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Getting the ITSM Basics in Place, Part 1: Incident Management

Get ITSM Basics in Place Part 1By Ed Caufield, Distinguished Alumni and
Lonnie Sanders III, Associate

Pop quiz: What’s the most important reason to put IT Service Management (ITSM) in place? Because you want to…

A. Transform your organization from a reactive operational team to a proactive customer-focused team
B. Start using repeatable processes to deliver services more efficiently to your end users
C. Create visibility and transparency for both end users and IT services leadership
D. Uncover hidden problems
E. Increase customer satisfaction

Answer: Any of the above! These are all key benefits of ITSM. Which one is “most important” depends entirely on your organization’s needs and goals.

Does IT Service Management Matter?

Does IT Service Management MatterBy Ed Caufield, Distinguished Alumni
and Lonnie Sanders III, Associate

There’s a great quote from the cult movie Matrix: “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” As our experience working with a recent client, a $1B service company shows, this truism certainly applies to the realm of IT Service Management (ITSM). Here’s what happened…

The company’s IT management had called us in because they were growing increasingly frustrated with what they assumed was a broken help desk. The problems they were seeing included late tickets, incomplete tickets and aging tickets not being worked on. Major issues were not being properly escalated and their “VIP” customers were not receiving any special treatment. In sum, the entire help desk function was wildly inefficient, extremely unproductive and lacking transparency to the issues or trends at hand. Not surprisingly, customer satisfaction was low and going lower.

Should You Be in the Cloud? Maybe…Maybe Not

Should You Be in the CloudBy Rameysh Ramdas

Back in the early 2010s I was working at Agilent Technologies, a spin-off from Hewlett Packard, as an IT Integrating Manager. At the time Agilent was running their human resources on PeopleSoft. Because HP had been an early investor in PeopleSoft, we had been grandfathered in at a deeply discounted rate. However, our Vice President of Human Resources had taken a fancy for the newer, cloud-based solutions. “Take a look at this, Rameysh,” he urged. “Let’s move forward with it!”

It didn’t take much looking for me to come back to the Vice President and say no. Because of the deeply discounted rate we were paying for our on-prem PeopleSoft system, moving to the cloud would have increased our costs more than tenfold! Given the fact that our existing software was meeting our needs, this just didn’t make sense, especially for something as non-revenue-producing as a human resources system.

Is WFH Working As Well As You Think It Is?

Is WFH working for your companyBy David Haedtler, Principal

When the pandemic first hit, your company, like most companies, may have been blindsided. Sure, you had what you thought were robust Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans. But the assumption was that if your facility was no longer usable, you’d simply get your people set up in a different facility. No one ever imagined that practically overnight you’d have to transition to an all-remote or nearly-all-remote distributed workforce.

But somehow you did it. And now, many months later, work from home (WFH) has not gone away. In fact, it’s likely here to stay in one form or another for quite some time.

Ensuring “Work from Home” is Working for Your Organization

Man working from homeWhen the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, many businesses scrambled to quickly make the switch to having and supporting a work from home (WFH) workforce. Now, after months of managing this, most organizations fall into one of two categories:

  1. They’re still struggling to get it right
  2. They think they have everything dialed in—and are blissfully unaware of the problems that are lurking and festering out of view

Whichever category your organization falls into, CIO Professional Services’ Remote Working Assessment can help ensure that all aspects of your WFH program are working as well as possible.

WFH is all about people, processes and technology

As you have no doubt discovered, there’s a lot more to having a WFH workforce than simply sending everyone home and telling them to “carry on as usual” from a different locale.

For example, just looking at top-level issues… Working from home makes collaboration more difficult and can cause morale to plummet (especially if your “fun workplace” used to be a big draw). Processes that worked well in the office may need to be completely revamped for a distributed workforce. Technology can create serious security risks.

Once you dive below the surface, even more questions arise. For example:

  • Are your managers doing a good job enabling and supporting your WFH workforce?
  • How has WFH impacted cross-team initiatives? 
  • What is the long-term impact on your office space needs? 
  • What’s the best way to provide secure networking for thousands of unique endpoints directly to the cloud without VPN? 
  • How do you provide high-quality technology support? 
  • Do your WFH folks need periodic access to your facilities? If so, how often? For what? How will this impact security issues, pandemic-related safety issues, etc.?
  • Looking ahead, what is the “new normal” likely to be—and what do you need to do to get there?

And the list goes on.

Our Remote Working Assessment can make a significant difference

CIO Professional Services’ Remote Working Assessment gives you a complete 360° look at where you’re at today, plus a roadmap for getting to a better place.

If you’re struggling to get things right, this assessment will help pinpoint the problems and give you solutions. If you think things are just fine as is, this assessment may open your eyes to issues your internal surveys did not uncover (because, as it turns out, employees are hesitant to mention problems when their boss asks “how’s WFH going for you?”).

The Remote Working Assessment goes deep to get candid, honest answers regarding how everyone really feels about WFH. What issues and challenges are they finding most vexing? What positives are they discovering? How is WFH impacting them personally? How do they see it impacting their department and the company as a whole?

Assessment components include:

  • Kickoff session with executive/senior managers, using a facilitated virtual group discussion methodology.
  • Overall review of your organization’s policies, documents and communications regarding WFH.
  • Management surveys to learn about company policies, culture and attitudes regarding remote workers. This survey includes both quantitative analysis and open-ended questions, all asked through a unique anonymous online brainstorming tool that allows participants to reflect on and respond to, the ideas presented by others.
  • Employee surveys using the same online brainstorming tool. The survey for WFH employees focuses on understanding the people, process and technology issues and concerns of workers who are working from home. If some of your workers are not working from home, they can also be surveyed to gain perspective on the challenges they face in this hybrid environment.
  • Facilitated discussions with smaller groups of managers and remote employees to further explore issues raised in the surveys and gather additional ideas and opinions.
  • Analysis of assessment input to pinpoint problem areas, highlight successes and assess your existing capabilities and situation against leading industry practices.
  • Multiple Deliverables based on all of the above. You’ll get a Summary Report of the assessment results that can be distributed to all survey participants. A comprehensive Management Report and detailed analysis of assessment findings will be presented to your executive team, along with a set of proposed actions for improving the WFH environment, organized by “quick win,” near-term and long-term initiatives.

The end result: You’ll have a clear understanding of the current state of your WFH infrastructure, culture, policies and impact. And you’ll have the information and plans you need to ensure that work from home is truly working for your organization.

Get started now

To schedule a time to discuss your organization's needs, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 650-353-5855.

Why Your IP is More Secure in the Cloud than in Your Own Data Centers

the cloud gives you more securityBy Naidu Annamaneni

We often hear clients and colleagues say things like, “We’d love to move our IT to the cloud, but for security reasons we’re keeping everything on prem.”

Or “Sure, the benefits of being a cloud-first organization sound great…but what about security? With all of the data leaks and hacking going on, our Board just won’t consider making the move.”

Sound familiar? When I first started looking at moving eSilicon’s High-Performance Computing chip design workloads to the cloud, I faced similar objections. At the time I was eSilicon’s CIO and Vice President of Global IT, and our Board’s two major concerns were cost and security.

High Performance Computing in the Cloud Can Be Cost Effective

HPC in the Cloud Can Be Cost Effective By Naidu Annamaneni

In 2017 eSilicon, a semiconductor design and manufacturer specializing in making chips tailored to its customer’s specific requirements, faced an enormous challenge. The company was being held back by the inherent limitations of the “datacenter as a service” solution that it had been using to run its High-Performance Computing (HPC) chip design workloads. However, the public cloud providers had not yet addressed the many technical challenges of doing this work—which included thousands of cores and peta bytes of storage—in the cloud.

As eSilicon’s CIO and Vice President of Global IT at the time, I led the team that partnered with Google and several other companies to address this challenge and become the first semiconductor maker to do end-to-end design in the cloud. Along the way I learned quite a bit about how to successfully and cost-effectively run HPC in the cloud.

Maximize the ROI of your IT and ensure it meets your business needs with CIO Professional Services’ strategic IT consulting services

Silicon Review 50 smartest 2020Silicon Review’s interview with Jeff Richards, Managing Partner

Information technology is now a critical function in any organization. In fact, even companies that do not consider themselves to be “high-tech” are investing in new technologies for digital transformation. To ensure they are tapping the right opportunities, many engage strategic IT consultants to facilitate the development and implementation of an integrated IT strategy.

Founded in 2009, Palo Alto, California-based CIO Professional Services is an IT strategy consulting firm that helps mid-size organizations address a wide range of IT alignment and strategy issues. Over the years Jeff Richards, the firm’s co-founder and Managing Partner, has seen that there are two axioms that explain the problems many of their clients face: In IT the demand for services will always exceed the supply, and If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never arrive. 

IT, Work-from-Home and the New Workday

IT support for work from homeBy Stephen McGrady

A few months ago I, like most people, commuted to work each day. That commute created a clear demarcation between my “workday” and my “time at home.” Sure, I sometimes took a call in the evening, and I was as addicted to my Gmail/Slack/Zoom/WebEx/Teams feed as the next person. But when I was at the office I was mentally and physically “at work,” and when I was at home, I experienced work as an interruption in my home life.

That all went out the window when the lockdowns began.


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