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Great post by my friend Dennis.
The Hub Commentary_
Well written piece and what this leads me to is that as services require updates or new service development begins in businesses, services will be evaluated as to the best deployment option. Those options may be to subscribe to a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) provider for the full application and infrastructure with the low hanging fruit being commodity processes like: IT Service Desk, HR , Collaboration, etc. Another might be IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) to add capacity on demand, to run workloads for a given service in it’s entirety or maybe merely as infrastructure for the development organization.
Just because something can run in the cloud, doesn’t dictate that it should. What I disagree with in the article is the heading and statement that “cloud allows IT decision makers to drive business strategy”. IT must be driving value into the business strategy regardless of deployment option and communicating service performance and cloud computing or any other technology is not the answer that drives that behavior.
Cloud computing must be embraced, evaluated and deployed strategically – Cloud will not drive business strategy – Cloud is a tool that will enable agility in business strategy.
Cloud computing may be defined as location independent computing whereby shared servers — for the purposes of this article, external to the enterprise — provide resources, software, and data to computers and other devices on demand. Cloud computing may have started out as an emerging trend that only IT professionals could get excited about (or fear), but it has quickly become one of the most important paradigm shifts in business today. (Read Full Article…)
The conversation IT has with the business must change this year and this is the year of transformation predicted back in 2003 by Nicholas Carr in his Harvard Business Review article, “IT Doesn’t Matter”. The cloud, virtualization and the growing number of service providers with as-a-Service options are the catalyst that will force this transformation in market time during 2011.
If you have kept up with my news posts this week, I swear I was unable to find much news to comment and post on that did not have to do with the service providers and transformation. My favorite post of all is the CIO article, “ITIL vs The Cloud: Pick One”, REALLY? You are kidding right? This and another post, “Consider the Cloud a Solution, not a Problem” are exactly the headlines and mentality that will send IT jobs To the proverbial Cloud, just as Nicholas Carr predicted.
The way we manage technology and our processes today should not hold us in the past. Amazon is doing it again. Amazon changed the industry from bricks and mortar retail to online, almost overnight. Transform or die, it happened and is happening again. Amazon is offering infrastructure as-a-Service, purchasable on a credit card. Now let’s start watching the leaders in each industry flip flop based upon those who embrace new technology, agile development AND have the foresight to service enable their workloads instead of dissing and complaining about what and how much monitoring Amazon should be responsible for. IT is responsible for measuring and communicating service performance, instrument your workloads and inject them with the intelligence required to communicate service performance. These will be the transformational leaders of tomorrow.
Communicating service performance is on IT, are you making the transformation?
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“Visionaries have an innovative and disruptive approach to the market, but their services are new to the market and are unproven,” Gartner Yes, this does describe Amazon and EC2, but does that mean it is 2 steps behind the Leaders? Not often are there times to truly innovate and redefine a market. Amazon and EC2 are redefining an industry regardless of internal enterprise IT or the consumer market. Their customers are a mixture now over the traditional IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) IT service providers.
To the innovator go the initial spoils, revenue in the market. Will or can they sustain that leadership will play out over time. Given where we are in the life cycle of this disruptive technology (mostly development and test) in Enterprise IT shops, EC2 brings just the agility required for businesses to drive agile development of new products and services and move to market faster than ever before mimicking the consumer market.
In order to take these early development projects to production, yes, more formalized monitoring and management will no doubt need to be baked in. Now the question becomes, who bakes that in and supplies that information? Isn’t that agent part of the workload that is packaged and shipped out to the cloud to run on the subscribed to infrastructure? I call this service enabling your workload and injecting intelligence into it for purposes of monitoring, securing and communicating the performance of the workload the subscribers responsibility. Right? The provider is responsible for the infrastructure your workload runs on, not what’s going on in the workload, that remains the responsibility of the subscriber.
I applaud Amazon and say keep challenging the status quo. IT and the traditional proven providers need to think a little out of the box to meet the demands of market dynamics in market time! What do you think?
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report has placed Amazon’s cloud computing service in one of its lower tiers, saying that for all of Amazon’s commercial success it is “visionary” but “unproven.” (Read Full Article…)
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The opening statement of the article says it all and what I heard is, “the technology and services are incompatible with our processes” and resistance to change and why I predicted the service providers will feast on data centers in 2011 in my predictions post and why I also predicted first in the list that ITIL will wane in the conversation. Data center staff has to wake up and smell the coffee, so to speak. Technology is commodity, driving business is the value. Think of it this way, when you go to the bakery do you care how they make the chocolate cake or do you just want to buy a chocolate cake?
It is no longer about the monitoring and managing of technology and configurations, that’s the commodity and those jobs are with the service providers. The IT jobs are analytics, business performance, using technology to grow the business. All three of my posts today are articles referencing the impending transformation that the data center must embrace in 2011 or be outsourced.
Business is frustrated with IT because IT does nothing but talk and impose “how” to manage technology on the business rather than delivering and driving services. When you outsource (cloud, as-a-Service, take your pick), you are purchasing a service, not managing the infrastructure and how they manage their processes. Define the contract, service expectation, reliability/performance/availability considerations and what you expect during an service impacting event. That’s it. The service provider is tasked with meeting that service contract and defining the processes that insure they do.
Now I also state in these conversations over and over again, many of these start-up service providers are one outage away from being out of business because they do not have good practices in place. Yes, as a customer you should quiz and probe to gain comfort that they do know how to run the business (you notice I said run the business – not manage problem tickets), write the contract and manage to the contract.
I have several service level agreement posts and cloud service provider posts. ITIL (I am certified) is advice on processes, not SEC filing rules for public companies. ITIL and it’s followers will slowly fade into the woodwork if they do not embrace changing market dynamics and technologies. The single biggest problem with ITIL that I will blog separately on is that it is still stuck in defining a life cycle, a process for the service and not how to deliver service value driving business value. More on that another day…
2011 is the year of the cloud, virtualization, service providers, analytics for business performance and mixed /complex environments, not ITIL in the least. Communicating performance inclusive of right sourced components as part of the service is the transformation goal. No one will care how the data center communicates business performance, only that they do and drive value!
Are you communicating business performance and driving value or still communicating how you manage a data center resistant to the cloud because it changes a process?
The Cloud is fundamentally incompatible with ITIL — the most widely accepted framework for professional IT management. (Read Full Article…)
To cloud or not the cloud, that is the question . Todays IT needs to be agile and responsive to their customer, most of the time the customer is internal and they need more processing power added to existing services or the need new services provisioned. There is also a high expectation that change within the enterprise is done in a safe manner to avoid future outages. Managing the enterprise from a Service perspective, understanding the individuals parts that make up the entire service is a fundamental requirement.
One of the ways for IT to be able to quickly grow or shrink the footprint of the services is to adopt virtualization and build an internal cloud and/or leverage outside cloud providers. Virtualizing is a way to have well known configurations rolled into production and in turn reduce risks to outages. Virtualizing also provides a type of Disaster Recovery (DR) it also provides a way to add more nodes to an overtaxed cluster quickly. I’m not saying virtualization is for everyone, but there are many value-adds it brings to IT as well as value to the business.
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New technology that removes hardware and thus tangible cost savings is always a short term win. Managing it long term is generally the afterthought. Not that I’m against the virtualization and more efficient use of hardware resources, I’m for it. I am encouraging of planning for the upfront service enablement of it with proper management, however.
Management technologies will be the secondary market, more specifically the integration platform and strategy that brings an end-to-end view of the physical, virtual and cloud infrastructure delivering services. Many articles are about IT organizations seeing virtualization and cloud as a problem where I see it as just another technology to embrace, deploy and and manage.
Client virtualization is an even more complex environment that will dictate integration, management and the end-to-end visibility of the infrastucture. The cost savings are great and with a bit of planning to implement the right visibility, those savings can be realized without pain. Remember the customer calls in because they cannot access something or something is slow, they have no idea how they connect, what runs where, that their desktop image is really a virtual machine running on some server, etc. The job of the service desk to pinpoint and restore service is impossible without the proper visibility. So thus, management/integration platforms will become the secondary market of the virtualization explosion.
Regarding the midmarket, I find this curious as they have minimal IT staff and have been in the cloud far longer than most. Remember the Intuit crash last summer (2010) for several days, that was all about the Quick Books subscribers in the midmarket. Enterprise organizations could take a queue from the midmarket on embracing the cloud and virtualization.
2011 is going to be an interesting year for us in the data center without a doubt!
The new year is starting off well for VMware, which saw its stock jump to a new 52-week high of $94.19 Monday. It then dipped a bit to close at $92.97, which is approximately 4.6 percent higher than its previous closing price, Investors.com reported.
I like to do searches on the internet from time to time to see the type of hits produced around specific terms such as Business Service Management and Cloud Computing. Sometimes just changing the search slightly, you get drastically different results. So today when I searched on “Managing the cloud”, I noticed that the most recent article was from Feb of 2009, in fact, many of the results were from 2009. My first thought was the problem must have been solved if there are no recent search results. I think it is that we are at the point that we have a better understanding of the cloud and are not as worried about it as much as we were before. Sure, there are still some concerns, in fact many areas of concern, but they are manageable.
I know I am probably simplifying it, but managing the cloud has a lot of the same characteristics of managing the enterprise. You need to be able to control access to the data/system/server, you also need to be able to keep tabs on the health and availability of things running in the cloud (internal or external cloud). The cloud and business service management are related in some manner, where and how you run your services includes the term cloud, and how you manage those services is within the Business Service Management space. Vendors that provide tools for managing the enterprise are going to end up being some of the same vendors that provide tools to managing the cloud, but keep in mind, monitoring the health of the server or service running in the cloud is only one part of it, there are other areas of managing such as service elasticity, governance, compliance and general provisioning. It is time to start to look at a more holistic approach within IT to solve some of these management problems.
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In a previous post (Accidental Cloud Leaders – Stealth Cloud Followers – Which Cloud is your IT On?) I wrote about these practices and cited a couple of industry articles. My advice has always been that you outsource the commodity, why do in-house what everyone else has to do as well? Why re-invent the wheel, accept a process and tool set that works for the rest of the world.
Focus on that which is unique to your business and is the value add to drive growth. Unique and custom are seldom good candidates for outsourcing unless you are outsourcing the whole of your IT function and have a service provider also developing your value add innovations in the market.
This will bring a shift in the roles and skill sets in the data center as we know it today. Service providers managing services with business savvy. There will be requirements to focus on monitoring and managing the vendors and the requirement for an integration platform that brings the picture together as an end-to-end service regardless of where it is operating.
By all means, embrace the Cloud and as-a-Service providers for the commodity. Learn how you will monitor and manage it on the commodity. Apply those learning for the move to the more dynamic IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) to provide agility and on-demand capacity to your mission critical services.
Companies looking to go down the SaaS route will find that IT service management is a good starting point says Ovum. (read full article…)
Are you leading your organizations cloud roll-out or are you reacting to it? It is happening, better to lead than follow!
The WorkloadIQ post and the article Richard references on the Stealth Cloud from a CIO article reminds me of a previous article about the Accidental Cloud Leader from a Networkworld article. Both of these articles point to the cloud is coming, the choice facing IT organizations is whether to lead, control costs, mitigate risk, deliver quality service and manage costs or to follow with rising costs, reactive IT, high risk and poor service quality. Richard hits the nail on the head, IT is traditionally change averse and insecure with the concept of outsourcing services. Technology is evolving faster and faster and the very organization that should adopt, deploy and lead with technology continues to lag.
In almost all cases when it comes to sourcing decisions they are done to create change that an organization has difficulty bringing to the organization, not for cost reasons. Commodity functions are best suited for outsourcing, driving standards and managing costs. However, outsourcing the service does not remove accountability for managing service delivery.
Cloud providers are popping up faster than service providers during the dotcom boom days of web hosting, application hosting, etc. There are several key factors to consider as pointed out in these articles and blog posts:
Availability of Service and Reliability of the service provider
The dotcom bust of service providers in the early 2000 era came down to lack of mature management processes. Many providers today are one significant outage away from being out of business. Is this who you trust your services to? Who’s managing and leading this due diligence in contracting for the services in the leader / follower scenario?
When seeking service providers, it is important to understand their management processes and capabilities. You do not want to define them, but the lack of management transparency and process indicates maturity of the service provider and their ability to delivery availibility of services. One thing to note here is not to ask for inappropriate service levels and/or penalties. Investigate their typical services, leverage the cloud and service providers for the commodity and take advantage of the economies of scale they offer.
Risk of a secure service
Security as an obstacle in going to the cloud or leveraging an as-a-service provider is, quite frankly, IT noise. As described in these articles and blogs, this is the service providers business and they know it is their number one objection. In many cases, they may offer a far more secure environment than most IT organizations and thus the rise of IT insecurity and noise. However, again, it is an area that must be investigated as it relates to the mature management practices of a service provider.
Cost of support
Organizations are expressing frustration with their IT organizations as a perceived obstacle to agility and innovation when they go to the cloud directly. As Richard’s blog points out, this costs your IT organization more in the long run to support, the service will go down, the business will call support for help, the provider most likely may not be reliable and in the worst case, data and security can be breached.
Management generally lags new technology and this cycle to go to the service providers directly for a defined service and defined cost is more appealing to the business. Management lags both with IT internally and with the service providers compounding the risk of an outage or security breach.
Providing the ability to monitor, manage and measure technology services both internally as well as the performance and availability of the service provider insuring quality service delivery will be key. Service enabling your infrastructure could not be easier today and would provide the control with agility your organization is screaming for from your IT organization. Management does not have to be an afterthought and the right platform can future-proof your services with technology adoption agility, it merely takes some proactive planning.
Check out these articles and then answer: Are you following or leading your organizations cloud rollout – it is happening and coming . . . Are you Stealth or Leading? What are your challenges and concerns?
What does the post-recession IT world look like? More media will drive the need for more bandwidth, and a demand for Windows 7 upgrades and corporate use of personal smartphones will shape new priorities for IT. (read more…)
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Think like a start-up sums up what I was thinking as I read this article. Good long and short side views in the IT news these days. This is a great thing, there is activity again and feels like budgets are loosening for the right spirit.
Here’s what I mean by short and long sided. Cost savings by reducing infrastructure – To the Cloud! Hidden costs to monitor, manage, support, secure and protect. Rarely is it cheaper to outsource unless you are a hideously inefficient organization. However, right source is the right approach. Another example are all the new technologies mentioned in the article. I’m sure there is an expectation for performance, availability, information accessibility and many platforms and by the way we are starting with mobile now. Again, that pesky back-end monitoring, managing, supporting, securing, protecting and measuring.
The consumer market drives business requirements and thus IT. The introduction of every new technology to the consumer market should immediately be thought of as entering the enterprise and thus evaluated for it’s application and potential value-add or not. Business is still ahead and IT is still out of synch reacting.
2011 is going to be a tipping point of a year for alignment of IT to become a service enabling organization with agility. The IT manager that begins thinking like a start-up to meet the requirements, embracing new technologies and building management in from the get go will be the winner in the long run.
Is your IT an Operating Commodity or Contributing Necessity?
It’s rumored that the Ford Model T’s track dimension (the distance between the wheels of the same axle) could be traced from the Conestoga wagon to the Roman chariot by the ruts they created. Roman roads forced European coachbuilders to adapt their wagons to the Roman chariot track, a measurement they carried over when building wagons in America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. (read more…)
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I like this post by my friend JP, it brings a whole new meaning to “being stuck in a rut”. I ask, what is the point of new technology if we cannot use it as designed? Think about when you are are purchasing a product or service and are greeted with “the system doesn’t work that way”. Generally, I do not care how the system works – I just want to buy something, exchange something and not be bothered with what it takes someone to perform the task.
So I always find it curious as IT professionals why we impose these obstacles and roadblocks to progress in supporting our business. Another news piece by one of JP’s colleagues also makes the point of why start-ups are successful, they meet the customer requirements.
Markets dynamics and business requirements change – how as IT do we use new technology to craft innovative solutions as JP says and operationally figure out how to monitor, manage and measure it. The service providers know how to do this and will feast in 2011 on the IT organizations that do not become agile to market dynamics and business requirements.
Cloud computing will drive Business Service Management practices. The first point of pushing things to the cloud that are standard is discussed in one of my previous blogs. Don’t keep in-house that which should be outsourced and don’t outsource that which is so unique to your business.
However, remember the management of the private and public cloud as services, service levels and performance monitoring.
Shadow IT has worried CIOs for decades. The practice is often defended as a source of innovation and a faster-than-normal way for users to get their jobs done but this off the radar technology use by employees presents serious dangers to the corporation ranging from increased security threats to compliance issues. (read more…)
Contrasting cross-currents are going to make 2011 a fascinating and turbulent year, in which SaaS enters the tornado and mobile enters the bowling alley at the very same time as cloud trips over the chasm. (read more…)
Unisys on Tuesday introduced a dedicated, hosted computing service that lets customers quickly add extra capacity for short-term use, a feature Unisys says is unique among what it calls “hosted private clouds.” (read more …)
The combination of more automation, increased offshoring, and better global IT infrastructure has taken its toll on the U.S. IT profession, resulting in a net loss of 1.5 million corporate IT jobs over the last decade, according to recent research from IT consultancy and benchmarking provider The Hackett Group. (read more …)
It’s been an incredibly interesting, exciting, and tumultuous year for cloud computing. But, as the saying goes, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Next year will be one in which the pedal hits the metal, resulting in enormous acceleration for cloud computing. (read more …)
Today, service providers and enterprises interested in implementing clouds face the challenge of integrating complex software and hardware components from multiple vendors. The resulting system can end up being expensive to build and hard to operate, minimizing the original motives and benefits of moving to cloud computing. (read more…)