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VOLUME 8 | ISSUE 2 | March - Apr il 2014


Palm payments Customers will soon need a hand with their shopping

INSIDE VitAL Interview Investigating the security pressures felt by IT teams

VitAL Management Managing sustained innovation for a smarter planet

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Contents 8 NEWS

26. Taking IT for a test drive

Creating Big Data analysts for the future 91% of security managers are under pressure to deliver applications faster

16 VIEWPOINTS Coding: the hares are running 17  Why does everything need to be so complex?

20 VitAL INTERVIEW What does the future hold for cloud computing and data centres?

 NATIONAL SOFTWARE 18 TESTING CONFERENCE Breaking today’s boundaries to shape tomorrow With only two months to go until the first ever National Software Testing Conference, we catch up with some of the keynote speakers to discover what they will be presenting...

Sophie-Marie Odum speaks to Andy Lancaster about the rise in cloud adoption and what this means for the future of data centres...



Taking IT for a test drive Similar to buying a new car, certain precautions need to be taken before investing in an ITSM tool and putting it into motion. Pat Bolger explains how you can take control of the wheel and steer towards the right solution...

28  ITSM in the age of mobile, big data and apps Stephen Midgley looks at the modern role of ITSM in today’s society...


COVER STORY The future of payments is in the palm of our hands

32. T  he future of payments is in the palm of our hands

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Soon customers will be able to pay for purchases by simply using the palm of their hands, reports Sophie-Marie Odum...


2 2014

National Software Testing Conference

Breaking today’s boundries to shape tomorrow

w w w . s oft w a re t es t i ng c o nfe re n c e . c o m

B So o ok f Tes rec twa your Vis t ing ei ve re T pl e a it ww Ben our s t in ce a w ch Eu g t co .s of mar rop Conf the m/ tw k e e N pr are Re an S ren a t i o om te por of ce n a ot i s t i t t a l on ng for war nd s. h co e tm nfe free l re nc ! e.

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Rod Armstrong Senior Director QA, Expedia

Joanne Hopkins Systems Manager, Waitrose

Paul Gerrard TESTA 2013 Lifetime Achievement recipient

Karen Thomas Senior Practice Manager, Barclaycard

Bethan Lindly Test Lead, Microsoft

Chris Ambler Director of Quality Assurance, TCSJohnHuxley

Shane Kelly Head of QA and Test for one of the largest bookmakers in the UK

Lisa Donovan Programme and QA Manager, Proxama

Brindusa Axon Agile and Lean Transformation Consultant

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Contents 34

CLOUD COMPUTING Is cloud computing just a destination? Clive Grayson explores what to look for and what to expect on the journey to migrating to the cloud...


Is it time to ditch your hardware? Mark Walker gives five reasons as to why you should consider outsourcing your IT infrastructure...


VitAL Management Emotional computing Emotive computing could be the next wave in leveraging system-user interactions to rapidly build insights into performance, challenges, and overall satisfaction along the eco-system, says Abhijit Telang...


 he globalisation of IT – flexible T economies of scale Richard Acreman explains how companies can generate economies of scale across their global IT infrastructure whilst still complying with differing legal obligations...

54. The abuse of privilege

54  VitAL SECURITY The abuse of privilege Aidan Simister addresses the dangers of employees abusing their privileges to sensitive information and how organisations can ensure they can remain protected...

 BREAKTHROUGH 58 TECHNOLOGY A new form of ‘roam delivery’ services When ordering goods online, customers will soon be able to choose their car as a delivery option, saving companies billions of pounds on re-deliveries. Sophie-Marie Odum investigates...

 THE SERVICE DESK & IT SUPPORT 59 SHOW PREVIEW 42. E motional computing

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

VitAL Magazine features just a few companies exhibiting at SITS 2014


V ITAL executive debates Offering you the key to successful solutions

• One-day event • Monthly • Lunch & refreshments provided • Central London venue • Network with like-minded individuals • Cutting edge content

For more information, contact Swati Bali on +44 (0) 203 668 6946 or email: swati. bali@31media. co.uk

Organised by 31 Media, Publishers of VitAL Magazine www.31media.co.uk


Leader EDITOR Sophie-Marie Odum sophie.odum@31media.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)203 056 4599 ADVERTISING Advertising Manager Nick Hayward nick.hayward@31media.co.uk Tel: +44(0)203 668 6949 Advertising Executive Sarah Walsh sarah.walsh@31media.co.uk Tel: +44(0)203 668 6945 DESIGN & PRODUCTION Tina Harris tina.harris@31media.co.uk EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES 31 Media Ltd 41-42 Daisy Business Park, 19-35 Sylvan Grove, London, SE15 1PD Tel: +44 (0) 870 863 6930 Email: info@31media.co.uk Web: www.vitalmagazine.co.uk PRINTED BY Pensord, Tram Road, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood, NP12 2YA © 2014, 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: T H I R T YO N E

VitAL Magazine, proud to be the UKCMG’s Official publication. ITIL ® is a Registered Trademark, and a Registered Community Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce, and is Registered in the US Patent and Trade Mark Office. PRINCE2 ® is the Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce. MSP ® is the Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce.

Happy 25th Birthday to the Internet! March 2014 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Internet. The World Wide Web has made a huge contribution to society and as its name suggests, billions of people around the globe use the web for everything from advice to creating online zip packages. It’s almost impossible to imagine our lives without it. What’s more, it’s near impossible to get away from it – you don’t even need a computer now to access the Internet as you can do so via your smartphone, televisions and soon your fridge, according to Samsung. As we enter a new era of the Internet of Things, where the Internet is expanding beyond PCs and mobile devices into enterprise assets such as field equipment and consumer items, we are becoming more connected, and businesses are using the ever-increasing, huge volume of consumer data gained in a smart and efficient way, which we term “Big Data” The Internet all started with a British computer scientist, named Sir Tim BernersLee who submitted a technical paper, entitled Information Management: A Proposal, to a physics laboratory in Switzerland 25 years ago, which detailed his idea for a World Wide Web – a system for publishing information over the Internet. Now a quarter of a century on, the Internet offers an ever-evolving world of opportunity; thousands of successful businesses begun online, one in four relationships are now said to start online and millions of people further their education online, just to name a few benefits. But how do we develop the web and improve digital skills to make sure it continues to create opportunities and enhance people’s lives over the next 25 years? The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) believes the World Wide Web can do a lot more to further improve our daily lives. It believes we now need an agreed vision for the web for the next decade, which will address critical challenges such as security, capacity and capability. The IET also argues that we must do more to create the necessary digital skills to enable the web to achieve its full potential and to tackle the UK’s shortage of these technological skills. Would you agree? What more can the Internet offer, or fine-tune, to ensure another successful 25 years? It would be good to hear your thoughts. Until next time,

Sophie-Marie Odum Editor

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014



Creating Big Data analysts for the future Warwick Business School has teamed up with IBM and SAS to teach students how to mine Big Data. The digital age has seen an explosion in data with IBM calculating the world is churning out 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, and now students studying MSc Business Analytics at Warwick Business School can learn the latest quantitative consultancy techniques to take advantage of all this data. Working with Warwick Business School’s Operational Research & Management Science (ORMS) group, IBM has helped put together Analytics in Practice, a module that will explore the technology needed for Big Data analytics by using tools such as BigSheets (front end for Apache Hadoop), Cognos and SPSS Modeler. While with SAS, the ORMS group has produced Text Analytics where students will learn predictive modelling techniques using SAS software, model assessment and implementation, report writing and learn to use the SAS Text Miner tool and applications. Assistant Professor of Operational Research, Arne Strauss said, “Data mining skills are something that more and more companies are looking for from graduates and these two modules offer students cutting edge technology to learn the latest techniques.

“Businesses store massive amounts of unstructured data in the form of electronic text, social media content, emails, service notes, customer reviews and so on. This module will teach students how to sift through this data by using sophisticated linguistic rules and statistical methods to evaluate text, discover topics and patterns within entire document collections. “By the end of the module, students will have learned how to uncover underlying themes or concepts contained in large document collections, automatically group documents into topical clusters, classify documents into predefined categories and integrate text data with structured data to enrich predictive modelling endeavours.”

UK consumers spend more on BYOD than on tea and coffee

UK workers are spending more than double on IT devices than they are on tea and coffee each year, according to a new study. With 83% of organisations permitting BYOD and 39% of employees purchasing their own device for work purposes, BYOD is helping to save the average company £150,265 over five years, the study also found. Nigel Seddon, area director at LANDESK, who conducted the study, said, “Over a third of workers have purchased a device

for work, and almost a third of these have spent at least £500 over the last five years on their devices. Compared to the average yearly spend of £97.12 on tea and coffee, having technology for work and play is as essential to many as food and drink is.

and compliance of these devices, with only 27% of workers admitting personal responsibility, compared to 63% who saw the organisation as responsible. However, only 5% of workers admitting that their device lacked a password, biometric login or visual security pattern.

“This clearly saves IT departments a great deal. However, they need to ensure that they have visibility of these devices and can support them cost-effectively without compromising security, but there are clear financial benefits to be considered.”

Adam Thilthorpe, director of Professionalism at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, added, “BYOD brings with it the challenge of striking a balance between getting the best return out of mobile devices, without compromising the organisation’s security standards. Key to this is having policies in place, which maximise the advantages and minimise risks associated with BYOD.

The research was conducted across 1,000 office workers in the UK, and of the 39% of workers that had purchased a personal IT device for work, laptops and smartphones (33%, 30% respectively) were the most popular. 13% of employees were part of a Choose Your Own Device approach. The research also highlighted that organisations are still the main point of responsibility for ensuring the licensing

“Ensuring security and managing information in this environment requires new skills and expertise within a team. A successful BYOD policy requires the combined input of IT, HR and legal departments in order to fully address potential training requirements of employees and the legal implications surrounding the practice.”

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www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


Data strategy decision-making is slowing down The pace of data strategy decision-making is slowing down, with potentially significant business consequences, states new independent research commissioned by Colt. Whilst technology deployment is getting easier, according to the company, the results show that European CIOs find it harder to devise data centre strategy than they did 12 months ago. The findings show longer planning cycles for strategic and tactical information delivery and data capacity uncertainty amongst European IT directors. 503 online interviews were conducted among IT infrastructure decision-makers in the UK, France, Germany and The Netherlands. The research found that: • 62% of businesses experiencing a change in planning cycles see those cycles extending. These numbers fluctuate to some degree across regions (UK 56%, France 73%, Germany 51%, Netherlands 76%). • Only 38% of decision makers across Europe state that planning cycles are contracting. • 63% of respondents also admit to capacity planning errors over the past 1224 months. However, these numbers remain relatively constant across each European region (66% UK, 63% France, 64% Germany, 56% Netherlands). The research highlights the “Four Forces of Data Centre Disruption”:  • Business transformation • Data location and decentralisation • Energy management • Risk and compliance Matthew Gingell, director, Colt Data Centre Services, said, “Whilst each of the Four Forces is considered a challenge by the majority of businesses as a standalone issue, in combination they have a tangible impact on decision making, planning and responsiveness. As an industry we need to provide the tools and information, which enable end users to make data strategy decision efficiently and effectively.”

Are “exceptional talent visas” needed? non-EU migration could exacerbate the existing skills gap, with 45% of tech city businesses seeing the lack of skilled workers as the key challenge to London staying at the top of the tech league tables.

If London wishes to remain Europe’s tech capital, the UK Government must introduce “exceptional talent” visas now in order to plug the skills gap in the UK tech and media sectors, according to Media and Technology IQ, the latest repor t by Colliers International. The report argues that plans by the Coalition Government to restrict

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Guy Grantham, Head of Offices Research, Colliers International, said, “Given the importance of the media and tech sectors to UK plc, it is astonishing that the Government is not doing more to allow skilled migrants from outside the EU to come to this country. “There is no doubt that enticing the likes of Facebook, Google and Cisco to Tech City has been transformative. But reality bites and Berlin, with Germany’s simplification of non-EU migration for skilled workers, lays down a challenge to expensive and space-restrained London.”

Business leaders feel most threatened by IT hazards A new report published by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), in association with BSI, has revealed that IT-related threats are continuing to provide the greatest concern for organisations, ranking above other threats such as natural disasters, security incidents and industrial disputes. The annual BCI Horizon Scan shows that 77% of business leaders fear the possibility of an unplanned IT and telecoms outage, and 73% worry about the possibility of a cyber-attack or data breach. The report also identifies long-term trends, with 73% seeing the use of the Internet for malicious attacks as a major threat that needs to be closely monitored, with 63% feeling the same way about the influence of social media. Howard Kerr, chief executive at BSI, commented, “Developing the resilience of networks, services and business critical information must be an integral part of an organisation’s wider business resilience strategy. By putting in place a framework based on risk standards, you will be able to identify, prioritise and manage the range of threats to your business more effectively and keep your stakeholders reassured.”

DID YOU KNOW: According to Twitter, the benefits that social media brings to businesses are huge. Whenever you gain a follower on Twitter: • 72% are more likely to purchase from your business after following • 70% will retweet if they like your content • 82% are likely to recommend an SME they follow to their friends* *Survey respondents are all selfidentified followers of SMBs and interact with SMBs on a frequent basis. Market Probe International / Twitter “Small Businesses + Twitter Study” 2013



Cognitive computing whitepaper The next era of disruptive technology will come from cognitive computing, as the use of smart machines becomes more of a reality. This is according to the second whitepaper in the Riding the next wave series – Cognitive computing produced by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Adam Thilthorpe, director of professionalism, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, said, “Cognitive computing will have both positive and negative consequences, with machines able to perform tasks that were previously done by people. In recent years we’ve already seen the increased use of smart

machines and, over time, these will be used to make health diagnoses, react to financial markets and aid performance in production processes.

look at one of the technologies and examines the benefits of using cognitive computing within business, including improving consistency and efficiency. 

“However, business relies on human judgement and conscience; this will be especially pertinent as machines become more intelligent and are able to process data independently.” 

Thilthorpe continues, “This may be disruptive technology but it also offers opportunities with organisations looking for IT professionals who are able to design the cognitive systems of the future. These skills are in short supply and therefore it is important that CIOs consider developing the right people, who have a strong grasp of the business they are working in, to ensure these systems are relevant.”

The whitepaper is the second in a four-part series, which also includes the overview; ubiquitous computing (released in January 2014), augmented reality, and 3D printing. However, this is the first paper to provide an in-depth

Cybercrime strikes more fear than NSA spying? Despite the NSA and Snowden controversy dominating news headlines and sparking a serious privacy debate, findings from a new AppRiver, LLC survey show that IT security professionals consider external threats from cybercriminals to be the more concerning issue facing the security of organisations’ sensitive information today. Fred Touchette, senior security analyst at AppRiver, said, “While the debate over the NSA and its authority does carry importance, this survey clearly demonstrates that IT security pros are more concerned with cybercriminals than government action.” When asked to name the most dangerous threat to the security of their organisation, the response breakdown were as follows: • 56.2% of respondents report cybercrime from external sources as most problematic. • 33% say insider threats with nonmalicious intent give them the most trouble. • 5.3% blame malicious insiders for causing the biggest security headache. • 5.3% point the finger at external threats from government as chief offender. Malware, including email-borne and web-based threats, topped the list of most concerning threat vectors followed by personally identifiable information (PII) and


Trading Standards to clamp down on misleading websites Misleading websites are now under the spotlight from Trading Standards as Consumer Minister Jenny Willott confirmed extra funding to help tackle rogue traders.

social engineering. The majority of respondents, 71.4%, cited people as the most frequent (or most likely) point of failure for IT security. 21.4% faulted process and 7.2% labeled technology as the weak link. “As a new breed of cybercriminal gets more sophisticated, IT security pros believe employees are not prepared for the more serious threats,” Touchette continued. “This chasm demands a comprehensive security strategy that takes into account all threat vectors from technological and human standpoints. Organisations need a layered security approach that includes technology, training, awareness and enforcement to keep both inadvertent and intentional attacks from happening.” Despite the Snowden incident, more than two thirds of respondents do not think it is time to ask employees to take psychometric tests to determine their honesty. When asked if IT security pros themselves would be willing to take such a test as a condition of employment, more than 65% said “yes”.

The Minister has committed an additional £120,000 this financial year to National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) so they can investigate misleading websites and tackle websites that exaggerate the nature of the services they provide, or deliberately underplay that people can get them for free or at a lower cost from official sources. NTSB Chair, Lord Toby Harris, said, “Copycat websites that deceive consumers are a growing problem. These sites frequently encourage consumers to pay a fee or an extra charge for a service that is readily or freely available from the official website. Moreover, they often require those accessing them to share information that is personal and should be held securely. “This additional government support to help tackle this challenge is most welcome. By working together in this way we look forward to reducing consumer detriment and supporting legitimate businesses.” The Government continues to work with organisations such as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Which? and major search engines, including Google, to raise awareness of the threat posed by misleading websites.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


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91% of security managers are under pressure to deliver applications faster More than 90% of the respondents reported that the on-demand nature of virtualisation and the cloud has increased pressure on them to deliver applications and services faster, according to a survey of 169 security professionals on the current state of security operations, conducted by Tufin Technologies. With more than three quarters of respondents believing virtualisation will have the biggest impact on security operations over the next 12-18 months, the pace will only accelerate, underscoring the need for increased automation. These survey results complement the findings of a larger October 2013 Tufin-commissioned survey in which 71% of more than 500 senior IT professionals found themselves having to adopt new processes, learn new technologies and interact with new people because of these same trends. The survey also found that: • Almost 90% felt that organisations rely too heavily on network security products and tools at the expense of good network architecture and design in order to deliver the optimum level of network security.   • Almost 40% reported that the biggest barrier to effective network security is network complexity, while 25% cited a

Consumers concerned about how their personal data is used Orange has released findings of new research into consumer concerns about how companies use their personal data – research that clearly demonstrates that all businesses need to work together to rebuild consumer trust. This first installment of an independent, three-part study with consumers across France, Poland, Spain and the UK highlights that consumers are increasingly wary about how their information is being used, do not feel in control, and do not believe there are any resources to help educate them on how to manage their data online. Over three-quarters (78%) state that it is hard to trust companies when it comes to the way they use consumer personal data, and an identical figure (78%) feel that service providers hold too much information about consumer behaviour and preferences. Meanwhile, 82% feel they


have little power to control the way their personal data is used by organisations. While there are exciting opportunities for both consumers and service providers that can be built on intelligent, consensual and responsible use of consumer data – trustworthy data use is increasingly a fundamental requirement, and is having a greater impact on companies’ overall reputations. 29% of consumers trust companies less over the past year in general, while 16% report more and 55% have neither more nor less trust, clearly illustrating that trust is in decline. Daniel Gurrola, Vice President, Business Vision, Orange, said, “Faced with the rapid development of uses of consumer data, more needs to be done to help consumers understand and manage how their personal data is used.”

lack of collaboration and another 20% cited the constant change occurring in today’s networks as their biggest barriers. • With this being the case, it comes as no surprise that approximately 89% of the respondents reported that between 20-60% of security policy changes in their organisation need to be corrected. • One in six reported that as much as 60-80% of their organisations’ security policy changes need to be further revised. “As previous surveys have confirmed, the role of security within operations is expanding in order to deal with the network security challenges brought on by the cloud and virtualisation,” said Ruvi Kitov, Tufin CEO. “This leads to more and deeper collaboration with other IT groups in order to integrate and automate security into areas such as network design, change processes and operational performance. “Our customers tell us this is the best way to ensure next generation networks are efficient, agile and equipped to deal with next generation security concerns. We agree and believe intelligent change and process automation will become standards as virtualization and the cloud become more pervasive.”

New .london web address More than 200,000 small businesses in London say they are likely to register a new .london Internet address when the domain names go on sale at the end of April. A YouGov survey of small businesses in London found that more than one in four (26%, equivalent to 218,140 companies) were likely to register for a .london web address. Almost half (48%) of those said they would do so because they are proud to be a London business, 41% said a .london web address would help customers find them more easily and 27% said it would help generate more sales. .london web addresses will go on sale on April 29th, making London one of the first cities in the world to launch its own domain. It will mark the start of a three-month period when Londoners will be given priority in reserving the new web address. Trademark holders will also have priority in securing their .london domain. Gordon Innes, chief executive of London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional organisation for London who conducted the survey, said, “This is an incredible response from London’s small business community which sees .london as an opportunity to claim an exciting new web address that is uniquely associated with our city’s powerful brand. “We already know that tens of thousands of businesses have expressed an interest in a .london web address, including major brands like Selfridges, Radisson Blu Edwardian and Carnaby. This latest survey of small business owners gives us confidence that other organisations and individuals will be just as excited about .london when the domains go on sale on April 29.” 

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

VitAL Report

Ignoring the move to mobile could cost UK SMEs £77b Survey finds that only 10% of UK small and medium-sized enterprises have optimised their websites to work with mobile devices. VitAL Magazine reports…

45% of UK SMEs do not have a website, yet believe their annual revenue could rise by 5.4% if they had a website that was optimised for mobile transactions, equating to an average of £11,155 extra turnover annually research has revealed that small and medium-sized R ecent enterprises (SMEs) in the UK could be missing out on £77 billion in annual revenue by not having mobile-optimised websites. The survey, conducted by Impact Research for hibu, a provider of digital marketing solutions and websites, asked 900 UK SME owners and IT leaders about their companies’ websites, revenues and future plans for the mobile web.

The research showed that 45% of UK SMEs do not have a website, yet believe their annual revenue could rise by 5.4% if they had a website that was optimised for mobile transactions, equating to an average of £11,155 extra turnover annually. A further 45% of UK SMEs have a website that is not optimised for mobile. These businesses believe their annual revenues could rise by 3.5% if their website was optimised for mobile transactions, equating to an average of £23,793 extra turnover annually. Richard Hanscott, chief executive officer of hibu in the UK, said, “We already know that mobile is rapidly growing as a way for people to search and buy, but we wanted to get a true picture of whether SMEs in the UK are in a position to take advantage of that trend. “The statistics are pretty alarming: only one in 10 has a website that is optimised for mobile visitors and a mere 4% are set up for mobile transactions. With this research study, we’ve shown that the oppor tunity for SMEs and mobile is huge and we hope it will spur many into action. A simple change to their digital presence could unlock significant new revenue.”

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

The research also found that SMEs recognise the importance of mobile optimisation, and know its value is growing. Respondents predicted that mobile online transactions will have the greatest percentage annual growth across all sales channels in 2014, exceeding £29 billion – a 1050% (tenfold) increase over 2013. Their predictions are supported by statistics showing the sweeping move toward the mobile web: in the UK, access to the Internet using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2013, from 24% to 53%, according to the Office for National Statistics, 2010-2013. Whilst SME decision-makers recognise that mobile is growing, few are taking immediate action. Only 10% of those surveyed currently have mobile-optimised websites, and of those that do not, only 13% plan to get one in the next 12-18 months. “Many business owners have invested in a website over the last decade, but this data tells us a website really isn’t enough anymore,” added Matt Anderson, chief digital officer for hibu. “Local businesses need a site that renders well on phones and tablets, or they are missing out on dramatic growth because ‘on-the-go’ people around them can’t see their website well. “A lot of people feel intimidated and don’t know where to turn to get a mobile-optimised website. So it’s no wonder that there’s a disconnect between the trends SME owners are witnessing and the steps they’re actually taking to embrace mobile.”


VitAL News Feature

IoT: It’s not all about intelligent thermostats and smart beds... Pontus Noren, co-founder and director of Cloudreach, reports on CES 2014, which took place in Las Vegas, and what the latest innovations really mean for businesses… ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is set to dominate the tech T heagenda in 2014. On one hand, we’re going to be hearing

about the consumer tech prototypes that will shape the futuristic, robotic utopia that is so often depicted in sci-fi classics. Many of these connected devices were showcased for the first time at CES in January, including smart beds that prevent snoring, and Samsung’s “smart home” which enables consumers to control smart white goods such as fridges and washing machines from a mobile app. On the other hand, the IoT isn’t really about these ultramodern gadgets at all – it’s more about the mass consumption and analysis of huge volumes of data in a smart and efficient way. We are moving towards an entirely connected world, and, as such, the ever-increasing volume, variety and velocity of data must be top of the agenda for all tech firms.

The importance of IoT Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement at the 2014 CeBIT trade fair in Germany of an extra £45m towards the development of the IoT, shows that even the Government is realising the importance of the IoT and what it could mean for businesses and consumers alike. We heard recently that Google has acquired home electronics company, Nest Labs for £2bn – a move that signifies Google’s understanding of what the implications of the IoT are: data is getting bigger, better and much more valuable. That’s why data management must not just be high on the agenda at Google; it’s a critically important consideration for international corporate boards. From a marketing and retail point-of-view, without the ability to read and process consumer data, the high street would be little more than just a concept.

Staying competitive Retailers that have successfully used data to offer their customers the best on and offline deals are the ones that still have outlets on the high street. These retailers will tell you that it’s now about the smarter reading of data and the acknowledgment that it has a new significance. To remain


The ever-increasing volume, variety and velocity of data must be top of the agenda for all tech firms competitive in a difficult landscape, marketers and retailers must change the way they approach consumer data and how they deal with it. Loyalty cards such as Tesco Clubcard and My Waitrose not only provide customers with rewards for brand loyalty, but also allow the retailers to gather approved information such as the demographics of their customers and spending behaviours. This can help them to not only target those customers with personalised offers, but to plan offers and stock levels in entire areas. It’s not just about quick and immediate sales. Data analysis can help to build a far more long-term picture of consumer preferences, the ways in which consumers interact with their favourite brands and generally which products consumers are more likely to buy. The data analysis can be extended to look at the most popular weeks that consumers buy a particular product and even the time of day they’re more likely to be receptive to marketing messages.

Using data for mutual benefits With more data about individuals becoming available and the commercial opportunities to utilise this data becoming easier through cloud technology, the industry and the companies using this data need to prove they are using it for sincere purposes to the mutual benefit of the consumers. Trust is a huge part of the IoT, and will directly impact where consumers choose to share their data. The IoT, while being a fairly broad term, encapsulates a whole new world for retailers who are savvy with data. Consumer preferences change on a daily basis, but with the ability to read and act upon huge volumes of data in a whole new world of connected devices, retailers have the chance to stay ahead of the curve.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


Coding: the hares are running By Jonathan Westlake arch 2014 welcomed the UK launch of the Hour of M Code week initiative (March 3 to March 9 ) and this followed a successful equivalent run in the USA last year. rd


To give you a background, UK Hour of Code, by code.org, was the biggest ever national initiative to get students, teachers and parents learning to code in just one hour. The campaign aimed to help teachers and students get ahead of curriculum changes, which will require school children to cover computer science from September 2014. Students learned the basic skills of computer programming in 60 minutes, through fun tutorials that featured wellknown characters from apps and games. Suitable for all ages and abilities, neither students nor teachers needed any prior experience to use the self-guided materials that were accessible for free on the UK Hour of Code website via computers, tablets, and smartphones. UK Hour of Code is led by code.org and supported by e-skills UK, Tech City UK, founders4schools, and a wide range of supporters of computing in education.

Widening participation to give coding “a go” can only encourage evaluative and structured thinking. It may also help to demystify how computers work, and diminish the geek aspect of computing, particularly if more women enter the computing industry as a result

There is much evidence of activity and support for the new computer science agenda, with major companies supporting a return to traditional values, coupled with the remarkable success of the Raspberry Pi with the public, as well in the schools arena. As widely publicised, the UK (England and Wales) educational context is to encourage pupils from primary age upwards to learn how to code. The wider educational context within the UK is the forthcoming new IT curriculum. For the UK.com employment context, it is well documented that help to address the IT skills crisis is needed by setting the seeds for opportunities in the future. However, the Hour of Code is not just aimed at the young, but is also relevant to employees as it represents one activity in a shift to encourage all things scientific. The website provides a range of resources open to all in a friendly and visual way. The topicality of the code.org initiative is suppor ted by the popularity of the second Raspberry Pi jamboree, recently held at Manchester, and the burgeoning work of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) groups across the UK. Widening participation to give coding “a go” can only encourage evaluative and structured thinking. It may also help

to demystify how computers work, and diminish the geek aspect of computing, particularly if more women enter the computing industry as a result. To raise the profile of computer science there are no doubt many challenges ahead, and these include the timescales for the schools to train to deliver the new curriculum by September 2014. Professional bodies such as the British Computer Society (BCS), and outreach activities from universities such as Staffordshire University are helping with the next generation. Beyond the educational debate, the Hour of Code represents a practical way to augment employees computing and online skills. Set your own hare running! By following the references below and consider the Hour of Code as a continuous professional development (CPD) opportunity.

References Hour of Code www.code.org Raspberry Pi Jamboree 2014 resources http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/6074 BCS http://academy.bcs.org/news/bcs-launches-computer-science-teacher-training-scholarship STEM http://www.staffsstem.co.uk/where-we-are.htm


www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


Why does everything need to be so complex? By Andrew Vermes the London Underground O nthere are displays indicating how

long you’ll have to wait. Often they’re wrong, and you have to wait longer.

The consequences can be very serious: when important information starts to be managed in the shadows, the room for errors is greater, as well as the amount of effort it takes to complete simple tasks like forecasting

In Budapest, the metro stations have indicators showing how long it is since the last train left. You can take this as a sign of national pessimism, but, on the other hand, it’s a sign of ingenuity in the face of limited resources; in the UK, innumerable trackside detectors have to be connected to some central system, which shows where the trains are, and then the information has to be sent to the platform indicators.

In Budapest, there’s a simple second counter, connected to a trip switch at the end of the platform, which resets the counter to zero when the train leaves. Everyone knows the trains leave every 4-5 minutes in peak hours, and 10-15 minutes off peak, and it’s all very simple, and very cheap. But how much extra are you willing to pay for avoiding the mental arithmetic of subtracting the number of seconds shown on the indicator from 300? However, at the shiny modern headquarters of Danfoss in Denmark, I was delighted to find a new way to travel: the Paternoster lift. It is a passenger elevator, which consists of a chain of open compartments (each usually designed for two persons) that move slowly in a loop up and down inside a building without stopping. Passengers can step on or off at any floor they like. There are no doors; you just have to take care as you get in and out.

Hungary vs UK Moving back to comparisons between Hungary and the UK, when my mother was ill I saw the way Hungary manages its patient records – a huge contrast to the UK, as Hungary cannot possibly waste £15bn on useless IT systems. My mum was responsible for her records: after each consultation at the hospital, her notes were written up, put in a big envelope with her X-rays and test results and handed to her, with a warning that it had to be looked after very carefully and brought back at her next appointment. You can’t get much simpler and cheaper than that. In each of these situations (transportation and healthcare) the individual has to pay attention – to some degree – to get the job done without mishap. There are so many ways in which highly effective methods have disappeared, simply because people don’t take care – of themselves or their work. How many fail-safe processes and systems inflate the cost of everything we do and buy just for this reason? Beeping noises in my car to warn me I haven’t turned the lights off; more beeps for the seat belts; more beeps to tell me if I’m www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

speeding (not needed, honestly); and lots of airbags to protect me in a crash (incidentally, I’ve only had airbags go off during normal driving, and the one time I crashed they didn’t deploy)

Does everything need to be so complex? Why is everything so complex? Does it need to be? The answer is obvious when you look at the behaviour of individual users: All over the world significant decisions are taken, not with the support of data mining or executive systems, but on the basis of Excel spreadsheets. Excel spreadsheets exist because complex corporate systems have failed to support individual managers in getting necessary work done, and so they turn to the easiest alternative they can find. The consequences can be very serious: when important information starts to be managed in the shadows, the room for errors is greater, as well as the amount of effort it takes to complete simple tasks like forecasting. IT service managers may not be able to do much about the complexity the business creates, but we can make the path a lot easier for the folks keeping the systems humming. As a starting point, take a look at the case management tools from the viewpoint of the people doing the work, and cut out anything that doesn’t help them do it. Dropdown options in particular are something of a menace, which tend not to add any value. Think about making them all four options, or if you can’t, cut them altogether. And if you’re managing your service statistics on an Excel spreadsheet, ask yourself, why?


National Software Testing Conference 2014

Breaking today’s boundaries to shape tomorrow With only two months to go until the first ever National Software Testing Conference, VitAL Magazine catches up with some of the keynote speakers to discover what they will be presenting…

Software Testing Conference, ideal for T heCIOs,National CTOs, directors of IT, as well as heads of testing, QA directors and testing managers, to name just a few, is taking place on 20th-21st May 2014 at the British Museum London. With a strapline of “Breaking today’s boundaries to shape tomorrow”, the first ever National Software Testing Conference aims to excel the software testing community and will cover core areas of software testing, including strategy, management, process and tools. Over the two days there will also be a series of interactive Executive Debates, which welcome eight delegates to discuss, debate and resolve some of the key issues facing the industry. Delegates will benefit from up-to-date and cuttingedge content, and receive pragmatic advice to current issues that will allow you to head back to the office and implement change with immediate effect. Many speakers at the National Software Testing Conference have delivered or implemented projects, strategies, methodologies, management styles, innovations, ground-breaking uses of technologies, or best practice approaches in the last 12 months, and have been recognised at the prestigious European Software Testing Awards (TESTA) as a result, such as Paul Gerrard, Jaspersoft and Knowit.
They are active testing professionals that have fought their way through literally dozens and dozens of like-minded professionals and come out on top.

individual presentations, or general questions about problems or issues faced in the software testing industry and how to overcome them.

Keynote presentations “Keep sharpening your saw” is the title of senior director of QA, Expedia, Rod Armstrong’s presentation. In this talk, Rod will take delegates through the evolution and changes he has seen in the software delivery lifecycle over the last 20 years. Focusing specifically on the changing roles/responsibilities/skills of the QA/test professional within these changing times. Encouraging all to keep in mind the past, but always look to the future and how delegates can influence their own career and position within the wider technology organisation.

Rod Armstrong

“Delegates will learn how to keep themselves employable, the importance of self study and how to be more proactive in the quest for new information that will further their skills set and knowledge.

Shane Kelly

In addition, there are many exciting keynote speakers confirmed from very well-known companies, such as Expedia, SEGA, Waitrose and Barclaycard, just to name a few, who have been hand-picked due to their exceptional levels of knowledge. Furthermore, before the close of Day One, a number of presenters will join together on a Q&A panel and answer questions from the audience for 45 minutes. Chaired by Chris Livesey, Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Borland, this will be an enthralling, stimulating, as well as lively, part of the day where delegates can put questions to the panel regarding their


Rod said, “The most important thing is for software testers and software engineers to keep their testing skills sharp and up-to-date to maintain employability. During my discussion, I will be giving people a review in changes that I’ve seen that companies require and the skills that are in demand at the moment.

“There are going to be some great talks and exciting things going on over the two days and all the verticals are well represented. What’s great about the National Software Testing Conference is that all the speakers are trying to pass on the benefits of their experiences, enabling delegates to head back to their offices and make positive changes.” Head of QA and Test for one of the largest bookmakers in the UK, Shane Kelly will be discussing “The changing face of the ‘test’ role”. This presentation will address how the role of the tester within the organisation can be as diverse as the types of applications that need to be tested.

Jim Woods

Role titles such as test analyst, QA specialist, technical tester, performance tester, automation tester have existed in the test realm as the

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

National Software Testing Conference


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different career “standards” that are used across the IT industry. In an attempt to standardise the role and simplify the understanding of the job of a tester within the organisation, Shane investigated how to better align role to engineering principles and career aspirations.

Jim Woods, director of development services, Sega West, will be sitting on the Q&A panel, and his colleague, Ghulam Khan, Head of QA and Localisation at SEGA will be presenting “The challenges faced in testing interactive entertainment applications.”

Following research from Google and Microsoft, Shane and his team looked at how the test function within their organisation could change to better incorporate this new test paradigm. They spent some time on defining what the name of the roles should be but one thing they agreed upon was that of the word ‘engineer’. Testing by definition is an engineering discipline and should be considered as such, says Shane. People not only need a good understanding of the software under test but also detailed technical knowledge of the systems upon which the software sits. Another key factor was to ensure that those testers coding the automation framework were titled as developers’ but also acknowledged they had that tester gene of “we love to break stuff ”.

“Delegates will learn some of the intricacies we have to go through at SEGA when testing complex games,” said Jim. “It’s not standard database testing, but testing games that have multiple compound interactions and how they perform.

The role titles Shane and his team came up with were STE (Software Test Engineer) and SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test) where the STE still focused on testing best practice and test coordination; and the SDET focused more on automation, performance and non-functional based testing. The two still worked hand-in-hand as a single test function, defining the test approach, coverage and execution. But now we were able to build towards a technically defined test framework, that incorporated automation as a standard rather than something considered as best endeavours but never actually achieved. They have driven towards test driven development and even behavioural driven development in some of the more advanced teams. Shane said, “I hope delegates can learn how I define the roles of STE and SDET. I will explain how I went about defining them, which included an assessment of internal resources, looking at what we needed, the gaps, and research from other companies. Hopefully delegates can learn how we did it and implement it themselves, and get ideas about how it will work for them because it will be different for every organisation. “The National Software Testing Conference is about building a community within software testing, bringing people together and meeting like-minded colleagues. Attendees can pick at other people’s brains to get ideas and even meet vendors to learn more about the products available today to see if there is a suitable product for them, and also talk to others who have used the products to develop a greater understanding.”

“It will be different from what people have seen before, and the interactive entertainment side brings a whole new contrast on how we test products, but there should be very interesting learning from that.” Don’t miss out on these presentations, plus lots more! It’s not too late to book, please contact our delegate sales team: Munawar Kazi on 0203 668 6943 or Novi Purwanto on 0203 668 6942. What’s more, we are running a special offer: Book your place at the National Software Testing Conference and receive the European Software Benchmark Report, worth £499, for FREE!

Key information • Speakers include the winners from The European Software Testing Awards (TESTA) • Two-day event • Round-table debate sessions • An exhibition showcasing the latest products and services • Supported by the industry leading journal, TEST magazine • Taking place on 20-21 May 2014 at The British Museum, London • Multiple streams covering an array of testing subjects • All refreshments included •  Attendance for one day is £399.00 Attendance for two days is £449.00

For more information, please visit www.softwaretestingconference.com www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


VitAL Interview

What does the future hold for cloud computing and data centres? Sophie-Marie Odum speaks to Andy Lancaster, director of cloud solutions at Dimension Data UK, about the rise in cloud adoption and what this means for the future of data centres‌ Sophie-Marie Odum: What are your thoughts on the cloud? Why do you think it has gained momentum? Why are companies now realising the benefits? Andy Lancaster: Cloud computing provides enterprises of all sizes with a great deal of opportunity due to its flexibility, efficiency gains and cost savings. It has reached a point of mainstream adoption, meaning that there are now a number of providers in the marketplace offering a variety of solutions to meet different needs. Cloud computing continues to gain

momentum across SMEs, as well as large corporates, due to its considerable agility as an IT solution. This includes the ability to only pay for resources as and when required and the removal of physical assets from corporate balance sheets. SMO: Please further explain the benefits of the cloud to large and medium companies as well as small companies? AL: For medium and larger organisations that will have an established and more complex IT system, the

While cloud computing continues to grow from strength to strength, the need for data centres will not disappear


www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

VitAL Interview cloud can offer a way to simply increase IT resource and storage capacity, without adding considerable expense to the organisation. With larger enterprises, they may wish to use a local cloud for test and development purposes for example, and need the flexibility the cloud can provide to scale up or down as desired. Equally they could use the cloud to allow them to add a new enterprise application without the associated costs of additional infrastructure. The benefits of cloud computing to smaller businesses are also evident. Fast growing smaller companies can remain agile by limiting their IT costs and resourcing needs with the adoption of a cloud for some, or even the majority of their enterprise applications. The flexibility of the cloud allows organisations to scale up and down with their business requirements through a pay-per-use model. SMO: How does the cloud offer more control to businesses? i.e. Software as a Service AL: One of the biggest advantages to businesses, whatever their size is the amount of control over IT requirements that the cloud can provide. Businesses can scale up and down on their usage requirements on a month-by-month basis and only ever pay for what they are using. This is a big plus in helping to drive down total IT costs by reducing CAPEX. Having a cloud in their local geography also means that organisations are not as affected by latency when it comes to running production, test/development or DR systems from the cloud. SMO: With the advent of Big Data, are you able to comment on how the cloud helps businesses implement Big Data? AL: Cloud is a fundamental delivery mechanism for Big Data. With such high data volumes being produced, organisations need a cost effective solution to collate, store and analyse the data. This often requires large amounts of compute power, but sometimes only for short periods of a day, week, or month. Fortunately a high performance cloud can help resolve this challenge for organisations by providing the scalability required for increasing volumes of data, while also delivering the computing power needed for this type of use. SMO: As a result of the popularity of the cloud, what do you think the future holds for data centres? Will there still be a need for them? How will the role of the data centre change? AL: While cloud computing continues to grow from strength to strength, the need for data centres will not disappear. My customer conversations suggest a gradual consolidation of enterprise data centres into fewer

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

regional hubs, leaving one or two One of the biggest for each geography. advantages to businesses, In addition to these whatever their size is the hubs, enterprises amount of control over will leverage cloud technologies IT requirements that in their local the cloud can provide. geographies to Businesses can scale provide the bulk up and down on their of their storage usage requirements on and compute a month by month basis requirements, and only ever pay for leaving only very sensitive data or what they are using applications that are not easily virtualised within their own data centres. SMO: How will the reduction of data centres affect businesses? Will it have a positive or negative affect? Or both? AL: For businesses, the reduction in physical data centres and thereby reduction in CAPEX can only be a good thing. By using cloud services, businesses will avoid the costs associated with depreciation of IT assets and be able to scale their IT in a cost effective manner as per their needs. Ensuring they select a high performance cloud with strong SLAs will mean that they will receive equal if not a superior experience to their existing data centre. Through consolidation and virtualisation of their IT, this may even help reduce a businesses’ carbon footprint if managed carefully. SMO: How can organisations keep abreast of these changes? AL: For IT managers, it is vital that they continue to assess their cloud provider’s services and SLAs to determine whether they are receiving the best service for their business needs. Often, when I talk to IT managers, they may think that they need a private cloud for all their data where actually there may be elements of the business that would sit quite comfortably in a local public cloud or vice versa. Equally, all too often IT managers are unaware or confused by a cloud provider’s SLAs. If they are looking to host business critical applications in the cloud, it is vital to select a provider with the strongest SLAs available to minimise downtime and deliver a smooth uninterrupted service to their business. As cloud continues to mature, it is also important that IT managers look for cloud services that offer common orchestration across the entire network. This assures seamless interoperability across internal and external cloud environments.


VitAL Interview

Investigating the security pressures felt by IT teams Sophie-Marie Odum speaks to Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh, systems engineering manager EMEA at Trustwave, about the security pressures IT professionals are now under… of skilled security professionals in the T heUKlack is the biggest concern for IT directors and CIOs, with budgetary and time constraints following closely behind. These were the findings of a new report commissioned by Trustwave, which takes an in-depth look at the current security pressures faced by IT directors, CISOs and CIOs. The inaugural 2014 Security Pressures Report, which surveys more than 800 IT professionals who are security decision makers within their organisations, reveals the security threats most concerning to these practitioners. And it also uncovers the pressures these respondents have faced, regarding information security, are facing and expect to face in regard to confronting threats. The survey exposes from whom these professionals feel the most pressure when attempting to secure their organisations, and how they predict pressures will shift in the future.

Is the product ready to be released? Whilst 54% of IT pros felt more pressure to secure their organisations in 2013 compared to the previous year, and 58% expect even more pressure in 2014, almost 80% of IT directors and CIOs feel pressure from above to roll out IT projects in 2013, despite concerns that the projects were not ready due to security issues, with 63% saying this happened on more than one occasion. The tug-of-war between CIOs vs CMOs and CIO vs CEOs to release a product on time even though it may not be “technically” ready is not a new phenomenon, but the cost of getting these things wrong – not just in financial terms, but also reputational – can be dire. Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh, systems engineering manager EMEA at Trustwave, explained, “The Security Pressures Report tells us a lot of what we already know when talking to our customers, which is that they are certainly under pressure with regards to resources and I don’t think budgets are helping. In addition to this, over the last year, pressures are really starting to be piled on from the C-Level executives and there seems to be more visibility from them in regards to security, which is largely due to recent press. “The reality is that IT teams are having to deploy solutions to the market knowing full well that they have security flaws and that’s a big worry for all of us. C-Level executives are putting the pressure on to get a product out to the wider audience on time, and forgetting about the security aspects or leaving it until the last minute, which is also a big problem. Teams are


C-Level executives are putting the pressure on to get a product out to the wider audience on time, and forgetting about the security aspects or leaving it until the last minute, which is also a big problem not performing penetration testing or security testing early on enough in the project, and when it gets to the end it’s too late. The timeline to deliver seems to win over ‘let’s make this solution secure before we go live’. This was the biggest takeaway from the Report.” But, why isn’t security testing high on the agenda for C-Level executives when reputations are on the line, as well as the risk of costly consequences? “I don’t think it’s not high on the agenda”, replied Oliver. “I just don’t think some teams are running the projects effectively. What I see with customers I have worked with, is that some security processes are sometimes an after thought and regular testing isn’t done throughout the project. Then, all of a sudden, when the end of the project comes round, they decide to quickly do a test before it goes live, but at that stage, the deadline is way too close and the remediation is going to take a lot longer and impact the deadline. Therefore they tend to cut corners a little, rush a couple of the high priority fixtures and worry about the medium to low fixtures on the next release. There is just an urgency to get the product out on time.” www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

VitAL Interview

Employees are feeling a huge amount of pressure from C-Level executives but aren’t given enough resources to handle security or buy effective security solutions to solve the problems

“On the other hand, there is also not enough talent in the IT security sector to solve these IT security challenges. It’s a niche industry and keeping a hold of the ‘good guys’ is a big challenge, or what happens if the person responsible goes sick or leaves, for example? We work with large banking organisations and they are considering augmentation and working with providers like ourselves to augment their staff, outsourcing IT security and taking the managed service route.

This was a surprise to Oliver. He said, “We have been talking a lot about APTs and Malware at enterprise level to make them aware of those kind of challenges, but when you look at the survey and the statistics, the concerns from the organisations we surveyed were more around phishing attacks and social engineering.

“There is a clear need for IT security professionals who will be equipped and trained to properly provide protection against threats from hackers and cyber criminals on the web, and there is a large skills gap here.”

“Organisations don’t seem to think that there is an insider risk aspect of employees maliciously attacking an infrastructure, they are more concerned about them inadvertently releasing information, which leads to customer data concerns as opposed to brand issues that could impact them from a security standpoint if they were to get hacked.”

Addressing the skills gap

Data protection act

According to the National Audit Office’s The UK cyber security strategy: Landscape review, the number of ICT and cyber security professionals in the UK has not increased in line with the growth of the Internet. The report cites, “This shortage of ICT skills hampers the UK’s ability to protect itself in cyberspace and promote the use of the Internet both now and in the future. The skills the UK needs to design and implement cyber security policy are not only technical, there is also a need for psychologists; law enforcers; corporate strategists and risk managers.”

Oliver believes that the Report revealed some interesting findings and C-Level executives should take heed.

In April 2012, the Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills referred to “a decade long” decline in ICT and computer science in schools and universities. The Government’s special representative to business for cyber security also commented on the lack of younger people working in the area of cyber security. In tackling this issue, the UK Government and professional bodies are taking a much more active role in encouraging the development of IT security skills in schools and universities, through initiatives such as the Cyber Security Challenge UK, which aims to bring more talented people into the cyber security profession.

Targeted malware The Security Pressures Report also discovered that targeted malware topped the list of security threats exerting the most pressure on organisations in 2013, while threats from viruses and worms caused the
lowest pressure. During 2013, respondents felt increased pressure to keep their organisations secure from targeted malware (64%), data breaches (62%), phishing/social engineering (60%) and zero-day vulnerabilities (53%), while pressure to protect from (42%) viruses and worms decreased. In the United States and Canada, targeted malware was the top threat IT pros
felt pressured to secure against, but in the UK and Germany, the top threat was phishing/social engineering. Respondents in each country surveyed said viruses and worms caused the lowest pressure.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

“Overall there are some interesting findings that I wouldn’t expect,” he said. “One would always consider brand protection to be a big issue, but in reality it is personal data that seems to be making more of an impact, probably in light of the NSA revelations, and organisations are now realising that losing personal data would have a huge impact on businesses. “Employees are feeling a huge amount of pressure from C-Level executives but aren’t given enough resources to handle security or buy effective security solutions to solve the problems. What we see is that organisations will invest lots of money in a really good product that has all the bells and whistles, but the reality is that they turn half the bells and whistles off as it generates more work than they can handle. So buying the more advance solutions can lead to levels of weakness. C-Level executives need to listen to these concerns and possibly consider outsourcing and extending the security team to third parties,” said Oliver. The Security Pressures Report cites that three out of four IT teams currently run security in-house, but 82% use, or are looking to use, managed security services in the future to help alleviate pressures. “Five years ago, many companies were very cautious about putting their data out there in the cloud or managed services,” commented Oliver “but it is much more acceptable these days because it’s large trusted organisation who are providing these services.” Nowadays businesses have huge amounts of information moving through their networks and applications and being stored on their databases, meaning there is more data to protect than ever before. Threats are growing more aggressive, budgets are tight, and building and retaining a skilled security team can be challenging, but the 2014 Security Pressures Report gives C-level executives some insight into their teams’ concerns and it is hoped that government initiatives will go a long way in lessening the security pressures felt by IT professionals in the future.


Mobile Technology

Are businesses ready for ‘Smart Wigs’ and the onslaught of other wearable gadgets? With Sony’s recent patent application for a “SmartWig”, this signifies just how seriously these technology companies feel wearable technology is becoming, believes Alessandro Porro, VP of international sales at Ipswitch, Network Management Division…

Being prepared will prevent BYOD chaos. Businesses that address the challenges of BYOD (policies, security, network management and monitoring) will give themselves a running start when this technology enters the workplace


www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Mobile Technology

it or not, Sony recently applied for a patent for a B elieve “SmartWig”. Sony says the SmartWig can be worn “in addition to natural hair”, and will be able to process data and communicate wirelessly with other external devices. This comes as companies continue to fight to become the leaders in the wearable technology market. Although it sounds absurd, this indicates just how seriously the tech giants are taking wearable technology. Companies like Sony invest big money expecting a big return and I predict that 2014 will be the year of wearable technology. For now, it is something associated with the gadget geeks but soon it will be second nature at home and at work. It is becoming more prevalent already, for example the hi-Fun hi-Call, Bluetooth Gloves from John Lewis were a popular Christmas gift. Sony intends the SmartWig to be used in presentations where a wearer can “move to the next presentation slide or back to the preceding presentation slide by simply raising his/ her eyebrows”. It also has potential in healthcare to collect statistics such as temperature, blood pressure and pulse from a patient and send the information back to a central server.

What does this mean for businesses?

The big question of 2014 is how corporate networks will cope as wearable gadgets become more widely adopted. If smart accessories such as glasses and watches (even wigs!) grow to become as popular as smartphones and tablets, the impact on networks will be huge Being prepared will prevent BYOD chaos. Businesses that address the challenges of BYOD (policies, security, network management and monitoring) will give themselves a running start when this technology enters the workplace. There are three simple steps to ensure that companies are in the best position to embrace wearable technology: 1) Anticipate an increased data flow: The way data travels through networks will become more complicated. Many smart accessories will access networks via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but they generally require connection to a laptop, computer or tablet for the purposes of syncing data, which would further slow down the network.

The big question of 2014 is how corporate networks will cope as wearable gadgets become more widely adopted. If smart accessories such as glasses and watches (even wigs!) grow to become as popular as smartphones and tablets, the impact on networks will be huge.

Real-time network monitoring and intrusion detection that is backed up by specific policies and infrastructure will prevent a big slowdown to company networks. To avoid capacity and security issues, businesses must prepare carefully for these scenarios in advance by scaling out or scaling up.

Wearable technology needs to pair with another “main” device. In other words, they are an addition, rather than a replacement. Smart accessories will increase the number of devices accessing the network. Some companies still struggle with BYOD, but we can expect the wave of wearable technology to be a vastly greater challenge.

2) Create usage policies: If a business embraces wearable technology, and many think it is only a matter of time until businesses are forced to, there will need to be policies that determine who is allowed to bring the gadgets into the workplace and connect to the corporate network.

Additionally, security is an important consideration. Google Glass allows the user to record everything that he/she sees. Even smartwatches have cameras and recording facilities. Although this sounds very James Bond, discreetly transferring sensitive competitive information to a device outside the network is a real threat.

Three steps to success: managing wearable devices as part of a BYOD policy A recent survey commissioned by Ipswitch asked IT professionals for their IT network management wish list for 2014. 36% said they wished for more time to develop BYOD policies and 31% wanted to focus on security policies. 

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

3) Evaluate security: Wearable technology will impact the IT network mainly in the areas of access and endpoint security. On average, an employee has one to three devices accessing the network, in a matter of years this could increase to 15 to 20 per employee. Businesses should be aware that the main modes of access would be Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. In the case of Wi-Fi, the infrastructure needs to be evaluated to ensure it can cope. In terms of security, gaining oversight and managing the network will be the greatest challenge. The legitimacy of the devices connecting to the network, and the information being transferred will need to be determined. Additionally, the plethora of different devices looking to gain access will leave networks susceptible to attacks in the form of malicious viruses and other cyber threats.


IT Service Management

Taking IT for a test drive Selecting the right ITSM tool for your business is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Similar to buying a new car, certain precautions need to be taken before making such an investment and putting a new tool into motion. Pat Bolger, chief evangelist of Hornbill Service Management, explains how you can take control of the wheel and steer towards the right solution… a new IT tool is like buying a car. I mplementing Manufacturers produce a model of car with numerous variations or options to suit the needs of different drivers. A typical family just wants to get from A to B safely and quickly, without ever needing to customise their vehicle. A hobbyist may want to change the look or performance by adding some custom parts. On the other hand, the race car driver demands very specific and finely-tuned modifications. Similarly, IT service management (ITSM) groups at different levels of maturity also have different needs. Even if their aspiration is to “race their cars” further down the line, it will be difficult to make performance-enhancing modifications without first knowing how the car handles as standard. Selecting an ITSM tool which meets business needs is a significant decision; faced with a number of vendors and tools, it can be a long and complicated process. Best practice frameworks such as ITIL advise an “adopt, adapt and improve” approach, which is fundamental for both the tools and processes used for ITSM.

point, especially for organisations that have not defined their processes. In effect, implementing a tool out of the box gives the organisation a solid foundation, with a set of distinct best practice ITSM processes that can easily be adapted as their maturity increases. By the same token, even if you do have welldefined processes and are confident these are appropriate for your organisation, it’s still important to question whether these are in fact the most efficient and effective way of delivering services from the customer’s perspective. Many businesses are too eager to customise from the starting flag, and a customisation programme which is not mapped to specific service improvement objectives can cause problems further down the track. It can often be the case that an outof-the-box tool actually supports most of the processes required, without needing significant changes. By “test driving” through a pilot programme, organisations gain a much greater understanding of the changes they want to make and how those changes will benefit the business. Many organisations find that going beyond the standard settings and configurations of a particular tool sets a course which makes the solution harder to manage further down the road.

But, when looking to implement a new tool, it’s critical to first understand how well your existing processes serve customer needs and reflect upon the overall service experience. This defines the criteria for service improvement, which drives selection of the right solution, and helps you determine whether the tool needs extensive configuration or even customisation. Far too often, organisations go into a customisation programme at full throttle; without first questioning, or in some cases even defining, how the customer will benefit from changes to their ITSM processes. “Out-of-the-box” tools can provide a sensible starting


www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

IT Service Management

Identifying your blind spots It’s also important to remember during any purchasing decision or system roll-out why you decided on a new solution in the first place. IT groups that change their ITSM supplier will often try to customise the new solution so that it performs the same functions as its predecessor. Yet if all you wanted was the status quo, why change tools? When taking a tool for a test drive, it’s important to do so with a fresh pair of eyes. Out of the box, the tool may work slightly differently, but this isn’t always a bad thing. It may in fact be a more efficient way of achieving the same outcome. Or, it might be that although the tool generally fits the bill, there are some process steps that are missing, or perhaps need tweaking. The test drive will not only give you this insight; it will also give you the clarity you need when deciding how to approach any necessary changes. A simple change to “dashboard settings” may be all that is required to meet the needs of a particular service or process. Yet, without the test drive phase, it is extremely difficult to identify these blind spots in the first place, let alone understand what easy changes you can make within a tool to tackle them. Once you know the reasons for change and the capabilities needed, you can use the results of the test drive phase to plan the next steps. If you do decide that the out-of-the-box solution does not support your process requirements by changing the configuration settings, engage the vendor to find out how you go about this. You may want to ask them to configure, or even customise the tool for you; however, if a vendor advises a 30-60 day timescale to implement a bespoke process, this should set some alarm bells ringing. If you know what process you are looking to achieve then customisation

shouldn’t actually be a difficult procedure, certainly not one that takes a month or more to deliver.

You have reached your destination If a need for customisation has been identified, IT teams need to be fully aware of the effects on their ITSM system and its on-going maintenance and upgradeability. Despite vendor claims that customisations can be easily carried forward through upgrades, there’s a tipping point where customisation will take you off an easily upgradable path. If a system is changed to the extent that the supplier no longer recognises it, maintenance and upgrades will be difficult at best, and impossible at worst. Even if customisations have been carried out by your own staff – and the knowledge and ability to maintain the system remains in-house – that expertise is lost if workers leave the organisation and the on-going capabilities of the tool to meet business needs will suffer. There are undoubtedly areas where it may be necessary to customise IT systems extensively. If a business has a specific need that is not met by out-of-the-box tools, or by changing the tool through standard configuration settings, then customisation may be the only option. However, it is easy for organisations to customise themselves into a corner, adding layers of complexity through customisation, which often isn’t necessary. By continually asking why, and having clarity about the outcomes customisation will deliver and the functions an out-of-thebox tool provides; businesses can minimise wasted effort and ensure that IT systems meet customer needs, enhance the service experience, and truly deliver business value.

By “test driving” through a pilot programme, organisations gain a much greater understanding of the changes they want to make and how those changes will benefit the business

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


IT Service Management

ITSM in the age of mobile, Big Data and apps Stephen Midgley, Vice President Global Marketing at Absolute Software, looks at the modern role of ITSM in today’s society… the use of new technologies starts to scale W hen up, it creates new industries alongside it – either

through necessity or opportunity. As the Windows PC gained dominance in the world’s biggest enterprises, the problem of managing a machine on every desk became a growing concern. In response to this challenge, and aided by the rising wave of networking in business, IT service management (ITSM) was born and prospered. But what happens when tablets, laptops and smartphones become the new world order? And how can this increased burden be turned into an opportunity? It’s arguably no mean feat to have catered for this one operating environment and made it easy to manage on the scale that ITSM had accomplished. But it’s nothing compared to the increasingly complex cocktail of form factors and operating systems that are descending on the average business today. When you’ve made every bit of your success around aiming at a single target, how do you adapt to multiple, ever-shifting targets, from tablets to smartwatches, from BlackBerry to Linux? Then comes the complexity of varying states of ownership: devices provided by your business to your employees (corporate owned, personally enabled); devices employees bring in for personal use (but still may connect to the network); devices they own themselves but want to use for both (Bring Your Own Device). Not to mention the devices that never come near your offices but still end up with vicarious access to files through apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, or even good, old-fashioned email.   Looking at this enormous (and growing) range of permutations, it’s easy to see how this presents new complexity. But it also comes with an accompanying increase in scale. Every one-computer employee in the old world may now have two or three that require your time and attention. At the same time, the opportunity is emerging for ITSM to do more than just keep the lights on and maintain these machines, it can help your business better understand employees’ behaviour and plan and optimise around them. So how do you make this happen?

1. Focus on the new paradigm: machines that move One thing’s for sure: given that there are years of best practice on how to manage huge numbers of stationary desktops, this is not the most difficult to include in the new ITSM. So it makes sense to start by focusing on the area that provides both the fastest growing new challenge and the biggest opportunity ahead: mobile.


The opportunity is emerging for ITSM

to do more than just keep the lights on and maintain these machines, it can help your business better understand employees’ behaviour and plan and optimise around them Look for solutions that don’t just include mobile but are “mobile-first”. This will tell you a lot about their priorities and whether they are forward-looking or just slapping a new label on an old product. The latter risks not just being an inferior solution for maintenance, but is unlikely to truly embrace and offer ways to make the most of data in your ITSM strategy.

2. Be progressive, not restrictive You can try and obtain ultimate control over your IT or you can aim for ultimate understanding. Any decent ITSM solution should offer the first, but the second of these options is the route to create a different kind of IT service for your business. With better knowledge of how your organisation uses its devices and software, you can prioritise the way you work based on impact. Patterns of incoming requests can point toward areas that most require attention and you can quickly understand how to make the most of shifting habits in employees’ behaviour.

3. Be ready for what’s next This is perhaps the most important advice. This is not the beginning of the end; it’s the end of the beginning. We’re not on a path back to a single homogeneous or simpler environment again anytime soon, the complexity and variety of technology you have to manage is only going to increase. What’s vital is that you’re as prepared as possible for this oncoming change, with partners who will help you stay one-step ahead. This isn’t just important in terms of product functions and features – it’s also true of interface and attention to areas like how you manage huge amounts of data. The next phase of ITSM is not just one of management, it’s increasingly one of opportunity as you learn and improve efficiency by better understanding the behaviour and usage of these devices. And this is the most important thing to remember here. Traditional ITSM has been a brilliant and very functional resource for businesses. But what’s coming next will extend its value far beyond that.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


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VOLUME 8 | ISSUE 2 | March Apr il 2014



VOLUME 8 | ISSUE 1 | Januar y - Febr uar y 2014




VOLUME 7 | ISSUE 6 | November-December 2013



An “augmented” future for wearable computing Can you envisage all the possibilities?

2014: Looking ahead The consumerisation of IT

VitAL Security


Looking back on 2013



Are online IT training courses the answer?

VitAL’s 2014 Predictions:





Is the future of online retailing up in the air? Or will it remain grounded?

Palm payments Customers will soon need a hand with their shopping

INSIDE VitAL Interview

Investigating the security pressures felt

by IT teams

VitAL Management

Managing sustained innovation for a smarter

The hard truth about DNS attacks

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IT Service Management

Service management: can you trust third-party access? For most organisations, third-party access is a requirement that they have to pay more attention to, but not just in terms of security, but also service provision and delivery, says Stuart Facey, VP International, Bomgar… to the proverb, the person who is a jack-of-allA ccording trades is the master of none. Although directing this at an individual might be perceived as slightly disparaging, the concept behind it can be positive.

In fact, this is the theory behind most IT service desk teams who require first-tier “generalists” to handle whatever problems may arise. For the most part, generalists should be able to help users resolve any issue, leaving no need to hire experts to support every technology used. For those times when a guru is required, it can be much more efficient to call on outside help from either the original vendor or a specialist service provider. Whomever that expert is, he or she will need access to your, and possibly your end-users’, systems. Despite this increased reliance on external parties for support, there is often little attention paid to the technology that third parties are using to remotely access these systems. As a result, many organisations on both sides of the customer-service provider relationship are using freeware more suited to helping Granny send an email than troubleshooting a server.

Improving third-party remote support There are three key areas where third-party remote support needs to improve. First is get control of all the various remote access tools that are being used. Many third parties use older remote access tools that require an open listening port on your system to work over the Internet. These open listening ports are common attack pathways for hackers, who can easily guess or brute force the usernames and passwords. By requiring every vendor (and internal IT staff) to use one, secure, consolidated solution to remotely access systems, and blocking access from any unapproved tools, you can control and monitor all remote access into your network. As Trustwave noted in its 2014 Security Pressures report, thirdparty vendors should be prevented from introducing any


unnecessary risk to your systems: “Businesses should require these companies have detailed and locked-down security policies, perform ongoing and regular penetration testing, demonstrate appropriate remote access controls, ensure software and hardware is consistently patched and isolate data from other customers.” As such, your approved remote support tool should give you the ability to grant external and internal support teams different levels of access to IT systems as required, rather than being simply “on” or “off ”. Most third-party support teams only need to get to an individual system on the network, or to a specific group of machines. Giving third parties unfettered access to your entire infrastructure and data could, therefore, be a disaster waiting to happen. Once you’ve channelled all remote access activity through one solution, you need to make sure third parties are using secure credentials within that system. According to Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigation Report: “76% of network intrusions exploited weak or stolen credentials.” Since vendors don’t need constant access to your network, they often use one remote access tool license and share generic logins and passwords across technicians. This not only makes the credentials easy to guess, it means the vendor’s exemployees might still be able to get to your systems. The best approach is to use a remote access solution that requires each individual to use unique credentials even if they’re sharing licences. To further improve security, require each individual to use two-factor authentication to login. The recent data breach on US chain Target was traced back to a specific third-party vendor being granted access to its IT network. When the third-party was compromised, it gave the hacker access to a much bigger prize. The hackers were able to use the remote access connection as a jumping-off point into the rest of Target’s network. This demonstrates the final area that should be considered: auditing and monitoring all third-party access activities. When we pay someone to do work to our home, such as a plumber

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

IT Service Management

or a decorator, we will usually leave them to it; sometimes leaving them in the house by themselves. But what happens if, a day or a week later, you discover that you are missing an antique item of precious jewellery? Unless you have security cameras throughout your house, how do you know if the worker was the culprit? For IT departments, it’s imperative you have a record of all vendor access activity, and set up alerts when any unusual activity occurs, like a vendor logging in after hours. For external support providers, being given open access to customers’ IT systems involves a huge amount of trust. If something goes wrong while you are attending to an issue, you will need to prove the validity and integrity of your work. Organisations on both sides need to look at tools that capture and securely store audit trails of every single

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

For IT departments, it’s imperative you have a record of all vendor access activity, and set up alerts when any unusual activity occurs, like a vendor logging in after hours transaction. Many remote support tools simply do not have the recording and auditing functionality to be able to do this. As companies require more specialist skills in IT, the reliance on external tech support is only going to increase. However, managing and controlling that external support is a skill in itself. By approaching this in the right way, support teams can improve their service levels, and, at the same time, keep the sensitive data of their company and their customers out of harm’s way.


Cover Story

The future of payments is in the palm of our hands Back in 2006, the UK was introduced to chip and pin, and we’ve come a long way since then. Fast forward 12 years on and soon customers will be able to pay for purchases by simply using the palm of their hands. Sophie-Marie Odum investigates…

in the age of digital payments.With the W e’re introduction of Near Field Communication

technology, customers can easily make contactless purchases with credit and debit cards, as well as by mobile phones. Also, late last year, Paypal led the UK in the quest for a “wallet-less” high street with the release of a mobile app that allows consumers to use their face and smartphone to make payments. It is currently being tested by a dozen businesses in Richmond, London. Once users download the PayPal app for iOS, Windows OS and Android phones, it highlights nearby shops and restaurants that accept PayPal; the customer then checks in to the shop, and their name and photo appears on the shop’s payment system. After the customer agrees the amount to be paid, the cashier charges them by clicking on their image. The customer receives an alert on their phone, letting them know how much they’ve paid, as well as PayPal’s usual email receipt.

“Biyo provides ultimate security for retailers that want to protect customer data, it also gives them the power to award points without cumbersome keychain cards or other physical loyalty card systems that consumers are tired of carrying.

Biyo aims to create an ecosystem where consumers and merchants interact on a more intimate level

However, more recently, one US company has gone one step further. Biyo, a point-of-sale register and biometric payment terminal, was revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, which took place in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year.

Palm payments The all-in-one biometric point-of-sale system and payment terminal for small and mid-sized businesses is said to allow consumers to link their credit cards to their palms for quicker, more convenient and more secure checkouts. When a consumer registers at one store, their palm can be used to pay at any Biyo merchant. There is no need to register more than once and consumers receive digital receipts. In addition, the company plans on expanding its offering to include applications for ATMs, boarding passes and gym memberships. Although there are no plans to launch in the UK just yet, it is expected to launch elsewhere this spring. Speaking exclusively to VitAL Magazine, Aimann Rasheed, chief executive officer and co-founder of Biyo, shares his views on a wallet-less culture and the demise of cash. He said, “We believe that the future of cardless payments will depend largely on ease of adoption and the quality of the biometric technology.


“In our research, we have determined that facial recognition is not a secure form of biometrics when it comes to payments. Maybe less critical applications such as unlocking your phone would be okay, but, for payments, the biometrics has to be secure and less invasive. Facial recognition gives the ‘big brother’ vibe and has a relatively high failure rate compared to other biometrics.

“There are other features such as employee management, reporting, etc, that gives merchants the edge over traditional POS systems. In the case of employee management for example, biometrics makes clocking in and out much fast than logging in with a keyboard by entering a username and password. It also means that employees can’t clock in or out for each other.

“Typical POS systems have a login system for a cashier to login and start ringing up items, but with our system they scan their palm and get instant access. It’s very convenient for switching cashiers on the fly or for stores who don’t need more than one terminal but want to keep track of what their employees are ringing up. These extra metrics can then be used to fine-tune the business in various ways. “Biyo will consolidate all payment methods, which are easily and securely accessed by scanning their palm. Palm vein patterns are unique to every individual and cannot be lifted, traced, or replicated in any way due to the nature of the sensor that looks for flowing blood.”

Addressing security concerns While signatures can be forged and pin codes cracked, vein patterns are considered unique and more difficult to copy, so would it be fair to say that this payment method is the safest of them all, or will the system be susceptible to hacking? Aimann replied, “We’ve designed the system to make hacking both difficult and useless. Each piece of data is housed and encrypted independently, and on top of all that, the credit card information is stored separately with the bank so compromising the biometric data, for example, wouldn’t provide anything meaningful to the hacker. Moreover, we use a private key on top of the AES

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Cover Story

Biyo will consolidate all payment methods, which are easily and securely accessed by scanning their palm. Palm vein patterns are unique to every individual and cannot be lifted, traced, or replicated in any way due to the nature of the sensor that looks for flowing blood

encryption to make sure profile access is only retrievable when the right person scans their palm. “We combine existing rigorous security protocols such as PCI compliance with biometrics to secure data and payment information in a way that hasn’t been done before. Biometric data is encrypted and can’t be used to recreate the original palm vein patterns in any way.” Security aside, will this futuristic piece of technology raise privacy concerns? From a consumer point-of-view, it’s fair to say that some maybe concerned that personal data could be retained and stored when using such a payment method, especially with the advent of Big Data. So how is Biyo addressing these concerns or will it be down to individual organisations? “Regarding ‘Big Data’, we’ve grown up in this era with the NSA (National Security Agency) and surveillance, and we are just as adamant about privacy as everyone else,” replied Aimann. “Our terms of use apply to every merchant that uses

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

our terminals and they have no access or control over any customer data except for transaction details that pertain to that merchant. Nobody gets access to user information unless users give explicit permission.”

An enhanced shopping experience The reality is that the end of plastic and cash is nigh. Consumers want payments to be as fast and efficient as possible, and remembering passwords and pin numbers will soon be a thing of the past. The emergence of new technology such as Biyo seems to deliver many benefits to organisations and consumers alike, and will hopefully combat fraud, providing a new and enhanced shopping experience for all. “Biyo aims to create an ecosystem where consumers and merchants interact on a more intimate level,” Aimann added. “We believe the missing link in retail shops today is ease of use interaction, and we are looking to facilitate those types of relationships.”


Cloud Computing

Is cloud computing just a destination? Clive Grayson, director of service strategy at Attenda, explores what to look for and what to expect on the journey to migrating to the cloud, as well as the choices that need to be made to future-proof your organisation‌

Cloud computing is much more than a destination, it is a complex journey that, with the exception of very large enterprises, organisations should not be taking on their own properly planned and implemented, cloud W hen computing can make a significant difference to the agility and productivity of a mid-size enterprise. There are now many offerings and many providers that may claim to deliver flexible, cloud solutions that can scale as your needs evolve and can be paid for in the same way as a utility, on a pay-per-usage basis.  However, the migration to the cloud is rarely a single hop or single destination; instead, it is a transition that is dependent upon choosing the right partner, with the right experience, to facilitate the right choices. In order to realise the full business potential, you must first address the most basic cloud issues


and understand how to integrate, govern and manage cloud services within a hybrid-computing environment.

Embracing the evolving cloud landscape For organisations looking for a move to the cloud, there are a number of choices to be made; since no single cloud type, solution or delivery approach can satisfy all enterprise requirements. For most organisations, cloud computing is an evolutionary path along which they should select the cloud type and service model that best meets their business requirements; examining the choices based on functionality and fit, deploying solutions that can deliver the desired business outcomes.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

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Cloud Computing

For example, what is the right mix of cloud types – private, public or hybrid? Should you be building your own cloud, or should you outsource to a third party cloud or managed service provider? Is location important? How much should be on-premise and how much should be off-premise? Additionally, cloud solutions have three distinct service models – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (Paas) and Software as a Service (SaaS) – and the strategy and journeys for each should be determined separately as they serve very different needs. This is particularly important as these models are often mixed together in commercial cloud offerings (Amazon Web Services, or AWS, encompasses both IaaS and PaaS, for example). In fact, a bewildering array of choices and applications are available, and it is not simply a case of one-size-fits-all. Although many organisations realise the benefits of moving to the cloud, many recognise that the journey is littered with complex choices. However, what is important is to ensure that you choose the right cloud type and cloud service delivery model for your business needs, and for IaaS and PaaS, taking into account the unique characteristics of the applications that you wish to run or develop the cloud. Very few mid-market enterprise organisations will be in a position to move to a fully cloud-enabled service model instantaneously; and, given the previous investment in much of their IT estate, are likely to choose a hybrid model – an integration of different operational IT and service management models. The precise form of a given hybrid model will be determined by a specific organisation’s application infrastructure requirements, security, data and regulatory requirements and the business outcomes they are aiming to achieve. To complicate matters even further, since cloud computing is such a fast-moving landscape, many organisations may not know exactly where they are heading to at the onset of their journey, even though they do know the first steps that need to be taken. In this case, they should look to work with an experienced service provider to guide them on their journey, determining the routes that can be taken along the way, clarifying the final destinations in due course, and minimising risk, by exploiting the experience the provider has gained through travelling similar paths with other organisations.

Starting your journey The journey to the cloud is not going to be a smooth ride; the landscape is changing frequently and there are a whole variety of different vendors that organisations can choose to work with. It is safe to assume that there will be vendor consolidation in


Choosing a cloud solution is rather like choosing a home PC or mobile phone: you have to make a choice at some point. But almost as soon as you’ve made your choice, the product or service may seem to be outof-date in light of new market offerings the industry and there will be some vendors who don’t survive; some products will thrive while others will not survive. In some ways, choosing a cloud solution is rather like choosing a home PC or mobile phone: you have to make a choice at some point. But almost as soon as you’ve made your choice, the product or service may seem to be out-of-date in light of new market offerings. To choose wisely, select a partner with the right vision, as well as a portfolio of solutions and services to support your business objectives. Inevitably, as organisations start their journeys, they (and their service providers) will learn things along the way that may lead them to change course and revise some of the decisions they made at the start. This indicates the importance of maintaining flexibility, and, where possible, trying to avoid cloud vendor lock-in. Bearing this in mind, it is crucial to define what is needed from the provider, as far as possible, in technology- and vendorneutral terms; focusing instead on business needs and business outcomes. And then, to be in the best possible position, you should ideally engage with a provider who is cloud-neutral, and able to offer a choice of cloud solutions, aligning the choice to your business and application needs. Importantly this does not imply that the service provider is purely a cloud broker – they can provide cloud service themselves (their own, or third party cloud platforms) – but they should offer a choice of platform which is clearly linked to objective features of the cloud use-case.

Reaching your destination with confidence In summary, cloud computing is much more than a destination, it is a complex journey that, with the exception of very large enterprises, organisations should not be taking on their own. The destination and routes to get there may be uncertain at the beginning, but by selecting the right partner to take them through the cloud journey, with confidence, facilitating the right choices along the way, and harnessing technology to deliver their desired business outcome, CIOs can be certain to better navigate a successful cloud experience.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


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Cloud Computing

Is it time to ditch your hardware? Mark Walker, development director at Ubertas, gives five reasons as to why you should consider outsourcing your IT infrastructure‌

Businesses that run applications in the cloud can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by about 30% or more compared to running those same applications on their own on-premise infrastructure 38

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Cloud Computing

More than half of the IT leaders surveyed said their agencies don’t have the ability to acquire new IT resources in a timely manner, and that IT workers are often consumed with routine tasks that could be automated, such as virus scanning and troubleshooting onset of cloud computing and offsite IT services T hemeans that there is less and less need for businesses

draw a lot more power than desktop PCs, they also require air conditioning to prevent overheating.

to continue investing in IT systems. But how do you know when it’s time for your company to make the move? Here are five things to look out for:

Far more energy-efficient and eco-friendly is the use of outsourced IT systems, located in shared data centres. Using outsourced hardware management services and offsite IT, your business can do its bit to reduce energy use and carbon production for the good of the global community and help you uphold your responsible business commitments.

1. It’s time to upgrade Technology is constantly evolving and improving, so the demise of your company file server is guaranteed. Similarly, software evolves requiring regular upgrades to get the very best functionality. If the time has come to upgrade, you should also investigate the potential for outsourcing instead. You will then: • Convert capital expenditure to operational expenditure. • Reduce hardware management and IT installation costs. • Get the best solutions and services as soon as they become available. • Be able to focus on your business, not your IT installations. “More than half of the IT leaders surveyed said their agencies don’t have the ability to acquire new IT resources in a timely manner, and that IT workers are often consumed with routine tasks that could be automated, such as virus scanning and troubleshooting.” Innovation Inspiration: Can Software Save IT - MeriTalk

2. Maintenance costs continue to rise Fact – legacy systems cost more to run than their newer counterparts. You will find that hardware management and maintenance costs continue to spiral upwards the longer they are left in place. So, instead of continuing to budget more each year, look at how outsourcing can help you budget less without compromising on functionality. “It has been reported that 60-80% of IT budgets, on average, are spent on maintaining legacy applications and the mainframe systems they run on. Previous research had put the figure between 50 and 70%, suggesting that the expense of maintaining these systems is growing as they continue to age.” What Are Your Legacy Systems Really Costing You? Karie Barrett, creative director at QAT Global

3. You’ve made a new commitment to responsible business practices Onsite IT installations draw large amounts of energy, adding to your company’s carbon footprint. Not only do file servers

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

“Businesses that run applications in the cloud can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by about 30% or more compared to running those same applications on their own on-premise infrastructure. […] And when it comes to small businesses moving to the cloud, the research revealed that net energy and carbon savings can sometimes hit more than 90%.” Microsoft

4. Discussions about your server make the finance director cry If discussions about onsite IT installations and hardware management costs make your finance director cry, you know its time to look at outsourcing. Your FD will love outsourced services because: • Fiscal planning is much easier when running IT costs that are fixed by contract up-front. • Employment and IT training costs will fall. • Your business can access skilled technicians without having to employ them. Ultimately, you will save money and make the FD’s job a lot easier with outsourcing.

5. You need added flexibility Relying on onsite IT installations usually means taking control of all hardware management and planning duties too. It also involves: • Buying new hardware to meet increasing demands. • Trying to offload unused systems when needs change. • Securing staff and skills to manage both. By moving to an offsite solution, you pay a service provider to expand or contract your IT systems as you require – all covered by the terms of your support agreement. “77% of IT leaders questioned claimed their organisations needed a more flexible IT framework” Innovation Inspiration: Can Software Save IT - MeriTalk So is it time to ditch the hardware? If some or all of the following conditions are true, then the answer is yes!


Cloud Computing

Will 2014 be the year of the Hosted Desktop? Joseph Blass, CEO of WorkPlaceLive.com looks at the hosted desktop market, the choices for businesses with the likes of Amazon coming into the market, and the differences between offerings from the big software giants and smaller independent providers… of 2013, Amazon Web Services announced A tit thewasendentering the Hosted Desktop market to compete with other multi-national players including Citrix, VMWare and soon Microsoft, who is working on its own DaaS solution. Amazon’s entry to this market establishes the Hosted Desktop as a solid choice for the IT needs of a company and is a clear indicator of future growth of this sector as a whole, or as President John F. Kennedy put it, “A rising tide lifts all boats” and Amazon can definitely create a tide. With competition accelerating, it might be helpful to examine how the newcomers’ products might stack up against the hosted desktops currently being offered by smaller hosted desktop service providers. The most commonly used desktop today is Microsoft software (with well over 90% of desktop O/S being provided by Microsoft according to Net Market Share), so it is reasonable to assume that Microsoft will be able to offer this software as a service. However, unlike Office 365 or Google Apps, which are respectively solely Microsoft or Google products, the desktop is the place where customers can view and access all their software, not only Microsoft. When sitting in the office in front of their desktop, the user will usually find a range of icons representing many different software vendors, most of which are not Microsoft.

Simplifying the product Independent Hosted Desktop vendors that specialise in providing a Virtual Hosted Desktop service can host more than 100 different software products from over 100 different


For many businesses, IT still has its complexities, and to simplify it for the user, the business needs an IT department or in the case of an SMB business, a Hosted Desktop provider companies for their customers. These can include software for accounting, CRM, CV management, inventory, time tracking for legal billing and many more. However, for a large software vendor to provide a similar service, they will need to simplify the product so that every piece of third-party software is designed for their platform in the same way that apps are designed for Android and iOS. If all software cannot seamlessly link into the desktop, then professional services are required to set up customers, add and remove software, set up directories and deal with applications with diverse performances. For many businesses, IT still has its complexities, and to simplify it for the user, the business needs an IT department or in the case of an SMB business, a Hosted Desktop provider. Yes, small businesses that require only files and emails (and are somewhat IT savvy) can replace their IT support with “off-theshelf ” solutions such as Office 365 and Google Apps, but for a business that has databases, servers, non-Microsoft software packages, or has backup and redundancy requirements, a more personalised and tailored solution is needed.

Maintaining flexibility Using an independent provider a business can maintain a high degree of flexibility, this is because independents can offer to

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Cloud Computing

“mix” vendors, such as hosting a Microsoft Desktop on Amazon Web Services, or even by hosting an antiquated “green screen” IBM AS400. They will also be able to offer Citrix or Microsoft’s RDP, Hosted Linux OS, Parallels for Macs and other products. Whether the big companies offering Hosted Desktop solutions will inform the customers of the variety of competing software or give preference to their own software is yet to be seen.    Lastly a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) model means that customers no longer buy a license but rather rent it, while the software and all the data associated with the software, including personal data, are hosted by the provider, sometimes outside the EU. While this is adequate for many customers, others might prefer to ensure their data is hosted within the UK or the EU, by EU companies for legal or regulatory reasons – particularly in light of comments made recently by Viviane Reding, the Vice President of the European Commission about data protection outside the EU potentially adhering to lower standards.  If moving to a Hosted Desktop solution is on the cards for 2014, business decision makers need to consider their options carefully. If their business requirements are simple – they just use email, don’t have in-house servers or an IT department – then an off-the-shelf solution such as Google apps or Office365 would be appropriate. However, if a business is too mature and sophisticated for a simple product, yet too nimble to justify a costly full internal IT department, a tailored bespoke Hosted Desktop is not only cost-effective, hassle-free and environmentally friendly; it is probably the best technical solution on the market.   

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Here are some considerations for anyone moving to a hosted desktop solution in 2014: •  Price is a key consideration, but so is security, flexibility, location and the quality of the customer service from the provider. •  When considering price, ensure apples are compared with apples. Does the price quoted include email, support, set-up, storage, anti-virus and spam filters? •  Security – check the provider is ISO 27000 accredited and verify the quality of their data centre. Is anti-virus software and enterprise grade firewalls included as part of the solution? •  Flexibility – is your managed service provider independent? Are they tied to one software provider or can they create the perfect, tailored solution for your business? •  Location – is it important for you to have your data stored by a UK company in the UK? •  Customer service – is it local and how quickly will the customer services team respond? Does this service cost extra? •  References – what do other customers have to say about the provider? Make sure you obtain references to ensure you are making the right decision.


VitAL Management

Emotional computing Emotive computing could be the next wave in leveraging system-user interactions to rapidly build insights into performance, challenges, and overall satisfaction along the eco-system, says Abhijit Telang‌

Analysing emotions can provide business intelligence units with an ability to slice the myriad of transactions, communications, and interactions through an emotional plane, understanding where the disappointments are and where the silver linings shine we experience vivid memories, especially when O ften, we ruminate over our decisions, the choices we had,

The role of emotions in our decisionmaking processes

the outcomes we expected and what we got in reality.You can see that these aspects of our retrospection can be both rational and emotional.

Emotions are tightly interwoven in our thinking process. We feel nervousness, anticipation and may be frustration when faced with uncertainty and also when faced with choices such as is this option good, bad, wise or, risky‌

Numerous studies in cognitive and behavioral sciences, and the recently emerged neuro-economics, have discussed the human ability to conceive scenarios in a given environment and consider various possible responses to them. How we arrive at decisions is found to be the integration of choice and of utility-driven, rational processes, as well as an approximate, heuristic emotional evaluation process.

Then, once we make the decision and observe the outcome, we again experience emotions retrospectively. So this is a recursive, interwoven process.


There is remarkable research, proposed and supported with evidence, that knowledge and reasoning alone are not sufficient for making advantageous decisions. So emotions, whether formative or derived, would and indeed do form the third crucial aspect that plays into our decision making.

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VitAL Management Should humans be devoid of such emotive thinking, then they would have to resort to rational capability alone, having to evaluate and choose from numerous and often conflicting options. They would not be aided by the “shorts” provided by emotions felt while doing so. This not only degrades the speed of execution, but also the adequacy. The very emotions we feel have a powerful influence on our rational decision choices. These anticipatory emotions are about a self-preserving instinct, i.e don’t lose, don’t get burnt, and don’t kill oneself, and so on. For instance, the anticipatory feeling of gain or loss dominates a normal person’s risk-taking behaviour. And even more so, when the certainty of loss or gain is known. Yet, devoid of such anticipatory emotions, rational thought would stop at the logical equivalence of anticipated outcomes and may lead to potentially disastrous choices, based on logical or numerical equivalence alone. Decision choices are invariably impacted by feelings of “pleasure”, “pain”, “guilt” or “uneasiness” that builds in anticipation and are the driving forces behind our decisions. We tend to accept and embrace what feels good, and we tend to panic out of pain. Negative emotions such as pain and grief ensure that (normally) we will not remain in those situations forever. If this is applicable to us, then why not to the devices, processes, and systems that we use or interact with be it for communication, collaboration, commerce or entertainment.

How can we incorporate this in to today’s decision management systems? Currently, the systems, processes, and tools that we leverage touch every aspect of our lives, but lack the capability to process emotions. If we could encode various emotions, we can revisit such points to unlock a completely different view. For instance, not only where the pain points are, but also which decisions led to pain. We could also see the trends as they develop in real time. What if we could interview the systems just like humans? What if the systems can help us with emotions to reflect on: • Which were most painful decisions on any given day? • Which ones were most heartening? • Were there any surprises? (Pleasant vs. Rude awakening). •  What were the most frustrating/disappointing moments/aspects? And, if more of this was possible, we should be able to build an emotional map of the transactions, processes, user interactions, and decisions that happen between clients, partners and consumers. Ultimately, it is the collective psyche of the system’s users (whether they are business, operations, consumers, partners) waiting to be discovered. We can deduce emotions felt by any given role in the overall ecosystem, by observing the interactions, and transactions as they happen in consideration with the rules, contractual agreements and regulations. Our information systems get us all the facts as of today; what we hope to accomplish is to derive, store and interpret

emotions felt at the time from those very facts. We wish to leverage emotions for course correction, to properly resolve ethical/moral dilemmas, to comply with regulations, and critically, uplift morale of our employees, partners, and consumers alike. So, will it be possible to probe available business data and derive emotions at each of the significant decision points? Is it possible to identify where the system can take into account the anticipation of loss, damage or gain? It can be done…

Analysing emotions Emotions typically have two attributes: nature and intensity. If each transaction is associated with emotional tags at every juncture, the hue of emotions as they change in type and intensity can be recognised. Once, we have the emotion aspect incorporated within transactions then traditional quantitative and rational techniques can be applied to contrast similar transaction types based on emotional impact. This will then determine the aggregate effect. The decision system, in this context will have to derive emotions based on threshold violations, overshoots and anomalous behaviors. Analysing emotions can provide business intelligence units with an ability to slice the myriad of transactions, communications, and interactions through an emotional plane, understanding where the disappointments are and where the silver linings shine. Emotions could be derived and tapped into for a routine online shopping and order fulfillment transaction along its progression. However, it’s important to note that emotions are generated based on whether they satisfy the prescribed business rules. It is always about a comparison between what is expected and what is actual. What we would need to establish are “probes” at the right places to tap into the sap of emotions. We can do this by leveraging the existing infrastructure, databases and the checks and balances placed in those systems to estimate the possible emotional reactions of users. So we are talking about leveraging our traditional ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), GRC (Governance, Risk, Compliance) systems, and checks and balances put in place through conventional business rules and analytics engines. Yet, now these very systems should be able to process the emotional paths just as they process rational paths. For instance, the system can ask itself, what could have been done to avoid let down? Building on to this, we can further compare and contrast transactions based on the progression of emotions for similar business decisions. In summary, current information systems give us all the facts, and events for rational decision-making. However, it is very possible and beneficial to build an emotional plane or fabric by leveraging the advances we have already made in information management and analysis. The world of emotional synthesis, based on data points, is waiting to be discovered.

References available on request

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


VitAL Management

Revolutionary emerging technologies Omar-Pierre Soubra of Trimble Field Service Management (FSM) explores the upcoming technology trends field service businesses should consider today as they are likely to have a positive impact in the future… challenge of achieving field service excellence in T hetoday’s marketplace is getting tougher as spiralling

Augmented reality glasses

customer expectations, rising fuel prices and restricted budgets continue to mar business efforts. However, the emergence of new and developing technologies have the potential to radically shift the way field service organisations operate and transform the way work is performed to dramatically improve service.

Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. For field services, augmented reality in the form of glasses is an upcoming technology trend which could significantly benefit the fieldbased workforce.

Self-driving cars

Augmented reality glasses provide the ability to send information to a worker, record what’s happening in the field and document how a job was done. They can also be used for training purposes. Essentially, augmented reality glasses provide “the eyes” to the mobile workforce. They can obtain information to understand what needs to be done in an allencompassing quick and easy method, whilst providing the decision-makers back in the office complete visibility of what is happening in the field.

Engineering in the motor industry is developing all the time with many of the larger car manufacturers offering a steady stream of niche products, such as electric and hybrid vehicles. Self-driving cars are also coming to the fore, which, looking forward, will have a major impact in the field service industry. For the field technician, the availability of a self-driving car will not only allow them to drive from one job destination to another, stress-free, but it will also enable them to complete other tasks while the vehicle is driving, boosting their productivity. Self-driving cars will halt for pedestrians and could take over the tedious parts of driving such as negotiating traffic jams or regular commutes. By just the press of a button, the driver can let the computer take the strain. Self-driving cars also have the ability to improve driver safety. Currently, around 10,000 accidents take place, on average, every day, on Britain’s roads.1 However this statistic could be mitigated with a self-driving car; as it will combat drivers’ attention wandering, or driving too close to other cars and being unable to react. It may seem that the availability of self-driving cars is very far away, but technologies such as GPS, collision avoidance and logging distances between vehicles – all of which will be used inside self-driving cars – are already being embedded to existing cars and vans today. Google has been working on self-driving cars for years, and has recently won approval for their use in the US states of Nevada and California.

For the field technician, the availability of a self-driving car will not only allow them to drive from one job destination to another, stress-free, but it will also enable them to complete other tasks while the vehicle is driving, boosting their productivity 44

3D printing 3D printing is making its mark in the field service industry as it reshapes product development and manufacturing and turns individuals into “makers”. 3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. Such a machine used to cost a small fortune, but today they are widely available for a reasonable price and could prove to be a valuable asset to a field service operation. Fixing a 3D printer into a technician’s van enables the ondemand printing of unavailable parts, achieving the “first time fix” and maintaining customer satisfaction. Asset management technologies, which are now available, offer businesses visibility into where parts are, solving the issue of location, and it avoids sending a technician with the wrong part to a customer site. Additionally, 3D printers feature M2M technology which can prevent a breakdown, as an appliance is able to send information to a 3D printer notifying it to print a necessary part.

Many benefits The emergence of new and developing technologies signals a very exciting time. Not only can they help improve productivity and customer satisfaction, but they can also consequently improve the bottom line. So, which new technology will you be adopting? References 1. Fleet 200 report 2012

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

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The new breed of cloud-based contact centres can ensure complete continuity for businesses, in three main ways

Keeping the contact centre afloat as calls flood in With the recent widespread flooding and ongoing challenging weather conditions predicted over the next few months, Jeremy Payne, International VP Marketing – Enghouse Interactive, discusses how businesses can ease the pressure on their contact centres from the effect of increased incoming calls… Britain, we spend an unhealthy amount of time I ndiscussing the weather, but the horrendous storms of

the past few months have wreaked havoc across the UK and the disastrous consequences are rightly dominating the headlines. The storms have forced many people to abandon their homes and latest estimates suggest that it will be the wettest winter on record. More than 5,000 homes and businesses have been flooded and, in southern England, many rivers have reached their highest-ever recorded levels. A recent report from global risk and strategic consulting firm, Maplecroft, indicates that


floods pose a greater risk to the economy of Britain than that of any other country in Europe, except Germany. All this disruption inevitably impacts on the availability and productivity of contact centre staff, while at the same time driving up inbound call volumes. It’s a double whammy for many businesses. But fortunately help is at hand in tackling these challenges. The new breed of cloud-based contact centres can ensure complete continuity for businesses, in three main ways. First, good cloud solutions deliver a high level of disaster recovery integrally, meaning that clients should not require significant additional cover. For clients with existing onsite

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VitAL Management

Companies can get great benefits from being able to switch on an extended contact centre. But they need to be able to do this cost-effectively customer premises equipment, cloud solutions can also provide reserve back-up disaster recovery protection. Second, cloud contact centres allow agents to be connected to the technology platform and necessary applications from anywhere that has Internet access. Companies can therefore continue to service the client base – even in a power cut – lessening the impact of what could otherwise have been a disastrous situation, resulting in dropped calls, negative customer experiences and lost revenue. Third, cloud-based solutions are ideally-suited to supporting homeworkers, enabling organisations to benefit from a pool of agents dispersed across a geographic territory or region that can “ramp up” quickly in the event of one or more facilities going down. Businesses can bring extra staff on line to service the contact centre and its customers, and then “switch them off again” when weather conditions improve. Travel-towork time can be eliminated and, in an emergency, agents can be requested to log on for an hour or so by text message. Homeworking also enables organisations to offer longer opening hours, ideal during emergency situations.

Managing in a crisis It is not just bad weather that is driving the uptake of cloudbased contact centre solutions. Problems caused by the recent energy price rises, for example, or issues particular to a specific business like product recalls highlight the need for organisations to scale and flex (i.e. outsource easily within the cloud) to deal with spikes in calls from worried customers. In such scenarios, companies can get great benefits from being able to switch on an extended contact centre. But they need to be able to do this cost-effectively. In the St Jude storm, for example, many utility companies saw massive increases in incoming calls. They need to able to scale quickly. Cloud allows them to do that while only paying for what they use when they use it. If a company is launching a new product or game onto the market, they will need to scale their customer service, particularly if there are issues with distribution or supply. Indeed, if there is a sudden surge in customers contacting them for whatever reason, they will need to be agile enough to deal with this quickly and efficiently. In all the above scenarios, using a cloud-based contact centre can offer far-reaching benefits. With a cloud-based model,

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organisations can use their staff much more flexibly. This is critically important because, at busy times or at times of crisis, companies need to prioritise being accessible and available on request to provide advice and reassurance. In a crisis, though, it is not enough in itself to simply have high numbers of remote staff available, businesses also need those employees to be knowledgeable about the problem and its resolution. This is where the latest workforce management solutions come into the equation, helping to make certain that the correct numbers of agents, with the right skills, are available to handle the expected daily, monthly or seasonal changes, but also ensuring that they are available during the spikes in demand, typical of any crisis situation. In this context, workforce management systems can provide much-needed “what if ” forecasting, so schedulers can run hypothetical scenarios; work out the likely impact on the business and plan how best to manage it.

Contact centre extensions Cloud-based contact centres help organisations tap into knowledge-based workers who are expert in certain subjects no matter where they are based. Indeed, this kind of cloud capability works especially well for companies that are geographically dispersed. As long as they have a thin client sitting on a cloud-based solution, businesses can ensure that anyone based anywhere in the world on almost any device can be part of the conversation and help customers get the facts and reassurance they need. Many businesses today are increasingly also looking at cloud as a standby to facilitate business continuity in the event their own systems or servers fail, for example. Yet, it is in delivering customer service that cloud contact centres really shine. Today, most companies have straight-through processes and business systems that allow them to operate economically with an acceptable level of customer service. However it is at times of stress and crisis that the service is really put to the test and customer service really needs to shine. Companies need to focus on learning the lessons and ensure they have a proactive approach in place that enables them to respond to a rapidly evolving crisis and keep customers fully informed at all times – and cloud-based contact centres provide the ideal solution.


VitAL Management

The globalisation of IT – flexible economies of scale Richard Acreman, CEO of WM360, explains how companies can generate economies of scale across their global IT infrastructure whilst still complying with differing legal obligations…

grow and expand globally, it’s easy to fall A sfoulcompanies of the complex web of rules and regulations that govern different countries – and even different regions within some countries. The wide array of regulatory challenges faced by successful and intrepid firms can range from employee rights rulings to data protection legislation. Whatever the source and requirements of the regulation, failure


to comply can be disastrous for a company’s future and reputation, therefore having a bespoke IT system which meets those individual requirements is vital. On the other hand, one of the advantages of corporate growth is that a company’s size can be leveraged to achieve greater company-wide efficiencies. This leads to the question of how companies can generate economies of scale across their global IT infrastructure whilst still complying with multiple sets www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

VitAL Management

When expanding – or planning to expand – into multiple markets it is inevitable that, no matter how much research is done, there will always be details missed, rules that change, and differences between new and current markets that are overlooked

of local rules, which can influence activities across the whole business spectrum. The fundamental principle of entering a new market is to prepare by learning everything possible about the peculiarities that define it, and therefore your conduct of business within it. However, when expanding – or planning to expand – into multiple markets it is inevitable that, no matter how much research is done, there will always be details missed, rules that change, and differences between new and current markets that are overlooked. A reliable solution is to build a systematic flexibility into the entire IT infrastructure of a business.

How to tackle cross-border regulations The rules a company needs to take into account when expanding into a foreign market can come from a number of sources, including data protection regulations, trade unions/work councils, privacy legislation, accessibility and requirements for the length and detail of the records a company must keep. Large-scale global companies will have a legal team, which can advise with authority; but smaller companies that build up their presence using a grass-roots approach will inevitably run into more difficulty. When it comes to their IT, the philosophy should be one of “minimal ownership, maximum access”, where a company’s assets are based in a central cloud system or intranet, accessible globally, but controllable locally to tessellate with the variable requirements of the host country. The globalisation of IT is not something that will necessarily fit into the skill set of a company’s incumbent IT staff, in the same way that in-house experts on the regulatory landscape of Japan are not something that many UK businesses can boast. For both big and small companies the answer is simple: bring in independent experts and IT consultancies that are familiar with both the landscape and the best tools to use within it. Essentially, plan thoroughly, and seek advice from those who understand the issues involved. One of the great advantages of building a globalised IT system in the cloud is that it can have the built-in controls – essentially on/off switches – for each tool and piece of tech that has a chance of conflicting with domestic guidance. Each country will therefore be able to enjoy the full performance and efficiency advantages of a global system, to the greatest legal extent locally. Naturally there will be some regions in which the regulatory climate will inhibit even the most basic www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

functionality of a system, to the extent that it becomes impractical to tailor a vastly more sophisticated global system to this set of requirements. However, a truly flexible IT infrastructure will be able to cut these countries out and run them on a bespoke individual system. For example, firms may find it expedient to have a universal infrastructure for Europe, but put Japan on its own version. Even in these situations, having two or three systems in place globally is far better than running seven or eight different systems across separate countries.

Curtailing analytics One of the most common areas of IT that tends to be problematic in the transition between different territories is analytics. Analytics is a key example of the problems caused by geographical regulatory differences because, in the modern workplace, analytics can play a significant role in providing management information to the business. In some countries however – Germany for example – powerful work councils disagree with the statistical tracking of employees and so any elements of the system that can provide information on employees will need to be turned off. Other common examples of areas of IT that become problematic when expanding globally include the integration of social functionality and restrictions around the use of non-domestic languages.

A flexible approach Whichever way you approach it, expanding across borders is a complex endeavour, and one that requires high levels of planning, experience, and flexibility. However, taking a globalised approach to IT from the outset can lay the foundations for a low hassle approach to expansion, not just in terms of circumventing regulatory issues, but also as a way of allowing for any eventuality. In this way, the known restrictions can be covered whilst the unknowns can also be pre-empted. In an increasingly globalised world, the divisions between different countries are being slowly closed, but the rate at which companies of all sizes are bridging the gap is also increasing. For companies to take advantage of the high-potential, high-growth markets around the globe, a progressive approach to IT will be vital. But, inherent within that necessity will be the ability to customise the entire IT infrastructure to fit around the varied limitations that the diverse global marketplace provides.


VitAL Management

Embracing the web chat revolution Klaas van der Leest, UK managing director of Intelecom, discusses the benefits of web chat and explains how to prepare for the chat revolution… to research by BT, “web chat is climbing A ccording the ladder of customer channel preference” and rapidly contributing to customer satisfaction, employee productivity and cost-reduction for contact centre operators. In fact, web chat is fast out-pacing the popularity of social media with 27% versus 17% of customers choosing it over other interactive, online methods such as Facebook and Twitter. For contact centres, web chat appears to be driving tangible business benefits, achieving on average 15% efficiency gains in terms of time savings and cost reductions when compared with traditional phone chat.

What are the key benefits? • Increases agent effectiveness Web chat aids agent productivity because agents can deal with more than one enquiry at the same time. The latest cloud-based technology delivers enhanced handling of simultaneous enquiries and improved visible interactivity. Agents can respond to conversations at the pace set by the customers themselves and deal with prioritised multiple dialogues while adding additional conversations at any given time. They simply copy conversations straight into records without the need for re-keying and minimising the risk of error.

to traditional phone calls by offering them a more personalised conversation. Customers often prefer chat to email because it is faster and often resolves queries immediately. Personalised dialogues have higher rates of resolution. • Facilitates a truly multi-channel environment In an age where customers expect to interact with contact centres however they choose – whether it is by phone, email, SMS, instant messaging, Facebook or Twitter – introducing web chat as an additional communication method is another step forward to creating a truly flexible, multi-channel environment for customers. It sits comfortably alongside social media, as it allows organisations to draw customers into a more private dialogue, where they can discuss specific details and issues in a one-to-one channel. • Tangible cost benefits Web chat is an effective stepping-stone to less labourintensive, lower cost communications methods. Organisations are seeing a direct link between an increased use of web chat and cost-reduction in contact centres. According to ContactBabel, web chat is one of the fastest growing technologies for contact centres. Around 43% of US contact centres now offer web chat

• Enhanced customer experience Web chat improves the overall customer experience and enhances customer satisfaction, it rates well when compared to voice calls, 82% of customers rate web chat positively and 85% enjoy using it. Many contact centre agents agree that it delivers customers a better service compared


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VitAL Management compared to only 15% five years ago with volumes of web chat interactions increasing 125% over the same period. Web chat shifts transactions away from expensive phone-centric contact. It is estimated that the cost of web chat is the same as email, half the price of a typical voice call. Web chat also facilitates an effective move towards cost-effective, web-based self-service interactions. Further benefits of web chat include a calmer and quieter working environment for agents and fewer challenges due to regional accents and background noise. It also provides a clear audit trail of customer conversations.

How can you best prepare your contact centre for the revolution? Now you understand the benefits of introducing web chat, here are a few top tips for integrating it into your contact centre: • Select the right agents for the job Not all phone-based service agents are comfortable handling web chat. Assess the suitability of your agents to handle contacts not just by their product knowledge and service skills, but also by their written skills. Provide additional skills training as required. • Always be professional While the nature of web chat means that a less formal language style can be used, it is important that agents write in a professional manner. Bad grammar and spelling reflects very badly on an organisation, and can be easily avoided by automated spell checking.

• Be secure Agents must be completely satisfied that they are speaking to the correct person before giving out sensitive information. That’s why strict identification processes are necessary and must always be followed. • Quality check your web chats Web chat is often not as formal as a letter, so mistakes can be made in grammar and information delivery. Measure your perception of quality against the customers. Monitor a contact and have a result based on company standards/expectations and evaluate this against specific organisational KPIs or customers SLAs. • Choose the right technology Choice of technology infrastructure is critical to offering a successful web chat service. Organisations should select a complete, multichannel cloud-based contact centre solution that is rich in functionality and available in modular form, making it easy to specify the tools that are right for their business. Cloud technology and open web services allow integration with third-party applications and a robust contact-centre-as-a-service (CCaaS) framework ensures organisations achieve operational and cost efficiency on a pay-as-you-use basis, which requires no capital investment or maintenance costs. Finally, getting web chat right will make all the difference to running a truly multi-channel contact centre environment that improves agent productivity, enhances customer satisfaction and boasts enviable business benefits time and time again. References available on request

Web chat improves the overall customer experience and enhances customer satisfaction, it rates well when compared to voice calls, 82% of customers rate web chat positively and 85% enjoy using it

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


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Managing sustained innovation for a smarter planet Extraordinary outcomes can be achieved when the right people, infrastructure, and motivation come together, says Dr Bernard S. Meyerson, IBM Fellow and VP of Innovation… has always been essential for any I nnovation organisation wanting to grow. The importance of sustained innovation however, has been less widely recognised up until recently, but is taking on more significance as a result of two key factors. Firstly, many companies that failed to sustain innovation during the downturn have subsequently struggled or not survived. This trend is evident when comparing the findings of McKinsey’s annual Global Survey of CIOs, CEOs and executives. In 2007 (the year before the financial crash), the ability to innovate was valued highly by 54% of respondents. In 2010, this figure was 84%. The bottom line is that after every major economic downturn, it is the companies that have continued to innovate that have survived. Secondly, we must prepare for a post-silicon era. After decades of consistent improvement in the cost, capability and ubiquity of computing, equally steady progress in silicon technology (often referred to as Moore’s Law) means we have reached the point where ever more material constituents in transistors have shrunk such that quantum phenomena render them useless. The notion of everlasting generations of smaller, faster and less costly technology has run squarely into immutable laws of physics. Put succinctly, atoms don’t scale. These factors have ensured the rebirth of innovation, with future progress in IT performance being realised through new system architectures and materials, and emerging fields such as cognitive computing and its application to Big Data. But before going any further, some words of caution: It is essential to approach innovation as an engine that can take 30 years to start and three minutes to kill. Companies should acknowledge this before turning the key either way in the ignition.

Essential elements There are some key ingredients required to enable sustained innovation within an organisation. The most important element of course is people. The main challenge however, is that a very different type of individual is required to manage innovation than would have been sought in the past – the


days of relying on someone with four PHDs and three Masters, but who is unable to communicate their ideas to a wider audience, are gone. There are also two types of innovator required for sustained innovation. There are the “discontinuous innovators” that have the big ideas and “ah-ha!” moments, who every now and again invent something ground-breaking. Then there are the “continuous innovators”, these are the people who drive small and steady improvements that are nonetheless vital to sustained innovation. In addition to a combination of types of innovator, you also need an infrastructure that enables these people to collaborate effectively on a global basis. Such collaboration is necessary across disciplines, organisations, markets, and cultures. Put simply, you don’t get your best result when you have a single, homogenous effort.

Scaling versus Moore’s Law Innovation is a matter of increasing impor tance because information technology is reaching an impasse. One of the core issues is that Moore’s Law has a logical end. If the industry continued to produce a silicon chip that is half the size every 18 months, then eventually it would be splitting atoms (and we all know what happens if you do that!). Already, the industry is fast approaching the physical limits of silicon technology. We are also reaching the limits of being able to scale technology out to ever larger systems and data centres. Indeed, what is remarkable with innovation is that you have to revisit every assumption you have ever made about technology. Everyone thinks you don’t have to worry about light being too slow for a given operation, but in actual fact it is. Technology today is so fast that one of IBM’s chips performs a complete work cycle in the time it would take a beam of light to travel about 2cm. In the context of a data centre, where many machines can be working together on the same problem, but are located hundreds of metres apart, there can be vast delays because the optics employed to transmit signals between them isn’t fast enough. This is why we need to find new ways of making communications faster. Ironically, the trick is to start innovating www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

VitAL Management

It is essential to approach innovation as an engine that can take 30 years to start and three minutes to kill. Companies should acknowledge this before turning the key either way in the ignition by inverting everything that’s been done before in order to improve things. This is where it gets really interesting. With “chip stack” technology, for example, it is possible to create an entire system by thinning individual chips to 50 microns, then stacking some 30-50 onto a single chip that is just a couple of millimetres high, reducing communications distances within an individual system from metres to millionths of a metre. Light isn’t getting any faster, so you “simply” make communication distances shorter.

Data, the new oil Despite nearing its limits, silicon technology will still be employed for many decades yet. The difference is that the innovation will come from the integration of hardware, software, systems, and network functionality, compressing communication distances, as light is way too “slow”. Fundamentally, after years of scaling out systems, the focus has come full circle and the architecture is now “scale in” since you get huge benefits from proximity in both speed and power reduction. At the same time, chip stacking presents huge technological and material challenges, not least in terms of powering and cooling. You now have 30-50 times the number of chips, and thus transistors, in an area and volume where there had once been only one, so this system in a single chipstack presents many issues yet to be fully resolved. Nevertheless, progress is being made with this technology, and since the distance between memory and logic shrinks to microns as opposed to metres or more, the power required for signalling is reduced substantially. There is also some elegant work being done in with optics being integrated onto the chip stack, because conventional electrical signals would not be able to transfer data at the speeds or over the interchip distances as required. Even data itself has become an issue, because information technology is generating ever-greater volumes of data that needs to be stored. More importantly, it must be used effectively. In the words of respected software industry entrepreneur and technology leader Ann Winblad, “Data is the new oil. In its raw form, oil has little value. Once processed and refined, it helps power the world.”

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Data is now an asset, but it will call for a petabyte of storage class memory, or some vast new high-speed storage device to manage it, as well as a new suite of software tools – or ‘analytics’ – to understand it. Again, how we approach data requires an inversion of the conventional model of data management – i.e. quantities of data are now so vast you cannot move it to a central compute engine, you must invert that process and have many compute engines operating on a vast central yet constantly evolving data store. Even more critical, over time one must innovate so as to analyse incoming data “on the fly”, and store only ones learnings, disposing of the vast raw data flow that might drown one over time.

Shooting for the moon Integrating analytics tools with real-world data opens up great possibilities for improving lives, enabling problem-solvers to be proactive instead of reactive. For example, advances in data analytics makes it possible to predict the flow of traffic, and combat congestion and traffic jams. In Singapore, models can now predict future traffic jams from current road conditions, and electronic road pricing is implemented managing traffic patterns through toll prices and other measures, and steer traffic into new flows to eliminate a jam that would have otherwise developed. One literally alters the future. The uses for Big Data are literally boundless, but the IT industry and its partners must use these analytical tools to enable solutions for a smarter planet. Probably one of the biggest societal changes passed by virtually unnoticed in 2010: It was the first time in the history of mankind that more people lived in a city than in a rural area. Move forward 20 years and there will be almost 2 billion people migrating to major urban centres. This is a sobering thought, and why it is so important we get cities right. In 1961, President Kennedy challenged NASA to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth before the end of the decade. NASA’s space programme saw the Apollo 11 astronauts realise President Kennedy’s dream on July 20, 1969.The Apollo space programme cost is estimated at $25.4 billion, about $150 billion in today’s money, but it ushered in an exciting new era of technological development and has delivered countless innovations of huge benefit to society – from freeze drying technology to the materials used in frying pans. We’ve certainly come a long way since man first landed on the moon. The Apollo Guidance Computer had just 4K RAM and a 2MHz CPU; the average smart phone today has 256 MB of RAM and a dual core 1.2 GHz CPU. The rub is that the technology shrink that achieved these gains has almost run its course, so we need to find other ways to push things forward.


VitAL Security

The abuse of privilege Aidan Simister, from Netwrix, addresses the dangers of employees abusing their privileges to sensitive information and how organisations can ensure they can remain protected…

The weakest link for any organisation is not systems; it’s the human factor. But while the insider threat is usually assumed to be from rogue employees or planted ‘moles’, it is important to also consider the role of IT administrators and managers


www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

VitAL Security

But it’s not just about the trust of privileged users.There is the question of how quickly you can identify a change in your infrastructure that has caused a problem or failure by a common user error or something more malicious is plenty of talk about the increase in external T here threats to critical IT infrastructures, including, BYOD, APTs, the growth in organised cybercrime and the cloud. All very important of course, but some of the biggest threats to any organisation still come from within.Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report said that insider threats accounted for 14% of total incidents. The weakest link for any organisation is not systems; it’s the human factor. But while the insider threat is usually assumed to be from rogue employees or planted ‘moles’, it is important to also consider the role of IT administrators and managers that already have privileged access to sensitive information, resources and controls without having to hack into anything. These individuals could include external contractors, security service providers and vendor or channel support staff. They have the ability to stop and start systems, make critical changes such as granting access rights and can even delete security logs without trace. We all prefer to believe we can rely on trusted employees or external consultants to do the right thing, but it would be naive not to think it is possible that someone is going to abuse their privileges. And of course if they become disgruntled or plan to leave for a competitor – the risk is even greater. Despite this, the majority of organisations have very limited capabilities to trace specific IT events to specific users, with any certainty. For example, one very large retail organisation recently told me that they had 90 IT administrators, including a number working on contract through an outsourcer, yet they had no means of determining which changes were made by which administrator at any given point in time.

Know who’s doing what and when We can’t stop the occasional IT admin turning bad or simply making mistakes because they are not up to the job, but we can make sure we know “who, did what, where and when”, to act as a deterrent or to catch the culprit immediately after the event. But unfor tunately, many companies do not have quick and easy access to this information and very few IT teams really know what is happening in their infrastructures at any given time. Even some of the largest organisations still have to trawl manually through files of native logs to get the answers. But it’s not just about the trust of privileged users. There is the question of how quickly you can identify a change in www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

your infrastructure that has caused a problem or failure by a common user error or something more malicious. Take for example, Active Directory. It is at the core of 98% of all modern networks, yet the majority of organisations can’t tell you who has made changes, what they did and when they did it. The same is true for changes to the password policies and procedures that underpin IT security, and despite our reliance on email, it is not standard practise to monitor for erroneous or malicious changes to MS Exchange. Furthermore, when it comes to basic file access, many companies do not know who accessed a file, when it was accessed and if the attempt succeeded or failed.

Effective IT change auditing The answer of course is effective IT change auditing. The problem is that auditing sounds like an additional headache and a lot of hassle when there is already not enough time in the day to keep the corporate network safe. So, it is not surprising that so many companies do little more than pay lip service to it. A report from Quocirca found that many audits are only carried out before a compliance check or as part of an investigation after an event such as data loss or server failure. While many organisations still rely on time consuming manual processes for change monitoring and auditing, others take a costly sledgehammer approach to the problem and opt for a SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) solution. However, SIEM integrates other functions such as automatic remediation and intrusion prevention, making it an expensive and complex option if your focus is on audit reliability, speed and consistency. And SIEM still relies largely on interrogating native audit logs that can be tampered with by privileged users. There is another way. Specialist change auditing software can deliver a reliable and consistent view of what is going on at around a third of the cost of SIEM. It captures multiple streams of data from multiple sources, then filters, translates, sorts and compresses the results for easy access, storage and archiving – and also provides real-time alerting and automated reports. And importantly, it provides an accurate picture of network activity by capturing a “snapshot” before and after a change is made and there are even video tools that effectively provide “CCTV” for IT systems. Change audit must be taken seriously and the channel has its part to play by educating customers and offering relevant tools. And it’s not just for compliance or to keep the auditors happy. By the time you have identified an abuse of privilege or insider error and got to the source by trawling through native logs – it could be too late.



Do businesses want to be thrown fully into the cloud? Microsoft’s latest offering to the party, Office 365 challenges Google’s dominance of the cloud integration debate and questions whether business users want to be thrown fully into the cloud, believes Chris Dunning, Founder and CEO of TechQuarters… have attempted to dominate the cloud debate G oogle thus far. However, their apps software is merely a

sideline to their vast advertising business, which brings in 90% of their revenue. The focus of the business is therefore not quite as targeted at enhancing business productivity as they claim. The majority of businesses using the Google Apps software will not use it entirely for their work. The cloud is still very much a new concept to many businesses, and people do not yet want to be working in the cloud the whole time as Google Apps requires. There will still be customers for example, who would prefer to receive documents as attachments rather than have them shared with them, or users who will want to access and edit their files offline and upload later. Office 365 on the other hand allows for users to dip their toes into the “cloud waters” without getting fully submerged.

New devices The latest Microsoft PCs integrate Office 365 into their impressive new user interfaces, with touchscreens and slicklooking new surfaces which also collaborate simply with the latest range of Windows Phones. I appreciate Google Apps integrate easily with Android, and can be run through IOS devices, but Microsoft retains that familiarity. Having dominated the IT market for so many years, the familiarity of Windows devices and the similarity of operating systems from phone to tablet to PC will still mean users are accustomed to the operating systems, which many businesses and users will not want to drop in favour of full cloud integration with Google.

Office 365 as a business tool Users of Office 365 are able to retain the things they liked about Office 2010, whilst benefiting from cloud storage and


Learning a new system wastes important time, and hinders productivity. Users want an easy to use system with that all important cloud integration but that is importantly familiar

access. The key benefit is that you can begin to become fully cloud integrated whilst retaining your previous office systems, working both in the cloud and locally on your computer. Moving to Office 365 does not mean you have to upload everything onto the cloud and start messing around with brand new programmes. Businesses are used to using the household names; Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, the list goes on. Why would people want to change? Google does provide very simple and similar tools, however they are not the same and do not offer the same levels of functionality. Learning a new system wastes important time, and hinders productivity. Users want an easy to use system with that all important cloud integration but that is importantly familiar. It is likely in the near future some companies will set up Google Apps in co-existence with Office 365. However, Office 365 remains to be the business tool. Microsoft has dominated the computing world for decades, and users are not going to all slip off to Google leaving behind that familiarity. Businesses need to be able to dive into the cloud, but they also need to be able to come back down to earth without having to transfer to a ship. The bottom line is the majority of businesses use Microsoft products, therefore Microsoft’s cloud solutions are bolstered by the fact that there is a simple and smooth transition to the comfort of Microsoft Office. Google Apps remain to be a new piece of software, therefore moving into the cloud via Google is all totally new. Office 365 on the other hand is simply an upgrade, requiring significantly less effort to move into the cloud. I believe Office 365 will continue to be the first choice for business and is likely to continue, causing Google’s growth to dwindle.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Breakthrough Technology

A new form of ‘roam delivery’ services When ordering goods online, customers will soon be able to choose their car as a delivery option, saving companies billions of pounds on re-deliveries. Sophie-Marie Odum investigates…

‘Roam delivery’ is one example where Volvo Cars explores the potential of connected cars to create solutions, which will simplify the customers’ everyday lives a ground-breaking technology move for the automotive I nindustry, Volvo Cars demonstrates the world’s first delivery

industry an estimated €1billion in re-delivering costs. We are now further investigating the technology of digital keys and new consumer benefits linked to it.”

The service, which was showcased at the Mobile World Congress, which took place (24-27th February in Barcelona) will allow consumers to have their shopping delivered straight to their car, no matter where they are.

Earlier this year, Volvo Cars launched Sensus Connect, an integrated on-board navigation and infotainment experience. Volvo Cars’ strategic partnership with Ericsson builds further on the idea of the Networked Society by examining a host of consumer centric concepts around the “Connected Vehicle Cloud” that sees the driving experience revolutionised over the coming years.

of food to the car – a new form of ‘roam delivery’ services.

Volvo’s new digital keys technology will allow consumers to choose their car as a delivery option when ordering goods online. Via a smartphone or tablet, the owner will be informed when a delivery requires dropping off or picking up from the car. Having accepted the delivery, a digital key will be activated which tracks when the car is opened and then locked again. Once the delivery is completed, the digital key ceases to exist. The system is based on the functionality of the telematics app, Volvo On Call, which also makes it possible to remotely heat or cool the car and see its position or fuel level via the mobile phone. Klas Bendrik, Group CIO at Volvo Car Group, said, “By turning the car into a pickup and drop-off zone through using digital keys, it’s now possible to deliver the goods to persons and not just places. The test-customers also indicated that the service clearly saved time. And the same thing is valid for delivery companies as well, because failed first-time deliveries cost the


Last year, 60% of people shopping online had problems with the delivery of their item. Research revealed that people across the globe feel increasingly stressed in their daily lives. In a report from Future Foundation, all of the countries studied showed an increase from 2010 to 2011 when responding to the statement, “I’m often under time pressure in my daily life”. Despite the rise of online shopping, research has also revealed that over a half of people are not at home to receive online deliveries, leading to further hassle and time wasted through failed deliveries. ‘Roam delivery’ is one example where Volvo Cars explores the potential of connected cars to create solutions, which will simplify the customers’ everyday lives. The pilot programme also revealed that 92% of people found it more convenient to receive deliveries to their car than at home.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Service Desk & IT Support Show Preview

Service Desk & IT Support Show Preview

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


Service Desk & IT Support Show Preview

Long live the service desk The Service Desk & IT Support Show reveals what delegates can expect this year…

its launch two decades ago, SITS – The Service S ince Desk & IT Support Show, which celebrates its milestone 20th anniversary this year, has evolved and grown with the industry it serves. From its humble beginnings as a Helpdesk User Group Conference, it then encompassed Customer Service to become a bona fide exhibition, before becoming the Help Desk & IT Support Show. Its final transformation came in 2007 when “Help Desk” became “Service Desk” to reflect the change in the marketplace from reactive “ticket logging” centres to proactive service centres sitting at the core of the business. One thing that has remained, throughout all of its guises, is the show’s determination to promote the importance of IT within the business – that IT should be on the board not in the basement – and SITS14 is no different with its focus on ways to enhance and excel your service operation and keep it at the forefront of the business. SITS14 (29th-30th April) will bring together over 4,000 IT practitioners in an environment that promotes networking and information sharing, with a first-rate education programme supporting and enhancing the exhibition. Companies confirmed and set to share their experiences and IT service strategies include Gocompare.com, Network Rail, News UK, Virgin Media and Oxford Brookes University. Covering everything from transforming an existing service operation to meaningful metrics, these seminar sessions will inform, inspire and offer real practical advice. Another avenue for those who wish to learn from the experiences of others will be the show’s Hot Topic Roundtables. These informal, facilitator-led, small group discussions will again be the networking hub of the show. Based on the topics that are key in the industry today, they pose a chance for visitors to bring their questions to the table and leave with great practical advice.

Gartner returning as featured guest Following their successful debut at last year’s SITS, worldleading IT research company, Gartner will return to London’s


I know we say it every year – and it’s true – but this year’s Keynote and seminar line-up is looking to be our best yet Earls Court to headline an exclusive set of Keynotes at SITS14. The return of Gartner offers visitors an important opportunity to engage with, and gain valuable advice from, the Gartner team. Laura Venables, group event manager of SITS, is delighted to welcome Gartner back for a second year. Commenting on their continuing collaboration, she said, “Collaborating with Gartner on SITS13 was a fantastic development for the show – which was very positively received by our audience. So we’re really excited to be able to build on that success this year and offer even more new, invaluable content for our visitors. “I know we say it every year – and it’s true – but this year’s Keynote and seminar line-up is looking to be our best yet.” The Keynote Programme – featuring Gartner – will include a keynote and panel discussion on each day of the show, with lead analyst, Jeffrey Brooks leading the keynotes and chairing the panel discussions. Overall, the show’s comprehensive free education programme combines six Keynotes, 40 seminars, in-depth roundtable discussions, and essential breakfast briefings. Find out more and view the programme on the following pages.

SITS14 returns to London’s Earls Court on 29th - 30th April. For further information, and to register free in advance, please visit www.servicedeskshow.com and quote priority code SITS149. Attendees also benefit from free access to Infosecurity Europe 2014, Europe’s No.1 information security event, colocated at Earls Court.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Service Desk & IT Support Show Preview

Seminar programme The Seminar programme is sponsored by Atlassian, and the Keynote Theatre features Gartner: Seminar Theatre 1 Tuesday 29th April

Wednesday 30th April

10:00 - 10:40

Reimagining the role of IT Patrick Bolger, Hornbill Service Management Understand why our improvement initiatives can be too inwardly focused, and how to embrace collaboration. Look from the customer perspective to start delivering business outcomes.

10:00 - 10:40

Respect the service desk Barclay Rae, Barclay Rae Consulting The service desk is often undervalued and overlooked by IT, Barclay explains how to rethink the role and create a highly respected support operation.

10:50 - 11:30

Gocompare.com: A service desk transformed Ben Wigley, Head of IT Service Management, Gocompare.com From email ticketing help desk to ITSM service desk: how Gocompare.com created a support operation without compare.

10:50 - 11:30

Network Rail service desk: the journey from fixer to fulfiller Matt Turner, service desk manager, Network Rail How Network Rail’s service desk asked the customers where to start as it re-built support around value and efficiency.

12:20 - 13:00

Habits of highly successful service desk managers David Wright, SDI David shares his experience in the field to uncover the techniques that successful service desk managers use to inspire, reward and recognise their staff ’s achievements.

12:20 - 13:00

Is ITSM the best we’ve got? New approaches to delivering business technology Peter Johnson, Fairday Research Why we must question values, embrace chaos and cede control to build the service desk our businesses want.

13:10 - 13:50

Supporting the Royal Australian Navy’s billion-dollar ships Greg Warner, team leader, BAE Systems Australia Learn how BAE Systems Australia uses its service desk to manage warranty and såupport requests for a fleet of ships costing billions of dollars.

13:10 - 13:50

Game on: Learn how to gamify your IT services and projects Jason McClay, G2G3 This interactive session shows you how to gamify your IT services and projects, and the powerful results of doing so.

14:00 - 14:40

PANEL DEBATE: Social collaboration in ITSM – the next big thing, or big time-waster? Traditional “best practice” cannot always keep up with the demands of a rapidly changing technology market. Some believe that IT challenges will increasingly be fixed by individuals using online social collaboration, but is this dynamic but unproven model a viable alternative? 

14:00 - 14:40

PANEL DEBATE: ITIL: the final showdown? Does ITIL have a bright future or is it time to consign it to the service management history books?

14:50 - 15:30

The human information system – BYOD, wearable computing and imperceptible electronics Chris Dancy, ServiceSphere BYOD is just the start of a transformation that will see you become the greatest information system, Chris explains how you can help your business reach its potential.

14:50 - 15:30

ITSM to feed the world Tom Bailey, Alemba & Marc Brown,World Food Programme How ITSM underpins the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) mission to help people in the Earth’s most challenging environments.

15:40 - 16:20

Why cost is IT’s new world order Eileen O’Mahony,WMPromus Is your service desk supporting IT, or delivering a financially quantifiable business service? This is the new reality of IT provision, and this session explains what it means to you.

15:40 - 16:20

What is ‘value’ anyway? Adam Poppleton, BrightOak Consultancy How to define, measure and ultimately deliver one of the prime objectives of ITSM: value.

Seminar Theatre 2 Tuesday 29th April

Wednesday 30th April

10:00 - 10:40

10 tips for Software Asset Management Vawns Murphy Guest, change and release manager,Virgin Media Vawns draws on her extensive industry experience to detail the importance of SAM, and how to make sure your reputation – and company bank account – are left untarnished.

10:00 - 10:40

How many support staff do you actually need? Noel Bruton, Bruton Consultancy How to calculate how many support staff you need, from service desk to resolvers, from reactive to projects, using scientific, quantifiable methods rather than guess work.

10:50 - 11:30

Picking your ITIL battles at Midcounties Co-operative Sheridan Hindle, Head of IT,The Midcounties Co-operative Hear how the Co-operative team identified and made the key ITIL processes work, and learned when to reject something in the books.

10:50 - 11:30

Cool heads, red hot service desk Jo Johns, Jo Johns Education How to find, teach and encourage the qualities that enable your service desk team to thrive when the pressure is high.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


Service Desk & IT Support Show Preview

Tuesday 29th April

Wednesday 30th April

12:20 - 13:00

Empowering the people behind the headlines at News UK Joanne McQueen, service transition manager, News UK News UK, the publisher of The Times, explains the meaningful metrics, which help its staff improve call handling and drive up customer satisfaction.

12:20 - 13:00

Shared services at Norfolk Educational Services Stuart Mullineux, director of Campus Services, Norfolk Educational Services The power of shared services. Hear Norfolk Educational Services’ story and understand the pitfalls to avoid and how to successfully integrate services and departments such as HR and facilities.

13:10 - 13:50

The ‘CSI Triangle’ which unlocks service quality Barclay Rae, Barclay Rae Consulting Uncover the three factors that ensure Continuous Service Improvement remains in the spotlight, rather than an after-thought.

13:10 - 13:50

How to successfully implement chat support Greg Cowart, Bomgar Understand why chat support implementations often fail, and how to make yours a success.

14:00 - 14:40

25 years of the service desk; how do you stack up? John Fahey, STI Drawing on the STI2014 Service Desk Survey results and his 25 years experience in the industry, John explains whether your service desk is falling behind, or leading the way.

14:00 - 14:40

A view from the project manager Duncan Watkins, IT project manager, Serco Drawing on his practical experiences as a project manager, Duncan explains how to reduce the friction between service desk and release managers, and how to create a more pragmatic approach.

14:50 - 15:30

Governance and fragmented IT: must service desks let go? Suresh GP, HP With customers demanding more flexible IT, is the pursuit of governance and control futile, or are we approaching the issue from a different perspective?

14:50 - 15:30

Is ITSM no longer in charge of service management? Kevin Leslie, HP Technological developments such as BYOD, cloud and social collaboration have loosened the grip IT once had on service management – disaster or opportunity?

15:40 - 16:20

Motivating a 300% improvement in service desk efficiency Girish Mathrubootham, Freshdesk Whether it’s using incentives, management or gamification, motivated service desks can over achieve and over deliver: learn how to do the same.

15:40 - 16:20

Skills for the 21st Century service desk Matthew Burrows, BSM Impact How to recruit, assess and improve the skills needed to deliver effective IT services.

Seminar Theatre 3 Tuesday 29th April


Wednesday 30th April

10:00 - 10:40

Solid metrics for The Coal Authority Craig Jeacock, ICT senior service manager and architect, The Coal Authority How to effectively mine and polish KPIs, reports and dashboards.

10:00 - 10:40

Benchmarking your service desk success Howard Kendall, SDI Howard explains the best and worse ways to benchmark your service desk; the results that count; and what to do about them.

10:50 - 11:30

First steps to effective problem management Alex Hocking, Marval Effective problem management is the first step towards improving service delivery, but many fall at this vital stage: here’s how to find sure footing.

10:50 - 11:30

The ‘Do It Yourself’ service desk Christope Capel, Atlassian Putting self-service first has allowed this legal team to create an efficient support operation, which gives the business exactly what it needs.

12:20 - 13:00

Is ITIL ready for the DevOps approach? 12:20 - 13:00 Kaimar Karu, MindBridge Kaimar explores how DevOps approach to ITIL could improve processes and our ability to show value.

Lessons in ITSM speed Gareth Brown, Head of Customer Services, Oxford Brookes University Learn how Oxford Brookes University adopted a cloud-approach to solve migration, mobility and compliance issues in less than a year.

13:10 - 13:50

More calls, more intelligence, more satisfaction for Datrix Desire Cilliers, service manager, Datrix Hear how Datrix have been able to increase customer satisfaction and retention with a fresh approach to technology and reporting.

13:10 - 13:50

INPS is transforming IT support for UK GPs Christian Nagele, CentraStage & Phil Stickland, INPS Discover how advanced monitoring and automated device management is helping INPS support 2,500 GP practices across the UK during a period of seismic change in the sector.

14:00 - 14:40

Is your IT support passing the BYOD challenge? Sarah Lahav, SysAid Whether your service desk adapted to the BYOD challenge, or is still overwhelmed with tickets, this session explains how to measure and adapt strategies to keep up with current trends.

14:00 - 14:40

Making peace with the enemy – a rough guide to supplier management Barry Corless, Global Knowledge The disparate IT landscape means that managing suppliers and relationships is as important as supporting tech; Barry offers a wealth of advice.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Service Desk & IT Support Show Preview

Tuesday 29th April

Wednesday 30th April

14:50 - 15:30

Lessons from MSPs on delivering worldclass service Dave Sobel, GFI MAX Managed service providers live and die by the service they deliver, this session explores the techniques required to keep your service desk on top.

14:50 - 15:30

Maintaining effective service level management as IT moves to the cloud Dr Don Page, Marval A look at how the increased complexity of IT deployment is making it harder to keep the promises made to customers, and how to build a strategy to safeguard your reputation.

15:40 - 16:20

The big agenda: prioritising those tickets that hold the real value Quentin McPhee,Vivantio All tickets are not equal – uncover new and innovative methods of prioritising tickets so that highest value is returned in the shortest time, achieving improved effectiveness with no additional effort.

15:40 - 16:20

ITSM lessons from consumer champions Jon Hall, BMC How leading consumer services are transforming customer expectations of ITSM.

The Keynote Theatre 10:30

Investing wisely on your ITSM tools Jeffrey Brooks, Gartner Get the most out of SITS14 as Jeffrey Brooks of Gartner explains the crucial steps and considerations when buying ITSM, IT service catalogue tools and more.


Telling your story with Business Value Dashboards Jeffrey Brooks, Gartner Why reporting on operational metrics is futile, and how to build Business Value Dashboards that show the real contribution you’re making to the business


PANEL DEBATE: Which came first: the catalogue or the portfolio? A debate as old as the chicken and egg argument, can I have an IT service catalogue without an IT service portfolio?


PANEL DEBATE: CIO and IT leader relationship counselling What do CIO and IT leaders really think of each other, and can they learn to get along?


The customer service myth Noel Bruton, Bruton Consultancy Is the pursuit of the perfect customer experience the wrong path for service desks to take? Noel takes a pragmatic view of service, dispelling hyperbole and misguided pseudo-niceness and replacing them with logic, professionalism, and solid how-to-do


Ephemeral knowledge - the shift to disposable culture Chris Dancy, ServiceSphere As we reach the Age of the Disposables, what does the shifting culture and consumption of information mean for IT workers who wish to remain relevant?

Breakfast Briefings Tuesday 29th April Customer experience: what it really means for service desks Pick up your free copy of the SITS14 White Paper research study revealing the results, and hear tips and advice from the panel on this crucial subject.

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Social, mobile, gamification: headache or saviour? Why service desk’s social, mobile and gamification “challenges” could help it solve current and future IT challenges.





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Wednesday 30th April

All sessions at SITS14 are free to attend on a first come, first served basis when collecting tickets on the show day. Alternatively, you can beat the queues on the day by booking your chosen sessions in advance for just £6 per session. Breakfast Briefings are free to pre-book and attend.


Service Desk & IT Support Show Preview

Bomgar - Stand #515

Bomgar, the leader in enterprise remote support solutions, is pleased to announce its participation in SITS14! Bomgar provides remote support solutions for easily and securely supporting computing systems and mobile devices. The company’s appliance-based products help organisations improve tech support efficiency and performance by enabling them to securely support nearly any device or system, anywhere in the world — including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry and more. More than 8,000 organisations across 65 countries have deployed Bomgar to rapidly improve customer satisfaction while dramatically reducing costs. Stop by the Bomgar stand at SITS14 (#515) to:

• Enter to win a free Bomgar system worth £3,490, which includes a secure appliance, two licenses and maintenance for a year.

• Learn about Bomgar’s integrations with the major ITSM solutions, including ServiceNow, Cherwell, BMC, Dell KACE, Hornbill and TOPDesk.

• View a demo of Bomgar’s newest features, including an

integration with Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), HTML5 chat support for desktop and mobile devices, mobile presentation clients, and much more.

• Speak face-to-face with staff members, including Greg Cowart,

who will be presenting a session during the seminar programme about how to successfully implement chat support.

Attend this informative session in Theatre 2 at 13:10 on 30th April to learn about the benefits of moving support calls from phone to chat, as well as best practices for implementing chat and delivering results.

Bomgar Corporation Office Suite 4, Anglers Court, 33-44 Spittal Street, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 1DB | www.bomgar.com | +44 01628 480210

TOPdesk - Stand #308 TOPdesk is an international leader in cutting-edge service management solutions and standardised ITIL software. Its awardwinning solution helps you process questions, complaints and malfunctions. Optimise your services with a user-friendly application, experienced consultants and expert support. Raising your service levels and reducing your workload has never been easier. TOPdesk’s unrivalled integration, implementations and support is tried and trusted across the service management industry.

The new Conversations widget lets operators collaborating in TOPdesk quickly follow and join other operators’ conversations with ease. Ideal for when you need a helping hand, or if you want to share useful information with your colleagues. What better way to talk about your current tasks than right there on your TOPdesk Home?

• Over 5,500 implementations worldwide.

Wednesday 30 April – 10.45am ‘Problem & Incident management’ TOPdesk will also be contributing two case studies as part of the programme of seminars.

• TOPdesk is located in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Brazil and Hungary.

• ITSM Review 2013 – Problem and Incident Management, ‘Best in Class’ Award.

TOPdesk makes ITIL-aligned shared service management software for IT, facilities, and HR departments. All its software also comes with its Plan Board and Dashboard for a simple drag-and-drop overview. Its newest version, TOPdesk 5.3, ensures even better support for your daily tasks. The Form Designer helps you design forms for every request, ensuring the caller registers exactly the information you need. It’s simple, intuitive, and flexible.

Speak to TOPdesk’s experts at the SITS to learn how the company can help your organisation. Additionally, find TOPdesk at the Hot Topic roundtables to share experience with fellow visitors and find practical advice in dealing with any ITSM issues. Tuesday 29 April – 10.45am ‘Successful self service’

Tuesday 29 April – 10.40am ‘Solid metrics for coal authority’ – How to effectively mine and polish KPIs, reports and dashboards. Wednesday 30 April – 12:20pm ‘Shared services at Norfolk Educational Services’ – Understand how to successfully integrate services and departments such as HR and facilities, and the pitfalls to avoid.

TOPdesk UK limited 61 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0HL | Phone: +44 (0)207 803 4200 | www.topdesk.co.uk | info@topdesk.co.uk


www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014


Hornbill Systems



Ares, Odyssey Business Park,West End Road, Ruislip, HA4 6QD T: +44 (0)208 582 8282 W: www.hornbill.com E: info@hornbill.com

60 Lombard Street, London, EC3V 9EA T: +44 (0)207 464 8883 W: www.icore-ltd.com E: sales@icore-ltd.com

Delegate House, 30A Hart Street, Henley-on-Thames, oxon, RG9 2Al T: +44 (0)149 163 5340 W: www.infravision.com E: info@infravision.com

Hornbill develops and markets ‘supportworks’, applications for IT service Management (ITsM) and business helpdesks. Hornbill’s ITsM & service desk software with a ‘Human Touch’, enables its customers to provide excellent service while benefi ting from consolidation on a single technology platform..

iCore is the largest specialist IT service Management Consultancy in the UK. ICore has a long & impressive track record in delivering & embedding pragmatic IT service management, solutions, relying on the deep, real worldexperience of our mature & determined consultancy team.

Kepner Tregoe

Netsupport Software

Quayside House,Thames Side,Windsor, Berkshire, Sl4 1QN T: +44 (0)175 385 6716 W: www.kepner-tregoe.com

Towngate East, Market Deeping, Peterborough, PE6 8NE T: +44 (0)177 838 2270 W: www.netsupportsoftware.co.uk

Kepner-Tregoe provides consulting and training services to organisations 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.

NetSupport provides a range of complementary Remote Support and Service Management solutions that help organisations deliver a productive and cost effective IT support service. Products include multi-platform Remote Control solution NetSupport Manager, IT Asset Management suite NetSupport DnA and web based ITIL Service Management tool NetSupport ServiceDesk.



Powe r ing IT ahead DLF IT Park, Block 7, Ground floor, No. 1/124, Shivaji Garden, Nandambakkam Post, Mount PH Road, Ramapuram, Chennai 600 089, India T: 91-44-22707070 / 66997070 W: www.manageengine.com E: sales@manageengine.com ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is highly customizable, smart and fl exible Help Desk Software used by more than 10,000 IT managers worldwide in 23 different languages. It helps you to implement ITIL best practices on the go and restore your IT services on-time.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Riverside Business Village, Swindon Road, Malmesbury,Wiltshire, SN16 9RS T: +44 (0)166 682 8600 W: www.iccm.co.uk/itsm E: info@iccm.co.uk OpenText Service Management solutions are used by 2 of the 5 largest IT Service Desks in the world. Our clients include BBC Worldwide, British Transport Police, Qualcomm, Telenor and Tesco. OpenText will support you on a journey to Extraordinary Service Management. OpenText announced the acquisition of ICCM, a leading vendor of Service Management solutions, in July 2013.

BMC software’s #1 partner for service Desk express and the Alignability Process Model, delivering rapid implementation o proven ITIL aligned processes, procedures, work instructions and tool settings, and transformation to service-led approach in only 12 weeks!

Monitor 24-7

PO Box 4530, Maidenhead, Sl60 1GG T: +44 (0)208 123 3126 W: www.monitor24-7.com E: sales@monitor24-7.com Over 13 years of customer experience bundled in one solution to help centralise information, prioritise issues aimed to increase control, productivity and improve communication and service excellence. 100% focus on support and development of IncidentMonitor Service Management software, Pinkverified for 10 ITIL processes

Sunrise Software

50 Barwell Business Park, Leatherhead Road, Chessington, Surrey KT9 2NY T: +44 (0)208 391 9000 W: www.sunrisesoftware.co.uk E: welcome@sunrisesoftware.co.uk Sunrise Software provides applications which underpin business processes across its customers’ organisations. Sunrise has a highly successful track record in IT service management, customer service management and business process management with fully configured applications designed around best practice guidelines.






61 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0HL T: +44 (0)207 803 4200 W: www.topdesk.co.uk E: info@topdesk.co.uk

Eagle House, Lynchborough Road, Passfields, Hants GU30 7SB T: +44 (0)207 419 5174 W: www.sitehelpdesk.com E: sales@sitehelpdesk.com

Sword House,Totteridge Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire T: +44 (0)149 445 2450 W: www.apmg-uk.com

Sitehelpdesk.com will take you to the forefront of service delivery with a suite of products designed to provide you with low cost web browser based action tracking and self-help, making your services instantly available 24 by 7.

As an accredited ITIL® Examination Institute, APMG offers our training organisations 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.

TOPdesk Service Management software seamlessly integrates Facilities, HR and IT processes in a single 100% webbased tool. TOPdesk’s affordable and ITILcompliant software has won several awards for user-friendliness. Secure more time for your colleagues and customers with TOPdesk.

Cherwell Software

Lime Kiln House, Lime Kiln,Wooton Bassett, Wiltshire, SN4 7HF T: + 44 (0)179 385 8181 W: www.cherwellsoftware.com Cherwell Service Management delivers ITIL v3 best practice ‘out-of-the-box’ including: Incident, Problem, Change, CMDB, SLA, Knowledge, Self-Service 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.


T: +44 (0)207 193 2085 W: www.solisma.com E: info@solisma.com

Stone Lodge, Rothwell Grange, Rothwell Road, Kettering, NN16 8XF T: +44 (0)153 671 1999 W: www.marval-group.com E: info@marval-group.com

Service Improvement Made Simple! Solisma is a leading global provider of ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000 courseware, training, consulting and assessment services, with a global partner network to help you quickly and cost-effectively improve your ITSM capability like never before. To learn more, contact us today or visit service-improvement.com

Marval is a major practitioner, innovator, thought leader and contributor to Best Practice and standards in ITSM and is co-author of ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000. Marval is an ISO/IEC 20000 registered company supporting internal and external customers to international standards.

Avocent Landesk



Dukes Court, Duke Street,Woking, GU22 7AD T: +44 (0)148 374 4444 W: www.landesk.com

150 Wharfedale Road,Winnersh,Triangle, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 5RG T: +44 (0)118 918 6503 W: www.itsmf.co.uk

Hampden House, Monument Park, Chalgrove, Oxfordshire, OX44 7RW T: +44 (0)845 299 7539 W: www.oxygenservicedesk.com E: oxygen@e-warehouse.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.



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

Oxygen Service Desk is a process automation engine that simply interprets your pre-defined business processes and then mobilises the actual process, pushing work tasks to people and to systems, streamlining how the processes run across your entire department or organisation.

www.vitalmagazine.co.uk | March-April 2014

Profile for 31 Media

VitAL Magazine - March-April 2014  

The March-April 2014 issue of VitAL Magazine

VitAL Magazine - March-April 2014  

The March-April 2014 issue of VitAL Magazine

Profile for 31media

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