vital Inspiration for the modern business Volume 3 : Issue 2 : November / December 2009
The future is in their hands What the â€˜realtime generationâ€™ thinks of IT
A healthy reliance on ITSM
Are we just paying lip service to DR?
Taking the temperature of IT in healthcare
VitAL is now online at www.vital-mag.net
Keep your eye on IT
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Automated ITIL Service Management Service Discovery and Dependency Mapping IT Operations Intelligence and Root Cause Analysis Data Center Automation and Compliance
To understand & demonstrate the tangible benefits that can be realised from an ITIL approach, visit: www.emcionix.com/ServiceManager/uk to access EMC’s ITIL ROI Calculator.
EMC2, EMC, Ionix and where information lives are registered trademarks of EMC Corporation. © Copyright 2009 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.
Introducing VitAL Online Leader W
hen VitAL magazine was launched two years ago, the world was a very different place. The magazine was born into what it’s fair to say were very ‘interesting’ times. The financial sector was still powering ahead, about to be caught in the credit crunch and the global economy was about to slide into the grip of the worst recession since World War Two. Despite the tribulations of global finance, IT is more than ever coming to the fore and driving businesses and often being highlighted as a key method of cost reduction or generating higher returns. It’s difficult to think of any business or industry outside the realms of traditional artisans and craftsmen that are not now entirely reliant on IT to do business. And I would argue that even these disciplines use IT for communications, marketing and other functions. It has always been the aim of VitAL magazine to relate the IT function directly to the business and in this we have been vindicated. While IT service management is still at the core of the magazine, and we have specific interests in the service desk, ITIL implementation and all aspects of modern IT service management that are business focussed, we are starting to branch out into the important and associated areas of networking, security and, everyone’s current hot topic, cloud computing and virtualisation. So far so good, although do feel free to let us know if there’s anything you feel needs coverage in the magazine that we have neglected so far – or indeed anything you feel needs debating. The next step is to take the project a stage further. Our aim has always been to publish VitAL in as many formats as possible so with that in mind we are delighted to announce that as well as the bi-monthly printed magazines, VitAL Online has now well and truly gone live. So for the latest news; in-depth thought leadership features; case studies; cutting edge opinion pieces; best practice and strategy articles; industry events news; vendor listings; digital archive; PDF versions of past issues; and a whole lot more, much of it exclusive to the website, you can now visit: www.vital-mag.net We hope you enjoy the site and very much look forward to any comments or feedback you may have. Happy surfing.
Service management training in particular, becomes vitally
important in tough economic times
because it will be
those operations that
can adapt quickest to
changing circumstances Matt Bailey, Editor
that will be strong enough to survive, and even thrive, under the present economic
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November / December 2009 : VitAL 1
Subscribe FREE to the most VitAL source of information VitAL : Inspiration for the modern business
Inspira tion for the moder n busine ss Volume 3 : Issue 2 : November / December 2009
The future is in their hands What the ‘realtime generation’ thinks
Volume 3 : Issue 2 : November/Decem ber 2009
Courting disaster Are we just paying lip service to DR?
A healthy reliance on ITSM
Taking the temperature of IT in healthcare
VitAL IS NOW ONLINE AT WWW.V itAL-MAG.NET
News, Views, Strategy, Management, Case Studies and Opinion Pieces
vital Inspiration for the modern business
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vital Inspiration for the modern business
vital Inspiration for the modern business Volume 3 : Issue 2 : November / December 2009
The future is in their hands
Contents 6 News The VitAL Cover Story
10 The realtime generation
What the ‘realtime generation’ thinks of IT
A healthy reliance on ITSM
Are we just paying lip service to DR?
Taking the temperature of IT in healthcare
VitAL IS NOW ONLINE AT WWW.VitAL-MAG.NET
Editor Matthew Bailey email@example.com Tel: +44 (0)1293 934464 To advertise contact: Grant Farrell firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)1293 934461 Production & Design Toni Barrington email@example.com Dean Cook firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial & Advertising Enquiries 31 Media, Crawley Business Centre, Stephenson Way, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 1TN Tel: +44 (0) 870 863 6930 Fax: +44 (0) 870 085 8837 Email: email@example.com Web: www.vital-mag.net Printed by Pensord, Tram Road, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood. NP12 2YA © 2009 31 Media Limited. All rights reserved. VitAL Magazine is edited, designed, and published by 31 Media Limited. No part of VitAL Magazine may be reproduced, transmitted, stored electronically, distributed, or copied, in whole or part without the prior written consent of the publisher. A reprint service is available. Opinions expressed in this journal do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or VitAL Magazine or its publisher, 31 Media Limited. ISSN 1755-6465 Published by:
Chris Gabriel For today’s 13-17 year olds, realtime is the only time that matters. Chris Gabriel assesses the impact of their personal technology habits, their aspirations for technology in education, and their thoughts about their IT future.
VitAL Signs – Life in a world with IT
13 Rigidly defined areas of ambiguity Steve White Are flowchart template software packages missing a symbol?
14 Courting disaster Tony Brown Too many organisations are paying lip-service to their disaster recovery requirements. What exactly is required for a thorough disaster recovery strategy?
16 How safe is your password? Peter Wood Ethical hacker Peter Wood says several issues continue to crop up which contribute to the plundering of information assets by opportunistic attack. Here he outlines one of the most likely routes an attacker may take to compromise your network security.
20 Driving a positive customer experience Dr Roger Newman Outsourcing can play its part in driving a positive customer experience through the economic downturn.
22 The planetary approach to outsourcing Chris Tiernan Unlocking IT value is the Holy Grail for many executives, however, when asked, many have great difficulty in defining what they mean by value. Perhaps you need to stand outside the structure to get the right perspective. VitAL Magazine, Proud to be the UKCMG’s Official Publication ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark, and a Registered Community Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce, and is Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Subscribing to VitAL Magazine VitAL Magazine is published six times per year for directors, department heads, and managers who are looking to improve the impact that IT implementation has on their customers and business. For a FREE annual subscription to VitAL Magazine please visit: www.vital-mag.net/subscribe November / December 2009 : VitAL 3
Promote yourself ISEB and Kepner Tregoe (KT) are delighted to announce the new KT ITSM Problem & Incident Management Foundation certificate. The certificate provides evidence of knowledge of the KT processes in an ITSM Incident and Problem Management environment, which has been a very popular training programme for many years and covers Situation Appraisal, Problem Analysis, Decision Analysis, Potential Problem Analysis and Implementation. For more information visit www.kepner-tregoe.com/PIM
ISEB and KT will be launching this certificate and offering delegates the chance to take the exam in the Norfolk Room at itSMF UK in Birmingham on Tuesday 10 November at 9.30am.
To book an exam for Tuesday 10 November (limited places available) call 01628 778776. ISEB is part of the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and is an International examination body. We have delivered over 380,000 exams worldwide and our exams are available in over 200 countries.
For more information visit www.iseb-exams.com or call 01793 417655. Kepner Tregoe has a systematic, ITIL速-recognised approach that streamlines customer care programs, accelerates resolution, and reduces costs. In collaboration with KT, support organisations dramatically reduce the time and cost to resolve both the most expensive, high-risk, mission-critical problems and volume problems, preserving and strengthening important customer relationships.
For more information visit www.kepner-tregoe.com or call 01628 778776.
ITIL速 is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries. MTG/AD/700/1009
Contents 26 Managing your capacity
40 Taking the pulse of IT in healthcare Neil McMenemy Now that ITIL is being adopted by more companies the popularity of capacity management is once more increasing. Time to get reacquainted with this discipline.
Linda King The healthcare sector is bucking current trends and its IT spend is growing. Linda King checks the temperature in this fast growing IT sector.
44 How to learn from Lactobaccilus Steve White Regular VitAL columnist Steve White learns lessons about a scientific approach to support strategy from Lactobaccilus.
28 Investing in knowledge Aiden Lawes The credit crunch is the ideal opportunity to refresh and extend the skills of the workforce. But in previous downturns, training budgets were often slashed. Here’s hoping this time around enterprises are show a bit more foresight.
VitAL drive – it hits the fairway
29 New lamps for old? Geraint Lewis As IT manager for the PGA, Geraint Lewis can make comparisons between the flashy world of new golf equipment and the thought of perhaps shopping for new IT hardware.
30 The flexible service desk matt bailey Being flexible enough to meet the ever changing needs of your customers should be a minimum requirement for service desk software. Tony Probert explains how the service desk is developing to meet today’s challenges.
46 A virtual migration Frank Puranik A case study in how network emulation software helped Capita to virtualise its data centres.
48 The next generation of IT management matt bailey Migration to the cloud offers a range of financial and operational benefits, not least the opportunity to start from scratch with totally integrated, virtualised systems. Matt Bailey speaks to EMC Ionix ITSM specialist John Murnane and the company’s regional vice president EMEA, Colin Murray.
52 Greening the IT helpdesk
34 A tailored approach, not ITIL for ITIL’s sake adrian polley ITIL is the best practice approach to IT service management, but can it deliver genuine business benefits and will it survive the recession intact? A tailored approach may be the answer.
36 Derbyshire’s healthy reliance on ITIL Daryl Barber Derbyshire Health Information Service decided it needed a service desk overhaul with the flexibility to align with ITIL. VitAL speaks to DHIS customer service manager Daryl Barber.
VitAL eyes on
39 Identity theft – what are you doing about it? Jonathan Westlake National Fraud Prevention Week has raised the issue of ID theft. Jonathan Westlake offers some useful advice.
Bryan Taylor The global IT industry accounts for around two per cent of carbon dioxide emissions – much the same as aviation. Bryan Taylor has some helpful advice for those seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.
54 Virtualisation and the other green computing initiative Owen Cole Green IT has to result in positive bottom line impact or it is doomed to failure. Owen Cole assesses the technologies that can be used to achieve both these goals.
56 Optimising IT services for business success – itSMF UK 2009 Conference Last year’s itSMF Conference was rated ‘the best yet’ by its members, with approximately 1,200 attendees from over 45 nations. This year’s event promises to be even better. We take a closer look.
64 Secret of my success Head of independent environmental charity Global Action Plan, Trewin Restorick goes under the spotlight. November / December 2009 : VitAL 5
IT sector positive about recovery in 2010 “Investment in IT education and skills is essential if we are to turn a nascent economic recovery into a long-term competitive advantage,” David Clarke, BCS chief executive.
mproving the IT skills of the UK workforce should be a top priority for boosting economic recovery, according to a new survey from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Asked how they think economic recovery could be boosted, senior IT managers, surprisingly, put better IT skills and qualifications ahead of a ‘better IT infrastructure’. To get a better IT-skilled workforce, nearly two-thirds want to see ‘a greater focus on IT education at all levels’
and the same number want ‘more investment in developing IT skills’. Over half think it is very important to ‘improve the commercial focus for IT qualifications’. “Investment in IT education and skills is essential if we are to turn a nascent economic recovery into a long-term competitive advantage,” commented BCS chief executive David Clarke. “Our ability to process, share and manage information will determine the success of our society. To be successful, we need a high performing IT education system and a population with the IT skills to be productive, empowered citizens.” Asked which area of the public sector they’d prioritise for IT investment, the vast majority of respondents said education (81 percent) followed by health (60 percent), crime and justice (20 percent) and defence (16 percent). David A Smith, chief executive of Global Futures and Foresight,
said: “New communications technologies, including the use of AI-driven avatars, holograms and virtual worlds, will increasingly challenge the ageing UK workforce. We will need to develop world class skills in managing and exploiting these and other emerging technologies, amidst a forecast talent shortage, so that we can engage with the rapidly developing economies that these technologies create.” The report revealed that 54 percent od respondent are positive about the economic prospects for the IT Industry in the coming year and that 64 percent see the UK economy emerging from the recession by the end of 2010. Sixty six percent think faster national broadband roll out is the most important factor to achieve a better IT infrastructure, while 37 percent are ‘positive’ about business prospects for UK businesses over the next 12 months. The BCS also revealed details of a raft of new initiatives that it says
are designed to enhance its value to its members, the IT profession, the academic community and the general public. The new initiatives include: – A more rigorous approach for assessing Chartered status for IT professionals reflecting the input of major employers, government, and the academic community; – The intention to create a new Academy of Computing to create an integrated and coherent approach to advancing IT and computing across education, research and business; – A strategy for international expansion which will see BCS extending its global reach and offering its qualifications to new countries including the Asia Pacific region, Germany and Spain; – A new BCS web site with increased functionality for BCS members, academics and the general public.
The rise of mobile email
new report reveals that while a quarter of people now access emails via their mobile phones, poor formatting and a lack of brand recognition means that almost a third of permission-based marketing emails are being deleted unread. In the free report, ‘Email marketing: the mobile conundrum’, Experian CheetahMail commissioned YouGov to look at consumers’ attitudes towards reading emails on their mobile phone. Its research reveals that mobile email usage is rife amongst 18-34 year olds, with around three out of four saying that they either currently read emails on their mobile phones or plan to do so in the near future. A third of
6 VitAL : November / December 2009
all respondents said that a major barrier to reading emails on their mobile was poor email layout, while a further 30 percent would not open an email from a brand they did not recognise. The report also found that the growing trend of reading emails on the move challenges the traditional thinking around the best time for brands to engage with customers. While nearly half of the respondents read emails on their phone throughout the day, over half read emails on their phone over the weekend. “In an era when the mobile phone is now routinely used to check and respond to emails, it is clear that email marketers cannot afford to ignore the mobile channel,” comments Steve Lomax, managing director of Experian. “However, our research shows that only well formatted emails from recognised brands are likely to generate marketing cut through. Brands also need to take into account that consumers have a very different user experience on their mobile and what looks good on a PC can be almost unreadable on a mobile device. For effective permission-based mobile marketing campaigns, best practice techniques such as segmenting messages according to immediacy, optimising subject lines, sending multi-part emails and linking to a mobile version of the email can lead to an uplift in campaign results.”
90 percent of UK organisations plan to invest in virtualisation R esearch has revealed that 90 percent of UK organisations have already migrated – or are planning to migrate – to a virtualised environment. The figures were revealed when re se arc he r s a ske d the 4 0 0 I t professionals: “Are your current system management and monitoring tools able to support virtualisation?” Twenty three percent responded: “Yes our current tools will enable us to keep access available.” While a further 67 percent responded in the affirmative to the question: “We are investing in new tools to enable us to manage virtualised infrastructure.” “These responses mean that 90 percent of organisations polled for the survey are using or planning to use some form of virtualisation
technology with their IT systems,” says Natalie Booth, event director with Storage Expo, the organisation that commissioned the research. “Our research also found that, while security is holding back 30 percent of organisations polled, the majority (60 percent) plan to invest in new technology to tackle the security problems created by the migration to a virtual environment.” Tony Lock, programme director with Freeform Dynamics, said that virtualisation is adding new challenges all around but the biggest security challenges are matters of process rather than technology fixes. “This, of course, also makes them more difficult to address as one cannot rush out and buy a process fix in the same way one can acquire a new firewall or virus scanner,” he explained.
According to Lock, several issues must be carefully considered in any virtualisation project. In most organisations that have undertaken such projects, he says, the primary approach has centred upon consolidation, which has caused multiple virtual machines – or instances to be run on single server platforms or to create virtualised pools of storage. “By placing multiple applications on a single server or accessing a single resource pool of storage the resiliency of the physical platforms becomes incredibly important,” he said. “In ‘pre-virtualisation’ days if a single x86 server failed only a single group of users were likely to be affected. If a virtual server dies it can potentially take with it a number of applications and a much higher number of users.”
Foundation to Expert – ITIL V3 comes of age
A lack of financial resources is preventing vital improvements to risk management
aul Jackson, owner of mm Xc ellenc e a ser v ic e management consultancy has successfully achieved a world first, and qualified as an ITIL v3 Expert through the accredited v3 Lifecycle learning route, passing every exam at the first attempt and in just ten weeks. “For me, ITIL, IT service management and the drive towards more efficient, effective, transparent IT operations has been the core focus of my working life for a number of years,” said Jackson, “and, for me, achieving this qualification is an important step in progressing my career. I look forward to bringing this knowledge and experience to bear on future projects, and working with our customers to help them achieve their goals.” Paul gained the qualification after completing an intensive, fast track study programme whereby all five ITIL v3 lifecycle courses, and the overarching Managing Across the Lifecycle course were completed over a ten-week period. Training provider Sysop, a service management consultancy and training organisation, became the first independent training organisation in the UK to gain accreditation for all ITIL v3 training materials in August 2009. Stuart Sawle, MD of Sysop commented: “We are very proud of our track record on ITIL v3 qualifications. We were the first of the independent trainers to gain accreditation for all of the ITIL v3 qualifications and the first to accept a student onto the, very demanding, Managing across the Lifecycle course. Paul booked a concentrated programme of training with us and proved to be an exceptional student and a joy to teach. We wish him well in his career and continued success in his business goals with mmXcellence.”
he global financial crisis has prompted a wholesale re-evaluation of risk m a n a g e m e n t . B u t w h il e companies admit that major change is needed, a significant proportion is unwilling, or unable, to make the necessary enhancements. Beyond Box-ticking: A new era for risk governance,a new report written by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by ACE and KPMG, finds that a lack of financial resources will be the biggest barrier to effective risk management in the year ahead. Companies everywhere are conserving cash, cutting headcount and reining in expenditure. The report finds that risk functions are no exception, with the result that important improvements to risk management are pushed to the sideline. Asked about the biggest barriers to effective risk management in their organisation, the 364 risk professionals questioned for this study point to poor data quality, inadequate technology and a lack of expertise. But rather
than tackling these issues, risk professionals say they are more likely to concentrate on process improvements and training. This suggests that, rather than addressing the key risk management issues – which also carry the biggest price tag – companies are instead opting for some quick wins, and trying to do more with less. While this will have some limited impact the underlying problems with risk management are likely to remain. “Companies are facing a difficult dilemma in the current environment,” says Rob Mitchell, editor of the report. “On the one hand, they recognise the need to allocate greater time and resources to risk management so that serious shortcomings with their current approach can be addressed. But, on the other hand, they are facing huge pressures to keep costs under control. Satisfying these competing objectives poses something of a conundrum, and this could prevent necessary fixes to risk management from being made.”
November / December 2009 : VitAL 7
Over half of IT departments fail to deliver value
global survey has been published that shows that over half of IT executives believe that their IT systems, processes and services still do not deliver the value expected by the business. The research further underlines the need for organisations to adopt a service value management (SVM) approach to help IT deliver more business alignment. The global study by Axios Systems found that 64 percent of respondents are unable to provide the business and IT executives with
quantifiable metrics demonstrating the value of IT services and assets in real-time. Despite huge investments in IT, it appears organisations still lack the systems, processes and best practice approaches (eg ITIL) for IT management that would help overcome these challenges. As budgets come under close scrutiny, over a third of IT professionals claimed that business decision makers still do not understand the value IT brings to the business. According to the research, 63 percent of respondents are focused on cost reduction as the principal driver for IT projects over the next 12 months, followed by change management and compliance. When these business drivers are considered, the need for a new, more pragmatic and value-orientated approach to IT becomes increasingly important. Consequently, Axios Systems believes that service value management (SVM) will emerge and grow as an approach for IT executives. The focus on cost reduction and change management is being echoed in the specific technologies under consideration for the next 12 months. The major projects cited by respondents included CMDB (22 percent), change management (19 percent) and service catalogue (18 percent) deployments.
“Today organisations are looking at ways to have more business driven technology and this is why service value management (SVM), with ITIL at its foundation, is such a priority,” Sharon Taylor, ITIL v3 chief architect and chief examiner. In addition, 16 percent of respondents plan service desk upgrades or replacements. When these projects are taken together it emphasises the focus IT is taking in trying to understand the value of their IT assets, as well as finding ways to reduce costs and support business transformation initiatives. “Today organisations are looking at ways to have more business driven technology and this is why service value management (SVM), with ITIL at its foundation, is such a priority,” comments Sharon Taylor, ITIL v3 chief architect and chief examiner.
Bad practice is putting data at high risk
study conducted with the analyst company Quocirca has demonstrated that despite their trusted position privileged users are frequently the weakest link in the corporate security chain, due to poor management, inefficient manual processes and lack of awareness. The study’s findings indicate a real risk of privileged user accounts being compromised, mirroring the ongoing case of Gary McKinnon, who gained access to the Pentagon’s IT systems. While many of the 270 medium and large European organisations surveyed claimed to take steps to protect confidential data including highly personal customer information, 41 percent of supposedly ISO27001 compliant organisations admitted non-compliant practices such as sharing privileged user accounts. 8 VitAL : November / December 2009
Across Europe, 24 percent of organisations rely on forms of manual control for overseeing and controlling the actions of privileged users. Manual control is time-consuming, excessively expensive, unreliable, prone to error and most importantly, un-auditable. In the UK this figure rises to 29 percent. Despite the availability of privileged user management (PUM) systems, only 26 percent of European organisations surveyed have actually deployed them in full. The research reveals that controlling and monitoring the activities of privileged users is not sufficiently high on the agenda of IT managers, despite the huge amount of trust placed in them. Respondents rank PUM below seven other actual security threats to the organisation (scoring 2.54 out of five on an index of threat), below malware (2.9), the Internet (2.7), internal users (2.7), and Web 2.0 tools (2.6). Budget availability may be a reason for this prevarication (scoring 3.3 out of 5 on the scale of limiting factors), although 85 percent state that the budget spent on IT security is either stable or increasing as a proportion over overall IT spending. Ultimately, it is likely that another main reason for holding back is an under appreciation of the risks presented by privileged users. Out of the 270 organisations questioned, 45 were based in the UK. While 47 percent of UK organisations have implemented ISO27001, the standard for IT management that explicitly states that “the allocation and use of privileges shall be restricted and controlled”, nearly 30 percent of respondents had not heard of it. Furthermore, only 44 percent of UK organisations could confirm administrator accounts were not shared between individual administrators. www.vital-mag.net
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The realtime generation They have been called ‘Generation Y’, ‘the Millennials’ and now, the ‘realtime generation’. Chris Gabriel, director of solutions & marketing at Logicalis assesses the impact of their personal technology habits, their aspirations for technology in education, and their thoughts about their IT future. For them real-time is the only time that matters.
ver the past three years, Logicalis surveyed a representative group of 1317 year old UK citizens, polling their views on a range of issues, from their personal technology habits, their aspirations for technology in education, to their thoughts about their future work-life balance. After the initial survey in 2007, and from analysis of the responses we received, we named this group the UK ‘Realtime Generation’. In June 2009, we questioned 1049 13-17 year olds from four primary UK regions; Northern England, Midlands, Southern England and South Wales. Those historically most interested in the survey results have been the executive and IT leadership within UK further and higher education institutions. Since 2007, the general mood of the responses has been one of
10 VitAL : November / December 2009
positivity, we have all, our children included, been living through boom times until recently. We focused on digital habits and the use of social technologies in social and education settings, to give those making significant investments in both education and business technologies a glimpse into how those investments could transpire into better education outcomes or a more productive workforce. However this year, and in the light of the current economic gloom, we felt it incumbent on us to enquire if this generation’s aspirations and plans for education and careers had changed direction. When asking a 15-year-old if social networking would be a useful tool to make friends when joining university we must take into account whether that person now feels they can afford to attend university at all. www.vital-mag.net
A question of youth We have asked specific questions about education, course and career decisions in light of the recession, and in an attempt to try to capture a consolidated view of the combined worries of this current crop of the Realtime Generation we asked a final open question. “What are your main worries about your future?” You will not be surprised to hear that the recession has not escaped the attention of your average 13-17 year old. We were not expecting the impact the economic downturn was having on the immediate and future education and career plans of our children. Is it surprising that ‘jobs’, ‘money’, ‘afford’, ‘want’, ‘future’ are the terms most readily used? Probably not, what surprised us most is that with only a few exceptions we have an entire generation of teenagers worrying about the same things as their parents. Responses to our other questions reflect concerns over further and higher education ambitions and career choices. Which course to study, which career holds the best prospects, and which university to study at, are all under review due to this generation feeling the impact of the recession.
The recession Only 20 percent of our teenagers have no concerns as to the recession’s impact on their higher education decisions. The recession will affect the choices of our children and the lives of their parents, who can now expect their offspring to be staying at home longer and choosing a college or university within commuting distance. Vice chancellors hoping to increase fees, or whose prospective student base is outside of the local area beware. The economic downturn is forcing your future student consumer to make tough decisions about taking on debt, funding an education in the first place, or choosing a place of study within commuting distance of their home. You may well find it tough in the coming years. www.vital-mag.net
The survey positively highlights that we can expect a solid number of science, IT and engineering graduates, and it appears the vast majority of these are likely to be boys, with 37 percent stating they will study one of these courses, compared with only 17 percent of girls. Unsurprisingly, the offer of a free laptop as an influencer in the choice of college or university has risen to 52 percent in 2009, from only 35 percent in 2008. Those who would not take account of free technology in their choice is down from 20 percent in 2008 to only 12 percent in 2009. The recession and tightening of belts at home is clearly a factor in this change, and while it would be clearly advantageous for Vice Chancellors to be able to offer this incentive, the money to fund it may simply not be there. The UK should be encouraged that our 13-17 year olds are planning to work in the sciences, IT and engineering fields, or at least that’s where they believe the jobs or money lie. While girls believe sciences (30 percent) or media (24 percent) provides the best career prospects, boys agree on science (39 percent) but think that skilled trades (26 percent) offer best employment chances. This is not a bad thing for an economy looking to rebuild itself by improving the balance of payments and increasing exports. The current recession will be over by the time this generation hits the workforce, but one positive thing that may come out of it is the re-focussing of our children on professions and course choices that will support an economy based on building things, and not simply buying and selling them.
Is it surprising that ‘jobs’, ‘money’, ‘afford’, ‘want’, ‘future’ are the terms most readily used? Probably not, what surprised us most is that with only a few exceptions we have an entire generation of teenagers worrying about the same things as their parents.
IT and science All respondents agreed that the degree course with best future job prospects were science, IT and engineering, so maybe teenagers do all dream of being footballers and pop stars, but our survey indicates that the country’s economic downturn may result in an upsurge in our children wanting to become doctors, academics, engineers, inventors November / December 2009 : VitAL 11
and innovators. What is most evident from our survey is that the mindset of our children today is fixated, like the rest of us, on the economy. The picture this survey paints is not one that our country overall should be proud of. We have 13 year olds worrying about taking on debt in return for education and their ability to provide for their prospective families. However, it should be a crumb of comfort that we may now have a generation who believe attainment of a financially rewarding career is achieved through inventing and making things.
Collaboration and research... or cheating? It is worth noting that through all this doom and gloom, the realtime generation are still just that; using social networking more, collaborating on their homework more, and using the Internet as a resource to complete course work or homework. If it means cheating to get ahead, then realtime girls are more willing and more open to admit to bending the rules. While girls are more willing to admit to cheating, the boys are more forthright in their protestations that they would never stoop to using the Internet to lift work and submit it as their own. We are unsure whether to feel horrified or quite proud of the girls, but schools, colleges and universities must grasp the collaborative nettle and exploit our childrenâ€™s ingenuity and collaborative skills.
Social networking Social network is not on the wane for the realtime generation. While 30 percent said that social networking was used less or was less important overall in their lives this is down from 46 percent in 2008. When asked which was their social networking site of choice 65 percent chose Facebook, with Bebo its nearest rival at just 23 percent. 12 VitAL : November / December 2009
Last year when we asked which social networking site this generation would like to see at university, Bebo polled 45 percent, the clear winner, so while the question has changed ever so slightly the preference from Bebo to Facebook seems to have switched massively in just 12 months. What is apparent from the survey is that the IT experience of our children in current and further education continues to grow in importance. In 2009, the fear of personal information security is driving only two percent of the realtime generation to take a proactive decision in not joining social networking sites compared with 24 percent in 2008. This unwillingness to divorce their lives from social networking is tempered by an increase in awareness and concern about posting their personal information online. Some 55 percent of girls are now more concerned about posting personal information on social networking sites compared with only 41 percent of boys. 20 percent of girls are not posting any personal information on social networking sites compared with just 14 percent of boys. 72 percent of our 13-17 year olds now access social networking sites everyday of the week.
The potential of the information portal Has the power of the information portal truly come of age? Logging into different systems with different passwords is something this generation is not going to tolerate. With 77 percent of the realtime generation wanting all of their personal information at university available through a single system with a single login, this result should indicate to any organisation that stores more than one piece of information about an individual that simple access is now king. Local Government and health sectors in the UK should benefit from this generationâ€™s
Logging into different systems with different passwords is something this generation is not going to tolerate. With 77 percent of the realtime generation wanting all of their personal information at university available through a single system with a single login, this result should indicate to any organisation that stores more than one piece of information about an individual that simple access is now king.
vitAL signs — life in the world with it cover story
Rigidly defined areas of ambiguity This issue Steve ponders whether flowchart template software packages are missing a symbol?
willingness and desire to use information portals to interact with all of their digital lives. This generation will applaud investment in e-government services, as they want the complexity of accessing their personal government information footprint hidden and handled by those holding their data.
Maximum return The education system, education executives and the IT industry must continue to work together to ensure that appropriate technologies are available to students and academics. The economic downturn will challenge immediate and future investments, and ensuring investments deliver the maximum return is even more important in 2010 and 2011. If students feel more comfortable using email from a consumer provider such as Google or Microsoft (46 percent) then adopting this model for the millions of student email accounts within further and higher education could meet the expectation of the student body while reducing the burden of cost on the institution. Next year we hope to be able to return to our normal survey. Will the 37.5GB of personal storage each 13-17 year old had in 2008 have increased, and by how much? Has the 11 percent of 13 year olds who in 2007 said they would leave an employer who asked them to choose between their family and their work increased with the prospect of an upturn in the economy? What we truly hope is that in 2010 we will see a tag cloud that does not reflect the economic crisis, and that our teenagers will feel more confident about money, paying for education, careers, and jobs. VitAL www.uk.logicalis.com The white paper Realtime Generation Survey 2009 is available at VitAL Online: www.vital-mag.net www.vital-mag.net
’ve been wrestling recently with the culture of a client company which seems to have embedded in itself the clear understanding that everything can be placed into a business process and employees can then be straight-jacketed into following the process. Where before there was a box in a business flowchart that said ‘Find Root Cause’ this box now expands out into multi-page business process flowcharts in an attempt to catch all eventualities, and then make service desk staff follow some thread or other through this maze to a final conclusion. I am absolutely a fan of business processes – let me be clear – they add value to an organisation and when viewed through the lens of Value Stream Mapping they make a fabulous approach for reducing waste and improving throughput. The bit that’s missing is that sometimes people need to be able to go ‘off piste’ in their job in order to mash up a superior solution. Dr Clive King, a clever colleague from my days at Sun Microsystems, combined Bayesian Statistical theory into the process of root cause analysis because he reckoned it would add value. His viewpoint was that the most likely cause of a problem is a factor of all the prior events, so by mapping the probability of a piece of information having a bearing on the problem, it would be easier to identify the most likely cause. This is a clever approach and one that requires more research. If, for instance, you have a specification of the symptoms of a
problem, for any one problem some of the data that is gathered has high significance and some has low significance – think of it as a tag cloud with differing weightings to the information by size of font. Automating that ‘tag cloud like weighting’ in a problem specification might enable a knowledge search interface to improve the statistical probability of a search returning the most likely cause. If my erudite colleague had been working in an environment of rigid adherence to business processes that got in the way of the creativity that is required in order to troubleshoot complex issues, it is less likely that he would have had that thought. The world would be a little poorer for it, and some super-complex problems might not have been solved. So a call to action – let us allow and perhaps encourage appropriate and targeted, rigidly defined areas of uncertainty in our business processes – to allow human spirit and creativity to unlock the shackles of tightly defined business processes and shine through. Thomas Bayes will be proud of us. Probably. VitAL
Service management training in particular, becomes vitally
important in tough economic times
because it will be
those operations that
can adapt quickest to
changing circumstances that will be strong enough to survive,
and even thrive, under the present economic climate.
November // December December 2009 2009 :: VitAL VitAL 13 13 November
Courting disaster Too many organisations are paying lip-service to their disaster recovery requirements. But having a one-page disaster recovery plan, supported by regular back-ups and a staff that is briefed to work from home in the event of a problem is unlikely to prove adequate in the face of a real emergency. Tony Brown, technical director of PhillipsTaylorBrown highlights seven common misconceptions.
rom ostrich-like senior management to a failure to undertake regular testing, half-hearted investment in disaster recovery is a waste of money. So just what are the signs of a flawed DR strategy? Here are seven common misconceptions that should raise serious questions for any organisation that wants to achieve a robust and relevant DR strategy.
1. A one/two-page disaster recovery plan will suffice Far too many IT teams, when tasked with designing a DR strategy, simply download a basic template from the Internet and fill in the gaps. The resulting, short document is 14 VitAL : November / December 2009
woefully inadequate and fails to address any of the business-specific issues that determine ongoing success in the event of a disaster. The answer: A DR strategy needs to reflect the impact of system failure on key operational performance. It needs to encompass not only buildings, staff and data backups, but also communications â€“ both telephone and Internet service provider â€“ as well as access to new versions of critical application software. Doing a cut and paste job on a downloadable template is not a DR strategy.
2. A lack of proper testing The board pays lip service to the need for DR but completely refuses to allow comprehensive www.vital-mag.net
Far too many IT teams, when tasked with designing a DR strategy, simply download a basic template from the Internet and fill in the gaps. The resulting, short document is woefully inadequate and fails to address any of the business-specific issues that determine ongoing success in the event of a disaster.
testing that requires all staff to work from home for a day. Fears of lost productivity and business disruption are the regular reasons cited by senior management for not undertaking a full DR test. IT teams are encouraged to focus on basic operational tasks such as restoring servers instead. But without a real-life simulation of disaster there is no way of predicting just where the DR plan may fall down. Indeed, according to a recent study by Gartner (The Broken State of Backup), only 28 percent of all disaster recovery tests were fully successful. In detail, 11 percent of businesses that performed a recovery test admitted the exercise was cancelled because problems could not be resolved; 50 percent said that recovery exercises encountered problems and 11 percent were not sure how the exercise went. The answer: It is essential to perform regular disaster recovery tests to ensure that every single server can be recovered within the recovery time objective. Send the MD and/or FD on a disaster recovery awareness workshop for a day to provide some real insight into the likelihood of business success post emergency event. And then put in place regular DR tests that include all staff working from home and relocating back-office services to a stand-by site. It is this level of rigour that is required to truly assess the viability of the DR strategy.
3. There is only one copy of the DR plan And it resides on a system within the organisation. It is a simple but obvious mistake – the building is on fire and the only copy of the DR plan just went up in smoke, leaving the organisation completely bereft of key contact details and any plans for operational procedure in an emergency. The answer: Ensure multiple copies of the plan are stored securely off-site. Copies should www.vital-mag.net
be made available – under non-disclosure – to trusted suppliers, and also stored securely by a number of directors to ensure as many senior staff as possible have immediate insight in the event of a problem occurring.
4.The back-up data is never tested Too many organisations assume that regular back-up processes are a core component of any DR strategy. Yet when organisations do test the quality of the back-up, many discover that entirely the wrong data has been backed up – a factor that contributes to the disaster recovery test failures outlined above. Furthermore, organisations are also failing to assess just how long it will take to restore data in the event of a disaster: if it takes an entire weekend to back-up the server, the business is looking at a minimum two day delay to restore that system, which is unacceptable for a business critical system. The answer: Test the quality of the back-up process regularly. Check that both data and servers can be restored within a reasonable timeframe and, if not, look at alternative, mirrored solutions that provide faster restore.
5. Getting duplicate applications software The software vendor will provide duplicate application software on demand. Of course, the company will no doubt provide that software – in time. It may also provide the necessary expertise required to configure the software and restore the database. But just how long will that take? The answer: Firstly, ensure that data back-ups are regularly tested and working correctly to minimise the need for external expertise. Secondly, put in place strong logistical processes for securing new versions of software.
6. U sing mobile communications The organisation plans to rely on mobiles for communication in the event of an emergency. This may work for a couple of hours, but if the business suffers any major event, especially one that affects a large number of people and companies, a mobile is not a robust, reliable option. The mobile network will, as has been seen in major events, suffer significant performance problems. Furthermore, most organisations rely on sophisticated telephone systems, especially in areas such as customer services. The answer: Put in place a robust telephony contingency solution to ensure calls can be rerouted and diverted to temporary office facilities as well as staff home premises.
7. It’s all in the cloud, so there is no need for DR As growing numbers of organisations are moving back-office applications into the cloud, there is a strong argument that DR planning becomes simpler as the business is far more portable. But if staff are accessing these applications from an Internet connection at home, organisations face a major security risk since around 90 percent of home computers are incorrectly configured. Furthermore, organisations need to consider ISP agreements to ensure email and cloudbased applications can be immediately accessed from any stand-by site. The answer: Ensure that the ISP agreements extend to any temporary office facilities to minimise interruption. Consider the viability of allocating laptops to all staff to mitigate the risk of exposing corporate systems to the security vulnerabilities associated with home computers. VitAL www.phillipstaylorbrown.com November / December 2009 : VitAL 15
How safe is your password? With over 20 years experience conducting penetration tests and security reviews from both inside and outside organisations, ethical hacker Peter Wood says several issues continue to crop up which, while apparently unrelated, contribute to the failure of most organisations to protect their information assets from opportunistic attack. Here he outlines one of the most likely routes an attacker may take to compromise your network security.
imagine that most people would consider the chances of an attacker guessing a privileged account name and password in two or three guesses to be astronomical. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Why? Firstly, access to systems (usually Windows) at the desktop is universal. Secondly, most people, including IT staff, donâ€™t appear to know how to select adequately secure passwords. We have used the following technique for many years and it still gives us administrative
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control of a Windows network in at least fifty percent of cases. A disgruntled employee or an intruder posing as a cleaner or a visitor, could gain complete control of the organisationâ€™s Windows network in less than 20 minutes if this works for them.
Hacking the system First you plug in a Windows laptop anywhere on the network â€“ this can be in head office, at a branch office or store, anywhere in any trusted third-party premises or perhaps through a remote connection. You browse www.vital-mag.net
the network using Windows Explorer and see all the Windows machines on the network – there’s no need to logon or join a domain for this to happen (or of course you could be using a legitimate desktop or laptop machine if you are an employee or contractor). Select a server (they’re usually named in a obvious fashion) and attempt a ‘null session’ connection - null sessions is a standard feature of Windows which enables you to list users, groups, group memberships, etc without any form of authentication whatsoever. There’s plenty of free and licensed software on the Internet that will help you to establish a null session and then interrogate this information – my personal favourite is a commercial tool called Hyena, designed for managing Windows networks, but many miscreants will use free tools like SuperScan or Cain & Abel. Next check the domain account lockout policy so you know how many password attempts you will be permitted in how long before the account is locked out (and a possible alert raised). Now list the users in the Administrators and Domain Admins groups and look for patterns, or rather exceptions to a pattern. Typically, organisations use formal naming conventions for user accounts, with combinations of surname and first name or initials such as WOODP. Unfortunately, these are usually ignored where service accounts are concerned - service accounts are administrator-level accounts used to enable applications to log on to servers and domains (applications such as Backupexec, ArcServe and Tivoli are obvious examples). Select each of these service accounts in turn and try to guess its password – it’s not as hard as you might think. www.vital-mag.net
The obvious password Frequently, network administrators will select something obvious, such as a password which is the same as the account name! Of course there are also long lists of default account names and passwords on the web which you can try. Beware that you don’t exceed the account lockout threshold within the specified time, otherwise even the most harassed admin may eventually guess something is up. If these fail, try those accounts which look like shared administrator accounts or scripted accounts, such as Ghost, Install, AutoInstall or similar. At least fifty percent of the time you’ll gain Domain Admin access, allowing you to create your own administrator account, join the domain legitimately and help yourself to any information on any server. You can now also get hold of the encrypted form of all the passwords in the domain, giving you the opportunity to impersonate anyone you want – getting apparently legitimate access to their files. By default on all Windows systems prior to Vista, passwords are encrypted using two different algorithms: the LM algorithm (to retain compatibility with LAN Manager) and the NTLM algorithm (which is cryptographically stronger). The encrypted password is called a hash - and both types of hash are stored on your computer. The first problem with the LM hash is that it is in fact composed of two sevencharacter hashes. So if you were to choose a 10-character password, it would effectively appear to be a seven-character password and a three-character password, reducing the number of permutations significantly. The second problem is that the LM algorithm
An attacker with the right software can try most words from the English dictionary, a large selection of proper nouns, and all of these with one or two numbers appended in just a few minutes. converts upper and lower case characters to all upper case, thus reducing the number of permutations even further. You might imagine that even a sevencharacter password is very difficult to crack. Indeed, if we were to try guessing every possible seven-character password using an automated tool, it would take something like a month to work through all the permutations, by which time you may well have changed your password. However, most people choose something far simpler – perhaps the name of their partner with a number appended or some other word commonly found in a dictionary. An attacker with the right software can try most words from the English dictionary, a large selection of proper nouns, and all of these with one or two numbers appended in just a few minutes. November / December 2009 : VitAL 17
However, the rainbow tables for most combinations of upper case letters, numbers and symbols for a password up to seven characters long are only 64GB in size – quite easy to store on a portable hard disk or even a USB key. This means that it becomes feasible to ‘recover’ a password from a LM hash in seconds, no matter how complex the original password.
The traditional response to this is to encourage users to use complex passwords containing random letters, numbers and symbols. Such passwords are impossible for the average person to remember, resulting in other serious problems such as passwords written on post-it notes or under the keyboard where even inexperienced attackers can find them.
Rainbow tables However there is another threat, one that requires a serious response to the problem of LM hashes – rainbow tables. Putting it simply, rainbow tables are lists of pre-computed hashes for a selection of passwords, making the process of guessing a password very fast indeed. The downside of rainbow tables is size – the longer the password you are trying to guess, the larger the tables need to be. However, the rainbow tables for most combinations of upper case letters, numbers and symbols for a password up to seven characters long are only 64GB in size - quite easy to store on a portable hard disk or even a USB key. This means that it becomes feasible to ‘recover’ a password from a LM hash in seconds, no matter how complex the original password. For some time it has been possible to ‘switch off’ the backwards compatibility in Windows, but most people don’t know that this is possible, or even that it’s important to do so.
The solution So what’s the solution? When Windows 2000 was launched, the maximum length of a Windows password was increased from 14 characters to 127. Of course, this remains true for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. One interesting side effect is that a Windows 18 VitAL : November / December 2009
password longer than 14 characters no longer has an LM hash and thus is invulnerable to any LM attacks. The other effect is surprising for many people – the password can in fact be seen as a passphrase and is thus simple to remember! A passphrase such as ‘If I won the lottery I would buy a Ferrari’ is very easy to remember and all but impossible to crack by any of today’s tools. So, providing that your PC is running Windows 2000 or XP, you are free to choose an easy-to-remember, effectively uncrackable password. Simple, eh? Clear guidance on setting up service accounts and how to select a high quality, easily remembered password would eliminate these issues. Some technical understanding of how Windows passwords work would also help IT staff select better quality passwords! VitAL
Driving a positive customer experience What drives a positive customer experience through the economic downturn? Dr Roger Newman senior VP of IT outsourcing specialist Mahindra Satyam says outsourcing can play its part.
n a global economic crisis, organisations will be looking to outsource for a variety of reasons, including the need to expand hours, better handle off-peak traffic, improve staffing flexibility, achieve higher work productivity, and most importantly, save on costs. The fifth annual report from Gartner indicated that despite the global economic situation, outsourcing will be adopted by more organisations to help them work through financial and competitive challenges. However, customer attitudes are changing quickly and, in the face of tough competition and high expectations to justify expenditure, organisations are not just looking to outsource to create a lean enterprise, but also to ensure a positive customer experience that contributes to long term growth. The report from Gartner also stated that organisations who apply customer-focused
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outsourcing, are more likely to be successful. Driving this broader vision of outsourcing is the relationship management function within the outsourcing companies. When relationship management is functioning effectively, customers are happier, more loyal and more profitable. Customer relationship management is now more important than ever before.
Customer-focused outsourcing In theory, relationship management should optimise the value of customers to the outsourcing enterprise by encompassing a strategy that aims to perfect their experience in doing business with the company. This works well in an outsourced environment as relationship management builds on the previous cost saving benefits companies have come to expect ie, often the customer relationship is strong because value has already been delivered, the issue is to take
the relationship to the next level of satisfaction. The organisations that have put work with the outsourcing companies welcome this additional value add to further justify their decision to outsource and improve their business case. Among the most exciting developments available to enhance relationship management are three options that can directly impact a company’s relationships with customers. The developments are called performancebased learning (PBL), automated agent assisted technologies and real-time predictive analytics.
Performance-based learning Companies that outsource may not feel it’s their job to worry about their contact centre provider’s training programmes – but they and their customers will certainly feel the impact if an outsource vendor’s agent training is not www.vital-mag.net
Such voice assists automate common repeated activities on the desktop, adding relevant data or jumping to just the right screen, to speed the interaction and ensure an accurate response. For customers, it’s a vast improvement over waiting while an agent scrolls through screen after screen of data looking for the right information. Real-time predictive analytics
up to the standard required. Improving the customer experience begins with the agent, whose effectiveness, commitment and longevity directly correlates to training. One of the best practices in customerfocused outsourcing is PBL which combines instructor-led training, hands-on activities and role plays – transforming learning to make it more useful to agents, thus improving work quality, job satisfaction, staff commitment and productivity. The idea behind PBL is to teach agents specifically what they need to know to serve customers. The confidence that comes with PBL programmes not only improves morale, but also contributes to ever-improving performance on the job. More importantly from the standpoint of the company that uses an outsourced solution, agents that have experienced PBL hit the ground running, by being able to quickly achieve higher levels of first call resolution and shorter average handling times. It also enhances understanding, communication and collaboration and provides learning opportunity that blends business consulting, organisation development and training to deliver impactful, sustained, timely learning solutions to employees who are servicing their customer’s onsite. The need for tailored customer training is critical, given the intense competition that has prompted an explosion of new competitor products, services, options and pricing plans for many organisations. Accompanying this boom are huge volumes of information that the agent must access and understand in order to quickly resolve customer issues www.vital-mag.net
and concerns. Even if PBL gives the operator the right understanding of the information that can help him to help his customer, we still need to ensure that the information is used effectively in each transaction. This leads me to a second development in customer-focused outsourcing – automated agent assisted technologies.
Automated agent assist technologies New ‘agent assist’ technologies use voice recognition to pick up on key points during a customer interaction and instantly retrieve essential data needed to handle an enquiry or problem. Such voice assists automate common repeated activities on the desktop, adding relevant data or jumping to just the right screen, to speed the interaction and ensure an accurate response. For customers, it’s a vast improvement over waiting while an agent scrolls through screen after screen of data looking for the right information. Automated agent assist is emerging as an important tool for delivering a positive customer experience to today’s Internet-raised generation, for whom real-time is the only time that matters. By reducing manual navigation, page clicks and data entry, automated agent assist shaves vital seconds off average handling times. By harvesting data from existing applications, the technology eliminates the errors that can plague manual re-typing actions. Where in the online world, speed is of the essence, these features significantly enhance customer satisfaction, while at the same time reducing costs to organisations.
Organisations have long recognised that they have massive amounts of customer data. But how can it be used to its full potential? Real-time predictive analytics enables organisations to be proactive rather than reactive and gives the ability to leverage the data to drive maximum value from and to each customer – scalable to millions of customers simultaneously. Used primarily by the troubled financial sectors, it is a process that is rapidly gaining momentum and has the potential to span to multiple industries. It also continuously polls a company’s diverse databases to create a detailed view of each customer. The ability to pull up realtime profiles of customers is a powerful tool supporting service and marketing objectives. It also enables companies to pre-emptively detect and correct problems before the customer is even aware of them as well as automate tailored offers to customers, based on known preferences or requirements. In addition, real-time predictive analytics offers another attractive twist: it lets a company tailor the level of service delivered depending on the customer’s current and predicted value. It’s a fact of business life that customers are responsible for the majority percentage of a company’s revenue. Therefore, knowing which customers are most valuable enables a company to provide special offers geared to nurturing and growing these relationships.
Looking ahead Outsourcing has come a long way since the days when budget issues were its primary driver. While the cost-saving advantages of outsourcing will always be important in times of economic struggle, companies are now raising their sights to justify expenditure. They’re starting to view operational efficiency as a key subset of the broader relationship management strategy, as well as understanding that only the customer experience through new developments, not savings alone, will define an organisations long term financial success. VitAL www.mahindrasatyam.net November / December 2009 : VitAL 21
The planetary approach to outsourcing Unlocking IT value is the Holy Grail for many CIOs and executives concerned about the vast sums of money spent on IT. However, when asked, many executives have great difficulty in defining what they mean by value. No wonder it is so elusive! Chris Tiernan of ISACA says you need to stand outside the structure to get the right perspective.
or millennia, mankind could not describe the shape and size of our Solar System. The view from the Earth is highly deceptive. It appears to be flat and the Sun, Moon, planets and stars all appear to move around us. Why does the Sun move northwards for half the year and southwards in the other half? Why do some planets occasionally travel backwards and others stick close to the Sun? No geocentric explanation could deal with these â€˜anomaliesâ€™ adequately. We have to take a view from 22 VitAL : November / December 2009
outside the Solar System to understand what is going on. I suggest that we have a similar problem with IT and value. In order to understand the contribution IT makes to value, I believe we need to move outside the IT Function but even the business functions IT serves are not far enough away (as they too have parochial perspectives) and nor is the executive suite (as do they also). I believe we need to move right outside the enterprise itself and stand alongside those for whom enterprises exist. www.vital-mag.net
For whom do enterprises exist?
For-profit enterprises exist for their shareholders who own them and all of their IT assets and pay all of the IT costs incurred by the enterprise. For-profit enterprises do not exist for their customers, staff, suppliers or anyone else but their shareholders. They could not exist but for their customers, staff and suppliers but they do not exist for them. Not-for-profit enterprises exist to provide services to certain communities like citizens in a local authority area, patients of the NHS and beneficiaries of charities. (The members of these communities are all called ‘beneficiaries’ below.) It is these communities for which such enterprises exist, not those who are funding them , their staff, suppliers or anyone else. I, therefore define ‘value’ as what enterprises provide to their shareholders and beneficiaries. We might very well talk in terms of value for money for customers; the value of staff, information, intellectual property etc; supplier added value, etc but these are all distractions from this most important form of value which gives enterprises their reasons for existing.
IT services provide enterprise staff and others who interact with the enterprise, eg customers and donors through the Internet, with applications and facilities to help them do their work or deal with the enterprise more effectively and efficiently on a day to day basis. When considered from the perspective of the shareholders and beneficiaries, all expenditures on IT services are really just part of the costs of running business functions but this is often obscured by the presence of the IT budget. Just as with all other business costs, it is management’s responsibility to ensure the costs of IT services are continuously being minimised while achieving the business objectives. Outsourcers should do likewise.
IT’s contribution to value In my terms, IT per se does not provide any of this type of value. Indeed, it could even be said that IT destroys this value as it uses up shareholders’ and beneficiaries’ money. The question is: what do shareholders and beneficiaries get from their money which is spent on IT? What IT does contribute is ‘capabilities’ to enable business functions to create even more value, net of the cost of IT, than they would be able to create if they did not have these capabilities. But does this mean enterprises should minimise what they spend on IT? In order to answer that question the IT spend needs to be split into two distinct parts, here called services and projects. www.vital-mag.net
IT Projects All projects are investments of shareholders’ or beneficiaries’ money and so should increase what they will receive from the enterprise in future compared with simply passing the money over to them in the near term. However, all enterprises have limited resources available to invest to create additional value. It follows that enterprises should maximise the return on investment (ROI) they secure from such investments. This is a quite different objective from that for IT services, since maximising ROI might involve spending more or less. Hence it is absolutely vital to distinguish IT expenditures on IT services from those spent on projects. Typically this is nothing like as straight forward as mapping IT operational spend and IT development spend onto IT services and work undertaken for projects. Also opex and capex do not map directly into IT services and projects either. Fundamental accounting changes and IT budget restructuring are often needed to do this properly.
Outsourcers often talk in terms of improving quality, allowing management to concentrate on more important tasks and facilitating organisational change. Even so, it is still necessary to consider how these create more value for shareholders and beneficiaries.
November / December 2009 : VitAL 23
Solving the riddle of the Solar System depended on detailed measurements. Solving the riddle of the contribution of IT and outsourcing to value creation depends on understanding exactly what value means, who creates it and also having appropriate metrics.
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Value from outsourcing IT outsourcers undertake particular aspects of the work of the IT Function. They should be subject to exactly the same objectives as stated above. They should be: a) Continuously minimising their charges for IT services while achieving the service levels the business functions need to maximise their day to day value creation; and b) Helping to maximise the ROI of projects, within funding constraints, in order to maximise future additional value creation. Outsourcers often talk in terms of improving quality, allowing management to concentrate on more important tasks and facilitating organisational change. Even so, it is still necessary to consider how these create more value for shareholders and beneficiaries. How does improved quality translate into this form of value? If IT service levels have already been set to optimise the value business functions can provide and those targets are being continuously achieved then the only way outsourcers can deliver more value is by continuously reducing their charges. Otherwise, improved quality just decreases value, if it costs more. Projects should maximise ROI. Here enterprises are not necessarily seeking the cheapest resources. Maximising ROI might require some very skilful, innovative, experienced and so expensive people from the outsourcer to design projects and assist
in guiding them as they progress. Improved quality might be critical to maximising ROI from projects. Unfortunately many projects involving IT are defined in terms of assisting with achieving business function goals which might or might not lead to more value, whereas they should be linked directly to value, as it is shareholdersâ€™ and beneficiariesâ€™ money which is being spent and it is they who should ultimately benefit. Also the focus is often on whether projects are within budget, on time and delivering what was expected, not what maximises ROI which might be quite different.
Are outsourcers helping maximise value creation? The answer depends on whether the IT function, together with outsourcers, is delivering capabilities which enable business functions to create additional value net of the cost of IT; and whether the outsourcers are fulfilling both a) and b) above. Solving the riddle of the Solar System depended on detailed measurements. Solving the riddle of the contribution of IT and outsourcing to value creation depends on understanding exactly what value means, who creates it and also having appropriate metrics. Where do you stand? With the shareholders and beneficiaries, or somewhere else? VitAL
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Managing your capacity Capacity management is a discipline that was used in manufacturing long before its use in IT. Now that ITIL is being adopted by more companies the popularity of capacity management is once more increasing. Here, Neil McMenemy, principal consultant at Capacitas introduces the discipline.
n the early 1990s capacity management was necessary to support budget planning, particularly for mainframe computers – such was the cost of the components. Some new CPU ‘engines’ could cost an organisation over £1 million (not including the increase in software costs) and a hundred gigabytes of storage could set them back a six-figure sum. The history of the discipline goes back sometime before then, arguably to the nineteenth century where the it was more likely to have been called capacity planning, manufacturing resource planning or production planning. In those days analysis techniques 26 VitAL : November / December 2009
were required to understand how many physical and human resources were required in order to meet manufacturing targets. It was often important to plan for peaks in demand but also to not over-spend when demand was low. Today capacity planning in these non-IT environments is taught in MBA courses in some colleges and universities but it is the computing world to which this article is directed.
My definition of capacity management Capacity management is the discipline that ensures that there is sufficient resource to give an acceptable level of service to the business www.vital-mag.net
at an optimum cost. The key phrases in this definition are sufficient resource, acceptable level of service and optimum cost: Sufficient resource: The implication of this phrase is that an organisation can have too little resource, in which case there will be a degradation of service to below that which is acceptable; also too much resource can result in more expenditure than is necessary. Acceptable level of service: It should be self evident that unacceptable service is undesirable but more importantly the organisation should be careful not to deliver a level of service beyond that which is agreed. The implication being that any quality of service above the acceptable level comes at an unnecessary cost due to over provisioning of resources. Optimum cost: Cost is just one criterion to be aware of in capacity management. It is not recommended to pursue the least expensive solution if it means that an acceptable level of service is not achieved. However when choosing between two solutions that both meet the service level criteria it is recommended to opt for the one with the lower price. This advice can be adequately summarised in a quotation from the head of IT service from a retail bank: “There’s no point in buying a Rolls Royce when all you need is a Ford Escort”.
What are resources? It is easy to understand the resources used in a restaurant: chefs, waiters, ovens, grills, pots, pans, ingredients, etc. Each of these (and others) is needed to ensure that the customer gets what they demand. In IT these resources may not seem so obvious. They can be divided into two types: data centre resources and system resources. The capacity management of data centre resources has traditionally been done by different individuals or teams to that of system resources. The data centre resources include: • Power (and now carbon emissions) • Cooling • Lighting • Floor and rack space • Communications ports There are two reasons for the split of responsibilities: source of data; and how the shortfall in resources effects operation. In data centres the resource utilisation measurements come from many sources – some automatic, www.vital-mag.net
some manual and some from third parties whereas system resource measurements often come from the same automated collection tool (although not necessarily the case). More importantly a shortfall in a data centre resource typically results in service unavailability (eg a power failure rendering a server unusable or a lack of floor space for a new rack that means new servers, and therefore new services, can’t be deployed). On the other hand a shortfall in a system resource is more likely to provide deterioration in service as opposed to unavailability. These system resources are typically: • CPU (processors) • I/O • Memory • Disk space • Network links • Logical resources Under most circumstances an increase in utilisation of CPU and I/O will result in a deterioration of performance. Disk space acts more like a data centre resource in that up to a certain threshold there is little or no change in performance but when the threshold is breached then the resource and therefore the service becomes unavailable. Memory is similar to disk space in that increased use of the resource carries no performance penalty but when the utilisation threshold is breached then data and or programs will be paged or swapped to/from disk storage and performance deteriorates in the same way as I/O. Increased use of data network links can lead to packet collision and eventually dropped packets and re-transmissions which will impact performance but the affect on voice or video is that the sound or vision will suffer interference and become unusable. Logical resources differ to the other resources in the list in that a shortfall of a logical resource cannot be addressed by the purchase of additional resource (in the way that CPUs, memory and disks can be added). Examples of logical resources are: • Application threads • TCP/IP ports • LUNS (logical disks) • Software processes In order to increase these resources a configuration parameter may need adjustment or a redesign of software architecture may be
Capacity management is the discipline that ensures that there is sufficient resource to give an acceptable level of service to the business at an optimum cost.
November / December 2009 : VitAL 27
necessary. An important point to be aware of is that a logical resource may be the cause of a bottleneck as much as a physical resource but they are much more difficult to recognise. Human resources should also be considered to be in scope especially where they can affect the throughput or performance of a service. An example of this would be in a call centre where a shortfall in telephone answering staff can cause queues to build up and potentially lead to lost business.
Capacity management activities
layer then this results in a forecasted demand for the components. This method also introduces the concept of workload characterisation. This is where the utilisation of a resource is attributed to capacity drivers (the entities in the business and service layers which drive their use). It should be noted that although resource monitoring software tools will attribute resource utilisation to processes or even userids, this is not sufficient to carry out this type of modelling. Often tests or experiments need to be carried out (usually in test environments) to establish the workload characterisation. This type of modelling links the business demand to the use of IT resources but gives no insight to performance. The next level of complexity allows the predicted utilisation of resources to be used as input to predict performance (ie response time). There are two broad categories of response time modelling, analytical and simulation. Analytical models use mathematical formulae to describe the performance of a system over a period of time (eg during the peak hour of throughput) while simulation models are more detailed and model each individual transaction and component discretely. Analytical models tend to be less expensive and quicker to build while simulation models are more accurate, if built correctly but are more difficult to create.
Application lifecycle By the time an application or service goes live it may be too late to capture all the data that is needed to properly capacity manage it. Similarly if there has been no attempt to
Many organisations carry out capacity management but the activities that they do differ to a certain degree. This is generally defined by the maturity of the capacity management discipline of the organisation. Figure 1 defines and describes target maturity levels in an organisation. Activities common to all tiers (not 0) include: • Monitoring of resource utilisation • Storage of resource utilisation data • Reporting of resource utilisation data • Justification of upgrades Upgrade justification becomes easier to carry out the higher the tier of maturity. Tiers 1a and 1b are the only tiers where pro-active forecasting through using modelling techniques isn’t carried out. In 1a upgrades are initiated when a utilisation threshold is hit – this may be too late because the threshold may not be related to service performance and that may have already degraded before the threshold is reached; or performance may not have degraded yet but lead times may be so long that it will degrade by the time the change is made. In 1b ‘old fashioned’ trending techniques
are used to predict future requirements. These however do not take into account step changes like upgraded software, more users, changes to business processes etc and merely assume that the future will be like the past – but at least this is not completely reactive. Often the reason for an organisation to be stuck at tier 1 is because they do not have enough resources (people, skills, time) in their capacity management function to handle the amount of IT resources that they have to manage, eg only two people who have to capacity management 10,000 servers. In these cases it is best practice to have a robust threshold alerting system which takes resource monitoring data and applies analytical techniques to highlight exceptions. Simple techniques involve setting utilisation thresholds which, when breached, trigger an alert. More sophisticated techniques use statistical filtering to recognise a change from normal behaviour before an exception is recorded. In tiers 2-5 the major benefits of capacity management come into play. In these tiers relationships are found between resource utilisation and business demands. This allows business users or representatives to predict the business demand at a high level and then mapping to resource utilisation allows a forecast of hardware requirements. ITIL recommends two sets of mapping between three layers as shown in the banking example in Figure 2. Each entity in the business layer maps to each entity in the service layer which in turns maps to each entity in the component (or resource) layer. If all the mappings are known and demand can be forecast for the business
Figure 1. Tiers of Capacity Management Maturity
28 VitAL : November / December 2009
Figure 2. Example Demand Management Stratification for a Bank
VitAL Drive: IT hits the fairway
New lamps for old? As IT manager for the PGA, Geraint Lewis is qualified to make comparisons between the flashy world of new golf equipment and the thought of perhaps shopping for new IT hardware.
Figure 3. Integrated modelling approach within the application development lifecycle
model and optimise it during the development lifecycle the costs of doing so in production may be prohibitive. Therefore there are two crucial points to consider with regard to capacity management in the application development: • Ensure that the application is instrumented (ie it records the throughput of the service layer); • Build a capacity and performance model of the system – starting from the earliest stage of development (see Figure 3). The quality of the data input to the model may not be high in the early stages but it will be enhanced throughout development. By the time performance tests are carried out real measurements are input to the model and confidence can be high that it represents the service which is about to go live. A mature organisation will not only have formal interfaces with the application development lifecycle but also with other service delivery functions and processes, especially problem management, IT financial management, change management, service level management and configuration management.
ith the nights drawing in and the XFactor Live Finals on the TV, thoughts turn towards budget planning for 2010. I have always scoffed at those people who believe that the best equipment will make them the best at their chosen activity. I had an Uncle like that, whatever he did, golf, clay pigeon shooting, wood turning, he had to have the very best equipment right from the start. None of this, “Buy something inexpensive, [notice I avoided the word cheap, a good salesman’s trick!] see how you get on and then if you like it buy some more expensive equipment,” business. No it was straight in with the best money could buy. The result, expensive equipment gathering dust, unused as his thoughts and focus turned to his latest hobby. So what do we do when it comes to putting
figures down for the IT Budget for 2010? Do we shop around to find the best bargains? Do we go for the best we can afford, after all quality / reliability is what it is all about in terms of IT equipment. Or do we mend and make do. Replace the parts that have broken, chuck a bit more RAM into those creaking old desktops and pray that the IT infrastructure will hold together for twelve more months, because by 2011, things will have go better won’t they? Of course none of the above holds true when it comes to golf equipment. It has to be new, it has to be shiny and it has to be expensive. After all, that Cleveland Launcher DST driver is going to allow me to drive the ball in excess of 300 yards off the tee, just like the boys on the Tour, isn’t it?... New lamps for old! VitAL
Summary Capacity management is not a new discipline, even in IT, but in order to do it well an organisation has to understand its maturity level and invest in skills to get the best out of the discipline. The signs of a mature capacity management discipline are a thorough threshold alerting system, a business driven approach to demand management, the use of capacity and performance models on key systems and an integrated modelling approach within the application development lifecycle. VitAL www.capacitas.co.uk www.vital-mag.net
November / December 2009 : VitAL 29
The flexible service desk Being flexible enough to meet the ever changing needs of your customers should be a minimum requirement of service desk software. VitAL editor Matt Bailey talks to Tony Probert of Cherwell Software about how the service desk is developing to meet today’s challenges.
ith more than 30 years in the IT industry, Tony Probert has spent more than 18 years helping to build, develop and manage start-up operations for software companies within the UK and EMEA region. Having been involved with the help desk and service management industry within the UK and Europe since the late 1980s, Probert has acquired a wealth of knowledge, relationships and practical operational experience relative to the service management industry. So his perspectives on this crucial part of the IT service management picture are compelling. 30 VitAL : November / December 2009
State of the art help desk “A state of the art service desk would have two primary focuses,” states Probert. “Firstly, it needs to offer the ability to enable users to resolve issues themselves or for the service desk to fix issues on the first call. Eighty percent of issues should be capable of self-resolution with a good system and if this were the case the support desk could focus on harder, more complex issues.” And it bears reiterating that in the current economic climate any method of driving cost out of the picture is a welcome addition to the skills set of the service desk. “To effectively www.vital-mag.net
reach for better first call resolve rates the service desk needs the ability to collate the right data and then tailor it appropriately and make it accessible to users. Clearly, increasing self-resolve and ‘fixed on first call’ rates will drive the cost of a service desk down hugely,” says Probert. Tony Probert has a long history in IT. He spent eight years as european managing director for GoldMine Software Corporation (formerly Bendata, Inc. and currently FrontRange Solutions—the makers of HEAT Help Desk software), growing the European business from a two-person start-up to more than 100 people, with revenues in excess of $15m. He subsequently held a variety of senior management positions with responsibility for sales, channel management, marketing and international business development for a number of software companies including DataCore, Centennial and his own VAR startup, representing DKSystems based out of Chicago, USA.
The correct use of data “The second focus of the service desk should be the ability to leverage data in the system effectively so that it can create alerts, reports and management dashboards that are specific and tailored to the business,” explains Probert. “All too often customers engage with service desk software that puts huge barriers in the way of access, analysis and data collection. The service desk is there to serve the business and it must flex and adapt as much as possible to achieve the highest level of this.” And it has to be remembered that the service desk is the public face of the whole IT operation, so it needs to act in an efficient and professional manner. “Of course, the end-users view of IT is hugely influenced by the service desk; it is their prime interface with the IT team and quick resolution of problems at point of call is a key factor in driving up user satisfaction and support for the service desk. Simultaneously, costs would then be driven down and business performance up,” says Probert. www.vital-mag.net
A new era Much of the software currently installed consists of legacy solutions that have been around for a long time and may not – moving into the era of virtualisation and cloud computing –be fit for purpose for much longer. “Many legacy solutions have been around for a long time,” agrees Probert. “Of course they can be enhanced and updated, but it is the old architecture that constrains them, they’re not built on current technology. Very few are three tier client architecture products. Many have no real web interface. The legacy tools hold them back.” People naturally want the best. “They want rich functionality and web capabilities,” says Probert, “and many legacy systems don’t allow this.” Another issue according to Tony Probert is that many software vendors offer a stark choice of either client-based, on premises solutions or only offering software as a service (SaaS). “Companies want the best of both worlds,” he claims, “They need the architecture to deliver client, web and browser capabilities. They want the options to chose their preferred route.”
What’s in store Clearly into the medium and longer terms, cost is going to be a key factor on the service desk. “Driving cost down is important,” says Probert, “and support is a people-based service. Often the more people you have the better the service you can offer. But, in order to meet tightening budget constraints there has to be an overall increase in self-service.” If self-service is to become much more widespread, the sel-service systems have to become more user-friendly. “The legacy systems are all what has been there forever, and the users don’t always understand them,” Probert explains. “Systems have to become more customisable and user friendly to meet the needs of self service. They need to lead the user through knowledge to resolution in easy to understand steps which can then be converted back into technical language for the service desk. If you can address 60-80
“All too often customers engage with service desk software that puts huge barriers in the way of access, analysis and data collection. The service desk is there to serve the business and it must flex and adapt as much as possible to achieve the highest level of this.”
November / December 2009 : VitAL 31
“The four key issues will be: self-service; resolution at first call; reduced cost; and improved service,” argues Probert. “The service desk has to be able to put content in place to make all this possible and without the service desk building it well, it won’t work. If current service desk solutions are not offering this level of functionality, the users will look for ones that do.”
percent of enquiries by self service, your skilled personnel can concentrate on the remaining challenges.”
The realtime generation Chiming with this issue’s cover feature Tony Probert sees a more PC-literate generation coming of age in the next five to 15 years which may well make life easier for the service desk. “It must be focussed on the end user though,” states Probert. “If you can’t get resolution at first call the cost goes up, so quality of service will continue to be all important. “The four key issues will be: self-service; resolution at first call; reduced cost; and improved service,” argues Probert. “The service desk has to be able to put content in place to make all this possible and without the service desk building it well, it won’t work. If current service desk solutions are not offering this level of functionality, the users will look for ones that do.”
Flexible friends “Most organisations are massively constrained by the solutions they are currently using,” states Probert. “Usually software is purchased to meet an immediate need with a degree of scalability. However, after a few years, the product is too inflexible to modify costeffectively and allow users to meet their new needs. If they want to customise screens or build new applications they face consultancy fees and delays. Consequently the systems become less and less able to meet the needs of the service desk. “It isn’t unreasonable to expect that service desk software should be flexible and adaptable enough to flex sufficiently to accommodate unexpected future demands,” concludes Tony Probert. VitAL www.cherwellsoftware.com 32 VitAL : November / December 2009
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November / December 2009 : VitAL 33
A tailored approach, not ITIL for ITIL’s sake ITIL is the best practice approach to IT service management, but can it deliver genuine business benefits and will survive the recession intact? Adrian Polley, CEO at Plan-Net suggests a tailored approach.
TIL – the IT Library Infrastructure – was created in the 1980s by the UK Government’s CCTA (Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency) with the objective of ensuring better use of IT services and resources. It was very different to the current ITIL, but still focused on service support and delivery. During the boom years the uptake in implementing ITIL increased dramatically in both government and commercial organisations as companies strived to deliver best practice. It reached a level where some form of the discipline was in evidence in between 40 and 60 percent of IT departments, depending on which industry figure you choose to believe. However, with the recent sharp downturn in economic conditions, ITIL implementations have become one of the first projects to be scrubbed off the list by those who hold the purse strings. So why has ITIL suffered more than many other projects under these circumstances? Perhaps it is simply that people do not believe that it will actually deliver the benefits that its advocates would have us all believe. Certainly they have reason to think that when success stories showing tangible business benefits seem few and far between.
Still the industry standard In my experience, the problem does not lie directly with ITIL. In fact it can be used very effectively to generate efficiencies and make improvements to services. Few would dispute that implemented properly, a best practice approach will deliver benefits and ITIL is still the industry standard when it comes to best practice in IT service management. Where the problem lies is with the kind of full-scale, bythe-book implementations that were typically carried out before the downturn started to raise questions. 34 VitAL : November / December 2009
The danger with this kind of untailored, offthe-shelf approach is that a large number of the processes and procedures implemented do not take into account the specific requirements of the organisation in question. This means they can be unnecessary, or worse still inhibitive and directly at odds with the needs of the business. The extra work and unnecessary expense of a by-the-book implementation could be swept under the carpet when times were good and money wasn’t a problem However, now, when minds become focused on the bottom line and pencils are sharpened, there is nowhere to hide for projects that promise much, cost the earth but place their focus on the journey rather than the end result. This revelation has led to some casualties. With the substantial financial rewards on offer to an IT service management consultancy involved in a full-scale, untailored, by-the-book ITIL implementation there were no shortage of suitors promoting this approach. The problem for many of these consultancies is they have not been able to adapt to the changes in economic conditions and the simple fact that there are far fewer businesses willing to undertake projects of this nature. Since the focus has turned to a more service-orientated, efficiency-driven way of thinking it is no longer enough to simply use ITIL certification as the justification for a project. Consultancies that previously used this method have found themselves unable to provide the examples of measurable return on investment that its prospective clients now demand.
The tailored approach However, it is not all doom and gloom for ITIL. Far from it; in fact the shift in thinking has forced ITIL to evolve into something better. While the recession has undoubtedly uncovered some huge issues with a certain type of ITIL implementation, it has also shown how to get the most from it. While ITIL projects seem to have become less common, ITIL is still thriving www.vital-mag.net
as a standard for tailored, best practice-aligned projects with clear business goals in mind. So where does this leave an organisation that recognises the benefits best practice can bring and is looking to use ITIL standards within their service? The outlook is surprisingly positive. Best-practice need not be tossed by the wayside; in fact quite the opposite. ITIL still has a major part to play in improving efficiency and service levels, and as such is a perfect fit as a guide for surviving the downturn and capitalising on the upturn when it eventually comes. It should, however, always be considered as a guide and always tailored selectively to the specific needs of each organisation. Best practice is beginning to be replaced by ‘fit-for-purpose’ and the industry will be all the better for it. The secret is not to make the same mistakes as last time when the cycle begins again. Whatever the economic conditions, IT will maximise its use to the business by running in the most efficient way possible and as such, all ventures into the world of best practice should be conducted with this in mind.
Fit for purpose It is also important to remember that the best practice approach does not begin and end with an ITIL implementation. One thing we always communicate to our clients is that an ITIL implementation alone does not automatically deliver a best-practice IT department, and is even less likely to deliver a fit-for-purpose one. Processes and procedures are enablers for the improvement of service, and it is in using them that an organisation will see their benefit. With this in mind, it is just as essential for a best practice environment to possess the right people and the right technology in the right place as it is to implement a standard such as ITIL – in any form. Where the recession has given another unlikely helping hand is by forcing many
ITIL still has a major part to play in improving efficiency and service levels, and as such is a perfect fit as a guide for surviving the downturn and capitalising on the upturn when it eventually comes. organisations into cutting away everything but the necessities of service; in doing so they have often discovered the most streamlined way of running their IT service. There are some caveats involved. It obviously requires the right cuts to be made, and that service levels do not diminish as a result of these cuts; but with the right guidance a framework for a superefficient, high-performance IT service can rise up from the ashes of budget-led cuts to the department. It cannot be said too many times that disciplines such as ITIL should always be tailored to the needs of the organisation in question and it can therefore be seen as one of the few positives of the unfortunate economic situation that the industry has been forced to examine the way it approaches best practice. In order to ensure momentum is not lost the industry should say good riddance to ITIL for ITIL’s sake once and for all, and embrace the tailored, ITIL-aligned approach to service management that will enable us to survive the downturn and capitalise on the future. VitAL www.plan-net.co.uk November / December 2009 : VitAL 35
Derbyshire’s healthy reliance on ITIL Derbyshire Health Information Service decided it needed a service desk overhaul with the flexibility to align with ITIL. VitAL spoke to DHIS customer service manager Daryl Barber.
erbyshire Health Informatics Services (DHIS), based in Derby, provides leading-edge IT services for eight NHS primary care trusts as well as Derbyshire Mental Health Services and Trent Strategic Health Authority. The company employs 160 people, and supports some 16,000 NHS users. Connecting for Health (CfH), the central agency responsible for the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) within the NHS, is encouraging the adoption of ITIL best practices
36 VitAL : November / December 2009
for IT service management with the aim of increasing efficiencies, reducing costs and improving services. DHIS was keen to align itself with ITIL, but its existing IT service desk solution was not flexible enough to adapt. “As an organisation that serves the public sector, we work within tight budgets, and the need to deliver ever higher levels of service points to the adoption of a framework like ITIL,” comments Daryl Barber, Customer Service Manager at DHIS. “After a very rigorous evaluation process, we began working with www.vital-mag.net
Connecting for Health (CfH), the central agency responsible for the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) within the NHS, is encouraging the adoption of ITIL best practices for IT service management with the aim of increasing efficiencies, reducing costs and improving services. Avocent to deploy a solution based around LANDesk Service Desk – helping us drive improvements in incident and problem management across the board.”
Challenge With several NHS trusts, a Strategic Health Authority and several other NHS organisations among its key clients, DHIS has a complex IT service management challenge to solve. More than 16,000 users generate over 70,000 Incidents and service requests every year – and DHIS needs to be able to resolve all issues within demanding SLAs, while delivering outstanding value for public money by operating within tight budgetary constraints. “Each of the NHS trusts has its own IT strategy, and its own specific SLAs that we need to meet, which adds more complexity,” comments Barber. “We need to implement a two-level SLA approach – a baseline that would meet the general requirements of all our clients, and then a number of specific SLAs on top. www.vital-mag.net
This kind of flexibility was not possible with our existing service desk solution, so we began looking for a new approach.” DHIS wanted a solution that would help it align with ITIL, the internationally recognised set of best practices for IT service management that helps organisations around the world reduce costs, improve services, enhance customer satisfaction and standardise processes in the most efficient manner. “ITIL isn’t a mandatory framework, but NHS Connecting for Health is keen to see it adopted across the country – and it makes sense,” says Daryl Barber. “If there’s a standardised approach to IT service management, it enables greater consistency in the way we respond to incidents, which make it much easier to meet SLAs and improve customer satisfaction.”
Solution DHIS began a rigorous procurement process, selecting the top ten vendors recommended by the itSMF (IT Service Management Forum) and the Service Desk Institute and sending them invitations to tender. “We set up a panel including members of our own senior management, our IT team, and stakeholders from all areas of the business,” explains Barber. “The panel reviewed all the
proposals and selected four to take part in a full tendering process. We drew up a very comprehensive list of specifications, and the vendors set up demos to show how their solutions could meet our requirements. Each member of the panel spent time with each of the four systems, rating them for usability, functionality and performance – and in the end, we had two clear favourites. “The other criterion was references. Only two of the ten vendors had experience of working with the NHS – and when we visited their customers, only one solution was recommended. This was one of the two products we had shortlisted – which gave us confidence that we were making the right choice.” The solution DHIS selected was LANDesk Service Desk from Avocent, an ITIL-verified IT service management solution which provides comprehensive tracking, prioritisation and allocation of all reported incidents. When a user calls or emails the service desk to report a fault, a new incident is created in the system, and data is drawn from various sources to help IT staff resolve the issue as quickly and effectively as possible. “For example, we have integrated Service Desk with our Microsoft Active Directory November / December 2009 : VitAL 37
system, which gives the service desk a comprehensive and accurate list of users,” says Barber. “This enables us to log incidents and requests against the users who reported them, helping us to follow up appropriately.” The solution uses a sophisticated matrix to determine the severity and business impact of each problem, and prioritise the workload effectively – ensuring that the most urgent and important issues are resolved first. It also uses a defined hierarchy to allocate tasks to the most appropriate people – starting with front-line service desk staff, and escalating through to particular technical experts and senior managers as appropriate. “The openness and flexibility of the platform is a huge advantage,” says Barber. “Without any need to buy in external consultancy, I have been able to customise and extend the solution to compliment the out-of-the-box incident management functionalities, and introduce problem and change management into the system.” Problem management helps improve communications within the service desk, allowing engineers to build up a full picture of underlying problems in the infrastructure and provide reports to managers and customers. “Previously, if we had a situation where a single problem was causing lots of users to contact the service desk, logging all these incidents could be counterproductive,” explains Barber, “the engineers who were trying to fix the problem would be continually bombarded with more and more complaints from users, distracting them from the task at hand. By introducing a sophisticated Problem 38 VitAL : November / December 2009
Management system that is fully integrated with the Incident Management solution, we can work much more effectively – front-line staff can handle the interaction with users, while technical experts focus on resolving the issue.”
Results “Our SLA performance has always been extremely high – better than 99 percent,” Barber comments. “The solution helps us maintain this high level of customer satisfaction, while considerably improving our ability to analyse and report on our own internal processes.” He concludes: “We are among the toprated NHS accredited service desks – the first to accredit out of 394 across the NHS – and achieving this rating isn’t just about resolving problems quickly; it’s about demonstrating that you have the tools and processes in place to run an efficient operation and meet CfH requirements within tight budgetary constraints. With its highly granular reporting features, ITIL-compliant processes, and comprehensive record of all IT service management-related activities, the LANDesk solution helps us maintain our credibility with customers and regulators, and ultimately enables us to provide the best possible service to the NHS and the wider public.” VitAL www.avocent.com The Avocent white paper: ‘Derbyshire Health Informatics Services Implements ITIL-Compliant IT Service Management’ is available at VitAL Online: www.vital-mag.net
“ITIL isn’t a mandatory framework, but NHS Connecting for Health is keen to see it adopted across the country – and it makes sense,” says Daryl Barber. “If there’s a standardised approach to IT service management, it enables greater consistency in the way we respond to incidents, which make it much easier to meet SLAs and improve customer satisfaction.”
VitAL eyes on
“The solution helps us maintain this high level of customer satisfaction,
Identity theft - what are you doing about it?
while considerably improving our ability to analyse and report
National Fraud Prevention Week has raised the issue of ID theft. Jonanthan Westlake offers some useful advice.
on our own internal processes.”
Challenge • Existing proprietary service desk software could not easily be integrated or developed in line with the organisation’s ITIL strategy and with NHS Connecting for Health guidelines. • DHIS needed a solution that could scale to enable a small staff to handle 16,000 users and more than 70,000 incidents per year. • The solution needed to meet tight budgetary requirements, in terms of both acquisition and ongoing costs.
Solution • DHIS implemented LANDesk Service Desk and integrated it with the Microsoft Active Directory user directory. • The in-house team customised the solution to extend its problem management capabilities to fit the organisation’s unique requirements.
Results • Structured, ITIL-verified approach to incident and problem management – each incident is prioritised and allocated to the right people to enable rapid resolution. • All work done by the service desk is accurately tracked and recorded – facilitating audits and enabling accurate apportioning of workload to the relevant customers. • Flexible, open platform makes it easy for in-house team to extend the solution without expensive development work. • SLA performance in excess of 99 percent – ensuring customer satisfaction.
he 12th - 18th October, 2009 saw the fifth annual National ID Fraud Prevention week and comprehensive advice can be found on www.stop-idfraud.co.uk for both individuals and more importantly in my view for businesses. The key ingredient of ID fraud of course is personal data. I am always wary of reading too much into statistics but recent evidence quoted on the site makes for disappointing reading. It is obvious that UK businesses are still not doing enough to create and encourage a climate to combat the threats of id fraud. It is interesting to briefly reflect on why this is the case. Perhaps firms and employees have become bored with the constant publicity about the subject, perhaps we are resigned to a world where fraud is inevitable? While this could provoke an interesting debate I am more interested in recommending a number of practical measures a firm can employ to combat ID fraud and techniques to encourage all employees to be a part of the solution. I am also conscious of maximising the most benefit for little or zero cost! The initial recommendation would be for you to review your business context. Where does personal data originate from and where does it reside? This typically will be a combination of electronic data and paper document data. Keep it simple and you should be able to produce a sketch which indicates areas of concern, for example, document storage; document disposal; transfer of data requests; equipment disposal. Having identified areas of concern the next recommendation is to focus on each of these in turn. If an existing process/procedure
already exists for data handling then review it – is it secure? If no process/procedure exists then consider developing one asap. Delegate this task to individuals or department concerned. The process review needs to be quick and include any recommendations for equipment and training. The final recommendation is to use the material freely available on the stop-idfraud website. For example, print off the posters and place on notice boards at your firm; include a quick review of the data handling subject/ process in normal day to day meetings. Both of these measures will raise the awareness of employees and encourage best practice both at work and at home as part of normal everyday business. VitAL www.staffs.ac.uk
November / December 2009 : VitAL 39
Taking the pulse of IT in healthcare The healthcare sector is bucking current trends and its IT spend is growing Linda King of G2G3 checks the temperature in this fast growing IT sector.
ealthcare is an industry on the brink of dramatic change from an IT perspective. Despite global IT spending contracting due to the challenging economic climate we currently face, the healthcare sector bucks this trend with dramatic growth in IT spending, making it the fastest growing technology industry of any vertical market. This was confirmed by the results of a recent IDC survey suggesting that despite the recession, healthcare CIOs expect their IT spend to increase ten percent over the next year.
A matter of life and death With this increased spending however comes greater responsibility and a higher dependence upon the technology being implemented. More so than in any other industry, healthcare organisations have the most to lose when something goes wrong with their IT service delivery. Put bluntly, if the technology in the patient care value chain is compromised in any way, lives are at stake.
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Undoubtedly, healthcare is one of the most data-critical, information-intense and knowledge-driven service sectors of all. Yet for far too long, the healthcare industry has been one of the slowest adopters of technology and technologyrelated best practices. Factors such as a lack of competitive pressure have fuelled this sluggish behaviour, but all that is starting to change as a new technology-driven era dawns. In addition, despite technology now being the critical enabler of quality patient care for clinicians, there remains a lack of understanding around the importance of IT to the patient care value chain. Only when problems are experienced or system failures occur, does the huge responsibility that is shouldered by the IT organisation become apparent. Healthcare technology providers therefore are finding themselves under significant pressure to meet aggressive targets, contribute to improved patient care, and address market and regulatory issues, all often with reduced resources. This pressure to perform combined with the dramatic consequences IT issues can create, is leading to a need for improved effectiveness not just around technology, but for people and process as well.
the right time, often in life-threatening situations. Healthcare storage requirements are also often intertwined with compliance and regulatory issues, with respect to how long medical equipment output and related information must be retained and who is authorised to access that information. This is problematic for many healthcare organisations due to internal politics as well as government regulation. And then of course, there’s communications. Later perhaps than many other industries, there has been a paradigm shift towards email being the main vehicle of communication for the healthcare industry. Unsurprisingly, this has become a significant burden for many healthcare IT departments, again from a storage, support and compliance perspective.
So why is IT in healthcare growing like a teenager with a growth spurt?
Undoubtedly, healthcare is one of the most data-critical, information-intense and knowledge-driven service sectors of all. Yet for far too long, the healthcare industry has been one of the slowest adopters of technology and technology-related best practices. Factors such as a lack of competitive pressure have fuelled this sluggish behaviour, but all that is starting to change as a new technology-driven era dawns. The ubiquitous and welcome spread of modern healthcare IT equipment across our hospitals such as MRI scanners, CT, scanners and digital X-ray machines has created a significant storage challenge for healthcare IT departments, quite simply due to the large output size from this equipment. In fact, so great is this problem that the requirement for data storage in the healthcare industry is estimated to be doubling every eighteen months. And output management doesn’t stop at storage, as consideration needs to be given to output indexing and retrieval, as it is vital that clinicians can access the right information at www.vital-mag.net
As the importance of technology in healthcare continues to rapidly rise, it is no surprise that eyes are also turning towards technologyrelated processes. IT-related services no longer provide a mere supporting role - they instead take centre stage and underpin the entire clinical value chain and this dependence will only increase in the future. It is crucial therefore that technology-related processes are of a ‘world-class’ standard, ensuring the ongoing stability of IT services as well as achieving the desired performance improvements. Many healthcare organisations are looking to make these process improvements by adopting the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the best practice framework for ITSM. ITIL has proven invaluable to thousands of organisations in all industries across the globe as a best practice framework to manage and improve effective IT services. Since its inception in the late 1980s, it has become the single most important and accepted framework for IT service management (ITSM). However, it’s not enough just to ‘implement ITIL’ and expect it to be a panacea for any technology or process-related ills – ITIL needs November / December 2009 : VitAL 41
to be addressed at a people and cultural as well as a process level to have any real chance of success.
Are the people ready? Many healthcare organisations have ad-hoc processes and ‘ways of doing things’ that have been developed and honed internally over time and are often now ‘set in stone’. Moving from these universally accepted and time-tested approaches to a new and formal set of structures and procedures such as ITIL, can cause significant culture shock and create widespread resistance to the changes being implemented. And resistance shouldn’t be underestimated – it can often be the most significant barrier to successfully deploying ITIL. But in most cases, people aren’t actively opposed to changing – they just don’t have the time or the capacity to change – particularly in a resource-stretched industry such as healthcare. Healthcare organisations can implement the most expensive and sophisticated IT system or process improvement programme, but if the people aren’t ready and willing to change, then the potential of any IT improvements will be significantly undermined, possibly to the point of failure. So, how do you get the people ready? Well, many healthcare organisations will implement a lengthy and costly programme of ITIL education. Don’t get me wrong – this will reap benefits. Training staff to ITIL Foundation level (or higher) will aid their development and provide a valuable, transferable qualification. It will also ensure that staff have a good understanding of the theory behind IT service management best practice. But transforming an IT organisation to successfully follow a best practice framework such as ITIL requires commitment and 42 VitAL : November / December 2009
understanding at every level of the organisation – from the CIO, to the help desk staff – all the way through to the clinicians, nurses and support staff. The problem is influencing the mindset of such a wide spread of healthcare staff through traditional education would be overkill and also virtually impossible due to time, budgets, availability and other common organisational constraints.
Communications The best way to create cross-organisational readiness is to implement a cultural change initiative with the aim of creating a holistic understanding of the reasons why new technologies and process frameworks are being implemented and the benefits that these changes will bring. This can be done in many ways, for example, communications campaigns, social media initiatives, simulations and more. Communications campaigns can be extremely powerful in creating awareness around the rising importance of IT, as well as significantly raising the brand value and reputation of IT across the healthcare organisation. And simulations, or gaming solutions as they are also known, are an ideal change catalyst for healthcare – as they are a fast and high-impact way to create understanding, involvement, and acceptance of ITSM best practice across a wide audience within the ITIL sphere of influence. Healthcare is on the brink of a new era of technology. It’s an exciting and challenging time for those working within the industry – however the investments that are being made will only truly have their desired effects if the people who support the patient value chain are ready, willing and able to accept them. VitAL www.G2G3.com
Healthcare is on the brink of a new era of technology. It’s an exciting and challenging time for those working within the industry – however the investments that are being made will only truly have their desired effects if the people who support the patient value chain are ready, willing and able to accept them.
Whether your challenge is reducing costs or increasing productivity or efficiency, we can help.
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How to learn from Lactobaccilus Regular VitAL columnist Steve White learns lessons about a scientific approach to support strategy from Lactobaccilus.
t’s nice to see that the President of the United States is planning to use science to inform some of his leadership decisions. Recently a story came to me of a group of very experienced people who were about to spend a great deal of money on what would have been a failed venture but for an injection of a bit of science. Would you have made this error? The dairy division of an international food manufacturer and distributor believed its market had now evolved to a point where there would be demand for a European-style low-fat yoghurt. As the dominant provider of milk-based products in that country, it launched a low-fat yoghurt product understanding that there would be a certain ‘cannibalisation’ of sales of their full fat product. As the product manager for this product, responsible for the design, implementation and marketing of the new line, imagine your joy when the first sales results came in – your low fat yoghurt completely blew away all sales expectations. Celebrations commenced and a certain sense of satisfaction that they had judged the evolution of consumer tastes correctly got them thinking about how to capitalise on the success of this first low-fat product in this marketplace. Plans to introduce low-fat versions of many of the other products were drawn up. The product portfolio was rearranged to accommodate these new lines and several millions were allocated to the new product development and introduction.
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Strategic decisions Company strategy is about making decisions about what to focus on, what to de-emphasise and what to stop doing. Our definition of strategy is that it is the set of choices that determines the nature and direction of an organisation, choices that are as important for a support organisation as they are for any other. Support organisations spend a huge amount of a company profit on providing support, and yet more than half of the support organisations I work with do not have a support strategy of their own. They know about the business strategy of the sales, marketing and manufacturing divisions, but have no strategy that specifies the environment they work in, the core deliverables they provide, the competitive advantage they deliver to the corporate entity and so on. This results in a fractured support offering, different products in different countries (with the nonsense that a local market is ‘special’ and therefore can only be supported in a particular way) and pet projects being allowed to flourish as there is no strategy against which to test their true strategic value. How many failed markets or delivery channels have been entered through improper research, and how many support organisations sleep-walk into a product portfolio larger than Jeremy Clarkson’s personal ozone hole?
The excuse There is an excuse for this behaviour – “We have a lot of product out there and we have to keep supporting it”. “There is no chance to change the wings while the plane is in the air”. While the management of such a support organisation is busy shovelling cases through a system, the world is changing. The youth of yesterday are the employees of today. Email is a historic as the Mary Rose for the next generation, and communication is through Tweeting, Facebooking, MySpacing. And those examples are already out of date. A regular appraisal of the service strategy will not only maximise the effective use of new technology, but may allow some existing www.vital-mag.net
services to be switched off. Building rapport with new customers may be achieved through the development of additional channels to existing services. Switching off, or migrating customers to a new channel may provide savings. With a service strategy the question can be asked ‘how would a newly proposed service fit in the existing support strategy?” and then “How do we know that there is a viable market for this new service?”
Back to the yoghurt... The dairy division of the international food manufacturer was asked this last question by KT as part of the work we were doing with them. We got them to do a bit of scientific thinking about their low-fat yogurt success to justify their assertion that “the market must have evolved” If the market has evolved, we asked how come sales of products of diet colas have remained flat over the past few years. If the market has evolved, how come your new lowfat yogurt sales are identical to the reduction in sales of you existing ‘full-fat’ product – it seems odd you are not attracting new and newly-evolved customers. They did some additional research, to find the cause of the positive deviation. Field research, catching people in the retail outlet with the low-fat yoghurt in their basket took an amount of investment. “I’m a researcher, and I’m just interested in why you bought that low fat yoghurt?” “Oh, I didn’t realise that I had... Low-fat you say. I’ll put it back and find the full fat one.” The reason for the unexpected sales of lowfat yoghurt was not that the consumers were looking for it. The packaging of the low fat version was too similar to the full fat product, and it was being bought by mistake. The injection of some science into the formulation and execution of service strategy may mean some pet projects get transitioned away, it may mean that very exciting new ideas may first be carefully appraised for their merit and fit, and it may indeed save a great deal of money. VitAL www.kepner-tregoe.com
How many failed markets or delivery channels have been entered through improper research, and how many support organisations sleep-walk into a product portfolio larger than Jeremy Clarkson’s personal ozone hole?
November / December 2009 : VitAL 45
A virtual migration Frank Puranik of iTrinegy explains how network emulation helped Capita to virtualise its data centres.
apita Group has an on-going project to migrate computing services located in individual business data centres to Capita Business Services’ main data centre. Prior to this centralisation/consolidation most of the group’s applications had been delivered from a local data centre to the end-users via a LAN, but with the ongoing data centre migration programme these are now delivered across a WAN-based network. The need for applications (often bespoke) to continue guaranteeing first class performance was a prerequisite. In migrating these applications, the servers they were running on were also scheduled to be virtualised to save on power, cooling and the cost of redundant server resources. While it might have been possible to specify the use of Citrix or another thin client solution
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for end-user access in all cases, this would have been cost-prohibitive, as well as not being a panacea for all network related issues. Steve Brankin, data centre transition & integration manager comments “We had a requirement to move all the related servers for the application to the new data centre at the same time and so we needed to understand any potential issues that may arise. For example we needed to understand and eliminate WAN requests for server to server communications which we felt could severely hamper our applications. The measurement of the entire server to client and server to server traffic is vital. It’s also very important for to us to know how much network load would be placed onto the WAN link from Capita Business Services’ main data centre to the individual business that was migrating.” www.vital-mag.net
The solution needed to show how bandwidth availability and latency would impact the applications’ performance and also how much network load would be required on the physical servers which would be hosting the multiple virtual servers and their applications.
The solution needed to show how bandwidth availability and latency would impact the applications’ performance and also how much network load would be required on the physical servers which would be hosting the multiple virtual servers and their applications. A further major question needing to be answered was would the physical server NICs (network interface cards) have the capability to handle all the traffic?
Solving the problem: “While attending a Sun Virtualisation conference we came across iTrinegy,” says Brankin. “Two of their products seemed to answer our needs: one measured application performance while their network emulation technology allowed us to simulate the network prior to migration, and the use of both of these product sets was found to be essential in preventing costly fixes including failed migrations or overuse of expensive tools like Citrix.” The solution was piloted on a data centre migration being performed from Capita Insurance Services in Salisbury to Capita Business Services main data centre in West Malling (a road distance of some 120 miles). There were several concerns with this project: • The application had been designed for delivery over the LAN – it was unclear how much WAN traffic would be generated or what size of WAN pipe would be required; • How would the WAN latency (a lowly 10ms) affect the application; • What response times could the users expect; • With some of the application being legacy there was no one available to provide a complete data flow analysis. Exactly what talked to what? First AppQoS was used by Brankin’s team to rapidly determine all server-to-server and client-to-server connections being made by the application. This allowed Capita to determine that it had correctly identified all the services www.vital-mag.net
being used by the application servers including minor ‘gotchas’ such as systems incorrectly picking up time services (NTP), DNS etc from the ‘old’ site. This prevented repeating any errors in this area.
Network emulation It also allowed Capita to gauge the total volume of network traffic flowing between all clients and the Tier 1 server as this would now be flowing over the WAN. This process allowed the identification of a potential problem. At certain times (logon in particular) a huge amount (several hundred Mbps) of traffic was flowing from clients to the server. The network links from Salisbury to West Malling were not that large – they might need upgrading or a lighter weight (in bandwidth terms) method of application access might be required. “We used Network Emulator in the first instance to provide a moderate network experience of 10Mbps and 10ms latency (the latency from Salisbury to West Malling) for a member of the support team familiar with the application(s). It was as though the application had been moved to West Malling with the user still in Salisbury. Immediately, we found that logon times for the application went from 10-20 seconds to many minutes, which was completely unacceptable,” explains Brankin. The team made use of the emulator’s real time network graphing functionality to see that the entire 10Mbps was being used up. This was with just one client whereas in the mornings a couple of hundred users logged on at approximately the same time in the real network. They decided that it would be useful to experiment by ‘upgrading’ the bandwidth and with the network emulator it took just a few seconds to replicate a 1Gb link. The logon test was repeated and while it was still too slow, it also showed that much less than 100Mbps of the 1Gb link was being used. iTrinegy explained that the application was now being constrained by the latency and no
amount of increasing bandwidth, for example, using their circuit with 1Gb or better capacity would solve this for a single user, unless it also came with a huge latency reduction. It was clear that without a major re-design, to make this application work in the WAN they would require it to use a thin client like Citrix, RDP or SunRay, or make use of WAN acceleration technology (if this proved cost effective). Capita used AppQoS which allowed it to quickly identify the WAN loading as well as the server NIC loading and also ensure that no stray time-critical server-server requests were still going across the WAN.
A virtual try-out Using this AppQoS data as well as that obtained from the Network Emulator, effectively allowed Capita to ‘try out’ the migration for a community of users without actually doing it! This showed it that the application would not work (perform even reasonably) on the existing link and that adding bandwidth to solve the problem was a waste of money. “We avoided a failed migration and understood that we would need to invest in thin client or WAN acceleration technologies to complete the task,” says Brankin. “All in all, it was a case of money very well spent, especially given that we could use the tools again on our ongoing migration/virtualisation projects and monitor the applications post migration with AppQoS too.” “The tools were straightforward and we found the technical support excellent,” concludes Brankin. “Assisting on site, helping us to rapidly use the products as well as explaining network issues such as how applications that are ‘latency bound’ do not respond to increased bandwidth for single users, all proved invaluable to us. The tools were set up in a very short time and within one day we had the answers to the important issues in migrating and virtualising the application for the pilot site.” VitAL www.itrinegy.com November / December 2009 : VitAL 47
The next generation of IT management
John Murnane EMC Ionix ITSM specialist
Colin Murray vice president EMEA
48 VitAL : November / December 2009
Migration to the cloud offers a range of financial and operational benefits to those involved in IT service management, not least the opportunity to start from scratch with totally integrated, virtualised systems. As EMC launched EMC Ionix to help ease this migration, VitAL editor Matt Bailey spoke to EMC Ionix ITSM specialist John Murnane and the companyâ€™s regional vice president EMEA, Colin Murray.
s migration to the cloud inevitable? Many of the pundits would have us believe it is and the arguments in favour are certainly persuasive. In an early bid to ease the passage of IT service management into the cloud, EMC has launched a family of products for the virtualised data centre that it calls EMC Ionix. It says this range of IT management software will help customers accelerate their migration from physical to virtual IT and on into cloud infrastructures. Cloud computing means many things to many people, a recent survey turned up more than 22 distinct definitions. McKinsey has coined the most satisfying definition I’ve seen so far. It defines the cloud as a relationship where enterprises incur no infrastructure capital costs, just operational costs and operational costs are incurred on a pay-per-use basis, with no contractual obligations. “Clouds are hardware-based services offering compute, network and storage capacity where: hardware management is highly abstracted from the buyer and can be located anywhere geographically; buyers incur infrastructure costs as variable OPEX; and infrastructure capacity is highly elastic (up or down).”
Radical change coming If IT is moving to the cloud, via virtualisation, the strategic issue is managing everything so you maintain reliability, improve operational efficiency through automation, deploy ITIL without making it too complex and gain control of the virtual data centre. This is where EMC Ionix comes in. “There is profound and radical change coming to IT,” predicts Colin Murray, EMC Ionix regional vice president EMEA, “where virtualisation and cloud computing will introduce more services than ever before on fewer servers and at a much reduced cost.” At any time these incentives would be compelling, but with global economics the way they are, the benefits of increased efficiency and reduced cost are impossible to ignore. www.vital-mag.net
“The situation is becoming more challenging,” says Murray, “and it is offering the opportunity for us to jump ahead “Virtualisation is an IT no-brainer,” states EMC Ionix ITSM specialist John Murnane. “But when you do it, it alters the IT infrastructure radically - can you manage it? Ionix gives the same visibility over the virtual space as over the physical. It is specifically designed to make no distinction between them – it joins up the view.”
The next generation of IT management EMC Ionix IT management software is designed to help accelerate the migration from physical IT to virtual IT to cloud infrastructures. It combines automated server compliance and configuration solutions gained from EMC’s recent Configuresoft acquisition with market-leading and newly unified management software portfolio to provide what the company describes as unparalleled insight and control across physical and virtual IT infrastructures. Over the past five years, EMC has assembled through acquisition and organic growth an extensive portfolio of technologies that provide IT management across the data centre – including Smarts, nLayers, Voyence, Infra, ControlCenter , Configuresoft and most recently FastScale. Ionix represents the culmination of this strategy, bringing together these products under a unified family that offers customers management capabilities across their physical and virtual IT infrastructures – including servers, networks, storage, and applications.
of the game. We’ve noticed within the last few months that people within customer companies are making much bigger requirements. It’s time to stop the discussions and get on the case. We need to get back to the essence of ITSM – delivering impact to the business quickly.”
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“The situation is becoming more challenging,” says Murray, “and it is offering the opportunity for us to jump ahead of the game. We’ve noticed within the last few months that people within customer companies are making much bigger requirements. It’s time to stop the discussions and get on the case. We need to get back to the essence of ITSM – delivering impact to the business quickly.”
Brave new world The most demanding virtualisation management challenges can be answered through innovative integrations across what have been traditionally siloed IT management solutions. Ionix software and solutions break through these silos with new levels of integration and automation that can accelerate the virtualisation management journey by exploiting the openness and automation capabilities of each solution. “Ionix enables service management functions that no one else can,” says Murray. “Many of the solutions out there work very well in the physical environment, but not in the virtual. We collected a series of best of breed technologies that work very well in both the physical and virtual worlds. It’s a complete solution that leads to the destruction of the old IT silos and replaces them with a combined pay-as-you-go infrastructure. “It really is a brave new world of IT and ITSM has a crucial role in it,” explains Murray. “Many users are sceptical of cloud computing, so service level measurement will be very important in proving that the service is as good as, or better than before. In the world of the private cloud, service levels will have to be proven by the ITSM software, that is, Ionix.”
Tearing down the silos “More and more organisations are trying to knit together their infrastructures,” says John Murnane. “Their IT infrastructures are made up of thousands of products. We can offer an entire solution or integrate and interlock with the technology you already have. Ionix can wrap around you existing technologies to give efficiencies and best practise control over specific sectors. Or we can provide a complete solution.” And what better time to make the switch to a complete ITSM solution than when the infrastructure is migrating from the physical world of local servers to a virtualised or private cloud based infrastructure. 50 VitAL : November / December 2009
The Ionix solution spans four categories, each with benefits for the virtualised data centre: EMC Ionix for service discovery and mapping provides the visibility into complex applications and their physical and virtual dependencies – supporting and enabling configuration management database (CMDB)/configuration management system (CMS) population, change management, and application troubleshooting, and helping customers meet the challenges of business continuity and site recovery across the physical and virtual infrastructure. The solution also enables customers to accurately map servers and applications prior to data centre moves, consolidations, and virtualisation migrations. EMC Ionix for IT operations intelligence provides automated root-cause and impact analysis and monitors services across both physical and virtual environments. The solution also enables customers to visualise the relationships between virtual machines (VMs), the VMware ESX servers they reside on and the network. Customers can integrate automated root cause analytics into their service desk to open trouble tickets based on pinpointed problems found through the Ionix patented codebook correlation technology for enhanced incident and problem management. EMC Ionix for data centre automation and compliance enables customers to scale their virtualised data centre without increasing staff. Through strong compliance management solutions across the IT infrastructure – including servers, storage, application dependencies and networks – customers can assess configuration compliance against regulatory, best-practices, and internal governance policies including
“Ionix enables service management functions that no one else can,” says Murray. “Many of the solutions out there work very well in the physical environment, but not in the virtual. We collected a series of best of breed technologies that work very well in both the physical and virtual worlds. It’s a complete solution that leads to the destruction of the old IT silos and replaces them with a combined pay-asyou-go infrastructure.” www.vital-mag.net
Your old management tools were designed for a different IT environment and are rapidly becoming outmoded. Can they adapt to the new paradigm of the cloud? Do they offer the insight, control and collaboration you need to make the move into the virtualised environment? Ionix offers the tools and infrastructure to make IT an integral part of the business in the era of cloud computing.
VMware vSphere 4 deployment guidelines. Customers can then remediate compliance violations across physical and virtual infrastructures. Through additional integrations with Ionix for IT operations intelligence, customers can view change events from the operations topology map to enable incident and problem processes to leverage change and configuration processes. EMC Ionix for service management enables customers to rapidly deploy scalable and costeffective IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) service management. This solution highlights two key integrations across the portfolio – integration with CMDBs and workflow automation. Customers can build a federated CMDB that is auto-populated with physical and virtual CIs and dependencies. “Ionix aims to give a granular, end-to-end collection of integrated point solutions,” confirms John Murnane. “IT has exploded over the last few years, it’s about continual improvement, to move forward and get better. It’s no longer a negotiation between IT and the business; everything is delivered through IT these days and our products knit the network management and applications together to facilitate the better running of the business; and service management is the means by which you can run IT as an integral part of the business.”
Unleashing the power of IT “As IT technologies have become pervasive, businesses have been striving to use these resources as a utility that can be controlled and measured according to business demands. Virtualisation has emerged as a key technology www.vital-mag.net
for allowing the delivery of IT as a service. It allows applications to be rapidly deployed, scaled, optimised and then decommissioned if necessary,” explains Colin Murray. “Good management is necessary to really unleash the power of IT in this new environment.” Existing management tools were designed for a different era, one focussed on individual domains, particular tasks and the issues and challenges associated with the old infrastructure. Ionix was purpose-built for virtualised and cloud environments with technologies that stretch across domains, integrate and collectively solve the new management challenges. It allows your management solutions to evolve as your IT environment matures.
Into the future Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group thinks we are at an important crossroads for IT services and that there will be winners and losers. “At every major disruption point, huge new market opportunities are created and the eventual
winners tend to be the ones that are purposebuilt for the new world order – not those who bolt-on functions to last year’s model,” he said. “While there are current leaders in this space, they built monolithic software to support monolithic physical infrastructures that weren’t designed to be modular. Additionally, they were built well before anyone ever heard of virtualisation, let alone the cloud.” Virtualisation is a major step towards the more flexible computing infrastructure approach of the private cloud. Many businesses are driving their infrastructures towards the cloud and virtualisation simultaneously as they pursue an ITSM approach to managing IT. Your old management tools were designed for a different IT environment and are rapidly becoming outmoded. Can they adapt to the new paradigm of the cloud? Do they offer the insight, control and collaboration you need to make the move into the virtualised environment? Ionix offers the tools and infrastructure to make IT an integral part of the business in the era of cloud computing. VitAL www.emc.com/Ionix November / December 2009 : VitAL 51
Greening the IT helpdesk New research shows that computers generate an estimated 35 million tons of the CO2 gas each year, the equivalent of one million typical flights to and from the UK. According to Gartner, the global IT industry accounts for around two percent of carbon dioxide emissions – much the same as aviation. Bryan Taylor, managing director of Sitehelpdesk has some helpful advice.
ost businesses now live in a world where the importance of protecting the environment and limiting their carbon footprint wherever possible is something that cannot easily be ignored. As a nation we are hopefully getting better at switching off lights, using less paper, reducing travel where possible and ensuring our offices aren’t being heated overnight while they stand empty. But in a difficult economic climate where the tightening of budgets has no correlation to the need to be as eco-friendly as possible, businesses need to start thinking beyond the obvious. It is common knowledge that IT is one of the biggest energy-gulpers on the planet but as a business we all need to ensure that our IT systems are running smoothly and efficiently if we are to address the ecological impact it has. The IT helpdesk is at the hub of ensuring that these systems operate in the most efficient and productive manner possible. Despite this companies still aren’t doing enough to really green their IT helpdesks. Many companies still do not have wireless LANs or web-based helpdesks meaning workers are unable to access the IT helpdesk remotely or via PDAs or mobile phones with email/web capabilities. This can be hugely frustrating and a direct conflict to the ‘greener’ recommendation that where possible, people should work remotely to save time and avoid travelling.
Working from home Another green concept that was popular at one point for reducing travel time but it never really took off, was the whole working from home idea. Its downfall a few years back was a technological one; working from home wasn’t actually as efficient as being in the office ie slow connections, system failures. 52 VitAL : November / December 2009
But we are now living in an age of widespread broadband coverage where working from home efficiently is a reality and not just a nice idea. For the IT helpdesk, being available 24/7 is often a must and so putting systems in place that allow the support function to operate around the clock (even remotely) is vital. That said, many businesses are still working with legacy client server helpdesks and are not utilising the true benefits of web technologies. Probably because, they invested heavily in the system they already had and, were unaware that there are applications available that cost less to purchase as a replacement than they might currently be paying in annual maintenance fees. Unfortunately this is an educational issue and a misconception which does need addressing.
Improving functionality Setting up or improving the functionality of a helpdesk involves some important environmental considerations which can have an impact on reducing costs. But as a service function, and effectively an overhead or cost-burden to the organisation the reality is often reluctance from senior management to continually invest in IT departments if they think they can get away with not doing so, as a result many departments are overstretched. Senior management are also usually the last to know (or are harder to convince) about the real benefits of self-help features available from web-based support systems, in terms of how much can be saved in resource and this can be a real barrier for IT managers. From a green perspective, less resource means less human intervention and although for some this can be a bitter pill to swallow, less people means a lower consumption of environmental resources.
It is common knowledge that IT is one of the biggest energy-gulpers on the planet but as a business we all need to ensure that our IT systems are running smoothly and efficiently if we are to address the ecological impact it has. The IT helpdesk is at the hub of ensuring that these systems operate in the most efficient and productive manner possible. Despite this companies still aren’t doing enough to really green their IT helpdesks.
Avoiding the old mistakes For those IT managers that do get the go ahead to invest in the helpdesk, many make the same old mistakes. Some businesses refuse to believe that their workers will adapt to the new system, or they think they are unlikely to use the web features available. The main problem here is getting team buy-in prior to installation of a new system. It is vital that IT managers engage with workers and get the whole team ‘culturally’ on-board before they make changes. Here are some top tips from Sitehelpdesk. com to help green your IT helpdesk: – Keep form filling simple (saves time allowing a quicker response to queries); – Ensure the IT team is disciplined enough not to pamper to constant interruptions from workers wanting their query to move to the top of the ‘priorities agenda’; – Use the web or nearest PC if out of the office; – Where possible, avoid repeated returning to base (waste of travelling time, associated cost and carbon footprint); – Utilise the benefits of web technologies (use remote management tools such as PDAs, iPhone, email ensuring you have adequate security); – Unused servers are a waste of energy so select a helpdesk that can run on existing servers and databases; – Configure the helpdesk to use darker screen shades, a small saving in monitor power consumption but a constant reminder to turn off lights and save energy; – Make sure that power saving settings are established on PCs or use terminal services; – Schedule resource to times and locations where support is actually required (this will only be evident after providing 24/7 www.vital-mag.net
web support to see where and when calls actually arise); – Give workers the trust and the responsibility to work from home at least occasionally (using a system that tracks the IP addresses of logins so that you know where staff are at all times, can help give peace of mind); – Get your team’s buy-in before making changes to green your helpdesk. If businesses take these steps and get it right first time they can expect a happy, productive helpdesk and happy workers that benefit from 24/7 IT support. VitAL www.sitehelpdesk.com November / December 2009 : VitAL 53
Virtualisation and the other green computing initiative Green IT within organisations has to result in positive bottom line impact or it is doomed to failure. Reducing power consumption and management expenses, as well as increasing efficiency of resources through consolidation and virtualisation is an effective route to lessening the impact on the environment as well as improving profitability. Owen Cole, technical director of F5 assesses the technologies that can be used to achieve both these goals.
54 VitAL : November / December 2009
here’s been a lot of hype over the past year surrounding green computing and the drive to lower the impact of IT and data centres on the environment. While we’re all for the concept of green computing and reducing the impact of computing on our environment, we’re also cognizant of the reality that every IT organisation also has to worry about the other kind of green: its bottom line. The good news is that there is some amount of overlap between these green computing initiatives. Reducing power consumption and management expenses, and increasing efficiency of existing resources through consolidation and virtualisation decreases both the impact of devices on the environment as well as on IT’s increasingly tightening budget.
Reducing power and heat The easiest way to reduce the impact of any device on the bottom line, be it a server or networking equipment, is to reduce the amount of power it requires. Modern servers often draw variable amounts of power based on the processing power in use by applications. Similarly, some networking equipment and other devices provide the same functionality, drawing varying amounts of power based on their load and configuration. This can be beneficial in reducing the operating cost of the server or device, but like dealing with variable costs of bandwidth due to bursts in usage, also makes it difficult to estimate annual costs and budget appropriately. Another simple, but often overlooked, facet is how many BTUs are generated by any given device. By decreasing the BTUs generated, there is less heat and thus less cooling required within the data centre. The costs of cooling a data centre are larger than those to heat one, owing to the fact that much of the heating needs in a data centre are inherently taken care of by the BTUs generated by the devices it houses. Reducing these costs can have a significant impact on the operating expenses of any IT organisation. www.vital-mag.net
Reducing power consumption and generation of BTUs for devices and servers is something over which IT has no control. While IT can certainly use such ratings as part of its decision making process for purchasing, it really can’t do a thing to affect how much power is consumed or how many BTUs are generated by any given device. It’s simply a cost of doing business. Yet IT can make decisions, both in purchasing and architecture, which reduce power consumption and heat generation by reducing the number of servers and devices that make up its data centre. Consolidation and virtualisation are both ways in which IT can positively impact its bottom line.
The impact of consolidation Consolidation has been an ‘initiative’ in IT for many years, and it generally revolves around the consolidation of the data centre in terms of the number of servers deployed to support mission-critical applications. While reducing the number of servers in the data centre, and thus rack density, both power consumption and heat generation can be positively affected. Yet capacity needs must be balanced with consolidation efforts, and at some point consolidation is no longer possible. As the volume of users and application usage grows, so must the number of servers – and devices such as application delivery controllers – necessary to scale mission-critical applications. Striking a balance between scalability and controlling costs is difficult, and thus far it has been nearly impossible to avoid the deployment of additional application delivery controllers as a mechanism for scaling out a data centre. Whether chassis or appliancebased, these devices have only added to the cost of power consumption and increased the generation of heat within the data centre, raising operational costs. Solving this problem requires effort on both the part of the application delivery controller vendor to reduce the power consumption and BTU generation of devices while simultaneously
There is a definitive cost associated with removing the heat generated by these devices in the form of cooling, so the lower BTU generation of the new breed of chassisbased solution is a definite boon both on the environment as well as on the budget.
November / December 2009 : VitAL 55
providing a way to scale without increasing the number of devices required for deployment within the data centre. A single, chassis-based application delivery controller requiring less power and generating fewer BTUs that also scales via a virtualised bladed architecture can address the growing need for capacity without adversely impacting IT’s bottom line, or the environment.
The impact of virtualisation By architecting a new breed of chassis-based application delivery controllers that take advantage of virtualisation not only at the server level but at the chassis and blade level, these new devices can provide better performance in a single unit than could previously be obtained with multiple appliance-based solutions or legacy chassis-models. By virtualising blades and CPUs, essentially creating a single, powerful processing matrix, this new breed of chassis-based application delivery controller can scale nearly linearly. This internal processing scalability means that every last drop of processing power is being used and can provide a much higher capacity than its legacy ancestors. By more efficiently using the processing power available, the performance per power unit is increased, making each transaction processed by the application delivery controller cost a fraction in terms of power consumption than would otherwise be possible.
The management costs of such a new breed of application delivery controller are inherently lower than a traditional application delivery solution, owing to its virtualised architecture and the ability for the device – and IT manager – to manage the system as a single entity rather than as individual blades in a larger system. This reduces the amount of management necessary, and in turn reduces the costs associated with managing the device. This is especially true as capacity is added, as it would require multiple legacy chassis-based devices to match the processing power of a
With the decreased management and power consumption costs and increased performance, these new application delivery controllers are both green as in grass and green as in cash.
Consider the comparison in Figure 1. Regardless of what the cost per kilowatt hour, there is a significant savings in terms of power when moving from the legacy chassis-model to a new, virtualised chassis-model. This has a significant positive impact on the environment as well as on the organisational budget. Given the higher performance capacity of the new chassis model, this also allows for fewer devices necessary to meet the growing traffic management and application delivery needs of today’s IT organisations, which lowers the cost of operations as well as management. 56 VitAL : November / December 2009
single virtualised chassis-based system. Each added device must be managed, and adds to the amount of power consumed and BTUs generated, making it much more expensive to scale. Also having an impact are the BTUs generated by each device. There is a definitive cost associated with removing the heat generated by these devices in the form of cooling, so the lower BTU generation of the new breed of chassis-based solution is a definite boon both on the environment as well as on the budget.
In conclusion It’s rare that an environmentally friendly movement such as green IT results in reducing costs, especially in its early stages. And yet in the case of this new breed of chassis-based application delivery controllers, that’s exactly the result. With the decreased management and power consumption costs and increased performance, these new application delivery controllers are both green as in grass and green as in cash. VitAL www.f5.com www.vital-mag.net
Optimising IT services for business success Last year’s itSMF Conference was rated ‘the best yet’ by its members, with approximately 1,200 attendees from over 45 nations. This year’s event, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on 9th-10th November, promises to be even better. We take a closer look.
s every organisation in the UK and in most countries worldwide faces economic downturn, IT service management (ITSM) and the tangible benefits it can bring move into focus. At the heart of ITSM are the principles and expertise needed to provide cost-effective services that deliver recession-beating business benefits. That is the background for ‘Optimising IT Services for Business Success’, itSMF UK’s 18th conference in Birmingham in November. Fifty seven seminar sessions presented over two intensive days cover all aspects of service management, arranged into five specially focused streams: – Lessons learned; – Tips and techniques; – Working together; – The human factor; – Facing the future; Plus two further streams devoted to interactive presentations and experimental learning (simulation) sessions.
Conference highlights Highlights of this year’s Conference include: www.vital-mag.net
Service catalogue: The undoubted ‘hot topic’ of 2009, there are no fewer than seven sessions on the service catalogue from speakers such as industry thought-leader Rob Stroud from CA and ITIL v3 author Colin Rudd; Karen Brusch and Dave White, members of our Service Level Management Special Interest Group and coauthors of the SLM Practitioner’s Guide; and Keith Spiers, who offers a practical case study from Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC). Working with the business and reducing cost: Cost reduction is on every agenda at the moment. We offer some excellent ways to manage down your costs, including ‘CCRM during a credit crunch’ from CCRM SIG chair Vawns Guest; ‘Delivering business-driven demand planning’ by Danny Quilton from Capacitas; ‘A simple, low-cost but innovative approach to end-to-end service reporting’ from Ian McDonald from Cooperative Financial Services; and ‘Benchmarking IT’ from Gartner Group analyst Ian Reeves. The human factor: Focusing on personal development, this stream offers such thoughtprovoking presentations as ‘How to identify and retain talent’ (Luciana Abreu, BCS) and ‘Winning hearts and minds’ (Jane Suter,
Hampshire County Council). Real-life experience: A host of practical case-studies and ‘war stories’ from speakers such as Connor O’Brien from Eversheds, Adam Poppleton from Hants County Council and Rachel Dunscombe from NHS North West.
Outside of the main programme Outside the main educational sessions there are numerous other activities and events to participate in, including: – Simulation (experiential learning) sessions – a memorable and stimulating ‘game environment’ for learning about the practical side of IT service management; – Our highly renowned ITSM exhibition – offering around 80 stands with exhibitors from the worlds of service management training, software and consultancy; – The prestigious awards dinner – a showcase of talent from our industry, attended by around 700 people; – Keynote speakers such as popular futurologist Ian Pearson, legendary England rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward and veteran commentator John Inverdale. November / December 2009 : VitAL 57
The IT Service Management Industry Awards The IT Service Management Awards are recognised as the premier industry awards for outstanding achievement in our field. The awards give individuals and organisations the opportunity to showcase their IT service management achievements. The awards dinner during which the finalist and winner for each category will be announced takes place on Monday 9th November.
MBCS – Platinum Sponsors IBM – Platinum Sponsor Axios Systems – Gold Sponsors NetIQ Attachmate – Gold Sponsor Service-now.com – Bronze Sponsor QA Ltd – Bronze Sponsor APMG-UK – Gala dinner and pre-gala dinner drinks reception Sponsors Hornbill Systems Ltd – Lunch Sponsors G2G3 – Experiential Learning Session Sponsor HP – Experiential Learning Session Sponsor Marval – Project, Innovation and Student of the Year Award Sponsors Best Management Practice – ITIL Student Award Exin International – Service Management Champion Award
The Categories are: The Paul Rappaport Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service Management; The Service Innovation Award (sponsored by Marvel); The IT Service Management Champion Award (sponsored by EXIN International); The IT Service Management Project Award (sponsored by Marvel); The Submission of the Year Award (sponsored by EXIN International); The Student of the Year: itSMF ISO/IEC 20000 Award (sponsored by Marvel); The Student of the Year Award: ITIL (sponsored by Best Management Practice); The Trainer of the Year Award. www.itsmf.co.uk/conference09
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Exhibitors: APMG-UK ASG Aspire – Leeds City Council & Socitm Avocent Axios Systems BCS Best Management Practice Best Management Practice Biomni Capacitas Ltd Cherwell Software Compuware Corporation Connect Sphere DNV IT Global Servives Ltd EasyVista.com/Staff&Line EMC FGI Ltd Fox IT G2G3 Global Technology Goldserv Software Hornbill Systems Ltd IBM ICCM iCore ILX Group plc IT Governance Ltd itSMF UK Kepner-Tregoe Lightfoot Solutions LiveTime Software Ltd LogMeIn Europe B.V Managed Service Solutions Marval NetIQ newScale, inc OAO Technology Parity Training Pearson VUE Pink Elephant QA Ltd Quadratek Consulting Ltd Quint Wellington Redwood RMS Service-now.com Sunrise Software The Grey Matters Wardown Consulting XuiS XSLS
WHEN? The Hilton Birmingham Metropole WHERE? Early booking offer now on BOOK? 9-10th November 2009
save up to 15%!
optimising IT services for business success
itSMF UK Conference – Monday 9th November 2009 08.30
Conference Registration opens
Exhibition opens (Kings and Palace) Coffee and tea Opening Ceremony (Monarch Suite) Barry Corless, itSMF UK Chairman. Keith Aldis, itSMF UK Chief Executive
Opening Keynote Address (Monarch Suite) Ian Pearson Futurologist Stream 1: Lessons Learned (London)
Stream 2: Tips & Techniques (Arden)
Establishing Service Transition End-to-end service Management measures – a low cost Karen Falconer approach! 11.30-12.10 Serco & Ian McDonald Shez RawsthorneThe Co-op Financial Houghton Services Independent Consultant
Delivering IT Services on a massive scale: case studies in best practice Mark Hall HM Revenue and Customs & Andrew Levitt Capgemini
Efficiencies and Introduction to ITIL & satisfaction soar in ISO/IEC20000 COTEMAR: an ITIL true 13.30-14.10 Don Page story Marval Teresa Lucio CCA Mexico
Optimising services by improving incident management Sarah Lascelles Interserve project Services Ltd
Can I Have Cheese With My Burger Please? Rob Stroud CA
How to deliver business-driven demand planning Danny Quilton Capacitas Ltd Injecting the Service Management gene into the organisation’s DNA – a collaborative approach Rohit Nand Infosys Technologies Ltd Consulting & Monty McCoy, Syngenta
How to continue PLATINUM SPONSOR How to identify and making CCRM process Create agility, reduce retain talents in an IT improvements during cost and bridge organisation the credit crunch operational silos Luciana Abreu Vawns Guest in your business BCS CGI ISMC (U.K.) Nick Drabble Limited IBM
Service Management and the youth of today Claire Burn, Northumbrian Water & Alison Brown, University of Teeside
But ITIL isn't all I do! Helen Sussex & Terry Hodge Logica
Relationship management – an evolving story Connor O’Brien & Wendy Owen Eversheds LLP
IT Service Catalogue – IT Governance in real cornerstone for ITIL life – with a little help success from ITIL and CobiT Steve Badger Christian Nissen Newscale CFN People
Polestar ITSM – An IT Service Management Simulation G2G3 13.00 – 15.00
ITIL V4? ISO20000? V3? Service Management for business process outsourcing Lynda Cooper Service 2000 Ltd
ISM AGM (York)
Time to visit the Exhibition again
Stream 3: Working Together (Oxford)
The HP Optimised Data Centre (DC) Simulation Hewlett Packard 15.30 – 17.30
Exhibition closes for the day
Time to freshen up & change before the Awards Dinner
Drinks Reception sponsored by APMG UK (main hotel bar & lobby)
Awards Dinner sponsored by APMG UK (Monarch Suite) Hosted by John Inverdale, Radio & Television Broadcaster. Master of Ceremonies – Mike Pagan
Live band & entertainment until 02.00am continued in the Monarch Suite
Stream 5: Facing The Future (Ascot/Sunningdale Upstairs 2nd floor)
Stream 6: Interactive Sessions (Warwick)
5 tips for developing an ITSM strategic road map Dave Jones Pink Elephant
Process knowledge: Structure and usage Steve Straker Fujitsu Services
Service Catalogue – theory into practice – Benchmarking IT: How much you should a successful spend and where implementation Ian Reeves Keith Spiers Gartner Nottinghamshire County Council
Customer satisfaction Contextual learning – tells the IT story… beyond training to How to READ it! readiness Laura Tinoco Neil Whyte Customer Care G2G3 Assoc
Engaging the bored board Michelle MajorGoldsmith & David Stephens Sysop
Experiential Learning Sessions (Devon/Durham upstairs 1st floor)
The HP Optimised Data Centre (DC) Simulation Hewlett Packard 09.00 – 11.00
People – the grit in the machine? Peter Johnson Fairday Research Limited
Continual Service Improvement – All things considered Stuart Wright & Derrick Taylor, Stockport Council
GOLD SPONSOR Service Catalogue: ‘Supply Chain’ Management for IT Barclay Rae Axois Systems
ITIL Service Strategy: balancing demand, supply & cost Andy Bolton Capacitas Ltd
GOLD SPONSOR Five Steps to Reduce IT Operations Expenses with Process Automation David Mount NetIQ UK Ltd
Business to IT alignment model at Centrica Richard Huntley & Keith Poulter Centrica
Phoenix – A Business Continuity Simulation G2G3 11.15 – 13.15
12.45-13.45 Risk Management in practice! Signe-Marie Hernes Bjerke Det Norske Veritas
Stream 4: The Human Factor (York)
Service Design and the Service Catalogue – A practical approach and case study 11.15-11.55 Colin Rudd IT Enterprise Management Services Ltd
SFIA so Good Paul Thompson HMRC
Service Management in difficult economic conditions Adam Poppleton Hampshire County Council
Stream 2: Tips & Techniques (Arden)
Service Management The control freak won’t just be about cometh: Applying Best Does your IT service Practice for organisation measure supporting business 09.15-09.55 processes infrastructure anything useful? Matthew Burrows & compliance Ivor Macfarlane Julian Browning David Stephenson IBM BSM Impact Limited Projects into Service – CTG (UK) Ltd ITIL ® Service Transition Shirley Lacy ConnectSphere Service Catalogue Call the shrink! Using Successful IT Service Management – transactional analysis Management – to diagnose your Taking ITIL Back Lessons Learned from lemming or leader? Tony Gannon service organisation Don’t upset the chef to the Future ITSM programme James Finister 10.05-10.45 Red Badge Ltd & Rachel Dunscombe John Windebank Trevor Pullen & Wolston Ltd Peter Burgess NHS & Sun Microsystems Graham HuzzeyIndependent Service Stuart Buckton Morgan Management Independent HP Consultant Consultant 8.5 steps to make ITIL stick! Neil Whittington Arturian Limited
Aspire, SFIA in action Joanne Miklo Leeds City council
Stream 1: Lessons Learned (London)
ITIL V3, the opium of ITSM? Brenda Peery, Tractare & Kevin Holland, NHS The ABC of IT Dave Jones Pink Elephant
Attractive Services Sopra Group and Re-energising ITIL: today or be out of easyJet’s agile Competence or pieces service tomorrow – What to do after the of paper? the effects of Service team-working delivers project has gone real benefits 16.20-17.00 Aidan Lawes Orientation Jason Lewis & Bob Craig & Colin Peter Bergehamm & AL Services Michael Harman Rees PA Consulting Group Rolf Norrman, BiTA Sopra Group Service Management
Stream 6: Interactive Sessions (Warwick)
Experiential Learning Sessions (Devon/Durham upstairs 1st floor)
Stream 4: The Human Factor (York)
Stream 5: Facing The Future (Ascot/Sunningdale Upstairs 2nd floor)
Stream and Session Room
LUNCH served in the exhibition halls (Kings and Palace) Project of the Year finalist presentations 12:30-13:10 (Arden) itSMF AGM 12:30-13:30 (Oxford)
Stream 3: Working Together (Oxford)
Conference Registration opens. Exhibition opens (Kings and Palace) Coffee and tea
Stream and Session Room
itSMF UK Conference – Tuesday 10th November 2009
ISO20000 in a small IT Service Catalogue: ITSM and information team – The Sandwell What is it? What everyone should know security – Bridging Homes story the gap Ken Holmes & Karen Brusch & Declan Nolan Richard Griffiths Dave White Devoteam Public IT Ltd itSMF UK SLM SIG
Winning hearts and minds Jane Suter Hampshire County Council
Conference Review (Monarch Suite)
Keynote Address (Monarch Suite) Sir Clive Woodward, OBE Former England RFU Coach and British Olympic Director of Elite Performance
Chairman’s closing remarks (Monarch Suite) DEPART
Tea & coffee will be available throughout the day in the exhibition halls. Suppliers will be running experiential learning sessions (games workshops etc) throughout the conference in the Devon/Durham suite on the first floor. These experiential learning sessions are pre-bookable on-line via the itSMF UK website from 28 October - 6 November 2009 or at the Conference Service Desk which opens at 08.30am on Monday 9th November.
Manage the dynamic Next generation IT management with EMC Ionix. From physical to virtual to cloud.
MC Ionix solutions break through traditionally siloed IT management solutions with new levels of integration and automation, enabling you to leverage virtualisation so that you can deliver IT as a true service. EMC Ionix market-leading technologies for managing mixed physical and virtual environments include the former Infra, Smarts, Voyence, ControlCenter, nLayers and Configuresoft products. EMC Ionix enables you to automate, simplify and unify management across servers, storage systems, networks, and applications to achieve holistic service-level, policy-based control across your entire environment. Utilising dynamic insight, collaborative IT and modelbased control, EMC Ionix provides solutions for: 1. Automated ITIL service management; 2. Service discovery and dependency mapping; 60 VitAL : November / December 2009
EMC Ionix solutions break through traditionally siloed IT management solutions with new levels of integration 3. IT operations intelligence and root cause analysis; 4. Data centre automation and compliance.
Get a better view Visit the EMC stand at this year’s itSMF UK Conference to see EMC Ionix Next Generation IT Management solutions in action. www.emcionix.com/servicemanager/uk
and automation, enabling you to leverage virtualisation so that you can deliver IT as a true service. www.vital-mag.net
Customer Service & Call Centre Solutions Customer Service Network
Creative Industries Centre, Wolverhampton Science Park, Wolverhampton, WV10 9TG T: F: W: C: E:
01902 311641 01902 311637 www.customernet.com Chris Walker email@example.com
Customer Service Network are experts in Customer and Employee perception measurement. We work with many of the UK’s leading names to help them better understand what their customers and people want. Contact us to find out how we can help.
IT Service Management Consulting Training
Suite A1, Kebbell House, Carpenders Park, Watford. WD19 5BE
Chester House, 76-86 Chertsey Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 5BJ
T: F: W: C: E:
T: F: W: E:
+ 44 (0) 20 8421 5330 + 44 (0) 20 8421 5457 www.ukcmg.org.uk Laura Goss, UKCMG Secretariat firstname.lastname@example.org
UKCMG is an independent, non-profit, user group organisation targeted at improving members’ knowledge, skills and abilities in Capacity Management and related IT service management disciplines. We achieve this through a combination of events including, a three-day Annual Conference and networking between end-users, consultants & suppliers
+44 (0) 1483 221222 +44 (0) 1483 221500 www.foxit.net email@example.com
Fox IT is a global independent Service Management specialist having undertaken transformation engagements in over 50 countries. Recognised as the premier supplier of Consultancy, Education, Solutions and Accelerators, Fox IT has the most extensive ITIL based ITSM and Governance practice in the world.
100 Longwater Avenue, GreenPark, Reading, RG2 6GP T: +44 (0)870 401 7300 F: +44 (0)870 401 7301 W: www.frontrange.co.uk C: Chantelle Mearing E: firstname.lastname@example.org With over 8500 customers worldwide, FrontRange are the leading provider of consolidated IT Service solutions, including: • HEAT Service & Support — Award-winning Incident Management & Helpdesk Automation • FrontRange ITSM — Fully integrated, scalable, ITIL aligned IT Service & Infrastructure Management.
Unit 4 Charlton Business Park, Crudwell Road, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9RU T: + 44 (0) 1666 828 600 F: + 44 (0) 1666 826103 W: www.iccm.co.uk C: Kate Colclough E: email@example.com ICCM supply Service Desk software created within Metastorms™ leading process improvement architecture. This collaboration delivers unparalleled Service Management capabilities across all industries and business functions. By developing its technology from the process up around the ITIL® framework ICCM’s software allows customers to tailor processes around their company’s actual needs.
UniPress Software – London UniPress Software Ltd 2 Sheraton Street London, W1F 8BH T: F: W: E:
+ 44 (0) 8450 646566 + 44 (0) 8450 636261 unipress.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Help Desk is a 100% web-based helpdesk solution which provides a low cost of ownership, ultimate portability and simple implementation. A totally cross-platform solution, Web Help Desk has a diverse feature-set that will allow you to fulfil any submitted request more efficiently and effectively.
Qualifications and Accreditations Cherwell Software
Ares, Odyssey Business Park, West End Road, Ruislip, HA4 6QD
Sword House, Totteridge Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK
T: 020 8582 8282 F: 020 8582 8288 W: www.hornbill.com C: Sales E: email@example.com
Brinkworth House, Brinkworth, SN15 5DF
T: + 44 (0) 1494 452 450 F: + 44 (0) 1494 459559 W: www.apmg-uk.com C: Nicola McKinney E: firstname.lastname@example.org
T: + 44 (0) 1793 680280 W: www.cherwellsoftware.com/contact
Supportworks’ Enterprise Support Platform (ESP) provides a fully integrated platform for automating and managing Service Management related processes. Supportworks ESP is the foundation of Hornbill’s ITIL, Helpdesk, Customer, HR and Industry Support solutions. Supportworks ITSM is certified Pink Verify Enhanced.
As an accredited ITIL® Examination Institute, APMG offers our training organizations a range of benefits to help them demonstrate the quality and professionalism of their services. Call us to find out how your business could benefit from our accreditation services.
Cherwell Service Management delivers ITIL v3 best practice ‘out-of-the-box’ including: Incident, Problem, Change, CMDB, SLA, Knowledge, SelfService and is PinkVERIFY certified. Our unique CBAT development platform empowers users to fully customise screens, workflow processes and develop additional business applications. The Cherwell solution is available via a standard license model or ‘On Demand’ SaaS service.
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Publications, Events, Conferences CUSTOMER MAGAZINE
31 Media, Crawley Business Centre, Stephenson Way, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 1TN
IT Service Management Consulting Training Wardown Consulting
IT Security emereo solutions (uk) ltd
Prudence Place, Proctor Way, Luton, Bedfordshire. LU2 9PE
6 Rickett Street, London SW6 1RU
T: +44 (0) 1293 934461 F: +44 (0) 870 085 8837 W: www.31media.co.uk C: Grant Farrell E: email@example.com
T: 01582 488242 F: 01582 488343 W: www.wardownconsulting.co.uk C: Rosemary Gurney E: firstname.lastname@example.org
T: W: C: E:
Customer is a UK based magazine for senior professionals who are committed to ensuring their businesses are totally customer centric. With a pragmatic editorial approach Customer aims to bring clarity and vision to a sector that has become increasingly complex.
Wardown Consulting was established to help businesses capitalise from the substantial benefits that IT Service Management can deliver. Our consultants boast a wealth of industry experience and are accredited to deliver ITIL v2 and v3 training.
and data loss prevention solutions to
0871 717 7294 www.emereo.eu Andrew Smith email@example.com
Emereo provides end-point security organisations wishing to protect their data and information without inhibiting their people. Our chosen solution, DriveLock, ensure IT security policies are both people- and information-centric.
IT Service Management Systems InfraVision
Delegate House, 30A Hart Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, RG9 2AL T: +44 (0) 1491 635340 F: +44 (0) 1491 579835 W: www.infravision.com C: Nigel Todd E: firstname.lastname@example.org InfraVision improves your service organisation, delivering value to your company’s core business. The unique combination of ITIL process knowledge and thorough knowledge of Service and System Management Software enables us to deliver successful implementation within the defined budget.
Quayside House, Thames Side, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1QN T: +44 (0) 1753 856716 F: +44 (0) 1753 854929 W: www.kepner-tregoe.com C: Steve White E: email@example.com
Towngate East, Market Deeping, Peterborough, PE6 8NE T: +44 (0) 1778 382270 F: +44 (0) 1778 382280 W: www.netsupportsoftware.co.uk C: Colette Reed E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kepner-Tregoe provides consulting and training services to organizations worldwide. We collaborate with clients to implement their strategies by embedding problem-solving, decision-making, and project execution methods through individual and team skill development and process improvement. Clients build competitive advantage by using our systematic processes to achieve rapid, targeted results and create lasting value.
IT Service Management Systems
NetSupport are developers of desktop management and remote control software packages. The product range comprises NetSupport Manager Remote Control, NetSupport DNA Helpdesk (providing a web-based ITIL-compliant helpdesk), NetSupport DNA Asset Management Suite and NetSupport Protect desktop security and recovery.
IT Service Management Consultants
Atlantic House, Imperial Way, Reading. RG2 0TD
50 Barwell Business Park, Leatherhead Rd
60 Lombard Street, London. EC3V 9EA
T: + 44 (0) 118 903 6824 F: + 44 (0) 118 903 6282 W: www.pinkelephant.com C: Frances Fenn E: email@example.com Acknowledged worldwide as niche, independent, IT Service Management Education and Consulting providers. Having trained more people than any other company in ITIL related subjects since 1987, we have contributed to all 3 versions of the ITIL books.
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Chessington, Surrey. KT9 2NY T: +44 (0) 208 391 9000 F: +44 (0) 208 391 0404 W: www.sunrisesoftware.co.uk C: Angela Steel E: firstname.lastname@example.org Sunrise is a leading independent provider of service management software solutions for IT and across the organisation, with a customer base of over 1000 blue chip and public sector organisations.
T: F: W: E:
+44 (0) 207 464 8414 +44 (0) 207 464 8888 www.icore-ltd.com email@example.com
iCore is the UK’s largest independent service management consultancy. From best practice alignment, governance, outsourcing and contract consulting to ITIL training and recruitment — our range of high quality services help to ensure our clients optimise ROI through the deployment of efficient and effective IT service provision methods and sustainable controls.
Industry Body / Association BCS
North Star House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, SN2 1FA T: +44 (0) 1793 417596 W: www.bcs.org C: Suky Kaur Sunner E: firstname.lastname@example.org BCS is the leading professional body for those working in IT. We have over 65,000 members in more than 100 countries and are the qualifying body for Chartered IT Professionals (CITP). Please go to www. bcs.org to learn more.
IT Service Management Systems
IT Service Management Consulting Training
Dukes Court, Duke Street, Woking, Surrey GU22 7AD
T: +44 (0) 1483 744444 F: +44 (0) 1483 744401 W: www.landesk.com C: Sarah Lewis E: email@example.com Avocent delivers IT operations management solutions that reduce operating costs, simplify management and increase the availability of critical IT environments 24/7 via integrated, centralized software. This includes Systems Management, Security Management, Data Centre Management and IT Service Management.
127 Stockport Rd, Marple, Cheshire SK6 6AF T: +44 (0) 161 449 7057 F: +44 (0) 161 449 7122 W: www.houseonthehill.com C: Tim Roche E: firstname.lastname@example.org Specialists in providing comprehensive solutions for any size business on time, in budget and carefully tailored to your needs, House-on-the-Hill produces SupportDesk; the most flexible ITILcompatible Service Management solution on the market. House-on-the-Hill provides comprehensive solutions for over 500 businesses worldwide.
IT Service Management Systems
Customer Service & Call Centre Solutions
Publications, Events, Conferences
Customer Service Network
1 Newmans Row, Lincoln Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP12 3RE T: +44 (0) 1494 465066 F: +44 (0) 1494 464756 W: www.tesseract.co.uk C: Mark Montgomery E: email@example.com
Third Avenue, Globe Business Park
31 Media, Crawley Business Centre, Stephenson Way, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 1TN
Tesseract’s Service Centre is a true web product using Microsoft.Net Technology and as a browser based product supports multiple databases, allowing for a ‘zero footprint client’. Running on an IIS server the system also supports remote communications via the internet. The system can be hosted to reduce installation costs.
Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1EY T: +44 (0) 1628 898 888 F: +44 (0) 1628 898 777 W: www.kana.com C: Warren Holtman KANA helps the world’s best known brands master customer service experience. Our solutions help companies create consistent, knowledgeable conversations with customers across every channel; phone, email, chat, and web. KANA’s clients report significant increases in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
T: F: W: C: E:
+44 (0) 870 863 6930 +44 (0) 870 085 8837 www.31media.co.uk Lorretta Walsh firstname.lastname@example.org
The European Software Tester is a publication designed specifically for individuals and organisations aligned with software testing. With independent, practical, and insightful editorial T.E.S.T aims to inspire its readers and provide its advertisers with a clearly defined route to market.
IT Service Management Consultants EMC
Connaught House, Portsmouth Road, Send, Surrey, GU23 7JY T: F: W: E:
+44 (0) 1483 213 200 +44 (0) 1483 213 201 www.infra.co.uk email@example.com
Based on ITIL best practice, EMC’s IT Service Automation & Operations solutions deliver end-to-end IT Service Management, visibility and control by enabling and improving the Service Desk function, servicecentric CMDB population and federation, as well as key processes.
IT Service Management Forum
. 150 Wharfedale Road, Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham, Berkshire. RG41 5RG
Warwick Innovation Centre, Warwick Technology Park, Gallows Hill, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 6UW
T: F: W: C: E:
0118 918 6503 0118 969 9749 www.itsmf.co.uk Ben Clacy firstname.lastname@example.org
The itSMF is the only internationally recognised and independent organisation whose sole focus is on the on-going development and promotion of IT Service Management ’best practice‘, standards and qualifications. The forum has 14,000 UK members and official itSMF chapters in 44 countries
T: +44 (0) 1926 405 777 F: +44 (0) 1926 405 778 W: www.fgiltd.co.uk C: Jayne Neal, Sales Manager E: email@example.com FGI are leading suppliers of ITIL®, PRINCE2™ and ISO20000 training and consultancy. Our dedication to these core competencies allow us to provide the highest quality service. We work with your organisation to understand and develop the most effective training programmes.
November / December 2009 : VitAL 63
secrets of my success
Trewin Restorick Global Action Plan “I am constantly making mistakes due to my limited ICT knowledge. Chris Gabriel at Logicalis Last month our cover story
once said that I thought a virtual server was
was an interview with Trewin
something you get at Yo Sushi. I have learned to
Restorick, chief executive of
stick to what I know best and steer clear of overly
independent environmental charity Global Action Plan. The
charity, which Trewin founded in 1993, runs programmes to reduce carbon emissions, energy consumption and waste with businesses, schools, community organisations and households. Restorick is the chair of the Environmental IT Leadership Team (EILT); a trustee for Sustainability and Environmental Education; and co-chaired Defra’s Compact Group. He has been trained as one of Al Gore’s UK Climate Change Ambassadors and is a frequent media commentator on environmental issues. Here he reveals that while perhaps he’s no ICT expert, he does enjoy Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd and the odd pint... and he has certainly got serious ambitions!
64 VitAL : November / December 2009
VitAL: Name, company and job title please? Married? Kids? Trewin Restorick: Trewin Restorick, CEO, Global Action Plan. VitAL: Married? Kids? TR: Married to Saskia with two children Giselle (15) and Callum (12). VitAL: What got you started in IT? TR: I got interested in Green IT when we produced a report called ‘The Inefficient Truth’. I was shocked at the level of carbon emissions caused by ICT, surprised by the overall inefficiency of the sector and intrigued by the potential ICT offered in helping to cut carbon emissions in society. VitAL: Was there any one person or organisation that was your inspiration? TR: There were a few people who really got the agenda quickly and who gave me great ideas. They were Gary Hird at John Lewis, Chris Gabriel at Logicalis and Rakesh Kumar at Gartner. VitAL: What was your first IT job and what was your first major IT triumph? TR: I have never had an IT job, unless you count watching the IT Crowd. Instead I have tried to provide a connection between the fast changing environmental agenda and associated legislation and ICT managers. Successes have included ‘The Inefficient Truth’ report and undertaking some major research for Cisco looking at the barriers
that exist in the public sector for the introduction of green IT initiatives. VitAL: Did you ever make any embarrassing mistakes? What did you learn from them? TR: I am constantly making mistakes due to my limited ICT knowledge. Chris Gabriel at Logicalis once said that I thought a virtual server was something you get at Yo Sushi. I have learned to stick to what I know best and steer clear of overly technical conversations. VitAL: What do you like best about your job? TR: I have created and run an environment charity that employs 55 staff. I like the fact that the charity is very practical, innovative and making a tangible difference. I also like the fact that we working with all sections of society. VitAL: What is your biggest ambition? TR: To stop catastrophic climate change. VitAL: What are your hobbies or interests? TR: My body is slowly falling apart and taking longer to heal but despite that I play football, tennis and squash regularly and cycle as much as possible. To counter-balance any hint of healthiness I drink too much and eat loads. VitAL: What is the secret of your success? TR: Stubborn determination and a wry smile. VitAL: Trewin Restorick, thank you very much.
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The November-December 2009 issue of VitAL Magazine