|By Tony Bishop||
|May 17, 2011 06:45 AM EDT||
This is part 3 of the continuing article "From Legacy to the Cloud: Next Generation Datacenters"
Restating the obvious - Business and IT have planned, designed and operated business systems in a silo-oriented manner with disconnected decisions and actions as to how the business needs to executes and systems are created, implemented and actually operate.
In the first two articles in this series I provided details as to the problems with legacy datacenter models & started laying out a proven method to attack the legacy problems by implementing a day in the life approach to get the truth of what is happening from the business to the datacenter and/or what decisions and actions have been taken to cause the day in the life to not execute as expected.
This article will focus on the ALIGNMENT Step of the four-step strategy for attacking legacy IT will be described.
Insight - ‘day in the life' understanding of both business and IT in terms of execution, historical decisions and actions and objective understanding of the actual situation as it exists today.
Alignment - creating a common language, taxonomy and system creation model to produce repeatable results.
Control - specific actions, tooling, process and approach to ensure the appropriate change occurs and re-occurs successfully.
Sustainment - mechanisms and processes instituted in a repeatable discipline to ensure consistent results and avoid falling back into the legacy traps.
Step 2 - Alignment
Recap from Step 1
In Step 1, we gathered day in the life information on an end-to-end basis. We hit on the key linkages of a business value chain tied to an IT supply chain. By profiling, mapping, modeling and correlating in an objective data driven manner - we now have assembled the input data to our alignment-processing step. In particular, we hit on four key actions of data collection that will not only serve in the transformation process but must become part of a sustainment process to ensure continual alignment between business and IT going forward.
The four key data principles are:
- "Know how you make money"
- "Know what fulfills your money making process"
- "Know your IT supply chain components & usage"
- "Know who & how you operate your IT supply chain"
Organizations who have been successful in migrating legacy datacenter infrastructures to next generation cloud like models have employed and adopted a critical strategy of "Systems Thinking".
Wikipedia Definition- Systems Thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing "problems" as parts of an overall system. In organizations, systems consist of people, structures and processes that work together to make an organization healthy or unhealthy. Systems thinking is not one thing but a set of habits or practices within a framework that is based on the belief that the component parts of a system can best understood in the context of relationships with each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation.
If we go back to the problem I covered in the first blog - most organizations (who are the ones with extreme legacy infrastructure problems) have not planned, design or created their specific applications and infrastructure systems with a strategic "System-Thinking" approach. Systems Thinking is ‘the' key or missing component to creating a successful formula that ensures alignment between Business and IT on the journey to the next generation datacenter in the cloud. That formula is defined below.
Alignment Formula - Insight Data Points + Systems Thinking + 80/20 Rule + Capability Oriented Taxonomy.
Insight Data Points - create the inputs and boundaries for decision-making. These data inputs are qualification & quantification of: Business Drivers X Business Behaviors x Key Performance Indicators by Business Function x Business Value Chain x Workload Qualities x Business Events x IT Supply Chain Qualities & Behaviors.
Systems Thinking - is the framework for the design decision-making process. Holistic end to end, top to bottom design thought process from business user to IT Rack on specific floor space with specific power distribution, cabling and cooling strategy translating to stated quality of execution required - i.e. Performance, cost, agility, availability, fungability, etc...
80/20 Rule - a critical method to get around scope creep and paralysis/analysis. With proper Insight data gathering that captures business behaviors profiled and trended correlated with IT supply chain behaviors (again think day in the life) there becomes a portfolio profile where 20% of the business functions consume close to 80% of the IT supply chain on a normalized basis. Typically these are client functions, revenue functions, regulatory functions and business risk related functions. Attack anything new in these functions with next generation strategy. Quarantine any legacy that is not fitting this profile and modernize any existing systems that fit the profile.
Capabilities Oriented Taxonomy - build it, buy it, borrow it - but establish a common taxonomy that Business and IT must think and speak. What are the business capabilities that generate revenue, the require IT supply chain capabilities to capture data, analyze or process the data, share information or content, update information or content and store the various information or content in a day in the life? This is critical to keep everyone aligned and create an environment of collaborative innovation. (Hint - borrow from Six Sigma, LEAN, SOA, EA, ISO, etc... that takes you from user to datacenter facilities. If you don't have a repository nearing 1000 discrete categories you probably have an incomplete taxonomy.)
Note - this is an iterative process where firms must crawl, walk, run in terms of defining and building out. Key is to get classification, definition and behavior of speaking and thinking in this manner between Business and IT that is critical.
Tooling & Approach
This formula needs to be implemented in a structured and well-managed manner. A transformation office should be established that incorporates Business and IT resources allocated/dedicated.
Getting started organizations need to create their library. This library needs to incorporate the Day in the Life Modeling & Profiling, Inventory of Business Systems Deployment Attributes and Interdependencies Profiled.
Organizations need to establish a Portfolio Decision Matrix that maintains all decisions and actions agreed to business and IT when applying the Alignment Formula.
A Technology Product Catalogue needs to be created/refined in a manner that is capability oriented and gaps identified. This is the master artifact for which the IT Supply Chain will be transformed against/measured against/benchmarked against.
A roadmap needs to be created of current state to target state systems & supply chain evolution by capability. When creating think of peeling an onion. Each layer has a purpose. In this case, each layer of the roadmap needs to communicate to each audience member.
Day in the Life Modeling needs to be translated into various Use Cases (Business functionality to technical enablement). These use cases need to be mapped to patterns (business and data patterns to application and workload patterns). The patterns then need to map to capability deployment strategies (how logical patterns will manifest themselves into physical realities). The key here is to use this modeling & translation effort as your CHANGE VEHICLE that ensures actions realize the alignment decisions made.
Next organizations must establish an engineering deployment model discipline. Here the translated output defined in the day in the life modeling above needs to be incorporated into IT supply chain engineering deployment that is linked to automation assembly and discrete policies for enactment.
The final tooling and process component is a communication strategy that incorporates methods, frequencies and playbooks tuned to your specific organization learning culture. Here, you must figure out how to use concepts like town-halls, executive briefings, status/progress reports, decision arbitration board, and detailed playbooks (think yellow book guide for dummies) that outline the steps being taken, decisions made/to be made, achievements accomplished and why things are being done or not.
If you are still reading at this point - you are ready to transform! The Next step that will be covered in the next article is to outline the processes and tooling is necessary to "control" and effect the change to your next generation datacenter.
WHOA.com has announced the newest addition to its data center footprint with the expansion into Equinix's newest state-of-the-art facility: DC-11 Washington, DC IBX+. Located in Ashburn, VA, this data center expands Whoa.com's presence to meet rapidly expanding customer demand for secure cloud solutions. Equinix, Inc. operates International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in 32 markets across 15 countries in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific. Equinix is committed to operating faciliti...
Mar. 28, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,006
SYS-CON Events announced today that FierceDevOps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FierceDevOps keeps software developers and IT operations personnel updated on the latest news and trends around the rapidly evolving role of the traditional IT worker.
Mar. 28, 2015 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,350
The Open Compute Project is a collective effort by Facebook and a number of players in the datacenter industry to bring lessons learned from the social media giant's giant IT deployment to the rest of the world. Datacenters account for 3% of global electricity consumption – about the same as all of Switzerland or the Czech Republic -- according to people I met at the recent Open Compute Summit in San Jose. With increasing mobility at the edge of the cloud and vast new dataflows being pre...
Mar. 28, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,774
GENBAND has announced that SageNet is leveraging the Nuvia platform to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to its large base of retail and enterprise customers. Nuvia’s cloud-based solution provides SageNet’s customers with a full suite of business communications and collaboration tools. Two large national SageNet retail customers have recently signed up to deploy the Nuvia platform and the company will continue to sell the service to new and existing customers. Nuvia’s capabili...
Mar. 28, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,384
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborat...
Mar. 27, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,108
WSM International is launching a DevOps services division that offers assessment, consulting and implementation to large enterprises and organizations with complex infrastructures. This is the first independent services company to create a dedicated practice to help organizations looking to transition to the DevOps model. The concept of DevOps is to blend information technology (IT) software development with operations to optimize the computing infrastructure according to the specific needs of ...
Mar. 27, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,417
Temasys has announced senior management additions to its team. Joining are David Holloway as Vice President of Commercial and Nadine Yap as Vice President of Product. Over the past 12 months Temasys has doubled in size as it adds new customers and expands the development of its Skylink platform. Skylink leads the charge to move WebRTC, traditionally seen as a desktop, browser based technology, to become a ubiquitous web communications technology on web and mobile, as well as Internet of Things...
Mar. 27, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,705
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Mar. 27, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,666
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
Mar. 27, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,338
Modern Systems announced completion of a successful project with its new Rapid Program Modernization (eavRPMa"c) software. The eavRPMa"c technology architecturally transforms legacy applications, enabling faster feature development and reducing time-to-market for critical software updates. Working with Modern Systems, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) leveraged eavRPMa"c to transform its Student Information System from Software AG's Natural syntax to a modern application lev...
Mar. 27, 2015 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 676
Today, IT is not just a cost center. IT is an enabler and driver of business. With the emergence of the hybrid cloud paradigm, IT now has increasingly more capabilities to create new strategic opportunities for a business. Hybrid cloud allows an organization to utilize multi-tenant public clouds, dedicated private clouds, bare metal hosting, and the associated support and services for the right use cases through an on-demand, XaaS model. This model of IT creates tremendous opportunities for busi...
Mar. 27, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,959
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
Mar. 27, 2015 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 917
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Mar. 27, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,608
Docker is an excellent platform for organizations interested in running microservices. It offers portability and consistency between development and production environments, quick provisioning times, and a simple way to isolate services. In his session at DevOps Summit at 16th Cloud Expo, Shannon Williams, co-founder of Rancher Labs, will walk through these and other benefits of using Docker to run microservices, and provide an overview of RancherOS, a minimalist distribution of Linux designed...
Mar. 27, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,353
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a “Make or Buy” decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud busi...
Mar. 27, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,167
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Proven by the world’s most demanding enterprises, including AAA NCNU, Constant Contact, Falck, Hootsuite, Pitney Bowes, Telekom Denmark, and VMware, Aria helps enterprises grow their recurring revenue businesses. With Aria’s end-to-end active monetization platform, g...
Mar. 27, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,514
Businesses are looking to empower employees and departments to do more, go faster, and streamline their processes. For all workers – but mobile workers especially – utilizing the cloud to reconnect documents and improve processes without destructing existing workflows can have a dramatic impact on productivity. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Mark Grilli, vice president of Acrobat Solutions marketing at Adobe Systems Incorporated, will outline new ways that the cloud is changing the way peo...
Mar. 27, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,194
Sonus Networks introduced the Sonus WebRTC Services Solution, a virtualized Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) offer, purpose-built for the Cloud. The WebRTC Services Solution provides signaling from WebRTC-to-WebRTC applications and interworking from WebRTC-to-Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), delivering advanced real-time communications capabilities on mobile applications and on websites, which are accessible via a browser.
Mar. 27, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,671
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes ...
Mar. 27, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,113
Are your applications getting in the way of your business strategy? It’s time to rethink your IT approach. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Madhukar Kumar, Vice President, Product Management at Liaison Technologies, will discuss a new data-centric approach to IT that allows your data, not applications, to inform business strategy. By moving away from an application-centric IT model where data integration and analysis are subservient to the constraints of applications, your organization will b...
Mar. 27, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,466