IT leadership & innovation
2025 a data centre odyssey
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o c t / n o v
Legacy - it’s a word that can conjure negative emotions in even the most hardened technology professional. Whenever someone mentions legacy it usually means you’ve been lumbered
2 0 1 2
with something that doesn’t work, costs a lot to maintain but the business has never figured out how to get rid of.
Technology Decisions doesn’t have those worries. Technology Decisions will build upon the foundation of our predecessor, Voice+Data, and take the heritage it has created to deliver a premium print and online publication that is 100% focused on the needs of the technology leaders, innovators and influencers of today. Technology Decisions will bring the best writers, analysts and subject matter experts in the ANZ region together and cut through the jargon, acronyms and hype to find the information that can help you make the best possible decisions. Andrew Collins, the editor of V+D will continue as the Online Editor of Technology Decisions. As for me - I’ve been working in the IT industry in manufacturing, utilities and education since the 90s. As well being the Editor of Technology Decisions, I’m the CIO at an independent school in Melbourne. Welcome to Technology Decisions. Anthony Caruana, Editor
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Tec h Toys Analyse This @wor k Flip Side @wor k Peer 2 Peer SNIA Softwar e Showc ase @wor k Asia Cloud For um @wor k For war d Think er
F E A T U R E S 04 | 2025: a data centre odyssey Cloud, local hybrid – what will your data
22 | The role of cloud in enterprise service delivery
centre be in 2025? Anthony Caruana looks
Stephen Withers consults a panel of experts
into some of the possibilities.
and finds unexpected consensus.
34 | Cloudy with a chance of disaster 46 | Every month is adopt a SharePoint month 3
w w w . t e c h n o l o g y d e c i s i o n s . c o m . a u
2 0 2 5 : A D A TA CENTRE ODYSSEY 4
We are in the middle of the third great revolution of technology delivery. The first was the mainframe era where computing power was centralised and end-user devices were unintelligent terminals. Then came the PC era. Marked by massive increases in computing power, the pendulum swung completely with client computers having more power and servers being relegated in importance.
The nature of business and what CIOs
and business logic reside. Typically, the
need to deliver to the business is chang-
data centre has also included physical as-
ing at a pace that is impossible to react
sets like servers, storage and networking
to. CIOs and decision makers are work-
equipment but those have always been
ing at a time where business cycles are
in place to serve the business.
contracting and change is accelerating. Bunker believes that the physical infraRobert Le Busque, Area VP Strategy and
structure will be less important as time
Development in Asia Pacific for Verizon
goes on. “Infrastructure provides limited
explains: “When the curtain was falling
competitive advantage. Infrastructure is
on the Beijing Olympics the iPad didn’t
ubiquitous. Everyone has pretty much
exist, the iPhone was only an infant
equal access. The real competitive ad-
and the digital universe was five times
vantage is going to emerge from how
smaller than it is today.”
we use the IT services running on the
“ T H E A C C E L E R AT I N G D E N S I T Y O F C O M P U T I N G P O W E R AN D RA PI DLY I NCRE A SI NG RE LI A NCE ON A N ‘A LWAYS O N ’ IN FR ASTRUCTURE ME A NS THAT OUR E XPE CTATI ONS OF DATA C EN T RE S HAVE CHA NGE D.” The way businesses look at delivering
infrastructure regardless of where the
applications and other services must
adapt. During the mainframe and
client-server eras, the IT department
Still, what about the data centre of 2025?
had control of the technology supply
What will it look like? Will we still be con-
chain from infrastructure to applica-
structing large rooms filled with hermeti-
tions. According to Trevor A Bunker, a
cally sealed hallways and aisles of blinking
Vice President with CA Technologies,
lights? It’s hard to see a future where data
CIOs will be designing and managing
centres aren’t part of the picture.
data centres that bear little resemblance to those of today.
According to Gartner Research VP Phillip R Sargeant, data centres are becoming far
“The data centre of the future, from
denser with the amount of power that’s
the CIO’s view, will not include the
required in a smaller space, the amount
e are now in the third
infrastructure. The infrastructure will be
of heat that is being generated and even
wave. Many ser vices
completely decoupled. I don’t think that
the physical weight of equipment. All of
are centralised as data
when CIOs think about the data centre
this means that the choices CIOs need
centres have increased
that they’ll even concern themselves with
to make when building a data centre
aren’t the same now as they were even
in computing power and capacity while
just five years ago.
end users enjoy a massive variety in the types of equipment they can use
This begs the question - what is a data
and where they can use it. What does
There is not a single piece of data that suggests energy prices are going to fall
all this mean if we are planning a data centre strategy that will see us through
In our view, the data centre is where
in the foreseeable future. Every year
the next decade?
applications, business communications
we see the cost of electricity rise. The
federal government’s carbon tax hasn’t
ratio rises above 1.0, the ‘excess’ power
In order to minimise the operational
yet had a significant impact on prices
is being used for functions that support
costs associated with running a data
but there’s little doubt that large users
the computing operations.
centre, businesses may need to reconsider
of power will continue to see the bottom
locations. In the past, it made sense to
line being impacted. Although there’s no
Fujitsu recently upgraded a data centre in
put the business and data centre close
universally agreed statement on what
Noble Park, a suburb of Melbourne, with
together. However, given that connec-
will happen to power prices over the
the aim of reducing the PUE to 1.7. The
tions across and between continents
next decade, you can expect your bills
6700 m 2 data centre was built in 1988.
are getting faster and more reliable, it’s
to increase by between 5% and 15% per
Built to Tier III standards, it incorporates
possible to choose locations with access
year over the next decade.
four main data halls for cabinet and
to cheaper power and better cooling.
cage installations. The company reports Google’s answer to this is to build data
all greenhouse gas emissions produced
In the aftermath of the earthquakes
centres where there’s access to cheap,
by Noble Park, as well as all others in
that devastated Christchurch in early
reliable power. The locations Google
its Australian data centre network, to
2011, we toured the region and visited a
chooses for new data centres show that
the National Greenhouse and Energy
new data centre operated by Computer
access to cheap cooling, in order reduce
Concepts limited. CCL’s facility avoided
power costs, is as significant a decision as proximity to communications.
being damaged - although the placard on
Location, location, location
the door telling us that the building had
It’s interesting when looking back at
been checked was a poignant reminder
Google’s data centre in Hamina, Finland,
past research what the issues were. In
of the damage not far away - but it also
is able to take advantage of local seawater
2005, Cisco’s advice focused on protec-
highlighted key considerations. CCL’s
for its cooling system. Phillip Sargeant
tion from hazards, easy accessibility
facility was planning to secure its own
of Gartner says: “There are a lot of
and features that accommodate future
water supply for cooling so that it wasn’t
providers of data centres today building
growth and change. A significant part
solely dependent on power-hungr y
data centres in areas that they perhaps
of a research paper described how to
haven’t thought about before. They want
plan for natural disasters and even listed
to make use of the characteristics of the
location. With cold locations they can use outside air for cooling for example.’
Phillip Sargeant of Gartner highlighted to us that some data centre operators
Today, the location requirements are
are now looking to go it alone when it
quite different. The accelerating den-
comes to power as well. “There are two
A critical measure of data centre power
sity of computing power and rapidly
or three data centres using trigeneration
use is the power usage effectiveness
increasing reliance on an ‘always on’
where people have their own power
index. PUE is a measure of how much
infrastructure means that our expec-
plants to power data centres. Typically,
power is used in a data centre for all the
tations of data centres have changed.
some use natural gas to provide power
elements in the data centre. The aim is
While the considerations highlighted in
into their own data centres,” he said.
to achieve a PUE of 1.0 - where all of
Cisco’s report are still important, there
the power being used by the data centre
are new things to consider for the data
One of the challenges of any power
goes directly to computing. When the
centre of the next decade and beyond.
generation technology is the inherent
loss that occurs. For example, when electricity is produced at a gas-powered power station, significant amounts of energy are lost in the form of heat. Trigeneration seeks to avoid that by using natural gas to provide electricity,
service providers are starting to take a more active role in our region with Rackspace opening a new data centre in Australia and making specific mention of how it won’t be subject to the Patriot Act although there’s considerable debate
heating and cooling.
about the veracity of that statement.
In addition, natural gas is a far more
Both IDC and Gartner have recently pub-
environmentally friendly, and therefore
lished research suggesting that a hybrid
cheaper, fuel than coal or many other
approach will be a viable option. So, it’s
alternatives. As carbon emissions become
likely that your data centre in 2025 will
a greater impost on the bottom line, be-
have some local services and some either
ing able to produce energy with lower
externally hosted or delivered as cloud
carbon emissions can make a financial
applications. The physical footprint of
your premises will no longer bound your data centre.
A recent trigeneration implementation by the National Australia Bank cost per annum in savings.
What will your data centre look like in the next decade and beyond?
What about the cloud?
It will be denser with more computing
There’s no doubt that the decisions
power per square metre than today. But
around what to do about your busi-
it will also require more power and gen-
ness’s data centre needs will turn to
erate more heat. You’ll be a lot smarter
the elephant in the room - the cloud.
about where you build the data centre
Past decisions were driven by differ-
- if you build one at all - and you’ll
ent needs. As Trevor Bunker of CA
probably start by looking at the energy
$6.5m but was expected to deliver $1m
Technologies puts it: “Whether it was the purely centralised model years ago, then client-server, each of the evolutions we’ve done for business applications has relied on one thing. That’s LAN-speed
“THERE’S NO DOUBT THAT
WHAT TO DO ABOUT YOUR BUS I NE SS’S DATA CE NTRE
built our enterprise apps. We assumed
N EEDS WI LL TURN TO THE
for the enterprise.” But those assumptions have been su-
You’ll consider making it either energy self-sufficient or less dependent on power from the grid. Where there’s no competitive advantage
EL EP HA NT I N THE ROOM
or a clear cost benefit, you’ll probably
- T HE CLOUD. “
use cloud services where providers can
perseded. Bunker adds that “Anyone
deliver on your operational needs and energy management goals.
who’s thinking about building a data
probably isn’t. But it’s how we’ve done
centre - I would really have to ask
things in the past.”
them why. Why would you make that
physical specifications of the equipment.
T HE DE CI SI ONS A ROUND
network connections. That’s how we that they would run in the enterprise
and carbon footprint as closely as the
What is clear is that the days of companies building large rooms with raised
capital investment today? Is it really
Issues of data sovereignty, confidentiality,
floors, expensive temperature manage-
that strategic and that valuable to your
reliability, connectivity and commercial
ment and large capital investments are
business? Is it a competitive advantage
arrangements dominate any discussion
fading because the criteria for making
for you? Many answer with frankly, it
of cloud services. It’s interesting that
the investment decisions are changing.
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A N A LY S E
A P P S TO R E S
C O M I N G TO A N ENTERPRISE NEAR YOU
he success of the app store model
This degree of choice is antithetical to dec-
in delivering apps has piqued the
ades of enterprise application best practice.
interest of many enterprises. The
However, effective application management
dynamics that drive public app
and freedom of choice are not mutually
stores are consistent with those that will
exclusive under a curation model.
drive private app stores in the enterprises. The second foundation for a successful Mobile app downloads will surpass 45.6
enterprise app store is to frame it as part
billion worldwide in 2012 according to
of an organisation’s application, rather than
Gartner’s latest forecast. Some organisations
infrastructure, strategy. Organisations like
believe that implementing an app store can
Apple, Microsoft and Google see app stores
bring some of the engaging experience of the
as an integral part of their platform strategy.
consumer IT landscape into the enterprise. Others see app stores as an extension of their
For organisations that are struggling to
mobile device management (MDM) efforts.
rationalise out-of-control application portfolios an app store will be unwelcome
While there is growing interest, internal
because its existence will expand the port-
enterprise app store implementations are
folio. However, those organisations that are
still in the early adopter phase. If you are
trying to rationalise by creating a managed
considering implementing your own app
application ecosystem (often a large ERP
store, there are some best practices to keep in
system) and are likely see a great deal of
mind. Choice is important. Individuals can
synergy with an app store.
research a catalogue of options and make selection based on their own preferences
Applications can be redesigned as collec-
and reviews. They can make bad choices
tions of targeted apps that users choose
without serious consequences (just find a
from based on their needs. Aps can come
better $2 app).
from citizen developers - your employees - whether it is an Excel spreadsheet or a
Soviet central planners were confident that
link to a cloud-based application.
citizens had a choice of products but when people were able to see the differences
The operative word in ‘app store’ is ‘app’.
between the offerings in their shops and
Apps are different to traditional applica-
those in the West, resentment grew and
tions. Apps are simple, purposeful solu-
black markets flourished.
tions that, if well managed, can be created en-masse without impacting efforts to
Enterprise app stores require an increase
rationalise the application portfolio. The
in the options available to staff. Enhance
more application development teams can
enterprise app stores need the addition of
redirect their development effort towards
third-party apps, links to public app stores
apps, the more options will be available
and enterprise content.
Brian Prentice is research vice president in Gartner’s web, mobile and application research group. His primary areas of research are the emergence of ‘apps’ and the growing importance of design and simplicity in creating a compelling user experience. Prior to becoming an analyst in 2003, he worked in the IT vendor community for 17 years.
PRIVATE CLOUD SAVES $500K ON PRINTING work P R O J E C T
hink: Education Group, an Australian private education
at the company’s facilities must log onto a front end web portal
company, has implemented a virtual private cloud,
and add credit to a swipecard. They then swipe their card at a
enabling a printing project that is set to save the
printer, and the printer prints their job out.
company $500,000 annually.
The company had to tie the front end to several behind-
The company has 15,000 students undertaking 95 industry
the-scenes systems, including a payment gateway, a core business
training courses online and in eight college campuses in NSW,
information management system and the specific technology
Victoria and Queensland.
that allows the swipecards to talks to the printers.
“Think was built up really rapidly through acquisitions, so we had lots of businesses that had been brought together quite quickly, all of them with IT environments with different levels of maturity,” said Andy Donaldson, IT Director at Think. “We had different hosting environments, a lack of consistency, and a lot of hosting environments that we really weren’t happy with”. Specifically, the time taken to get changes made was an issue, and providers would want their contracts amended to reflect any such changes. “We were on this merry-go-round of a week or two weeks of talking and contract and debate before we actually even got anywhere near turning the solution on.” In order to consolidate these IT environments, Think examined
Think employed Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to facilitate the project. “We’re using VPC to route traffic back and forward, privately, in the virtual private network, so the other systems can talk to that front end and deliver that functionality,” Donaldson said. “We have lots of different colleges all accessing that environment from different locations, and the students accessing it from the vanilla internet from their house if they want to.” “That project’s still rolling out, but our target is to reduce our printing costs by $300,000 in this financial year, and then $500,000 in the next financial year [once all the colleges are on board the new system].” According to Donaldson, the company is on track to meet that target.
co-location hosting and cloud services in the Australian market,
“For us to implement that project … all up we’re probably
ultimately selecting Amazon Web Services (AWS) two years
looking at $100,000, maybe a bit more … so it’s an absolute
ago. The system has afforded the company greater flexibility
no-brainer in our eyes.”
and cost savings. “With AWS, you go onto the website with three clicks of a mouse and bing, there’s your box, online.” The AWS system does require that Think takes more responsibility for some of its environments, but “we were ready to do that”, Donaldson said. “We’re saving money and we’ve got a better solution.” Initially the company used AWS for the company has begun using the system for more projects, including a recent print/cost-control initiative. As part of the initiative, Think
students who want to print documents
web hosting environments. Since then,
SMARTER TECHNOLOGY FOR A SMARTER PLANET
WHY TODAY’S SMARTEST SYSTEMS The good news is IT solutions are now more sophisticated. The bad news is they’re also more complicated. And all this complexity is taking its toll.
with clients and partners, has been turned into a pattern of expertise. An IBM PureSystem can follow this pattern to automatically set up a database infrastructure in minutes. The system then monitors how the database is being used, tuning it as conditions change.
A SMARTER APPROACH TO I.T.
IBM PureSystems have been able to achieve up to twice the business application performance and up to twice the application density as previous generation IBM systems.3 With IBM PureSystems, computing is not just getting faster and simpler. It’s taking another important step
In fact, the typical IT department now spends up to 161 days just to specify, design and procure hardware for a new IT project (even longer for software).1
What goes into a PureSystem? Built-in expertise Integration by design Some IBM PureSystems can be up and running in under four hours.2
HAVE BUILT- IN EXPERTISE. Recently, IBM® unveiled a new class of systems that make all this complexity far less complicated. We call them IBM PureSystems.™
Unlike today’s “converged” IT solutions, IBM PureSystems are more than just prepackaged bundles of hardware and software; these systems are integrated by design, using built-in expertise to balance and coordinate IT resources
to create a radically simplified experience for the end user. Take the example of a database: IBM’s extensive research on topics like transaction processing, honed through thousands of engagements
toward making our companies, cities and planet smarter. ibm.com/au/integratedsystems
LET’S BUILD A SMARTER PLANET.
1. Based on a 2011 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of IBM. 2. Based upon testing of the IBM PureApplication System W1500-96 with time measured from powering on the system to when it is ready to support application deployments and based upon testing of the IBM PureFlex System Express & Standard models containing one chassis and one compute node with the time measured from powering on the system to when it is ready to support a virtual image deployment. 3. Up to 2X application density based upon simulations of virtualized applications on an IBM Flex System x240 Compute Node as compared to a previous generation IBM system. The IBM Flex System x240 Compute Node is available in IBM PureFlex System and IBM PureApplication System. Up to 2X performance of business applications based upon testing of IBM Storwize v7000 “Easy Tier” on previous generation IBM system. IBM Storwize v7000 is included in IBM PureFlex System and IBM PureApplication System. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, PureSystems, Smarter Planet, Let’s build a smarter planet and the planet icon are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. © International Business Machines Corporation 2012 All Rights Reserved. © Copyright IBM Australia Limited 2012. ABN 79 000 024 733. IBMCCA1419/EISV2/TD/FPC
B R A I N S T O R M OR JUST A HEADACHE?
n an effort to end a gangland rivalry
individuals. The whole is greater than the
that has exploded into violence,
sum of the parts, and all that.
corrupt cop Vic Mackey locks bitter enemies, rappers Kern Little and T-
Osborn’s method of brainstorming speci-
Bonz, in a shipping container for a night,
fies that group members focus on produc-
ordering them to sort out their differences.
ing a great quantity of ideas; hold back criticism of their own and other members’
Whether Vic - a fictional detective from
ideas; be open-minded towards unusual
television’s The Shield - realised it or not,
suggestions; and consider combining sev-
his plan bears a striking resemblance to
eral lesser ideas to create a better idea.
an archaic ritual that still goes on in conference rooms, board rooms and cor-
Since then (and probably before, but
porate getaways around the world: group
without the fancy pants name), senior
and middle managers have been terribly fond of throwing a bunch of people in a
You’re probably familiar with the prac-
room in order to bash out some new ideas.
tice - maybe you even encourage your
Indeed, many a week-long golf retreat has
subordinates to do it yourself, though
been ordered, on the company’s money,
perhaps you use a different name. Basi-
in the name of corporate brainstorming.
cally, it amounts to shutting a bunch of employees in a meeting room or a hotel
One man leaves
suite with a particular problem and only
1953 book, Applied Imagination. Osborn
Fans of The Shield, however, will remember that Vic’s plan didn’t turn out quite how he imagined. When Vic opened the shipping container the next morning, only Kern Little emerged from the darkness. In their forced overnight sojourn, Little put rival T-Bonz to sleep - permanently. Hardly an ideal outcome (particularly
based the exercise on his observations
allowing them to emerge once they’ve generated a solution. The concept is generally credited to advertising executive Alex Faickney Osborn, who discussed the idea at length in his
of and experiments on employees at his advertising agency.
Osborn’s idea has similarly been found quite lacking. Warning: the next few
Osborn’s basic idea is that people produce
paragraphs feature psychology-geek-
more ideas, and better quality ideas, when
speak - jump to ‘So, in English?’ below
working in a group, compared to those
if you have an (understandable) aversion
generated when working as disparate
to such language.
In a 1987 paper titled ‘Productivity Loss
generated when working alone vs work-
In such a situation, it’s easy to sit back
in Brainstorming Groups: Toward the
ing in a group.
and let the more motivated folks do all
Solution of a Riddle’, social psychologists
the hard work, the theory goes. On top of
Michael Diehl and Wolfgang Stroebe
As for quality of ideas, things are a little
that, people may feel that their individual
reported that in 18 previous studies
muddier, due to the different ways of
contributions matter less in big groups, so
on the topic, people produced more
judging idea quality. (Do you look at total
they don’t speak up. The researchers found
ideas when working alone than when
number of good ideas? The average rat-
free riding had only a small influence on
working in groups. Four other studies
ing of a person’s ideas? Maybe the square
productivity loss in groups.
that the researchers examined showed
root of the sum of a hyperbolic matrix of
no difference in the number of ideas
a random selection of a group’s ideas?)
‘Production blocking’ is a quirk of human cognition that naturally occurs in groups.
The six studies that looked at ‘total quality’
The theory goes that when one person
(defined as “the sum of the quality ratings
is speaking, the remainder of the group
“ W H AT E V E R T H E C A S E , I T ’ S P R E T T Y W E L L AC C E P T E D I N PS YC HOLOGY THAT B RA I NSTORMI NG DOE SN’T WORK TH E WAY M OST PE OPLE E XPE CT. “ of the ideas produced by a given subject or
must give their attention to the speaker.
group”) all found that individuals working
Group members either intentionally sup-
alone produced better ideas than groups
press, or just plain forget, their own ideas
of people brainstorming. The other five
that come up while listening. Diehl and
studies that assessed idea quality - all of
Stroebe found that this was the primary
which used other definitions of quality
reason that brainstorming groups were
- showed “no consistent pattern” in the
less productive than individual members
difference in quality of ideas generated by
individuals vs those generated by brainstorming groups.
Other researchers have since found several more reasons for the relatively low
So, in English? Osborn was quite wrong. Studies repeat-
productivity of brainstorming groups. Whatever the case, it’s pretty well accepted in psychology that brainstorming doesn’t work the way most people expect.
edly show that group brainstorming sessions aren’t useful. Individuals work-
So, why then, when it’s been known for
ing alone produce a similar or greater
decades that brainstorming is pretty use-
number of ideas, and produce similar or
less, do managers at all levels still love
better quality ideas, than when forced to
cramming people into conference rooms
work in groups.
for such idea-generation sessions?
Diehl and Stroebe identified two reasons
Because old habits (and ideas) die hard.
for this: free riding and production
Just like Kern Little.
blocking. Consider this the next time you lock your ‘Free riding’ is the idea that people are less
staff in the conference room, with a free
inclined to work when placed in a group.
lunch, and tell them to solve a problem.
MAPPING PROFIT WITH work B U S I N E S S I N T E L L I G E N C E
eal estate franchise the Ray White Group has
Ray White implemented a solution from Tableau Software to
deployed business intelligence software to help drive
build a customised presentation layer called documentbuilder. The
its geographical expansion strategy.
software breaks down multidimensional data into visualisations,
As a franchise group, Ray White makes money
by taking a commission on sales from its members - the parent group is more profitable when its children are more
to help access geographical sales and performance information. The solution was initially intended to replace the company’s existing pie chart tool.
profitable. Around seven years ago, the company identified
“From there, it’s grown into being our one-stop shop
a need to measure its market share and be able to analyse
for information - any of our analytics reports, state-based
that at a suburb level.
reports, salesperson performance, all that kind of stuff. Now we’ve also built another custom engine which is for our agents in creating sales reports for their clients - the mum and dad who are going to buy a house in Sydney or wherever,” said Krisanski. Through a web-based portal connected to Tableau Ser ver, Ray White allows sales representatives to create their own market reports for specific geographies, drilling from the national level down to individual suburbs. These reports include visual dashboards, pie charts and maps, to help close deals and gain insights into market performance. The new system has helped fuel the company’s recent growth, Krisanski said. It has also helped with the
Nathan Krisanski, Senior Analyst at Ray White, said, “We
“A big push we have internally is for the recruitment of
years ago], and that was a custom-built map/pie chart view.”
new businesses. Being able to represent ourselves as knowing
But the company decided that application wasn’t meeting
about the market, giving the tools back to their agents, so if
its future needs. “It was hosted externally, so we didn’t have any control over the application itself. We had to format our results in a certain
absorption of real estate agents into the Ray White brand.
did have a solution that was built before I came along [four
they join Ray White their agents get access to all these tools and all this data that we have, has made the recruitment process a lot easier, a lot better,” Krisanski said.
way and upload it to their system, and they’d process it and put
“One of the key parts of our process is evaluating [franchise
it into the backend, and we’d see the information come back
applicants] when they come through. A lot of the guys are
out. It was quite time-consuming in the sense of being able to
surprised to know that before they join us, we know more
update things and be able to enforce change as well. We ran into
about them than they do sometimes. That’s certainly given us
brick walls trying to get new features added,” Krisanski said.
a great deal of power and knowledge in the industry,” he said.
3G/4G Antenna Connectors
USB Ports Reset LAN1/WAN Port Power LAN 2-4 Connector Ports
PEER PEER Australia’s energy supply industry could not function effectively w ithout robust and re liable information systems - they are the lifeblood of our electricity and gas markets. Chris Ford is CIO of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), where he oversees three operation centres that produce real-time market information on electricity and gas supply availability and electricity reserve levels.
24-HOUR IT PEOPLE
he energy supply sector is one
We not only process large volumes of data,
of the most exciting - and most
we need to also deliver it reliably - the
rapidly evolving - industries in
dispatch systems must deliver complex
Australia, and is supported by
computations within a five-minute dis-
highly complex IT systems. Information
patch cycle. Data also needs to be available,
technology underpins AEMO’s core
and to this end, we work to high levels of
business function as power system and
availability so that only one five-minute
market operator. We process huge vol-
dispatch cycle or less is lost each year. In
umes of data to support the needs of
serving market participants, our mission
market participants. Ensuring IT delivers
is to deliver market data that is meaning-
value for money and aligning IT to the
ful, reliable and available. Pleasingly, we
AEMO business is our main focus - IT
are able to achieve that goal.
is a key enabler of the energy market. Australia has one of the most integrated AEMO’s market systems provide a wide
energy markets in the world, and looking
range of forward information every
ahead, AEMO IT is seeking to further
five minutes for each hour, as well as
improve the effectiveness of its market
half-hourly to the end of a current day,
systems, their interfaces and market data,
half-hourly to the end of a current week
to maximise the value from initiatives such
and daily for the next two years. The
as smart grids and the new-generation
systems essentially run a five-minute
technologies that are evolving.
market that calculates the price of
Chris Ford joined AEMO in February 2012 and is based in the organisation’s Sydney National Electricity Market (NEM) operations centre. Ford’s experience is drawn from energy, water and government organisations, including advanced regulated industries in Australia and the UK, over more than 20 years.
electricity. They also provide a range of
For example, consistent and efficient
market sensitivities to address dispatch
demand forecasting is a critical factor for
and pricing for different demand out-
AEMO given the increasing complexity
comes. The provision of this real-time
of the NEM. Current demand forecasting
information assists participants to make
by AEMO is based on historical data,
efficient decisions on the commitment
accounting for future trends; AEMO is
of their generating plant, and my role as
working on new systems to produce more
AEMO’s CIO is to deliver these market
frequent and timely forecast updates in
The volume of data that is transferred
Increasing activities in the area of intel-
to and from our operations centres is
ligent grids - including smart metering -
stunning from a corporate perspective:
will require the industry to revisit current
around 50 gigabytes a day. This data in-
arrangements for data management and
cludes market information such as bids,
the way data can be analysed to provide
prices and dispatch quantities as well
improved industry information. AEMO’s
as essential power system operational
central role in the market is helping to
measurements and controls.
facilitate development in this area.
FROM THE FRONTLINE THE ROLE OF
CLOUD IN ENTERPRISE SERVICE DELIVERY
‘Cloud’ has become a pervasive part of the IT vocabulary - but how big a role will it play in enterprise service delivery? Stephen Withers sought the views of a panel of senior IT executives drawn from the user and analyst communities and found there was a broad consensus.
How important will cloud be in enterprise service delivery, and why?
Cloud is “really important - it’s a com-
“All of those,” says Donaldson. For Think,
pletely game-changing situation in the
the use of cloud technologies has driven
IT industry”, says Donaldson. Companies
down costs as the company only pays for
such as Think that have grown through
the resources it actually uses, and it gains
acquisition are well placed to take advan-
agility extra resources that can be brought
tage of it, while those with legacy systems
to bear so easily: a new server can be com-
will soon face the need for replacement
missioned “with a few click of a mouse”.
Is it about cost, agility, availability - or just getting rid of that pesky capex?
and will consider cloud systems alongside more traditional models.
“Cost wasn’t the first thing to look at” for Pitney Bowes, says Simonsen, though it
Simonsen expects cloud to become the
was a factor. “It was a business problem
norm. Prior to joining Equinix, he worked
we needed to solve,” specifically gaining
for Pitney Bowes where he oversaw the
visibility of regional operations, helping
replacement of a variety of sales force
employees become more efficient and re-
automation and financial systems running
moving the need to own and operate data
in 13 data centres around the Asia-Pacific
centres. The pay-by-use model associated
region with cloud services from Salesforce.
with cloud “just makes life easier”, he says,
com and NetSuite. This move simplified
“it’s taken the complexity out”.
IT - everyone in the region used the
“[Cloud] will replace, over time, the current delivery model,” he predicts. Oostveen notes significant changes in cloud adoption over the last 12 months. Where it was previously seen as a way of gaining efficiencies and avoiding capital expenditure, agility has become an important consideration, as “business is changing rapidly”. But he believes there is still a place for conventional on-premises implementations - “it’s a matter of ‘fit for purpose’”, he says. For example, a bank or government department likely runs systems that have been developed over decades and that are linked to specific infrastructure. Since these systems are critical to the organisation’s core function, they are likely to stay on premises. Furthermore, some workloads are not suited to the ‘scale out’ infrastructure associated with cloud implementations, but instead need a ‘scale up’ environment and so tend to be kept in-house.
same applications, software upgrades
Empired has been using NetSuite for over
and updates were eliminated, data centre
a year, and it has proved cheaper than on-
hardware refreshes were avoided, “and
premises software, is readily used by staff
the applications are really good”. The
outside the office and was deployed very
downside, he suggests, is that SaaS prob-
quickly. Baskerville predicts cloud will be
ably won’t deliver all the functionality of
used “right across the spectrum” from IaaS
a decades-old, in-house system that has
(the provision of raw processing and storage
IDC’s research into Australian businesses
been adapted over the years.
capability) through to specific applications.
suggests the hybrid model will predominate
Horizontal applications such as finance and
in the 2013-2017 period, Oostveen said.
CRM are already available, and those for
increasingly niche activities are appearing.
workloads will remain in-house, some ©iStockphoto.com/Pingebat
Public, private or hybrid?
O U R PA N E L
Russell Baskerville, Managing Director, Empired
Andy Donaldson, IT Director, Think: Education Group
Matt Oostveen, Chief of Research, IDC Australia
Tony Simonsen, Managing Director, Equinix Australia
generic functions such as email and
Since the hybrid model splits data across
which are not only required by enter-
collaboration will continue to move to
multiple systems - on premises, public
prise customers but “would definitely
public clouds, and data centre invest-
cloud and hybrid cloud - Oostveen sees
be an advantage for organisations that
ments - whether by service providers or
it as “putting more eggs in more baskets”.
can’t afford to do it for themselves”, says
for organisations’ own use - will reflect these trends.
Baskerville. Oostveen notes the importance of availability, and despite some perceptions
“It really depends on your business,” says
that in-house operations provide better
Donaldson. Public clouds and virtualised
availability than cloud providers, he says
private clouds tick a lot of the boxes for
“I challenge end users who believe this”
many organisations outside the finance,
and observes that there is a correlation
government and similar sectors, and he
between availability and security.
For how much longer will data sovereignty be an issue?
“Data sovereignty still comes up as one of the big issues surrounding cloud,”
predicts most businesses will adopt public Cloud is not a magic wand, observes
says Oostveen, though it does depend on
Donaldson, so organisations need to be
the sector - for example, the Australian
Simonsen says the choice will depend on
aware of their responsibilities and make
Government mandates local storage of
the organisation and the application, and
good choices. “You always have to be
certain data. But he predicts that over
one of the considerations will be how to
diligent,” but the issues vary according to
time people will become more used to
control access, especially when there’s an
the services being used and so are very
cloud services and the idea of data being
extended community of users such as
different for an Amazon Web Services
customers and suppliers in addition to
customer (which still needs to patch the
operating system in use) or a Salesforce.
“Customers do worry about where their
com customer, for example.
data lives,” says Simonsen, but he sug-
gests an appropriate approach is to value
The opportunity presented by a hybrid cloud to ‘burst’ (expand from an in-house
Part of that diligence is ensuring that
different sets of data and then make an
cloud to that operated by a provider) in
the provider has the appropriate vendor
appropriate assessment of where it should
order to meet peak loads is very real, Si-
and other certifications, says Donaldson.
be stored. Naturally, government requirements should be part of this process, but
monsen says, and is especially relevant to retailers and wholesalers, as they typically
“We’re comfortable with a cloud environ-
a broad-brush decision to keep everything
experience seasonal peaks and troughs.
ment, but we’re always vigilant,” he says.
onshore is probably the result of having insufficient information, he says.
All three models are valid, according
“Security was certainly one of the ques-
to Baskerville. Larger organisations are
tions we had [at Pitney Bowes],” says
“It’s a complicated issue,” says Donaldson.
likely to use dedicated private clouds
Simonsen, which is why providers such
Organisations need to understand their
(though not necessarily from their own
as Equinix have accreditations such as
own business requirements in order to
data centres), but specialist providers with
ISO 27001. While security is important,
decide the significance of data sover-
multitenanted infrastructure will also be
the requirements do not become more
eignty. Think does keep some of its data
acceptable providing each tenant has its
stringent just because a system is run-
onshore, as the training it offers to the
own application instances. While public
ning in the cloud.
health sector involves the storage of real patient information.
clouds will be acceptable for common functions, most enterprise demand will
Security is an issue whether an organi-
be met from private and hybrid clouds,
sation operates its own data centre or
Baskerville’s personal opinion is that
runs in the cloud, says Baskerville, but
the data sovereignty issue is poorly un-
selecting an enterprise-grade provider
derstood and that “creates nervousness”.
should reduce concerns.
While it is a fact that different laws apply
Is security an issue? Does cloud put too
in different countries, keeping data in
many eggs in one basket? Or are cloud
providers able to hire the best security
Larger providers can afford to employ
Australia does not mean the government
people with high-end security skills,
cannot access it.
D A T A R E T E N T I O N A N E W D I G I TA L K I N D O F D I V I D E We Australians are generally a sceptical bunch, but nothing gets our backs up more than when we feel our individual privacy may be being compromised, especially when the government sticks its nose in. A recent Fairfax survey showed an overwhelming 96% of readers disagreed with telcos storing telephone and internet data.
he discussion paper published by
that the cost of implementing technology
the Attorney-General’s depart-
to capture and store this information could
ment in July this year recom-
be between $500 and $700 million. CEO of
mending sweeping changes to
Telstra David Thodey said his concern is
up to six acts of Parliament and imposing
not about how much it will cost Australia’s
a two-year retention of data on service
largest telco to keep the data but who will
providers has caused a big stink amongst
have access to it.
the general public, civil libertarians and certain political figures.
If the recommendations of the paper are enacted into law, how do service providers
The latest stoush over the proposed policy
minimise the inevitable passing of costs to
is whether the actual content of commu-
consumers for storing and retrieving this
nications and data (which includes emails,
SMS, tweets, browser sessions) will need to
Adrian De Luca, Board Director, SNIA ANZ
be retained or just information about the
Thankfully, information technology, par-
transmission such as source, destination,
ticularly data storage, has come a long way
date, time, duration, type and the equip-
over the past five years. Recognising the
ment used. To help navigate through the
explosive growth in both data generation
controversial issue the government looked
and retention, storage vendors have done
to the EU’s 2006 Data Retention Directive
more than deliver greater capacities at lower
that 25 member states have implemented it
costs. Most have introduced capacity ef-
as national policy. Last year, after review-
ficiency technologies to their products to
ing its implementation in a number of
reduce the physical storage required by
states, the European Commission found
removing duplicate data and compress-
that the current laws have the potential
ing it. Working together with this, data
to impose “significant limitations on the
archiving standards have greatly matured
right to privacy”. It went further by recom-
over this time by not only automating the
mending an overhaul of the directive to
job of filing digital information from ap-
strengthen safeguards to stop citizens’ data
plications in a secure way but being able
being used inappropriately, by imposing
to retrieve it with the help of intelligent
stricter controls on the storage, access to
search technologies that are specifically built
and use of data.
for industry compliance and regulation.
As the debate is sure to intensify in par-
Although we expect to see far more discus-
liament and the public arena, those that
sion, consultation, debate and parliamen-
will need to comply with the policy, the
tary enquiries ahead before anything is
telecommunications and service providers,
enacted into legislation, at least the Aus-
are already counting the commercial cost.
tralian Government recognises the need to have a strategy to tackle the ever-increasing
David Epstein, the head of regulatory affairs
threats coming from the digital world and
at Australia’s second largest telco, Optus,
to protect citizens from criminals and ter-
has already fired a warning shot estimating
rorists that want to do us harm.
SIMPLE. EFFICIENT. FLEXIBLE. Speed to the cloud with EMC VSPEX proven infrastructure. Visit www.emcvspex.com.au
EMC2, EMC and the EMC logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. ÂŠ Copyright 2012 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.
SOFTWARE SHOWCASE SANSYMPHONY-V STORAGE HYPERVISOR HUMAN RESOURCE INFORMATION SYSTEM
The SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor forms a virtualisation layer across storage devices to help maximise the performance and utilisation of disk resources in IT organisations. The software allows enterprises to accommodate rapidly growing and changing demands of their storage infrastructures, without having to invest in hardware upgrades or expansions. This allows IT to reduce the capital and operational costs of storage.
Epicor Software Corporation has an-
The data protection, provisioning, caching,
nounced the availability of its latest hu-
replication and migration functions operate over different models
man capital management (hCm) solution.
and brands of storage equipment.
Epicor hCm version 5.7 is a complete human resource information system that automates HR processes, enabling companies to track, manage and analyse employee data throughout the entire
Priced per-terabyte software licences are portable. Customers can replace or upgrade the hardware on which the software runs without incurring any additional licence charges. www.datacore.com
employee life cycle. The release encompasses enhanced localisation capabilities for a global workforce. The product is an integrated solution to support a full range of services for future deployments. It features ‘Deferred Authentication’, a web service to validate the users’ credentials to the customer’s Active directory server and securely store the domain user name and password, without the need to keep users constantly linked to the other side. ‘Service Draft-Web Services’ allows customers to gain all the benefits of task logic for inserting or editing data without having to run a task from the front end. When the data is uploaded to the system,
CLOUD APPLICATION SCALING Riverbed has integrated Stingray Traffic Manager, its software and virtual application delivery controller (ADC), with VMware vFabric Application Director, a hybrid cloud application provisioning solution. The combined solution allows users to create application blueprints that can be used to provision and scale multitier applications in a hybrid cloud environment. These application blueprints can use application delivery features of Stingray Traffic Manager software for a higher level of application portability across cloud services and repeatable deployments of selected applications with standard deployment settings. Using a drag-and-drop interface, application architects can choose to accelerate and load balance their enterprise ap-
it is validated help ensure data integrity.
plications in the cloud.
ReliableReliableFast to deployFast to deployEasy to manageEasy to manageEasy to man
The only high-performance data centre infrastructure for any business and budget Our promise: 24/7/365 availability, speed, and efficiency-driven cost savings Introducing Next Generation InfraStruxure Whether your company just doubled its sales or staff, you need to make sure that its data centre can support such business growth — not hinder it. All too often, though, businesses feel constrained by the capabilities of their information technology (IT) and supporting infrastructure. Is there enough rack space to handle more servers? Can power capacity accommodate larger IT loads? Today, APC by Schneider Electric™ eliminates these hurdles with its proven high-performance, scalable, and complete data centre architecture solution: InfraStruxure™.
InfraStruxure data centres mean business! We say that InfraStruxure data centres mean business. But what does that mean to you? The answer is simple. A data centre means business when it: is always available 24/7/365 and performs at the highest level at all times, is able to grow at the breakneck speed of business, continues to achieve greater and greater energy efficiency — from planning through operations —, and is able to grow with the business itself. What’s more, InfraStruxure is an integrated solution that can be designed to your exact requirements at the start, while still being able to adapt to your company’s changing business needs in the future.
The promise of InfraStruxure deployment InfraStruxure fufils our promise of superior quality, which ensures highest availability; speed, which ensures easy and quick alignment of IT to business needs; and cost savings based on energy efficiency. What better way to ‘mean business’ than to enable quality, speed, and cost savings — simultaneously?
Business-wise, Future-drivenTM. Data Centre Projects: Growth Model
> Executive summary
Contents 1 2 7 7 9 10
InfraStruxure data centres mean business! Only InfraStruxure ensures that your data centre can adapt effectively, efficiently, and quickly to business growth and other changes via the following benefits: Availability: 24/7/365 uptime is made possible through best-in-class critical power with ’snap-in’ modular power distribution units, close-coupled cooling, and proactive monitoring software. Speed: Deployment is fast and simple because all system components are designed to work together ‘out of the box’ and the system can grow at breakneck business speed. Efficiency: True energy efficiency and savings are achieved via advanced designs, including threestage inverters in UPS units and variable speed fans in cooling units. Manageability: InfraStruxure Management Software Portfolio enables you to see and manage capacity and redundancy levels of cooling, power, and rack space for optimal data centre health. Agility: Flexibility comes from enclosures with any IT vendor compatibility and whole system scalability for both power and cooling. APC by Schneider Electric is the pioneer of modular data centre infrastructure and innovative cooling technology. Its products and solutions, including InfraStruxure, are an integral part of the Schneider Electric™ IT portfolio.
Plan your data centre growth simply and effectively! Download White Paper #143, “Data Centre Projects: Growth Model”. and go in the draw to WIN an iPad®!* Visit www.apc.com/promo Key Code 52810K
©2012 Schneider Electric. All Rights Reserved. Schneider Electric, APC, InfraStruxure, and Business-wise, Future-driven are trademarks owned by Schneider Electric Industries SAS or its affiliated companies. email: email@example.com • 78 Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park NSW 2113 AUSTRALIA • 998-3810_AU *Authorised under NSW Permit No. LTPM/12/00526, ACT Permit No. TP 12/02264. Promotion commences 1st July 2012 and closes 31st December 2012. Full terms and conditions available online.
SOFTWARE SHOWCASE CLOUD SCANNING AND PRINTING APPLICATION BACKUP AND RECOVERY The latest release of Acronis Backup & Recovery introduces disk-to-disk-tocloud staging into its unified backup and recovery platform. A u t o m a t e d d i s kto-disk to-cloud backup shortens the backup window for live physical and virtual machines and simplifies
Kyocera Cloud Connect, from Kyocera Document Solutions, is an application that bridges Kyocera’s products to cloud service provider Evernote, enabling scanning and printing of files in Evernote directly from most Kyocera multifunctional product control panels. Kyocera Cloud Connect allows users to upload and store files to their account on Evernote, directly, from the touch screen control panel of a Kyocera multifunctional product and, when a hardcopy of any document is needed, retrieve and print files (including JPEG, PDF and TIFF formats) stored in Evernote, to their Kyocera device. Users can scan to Evernote to upload scanned files directly to Evernote from the Kyocera product, removing the need to send scanned files
management of both destinations. IT
to, or from, a computer.
administrators can get the benefits
of both local and cloud backup in a unified platform. The upgrade also includes granular recovery for Microsoft Exchange and the option to buy support for Exchange Server, in addition to the existing support for Active Directory, SQL Server and SharePoint applications. The platform allows organisations to centrally manage data protection and disaster recovery tasks for physical, virtual and cloud environments from a single management console, and move data between environments quickly and easily. Customers can purchase licences for the agents and application support they currently need, with the ability to access more functionality as their environment changes. www.acronis.com.au
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE MicroStrategy 9.3 includes new capabilities and improvements to the data discovery software Visual Insight; increased support for advanced analytics from ‘R’ - an open source language for predictive analysis; and improved connectivity to Hadoop. It also introduces a new administration product, System Manager, for automating manual, multistep processes. Visual Insight includes new features for data exploration and dashboardbuilding. Three visualisations - density maps, image layouts and network diagrams - combined with more than 300 analytical functions, allow for analysis of data stored in several forms, relational databases, multidimensional databases, Hadoop distributions, web services and personal data stores, such as Excel files. The platform includes a Hive Thrift connector for Apache Hadoopas well as a connector for SAP HANA. Using MultiSource Option and inmemory technology, organisations can merge Hadoop and SAP HANA data with other data sources. www.microstrategy.com
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Mastermind Keynote Anne Weatherston Chief Information Office, ANZ
Guest Keynote Speakers Success Through Simplicity: Apps for Everyone Dom Sagolla Co-creator of Twitter
A Real Fighter Private Damien Thomlinson Australian veteran of the Afghan war
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T E C H N I C A L LY
CLOUDY WITH A
CHANCE OF DISASTER Carrie Higbie, Global Director for Data Center Solutions and Services, Siemon.
With all the hype about clouds, 2011 was a year of education. The term ‘cloud’ is overused and has been sullied by the sheer variety of definitions used in the industry. Public, private, hybrid and ‘as a service’ have left many scratching their heads and wondering what all the cloud hype is about. There are several considerations to keep in mind when looking to cloud applications.
o begin with, let’s look at the
The first and foremost consideration to
definition of cloud. It is an
build to is what I will call ‘confidence
over-abused term for almost
as a service’. If there is no confidence in
anything available as a service
the solution and the provider, there is
these days. Combined with all of those
no need to follow the cloud bandwagon.
‘as a service’ terms, you also have to look
In order to instill confidence in the
at the location of these services - public,
solution, I recommend considering the
private or hybrid. For the sake of this
article, cloud is a service provided including infrastructure, software, backup,
Portability should be high on your con-
desktop in an easy-to-configure and
fidence building list. It is unfortunate
rapidly deployed solution.
that many of the cloud technologies are moving to proprietary methods. Once
For any cloud application, there are
you move something in the cloud there
several key points that must be evalu-
is no guarantee that you can port your
ated for a successful implementation.
information to another cloud without a
IT can often feel threatened by cloud deployments. The thought of moving corporate systems and resources to an outside entity can be job threatening; and let’s face it, we all need a job to feed ourselves and our families. While companies may embrace cloud technologies for certain applications, it is very unlikely that a company can operate every system in the cloud. But resistance certainly can slow adoption, or force a company into a private cloud, when another perfectly good opportunity is out there waiting to be used. Security is always at the forefront of any savvy CIO/CSO/CTOs mind. And, in
fact, it’s the reason that some companies have shied away from cloud computing altogether. When you think about cloud computing and cloud strategies, one of the first things you should do is a risk assessment surrounding the data you wish to put in the cloud. There is some low-hanging fruit for cloud - systems you can place in the cloud, without massive rework effort. Investigate what
down the cables that you can use with
exposing yourself to great risk - even at
will happen to your data if you choose
their solutions by adding encryption
government level. Think of tax offices
to replace a cloud service with another
to the cables. Years ago, the end-user
that get slammed at tax time with form
(internal or otherwise) in the future.
community as a whole fought long and
downloads: there are benefits to putting
hard for open systems. To see such a
this system in the cloud, and the risk is
What works in the cloud and what
regression is a shame. Beware of studies
minimal, as the information in question
doesn’t? This depends on both risk and
and marketing literature that promise
is already public facing.
functionality. You may have a harder
that one vendor’s product is the one
time moving home-grown applications
thing for everything. There is no such
For security, it’s also important to look
to the cloud than COTS (commercial
thing as one size fits all in IT.
at IT policy. Savvy end users can put information in the cloud and completely
off the shelf ) packages. It is well worth the testing and development time to
Open systems are the key to assuring
circumvent company policies. This is
determine that all functionality is still
interoperability and help to avoid be-
an area that is not often addressed in
going to be there when an application
ing locked into one vendor’s products,
actionable HR policies but may need
is moved to a cloud platform.
before you can meet critical business
to be in the near future. IT security -
needs. With mergers and acquisitions
and getting around IT security - is a
Vendor dependency is a growing concern
running rampant, it pays to have an
bit like radar guns/cameras and radar
on the hardware side of things. Some
open system. If the company you have
detectors for speeding. If you don’t have
electronics manufacturers are locking
engaged uses proprietary hardware, and
a policy on where users put company
down their components due to the
they are acquired by another company,
information, now is the time to make
proprietary nature of their management
you may find yourself with early end of
one, whether you currently use clouds
and hardware hooks. Some even lock
life on your equipment.
or not. Users certainly have access to a
“ YOU SHOULD PUT AS MUCH ©iStockphoto.com/James Thew
DUE DILIGENCE INTO YOUR CLOUD PROVIDER AS YOU WOULD PUT INTO YOUR OWN SYSTEMS.” lot of information, and proactive beats
data resides. For instance, European
love the proprietary hooks they can
reactive, hands down.
Union countries require that private/per-
implement to lock you in. Management
sonal information be stored in-country.
standards may increase learning curves,
Bankruptcy, or going out of business, is
Countries like Australia go further and
devices required and the intricacy/com-
another concern with some providers.
require that it be stored in-state. In a
plexity of a variety of systems. Hopefully
When the term “cloud” exploded, providers
public cloud, it is prudent to try to
as end-user demands increase for single
started popping up out of the woodwork.
ascertain where the information is, and
open solutions, so will the solutions that
Vendors, likewise, began offering cloud-
will continue to reside, so that you don’t
ready products. Granted, it is bad if a
accidentally find yourself in violation of
hardware vendor goes under, but if you
are on open systems, you can generally recover from that block.
some significant information from any Tangible and intangible ROI calculations
cloud provider outside of what is listed
are difficult at best. It never ceases to
above. They should have the same change
Recovery is much more difficult if it’s your
amaze me how some companies com-
management practices that you would
actual cloud provider that goes under. It
pletely butcher ROI and TCO calcula-
demand (provided you do). You should
is important to understand how long your
tions in marketing literature to justify
know all of the equipment, vendors and
provider has been offering such services and
their solutions to CFOs, and those with
solutions they are using, if you plan to
what their financial outlook looks like. I
decision-making powers. You must first
use their services long term. If you can
know of one company that put its data in
determine what is real and what is vapour
arrange a site visit, all the better. You
a cloud facility - the provider subsequently
when you look into the calculations.
should put as much due diligence into your cloud provider as you would put
was collapsed for its asset value and the
into your own systems.
customer was never notified. The informa-
There are always going to be line items
tion was test data, but they lost quite a bit
that work and don’t work based on a
of development time and revisions of code
company’s individual circumstances.
Contracts for cloud services can range
that were stored in the cloud.
In some cases, it may be attractive - in
from the very simple for short-term, to
some, far less. Know what your tangibles
very complex for long-term solutions.
Geographic diversity is a great thing to
and intangibles are prior to evaluations,
It is in your best interest to do a little
have when storing information. Companies
and be open to others as the services
shopping to get a feel for what is be-
may plan to choose to build two tier II
change. Make sure you know the differ-
ing provided. Some cloud providers are
data centres, as opposed to one tier IV,
ence between one-time costs and those
asking users to forgo SLAs (service level
as the tier IIs can be built at a fraction
that are reoccurring in your calculations.
agreements) and accept a ‘best effort’ service. While that may be fine for a
of the cost but also provide this diversity.
Lastly, you are going to have to require
Backing up data or moving data to the
Standards are another sticking point
service you don’t pay for, it certainly
cloud can offer some of the same benefits.
when it comes to the cloud. Unfortu-
may not be acceptable for one in which
nately, this is a world that is largely devoid
you do! You should put as much due
An issue arises with new legislation in
of standards, making open systems more
diligence into your cloud provider as
many countries about where exactly
difficult. On top of that, some vendors
you would put into your own systems.
SOFTWARE SHOWCASE VIRTUAL ASSISTANT FOR MOBILE CUSTOMER SERVICE APPS
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SUITE Toad Business Intelligence (BI) Suite is a suite of tools that links traditional and non-traditional data sources to bridge the gap between business intel-
ligence environments and distributed big data sources.
tions has introduced
The suite offers tailored interfaces designed to meet
Nina, the virtual assis-
individual users’ data provisioning and analytic
tant for mobile customer service apps. Using this product, companies can quickly add speech-based virtual assistant capabilities to their existing iOS and Android mobile apps, enhancing the self-service experience for their customers. The product combines the company’s speech recognition, text-to-speech (TTS), voice biometrics
needs. Technical business analysts have access to tools needed to provision and deliver complex data in a meaningful form, while business analysts can consume and deliver this data via visualisations or existing BI systems to aid decision-making and achieve faster time-to-value in existing BI investments. The automated solution facilitates self-service data integration with agile access to departmental data, traditional RDBMS data, corporate business intelligence, cloud databases and big data sources like Hadoop. www.quest.com
and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology hosted in the cloud to deliver an interactive user experience that not only understands what is said, but also can identify who is saying it. The product is claimed to be the first virtual assistant customer service app to incorporate both speech recognition and voice biometrics into a single integrated solution. It is also the first to provide an open software development kit (SDK) to support the rapid integration of virtual assistant capabilities into existing mobile applications. In addition, the product allows organisations to brand their own virtual assistant persona, in-
COLLABORATION APP The Good for Enterprise collaboration app has been updated to include a refreshed UI, photo share capabilities and attachment viewing. The application is available for both iOS and Android. The new user interface makes it easier to move between email, calendar, contacts or the browser. Secure ‘photo snap and share’ enables mobile workers to take photos and securely share them via email from whiteboard sessions or job sites. To-do lists allow employees to organise and track tasks with real-time synchronisation of Microsoft Outlook tasks or Lotus Notes To Do’s. A calendar attachment review function provides the ability to open and view files attached within calendar invites, allowing mobile workers to review meeting materials on the fly. One-touch conference dial with passcode permits mobile workers to spend less time switching between screens and safely dial into conference calls
cluding the visual appearance and
with the host or participant code included in just one tap.
implementation of optional custom
The application requires a Good for Enterprise server and client access
UNI FINDS 95,000 LOST work G R A D U A T E S
he University of Ballarat (UB) has implemented a new
The school hired technology services company ASG Group for
system to help manage its alumni and its fundraising
functional consulting and technical development, on the basis
activities. The PeopleSoft solution, implemented with
of the company’s general understanding of PeopleSoft products.
help from ASG Group, has revealed 95,000 previously
Before implementing the new system, the university had
unidentified graduates from the university. Until recently, the university was using an archaic system to keep track of its alumni. “We recorded all of our alumni details in spreadsheets, and that was the extent of our system,” said Michelle Nunn, Project Manager at the University of Ballarat.
around 5000 alumni in its spreadsheet-based system. The new system automatically identified graduates from the student management system and classified them as alumni. “We went from 5000 alums to over 100,000 overnight,” Nunn said. But the contact details for many alumni were old. The
The data gathering method - which involved a series of
school hired a marketing company to promote the new system
voluntary forms on graduation day - also meant the school
in social media and local newspapers, directing past graduates
wasn’t accurately identifying
to contact the University of
all of its graduates as alumni.
Ballarat in order to update
As part of a strategic plan
“We really reached and
create an alumni community
touched the community by
using these records as a basis.
doing that sort of a marketing
The school also wanted to
campaign,” Nunn said.
clean up its donor tracking
The university now
system, which, like the
gives students access to the
alumni records, existed as
system around the time of
graduation, allowing them
Nunn said they didn’t
to update their own contact
have a good way of using
details, their employment
their data to see who their
status, their interests and so
top donors are and who is
on. This allows the school to,
donating every month.
for example, notify students
To help with both of these problems, the university implemented Contributor Relations from PeopleSoft, in part because of its ability to integrate with the vendor’s student management system, Campus Solutions.
of new courses they may be interested in, inform them of alumni benefits and send them newsletters. The system also allows the university to track the threads of specific donations, providing analytics like how long it
“In 2008 we implemented Campus Solutions as our student
took to get to the point of donation, whether invitations to
management system, so it just seemed logical that we’d use
specific events were useful or whether it took a visit from the
Contributor Relations as well, because then we’ve got complete
Vice-Chancellor to seal the deal.
access to all of that graduate data … and it can accurately identify who is really supposed to be an alum,” Nunn said. When the university selected Contributor Relations, there was no local knowledge of that specific product, Nunn said.
their personal details.
formed in 2007, UB wanted to
“We’re able to quickly see that this person’s interested in animals or a supporter of environmental sustainability … so when you go out to talk to them, you know to take along the UB environmental sustainability plan,” Nunn said.
4–5 December 2012
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre Melbourne, Australia
In conjunction with the ARCIA Industry Gala Dinner
Utilities | Government | Enterprise | Transportation | Public Safety
The Future of Professional Mobile Radio in Australia Now in its 6th year … The future is digital and the march of radio into mainstream communications means you need to know what’s happening in radio and how it impacts the decisions you make now and into the future.
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Not all networks are created equal
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Beyond 400 MHz
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Developing winning strategies for critical communications in a time of rapid technological change
You can also hear about: • • • • • •
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RSA: top capabilities for the next-gen cloud Identity management will remain one of the key capabilities that organisations need, be it in a public cloud or a virtual private cloud, for the foreseeable future. “Whether dealing with public cloud providers or your own virtual private clouds and also with partners and end users, there has to be a notion of trust at the centre of managing many-to-many relationships in the cloud,” says Eddie Schwartz, chief information security officer (CISO) for RSA, the Security Division of EMC. “[Last year], we announced the Cloud Trust Authority (CTA), which basically [suggests the idea of] a trust broker within the cloud to handle issues like identity, authentication and authorisation management.”
Trust brokers CTA is a set of cloud-based services that enable visibility and control over identities, information and infrastructure to facilitate secure and compliant relationships among organisations and cloud service providers. Schwartz says that standards are still evolving for trust brokers but organisations like the Cloud Security Alliance will play a role in defining them. “There is a need for greater interoperability. When you look at the very large commercial public cloud providers and what organisations are trying to do privately, we have to find a way to integrate more easily.” Read full article at: www.asiacloudforum.com/content/rsa-top-capabilities-next-gen-cloud
Hastings Deering drives growth with Dynamics AX Hastings Deering, a part of the Malaysian Sime Darby Group and one of the largest Caterpillar dealer networks in the world, is deploying the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 solution to support business growth. Microsoft’s Consulting Services Division will roll out the system in phases over the next 28 months. The enteprise resource planning (ERP) system will support 10,000
ASIA CLOUD FORUM core divisions of Malaysia-based Sime Darby Group, the world’s fifth-largest Caterpillar dealer with dealerships across more than 100 branches in 10 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific. The company, in conjunction with its sister dealerships in Asia, is expecting substantial growth in the next 18 months to reach its goal of becoming a US$3 billion business and plans to double its workforce within the next two to three years. The company’s previous core business system only covered 40% of its processes and was supported by a number of additional applications. Read full article at: www.asiacloudforum.com/content/hastings-deering-drives-growthdynamics-ax
Building HK’s first government outsourced private cloud
users when fully implemented. Xapt Corporation, a specialist Dy-
Following the implementation of the Hong Kong government’s
namics partner, will provide Caterpillar-specific Dynamics modules
first in-house private cloud platform, the Hong Kong Office of the
and heavy equipment domain knowledge.
Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) is progressing onto building the government’s first outsourced private cloud, to
Hastings Deering is the principal Australian subsidiary of Sime
be rolled out in 2013.
Darby Industrial, operating Caterpillar dealerships in Queensland
and the Northern Territory of Australia, Papua New Guinea and
Called GovCloud, this outsourced private cloud will become a
New Caledonia. Sime Darby’s Industrial Division is one of the six
much larger scale of government cloud compared to the in-house
W W W. A S I A C L O U D F O R U M . C O M
private cloud. GovCloud will provide computing resources like
around the globe. DT’s corporate customer division, T-Systems
servers, storage and networks. Unlike the in-house private cloud
will provide Exchange 2010. The secure private cloud will support
which is hosted on government premises, GovCloud will be hosted
access to email from a range of mobile and computer devices
in a third-party contractor’s data centre, which will be dedicated to
used by employees in all areas of BP.
The Asia Cloud Forum, an online media portal, has been created to represent the interests of enterprise users, governments, telcos, vendors, policy makers and others with a stake in the development of cloud computing in Asia.
usage by 30 government bureaus and departments (B/Ds). (The tender process of the provision of GovCloud solutions began
While citing benefits for BP - including the pay-per-use func-
on 24 August 2012 and is due to close on 19 October 2012.)
tionality and the flexibility to easily scale users up and down - Olswang partner and sourcing specialist Dominic Dryden
“When GovCloud is up and running,” said Daniel Lai, Hong Kong’s
noted the complexity of the work involved: “Whilst its benefits
GCIO, “the OGCIO will migrate some of its cloud-ready systems to
are causing buyers to think differently about technology pro-
GovCloud, such as e-procurement, electronic information manage-
curement, cloud also poses a series of new challenges. We were
ment, paperless meeting and electronic HR management.”
delighted to support our client BP in addressing a number of
Read full article at: www.asiacloudforum.com/content/building-hks-first-gov-clouds-iioutsourced-private-cloud
Olswang advises BP on global cloud rollout
the challenges, in [this deal].” Olswang ran and coordinated the deal from London. “From Singapore, we look at some of the Asian aspects of that,” said Rob Bratby, managing partner at Olswang Asia LLP. “That is an example of a very large global organisation dealing with is-
Olswang, a technology law firm, has advised petroleum giant BP on
sues in terms of their privacy policies. Some jurisdictions [like
the procurement of cloud messaging services, including its upgrade
Germany] have strict data protection laws in Europe and that
to Microsoft Exchange 2010.
drove some of the things that were happening here.”
The contract was awarded to Deutsche Telekom (DT) to supply
Read full article at: www.asiacloudforum.com/content/olswang-advises-bp-roll-outglobal-cloud
cloud messaging services to more than 83,000 BP employees
W W W. A S I A C L O U D F O R U M . C O M
PLUGGING WIRELESS GAPS work A T M A C Q U A R I E U N I
acquarie University has revamped its wired and
3 VSP9000 switches, and ethernet routing switches (8800, 5500
wireless networks in anticipation of growing
and 4500 models).
The two priorities of the revamped network were speed
Peter Hole, Manager, Implementation at
and reliability, leading Hole to implement multiple parallel 10
Macquarie, said, “We’re actually trying to be a bit proactive and
gig links across the campus, so that it’s “bigger than we need
avoid problems, rather than fixing them.”
today, but we’re trying to get some life out of it and not restrict
Hole wanted to strengthen the university’s network in anticipation of growing demand for bandwidth.
what we’re doing”. At each point on the network, the solution provides between
“What we’re seeing is a huge increase in all sorts of traffic
one and three backups, to provide redundancy should a piece of kit
across the network, and indeed across the internet. We expected
fail. Hole said Avaya’s proprietary SMLT (split multilink trunking)
a huge increase in wireless type devices. We’re already averaging
technology was one reason why the university chose this solution.
more than two devices per human coming onto the network.”
In Hole’s words, SMLT means that “there is no packet loss at all when there’s a failure. You can turn half of it off and nothing stops. Even if a video is streaming, you don’t notice an interruption in the video or the audio.” Following the implementation, network speeds have improved across the campus, with some buildings exhibiting 100 times the throughput they had previously. The university has also been able to “vastly extend” its wireless network coverage, Hole said. Previously, the university had only 150-200 wireless access points, which really only covered the busiest spots of the campus. Now, with more than 1000 access points, “wireless is everywhere”, Hole said, and there are no black spots. This increase in wireless availability is important, given Hole’s estimate that wired network devices - desktop PCs, for example - make up only around 10% of devices on the network and that student bandwidth use is growing at a compound rate of 25-30% per year.
The network also had to match the increasing demands of
Macquarie also has a “very strong” drive to demonstrate
the university’s online learning program. Hole said that 70 to
sustainability, Hole said, but “it’s a bit hard for IT to actually
80% of lectures are already being recorded and made available
find good news stories in sustainability, because we’re usually
for download via the web. This includes audio, visuals and
about plugging in something else that uses electricity”.
sometimes video clips.
the new solution “is much less power hungry and requires
applications like projecting close-up video of physiotherapy
less cooling” than both the previous kit and several competing
procedures onto large screens in lecture theatres.
solutions that the university could have implemented as part
Macquarie ultimately chose a virtual network fabric featuring Avaya’s Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture. The network
But, he said, he and his team have been able to prove that
Hole and his team are also piloting other bandwidth-heavy
relies on a variety of Avaya kit, including 10GE layer 2 and layer
of this project. “We’re actually putting in something that is much more powerful, but uses less energy than the previous technology.”
T E C H N I C A L LY
EVERY MONTH IS
‘A D O P T A S H A R E P O I N T S I T E M O N T H ’ Chris McNulty, Strategic Product Manager, Quest Software
SharePoint is a powerful tool for enterprise collaboration - when used well. With the release of SharePoint 2013 pending, now is a good time to examine your organisation’s use of the tool, and the merits of migrating to the new version.
t may seem like everyone’s talking
into more than half of the Fortune 1000,
about SharePoint adoption. But why?
but it’s a dynamic, complex ecosystem, with no shortage of customisation and
For more than a decade, Microsoft
functional pieces. It’s not a commodity
SharePoint has sustained high growth
or a one-size-fits-all tool, like messag-
rates, year after year. It’s the fastest grow-
ing. So SharePoint itself differs in how it
ing product at Microsoft to reach more
appears to different organisations. One
than US$1 billion in annual sales, with
classic definition of ‘adoption’ I like is
well over 100 million users worldwide.
“to choose as preferred”. User choice is the critical catalyst to triggering a self-
With all this use, why is there still so
sustaining SharePoint reaction. But it’s
much talk about adoption? Isn’t SharePoint
a challenge, because choice is as much
pretty well ‘adopted’ by now? Clearly,
about soft preferences as it is about hard
no. Sure, SharePoint has pushed its nose
The statistics demonstrate this. Based on
encourage use is to create a lively news-
recent conference surveys conducted by
feed environment using content updates
Dell, user satisfaction with traditional
and tagging. SharePoint is intrinsically
SharePoint document collaboration is
a strong collaborative environment be-
33.2% higher than satisfaction with the
cause it supports document versioning
‘rest’ of SharePoint.
and simultaneous co-authoring.
Before we talk about how to improve
Email, on the other hand, is a horrible
satisfaction, we need to understand why
place for collaboration - no one ever
this happens in the first place. It really
knows where the latest document can be
comes down to two potential problems:
found and how to update the right version.
• The mix of deployed capabilities is
Reminding users to save documents to
completely mismatched to user needs
SharePoint gets tiresome. For better or
for worse, users are comfortable with
sending document attachments around. • The functional mix is ‘right’ but un-
Wouldn’t it be great if collaboration
usable because of complexity, lack of
could shift into SharePoint without
training and interface design.
disrupting long-standing user habits?
There’s no end to the broad range of
QuestSoftware/Dell’s Attach This pro-
adoption techniques to be considered.
vides a simple answer (and it’s available as
Governance, of course, is crucial. Es-
freeware). When users send attachments
tablishing business/IT alignment on
via Outlook, they get a simple dialogue
intended uses and outcomes helps steer
box that offers to transfer the attachments
users to the ‘right’ solutions.
to SharePoint and replace the file with a
Cross that bridge to the SharePoint promised land
link. That’s all. The server version of the product adds administration functions to publish preferred SharePoint locations
User behaviour is a tough thing to
to save files, generate reports and set
change, especially for technologists who
security on uploaded files.
are used to empirical data and technical
SharePoint advocates are a tenacious
solutions. User mandates and browser
SharePoint provides a wealth of great
home page lock-ins may lead to use but
capabilities beyond document manage-
such users are rarely satisfied.
ment and there is no reason to be afraid of SharePoint and keep users at arm’s
bunch. We have a hard time admitting
length, ‘outside’ the browser.
failure. So it can be hard to tell when
Emotional bonds to a website are hard
a SharePoint rollout failed. Even for a
to sustain. Users look for ease, simplic-
failed project, servers are still up and
ity and functionality but they are also
Again, there’s no single approach to
running and you have a small group of
motivated by group identity. They may
adoption that works in all cases. But
advocates still posting and using content.
want to feel that they’re at the forefront,
shifting collaboration from email to
A deeper look, however, will show lots
but they don’t want to be first - because
SharePoint while driving use provides a
of subsites that have gone dark, with no
they don’t want to be alone.
tipping point to help cross that bridge to the SharePoint promised land.
content updates or visits in more than a year. Usually, there’s no use of SharePoint
Social use of SharePoint holds tre-
for anything beyond document manage-
mendous promise for transforming
Migrating to SharePoint 2013
ment - no social, no business intelligence,
the nature and currency of enterprise
We know that SharePoint is a powerful
collaboration. One of the best ways to
and rapidly expanding platform for
“USERS LOOK FOR EASE, SIMPLICITY AND FUNCTIONALITY”
enterprise collaboration, but how ben-
be moved to a public area or links
addition, MMS terms can themselves
eficial are the new features in SharePoint
had to be sent around - now, it is
have properties, like price or colour,
2013 and how can enterprises determine
simple to just ‘share’.
and can then be used directly in
what value they will get? These are the
questions organisations must consider as
3. Adding a social element: In one of
they learn more about SharePoint 2013.
the biggest new features, pictures and
7. Enhanced search: Microsoft’s in-
links are as easy to post to SharePoint
vestment in FAST has been echoed
Before deciding how and when to move
as they are to Facebook. In addition
in a completely re-tooled Search
legacy SharePoint content, Windows
to following people and tags, Share-
file shares, Exchange public folders and
Point 2013 lets users subscribe to,
Lotus Notes applications to SharePoint
and follow, documents.
2013, whether on-premises or online,
Any time a new version of SharePoint is released, companies around the world
businesses must understand the latest
4. Borrowing from Twitter: Twitter has
ask themselves, “Is now the right time to
version’s new capabilities, and more
introduced us to using @ and # in a
move?” To really be able to answer that
importantly, why these capabilities are
routine update. @ directs a post to
question, organisations need a thorough
critical for modern enterprises.
people (@yourname). # indicates a
understanding of what new features are
topic we can search for and follow.
available and, most importantly, why
On SharePoint 2013, @ directs a post
these features provide critical benefits
to SharePoint users. # identifies the
for today’s modern enterprise.
Seven things enterprises need to know about SharePoint 2013
next word as a dynamic keyword
Quest Software has identified seven
to track in SharePoint’s Managed
While the SharePoint 2013 Preview is
things every organisation needs to know
Metadata Service (MMS).
available, organisations can download Quest Migration Suite for SharePoint
about SharePoint 2013. 5. It’s all about the apps: Everything -
2013 Preview for free, and move content
1. Modernised user interface: Those
custom lists, libraries and, of course,
to SharePoint 2013 on-premises and
who have watched Microsoft’s updates
applications - is now available in
online from SharePoint 2003/2007/2010,
to its websites, Windows 8 previews
an app. This means no direct server
Windows file shares and Exchange
or the Modern interface released
access is needed to run or install
Public Folders. They can then ‘test
on the Windows Phone will like the
applications, which can be added
drive’ these new capabilities, letting
new look and feel, which includes
or bought online from the Micro-
them make an informed decision about
animated tiles and inline navigation.
soft SharePoint Store or in-house
how and when they should migrate to
2. Putting the ‘share’ back in Share-
Point: The Share Menu item provides
6. Managed metadata: MMS is now
The tool is available at http://www.
a simple way to share a document
much more robust as tag properties,
via a personal or team SharePoint
pins and terms can be ‘anchored’ to
site. Previously, a document had to
prevent accidental duplication. In
INTRODUCING … TWO targeted new magazines from Westwick-Farrow Media. Thanks again to the 1000+ loyal subscribers of Voice+Data and Electrical Solutions magazines who took the time to complete our reader surveys earlier this year and help create these two new media channels. The new titles (and their respective websites) reflect the changes in technology markets in recent times and will better service YOUR business information needs.
Voice+Data shifts to pure IT and is reborn as Technology Decisions • Content focus is on big picture IT solutions for business and government • Cloud, security, big data, storage, compliance, mobility,
virtualisation & more • More opinion, analysts, peer talk, case studies & articles • New focus on software, both in the magazine and online
Electrical Solutions expands to include more comms+data content, along with a focus on key growth sectors in the world of electrical contracting, and becomes ECD Solutions (Electrical+Comms+Data) • • • •
Four distinct editorial sections: Comms+Data; Efficiency+Renewables; Automation+Security; and Electrical Distribution New perfect bound format with heavy cover and section dividers More products, case studies and articles Regular content on regulations, compliance, training and business tips
Current subscriptions to each media channel will continue, but if you want to receive BOTH magazines, or update your magazine and/or online preferences, simply go to www.TechnologyDecisions.com.au/subscribe www.ECDsolutions.com.au/subscribe
FORWARD THINKER THINKING AHEAD C A N B E TO U G H Tracey Tritsch Lead Consultant, LongDog & Associates
Sure, his cab flies, but flying cars are de
This isn’t about the technology. It’s about
a war hero who drives a New
rigueur for any image of the future.
giving ourselves ‘mental permission’ to
York cab. His apartment hasn’t
been cleaned for at least 10 years.
What’s the problem? It’s sci-fi so it’s meant
The only decorations are a few photos and
to entertain. But look closely and you’ll see
It’s not easy, but it helps if you create the
some tarnished war medals. A woman’s
how much of today is inside this imagined
right conditions. Google’s advantage is
touch is clearly missing.
future world. All the writers have done is
its unconventional ideas, so it pays staff
take today’s world and extrapolate. What’s
to daydream on a personal project 20%
As he answers his phone he grabs a cigarette
stopping us from being more creative in
of their working time. Netapp Australia
from the holder on the wall. It dispenses
our invention of the future?
signals an open culture when the MD sits
one of the four smokes he’s allowed today
at a small desk in the middle of the open
and robotically reminds him “To quit is my
We are. When we imagine the future we
plan layout, just like everyone else. Market
goal”. He chats with his buddy while he
lug a huge bag of ‘how to live’ and ‘what
advantages don’t come from incremental
sticks a pot under the drip coffee maker,
to believe’ with us, and it holds us back.
improvements - they come from quantum
rummages around for a match to light
To be really innovative our ideas must be
leaps that no one else has either considered
up and punches a button that opens the
more than a reinvented present with new
or had the guts to try.
cat flap in response to a plaintive miaow!
buttons and dials. We need to dump some of our baggage.
As he jumps into his cab he bats away the
But to really fire up a culture of big ideas, celebrate failure. Encouraging bold risks,
fluffy dice hanging from his mirror and goes
Our brains are wired to find patterns that
and their bold innovations, you’ll also get
to work. The last thing we see is Korben’s
make living easier. If we had to rethink
more failures. But it’s this sustained risk-
cab flying off to the streets of New York.
every little thing we did, from making a
taking and acceptance of failure that keeps
cup of coffee to using a computer, we’d be
eBay on top. It’s what Telstra’s CIO has
Sci-fi buffs will recognise this scene from the
exhausted and we’d never create anything
enabled by creating a place for failures and
Bruce Willis movie The Fifth Element. Take
new. So we base our choices and decisions
lessons learned to be shared.
out the flying car and it’s New York today.
on our learned patterns. It’s why occa-
But it’s meant to be 250 years from now.
sionally I drive to the office almost fully
The Fifth Element was set in the 23rd cen-
Surely by then we’d have won the nicotine
conscious (I’m not a morning person) and
tury. What would you change in the script?
battle and have better coffee. What about
wonder how I got there. It’s these patterns
In your organization? What would you
teleporting? And what’s with the TV and
that inevitably, often unknowingly, influence
change to give it ‘mental permission’, and a
phone … they look just like mine.
how and what we think.
sustained advantage over your competitors?
orben wakes up grumpy. He’s
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Published bi-monthly, Technology Decisions keeps senior IT professionals abreast of the latest trends, technology advances and application s...