What to Expect at RSA Conference USA 2018

The theme for RSA Conference 2018 USA is “Now Matters.” No more clever themes like ancient stone tablets, which I really miss…but I digress. What the theme “Now Matters” means is that “urgency and pressure” are being felt in the IT community. So what if you chose to upgrade a server or a switch a bit later than anticipated? Sure, you may lose some opportunity costs of additional performance that could have been achieved, but the world is not going to end. There are special cases like end-of-support or lack of firmware upgrades for older equipment, but they are predictable and can be dealt with ahead of time. But if you ignore the “now” in security and leave an attack surface unattended, you may experience negative consequences. This is an issue that matters to areas of infrastructure such as networking and cloud computing platforms, which I cover. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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DT Success Is… Elusive
Dec21

DT Success Is… Elusive

Everybody needs it. Most everybody is trying to achieve it. And the majority of those who try fail to realize its benefits. It is digital transformation — AKA DT, DX or Industry 4.0 — the multi-trillion-dollar business phenomenon enabled by cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security that is reshaping everything for the foreseeable future. Succeeding at DT is the next new normal, and the stakes are literally life and death, i.e. a 33% increase in speed to market; 40% increase in customer satisfaction; and 37% increase in new business revenue. On average, companies going digital expect to increase annual revenues by 2.9% and reduce costs by 3.6%, but businesses going all-in can achieve both revenue gains and cost reduction of more than 30% at the same time. So DT is an extinction-level phenomenom that is transforming all aspects of our lives, and while the stakes are high, the risks — and failure rates — are higher. The failure rates for unsuccessful digital transformation projects range from a low of only 70% to as high as 84%. The biggest DT barrier is cultural resistance to change, followed by legacy IT systems and retaining critical talent, respectively. “One of the things that our research and expertise consistently show is that shifting people and how they need to operate differently are where some of the big challenges are coming from, as more and more companies try to digitally transform,” said IDC’s Shawn Fitzgerald, research director, worldwide digital transformation strategies. Positioned as a Leader in IDC’s Worldwide Digital Transformation Consulting and Systems Integration Services 2017 Vendor Assessment, Accenture is also grappling with DT internally, as its more than 400,000 professionals visit more than 10,000 customer sites daily, said CIO Andrew Wilson. He told IT Trends & Analysis that organizations need to transform from old techniques and waterfall philosophies to much more horizontal processes and experiences. “You have to be much more real-time.” The service provider practices what it preaches, focusing on the new skills and training required to enable an increasingly mobile and dispersed workforce to make the most effective use of the latest technologies. Wilson said his company is working to connect employees through social collaboration tools like The Stream, Accenture’s version of Facebook, that enables employees to stay connected with colleagues and communities, post updates and share knowledge anywhere. It also uses video communications, including the CIO’s monthly talk show for employees that features interviews with executives from Accenture and alliance partners. A key component of the SP’s DT-delivery capabilities is called Accenture Digital — consisting of Accenture Analytics, Accenture Interactive...

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IBM Charts Multi-Cloud Progress

Though the tech industry is subject to consistent and considerable disruption it’s hard to think of a more fundamentally disruptive technology than cloud computing. Why do I say that? For three reasons: First, because the success of early cloud movers and shakers (especially AWS), enabled businesses and consumers to effectively sidestep IT powers that be, including system and software vendors. In addition, cloud takes advantage of compute infrastructures developed, implemented and managed by companies that mainly do business with ODM manufacturers, putting further pressure on traditional enterprise vendors. Finally, by essentially outsourcing IT functions to cloud service providers (CSPs), organizations also cut back engagements with IT services professionals and organizations. Despite those and other challenges, it isn’t impossible for mainstream vendors to succeed with cloud initiatives. In fact, IBM moved forcefully into cloud computing with numerous, continuing strategic investments and initiatives. It also made cloud one of its five Strategic Imperatives (along with analytics, mobile, social and security), and announced in its most recent earnings call that IBM Cloud drove $15.8B in company revenues over the last 12 months. On November 1-2, the company hosted media and analyst events in New York City to detail its cloud-related efforts and progress. Following are a few thoughts on what I saw and heard there. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Public Cloud Trends… shows steady cloud growth

ESG recently released a new research report: 2017 Public Cloud Trends by Bill Lundell, Director of Syndicated Research, and me. (Subscription login is required to read the report.) I won’t spoil the fun by repeating everything in the report in this blog, but some observations show that public cloud computing growth continues unabated. Over a third of the respondents state they have a cloud-first policy—where a new app is deployed using public cloud services unless someone makes a compelling case to deploy it using on-premises resources. A cloud-first policy is most prevalent in younger companies (age of org, not employees). On top of that, the SaaS usage trend continues its uptick, and more than 20% of the apps are deployed as SaaS by 62% of the respondents. This is an increase from 38% in 2013. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Digital Transformation: Innovation With A Body Count
Apr27

Digital Transformation: Innovation With A Body Count

For the majority of the IT industry’s history the focus has been on efficiency, how to do more with less. More recently, and now lumped under the catchphrase of ‘Digital Transformation (DT/DX)’, the focus has shifted to effectiveness: it’s no longer a case of just doing things right; the emphasis is changing to doing the right things. Increasingly, DT is an extinction-level event — it’s ‘go digital or die’ — and a new survey from Dell EMC reinforces this dire forecast (or incredible opportunity). The business phenomenon Digital Transformation (AKA digitization or Industry 4.0) and its related technologies — cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security — changes everything… and nothing. New tools and new applications drive new ways of doing things, but ultimately, it’s still about selling more goods and services with acceptable margins. According to the ESG 2017 IT Transformation Maturity Curve study conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group and commissioned by Dell EMC, only 5% of large companies are prepared to meet the IT requirements of the Digital Business era. As do so many similar studies, Dell EMC found that 95% of survey respondents are falling behind their best-of-breed competitors who are accelerating their digital business goals through IT transformation, while 71% agree that they will not be competitive without IT transformation. Given that 96% of the more mature organizations exceeded revenue targets last year and are more than 2X as likely to meet revenue goals, I have to wonder why only 71% seem worried. As Dell EMC President David Goulden noted in the press release, “… the research shows that most respondents are falling behind a small and elite set of competitors who have cracked the IT Transformation code, and they’re competing more vigorously because of it.” Trey Layton, VP and CTO with Dell EMC’s CPSD, told IT Trends & Analysis the study reinforces the company’s belief that this “is more than a business agenda, it is a digital transformation at the foundation.” A major concern is that enterprises’ foundations typically consist of separate silos, and many employees and executives feel trapped. “If you look at the IT organizations we deal with around the world, they’re in various stages of their journey to transformation… but the power centers are siloed… in compute, storage and network silos…” The biggest concern they’re finding when they talk to customers “is that the future space doesn’t have a place for them from a skill-set perspective,” he said. “CIOs are trying to break down those barriers.” Global Knowledge’s 10th annual IT Skills and Salary Survey, released earlier this month, reported that more...

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