Alumni groups and activities revolve around the social aspect of bringing people with a shared past to stay in touch with their Alma matter. Although important, LISA aims to provide support and continuity to it’s members that goes beyond networking, by providing a value offering that the Alumni can benefit from, professionally and intellectually.
LISA held it’s first Technology Seminar, entitled “Moving to the Cloud” on Tuesday March the 18th, 2014, given by Dr. Will Venters.
Venters set out to debate the strategic impact of cloud computing in the medium and long term, considering how organisations IT functions can respond. Organisations must capitalise on the Cloud’s innovative potential to be a service that reduces cost and allows for significant improvement to traditional IT practices, from security, to processing power and across the IT infrastructure.
The seminar began with some background on the definition of Cloud computing, from it’s ” evolution of two distinct strands: technological innovation–based around data-centres, networks and virtualisation–and a distinct service based perspective on computing ” (Willcocks et. al. 2010) to walking the audience through the landscape today.
Venters then went into a deeper look at complexity, describing how we see complexity in organisations today, and the increasing difficulty in quantifying both cost and reliability of IT that today lies at the very heart of any organization. IT is both victim and villain in today’s world : three students with google maps and a mobile phone can build an app that predicts the crowd control tactics of the Metropolitan Police, which employs a large network of people, devices and technologies to implement these tactics. Or companies blocking Dropbox within their network, yet employees can access the service via their personal mobile phones. There are many possible states available in a situation. The challenge, according to Venters is ensuring REQUISITE VARIETY (Venters 2014).
“We need a new narrative for cloud computing because current perceptions of replacing existing IT infrastructure with equivalent cloud-based services downplays the huge opportunities for innovation and collaboration enabled by the cloud” comments Venters.
The seminar was attended by 20 alumni who registered for the free event, held at the newly acquired LSE building, 32 Lincoln Inn, in a Harvard-style lecture room. After pre-registration and refreshments, attendees enjoyed an extended Q&A session with Dr. Venters, before heading for drinks at the White Horse on LSE Campus.
“This was a great chance to reconnect with friends and to share my research – the discussion was of very high quality as I expected from our Alumni!” concluded Venters.
LISA’s second seminar for 2014 will be held in June, and will be on Outsourcing. Details to be published on this website soon.
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