Published on February 23, 2014
How to Change the IT Architect Hiring Practice so Companies and End-Users Win, a Proposed Change Part I By Brian Murphy / GuideIT / Founder of Virtualization Practice www.linkedin.com/in/virtualos/ "An honest man speaks the truth, though it may give offense; a vain man, in order that it may." William Hazlit First and foremost, some perspective, although I feel this would benefit all IT Architects, my examples are based on personal experience from the better part of 16.5 years with 1.5 years consulting, 15 years as full time employee for GMAC FS / branded Ally FS / now Ocwen Financial, Dell/Perot. You’re more than welcome to review my biography/profile at www.linkedin.com/in/virtualos/ to validate if my opinion is worth the time. When I left GMAC FS, I was managing three teams and continued to wear the hat of Enterprise Architect and Citrix Architect. But our answer is, you shouldn't go as far as you’re probably considering, given the panic mode most managers enter when a star threatens to shoot out the door. Under normal circumstances, to keep stars happy, you just need to give them what they crave: outsize compensation; effusive recognition; enjoyable, challenging work; and the feeling that they’re not being micro-managed. All that changes in a split second, however, when a star asks to see you, closes your office door, and says: “I’ve gotten an offer I think I just can’t refuse.” Your first instinct will be to match the offer financially. Usually, though, that won’t be enough. The competitor luring your star has been smart enough to make the deal richer in other ways with, say, more job responsibility or a bigger title. You can match those, too. And that’s where the trouble starts. Because promoting stars just to keep them can incite a little riot, especially if the promotion is over people who feel they deserve the same kind of treatment but just haven’t threatened to leave.
Before you know it, other stars will be insulted by your accommodation, and even some midrange performers will feel resentful. And at the end, the only contented person left in the place might be your over-performer who has decided to stay, now feeling more indispensable than ever. http://goo.gl/R4z3l1 - Jack Welch I’ve managed, hired, fired, interviewed, and consulted. In other words, I’ve been on both sides of the hiring process having to approve recruitment vendors in a scenario where all resumes came from approved vendors, internal candidates, or existing employees. To consulting and unbeknownst to me at the time [consider 10 years ago] 98% of my interaction as sole proprietor IT consultant would require interaction with a recruiter then behind the scenes - hiring manager. I'm not one to mince words, so, the purpose of this guide is to reach those at executive level that can implement change from the top down. Otherwise, it will only get worse. The goal is to convince, beyond doubt, which Recruiting practices and bad Hiring Managers must change or get out of the business. The primary focus being small business owners, sole proprietorship; such as myself that now must utilize what is akin to a Union of Recruiters that have penetrated every company in America and except for the innovations of LinkedIn a majority of my negotiations start with a recruiter. In 17 years, I have 5 that I trust without doubt. How many people do you know that can paint a masterpiece? It is the same in IT, not everyone can create masterpieces. If you were hiring someone to paint a portrait of your datacenter, one would hope you would pay top dollar for someone that could make you and the company proud. Hire a pianist for a concert, depending on the concert – is it not truth that the more important the concert the smaller the names on the list? "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails
while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." President Teddy Roosevelt I'm using the term IT Architects because that is my profession [however, it would appear that IT <Insert Title>, and wish to compare our profession to other "Architects" other than IT. Our profession is the only is one that I’m presently aware of that does use a methodology of other Architect. What I’m proposing is simple, allow IT Architects that specialize in certain disciplines such as Citrix, Cloud, VMware, Networking, IT Security, Storage, and the list goes on; propose their architecture and paid a proper wage based on competing bids. Any IT Architect, assuming they are true to the discipline, should have an idea of what their architect entails. I require NDA now for my architecture – why? Imagine you were just told to start interviewing Architects to build a new, never seen before building design to eclipse all buildings before it arrived. Would you not bring in multiple Architects, ask for references or recommendations; MOST important, you would review their proposed design, immediately ruling out those that simply get in, read the docs, willing to work for less per hour, minimum standards met – get the picture. "Knowing others is Wisdom. Knowing yourself is enlightenment." Lao-Tzu Bad designs are destroying VOS and leaving bad impressions on end-users that must endure the problems when the solution is simply to start focusing on the ability of the Architect, bring them in to propose a design, make them tell you how they will generate cost saves, look at their references or private portfolio; this one change would eliminate this focus on hourly rate because when you budget 4 million dollars and I do it for 800K – what do you care what I’m getting paid? I can implement an 8000 user solution in 8-10 weeks. At 500.00 per hour, you still made the right choice. People should get paid based on profession chosen and the ability to deliver the critical components of their chosen profession – in the case of IT Architects, whether Citrix, VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Enterprise Architects, Enterprise Application Architects, Cloud Architects; all the same requirements. I wish I had a $1.00 for every Recruiter/Hiring Manager that wanted to hire me after they had already obtained architectural design from Citrix or Citrix
partner. The answer is NO, every time; to say yes – for me – is an issue of Integrity. Other Architect professions believe they have the best design, why would I accept a job implementing someone else’s design? To get paid – no, not if you have any Integrity. "From my days in the Pit, I learned that the game is all about fielding the best athletes. Whoever fielded the best team there won. Reuben Gutoff reinforced that it was no different in business. Winning teams come from differentiation, rewarding the best and removing the weakest, always fighting to raise the bar." Welch, Jack; Byrne, John A. (2003-10-01). Jack: Straight from the Gut Not only did this happen recently, they tried to dictate what I would get paid per hour – no negotiation. My argument back was too logical and didn’t matter because at this point in the negotiation these individuals have no power. They have no power to change the pay and too afraid to support you because they feel like they can get someone else – which they can because that is the other card on the table; lack of Integrity. Every IT Architect that accepts lower pay or does not stand by their brand empowers the those focused on how to drive down rates rather than the LONG TERM PICTURE of which IT Architect provides the best architecture, agility, CAPEX, OPEX, ROI, TCO cost saves. Myself and others utilize, enhance, our designs in our area of expertise; my first implementation almost 17 years ago of Citrix Winframe 1.0 on Windows NT 3.51. There are others in the same situation that have accomplished the same or more and have more tenor. Unless the company refuses to use Recruiters and create their own HR recruiters [example Dell], you must utilize a recruiter unless you happen to know someone at another company that can submit your resume. LinkedIn is a great tool for bypassing the recruiter but to date it falls in that 1%. Once again I saw the benefits of acting like a small company. Giving the project visibility, putting great people on it, and giving them plenty of money continues to be the best formula for success. Welch, Jack; Byrne, John A. (2003-10-01). Jack: Straight from the Gut Anyone branding themselves IT Architects should have the ability to stand front and center and pitch their idea, tell you where they can save money from a CAPEX, OPEX, CAPEX, ROI, and TCO. That alone would rule out the
“pretend architects” from those of us that can stand before anyone with confidence and – in my case – present 30 key areas where I can architect a solution for VOSC [Virtual Operating System Cloud]. You will never hear me use the term VDI – why? It is NOT a desktop. It is a virtual operating system with the critical purpose of providing a SECURE conduit to “Your Company Business Applications”. Now, if your budget is 4 million for 50,000 users yet based on my initial discovery and globalization with some sites having multiple shift differentials I estimate your total concurrent use at 30,000 users and quote you a CAPEX cost of 800,000.00 – COMPLETE. Not only this, I create 30 areas of cost savings from network bandwidth CIR rates reduced by half to deploying thin clients that utilize .5 amps versus 3 amps or more, consolidate an estimated 2200-2500 applications, provide licensing control for those applications so those applications that are concurrent licensing I can create a single published application accessed globally by all 50,000 users but now concurrent is 30,000 saving 20,000 licenses. This applies to many applications. I’ve only listed 3 of 30. In his book “Straight from the Gut”; Jack Welch stated: “But differentiation is all about being extreme, rewarding the best and weeding out the ineffective. Rigorous differentiation delivers real stars— and stars build great businesses. Some contend that differentiation is nuts—bad for morale.” Source: Jack: Straight from the Gut In other similar titled professions, it is a competition whereby the best architecture and cost saves win. In the IT Architect profession it becomes who works for the lowest hourly rate; stated prior this has been 99% of my dealings with the top 1% I can count on one hand the number of recruiters I know and trust have my best intentions at heart and their other customer – the company I plan to bring my ideas and architecture. Proven, repeatable, cost savings and IT agility. Hiring the right IT Architect is critical to the success of certain complex implementations. I have been implementing Citrix solutions (Top-Of-Stack) for almost 17 years now but what most fail to understand is to implement Citrix solutions correctly, create Agility, create Application Lifecycle Management, create cost saves in 30 key areas; requires advanced knowledge of Big Data, Networking, Firewalls, Windows Server Operating Systems, Windows Clients, Android Clients, Macintosh Clients, Disaster Recovery, all the major hardware
server vendors, all the major Big Data aka Storage Vendors, Active Directory, Advanced DNS concepts and the complete stack of the solution you represent. Citrix XenDesktop when implemented properly is a major cost savings. Yet, the value is in Citrix XenDesktop, XenServer, XenApp, ShareFile, Podio, Citrix Universal Receiver, Citrix StoreFront, Citrix Single Sign On, Netscaler APC 10.1, Insight for HDX and Web, Citrix Mobile Phone solution, and Citrix Tier1 Hypervisor for the desktop allowing for offline mode. With these components, you can create a VOS cloud that can service 30,000 or 300,000; with that said; why do most implementations fail? 1 reason; the most often missed aspect of the design; a true case of “putting the cart before the horse”; regarding Citrix Architect there is 1 common mistake that causes failure. When I say fail? I include those that consider consolidation a success at a cost to more Help Desk tickets and resources allocated more to supporting a bad architecture than working on new projects or increase cost for whatever reason. The opposite of “Agility”; the purpose of IT is to allow the business to grow without hindrance. Having seen many environments, I am often amazed what users are willing to put up with, until they leave and find a company where IT enables business Agility by utilizing internal and public cloud hybrid methodology with dynamic capacity on demand, data center resources running at 70% utilizing top of stack – versus what? 1-2% today? Instead, the system is now based on who will give in first and take a lower rate, this is considered a win. How does it feel to know you based your decision on the value of a person without given the chance to prove their value by presenting their designs, cost save methodologies and I could go on but the point is you have misrepresented your customer on both sides of the fence? That recruiter has misrepresented you and I by only considering our worth per hour and rather than going to bat on our true value attempts to see how “low we will go” – NO; but the real victim is the customer that is sold a resource because simply because they chose to work for less – nothing to do with their recommendations, their design recommendation after review of the environment, finding those hidden cost saves, creating a design that impresses the end-user community – how is this not best long term for your customers on the “hiring side of the fence” and mutually beneficial because once the cost savings is proved, you have an architecture that is tweaked slightly better to achieve these cost saves, the focus now is I DON’T WANT TO LOSE THIS PERSON; Sounds great, so I’ve shown you a repeatable
process and true cost saves of 3 million, how does 200.00 per hour sound for 10 weeks of work? Why bring this up? Most are going to say it cannot be changed – really? You need to read; “Who Moved My Cheese”. (Reference: http://goo.gl/IMuY) For those of you who are recruiters and hiring managers, I don’t blame you directly. This is not a finger pointing article written out of anger. I’m doing my job, creating a solution that is ultimately a better value to the customer and end-users we support. If we must go through you, then things must change. Whether you as a leader in the industry of recruitment or as Hiring Managers approaching senior management or executives reading this, hopefully agree, and change the hiring practices. Success if defined by the IT Architect. How can you as a hiring manager, define the abilities of the IT Architect unless you provide them a chance to show the “blue prints” to the plan, proposed cost saves, proposed CAPEX cost, where agility is achieved? This appears to be reserved for “vendors” yet where a vendor once quoted 12 million dollars how was I able to quote $800,000.00. This was the only time in 17 years a company hired me based on my known/proposed architecture, my “Brand Name” built with Citrix [after speaking to Citrix employees assigned to the account]. I've only met a small percentage of individuals in the virtual space relative to Cloud which make no mistake VOS is a service offering in the cloud and require similar architecture to create that associated cost effectiveness that is perceived with SaaS, PaaS, IaaS solutions today. It really isn't that difficult, just hire the right person for the position. Right people in the right places - sounds simple; At this point, it can only get worse so to all you Recruiters and Hiring Managers focused on hiring the cheapest labor you can rather than focusing on the benefit the customer gains and the additional business you gain by placing the "right resource that meets or exceeds expectations with a proven track record that is verified by that resource ability to produce recommendations or perhaps already utilize a tool intended to help alleviate having to call someone every time you bid on a job; LinkedIn being a good example.
This requires recruitment firms to enable their recruiters to think on their own, give them bargaining power – I’m so tired of “I need to check with my manager”. Are you not as fellow IT Architects? It reminds me of certain new car dealerships where I offer a price and the first thing out of the salesperson mouth is “I need to check with my manager”. I honestly don't understand and refuse to work with Recruiters when I send them a PDF of my 44 recommendations on LinkedIn, copies of awards, Certifications, over 100 recommendations counting the cards, emails, spot bonuses, and they ask for references? My response, "I just gave you 44 multi-paragraph recommendations from real people that you can look up on LinkedIn and contact as many as you wish". All my former managers have given recommendations and that is who I would provide for contact. As a contractor, I cannot expect my former managers to get a phone call and restate what they have written in stone on LinkedIn because "it is our policy". If I give in to this policy my former bosses would start to get annoyed and ask why they can’t just use the recommendation on LinkedIn; is that not one purpose of LinkedIn – sure it is, but our policy is to ignore the obvious. At what point to you stand up for your accomplishments and say NO. If one thing is certain, change is inevitable. If change does not happen, everyone loses. Most of all, the end-users become victims of poor design which impacts their ability to perform their job, all because the wrong person was hired; some will read this and get a wake-up call not knowing that private Cloud Lack of integrity never works in business; it seems as we grow older some create false excuses for cutting corners, blaming others for their mistakes, not taking responsibility. "Real winners never sneak to finish lines by clandestine or compromised routes. They do it the old-fashioned way—with talent, hard work, trust, fairness, and honesty. It’s okay to negotiate tough business deals, but conduct your business with both hands on the table and sleeves rolled up." Huntsman, Jon M. (2008-10-29). Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times, New and Expanded Edition (p. 48). The fault is not all with Recruiters, the firms, Hiring Managers, and HR hiring restrictions; every time someone in our business allows a recruiter to dictate
their hourly rate actually loses integrity. You just validated that you are worth less and each recruiter or hiring manager that is allowed to dictate your or my salary makes it that much easier for them to try it on others to where we are today where some will not speak with you or pass your resume on for a phone call if you refuse to work for that rate. I try to negotiate with them and explain that the focus or my focus has always been on cost savings I bring to the table, do you thing the customer or hiring manager can spare at least 10 minutes so I can explain why I am the right person for the job and once I describe all the areas where I can create cost savings the hourly rate would be the least concern. I wish I could share everything but I require an NDA to for full disclosure of my design and after 17 years and millions of dollars saved (3 million on 1 project) I simply cannot understand why a hiring manager would be more concerned about cost of implementing a VOS Cloud Solution with Citrix TOS (Top of Stack) utilizing any hypervisor; thus, maybe they have a large ESX environment, or HyperV, or XenServer. Citrix VOS works with all hypervisors. The type of hypervisor is something to consider relative to TCO and ROI but one factor of 30 areas of true cost saves. I’m using Citrix as my primary example for two reasons; They were first to market They have the best top of stack solution If you need convincing, read my article “King of the Stack” at: http://goo.gl/3qDZxq Globalization and Cloud VOS create massive opportunity for cost saves which I will outline a few of the 30 that are repeatable processes not unlike a manufacture of cars or other products and concepts such as Six Sigma. (Reference: http://goo.gl/mmtx) Here are some numbers that are repeatable: (Some of many) 10 second logons per VOS [My term – Virtual Operating System, because it is not a desktop] 12-15 IOPS per VOS Windows 7 Professional, read-only VDISK, streamed to X # of users of which becomes a hardware limitation; with a goal of utilizing 200% of the underlying hardware (cost save). 2 tickets per day per 8000 users (massive cost save)
2200 Applications hosted on XenApp generates a tiny 50,000 IOPS Staff reductions at every site, Help Desk Simply provided training for Desktop Support Teams to become VOS Operations Support POD based (2 meter cabinet) design with Dynamic Capacity on Demand methodology – exists today and cheap. Citrix, as one example, gives you their software for free; all that is required is a CONCURRENT LICENSE. Netscaler hardware and VPX being the exception. Application Lifecycle - All applications hosted in XenApp, one single RO XenApp VOS Disk hosted on shared NAS emulating NFS or CIFS or fiber LUN presented to several servers (shared) N+1 POD with Hardware LifeCycle CIR Rate reductions for every remote site (Massive OPEX savings potential per MONTH) It is the same with creation of a Cloud Services Platform. Some can paint, most cannot. Some architects utilize standard practices, others have proprietary and inventive ways focused on cost saves; ROI, TCO, CAPEX, OPEX. What are Cloud Services and the small percentage of Architects who can implement a complete solution stack? Hiring an Architect should be based on their proprietary design that meets or exceeds all best practices across all IT towers. Have you hired a contractor to build a building before looking at their proposal? IT Architects if truly architects have a picture in their mind and utilize a specific design that is repeatable and works every time. If they cannot tell you the architecture to be used and explain the areas in which you will benefit how can you possibly know your hiring manager or recruiter has not simply sold you a resource because they accepted a pay cut? I stated that most implementations fail in 6 months, defined as users unhappy, more expensive than physical PC’s regardless of the reason(s). The Citrix VOS Cloud with Netscaler, Provisioning Server, Universal Client, StoreFront, MDM, ShareFile, Podio, and competing products VMware vCloud and ESX implementations are akin to installing Microsoft Office Professional and only using Word. Or, because it is thought of as an OS - and Citrix takes the blame here by not marketing their own products correctly. XenDesktop is merely a virtual OS conduit for business applications hosted on Citrix XenApp which runs on Microsoft Terminal Services.
Citrix Provisioning Services allows for one single virtual OS file hosted on a NAS or a single NFS LUN shared by multiple-fiber connected physical servers. Since the virtual operating system does not have applications installed but presented by Citrix XenApp/Terminal Server which is designed to host segmented but hybrid and complex shared use of DLLs in memory allowing for more user sessions per host and designed to do this with minimal impact to processor, memory, and IOPS. To expound further, you can expect to utilize around 50,000 IOPS per 2200 applications hosted on Citrix - otherwise it was done wrong. The read-only single virtual operating system allows for a single point of update with all customization requirements handled by Group Policy and Citrix Policies. This model works in multi-tenant scenarios, no inventory agents installed in the OS, no remote control agents required being this functionality is built into XenDesktop so that Help Desk can shadow a user desktop and obtain critical information using Desktop Director tool that ships with XenDesktop. Regardless of 30,000 or 300,000 users makes no difference, the Desktop Director tool best feature is the advanced search that allows for Level 1 - 4 support teams to quickly find the user desktop, then shadow it and capture the issue. Generally, there are not many issues assuming you do not install all the agents from the desktop environment into the virtual operating system / with Provisioning Server produces a single read-only instance that allows for automated creation of desktops based on the criteria you define and this can be a complete 180% difference from customer to customer or business towers. Virtual operating system is merely a CONDUIT to the business application. We often forget that the reason this technology exists is not for our pleasure but 5o provide access to business applications from any device at anytime from anywhere using any type of connectivity from 3G, 4G, Dial-up, Satellite, to congested Internet connections. In 90% of the implementations I'm asked to fix, maybe it is just me, the "cart was put in front of the horses". Most VOS implementations die on the vine despite what all the vendors are stating. The question is why? It comes down to one thing; however, that one thing has many complex obstacles in the path making this a very complex and difficult to answer without offending. Yet, to not discuss it and allow it to continue I might as well find a new career due to every bad implementation gone wrong leaves the end users - the reason IT people exist - disgruntled and pleading for their old
and dusty physical computers back and management eventually gives up because it truly becomes a disaster and unmanageable. Amazing how one thing, addressed at the end by 95% of implementations today instead of the beginning, can triple your Help Desk calls in 6 months and now you have lack of resources for projects due to support taking priority over new projects so you wasted all that money and now have to hire more resources to support the environment when the goal is reduction in staffing – unfortunate side effect of proper designed VOS solutions. If you are in any position to force change, start by getting to know and teaching these simple concepts to your hiring managers that you employ to work with recruiters (practically the only way to get a job now in IT – IT now has a middle layer that never existed 10 years ago, not unlike a large Union with the goal of representation to every employer and job seeker while getting paid by the company and will try to do everything they can to dictate my/your hourly rate. Every consultant in IT that lacks the Integrity to say no, I make this, you will pay me this because I’ve earned that right and the cost saves (coming up) some of us bring negate any reason to focus on hourly rate. If hiring managers would focus on hiring the right person and cost savings rather than trying to save money at the beginning rather than big picture relative to OPEX, CAPEX, ROI, and God forbid lower TCO. Next, the recruiter should focus on the value of experience and accomplishments backed by actual recommendations from real people not “click the mouse button endorsements”. TRAVEL IS FATAL TO PREJUDICE, BIGOTRY AND NARROWMINDEDNESS… BROAD, WHOLESOME, CHARITABLE VIEWS OF MEN AND THINGS CANNOT BE ACQUIRED BY VEGETATING IN ONE LITTLE CORNER OF THE EARTH ALL ONE’S LIFE. —MARK TWAIN Executive IT leadership, if you really want to know why the VOS solution failed where others have succeeded and saved millions, start with the people that hire and teach them the principles of business cost saves, agility, people of integrity, hiring the best resource for the job versus the person who “talks the talk” just like anyone can read the PDF or EDOCS and follow the steps rather than produce an architecture, for example, that is proprietary and requires an NDA but with proven, repeatable processes utilized and implemented for more than a single customer and pay them their worth or suffer the consequences
of failed implementation within 6 months – based on 17 years in IT, 15 years as FTE with GMAC now Ally and Ocwen, Dell, and now close to two years as a sole proprietor having to turn down more jobs than accept for reasons of pure Integrity. Every implementation gone wrong is a lot of end-users that now consider VOS a four letter word due to the person or person’s your hiring manager interviewed and hired because they just made the cut and accepted a lower rate putting them at the top of the resume stack yet if one thing is done wrong, or simply the fact that some people claim to be musicians or painters; seen all the time on certain television shows where they seem to actually believe they can sing, yet everyone is telling them find another profession. This must stop, before VOS solution becomes a four letter word to the majority as some leave for other companies, 1 bad experience they tell 10 people, try to implement VOS there and if enough people have already gone through that bad experience my ability to stay employed continues to decline; which is truly sad knowing that you still have those 2% of Architects that implement cost effective, agile solutions that save millions, VOS that boots in 10 seconds, 1 GB of RAM, centralized applications, telecom, file servers, and ultimate security of data never leaving your network. The data never leaves your network, all the user sees is a representation of the desktop like watching TV. The TV is just a receiver for the data, you see it and hear it but it originates somewhere else and when you turn your TV off, the data was never actually on your TV, it is merely a conduit. VOS is a conduit for accessing business applications – centralized applications, databases, storage, telecom incoming and outgoing lines, with virtual phone hosted as an application presented to the VOS – just plug in a headset and with Citrix HDX, the user will never notice because everything resides on one LAN, WAN no longer part of the equation and as you will read a huge potential cost save that 98% of consultants miss because it is more of a postimplementation – I call it like I see it. So, the root of the problem is not the "1 thing that causes all VOS implementations to fail" but the fact that 10- 15 years ago a sole proprietor such as myself did not require a middle person such as a Recruiter and bad hiring managers wanting to buy cheap labor and willing to hire an engineer playing architect but worse driving the rates down for those of us with more than 15 years experience. With that said, experience means nothing without proven, year after year accomplishments and seeking out harder challenges
because you love the profession, the technology, and that feeling of accomplishment when you have built a solution that on average costs 6 cents per user per usage hour, dynamic capacity on demand, one VOS to update, one platform to host all applications and present those to the read-only virtual operating system that boots in 10 seconds and runs perfect with 1 GB of RAM allowing for 3x the number of desktops alone by not having to use 4GB due to improper use of virtual operating systems versus their physical counterparts. The point of using VOS is to not use Desktops and to actually save money which counter to most examples is possible. Are certain vendors going to suffer, absolutely - question is will they adapt. Why do you care? As business owner or CEO to CIO to IT engineer your job is to save the company money and create agility in IT so it does not create a bottleneck for the business and rather then being seen as an expense your are now creating solutions that are dynamic, centralized applications, application lifecycle management, one read-only desktop for all, no more inventory agents due to having your applications on Citrix XenApp and using best practices of Role Based security and Domain Local Groups per application you can tightly control and immediately report on number of users in that group to assure it matches your licensing. Not only that, you get published applications that are restricted to X number of users but leverage concurrent licensing and global dispersed users where the application has 10 licenses that are also concurrent (not bound to a user - just a license) but 50 users in the group using the application over a 24 hour period. The alternative is install the application on the desktop and buy 50 licenses. Now, apply this to every application you have and hopefully you are thinking of all the cost saves on application licensing alone by simply centralizing the applications to a solution that is specifically designed to host shared applications, then all it comes down to is tweaking the timeouts, determining your actual concurrent users out of 30,000 might only be 19,0000 at any given hour. Next, you but hardware to host that # of users, not 30,000; using a POD based deployment methodology (think of a POD as a 2 meter cabinet with top of rack switches, next blades, next storage). Using this methodology does not eliminate the need for N+1 and Disaster recovery but all those dollars saved on licensing, elimination of all those vendor contracts for anti-virus agents (this is another discussion), inventory agents (all applications now on Citrix XenApp/Terminal Server with access streamlined to a single Active Directory Domain Local Group assigned to each application and further restriction policies to limit # of concurrent users, rules that allow users from this IP segment but not these IP segments (SOX/HIPAA Applications?), Citrix
StoreFront Web Interface that supports all clients and mobility where you can move from device to device work to home and utilizing the Citrix Universal Receiver for Macintosh, Android, Linux (Ubuntu, Red Hat, so forth), iPhone, iPad, Chrome Book (embedded HTML 5 Google Chrome Applications that uses their browsers and found in their Application Store) and the multiple Microsoft Operating Systems such as XP, Vista, 2000 to Windows 7 and 8. So I've provided multiple cost saves to consider as to why and how VOS can be a true benefit from CAPEX, OPEX and ROI. This is nothing compared to the big picture yet due to corruption, greed, and shady deals between Recruiters and Hiring Managers that lack the understanding of the complexity of this type of solution and worse are focused on hiring someone that is willing to come down on their rate so they get what is paid for as their solution that on average dies in six months and everyone involved throws up their hands and says something like "well, we tried it is just becoming too hard to manage and users are screaming for their physical PC's back - who can blame them? Confucianism states: “Do not do to others what you would not like yourself.” Zoroastrians are advised that “if you do not wish to be mistreated by others, do not mistreat anyone yourself.” Muslims are taught no one is a true believer “until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” Hinduism warns never to behave “towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself.” The Torah says: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it.” Huntsman, Jon M. (2008-10-29). Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times, New and Expanded Edition (p. 149) One of the biggest cost saves, often missed, is post-centralization of applications, replacing PC's with small Thin Clients (no moving parts, last 7 years on average) at all remote sites with a device that uses half an amp opposed to 3x that amount and suddenly you notice your energy expense of running PC's, that hot air blowing out requiring AC to work harder - remember no moving parts. And yet, this is nothing compared to turning down CIR rates on every circuit globally because you just cut your bandwidth requirements down to maximum of 15K per user, 0K when not being used except for the occasional HDX ping to verify the session is not disconnected and therefore a candidate to return to the pool and free up that license. Imagine if you centralize file services, and applications from every remote site, no more data or multiple copies of Access Databases with link tables into
other databases and MDE front-end run from a network share local to each site or God forbid run across the WAN. XenDesktop/XenApp supports the virtual Cisco Phone Client, Lync, SharePoint integration internal and external if we throw in Citrix Netscaler. Plug in a headset to the Thin Client, send that encrypted HDX traffic down the dedicated audio or video channel to the remote site and centralize all your incoming and outgoing telecom to one location and further reduce bandwidth requirements not to mention all those remote PBX's with those expensive VOIP cards. I've shared a few of 30 potential cost savings that I know and have proved that I can provide. I'll leave the business before I allow someone else to dictate my pay. Regardless of contract or full-time. I've already decided to leave the consulting business. The solution is changing the hiring process so I can stay. Or, someone reads this and hires me direct and pays my worth - I require an NDA and non-compete to disclose my architecture and 30 critical cost saves. I look forward to your LinkedIn mail or Inmail. Last but not least, why do overpaid CIO's outsource IT? CEO/CFO Business Functionality? CIO Development? Same reason companies outsource hiring: So they can point the finger at someone else and keep their jobs although they hired the outsourcers. Q&A - How to Change the IT Architect Hiring Practice Q&A - How to Change the IT Architect Hiring Practice Part II of How to Change the IT Architect Hiring Practice http://www.vcissgroup.com/publications/how-to-change-the-it-architect-hiring-practice Question: Every rate is set, in some cases, by business owners / CIO / HR / managers based on budget and evaluate the market trends based on feedback from recruitment firms. Answer:
Therein is the problem. Instead of being focused on the bottom line or “budget” they forget the most fundamental part of business. Hiring the right people for the right position; again other Architects are provided the ability to show their blueprint aka design and are judged not only by budget but the quality of work, if they bring something unique to the equation, the design itself makes sense for that organization, the combined CAPEX, OPEX, ROI, and TCO should factor into the “budget process” – yes? My best answer here, senior management is focused on “how low can we go” rather than hiring someone that can save them millions and has proven themselves in the industry. Maybe it is time to recruit new Senior Leadership? Question: Sometimes the company might pay for a special skill set where there are fewer resources or the technology is new but it doesn’t get much better – how would you address this question? Answer: This is a great question and it reminds me of another problem. They are willing to pay for a certain skill set like Six Sigma or Tealeaf – yet if you consider this they are paying more for a resource that might simply know the technology and is a cost factor. Knowing Webtrends, HP OpenView Suite, and so forth is a skill that should be paid but reporting does not necessarily lead to “cost saves”. Six Sigma being the obvious exception to that rule – like IT Architects? They are willing to pay more for a unique skill that is essentially a cost long term but when it comes to IT Architects that create Agility, dynamic capacity on demand, read-only VOS, single VDISKS for certain infrastructure components that can dynamically power down or up based on capacity in specific areas then factor in time zone, global, shift differentials and 30 key areas of cost savings you save across the board. The “board” here defined as; CAPEX, OPEX, ROI, TCO, AGILITY. Question: How would you address the “vendor approval list” where companies have essentially chosen to “outsource hiring” and in most cases they do this and utilize a “contract to hire methodology” that allows them to not only pay lower rates but take no responsibility if that individual makes a mistake and the management has no responsibility to fire that person?
Answer: Sounds like outsourcing – yes? It is the worst kind. It is one thing to outsource development it is a different beast to outsource BUSINESS FUNCTIONALITY. This is what companies are doing when they create a defined list of Recruiters that fight their way on that list and essentially become the corporate Outsourcer. That is the future unless certain Recruiters I know take the lead and truly do what is best for the job seeker and the employer. If companies are going to outsource to companies to hire their best resources it cannot be done with one brush one color. Architecture is a discipline, the person hired can destroy or create. Consultants are most dangerous because everything might seem to work great the 1st month, you have justified the cost in your mind but it was all cost no save, and by 6 months you are allocating more resources to Level 1, 2 and 3 to support the environment because now you are knee deep in Application Lifecycle Management. Which, btw, is the “1 thing” if you read the primary article! Question: How do you change all the Recruitment Firms for IT that paint everyone with the same brush where the focus is hourly pay and the difference of what the employer pays and the job seeker will accept is their profit margin? What about the recruiter paid a commission? Answer: This is exactly what needs to change; we Architects are now having to use a broker (think Stockbroker) that essentially cold calls you by phone or email trying to sell you a job that half the time has nothing to do with our skill set. What I do is try to explain what I’m looking for and my salary requirements, ask them to contact me if they find something meeting my requirements – not theirs. All my accomplishments, recommendations, publications are public forum on LinkedIn and my profile is set to “seeking new opportunities”, Member of Most Recommended People on LinkedIn, pay for Job Seeker Premium on LinkedIn to help keep me at the top of the consulting list because it truly has become a numbers game. Here is the sad part, this is how bad Recruiters and the “list” can hit home. I recently was offered a job at a certain salary for ACME A company; two days later I get an email from another recruiter offering $20,000 more than the first recruiter but did not disclose the company. I gave them my resume and it was submitted and rejected because Recruiter A had beat Recruiter B to the “resume submittal game”. I have an
interview with this company in the near future knowing now that Recruiter A is pocketing $20,000 of my money. Money I could have gotten from Recruiter B if only they had reached me first. That is not Integrity; and I am bound to honor my agreement with Recruiter A? All because he submitted my – MY – resume – MY SKILL – first. So, a recruiter receives a commission just for finding me and presenting me to a company that needs me and since they are paid on commission some might become greedy. Greed brings out the worst in some people, therein is the problem. Instead of doing the right thing for a commission – providing a cost saving resource, creating a challenging interview process where each IT Architect has a chance to share their design and cost saves which benefits the employer and the endusers. Question: Some recruiters, by their own accord or policy; or the hiring manager / employer – choose certain criteria that is a must. For example, you must have this certification, MBA, all of these skills but none of these; it comes down to certifications or experience but no standards whatsoever. Answer: Another good point because I stopped taking test 8 years ago – why? Because I have no time – I’m too busy setting new records for cost saves and adding new accomplishments to my resume. Think about it, speaking from experience – I’ve interviewed IT MBA’s and hired people with High School Diploma’s because they could answer my question not quote theory. It is a combination of the two, I have over 20 certifications, over 100 recommendations counting LinkedIn, cards, letters, Kudo Emails, Spot Bonuses, actual IT awards made of fancy glass. You don’t hire someone JUST BECAUSE they have a college degree and IT Architect. You hire an IT Architect based on the same criteria as non-IT Architects, what they bring to the table, the design, the cost savings, and the uniqueness. IT Architects are artist and scientist combined with experience and measurable accomplishments. I hopefully predict that anyone using these same hiring techniques in 5 years will be gone from the business. They will fade away to Integrity, Honor, and those that survive will have bridged that gap between IT Architect job seeker and Employer so that the Employer and ultimately the end-users in a VOS / Virtual Application Cloud Solution MUST BENEFIT the most.
Question: How do you know that the hiring managers are not declining to hire you based on your credentials? Answer: Actually, I do. This has happened to me, I’m sure it happens all the time. I found out because I had a former associate, friend, who was already on the inside. The hiring manager did not know our relationship because I found out they worked for this employer after I was not hired. Apparently, this hiring manager was “afraid to hire anyone that had more accomplishments or better on paper” simply because they were afraid of their job. Yes, there are managers that should not be managers, particularly hiring managers – same for IT Architects, and Recruiters. Not everyone can paint, play the Piano, Violin, Sing – but they think they can. "Those who plant mean, vengeful, and unjust seeds will reap what they sow." HuntsmOan, Jon M. (2008-10-29) Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times, New and Expanded Edition (p. 132). Question / More like a comment: 98% of IT Architects work for Re sellers or major consulting companies. Remaining they normally or gradually become and remain as Full time Architect to a major company. Answer: True. The market for Independent IT Consultant Architecture is death on the vine. Yet in the comment is the same problem. Those “re sellers” are billing you out at 125.00 per hour or $200.00 per hour depending on discipline and paying you crumbs buddy. They are no better than the Recruiter and Hiring manager that dictate our pay and have made us an outsourced commodity for which the employer and users pay. Doesn't "re-seller" just sound bad?
Question: Why not just pick a company and apply and interview? Answer: Because everyone company I applied for thus far, minus a few, require you to use a recruiter and the game starts all over again. I wish it were that easy my friend. Easy being defined as trying to sell yourself on your ability to produce cost saves rather than take what THEY OFFER. It should not be that way, I’m just trying to give Integrity a chance over what is obvious wrong. Again, we are potentially talking about the largest "outsourcing" of resources in US. Right here, not global. Question: You ever ask yourself why CEO's, CIO's outsource? Answer: I'll tell you exactly why, so they can point the finger at someone else and keep their overpaid jobs for doing nothing but pointing fingers then outsourcing to someone else. It is a tragedy.
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