28
Nov 17

ZDNet – Cloud computing: How to build a business case

Like any other major tech project, moving workloads into the cloud needs a solid business case — one that takes into account all the likely costs and benefits — before a company can decide whether it’s the correct move.

Cloud migration may be a tougher proposition than a standard IT project because companies have to consider a wider variety of issues — like what to do with all those servers, or even entire data centers, that may be made redundant by the move.

The business case should calculate the costs of migrating to the cloud — which include the cost of moving systems over, as well as the cost of running services in the cloud after migration — and then compare them to the costs of keeping systems in-house.

More of the ZDNet post from Steve Ranger


27
Nov 17

TechTarget – Upgrade your IT admin career options with these tips

As anyone who has been working in the Microsoft space in the last few years knows, the rate of change for a Windows sys admin has accelerated greatly, and it’s time to buckle in or fall behind.

Gone are the days of an environment that remains static for years. We’re now in a cloud and “as a service” world. With DevOps and Agile deployment methodologies in vogue, administrators get many small updates more frequently rather than the occasional, giant update every few years.

Due to this new world — which usually makes business sense due to the economics of scale — IT admins need to update their skills to stay current. How can you stay afloat in this rapidly changing environment and prepare for advancement in your IT admin career?

More of the TechTarget post from Adam Fowler


27
Oct 17

HBR – How to Spot a Machine Learning Opportunity, Even If You Aren’t a Data Scientist

Artificial intelligence is no longer just a niche subfield of computer science. Tech giants have been using AI for years: Machine learning algorithms power Amazon product recommendations, Google Maps, and the content that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter display in social media feeds. But William Gibson’s adage applies well to AI adoption: The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.

The average company faces many challenges in getting started with machine learning, including a shortage of data scientists. But just as important is a shortage of executives and nontechnical employees able to spot AI opportunities. And spotting those opportunities doesn’t require a PhD in statistics or even the ability to write code. (It will, spoiler alert, require a brief trip back to high school algebra.)

More of the Harvard Business Review article from Kathryn Hume


06
Sep 17

IT Business Edge – Clouds Vie for Critical Workloads

Editors note: Like the Skytap illustration in the article, Expedient clients are using public and private cloud services RIGHT NOW to improve application performance, reduce maintenance workloads, and improve uptime. These organizations don’t have the luxury of waiting for their development teams or primary software vendors to rewrite their mission critical apps from the ground up.

It seems that cloud providers are no longer fooling around when it comes to getting enterprise workloads. With new migration packages and services optimized for mission-critical data and applications, CSPs large and small are eager for your business.

The question for most enterprises, however, is whether to stick with the hyperscale providers like Amazon and Microsoft, or go with a not-so-large firm that may have a bit more flexibility when it comes to matching infrastructure with customized user needs.

Skytap, for one, is hoping that the one-size-fits-all approach will not be enough for most enterprises as they embrace crucial service offerings like Big Data and the IoT. CEO Thor Culverhouse argues that the cloud giants are overlooking key market segments like the legions of mission-critical apps that are stuck on legacy systems but will have to move to hybrid infrastructure in order to keep up with the speed of business activity. His plan is to offer specialized infrastructure optimized for the 75 percent of the enterprise workload that is not likely to become cloud-native any time soon.

More of the IT Business Edge article from Arthur Cole


04
Aug 17

CIO Insight – A Practical Alternative to Two-Speed IT (Part 2)

In part one of this series, we explored a pair of competing requests many modern IT leaders receive from their stakeholders:

We investigated one “buzzwordy” solution—two-speed IT—and how implementing this solution often creates more problems than it solves. We proposed an alternate five-step framework for handling these requests. In steps one and two of this framework, we revealed how the above two competing requests are old problems, best solved with an old, proven solution—and not buzzwords.

E-Signatures 201: Get the Details on Integration, Customization and Advanced Workflow Register
In part two of this series, we will walk you through the remaining steps in our practical framework and lead you down a path toward implementing this proven solution: the technology lifecycle.

Step 3: Think technology lifecycle, not “innovation” vs. “operations.”

To better understand why the good-on-paper “two-speed IT” approach often produces problems when implemented in the real world, look at Gartner’s two speeds (or modes) in which they shoehorn all technology systems and services:

Mode 1: Development projects related to core system maintenance, stability or efficiency. These require highly specialized programmers and traditional, slow-moving development cycles. There is little need for business involvement.

Mode 2: Development projects that help innovate or differentiate the business. These require a high degree of business involvement, fast turnaround and frequent updates. Mode 2 requires a rapid path (or IT fast lane) to transform business ideas into applications.

More of the CIO Insight post from Lee Reese


03
Aug 17

CIO Insight – Two-Speed IT: Juggling Competing Agendas (Part 1)

How can IT leaders juggle seemingly competing agendas: to meet the business’ demands for increased innovation, while cutting costs and slashing budgets?

With the ever-increasing interest in technology solutions, IT’s stakeholders are giving them two competing demands:
1. Produce new innovative, strategic technology-based capabilities.
2. Do so with reduced resources.

How can IT leaders step up to the plate and juggle these seemingly competing agendas: to meet the business’ demands for increased innovation, including new digital systems and services, all while cutting costs and slashing budgets?

Unleash Your DevOps Strategy by Synchronizing Application and Database Changes Register
One popular solution has emerged within IT thought leadership. Often called “two-speed IT,” this idea proposes that the IT organization does not attempt to resolve the tension between these two ideas. Instead, IT lumps all of its technology into one of two broad buckets: operational technology and innovative technology. Do this, and operations won’t slow down innovation, and expensive innovation investments won’t inflate operations’ budgets.

More of the CIO Insight post from Lee Reese


01
Sep 16

IT Business Edge – Preparing for the Evolution of the IT Administrator Role

Just as writing has come to mean texting, blogging or any form of digital writing, the cloud today means one or all of the three Cs: computing, connectivity and communication. And just as nearly all thought to putting pen to paper has disappeared, all reference to the natural cloud is long forgotten. The three Cs have altered the way we consume services. The adage, “change is the only constant,” holds true in the IT landscape like no other, forcing IT admins to constantly learn new skills and make strategic decisions.

In this slideshow Vidya Vasu, head of the ManageEngine Community, takes a closer look at how the role of the IT administrator is changing and how individuals can prepare.

More of the IT Business Edge article


29
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


25
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


22
Jul 16

ManageEngine – Bimodal IT- Double the action, twice as fun

Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh, and Henry Cavill are all big names and share one thing in common. What connects them is the fictional superhuman bimodal character they have all embodied. And who doesn’t love that character? He’s Superman. He can do it all.

In one mode, he falls well within most conventional norms and fits perfectly into a world of indifference and acceptance. In his other mode, though, he’s a symbol of change. He’s something the world has never seen before, and something the world agrees with. His kind of change is good. His kind of change brings hope.

Now let’s bring IT into this picture. What can IT folks learn from him? And how can they harness that hope? It’s simple—go bimodal. Stability is a must and change is unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean that both can’t coexist. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2017, 75 percent of IT organizations will have a bimodal approach. In this approach, mode one is about legacy and predictability, leading to stability and accuracy. Mode two is about innovation and exploration, which lead to agility and speed.

More of the ManageEngine article from Ravi Prakash