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Standardized IT-platforms are essential for Business Agility

by Douwe Pieter van den Bos on February 21, 2012 · 0 comments

There’s a lot to do about Business Agility in our line of work (I realize I do a large assumption here, but I guess a save one). Software Development is more and more about facilitating change for the business. This is, as I see it, an essential move forward. But when looking at agility, we need to take into account that the platforms we run our software on can be easily changed as well.

When looking at IT-platforms, in my view hardware, Operating System, Database Server and Application Server (and of course anything that comes around it) we tend to think that change comes with choice. The more choice, the more flexibility. Platforms designed for specific tasks and therefore more flexible. However, this is not the right way to look at it.

IT-platforms should be pre-configured, pre-build and so: as much prefab as possible. This makes sure that we can use the platforms for whatever purpose we want. In that way we can easily scale up (and down) if we need to. And it doesn’t matter anymore where our applications are running.

Virtualization is one of the elements that are essential in this equation. Virtualization give us the possibility to run our applications without having to worry about the location where it runs. In that way it offers us just the flexibility we need in order to offer agility.

Hardware also needs to be standardized, multi-purpose but also flexible. This would imply that we get stacks that are able to run all our (virtual) machines. That would probably mean we have to have an overkill of performance, e.g. more CPU, memory etc. than necessarily needed. But hardware is more efficient now that in the past.

The platforms of choice should also be modular. This means that we can always add more power, more storage, more memory for better performance without having to worry about downtime or any of those other boring things.
In the end all that matters is the flexibility that we can offer to the complete organization.

PS: yes. I’m back. After being absent for over four months, I really needed a break for personal reasons, I’m back and ready to roll on more SOA, Agile, BPM, Oracle subjects.

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