Conclusion: travelling executives must be under no illusion that if corporate information on, or accessible via, their electronic devices is of interest to the economic wellbeing of a foreign country, they will be targeted for electronic intrusion. The potential value of the information to a third party will be directly proportional to the effort they may expend in getting it. The more an organisation has at stake, the more important it is that this is a risk-driven conversation, not a technology one, because the technology does not matter if an executive’s behaviour does not alter to match the risk.

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Conclusion: email and basic collaboration services have reached a point where Cloud-based solutions deliver features, quality of service and reliability at price points that cannot be met by the vast majority of in-house IT groups. The question is not should an organisation move its email and basic collaborations services to the Cloud, or even when an organisation should move to the Cloud, but what additional collaboration services will move to the Cloud at the same time.

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Conclusion: discussions regarding innovation in the ICT industry have been prominent this month, with a focus on investment in new technologies and collaborative arrangements for further development to support managed ICT services. With a dynamic and continuously evolving services landscape, there is a clear need to differentiate offerings, as well as innovate to support new service models, technologies, and changing customer demands. Flexibility is critical if vendors are to provide solutions that support the needs of its customers and the market. By combining knowledge, expertise, access to resources as well as products and services, businesses in disparate industries are providing tailored and alternative solutions to cater to market demands that are emerging at a fast rate.

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Conclusion: failure to maintain a competent ERP support group1 can have an adverse impact on an organisation’s business operations. When the group lacks the resources to keep the software current or to resolve data errors in rejected transactions, clients become disillusioned with the ERP and either work around its requirements or develop alternate systems solutions, e. g. using spreadsheets or departmental computing.

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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 managing both client server (legacy) and Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) environment it is important the legacy environment does not constrain the potentially superior XaaS environment.

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Conclusion: all organisations implement some form of ICT governance to determine how IT will operate: they manage demand, reduce waste and overheads, identify and deliver demand, and address risks.

The scope of ICT Governance is broad and the maturity and capability within organisations to manage ICT Governance differs significantly. ICT Governance activities commonly focus on the compliance aspects of the function and miss opportunities to use them more proactively and to develop significantly better partnerships with business areas.

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Conclusion: IT organisations adopting IT-as-a-Service practices are often challenged by limited resources to meet service demands, especially in the IT Operations space. IT operations groups should develop supply/demand models that link to business priorities and ensure funds allocation. These models will enable IT organisations to meet client necessities, clear workload backlogs, and set the foundation for effective resource management methods.

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Conclusion: softening business conditions in Australia demand that IT operations executives find current cost (cash) savings, optimise the cost of existing operations and/or make valuable new contributions to the enterprise by leveraging networking technologies and practices throughout IT.

IBRS has identified ten practical ways to cut enterprise networking costs while preparing to execute a business’s digital strategy.

Expect to obtain a mix of cost savings, cost optimisation and revenue contributions from networking. Aim to create business insights into making savings from using communications creatively rather than just connecting data, processes, devices and people.

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Conclusion: this month, vendor collaborations for both development and education have been prominent. With increasingly complex IT environments and multiple vendors providing a range of services, it is necessary to understand the flow-on effects of adding new systems to technology infrastructure as well as possess resolutions to difficulties which can have a dramatic impact on business and company IT. Understanding, developing strategies, and establishing response measures for critical issues which can arise in specific environments is a necessity. Collaborative development and educational initiatives help to support these needs. In March, IBRS’ James Turner will be speaking in a webinar dedicated to data loss prevention, with a focus on strategic measures that cater to complex and unique environments. This type of information and awareness is invaluable to professionals, particularly when infrastructure complexities increase with the engagement of multiple providers.

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Conclusion: ITIL Change Management is insufficient for CRM Governance – an organisational change is needed. As with all complex management jobs, governance for CRM projects should be divided into sets and subsets. By dividing the tasks it is easier to view each set or phase. By combining them into larger groups and modules it is feasible to gain an overview of how the parts fit together.

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Conclusion: when approaching significant software licensing decisions, consider re-evaluating the organisation’s licensing service provider (LSP) to bring contestability to value-added services and costs not directly related to the software licences. Determining appropriate selection criteria for an LSP is based partly on an organisation’s software asset management maturity, and investments in software asset management capabilities, and a range of vendor management issues.

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Conclusion: innovation is top of mind for many CEOs across Australia. In fact, more than 86 % recognise that they need to invest more in R&D and innovation as part of the company strategy. However, there is a significant gap between the aspirations of organisations and the reality of innovation within these companies and entities. Knowing what behaviours should be demonstrated and having a plan will improve the alignment between goals and achievements. Most CIOs are being asked to drive innovation for the business, yet innovation is still more rhetoric than substance.

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Conclusion: as cyber-security becomes a board-level topic, organisations in the A/NZ region are feeling the pinch of the security skills shortage. In this environment, moving IT services to the Cloud has the potential to streamline and/or automate some basic IT security practices. Cloud services are not an IT security silver bullet, but for many organisations, the scale and maturity of some Cloud vendors will be an improvement over their current IT operations.

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Conclusion: with the increased adoption of SaaS for business systems (e. g. ERP), new SaaS providers continue to appear in the market. While those providers are offering easy-to-use products and low start-up costs compared to running in-house business systems services, there is a risk that some service providers might cease to do business. As a result, SaaS clients will be at risk recovering services on time and without data loss. To address this issue, several escrow services have been evolving. IT organisations wishing to migrate critical services to public SaaS should explore escrow1 services. Unfortunately, escrow service costs have to-date been fully absorbed by the buyer. In this light, IT organisations should incorporate the escrow services cost into the SaaS migration business case.

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Conclusion: the time is right to review whether ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions implemented over 10 years ago are still meeting their original objectives, and if not, assess the options. Failure to review and seriously consider the options when the business value of the ERP is marginal, is unsustainable.

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Conclusion: consumers are de facto demanding Omni-channel customer service in digital commerce for its single consistent positive experience but Omni-channel service is only an aspiration for most businesses today.

  • Viable Omni-channel technology and IT architectures exist and are rapidly emerging but insensitive, unknowing business management is the main inhibitor to adoption of Omni-channel as the universal approach and practice.
  • Omni-channel creates a bigger scaling problem in marketing and IT than most enterprises currently envisage.
  • Leading adopters are evaluating Omni-channel service as a goal, but only investing in deployments that are immediately affordable because an Omni-channel ecosystem can be endless.

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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: This month has seen an increase in executive appointments in ICT companies, as well as 2015 industry forecasts. Most interesting is an expected rise in outsourcing contract renegotiation to $100B, driven in part by a preference for multi-sourced contracts, as it becomes easier to respond to vendor management and governance issues, as well as obtain more stable contractual models. These improvements are expected to reduce difficulties and complexities associated with establishing and maintaining a number of agreements at once while retaining cost benefits multi-sourcing can provide.

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Conclusion: A product line engineering approach to digital service development and operation can unlock significant value if due diligence is applied when identifying product line stakeholders and product line scope. A successful product line is one that enables all stakeholders to apply their unique expertise within the context of the product line at exactly those points in time when their knowledge and insights are required as part of the organisational decision making process. Good product line architectures align human expertise, organisational structure, business processes, software system capabilities, and value chain integration1 with customers and suppliers.

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Conclusion: To meet the demand for more online services, IT and business management must identify and filter the opportunities and vigorously pursue those with high client visibility, ensure adherence to legislation and reduce the cost of doing business.

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Conclusion: Awareness of risks and threats, by itself, is not enough to protect an organisation. Security awareness campaigns are a sustained attempt at behaviour modification. But behaviour modification works best when an individual is not resisting the change. This means that the first step for any security awareness campaign must be to assess employee engagement. If employee engagement is low, this must be addressed before a security awareness campaign can be effective.

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Conclusion: Some organisations succeed at innovation better than others. To do so requires insight and an ability to understand how an organisation can function differently.

Innovation requires fresh thinking and different approaches. It demands attention on the value chain and business process in order to develop alternatives that will solve old issues.

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Conclusion: Enterprise mobility provides opportunities for fundamental shifts in: how organisations interact with stakeholders; how work gets done; where work happens; and how organisations are structured. Mobility itself is not a single product, but the result of the intersection of changes in technology, economics, and culture. Ultimately, enterprise mobility will evolve into a culture that is synonymous with Continuous Quality Improvement1. An enterprise mobility maturity assessment can assist an organisation in identifying which areas it needs to address as it moves towards the new culture.

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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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Conclusion: In an effort to reduce transaction costs governments have moved face-to-face payment-based transactions to online services. However, it is not always clear if savings are maximised and customers are totally satisfied.

If governments look to redesign services, some payment-based transactions no longer need to exist and many can be automated to the point they require no intervention from government or customer.

Most jurisdictions have failed to reduce payment-based transactions because their service delivery bodies are KPIed on the number of transactions they process.

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Conclusion: Running IT-as-a-Service requires offering broad IT services tied to external-value that goes beyond meeting or exceeding SLA targets. This is because the majority of existing SLAs are IT centric and vaguely relate to business value. Much of this issue is related to IT Groups’ lack of business analysis skills and IT ad hoc methods to comprehend business strategic requirements. As a result, business lines perceive IT as a support function instead of being a strategic business partner.

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Conclusion: The first generation of the Internet of Things (IoT) is now reliably internetworking uniquely identifiable embedded computer devices.

However, the emerging Internet of Everything (IoE) will go beyond the IoT and its machine-to-machine (M2M) communications between devices, systems and services. The demands from popular consumer IT will lead to a broad adoption of IoE in enterprises although corporations will focus on the IoE for its business process improvement.

Use of common collaboration tools will become the most prevalent and valuable way to extend isolated low level IoT interactions into sophisticated orchestrated IoE apps that deliver valuable experiences and tangible benefits to both consumers and corporate users.

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Conclusion: Project Health Checks and Gateway Reviews are an excellent way of assessing the progress of a significant project, identifying issues and taking a corrective action approach that is in the best interests of the organisation. One of the obvious and highest risk periods for projects to go off the rails is the period between when a contract has been signed with a supplier and go-live day. Organisations can ensure that they have all the other elements for a successful project in place such as aligning with the strategic goals of the organisation, a rigorous options assessment resulting in a robust business case, a good governance framework and solid project team, and still have major challenges. There are some softer signs to watch, so that if is action is taken quickly, project failure can be averted.

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Many Australian IT organisations have been implementing Configuration Management practices since 1994. However, with limited success when assessed against the key objectives of Configuration Management process and its associated database (CMDB).

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Discussions regarding emerging trends in 2014 and forecasts for 2015 were prominent this month.  The need for improved security solutions and cloud offerings have been identified as critical issues that emerged in 2014, with 2015 forecasts focused on increased third-party vendor engagements and expansion of product offerings, delivery models and contractual structures.  With large financial investments in outsourcing and the greater demand for business outcome-based contracts it is expected vendors will be altering current approaches to service provision.  

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Conclusion: The digitisation of service delivery in the finance, insurance, and government sectors means that all organisations in these sectors are now in the business of developing, maintaining, and operating software products for millions of users, with profound implications for organisational structures1, business architectures2, and the approach3 to service development and operation. Whilst internal business support functions can usually be addressed via off-the-shelf software, with very few exceptions, the functionality of customer facing services can’t be sourced off-the-shelf.

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Conclusion: To provide easy to use online client services, organisations must create cross functional teams with people who can work together to implement solutions which can be tightly integrated with back office systems, and work first time. Failure to assign the right people first time will, until it is fixed, cause tension and stifle innovation.

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Conclusion: As much as the industry should not blame the victims of cyberattacks, the industry must also learn from these crimes. There are important lessons that must be drawn out from these breaches, because most organisations would be equally vulnerable to similar attacks. Three key lessons are: look for indicators of compromise and be sufficiently resourced to respond, review exposure through third parties and, consider compliance to security standards as a bare minimum for required effort.

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Conclusion: Big Data and the promise of unlocking greater revenues and better productivity is perceived as the next technology wave. No barrier exists for any business of any size accessing Big Data solutions.

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Conclusion: Once an organisation decides its on-premises IT infrastructure model must be transformed into a Hybrid Cloud model the important question becomes “how is this best achieved?” While Cloud Native applications and Dev/Test infrastructure are the typical first steps they do not address the Enterprise applications that are central to most enterprises.

An emerging transformational strategy is one based on Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). This is a low cost, low risk, incremental approach to transforming on-premises IT infrastructure into a Hybrid Cloud infrastructure. The DRaaS leaders in Australia will be VMware, Microsoft and AWS in that order.

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Conclusion: Adobe’s ‘Cloud’ licensing model, coupled with aggressive auditing tactics, is causing discomfort for organisations in Australia. In the past, organisations used Adobe’s persistent licensing to deploy Adobe’s products in a largely ad hoc fashion. Now these organisations are being scrutinised by Adobe, and finding themselves out of compliance. Reducing the organisation’s Adobe exposure should be considered a priority.

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Conclusion: Cloud migration should not be a quick and dirty job just to upload the current business systems with their inefficiencies, only to get rid of the in-house hardware ownership. It should be considered as an opportunity to clean IT and business inefficiencies at the same time. IT organisations wishing to migrate to public Cloud require a new methodology to avoid incurring unforeseen consumption cost and to address business processes overheads. Strategies are needed to measure code inefficiencies and develop a remedy roadmap whilst building the case for public Cloud. Only efficient code should be released to public Cloud unless there are other benefits which make the overall migration cost-effective. This will ensure IaaS usage remains within IT budget.

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Conclusion: Organisations globally and across Australia increasingly understand the importance of providing products and services with a great user experience. Global companies and brands such as Google, the iPhone, the iPad, and the Kindle from Amazon have proven that user experience is an important differentiator even when something is not first to market. User experience (UX) is often confused with User Interface (UI) and organisations wanting to improve the customer experience of the products and services need to understand the difference. Organisations may increase their capabilities or engage an experienced partner to assist them to improve their user experience (UX) and it is important to understand the UX and UI roles and then apply them both in the appropriate manner so that they are not producing the wrong thing in a beautiful wrapper.

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Conclusion: When architecting a payroll environment it is best to align to employment types not to departments. The payrolls are simpler to establish and run, cost less, and are in a form that can be outsourced to specialist payroll BPaaS providers.

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