Tag Archive | "Availability"

Cloud Discussion: Data Privacy, Availability and Performance – Huff Post Live

Tags: Availability, Big Data, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, CIO, Cloud, Cloud Computing, IT Management, Privacy, Security, Transformation, Trends


I had the fantastic opportunity to participate in a live Cloud discussion: Get off my Cloud:  Floating the Risks of Big Data Storage on Huff Post Live during their inaugural week of going live with streaming news and discussions leveraging Google+ Hangouts to bring in live guests. This Cloud and technology thing might be catching on. A longstanding benefit of being a virtual worker is working in very casual wear not likely suitable for even the most casual of offices. After last week, I’m rethinking my morning routine and understanding how the home office is an extension of the overall virtual office after participating in and being live at a moments notice in a Google Hangout, or a Skype session, etc. with a webcam bringing us all together as if in the office. Oh, it’s a small world.

The host, Alyona Minkovski [ @AlyonaMink ], orchestrated a discussion with a live guest in the studio, John Villasenor, (Los Angeles, CA) [ @JohndVillasenor ] Professor of UCLA, and 2 of us via Google Hangouts, myself and John Warren (Seattle , WA). We bantered just 2 of the points to consider when seeking to leverage Cloud based services. The first was the privacy of data and who should control or define guidelines. Of course we all like to believe the service providers offer a level of security to the data that we share, but the onus of the security of your data is really on you the individual consumer or the business contracting the services. As a business, you can safe guard to some degree with contracts and defined services and service levels regarding security and penalties for breaches, however, the more risk and more scrutiny to customize the service forced upon the service provider, the higher the cost of the service. This is why I speak of categorizing your services. The commodity is the low hanging fruit to take advantage of external service providers.

Another twist to this is law enforcement and how much should they have access to via a subpeona. If your computer and records were in your home, they would subpeona access to the data to solve a crime, thus there is the ability to subpeona the service provider to hand over data – Check out the new Australian law @NetIQ tweeted on earlier this week. The twist is how much can they request and how much will the service provider hand over. Certainly the service provider isn’t going to take the time on a request that is too wide and narrow down the data before handing it over. Again, the onus resides on the individual consumer and business to understand this and make the decisions of what they choose to externalize. There are pros and cons to both sides of this debate. There is a lot of hype about law enforcement monitoring transmissions and privacy, but the flip side to that debate is someone who has been stalked and taken advantage of by a predator. We would expect that all the evidence should be examined. This is one of those topics where I tread lightly; not going too deep on, like politics and religion. So I keep advice simple, turn off your GPS, location services on your phone, your Bluetooth and stay unplugged from the internet from a data perspective if you want to insure privacy, but you’ll also lose many capabilities that have enhanced our lives.

Another piece of the conversation touched upon availability of services, especially when your business depends upon those services. Again, categorizing your services to best understand what is the most important and therefore requiring an investment in higher levels of service is your road-map to success. The challenge today is that business has hit a boiling point with their internal IT departments at a time when the competition [Cloud Providers] is exploding, providing simple buying options and the business is making the purchases and growing the New IT within the business, without the IT department. The first challenge is that they have treated all services as if they were created equal with their in-house staff, not enabling them to create standards and different levels of service. However, now the providers will impose standards and their standard terms to gain the economies of scale of shared services. This is a good thing as all things ebb and flow and just as the pendulum swings to the side of the Cloud Providers currently, it with come back to a level state when costs escalate without controls in place. The second challenge is that the business doesn’t know what they don’t know regarding best practices for Disaster Recovery, redundancy and fail over to other providers, different geographies, etc. Read more in this previous post on Cloud Availability where I discuss this topic more fully. The point is the business is making emotional choices without the expertise to deploy these flexible options with the proper controls allowing them to reap the greatest reward from the technology.

The Transformation of IT is being driven largely in part by the cloud service providers and the options that are available today that were not available just a couple of years ago and what is old is new again, management of the technology to derive the greatest benefits.

IT Transformation – Who Does Gartner Show Winning in the $3.6T IT Business? – Qmunity

Tags: Availability, Best Practices, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, CIO, Cloud, Cloud Computing, Cost Reduction, Forrester, Gartner, Innovation, IT Management, Service Value, Transformation


IT Transformation is and has been a hot topic for >20 years. Wow!  I was speaking to one of my analyst friends at Forrester not too long ago and we were chatting about how much waste exists in annual IT spend just “Keeping the Lights On” and how these metrics haven’t changed in >20 years. The answer has been simple, no competition, no catalyst for change.

This week I was reading an article from the NY Times Technology section, “Information Technology Spending to Hit $3.6 Trillion in 2012”, supported by information from Gartner and it pointed to this pent up demand for transformation within IT organizations. Much of the increase in spending is going to Cloud Service Providers and Consultancies even with economic challenges in Europe and China. There is an increase in Public Cloud spending by 20% representing considerable computing power and more efficient IT Systems due to complex systems, cloud computing and analytics. My reaction as I read the article was Wow again. Ironically, this comes on the heals of articles from the previous 2 weeks regarding the outage of the cloud and Amazon’s Ashburn, VA data center.

My first comment is no one outsources services because it is cheaper. Services are outsourced to create change that cannot be achieved from within. So let’s break this down into the great change that is underfoot and IT Transformation based upon cost, value and innovation.

Read full story here …….

Olympics, Twitter, iTV – What is Common? HA – High Availability!

Tags: Availability, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, IT Management, Monitoring, Performance, Security, Service Level, Service Providers, Smart Phones, Social Media, Transformation


I couldn’t resist this opportunity to discuss high availability, speed to root cause, speed to restoration, security and mission critical services. We sit on the eve of the largest single sporting event that comes around only every 4 years and the recent headlines are, “Twitter Down 2012:  Service Out for Users Throughout the World”. I scratched my head wondering how this would look on the London skyline, literally as the London Eye conveys the Sentiment with Twitteras the gauge of status with color and intensity for all to see?

Read more here . . . 

Storm Cloud Busting – Service Enable Your Infrastructure – Qmunity

Tags: Amazon EC2, Availability, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, Cloud, Cloud Computing, DR, IT Management, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation


I live in the Washington, DC metro area, specifically the 51st state – Northern VA or better known as NoVA.  Fortunately, I was not affected by the storms and power outages of a couple weeks ago.  However, Amazon and their Ashburn data center once again.  Once again, many of us social media users found the pain of the outage.

How many outages do we have to endure before these folks put together better monitoring and DR plans?  The outage begs the question of how important are these sites in the grand scheme of things as it relates to human life, power outages, tainted water and housing destruction during a storm.  My response is all in how you look at the situation.  One way to look at it is this is their business and livelihood, so DR should be relevant.  Another is that many of us use these sites during times of destruction to communicate with the rest of the world, not just for fun or business.

As a marketer and business persoin, I find it interesting none of them have found it a competitive advantage to have the best plan and be alive when their competition is down as Okta exclaimed over this last outage, but security is their business and they must be alive at all times to retain customers.

I’m excited about all of the change with technology underfoot, but control and flexibility must be weighed.

How are you preparing to manage your mixed environment?

Michele

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Travis just posted, “Unlike the Weather, You Can Choose Your Cloud”, discussing the recent power outages we experienced here in the Northern VA area last week. As a native of this area, thunder storms and hurricanes do pass our way and affect us during this time of year. Late May of 2008, we had a storm very similar to this one and this isn’t the first Amazon outage, Amazon EC2 Outage Downs Reddit, Quora April 2011, nor will it be their last. Intuit’s SaaS QuickBooks was down 36 hours in June 2010, Update:  Intuit Sites Outage Strands Thousands of SMBsOr just this past Tuesday Salesforce.com was down, triggered by a power outage at an Equinix data center in Silicon Valley. Each time one of these outages occurs, it gains big headlines that the cloud has failed.  (Read more here …..)

Convergence is in the Air or Clouds – Qmunity

Tags: Availability, Best Practices, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, CIO, Cloud, Cloud Computing, Cost Reduction, Forrester, Gartner, IT Investment, IT Management, IT Management Tools, Outsourcing, Service Level, Service Providers, Service Value, Spending, Transformation, Trends


I have posted a couple of new posts on NetIQ’s Qmunity and wanted to share here as well.  IT is under great Transformation to get to Service Brokers who can manage Service Governance.  This is the convergences of Development, Operations and Security functions within IT.  In the first post I discuss the convergence and the second post is on the topic of Service Governance and new research from Forrester.

Enjoy!

 

 

Overhauling Service Management – Developing, Operating and Securing

Previously I posted, “Why Service Management” discussing the melding of IT and the business for common objectives in managing, measuring and communicating service performance.  The recent Gartner Infrastructure and Operations Management Summit (IOM) also provoked the status quo of IT Operations andCameron Haight began to challenge and discuss a new term, DevOps, where development and operations are more closely aligned.  The post event Trip Report provides a glimpse into the many thought provoking challenges and discussions of the week.  continue reading…

 

 Communicating Service Performance – Beware of the Competition

We’ve discussed service management and the transformation that IT is undergoing with the catalysts being the cloud, service providers, SaaS, social media, collaboration, mobility, BYOD, etc.  The root catalyst is choice and options in the market and the competition speaks in terms of service value and service performance. I posted a question in LinkedIn regarding how much of your services are in the cloud today and expected to be next year?  Join the discussion.  The first answer was as I expected, a law firm that isn’t in the cloud and isn’t going there because of security concerns.  I responded as I bet they use services that are internet based, research likely, and thus they are in the cloud.  Just like a recent customer discussed having hundreds of apps in the cloud that now need to be reconciled, rationalized and managed for cost.  How did they get this point?  Easy, credit card subscriptions – cheap and easy to do business with.  continue reading….

 

Where IT Metrics Go Wrong: 13 Issues To Avoid – ZDNet & Forrester

Tags: Availability, Best Practices, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, Forrester, IT Management, Metrics, ZDNet


The Hub Commentary_

Nice article!  Just because you can measure it, doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be measured.  Number 5 in the list is the one I snap to right away.  IT measures technology like baseball stats.  As my father always said, “baseball is a team sport that allows individuals to excel, but they must all excel at once to win the game”.    I believe IT measures technology as if those measurements prove they are doing something and creating value, when the company says, “so what?”.

The worst part about these measures is that it drives the wrong behavior.  Let’s pick on the help desk as an example.  Counting the number of calls, number of closed tickets on the first touch and the number of tickets closed in <15 minutes.  During my first software job as a professional services consultant, the first bit of custom code I had to write was for a customer to keep the help desk analysts from “cherry picking” the easy calls out of the queue and force the top of the queue to be selected.  Really?  This is because of how they are measured and we wonder why the business is unhappy with service and the end of the service desk is near according to the Top 10 Trends from Gartner.

These metrics are not driving quality or quality of service, but how many tasks I can do and how fast I can do them.  I cannot believe in 20+ years these metrics haven’t changed and it is just now that Forrester is publishing this article.  This is why IT is being outsourced and how the cloud is driving change into the organization.  See number 11 in the list and behavior.

Number 13 is classic and reminds me of my first position with EDS and a manager telling me, “you can make any chart tell the story you want to tell”.  Meaning diagrams from spreadsheets.  Yes, this is correct.  Why on earth would I push a chart that illustrates poor performance?

These measures are all the commodity of IT and why it is outsourced.  Instead of justifying and seeking to measure against benchmarks (number 9) as I was often asked as a former Industry Analyst for META Group, why not work to change the 1-2% of revenue that is spent just keeping the lights on – operating – which is what these traditional metrics measure.

Kudo’s Forrester, let’s start measuring value, driving the top line revenue with technology and innovation and improve the bottom line by reducing the amount of revenue (1-2%) that is spent just keeping the “lights on”.

How are your metrics changing with the advent of the cloud and driving value?

Michele

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In a recent Forrester report – Develop Your Service Management And Automation Balanced Scorecard – I highlight some of the common mistakes made when designing and implementing Infrastructure & Operations (I&O) metrics. This metric “inappropriateness” is a common issue but there are still many I&O organizations that don’t realize that they potentially have the wrong set of metrics. So, consider the following:  (Read Full Article…)

Gartner Infrastructure & Operations Mgmt Summit – Road Trip Wrap-up

Tags: Analytics, Availability, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, CIO, Cloud, Gartner, Innovation, IT Investment, IT Management, Mobile, Monitoring, Performance, Service Level, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation, Trends


I’m back from a couple of weeks of travel and most notably, the annual  Gartner Infrastructure and Operations Management Summit (IOM) the first week of June.  There were more than just a handful of aha moments, much churn in what has been a mature market and many great conversations on the solution showcase floor and hallways.  Let’s start with the opening keynotes on the first day:

10 Emerging Trends that will Impact Infrastructure and Operations – David Cappuccio

The trends are in last week’s InfoWorld article, “10 for 2012: Gartner’s Top Emerging Infrastructure Trends” and are as follow:

    • Consumerization of the Tablet
    • The Infinite Data Center
    • Resource Management
    • Mobility
    • Hybrid Clouds
    • Fabric Data Centers
    • IT Complexity
    • Big Data – Big Problems
    • The End of Service Desks
    • Virtual and Software-Defined Networks

David opens with the statistic of >75% of IT budgets are spent just keeping the lights on, operating, not driving the company forward.  IT didn’t see the (or didn’t want to see) the tablet coming to the workplace.  Just 5 years ago 1G of storage cost $7995, today it is 25 cents – that was yesterday! and I was 2 years away from my first cell phone, still had a pager!  We have LOTS of data to secure, not hardware or devices to manage, the focus must shift from the device to the information and data.  The Cloud will replace storage from the PC / Workstation to be accessible from any device, anywhere.

Even this old timer, slow adopter (me) is synching 3 devices via the cloud to share data across devices without the help of my company and I share that data with outside parties as appropriate due to the size limitations imposed by IT.  We all find a work-around!  At a minimum we each have 4 devices, yes, I have 2 phones, an iPad and a laptop, 5 if you count the Kindle I stopped using – have to keep Microsoft and Apple, Google and Blackberry all in check.  😉  I still live with the “Blue Screen of Death”, but have been seen checking the weight of that boat anchor of a Mac Book Pro.  :-)

The expectation is that no matter what we are using, it “just works”.  IT lost control of the environment a long time ago, now is the time to embrace the next generation and the self service culture.  Companies are now considering a stipen to aid in funding a device of the users choice lowering support and break-fix costs.  My bet is it happens within the year.

Another interesting statistic was for every 25% of functionality added to the current infrastructure, there is an increase of 100% in complexity.  The cloud is here, the business is subscribing with or without IT as I’ve posted previously out of frustration to deliver innovation over just operating.  We in IT are in catch up mode and need to move quickly.  With that said, we all need to be wary of the hype and focus on the value delivered and concentrate on the right delivery model for the value.

Of all the trends, the one indicating the end of service desks surprised me most from this conservative crowd and having spent the early part of my career in this market.  The more I have pondered this trend over the past week the more I agree and see it.  I have often posted and consulted that IT needs to stop turning support into a custom adventure and at 10% of an IT Operational budget, it is well suited for SaaS and/or outsourced.  Customers expect service now (no pun intended :-) and IT is diminishing it’s own value in the loss of productivity, especially with the next generation of workers.  IT needs to become proactive, embrace new technology and begin focusing on the right deployment options and securing the data / information, rather than device support and lock down.  This shift has occurred very quickly and the war already lost by IT.

Applications 2020:  The Impact on Infrastructure and Operations of Current and Emerging Trends in Applications – Valentin Sribar

To my surprise, an old friend presented this session, Val, and was quite an interesting topic and approach from an Operations outsider in front of 800+ Infrastructure and Operations leaders.  The first half of the session focused on the next generation worker and their expectations of technology.  I had to think about my baby nephew during this session (now 17) who grew up with a whole different view of technology and it’s capabilities.  Who, by the way, is the only person I’ll “text” with as it is his only means of communication and a communication method I dislike.  I think of one of the first applications I provided for him, a Crayola painting application.  My father and I watched a 3 year old at the time drag and drop the primary colors into his paint tray and paint a picture.  I with, my back to him, asked, “create and use purple, my favorite color”.  Sure enough he does it without question to my father’s exclaim, “how did he know he could do that?”, (dragging and dropping red on blue) I said, “because he didn’t know he couldn’t”.

This generation expects devices to just work, expects them to work together and expects to easily share data and applications across platforms and devices and communicate instantly in 140 characters or less.  My nephew doesn’t understand that if he texts me while I’m driving, what’s the delay.  Connectivity is instantaneous and global.  I travel globally, my nephew hears the action of a car race on the phone, turns on the tv to see it live, we text and IM across the globe as if I’m in his house daily and part of his daily life.  When he was born and I lived 10 hours away, I wanted to be sure we had a tight relationship.  Little did I know that in 6 short years the world would change and in a couple more years, distance would no longer be a challenge.  This is the next generation worker, not hindered by device, time or distance.

Development for the mobile world should be the default and workstation minority as an afterthought.  The user experience from these devices will be like jewelry, a microphone, speakers, cameras, gamification of applications, scoring and choice of applications, etc. etc. etc.  These workers expect an AppStore, not IT, to choose, download and just use in an instant – it just needs to work.  Apps and options are not one size fits all.

STOP what you are doing today and turn it upside down.  Reduce costs at the bottom to add value at the top and get away from one size fits all and join the value add discussion.  This is where Val provided several insightful slides and a paper (G00147079 – Application Leaders:  Stop Eating Profits and Capital with the Unnecessary Operational Expenses).

 

Both of these sessions set the tone for the remainder of the sessions and 3 days of the Summit that I’ll save for additional posts.  What this all points to is Change is inevitable, with Change comes Complexity and with Complexity and the need for speed comes Risk.  We all need to embrace the Change, learn to manage Complexity and mitigate/control Risk to take advantage of new technology and deploy innovation into our organizations.  As someone in the Service Management or Business Service Management market for quite some time, this was music to my ears.  The Cloud is the disruption creating the urgency for change, as well as the next generation.  Ignore the hype, focus on the value and choose the right deployment and technology options that will drive your business into the future.

The one thing that did strike me odd in most of the sessions was the use of the term “User”.  The reason this struck me odd was that the focus should be on the customer, less on the internal users, and driving the business.  Working to drive the business is about the organization in support of the customer.

As I entered the workforce, a southerner was transplanted in Boston and a year and a half later relocated to Texas with a New York co-worker and friend .  At that time our confusion was a result of different words and concepts like Round-abouts, The Green Monster, The Garden and BBQ of which I had no idea what the first 2 were, the third I thought was a botanical garden and the fourth was of course stringy pork with a vinegar based sauce and coleslaw sandwich versus steak on a bun.  We had dumb terminals and PC’s were off in the distance.  Change has come lightening fast.

I walked away from the Summit knowing it is about the service, driving revenue, embracing technology, ignore the hype and concentrate on the value, securing an unknown perimeter and creating freedom of the imagination.  Technology with Imagination – Endless Possibilities.

Thoughts?  Were you at the Summit?  What struck you the most?

Michele

Road Trip – Gartner Infrastructure & Operations Mgmt Summit

Tags: Availability, Best Practices, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, Change, CIO, Cloud, Cloud Computing, Gartner, IT Management, ITSM, Mobile, Monitoring, Service Level, Service Providers, Service Value, Social Media, Spending, Transformation, Trends, VDI, Virtualization


I traveled the globe from October to February meeting with customers and our sales teams discussing NetIQ’s IT Operations Management (ITOM) value and solutions, then I traded in wings for a bit.  Now it’s time for one of my favorite battery re-charging conferences of the year, the Gartner Infrastructure and Operations Management Summit (IOM).  I enjoy the Summit to see old friends in the vendor community as well as many old analyst friends, but this year there is a lot of buzz around the Summit and ITOM has become the talk of the town again.  Here are few quotes and phrases from the opening pages of the Summit Agenda:

  • “Delivering Accelerated Business Value:  Cloud, Mobility and More”
  • Hot Topics:
    • Enterprise mobility
    • Private/Public cloud computing
    • Moving beyond server virtualization
    • Cost optimzation
    • Data center space, power and cooling
    • ITIL and process improvement
    • Improving IT service quality
    • Business value
  • “The reign of the PC is over.  A new era is emerging, one that will require enterprises to fundamentally rethink how they deliver services to users.”

There are many sessions on the power of these emerging technologies, how we will manage them, how we will deliver value to the business and how technology is no longer just operating the business – technology is powering the business.  At least that’s what our businesses are expecting in the coming couple of years and how the competition with the service providers is stacking up and pushing the IT Wake Up call.

I’m jazzed to start my day tomorrow with 3 back to back keynotes with a couple of old friends:

  • 10 Emerging Trends that will Impact Infrastructure and Operations – David Cappuccio
  • Applications 2020:  The Impact on Infrastructure and Operations of Current and Emerging Trends in Applications – Valentin Sribar
  • The IT Operations Scenario – Ronni Colville & Deb Curtis

 

Then we move into lunch, come see us at the NetIQ solution showcase to chat about the sessions with my old friends and how we see their insights coming to life in our every day worlds.  I’ve been posting on the need for IT to better align in how it speaks of technology in the business as services and driving top line revenue rather than just bottom line with cost savings for a while now.  In the last bullet above from the opening pages of the agenda, the one thing that did strike me odd is “deliver services to users”.  I would restate that as it is how we will “deliver services to our customers”  to drive revenue.  Yes, driving efficiency into the organization is part of the IT balancing act, but the first focus has shifted to the customer and value.

Then I’ll finish the afternoon with:

  • Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012:  Will You Be Able to Manage Them? (Before They Manage You?) – Cameron Haight
  • Compuware, VMware and Dell will provide simultaneous session with a App Performance, Cloud Mgmt and a CIO Panel, repsectively – How will I choose?
  • 2 More Choices to Make:
    • VDI and other Virtualization Strategies to Securely Support and Manage a Dynamic Workforce – Neil MacDonald & Philip Redman
    • Leveraging Mobility, Content and Communication in you Business Processes – Bern Elliot
  • 2 More Final Choices to Make:
    • Lessons Learned from Early Adopters of Social IT Management – Jeffrey M. Brooks & George Spafford
    • Networking and Mobility Trends for the Next Decade – Tim Zimmerman

Then we are back to wrap up at the NetIQ solution showcase with a head spinning with many new viewpoints and ideas.  I look forward to speaking with many of the attendees to gain their insights into the sessions, stop on by and join the conversation, follow us in real-time on Twitter and send your comments to these posts.

As you can see from my agenda for just the first day, many new trends to wrap our management arms around to provide flexibility with balance of controls.  Change is coming fast and furious and managing it with controlled risk will be the key to the successful in the coming year.   I have some choices to make tomorrow regarding the sessions I can attend, but look forward to hearing about the risks and value of new technologies applied to our business challenges.  You even see a little Social Media has creeped into IT Management.  Wonder what that’s all about?  :-)

I’ll send a few early comments on Twitter tomorrow during my adventures.  Follow:  @BSMHub this week and catch the real-time insights, at least my perspective, of the conference.  I’ll post my take aways each evening.  Drop me your comments, I’d love to hear what’s happening out there in the real-world.

Michele

Why Service Management?

Tags: Availability, Best Practices, BSM, Business Service Management, IT Management, IT Management Tools, Monitoring, Performance, Service Level, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation, Trends


In my last post, Eat or be Eaten – IT Transformation UnderwayI discussed the transformation IT as we know it is undergoing. Last week I had the opportunity to listen to my good friend Eveline Oehrlich of Forresterpresent Reboot Service Management as hosted by ITSM Academy, confirming many of the discussion points from my previous post and had me thinking about my next series of posts.

The IT is being dropped by more and more folks in the industry and ITIL is being discussed less and less due to negative feelings surrounding it.  Business has reached the point of frustration hearing too much about IT, technology silos and processes at the same time the market has opened up with new buying options removing the perceived lack of competion IT has enjoyed for so long.

I initially was going to start this series with Why Business Service Management, however, after last week’s discussion led by Eveline, I also agree, to shed the IT and business delineations of the past. Now I ask myself what is it we need to focus on? Why is this transformation underway? The answer had hit me quite easily earlier this year, it’s simple. At the end of the day we need to answer a couple of simple questions:

  • Are we open for business?
  • How are we performing?
  • What is our current level of risk?
  • Are we operating efficiently?

These are the questions at the crux of this transformation into a center of innovation driving the business and a small operation managing the commodity as efficiently as possible. In slide 7 of Eveline’s deck, she discussed how technology demand is up even with declining revenues because organizations see the power that technology can bring their organization. There are 3 facets to this: Demand for technology, Growth of revenue and Decline of costs. The next few slides and discussion supported a complex environment, self service and support of technology and technology savvy workforce. The technology is moving to the business with the business buying their way into a center of innovation, leaving old IT to commoditize and operate the legacy. The credibility gap between the technology savvy business and the current IT organization is growing and thus the shift empowered by new, easy buying options.

Very few organizations perceive their current IT organizations will drive growth for their organization because most feel their IT organization does not understand the business. Businesses are seeking growth and customer loyalty far above just driving out costs in the current environment. The businesses are seeking guidance in applying technology to drive growth and are spending to see that happen. These will be the leaders of their industry in the coming year.

The most interesting chart in the conversation last week was slide 22 and where IT is placing their priorities. IT prioritizes efficiency and cost where they have a great opportunity to drive revenue, customer loyalty and competitiveness for the business in the market. I assume the folks attacking driving growth are in the minority as it is the greatest change for the current IT organization. The level of complexity to manage technology increases the more the business subscribes to their own disparate services across business units. As this gap grows, this is the point of inflection where I believe the new center of innovation will evolve from to centralize management again, but in a business fashion versus an operation fashion as we have today.

As the discussion began to come to a close, we look at slide 59 and 60 and see that 45% of organizations will have SaaS services by the end of 2012 and 60% by 2013 with businesses shifting from managing cost and focusing on business agility. This is why I found slide 22 interesting as most IT organizations are still focusing on cost. This is where I believe the center of innovation and operations for the new IT will evolve from because the current IT cannot answer the questions above and have no idea how technology impacts business. Most IT organizations manage all technology the same, box on / box off is equal to severity 1, when they should have visibility to business impact setting priority and how management focus of resources are applied.

So Why Service Management? To know if you are open, performing well, managing risk and operating efficiently. It’s about the service of your business, not the technology and the business is seeking roles, employees and service providers that drive growth, customer loyalty and market competitiveness. The question is will they hire the talent from the outside or will the inside evolve to transform the organization and become strategic to apply technology rather than just operate the technology.

It’s not just about contracting cloud services for the sake of it, but a strategy of applying the right technology, deployment option and manage it and bake that management into the service to manage and grow the business.  In the next posts I’ll discuss each question in further detail focusing on:

  • Are we open for business?  Availability and service views and management
  • How are we performing?  Performance of the service both from the technology & business perspective
  • What is our current level of risk?  Risk both operationally and from a security perspective
  • Are we operating efficiently?  Leveraging automation and standards

I believe technology will fragment and decentralize before coming back together with centralized management, but it will be management of services and the application of technology to drive growth, thus the center of innovation. The business is already creating this capability, it’s just a question whether the inside folks are part of the strategic movement or left with the operational management.

How is your IT organization evolving?

Michele

Consider Desktops in the Cloud for BYOD – NetworkWorld

Tags: Availability, BSM, Business Service Management, Cloud, DaaS, IT Management, IT Management Tools, Monitoring, NetworkWorld, Performance, Service Providers, Service Value, VDI


The Hub Commentary_

I’m not so sure I agree with this latest in the cloud development, Desktop-as-a-Service.   How many times do you rent this session before it would have been cheaper to just supply the device with software or deploy a VDI in your environment?  Renting is never cheaper.

However, it does insure a standard configuration and provides the most current version of the operating systems and productivity tools.

The other component I’m not sure I buy into is why the business should incur additional charges to accommodate employees bringing their own devices.  This will require both the rental and subscriptions to air time where wi-fi is not readily accessible.  We all use our devices for both personal and professional reason, so when does the cost of the subscriptions roll from the business to the person?

I haven’t been able to find the pricing to run the numbers, but enabling employees to access files and applications from their personal devices and from any location is part of doing business these days.  Paying by the drink and buying the air time for both personal and professional use smells like a pricey proposition.  If there were not revenue in it, the hosters would not be in business.

I do see having access for emergency situations useful.  Management must also be baked into the service as well to insure quality and availability.

Just because it can be in the cloud doesn’t necessarily mean it must be in the cloud.  Where is your VDI, in the cloud, sourced or on premise?

Michele

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Desktop-as-a-Service is an interesting way for IT execs to provide cloud-based Windows desktop sessions, as well as shared resources such as storage. DaaS can help companies roll out new desktops and support Bring Your Own Device policies.  (Read Full Article…)

Social Media is Reinventing How Business is Done – USA Today

Tags: Availability, BSM, Business Service Management, CIO, Cloud, IT Management, Service Value, Social Media, Transformation, Trends


The Hub Commentary_

I find this piece interesting for a couple of reasons.  The first being the application of technology to drive business and change the business, the second for the use of technology internally for productivity and the final interesting component are the comments that follow the article.

Most of the comments were not very positive, but they illustrated their point and opinion and created a conversation in a social media channel with the comment.  How we interact inside and outside our organizations is changing and will continue to change as new technologies arrive and they are applied in new and different ways.

I’ve noticed a change in many businesses I interact with in my personal life.  Many are becoming reachable, personable and are fostering the customer relationship more than ever before.  Some better than others and represent both small and very large organizations.    I’ve been surprised by those that are in touch with their customers and those that are not so in touch.

We all use the internet to read reviews, find product comparisons, provide feedback, ask questions, etc.  Why wouldn’t we expect the growth of social media channels and tools to grow exponentially in the coming years?  The companies that embrace, manage and exploit it will be the ones with the most loyal customers.

So what does this have to do with IT and BSM?  Our technology organizations must be leading the charge in applying new technology in our organizations both for productivity, but most importantly to drive competitive advantage and growth  Technology organizations as we know them today are transforming as business takes on the function of applying technology and driving innovation.  I suspect in the not so distant future we will have centers of innovation rather than IT organizations.

How are you applying social media channels and tools to drive your business?

Michele

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When Red Robin Gourmet Burgers introduced its new Tavern Double burger line last month, the company had to get everything right. So it turned to social media.  The 460-restaurant chain used an internal social network that resembles Facebook to teach its managers everything from the recipes to the best, fastest way to make them. Instead of mailing out spiral-bound books, getting feedback during executives’ sporadic store visits and taking six months to act on advice from the trenches, the network’s freewheeling discussion and video produced results in days.  (Read Full Article…)

IT operations in the age of cloud: Brace yourself for change – TechTarget

Tags: Availability, BSM, Business Alignment, Cloud, IT Management, Monitoring, Performance, TechTarget, Transformation


The Hub Commentary_

Alex Barrett wrote a nice article a couple of weeks ago that I too wrote about last week.  IT is transforming and dwindling.  I suggest that there will be only a small staff left called “Operations”, there will be architects and there will be an Office of Innovation that resides closer to the business units knitting together the services that grow and manage the business.

Alex provides a couple of nice examples and worth the read and contemplation how your IT Organization will transform this coming year.

Are you part of the downsizing or part of the innovation?  How is your organization changing?

Michele

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Like a hurricane barreling up the coast, cloud computing is gathering strength and expected to make landfall shortly. In some IT shops, cloud is already here, bringing the winds of change along with it.  (Read Full Article…)

What do you measure in your Infrastructure & Operations department? – Forrester

Tags: Availability, Best Practices, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, IT Management, Performance, Service Level, Service Providers


The Hub Commentary_

Good Monday Morning!  Scanning the early news and came across this list of metrics from Forrester that they are building out for their next conference.  In the comments to the article, there is a link to the KPI Library.  

These IT metrics have been around for decades and are good for evaluating and implementing process improvements.  In this day of the Cloud and competition for IT business, I might suggest that these need to be in context of the service and could even go one step further and categorized for 4 high level services:  Growth, Quality, Productivity and Cost.

All services are not created equal and thus the metrics for each will vary based upon the priority of the service to the business.  I’ve posted here on this chart of services last week and in a previous post.  These metrics are suited for IT Operators, while the rest of IT is slowly being outsourced or moved to the business focusing on the services offered by the business and the services that will drive the business.

How do you measure your technology for the transformation that is underway?

Michele

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Help us build out a list of metrics that organizations are using to measure their infrastructure and operations departments. We will use this data to create a list of consensus metrics and benchmark their values.  (Read Full Article…)

The IT Paradox: A Diminished Role in Technology, but Greater Clout in the Business – CIO

Tags: Availability, BSM, Business Service Management, CIO, Consumerization, IT Management, Service Value, Transformation


The Hub Commentary_

Nice article regarding the transformation of IT.  I would disagree with the transformation being fueled by the consumerization of IT, but rather the competition that has come into play with the consumerization of IT.  This is the New IT as I call it in many of my posts.

Transformation is already happening and IT is already in the business and it is this competition from the outside presenting the business with options to get things done in a manner that IT has not been able to present services.  It is this competition and requirement to speak in terms of cost, value, right sourced deployment options, driving business growth, etc. that is the catalyst for change in IT.

Why does anyone do anything?  Because someone else is out there working to do it better and faster than the current supplier – competition for change.

The role of IT is no doubt changing and will be a manager of service and integrator of how those services are delivered to be effective in the future.

How is your IT Transforming?

Michele

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As technology becomes easier to use, it becomes more complex internally. That means IT is less necessary in some ways and more essential in others.

There is a paradox in the technology that IT employs and deploys. As it becomes easier to use and simpler to manage, it is actually increasing in complexity. And there is a paradox within this paradox concerning how IT relates to the business. More on that in a bit.  (Read Full Article…)

Formula One Racing Team Speeds to Agile Development – CIO

Tags: Availability, Business Service Management, CIO, IT Management, Performance, Service Value, Transformation


The Hub Commentary_

IT at the speed of Formula One.  I’ve been writing about transformation for quite a while now and having spent 15 years in Indianapolis, I developed an affection for racing.  It’s hard to develop that affection from TV, you have to see it live, walk through the pits and garages, smell the fuel and rubber, hear the sounds which vary by type of car, etc. to appreciate what goes into racing today.

As an old application developer, I have to say how cool a job it would be to be working with racing teams, on the other hand the pressure for IT and the systems to perform might be too much stress.  To the risk taker go the spoils!

Here is the best quote that concludes the article,  “If [IT changes] reduce the amount of manual work engineers have to do, they can focus on the car and driver,” he says. The team, meanwhile, prepares for the next two races in Spain and Monaco this month.  Maybe Lotus F1 will find that three seconds.

This is IT in tune with the customer and what tuning means to the business, the business happens to be very cool racing with very large payouts for the successful.  This is true in commercial business as well.  Business requires technology and technology is the life blood of competitiveness, growth and profitability.

How competitive is your IT?  Where does your Drive come from?

Michele

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Lotus F1’s IT team made a technology pit stop and changed from a traditional application development strategy to an agile approach. Why shift gears? The pit crew and car designer wanted better data faster — and IT wasn’t about to pass on the opportunity.   (Read Full Article…)

Marketing IT and the Competition

Tags: Availability, BSM, Business Service Management, CIO, IT Management, Marketing, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation, Trends


IT is in the midst of a great transformation and wrote about this in a previous blog as referenced by a CIO article and a Forrester blog.  For those of us who have been in and around IT for the past 20 years, we’ve seen this ebb and flow of change.  New technology, growth of service providers, decentralization and then back to centralization and cost containment.  It was desktop computing and LANs, web services and eCommerce and now it is the cloud.  This time is different though, the business is driving and creating the new IT.  There is competition and easier buying models that didn’t exist previously.  I will also state that outsourcing is not cheaper, it is creating the change that cannot be created from within – the new IT requirement.

In the previous post and CIO article, I mentioned IT needing to run more like the vendors they purchase technology from and marketing would become a key component.  Many think of IT marketing as marketing great technology services and uptime within the organization.  It is just this wrong kind of marketing that is driving the transformation for change.  Your business does not care about technology uptime, the business cares about driving out cost for profitability and driving up revenue for growth and profitability.  Marketing of IT has 3 facets:

  • Know your services, their cost and value
  • Know your competition and their capabilities
  • Know the market requirements of your customers

This is a transformation where internal IT is already late for the dance and few possess the capability to enter the dance floor with a perfect tango balancing technical capability and innovative intrigue.  The competition knows this weaknesses and is capitalizing on it.  Technology vendors are also making the shift as to who the new buyers of technology and services are – the business and the service providers.  The difference between the technology vendors and IT is that the vendors are used to identifying markets, trends, shifts and making the adjustments required to capitalize on a market based upon the buyers and their requirements.

Know Your Services

Assess your current landscape of services and future services and where they fall into this simple grid.  This will help you to understand business drivers.  For example:  services for competitive advantage have little care for cost or quality, it is about speed to market.  In order to accomplish this, IT will require the flexibility to deploy with speed and mitigate cost and negative customer impact with controlled risk.  This is service enabling the infrastructure leveraging management technology to perform the monitoring and controlled risk, while the technologists apply the internal IP to the services with the right technology and right deployment options.Business Service Management Commentary on IT Service Management, Service Level Management & Performance Management

This will transform IT into the service managers that are developing in the business today with the underground New IT movement.  I would suggest that the model adopted by IT in their strategy to transform would be applying focus of time and resources as accordingly:

  • 50% on services driving competitive advantage
  • 30% on services for service quality and service efficiency
  • 20% on services driving out operating cost

The competition is focused on addressing the requirement of competitive advantage in your business, this is ITs greatest weakness and the service provider / vendors greatest ability to drive value.  ITs marketing efforts must begin here in developing the holistic strategy of technology, deployment options, cost and value to the business.

Know the Competition

Developing a holistic strategy will include a multi-vendor and service provider approach.  Understand internal strengths, weaknesses and the outside capabilities to drive the highest value, lowest cost solution and deployment.  This would break the traditional cycle of change driven out of frustration to outsource, not value or cost.  Outsourcing is not the lowest cost option, but right sourcing to meet the right objectives to deploy the right solution is IT transforming into strategic.

The competition also has weaknesses in high growth times like these.  The strength of IT is operational focus, while both the providers and IT could benefit from a bit of operational maturity, now is the time to illustrate operational maturity with good management practices, processes and ability to communicate business value.  The service providers are investing in the communication, while taking a risk (controlled risk in some cases) on management in meeting a time to market requirement.  To meet the same time to market requirement within your organization, evaluating how you leverage management technology to automate your processes and provide the communication required for your business, would provide both competitive advantage and allow you to focus your IP on driving new services.

Know your Customers

Typically when you ask IT about their customers, they respond with their users and internal employees.  Here I am speaking about knowing the customers of your business.  Why do they select your company for your services?  What do you do better than your competition?  Who is the competition of your business?

Instead of working to control the environment so tightly and throw up obstacles and barriers to change and adoption of new technology and interactions with both the employees (Service Efficiency) and customers (Competitive Advantage), embrace them.  Understand how and why they seek to use specific devices, technology, methods of interaction, etc. and how to best deploy the right option.  This is understanding the requirement, not necessarily mimicking each and every device and method.  Provide the flexibility, while balancing control and risk.  This is most important when evaluating customer requirements and creating loyalty.

Think about who you prefer to do business with and why in your personal life and bring this into your IT organization to start the transformation revolution.  While I agree that marketing within your organization is relevant, marketing the right services and message will drive the greatest value in your organization.  This is dependent upon knowing your customers, requirements, competition and a focus shift from technology operators to communicating and driving revenue as service managers.

Do you know your services, customers and competition?

Michele

Sanity Check: Let Me Be Perfectly Vague – Mainframe Zone

Tags: Availability, Business Service Management, IT Management, mainframe, mainframezone.com, Performance


The Hub Commentary_

I enjoyed this read as an old mainframe programmer and operator.  I believe we’ve been talking about death to the mainframe for many years now and as my father used to tell people, “my daughter is working the midnight shift in one of those lights out datacenters”.

As the Cloud providers are growing exponentially and >50% of IT will be outsourced by 2013 according to IDC and business is making up to 50% of technology buying decisions the mainframe enters the conversation again.  Each time I see one of these statistics I say the same thing that Bill speaks of in his post, just because there is sexier technology doesn’t always mean it is fit for purpose or cheaper.

No one outsources for cost, outsourcing occurs to create change.  Business is frustrated at the obstacle IT has become when technology should be driving the business.  Technology is the core of the business, however, has drifted into the commodity zone like electricity.  Technology must power the business and make competitive advantage in the market place or these organizations will be left behind and fully outsourced.

With that said, now isn’t the time to change for the sake of change, but rather evaluate and make the right technology deployment choices  based upon the service and the business outcomes expected.  In my previous post regarding knowing your services, I provide a simple 2×2 grid in identifying the value of your services and then the evaluation of cost and deployment options.

I once had a manager tell me sometimes it isn’t always easier to re-write an application that works.  Of course I later discovered he had written the application I had targeted for a re-write as it was a bear to support as it was assembler and not only had “go to’s”, but branching on instruction lengths and register addresses.    We re-wrote it in COBOL without go to’s and it became easier to manage moving forward, however, there were a few sleepless nights wondering if we could prove out the re-write.  We dodged a bullet that time.

Know your services, their value and costs and then determine the best deployment option.

Who makes the technology decisions in your organization?  How is your mainframe these days?

Michele

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Let me be perfectly vague by intentionally withholding the names of two companies I want to tell you about.

Many years ago, I was approached by a large technology vendor that wanted to lure customers away from the mainframe. For several years, this vendor had successfully sold its proprietary midrange computer, so they decided to test the waters in the high-end market.   (Read Full Article…)

Looking At Cloud Strategy Through The Lens Of Value – Forbes

Tags: Availability, Best Practices, Business Service Management, Cloud, Forbes, IT Management, IT Management Tools, Performance, Service Providers, Service Value


The Hub Commentary_

Cloud for the sake of cloud and a technology will leave organizations following their competition.  I could not agree more and have many times commented here on The Hub regarding the use of the right technology deployment for the service, cost and value as described in the post on defining your services.

Now more than ever if IT is to achieve getting to service orchestrator ,they must start managing technology as a service over silo’d technologies.  This is going to requiring baking management into the services such that they are service enabled and provide proactive visibility as to their performance in real-time to mitigate risk and deliver the highest quality of services.

Management always lags new technology, but in this case to achieve the imperative of becoming a service orchestrator / broker / manager, IT has to evaluate a new way of managing the services they are responsible.  Yes, IT is responsible for the service regardless of how it delivered.

With buying decisions moving to the business, the job of managing services will get harder before it gets easier.  The business is taking over out of frustration to drive change, however, ownership of managing the service is being overlooked and putting IT back into the reactionary seat.  Now is the time to move from reactionary to proactive service broker.

Are you driving or riding as your business takes competitive advantage or loss?

Michele

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If the innovative ways that businesses are using cloud computing haven’t set off alarms within your organization, it’s time that they did. Enterprises that look at the cloud solely through the lens of technology will be left behind by more agile competitors that use the cloud to develop innovative new business models based on faster time to market, new modes of customer interaction and more efficient operating models. Likewise, ITservice providers that market their cloud offerings simply as technology solutions will be outmaneuvered by competitors that position their offerings based on the business value they deliver.  (Read Full Article…)

BYOD Policy Bites Vacationing CEO – Networkworld

Tags: Availability, Business Service Management, BYOD, IT Management, IT Management Tools, Mimecast, Mobile, NetworkWorld, Performance, Security, Service Providers, Trends


The Hub Commentary_

BYOD makes the headlines, it takes just one to spoil the party.  Mobility whether internally issued or personal devices all carry management and security management concerns and challenges.

After 20+ years from the days of mainframe, to distributed networks, now to highly mobile device du jour IT organizations must break the cycle of new technology first, management later.  Headlines are always an eyeopener for a wake up call.

IT is being outsourced rapidly and must develop the discipline to manage new technology and manage it accordance to business priorities.  For instance, many engineering firms are arming their field engineers with mobile devices.  Managing that mobile infrastructure is driving the business and must be managed as such as all services are not created equal.

This is a light offense and an article worth a grin, but should be an eyeopener too.  The worst is yet to come in the headlines.

Are you managing or hoping no one spoils the technology party?

Michele

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Mimecast CEO Peter Bauer recently found himself at the intersection of consumerization and IT management, falling victim to personal data loss as the result of the internal management policy he himself helped establish.  (Read Full Article…)

 

Q1 2012 Data Shows Economic and Tech Market Softness At Start of The Year – Forrester

Tags: Availability, Business Service Management, CIO, Forrester, IT Management, Performance, Service Providers, Spending, Trends


The Hub Commentary_

Technology spending is up from last year, but not across the board.  Interesting observation where investments are being made in software and subscriptions as I would have expected.

The competition of the service providers is heating up pushing IT organizations to think about where they invest to improve their business.  The environment is getting more complex with the introduction of multiple deployment platforms and managing the infrastructure in lock step with the business and evaluating outside options for commodity services will continue to grow.

Outsourcing options aid in driving change within the organization and the evaluation of which services are best suited inside and outside the organization.

Michele

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While I am still relatively bullish on the 2012 tech market outlook for the US (see April 2, 2012, “US Tech Market Outlook For 2012 To 2013“), I have to say that the data we got on the US economy and on the US tech market was a bit softer than I expected.  US real GDP growth came in at 2.2%, a bit lower than my expectation of 2.5%.  On the positive side, consumer spending rose by 2,9% in real terms, and residential construction continued to improve.  (Read Full Article…)