Well, it's been a whirlwind two days at the Infrastructure & Operations Forum here in Dallas! I know that not everyone has the opportunity to attend these events, so for all of you stuck at home (and not in sunny Dallas), I've summarized some of the keynotes (with help from Christian Kane and Lauren Nelson) for you to check out. There is also a great conversation about the forum on twitter , so you should definitely check that out as well.

Rob Whiteley kicks off the day with a preview of the next two days and some AC/DC music (the theme of the event is "Back in Black"). First up is Glenn O'Donnell:

The New I&O Landscape: Aligning I&O With Post-Recession Business Imperatives 
Glenn O'Donnell, Senior Analyst, Forrester 
Ha, this presentation is based on the book "He's Just Not That Into You" and it is about the love story between I&O and the business.
I&O, how can you win the love of the business?

  1. Strategic rightsourcing
  2. Outsource the commodity functions, like payroll.
  3. Industrialize and automate
  4. Do things faster and more accurately
  5. Anything repeatable can be automated
  6. “Be the automator, not the automated”
  7. Create an agile portfolio of services
  8. Services, not technologies, keep the mumbo jumbo to yourself
  9. Create a menu of services, if you want to eat at that restaurant, you have to have something on the menu
  10. Standardize your building blocks

And now, a moving poem from Glenn:
"If you’re fast but you’re flawed, you will fail
If you’re prompt and precise, you will prevail."

  • Tie incentives to business success

    • Tie revenue to the revenue of the company
    • Encourage appropriate behaviors, not for the wrong behaviors, ride in on a white horse and save the day
    • We only reward the heroes, we need to remember to reward the people in the background too
    • I love this quote from Glenn: "If we are incentivizing the IT fire fighters, we are also incentivizing the business arsonists" 

Glenn leaves us with a final thought on outsourcing: "Just because you own it, doesn’t mean you have to keep it"

Next up is James Staten to discuss how to navigate around the hype of cloud computing and find out what real benefits you can leverage from it.

Where Your Cloud Is Matters 
James Staten, Principal Analyst, Forrester
The key value that comes from cloud is investing only WITH the needs of the business, not with a FORECAST of what the business will need. Forrester’s decoder ring: cloud is a standardized IT capability delivered via internet technologies in a pay per use, self service way. Everyone must consume it the same way Shocking statistic: 25% of developers say they are using cloud, but only 10% of I&O and security pros say they are using the cloud

  • What isn’t cloud:

    • It isn’t traditional (old world IT, outsourcing, etc), though many traditional vendors have rebranded as such (or “cloudwashed”).
  • What cloud is:

    • A standardized IT capability delivered via Internet technologies in a pay-per-use, self-service model.

      • Standard means the same thing every time, this is a key differentiator.
  • On-demand infrastructure at rental prices not capex.

    • Vary the compute capacity to your needs with a variable cost and nothing up front.
  • Understand where your data is and which laws apply to it (both domestic and international).

And now for some industry keynotes…

Planning For The Future Of Operations At United Space Alliance 
Jane A. Webb, Director, IM Platform Engineering & Operations Services , United Space Alliance
Jane discussed how she helped transform the IT department for the United Space Alliance (as in IT for astronauts, how cool is that?). With the economy beginning its slow recovery, the rules of the road for I&O professionals are changing. The business, anxious to come out of the post-recession gate fast, will put ever more pressure on the I&O team to support new applications and new market initiatives. The new world of I&O puts a premium on business acumen over technical expertise and demands the ability to sort through numerous approaches and make fast, accurate decisions about the options available to deliver exactly what the business needs when it needs it. Does it make sense to build infrastructure to support these new initiatives, or does the value proposition behind the new outsourcing options such as cloud computing make more sense?

Playing Well In The Sandbox: Driving Infrastructure Outsourcing Strategies 
Daryl Goetz, Global ITSM/ITIL Manager, Procter & Gamble
Uh oh… Jaws music is playing as Daryl takes the stage, this is foreboding… He explains that many IT departments feel like they need to protect themselves from the outsourcing sharks…

P&G went from 5% to 2% of employees in IT through outsourcing, Daryl is going to discuss how they did this.
What drove their outsourcing? They had undergone a huge expansion and they had grown in a greenfield way with a lot of IT services that were duplicated across brands, regions, and process areas. There was a lot of duplication and inefficiencies. Leadership decided to redesign IT to make it global… they used ITIL (note, this was in 1997, talk about forward looking!).

How they did it:

  • Developed a manual that flow charted ITIL on a step by step basis, defined responsibilities. 
  • Established a "follow the sun" service center
  • Moved to one tool for incident, problem, and change management
  • Set up a CMDB

"We outsourced the how, and focused on the what"
How they achieved an end to end ITIL organizational structure with multiple outsourced vendors:

  • Focus on culture "meld"
  • Forced vendors to communicate with each other, for example on emergency changes


After the keynotes came some awesome track sessions from the I&O analysts and guest executive forums from our sponsors, I'll follow up with day two soon!