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By Geoff Smith, Senior Solutions Architect If you have read my last three blogs on the changing landscape of IT management, you can probably guess by now where I’m leaning in terms of what should be a key metric in determining success: the experience of the user.
IT management used to be about specialization. We built skills in a swim-lane approach – deep and narrow channels of talent where you could go from point A to B and back in a pretty straight line, all the time being able to see the bottom of the pool. In essence, we operated like a well-oiled Olympic swim team. Each team member had a specialty in their specific discipline, and once in a while we’d all get together for a good ole’ medley event.
The landscape of IT innovation is changing. “Back in the day” (said in my gravelly old-man voice from my Barcalounger wearing my Netware red t-shirt) companies who were developing new technology solutions brought them to the enterprise and marketed them to the IT management stack. CIOs, CTOs and IT directors were the injection point for technology acceptance into the business. Now, that injection point has been turned into a fire hose.
At the recent GreenPages’ Summit, I presented on a topic that I believe will be key to our (for those of us in IT management) success as we re-define IT in the “cloud” era. In the past, I have tried to define the term “cloud,” and have described it as anything from “an ecosystem of compute capabilities that can be delivered upon demand from anywhere to anywhere” to “IT in 3D.” In truth, its definition is not really that important, but how we enable the appropriate use of it in our architectures is.
Having spent the last several blog posts on more serious considerations about cloud computing and the new IT era, I decided to lighten things up a bit. The term “cloud” has bothered me from the first time I heard it uttered, as the concept and definition are as nebulous as, well a cloud. In the intervening years, when thoroughly boring my wife and friends with shop talk about the “cloud,” I came to realize that in order for cloud computing to become mainstream, “it” needs to have some way to translate to the masses.
When deciding where and how to spend your IT dollars, one question that comes up consistently is how far down the path of redundancy and resiliency should you build your solution for, and where does it cross the threshold from a necessity, to a nice-to-have because-its-cool. Defining your relative position on this path has impacts in all areas of IT, including technology selection, implementation design, policies and procedures definition, and management requirements. Therefore, I’ve developed the Likelihood (LH) Theorem to assist with identifying where that position is relative to your specific situation. The LH is not a financial criteria, nor is it directly an ROI metric. However it can be used to assist with determining the impact of making certain decisions in the design process.
As the last (do I hear applause?) installment in this five part series on the Taxonomy of IT, we have a bit of cleanup to do. There are two remaining “levels” of classification (Genus and Species), but there is also a need to summarize this whole extravaganza into some meaningful summary.
The Order level of IT classification builds upon the previous Kingdom, Phylum and Class levels. In biology, Order is used to further group like organisms by traits that define their nature or character. In the Mammalia Class, Orders include Primates, Carnivora, Insectivora, and Cetacea. Carnivora is pretty self-explanatory and includes a wide range of animal species. However, Cetacea is restricted to whales, dolphins and porpoises and indicates more of an evolutionary development path that is consistent between them.
IT’s Kingdom Classification- Class In Part1 and Part2, I have begun to map the classification of IT using the biological taxonomy framework. Each of the first two articles identified the top levels of IT classification. The Class level is the last of the major distinctions, and begins to show us where our services and value statements will have the greatest impact.