Click here to close now.


Microsoft Cloud Authors: Jordan Sanders, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Keith Mayer, Jayaram Krishnaswamy

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog

Microservices Expo: Article

CIO Success in Three Steps

Technology’s protocol is to enable the business not the other way around

Of the many CIOs that I have had the pleasure to either work for or discuss with, one of the main concerns that constantly resonate is that of job longevity. When on average the job longevity for a CIO is between only 4-5 years and with trends showing that this is likely to shorten, it's no surprise that the role of a CIO requires instant success in minimal time and typically with minimal budget. Nearly every CEO's mandate to a CIO is for IT to be better, faster and cheaper.

With this challenge the three steps to success for any CIO are plain and obvious. They are:

  1. Eliminate risk
  2. Improve Cycle Times
  3. Reduce Cost

While these three steps may incorporate subsidiary aspects such as demonstrating how IT best serves the business, building technological confidence to the business and making IT more effective etc. they eventually all fall under one of the three steps mentioned above.

Step 1: Eliminate risk
First by eliminating risk from your IT environment you immediately address the business concerns of:

  • The revenue impact of downtime
  • The revenue impact of performance slowdowns
  • The impact to the business' brand value

Step 2: Improve Cycle Times
With a common business perception that legacy IT is too slow to deliver, improved cycle times are an imperative. This requires a solution that can accelerate the following and of course risk free:

  • Virtualization and consolidation
  • Refresh projects
  • New Application and Service Roll outs
  • Private Cloud initiatives

Step 3: Reduce Cost
The last and most obvious one also presents the biggest challenge especially as customarily the last thing a new CIO can do is ask for a large investment to implement their new IT strategy. The business will quickly recognize a CIO's success if they can prove that during their tenure they reduced CapEx and OpEx as well as Total Cost of Ownership.

So it's at this point imperative to remember that a CIO should not be concerned with buying technology from different silos and vendors but instead acquiring solutions that solve business problems. Long gone are the days when it was acceptable for a CIO to proudly boast the magnitude of their data centres and the large technology growth they had accumulated in an attempt to ensure everything was fully redundant. Instead the key drivers are for simplification, standardization & consolidation. This is where the concept of VCE's Vblock is key to a CIO's success.

Infrastructure more often than not doesn't carry the same sassiness or prominence to the business as a key application such as SAP but infrastructure is in essence the heart and soul of a business - if the server or storage goes down, the application won't work which ultimately means you cannot ship and sell your product, hence why the three steps to CIO success are linked to a successful infrastructure.

How to Eliminate Risk:
An integrated stack should entail a robust disaster recovery and business continuity solution that can not only be tested and proven but also implemented and run with minimum complication.

This should also incorporate the de-risking of application migrations from physical to virtual platforms and more specifically key applications that the business depends on.

Moreover this means a de-risked maintenance and operational procedure for the IT environment that is pretested, prevalidated and predictable and consequently eliminates any unplanned downtime.

In the past eliminating risk in this way has resulted in countless testing and validation procedures where every minute spent testing is a minute spent not growing the business. A true converged infrastructure can immediately resolve this.

How to improve Cycle Time:
Delivering a predefined, pre-integrated stack or in essence a plug and play data centre that's delivered and built fit for purpose in typically only 30 days can quickly achieve this by reducing typical infrastructure delivery times by three months. Having proven infrastructure in minimal time allows the application owners to roll out new services at a fraction of the time and consequently cost.

How to Reduce Cost:
The key to this is to link any proposed investment to a tangible ROI that spans at least three years. Where most vendors have made the mistake of determining ROI based on virtualizing a total physical infrastructure this rarely works as most organisations have already virtualized to some extent. Instead an incremental value needs to be formulated that is linked to the virtualisation of key business critical applications.

Additionally with an integrated solution across the stack there's no need to manage multiple components of an infrastructure and consequently multiple failure points that preoccupy multiple silos. This encompasses a changing of the mindset of technology being a break/fix, reactive organisation where heroes are rewarded for extinguishing fires. Instead a proactive and preventive methodology that has an "always on" culture will be adopted.

By streamlining the workforce to do more with less in correlation with application teams, OpEx cost savings can quickly be achieved by redeploying money from the back end infrastructure to front office, revenue enhancing business value and productivity.

To conclude, technology's protocol is to enable the business. Ensuring success in the three aforementioned steps enables a CIO to quickly enable the business .....and it may also allow them to stay in their job that little bit longer.

More Stories By Archie Hendryx

SAN, NAS, Back Up / Recovery & Virtualisation Specialist.

@ThingsExpo Stories
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.