You won the war on CMDBs

When we started this blog, CMDBs were all the rage. ITIL was at its peak. Practically every single customer asked us about our “CMDB strategy”.

From the start we had the vision that passing event, performance, and business context data through the already overloaded CMDB was a terrible mistake.

First, it was not a “best practice” as opposed to the rest of ITIL initiatives. Back then the number of existing companies around the world that had finished such a CMDB was zero. And it remains zero.

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Happy and Aligned 2015!

Alginia

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. Got this quick 2014 summary for you, from Barcelona with love.

Tango/04

We launched Alignia, encapsulating the knowledge from hundreds of successful monitoring projects into a revolutionary software product.

Alignia allows you to control, optimize and align these nasty Business Applications, Business Processes, Online Business Services and Business Security in the Interconnected Era (hey, the Extended Enterprise is finally here… and you need to be ready for it).

It has been a major, multi-year, multi-million effort, and we can’t be happier with it. Alignia is rapidly getting traction among leading companies like yours all over the world as they realize that they can unlock lots of value in a matter of hours. (Yes, hours. And not that many.)

Corporate alignment between IT and the Business has never been this easy. Get the whole story here. You’ll thank me later 🙂

We kept adding talented staff, moved to bigger and better offices in Barcelona and we are remodeling our offices in Buenos Aires.

We keep gaining more and more customers in the financial sector. In some countries we help more banks that the whole competition together.

Personal

My mother passed away at the age of 86 on December 8th. She will be surely missed.

I also returned for a while to an old love of mine, cinema direction, and directed The CIO’s Office, a funny mockumentary that warns CIOs about the horrors they may face without Alignia 🙂 It premiered with a warm reception at our Tango/04 Monitoring Symposiums. Academy Awards, here we go!

I also celebrated the 25th anniversary of graduation from college at the University of Buenos Aires, which also invited me to give a speech there this month; it was a pleasure and an honor for me.

Well, thank you fellow readers, customers, friends, partners, suppliers, colleagues and teammates.

Have a really really really WONDERFUL (and ALIGNED) 2015!

How to be a Great CIO (X): Attend the European Monitoring Symposium

MonitoringSymposium2014-EN

It is not because it is the only European event solely dedicated to Monitoring, it is not because we are going to present a radical change in the way leading companies do business, it is not because of the fine Mediterranean cuisine, the nice people or the awesome venue.

Well, it is because of all these as well. And it is because of the nice surprises (many of them), but the main reason to attend the Monitoring Symposium is to propel your career forward, to go further faster, whether you are a CIO or a CISO or you are one in the making.

Particularly now, when not advancing means going back.

Because monitoring, understood as Corporate Visibility, is really powerful stuff (hey, that’s what I’ve created this blog for). A wonderful opportunity that many pass on, and regret when it is too late. 

And what we are introducing is completely new. Promise.

Well, I said it already. Now it is up to you.

Hope to see you in Sitges this Friday (May 23rd)!

Hugs.

How to be a great CIO (IX): Focus on the smiles, not the trains

Service Management guru Ian Clayton posted a great paper from one of his customers, about why Outside-In thinking is paramount to avoid frustrating everybody and yourself, as the article wisely says:

“For most organizations, it is a natural tendency to look inward at what they do. They are focused (sometimes totally) on how the work is designed and accomplished, and performance measures are geared toward achieving internal goals. (…) 

Failure to please the customer leads to, well, failure.” 

The article is short, download it from http://www.servicemanagement101.com/files/lockheed-lean-for-services-white-paper.pdf and while you are at it, subscribe to Ian Clayton’s blog.

CMDB is dead

CMDB2

We are being asked less and less about how to integrate a monitoring system with a CMDB.

Main reason: in the past, people thought that building a full-fledged, galaxy-comprehending CMDB was kind of easy and even mandatory (blame ITIL). But nowadays, people are aware of the horror stories and more wary about using a CMDB beyond Asset Management (yes, CMDBs are great for that!). 

Only exception: people who arrived late to the party, and still think that a CMDB as defined by ITIL is beneficial or even doable. (If you are among them, please read this, this, this, and this).

By the way, the most popular post last year has been “CMDBs: butterflies or caterpillars?”. For a reason. And I am happy about it.

So what’s all the rage right now? Well, people went too fast from loving an all-encompassing Service Management solution (as proposed, and with sound reason, by ITILv3) to adore a tactical, scope-limited and still inside-out patch called APM. Again, APM tools, as CMDBs, are a good thing, if used properly. But they are not being used properly. I gave my two cents on it here.

Have a great afternoon.

How did you do in 2012?

Were you able to achieve more Visibility during 2012?

Did you remove blind spots in IT operations and business processes, did you align infrastructure management, did you get a holistic, consistent, real-time view at every level for critical services?

And, thanks to that, did you notably improve overall services, generating more value for your business and adding more meaning to your position?

Whether you did or not, remember: right now it is time for your New Year’s resolutions. A great occasion to decide that 2013 will be the year you are going to create the highest value for your company.

From this friendly blog we’ll try to continue helping you achieve that as much as we can.

Happy Visibility in 2013!

A big, big hug from Barcelona.

The problem with APM

Further Faster

Figure 1 – Technical products only go so far, while ambitious ITIL projects usually end in sweat, blood and tears. Business Service Management (BSM) can take you much further than APM tools, business-value wise.

A few months ago, the site BSM Digest was renamed APM Digest because, in the words of its editor, APM has become a “much more popular term, at least here in the USA”. Which, in my opinion, is a real shame.

Considering that, until recently, monitoring was focused mainly on the network and servers, why would turning the application into the focal point be a missed opportunity? After all, it clearly represents an evolution towards real, in-the-flesh customers from the deep oceans of pure infrastructure. Continue reading

The Challenger and Holistic Monitoring: a true story

challenger-explosion

In January 1986, the technicians on the Space Shuttle project knew that one of the critical components of the Challenger was going to fail. The O-rings of the rocket engines would not be reliable if it was cold. And below zero temperatures were forecasted for the day of the launch. The problem was that they had only eleven hours to convince the NASA command to cancel the launch, which had already been postponed several times.

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