December 21, 2011
How to make outsourcing projects work
Recently, the German weekly "Computerwoche" reported on the factors that are crucial to the success of outsourcing projects. According to this article, contract negotiations can often make or break the success of a project. It divides the outsourcing agreement into nine components: request for proposal, award of contract, service description, service levels, remuneration, benchmarking, liability policies, rights of use and intellectual property rights, and exit management.
One aspect, however, that the report failed to investigate in more detail was the choice of a suitable outsourcing model to ensure future customer satisfaction. It is very important to consider alternative concepts that are best able to meet individual requirements before negotiating a contract.
Customers today have a lot to choose from! Possible choices include traditional operation as well as in-house and on-premise solutions. Other options are to outsource operations, move to the cloud, or build a private cloud. Deciding on the right strategy, however, takes a lot of experience. Because even though many outsourcing providers are starting to respond by limiting the duration of their contracts, these are still long-term and above all strategic decisions that have a profound impact on the agility of a company’s IT.
In order to secure the flexibility of the IT organization without taking undue financial risk, REALTECH advises its customers to carefully plan their sourcing decisions and to fall back on the experience of seasoned consultants.
Follow these links for more information:
http://www.computerwoche.de/management/it-strategie/2499933/?r=5616352119507156&lid=152195 (in German)
November 28, 2011
Trends for the future of the data center
The German weekly "Computerwoche" has just recently published an article on data center trends.
According to a study titled "Shrinking Data Centers: Your Next Data Center Will Be Smaller Than You Think" released by Gartner, data centers will soon see major changes in their size and energy standards. State-of-the-art data centers should make the most of their floor space, be cost-efficient, and meet business requirements better than ever before.
To achieve these objectives it is now more important than ever to make informed decisions when choosing the right architecture. A carefully designed IT landscape can help organizations realize significant savings in the operation and configuration of their infrastructures. Knowing this, REALTECH authored a study as early as 2009 that examined the development of SAP data centers taking into account the newly available CPU architectures
Among the most important findings was the fact that the outstanding performance of the x86 processors has taken the processing speed of this CPU architecture to never-seen-before levels. Customers have also begun to realize that the different parameters addressed by Gartner are crucial to their architecture decisions - namely compute density, low energy consumption and the ability to virtualize both in the front end and the back end.
Follow these links for more information:
http://www.computerwoche.de/hardware/data-center-server/2268886/ (in German)
November 18, 2011
IT organizations need to catch up on innovation
The German monthly CIO Magazin recently published the BearingPoint CIO Snapshot which highlights the enormous potential for the IT organization to create business value. The article estimated that CIOs are only using 43 percent of their IT's potential. It claims that while reliability and performance have the highest level of maturity, IT innovation is often taking the back seat.
When put into context with recent statements made by leading Gartner analysts, it becomes clear that IT departments need to take immediate action.
Only 6 percent of CEOs view their IT organization as a cost center. As many as 30 percent of them have identified the opportunity to reduce business costs and create business value by means of IT.
In order to meet these requirements, companies need to automate commodity services and reduce the cost of infrastructures and IT services to a minimum. This in turn frees up staff and financial resources that can be used to advance technological innovation.
Switching to Linux, for example, can help companies achieve significant savings, particularly with respect to their IT infrastructures. In addition to that, there are many untapped opportunities for optimization in the operation of IT systems that, if implemented, will improve flexibility and drive innovation - even for companies that are bound to outsourcing contracts.
Follow these links for more information:
http://www.cio.de/dynamicit/management_strategie/2293393/ (in German)
October 28, 2011
Comparing Linux servers
The German weekly "Computerwoche" has published an article comparing the different Linux server distributions. In the article, Computerwoche sheds light on their strengths and weaknesses.
It suggests that customers seeking to deploy mission-critical Linux servers should be sure to choose a distribution that offers professional and long-term support. If you were to base your decision solely on the article, this would mean Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Suse Linux Enterprise Server, Collax Business Server, or Ubuntu Server.
REALTECH's many years of experience with SAP on Linux, however, show that is important to look at this statement in a more nuanced way. SAP customers need to know that SAP only supports Red Hat and SUSE and that all other free distributions can be dismissed as irrelevant in this context.
Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL) is another distribution on which SAP can be officially installed and run. As an IT consultancy with a strong background in SAP, however, we advise our customers to adopt Red Hat or Suse. Which of the two solutions is best suited for a specific company depends on its particular needs.
Linux is gaining increasing momentum in the world of SAP. This is not limited to migrations from other platforms to Linux but also includes new installations that start out with Linux. Our experience shows that most companies achieve significant savings of 30-50 percent when compared to SAP on UNIX and a return on investment (RoI) for migration projects in two years or less. Our customer Munich Re was able to cut investments in its server infrastructure by more than 80 percent and saw a RoI in far less than two years.
Follow these links for more information:http://www.computerwoche.de/software/software-infrastruktur/2364083/
August 18, 2011
The most important skills of IT managers
The German monthly CIO Magazin recently published an article outlining the six most important skills expected from IT managers. According to the executive search consultants at Odgers Berndtson these are:
1. emotional intelligence
2. a cool head
4. a global perspective - with an appreciation of cultural differences
5. commercial instinct
6. Martini IT
"Commercial instinct", above all, is gaining increasing importance. Top CIOs today need to be able to do more than to implement business requirements. CIOs have to evolve into becoming a creative driver of business success. They need to apply new technologies to create true value for their companies.
For CIOs to be able to focus on the new challenges, however, their IT organizations need to have highly mature technologies, organizational structures, and IT processes.
IT operations have to provide a solid foundation for innovation.
Prof. Dr. Walter Brenner of the University of St. Gallen will present strategies that will help large corporations address these challenges during REALTECH's information day themed "Launch you IT future" on September 13, 2011.
Follow these links for more information:http://www.cio.de/karriere/2280135/
October 18, 2011
The right outsourcing strategy
Outsourcing offers a lot of potential! It can not only reduce costs but also help companies improve the performance of their IT services. But many companies fail in their efforts to outsource their IT. The IT analysts at Gartner have identified the lack of a coherent strategy for introducing and selecting the right outsourcing provider as a major obstacle.
The key to success is therefore a sourcing strategy that is aligned with the needs of the business. Companies should take a strategic approach to their outsourcing projects right from the start.
In order to reduce the probability of making the wrong decisions, Gartner has suggested 10 steps for implementing the right sourcing strategy:
1. Establish both context and goals
2. Assess the current situation of IT services
3. Determine the capacities for service and multisourcing management
4. Evaluate limits and opportunities
5. Analyze gaps
6. Analyze external markets
7. Plan scenarios
8. Plan scenarios
9. Set up a business case
10. Formulate a plan for action
This also reflects what we have seen when working with outsourcing customers. A majority of outsourcing customers is dissatisfied with the performance of their service providers or unhappy with the results they have achieved. Innovation is taking the back seat and while they are spending less time and money on operating their systems in-house, they have to invest almost as much into managing their service provider. And on top of that, many companies are complaining about the lack of flexibility and about losing valuable expertise to the outsourcing provider.
REALTECH supports companies in analyzing and defining their targets, in choosing the right concept, and in selecting the partner that is right for them. You can rely on our 15 years of SAP consulting expertise.
Follow these links for more information:http://www.cio.de/knowledgecenter/outsourcing/2289477/
October 7, 2011
The future role of IT
The German monthly CIO Magazin recently published excerpts from "The Empowered BT CIO", a study conducted by Forrester Research. The study provides insight into the future role of IT and the responsibilities of CIOs that arise from that.
One interesting result of the study was that the way CIOs are spending their time is changing. According to the findings of the survey, the time spent managing applications and infrastructures will be reduced from 60 percent to a mere 25 percent. This will free up time, allowing them to focus on innovation and the management of services. But in order to be able to reduce the time and effort spent on the management of applications and infrastructures accordingly, companies need to adopt measures to consolidate and industrialize their IT in a timely manner.
Standardization, IT harmonization, and flexible infrastructures should be at the core of any of those considerations. Alternative operation concepts present another opportunity for companies to make room for strategic tasks.
Follow these links for more information:http://www.cio.de/bild-zoom/2283616/1/689048/EL_13117957337503137715786/
August 10, 2011
CIOs and the contest of ideas
Prof. Dr. Walter Brenner, managing director of the Institute of Information Management at the University of St. Gallen and author of the recently published book "CIOs im Wettberwerb der Ideen" (CIOs and the contest of ideas), will appear at a REALTECH event on September 13, 2011 for an exclusive presentation of his latest work.
The latest advances in information and communication technology sometimes find their way into a company without the CIO knowing about it. This results in what can only be called a "contest" of ideas between the IT organization and the "shadow IT".
In his presentation, Brenner will provide insights into how the CIOs of large corporations like Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte, and VW are dealing with this challenge. He will also talk about Design Thinking, a methodology developed at the Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. It represents a practical approach to making the innovation process more professional that aims to increase the probability of success for viable innovations.
The book presentation will be held at a REALTECH event on September 13, 2011 in Offenbach/Main, Germany. The information day is themed "Launch your IT future" and will give attendants the opportunity to exchange ideas and share information with IT managers from a wide variety of companies. Please click here
for more information on the event. The event is open exclusively to IT managers, attendance is free of charge.
Follow these links for more information:http://web.iwi.unisg.ch/org/iwi/IWI_Web_2.nsf/wwwPubMemberGer/BrennerWalter.htm
August 3, 2011
How to make the CIO a strategic partnerRecently, Gartner reported on the role that CIOs play in making IT investments.
According to Gartner, some 26 percent of IT investments are authorized by CFOs rather than CIOs. In one out of every four companies, the CIO and the CFO make a joint investment decision. But more often than not – in 29 percent of the cases – a steering committee will decide on IT investments. In only a mere five percent of the companies, CIOs alone are calling the shots. Investments are primarily made in areas were companies have identified a competitive edge.
This knowledge can be turned into many opportunities to position yourself as a business enabler, which will in turn strengthen your role within the enterprise. Deliver projects that quickly generate measurable business value through the targeted use of IT solutions. This is where REALTECH's IT Quickscan comes in. Benefit from an objective analysis of your IT organization that will expose business optimization opportunities, which will then be translated into a roadmap that is tailored to support your company's objectives.
Follow these links for more information:http://www.cio.de/karriere/2280260/index.html?r=9616431871561578&lid=131717