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It’s that time again and I’m thinking about the CMSG (BCS Configuration Management Specialist Group) 2019 conference on May 15th. The conference theme says it all: “To Cloud and Beyond!” There is no doubt that Cloud Computing is the way forward for business automation and that the issues addressed by Configuration Management – what assets you have, where they are, who looks after them, what they are used by and, most importantly, what business services they impact are still important.
The uncomfortable truth is, that you can outsource many things to Cloud Providers, but you can’t outsource Responsibility and Accountability. Which implies that you can’t manage Business Risk without access to the Configuration Management services, mentioned above, in the Cloud.
The elephant in the room is AI – Augmented Intelligence. Not “artificial intelligence” because it is not sentient and self-determining (yet), but augmented intelligence increasingly supports human decision meeting and implements routine human policy decisions (see here, and this interview with IBM’s Ginni Rometti here). Governance implies that you can trace back AI-supported decisions to what they are based on and that biases in the data used to train AI systems – or the information feeds that drive them – can be identified and managed. Which, in turn, implies that you understand the information-generating assets you have and how they are used and who is responsible for them – Configuration Management again.
So, what is our 2019 Conf. going to look at? Well, I think that it’ll cover issues important to anyone who wants well-governed business automation in 2019 and beyond:
Managed, well understood information sources as providing the life-blood of IT;
Draining the Swamp – sorry, Big Data Lake – so that you can see what is lurking within it and trying to subvert your decision-making;
Configuration Management of Open Source assets;
Intelligent automation, machine learning and robotics;
And, of course, Software Asset Management – configuration management is a vital foundation for any number of stakeholders, including software asset managers.
Then of, course, there is that ultimate governance issue: Cybercrime; and whether the silver lining of your cloud might be just a little tarnished. I hope this gets coverage, because no-one hates good Configuration Management more than the cybercriminal – if assets are well-managed under Configuration Management processes, there is nowhere to hide criminal activity.