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Displaying articles for: January 2013

Complex IT, made simple

Rafa2.jpgI don’t do New Year’s resolutions - but once again this year I made a personal commitment to “Add more value by focusing on what really matters.”  The problem is, with IT today playing such a transformative role in driving business change, more and more of what we all do “really matters”. In fact, it’s business critical.


Optimizing your service delivery through improved problem management

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgIn my most recent post, I wrote about good IT configuration management. This post turns to the discipline of problem management: identifying and classifying problems; determining their root causes; and providing timely resolution to prevent recurring incidents. Doing this well accomplishes many things, including increasing availability, improving service levels, reducing IT costs, and improving customer satisfaction by reducing the sheer number of operational problems.

HP technology to get from "Ideas to Outcomes"

four roads to 2020.pngIn this post, I look at the four technologies that HP is investing in that will help us get to faster, better "Ideas to Outcomes" in 2020. 

5 steps to leading a successful government IT transformation project

davidwray.jpgBy David Wray, Chief Technology Officer, HP Software Federal Professional Services


In my last blog post I talked about the two ingredients that go into the “secret sauce” for IT transformation: evangelistic leadership and application rationalization. Knowing the secret sauce is nice, but now you’ve actually got to act on it. And there’s a lot more to leading change than simply having an ingredients checklist.


Now, many of the federal agencies I work with know they need to change. The IT Reform program and related initiatives such as Federal Data Center Consolidation have put forth a vision of sweeping change in federal IT. In May 2012, the OMB released its digital strategy for creating a 21st century digital government and U.S. Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel introduced the IT Shared Services Strategy. To achieve these visions, agencies will have to consolidate applications, create shared services and seize opportunities in mobile and big data. The mandate for change in federal IT has never been clearer. But as agencies start with varying degrees of success to change, I see a lot of false starts. Federal IT is an extremely siloed environment, and all those silos make it very difficult to lead transformative change.  


Let’s look at one area in which federal IT needs to change: application transformation. It’s hard, but I know it can be done. Here’s a five-step blueprint for leading change based on my own experience working with agencies.

Labels: Federal IT

To lay the foundation for a successful transformation understand your 3 stakeholder levels

joshuabrusse.jpgBy Joshua Brusse, Chief Architect, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Software Professional Services


I’ve written before about the importance of managing change—this is what the success of your transformation depends on! And yet, even when leaders recognize that they need to pay attention to managing change, I still see them struggling to lead transformation.


To lay the foundations for a successful IT transformation I advise leaders to start with the concept of stakeholder management. Organizations tend to think about the stakeholders as the senior sponsors: the organizers and the leaders. And then they think about the other people as just other people—not stakeholders. But my view is always that anyone who has a vested interest in the change or is affected by the change is a stakeholder. This approach helps you avoid any exclusions. You just consider that everyone is a stakeholder. And this is the truth: Everyone is affected by change.


The Three Ways: The principles underpinning DevOps

Exec-Kim.pngBy Gene Kim

Researcher, DevOps guru and former CTO Gene Kim recently co-authored The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win. The novel, written with Kevin Behr and George Spafford, demonstrates just how bad enterprise IT can get—and how the right approach can save the entire business. The following guest post recently appeared in Kim’s IT Revolution newsletter.

(Discover Performance readers can download an extended 170-page excerpt of the book here.)


In The Phoenix Project, our protagonist, Bill Palmer, the acting VP of IT Operations has ninety days to figure out how to get the most critical projects deployed, increase their uptime, and get the auditors off their back!

Through the course of the book, Bill learns about “The Three Ways,” which are the principles that all DevOps patterns can be derived from.  By putting The Three Ways into practice, Bill figures out how to replicate his own “good to great” transformation.

Labels: DevOps

Optimizing your configuration management

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgIn my most recent post, I wrote about good IT asset management. This post looks at what some could say is the reverse image of asset management, configuration management. Configuration management is about defining and maintaining information on all your IT assets and their overall relationship. With good configuration management you greatly reduce your business risk because you can more easily see the effect of any proposed change. Configuration Management and Configuration Management Databases (CMBD) obviously have been hot topics for several years because of the need for IT organizations to establish fundamental control over their IT infrastructure. Naturally, interpretations of configuration management can vary from company to company. Typically, people mean one of the following:

From "Ideas to Outcomes" in 2020


Every organization, government or enterprise, takes ideas and makes them reality. For most organizations, the faster they can do this and the more they can maximize the outcomes when their ideas become reality, the more successful they will be.  


This blog post looks at the steps in the "ideas to outcomes" process and how they will change as we head for 2020.

Looking for huge gains in productivity and time-to-market? Plan for disruptive improvement in IT Ops

Keith small.jpgBy Keith Macbeath, senior principal consultant with HP Software Professional Services


I was recently in the UK where HP is working with a government agency to create a completely new system reflecting a policy change.  This is a big IT project: It needs to factor in different business rules both for validation and execution that reflect the new policy approach. So here’s an opportunity to totally rethink the infrastructure. What the team  is coming up with is a model where there’s fully automated service creation, provisioning and discovery. It’s essentially a fully automated end-to-end private cloud.


That’s a big disruption. Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen uses the phrase disruptive innovation to talk about innovation that creates new value and disrupts existing markets. Well, disruption happens in IT operations, too—call it disruptive improvement. Christensen talks about disruptive innovation being an entirely different animal from incremental innovation. Likewise, disruptive improvement is an entirely different animal from the traditional ITIL mindset of continual improvement.


Here are two tools for disruptive improvement.

Labels: IT operations

HP Discover Performance ebook preps CIOs for 2013

Technologists and IT thought leaders provide insights to help CIOs map out 2013 — and beyond.

Fix these 2 things for service management that moves at the speed of cloud


Some people think that adopting cloud means you no longer need to do service management. Now this is truly wishful thinking, because all the things you did with service management still apply with cloud. It doesn’t just go away. But what I find is that many organisations don’t know how to adapt their ITSM practices to a cloud world.


This problem has its roots in a false premise about service management. Fundamentally the argument goes that in a modern, agile business things move too fast for ITIL and service management. There’s this perception that service management would stop the benefits of the cloud. Now, I don’t believe this at all. But I also recognize that in a cloud-enabled world, you can’t have a change management process that takes three weeks to decide to do something. 

Labels: ITSM

2 goals for optimizing asset management

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgIn recent posts, I have discussed several aspects of IT Service Management. This post looks at another element, Asset Management. If you’re not familiar with this topic, the asset management process is about managing IT assets through their life cycle to make sure that their use delivers value at an optimal cost. To do this, assets need to be accounted for, physically protected, and made reliable and available.


The asset process needs to consider software as well. For software assets, the process is about ensuring that the optimal number of licenses are acquired, retained, and deployed in relation to business usage requirements and that installations are in compliance with license agreements. Software asset management, therefore, is a balancing act between perceiving customer needs and not over purchasing unneeded assets. Simply, put the goal for this process is to account for all IT assets and optimize the value provided by them.

Cloudera CTO on bumping your data to first class

Amr-Awadallah.jpgThe latest issue of Discover Performance includes an interview with Amr Awadallah, CTO of prominent Hadoop vendor Cloudera, about big data challenges in 2013. In that article, Awadallah shares his thoughts on the subtle shifts ahead in 2013 for organizations struggling to contain big data.


Here, we have an outtake in which Awadallah discusses why a hierarchical approach to data is essential in a big data world, and why we have to wait a little bit longer to get help with big data governance.

Labels: Big Data

Security challenge 2013: BYO staff

Robert-Richardson.jpgIn the new issue of Discover Performance, Robert Richardson, editorial director for the Security Media Group at TechTarget, and former director of Black Hat and the Computer Security Institute, shares his thoughts on why BYOD and the struggle to secure mobile devices will continue to vex organizations, even as best practices emerge to lighten the burden.


We’ve got an outtake from the interview, in which Richardson tackles another problem for 2013 and beyond: staffing your security team so that you can deal with all these changes and challenges.

7 goals for taking business and IT risk out of your change management process

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgIn a recent post, I discussed the importance of service agreements. This post looks at a major factor in whether services are in fact delivered as expected: how well changes and releases are managed. Change and release matter to the business and IT because “30-50% of the incidents in an organization are as a result of a change” (ITIL Version 3.0 Service Transition Book Draft, Page 25).  For this reason COBIT 5.0 says the management of change and release is about ensuring these functions are done in a “controlled manner.” Creating better control is built upon establishing standards, procedures, prioritization, and authorization.

Use the cloud to combat counterfeit goods, and impact the bottom line

16C.Heather-Tendo Communications SF-STOLL 2012.jpgHow can IT deliver value to the business? That’s a perennial topic here on the blog and in the Discover Performance ezine. I recently came across an example of an IT solution that addresses a serious and growing concern for businesses: counterfeit goods.


If you haven’t read much lately about counterfeiting, you might dismiss it as a problem that mainly affects the makers of luxury watches and handbags. But counterfeit goods have infiltrated nearly all aspects of commerce—medicine, auto parts, electronics and more. The issue goes beyond potential loss in profits (although that loss is hefty: counterfeiting is expected to have a $1.7 trillion impact by 2015). Counterfeiting not only erodes customer trust, it can also have fatal consequences. To take just one example, according to the International Policy Network, approximately 700,000 people die each year from counterfeit malaria and tuberculosis drugs alone.


This is where IT can make an impact. HP developed a service using cloud and mobile technology that makes it easy to tell instantly prior to purchase whether goods are authentic. For businesses, the HP Global Product Authentication Service can have real bottom line results, not only by uncovering counterfeit products, but also by reassuring customers that they’re buying the genuine article.

5 steps to get maximum value from a hybrid cloud integration

joshuabrusse.jpgBy Joshua Brusse, Chief Architect, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Software Professional Services


With more and more companies adopting cloud, the opportunity has never been greater for IT to transform into a service-oriented organization and grow the business it serves. According to IDG research, more than one third of current IT budgets are allocated to cloud solutions. However, in their haste to adopt the cloud, CIOs may be missing an opportunity: the chance to use this transition to reshape IT.


As chief architect for HP Software, I’ve worked with many customers on their journey to adopting cloud services. So I’ve seen firsthand how organizations can make the transition from slow-moving DIY shops to agile business partners. How does this happen? IT needs to become hyper-focused on innovation and offload whatever distracts from this goal. And IT needs to get ruthless about sourcing. Find someone else to provide the non-differentiated services, otherwise it will be a struggle to differentiate the products the enterprise sells. This means you must look at the services IT provides with a view to the overall service lifecycle. With this approach you can increase the velocity of IT service delivery and operate efficiently, without sacrificing governance.

Labels: hybrid cloud

Provide options if you want to persuade others

Joel Dobbs.GIFRecently I had a lengthy phone call with an IT executive at a large, Midwestern company with whom I have been working. The company is in the process of assimilating a sizable acquisition and there is a significant item that, if not dealt with, will likely blow up in his face.  The problem he faces is that he can’t seem to sell the company’s CEO and other key executives on the need for addressing it as they are preoccupied with other things.  His question to me was “How can I be more effective in persuading these people?”


All of us, no matter what our industry or role, need to be able to effectively persuade others. Here are some suggestions how to do this.

Labels: IT leadership
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