fbpx
I’m Writing a Book on IT Project & Services Methodology and I’d Love Your Help

I’m Writing a Book on IT Project & Services Methodology and I’d Love Your Help

I have learned a few things over the course of the last 20 years. These are things I’ve been teaching to other consultants, teams and coaching clients for years, so I’ve decided it was time to put them into a book!

The book focuses on what we call a Methodology: a repeatable process for working that is predictable enough for others to recognize and learn. Rather than a complex process that requires a certifiation to even understand, I have found that successful organizations use a methodology that can be understood by everyone from sales, services, support and up to the C-Suite.

In other words- if you’re looking for another book on Agile or other DevOps methods… while some of those can be implemented inside of this – I have found that these methods tend to isolate IT and isn’t always effective. Why? Because if your entire team isn’t on-board, it tends to fall apart. So what happens when someone new comes in? Or a key person leaves? Or… the team gets lax in taking actions? What happens when moving too fast causes outages from risks that weren’t properly identified? I call it a Resume Generating Opportunity. And it is exactly what I want to see people avoid.

That’s why I have kept this book outside of the theoretical and describe EXACTLY what works NOW, and has been easy to understand everywhere I have taken it. The book is helpful if you are in sales, a service desk or a seasoned consultant. Everyone has something they can learn and I have plenty to teach!

 

I need your help! This survey will help me determine the best title and keywords to use to make sure everyone sees this book who needs it! I’d very much appreciate your vote!

EUC State of the Union 2019

There is a lot of marketing, hype and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) thrown around in the EUC (End User Computing) space. So I’m always grateful for true survey results to see the true trends in the industry. So, let’s have a look!

You can register for and download the report here: https://vdilikeapro.com/announcing-the-state-of-euc-2019/

My friends Mark Plettenberg, Ruben Spruijt and Christiaan Brinkhoff have compiled this 73-page report that speaks the truth about the trends in VDI and EUC in general. Worldwide, just under 600 people turned in surveys which the team decoded and compared to previous years. Here are some of my personal favorite highlights.

Highlights of the 2019 State of the Union

  • Healthcare continues to be the largest business vertical staying on-premises for EUC.
  • Age of environments is interesting – VDI environments are often exceeding 5 years without significant updates. New designs had been declining but saw an uptick this year.
  • Citrix still dominates the VDI market but decreased by 7% to just over 50% of survey responses this year.
  • Nearly 22% are still using Windows 7
  • FSLogix use increased by about 2% – note that this was probably before people really knew they can get it for free now… But Citrix UPM is still the most popular choice.
  • PVS is still popular for imaging though usage is declining. MCS is almost neck-and-neck with PVS.
  • 39% of respondents were from North America with 50 overall countries represented.
  • The majority of companies have between 1,000 and 4,999 users
  • An overwhelming percentage (76%) are still using On-Premises Server Based Computing (RDSH or Multi-Session OS) – this only decreased by 2%.
  • VMware vSphere is still over 50% of the market, however, the big note I took from it was that Citrix, Microsoft and Nutanix Hypervisors are all increasing while VMware is decreasing. KVM (driven mostly by Nutanix) is up significantly this year.
  • More and more people continue to think of VDI as stateless or non-persistent.
  • 5.6% of respondents say they use Citrix EdgeSight for monitoring. If that doesn’t shock you, it’s overall position on the chart will. Not bad for being dead for nearly a decade.

I could go on- but honestly, I think you should download the guide and compare your results!

Configure Your NetScaler (Citrix ADC) 13 with Carl Stalhood’s new guides

Configure Your NetScaler (Citrix ADC) 13 with Carl Stalhood’s new guides

Carl Stalhood is at it again, with new build guides for Citrix ADC (formerly NetScaler). He has been so helpful over the years so I thought I’d boost the signal to his site a bit. He is a big reason I don’t currently make my own guides. Why would I need to? His are great!
We will keep this post up to date as best we can – Carl moves faster than we do, though!

(more…)
Configure Your NetScaler (Citrix ADC) 13 with Carl Stalhood’s new guides

Proactive App Compatibility Testing is now Free with Login AT Express

Those of you that have read a lot of what I write know that I am very much about being proactive in IT. Proactive means you are aware of issues before they affect work or worse, production. One of the major risk areas I have been seeing, however, is when applications are not tested against system changes or validated prior to being placed into a Citrix solution. Teams are forced into being reactive. And that’s bad.

Reactive = Bad

What is happening here is that IT is RE-active not Proactive. Today we’re going to look quickly at two primary problem areas and I’ll tell you about some friends that are trying to help.

That Compatibility Problem

I’ll be bold here and say that one thing that seriously irks me is when people just assume an application will work virtually – often without any testing in a physical realm. I’ve lost count of how many times this year I have heard teams frustrated because there is an initiative to upgrade to Windows 10 but management just assumed the apps on their Windows 7 (or Server 2008 – not R2) environment would ‘just work’. That’s bad.

Without good proactive tools, what ends up happening is that IT just tries to make it work and spends countless hours when it doesn’t. The worst part is that they typically don’t even know it doesn’t work until they are into the validation phase of a project, in most cases after several months have already been spent building the new environment. That’s really bad.

That Patch Tuesday Problem

What we *haven’t* yet addressed is updates. The other area that often causes a scramble is testing patches against the system. Problem as in… it is rarely done at this point. There may be a quick validation process before patches go out in maybe 1/3 of the customers I visit.

The vast majority of IT Teams managing Citrix are so overwhelmed at this point they rarely even test. They just deploy and hope for the best. They quite literally deploy and cross their fingers, knowing they’ll just react when the trouble tickets come in.

How Reactive Affects Work

The reality is that IT is being hamstrung before they even start. How can they address a backlog of work when they are constantly reacting to new issues or having to re-engineer solutions because they didn’t have the info they needed in advance?

Proactive = Good

So maybe I’m talking more to management here – what your IT team needs here are two things:

  1. Proactive Mindset of Management (solution AFTER problem, not before it)
  2. Proactive Tools (force multipliers with automation)

Proactive Mindset

When you are constantly chasing the latest issue, there’s only so much time in the day. Improving becomes relegated to lower and lower on the list, and in no time at all the team is only ever break-fixing. This problem has become so extreme that I have seen IT teams split between deployment and administration tasks completely, often trading roles mid-year just to retain sanity. Others have teams that don’t specialize at all, they just deploy and are never tasked with upkeep.

The problem here is that both of these solutions make innovation either not happen at all, or be so disconnected with user needs as to become worthless. I believe that the IT team supporting an environment needs to be in some way committed to improving it. Both in terms of them knowing the issues very closely and just raw sanity. Most folks in EUC do not want to spend most of their time doing only one thing. They want to grow. And this is where having a completely reactive mindset makes such things impossible.

What is required here is a cultural shift in the workplace to identify issues before they become production outages or “Resume Generating Opportunities”. Management needs to drive this – not the IT teams. Leadership must lead. There; I said it now I’ll jump off my soapbox and we can continue.

Once the mindset is set towards being proactive instead of reactive – workflows need to change to accommodate it. What one quickly realizes is that being proactive requires an investment of time and faith. The time is obvious, but the faith is knowing that historically, teams that invest proactive time spend less overall time troubleshooting issues and chasing outages. It is easy to forget this and take it as a given, falling back into old habits. Mind the new culture!

Proactive Tools

But today I have some good news. Automation can be a ‘force multiplier’ for IT to accomplish the same goals in less time, especially with repeatable tasks.

Login AT from LoginVSI is an automated testing tool for applications that can tell you if applications are going to be able to run in a scenario… without the difficulty of maintaining AppDNA or ‘relying on the testing army’ to give proactive results before deployment. The software is able to automatically perform key tests against the software in a consistent manner (something that is often missed relying on human testing) and inform you in advance of potential trouble.

By doing this proactively and automatically, you can save your team a lot of wasted effort hours in finding the same thing.

Login AT Express = Free

I love the attitude at LoginVSI. If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that I’m on a mission to Leave the World Better Than I Found It.

Here’s some text from LoginVSI’s press release about Login AT Express:

Current Login AT customers are very large enterprises with very large numbers of applications. In the past year we learned that small and medium sized enterprises are also suffering the same problem.
As of the start Login VSI has always been active to help ‘make the VDI world a better place’. With our product Login VSI as a free tool for the first years, our support of VDIlikeaPRO, the performance tests in our own lab and the active support of 3rd party labs with free licenses (such as ICT-R and others).
With so many organizations struggling to keep their applications running after each software update, and our relatively small organization to effectively help them all, we chose to adopt the freemium distribution model for this new product to enable us to reach the market in the most efficient way.

LoginVSI Login AT Express Press Release

I’m happy to announce that Login AT Express is now free for up to 50 applications. All you need to do is renew your 1 month license as often as you like.

I’m willing to bet this will benefit well over 3/4 of my audience, so I’m thrilled about this announcement.

Let’s get proactive and stop the grind!

Here’s what to do. Click the button below and fill out the form. Under Product of Interest, make sure you select Login AT Express (and the others). Do me a favor and let them know you heard it from ctxpro.com as a blogpost!

Earnings Disclosure: DJ Eshelman is a LoginVSI Technology Advocate and was not compensated in any way for this article or any links associated with it.

Categories

By With a Little Help from Our Friends

ByteSized Book logo