Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. The business case for purchasing integrated technologies, whether it be server blade infrastructure with built-in storage from HP or a VCE Vblock complete solution, is usually overwhelming. There is nothing that can't be done in house. It may even be installed for a lower initial cost internally. The cost savings of integration and consolidation come over time from higher availability and lower costs of infrastructure management and maintenance.
Good integration is easy to recognize when it is there; it just works for the job or workload it was designed for. The functionality should reflect the business requirements of the business, neither too little or too much. As much care should be taken about what is left out as to what is included.
Leading IT organizations are focusing on streamlining IT by consolidating the development and operational functions. During the Wikibon Peer Incite on March 6, 2012, Wolfgang Goerlich, Information Systems and Security Manager at a multi-billion dollar investment management company, gave crisp advice about how the human capital within an integrated development/operations (DevOps) group should be deployed. The tasks that should be performed should meet three criteria. They should:
- Deliver business value,
- Excite staff,
- Utilize high levels of skill in staff.
If tasks don't meet these three criteria, they should either not be initiated or outsourced.
His suggested metrics for measuring success were also simple, and reflect the imperative to make changes that improve IT value to the business, from improved availability, function, lower cost or improved agility. Wolfgang's recommendations are:
- Number of changes (value of implementations or updates, with an emphasis on number),
- Percentage of changes backed out (quality of integration).
Action Item: Integration, consolidation and virtualization of infrastructure brings with it an imperative to streamline the operational and development functions and to be highly selective of the projects undertaken. Stress should be on not adding additional products or procedures but on either improving or replacing those already in place. The removal of organizational barriers by cross-training all staff has been shown to lead to a more agile and higher quality delivery of IT services to the business.