|By David Linthicum||
|December 6, 2009 01:00 PM EST||
It's Thursday morning, you're the CEO of a large, publicly traded company, and you just called your executives into the conference room for the exciting news. The board of directors has approved the acquisition of a key competitor, and you're looking for a call-to-action to get everyone planning for the next steps.
You talk to the sales executives about the integration of both sales forces in three months time, and they are excited about the new prospects. You talk to the HR director who is ready to address the change they need to make in two months. You speak to the buildings and maintenance director who can have everyone moved that needs to be moved in three months. Your heart is filled with pride.
However, when you ask the CIO about changing the core business processes to drive the combined companies, the response is much less enthusiastic. "Not sure we can change our IT architecture to accommodate the changes in less than 18 months, and I'm not even sure if that's possible," says the CIO. "We simply don't have the ability to integrate these systems, nor the capacity. We'll need new systems, a bigger data center..." You get the idea.
As the CEO you can't believe it. While the other departments are able to accommodate the business opportunity in less than five months, IT needs almost two years?
In essence, IT has become the single most visible point of latency when a business needs to change. Thus, the ability to change is limited by IT. In this case, the merger is not economically feasible and the executive team is left scratching their heads. Indeed, they thought IT was about new ways to automate the business, and had no idea how slow they are to react to change.
However, it does not have to be this way. The survival of many businesses will depend upon the fundamental change in the way we think about and create our IT infrastructure going forward. That is, if you're willing to admit where you are, and be willing to change.
How Things Got Off-Track
The issues with information technology are best understood by understanding the history of IT over the last 30 years. This would be why things are they way they are. It's almost like speaking at a 12-step program...you're admitting you have a problem, and are willing to look at how you got here.
It's also important that you check your ego at the door. IT folk typically don't like to talk about mistakes made in the past. Indeed, many will defend to the day they die all IT-related decisions that have been made in the past. That's really not the point. It's not about placing blame, it's about opening up your eye as to what you're currently dealing with, and opening up your mind as to ways it can be fixed.
If there is one issue that comes to mind each and every time we look at the mistakes that IT made in the past, it's managing-by-magazine. This is a term used many times. In essence, those charged with building and managing IT systems often did not look at what's best for the business, but looked at what's most popular at the time. Or, what was being promoted in the popular computer journals as the technology ‘required' to solve all of your problems.
We also have issues with managing-by-inertia, or the failure to do anything just because it's new and unknown. This is the opposite problem of managing-by-magazine, since instead of doing something just because it's popular, we simply sit on our existing IT architecture. Typically this lack of action is rooted around the fear of change, and the risks associated with it.
We had the structured computing revolution, which became the object-oriented computing revolution, which became distributed objects, which became component development, which became ERP, which became CRM, which became service-orientation...you get the idea. Of course, I'm missing a bunch of other technologies that we ‘had to have' including data warehousing, business intelligence, business process management, and the list goes on and on.
Not that these technologies were bad things; most were not. However, they had the effect of distracting those in IT from the core problems of their business, and thus focused more on the productized technology than the needs and requirements of the business. This was due to the fact that analyzing and documenting business requirements was not as fun, and not a resume-enhancing experience. We all want to be relevant.
This focus more on the solution than the problem caused a layering effect within the enterprise architectures. In essence, the architectures grew more complex and cumbersome due to the fact that the popular products of the day were being dragged into the data center, and became another layer of complexity that both increased costs and made the enterprise architecture much too fragile, tightly coupled, and difficult to change.
Today we have IT infrastructures and enterprise architectures that are just too costly to maintain, and difficult-to-impossible to change. As business needs change, including upturns and downturns in the economy, IT is having a harder and harder time adjusting to meet the needs of business. Indeed, as in our example at the beginning of this article, CEOs are finding that IT is typically the latency within the business that causes delays and cost overruns, and IT does not add value to the enterprise as it once did. Remember when IT was the solution and not the problem?
Indeed, IT departments were more productive when they were coding applications in COBOL on mainframes because it required them to be lean and cautious with their use of resources. Today, we have almost too much technology and too many options. We gave IT enough rope to hang themselves, or at least to get their IT architectures in a state that makes them much less valuable to the business.
• • •
This article is excerpted from "Cloud Computing and SOA Convergence in your Enterprise...a Step-by-Step Approach." By David S. Linthicum.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Mar. 28, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,058
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Mar. 28, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 9,581
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 28, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,158
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
Mar. 28, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,609
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Mar. 28, 2017 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 14,229
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Mar. 28, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,590
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
Mar. 28, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,115
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Mar. 28, 2017 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,465
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
Mar. 28, 2017 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 4,666
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
Mar. 28, 2017 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,694
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
Mar. 28, 2017 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,285
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Mar. 28, 2017 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,534
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
Mar. 28, 2017 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 4,437
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Mar. 28, 2017 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,240
Now that the world has connected “things,” we need to build these devices as truly intelligent in order to create instantaneous and precise results. This means you have to do as much of the processing at the point of entry as you can: at the edge. The killer use cases for IoT are becoming manifest through AI engines on edge devices. An autonomous car has this dual edge/cloud analytics model, producing precise, real-time results. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Eng...
Mar. 28, 2017 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,078
There are 66 million network cameras capturing terabytes of data. How did factories in Japan improve physical security at the facilities and improve employee productivity? Edge Computing reduces possible kilobytes of data collected per second to only a few kilobytes of data transmitted to the public cloud every day. Data is aggregated and analyzed close to sensors so only intelligent results need to be transmitted to the cloud. Non-essential data is recycled to optimize storage.
Mar. 28, 2017 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,182
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Mar. 28, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,448
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
Mar. 28, 2017 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 8,963
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Mar. 28, 2017 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,026
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
Mar. 28, 2017 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,340