Access, Access, Access

The concept of a digital workspace has evolved over time. Most clients we speak to can imagine new ways of offering services to their users. Questions remain though;  How much gear do I need to provide them? How can I make it simpler for my users to access and keep pace as the industry continues to introduce new applications and methods to consume and create content? How can we maintain security and ensure data is protected? Most IT professionals are working with their organizations to shore up screen-of-life-blog-imagethe gaps in their security when lines of third-party SaaS providers are introduced and then have difficulty retaining control and accountability for access. Time-to-value for new methods, mobile apps and change of any kind that promises improvement to their organization is many times not accurately accounted for. Screens have continued to explode in popularity throughout organizations globally. These portals into the world of digitized information empower users to impose requests for the latest consumer technology and BYOD upon IT that bring both opportunities and threats. Let’s take a closer look at these screens and the power they hold.

Screens were created to read or rather watch words. They are always on and have the capability to transform any space into a digital consumption platform. Being digital allows users to: annotate, mark up, underline, bookmark, summarize, cross reference, hyperlink, share and talk to content. Adding these capabilities allows reading or watching content to become social. In order for this to become a reality we must make content portable.

Possession is not as important as it once was. Now instant access is critical, and gives many of of the same benefits and few of the disadvantages.

There is a mythical dream to backup the entire Internet. Some are attempting to do this and “The Cloud”, built upon today’s technology can enable that dream. An achievement such as this will be remembered for all time and will contain the entire works of all human kind. This is a very large library, representing approximately 310M books, 1.4 B articles, 180 T songs, 3.5 T images, 330K movies, 1B videos, 60T public webpages. Today it would take the space the size of a bedroom. Eventually will fit on the future size of a phone.

IT professionals have two views on this type of power. 1) Half are surely hoping they die before such things happen and 2) the other half want to know what’s taking so long; summon content as desired from anywhere and securely access it from the screen of their choice. Delivering a new digital workspace built as a cloud-first service, where continuous development is employed to bring new innovations on a weekly and monthly basis; will allow IT professionals to meet business and user expectations at the accelerated pace we are now moving and our users have come to expect.

Failure to provide end user’s the ability to access the required applications and data securely efficiently and effectively can have a very negative impact on business. SMP works with clients to deliver IT solutions that provide highly efficient digital workspaces and mobility, leveraging cutting edge technology, enabling businesses to move forward.

They call me the seeker…

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Our customers put a lot of hard work into maintaining best practice operations in their complex technology environments. Often these same customers have users who desire noticeable improvement in the way IT delivers services for their organization. The pace of change is continually putting strain on IT staff to achieve higher levels of service and increase agility. This becomes very difficult when there is a lack of visibility into how IT is delivering services.

Enter “The Seeker” into the picture. This person embraces the customer requests, listens to concerns, and drives an organization toward developing the willingness to make the decisions that enable change. Often times Seekers gravitate toward a tool or set of tools to assist them in mission. These tools—acquired over the years—now lay on the virtual shelf; having been abandoned through attrition or growth, or no longer providing the insight needed as the problems to be solved become more complex.

Throughout the journey to help solve an organization’s challenges, usually Seekers encounter some bumps along they way. IT silos created over the years can result in “finger pointing” with no one to taking ownership to resolve the real issues causing pain. Complex technology environments result in difficulty ensuring you have the right people looking at the right areas. In an effort to solve this problem, the idea to build a communal work space gets tossed around and a plan is laid out from the request to “Build me a WAR Room”.

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The Situation Room of the White House, Dec. 30, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Instead, this room often looks like the picture below with “inspirational” corporate art to encourage people to stay for 24-hour sessions to solve, what in their minds, is someone else’s problem. Sitting squarely in the middle is the “King of IT” to rule them all and provide a root-cause analysis.

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Real World IT Problem Solving

Our customers may have the ability to proactively monitor their data center infrastructure components; however the true value in this ability is ensuring immediate visibility into down/troubled platforms and subsystems, then taking the appropriate actions to prevent or resolve problems. This is the hard part because it requires time not only during business hours, but around the clock. Today’s consumer is wired for instant gratification and 24/7 response, however, humans are not wired for 24/7 availability and this becomes a challenge, especially if you lack visibility across the IT service delivery.

“I’m happy when life’s good and when it’s bad I cry

I got values but I don’t know how or why” – The Who

I have been involved in building our SMARTcentre, SMP’s managed services offerings, over the past three years to help ensure application availability and ensure access for our customer’s workforce. Our certified experts can track your environment’s performance from the end-user to the data center, the cloud and across networks for organizations of every size. We project changes so administrators can re-engineer apps, balance workloads, or add capacity if needed. SMP also tracks real-time activity in order to be proactive, cut through the noise, and simplify your workflows to improve IT service operations. Our expertise is assisting our customers as they drive real impactful change and focus on building next-generation IT service delivery for their organizations. If you seek the IT Truth, SMP can help.

Don’t END user computing, ENABLE it.

End user complaints and general experience issues are many times seen as lowest level IT support function. Most organizations when asked “who is responsible for this?” reply “I am not sure” or “it’s another team’s responsibility”. Usually, if it’s an end user issue that is directed to anyone but the infrastructure team (cuz they are really busy!) App slowness issues, contact App Dev…Unhappy user, contact the service desk…down application, Infrastructure team will be there to save the day but it’s not their fault. All others please visit the IT Complaint Department (shown below).

Please Take a Number

“…our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.” – Steve Jobs

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Becoming Good at the NEW IT

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. -Alvin Toffler

Over the past 3 years I have begun to see a shift in the way customers are planning, selecting and deploying technology capabilities to their users. The range of choice has expanded at every level; in devices, applications, methods of computing, potential partners and ownership. A ‘one-size fits all’ technology strategy is moving to one in which it’s now ‘any size that you like’. IT can now deliver many more capabilities; dependence on ‘cost-only’ business cases will encourage IT leaders to keep the legacy alive.

Our EUC team is focused on helping our customers identify their desired outcome, assess the legacy IT, document and present it to leadership in meaningful terms. This provides the best starting point to decide whether the investment is worth pursuing for the value planned to obtain.Read More »

Welcome the Age of Change @ the Speed of Life

We live in a connected society of humans and machines. This world creates great conflict for both humans and machines. Humans must protect themselves from allowing the machines to control them. Some of us attempt to do so by removing technology from our lives at certain times during our day. I say attempt because it is very challenging to do this and very easy to fail. Due to our difficulty in controlling our actions of how, when, and where we use technology, we as users of the machines have become very unpredictable. Machines need protection from humans in order to avoid being cast aside for not delivering an acceptable user experience that is consistent. Herein lies the pain and conflict users consuming IT resources can feel.

IT departments are made up of humans trying to configure solutions and machines have very little defense against their creator. Complicating the situation is unpredictable, volatile, and at times what appear to IT as “abusive” users.  The evolution of our society as it relates to technology has moved quite quickly compared to the evolution of our society as a human race. The more we continue to evolve the ways in which we consume and inherently change our behavior, the more complexity we introduce into the IT departments responsible for delivering the tools we use. This challenge presents a situation which forces IT to choose how  to overcome this uncertainty.Read More »