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Conclusion: This month, there have been increased discussions regarding highly targeted, industry-specific security threats. Security issues for managed service providers can be especially complex due to the nature of the industry and delivery frameworks. Targeted attacks on vendors that support a large and diverse client base, utilising intricate, often intertwined solutions which cater to a wide range and large number of business functions, can result in difficulties when security issues arise. Problems such as theft, malicious attacks, denial of service and framework collapses can cause added risks because of vendor/client structures in this sector. For vendors, attacks can result in difficulties such as managing security issues over a large number of clients or associated entities which provide services. For clients, outsourced networks spanning different sites and critical functions are amongst the variety of threats which can leave clients exposed. Responses for vendor co-ordination with clients, as well as associated service providers and partners, must be considered and thoroughly planned when developing response measures for service providers. Measures must be as robust as possible, as well as sufficiently flexible to cater to unforeseen events and the complex nature of the managed services sector, where threats can be highly variable in nature, volume and extremities.

Conclusion: Maintaining a good relationship with the CIO provides many benefits to their direct reports. It is more than just being given the opportunity to shine and leading exciting and new innovative initiatives, it is also essential to the well-being of the direct report and keeping them motivated. According to Gallup1, the number one reason why people leave jobs is to escape their manager, so strive to keep the relationship as positive as possible and maintain that trusted engagement with the CIO.

Conclusion: This month, discussions regarding ICT outsourcing project completion and outcomes have been prominent. Whilst project successes outweigh those which are still struggling, the results make it clear that the capacity to develop and implement a strategic approach to the adoption of managed services is critical. Projects experience difficulties due to failures to stay within budget, set timeframes or providers cannot meet basic milestones. Difficulties are also experienced when unforeseen problems arise because of miscalculations regarding the size or complexity of a project, as well as technical issues. Project successes, which provide a stable working relationship and added value to customers are the result of clear strategies, allow the services to facilitate business objectives, and a thorough consideration of adoption barriers during a project, including administrative, technical, legal and regulatory.

Conclusion: IBRS recently conducted interviews with development partners that promote the use of Agile project development. During the interviews, IBRS noted that the spectrum of Agile services available in Australia has evolved in the market over the last three years. Understanding this emerging spectrum of services is vital, since it is important to align an organisation’s Agile maturity and appetite: is Agile viewed as a project delivery methodology, or is it an important organisational capability? Only then should potential Agile partners be considered.

Conclusion: IT teams across government and industry are facing resource challenges including hiring the right resources with the right skills to add value to the team and support the organisation’s future needs.

Conclusion: Successful business analysts adapt their working practices to ensure they aid in delivering the best solutions to fit business needs in their pivotal role working with IT teams. This is crucial in small delivery teams and in working with the newer Agile methods of delivery.

Conclusion: This month, the large outsourcing agreement between Thales and the Department of Defence/Airservices Australia has been the subject of discussion. Whilst the contract value is high, more significant are the complex project objectives which resulted in a lengthy contract negotiation period. Initially, agencies involved anticipated an off-the-shelf solution to replace national air traffic control systems. However, it became apparent that a customised solution to support system functions was required, given the large and technically complex nature of the project. In order to reduce risks associated with contract failure, a two-year negotiation period was undertaken to ensure delivery responsibilities and specifications were well-defined. Project oversight and monitoring frameworks, vendor incentives to stay within project budgets and meet fulfilment targets were also described in detail within agreements. Although concerns were flagged regarding the delay in finalising this agreement, extra care was warranted given the critical functions the system will support, as well as the high value and complex system foundations. By adopting this approach, all parties have a sturdier agreement which can provide value for money, performance incentives, frameworks for contract execution as well as a better chance of project success.

Conclusion: Selecting the most suitable candidate is a critical responsibility. Take the time upfront to prepare for hiring the person required. Choosing the right person will reap rewards in many ways, such as improving the workplace, increasing revenue and a host of other goals.

Conversely, the pain and effort in employing the wrong person can have disastrous consequences in terms of loss of productivity and loss of reputation to the business, and it creates many issues for the team or individual who made that recruitment error.

Conclusion: This month, discussions regarding digital transformation efforts have been prominent. Plans to upgrade, improve and modernise internal ICT frameworks are critical for effective value creation and faster results delivery. Customers need to invest in technological change in order to establish a set of digital products which address stakeholder needs and integrate with business operations and functions. Customers often struggle with identifying and evaluating vendor risks and establishing appropriate audits and controls for service providers. Whilst customers are familiar with issues such as contract compliance and security, obtaining a managed service provider with a deeper understanding of business requirements can be difficult. However, this understanding is critical when developing digital transformation solutions, and vendors need to augment skills, develop more detailed strategies and address concerns specific to particular customers in order to deliver business value during digital transformation efforts.

Conclusion: This month has seen a focus on ICT 2018 forecasts and 2017 reviews. These types of analyses are important for vendors in order to strike a balance between providing new, high quality service offerings customers’ demand and traditional concerns, such as privacy and legislative compliance. It is critical that new offerings are carefully planned so they align market drivers such as cost savings, utilising new technologies and business improvements with basic needs that are common to all customers and integral to establishing, managing and completing outsourcing agreements.

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