White Papers

Whitepapers_Category

Longer documents designed to address key issues facing CIOs and organisations on a day by day basis.

 

For further assistance contact Nick Bowman at info@ibrs.com.au

The topic of Big Data has been propelled from the engine room of theWeb 2.0 giants into the mainstream press. Over the last decade, the volume of data that governments and financial institutions collect from citizens has been eclipsed by the data produced by individuals in terms of photos, videos, messages, as well as geolocation data on online social platforms and mobile phones, and also the data produced by large scale networks of sensors that monitor traffic,weather, and industrial systems.

IBRS has always recognised data as the key to value creation, and has built up an extensive body of research on the latest trends and the shift from enterprise data to “big data” that is currently unfolding. This white paper addresses the scale and the businessimplications of this shift.

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With financial and economic commentators warning of difficulttimes ahead, CIOs must be prepared and have arguments at their fingertips to justify continued IT investment in corridor conversations or at the Executive (or Board) when all operating budgets arelikely to be under the microscope.

It might be argued that business managers should present the casefor increased IT investment in their business systems, that is as owners or sponsors. However the reality is an increasing numberof information systems cross organisational boundaries and the CIO is often the only manager able to grasp the ramifications of and need for enterprise-wide investment in IT.

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IBRS, along with many other organisations, has written extensively about “the cloud”. Every organisation selling a product and/or service puts its own spin on what the cloud actually is.

The appeal of cloud computing cannot be denied,and the buzz in the market for the last few years is evidence of the desire of IT organisations to find ways to deliver IT services that are: better,cheaper, more resilient, more secure, and moreuser friendly.

Cloud services are not similar to a highly virtualised internal IT operating environment, although cloud vendors may use virtualisation extensively. Nor are they similar to the tightly controlled experience of time-sharing on a mainframe back in the 1970s, although cloud vendors may price their services in a similar user-pays model. Even though webmail, a form of Software as a Service,has been available to consumers since the 90s, cloud vendors have moved well beyond that simple offering.

While there are excellent and crisp definitions of what the cloud should be, for example the definition provided by the National Institute of Standardsand Technology1 (NIST), what really makes cloud new is how the term itself has become both all encompassing, and yet completely useless at defining the nature of the service!

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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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Many organisations are seeing growing demandand discussion around mobility and mobile ap-plications, in particular in the Networks Group.In theory, mobility can enable significant businessinnovation and optimisation of business process-es. However, few organisations have been able toclarify the benefits of mobility in terms that arealigned to their organisational goals and visionsstatements. This challenge is exacerbated by therapid innovation and changes underway in themobility market.

What is needed to address these problems is aconsistent, repeatable process that embeds mo-bility into the organisation’s overall IT Strategy.At the same time, mobility needs to be treatedslightly differently to many traditional projectsof work, as most mobility initiatives are smaller,with shorter deliver times, than large system de-ployments, but of often intimately interconnectedwith, and enabled by, the traditional larger backend systems.

To meet this challenge, IBRS developed its Mobil-ity Strategy Methodology, which provides a formalframework and process.

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Founded in 2002 Intelligent Business Research Services Pty Ltd (IBRS)has grown into the largest Australian owned IT Advisory services company. With a unique focus on Australian and New Zealand issues, combined with the experience and background of our seasoned analysts, IBRS provides unmatched insights into what is and what should be, relevant to local CIOs and senior IT executives.

IBRS offers clients retained advice through our client intimate engagement model. Clients may directly contact our analysts to get our research put into the context of their specific circumstances.

Our analysts are all recognised experts in their fields and are regularly quoted in the press and are sought after speakers and event facilitators. Most importantly, our analysts are locally based, so we understand our clients’ issues and often respond to requests for advice on the same day. This means you get the best possible advice, tailored to your needs, when you need it.

Our research is designed to give our clients actionable advice which is derived from many client interactions and peer group networking. IBRS’s clients include many of the largest Australian companies and state and federal government departments.

Services include: regular research reports, extensive research database, assistance with document reviews, strategic planning, market scans and highly tailored advice and consulting.

This series of White Papers is designed to address key issues facing CIOs and organisations on a day by day basis.

For further details on IBRS please contact Nick Bowman at info@ibrs.com.au or visit our website at www.ibrs.com.au.

White Paper 1: Tough Times Ahead - Get Ready for the Tough Questions Add to Cart

With financial and economic commentators warning of difficult times ahead, CIOs must be prepared to justify continued IT investment, whether in corridor conversations or at the Executive Board.

It has been argued that business managers themselves should present the case for increased IT investment in their business systems as owners or sponsors. However the reality is that an increasing number of information systems cross organisational boundaries and the CIO is often the only manager able to address the need for enterprise-wide investment in IT.

There is a school of thought that reporting of benefits from IT-related investment is not the role of the CIO. Rather it should be the business systems sponsors who are accountable to the Executive.

However the reality is few business managers have an enterprise–wide perspective which means it falls to the CIO to argue the case for continued investment in IT on their behalf. Experienced CIOs know that arguing the case without the sponsors being present and supportive at the Executive meeting can be a fool’s errand.

This White paper offers CIOs ways of dealing with the above issues.

White Paper 2: Creating a Mobility Strategy That Will LastAdd to Cart

Many organisations are seeing growing demand and discussion around mobility and mobile applications. In theory, mobility can enable significant business innovation and the optimisation of business processes.  However, few organisations have been able to clarify the benefits of mobility in terms that are aligned to their organisational goals and vision statements. This challenge is exacerbated by the rapid innovation and changes underway in the mobility market.

To meet this challenge, IBRS developed a Mobility Strategy Methodology, which provides a formal framework and process for:

  1. Identifying and organising opportunities for where mobility can be used to benefit your organisation
  2. Determining ‘quick wins’ while avoiding future technology ‘lock-in’
  3. Identifying the most appropriate architecture to support mobility within your organisation
  4. Creating a decision-oriented governance model to address on-going mobility opportunities
  5. Aligning mobility initiatives to overall organisational strategy, vision and principles

The IBRS Mobility Methodology is a practical, real-world approach to creating your organisation’s mobility strategy. This White Paper outlines the IBRS Mobility Methodology and provides tips on using it in the real world.

 

White Paper 3: Risks in the cloud - check your MSA  Add to Cart

The appeal of cloud computing cannot be denied and the buzz in the market for the last few years is evidence of the desire of IT organisations to find ways to deliver IT services that are: better, cheaper, more resilient, more secure and more user friendly.

NIST defines cloud services as having five essential characteristics:

On-demand self-service - Broad network access - Resource pooling - Rapid   elasticity -Measured service

It is in the interactions of these 5 characteristics that cloud vendors find themselves in uncharted territory when it comes to service assurance. In order to deliver these 5 characteristics, cloud vendors must have an internal environment which is easy to manage, cost effective and unlike any traditional IT system in the enterprise space.

When it comes to identifying and managing the risks that come with cloud computing, organisations must move through their own maturity in how they go about engaging with service providers. This White Paper addresses a number of specific areas where IBRS clients are identifying, and then choosing how to deal with, specific risks in the cloud.

White Paper 4: Unlocking the Value of Big and Small Data  Add to Cart

Over the last decade, the volume of data that governments and financial institutions collect from citizens has been eclipsed by the data produced by individuals in terms of photos, videos, messages and geo-location data on online social platforms and mobile phones and also the data produced by large scale networks of sensors that monitor traffic, weather and industrial systems.

The following quote illustrates the scale of the shift:

There were 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing – Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, 4 August 2010

The pressure is on to develop robust solutions that not only deliver value, but that also address concerns about data ownership, privacy and the threat of data theft and abuse. This White Paper makes 5 key recommendations on how to deal with this increasing complex challenge.

White Paper 5: The Cloud is a Journey Add to Cart

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, or find itself bypassed by the business units who will introduce Cloud based solutions to suit their needs.

Organisations that do not embrace the cloud risk losing control of the IT Architecture, which leads to an overly complex, costly and ineffective environment. Even worse, while individual business units may gain some temporary benefits, the overall organisational agility will decrease and the alignment of IT to strategy will break down, creating longer term problems for the organisation as a whole

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

This White Paper concludes that the Cloud should be viewed as part of a current journey to create a more agile IT system that can quickly respond to the business’ changing demands. Like all journeys there are different paths depending on where you start from and where you want to go.

 

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