Monthly Archives: April 2007

About me…

Hi, my name is Wayne Horkan and I’m the Chief Technologist for the UK and Ireland at Sun Microsystems.

I’ve been at Sun for almost eight years and in my current role for just over two years.

The role I have covers three main areas: Customer and Partner engagements (helping develop systems), Awareness and Adoption (helping to make people more aware of Sun and Sun technologies), and Architectural and Solution Quality (help to ensure we reduce risk by using Standardization).

Before being assigned my current role I spent most of my time at Sun in Sun’s delivery organization, directly delivering systems and helping people in the adoption of technology. Whilst I’ve been at Sun I’ve always been part of what Sun call Customer Engineering (CE, although it also gets called Field Engineering or FE), this is the field organization which works directly with customers, in comparison to Product Engineering (PE) who innovatively develop our new technologies.

Being at Sun has given me wonderful opportunities to work at a senior level on some of the largest, most diverse and interesting, systems in the world, with some of the best technologists, business people and consultants, including:

  • SOA Design and ‘transformation roadmap’ for one of the largest UK Government organisations.
  • Identity system for an early SOA at one of the worlds largest investment banks (over 42,000 users across over 30 major systems).
  • Consolidation of 5000+ servers at another large investment bank (based out of Canary Wharf).
  • A Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) engagement with a very large ISP.
  • Technical Design Authority (TDA) and Technology Leader brought in as a White Kinght at a Data Centre build out which up until then had gotten eight months behind schedule.
  • The Governance design for Sun’s largest customer engagement.

Before working at Sun I spent almost three years as the Chief Architect for Harrods, building amongst other things Harrods Online (v1 and v2, v1 was MS Commerce Server based if you remember that, whilst v2 was Sun and Vignette based).

Prior to Harrods I worked at Keane Inc., a Systems Integrator (SI), as a Technical Consultant. I spent time at Sun Life Assurance (now AXA) building a workflow and document imaging (scanning) solution, and at East Midlands Electricity (EME, followed by PowerGen, currently E.On) developing messaging subsystems and front end applications as part of the deregulation of the Gas and Electricity industries (the 19M programme as it was called).

I also spent a couple of years at Touch Systems, writing software to improve manufacturing process quality and cost, utilizing hand held data collectors, a shop floor network application environment and Statistical Process Control (SPC).

Outside of Sun I also work with a CDFI charity called Street UK, and I give (limited) advice to a CDFI collective called the Fair Finance Consortium.

I’m a supporter of professional membership organisations, and am a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Institue of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the Insitute of Directors (IoD), the Lunar Society and the Information Technologists Company (ITC).

Contact details

You can get in touch with me here: wayne.horkan-AT-sun-DOT-com

About this site

This site is my personal weblog, hosted and provided by Sun Microsystems, my employer.

This blog is governed by the Sun’s blogging policy, or the Sun Guidelines on Public Discourse as it’s called.

Many thanks to Linda Skrocki who recently wrote about Sun’s Revised Blogging Policy (AKA Guidelines on Public Discourse).


This is a personal weblog, I do not speak for my employer, Sun Microsystems (or Sun Microsystems UK).


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Copyright 2007-2008, Wayne T. Horkan (wayne dot horkan at sun dot com).


“I’d like you to come and present to my organisation on…”

  • Sun’s product portfolio, strategy, etc.
  • Futurology.
  • Enterprise Architecture.

Get in touch (see above) and lets talk.

Another profitable quarter of growth at Sun Microsystems

Nice to see that Sun have achieved another profitable quarter of growth. ….. 1 Trackback

Just back from speaking at the Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference, 2007

Just got back from the Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference, 2007. What an absolutely great day, I’ll get a better update out tomorrow now, along with my slides. I got my best reception ever today, everybody clapped for what seemed to be a good while, with over half the room standing in ovation. It felt brilliant that they all appreciated my retelling of Sun’s experiences in Enterprise Architecture. Have to type the speaker notes up to go with the slides though – this year I went with a very minimal slide set, but twenty-six A5 pages of speaking notes (just making the 30 minute slot), whereas last year I went for very busy slides with less speaking content.

I met some lovely people, and especially my hosts from the Open Group, spending some time with Allen Brown, the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Open Group (short bio here), and briefly with Mike Lambert, the ex-CTO of the Open Group.

Then as I was just coming home I bumped into Chris Loughran, the head of the Technology Integration Consultancy at Deloitte in the UK, and a friend from when we did a large Government Department IT / IS system review a couple of years ago. It was good to see him and a nice bit of serendipity to finish off the day.

Like I said earlier – my full conference update and slides tomorrow !

It took a lot longer than ‘tomorrow’ – so apologies – however it is all online now.

Related Links:

Goodbye President Yeltsin

President Yeltsin passed away today – Monday, the 23rd of April, also known as Saint George’s Day, 2007. …..

Presenting at the Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference, 2007

Pleased to say that I’m due to speak next Tuesday (the 24th of April) at the Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference, 2007. ….. 4 Trackbacks

I w końcu…

… po tym jak dużo komentarz – od workmates, kolega, przyjaciel i znajomość (ale nie, I można, od członek rodziny) – jeśli chodzi the brak blog jakaś rodzaj, i gdy the szczyt the blogging zjawisko najwyraźniej przyjeżdżać na the wspólny horyzont, I decydować i początek jeden. …..


… blogging現象のピーク外見上着いた後多くのコメントが- workmates、同僚、友人および知人から(しかしない、私は家族から、加えるかもしれない)集合的な地平線に-あらゆる種類のブログの欠乏に関する…、そしてと同時に、私はおよび開始1行くことにした。 Gartnerに従って( ここに )、ニュースが( ここに 、記録で、および ここに 、尋問者で、例えば) bloggingの成長の土地を選定する何人かの私の好みによって報告されて最終的に2007年までに100,000,000のブログ頃最高になり。. …..

Och slutligen…,

…, efter mycket kommentar – från jobbarkompisar, kollegor, vänner och bekantar (men inte, jag kan tillfogar, från familjemedlemmar) – om bristen av en blog av några har sorterat, och som det maximalt av det blogging fenomen ankommer som synes på den kollektiva horisonten, har jag avgjort att gå och. …..

And finally…

…after much comment – from workmates, colleagues, friends and acquaintances (but not, I might add, from family members) – as to the lack of a blog of any sort, and as the peak of the blogging phenomenon apparently arrives on the collective horizon, I’ve decided to go and start one.

According to Gartner (here), and reported by a number of my favourite news sites (here, at the Register, and here, at the Inquirer, for example) the growth of blogging will finally peak at around 100 million blogs by 2007. This is part of “the Gartner top ten predictions for 2007 and beyond” – and so where better to start than at a short review of these predictions. I have to admit that I’ve been asked to report on technology trends, make market predictions and even, occasionally, present on futurology – and find the subject of trying to second guess the future as fascinating as it is frustrating.

When it comes to predictions such as this it’s important to bring your own views and opinions to bear, and in regards to objectivity, I like to recall this quote from Warren Buffett: “Forecasts usually tell us more of the forecaster than of the forecast”.

  1. Through 2009, market share for the top 10 IT outsourcers will decline to 40.0% (from 43.5% now), equalling a revenue shift of $5.4 billion: Gartner believes that as the market share for outsourcers declines (based upon current trends) there will be consolidation of outsource businesses and some closures. This is an extremely common prediction, in these circumstances, and is almost always true of maturing markets – frankly I can’t see how you could get this wrong – although it’s good to be reminded about the situation of the outsourcing market, even for those of us who are living with it’s effects everyday.
  2. Only one Asia/Pacific-based service provider will make the global top 20 through 2010: Because of the relatively small number of “global players” in consulting coming from Asia it will limit the ability of the Asian economies to grow revenue streams quickly and become global leaders. I find it really difficult to see how the Asian economies will be limited in growth – I can see them simply buying into the areas they need to, when they need to – some of them already make significant revenues from IT offshoring, and building consultancies out of these organisations is very likely, for instance, Tata & Wipro both have consultancy departments which are growing and maturing fast.
  3. Blogging and community contributors will peak in the first half of 2007: Trends in the average life span of a blogger and the current growth rate of blogs means that there are already more than 200 million ex-bloggers, therefore, the number of bloggers will peak around 100 million mark circa the first half of 2007.Although significant growth in bloggers may have slowed down, I believe it will settle down to more natural growth, plus I don’t see how this has factored in the increasing Internet population, nor the increasing world population. Growth may bottom out for a time but I would then expect there to be slow and progressive growth, much more based on the increasing number of people getting adequate access to Internet resources, fuelled by the overall growth of the world population. And that is without considering the next MySpace phenomenon, where massive expansion unexpectedly grows the overall blogging population.
  4. By 2009, corporate social responsibility (CSR) will be a higher board – and executive-level priority than regulatory compliance: regulation has become a key issue for government and the corporate world, with the aim of ensuring more-responsible behaviour. However, the need for companies to be socially responsible to their employees, customers and shareholders is growing as well. The future will see corporate boards and executives make this social dynamic a more-critical priority. Collective awareness of corporate responsibility is growing, and not purely around green issues. How corporates treat people and conduct themselves in the wider world has needed focusing on for a long time. Plus I believe that CSR will be good for businesses, related to game theory, specifically the Nash equilibrium (developed by John Nash), where choice of optimal behaviour when costs and benefits of each option depend upon the choices of other individuals. Working with a community finance charity, I know that there is already research into this area, which suggests that this is the case – this is another topic I hope to approach in the future of this blog.
  5. By the end of 2007, 75% of enterprises will be infected with undetected, financially motivated, targeted malware that evaded their traditional perimeter and host defences: the threat environment is changing — financially motivated, targeted attacks are increasing, and automated malware-generation kits allow simple creation of thousands of variants quickly — but our security processes and technologies haven’t kept up. Security in IT is an absolute arms race – and this is not going to change – but whilst money can still be made from the sector, legally in defence, and illegally in offence, we will continue to see a strong and healthy IT Security market. This is not to say anyone should be complacent, as the problems at TK-Max have just shown, we have to be rational about these issues, and approach them in a sensible manner.
  6. Vista will be the last major release of Microsoft Windows: the next generation of operating environments will be more modular and will be updated incrementally. The era of monolithic deployments of software releases is nearing an end. Microsoft will be a visible player in this movement, and the result will be more-flexible updates to Windows and a new focus on quality overall. Microsoft have always been able to move there business empire juggernaut into new areas – however they are very often not the first, nor the second , but have often manipulated the market by having the largest installed base volume – look at how slowly they embraced the Internet for one (for instance, Microsoft didn’t even make the first 100 Internet Domain Name Registrations, more here, Sun are joint eleventh, b.t.w.), but when they did it – they did it. Although there have been reports of ramp down of Windows Operating Systems staff, I very much doubt Microsoft are ready to let go of exploiting that installed base to the maximum – there are still a lot of PC users not yet connected to the Internet and they will need a distribution mechanism to support those users.
  7. By 2010, the average total cost of ownership (TCO) of new PCs will fall by 50%: the growing importance and focus on manageability, automation and reliability will provide a welcome means of differentiating PCs in a market that is increasingly commoditised. Many of the manageability and support tools will be broadly available across multiple vendors. However, vendors that can leverage these tools further and can graduate from claims of “goodness” to concrete examples of cost savings will have a market advantage. I’m finding this hard to believe: three years to see new PC TCO fall by 50%. Most people agree that the majority of cost is in systems management, and even with the expected growth in systems management tools (and the ilk), it doesn’t approach issues such as increasing functionality forcing TCO up. Nor the logistics of having staff support a distributed PC estate. Having helped manage the maintenance of a large, distributed PC estate, I know that one of my largest costs were the staff required to physically go around the buildings in question, often the PC required direct support, or for some reason would not be connected to the network (either off, broken, network / network card failure, not loading drivers, etc.). I believe that Thin Client and Ultra Thin Client (UTC) technologies like Sun’s Sun Ray, which have a centralised server model, most readily approach these issues, and that there will be an increase in the acceptance of what used to be referred to as Network Computing (NC).
  8. By 2010, 60% of the worldwide cellular population will be “trackable” via an emerging “follow-me Internet”: local regulations have arisen to protect users’ privacy, but growing demands for national safety and civil protection are relaxing some of the initial privacy limitations. Marketing incentives will also push users to forgo privacy concerns, and many other scenarios will enable outsiders to track their users. Another believable prediction, although given the fact that this is “60% of the world wide cellular population”, I feel it might imply that this will be in what used to be called the “first world”. The issue of evolved versus planned systems play into this, and we all need to think more about what the implications are, so that we can put in place the best governance model available.
  9. Through 2011, enterprises will waste $100 billion buying the wrong networking technologies and services: enterprises are missing out on opportunities to build a network that would put them at a competitive advantage. Instead, they follow outdated design practices and collectively will waste at least $100 billion in the next five years. I can well believe this prediction: having reviewed, audited, and helped close down a number of very large IT programmes, I am sadly becoming de-sensitised & acclimatised to the amounts of money which are needlessly lost, however this does not mean any of us should be dismissive about the massive amounts wasted. In fact I’m surprised it’s estimated as low as $100 billion.
  10. By 2008, nearly 50% of data centers worldwide will lack the necessary power and cooling capacity to support high-density equipment: due to higher densities of processors proliferating, problems in this area continue to grow, and although the power and cooling challenge of high-density computer equipment will persist in the short term, a convergence of innovative technologies will begin to mitigate the problem by 2010. This is a trend which I see emerging every day amongst our customers, especially those who still host out of large cities, such as London. We have field research into this area, which easily backs this claim up too. However this prediction, doesn’t appear to take innovation, such as processor multi-threading, into account: technologies like Sun’s Niagara, and Niagara 2, will have a significant impact on this area, due to the massive decrease in compute footprint. This is an area which I’ll be exploring in more detail over the next few months.

At first I’d thought my title for this post was to do with my finally getting a blog online – but I think it’s as applicable to some of the predictions above. In the next few posts I hope to be looking at the UK Government IT ecosystem, macro IT estate issues & definitions, some more about me and what I do at Sun, and maybe just a little bit about motorbikes.