Displaying articles for: 01-29-2012 - 02-04-2012
Back in December I put out a blog post with my predictions for the year.
In January for a number of years now, I've been creating a recording based on the predictions post.
The summary for that recording is:
"Headlines for 2012 point to the continuing evolution of cloud, big data, mobility, and social computing. But it’s the innovations happening between those trends that will make this a year of disruption for the enterprise. From new technologies to new business plans, the possibilities of where to invest resources and where to pull back are considerable."
The 2012: The Year of Disruption - Reading Between the Lines for Enterprise IT recording can be accessed here.
The final video I was able to do while in Toronto was with Dave Frederickson (@FreddyAtHP) and Charlie Atkinson, both leaders within HP Canada. We talked about opportunities for organizations moving to the cloud.
One of the topics we discussed was how organizations are focused on becoming more agile and keeping pace with technology -- taking advantage of the new levels of flexibility available. Dave and Charlie described their perspective of what this can mean to business. With the surging market demands requiring greater flexibility and higher-performance, the drive for cloud can be very compelling. Cloud is less about saving costs and more about tackling markets in new ways or even whole new markets.
One of the aspects of any kind of cloud activity is the need to define a baseline of the current situation of the organization and then define and expand that knowledge into a planned set of activities with definite expectations, so that you can learn from the results. If you don’t have any idea where you’re going, you’ll never know when you get there.
A year or so ago, I worked on coordinating the application panels of the HP cloud discovery workshop and these kinds of workshops can be very useful for organizations determining their needs and expectations.
One of the other items we discussed was the concerns about vendor lock-in. This is an area that IT organizations need to develop a much deeper understanding as they expand their use of the cloud. It also affects how hybrid clouds are used and add value. This is one of the many areas organizations can make mistakes that couse problems over the long haul.
While in Toronto, Nadhan (@NadhanAtHP) and I had a chance to speak with Mike Fischer (from HP Enterprise Services) about application portfolio management and some of the issues organizations face when looking to move to take advantage of cloud computing.
Mike leads a team of people who are focused on these kinds of issues that look at the attributes of the existing applications as well as the on-going and future needs of the business. It’s not a case of everything can move or even that everything should move.
On Monday on my trip to Toronto, I was seated next to an IT director of a large beverage company. We didn’t realize we had a common set of interests until the plane was about to descend. She asked me to give her an elevator pitch for the important shifts in IT -- by now the landing gear was down and so I had to be quick.
I went into a discussion about how many organizations are viewing IT incorrectly today, at least in my opinion. Many view IT as a subtractive (cost cutting activity) as opposed to the additive activity that it should be, focused on increasing the value of the enterprise as a whole.
I briefly talked about a few key concepts:
3) Focus on the future – move from reactive to proactive to predictive. We have the tools, we just now need to change our behavior and expectations
4) Create flexible systems of engagement – empower the workforce (or even the ecosystem) to do what they are good at. Make it a game if you can…
It seemed to reasonate with her.
Here is a video put together by some of the members of the HP CTO office about these issues:
There is also a post containing a few key trends that some of the HP CTOs believe are important for 2012 and a similar 4th wave post I made a few years back. I also did a podcast on a more tactical view of the implications on 2012 last week, if you're interested.
Pete Deacon and I looked at a miniature version of the HP Pod Data Center container in Montreal. In Toronto, we were able to walk through a version of the real thing:
We were able to talk about the flexibility it provides for organizations that have either expanded beyond their current capacity or just want to replace the whole thing.
A number of folks who are at the HP Master the Cloud event in Toronto got together last night for dinner and we had a pretty wide ranging conversation discussing technology and technology adoption.
At one point, someone at the table said "I understand Cloud Bursting", and naturally with my slightly contrarian nature I responded “Oh really, explain it to me, since I don’t think there are many people who actually do understand it. How does it work?” I realized I was backing them into a corner that probably no one – especially me – could get out of. I admitted to them that I was being unfair.
The reason I say that is that in order to answer the question, you need to understand what the organization is actually trying to do. What constraints are being placed on their environment? How do they measure value? What kind of software resources do they have available?
It is easy to say “cloud bursting” but quite a different level of expertise is required to actually implement it in software so it works reliably and securely. There is a level of architecture sophistication that is hard to find. I can guarantee only a tiny percentage of current IT systems can support this level of flexibility. It is definitely “doable” -- just not a simple answer and not everyone is going to be willing to pay for what it will take.
There are many aspects of the movement to a more flexible IT environment that have similar underlying complexities. It’s like using the 5 Whys to get to the root cause. It can really make you think about what’s important.
The HP-35 was HP’s first pocket calculator and the first scientific calculator. Its award winning approach brought a range of innovations (first product to have both ICs and LEDs), put many a slide rule on the shelf.
There is some interesting history about the calculator on-line (including the problems based on the lack of precision in the mainframe computers that effected the testing of the calculator).
You can still buy a version today.
A while back I posted about HP pod computing and how pods are manufactured. While I was in Montreal last week, I talked with Pete Deacon, who unlike Hal was able to open the pod (bay) door. Pete provided some insight on what others were asking about pods, why they are so flexible and what new types of value they can deliver.
This computing technology allows organizations to move beyond the floor space constraints of their current data center into less contrained facilities or even their parking lot.
When I get to see the pod in Toronto this week, I’ll likely post a bit more.