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The world is becoming more and more complex and so are the business challenges and their related IT solutions. Today no single vendor can provide complete end-to-end solutions from physical assets to business process optimization. Some large vendors like IBM, Oracle or HP, have extended their solution footprint to cover more and more of the four IT core markets hardware, middleware software, business applications and services but still require complementary partner solutions to cover end-to-end processes. Two examples of emerging complex IT solutions include:
Smart Computing integrates the physical world with business process optimization via four steps: Awareness (sensors, tags etc.), Analysis (analytic solutions), Alternatives (business applications with decision support) and Action (feedback loop into the physical world). A few specialized vendors such as Savi Technology can cover the whole portfolio from sensors to business applications for selected scenarios. However, in general a complete solution requires many partners working closely together to enable an end-to-end process.
Cloud Computing includes different IT resources (typically infrastructure, middleware and applications) which are offered in pay-by-use, self-service models via the internet. The seamless consumption of these resources for the end user anytime and anywhere however requires multiple technologies, processes and a challenging governance model often with many different stakeholder involved, behind the scene.
Not too long ago, I shifted my role here at Forrester from Infrastructure & Operations to Enterprise Architecture. I was spending a lot of time looking at technical architecture topics and helping folks with assessing their infrastructure. Turns out, that falls into the kinds of things that EA folks are interested in as well. For the past few months, I've been focused on building tools and research that will help with assessing your infrastructure and getting it to where it needs to be in order to support future business demands. To that end, we've also begun research on best practices for making large-scale transformations successful. This could be moving from a mainframe to distributed systems, rolling out thin clients, or modernizing system management. Why do some organizations succeed at these types of transformations, while others take many years or fail to reach any consensus?
IT transformation is often likened to turning a large ship, due to the inertia of the status quo -- so many organizations struggle with these types of changes. I've even seen firms put the project team in charge of the "to be" infrastructure in physically separate buildings, away from the influences of business-as-usual thinking.
Come to think of it, that's a good idea. What do you think? If you've successfully completed a large IT transformation -- be it consolidation, migration, or something else -- we'd love to hear from you.
We don't normally draw attention to things like this (changing our underlying platform technology), but in this case, there are some key differences in capabilities, that you need to know about so you can benefit from them. As you already know if you've been following the Application Development & Program Management blog, we have a team of analysts who are already active bloggers. But in the past, it may have been challenging, if you were particularly interested in following the posts of one analyst, to do that in amongst the posts from the rest of the team.
So I'm thrilled that we now have individual blogs for all the analysts on the team, too. Everything blogged by the team also rolls up into the team-level blog, which is a good place to hang out if you're following several analysts on the team, have more eclectic interests around application development and delivery, or just want to be tuned in to what's going on across the team.
Another great innovation (for you) of our new platform is that blog pots are now presented with only summary information showing in the initial view. Only after you choose to drill down on a post do you see the whole thing. This makes it easier to look through several posts, whether on an analyst or team blog, and find just the stuff you care about.
And now for a few words from Cliff Condon, the Forrester exec who leads our social computing initiative of which this new platform is a part, on Forrester blogs and what it means for you:
Everyone’s welcome here. Forrester analysts use blogs as an input into the research they produce, so having an open, ongoing dialogue with the marketplace is critical. Clients and non-clients can participate – so I encourage you to be part of the conversations on Forrester blogs.