Monday, September 19, 2011

Documenting IT Transformation Since 2005

If you haven't looked at how EMC's IT department has transformed itself over the years, you should - it's amazingly illustrative. Our CIO, Sanjay Mirchandani is visible and articulate. Our VP of infrastructure, Jon Peirce, is equally eloquent about how IT is transforming - and was a major force behind EMC's recently dedicated state-of-the-art Datacenter. And of course Chuck Hollis has been doing an amazing job of chronicling the meaning of IT transformation, consumption models and organizational changes.

First, show me the money

But where does that leave us regarding exactly what we achieved? What metrics illustrate the real benefits of all this work? Well, it turns out that EMC IT has been documenting their process since about 2005.  While not all data points are completely audited, they tell a powerful story.

In the conceptual 3-phase "Journey to Your Cloud" we speak about the trend toward increased virtualization - and how it's applied. In Phase I, IT virtualizes "internal" IT-owned apps saving primarily on cost. In Phase II, IT virtualizes production applications, benefiting primarily quality-of-service and availability. And in Phase III, IT is operated as a service, primarily improving overall business agility.

But along a pragmatic journey, the benefits occur gradually, sometimes in parallel.

EMC's IT group has been virtualizing its infrastructure - and documenting the results - since 2005. At right, the chart depicts how virtualization toward a cloud infrastructure undeniably results in improved infrastructure economics AND improved IT agility. And their trend continues.

The other benefit from virtualization is the ability to re-construct an environment should failure occur. This impact on quality of service is available anywhere virtualization is present - so you'd expect the pervasiveness of Highly-Available environments to roughly track the degree to which virtualization is implemented.

Sure enough, as EMC virtualizes its entire infrastructure (and we're not entirely there yet) we're pushing nearly 97% of applications with High Availability.

Finally, as IT infrastructure is virtualized and consolidated, utilization rises, and (presumably) physical data center space required (not to mention power) is reduced.The EMC IT group's statistics clearly show this trend as well.

In fact, EMC's recently-christened data center is not larger than our existing data center (as it was mainly developed to economize on power cost, and to create a physically-distanced site from EMC's HQ) so there is still lots of room to grow.

In the coming months, EMC, our IT department, and our consulting arm, will be continually elaborating on our own journey through transforming our IT... not just the technology, but the organizational models, operational models, consumption models, and more.

I personally have to say that the degree of rigor that Sanjay & team have put into this transformation is impressive. They have a very clear vision of where they want to be with respect to enabling the EMC business, as well as setting a clear example of what is possible for EMC customers.

Other References

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An Image Makeover for IT

Wow. I just have to share notes about a meeting today - one that might have been unthinkable a year or so ago.

I've been working closely with EMC's CIO and internal IT groups lately, helping understand how they're delivering IT as a Service. EMC's IT is going through a major transformation, where it's becoming more competitive, more business-centric, more like an internal Service Provider.

What blew me away was a conversation I was invited into because I was in marketing. Could I help? IT wanted to begin  investigating how to market its on-demand/ITaaS services internally to EMC lines-of-business. We discussed audience segmentation, how IT would like to be perceived (read: Brand Essence), and the services/value IT provides to assist the business.What should a marketing and roll-out plan look like? Graphic designs? Should IT instead be called BT (Business Technology)? How would the value of Service Manager roles be highlighted?

The discussion - while well from over - I believe is a harbinger for the "new" IT, where IT provides value and competitive advantage to other lines-of-business, where it acts like a strategic partner/vendor, and competes for business. It's so much more than technology.

We agreed that another harbinger of change was when the CIO spends more time with the CMO, rather than with the CFO. And I can attest to being present to one such meeting.

So, in the process of IT elevating its value-add, IT will enhance how it caters to the business. It will actively promote its new service orientation, its new operating model, its new mindset.

And I am more than happy to help.