Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Vincent Brasseur, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Virtualization

Cloud Expo: 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
"Verizon offers public cloud, virtual private cloud as well as private cloud on-premises - many different alternatives. Verizon's deep knowledge in applications and the fact that we are responsible for applications that make call outs to other systems. Those systems and those resources may not be in Verizon Cloud, we understand at the end of the day it's going to be federated," explained Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. Acco...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of E...
"For the past 4 years we have been working mainly to export. For the last 3 or 4 years the main market was Russia. In the past year we have been working to expand our footprint in Europe and the United States," explained Andris Gailitis, CEO of DEAC, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud consumption is something we envision at Solgenia. That is trying to let the cloud spread to the user as a consumption, as utility computing. We want to allow the people to just pay for what they use, not a subscription model," explained Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...
SYS-CON Media announced that Centrify, a provider of unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center environments that delivers single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT, has launched an ad campaign on Cloud Computing Journal. The ads focus on security: how an organization can successfully control privilege for all of the organization’s identities to mitigate identity-related risk without slowing down the business, and how Centrify provides ...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We help companies that are using a lot of Software as a Service. We help companies manage and gain visibility into what people are using inside the company and decide to secure them or use standards to lock down or to embrace the adoption of SaaS inside the company," explained Scott Kriz, Co-founder and CEO of Bitium, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver 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, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...