Publications

Map Technical Skills for a Changing Infrastructure & Operations Organization

Info-Tech Research Group

Infrastructure & Operations is changing rapidly, identify needed technical skills for your future state environment and the most efficient way to acquire them.

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Establish a Program to Enable Effective Infrastructure Performance Monitoring

Info-Tech Research Group

Maximize the benefits of infrastructure monitoring investments by diagnosing and assessing transaction performance, from network to server to end-user interface.

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Develop and Manage Your Infrastructure and Operations Budget

Info-Tech Research Group

Success in budget and cost management is one of the most important infrastructure operations metrics.

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Implement High Availability for Mission Critical Databases

Info-Tech Research Group

Where “good enough” availability just isn’t good enough, ensure business requirements will be met before investing in people, processes, and technology for true high availability.

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Craft a Cloud Strategy for the Enterprise Database

Info-Tech Research Group

There’s no cloud. There’s just the database. Don’t focus on whether the cloud is ready for the database – identify whether each database workload is ready for the cloud via a holistic cloud strategy; avoiding an ad hoc approach that’s more expensive, time-consuming, and can leave you with unacceptable risk.

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Optimize the DRP for Business-Critical Analytics

Info-Tech Research Group

There is a common DRP assumption that analytics data is not critical but, analytics has evolved from from “nice to have” to critical when a disaster occurs.

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Create Visual SOP Documents that Drive Process Optimization, Not Just Peace of Mind

Info-Tech Research Group

Refresh/update of the content helping you go beyond satisfying auditors to drive process improvement, consistent IT operations, and effective knowledge transfer.

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Craft an End-to-End Data Center Consolidation Strategy to Maximize Benefits

Info-Tech Research Group

Successful data center consolidation will have an immediate impact on reducing data center sprawl. While cost improvements often drive data center consolidation, successful projects will also improve scalability, operational efficiency, and data center redundancy.

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Optimize and Consolidate SQL Server

Info-Tech Research Group

Microsoft SQL Server is pervasive. It’s in almost every single IT shop, and it’s often a major budget item, in deployments that are good, bad, and different.
Consolidation can help you tame costs, simplify maintenance, and rationalise licensing.

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Create a Right-Sized Disaster Recovery Plan

Info-Tech Research Group

A refresh & update of our structured process to discover current capabilities and define business requirements for service continuity and IT Disaster Recovery.

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Effectively Acquire Infrastructure Services

Info-Tech Research Group

Acquiring a service is like buying an experience. Don’t confuse the simplicity of buying hardware with buying an experience. Most organisations lack of expertise in acquiring services is problematic – not only is the acquisition process for services more complex, but it also often has high stakes with large deal sizes, long-term contracts, and high switching costs.

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Prepare for a DRP Audit

Info-Tech Research Group

Get the most out of your audit preparation by focusing on evaluating and closing DR gaps rather than only on creating documentation.
Create concise usable documentation that meets the needs of your IT team as well as your auditor. Don’t waste your effort by creating documentation that satisfies the auditor but is not usable during a disaster.
Customers are demanding evidence of DR capability, so even unregulated industries are required to ensure they have a functional DRP.

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Improve IT Operations Management

Info-Tech Research Group

Operations management includes a wide variety of functions within IT and is not a one-time project. As you improve your IT operations management program, we will help ensure that you are putting appropriate measures in place to drive continuous improvement on an ongoing basis.

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Evaluate Cloud, Co-lo, and In-House DR Deployment Models

Info-Tech Research Group

Evaluate deployment models from in-house or co-lo DR sites, to managed services, to cloud-based DR in order to determine the best fit for your DR environment.

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Implement a Shared Services Model

Info-Tech Research Group

Implementing a shared services model needs to be viewed as more than just extending a current service to other sites. The organisation providing services essentially turns into a vendor. As a vendor, think of the IT service you’re offering as the “product.”

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Improve IT-Business Alignment Through an Internal SLA

Info-Tech Research Group

Business leaders have service level expectations regardless of whether there is a formal agreement. The SLA process enables IT to manage those expectations.
Create an effective internal SLA by following a structured process to report current service levels and set realistic expectations with the business. This includes:
-Defining the current achievable service level by establishing a metrics tracking and monitoring process.
-Determining appropriate (not ideal) business needs.
-Creating an SLA that clarifies expectations to reduce IT-business friction.

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Reduce Costly Downtime Through DR Testing

Info-Tech Research Group

Create an effective DR test plan by following a structured process to discover current capabilities and defining test procedures for the entire range of testing methodologies. This includes:
-Defining current readiness through a comprehensive action items list, proficiency assessment, and needs analysis.
-Creating comprehensive test documentation that will support the test facilitator through both passive and active testing.
-Implementing a thorough review program that will incorporate learning points from testing into everyday operations.

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Build or Refresh the Wireless LAN
Info-Tech Research Group

Technological demands are ever-changing and always increasing and your network needs to be adaptable to ensure customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
Your end users are embracing wireless and you can’t afford to live in the past. They’re demanding faster and more reliable wireless networks as they push the limits of your network’s capacity with a growing number of devices per person.

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Gaming and Hospitality: Build or Refresh the WLAN
Info-Tech Research Group

Don’t gamble with your wireless network; enhance guest experience with an efficient and reliable WLAN.

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Implement Crisis Management Best Practices
Info-Tech Research Group

Business contingency and IT disaster recovery plans focus on how to resume normal operations following an incident. The missing piece is how does the organization initially respond to and assess an incident, including whether to execute the BCP/DRP.
Organizations that don’t have a crisis management plan are far less able to minimize the impact of other crises such as a security breach, health & safety incident, or attacks on their reputation.

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Outsource Network Management
Info-Tech Research Group

-With the rise of virtualized, globalized “as a service” computing, networks are an evermore critical utility, requiring rock solid availability, reliability, scalability, and performance.
-Significant cost saving potential is also leading organizations to outsource components of their network management services.

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Outsource Network Management in Gaming & Hospitality
Info-Tech Research Group

The network is a critical utility in the gaming and hospitality industry – it requires constant availability and reliability.
Outsourcing presents an opportunity to reduce costs and improve capabilities. However, making the case to outsource is difficult. Outsourcing does not reflect favorably on EBITDA and the controls and regulations can deter management from pursuing the project.

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Create a Right-Sized Disaster Recovery Plan
Info-Tech Research Group

DR is about service continuity — that means accounting for minor and major events. The myth that a DRP is only for major disasters and should be risk-based leaves organisations vulnerable to more common incidents.

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Reduce Costs Through Printer Consolidation
Info-Tech Research Group

Discovering how much the company is currently spending on printing is the first step to achieving management buy-in for printer consolidation.

Simply changing your managed print services pay model can result in large cost savings.
Impact and Result
This research will help you determine your current printing costs to justify a printer consolidation project to senior management and obtain visible buy-in.
Consolidate your printers and re-assess your managed print service model to reduce printing costs.

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Develop a Business Continuity Plan
Info-Tech Research Group

The traditional approach to BCP is a massive project that most organisations cannot execute without hiring a consultant. To execute BCP in-house, carve up the task into manageable pieces as outlined in this blueprint.
Focus on implementing a structured and repeatable process that can be applied to one business unit at a time to avoid BCP from becoming an overwhelming project.

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Terminate Your IT Infrastructure Outsourcing Relationship: There must be 50 ways to leave your vendor.
Info-Tech Research Group

There must be 50 ways to leave your vendor but do not switch providers unless there is no way to rehabilitate the current agreement and relationship. Switching is expensive, and the vendor is often not the problem.
This research will help you:
- Diagnose the root cause behind your outsourcing problems.
- Decide whether to terminate the agreement and switch service providers.
- Plan to rehabilitate and stay with the provider, re-negotiate, or switch providers.
- Move your infrastructure to a new service provider.

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Recover Data Center Space After IT Infrastructure Outsourcing
Info-Tech Research Group

- The growth of IT infrastructure outsourcing and server virtualization have reduced in-house data center physical space and equipment requirements, leaving organizations with more data center capacity than they need.
- Recovering data center space and liquidated excess equipment can provide significant IT cost savings.

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Outsource your IT infrastructure to improve your system availability, reliability, and recovery
Info-Tech Research Group

There are more IT infrastructure outsourcing options available now than there ever has been before – there is a suitable option for every organisation. Yet, 42% of organizations do not receive the benefits they expect to in the first year of IT infrastructure outsourcing. Success results from making the right outsourcing choices and building a strong partnership with your service providers.



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Document and Maintain the Disaster Recovery Plan
Info-Tech Research Group

Organizations continue to struggle with creating DRPs and making them actionable. It's time for a new approach.
- Visual-based documents – flowcharts, checklists, and diagrams – are far more effective in a crisis than the traditional DRP manual. The usual 300-page manual might satisfy the auditors, but it’s not very effective in a crisis.
- A streamlined DRP also depends on effective Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for application recovery, configuration settings, and so on. The DRP needs to stay focused on decision making, the high-level response plan, and coordinating activities.
- Planning tools are not a silver bullet. You still need to define the processes and capture the recovery steps that need to go into those tools. If the tool is too complex or cumbersome, they can actually be a hindrance to plan development and maintenance.

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Future-Proof the Data Center
Info-Tech Research Group

There are numerous changes, large and small, that are being pushed into the data center, and it is difficult to know which are appropriate for an organization. This research defines a framework to evaluate new roles, processes, and technologies for inclusion into the data center roadmap and maintain the reliability, availability, serviceability (RAS) required by the organization.

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Secure IBM i Systems to Meet Today's Risks
Info-Tech Research Group

Despite increased network presence, modern interfaces, and integrations, many organizations are still applying an old security model from the green-screen days.
- IBM i is no longer isolated from threats. The increase in web-based applications and network presence as part of modernization efforts has also increased security risks.
- Modernization has also made security requirements more complex than even just five years ago. For example, the need to lockdown access has to be balanced with appropriate web access to support a modernized legacy application.
-Security best practices are often neglected due to the perception that IBM i is secure “out-of-the-box.” IBM i is capable of being a highly secure platform, but only if you leverage the available security features.

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Build a Strategy for Big Data Platforms
Info-Tech Research Group

Big Data; let's talk about the elephant in the room.
The immaturity of the big data market means that organizations lack examples and best practices to follow.
The term NoSQL has become a catch-all phrase for big data technologies; however, the technologies falling under the umbrella of NoSQL are disparate and often misunderstood. NoSQL plays a key role in the emergence of the big data market, but it has not made relational databases outdated. Successful big data strategies can be conducted using SQL, NoSQL or a combination of the two.

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Assess the Appropriateness of the iSeries/IBM i in My Business
Info-Tech Research Group

Separating myth from reality to assess future viability and your organization's strategy for this platform.

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Bridge the Gap between Service Management & Disaster Recovery
Info-Tech Research Group

Treating DR as a separate entity outside of normal IT operations leaves organizations vulnerable to less dramatic — but far more common — causes of extended service interruptions.

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Integrate Global Data Center Facilities
Info-Tech Research Group

This Solution Set will help you understand the challenges associated with integrating global data center facilities to prepare for and overcome obstacles.

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Structure the Role of the DBA
Info-Tech Research Group

The traditional role of DBAs is shifting due to a variety of changes such as cloud databases, increased automation, close relations with development, and the need for more integration with the business at large. All this means that organizations will have to adapt to integrate a new type of DBA into IT.

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Maximize the Value of IBM Mainframes in My Business
Info-Tech Research Group

The perception that mainframes, such as IBM’s System z, are a dying platform built on old technology is applying pressure on IT leaders to determine the future viability of this platform and whether it’s still the right fit for their organization.
Evaluate your mainframe’s cost effectiveness, and then follow our recommended strategies for reducing mainframe costs and leveraging the mainframe to optimize your infrastructure to also reduce overall IT costs.

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Deploy Changes More Rapidly by Going Agile
Info-Tech Research Group

Agile methodology is not just for developers. IT operations teams who are not integrating Agile processes become a bottleneck. Agile processes are designed to be quick and nimble when evaluating and deploying change. Change controls are rigorous, but streamlined. Compliance standards are met, but do not impede progress.

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Use DBaaS to Drag, Drop, and Deploy Enterprise Databases
Info-Tech Research Group

Take advantage of cloud technologies to extend your in-house database capabilities.
Databases have long been the exception to the cloud infrastructure stack. However, vendors have started to offer cloud databases in an as-a-service model, making them a more enterprise-ready solution.

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Incorporate Mobile into the Enterprise Print Strategy
Info-Tech Research Group

Organizations that support BYOD must decide whether printing for mobile devices and personal computers is also needed. Mobile printing may or may not be an essential part of employees’ workflow

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Move a Data Center
Info-Tech Research Group

An Info-Tech Research Group Solution Set outlining a step-by-step process on how to move your data center. Includes tools and resources.

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Vendor Landscape: Data Center Precision Cooling
Info-Tech Research Group

Info-Tech Research Group’s Vendor Landscape market evaluations are a part of a larger program of vendor evaluations which includes Solution Sets that provide both Vendor Landscapes and broader Selection Advice.
Vendor Landscapes are refreshed every 12 to 24 months, depending upon the dynamics of each individual market.

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Build a Data Center
Info-Tech Research Group

This solution set will provide you with step-by-step design, planning and selection tools in order to define a facility design that minimizes costs and risk while supporting cost-effective long-term growth

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Renovate the Data Center: Renovation projects are more complex than first thought.
Info-Tech Research Group

This solution set will provide you with step-by-step design, planning, and selection tools to define a Data Center renovation plan to reduce cost and risk while supporting cost-effective long-term growth for power, cooling, standby power, and fire protection renovations

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Vendor Landscape: Multifunction Printers
Info-Tech Research Group

Info-Tech Research Group’s Vendor Landscape market evaluations are a part of a larger program of vendor evaluations which includes Solution Sets that provide both Vendor Landscapes and broader Selection Advice.
Vendor Landscapes are refreshed every 12 to 24 months, depending upon the dynamics of each individual market.

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Develop a Global Network Strategy
Info-Tech Research Group

When the weight of the world is on your shoulders, don't leave it to chance, develop a strategy for the global network.

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Develop a Comprehensive Hardware Asset Management Strategy
Info-Tech Research Group

Identify best practices to maximize hardware asset ROI while offering adequate risk protection.

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Improve Data Center Energy Efficiency
Info-Tech Research Group

73% of organizations do not have visibility into the energy bill specifically for the data center. These organizations do not have insight into the true cost-to-serve the business, and how much power they are consuming. IT leaders that do not measure, monitor, and manage data center efficiency are leaving money on the table and putting the business at risk for unexpected outages.
This solution set will help IT leaders understand the importance of improving data center efficiency and takes them through the process of getting started.

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Take a Strategic Approach to Maximize the Benefits of Green IT
Info-Tech Research Group

An ad-hoc approach to Green IT is leaving money on the table.
Forward-thinking organizations with a strong commitment to sustainability, which includes clear environmental goals and tracking energy costs, are reaping the benefits of Green IT initiatives.

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Assess Oracle's Role in the Enterprise Database Strategy
Info-Tech Research Group

Develop a strategy that will not only make the most of Oracle now, but prepare for the future as well.

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Upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
Info-Tech Research Group

SQL 2008 R2 is largely unchanged from SQL 2008 but has a major upside for those looking to secure Business Intelligence.

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Develop a Standby Power Strategy
Info-Tech Research Group

Many IT departments overlook best practices for standby power assessment and procurement, mistaking this critical infrastructure for a commodity-like purchase.
You must put the time and effort into current and future requirements gathering for critical components of the data center to ensure the system can meet the needs of the business.
Without conducting proper requirements gathering organizations often undersize or oversize UPS requirements leading to insufficient capacity and significant cost overrun due to misalignment with business needs.

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Develop a Data Center Infrastructure SLA
Info-Tech Research Group

Service Level Agreements (SLA) are the intersection between the provisioning of bulk data center services at lowest cost, and the measurable (and unmeasurable) business service expectations. Data centers are structured to provide lowest-cost, reliable infrastructure services, repeatedly. However, data center managers are being asked to agree to SLAs with the business units, which have stated expectations beyond the structured delivery of delivered services.
Info-Tech finds that most internal data center SLA efforts are focused on the failure of services. This creates an SLA process that is oriented towards penalties after the service failure rather than continuous improvement to prevent service failures.
Additionally, tension between traditional SLA wording and business expectations results in most internal data center SLAs being ineffective at providing a framework to facilitate a dialog about service delivery.

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Maximize Availability for Mission Critical Systems
Info-Tech Research Group

Providing high availability for mission critical systems is costly. Therefore, a greater emphasis needs to be placed on first determining which business functions are truly mission critical, and then scoping the business requirements for reliability and availability — before designing the infrastructure to meet those requirements.
System failures are more often a people or process issue than a technology issue, so organizations need to address all three areas. Simply purchasing more-advanced hardware and software will not deliver 4 or 5 x 9 availability.
Similarly, IT managers need to consider the full end-to-end infrastructure, including power, cooling, networks, message queues, and so on. Focusing only on server or database redundancy is not good enough.

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