Daily Archives: November 1, 2012

Federalist No. 29

In this essay, Hamilton clearly states that it requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects, whenever they were called into service for the public defense as a militia under a union could be much better governed and aligned than one split between the states of a confederacy.

Furthermore, if a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security. Plus, if the federal government can command the aid of the militia in those emergencies which call for the military arm in support of the civil magistrate, it can the better dispense with the employment of a different kind of force.

With respect to the subject of a standing militia, the attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall
require it

And to those who object the concept of a standing militia, Hamilton poses the question of where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbours, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and
who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits and interests
? It’s a good question!

Technology Trials 2012 – Part IV.i

In our last post, where we assumed that you needed to find a new solution, be it a partial best-of-breed (BoB) or a full supply suite (FuSS), we discussed the critical question that you needed to answer – do you need a point solution to fill a gap or do you need suite to modernize your process and capabilities?

In this post, we’re going to assume that you answered the question and have determined that you need a point best-of-breed (BoB) solution to fill a gap in your solution foot-print. In tomorrow’s post, we will assume that you determined that you need an end-to-end full supply suite (FuSS) to deal with your issues.

Once you’ve decided that you need BoB to help you fill a critical issue, because the need was contained and the ROI analysis indicated it was the best approach, the next (set) of question(s) you need to answer is:

(04) What are the critical functions that the solution must have?

In particular, as we are dealing with BoB, we need to ask:

  (04.1)What are the integration points?
  (04.2)What data formats need to be supported?
  (04.3)Are we limited to hosted or SaaS?
  (04.4)Can the solution be supported in-house?
  (04.5)What additional training will be required?
  (04.6)What are the use-cases? What is the expected ROI??

  (04.1)What are the integration points?
Specifically, what data do you need to get into the best-of-breed point solution from your existing platform / suite, and what data needs to be pumped back into the platform / suite when you are done with the best-of-breed solution?

  (04.2)What data formats need to be supported?
In particular,
    (04.2.1)What data formats are used by the platform / suite you need to suck data out of and spit data into?
    (04.2.2)What data formats are used by your suppliers / partners / third parties that provide data you want to get into the best-of-breed solution?
This is typically all of the data formats that you need to support for BoB.

  (04.3)Are we limited to hosted or SaaS?
If the current platform is hosted, and strict security requirements would make a SaaS solution almost impossible to deliver, or if the current platform is SaaS, and the integration or support requirements would make a hosted solution unnecessarily expensive, or if there is an edict from above that all solutions must be hosted for security or control reasons or must be SaaS due to lack of technical support, this must be known before potential solutions (and vendors) are selected.

  (04.4)Can the solution be supported in-house?
If it can’t, then the organization will either have to go SaaS (if it has the option), or contract a third-party to maintain a hosted solution.

  (04.5)What additional training will be required?
Even if the selected solution is “plug-and-play”, there’s no guarantee that your talent will have the training required to “play” with the solution as soon as it is available. You can’t just give a man a hammer and a chisel and expect him to magically transform into a master artisan.

  (04.6)What are the use-cases? What is the expected ROI of each use-case??

Before you go looking for a solution, and more importantly, vendors to support that solution, you have to know what the typical daily needs are and the atypical use-cases that you need to support (because they have high ROI) are. Software isn’t about features (and selection is not about feature check-lists, and any vendor who insists they are should be transported back to the middle ages and given free accommodations in the Tower of London where they knew what to do with people who preached blasphemy) – it’s about functionality. Any vendor can add a dozen new features into the next release, but if they don’t enable your process and save you money, what’s the point?