Agile management changes the business

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The 20th century model of business management had anything of consequence being decided at the top. Big leaders appoint little leaders, competition for power is constricting change, work is assigned and control is paramount.

The trouble with this 20th-century model is that it’s 20th-century – it has trouble competing with agile 21st-century businesses. The 21st-century business is a fast adapter and customer centricity is the driver for change and a disrupter for growth.

The older model has the company at the centre, with customers in orbit to be manipulated. In contrast, the modern, agile business model has the customer at the heart with the company in orbit, looking for ways to delight the customer.

In the latter kind of business, everyone in the organisation understands how their work contributes to the focus on the customer.

In agile management:

  •  Leaders see themselves and act as enablers rather than controllers
  •  Work is coordinated through structured, customer-focused practices, not bureaucracy
  •  Leaders model transparency and continuous improvement
  •  Communication is open and conversational, rather than top-down and hierarchical.

Manufacturing is in the early stage of adopting agile management. However, this trend will speed up as physical products become more software-driven and part of the Internet of Things – more and more devices and appliances becoming cyber-connected.

In other sectors, the debate is already over, with attention on improving agile methodologies, learning how to apply them across different teams, and reconciling team goals, practices and values with company goals, values and practices.

One of the United Kingdom’s leading hotel, restaurant and coffee shop operators, which boasts 45,000 employees, recently upgraded its IT systems to become more agile.

The new system gave it a flexible platform, enabling the company to be responsive and adaptable to its market and to other business demands. As a result, its business systems are more easily and widely available and suffer less downtime, and the company is more efficient and productive.

At the heart of this success is the efficient management of data – the traditional data centre just couldn’t cut it.

Next generation data centres are leading the way in enabling agile business management and SolidFire, an all-flash array, is empowering enterprises to adapt to massive IT changes. Even as little as two years ago, solid disk providers didn’t see an all-flash system like SolidFire as a threat, because of its cost. But prices have fallen and are still falling, and all-flash storage offers powerful advantages.

It keeps up with radical change because it can be expanded with no downtime and no need for reconfiguration and it offers faster access to data.

Let’s compare a traditional system with SolidFire:

Traditional System SolidFire
Single tenant Multi-tenant
Isolated workloads Mixed workloads
Dedicated infrastructure Shared infrastructure
Scale-up Scale-out
Manual administration Automation

Next generation data storage has to be at the heart of making your business agile. Download our infographic to see how SolidFire can help you.

 

The new data storage model for radical IT innovation

Solidfire_251116You’ve undoubtedly heard about the Internet of Things (IoT), in which almost every device or appliance is connected to the Internet. The collective intelligence that can be gained from these devices will forever change the activities and lives of businesses and consumers everywhere.

It is probable that IoT will impact not just connected devices, but many devices that are unconnected yet still have a current running through them.

We’re not going to get into the details of that in this article, but the point is simply this: everything you’ve heard about the Fourth Industrial Revolution – like the explosion in IoT, cloud computing and Big Data – is likely to prove an understatement.

Recent research from Gartner shows that almost 50 percent of businesses have invested in Big Data initiatives, but most are not getting the best out of their expenditure. The reason: insufficient planning or structure around how to find what they need from the data, and how to best use it.

Given the pace and scale of technological change, that’s understandable. But what can you do about it?

Some traditional companies are now getting advice on how to revamp their IT systems and workplaces so they can leverage the vast computing resources of the Cloud – so they have a chance to keep up with newer, faster-moving businesses.

Businesses struggling to find what they need from huge information flows may take some encouragement from Google. The company has announced the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) engine that it says represents the biggest shift in computing since the appearance of the smartphone.

The company says its massive search database, which now holds about 17 billion facts, will help its AI engine answer queries.

But even when that kind of technology filters down to more general use, it will still be a poor idea to let AI deal with a random assortment of information. A modern, versatile storage system will be needed to provide the dedicated, blistering performance requirement to get the most benefit from any kind of search in an acceptable time frame – whether AI or something else.

Solidfire is a storage system ideal for businesses wanting to ease the transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s an all-flash array system, meaning it has no spinning disks. This offers a number of major advantages:

  • Install only the capacity you need and expand at any time with no downtime and no reconfiguration
  • Ensure rapid data access: Input-output per second (IOPS) can range from terabytes to multiple petabytes
  • Have mixed node and protocol clusters.

In addition, Solidfire provides complete automation, guaranteed quality of service, data assurance (including self-healing drive and node rebuilds) and global efficiency.

Solidfire provides a solid foundation for manipulating and processing the data now being generated in the digital age. And when that foundation is solid, you can make good decisions with confidence – and gain an edge on those who continue to operate in a new world using outdated technology.

Make sure your business is ready. See the infographic here.

The Big Data challenge has an answer in SolidFire

SolidfireIn 2014, about 35% of computer users accessed the cloud, according to the UK Office for National Statistics. That figure has since almost doubled and within three years, 86% of workloads are expected to be processed in cloud data centres.

The quantity of data is doubling every 18 months too and the forecasts are that data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009. Individuals today create 70% of all data. Enterprises store 80%.

The World Economic Forum has identified six software and services megatrends and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is under way now.

The growth in Big Data is challenging with respect to finding what information is relevant to you, and making sense of it. This is part of the disruption that Big Data is at the heart of.

However, these challenges also present opportunities. For example, data analytics is leading to insights into virtually any field you can think of.

Not long ago a biotech company used data analytics to sort through GBs of data – leading them to isolate 23 optimal genes. And that led to the first gender-specific diagnostic tests for heart disease. Technologies such as SolidFire help to make developments such as these possible. Solidfire offers specific advantages for data storage requirements both now and in the future with the following attributes:

  • Agility: With SolidFire, enterprises can support specific solutions and adapt on the go to multiple workload environments, without affecting the performance of existing applications.
  • Reliability: A key requirement for next generation data centres is repeatable, predictable performance. With SolidFire, businesses can specify and guarantee minimum, maximum, and burst IOPS (input output per second) for individual storage volumes on the fly, independent of capacity.
  • Automation: SolidFire not only has application programme interfaces (APIs) for automating storage management, but also offers automation of every storage function of the array from the API. Data availability is also highly automated.
  • Easy scalability: The Quality of Service (QoS) performance-virtualisation of resources is SolidFire patented. This technology allows businesses to manage storage performance independently from storage capacity. Because of this, SolidFire can deliver predictable storage performance to thousands of applications within a shared infrastructure. This architecture also allows linear scale-out of capacity and performance, as nodes are added. This gives scaling up to 3.4 petabytes of effective capacity and a potential 7.5 million guaranteed IOPS.
  • Redundancy: SolidFire’s architecture does away with sharing of any hardware component in the system. Connectivity between nodes is redundant, so anything in the cluster can fail, and the system will still run. If one or more nodes fail, SolidFire automatically rebuilds redundant data across the other nodes in minutes, restoring full redundancy while maintaining all guaranteed QoS settings.

Remember, without control and the ability to scale, performance is just a Band-Aid!  See a summary of what SolidFire offers by viewing this infographic.

Five reasons to host SAP in the Cloud with Fujitsu

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Following excellent feedback received from our customers in Europe and Asia, we have now officially launched Fujitsu Cloud for SAP in Australia.  Here are five great reasons for hosting your SAP production workloads in the Fujitsu Cloud:

  1. Reduce the complexity of running a SAP-based business. Fujitsu Cloud for SAP provides a unified platform for running both classic SAP workloads as well as SAP HANA.  As all future SAP applications will be based on SAP HANA, our solution gives you the ability to move to HANA at your own pace.
  2. Avoid expensive capital outlays.  Fujitsu Cloud for SAP addresses the challenge of high infrastructure costs and lowering the entry barriers to adopt HANA in-memory technology.
  3. Purpose-built for SAP. Fujitsu Cloud for SAP is built on Fujitsu’s own IP – Fujitsu FlexFrame Orchestrator, a powerful management solution with built-in ‘smarts’ to dynamically manage and automate the full SAP environment, delivering high availability to 24/7 SLAs and reduced TCO.
  4. Know your data is safe, onshore and secure. Fujitsu Cloud for SAP is hosted on Fujitsu’s Private Cloud Platform in our secure, highly available Australian data centres.
  5. A single point of responsibility. Our platform is 100% Fujitsu owned and managed –  including data centres, managed services, hardware and SAP application support – one partner.

We are excited about Fujitsu Cloud for SAP and we would love to share our excitement with you. Contact us to arrange a time for a chat about how your SAP environment can provide better business value hosted in the Fujitsu Cloud.   For more information revisit the SAP page on the Fujitsu website and download the Fujitsu Cloud for SAP brochure.

To speak to one of our dedicated SAP Consultants call Mark Lipton, one of our dedicated SAP Consultants on 03 9924 3027 or email mark.lipton@au.fujitsu.com

Big Data: What on earth is it?

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Pramod Singh, Principal Consultant – Big Data at Fujitsu provides an insight into Big Data…

Big Data is one of the leading strategic technology trends in the year 2013. Hence, most of the leading vendors of Information Management are building capabilities around Big Data Some of the leading organizations have started planning to add Big Data to their data warehouse and data integration infrastructure. However many IT leaders and Information Managers still ask the question “what on earth is this”! Is Big Data a completely new concept or an old concept with sugar coating? Continue reading

Ion Drives, Asteroid Mining and Artificial Intelligence – Science Fiction or Reality?

Sometimes we don’t realise how far we have really come in terms of technology. For example last year we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first ever text message to a mobile phone (incidentally the message was “Merry Christmas”). Now we take text messages for granted in our personal and business lives, and text messaging as a technology is often seen as a technology nearing the end of its useful life. We’ve also seen the emergence of Twitter in a relatively short period to the point that it is now playing a role in crime fighting, and also being used extensively by public figures including The Pope!

A hundred years ago the mobile phone, let alone text messaging, would not have been dreamed of –  and now it is very much a part of our everyday life. It is interesting to speculate about what what we dream today becoming everyday life tomorrow. Science fiction writers do it all the time!

We live in a truly amazing time!

Much of what used to be thought of as science fiction has actually happened – but a lot of it is still to take place. In the past, the ideas and inspiration about what the future would look like came mostly from science fiction writers like Jules Verne, HG Wells, Mary Shelley, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, George Orwell, E.E.’Doc’ Smith, Larry Niven and Robert Heinlein to name a few. They predicted or envisaged the following advances many decades or even a century before technology was capable of producing them:

  • Space Travel
  • Satellites
  • The Internet
  • Fax Machines
  • Nano Technology
  • Ubiquitous Video Communication
  • Mass Surveillance Systems
  • Supercomputers
  • Subsea Habitats and Exploration
  • Stealth Technology
  • Personal Area Networks
  • Cloud Computing

However, many predictions such as robots and artificial intelligence still have some way to go before they can match Asimov’s portrayal of robots or come anywhere even needing the 3 Laws of Robotics*, but we have recently seen advances that will potentially allow an AI to sit an entrance exam to Tokyo University. Continue reading

Human-centric ICT and real-time Insight

Craig BatyCraig Baty our Chief Technology and Innovation Officer provides an insight into some of the lesser known benefits of Big Data strategies, and how Fujitsu is making this real for everyday people in the street….

Fujitsu’s overarching vision is based around the creation of a Human Centric Intelligent Society….the linkage of the “physical world”  and the “digital world”. The physical world is where we live – an environment now saturated with mobile devices and pervasive networks. That domain is backed by a digital world that holds vast resources of information and analytical power.

These two worlds are now being synchronized and exploited to provide previously unimaginable potential by delivering data-driven insight at high speeds, some impacts of this are:

  • Computing ecosystems are bringing new solutions that can be brought to bear on entire industries or across society.
  • Many different types of technology – mobile, network, cloud, sensors, social media and consumer electronics – are aligning into connected architectures to deliver richer and deeper content.
  • Decision-making time is being reduced or eliminated. The resulting analytical responses provide an increasingly clear perspective for greater assurance in decisions.

Big Data and implications of digital awareness of real life

When people think of ‘Big Data” they often think mostly about the processing of massive amounts of information with the aim of analysing this data to unearth nuggets of useful information. However this is only part of the Big Data definition.

“As a mega-trend, its impact will be as big as that of the Internet, the PC, or virtually any breakthrough technology you could name”

Fujitsu’s view is that Big Data is generally unstructured, comes from multiple sources (often from the Cloud), is generated and analysed in real time, and should be used not only to describe a situation, but to enable predictions to be made, and then actions to be  prescribed  based on the predictions. We call this Real Time Insight and it will have huge implications for us and how we live.

As a mega-trend, its impact will be as big as that of the Internet, the PC, or virtually any breakthrough technology you could name. In the near future we might anticipate that:

  • Systems will “sense and respond” rather than merely process transactions and the question “will humans or machines make the decision?” will arise with increasing frequency.
  • Our focus will have switched from reactive to proactive processes (medical treatment, for instance, will focus on maintaining wellbeing rather than on treating illness).
  • Speed of processing and decision making will be everything, and everything will be speeding up.

Big Data in action: Managing Tokyo’s traffic
Take for example the problem of managing Tokyo’s traffic. Tokyo is a huge metropolis with a very large population. Traffic jams and transport disruption is ubiquitous. Based on the concept of applying real-time insight, Fujitsu Japan has recently launched SpatioOwl – a cloud-based intelligent traffic management system. It collects data – masses of data – from an incredibly rich variety of sources. From sensors planted in fleets of vehicles like taxis or hauliers, from roadside sensors that monitor traffic flow, even down to subtle things like the speed that windscreen wipers are moving in the rain. But it also collects data from individuals and communities, from social media and events.

The real value comes from what happens at the back end – in the digital world.  All of this data is presented into a cloud platform, making it available for many different – as-a-service – uses. Fleet and logistics management can use it to route their traffic in the most efficient way. Individuals can use it to get simple reports of traffic. Urban authorities can use it to manage traffic control – in real time. And as we move into the future, a major application will be to link drivers to supply points for electric vehicles. The potential is vast.  Researchers at Fujitsu are using the system to map unsafe areas of the road network – based on braking information. And on another system that smooths supply and demand for the city’s taxis – so that an individual need never wait for a taxi again. For a deeper insight please see the analysis in Fujitsu’s Technology Perspectives.

This is just one example of how we see the Big Data trend playing out to benefit not only corporations and governments, but individuals in the street. For more examples of how Fujitsu is working towards the creation of a Human Centric Intelligent Society, please go to www.technology-perspectives.com and download a free copy of Technology Perspectives, developed by Fujitsu’s Global CTO Community.