Kevin McIsaac

Kevin McIsaac

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Conclusion: Driving value from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) requires more than just a technical evaluation. IT Organisations must get clear understanding of the features and benefits of the billing model and how these are aligned to, and can be used to drive, the business’ objectives (e.g. faster time to solution, rapid scale-up and down, infrastructure costs to usage and revenues).

Achieving this understanding will require IT organisations to elevate the evaluation of the IaaS billing model to the same level of consideration as other key non-functional requirements such as availability, recoverability, and security. Organisations that fail to do this may find themselves locked into costly, inflexible IaaS contracts that are not aligned to the business objective and which fail to deliver the full potential of the Cloud.


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Conclusion: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is starting to be used in dev/test and production environments by many ANZ organisations. CIOs who get IaaS right will create significant benefits for their organisation, both in cost and agility, and greatly improve the perception of IT with their peers in the organisation.

However, a general lack of experience with Cloud, and the use of outdated infrastructure purchasing approaches, may result in poor IaaS contracts that can cost the organisation hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars per year in excess fees. To combat this, CIOs should adopt a just-in-time approach to IaaS, eliminating vendors that lack the contract terms, or depth of infrastructure resources, to accommodate this approach.


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Conclusion: While on-premises is still the dominant IT delivery model, Cloud is increasingly viewed as a robust complement or alternative. When evaluating new IT system and services ensure IT staff evaluate the use of Cloud as an alternative delivery model. The evaluation should include non-cost benefits, such as time-to-solution, rapid scale-up and scale-down, pay-as-you-go, as well as traditional metrics such as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and risk.

Rather than ask “Should we move to the cloud”, IT executives should ask “Why, What and When”, and then use these three questions to create a guidelines for comparing Cloud as an alternative delivery model to on-premises.


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Conclusion: VMware’s new strategy of directly entering the IaaS market will create confusion and ultimately decimate VMware based IaaS vendors. IT organisations should manage the risks this creates with their current (or future) VMware based IaaS partners. In the long run the new strategy will benefit all customers by creating a global scale, VMware based, IaaS that reduces costs, increases service quality and drives greater innovation.

VMware does not lead the IaaS market and faces massive competition from non-VMware based hyperscale IaaS providers, such as Amazon, Rackspace and Microsoft. VMware centric organisations should not blithely assume that a VMware based IaaS is the best option and should evaluate the IaaS alternatives from hyperscale providers, especially Amazon.


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Conclusion: Most organisations run a large percentage of their workloads on VMware’s hypervisor, yet they are reluctant to virtualise their production Oracle Databases. The three common reasons given are: lack of support, poor performance and increased licence costs. The first is Oracle FUD, the second is a lack of understanding and testing, and the third needs to be examined on a case-by-case basis, but can result in a reduction in cost.

For many organisations moving some, or all, of production Oracle databases to an existing Intel/VMware platform is a low risk, high value strategy that should be examined.


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EMC and VMware are spinning out their non-core technologies to a new company called Pivotal, which is run by the former VMware CEO, Paul Maritz. VMware is divesting the application middleware components (Spring, GemFire, Cloud Foundry, Cetas and Pivotal Labs) acquired after Paul Maritz took over the company in 2008. EMC is letting go of the data warehousing product (Greenplum) acquired in 2009.


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Conclusion: Selecting a corporate mobile device standard can be risky. Mobile devices are far more personal than PCs, and users’ preferences are heavily influenced by their existing consumer experience and personal choices.

Imposing an IT driven device standard increases the risk of the CIO being forced into defending the decision against disgruntled end-users, some of whom may have considerable influence. To avoid this follow the four golden rules of mobility and ensure mobile device selection has business buy-in.


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Conclusion: For most organisations, especially SME, it’s time to let go of your IT infrastructure. Owning and operating your own hardware was once a necessary part of using IT for a competitive advantage, however it is now an unnecessary burden that reduces agility, creates significant risks and impacts long term sustainability.

CIOs should not be asking “if”, but rather “when, how and to whom” we let go of the IT infrastructure.


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ConclusionNow that Android smartphone have taken the market share lead from Apple, with no signs this will be reversed, IT organisations should create a strategy to deal with this change. It is often claimed that Android is not suitable for enterprise, due to poor security or fragmentation. However our analysis finds this to be more myth that fact, and some simple strategies can be used to deal with both issues.

IT organisations that selectively support Android devices will have access to a larger pool of devices with a more diverse set of capabilities(form factors, price points, features and manufactures). This gives a broader range of capabilities, which benefits the business by ensuring the selected device is fit for purpose rather than forcing one device to all use cases.


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Related Articles:

"Preparing for Android: Part 1" IBRS, 2012-12-31 00:00:00

The Cloud is a significant long-term trend that should not be ignored.Like the introduction of the PC and Open Systems in the ‘80s/‘90s,an IT organisation can either selectively embrace the Cloud, orfind itself bypassed by the business units who will introduce Cloudbased solutions to suit their needs.

Organisations that do not embrace the cloud risk losing control ofthe IT Architecture, which leads to an overly complex, cost andineffective environment. Even worse, while individual business unitsmay gain some temporary benefits, the overall organisational agilitywill decrease and the alignment of IT to strategy breaks down,creating longer-term problems for the organisation as a whole.

On the other hand, if the Cloud is selectively embraced as yetanother IT sourcing strategy, and if best practice IT managementfunctions are retained and expanded to provide appropriate governance,the Cloud can be a positive agent for change that increasesagility and creates greater transparency in cost.


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Conclusion: IT organisations are under significant pressure to allow employees to use their own smartphones and tablets at work. Many organisations support Bring Your Own (BYO) iPhone but are reluctant to support Android due to perceived security and/or management weaknesses.Now that Android has decisively taken the market share lead from Apple this position will become difficult to maintain. IT organisations, especially those in Transport or Health, should re-examine the support issues and develop a management and security model to accommodate Android.


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Related Articles:

"Preparing for Android: Part 2" IBRS, 2013-01-28 00:00:00

Conclusion: Along with many benefits, mobile devices bring new challenges in securing access to the organisation’s data and applications. The real issue is not with technology, but in striking a balance between security and the mobile user experience.

A common mistake is touse typical desktop management practices and tightly control the mobile device. This often results in a compromised user experience, leading to high levels of user dissatisfaction. As employees, and contractors, increasing expect to use their personal devices (BYOD) for work, Organisations will find this approach is unacceptable.


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Conclusion: Based on their exposure to consumer technology (iPhone/iPad) Business Executives and Managers are demanding mobile solutions for their knowledge workers and field service staff. Rather than rush to a solution for one group’s needs (which may create a siloed solution and a barrier to further projects) define an enterprise mobility strategy that enables current and future mobility project to be quickly and effectively built.

A mobility strategy can be built in less than three months and must start with use cases. This leads to device selection, which must focus on user experience rather than the IT organisation’s concerns.


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Conclusion: The cost of Flash Memory, a high-speed alternative to disk storage, has declined to the point that it is now economical to use in a broad set of cases. This has spawned a large number of Flash based products, often from start-ups, that offer an adjunct, or alterative to, Disk. The different approaches, and the conflicting technology claims, make product selection complex. When coupled with a high capital price, technology risks, and the viability of start-ups, purchasing Flash products carries a high risk for the next few years.

IT organisations should only purchase Flash devices tactically when a sufficiently strong benefit justifies the risk. Over the next five years the cost of Flash will decline by a factor of 10, and the technology and vendors will mature, making it suitable for mainstream use.


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