IT departments are continually being asked to do more with less. They’re also working to meet the increasing demands of their customers. Clients who are accustomed to Amazon-like IT interactions outside of the workplace.
The IT Service Management arena is no exception. In an effort to continue to improve our ability to meet the needs of our clients, Dominion Consulting is now a ServiceNow partner. Our partnership with ServiceNow strengthens our ability to bring best-in-class solutions to our clients looking to overcome these challenges.
To further our partnership, last week I attended Knowledge17, ServiceNow’s annual conference in Orlando, FL. Over 15,000 ServiceNow customers, partners, and associates gathered together to exchange ideas, experiences, and advice. The mixture of keynotes, labs, customer success stories, and demos ensured a little something for everyone.
Have you ever participated in a project where you felt there was no direction, no path forward? Have you asked yourself, How can we apply a process to our decision making? Here at Dominion Consulting , we had experienced this numerous times with clients and within our own internal projects. Our experience always led us to a solution but we wanted a better, more consistent, way forward.
Drawing from our efforts, we captured a series of best practices and lessons learned. Then, we created a model that would identify, assess, and road map a “problem solution.” We saw a need for a fixed period, firm fixed price assessment methodology that would provide our nonprofit customers cost certainty. After substantive development, we created a diagnostic framework that we have successfully applied internally and externally with our customers.
We introduce you to the Assembling, Assessing, Aligning, and Acting Diagnostic Framework. Or more simply, A4. (more…)
Last week I had the pleasure of jumping up to Boston to present at ARMA’s Boston Chapter. The topic was a familiar one, Information Governance in the Age of Digital Transformation. I updated and expanded my keynote from the 2016 Information Governance Conference to allow the attendees to receive the latest insights.
As expected, it was a great event with a lot of good conversations about how we can take a fresh approach to Information Governance. This is a real need as many organizations are still struggling to make strides more than two decades after beginning this journey.
Over the past couple of years our technologists have been spending much of their time reading blogs around technology and studying release notes from Apple, Amazon, SAP, Mulesoft, and other technology giants. This could fill our entire week keeping up the amazing capabilities and innovations in Cloud, Analytics, the Internet of things (IoT), machine learning, etc. that every organization can adopt to save money and improve their mission effectiveness.
Then we meet with our clients and talk about their plans for leveraging these new capabilities. We usually hear they don’t have the time or resources to use these new capabilities. We also hear it’s not on their strategic plan or even worse, they don’t have a plan. How do you prioritize without a plan? When did you last update the plan? Are you living your plan? How fluid is the plan? Most people can’t really answer these questions.
From our perspective, if you don’t have a living strategic plan for technology that is fiscally informed, then you are not just behind, you are wasting the little money you do have to enable your mission. The importance of making informed decisions around IT spend and direction should be every IT leader’s top objective.
Another year and another AIIM Conference in the bag. It was a good year as the industry seems to be slowly coming to the realization that while content is a problem, the solution is to solve the business problem, not necessarily the content problem.
The industry entered AIIM17 with a debate over whether Content Services or Enterprise Content Management (ECM) should be the default name for the industry. The speakers, and attendees, basically uttered a massive, “Who cares?” We are solving problems and learning how to make sure that not just information can be found. Valuable information can be found.
A few years ago, I started introducing Definition of Ready to help alleviate a common challenge I was seeing. User stories were coming into the sprint with little information and weren’t making it to Done. The team spent more time talking to the Product Owner about what they wanted than developing it.
As an agile enthusiast, I was aware of the latest updates to Scrum guidelines and introduced Definition of Ready thinking this will solve our problem! I met with the team, setup a few guidelines as reminders of what should be in a story, we were set! Over time, through retrospectives, these guidelines morphed into something I started to realize no longer made us an agile team.
Next week I will be representing Dominion Consulting at the annual AIIM Conference. AIIM is returning to Orlando after a three-year hiatus. A lot has changed in the industry since the last trip to Orlando. Even the events in the last year have changed the space quite a bit. EMC will not be present and any Documentum presence will be at the OpenText booth. An interesting cloud-based Records Management vendor from last year, RecordLion, was just bought by Gimmal. There will also be many discussions over Content Services versus ECM as the new label for the industry.
As always, the most valuable part of the AIIM Conference will be the exchange of ideas taking place between sessions and over refreshments. Another year of new experiences gained and lessons learned that the community can combine into success for everyone.
As Dominion Consulting continues to grow, an important consideration is, “Where will our marketing dollars go?” We have always believed it is important to sponsor and participate in events and member organizations that reflect our capabilities. Our consultants want to interact with and learn from their industry colleagues. Most importantly, it is also a great tool for our employees to earn CPEs to keep their certifications current.
Dominion could not be more proud of our relationship with the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). Three years ago Dominion joined the Corporate Partner Advisory Group (CPAG), increasing our involvement with the AGA. We have already had a busy year working with the AGA.
A common refrain that I hear is the statement, “I need a new content management system.” I often nod in understanding because most organizations have challenges with their current systems. Understanding that you have a problem is a great first step in determining a solution. It is during the second step of the procurement process when organizations introduce problems.
Skipping the Why
Most organizations skip over the why phase. They may automatically define “the why” as their system is broken. This overlooks many possibilities. Was the software implemented correctly? Were people trained? Has the system been maintained? Are there processes in place to modify the system as the organization evolves?
Last month, I attended the 2016 Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference with Jed Carr, Dominion Consulting’s Director of IT. I went primarily with a DevOps focus, trying to expand our continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) capabilities by picking up some best practices by a leader in the market.
While I did attend some excellent break-out sessions, the specifics of each could bear it’s own blog post, there was a singular idea that came up during every session, keynote, or chat around the coffee pot.
Software moves faster than ever.
Successful software delivery is no longer measured in years, quarters, or months. We measure it in weeks, days, and hours. According to Puppet and their 2016 State of DevOps Report, high-performing IT organizations deployed 200 times more frequently than their low performing counterparts. So if you’re an organization pushing out quarterly releases, you’re trying to keep pace with the front-runners pushing out twice daily.
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