Five Technologies That Will Change IT – NWW IT Roadmap DC Keynote

October 28th, 2009 by

Yesterday we attended the 2009 Network World IT Roadmap in DC. Jerome Oglesby, CTO, Deloitte LLP delivered the keynote “5 Technologies that will Change IT”. Deloitte has over 165,000 people in 140 countries. IT is working to leverage technology that keeps their workforce connected and productive. You can compare Oglesby’s list with Gartners’s 10.

#1.  Unified Communications. Deloitte’s UC and collaboration solutions include real-time services like chat, IP telephony, and video conferencing in addition to email, voicemail, SMS and fax. Each month they handle about 36 million emails and 8,000 web meetings.

#2.  Mobility. 90% of their workforce is mobile so IT works to meet users’ demands for information anytime and anywhere. Their focus is more on the end result of making sure workers can connect – and less on the devices, network or applications.

#3.  Web 3.0. They are extending social computing by converting information into knowledge. Deloitte’s internal enterprise portal, DeloitteNet 2.0 is accessible on PDAs and includes blogs, Wikis, forums, instant messaging, Web conferencing, D Street – its internal social network that is similar to Facebook, collaboration tools, voicemail and email. They are updating it with more applications, new search functionality, more collaboration tools and mobile PDA applications.

#4.  Cloud Computing. Oglesby noted that cloud computing definitely represents a shift in technology architecture. However, he is taking a cautious approach to allow the technology to mature. (Thank goodness he did rant about cloud computing like Ellison recently did!) Deloitte has not moved to the cloud, but is definitely positioning itself for the move by virtualizing internal infrastructure, storage, desktops, servers and their network. For now, they are building a private cloud to understand the technology and what it means for their business. They’ll look at the overall efficiency and costs to determine whether an enterprise-wide private or public cloud makes sense for them. They also are looking at mobile virtualization. (See Q&A below.)

#5.  Green IT. Because of more pressing economic concerns, efforts to go green IT are scaling back, but Oglesby believes that green IT is still achievable. Some examples – they have virtualized 50% of their data center servers and eliminated 1000 standalone servers. They installed 179 multi-functional devices, replacing 569 standalone printers, 119 faxes and 69 copiers.

Oglesby said that while these 5 changes are visible, there are other less visible challenges:

  • Despite the economic downturn, customers (internal and external) still want to receive the same or better levels of service as always. IT is forced to do more with less.
  • Customers have a growing impatience with IT departments. They want their expectations met and IT has to keep up with the latest technologies.
  • The inability of customers to outline their requirements means IT needs to be subject matter experts with answers. To be successful, IT must talk with and clearly understand what customers really want and need.
  • There will be continued difficulty in aligning IT with business. All technology has to have a business benefit – new things should not be introduced if they do not add demonstrated value in some way.

Q&A from the Audience

Question: Exactly what is mobile virtualization?

  • He admitted this is a work in progress, but the goal is to run the hypervisor on a PDA and allow it to run multiple OSes. Oglesby noted the convergence of the laptop, PDA and cell phone and is convinced that the PDA is the device of the future. He noted more and more people have ditched their laptops, netbooks and cell phones and now conduct a majority of their business on PDAs.

Question: What are the steps to success for IT?

  • IT has to listen to its customers and can’t work in a vacuum. What’s “cool” is not always useful. IT staff needs to be proficient in asking probing questions to get to what the business really needs because people often struggle with articulating their requirements.

Question: What is laptop virtualization?

  • The laptop is just a shell with an operating system – the applications and data reside in a data center, which helps meet customers’ security and privacy requirements,. This is important for doing business across borders, where governments have the right to seize and search laptops, PDAs and other devices.

Question: How do you train end users to properly use IT resources. (Apparently this person gets calls at the help desk on how to use Excel.)

  • You can’t train end-users. Instead you need to educate and reinforce behavior. He suggested IT provide service – which may mean directing users to the proper resources for training issues. “Not my job” is not acceptable.

Question: How do you articulate the value of innovation?

  • Innovation must add value to the business. It’s not the “cool” factor, but how does the technology add value to the business?

Oglesby will be presenting at Interop NY on November 18.

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