Friday, 9 October 2009

Bypassing the CIO Forum this year...

What an offer!  £15k to participate in the UK CIO Forum - perhaps I'll pass this year and wait to see what next year brings. 

Monday, 7 September 2009

More accurate planning delivers better results

It's not just the amount of time spent planning - it's the quality of the results that counts.  Deliver better planning results quicker to achieve success with fewer wrong turns along the way.  Planning an IT project can be onerous and challenging, but ultimately the only measurements of success are:
  • delivery on-time
  • delivery on-budget
  • quality of the results
In order to achieve and over-deliver on these measurements, tried and tested project management techniques must be supplimented with accurate projections of the end-result - in order to:
  • achieve the best quality results
  • with fewer project delays
  • and lowest possible spend
These accurate projections haven't been possible .. until now.  With accurate profiling, benchmarking and simulation - LIMSOL is able to help your organisation deliver success 
Call us now, or visit for more details

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Top 10 Tips for Virtualization Planning

Building Virtualization into your IT operations is a sure-fire way to cut costs and save money, right?  After all, your estate is running at less than 20% utilization - so you're wasting 80% of your IT investments - and virtualization will capitalize on that, won't it?

Well maybe, or maybe not.  Whether your planning to virtualize or managing a virtualized landscape, here are my top tips for maximimzing the benefit to the business (your customer!):

  1. Remember: service quality is key to a successful implementation.  Your business users don't care much about anything else
  2. Recognise the revenue associated with service quality.  If service performance degrades - what is the impact on the revenue stream?  Try associating a revenue stream with each business service.  You'll soon get a good idea of priority traffic.
  3. Consider a chargeback structure, or calculate the cost of operating the business service.  At least, calculate what percentage of your operations are dedicated to business services - does it tally with the revenue generated?
  4. What risks is your business happy with, in its service?  Can it tolerate downtime for a few minutes?  An hour?  More than that?  These questions should tally with your revenue streams - and will lead naturally to prioritization in your business continuity plans (not all applications are counted equal)
  5. Are you delivering the services efficiently?  If you've already deployed Virtualization, do you still have islands of unused capacity? 
  6. Consider your headroom for growth.  Your business volumes may alter dramatically at seasonal peaks - imagine retailing before Christmas.  Have you factored in organic growth into your capacity plans? 
  7. Remember your provisioning cycles are not always right-click-deploy.  When you're running out of physical capacity - server provisioning can be much more complex (generally because you're running enterprise class servers now)
  8. Communication is king - from top to bottom of your organisation, are you singing from the same hymnsheet?  Meaning - does your strategy of using virtualization actually tally with how you have it implemented?
  9. Remember new application releases.  Factor those into your planning, or you might find the steady-eddie application you were running is suddenly a resource-hog
  10. Cross-impact - or the chain game.  One change, however benign, might have impacts to other applications and business services you hadn't considered.  Planning is (also) king.

For more info: visit and click on solutions

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Personal performance

Been measuring my own personal performance over the first few months of the year. All measurements really solid but dipped just before Easter. One thing I learned - once you're in a dip, it's hard work to get out of it (better to avoid the dip in the first place, if you can). It's very easy to find ways to spend your time - but to really perform, you need to work to targets and objectives. You also need to manage your energy levels - avoiding burnout whilst continuing to perform (a question of short-term benefit making longer term damage).

Here are my top tips for personal performance:
1) break long term objectives into short-term, achievable goals
2) measure your performance against these goals
3) reward yourself for achievements
4) learn to treat failure as part of the job

Any comments??

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

virtual panic

One European financial institution, planning a new virtualization programme this year as they look to shed costs, have been spinning wheels on getting a capacity management process implemented. If compared to others trodden the same path, this lack of up-front diligence will cost them time, handling rollbacks due to failing performance, and money as they overprovision excess capacity. Another similar institution reported 20% of all their virtualization program was subject to rollback, due to performance issues in production.

As performance issues begin to bite, panic mode sets in and organisations are forced into hasty remedial action, often requiring advanced monitoring and diagnostics in these complex environments. I was contacted recently by a tools provider targeting this market space - panic mode is very advantageous for them!

Sizing and capacity planning in any virtualization initiative is key to assuring success. Looking ahead and avoiding performance issues before they become reality is key to efficient IT operations. Aligning technology considerations and IT spend with business requirements is key to safeguarding efficiency, effective asset use and CIOs' jobs. Or, as they said in old English times before IT existed: "a stich in time, saves nine"

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Baby steps

I was reminded today of the 'baby-steps' approach to improvement or transformation exercises. The conversation started with an IT Director listing his 4 key objectives for transformation: adopt risk-based approach to testing, improved capacity planning, cost-reduction, and an improved dialogue between business and technical heads. Swiftly running through these objectives, and considering any fit with our solutions, I was struggling to understand the roadmap to deliver all 4 benefits.

Humbly, I was reminded of the concept of 'baby steps' in implementing any transformation exercise - something I developed last year with another customer. By adopting a phased approach, ramped investment is aligned with successes.

The conversation ended with agreement to focus on key benefits of risk-based testing, and improved alignment. Taking the baby-steps approach makes it easier to find agreement and lead to success.