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Posts By : Sameer Padhye

Succeeding at IT/LOB Collaboration

Succeeding at IT/LOB Collaboration

By Sameer Padhye

The digital transformation of core business processes is helping organizations of all sizes become more agile, customer-centric, and efficient. It also underpins the importance of IT’s investment in digital technologies, which is exploding. However, these investments must support the organization’s business strategy, emphasizing the need for IT and LOB managers to be on the same page when it comes to digital priorities.

These investments underscore the commitment IT leaders have made to designing innovative new business models and customer experiences. In the State of the CIO 2018 study conducted by IDG World1, 88% of IT leaders confirmed that their emphasis has become more digital and innovation-focused, and 37% said their IT departments can play a critical role in this area.

Unleash IT’s Potential Value to the Business

LOB managers may not know that their IT department is already moving past “business as usual”. The CIO study reveals that IT departments are investing in various technology areas, including enterprise applications (35%), data and business analytics (33%), cloud computing (28%), and security/risk management (28%).

Given the impact of digital business processes on corporate success, it’s vitally important for IT and LOB managers to collaborate on IT project planning and budgets. This collaboration is easier to facilitate in areas where IT and business priorities align, and where there is shared oversight. In the CIO survey, most respondents already recognize this and reported on specific business initiatives driving IT investments at their firms. These initiatives include increasing operational efficiencies; improving customer experiences; increasing cybersecurity protection; and transforming existing business processes.

Start with the Foundation – Collaboration

LOB can help set IT priorities and get budget dollars to fund specific technologies. In turn, IT can help LOB managers by spearheading prioritized projects, recommending appropriate technology solutions, and adopting agile development/delivery practices. Of course, these priorities must be backed up by adequate resources, including budgets and the latest tools to improve IT productivity and accuracy. IT managers can also help their LOB peers build a business case for investing in new technology initiatives.

A recent survey conducted by McKinsey and Company2 shows many executives expect IT to become a more valuable contributor to business results. And 80% of those surveyed backed up the findings in the CIO study, reiterating the need for business and technology leaders to actively collaborate on digital strategy. Yet just over half of them are doing so now. What’s the hold up? In some cases, there’s a disconnect between IT and LOB leaders. Better communication and joint ownership can help them resolve differences on what and where IT should focus to meet ongoing business needs.

The Importance of Partnering with IT

LOB managers should actively partner with IT so that business priorities are met with appropriate IT budgets and resources. Recommendations include:

  • Giving CIO’s a “seat at the C-level table” to better understand the needs of their organization, such as revenue growth, risk reduction and improved agility.
  • Agreeing on business priorities and hiring enough talent, which will help IT improve their effectiveness within the organization.
  • Empowering IT leaders to shift their time and resources to areas the business values most, such as e-commerce, analytics and cybersecurity.

Improve IT Effectiveness, Increase Its Value to the Business

A frequent criticism of IT Departments is their inability to meet business demands and resolve technical issues, but it’s understandable why. The scale at which IT needs to monitor data and identify problems cannot be effectively managed by humans. With today’s complex, dynamic and distributed technology stack, diagnosing and resolving system and performance issues can become a sinkhole, draining manpower away from more productive and impactful initiatives.

The answer is Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps), a one-stop solution which can streamline a variety of IT operations processes and tasks. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning applications, AIOps can help businesses with proactive system planning and identify business-impacting issues before they occur. By helping them better manage the “nuts and bolts” of IT operations, and avoid system outages, AIOps can dramatically free up IT departments to work on more high-value digital transformation projects.

Ready to learn how AIOps solution can help modernize your IT department? Download the FixStream white paper here.

Sameer Padhye is founder and CEO of FixStream.


1CIO’s Shift Digital Transformation into High Gear, State of the CIO 2018, @IDGWORLD
2IT’s Future Value Proposition, McKinsey and Company, July 2017

Uncovering and Improving Control of IT Assets

Uncovering and Improving Control of IT Assets

By Sameer Padhye

The demise of the CIO has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, at one point, CIO stood for Career Is Over. Most people in the job can tell you that their focus and responsibilities has significantly evolved in the past several years in response to new business challenges and disruptive technologies. As technology has become embedded in most parts of the business, the position of the CIO has expanded. In fact, a 2018 Forbes Insight paper (The Challenges for Tomorrow’s CIO) reveals that…

“over four out of five CIOs believe their role has increased in importance over the last five years”.

CIO’s are more essential than ever.

While they are driving IT strategy across the enterprise, CIO’s are still responsible for day-to-day operations and budgets of the IT department. Maintaining a balance between these competing priorities can be a challenge.

Keeping a Lid on IT Assets and Investments

In response to the digitization of business processes, organizations are investing millions of dollars in IT infrastructure and tools, often without a clear view what they already own. This lack of visibility increases system vulnerabilities and security risks, as well as squander IT budgets and personnel.

Keeping tight controls on IT assets and infrastructure is one way that innovative CIO’s can safeguard and manage their complex disparate system environment.  To start, they need full disclosure and listing of their IT assets, including hardware, network, software, and IoT devices. But today’s distributed and hybrid IT infrastructure has become too complex and opaque to manage manually.

Auto discovery of data from all the disparate sources and devices across the IT environment helps IT leaders build and maintain a reliable, up-to-date inventory of resources. This knowledge will enable better budgeting, troubleshooting, capacity planning, maintenance and effective management of all system assets.

Detecting and Taming Technology Sprawl

When IT does not have full visibility into their environment, it exposes the business to risks and additional expenses. The problem is made worse by:

  • LOB Funding IT Purchase Decisions– In many businesses, funding for technology solutions has spread throughout the business. In the Forbes Insights survey mentioned above, 54% of CIOs noted that their company’s business units are more involved in selecting their own technology, and 74 percent say it’s more important to align with business stakeholders on IT acquisitions.
  • Shadow IT acquisitions– If IT isn’t providing a solution that employees want, chances are they will go off and obtain it anyway, without IT being involved in the decision. These “shadow IT” tools can create ongoing security, compliance and workflow vulnerabilities, along with driving up IT costs and workloads. Once those solutions become outdated or unsupported, they require expensive maintenance and don’t adapt to new business needs. And, while IT may not own all the IT purchase decisions, they are still responsible for making sure nothing goes wrong.
  • Redundant Solutions Drive Up Expenses– Point and/or redundant solutions are not just expensive to purchase, but to maintain and support. This diverts IT staff from value-creating activity; redundant technology can also waste money on software licenses that don’t deliver the right functionality to the business.
  • Overly complex IT environments are messy and vulnerable to problems– When business acquire new divisions, set up transactions with partners/vendors, or bring in new enterprise applications, some legacy solutions may be duplicated and no longer needed. They also drive the need for system interfaces and the number of platforms that must be supported. The more interfaces you have, the more fragile your system, and the harder that system is to maintain.

Key to Success: Gaining Insight into the full IT system architecture

The proliferation of IT systems and tools across the enterprise has created a more complex integration environment. But there are new tools available to help uncover system assets and simplify IT management. Auto discovery solutions can identify all the physical and virtual infrastructure components in a hybrid IT environment by automatically collecting data across the IT domain.

With auto discovery, you can develop a complete picture of the network, the IP devices on the network, the applications and services, along with their relationships and interdependencies. The result is an application map that illustrates the relationships among all IT entities, which will help with system diagnostics, migration planning, and root cause analysis down the line.

Updated insight into your organization’s application and IT infrastructure resources can lead to a better understanding of the interdependencies between system components. This Use Case illustrates how FixStream’s Auto Discovery solution helped a global semiconductor company increase visibility and develop dynamic topology maps of all their datacenters worldwide.

Sameer Padhye is founder and CEO of FixStream.

I worked at Cisco for 20 years, calling on some of the largest Service Provider and Enterprise organizations in the world…

I worked at Cisco for 20 years, calling on some of the largest Service Provider and Enterprise organizations in the world, delivering complex IT and telecom solutions to thousands of customers. One of the biggest challenges they faced was understanding the relationship between applications and infrastructure. In the past few years, this is even more difficult as application environments are shared, distributed, multi-tiered, virtualized, containerized and now run in a hybrid cloud.

IT organizations spend millions for full end-to-end visibility but most find solutions lacking because each vendor defines its own “end-to-end”. One tool might show only the entire network, another tool might produce only service performance metrics, other tools might show servers, database, and application services but not the network or the end-user transactions processed by the applications. Some are domain-specific and others are vendor-specific. As a result, determining the root cause of an application performance problem can take hours, sometimes days; migration and changes may affect unexpected applications because of some unknown dependency, and compliance reporting is a nightmare.

Seeing customers face these challenges, and wanting to help them, I started FixStream.

With our Meridian product, data is ingested by Data Collector Modules (DCM) and a Normalization Correlation Engine (NCE), resulting in an Algorithmic IT Operations (AIOps)
Platform that correlates, analyzes and visualizes multi-domain, multi-vendor hybrid IT environments.

With Meridian, you have visibility you can’t get anywhere else. From a converged view of the health of your entire application environment, to business transactions, applications, and infrastructure entities, we’ve helped customers reduce MTTR from hours/days to minutes, as well as de-risk migration and automate compliance.

Sounds too good to be true? We get that comment a lot–but you can find out for yourself–visit our site, read this EMA interview with a customer, or request a demo.

And stay tuned–over the next few weeks we will dive deeper into our patented Flow2PathTM Analytics, our ITOA ecosystem connectors and much more.

Sameer Padhye
FixStream
CEO & Founder

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