Peter Hall is an IBRS advisor who covers enterprise infrastructure, management, managing vendor and customer relationships, vendor capabilities and vendor offerings. Peter is also experienced in Start-Up’s and Mergers and Acquisitions. Peter has over 37 years of experience working in the IT sector in ANZ and Asia Pacific, gaining invaluable insights into vendor offerings and strategies, relationship management, and channel strategies. Peter’s an experienced executive having worked for Hewlett-Packard, Blade Network Technologies (acquired by IBM in 2010), IBM and Lenovo. Peter is also an accredited Tony Buzan Licensed Instructor in Mind Mapping.
Conclusion: Whilst the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European regulation, some Australian organisations are likely to be impacted and will need to comply. One of the requirements of the regulation is to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO), whose job role has very specific duties and legal responsibilities which are defined as part of the GDPR.
However, the guidelines are not completely clear as to when it is mandatory for an organisation to appoint a DPO. Australian organisations should consider if, 1: will they need to comply with the GDPR, and, 2: will they need to appoint a DPO?
- Governance & Planning
03 September 2017
Conclusion: Executives trying to put ambitious and commendable goals in place may not appreciate the clarification that they may see as downgrading their original goal. When IT is asked to provide systems to support ambitious goals, the executive team needs to make sure the costs are understood and any ramifications that may result in significant changes or investment in IT solutions to support the goals are clearly identified and costed.
Having corporate goals or strategies as a focus to help employees know what is to be achieved is commendable and a proven approach to getting individuals and teams to focus on specific targets or outcomes. But setting the targets too high can come at a cost that is not justified or that may result in a continual investment in trying to achieve something that is beyond the organisation. It can also be unnecessary when the goal only requires the organisation to be delivering better than the nearest competitor, or be providing a unique offering or service that defines the organisation and sets it apart from others in the market.
- Operations & Service Delivery
02 August 2017
Conclusion: Vendors use sales incentives, such as bonuses or rewards, as levers to focus the behaviour or outcomes of their sellers or channel partners. Many vendors work on quarterly results for their sellers, and set sales incentives for these periods. Vendors view sales bonuses and incentives as levers that they can put in place to try to drive a specific focus, or specific sales results.
Being aware of the existence of these incentives can help an organisation understand that incentives may be driving the negotiations approach that a vendor may be prepared to take, and on what solutions are being offered.
04 July 2017
Conclusion: ICT vendors compete to gain the loyalty of channel partners to take their products to market. Vendors often run channel programs that reward partners for specific behaviours and results, which can give specific partners an upper hand in competitive situations.
When organisations go to market to purchase specific technologies, they often seek out several quotes or proposals in an endeavour to ensure costs are competitive and reasonable.
Whilst pricing should not be the only factor in choosing a supplier, organisations should be aware of the way partner relationships work with vendors and how this may influence pricing and other outcomes.
04 June 2017
Conclusion: Paying for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) which is kept on-premises, but paid for on an Opex model rather than as a Capex outlay, is often positioned as ‘Cloud-like’. There can be use cases and specific workloads where this model makes sense and does give some advantages to the organisation.
However, on-premises management of an organisation’s own Cloud can be lacking in the degree of flexibility and pace of innovation that can be achieved when compared to some of the larger and more successful public Cloud offerings such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.
Organisations need to weigh up specific use cases and workloads and determine the optimal balance of when to use ‘on-premises’ Cloud versus public Cloud.
07 May 2017
Conclusion: Australian organisations and agencies need to embrace the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legal framework for protecting and managing Private Individuals Information (PII). There is considerable risk to organisations that do not take action to comply, financially and to organisations’ brands.
There are also potential upsides in embracing the requirements and being able to demonstrate compliance with the accountability principles, and implementing both technical and organisational measures that ensure all processing activities comply with the GDPR.
Whilst Australian companies may already have practices in place that comply with the Australian Privacy Act 1988, GDPR has a number of additional requirements, including the potential appointment of “data protection officers”. Action should already be taking place, and organisations should not underestimate the time and effort it may take to reach and maintain compliance.
- Governance & Planning
04 April 2017
Conclusion: Virtual Teams have become common in most organisations, and technology and globalisation have been the major enablers. Leaders and team participants have found themselves as participants by default and without choice.
For many, little training or education has been provided to help individuals recognise that their future work environment is going to change, and what new skills or competencies need to be developed.
To effectively utilise Virtual Teams, organisations need to develop a culture that recognises how teams will be used, what tools will be used for communication and collaboration, and education for both leaders and team members.
- Governance & Planning
05 March 2017
Conclusion: Organisations deal with an array of ICT vendors, resellers, integrators or service providers. Prudent organisations will establish formal Supplier Relationship Management procedures to systematically manage the organisations’ interactions with suppliers, with goals of streamlining procedures and maximising effectiveness and value in these dealings.
Not all suppliers are equal in value, and SRM approaches for each should be measured in the effort applied.
A really effective SRM approach should enable an organisation to foster and grow strategic relationships with key suppliers capable of helping the organisation, for example, in driving competitive advantage. This would mean viewing the relationship with key suppliers as an asset and managing it as such. Organisations should also be aware of the risks in having too few strategic relationships which may stifle innovation or value over time.
04 February 2017
Conclusion: Mergers, acquisitions and divestitures are regular occurrences amongst ICT vendors. A lot of analysis of these announcements focuses on the potential impact on the future value of the organisations involved, particularly for investors. But each announcement means there will be changes for employees, customers and business partners.
Prudent organisations must be proactive and engaged in considering and debating how announced changes to suppliers could impact them, and assess for themselves the business implications of the potential scenarios that are likely to occur, and the risks or opportunities these present.
As each customer and business partner will have a unique relationship with the parties involved, they should do their own assessment, including seeking independent advice, of the potential ramifications of the announced changes.
02 January 2017
Conclusion: Organisations must proactively manage exactly which data is kept, secured, and backed up, as well as which data must be archived or permanently deleted. Data hoarding adds considerably to storage costs as well as potentially exposing organisations to risks especially if the data is inappropriate, unencrypted, or could put an organisation’s brand at risk.
Organisations need to have clear policies on exactly what sort of data is to be kept, especially when there are legal, regulatory or other specific reasons for keeping the data. Additionally, organisations need to be clear on what should not be kept.
Organisations cannot leave the management of this issue at simply expecting compliance to a policy. Business stakeholders must be closely involved in defining the business imperative for tracking data relevance and the value of data. Data specialists equipped with the appropriate tools will be required to specifically find data and manage it based on defined policies.
- Operations & Service Delivery
04 December 2016