Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Greg Schulz, Jim Hansen, Carl J. Levine, Scott Davis

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Effectively Shifting from a Maintenance to an Innovation IT Philosophy

Business Service Reliability – Critical to the Shift

Innovation doesn't just happen... it evolves out of business desires and it frequently involves changing your own view of the IT value statement. This article focuses on one of the key components needed to make the shift from maintenance to an innovation IT philosophy, Business Service Reliability. As a progressive IT department you must understand exactly what it is, how you can manufacture Business Service Reliability in real time so that you can measure and report your contribution in business language, and how adopting the framework shifts your organization into an innovative business partner.

What Is Business Service Reliability?
Because of our long-lived traditional IT department philosophies, most IT organizations, whether or not they realize it, focus almost exclusively on component availability rather than the overall reliability of their business services and the related customer interactions. The problem, of course, is that you can achieve decent availability metrics for individual tiers of IT services - but still wind up with customer interactions (the business services) that are unpleasant. And frequent painful customer experiences drive customers and their money away from your company. They cause your customers to say bad things about you... in public and online. They undermine your credibility, so that the business sees you as a maintainer of poor systems and an overall liability, not an innovative business partner. The shift to innovation starts with your customer, and understanding what gives them a good experience, and proactively transforming your operating model to manufacture what the customer wants.

Given this, it's obviously critical to define exactly what a good customer experience is and determine how to measure it. Good customer experiences occur when every link in the business service delivery chain performs properly. These links, by the way, are not just infrastructure components. They include calls, methods and other activities of software code that are not monitored on the typical enterprise management console. And it's not enough for these links to simply occur or be available. They also have to perform to the required level while maintaining data accuracy. That is, they have to retrieve or display the correct data in the correct way. In other words, a successful customer interaction occurs when every link in the chain is available, performs adequately, and actually does what it's supposed to do.

Manufacturing Reliable Business Service Delivery
"Reliability," therefore, can in one way be defined as how often you get the customer experience right; it is clearly not component availability. It's how often something - anything - goes wrong in the end-to-end service delivery chain. The exciting thing is that this shift to an innovative mindset can actually be mathematically expressed and measured in the real time. Examine, if you will, the following real-world formula and measurement for Business Service Reliability:

Where m = a link in the chain of delivering a customer interaction is doing exactly what it should, then:

Business Service Reliability = customer interaction link 1,2,3...(availability)m + (performance)m + (accuracy)m

And the Business Service Reliability measurement for any period (usually daily or hourly) would then be:

1-(defective interactions/total interactions)

Again, we aren't just looking at problems with component availability here - although an unavailable component will obviously result in us having a broken link in our service delivery chain. But now we're really looking at all the links in that chain and discovering where they are failing, where they are under-performing, and/or where they are not doing exactly what they're supposed to do. We get two benefits from this experience-centric approach. One is that we can now actually measure the real reliability of our service delivery. Now instead of patting ourselves on the back because we're doing such a great job of keeping our networks and servers up and running, we can take a look at a more meaningful measurement - where is our perfection rate when it comes to customer interactions?

But the second benefit is something even better. This Business Service Reliability approach doesn't just tell us how bad we're doing, it also tells us how to fix the defects in our ‘customer interaction manufacturing production line.' When we look at our defective interactions, we can begin to recognize patterns in our business service delivery. For instance, a critical Java method to get customer account information from the mainframe through the SOA layer has been randomly slow all day. In real time and related strictly to how this defect is impacting the customer interaction we provide, we can investigate the problem with only the resources related to that area of delivery, and then not only alleviate the problem, but eliminate it in the future.

How to Create the Shift
Business Service Reliability proves to the business that your IT philosophy is that of first understanding what the customer is expecting from you, and then creating that with supporting IT components only providing the means to the end. That ‘end' is what enables you and your department to develop ideas that actually mean something to your business and the framework allows you to actually deliver against the vision.

More Stories By Tony Davis

Tony Davis is a 23 year veteran of the IT industry with a specialty in IT service reliability and strategy. As Vice President & Sr. Consulting Fellow for CA Technologies Enterprise Management business, he provides prescriptive guidance to the company’s largest North American customer executive teams on transforming and evolving their IT strategy and maintaining reliable delivery of business services. Prior to CA Technologies, he held several leadership roles for FedEx, including accountability for improving total system reliability for fedex.com. You can follow Tony on Twitter at @td2926 and on CA Technologies Perspectives blog.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
In recent years, containers have taken the world by storm. Companies of all sizes and industries have realized the massive benefits of containers, such as unprecedented mobility, higher hardware utilization, and increased flexibility and agility; however, many containers today are non-persistent. Containers without persistence miss out on many benefits, and in many cases simply pass the responsibility of persistence onto other infrastructure, adding additional complexity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Pentaho has announced orchestration capabilities that streamline the entire machine learning workflow and enable teams of data scientists, engineers and analysts to train, tune, test and deploy predictive models. Pentaho’s Data Integration and analytics platform ends the ‘gridlock’ associated with machine learning by enabling smooth team collaboration, maximizing limited data science resources and putting predictive models to work on big data faster – regardless of use case, industry, or languag...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Addteq will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Addteq specializes in creating innovative solutions to solve business processes through the use of DevOps automation. Addteq was founded on the firm belief that automation is essential for successful software releases. Addteq's products and services are centered around the fundamental approach of understanding the pr...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Peak 10 has announced that it has completed a 20,000 square foot expansion of its Cincinnati-area data center, a 6,000 square foot expansion of its data center campus in Charlotte’s University Research Park, and added a pair of seasoned executives to its leadership team. This further propels the company on its aggressive growth trajectory to meet the rising demand for flexible hybrid IT strategies and solutions across its enterprise customer base. Cincinnati is home to companies like Kroger, Pr...
VeriStor Systems has announced that CRN has named VeriStor to its 2017 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Elite 150 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Their offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments. In today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.