5 Steps to Business Agility

Every industry is subject to disruption.  Only a truly agile business is equipped to respond correctly.  So how do you build an Agile and Lean Business Environment?  Well, you are not the only one scratching their head around this shift in thinking….Below are 5 steps to creating an Agile and Lean Environment.

5 Steps to Business Agility

-Enterprise Scale Agile and Lean Thinking – Use agility within your IT department to gain a competitive advantage.

-Agile Planning, Work Sequencing, and DevOps – Deliver the most valuable, smallest pieces of work rapidly to customers.  Look at the delivery process holistically and deploy consistently.  (You could leverage the net promoter score model)

-Agile Portfolio Management –  Consider the total life cycle ( the process of thinking, developing, funding, allocating…etc..) when you think about doing anything differently.  You could also look up at the ratio between the funding decisions and the value the decision brings.

-Full Value Stream Agility – Constantly amplify the opportunities you are vested in.  Make sure you are leveraging the full value of each improvement.  Confirm with your business and customer base that you are delivering what they wanted.

-Business Agility – Sense and Respond by adopting a lean thinking n thought your business.  Create what you feel is threatening levels of transparency and delegate decision making from top to bottom.


Cost of Delay

What’s the risk of waiting?  Even a small increase in agility will net big improvements.  Below are just a few real financial rewards….

-10% cost savings in the first year
-10% better quality, 10% fewer customer impacting incidents
-10% better visibility in risk and gaps
-10% more customer engagements
-10% more innovation
-10% faster improvements in speed to revenue
-10% increase in predictability
-10% faster response time

Just changing or shifting your thinking will reap big rewards.  So what is your true cost? HTG can help you define this….

Thank you for reading this article/blog,
Chris Ichelson – 480-993-6941

What is a Trusted Advisor?

In technology, a Trusted Advisor is someone who customers can count on to really listen and show that we are ready to take a journey with them to solve their toughest business challenges.

What does this mean to you as an IT Leader?

Fact:  “35% of IT spend is occurring outside the department, a figure expected to grow to 44% in three years. Alarmingly, only 11% view IT as a developer of new services, and 14% see IT as a driver of new business initiatives. More encouraging, 40% of those believe IT is “strategically important,” up from 35% in 2011.” (TechRepublic May-June 2013)

The future of IT is about being a trusted advisor. IT will never be able to control all of the IT spend or dictate what people use. In this new app economy, the key role evolves to become a trusted advisor to the business on issues of security, risk, pooling of buying power, and how to use new technologies to deliver competitive differentiation in the market. It is all about our customer. IT leaders must be able to demonstrate how technology, apps, and services can fuel revenue, secure more customers, help to enter new markets, develop new products and services, and create exciting and rich customer experiences.

As your trusted advisor at HTG 360, we help IT leaders research, demonstrate, accelerate and shine.

HTG 360 “HTG” as your Trusted Advisor…

At HTG, we put our clients’ needs first.  Building a relationship rather than focusing on the outcome of the business at hand is the number 1 priority.  We build trust by making clients by empowering our clients to feel like solutions and vital decisions come from them.

At HTG we understand the “Why”…

As your appointed trusted advisor at HTG, we go beyond meeting our clients explicit and obvious needs by developing a deeper understanding of their implicit, and often hidden, needs.  By understanding and asking the right questions, we are able to establish a relationship where we can proactively manage our client’s pain points, inevitably building a stronger relationship based on trust.

Being “Credible” is the only way….

At HTG, we bring the experience, education and the understanding of a subject matter expert by maintaining current certifications, knowledge, and experience that enable our client superior returns on investment. Being our clients trusted advisor means understanding shifting priorities and upcoming changes in the IT landscape.

Don’t make “Promises” that we can’t deliver…

As an industry expert and a trusted advisor comes the ability to be incredibly valuable when it comes to establishing a true connection.  At HTG, we understand trust is fragile, we bring reliability to the credibility.  So what does that mean?  “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” It doesn’t matter if we are a subject matter expert if our client can’t trust us, then we can’t deliver exceptional results.

Having an “Emotional Connection” empowers…

HTG, as your trusted advisor, we recognize, deal with and respond to our client’s emotions.  Providing empathy is key.  Treating our clients first and foremost as people, not as members of a group.  Providing understanding not only to provide support but also affirmation and appreciation.

We are “Committed” to the overall process…

As our client’s trusted advisor, at HTG, we are in it for the long-term relationship, not just for short-term gain.  Connecting with our client’s IT and business teams on all levels.   We help demonstrate results that are pushed down for the holistic success of our client’s business.

 

For more information on partnering with HTG the long haul, CLICK HERE!

 

Published By:

Chris Ichelson

HTG 360

866-278-5578

cichelson@htg360.com

www.htg360.com

 

 

 

Top Cited:

TechRepublic – May-June 2013

 

Case Study: A Tailor-Made Cloud Solution

The following is a recent case study on a medical rehabilitation company with 13 locations and 200 employees across Central Florida.

The client was working with a local MSP to manage and handle its IT services. With no IT staff, the company had an agreement with the MSP to have a dedicated resource during normal business hours. The resource included voice systems, data, infrastructure, connectivity, and all forms of help-desk support. However, it was limited by normal business hours and was not available 24x7x365. Additionally, the company faced complications with scalability. It was in an expansion phase, yet the on-site infrastructure was unable to properly accommodate this growth. Upper-level management suggested a new, hosted solution that would offer scalability, predictable costs throughout the business’ growth, and a way to receive local IT support.

We were brought into the opportunity and tasked to propose a cloud-based solution to resolve the client’s performance limitations and deliver full IT support, cost efficiency and dependability. The cloud provider presented the client with a fully managed cloud services proposal that not only met and exceeded their full IT requirements but also included a full-time employee, managed by our managed services team. Cloud Engineers did a full analysis of the client’s network and infrastructure on-site, allowing them to build a truly tailor-made cloud solution. The unique solution allowed the medical rehabilitation facility to focus on running the business and continuing expansion, leaving the IT operations and management to our engineering team.

The final cloud solution delivered to the client included CloudDesktop, CloudServer, and CloudMail, as well as 24x7x365 monitoring to ensure the highest level of performance. By replacing the MSP dedicated resource, the client is now able to experience managed cloud solutions that offer many benefits: a 100% uptime SLA, around-the-clock support, full management, scalability, a cost-efficient pay-as-you-go model, patches and upgrades to servers, and much more. The company now experiences on-site support for its connectivity, voice, infrastructure, and help desk needs, in addition to the 24x7x365 support center. There are also scheduled weekly project status calls and monthly trouble ticket reviews between us and the client to ensure the solution is performing and meeting the business’ needs.

We were able to understand and meet the client’s exact needs, designing a cloud solution that not only resolves current issues but also has the ability to grow and evolve alongside the company. This level of dedication is delivered to all clients, regardless of size or industry. By moving to our managed cloud solutions, customers can experience a superior level of support and care, while receiving secure cloud solutions that they can rely on.

Would you like to learn more about working with HTG 360 and our cloud partners on your next solution? Contact HTG today at 866-278-5578 or info@htg360.com.

Software Development in the Cloud

Cloud computing provides significant cost savings for software development. However, if this is the sole reason developers are making the move, they’re missing the multiple other strategic benefits of the cloud that make the transition really worthwhile. Software developers can experience greater flexibility in deploying and managing applications in a cloud environment. Cloud computing creates a virtual environment for project management and software builds, complete with automated testing. This modern environment provides improved agility, increased performance, and faster time to market for software development.

Virtual Resources

Within the cloud environment, developers have access to a practically unlimited amount of resources, including testing and staging servers. These virtual servers enhance the speed of software testing and delivery and ultimately increase productivity as development teams can test concepts faster and easier than ever. The unlimited resources are also extremely scalable, allowing the team to spin resources up and down as needed. This is extremely efficient when compared to traditional, physical environments where developers have to wait for provisioning of servers and databases and have limited resources.

Time to Market

Software development in the cloud also speeds up the time to market, as developers can release new, high-quality software quickly and efficiently. This makes it a lot easier to keep up with the competition and consumer demands. Cloud computing minimizes the time it takes to provision new environments, release new features, discover bugs, and deploy fixes. These are tasks that used to drain time.

Security

Security is always top-of-mind when it comes to using new technology. It’s no different with software development. Maintaining data integrity is crucial during the testing and production stages. Fortunately, cloud infrastructure can provide the proper security measures and data recovery plans. Of course, it always depends on the provider you use for the cloud environment. HTG offers high-end infrastructure with multiple layers of government-grade network and physical security. Cloud technology is our business and core competency. We know it best, so we know how to keep your software development environment absolutely secure.

Cost Efficiency

And now for the cost savings. This is a popular benefit of cloud computing, and for good reason. The cloud provides great cost efficiency for software developers, who can experience a pay-as-you-go model. You pay as you use the resources, and when you’re not working on development, you can pause your use of the resources so you don’t overpay. The overall efficiency of the cloud environment also inevitably leads to savings. For example, developers can experience effective testing, with the ability to test multiple features of the software at once by isolating sections of the code. Multiple people can work on different parts of it at once. This not only leads to wider, deeper testing of new software before releasing it, but it also leads to greater efficiency and speed of development.

Consumer Benefits

So let’s think about the consumers. When you provide cloud-based applications, customers can access the software via the Internet on a pay-as-you-go basis – similar to how you access the cloud resources to build the software in the first place. Most people already use some form of cloud software every single day without even realizing it. That’s how prevalent this is today! This simple model leads to countless benefits for businesses and consumers alike. It’s so beneficial that IDC predicts the cloud software market will surpass $112.8 billion by 2019.

Cloud software is increasingly important today. It is responsible for how we store, modify and access computing resources on both the consumer and business sides. Cloud computing has made pooled computing resources a mainstream technology that is so popular because of its flexibility, cost efficiency, and other benefits. It’s important to consider the cloud for software development not only for the cost benefits, but also for how the environment will enable greater agility, security, scalability, productivity, and a competitive edge.

Virtual Desktops: What Are the Benefits?

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a virtual workspace that essentially replaces a physical desktop environment with a Web-based application. By using any Internet-connected device – smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc. – you can log in via your Web browser and access your files, documents, applications, and much more. Users will have the same experience as using their traditional desktop, but with much greater flexibility.

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a form of VDI in which the desktop virtualization is outsourced and handled by a third party – in this case, HTG. DaaS is delivered in the cloud, along with the applications a business needs to use on the virtual desktop.

Implementing virtual desktops allows your business to host everything virtually, which eliminates physical servers, hardware, software, updates, upgrades…the list goes on.

Let’s look further at how virtual desktops work and the benefits that come with using them:

Security comes into play with the right cloud provider. HTG’s data centers are Tier 3, Class 1, with full redundancy and both network and physical security. All of your confidential information will remain secure in HTG facilities. For any business, saving all files securely is of high importance. Using virtual desktops can create greater security than a traditional desktop environment. The devices are no longer vulnerable, as businesses don’t have data stored locally anymore. Instead, data is protected in the cloud via extremely secure data center facilities.

Business data also remains accessible to authorized users at any given time. How you ask? Well, virtual desktops remove the risks of natural disasters or failures, and the need to be glued to your office desk, because data is located in the cloud. Having a virtual desktop environment means spilling coffee on your laptop isn’t detrimental in terms of your critical data. You don’t need flash drives or constant emails to yourself to transfer information back and forth. You don’t even have to be in the country to continue working. With virtual desktops, your files and apps will be located in the cloud and ready to use whenever and wherever you want. They’re limitless.

This then brings in the possibility of BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, for the workforce. The world can become your office. You can make real-time decisions and drastically decrease costs by avoiding device upgrades or even supplying the devices at all. Additionally, a recent Cisco study found that U.S. workers save an average of 81 minutes per week by using their own devices – so clearly, BYOD leads to greater productivity as well.

-Benefits of VDI
-Mobility and BYOD
-Competitive edge
-Anywhere, anytime access on any device
-Cost savings
-Improved security
-Avoid maintenance and management
-Scalability
-The benefits of virtual desktops are simple, clear and endless. Accessibility and flexibility become effortless. Virtual desktops are an obvious choice.

Want to learn more about our DaaS offering, HTG’s CloudDesktop? Contact HTG Today at 866-278-5578.

Managed Cloud vs. Unmanaged Cloud

The beauty of the cloud is in the copious options it offers a business. One of the most important options to consider is whether or not you want to control your own cloud infrastructure or have a provider like RapidScale manage it for you. It ultimately depends on your business and the goals you have set.

Here are some benefits that both managed and unmanaged cloud computing offer and how they differ from one another:

Managed Cloud

It is estimated that the managed cloud market will grow from $17 billion in 2014 to $43 billion by 2018. (451 Research) It’s evolving at a quick rate, and the reason for its increased popularity is that providers, like RapidScale, take on a lot of the management and maintenance responsibilities and constantly ensure that everything is running smoothly. Having a managed cloud allows for redundancy and full support, as well as guidance. The operating system, control panel, server setup, added applications, ongoing maintenance and management, and more is all supported. RapidScale’s managed cloud offers the opportunity to work together to create a perfect, customized cloud solution. Businesses can reap the benefits of cloud computing while avoiding added responsibility and the added time it would take to manage a cloud solution alone.

If you don’t want to worry about the cost, stress or time it takes to manage your cloud environment, a managed cloud is for you. It’s perfect for organizations that don’t necessarily have the technical expertise in-house or those that simply want to focus on strategic business initiatives rather than maintaining infrastructure.

RapidSale’s managed solutions offer the following:

-End-use troubleshooting and device setup
-Operating system management
-100% uptime SLA
-Licensing management
-Application management
-Patches and upgrades to server
-Managed backups
-24x7x365 support
-And more…

Unmanaged Cloud

Unmanaged cloud still provides the core cloud computing services, but with a “do it yourself” method. It allows you to access the cloud solutions and their benefits, but with minimal support, unlike a managed cloud. The default solution configuration is supported, but beyond that, overall solution management becomes the organization’s responsibility. An unmanaged cloud is great for businesses that have a strong IT team in place already and need little to no assistance. It’s a great way to maintain granular control of your cloud environment, as you receive unrestricted access to your infrastructure.

However, the unmanaged cloud does not offer support for customizations or third-party software a business wants to install. If a business wants to make changes or encounters an issue, this would largely be solved by the business alone, with its own personnel, money, and time.

If having some freedom and control over your business’ cloud environment is important to your business, then the unmanaged cloud is for you:

HTG unmanaged cloud offers:

Support for operating system and default solution configuration
Free setup and provisioning
Organizational control over implementation and overall solution management

Making a decision between managed and unmanaged cloud is critical for any business transitioning into this new environment. A managed cloud results in far less work and requires little to no expertise, but if being in control of all aspects of your business is your preference then it’s important to consider unmanaged cloud. HTG offers both options, but its key differentiator has managed the cloud. Managed cloud computing allows HTG to do what it’s best at while freeing up your business to focus on what you’re best at!

Data Security in the Cloud

One of the most common considerations about cloud solutions is their ability to secure critical data. Those who are still on the fence about implementing the cloud due to fear of data security can rest assured knowing that cloud solutions will actually improve security. 94% of businesses say they saw an improvement in security after implementing cloud solutions. While it’s clear that cloud security has improved in general, the specifics rely on the cloud provider that is chosen.

Let’s take a look at the great security benefits that cloud computing offers, as well as what RapidScale can offer.

Security Against All Odds

Cloud solutions remove your on-site physical equipment, making natural disasters and security breaches last year’s concerns. Making mistakes, overlooking, or even misplacing things are actions that are inevitable as humans. Imagine spilling coffee on your computer, losing it at an airport, or even dropping and breaking it. Having cloud solutions in place means these situations, while still unfortunate, are not detrimental. That’s because the data isn’t locally stored on the device itself. The virtual world secures data in a location where it cannot be physically harmed. By having infrastructure running out of data centers that a cloud provider owns and manages, businesses don’t fall captive to the integrity of their physical location. Data won’t be vulnerable on-site, and that’s a major perk of the cloud.

A huge misconception surrounding the cloud is that anyone can access the Internet, so anyone can access data stored in the cloud. This is not the case – if it was, the cloud wouldn’t be a huge force it is today. RapidScale has multiple layers of physical and network security in place that allow businesses to experience enterprise-grade security, regardless of their size. The cloud solutions include in-flight and at-rest encryption, strong firewalls, password protection, around-the-clock monitoring, exterior security systems and more. Full redundancy and multiple data center locations also eliminate the fear of ever losing your data. A business gains secure yet constant access to its critical data, no matter where users are, while outside eyes remain outside.

Our R.S. Tier 3 Class 1 data center facilities include full credential-limited access, keycard protocols, biometric scanning systems, exterior security systems, on-premises security guards, digital surveillance and recording, secured cages, around-the-clock monitoring, redundant HVAC systems, and much more. This cloud security is stronger than what you can provide for yourself, and that’s because RapidScale has the team and budget in place to make this happen. Don’t allow security stand in the way of taking advantage of cloud computing.

These security benefits are what make it possible to have a secure experience in the cloud. With the issue of cloud security out of the way, the cloud becomes much more difficult to ignore. The only thing to consider now is exactly how it can work for you. Reach out to us today to learn more!

Financial Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud solutions inherently provide countless benefits for businesses. They allow your company to focus on the most important objective: increasing profit.

Finding ways to cut down on costs is something all businesses look for. Well, look no further. Cloud computing offers numerous financial benefits to your business. It provides major savings, better IT services and higher levels of reliability and productivity. Cloud users are pointing to cost savings as a major cloud benefit, and most agree that cloud services have also helped them boost profits. Additionally, many organizations are reinvesting their savings back into the business to continue improving.

Here are some of the financial benefits of cloud computing:

Greater Cost Agility

Cloud computing scalability allows expenses to adjust as needed. If your demand for services goes up or down, so will your cloud costs. RapidScale’s cloud solutions allow you to pay as you go according to your business needs – that’s the cloud model. It offers you the opportunity to scale up or down in your time frame, based on your needs. Traditionally, organizations often overspend or underspend because they’re forced to predict their needs ahead of time. The cloud’s cost agility fixes this problem. Better yet, as you implement cloud, your employees are no longer chained to their desks. Their business information or applications can be accessed virtually on their own device! This can cut down the cost of businesses providing hardware for employees.

Amplified Productivity with Reduction of IT Management

Stop investing so much in IT management. When your IT team has to constantly maintain on-site servers, it wastes valuable time, focus, and yes, money! Productivity can be improved in the cloud environment, and this ultimately leads to profitability. The cloud frees up your IT team to focus on strategic business tasks and lowers maintenance costs for your business. Since the cloud resources are accessed virtually, a business receives management and maintenance benefits automatically because that’s all taken care of by RapidScale. More than half of businesses that have moved to the cloud said that it reduced the need of their IT team to maintain infrastructure, and this has given them more time to work on strategic tasks and innovation.

Decreased Hardware Costs

On-site hardware is in constant need of maintenance, replacement, and updates. With physical hardware also comes power, cooling and space costs. By moving to the cloud, you replace your on-site hardware with virtual cloud resources, which eliminates a lot of spending and time on your end and gives you access to the latest technology – not to mention that you also lower chances of being affected by disasters or failures that could affect your location. Infrastructure cost reduction is one of the top five benefits of cloud adoption for nearly 75% of IT professionals.

Operational Expenditure

Eliminating hardware and moving into the cloud lowers the need to administer, maintain and upgrade traditional technology, which moves you away from a capital expenditure model into an operational expenditure one. As we described above, the cloud uses a pay-as-you-go model, which is similar to how you’d pay for your water or electricity – your monthly costs are based on your needs. Moving to OpEx gives you the opportunity to free up cash that can be concentrated in other parts of your business.

Benefit from cloud computing by lowering costs, scaling as needed, and producing higher levels of productivity and profitability. Cloud computing is a proven innovative tool that saves businesses money today. 88% of cloud users point to cost savings as a cloud benefit, and with the right cloud solution, you can be among them too!