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Observations Serving Enterprise Financial Services

January 23, 2017 No Comments

Featured blog by Joe Rooney, enterprise Cloud expert at Quali

In 2016 I had to privilege of consulting with about a dozen major financial services organizations from Toronto to Charlotte, and it is evident that there is a strong need for these highly regulated business to adopt an increasing amount of new technology.

Security is the number one driver (I know, a real shock, right?) of new technology adoption, and, not at all coincidental given my specific line of work, I’ve found that certification labs are under mounting pressure to move work through their organization more and more quickly.

When looking at the value chain of new technology adoption there are many individual segments from “we’re going to look at this new technology” to “we’re ready to apply this new technology to our production network,” the certification lab being only one such segment, and, there are varying degrees of bottlenecks form beginning to end, but, I gather that the lab’s build-up of work in progress is the most painful and critical problem to solve.

The major problems, that, if solved would have a tremendous impact on increased speed and agility in the lab, that I’m hearing from my customers are:

- Excessive time required to build production replica test beds

- Conflict over equipment in use, long waits for access to lab equipment, or inadvertent test termination cause by human error

- Manual testing workflows requiring constant human engagement and oversite

- Limited to zero visibility into lab equipment utilization, or individual testing work metrics (tests executed per individual)

The real crux of the situation for most labs is I’m consulting is budget constraints. Traditionally, the certification lab is a cost center tasked to perform a whole lot of work with limited resources. Very simply cash is hard to come by, and, when dollars do become available, justifying a major investment in a transformative solution for what is in the mind of the business a cost center is more difficult than the tired (yes, that’s not a type-o—tired, I said) and true solution of building a new rack or two to accommodate demand.

For the managers, directors and VPs that are in agreement that the more equals more approach is tired and no longer true, the willingness of the enterprise to introduce innovative solutions into the lab becomes easy, and dollars free up. And the good news for these organizations is that the solutions to all of their problems are fairly mature and have been vetted by the market. All that is required is money, energy and time to evaluate and adopt the best solution for their specific requirements. Significant ROI can be realized in as little as 6-12 months.

What I am advising organizations to do that haven’t experienced the same cultural shift that has allowed innovation to become a core tenant in lab services like it has in others is carefully examine what short term wins will grab the attention of executives and help free up dollars for lab innovation. In other words, solve one problem with a manageable investment in order to justify (or even fund) solving the next or whole of the problems they face regarding increasing work requirements and demands from the business, and chip away at major innovation incrementally, one quarter or budget cycle at a time.

So if you’re eager to innovate in your lab, and budget and resource constraints are holding you back, consider solving your problems incrementally. And, if you want to solve them all with a single solution, they are out there (and you might not have to look too much farther than this blog post in your search).

When consulting, I guide my customers toward the solutions that make the most sense given their unique situation. The most dynamic approach to creating a short win and freeing up budget for the future that I have found with my customers is providing business intelligence and visibility where there is currently limited to zero visibility into lab equipment utilization, or individual testing work metrics (problem statement #4 above). If you can base line performance with reliable and easy to consume metrics and prove in the light of day that more equipment to meet demand is not the answer, you’ve just opened to door to justifying a major round of funding.

About the Author

Joe Rooney has over 6 years of sales and consulting experience for enterprises in the cloud, system management, and virtualization solution space. Joe works for Quali helping hi-tech customers in the eastern US to accelerate cloud and DevOps automation solutions.




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