IT Automation for Speed and Adaptability

IT Automation for Speed and Adaptability




IT Automation for Speed and Adaptability
by Josh Lowry

Business leaders continue to drive the speed of execution and adaptability to higher levels. Even though the pace of business is accelerating, enterprise IT’s ability to match it is lagging. According to Forrester Consulting, less than 20% of enterprise IT leaders believe that they can deliver services fast enough to meet internal and external value, speed and accuracy requirements. While enterprise IT is improving its ability to deliver, increasing demand from agile development, cloud computing, mobile and virtualization exceeds capacity. IT is overwhelmed by manual execution.

Manual execution is error prone, labor intensive and not repeatable. Automation addresses these issues. Software can perform work faster and more accurately than people. The earliest automation were scripts written to perform repetitive tasks. Today, automation generally falls into three categories: 1) Task Execution. Tasks are automatically performed; e.g., server provisioning. 2) Process Flow. Process is automatically executed; e.g., run-book automation. 3) Decision Triggers. Decisions are automatically made regarding when to take action; e.g., business analytics.

Chef is an example of task execution. Chef is an infrastructure and systems automation tool used to quickly and easily deploy applications and servers. The Chef server stores configuration and policy definitions called cookbooks used for specific scenarios; e.g., how to install and configure MySQL. The Chef client then applies a specific cookbook and recipe to each node. A recipe defines what resources to apply, including the specific order of each. When a new node is added, the Chef client only needs to know what cookbook and recipe to apply to fully automate the process.

In addition to infrastructure, automation can help solve application deployment issues. For example, developers write applications and operations maintain stable infrastructure to run them. Because continuous new code for features, updates, etc. means instability, there has historically been a wall between the two. DevOps, development and operations, is a new practice where the combined teams work together to maintain stable infrastructure that is resilient to new code being pushed to production easily and frequently, largely with the assistance of automation tools.

Key Takeaways:
* Embrace Automation – Future IT services require both speed and accuracy.
* Commit to Speed – Patience is not a virtue in business.
* Be the Automator, not the Automated – Repetitive work will eventually succumb to automation.
* Adopt DevOps – Streamline the IT services life cycle between development and operations.

All contents copyright © 2014, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

Best of Twitter – March, 2014

Best of Twitter – March, 2014

Best of Twitter – March, 2014
by Josh Lowry

A summary of my tweets and re-tweets during the month.

  • 86% of business and HR leaders believe that they do not have an adequate leadership pipeline. @Forbes
  • A great leader can accomplish much, but a culture of leadership can accomplish much more. @MikeMyatt
  • Ability is what you can do. Motivation is what you do. Attitude is how well you do it. – Lou Holtz
  • Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. @Josh_Lowry
  • Average of 82,000 new malware threats per day in 2013. @CIOOnline
  • Being obsessed with your success is not a problem it is a requirement. @GrantCardone
  • Breaking News: Investigators conclude missing [Malaysian] jet hijacked official says. @FoxNewsAlert
  • Buy low, sell high’ is hard because it requires the gumption to do something unpopular. @PMarcA
  • Buy when everyone is selling and sell when everyone is buying. @Josh_Lowry
  • Change is a journey, not a destination, but it is good to pause at milestones to celebrate. @RosabethKanter
  • CIOs should be CEO of the IT organization; move IT from a cost to an investment. @CIOMagazine
  • Criticism is dangerous bc it arouses resentment & hurts a person’s pride & sense of importance. @DaleCarnegie
  • Culture and metrics are key signposts of change. @Forrester
  • Dear MO, remember: revenue > marketing leads. @ValaAfshar
  • Dear executive, the core word in your title is execution; greatness not about talking, it is about doing. @ValaAfshar
  • Difference between companies that succeed and fail is their ability to make money. – Steve Ballmer
  • Direction more important than speed. Does not matter how fast you are going if headed off cliff. @DarrenHardy
  • Easiest way to judge leader is by balancing scorecard between promises made and promises kept. @MikeMyatt
  • Effective leaders become less not more important. @LeadershipFreak
  • Experienced innovators start cheap & increase spending on experiments w greater certainty. @AlexOsterwalder
  • Focus groups run the risk of group think. @Evanish
  • Great values: Deliver results, do the right thing and win as a team. @Josh_Lowry
  • Growth is daring to believe u can still make a difference after u have struggled & fallen short. @LeadershipFreak
  • High Impact Living = Doing what helps the most people the most. @LeadershipFreak
  • Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom. ― Thomas Jefferson
  • I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. – Carl Gustav Jung
  • I do it because I can, I can because I want to, I want to because you said I could not. – Steve Prefontaine
  • I do not have ADD. I am not paying attention to you bc you never got my full attention. @GrantCardone
  • I hustle like I am broke even when I am not. @GrantCardone
  • Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard. @GuyKawasaki
  • If more people knew about your value, your revenue would increase dramatically. @AlexGoldfayn
  • If you are waiting for a title to lead, you are not ready to lead. @ValaAfshar
  • If you believe you are not a leader, do not be surprised when others agree with you. @Josh_Lowry
  • If you wait until Monday to plan your week, you will get whipped. It is just that simple. @MichaelBurt
  • If your vocation is better than vacation, you have found your true passion. @DarrenHardy
  • In 2014, every 10 minutes, as much data produced as from beginning of mankind to 2003. @ValaAfshar
  • In every meeting, the real leader articulates what others feel and defines actions. @RosabethKanter
  • InMail is rapidly becoming LinkedIn’s spam-as-a-service. @MdKail
  • Intense, sustained focus fuels manifestation. – T.F. Hodge
  • IT is not disappearing, but IT people are changing jerseys and moving into businesses. @LBrousell
  • It is simple. The more you prepare, the better you perform. @ValaAfshar
  • Labels are for jars, not people. @ValaAfshar
  • Leaders deserve the teams they build. @MikeMyatt
  • Leadership exits to disrupt mediocrity. @MikeMyatt
  • Line of the day: Friends do not let friends build datacenters. @MattMcilwain
  • Managing expectations is gamesmanship, aligning them is leadership. @MikeMyatt
  • Marketing is nothing more than consistently communicating your value to people who can buy it. @AlexGoldfayn
  • Microsoft executives Tami Reller and Tony Bates to leave the company with new CEO appointment. @CNBC
  • Microsoft Office hits number one spot in Apple’s App Store after just 12-hours. @VentureBeat
  • Microsoft unveils Office for iPad. @CIOOnline
  • My attitude is so contagious it is listed with CDC as a incurable disease. @GrantCardone
  • Never make excuses. Your friends do not need them and your foes will not believe them. – John Wooden
  • One of the biggest assets and enablers of management success is a strong HR business partner. @ValaAfshar
  • One thing nearly all of us are defenseless against is an earnest, sincere and unsolicited apology. @HarvardBiz
  • One thing you want everybody saying: When I am with you, I feel better about me. @MichaelBurt
  • Overnight success takes years. @ValaAfshar
  • Passion is everything. You cannot inspire others if you are not inspired yourself. @StanfordBiz
  • Positive energy enhances performance. Encourage the discouraged. @LeadershipFreak
  • Post-perimeter enterprise: Work is distributed, global & mobile (redefines applications, IT & security). @Levie
  • Product managers: Stop thinking in features. Start thinking about the why. @Evanish
  • Respect everyone and fear no one. – Kevin Turner
  • Sales is senior to everything. @GrantCardone
  • Sales, marketing and product mean little to nothing without operational excellence. @MDKail
  • Say “hi” – it is great marketing. @Forbes
  • Shadow IT is out in the open now. It is embedded IT, seeking greater agility. @CIOMagazine
  • S.M.A.R.T. Leadership: Simple. Meaningful. Actionable. Relational. Transformational. Scalable. @MikeMyatt
  • Stay hungry and always remain humble. @SteveGutzler
  • Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill
  • That is all she wrote: Zags fall to Arizona 84-61. @KXLY4News
  • The only person who can strip you of leadership is you. @Josh_Lowry
  • The only way to maintain advantage is to continually create it. @Josh_Lowry
  • The point if pain often becomes the point of greatest usefulness. @LeadershipFreak
  • The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus. – Bruce Lee
  • There is no future in on-premise IT – it is time to move to the cloud. @InfoWorld
  • Toxic work environment code for bad leadership. Can only exist where lack of respect & trust exist. @Josh_Lowry
  • What good managers do? Advance & serve organizations & people to realize their full potential. @Josh_Lowry
  • When u live with the mindset all is well, it takes the pressure and worry off. U will have a new peace. @JoelOsteen
  • You look weak when you make excuses. @LeadershipFreak
  • Your competitors are not your real competition, the status quo is. @Forbes

All contents copyright © 2014, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

Stable Leadership: A Steady Calm

Stable Leadership: A Steady Calm





Stable Leadership: A Steady Calm
by Josh Lowry

Effective leaders demonstrate stability, as well as a stabilizing influence on others. Stability is the quality that conveys leaders are not easily changed or likely to change. Stable leaders display a humble confidence, steady calm and sure hand. They model consistency that organizations and people both want and need. Net: Stable leaders engender trust and inspire belief in their capacity and competence. In contrast, ineffective leaders are inconsistent and unstable. Inconsistency and instability create unnecessary anxiety, discord and tension within the organization.

Performance is also negatively impacted when leaders make impulsive decisions. Impulsive decisions can be described as hasty, quick or rash. Impulsivity creates a distraction for people and interrupts their focus. In fact, impulsive decisions are most often caused by leaders lacking focus or being focused on the wrong things.  As stated above, consistency and stability from leaders has a positive impact on organizations and people. While you may not always agree with a consistent and stable leader, you always know where you stand and what matters to them.

Below are four characteristics of stable leadership. They include:
1 – Compassion. Stable leaders believe that success is rooted in the care and well-being of those they lead.
2 – Preparation. Stable leaders link performance to preparation, including training, growth and development.
3 – Trust. Stable leaders are candid and do what they say and say what they do.
4 – Values. Stable leaders make decisions and take action based on their values, not their emotions.

All contents copyright © 2014, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.



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