Broadgate Look Back – 2011 in review

Posted on : 28-12-2011 | By : richard.gale | In : General News

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2011 has been an interesting year to say the least. We have worked on some great projects  and experienced exciting growth against a backdrop of economic and financial meltdown…. Looking forward to 2012!

January

We started the new year with a new office in the heart of the city and close to Broadgate Circle where the ideas for Broadgate were first formed.  New Street is ideally positioned for our city based clients but also the proximity to London’s Silicon Roundabout gives additional fresh insight and access to an additional pool of talented people.

February

Broadgate partner with FireEye the malware threat detection company. We were and are really impressed with the quality of the product and the detection rates of malware which gets through conventional protection mechanisms. We enjoy working with the FireEye team and our clients love the product. Together we are helping protect organisations from the targeted attacks which are becoming more prevalent. See our BROADReach Malware Threat Assessment Service for more information

 March

We (dinosaurs) start to use Twitter more frequently through our @BroadgateView id –  It’s also great for finding out why the trains aren’t running too!

 April

Broadgate publish the first BROADSheet monthly newsletter. Our aim is to provide new and challenging thinking on a variety of technology and finance based topics. Broadsheet April 2011

In addition our April fool blog fools no-one  but events at CERN since then have maybe made the possibility less implausible.

 May

A number of our clients programmes were moving onto implementation phases which led to a few late nights and weekends worked for some of our consultants. The hard work was worth it in the end as our customers achieved their goals and some of our guys could get a good night’s sleep.

 June

Our partner Heathwest Systems author an interesting article on the negative impacts of inefficient change and release processes on organisations ability to deliver change quickly and effectively: Complexity Drag

 July

Another implementation push with a couple of major projects. Again we helped achieve successful outcomes in each of them. A quick celebratory drink and then back to work.

 August

Some thoughts on the effects of Agile and whether it is another mechanism to bypass outsourcing. Also another article on the client & consultant engagement model – something we feel strongly about, making sure we, as a consultancy, are consistently delivering value for money to our clients.

 September

Our Cloud Assessment Service BROADScale started to gain interest from clients and we started to work with a number to help manage their application estate. We continued our client/consultant partnership theme with a thought provoking article on trust.

 October

Broadgate starting to get visibility in the wider press. A number of publications have asked us for interviews including Cloud Pro on the future of service management, Sourcing Focus on the potential for reshoring, Financial News on Mifid II and The Financial Times on importance of niche consultancies. Some of the links are subscription only unfortunately. If you want a copy of an article please email us.

 November

BROADSheet Newsletter focusing on the Cloud and the impacts both to organisations and people. Great feedback from this. Thanks for all your comments – glad it was of interest to so many people. We’ll follow on from this next year and see how accurate we were…

 December

December saw a major tipping point in the EU crisis with David Cameron exercising Britain’s veto in relation to the proposed tax treaty on the city, the first half of 2012 will be telling politically and economically.

On a lighter note, our marketing “expansion” was self-evident with the arrival of numerous Broadgate branded umbrellas – if you fancy staying dry in the spring showers drop us a line on our 2012 predictions and we’ll hand deliver one to you 😉

We wish you a Happy New Year from all at Broadgate.

 

Cloud Service Management – Part 2: End-to-End process considerations

Posted on : 28-12-2011 | By : jo.rose | In : Cloud

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In our first part of our look into ITSM in The Cloud we looked at the viability aspects. There are often compelling reasons to move to a cloud-based solution and organisations who have experienced the challenges of the managed services model are always looking for solutions that offer a great customer experience, simple business models and value for money.

In Part 2 we cover the interdependency, governance and process issues of an increasingly fragmented delivery chain and investigate the End-to-End process challenges faced by organisations together with the concerns that they may have surrounding moving to a more complex and opaque service partner model.

So are ITSM solutions in the cloud able to match the way that companies deliver services to the business?

The primary ITSM processes and their maturity are still key to running any successful business, but the focus in the market is changing. The managed service model and large outsourcing deals have often created frustrations and a lack of clarity around ownership of service delivery. The only people who suffer in this scenario are the end users or, in the worst cases, the end Customers.

In the ITSM Cloud service model, the business owners will become more interested in developing simple terms and conditions, request processes and mature reporting mechanisms. The requirement to develop complex ITSM process models will become less important to Business/ IT Divisions and there will be a shift towards buying commodity ITSM services, in the same way that we currently buy other services on-demand.

From a Customer view point the functionality and processes that remain critical will be:

  1. Account/ Supplier/ Relationship Management to ensure that the service is meeting requirements
  2. The Service Catalogue to be able to purchase services and add-ons quickly and where possible in real time
  3. Simple self help and support processes that add real customer value and don’t become a burden to the Customer

From a Service Provider view point the functionality and processes that will need to mature are:

  1. Demand and Capacity Management to ensure that this is predictable, measurable and aligned to future business growth
  2. Security Management to ensure continued confidentiality, availability and integrity
  3. Access Management to able to intuitively add new users in a manner which is simple, effective and clearly priced
  4. Terms and conditions which are aimed at the end user and not an IT Commercial or legal team

The Service provider model and bespoke complex contractual agreements will remain for some services, but there will be a shift towards on-demand services which are accessible from multi devices and channels.

For these on-demand services the delivery model will be opaque to the customer, but will offer a simple approach to delivering standard IT services to multiple end users. This may well lead to direct agreements between Customer and Cloud providers, but in the short term will still require the governance often seen in the retained organisation or intelligent client model introduced over the last few years.

Behind the scenes, the challenges for the service provider remain as complex as they do today with current service delivery chains but there will be shift towards commodity processes and delivery mechanisms as we have seen with the development of mobile and tablet devices.

The key challenges for managing end to end process remain the same, but service delivery organisations will need to move to a standard process engine that focuses on delivering a great customer experience as opposed to fulfilling the requirements of an ITSM Maturity assessment or Industry accreditation.

The processes or functions that will be in the spot light are still the same, but the Customer will not be interested in their inner workings. Some of the key processes and impacts are detailed below:

  • Demand Management – this will become a Customer process, similar to mobile top up services that are currently available. The Service provider process will need to be focused on providing this on-demand functionality and then behind the scenes deliver service performance and analysis statistics that predict user behaviour, heavy demand periods etc. These will then need to be closely linked to internal capacity and availability functions to ensure service resilience and availability
  • Information Security – a key challenge for many implementations with many complexities to consider in the cloud environment including i) whether the hosted environment is on dedicated or shared infrastructure, ii) the physical security of the hosting environment e.g. whether it is a secure data centre / dedicated cabinet / monitored environment etc. iii) what data is going to be hosted externally? Is there any confidential classified data e.g. business or transactional related data to be stored in the hosted environment? iv) any security implementation requirements, secure links, encryption etc. must conform to the client’s security standards and controls, v) how customer users of the system will access the hosted solution in a secure manner, vi) how support personnel / system administrators will gain access to the hosted solution to make system changes, vii) the flexibility of the hosted solution to aid the definition and implementation of system roles to further aid restriction of duties on the system e.g. end user, process user, approver, admin roles, viii) does the hosted solution conform to the customers adopted information security standards e.g. ISO/IEC 27001/2?
  • Capacity Management– the ability to add / remove capacity, whether dedicated or shared, physical or virtual, storage, licenses, users, processing capability ( are system resources capable of providing required processing in a timely manner? ) and in a way that performance is acceptable from all global customer locations
  • Incident Management – here the focus will be on understanding the complexity of the core delivery platform and how it relates to individual customer services. This will include mapping business functionality to infrastructure components and really understanding how to completely remove points of failure or provide resilience to services. The customer will still need the ability to report events observed with the hosted solutions and expect response and resolution to contracted levels
  • Change Management – the customer will only be interested in change activity that impacts the on-demand service that they procure and associated service levels. They will also be interested in changes that deliver enhanced functionality, new services or simplify existing business processes. As always, Change Management needs to be effective and not have impact on the Customer
  • Service Continuity – a key area and at the SME level one of the major efficiency plays for Cloud. The same rigour needs to apply such as the availability of a second DR environment, recovery time objectives, will failover impact any agreed availability levels etc ?
  • Service Reporting–  the availability of service MI is also important, such as i) does the system provide all of the required MI out of the box? ii) is the available MI available real-time or can it only be produced by the hosting organization? iii) can data be exported in to common formats iv) does the solutions reporting capabilities integrate with common reporting solutions v) how flexible is the system to produce tailored reports vi) is the presentation mechanism for MI data flexible, e.g. can be viewed as a list, a chart, on a management dashboard etc.

In summary

The challenges around end to end process will remain complex for the service provider. The shift will come in delivering scalable process engines that support multiple customers and their experience across a global enterprise. The end to end process interest from the end user or customer will also become a real challenge. Delivering on-demand services in line with other industry models will mean that the time will come where customers will switch based on service and price. The Cloud Service providers that will lead the way are the ones that focus on delivering processes that meet customer expectation and demand, as opposed to just delivering a standard ITSM process end to end process model.

Thanks to Steve Griffiths of Whitmore Solutions and Paul Simpson of Fuel People for contributing this piece.

Broadgate Predicts – 10 themes for 2012

Posted on : 22-12-2011 | By : john.vincent | In : General News

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As we end what has been an “interesting” year, we look forward to some technology themes for 2012.  These are our views, not analysts or market research firms, and in many cases not revolutionary, but what we have determined during our interactions with clients over the past 12 months and how we see the industry shaping. Let us know what you think.

  1. Cloud Computing gathers pace: as data security blockers reside, particularly in Financial Services, and organisations seek to do more with flat or reduced budgets, companies will look more aggressively to best execution venues for technology services.
  2. Cyber Security issues at the forefront: apart from the high profile incidents in 2011, there has in general been a significant rise in targeted malware attacks across all industries. As we enter 2012 the advanced and persistent nature of attacks will continue, with companies needing to stay vigilant and “one step behind” the cyber criminals.
  3. Commoditisation of IT: we see this a key area in 2012 as developments continue to allow more on demand and utility based compute.  One aspect that will require attention is the organisation as reality hits and companies seek to realign both operating models and the HR impacts of the evolution.
  4. Risk, Regulation and Compliance spending increases: no crystal ball needed for this one.  The impacts of MiFID II, Dodd-Frank, FATCA, Solvency II etc… will continue to drive technology investments higher as a percentage of the overall technology spend portfolio.  However, companies will need to monitor carefully the evolution and practicalities of each to ensure efficient allocation of scarce resources from an already depleted discretionary budget.
  5. Mobility: we will see significant growth both in the mobile payments area, with third party solutions providers increasing market share.  Also, both business and customer end-users will continue to drive the need for always-on data and applications through mobile channels and personal device access.
  6. Business Intelligence: users will require access to management information in a more agile and distributed manner.  A more federated approach to BI data in 2012 will drive improved, enterprise class architectures whilst still empowering users at the organisational “fringes”.
  7. Service Providers leverage PaaS: new offerings from the traditional outsource vendors and service providers will come too market as we see the race to gain market share in the Platform as a Service space. Vertical business solutions will be launched through partnerships with ISV’s and domain experts to leverage the increased demand.
  8. Data Management: we hear a huge amount about the issue of data, be it from a taxonomy, architecture, security, transformation, integration, cleansing, physical or logical perspective etc…  It won’t go away in 2012 and with continued pressure around efficiency it will be a key attention area for 2012.
  9. Portfolio Management: whilst on the agenda for several years, proper portfolio management within organisations has always been a challenge.  Along with the efficiency theme, companies will be seeking more value from technology investments, predictability of outcomes and a swifter remediation ( or cancellation ) of failing initiatives.
  10. Social Media: many organisations dipped their toe in the water in 2011 ( see our prevous blog ).  In 2012 we will see a wider embrace of social media as a channel for improved customer interaction, decision making and a closer tie to financial benefits.