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Guiding Principles for IT Change

Guiding Principles for IT Change

Blog, IT
Solutions-II hosted a Client Advisory Board Meeting this past week.  During the two-day event we were able to discuss The Solutions-II Adaptable Data Center® and the underlying foundational elements that need to be in place to help reach a success scenario for an enterprise.  We collaborated on developing a ‘Framework’ that would guide the organizational mandate for change that IT Executives are currently dealing with. Most organizations need to pay down their Technical Debt in order to achieve the new objectives that are part of Digital Transformation and next-generation Enterprise Information Technology.  Many IT Leaders are faced with a resource imbalance between meeting performance levels with today’s IT Services versus investing properly to reach tomorrow’s goals. One of the key outcomes of our work sessions last week in our Client…
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The Need for Enterprise Data Fabric Design

The Need for Enterprise Data Fabric Design

Blog, IT
Even without Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the growth rate of data in Enterprise Information Technology has pushed us to a point where we need a different and better approach to building Data Storage Infrastructure.  Smarter Storage Arrays, Improvements in Flash and increased speed in data access have gotten us to this point – but future proofing our Storage Infrastructure requires a broader design scope. We need a single and consistent data management framework that is specially-designed for the business needs.  We need to enable frictionless access and sharing of data in a distributed data environment as opposed to siloed storage.  The “Data Fabric” will be designed on the desired business outcomes as they relate to the following elements: Performance Availability and Reliability Centralized and Instrumented Data Management with Integrated…
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Zero Trust Security Model

Zero Trust Security Model

Blog, IT
Forrester Research reported that 80 percent of Data Breaches are initiated using privileged credentials, and 66 percent of organizations still rely on manual methods to manage privileged accounts. Organizations must discard the old model of ‘trust but verify’ which relied on well-defined boundaries.  The new model of “Zero Trust” mandates a ‘never trust, always verify, enforce least privilege” approach from inside and outside the network. Conventional security models operate on the outdated assumption that everything on the inside of an organization’s network can be trusted.  But given increased attack sophistication and insider threats, new security measures need to be taken to stop them from spreading once inside.  Because traditional security models design to protect the perimeter, threats that get inside the network are left invisible, uninspected and free to morph…
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Wells Fargo Reminds Us of the “Three R’s”

Wells Fargo Reminds Us of the “Three R’s”

Blog
Resiliency, Redundancy, Recovery Resiliency is the ability of a server, network, storage system, or an entire data center, to recover quickly and continue operating even when there has been an equipment failure, power outage or other disruption.   Redundancy is a core concept when architecting and running a Data Center. Backup capabilities for critical Data Center functions are essential to the smooth management of a Data Center. If a redundant primary service, function, feature, electrical service, or telecommunications line goes down, your backup can easily pick up the slack, allowing maximum uptime until the failing item is fixed. Disaster recovery (DR) is an area of infrastructure and security planning to minimize the impact of significant negative events within your organization. A disaster recovery plan is a structured document that instructs your staff on…
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The Need to Re-Think I.T. Organizational Structure

The Need to Re-Think I.T. Organizational Structure

Blog, IT
I think there is a pressing need to reconsider, refine, and reconfigure the basic structure of an Enterprise Information Technology Organization.  To be sure, many IT Leaders have already done just that as they have absorbed DevOps into the fabric of their departments.  The “Plan-Build-Run” paradigm that was popularly adopted in the not so distant past effectively created separate “Applications” and “Infrastructure” teams.  The Applications Team had the software used by end-users to support business processes (and some software that was invisible to the end-users).  The Infrastructure Team basically resembled the forced combination of the Network-Server-Storage technology domains.  As Service Delivery moved more toward Process-based approaches the Infrastructure Team might have folded in under an IT Operations or IT Service Delivery Organizational Structure. When Software Defined Data Center technologies started…
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Can Data Archiving Be Strategic?

Can Data Archiving Be Strategic?

Blog, IT
Whatever Enterprise Digital Transformation may mean to you and your organization, most people will agree that the most critical success factor in Digital Transformation is being able to extract value from your Enterprise Data.  The organization, integration, and harmonization of your data are the three key “…ations” to be sure.  But unless you can manage, secure, protect, and access your organized-integrated-harmonized data … you will fall short of your Digitization Goals. The growth of data across all enterprises creates stress points on the basic custodial tasks of storage, protection, and quick/easy access.  The past history of Information Technology has shown that our approaches to “Archival” of data are some of the least popular, least adopted, and least successful activities that we have ever undertaken. We know that growth rates of…
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Avoid Mistakes

Avoid Mistakes

Blog, IT
The job of managing Enterprise Information Technology comes with the knowledge that at any point in any day – something could go wrong and cause critical business problems.  We have so many pieces of hardware and software that are connected, interdependent, and unfortunately hard to manage. We have people who are connected, interdependent, and have varying degrees of management difficulty.  We have bad guys trying to steal or corrupt our data and a growing demand for new services and systems. Recently William Vanderbloemen wrote a piece for Forbes that offered some brilliant advice for Entrepreneurs that I believe is particularly relevant for Enterprise Information Technology Executives.  He used the recent European Open Golf Tournament (aka British Open) as a teaching lesson.  If you saw any part of that tournament you…
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The Power of Questions

The Power of Questions

Blog, IT
We find ourselves in the grips of the day without much time and a lot to do. We go into meetings with our personal and secret agenda being that the meetings end quickly. We are attached to electronic communications for work, family, and other parts of our life. I recently read something that made it very clear to me … I don’t ask enough questions and then listen to the answers. In meetings my favorite question unfortunately is all too often: “What’s Next?.” In the May-June Harvard Business Review Alison Wood Brooks and Leslie K. John collaborated on the article: “The Surprising Power of Questions”. The ‘power’ they have proven through scientific research manifests in better interpersonal relationships, better team performance, better leadership, better individuals. They reference the quote from…
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East Bay Tech Economy

East Bay Tech Economy

Blog, IT
Our East Bay CIO Roundtable continues to grow, as does the surrounding Tri-Valley technology economy. Many of our group members live or work in the Tri-Valley – an area that is now about the size of the Research Triangle in North Carolina as far as technology-focused economy is concerned. The Bay Area Council Economic Institute recently released a report showing just how much the local area has grown in employment. Over the decade from 2006 to 2016, total payroll jobs jumped by 35 percent in the Tri-Valley, 31 percent in San Francisco County and 19 percent in Silicon Valley/San Mateo. The statewide job growth in the same period of time was 8 percent. By mid-2017 the Tri-Valley had 194,000 jobs – nearly 20 percent of those jobs are in technology.…
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Fear of Real Communication

Fear of Real Communication

Blog, IT, IT Job Market
By: Michelle Delbo, Director at Blackstone Staffing Services What is the most effective way communicating with one another? In today’s world, it’s texting, Snap-chatting, social media, emails or simply not responding. Technology has brought amazing positive changes in communication, however, it’s also taught us to stop verbally communicating. It’s challenging trying to prove that having a conversation is truly the best way to deliver any message, good or bad. Especially with the ease and efficiency of how many people you can talk to with all the avenues we have at our fingertips (literally). I recently had a conversation (aka via text) with a girl I was trying to give directions too. I asked if I could call her and she said, “text is better for me.” However, I insisted, and…
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