Month: February 2021

Empowering the Business to Come Out of the Shadow IT

first_imgFirst we called it shadow IT. Then it was rogue IT. Now, we refer to it euphemistically as business-managed IT (BMIT). No matter what you call it, the longstanding problem of business groups buying, building and deploying IT solutions without company authorization presents the same challenges to IT executives everywhere.In some cases, it could mean that business-sensitive information is being used and shared without proper security controls, sometimes in external environments. It often leads to fragmented architecture, a lack of integration and inconsistent and ineffective management of vendor contracts. It also increases overall costs, complexity and may create a “double standard” between IT and business-implemented solutions. And it is a practice that is on the rise across a wide range of industries, as cloud technology has evolved.No longer limited to resorting to stealth servers under someone’s desk, the business now has easy access to a growing number of Internet-based providers offering nearly unlimited IT capabilities in the public cloud. But we in IT also have more options than ever to turn this headache into a business-empowering opportunity. It’s not like business leaders’ reasons for using BMIT aren’t good ones. They are under increased pressure to drive top line revenue ASAP. They want new capabilities, and more agile IT tools. At the end of the day, business leaders’ choice to use BMIT is about faster time to market and better control.The good news is that enterprise IT organizations have also transformed with cloud technology, and new, in-house IT models can now compete with outside cloud providers to give the business the capabilities it wants, at competitive cost and in shorter cycle times.What we in IT need to do is be proactive in showing the business that we can not only meet their needs in a more agile way, but also do it better than outside vendors. Our IT solutions are scalable, secure and efficient. We bring a great understanding of business processes, and we know how to integrate the multiple technologies needed to enable many capabilities. We understand the data architecture and we have expertise in IT vendor management.What’s more, since we have a highly optimized private cloud infrastructure and don’t have to make a profit, in many cases, we can provide such capabilities cheaper than outside vendors. And where using outside resources makes sense, we can work with the business to leverage those options as well, acting as a “broker–agent” to negotiate the smartest and most cost effective deal.At EMC, we are now building applications that are cloud-enabled and that can be hosted on an internal or external cloud. We’ve also developed the ability to migrate seamlessly between clouds to create a hybrid cloud approach.And to give the business more control and flexibility in using these expanded capabilities, we are implementing a user-focused, IT-as-a-Service model which allows business users to “buy” what they need — like Business-Intelligence-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service.It’s all about proactively engaging and empowering the business by creating a framework that allows it to experiment in a way that helps drive innovation and accelerates time to market and time to value together.BMIT is here and it’s not going away. So don’t kid yourself by thinking that you don’t have such a challenge in your organization. Believe me, you do.Given this reality, it’s up to us as IT professionals to seize this opportunity to demonstrate how we can add differentiated value by turning BMIT into business-empowered IT.last_img read more

What’s the Best Predictor of Success with IT Transformation?

first_imgOn the road to IT-as-a-Service, transforming your IT infrastructure and applications is the easy part, comparatively speaking, that is. The really tough part is transforming the people and processes, and it’s also what differentiates the most successful IT transformations.So you’ve virtualized your environment, set up your on-premises private cloud and connected it with a public cloud solution. You have a hybrid cloud up and running and you’re on your way to delivering IT-as-a-Service. Now that you have the hardware and software operating, how do you get your people operating in a new way – with new processes and structure — that allows your business to capitalize on the new IT agenda to deliver more business value than ever before?Chances are your IT department is skilled and organized around delivering component technology, while your lines of business could care less about the technology – they just want IT services and applications to help them get their work done. If they’re not getting that from their IT department, they go outside the company for these services, bypassing IT altogether. A September 2014 Gartner Group report showed that 40% of IT budgets are being spent by business partners outside of IT – marketing, sales, HR and finance, to name a few. They go around traditional IT departments not so much because of cost, but because of the immediacy, convenience and simplicity of the service experience with a 3rd party.IT:  It’s time to carve out part of your organization and retrain, retool, and retitle, as many IT responsibilities move from the back office to the front office. EMC’s Global Services teams have helped accelerate thousands of IT transformations for our customers, and a new operating model has been a critical element in the most successful ones, including our own EMC IT transformation. Jon Peirce, SVP of EMC IT, shares a bit of our own experience in his blog.What does the new IT department look like?The new operational model focuses first on identifying the business needs of your company’s various functions, and then supplying IT services to meet those needs. This demand-and-supply model is what EMC is adopting for its own IT operations. We will have IT business relationship managers aligned to key business functions. Job descriptions will call for people who understand business, have great interpersonal and communications skills, can proactively identify technology solutions for their internal customers’ problems, and then collaborate with others to build or broker the solution.Also, with the silos breaking down on the technology side, we will need our people to have a broader understanding of multiple IT components. There will always be a place for those with deep technical knowledge in one area, but increasingly, we will need people to widen their perspective.So you may have a “demand center” made up business relationship managers who translate the business needs into IT solutions, and a “service center” that supplies these solutions back to the business. But it all starts with business needs – not the technology.Questions to ask yourselfMuch of this sounds simple, but in reality, there are layers of tough questions you’ll need to engage your stakeholders in answering. How do we assess our talent’s current capabilities? Do they have what it takes to transform? Can we retrain our current talent? Who will the business relationship managers report to – the business function or IT? How many will we need for each function? How will they engage with the business functions and with IT? Who pays for what? How do we operate the current IT organization while we are building the new model?  Knowing what questions to ask is just the beginning.The new IT agenda presents a great opportunity for IT leaders to be more relevant to their business than ever before, but it takes some courage to stand up and help your own business leaders understand the new value you can bring to them.If you’ve already gone through this with your business leaders, use the comment box below to tell us how you addressed this and got their attention. If you’re going through it right now, what questions do you have that I, or others reading this blog, might help you with?last_img read more

California: Criminal rings loot billions in jobless funds

first_imgLOS ANGELES (AP) — California officials say hackers, identity thieves and overseas criminal rings stole an estimated $11.4 billion in unemployment benefits from California last year. But the extent of the fraud might grow far larger: billions more in jobless payments are under investigation. California Labor Secretary Julie Su told reporters in a conference call Monday that of the $114 billion the state has paid in unemployment claims, about 10% has been confirmed as fraudulent. Nearly $20 billion more is considered suspicious. Su says the state did not have sufficient security measures in place and criminals took advantage of the gaps.last_img read more

Biden oath second only to Reagan and Obama with TV viewers

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — The first inaugurations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama were the only ones to exceed Joe Biden’s in popularity among television viewers over the past 40 years. The Nielsen company says 33.8 million people watched Biden’s inauguration between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday. The top inaugural was Reagan’s in 1981, which was seen by 41.8 million people. Obama’s first oath-taking reached 37.8 million. Biden also beat predecessor Donald Trump, whose 2017 inauguration was seen by 30.6 million. Football was big for the week. The pro football conference championship games each brought more than 40 million people to their televisions over the weekend.last_img read more

Amazon asks for block on shareholder hate speech proposal

first_imgSEATTLE (AP) — Seattle-based Amazon.com, Inc. has asked federal regulators to block multiple shareholder proposals addressing criticism of the company’s stances on curbing hate speech, diversity in hiring, workplace conditions and surveillance technologies. The Seattle Times reported Wednesday that shareholders would not have an opportunity to vote on the proposals at the company’s shareholder meeting this year if the request is granted. Last year, none of the shareholders’ proposals were approved. The Securities and Exchange Commission declined to comment on whether it planned to allow Amazon to drop the proposals from the shareholder meeting docket.last_img read more

Israel to give some coronavirus vaccines to Palestinians

first_imgJERUSALEM (AP) — Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s office says Israel has agreed to transfer 5,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine to the Palestinians to immunize front-line medical workers. The announcement Sunday is the first time that Israel has confirmed the transfer of vaccines to the Palestinians. Israel is one of the world’s leaders in vaccinating its population after striking procurement deals with international drug giants Pfizer and Moderna. The Palestinians have not begun to vaccine their people.last_img read more