Talent-Gap Cure Or Just Cur-AI-ting IT?
Oct19

Talent-Gap Cure Or Just Cur-AI-ting IT?

Cisco originally pitched a story focused on its latest initiatives to address the ‘IT skills and knowledge gap’, which is a big and growing problem, and while the just-released AI-powered predictive services can be folded, spindled and mutilated into a ‘talent-gap cure’, it appears more to be just a really good set of business solutions. The costs and resources required to keep the datacenter lights on can account for 70-80% of IT budgets, said Bryan Palma, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Advanced Services, but while improving efficiencies and uptimes will pay a huge business dividend, that doesn’t mean those freed-up resources will translate into the IT skills and knowledge required to facilitate the new IT reality, digital transformation, which by one estimate will be worth $493.39 billion by 2022, and is speeding along at a CAGR of 19.1%. The new services, available immediately, fall into two categories — Business Critical Services and High-value Services — and are extensions of what the company has been providing for some time, said Palma. Services is the second largest business unit at Cisco, at $13 billion and 25% of revenues, with 90% of its services revenue recurring. A big part of the company’s competitive advantage is its installed base of 50 million networks, he told IT Trends & Analysis, and the telemetry data from that provides Cisco with a better picture of what’s going on in the IT environment than practically every other vendor. Professional services can leverage that data to help customers shift their focus from maintaining their datacenters and network infrastructures to finding new ways to improve customer services and generate revenues, he added. “At the same time we’re seeing that IT has been more defensive and they are looking to be more offensive, and that’s where we’re looking to take them.” Calling it a new portfolio of subscription services, Business Critical Services ‘deliver more capabilities including analytics, automation, compliance and security by Cisco Advanced Services’ technology experts’. “In the past it’s been called optimization,” said Palma, and as part of their ongoing focus on constant improvement, have made a number of improvements. “What we’re trying to do is give them the flexibility to move with their strategic options.” The new service benefits include helping minimize human error by: reducing complexity and cost through automation, orchestration, and technical expertise; accelerating business agility and transformation through advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities; and reducing risk with automated compliance and remediation services.The business outcome objectives are to help reduce downtime by 74%, resolve issues 41% percent faster and reduce operational costs by 21%. The other side of the services portfolio, Technical Services,...

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New Payment Processing Demands, New Pricing on IBM z Systems

The most difficult objection to overcome when it comes to mainframe adoption is price, especially acquisition costs. Mainframe hardware, compared to most x86-based servers, is expensive. And related systems software, middleware, transaction processing environments and management software can also be expensive. In head-to-head competition, x86 solutions almost always look cheaper – and, accordingly, IT executive managers most often purchase x86-based servers on the basis of that perceived lower price. With this new utility pricing model for payment processing, IBM has taken a giant step forward in using capacity pricing to process highly variable workloads to correct what some perceive as a punitive, even disastrous pricing scheme. By doing so, the company is also protecting its mainframe base as the transition to real-time pricing takes place and opening new, future opportunities for its z Systems as demands for stronger security and higher system capacity drive more prospects to consider z Systems mainframes. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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How Enterprise Organizations Benefit from SOAPA

I’ve written about SOAPA for almost a year now, here’s a link to the original blog I posted last November. The concept seems to be catching on in the industry. I’ve had lots of industry leaders participate in SOAPA videos with me and there are many more videos in the works. I’m happy to say that SOAPA isn’t just an analyst idea or industry buzzword. In fact, 21% of enterprise organizations say that they are very active in integrating security operations technologies and creating a security operations architecture is one of their highest priorities, while another 50% are somewhat active in this area. Security pros are moving to SOAPA for several reasons: To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Dell’s IQT – A New Work State of Mind?

Dell hosted at least 3 varied events (that I know of) in New York last week. In terms of the future, the most important was its “IQT Day”…IQT is the acronym-progeny of IoT and IQ (“Making Things Smarter” as Dell expands it). You know that something matters when it is launched with both a new term and a new acronym. Dell was putting a stake in the ground (and a new internal organization, and indeed a decent amount of launch marketing dollars) behind the notion that the next wave of IT is really all about the intelligent integration – and optimized ‘farming’ – of edge and cloud. The pun in the title of this blog therefore refers to the attitude of not only Dell, but also the organizations it seeks to serve. Take a look at this video here, where I capture some more thoughts about the IQT Day, as well as (with my colleague Jason Buffington) some comments from the Analyst Summit that followed.       To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Dell’s IQT and the Continuum of Technology

It’s no surprise that IT vendors are excited about the Internet of Things (IoT). After all, if the commercial demand for IoT becomes even half of what some analyst firms suggest, it will equal or eclipse past major technology market opportunities. But more important than that, though some in the industry are attempting to position IoT as an entirely new technology, it simply represents a next, logical, practical step in the evolution of digital business. Rather than being essentially unique, IoT mainly takes numerous existing IT assets, seamlessly adds in newer components and developments, tweaks them with hard-earned industry expertise, and applies it all to longstanding business challenges. However, that does represent a fundamental shift in organizations’ IT efforts to add digital intelligence to processes that traditionally depend on analog tools, with the aim of gaining advantage from data and analytics insights. That need for incorporating digital intelligence in new areas inspired Dell Technologies to label their related efforts as “IQT” with the IQ representing new digital smarts. Last week, company executives hosted an event in New York City to publicly announce the company’s IQT/IoT strategy, solutions and plans. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Cisco: “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter.”
Oct12

Cisco: “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter.”

Already one of the biggest players in the red-hot cloud infrastructure market (it grew 25.8% in the second quarter to $12.3 billion), Cisco Systems — in third place with 8.2% marketshare, trailing Dell (11.8%) and HPE (11.1%) — has a lot of credibility when it says cloud is transforming the datacenter. “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter,” said Tom Edsall, formerly a Cisco Fellow, SVP and GM, Insieme Business Unit, Cisco Systems. However, he told IT Trends & Analysis, the challenge is now you have an infrastructure that is basically a multi-vendor infrastructure. Rather than just a collection of hardware and software from different vendors, you have to throw in the various cloud providers like Amazon and Azure. He said organizations have part of their infrastructure running on different clouds, with different APIs, and are struggling to make the differences disappear. “The problems that we encountered 10 years ago are happening all over again,” said Edsall. “Then it wasn’t cloud, it was multi-vendor.” He added that the company has had strong success with on premise with its ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) portfolio with over 4,000 customers. But while the customers really like the application-centric approach, they are frustrated because “they can’t get the same API at Amazon.” They want to know how do they get a common experience across these systems, said Edsall. Ever helpful, Cisco recently announced a management and automation platform for its Unified Computing System (UCS) and HyperFlex Systems, Cisco Intersight. To be available 4Q17 in two versions — the Cisco Intersight Base Edition will be available at no charge, while the Cisco Intersight Essentials Edition will cost you — it is intended to simplify datacenter operations by delivering systems management as-a-service, instead of having to maintain ‘islands of on-premise management infrastructure.’ ‘The longer-term vision of Intersight is spot-on,” noted Matt Kimball, senior datacenter analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy. ‘Not only does it address the issues IT organizations face today, but it also provides a platform that can accommodate the unknowns of tomorrow. If Cisco successfully executes this vision, it will firmly position itself as a leader in multi-cloud infrastructure orchestration and management.’ Unsurprisingly, a canned quote included in the Cisco release was equally ebullient: “Organizations that move to cloud-based systems management platforms will find that service delivery quality is significantly improved, the overall risk to the business goes down, and IT staff productivity is increased,” said Matt Eastwood, Senior Vice President, IDC. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) –infused cloud-based management tools can offer deep insights into the state of the infrastructure, identify troubles before they become major issues, and enable quicker ‘root cause’ identification and analysis...

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