Tag Archives: IT

Agile London at CodeNode

ThisKate from CodeCamp giving an introduction to CodeCamp evening I went to the latest Agile London event. I’ve been to a few previous Agile London events including Thomas Cook and McKinsey Labs. Some of the Endava team liked the Agile London events so much that we arranged to sponsor tonight’s event at CodeNode.

Tonight felt like it had more people attend than any previous event – there were 120 seats and we had to bring more into the main CodeNode meeting room.

What is Code Club?
What is Code Club?

The event kicked off with Kate Wilsea from Code Club. The organisation was set up about four years ago to inspire more children to… code. Code Club now reach over 65,000 kids across 4,000 UK locations, and have now opened up to Ukraine and Brazil.

If you like the sound of Code Club, you can help support them on JustGiving. Continue reading Agile London at CodeNode

IoT article: Why Insurers are Threatened by Everyone Except Other Insurers

Craig Polley discussing Insurance and IoT at TechUK
Craig Polley from Digital Risk Services discussing Insurance and IoT at TechUK

This morning I attended a TechUK seminar “Insurance and the Internet of Things”.

There were some good speakers who raised quite a few points which I hadn’t heard or thought of until today. Clearly there are some leaders in the space, who are not insurers and are gearing up for a battle for new types of insurance products.

My notes are below. As usual, apologies for brevity, spelling and grammatical errors – all of which are mine not the speakers. It was a fact packed 90 minutes and I struggled to keep up with all the presenters. Continue reading IoT article: Why Insurers are Threatened by Everyone Except Other Insurers

The Insurance Industry and the Need for Innovation

On stage at ITC 2015, and I look like I'm performing some sort of card trick
On stage at ITC 2015, and I look like I’m performing some sort of card trick

Earlier this week I was on a panel at the ITC (Insurance Technology Congress) 2015 event. My panel was dealing specifically with Internet of Things in the insurance industry.

The event was aimed at CIOs of large, mainly commercial insurance companies. The CTO and CIOs in the room spend their time and budget keeping the lights on – i.e. keeping their systems in tip-top shape.

These CIOs and CTOs are rightly proud of their systems’ stability and availability, and until now innovation is a distant second priority. However, new technologies and technology companies are entering the market, and this conference was a joining of minds to create a plan for the future.

Note: Endava were sponsors of the event, and I was only able to attend the first day of the event. Continue reading The Insurance Industry and the Need for Innovation

Reading tab list for July

Sales of the Apple Watch haven't been released, but stocks continue to soar
Sales of the Apple Watch haven’t been released, but stocks continue to soar. Photo courtesy of Michael Roth

It should be holiday season by now, but the Christmas and Summer holidays productivity downturn seemed to cease two to three years ago (I’m basing this on my experience in the UK).

This is what I’ve read recently:

Banks could be sheepdogs (like Apple) – A great article describing how banks are utilities, but could become extremely important in the Identity revolution
Drone shooting: US home-owner faces charges – BBC News – A surprising story about a man who shot down a drone in the US, which flew over his house several times

Continue reading Reading tab list for July

How the NBA and McLaren are leading technology innovation

Darren Roos gave the keynote speech
Darren Roos gave the keynote speech

Customers often ask my team how we stay up to date with the latest innovations across industries. One way is to attend industry events outside of your own.

Today we went to Leaders Meet Innovation – an event for sports organisations hosted by SAP and the NBA at the BAFTA in London. We were invited to the event because we produce several sports websites.

The event itself was extremely well organised. Most of the top brands you can think of in sport were there, and SAP – the main sponsor, gave a really good presentation on why sports is important to them, especially as a case study to other industries. They were showcasing their nba.com/stats products at the event and during some their presentations. Continue reading How the NBA and McLaren are leading technology innovation

Review of 2014 predictions

Blackberry shares in 2014 - at 49% growth, there are worse things you could have done with your money
Blackberry shares in 2014 – at 49% growth, there are worse things you could have done with your money

How did my 2014 Digital Media predictions from last December turn out?

2014 has been another interesting year in the digital world. The end of a terrible recession has forced most companies to place digital at the heart of their strategy. #Fintech has become a recognised term for banks, insurance companies and other financial services organisations trying to update their systems to become ‘digital‘.

1. TV will change

Last December I predicted Ultra HD will become production ready, 3D TV will disappear and we’ll start seeing transparent TVs on the market. Continue reading Review of 2014 predictions

Trends snapshot: Blockchain, self-service and digital platforms

Blockchain, self-service and single digital platforms are the key trends we are seeing across industry verticals (media, financial services and insurance) at the moment.

Blockchain

Get your Blockchain T-shirt here while it's still cool
Get your Blockchain T-shirt from Zazzle to show the World you know what it is

Blockchain is a centralised, distributed ledger. Its most famous use is Bitcoin to track all the individual ‘bits’ of Bitcoin.

In Insurance it might be a list of all insurable assets. In media the chain can store media assets. In Financial Services it can store equities. Continue reading Trends snapshot: Blockchain, self-service and digital platforms

21st century support

Bradbox WordPress error
A frustrating way to finish a weekend

If you’d visited this blog over the weekend, you’d have received a WordPress error message. I only discovered it on Sunday evening when I checked the site for feedback. Google Analytics revealed the outage started from about 1am on Saturday morning.

I tried fixing the problem. I tried everything I could to fix it. One limitation I faced was that I have been brought up on Microsoft technologies (.net and SQL Server) and not php and MySQL – the technology that this blog runs on.

Frustrated, I went to sleep on Sunday night knowing the site was still unavailable.

After work on Monday I returned home and tried a few more things. I reached out to a WordPress guru I know. He offered some advice but I’d already tried everything suggested.

And then I came across one of the new types of one to one support websites where specific experts help other users.

I’ve always been interested in this area of consumer support. Graduating in Computer Science a couple(!!) of years ago earned me the natural honour of fixing anything within my extended family that had electricity flowing through it. Since my degree I’ve been asked to ‘programme’ the clocks in various cars, fix a microwave, tune in a TV and set up speakers – my university course appears to have been highly practical from an external perspective.

When family or friends call for help with real computer issues such as domain names, broken hard drive, email configuration, or Google Apps, I wonder who people call if they don’t have access to a friend or family member with a technical computer background.

So there I was on Monday evening, urgently wanting my site fixed, on Wizpert.com. I thought I’d give it a try. The sign up process was fast, and within a few seconds I was talking to a friendly chap from Romania (yes… I wondered whether there was an Endava link too, but no there wasn’t) who was one of their WordPress experts. At first we were chatting on Wizpert’s chat screen, and then I offered for him to remote on to my screen using Chrome Remote Desktop.

Naturally I was sceptical, and thought at some stage he might try to install some spyware somewhere, or change some passwords for access at a later stage. I watched carefully as he moved around my virtual server.

Just under two hours later he had fixed the issue and after thoroughly testing the solution I was a happier man.

The issue wasn’t straightforward, and required two types of solutions. We were still puzzled at the end about how the problem had started on the Saturday night at 1am – our assumption is that one of the WordPress components ‘auto-updated’ and broke the MySQL installation.

Not everyone uses Amazon Mayday for support
Not everyone uses Amazon Mayday for support

Wizpert is one of a number of new support models arising in the peer Internet age such as Amazon have with the Mayday button.

On Wizpert, payment to the expert is discretionary.

If you do decide to pay, users buy ‘coins’ using a credit card or PayPal, and then send these coins to the expert who helped. There are recommendations during the chat process “Most users who this expert helped gave x coins to thank them”.

I doubt these support models will be used for enterprise clients, but as devices and applications become more complex – and certainly more essential to our daily lives, end-user support will transform from the current model of phoning anyone you know with a Computer Science degree, to being able to ask someone sitting a few thousand miles away for some help and advice.

What is Digital?

Self-service - a key trend in digital projects
Self-service – a key trend in digital projects

Many organisations are finding themselves asking “What is Digital?” It’s a difficult question which sounds easy at first. After all, isn’t everything that we do today that involves electronics, digital in some shape or form?

If an organisation has a CTO (Chief Technology Officer), why does it also need a CDO (Chief Digital Officer)? If an organisation already has an IT department, why does it need a digital one too?

So what is digital?

To me, digital is a mindset. In the 1990’s we’d have called it a paradigm. It’s all about thinking slightly differently to classic IT. Continue reading What is Digital?

What Fotopedia’s closure means to everybody

You better hope users stored their photos elsewhere once Fotopedia closed down
You better hope users stored their photos elsewhere once Fotopedia closed down

This week, the website Fotopedia closed down, and this heralded a key stage in the Internet’s maturity.

We’ve seen various Google products shutdown in the past, sometimes with more publicity than they attracted while the product was ‘live’, such as Google Video and Wave. However Fotopedia signals the dangers that lurk behind relying upon consumer-focussed cloud services.

Continue reading What Fotopedia’s closure means to everybody