Luddytime, CreatorCon & Yoda: Knowledge 16 – Day 3

CreatorCon Keynote: Enable The Service Revolution

Normally by the third day of a conference, people are wandering round looking tired, lost and a bit hungover. Not so at Knowledge 16 when we rocked up to a packed auditorium for the day 3 keynote.

First up was Pat Casey, SVP & GM ServiceNow Platform Business Unit, with his top 4 customer challenges:

  • Siloed environment
  • Users hate it
  • Development takes forever
  • Accountability

followed quickly by how ServiceNow can help turn things around:

  • Single system
  • Delightful customer experience
  • Develop fast
  • IT can control

Pat shared the stage with representatives from the University of Melbourne and Desjardins of Canada who shared details of their ServiceNow projects; with Desjardins reporting an impressive 30% increase in productivity since implementation.

Pat talked about the effort and care that goes into each ServiceNow release “we want to make sure that when customers use their ServiceNow platform they love it”.

With that, it was time for Fred Luddy, CPO of ServiceNow to join the stage. He opened by sharing his main aim for the ServiceNow platform:

Fred used his session to demonstrate how easy it is to configure the platform, showcasing inbuilt games and widgets.

Fred ran an interactive session, encouraging the audience to get involved, using ServiceNow to give live updates on session tweets.

Fred’s final note? “This is the most powerful dev environment I’ve ever worked on”

Fred handed over to Pat who talked about the ever changing IT landscape:

Pat was then joined onstage by Pascal Gibert, GM & VP Platform Business Unit at ServiceNow and Allan Leinwand CTO at ServiceNow. The first order of business was to share the exciting news that with the Helsinki release, ServiceNow is aligned with the ECMA5 script standard. Why is this important? ECMA has “strict mode” for more thorough error checking and 5.1 is aligned to ISO/IEC 16262:2011.

Pascal and Allan went on to talk about using delegated development for control saying “pre Helsinki if someone wanted to develop on the platform we had to give them admin rights. That’s a lot of rope. Post Helsinki we can assigned roles in a defined environment”.

They demonstrated adding and removing roles by the use of check boxes, and the new 4 step delegated development model:

  • Create App
  • Assign developer
  • Set permissions
  • Build the App

As Allan put it “there is no try, just do”.

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The session finished by showcasing the new scoped administration function to enable customers to innovate safely

ServiceNow Fun Facts

I thought I’d round off the day with some fun facts about ServiceNow. Here’s what I found out over the course of #KNOW16:

  • ServiceNow was started by Fred Luddy, the ex-CTO of Peregrine Systems, in 2004 with the intention of making a better IT service management (ITSM) tool: “The IT industry deserves a tool that just works. We’re going to give it to them”
  • ServiceNow customers include Boots, eBay, ING Group, Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, GE, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and NASA. That’s right people ServiceNow look after everyone from the makers of Coke to astronauts – how amazing is that?
  • In 2012, ServiceNow became a publicly traded company becoming the first technology company taken public by Morgan Stanley since Facebook.
  • Over 11,000 people attended #KNOW16
  • Of the 200 sessions, over 90% were presented by ServiceNow customers.

 

Did you go to Knowledge 16? Let us know in the comments!

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Justin Timberlake, Asset Disposition & Rocking IT Security; Knowledge 16 – Day 2

Day 2 of Vegas!

After an amazing breakfast (cake!) it was time for the first keynote of the day.

Drive The Service Revolution – Dan McGee, Chief Operating Officer, ServiceNow

Dan opened the day in style with his take on what customers want: “what matters most to our customers? Ease of use!” Dan went on to explain the challenges faced by most organisations wrangling with complexity whilst trying to deliver value.

Dan talked about how moving to a single platform makes life easier:

Dan continued by talking about how just having a single platform isn’t the answer. To be truly efficient, we need a platform that enables people to collaborate easily; giving customers a connected experience across the platform.

Dan talked about the new ServiceNow Connect model for managing inbound communications “Connect is way more than chat, people can subscribe to information so that the right information can find you”. Dan continued by explaining that the Connect experience is available on every application within the ServiceNow platform using visual task boards to promote ease of use.

Kevin Murray (Senior Director of Product Marketing at ServiceNow) and Farrell Hough (GM & VP ITSM & Product Operations at ServiceNow) joined the stage to demonstrate how easy Connect is to use, raising, assigning and escalating an Incident in mere seconds.

The next part of the session focused on the sparkly new partnership between ServiceNow and Microsoft

It’s always nice when companies play nicely with each other and this collaboration means that companies transitioning to a public cloud environment can better manage their cloud resources with a single system of record;  letting users track all their cloud resources through a self-service portal.

Dan moved the session on to talk about security. According to Dan “security is broken. It takes organisations an average of 206 days just to spot a breach”. Dan continued by running a demo of how ServiceNow can handle security showing how the connected workflow can patch a security threat in seconds going through the Incident – Emergency Change process.

Dan talked about the practical experience that went into ServiceNow’s security ethos, “the last thing you want to do at three o’clock in the morning when you’re dealing with a crisis is to pull out a long procedure, written on a pdf by a consultant” I hear you Dan, as a former Major Incident Manager for a large investment bank, I’ve been there. Dan talked about how important security was to ServiceNow sharing that third party penetration tests are carried out on every single ServiceNow release.

The Penultimate part of Dan’s session focused on customer service management. As Dan explained it, only 8% of customers think they’re experiencing good customer service. Doing nothing is not an option”. The ServiceNow customer service management technology will help customers “get off the ticket treadmill” and customers are reporting an average of 92% less time being spent on recurring Incidents. Campbell Soup and Bector Dickinson both shared their experience of how ServiceNow have helped them to be more efficient. It was then time for more product demonstrations as Deepak Bharadwaj (General Manager, HR Unit at ServiceNow) and Pat Calhoun (SVP Product at ServiceNow) joined Dan on stage to show how ServiceNow can be used to onboard a new hire just from a mobile phone app.

Dan finished on a preview of forthcoming attractions. A full benchmarking analysis tool of how ServiceNow compares against other industry players will be released in the autumn (or the fall if you’re reading this from the US) so watch this space!

The IT Asset Disposition Marketplace at eBay – Richard Donaldson, Director of Business Operations & Strategy, eBay

Richard’s session was about the Asset Management journey at eBay. Richard started by giving the audience some background on eBay. Not only is it the world’s largest online marketplace, it manages over 900 million live listings, has 83,000 physical servers and more than 433,000 network ports. That’s one complex environment.

Richard recounted how he had discovered the need for an Asset Management strategy when he realised that his organisation was paying over the odds for support costs, sometimes paying for support on assets that had already been returned.

Richard talked about the strategy used, meaning that eBay were able to move towards a leaner asset and inventory model. On talking about generating business support for Asset Management, Richard had this to say: “I’d love for Justin Timberlake to make Asset Management sexy because the cost savings are astronomical”. Us too Richard, I’m bringing Asset Management back anyone?

Richard explained about the need for business buy in and the need for service refreshes “we use Amazon, eBay and Google at home, then we head into work and it’s like going back to the stone age” Richard then shared some of the benefits realised from doing Asset Management; on retired hardware alone, his company makes over $20 million dollars a year by selling it on to be refurbished and resold after wiping the data “believe me with what we use to wipe our servers, not even a cockroach could survive”.

Richard concluded by sharing his three top tips:

  1. Asset disposition is a key pillar of lean inventory management
  2. Purchasing, management and disposal of assets is inefficient across all industries
  3. A market place for IT asset disposition can create value for all organisations

Panel Session: The Service Revolution in Risk & Compliance

Next up was an panel of experts talking all things ServiceNow risk and compliance. The panel was made up of:

  • Nathan Dupirack – Product Manager – ServiceNow
  • Carri Thompson – Director of Governance, Risk Management & Compliance – ServiceNow
  • Andrew Wheatley – Head of Internal Audit – ServiceNow
  • Tina Price – AVP IT Security & Governance – Careworks
  • John Johnson – Director of Internal Audit and SOX Compliance – Red Robin

The first topic up for discussion was how ServiceNow can support Governance Risk & Compliance or GRC.  John talked about how ServiceNow had enabled his organisation to move from spreadsheets to a single out of the box SOX solution and Tina shared how using a dedicated tool had given her organisation a more holistic view of risk enabling her department to be more streamlined and efficient.

Andrew gave the audience some background to GRC and ServiceNow explaining “our priority was to step away from the 90s technology and automate the workflow to manage risk;  our main focus is automation, self service and transparency”. Carri gave the audience an idea of the commitment ServiceNow has to GRC, ServiceNow is aligned to 15 different standards and frameworks.

The second topic of discussion was how GRC can evolve over time. Tina talked about how GRC can be applied beyond auditing to support other areas such as IT Service Continuity Management. Tina shared her top tips for GRC transformation “look for quick wins to drive adoption and evolution; it gives your stakeholders and auditors the message that compliance is important to you”. John advised delegates looking to introduce continuous monitoring to ensure that ownership is in place and that a process exists to manage exceptions.

CMDB Optimisation At Johnson & Johnson – Anders Rajka, Senior Business and Information Technology Executive at Johnson & Johnson

My afternoon was rounded off by a session on CMDB optimisation. Anders opened the session by giving the audience some background information on Johnson & Johnson. J&J are a global leader in healthcare (and baby shampoo) with 128,000 employees. The J&J CMDB has over 5 million CIs, over 4,600 service requests for CI reports and over 4,000 ServiceNow users or as Anders put it “a big company with big complexities and lots of technical debt.”

The J&J Configuration Management mission was to reduce the number of applications by 40%.  They did this by moving to a federated CMDB model in order to support IT operations, enable a move to a cloud based environment and increase transparency. This led to cost savings through removing duplicated and legacy assets as well as increased customer satisfaction.

The J&J CMDB optimisation project was implemented over 3 main releases, using Agile to keep the project on track. This included 38 user stories, 1o epics over 3 releases and 8 sprints proving that you can use Agile and Lean in a validated environment. Anders talked about the need for effective organisational Change Management to drive service transformation sharing that he used the CIO newsletter to promote the benefits of the CMDB.

The benefits of the project were impressive; a 47% reduction in CIs, 895 reduction in relationships and 1,000 end users trained. The downtime associated with product upgrades was reduced by 50%, data quality was improved and the improved service visibility lead to a reduction in Incident resolution times.

Anders concluded by sharing his three top tips:

  1. Keep your CMDB simple and federate where you can
  2. Adopt Agile and Lean for a quick return on value
  3. Enable transformation via effective organisational change

 

That’s all for now; come back soon for our recap of Day 3!

 

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Smart Watches, Kangaroos & Demand Management; Knowledge 16 – Day 1

It’s Vegas baby! Knowledge is an annual event hosted by ServiceNow to share, collaborate and promote their platform. To give you an idea of the scale of this years Knowledge16 event, it has over 11,000 people registered, 160+ sponsors & partners and there are presentations on everything from Agile to password resets.

This year’s event celebrates 10 years of Knowledge so here’s our recap of Day 1.

Opening Keynote: Frank Slootman, CEO ServiceNow

To say the auditorium was packed /out in anticipation of Frank’s opening keynote is a bit of an under statement:

Frank opened with this thought: “Speed is not an issue until someone comes along who is faster than you. Software enables speed and helps you get where you need to be”.

The next part of the keynote focused on ServiceNow as an enabler. Frank shared the stage with representatives from KPMG, Fiser and AGFA Healthcare who shared real life experiences of how ServiceNow helps them to drive their organisations. Frank talked about how the world of ITSM is constantly evolving and talked about how important SIAM and the Internet of Things were in terms of advancement and improvement.

The final part of the session was on innovation. As Frank put it; “our ultimate ambition is to change how people work” and offered up these three things to help organisations make that transformation:

  1. Subscribe & notify; reversing the flow of data so that people can be more purposeful.
  2. Connect & collaborate; applying context so the right people can collaborate in the right way with the right event.
  3. Predict; removing the temporal problem so that organisations can move to real time, using predictive analytics to prevent problems before they occur.

Frank then introduced the rest of his team to promote the ServiceNow take on wearable tech. The team were able to demo a smartwatch where an Incident can be logged with a single gesture.

The team role played a scenario whereby an Incident could be logged and escalated via the smart watch and progressed through the resolution workflow within seconds. Wearable tech which means I could keep an eye on things whilst making my kids dinner? Deal me in!!

Now on Now: How ServiceNow uses ITOM technologies to deliver the most reliable cloud platform – Sridhar Chandrashekar VP & GM of the ServiceNow ITOM Division

Sridhar rocked his session with this opening: “ we use ServiceNow for pretty much everything. We drink our own champagne.” He talked about the complexity of the ServiceNow infrastructure which includes:

  • 4 large datacentres
  • 12 smaller data centres
  • 3.5 million CMDB CIs
  • Over 7,500 servers
  • Over 2,000 network devices

In short, no small task.

Sridhar talked about the importance of maintaining SLAs and customer uptime and how ServiceNow use ITIL and other best practice frameworks to maintain services. ServiceNow process over 7,000 Changes and 6,000 Incidents a month, following a structured model.

The next part of the presentation focused on automation and the cloud. All 16 data centres run off a single instance of ServiceNow and complex automations are used to support service integration. As Sridhar put it “our aim is to automate pretty much everything” and to this end ServiceNow have lodged 25 automation patents. Sridhar explained why having automated cloning and failover processes were so important to ensure customers experience a seamless service and even demonstrated to the audience how easily it is to fail over an instance of ServiceNow to an alternative instance.

DISHin’ up a robust Service Catalogue – DISH Network Corp & Service Now

The next session was run by both DISH and ServiceNow as a team effort. DISH Network Corp are a Fortune 250 company with over 19,000 employees and are America’s third largest paid TV provider. They quite like kangaroos.

Their presentation was about the journey DISH went on to replace their legacy system with a cloud based Service Catalog. So far, so straightford right? Not quite.

DISH had a legacy system combined with a homemade web tool containing over 13,000 Service Catalog items. That’s right, 13,000 separate items. There was no self service option for Incident Management and Request Fulfillment and the CMDB was manually maintained. The asset tool was also a legacy in house app, and daily Change meetings were required to mitigate the risk of Change related failure. It also appeared that the IT department lived in a cupboard:

Enter ServiceNow. Their strategy was as follows:

  • Redefine item & categorisation
  • New tables for approvals & request fulfillment
  • Data driven forms
  • Data driven workflow

The biggest challenge was wrangling over 13,000 Service Catalogue items into a sensible format. Tables were used to great effect along with authorisation models. Check out the sample approval matrix:

Let’s face it, if I had to chose two people to resolve my Incident I’d pick Bruce Willis and Sandra Bullock as well 🙂

Data driven forms were used to support automation and the final product looked something like this:

Mission well and truly accomplished guys, well done.

IT work intake – using idea & demand applications; Debbie Balmos, IT Support Director, HMS

After a quick ice cream break it was time for Debbie’s presentation on Demand Management. Debbie’s session was about using Demand Management to increase transparency and collaboration with business partners with the help of business focused applications.

Debbie started by outlining some of the challenges her IT organisation faced. These included:

  • Unclear work intake
  • Inability to prioritise
  • Disconnect and silos
  • No collaboration with the business
  • No idea of cost per service

The plan? Project Unity to automate the end to end IT service.

Debbie talked about engaging with ServiceNow and how she was able to use it to combine and replace three separate legacy systems. This gave her organisation a holistic view of critical services and enabled her to balance supply with demand.

The second half of Debbie’s presentation focused on demonstrating her new environment and talking through how it worked in real life. The new process routes all Incidents and Service Requests through a single HMS branded self service portal and a defined workflow supports the process. The result? Happy customers!

 

That’s all for now, come back soon to read our recap of Day 2!

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Podcast: Helsinki to Las Vegas in the service revolution

Chris Pope, ServiceNowI was lucky enough to speak to Chris Pope, senior director of strategy at ServiceNow, ahead of Knowledge 16, ServiceNow ’s flagship event in Las Vegas. Chris talked about the future of ITSM, the ten-year anniversary of the Knowledge Conference and the importance of celebrating new customers with cake!

You can listen to the podcast on SoundCloud:

Are you planning to go to Knowledge 16? Let us know in the comments!

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Guest Post: Practical ways to end the DevOps – IT Service Management Stand-Off

There’s some great dialog in the final standoff between Batman and the Joker in the movie The Dark Knight. It’s no-rules anarchy versus incorruptibility – “this is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object”- as the Joker maniacally puts it.

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In some ways it’s analogous to the friction existing between development and IT service management (ITSM) – especially how each group views DevOps. If you ask each team what DevOps means to them you’ll probably get two different answers. On the one hand, developers may stress freedom of action and faster releases, while on the other, ITSM practitioners might say DevOps changes nothing. After all, processes and controls painstakingly developed over many years is the ‘tough love’ needed to ensure regulatory compliance and address many other governance related issues.

Unstoppable force meets immovable object

Some ‘modernists’ will of course argue that old-style ITSM can be excluded from DevOps initiatives. After all, it’s a set of practices designed for a style of business computing where risk tolerance was low. So armed with new terms like lean, agile and fail-fast, it’s a case of get with the program or get out of the way. Well good luck with that, because without recalibration, those traditional incident, problem, change and release management contact points between development and ITSM will become even more abrasive. So enrolling the support of existing ITSM roles and practices is critical; turning naysayers and opponents into advocates. But this isn’t going to be easy and requires some deft organizational footwork. If everything remains equal nothing will change In order to remove friction, DevOps leaders should start by clearly communicating why it’s necessary to change. Care should be taken to avoid over hyping DevOps; preferring instead concise explanations as to why the change is occurring in the context of business impact and outcomes. During this early stage it’s also important to set a collaborative foundation; giving strong consideration to temporarily seconding key ITSM influencers to the DevOps program so as to build trust.

In many industries, computing controls, especially in areas such as change and release management, exist to ensure compliance with regulatory mandates. To development these appear cumbersome, but have been specifically designed to mitigate risk – even if that means slowing down processing. Furthermore, these controls deliver auditable proof that compliance procedures are being followed. The problem is that many of these controls might be too rigid to support development projects where risk tolerance is higher, so it’s critical for teams to optimize or right-size sets of controls for specific use cases. Here, care should be taken not to abrogate risk responsibilities by simply passing control ownership (for example, enabling development managers to approve changes but still carry all auditing responsibilities), since that might lead to increased friction and resistance to change – where you least want it – within the development group itself.

In terms of optimizing existing (but necessary) controls, this could involve enacting faster and more reliable ways to meet compliance requirements. For example, employing automated test suites during the actual development process – versus having auditing ‘gatekeepers’ come in at the end of the process and discover the system isn’t compliant.

In God we Trust – everyone else brings data!

Organizations have usually made a significant investment in IT service management tools. These tools, especially the knowledge bases supporting processes like incident, problem and change management can provide teams rich sets of information to drive DevOps improvements. Change records correlated with performance-related incidents and problems could help teams focus on non-functional aspects of development and testing requiring attention. Additionally, emergency change procedures could be reviewed to determine their applicability in supporting business-critical or urgent software updates. In all cases, however, teams should ensure flexibility doesn’t increase business risk – for example – by teams choosing the path of least resistance to avoid governance scrutiny. There are many other ITSM contact points teams can review to reduce friction. In incident management developers often complain that it takes too long for them to be notified of problems related to their code – only after lengthy level 1 and level 2 operations review. This causes friction because developers might be taken off projects to fire-fight problems that due to time delays have become more complex to diagnose and remediate.

To address this, teams should carefully review notification procedures; perhaps even changing the first point of escalation to be the development group responsible for the application or service – even after hours. Expect push-back where you least expect it. Developers may resist mandated on-call support. Therefore it’s important to impress how their early involvement in incident response is critical to drive improvements. It’s also a good idea to equip them with analytic tools and proactive methods that help them resolve complex and emerging issues. Finally, an important, but often understated bi-product of this ‘skin in the game’ approach is developers working to improve the ongoing supportability of applications. For example, it could result in improving documentation and fault logging so they only need to be called in when absolutely necessary.

Ignoring the points of friction between DevOps and older (but still important) ITSM processes will cause initiatives to stall or fail. The only way to ensure success is when teams put all governance and risk-versus-speed and agility concerns on the collective table and enact improvements in the context of required business outcomes. Always consider that without constant engagement, staff on both sides will revert to sub-optimal practices – the ones that stifle innovation or carry huge risk.

PW

This article was contributed by Peter Waterhouse, Senior Strategist, CA Technologies

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Newsflash: Using the new Facebook feature – '911 bot' might just save your life

Hi, I’m Vawns Murphy and I’m addicted to social media. I’m forever checking my phone, updating both my personal and my work Twitter feed and I do the annoying mammy thing of posting endless pictures of my kids. Sometimes it’s the three of them looking angelic in their school uniforms but more often than not, it’s to apologise to everyone who lives near me and reassure them that no, the cat isn’t being murdered and no, there isn’t some sort of human sacrifice taking place -it’s just the 3 of them playing. I also spend quite a lot of my time geeking out at how apps and gamification can super charge all things ITSM so I think it’s fairly safe to say, I have a bit of a social media habit. It turns out that might not be such a bad thing from reading this article from Techcrunch.

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A new Facebook feature called the 911 bot was developed at the Disrupt Hackathon in New York. The chat bot is designed to help users in the event of an emergency situation by allowing you to quickly report an incident to the emergency services. When bad things happen, all too often we tend to panic or freeze, this app is designed to keep you calm, whilst notifying the emergency services and giving you clear, concise instructions on what to do until they arrive.

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The messenger chat bot allows you to report an emergency in a few clicks and can pull your location enabling it to automatically notify the nearest emergency services. You can also add pictures from your camera and have the app put you on the line with a 999 / 911 operator. What really impressed me about the bot was that depending on the emergency it can give you directions on what to do next for example administering CPR. We all know that everyone should know how to do CPR but let’s face it in a life or death situation, it’s all too easy for your mind to go blank wasting valuable seconds. Having Facebook to prompt you and guide you through the process stops the delay and means that the person having the heart attack gets help in the fastest time possible. According to the Irish Heart Foundation (check out their fab video on how to do CPR here), rapid initiation of CPR can double a person’s chances of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest so those few seconds or minutes saved could literally be the difference between life and death.

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So using my Facebook habit for the forces of good? Deal me in!! For more information on the 911 bot check out their website here.

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IT500 Conference: DevOps & Agile in an ITSM World

I spoke to Claire Agutter & Dave Van Herpen last week to talk about their upcoming masterclass at the IT500 conference in June: DevOps & Agile In An ITSM World.

Claire AgutterDave Van Herpen

The workshop will look at how you can use DevOps and Agile if you’re already doing ITSM but want to do something new. Claire and Dave will look at how to use a blended approach to get the best results and will look at practical ways to improve whilst blitzing a process backlog.

The session will be interactive and will follow the why – what – how journey starting from looking at drivers and building the business case for transformation to interactive group sessions including:

  • Looking at the 3 ways of DevOps
  • Designing Kanban boards
  • Applying Scrum
  • Selling DevOps
  • Investigating opportunities and risks.

You should attend this conference if:

You want to become an ITSM ninja familiar with Agile and DevOps!

The official bit:

DevOps and Agile represent a new way of working, but it’s not all about throwing away everything that’s already in place. We will look at how these techniques can be applied alongside other methodologies including ITIL and investigate other propositions such as Value Stream Mapping, Kanban for IT Operations and the use of Scrum.

 

Are you starting to move from ITSM to Agile, DevOps and beyond? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Marathon Rock Stars, Sparkly New Qualifications & Business Value – The Open Group Managing The Business Of IT4IT Event

It’s Westminster baby! The Open Group hosted an event in central London last week. The theme? Boundaryless Information Flow – Enabling Digital Business. The event ran for most of the week covering everything from the internet of things to TOGAF and enterprise architecture. We were there to cover the first day which was all things IT4IT.

Opening Keynote – Steve Nunn

Steve opened up the event with the exciting news around the IT4IT certification path.

The Open Group have created a sparkly new qualification to make certification available to individuals who know and understand the IT4IT reference architecture – version 2 standard. The purpose of the IT4IT Foundation certification, is to provide validation that the candidate has gained knowledge of the terminology, structure, basic concepts of  IT4IT and understands the core principles of the reference architecture and the IT Value Chain. The learning objectives at this level focuses on knowledge and comprehension. The exam is your standard fare –  a 40 question exam following a course of self-study or attendance at an accredited training course.

How to Stop Talking Architecture and Start Talking Business Value using IT4IT – Tony Price & Eric van Busschbach

There was much excitement ahead of Tony and Eric’s session as let’s face it, we all want to know how to get the rest of the business to understand the value of IT4IT. Tony opened the session by sharing these words of wisdom “stop talking about technical architecture and start talking about business value. If you start a conversation with the CEO with architecture in its own then you will fail because it’s boring”.

Tony then shared some real life customer problem statements and explained why IT4IT is so important “IT4IT is brilliant because it’s all about value and that opens doors.” Tony continued by saying “we need to know our audience to truly deliver value. For most organisations that’s better, faster, cheaper, safer.”

Tony handed over to Eric who talked about balance “day to day IT operations has evolved from traditional to industrialised to digitalised and is much more customer orientated. It’s not just a technology shift, it’s a cultural shift”.

Eric went on to explain the IT4IT value chain, and why establishing the right culture is so important: “ transforming IT impacts every aspect of your organisation.”

He gave practical advice “ when you use the IT4IT approach think big, start small, iterate, fail fast and learn from your mistakes. Fixing things is where the magic happens”.

Eric and Tony concluded on this note “we all want value, context is key and we need to deliver quickly, driving regular value realisation”.

Managing the Business of IT – Michael Fulton, David Hornford, David Gilmour & Luke Bradley

Next up was the dream team of IT4IT experts. Their session was a group of case studies on IT4IT, followed by a Q&A panel discussion. First up was Michael Fulton, his message? “We need to lift our IT professionals out of their silos so they can do their jobs more effectively”. Michael talked about the need to keep improving “ we need to use IT4IT as an accelerator to drive business transformation.”

David Hornford and David Gilmour talked about getting the basics right and ensuring that IT acts as an enabler, taking the audience through a score based approach; a capability based assessment for all IT providers – a roadmap to improve. They talked about the need to use an Agile approach to continually deliver value.

Luke Bradley from Vodafone talked about the practical benefits that IT4It can bring. Vodafone have 42 different Remedy platforms (42!) and a scary number of Sharepoint sites. Vodafone used IT4IT to bring about the daddy of all IT transformations using continual monitoring to keep everything on track.

Agile DevOps and How IT4IT helps – Gunnar Menze

Following a quick coffee break was Gunnar Menze, fresh from running the London marathon! His session was on DevOps challenges and how IT4IT can help.

Gunnar started by doing some DevOps mythbusting and why DevOps came about. Gunnar explained how DevOps can drive value, using a business case based on increased agility, quality, innovation and reduced outages. We’re all familiar with the gloomy statistics that approximately 80% of Incidents are caused by Change activity. Gunnar suggests that applied well, DevOps can drive that figure down to 30 – 40% by continual deployment and CSI.

The next part of Gunnar’s session talks about how IT4IT can help by using the value chain, ways of working are applied consistently. Gunnar explained the IT4IT definition of DevOps is a way of collaborating and industrialising using highly automated processes to deploy solutions that evolve as fast as the business needs them to.  Using DevOps and IT4It together means you can have a continual release cycle supported by a consistent way of working.

Gunnar concluded by talking about the DevOps maturity model and how it related to IT4IT from Level 1; basic to Level 5; team dynamic processes, near instant deployments and no dev related outages.

Successful Business Transformations in the Adaptive Enterprise – Henry Franken

Henry Franken ran the final presentation before lunch. He opened by sharing some of the current challenges being faced in the world of IT and digitisation:

Henry talked about the way our world is changing:

Henry continued by talking about the use of technology can help; “you can use tools to raise the bar”

The next part of the session focused on how to overcome the challenges of living in an adaptive environment getting the balance right between innovation and keeping the lights on. It was also audience participation time!

Putting the IT4IT Reference Architecture to Work – David Hornford

The first post lunch session was run by David Hornford of Conexiam on putting the IT4IT reference architecture to work. David talked about the need for structure “using a scoring based approach gives you a control plate to use so you can be a real differentiator for your business. “IT4IT is an accelerator, it aids speed to market.”

David continued by explaining why using a reference architecture is so important “the beauty of using an end to end model is that you don’t forget stuff.”

David talked about the need for continual improvement “if you don’t excel, your reason for existence within an organisation is gone”.

David concluded on this note “IT4IT is a thing of beauty; it helps us to be consistent”.

Seven Reasons IT4IT Is Good News For Architects – Daniel Warfield

The final session we attended was Daniel Warfield’s presentation on why IT4IT is good for architects. Daniel started by sharing some real life problem statements:

Daniel continued by talking the audience through the top seven reasons why we should all care about IT4IT:

  1. People get it, simple as. There’s no faffing around with complex dependencies between multiple processes. No one’s got time for that.
  2. It’s not proprietary. There’s no bias from tech vendors, service vendors or professional bodies.
  3. The value chain model gives you a roadmap to show financial benefits.
  4. It really is about service delivery and adding value.
  5. It requires a common operational data model. Having one end to end model that spans IT in its entirety is a great start.
  6. Standard APIs across diverse tool sets; more control and less expensive custom integrations.
  7. Strategic transformation; we need to be comprehensible from the start, have one picture on the wall that everyone can agree on.

David concluded by reminding us that there are no silver bullets:

For my money it was a really good day. I learned lots more about IT4IT and look at all the light reading delegates were given!

Thanks to The Open Group for inviting us and we hope to cover their next event. Are you planning on finding out more about IT4IT? Let us know in the comments!

IT500 Conference: Effective CSI in a SIAM Eco System

I caught up with Stuart Rance and Andrew Vermes this week to talk about their IT500 workshop in June;  Effective CSI in a SIAM Eco System

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The session will provide a practical guide to managing CSI well in SIAM environments and will look at what you should have in place to work effectively among multiple partners. The workshop will cover everything from shared methods, goals, measurements to reporting and governance. Stuart and Andrew will look at ways to get started, identifying improvement opportunities and managing ideas for both technical and process impressions. To quote Stuart “improvements are good for all of us but only if we collaborate effectively; we need to work holistically and avoid pockets of local optimisation” The workshop will bring CSI to life, looking at CSI and risk management, how to set up a CSI register and referencing the new ITIL practitioner content to support a culture of CSI.

You should attend this session if:

You’’re interested in CSI, and you’d like some practical ideas and guidance on how to do it in real life!

The official bit:

People in every department and outsource provider want to make improvements. Given the huge range of opportunity in every organisation where do we start? How do we create a meaningful rewards system and move away from avoidance of blame? What will help us to deliver an effective partnership?

Learn more or register here.

Are you looking to bring in CSI to your SIAM environment? Let us know in the comments!

 

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How predictive analytics have turned Incident Management on its head

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Predictive analytics is set to turn the world of IT service management, and in particular Incident Management, on its head. After all, it has already done this for IT Capacity Planning, where it is now possible to predict and avoid future incidents at a workload level.

Within IT capacity planning, forecasting (predicting, if you like) has always been a key feature of the discipline. It was used to ensure that large chunks of demand, either through growth or change, could be met while focusing on the strategic horizon rather than the day to day operation. If there are capacity issues, the Service Operation process of Incident Management informs the Service Design process of Capacity Management to allow it to be dealt with as part of future Service Design activity.

Incident Management should inform IT Capacity Planning about incidents logged due to capacity or performance issues, whereby this intelligence would then be used to assist in the diagnosis and resolution of incidents. The idea that Capacity Management informs Incident Management of future and avoidable incidents, or indeed how to deal with them, is a relatively new concept.

Playing the tactical game

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Technological advances have opened many new areas of innovation and opportunity in this space. Virtualization, automation, big data and predictive analytics have empowered IT capacity planning to extend into day to day management at a more granular and forensic level, rather than focusing solely on strategic activity. The following are the four major drivers which have spurned on this evolution:

  • Virtualization – or more importantly – the hypervisor

Whilst allowing multiple virtual workloads to operate on a single physical machine should make life more difficult, it actually simplifies things by reducing the number of information sources that need to be interrogated.

  • Data Automation

When dealing with different system management tools, vendors and formats consider the amount of data points generated. Let’s take a 10,000 server estate over a single 24 hour period, capturing data at 5 minute intervals – this would generate almost 3 million data points. For the information to be used for predictive analysis, we would recommend at least 30 days’ worth of monitoring data in order to gain worthwhile insight. Without automation it would take an army to schedule the retrieval, aggregation, cleansing, loading and transforming of the data from a number of bespoke sources in a meaningful timeframe.

  • Big Data

Big Data delivers the ability to store the massive amounts of data in a way that makes sense and allows for further manipulation. With associated hardware advances, the cost of storage, scalability and more powerful compute have made Big Data a reality.

  • Predictive Analytics

And finally, analytics provides the ability to churn data in a multitude of ways, using pattern matching and algorithms to analyse and provide insight into an organisation’s IT operation that would otherwise go unnoticed. Whether that be an over utilisation of, or an impending shortfall of resources. The analytics available today are essential if IT managers want to keep on top of the complexity and scale of their IT estate. In the IT environment of today, IT managers need to be confident in their knowledge of their IT infrastructure, and the various changing demands placed on it, in order to see what’s around the corner and avoid potential incidents.

Zooming in

For IT capacity planning, the unit of currency has reduced from physical machine to individual workload. Reducing the timeframe to provide short term tactical information while improving our ability to understand and model long term strategic actions. Changing the relationship between incident management and IT Capacity Planning allows you to identify shortfalls in advance, sidestep the avoidable and turn your Incident Management process on its head.

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This article was contributed by Stuart Higgins, Technical Evangelist at Sumerian.

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