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The Friday Update 3: From the edge to the core – smart thinking in regards to start-ups and the cloud

I’m feeling a bit for Pluto this week. News of the potential discovery of a ninth planet at the far edges of the Kuiper belt must smart for a ball of rock that was only reclassified as a dwarf planet ten years ago. Hard times for a former planet named by an eleven-year-old schoolgirl in Oxford.

Down in London, I’ve been investigating the potential use of start-ups by big businesses. The piece for Computer Weekly presents top tips from people in the know and suggests that, with creativity seen as a key competitive differentiator, CIOs are being charged to help find new solutions to intractable business challenges, including from the start-up community:

CIOs must recognise that larger, fast-growing start-ups should be approached differently. Companies that float on the stock market can change their approach and even become destabilised, especially if they are burning through cash to reach a target size.

Many start-ups, of course, have the luxury of being able to start their IT set-up from a greenfield position, probably making heavy use of the cloud. For senior executives thinking of making a move on-demand, I’ve just produced an article for ZDNet presenting the three key areas to consider through 2016 – costs, processes and roles:

The cloud will branch into new areas of provision through 2016. Rather than just picking elements of enterprise IT to run on-demand, researcher Forrester says we are entering a new stage of the cloud, where executives will be able to run entire business ecosystems in the cloud.

I’ll be analysing the cloud further in a forthcoming piece in a Raconteur supplement for The Sunday Times. The article will consider the role of the cloud in innovation and future business models. Basically, how is cloud computing allowing enterprises to develop new products, services and lines of business? I’d be really keen to hear from anyone who has a view, particularly in regards to using the cloud in a business context.

I’m also investigating the use of virtual reality in a business context. It’s still a niche area but, once again, any views or opinions would be welcomed. If you have a view, just drop me a line at or

Running to stand still? Five tips to stop CIOs being left behind

IT and business change cracks along at speed, so CIOs have to know the best ways of coping with those rapid shifts – as well as handling management expectations. Here’s my latest feature for Tech Republic, which explores the ability of the CIO to cope with transformation:

Modern business is all about speed – speed to innovation, to market and to growth. CIOs are expected to create the strategy that allows the business to move quickly, making best use of the digital technology than underpins organisational operations.

Working at such a pace can be challenging, especially as the rest of the business demands flexibility that might have been lacking in traditional enterprise-scale IT deployments.

So, how do CIOs cope with rapid change in IT and create the type of IT strategy that meets business expectations? Five experts offer five best-practice tips for dealing with the pace of change.

To read the rest of the feature, please click here.