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


10
Nov 17

IT Business Edge – Getting on the Right Side of Automation

It’s a fait accompli at this point that the enterprise will become significantly more automated over the next decade, both in terms of IT operations and infrastructure management. And while this will most certainly affect the knowledge workforce, and probably cost jobs, it will also bring about a higher level of data productivity that will ultimately enhance the value of both human and technological resources.

Automation works best when it is directed at the rote, repetitive tasks that occupy the majority of the knowledge worker’s time. This can include everything from system mapping and resource provisioning to data tracking and analysis. If there is one thing that the current crop of automation solutions excels at, it is taking over these mindless operations to allow humans to concentrate on the more creative aspects of fulfilling the business model.

More of the IT Business Edge article from Arthur Cole


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


18
Sep 17

TheWHIR – Experts Dispute VC’s Forecast that Caused Data Center Stocks to Slump

The stocks of all seven US data center REITs (there are now six, following a merger that closed Thursday) slid down simultaneously this week, after a well-known venture capitalist and hedge-fund owner said at an investor conference that advances in processor technology will eventually lead to the demise of the data center provider industry.

But industry insiders say his views are overly simplistic, and that history has shown that advances in computing technology only create more hunger for data center capacity, not less.

Since server chips are getting smaller and more powerful than ever, companies in the future will not need anywhere near the amount of data center space they need today, Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and CEO of the VC firm Social Capital, who last year also launched a hedge fund, said Tuesday afternoon, according to Seeking Alpha, which cited Bloomberg as the source:

More of TheWHIR post from Yevgeniy Sverdlik


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


11
Aug 17

Fast Company – Employers, Your Employees’ Lack Of Productivity Might Be All On You

Think back to the last time you encountered a difficult challenge at work–one of those problems that requires hard, long thought and perhaps some focused drudgery to break through. What did you do?
If you work in the knowledge economy, chances are you interrupted yourself several times along the way –checked your email, went on Facebook, got up and chatted with a coworker.

On average, employees who do the majority of their work on computers are distracted once every 10 and a half minutes. Twenty-three percent of those interruptions come from email, but the biggest source of interruptions by far come from…ourselves. Voluntarily switching from one task to the next without finishing the original task first accounted for a full 44% of work interruptions.

More of the Fast Company article from Becky Kane


24
Jul 17

CIO Insight – Digital Transformation Is in Chaos

Digital transformation has stalled due to a misalignment between its definition and meaning, delayed ROI, complexity and resistance to new ways of working.

A new survey finds a “widespread stall” in digital transformation efforts, suggesting that its leadership is in crisis. Half of senior executives polled said their company is not successfully executing 50 percent of its strategies, according to the new report from Wipro Digital, “A Crisis in Digital Transformation.” While most executives believe the company is clear on the definition of digital transformation, an obstacle to success is the lack of alignment on what exactly digital transformation means. “Digital transformation efforts are coming up short on intended ROI, in part because digital transformation is as much a leadership issue as it is a strategy, technology, culture and talent issue,” said Rajan Kohli, senior vice president and global head, Wipro Digital.

More of the CIO Insight slideshow from Karen Frenkel


21
Jul 17

CIO Insight – Two-Speed IT: Juggling Competing Agendas

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?

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 article from Lee Reese


20
Jul 17

HBR – The Board Directors You Need for a Digital Transformation

When the term digital transformation was first bandied about by consultants and business publications, its implications were more about keeping up and catching up than true transformation. Additionally, at first it was only applied to large, traditional organizations struggling, or experimenting, in an increasingly digital economy. But true digital transformation requires so much more. As evidenced by the recent Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods, we’re living in a new world.

Early transformation efforts were focused on initiatives: e-commerce, sensors/internet of things, applications, client and customer experience, and so on. Increasingly, our clients are coming to us as they realize that in order for these disparate initiatives to thrive, they need to undergo an end-to-end transformation, the success of which demands dramatic operational, structural, and cultural shifts.

More of the HBR post from Tuck Rickards and Rhys Grossman