Aug 16

ZDNet – Why moving piece by piece to the cloud will see businesses succeed more

The conversation around whether it’s a good idea for a business to migrate their on-premises legacy infrastructure into the cloud is no longer the focus, according to Bulletproof CEO Anthony Woodward. Rather, many C-level executives are now looking at what are the best ways to use the so-called cornerstone tool to transform their business.

Woodward believes there are two key drivers behind the increasing adoption of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). The first is that businesses believe cloud will give them the competitive advantage to move faster, and the second motivator is that businesses are being required to transform for fear they may be outmanoeuvred by new entrants to the market.

Gartner has predicted the global IaaS market will reach $22.4 billion in 2016, a 38.4 percent increase on last year’s market value of $16.2 billion. In fact, the IaaS market is expected to be the fastest-growing public cloud services segment worldwide.

More of the ZDNet article from Aimee Chanthadavong

Aug 16

Baseline – How IT and the C-Suite Clash on Disaster Recovery

While the vast majority of organizations have a disaster recovery plan, top business executives and IT and disaster recovery managers differ greatly about the prioritization of these plans, according to a recent survey from Bluelock. The accompanying report, “Perspectives on IT Disaster Recovery,” reveals that a great many companies have had a tech-related disruption over the last two years, and these disruptions often impact the ability to deliver products and services. But C-level execs and vice presidents are more likely than tech department managers to conclude that they have “other, more pressing priorities” to pursue than disaster recovery initiatives. They’re also less likely to support an outsourcing or partnership model for these efforts. “Sometimes, organizations don’t realize the importance of IT disaster recovery planning until it’s too late,” according to the report. “With data being the most important financial asset and service being the most important reputational asset, why wouldn’t you protect your business against technology disruptions?

More of the Baseline article from Dennis McCafferty

Aug 16

Data Center Knowledge: Dissecting the Data Center: What Can – and Can’t – Be Moved to the Cloud

According to the results of a recent survey of IT professionals, 43 percent of organizations estimate half or more of their IT infrastructure will be in the cloud in the next three to five years. The race to the cloud is picking up steam, but all too often companies begin implementing hybrid IT environments without first considering which workloads make the most sense for which environments.

The bottom line is your business’s decision to migrate workloads and/or applications to the cloud should not be arbitrary. So how do you decide what goes where?

The best time to consider migrating to the cloud is when it’s time to re-platform an application. You should not need to over-engineer any application or workload to fit the cloud. If it’s not broken, why move it? For the purposes of this piece, let’s assume your organization is in the process of re-platforming a number of applications and you are now deciding whether to take advantage of the cloud for these applications. There are a few primary considerations you should think through to determine if moving to the cloud or remaining on-premises is best.

More of the Data Center Knowledge post

Aug 16

ZDNet – Delta outage highlights how airline industry needs new IT approaches

Delta blames a power outage in Atlanta for bringing its systems down, canceling flights, and stranding passengers. Southwest’s systems stumbled last month after a faulty router and nixed about 2,300 flights. United Continental grounded flights over a bad router in July and June. Welcome to the world of cobbled together legacy systems and an industry that needs to move toward cloud computing much faster.

IT outages are a fact of life. And now that technology is no longer a separate entity from business, screw-ups hit more people and damage reputations. The big question is why in 2016 airlines are being brought down by single points of failure when cloud services offer resiliency zones, backup options, and redundancy to keep critical systems running.

Delta cancels more flights as it recovers from system-wide outage | Delta Air Lines says power problems are behind computer outage that grounded flights

More of the ZDNet post from Larry Dignan

Aug 16

HBR – 7 Questions to Ask Before Your Next Digital Transformation

Although digital investment is almost unquestionably the right course of action for most firms, organizations still struggle to create the desired results. Estimates of digital transformation failures range from 66% to 84%. Such a high failure rate isn’t surprising, as leaders are trying to create entirely new competencies and wedge them into an organization with strong legacy cultures and operating models.

While most executives are pros at managing change, digital transformation is a much deeper change than the usual process or system update. Of course, digital technology can be used to improve or augment existing ways of operating, but it also opens entirely new ways of doing business based on digital networks like Uber, Airbnb, Yelp, and the Apple Developer Network — which is where a great deal of the digital value resides.

So as you navigate your own digital transformation, we recommend beginning with a few questions that go deeper than “what talent do you need” or “how much money will you spend” and probe broader organizational readiness.

More of the Harvard Business Review post from Barry Libert, Megan Beck, and Yoram (Jerry) Wind

Aug 16

The Register – Capacity planning in an age of agile and on – demand IT

Have we all been caught asleep at the capacity planning wheel? Business users today want, and expect new IT services to be delivered in the blink of an eye, the necessary resources provisioned instantly, and changes made “on demand”. But such IT flexibility requires that physical resources, server, storage and networking are ready to be allocated when required. The need for capacity planning has never been greater, yet a recent survey tells us that few organisations have the capabilities they need.

Furthermore, ‘overprovision and forget’ remains a common approach that elevates IT procurement and operational costs at a time when money is tight.

Business services at risk

Every organisation relies on instant availability to a wide range of IT services, from relatively predictable essential everyday functionality provided by key business applications to customer facing systems whose usage may be highly variable. In some environments, such as development and test systems, they also have to operate on a more ad hoc basis with unpredictable resource requirements. For some IT solutions, such as DR, the hope is that the resources required will never be used, but the potential impact of them kicking in needs to be accounted for.

More of The Register article from Tony Lock

Aug 16

CIO Insight – CIOs and Their Salaries

These CIOs bring in seven-figure salaries as they lead their companies in an era when tech and business units must emerge as collaborative partners.

As a CIO, you probably consider yourself well-compensated. (Or at least we hope so.) But have you ever wondered what the elite of the elite make? If so, you’ll want to check out this list of the 10 highest-paid CIOs, as recently published by Janco. Gender-wise, it’s a pretty diverse list, with women accounting for half of the positions—including the top two slots and three of the top five. The CIOs also bring to the table a diversity of work and life experiences, including those related to community outreach, national policy, business leadership, tech design and the military. Collectively, they are leading their companies in an era when tech and business units must emerge as collaborative partners, navigating disruptive trends related to the cloud, mobility, Internet of things and even wearable tech. Indeed, one CIO describes this period as a “tipping point” and another in even more apocalyptic terms.

More of the CIO Insight slideshow from Dennis McCafferty

Aug 16

ZDNet – Cloud computing pricing: Beware the bill shock

Cloud pricing models vary dramatically. Elastic utilization can mean wide variability in month to month. Make sure your financial goals like flat spending or opex versus capex match up with your cloud providers pricing model.

One of the benefits of cloud computing that’s often touted by providers is cutting costs: rather than having the hassle and expense of buying servers and equipping data centers, and paying for staff to maintain them, companies can offload their workloads to the cloud, where economies of scale around the infrastructure mean that costs are much lower.

In theory, cloud users simply pay for the resources they use, as and when they need them, without the burden of paying for hardware, or data center space. That means pricing should be straightforward, right?

Not quite: there isn’t just a single model of cloud pricing.

On-demand allows you to purchase services as and when you need them, while reserved instances work like many other types of bill, where the user forecasts what they’re probably going to need over a particular period — usually in quarterly or annual instances. The user then pays upfront, although their cloud provider may give discounts for buying services in bulk. Spot pricing is where cloud companies sell off unused processing power at a discount: companies can then bid for a certain amount of computing power at a certain price.

More of the ZDNet article from Danny Palmer

Aug 16

WSJ – Only 19% of CIOs at Top U.S. Firms are Women: Study

Less than a fifth of chief information officers at top U.S. companies are women, according to a report by executive-search firm Korn/Ferry International.

Across all industry sectors, women accounted for just 19% of CIOs at the top 1,000 firms by revenue, the report said.

That outpaces the number of women who are chief executive or chief financial officers at these firms, but falls behind those who are chief marketing or human resources officers.

All told, women accounted for just 24% of all c-suite executives.

By industry, women were most likely to be the top IT managers at firms in the energy sector, where 35% of CIOs were women, followed by the life sciences at 22% and the consumer and industrial sectors, both at 18%.

Just 11% of CIOs at these firms in the technology sector were women, the report said.

More of the Wall Street Journal article from Angus Loten

Aug 16

WSJ – Failures Like the Delta Outage Are a Fact of Digital Business

Customers are still feeling the fallout from computer problems at Delta Air Lines Inc. that began with an electrical outage in the dark hours of Monday morning. Flight cancellations grew throughout the day to about 1,000 and Delta continued to cancel flights Tuesday – 680 as of 5:15 p.m. ET – as it tried to restore normal operations.

“Following the power loss, some critical systems and network equipment didn’t switch over to Delta’s backup systems,” the company said in a statement. Delta hasn’t gone into detail about which systems didn’t perform as expected or why. Airline reservations, maintenance and operations systems are notoriously complex, made all the more so by layers of technology integrated after years of mergers and acquisitions.

Other industries deal with such complexity but none more publicly than airlines, says Allan Frank, co-founder and chief IT strategist at The Hackett Group, which advises large companies on technology best practices. You have “multiple systems from multiple companies over a period of years, he says. “A glitch can take down the whole house… In the end, people are stuck at airports and there’s a direct, emotional impact.”

More of the Wall Street Journal article from Kim S. Nash