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  • Category Archives: MSSBTI

    Top 5 Cloud Trends

    Cloud technologies has been a buzz word for more than a decade ever since Amazon started selling their in-house, web-based service platform that was used to support their own internet sales site. They were able to package the technology, market it and turned it into a profitable solution that allowed companies to take advantage of large scale technologies without the upfront costs to build their own datacenters. Since then, cloud technologies have evolved quickly as a mainstay in our ever-evolving technological world.

    New, billion-dollar companies such as AirBnB and Uber have capitalized from this trend by utilizing cloud-based infrastructure to increase reliability while decreasing costs. In April of 2018, GoDaddy announced it was moving a vast majority of their current infrastructure to AWS.¹

    As companies are evolving to stay ahead in the new technology world, here are five trends that are happening with cloud computing.

    1. Growth in Cloud Services and Solutions – We are in the digital age where cloud services are now common place and businesses look to a cloud solution first before an on premises solution. 56% percent of CIOs in Gartner’s CIO survey indicate they are adopting cloud as either an option or as part of a “cloud first” approach, while 71% look to SaaS either first or as an option.

    Gartner predicts that by 2020, businesses without cloud capabilities will be as uncommon as businesses without Internet are today.

    Most businesses use some sort of cloud offering or online application such as Microsoft Office 365 or Salesforce. Few businesses are completely 100% cloud based nor are there businesses that are completely 100% cloud free.

    2. Serverless Computing – A relatively new cloud service that has come into the marketplace is serverless computing which allows developers to deploy their applications without the need to provision servers or backend infrastructure to support and run their applications. Developers can release their code and run it as a service without the need to build backend infrastructure such as servers, network, databases and backend applications to support the application. This creates simplicity and agility in the marketplace to turn out applications much more quickly than run at greater speed. This also allows companies to go global by replicating their applications to run around the world as if the local datacenter is right next door.

    3. Multi-cloud – The rise of pure play cloud platforms like Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, ServiceNow, and Workday show that most businesses already utilize a multi-cloud cloud environment. Multicloud is the use of multiple public cloud computing and storage services in a single heterogeneous architecture not to be mistaken for hybrid cloud which is a mixture of public and private resources. Some cloud companies are changing their application architecture to force companies into a multi-cloud environment even if they are not willing to give up the hold on local resources.

    Microsoft will begin to remove Skype for Business and OneDrive for non-365 users by 2020 to force them into using Office 365

    4. Disaster Recovery – As businesses move toward a virtualized and constantly evolving IT ecosystem old DR approaches become much more expensive and complex to maintain. Software based DR at the hypervisor level allows a company to prioritize applications and provides automated testing to ensure and validate a company’s DR strategy. I can remember a year after the 9-11 disaster, the company I worked for at the time invested in a 3rd party disaster recovery site and solution. A few times a year would be spent on building out our servers and clients from backup tapes to perform drills to ensure our DR solution was adequate. This time-consuming ordeal would take 48 hours to build and test but would only ensure our most business-critical applications would be recovered. Now with the use of cloud technologies recovery can be completed and tested within minutes.

    5. Security – Last but certainly not least is security. The glaring question from anyone thinking of moving to the cloud “Is my information in the cloud secure?”. Contrary to the myth that you will lose security when you move to the public cloud because you cannot physically touch the device, in most cases you are increasing security by moving data to the cloud by utilizing the provider’s hardened datacenters with many more security resources. This all depends on your current state of security. The cloud provider is responsible for the security of the cloud (datacenters, access, security tools, etc.) while the consumer is responsible for the security in the cloud (data access policy, authentication, authorization, etc.). Security must be built into every step of product development or migration strategy rather than at the end.

    Businesses demand more as technology increases and legacy systems become less sustainable. The goal for business is to reduce risk by ensuring that crucial applications are always available. The cloud has become a tool to satisfy this business demand while reducing risk. What needs to change is the IT mindset of being a support model into being an enabler. That means rethinking IT infrastructure and services that support the business which is not always an easy task. It takes resources that understand what and how to move business applications and infrastructure to the cloud to ensure businesses do not become extinct.

    Cloud evolution is happening in the technology world, if you aren’t willing to adapt, you’ll die.


    ¹ https://www.cloudcomputing-news.net/news/2018/mar/29/godaddy-goes-all-aws-citing-containers-expertise-key/
    ² https://www.pcworld.com/article/3191298/windows/microsoft-will-cut-services-to-standalone-office-users-so-theyll-subscribe-to-office-365.html

    From Around the Web: Office Politics and Generational Gaps

    Like it or not, most people have inherent biases, certain opinions or judgments which have developed over time, which affect relationships within the workplace. Like complacency, strong opinions and biases can plague friendly business relationships and great customer service. Office politics can become a true stumbling block for project communications and organizational effectiveness. A lack of organizational transparency discourages innovation and achievement. From this behavior, collaboration and team dynamics can be strained creating a negative corporate culture, ultimately affecting your clients. Getting buy-in from leadership to be transparent within the organization, setting a standard, and uprooting negative habits when they occur can change the corporate culture for the better. Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, shares many articles from around the web that offer advice on how to overcome biases in the workplace that could be beneficial for overcoming office politics as well as generational gaps.

    Click here to read more.

    Generals vs Conductors in the Evolution of Leadership

    David Lee, Executive Director of the MSS Business Transformation Institute, uses Mozart in the Jungle to explain the study in the evolution of the leaders from the previous conductor dealing with a new reality to the new conductor trying to reach his potential as well as the potential of the organization he is leading. Looking at what it takes to be a leader in today’s exponentially changing environment, leaders must also look at the evolution of leadership. Lee covers a brief history of organizational development and the evolution of leadership theory, and how it relates to being a conductor of a symphony. Lee uses studies about command and control environments and how they affect productivity short-term and long-term. Ultimately, leaders account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores. Lee highlights his personal stories of working with two different leaders and analyzes who would be a better fit for business in today’s complex world.

    Click here to read more.

    A New Humanism

    Purpose Driven Strategy has become a prime topic of management in the last decade due in no small part to the popular books like Start with Why by Simon Sinek; Firms of Endearment by Raj Sisodia; Leading with Purpose by Mark Koehler; Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies, by Nikos Mourkogiannis; and the Progress Principle by Teresa M. Amabile & Steven J. Kramer. Executive seminars are held about it, business models are built on it, and consulting companies have established whole practice lines dedicated to it. This concept of Purpose Driven Strategy is a fundamental change to the approach expressed by Milton Friedman when he said: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business-to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game.” In a sense, it is a new type of Humanism where organizations don’t just work for their shareholders but for the betterment of all the stakeholders and the community at large. David Lee, Executive Director of the MSS Business Transformation Institute, explains how businesses are leading with purpose rather than profits and are becoming highly successful. This article shows businesses how to lead with purpose.

    Click here to read more.

    From Around the Web: Supply Chain Management

    Supply chain management transformed while you were sleeping. Are you prepared? Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, shows some of the latest trends in supply chain management. Supply chain management is critical to every business at some level. This supply chain world amasses billions of goods and materials each day for sale to and purchase by the consumer. To some executives it may seem unnecessary to point out the importance of such an influential practice in business, but this article might be a wakeup call to some of you; you may be missing some freight.  Every nine days, another S&P 500 company is taken off of the index because the previous blue chip company, companies that for 60+ years had dominated their market, lost their competitive edge due to Complacency. Zulanas uses Amazon, Apple and Walmart as case studies in successful supply chain processes.

    Click here to read more.

    Taking the Leap from KPI’s to Balanced Scorecard

    One of the most influential methods a company can utilize to transform its organization is the Balanced Scorecard. According to Gartner, 50% of enterprise-level companies in the US have adopted this method and it was selected by Harvard Business Review editors as one of the most influential business ideas of the last 75 years. Yet, most mid-market companies are still working with KPI’s. It is time to make the leap.

    The Balanced Scorecard is a management system that enables an organization to translate their vision and strategy into action. It transforms the academic exercise of strategic planning into a fully realized system. This article speaks about the Balanced Scorecard and its uses for chief executives to transform their organizations and its different tenets of Customer Understanding, Employee Learning and Growth, Business Processes Development, and Financial Data Expansion along with recommendations on implementation.

    Click here to learn more

    How Asking One Question Can “Delight” Your Customer

    Is it good enough to simply meet the needs of your customers, or do you want to find exciting ways to elevate the value you bring to the table?

    Martin Bonadio, Management Consultant, explains the “Voice of the Customer” (VoC), a structured communication process that begins with non-leading, clarifying and probing questions, and progresses with active listening to acquire a comprehensive gathering of information directly from the customer. Bonadio helps businesses to see what the reason behind the customer’s needs so they can develop a better solution for their customers to revolutionize the industry they support. Bonadio walks each reader, step by step, through the process of how to elevate your business operates.

    Click here to read more

    Is Decision Fatigue Sucking the Life from Your Employees?

    In his second article focusing on decision fatigue, Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, shares how decision fatigue, as a physical state, may be negatively impacting your business.

    In an increasingly commoditized world, employees have more options than they can handle before they even get to work, let alone at work. Many people find themselves in a state of decision fatigue or paralysis, resulting in poor decisions in the workplace that could threaten a business’s success and profitability. This mental fatigue is compounded because a majority of people (employees or not) in the United States are sleep deprived. According to the Center for Disease Control, insufficient sleep is a public health problem because individuals lacking sufficient sleep are likely to commit occupational errors and also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.

    How can companies lead transformation with so many sleep-deprived and decision fatigued employees? Make their decisions “no-brainers.”

    Click here to read more

    Embracing Business Transformation through Digital Technology Should be a ‘No-Brainer’

    Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant of MSS Business Transformation Advisory, in this final installment of his 3-part series on decision fatigue, shows how organizations can increase efficiency and maximize profitability by embracing business transformation through digital technology.

    Technology does not eliminate the need for people to navigate their internal systems, but instead requires fewer technical and process-oriented roles which can be replaced with big-picture, strategic employees. Time-consuming and laborious processes can often be streamlined by technology and, as stated in previous articles, companies want to make processes as efficient as possible.

    3-D and augmented reality companies have created the best way to try furniture without going through the process of bringing it home then realizing it doesn’t fit the space or match the decor. This does not eliminate the need for sales people, but rather adapts their role into the bigger picture of customer-centric sales. Charles instructs regarding the best ways to gain profits and win customers through making “no-brainer” investments in technology.

    Click here to read the full article

    From Around the Web: Automation and the Technological Advances of Yesterday

    Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, writes about practical technological advances and automation in business.

    Many people protest the use of robots and automation. With the increase in technological advancements, employees fear they will no longer have stable job security. At present, activities that are process-oriented can be automated using the latest technology to save time, eliminate defects and create a standardized result and quality. Advanced systems often can be made more efficient through automation as well. During the standard business day, systems can automatically churn out the latest data that is relevant to business needs and communicate it in terms of the bottom line. Charles explains the increased efficiencies in business marketing, manufacturing, transportation and office management as a result of automation.

    Click here to read more