Thursday, December 15, 2016

Digital Foundations - Fixing slow delivery of existing applications

When building anything substantial, such as a house or bridge, you start by laying down a solid foundation.

Nothing changes this aspect of building brick by brick when you move from traditional constructions to application development and architectural design of your supporting infrastructure. Throw in Cloud terminology and you might think that the principles of a solid foundation are a bit flighty, but nothing is further from the truth.

In the previous article, I talked about when managing an organization's journey into their digital future, CIOs are dealing with a lot of challenges. Challenges that they face on the road to digital transformation can be daunting as first glance, but must be embraced to properly navigate the road to success.

Digital foundations

Let's take a look in this article at what a solid foundation based on open technologies looks like and how it can help you to deliver on several themes that support your digital journey:
Now you need to understand the challenge of fixing slow delivery of your existing solutions on the road to building a solid digital foundation for your organization.

Fixing slow delivery

One problem that arise over time is that your infrastructure architecture grows into a complex entity that provides unending challenges to your development and operations teams, trying to deliver on applications and promises made to your customers.

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These challenges become clear when you evaluate your current infrastructure, holding it up to the light of an idea to continue to evolve towards your digital aspirations. These examinations allow you to quantify your organizations activities into the categories of existing applications (Mode 1) and Cloud applications (Mode 2).

The first is supported by your existing infrastructure where you need to keep the existing applications running while achieving the most for your infrastructure spend. The second is shrouded in uncertainty as you attempt to either set up or transition existing activities towards private Cloud infrastructure. Let's examine the existing Mode 1 applications infrastructure issues first and divide these into a simple illustrated use cases that help with understanding the challenges.

Accelerate service delivery

When looking at the existing infrastructure, a common problem associated with growth over time in an organization is that delivery of applications becomes bogged down in procedural problems.

The head of your operations is processing new developer requests for resources and needs several layers of administrators to quantify these request, such as virtualization administrators, system administrators and security operations. The time it takes to process these requests, for the sake of argument, can take up hours of active work and that gets stretched into days of processing as the request is processed. When human interaction is involved in any process, mistakes will happen, costing more time along the path to delivering the service that was requested.

The solution to accelerate this service delivery lies in being able to identify the parts of this process that can be automated. When looking at the various service requests for resource that come to the head of operations, you identify the ones that are most common. Each of the above mentioned administrators can pre-approve a service that is then put into a catalog of items that can be automatically generated upon requests from your developers.

The time savings is in being able to skip the work, the wait and the process of getting a service delivery request authorized and built. If you look at the previous example of days to get service request delivered, using a pre-defined catalog item can remove most of the time eating steps to deliver and allow you to provide services in just minutes instead of days.

This automation has not only removed active work time and process delays, it also means that the risk of human errors is almost entirely removed from the process of service delivery. It will not work for every service request you get from your development organization, but if you can reduce the number of special deliveries by capturing the most frequent ones, you are going to see results. This will save time, budget and serve your customers in the ways you have been dreaming of for years.

Take charge of your existing infrastructure, eliminate slow delivery and start accelerating your service delivery to your customers today with Open Source Cloud technologies.



To watch this in action, please see the online video story.

The story continues...  next up on building the foundations of digital transformation, I am looking at reducing the complexity of existing infrastructure.