Friday, 3 June 2011

Clouds, and the Internet of Things

Yesterday I was at the HEFCE  Cloud Advisory Committee, where we oversee progress on the workstreams that came out of the £12.5m from the University Modernisation Fund for Cloud Computing. Most going well, some slippage but being caught up, and there's some exciting developments which I 'm sure will benefit all of us in the sector. Hopefully there'll be a comprehensive news release and web page available in the next week which I'll be sure to link to which will give you more information.

Today has been an interesting day today. Two of our Unions were taking industrial action, so there was some organising and planning to do to make sure all services were covered, and I had an interesting "Back to the Floor" time when I worked on our main reception desk to help cover lunchbreaks. Luckily it was quiet, and nothing too difficult came up. It was good - nice to meet our customers. Interestingly not a single student who came in knew anything at all about the action - despite having been sent an email about it. More proof, if we needed any, that students don't read University emails often.

Today I tried to settle down to write a presentation I'm giving at EUNIS in a couple of weeks. It's so long ago since I agreed to do it that I had to look at the web site to see what title I'd submitted. Luckily its one I've got plenty of content for - Challenges Are What Make Life Interesting. Trouble is, I've got more challenges than I can fit in a 30 minute talk!  One of the biggest challenges facing us is the consumerisation of IT, and I read an interesting blog post about it yesterday from Brian Madden which sums it up well - The consumerisation of IT is about the fact that today's users can do whatever they want, and you in IT can't stop them even if you wanted to.  He calls it FUIT, and if you're interested you can read why in the post.  I'm looking forward to reading his next post where's he's going to give us some tips on how to deal with it.

The other topic I like to cover in these talks, especially for non IT people, is the Internet of Things. The  way everything is becoming connected to the internet. The fridge that will text you to tell you you've run out of milk, the washing machine that knows when it's broken down, alerts an engineer and orders the right part, smart buildings, the digital wine rack, (I don't keep wine long enough to need one) - the list goes on and on - the BBC had a good article on it today. Interesting stuff, and could lead to all sorts of applications and developments.

No comments: