Can DevOps as a Service Alleviate Adoption Pains?

Written by Thomas Burns on Thursday, December 13th 2018 — Categories: DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Managed Services, Software Development

DevOps practices have moved past pure software development and into enterprise adoption, facilitating faster updates to applications and associated infrastructure.

The crux of DevOps is the unification of tools and processes between development and operations teams to decrease time to market/deployment and implement continuous improvements throughout the development, testing, implementation, and ongoing maintenance of applications and underlying infrastructure.

Despite widespread DevOps adoption — or at least the majority of surveyed enterprises reporting they have started the journey towards it — many organizations are still struggling. Enter DevOps as a Service. But is DevOps as a Service a legitimate offering? The definition is still evolving, and different MSPs may offer different takes on DevOps-a-a-S.

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Are You in SaaS Denial? Here’s How to Get Ahead of Adoption Hurdles

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, December 5th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations, Security

Will we ever get past talking about IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS? Perhaps not. Gartner recently published a list of the Top 10 Trends Impacting IT Infrastructure and Operations for 2019. Sitting at Number 8? Software as a Service (SaaS) denial.

Basically, most organizations have been hyper focused on Infrastructure and Platforms as a Service — migrating to cloud VMs, hiring admins for Azure and AWS ecosystems, learning Kubernetes and Docker.

Meanwhile, shadow IT and the overall enterprise trend is to initially prefer SaaS. Of course, SaaS has made inroads with IT departments even at the enterprise level, especially Office 365. But without Infrastructure and Operations teams taking SaaS seriously, your overall IT environment could be opened up to security risks on top of integration problems, fragmentation, and service delivery concerns.

Are you in SaaS denial? Do you have blinders on as you focus entirely on IaaS adoption or other more pressing matters? Now is the time to get ahead of the SaaS adoption hurdles by being proactive within your IT and operations departments.

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Solving the InfoSec Risk Equation

Written by Daniel Deter on Thursday, November 15th 2018 — Categories: IT Operations, Security

With all the talk about cloud security threats, it’s important to remember that no matter where your data and applications reside, you should consider your data insecure.

Fundamentally, security isn’t a hyper-complex enterprise; It’s not, as they say, rocket science. It often feels that way, because the discipline is so broad in scope; encompassing both disparate technologies and governance frameworks. But, the vast majority of risk can be mitigated through adhering to basic foundational security.

More to know: A review of breaches outlined within the Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) against the Center for Internet Security (CIS) top 20 critical security controls found that:

• Adopting the first 5 controls could mitigate 85% of attacks, and
• Adopting all 20 controls could mitigate 97% of attacks.

That basic foundational security can be expressed in one essential formula, which boils down what is under your control as an IT security professional and what is outside your purview. That equation is as follows.

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Beyond One and Done: Consulting and Managed Services Enable Continuous Improvement

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, November 8th 2018 — Categories: DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations

A traditional enterprise advisory engagement is often a “one and done” deal — you have an IT problem to solve or a new technology to implement and the consulting agency comes in, gathers info, makes recommendations, helps with the execution and steps out of your way.

That’s great for large-scale improvements. But modern IT practices preach continuous improvement, agile methodology, and DevOps practices even beyond the software development world. With the advent of cloud, it’s all about continuous, constant iterations of your software and services.

Many SaaS platforms take care of this for you. That may not be the case with IaaS and remaining hardware, however. Focusing your existing staff on business goals and service delivery while augmenting it with an advisory and managed service provider partner can take even your backend infrastructure and upstack applications into the realm of continuous improvement via cloud management services, automation, and feedback loops.

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Why Managed Services Are Key to Fill the Multi-Cloud Skills Gap

Written by Thomas Burns on Thursday, November 1st 2018 — Categories: Azure, Cloud Hosting, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Managed Services, Multi-Cloud

Multi-cloud is the IT service model du jour, but it comes with a set of challenges that many IT departments aren’t yet ready to tackle. There are many reasons to go with more than one cloud provider, including the use of specific services or abilities, backing up storage across various vendors, maintaining availability or minimizing latency, and even using different cloud vendors as bargaining chips for pricing negotiation.

A managed services partner might be the best way for you to take advantage of multi-cloud IT infrastructure and services, especially if you face the all-too-common cloud skills gap that many organizations encounter.

Read on for statistics on multi-cloud adoption and cloud skills difficulties, as well as ways in which a partner can help you alleviate the top multi-cloud obstacles.

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Business Indicators to Help You Decide Public vs. Hybrid/Private Cloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, October 11th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid IT, IT Operations, Managed Services

There are myriad technical considerations when deciding how to architect and deploy your cloud infrastructure, but your business structure, size, strategy, and industry are also significant factors.

You don’t need to take a deep dive into technical evaluations of each workload to choose between public cloud and a hybrid or private infrastructure. It’s possible that your business practices will make that decision for you before you ever get to individual app/system analysis.

Here are the business traits to consider as you weigh your cloud options.

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Turning Your IT Department into a Service Center

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 30th 2018 — Categories: DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Managed Services

Here we are again, talking about digital transformation. While the pile of buzzwords threatens to overwhelm at times, this particular movement has real benefits for organizations that are still running IT in the old style, with break-fix scrambling, disjointed service delivery, and a take-it-or-leave it approach to technology procurement.

Rather than focusing simply on the end goal from an IT perspective, your IT department should be focused on the bigger picture. Your users are in effect your customers — and your company’s customers are supported by those users. By bringing business goals and processes under the IT umbrella, you help foster communication, efficiency, improve IT services, and most importantly revenue growth across the organization.

Here are three areas to focus on when transforming your IT department into a service center.

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1/3 of Companies Have No IT Governance Policy — Here’s How to Start

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 9th 2018 — Categories: IT Operations, Security

A new report from Deloitte found that IT spending is on the rise, with executives taking a more hands-on role in procuring or ordering investment in technology and related staff. But while 57% of execs reported spending more on technology, 33% said they have little or no formal IT governance policies.

If it seems slightly foolish to spend significantly more on technology without certifying a business purpose and implementing controls over the lifespan of that technology — well, it is. The report does come with the caveat of polling only midmarket and private organizations. We would expect more public businesses to have formal IT governance in place. But that doesn’t excuse organizations of all sizes from measuring the effectiveness of IT in meeting business and compliance goals.

Get started with an overview of IT governance and what you should include in your policy.

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Could Your Data Center Be Put Out to Pasture Within the Next Decade?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 2nd 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Colocation, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization, IT Operations

We’ve gone back and forth on this for many years now. Are enterprise data centers dying? Gartner seems to think so, recently predicting that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centers, compared to 10% today.

That’s less than ten years out. Do you foresee your data center being put out to pasture within a decade? Or largely decommissioned and consolidated? It doesn’t seem too far-fetched considering an average hardware lifespan of three years. You could cycle through your servers three times over before then — and most of those compute workloads will likely end up in the cloud or hosted elsewhere.

Here's how that change will affect how you procure and manage IT services.

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“Lift and Shift” is the Opposite of Digital Transformation

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, July 26th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, IT Modernization, IT Operations

Migrating to the cloud? Now is the perfect time to start or continue your digital transformation. There are several methods when it comes to cloud migration. At some point in your cloud journey you’re bound to encounter more than one of them and each of them certainly has its purpose.

But if you aren’t designing in the cloud, for the cloud (which could involve rearchitecting or procuring replacement application components), you’re missing out on many of the biggest advantages of cloud computing.

Here’s why “lift and shift” ends up stifling what could be a transformative cloud migration that sets the stage for your enterprise IT for years to come.

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