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My definition of “IT system cloud index”

The objective of the “cloud index” is to monitor the cloud level of an IT system in order to monitor and to communicate in a simple way to the level of cloud reached.

Here’s the definition I use.

The IT system is defined as a sum of Business Services (i.e. applications, see ITIL definition).

Each business service is characterized by a “feature_size”.

The “feature_size” express the complexity of the application (kind of  “function point” approach).

For each business service, we express it’s “cloud_level” on a scale from 0 to 100 :

  • 0   : the business service is hosted on dedicated servers on premise
  • 10 : the business service is hosted on shared servers (via virtualization for example) on servers on premise.
  • 20 : the business service is hosted on an external datacenter
  • 50 : the business service is hosted on a IaaS platform
  • 60 : the business service is on a PaaS platform
  • 100 : the business service is supported by a full Saas Solution.

Based on this, the cloud index is defined as the weighted average of the business services “cloud_level” weighted by the “feature_size”.

 

 


  

Crisis management : 4 organisational tips

As a CIO I’ve sometimes to face crisis : a critical system is down, it has to be repaired as fast as possible.

Playing with the ball 3

In this case, a good organisation and good processes are mandatory to be efficient.

When 2 remote teams have to work together to solve the issue, it’s even more critical.

The 4 key points  I check to be sure of the efficiency of the teams are :

1 leader per team. These leaders need to be in close communication and to trust each other. During the crisis they should be very close. These leaders need to be real leaders, not just guys that follow actions.

1 common action list.  A clear action list (who / what / when / status) has to be shared in real time if possible by both teams.

For each action, apply the process : Assign / Acknowledge / Report status. The task is explicitly assign to an owner(a person). The owner explicitly acknowledge that the action is assigned to him (her). The owner  reports on regular basis about the progress.

Regular overall status published by the leaders. This in mandatory to give clear visibility to all the team members, it’s also important because it obliges the leaders to take a step back and make a status.

 

Photo :  Tambako The Jaguar via Compfight


  

My ZTD experience, 1.5 year after…

Pasture Juniper  (Juniperus communis ssp. depressa)

I discovered Leo Batauta Zen to done blog in January 2012.

I started to implement ZTD as my productivity method just few weeks after.

In order to help me during the first weeks and to share with the community, I started a series of blog posts during the first weeks (in fact 9 weeks).

The main changes in my personnal organisation since then are :

Create a daily routine !
Take the habbit to create habbits and stick to them.
This is a very powerfull skill that we all should learn ! Leo’s approach is very pragmatic, concrete, and it works ! (at least for me…)
For example , I’ve setup the habbit to run 3 times per week, the habbits to keep my email inbox at 0

Every day, 3 MITs
Every single day I define the 3 (3, not 4 or 5!) MITs (Most Important Things) that I commit to do for this day.
This is really a very simple but VERY powerfull habit.
It helps me to feel under control and achieve most important things, so it’s helps me to be more productive.

 Simplify, simplify, simplify
I’m an engineer, I like complicated and elaborated things. But based on Leo’s advices, I’m now in a ‘simplify’ as much as possible approach.
For example, my action management tool has been simplified drastically. I went from an elaborated GTD oriented system with maybe 150 actions into it in 20 different lists, to a simple system with 3 lists and around 30 actions into it.

So yes, I’m very happy about it.

If you’re looking for a good productivity ;ethod, I highly recommend you to have a look at it.


  

Talking cloud : The Shadoks effect.

As a CIO the biggest challenge I face in my journey to cloud computing  (using SaaS or real public IaaS) is the IT ecosystem resistance.

Traditionnal IT partners come from  the ‘non cloud’ industry (and often are still into it).

Going to cloud is for them a big challenge because it will change completely their job (no more licences to sell, no more big integration projects).
It will impact their business model deeply : fully flexible costs based on usage, no more upgrades, no more  ‘maintenance’  fees.
The shadoks used to say ‘Why make things simple when they can be complicated ?’
A lot of consultants become shadoks when they talk about cloud computing.
We start from a very simple concept : a multi-tenant application accessible by a single browser and shared by all users and we come to discuss  about very complicated stuff like ‘private cloud’, ‘PaaS’, ‘IaaS’,  ‘hybrid’, ‘public’, …
All this is explained in complicated charts, with different words.
The problem of that is we often loose the the initial objective and finally just discuss about implementing some private cloud (which is not cloud !)
I’m more than ever convinced that the IT world is in strong mutation and that cloud will change everything.
Players need to adapt or disapear.

  

Federal IT dashboard : a fantastic IT portfolio template.

If you are looking for good portfolio management solutions for your IT projects, I highly recommend you the IT Dashboard website.

Building an  IT projects portfolio is very important for CIOs  in order to :

[list_checkgrey][li] list potential projects, decide which projects to launch[/li][li]follow on going projects assing progress and risks[/li][li]have a good communication tool.[/li][/list_checkgrey]

 

As stated on the welcome page :

The IT Dashboard is a website enabling federal agencies, industry, the general public and other stakeholders to view details of federal information technology investments.
The purpose of the Dashboard is to provide information on the effectiveness of government IT programs and to support decisions regarding the investment and management of resources. The Dashboard is now being used by the Administration and Congress to make budget and policy decisions.

 

This site presents all US federal IT projects.

The main points I like are :

[h4]Transparency[/h4]

All projects are presented.

The montlhy report by the project manager with the current status and risk analysis is available.

[h4]3 simple kpis[/h4]

Each project is managed using only 3 kpis :

[list_checkgrey][li]project cost[/li][li]project schedule[/li][li]risk assessement by project manager[/li][/list_checkgrey]

This set of kpi is simple and easy to understand. A FAQ gives all the definitions.

[h4]Nice visual representation[/h4]

The green/orange/red color code helps to have a very good immediate view

Simple graphs are porposed.

[h4] The source code is available [/h4]

Finally, the source-code of the site is available for free.

 

I use it as a template since 2 years, based on a sharepoint framework. If you’re interested in sharing, let me know.

 

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Go to cloud : culture change for an IT team

Moving from legacy, on-premise IT systems to cloud based solutions (SaaS or IaaS) involves a cultural change for IT team members.
IT guys need to switch their mind, accept to “loose control” on their hardware.
In order to illustrate it to my own team I’ve written few slides with 3 examples.
These examples are of course carricatures, but the idea is there …


  

Cassandra implementation at NetFlix

Cassandra is one on the top NoSQL database.

Cassandra is used for example by twitter, eBay, Netflix.

This presentation  from a Adrian Cockcroft is available on slideshare.

It’s very clear, concrete and pragmatic about Netflix move from inhouse Oracle DB to cloud hosted (at amazon) Cassandra DB.

 



  

“All is about passion” – Scott Dunlap (ultra runner)

Scott Dunlap is an ultra runner.
His passion,  his life is about running races longer than a marathon (up to 100 miles,  160 kilometers).
Scott gave a speech at Le Web last week.
The topic was about “internet of things”.
Scott uses devices to monitor his performances : speed,  elevation, calories burnt,…

Running very long discuss is crasy.
It’s a lot of pain.

So why do this ?

Scott answer is very simple : “all is about passion”. I like this statement.
Your content here.One nice device he also uses is a kind of “mood traker”.
Every 30 minutes, Scott press a button to rank his mindset, his mood on a scale from – 4 to +4, i.ie from “please kill me now” to “Euphoric”.
The result is very interesting and is repeatable from race to race : Scott mood go up and down 3 times,  with higher and higher intensity.

The 3 “bad mood” states are called “The wall”, “the pit” and “the Abyss”.

Scott explains that he like running because these difficults phases are followed by good ones ! And especially the last one the Euphoria state.

A very inspiring video.

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4 reasons to use mind42 for mind mapping

Snow balls Today I’ve found a very nice mind mapping application that I’d like to share it with you.

I’m a big fan of mindmapping, I use it quite systematically when I’m brainstorming, thinking, …

Today I’ve given a new try to mind42, and I have to say that I’m very happy of what I saw.

The team did a great work and the application is now very good.

What I prefer is :

it’s simple

In a simple browser, the application is very intuitive, no need to read long tutorial, …

it’s bug free

I did not try it extensively, but for basic usage, in a chrome browser, I did not meet any bug !

it allows me to collaborate with others !

This is for me a must have for mindmap application. Mindmapping is for brainstorming, puting your ideas on paper to sutrcure them but also to share them.

The best is to be able to collaborate on the same piece.

Today, I still miss the wonderful mindmap plugin in google wave !

It seems that mind42 is very good for collaboration : 2 or more people can collaborate real-time on the same document. That’s great !

it’s free !

photo : blmiers2 via Compfight


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