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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SCCM 2012 – New Technology and New Ideas

During a recent System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2012 deployment, there was something I noticed that I must have previously missed when reviewing the seemingly endless number of features that have changed between version 2007 and 2012.  This change is that packages now leverage single instance storage!  This was something I completely stumbled on when I was looking for a test...

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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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IT Cost Transparency – A New Approach to an Old Problem

For many companies, information technology (IT) is a mysterious black box. It’s easier to quantify what goes in than what comes out. And as far as tracing IT costs back to individual business units or their services or functions, the struggle intensifies exponentially. While achieving effective IT financial management remains elusive for most organizations, continued pressure on revenue...

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The Whole Is More Than The Sum Of Its Parts – Part II

In my previous post, The Whole Is More Than The Sum Of Its Parts, I began explaining why I feel organizations need to be aware of how they purchase, implement and maintain software in their environments by centering on solutions rather than a number of disparate point products. I explained that, if organizations evaluate their software implementations in this way, they are better serving the...

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The Whole Is More Than The Sum Of Its Parts

In the information technology industry, it is oftentimes a challenge to not get excited about every new shiny new toy that hits the market, want to learn all there is about it and then install it whenever the opportunity presents itself.  More often than not, a mentality of always needing the newest technology (in a corporate environment) becomes a detriment to everyone. …

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Leveraging user experience design elements to improve software testing

Software tests are the final checkpoint for projects before clients and end-users of the system get a chance to take the application for a spin. As seasoned professionals in the field, we try to exploit every possible opportunity to improve test efficiency. Many different models, approaches and strategies have been tried – some with relatively better results than others.…

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Change is All Around

A few of us had the privilege of attending Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto last month.  Themes of the conference? Cloud, Windows 8, and a full refresh of every product line within one 12-month period.  It’s quite a huge undertaking, and with the correct execution, it will be a very exciting year.…

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VDI: Plenty of Potential, but do the Homework Before Diving In

There is no doubt that virtualization has become mainstream in corporate IT.  But as companies look at additional ways to reduce cost, increase security, speed deployments of operating systems and applications, and greatly enable a mobile workforce, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has become more appealing, particularly in mid-sized organizations. Gartner analysts agree that medium-sized...

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IT Financial Management Conference

The World of IT Financial Management Conferences, Workshops and Seminars How to Achieve IT Cost Transparency and Business Alignment Scott Fuzer, ITSM and ITAM Practice Leader, West Monroe Partners Understanding how IT enables and affects the business is more important today than at any point in history. However, few IT organizations understand how the infrastructure and applications they...

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