IT outsourcing: It isn’t necessarily an all-or-nothing proposition

Giving up control of information technology (IT) to outsourcing is always a difficult decision—for a variety of reasons that include staff tenure, critical business support, innovation, perceived strategic value, and the uncertainty of having an outside party perform the work with the same quality or passion. As a result, the pendulum of IT outsourcing has been swinging back and forth over the...

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Hits Keep on Coming: High Availability & Disaster Recovery at Healthcare.gov

When it comes to the IT challenges of the new Healthcare.gov Healthcare Exchange, the hits keep on coming.  Over the weekend, the healthcare.gov hosting vendor, Terremark (a subsidiary of Verizon), “experienced a failure in a networking component” and the attempted fix crashed the system.  The failure is in the “Data Services Hub,” which connects the exchange to other...

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Boots on the Ground, Head in the Cloud

I’ve been talking to you for the last couple of weeks, mostly about the cloud. Let’s face it: it’s been a bunch of technical mumbo-jumbo about infrastructure-as-a-service, five-nines of availability, and unplanned downtime. The cloud can’t possibly be yet another IT field consisting of nothing but buzzwords and acronyms, can it?…

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Internal Surveys: A Fast, Free BI Tool and 5 Simple Keys to Using Them Effectively

As evidenced by the proliferation of business intelligence tools and vendors, the pursuit of metrics and data is essentially ubiquitous to businesses of every size and industry.  Gartner predicts business intelligence software revenue will reach $13.8 Billion in 2013, climbing to over $17 Billion in 2016 (Source: CMS article citing Gartner).  Given the macro-level uncertainty...

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Are you Down with the Cloud?

In a previous post I discussed how an excellent IT enterprise is available 99.999% of the time – also called “5 nines.” In that piece I wrote about how an organization can incorporate cloud technologies while trying to achieve this ideal level of service. While this is certainly an admirable goal, I would be misleading you if I was implying that the cloud is the absolute most...

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Control is an illusion: Why a data center in the cloud is better than yours

I often talk with IT leaders about using public cloud technologies such as infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, or hosted multi-tenant applications.  Generally, I hear one of two different reactions: If my business users’ requirements can be supported by public cloud based technologies, I am happy to get out of the data center business (i.e., if I can push those headaches...

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Striving for Cloud Nines

The mark of IT excellence for an enterprise has historically been the delivery of services at a “five-nine” level of availability, or 99.999%. At a high level, this equates to delivering services with only 5 minutes of downtime in a given year. Those who do not operate their IT services at five-nine availability are typically aspiring toward that level of service.…

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Driving Value to the Business with the Cloud

The cloud. I’m going to be up front with you: I have a fairly strong dislike for the term. Everywhere you go its seems “To the cloud!” is shouted at you.  From television to airport billboards, advertisements are strategically placed to pique your interest on what the private cloud can do for you.…

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Co-sourcing: What is it? Is it real? Is it worth doing?

George S Day wrote a Harvard Business Review article about measuring risk of innovation called “Is it real? Can we win? Is it worth doing?” It’s a great article about how companies can measure risk before moving into a new product or venture. I think this type of activity applies really well to most technology projects, including co-sourcing.…

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Smart Utility Telecommunications and Network Managed Services

With today’s evolving utilities, the demands of Smart Grid, Smart Utility Services and communications have caused the sheer number of devices in the utility network to increase exponentially. Each of these devices needs to have telecommunications connectivity to allow for real time monitoring, control and collection of diagnostic data. These complex devices also utilize a variety of...

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Private Cloud CFO Lever Hybrid-Cloud

Depending on the professional circles in which you travel, cloud computing could mean different things to different people.  Generally though, most people can (knowingly or not) agree on the NIST definitions of there being essentially three distinct variants (I’ve excluded their Community Cloud definition): Private cloud. The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a...

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Chicago, IL 60606
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