Introducing the Operations Director

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Part of a series exploring enterprise IT decision makers.

This presentation explores: Who are they? What are they responsible for? Who should be talking to them? What do they want to talk about?

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Introducing the Operations Director

  1. 1. Part of a series taking a closer look at enterprise IT THE (IT) OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
  2. 2. SOMETIMES IT FEELS LIKETHE ONLY ONE MARKETERSWANT TOTALKTO ISTHE CIO.
  3. 3. BUTTHERE’S A WHOLE LOT MORETO ENTERPRISE IT.
  4. 4. INTRODUCINGTHE (IT) OPERATIONS DIRECTOR…
  5. 5. CONTENTS What might my objectives look like?
  6. 6. WHAT ELSE MIGHT I BE CALLED? There’s a lack of consistency in naming for this job function. But some key words do crop up repeatedly: Operations Director Head of Service Delivery / Service Delivery Director Group Operations Director (larger organisations) IT Operations Head of IT Infrastructure Head ofTechnology Services
  7. 7. WHO AM I?WHAT DO I DO? I’m responsible for: • All IT infrastructure (data centres, network, desktop) • Relationships with outsourcers if we use their Infrastructure Service. • I report to the CIO and look after the IT “plumbing”. • I may be the person that people take for granted.To them, IT capability is just there like water when you turn on the tap. • I like automation and I was an early exponent of outsourcing.
  8. 8. WHO AM I?WHAT DO I DO? I typically: • Run operations and manage the IT infrastructure • Keep the ‘lights on’ 24/7, from desktops to mainframes • Manage the availability of ‘the plumbing’ to levels > 99.95% • Ensure the infrastructure is relatively up to date and maintainable • Manage 3rd parties that I am dependent upon e.g. IBM or HP plus various other outsourcers. • Probably take responsibility for the sound running of the Help Desk • Am responsible for hardware security • Do all this with a tiny number of people.
  9. 9. TYPICAL BACKGROUND Background and characteristics include: • I probably came up through IT Ops (data centre, network ops, desktop). • I might have been asked to take this ‘sideways’ management move as part of a longer term development. • I may play a more strategic role in businesses such as Retail, or those with large IT dependent sales forces (Life and Pensions), Banking, Manufacturing. • I normally have a good feel for customer service issues.
  10. 10. WHO IS MY BOSS ANDWHO DO I MANAGE? IT Strategy and Architecture Business Transformation Application Development Operations Governance and Risk CIO Data Centre Manager Network Manager Desktop Manager Help Desk Technical Support And sometimes Print, Security & Mobiles
  11. 11. THEWORLD I LIVE IN – DATA CENTRES Mainframes / MIPS Servers Storage Network Infrastructure Disaster Recovery Almost staff-less Remote Operations 24 x 7 use Shifts 100% availability Capacity issues and planning
  12. 12. THEWORLD I LIVE IN – NETWORK OPERATIONS WAN Private Cloud LANs Firewalls Network resilience Cabling BYOD ACDsPBXs Routers Big suppliers like BT / C&W SLAs Security Assets Management
  13. 13. THEWORLD I LIVE IN – DESKTOP LANs Firewalls DesktopVirtualisation Cabling Technology refreshes SLAs BYOD Anti-virus User Experience Assets Management Security
  14. 14. WHAT MIGHT MY OBJECTIVES LOOK LIKE? My objectives will typically include: • 99.99% availability & maintain good app response times • Automation project delivery (data centre, network ops, desktop) • BYOD project implementation (others design it, I implement it and support it) • Meeting internal customer satisfaction ratings (in core business units e.g. stores) • Reduce costs ‘by 10%’ • Meeting Help Desk internal SLAs • Management of 3rd party SLAs
  15. 15. A DAY INTHE LIFE OFTHE IT OPS DIRECTOR (IN A RETAILER) Vendor Pitch – network automation Interview – BYODTeam Leader Planning Meeting – Roll-out of EPoS* system Planning Meeting – 2014 store opening plans Capacity planning meeting Monthly review with infrastructure supplier Budget review Review with Business Unit Heads (SLAs) Security breach - review SLA review – with 3rd party outsourcer * Electronic Point of Sale – stuff that allows customers to make a payment.
  16. 16. WHAT DO ITHINK ABOUT PEOPLE IWORKWITH? CIO – ‘Takes me for granted. Does not appreciate the complexity’ Apps Director – ‘seems to forget how reliable the hardware is…’ CTO – ‘my closest ally / easy life as never has to implement anything’ Strategy/Transformation Director – ‘never met him/her…’ Compliance / Security – ‘they design impractical policies to cover their backs…’
  17. 17. BUTWHAT DOTHEYTHINK ABOUT ME? ‘Does what I tell them to ….. eventually! Can be bound by process.’ (CTO) ‘Jumps to conclusions. Maybe not the sharpest tool in the box’. (Apps Director) ‘Solid’ (CIO) ‘Leaky. Never follows what I specify 100%’ (Compliance / Security)
  18. 18. WHO’STARGETING ME? (OR MAYBE SHOULD BE) Suppliers of all kinds of: Enterprise IT hardware, e.g. blades, servers etc. Connectivity and infrastructure: Fixed Line, Unify, PBX, LAN, Managed Wan etc. Systems software Managed infrastructure Managed Services Software tools to manage/automate infrastructure
  19. 19. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK OPS DIR
  20. 20. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK ‘OPS DIR’ • BYOD – ‘Bring Your Own Device‟, also known as „Consumerisation of IT‟. This is the phenomenon of people increasingly using their own private devices for work, and their expectations of service and usability rising accordingly. This is a major security and organisational headache for IT in general, especially Ops. Many still „just say No‟. • Data Centre – where all the core mainframes and large servers are hosted in a secure environment, air conditioned, protected, where ideally nothing can fail. Usually involves mainframes, servers, storage and maybe some network infrastructure. Usually in remote/inexpensive buildings, run by a small number of staff. • Mainframe – kind of like a supercomputer; one that will support thousands of users all running off a range of different core systems, like banking systems, retail systems, distribution systems. Dominated by IBM (the z series). This is where most big organisations‟ core databases are.
  21. 21. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK ‘OPS DIR’ • Mainframe – kind of like a supercomputer; one that will support thousands of users all running off a range of different core systems, like banking systems, retail systems, distribution systems. Dominated by IBM (the z series). This is where most big organisations‟ core databases are. • Firewall - a firewall can either be software-based or hardware-based and is used to help keep a network secure. Its primary objective is to control the incoming and outgoing network traffic by analysing the data packets and determining whether it should be allowed through or not, based on a predetermined rule set.
  22. 22. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK ‘OPS DIR’ • MIPS – (Millions of instructions per second) This is a way of measuring the power of a mainframe, so if someone says we have a datacentre with 200 MIPS it gives you a sense of the processing power and the user base they may be able to store. Basically it‟s a way of quantifying the processing capacity at your disposal in your datacentres. E.g. “We‟ve got 200 MIPS, and we‟re likely to need another 50 MIPS to take us through some growth, accommodate an acquisition…” • Storage – simply means disk space. Storage farms, as they tend to be known are where all the databases are housed which all the core systems are run off, typically housed within a mainframe. When talking about capacity they‟re likely to mention storage in terms of number terabytes and gigabytes they have available.
  23. 23. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK ‘OPS DIR’ • Disaster Recovery – Have to have plans for all aspects of IT infrastructure, in the event of a catastrophic failure e.g. plane crash into datacentre. Need to think about how a user goes through a network to core systems and mainframes if this happens. There are nightly processes to take copies off site to secure environments, so you could recover and reconnect your network as quickly as possible. In some cases, this doesn‟t just mean systems – it can include emergency office space too, and other facilities. But for Ops IT, it‟s normally referring to the datacentre scenario – in terms of relationships with outsourcers, it‟s almost like paying an insurance fee.
  24. 24. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK ‘OPS DIR’ • Remote operation – this is really important. It means being able to remotely fix things on network to drive all the operational aspects of a data centre. For the Ops Director this can mean driving down staff. It can involve a lot of automation but not exclusively so. • On a network there can be hundreds and thousands of devices that tell you there‟s issues on the network before they manifest themselves to users. This means that by the time the users notice it‟s getting a little bit slow – you‟ve already got your supplier working on it.
  25. 25. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK ‘OPS DIR’ • Capacity Planning – as an Ops Director I have capacity all the way from LANs, Local Servers, on the Network (traffic), and through to datacentres. I have to plan this capacity – i.e. what I need versus what I‟ve got and what I need to budget. Ops Directors can have high availability targets (e.g. 99.5%) so this is a big priority. Availability will start to really suffer if I have too much traffic on the network – and this tends to manifest itself in problems downstream. • Network Automation – This basically means having devices on the network all communicating electronically with the network centre or helpdesk, making me aware of problems (e.g. lines failing or degrading, routers going out etc.) The automation part is how you are told about this and in many cases the solution of the problem too.
  26. 26. • Desktop Virtualisation – easiest described with an example: • If you have a few thousand people across some call centres all using PC- based technologies, each machine has therefore got an operating system, lots of utility programmes and loads of applications. • As IT Ops, I have to manage and maintain all those 1000 users. • If I virtualise the desktop there‟s no change from the user‟s point of view, but all that software now runs on the server, not their PC. • That means I can now update just one or two things rather than thousands. All I‟ve got sitting on the „client‟ ( their individual PC or workstation) is some software which allows me to redirect everything to the server. • A thin client = a client that is just running something like this software on each PC. So sometimes people use „thin client‟ to mean desktop virtualisation. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK ‘OPS DIR’
  27. 27. • Middleware – a piece of technology that allows me to develop applications. It sits in front of the mainframes (remember these could be 30 yrs old, and no-one wants to touch them. Sometimes they haven‟t got the skills to maintain them anymore so you stick in a modern middleware platform). • You can build rules within that middleware layer: for example, one that says get me a full customer record and bring it all together at the front end. • It‟s a way of making some rules for standard activity on core systems, but with a technology that‟s modern and flexible and shields you from the potentially expensive nightmares that are your core systems. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK ‘OPS DIR’
  28. 28. • Technology Re-Fresh – for example: • You have Windows NT 4 and it‟s going out of support so you have to migrate all the applications that are sitting on an NT platform over onto something else. • Windows XP is also going out of service, so you can imagine if you‟re a banker who‟s got a huge number of applications on these platforms it can be disruptive, expensive and risky to migrate them all across. • Large organisations face many cycles of these disruptive technology refreshes. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK ‘OPS DIR’
  29. 29. • SLAs – Service Level Agreements between the organisation and its suppliers. Often based on core demands from the business (internal customers). Based on what levels of urgency are acceptable, (say for a user or multiple users not being able to work for a certain amount of time) and what the typical problems are that can cause inability to work, lost sales, or cause other business-critical issues. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK ‘OPS DIR’
  30. 30. • ACD – Service Level Agreements between the organisation and its suppliers. Often based on core demands from the business (internal customers). Based on what levels of urgency are acceptable, (say for a user or multiple users not being able to work for a certain amount of time) and what the typical problems are that can cause inability to work, lost sales, or cause other business-critical issues. GLOSSARY: LEARNTO SPEAK ‘OPS DIR’
  31. 31. WHO AREWE AND WHY DO WE CARE?
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