Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: David Bermingham, Dana Gardner, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Pat Romanski, Adine Deford

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Effectively Shifting from a Maintenance to an Innovation IT Philosophy

Business Service Reliability – Critical to the Shift

Innovation doesn't just happen... it evolves out of business desires and it frequently involves changing your own view of the IT value statement. This article focuses on one of the key components needed to make the shift from maintenance to an innovation IT philosophy, Business Service Reliability. As a progressive IT department you must understand exactly what it is, how you can manufacture Business Service Reliability in real time so that you can measure and report your contribution in business language, and how adopting the framework shifts your organization into an innovative business partner.

What Is Business Service Reliability?
Because of our long-lived traditional IT department philosophies, most IT organizations, whether or not they realize it, focus almost exclusively on component availability rather than the overall reliability of their business services and the related customer interactions. The problem, of course, is that you can achieve decent availability metrics for individual tiers of IT services - but still wind up with customer interactions (the business services) that are unpleasant. And frequent painful customer experiences drive customers and their money away from your company. They cause your customers to say bad things about you... in public and online. They undermine your credibility, so that the business sees you as a maintainer of poor systems and an overall liability, not an innovative business partner. The shift to innovation starts with your customer, and understanding what gives them a good experience, and proactively transforming your operating model to manufacture what the customer wants.

Given this, it's obviously critical to define exactly what a good customer experience is and determine how to measure it. Good customer experiences occur when every link in the business service delivery chain performs properly. These links, by the way, are not just infrastructure components. They include calls, methods and other activities of software code that are not monitored on the typical enterprise management console. And it's not enough for these links to simply occur or be available. They also have to perform to the required level while maintaining data accuracy. That is, they have to retrieve or display the correct data in the correct way. In other words, a successful customer interaction occurs when every link in the chain is available, performs adequately, and actually does what it's supposed to do.

Manufacturing Reliable Business Service Delivery
"Reliability," therefore, can in one way be defined as how often you get the customer experience right; it is clearly not component availability. It's how often something - anything - goes wrong in the end-to-end service delivery chain. The exciting thing is that this shift to an innovative mindset can actually be mathematically expressed and measured in the real time. Examine, if you will, the following real-world formula and measurement for Business Service Reliability:

Where m = a link in the chain of delivering a customer interaction is doing exactly what it should, then:

Business Service Reliability = customer interaction link 1,2,3...(availability)m + (performance)m + (accuracy)m

And the Business Service Reliability measurement for any period (usually daily or hourly) would then be:

1-(defective interactions/total interactions)

Again, we aren't just looking at problems with component availability here - although an unavailable component will obviously result in us having a broken link in our service delivery chain. But now we're really looking at all the links in that chain and discovering where they are failing, where they are under-performing, and/or where they are not doing exactly what they're supposed to do. We get two benefits from this experience-centric approach. One is that we can now actually measure the real reliability of our service delivery. Now instead of patting ourselves on the back because we're doing such a great job of keeping our networks and servers up and running, we can take a look at a more meaningful measurement - where is our perfection rate when it comes to customer interactions?

But the second benefit is something even better. This Business Service Reliability approach doesn't just tell us how bad we're doing, it also tells us how to fix the defects in our ‘customer interaction manufacturing production line.' When we look at our defective interactions, we can begin to recognize patterns in our business service delivery. For instance, a critical Java method to get customer account information from the mainframe through the SOA layer has been randomly slow all day. In real time and related strictly to how this defect is impacting the customer interaction we provide, we can investigate the problem with only the resources related to that area of delivery, and then not only alleviate the problem, but eliminate it in the future.

How to Create the Shift
Business Service Reliability proves to the business that your IT philosophy is that of first understanding what the customer is expecting from you, and then creating that with supporting IT components only providing the means to the end. That ‘end' is what enables you and your department to develop ideas that actually mean something to your business and the framework allows you to actually deliver against the vision.

More Stories By Tony Davis

Tony Davis is a 23 year veteran of the IT industry with a specialty in IT service reliability and strategy. As Vice President & Sr. Consulting Fellow for CA Technologies Enterprise Management business, he provides prescriptive guidance to the company’s largest North American customer executive teams on transforming and evolving their IT strategy and maintaining reliable delivery of business services. Prior to CA Technologies, he held several leadership roles for FedEx, including accountability for improving total system reliability for fedex.com. You can follow Tony on Twitter at @td2926 and on CA Technologies Perspectives blog.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...