Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Health study ignores wild, wild women!

Crikey, four common bad habits combined — smoking, drinking too much, inactivity and poor diet — can age you by 12 years, sobering new research suggests.

So reports this story in the Chicago Tribune -- which I’ve been following for some months, just to see what similarities and differences there are in the daily news from Chicago and my home town of Melbourne, Australia (another “windy city”).

But the British researchers obviously decided not to study the effects of “wild, wild women” … Perhaps they don’t have any such ladies in Britain upon which to base their research (?)

Pointless research, this was! It’s been well known for decades, centuries even. I learned about it as a young lad, way back in the middle of the twentieth century. “How come?” you might ask. Well, it was through the educational impact of a popular song.

And which song was that? None other than “Cigareets and Whuskey and Wild, Wild Women” (a.k.a. “Cigarettes and Whiskey and Wild, Wild Women” if you insist on use of the less colourful pronunciation).

What? You aren’t familiar with this memorable tune? Then let me remedy that.

Firstly, take a look at the lyrics here or here or here.

As for the tune itself, there are various renditions. Over at YouTube.com you can listen to the Big Three Trio’s classic version (Delta Records) with its measured tempo, and this somewhat similar rendition by the Cross Town Cowboys. And then there’s the Red Ingle and The Natural Seven’s 78 rpm interpretation. … And many more versions on YouTube are listed here.

My favorite version was performed by The Muppets with Peter Sellers, and here it is:

But let British supercentenarian Henry William Allingham (6 June 1896 – 18 July 2009) have the final word, doubtless with a twinkle in his eye:

Allingham credited "cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women – and a good sense of humour" for his longevity.

So phooey to the new study, it hasn’t taught us much at all … has it?

Monday, May 03, 2010

LCTY came to Australia – IBM Lotus Collective Intelligence 2010 presentations now online

Why IBM ANZ decided to call it “Collective Intelligence 2010” I don’t know, it made me shudder a bit thinking of derogatory terms like “design by committee” and flocks of sheep, but that’s just how my twisted mind works!

I was already pretty familiar with the globally well-recognized name “Lotusphere Comes To You (LCTY)” and for a short while wasn’t quite sure if I was attending the correct event, if you get my drift.

Anyway, the Lotus product and directions sessions and the various case studies were quite interesting, and now they’re available for all to enjoy and learn from.

IBM Lotus Collective Intelligence 2010 (ANZ) presentations onlineCollective Intelligence 2010 -- Click to view in another window.

You can download the session presentations and watch recorded webcasts at https://www-07.ibm.com/events/au/collectiveintelligence/resource.html (or just click the above image).

Saturday, May 01, 2010

IT’s the Elephant Dancing in the Boardroom

How well do organizations govern their use of information technology? What resources are needed to help improve the effectiveness of that governance?

Every organization, large or small, needs to address these and related matters. Always have had to, and always will have to – but not always done effectively, sometimes not addressed at all.

mark_toomey_infonomicsAnswering questions like these is the special interest of Mark Toomey, Managing Director of Infonomics, who help organizations ensure that their current and future use of IT is effective, efficient and acceptable.

Mark has written a book Waltzing with the Elephant which “explores, in plain language, the need for organisations to effectively govern their use of information technology.  Building from the notion that governance of information technology is integral to governing the organisation, Waltzing with the Elephant explains how business leaders can engage on their terms, in their language, and exert effective control through a comprehensive, fully integrated system for governance and management that parallels the systems used to govern other assets and resources.”

Please refer to my December 2008 article Corporate governance of IT - Critical for all organizations, large or small and listen to the associated podcast (linked on the final page of the article).

While the podcast was carried out some 18 months ago, the matters discussed are not in any way out of date. They are of perennial concern to anybody involved in IT, from the organization’s governing board, through IT management and supervisors, right down to the “coal front” of programmers and administrators. People at all levels have a greater or lesser degree of involvement. Ignorance is no excuse!

Infonomics publishes a monthly newsletter that you owe it to yourself to subscribe to. These newsletters will bring you up to date with what’s been happening on the governance and compliance side of IT since 2008, such as developments on the ISO/IEC 38500 international standard front:

Good corporate governance is as much about behaviour as it is about process, and ISO/IEC 38500 provides clear advice about behaviour, through six key principles for good governance of IT.

ISO/IEC 38500 provides the essential key to helping organisations ensure that they do have effective direction and control of their IT, because it provides the context in which to understand that Corporate Governance of IT has to address both demand for, and supply of IT.

In the Infonomics newsletter April 2010 edition Mark refers to the two questions raised at the start of this blog post. These questions were at the core of an international survey on governance and management of information technology conducted by Infonomics during February and March 2010.

For example, the survey results point to considerable gaps in the ability of boards to provide appropriate oversight of IT, compounded by corresponding weakness in executive management’s capability to set appropriate direction, control and monitor the IT agenda.

This is all extremely important stuff! So I heartily recommend that you enrol for the monthly Infonomics newsletter and keep yourself aware of the latest developments in the IT governance/compliance field.