Segmenting Your Workforce Will Actually Drive Innovation

JP Gownder

It’s (long past) time to put the era of One Size Fits All enterprise computing behind us. Providing workers with Standard Issue™ devices and software represents an antiquated paradigm. Instead, segmenting your workforce into different classes of workers – honoring the needs of each type of worker – can help you:

  • Save money. Overinvesting in computing power by giving a worker “too much machine” and over-investing in software licenses for applications that won’t be used are common implications of One Size Fits All enterprise computing. You can save money by provisioning appropriate hardware and software to various classes of workers.
  • Preempt BYO. While IT departments are coming around to the virtues and values of BYO, managing excessively diverse BYO comes with management costs. You can preempt some types of BYO by providing the right tool to the right worker at the right time… obviating the need for them to bring their own.
  • Drive worker productivity and innovation. Innovations like tablets and Chromebooks can empower certain classes of workers to achieve new levels of productivity. Providing the right worker – for example, a traveling salesperson – with a tablet can enable new scenarios and create tangible returns.
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VMware Targets I&O Buyers With Hybrid Cloud Service

Dave Bartoletti

VMware pulled back the curtain on its vCloud Hybrid Service today. The concept of a hybrid cloud isn't new, but there are as many definitions of it as there are for cloud itself. Indeed, the beauty of cloud really is in the eye of the beholder, and it's important to align beauty with its beholders. Forrester defines hybrid cloud as a cloud service connected to any other corporate resource. That means most enterprises are hybrid today - if you have at least one SaaS app connected to anything in your data center, you're hybrid.

Today, VMware set out its definition of hybrid: An extension of the virtualized corporate data center. The beholders here are the infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams who've spent years virtualizing and optimizing a range of corporate apps. These pros haven't been the main drivers of public cloud in the enterprise so far; business-unit-aligned developers have. And the tension between the two is growing. Developers want to build faster, deploy quickly, and forget about infrastructure management, so they start with public cloud: cheap, fast, and easy. But I&O teams want to drive more value and efficiency from existing infrastructure by selectively moving apps (or the scalable parts of apps) off premises to take advantage of cloud’s elasticity and pay-per-use economics. They look at cloud as an extension of the corporate data center, and the vCloud Hybrid Service is designed for them first. Both perspectives make sense and both approaches to cloud can drive value.

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Cure Your Service Desk With Customer Experience

John Rakowski

One of the best TV comedies in the UK over the last couple of years has been The IT Crowd. It is about a fictional IT department and plays to all the possible IT stereotypes. One of my favorite scenes is from the very first episode in which a ‘user’ is left waiting for their call to be answered for an excruciating amount of time and then another ‘IT professional’ is shown speaking to a ‘user’ in complete technology gobbledygook. Yes, this clip is funny but surely these are all extreme cases and only slim comparisons can be made to Enterprise IT today? 

I have to be honest here and say that during my time as an enterprise management consultant I saw all that happened on this clip, but surely modern day IT organizations don’t suffer from these problems? Well, maybe not to the same extent but how often have you heard, or even whispered, these famous words when working with the IT service desk or help desk:

 “Have-you-logged-a-ticket?”

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AMD Quietly Rolls Out hUMA – Potential Game-Changer for Parallel Computing

Richard Fichera

Background  High Performance Attached Processors Handicapped By Architecture

The application of high-performance accelerators, notably GPUs, GPGPUs (APUs in AMD terminology) to a variety of computing problems has blossomed over the last decade, resulting in ever more affordable compute power for both horizon and mundane problems, along with growing revenue streams for a growing industry ecosystem. Adding heat to an already active mix, Intel’s Xeon Phi accelerators, the most recent addition to the GPU ecosystem, have the potential to speed adoption even further due to hoped-for synergies generated by the immense universe of x86 code that could potentially run on the Xeon Phi cores.

However, despite any potential synergies, GPUs (I will use this term generically to refer to all forms of these attached accelerators as they currently exist in the market) suffer from a fundamental architectural problem — they are very distant, in terms of latency, from the main scalar system memory and are not part of the coherent memory domain. This in turn has major impacts on performance, cost, design of the GPUs, and the structure of the algorithms:

  • Performance — The latency for memory accesses generally dictated by PCIe latencies, which while much improved over previous generations, are a factor of 100 or more longer than latency from coherent cache or local scalar CPU memory. While clever design and programming, such as overlapping and buffering multiple transfers can hide the latency in a series of transfers, it is difficult to hide the latency for an initial block of data. Even AMD’s integrated APUs, in which the GPU elements are on a common die, do not share a common memory space, and explicit transfers are made in and out of the APU memory.
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Forrester In Your News: Happy Workers = Happy Customers, Windows 8, Software-Defined Data Centers, BYOT China, Mobile Shoppers

Doug Washburn

What do the top 3% of IT leaders know about workforce computing that you don’t? When will (or won’t) Windows 8 hit critical mass in enterprises? What about software-defined data centers and networks? How can IT support the mobile shopper?

If you’re an IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) professional looking for answers, read below. While I like to believe that www.forrester.com and this blog are your only two sources of information (wink, wink), I’ve handpicked advice and point of view from Forrester analysts quoted over the last two weeks in the The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, National Public Radio, InformationWeek, ZDNet, CIO, Computerworld, and others.

Some articles are very relevant for I&O leaders to act on (e.g.,workforce enablement, Windows 8, software-defined data centers, private cloud), while others offer important marketing and strategy insights for I&O leaders to be aware of (e.g., mobile shoppers, Google Glass, customer intelligence).

Is this useful? Let me know in the comment field below.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend,

Doug

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Very Relevant Business Technology News For I&O Leaders:

The Wall Street Journal
David Johnson
What The Top 3% Of IT Leaders Know About Workforce Computing
May 7, 2013

IDG News Service

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EMC slides into Software Defined Storage with ViPR

Henry Baltazar

EMC's Project Bourne morphed into ViPR at the EMC World 2013 event at Las Vegas last week. It seems like everyone has a different take on what should be included in SDS, and my definition and implementation guidelines can be found in this report. Like other vendors, EMC is promising to revolutionize the way customers will provision, manage and create storage resources using ViPR, which will become a key component in the vendor's Software Defined Data Center strategy for virtualizing compute, networking, and storage resources.  Unlike other years, where EMC bombarded its attendees with dozens of product launches, this year's show focused almost entirely on ViPR, which makes sense given the importance of this technology. ViPR is expected to become generally available in the latter half of 2013, and like all other SDS implementations, ViPR is designed to reduce the number of administrators it takes to manage rapidly growing data repositories by using automation and self-service provisioning. So what's under ViPR's covers?

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How To Get Back In The Business Of Serving The Business: Put People First

Christopher Voce

When you hear the words “end user computing”, what do you think of?  If you’re in infrastructure & operations (I&O), you might think about the corporate standard laptop or desktop you’ve just selected that over the next couple of years you’ll provision to most of your employees. Or your corporate standard OS image that you stamp on those systems; locked-down, loaded with the management  & security agents and corporate apps you think those employees need. Or perhaps even the corporate standard smartphone that you’ve handed out to the employees who needed mobile email access. You might think of these things because they all help I&O organizations deliver and support technology for employees more efficiently. These techniques help you address the historical “ask” from your colleagues outside of IT: “Give us technology while absolutely minimizing the impact you have on our bottom line

 

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BMC Software Goes Private

Jean-Pierre Garbani

 

Yesterday, BMC Software announced that has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by a private investor group led by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital together with GIC Special Investments Pte Ltd (“GIC”) and Insight Venture Partners (collectively, the “Investor Group”).

Under the terms of the agreement, affiliates of the Investor Group will acquire all outstanding BMC common stock for $46.25 per share in cash, or approximately $6.9 billion.

This is one of the largest M&A operations in a long time. Significantly, it has been prepared for quite some time, which culminated in a restructuring a month ago, by which the five product groups operating under BMC Software became one. Instead of having several categories reporting their gains (or losses) we have now one happy family where the gain of one member balances the loss of another. We have also a unique opportunity to have these former product lines working together for a better integration of BMC Software solutions with a corollary prospect of having more R&D investments in previously “weak” categories. Being free of the short term mandatory “good results to satisfy the street” will also participate in building a better BMC Software.

Although fourth quarter results were below the Street expectation by a hair (-$.06 per share and -.04% in Revenue), BMC Software bookings grew 14% from a year ago, with an encouraging result for ESM which was up 9% from a year ago.

Over the past ten years, BMC Software has made its mark on the IT Management Software (ITMS) market, and is today only second to CA Technologies. From what we can see, the privatization of BMC Software provides an opportunity to invest into the future of ITMS and to become a serious contender for first place in the years to come.

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Dell Grabs Enstratius in Cloud Management Land Grab

Dave Bartoletti

Dell just picked up Enstratius for an undisclosed amount today, making the cloud management vendor the latest well-known cloud controller to get snapped up by a big infrastructure or OS vendor. Dell will add Enstratius cloud management capabilities to its existing management suite for converged and cloudy infrastructure, which includes element manager and configuration automator Active System Manager (ASM, the re-named assets acquired with Gale Technologies in November), Quest Foglight performance monitoring, and (maybe) what’s still around from Scalent and DynamicOps.

This is a good move for Dell, but it doesn’t exactly clarify where all these management capabilities will fall out. The current ASM product seems to be a combo of code from the original Scalent acquisition upgraded with the GaleForce product; regardless of what’s in it, though, what it does is discover, configure and deploy physical and virtual converged infrastructure components. A private cloud automation platform, basically. Like all private cloud management stacks, it does rapid template-based provisioning and workflow orchestration. But it doesn’t provision apps or provision to public or open-source cloud stacks. That’s where Enstratius comes in.

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Key Steps To Capture The Value Of BYOD Programs

Michele Pelino

 

Results from Forrester's Q2 2012 Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey show that more than two-thirds of North American and European information workers who use a computer for work an hour or more per day personally choose the smartphones or tablets they use for work, and 46% of information workers personally choose work laptops that are not on the company-approved device list. To address the increasingly complex mobile device landscape, many companies are deploying bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs to support devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops. Successfully planning and implementing a BYOD program requires infrastructure and operations (I&O) executives to address the following four key issues.

1. Build Relationships Outside IT

Implementing a successful BYOD program requires cross-functional collaboration across many IT and business groups in the organization. The I&O team should take the lead in BYOD program development. However, I&O executives must collaborate with security and governance, sourcing and vendor management, application development, and enterprise architecture professionals to determine the correct strategy and tool set. It is also critical to include line-of-business executives, as well as legal and finance professionals, to develop corporate BYOD program policies and procedures.

2. Create A Shared, Multi-Year Vision

Proactively working with decision-makers to identify the potential ROI and impacts on corporate business processes enables the I&O team to create a consistent, shared vision of the overall goals and desired outcomes of implementing a BYOD program. This shared vision of the cross-organizational effects of the BYOD program ensures that line-of-business decision-makers and stakeholders understand what investments they must make to support the program.

3. Develop A Compelling Business Justification

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