Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS)



Patrick Zelten Vice President, Managed Services, Forsythe Technology

This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Patrick Zelten.

Patrick ZeltenPatrick Zelten manages the Managed Services practice that helps clients manage risk and cost to enable them to focus on core business operations and growth. He is responsible for developing and implementing Forsythe's corporate strategy for managed services. Zelten has more than 18 years of experience in the IT industry.

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.


Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

:00:33: Patrick, from your history of successes, can you share some usable lessons or best practices?
"....Spend time defining the problem in the plan, don't half write an execution....Often milestones for initiatives are too spread out, limiting ability to measure progress. I recommend setting up 6 to 8 week sprints to allow for more real time status, or more importantly, course correction....View partnerships as a critical component in managing and operating an IT environment...."

:03:03: What is the state of enterprise spend and should this change?
"....Typically IT organizations spend about 70-80% of their budgets just to keep the lights on so that only leaves about 20 to 30% for innovation and helping the business with capabilities that might increase revenues or drive out cost. Recently, Gartner published data that there's a bit of a shift going on where on average only 65% of IT budgets are spent keeping the lights on. What's really causing that 5% shift? There's a few schools of thought on that, but I think both are valid..."

:05:18: What are your recommendations on using Mobile?
"....I encourage listeners to focus on enablement and not the device itself...."

:06:33: What do you see as the 5 truly disruptive technology forces for the next five years and why are these your choices??
"....Big Data....An output of Big Data — personalization....Cloud computing....Mobility....Convergence (specifically converged architectures)...."

:09:04: What are your top best practices for managed services?
"....Understand your current state environment....Document your requirements, this will become the basis for any good contract....Identify what you would like to have in a service provider (this is critical). Focus on a partner who will act and behave as an extension of your team, a partner who is sized appropriately and flexible enough to treat your contract as important...."

:11:02: Patrick shares some stories from his extensive speaking, travels, and work (amusing, surprising, unexpected, amazing).
"....One of my favorite stories is around a datacenter visit I did a few years back at a regional bank that used to be a multi-story hotel. The datacenter room had a working fireplace in it held over from the hotel. I couldn't help but think of the datacenter guys saying, boy it's kind of chilly in here, let's throw another log on the fire...."

:12:22: If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask, and then what would be your answer?
"....What allows managed service providers to be successful in supporting clients?...."

:13:20: Patrick, with your demanding schedule, we are indeed fortunate to have you come in to do this interview. Thank you for sharing your deep experiences with our audience.