Tag Archive | "Service Providers"

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

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


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

Read more here . . . 

Storm Cloud Busting – Service Enable Your Infrastructure – Qmunity

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


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

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

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

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

How are you preparing to manage your mixed environment?

Michele

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

Convergence is in the Air or Clouds – Qmunity

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


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

Enjoy!

 

 

Overhauling Service Management – Developing, Operating and Securing

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

 

 Communicating Service Performance – Beware of the Competition

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

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Michele

Road Trip – Gartner Infrastructure & Operations Mgmt Summit

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Then I’ll finish the afternoon with:

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

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

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

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

Michele

Why Service Management?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How is your IT organization evolving?

Michele

Consider Desktops in the Cloud for BYOD – NetworkWorld

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


The Hub Commentary_

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michele

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

CIO-CEO Disconnect a ‘Silent Killer’ – CIO Journal

Tags: BSM, Business Service Management, CIO, IT Management, IT Management Tools, Service Level, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation


The Hub Commentary_

Great analogy, The Silent Killer.  Even the name IT (Information Technology) is dated.  IT as we know will go through significant transformation, if it stays in-house, in the coming years.  Often IT is outsourced to create change and thus the race to the cloud.  Today’s IT needs to die to come back to life as the center of innovation that drives business growth, customer loyalty and competitiveness in the future.

IT folks tend to avoid change, but I do not understand why this change is not being.  The roles are changing and changing to remove the commodity functions and boost the opportunities of those who remain with more strategic roles, but it does begin with the leadership of the organization.

The article ends with a prediction that 50% of initiatives will drive revenue by 2016.  As these barriers are crumbling and evolving into centers of innovation,  will history continue to repeat itself and leave the management as the after thought? Those who are successful with quality of service, innovation and growth will instrument and bake the management into these services, investments and strategies.  There will no longer be silos of technologies, but rather service performance.

How are you combating the Silent Killer?

Michele

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Priorities of CIOs and CEOs are often so far apart that it can impact business growth, said Gartner analyst Ken McGee. But the analyst said CIOs can help reverse this course by working on projects that will generate financial benefits to their organizations.

(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…)

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…)

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

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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…)

Eat or be Eaten – IT Transformation Underway – Qmunity

Tags: BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, IT Management, Qmunity, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation


I ended last week with a little tongue in cheek humor. I had started the week on a conference call on Monday and as I was looking out the window, a large bird came swooping past my window to land in a tree overlooking my patio.Curiosity of a Scorpion was getting the best of me to figure out what kind of big bird just landed so close. With a handy pair of binoculars I see it is a fairly large owl, that’s kinda cool, but what is it doing. It took a minute or two to discern what exactly it was doing, oh no it’s eating a mouse or rat. This provided my quote of the week, “Eat or be Eaten”.

I posted twice this week, IT and the CIO Fast Forward 5 Years – How Will You Get There? and IT Departments Need to Run Like IT Vendors and it seemed I couldn’t stop finding articles regarding the IT transformation:  (Read Full Article…)

 

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

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


The Hub Commentary_

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

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

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

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

Michele

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

Marketing IT and the Competition

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


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

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

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

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

Know Your Services

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

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

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

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

Know the Competition

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

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

Know your Customers

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

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

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

Do you know your services, customers and competition?

Michele

Looking At Cloud Strategy Through The Lens Of Value – Forbes

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


The Hub Commentary_

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

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

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

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

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

Michele

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

BYOD Policy Bites Vacationing CEO – Networkworld

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


The Hub Commentary_

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

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

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

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

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

Michele

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

 

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

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


The Hub Commentary_

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

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

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

Michele

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

Flying High or Stuck in the Muck: Where Is the Data Center Headed? – ITBusinessEdge

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, IT Management, ITBusinessEdge, Service Providers, Transformation, Trends


The Hub Commentary_

This is a fun article.  Reminds me of “The Mainframe is Dying” and yet it is still here.  I tend to agree with Arthur on this one, the data center will live on, but is under great change and the speed of change is coming fast.

This is nothing new to outsource, we’ve been through this before.  The difference this time is that the business is calling the shots.  According to a Gartner and Forbes survey of Board of Directors, 65% of BoD count on technology to drive competitive advantage for the business. The role of IT is evolving and it is an imperative that IT move from reactive and managing technology to proactively managing services and a manager/broker of services and be able to answer 3 simple questions in real time, 24x7x365:

  • Are we open for business?
  • How are we performing?
  • What is our current risk?

Answering these questions requires turning a sea of technical data into actionable, intelligent information in real time. The time has come to make a difference in the business with technology.

The reason for the dramatic claims that the data center is dying, much like the mainframe, is the level of business frustration to drive change in behavior within IT organizations.

How is your IT organization evolving?

Michele

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At the turn of the 20th Century, city planners in New York and other great metropolitan areas were in a state of panic. If population growth continued unabated, their cities would be rendered uninhabitable due to the enormous amounts of manure left behind by all the horses needed to cart food in for the starving masses.  (Read Full Article…)

The Cloud Is Not Just a Technology Play – ITBusinessEdge

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, Gartner, IDC, IT Management, ITBusinessEdge, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation, Trends


The Hub Commentary_

Nice article summing up considerations that must be evaluated when assessing a cloud deployment option.  IDC predicts that by 2013, 52% of IT budgets will be dedicated to “OUTSOURCED IT” – ASP, Public Cloud, and Enterprise/Hosted Private Cloud.  There is also a shift in where the budget and where spending decisions are being made – in the business.

As a former analyst in the sourcing space going back to the first ASP/ISP/MSP, du jour of the late 90′s / early 2000, the speed of this shift and the shift in decision making serves as an indicator in businesses to create change to drive the business.  The requirement to move from technology operator to service manager or broker has been there for almost 20 years.  Now there is competition to force the change.

Rarely is outsourcing cheaper, but it does create change that cannot be achieved easily from within.  Cloud deployment for the sake of it still isn’t the right blanket direction.  Looking at deployment options, commodity services, speed to market to drive competitive advantage whether inside or out are all factors to evaluate and consider.

If one lesson can be learned from these historical ebbs and flows between insourced and outsourced services, it should be that of service enablement in order to make the transition to service manager/broker at the time of deployment rather than an afterthought.  An effective service manager/broker will rely heavily on the federation or integration of data in order to manage the services delivered as mentioned by Gartner in the slides attached to the article.

How will you service enable  your infrastructure to deliver service value that powers your business, regardless of technology platform?

Michele

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It’s human nature to want the newest and best of everything, even if the ramifications are still unknown. Enterprises fall into this trap as well, considering they are built and run by humans. It’s kind of the digital version of shoot first and ask questions later.  (Read Full Article…)