It Takes More Than Technology to Knock Down a Silo

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

Summary Bullets:

  • The IT industry needs to acknowledge that institutional silos are a human construct rather than specifically a technology problem and realize that technology isn’t always the solution for purely human-based challenges.
  • To actually banish silos, a company needs to evolve its management philosophy and change its corporate culture from adversarial to cooperative, so that managers are no longer forced into wasteful turf wars over budgets and resources.

Many vendors are still using the ‘break down the IT silos’ message to sell their convergence message. Silos are not a new idea – I first learned of them over 20 years ago – and I believe they are not necessarily a byproduct of technology. Silos develop in every corporate environment through a combination of groups that are tasked with substantially different missions and driven by the competitive forces of budgeting, corporate power, bragging rights and other territorial pressures. It is a very human condition, and as such not a problem likely to be solved by technology. Read more of this post

Over 19 IoT Radio Protocols Drive the Need for Integration APIs

Mike Fratto

Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • With over 19 Internet of Things (IoT) radio protocols in use today, the need for consolidation is clear.
  • Short of consolidation, integration of IoT devices will occur at the application layer with robust APIs.

Many of the ‘things’ in the IoT like lights, sensors, switches, HVAC controls, and other actuators will be connected via wireless gateways because rewiring a building is expensive. I counted over 19 wireless protocols between standards-based protocols, proprietary protocols, and protocols that have a basis in both standards and proprietary protocols. Read more of this post

The Digitally Disaffected End User – Why Things Need to Change

Tim Banting

Tim Banting

Summary Bullets:

• IT no longer holds all the cards in terms of the devices, applications, and services being used in their enterprise

• IT should put employees’ needs and requirements first when it comes to procurement

Having returned from a recent analyst event hosted by Jive Software (a leading vendor in the enterprise social networking space), I reflected on the presentations and noted that the phrase “end user” was never mentioned. Instead, the vendor purposely chose to use the word “people” and I did not feel it was a mere nuance. The word “end-user” should matter to vendors and buyers alike, as this term can oftentimes be indicative of the attitudes of suppliers and IT departments. For me, the term “end user” sounds derogatory; indeed, it seems to originate from a place where employees are devalued and are seen as an afterthought. Although this might be a legacy term from the days of the mainframe, the phrase has made its way into modern day parlance and is reminiscent of a bygone age where docile users had little choice but accept the business tools that were supplied to them by their IT department.

The term “people” or “customers” implies that users are at least considered as part of the IT procurement process and that their views and opinions respected. Where IT departments force their choice onto end-users many employees rebel out of pure necessity, as increasingly tech-savvy staff have sought out their own answers to specific business problems. This “shadow IT” phenomenon creates a great deal of animosity towards IT and the rise of cloud-based services have created a new avenue for end users to circumvent that which has been forced upon them. Conversely, shadow IT creates resentment within IT departments as risks associated with data security, privacy, and compliance can be introduced into the organization.

While it can be easy to place the blame on either side of the digital divide, both IT and employees have their share of responsibility in this matter. IT departments no longer holds all the cards in terms of devices, applications, and services being used in their enterprise, and perhaps the most important aspect of this issue is putting employees’ needs and requirements first when it comes to procurement. The benefits are widespread: there will be a lower barrier to adoption, the ROI on which the buying decision was made will be realized more quickly, and organizational governance will be maintained under a more cooperative “digital democracy”.

 

VMworld 2015: With NSX 6.2, VMware Encroaches on More Product Markets

  • Mike Fratto

    Mike Fratto

    VMware announced a number of new features for NSX which are necessary, but incremental.

  • VMware’s technology partners need to be wary when the company enters their market.

On the run up to VMworld 2015 VMware released NSX 6.2 which added a few new features such as inter vCenter NSX support, universal firewall rules, security groups, logical routers, and logical switches, and a new troubleshooting tool called Traceflow. Collectively, these are important but incremental updates to NSX. A bigger game changer coming at the end of September is the integration between the virtual and physical network when VMware and its hardware networking partners like HP complete the support of OVSDB in NSX to manage hardware virtual tunnel end-points (VTEPs). In the far distant future, VMware will also support virtual networking with cloud services like Amazon Web Services by creating a VM that runs a virtual switch which NSX can then manage. Read more of this post

VMworld 2015: You Say Potato, I Say PaaS

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • When is a platform service not a PaaS? When it’s an IaaS, apparently.
  • Which is more important to a PaaS – middleware or virtualization?

When is a platform service not a PaaS? When it’s an IaaS.

Sure, acronyms are confusing and changeable, and I still struggle between MEAP and MADP. But, I always figured a PaaS is a PaaS and an IaaS is an IaaS. Pretty straight-forward, right? Well, not really during my sessions this week while attending VMware VMworld 2015, where I noticed the acronym PaaS (platform as a service) was glaringly absent from executive keynotes and presentations, especially when discussing VMware’s flagship ‘PaaS’ offering, vCloud Air. Some execs went so far as to suggest to the analyst group that we don’t even need the use of the term PaaS anymore. Easy to say if you’re an infrastructure vendor, but I know a few middleware providers that may beg to differ. Furthermore, it’s funny how a vendor that doesn’t cater to developers can so easily wave off a term pertaining to platform services. Developers are all about platforms; it’s their livelihood. So, be careful in your efforts to diminish the notion if you’re trying to get them onboard with your evolving cloud offering. Read more of this post