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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

INSIDE

with something that doesn’t work, costs a lot to maintain but the business has never figured out how to get rid of.

©iStockphoto.com/Andrew Ostrovsky

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

10 12 14 16 18 20 28 30 40 42 44 50

| | | | | | | | | | | |

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


Anthony Caruana

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

infrastructure is.”

©iStockphoto.com/Baris Simsek

adapt. During the mainframe and

W

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

the infrastructure.”

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

centre?

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

5


©iStockphoto.com/Baris Simsek

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

Reporting System.

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

refrigeration.

haven’t thought about before. They want

plan for natural disasters and even listed

to make use of the characteristics of the

earthquake statistics.

location. With cold locations they can use outside air for cooling for example.’

6

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


©iStockphoto.com/Baris Simsek

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

difference.

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

8

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.


9


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11


A N A LY S E

THIS

T

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

12

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.

to users.

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.


Andrew Collins

PRIVATE CLOUD SAVES $500K ON PRINTING work P R O J E C T

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

14

students who want to print documents

©iStockphoto.com/David Gunn

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

Simplified experience

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.™

BEYOND CONVERGENCE.

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


FLIP SIDE

B R A I N S T O R M OR JUST A HEADACHE?

I

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

brainstorming.

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

for T-Bonz).

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

16

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.

Andrew Collins


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

working alone.

individuals vs those generated by brainstorming groups.

Other researchers have since found several more reasons for the relatively low

(Psychology-speak finished.)

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.

©iStockphoto.com/mattjeacock

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.

17


Andrew Collins

MAPPING PROFIT WITH work B U S I N E S S I N T E L L I G E N C E

R

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

18

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


2

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

T

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

20

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

objectives seamlessly.

the future.

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.

22


How important will cloud be in enterprise service delivery, and why?

Q

Q

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

Q

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

Some business-critical/mission-critical

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

23


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.

Q

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

stored offshore.

customers and suppliers in addition to

customer (which still needs to patch the

employees.

operating system in use) or a Salesforce.

“Customers do worry about where their

com customer, for example.

data lives,” says Simonsen, but he sug-

cloud systems.

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

Baskerville predicts.

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

24

providers able to hire the best security

Larger providers can afford to employ

Australia does not mean the government

talent?

people with high-end security skills,

cannot access it.


25


26


27


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.

T

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,

information?

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

28

SNIA ANZ

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.


INTRODUCING

EMC VSPEX

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. Š 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,

30

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.

www.epicor.com

www.riverbed.com


ReliableReliableFast to deployFast to deployEasy to manageEasy to manageEasy to man

ergy-efficientEnergy-efficient ScalableScalableVendor-neutralVendor-neutralVendor-n

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.

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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

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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

32

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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T E C H N I C A L LY

SPEAKING

CLOUDY WITH A

CHANCE OF DISASTER Carrie Higbie, Global Director for Data Center Solutions and Services, Siemon.

34

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.

T

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

following points.

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

©iStockphoto.com/James Thew

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

35


“ 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

utilise them.

ready products. Granted, it is bad if a

accidentally find yourself in violation of

hardware vendor goes under, but if you

regulatory compliance.

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.

36

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.


37


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-

Nuance Communica-

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-

38

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

TTS voices.

licence (CAL).

www.nuance.com

www.good.com


Andrew Collins

UNI FINDS 95,000 LOST work G R A D U A T E S

T

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

spreadsheets.

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.

40

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

2012

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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

42

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.

©iStockphoto.com/David Joyner

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

43


Andrew Collins

PLUGGING WIRELESS GAPS work A T M A C Q U A R I E U N I

M

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).

bandwidth needs.

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

44

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

SPEAKING

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

I 46

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

functional deployments.


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

and requirements.

for worse, users are comfortable with

©iStockphoto.com/alengo

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

no workflow.

collaboration. One of the best ways to

and rapidly expanding platform for

47


©iStockphoto.com/alengo

“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

navigation.

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-

subsystem.

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

marketplaces.

SharePoint 2013.

2. Putting the ‘share’ back in Share-

48

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,

quest.com/PRNew sSharePoint-

via a personal or team SharePoint

pins and terms can be ‘anchored’ to

2013Migration092012.

site. Previously, a document had to

prevent accidental duplication. In


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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

think differently.

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

50

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?

©iStockphoto.com/A.J. Rich

K

orben wakes up grumpy. He’s


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Technology Decisions Oct/Nov 2012  

Published bi-monthly, Technology Decisions keeps senior IT professionals abreast of the latest trends, technology advances and application s...

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