Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with our partner Flexera entitled "Time is up for Windows 7: How to position your organization for Windows 10 and beyond". If you missed it or you had to drop out during it, don't worry — you can access the on-demand version below.
Time Is Up For Windows 7: How To Position Your Organization For Windows 10 & Beyond [On-Demand Webinar]
Mar 21, 2019 8:04:00 AM / by Barry Angell
Feb 6, 2019 8:01:00 AM / by Barry Angell
According to a 2015 Forester study, executives predicted that by 2020 47% of their revenue would be majorly impacted or entirely generated by digital — a sentiment that drove Digital Transformation efforts in organizations worldwide. Now that the hype is over and the dust has settled, companies have started to emerge telling tales of great successes — but more often of great failures.
Jan 22, 2019 3:26:56 PM / by Barry Angell
On September 6th, 2018, Microsoft announced two new resources to enable its customers to adopt its Modern IT Vision: Desktop Analytics, a cloud-based inventory management and application compatibility assessment tool, and Desktop App Assure, a new FastTrack service that is designed to address any application compatibility issues when upgrading to and updating Windows 10.
While Desktop Analytics is very straight-forward, we have seen a lot of confusion and uncertainty around what Desktop App Assure is — and what it isn't. Therefore, I am going to pick apart the marketing language and peel back the layers of this new service, lay out its benefits and limitations, and describe some scenarios where it could be very beneficial or insufficient.
Jan 7, 2019 7:55:00 AM / by Barry Angell
At Juriba, we get involved in a lot of hardware refresh projects as well as large scale IT transformations. A major part of refresh project planning is how to handle stock management and whether to buy in bulk, or to pursue a just-in-time (JIT) ordering process.
While this question is as old as inventory management itself, Evergreen IT and faster software upgrade cycles have revolutionized how we manage IT, including hardware. Therefore, the historic methods of warehousing and buying in bulk are again under scrutiny, and many organizations are currently revisiting this discussion. Often, it is a difficult decision to make — especially for very large enterprises operating in different countries, as they have to weigh the risk factors of Just-in-Time against the instant depreciation of their investment and the increased cost and inefficiencies of managing overstock due to misallocation and over-ordering.
So, today I want to share some of my past experiences and thoughts on the benefits and pitfalls of each approach.
Jul 16, 2018 7:46:00 AM / by Barry Angell
Raise your hand if you love filling out your tax return every year. How about government censure surveys? No? How about doing a quick Facebook quiz on your dream vacation destination? Or telling your company with a click of a button which new laptop you would like? Yes, everyone loves those!
Why is that? First of all, doing tax returns or filling out huge questionnaires is not only boring, but you have to do it! No one likes to be forced into a tedious job that will take forever. So, most people avoid them as long as possible, hand them off to someone else, or cheat their way through them.
Secondly, everyone loves to do silly Facebook quizzes or quick surveys that impact you positively. They are interactive, fun, but most importantly they are done voluntarily! Even in a business environment where employees are asked to respond within a certain time period, you will have a much higher response rate by making it a voluntary self-serve activity than by forcing everyone!
Jul 10, 2018 1:49:00 PM / by Barry Angell
By 2020, one out of two US employees will be working remotely, a new study finds. But the same is true for many other countries, e.g., the United Kingdom. While for some, this might seem like a futuristic fairy tale, others are already strategically preparing to manage this Digital Workplace — a conglomerate of (user- and/or company-owned) mobile devices, laptops, PCs and other peripherals in all kinds of connectivity and set-up scenarios. While some parts of this infrastructure will require granular management and rather strict control over devices, other parts can be managed just fine with a light, scenario-based approach.
Microsoft is at the forefront of this Modern/Digital Workplace movement with its Windows-as-a-Service, Office 365, Skype for Business, and many other tools to empower and connect the modern employee. In addition to productivity solutions, the software giant also offers a suite of tools to manage their Digital Workplace offerings. These all fall under the umbrella "Modern IT Management", which I want to walk you through today. My goal is to peel away the fancy marketing lingo and give you an objective view of these solutions.
Jun 4, 2018 1:20:33 PM / by Barry Angell
I don't know about you, but I don't know of any single enterprise-size organization that does not do some formal application compatibility testing as they roll out a new OS — except one: Microsoft.
According to a webinar, Microsoft's application portfolio consists of 1,650 applications, 96% of which are browser-based. That leaves them with about 250 business critical apps, but surprisingly the company hasn't undergone a formal app compatibility testing program since rolling out Windows 8. Instead, the software giant has been able to roll out at least four Windows 10 versions to 95% of its full-time employees in less than nine weeks by running a 20,000 device pilot phase in which issues are tracked through the help desk, Feedback Hub, and Yammer before rolling it out company-wide.
If that makes you feel a bit queasy (or full-blown anxious), stick with me as I walk you through what choices organizations have to manage their application packaging and testing efforts in an Evergreen IT mode, what the prerequisites are for doing so successfully, and what an optimized process would look like. At the end, I will also include some general pointers to keep in mind.
Mar 15, 2018 12:41:06 PM / by Barry Angell
In the past week, Microsoft asked me to speak at the Windows Partner Deployment Day about the infrastructure, project management & readiness support for effective Windows-as-a-Service deployments. Juriba Dashworks consumes and enhances the valuable Windows Analytics and Upgrade Readiness data feed with a robust command and control system to help manage Evergreen initiatives.
We also spoke a lot about AutoPilot and Microsoft's "Modern IT Management" agenda which the software giant has been pushing for the past three years. The premise is that strategic-minded IT teams strive to increase user productivity and security on any device while contributing to the company's bottom line by driving Digital Transformation and innovation — but they are met with constant challenges, such as more sophisticated cybersecurity threats, disruptive business models, and consumerization of IT. This leads IT to having to do more with less — and one way to do so is to move more applications and infrastructure into the cloud which often requires a different IT management approach that enables them to manage any device with almost zero-touch.
Feb 5, 2018 7:45:00 AM / by Barry Angell
2018 started with a bang for those in cyber-security — and almost everyone else running a device that uses an Intel, AMD or ARM chip made from the mid-nineties till today. News broke (and spread like wildfire) that three security flaws, named Spectre (Variant 1 and 2) and Meltdown, could be exploited by ransomware and other malicious code to extract sensitive information by utilizing the chip's way to speed up processing.
The intricacies of how this works and why this has not been made known before have been discussed at large by much bigger cyber-security experts than myself. After giving you the must-know facts about Spectre and Meltdown, I'd much rather focus on who's affected, how to fix it, at what cost, and how to prepare for the future when other decades-old flaws are found.
5 Non-Technical Skills Your Business-as-Usual IT Team Must Have To Avoid Becoming Obsolete In This New As-A-Service World
Oct 3, 2017 7:41:00 AM / by Barry Angell
If you ask a bunch of different CIOs what is the biggest barrier to achieving his/her goals, you will likely hear the same answer: the current IT skill gap!
However, this isn't as simple as the IT skill gap that the industry faced in the past 2 decades. For twenty years, we encouraged young men and women in universities around the globe to learn about Object-Oriented Programming, Network Technologies, Web Services, and Service-Oriented Architecture, and within a few years, there were plenty of programmers, network specialists, and other IT professionals available to satisfy the demands.