I’ve been rather quiet for some time; thought I’d provide a quick update on some of what I’d been up to.
Would like to start by sharing an observation about enterprise technology customers on Wall street: in the early 90’s we used to differentiate from each other by keeping infrastructure secret sauce close to one’s chest. While there is still some of that thinking in place today, the advent (and increased popularity) of open-development and open-source saw much of the secrecy migrate into opportunity to push innovation up the stack, where differentiation continuous to flourish. Infrastructure, in turn, representing a set of common engineering problems, is constantly being innovated on by OEMs, start-ups and increasingly mature stacks offered by service providers. Over the past 4 years I’ve had an opportunity to focus on a broader set of infrastructure elements, with an increased view on value to consumers of application services. In the all-too-familar words of Star Trek’s Borg Collective, “Resistance is futile!”. After all, the customers’ business is the sole currency which needs to benefit from the aforementioned technological distinctiveness — whether that’s measured by traditional means of total cost of ownership and, sometimes, total cost of (non) ownership.
Through our close partnership with customers and suppliers, our approach and rigor has driven a number of benefits in accelerating sourcing and deployment of private clouds. Keeping in mind that complexities entail orchestrating multiples of personalities and infrastructure objects, the management of keeping the lights “ON” continues to increase, unless well-understood and tackled.
In this 2015 IDC study, the value of integrated solutions is shown to have directly contributed to enabling better business outcomes. Fast-forward, we’ve seen reports such as this from Gartner, showing that there’s a tremendous shift of IT spend from “keeping the lights ON” toward investing in activities accelerating transformation.
What can we do, and have done, to contribute?
Here are some brief examples of quick hits that our WWT team of professionals with FSI technology experience have delivered to the banking giants whose credit cards you are likely carrying or might be writing your mortgage payments out to. All of these are tracked using key performance indicators and are communicated to executives on a monthly basis:
- Shortened supply chain process: from 26 weeks (on avg) down to 4 weeks (on avg): 6X FASTER
- OEMs firmware resolution (ex: bad NIC firmware): from 3 week delay down to <1 day: 15X FASTER
- Automation of compute and storage infrastructure: from 3 weeks down to <1 day: 15X FASTER
- Physical device re-allocation: from 2 weeks down to <1 day: 10X FASTER
- Improved forecasting contributes to reduction of “expedite” events: 3X FEWER
- Bonus items:
- Reduction of Cost of Capital
- Validation that identifies PDU defects, saving 5+ days deployment delay
- As-built documentation provided reduces maintenance time
- Automation of manual tasks; reduces time-to-build, errors, cost
- QC, burn-in log validation
- Proper adapter placement
- Global consistency through customer intent documentation and custom factory integration
By developing patterns and automating identification of bring-up, we’ve been able to solve issues in-place, thereby accelerating end-users’ outcomes.
What types of challenges do you see nowadays?
What approaches have worked in your environment(s)?