The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 246 - 16 August 2019
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In This Issue
Graphic Recording and Facilitation
Mining Research Papers
Digital Innovation Leadership
NGL-2019 Conference
The Myths that Impede Modernization
Seen Recently
Claude Baudoin

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Graphic Recording and Facilitation
Whynde Kuehn, an accomplished business architect who is one of the pillars of the Business Architecture Guild, recently wrote a paper for the Cutter Consortium* about the use of graphical documentation techniques while doing business architecture work. She's not talking about creating formal diagrams using a modeling tool, but about a graphic artist drawing pictures on a wall chart to illustrate the concepts described by the participants in a brainstorming meeting or workshop. The author explains the differences between the two techniques -- graphic recording and graphic facilitation -- and when to use each one.

* The paper is only directly available to Cutter Consortium clients; if you ask nicely, we will be able to obtain a copy for you.
The Curious Case of the JNU Research Paper Vault
An electronic repository of 73 million articles from international research journals is being compiled at Jawaharlal Nehru University in India. According to the project founder, as reported in this article in Nature Magazine, the intent is not to provide access to the articles themselves, but to let researchers use text mining software to extract valuable insights from the content.

The article discusses the legality of this effort. It is hard to imagine that publishers will not assert that the results of the text mining are "derivative works" covered by the original papers' copyrights. The project leader himself doesn't sound too sure of his standing, and as a result the storage farm is not connected to the Internet -- those who wish to exploit it must visit the facility in person in New Delhi. This precaution will probably not deter lawyers from suing. Whether the project is ultimately a great success for the scientific community or a resounding failure will be a matter of legal interpretation rather than of technology.
Digital Innovation Leadership Report
IoT ONE announced the release of a research report by Ward Howell International, "Digital Innovation Leadership of Industrial Enterprises." The report aims to provide an "understanding the state of leadership and organization in digital transformation and innovation of European and American companies across three verticals." It is based on 34 interviews involving 29 companies ranging from $200 million to $200 billion in annual revenue.

The report highlights the fact that leadership and organization are often overlooked as important factors, in favor of strategy and technology. One might note that this is true of almost all aspects of an organization, not just of digital transformation.
NGL 2019
Dr. Bhojaraju Gunjal, Head of the Central Library, National Institute of Technology Rourkela (India), wrote to us to announce that NIT Rourkela will host the International Conference on Next Generation Libraries (NGL 2019) on December 12-14.

The themes of the conference are "new trends and technologies, collaboration and community engagement, future librarianship, and library spaces and services." Click here for details.
The Myths that Impede Modernization
In a concise and very readable article, Government Computer News(GCN) analyzes the obstacles to the modernization of legacy systems. This is written from the perspective of U.S. Government agencies, and starts with the finding that eight years after a 2010 federal mandate to consolidate and modernize data centers (it doesn't talk about the software...) eleven such agencies are failing to meet their target dates to complete the program. But we can assume that many private companies, especially large ones, have similar problems for the same reasons even if their decision and execution processes are generally less bureaucratic.

The article attributes the failure to three myths:
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" -- which ignores cybersecurity threats and issues of integration with more modern systems.
  • "Modernizing isn't worth the investment" -- which ignores the high cost of supporting the old systems.
  • "We can patch instead of upgrading" -- which causes old systems to fail often and to have low performance.
Seen Recently...
"Written by people with either no time or no money, most software gets shipped the moment it works well enough to let someone go home and see their family. What we get is mostly terrible."
-- Quinn Norton, 2014, in "Everything is Broken"