Remember the old days of FPGAs (field programmable gate array)? Looking back, the original technology seems fairly clunky. Its versatility and uses certainly have come a long way from the days when its logical gates required long hours of programming. It may not get the press coverage that microprocessors get, but today’s FPGAs are more accepted in tech than ever before and are armed with capabilities such as memory blocks, network interfaces and Advance RISC Machine (ARM) core designs. Many people might be surprised at the numerous and varied places FPGAs are in use. This blog is an examination of why and where FPGAs are working in tech and where we can expect to see them next. Read More
GPUs or CPUs? It’s an important IT performance question today. Do you know the right answer? Before you can choose the right processing unit/units, you have to understand what they do and how they differ, which is where we will begin. Read More
Bringing Tech Together with Unified Infrastructure Management
Today’s sophisticated end users have a very low tolerance for poor IT performance, and I can’t say I blame them. IT is famous for building walls across tech environments that make it easy to shift blame from one group to another. Read More
The hardware and software to make an all-flash data center a reality are on the market and ready to go. IT leaders and data center managers know that flash makes a world of difference in application performance, but the one thing stopping enterprises from adopting this approach is a business case, which would demonstrate overall price and total cost of ownership of all all-flash environment. What they don’t know is whether or not their enterprises need to and should make capital expenditures so that every single application (big or small, mission critical or not) achieves superior levels of performance. Read More
Application Must-haves for Hitting the Cloud Services Mother Load
There is a veritable cloud gold rush occurring today. CIOs are declaring “cloud-first strategies” while companies are pasting “cloud” onto any and every product they have. Their hope is to hit pay dirt amid uncharted and widespread IT transformation. As with most euphoric and rapid endeavors, reality is setting in for those who have made the journey to the cloud. Big payouts require work. For the cloud, a lot of that work happens at the application level. Read More
Hello Cloud, Goodbye Constant Configuration
I have to admit that when I log into a Linux box and realize that I have some technical chops left, I get a deep feeling of satisfaction. I am also in the habit of spinning up a Windows Server in order to test network routes/ACLs in the cloud since I like using the Windows version of tools like Wireshark. Despite my love for being logged into a server, I do see the writing on the wall. Logging into a server to do installs or make configuration changes is fast becoming a thing of the past. Given the number of mistakes we humans make, it’s probably about time. Read More
Searching for the term converged infrastructure online yields thousands of results. Thousands of different opinions and approaches, with each vendor telling you why their solution is superior. As a CxO, VP of IT, or Director of Infrastructure, how do you decipher all of this data and pinpoint the best decision for your business? Should you hire a consultant to show you the right path? Should you have the top vendors parade in one by one and provide a proof of concept on their solution? I have my own opinion on the different solutions out there, but what kind of a critical thinker would I be if I limited myself to my own opinion? Read More
Many companies are making the investment in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and are various reasons to consider a VDI solution these days. Two of the biggest trends driving this technology are BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and Mobility. Many companies are moving away from assigning company assets for personal computers, laptops, tablets and phones. Instead they are giving employees a stipend as part of their salary and letting them choose their devices. This lowers the cost of hardware and software to the company, ensures employees take care of equipment, reduces administration costs for user devices and extends the hardware lifecycle. Most employees embrace this option because they do not have to carry multiple devices and can choose the devices that they want to use. Read More
This is the second of a two-part series on Technology Roadmaps. Previously we explained “The Concepts behind a Technology Roadmap,” and here we explain how to develop one.
Technology roadmaps begin with a “handshake” between IT and the business. Knowing future business plans allows IT to determine the focus area(s). As businesses evolve and new technologies emerge, IT is challenged with constant change. Developing roadmaps helps IT to be prepared for the change and manage the associated risks.
How Do You Create a Technology Roadmap?
- Collect Data. Take the time to gather preliminary information about products, people and processes. Understand current implementations and directions.
- Hold Interviews. Identify key stakeholders and gain different perspectives. Meet individually or in groups, and be sure to cover topics like resources, costs, risk, compliance, growth, skills, support and management.
- Create technology baselines. Document the essentials and highlight the constraints. Stay sufficiently high-level, but acknowledge the details around recent changes.
- Analyze focus areas. Use a structured method for the analysis. One of the most widely used framework in business analysis is the SWOT (Strength-Weakness-Opportunities-Threats) model. Since opportunities and threats relate to the industry at large, it is important to have subject matter experts (SMEs) provide input at this stage.
- Construct technology roadmaps. This is a collaborative exercise incorporating the inclusion of emerging technologies over several years. This does not always have to be a chart or a graph. It can be as simple as an enumeration of important technology adoptions in stages. For best results, use a backward sweep starting from end objectives, and then a forward sweep showing how adopting a technology at each stage can lead to the end objective. Continue this same pattern until you get it just right.
- Present recommendations. Knowing the roadmaps enables you to enumerate the IT projects that need attention in the coming months. There should also be clarity on the investment needed in terms of budget, time and resources.
- Host a workshop. Facilitate a workshop where key stakeholders meet again to review the results. This is a necessary touch point to discuss the project-based initiatives and make any final adjustments to the course.
How effective are Technology Roadmaps?
It all depends on the people and the effort put into the exercise. As indicated in the first part of this two-part series, technology roadmaps bring consensus and improved planning, budgeting & coordination. It is critical that organizations treat this as a project in itself, and provide the necessary funds and resources.
While an internal committee may be established to execute such a project, the benefits of technology roadmaps multiply exponentially when an external partner, like IDS, is involved. IDS guarantees a proven process with expert methodology, and key insight on the final deliverable. A partner like IDS can pre-empt much of the struggle by bringing SMEs to the table and a fresh external perspective.
And remember: As businesses and technologies evolve, so will the roadmaps. So, review them often.
Learn more by reading the first part of this two-part series, “The Concepts Behind a Technology Roadmap.”