Cloud

Update on the thin IT model

Moving the core IT team from doing too managing has certainly been a stretch for some in the IT world. The expectation that day to day responsibilities could be handed over to 3rd parties scares some – the data loss risk, the loss of corporate knowledge, the loss of hands on skill.  So what became of the move, did it succeed?

It sure did.

Cloud provisioning has largely taken the physical from the IT world, moving it into services purchased, delivered and managed in the cloud.  Local data centres are now communications cupboards.

Offices have also changed, not just because of Covid, but cloud provisioned services are not bound to a location.  Freedom not only to work from home, but from any location on any device at any time.

The fears of data loss rationalised as lower risk than personal data loss from Facebook, online shopping and the risks accepted readily with all personal things online.  After all, should work be more important that the volume of data on your personal life, your friends and your family?

The thin, everything as a service model has provided an opportunity for those that have adopted it.  Freedom from physical constraints, bespoke skills and bespoke applications.  The ability to adapt 24×7, to adjust size, scale and budget, and to provide clear cost IT provision.

Is Microsoft Teams the future of collaboration?

It seems that just about any question around collaboration pointed at Microsoft mentions or references Teams.  The unified comms platform, the replacement for SharePoint, video and audio meetings, file storage, chat and apps.  All revolving around Office 365 with eventual integration into Office online and the world of web according to Microsoft.

It has to be better than Skype for Business, it has to be better than boring SharePoint sites, and it has to be better than the unification between products that is so hampering Microsoft at the moment.  Now if Microsoft could make this free to all, it would be so compelling for large and small alike.

My bet – this will be a central and pivotal USP for Microsoft in the post email world and something all organisations should look to adopt asap.

How far are UK businesses along the digital transformation journey?

Once it is recognised that each type of business has a different motivator for their digital journey, one can step back and see the relative organisation effort that has been attributed to the change.

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Outcome based procurement

Across all industries, organisations are under an increasing amount of pressure to achieve and deliver more value within a constrained budget. This has resulted in organisations turning towards an Outcome Based Procurement model for a solution.

WHAT IS OUTCOME BASED PROCUREMENT?

Outcome Based Procurement is significantly different from other more traditional procurement models. The contracts derived from this model focus more on the ‘What’ than on the traditional ‘How’, this means that organisations can focus on defining to a service provider what they want instead of trying to provide that themselves and thinking of the how to provide it.

This procurement model works by the organisation providing outcomes that they want met. This removes the need for the organisation itself to come up with a solution, instead the organisation transfers this responsibility to a service provider. Continue reading

Interim IT strategies: IT-as-a-project

The phrase ‘IT-as-a-project’ doesn’t naturally come to mind when you think of how to go about managing IT.  It has been born out of the experience of project managers as they have progressed through organisations.  It has become an almost religious experience for those caught in its grip.  The ethos revolves around the need for all change to be a project.  Projects become the IT organisation, its life, actions and structure.

IT-as-a-project

IT-as-a-project has benefits:  a known cost, a direction of travel (though simple) and an approach generally agreed with finance and the business.  It also allows costs to be understood and fixed annually.

This can be useful:  during transitions of senior staff, or as temporary constructs when moving IT to 3rd parties.  Long term though, it has some serious constraints:

  • Each project, as a temporary construct, is inherently selfish.  Using Agile badly increases this selfishness.  Selfish behaviour within a business is rarely sustainable.
  • Your organisational maturity may not allow or expect over-running projects and project costs.  Projects, especially poorly run Agile projects, are running risk around cost vs scope.  It’s common for projects to just stop when the funding finishes.
  • The medium and long term cost of IT becomes uncertain.  Projects seem to take over the IT day job and the function of IT seems to get lost.
  • A form of Ponzi scheme is often formed.  New projects feed the legacy and failings of older projects and the interoperability, security and governance problems selfishness causes.
  • Significant loss of competitive edge.  As a selfish construct, IT-as-a-project is not looking at the bigger picture, not looking at doing the right thing overall, just what is right for each project individually.

So, should you take IT-as-a-project as your IT strategy?  It comes down to two simple thoughts:

  • Are you looking for a simple strategy that only needs to be effective short-term ?
  • Are you prepared to accept the cost and risk of the medium/long-term impact?

 

Read about the everything-as-a-service model here.