The IT Transformation Storymap

By Edward Newman August 25, 2016

When you think about IT Transformation, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?

Chances are, infrastructure was among one of your first thoughts. That makes sense, since infrastructure is a foundational component of any IT Transformation journey. This journey, however, is about a whole lot more than just infrastructure.

Recently, we developed an IT Transformation Storymap to graphically depict the many parts of IT Transformation.  In this blog post, I will set the context for and provide a high-level overview of the storymap. In subsequent blog posts, I will go into specific sections of the image, and IT Transformation, in greater detail.

Setting the Stage

StageThere are really three transformations that take place as a part of IT Transformation depicted in our storymap. These transformations are happening across infrastructure, applications, and operations. Increasing revenue and lowering operational costs for the business while providing a multitude of services are the key goals for many IT organizations.  This requires services that are both compelling and meaningful to the business, and to meet these goals they may be delivered from both internal and external providers.

For many IT organizations, this is a dramatic change in the way IT is aligned.  IT has historically acted as a Systems Integrator, a very labor-intensive approach with a lot of non-recurring engineering.  This problem was first solved in the infrastructure realm, moving from non-recurring engineering to converged infrastructure solutions, now this concept must spread across all of IT.

IT organizations need to be able to deliver an efficient, automated, and repeatable environment that is focused on the applications that are being built and delivered.  IT should not focus on how to get the various components of the infrastructure to operate together.  IT organizations need to get these new applications in the hands of the business as fast as possible to be able to be agile, realize new revenue streams, and help lower operational costs.

IT organizations need to get these new applications in the hands of the business as fast as possible

This transformation is analogous to the way that automobile factories have evolvedimages (8) over the last century, hence the theme of our Storymap.  Building a car has transitioned from requiring highly skilled technicians building their own tools and creating hand-made pieces painstakingly assembled into custom vehicles, to the new model of robotic integration on the manufacturing line.  We are seeing a similar transformation within IT: instead of trying to integrate all the separate pieces and parts by hand to deliver many custom stacks dedicated to various applications, we are now standardizing on components that can be combined together to deliver many different services utilizing a small number of reference architectures.

This factory analogy also extends to the “front office,” where previously a number of different teams worked separately.  These teams perhaps optimized processes and collaboration within their own team, but rarely would this occur across teams. This area’s productivity was hindered by too many manual approvals, too many different tools that were all partially deployed, and disconnected processes that caused confusion and inefficiency. Needless to say, this caused operational costs to skyrocket.

The new model of IT Transformation delegates a lot of the provisioning and management of the environment to the tools themselves which are now able to be fully deployed across the entire organization with low overhead, increasing transparency and control.  These tools are governed by policy rather than manual interventions.  Reading_Glasses_&_Blueprints_(8096939321)The infrastructure is provisioning and managing itself according to blueprints that have been defined once and can be deployed by providers internal and external.  We are now able to move from a manual process that required the heavy involvement of many different individuals to a highly automated and orchestrated set of processes that are executing and managing blueprints by policy.

My next blog will dive deeper into how IT can transition from being a systems integrator to a service broker.

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3 thoughts on “The IT Transformation Storymap

  1. Hello Edward,
    You raise some important considerations. IT operational spending has gotten out of hand in the last few years where IT operating costs have risen out of proportion to revenue growth. Policy based infrastructure management is the best way to Align fluctuating business demand with IT supply, it is a critical step forward in creating more cost effective and operationally relevant systems. In my next bog I cover the Business Demand and IT supply relationship. Looking forward to your next blog.

  2. Data Transformation is also happening across IT as organizations realize that Applications are being commoditized by Software as a Service and that leveraging the Company’s Customer, Product and Transaction data is the new competitive edge.