It’s that time of the year when IT managers can ask Santa and his elves for a little bit of help. But what should they be asking for? Here are a few ideas
Jim Frey, VP of Product at Kentik
“IT is often in the ironic position of having to manage shiny, cutting-edge infrastructure and end-user applications using lumps of coal, in the form of outdated management tools and techniques. Infrastructure and applications are transitioning to cloud models; it’s time for IT Operations Management (ITOM) tools to evolve likewise. Legacy ITOM tools have roots in 1990’s architectures that can’t cost-effectively meet the scale and speed needs of digital business, and that’ll get you on the naughty lists with Line of Business leaders. Many teams start their own elven workshops, trying to build replacements using open source, but that carries big long term costs as well. It’s time to deck the halls with a modern, DevOps-friendly ITOM approach. Re-gift those old tools and unwrap some new toys- next generation ITOM solutions that utilize SaaS delivery, cloud-scale and Big Data architectures for big ROI at low TCO. It’s a gift that will keep on giving into the New Year and well beyond.”
Jean-Pierre Ullmo, EMEA head of sales at Changepoint
“IT managers should ask Santa for greater visibility into IT projects across the organisation this Christmas.
“Many organisations are set for digital transformations in 2016, but for those to be effective, IT managers must be able to keep track of all the projects involved. IT managers must step back and implement a standardised structure for work planning, management and measurement. These should provide a spine that runs through every single project, keeping the overall transformation running in the correct strategic direction.
“It is key to have a birds-eye view of all activity, with a continuous real-time information stream so that potential strategy-impacting updates, risks and bottlenecks are visible before the next quarterly update. With activity happening in different areas of the business, it’s important for a standardised reporting tool to be provided to project teams, so that IT managers have key information to hand, and are able to easily compare progress of different areas.”
“Just like the rest of us, IT managers should be asking for a well-earned Christmas holiday! A more manageable way for them to maintain their Wi-Fi networks wouldn’t go amiss either. A great way to take a load off their plate for the New Year would be a high performance Wi-Fi system that can be easily managed – completely controller-less, no expertise needed, with clever hardware that can adapt to changes in the network, such as increase in scale. Wi-Fi is no longer just about bandwidth; it’s about capacity that allows hundreds of devices to connect. IT managers want two things: everyone in their business connected without a hitch, and hardware that’s simple to configure. Fingers crossed that Santa gets the message.”
Duncan Hendy, marketing copywriter, Kentico Software
“Digital Integration – it gives you valuable insights into how your customers are interacting with your content and allows you to build profiles and define personas so that, no matter which channel your customer views your digital content on, they get a consistent experience that is truly personal to them. By defining the triggers that form the basis of your marketing automation and leveraging your users’ interactions, you can outline an appropriate communication strategy based on their behaviour and deliver them content accordingly. Make sure you choose a platform that integrates effectively. Simply forcing together solutions based on how they function individually rather than as a whole results in a poorly delivered digital experience that frustrates your customers and fails to gather the data you actually need to improve it. So if you maximise your digital campaigns correctly, you can afford to buy your own socks this Christmas!”
Adrian Crawley, regional director for Northern Europe at Radware
“If you’re in retail you’ve got to be thinking omni-channel right now and that means the IT manager has got to have fast and secure websites, however they are accessed. I think we’ll hear a lot more about HTTP2 next year as online teams demand the investment that makes their sites more responsive, richer and more dynamic. Consumers don’t want to just shop – as the latest John Lewis research showed – they want to be inspired first. Helping customers decide the interior design for their new home, rather than just the colour of their new sofa, will be what makes brands stand out. And of course, in light of recent hacks, people will want to know it’s secure whatever transactions they do, and whichever device they use.”
Dmitry Bagrov, MD UK of global technology consulting firm, DataArt
“Dear Santa, can you please explain to me what it is I am supposed to do in the modern world as an IT manager?”
Jes Breslaw, EMEA marketing manager at Delphix
“What’s important this Christmas, is that the channel evolves and talks about what is new, interesting and hot. Once again, IT is transforming how business work. New development methodologies like Agile and DevOps, along with automation tools are enabling companies to innovate at lightening speed. You only have to look at how often updates are pushed to the apps on your smartphone to see how quickly this is happening. Our research shows that the pace at which companies deliver and update applications has increased drastically over the last year with organisations under pressure to do more with fewer resources (64 percent), deliver software faster (61 percent) and deliver software with fewer defects (48 percent).
“With expectations continuing to get much higher, the channel needs to understand this need for speed, and the solutions and services that achieve it. New design methodologies like Agile and DevOps and tools like Chef, Docker and Delphix are helping companies do more with less and update applications daily instead of monthly. By embracing this shift, the channel can demonstrate its value by offering solutions to manage the increase in application demands and move towards a culture of continuous delivery.”
Karl Mendez, MD at CWCS Managed Hosting
“This Christmas, IT managers should ask Santa for experienced managed hosting providers to handle parts of their hosting needs. One of the biggest challenges faced by IT managers is running a website and ensuring it is online and operational at all times. Many organisations are also often faced with additional web traffic during busy periods like the festive season as well as the January sales. Managed hosting providers like CWCS Managed Hosting can take the hassle out of running a website, providing a fully managed cloud platform to deliver web hosting as a service and not simply a piece of technology.
“Not any managed hosting solution will do though. When writing their wish list, IT managers should ask for one that will deliver performance, scalability and guaranteed uptime. Ask for a provider that can handle all aspects of maintenance, including essential security updates, hardware and operating system updates and server administration.”
Atchison Fraser, VP marketing, Xangati
“An uber analytics tool based on algorithmic heuristics – machine learned pattern recognition – that automatically reports on and remediates any threat to business continuity or infrastructure disruption in real time.”
Steve Wharton, Office of the CTO, Enterprise Solutions EMEA, SanDisk
“If there is one thing IT managers should ask for this Christmas, it should be getting their hands on the benefits of a flash-transformed IT infrastructure. Advancements in cloud computing, big data analytics, mobility and other areas have created exciting new possibilities for businesses across the world. However, these advancements have also brought with them an exponential increase in workload and many legacy IT infrastructure systems are struggling to cope with the new performance demands.
“Some IT managers have been employing flash technology, with its speed and performance proficiencies, to efficiently address this workload demand and they have been enjoying great dividends. The adoption of flash started in niche performance use cases, but as the price has come down and benefits have been proven, adoption is spreading across various tiers of IT infrastructure.
“It is easy to confine the benefits of flash to speed but closer examination shows that flash is an enabler, facilitating the next wave of business computing and making it safer, faster and cheaper for businesses to perform their process and maintain their competitive edge.”
Sam Rehman, CTO of Arxan
“Santa-baby we need the coolest application self-protections that would enable IT managers to relax with a hot toddy and get optimum enjoyment during this holiday season knowing that their applications can thwart even the most sophisticated cyber-attacks with mobile payments, health device apps, and more.”
“Santa, we need to speed up the clock and deliver actual reliable and production ready versions of DevOps tools and Containers. And if they came with candy, it would be even better! IT managers are tired of the usual hype cycle that comes with every promising new technology or approach. This year it has been DevOps and Containers. But, as with every new idea, it is not mature and usually generates one-two years of frustration for IT managers before they see any positive results from the effort of deploying them.”
Partha Seetala, CTO of Robin Systems
“Instead of cobbling together several point solutions in a DIY manner, IT managers are asking Santa for holistic solutions that seamlessly integrate various resources like storage, network and compute into an easily deployable and manageable platform that offers self-service capabilities, policy based automation and a holistic management view from App-to-Spindle. The secular shift within enterprise IT is the adoption of a DevOps culture resulting in applications being not only developed but also tested and pushed to production in an agile manner. This increased scale and velocity of change means that IT managers are faced with an unprecedented challenge to elastically grow and mange resources while meeting SLAs, Cost Compliance and Performance guidelines specified by LoB owners.”
Barry Castle, CMO, Symphony
“According to Forbes, cyber-attacks cost businesses $400bn to $500bn a year, and we know that it’s a top concern for IT managers. So this Christmas, IT managers across the globe should ask Father Christmas for better, easier solutions to secure their business and customer data from criminals. Previous technologies which have aimed to fully secure corporations have either been difficult to administer and use, or prohibitively costly.”
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