Introducing Forrester’s Infrastructure Transformation Playbook

Glenn O'Donnell

Forrester’s Infrastructure and Operations research team has been on the leading edge of infrastructure technology and its proper operational aspects for years. We pushed the industry on both the supply side (vendors) and the demand side (enterprises) toward new models and we pushed hard. I’m proud to say we’ve been instrumental in changing the world of infrastructure and we’re about to change it again!

As the entire technology management profession evolves into the Age of the Customer, the whole notion of infrastructure is morphing in dramatic ways. The long-criticized silos are finally collapsing, cloud computing quickly became mainstream, and you now face a dizzying variety of infrastructure options. Some are outside your traditional borders – like new outsourcing, hosting and colocation services as well as too many cloud forms to count. Some remain inside and will for years to come. More of these options will come from the outside though, and even those “legacy” technologies remaining inside will be created and managed differently.

Your future lies not in managing pockets of infrastructure, but in how you assemble the many options into the services your customers needs. Our profession has been locally brilliant, but globally stupid. We’re now helping you become globally brilliant. We call this service design, a much broader design philosophy rooted in systems thinking. The new approach packages technology into a finished “product” that is much more relevant and useful than any of the parts alone.

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2015 Will See The Rise Of Human Science And Technology Convergence

David Johnson
At the leading edge of every employee-led workplace technology revolution is usually a handful of motivated people who are constantly experimenting with tools and technologies to improve their work. In the early ‘90s, millions mastered the venerable PC and especially Microsoft Excel - partly because for the first time they could quickly collect and process thousands of data points, present it in ways that they could make sense of it, and make better decisions faster. The result: they could work in new ways that were previously impossible, and they could be more productive and valuable for their employers. In short, these employees were the leaders and innovators in their organizations. 
 
In 2014, these engaged employees' time and energy is going toward finding tools that will help them stay productive as they become more mobile, and their work and personal lives continue to blend. For example: Desktop computer usage as a percentage of the work day is declining, and for at least one hour each work day, 13% of global information workers now use a tablet for work - primarily so they can get work done from home. Forrester believes that investments in mobility technology will increase through 2015 and beyond.
 
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Microsoft And Dell Change The Private/Hybrid Cloud Game With On-Premise Azure

Richard Fichera

What was announced?

On October 20 at TechEd, Microsoft quietly slipped in what looks like a potential game-changing announcement in the private/hybrid cloud world when they rolled out Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS), an integrated hardware/software system that combines an Azure-consistent on premise cloud with an optimized hardware stack from Dell.

Why does it matter?

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Docker Will Live Up To The Hype And Containers Will Rule The Cloud. Here's What You Need To Know.

Dave Bartoletti

I've been on the road all month talking about business technology speed. The age of the customer is all about speed. Faster time to market, more frequent software releases, automated server deployments, instant cloud scaling…anything that removes friction from the app dev process is hot as we move into 2015.

Docker, the container management juggernaut, has generated some of the most breathless buzz in cloud-land this year. And for once, all the buzz is justified, for a few reasons. Docker's new, but containers are not. Docker makes containers easier to use, so more companies can get the benefits some of the big cloud providers already enjoy. Those include near-instantaneous app launch, rapid scale-out, and server efficiencies much better than traditional virtualization. 

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Why Did HP Buy Eucalyptus?

Dave Bartoletti

Were you surprised by HP's decision to acquire Eucalyptus last month? You weren't alone. HP's move to snap up one of the first open source cloud platform projects left many scratching their heads, especially since Eucalyptus had lost much of its momentum in the last 5 years. 

Now that OpenStack has effectively won the battle to be the open source alternative to Amazon Web Services, why would HP, already a major contributor to and vendor of a public cloud platform built on OpenStack, want Eucalyptus? It's not the technology. We think the value lies in the company's AWS API experience, Marten Mickos' open source credibility, and the depth of engineering skill.

Check out Lauren Nelson's, James Staten's, and my take on what this acquisition means for both HP and Eucalyptus -- and what it means for their mutual customers and potential customers.

Benchmark Your Cloud Adoption Today. Don't Fall Behind Your Peers.

Dave Bartoletti

Are you ahead of the cloud curve or falling behind your peers?

We are definitely in the hypergrowth phase of cloud computing, and 2015 will be a critical year: spending will jump, platforms will mature and consolidate, and cloud will enter the formal IT portfolio, whether IT likes it or not. Where are you on your journey to cloud?

Check out our Benchmark Your Enterprise Cloud Adoption report, published by my colleague Sophia Vargas and me a few weeks ago. Inside, you'll find selected data from Forrester's Business Technographics surveys that shine light on:

  • The rate of growth for the public cloud market;
  • Where cloud is on enterprise CIO priority lists;
  • How much spending is shifting to cloud, and for which workloads;
  • Which cloud types - public, private, hosted private - are preferred by which buyers;
  • The rate of SaaS solution uptake;
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2014 US Colocation Market: Mature, Competitive, Expanding

Sophia Vargas

Over the last decade, the colocation market has expanded and flourished – with more customers looking to outsource new facilities and more vendors emerging and expanding to meet this demand.

Colocation providers now offer a myriad of services beyond the expected physical space. Infrastructure is now table stakes, including enhanced power efficiency and physical security. The more impressive solutions offer a full portfolio of managed services to cloud, or host and steward a marketplace of third party services, offering close proximity to business partners and primary communications services. By “close” we mean VERY close, as in the same building, sometimes only meters away. Depending on the use case, proximity like this can make the difference between success or failure of a business function – financial trading is an obvious example but there are many more.

To get better acquainted with this ever expanding landscape of vendors and solutions, about this time last year I began a lengthy exercise to investigate and analyze the US colocation market.  After three months, I identified 430 organizations through search engines and public profile sites. I then weeded out 112 firms that had inactive websites, were acquired, or did not clearly provide retail or wholesale colocation. Over the subsequent 3 months, I attempted to quantify the footprint of all qualifying facilities. Some key findings from this research include:

  • There are over 1430 data center facilities in more than 330 cities across the US, but53% of vendors surveyed operated only 1 facility.
  • There is over 68 million square feet of reported data center space, and an estimated 90-120 million square feet in total. This projection includes a fair amount of assumptions as many vendors did not provide facility sizes.
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Wearables Should Underpin Customer-Centric Innovation

JP Gownder

In a new report, we lay out how I&O leaders can leverage wearables as a source of customer-centric innovation as they build their BT Agenda. As we have written, today the I&O role is changing, as business imperatives now shape technology choices and I&O pros are judged on business outcomes. You can only add value and achieve relevancy if you reframe your organization's goals and objectives.

Want an example from a real-life I&O leader? Tim Graham is the IT Innovation Manager for Virgin Atlantic and the driving force behind the Google Glass pilot in Virgin's Upper Class Lounges at Heathrow.  His job, as he described it at a recent wearables conference where we were both speakers: "To use technology to reshape both customer experiences and operational efficiency." Here’s a video to show how he led Virgin Atlantic’s efforts to deploy Google Glass and Sony smartwatches in the Upper Class Lounge at Heathrow Airport:

To do your job the way Tim does his, you need to take a holistic view of how technology can help your organization. For wearables, there are four essential choices:

  • Company-owned devices that make workers more effective. They’ll serve customers more efficiently and effectively with wearables. In the age of the customer, this can mean reengineering customer service interactions, as Virgin Atlantic has done.
  • Employee-owned devices that make workers individually productive. As more people buy wearables, they’ll become BYO devices that I&O must accommodate.
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IBM Sheds Yet Another Hardware Business - Pays To Get Rid Of Semiconductor Fabrication

Richard Fichera
While the timing of the event comes as a surprise, the fact that IBM has decided to unload its technically excellent but unprofitable semiconductor manufacturing operation does not, nor does its choice of Globalfoundries, with whom it has had a longstanding relationship.
 
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Introducing The Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) Wave

Christian Kane

Last week we published the new Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Mobile Management, Q3 2014, evaluating 15 of the vendors emerging to help organizations transform and enable their workforce with a greater set of mobile tools. 

 

Why now

We're witnessing the mobile mind shift — an expectation that workers can be productive whenever, wherever they are. There's a surge of innovation in mobile technology as a part of broader business transformation to ensure that employees have access to the information they need to better serve customers during these critical mobile moments. Technology leaders have quickly seen the value of EMM solutions to ensure that employees have safe and reliable access to mobile devices and apps.

 

Beyond MDM

Mobile device management (MDM) is the common technology used by enterprises to enable their workforce to obtain the right access on their mobile devices. However, early solutions were only able to meet companies' very basic security and management needs for mobility. As business needs mature and employees demand more data access and mobile applications, vendors are adding mobile application management (MAM), secure containers and collaboration apps, secure network gateways, and more to their MDM solutions to create more comprehensive EMM suites to address these needs. 

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