Yesterday BMC announced MyIT, which it describes as a “new enterprise software solution that empowers employees to take personal control over the delivery of the IT services and information they need — anytime, anywhere, from any device.” I was demoed it prior to the announcement, and it definitely does provide employees with greater insight into, and control over, the IT services they consume.
My initial reaction?
Once I had got the initial thoughts of “I don’t like the name” — because it seemed “dated,” and because something like this is about more than IT — out of my mind, the jigsaw pieces that make up my opinion started to fall into place:
It is embracing so many of the challenges faced by IT organizations (and their customers), such as increasing customer expectations of IT per se, mobility, personal hardware (corporate and BYOD), customer service and support … and I could go on.
It picks up and runs with, not so much social as many would expect, but the consumer-led penchant for self-service (both for service delivery and support).
It starts to leverage the capabilities of our “gadgets” that are often neglected in the corporate (software) environment.
It makes service catalog more relevant and more accessible — service catalog is really about self-service from the customer interface POV. This could be self-service on steroids.
I'm having a frustrating day. It's only partly because there is a hurricane raging outside and I'm cooped up inside with a hyperactive dog. The main source of my frustration is my inability to communicate with the outside world. Yes, I still have power, and the Internet, but unfortunately, with cell networks overloaded, no landline (hello, this is 2012), and VPN failing, I can't seem to talk to anyone. At least comprehensibly. Of course, since I'm a resilient and resourceful employee, I've tried everything from GoogleTalk to Skype to our internal VOIP systems all with no success. Who would have thought in this modern era of the anytime, anywhere worker, that I would be rendered mute?
As Apple sweeps up the dust from their latest launch event, Microsoft is preparing for the most extensive operating system launch ever, expecting to reach 2.1 billion people with its Windows 8 marketing launch over the next several months. It's as good a time as any to reflect on the state of the Windows tablet landscape and draw some conclusions about what it means for Infrastructure and Operations Professionals.
For the past year I have been passionately explaining to PC vendors the criticality of building a handful of products up to a standard instead of down to a price in a commodity market. If you can't differentiate in ways that people will pay a premium for, the only competitive levers left are quality, price and service…and you can't afford to make any mistakes. In this case, the people in question are those willing to spend their own money (without reimbursement) on tablets and laptops for work. Forrester data shows that it's a $10B market today and a $19B market by 2016. "IT Consumers" may be the only PC growth segment left.
Apple continues to prove this market's viability and they're placing a bet that tablets will remain tablets on their merits, and will continue to be an addition to the computer bag alongside the laptop, and they're building both up to a standard instead of down to a price. Microsoft is betting that what people want is a tablet and a PC all in one, and that apps which behave both as touch and desktop apps on the same device are the future. The Surface represents Microsoft's attempt to make the best possible case, and ensure the device is built to its own standards. Even though the latest Forrsights Employee data show that employee preference for Windows 8 on work tablets is already 20% vs. 26% for iOS, the one-device strategy is an incredibly risky bet. Let's look at some of the numbers from what's on the market:
OK, it really should be the “500 shards of ITIL” but it just didn’t sound as sexy.
“ITIL is sexy?” I hear you cry. Maybe not for most, but IT service management (ITSM) is something many of us are passionate about. Or, to be more precise, the delivery of high-quality, business-centric IT services is something many of us are passionate about – with ITSM purely the means to that end.
Anyway I wander from my point . . . the “500 shards of ITIL” I refer to are the 500 extremely granular, ITIL-espoused capability points that far too many organizations commonly use as the basis for new ITSM tool selection. As I wrote in a recent blog for the ITSM Review: “the current method of creating RFPs (request for proposal documents) and selecting vendors based on a cut-and-paste, ask-for-everything-possible-mentality is so, so flawed.”
In a soon-to-be-released market overview of SaaS ITSM tools I add that “Customers often ask the wrong questions during product evaluations and therefore don’t get the answers they need.” Think about it – multiple choice is far easier to pass than an essay-style exam, and do you really need that infrequently adopted ITIL-espoused capability? If you don’t, why on earth are you asking for it?
“Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.”
I've been tackling an interesting challenge recently: how to define a mature business technology resiliency (aka disaster recovery) program. It's something I've been thinking about for years, but it was only a few months ago that I sat down to develop a concrete framework that enterprises could use to compare themselves to. Yes, I know there are existing frameworks for defining what maturity is for a business technology resiliency program, but in my model, I was trying to accomplish the following:
Simplicity. Without going overboard, I wanted to put together a model that could be completed within a few hours, rather than something that would take weeks to complete. The tradeoff, of course, is that this model is much less detailed than others. However, with many conflicting priorities, I know that many IT leaders can't take the time to fill out an assessment the length of the last installment of Harry Potter.
Objectivity. One of the benefits I have at Forrester is the ability to address this from a vendor-neutral perspective. I have no ulterior motives with this model and no vendor allegiances that could influence the outcomes.
Process-orientation. I strongly believe that a mature business technology resiliency program is built on a bedrock of repeatable, standardized, and streamlined processes. In the model, you will see there is a section on technology maturity, but the emphasis overall is on the process components.
On Monday morning, Polycom invited a few hundred of their closest friends to New York to open the NASDAQ stock market. Then, they revealed a new set of products demonstrating their commitment to put video into the routine of daily working life for information workers. I was one of those friends who had the unique opportunity to (as the CIO of one of Polycom's customer’s quipped) “make my job relevant to my teenage children,” by having my face on the widescreen in Times Square. But my kids don’t read my blog, so the important thing for the readers is taking a look at what Polycom said, and what it means.
Polycom discussed four themes through the day – their commitment to:
Deliver a superior user experience. A new UI design and the promise to deliver that UI to all their products, enabling more intuitive and consistent access to all Polycom communications capabilities – in rooms, on PCs, and even from smartphones and tablets. The new UI looks slick and the ability to use that, or a Microsoft Lync client, to access the broad range of Polycom services is a major step in delivering a useful and usable collaboration tool. The promise to deliver the UI as a software upgrade means that even existing Polycom customers will be able to enjoy the experience. Having recently visited Polycom's experience center at their new headquarters in San Jose, I will vouch for the intuitive, personal feeling of working a pure "new Polycom" environment.
Ongoing global economic uncertainty has affected the Chinese economy by reducing demand for exports and shrinking domestic investments, resulting in turbulence in China’s tech market. My latest report, “China Tech Market Outlook: 2012 To 2013,” describes how Forrester has revised its 2012 growth forecast for this market from an original forecast of 13% in January 2012 down to 10% (measured in local currency). Major technology vendors, including both local and MNC vendors, have seen the growth of their China operations slow down.
However, the Chinese tech market is still one of the fastest-growing IT markets in the world. China’s $105 billion of annual technology spending ranks third in the world after the US and Japan. However, per-capita IT spending in China is only 4% of Japan’s and 3% of the US’s — highlighting the long-term potential in the country.
Some of the key findings for the tech market trends in China in 2012 and 2013 include:
Computer equipment and peripherals, as the largest segment for tech spending in China, will grow 8% in 2012 and 13% in 2013. Chinese customers continue spend on more hardware. Strong cloud momentum in China will drive significant new data center investments from telecom operators and local governments, with a positive impact on technology vendors selling servers, storage, networking, and other relevant technologies.
Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general of despicable ideology and consummate tactics, spoke of “keepin up the skeer,” applying continued pressure to opponents to prevent them from regrouping and counterattacking. POWER7+, the most recent version of IBM’s POWER architecture, anticipated as a follow-up to the POWER7 for almost a year, was finally announced this week, and appears to be “keepin up the skeer” in terms of its competitive potential for IBM POWER-based systems. In short, it is a hot piece of technology that will keep existing IBM users happy and should help IBM maintain its impressive momentum in the Unix systems segment.
For the chip heads, the CPU is implemented in a 32 NM process, the same as Intel’s upcoming Poulson, and embodies some interesting evolutions in high-end chip design, including:
Use of DRAM instead of SRAM — IBM has pioneered the use of embedded DRAM (eDRAM) as embedded L3 cache instead of the more standard and faster SRAM. In exchange for the loss of speed, eDRAM requires fewer transistors and lower power, allowing IBM to pack a total of 80 MB (a lot) of shared L3 cache, far more than any other product has ever sported.