excellence to ensure that those selected for publication reflect the diversity of information technology issues relevant to the profession. The papers that follow deal with a broad range of topics, from discussion and research on IT governance, the impact of IT on business models, electronic business evaluation and adoption, information systems audit and control, IT investment decision-making and strategic planning in government agencies.

You can access this online through CPA Australia, or sometimes authors will provide copies upon request.

Feature articles from the November 2005 edition of Australian Accounting Review (Supplement #37 only) include:

Editorial: information technology - impacts and implications for accounting
Editorial for edition 37 of the Australian Accounting Review information technology supplement.

IT governance - are boards and business executives interested onlookers or committed participants?
This paper looks at what has to be governed and what IT governance needs to encompass to be effective, examines some of the issues of current IT governance practices from boardroom and business perspectives.

IT investment practices in large Australian firms
This review explores the procedures used by large Australian firms during the four major decisionmaking stages of the IT investment cycle: planning, evaluation, implementation and postimplementation review.

The social dimension of business and IS/IT alignment: case studies of six public-sector organisations
This paper presents the results of a study of the social dimension of the alignment of business strategy with information systems and information technology.

The pervasiveness of information and communication technology: its effects on business models and implications for the accounting profession
This paper discusses the main challenge that confronts firms because of the continued development in information and communication technologies (ICT) is the reduction in information asymmetry as product markets become increasingly information driven.

Consideration of options from an entrepreneuria, technical and operational perspective - an e-business design framework approach
This paper draws upon the emergent knowledge of e-business, together with traditional strategy theory, and provide a simple framework for the evaluation of business models for e-business.

The effect of e-commerce adoption on small/medium enterprise industry structure, competitive advantage and long-term profitability
This paper seeks to evaluate the relationship between e-commerce adoption and long-term profitability in small/medium enterprises (SMEs).

Information systems audit and control issues for enterprise management systems: qualitative evidence
This paper presents the results of a study on how the introduction of such software creates a new set of information systems audit and control problems.

Supplement on information technology
This issue of Australian Accounting Review is accompanied by a special supplement dedicated to new research work on Information Technology and Management.

Enterprise resource planning systems - implications for managers and management
This paper analyses the implications of enterprise resource planning systems for organisations in general and for managers and professionals in particular.
Feel free to email me if you you need details - these articles can usually be purchased through CPA Australia if you are not a subscriber.

Monday, December 12, 2005

CPA PNG Photos

I did promise to post some photos from CPA PNG. The below photos, hopefully, communicate some of the breadth of the conference.

This photo shows Jim Dickson with Peter Pokawin - Jim is being awarded his fellowship of CPA PNG. Jim is CPA Australia's International Director, and this was his fifth (?) trip to the conference - although it has been a while due to a small bout of Ross River fever.

Peter is the President of CPA PNG, and all of us on that trip should thank Peter and CPA PNG for their never-ending hospitality and ability to make us - the interlopers from Australia - feel welcome.
James Kruse, a partner from Deloitte PNG, is presenting Colin Clarke (Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at Victoria University) with his gifts as a presenter to the conference in the photo below, although knowing James one is uncertain as to exactly what he's going to find in that bag...

And Colin, James, and Bob Wheeler (Executive Officer of CPA PNG) in post-speech euphoria:

More photos will be posted as events warrant.

SQL, SQL, SQL, SQL all the way...

Microsoft launched SQL Server 2005 on November 7 2005, and a month later it is a good time to see what people are saying about the new member of Microsoft's flock.

Microsoft clearly likes it - no surprises there. OS News noted the event in passing but did point out that Visual Studio 2005 is a strong companion product. has an article recording its correspondent's first impressions of SQL Server 2005. SearchWin2000 advises people to upgrade - eventually.

InfoWorld notes that there are marked improvements in programmability and manageability, whilst ZDNet notes that Microsoft is likely to speed up its server upgrade cycle somewhat.

That's a small wrap-up, anyway, so it is interesting to see where this newest release of SQL Server will take us. I haven't received my copy yet, so I cannot make any real comments yet. As usual, though, I am sure it will be a product that is easy to use and has some new features, probably somewhat incompatible with the previous versions. We will see what the Microsoft shepherd has brought to this area of activity.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wham, Bam, Thank you Business Process Monitor

I note that CIO magazine's November 2005 edition has an article on business activity monitoring (BAM) which allows the business to respond to the changing environment, and be more responsive to problems in production. Although it can be simply about monitoring stock levels and sending a simple alert, it can be a whole lot more than that, and a lot more closely aligned with data mining and data warehouse techniques.

To find out more, read the article.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Take a developing nation, add a $US100 laptop, and stir

Open source software continues to have an impact that its founders may never have envisaged, although I'm certain they would approve. The United Nations has supported an initiative of a $US100 laptop - being pursued by the One Laptop Per Child non-profit organisation.

It's a hand-cranked (!) laptop capable of addressing most student's requirements. It includes a web browser, a word processor, email, and so on, and it's all based on Linux.

It was launched with a prototype on November 16th at the WSIS Summit in Tunis. I note that Andy Carvin has an 8-minute video covering the launch on his vlog at

Hmm. As always, everything I ever learn I learn from Wikipedia and Rocketboom.

It sounds like something that could indeed make the world a better place. Just imagine if developing companies really could have reliable ICT access and a generation that grows up using information systems and getting somewhere? Although $US100 is still a lot of money in some developing nations, it has to be better than the $US1,000 or so you'd need to pay out for the more standard system.

Given that it's Linux, they've got a lot of learning that they'll end up doing...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Vlogging, Really Simple Syndication, and Finding Out Stuff

A couple of weeks ago, Rocketboom (an online video show) produced a show designed to demystify the idea of RSS (Really Simple Syndication). It's how you track blogs and alert readers of your blog when a new post has been entered ('zackly like this one).

So for that online, 3-minute video introduction of Really Simple Syndication, take it away Rocketboom does RSS.

Personally, I find bloglines the most useful since you can get it over the internet (even, apparently, in Port Moresby).