Technology advances rapidly causing users and managers at all levels and even competitors pressure IT staff to implement this new technology just because it is a new shiny object. The real challenge is deciding if the organization has the capability to adopt such new technologies i.e. appropriate funding levels, process and procedures for managers, and buy-in from the executives. The additional challenges also consist of which of these new technologies align with the increased capacity of the organization and its strategic vision.
Organizational mission statements and long-term objectives often remain relatively static. In contrast, technology has become much more dynamic and changes more rapidly. IT managers must evaluate the the value to the organization of each shiny object (new technology) to ensure it is a good fit for the results desired by the organization.
New technologies such as Cloud, Big Data, Virtualization, and mobility all become tools for experienced IT managers who understand their organizations missions, long-term objectives, and current priorities. Since every organization is different, the IT value of each new technology will vary with the organization's strategic goals.
Response - Lets start asking some quality questions:
To make the most of any new technology, an IT manager needs a solid understanding of the organization and the challenges its users and markets face. Prior to jumping into a new trend in technology, IT managers must ask one question: "How does this help us address our current challenges or meet our strategic goals?"
Many organizations have yet to make cloud plans. They choose to keep their data and applications in-house and manage everything themselves.
With the advances of Cloud offerings and to future-proof the network, preparing the organization for a potential future cloud move is simple common sense. For example, what happens when cloud offerings get to the point that organizational management decides to set up an internal cloud solution. Maybe that is a step toward moving applications and data off-site.
The main point: You must create portable applications today that will optimize the organization and not sink it with silly cost and unused IT components sitting around as ornaments for Christmas.
Answer - Systems Analyst to the Rescue:
This comes down to software and hardware architecture. New applications must be built using an open architecture that lets them run on any platfor or with any database. Doing so means the organization's applications will run on the in-house servers, an in-house cloud, or in an external cloud. The extra benefit is that any move to a cloud-based solution can be completed without new applications.
Big Data Analytics
Data is projected to grow by 800% in the next five years. The big challenge is that more than 80% of it unstructured. Unstructured data varies in its formats, including plain text, email, blog, formatted, unformatted, standard and non-standard image, video, voice, animation, sensor input, web search logs and more. Unstructured data is growing faster than structured data. As a relatively new and untapped source of organizational insight, unstructured data analytics has the potential to reveal more important interrelationships that were previously very difficult or impossible to determine.
Part of that unstructured data includes data from communities, groups, and social networks outside the organization known as "the collective". Data mining the collective is a great way to understand the organization's market and customers.
Answer - All Source analyst using Big Data Analytics:
To provide the best value to the organization, big data analytics requires new approaches to capturing, storing, and analyzing data. The massive amount and growth of unstructured data rapidly outpaces traditional solutions and calls for new volume handling. Big data is collected from new sources. Traditional data management processes fall short in coping with the variable nature of big data. New analytics offer methods to process the variety. Data is generated in real time and the demands call for usable information to be ready as needed. Solutions like 100 GB Ethernet, parallel- processing, and SSDs (Solid State Drives) offer good response times.
Virtualization continues to expand from desktops to servers to switches, routers and firewalls. Virtualization will provide a much higher level of control of these devices rather than saving money. In fact, the organization's infrastructure will require larger servers, more VM licenses, and emulation software in addition to the continuing cost of desktop licenses.
A virtualized data center requires many of the same management tasks that also must be performed in the physical server environment. These tasks need to be extended into the virtualized environment as well as also integrated with the existing workflow and management processes.
One example is that IT organizations must be able to automatically discover both the physical and the virtual environment and have an integrated view of both environments available for monitoring and managing. That view of the combined virtual and physical server resources needs to stay current as VMs move from one host to another. The view must also be able to indicate which resources are involved in the case of fault or performance issues.
To address this issue:
In January 2013, the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) set its Virtualization Management (VMAN) standard. That includes a set of specifications to address the management lifecycle of a virtual environment. VMAN's Open Virtualization Format (OVF) specification provides a standard for describing virtual machines and applications for deployment across various virtualization platforms. VMAN's profiles now standardize many aspects of the operational management of a mixed vendor virtualized environment.
BYOD and BYOA
For years, IT has controlled user's devices. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, that has changed. Users now bring in their own devices even without IT's knowledge. They use them for both personal and work-related tasks. IT's initial plan was to attempt to maintain control. The facts are clear: Controlling user-owned devices in an organization's network is nearly impossible.
When a user brings their own device, they will also bring their own applications that they have grown used to using. That is a plus for productivity and a challenge for IT security. IT managers and CIOs will need to decide what to secure: the network infrastructure or the organization's data.
Controlling users' mobile devices, is a losing battle. IT staff, even with automation, can't possibly monitor every device that links to the network. The solution moves to controlling data access. First, secure the data on servers. Then provide users access to that data in the form of mobile web apps. This lets them access the data on any server they are authorized to access, but doesn't store any data on the mobile device.
IT continues to have a poor image inside many parts of organizations. Whether it be slow response times, dictatorial actions, or software challenges, many IT departments are facing users' preference of going to intra-department super users for help. Add the easily available cloud software and services, organizations see users and groups head toward bypassing the IT department altogether. They find and purchase third party SaaS (Software as a Service) packages to meet their needs.
Other departments like Sales, Marketing, Accounting, etc. are considering independent arrangements with outside IT service providers.
To address this issue:
When end users and managers are less satisfied with the service and support they receive from IT, they begin to look for other options. They solution is less about controlling an emerging Shadow IT. It's really about training the IT department better communicate with and support the needs of the organization.