Seventhman Blog

  1. To Automate or To Outsource?

    "it outsourcing threat"To outsource or cloud-source?  That is not the question we’ve asked a decade back.  But with the rise of cloud computing comes automated tools that offer the same solutions – minus the complexity and higher cost that IT outsourcing offers.  The perfect mix of simplified applications and processes, coupled with working on a tight budget, may put a dent on IT outsourcing’s universe as we know it.  When businesses are signing more deals with vendors for less than what the contract is valued for, you start to wonder if outsourcing can survive amidst all these dynamic changes and disruption brought about by the cloud.

    Fear the Rise of the Machines

    I’ve been asked one time by this small business owner why he should outsource data mining tasks when he can use an intelligent web scraping tool that does the same job – for less. Besides, the pay-as-you go model costs way cheaper than the hourly rate of an outsourced data miner. Truth is, even those third party vendors are consumers of cloud services and it’s a no-brainer that you can also learn how to use these tools yourself.  When the cost of labor rises each year, enterprises are forced to look for integrated solutions that offer convenience, flexibility and security. Some may argue that outsourcing may cost more in terms of investment and the headaches that come with it may not be well worth it.  When more businesses are going global, it’s only smart to find the balance between the best talents and cost-effective technology around.

    Winning in the World of Agile Outsourcing

    If you’ve been in the outsourcing industry for quite some time, you know that challenges abound – from management, compliance to something as mediocre as time zone differences.  Now, those running a BPO need not to panic as cloud adoption is not yet that ripe to affect the business model in a huge scale.  Yes, the threat is there especially when cloud adoption is disrupting the sourcing marketplace.  Sure, there will be negative and positive consequences to watch for.  Those who are looking at the cloud for some leverage may be doing so because this is closer to the business – which means not having to oversee teams in multiple locations, not to mention having to deal with cultural and language barriers.  Would you say that everyone wants instant gratification these days?  There’s just this grey line between automation and outsourcing I can’t define, for argument’s sake.

    Are You Ready for a Hybrid IT Outsourcing Model?

    No doubt that we will see more companies looking for smaller, affordable deals that pack a punch.  Last time, I told you that 2014 will be the year of the Hybrids.  If IT service providers want to profit and compete, they have to look for ways to use automation to their end and bank on their customer satisfaction guarantee to ensure that clients will be loyal to their business.  Besides, these customers are smarter; they’ve realized that outsourcing is full of empty promises and they might be better off doing the jobs themselves (or, with the help of these new tools).  Outsourcing vendors need to step it up a notch and find new ways of differentiating themselves in a saturated marketplace.

    It will all come down to value-added services that offer real solutions to business problems; not just  a band aid fix.  On a lighter note, people are good at adapting to radical change so they may just find new jobs managing these machines.  Now, that’s ironic.

     

     

  2. Are You Ready to Embrace Enterprise Mobility?

    "enterprise mobility"Change is coming… to enterprise mobility and the shift is happening in a blink of an eye.  You might say that it’s an over-statement on my part.  The reality is not really far-fetch, thanks to the BYOD movement.  Mobile is the new IT, no doubt.  Back in the 80’s, big companies invested millions on desktop computers because they believed that this will make their employees productive.  Today, everything changed with mobile apps running on smartphones, tablets and somewhere in between.  Going mobile used to be a business cost and now, a means to transform the way people work.  With these said, one can wonder who owns mobility in the enterprise.

    From Cloud Exploration to Cloud Business

    The adoption of cloud within the enterprise is becoming less experimental, evolving into a vital production tool in the workplace.  IT departments are starting to take cloud computing and security more seriously.  From the CIO to marketing departments and business managers, the power-shift is happening.  Almost everyone can now work with mobile applications, thanks to vendors who have listened well and designed something simple and useful for their end-users.  According to a research done by Forrester, business leaders who are making lots of renegade tech purchases are 50% more likely to increase spending.  No matter, we’re seeing a rise in the number of tech-savvy business executives who can now interact more effectively with IT.

    Taking the Management Out of Enterprise Mobility

    There is an emerging discipline within enterprise where people, processes and technology are managed based on the increasing use of mobile devices, computing and wireless networks in the workplace.  While mobility may free business units from the iron grip of IT, there must be balance where managing this revolution is concerned.  While you can play the paranoia game, thanks to the revelations made by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, people should be empowered to go mobile without putting corporate data at risk.  One way to do this is to implement a unified network infrastructure that delivers a secured virtual network for its user.  This means having reliable connectivity too.  Also, having a unified architecture approach helps – from routers, servers, wireless access points, security to business apps.  The last thing you want is for your people opting out simply because the company-provided tools didn’t perform well on their devices.

    Should You Mobilize Everything?

    What can empower your team more is through giving them access to their work and personal data – anytime, anywhere on their mobile devices.  The challenge?  Not everyone feels ready for this transformation simply because they think they are wasting money on this investment. Can you really bring in mobility, data security and self-service come to work without risking data control?  This is everyone’s dream.  The solutions available right now in the market may be far from perfect,  but I’m optimistic that we’re finally getting there.  For now, I’d say spend more time researching on how you can create your own work apps, train your people to efficiently use mobility in their jobs, and make sure that everyone knows the value of going mobile.

    Technology has the power to transform or deform your brand.  The choice is totally up to you…

  3. SaaS: Innovative Solution or Inevitable Trap?

    "saas"You probably have encountered the term SaaS and wondered what exactly it is.  Short for ‘Software as a Service’ – this is a model in which an application is managed by a certain provider, paid for on subscription basis and accessed by users over the internet.  In fact, you might have been using it right now without ever knowing that you’re one of the many who have driven the growth of Saas.  There’s your popular iTunes, iCloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft to start with.  There are many more notable service providers on the list.  Sometimes, these are referred to as ‘on-demand’ software that you can use for business or leisure (or both).  In the end, it’s all about convenience, customization, flexibility, collaboration and accessibility that turned SaaS applications into an integral part of how we do computing these days.

    The Pros and Cons of the SaaS Model

    For businesses, the major benefit is the cost savings of a subscription model vs. the large expense they will incur just to run and maintain an on-premise IT infrastructure.  With the cloud comes a whole new world of possibilities, especially when you need to scale bigger, implement faster and run your business 24/7.  Trouble is, along with these benefits come the risks.  There have been talks lately on data security breach and government access to your private data which may adversely affect cloud providers in the U.S.  Despite all the best packages around, system outages do happen and the last thing you want is a downtime.  With the rise of many startups in the SaaS scene, the worst case is not having an exit strategy when that provider goes out of business.

    SaaS: The Beginning of an End?

    It is quite mind-boggling to learn that something this forward is getting a nasty bite where revenue is concerned.  Just read this blog recently and the first few lines got me hooked: “Marketo filed for IPO with impressive 80 percent year-over-year growth in 2012, with almost $60m in revenue. Except, they lost $35m…”  There’s something wrong in this picture.  One reason I can think of for this major loss are serial switchers, those who will jump from one vendor to another because there are simply too many right now and most are offering freebies.  Why would you upgrade to a paid account when you can get something this good.. for free?

    When the Software Landscape Looks Greener for Small Businesses  

    Opinions are split though when it comes to the future of SaaS.  There are those who say that this model is ready to take off.  There is a push towards a single-sign up for multiple applications and more businesses are shifting from paper trail to going digital this time.  Who wouldn’t want to work on something that delivers functionality without having to do patches and updates themselves?  This may be great news for small businesses who, years ago, don’t have access to world class software.  Now, they can compete with  big brands on a fair game.

    Wouldn’t it be right to say that SaaS is the greatest equalizer of them all?  No matter who you are, you now have a cloud of opportunity waiting to be explored, thanks to powerful and affordable software solutions out there.

     

     

     

  4. 5 Questions to Ask Before Adopting Open Source Software for Your Project

    "open source"Businesses have been adopting open source software solutions rapidly and you start to wonder if you should do the same.  Is it really a safer, better option for your organization?  If you’re working with designing and developing websites, and web-based applications, you may have at one point  consider going open source for your project.  Though many may have thought that open means free – it is not entirely so, but it costs lesser than commercially-licensed solutions out there.  Surely, there are benefits to be had if you clearly understand just how ‘open’ these technologies are and if you ask these vendors the right questions.  The last thing you want is getting pitched for something disappointing.  More likely, it’s what people call as open washing.  Think of it this way: just because you bought your favorite snack with “natural” claims doesn’t really mean it’s healthy for you.  So, how do you sort out the confusion when it comes to dealing with your vendor?

    Questions You Should Be Asking Before Adopting Open Source Technologies

    1. Who are Using It Right Now?

    The easiest way for you to know if the product is of top-notch quality is to evaluate testimonials and reviews of people or businesses who are using it right now.  Are they raving about it? No one may want to be the first to try out something new, so if many are committed to working with this open source software, it’s a surefire sign that it’s out to stay for the long haul.

    2.  Will the Software Meet My Needs?

    You need to assess the compatibility of this open source software with your current OS.  Do you need to install applications to make it all work?  Does the solution meet your pressing needs?  Have you tried testing the application first before you go on a full scale roll out?  Can your hardware meet the specifications of these new technologies?

    3.  Are People Talking About This Software?

    It’s easy to check the Web when it comes to searching for online conversations about a certain open source software.  You can even type in the name on Google Search box and click on discussions to see what people have been talking about.  Normally, creators of these open-source software run their own forums and having lots of active users is a good sign that these developers are committed to helping their community of users.

    4.  Who is Funding the Project?

    A lot of open source technologies are on beta mode and it gives you some peace of mind knowing that the developers have financial resources to ensure that they won’t run out of business anytime soon.  There are open source applications that are backed and used by big companies, and this means that they are committed in the success of this project.

    5.  How Involved are Users with Developing the Process?

    When people want to contribute to make a positive code change to the project, or when they are promoting by word-of-mouth – it’s something worth watching.  We know that passion is the key ingredient to success and the same thing applies with the creation and maintenance of open source software.  It’s a work of love and people share this love.

    Because you buy only what you need, you’re not held hostage by complex software bundles that can run your business dry.  And when you do choose running this option for your project, make sure that you can try before you buy, that you can look into the code and that you can apply changes on the code.

    In short, make sure that you get what you paid for.

    *** Here’s more on the topic:  Debunking the Open-Source Myth

  5. Can Your Business Scale Globally on the Clouds?

    "Business Scale on Clouds"We have all learned that to be successful in business these days, you have to conquer the cultural divide so your business can scale globally.  But, what does it really mean for your cloud strategy?  When traditional approach is still being used in IT architecture these days, just how do you take advantage of the clouds so you can integrate multiple technologies and service providers seamlessly?  Is there really a secret to cloud computing success in your organization?  A new era of change has just begun.

    The Adoption of a Cloud Strategy

    It will all start with an agile process involving CIO’s… down to your sales, marketing, HR and other departments involved in the so-called ‘change’.  Here is where the CIO view the blueprint of this cloud strategy so the platform can integrate very well with various business functions in the organization, where cost is not only reduced, but making the transition less complex for everyone.  Sounds too easy?  Yes, it may be a drag or even a major pain – and business executives must lead the way in what you call a leadership in the clouds.  It all boils down to shared vision and collaboration so that everyone can participate in this change that will affect the business in the long run.

    It’s not really surprising that cloud computing is here to rule, no matter how people may have varying opinions about the subject.  Gartner predicts that by 2015, most organizations will have migrated to the cloud.  It’s an adapt-and-adopt game out there when it comes to a cloud strategy, where you adapt the technology and you adopt its use in your business functions.  It’s important then to have a careful planning process before making that giant leap.  Security is still a major concern for many who are having second thoughts though, and to illustrate, here’s an intriguing infographic about it.

    The Age of IT Industrialization

    There is a growing demand for private cloud services and though the pay-per-use model may not be cheaper, if you want your business to scale globally on the clouds, you must be realistic with what you’re actually getting for in return.  You need to assess which applications you can move to the cloud and which ones should be managed in-house.  With plenty of vendors to choose from, you have to scrutinize each one closely to make sure that they meet your requirements.  Yes, there will always be some risk and having a contingency plan can help along the way.

    This is just scratching the surface of migrating to the clouds.. and getting ready to make a change is not a one-off deal, but something that takes years to master and managed every day.  In the end, the goal is to have free flow of information across regional to international borders.  The question now is:  “ Are you ready to rethink your cloud strategy.. or start one, if you don’t have any yet? “

  6. What Every CEO Must Know About the Cloud

    "Cloud"Cloud computing is not rocket science, as many would have believed.  This term has been popular, yet many are still confused.  The concept is not really new; just think of it as your favorite soda in new packaging.  When your PC and mobile devices are in sync, when you access your information anywhere, when you organize these data from an online source, when you share files with your peers – you’re already doing cloud computing without even realizing it.  Your personal cloud is the hubspot of data that’s ready for you to use, whenever you like.

    Cloud Going Mainstream: The Ultimate Dream

    Last year, we’ve seen cloud computing kick off and we’ll surely see huge opportunities for web-based businesses and startups to address critical concerns like security, and come up with a custom fix.  When mobility is the future of technology, and devices are becoming more sophisticated each year, there is a need to make the cloud simpler to adapt to the new marketplace.  In fact, there are predictions on the Web on 10 cloud computing startups that will have a chance to be a blockbuster this year.

    The Cloud as an Agent of Change

    There’s no denying that cloud computing will change how organizations work, especially when workers are not sitting anymore at their desks all day.  So long as you’re connected online, you can practically work anywhere.  A shift to the clouds won’t be the major solution to your business pains, and yet, it brings with it a room for agility – where key people in your business can make critical decisions faster ( and most of the time, more efficient as well ).  It’s a slow and steady adaptation to the cloud these days, without putting a huge dent on the normal workflow process, unless there are bugs to deal with or when you’re running a large enterprise.

    When Team Collaboration Goes 2.0

    Thanks to cloud computing, virtual teams can communicate easily and become virtually productive almost anywhere in the world.  The options seem to be limitless here.  The future for private cloud space also looks bright as we will see new service offerings that are secured from cyberhacks, among many other things.  As these solutions become seamless, so will virtual collaboration be.  Geographical barriers have been crossed and this may take time getting used to, like switching from horses to high-speed cars.

    There’s no denying the fact that cloud computing saves you on cost of having a complex software infrastructure and maintenance by your in-house IT staff.  Mobile technology is real and this time… we’ll be seeing clear skies where it concerns the cloud.

  7. The Secret to Successful Cloud Computing Revealed

    "Cloud Computing"Cloud computing has the power to break down the application divide inside and outside your organization, where everyone can freely share information on the clouds.  It’s not really a new buzzword and businesses have used it to tap into resources beyond their own, in times when running their own IT departments means costly, risky and time-consuming.  This technology has existed for years, built upon the foundation of services-oriented architecture – to respond more quickly in times when change happens in a mouse click, where technology is that ultimate driver to make you a leader in your industry.  So, what’s the secret to adopting cloud computing into a successful corporate strategy that you can maximize on?

    The Secret Sauce of Cloud Computing Revealed

    By now, we’re clear about one thing: Cloud computing comes with benefits, enabling businesses to run an effective workforce, anytime and anywhere.  If you have just made that transition to a cloud-based enterprise platform, you need to know that:

    Virtual Security is Everything

    It’s a no-brainer! To run a successful cloud computing application means developing a secure infrastructure that will make hacking obsolete.  Moving sensitive info on the clouds can be a tough decision for many businesses with proprietary information, and every effort must be made to protect data in a dynamic setup that’s evolving in a faster pace than ever imagined.  This means coming up with a secured technology, even at grass roots levels.

    Being Service-Oriented Surely Makes a Winner

    There are plenty of cloud applications out there that run like ‘franken apps’ that are not versatile when it comes to changes or future developments.  When cloud computing has the power to run your virtual workforce, having a service-oriented architecture that makes access and delivery of services easier to your remote team matters… a lot!  So, it makes sense to have a close-knit application that helps bolster collaboration inside and outside of your organization.  Besides, time is a valuable commodity these days and you want everyone to be efficient on the clouds.

    Simplicity is the Absolute Key

    What good is your cloud computing application when people are wrestling with servers and upgrades?  Did you know that Amazon Web Services is closing in on $1B a year just because they cared to make things drop dead simple?  By simplifying the network’s model, not only will you keep costs down, but you also get things done faster in a world of rapid change.

    The cloud computing revolution is here and most of us have learned lessons, the hard way.  It’s now time to correct this and build a consensus to a successful transition.  It all comes down to having a change management plan, where you orient everyone on the team so that the adoption to cloud computing for your business will be a major success.