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Kevin McIsaac

info@ibrs.com.au

Dr. Kevin McIsaac was an IBRS Advisor between 2005 and 2015. Dr McIsaac had over 25 years of IT experience and during his time at IBRS was a recognised expert in the areas of Hybrid Cloud, IT infrastructure, operations and vendor management. He has in depth coverage of Hybrid Cloud, Server Virtualisation, Storage and Virtual Desktops. Dr McIsaac had over 15 years experience as an Industry Analyst researching, distilling and disseminating IT best practices. Prior to joining IBRS,Dr McIsaac was the Research Director Asia-Pacific for META Group, held leadership positions at Computer Associates and Functional Software.

Conclusion: Traditional on-premises approaches to infrastructure can create unnecessary costs, risks and bottlenecks. This is particularly a problem for projects delivering new systems that have a high-risk (i. e., uncertain benefits, functionality, capacity) which are often associated with innovation and digital strategies.

IT organisations should look at alternative methods for delivering IT infrastructure to ensure it is not a barrier to business innovation.


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Conclusion: To ensure desktop investments are aligned to the organisation’s strategy, and the business benefits are clearly understood, IT organisations should create a Benefit Dependency Network. This is a benefits management tool that explicitly shows the linkages between technology investments and the business benefits, uncovers the business changes necessary to deliver these benefits, and clarifies the role of the business in harvesting those benefits.

Through the processes of building a Benefit Dependency Network, the IT organisation can engage the business in a meaningful discussion about business benefits and about the business changes needed to harvest them. Without a benefits analysis a major desktop investment is less likely to be approved and there are risks generating no value for the business, perpetuating the view that IT is a cost that must be reduced.


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Conclusion: To enable the new work practices, processes, organisational structures and cultures that will be required in the Future Workplace1, IT organisations must transform today’s device-centric desktop into a new end user computing platform that is based on modern usage and technology assumptions.

Simply adding a mobility strategy to the existing device-centric desktop only adds complexity and perpetuates a high cost, inflexible device-centric model. The CIO should examine fresh alternatives such as the Digital Workspace2.


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Conclusion: Microsoft’s new strategy is to make Windows 10 the dominant enterprise desktop O/S by first winning over the consumers with a much improved user experience, then have consumers demand Windows 10 at work, forcing the enterprise to upgrade. This is Microsoft’s best desktop strategy in 10 years and IT executives must prepare a strategy1 for dealing with user demands or risk losing control of the enterprise desktop strategy.


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Conclusion: Today’s Windows centric desktop is based on 20 year old assumptions about devices and applications and is the result of years of sustained innovation. We are now at the point in the desktop innovation cycle where incremental change no longer adds business value and the business is reluctant to fund upgrades. This was clearly demonstrated by the difficulty most IT organisations had funding their Windows XP upgrade.

Forward-thinking CIOs are reassessing the assumptions on which their next end user computing platform will be built and are experimenting with disruptive innovations to build a self-service, web-centric Digital Workspace that will last the next 10-15 years.


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Conclusion: With the local availability of VMware’s Infrastructure as a Service (vCloud Air), all Australian VMware customers should consider it for self-service dev/test environments, virtual desktops, and more importantly DR as a Service (DRaaS). Savvy CIOs will use low risk, low cost practical experiments to develop in-house skills and experience while delivering new capabilities to the business that leads to real adoption of IaaS over the next 18 months.

The risk to CIOs who do not start adopting IaaS is that IT staff and/or business units embark on their own projects in an uncontrolled fashion leading to IT fragmentation and loss of control over the IT strategy.


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Conclusion: the adoption of Cloud-based applications and data, the proliferation of mobile devices (i.e. Smartphones and Tablets) and the increased interest in BYOD is driving a radical change in end user computing. The old device-centric model, based on a stateful Windows desktop, is being replaced by an application-centric model where device state is transient. While this is not yet the end of the Windows desktop, the beginning of the end has arrived.


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Conclusion: organisations moving traditional enterprise applications into production on AWS will find backup and recovery functional but immature compared to their existing on-premises Enterprise Backup and Recovery (EBR) tools.

Storage administrators need to understand the native backup and recovery methods in AWS and determine how these can be used to meet the business’ recovery objectives. The optimal AWS solution may require adopting new tools and rethinking long-held assumptions.


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Conclusion: when considering Cloud based email (Microsoft or Google) organisations should critically re-evaluate the need for third party Email Archive add-ons. Since Cloud-based email has virtually unlimited mailbox capacity the archive/storage management features of third party Email Archive add-ons many not be needed.

For many organisations the native compliance and eDiscovery features in Cloud based email are satisfactory and will rapidly mature and improve over time. Organisations that are very large, highly regulated, or at risk of litigation should evaluate the benefit of the more comprehensive, and more polished, third party Email Archive add-ons, whether that be Cloud or On-premises.


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Conclusion: When moving from traditional on-premises IT to Cloud it is important to update the Business Leaders and Executive on the risks. Rather than try to quantify the absolute risks, as the first step in gaining acceptance, explain how the risks of Cloud compare with the current on-premises, or MSP, solution. Offer ideas on risk mitigation that might be necessary and liberally apply simple examples and analogies to aid comprehension.


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In the News

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CBA faces heat over cyber security cuts and confirms outsourcing plans - AFR - 27th Sep 2017

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has admitted it is culling the number of technology partners it works with as part of a cost cutting drive that has some industry observers concerned it is stepping...
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