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Tag Archives: IT service broker

Solving the Shadow IT Problem: 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Now

Harris_SeanBy Sean Harris

Most IT organizations I speak to today admit they are concerned about the ever-increasing growth in the consumption of shadow IT services within the business; the ones that are not concerned I suspect are in denial. A common question is, “How do I compete with these services?” The answer I prefer is: “Build your own!”

What Would It Mean for My IT Organization to Truly Replace Shadow IT?

Totally displacing Shadow IT requires building an organization, infrastructure and services portfolio that fulfills the needs of the business as well as—or better than—external organizations can, at a similar or lower cost. In short, build your own in-house private cloud and IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) organization to run alongside your traditional IT organization and infrastructure.

Surely your own in-house IT organization should be able to provide services that are a better fit for your own business than an external vendor.

IT service providers often provide a one-size-fits-all service for a variety of businesses in different verticals: commercial, non-commercial and consumer. And in many cases, your business has to make compromises on security and governance that may not be in its best interests. By definition, in-house solutions will comply with security and governance regulations. Additionally, the business will have visibility into the solution, so the benefits are clear.

How Do I Build My Own Services to Compete With Shadow IT?

Answering the technical part of this question is easy. There are plenty of vendors out there offering their own technical solutions to help you build a private cloud. The challenge is creating the organizational structure, developing in-house skills, and implementing the processes required to run a true ITaaS organization. Most traditional IT organizations lack key skills and organizational components to do this, and IT organizations are not typically structured for this. For example:

  • To capture current and future common service requirements and convert these into service definitions, product management-type skills and organizational infrastructure are needed.
  • To promote the adoption of these services by the business, product marketing and sales-type functions are required.

These are not typically present in traditional IT organizations. Building this alongside an existing IT organization has three main benefits:

  • It is less disruptive to the traditional organization.
  • It removes the pain of trying to drive long-term incremental change.
  • It will deliver measurable results to the business quicker.

What If External IT Services Really Are Better?

It may be discovered after analyzing the true needs of the business that an external provider really can deliver a service that is a better fit for the business needs – and maybe even at a lower cost than the internal IT organization can offer. In this case, a “service broker” function within the IT organization can integrate this service into the ITaaS suite offered by IT to the business far more seamlessly than a traditional IT organization can. The decision should be based on business facts rather than assumptions or feelings.

How Do We Get Started?

As part of VMware’s Advisory Services and Operation Transformation Services team, I work with customers every day to map out the “Why, What and How” of building your own ITaaS organization to compete with Shadow IT services:

  • Why
    • Measurable business benefits of change
    • Business case for change
  • What
    • Technology change
    • Organizational change
    • People, skills and process change
  • How
    • Building a strategy and roadmap for the future
    • Implementing the organization, skills, people and process
    • Measuring success

In the end, customers will always choose the services that best meet their needs and cause them the least amount of pain, be it financial or operational. Working to become your business’ preferred service provider will likely take time and resources, but in the long run, it can mean the difference between a role as a strategic partner to the business or the eventual extinction of the IT department as an antiquated cost center.


Sean Harris is a Business Solutions Strategist in EMEA based out of the United Kingdom.

IT Is the New Black

Leading enterprises are tapping into IT to drive innovation, bring them closer to customers, and distance themselves from the competition. Michael Hubbard, VP Enterprise Services, VMware North America, recently shared his insight on IT’s reinvention as a business innovator with CIOs and senior executives at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013 in Orlando.

How can IT gain greater relevance, shift long-standing economic models, and focus on the investments and organizational changes that drive greater strategic impact and business results? Watch this video of his session to learn more—and you can also download Michael’s presentation here.

Connect with Michael Hubbard on LinkedIn.

Full Steam Ahead to IT as a Service – Are You on Board?

A recent VMware customer survey found that 74 percent of companies have surpassed the first stage of the three-stage journey to IT as a service. Those that have reached the final stage enjoy increased funding for innovation. This infographic reveals other key findings from the study.

Happy 10th, VMworld!

Author: Ed Hoppitt

I’m heading into my seventh year presenting at VMworld, and it’s hard to believe that this is the event’s 10-year anniversary. I’ve been with VMware for a year now, with over 14 years in the IT service industry, and VMworld gets more exciting every year. This year VMware will show attendees how to extend the benefits of virtualization to all data center services—and I can tell you that those that I’m working with love the idea of moving away from their legacy data center architectures towards the software-defined data center.

If you’ve already registered to come and find out how to accelerate the agility, reliability, and savings that you can get from evolving to the software-defined data center then welcome on board. If you haven’t already registered, there’s still time. Along with me, there are several other Accelerate consultants who’ll be presenting. Below are abstracts with links to their sessions and panels so you can easily add them to your VMworld Schedule Builder, which is now available to help you plan your time effectively.

You will also find us in the VMworld demo grounds, where we’ll have an Accelerate booth staffed with consultants who will demonstrate how data center virtualization examines much more than just the traditional view of server virtualization.

Can’t wait to catch up with you in San Francisco—make sure you come say hi !

Ed

Ed Hoppitt is an Accelerate business solutions architect based in the U.K.

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Ed Hoppitt, VMware Accelerate Business Solutions Architect with Phil Richards, CTO Global Markets , BT Plc
OPT4689 – Operations Transformation – Expanding the Value of Cloud Computing
 — Cloud computing is a forcing function for change. It is helping IT organizations move away from focusing on siloed technology challenges, towards driving business transformation through IT agility. But that change is also transforming the way IT approaches Service Operations Management.  In this session, consulting professionals from VMware and BT Global Services will share real world transformation stories about a range of customer engagements, as well as BT’s own vCloud deployment on multiple vBlocks. Learn key insights and lessons learned to optimize cloud era operations. Also avoid common mistakes and stumbling blocks. And, understand how to determine if you’re at risk for an “All the gear, no idea” cloud strategy.

Eric Ledyard, VMware Accelerate Chief Technologist
VSVC4509 – SDDC is Here and Now: A Success Story 
 — We partnered with one of the largest financial companies in the world to design an actionable plan around SDDC and study whether or not it was feasible in 2013, what the impact would be to the existing organization, and what the value would be of moving forward with an infrastructure built on a SDDC architecture. Coming out of this, we have an incredible success story for them and have proven the feasibility and tremendous value that SDDC brings to one of the toughest companies in the world.

Rich Pleasants, VMware Accelerate Architect with Rich Bourdeau, VMware Group Marketing Manager
OPT5474 – The Transformative Power and Business Case for Cloud Automation
 — While the cost savings of virtualization are substantial and undeniable, the savings and service delivery improvements of deploying on-demand self service and scalability in a private or hybrid cloud environment are also compelling.  But all three require automation to deliver full opex and agility value potential.  But what do we mean by automation? Scripting, workflow, and orchestration are all types of automation.  Some are a better fit than other for specific use cases.  And each have different short term and long term costs and benefits. If you’re like most companies, you may struggle to develop a cogent automation strategy that quantifies costs and benefits with your cloud deployment project.   Attend this session to understand the terminology and the key success factors behind the concepts.   Well explore different types of automation and look at specific use cases that are a great fit for each. And we will also offer proven approaches for articulating the value of IT automation in terms of operational efficiency and resource utilization savings, improved service quality, and increased agility and responsive to business needs.

Rich Pleasants and Heman Smith, VMware Accelerate Architects with Paul Chapman, VMware VP of Information Technology; Kevin Lees, VMware Principal Architect; and Jeffrey Ton, SVP Corporate Connectivity & CIO, Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana
OPT5315 – Transform IT Into a Service Broker – Key Success Factors
— The IT service broker concept is compelling. IT takes a portfolio view of workloads and capabilities, and brokers the right “fit for purpose” solution for each service. IT may move applications to SaaS, build and deliver services on-premise, or subcontract depending on circumstance. But it takes more than a “cloud” or fielding a new team, or re-organizing the department to change long standing service delivery and service consumption behaviors. This panel is packed with those who have “been there done that” and understand the challenges, tricks, and benefits of the service broker model. We’ll draw on the real world experience of the panelists and the audience to help you identify and apply the secrets of successful transformation.

Craig Stanley, VMware Accelerate Analytics Consultant
PHC7117 – Using The Cloud Compass to Evaluate Technology Risk in Cloud Decisions
 — Public and hybrid clouds offer enterprises significant opportunities in terms of cost efficiency, better reliability and improved business agility. Cloud solution deployments vary based on the workloads, cost to deploy and run, and impact to the business. While the implementation and operating costs of cloud migration are important, the business impact may be even more important to understand from the perspective of risk, return and other factors that could complicate your cloud implementation. See a live demonstration of the The Cloud Compass — an automated process for evaluating these difficult-to-quantify risk and return factors. It illustrates how risk impacts the public/hybrid cloud TCO, generates a return on risk and enables the enterprise to make decisions based on intangible but real observations.

Padmaja Vrudhula, VMware Accelerate Strategist with Thirumalesh Reddy, VMware Sr. Director of Emerging Solutions & Innovation
VSVC4948 – Moving Enterprise Application Dev/Test to VMware’s internal Private Cloud – Architecture, Implementation and Integration
— The VMware IT team responsible for managing enterprise applications is moving all dev/test environments to our private cloud IaaS. We have achieved impressive cycle time and cost reduction. This technical session is presented by VMware Director of IT responsible for automating deployment and testing of complex multi-application dev/test environments in a vCloud environment. To improve agility, SDLC throughput, and reduce costs, we have automated deployment of more than a dozen standard dev/test instances including provisioning and testing combinations of dozens of different application and middleware components. In this session, we will highlight an automation platform we developed to deploy complex application stacks into a vCloud environment. We will share architecture and implementation lessons learn and real bottom line benefits that result our internal use of a range of VMware products including vCloud virtualized infrastructure, building blueprints using App Director, self-service catalog and policy management using vCAC, policy-based tiered infrastructure resource management, provisioning with integrated monitoring and analytics, and provisioning and de-provisioning based on a leased resource model. Attend this session to hear lessons learned and gain insights from an expert with both product and architecture expertise.

Business Units to IT: Change speed and course, FAST!

Author: Alex Salicrup

I loved my military career and still tend to use this nautical analogy with many of my IT customers. At sea, small frigates are designed to be agile, maneuverable, and nimble. They can effectively change course, increase speed, or stop very quickly. The aircraft carrier, however, carries great momentum and displaces such a massive amount of water tonnage that it requires five miles to stop. Because of that substantial weight, changes in speed and course take time and a lot of effort from both crew and machinery to execute. So, when frigates and carriers navigate as part of a group, the carrier actually holds the frigates back.

Today, IT organizations can be compared to the carrier, and the new breed of business units and users that IT serves are the nimble frigates. Business units are relying more and more on their IT organization to get things done and have a perception that if IT is not fast enough, they’ll seek a public service provider to get what they need, when they need it. In their view, they have options and no longer have to wait on IT.

In the last year alone, the Accelerate team has received many an SOS from executives of Fortune 100 corporations who need help transitioning their IT organization to act like a competitive service provider.  When I do meet with the CIOs and executives of these organizations, I find that they do not have technology impediments to act as a service provider, rather that they lack the culture, processes, and structure to do so.

IT has tried to fend off the influx of external services from vendors such as Dropbox for storage, and infrastructure and application offerings from AWS or Google, but also acknowledges those services are widely available, easy to access, and require little to no customization. Facing sluggish sales to IT groups during The Great Recession, IT service providers got smart and shifted their attention to cater to the emotions of the new breed of users who want and need connectivity right now.  These users now lead marketing, engineering, and sales departments across the nation and have expense accounts. They are using IT services from third-party providers of IaaS, SaaS, and other services that appear to be more cost-effective, readily available, and perceptively easy to provision compared to what IT can provide.

We can’t deny it—internal business customers are getting impatient with the way services are provisioned to them. Today’s business user is significantly more technology savvy than ever before. They know enough or even more about services available to them than their internal IT gurus—or at least they think they do. And, they’re getting better at justifying these services every day, armed with a credit card and the URL for your least-liked IaaS or SaaS provider.

This rattles the CIOs I meet regularly with for so many reasons. In the most extreme cases, IT can’t control what workloads their users are sending out to the public cloud or how they access it—which could violate every governance security policy and best practice IT has spent years developing.

So who are we really dealing with? This new talent is forging the future of corporations worldwide—a new breed of decision-making business users who grew up with ubiquitous access to a computer. Most had access to the Internet for much their life, if not all their adult life. They had a high-tech environment at school and could access content and applications anytime, anyplace.

In my first year in the Navy, the most radical technological advancement in modern nautical warfare was the NAVSTAR Global Positioning Systems satellite network. Today—20 years later—a typical business user has about 10 times more power in their smartphone than we had during the Gulf War, and it has a more accurate GPS chip, too! Technology moves fast but IT often doesn’t. Sometimes IT simply can’t keep up with the value offered by the technology they keep.

The business world is driven by technology. We use applications for most tasks, and we access most of our personal services via several devices and with consistent experiences on each device. Most users are expecting the same from their business services, and business units want to give it to them. The response from IT organizations in many cases is similar to a 12-step program—refusal, fear, denial, fear, aggression, fear—and so on.

IT organizations are recognizing that they must act like a service provider in order to satisfy today’s business needs. Although their efforts seem to be focused and well motivated, many find it very challenging to transform their business model. The cultural mindset of a service provider drives methods to address risk mitigation that are very different from those IT organizations subscribe to. Simply put, service providers want their customers to allow them, as the provider, to assume much of the risk—for a fee, that is! It’s a value proposition that they can and do charge for.

IT organizations spend a lot of time and effort fending off risks in a variety of ways, and many incur significant internal costs to implement or manage risk mitigation practices. Third-party service providers may not be able to justify the same level of risk mitigation that enterprise IT organizations deploy—it would add cost to the solutions they offer and interfere with price points. Nevertheless, the service provider is able to provide a lucrative solution and still publish a lucrative price point to its customers.

Stay tuned for part two in this series—I’ll share my tips on how to move from a vintage IT organization to one that’s service-driven.

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Alex Salicrup is a business solutions architect for VMware Accelerate Advisory Services.

VMware AccelerateTM Advisory Services can help you and your key stakeholders understand the IT as a service value proposition—our consultants quantify the potential benefits, develop architectural designs, recommend organizational and process changes, create a migration plan and advise during implementation. Visit our Web site to learn more about our offerings, or reach out to us today at: accelerate@vmware.com for more information.

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