Click here to close now.




Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Tom Kelly, Elizabeth White, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Jason Bloomberg, Tim Mullahy

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Next Generation Datacenters: From Legacy to the Cloud

Part 3 of 5 – The Strategy – Step 2 Alignments

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"

Creating Alignment

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.

Formula Explained

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.

More Stories By Tony Bishop

Blueprint4IT is authored by a longtime IT and Datacenter Technologist. Author of Next Generation Datacenters in Financial Services – Driving Extreme Efficiency and Effective Cost Savings. A former technology executive for both Morgan Stanley and Wachovia Securities.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City, and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, will discuss how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved effi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., focused on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what do...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...