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Created by Ray MacDonald with 20+ years business enterprise technology success; including over 16 years in planning and I.T. leadership at Fortune 500 and dot.com companies.

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23-Aug-2015

Thoughts on IT Leadership

Business Value from Information Technology - Ray MacDonald

Enterprise Information Technology organizations are expected to more aggressively ensure value for the business.

The most important strategies:

  1. Enable a business to be agile and highly responsive to change
  2. Continually align IT spending with changing business needs and initiatives
  3. Ensure that the business enterprise utilizes IT capabilities 
  4. Control operating IT costs
  5. Be highly reliable
Commentary:

Control Operating Costs through Centralized Consolidation of sharable services.

Business enterprises with operations in various countries should have consolidated data centers to a "few" locations.  The legacy method of each country (or regional area) running as a division implementing its own data centers, applications, policies, staffing, and procedures has become redundant in many cases due to globalization of business practices and due to technology and service advances by telecommunications and other computing technologies such as Cloud services.  Current trends are well underway to complicate the technology support model through individual capabilities such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).  The consumerism of corporate IT services must get the greater attention, data centres combined with Cloud services should have a solid strategy already developed and being executed.

Infrastructure is a key to success, but is often undervalued and taken for granted:

The trend in the past decade or so to consolidate data centers and related IT services resulted in more demand on the corporate data network (WAN).  Involvement in Oracle's original consolidation of 65 global data centers to 4 required a complete architectural re-design of the enterprise wide-area network (WAN).  Governance, those responsible for such initiatives (data centre consolidation and/or the globalization of I.T. operations), must prepare the steering committees and those responsible for enterprise financial management that although there are cost savings resulting from centralized consolidated I.T. strategies, there are also increasing demands on the corporate nervous system (the data network).  Cloud services push the network even further.

Today's data network services, as available from long-haul communication carriers, enable business enterprises to reduce globally located computing facilities.  A centralized implementation results in great efficiencies with regards to administration and maintenance of servers, data storage, security, personnel, and other physical facility infrastructure requirements.

Data Centre consolidation projects now have few technical constraints.

Non-technical constraints and vendor service availability are often more problematic -- they may be:

  • Location of centralized facility: can telecommunication carriers provide enough resilient bandwidth to the selected facility?  Is it in an area where there is easy access to vendor diversity as well as to a single-vendor's own infrastructure resiliency?  Is the "best" technology available for connectivity?  Shortcomings in these areas are notorious for causing problems with new facilities and escalating costs; some organizations do not involve I.T. in real estate selection.  The location must also be planned in accordance with the location of a secondary, or backup, facility depending on the redundancy specified in the planning and design. (according to disaster/recovery planning).
  • Security of facility: primarily referring to physical security.  This involves access, but also requires consideration of the likelihood of natural disasters, man-made disasters, and whether or not this facility will be a showcase (i.e. customer tours).
  • Risk: Risk assessment, planning, and mitigation must be done well.  Consolidated data centers inherently bring a higher risk that a service outage will have a greater effect on the enterprise.  However, centralized and consolidated data centers also typically provide higher service level capabilities for all enterprise applications to enjoy if planned accordingly. 

The most difficult problems to overcome for centralization are more people related:

  • Staffing
  • Governance
  • Management
  • Finance/Budgets (Cost Accounting)

Expansion on these issues next time...


GLOBAL DATA NETWORK PRODUCTS/SERVICES

specifically for your Global Business Enterprise (from archived Global Network Architecture pages)


INTERNATIONAL CARRIERS

AT&T

BT
C&W
Orange (formerly Equant)

Verizon (formerly MCI)
Sprint

PRODUCTS

Cisco Technologies
ControlWare network backup
Packeteer (acquired by Blue Coat)

Application Expert (acquired by Compuware)

VPN SUPPLIERS

Cisco
CheckPoint
SonicWALL (acquired RedCreek)
Avaya (acquired VPNet) 

OF INTEREST

The Pacific Telecommunications Council
Satelite Technology (site of the month - Flash)
Submarine Cables (site of the Month)

Great Submarine Cable Maps (Telegeography, Greg's)
Submarine Cable Museum (re-opening summer 2014)
Submarine Cable Maps

New 2014 map for your wall, or use their interactive map (wallpapers at bottom of their page)

Good Alcatel Global Map (another excellent wallpaper map)

Global SUNSET/SUNRISE Calculator!

 

 

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Copyright 2015 Ray MacDonald
Last modified: 08/23/15