Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2011

CIO Metrics

CIO's today wrestle with more than just technology and the market demands that today's CIO's  be more than the technologist and the evangelist they are called to be. In fact they are more like CEO's in the sense they need to have keen interest in the business needs, future strategies and be an active part of ensuring that critical information churned out by techology support delivers timely info to the ground workers, people in field and empower the management/stakeholders of the organization. This is true for this role in Profit as well as Non-profit worlds. The most important things that the mordern CIO must do is quickly identify business customers (internal and external)  to make sure the priorities are classifed and fit first within the IT operational plan and the strategic plan of the organization. Working with IT steering and governance committees,  trimming lists of the systems involved and streamlining applications and ensuring qaulity and efficiency are the …

Essentials in Value Demonstration for EA Group

The enterprise architecture function provides value add to the enterprise if conducted, observed and applied correctly. In fact it is among the top questions senior management wants an answer from its EA group as they propel forward in pushing technology as a optimized strategy and service level component.  The EA group should approach by addressing the value question posed by lending clarity to organizational processes, identifying the stakeholders (internal & external) and creating  a matrix of value chain expectations that are measurable and reportable to the senior leadership.

The matrix essentially has weights attached to it and the EA group can go as specific as possible. The complexity rises if there is a PMO office and multi-level projects and programs are being executed in tandem. The weights of the matrix should try to constitute or answer to a value class that your EA group is trying to address to show results. These value classes' primarily relate to strategic dir…

Vulnerability Research

Recently one of our clients is going through a major transition of implementing new systems with few other vendors, actually a chaos of new systems interacting with each other. The implementation has been rushed and  though the system functions as they are supposed to as stand alone out of the box solutions without fulfilling much of the business's initiatives. There are some major vulnerabilities within the system architecture, the implementation has been driven by lack of understanding of the domain and the business logic that drives it.

I spent less time reading about vulnerability research and QA control mechanisms, but the current implementation  at XYZ corp. has spiked my interest back in this area. The vulnerabilities market for security experts is not as lucrative as it used to be but I suspect this will have its own economic shift cycles as information and services of organizations move more into the cloud and SAAS based environments.

Currently there remains a lack of in…

Key Components of Enterprise Portfolio Management

When organizations grow in business complexity in terms of products and services they offer, the senior management is always concerned with if resources are being effectively used and if the stakeholders (internal as well as external) are getting the right returns on their investments. Hence in the market lots of software products that do multi-portfolio management of projects and programs. Most of the products out their aim at managing the project life cycles but a true EPM will take into consideration the entire top-down planning approach to include strategic planning, investment analysis, capacity planning and tune it with the components of Demand & Change management in lieu of projects that are being executed. They also thus take into account resource management and pop in the dashboard metrics related to them with the monies or finances being allocated and thus incorporating or integrating components of Financial management.

Strategic Planning in management of enterprise port…

Change Is the Only Constant

Everybody talks about "Change" and importance of "Change management" as the only "constant" with dynamics in the global economy changing rapidly. Global competition necessitates that traditional organizations service or product line models incorporate innovation for on-going differentiation.  However little is said about the Change Agent leaders who lead this change. One of our clients (I will not mention the name) is going through a change management process. My observations on this are little effort has been made by the leadership in understanding the business model of how and why the change needs to be done along the lines how to lead by participative trust. Instead the model of "divide and conquer" is assumed making the change management process a painful, chaotic and chasing after the wind affair.

I think the fair questions that a change management leader needs to ask before he embarks on one are:

What are the main dimensions of innovation …

Quick Windows Shortcuts

After setting up multiple displays at home and because of cable clutter I could not move my left side monitor, based on desktop identity - so to fling a window to the left monitor I had to go through the monitor on my right and drag the windows to the one on the left. This was frustrating but a cool windows trick helped to get this resolved quickly. Holding down the Windows logo key along with shift and using left or right arrows key literally moves the active windows to the left or right monitor.

For your reference other cool short cuts I find routinely useful on the keyboard are Windows logo key + T to launch pinned applications on the task bar; Windows logo key + spacebar to get quick peek on the desktop; Windows logo key + L to lock the computer to avoid those intrusive office workers; Windows logo key + 1,2,3 each number when pressed in launches application in the order they are pinned on the taskbar; and finally the lazy man's delete highlight the file and press shift + Del…

Next Gen -Enterprise Architecture

The importance of Enterprise Architecture continues to grow in all directions with the obvious demand for technology integration row along with the demands in governing it more tightly. Four observations that will demand higher indepth look and role of EA's.

1. Business demains and integration of technology
2. IT Governance over project initiatives and tightening of financial belt
3. Globalization - Need for business's to explore opportunities beyond their current boundaries.
4. Process improvements that are integrated with technology

What does this mean for enterprise architecture?

The C level executives (CEO, CIO's , CFO's & CTO's) all need to recognize EA cannot be a back office or support component instead needs to be a design/strategy component in the initiatives of the organization (be it operational or strategic expansion). This means going beyond just the "IT alignment" and prioritize and drawing the big picture in such a way that EA/IT stra…

Design Innovation In Watches

All those who know me (well most of them) who know me know I love watches and am a collector of good watch designs. I came across this Harry Winston designs and love it.

And my favorite design of all time "Maitres-du-temps" (Masters of Time) with only custom ordering to specifications.

Enjoy and drool! Like I am doing now.


Sam Kurien

A Day Made of Glass

DA send me this video link, I think though still in concept its is so cool and is not far in our future as we have seen bits and pieces of all this cool research from different quarters of surface computing.

Enjoy The future is round the corner!!!


Sam Kurien

InOne Concept Design

The InOne concept computer is really a cool looking design and as the name suggest its a All in one Desktop (not a laptop as it may look like one) with a 22 inch screen, keyboard, enormous touch pad. My design/engineering thought on this one is as I wonder is it would be a cool idea to take the touch-pad and use gestures to light up and bring up a keyboard, or turn into a second dual screen for display, for comparing of data  images, pull and pinch and throw stuff (minority style) from the top screen to the touch-pad screen. 


Sam Kurien

Concept Yacht

Look at the picture below; This actually is a Yacht? Well in concept anyway but this one can be on the high seas as well as take off into air (now that is cool.. unfortunately no space yet according to the design schematics and non-availability of alternative unlimited fuel sources). I have slight issues with the design but ah alas ...every ship designed cannot be an "Enterprise" after all but it's cool nevertheless. These concepts of hybrid air-sea-ships come from the ekranoplanes originally invented by the Scandinavians.

However the credit actually goes to Russian hydrofoil engineer Rostislav Alexeev who perfected the art of building these behemoth air-sea-ships.There are several you-tube videos out there if you do a search on "ekranoplanes".

As I look at it again...hey it almost does looks like the..."Enterprise" almost!...or I am just dreaming


Sam Kurien

P:S My four year old daughter saw this post and she said it looks like a "Killer …

Anti-Pirate Laser Developed, Captain Jack is now alerted!

I am really pissed at this news, alas my hearties your favorite pirate's pillaging days are over. At least that's what I want you to think mates! BAE systems is the responsible company with this new laser targeting systems that will blind attackers and intends to make the Somalians miss when they take aim with their weapons. The technology is said to be low-cost but when it comes to deployment the cost is expected to escalate. The laser low cost distraction system as the folks at BAE call it can send the signals up to 1.5kms to let the pirates know they have been spotted. A beam will be send if the pirates comes closer that will dazzle or shock them. I wonder why wouldn't they come up with a zero point energy phaser. Then I can carry one too and quote from one of my favorite Star Trek quotes: "Phasers: Because sometimes Diplomacy fails"


Sam Kurien

Inference - "Significant"

Statistical Inference is all about using and applying the language of probability to say how trustworthy are you on the conclusions you make out of your data. When we talk about inferring from the data we naturally talk about the significance level. How significant is a claim on to the true side of a proposition? The simple idea is an outcome that would rarely happen if a claim were true is good evidence that the claim is not true.

"Significant" therefore in statistical sense necessarily does not mean how "important". It just simply means "not likely to happen just by chance" represented by an alpha  makes "not likely" more exact.

Now what kind of weird logic is that...LOL

Cigarette companies in their advertising campaigns have an internal rule that if they show a woman model smoking she needs to be of an average age of 25, realistically its always been lower than 25 as revealed by a famous statistic experiment through tests of Significance. I f…

Change Management Process

True to my previous post entry the service transition phase heavily depends on the the Change management process and can be enumerated to have the following, I have attempted to keep my explanation blurbs small and self explanatory:

1) Steps : The steps are the actions an ITIL implementer will take in handling a change, including handling issues and unexpected events during the service transition

A good idea to remember here is why is the change implemented, what benefits will it derive, the risks associated to it and what impact will it bring in the service delivery.

2) Sequence: as the word suggests is the chronological order in which steps should be taken with any dependencies and co-processing that is or may be involved.

3) Responsibilities: Include the definitions and descriptions of tasks undertaken by individuals and teams.

4)  Time Definitions: Will encompass the timescales, thresholds, and schedules for the actions to be undertaken.

5) Escalation Procedures: Escalation proced…

Service Transition

I want to record some key processes and activities involved in the Service transition of ITIL implementation and as time goes by will talk about these topics on different contexts and case studies. For now the main activities I can think of are:

Change ManagementService Asset and Configuration ManagementTransition Planning and Support ManagementService Validation and Testing phasesRelease and Deployment ManagementEvaluation of ChangeKnowledge Management Thoughts,
Sam Kurien

Availability Manager Functions & AM Metrics

Availability Managers ensure that the service provided from the service catalog are met and delivered to the customer's utmost satisfaction. The primary responsibilities of the availability manager include:

Ensuring that all service deliveries fulfill and match the established SLA'sEnsure and categorize that all levels of availability of services, escalation and solutions are provided in timeValidating that final designs meet minimum required levels of availabilityAssist in the exploration of all incidents and problems that cause availability issues.Participate in the IT infrastructure design that entail hardware and software in relation to availability fulfillments.Finally establish and use Availability metrics to measure availability, reliability and maintainability of services. I think the last point entails a major percentage of the Availability manager's job and its important then to list the most commonly used metrics that a AM uses. To measure availability of a servi…

Availability Management

On continuing to discuss infrastructure management processes - the objectives of Availability management process can be summarized as the following:

To produce and maintain an appropriate and up-to-date Availability Plan that accurately reflects current and future needs of the organization.To offer advice and guidance to all other areas of the organization and IT on availability-related issues.To ensure that availability achievements meet or exceed targets.To assist with the diagnosis and resolution of availability-related incidents and problems.To evaluate the influence of any changes on the Availability Plan and on the performance and capacity of all services and resources. To ensure that all cost-effective measures to improve the availability of services are implemented.  I like the fact that Availability Managements processes incorporate reactive and proactive activities.  We can't get away from reactive activities as service level activities are dynamic in nature hence involve…

SLM In a nutshell

On reviewing the 14 activities of SLM in my previous post, I couldn't help summarize in a nutshell what SLM is all about. Its a note that I need to remember for the future so here it is:

Service Level management process compromise main phases that cover different activities and they are NegotiatingMonitoringReporting &Reviewing The negotiating phase involves activities likes designing SLA frameworks, documenting, OLA's, and obtaining agreements of requirements while developing contacts and relationships. The monitoring phase involves monitoring the performance of SLA's, collating measuring and improving customer satisfaction. The reporting phase involves producing service reports and logging + managing complaints & compliments. Finally the reviewing phase of SLM is all about revising underpinning agreements, revisiting OLA's, conducting service reviews, and instigating continuous improvements. 
Sam Kurien

14 Activities of a SLM

OK I didn't want to post something on service level management on the very first day of the new year but here it is. I find it fascinating that Marketing Management and Service level Management implementations within the IT framework are so similar.The end result of any SLM process is satisfying the customer's requirement for that specific time not over-delivering.  So here is the run down on the the 14 activities of a good SLM.

1. Confirming stakeholders, managers in key business areas and customers
2. Maintaining accurate information within the Service Catalog and Service Portfolio
3. Being flexible and responsive to the needs of the customer
4. Developing a full understanding of the customer, customer's organization and strategies
5. Regularly sampling the customer experience (This is an interest area for me because metrics will reveal treatments in the service level adjustments, development of new products/services and new strategies)
6. Conducting customer surveys an…