Dec 16

Continuity Central – C-Level and IT pros disagree on organizations’ ability to recover from a disaster: Evolve IP survey

When it comes to assessing an organization’s ability to recover from a disaster, a significant disconnect exists between C-Level executives and IT professionals. While nearly 7 in 10 CEOs, CFOs or COOs feel their organization is very prepared to recover from a disaster, less than half of IT pros (44.5 percent) are as confident , a technology survey conducted by Evolve IP reports. The survey of more than 500 executives and IT professionals uncovered factors, including compliance requirements and use of hosted solutions, that contribute to an organization’s disaster recovery confidence overall.

Disaster recovery compliance was a clear driver of confidence in the ability to recover IT and related assets in the event of an incident. In fact, 67 percent of respondents in banking, 58 percent of respondents in the government sector and 55 percent of respondents at technology companies feel very prepared: of these disaster recovery compliance was noted as a requirement by 97 percent, 73.5 percent and 71 percent respectively.

More of the Continuity Central post

Dec 16

ComputerWeekly – Future of the server operating system

We look at the evolution of the server operating system, and how the next generation is moving into the cloud

Microsoft’s new Windows Server 2016 operating system (OS) is just being launched. Linux is celebrating its 25th birthday. IBM has its mainframe operating system and its Power operating system, Oracle has Solaris – and that is just a few of the OSs that still abound in the market. But what is the role of an OS in the modern world?

Going back to the early days of servers, the stack required to get a computer up and running was pretty simple – a basic input/output system (BIOS) to get the hardware started, followed by an operating system to provision basic services, followed by an application to carry out the actual work.

More of the Computerweekly article from Clive Longbottom

Dec 16

Baseline – Why IT Pros Feel Unprepared for Disasters

While most C-level executives feel their organization is “very prepared” for a potential systems-crashing disaster, IT professionals sharply disagree, according to a recent survey from Evolve IP. The “2016 Evolve IP Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Survey” report indicates that a significant number of companies have suffered from a major incident that required disaster recovery (DR) over the past year—sometimes resulting in six-figure losses. Many tech employees indicate that a lack of DR budgeting leaves them unprepared for disruptions caused by hardware failures, server issues, power outages, environmental events, human error and targeted cyber-attacks. And a great many organizations still rely on old-school recovery methods such as backup tapes, instead of newer cloud-based solutions.

There is, however, notable interest in Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), despite the fact that only about half of C-level executives have heard of this term. “The lack of DR education at the executive level—and the likely related lack of budget—poses a real risk to today’s businesses,” according to the report. “These factors are further exacerbated by a dramatic increase in targeted attacks, continued reliance on aging tape backups, as well as internal hardware that remains highly susceptible to failure.

More of the Baseline slideshow from Dennis McCafferty

Dec 16

Fast Company – These Companies Are Vacuuming Up Everybody Else’s Tech Talent

This is happening all over, not just in Silicon Valley. How will your organization meet the challenge of attracting and retaining high end IT infrastructure talent?

Want to know just how much or how well a given company is innovating? Take a look at the talent it attracts—or loses. These days, acquiring and hanging onto top-notch tech talent isn’t easy.

Plenty of companies are fooling themselves that they’re keeping their digital skills current simply by changing job titles and adding roles that include the term “digital.” The number of professionals on LinkedIn calling themselves “chief digital officer” grew from 965 in 2015 to 3,255 in 2016—a 237% increase.

That semantic shift conceals a stark reality: A select handful of companies—those that have always lived and breathed digital technology (not to be confused with those other “digital natives”)—are sucking up top-notch tech talent, leaving everyone else to pick over the scraps.

Some things remain true that have long been so. According to our research here at L2, it’s clear that a solid brand makes a company beautiful to strangers. If your company has a reputation as a tech innovator, tech talent will come a-knocking.

More of the Fast Company article from Maureen Mullen

Dec 16

Harvard Business Review – Digital Leadership Is Not an Optional Part of Being a CEO

Being a CEO is harder than ever. The rapid pace of change in business and technology means that more and more companies will find themselves being disrupted. In fact, our latest research with MIT, in which we interviewed more than 1,000 CEOs (from 131 countries and 27 industries, in organizations of varying sizes), shows that 90% of executives believe their businesses are being disrupted or reinvented by digital business models, and 70% believe they do not have the right skills, leader, or operating structure to adapt. It’s not a good position to be in.

What’s a CEO to do? Should you hire a chief digital officer? Should you replace your executives with leaders from internet companies? Should you force everyone to learn about mobile computing and digital business models?

While these are all sound ideas, our research shows that something more fundamental is at play. Companies that rapidly adapt to digital business models don’t just “do digital”; they “act digital.” In other words, they practice an entirely new model of management. And their CEOs are leading the charge.

More of the Harvard Business Review article from Josh Bersin

Dec 16

Data Center Knowledge – The Mission Critical Cloud: Designing an Enterprise Cloud

Today, many organizations are taking a look at cloud from a new lens. Specifically, organizations are looking to cloud to enable a service-driven architecture capable of keeping up with enterprise demands. With that in mind, we’re seeing businesses leverage more cloud services to help them stay agile and very competitive. However, the challenge revolves around uptime and resiliency. This is compounded by often complex enterprise environments.

When working with cloud and data center providers, it’s critical to see just how costly an outage could be. Consider this – only 27% of companies received a passing grade for disaster readiness, according to a 2014 survey by the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council. At the same time, increased dependency on the data center and cloud providers means that overall outages and downtime are growing costlier over time. Ponemon Institute and Emerson Network Power have just released the results of the latest Cost of Data Center Outages study. Previously published in 2010 and 2013, the purpose of this third study is to continue to analyze the cost behavior of unplanned data center outages. According to the new study, the average cost of a data center outage has steadily increased from $505,502 in 2010 to $740,357 today (or a 38 percent net change).

More of the Data Center Knowledge post from Bill Kleyman

Dec 16

InformationWeek – IT Priorities Shifting Toward Security, Managing Costs

A recent IDG survey shows CIOs and IT managers have a renewed concern for operational security and improved customer experience.

The priorities of CIOs and their IT budgets have undergone a rollercoaster journey since the outbreak of the Great Recession 2008. In the midst of the downturn, for example, cutting costs was frequently top of mind for the beleaguered IT manager.

In mid-2009, InformationWeek noted that IT managers “had stopped cutting IT budgets” and might be contemplating “spending a bit more” in 2010.

If budget issues were successfully addressed, then the challenge of aligning IT with the business was a frequent mantra of IT managers asked to express where their priorities lay during the 2010-2013 era, according to InformationWeek research.

In 2014 and 2015, however, IT’s focus shifted significantly again, according to an IDG Research report, in a survey sponsored by Datalink, a data center transformation consulting service.

The survey, “The Importance of Linking Outcomes to IT Investment Strategy,” found that holding down costs remains a concern, and named IT’s new priorities and emphases. Compiled at the end of 2015, the report offered a snapshot of how IT’s outlook had changed over the previous two years as IT staff entered 2016.

More of the Information Week post from Charles Babcock

Nov 16

ComputerWeekly – Disaster recovery testing: A vital part of the DR plan

Disaster recovery provision is worthless unless you test out your plans. In this two-part series, Computer Weekly looks at disaster recovery testing in virtualised datacentres

IT has become critical to the operation of almost every company that offers goods and services to businesses and consumers.

We all depend on email to communicate, collaboration software (such as Microsoft Word and Excel) for our documents and data, plus a range of applications that manage internal operations and customer-facing platforms such as websites and mobile apps.

Disaster recovery – which describes the continuing of operations when a major IT problem hits – is a key business IT processes that has to be implemented in every organisation.

First of all, let’s put in perspective the impact of not doing effective disaster recovery.

Estimates on the cost of application and IT outages vary widely, with some figures quoting around $9000/minute.es and mobile apps.

More of the ComputerWeekly post from Chris Evans

Nov 16

CIO Insight – Why Companies Are Overhauling IT Infrastructure

Organizations are carefully examining the state of their IT infrastructure as they dedicate themselves to a digital transformation, according to a recent survey from SignalFx. With this transition considered a primary strategic goal for many businesses, CEOs are often taking the lead in preparing for this major change. However, both CIOs and their teams are also playing critical roles. To ensure success, companies are adopting virtualization and containerization solutions, hosting infrastructure in the cloud and deploying automation solutions, among other steps. With these steps, survey respondents feel very confident about what lies ahead. “Digital transformation is very much a business objective,” said Karthik Rau, CEO of SignalFx.

More of the CIO Insight post from Dennis McCafferty

Nov 16

CIO Insight – CIO Provides Best Practices for Peers to Follow

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) is a rather meta organization, as it is an association of associations. It is an organization for association management, representing both organizations and individual association professionals. The organization works to nurture a community of smart, creative, and interesting people: the members and their associations.

Reggie Henry joined ASAE eight years ago, and as chief information officer, his job is to implement “exemplary” systems at ASAE that can serve as a model to the rest of the association community and to ratchet-up the use and understanding of technology among ASAE members. Informally, that means questioning everything that can be made better, more efficient, less costly, or more useful to members by the application of current and emerging technologies.

More of the CIO Insight post from Peter High