01
Dec 17

CIO.com – Establishing business architecture standards: an industry imperative

Standards, based on the collective experiences of communities of practice, form the basis for advancing the maturity of a given discipline. As that discipline matures and the community of practice grows, standards serve as a critical foundation for enabling scalability and ensuring the integrity of the results.

Standards form the fundamental building blocks for a wide variety of fields. Accountants, manufacturers, engineers, software developers and a range of other professionals rely on standards. The constraints that standards may impose on some individuals are easily offset by the numerous advantages that they provide to consumers and practitioners. The same benefits of standardization also apply to the discipline of business architecture.

Benefits of standards adoption

When considering the impact of standards, we can look at the railway industry. Consider the discrepancies in railway track gauge size in the early 1800s. There were over a dozen gauge sizes used across the U.S.

More of the CIO.com post from Daniel Lambert


30
Nov 17

Tech Pro Research – CIO roadmap: What’s next for hybrid cloud?

Companies that have implemented hybrid cloud strategies are seeing the benefits, from better ROI to faster digital transformation. But now they must look ahead to new stages of hybrid cloud execution.

In March 2016, IBM surveyed 500 IT decision makers who have implemented hybrid strategies. 26% of the respondents said that they are “gaining competitive advantage through hybrid cloud and are managing their environment in an integrated, comprehensive fashion for high visibility and control.” Of these organizations, 90% reported greater ROI, and 85% reported that a hybrid approach to cloud was “accelerating digital transformation in their organization.”

Hybrid cloud is attractive because it offers companies a middle ground between going “full cloud” and being entirely on premises. It saves money because companies can offload many of their non-mission critical systems to the cloud and avoid investing in new hardware, software, and infrastructure. A hybrid cloud strategy also gives companies the flexibility to maintain their own in-house systems under their own IT staff and governance standards, and even to turn some of these systems into private cloud environments that they themselves create and maintain.

More of the Tech Pro Research post from Mary Schacklett


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


24
Nov 17

The Register – VMware refuses to support its wares running in Azure

VMware has responded to Microsoft’s plan to run its stack in Azure, by saying customers who choose that option will have to forego support.

“This offering has been developed independent of VMware, and is neither certified nor supported by VMware,” wrote Virtzilla’s senior veep for product development and cloud services Ajay Patel.” Patel added that no VMware partners have collaborated with the company to build Microsoft’s offering.

VMware’s reason for denying support was explained on the basis that standing up a VMware-based cloud service needs a lot of careful work one does not simply walk into Mordor.

“Our experience has shown public cloud environments require significant joint engineering to run enterprise workloads,” Patel wrote, later charactering VMware-on-AWS as a “a jointly architected, and fully tested and validated cloud service”

More of The Register article from Simon Sharwood


07
Nov 17

ZDNet – SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS: Understand the differences

Understanding the cloud is critical to the future of business. Here’s a brief explanation of the three layers by which cloud services are delivered.

Cloud computing is one technology moving faster than almost all others toward becoming table stakes in enterprise IT. In 2017 alone, the public cloud services market is predicted to grow 18 percent, hitting a value of $246.8 billion, according to research firm Gartner.

Understanding the cloud can help business leaders make more strategic investments and remain competitive going forward. Cloud clarity starts with understanding the model itself.

As a service
According to 451 Research analyst Carl Brooks, for a technology solution to qualify as “as a Service,” it has to meet the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition parameters, which he paraphrased as “self-service, paid on-demand, elastic, scalable, programmatically accessible (APIs), and available over the network.”

More of the ZDNet article from Conner Forest


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


04
Oct 17

TechTarget – More users flub evals of colocation data center providers

Colocation data center buyers are needlessly captivated by impressive features at data centers that distract them from important decision-making information.

If enterprises want to make the right colocation decisions, they’ve got to ask better questions.

IT pros in search of a colocation data center for their IT gear today know what’s most important to them: price, physical security and uptime. But increasingly, enterprises ask vague, open-ended questions instead of pointed relevant questions to evaluate and choose a colocation data center provider.

Comparison of colocation data center capabilities is a boring problem solved with a simple recipe: Take the time to research and ask the most appropriate questions, said Peter Kraatz, the national portfolio director of consulting services at Datalink Corp., a data center services provider in Eden Prairie, Minn.

More of the TechTarget article from Robert Gates


03
Oct 17

The Register – Cloud washes Dell off perch atop storage market

Backup appliance sales go off a cliff, traditional array vendors just aren’t growing

Sales of purpose-built backup appliances have dropped markedly, with year-on-year dips of 16.2 per cent by revenue and 14.9 per cent by capacity, according to analyst firm IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Purpose-Built Backup Appliance Tracker for 2017’s second quarter.

IDC’s research manager for storage systems Liz Conner said: “The traditional backup market is declining as end users and vendors alike explore new technology.” She mentioned “cloud-based backup tiers, hybrid flash arrays, emphasis on replication and data recovery” as reasons for the market’s decline.

Here are the nasty numbers.

More of The Register article from Simon Sharwood


27
Sep 17

CIO Insight – Why IT Architectural Plans Often Get Derailed

The majority of organizations know that they need to do a better job of planning for IT infrastructure, software development, data needs and cyber-security. But surprisingly few of them actually take part in long-term, tech-focused architectural planning, according to a recent survey from CompTIA. The accompanying report, “Planning a Modern IT Architecture,” indicates that most companies assign these efforts on a shorter-term, year-to-year or project-to-project basis. Given the increased significance of digital transformation, it remains critical to pursue broad, comprehensive strategies through close collaboration with business departments. But, to do so, CIOs and their tech teams will have to overcome obstacles in the form of budget shortfalls and a failure to gain buy-in throughout the company.

More of the CIO Insight slideshow from Dennis McCafferty