IT’s latest survival skill: Embracing risk

In today’s digital business world, IT has to stop playing it safe, as you can’t innovate without taking some risks. Still most IT professionals remain deeply risk-averse.

If you’ve spent your career in IT, you’ve probably gotten really good at making sure nothing goes wrong. Outages are unacceptable, even if they’re only a few seconds long. Cybersecurity is a constant worry. Success is measured in reliability and availability. Your most important skill is anticipating issues and fixing them before they occur.

There’s just one problem. In this time of rapidly changing technology and upstart industry disruptors, making risk avoidance your top priority will only help you get left behind. You can’t play it safe, because there’s no such thing as safe. In today’s digital business world, IT leaders must accept and even embrace a certain amount of uncertainty and risk. Even more challenging, they must help the people who work for them embrace it as well.

“Risk is always relative,” says Scott Buchholz, CTO of Deloitte Consulting’s government practice. “Getting out of bed in the morning and taking a shower is taking a risk. But when we talk about risk in IT, what we sometimes mean is doing things that have a higher than normal chance of failure. And the reason that’s important is that technology is changing very quickly and there are fewer and fewer people who understand all the implications. Being able to handle risk becomes increasingly important.”

Read more here

Keeping your software and systems integration ahead of the curve

Integration of software and systems is an effective strategy in terms of reducing costs and increasing performance. It begins with the software designer who assembles units and components and then adds a quality assurance team that validates a consistent arrangement of the software and components.

I have found that the best integration plans contain system level standards, practices and enhancements of continuous improvement (CI) /continuous delivery (CD) and non-CI /CD system software.

The nature of technology requires companies to upgrade and enhance capabilities continually. However, some enterprises execute processes and workflows manually; and as a result, it is not cost effective. Here are some examples of technology upgrades that benefit from integration of software and systems.

1. DevOps: The success of a development team can be measured by throughput and stability. The former can be defined as the frequency of production releases, while the latter refers to the time required to heal and/or recover the application. DevOps aims at increasing coordination between development and operations teams by automating repeatable tasks and developing a continuous delivery pipeline. The results: faster time to market, increase in frequency of production deployments and shorter lead-time for addressing issues and fixes. If your organization expects to achieve these outcomes, it should be using a proven-effective product for managing the latest upgrades and operations.

Read more here

Where in the cloud is IT headed?

The cloud permeates all facets of IT — from applications to infrastructure. To find out how tech leaders are planning their cloud strategy, Insider Pro interviewed hundreds of tech decision-makers.

The new hot topic in the tech industry has been around since – and this is a conservative estimate – the early 2000s. 

It’s taken us a while to get where we are today, but these days the cloud permeates all facets of an IT environment – from applications to platforms to infrastructure. A quick look at the leading public cloud service providers – AWS, Microsoft, Google and IBM —  shows the competition is fierce among vendors and the decision-making process for technology buyers isn’t for the faint of heart.

With the roster of vendor-behemoths chasing your cloud dollars, it comes as no surprise that the stakes are high. In its Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide, IDC predicts that spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will more than double between now and 2023 with public cloud spending, growing from $229 billion in 2019 to nearly $500 billion in 2023.

IDC reports that software as a service will be the largest category of cloud computing, capturing more than half of all public cloud spending. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) will be the second largest category of public cloud spending, followed by platform as a service (PaaS). IaaS spending, comprised of servers and storage devices, will also be the fastest growing category of cloud spending

Read more here

IT Self-Service: Making IT Support Cheaper and More Efficient

While the above-mentioned research holds true, a poorly deployed IT self-service can cost you your long-standing client base. Before investing, know below what the technology offers you apart from cost savings:

Improved Cost Savings: Instead of dedicating a human resource, IT self-service technology is capturing incidents and taking service requests. There is an option for customers to solve their problems themselves too by accessing the knowledge base. For this to be possible, end users must adapt to this technology for IT to earn better revenues and ROIs. Also, the technology should not be limited to the replacement of telephone calls or emails. Backend workflow and automation should undergo continuous upgrades to leverage the technology to its entirety.

Reduced Manual Labor: With IT self-service, there would be fewer calls to service desk agents. Ticket volumes will lessen and, as a result, service desk work volume. Moreover, self-service requests are mostly not urgent so the agents can focus on that after priority tickets and service level targets.

Improvement in Issue and Report Prioritization: To serve customer’s immediate gratification, agents have drifted from working on priority to first-in-first-out mode. Self-service resolves the simple issues for the customers thereby helping the agents to prioritize urgent work.

Better Consumer Experience: End-users want consumer-level IT self-service offerings when they bring in their own devices to work. They too want to log issues, choose from service request catalogs, and skim through the knowledge base. This is possible with IT self-service technology.

Read more here

The future of IT leadership: 5 new roles CIOs must master

If you think technology leaders’ jobs have changed a lot over the past few years, just wait. Here are five new roles all CIOs must take on in the years ahead.

It’s more than an understatement to say the role of technology leaders has changed over the past few years.

The widespread adoption of cloud computing and process automation has reduced the demands for IT departments to keep the lights on. Large-scale capital expenditures on infrastructure are being replaced by increased operating expenses on services. Meanwhile, the pressure to take an active leadership role in the business’s digital transformation is greater than ever.

“If you looked at CIOs ten years ago, they spent an inordinate amount of time in the lower parts of the stack and in the data center,” says Archana Rao, CIO for Atlassian, makers of collaboration tools like Trello and Jira. “The emergence of cloud and business process automation have shifted us away from old-school operational CIOs and into business enablers.”

In a few years we’ll see the emergence of “the Bionic CIO,” predicts Jay Venkat, senior partner and managing director for Boston Consulting Group.

“They’ll transcend what’s traditionally been called information technology and teach the business how to become more digitally enabled,” he says. “They’ll need to understand not only technology but also its impact on the workforce. And if they want to become the ‘Bionic CIO,’ they’ll have to upskill themselves.”

What will the CIO job look like in five years? Technology leaders will need to be equally adept at five new roles. 

Read More here

How to better integrate IT security and IT strategy

Organizations see a future in which IT security is deeply woven into their overall IT strategy. Here’s how they plan to get there.

Information security has become such an integral part of IT that at a growing number of organizations, the two are virtually indistinguishable — from an organizational standpoint.

Many companies are attempting to more tightly integrate IT security strategy with IT strategy. That can mean blending departments, changing leadership structures, and embedding security earlier in the development pipeline, among other tactics.

About two thirds of organizations say their IT security strategy and IT strategy are tightly integrated, with IT security being a key component of IT roadmaps and projects, according to CIO’s 2019 State of the CIO survey.

But looking ahead, the two become even more indistinguishable, with 83 percent of organizations expecting to tightly integrate IT security strategy into their overall IT strategy within the next three years.

Read more here

What is NoOps? The quest for fully automated IT operations

Automation has IT leaders eyeing the possibility of environments with no hands-on operations work. But this evolution of DevOps may be more pipedream than practical reality.

Automation has become a widely used tool for streamlining IT operations, and Mindtree is one such organization removing manual processes from its infrastructure as it moves toward delivering a more fully automated environment.

The consulting and managed service provider’s strategy follows an ambitious goal prevalent in many tech organizations: To get away from the conventional work of IT operations and let machines handle it instead.

Such an environment, where there’s virtually no hands-on operations work, could deliver a faster, more frictionless development and deployment experience — meaning better turnaround times for business requests for new functions and services, says Rene Head, global vice president of infrastructure at Mindtree.

“It’s not just about IT delivery excellence; it’s a win for the business as well,” Head says.

That’s the promise of NoOps, an emerging IT trend that is pushing some organizations beyond the automation provided by DevOps to an infrastructure environment that requires no operations work.

What is NoOps?

NoOps is the idea that the software environment can be so completely automated that there’s no need for an operations team to manage it. NoOps, for “no operations,” is a concept that pushes forward a trend that has been on the march for a decade or more.

To be clear, NoOps is not the same as outsourcing your IT operations. It’s not about moving to SaaS or the cloud and expecting those vendors to run operations — although both managed service providers, such as Mindtree, and cloud companies are indeed on the NoOps journey themselves to gain more speed and agility in their own infrastructure.

Read more here

The future of IT leadership: 5 new roles CIOs must master

If you think technology leaders’ jobs have changed a lot over the past few years, just wait. Here are five new roles all CIOs must take on in the years ahead.

It’s more than an understatement to say the role of technology leaders has changed over the past few years.

The widespread adoption of cloud computing and process automation has reduced the demands for IT departments to keep the lights on. Large-scale capital expenditures on infrastructure are being replaced by increased operating expenses on services. Meanwhile, the pressure to take an active leadership role in the business’s digital transformation is greater than ever.

“If you looked at CIOs ten years ago, they spent an inordinate amount of time in the lower parts of the stack and in the data center,” says Archana Rao, CIO for Atlassian, makers of collaboration tools like Trello and Jira. “The emergence of cloud and business process automation have shifted us away from old-school operational CIOs and into business enablers.”

Read more here

6 soft skills IT needs to succeed in the digital era

When it comes to transformation, tech expertise goes only so far. IT leaders must look for and develop traits not traditionally required for technologists in order to succeed in the years ahead.

As their companies seize on automation, AI and other leading-edge technologies to remake themselves into digital organizations, they’re finding they don’t have the skills they need.

Consider some numbers released by Gartner this fall: The IT research firm found that 70 percent of employees have not mastered the skills they need for their existing jobs while 80 percent lack the skills they need now and for future career success.

Read more here

7 IT salary and hiring trends for 2019

The IT industry continues to face a talent shortage, but businesses are getting creative to fill the necessary skills gaps for successful digital transformation.

When it comes to IT, change is a constant. Thanks to a wide range of maturing technologies and the threat of digital disruption, the pace of change in IT has accelerated — even in just the past year. But one facet of IT remains the same: that IT organizations continue to struggle to find enough talent to meet demand.

That talent gap puts pressure on IT hiring practices and on organizations’ ability to offer competitive salaries in a tight talent market. But emerging trends from the Robert Half 2019 Salary Guide suggest that organizations are adapting and finding ways to fill skills gaps, even if they can’t lure the top tech talent available.

Robert Half surveyed 2,600 IT hiring decision makers in North America to find trends in IT hiring and to uncover what businesses value when finding new candidates to hire. Whether you’re looking for new talent or embarking on new IT initiatives, here are seven trends impacting IT salaries and hiring this year.

Read more HERE