Unfolding plans 158 – three great speakers

We’ve held the last Society of ICT Managers (SOCITM) meeting for the year.  It was a bit touch and go at times getting the speakers and the running order sorted but in the end Graham, as always pulled it off. What could have been a bit of a pup turned out to be another interesting and productive event.

This is the third since I took over the chair at the AGM last year.  Time flies.  We’ve been trying to run with a theme for each meeting so rather than the speakers choosing the agenda, the agenda should choose the speakers. Of course life doesn’t always work that way.  The first was on data, the second on women in ICT and this one was on market movement.  We’ve also agreed the themes for all of next year.

We had three great speakers.  Dell told us about hybrid cloud while Onyx brought us up to date on disaster recovery as a service and Geek Talent talked about our career DNA.

Dell’s presentation resonated with me.  I’ve always been a little suspicious of the hype around cloud computing.  It’s early doors yet and the market hasn’t settled down into a viable commercial offering.  The speaker took us through some of the opportunities and pitfalls with the conclusion that the best option for now is a hybrid model.  Put out to the public cloud everything that works and has been proven yet keep all of the heart and lung stuff on premise.  Hybrid cloud is the best of both worlds and as Bob Moule once said, ‘If you don’t know what your business problem is, cloud is not going to solve it.’  You can’t just rely on your private cloud though.  It must support self-service, allowing users to sort their own problems, charge back (or at least show back) where users can see the amount of resource they are using and elasticity, so that your resource can expand and contract depending upon need.

The speaker managed to throw in some useful acronyms, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS (infrastructure, platform and software as a service).  It wouldn’t have been the same without them.

The speaker from Onyx used that tried and tested way of getting a presentation off to a good start by scaring us witless.  Apparently only twenty three per cent of firms back up their data daily while only twenty eight per cent have tested their disaster recovery plan.  The speed with which you recover after a disaster is going to determine whether you survive or not.

There are six questions you need to ask when considering disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS):  Is the company a true vendor or a reseller; How often is the data replicated; Do they offer full recovery tests; is data security taken seriously; Can the disaster recover environment run the live business and; What’s the value added?

The question is how much data can you afford to lose?  If I switched off your ICT now, how long will it be until you squeal?

Finally Geek Talent spoke to us about getting value out of publicly available career data.  There are now over a billion people on line and this is leading to new kinds of employment including the ‘gig’ economy and virtual staffing platforms.  I don’t have enough space left to do this justice and so I’m going to leave this to another blog.

Being the last SOCITM of the year though, I took the opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  That went down well.

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