Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Mehdi Daoudi, XebiaLabs Blog

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Consumers increasingly expect their electronic "things" to be connected to smart phones, tablets and the Internet. When that thing happens to be a medical device, the risks and benefits of connectivity must be carefully weighed. Once the decision is made that connecting the device is beneficial, medical device manufacturers must design their products to maintain patient safety and prevent compromised personal health information in the face of cybersecurity threats. In his session at @ThingsExpo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 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 planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
Recently, IoT seems emerging as a solution vehicle for data analytics on real-world scenarios from setting a room temperature setting to predicting a component failure of an aircraft. Compared with developing an application or deploying a cloud service, is an IoT solution unique? If so, how? How does a typical IoT solution architecture consist? And what are the essential components and how are they relevant to each other? How does the security play out? What are the best practices in formulating...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...