Tag Archive | "IT Investment"

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

ITs Perfect Storm: Time for Change or Be Changed

Tags: BSM, BSMReview.com, Business Service Management, CIOInsight, Cloud, Harvard Business Review, IT Investment, IT Management, Service Level, Service Providers, Service Value, Spending, Transformation, Trends


It’s that time of year when the press is filled with the latest IT predictions for the coming year. A couple of articles and surveys caught my attention as they relate to the unspoken imperative of connecting to the business to drive the business for competitive advantage versus just operate the business. This practice, while not called out, is Business Service Management and is the heart and soul of success for many of these initiatives.

In the Gartner Forbes 2011 Survey of Board of Directors, “65% hold ‘high to very high’ expectations for IT strategic contribution to the business in 2012” and “52% rate ‘maintaining competitive advantage’ of ‘extremely high importance’…”.  It is no longer IT and the business, IT enables and drives the business.  The key question is, “does your IT operate or power your organization?”

As part of its look to the future CIOInsight highlights the Top 3 initiatives keeping CIOs up at night: cutting costs, operational efficiencies and deliver consistent and stable IT performance to the business. These initiatives are neck and neck with the number of organizations that see IT as their competitive edge in the market. Most IT organizations still spend ~85% of their IT budget “just keeping the lights on”, with minimal focus on supporting and delivering upon stable and consistently performing innovative services aligned with business objectives. This percentage of spend is generally ~ 1 – 2 % of revenue spent annually operating rather than driving.

There is also an equal amount of press on new technologies and how to convince your CEO of a new technology. Shouldn’t we be driving solutions leveraging the right deployment technology to drive competitive edge into the organization. Technology for the sake of a technology has no real value. While I agree with many of the points in this particular article on 10 Ways to Sell your CEO on Cloud Computing, it is still selling technology versus a business driving solution. We as IT have to change our thinking to that of the service providers that are popping up daily in selling our CEOs solutions leveraging technologies that drive agility and quality performance into the business, just so happens they use things like virtualization and cloud computing.

I’ve been working with many service providers as of late and it is reminiscent of the dot com era. Those that will survive and thrive are not just chasing the latest technology trend for the short term, but are baking in the practice that will sustain them for the long term and what business is asking of its own IT organizations, the ability to answer 3 questions:

(1)    “Am I open for business?”

(2)    ”How are we performing?” ”What is the customer experience?”

(3)    ”What is the risk of an outage?”

all in real time so as to take action, rather than reporting on it after the game is over.  The reason most organizations outsource services is not for cost, but for change that they cannot create from within the organization.  The time for IT to change and become the service provider of choice driving value and competitive advantage into their organizations has come.

In a recent CIOInsight survey results for spending in IT Operations/Management/Governance, I see the only area with an increase is Data Center Management. Those that are following the lead of the service providers will see this as the management of the technology to deliver that consistent and stable IT performance for business value. Mobile delivery options prevail as a leading technology as the consumerization / BYOD (bring your own device) of IT continues. However, these solutions must perform and be available to drive your organizations competitive advantage in the market.  This is the link to business for 2012 investments requiring the stitching together of data from the many systems and applications that are in place today and turning it into real-time actionable information.  Another Survey illustrating many of these and further results is the BSMReview.com 2011 BSM Maturity Benchmark Study.

In 2003 Nicholas Carr wrote a 28 page article for the Harvard Business Review, “IT Doesn’t Matter”.  In the article he discussed the outsourcing of IT and the changing roles within IT.  Now fast forward 9 years and the advent of the cloud, the explosion of service providers and new buying options.  The business is purchasing on its own and creating “The New IT” for those that are not evolving fast enough.  Leading analyst firms predict that by 2015 50% of all IT buying decisions will be made by the business, not IT.

I have had many conversations with organizations that are replacing their commodity monitoring tools from the Big 4 Vendors with lower cost options and turning that savings back into the investment of turning their IT organization into service providers of choice creating business value.  The investment is in the real time Business Service Views that transform the IT organization into proactive Service Delivery Managers versus reactionary red light / green light monitors turning the sea of data into actionable, intelligent information.  The service providers arealso making the very same investments to illustrate operational capability and market differentiation to capture market share fast during this great period of change.

I’ll quote from a long time customer who has leveraged the Operations Center solution for many years now. Their implementation, while it started technically as a single-pane-of-glass, has evolved into the trusted Business Service view and situational awareness of the environment running the business. Because this customer made the transition to trusted adviser and communicator as to the health of the business, he is trusted with purchasing decisions because as he states, “I provide value”. This is the secret sauce – providing business value and relevance for IT.

2012 will be an interesting year without a doubt with new technologies like mobile and cloud computing entering into leading IT organizations, the risk takers seizing the opportunities to drive their organizations.  The leaders will emerge as those risk takers who also bake in their operational management and efficiencies with controlled risk to deliver consistent, stable performance and value to the business.

Michele

How to Present The IT Story – CIOInsight

Tags: Business Service Management, IT Investment, Service Value


The Hub Commentary_

I’ve worked with many IT organizations on telling the story and building the case for IT automation in terms of the business story and support of a business service management practice.  When a project does not have a hard dollar impact and is more soft costs, the story becomes a bit more challenging, but not impossible.

The thing to keep in mind with this audience, no one cares “how IT” does it’s job.  They want to know the results of an investment.  You are investing XYZ to achieve savings, higher quality, new services, driving XYZ revenue.  Remind them of an outage and how much it cost and how this project drives quality, reduces these costs and costs over time.  They don’t care that ITIL or other internal processes are used as a piece of the process improvement – they care about quality of service, costs over time and driving revenue.

Translate the IT speak into costs, value and revenue growth and you will hit a home run every time.  Then the key is to measure and continue to communicate your achievements in the same terms.  Check out this previous post to understand what it costs you on average to maintain the status quo.

How do you measure and communicate your services?

Michele

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You’ve been called upon to make a major presentation to your organization. Your job is to “sell” the audience on your latest IT initiative. Now what? Use these eight tips to tell your IT story in a way that engages and motivates your audience.  (Read Full Article…)

Transforming IT to Show Cost of Svcs-5 Best Practices – NetworkWorld

Tags: Business Service Management, CIO, CIOUpdate, Cost Reduction, IT Investment, IT Management Tools, Service Level


The Hub Commentary…

Several good  insights into effective ways to quantify the cost, quality, and value of IT in a way the business understands.

Randy

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Recently, we brought together 60 CIOs and IT leaders from the Fortune 1000 for our bi-annual “CIO Technology Business Management Council” meeting. The purpose of this event was to provide participants with an opportunity to learn from their peers about how to transform their IT organization into a services oriented organization and run “IT like a business.”  Read full article

CIOs will Only Get to Innovate if They Force the Pace – CBR

Tags: Business Service Management, CBR, Growth, IT Investment, IT Management, Transformation


The Hub Commentary_

Innovation is an overused term, I agree.  True innovation are products and services that change the way an industry does business, however, business growth through new services and products are now more than ever dependent upon technology.  As you can see from this recent survey business is relying on IT to support business growth.

Growth is dependent upon automation of the routine to free resources to move from “Bulb Monitor” roles to service providers and more agile to deploy and manage new services that will use new technologies to drive business growth.  Operationally, IT must rethink how to take advantage of technology to not only deploy new technologies, but also how to free themselves from the routine tasks too.

I’ve seen and posted many of these articles already this year and look forward to the story of an organization who is putting it into action and moving from “Bulb Monitor” to the fuel for growth.

Michele

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A new survey from SAP suggests that IT budgets should be focused on innovation – but, as Gary Flood asks, is that enough?

Innovation. It’s both a very trendy but also much abused term at the moment in IT. And maybe we’d have a better idea of what it actually means – and what it could contribute? – if we were given a chance to do some of it.

(Read Full Article…)

Managing Data Center Costs with BSM – BSMDigest

Tags: BSM, BSMDigest, Business Service Management, Cost Reduction, IT Investment, Ptak, ROI


The Hub Commentary_

Calculating ROI and managing costs in the data center for Business Service Management (BSM) projects is difficult.  In fact, I was asked this question so many times that I put my META Group analyst hat on and said, “Michele, what would Herb tell you to do?”  Yes, the very same Herb VanHook who is featured in the BSMDigest this month.  He would say create a model to calculate it and thus I did.  Anything that improves processes and does not remove people, hardware or software from the environment is really cost management.  This is still a good thing and needs to be recognized and justified and can be done quite simply.

What makes virtualization and cloud computing so appealing in the early stages is that it removes hardware and better utilizes hardware and software licenses and thus has a hard dollar impact early.  So let’s turn the tables, I posted a news piece that spoke of the same costs of outages that I have used for years now – $100,000/hr is what it costs for a mission critical system to be down.  10 hours per year =  to $1M, so Michele, cmon scale it, ok the usual metric is 1-2% of revenue to consider the size of your organization.

The insurance policy is your BSM strategy which is reliant upon the integration platform that brings together the bits of data into a meaningful view as services.  I also venture to guess that most solutions start at <10% of that outage and the automation they bring to the table helps to shift the resource utilization pie in favor of using resources to new and growth projects versus monitoring the screen for events more than paying for itself in it’s early adoption.

I’ll post my ROI calculation method very soon to give you a real idea what you are losing by postponing you BSM practice.

Michele

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Often, IT budget costs appear expensive as a result of being inflated by arbitrary allocation and loading of costs that should be shared or are otherwise improperly assigned. Unfortunately, old habits die-hard and the misallocation of costs continues to the detriment of both the organization and mainframe computing.  (Read Full Article…)

What CFOs Want From IT – CIO

Tags: BSM, Business Service Management, CIO, IT Investment, IT Management, ROI


The Hub Commentary_

IT by the numbers and with Business Service Management.  In lean times, we need to get the most out of what we have, look at lower cost alternatives for the commodity and make the investment in the things that will drive value to the business.  Delivering real ROI has been something IT has been notoriously poor at executing because they manage by technology and not by the business service and lack the understanding of the cost / value to the business.

We are entering a time of growth and expansion of technology and the time will come to reimagine IT as business services and manage them as such.  Investing in new, agile technologies also require the right management baked in.  Last week the press was all over the Gartner report dissing Amazon for not providing enough monitoring.  Whose responsibility is it to manage your workloads in the cloud?  Service enabling those workloads and instrumenting them to manage as end-to-end services will be key in taking full advantage of agile technologies and opex subscription services.

Time has come to think in terms of Business Service Management of the infrastructure.

Michele

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You can’t run a company without technology, but you can’t invest in technology without the blessings of the finance department. And thanks to the stagnant economy, the pendulum of power between Finance and IT is swinging decidedly toward the chief financial officer’s door these days.  (Read Full Article…)

What does it mean to Reimagine IT? – Gartner Blogs

Tags: Business Service Management, Gartner, Growth, IT Investment, IT Management, Trends


The Hub Commentary_

The time has come to re-think IT, the assets, sourcing options and management with the focus on growth, sure cost cutting is still in the balance of things too.  Opportunities to re-think the routine, automation, leverage lower cost tools for the commodity and apply the shift in that spending toward growth.

One side effect to increased spending is the spending only on new technology without reimagining the whole picture of managing and operating on the day-to-day as well.  In another article posted today from the Cloud Computing Journal, downtime costs $100,000/hour.  Reimagining IT is the whole operational picture – this is exciting for those who embrace it and make the most of it both from new services and operations.

Michele

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Last week Gartner announced the results of Gartner’s 2011 CIO Survey and Agenda under the theme of reimagining IT. The idea behind this theme is that CIOs and IT leaders have an opportunity to use new business priorities and technologies to create value in new ways.  (Read Full Article…)

How IT is Managing New Demands: McKinsey Global Survey Results – McKinsey

Tags: Business Alignment, Business Service Management, Cost Reduction, IT Investment, McKinsey, Survey, Trends


The Hub Commentary __

A few interesting results from this survey of over 700 respondents.  Nothing shocking, more with less, improved business efficiency and drive business growth.  New investments on the rise and operating expenses on the decline.

I consider investments in the management, integration and infrastructure visibility enabling service delivery a key component to new investments.  In many of the the articles about new technology, the management component is an afterthought and it is the key to the success of the strategy.  It’s the whole package of leveraging new technology, delivery models and how you monitor/manage/measure it.

In these dynamic times integration is often mentioned in much of the dialog, however, I sense it is often overlooked.  I caution you not to overlook your integration and management strategy as part of your future investments to drive growth to the top line as is expected with all new investment strategies.

Michele

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In our fifth business technology survey, executives say they want more immediate value from IT and forward-looking strategies from technology leaders that support growth and innovation.  (read full article…)