How do you keep the human element in tech?
Trying to prevent user problems is the primary job of user experience design teams at technology firms. Among the unsung heroes of tech, design teams are responsible for generating intuitive user interfaces. Lost in that purgatory between social and hard sciences, design teams balance observation and human needs with technology to realize that all important customer experience that contributes to product adoption and success.
Human error still accounts for the majority of unplanned outages in the data center. A Gartner study I cited in a recent blog post states that 80% of the outages impacting mission-critical services are expected to be caused by people and process issues.
Good user design involves subject matter experts, site visits and contextual inquiries, and personas. While good design alone will not eliminate fat-fingering keys, it can minimize human errors. The fact that we are all now conditioned by our experiences with personal gadgets such as mobile devices cause expectations to run high for what we deem acceptable interfaces in the workplace. Continue reading
What if you could leverage your online social activities to more business benefits?
Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have really taken off in the past five years or so. What sets these latest destinations apart from online forums of the past, however, is how quickly they were adopted by the business community. While seemingly opportunistic, leveraging the online sites for doing business is actually very beneficial to both vendors and customers. Think about it. The immediacy and candor of the informal communication on social media benefits both vendors and customers because it encourages ongoing communications.
In these settings, like most situations, eventually certain individuals stand out as knowledge leaders. Now, with the new EMC Elect, there is a formal program to recognize these leaders and empower them to be more effective. This community-driven, peer-nominated recognition program acknowledges the distinguished contributions of customers, partners, and EMC employees. Additionally, it bestows upon them privileges that involve them even more in the course of EMC technology development and delivery. Launched with a small group in November 2012, this program is about to go out more broadly. Continue reading
Are programmers still in demand in today’s data center?
Some studies may lead you to believe that career opportunities for programmers may be waning, but don’t believe them. A new breed of coder is emerging in the marketplace, and is in high demand right now since scarce in number. These professionals tend to be a younger crowd, and agnostic toward compute, networking, and storage technologies. Instead, they are more oriented to mobile platforms, and skilled in Web-based technologies common to cloud architectures.
These application developers are also more likely to be aligned to the executive office than the back office. This orientation means new apps can go to public cloud providers that can deliver infrastructure more quickly and economically than IT. Savvy compute, networking, and storage vendors need to appeal to the lines of business and developers as well as IT, and do what they can to make hybrid or private cloud models possible in-house in order to stay at the top of their game. Continue reading
Where do you find the real value in the data center?
As technologists, we get our thrills from the latest application release, add-on, or widget. It’s the nature of the beast. But, it’s not the new features or advanced capabilities that deliver the real value to the data center; it’s the IT personnel who wield the tools. A data center is only as good as its staff.
As discussed in a previous post about filling the IT skills gap, as technology evolves, so do the skill sets needed to harness the promise of cloud computing. Fortunately, for those people whose pay check depends on it, the trend leans strongly toward retraining rather than replacing existing staff on the new concepts and technologies that make up the cloud. But, it is not only the hard skill needs that have changed; soft skill requirements have changed too. New personas have been emerging around cloud and tenant administration. Additionally, it should come as no surprise that the business analyst function has seen a rebirth given the interest in Big Data analytics for business intelligence.
What if you could create your own view of your data center?
It may sound like a lot to ask but it’s closer to reality than you may think.
As infrastructure gets re-architected for virtual environments and cloud, new approaches to the solutions that manage, replicate, analyze, and alert need to be considered to keep IT in step with the evolving needs of the business. While feature-rich legacy infrastructure management solutions often have long lives, they‘re challenged to deliver all the features and functions every customer wants to run their business.
New IT management solutions need to get pulled together quickly and made available in a single, personalized display. This requires new ways of presenting management information, including new tools and technologies, and new ways of thinking about how information is consumed and shared throughout the organization. Continue reading