It is often remarked that most children, and even toddlers, find digital technology – such as tablet computers and apps – intuitive and easy to use. They have no fear. They just seem to ‘get it’ and get on with it. But what about children with special needs who may have learning difficulties and/or poor motor control? Minecraft, for example, may be way beyond them, but there must surely be digital education tools out there that these children can enjoy and learn from at home or in a classroom environment, and yet I know specialist primary school teachers who struggle to find good educational software to use.

This then is my first attempt at finding and compiling a list of compiled lists of the top digital educational apps available for children with special needs. I hope that it serves as a starting point for teachers out there but please let me know – using the comments section below – of any better lists or any educational software you would recommend and I’ll update this page in the coming weeks and months.

After trying numerous search terms here are the top 10 resources I found:

  1. The Educational App Store – a hand-picked and categorised list of special education apps that the authors feel are appropriate for users with learning difficulties
  2. Common Sense Media special needs guide – categorised lists of apps that have been “recommended and tested by field experts”
  3. The Best Apps for Kids: Special Education Apps – provides star ratings
  4. Free ‘must have’ iPad Apps for Special Education – produced by TCEA, the Association of Educators
  5. Spectronics: Apps for Special Education – a list of “specifically designed” SEN apps or ones used “effectively with students with diverse learning needs”
  6. The Journal’s list of ‘The Top 10 iPad Apps for Special Education’ – includes some other interesting recommendations in the comments section
  7. The One Place for Special Needs – claims to “break down the best of the apps by skill set so you can easily find and buy apps that most benefit your child”
  8. The Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog – a categorised list of apps they “would recommend for teachers and parents of kids with learning disabilities”
  9. BridgingApps – a list of apps “reviewed using standards-based assessment tools”
  10. SEN Teacher resources – “printables, specialist links, free software downloads and search tools for all types and levels of special and remedial education”

Requirements for Special Educational Needs Apps

So what makes a good interactive digital education software for children with special needs? Here, based on chats with a teacher friend of mine, are some suggestions for desirable features:

  • Simple layout
  • Very few (if any) words, unless it is a word game
  • Simple imagery
  • Instant feedback
  • Engaging content
  • Tasks that only require basic motor skills (not precise drag-and-drop mouse skills!)
  • Works on any device, including, and especially, interactive white boards

Watch this nice introductory video from Common Sense Media below.

Educational software: My motivation for this blog post

Why am I interested in this subject? Well I used to be a web accessibility consultant, I’ve worked extensively in the Education sector, and I have continued to be involved in the digital participation community in Scotland since I moved here from England. But the main reason is that a close friend of mine is a primary school teacher who works with children with special needs and she is constantly on the lookout for new tools she can use with her class. My company has developed a simple spelling app for her which has been a big hit with her kids and we plan to open source this educational software in the near future. We usually work on interactive apps and websites for universities so this is a bit of a departure for us, and we’re doing it for free, but no other job has given us more satisfaction.

As for this blog post, it is for a project I’m doing as part of my studies for The ADBL Executive Diploma in Digital Business, but hopefully someone out there will find it useful!

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Scot-Cloud 2015 logoOn 18 June I gave a presentation at Scot-Cloud 2015 on ‘Matching solutions with requirements’ – I’ve included the slides on this page and a photo from the day. I also answered questions from the audience as one of the panel of speakers for the session.

Panel Q&A

Sharing the stage with me in the morning session were Andrew Mclean and Neil Cattermull from Compare the Cloud, and Stephen MacNaughton, a Cloud Architect from EMC. Our Chair was Mark Stephen, one of Scotland’s best known radio broadcasters.

Photo of the panel
The panel from left to right: Stephen MacNaughton, me (Mark Williams); Neil Cattermull; Andrew Mclean; and Mark Stephen

 
The questions from the audience addressed the following topics:

  1. The potential negative impact on the industry of new EU data protection law changes;
  2. The pace of cloud migration and whether small steps are really advisable;
  3. The impact of cloud on IT workers, especially elderly employees, and their jobs; and
  4. The chance of something useful emerging from the Internet of Things.

For my part I argued that:

  1. Cloud providers just have to adapt to EU data protection laws rather than try to fight them. It may require some technical innovation and may require working with other providers in other countries, but it can be done.
  2. The pace of cloud migration depends on an organisation’s size, the complexity of their operations and their appetite for risk; but choosing ‘problems’ that have low risk and a potentially big and positive impact, as I proposed in my presentation, could be a good approach for many.
  3. Regarding job losses I suggested that cloud computing gives IT workers the opportunity to do something more valuable for an organisation than just keep servers running. So, I asserted, they needn’t lose their jobs. But an elderly audience member argued that the shift to cloud technologies was too much for many IT workers to cope with, and my fellow panellist Stephen MacNaughton agreed that job losses were inevitable. Perhaps Stephen is right, but if cloud administration tools are made usable enough then I would like to think that most IT workers could make the shift if they keep an open mind. They would face competition from their non-technical colleagues, though, so it’s definitely a major issue for society and it’s the same issue that all workers have faced since the industrial revolution when machines first started taking the jobs of humans. The idea of becoming obsolete one day scares me too!
  4. As for the Internet of Things and the daft examples of musical toilets and the like that Andrew and Neil presented, I predicted that it will go the way of biological evolution, that useful things will eventually emerge but it’s inevitable that  the vast majority of internet-connected things being produced now will be useless and quickly forgotten about. I am more concerned, however, that the real impact of IoT will be twofold: firstly, a society that’s even more dependent on technology to do our thinking for us; and, secondly, yet more stuff to go into landfill when the world needs more sustainable industries. (I wish I’d raised those two concerns in my answer but I didn’t!)

It was a great conference and I hope that something I said was of use to someone. I have received one nice tweet of feedback so far so it seems I made at least one good point!

Posted by: drmiw | April 29, 2015

DigiScot Glasgow 2015

On April 21 2015 I represented Muon Consulting at the DigiScot Glasgow event, which was organised by SCVO and held in the Royal Concert Hall. I met with representatives from other Digital Participation Charter signatories and the aim for the afternoon session was “to share [our] stories and forge new partnerships”.

Welcome Charter signatories

BT Scotland’s Brendan Dick, in his role as Chair of the Digital Participation Leadership Group, opened the afternoon session. He said the the Digital Charter is about “real engagement to help make a difference”, and that great progress has been made on Digital Participation projects in the past year, but we now need to scale up. He said the role of Charter signatories in sharing resources, learning and capabilities, is “absolutely essential if we are to change lives for the better”.

Sharing & Exchange: Identifying Opportunities

Photo of presenter showing a Prezi presentation

Desmond Bernie introducing some of the innovative ideas behind This for That

Desmond Bernie and Donagh Horgan gave presentations on their new Glasgow-based social enterprise This for That CIC, which could prove to be a key enabler for sharing between Charter signatories. Here is how they were described in the event programme:

This for That CIC is a new social enterprise set up in Glasgow around the circular economy. Alongside partners such as GSEN and GCC they are building an online platform for organisations to share resources and skill in a task-and-reward barter system. Their ambition is to unlock unused and redundant resource so that organisations across sectors can collaborate to deliver social impact. As a Digital Charter signatory they are committed to building a safe online space where civic society groups can transact with the public and private sectors.

In their presentation they said their online exchange platform is at the alpha development stage. No money will be exchanged on the platform but other rewards can be given so contributing organisations can get something back. They also showed the following video.


 

Workshop

The aims for the workshop that followed were to:

  1. enable participants to map their resources and needs; and
  2. provide an opportunity for participants to share mutual ideas and ambitions for collaborations in digital participation across Scotland going forward.

We sat in groups at round tables and completed A3 worksheets, sharing our own ‘this for that’ ideas. I shared a table with a great bunch, including Martin Dewar (Stay Bright) and Liz Green (YouthLink) who both gave their thoughts on the event in the video below (I can be seen in a group shot!).

 
For my part, I mentioned our digital skills, our work in local schools, and our willingness to join in other projects and help train Scottish citizens to participate digitally.

Feedback, summary and thanks

Chris Yiu, Director of Digital Participation, SCVO, wrapped up the event by thanking everyone who had helped make it possible. He said that over 53 Digital Participation projects have already been funded through the Challenge Fund, which is supported by the Scottish Government and the European Structural Fund. £200,000 worth of awards have so far been made available to community digital participation projects across Scotland, along with additional in-kind support (e.g. donations of equipment and volunteers) provided by Charter signatories.

I was actively involved in Scotland’s original Digital Participation Action Group, but it’s only now, with SCVO’s involvement, that we have any real direction and momentum, and it’s great to see.

For the past six months I’ve really enjoyed helping the Kinnaird Primary School Technology Club every Monday for an hour after school. Ten pupils from P6 and P7, working in pairs, managed to build five battery powered cars using only basic materials and tools, without the help of kits or templates, to their own distinctive designs.

As the weeks went on it was great watching the children growing in confidence and gaining new skills, and I was left twiddling my thumbs in the latter sessions as they just got in with their work, completely focused. It all culminated on 2nd March 2015 when, in front of family and friends, the teams competed against each other to see which car could climb the highest ramp.

The five teams' cars at an early design stage with wheels glued on drying
The five teams’ cars at an early design stage with wheels glued on and drying
Inner workings of a battery powered car
Inner workings of one finished car
A bus shaped design decorated in pink foil and passengers waving from the windows
One car’s (or bus’s) distinctive external design
Two Kinnaird Primary School Technology Club members demonstrate their battery powered car on a ramp, with Mark Williams looking on
Two Kinnaird Primary School Technology Club members demonstrate their battery powered car on a ramp, with Helper, Mark Williams (in jumper and jeans), looking on

The parents were extremely impressed by the children’s knowledge, technical skills, attention to detail and their perseverance! Congratulations go to Kyle and Rory, Becky and Holly who produced the most effective cars. They will now compete in the East Coast of Scotland Primary Engineers Regional Final being held in Fife in June. The club was run by Mrs Fleming and Mrs Bennie and we would like to say special thanks to two of our dads, Mr Williams and Mr Devlin for giving their time every week to help.

Recently I met with an organisation who have a familiar problem: Their software developers can’t keep up with their agile product backlog and their customers are getting frustrated. There are ways to improve such a situation on the management side, but the most important thing in any project is honesty.

Improving agile project management

In my meeting with the aforementioned organisation’s programme management team I suggested a number of ways to solve their particular problems, including:

  1. cutting through the management layers to improve communications and ensure that business value is captured in accurately prioritised user stories;
  2. ensuring their developers are not distracted by trivial support issues when they are trying to code; and
  3. coaching the software team so that they speak up more and work better together.

They were very open to ideas and there was a willingness to shake up their Prince 2 aligned project management structure to make it more agile and less document driven. And my specific suggestions for modifying their issue escalation processes to reduce the frequency of the ‘tap on the shoulder’ from non-techies that developers dread, were well received. However, with regard to my third point (see above), they expressed a belief that some developers will always prefer to be told what to do rather than take initiative on projects and suggest solutions. I disagreed and said that with a bit of coaching and the right agile environment, any developer should become a real contributor.

They also expressed a preference for project managers to not to be too technical, while I contended that, all other things being equal, technical expertise should be a positive trait for a project manager – a help not a hindrance. So could their apparent lack of faith in technical people be the root of their backlog problem and their customers’ frustration?

Honesty is the best agile policy

Naming no names, I discussed the points raised above with an associate of mine who currently works in a multinational IT services company, and he said to me that in his experience “the less technical the manager, the worse they are at delivering projects”. He gave an example of a project he is currently working on one in which the last 5 sprints were estimated at 70 story points but actually took 120. He said there was a reluctance to use historical evidence to correct the points estimate for the next sprint and that the project managers had effectively been “lying to the client”.

According to my associate, a big failing of his employer’s non-technical project managers has been the badgering of developers into shorter estimates. He referred me to the following quote from a classic article on Evidence Based Scheduling:

Don’t let managers badger developers into shorter estimates. Many rookie software managers think that they can “motivate” their programmers to work faster by giving them nice, “tight” (unrealistically short) schedules. I think this kind of motivation is brain-dead. When I’m behind schedule, I feel doomed and depressed and unmotivated. When I’m working ahead of schedule, I’m cheerful and productive. The schedule is not the place to play psychological games.

Joel Spolsky

A very senior and very technical manager who “doesn’t tolerate” badgering has now been charged with rescuing this failing and consistently underestimated project. My associate says “the client appreciates the honesty above all else” and “it’s a pity some of the non-technical management team don’t”.

Do techies make the best project managers?

In this post I’ve provided anecdotal evidence that software project managers are more likely to succeed if they have substantial technical expertise, but as a bit of a techie myself I may be biased and you’ll find plenty of articles arguing the opposite. I’ve worked with some fantastic non-technical project managers who respect and trust the developers they work with and grasp the technological ideas and business issues well enough to ensure success. So is technical understanding rather than technical expertise all that is required for an honest and capable agile project manager to succeed on complex software projects? I’d be interested to see this question answered by a proper study, if it hasn’t already.

In any case, techies are often rightly or wrongly perceived to have little business acumen so their involvement in software projects may be limited to following instructions, which is not the agile way; and if developers are more involved in trawling for user stories and estimating their own time, without being badgered by project managers, then honesty will prevail and projects will be less likely to fail.

Dilbert cartoon showing a project manager insisting that a developer reduces his estimate from 3 days to 2

I’m getting solar panels installed on my property during the next couple of days and after initially being impressed by the frequent communications from my supplier I’m now getting fed up with the volume of phone calls and, more importantly, the fact that I now seem to have become a means by which different agents in my supplier’s office update each other!

Firstly, a couple of weeks ago, after agreeing to the installation and paying a deposit, I was asked on the telephone to send an email to the customer service agent (agent 1 I’ll call her, for the purposes of this paragraph) saying that I was happy to have the delivery and installation of the solar panels at the same time. I understood the reasons for this request and was happy to comply by emailing agent 1 the necessary statement immediately. Then about 8 days later I was phoned by another person (agent 2) who had the same request – I explained that I had already sent the email to her colleague, and, on talking to agent 1 who had located my unopened email in her inbox, she apologised. I thought nothing of it until I was phoned by yet another person (agent 3) today, 4 days further on, asking me to send an email with the same content! I explained again that I’d already sent the email to agent 1 but was happy to forward it to her, which I did minutes later.

Agent 3 also apologised for the fact that I had not received a confirmation email regarding the installation date. Apparently there was a mix-up with someone else’s email address, which is a common occurrence for me and my very common name so I didn’t mind.

Anyway, today we had the scaffolding set up against the wall of our property, and it looks very nice and sturdy, I must say. But after being informed by one customer service agent (agent 1 I’ll call her in this paragraph, although it was actually agent 3 from the last paragraph!) by telephone that the solar panel installation itself could be brought forward to this afternoon, I then received another call (agent 2) to inform me that I should expect to get the scaffolding installed today, not tomorrow, and I had to inform her that the scaffolding was already in place and that the solar panel installation was being brought forward to this afternoon. Agent 2 seemed quite surprised by this development but while I was on the phone she confirmed it with agent 1 who was sitting next to her! Then, just as I thought it was safe to go to the bathroom I received a call from yet another lady (agent 3) who apologised for not getting back to me earlier and was calling to let me know about the installation and scaffolding etc. She had no idea about any of her colleagues’ earlier interactions with me, but I quickly brought her up to speed before suggesting that they should communicate with each other a bit better in the office!

I’m now very tempted to contact my solar panel supplier and offer them my CRM consultancy services. They could start with my SFB Guide to Selecting a CRM, which I wrote for Serco.

Now I’m waiting for the solar panel installers to arrive and get started on the installation. I just hope that the solar panels and the invertor communicate better than their human counterparts and that we can start generating our own energy at last!

Digital Leaders logoOn June 5 I went along to the Digital Leaders Scotland Salon event in Sopra’s Edinburgh office. It was a well-attended, round-table discussion on how we might build a national movement to tackle the problem of low Digital Participation rates and “create a vibrant partnership across the private, public and voluntary sectors to make a difference to people’s lives”.

What really struck me about the discussion was its extremes. I can’t say who said what because the Chatham House Rule was invoked, but at one moment we were talking about successful businesses doing more online and then we quickly switched to those individuals who are effectively excluded from the digital world. And it’s clear that we need to consider the whole digital participation spectrum by pushing forwards and promoting excellence at one end of the scale, while ensuring that there is no sharp cut-off at the other end.

The networking event that followed the Digital Leaders Salon was good fun and worthwhile, too. I saw many familiar faces from the days of the Scotland Digital Participation Action Group, and made some great new contacts. If we are to succeed in widening the Digital Participation spectrum in Scotland then it could be thanks in no small way to this burgeoning business community.

Posted by: drmiw | May 9, 2014

World of Work Day in Larbert High School

On February 12th 2014, for the second year running, Paul Devlin and I spent the day in Larbert High School and gave a series of 50 minute classes on the ‘World of Work’ (WoW) from the perspectives of a micro business owner (me) and an experienced business startup advisor (Paul). Other classes were given by ‘world class employers‘ (Falkirk Council’s term) including Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, Royal Bank of Scotland, HP and AG Barr, so we were in good company.

Paul Devlin and Mark Williams at WoW Day 2013

Paul (left) and me (right) standing as we facilitate a product idea generation activity

World of Work day was initially aimed at encouraging students to consider gaining qualifications in business management, administration, accounts and/or computing because the number of students taking these subjects has been falling; but as of 2014 the emphasis had shifted to ‘technology related subjects’ rather than business in general.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh asked me back in 2012 if I would be willing to participate in the February 2013 WoW day, and after giving it some thought I realised that I could present the pupils with an alternative to joining a big company and becoming a ‘cog in a wheel’. In today’s economic climate, where ‘permanent’ jobs with career progression are hard to find, knowing how to start and run your own business gives you much more options. For example, when I got made redundant from a large company in April 2009 I simply started my own business while applying for other jobs. Nothing came of my job applications but my own business is still going strong five years on.

But talking about myself for 50 minutes would not be much fun for me or the pupils! I therefore asked Paul Devlin to co-present the classes with me and he had a great idea for an activity which would really engage and, hopefully, inspire the pupils.

This is how we structured our classes:

  1. We began with a very brief introduction of the session, who we are and what we had planned for the next 50 minutes.
  2. I then went on to talk about running my own business, the skills I need to use day-to-day and how the experience differs from being part of a big organisation.
  3. Paul then outlined what key things are needed in a business plan, leaving a few bullet points/headings on the screen
  4. We then launched straight into the activity where pupils are split into small groups and invited to come up with a new product idea inspired by some random bric-a-brac we provided
  5. The students then spent some time coming up with their idea, with help from me and Paul, before presenting their product idea to the rest of the class
  6. Finally, Paul presented some successful case studies from Edinburgh University and we left the pupils with a (hopefully) inspirational message about making their own careers etc.

And below is a pie chart showing what pupils thought of our WoW Day classes in 2014.

Pie chart of pupil feedback

The pie chart above shows the scores pupils gave us from 1 to 6, where 6=fantastic.

 

Some quotes from the pupils:

  • “It was great, I learned a lot”
  • “I found this interesting. Also I learned what it takes to be a product designer.”
  • “The most interesting part of this session was making our own product.”
  • “I thought this workshop was absolutely brilliant – It really caught my interest.”

Falkirk Council asked me for a quote on what my organisation gets from contributing to the event, and this is what I said: 

For me and my organisation, Muon Consulting, World of Work day enables us to give something back to our community by, hopefully, inspiring local children to take education seriously, make best use of their abilities, create their own opportunities and inject new life into the Scottish economy by becoming entrepreneurs, because I believe firmly that this is what our area and our country need now and in the future.

Posted by: drmiw | January 17, 2013

Scotland IS Technology Trends 2013 Event

Last night I attended the ‘Technology Trends 2013’ event, which was organised by ScotlandIS and hosted by DLA Piper at their Edinburgh offices. And here are my brief notes on each presentation and the panel session that followed.

Polly Purvis,  Executive Director of ScotlandIS, introduced the event and the speakers, and she paid tribute to the late David Mitchell, the distinguished industry analyst who died last year who had been the driving force in previous ScotlandIS ‘Technology Trends’ annual events.

Mobile: Richard Marshall, Research Director, Gartner

Richard Marshall presented Gartner’s mobile scenario view to 2017 and the opportunities for business innovation from mobile.

Mobile is one of the four forces in Gartner’s Nexus of Forces. It is usually considered a security hazard in businesses and it’s the number 2 priority and worry for CIOs. But there are exciting things happening and mobile should be considered more of an opportunity than a threat. There are ‘ensemble interactions’ between multiple devices, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, and app stores where software can be downloaded easily and rated by users.

There is no sign of consolidation in the mobile market. Apple’s iOS will keep its 20 percent market share, but Richard predicted that the new Windows phones will be really popular.

Richard noted the wide range of Android devices in terms of price and performance, with a 10-to-1 difference in performance between some new phones on the market, which is an important thing for application developers to be aware of. Regarding mobile applications themselves Richard believes that they need to deliver a better user experience to satisfy customers who are becoming increasingly less tolerant.

The ‘Internet of everything’ is coming, with phones as the endpoints. Just as in 2008 when the amount of user-generated (‘people’) content on the web finally surpassed that for ‘information’, data generated by devices (‘things’) will create more traffic than information and people by 2017, he predicted.

He then discussed the relevance of the OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act) model to mobile application development. Businesses can develop mobile strategies by getting hold of their input data, putting it into context and then looking for innovation opportunities.

Connectivity: Gareth Williams, Lead Consultant – Custom Research, Analysys Mason

Cheap high-speed connectivity is becoming more readily available in the UK, but we are lagging behind the rest of Europe in terms of next generation networks like VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line) and FTTH (Fibre To The Home). But BT plans to get 78% next generation broadband coverage in the UK by 2017, while 4G should also be much more widely available by then.

What has already happened as a result of better connectivity is that IT asset ownership has become less important to businesses and online applications have become easier to customise so more businesses are making use of cloud computing services.

Gareth predicted that SMEs will make more use of Unified Communications, joining their fixed and mobile networks together, and using web portals to manage all their messages and online presences. The potential benefit of this is increased customer satisfaction through the increased availability of key people.

He also predicted that cloud desktops will become more popular, with UK SME revenue for cloud desktop management services increasing from 3.8 million Euros to 29.4 million Euros (CAGR 28.1%) by 2017.

Gareth’s top trends for 2013:

  1. More mobile cloud solutions, including mobile device management
  2. More video-based communications
  3. Tablets and smartphones galore

Big Data: David Robertson, Head of School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

Dave Robertson began (and ended) his presentation by saying we are on the ‘cusp of change’.

Big Data, which can be data at rest or in motion, is increasing in volume (exabytes) and velocity (decisions made in milliseconds). It is also increasing in variety (Internet of things) and veracity (who do we trust in social media?).

Big change ahead:

According to Dave we need increasingly fast algorithms but, with Big Data, we are on the cusp of a big change.

Panel session

The event concluded with a panel session and here are some answers to questions that were posed:

  • Richard explained his prediction that the new Windows phone will be a popular success (unlike Windows 8), saying that it plays nicely with secure systems, it is encrypted, it works well, and test users like it
  • Richard went on to say that ‘Minority Report’ interfaces won’t be popular because they are too tiring for our arms!
  • How will UK businesses and academia take advantage of these technology trends? The consensus on the panel was that it all depends on the availability of ‘good people’. Technical people with business skills are needed everywhere, but, according to Richard and David, Big Data requires ‘interpretative’ people to solve the complex problems, and they need to have broad and deep knowledge because there are so many things to learn.
  • With Big Data, “the analytic tools are not yet commodotised”, said David, which means there are many problems to solve and therefore opportunities for businesses to make their mark. They will need  statisticians, programmers/analysts, and server experts (e.g. Hadoop specialists) to talk to each other.
  • There is a skills gap in this country, remarked Gareth, but there is also a (related) technology gap because many people in the UK can’t afford tablets or broadband so some people are being left behind.
  • And David said that there is also a problem with computer science as it is not integrated into other fields enough
  • Richard reported that RunRev are working with schools in Edinburgh and they have a simple scripting language for kids with real language syntax; and Polly interjected to say that ScotlandIS and the RSE are trying to change things in schools (something I can attest to as I’ve been asked by the RSE to get involved)
  • And finally there was a discussion with our hosts regarding Data Protection laws and there was general agreement that  people need to be educated to look after their personal data – there are ‘no quick fixes’ and the law is lagging behind advances in social networking and cloud computing. There are those calling for a ‘right to be forgotten’ on social networking sites, but that is easier said than done when everything is connected.

The evening concluded with an hour of old-fashioned networking, which I enjoyed, and I enjoyed the free beer and pizza too!

Posted by: drmiw | November 21, 2012

Cloud security – a matter of trust?

Your organisation’s data are now everywhere: on your servers and your desktop PCs; on your employees’ smart phones, tablet computers and laptops; on social networks; and in public clouds. Some of these data require special protection but they also need to be accessed remotely, which makes security a considerable challenge. Can you trust public clouds to keep your data safe and secure? Can you trust your own internal systems? And on what criteria and risk management strategies should you base your trust?

Below is the presentation I gave at the April 2012 ’Why Cloud? Why now?’ conference at Chartered Accountants’ Hall, the headquarters of the Institute of Chartered of Accountants of England Wales (ICAEW) in London. You can also download a PDF version of my cloud security presentation from the ICAEW website.

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