06
Oct 17

SmartIT – A Complex but Solvable Puzzle: Service Level Agreements, Key Performance Indicators, & Critical Success Factors

Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and Critical Success Factors (CSFs)

Knowing how to put the SLA, KPI, CSF puzzle together helps IT gain credibility and promote value in partnerships between IT and the business we serve. IT struggles to communicate, let alone justify costs and investments, and has a hard time communicating in terms that business understands. Something is lost in translation. IT services have been commoditized and marginalized, which further increases the challenges of getting funding, accelerating time to market, and delivering innovative products and services.

More of the SmartIT post from Jon Sturm


05
Oct 17

Harvard Business Review – We Shouldn’t Always Need a “Business Case” to Do the Right Thing

I’ve been a consultant for almost 20 years, advising companies on complex challenges in ethics, risk, and responsibility. Each year several clients raise the same issue: the need to get buy-in from a skeptical senior executive in order to demonstrate a concrete benefit that will follow a proposed investment in an ethical business initiative or function. The executive needs a business case. And so I get asked questions like “What evidence can I provide that doing the right thing will make or save a company money?” and “How can I persuade the organization that embracing integrity is a win-win?”

It’s a relief to have finally moved on from the era in which corporate responsibility meant feel-good philanthropic efforts divorced from an enterprise’s main activities. Happily fading from memory is the cliché that ethics and compliance teams effectively constitute a “business prevention department.”

More of the Harvard Business Review post from Alison Taylor


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


29
Sep 17

Continuity Central – DNS attacks an increasing problem for public and education sector around the world

Councils, schools and government offices were among global public sector and education organizations hit badly by DNS attacks last year – with nearly half reporting dealing with the issue cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds.

One in five (19 percent) of public sector sites and 11 percent of education bodies affected by DNS attacks say sensitive information was stolen. A fifth (20 percent) of public sector and 12 percent of educational victims also think intellectual property data was lost, while 10 percent of schools and colleges affected say they needed to take more than one day to recover.

This is in the context of yearly average costs of DNS security breaches to be now running at £1.7m ($2.2m) for organizations globally, with malware (35 percent), DDoS (32 percent), Cache Poisoning (23 percent), DNS Tunnelling (22 percent) and Zero-Day Exploits (19 percent) as the main threats.

More of the Continuity Central post


28
Sep 17

Harvard Business Review – How Does Blockchain Work?

Blockchain is an emerging technology that gets lots of press in the technology journals. Harvard Business Review put together this whiteboard session on the technology called “How Does Blockchain Work?”

Harvard Business Review video


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


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


14
Sep 17

Data Center Knowledge – Multi-Cloud Is a Reality, Not a Strategy – Part 1

James Kelly is the Lead Cloud and SDN Expert at Juniper Networks.

So you’re doing cloud, and there is no sign of slowing down. Maybe your IT strategies are measured, maybe you’re following the wisdom of the crowd, maybe you’re under the gun, you’re impetuous or you’re oblivious. Maybe all of the above apply. In any case, like all businesses, you’ve realized that cloud is the vehicle for your newly dubbed software-defined enterprise: a definition carrying onerous, what I call, ‘daft pressures’ for harder, better, faster, stronger IT.

You may as well be solving the climate-change crisis because to have a fighting chance today, it feels like you have to do everything all at once.

More of the Data Center Knowledge post from James Kelly


14
Sep 17

ZDNet – Security Features Built into Cloud Services

Public cloud providers go to great lengths to secure their infrastructure, but organizations are still responsible to protect their apps and data. We look at Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

As we discussed in an earlier post [link to cloud fears entry], it’s a little late in the game to be wholly suspicious of cloud computing. However, there’s still a lot to talk about in terms of securing the cloud.

The security features offered by public cloud providers represent only a part of the shared responsibility model; the other part falls within your organization’s responsibility. For example, your public cloud provider may offer security groups for identity and access management (IAM) and firewalls that scan traffic on specific ports and to and from specific IP addresses.

More of the ZDNet article from Larry Seltzer