Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, Cloud Security, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing: Help Desk Disasters

Saving nickels and wasting dollars should not be rewarded by bonus or promotion.

So many organizations switched to third-party help desk solutions without really putting in place any performance measures or tracking mechanisms to really measure how good - or bad - the support is.

Some executives got a big bonus for "thinking out of the box" and coming up with a cost-cutting initiative to outsource IT help desks. Those same executives do not want to hear all the complaints of people getting no results and wasting a lot of time in repetitive phone calls as well as no solutions to their problems. Even routine problems become time-consuming nightmares because the third-party support person on the other end doesn't understand the caller or the caller just doesn't understand them.

Was it a good solution for IT support? You may have saved some money on technical support costs, but how much executive time are you wasting everyday because the executive cannot get closure on a problem that would have been a routine (and short) support call? If you do an analysis, it's a clear failure.

Executives who made the decision would rather look the other way at a growing and costly problem. Is that considered leadership today in corporations? Not in my book.

First Step: Admit There Is a Problem
Most organizations won't go back and do an analysis on what they have put in place. Do a post-implementation review - if you even know what that is. (What I have seen in several organizations, the person who is supposed to have a strong, global view doesn't even have a grasp on what good systems implementation is all about. How and why did they get promoted into a leadership position?)

No one wants to see that their great decision was a costly failure as well as a waste of time for people trying to get their work done.

Stop looking the other way and trying not to acknowledge that there is a huge problem at many organizations with the lack of people knowing what they are doing in the support areas. They don't.

In talking to people from three different major banks, they all agree that their IT support sucks. Is that a clear enough description by those of you who live by politically correct corporate-speak?

Instead of flowery euphemisms and claiming that the savings outweigh the "small difficulties", face the facts. It is a disaster and by not fixing it, you are propagating the problem as well as losing money every day.

Typical problems encountered:

  • Can't hear the support person. The connection is bad.
  • Can hear the support person, but cannot understand them.
  • Can hear the support person, but they don't understand you.
  • Have to ask to speak to someone else because nothing is being done.
  • If there is a trouble ticket issued, they try to close it out before you get a resolution so their "problem resolved" numbers look good.
  • Making multiple calls for the same problem because it has not been resolved.
  • Other: You tell me - you know these issues are at your organization.

You're Losing Money - Fix the Problem
Let's be politically accurate. If you are in-charge of the IT area or the IT support area, get your head out of the sand. It ISN'T working. Look for a fix.

If you have a non-technical employee making $80,000- $250,000 getting a time-consuming run-around from a $20,000-$30,000 "technician," instead of a quick solution from a $60,000- $80,000 "technician," are you really saving money? How many wasted hours are acceptable per month? Half hour per executive? One hour per executive? Go to your boss or the corporate board of directors and ask how much wasted time per executive is acceptable?

Biggest complaints from the highly paid executives who have to deal with your "cost saving" support (my comments next to them):

  • I wasted my time with this person for several hours, got the resolution from someone else in 4 minutes. (Calculate the wasted time of the executive. Did you REALLY save the company any money on that call?)
  • I was so frustrated I ran this up my organization's management in order to get someone working on this resolution. (So let's see, instead of wasting one executive's time, your ingenuous "cost savings" initiative tripped up several executives into getting involved in what should have been a routine fix)
  • They cut the Network support staff and a security patch that should have been applied was pushed back. ALL the executive laptops that were connected on to the Corporate network had their hard drives wiped clean. Most of us did not have back-ups. (So letting go a couple of $40-$50,000 technicians made you "look good" at the bottom line. Now go back and add up ALL the wasted time you cost the company because all the executives lost all their work on their hard drives and probably will take weeks, if not more, to try to restore all that lost work - if they can. You think this is a "corporate urban legend"? This actually happened at a big-name company and no one ever went back to calculate all the time lost.)

It's time to sit down and do some evaluations. Better yet, get rid of those who don't understand systems implementation or the idea of having a sense-of-urgency in keeping the organization moving forward.

•   •   •

Carlini's book, "Location, Location, Connectivity" will be coming out later this year.

Follow daily Carlini-isms at www.TWITTER.com/JAMESCARLINI

Copyright 2014 - James Carlini

More Stories By James Carlini

James Carlini, MBA, a certified Infrastructure Consultant, keynote speaker and former award-winning Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, has advised on mission-critical networks. Clients include the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, GLOBEX, and City of Chicago’s 911 Center. An expert witness in civil and federal courts on network infrastructure, he has worked with AT&T, Sprint and others.

Follow daily Carlini-isms at www.twitter.com/JAMESCARLINI

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and micro services. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your contain...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
DevOps has often been described in terms of CAMS: Culture, Automation, Measuring, Sharing. While we’ve seen a lot of focus on the “A” and even on the “M”, there are very few examples of why the “C" is equally important in the DevOps equation. In her session at @DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, of F5 Networks, explored HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 along with Microservices to illustrate why a collaborative culture between Dev, Ops, and the Network is critical to ensuring success.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Everyone wants to use containers, but monitoring containers is hard. New ephemeral architecture introduces new challenges in how monitoring tools need to monitor and visualize containers, so your team can make sense of everything. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, David Gildeh, co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, will go through the challenges and show there is light at the end of the tunnel if you use the right tools and understand what you need to be monitoring to successfully use containers in your...
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
The IT industry is undergoing a significant evolution to keep up with cloud application demand. We see this happening as a mindset shift, from traditional IT teams to more well-rounded, cloud-focused job roles. The IT industry has become so cloud-minded that Gartner predicts that by 2020, this cloud shift will impact more than $1 trillion of global IT spending. This shift, however, has left some IT professionals feeling a little anxious about what lies ahead. The good news is that cloud computin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
An overall theme of Cloud computing and the specific practices within it is fundamentally one of automation. The core value of technology is to continually automate low level procedures to free up people to work on more value add activities, ultimately leading to the utopian goal of full Autonomic Computing. For example a great way to define your plan for DevOps tool chain adoption is through this lens. In this TechTarget article they outline a simple maturity model for planning this.
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might...
The rise of containers and microservices has skyrocketed the rate at which new applications are moved into production environments today. While developers have been deploying containers to speed up the development processes for some time, there still remain challenges with running microservices efficiently. Most existing IT monitoring tools don’t actually maintain visibility into the containers that make up microservices. As those container applications move into production, some IT operations t...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Software development is a moving target. You have to keep your eye on trends in the tech space that haven’t even happened yet just to stay current. Consider what’s happened with augmented reality (AR) in this year alone. If you said you were working on an AR app in 2015, you might have gotten a lot of blank stares or jokes about Google Glass. Then Pokémon GO happened. Like AR, the trends listed below have been building steam for some time, but they’ll be taking off in surprising new directions b...
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership abi...
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to transi...