Tag Archive | "Cloud"

Big Data or Big Brother? Security – Value Analytics – Privacy?

Tags: Analytics, Best Practices, Big Data, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, CIO, Cloud, Cloud Computing, Facebook, GPS, Healthcare, Huff Post Live, IDC, InformationWeek, IT Management, Privacy, RFID, Security, Social Media, WSJ


I know I have been quiet for the previous month, I took a little vacation and started becoming more attune to the discussion surrounding data, analytics, security, privacy and the value of our technologically connected world. First we have to rewind to the end of August when I had my first opportunity to discuss and explore the privacy discussion surrounding the use of technology and data to enrich our lives and business on Huff Post LiveGet off my Cloud:  Floating the Risks of Big Data Storage ” (previous Qmunity post, Cloud Discussion:  Data Privacy, Availability and Performance on Huff Post Live). All of this technology sits on vast amounts of data that awaits being cracked open whether it be healthcare, location & GPS, marketing attendance, safety, cellular, data services, etc. the list is endless.

When I responded to a request to be on a panel with Huff Post Live, my mind was in my usual place of availability and performance of technology, not data privacy.  As I stated during the discussion, I firmly believe if you use technology and electronically push information about yourself into the public, it is searchable and accessible.  The first conclusion is to jump directly to privacy and someone monitoring/watching our every move. This is also driven by the folks taking the first stab at using these vast stores of data for what I’ll call “tracking” purposes. This is usual technology behavior, let’s track things and manage our known environment better rather than coming at it from a side of value and a value-add services. Ok, let’s take a few specific examples.

Social Media:
The simplest is Facebook. I’ve had the discussion with colleagues and friends about the accessablity to this information, let’s say when you are seeking employment or acceptance into a program. If it is public,  why shouldn’t it be accessable and why wouldn’t you expect it to be searched? I do a regular search on myself to see what shows up as we have long expected background checks to be performed in the past, this is just part of a background check. If you have something questionable, why would you publish it? I was a late bloomer to the world of Facebook and social media for this reason of privacy, but it wasn’t because I didn’t understand the risk, it was because I didn’t understand how to secure and use it properly. However, I use my credentials and name as it is part of building my own brand and credibility very regularly when I publish and comment and thus how I end up on panels like Huff Post Live. I look at the value and positive side of participating in the conversation, managing and using my credentials accordingly. I do recognize it is on me to manage the data and thus how it could be subsequently used.

Healthcare:
While on vacation in the local paper, cayCompass.com, there was an article regarding a new healthcare facility and the technology going into it to provide higher levels of healthcare to the residents. One of the discussion points was doctors using data to better diagnose patients. Again, the article took the negative side first regarding the “must use” the technology for a diagnosis. I’m not sure I want to remove the human subjective element from my doctor, however, I would welcome the use of my history and an all encompassing view of my current condition, weighing that against a database of possibilities that no human could carry with them daily, to make a better diagnosis. Why not make use of being able to carry that encyclopedia of information around with you to deliver better patient care? Again, the value side of the equation versus the“monitoring” of the physicians side of the equation. Both are useful and valuable.

Earlier this week in InformationWeek, there was an article titled, “Healthcare Execs Must Prepare for Big Data“, where the same discussion continues as well as knowing the location of patients, doctors, equipment to insure a safer environment and getting people and equipment where it is most needed. I most enjoyed the Wayne Gretzky quote: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”  We have embraced technological advances to assist in healing us faster, making surgery less invasive and remeding illnesses that just a decade ago were less treatable. Why is using the vast amounts of data for split second decisions any different?

 

GPS:
There are several technologies that fall into this category. The two that caused alarm and again I would suggest it is because it was hyped against the tracking feature as the initial focus versus the value it brings to the table. On Huff Post Live this week,  “Texas School District Reportedly Threatening Students Who Refuse Tracking ID, Can’t Vote For Homecoming, with the crux of the discussion being the embedding of an RFID chip into school ID cards to be used for tracking attendance and insuring that funding continues to the schools. This is useful, but not the value to the public and causes debate. How many of you ever punched a time clock? I have on multiple occasions, well that was an early and crude form of attendance monitoring / tracking. Why is it now that we can use technology to more accurately track and rapidly assess to take action of value with the data different?

Flip the debate and think about some of the most tragic incidents that have occurred in our schools in the last decade and one that is close to home for me at VA Tech. When I was in school, we roamed campus freely including all of the buildings. We didn’t have cell phones, we knew our dormmates, we phoned each other on land lines, we had an idea of where those close to us were, we stuck together in groups and I knew I could phone one of the boys from the dorm to meet me and walk me back to the dorm in the dark if I got stuck somewhere alone and felt unsafe. So again, I challenge folks not to just look at it from a tracking standpoint, but from a ease of security standpoint. Who’s in the building? Where are my kids? Did they make it to the bus? The list goes on.

During my discussion on Huff Post Live it was more around the use of cellular data. I watched a television segment recently on the tracking of license plates and taking pictures of cars around a city with the purpose being repossession. Again, under ordinary situations, no one is tracking the ordinary. Under stressful situations, it can assist in regaining a safe situation and uncovering details that might not have been available previously.

We could go on for hours with this one as it generates the most debate, however, we all have location tracking in our cell phones and tablets. We like to be able to sound an alarm or find our device, pinpoint a good restaurant, provide directions in a pinch, the list is endless. There is great value in using the technology and data and we use it everyday whether consciencously or not.

Marketing:
In the Wall Street Journal earlier this week the article, “Big Brother, Now at the Mall, discussed how a mall kiosk is using facial recognition software to estimate sex and age to present advertisements to those seeking information. This is using data to drive value to both the consumer and the retail organizations. This has been going on for a very long time. How many rewards cards do you carry and use? The ability to present items to you has been happening here for quite a while. If this use of data is troublesome, stop using the cards for the points / discounts and asking for assistance. However, the value is to both the organization and us as consumers in finding items that might interest us more than others and stocking retail organizations with items more in tune with the demographics of the location and patron buying patterns. Again, let’s seek the value in the technology and stop jumping to the Big Brother conclusion, but the answer is always simple, don’t use the technology.

Security:
I’ll end with this final article also from this week’s Wall Street Journal“House Report On Huawei, ZTE Will Pose Security Questions For CIOs”. The article suggests that a manufacturer of a cellular device is collaborating for purposes of espionage. Whether the threat is true or not, it points out the very real requirements to take security and use of data and devices very seriously in our organizations and plan for it appropriately. This week Sally Hudson, Security Research Director, of IDC and a colleague of mine, Tom Crabb, Senior Product Marketing Manager, presented a webinar, Security Access Governance and the New Normal”, on this topic of knowing who, where, why, etc. is accessing data you own and for what purpose as the perimeter has widened over night and is extremely fluid. They discuss the risks and how to best secure your data. Ensuring you have secured your data then enables you to leverage that data with analytics in powerful ways to drive competitive advantage into your organization.

This is only the tip of the iceberg of the possibilities that lie ahead in our digital world. As IT professionals, we must constantly think of security, build it into our services, use of data and the value we can provide to our customers everyday. Technology, including the use of big data, will drive competitive advantage and the next generation of innovation, but it must be used, managed and secured wisely.

Finally, “Technology without Imagination – Commodity — Technology with Imagination – Endless  Possibilities” is something I firmly believe and we have all benefited. I challenge this coming wave of technologists to not make the mistake of the past in first applying the use of big data technology as inward focused analytics, but seek how to create value first and secure / manage it appropriately.

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.

House Report On Huawei, ZTE Will Pose Security Questions For CIOs – Wall Street Journal

Tags: Big Data, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, CIO, Cloud, IT Management, Security, Transformation, Trends, Wall Street Journal, WSJ


The article suggests that a manufacturer of a cellular device is collaborating for purposes of espionage.  Whether the threat is true or not, it points out the very real requirements to take security and use of data and devices very seriously in our organizations and plan for it appropriately.  The Identity and Access Management market is on the upswing with 80-85% of it being driven by the cost of security compliance and the risk of data misuse.  This topic exposes the  knowing of who, where, why, etc. is accessing data you own and for what purpose as the perimeter has widened over night and is extremely fluid.  Ensuring you have secured your data then enables you to leverage that data with analytics in powerful ways to drive competitive advantage into your organization.

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CIOs are likely to have to answer questions from their CEOs in the aftermath of comments made by the chairman of the House intelligence committee Sunday on the CBS program 60 Minutes. Congressman Mike Rogers (R., Mich) said, “If I were an American company today, and you were looking at Huawei, I would look at another vendor if you care about your intellectual property, if you care about your consumers privacy.”   Read More Here. . . 

Big Brother, Now at the Mall – Wall Street Journal

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


This article discusses how a mall kiosk is using facial recognition software to estimate sex and age to present advertisements to those seeking information.  This is using data to drive value to both the consumer and the retail organizations.  This has been going on for a very long time.  How many rewards cards do you carry and use?  The ability to present items to you has been happening here for quite a while.  If this use of data is troublesome, stop using the cards for the points / discounts and asking for assistance.  However, the value is to both the organization and us as consumers in finding items that might interest us more than others and stocking retail organizations with items more in tune with the demographics of the location and patron buying patterns.  Again, let’s seek the value in the technology and stop jumping to the Big Brother conclusion, but the answer is always simple, don’t use the technology.

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Shoppers at the new International Finance Center Mall in Seoul can find their way around the four-story complex by approaching one of 26 information kiosks. When they do, they also are being watched.

Kiosks at a Seoul mall, above, would use facial recognition software to decide what ads to present shoppers.  Just above each kiosk’s LCD touch screen sit two cameras and a motion detector. As a visitor is recorded, facial-identity software estimates the person’s gender and age.  Read More Here . . .

Healthcare Execs Must Prepare For Big Data – InformationWeek

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


While on vacation in the local paper, cayCompass.com, there was an article regarding a new healthcare facility and the technology going into it to provide higher levels of healthcare to the residents.  One of the discussion points was doctors using data to better diagnose patients.  Again, the article took the negative side first regarding the “must use” the technology for a diagnosis.  I’m not sure I want to remove the human subjective element from my doctor, however, I would welcome the use of my history and an all encompassing view of my current condition, weighing that against a database of possibilities that no human could carry with them daily, to make a better diagnosis. Why not make use of being able to carry that encyclopedia of information around with you to deliver better patient care?  Again, the value side of the equation versus the “monitoring” of the physicians side of the equation.  Both are useful and valuable.

In this article the same discussion continues as well as knowing the location of patients, doctors, equipment to insure a safer environment and getting people and equipment where it is most needed.  I most enjoyed the Wayne Gretzky quote: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”  We have embraced technological advances to assist in healing us faster, making surgery less invasive and remeding illnesses that just a decade ago were less treatable.  Why is using the vast amounts of data for split second decisions any different?

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Big data, including the advent of genomic medicine, is altering how providers manage information, according to the chief executive of a major West Coast academic healthcare organization.

“Big data is going to change the rules of IT departments and beyond,” said Thomas Jackiewicz, who was named senior VP and CEO of Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California at the beginning of 2012. “We have to become experts at managing data,” he said.  Read More Here . . . 

Texas School District Reportedly Threatening Students Who Refuse Tracking ID, Can’t Vote For Homecoming – Huff Post Live

Tags: Big Data, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, CIO, Cloud, Cloud Computing Journal, Huff Post Live, Security, Transformation, Trends


There are several technologies that fall into this category.  This article caught my attention as hypes the tracking feature as the initial focus of this technology versus the value it brings to the table.  The crux of the discussion is the embedding of an RFID chip into school ID cards to be used for tracking attendance and insuring that funding continues to the schools.  This is useful, but not the value to the public and causes debate.  How many of you ever punched a time clock?  I have on multiple occasions, well that was an early and crude form of attendance monitoring / tracking.  Why is it now that we can use technology to more accurately track and rapidly assess to take action of value with the data different?

Flip the debate and think about some of the most tragic incidents that have occurred in our schools in the last decade and one that is close to home for me at VA Tech.  When I was in school, we roamed campus freely including all of the buildings.  We didn’t have cell phones, we knew our dormmates, we phoned each other on land lines, we had an idea of where those close to us were, we stuck together in groups and I knew I could phone one of the boys from the dorm to meet me and walk me back to the dorm in the dark if I got stuck somewhere alone and felt unsafe.  So again, I challenge folks not to just look at it from a tracking standpoint, but from a ease of security standpoint.  Who’s in the building? Where are my kids? Did they make it to the bus? The list goes on.

This is just the tip of the Big Data, Security and Management of data and services coming in this next generation.

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Weeks after Northside Independent School District in San Antonio rolled out its new “smart” IDs that tracks students’ geographic locations, the community is still at odds with the program.

The “Student Locator Project,” which is slated to eventually reach 112 Texas schools and close to 100,000 students, is in trial stages in two Northside district schools. In an effort to reduce truancy, the district has issued new student IDs with an embedded radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip that tracks the location of a student at all times.  Read More Here . . . 

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 …….

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….

 

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

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…)

Amazon Web Services Helps Users Avoid Bill Shock – NetworkWorld

Tags: Best Practices, BSM, Business Service Management, Cloud, Cost Reduction, IT Management, IT Management Tools, Monitoring, NetworkWorld, Service Providers, Service Value


The Hub Commentary_

The pay-as-you-go model counts on customers over using without regard to usage thresholds, much like company provided mobile phones.  Cloud providers make it easy to get started and even easier to over use.  I commend Amazon for putting some basic thresholds and emails in place, but the responsibility to monitor and manage services resides with the customer.

The monitoring, management and security of services and workloads in the cloud are the responsibility of the customer to instrument.  These are the hidden and unaccounted for costs of the cloud.  That which sounds cheaper on the surface is rarely cheaper.  Frustration levels are high and the race to the cloud is fast, beware of hidden costs.

It is the responsibility of the customer to manage the service provider, monitor and manage service quality, security and usage.

How are you managing your service provider?

Michele

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Amazon Web Services users can now start receiving billing alerts that help them continuously monitor their cloud costs, the company said on Thursday.

10 most powerful cloud computing companies

One of the basic tenants of cloud services like those offered by Amazon is the pay-as-you-go model, where the eventual monthly bill will reflect actual usage. But when usage varies from hour to hour, it is always a good idea to log in to the AWS portal and check account activity on a regular basis, according to an Amazon blog post.

(Read Full Article…)

Cloud Computing Tools: Improving Security Through Visibility and Automation – CIO

Tags: Best Practices, BSM, Business Service Management, CIO, Cloud, IT Management, IT Management Tools, Service Level, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation, Trends, Virtualization


The Hub Commentary_

Nice article last week walking through many of the security and management considerations when evaluating services appropriate for public cloud.  Security and Operations are coming closer together as architecture for services are considered for organizations.  This discussion illustrates the transformation that is occurring within organizations – the movement from operations to innovation.

The decision to move services to the cloud considers business impact and value in architecting and deploying services as well as security and management.  The service provider is providing the infrastructure, but the service is still owned by the contracting business and must be instrumented for management.

Likely not a thought of the author, but management of systems and services has always been a follow-on to new technology deployment and use.  I found the irony in the article that security was first and the management discussion followed.  The race to the cloud is fueled by the notion it is cheaper, but when the fall back is we can do it manually, write a few scripts, manually keep track of configurations and compliance, etc. I have to ask, how much cheaper can it be if automation and management are manual.

Management tools available today were built with different technologies and uses in mind.  The right management tool for the right technology should still be used, but what is surfacing is the requirement to stitch the fabric of the service, how it is deployed and managed together to gain a holistic view of the service.  The days of an atomic service on a single platform are long gone and waiting on management to catch up to manage all combinations of solutions and platforms will be an endless wait.  The best approach will weave together the fabric of service components with the proper management tools.

How are you stitching together your cloud strategy and is management an afterthought?

Michele

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CSO — Many enterprises are reluctant to move critical cloud applications out of their own data centers and into the public cloud due to security concerns. Yet the same automated, consistent provisioning that is essential to managing either public or private clouds (as well as to the process of thinking through a cloud deployment) can also offer the fringe benefit of improving security.  (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…)

The Cloud is Eating The World – Forbes

Tags: BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, Cloud, Forbes, IT, IT Management, Monitoring, Performance, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation


The Hub Commentary_

I cannot pass on this article today.  Last Friday I closed the week with a bit of humor on Qmunity entitled, “Eat or be Eaten – IT Transformation Underway”.  As a long time application developer and once with EDS and IBM have often known the revenue is driven by the services and software side versus the hardware.  In fact, I once had the opportunity to work for an insurance company who received their first life insurance programs (ALIS – Advanced Life Insurance System) which was free when this company purchased it’s first mainframe hardware.  

As is called out in the article, the world is upside down these days and the device, HW just facilitates the real value add of the service.  As soon as the Kindle came out, I suspected the price would drop as it is more about the subscription than the device.  Much like Cloud services, provide an easy mechanism to purchase and hope no one monitors the consumption.  High transaction volume, low price point model.

Michele

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Lately I’ve been seeing a quote by Marc Andreessen everywhere. It states that “Software is eating the world” which he declared in an article for The Wall Street Journal last summer. His argument was that “more and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services.” Which I completely agree with. At the time he pointed to Hewlett-Packard as an example: It had announcemed that it was exploring jettisoning its struggling PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software, where it sees better potential for growth as a prime example of this trend.  (Read Full Article…)

Data Center Building Boom Continues in Ashburn – Data Center Knowledge

Tags: BSM, Business Service Management, Cloud, Data Center Knowledge, Data Center Moves, Growth, Jobs, Service Value


The Hub Commentary_

As a native Virginian, this is very positive news for the area in general from housing, jobs and quality of life.  The extension of incentives aligns with the growth of cloud providers and Amazon already has a stake in the Ashburn data center craze already.

I arrived back in this area during the dot.com bust and it was disheartening to see the number of empty buildings along the Dulles tech corridor.  Good to see the expansion and growth and the foresight to take advantage of this period of high tech growth in this region.

Michele

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Is it news to say that the data center business is booming in Ashburn, Virginia? Not exactly, as the town in Loudoun County has been a key connectivity hub since the early days of the Internet. But recent groundbreakings, facility openings and leases make it clear that Ashburn’s prominent place in the geography of the data center industry continues undiminished.  (Read Full Article…)

CIOs Scale Back Outsourcing, Favor the Cloud – CIO Journal

Tags: BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, CIO, CIO Journal, Cloud, Cost Reduction, IT Management, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation


The Hub Commentary_

Outsourcing has never been for a cost saving measure.  You must manage the vendor and once in a service agreement, anything requested beyond the originally contracted service comes with a fee.  Let’s face it, additional services and service requirements begin to change as soon as the ink is dry and where the providers starts making their profit.

Cloud computing provides platforms, infrastructure and commons services, but affords flexibility to they buyer in the management of the services without owning the infrastructure or technology in place with the cloud provider.  This does put the ownership of service management on the contracting organization.

Cloud computing is disrupting the traditional outsourcing model as well as in-house IT organizations which drives innovation into organizations.  When properly instrumented and managed, organizations have much to gain in re-thinking their sourcing and IT infrastructure strategies.

Where are you with your sourcing and infrastructure strategy?

Michele

________________________________

For CIOs, the halcyon days of IT systems and architecture that were built and managed entirely in-house, or partly outsourced to a few mammoth vendors, are gone. In its place a hybrid model rises — one that maintains elements of the traditional IT foundation, but also takes advantage of new technology and platforms as they emerge.  (Read Full Article…)

Google CIO Ben Fried Says Cloud Tipping Point Is At Hand – CIO Journal

Tags: Best Practices, BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, CIO, CIO Journal, Cloud, IT Management, Service Value, Transformation, Trends


The Hub Commentary_

I’ve often written that you do not outsource for cost savings.  Cost savings can be achieved when right sourcing and giving up control, taking advantage of the economies of scale offered by a provider and allowing standard services (the commodity services of your organization) rather than custom services.

I find the commentary that follows the article interesting.  While I might agree that it may be an article for soft selling Google Cloud Services, you would be foolish to think any vendor doesn’t write to their strengths, but also wonder if some of the commentary comes from those IT organizations reluctant to change?

You don’t go the cloud just because you can, you right source it and must manage it accordingly and then you can spend your budget with the greatest gain.   In a CIO article today citing an MIS Quarterly study, for every dollar/employee invested in technology, twelve dollars/employee can be realized in sales gain.  The time for management and innovation investment is upon us and outsourcing the commodity.

How are you investing in the cloud?

Michele

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The economics of cloud computing are driving down the cost structure of business so far and so fast that it’s scary, Google CIO Ben Fried says.

“It deeply disturbed me … in 2006, 2007 consumer companies were forcing efficiencies on a scale never seen before,” Fried said Thursday during remarks at the Bloomberg Link Enterprise Technology Summit in New York.  (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…)