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Back to Basics (the other B2B)

By Andy Lewis, CIO Kovarus, Inc.

When one takes a new professional position, there are moments of reflection; remembering the great successes with a former employer and the people that helped make it all happen. There is also the reflection on one’s past and professional history and how you have transformed over the years.

“Transform” is another great word ruined by our beloved industry. It is over-used to the point where it is annoying and used out of context to the point where it is becoming meaningless.

Back to my point: I’ve transformed over the years and here I am, in many ways, right back where I started. I spent those early days deep in the middle of the mainframe, or as we should probably call it, “Cloud 1.0”. Since Cloud 1.0, which was considered process and discipline bound to the point it inhibited your breathing, we, in our wisdom, decided that UNIX — a “cool” alternative technology — was to become the disruption to the norm. Well, it was cool, but there were few standards and we quickly forgot how to spell integration. Disparate systems flooded our data centers (and now with the ability to fill broom closets with a reduced footprint). This was the start of those IT silos (shadow IT) we hear so much about. OK, so we recognize this and look for ‘the out’ a few years later and end up with a gazillion cheap pizza boxes. We move from disparate to standard x86-based approaches. But alas, could only support this over-indulgence for a short while.

So, skipping a few years (and a few disruptive technologies later), here we are. Cloud 2.0 knocking on the door and I’d like to think we are ready for it. Unfortunately, the wake of chaos we left as we “progressed” through these technology innovations still remains in many of our IT data centers; not only from an infrastructure standpoint, but from a process and practice perspective. So, what to do? Adopt another approach to technology and layer that above those that already exist, creating additional complexity, risk and ultimately cost? Or, go back to basics and take the steps necessary to position yourself for an agile, competitive, flexible, cost-effective IT service delivery organization.

Here at Kovarus, we believe in doing things right and going back to the basics where necessary, which is most of the time. We start by getting answers to the following basic questions before deciding where we want to be:

Back in those mainframe days, practices like discovery, asset management, capacity/performance reviews and cost consumption models were inherent and simple: Today, not so much. When we have the answers to these basic questions, we can start to drive the right initiatives with the right focus to obtain the needed results. Having the answers to this basic information is a great start but this cannot be a one-off exercise. A repeatable method to ask these same questions periodically to determine the impact of your efforts needs to be established.

We partner with our clients to implement proven innovative technologies that are ripe for your business to provide you the advantage you need to be successful. We demystify the hype associated with technology and set achievable expectations to ensure you can deliver on your promises to the business. Let us help you get back to basics and do things the right way.

Andy Lewis is the CIO at Kovarus.