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About Mike Smith


Chief Technology Officer, Atos Distinguished Expert, Founding member of the Atos Scientific Community

Mike has been in the IT industry for over 20 years, designing and implementing complex infrastructures that underpin key Government and private sector solutions. Setting Atos technical strategy, researching new technologies and supporting the consulting and architect communities. Previously Mike has held technical and management positions in British Rail, Sema Group and Schlumberger. He has a daughter and a son, both keen on anything but technology. Mike's sporting passion rests with Test Match Special, and is jealous/proud of his son's Ice Hockey skills.




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Articles posted by Mike Smith

Atos IT Challenge 2022 - Space

The Atos IT Challenge is our worldwide competition for computer science and engineering students. Together, we explore emerging areas of technology that will benefit business, society and the environment. The competition is now in its eleventh year. Over 800 teams have participated since its inception – comprising over 3,000 students from 300 universities in 40 countries.Past topics that the…

Quantum Time

As members of the Atos Scientific Community, we research future digital themes in dedicated research tracks. We have spent the last two years researching quantum computing developments for our recently released publication, Unlocking Virtual Dimensions. This hyped and still emerging area of technologies promises to revolutionize computing. However, this will not only require further advances in hardware, but the development of software underpinned by quantum algorithms to address…

Atos IT Challenge 2021 - Decarbonization

We have just launched this year’s Atos IT Challenge, our worldwide competition for computer science and technical engineering students. We are seeking digital solutions that will support decarbonization initiatives and help companies and society as a whole to tackle climate change. The challenge The Paris Agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global…

Atos Experts Convention – The future of Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods

I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd Atos Experts Convention in Madrid last month along with around 400 recognized Atos technology Experts and partners. A number of technical papers were presented by the community, and also by our sponsors, plus some exciting activities that I hope you will soon be able to…

Atos IT Challenge 2020 - Cooperative Artificial Intelligence

The Atos IT Challenge is our Computer Science and technical engineering competition. Now in its ninth year, over 640 teams and around 2,000 students worldwide have participated in it.  We have had up to 100 different universities entering teams in any one year – it’s a big event! Previous competition topics have included smart cars and…

Coding a Chat Bot

Artificial Intelligence and Bots (of many types) have been attracting some major attention in recent months. There is a great deal of hype in the industry about what has been achieved already, the potential and the possible threats of these technologies.  From the exciting prospect of diagnosing diseases and producing medicines tailored to an individual, to the ominous menace of publishing and promoting falsehoods,…

Interactive narratives through gaming and media

100 Billion Dollars. The video games industry is now clearly the largest entertainment sector, far beyond music and even Hollywood movies. It is composed of Mobile, PC and Console markets currently in roughly equal measure, now generating over $100b of revenue every year worldwide. There are many different genres of video game from First Person Shooters to arcade games, puzzles, simulations,…

Alexa, deploy the month-end workload

Alexa seems to be all the rage at the moment. Amazon’s interactive personal virtual assistant is a cloud-based service which uses devices like the “Echo” and “Echo Dot” to listen for commands and react accordingly.  In the home you talk to Alexa to play music, listen to the news, buy things (from Amazon of course) and perform many more activities. It’s…

IoT Micro Clouds

For quite some time now, I've been able to turn the heating on in a morning whilst still huddled in bed. It's made possible through a combination of sensors, hardware devices, software and network infrastructure that when combined provide a useful service. Very handy! IoT Micro Clouds, the title of this post, is a new phrase. We invented it for use in the Atos Scientific…

From university concept to the Olympics of the future

For the past few years I have been fortunate to run projects with students from universities across the UK on a variety of interesting topics. The main purpose of these projects is to provide them with real-world IT challenges that they can work on during their courses. However it also brings something a little different for…

The most anticipated event of 2016

So it's 2016. What's the most exciting event that's going to happen this year? The 2016 Olympics in Rio perhaps? No, I was actually thinking about the release of Windows Server 2016! Actually we’ll talk about our technology and services for Rio later in the year, but let’s stick with Windows for the time being. The expectation is that the 2016 release will…

The techUK Gigabit Train - are we on track?

This week I was asked to participate in a techUK event titled "The Gigabit Train", as some time ago I was part of a team that published an Atos white paper called "The Connected Train". The similarity is uncanny! In the paper we presented our vision of how improved train connectivity using WiFi and the…

Computing since Von Neumann

The most profoundly impactful moment for computing, since Von Neumann I stole and twisted that quote from a film to get your attention (… do you know which one?)  It just might end up being true though. I am part of a team from the Atos Scientific Community who are tracking and assessing the implications of advances in memory technology. It's what we are…

Journey 2018 ... on the road

Last month I and four fellow Scientific Community members went on the road ... to Glasgow. Actually, on the rails in my case; you can't beat the glorius East Coast mainline up to Edinburgh, en route to our final destination. There we met over 40 representatives from clients, and prospective clients, to discuss some of the topics in our latest publication,…

Windows 10 - Don't forget about ... God Mode

A little over two years ago I posted a story about Microsoft's then new Windows 8 Operating System; reflecting on the new interface it introduced for the dual world of traditional computers and those new-fangled tablet devices. The article elicited many comments and remains the most "popular" article on the Ascent hub (on which you are reading…

Enabling Digital Transformation - Atos Style

Earlier this month I was invited by one of our technology partners, Juniper, to present at an intimate IDC event. It had the snappy title “Enabling Digital Transformation … with an Agile, Open and Secure Data Centre”.  Delegates included senior representatives from the likes of Santander, Visa, Sony, Arqiva and the Bank of New York. I took the opportunity…

The Imitation Game; and the algorithms of the future

I'm so excited. My son has just started learning about algorithms; in what they now call "Decision Mathematics". The reason I’m so excited is that, despite his predilection for sport, I am still hoping that he is just about to find his inner geek! We (and I mean Atos here, but that's not meant to be…

My IT Challenge Fantasy

The Awards Ceremony for the 3rd Atos IT Challenge took place in Paris on Tuesday 17th June. The competition invites student teams from universities around the world to develop applications to meet a specific theme. The topic this year was the creation of a mobile App for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio which will be held in two years' time. I was…

The connected train - authors discussion

We hope that you have already come across one of the Scientific Community's latest white papers: The Connected Train. A group of the authors, myself included, got together to discuss the work that we had undertaken to put it together. It's a light-hearted introduction to the topic, explaining what a Connected Train is, and what we get up to…

Games - Big, Social and Mobile

Excitement is building in Glasgow and throughout the Commonwealth ... and indeed within Atos. This year sees the twentieth Commonwealth Games, established in 1930, return to Scotland for its third visit; and for the first time outside its capital city ... taking advantage of some iconic Glaswegian sporting venues such as Celtic Park, Hampden Park and Ibrox. It's all…

Zener Broadcasting in Education – Part III

Like all good miniseries, we know when to call it a day. If you missed the first two posts you can go back in time here and here. So I conclude with some brief observations on the personal nature of education throughout our lives and close by inventing another new word.  I hope you like it. Educating Me Let’s get personal.…

Zener Broadcasting in Education – Part II

This second riveting article in Atos blog’s equivalent of Game of Thrones builds on the concept of Zener Broadcasting introduced in the pilot. Blue Sky Thinking Martini Education With the success of advertising over the broadcast medium, you will surely know where I am going with this statement already. People will be learning anyplace, anytime, anywhere – to fit…

Education through Zener Broadcasting - Part I

In this new miniseries; which I hope will be as popular as TV’s Breaking Bad, I will be exploring the changing nature of broadcasting and its role in education. We start with the term Zener Broadcasting … What is “Zener Broadcasting”? Media has informed and consequently educated the population since the 17th century, when the first broadcast mechanisms,…

DevOps vs ITIL. Fight! (... or Friends?)

Over the past 25 years IT service management has evolved into a set of well-defined processes and procedures, with most of the industry adopting ITIL; the IT Infrastructure Library. But a new kid on the block is changing the way we approach the management and operation of our IT services – providing a more responsive and dynamic application…

Cyber Hockey

It’s a ferocious game! Multiple lines of offense and defence. Rapid, probing attacks. Numerous strategies to reach the goal. Rallying resources in the field of play, teams now compete with each other on almost equal terms. Technology provides them with the tools to maximise their power, enhance their skills, protect them from counter attack, move fast and … strike the killer shot. But who will win? It…

Goldilocks and the three Vers.

The intent of the Atos blog platform is to provide thought leadership on a wide range of topics to our C-level and technologist audience. From time to time though, I like to contrast that content with some real-world practical conundrums that I come across in everyday CTO life. We run a range of services for our customers; all at different levels of…

Encryption: We Lost

Secrecy was good, whilst it lasted, but I can now confirm that the game is over. I am being deliberately melodramatic, but I was drawn to two topics discussed at Blackhat 2013, the security conference held in Las Vegas last month. The ramifications of these topics could, in the worst case, destroy online commerce and much of the Internet itself; completely! It really is that…

We are SIAMese, if you please

Over the past few years we've seen, and indeed some of us have been part of, the emerging SIAM model for managing complex IT services. SIAM stands for Service Integration and Management, and like ITIL before it, is being pioneered by Her Majesty's Government in the UK. SIAM is not an alternative to ITIL though; they work hand in hand -…

Planet Internet – the Internet of Things and Home Automation

There are nearly 2.5 billion people online now, and on average we have 2.8 devices each. Mobile access to the Internet accounts for an increasing proportion of traffic and more and more of the world’s population will join, in one form or another, over the next few years. How amazing that the majority of the…

Windows 8 - Don't forget about Alt-F4

As the local IT support person for my village (I'm sure you know what I mean) I was approached on Christmas Day by one of my neighbours, who's grandson needed to get online using a new Windows 8 machine. It was an emergency; he needed to activate Football Manager 2013. Now, as CTO, of course I've…

How do we achieve Digital Democracy? Smart Mobility with creative ideas

The engagement of Governments with citizens during the 20th century was performed most effectively through broadcast media; newspapers, radio and ultimately television. I say engagement, but how much engagement does one-way communication foster? Now, well into the 21st century, we have supplemented broadcast mechanisms with two-way interaction using technology; most interestingly through the…

Computer Science Education – reboot in progress

In a previous blog post I issued a CIO “call to arms” in support of the Computer Science curriculum. The reboot is now in progress. Many of us (over 500,000 people I understand) have now received our first Raspberry Pi computers. In fact I have two – in recent weeks (at least in the UK) we have been permitted…

Zero Network

You may have heard about zero mail - I would now like to introduce you to the “Zero Network”. Unlike zero mail, the Zero Network is not an official Atos term; it’s my own invention (probably simultaneously coined by others too, I’m sure, but this is my claim to ownership!) For a long time I have tried to persuade my networking colleagues that we will eventually see…

The future: When information becomes self-aware

A dozen years ago (bear with me) I was involved in one of the dot-com boom start-ups using DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology to protect music and other digital content. It was a noble effort to protect information, but as we all know there has been somewhat of a battle in the music industry since that time ... balancing…

Atos team wins Prince’s Trust Million Makers Challenge

I am proud to have been involved with the Atos Million Makers team which raised an astonishing £123,799.64 for the Prince’s Trust in their Million Makers Challenge. This fantastic achievement enabled the Trust, for the first time ever, to reach their goal of raising a £1m through the challenge. I’d also like to extend my own personal thanks…

IT and Computer Science Education: A CIO call to arms – turn it off and on again

The Royal Society convened and recently published a report with recommendations for the future of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in our schools. Entitled “Shut down or restart?” the report asks whether we should halt ICT teaching altogether, or redefine and kick-start it. The…

Atos Blog wins award: Best CIO/IT Director blog

Fellow blogger Rob Price and I attended the Computer Weekly Social Media Awards this week. Full of expectation and enthusiasm we joined our Social Media peers and our (award category) competitors in central London – we hoped to gain success with our Atos CIO Blog in the Best CIO/IT Director blog category. As you will have already gleaned…

Yes, it can!

Consumerisation is all the rage now – employees wanting to use their own mobiles, their own PCs and now their own tablets. And business too are now also following that previously individual-led path, with the provision of the latest generation of consumer equipment; often from suppliers we haven’t seen in corporate environments hitherto. As a result of the paper we received an email from one…

To infinity and beyond?

With the US government cutting funding to space projects, is this a good time for an IT company to take an interest in Space Travel? Quite possibly, yes. Since the birth of mankind, man has looked upwards. Our curious human nature has led us to send men to the moon (in a machine with less computing power than a scientific calculator) in the hope…