Friday, March 23, 2012

Join me for a deep-dive live discussion on why IT's role may never be the same

Now is a fascinating time for businesses the world over, and the role and impact of IT is a big part of what's causing the changes that all of us are feeling and adjusting to.

Many of the changes involve the speed of change and rapid adaptation to dynamic markets. Clearly, the speed of business has never been faster, and it's getting even faster. Those that can't keep up are in a perilous situation.

Register now for this free online discussion.

It's therefore up to IT to help companies move at the pace of the market, or IT risks being passed over by cloud-based outside providers.

The stakes have never been higher for keeping applications and businesses up and running.

One way IT can hasten their responsiveness to business requirements is in their ability to deliver applications to PC faster, better and cheaper.

Join me and Embarcadero Technologies next Tuesday, March 27, for a deep-dive, live discussion (registration required) on how the major business and IT trends of the day -- cloud computing, mobile, social networks, and Big Data -- are changing the role of IT, and ways that IT can fight back. [Disclosure: Embarcadero Technologies is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Register now for this free online discussion.

You may also be interested in:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Study: Cloud computing becoming pervasive, and IT needs to take control now

Cloud computing may be taking the business world by storm, but its success could mean a "perfect storm" that endangers the role of IT.

As a result, IT needs to step up now and change its approach to cloud services. This includes building trust with the lines of business, beginning to manage public cloud services, and pursuing increased automation for service provisioning and operations.

These are the key findings of a survey commissioned by BMC Software and conducted by Forrester Research. The study, "Delivering on High Cloud Expectations," shows that business units' demand for speed and agility is leading them to circumvent IT and acquire cloud services, more than half of them from what were termed "unmanaged" clouds.

Brian Singer, Lead Solutions Marketing Manager for BMC, said his company commissioned the survey in an effort to confirm what the company was hearing anecdotally from customers. "Cloud and software as a service (SaaS) are in enterprises in a big way," Singer said, "and we wanted to see how IT was dealing with them."

Cloud and SaaS are in enterprises in a big way and we wanted to see how IT was dealing with them.

For the study, researchers polled 327 enterprise infrastructure executives and architects in the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Among the key findings:
  • Today, 58 percent run mission critical workloads in unmanaged public clouds, regardless of policy. The researchers use "unmanaged" to describe clouds that are managed by the cloud operators, but not by the company buying the service.
  • In the next two years, 79 percent plan to run mission-critical workloads on unmanaged cloud services.
  • Nearly three out of four responders, 71 percent, thought that IT should be responsible for public cloud services.
  • Seventy two percent of CIOs believe that the business sees cloud computing as a way to circumvent IT.
Wake-up call

"This is a wake-up call," Singer said. "They know that this is going on and they understand that cloud is a way to go around monolithic IT." According to the survey, 81 percent of respondents said that a comprehensive cloud strategy is a high priority for the next year.

While cost is a major driver in the C-suite, the lines of business respondents put cost way down on their list of priorities. Instead they are seeking higher availability, faster delivery of services, more agility, and options and flexibility.

The researchers suggested a three-prong approach for IT to get a handle on this:
  • Build trust with the users and create a better user experience -- have an honest conversation about needs of the business, incorporate business requirements into a cloud strategy, and demonstrate progress toward them.

    They know that this is going on and they understand that cloud is a way to go around monolithic IT.

  • Shift from unmanaged to managed public cloud services. Many cloud vendors allow IT operations to monitor and manage services. This will help mitigate the risk and complexity that unmanaged clouds now introduce.
  • Develop ways to provision and operate internal services so that users get experiences similar to those they get from outside. This requires more automation to rapidly deploy solutions.
The full study results will be announced April 26 at 11 a.m. CST as part of a BMC webinar, registration required.

You may also be interested in:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New HP application transformation offerings help enterprises tackle growing use of mobile computing and social media

HP this week announced a suite of products and services aimed at overcoming the challenges presented by the convergence of some of today's hottest business trends, mobile computing and social media.

The four software products and three services are designed to help enterprises leverage traditional systems of record, while creating an improved and extended presence and engaging better with customers, partners, and even employees.

IT-driven systems of record, while they serve up useful information, are usually commodities and in themselves don't create business differentiation. The new offerings, however, provide systems of engagement, which change the way enterprises interact with those people now using tablets and smartphones in increasing numbers, as well as through social media. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

"Unless we worry about a system of engagement, then we're in trouble," said Paul Evans, HPs Worldwide Lead for Application Transformation. "It's a question of how to create a competitive advantage. We still require traditional apps on the back end, and will still look for the opportunity to reduce cost, but our focus is going to change to systems of engagement. We've had a lot of clients say, 'How do I do that?' It's not a traditional skill."

Evans also pointed out that time-frames have collapsed as well. "Apps have to be built in a time-frame that clients aren't used to. It's got to be a quality app, and it has to be well-tested. But it also has to be done in six days."

New offerings

In an effort to meet this mounting challenge, HP is now offering:
  • HP Application Lifecycle Intelligence (ALI), which improves collaboration among delivery teams and reduces cycle times. While traditional systems of record are built and maintained every six months, ALI can automate the process and reduce the time to days.
  • HP Unified Functional Testing, offered with Perfecto Mobile, allows developers to emulate and test the user experience of mobile applications across devices as well as different networks. This is to ensure that all users have the same experience no matter what mobile carrier they're using.

    We still require traditional apps on the back end and will still look for the opportunity to reduce cost, but our focus is going to change to systems of engagement.

  • HP Anywhere, which enables clients to manage IT on the go. Mobile-based applications perform operations such as portfolio request management, defect tracking, service health monitoring and the composition of an executive scorecard, where IT managers can look at all of attributes in real time.
  • HP Enterprise Collaboration enhances knowledge sharing and accelerates application development through a social collaboration environment that enables real-time, context-based conversations traced back to actions and work items. This allows developers to communicate in new ways that take previously unstructured conversations and puts structure to them.
Additionally, among the new services are:
You may also be interested in: