April 23, 2014

IT Control Is An Illusion
Mott's span-of-control argument jibes with his three-year initiative to flip GM's reliance on outsourcing, from 90% outsourced IT to 90% in-house. He makes a strong case for moving IT in-house, citing how expensive, slow, and undifferentiated traditional outsourcing work can be. ... Real innovation happens when IT pros are tightly aligned with company strategy and the CIO has a seat at the CEO's table; IT must produce clear strategies, governance, and metrics; IT is a strategic asset, with speed of innovation a major success factor; and sustained competitive advantage comes from a focus on continuous improvement, creative process, and technological change. No arguments from me there.

Think Capacity, Availability and Efficiency. Think DCIM.
When it comes to data center infrastructure management (DCIM), I do see a common set of challenges that decision-makers expect DCIM to solve. Whether it’s reducing energy costs, improving the management of the asset portfolio, or conducing “what if” scenarios on potential downtime issues, it invariably comes down to three core infrastructure challenges: Capacity, Availability and Efficiency. This trio is what ultimately defines the physical infrastructure’s ability to serve the business. So let’s define the terms. From a DCIM perspective, here is how I would define these capabilities:

ARIN runs out of IPv4 addresses
After today’s announcement by ARIN, they have now entered Phase 4 of their IPv4 exhaustion plan. Their Number Resource Policy Manual (NRPM) defines the process that organizations can request IPv4 addresses. At this moment, IPv4 addresses will only be allocated on an emergency basis. This means that an ISP can make one final request for a /22, but after that they will not get any more address space. This may be concerning for many organizations that intend to continue using IPv4 for decades to come. There are probably no organizations in the ARIN territories that are actively planning to stop using IPv4 at some point in the future.

The 9 Most Difficult-to-Fill IT Roles
If you look at data from across the Web, most companies are looking for IT pros with specific experience -- the more the better, but with everyone chasing the same talent, some areas of IT are downright difficult to fill. Recently, TEKsystems conducted a survey of 244 CIOs, CTOs and other senior IT professionals. These IT decision-makers spanned industries that include technology, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, government and professional services representing business large and small. Respondents marked big data, security, mobility and cloud computing as the trends having the largest impacts on their organization. The technology/roles outlined here, according to the survey, are the toughest areas in which to find tech talent.

Briefly, here is the idea: a Big Opportunity articulates in language that is analytically accurate and emotionally compelling an opportunity that will move an organization forward in a substantial way. It is that exciting possibility which, if you can capitalize on it, will place you into a prosperous, winning future. It is related to vision and strategy in a very straightforward way: a strategy shows you what you need to get to a vision; a vision shows you what you will be doing if you get to, and are able to capitalize on, a big opportunity.

Sysadmin Tips and Tricks - Stop Using Root!
If you think about it, it’s clear that the operating system had to be very good at keeping users from being able to stomp on each other’s files and processes. So the early UNIX™ variants were multi-user systems from the get-go. In the ensuing forty years, these systems have only gotten better at keeping the various users and processes from harming each other. And this is the technology that you’re paying for when you use Linux or other modern variants. Now, you may think, “That doesn’t apply to me—I’m the only user on my server!” But are you, really?

Data Governance Required For Healthcare Data Warehouse
With more data pouring in via EHRs and rules related to the Affordable Care Act and other regulations, healthcare's existing lag in data-governance use will grow if organizations don't get moving, according to experts. With healthcare providers considering how to incorporate even more information from medical devices ranging from implants to fitness trackers, it's even more vital for them to figure out governance. Healthcare already has a reputation for being behind in big-data use, a tool vital for healthcare providers' ability to reduce costs while simultaneously improving performance.

Optical LANs Starting to Move From Cloud Giants to Data Centers
Fiber optics removes the need for wiring closets and air conditioning units, requires less cabling than copper-based LANs, less power and fewer electronics, Bernardino said. It also reaches farther than copper—20 to 30 kilometers, compared with 100 meters for copper—enabling the school district to centralize management so that when a problem arises in a building, network technicians no longer have to drive miles out to remote buildings to fix the problem. It can be handled from a central location. It also eliminates the need to upgrade cabling infrastructures, reducing operating expenses by ensuring that as technology evolves, the only components needing a refresh are the active endpoints.

Why IT Managers Should Define Reference Architecture to Map Big Data
Reference architecture is described in terms of technological components that achieve the capabilities and drive the vision of the project. Big data technologies are mapped to the architecture in order to illustrate how the architecture can be implemented and deployed. Organizations can use this reference architecture as a preparatory point for outlining their own distinctive and custom-tailored architecture. “With heavy investment in current BI systems, customers want to enhance the current capability of their analytics by bringing in big data solutions to their existing enterprise system’s landscape, but the million dollar question on how this is to be done,” says Ranka.

Stake Holder Leadership - Bear in Mind: Loving the Champion Bear
Much can be learned from this story. This particular chapter1 presents a discussion about stakeholder management—investigating the concept that stakeholders differ in their perceptions—and introduces a strategy for influence. Let me first give you my definition of the term “stakeholders”: They are a person or organization (e.g. customer, sponsor, performing organization, or the public) that is actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by the execution or completion of the project. A stakeholder may also exert influence over the project and its deliverables.

Quote for the day:

"Most ideas are created by looking at something existing in a new and different way." -- Stephanie Vozza