The landscape of IT has changed. The single-source provider era is quickly coming to an end as more companies embrace the world of multi-sourcing. In a 2014 report by IAOP & Information Services Group (ISG) Annual State of the Industry1, it stated that the number of enterprise IT organizations using multi-sourcing as a strategy increased by 75% in that year and predictions for 2015 shows continued growth.
Companies are moving more rapidly to a multi-sourcing strategy to achieve greater agility and improved customer satisfaction, and it’s paying off. Effective multi-sourcing companies are experiencing improved performance, reduced IT costs, acquiring best-in-class expertise while freeing up time and resources so personnel can focus on the company’s core business.
Automation Is at the Forefront of IT Change
The speed of change in IT is getting faster and innovation via automation is at the forefront of this change. FAST IT is helping enterprises keep up with this accelerated pace.
Fast IT simplifies operations at a time when complexity is mounting — and IT budgets are flat. By offering automated, programmable, and agile infrastructure, Fast IT frees IT organizations from manual configuration, changes, and maintenance.2
In my January blog post, Building Innovation: Achieve Fast IT with Customers, I shared with you that if companies are going to deliver new solutions at a more rapid pace, IT needs to be able to integrate and automate all support interactions that it is responsible for delivering.
There Are Challenges
Just as there are benefits with multi-sourcing, there are some challenges. Multi-sourcing creates new complexities that can stand in the way of business progress. Forward-thinking, proactive companies can address these challenges head-on by answering crucial questions such as:
- How do we implement end-to-end delivery methods in a multi-vendor environment?
- How do we manage the configuration of our devices when changes are being made by multiple outsource providers?
- How do we onboard new providers with minimal effort and impact on the ecosystem?
Changes made within the ecosystem can easily disrupt and fragment service delivery causing your company and other service providers to be out of policy, SLA or regulatory compliance.
Case in Point
We recently saw a situation at a large financial institution where the customer was facing a security audit that they were most likely going to fail. They called us for help. In just two-and-a-half weeks following service activation we had updated nearly 2,000 configurations and the company passed their security audit. They were so pleased with our performance they gave us 23,000 devices to manage for policy, configuration, and change.
But, that’s not the end of the story. The bank wanted to benchmark the effectiveness of their service providers against their established service level agreements (SLAs). Immediately we knew an automated closed loop process was needed. Our Compliance Management and Configuration Service (CMCS) coupled with ServiceGrid fit the bill.
When this project goes live, ServiceGrid, a tool that gets the right data to the right place and person, will be used to connect the customer and their service providers ticketing systems to one another as well as to CMCS. In turn, CMCS will perform a baseline analysis of all connected network devices and elements and automatically stabilize and upgrade them to Corporate Standards. This improves communication among all connected parties. It also gives the bank greater transparency into their vendor management activities and provides real-time compliance monitoring.
Combining ServiceGrid and CMCS enables us to automate multi-vendor network configuration and compliance while giving the customer higher value and a better outcome than if we offered either one of the services alone. The bank’s desire to build a robust, elegant, secure, and seamless multi-party network became an opportunity to let two of our premier services shine, making the future brighter for our customer and Cisco Services.
What about you? How is your organization addressing configuration management in a multi-sourced environment?
ServiceGrid Overview Brochure
CMCS Integration with ServiceGrid (technical white paper)
- Annual State of the Industry Jagdish R. Dalal, IAOP
- Fast IT: Accelerating Innovation in the Internet of Everything Era
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Tags: Cisco, CMCS, compliance, configuration, Multi-sourcing, ServiceGrid
Today, enterprises need greater business agility and faster time-to-market for applications. That’s why, in many instances, they are building their own private clouds or adopting on-demand private cloud. Companies that are most suited to building their own private clouds are those that have deep engineering and IT leadership and need strong security and governance around applications and services.
Depending on the needs of the business and core competencies, other types of companies can benefit from a managed private cloud. For these companies, it’s not core to the business to be great at infrastructure, but it is crucial to be able to focus on the services offered on top of the infrastructure. These types of organizations may not have strict regulatory or data sovereignty requirements. Typically, they gain the most advantage from using managed private clouds.
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Tags: applications, as-a-service, automation, cloud, compliance, Enterprise, Governance, infrastructure, security
Recently the widespread fire of data breaches impacting privacy of millions of hapless people across the globe has become the stirring news. This spree of cyber attacks unveiling the fact that information security industry, organizations and even governments are vulnerable to today’s persistent, well-organized and sophisticated cyber threats.
There was a common theme among all the recent data breaches shown below and that is the amount of time for initial detection, which is in weeks and months.
According to Verizon data breach report, 85% of cyber attacks Read More »
Tags: Cisco Cloud Security, cloud data center, compliance, Cyber Attacks, cyber threat management, data breach, FISMA, HIPAA, Networks, next-generation, pci, privacy, SecureState, security breaches, security model, service providers
With the growing influx of new mobile devices, connected things, bandwidth intensive applications and more data, the network is more relevant to business success than ever before. Back in June of 2012, Cisco saw that we needed to move away from multiple network systems loosely linked together to an agile and simple infrastructure, streamlined policy and centralized management would be needed to support new business demands. We called it Cisco Unified Access and we aligned the solution to three pillars: One Network, One Policy and One Management.
For the last few years, we have focused on delivering new products and functionality under this Unified Access model. Below is a timeline of products released as part of the Unified Access framework. Cisco lead the way in delivering gigabit 802.11ac Wi-Fi., converged wireless control in access switches and through the acquisition of Meraki – a complete cloud-managed network solution.
The timeline above doesn’t represent every feature and function we have delivered, but it shows Cisco’s commitment to this Unified Access model, both from a cloud-managed and on-premise solution perspective.
Today, Cisco is announcing a number of new products and new functionality to existing products that will help mobilize the workforce, secure the business and increase IT agility. The announcement includes the following: Read More »
Tags: #80211ac, 11ac, 802.11ac, access, access point, Agile, agility, Aironet, anyconnect, AP, App, application, asr, bandwidth, business, byod, Cisco, compliance, converge, converged, Converged Access, data, device, emm, employee, Enterprise, experience, feature, foundation, function, gigabit, Guest, guest access, HD, HDX, high density, identity, indoor, infrastructure, interop, ISE, ISR, IT, LAN, lifecycle, Manage, management, MDM, meraki, mobile, mobility, model, network, operation, outdoor, policy, portfolio, prime, Prime Infrastructure, product, secure, security, services, simple, simplify, system, System Manager, technology, traffic, unified access, vpn, WAN, wi-fi, wifi, wired, wireless, wlan, workforce
In the past few weeks, I’ve received two replacement credit cards. And, no, this does not indicate I’ve done too much shopping! It means that hackers are continuing to target retailers and the bank decided I needed to be protected by new credit card numbers.
I’m Carol Ferrara-Zarb, and as the leader of Cisco’s Security Solutions team, I’m joining the Cisco Retail blog today to talk to you about security and compliance in the store. While consumers certainly worry about security, the concerns of retailers are magnified because you are among the highest-profile targets right now for professional hacker attacks. Store owners and operators are just about lying awake at night wondering who is going to be next.
At the same time, change is continuing on the security front, particularly in the area of PCI compliance. At the end of this calendar year, the new 3.0 version of the PCI DSS mandate will come into force. Are you ready for the new requirements?
If you’re a Cisco customer, you very well may be. Join us on July 23 for a free, one-hour webcast called, “Straight Talk about Reducing Complexity and Maintaining Compliance in Retail.” Cisco Security Architect Christian Janoff, who sits on the PCI Security Standards Council Board of Advisors, and Aaron Reynolds, PCI Managing Principal for Cisco partner Verizon, will lead a candid discussion on retail security. The session covers:
- The changes in the PCI DSS 3.0 mandate and their impact on your retail business
- How to satisfy three standards—PCI, SOX, and HIPAA—by configuring one control
- Implementing the latest, simplified strategies for PCI scope reduction, and how they can be superior to traditional methods for many retailers
You’ll come away with an overview of today’s threat landscape, and we’ll put it all into perspective to support your continued pursuit of compliance and retail success. Registrants will also receive the Simplifying Compliance Answer Kit, a set of documents and tools to help you understand compliance better.
The webcast takes place on July 23 at 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET. Please register today! Be sure to bring your questions to take part in the discussion.
We’ll see you there!
Tags: Carol Ferrara-Zarb, compliance, credit card, customer, data, HIPAA, information, pci, retail, security, shopper, sox, standard, threat, webcast