Cloud Strategy

Windows End Of Life (2003 & 2008) Program with AWS

150 150 Jason Oglesby
AWS EMP

MS Windows End of Life Program

Technology Spa is partnering with Amazon Web Services to reduce the cost, risk and effort needed to migrate to the cloud, while extending the life of your current investment in technology allowing you to achieve greater ROI. Through this partnership, we can help our customers take advantage of historical incentives and funding to help reduce migration costs and operating costs in AWS.

In support of new work from home requirements, are you facing the decision of accelerating your migration to cloud or making an additional capital investment in the data center to prop up systems that just months ago were only accessible inside of the corporate firewall? Additionally, are you running into compliance issues when faced with aging hardware and applications but are technologically locked into legacy platforms and systems that will require significant budget and effort to refactor? Most companies have been impacted to some degree by the end of support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on January 14th of this year. They may have gotten extended support for a limited amount of time, but this only pushes out the issue not solving the problem.

Amazon has recently launched the AWS End-of-Support Migration Program (EMP) for Windows Server. This program offers the technology and expert guidance to migrate your applications running on Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2008 R2 to the latest, supported versions of Windows Server on AWS. Through EMP technology, critical applications are decoupled from the underlying OS so that they can be migrated to the supported version of Windows Server on AWS without code changes.

In partnership with Amazon, Technology Spa has become one of just 25 partners globally to have consultants trained and certified to help customers take advantage of this program. In addition to having  AWS Certified staff formally trained in the AWS EMP solution our team provides:

  • Deep expertise in generations of Windows platforms, from NT4 to Server 2019
  • Accelerators for AWS Cloud standards and governance for EMP footprint and beyond
  • White-glove Cloud engineering and DevOps automation
  • 24/7/365 Operations & Managed Services for mission-critical environments

Technology Spa has the subject matter experts to help our customers assess their applications for compatibility, estimate TCO, migrate, cutover and provide ongoing support without any refactoring. This means you can now leverage the benefits of having the system in AWS and don’t have to worry about upgrading these applications when the next end of support event for Windows Server arrives.

How it works

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EMP Technology works by identifying the dependencies that your application has on the outdated OS and creating a package that includes the resources necessary for the application to run on the newer version of Windows Server. The package includes all the application files, runtimes, components, and deployment tools, as well as an engine that redirects the API calls from your application to files within the package. This resolves the dependencies and decouples the application from the underlying OS, allowing you to run the packaged application on future versions of Windows Server.

Our team follows a proven process to help you get the most benefit from EMP while reducing risk:

  1. Conduct feasibility study and requirements assessment
  2. Develop business-case focused on cost and security
  3. Demonstrate proof-of-concept to validate EMP approach
  4. Scope and lead production readiness qualifier
  5. Approve and execute production transition plan to AWS

Technology Spa would like the opportunity to help you take advantage of EMP on AWS, please submit your email here and a representative will follow up with additional information.

Thinkers360: Considerations for Cloud Migration Planning: An interview with Troy McSimov, Vice President & General Manager, Technology Spa

900 450 Troy McSimov

https://www.thinkers360.com/considerations-for-cloud-migration-planning-an-interview-with-troy-mcsimov-vice-president-general-manager-technology-spa/

The Digital Transformation of IT Service Management

960 320 Troy McSimov

While the focus of most digital transformation initiatives centers around the customer experience –enabled through new products, services, processes and business models – to be successful, these initiatives require a simultaneous transformation of internal organizational functions such as finance, HR, marketing, procurement, sales and of course, IT.

What’s more, as every business becomes a software business and as the digital strategy becomes one and the same with the business strategy, IT must often first transform itself before being ready to take new products and services to the customer. The customer, in this case, includes internal employees and well as external customers and partners.

So where should this IT transformation begin? Is it via new or existing technologies such as advanced analytics, AI, blockchain, cloud computing, IoT, mobility and others? Via new development and deployment capabilities such as agile, DevOps and shifting mindsets from “projects to products”? Or are there other vital areas that need to be considered as well?

The answer lies in IT Service Management (ITSM). The capabilities and methodologies of ITSM are one of the primary ways that an IT organization plans, builds, delivers and ensures the quality of services it provides to both internal and external customers. While the projects to products movement encourages organizations to think of their offerings as products, the fact is that all digital products are underpinned by services. To achieve an outstanding user experience around the digital product, these services need to provide all the usual attributes of availability, quality of service, reliability, scalability and security. This is true whether the service is supporting an end user application, platform or web site, or a supporting function such as change, asset, incident or problem management.

In addition to the IT transformation mandate, other drivers for change for ITSM relate to:

  • Companies adopting agile and DevOps practices leading to greater automation and orchestration
  • Increased adoption of cloud computing and IoT
  • Shift to shared responsibility and multi-service integration model (see “3 recommendations for your multi-vendor cloud strategy”)
  • Need for IT operations to be more responsive and agile without increasing risk
  • Emphasis on value and new frameworks such as IT4IT

From ITIL v3 to ITIL 4

All this brings us to a discussion of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library or ITIL. The recent ITIL 4, launched in February 2019, is not version 4, but instead it is ITIL for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The next industrial revolution is upon us and is changing the way we live, interact, and innovate on many levels. It will challenge how we think of humanity as we continue to merge cyber and physical realms. Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, says

“The changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril. My concern, however, is that decision-makers are too often caught in traditional, linear (and non-disruptive) thinking or too absorbed by immediate concerns to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping our future.”

As part of this shift into the new industrial revolution, ITIL has recognized the need for a transformation of IT Service Management, thus ITIL 4.

ITIL, a brand

ITIL, once the acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is now simply a brand. Why?  Just look at the list of management practices included in ITIL 4 and you can see that it is so much more than just Infrastructure.

General management practices

Service management practices

Technical management practices

  • Strategy management
  • Portfolio management
  • Architecture management
  • Service financial management
  • Workforce and talent management
  • Continual improvement
  • Measurement and reporting
  • Risk management
  • Information security management
  • Knowledge management
  • Organizational change management
  • Project management
  • Relationship management
  • Supplier management
  • Business analysis
  • Service catalogue management
  • Service design
  • Service level management
  • Availability management
  • Capacity and performance management
  • Service continuity management
  • Monitoring and event management
  • Service desk
  • Incident management
  • Service request management
  • Problem management
  • Release management
  • Change control
  • Service validation and testing
  • Service configuration management
  • IT asset management
  • Deployment management
  • Infrastructure and platform management
  • Software development and management

 

Importance of Value

The best part of ITIL 4 is the emphasis on value. At Technology Spa, we have seen too many service organizations adopt masses of tools and processes only to check a box and unable to show evidence of the value these tools and processes have brought the business. IT Service Management is now based on a set of principles with a focus on value and continuous improvement, and not just processes, as it should have been all along.

Why Technology Spa

Technology Spa partners with its enterprise customers on their Cloud journey – across all stages of that journey – from strategy and governance through operations management. Security and compliance are inter-woven across all four primary capability areas.

From an ITSM perspective, we understand that technology is not one-size-fits-all. Through our Cloud Strategy and Governance services and our Operations Management services, we deliver operational transformation of ITSM processes through automation, integration, and orchestration.

Technology Spa has the knowledge and experience to accelerate the continuous improvement and transformation of ITSM services to provide you with true peace of mind.

3 Recommendations for your Multi-Vendor Cloud Strategy

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In recent years, cloud computing has significantly improved how CIOs are able to deliver and innovate business applications and services. In addition to providing potential cost savings, and shifting the financial model from capex to opex, CIOs have used the intrinsic agility of cloud-based infrastructures to respond quickly to changing market conditions and ever-increasing end-user expectations.

These business benefits, however, have not come completely without cost. The provision of this increased flexibility for the business has created a corresponding increase in complexity for IT. Today, CIOs are dealing with multi-vendor environments with a spiraling number of cloud vendors making management and governance an ongoing battle even for the most leading-edge organizations.

To tackle these commonplace management and governance challenges in your enterprise, and extract the maximum business value from your investments, here are three recommendations for your multi-vendor cloud strategy:

Align your cloud strategy with your digital transformation objectives

A solid cloud foundation is perhaps the most important technical asset of any digital business today. It equips organizations, from startups to major corporations, with an agile infrastructure that can scale up and down on demand and which acts as a foundation for ongoing, iterative business innovation.

At their core, the majority of today’s platform business models rely on a robust cloud foundation. It’s a key part of their success and why these companies are typically valued at four times that of their more traditional business model counterparts. The cloud platform enables “permissionless innovation” where an ecosystem of customers and partners are free to innovate on top of the platform – with new apps, services and content – to further extend and enhance its overall value proposition.

By aligning your cloud strategy with your digital transformation objectives, you can get the most from your cloud investments and ensure every project is supporting your corporate business goals. In this manner, IT is putting in place an intrinsic ability to react to business needs and to support the business in its digital transformation. Your cloud strategy, and its evolution, should therefore be a key part of your roadmap for digital transformation.

Adopt multisourcing service integration to reduce costs, complexity and risk

Multisourcing service integration (MSI), also known as service integration and management (SIAM), is a highly effective approach to manage and govern multiple service providers and is comprised of the following key functions:

  1. Service delivery coordination – Assisting with decision processes to select service providers, manage onboarding of service providers and related process implementations/changes
  2. Service aggregation and brokerage – Enabling service providers by integrating processes and tools to aggregate data, ensuring single source of truth, and simplifying provisioning
  3. Service desk – Determining what information needs (if any) to be synchronized between service provider ITSM tools and integrating to master CMDB
  4. Relationship coordination – Determining metrics that need to be available to measure performance, ensuring capabilities are available to systematically access these metrics and centralizing for central Service Level Management
  5. Multivendor management – Determining processes for how the business and service providers work between each other, rules for escalation, and managing incidents across multiple service providers
  6. End to end performance management – Providing SLA reporting and managing the continuous improvement lifecycle based on business goals and priorities

By adopting MSI practices, either in-house or via an outsourced MSI provider, you can avoid common issues in cloud vendor management by reducing cost and complexity, lowering risk and improving performance. This helps to provide a single source of truth, increased transparency and visibility, and helps avoid the common “finger pointing” among vendors when issues inevitably arise.

Use MSI partners for governance so your staff can focus more time on innovation

By using an external MSI provider to manage and enable of each partners in this ecosystems, you can free up a significant number of internal IT resources to focus on higher level tasks pertaining to the core business as well as to continued IT innovation. This is especially important so that more staff can be leveraged to support the numerous digital transformation goals and objectives discussed previously.

For IT to deliver on it’s true potential to transform the business, as opposed to being relegated or maintained as an “order-taker”, a sizable portion of these IT staff must be available to work on critical new projects as opposed to business-as-usual and “keeping the lights on”. Since cloud vendor management is so resource-intensive in time, cost and human capital, this is a strong area for potential outsourcing since it frees up so much existing capacity within IT.

MSI partners can help to establish a single point of contact, ownership and control for IT services, establish end-to-end service management, clearly-defined roles and responsibilities, optimized costs and streamlined processes which all lead to increased customer satisfaction.

Why Technology Spa

Technology Spa partners with its enterprise customers on their Cloud journey – across all stages of that journey – from Strategy & Governance through Operations Management. Security & Compliance are inter-woven across all four primary capability areas.

From an MSI partner perspective, we understand that technology is not one-size-fits-all. Through our Cloud Service Orchestration services, we deliver multisourcing service integration to enable automation and orchestration of business and operational processes to enhance agility and speed to market.

Whether you’re looking for a completely outsourced solution, or an open-source cloud brokering solution that you can bring in-house, Technology Spa has the knowledge and experience to provide you with true peace of mind.