Technology and Your Future Giving Your Company the Ability to Compete and Win March 27, 2010
Introduction Is your technology an asset or liability? Do you have a clear vision and plan for evolving your systems? Do you have an adequate understanding of your technology? Are you annual IT cost in line with other companies in your industry? Are your systems providing the quality experience your customers expect and demand? Are you managing your systems or are you at their mercy? Does it take an excessive amount of time and effort to maintain and enhance your systems? Does your technology pose unacceptable risks to your organization? You’re not alone. Many companies are experiencing similar challenges. These are difficult issues, and we have the IT background and experience required to deal with them. We help with the difficult IT problems. Let’s take a deeper look at the causes.
Contents <ul><li>Defining a Common Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Description of most company’s computer systems. </li></ul><ul><li>The trend. </li></ul><ul><li>Is your technology an asset or liability? </li></ul><ul><li>A potential downward spiral. </li></ul><ul><li>Reversing the Trend </li></ul><ul><li>TIPS. </li></ul><ul><li>The upward spiral. </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge in finding the right support. </li></ul><ul><li>How We Can Help </li></ul><ul><li>Our product offering (tactical and strategic). </li></ul><ul><li>How we can help. </li></ul>
Description of Most Company’s Computer Systems They are the heart of a company, that gives it a unique personality and a unique set of problems and challenges. They automate and standardize processes and determine the company’s productivity. Much of the company’s critical information is embedded in data tables and computer code, which is poorly documented. The company’s very existence is dependent upon them. They have become a disparate (utterly different in kind) patchwork of in-house developed and purchased hardware and software components from a variety of different vendors and eras. They were developed over time to meet specific business needs and were the result of projects that had critical short term goals and budget constraints. This resulted in an overall system with a high degree of complexity and redundancy . Once part of the over system, each of the product must be supported and maintained, adding to the overall annual cost of the IT budget.
The Trend While companies have been meeting short term objectives and celebrating success, many have been unaware of the downward spiral they are in. Advances in Technology Advances by Your Competition Increase in Age and Complexity of Your Systems Effectiveness of Your Systems
Is Technology an Asset or a Liability? <ul><li>The effectiveness of your systems should be measured in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Value……..are your systems meeting the needs of the business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Efficiency…………….amount of work performed relative to cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality……………….dependability as well as the frequency and severity of problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsiveness……amount of time and effort required to enhance and maintain them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk…………………..impact to the company if certain events occur </li></ul></ul>Are your computer systems more of a powerful engine driving you forward or have they become more of an extra weight that is slowing you down.
The Downward Spiral – Events and Impacts 5) The overall computer systems age and become more complex. 6) Operating, development, and maintenance costs increase and less money is available for modernization. 3) Business needs are generally met through a series of projects with single short term objectives and tight budget constraints. 1) Technology and your competition keep advancing. 2) Most companies lack a vision and a direction for evolving their systems. Cost and Efficiency – The IT budget is taking up an increasing percent of the company’s overall budget. Quality – Customer satisfaction suffers because of the number of problems and time required to fix the problems. Responsiveness – It takes longer to define, code, test, implement and maintain systems. Risks – There is increased risk associated with obsolete technologies and finding staff that can support the technologies and outdated programming languages. 4) Solutions with a targeted focus and limited shelf life are implemented, often adding redundancy.
Impact on budgets when IT complexity and redundancy increases IT fixed costs and project costs increase and less money is available for other critical company expense areas. More time and effort is required to handle the same volume of change (or less change is completed with the same effort and cost). Business area costs are impacted as well as IT department costs.
TIPS <ul><li>Tactical – These are actions with modest impact but requiring lower cost and timeframes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate Redundancy and Complexity – consolidate processing into fewer and newer products. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standardize processes – standardize IT support activities (e.g. incident and problem tracking, quality assurance, vendor relations). Consistency and predictability results in more efficiency and higher quality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider operating costs when selecting solutions – ensure all ongoing operating costs are included in your cost benefit analysis. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplify then Automate – Automation improves consistency and accuracy. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strategic – These are actions with significant impact, but requiring higher investment and effort </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop and Follow a Strategic Plan – A strategy is critical to success. It defines your vision and direction (the target state) and provides a plan and cost estimates (the roadmap) for achieving that vision. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Migrate to a common modern framework (telecom, platform, operating systems) – Ensure new solutions work on top of the newer more modern infrastructure products. Avoid adopting solutions that increase dependence on older technologies. </li></ul></ul>
The Upward Spiral – Events and Impacts 1) Technology and your competition keep advancing. 5) Redundancy is reduced and systems become less complex and more inline with a common framework. 6) Operating and maintenance costs are greatly reduced and more money is available to further grow and simplify your systems. 4) Investments are made in accordance with the strategy and are incremental steps in that direction. 2) A strategic plan defines your vision and direction and provides a roadmap for achieving that vision. Cost – Overall costs are reduced because less products need to be supported. More efficient systems means less computing horsepower is required. Quality – Customer satisfaction improves because less problems make it to production and time to detect and correct problems is reduced. Responsiveness – Less redundancy and complexity means less time is required to define, code, test, implement and maintain systems. Risks – are greatly reduced as transition to a more common, modern framework occurs. 3) Business needs are met through a series of projects that balance the immediate and long range plans of the company.
Difficulty in Finding Someone to Help <ul><li>Thousands of technology companies, offer narrowly focused solutions and lack an understanding of the entire IT industry. Big name consulting firms are extremely expensive and often push proprietary solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>We are a high value alternative to big name consulting firms and can be your trusted partner to provide guidance, address challenges, and tune/automate processes. We will help you develop a strategy and plan that will achieve immediate business needs, but will also evolve you to a brighter and healthier future. Below are areas we can address: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology (“The Right Solutions Implemented in the Right way”) - Our focus is on optimizing your IT operation. Our team has extensive IT experience with leading consulting and fortune 500 companies. We have in-depth knowledge of the marketplace and IT industry with certifications in areas such as PMP, Six Sigma, ITIL, CMM, and TMM. We can augment your existing staff with needed expertise or function as an interim CIO. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People (“The Right People Doing the Right Job”) - Our focus is on helping people become as effective and compliant as possible with the help of technology. We bring extensive experience in human resources, business process modeling, and people change management. We can augment your existing staff with needed expertise or function as an interim HR Director or Business Analyst. </li></ul></ul>
Product Offerings - Tactical Options (1 of 2) Application Development Processes – Running an IT organization is extremely complex with many critical support functions (e.g. supplier management, problem management, disaster recovery, Standard Lead Times). We apply internationally recognized ITIL standards in evaluating and recommending process improvements. We will help you run your IT organization like a profit center and improve your bottom line. Telecom Cost Analysis and Recovery – The telecommunications industry is extremely complex and telecom companies rarely make mistakes in the end-customers’ favor. We have extensive expertise dealing with telecom companies, recovering large refunds, and securing price reductions. Our offering has no upfront costs for you. We make money if you save money Web-Development and Interactive Communication - Communication is critical to success, and web development is a key component of communication. It could be outward facing (marketing), internal facing (policies and procedures), or interactive (automating business procedures). We have extensive experience in web and interactive program development. We can improve marketing exposure through search engine optimization. Technology (Improving your IT Operation) – Our goal is to improve the efficiency, quality, and responsiveness of your IT organization while reducing overall technology risks. We understand technology and how modern IT organizations operate. Our tactical services include:
PMI Education and PMP Certification - Because we provide official PMI education and testing for PMP certification, we understand effective project management techniques. We can evaluate and tune your project life cycle as well as train your project managers. Business Requirements Definition – For large or complex projects, you often need someone to facilitate requirements-definition meetings between technology and business personnel. Our structured processes make the meetings more enjoyable and productive. Sourcing Options – We have in-depth experience is sourcing options. We can help find people with the right skills to add to staff. We can also help select the right company to manage a specific project or augment your staff. Vendor Selection and Negotiations – Choosing the wrong product or solution can have severe consequences, and paying too much is not wise. We understand the IT industry and marketplace. We can document your requirements, identify vendors that have solutions, create a request for proposal, identify a short list qualified vendors, and help with contract negations. Product Offerings - Tactical Options (2 of 2)
Product Offerings - Strategic Options Business and Technology Strategy – A strategy is important for long term success. It helps resolve major challenges and position you to achieve future objectives. When followed , your investments are incremental steps toward your vision. We have extensive experience developing modernization plans as well as business and technology strategies. We help document your vision and direction (target state) and develop action plans and estimates (roadmap). Modern Architectural Concepts and Technologies – In order to make sound investment decisions, you need to understand technology. We have extensive experience with the latest IT architectural concepts and technologies. Our guidance and support will allow you to make decisions that will result in long term efficiency and effectiveness of your business. Virtual Business Solutions – Many small-to-medium-sized companies find it more cost efficient to outsource their business processing. The latest buzz word is “Cloud Computing”. If you are considering this option we can help you evaluate the risks and benefits.
Older vs Newer Architectural Concepts We don’t have time today to discuss the differences in technology architectural concepts, but they are significant. Your systems may be based on the older concepts and technologies and you may be forced to continue to enhance these systems. But the newer concepts are more efficient, the shelf life is longer, and the risks are considerably lower. Older IT Architectural Concepts Newer IT Architectural Concepts
Services IT Business / Technology Strategy Alignment Description <ul><li>Annual Business Strategy Process </li></ul><ul><li>We can help implement tools and processes that document desired functionality, identify gaps, provide a plan for evolution of system functionality, and manage progress against the plan. </li></ul>Architectural Concepts and Technologies System Features and Functions Annual Technology Strategy Process We understand the latest technologies and architectural concepts (SOA, EDA, and ESB). We can help develop technology evolution plans and implement technology governance procedures. Application Development Process The best way to achieve your company’s potential and optimize expenses, is by having a strategic vision and managing progress against that vision. You really can’t afford to not have a strategic focus. Business Requirements Technology Requirements Problem Statement - Many companies react to day to day problems, competition, and government regulations, but lack a strategic plan for evolving their business and systems. In addition, technologies keep advancing and most companies accumulate a wide mix of current and outdated technologies. Having multiple similar purpose technologies increases support costs and risks and hinders business evolution.
Services Tools to improve documentation and communications <ul><li>Business Process Management (BPM) – There are natural barriers to communications between the business and the technology teams. The business doesn’t understand all that is involved with maintaining and enhancing systems and technology doesn’t understand business drivers. Also, because of time constraints documentation on how the system works is often lacking. We understand tools that are available (BPMN, Use Cases) that help document the systems, bridge the communications gap, improve efficiency, and reduce overall costs. </li></ul>Spanish Necesito que me proporcions vente cuentas Canadienses, Opcion Oro, las cuales tengan suspendido el derecho de uso, y que tengan un monto de al menos cien dolares German Wir haben eine Vereinbarung dieses Projekt am Ende des Monats zu installieren. Sie muessen alle Bereit sein. French S’il vous plait D’identifiez les accountes D’Opion Dor qui ont suspendu le privelege de charger sur leur carte de credit. Need for you to provide 20 accounts Canadian, Option Gold, those of which have suspended privileges and that have a balance of at least $100 dollars. We have a commitment, this project at the end of the month, to install. You must be prepared. Please tell us how to identify gold option accounts with suspended charging privileges. Technical Representative Business Representative Project Manager Technical Representative Business Representative Project Manager At typical day at the office It seems like we are speaking different languages
Services System Monitoring Description Problem Statement - Today’s corporate networks are made up of hundreds if not thousands of individual components. Any of which could break down and result in outages and disrupted services. Are you waiting for your customers to complain then taking extensive time to identify and resolve the problem? Or are you receiving alerts and correcting the problem before customers are impacted? We understand system monitoring products and can recommend products and options. Focus on this area will improve customer satisfaction and customer reputation and reduce risk. . The top section of this diagram shows some of the key components that make up a typical network. The bottom section shows some of the products that make up a system monitoring application. Software is loaded on the network components that communicate performance information to the system monitoring application. The system monitoring application maintains performance history and compares to current trends. Warning signals are sent when problems are detected.
Services Quality Assurance and Testing Description Quality Assurance – Defects can creep into the development process at different times. There are many effective processes including desk-checks, walk-through, and testing that identify and eliminate defects as early in the process as possible. Focus on quality assurance reduces development costs and improves quality and customer satisfaction. Testing – This is the most complex and expensive component of the Quality Assurance process. The challenge is how to replicate the production environment and include all the test conditions required to identify defects. We understand tools and processes used to build test environments, manage test cases and data and control the software migration process. Focus on this area improves quality and customer satisfaction plus reduces risk and expense. Quality Assurance is a broad term that spans the entire project life cycle and includes testing. Identifying and correcting defects earlier in the project life cycle is less expensive and disruptive that later in the life cycle (it is cheaper to correct defects in the requirements phase then the design phase and considerably easier then in the coding or testing phase). Quality Assurance procedures include reviews, metrics, and scorecards that with the appropriate people to validate later project deliverables against preceding project deliverables (e.g. validating design back to requirements and code back to design). Testing Includes Quality Assurance
Services Application Development Processes Description <ul><li>Application development processes are far more than a project methodology. They include: </li></ul>Investment in these processes will improve short term efficiency and effectiveness (cost, speed and quality) but more importantly will have significant impact in achieving long term corporate objectives. Business Strategy Alignment – Defining business objectives, identifying gaps between current and desired business functionality and grouping upgrades into development projects. Technology Strategy – Developing a longer range strategic plan. This plan will evaluate existing technologies, define a target state and produce a roadmap for migrating toward the target state. Project Methodology and Support Processes – developing or tuning a methodology that best fits your organization (waterfall, iterative, extreme) and improving the supporting processes (testing, software migration, etc). Quality Assurance – Building quality into the entire development process from requirements through implementation. Ongoing Support – Ensures production defects are quickly detected and properly managed and resolved. Overall Process Evaluation and Control - Uses industry standards and techniques (e.g. Six Sigma, ITIL, CMM, TMM etc.) to provide metrics and identify and implement process improvements.
Services Migration toward grouping by processing type By Application By Type Processing